My Summer (Reading) Plans (aka my Summer TBR)

I’ve been wanting to make this post for weeks now but I got kind of anxious about it. Idk why. But I finally figured out which books I’ll be bringing on vacation and I’m going to talk about them!

In the past couple of months, I’ve read quite a few ARCs and I have bought a lot of books I wanted to read, but never got to actually read those. A lot of those backlist books I’ll be bringing with me, and I’m trying to read all my ARCs before I leave so I can write and schedule all the reviews.

In a couple of weeks, I will be away on vacation, and I do not know to what extent I will have access to internet so sorry in advance if I reply late to your email/comment/message. I will most likely not catch up with all your wonderful blogs, because that is just not doable (and it’s a vacation so it’s time to just relax and read). I will try to reply to all of the messages at least when I get home.

What I will do on vacation is hopefully read a lot of books! I’ll be going to Vienna and Budapest (and the rest of Hungary) with my parents and without the rest of my siblings, so that’s weird for me. But the pup is going so I won’t be lonely 😛

Be prepared for a long post!

Continue reading “My Summer (Reading) Plans (aka my Summer TBR)”

Discussion: How My TBR and Reading has Changed Since I Started Blogging

Back when I had never heard of book blogging, bookstagram, booktube and pretty much any social media morphed with the word book, my reading ways were very different. Before the Summer of 2016, I barely had any idea what was going on in the bookish world.

It started slowly, with bookish tumblr, I was never active but my feed was filled with pictures of pretty books. I have had goodreads since halfway 2015, but never was active, I just used it to keep track of which books I read. I remember a time when I literally had a list in a notebook somewhere on which I wrote down every single time I finished a book. Now I have detailed lists on goodreads and even excel files.

Before I started blogging, I think I read about 50 books per year, of which most were from libraries. I think I bought about 20 books each year, and these 20 were almost all second hand or thrift store finds. I barely spent any money on books. This all changed when I started blogging and got caught up in the community. I started writing reviews, reading other people’s review and above all adding books to my tbr.

I wish I could look back at what my tbr looked like back in July of 2016, because I’m pretty sure it’s size grew exponentially after that. I still have 11 books from before July on my tbr and I’m pretty sure those were the majority of books. I think all the books on my tbr back then were books I actually owned, were part of a series I had started reading or were by authors I had read books of before. My tbr was almost literally a pile.

So what happened after I started getting more into the book community was that I got to know so many more books, books that were apparently very popular and amazing and of course, newbie as I was, I added pretty much all of the books I could find. This is one of those pitfalls that is very easy to fall into as a newbie.

Back in November (?) I started going through my tbr and it stressed me out, all those books I had yet to read, and half of them I didn’t even know what they were about. I started removing them. My tbr is now not very long but still, it’s stressful.

TBRs are weird mythical things that never seem to end, and I’m always torn about them. Are they good? Wasn’t the way it was back when I had no goodreads better? I just read whatever I felt like reading, whatever I found intriguing in the library. Now I spent hours contemplating which book to read next, reading reviews, adding and removing books from my tbr. Is that worth it?

True, I’ve found more amazing books than I’ve ever read before during my time as a blogger. I’ve found new favourites, read more diversely than ever, reviewed amazing ARCs and learned to love different genres. But on the other hand, reading back then was only for fun, no keeping track, no “oh no I need to read that book right now because…”.

Keeping track of what I’m reading is fun because I can see what I’ve read, I can look back at what I’ve experienced, but it feels like I ‘have to’ read a lot to make up for that long TBR. I won’t simply go to a bookstore and pick up any random book anymore, because is that book worth my valuable time? With over 40 amazing books I need to read, is that one book that intrigues me worth it?

I think we’ve all become a little obsessed with our tbr. At least, I know I have. And I’m trying to keep myself from being obsessed, because I miss that feeling of going to my dad’s bookshelves and just picking up a random book that sounds fun. I miss that feeling of wonder when going to the library and reading synopses of every book, because now I usually go right for the books that I’m looking for. I miss that feeling of not having to keep up with my standards. And I know that they’re completely my own, nobody’s telling me what to read. I’m putting myself on this path of ‘having to read everything on my tbr’.

