January Wrap-Up!

I know that this is going to be a theme each month, but how is it already the end of January?  I feel like 2016 just began, and now we're already a month in.

The Books

Books Read: 3 (Fairest, The Sculptor and The House in the Sky)
Finally, the end of my reading slump!  

Books Acquired: None
I'm not counting my Christmas book haul, since those books were technically from last year.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +1 (Fairest)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Fairest)
Around the Year in 52 Books: 3 challenges completed: a "between the numbers" books (Fairest), a book from the Goodreads Choice Awards (The Sculptor) and a memoir (The House in the Sky).

The Blog

January always seems like a busier blogging month, since there's so many new year's posts to share!  This month I started off with my bookish resolutions, wrapped up last year's challenges and then set goals for this year's challenges.  One of my favourite posts to share was my Christmas book haul!  I also set some series reading goals for myself, as well as a list of 16 books that I want to read in 2016.

I reviewed my last pending read but unreviewed review copy (Night Film) and talked openly about my reading slump.  I also brought back Marko Monday with a review of Alphabet Trains!

I joined Top Ten Tuesday and shared 2016 releases that I'm anticipating, as well as ten books that I recently added to my TBR list.

The Other Stuff

Christmas was pure magic this year, as I had expected.  It was absolutely spectacular to watch the magic of Christmas through Marko's eyes, especially when he saw the empty plate of cookies in the morning and realized that Santa really had come to visit and left presents under the tree.  Christmas was wonderful with my parents, and my dad even came home for the afternoon to open presents, rather than us hauling everything up to his extended care facility and opening gifts there.  It was really nice to relax at home while spending time with him, and made Christmas feel a lot more like it was before his accident.

Work is crazy busy, as always, but we did find a new marketing person and she's absolutely perfect.  I'm so happy to be back in my old job but grateful that I had the experience to take on a different role for a while, as well as gaining some experience with the hiring and training process.  I'm also back at school as of this week, so will be juggling work with school and trying to fit some reading in whenever I can because I am HOOKED on Winter and I can barely put the book down!  I'm supposed to be finished Chapter 1 and starting on Chapter 2 for school, and I haven't even picked the book up yet.  Part of the problem is that the textbook STINKS.  They must have used an awful smelling ink on the pages or something, so it's not inspiring good study habits for me.

The craziest bit of news is that Marko is going to be three in less than two weeks.  I cannot believe that I almost have a three year old and that he has grown up so quickly into such an amazing little man.  He is smart and kind and gentle and caring and fun loving and spunky and full of joy and everything that I could have hoped for in a child.  We've been asked on many, many occasions if we're planning to have a second child.  At this point, the answer is no, mainly because our condo is just too small for another baby, so we'd need to consider moving first.  I also feel that Marko is everything that I wanted in a child, and more, and I feel like my life is completely fulfilled with him in it.

What's happened in your life this past month?  Have you read anything interesting lately?  Are you sticking to your New Year's goals?  Let's chat in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday Tracks - Love The Way You Lie

Thursday Tracks is hosted over at Gone with the Words and gives me the opportunity to share another passion of mine -- MUSIC!

At work, we've been taking turns playing DJ and supplying the music for the rest of us to enjoy while we work away.  Late last week, I was plugging away at some tasks when all of a sudden this song caught my attention, playing softly from my coworker's desk.  I immediately needed to know who the artist was, since I have a soft spot for acoustic covers!  I always loved Rihanna's part of the original, and this version just makes the whole song goosebump-inducing!  Here's Skylar Gray's version of "Love the Way You Lie."

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Marko Monday [19]

I knew it had been a while since Marko had been featured on my blog, but had no idea that my last post was in October!  I suppose my reading slump had an effect on my enthusiasm for sharing picture books as well =P  In any case, HE'S BACK!

Without intending to, we had a very train-filled Christmas break.  We watched The Polar Express (which Marko ADORED) and then watched it four more times over the break.  We went to see the CPR Christmas Train which was a little scary because it was loud, but Marko loved every minute of it.  Then, we stumbled across Alphabet Trains at the library, which combined his newly discovered love of trains with his pre-existing love for the ABCs.  I have discovered a new reason to be appreciative of the library: the fact that the books need to go back...eventually.  Marko insisted that we read him this book every single night for our entire three-week loan period, and then asked where the book was when we came home from returning it.  I'm not sure that I'm ready to let him know about renewing books just yet =P  With that being said, this is a cute little book, covering a different kind of train for each letter of the alphabet.  It's got a good rhyme to it as well, so it's fun to read and the pictures are filled with strategically placed letters, both on the trains themselves and in the background.  If your little one is into trains, this is definitely a book worth checking out!

