Month In Review: August 2018

I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s September already. I mean, September?! At least it means the cold winter months will be almost over… Seriously, Winter has been a bitch to me and I’m still struggling with the effects of the acute bronquitis, sinusitis or whatever it is (yes, I’ve been dealing with this since June, NOT funny). A month of constant headaches, dizzy spells and earache wasn’t how I had planned to spend the month. xD It did mean I was mostly cooped up inside and I managed to read a LOT during August: a new record! I also celebrated that it’s been FIVE years already since I transferred my blog to WordPress. I still can’t believe It’s All About Books is already five years old!

I also participated in the O.W.L. Readathon, a Harry Potter inspired Readathon which was a lot of fun. I started my N.E.W.T.s a few days ago now, and it’s been so exciting to see those prompts and Hogwarts subject grades slowly starting to fill up! I’m not doing a monthly TBR this month, since I will only read books fitting the prompts for the N.E.W.T.s Readathon anyway. But somehow I managed to read nine out of ten titles on my August TBR, which was way better than planned. The last title I will read in a few days, so nothing lost. 😉

Now to the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in August: 25
  • Total number of books read this year: 145
  • Total number of pages read in August: 7.458
  • Total number of pages read this year: 44.994

I somehow managed to read a LOT last month, and I even got another five star read!  I did have more lowish reads than normal and even a DNF, but overall I’m still happy with this month.

AUGUST READS

5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now.

The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle – by Stuart Turton

4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 

Britt-Marie Was Here – by Fredrik Backman // Harry Potter Y El Prisionero De Azkaban NO REVIEW – by J.K. Rowling // Every Heart A Doorway – by Seanan McGuire // Mortals And Immortals Of Greek Mythology – by Francoise Rachmuhl // Call To Arms – by Rachel Amphlett

4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!

The Impossible Girl – by Lydia Kang // The Confession – by Jo Spain // Leah On The Offbeat – by Becky Albertalli // Hex Hall – by Rachel Hawkins // Claw The System – by Francesco Marciuliano

3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!

The Tango War – by Mary Jo McConahay // The Mysterious Affair At Styles – by Agatha Christie // Truth And Lies – by Caroline Mitchell // Rivers Of London – by Ben Aaronovitch // A Patient Man – by S. Lynn Scott

3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 

The Masked City – by Genevieve Cogman // Ink And Bone – by Rachel Caine // Uprooted – by Naomi Novik // The Shadow Cats – by Rae Carson // The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden – by Jonas Jonasson // I Let You Go – by Clare Mackintosh

2.5 STARS: I give this one the benefit of the doubt. Nothing too exciting.

The Lying King – by Alex Beard

2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.

The Echo Room – by Parker Peevyhouse

0 STARS (DNF): I didn’t even bother to finish this one. Either horrible or definitely not for me!

It’s Okay To Laugh – by Nora McInerney Purmort


I haven’t joined a lot of challenges this year so far, mostly because I decided to focus more on ‘fun’ reading and less on goals I have to complete. Things are going way better than planned! I’m getting close to finishing my updated Netgalley challenge, with only six titles left. I’m definitely finishing this in September, since I have a pile of NG ARCs I need to read this month. I still need to find a title for the last era (1600-1699) of the  When Are You Reading? challenge though.

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other goals… I managed to finish my third classic so I’m finished with that goal! I also read my tenth international author/translation so that’s another one done. And I did my second reread as well, so that’s number three crossed off! My NG ratio has been stable and well above the 80% mark; I guess it’s easier now I have so many reviews already posted. The final three goals will be a struggle though… I think I’ll only be able to make the 800+ pages book one, although I’m still deciding on which title to read. I’m pretty sure my TBR goal will be hopeless unless I unhaul some books… And my running has been off the hook lately with all the health problems and everything else.

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 3 (modern) classics (rereads don’t count) 3/3 DONE!! (Murder On The Orient Express // Slaughterhouse-Five, The Mysterious Affair At Styles)
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count) 5/5 DONE!! (The Conspiracy Of Us // Bad Girls Don’t Die // Embassy Row // The 5th Wave // Legend)
  • Reread at least 2 books 2/2 DONE!! (Harry Potter Y La Camera Secreta // Harry Potter Y El Prisionero De Azkaban)
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 300 books and keep it that way406/300
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages 0/1 (maximum 528 pages)
  • Read at least 1 book in Spanish 1/1 DONE!! (Harry Potter Y La Camera Secreta)
  • Read at least 1 book in Dutch 1/1 DONE!! (Het Jaar Dat De Wereld Op Zijn Kop Stond by Clare Furniss)
  • Read more international authors/translations (at least 10) 10/10 DONE!! (Stage Four (The Netherlands)/ Born A Crime (South Africa)/ Halfway (India)/ A Castle In Romagna (Croatia)/ My Sweet Friend (Belgium)/ The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter (Germany)/ The Letter For The King (Indonesia)/ The Air Raid Killer (Germany)/ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry (Sweden)/ The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden (Sweden))
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year 5/5 DONE!!
  • Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% currently at 94%
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy September and Happy Reading! 


