Books, Reading, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

10 books I should have read already…but haven’t (because apparently I’m a mess)

It’s rather something to have a large TBR named Steve who takes up half my apartment with shiny new books and brilliant old books, rather like a quiet sort of cat that I don’t really have to feed, but still somehow makes sure that I notice him. (throwing books on the floor seems to be his favourite pastime).

But one of the downsides of having a large TBR is that sometimes some books that I should read or need to read, get pushed to the back because of the habit I might just have of picking up and adopting any stray book in my path.

Which doesn’t do well for my TBR. And for some reason, Steve refuses to read the books for me, but instead just holds onto them and somehow multiplies all of them before I can look again. With that being said, there are quite a few books that I really should have read by now, and haven’t. So let’s unpack my shelf of shame together shall we?

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1- Rebels Rising (book 3 of the Rebel Mechanics series). I adore the first 2 books of these series, but really just haven’t been in the mood for these. I should because Alternative history, magic, steampunk and a sweet meet-cute, sounds up my alley. But I still haven’t picked it up…and now it’s been long enough that I have to reread the other books just to get to this one. (that’s actually the theme for about 90% of these books just saying)

2-BlackSouls (book 2 of the BlackHearts duology). Pirates and slow burn and the backstory of Blackbeard, all things that tick off my ‘yes please’ list of books. But again, I read the first one when it first came out and I don’t remember anything about it (except apparently that it was slow burn but still).

3-Invictus. I’ve heard this is like a Doctor Who novel with time travel and loops and it sounds amazing, but have I had a chance to read it yet? *dies laughing* seriously, nope. I do want to get into this because I have a feeling I will really like this, but time.

4-Love and Gelato. One of my good bookish friends is adamant I will love this book and ‘why haven’t I read it yet?’ texts in all caps are pretty much common from her about this book. Also she will randomly bring it up in conversations, “Oh it’s like that book…THAT YOU STILL HAVEN’T READ!” which I’m going to, soon I swear. I just have to be in the mood for a good contemporary because I don’t read them that much. (which is not a good enough excuse for her and she keeps telling me to just read the book! so I need to… so she can yell at me to read another book)

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5-Great Expectations. Um. yes. I love Dickens (technically I’ve only read 3 things by him but adored 2 of the 3 so there’s that) and I got this…2 years ago I think from a friend and I. Still. Haven’t. Read. It. I want to, but I also know with Dickens’ writing, it’s more atmospheric to read it in the winter. Maybe this year I’ll get to it?

6-Jellicoe Road. Yeah, I’ve heard really good things about this book (and author considering I have another of her books on my TBR) but just haven’t gotten to it yet. I have also heard it’s weird so I’m kinda mentally preparing myself for that, but I do like me some weird books.

7-Wild Magic. I didn’t grow up with this series at all. And literally I found all of them on Bookoutlet like a year ago. And everyone has Extremely. Big. Feelings when it comes to mentioning this series, and has told me that I need to read them. I am half-way started but I’m just not feeling in the mood for that type of book at the moment (the perils of being a mood reader)

8-Hunting Prince Dracula. Dude, this book has set on my shelf HALF-STARTED for a year. (or possibly more because I started it when it first came out and that was in…2017 whoops.) I have not finished it, I don’t know why because I really really liked the first one. And the last in the series is coming out next month, so I really just need to get a wiggle on and finish that book to finish the 3rd one so I can complete the series.

9-The Great Library series. Technically, I’ve read the first 2 books in this series, back when I thought it was going to be a trilogy. But then it became a 5 book series and basically everyone was dying of ALL. THE. FEELS. after the 3rd book so I just decided that I was going to wait, thank you very much until the 5th and final book were release. Well, it’s being released next month, and I don’t want to get spoiled for it, so I need to binge this series pretty much now.

10-Count of Monte Cristo. This isn’t even my book. This is a library book that I’ve kinda rerented over and over and over again, and still haven’t completed it (I first checked it out in APRIL…it’s AUGUST!). I’m in the middle (about 500 pages done) and I’m enjoying it but I also just don’t have the time at the moment to really devote myself to a long drawn out revenge plot. I do want to read this soon though because I want to watch the movie. (I saw the movie years ago when it was first out, but didn’t realize what was going on at all because I watched it with a group and…if you’ve never had a movie experience with about 30 people crammed in a living room all shouting and whispering and getting up to get stuff…well I don’t recommend it because it’s awful to try and watch a movie in)

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So those are books I should have read by now, but still haven’t. What’s one book you should have read by now? What’s one book you still are in the middle of but haven’t finished? Please comment and let me know that I’m not alone in my shame of unread books!

