Reading Goals

How are all of you coming along with your reading goals for this year? I didn’t have a lot of goals, exactly, but I had my GoodReads goal of 250 books this year. So far I’m at 139 finished (and it includes books I DNF). That puts me at 56% of my goal already.

Now of my books I was hoping to get to this year. I’m not doing so great at reading the books off my shelves. I keep getting distracted by new releases, books from the library, even new purchases. I need to do better at that. I have gotten rid of some books, though, and I have a few more I need to find a new home for.

I also made some progress on the book video front! We finished filming the video – I won’t tell you what book it is but it’s a YA western – but we’re still editing it. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it so far, as a first try.

As far as writing goes, I have barely started a new book and I am not doing so well at keeping up with my writing goals. I need to carve out more time on the computer to actually work on my book.

What about you? How are your reading goals for 2018 coming along?

 

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What Are We Reading Now?

Hey bookies! How was your weekend? We had a fun time around here with a trip to the library, a very nice little session of Dungeons & Dragons, church, and plenty of reading! This week I’m planning another viewing of Black , and I have a new book I want to write! Here’s a teaser – it’s a twist on a fairy tale.

As for what I’m reading right now, I have 3 nonfiction titles going.

The first is from Net Galley and it’s called Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Change and/or Ruin Everything, by Kelly Weinersmith. It’s a little rough to read because the ARC copy throws the formatting off a little. It’s kinda fun, but not compelling or anything.

I’m also reading one called What Wizards Ate and Kings Drank by Krista Bell. It’s also kinda fun, but not the sort of book you want to binge read. I’m falling behind with it.

Finally, I’m enjoying the audio version of The Templars by Dan Jones. Definitely becoming a fan of his.

Sam the cat 🐱 says hi! He survived his first trip to the vet, but we discovered why he has a certain odor about him. Apparently his teeth are bad! So expensive repairs are needed. Super excited about that.

Hope you have a good reading week and tell me what you’ve enjoyed lately in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday – New YA

It’s Tuesday and I thought I would do a list of 10 new or new-ish YA books I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t read as much YA as a lot of bloggers do, but I do like some, so here goes!

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The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This sounds like a fun book with an #ownvoices author and diverse characters. It’s not available until May, but the reviews are really positive, so I think this one will be worth reading.

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Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis. Again, a YA contemporary with #ownvoices representation. I was sold on this because the description, a girl moving in with an estranged parent into a religious household. This one also releases in May.

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Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. I love the cover on this one! I follow this author on Twitter and this story of a Pakistani girl forced into servitude sounds really compelling. I think this one will get a lot of attention. Out in May.

A Blade So Black by L L McKinney. This one has been getting a lot of buzz, not all of it positive, because of some controversial statements by author about race. However, I’m intrigued enough by the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a POC that I’m willing to wait until the September release and then decide for myself.

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg. This one comes out in July, and it sounds like a Western fairy tale kind of thing. I like this author enough to put this on my list right away, without waiting for reviews.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Finally we come to a book that is actually available now! A stand alone book about three sisters who are witches and some creepy stuff going on. Reviews are good and it sounds like a cool setting.

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron. Unlike the others, this one is the final book in a series that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Set in a future or parallel world where dragons live among humans and basically rule the world, I really hope this wraps up all the conflicts and has a satisfying ending. Also available now, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. I am a sucker for Shakespeare retelling and this one sounds promising. Add magic in, give the sisters more of a personality than in the play, and then a creepy poison ritual (according to the book description) and it’s no surprise that this goes onto my list.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. This one came out last month and the reviews are a little mixed, but I think it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it a try. I haven’t read all the descriptions, because everyone says it’s better to just jump in with this one, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. A Viking- inspired story with a female MC. How cool is that? She’s fierce, and she’s angry, and there’s an girl holding an ax on the cover! OK, shallow maybe, but I’m still going to read it.

And one more, because I’m excited about this one and I just barely heard it was coming out!

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I loved Uprooted, and it sounds like this one is set in the same world, although with different characters. I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like there’s a Jewish MC, which you don’t see a lot (like ever?) in fantasy, and I think that’s really cool. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to read it. But I have to, because it’s not out until July.

Wow, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to come up with 10 books for this list; I was afraid I would only have 4 or 5. But it looks like I will have plenty of YA to keep me happy, not to mention all the hundreds of other books on my list and the books I have piled up literally in every room of my house. What new books are you looking forward to reading? Let me know! Happy reading!

Monday – What Are You Reading?

Hey all! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good – time with the kids, made it to church, and my son tried out a new recipe for chocolate cake. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still pretty yummy. Oh, and I finished a bunch of books.

Right now I am just reading one book, The Room by Swedish writer and actor Jonas Karlsson.

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You might be able to guess from the briefcase that this is set in an office. However, even if you haven’t worked in an office, I’m sure you’re familiar enough with the basic environment that you could enjoy the book. I’m finding it really funny. Bjorn is the narrator and he is troubled that none of his coworkers are as good at their jobs as he is. In fact, they are pretty dismal, while he is doing most of the work. Then he finds a secret room at work where he can relax for a few minutes and get away from their annoying habits.

The writer is an actor who has won some awards in Sweden. I think his drama background shows because I could easily imagine this as a play. It works great as a book though. It’s really short, although it has 65 chapters, most are only a couple of pages long. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What are you reading right now? Are you enjoying it? Let me know in the comments.

