31 December 2015

Monthly Wrap Up: December

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We’ve reached the end of December and the end of 2015! All I can say to that is thank God because I am exhausted! I haven’t had such a busy month in ages. I want to sleep for about a week to recover. Thankfully, I am not one of those party enimals who go out on New Years because I am genuinely excited about curling up and watching a bunch of films this New Year’s Eve and then watching a few fireworks out the window at midnight. It may not be exciting, but it will be nice. I’ve even invested in some new PJs for the occassion (how cool am I?).

December has been less about reading and blogging and more about real life with a little bit of reflection on my reading year. It;s been quite nice, even if I did fail with some of my reading challenges.

December Reads

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As you can see, I have still read a fair bit. My Favourite reads of this month are easy to choose, A Bollywood Affair was a fantastic romance read and I would strongly recommend it to everyone (seriously, the reviews are well deserved) and I would also recommend If You Find Me (it was so touching). To be honest, I would be hard pushed to say any of these books was a bad read, I did rate Strange Weather in Tokyo at 2.5 but at the same time it made me cry, so it’s not like I was unaffected by it, it just was a slower read that had a lot story than I would have liked.

December Posts

December Links

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: 172. Tinder, Sex, Romance, and Relationships: A Frank Discussion of Sexuality with Amanda (I don’t often link up podcasts, but this is probably one of the most interesting ones I listened which I was a frank discussion about female sexuality)
Bookriot: 5 Ballet Books to Read If You’re Digging Starz’s Flesh & Bone (because I, like every other girl, wanted to be a ballerina growing up… until I realised the work involved)

And there is my December. I am off to consider 2015 reading challenges and to write up a couple of posts (because I’m getting on top of things temporarily).

30 December 2015

2015 End of Year Survey

survey
I have never done the End of Year Survey Jamie puts together over at The Perpetual Page-Turner and I thought it was about time I thought about it. I planned to participate last year and then never finished typing up the post (I hate these time-sensitive posts, I am the worst for deadlines) so let’s look back at 2015 instead. I won’t be answering all the questions, but I’ve selected my favourites.
stats
Number Of Books You Read: 215
Number of Re-Reads: 10 (is that all?)
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance (YA and adult)
best
Best Book(s) You Read In 2015?
Look, I’ve read over 200 books this year, you’re getting a top ten favourites from me. It’s hard enough picking favourites, let alone picking just one.
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Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
99 Days, I was so excited for this book but it just wasn’t what I expected. I still enjoyed it, but not the way I thought I would. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped and I think it’s because I could see all the mistakes the characters were making and they never seemed to learn from them, which was the most frustrating part for me.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 
My Life Next Door, this book was already raved about, but I was expecting another YA contemporary. What I got was so much more intense and enjoyable and I now fully understand what everyone has been talking about. Sorry for taking so long to get with the program.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’m not really a book pusher, I reckon Uprooted may be the book I mentioned to most of my friends and lent out as often as possible… but that’s about it.

Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
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Best Series Starter       //           Best Sequel          //     The Best Series Ender
An Ember In The Ashes was that impulse buy I am so glad I invested in because I really enjoyed that book and cannot wait for the next one. Angel of Storms was the most intense and confusing second book I’ve read in a series. It took me a little while to get my head around things, but once I did I loved it. As for The High Lord, that series ender may have made me want to launch the book out a window in some ways, but I also adored it. The amount of action and story that Canavan managed to fit into that book is amazing.

Favourite new author(s) you discovered in 2015?
Ilona Andrews, Trudi Canavan, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, NK Jemisin, Elle Kennedy, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Julia Quinn (should I go on?)

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
20555443I discovered historical romance this year and I have a whole selection of books to suggest as they really changed my perception fo the genre. But since historical romance has been added to my absolute favourite of genres I will pick another book for you instead.