Happy reading y’all, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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monthly wrap up, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

July wrap up!

Well, hello fellow booknerds!

I decided that doing a 5 book wrap up just really wasn’t working for me. (Obviously because I only did 2 of them and then walked away from it so there’s that)

So I’m going to be back doing what I think kinda worked for me last year, and that is monthly wrap ups.

For July, I managed to read 28 books= 8055 pages read.

Which, is actually the best reading month I’ve done this year. I haven’t really been in a slump, but more of a ‘book block’ where I want to read but I don’t know what I want to read, so I end up reading 5 different books all at once and not getting through any of them and then deciding I need to reread other things.

It’s a bit of a problem. The nice thing is that the majority of the books I read this month were off of Steve my TBR! So I’m slowly shrinking him down to a manageable size.

So, for July I read:

13-from Steve my TBR

6-Reread

8-Library

1-for work

Breakdown: 

5 Agatha Christies:

 

7 Nonfiction/Biographies:

 

8 Adult Fiction: 

 

2 Classics:

 

4 Graphic Novels:

 

1 Christian NonFiction:

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1 Middlegrade: 

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The ratings for these ranged all over the place, from a very low 3 stars to being some of my favourite books that I have read so far this year. Which is quite exciting and I’m now chuffed to get back to reading and hopefully this next month will be even better! I am going to be getting rid of 2 of the books I read this month because they were both on the lower range of 3 stars, and that’s my shelf restriction, so that I keep only the books I love.

How was your reading month Dragons? Best book read? Worst? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books! Happy reading!

~Stephanie

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5 book wrap up, Book Reviews, Reading, StephReads2019, Uncategorized

Books 6-10 wrap up

So whoever thought that I would be more active on my blog this year by doing 5 book reviews/wrapups, y’all can go ahead and laugh because I sure did.

I’m slightly distressingly behind, but I’m hoping I can knock a few more of these out tomorrow since I don’t work, but that also requires me to stop reading for a spell and we all know that won’t happen.

Let’s jump straight to the books, alright?

Book 6: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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462 pages, fiction. 4.25 stars, TBR.

Basically this is about the Count who is placed under house-arrest for about 20 some years in a hotel. And all the people that he meets and changes while there.

I’ll be real, I mainly wanted to read this book because I had read his previous work and loved it, and wanted to get this one. I actually won this in a giveaway on instagram and decided it would be one of the books I devoured in January. And it was the perfect book for cold and grim January. I did love it, though I felt that the ending was a bit sparse but on the whole I highly recommend it. It’s more of a character driven book then a plot driven though, so it does seem to take time to get going, but I loved it.

Book 7: The diary of a bookseller by Shawn Bythell

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312 pages, non-fiction, 3 stars.

This was a small diary of a bookseller who works in Scotland at a used bookstore. It was interesting at points, but because it was told in very short text, you don’t really get a glimpse of what the customers are like, what the business looks like or anything. Plus, and I hate to say this, but the narrator had this annoying habit of sounding like he was better than anyone just because he read books, and his customers wanted different things or different books. I think if it was redone to a different format, it probably would have been higher rated for me.

 

Book 8: The imaginary by A.F. Harrold

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221 pages, middlegrade, 3 stars.

This book was about an imaginary friend and the “Reals” that they dealt with but something felt off for me on this book. It could be that we didn’t really get much background on the bad guy, it could be that it wasn’t really told well or that the narrative seemed to be missing a lot of pieces. The author also seemed to try to be imitating Roland Dahl’s style to a very specific point and it just came off as him copying instead of imitating.

 

Book 9: Tiny Homes by Country Living

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196 pages, non-fiction, 3 stars.

I actually thought this would be something different than what it was. I thought it was going to be about people living in tiny homes, which I admit is something I find fascinating, but instead it just showcased a few of the tiny homes that people live in. So more style and form rather than how they do it. I am glad that I read this though because I got a few ideas for space saving tricks in my own tiny apartment so there’s that.

