2017 Around the Year in 52 Books | TBR List

Though reading should be something that is not forced, I believe that doing challenges provide color and zing to one’s reading. Aside from having to set a number of books to read, my biggest reading challenge this year is Around the Year in 52 Books. I failed this challenge last year, but I am so close to reaching my goal, that it just fueled me to try again this year.

Challengers have their own say in how to tackle this challenge, and because I am a mood reader, I decided to not to do this in order, like the others are doing. What I did was to have a list in my planner, and just pick the one I feel like reading for that particular moment. By doing so, reading is still fun and not forced. Also, I am using this challenge to read books from my shelves that have been sitting there for a long time, so as to save me money from buying new books.

This is my temporary TBR List. As the year pass by, I might change certain books I don’t feel like reading anymore. Every month end, I will do a recap so you will see how I am doing. Each title is link to its own GoodReads page, if you want to read the synopsis and reviews from people who have read it.

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  1. Β A book from the GoodReads Choice Awards 2016“The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, nominated for the Best Fiction category.
  2. A book with multiple perspectives“Testimony” by Anita Shreve
  3. A book you meant to read in 2016“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
  4. A Title that doesn’t contain the letter E“Skywriting by Word of Mouth” by John Lennon. The book I own only has the main title on its spine, so I won’t count the subtitle “…and other writings including The Ballad of John and Yoko.”
  5. A historical fiction“The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman
  6. A book being released as a movie in 2017“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver
  7. A book with an animal on the cover“If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things” by Jon McGregor, with a flying bird on the cover.
  8. A book written by a person of color“Black Mamba Boy” by Nadifa Mohamed
  9. A book in the middle of your TBR List – *no book yet, to be filled once I create my TBR for Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon.
  10. A dual timeline novel“The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield
  11. A Category from another challenge – For this I chose “The Summer that Melted Everything” by Tiffany McDaniel, a category from the 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge (one of the four seasons in the title)
  12. A book based from a myth“The Battle of the Labyrinth” by Rick Riordan
  13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors“The Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes, based from an article I saw about Gillian Flynn’s recommended books.
  14. A book with a strong female character“Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery
  15. A book written or set in a Scandinavian country“Heidi” by Johanna Spyri, set in Switzerland.
  16. A mystery“Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie
  17. A book with illustrations“A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness
  18. A really long book (600+ pages)“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara, with a whopping 720 pages.
  19. A New York Times Bestseller“Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein
  20. A book you’ve owned for a while but haven’t gotten around reading it“The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Edwards
  21. A book that is a continuation of a book you’ve already read“The Last Olympian” by Rick Riordan
  22. A book by an author you haven’t read before“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera
  23. A book from the BBC “The Big Read” list“I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith
  24. A book written by at least two authors“My True Love Gave to Me” edited by Stephanie Perkins, an anthology of Christmas short stories written by twelve authors.
  25. A book about a famous historical figure“The Name of the Star” by Maureen Johnson, a book inspired by Jack the Ripper
  26. An adventure book“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  27. A book by one of your favorite authors“Another Day” by David Levithan
  28. A non-fiction“M Train” by Patti Smith
  29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses“Marrow” by Tarryn Fisher
  30. A book from GoodReads Top 100 YA Books“On the Jellicoe Road” by Melina Marchetta
  31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre“Night” by Elie Wiesel. My favorite genre is historical fiction, and from there I selected non-fiction as its sub-genre.
  32. A book with a very long title (5+ words, not including the subtitle)“By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” by Paulo Coelho
  33. A magical realism book“Everybody Sees the Ants” by A.S. King
  34. A book set in or written by an author from the Southern Hemisphere“I am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak, an author from Australia.
  35. A book where one of the characters is royalty“The Rose and the Dagger” by RenΓ©e Ahdieh
  36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
  37. A book you chose randomly“Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom. I wanted to start my reading year with a Mitch Albom book, this I randomly chose for this year.
  38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature“Winter” by Marissa Meyer, inspired by the classic fairy tale, Snow White.
  39. An epistolary fiction“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  40. A book published in 2017“Swimming Lessons” by Claire Fuller
  41. A book with unreliable character“Engleby” by Sebastian Faulks
  42. A “Best of the 21st Century” so far“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  43. A book with a chilling atmosphere“Misery” by Stephen King
  44. A recommendation from “What I should read next?”“The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne. I keyed in “The Book Thief,” and this was the book recommended to me.
  45. A book with a one-word title“Atonement” by Ian McEwan
  46. A time travel novel“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
  47. A past suggestion that didn’t win“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng, from the suggestion “a book with liquid on the cover”
  48. A banned book“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov
  49. A book from someone else’s book shelf“My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. For this prompt, I checked out my friend Krish’s bookcase and chose one book that sparked my interest to read.
  50. A Penguin modern classic“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
  51. A collection (of essays, short stories, etc.)“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” by Haruki Murakami, a collection of twenty-four short stories.
  52. A book set in a fictional location“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

If you wish to do this challenge, too, check out the official GR Page – Around the Year in 52 Books. There you will get to interact with other bookworms doing the challenge, who can answer pretty much everything you need.

I truly wish I can finish this challenge this time around.

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17 on 2017 | Plans and Goals for the Coming Year

Coming year? Hahaha, I know I am way behind my blogs, but because January is usually my adjustment period – a bridge connecting the past year to the new year, my year is basically just about to start. On this post, I will list all the bookish things I want to do for the entire year. I know I am always failing, but it still is fun doing this, so let’s go.

1) Read 85 books. 100 books is a little bit more than I can chew, so I will make it realistic this time. My plan is to basically read 2 books per week – one from Monday to Thursday and another one from Friday to Sunday. This sounds perfectly doable, and it will also allow me to do other things as well.

