That Reading Life

Reading Challenges for 2018!

In an effort to round out my reading and tackle my TBR, I’m participating in a number of reading challenges for 2018.

First, I’m hosting the Literary (&) Lacquers Reading Bingo, over in the Literary Lacquers facebook fan group. This reading bingo will run all year long. Once a month, within the group, I’ll post a check-in thread.

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I hit my 2017 Goodreads Challenge goal of 150, so I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge to 175 books in 2018, 25 books more than I read in 2017.

I’m also participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge and Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. I tried to do both of those last year, and only made it through a little over half of each, so this year I’m hoping to actually finish one, if not both.

In addition to these reading challenges, look for the first post in my buddy read of The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone with Marzie’s Reads and Wishful Thinking coming later this month! We’ere starting with Three Parts Dead, the third book chronologically, but first of the series to be published. We’re reading one book in the series each month – feel free to join in!

Finally, it’s not exactly an official “challenge” but I’m once again participating in the nominations and voting for the Hugo Awards, so I will be challenged to read as many of the nominated works as I possibly can.

Are you doing any reading challenges in 2018?

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That Reading Life

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Readers!

2017 has come and gone, and it has been one of the busiest, craziest years on record for me. I started off the year with my husband undergoing some serious eye surgery, met an internet friend in real life, found myself in the surprising situation of buying a house, moving, adopting a kitten, drowning in yard work, and among so many other things – starting this little blog.

Thanks for being here with me, Readers! As 2018 kicks off, I’m looking forward to even more reading with you!

I like to start the year off by setting a few goals for myself. In 2018, I’m planning to:

  • Beat my 2017 Goodreads goal of 150 books and hit 175.
  • Complete the Literary (&) Lacquers book bingo I’m hosting.
  • Knock out at least 15 books on my TBR list from before 2018.
  • Keep up with the buddy read of The Craft Sequence I’m doing with Marzie’s Reads and WishfulThinking129. (Starting this month!)
  • Blog more regularly.
  • Host additional giveaways!

Do you have any reading #goals for 2018? Share them in the comments!

That Reading Life

My Best Reads of 2017

It’s the end of 2017 and my little blog is six months old! Thanks for visiting, Reader! I appreciate your presence.

The end of the year is a nice time for a wrap-up, don’t you think? Here’s a list of the ten best things I read this year. These are in no particular order – I loved each and every one of them so much.

  1. City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.
    • I am obsessed with this book! I was transported and enraptured by the characters, places and Chakraborty’s writing. A middle-eastern fantasy I couldn’t put down.
  2. Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee.
    • Lee’s space opera sucked me in and took me for a wild, wild ride. Whip-smart writing and a carefully laid plot with many twists and turns kept me flipping pages late into the night.
  3. Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone.
    • Incredible women, incredible systems of magic, impossible problems and writing that makes me work to keep up with it, and like I’ve learned things about my own world when I’m done.
  4. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
    • Incredible, lyrical writing that drew me in and made me fall in love with Mia. A great YA novel with a fantastic antihero.
  5. Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
    • CARNIVOROUS MERMAIDS, diversity, a creeping sense of suspense, and such a satisfying ending.
  6. The Long Way to a Strange, Angry Planet/A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers.
    • I’m cheating at my own game and including both titles in Chambers’ Wayfarers series because I read them back to back and they were both FANTASTIC. Such amazing characters, incredible worldbuilding, and gripping plots that also explore interesting ethical and moral questions.
  7. Down Among The Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire.
    • McGuire’s Wayward Children series of novellas is a shining example of how inclusivity doesn’t have to feel forced or distract or detract from a story. Jack and Jill’s story is thrilling and tender, even if you know how it “ends” from reading Every Heart A Doorway.
  8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
    • I feel like I’m jumping on the ACOTAR bandwagon here, but I seriously enjoyed this series. I was late to the game, but discovered the series just before the third book in the series (a kind of mid-series finale) published. I blew through them and am hooked.
  9. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab.
    • V.E. Schwab is one of my new author-obsessions. I plan to work my way through everything she’s written. A Gathering of Shadows is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. I usually find middle books in trilogies unsatisfying, but AGoS was absolutely the opposite. I love love loved it.
  10. Sunbolt by Intisar Khnani.
    • My only complaint about Sunbolt is that as a novella it is far too short, so you’ll want to have the novel-length sequel, Memories of Ash, on hand. Sunbolt is a wonderful fantasy with high stakes and rebellion at its core. Bonus points for a diverse cast and setting.

What are your top reads this year?

That Reading Life

#Shelfies!

My friend Arlene over at Wishful Thinking recently did a neat post showing off her bookshelves and I thought it would be fun to do the same!

I have moved many times over the last decade. I left for college and moved 1-2 times each year, then I moved in with my (then) fiance’s parents, and then with roommates and then an apartment with my (now) husband and most recently into my first (teeny) house! As a result of all that moving, I’ve had to be pretty choosy about what books continue to line my shelves. In most of those places, I only had one bookshelf – if you can imagine the horror! Instead of purchasing books, I often borrow them from the library and purchase only the books I hope to reread or collect.
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20171010_174233In these first two photos, you can see my favorites! These are the three authors that I reread time and time again, so I like having them close at hand. This bookshelf is next to my bed, crammed in a corner but within easy reach. The bank box is full of library books to be read, a remnant of the recent move. Someday I’ll figure out a different storage solution for borrowed books. (Wave hi to Monroe! My middle kitty, Roro, Manx of Knives as we call him – he is SHARP!)

Like many bookworms, I love book-related things and decorate my shelves with nicknacks. I work hard to curate my Funko Pop! collection so that it doesn’t take over my life. (I bet you can’t tell my favorite comic publisher.)

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My second shelf is also in my bedroom, and here is where I begin organizing alphabetically by author. These shelves are surprisingly bare of extras, a result of our recent move. The cat theme continues, however. 🙂 Somehow, I always end up with cat related things on my shelves, even if I don’t actively go out looking for cat-related things.

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My final bookshelf is crammed in the corner of my office next to my computer desk. The bottom shelf is my husband’s teeeeeeny collection of books which he never touches. My new house has terrible bathroom storage, so most of my cosmetics are living in my office. Here you can see my shelf of eyeshadow palettes and just some of my extensive lipstick collection.

I suspect, now that we own our home and have plans to stay for more than a few years, I’ll be adding more bookshelves (and books) as I find them.

I currently have no space for my boxes full of cookbooks, which live piled on the counter or still in their boxes from moving. Someday I’ll be able to set them free…

Now, you’ve seen mine! Show me yours! Your shelfies, I mean.