Tag: #ShelfLove


ShelfLove/Game of Books Update

Posted 3 March, 2017 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

So it’s March, how are my challenges going?

Shelf Love Challenge 2017 A "Game of Books" image, based on the Iron Throne

You can read more about ShelfLove here, and see the origins of Game of Books here!

Books read (overall): 49
Books read (backlog): 26
Points earned (see spreadsheet): 223
Five-star reads: 3
Four-star reads: 19
Three-star reads: 15
Two-star reads: 6
One-star reads: 2

The discussion this month is about books that have been on our TBR the longest. I’ll go back as far as the beginning of this blog for the ones I bought waaaay back then…

 Cover of Gretel and the Dark, by Eliza Granville

Cover of Bear Daughter by Judith Berman Cover of The Palace Job, by Patrick Weekes Cover of Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Cover of The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

And some of those are even ARCs. Shame on me…

Who else still has TBR books from 2013 and earlier? Don’t let it just be me…

Tags: , ,

Divider

2016 Wrapup, and Onward 2017

Posted 1 January, 2017 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

In the last month of 2016, I gave up and decided to just read for joy. Following that, I’m only just getting round to signing up for any new challenges and the like. Here’s a quick rundown of 2016’s stats first…

2016 in Review:

Books bought: 228 (within my allowed number of 250)
Books read:
359 (slightly short of my original goal of 366)
Pre-2016 TBR read:
171 (short of my goal of 200)

So not bad at all.

For 2017, my Goodreads goal is 300 books, but really I’m focusing on my Game of Books score. I’m aiming to finish the year with 1,000 points — which would equal my usual amount of reading, but measured more by quality than quantity. Or that’s the hope, anyway.

shelf love challenge 2017

I am participating in ShelfLove again, of course. Once again, my aim is to read 51+ of my pre-2017 TBR books… There’s no book-buying ban for me this year, though my usual budget basically applies (it’s a percentage of my earnings), and I want to buy fewer books this year than I read by a bigger margin than last year. So I’m aiming at buying 200 books or less. That’s still a lot of books, I know — but I read so much!

Bout of Books 18
Aaaand there’s a Bout of Books read-a-thon from the 2nd January to the 8th, and I’m intending to join in. I have no particular goals, but a book a day would be nice.

I’m also using the Litsy app now, and would love to have more people to share short snippets, quick reviews and book photos with on there. You can find me under the username “shanaqui”!

So there we go. Onward! What book are you starting the year with?

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove November Update

Posted 1 November, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month too (e.g. by June I needed to read 182 books overall).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or fewer books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 182/200.
  • October books bought: 11/20.
  • October budget: Smashed to smithereens on non-fiction titles.
  • Owned books read this month: 9/16.
  • Books read this month: 23/31.
  • Owned books read overall: 156/167 (11 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 293/305 (12 books behind).

A TBR for this month looks more or less the same as last month, because I was hopeless, with a few additions.

  • Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer.
  • Ben Aaronovitch, The Hanging Tree.
  • Ilona Andrews, Magic Binds.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Mike Brooks, Dark Sky.
  • Becky Chambers, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.
  • Mira Grant, Deadline.
  • Mira Grant, Blackout.
  • Joseph Hansen, Skinflick.
  • Seanan McGuire, An Artificial Night.
  • Seanan McGuire, Late Eclipses.
  • Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Certain Dark Things.
  • Emma Newman, After Atlas.
  • Cherie Priest, The Family Plot.
  • John Scalzi, The Ghost Brigades.

And this month’s ShelfLove challenge theme is to name one bookish thing you’re thankful for, and I think my answer has to be… bookmarks. I love having bookmarks and using them, not just to mark my place in a book, but to celebrate fandoms I like, mark reading targets, and… honestly, just to collect them. Even really plain boring ones. (I have some from my grandfather’s Rotary Club. They are not pretty, just plain stiff paper, but they have been with me a long time now.)

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove October Update

Posted 2 October, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month too (e.g. by June I needed to read 182 books overall).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or fewer books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 171/180.
  • September books bought: 16/20.
  • September budget: £26/£30.
  • Owned books read this month: 18/16.
  • Books read this month: 34/30.
  • Owned books read overall: 145/150 (5 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 269/274 (5 books behind).

So as you can see, it’s been a really productive month: for September, I was ahead on all my goals, and I caught up with the deficit from previous months. Let’s hope I can keep that up as I plunge into the second year of my BSc, taking double the amount of credits I was before…

This month’s theme for the challenge is to talk about books and bookish gifts I’m hoping for in my Christmas pile. Well, Genevieve Cogman’s The Burning Page is due on the 15th December, so I’ll probably ask for that, and Dennis Hopeless’ Spider-Women has a pretty big price tag so that’s probably going to be saved for then.

