The Last Bookish Recap

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As I stated in the July Bookish Recap, this is my last month book blogging. Thank you so much for your support this two and a half years (a little more than that actually). I’ve had a wonderful time sharing my bookish thoughts with you and hearing your thoughts. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in some fantastic book tours as well. I’ll be moving away from book blogging so that I can concentrate on my own writing and photography (but mostly the writing). For those of you that are interested, my author blog will update once a month starting in September. Every so often I’ll feature the odd book review. I write mostly historical fiction with a dark speculative twist.

While I will no longer be updating Anna’s Library, I am going to keep the blog up for archival purposes. I know that quite a few of you have found books based on my reviews (which makes me super happy!) and I would like to keep this as a resource for people looking for new books. I have taken down the pages that are no longer relevant to reflect this.

Now for the fun stuff!

As this is the last Bookish Recap, I’m doing things a little differently. First there will be the usual bookish recap of August, then I’ll be recapping my favorite posts.

August Recap: August was a great month! I participated in two book tours and re-read an old favorite.

Book Tours/Reviews:
The Thirteenth Gate Book Tour
(Kat Ross)
To Tame a Wild Heart Book Tour (Gwen Mitchell)
Coraline (Neil Gaiman; 4.5 stars)

Bookish Lists:
Nerdy Books


And now here are some of my all time favorite posts. I picked my three favorite book reviews and three favorite bookish posts.

Top Three Favorite Book Reviews:

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The Martian (Andy Weir; 5 stars): For how much I’ve said about this book and for how many previous lists I’ve put the book on, there’s no doubt this book would make it onto the list! It’s still one of my all time favorites and I plan to re-read it this November.

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A Madness of Angels (Kate Griffin; 5 stars): This book blew me away. It’s such an interesting and unique book, yet I’ve come to find that few people have heard of it. It was one of my earlier reviews, but reading and reviewing it was so much fun. Like I say in the review, “read now, thank me later.”

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Insomnia (Stephen King; 4 stars): While not a 5 star review like the others, I feel like Insomnia is one of the overlooked books by King. Also, reviewing this tome of a book was a challenge, especially considering how many details there were. I really did enjoy this book and wish more people would give it a chance. It’s a fantastic example of weird fiction (instead of King’s usual horror) and all around great storytelling.

Honorable Mention: The review for this book, both a 5 star and 3 star rating makes this review the only one of its kind on the blog. Not to mention it’s one of my favorites. So the honorable mention goes to Twilight (Stephanie Meyer).

Top Three Favorite Bookish Posts:

TBR List: Publisher Style: While I really loved making the TBR lists, I think this one was the most fun. It’s not a typical way to decide how to read books and I liked being able to share that.

Book Haul: Birthday Style: This was a long list! But it was a lot of fun to do! I got so many books that I had been excited about for so long. I also got introduced to some new books (such as the The Shiva trilogy) and some old favorites. Not going to lie, I also had a lot of fun making my own little book tower. If you missed that post I really encourage you to check it out. I got a wide variety of books so hopefully you’ll find something that perks your interest!

TBR: Airport Edition: Ok, so I actually got about 1/3rd into one of the books on the list and while I loved it, I got so distracted by exploring everything that I kind of dropped reading. Whoops! I still have all these books safe on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading (and finishing) them. I have fond memories of browsing Amazon to hunt these babies down.

 

Thank you so much for sharing this bookish venture with me. I loved being able to share my thoughts with y’all. It’s been a rewarding and fun adventure. Happy reading!  ~Anna

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Bookish Recap: July

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This month has been a pretty good month book wise! I got a plethora of books for my birthday and read and reviewed a couple of books.

But this recap also brings some news. August is the last month I will be doing book blogging. I will keep the blog up for archival purposes, but I will no longer be posting. Not to mention, I worked hard on those reviews and I would hate to just delete them, especially if someone could stumble across them in the future and find a new favorite book.

This has been a long time coming I think. I have had so much fun sharing my bookish thoughts with y’all and thank you so much for your support over the past year or so. While I have loved so much about book blogging, it’s time for me to go down another path. I can’t write and self publish, work, go to school, and keep up my book blog. I also know that in the past health issues have made it a struggle to post. Something had to give. While I very much enjoy blogging, writing is my ultimate passion.

I will still review books, but through my author website, and only when a book really grabs my attention. My author blog will update once a month starting in September for those of you interested.