Sometimes I feel like completely deleting my tbr, but I know I’ll never do that. Instead, I’ve made a someday-maybe list, with all the books that sound interesting, but without the pressure of having to actually read them. If I never end up reading them, I won’t be sad. On my actual tbr are only books I know I really want to read and I will read one day (preferably close). This system actually seems to work for me.

What’s your opinion on tbrs? Did yours change when you came into the bookish community? Do you get stressed about the endlessness of your tbr?

(if you didn’t know already, I have a weekly meme called Down The TBR Hole, in which you go through your tbr 5 books at a time. Go check it out)

March Wrap-Up & next month’s TBR

I had a very good reading month, again! I’m on a roll! I read a lot during my week long break in Austria, which was so much fun! I’ve gotten to a point that taking more than 5 days for one book feels like a lot, which is kinda weird because that is a completely normal amount for me. Maybe even a little fast. So let’s see what I read this month.

March Wrap-Up

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard ★★★★★ This is such a cute book, I loved the representation and I weirdly connected to Steffi’s muteness. I’ve had a similar phase (a little less drastic though, but I barely ever talked).
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★ I just spent half the book swooning over how awesome Nikolai is and the other half being dragged into this awesome story.
  • A List Of Cages by Robin Roe ★★★★★ This book is simply amazing, you have to read it! It has a great brothers-like friendship and it’s very sad and beautiful. It has great ADHD representation and deals with topics such as abuse and loss.
  • The Baker Street Peculiars by Roger Langridge ★★★★ This is a graphic novel set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and I loved the feministic aspect to it! It has great diversity and also has supernatural aspects to it!
  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner ★★★★ This book was supposed to break my heart, but didn’t. It was still very beautiful and sad.
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston ★★★★ It has the perfect level of cuteness and adorableness to make you smile all the way through the night as you keep reading until you’re finished.
  • Pure by Julianna Baggott ★★★★ I reread this book because I wanted to start the second book in the series, but I completely forgot what happened. I think it was a very good idea because I’m now reading the second book and I definitely needed a (large) reminder.
  • Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★★★★☆ This book was even better than The Upside of Unrequited. I simply couldn’t put it down!
  • In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis ★★★★ This is a wonderful short novella which is a futuristic Sleeping Beauty retelling set in space! The only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars is because it could have been more, I needed more of the world and characters!
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★★★ The huge hype around this book left me feeling slightly disappointing, I simply wasn’t as dragged into the story as I expected to be. It was quite good though and I will definitely continue the series.
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphey ★★★ It was a little “meh” for me, the characters weren’t really to my liking and the story was a little flat. Not a huge success.
  • Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe ★★★★ I technically haven’t finished this yet as I’m writing this (I’ve got two days to finish and it’ll be April), but I’m 99.9% sure it’ll be a 4 star read for me. It’s really good and I love the ghost aspect to it! It reads like a contemporary with paranormal elements to it.

Long list huh? I read so much!

Next Month’s TBR

This is what’s on my tbr this month! Rabiah: The Gift is an ARC, Fuse is the second book in the series I’m currently reading, the other books were voted on my twitter polls (I didn’t know what to put on there, but this seems like a good list!): More Happy than Not, A Monster Calls, Heartless and Six of Crows!

 

Beat The Backlist Update

Title

Author

Pages

Reviewed

Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo

422

No

Pure

Julianna Baggott

431

Yes (here) (also on Amazon.nl)

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli

320

Yes (here) (also on Amazon.nl)

Dumplin’

Julie Murphy

384

No

Which brings me to 285 points for March! Yay! The Gryffindors are pretty close to winning this month, so maybe this will bring us closer to winning 🙂

How was your month?

Down The TBR Hole #17 | Looking Back & Discussing TBRs

During these 17 weeks I had no idea this would become so big! Every week more and more people join in and that so cool! So thank you all for joining, I hope it’ll help you to get your TBR under control.

Nikki from The Night Is Dark and Full Of Books suggested I do a “looking back” post, which I thought was a great idea! So hereby my looking back at 16 weeks of going through my tbr!

I started off with about 90 books (I don’t remember exactly), which isn’t much, but it felt like I was drowning in it anyway. Whenever I went through my tbr to see what I could read next I automatically skipped over some books, simply because I didn’t even remember why they were on there.