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Month In Review: July 2018

I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s August already. I mean, August?! Where did the first seven months of 2018 go?! July wasn’t the best month with my mother in law passing away, and I had to take some personal down time after that. Winter has also been pretty nasty to me, as I’m still struggling with acute bronquitis, sinusitis or whatever it is (yes, I’ve been dealing with this since June, NOT funny). Hopefully the new tests will bring to light exactly what it is that has been bothering me so I can finally get rid of it.

Somehow I ended up reading a LOT during July, more than previous months this year… Although I do have to admit I read a few really short books and MG reads as well. But still, the page count doesn’t lie and I added a whopping 23 new titles to my read list. o.O And another milestone: I managed to make it to the magical 200 submitted NG reviews mark and now have that mythical 200 NG review badge on my blog! I still can’t believe I made this number after only two years of using Netgalley. Does it show my Netgalley addiction is out of control?? xD

Now to the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in July : 23
  • Total number of books read this year: 120
  • Total number of pages read in July: 6.480
  • Total number of pages read this year: 37.358

I somehow managed to read a lot last month, and while I didn’t have a new 5 star read, four titles were nearly perfect.  I did have more lowish reads than normal, but overall I’m still happy with this month.

JULY READS

4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! – by Dr. Seuss // The Getaway Girls – by Dee MacDonald // Hell To Pay – by Rachel Amphlett // My Real Name Is Hanna – by Tara Lynn Masih

4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!

Harry Potter Y La Camera Secreta NO REVIEW – by J.K. Rowling // Prodigy – by Marie Lu // The Secret – by K.L. Slater // Crochet Animal Rugs – by Ira Rott // Attachments – by Rainbow Rowell // Misery – by Stephen King // Never Say Goodbye – by Richard Parker // Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops – by Jen Campbell

3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!

Het Jaar Dat The Wereld Op Zijn Kop Stond (The Year Of The Rat) – by Clare Furniss // The Death And Life Of Eleanor Parker – by Kerry Wilkinson

3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 

Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator – by Roald Dahl // Turtles All The Way Down – by John Green // Champion – by Marie Lu // Slaughterhouse-Five – by Kurt Vonnegut // Thin Wire – by Christine Lewry // Broken Dolls – by Sarah Flint // Click’d – by Tamara Ireland Stone

2.5 STARS: I give this one the benefit of the doubt. Nothing too exciting.

Run And Hide – by Alan McDermott

2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.

Kids Of Appetite – by David Arnold


I haven’t joined a lot of challenges this year so far, mostly because I decided to focus more on ‘fun’ reading and less on goals I have to complete. Things are going way better than planned! I actually finished both my Goodreads challenge and the Beat The Backlist challenge in July already! I won’t be changing them to a higher goal, but I’ll keep adding my progress. I’m really close to completing When Are You Reading? as well. I still haven’t found a title for the last era though (1600-1699). Ive made great progress with the Reading Through The Centuries challenge as well and I’m hoping to finish that one in August since I already have a title lined up.

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other goals… I finished my fifth and final series so that’s another goal done! I also managed to finish read my second (modern) classic, so one more title left to go now. And even better: I both read a Spanish and Dutch read last month, crossing those goals off as well! I’m really happy about that. My NG ratio is also quite stable and well above the 80% mark; I’m definitely going to try and keep it that way. As for the rest of them: I’m still deciding which will be my 800+ pages book, and I’m pretty sure my TBR goal will be hopeless unless I unhaul some books. Rereading will have to wait until next month, but I’m hoping to complete the classic and international author goal by the end of August.

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 3 (modern) classics (rereads don’t count) 2/3 (Murder On The Orient Express // Slaughterhouse-Five)
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count) 5/5 DONE!! (The Conspiracy Of Us // Bad Girls Don’t Die // Embassy Row // The 5th Wave // Legend)
  • Reread at least 2 books 1/2 (Harry Potter Y La Camera Secreta)
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 300 books and keep it that way415/300
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages 0/1 (maximum 528 pages)
  • Read at least 1 book in Spanish 1/1 DONE!! (Harry Potter Y La Camera Secreta)
  • Read at least 1 book in Dutch 1/1 DONE!! (Het Jaar Dat De Wereld Op Zijn Kop Stond by Clare Furniss)
  • Read more international authors/translations (at least 10) 9/10 (Stage Four (The Netherlands)/ Born A Crime (South Africa)/ Halfway (India)/ A Castle In Romagna (Croatia)/ My Sweet Friend (Belgium)/ The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter (Germany)/ The Letter For The King (Indonesia)/ The Air Raid Killer (Germany)/ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry (Sweden))
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year 5/5 DONE!!
  • Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% currently at 95%
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy August and Happy Reading! 


