Books, Reading, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

#theunreadshelfproject2019 Update

It’s no secret that I like having a big TBR. In fact, I have such a liking for it that I have named mine Steve. (Not sure why). But the problem that comes from a big TBR is unfortunately while I’m still excited for those books, they sometimes get shoved to the side while I get newer and shiner books, and then it just kinda repeats itself.

Last year, Whitney (@theunreadshelfproject on instagram) started the Unread Shelf Project, to basically start tackling her TBR. I found out about it in March of last year and kinda participated. She basically had a prompt for each month for what you could read, such as “newest book you purchased” or “Book that’s been on your TBR the longest”. You do the prompt, yay! If you don’t read a book that fits the prompt then she suggests you get rid of the book, thereby lowering your TBR either way.

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Last year I completed some of the challenges and wasn’t sure I was going to do it again this year or not. But then in December, she challenged us to just count our unread books. That’s all we had to do, just count them.

My number was…well it was higher than what I was happy with. I am okay with a large TBR, and I will never be one of those readers who gets their TBR down to zero. (To be honest just thinking of my TBR dropping down to single digits makes me stress a bit) But I do know that I like to have about 100-130 books on my TBR.

That number wasn’t what my books were. It wasn’t even close.

So I decided I was going to really do the UnreadShelfProject this year. I needed to cut back on some of my TBR and figured that this would be the best way to do it. So I jumped in.

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The nice thing about this project is that it’s pretty much set at your own pace. There are some people who want to get their TBR down by 10 books, some who have a need for it to get to double digits and some who just want to read the books that they got years ago.

For me, after counting all the books that I had unread on my shelf, I decided that I wanted to read at least 75 books off Steve the TBR this year.

I actually didn’t think that I would be very successful about it, not because I didn’t want to read all the books on my TBR but because I have a tendency to read the books I’ve checked out from the library first, mainly because they have a time-limit and my TBR books…don’t.

However, at the time of this writing, I’ve managed to read 30 books off of Steve the TBR. *throws invisible confetti*

If I keep going at this rate, I might pass the objective that I set for myself. And since I haven’t really stopped buying books at all, that might be a good thing. I do have to say I’m slightly surprised how many I’ve managed to get down, and I’m already wondering if I can beat the goal I set for myself this year.

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What about you bookdragons? Did you set any reading goals this year? Have you been reading off your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

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

~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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Reading, StephReads2019

2019 Bookish goals (better late then never)

Hello fellow Booknerds!

So it’s pretty much the third week of the new year, and I’m finally getting on here to let you know my bookish goals for the new year. I would usually do a wrap up of last year but honestly, last year (even though I beat my reading goal for books) I didn’t do well on most of my challenges. I think that in part, that was because I decided to do so many (read all of Charles Dickens works, read 85,000 pages, read 12 translated works and 2 untranslated works, etc.) that I just basically did all the reading for my books challenge but forgot everything else.

This year, I started thinking about my goals for 2019 at the start of December. I didn’t want to just state a few things, I wanted to make sure that I was going to be able to really complete these goals. I want to look back on a year and be proud of everything I’m completing.

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So on to the goals!

Goal #1: Read 200 Books.  This is actually something that is one of the easiest on the list because for the past 2 years I have consistently read over 200 books. I decided to break it down this year into the following:

*Read 50 from the library

*Read 75 off of my own TBR

*Read 50 rereads

*Read 25 for whatever

This year I am really wanting to focus on getting my TBR down just a bit. I know a lot of people who like their TBR to be less then double digits but honestly, I can’t do that. I just personally have a lot of books that I want to read but keep forgetting about because they are on my TBR.

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Goal # 2: Read 80,000 pages.

Last year I had this idea that I should read at least 85,000 pages, but the problem was I didn’t think about how I should read bigger books to get this number up, and therefore I realized about November that this goal was not going to be hit. This year though, I really think I can do this, as long as I focus on the next goal.

Goal #3: Read 12 big books this year.  I want to read more big books (over 500 pages) this year. I feel like every time I get started with tomes I either get bored or I set it down so I don’t have to finish it. But this year, especially with the page goal that I’ve set, I want to focus on getting some of those ginormous classics out of the way. I’ve actually joined a buddy read for a few of them, so we’ll see how that goes. (spoiler alert: I’m either absolutely ahead of people when I buddy read, or I drag my feet about doing it and end up having to do it all at once so we’ll definitely see how it turns out)

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Goal #4: Read 12 CS Lewis books this year.  C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite authors of all time. And I’ve read a lot of his more popular works, but realized this year that there are quite a few that I have actually never read. So the past couple of months was spend collecting them, and while I’m still missing a few of the more rare ones, I am making this my goal to really dive into his writing this year.

