Posted in Book Talk

August 2022 TBR: I mean, not much?

Hey y’all! Somehow, as I’m looking at my planned reads for August, I’m not seeing much. I had 4 books on my list, and one of them I’ve already finished. So this month will probably end up being a bit of a mishmash of whatever I happen to pick off my shelves or get from the library. I’ve managed to up if to 6 (one complete) based on what I’m already starting this month. Let’s take a peek!

No rhymes

The Reasons

You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa: already finished! I got a BOTM copy secondhand but still before the publish date next week (8/9/22), and WOW was it way better than I expected. This one is already done!

Pictured: not how the book happens, but imagine if it did?
Continue reading “August 2022 TBR: I mean, not much?”
Posted in Chatty

My Amazon First Reads picks may finally break their streak of being really disappointing!

Hey y’all! I’ve mentioned before in some reviews of books I read that were from the Amazon First Reads program that they had continuously not impressed me. Some were so unenjoyable that I just DNFd the book usually between 20-50% depending on how generous I was feeling about giving it a chance.

WELL! I think I’ve finally found one that’s working for me! Oddly enough, it was for the July first reads that I put off choosing until the very last day of the month that I was able to choose them. I’ve been so disheartened by how bad previous choices were for me that I was feeling like I shouldn’t bother… but ultimately, I can’t have 2 free books offered and not even look at them!

I’m glad I did because there were several intriguing choices. I was debating on, and accidentally opened the chapter sampler of it. I realized that was a good idea to help me decide if I would like it, and three chapters later I realized yes, I liked it, and should probably just get the whole book. xD

Hopefully this holds true, and I’ll have a cheerful review of No Ordinary Thursday by Anoop Judge soon!

Summary

Lena Sharma is a successful San Francisco restaurateur. An immigrant, she’s cultivated an image of conservatism and tradition in her close-knit Indian community. But when Lena’s carefully constructed world begins to crumble, her ties to her daughter, Maya, and son, Sameer—both raised in thoroughly modern California—slip further away.

Maya, divorced once, becomes engaged to a man twelve years her junior: Veer Kapoor, the son of Lena’s longtime friend. Immediately Maya feels her mother’s disgrace and the judgment of an insular society she was born into but never chose, while Lena’s cherished friendship frays. Meanwhile, Maya’s younger brother, Sameer, struggles with an addiction that reaches a devastating and very public turning point, upending his already tenuous future.

As the mother, daughter, and son are compromised by tragedy, secrets, and misconceptions, they each must determine what it will take to rebuild their bonds and salvage what’s left of their family.

Posted in Chatty

June 2022 Wrap Up: apparently I read a lot

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned 6 books in my June TBR and of those I read 4, with one in progress and one not started. But in total, I read 15 books so… I guess I plowed through anyway.

The Plan:

A mix of library loans of new releases and books I had on my shelves but hadn’t read, this was the goal for June.

The Result:

WOWW did I ever want to abandon two other books in this list: Crying in H Mart and Remarkably Bright Creatures were both duds for me in different ways, and I super wanted to stop reading them. But since I’ve met my quantity goal for the year, I’m pushing myself to read more widely and things I might not usually try. That includes continuing with books even when they’re a struggle or I would usually ditch them due to my mood-reader-ness. I think the slog of those are partly why I read so much: trying to break them up to make them more palatable. xD

Besides those two, I plowed through a ton of other books. I peg this largely on the 20 (15) books of summer challenge that i joined a little bit into June where you have to read and review a certain number of books in the summer. I may have gone aggressively into that list, and even posted ONLY reviews for like a week straight which was an interesting experiment.

Here’s a massive list of all the reviews that came up in June, because I went on an absolute tear there for a minute.

Phew!

~stats

Last month I put an unnecessary amount of time into creating my own charts and graphs and such of my reading tracker, on top of all the wonderful charts and graphs and data that Storygraph tracks for me. So to showcase that a bit, here’s a little section for all the data people like me out there to drool over. 😍

  • My reading was 7% Nonfiction this month (and the remaining 93% fiction).
  • My top genres were Young Adult (8 books) and Romance (7 books).
  • I mostly read books that were emotional, adventurous, or lighthearted.
  • My average rating was 3 stars out of 5. I read a total of 5,958 pages in May.
  • I traveled to South Korea, Japan, France, and even the Underworld through my books. In the United States, I was in Washington, California, and Boston.
Continue reading “June 2022 Wrap Up: apparently I read a lot”
Posted in Reviews

May 2022 Wrap Up: hectic!!!

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

In my May TBR post, I plotted out 6 books to definitely read, but I had 10 actually on my list to try to get through. Of those ten, I read 7, so not bad! And I also read 7 totally other random books for a total of a mind-boggling fourteen books that I somehow read in May. 🤯

The Plan:

A few of these were in the list to be finished — Around the World in 80 Plants and Dune in particular — with a few new releases / ARCs rounding out the rest (You’ve Changed, Queen of the Tiles, A Hundred Silent Ways, The Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting, The Olympus Trinity).