2) Read at least 20 books from authors new to me. Well, I am the reader who always try to read books from authors I haven’t read yet… very rare do I actually read multiple books from one author within the year unless it’s part of a series, but for this goal, I want to read books from highly acclaimed authors that I still haven’t read yet – Jeffrey Eugenides, Kurt Vonnegut, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jane Austen, and Alice Munro among others.

3) Read 5 classics. Now this is going to be a challenge for me, but okay, I will try to do it. Maybe one classic every other month so it would be easier to tackle.

4) Around the Year in 52 Books, again. I failed last year’s challenge, so I am determined to go for it again. I already listed the books I want to read, I will post my TBR List after this post.

5) Buy 50 books maximum. Although my book case still has a few shelves open, limiting myself to buy only 50 books will allow me to buy other things I needed. This year, I want to makeover my room (buy a new bed and mattress), so I’d rather put my money there than on books. That way, I will be “forced” to read the books I already own.

6) Pay extra for every book I buy. This is a challenge initiated by my friend Gie. This year, us friends are totally devoted to cut back on our book spending, so to deter us from buying, we vowed to pay extra for every book we buy. For every hardback book, we pay 40… 20 for every paperback… and 10 for every eBook. Every month, we will rundown all the books we bought to know the amount we have to pay, and at the end of the year, the one with the least amount of books bought will get all the money collected as a reward. I will aim to win this challenge, I need money. Hahaha.

7) Book bank. Every start of the year, people are always looking for ways to save money, maybe because of the spending from Christmas. One popular money saving challenge I saw was to set aside money every week – 50, then 100, then 150, so on and so forth. One brilliant idea I got from Gie was to set aside money for every book read. What she will do is to set aside 100 for every physical book she read and 50 for every eBook, but I am determined to save money, so I will put it at 100 pesos for every book I read no matter its format. This is not really that challenging as I don’t really get to finish one book every day, but the challenge is when I join Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, as I usually finish 3 to 4 books within that 24 hour period.

8) Join 5 Readathons. As I have said in my previous post, a readathon is a good way to push one’s reading. This year, I want to join at least 5 with Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon and Bout of Books as my main readathons. As of this writing, the first part of Bout of Books just ended, but there will still be another one, so I will join that instead.

9) Finish the Lunar Chronicles. I enjoyed my time reading Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest last year, and I started listening to Winter on audiobook, but I wasn’t able to finish it. This year, I vow to read the remaining two books – Winter and Stars Above.

10) Read at least 10 Fantasy / Sci-Fi books. These two genres are my least amount of books read last year, and I am actually not a big fantasy reader, but I want to try different genres, hence this challenge. I already finished one and I am currently reading another fantasy book, so I guess this is possible to reach.

11) Read at least 10 books from different countries. This is an awesome reading project I recently saw on YouTube, something I want to try if I can do it. As a big contemporary / realistic fiction reader, I notice that most of the books I read are often set in the US or in England. Though I have read a few books from other countries last year, I want to widen my horizons and read books from other countries that aren’t usually used in novels.

12) Have a reading journal. Last year, I started creating a quote journal, but I wasn’t able to sustain it for the entire year. While writing the recap of that year, I realized the many things I forgot to jot down, so this year I will create a reading journal . just to make it easier for me to look for certain things, and I think it just looks cool to have a journal specifically devoted to the books I read for the year.

13) Finish at least 5 Book Photo Challenges. Instagram is my favorite social media platform, but I do have to say it is difficult to think of what to post every day. Book photo challenges are great ways to not only share a picture but also share a bit of yourself to your followers, but last year, I noticed I would start a photo challenge, but won’t actually finish it. This year, I will try my best to finish it.

14) Discover more bookish themed establishments. Book cafes are aplenty now, I guess it is time to check them out.

15) Watch the movie adaptation if it’s available. No explanations needed. πŸ™‚

16) Join a blog tour. This is still a so-so plan as I am not yet an established book blogger, but maybe at the last quarter of the year, I will try if I can do this.

17) Be an active blogger… and a book reviewer. Hahahaha. It is so easy to blog, but it is so darn hard to review a book. For the past few days, I think I already found the blogging mojo, I just have to keep doing it to build the habit. Oh gosh, I hope I can do this.

Quite a lot to do for 2017, but I will try to do as much as I can. Let’s see by the end of the year if I was able to do all. Wish me luck.

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16 on 2016 | My Bookish Life

Last post left for 2016 is of course a look back at how my bookish life was in 2016. From the get go, I felt it wasn’t a stellar year for me, but brushing off the things I was sad about, I think… sorry, I know there were some things worth celebrating about. This is going to be a very long post, so let’s jump right into it.

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1) Statistics. Let’s start with the books I read. Aside from that was indicated on the image above, of the 80 books I read this year, 48 were written by female authors and 24 were written by male authors. I know that won’t add up to 80 because there were multiple books I read that was written by one author (like 3 from Marissa Meyer and 2 by Sarah J. Maas among others), so I only counted them as one. 17 were part of a series; 37 were standalone; 15 were a mix of non-fiction, poetry and play; and 11 were a mix of novellas and short stories. As for the format, 3 were leatherbound, 13 were hardbound, 27 paperbacks, 12 mass market paperbacks, and 25 were eBooks. For my book haul, I acquired 95 books this year, so far. That’s because I have ordered and paid for other books that I still haven’t received yet, so I couldn’t count it for the moment. Of those 90 books, 66 were purchased, 19 were given as gifts, 5 were book swaps, 2 were freebies, and 3 were giveaway winnings. Rewinding a bit on the books I purchased, 15 were bought from physical book stores (7 from Fullybooked, 2 from National Book Store, 6 from Book Sale), 6 were bought from online book shops, and 45 were bought from international online book stores (4 from Barnes & Noble, 1 from Amazon, and a whopping 40 books from Book Outlet). As for the format, 36 were hardbound, 42 were paperbacks, 16 mass market paperback, and one leatherbound.