 

Book 10: Quiet girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung

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178 pages, graphic novel, 4.25 stars.

I have never run across something that so accurately describes me as an introvert than this comic. It’s fantastic and I absolutely loved it. Highly recommend for everyone to read, not just introverts.

 

During this time frame I also DNF’d (did not finish) 2 books.  The 2 books I DNF’d were Cruel Prince and Property of the Rebel Librarian. There were a few reasons, ok more than a few, for me to stop reading them, and the main one on both of them were the characters and their style. I really don’t want to go into it, but basically neither of these books were for me. And I’m ok with that.

So there we go fellow booknerds, only about 5 more to go before I’m caught up! 🙂

Happy reading, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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31DaysofBlogmas, Reading, StephReads2018

How I read over 200 books this year

I read a lot.

Like, over 200 books per year a lot.

Whenever I tell people that I read this much they usually ask me how I do it, or what kind of magic did I do to make that number possible.

And honestly, I never thought that this was some high sort of number, until I began looking at stats of average readers, where most people don’t even finish a book per month, let alone in the high 20’s per year.

So, I thought that it would be fun to tell you a bit about how I read so many books, and maybe some of them will help you out. (If not, no worries, I’m just over here reading like always)

One of the things I make sure to do is make reading a priority. Many people I work with at my second job don’t get why I don’t have cable (the main 2 reasons are it’s freaking expensive and I don’t need to have the distraction) but in reality, I’ve chosen to make my reading a main thing I do when I come home.

I do still watch netflix or amazon prime, and I watch some booktube videos, but on the whole after watching one or two episodes, I realize how much time I’m wasting and I turn it off and go to a book.

When I say I make reading a priority, I don’t mean that I neglect my writing or my job or whatever, I just mean that I am try to read every day for at least 20 minutes. I use the app Bookly which tracks how long you read each day and while I’m not super competitive with others, I love seeing how long that streak can go.

And this is difficult, especially when I work an 8 hour day at my first job, get home to brew a cup of coffee and then immediately set out for my second job and don’t get home till after 11 pm. But I find that if I don’t read anything during the day or even right before I got to bed, my mood is just not there.

Reading helps me relax, refocus and also make sure that my mental health is up.

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I also try and read multiple books at the same time. For some reason, I don’t like to read only one book at a time, it actually causes me to read slower when I don’t have the option of picking up a different book. Right now, for instance, I have 6 different books going on at once. I try to not do the same sort of genre for each book just so I don’t get confused, but sometimes I can’t help it.

I have always done this. I read books and sometimes the plot is lost or the character is dull or I just need a break from the 500 page tome that I’ve started and I go after a different book. (There are times that this backfires on me as there are some books that I just don’t feel like completing and are bugging me but that’s a different story)

Also it makes me feel really accomplished when I manage to complete 3 or so books in one day, because look at that Goodreads challenge jump up!

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Another thing I do for my reading is to acknowledge that there are some authors I just don’t like and won’t read. Most people will say you need to read widely, and I whole-heartedly agree with that, but I don’t want to spend time and money on an author when I know I don’t like how they write or what they write. There are too many books in the world that are waiting for me to find them and I don’t have time to waste on mediocre books/authors.

And just because I don’t like a book or feel like a book is for me, doesn’t mean that it might not be for you. One of the best things about reading is that it’s subjective to the reader, and what I like you might actually hate. We can all have our own opinions.

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This year I got super into graphic novels and to be real, I’m so glad I did. They basically go fast, pretty artwork and make me feel so happy because “Look how many books I finished because of them”. I wish I could say the same for audiobooks, but unfortunately I’m very picky on audiobooks. I have to have a narrator I like, I have to have read the book previously and I have to like the way they talk. (Kid you not, very unpopular opinion here but everyone in the book community seems to love Jim Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter books and I absolutely HATED how he voiced the characters)

I really wish I could read more audiobooks because then I would have so many books read, but I have 3 that I love, and that’s enough for me at the moment.

