Tag: 5 Star Predictions Round 2ish

I know I have done this before – and then promptly never read the books I listed, so we’re all just going to pretend I am doing this for the first time. I was tagged by Rachel and I think it might be a good opportunity to get excited about some of these million unread books on my shelves because so far this year, my reading has been overwhelmingly digital (ebooks and audiobooks) and I want to get my physical TBR down to a manageable size (she says, while buying new books all the time).

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

36332136I recently read and LOVED The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and wanted another myth retelling. I needed a new audiobook for my walk to work and this one has intrigued me since it came out. I haven’t read Beowolf and in fact I know next to nothing about the plot but I am super excited about this one. It sounds absolutely brilliant and like something I could really adore.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

36510722I adore Moreno-Garcia’s writing, without ever having read one of her novels. Her short stories are consistently the best thing in the anthologies I read and I really need to get to her stuff. I was lucky enough to receive a NetGalley-ARC for this and I could not be more thrilled. There is something about her imagination and her imagery that just speaks to me and I hope to adore her novels as much as her shorter works.

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic

34511802I adore Abramovic’s art and I hope that will translate into loving her memoir. I haven’t been reading enough non-fiction these last few months and it shows – I do miss it and need to get back into the groove. This one seems like an obvious choice.

 

 

When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy

38821165Everything I hear about this book makes me more excited and simultaneously more scared to read it. I am sure I will love it but I am also sure it will be harrowing. So part of me including this is to finally push myself to read this. I read the first page a while ago and really meshed with the writing style.

 

Monstress Vol. 3 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

41952016I don’t know why I haven’t read this already. I gave the other two volumes already published five stars – I adore everything from the seriously stunning art, to the female centric narration, to the darkness underneath the beauty. I cannot see myself not loving this.

 

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Last 10 Books Tag

I saw this tag on Rachel’s blog and it looked so much fun I decided to steal it.

1. What was the last book you DNFed?

41747005I have two DNF shelves on my Goodreads, “Will probably not finish” and “on hold”. Both show how unsure I am whether a book is really properly DNFed or if I will pick it back up at some point. The last book I put down, and I am dreading admitting this because it is so very beloved, is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I will maybe pick it back up at some other point but it is very much not a book for me. I can see why people love it for sure, but for me the melodrama and over-the-topness did not work. I also wished the protagonist would stop talking about his penis so much.

2. Last book you reread?

Oh, hello again, rereading questions. The last book I reread was Kassandra by Christa Wolf. It is my all-time favourite book and the only one I really make a habit out of regularly rereading.

3. Last book you bought?

32802595I preordered the UK paperback edition of Becky Chambers Record of a Spaceborn Few, the third in the Wayfarer series, which I love. I also love this title and I am so glad to proper-sized paperback edition is publishing soon.

 

 

4. Last book you said you read but didn’t?

I rarely do that. But, technically, I did not finish War and Peace because I ragequit it way too close to the end. The only character I found interesting died and I put the book down and just never picked it back up. I read enough to have an opinion of the book (and it is as follows: Tolstoy got worse the older he got and his didactics ruin an otherwise brilliant writer) and as such might have said to have read it at some point.

5. Last book you wrote in the margins of?

It’s probably the last book I bought for my thesis, and I couldn’t say which one it is. I only write in the margins of books I read for an academic purpose.

6. Last book you got signed?

None.

7. Last book you lost?

Not technically lost but I don’t have the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy anymore and coincidentally, the exact same editions are in my youngest stepsister’s room at her mum’s house. But everybody is backing her up in that these are her books and it seems petty to argue. I still haven’t replaced the books though.

8. Last book you had to replace?

10860047A friend of mine I am no longer speaking to still has my copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I went ahead and just replaced the book because it looks pretty and I really loved it when I read it.

 

 

9. Last book you had an argument over?

Not argument per se but I tried listening to It by Stephen King and when I gave up halfway through (after more than 20 hours I might add!), I may have ranted at my boyfriend for long enough for him (who is a very patient man, an attribute I adore) to tell me that maybe I am overreacting. He really likes Stephen King so it was not my most diplomatic moment. But that book drove me up the walls!

10. Last book you couldn’t get a hold of?

Lidia Yuknavitch has two short story collections that are impossible to find. I would love to be able to read those because she is my hero and I think her style would lend itself beautifully to the format.

As I wasn’t tagged, I also won’t do that but if you decide to do a post on this, please let me know!

Book Postscript 2018 Tag

I have not gotten around to write a proper wrap up post for this year – but I got tagged by the lovely Rachel for this tag (created by Adam @ Memento Mori on Booktube) and figured this is the perfect way to wrap up.