2) GoodReads Challenge. I didn’t do well this year… I read only 80 books out of the 100 I set myself to do. This wasn’t a difficult target to reach actually, considering I got to read 90 something books back in 2014, but this year I had so many changes in my life and in myself that took most of the time I should be using for reading. No regrets though… I sure loved the time I spent with my family, my friends, my boyfriend, and at the same time I got to watch different movies and TV shows. 80 might be considered a failure, but I am still glad I got to balance many things.

3) Book Challenges. I only took one big reading challenge this year, and that’s the Around the Year in 52 Books. I failed that one, too, and I am think this is what made me sad the most. I am so optimistic I could do this, but in the end I just couldn’t.

4) More Failures. Simply put, I managed to fail more goals and plans I set myself to do – read one non-fiction book a month, read at least 6 Filipino related books, write a review for every book I read, tackle two big books (I only got to read one – Jane Eyre). I also planned to distance myself from YA, but I still got to read a lot of YA books, so I am not sure if I got to tick this off the list…though I would say that this year I just felt myself so disconnected with YA books, I just couldn’t appreciate it as much as I did anymore.

5) Less eBooks. This year, one big triumph was having to read more physical books I own. Ever since I started reading, eBooks has been my go to format, and I don’t have anything against eBooks, it’s just that I have changed my cell phone’s battery numerous times and it’s not good to be using my phone all the time because I also use it to play games, watch videos, and I wanted to release some of the burden from my cell phone. 25 eBooks compared to 55 physical books… sweet!

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6) Meet Ups. This year, I got to meet other bookstagrammers (Lei, Janna, Avy, and Jovel – Arra I already met before), as well as meet up with my own bookish sisters Eunice, Gie and Elena. It was so nice to meet people I usually interact with online, and they are just amazing people whom I am glad to be friends with.

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7) Buy a Book to Remember the Day By. When I met up with Rexy and Eunice in January, Rexy mentioned about buying a book to remember the day by. I thought it was a wonderful and meaningful way to buy a book (not that I am only looking for a reason to buy books, lol). I bought a book while traveling if it’s possible, but I admit I kind of regret not buying a book when the family celebrated my birthday. It would have been great buying myself a book on my birthday, but this year I didn’t get to do it, also because I was conscious about spending money on books as I do have a limit. This is now a lifelong project I have, and maybe after five or ten years I will do a post listing all the books I bought to remember the day (or moment) by.

8) 85 Book Limit. To lessen my book buying, I set myself a limit on my spending and because I read 84 books in 2015, I decided to put my limit to 85. At first, I was afraid if I could do it, but by the second half of the year it wasn’t so difficult to restrain myself anymore. Like what I mentioned in my statistics, I purchased 66 books this year, but that’s not actually all that I bought. I ordered and paid 12 more books, but I couldn’t include it because I haven’t received them yet. Though, even if I add 12 to 66, I still have 7 more before I hit the limit.

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9) Readathons. Setting myself to read 100 books in one year, readathons sure are life savers! However, not all I joined turned out to be successful. I couldn’t recall all those I failed, but the biggest fail would have to be #ayearathon, as I wasn’t able to sustain it the entire year. Of the successful readathons I joined, I think the best was Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon because I was able to join it two times this year.

10) Bookish Pinoys. Our little book club on Instagram is still doing well this year, and I hope it will stay strong for many years to come. This year, we had the biggest anniversary event and we also successfully did two book swaps. Though we encounter difficulty thinking of activities to do, I am happy that we are still very alive.

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11) Bookish Discoveries. As more and more establishments cater to different themes, it was a side project to check as much book related places. This year, I got to visit the Book Stop Project in Ayala Triangle and I got to check out The Librewry Cafe in Cagayan de Oro, with the help of my brother and his wife. Though it is still pretty much a side project, something I won’t really put a lot of efforts into, I think it would be great to discover more of this next year. What do you think?

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12) Read anywhere. Now this is such a fun thing to do. Inspired from the pictures and suggestions my friends (Eunice, Cath, and Elena) have, I found it to be a great way to showcase the places you’re in and still celebrating your nerdy side. I just love this so much that I am positive this will be a lifelong project as well.

13) Giveaways. I don’t join a lot of giveaways and I pretty much choose the ones I join in, but this year I think is when I joined the most number of giveaways. Of those I joined, I won three times – one from @geemizbooks ($30 credits to the Book Depository), one from @newleafwriter (an iPad mini case from Klever Case, which I gave to my brother), and one from @phamtasticreads (a copy of Gabriels Inferno by Sylvain Reynard). I feel sooo sad not winning any of those big giveaways (especially those sponsored by Juniper), but maybe now’s not the time.

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14) Instagram. My bookstagram took a better turn this year. Thanks to my dear friends who constantly share discoveries and Eunice gifting me with a full package of VSCO filters, I was able to come up with a filter recipe using VSCO and Snapseed to make my posts look as uniform as possible. Also, this is the year that I invested on little items for props, and the year that I got to play with flatlay. Although the “algorithm” thingy on Instagram didn’t help my page – before the algorithm, I would get 200+ likes then when the change came in, I have to constantly pray (no kidding) that my post would get at least 100 likes. I know the likes don’t convert to money and basically I am not getting anything from doing Instagram (unlike those who get ARCs and merchandise), but I would be hypocrite if I say the likes don’t matter to me. Of course it matter, because it is where I get my source of confidence. Each like for me is like one pat on the shoulder for a job well done, and it fuels me to do more of it.