Other than that, I don’t know yet. Probably some comics-related stuff — there’s a Winter Soldier hoodie I want, and a Spider-Gwen one. But my partner is making me a Captain Marvel hoodie, so there’s that. We’ll see, I guess! Normally I wait a little longer to make my wishlists.

As for a TBR for the month, here’s a bunch of books that I either need to review or are part of series I’m trying to finish!

  • Ilona Andrews, Magic Binds.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Mira Grant, Deadline.
  • Mira Grant, Blackout.
  • Joseph Hansen, The Man Everybody Was Afraid Of.
  • Joseph Hansen, Skinflick.
  • Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Certain Dark Things.
  • Emma Newman, After Atlas.
  • Cherie Priest, The Family Plot.
  • John Scalzi, The Ghost Brigades.

I’m gonna keep it to those ten, this month, and see if having a short list encourages me to get round to all of them.

 

Tags: , , ,

Divider

ShelfLove Update September

Posted 1 September, 2016 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month too (e.g. by June I should’ve read 182 books overall).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 152/160.
  • August books bought: 21/20.
  • August budget: Goodness knows.
  • Owned books read this month: 12/16.
  • Books read this month: 28/31.
  • Owned books read overall: 126/134 (8 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 235/244 (9 books behind).

This month’s theme for the Shelf Love challenge is to write a thank you post to your favourite person or people in the publishing industry.

So! Dear publicists and anyone who works on making books a success, thank you! Without you, I wouldn’t hear about half the amazing books out there. I’m very grateful for the work you do in arranging blog tours and sending out ARCs: I don’t know how you keep it all ticking over, some of you. Thank you for your passion and diligence, and well, thanks for the free books, too…

Aaaand here’s a quick list of books I’m aiming to read this month.

  • Ilona Andrews, Magic Binds.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, The Tempering of Men.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, An Apprentice to Elves.
  • Peter S. Beagle, Summerlong.
  • Aliette de Bodard, The House of Shattered Wings.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Marie Brennan, A Star Shall Fall.
  • Susan Dennard, Truthwitch.
  • Chris Holm, Red Right Hand.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Pact.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Debt.
  • Mary Robinette Kowal, Ghost Talkers.
  • Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns.
  • Juliet Marillier, Den of Wolves.
  • Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Certain Dark Things.
  • Emma Newman, After Atlas.
  • Cherie Priest, The Family Plot.
  • V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows.
  • Jen Williams, The Iron Ghost.
  • Jen Williams, The Silver Tide.

It’s a good mix of ARCs and series I’m partway through, mostly. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other books here and there, but these I really want to (and in some cases, really should) read soon. Wish me luck, I guess!

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove August Update

Posted 1 August, 2016 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

 

The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month too (e.g. by June I should’ve read 182 books overall).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 130/140.
  • May books bought: 29/20.
  • May budget: £40/£35.
  • Owned books read this month: 19/16.
  • Books read this month: 30/31.
  • Owned books read overall: 115/117 (2 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 205/213 (8 books behind).

I actually caught up properly at some point this month, but with wedding plans and an assignment due, I slipped back again.

This month’s theme from ShelfLove is about reading rituals and such, and honestly, I don’t really have any. I read wherever I can, whenever I can. I’ve had some reading nooks over time, when I didn’t really have my own space — I used to hide in the little spare shower room at my grandparents’ house, or sit on their stairs to read. But now I just sit in my chair or in bed or whatever and read wherever I am.

And as for a TBR for August, well, I have no idea what I’m going to have time for and I did really badly with actually sticking to my July TBR, but I would like to read the following in August.

  • Ilona Andrews, Magic Shifts.
  • Ilona Andrews, Magic Binds.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, The Tempering of Men.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, An Apprentice to Elves.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Marie Brennan, A Star Shall Fall.
  • Susan Dennard, Truthwitch.
  • Diane Duane, The Door into Sunset.
  • Chris Holm, Red Right Hand.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Pact.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Debt.
  • Emma Newman, Planetfall.
  • V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows.
  • Jen Williams, The Iron Ghost.
  • Jen Williams, The Silver Tide.

Which sounds very optimistic, and honestly, we’ll just have to see…

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove July Update

Posted 1 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

Hello, everyone! June’s been an eventful month, with my wedding date now set (5th August) and a honeymoon booked (we didn’t choose Dublin because there’s a bookshop I want to visit there, nope)… and the UK deciding in a referendum, incomprehensibly from my point of view, to leave the European Union. Honestly, I kind of hope the last part is a bad dream.

Still, I’ve got a fair amount of reading done, woohoo!