1. The longest book you read this year and the book that took you the longest to finish.

12591698The longest book I read this year was Caliban’s War, the second book in the Expanse series by James S. A. Corey (review here). I did not read very many long books this year. Part of that has to do with reading less High Fantasy, part has to do with me often picking up shorter books that I can read quicker. I also really love short books because they can pack such a punch.

35099035The book that took me the longest to finish was Red Clocks by Leni Zumas; it took me more than three months to read its 369 pages. While I appreciate the book, I was just never inclined to pick it up once I put it down. It’s not a bad book by any stretch and it is cleverly done for the most part – just not something that excited me (review here).

2. A book you read in 2018 that was outside of your comfort zone.

Probably the first two books of The Expanse series – I do like science fiction but I rarely read those that are very military in tone. While I am glad to have read two of those books, I bailed while reading the third one. It just could not keep my interest.

3. How many books did you re-read in 2018?

Zero. I am not the biggest rereader. I do sometimes reread parts of books but very rarely the complete thing. Maybe I should be doing this more – but I also really like reading new books.

4. Favorite re-read of 2018.

Well.

5. A book you read for the first time in 2018 that you look forward to re-reading in the future.

What is it with all those rereading questions?

But, nevertheless, I do actually have an answer. I do so very much look forward to rereading the first few books in the Kate Daniels’ series. I sped through them at a ridiculous pace (I needed to know all the things) and think I want to savour them the next time. Because, god, I loved that reading experience.

6. Favorite single short story or novella that you read in 2018.

16158505My favourite short story of the year is Safe Passage, the very first story in my favourite short story collection of the year, A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel. The story is just pitch perfect in its dark whimsy laced with melancholy.

 

34417038My favourite novella was The Murders Of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson. Spooky, intensely readable, super thought-provoking. I read more novellas this year (it was part of my reading resolutions) but found that the length often does not work for me – but this darkly twisted horror tale really impressed me.

7. Mass Appeal: A book you liked and would recommend to a wide variety of readers.

36356614Huh. Good question. I am not sure my favourite books have mass appeal (I am not saying mass appeal is a bad thing!). I think I will go with There There by Tommy Orange which I found just impeccably written and still accessible in its structure.

 

8. Specialized Appeal: A book you liked but would be hesitant to recommend to just anyone.

37590570The Pisces by Melissa Broder is the obvious answer here. I seriously adored this book (it did top my best of the year list after all) but I can see how it is not a book for everybody. Reactions for this book are all over the place and the average rating on Goodreads is shamefully low. But for me, it sparkled.

9. Reflect on your year as a bookish content creator (goals met, good/bad memories, favorite videos blog posts you made, etc).

This is the first full year I owned a blog. I am quite pleased I stuck with it and I am also pleased I realized that sticking with a schedule does not work for me at all. I have written reviews for the vast majority of the 115 books I read (so many words!). I have read widely and differently while also keeping a part of my reading just fun.

10. Tag some fellow bookish content creators.

As I am super late with this, I am not tagging anybody. But if you do decide to take part, please let me know!

The Naughty or Nice Book Tag

This tag was originally created by Jenniely and I’m was tagged by Rachel. This tag is so much fun!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it

I am doing my best to not do this but sometimes it cannot be avoided. I have received NetGalley ARCs that were so badly formatted as to be unreadable and in those cases I just give up. I also write short DNF-reviews for ARCs that I just cannot get into.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley

It took me forever to get my feedback ratio to a reasonable number. Before the change to the US version of NetGalley it was near impossible for me to know in advance how my chances were for any given ARC and I went through a phase of requesting too many and then being surprised when I actually got approved. But now I have the very impressive feedback ratio of 88% and once you’re over the magical 80% mark it gets much easier keeping it that way. (for the record I currently have 15 books awaiting reviews)

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

I have a few of those pending reviews, yes. I do still plan on going back and writing reviews but in the case of the Kate Daniel’s books for example, I want to write mini-reviews and post the second half of my series wrap-up but for that I still need to read the last book in the series.

Folded down the page of a book

Absolutely yes. I don’t mind my books looking read and while I usually try to use bookmarks, there are not always any handy.

Accidentally spilled on a book

Yes. Again, I am not too fussed about this so I am not absolutely heartbroken when it happens.

DNF a book this year

So, so many. Reading books I that bore me put me off reading – and I have to read so many boring things for my job that I want my fun reading to be exactly that – fun. I am in awe of those of you with the willpower to stick with books to the end though. Your negative reviews are earned and some of my favourite posts to read.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

Nope. I do love pretty books, obviously, but I also want to want to read the books I buy.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

Who hasn’t?