15) Book to Movies. This year, there are so many movies adapted from books, and I wasn’t able to jot down all the movies I watched this year that I forgot how many book-to-movies I have watched. The only two movies I remember now is “Me Before You” and “Paper Towns.” Next year, I will definitely take note and track every movies I watch.

16) Changes as a Reader. If I was a slow reader in 2015, I was way too slower this year. Not just that, this year is truly where I felt myself no longer in sync with YA novels. I feel like I am too old for it, but the thing is, whenever I look for new releases, YA novels are usually the ones popping! Very few people blog, vlog, or bookstagram about other literary works (either that or I still haven’t discovered them), so I feel a little helpless for that matter. As for the writing, I am now partial to 3rd person pov as I do get to know different angles that way and not be confined with just one person’s pov. Also, I am loving more of the narration now compared to conversations, a big change for me because ever since, I prefer conversation driven novels (easier to read). This year, I saw myself very much in love with rich narrations, especially those essay type / contemplative ones…not the step by step description of what’s happening. As for the book format, it’s this year that I became more of a paperback person and not much into hardbacks anymore. When I started reading, I want all my books to be hardbacks…now, I am happier having the paperback version, though of course when it comes to price, like if both formats are the same size, I’d still buy the hardback over the paperback because I felt I get the better value that way. I know it sounds weird and contradicting, but it is what it is.

I know there are still so many memories I forgot to share here, but for now, these are all the ones I could recall. It has been a good year despite the few setbacks, and I am now ready for 2017. I will make it the best reading year ever.

This blog is not active, that’s why I wanna say thank you for reading my posts. I will try my best to blog more actively next year, so I hope you will still hang out with me in 2017.

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2016 Around the Year in 52 Books (wrap-up)

2016 wasn’t a very good reading year for me. All the challenges and plans I set myself to do weren’t met, but even so, I think it is just appropriate for me to report how much I read from this challenge. At the start of the year, I listed books I plan to read for the different prompts, and while some of those books I wasn’t able to read, there were books I have read that fit into the category, so allow me to use those instead of the books I initially indicated.

Instead of giving a rundown of all the challenges, I will just list those I didn’t get to read, followed with the books I managed to read.

Challenges I didn’t get to do –

  1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn’t – “The Heart of Betrayal” by Mary E. Pearson. I just couldn’t get into it.
  2. A book about books – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
  3. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
  4. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you – The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller, a book related to photography.
  5. A novella from your favorite genre – A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  6. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list – For this I will go for β€œA book with a number in the title,” which is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Challenges I was able to do –

  1. A book set in a different continent – “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent, set in Ireland (Europe). I am from Asia, by the way.
  2. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) – “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera, nominated for Best Young Adult Fiction.
  3. A book by an author you discovered in 2015 – Ask the Passengers by A.S. King; I discovered her in 2015, but haven’t read any of her books yet. This is my first book by her, and I liked it.
  4. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name – Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontΓ«. Oh wow, I thought I wouldn’t cross this off the list. Hahaha.
  5. The highest rated on your TBR – For this, I checked my February TBR and the highest rated book on my list is November 9 by Colleen Hoover, with 4.59 average rating at that time.
  6. A classic book with less than 200 pages – “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
  7. A book that was mentioned in another book – “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, mentioned in the book “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner.
  8. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now – “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
  9. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge – “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  10. A childhood classic – “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. Yes, it was only this year that I got to read this.
  11. Reader’s choice – The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. I went for this book as it was my first read of the year.
  12. A book with one of the five W’s or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) – “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. What and when, hehehe.
  13. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago) – Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone, set during the English Victorian era.
  14. A book from the top 100 mystery novels – The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. I decided to choose my book from this list.
  15. A book with a beautiful cover – “The Assassin’s Curse” by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Not my favorite book cover, but it’s just beautiful…you’ll agree with me when you see it.
  16. A book on a summer/beach reading list – “Just One Day” by Gayle Forman, listed on the summer book recommendations by Read by Zoe on booktube.
  17. A non-fiction book – “The Opposite of Loneliness” by Marina Keegan
  18. A book with a first name in the title – “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller
  19. The first book in a new to you series – “The Merciless” by Danielle Vega
  20. The next book in a series you are reading – “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles.
  21. A β€œbetween the numbers” book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.) – Fairest by Marissa Meyer, book 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles.
  22. A book everyone is talking about – “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes
  23. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion) –  “God-Shaped Hole” by Tiffanie DeBartolo
  24. A biography, autobiography, or memoir – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” by Susannah Cahalan
  25. A book by an author who writes under more than one name – “Dangerous Girls” by Abigail Haas, a pseudonym of the writer Abby MacDonald.
  26. A fairy tale from a culture other than your own – “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen
  27. A work of young adult fiction – “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner
  28. A historical fiction book – “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys, set in Lithuania during WW2.
  29. The 16th book on your TBR – “Don’t Look Back” by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  30. A book about mental illness – “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia
  31. An award winning book – “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize.
  32. An identity book (a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation) – “Not Without My Sister” by Celeste Jones, Kristina Jones, and Juliana Buhring, sisters who were born into the Children of God cult.
  33. A book that you’ve seen the movie of but haven’t read – “The Stepford Wives” by Ira Levin. I watched the Nicole Kidman/Bette Midler movie version years ago, but it was this year that I got to read the actual book where it was adapted from.
  34. A book about an anti hero – “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. Rhysand!
  35. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction) – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, a book related to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.
  36. A top 100 fantasy novel – “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
  37. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night – “Heart Shaped Box” by Joe Hill
  38. A book you’re embarrassed to read in public – Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher. That cover! Hahaha.
  39. A book related to a hobby or passion you have – The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, which is a book about food.
  40. A crime story – “Promise Not to Tell” by Jennifer McMahon
  41. A book with a type of food/drink in the title – “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros
  42. A dystopia – “Noughts and Crosses” by Malorie Blackman
  43. A book with a great opening line – “The Grownup” by Gillian Flynn. First line of the book goes, “I didn’t stop giving handjobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.”
  44. A book originally written in a language other than English – The Vegetarian by Han Kang, originally written in Korean.
  45. A short story from a well-known author – “Kindred Spirits” by Rainbow Rowell
  46. A book published in 2016 – “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett

