My Bookish Goals for 2017

Hello, dear readers!
I know I’m too late for announcing my bookish goals for 2017, but I’d love to share with you some of my thoughts and intentions, such as what kind of books I want to read in the year 2017.

As far as the number goes, I want to aim for reading 70 books at least this year.
Personally, I think it’s pretty attainable given that I read 76 books in the past 6 months.
I could have set my Goodreads goal for reading 100 books, but I eventually decided against it. While I want to read as many books as I possibly can, I also want to hone my review writing skills by reading other book bloggers’s reviews, so I think it would be wise if I lowered my Goodreads goal to set aside larger chunks of time to do so.
70 books a year works out about 6 books a month and I have already read 14 books this year. I think I can pull off reading 70 books with relative ease if I put my mind to it. (and I do intend to do so.)

Next on my list is to read more diverse books than I did in the past.
Now, I must make it crystal clear that I am a 100 percent mood reader and am quite fastidious about what to read; I rarely pick up books I am not even remotely interested in. To make the matter even more complicated, my mood swings. A LOT. One minute I feel like reading Romance novels and the next minute I care for Historical novels. My interest runs off in all directions at the smallest of things yet I tend to hold fast to my tastes. I don’t particularly relish the idea of reading books I don’t really like.

Non-Fiction generally falls into this category. I would even say that Non-Fiction is the last genre that I would go to; there is something about Non-Fiction that I don’t really care for, I’d rather read Fiction than read Non-Fiction.

Nonetheless, I want to change this. I want to read more of Non-Fiction this year.

Believe it or not, I didn’t used to read a lot of historical novels or horror novels. I would normally go to contemporary novels or romance novels.
But as you can see, I have read several books from both genres and I adore them so much. If anything, I’d now love to read many more Historical novels!

I hope the same thing will happen with Non-Fiction and I will try to read as many of them as possible this year.
Just to show you how willing I actually am, take a look at some of the books I have bought;

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

nonfictions

I found them both on Goodreads and thought; “Oh, that sounds interesting, I might as well try reading them!”
Hopefully, they both turn out to be as good as I expected!

Another thing I’d love to try this year is to follow an author’s complete body of work chronologically.
Now, this bookish goal is inspired by watching this Mementomori video, in which he picks William Faulkner and pledges to read all his books in publication order.
I have yet to decide who to follow, BUT, I am going to (in the near future), or I might tweak the challenge just a little bit and turn it into reading as many historical novels as possible this year.
Now, THAT sounds interesting and attainable.

Speaking of historical novels, take a look at this;

lilac-girls

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. THIS BEAUTY.

I’d had my eye on this for quite some time because the premise sounds so interesting and I just couldn’t resist buying it. I knew I was way over my budget, but I just couldn’t give up on this one.

Now that I have this baby in my hands, I am so excited to read this. Hope it measures up to my expectations!

What are your reading goals for the year 2017?
Are there any books (particularly Historical Fiction) that you think I should definitely read?
Throw in your comments and let me know! I could really use your input to decide what to read (and what to buy)!

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you again, very, very soon!
Bye 🙂

Reflection

It has been approximately six months since I launched this book blog back in August, 2016.

Wow, how fast time flies; I still can’t believe six months have passed.
At the same time, I also think it’s been quite a ride. It opened up a whole new world and brought me a lot of delight.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it has always been fun; it has been grueling and debilitating at times.
Being a non-native (I remember writing exactly the same thing somewhere before), it has always been a struggle, literally trial and error for me. I even felt the more I wrote, the crappier my writing got. Crestfallen, I sometimes intentionally let the update slip; I couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of the PC and write a post while I never ceased reading.

Although I launched this book blog as an outlet where I talk about the books I have read and like, as the number of posts increased, I started putting a lot of pressure on myself, thinking that the newer posts need to be better than the previous one, or that I need to avoid using the same phrase over and over like a broken record.
In other words, I started to set my own parameters as to what my posts should be like and how better I should be as time went on. I completely lost sight of the reason why I started this blog; I had been posting out of a sense of obligation not because I wanted to. what a contradiction.

