Wrap-Up: The One Readathon To Rule Them All Round 2 #theonereadathon

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This is my wrap-up of the second round of The One Readathon, a fantasy Readathon that happened from November 17 to December 1. The original announcement video from Don’t Have a Degree in Reading with all challenges and rules is linked here. And if you want to see, this is my previous TBR for this Round 2

I took a bit longer through the “Route 4” which was “Nomadic Traveler”. In which, as it says in the original video, “you may pick as many (or as little) of the challenges from below as you want. You are in charge of this route but remember…you must get the Ring to Mordor!”

I did most of the challenges without using any book for more than one challenge, so it took me a while to go through my long TBR pile. I was gladly taking my time because I consider two weeks way too short for so many awesome challenges. I think that “The One Readathon” would fit really well in a three months reading challenge, so I went someplace in between and took a whole month.

I also decided to choose other books for a couple of challenges along the way. Therefore, the books from my previously planned list that are yet unread will be postponed to 2019.

Fortunately, most books I picked were 5 star reads for me. I am lately enjoying young adult books very often when I’m looking for a lighter read after a long day. And many of the books, for example, The Tearling Trilogy, that I initially considered young adult went far beyond that genre to plunge into an original fantasy, dystopia and science fiction blend that I really cherished and became one of my favorite reads of this year.

As it always happens when you read a bunch of books, a couple of the books I chose were not really for me, not due to them being essentially bad, but because I considered their writing style tiring or they weren’t what I expected when I started reading them. I’m often too tired to go on reading a book that can’t hold my interest, so I didn’t finish or skipped pages of three of the books in this list.

The only challenges I didn’t have time to complete were the Shire, Moria, and Lorien, but this was all right since you didn’t have to do all the challenges for the readathon and I managed to complete the rest of them.

So, without further considerations, here are the challenges I completed and the books I’ve read:

BREE

Read a fantasy book set in a non-European influenced setting.
I decided to read The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars!
Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.

FANGORN FOREST

Read a fantasy book with magical/supernatural creatures
For this I read The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad (Editor), Jared Shurin & others
Review – No rating, because I set this anthology aside for now, after reading around five stories, mainly because I expected a fantasy anthology when I started reading this and, true, all stories have fantastic elements, but apart from this they are a mixture of genres. Therefore, I’ll read this when I feel like reading literary, slice-of-life, or magical realism short stories.

RIVENDELL

Read a fantasy book with LGBTQIA+ rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind an picked Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill, for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! This graphic novel has a heart warming story with cute illustrations and an environmental message. It deals with so many important themes; loss, sustainable use of natural resources, different ways of being feminine and strong… All in a way a child can understand and relate with. Light, lovely and powerful.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Oni Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ISENGARD

Read a fantasy book with a villain MC/POV (morally grey MC/POV is acceptable!).
The villain MC/POV book I chose was Grendel by John Gardner.
Review – 2 stars. This is original and well-written, therefore the two stars. Subjectively, I considered the monologue quite long, and skipped some pages in between, but the tragic character had an interesting voice.

HELM’S DEEP

Read a fantasy book that is a standalone.
I read The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison
Review: 1 star. This is so hyped but I really can’t see what’s that all about… The story reminded me faintly of “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. However, the stakes and the tension of the previously mentioned book were not present at all. The main character had way too long time to think, meditate and especially complain about life, to a point that I stopped caring completely. After reading 110 pages without much happening I read the end only to see that few concrete things had really happened and the story would continue on a next book.
Apart from this, the writing style with the pronouns and the words exclusive to the story were extremely jarring.

ROHAN

Read a fantasy book w/ a female MC.
I decided to finish a young adult fantasy series, by hearing the audiobook of A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess (Author), Fiona Hardingham (Narrator).
Review: 5 Stars!
This series isn’t nearly as much hyped as it should be. It is an awesome series, with multi-layered characters that are unique and has so many awesome plot twists.
It is also original and many levels above most YA series I’ve read. It has a rich fantasy and historical world and one of the best heroines I’ve found since… Ever. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy with a strong female character and complex side characters as well.
I heard this whole series as Audiobooks and the performance from Fiona Hardingham was awesome too.