So, so sad that I only have six books unread to finish this project, but oh well, better luck next year. I am already in the process of choosing the books for 2017 Around the Year in 52 Books, and as soon as I finished that, I will share it here on the blog.

Were you able to do the reading challenges you set yourself to do?

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2016 End of Year Bookish Survey

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Yesterday, I shared to you guys my Top 10 Books of 2016… for this post, allow me to highlight other books I have read through this End of Year Bookish Survey. This is the third time I am doing this, and I am sure this is already an annual tradition, no matter what platform I use.

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  • Number of books read – 80, down 2 books from last year.
  • Number of re-reads – Technically, 1. “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa” by Lualhati Bautista is a book I first read in college, but because it has been decades since I first read it, I made it count as a “new read” on my GoodReads page.
  • Most read genre – Contemporary / Realistic fiction

 

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  • Best book you read in 2016 – “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. For the last thrburialritesee years, my top favorite books has always been set during WW2. This is the first time a different kind of book topped the list, but it is still under historical fiction.
  • Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t? – “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer. I will be the first to say that the writing style was beautiful, and I totally loved it. From the beginning, I already felt sure that I will love the book overall, but when I finished it, it left me dumbfounded. I seriously didn’t know what to say about my thoughts about it… I am not sure if I loved or hated it… I just don’t know.
  • Most surprising (in a good and bad way) book you read in 2016 – In a good way, it would be “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner. At the start of the novel, I already feared I won’t like it given the fact that I am totally disconnected with YA Contemporary this year, and I found the premise behind the serpent king a little corny. However, halfway through the novel, I started caring for the characters, I started liking the flow of the story, and in the end, I just found it to be a wonderful novel. On the other side of the spectrum, I would say “Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire was the book that surprised me in a bad way. Before buying and reading this book, I already heard of many raves about it – both the story and its characters. When I decided to read it, I just couldn’t understand what people saw in it that I didn’t see. The story was kinda meh, and the characters (and their relationship) was just problematic.
  • Book you β€œpushed” more people to read (and they did) – I am not sure if they did, but for this question, it would be “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf. I read this during a readathon, and after it, I just raved so much aassassinsbout it that I just kept on telling to people on Instagram to read it.
  • Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel? Best series ender? – Best series starter and series ender would be “The Assassin’s Curse” and “The Pirate’s Wish” both by Cassandra Rose Clarke. This duology is so wonderful, the non-fantasy reader in me was just happy to have read it. As for the sequel, I am not sure if “Fairest” by Marissa Meyer would be counted as a “sequel” as it is a 0.5 in the series, but I read very few series this year that I just have to put this one in.
  • Favorite new author discovered in 2016 – Benjamin Alire Saenz. After I read this book “In Perfect Light,” I knew I want to read all his works.
  • Favorite book from a genre you don’t typically read / was out of your comfort zone? – Fantasy is a genre I don’t get to read much of this year, and my favorite piratesfantasy book in 2016 would be “The Pirate’s Wish” by Cassandra Rose Clarke. As a sequel and series ender, it just provided everything a reader wants, plus more and more extras. It was very fun to read, the ending was realistic, and the world building was just phenomenal!
  • Most action packed / thrilling / unputdownable book of the year – It’s not really action packed, but it sure is thrilling and unputdownable for me. The book was “The Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. Though I felt it was more of “telling” and not “showing,” I just loved the time I spent reading this one.
  • Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read in 2017 – I am not a big re-rereader, but I guess I would re-read “Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan soon. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t remember its story anymore! Once, while cleaning my shelves, I was looking at it and tried to remember the jist of the story, and nothing comes to mind. Ugh.
  • Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016 – “Don’t Look Back” by Jennifer L. lookbackArmentrout. It was simple, the images had connection to the story, and it was intriguing, without giving too much about it.
  • Most memorable character of 2016 – Yeoung-hye from “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang. Read the book, and she will be one character you won’t forget, too.
  • Most beautifully written book read in 2016 – “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. It won’t become my favorite book of the year if it was badly written.
  • Most thought provoking, life changing book of 2016 – It is not life changing, but “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes sure is one thought provoking book, whether you liked it or not. Personally, I am someone who liked the novel… I thought it was well rounded and something that I had to put down every once in a while to think about a character’s thoughts or actions, weighing it if I would do the same if I were in their shoes.
  • Book you can’t believe you waited ’til 2016 to read? – It was in 2013 when I first learned about “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys. It has been a book I wanted to own, but when a friend gifted me a copy, I didn’t actually get to read it ’til this year. I am silently angry at myself for waiting three years…but I am definitely happy to have read it finally.
  • Favorite passage / quote from a book you read in 2016 – Something from “Push” by Sapphire: “Listen baby, Muver loves you. Muver not dumb. Listen baby: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Twenty-six letter in all. Them letters make up words. Them words everything.” If you have read the book or watched the movie “Precious,” I think you will understand why this line meant a lot.
  • Shortest and longest book you read in 2016 – Shortest book would be “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson at 8 pages… longest book would be “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry at 698 pages.
  • Book that shocked you the most – “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. Thejustkids novel itself is pretty shocking, but it is actually the author’s note at the end of the book that shocked me the most.
  • OTP of the year – Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. No, they were not real life sweethearts, but their friendship is just so unique and so wonderful they are just my one true pair.
  • Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year – “Not Without My Sister” is a non-fiction book written by three sisters – Juliana, Celeste, and Kristina – and is about their life as children born into the infamous cult, Children of God. It is such a disturbing and horrifying book, and I just admired how these sisters (who are not full sisters – they have different mothers) just care and look out for one another even if they were separated at one or many points in their lives.
  • Best book you read in 2016 that is based solely on a recommendation from somebody else / peer pressure – Again, I will go for “The Pirate’s Wish” by Cassandra Rose Clarke, as it was a book us friends read together… and yes, we all raved about it. From it, we coined a new word – “Naji moves,” which is synonymous to “smooth moves” or anything similar to it. I hope in 2017, we could get to buddy read again.
  • Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016 – I think this is where I always struggle with every year, but okay… Naji. Hehehehe.
  • Best 2016 debut – “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett.
  • Best world building / most vivid setting – “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan. Set in Thailand during WW2, this novel is about the prisoners of war building the bridge that connects Thailand to Burma. I don’t know what it is about Richard Flanagan’s writing, but whew, reading this novel felt as if I could see, hear, and oh my gosh smell everything he has written to the point that I nearly threw up while reading. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the novel overall, it is this vivid way of dangerousgirlsnarrating the story that made me love it.
  • Book that put a smile on your face / was the most fun to read – “Dangerous Girls” by Abigail Haas is not really a fun to read story, but I did love how the novel was presented. I had fun reading how the novel shaped it to distract the readers, and in the end, I was smiling because I knew I was right with my guesses.
  • Book that made you cry / nearly cry in 2016 – Three books that made me cry this year: “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys, and “In Perfect Light” by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
  • Hidden Gem of the year – “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. It wasn’t a popular book, so reading it felt as if I dug a diamond in the rough.
  • Book that crushed your soul – “Push” by Sapphire. I sincerely hope no human being could get to experience what Precious (the main character) had to go through in life. It is just too much for anybody to bear.
  • Most unique book – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” by Susannah Cahalan. The way she delivered her story was not only concise, it was well delivered as well.
  • Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you hated it) – “She’s Dating the Gangster” by Bianca B. Bernardino. It was problematic all the way, but what concerned me the most is that the author is a psychology graduate. I was expecting for her to write a well rounded novel, but it was one big “ugh.”