During this process I went through 80 of these books and removed 26 (later a few got added back) and the current state of my tbr is 56 books. On average I removed about 2/5th of the books I went through, excluding the last few posts. I’ve added some books in the past months and I’ve read some, but I’ve read more than I added, which is a good sign!

Some thoughts on tbrs and things I’ve learned:

  • Adding books only because they’re popular, is not a good idea. Popularity does not mean you’ll like it.
  • Adding books should be because you think it’s something you’re really going to enjoy. I’ve gotten way more critical about which books I add, and which not.
  • People’s opinions can be different. Removing a book and having someone tell you it’s their favourite or so amazing (*cough* Throne of Glass *cough*) can be quite difficult, because if they love it, you should too right? But sometimes you really have to put your feet down and remove it anyway. You know what? It felt so good removing ToG from my tbr!
  • Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. I’ve discovered some new favourites and got excited for books that I completely forgot about!
  • A tbr needs some sort of homeostasis point, there needs to be a balance between the books you read and the books you add, otherwise, it would become one big endless hole.
  • I will probably never get to the end of my tbr, but that doesn’t matter because there are too many good books out there.
  • Filtering through your tbr every once in a while, is really helpful to get rid of those books you have no interest in reading anymore.

I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next weeks, there’s not much to go through on my tbr anymore. Maybe I’ll do a shout-out to a book on my tbr? Or I’ll come up with some new idea 🙂

Did you enjoy this meme? Did you participate? And how did it help you?

February Wrap-Up, March TBR & Challenge Update

Is it just me or did February just fly by? For some reason my month started off really slow (reading wise) but ended up being super busy. I finished 7 books in my week-long vacation alone, which is a lot! I’m a little late with my wrap-up and tbr so some of the books on my TBR I have already read and finished, and it seems like this month will be an amazing reading month.

What I read in February

  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ★★★★
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (ARC, review will be up soon!) ★★★★
  • SeQuence by M.L.M. Lorraine (ARC, review here) ★☆
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ★★★★
  • Dreadnought by April Daniels (ARC, review here) ★★★★
  • Serpent by Sarah Fay Olson (ARC, review here) ★★★★
  • The Restaurant at the End of The Universe by Douglas Adams ★★★★
  • The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace (poetry) ★★★★
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (buddy read) ★★★★

Look at all those 4 star books! Almost all of the books I read were great! I’m thinking of maybe doing mini-reviews for the non-ARC books, if so these will be up soon.

March TBR

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard (finished) ★★★★★
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (finished) ★★★★★
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe (finished) ★★★★★
  • The Baker Street Peculiars by Roger Langridge (finished, ARC, graphic novel, not yet reviewed) ★★★★
  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (finished) ★★★☆
  • Geekerella by Ashly Poston
  • Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
  • Fuse by Julianna Baggott
  • (maybe) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (buddy read)

Some other books maybe? I just don’t know yet. If I will finally buy We Are The Ants, I’ll probably read that one too. Since it’s only the 7th day of the month and I’ve already read over half the books on my montly tbr, I will probably read some more.

My vacation in 7 bullet points

I had a wonderful time in Austria, and I think you can summarise it like this:

  • Snowboarding horribly (I didn’t dare to go beyond the baby slope), I fell a lot and couldn’t make decent curves so I gave up after a day. Maybe next time I should take classes and not be stubborn and think I can figure it out by myself haha.
  • Skiing a lot. We went skiing about 4 days I think and I love skiing! I’m currently at the level that even black slopes are doable, but blue ones are the most fun (you can go super-fast and you basically have to try to avoid all the slow skiers but so much fun). We went to a glacier, which was fun and super cold (it was about 15 degrees below zero (Celsius)).
  • A lot of hot choco.
  • READING READING READING. I have been reading so much and I loved it. With barely any internet and only four tv channels to watch, there was not much distraction.
  • Some Gilmore Girls (my latest obsession) and this Swedish-Danish show called The Bridge (Bron/Broen). My dad had a dvd of the third season so we watched some of it. And I have to say, although I thought it was boring in the beginning, it has started to grow on me. It’s about a detective Saga (isn’t that an awesome name?!?!) who has autism and she solves murders. It’s not like the usual detective series because it’s one case for 10 episodes. Ooh and I love the intro tune, it’s so calming: Hollow Talk by Choir of Young Believers
  • Sledding! This was by far the most fun activity we’ve done. My mom didn’t dare to go any further after like 10 meters, so me , my siblings and dad went all the way down the mountain, which is about 7 kilometers (that’s like 1.5 hours to walk). And then we went back up to do it all over again. I had the best time, but it was so tiring and I still have bruises from trying to brake.
  • Food! The food is so good. Toast and kaiserschmarren are the best things for lunch. Kaiserschmarren are sooooo good, seriously. They’re like pancakes but then shredded, with jam and often applesauce.