Skim read a book

Oh, absolutely. Sometimes, when I am too far into a book to DNF without it feeling like a total waste of time, I skim-read the rest. Or I just jump to the ending and see whether reading the rest will be worth my time.

Completely missed your Goodreads goal

No. I have been reading a bit over 100 books a year since I started using Goodreads – the average length might vary (this year I read many short books) but this seems to be the pace I am most comfortable with.

Borrowed a book and not returned it

Not that I recall.

Broke a book buying ban

Only this year, before there was no need to set myself any bans but this year my buying got out of control. I just love books!

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

This didn’t use to happen to me – but recently it happens more and more often. Especially if it’s a book I don’t have all that much to say about to begin with.

Wrote in a book you were reading

I haven’t done to fiction that since I stopped reading those academically. I do write in the books I buy for my thesis though – and I cannot imagine not doing that. It helps so much!

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

No. Why would I do that? I mean, sometimes I do hate how god-awful the UF books I have been inhaling this year are but they give me joy.

I am tagging everybody who wants to do this. Please do let me know if you decide to give it a whirl!

Nope Book Tag

I was kindly tagged for this by Ashwini; thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

Obviously there will be spoilers galore coming up, so if that sort of thing bothers you, please tread with care.

1. NOPE Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

The first book that comes to mind is My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I was already not loving the book when the ending happened and it just made me angry. It felt emotionally manipulative and I just cannot get on board with it (and will probably never read another of her books).

2. NOPE Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

I really did not like Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done and that is mostly down to how much Lizzie Borden made my teeth hurt. Spending this much time in her head drove me up the wall and I cannot remember the last time I was so relieved when a book ended.

3. NOPE Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

I am in general not that great at finishing series, but I think i rage quit Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments after the third book. Everything about these books screams potential, but nothing really worked for me. Also, I will never ever get over the ick-factor of the red herring (you know the one).

4. NOPE Popular pairing: A ship you don’t support.

This is actually a question I don’t often think about as shipping isn’t part of my normal reading routine (except in Ilona Andrews’ books, obviously). But I think I will go with Alina and the Darkling. Don’t get me wrong, I hate Mal even more and think Alina should have ended up with anybody but him, but there is something I cannot deal with about pairings where one of the two is genuinely evil.

5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

I cannot for the life of me, think of any. At least not in books.

6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE.

Not so much one decision but everything this character did: the main character from The Last One. She is participating in a reality TV series about surviving in the wild, when the world as we know it ends. And she will not face the fact that she not part of the TV series any more, going so far as to treating a young boy horribly because she thinks he is a camera man. It made no sense and made me want to throw her.

7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.

There is not a single genre I would categorically not read. I do read pretty widely to begin with and even if I might not enjoy a genre now, tastes change.

8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I don’t particularly like mass market paperbacks but it would not stop me from buying a book if this was the only format available.

9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.

I do not like books where the male love interest is significantly older than the female protagonist. 120-year-old vampires should not be dating 17-year-old women.

10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

I cannot think of a book like that at all.

11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I hate it when characters gulp. I am not sure whether this is because I am not a native speaker and the action of gulping is different from what my mind conjures when reading this word or whether gulping really is as loud as I think it is, but whatever the case, i takes me right out the book. And believe me, some characters gulped all the fricking time.

12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

Mal. I did not dislike the Grisha trilogy in the slightest but I am still so salty Alina ended up with him. He is THE worst.

13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE.

I cannot think of a single book I hate this much. (all the ones that come to mind are books I have not read that made the world a worse place, like My Struggle (Hitler not Knausgaard).)

14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

All of them? Who wants to meet a villain in real life?

15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

Dobby.

16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

Stephen King. I tried, I really did, because my partner likes his books and many many people seem to adore King but I am not one of those people. I have read Misery and Needful Things and Shining and they were all ok, I have tried reading the first in the Dark Tower series and hated it, I have recently given up on the audiobook of It after spending 20 hours listening to it. I just cannot deal with the focus on sexualized violence and the gleeful way it is described.

I tag Rachel, Sarah, Hadeer, and everybody else who wants to do this.

Tag: My Bad Reading Habits

I was tagged for this by the wonderful Rachel (thanks so much!).

First things first – I want to believe that there are no really bad reading habits, whatever works for people is valid. But then again, maybe you’ll super disagree with that when you see my bad reading habits because some of those might make you cringe (please still be my friend afterwards).

Buying more books than I can read

I have talked before how I do love owning books a whole lot, but currently my book buying went a bit overboard. I have bought more books this year than I have read and I also keep adding ARCs to my stack. I then prioritize these ARCs and accumulate physical books on my shelves that I never get to.

Starting way too many books.