It's hard to believe that we're quickly approaching Marko's third birthday, but at the same time I'm amazed on a daily basis by how grown up he is.  Although he potty trained so well back in August, the past week has seen a few accidents, which just reminds me that he is just a toddler who's trying to master all these skills that we are teaching him.  We're working on big boy cups now too, and to encourage him to spend more time feeding himself at the table, rather than being distracted with toys while we shovel bites of food into his mouth.  It's a constant learning process as parents, as we figure out what works and what doesn't.  On the whole, I think he's turning out pretty well -- so we must be doing something right!

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Thursday Tracks - All of Me & Wonder

I've been changing things up a lot on the blog, and writing about things other than just books and reading.  While looking back through some older posts, I remembered participating in Tune in Tuesday when I first started this blog.  Although Ginger isn't hosting this meme anymore, I stumbled across Thursday Tracks at Gone with the Words.  I love how open and unstructured this meme is, and it's the perfect way to share another of my passions on the blog -- MUSIC!

This week, I thought that I'd pair a song with a favourite book.  Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of my all-time favourites and a book that I think that everyone should read.  It's the story of Auggie, a boy who was born looking physically different, but inside just wants to be like everyone else.  Although he's always been homeschooled, he decides that he wants to go to public school and embarks on a journey of trying to fit into a world that has predefined ideas of what is considered "normal."  I honestly think that there would be no more bullying in the world if every single person read this book.  It's incredible, truly incredible.

The song that I've decided to pair with this song is John Legend's All of Me.  The first time I heard this song, it immediately gave me goosebumps.  These lyrics completely connect with Auggie's experience in Wonder:
'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections.

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On My Nightstand - January 20

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I gobbled up Scott McCloud's The Sculptor over the weekend.  I haven't read a graphic novel in about a year, and find that this genre is a little touch and go for me.  I'm working on a discussion post on this topic, but I think that I'm more of a standalone graphic novel kind of girl.  The Sculptor was the perfect page-turner from beginning to end, with a bit of magic and great character development.  Highly, highly recommend!

On my nightstand:

I'm still reading Winter, and likely will be for another few weeks.  It's really good, but I'm savouring it.  I also started Amanda Lindhout's A House in the Sky on audio, as it's my book club's upcoming read.  I'm not too far in yet, but I always like to listen to memoirs when they're narrated by the authors.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I'm definitely loving the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge since it's given me a fun way to decide which book I'll choose next.  I might dive into my TBR jar for my next pick!

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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Top Ten Books I've Recently Added to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is ten books that I've recently added to my TBR list.

1. A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
I just added this one last week, as it's our book club's latest pick.  It sounds dark and heartwrenching but I'll be listening to it on audio and I always love when authors narrate their own memoirs.

2. Black Feathers by Rob Wiersema
I added this to my TBR list when I was putting together my Christmas book haul, since I now own a copy!

3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I read one of her books last year, and tried a second one, but I'm not head over heels for her work.  This one sounds different than the other books that I read, and I saw it on a few top reads of 2015 posts, so I think I'd like to give it a try.

4. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I read, and loved, both Forever Interrupted and After I Do last year and, although I haven't yet read her 2015 release, I know that TJR is an auto-buy author for me.

5. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Another one that wasn't on my TBR list until I was putting together my Christmas haul!

6. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
A new series?  Yes PLEASE!

7. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
I have the audiobook on hold at the library, but I've heard good things about this one and I haven't listened to a funny audiobook memoir in a while.

8. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
9. Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas
10. Throne of Glass #6 by Sarah J. Maas
Ummm, do I need to explain?  No?  I didn't think so.

Which books have you recently added to your TBR list?  Leave me a link to your post, and I'll be sure to stop by!

