February 2019 Wrap-up

Hello all! As you may know, I have started tracking my reading both on Goodreads, and independently using a spreadsheet I coded. Well, Goodreads has this to say about my reading so far this year:

goodreads Feb 2019

So, off to a good start this year.

According to my spreadsheet, here are my stats from January:

  • 21 books read
  • 182 pages average

Here are my stats from February:

  • 14 books read
  • 194 pages average

Number of Books Read Per Month

I read way more books in January but the books I read in February were longer over-all. Here are the rest of the graphs for February:

New Reads v.s. Re-reads

My New Reads v.s. Re-Reads for February was about the same ratio as January. Which is good. It means I am sticking to my resolution to read more new books rather than re-reading old favorites.

Series v.s. Standalones

Ugh, this was bad. Even worse than January. To be honest, I am surprised I read so many series. I think it is because I am drawn to particular authors, and when I find one I really like, I will just binge read everything they have…which are typically series…I guess. Weird.

Number of Books in Genre Read

…Well, it was February, and my birthday was Valentine’s Day, so it only makes sense I read a lot of romance this month. Granted, a lot of the romance I read could also be categorized as either fantasy or sci-fi…meh, they are still romance stories at heart which is why I categorized them as such.

Reading Format

*Hangs head in shame* I did so bad this month! I just couldn’t help myself I guess. Instead of sticking to reading print books I already own, I ended up buying a bunch of ebooks and reading them instead. *Sigh* I will try and do better in March.

Percent Genders Read

This ratio stayed pretty much the same as January.


That’s it for February! Happy reading all!

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February 2019 Book Haul

Hello friends! I apologize that I haven’t been around lately. February was a busy month: it was my birthday, I went to an anime convention, and I picked up a new video game. I also haven’t had many book related things to talk about recently (though I have been reading) so I let my blog languish a bit.

Anywho, my friend Emily @Embuhleeliest does these wonderful book haul posts, so I decided to do my very first one since I got some fun books this month. So without further ado:

The New Books

new books fixed

These are all the new books I bought this month:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – Just picked this up today since B&N is having a 50% off sale and this was less than $10.

Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery – I don’t normally read biographies but Edward Gorey was just so weird I had to get this (it was also bought today as part of B&N’s 50% off sale). Last year I got first editions of Gorey’s Vinegar Works and they are some of my favorite books I have ever owned.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – I am currently reading this with Emily @Embuhleeliest. It has a very strange writing style, it is told as if someone was telling the story directly to you…digressions included, but I am finding that I really like it so far.

The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft – I read the first book in this series, Senlin Ascends, last year and holy crap was it amazing. I already own the second book but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I bought this one so I would be ready.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – Emily @Embuhleeliest‘s husband is reading this book and she is the one that recommended it to me. (She is thinking about stealing it from said husband since he is being slow about finishing it.) It sounded fascinating so I picked it up.

The Metamorphoses of Ovid by Ovid, Allen Mandelbaum (Translator) – Lately I have been reading books that pull heavily from the classics. So, while I have read many of the classics, I decided to re-read some and read others for the first time in order to get the full picture. I have not read this one before, and I picked it up because I recently read Circe by Madeline Miller, which deals with the goddess Circe who can transform men into beasts.

I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson – Again, this is not the type of book I normally read, but I happened to pick up the second book of Dawson’s, It Gets Worse, out of curiosity and was dying within seconds. So I decided I should read the first book first.

Like a ding-dong, I forgot to include the following books in the pic I took and it is more trouble that it is worth to re-take it:

 

Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy by Martha Wells – I love Murderbot. Though ART is one of my favorite characters of all time and I wish it was in more than just one book.