I always read multiple books at once and I do like it that way. But I find that once that number exceeds four, I start to neglect at least some of these books and cannot give them the attention they would deserve. Currently I am reading six books (and only because I put one book down for now) and that definitely is too many.

Not reading an author’s other books.

I am dreadful at actually reading more than one book by authors I adore. For example, I have loved every single thing written by Lidia Yuknavitch that I have read and I own her other two novels and I am super excited to read them – and then just never do. I am also not that great at finishing series that I enjoy which feels like such a stupid thing.

Reading books unchronologically.

This might be the big one: I skip ahead in books a LOT. Not always and not with every book but more often than not I will read some paragraphs from the very end way before I make it that far. Part of it is to assure me that things will work out fine (one of the reasons why I particularly enjoy memoirs btw), part of it is simple impatience, mostly it’s habit. (I also really do not care about spoilers whatsoever.)

What are your bad reading habits? Do let me know! And if you decide to do this tag, I am super interested to see your answers.

 

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

img_1610

I was kindly tagged for this by Callum, whose wonderful blog you should all be checking out. Thankfully. Because I am having the work week from hell and I am currently not reading.

Which author that you haven’t read yet are you most excited to try?

The one that comes to mind right now is John Boyne (mostly because Rachel keeps raving about his books).

What’s the best book you read before you started blogging?

Probably Cloud Atlas. I just adore what David Mitchell has achieved with this book – or maybe Ghostwritten which is similar in structure but a lot more accessible (I found the first 70 pages or so of Cloud Atlas nearly impossible to enjoy).

What book do you most want to see as a movie/TV show?

N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy. I think, if done correctly as a TV show this could be everything I could ever want. There is so much to explore here and such an interesting cinematography to use, just thinking about it makes me excited.

Which genre do you want to explore more of?

I have actually been thinking about this recently. The last few years I always decided on a genre that I want to try to get into during that year (I started with non-fiction, then did short stories, and this year I am trying to read more novellas and more science fiction) – I loved the process. But if I am totally honest: I think I know now what I like. That does not mean I won’t still be branching out anymore, but I don’t think I will pick any specific genres to read more of during a year. I read fairly widely, with a slant towards fantasy and memoirs and literary fiction, and I think I’d like to keep it that way.

Is the Hogwarts House you’d want to be in the same as the one you think you’d actually be sorted into?

Well. I think I’d be sorted into Ravenclaw (especially with 11 I would have been) – and I think it fits. But the person I aspire to be would be sorted into Hufflepuff. I want to be kind and loyal more than I want to be sharp, if that makes any sense.

(best question ever!)

Do you have any pets?

No. I would love to have a cat but my partner is allergic (it is his worst characteristic).

Are any of your ‘real life’ friends big readers?

I am the biggest reader in my group of friends but they all read some. My partner and me started buddy-reading The Expanse books – I stopped in the middle of the third and he is now eagerly awaiting book 8. I just cannot stick with one series for a long period of time. And that one was so very male.

What read has been your biggest pleasant surprise so far this year?

The Pisces by Melissa Broder! I don’t think anybody is surprised. I requested that on a whim and I am still blown away.

What’s been your most disappointing read of the year so far?

Sick by Porochista Khakpour – not only was I disappointed by the book itself (I was excited for it for months), it is also the review that garners the most difficult comments on Goodreads. I have stopped reading the comments for this altogether because I just don’t want that negativity in my life.

Who’s your favourite music artist?

It’s a tie between Patrick Wolf and The Mountain Goats, but I have to admit that I don’t really listen to music anymore. I listen to the radio when I am driving and some songs every now and then, but I have not listened to a complete album in ages.

If you could live in any country other than the one you live in now, which one would it be and why?

I love Scotland. I did my undergraduate degree there and loved everything about it. Just thinking about it makes me a bit wistful – but I don’t think I will ever move back there for good. Because Brexit is a thing and Germany is in fact a nice place to be. But, I do miss Scotland so.

My questions:

  1. What is the first series you remember binge-reading?
  2. Which do you find easier: naming your favourite book or naming your five favourite books? And why?
  3. Which book would you want to hand your 15-year-old self?
  4. Which is the latest book to make you angry?
  5. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  6. What is the one book in a genre you don’t normally enjoy that you love anyway?
  7. What is the best museum you ever visited?
  8. What activity do you do when live stresses you out?
  9. Is the Hogwarts House you’d want to be in the same as the one you think you’d actually be sorted into? (I lived Callum’s question too much to not steal it)
  10. Do you like to cook? If yes, what is your best dish?
  11. Staying up all night or getting up for sunrise?

I tag: Laura, Kaleena, Ashwini, Teagan & Jess.

Obviously, no pressure but if you do decide to do the tag, please let me know!