Month In Review: September 2017

It seems like my 5 Step Plan to beat my slump has been working and I’m definitely over my reading slump now. The blogging slump is still there though… Although scheduling posts has been a big help during the last two months. I have been a lot less active both here and on my social media accounts; I haven’t disappeared, I’m just taking some necessary breathing time! Actually going to write a post about that soon… Basically, I’ve been dedicating more time to my personal life, started eating healthier, exercising more, and this has been eating up some my blogging time. Also, it’s currently Spring and we’ve been working on some reforms in the garden… I’m truly surprised I was still able to read 18 titles, although a few of these were either short or superfast reads. 😉

As for the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in September: 18
  • Total number of books read this year: 165
  • Total number of pages read in September: 6.386
  • Total number of pages read this year: 55.046

Thankfully September was another good month and I even managed to add another 5 star rating to my list! (This Savage Song was a reread so doesn’t count) It was a great month in general since I had only two ratings below 3 stars (although one was a DNF) and lots of titles with a 4 star rating or above. Fingers crossed October will continue to be good!


5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now. 
This Savage Song – by Victoria Schwab (REREAD) // Our Dark Duet – by Victoria Schwab

4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 
Cold Blood – by Robert Bryndza // The Surrogate – by Louise Jensen // Flowers For Algernon – by Daniel Keyes // Snuggle And Play Crochet – by Carolina Guzman Benitez NO REVIEW // Murder Game – by Caroline Mitchell // The Diary Of A Young Girl – by Anne Frank (REREAD)

4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
The Dollmaker Of Krakow – by R.M. Romero // Beartown – by Fredrik Backman // A Different Blue – by Amy Harmon // The Mistake – by K.L. Slater

3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
Things I’m Seeing Without You – by Peter Bognanni // Her Last Secret – by Barbara Copperthwaite

3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 
The Lifeboat – by Charlotte Rogan // Heartless – by Marissa Meyer

2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.
Bentwhistle The Dragon – by Paul Cude DNF

1.5 STARS: The story wasn’t horrible, but there still isn’t another word to describe it but ‘bad’.
I Am Behind You – by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Somehow I have joined way more challenges than usual this year, but at least I’ve already made a lot of progress with most of them so far. I’m considering the Netgalley challenge done since didn’t really have a goal in the first place and I already have surpassed the ‘magical’ number of 100 ARCs this year. I also made some progress with the Reading Through The Centuries challenge, although it’s going to be a struggle getting the final four titles in before the end of this year. The Beat The Backlist challenge is going good enough since I almost finished the 20 books published before 2013 and those 20 of course also count for the the total of 50 books published before 2016… Meaning I’m only 8 titles away of completing the challenge; not bad at all! 😀

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other goals…I managed to maintain my Netgalley ratio above 80% and even almost clean out my shelf completely, which I’m very happy about. But more importantly: I managed to both complete my classics, series and reread goals in September! I just love all that green on my goals list right now. 😉 Things are pretty hopeless when it comes to my TBR pile though, although I did manage to bring down the number slightly. I’m planning on cleaning up my kindle and getting rid of some Amazon freebies, so hopefully the number will be even less by next month! I’m currently working on the 800+ pages book (IT), so that should be another goal completed soon… I guess I should really start working on those Spanish books though. And running. I’ve been slowly picking up running again (I always combine it with speedwalking; in total at least 6-7km), but I’m so out of form I’m still not able to run for long. xD

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 5 classics (rereads don’t count) DONE 5/5 (The Color Purple, Little Women, The Jungle Book, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Flowers For Algernon)
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count) DONE 5/5 (Shades Of Magic, The Dominion Trilogy, Confessions, Chaos Walking, The Monsters Of Verity)
  • Reread at least 3 books DONE 3/3 (The Perfect Stranger, This Savage Song, The Diary Of A Young Girl)
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 250 books 373/250
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages (maximum at 624 pages)
  • Read at least 2 books in Spanish 0/2
  • Read at least 1 book in Dutch DONE 1/1
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year
  • Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% currently at 98%
  • Start a Twitter account and use it regularly
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy October and Happy Reading! 


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

Advertisements

Friday Finds #148 – October 6th

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

Continue reading

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Favorite 2017 Reads #3

With less than three months left in 2017, I thought it was about time to put some of my favorite reads of this year in the spotlight. Out of the 160+ books I’ve read so far, I managed to add a total of 15 new 5 star reads to my list of favorites. That’s a lot of books to talk about in just one post, so I’ve decided to split them into three IN THE SPOTLIGHT posts in the order I read them. I wrote about the batch number 1 and number 2 a little while ago and now it’s time for the final 5 titles… Click on the links below to go to the full reviews.


Continue reading

WWW Wednesdays #157 – October 4th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m still reading The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman, and I’m still not all that far into it. I normally would have finished it by now, but I’ve been distracted by a new hobby during the last few days. I discovered I absolute love to crochet! I wanted to try a few patterns out of the Snuggle And Play Crochet book I finished last week even though I had no knowledge of the crochet techniques… And it turns out it was easier to learn than I thought! (Or at least the basics haha.) Meet Mr. Red Fox a.k.a. the reason I’ve been slacking on my reading during the last few days. He still needs some arms but I ran out of red yarn. xD I actually made a granny blanket for the zebra I will be making soon as well, but decided to make Mr. Fox first since he seemed to be easier haha.