GONDOR

Read a fantasy book w/ POC rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind and, instead of the book I had chosen before, I decided to read two graphic novels with POC characters for this challenge:

1) Afar by Leila del Duca, Kit Seaton (Illustrator)
Review – 5 Stars!
Very interesting, a graphic novel with astral travelling? I’m all for it!

2) Sleepless, Vol. 1 (Sleepless #1-6) by Sarah Vaughn, Leila del Duca (Artist), Alissa Sallah (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)
Review – 4 Stars.
*Spoiler Alert* This was very interesting even if a bit slow-paced, you will probably get answers only in the next books, but this happens often in graphic novel series. On a personal note, the whole sleepless thing didn’t make much sense for me, if the sleepless defenders would get some magical abilities for all the lack of sleep, it would have made sense, but as it was it looked only like a silly idea (perhaps I just didn’t understand it well enough). In any case I’ll be following this series further on.

MINAS TIRITH

Read a fantasy book
I picked Sapphire Blue “Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie #2)” by Kerstin Gier for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! Kerstin Gier is my new favorite young adult author even if I don’t read her books in their original language, German. I may try it though sometime with “Die Mütter-Mafia” books.
The story is told in a light and humorous way that makes it a real treat for a relaxing afternoon. I also like the tension created by the time-travel plot and multi-layered characters.

MORDOR

Read the conclusion to a fantasy series (standalones count) or the most recent installment of a series.
For this final challenge, I read the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series,
The Fate of the Tearling (The Tearling Trilogy) by Erika Johansen
Review – 5 Stars! This was original and awesome fantasy/sci-fi!
I recommend this book if you like books with amazing plot twists, well-written POVs (you end up caring so much for secondary characters like a jailer with a disability and a gate guard!), and multi-layered characters. The whole trilogy was awesome and Erika Johansen is an author I’ll keep in my radar for sure!

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My Tome Infinity And Beyond TBR!

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The Tome Infinity and Beyond is a Science Fiction (yay!!!) Readathon created by Brushing Bookends

(I’ll leave all  other links at the end of this post).

According to the Tome Infinity And Beyond Mission Log our journey  has already started on the 7th September and it will last until the 21th, leaving us with two weeks to find our new home planet.

This is my traveling itinerary:

I’m leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.

Once I’m in the Asteroid Belt where my goal is to Read A Space Opera Adventure, I’ll read Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey, a series that has been in my radar for a year already.

 

In Saturn I’ll Read A Book With Circles On The Cover: 
The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan

 

Uranus, Hahaha – Read A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief:
I’ll read Armada, by Ernest Cline.

 

Neptune, Read A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa, I’ll read the Clean Sweep series by Ilona Andrews,

 

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet, Pluto, where the goal is to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old):
The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

 

I’ll be posting my wrap-up in as soon as I finish my space journey!

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

2018 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Reading Challenge – TBR and Update

In May I was reposting the original post from Way Too Fantasy about the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge here in the blog.

I started this challenge in end of April and finally managed to make a nice graphic with my TBR in the original Bingo Card.

The white squares are the challenges I haven’t picked a book yet. The challenges are:

  1. Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City
  2. Self-Published Fantasy Novel
  3. Novel with Fewer Than 2500 Goodreads Ratings
  4. Novel Featuring God as a Character.

I will probably pick two books from my writer friends for challenges 2 and 3. I still have no idea about which ones for 1 and 4. Any ideas? Along the year I’ll surely change my mind about the books for a couple of challenges too, I’ve picked up a tough Dystopia for one of them and I rather read Dystopias in winter. For me, it doesn’t work to read serious Dystopia under a sunny blue sky.

The squares written in blue are the challenges I already completed and the ones in black are still to be read. So far I have read 6 books out of 25, and when 50% of the books are finished I’ll post my midway reviews.

To have less information filling up the card I was putting only the title of the books in each square. To know which challenge belongs to which book please take a look at the original Bingo Challenge card

So, without much further ado, here’s is my TBR Bingo Card:

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And you, are you also doing this or other reading challenges? What do you think of the books I chose? Let me know in the comments.