Another thing I do to challenge myself to read more books is something that’s really random but it’s to take a picture of each book and do a twitter thread with it. For some reason knowing that the thread pops up and shows not only how many books I’ve read but also how many pages and ratings I’ve given it, makes me want to read more just to fill it up.

And the last thing I do to read so much is just literally carry a book with me wherever I go. Anytime there’s a line (hello crazy holiday shopping) I pull out the book and read. Maybe it will only be a few pages, maybe it will be almost finishing the book, but I never really have a problem with waiting.

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So, yeah that’s pretty much how I read and such…which really wasn’t very full of tips as far as I can see, but maybe one of these will help you out!

Hope your day is going great, and remember life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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31DaysofBlogmas, Reading, StephReads2018

5 books I want to finish before 2019

One of the most annoying things being a BookDragon is that I have a sad tendency to start books, get invested in them, and then when it gets boring or too stressful (I don’t know who says reading is relaxing because I barely experience that!) I tend to put it down and start a new book.

Which is sometimes good, because I am a mood reader and there are times when I just need a different type of book, but the bad part of me doing this is that I have quite a few books that I have half-started and.

just.

haven’t.

finished.

So these are books I want to read before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. I’m hoping I can get through all of them, or even at least part of them, just to finish them and get them off of the indeterminate shelf on my TBR that is aptly titled “Started but not yet finished”. (These are in order based on how long they have been sitting on my shelf half-started, and here’s my post of shame)

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1-Hunting Prince Dracula. Dude I have had this half-started on my shelf for over a YEAR and yet, I still have yet to motivate myself to read this book. I don’t know why because I absolutely loved the first one but for some reason I just haven’t been in the mood for this one. But now with the new book out already, I just need to up my reading game and finish this one so I can get to the third one.

(*Update: I looked on my Goodreads shelf while uploading this, I literally have only read 135 pages in this book and it’s almost 500 pages…whoops)

2-While Beauty Slept. This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and the main reason I stopped reading this one, was I got bored. It’s very…informative but super dry and not that much magic and well, I got bored. Not much else to say about this one.

3-Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. This is a creepy retelling of Snow White but with Asian folklore and it’s from the perspective of the wicked queen. I really enjoyed this one (all 80 pages I got to) but since it’s sufficiently darker than I was expecting, I put it down expecting to get to it in October…which totally didn’t happen. I do want to finish this one though, I think it’s written really well so far.

4-Goose Girl. This one I feel a bit cheated on. I knew it was a retelling of the goose girl fairy tale, but it’s pretty much a straight retelling so far which is a bit disappointing because I wanted something different and weird. I do have high hopes for the whole series though, and I think once I get past the first one the rest would be good but it’s just getting there that’s the problem.

5-East of Eden. This is a retelling of the book of Genesis and it’s a hunker of a book. It’s really interesting, but there is a lot in this book that I feel could have been edited out and tightened but so far it really is just something that I’m trying to get through.

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So those are the books I’m in the middle of right now, not counting Anna Karenina which I’m reading with a group on instagram and should be done with by the end of the year. I would like to start the new year fresh and not have to have any half-started books around but I’m not sure that would happen.

I have noticed though that with the exception of East of Eden, all of these are fantasies so I’m not sure how that will work out, and I try to not read the same genre back to back, so I might have to change that for this month.

And unless something drastically changes, I seriously doubt that any of these are going to be new favourites or 5 star reads, though some of them might be close to it. And I’d love to be shocked to find that a book I thought I had all figured out, would move to the top of my list, but I’m slightly doubtful.

What books are you in the middle of? Do you leave off books for a while or do you try to finish them straight-away? Let me know below!

Have a great day booknerds, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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31DaysofBlogmas, monthly wrap up, StephReads2018

November Wrap-Up!!

This past month was actually a really good reading month for me! I didn’t really have a slump per say in October, but I definitely joined the struggle bus of what I didn’t know what to read!

Not so with November! In November it was like I hit the ground running and completed a lot of books within the first couple weeks.

I managed to read 20 books in November.

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9 were from the library, 1 was an arc (that I had on my shelf since August…whoops), 6 were brand new from my TBR and 4 were rereads.

I read a total of 7,027 pages this month, which I’m sure is helped because I ended up reading a few larger books, which of course helped my page count.