The Used Books

Used books fixed

There is an incredibly dangerous used bookstore in my city. I really should never, ever go there but I can’t seem to help myself. These are the used books that I picked up there this month:

The Complete Woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer by Albrecht Dürer, Dr. Willi Kurth (Editor) – I am a sucker for art books, and this one is chock full of the absolutely stunning wood block prints done by Albrecht Dürer in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The Arabian Nights: Their Best-Known Tales by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Editor), Nora Archibald Smith (Editor), Maxfield Parrish (Illustrator) – This is a beautifully illustrated book of some of the better known tales from The 1001 Arabian Nights.

The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Thomas Malory, Alfred W. Pollard, Arthur Rackham (Illustrator) – I love stories about King Arthur and I love Arthur Rackham’s art so this was a book I just had to own.

Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories by Charles Perrault – The illustrations in this book are beautiful, and I adore fairy tales so this was another must buy.

The Gift Books

Gift books

As I mentioned in the intro, this month was my birthday and both of my aunts got me these books:

Classical Mythology: Illustrated Edition by Helen A. Guerber – My one aunt got me this book, quite unknowing that I was reading the classics and especially greek myths. So, this was really the perfect birthday present!

Will O’ The Mill And Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson – My other aunt, an artist, did a portrait of John Steinbeck many years ago that hung for a long time in my family’s bookstore. (The bookstore was in Monterey, CA where Steinbeck based most of his books.) Alas, the bookstore is no longer, but my aunt made a gift of the portrait to me for Christmas. Well, I asked her if she would do a commission of Robert Louis Stevenson in the same style. She is thinking about it, but in the mean time she sent me this pocket (literally!) book by Stevenson for my birthday.

The eBooks

This list will get out of hand (as if it isn’t already) if I list out all the ebooks I bought this month. Most of the ones I got were by Jordan L. Hawk. I started off reading their Hexworld Series, but then switched to Whyborne & Griffin (I just today picked up book 5 in that series).  The only ebook that was not by Jordan L. Hawk was Diplomatic Relations by J.L. Langley, which is the 4th book in her Sci-Regency Series.

The Special Books

 

On the left:

The Voyage of Argo – Folio Society Edition by Apollonius of Rhodes, Lawrence Norfolk (Introducer), Daniel Egneus (Illustrator) – This is my first ever Folio Society book! It is beautiful. Folio Society was having a sale, including this book, so I decided to get it because, again, I am brushing up on the classics. I have read the play Medea by Euripides, but I have not ever read the Argonautica, so this will be new for me (even though I do know the story).

On the right:

The Odyssey – Franklin Library 100 Greatest Books Leather Bound Edition by Homer, Robert Fitzgerald (Translator) – Someday, I hope to have leather bound editions of all my favorite classics. I have not read this translation of the Odyssey, but I did comparison reads of the most popular translations available, and I liked this one the best. Looking forward to seeing if I end up liking this translation better than the one I read a million years ago in high school.


And so the library grows…

Fantasy Book Bingo Update

readathon

Go here for original Reddit post for more information on this readathon.

Hi all! I have been reading a lot of new-to-me books so far this year, and have managed to fill in two more squares on my bingo card. Only 2 books to go until blackout bingo! My card now looks like this:

fantasy book bingo card 02.04.19

Gosh, those covers in those colors make my bingo card look so somber. I wonder if anyone has tried to complete this challenge based on cover color? That would add an interesting extra dimension to the challenge.

The Stats:

  • 23/25 read
  • 19/23 hard mode
  • 2/2 of the remaining I know what I want to read

I say I know what I want to read for the remaining squares, but the fact is, I have deviated wildly from my original TBR for many of the bingo squares. Once I get my blackout bingo I will do a TBR v.s. what I actually read comparison post.

Btw, I totally get now why Circe by Madeline Miller won the Goodreads 2018 best fantasy. It is so good!

Happy reading everyone!

 

January 2019 Wrap-up

Hello all! This is the first year I am tracking my reading on Goodreads starting from the beginning of the year. I love that Goodreads allows you to track what you have read and has the yearly reading challenge, however their “Year in Books” that they put together for everyone at the end of the year I found very disappointing. It was missing a lot of statistics that I wanted to know like, what are my new reads v.s. my re-reads? How many print books v.s. ebooks v.s. other formats? And how many books did I read of each genre?