The Martian is like no other book I’ve read and I loved it. It had a lot of science talk (which confused me) and I did think the film would have made a lot more sense in some ways, but the book holds a special place in my heart.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
There are a whole lot of books I could not put down this year, but action packed ones as well? An Ember in the Ashes was pretty unputdownable and so much happened, so let’s go with that.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
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(Image source)
A Thousand Nights may not look like it has the prettiest book cover, especially as I know the US one is just as stunning, but the UK hardcover is so pretty with the design on the page edges and the secret little image under the dust jacket makes this book for me. I need to get me a physical copy to just gaze at wonderingly.

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
A Thousand Nights – that writing was a thing of beauty. I know the story wasn't to everyone’s liking, but now can deny Johnston’s epic writing powers.

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Just One Day seriously left me thinking about things once I finished. I really related to the main character and I am not a daring person, I have a comfort zone I struggle to break free of because everything terrifies me. It made me think about travelling and expanded my horizons. I would recommend it to everyone.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
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Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
I take for granted that you’ll be there when I when I’m done doing whatever it is I’m doing. I take for granted that you’ll love me no matter what.
Landline – Rainbow Rowell
Part of me knows one more day won't do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.
Just One Day – Gayle Forman
“Yes, romance novels are extreme. The situations are turned up to eleven and everyone is beautiful without dieting or exercise and the sex is always amazing, but when I strip all that away what I get is that all of this”—Sasha motions to everything around us, and I’m assuming she means the world and our existence and not this particular Mexican restaurant—“that all of this is nothing without love.”
Girl Before a Mirror – Liza Palmer

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
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Shortest 48 pages      //     Longest 1006 Pages

Book That Shocked You The Most(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
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The Black Magician trilogy both made me want to launch the books out of the window upon finishing, but I also wanted to hug it to my chest and treasure it forever. I adored this series… but I also hate it a bit for some of the plot twists. My love outweighs my annoyance about the things which happened, and I’m only annoyed because these characters were so well written that I really cared.
Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
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Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
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Burn For Me (Danya recommended and I have no regrets)

Best 2015 debut you read?
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Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
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Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
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Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
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Hidden Gem Of The Year?
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Why pick one hidden gem when I can pick for? These are the books which I expected little of and was thoroughly surprised by.

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
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The High Lord (book throwing, they killed my ship god dammit)

blogging life
Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I struggle writing reviews but the review that came easiest to me and I enjoyed writing the most was Uprooted because I enjoyed that book so much I wanted to tell people about it, although I did struggle at how best to explain why I loved it so.

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I wrote a post about embarrassing book covers. It is even titled How Do You Deal With Embarrassing Book Covers? and I loved writing it because as a romance reader I have to deal with a lot more embarrassing covers than is strictly acceptable.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
I mean, how do you define the best moment of your bookish or blogging life? I can’t think of anything that I’ve done to be worthy of such an accolade.

Actually, no, I know what the biggest achievement of my blogging life was. I got a tweet from an actual author (I know, what is this achievement?) and it was exciting because social media escapes me. So, thank you, Katie McGarry, for tweeting me and sorry for being an overenthusiastic fangirl.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I kept buying more books than I was reading. I’ve seen my bookish expenditure for 2015 it is over half of what I earn in a single month… that’s far too much money spent on books.

Also, finding time to blog, I need to start keeping a better schedule.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My most popular post was Language and Literature, which was surprising, but it’s one of those posts you just stick out there and see what happens with it.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
All of them? I let my posts out into the world and see how it goes. I would like all my posts to get more love, but I know I am not always putting the work in to help with that as well.

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I discovered World of Books, an online used book store which I love. I love getting books cheap and I don’t mind used books. It comes from being poor and only being able to afford used books as a student. If I love a book I obviously want to have the shiniest fanciest copy I can find, but honestly, as long as I can read the words, who cares?

looking ahead
One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
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Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
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2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
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Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
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As you can see, I skipped a few of the questions, but I hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at 2015. I will give you a recap of the month tomorrow and then it will be 2016 (yay) so see you then.