Quarterly Recap and Mini-reviews

Hello everyone!

It’s definitely been a while since the last time I’ve done this kind of post. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, say.. 2 years, you might remember that I used to do monthly recaps. However, time flies – including my free time ūüėõ – and I no longer read or blog as much as I used to. I do still want to do a recap to talk about stuff I enjoy and books I read that haven’t been covered in my review posts… just not monthly. Hence, I decided to do quarterly recap instead! So, let’s get to it before I bore you with my intro.

Reviews posted

These Shallow Graves | LINK
The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane | LINK
Dreadnought | LINK
Every Heart A Doorway | LINK
Unearthly Things | LINK
The Love Interest | LINK
The Evaporation of Sofi Snow | LINK
Flame in the Mist | LINK

Other books I read

Dreamer (Brandon Sanderson) 

I got this short story from a charity book bundle alongside his other short works and an audiobook. Dreamer has typical Sanderson world-building but not characters. It might, however, surprise you, especially if you’ve been reading a lot of his other works.

The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) 

THUG – the book everyone told you to read – and well, please just read it. This is probably my favorite read so far this year. It’s an important book, for sure, with it being born with the background of Black Lives Matter movement, but if you worry about the writing, then don’t. Angie is a gifted writer and the story flows effortlessly with great characters, especially the leading lady. I actually outlined a review for this book a while ago, but never get around to post it what with the changes happening in dip-into-books. Maybe, I’ll break my own rules and post it anyway. :p

The Black Prism (Brent Weeks) 3.5 stars

Slow and solid world-building, okay character arc, but it reads like your usual epic fantasy. Honestly, I’ve heard so many great things about this series that I had high expectation coming to this book. That’s probably why it sort of fell short of my expectation.

The Trespasser (Tana French) 

The trespasser is French’s return to form after the rather poorly executed The Secret Place. Antoinette Conway, whom we met in the 5th book – The Secret Place – is the narrator of this book, and my – how I liked her spunk. French writing is atmospheric as always and the story offers enough surprise and twist to keep me on my toe.

White Sand (Brandon Sanderson) 

The White Sand I mentioned here is the unpolished draft and not the graphic novel version. Brandon being Brandon, he sent this manuscript as a free download to everyone who subscribed to his newsletter despite it’s currently being adapted into graphic novels. In fact, I’ve reviewed the first volume of the graphic novel so I’ll edit that post and put my thought in that post instead of here. For now, all I’m going to say is that the graphic novel doesn’t do Khrissalla justice.

Binti (Nnedi Okorafor) 3.5 stars

This is the case of it’s not you, it’s me. Binti is a unique science fiction novella with original idea and a Himba protagonist. I liked Binti a lot, but I couldn’t get into the story. However, a lot of people seem to enjoy it, including the critics. Just look at the 4+ star average rating on Goodreads and the fact that it won a Nebula.

Stuff I Enjoy

Mobile gaming. I don’t have much time to play game, but I am still a gamer at heart. The solution? Mobile games, of course! I’ve been playing some clicker games for the past month, notably Politicats and Magikarp Jump (because who doesn’t like Magikarp?!). I liked clicker game because they’re just so addictive and don’t require too much time investment. On the opposite side, I’ve been playing Mobius Final Fantasy – a game known as being very grindy – since September. Oh well, you need balance in everything, right? I don’t play Mobius FF as much lately, but I emerge once in a while to compete in tower and to play multiplayer.

Bullet Journal. I might have mention bu-jo in passing a couple of months ago, and I am glad to report that this habit is still going strong. I switched planners about a half dozen times during the past 2 years, but with bullet journal, I think I finally found one that works. Its simplicity and flexibility makes bullet journal a huge help to increase my productivity.

And that’s it for now! Let me know if you’ve been reading the same book or play the same game as me. I’d also like to remind you that dip-into-books now has calendar containing release date of books I plan to get as well as my upcoming review schedule. The July looks rather empty right now because I haven’t started on my reading… BUT I’ll get to it SOON.