17 Book Prompts from my Reading Challenge 2017

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This year was a blast for me when it comes to reading. Since I started tracking what I read with Goodreads I never read so much, the number was 152 ‘books’ although I must confess that around the half of them were comics or graphic novels, in single issues or collected editions. This was the year I read (and loved) the whole Saga, Monstress, and East of West series and these graphic novels were page-turner-addicting reads. Besides them, I also read more of fantasy, young adult and sci-fiction. I also read around six non-fiction books on writing, a number smaller than I wanted to read this year, and a couple of books outside my favourite genres, thrillers or historical fiction, since I consider retellings another branch of fantasy. I discovered new favourite authors (Brian K. Vaughan, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Collen Oakes, Brandon Sanderson, Erin Morgenstern) and gave up on others too. So now, without further ado, here are the challenge categories I managed to fulfil this busy year:

1. A book written by a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:
P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer. (Rating: 4 Stars)
What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down. I’ll also quite curious to see what will happen to all the characters, so I’ll go on reading this series.

2. The next book in a series you still didn’t finish: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** I liked this book more than the third in the series. Manon is a very interesting character and I’m curious about how she’ll develop in the next book. I was disappointed on how Chaol lost space in the story, but perhaps that was the right thing for the plot. Also disappointed on the extremely rushed-up resolution with the two main villains, not enough was said or developed so it was a well-rounded resolution, and the main character didn’t play the central role in both climaxes, perhaps for emotional reasons(?) For this reason, I rate this book 4 and not 5 stars even though this is a very interesting series and I’ll probably read the next book.

3. A book you can read in one sitting: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal. (Rating: 5 Stars)
What a lovely and poetic short graphic novel! I can totally relate to the questions and answers in this book. After all, what means to be happy nowadays? Is happiness or a pretence of happiness the ultimate goal? Or is it fine to be “busy, interested, fascinated” and “perfectly unhappy”?

4.A graphic novel: Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Author) (Adapted by), Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia-Nitouhei (Art “The Tell-Tale Heart”), Chagen (Art “The Cask of Amontillado”), Uka Nagao (Art “The Masque… Read Death”), pikomaro (Art “The Raven”), Linus Liu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”), Man Yiu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”). (Rating: 5 Stars)
Gothic, eerie, and beautiful. I liked this Manga version of Poe’s classics a lot. I haven’t read all these stories in their original version but the dark atmosphere from them seems to have been well translated into this format. The art was overall well done and the classic stories dark and eerie depth strengthened it. My favourite stories were The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven and The Mask of the Red Death.

5.A book with a LGBT Character: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. (Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked the underlying theme, but the hype it’s kind of exaggerated. Still, an entertaining comic.

6. A trilogy: The Grishaverse #1- #3 by Leigh Bardugo. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This was the year of trilogies for me, besides this, I read three others and liked them almost as much, but my favourite was “The Grishaverse”. I liked this trilogy so much, I might get the paperback or hardcover box set of it, even if I already read it on my eReader. There are books that you must have on your shelf for a reread.

7. A book in a genre you don’t normally read: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes. (Rating: 4 Stars)
The writer’s voice makes this thriller an engaging and page-turning read, while quite original due to the unreliable narrator. And it is indeed a warning on the excessive use of social media.

8.A dystopian: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** This book is slower paced than the most science-fiction dystopia books usually are, but this perhaps due to the characters relationships being in the foreground. This slower pace, in my opinion, also created a better world description and story development, so it was all right for me. I liked the way the story was told even if the book finishes with a hook. And the touching role the Dylan Thomas poem played in the story was so beautiful, that it alone won my good opinion on this book. I’ll probably finish this series later.

9. A book with magic: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (Rating: 5 Stars)

Magical. It deserves the hype.

10.A book over 500 pages: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was already a lot of fun. I’m totally spoiled for badly written and boring sci-fi after this series.

11.A book that makes you laugh: Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador #1) by E.M. Foner (Rating: 4 Stars)
This book was quite funny and has an interesting story. It’s not exactly a complex and serious sci-fi saga but something light for an entertaining afternoon.