 

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This section of the survey talks mainly about book blogging, but because I didn’t get to blog actively in 2016, I will change it to Bookstagram, as I am more into Instagram than blogging.

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  • Favorite Instagram page discovered in 2016 – @newleafwriter. I am very much into flatlays this year, and hers is the best I’ve seen.
  • Favorite review that you wrote in 2016 – I don’t know why I am so scared to put up book reviews, so I cannot think of anything that I could consider a favorite. I will work on this in 2017, I promise.
  • Best discussion/non-review post – Oh my gosh… that would be my post about “Me Before You.” For the longest time, I was able to dodge all spoilers about this and I even managed not to watch the movie trailer. Then on the day I watched the movie (I haven’t read the book yet when I watched it), I posted a picture of my movie ticket just less than an hour before the screening, and one person just spoiled the story. I know it was my fault posting a picture which allows people to respond however they wish and it sure was awful knowing the turning point of the story before even watching it, but what made this the “best” was that my friends totally looked out for me by calling the attention of the spoiler. It’s so touching having friends like that.
  • Best event that I participated in – The Book Stop Project in Ayala Triangle, Makati City. The Book Stop Project is a project where organizers place this cool book house in different locations. It’s first location was in Ayala Triangle, and upon donating three books, I took home two books in exchange. I wasn’t able to participate their organized games and activities, but just seeing it and exchanging books was more than enough to make me happy.
  • Best moment of your bookish life – Just like last year, it would be MIBF. I was upset that I didn’t get to roam around the SMX Hall for there were sooo many people, but I call this the best because this was the time that I got to spend a very wonderful time with my family and friends. I still haven’t shared pictures from that day here on the blog, but I will do so on the next post.
  • Most popular post – My “Sea of Blue Books” post, pictured above.
  • Post you wish got a little more love – Pictures with me in it. Hahahaha. I do get that my followers mainly followed me for book pictures, and I do get it that I am not gifted with good looks, but I just hope even the pictures with me in it would get as much love because other bookstagrammers would share pics of themselves and still get the same amount of love.
  • Best bookish discovery – When Elena told us about the flash sale Amazon had for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Illustrated edition. $8!!!
  • Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year? –No. Reading took a plunge this year, sadly. I didn’t hit any of the goals I set myself to do, and believe me I am angry at myself, but it’s time to move forward.

 

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  • One book you didn’t get to in 2016, but will be your number 1 priority in 2017 – “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. It was part of my January 2016 TBR, and even if I include it in succeeding TBR lists, I wasn’t able to read it within that year.
  • Non-debut book you are most anticipating – The fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith. No title yet, but there was a report that it might be published in 2017.
  • 2017 debut you are most anticipating – None, actually. I am not that knowledgeable about debuts and such.
  • One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading life – Lose the fear of writing book talks / reviews. Still. Hahahaha. And maybe reading 100 books, finally.
  • A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone – None, really.