The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month too (e.g. by June I should’ve read 182 books overall).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 101/120.
  • May books bought: 8/20.
  • May budget: £0/£30 (purchases were with vouchers).
  • Owned books read this month: 23/16.
  • Books read this month: 34/30.
  • Owned books read overall: 95/100 (5 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 175/182 (7 books behind).

The discussion question for this month’s post is:

Why do you read the books you read? Explore why you gravitate towards certain genres and/or authors. How do you pick the next book you will read?

And the answer is, mostly whim. SF/F has always been the main genre I read; probably because my mother does. And I pick the next book I’ll read by whim, or by asking everyone what I should read next and then doing something opposite, because I’m contrary. Or sometimes I’ll just pick something off a shelf and accidentally consume it.

And a to-read list for July, since I do find having the guidance useful, even if — cough — I don’t stick to it all that well. I’m carrying over the books left from last month, as they’re part of series I’d like to get finished. The others are ARCs or books from the backlist I’ve been meaning to get to.

  • Peter S. Beagle, Summerlong.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, The Tempering of Men.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, An Apprentice to Elves.
  • Diane Duane, The Door into Sunset.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Pact.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Debt.
  • Sarah Kuhn, Heroine Complex.
  • Laura Lam, False Hearts.
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Ninefox Gambit.
  • Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns.
  • Naomi Novik, Uprooted.
  • V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows.
  • Jen Williams, The Iron Ghost.
  • Jen Williams, The Silver Tide.

Here’s hoping it’s a productive month for all of us.

Tags: ,

Divider

ShelfLove June Update

Posted 1 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

And now it’s June… it’s been a busy month for me, with a big assignment to complete and wedding stuff to organise. Still, towards the end of the month I did start to catch up again, so I haven’t lost progress, and I’m hopeful for the month ahead. I’ve also read some books which have been on my TBR since 2010, and gone through my TBR piles to get rid of some books I’m no longer interested in. I still have 1,071 books on my owned-unread list, but it’s a start!

Last month I brought in more stats and colour coding, so here’s the rundown. The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month (so for example, in books read overall, I should’ve read 121 by now, and I’m on 109).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 92/100.
  • May books bought: 25/20.
  • May budget: N/a; not calculated this month because it’s been in both euros and pounds. Pretty sure it’s in the red though.
  • Owned books read this month: 18/16.
  • Books read this month: 29/31.
  • Owned books read overall: 72/84 (12 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 139/152 (13 books behind).

As in past months, I’m going to include a TBR pile for the month here — especially since this update post more or less covers this month’s theme of a check-in. If you want to actually check out my progress, check out the Mount TBR menu on my blog; everything red and struck through has been removed from my list, either by reading it or by deciding it’s no longer interesting!

Aaaand the TBR for this month focuses on reading books I’ve owned since before the end of 2015, and finishing some of the series I’m reading.

  • Diane Duane, The Door into Shadow. 
  • Diane Duane, The Door into Sunset.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, The Tempering of Men.
  • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette, An Apprentice to Elves.
  • M.C. Beaton, Sick of Shadows. 
  • M.C. Beaton, Our Lady of Pain.
  • Marie Brennan, In Ashes Lie.
  • Kristin Cashore, Bitterblue.
  • John Crowley, Little, Big.
  • Kerry Greenwood, Murder & Mendelssohn. 
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Lines.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Pact.
  • Tanya Huff, Blood Debt.
  • Robin LaFevers, Mortal Heart.
  • Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns. 

No doubt I’ll read lots more, but I really hope to finish this bunch! Not to mention my personal challenge of rereading The Hobbit, this time in a French translation.

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove May Update

Posted 1 May, 2016 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

It’s May already?! Like last month, I’m going to consolidate my TBR list with my ShelfLove update, since they go together well and it is in fact the first of the month today.

And this month I also bring more stats, plus colour coding. The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month (so for example, in books read overall, I should’ve read 121 by now, and I’m on 109).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 69/80.
  • March books bought: 8/20.
  • March budget: £38/£50.
  • Owned books read this month: 17/16.
  • Books read this month: 33/30.
  • Owned books read overall: 54/67 (13 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 109/121 (12 books behind).

As you can see, I’ve not doing too badly in the past month, and I’m beginning to catch up with the deficit from previous months. And I’ve been very good about sticking to my budget, too!

Still, time for a TBR for May. I’ll undoubtedly read more than this — hopefully a lot more — but these are ones I need to get to for reviews, buddy reads, or just because they’ve been languishing that long.