12. A book that makes you laugh literally out loud: Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This is quite funny. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

13. A high fantasy: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson.(Rating: 5 Stars)
This book is so good you will take your time reading it, so it lasts longer. And so far I can remember, it’s one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read.

14. A book with a war: Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi. (Rating: 5 Stars)
The author’s voice gives this sci-fi war story a light and humorous (real ROFL like moments) touch.

15.A young adult book (trilogy): Red Queen (Red Queen #1-3) by Victoria Aveyard
(Rating: 3,4,4 Stars for each book)
I found the story with silver and red people quite interesting, so why 3 to 4 stars? Mostly, and this is a pet peeve I usually have with YA, I think that romance took over other, more interesting, plot components.
I would gladly hear more about how silver appeared and came to power. When did that happen? Was it radiation, selective breeding, genetic techniques that brought the silver their special powers? The mentor figure of Julian was quite wasted as he didn’t provide any information, writers nowadays are so extremely scared of boring readers with backstory they just hint at it most times. I would have liked to know how this world came to be, this exploration of a future scenario being more interesting to me than another love triangle. Even though, I still like the characters and plot so I went on reading this series up to the third book “King’s Cage”. I still feel that the science fiction side of the story is mostly left to the side as no background explanations are given to the story world. Instead, the reader gets a lot of action and really long battle scenes, perhaps this was done so the target audience wouldn’t consider the book boring? I don’t know the reason for the lack of depth of the story world but even though missed it. Well, let’s see how the series will go on.

16. A standalone book: Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid
(Rating: 5 Stars)
A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series? 😉

17a.) A book that was later made into a movie, play or tv show: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead
(Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked this book and its vampire/high school drama mixture. I may go on reading this series, I’m just not intrigued enough at the moment to do that right now.

17b.) Watch the movie you read a book based on
Vampire Academy – I can’t really recommend doing that…

#TheReadingQuest Wrap up

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My Mage Path was an adventurous one, full of hilly ups and downs. Two not so great books and 7 books/comics that ranged from extremely funny and relatable to quite OK, even if I might be tired of vampires or the humor of the comic book wouldn’t always fit with my favorite type of humor.

So, between the Mage path and Sidequests, I read 5 books (I couldn’t bring myself to finish the 6th of them), 3 comic books, a short story, and I had a lot of fun reading most of them.
I haven’t calculated the points and levels my mage character gained because tbh, right now I have a headache and this makes me not nearly energetic enough for that. I’m sure other people read more books than me, good for them, lol.



So, with these following books and comics was my Mage’s path laid out.

A BOOK WITH AN ONE WORD TITLE:

“Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1)” by Faith Hunter. — 4 Stars
I liked this book. It had some pacing problems which made the ending feel rushed and tbh I’ve been mostly tired of books with vampires. But Beast, the alter ego of Jane Yellowrock was quite interesting and original.

A BOOK THAT CONTAINS MAGIC:

“Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel” by Ilona Andrews. — 5 Stars
I’m a huge fan of Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series and this new series didn’t disappoint me at all. Read if you like romance with a strong heroine + mystery + a well-built fantasy world.

A BOOK BASED ON MYTHOLOGY:

I changed my mind and ended up reading “The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)” by Aimee Carter.  — 1 Star. I thought that reading a book about the Myth of Hades and Persephone was a good idea. However, in this case, it wasn’t. The mythology was twisted beyond recognition and all the Greek Gods had boring names and characters.  Next time I promise I’ll read The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker. I felt I got bad book karma from changing my mind at the last minute.

A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT WORLD:

“Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1)” by John Scalzi. — 5 Stars
The author’s voice gives this science fiction war story a light and humorous touch with real ROFL moments. And the story has great science fiction insights that are quite plausible to happen, so the question remains, would someone enlist once they turn 75?

THE FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES:

“To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld)” by Philip Jose Farmer. — 1 Star – DNF
I DNFed this book. This was the second book in this ReadAthon with a very interesting premise that developed in the dullest way possible. In this case also into a book full of prejudices and negative views on mankind. Some people think this a sci-fi classic, it even got a prize. Well, this wasn’t, unfortunately, the first well-talked book that was nothing for me and certainly won’t be the last.