That’s the big announcement, but let’s get back to the fun stuff! Back to the recap:

This Month’s Posts:

Bookish Posts:
Book Haul: Birthday Style
TBR List: Publisher Style

Book Reviews:
The Daemonaic (4 star review)
Seeds of Eden (3 star review)

Next Month:

As I’ve said, it will be my last month posting. But it will be full of book reviews! I’m participating in two book tours (a NA paranormal romance, and a YA paranormal historical fiction) and I’ll be re-reading and reviewing one of my favorite books as well. It will be a bitter-sweet month, but I’m looking forward to sharing the posts.

Bookish Recap: June

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This month wasn’t a great month reading wise. While I did get a fair bit of reading time I didn’t have the opportunity to review any of the books. The upside to this is that next month will be chocked filled with reviews!

This month I spent a week in Seattle and most of that time was spent exploring. Seattle is an incredible city and completely inspirational. I can’t go back soon enough! When I wasn’t exploring (and trust me, there is a lot to explore in Seattle) I was writing.

So hopefully July will hold more posts and book reviews. Frankly I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited about the books I’ve been reading. In the mean time, here’s the posts from this month:

 

Bookish Recap-2016

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Well! That was a thing. Overall, reading wise, 2016 was a good year. Personally there were ups and downs which prevented me from blogging the way I wanted to. I’m still figuring out the ins and outs of blogging and this year I hope that I can be more consistent.

Obviously we have to review my favorite books of the past year and what my reading goals are this year.

According to the Goodread’s challenge I read 34 books (the same amount as 2015). But I also re-read a lot of books, which Goodreads doesn’t take into consideration. And so according to my calculations (yay for doing bookish-recaps every month), I read 37 books. I didn’t review all of them for the blog, but that’s ok. Again, that’s something I want to work on.

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My average rating according to Goodreads was a 3.7 which is pretty high, and also cements the fact it was a good reading year. You would think that I would have had a hard time picking my top five, but it was quite easy.

My top 5 books for 2016 (in no particular order; click the title for a link to my reviews):

The Martian (Andy Weir)

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Do I really need to say anything more about this book? It ended up on three of my bookish lists this year, and I also re-read it in December. Reading a book twice in one year is a new record for me. If you’re not quite sure why I’m in love with this story of resilience and team work, check out my review.

The Raven Boys (Maggie Stiefvater)

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This book ended up on two of my bookish lists, and I’ve recommended this book to numerous people off line. If you love fantasy I think this is a must read. While Stiefvater’s writing style isn’t for everyone, I adore it and the characters just sealed the deal for me. I found myself able to relate to each one and learning more about myself through reading the book. It’s rare that a book does that for me, and I’m so grateful that I finally caved in and gave this book and series a chance. I’m currently finishing up this series. If I die, put The Raven Cycle as the cause of death.

Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)

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MIA!! This is how you do assassins! I loved the mix of Italian Renaissance and Roman Empire. The world building was fantastic, and nothing ever felt out of place. Mia was by no means a good person, although she had good in her. The book is filled with questionable content and in a way, it’s an uncomfortable book. The bad is portrayed as bad, but the big question is, “is it truly bad if it’s done for good reasons?” and that’s something the reader has to decide for themselves. Mia, despite her flaws and questionable choices was a character I could get behind. Needless to say, I’m excited for the next books in the series.

I Am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)

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Speaking of hard books…I am Malala was a hard book to read in parts. It was eye opening read. I think that this is the most important book I’ve read this year. This book gives great insight to what is going on in the world and why we must help young women world wide get a good education. I was surprised to find that this book is as much about Malala as it is her father. While disturbing in parts, this book is also one of hope and resilience. If you want to learn more about current events and hear Malala’s story from the start and source,  I strongly recommend you read this.

And finally, Fascinate by Sally Hogshead.

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Although I didn’t review this book on the blog, I did review it on Goodreads. I really loved the psychology in this book. For those of you that have no interest in branding or starting your own business I think this book is a great read, just because it makes one more aware of how the media uses different methods to influence our behavior. It’s an eye opening book, and it’s a lot of fun. For those of you that are interested in the business side of thing, this is a great book. I recently added it to my personal library and am looking forward to reading it again.

 

As for my reading goals this year, I set my Goodreads challenge to 13 books. Last year I set it at 16 so that I wouldn’t feel too pressured, but I’d be encouraged to read. It worked wonderfully! I’m setting it lower than the past year because I’m doing a personal challenge to read mostly big books (400+ pages). Some of the books I’ll be tackling are filled with heavy world building and are over 700 pages. With school, writing, and work it’ll take me time to get though those monsters! I’ll also be focusing on more diverse reads too. Hopefully with these goals I’ll wind up getting through a lot of books on my TBR pile.

I’m keeping my goals simple, but I’ll have fun achieving them. What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Got any bookish goals for the upcoming year?