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Hooked To Books Reading Challenge: It’s A Wrap! @Hookedtobooks

Anitya from Hooked To Books is hosting the The Hooked To Book Reading Challenge 2017 this year; a challenge all about reading as many books as possible during the twelve months of 2017. You can participate on four different levels and there are some pretty awesome rewards to win!

There is still time until September 15th to sign up!!

Levels Books Read & Reviewed Number of Rewards Rewards
Keen Reader 30+ 1 $50 Amazon Gift Card
Avid Reader 70+ 1 $75 Amazon Gift Card
Bookaholist 120+ 1 $100 Amazon Gift Card
Bookworm Extremist 200+ 10
1
1 Kindle Paperwhite
$150 Amazon Gift Card

I personally signed up for the 120 books: Bookaholist level… And last month I somehow managed to reach that goal already (way earlier than expected). I knew I should have tried the 200 goal instead haha. But happy to be finishing this challenge!! 😀

Now on to a long list of the books I’ve read and reviewed this year so far… WARNING: there are a LOT. xD  Didn’t review two of these, but there are still 120+ reviewed titles here like the challenge asks for.

Continue reading

#BoutOfBooks 19.0 – It’s A Wrap!!

I can’t believe Bout Of Books 19.0 is already over!! I had a blast during this readathon and read way more than I thought I would be able to… No less than six finished books and four reviewed as well; definitely a new record. (Or at least I *think* so…) I also participated in three challenges (day 1,2,3), participated in the first Twitter chat and posted six readathon-related bookish photos on my Instagram… All in all a lot better than I hoped for!


DAY 7: SUNDAY MAY 14th 2017

# Pages read today: 192 (Manipulated Lives)
# Total pages read: 1.974
# Book continued: Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel
# Books finished: Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw (3/5 stars) // Room by Emma Donoghue (5/5 stars) // Roses Of May by Dot Hutchison (3,5/5 stars) // Liar by K.L. Slater (4,5/5 stars) // Aurabel by Laura Dockrill (1,5/5 stars) // Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (4/5 stars)


As for the wrap up: I managed to read 3 out of 5 titles on my original readathon TBR (actually reading the fourth today), so that’s definitely better than I hoped. And even better: I managed to complete all my goals as well! 😀

  • Finish and review 3 books
  • Read 150 pages each day
  • Join a challenge
  • Most importantly: have fun!!

BOOKS I’VE READ:

1. Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw (3/5 stars) REVIEW

 I was looking forward to read Enchanters, but I ended up having mixed thoughts instead. While I liked the worldbuilding, plot and general idea behind this story, I still think it was also overlong and even dragged at points. That might just be because the dialogue didn’t feel all that natural and I didn’t really like some of the characters in the first place though. The pace did pick up in the second half and there was a lot more action… All in all an interesting read, although I did have my problems with it.

2. Room by Emma Donoghue (5/5 stars) REVIEW

I still can’t believe it took me years to finally pick up my copy of Room, but it is without doubt one of my new all time favorites. The story itself is already both dark, shocking and powerful, but what makes Room even more special is that it’s told from the POV of a 5-year-old boy. Jack is a truly fascinating and unique character and having the opportunity to follow both him and Ma is a true blessing. This story will definitely stay with me for a long time! As you might have guessed, I can highly recommend this story.

3. Roses Of May by Dot Hutchison (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW

While not as strong or twisted as the first book, I still very much enjoyed Roses Of May. Especially the final part had a very fast pace and the writing style is very enjoyable to read. The serial killer and plot itself are both intriguing and the chapters with the killer’s thoughts added another level of suspense. I also might or might not have squealed when I saw my name mentioned in the story (doesn’t happen often, trust me!). The plot twists are interesting as well, although I did find out the killer’s identity early on. Without doubt still recommended though!

4. Liar by K.L. Slater (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW

Liar turned out to be another excellent psychological thriller read full of surprises. I found myself literally flying through the pages as I kept wondering about the chapter the story started with… Because Liar both started and ended with a bang. This is unreliable narrating at its best, and I loved every single minute of the ride. More than recommended for fans of the genre!