That said, one thing that happened recently has made me motivated to keep posting once again, made me realize there are readers out there -no matter how small the number might be – readers who are inclined to read my crappy blogs.

I sometimes go back to my older posts and re-read what I posted in the early days.
To tell you the truth, it never fails to put a grimace on my face (Awwww). The very first post could be nothing but pathetic… it is too short and I wrote nothing but my outpouring love and personal feels toward the book. No character and story analysis whatsoever, just gushing how much I adore the story. It’s hysterical.

Having said that, it also made me realize I’ve come a long way.
Over the past six months, I think I’ve learned a lot about review writing from watching BookTubers’ videos and reading a lot of Goodreads reviews. Every single review and video that I read and watch helped me grow tremendously (I hope) and I now would love to think that I’ve got better at writing reviews compared to what I used to be.

Even though my writing is still crappy with my grammar all over the place, leaving A LOT to be desired, I will keep reading and posting without making any excuses from now on.

I love reading.
I love gushing my thoughts and feels on books and sharing them with you all.

So, keep an eye out for me, you guys. And kick my butt if I cut too much slack.

Thanks for reading my rambling as always.
I’ll talk to you guys again, soon!

bookmark

A Love Struggle That Bookworms Face

Let me say this out loud – I have never felt so torn and indecisive on ‘what to read next?’

As you can see in my November Book Haul, I bought four Christmas-themed books with beautiful festive covers. I’ve got two down as of last night and have three more to go including the one that I bought back in 2014. They are all physical books, not Kindle books.

And now, I’m facing a struggle which I’ve never had as far as reading goes.

I am being hesitant to read the books that I bought!!

Out of the concern that I would be out of books to read if I kept reading at this pace!
How contradictory could I be?? It doesn’t make any sense!

But I am.

I’m debating whether to read the physical ones or e-books on my Kindle.

One part of me wants to read the physical ones I bought this year while another part of me keeps telling me I should save them for next year.

However, what’s the point of saving them for later with new holiday reads coming out every single year when Christmas rolls around?? I know I’ll definitely want to read the new ones this time next year! Who in the world could resist such an onslaught of temptation??

This morning, I sat in front of my brand-new bookcase staring at the array of books that I laid out the other day and wondered if I should pick up another holiday read from the shelf or read an e-book instead.

Or, reading something from a different genre – such as YA contemporary.
I was literally torn among those options and I still haven’t been able to make up my mind.

I think I’m going to re-read my trusty Melody Carlson’s holiday read, ‘Christmas at Harrington’s’ which I enjoyed two years ago,  but my resolution is not as staunch and I may flip-flop my mind at the drop of a hat.

It wouldn’t have been a problem a few years back as I used to be a reader who does a lot of re-read. I used to read the same book once again right after I finish it. It was totally fine with me.
But now, I’ve somehow morphed myself into a reader who can’t resist reading new books back to back. I really love the sense of me drifting in a world that’s completely different from mine – the vicarious experience, if you like.

Reading one book means one less experience or even life that is allotted for me and I HATE the idea 😄

Maybe I should just keep reading instead of fretting over such trivial things, but I just can’t help it.

Have any of you felt the same way as I do?
What are the stuggles you have when reading?
I hope I’m not the only one to think this way!

November TBR!

I don’t know where you are from, but it’s November here in Japan, which means it’s time for making my November TBR!

I’ve actually been planning this for quite some time, probably since mid-October, and I’ve finally made up my mind 😀

I’m going to read these books in the month of November:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

to-kill-a-mockingbird

As I told you in my previous post, I have never been much of a Classic fan nor big on reading Classics.
In addition to that, it’s sort of a big confession to make, but I have never wanted to be one of those sheep who just picks up something just because everybody is doing it.