March Wrap-up and April TBR

March, the month where I failed at blogging and reading. Basically.

March wrap-up

Reading recap

My March TBR:

  1. The Alloy of Law (Brandon Sanderson)
  2. Legion (Brandon Sanderson)
  3. More Happy than Not (Adam Silvera)
  4. Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)
  5. Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)
  6. Mitosis (Brandon Sanderson)
  7. It (Stephen King)

What I Actually Read:

Legion (Brandon Sanderson)

This novella was really fun to read, and it managed to tackle a lot of important issues.
4 star

Kindred Spirits (Rainbow Rowell)

Kindred Spirits is good, but not great. This short story reads like a pilot to a potentially interesting TV series, and that’s all you got, the pilot. If she ever decided to continue the story, I would definitely read that book. Nevertheless, the title is APPROPRIATE because this book is all about SPIRITS. It’s about being in a fandom and that feeling was captured perfectly by Rowell. Review here.
3.5 star

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell (Susanna Clarke)

I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it because at first I didn’t find it that funny and I read a review that said, if the sample didn’t make you chuckle it’s probably not for you. However, as the story progresses the book got more and more interesting and I started to get the quirks and the humor. In the end, I enjoyed it so much I might have cried a little when I finished it.
 4 star

In the Woods (Tana French)

In the woods is the first book in French’s Dublin Murder Squad series.¬†At first, I was reluctant to pick it up because¬†I was worried it will be like all those interchangeable detective stories out there. I picked it up because this was the book that turned even the harshest reviewers into rabid fan.¬†I’m happy to report that In the Woods is indeed a great psychological mystery. However, it¬†puts more focus on the main characters than the mystery itself, that is probably why some readers were¬†left disappointed.
4 star

More Happy than Not (Adam Silvera)

I didn’t cry – that’s new – but it doesn’t mean this book didn’t do its job. I’ll be posting a review of this book soon so stay tuned. For now, all I can say is that I am now a member of¬†waiting-for-Adam-Silvera’s-next-book club.
4 star

The Alloy of Law (Brandon Sanderson)

I wanted to love it so much, but by the time I finished this book, I was still unsure if I love the book or not. I like it, for sure, but I am not yet feel attached to these new characters. The action sequences, however, are simply perfect. Full review coming soon.
4 star

Currently Reading:
It (Stephen King)

Blogging recap

Reviews
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab РLINK
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – LINK

Recap and New Releases
April Most Anticipated New Releases РLINK

Top Ten Tuesday
Fantasy Books Exploring Siblings/Friends Relationship РLINK
Characters that Need A Hug РLINK
Books on My Spring TBR РLINK
Last 5 Star-ish Reads – LINK

Book Tags and Awards
More Happy than Not Tag РLINK

Book Club & Miscellaneous
Diverse Books Recommendation #FBCYA РLINK

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April TBR

Here we go again.

  1. The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh)
    I already owned the book and the sequel comes out this month. Seems like the perfect time to jump in the hype train.
  2. Front Lines (Michael Grant)
    Please be good, please be good, please be good.
  3. The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater)
    It’s¬†Fanboy Book Club¬†book for¬†April!
  4. Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)
    Carry-over from my March TBR
  5. Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)
    Because it’s currently sitting on the shelf feeling unloved and I need to get to it asap.
  6. The Likeness (Tana French)
    The second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. Heard that this one is even better. Excited!
  7. The Winner’s Curse (Marie Rutkoski)
    Another book I already owned (it was 2.99 on Kindle and I’m a sucker for bargain price). Hopefully I enjoyed it as much as other people did.

Thank you for reading my blabbering. Until next time!


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February Wrap-up and March TBR

In a strange turn of events, I’ve completed 85% of my February TBR. There’s hope for me after all!

My blogging activity, however, declined dramatically in February. I work in a company that ends its fiscal year on March so these last few months have been really chaotic for me. Expect me to also disappear for most of March and early April.

Anyway, enough about work, let’s recap my reading and blogging (lack of) achievements.