And oh my gosh this survey is done! Thank you so much if you read it all the way through here. I know this is a very long post, but I just love doing it. I hope your 2016 was a great reading year for you. If it wasn’t, then I hope 2017 will be a better year.

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Top 10 Books of 2016

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I read only 80 books in 2016, and it was a year of 3-star books, so there weren’t a lot of books to choose from. I am not sure if the books I read in 2016 were meh, or that I changed as a reader, or maybe I wasn’t as immersed as I was in reading…but regardless of the reasons, this year probably was the easiest one to list ten books that wowed me.

Before I run down my Top 10 Books of 2016, here are five honorable mentions:

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  1. The Mothers (Brit Bennett) – Though the story started when the main character was in her teens and ended when she was maybe in her 30s, this novel wasn’t really big on the plot. It mostly focused on character development, something I love in contemporary and realistic fiction. I devoured this book the way I devoured my favorite Lay’s potato chips… I kept reading it, but taking my sweet time doing so because I just don’t want it to end yet.
  2. Fairest (Marissa Meyer) – Though this was just a spin-off, or a .5 in a series of novels, I immensely loved this one more than the main novels in the Lunar Chronicles series. I still don’t like Levana, and reading this didn’t change any of it, but what I loved about this novel is the idea that it offered more to the character…not just Levana’s but also her sister’s.
  3. The Vegetarian (Han Kang) – Call it over the top, but I think this book just gave a new angle to the word “depression.” It is quite disturbing, yes, but the most disturbing factor of all is when you realize, digging deep, how much of it you could relate with.
  4. Dangerous Girls (Abigail Haas) – I hate to use this sentence, but… this book is definitely unlike the typical YA novel. It was written well, it kept me on my toes, and it was so twisted, I couldn’t help but love it so much.
  5. Push (Sapphire) – So disturbing, so sad, but oh so optimistic and inspirational.

And now, my Top 10 Books:

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10 – The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Richard Flanagan). Of all the WW2 books I’ve read, this offered the most vivid description of the cruel life prisoners of war had to endure at the hands of their captors. It was so vivid that I nearly threw up while reading some of the gory scenes. The reason why this didn’t rank high on my list is because I truly didn’t care about the main character’s life outside of the WW2 years. If it were me, I’d rather not include it in the book, but okay, I guess it did offer a different light to story.

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09 – Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (Susannah Cahalan). I thought it was genius that the author wrote this more like a novel and less like a “typical” memoir. Word per word, I could feel how much Susannah Cahalan invested her time and talent in conveying what happened to her based on the stories her family, friends, and doctors told her. Though what happened to her isn’t a big disease like cancer or AIDS, I still found this book to be an eye opener, and a brilliant way to help the people who is currently suffering the same illness.

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08 – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Haruki Murakami). This book is a memoir, yes, but it was more than just recalling a person’s life, as it also gave pieces of advice and words of wisdom. This is a very short book, so if you have the chance, go and read it. You don’t have to be a runner to appreciate it, but reading so might make you want to wear your shoes and start running.

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07 – In Perfect Light (Benjamin Alire SΓ‘enz). At first, I was like, “Oh no, this doesn’t feel like Aristotle and Dante,” but even if this book didn’t capture my attention from the get go, it was still one of the most heartwarming novels I have read this year. Yes, it wasn’t anything like Aristotle and Dante, but it still packed the right amount of punch to make it to my top 10 reads.

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06 – Animal Farm (George Orwell). I am very grateful to have finally read this book. It was indeed an entertaining read, but I cannot take away the fact that it was disturbing me while I was reading it.

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05 – Just Kids (Patti Smith). Her writing style is so mesmerizing to say the least, but it was the friendship she had with Robert Mapplethorpe that warmed my heart the most. This book made me wish I was born in the 70s, because even if drugs were rampant those days (something I condone), the way people seek and value art was something to commend about.

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04 – The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein). It is about a dog, but it is not about a dog…and it is about racing, but it is not really about racing. It was a clever way to use a dog to convey the story, and I admired the writing because it wasn’t cheesy at all. Best of all, the way the author bridged the gap between scenes where Enzo the dog wasn’t present was so brilliant, I love it so much!

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03 – Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys). I am spanking myself for waiting three years before reading this one, but now that I did, I am beyond grateful. This side of WW2 is rarely seen in movies and novels, which made it more memorable. Though the hardships people faced was horrendous, the overall vibe of the novel was actually simple compared to the other WW2 novels I have read. Still, it was such a great novel that I wish you could read if you have the chance.

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A series of essays and lectures Virginia Woolf wrote about women and the need for them to have a room of their own in order to properly work on their art is one of the richest and most informative essays I have read. Though it was written in 1920s, much of what was written could still be applied in today’s world, even if women have more access and more freedom to pursue anything they want.

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01 – Burial Rites (Hannah Kent). Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I do love a character driven novel. This book has both, and even if I read this at the start of the year, the atmosphere of the novel managed to stay with me ’til the end of the year, and I think it will stay in my memory for many years to come. The haunting tale of the last woman executed in Iceland is so tragic, I don’t think anybody who has read it can brush off the memory from their heads.

So there you go, my favorite reads for 2016. I just realized, 4 of the 10 books here are non-fiction. Hmmm, I am pleased! Hopefully next year, I can read more from the fantasy and sci-fi genres, as well as other genres I have yet to discover. I am thinking of listing my least favorite books, but I guess it is better to keep this post positive. Though this year wasn’t a very good reading year compared to past years, I am still very, very grateful to have read the books I’ve read. Thank you, 2016.