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Top 16 Books to Read in 2016

As I've mentioned before, I've been watching a lot of BookTube videos, especially when I was in the most epic reading slump of my life.  One of the things that I've really enjoyed was watching everyone's lists of 16 books to read in 2016.  Although I've always done the Top Ten Tuesday seasonal TBR lists, I also like the idea of making a list of 16 books that I will try my best to read during the coming year.  It seems more do-able to read this list over the months ahead, rather than compiling a list to read in three short months.  For inspiration, I looked back over my seasonal TBR posts, and found the books that made an appearance over and over again, but were never read, as well as a few series enders (gotta rock those challenges this year!) and some books that I just know I will read this year.  So, without further ado, here goes...

1. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
This book has made an appearance on THREE seasonal TBR lists.  I think this year I'm going to re-read Clockwork Angel on audiobook, because I honestly can't remember anything about the story, which is probably the reason why I never picked up this book.

2. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Another book that has been on three seasonal TBR lists.  I know that I'll love it but I just need to read it.

3. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Maguire
I started this book before Queen of Shadows arrived last year, but never picked it back up again.  It was okay, but might be a fun summer read.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
I started this last year, but it got really sunny and warm in the spring and the storyline seemed too dark and fall-esque, so I set it aside.  I tried to pick it up again during my reading slump, but I'd definitely like to finish it this year.  I loved the Legend series, and I'm sure that I'll love this one too!

5. The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen
I can't believe that this book has been sitting on my shelf for so long, since I've read every other book that Sarah has written!  I think it was the mixed reviews that put me off picking it up, but having lower expectations may also pay off?

6. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Another one that's been sitting on my shelf collecting dust for a few years, and I'm sure it'll be a great fall read!

7. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I read, and loved, The Shadow of the Wind in 2011 but haven't picked up the rest of his books yet, even though I own them both.

8. Bedtime Story by Rob Wiersema
My parents bought me his latest book for Christmas, but I've had Bedtime Story sitting on my shelves for YEARS.

9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I know I'm going to read this in 2016, since I wanted to read it last and didn't get to it.

10. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
This book scares me a little bit, since it's fantasy and so beloved by its readership.  Like Throne of Glass, I was a little nervous that I'd be the one person who didn't like the series, but I'm also excited about finding another fantasy series to love with all my heart!

11. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
I saw this book on A Slice of Brie's recent post, which reminded me that I was excited about reading it when I picked it up last year.

12. Burn by Julianna Baggott
I've talked about finishing this series so much on this blog, and this year it's going to happen.  Last year, I finally checked the Delirium series off the list, and this year it feels like the Pure trilogy will be meeting the same fate!

13. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I'm not promising to finish this book, but I'd at least like to give it a try.  I bought it when I first started blogging, so it's been almost four years unread on my shelves.  

14. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Last year, I read my first JLA book (Obsidian) and I liked it!  I've had Half-Blood sitting on my shelves for years and it's time to try this series.

15. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
I read, and loved, This Song Will Save Your Life, and have been eyeing this one on my shelf ever since.

16. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Another series that will be finished this year -- I read most of it last year, but will definitely check it off the list this year.

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On My Nightstand - January 13

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I finished a book!!!  I never thought that I would be this excited about that fact, but it feels like quite the accomplishment.  It took me about six days, but I read Fairest by Marissa Meyer, which had been sitting on my shelves for almost a year.  I loved being back in that world and, although the story made me a bit more sympathetic towards Queen Levana, it definitely still reinforced the fact that she is a fantastically developed villain.

On my nightstand:

I'm currently reading Winter, which I'm absolutely loving.  I have a feeling that this book may take me the rest of the month to read, so if you don't see any more On My Nightstand posts for the coming weeks, that's why.  I also signed up for a free trial of Audible and downloaded George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows.  My tentative plan is to read the fourth and fifth books before the next season premieres in April, but we'll see.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I'm not really sure what I'm in the mood for just yet.  I'm going to take it easy with my reading in the coming months while I ensure that this reading slump is really behind me for good.  I made myself a TBR jar for the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge, so I might pick from there and look for inspiration that way.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to check out my TBR pile in the menu bar at the top of my blog, and let me know which book(s) I should prioritize!

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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A Good Kind of Ending

Although the title of this post sounds a bit dramatic, this is a very happy post ... I promise!  As I have shared in a few posts lately, I have been in the worst reading slump of my life.  Without exaggerating, I have picked up and put down at least a dozen books over the past couple of months and nothing has inspired me to keep reading.  I've spent countless hours on the Internet, way too much time on YouTube and Netflix and far too little time blogging or reading.  It made me sad and very frustrated.