5. Aurabel by Laura Dockrill (1,5/5 stars)

I really wanted to enjoy this one and I still love the cover, but unfortunately I just couldn’t. I felt like it was as if I were reading in a foreign language I could only barely understand for most of the ride and I had a REALLY hard time finishing this one. In fact, I would probably have DNFed it if it wouldn’t have been an ARC. A little note: after some investigation, I found out this is actually a sequel and it becomes clear as you are reading Aurabel that a lot of both background AND essential information is missing if you don’t read the first book. That said, I don’t think this story has convinced me enough to actually try and read the first book. Unfortunately it ended up being a quite painful experience reading Aurabel.

6. Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (4/5 stars)

 I have been wanting to pick up this collection of short stories about different characters dealing with the consequences of manipulators for a long time now, especially since I’ve seen various glowing reviews in the past. And I’m definitely glad I finally picked it up, because I really enjoyed reading them. Every story deals with a different angle and the stories are truly fascinating. My favorite story would be between the second and the third story; my least favorite probably either number four or five, but this doesn’t mean they were still good. If psychology fascinated you or you enjoy realistic fiction in general, Manipulated Lives is definitely a great read.

Did you join the Bout Of Books readathon and how did it go? Feel free to add your links! 🙂


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Bout Of Books 11 – Wrap Up

Bout of Books

Monday has come, and with that the Bout Of Books read-a-thon has ended!  I was able to reach my goal of reading 3 books and only reading YA, so I’m one happy camper. Yay! I’m also half way done with Discovering Daniel by Nadine Christian, my very first ARC ever! So all in all this read-a-thon was very succesful for me. 😀

  • DAY 7: SUNDAY AUGUST 24th

discoveringdaniel# Pages read today: 110
# Total pages read: 1178
#Book continued: Dicovering Daniel by Nadine Christian
# Books finished: Eleanor And Park by Rainbow Rowell, Looking For Alaska by John Green and Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon: Wrap Up

dusting-off-the-shelf-read-a-thon-graphic1

Emily at Books & Cleverness hosted the Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon which ended officially yesterday evening! It was all about finally reading those poor neglected books that have been collecting dust for six months or more…And although I wasn’t able to read the number of books I had originally planned, I still managed to complete at least four. Below you can find my progress during the last three days and a summary, but first: more adorable kittens! I completely fell in love with the dark one. ❤

kitties

I will start with a short summary of the last three days… Unfortunately I didn’t have that much time to read, so I wasn’t able to squeeze in another book for the challenge. But at least I finished The Name Of The Wind and I can say it’s one of my favorite reads this year!

  • DAY 13: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13TH
    # Book continued: Patrick Rothfuss – The Name Of The Wind
    # Pages read: 110 (on page 333 out of 662)
  • DAY 14: THURSDAY AUGUST 14TH
    # Book continued: Patrick Rothfuss – The Name Of The Wind
    # Pages read: 156 (on page 489 out of 662)
  • DAY 15: FRIDAY AUGUST 15TH
    # Book finished: Patrick Rothfuss – The Name Of The Wind
    # Pages read: 173 (662/662; DONE!)

On to the Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon wrap up. (It was actually the first time joining a read-a-thon so correct me if I’m doing things wrong..)

1. Total number of books read: 4

2. Total number of pages read: 1834

3. Challenges completed:

  • Read a book set in the past: The Known World
  • Read a classic: Lord Of The Flies
  • Read a book written before 2010: The Shining / The Name Of The Wind
  • Read at least 100 pages a day: Unfortunately I failed to reach this one. 😦 I had four days of not being able to read at least a hundred pages (days 3, 7, 8 and 11)

I had a lot of fun during this challenge! Thanks for hosting Emily! 😀

July Review-A-Thon Wrap Up

reviewathon

You might remember I was doing a Review-A-Thon in July… Now we’ve reached August it’s time for the wrap up. Although I’ve reached three out of the four goals, I wasn’t able to finish the most important one… Mostly caused by procrastination and my short vacation to Uruguay, I wasn’t able to complete the six reviews of books read more than six months ago. In fact I only finished two. Oops! I was able to finish the twelve reviews that needed improving yesterday though, which is something.  And I was able to make some other changes to my blog as well as publishing the lists stated below. I might do another Review-A-Thon in September to try and finish the pending reviews…

Below you can find the results of the July Review-A-Thon with links to the respective posts:

Complete at least 6 reviews that haven’t been published yet. Unfinished

Finish at least 12 reviews that need improving. DONE!!!

Make a list of reviews by author, title and rating. DONE!!!

Make a list of book blogs I regularly visit  DONE!!!