For instance, I have never wanted to watch a movie while literally everybody is watching it, nor have I ever wanted to read a book everybody else is raving about.

I have always waited until the fad died down, then I would go watch or pick up the book.
It just irks me to think ‘I’m reading this book just because everybody is reading it,’ thus I’ve always kind of distanced myself from any popular stuff even if it meant I would fail to keep up with the trend.

Despite all that, having finished ‘The Halloween Tree,’ which just blew my mind with its aesthetic and grand writing, I’ve come to think there must be something in such highly acclaimed classics that grabs our attention; it would have long been forgotten otherwise.

So, I have decided to pick up this book and am at 20% right now. Wonder how it turns out!

 

Never Never by Colleen Hover, Tarryn Fisher

never-never

I got this book when I was debating whether to buy ‘It Ends With Us’ at Amazon.
I had intended to read this one prior to buying ‘It Ends With Us,’ dipping my toe in the water to see what Colleen Hoover’s writing is like, but it somehow slipped my mind and I ended up reading ‘It Ends With Us’ BEFORE this one.  I hope that I get to read this sometime this month.

 

Hope Springs on Main Street by Olivia Miles

hope-springs-on-main-street

I believe I already talked a lot about this book in my October Book Haul, so I won’t talk much here. I just need to pick up this book for the sake of being Autumn! Yes!!

 

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

bad-beginning

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

the-reptile-room

I’m currently on my own ‘Readathon’ where I try to read as many genres as possible by the end of this month, and I have decided to pick up two books from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket.
I have read ‘The Bad Beginning’ and ‘The Reptile Room’ before and enjoyed them both. However, I no longer remember exactly where I left off, so I decided to go back to the ‘very beginning’ (no pun  intended) and start afresh.

 

Clockwise by  Elle Strauss

clockwise

Again, as part of the ‘Readathon,’ I picked up this book from YA and Fantasy. (I don’t know about the latter, but according to what my Twitter friend says it’s about time travel, so I lump it in ‘Sci-Fi or Fantasy 😛 )

 

Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards

wedding-ring

I don’t know about you,  but I always feel like reading knitting or quilting related books when Winter rolls around.
Maybe it’s because they’re warm and cozy and are perfect for snuggling under in cold, wintry seasons.
Although I know almost NOTHING about the synopsis, I picked up this book just because of the cover. Yup, I can’t help it. Don’t judge me 😛

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

pride-and-prejudice

Now, this is probably the biggest and most ambitious challenge in the month of November.
I’ve decided to read THE Jane Austen! Holy moly, what have gotten into me?!

I have absolutely no idea if I can ever pull this off, but hopefully I can make it!
Wish me luck!

 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landline

I originally didn’t intend to include this book in my November TBR, but I watched a Youtube Video posted by a BookTuber whom I’ve been following, and she talked about this book, ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell. She likened this book to ‘comfort food,’ saying she enjoyed it, so I flip-flopped my mind and decided to read this book.

 

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

nos4a2

I remember briefly talking about this book, and it has finally arrived at my doorstep this morning!!!

Although I wanted to include this book in my October (Spookathon) TBR, it didn’t make it, so I’m going to read this sometime this month.
My Twitter (and Goodreads) friend says it’s sooo creepy but also says she likes it, so I have high hopes on this one 😀

 

There you have it. These are the books I intend to read this month.
I know I’m being pretty ambitious pledging that I’m going to read 10 books in one month on top of Jane Austen, but hopefully, I can make it!

I hope you will have a great reading month, talk to you soon!

 

皆さんのいらっしゃる地域ではどうか分かりませんが、こちら日本では11月に入りまして、ということは、11月のTBRのお時間でーす!

実はもう結構前から11月のTBRは考えていたのですが(10月半ばくらいからかな)、ようやく心が決まりました 😀

さて、11月に読もうと思っている本たちはこちら!

