Books on my TBR Bookshelf

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As we can all clearly see, this post – though promised for Thursday – did not end up happening on Thursday because well, I honestly forgot. A LOT has happened this week, so I was a bit overwhelmed. But hey, better late than never right?

So without further ado, these are all the unread books I currently have on my bookshelf (listed in no particular order):

  1. The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen
  2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  6. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  7. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  8. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  9. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  10. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  11. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  12. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  13. The Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  14. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  15. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  16. Emma by Jane Austen
  17. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  18. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  19. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  20. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  21. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
  22. Belle Teale by Ann M. Martin
  23. Lost Souls by Michael Collins
  24. The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements
  25. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
  26. Nation by Terry Pratchett
  27. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  28. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  29. The Wives of Bath by Wendy Holden
  30. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  31. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
  32. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill

And that’s it! Let me know which book on this list you think I should read next!

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Unfinished Books on My Bookshelf

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There was a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine leaving a book I was reading unread; it just wasn’t something that I did.

This, of course, was when I was 10 and disillusioned by my love of Harry Potter thinking that every book was going to make me fall in love like it did. 

Over the years I have managed to finish almost every book I’ve start. Almost.

I have gotten rid of some really old unread books that I know I wouldn’t ever pick up again, but these are the ones I currently have sitting on in my bookcase:

1) The Warden by Anthony Trollope
2) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
3) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
4) Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thacheray (odds of my finishing this bad boy are slim)
5) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
6) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
7) The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
8) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I’ve read 2.5 books out of the 7 included)
9) All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
10) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
11) Wicked by Gregory Maguire
12) Lastly we have the book that I have been ‘currently reading’ for at least a solid year: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

And there you have it. There are 12 books on my shelf that I need to finish.

I see there is a definite trend in the books: classic books that I needed to read for school…but didn’t.

Some of them I’m ashamed I haven’t finished yet, but as one of my resolutions this year I am going to try my best to finish some of these books up and clear up that TBR list.

On Thursday I will be writing a post about the rest of the unread books on my bookcase right now. That’ll be a fun one.

Let me know what books you have half finished on your shelf.

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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My Thoughts:

*Because this is a second book there may be spoilers*

Sometimes with series they peak with the first novel; not with this series. It is hard to even put into words how much I enjoyed the second novel in the Throne of Glass series. It was the perfect combination of familiarity and newness that it dragged you even further into the world of Celaena Sardothien.

There is more kicking ass, character and world building, love, heartbreak, magic and just about everything you could hope in a second book. My heart and mind were literally pulled from one extreme to the next over and over.

I don’t want to give anything away, but it is safe to say that you grow to love the characters even more in this second book…and you may or may not (depending on which male you prefer in the series) be overcome with emotions with a certain pairing and their storyline.

If you are looking into reading this series I suggest you pick up the first book (Throne of Glass) immediately so you can get to Crown of Midnight and then Heir of Fire (review to come).

This series, the story, and its characters has won over my heart and has taken its place on my top book shelf of favourites. I NEED MORE NOW!

My Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars. I loved it and can’t recommend this series enough. If you want to read about a strong, complex, and just an all around great main female character this is the book for you. But even if that isn’t what you were looking for you should read it because I say so.

Favourite Quotes: 

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

“The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.”

“The best lies were always mixed with truth.”

“Some things you hear with your ears. Others, you hear with your heart.”

2015 Reading Challenge

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The only challenges I’ve ever done when it comes to reading are the Goodreads reading challenges (add me on Goodreads!) and, if I’m being honest, I’ve only ever actually completed it once…just this last year.

As I said in my 2015 reading resolutions I wanted to up my reading game this year and not only read more books, but also read a variety of different books that I may not normally pick up. This is why when I saw the PopSugar 2015 reading challenge pop up on my WordPress reader feed a few times I knew I wanted to take part in it.

The challenge demands you read 50 books (well 52 because a trilogy is involved) that adhere to a certain challenge on the list which I will now post below:

I will be keeping track of my progress with this challenge on a page I’ve set up right here.

I’ve already completed one challenge by reading a book by an author I haven’t read before (Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall) and I am almost finished my second book that could have crossed of a number of challenges but I will be putting it towards ‘a book a friend recommended’ (Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men).

Well that is what I will be up to this year and I hope some of you will join me along for the ride!

Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

bestofedit I don’t have as many books to choose from as some people do, but I did read 30 this year and I definitely have my favourites. This post isn’t just going to be books published in 2014, it is going to be a list of the top ten books I have read this year despite when it was originally published. Alright, no more rambling…let’s do this:

10. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

As soon as I saw this book in the bookstore I knew I needed it in my life. I thought it was really funny and resonated with me as someone who is in the same shoes (more or less) as the author. While the book does deal with boys and dating life – or lack thereof – it really brings home the value of having great friends who you can trust and love. It is a great book to pass around with your girlfriends.
Favourite quote:
“In fact, I think that’s probably what the Bermuda Triangle is up to. It doesn’t mean to do any harm, and it’s actually pretty nice once you get to know it. It’s just that Bermuda doesn’t know how to handle itself when somebody sails into its territory, because that hardly ever happens.”