The Result:

text/image

Yo, let me address Dune right away. I threw that one OUT of my LIFE, and I feel so good about it! That damn book has been HAUNTING me for literally years now! I recently gave myself (and anyone else!) permission to give up on this book, which I don’t usually have an issue doing, but this one stuck to me. Marking it as Attempted/Abandoned was extremely liberating, and I think I went on an absolute tear of reading after in a mixture of a rush of freedom and trying to escape it. 😂

I have since finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee which was also a slog of a book. That combined with Dune was a tough mix. I dove into some mysticism to escape the monotony with Dragon’s Mage and Dragon’s Protector by Ava Richardson, which yes, are part of a series. ABOUT DRAGONS AND MAGIC! It was just what I needed!

I also squirreled away into some swoony romances with The Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin (LOOK FOR THIS ONE ON JULY 12, IT WAS EXCELLENT) which is absolutely one of my new favorites. 😍 Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee (also a July pub for the 26th) was a big-city-goes-small-town second chance romance with lawyers, books, and beer. An eclectic mix that worked so well.

And then I wrapped up the month by combining mysticism with swoony romance and went for Lady and the Vamp by C.C. Wood, which is about a Valkyrie and Vampire who meet on a dating app for non-humans. It’s a short read that was extremely fun and I can’t wait to meet the other characters in the world. ^.^

Posted Reviews:

~stats

A NEW SECTION THIS MONTH! I put an unnecessary amount of time into creating my own charts and graphs and such of my reading tracker, on top of all the wonderful charts and graphs and data that Storygraph tracks for me. So to showcase that a bit, here’s a little section for all the data people like me out there to drool over. 😍

  • My reading was 21% Nonfiction this month (and the remaining 79% fiction).
  • My top genres were Romance and Fantasy with 5 books each.
  • I mostly read books that were emotional, reflective, or adventurous.
  • My average rating was 3.9 stars out of 5. I read a total of 4,584 pages in May.
  • I traveled to Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, and Los Angeles, USA through my books (plus one that went global!).
Continue reading “May 2022 Wrap Up: hectic!!!”
Posted in Reviews

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me!

Hey y’all! My first post on this site was technically a review for Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake on January 19, 2019, but my first “hello” post and official setup of this blog once I decided to fully transfer was on May 25, 2019! So that makes today my 3rd anniversary! I’m going to keep this post kind of short, because I’ve had an exhausting day and it’ll be my present to myself. But I might do some more in depth stuff later this week. 🙂

Notable Firsts

Most Popular Posts

Bolded ones are the top popular posts of all time!

Thanks for being here, y’all! 😊

Posted in Chatty

How long before in progress is abandoned..?

Hey y’all! I was wondering: how long can you go before a book has to be marked abandoned or attempted instead of currently reading? Because right now I have four or five that I am partway through but haven’t read in, well… several months.

I do plan to finish them, but I had other books that took priority for one reason or another. I got some bills from my library holds. I had some ARCs to read before they published. And now Dune is technically one that I started almost a year ago. 😅🤣

I guess I’ll have to reprioritize these soon to get them off my list! Why did I suddenly become a serial abandoner??

Posted in Chatty

Kindle has achievements now? (all achievements unlocked!)

Hey y’all! I got a notification that from Kindle that I had gained an achievement, which seemed very strange. Apparently Kindle has introduced achievements that vary by season. It seems like they match the season of the year, as the current one is listed as the Spring Challenge, so I assume others will come seasonally.

There are three categories for the achievements: number of books finished on Kindle, number of days that you’ve read on Kindle, and a set of mystery ones that will show what the criteria for them are on a set schedule. The first reveal is on April 15th.

The badges when achieved are little bookmarks. I have no idea what happens with them once the time-frame has ended, but it seems like there might be a little collection to see.

I don’t think this would motivate me to read more, but it’s a fun little way to see what my reading habits are with a visual! What do you think? Are you hoping to collect some of these new little badges for digital reading?

Update on 5/4/22

I’ve learned a bit more about these achievements, and wanted to include some more details in this post!

Mystery Badge Reveals

The first mystery achievement was revealed on April 15th, and it was for a Scholar badge that requires finishing a nonfiction title. I’m not totally sure how they judge the criteria for each book, but it probably links to the book’s Amazon page and details on it. The achievement has a list of recommendations for titles that would work.

Another mystery achievement was revealed in April for World Book Day, tying in to the free books Amazon gave away for that week. If you read a kindle book on April 23, 2022, it gave the Voyager badge.

The future mystery badges seem to have an overlay that hints at what the badge will be for. Some of them are more easily visible than others. This one for May 20th appears to have a person at a typewriter with a bubble up from it showing a boat or something — so many it’s a book with a journey, set on the sea, or from 1800s or earlier! Guess we’ll find out on May 20th.

Edit 6/6/22 – The Mystery achievement for May 20th has been revealed, and boy was I wrong! 😂 Here’s that badge, as well as some of the others that have come up. The one above from 5/20 was the “I’m A Fan” badge, which was awarded after following an author’s profile on Amazon.

What counts as “Reading” on a day?