I'm not ready to share the specific details and likely won't ever fully divulge the whole story, but I went through a very personal struggle in the past couple of weeks and I realized that this was likely the cause of the reading slump.  Now that I'm on the other side of this struggle, I am able to reflect and see why this was causing my lack of attention and commitment when it came to reading and blogging, two very important parts of my life.

Then, I picked up Fairest by Marissa Meyer.  I wasn't expecting too much from this book, partly because of the reading slump and partly because it had received some mixed reviews.  The story immediately sucked me in and I gobbled up 100 pages in less than two days, which is the most that I've read in the past few months.  It feels great, and I'm so, so, SO happy to have reading back in my life again!  I'm already looking forward to reading Winter as soon as I'm done.  At the end of the year, I was feeling so guilty about seeing Winter and Six of Crows sitting on my shelves untouched because they were so highly anticipated but I was afraid to pick them up in case my reading slump tainted my reading experience.

I don't want to jinx myself and say that the slump is gone forever, but I'm hopeful and optimistic that I'm off to a better start this year.

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Book Haul [22] -- Christmas Edition!

These are my favourite posts to write -- I love sharing the new books on my shelves!  These posts may be a bit more infrequent this year, as I focus on reading the books that I already own (if you missed my bookish resolutions post, check it out here!)  BUT, I will be overjoyed to share each and every new book that I acquire in between reading my TBR pile!

For now, I have these delightful new additions to add to my shelves and share with you all today...

Burn by Julianna Baggott
This year I'm going to do it.  I don't care if it takes me until December to be in the mood to pick this one up, but this will be the year that I finally finish this horrifically beautiful and captivating series.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book was all over the blogosphere last year and, even though I've promised myself to stay away from bookish hype, I have to trust my heart on this one because I'm pretty sure that I'm going to love it.  Plus, Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea just read it and loved it, so I'm sold.

Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
Although I recently set aside a previous book in this series due to my massive reading slump, I would like to make some headway in this series this year!  Also, can I just say that I like this cover a lot?  This is one of the few covers in the series that doesn't look like a romance novel =P

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
I read, and enjoyed, A Discovery of Witches last fall.  While I wouldn't say it was one of my favourite reads of 2015, it was a solidly good book and I am looking forward to finishing the series.

Black Feathers by Robert J. Wiersema
My parents have traditionally bought me Rob's latest release for Christmas, and I was overjoyed to unwrap this on Christmas!  I still haven't read Bedtime Story, but I'm hoping to get to it this year!  Black Feathers is described as King-esque, so I'm intrigued since it's so different from the other two books of his that I've read.  I worked with Rob many years ago, during my time with Bolen Books and it's so awesome to see that he's such a successful writer!

Have you read any of these books?  Any suggestions on where to start?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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Night Film - Marisha Pessl

Night Film is a hard book review because it's so strange, but intriguing, but odd, but strangely rewarding.  It's a long book that I ended up listening to an audio while I was commuting and then reading the print copy when I wasn't in my car.  It still took me close to two months to work my way through this dense novel, sometimes because I was just savouring its oddness and other times because I had lost track of what the heck was going on.

At its heart, Night Film is a mystery novel, as the book centres around the suicide of a young girl who is the daughter of an eccentric movie director.  The main character starts investigating her death as he is an investigative journalist and obsessed with the Cordova family, even though that obsession led to his professional demise years earlier.  With a couple of odd sidekicks, the novel embarks on a variety of twists and turns as the characters navigate through the confusing maze of clues and try to find the truth about Ashley Cordova's death.

I had heard a lot of positive reviews about this book from readers whose opinions I trust.  The main one that I heard again and again was that the book terrified them and kept them up at night with the lights on.  I didn't find the book that scary, although it was definitely weird and a little creepy.  I've only been genuinely scared by two books in my life (The Shining and Coraline), so it's possible that books just don't scare me that easily.  Despite not being scary, Night Film is still a solidly good read as it contains a very intricate and complex mystery with a host of very intriguing characters.