February wrap-up

Reading recap

My February TBR:

  1. Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)
  2. Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling)
  4. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton)
  5. A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)
  6. Charm & Strange (Stephanie Kuehn)
  7. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke)

What I Actually Read:

Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)

The second book in Reckoners series was better than I expected it to be. I’m not the biggest fan of Steelheart, but I found Firefight to be highly enjoyable quick read.
4 star

Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)

After the slight disappointment that was Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages was Mistborn return to its full-blown glory. I still like Well of Ascension a lot, but at times I had to drag myself to read that book. Hero of Ages had none of that problem and I ungrudgingly gave it 5 stars.
5 star

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling)

It’s been ages since I last re-read this book.¬†I am delighted to find out that Harry Potter is still as charming as ever even when I read it as an adult. Harry’s first visit to the Diagon Alley still elicited a squeal from me. Not to mention the sorting¬†ceremony, and¬†all of the refreshments and snacks in the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
 star

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton)

I should be posting a review of this wonderful book soon, but for now I just want to rave about it. Walton wrote a book that from its descriptions I would find difficult to enjoy. One, lyrical prose. Two, magical realism. Three, the pain and passion of human love.
The fact that I love it so much speaks volume on how amazing this book was.
4.5 star

A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)

If you thought I was a little too obsessed with A Darker Shade of Magic, I have a bad news. I’ve found a new book to obsess about and it’s none other than its sequel, A Gathering of Shadows.
4.5 star

Charm & Strange (Stephanie Kuehn)

I reviewed this strange but compelling book here.
4 star

Currently Reading:
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke)

Blogging recap

Reviews
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn РLINK

Recap and New Releases
March Most Anticipated New Releases РLINK

Top Ten Tuesday
The Past and The Future – LINK
Fictional Ways to Make Someone Loves You – LINK
Ten books I recently enjoyed that weren’t my typical read РLINK

Book Tags and Awards
The Disney Book Tag – LINK

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread
Part XIV

Miscellaneous
HTML Tips for Bloggers: Working with Boxes and Images РLINK
Fanboy Book Club: Kick-off – LINK

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March TBR

I’m going to Sanderson’d my TBR because¬†I have a long long way to go to complete this.

  1. The Alloy of Law (Brandon Sanderson)
    New Mistborn characters, world, time period, etc. Sounds fun.
  2. Legion (Brandon Sanderson)
    I need to make a dent in my novella/short stories TBR and this one seems like an interesting read. Not that I have a choice to not read it.
  3. More Happy than Not (Adam Silvera)
    It’s¬†Fanboy Book Club¬†book for March and I’m really excited to read it!
  4. Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)
    I’m jumping in with the crowd and will try to read this book before I see the movie. It’s also part of my Book Riot challenge.
  5. Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)
    This is my #1 priority tbh.
  6. Mitosis (Brandon Sanderson)
    Should be a super quick read before I haul Calamity in April.
  7. It (Stephen King)
    I hate clowns. I’m easily frightened by horror movies. But, I’m also a masochist. Plus¬†this book fits the criteria for both my Book Riot challenge and my door-stopper challenge so I will (TRY to) read it.

Thank you for reading my blabbering. Until next time!


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January Wrap-up and February TBR

Hello everyone, it’s the last day of January which means it’s time for recap post.

I had 5 books in my January TBR. Out of those five, I only read two…
Yes I know, I should be banned from ever making TBR. xD

Let’s recap them.