 

Side quests

EXPANSION (READ A COMPANION NOVEL OR SHORT STORY):

“The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) (Shadow and Bone 0.1)” by Leigh Bardugo. A short story based on the Grisha verse.  — 4 Stars.
A short Darkling background story.

POTIONS (A BOOK CONCOCTED OF 2+ AUTHORS):

“Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)” by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. — 5 Stars. The second book of an awesome sci-fi series. This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was a lot of fun. I consider myself now over the top spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series.

MINI-GAME (READ A GRAPHIC NOVEL, NOVELA, OR POEM COLLECTION):

“Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection” by Sarah Andersen.  — 5 Stars
This is quite funny and relatable. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

OPEN WORLD (READ WHATEVER YOU WANT):
“Heart and Brain: Body Language: An Awkward Yeti Collection” by The Awkward Yeti, Nick Seluk — 3 Stars
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Funny, but not so much my kind of humor, after seventy pages it got tiresome.

ANIMAL COMPANION (BOOK REFERENCING AN ANIMAL ON THE TITLE):
“Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real” by Brian Gordon
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a mother of a six and a four-year-old, I could relate and laugh at the very funny jokes. My favorites were the ones about tired children, sibling’s fights and why they won’t try the food.

READATHON TBR || BookTube-A-Thon

 

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I wouldn’t be a good BookTube follower if I would not follow and try to participate in the BookTube-A-Thon, a weeklong Readathon event that (so far as I know) started in Ariel Bissett’s YouTube Channel and became a happy celebration of BookTubers and reading.

So, without much further ado (after all, I should be tackling my TBR right now), here is my TBR list with the challenges I finished already and my TBR for the yet to be done challenges:

The 2017 Reading Challenges:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

For this challenge, I chose “Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)” by Faith Hunter.
My review: I’m right now on page 32. I have only started but so far I like this book. Let’s see where it goes.

2/ Read a hyped book.

I heard frequently of “Every Heart a Doorway(Wayward Children, #1)” by Seanan McGuire on Youtube and even now it seems to be one of the most read books in the Readathon.

My review: 3 stars. A very interesting premise, but somehow underdeveloped. Great story ideas were thrown in a shallow way that surely needed more depth. I hope the next books in the series develop it further.

3/ Finish a book in one day.

This was the first challenge I finished because short is quickly done. For this challenge, I chose the “Curran POV Collection”, a collection of scenes you can download on the web page of the authors Ilona and Gordon Andrews. This scenes will mostly only make sense if you read the Kate Daniel’s series (and I sincerely recommend this series as awesome paranormal fantasy).

My review: 5 stars, ** spoiler alert **

Curran: “I spat the ear out and knocked it toward him with my paw. No, you can keep it. Doesn’t taste that great.” This line still makes me laugh by myself one day after reading this book.

Curran POV shows his side on the scenes that were mainly told in Kate’s POV during the series. It shows the hard side of what is needed to be the alpha of the shapeshifters in Kate’s world. Not an easy day at the office for sweet and wild Curran. 😉
I wished there would be more of this series than only the next book. This is also a short book that you can (unfortunately) read in one day.

4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.

I’m planning to read “Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1)” by John Scalzi because the character is an old man, someone very different than me. If I don’t have time to read it this week, I’ll read it the next week so my review will be here eventually.


5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

I’m not sure I’ll manage this in a very rainy July? When I get a couple of sunny hours I do take the books to the playground where my kids play, so most books have seen sunlight. But to finish it all outdoors would be unpractical right now.


6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

“Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid”. The one published by HarperFiction with the gloomy Abbey on the cover. Besides the cover, I also chose this book to finally read something by Val McDermid, an author my mother likes a lot and because I did like the original “Northanger Abbey” by J.Austen.

My review for this book: 5 stars, A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series?


7/ Read seven books.