The Manual of Detection – a Review

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

Found at the library

In this tightly plotted yet mind-expanding debut novel, an unlikely detective, armed only with an umbrella and a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in and through people’s dreams

I’m not really sure how to describe this one. It starts when lowly clerk Charles Unwin finds himself unexpectedly promoted to detective but given no cases. Instead he decides to solve a disappearance, but he has no clues.

I’m the one hand he just sort of bubbles through the investigation, but on the other events unravel in such unpredictable ways that I never knew where this story was going. I couldn’t even figure out what it was about for a really long time. I am sure though that whatever it was I just read, it was truly original and I’m glad I read it.

You can find a better synopsis, but I would avoid them. If this description appeals, just give it 50 pages and then decide if you like it. I’ll be interested to see what this author does next.

Meet Sam!

We got a new kitty 🐱! I have been so sad, missing Tina and Spooky so much. Rosie is a great cat, and I love her, but she’s not very cuddly. She’s happy to be petted sometimes, and more than happy to have a bobble of what you’re eating, but she’s no snuggler.

It is kind of soon, but we were ready for a new cat friend. I drove myself crazy for a couple of weeks, trying to find the perfect new cat🐱 for our family. I wanted one that would get along with the humans, one that was fairly young and healthy, and one with short hair. But I kept finding a cat I loved, only to call and find that someone else had gotten it first. I was seriously making myself sick over the whole thing.

Finally on Saturday, a local rescue group was doing an adoption event at a local pet store. Jack went with me to help me find the right cat. It took a little while, but as soon as I held this big guy, I knew I wanted to bring him home.

We named him Samwise, but we’re calling him Sam. He’s 5 years old and super mellow. As soon as we opened his crate he started rubbing up against everyone, wanting to be petted. He’s sleeping on my bed right now and he’s made friends with everyone – except Rosie! We’ll just take it slow and give them time to get used to each other. Anyway, I’m really happy with him. He’s just what we needed!

Happy New Year!

So long, 2017. It was fun (OK, not really!) but it’s time for the new! I’ve made a few goals.

  1. Enjoy my blog. I’ve been kind of bummed because I see all these amazing book/Instagram posts and Booktube stuff and mine is just kind of plain. But you know what? I started my blog to help me with writing and to make friends who are also interested in books, and because I wanted some place I could share my excitement about reading. And I can still do that here, even if my blog is not as visually exciting or as popular as someone else’s. I just don’t have the fancy picture skill; I’m not especially good on camera. But I do love books. So I’m going to keep posting and that’s going to be good enough.
  2. Keep writing. Last year I was so busy with sewing and illness and reading and my writing just kind of starved. I did great in November, but last month I starting slipping back to my old habits. This year I’m going to think about what I can commit to and stick to that. I’m not sure how it will work out, but as long as I stay consistent, I’ll be happy with that.
  3. Keep reading. I did set a book goal on Goodreads, but my real goal is to read and read more of what I love. I’ll still push myself to try new authors, but I’ve been enjoying December’s happy books so I’m just going to keep reading what I feel like reading and not worry about what people think I *should* be reading.
  4. Stay healthy. Between my fibromyalgia and my depression/anxiety and my other health things, it can be really hard to stay healthy and happy. I’m going to keep working on, realizing that I will have hard days and good days and that’s OK. As long as I keep working on it, that’s what matters.

Those are my big goals. Not anything too exciting, but I think it covers all my plans. Have you made any resolutions or goals? Any you want to share?

Do you Library Thing?

I know most of you are on Good Reads, Twitter, and Instagram. But have you heard about Library Thing? I love it over there! It’s a great site for serious book lovers. It also has a way to catalog your library, features libraries of famous writers, fun facts, and a great community.

One of the boards I follow is a 2018 Category Challenge. The idea is to organize your reading into categories that you choose and then share what you’ve been reading. How many categories you have, what they are, and how many books you read in each category is up to you. I’ve done the challenge several years, even hosted in once, and I really enjoy it.

Here are my categories – (I went with a “crime” theme)

Cold cases – book that have been on the shelf too long

First Timers – new books

Repeat offenders – rereads

Serials – books in a series

Isolated occurrence – stand alone titles

Minor infractions – YA and kids books

Eyewitness accounts – nonfiction books

Advance warning – ARCs

Most Wanted – best books of the year

Petty crime – boring and DNF

I figure that will cover everything I read next year. BTW, if you want to check it out, I’m CMBohn over there.

2018 Category Challenge

I don’t know how many of you are over at LibraryThing, but it’s a great site. I’ve been on there for several years now. I love the forums and groups.

One of the groups is The 2018 Category Challenge. The idea is to organize your reading by themes and then share with everyone what you thonk. They have a lot of mini-challenges, group reads and so on.

I’ve decided to join in and I have my categories.

  • Cold cases – book that have been On the shelf too long 
  • First Timers – new books

     

  • Repeat offenders – rereads

     

  • Serials – books in a series

     

  • Isolated occurrence – stand alone titles

     

  • Minor infractions – YA and kids books

     

  • Eyewitness accounts – nonfiction books

     

  • Advance warning – ARCs

     

  • Most Wanted – best books of the year

     

  • Petty crime – boring and DNF

If you want to join in, my thread is here. I’ll still post most of my reviews here though.

Have you started thinking about next year yet? What are your plans?