 

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

以前のポストでも話したかもしれませんが、私は古典もののファンとかいうわけじゃないですし、古典ものを読むのが好きだったわけでもないです。
それに加え、まぁこれはちょっとした告白なのですが、私は「ほかの人がそうするから」という理由だけで何かをするのは嫌いな人です(`・ω・´)

例えば、周りの人たちがみんな観てるからという理由だけで自分もその映画を観る、とか、みんなが絶賛してるからとりあえずその本読んでおこう、とか、そういうのは嫌いなタイプ。

そういう時はいつもみんなが飽きて話題にも登らなくなるまで待って、それから映画を観たり本を読みます。「みんなが読んでいるから読んでおこう」とか思うだけで嫌気がさすというかw なのでいつも人気のあるネタからは例え流行りに乗り遅れるとしても避けてきました。

しかしながらですね、The Halloween Tree という、美しくも壮大な物語を読んでですね、段々と「人気がある古典ものには何か人をひきつけるものがあるのかも」と思うようになってきたんです。そうじゃなければ今頃廃れているだろうと。

なので、この本を読むことに決めましてただいま20%くらいです。さて、どうなることやら!

 

Never Never by Colleen Hoover, Tarry Fisher

この本は’It Ends With Us’を買おうかどうしようかAmazonをウロウロしてる時に見つけまして。
当初はColleen Hooverの作風とはどんなものかとIt Ends With Us を買う前に試しに読んでみようと思っていたのに、いつの間にか忘れてしまい、この本を読む前にIt Ends With Usを読んでしまったというねぇ。今月中には読めたらいいなーと思ってます。

 

Hope Springs on Main Street by Olivia Miles

この本については October Book Haulで沢山語っているので、ここでは差し控えますw 秋ですからね、読まねば!!はい。

 

The Bad Beginnig by Lemony Snicket

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

ただいま個人的にではありますが「多読マラソン」中でございます。できるだけ沢山のジャンルから本を読む、というものでございますが。今月末まで。 で、この度Lemony Snicket のA Series of Unfortunate Events から2冊をピックアップしてみました。
この2冊は以前読んだことがあり、両方とも良かったのですが、シリーズの中のどこで読むのを止めたのかもはや覚えていないのでorz この度「最初に戻って」(シャレじゃないですよw)、まっさらな状態で始めてみようと思った次第でございます。

 

Clockwise by Elle Strauss

同じく多読マラソンの一環として、ヤング・アダルト、そしてファンタジー部門からこの本を取り上げました。(後者についてはどうかわからないんですが、ツイッターのお友達によるとタイム・トラベルものということだったので、まぁSci-Fi かファンタジーに入れちゃおう、とw)

 

Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards

皆さんはどうか分かりませんが、私は冬が近づくと何かこう、編み物とかキルト関係の本が読みたくなります。
ぬくぬくとあったかいイメージからかもしれませんが、冬の肌寒い季節にはピッタリですよね♪
本のあらすじについては全く知りませんがw 表紙に惹かれて取り上げました。ええ、そうですとも。表紙買いですともw

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

さてさて、多分これは11月中最も大きく、そして向こう見ずなチャレンジかもしれません。なんと「あの」Jane Austenを読もうと思い立ちました。ああ、なんて事でしょうw 一体何を考えたのかw

読みきれるかどうかすら分かりませんが、とりあえずチャレンジしてみますw
健闘を祈ってくださいまし(笑)

 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

この本は当初11月のTBRには入れる予定はありませんでした。が、今朝フォローしているBookTuberさんのビデオをふと観たところこの本について語っていらっしゃり。まるで「気分が滅入った時とかに手が伸びる食べ物(コンフォートフード)のよう」で気に入ったとのことでしたので、気持ちをコロっと変えてこの本を読むことに決めた次第でございます。

 

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

この本についてはちょろっと触れたのを覚えていますが、今朝ついに届きましたーーー!