Challenge update

Title

Author

Pages

Reviewed

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

530

No

SeQuence

Lorraine M.L.M

291

Yes

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy

Douglas Adams

216

No

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Douglas Adams

250

No

The Princess Saves Herself in this One

Amanda Lovelace

156

No

Siege and Storm

Leigh Bardugo

435

No

An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir

446

No

Which brings me to 282 points! Even more than last month 🙂

I had a great month! Both for reading and personally (especially the ending was great). How was your month? Any great books you’ve read?

Down The TBR Hole #15

Since I am pretty much at the end of my TBR and am determined to read all the books yet to come I am just going to do a shout-out to 5 books on my TBR. (You all should definitely keep slashing down your TBRs, but right now there is no slashing to do for me :P).

I am simply going to continue with the books that I ended with last week:

The Books

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor pigeon englishPigeon English by Stephen Kelman

This book has been nominated for several awards and it reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon, which I loved. The story is about Harri and his friend Dean who are trying to solve the murder of one of their classmates. It is said to be a story of wonder, mystery and danger and sounds great! I already own a copy of this book.

Dividing Eden by Joelle CharbonneauAfbeeldingsresultaat voor dividing eden joelle charbonneau

By the writer of The Testing trilogy, this book will come out this year. It sounds like a story of intrigue and betrayal, a brother and sister who are twins race for the crown. It sounds really good and the cover is very beautiful.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the house of silkThe House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

If you don’t know it yet, I’m a little obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and this is a book about Sherlock Holmes, so obviously I have to read it. It is set in the same era as the original stories and is said to have the same brilliance as the Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor to kill a mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I have removed this and put it then back on my tbr, I have heard very mixed things about it but it is so well-known that it must be good. I’ll just have to try and see, I guess.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the flame in the mist renee ahdiehFlame In The Mist by Renee Ahdier

The next novel by the brilliant writer of The Wrath & The Dawn, can’t be anything but good! I’m just waiting for it to come out so I can delve into another amazing world. It sounds like it is a Mulan retelling but I’m not sure and it is set in Japan I believe.

 

Are any of these books on your tbr? Or have you read them?

Down The TBR Hole #14

This is week fourteen of Down The TBR Hole, which a meme hosted by yours truly here on Lost In A Story. Last week I didn’t post because I wasn’t feeling well but now I’m back with 5 new books.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The Books

Last Days of Summer by Steve KlugerAfbeeldingsresultaat voor the last day of summer steve kluger

Again, I should read more Steve Kluger Books, since I loved My Most Excellent Year. I have to say I don’t like any of the covers of this book… Steve Kluger should get some better ones for his novels! His books are all contemporaries and the covers just don’t really match the feeling of the books.

The Judgement: KEEP

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor dreamology lucy keatingDreamology by Lucy Keating

Only the cover itself already makes me want to read it, it’s just so pretty! The story sounds really interesting too, it’s about a girl who dreams of a boy that then suddenly shows up in her life, for real.

The Judgement: KEEP

 Afbeeldingsresultaat voor a boy called mouse

A Boy Called M.O.U.S.E. by Penny Dolan

I’ve already bought this book, and it looks so cool, besides, I barely ever read Middle Grade, so I look forward to trying that out!

The Judgement: KEEP

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor dangerous shannon haleDangerous by Shannon Hale

Again, a book I already own, I just need to get up and read it! Admittedly I bought this book 50% for the story and 50% for the quote on the cover that says “One of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever.” by James Dashner (whose books I highly enjoyed so that means it has to be good right?)

The Judgement: KEEP

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the bone season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon 

I’ve heard a lot about this book, so I can’t wait to start on this!

The Judgement: KEEP

This week I kept all the books, so no progress, sadly. Do you think I’ve made the right decisions?