I haven’t continued with IT by Stephen King yet, but I’m planning to do so soon. I haven’t been reading much during the last couple of days in the first place, so that’s probably why as well.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (3/5 stars) REVIEW
I really wanted to love Heartless and I was sure I was going to after reading the first couple of chapters. The writing is wonderful and take you right to the magical world these famous characters live in. I just loved Cath and her baking; I’m craving to start baking something myself right now (and eating it afterwards of course!). Everything was going great until the love triangle, which positively ruined Heartless for me. After the introduction of this romance trope, the main focus was on this relation and I felt kind of betrayed. Oh well, most people seem to love this story, so I guess this will be yet another unpopular opinion to add to the mix… If you dislike love triangles as much as I do, consider yourself warned though.

2. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/10
I know I wasn’t convinced by the first book of this series, but I loved book two and this third book is just as good as the previous one. I literally finished Murder Game in less than a day and found myself on the edge of my seat the whole time! Fast-paced, well written, suspenseful… An excellent serial killer thriller!

3. Bentwhistle The Dragon by Paul Cude (2/5 stars; DNF at 49%) REVIEW 06/10
Honestly, I’ve tried. I’m not saying the writing is bad and it truly shows just how much time is put into the detailed and extensive descriptions and worldbuilding. The thing is, the pace is supersuperslow and I just can’t get myself to keep interest. One superlong and extensive description after the other kind of had the reverse effect on me and instead of finding myself intrigued by another story about my favorite mythical creature, I was rather bored by it all. I don’t think the age group would be happy with so many descriptions and the lack of action either… All in all definitely not for me, and unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to torture myself any further with more extensive descriptions (especially since I found the mystery and ‘dangerous’ situation not all that suspenseful to be honest).

4. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank (4,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I must have read this classic a dozen of times before and I don’t think I can add anything new to all the reviews that have been written about it before… I had my first experience with her diary during high school, where we read the book in Dutch and went to visit the place where she was hiding with her family in Amsterdam. This diary is such a powerful story and really shows what it was like for Jews in hiding during the war… Very intriguing read everyone should read at some point in their lives.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland next even though the publish date is still relatively far away… I absolutely loved her previous thrillers and can’t wait to start her newest.  Another ARC I need to pick up soon is Halfway by Lokesh/Anubhav Sharma. And after so many glowing reviews, I’m also reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This novel has all the signs of becoming my next 5 star read! My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. FacebookBloglovin’.

Teaser Tuesdays #159 – October 3rd: The Rules Of Magic

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’m currently reading one of my last pending ARCs The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman. It’s still early days, so I don’t have much to say about it… I confess I didn’t read Practical Magic, so we’ll see how things go I guess. Also, one of the reasons I’m not that far into it yet is that I caught the crochet bug and I’m starting to become seriously addicted to it. 😀

My teaser (2%):

“Yet no matter how Susanna tried to enforce these rules, the children continued to thwart her. They insisted upon being unusual.”

What are you reading right now?


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. FacebookBloglovin’.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Favorite 2017 Reads #2

With less than one hundred days left in 2017, I thought it was about time to put some of my favorite reads of this year in the spotlight. Out of the 160+ books I’ve read so far, I managed to add a total of 15 new 5 star reads to my list of favorites. That’s a lot of books to talk about in just one post, so I’ve decided to split them into three IN THE SPOTLIGHT posts in the order I read them. I wrote about the first five 5 star reads a few days ago, and now it’s time for the second batch. Click on the links below to go to the full reviews…

Continue reading

WWW Wednesdays #156 – September 27th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently close to finishing Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past by Paul Cude, a YA fantasy read with dragons. The pace is quite slow, but there is no doubt that the worldbuilding is extensive with a lot of attention to details and descriptions. I’m also about to start Heartless by Marissa Meyer, a story I’ve been wanting to read for months… I’m really looking forward to that one. IT by Stephen King I decided to put temporarily on hold until October so I can finish some other books first… Plus, it’s probably the perfect Halloween read for next month in the first place right? 😉

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/09
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up my copy of Flowers For Algernon, but I’m more than happy with what I found. The writing is simply brilliant, as both the progress reports and the prose itself give the perfect insight of what happens to Charlie during the experiment. The way others react to Charlie during different stages of the experiment is both intriguing and unfortunately very accurate as well. Hopefully an eye opener! Flowers For Algernon is able to provoke strong emotions and is utterly heartbreaking in the end.

2. Snuggle And Play Crochet by Carolina Guzman Benitez (4,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
These patterns are absolutely adorable! I will be looking forward creating at least a few of these as gifts for a few of my friends who have either young children or are about to be parents… I’m having a feeling the loveys will be a huge success, although the plush animals are adorable as well. I’m still a crochet newbie, so I could really appreciate the helpful explanations of the different stitches and how to put the different parts together!

3. Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/09
This psychological thriller is mostly a character-driven story and the pace was a lot slower than expected. I struggled a little in the beginning, both because of the pace and my lack of connection to the characters, but the second half of the story more than made up for it. I loved the countdown idea and how slowly more of the present day event is revealed… And the final part is more than shocking! The story will make you think a lot of things and suspect a lot of people, but I can garantuee you won’t guess the final truth about what really happened.

4. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (3/5 stars) REVIEW 01/10
I’ve only just finished this one so I need a little time to think… It’s a character-driven story set in 1914 on a lifeboat, where the characters have to survive after their cruiseship sinks on the way to New York. The pace is quite slow and I’m not a fan of the characters, but the historical setting is quite well done and it shows in the way the characters interact as well. Nothing much happens during the story though. I’m still on the fence about this one to be honest.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell next even though the publish date is still relatively far away… I’m dying to find out how the series continues.  Another ARC I need to pick up soon is Halfway by Lokesh/Anubhav Sharma. I also want to read I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh; I’ve had that one on my TBR for way too long now. My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, a historical fiction read which I have been wanting to read for ages so I’m really happy this title popped up.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. FacebookBloglovin’.