January wrap-up

Reading recap

My January TBR:

  1. Truthwitch (Susan Dennard)
  2. The Grownup (Gillian Flynn)
  3. Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)
  4. Uprooted (Naomi Novik)
  5. Sanctuary Bay (Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz)

What I Actually Read:

The Grownup (Gillian Flynn)

This novella was originally published as What Do You Do? as part of George R. R. Martin’s anthology, Rogues. It centered around a con-artist who worked as “psychic” to make ends meet. A client hired her to cleanse her house and here, she met the client’s creepy stepson. It’s very short, quite creepy, and I really liked the first half of the novella. However, the second half felt rushed mainly because it’s hard to put so much into 64 pages book. It’s still good though.
3.5 star

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

I started this book in 2014 and made it halfway before quitting so I had to reread the whole thing. The whole “going to school” part really bore me, but surprisingly the pace picked up after the twist introduced in Thornfield Hall.
It wasn’t my favorite classic, but I could appreciate Bronte’s ideas of feminism and I really like the main character, Jane.
3.5 star

War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

It took me three weeks to finish this giant. It’s not the thickest book in the world (1392 pages) but it sure felt like so. There are bazillion characters in it and throughout the book Tolstoy would refer to them using their name, nickname, or title. It’s so difficult to keep track of everyone. Once I got the hang of it, though, the book is easier to digest. There are essays inserted throughout the book, and although I appreciate the “why”, they still felt somewhat distracting.
3 star

Uprooted (Naomi Novik)

This book is magical, spooky, and offers a fresh take on fairy tale. You can read my review here.
4.5 star

Tell The Wind and Fire (Sarah Rees Brennan)

This was my #1 most anticipated book in 2016 so I was very excited when the publisher approved my eARC request. It didn’t turn out the way I expected, but I’m not going to say too much here because I will be posting full review as it gets closer to the publication date.
3 star

Blogging recap

Reviews
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – LINK
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson – LINK
Uprooted by Naomi Novik – LINK

Recap, Goal, and New Releases
December Wrap-up and January TBR – LINK
My 2016 Reading Goals – LINK
February Most Anticipated New Releases – LINK

Book Tags and Awards
None posted.

I AM SORRY TO ALL OF YOU LOVELY PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAGGED ME. I PROMISE I’LL DO BETTER NEXT MONTH.

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread
Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII

Miscellaneous
HTML Tips for Bloggers: The Basics – LINK
HTML Tips for Bloggers: Intro to Styling – LINK

I posted the first two parts of my planned 3-parts HTML tips series. The last part should be up this Friday so stay tuned for that.

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February TBR

Yep, you read that right. Even though I should be banned from making TBR, since no one has banned me yet I’ll keep making one. ūüėÄ
I am also doing three reading challenges/goals this year (that I’m keeping track here) so I want to work toward completing them.

  1. Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)
    Calamity comes out in February so I want to catch up with the series before the release date.
  2. Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)
    I am so behind in the Mistborn series. I’ll have to finish the original trilogy before moving on to the new Mistborn series.
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling)
    I joined the Fanboy Book Club and we’re going to (re-)read the book that started it all for many of us. The kick-off post should be up next week and I’m really excited to be part of this book club.
  4. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Leslye Walton)
    I also joined the Blogger Bookclub (in retrospect, I am perhaps too ambitious) and the theme for February is to read a beautiful book. This is the book choice of the month and I have to admit, it looks beautiful. I am not a big fan of magical realism, but this one looks promising so we’ll see.
  5. A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)
    a.k.a. the book that will make me drop everything until I finish it.
  6. Charm & Strange (Stephanie Kuehn)
    I’ll try to squeeze this one in if possible. It’s a psychological thriller and the premise intrigued me. I actually picked this book as one of my entry for the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, but I’m not even sure if it qualifies for the category. Well, better read it to find out, right? :p
  7. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
    This one is a big if because it’s a giant. It has to be big though, because I’m going to read it as one of my “doorstopper reading challenge” book.

Thank you for reading my blabbering. Until next time!


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2015 Reading Recap: An Infographic

Hello everyone,

It’s time to do a year-end recap, but today I’m bringing you something different.

Instead of summarizing my favorite Brandon Sanderson books of 2015 as I did in every top ten lists, I decided to make an infographic. It might or might not still mention Sanderson.

Honestly, this was inspired by Goodreads Year in Books infographic, which is infinitely more awesome than mine. They also kept track of my books and even gave me cool stats to work with. SO, thank you goodreads!

Here is my 2015 in books:

2015 in reading

(Click on the picture to enlarge)