Hi everyone! I feel like this month passed by in the span of two weeks, it went so fast! Book-wise though, I read a lot more than I thought I had. It’s not quite the end of the month, but nearly so if I read anything on the last day of the month, I’ll just add it to my February reading post.
Since this is the first post of the year, I thought I’d mention my Goodreads goal for 2017 here. For 2017 I lowered my reading goal from last year’s 75 books to 50 books. I did this mostly because I honestly don’t plan to read as much this year. Last year I “rediscovered” reading after years of not reading so I felt like I had a lot of ground to cover, which I think I did pretty well. Another reason is that last year I felt so pressured to read in order to catch up and know what was going on in the community that I was motivated to devour books like crazy.
This year I don’t quite feel that push to read so quickly and am slowly adjusting to taking my time with books. Plus I do want to read more non-fiction which do tend to take me longer to get through so they don’t add to my overall count as much.
I also want to focus on other hobbies as well, so I think that scaling back my reading goals will give me time to do so. And while it’s been too cold to really do much else where I live, I’m sure I’ll be happy with a lower goal over the spring, summer, and fall when I won’t feel guilty going out in the summer for adventures rather than staying in to read.
That all being said, I read 10 books this month! With a reading goal of 50 books it is slightly less than one book a week, so I’m making great progress already! I’m hoping February and March will also be full of reading days since it’s really hard to do anything else.
And on my rating system: I’m still going to stick with the 5 star Goodreads rating system, no half stars and 5 being the highest!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I loved, loved, loved Six of Crows. I had been putting off reading this book but had been seeing it everywhere. I actually read most of it during 2016 but didn’t finish until 2017. I really loved the characters of Inej and Kaz the best, but Inej was my absolute favorite. I wish I had read Bardugo’s previous trilogy first but I actually didn’t realize they were related to this duology at all until about two-thirds of the way through this book. I do intend to go back and read those. Originally I gave this book 4 stars. Since I don’t do half stars I tend to round books that I would normally do 4.5 down but then I ended up changing it and rounding it up to 5 stars. It was that great!
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I read my ARC of The Bear and the Nightingale right before it was out for sale. Literally, just in time, my review post went up the day before it went on sale! I did like it although I felt the pacing was a bit off. There wasn’t a moment where I felt it wasn’t interesting to read, but I felt that the main plot was put off for so long I almost forgot all about it by the time it finally rolled around. I believe this is the author’s first published book and I look forward to reading more from her.
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
I really liked reading Nemisis’ story as she worked to protect Sidonia, a galactic Senator’s daughter whose life was put in danger. For some reason I went into this book thinking it was going to be like Lauren Oliver’s Replica where it’s a two person narrative but it was told only from Nemisis’ point of view. I had also thought it was a standalone book so I was surprised when it turned out to be part of a series. I will be reading the next book to see what happens next!
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Like any other nerd, I was saddened by the passing of Carrie Fisher late in 2016. Princess Leia was my favorite character from the Star Wars franchise, which I found during my college years. I had put a hold on this book with the library right after the book came out, but so many people wanted to read it that I didn’t get it until right after she passed. Knowing that everyone else would want to read it I did read it quickly and turned it in. I didn’t feel like it was actually that good of a read though. It focused very specifically on a few points in her life rather a more comprehensive memoir. She has actually written other autobiographies so I’m sure the others have gone over a lot of the rest of her life. This one mostly focused on her relationship with her mother when she was young and her time on set as Leia. It was sad to read because of her passing but even more so during the times she mentioned her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who passed the next day as Carrie. It was short and not all of it really seemed necessary (specifically the pages and pages dedicated to historical events), but it was an interesting read overall.