Breaking this down further:

*6 middlegrade this month (3 were rereads)

*2 biographies

*6 nonfiction

*2 adult fantasy

*3 Agatha Christie (and yes she’s in a category all her own!)

*1 Historical fiction

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I had a few disappointing reads, and a few that actually surprised me with how much I ended up liking them. On a whole though, this was one of my better reading months, because not only did I actually get to a lot of the books I planned to, but I also managed to knock 6 more books off of my TBR named Steve. All in all, a good month!

What about you fellow booknerds? What have you been reading this month? What was the best book, or the worst? Let me know below!

Have a great day, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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BookHaul, Books, StephReads2018

Last 10 books tag!

I saw this tag on G-Swizzel’s channel and thought it was an unique take on books and what we were reading, so I figured I would try it out! (See her video about it here!)

1-What was the last book you DNF’d?

The last book I DNF’d (did not finish) was Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. I was super excited about this book, a retelling of Guy Fawkes but with magic, and couldn’t wait to get to it. However, I ended up stopping it about half-way in, for a number of reasons. I felt like it did move fast and the plot was steady, but even though it felt like it moved fast, there was very little character growth, and I wasn’t attached to any of the characters. There also was not much build up for how the plague started, so that was a disappointment. I have heard a lot of people rave about this one though so I think it’s just a case of “Not the right book for the right person”.

2-Last book you reread?

At the time of this writing the last book I reread was 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. I love rereading her mysteries because even though I’ve read nearly all of them, I manage to mostly forget exactly what happened and who did it. Which is not an easy task when I have an almost eidetic memory, but somehow I can do it on her books.

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3-Last book you bought?

I just had a Bookoutlet order come in yesterday so I would have to say all of those. Most recent single purchase that I made was The Lay of Atrouru and Ituren by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tis the season for book sales though so I’m sure I’ll be getting some more soon.

 

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4-Last book you said you read but didn’t?

The last book that I was convinced I had read was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. We were supposed to read it for our senior class for English, and I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had read it. And then this year I picked it up and realized…no I had never actually read it. (Sorry Ms. Turner…I thought I had!) But I am glad I never really read it in high school because I’m pretty sure it would have made me go off of reading for a while.

5-Last book you wrote in the margins of?

The book I’m currently reading now, Tried by Fire: the story of Christianity’s First 1000 Years by William J. Bennett. It’s a super interesting book about the start of Christianity and I keep finding parts I love and want to remember, so pens and highlighters to the rescue.

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6-Last book you got signed?

Well, I have a subscription to Owlcrate and every single one of their books come signed and with exclusive covers to boot. So the last one from them would be Shadow of the Fox or Pride. But if we are talking the last one where I met the author and got it signed it would be probably the Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkowski or Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor.

7-Last book you lost?

I don’t really lose books. I think the last time that I “lost” a book was when I had turned in a library stash and the librarians told my mom that I had lost a book and hadn’t turned it in. We searched high and low for that book for 3 days, tearing apart every part of my room, my sister’s room, the apartment and the car. After 3 days my mom went in, telling them we couldn’t find it and could it possibly be on the shelf? After just 10 minutes of looking we found it, sitting on the shelf, not checked in. My mom was…slightly livid on that. But that was the only time where I “lost” a book.

8-Last book you had to replace?

I had to replace 2 books from loaning them to friends and not getting them back. But the last ones I replaced because I was replacing the old covers were my Jane Austen collection. I have been wanting a matched set for years and I finally got them all and they just look so pretty on my shelf.

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9-Last book you had an argument over?

Oh dear. Well, let’s just say I have quite a few differing opinions about books and plots and what constitutes a good book, and leave it at that. I don’t really have arguments with people about books because reading is so subjective, but if someone asks my opinion on certain books (*coughsarahjmasscoughjohngreencough*) I have no problem telling people what I think.

10-Last book you couldn’t get a hold of?

That would be the white copy of the Night Circus. The Night Circus is one of my all time favourite books, but I cannot find the white edition of it at all. (If anyone has it that they would like to send to me for an early Christmas gift, I would be absolutely grateful and thankful…just putting that out there)

Anyways, so that’s the tag, it was super fun to do! I don’t know who has done this one yet, but if you haven’t, please do it and then let me know! I love reading about other people’s last books…or really any books!

Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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