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On My Nightstand - January 6

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

As mentioned in my last OMN post, I have been in the worst reading slump of my LIFE.  It's awful.  I went to my TBR jar and, after picking out about 50 books, I finally settled on Rebecca Eckler's Knocked Up.  I picked this book up at a used bookstore when I was pregnant with Marko and, since it's written journal-style, I thought that it might be a light, easy read to get me back into the reading mood.  It was a tough slog to get through it, but I did.  I found the main character to be juvenile and annoying, so I didn't end up enjoying it, but at least I finished a book in December!

On my nightstand:

I decided to give the next book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood a shot, which is holding my attention when I make myself sit down and read, even though I still have a tendency to pick up the iPad and watch BookTube videos or flip on HGTV instead of picking up my book.  I'm hopeful that this slump will disappear in the coming weeks, since the new year always brings a sense of invigoration as I look forward to starting new reading challenges.

Calling my name from the shelf:

See above =)  Do you have any recommendations?  I am planning to re-read the Harry Potter series on audio and I'm just waiting for the first book to come in from the library.  I'm hoping that this might re-ignite my reading fire =)

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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Top Ten 2016 Releases

This post is inspired by last week's Top Ten Tuesday post, which I didn't have time to draft, but also because I want a place to document the books and release dates for books that I'm anticipating next year!  So, with no further ado, here goes...

1. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (February 2)
2. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (March 8)
3. When We Collided by Emery Lord (April 5)
4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (May 3)
5. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (May 3)
6. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (August 2)
7. Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas (September 6)
8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (September 22)
9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (September 27)
10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 8)

Plus, as an honorable mention (mainly because it may or may not actually happen), apparently George R.R. Martin is supposed to release the sixth Game of Thrones novel next year sometime!  I still have to read the fourth and fifth books, which I will definitely do if this actually is going to happen.

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2016 Series TBR

Since the beginning of the year is all about reading and reflecting, I thought I'd start with looking back at the TTT post that I shared about the beginning of 2015, outlining the series that I had planned to finish and binge read...

Ten Series I Hope to Finish in 2015

1. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Winter)
2. Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire)
3. Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess)
4. Unwind Series by Neal Shusterman (UnWholly & UnSouled)
5. Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin (Evolution & Retribution)
6. Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward (Books 8 to 12)
7. Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver (Requiem)
8. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire & Book 4)
9. A Song of Ice & Fire (Books 3 to 5)
10. Legend Series by Marie Lu (Prodigy and Champion)

Not bad!  I finished four of the ten series, and made progress on two others!

Ten (Err...Nine!) Series I Want to Binge Read in 2015

1. Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
2. Unraveling Duology by Elizabeth Norris
3. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
4. His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers (I'm currently reading Grave Mercy!)
5. Shadow & Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
6. Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
7. Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard
8. Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
9. Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini

Not quite as impressive.  I only binged one series, and the second one I read the first book and decided not to continue.  I did also read Grave Mercy and A Discovery of Witches, plus I read half of Graceling.

Series to Finish in 2016

Next year, I want to take a different approach.  I'm hoping to finish ten series, but I want to split my series reading between series that I recently started and ones that I started years before I started this blog.  So, here goes!

1. Lunar Chronicles (Fairest & Winter)
2. ACOTAR (A Court of Mist and Fury)
3. Throne of Glass (still untitled book #5)
4. Mara Dyer (Retribution)
5. Pure (Burn)
6. Cemetery of Forgotten Books (The Angel's Game & The Prisoner of Heaven)
7. Magyk (all but the first book)
8. UnWind (UnWholly, UnSouled & UnDivided)
9. Infernal Devices (Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess)
10. Among the Hidden (all but the first book)

I have no idea if I'll be able to read this whole list, and will probably change my mind about most of these as the year goes on!  I like that the first half of the list is only a book or two to complete or catch up in the series, which makes the whole list not so daunting.

We'll see what happens in the coming months!  How about you?  Any series reading goals for the coming year?  Let me know in the comments below and, as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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2016 Challenge Sign-up

Of course, I'm participating in the Prequel & Sequel Challenge, co-hosted by Novel Heartbeat and myself (if you missed it -- sign up post is here!).  Last year, I was overconfident in my series reading abilities and picked Veteran.  I burned myself out on series reading halfway through the year and didn't make my goal.  I'm going to be more realistic this year and set my sights on Professional (76-100 points).  My goal is to try to finish more series that I'm close to finishing, which will hopefully rack up points quickly.