Bookish Recap (November)

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November was wild. Not only was I doing NaNoWriMo but work became very hectic. On top of that, the school year is winding down which means a bit of a heavier work load. Needless to say I didn’t read much. Well, I did read, I just didn’t finish anything. Part of that is because I “lost” a book for a week, and found it in the backseat of my car…underneath a folder…that I use for writing. That’s the nice thing about e-books. Unless you lose your computer or your e-reader, you literally can’t lose a book. But I digress!

I did review two books in one post (No Plot, No Problem and On Writing), although I didn’t read them this month. Maybe I cheated a little there. But if you missed it, feel free to check it out! I encourage anyone who’s interested in writing to check out these books.

I “won” NaNoWriMo and really do think it was my best year yet. There’s a couple of things I’ll keep in mind for the future (such as doing all posts in advanced and queuing them for the month), but overall getting together with other writers and having that support really was fantastic. Usually I sit out the write-ins, but this year I went to quite a few and loved it.

As for December, I’m trying to finish out some of the books I started as well as participate in #readthemargin. Poetess Amanda Lovelace (author of the poetry collection “The Princess Saves Herself in This One”) has put this reading challenge together. The idea is that participants read books by marginalized authors (to quote Amanda: “marginalized people are those who have been pushed to the margins and forgotten because they do not meet the status quo. this includes groups like women, the queer community, people of color, disabled people, Muslim and Jewish people, etc.”).

I’ve been wanting to diversify my bookshelf for quite some time, and I think this is not only a fantastic way to end the year, but also start off the new one as well.

Either way, expect a lot of book reviews this month!

Bookish Recap (October)

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Oh man I feel like this month was a total bummer book/blogging wise. October is known for its surprises and I don’t suppose that should surprise me. Despite the twists this month had for me, I did manage to read two books. While I wasn’t completely blown out of the water by either, I enjoyed them. Both offer fresh takes on old tropes.

Cuckoo Song (Frances Hardinge; 4 stars)

KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale (NISIOSIN; 3 stars)

I certainly have a preference for Cuckoo Song. It’s dark, atmospheric, and the writing style is just my type. The story touches so many elements, mental and physical health, family issues, and different kinds of love. It’s one of those books that makes you view old things in a new light.

That’s not to say that KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale wasn’t a fascinating read in its own right! I haven’t encountered vampires in that light before, and learning about the Japanese culture was awesome. It was a fun, but unusual read.

I also wound up starting quite a few books. While I might not be able to review them all before the end of the year, I certainly plan to finish them before the year is out. Next month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ll be doing some writing focused posts. I always planned for this blog to be both a writing and a book blog, so I’m using the upcoming month as an excuse to start integrating writing, including my own, into the blog. Fret not, the book reviews aren’t going anywhere!

I’ll be aiming for two posts a week again during November. Ideally a post on writing and the second post will be a book review. I’ll be doing a lot of re-reads during November because re-reads are quicker to get through, but I haven’t reviewed any of the books on the blog (except for The Martian, hahah, I’m obsessed!). So expect new reviews on some of my favorites!

While not the grand reading month I had planned, at least I got some good reads in and was able to use them towards the Cornerfolds Horror Challenge.

Bookish Recap (September)

 

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This month was a great month reading wise! I got to team up with Xpresso Book Tours and help out with two book tours by reviewing the books and that was quite fun. I got my hands on Nevernight and devoured it and got my romance in Sun and Moon. I feel like this month made up for the past couple where I’ve been in reading slumps.

I’ve also made a couple of changes around the blog. From here on out in the Bookish Recap, books will be listed in alphabetical order by author (it used to be random). I’ve also gone through and updated my Past Reviews page and added the star rating for each book. I’m considering adding a new page for my 4 and 5 star reads so that those are easier to find and you don’t have to hunt for them.

Nine Candles of Deepest Black (Matthew S. Cox; 4 stars)

The Shattered Seam (Kathleen Groger; 3 stars)

Nevernight (Jay Kristoff; 4.5 stars)

Sun and Moon (Desiree Williams; 3 stars)

I think by far this month my favorite book was Nevernight. I had seen it around and in the bookstores. I was in love with the cover and the idea was certainly interesting. But I wasn’t sure if splurging on a book that I might not like would be worth it or not. It was worth every single penny and I am so proud of the life choices that brought me to that moment. Ok, ok, melodrama aside, it was a really awesome book that was 100% what I was looking for. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, but the whole book is about defying expectations in a way, so it fits that the book would defy expectations as well.

Overall, the books I read this month all surprised me. They took old tropes and made them new, or had fresh writing styles, or were beautifully heartfelt stories. I might not have given every book 5 stars, but these books were all well worth the reads and I’m glad I had the chance to read so much this month.