So, I ended up putting together my own spreadsheet. It was really fun to brush off my rusty coding skills to get the formulas exactly how I wanted (for instance, I am tracking author gender, however I only wanted to track distinct authors since I tend to read a lot of books by the same author if I know I like their work…that sort of thing).

So, here are my stats from January:

  • 21 books read
  • 182 pages average

New Reads v.s. Re-reads January 2019

I tend to re-read books a lot, so one of my goals for this year was to read more new reads than re-reads. I think I am off to a pretty good start so far.

Series v.s. Standalones January 2019

I didn’t realize I read a lot more books in series than standalones until I started tracking it.

Number of Books in Genre Read January 2019

The only surprise here was that I read 2 slice of life books. That is not typically a genre I read.

Reading Format January 2019

I am trying to build up my library again, which means I have a lot of physical print books to be read. I am trying to read those to cut down the TBR list. Ebooks still call to me though since you can get them with the click of a button.

Percent Genders Read January 2019.png

This one was a bit of a surprise. I don’t really care about the gender of the author I am reading (it is not something I take into account when I decide to read a book), but I was surprised that it is overwhelmingly female authors whose books I am drawn to.

Well, as you can see above, I really like pie charts. Hah! Anyway, I am enjoying keeping track of my reading this way since it is shedding some light on my reading habits. It will be interesting to see how the charts change as the year progresses.

Happy reading everyone!

 

 

Tome Infinity Wrap-up

tome infinity 2

(Banner is from the official Tome Infinity Twitter page)

Hello fellow space farers! I know the readathon doesn’t end until the 31st, but I thought I might just wrap-up here since I am chomping at the space dust to read Circe by Madeline Miller, and I had no intentions to read that book as part of this readathon. (I mean, I probably could fit it into one of the prompts, but I kinda like where I ended up with this readathon.) So, here are the stats:

Journey to a new planet – COMPLETE

tome infinity route complete.jpeg

I completed a fair bit of this during round 1 of Tome Infinity, but I got stuck in the Astroid Belt for a loooooooong time, so that is where I picked up when round 2 began.

Completed in Round 1:

Completed in Round 2:

As for building up the colony on Saturn’s moon Titan, I doubled up on prompts so I could get to at least tier 3.

Tier 1 Basic Survival – COMPLETE

tier 1

As I have said before, food is important.

Tier 2 Small Settlements – COMPLETE

tier 2

Tier 3 Growing Civilization – COMPLETE

tier 3.png

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the first of the Murderbot Diaries series. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is rather popular on the r/Fantasy sub-reddit, so I decided to give it a try. It is about an android which has hacked it’s governor module (basically making it a free agent, and able to defy orders) that is contracted out to a team of scientists to protect them as they survey a planet. I really enjoyed being inside Murderbot’s head (Murderbot is what the android calls itself). I have the second book on order and am looking forward to reading it.

This book is for: People who enjoy binging TV (or can at least commiserate), people who like conspiracies/murder mysteries, and for people who like reading about androids who aren’t concerned about “what it means to be human” and would rather just be left alone.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson is an homage to H. P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, that attempts to answer the question of “where have all the women gone?” in Lovecraft’s story.  I liked this book, but I was slightly disappointed the cat army didn’t make an appearance (though, there was a cat that accompanied Vellitt throughout most of the story…and I really liked the gug).

This book is for: People who like H. P. Lovecraft’s dream world stories, but wish he had added in some bad ass women.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon was simultaneously a glorious and extremely difficult read. This is what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

I…don’t think I have adequate words to talk about this book. It is magnificent, and it is terrible. It makes me want to simultaneously destroy all human life and give everyone a giant hug. I think I am going to curl up with some tea and watch cute cat internet videos now.

So, yeah, it was amazing (and awful).

This book is for: People who like stories with non-binary characters, people who like a bitter-sweet conclusion, people who like giant spaceships, and people who abhor slavery.