本当は10月のTBR(Spookathon)に入れたかったのですが、間に合わなかったので今月読みたいと思います。
ツイッター、そしてGoodreadsのお友達も「すごいCreepyだけどすっごい好き!!」とおっしゃってたので、期待しております(´∀`)

 

はい、ということで。これらが今月読もうと思っている本たちでございます。
ちょーっと頑張り過ぎの感もありますが。Jane Austen を含む10冊を読もうなんてねぇw でも読めたらいいなぁーと!

今月も皆さんにとって素晴らしい読書月間でありますように。では、またー! 😄

Halloweekend

the-halloween-treeOh, my gosh. It’s only two days until Halloween!

I’ve been reading ‘The Halloween Tree’ by Ray Bradbury since last night.

Although I was bound and determined to include some spooky, creepy books to my October TBR, I hadn’t even thought of reading ‘Halloween themed books’ until about a week ago! What was wrong with me?!  lol

Thanks to my dear Twitter friend (she tweeted about this book), I decided to add this to my Spookathon TBR.

Having done with what I had been reading, I immediately moved on to this book.

Yet.

I now find that I really, really need to sit down and focus on reading to fully absorb what’s written in this book.
Let me get this straight – I’m not much of a Classic fan or being literary, so I’ve always had a bit of a hard time reading Classics such as Jane Austen.

And this book; the rhythm how the words flow is so beautiful and the descriptions are just superb. Yet it’s a teeny bit difficult for me to grasp if I don’t single-mindedly focus on it.

I can’t, I just can’t read this book in a distracting environment such as in a room with the TV on.
Words just slip my mind and nothing comes into me if I do so. (and it did happen to me last night. Duh.)

But alas, I’m at Mom’s place now and am going home tomorrow afternoon. In other words, I have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to get back to peace and quiet in my room.

Or, hopefully I can find some downtime when I can knock off a few chapters tonight.
…No, I think I’d rather read this in one or two sittings so that the flow won’t be disrupted.

I’m literally between a rock and a hard place now 😦

 

なんてことでしょう。ハロウィンまであと2日ですよー!

ただいまRay Bradbury の The Halloween Treeを読んでおります。昨夜から。

10月のTBRリストにはちょっとSpooky でCreepyな本を入れると心に決めていたのに、なぜか1週間前まで「ハロウィンものを読む」という概念がすっかり飛んでおりましてΣ(|||▽||| )

一体どうしたんだ、私?!?って感じですよw

Twitterのお友達のおかげで(ツイートしてらしたんですね、この本のことを)、「お、読まねば!」ということでSpookathonリストに加えたわけですが。

これま読んでいた本を終え、すぐさまこれを読み始めたはいいのです。

が。

いざ読んでみると、「こりゃ本当に集中できる環境で読まねば理解できんぞw」という事がひしひしと実感されましてorz

これだけはハッキリさせておきたいのですが、私は古典もののファンってわけではありませんし、元々そんなに文学通ってわけでもなく。なのでJane Austenなどの古典ものを読むときはいつも少々(どころじゃないときもあるけど)苦労します。

で、この本でございます。言葉が流れるリズムが非常に綺麗だわ描写は見事だわ。でも、読むこと、それだけに集中しないと少々難しいのでございますよ(自爆)

気が逸れるような環境化(例えばTVついてるとかね)では絶対読めません。無理w

そんな状況で読んだら言葉の上っ面をなぞってるだけで何も入ってこないもの。(で、実際そうだったんですよねー、昨夜。Q( ゚д゚)pブーブーブー)

でも悲しいかな、現在母親のところに泊まってまして、明日の午後にならないと帰宅できないのです。

言い換えれば、明日の午後にならないと静かな環境化に戻れない、つまりおあずけ、と。

それか今夜何章か読み進められるだけの時間を見つけられればいいんですけどね。でもこれはやっぱり一気に集中して読みたいかなぁ。。。

なんと悩ましい・゜・(ノД`)・゜・