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 6: Civil War by G. Willow Wilson
Things continue to get more complicated for Kamala as she’s tasked with a teen crime stopping group in her city. Unfortunately the group and Kamala clash over how exactly to go about doing that. Kamala is very much a believer in “innocent until proven guilty”, as is the rest of the group, but the “proven guilty” portion is what’s proving to be a problem. The group believe intent is enough guilt for punishment while Kamala does not think that intent alone should warrant a punishment. I was almost expecting Captain America to show up as this has been something that he’s struggled with as well but, alas, he does not. Kamala eventually is pushed to decide how she will proceed with these differing points of view.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The sequel to Six of Crows, I once again had to change the original 4 stars to 5 stars. It was a worthy sequel and conclusion to the story! Again, Inej was my favorite character with Kaz being my second favorite. I also grew to like Nina a lot more in this book, not that I disliked her before, just that I liked her more than I did. This book was nice because the last book’s adventure was out of their city while this one the characters were in their adopted home.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
After going to a book release event for this book where Veronica Roth spoke, and getting the opportunity to meet her, I was so excited to read this book! In started and finished this on a Friday night after I got home from work, and was so blown away but how awesome it was. Akos was such a loveable character by Cyra was my favorite. Neither could have succeeded without the other though and it was truly a grand adventure for them. Having recently read the Divergent series, I was expecting it to be like that series and to have a lot of similarities but it really did not, it held it’s own and proved to be a new series worthy of reading. I can’t wait for the next one!
I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro
It might seem weird to others that I read an autobiography of someone whose work I am unfamiliar with. Tig Notaro is a comedian that I’d never heard of until I walked into her panel at BookCon in order to get a good seat for Hannah Hart’s panel that followed. Her life, at least the bit that I heard, was so surprising that I decided that I would read the book someday. The bit I caught revealed that Notaro had gone through a breakup, which wasn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things I suppose, but she went through that around the same time she almost died in the hospital, followed by her mother’s death, and then followed by a breast cancer diagnosis that eventually ended in a double mastectomy. All that separately would have been difficult and Notaro explains how she handled it all at once really well. It was surprising to me how much she went through during that time and it was a really, really interesting and eye-opening read. Since I have seen a few videos of her on Ellen DeGeneres’ tv talk show Ellen and find her to be pretty funny! Comedy isn’t quite my cup of tea but I do plan to listen to her first show after her cancer diagnosis, Live, at some point as well.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
After reading Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series I was excited to read Heartless, which is a retelling of the Alice in Wonderland‘s Queen of Hearts. Catherine is the daughter of a noble, who is expected to marry the King, but she really wants to be a baker and open a sweet shop rather than be queen. Obviously this causes a lot of friction between her and those around her, notably her parents. Plus, she is attracted instead to the court joker, Jest, instead of the King. It did remind me a lot of Fairest and the typical villain story, where the character is faced with trial after trial in their path to happiness and ultimately falls to hate. But the journey that Cath takes to get to that point is so intriguing that I couldn’t put it down!
And I Darken by Kiersten White
And the last book that I read in the month was And I Darken, which I had heard so much about last year. This is another book that I started reading without knowing that it was a part of a series and would have been happy to have as a standalone book. I loved the main characters, Lada and Radu. Essentially Lada is supposed to be a female Vladimir the Impaler in this retelling of his life. Lada is ruthless and strong, first vying for her father’s attention and then fighting for her freedom under the Ottoman court’s rule when her father abandons her and Radu there. Radu is Lada’s complete opposite. He is a charismatic extrovert who favors covert intelligence gathering to Lada’s “attack first, ask questions later, look out for yourself” techniques. They both befriend Mehmed, the sultan’s son, who is supposed to be their enemy. They spend a lot of time going from the dangerous capital to Mehmed’s remote country home, and back. As time goes on their friendship and ties become a lot more difficult for them to uphold, especially as Mehmed’s role as an heir to the empire starts to consume more and more of the trio’s thoughts.
So overall it was a really good reading month! I have a ton of books I still need to read from the library and a lot that I’ve bought that I don’t dedicate enough time to. I find myself prioritizing books that I get from the library, since I have to turn those in, but I do want to read more of my own books soon. This month I only read two books that I own, so I’m going to try to focus on my books after this library batch.
What have you been reading? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!