Goal #5: Complete at least 2 series. Y’all, I am so bad about this. I start a series and get really enthused about it, but then the last one comes out or I don’t like one of the middle books and then I just set it down…forever. I also think that if I don’t finish the series that I somehow will keep all the characters safe and free from all harm, which is not how reading works. I have about 12 series that I have half-started (and about 4 of those are duologys) and I just need to buckle down and read them. (The other bad thing about this is that I will have to reread about 14 books just to get caught up on the series.)

Goal #6: Write on here at least once a week.  I think this is a constant with me, I want to be more consistent with blogging but because life literally happens, this happens to be the first thing to drop by the wayside. I do want to get better about being on here and being consistent though, and I am going to try to do 5 book reviews (basically wrap-ups for every 5 books I read rather then waiting till the end of the month, that might help me get more on track here)

So there you have it. All my bookish goals that I hope to accomplish by 2020. I really think that I can do it, especially with 2 of my friends and I competing with our reading goals this year so if I don’t complete all these, I can’t win. And for reading, I like winning.

What are your bookish goals for this year? Do you have a few that are leftover from last year? What’s your reading goal for the year? Come talk to me in the comments!

Happy reading dragons, 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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31DaysofBlogmas, Books, StephReads2018

31 books in 31 days

In January of this year I managed to surprise myself and somehow complete 31 books in 31 days. It honestly shocked me because I wasn’t even paying attention, and then about January 28th, I noticed that I had read 27 books, and decided to challenge myself to see if I could read 31 books. And I did.

And this past month I’ve been thinking about doing it again. Maybe it was a fluke, and maybe I wouldn’t actually read 31 books in 31 days. But I’m going to try.

I also thought that the busiest month of the year would be perfect for me to try and challenge myself to do this. Because when you do a ridiculous challenge, you might as well go big or go home right?

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So these are some of the books I want to read, or reread, depending on the book. Between you and me, I don’t think I’ll end up reading all these, only because I’m such a mood reader and I don’t like people telling me what to read, even if it’s myself.  (As is evidenced by so many abandoned TBR’s)

I also think I’m in that last minute panic before the year ends, thinking about what books I should be reading and what books I need to be reading. It also doesn’t help the fact that even though I passed my book reading goal, my page count is slightly below where it should be. So I’m panicing and trying to get all of the books read, before the end of the year.

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I mean, it’s only 31 books, it’s not like there are only 31 days left in the year. What’s the worst that could happen? And it’s not like I decided yesterday to do Blogmas as well, I mean, no one could want to possibly inflict that much torture on themselves right? (Spoiler: I actually am doing Blogmas again, so hopefully better than last year!)

What are some of your bookish goals for the rest of the year? Are you ahead of your reading challenge or are you a bit behind too? Please let me know!

Hope y’all have a great night!

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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BookHaul, Reading, StephReads2018

#BNBookHaul

There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a bookstore on a rainy day, or a sunny day, or even a random Tuesday where you decide that “Yes you do need a new book” even though you might have a few…hundred…unread books at home.

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But the best feeling, besides walking into a bookstore is walking into a bookstore and finding out that the books you were coming for, are all on sale! Which of course means that all decorum and budget planning is going straight out the window, because now you are buying BOOKS!! And lots of books! Not just one or two, nope, you get to splurge and get all the ones that have caught your eye!

Today Barnes and Noble is starting a weeklong sale, called #BNBookHaul where over 100 titles of their YA and children’s books are 50% off. (Yeah, I was shocked too! Trust me, this is amazing!)

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Some of the YA books on sale are popular titles like Strange the Dreamer (considering the sequel comes out in less than a month, you should catch up on this one immediately!); Three Dark Crowns (again the sequel to this series is coming out soon, you don’t want to play catch up later!); Dread Nation; FuryBorn; Heartless; Sky in the Deep (stabby vikings and cinnamon roll boys!) and other amazing books.

While the sale is going on for one week, a lot of the books are limited quality, as in, they don’t have any more in the back! So if any of these titles sound like something you want, make sure that you get down to your local B/N and get all the books, for way less then what they are stickered for! And if you end up buying at least 3 books, you get a free tote!

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Personally, my wallet is already whimpering about the cost for the words “Book Sale” and my TBR might be growling at the thought that I am going to be adding more books to it, but hey, book sales like this only come around once in a while!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some book shopping to do!

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

~Stephanie

 

 

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