9)  American Gods by Neil Gaiman 

When I started this book I didn’t think it was going to make it on my list of favourite books of the year, but here we are. My love for this book was a slow build from beginning to end; I didn’t realize how much I was enjoying it until it was suddenly over. The book was just so good and different from anything I have read and I feel like, if you haven’t already done so, you should read it too. Be sure to check out my review of American Gods!
Favourite Quotes:
“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”

8) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It has certainly been a long time coming with this book. I’m ashamed to say how long it even took my to realize this series of books existed – I’m pretty sure when it was starting off I was in my Harry Potter bubble that no one could even think of entering. Well, now that I’ve started the series I’m definitely going to enjoy slowly making my way through it. I’m excited to see what other adventures the sassy Percy and his gang get up to in future books!
Favourite quotes:
“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”
“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.”
“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”
“Humans see what they want to see.”

7) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

This is the first, but certainly not the last Rainbow Rowell book you will be seeing on this list. Attachments was the first of Rowell’s adult books that I read and I really, really enjoyed it. It was adorable, funny, and had – as per usual – fantastic characters that you can’t help but love. Seriously though, this guy is clearly one of the earliest cyber-creepers but you can’t help but love him. It was a super fast read and I just can’t wait to finally pick up Landline this year so I can say I’ve read all Rowell’s books to date.
Favourite quotes:
“Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”
“I believe that worrying about a bad thing prepares you for it when it comes. If you worry, the bad thing doesn’t hit you as hard. You can roll with the punch if you see it coming.”

6) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I told you Attachments wouldn’t be the last Rowell novel you will see (spoiler: this isn’t either). Rowell definitely became an instant buy author for me this year. This untraditional love story was so good all the way through. The characters and their stories were so great that you can’t help but feel for and with them. One of Rowell’s strengths is her characters and that is why I love her writing so much. I wrote a review of Eleanor & Park so feel free to check that out!
Favourite quotes:
“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”
“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”

5) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

2014 was also the year I became obsessed with Mindy Kaling. Not in a weird way, but in the way where I’m pretty certain if we ever met we would be instant best friends (with Jennifer Lawrence too). After binge watching The Mindy Project in less than a week and watching as many interviews with Kaling on Youtube I could find the next obvious step would be to read her memoir…and I wasn’t disappointed. I found my self laughing out loud while reading this book – as expected. This series of essays about Kaling’s life has me impatiently waiting for her next book which I believe will be coming out later this year!
Favourite Quotes: 
“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”

4) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I told you there was more Rowell to come; Fangirl was definitely my favourite of her books I read this year. I just found the main character to be so relatable and, I mean, who wouldn’t love to find their own Levi. It’s a great read for all fangirl’s alike and even though I didn’t think the fanfiction aspect was super strong, the actual plot and characters brought Fangirl to my number four spot. I wrote a review on Fangirl which you can take a look at!
Favourite quotes:
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”
“You’re never going to find a guy who’s exactly like you—first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room.”

3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This. Book. I think my top three books of the year are pretty interchangeable so this book could easily fill the second or first spot. I honestly didn’t think this books was going to make it so high on my list of favourites when I first started reading it. I found I was having a really difficult time getting into the story…but then, all of a sudden, I was hooked and the rest is history. I cried for a solid 20 minutes after finishing this book. It was so beautiful and utterly heartbreaking. If anyone ever says anything bad to me about young adult fiction ever again I’m going to throw this book (and the next book on the list) at their face and just watch their minds change as they read this story. SO GOOD.
Favourite Quotes:
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

2) More Than This by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness was also added to my list of instant buy authors – and that was only after one book! I mean, I already own two more of his books, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I have a feeling they will probably be on my 2015 favourite list though if this book is any indication. I flew through More Than This and I really, really loved it. I went into the story not knowing a single thing about the plot and I can honestly say I was not expecting this book to be the way it was, which made it so much better. I love being taken aback by a story. I think that everyone should read this book because a) I say so and b) it’s awesome. You can’t argue against that. Check out my review of More Than This here.
Favourite Quote:
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”
“Know yourself and go in swinging.”

1) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t just pick one. It wasn’t happening. I am SO happy I read this series this year (in 10 glorious days if we are going to be exact). It is everything you could possibly want in a (older) YA fantasy series: a super badass lead female character who is still super feminine, a plethora of good looking men to read about and argue over, great action sequences, and AMAZING world building. I simply can not wait any longer for the next book in the series; I need it now. If you are interested in seeing my review of the first book – Throne of Glass – click here and I promise I will try and get the reviews for the rest of the series up ASAP! I’m not going to include a favourite quotes section here because it will take FOREVER to pick.

