May turned out to be another busy month and I’m actually surprised that I was able to read the amount I did. I’m still not sure how that happened! I won two Instagram giveaways (first time that ever happened!) and they arrived in time for the bookhaul post I shared on Saturday. A spoiler of what I got below together with my crochet puppy Manchee.
But May was basically mostly about baking for me, as I had promised to prepare all the desserts for our niece’s fifteenth birthday (similar importance as a ‘sweet sixteen’ in the US). Things were going to be kept informal, but I wanted to make a variety of sweets anyway… Since I love baking in the first place, and it was a great excuse to try new things. 😉 Below a few photos! The first is of a three-layer birthday cake I made from scratch, which definitely came out better than expected even though it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. On the right a variety of cupcakes with buttercream decoration (banana-chocolate, coconut-pineapple and vanilla-cream cheese flavored). Below a photo on how part of the dessert table was set up, where you can see the other things I made including fudgy brownie bites with mint buttercream, brownie and vanilla cakepops and Argentinian alfajores (sandwich cookies with dulce de leche) in three different colors.
I definitely had a lot of fun making all of these, although I ended up exhausted after four days of baking. xD And with the weather being pretty shitty and cold, I ended up catching a virus that same night of the birthday and I’ve been struggling with the flu ever since. Fingers crossed it will be gone soon! I definitely see lots of curling up under a blanket with a steaming cup of tea or coffee in the near future.
Now to the bookish numbers:
- Number of books read in May: 23
- Total number of books read this year: 113
- Total number of pages read in May: 7.234
- Total number of pages read this year: 37.184
May turned out to be a pretty good reading month. Not only did I get a new 5 star read, but I also had a further 7! books with an almost perfect rating! Four books did end up having a very low rating and sadly I had another DNF, but overall I’m still happy with the books I was able to read.
5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now.
Call Me Star Girl – by Louise Beech
4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic!
Sweetheart – by Chelsea Cain // The Death Of Mrs. Westaway – by Ruth Ware // Circe – by Madeline Miller // The Vanishing Season – by Dot Hutchison // Dead Inside – by Noelle Holten // Breakers – by Doug Johnstone // In An Absent Dream – by Seanan McGuire
4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
The Sleep Tight Motel – by Lisa Unger // The Disappeared – by Amy Lord // And The Ocean Was Our Sky – by Patrick Ness // The Thirteenth Tale – by Diane Setterfield
3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic.
2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.
1.5 STARS: The story wasn’t horrible, but there still isn’t another word to describe it but ‘bad’.
Alice In Zombieland – by Gena Showalter
0 STARS (DNF): I didn’t even bother to finish this one. Either horrible or definitely not for me!
Middlegame – by Seanan McGuire
I joined more challenges than initially planned in 2019, but I feel all have doable goals that shouldn’t take too much work to finish. Things are well on track so far in general, although I’ll need to keep an eye on the Reading Through The Centuries one because it’s going to be tricky to get enough new years in otherwise. But it looks like I’ll be able to finish most other challenges without trying too hard. Not bad at all. 😉
# CHALLENGES #
- Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge: 113/150
- 2019 Beat The Backlist Challenge: 33/80 books read published in 2018 or 2017 and 37/30 books read published 2016 or before. A total of 70/80 books.
- 2019 Beat The Backlist Epic BTB Bingo: 69/81 books read
- Reading Through The Centuries: 1/5
- 2019 Netgalley And Edelweiss Challenge: 41/50
- 2019 When Are You Reading?: 11/12
- Double Trouble ABC Challenge: TITLE 23/26 // AUTHOR 21/26
As for my other goals… Things are going better than expected, although I failed to get my ARC/backlist title ratio below the 40% limit once again. I’m going to change this in June though as I’ve made myself a promise I get to read mostly my own books during the next two months.. My TBR pile in general is pretty hopeless as well, but at least I’m well on track with my TBR jar picks, so that’s something. xD Also, I’m going to try and finish my Dutch read of the year this month.
# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #
Read at least 3 (modern) classics (rereads don’t count)3/3 DONE!! (The Painted Veil // The Big Sleep // A Wrinkle In Time)
- Complete at least 10 series (rereads don’t count) 5/10 (Anastasia Phoenix // The Conqueror’s Saga // Women Are Some Kind Of Magic // Fire And Thorns // The Collector)
Reread at least 2 books2/2 DONE!! (The BFG // Harry Potter Y El Caliz De Fuego)
- Bring my physical TBR pile below 450 books and keep it that way. 600/450
Read at least one book over 800 pages1/1 DONE!! (813 pages; Colombiano)
- Keep ARC/backlist title ratio below 40% 41,6%
- Read at least 2 books in Spanish 1/2 (Harry Potter Y El Cáliz De Fuego)
- Read at least 1 book in Dutch 0/1
- Read at least 15 international authors and/or translations 9/15 (Mala Vida (France) // The Painted Veil (France) // When Dimple Met Rishi (India) // And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer (Sweden) // The Courier (Norway) // The Travelling Cat Chronicles (Japan) // The Murmur Of Bees (Mexico) // Bright Burning Stars (France) // Trouble Makes A Comeback (Philippines))
- Read at least 10 TBR jar picks 6/10 (The Insect Farm // The Shattering // Be Frank With Me // Tell The Wolves I’m Home // Sweetheart // The Dead Girls Of Hysteria Hall)
Join at least 5 challenges during the year5/5 DONE!!
- Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% 97%
Happy June and Happy Reading!