If I have the time I’ll read “The Archived (The Archived #1)” by Victoria Schwab still this week. But probably I’ll delay until next week and post my review later on. After all, why hurry? Only non-connoisseurs drink a good wine quickly.
And you? Are you participating in this Readathon? Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE AFTER THE READATHON

I didn’t manage to finish the fourth book, but I think that 3 books with my hectic real life were quite OK. I did start Skinwalker and “This Savage Song”, which I read until page 61.
Not so bad and I also managed to read a lot on the playground, so I consider Challenge number 5 half done. 🙂

So my final results were:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter — 32 pages

2/ Read a hyped book.

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire — 176 pages

3/ Finish a book in one day.

Curran POV Collection (Curran POV #1-9) by Gordon Andrews, Ilona Andrews  — 157 pages

I skipped Challenge 4 and will be reading this book later.

5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab — 61 pages, finished after the readathon.

Later update (3/8/17): I didn’t manage to read this whole book outdoors, but all my books have been outdoors one moment or another so I consider this challenge half done.

This was a 5 stars book with great characters and an original and poetic story.

6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid — 358 pages

And I didn’t read the seventh book yet, but later on, steady as I go…

My Book Reading Challenge 2016

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This year I was catching up with my favorite series in Paranormal Fantasy, Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews. In this genre, I also discovered a really entertaining new series, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, which I was almost binge-reading until book eight. I was reading a surprising amount of Young Adult, from which my favorite was the Throne of Glass series, by Sarah J.Maas. My favorite Fantasy with Science-Fiction elements books was the Mating Flight Duology with dragons and LGBT characters by Bard Bloom. And my favorite book on writing was 5 Secrets of Story Structure by K.M. Weiland due to it giving me a good overview of story structure.

I’ll focus more on this year favorite books on my next week’s post, but for now, let’s talk about this year’s challenge.

I managed to complete my reading challenge of 50 books!

And actually surpassed this number, reading 58 books this year (woo-hoo!)

I was also trying to follow the categories presented in the Reading Challenge of the Facebook group called “The Dragon Rocketship”, which is a group on Facebook about fantasy, science-fiction, (hence the dragon and the rocket ship) and writing. Since this group also has many writers, a couple of the categories included reading books from its members, something I was happy to do since I’ve been friends on Facebook with a lot of them for a couple of years already.

 

So here are the Challenge Categories I was fulfilling:

(though a lot of the books I read aren’t into any and vice-versa)

 

1. A book that was written by a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:

Taming Shadows (Revelations #1) by Fiona Skye (Author)
This book is way better than more than a couple of traditionally published bestsellers I’ve read last years. I loved Jaguar, (the protagonist alter ego), the characters, the plot, the world, and the story inspired recipes at the end of the book.

2. A book at the bottom of your To Read pile:

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones.
This was sent to the bottom of my TBR list due to its slow beginning. The characters in this book, especially Howl, are perhaps not always likable, but always intriguing. You’ll go on reading just to know how the story will develop and end.

3. The next book in a series you never finished:

Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard #1) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Gabrielle Charbonnet.
I’ll probably never finish this series since I feel it’s targeted at much younger readers. Still, it’s an entertaining book if you don’t expect too much depth from the characters.

4. A book you can read in one sitting:

Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 tips for fascinating characters by Roz Morris (Author).
This short book is packed with interesting writing tips. I recommend it also for revision as a helpful character checklist.

5. A book with a dragon:

Mine by Bryan Fields (Author)
I liked the story concept and the Steampunk details very much. The end though was a bit rushed up, and I felt there were not enough pages to develop the characters and the interesting premise. Still, an entertaining short story.

6. A book with a rocketship:

Nine Tomorrows by Isaac Asimov
My opinion is that you can’t go wrong with science fiction from Asimov.

7. A book with an LGBT Character:

Mating Flight: A Non-Romance of Dragons(Mating Flight #1) by Bard Bloom (Author), Tod Wills (Illustrator)
This book is very entertaining and it’s a page turner reading. I read this book in three days because I didn’t manage to put it down. I liked the main character, a fiery-tempered dragoness and all the witty dialogues and funny situations with the other dragons. I’ll be reading the next book in the Duology to see how this adventure ends.

8. Book 1 of a trilogy:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor (Author). This book has an interesting premise, setting and characters and I’ll go on reading the series. Still, three stars due to the excess of romance in detriment of the fantasy plot.