And those are the top ten books I read in 2014! Ok, so I cheated a little by including a series but we can just overlook that little detail.

Let me know what your favourite books of 2014 were or send me a link to your list because I (clearly) need to add to my TBR list! Here’s to another year of great books!

I’m Back! 2015 Reading and Writing Resolutions

 

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I profusely apologize for my sudden disappearance in the middle of November. I was really enjoying participating in BookBlogWriMo but not preparing and attempting to write and post all on the same day failed miserably for me.

My failed attempt at BookBlogWriMo has taught me that if I want to succeed at this blogging thing I really do need to be more organized and on top of things (aka having posts ready in advance, knowing what I want to say, etc).

Do you want to know what’s funny and totally hypocritical about what I just typed – this is entire post is being written on a whim. You know what they say…old habits die hard and all that jazz.

I think the best thing about a post reintroducing me into the blogging sphere in the new year is to post some resolutions I have for myself when it comes to reading and blogging. Let’s start with reading resolutions, shall we?

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I was really slumpy when it came to reading last year – meaning I didn’t read for months on end sometimes. I ended up completing my reading challenge of 30 books, but I personally found that number pitiful for myself. This year I am going to try my best to read 50 books in 2015. In order to complete this challenge I need to learn how to put down a book if I am not enjoying it. I’m stubborn when it comes to reading; I push myself to read things I’m not enjoying just so I can say that I’ve finished something and proved myself wrong. This is what usually leads to a reading slump (well, this and Netflix). This is one thing I 100% want to try and avoid this year.

Another reading resolution I have is to read more new releases. My attempts at reading new literature last year were pitiful as I only read two books published in 2014. I am going to try my best to read books that aren’t just on my bookshelf TBR, but new releases as well. Ideally I would love to do this every month, but knowing me that isn’t going to happen – though considering I now work in a bookshop this could very easily be done.

The next thing I want to do is read more classics. I’ve read my fair share of modern day classics, but for some reason I am horrified of old school classics. I own so many of them that this will be relatively easy to do, I just need to do it. I’m going to try and read one classic novel (modern or older) a month.

Put a dent in the ‘1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die’ list. I’m doing something similar with movies this year. I want to be able to say ‘yeah I’ve seen this’ or ‘yeah, I read this’ and actually have an opinion on it. I love pop-culture – and discussions surrounding it – and there are some movies and books I feel like I haven’t seen or read that I know I need to rectify. I will be using this list so if anyone wants to join I’ll probably be doing a post a month about my progress with that.

Read more graphic novels. I feel as though this is on my list every year. There isn’t much else to say on the matter, just that it needs to happen.

I don’t know if this belongs in my blogging resolutions or reading resolutions but I want to organize my Goodreads TBR shelves. My single want to read shelf at the moment is a mess of things I have just added for shits and giggles. I want to go through the list and add more categories to create a more plausible and organized TBR. This will probably include going through my bookshelf and finding all the books I own that I haven’t read yet and using that as one list because we all know that will be pretty long.

Okay, that seems to be enough for my reading resolutions for 2015. Some things will be expanded on in stand alone posts, but they will come later.

Now on to the blogging resolutions!

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I think the first resolution I have is pretty simple: be more organized. Make a schedule and follow it, utilize a calendar, plan ahead, make notes. I have never been an organized person – I prefer to do things last minute – but if I really want this to keep moving forward I need to get my shit together and be on top of things. This is going to be a struggle, but I think I can do it!

Utilize my multimedia skills to include more pictures, videos, and audio clips. I have the programs, I have the tools, I have the skills, I just need to actually do something with them now! This takes a bit more time, but I need to be able to make time for stuff that will only enhance the blogging experience.

Be more active in the blogging community. I started this last year but I want it to do even more next year. Making friends in the community is something I would love to do because y’all seem so awesome!

Work on finalizing a review format. I struggle with reviews, of this I am sure. I try to say knowledgable and informative things but I think they all come out in one giant ramble. I want to work on coming up with a good, concise way of sharing my thoughts on books with everyone.

And finally I want to come up with more original post and/or do more fun things like tags. Journalism taught me that content is key; if you give your audience quality content people are going to come back and seek out what you write. I want to make sure that all my posts are fun, informative, and interactive. I want to come up with original stuff and participate in things already going around. I want to make sure that my content is at a level I am happy with!

Well, that’s it for my reading and blogging resolutions for 2015! Let me know if you have anything similar, different, something I should add. If you have written your own resolutions feel free to share the link to your blog as I would love to see what you want to complete in 2015!