I haven’t found an exact amount of pages or time that you need to do in order to qualify the day as having read something. I’ve read for as few as 5 minutes and as few as 4 pages and had those both still count. It seems like as long as it’s a few minutes and/or a couple page flips, it will count it for the day!

Leveling up badges

Some badges stack, like the Perfect Week and Perfect Month badges where you read every day for that time. When you achieve it again, it adds a little multiplier sticker in the corner. These also keep track of your days so you know where you’re at. Missing one day in April was super annoying to see on that tracker the rest of the month. xD

How to access

So far, it looks like this is only accessible in the kindle app or on their newer e-readers with a home page setup. My Kindle Fire tablet has them, as well as the app on my phone, but nowhere on the Amazon or Kindle websites are they shown yet.

Seeing the other badges

In addition to the badges for reading a certain number of books, there appear to be 2 badges related to a specific genre or list of book. This challenge has one for reading sci-fi / fantasy and one for reading a book from the 2021 Best Books list of Amazon (linked on the badge in the app). And yes… these dang achievements absolutely did push me to read a book that I had posted about a while ago since it was on this list and I wanted the badge. xD I’m a sucker. ….But it was a good book!!

The badges that I had (apparently??) achieved in January are listed in a little section below the current challenge to view. If there were any others I didn’t get, those are no longer shown. I had no idea these even existed until April so maybe they were backdated? If anyone else has others listed, comment below because I’d love to hear it!

  • Bronze Reader: read at least 7 days in January
  • Series Starter: started reading a series title in January
  • Quitter’s Day: read on January 19th, the day most people quit their New Year resolution
  • Finisher: finish a book in January

The Spring Challenge’s Unlocked Badges

  • Bronze Reader: Read 15 Days during the challenge (non-consecutive)
  • Silver Reader: Read 40 Days during the challenge (non-consecutive)
  • Gold Reader: Read 75 Days during the challenge (non-consecutive)
  • Perfect Week: Read every day for a calendar week (Monday – Sunday)
  • Bookish: read one book
  • Bookworm: read two books
  • Bibliophile: read three books
  • Final Frontier: read a Science Fiction or Fantasy book
  • Scholar: read a Nonfiction title
  • Voyager: read on World Book Day (April 23, 2022)
  • Great Escape: Read a Fiction title
  • I’m A Fan: follow an author’s page on Amazon
  • Perfect Month: Read every day for a calendar month (ex every day in June)
  • Chart Topper: read a book from Amazon’s Best Books of 2021 list
  • Quick Bites: read a Kindle Vella story
  • Final Chapter: Read 2 days between 6/12 and 6/18

Other Kindle Challenges

Posted in Chatty

March 2022 Wrap Up: 🤷‍♀️

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

Well evidently I just gave up on doing a published TBR list for March, but I had planned 5. Of those 5, I read 3 and DNFd too, plus finished 3 others for a total of 6 finished.

The Plan:

  • 1 – BOTM book
  • 1 – book gifted to me
  • 2 – Amazon First Read books
  • 1 – ARC

The Result:

I had a couple of stinkers this month, and both were from Amazon First Reads, so I’m kind of turned off from them this month. The Paid Bridesmaid was shallow and dull, and Like Me was gross for the sake of being shocking, I guess? It didn’t feel like it had a point.

On the positive side, I read a new release I got from Book of the Month Club that I enjoyed in Peach Blossom Spring! Finally, a BOTM that didn’t disappoint. An Ember in the Ashes was a Christmas gift that I finally got around to, and it was enjoyable but not mind-blowing. Two Fast Forward Friday titles were checked off the list with Loveboat, Taipei and You Truly Assumed and both were again decent but not mind-blowing. And finally, A Court of Mist and Fury… which led me to the actually mind-blowing realization that maybe I just don’t like Sarah J Maas anymore. 🤯

Continue reading “March 2022 Wrap Up: 🤷‍♀️”
Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with an adjective in the title!

Hey y’all! I know, I know… I’m pretty late to the game with this being my first book meme / top ten Tuesday post even after running the blog for almost three years now! I’ve seen Dini @ dinipandareads do these often and always enjoyed reading them, so I thought I’d finally give it a try!

This bookish question idea was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊

This week’s is books with adjectives in the title. This was interesting because as I read through my books, I kept doubting myself and wondering if something was actually functioning as an adjective or not. I’m pretty confident in these now, but hey, whatever if not, they’re all still great books! I chose books from my highest rated reads for this list.

My top 10 books with an adjective in the title!

Why I love each one…

the funniest, sweetest superhero to ever remain canon

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with an adjective in the title!”
Posted in Book Talk

December 2021 Wrap Up

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

For December I had planned 7, all Fast Forward Friday titles from the year. And I read all seven!! It was so luxurious to give time to these anticipated titles and for the most part, they did not disappoint. 🙂

The Plan:

The Result:

Heart AND Seoul. But I’m not going to redo the picture again.

So I read a lot in December with the holiday time off, but several of those were also graphic novels that read a bit quicker than text-only novels. Side note, I’ve never differentiated something as a “text-only novel” and it was an odd moment as I figured out what to call it.

Continue reading “December 2021 Wrap Up”