9. Book 2 of a trilogy:

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor (Author)
I liked this book much more than the first of the series because it had more story and turning points to it. I also like the underlying theme of the book: the peace and war duality. And I’m curious to see where the story is going.

10. Book 3 of a trilogy:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor (Author)
** spoiler alert ** I found the book quite good, and perhaps the best of the trilogy. But I must say that I found the end frustrating, with a huge hook. Is the series going on? And if not why to leave it like if the trilogy was the prequel to another book? If this is to finish here I think it would have been better to have finished with a proper ending and with the peace Akiva and Karou always looked for and deserved.

11. A book by an author you’ve never read that is a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:

Salvage (The Land Taking Records Book 1) by M.J. Kobernus
The short-story pacing was too fast at its end, leaving some things lacking development, but the concept was quite interesting and I’ll probably take a look at its sequence to know how it goes on.

12. An anthology:

Small Magics (Kate Daniels 0.5, 5.3, 5.6 ) by Ilona Andrews (Author)
Short-stories from one of my favorite authors, in the same awesome world of a series I love. What’s not to like? 🙂

13. A book with magic:

Magic Study (The Chronicles of Ixia #2) by Maria V. Snyder (Author)
This is the second book of an interesting fantasy series. Still, it’s slower paced and more romantic than what I usually read.

14. A book that scares you:

Sins of the Future by Chasity Nicole (Author), Debbie Manber Kupfer (Author), Jackie Pitchford, Misha Burnett (Author), Matt Lovell, R.L. Andrew, Angela Garratt, Don Miskel (Author) , Boyd Miles, Jen Ponce (Author), Stephen Blake (Author), Kerry E.B. Black (Author), C. Lloyd Brill, Steven Soul, Leticia Toraci (Author), Cleve Sylcox (Illustrator).
I’m glad I was able to join this awesome anthology with scary future scenarios; which are bound to haunt the reader even after the book is finished.

15. A book that makes you laugh:

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi (Author)
Who read and liked “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1-5)” will probably like this entertaining book as well. I must say that it’s not my favorite kind of science fiction since I prefer when science-fiction is the main theme. But, like the Hitchhiker’s guide, this is also a book which uses sci-fi to talk about humans themselves.

16. Read a book of a series with 5 or more books (1st):

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs
A fun page-turner, I couldn’t put it down.

17. Read a book of a series with 5 or more books (2nd):

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs
I liked this book even more than the first one in the series. This one has vampires and they are dangerous and mostly evil (as they should be). It was a nice page-turning reading for my Halloween. 🙂

18. Read a book of a series with 5 or more books (3rd):

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3) by Patricia Briggs

19. Read a book of a series with 5 or more books (4th):

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4) by Patricia Briggs

20. Read a book of a series with 5 or more books (5th):

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson #5) by Patricia Briggs

21. A nerdy book:

Youth by Isaac Asimov
I don’t know if there is something that can be called nerdy about books since I consider them really cool (probably because I’m a nerd at heart), but if so I think you could call a short story by one of my favorite authors nerdy.

22. A non-fiction book:

5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 6) by K.M. Weiland (Author)
I found this book quite helpful, it’s about story structure in a relatively summarized and easy to understand way. Great if you want an overview of Story Structure before you go into too many details. For me, this was helpful because I usually want to have a look at the whole subject before I look at each element in detail. So, if you are having difficulties to understand story structure read this short and concise book, you’ll get it in no time, it’s awesome!

23. A young adult book:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare (Author)
This is an entertaining summer reading. It has a couple of plot devices that would fit in a soap opera, but there is nothing wrong with it if you are looking for a young adult reading just to relax.

24. A book you borrow from a friend:

Tales from P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer.

Three interesting background stories from the world of P.A.W.S. that made me quite curious about the book they are based on.

25. A book an older relative recommends:

I was reading Belgravia by Julian Fellowes recommended by my mother. Awesome book, with all the charm of Downtown Abbey and an even more interesting story. Loved it and can’t recommended it enough. It was one of my favorites this year.

 

So, I hope you liked my small challenge list and see you next week with a closer look at my 2016 favorite books!