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October to December 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

Copying what I wrote on my last post – Blogging took a backseat in 2016 because of so many reasons, but new year brings a lot of optimism, so here I am again, trying and hoping I could be active in blogging again.

Anyway, I can’t move forward to 2017 without doing a proper closure to 2016, so for the next few posts, allow me to do such, starting with the books I read from the last quarter of 2016.

OCTOBER

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1 – β€œThe Middlesteins” by Jami Attenberg
Genre – Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Format – mass market paperback
Number of Pages – 201
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

First time I read a novel with a main character being a food addict… it was good, really good in many levels, but given the main character’s weight, I felt it wasn’t really that heavy for her life to go downward spiral like that…I mean, there are people nearly 700lbs and still rocking it as if they’re the skinniest bitch in town.

2 – β€œMy Heart and Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 302
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

It had a good message, but it was cheesy and predictable.

3 – β€œMade You Up” by Francesca Zappia
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 448
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

A much better book than my last read, but still just average for my own liking.

4 – β€œThe Merciless” by Danielle Vega
Genre – Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Format – hardback
Number of Pages – 279
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The gory that I hoped to read in “Dangerous Girls” I found here. Gahhh, this satisfied me immensely! The cliffhanger in the end was abrupt, but wow…what a way to end the story!

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5 – β€œGeorge’s Marvelous Medicine” by Roald Dahl
Genre – Children, Fantasy
Format – trade paperback
Number of Pages – 89
Rating – β˜…β˜…

My first Dahl book, and though I know his stories has this dark undertone and has to be taken with a grain of salt, that last scene just totally turned me off especially knowing this is a children’s book.

6 – β€œThe Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen
Genre – Childrens, Classics, Fairy Tales
Format – hardback
Number of Pages – 48
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

If you loved the Disney movie, do yourself a favor of not reading this. It will stir the happy memories you’ve had about this story.

7 – β€œDon’t Look Back” by Danielle Vega
Genre – Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense Thriller
Format – hardback
Number of Pages – 384
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

Very suspenseful indeed, but if you’re into mystery books and movies (and TV shows), you will actually get the clue 1/4 of the way into the story. Though I managed to crack the secret, it still managed to surprised me when the reason behind everything was revealed in the end.

8 – β€œThe Vegetarian” by Han Kang
Genre – Adult, Literary Fiction
Format – hardback
Number of Pages – 192
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

One of the most disturbing books I’ve read this year. It was difficult to express into words how I feel about it, but once you read this, it will never leave your head. You will think and think and think about it, in hopes of tying things up or understanding things up.

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9 – β€œSinful” by Charlotte Featherstone
Genre – Historical Fiction, Romance, Erotica
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 368
Rating – β˜…

A sequel to “Addicted,” which I gave 5 stars… this book failed miserably in many levels.

10 – β€œOn Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts” by Thomas de Quincey
Genre – Classics, Non-Fiction, Essays
Format – mass market paperback
Number of Pages – 56
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

Such an informative and interesting essay.

11 – β€œAnimal Farm” by George Orwell
Genre – Classics, Dystopia
Format – mass market paperback
Number of Pages – 140
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Oh my freakin’ gosh, this book! It was entertaining and funny, but wow, once you take those out, you will realize the depth of this story.

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12 – β€œThe Universe of Us” by Lang Leav
Genre – Poetry, Romance
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 240
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

Ummm… it was okay, but I still like her book “Memories” more.

13 – β€œMore Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 293
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

The message it wanted to convey was delivered well, but I seriously didn’t like the journey leading to it. It felt like it was trying hard to be a John Green novel.

14 – β€œPromise Not to Tell” by Jennifer McMahon
Genre – Mystery, Thriller Suspense
Format – mass market paperback
Number of Pages – 250
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

Though I only gave this three stars, I did love the way the story was told…it was chilling, it was disturbing, and I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

NOVEMBER

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1 – β€œHeart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill
Genre – Horror
Format – trade paperback
Number of Pages – 406
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Funny how a horror story didn’t scare me at all, but I do have to admit it was pretty scary. Maybe I just conditioned my mind not to be scared about it, so all the time I was reading it, I have my own security blanket protecting me.

2 – β€œNoughts & Crosses” by Malorie Blackman
Genre – Young Adult, Dystopia
Format – trade paperback
Number of Pages – 479
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

Very interesting way of telling an alternate history where the blacks rule and the whites considered the second-class citizens, but I was a little disappointed at the very idea of it.

3 – β€œThe Mothers” by Brit Bennett
Genre – Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 278
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This is the kind of story I live for – more on character development and less on the plot. Though the plot of the novel was awesome as well.

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4 – β€œThe Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary
Format – eBook
Number of Pages –384
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The idea of “The Serpent King” (the person) didn’t amaze me one bit.. I find it a little corny… but his very idea clouding over one man’s life and destiny made up for it big time.

5 – β€œThe Way I Used to Be” by Amber Smith
Genre – Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Format – eBook
Number of Pages – 384
Rating – β˜…β˜…

I do get that people have different ways of coping up…but this one is too over the top for me.

6 – β€œJust Kids” by Patti Smith
Genre – Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format – trade paperback
Number of Pages – 306
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This book…wow, just wow! Finishing this, I always fight back the tears whenever I see the book anywhere.

DECEMBER

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1 – β€œThis Song Will Save Your Life” by Leila Sales
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary
Format – hardback
Number of Pages – 288
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…

It was okay. Lol.

2 – β€œJane Eyre” by Charlotte BrontΓ«
Genre – Classics, Dystopia
Format – leatherbound
Number of Pages – 507
Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Being someone living in the 21st century, my opinions about certain matters within this book were obviously different, but I did enjoy the time I spent reading this.

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