  • The Last Argument of Kings, Joe Abercrombie. Darn it, Nikki, you’re halfway through it. Pick it back up.
  • Passenger, Alexandra Bracken. Started this last month, but got distracted.
  • Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore. Uh, ditto from The Last Argument of Kings. Except more so, because at least the former is a reread. This isn’t and I really should finish it and find out the ending.
  • Knight’s Shadow, Sebastien de Castell. I have read the first couple of pages and now I muuuust get round to it.
  • Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. Before people explode or something.
  • The Door into Shadow, Diane Duane. I’ve had these books kicking around since 2011, and I just reread the first one, so it’s time. I’ll probably try to read the third one too.
  • The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney. Received to review and I think the review is about due. Oh dear, too much of that rhymed.
  • False Hearts, Laura Lam. Due out in June, I think, so it’s about time to get to it.
  • A Court of Thorns & Roses, Sarah J. Maas. I don’t remember the book well enough to read the sequel right away. That’s a good excuse, right?
  • A Court of Mist & Fury, Sarah J. Maas. Zomg!
  • Rosemary & Rue, Seanan McGuire. Reading Every Heart A Doorway convinced me I really need to get on and read this one.
  • Hero, Perry Moore. What better way to celebrate Captain America: Civil War’s release than with cute gay superheroes?
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North. Just received this to review, and North’s books are always solidly entertaining, so let’s go!
  • Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer. Had it to review, should have already done it. Whoops.
  • House of Suns, Alastair Reynolds. Or my sister will kick me. If she could be bothered to come to Belgium to do so, anyway.

And I’ll stop there, lest I end up sulking about having to stick too rigidly to a list (yes, despite my evident and oft-indulged love of making lists).

And now for the Shelf Love challenge’s prompt for the month: summer’s coming, so we’re all planning literary trips. It requires some serious thought, because the areas of fiction and history that fascinate me to read about wouldn’t necessary be fun to visit. I could take a leaf out of my mother’s book and follow in Lord Peter Wimsey’s footsteps through Scotland on the trail of Five Red Herrings. Or perhaps, since I don’t live in Wales anymore, I’d be better served by visiting Cader Idris in Wales, the site of Susan Cooper’s The Grey King and Silver on the Tree. Or a trip round Britain to the various sites of Arthurian legend — but not while the battles are going on, please. Hey, if I could pinpoint a site for Camelot…

But really, I’m a homebody, so my favourite literary trips are best taken from an armchair.

Tags: , ,

Divider

ShelfLove April Update

Posted 1 April, 2016 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

Welcome to April! This month I’m going to consolidate my April TBR list with my ShelfLove update, since they go together well

  • Books bought this year so far: 59 (out of 250 max).
  • March budget: £53/£60.
  • Owned books read: 37/200 (13 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 73/366 (18 books behind).

Uhoh. Clearly I need to get reading. That might be a little difficult this month, since I’m meant to be moving and running a bunch of experiments for my course. But you never know when I’m going to suddenly read everything in sight, so all’s not lost. Here’s the books I definitely must read this month, including the one from last month’s list I didn’t get round to.

  • Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore. Owned for far too long, and in fact I was halfway through it at one point. Oops?
  • Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds. I need to catch up to my sister in our Reynolds Reread.
  • A Civil Contract, Georgette Heyer. A book I’ve had for quite a while, and apparently one of Heyer’s less conventional romances. Sounds good!
  • Demon Road, Derek Landy. Received to review, along with the second book, so it’s high time I got to this one.
  • Knight’s Shadow, Sebastien de Castell. I need to get to this finally, because I have the third book ready to read too.
  • Passenger, Alexandra Bracken. Another I received to review, and about which I have seen intriguingly mixed reviews.
  • Red Moon, Benjamin Percy. Random selection from the library pile which looks quite interesting.
  • Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. Was on last month’s must read pile.
  • Too Like The Lightning, Ada Palmer. Love her work as a singer, and this is due out in May, so it seems an ideal choice for the month’s must reads.
  • Wolfsbane Winter, Jane Fletcher. Due back at the library, so it’s time I tackled this one.
  • Wolves, Simon Ings. I’ve had this library book for, uh, months. Definitely oops.

Obviously, I hope to read more than these ten (plus the one from last month) books this month, but these are the ones I’m committing to. Wish me luck?

And now for the discussion theme for April via the ShelfLove challenge. Apparently, the second week of April is library week, which I think means I timed both my post deploring library closures and my library ban badly, but ah well. Right now I actually have three “local” library systems, and I’m a member of all three, of course. Between the three of them, that means a great selection, and a lot of books I can borrow at once. Up until I started trying to reduce the number of books I had out, I constantly had all three cards “maxed out”! The library staff have always been helpful and friendly, especially when it comes to renewing my books when circumstances mean I can’t make it to the actual library.

But the local library I really miss, which I only just left behind, is Caerphilly Library. They have a great selection, both upstairs in the main area and downstairs in the quick picks area, which includes all sorts of genres and suits all sorts of tastes. And bless every single librarian who let me take out more than the maximum allowance of books (12) pretty much every time, with nary a blink. I miss you guys!

Tags: , ,

Divider