The breakdown:

  • All Systems Red – covers Technology and Government
  • Dream-Quest – covers Urban Settlements and Higher Education
  • Unkindness – covers Class Structure and Religion

So, that’s it! I think the colony (and my research) have made decent headway. If anyone else participated in this readathon, let me know how far you got! And as always:

tome infinity

 

Dreamy Book Cover Tag

Hi all! I saw this book tag over on Bookmark Your Thoughts and thought it was awesome so I decided to do one of my own. I absolutely love beautiful book covers, some are truly a work of art, and I am not ashamed to say that I have bought books before, just for their covers.

The Rules

  1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love. (I wasn’t actually tagged, but thank you Bookmark Your Thoughts!)
  2. Mention Tiana @ The Book Raven as the creator of this book tag.
  3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires.)
  4. At least tag 1 fellow blogger for this tag.
  5. List the rules.

Not in Ideas but in Things

A BOOK COVER THAT PERFECTLY EXPRESSES THE NOVEL INSIDE IT

The cover of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin is stark, beautiful, devastating, grueling, cruel, and cold (after all, the book does take place on a planet called Winter). The story contained within is all of these things and more.


Dark and Lovely

A BOOK COVER THAT IS SO CREEPALICIOUS YOU JUST WANT TO EAT IT UP

That mask on the hardcover edition of A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge…super creepy.


Sugar Sweet

A CUTE COVER THAT IS SO FLUFFY YOU WANT TO GIVE IT A HUG

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill just makes me squee.


The Simplistic Aesthetic

A BOOK COVER THAT STUNS WITH THE MOST MINIMALISTIC OF DESIGN

Vicious by V. E. Schwab has one of the simplest but most stunning covers I have ever seen.


Cover Envy

A BOOK COVER YOU WISH YOU HAD ON YOUR SHELVES, BUT DON’T YET

I love the neon effect in the cover of Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller.


Traveling Abroad

A BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER FEATURING A COUNTRY OUTSIDE OF YOUR OWN

Most of the books I read don’t take place in my country, but City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty takes place in a place very different from where I live, and the cover is absolutely stunning.


The Colour Wheel

A COVER THAT SHOWCASES ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE COLORS

Teal/aqua is my favorite color, and teal combined with red is my favorite color combination. So, Condomnauts by Yoss is one of my all time favorite covers, for the content as well as the colors.


Switching Gears

A COVER CHANGE THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY ADORE

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson went from this…(meh)

to this…(OMG that is gorgeous!!!)

I actually already owned the first copy shown, but when the new cover came out, I had to buy it. I mean, just look at it!


Oldie but Goodie

A FAVORITE BOOK COVER OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSIC

Dune by Frank Herbert is considered a classic now right? Anyway, there have been many copies of Dune printed, but this cover is one of my favorites, because I like how the silhouette is of a worm. My other favorite Dune cover is this:


And the winner is…

WHICH COVER MENTIONED ABOVE IS YOUR FAVORITE?

It was hard to pick, but I think (right now anyway) that this cover of Snow Crash is my favorite from the above list.


Tag! You’re It!

I tag Emily @Embuhleeliest!

Tome Infinity Readathon Update

tome infinity 2

(Banner is from the official Tome Infinity Twitter page)

Hello fellow colonists! Advancement of the Titan colony continues at breakneck speed along with my research. We have now completed Tier 2!

tier 2.png

Last post, I talked about how Medicine, Education, Oral Communication, and Travel were all accounted for. Well, I just finished reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin which, fortunately for me, covers both Trading and Procreation.

This book was amazing and I have added it to my all time favorite books. As I said in my review on Goodreads,

This book is for people who: Like smart literature that assumes the reader is also smart, like to ponder the duality of gender and how gender roles shape so much of our lives, like a story about a stranger in a strange land, and love the cold, and ice, and snow, and winter.

Anywho, on to Tier 3! And as always:

tome infinity