Last year, I didn't complete this challenge either.  I had set my sights on Sweet Summer Fling (31-40 points), but only ended up with 19 points.  Part of the struggle was the fact that I had promised to read all my new books as soon as I acquired them, which meant that I rarely returned to the older titles on my shelves.  This year, I'm going to keep my goal the same but I'm not pressuring myself to read my new books as soon as I buy them, which should mean that I can reach this goal.

I saw the "Around the Year in 52 Books" challenge pop up on Goodreads.  It's like PopSugar's challenge from last year; however, the categories seem to be more in line with what I read already, with a few that will push my reading out of my comfort zone a little.  I've also set my Goodreads reading challenge at 52 books (which I barely made this year, but that was including a two-month reading slump).  I'm not 100% confident that I can complete all of the categories in this challenge, but I'll consider it to be a success if I at least read 52 books this year.  I'll be posting updates on this challenge, and my two others, on the Reading Challenges page on my blog.

How about you?  Are you participating in any of the same reading challenges as me?  Let me know in the comments below =)

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2015 Challenge Wrap-up

Goal: Veteran (101+ points)

Series Conquered:
  • The Rosie Effect (2 + 10 points)
  • The Grisha Trilogy (2 + 2 + 10 points)
  • A Storm of Swords (2 points)
  • Requiem (2 + 10 points)
  • City of Heavenly Fire (2 + 10 points)
  • Legend Trilogy (2 + 2 + 10 points)
  • Heir of Fire & Queen of Shadows (2 + 2 points)
  • Rosemary Beach (2 + 2 points)
  • Lux (2 points)
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer (2 points)
Total: 76 points

Books Read:
  • Grave Mercy
  • Saga Vol. 1
  • Heir of Fire
  • Shadow & Bone
  • Seige & Storm
  • Ruin & Rising
  • A Court of Thorns & Roses
  • Queen of Shadows
Total: 8 books

Goal: Sweet Summer Fling (31-40 Books)

Books Read:
  • The Rosie Project
  • Grave Mercy
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home
  • Stolen
  • Heir of Fire
  • Shadow & Bone
  • Legend
  • Prodigy
  • Champion
  • Requiem
  • City of Heavenly Fire
  • A Storm of Swords
  • This Song Will Save Your Life
  • Golden
  • Something Strange & Deadly
  • A Discovery of Witches
  • Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Total: 19 books

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Bookish Resolutions for 2016

It's hard to believe that 2015 is almost behind us!  Even though I'm always sad to bid a fond farewell to the past year, I'm always excited about the fresh start that a new year brings!  Here are my bookish resolutions for the coming year ...

1. Read mainly books from my shelves.
Last year, I made my own version of a book buying ban, whereby I decided that I wouldn't buy books unless I planned on reading them right away.  I did pretty well at this (check out my bookish resolutions wrap-up post for more info), but by focusing on this aspect, I didn't pick up many of the dusty treasures on my shelves.  This year, I'm going to focus more on reading books that I already own and, while I will still buy books now and then, they won't always be at the forefront of my reading pile.

2. Stay away from review copies.
I definitely cut way back on my review copies this year but, as the year grew to a close, I reflected on how much I suck at reviewing the books that I did read.  Next year, I'm not going to bother with review copies unless it's a book that I'm dying to read and will read and review right away.  I am appreciative that publishers have blessed me with the ability to read and review titles in advance of publication date, but my reading is too all over the map these days to meet those commitments, and I don't think it's fair for me to have these review copies when I'm not able to get to them in time.

3. Stay true to myself.
This is one of my resolutions from last year, but one that I want to keep at the forefront of my mind over the next year.  I was really proud of myself for resisting bookish hype last year, but I think that I was easily able to do so because I really took a step back from being online and only really went online to either a) watch BookTube videos or b) post on my blog.  Which leads me to the next resolution.

4. Try to interact online more.
In 2015, I spent very little time online and I miss interacting with other bloggers, whether through comments or Twitter.  I've seen favourite bloggers come and go over the past four years and I think that I need to take the time to reach out and make some new friends, as well as reinforce friendships with those that I've lost touch with.

5. Continue to make progress with my series.
I'm hoping to split my series reading this year, and focus on both series that I've recently started and series that I started years and years ago.  I'll try to write up a series TBR post in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for further details!

How about you?  Do you have any bookish reading goals for the year?  Leave me a comment below -- and thanks for stopping by!

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