So the time around holidays tends to be chaotically busy... and I tend to get frustratingly lazy. Also, my attention has been drawn away from reading this month.
On that note, Merry Christmas to everyone! Hopefully everyone is enjoying the holidays, a good book, a nice cup of something yummy, and keeping warm in your own little reading nook haven.
Anyway... As the end of the year approaches, I had wanted to write a piece detailing all the books I've read this year as well as all the books published in 2013 that I managed to get my hands on this year. I love writing and blogging, even if sometimes I have no idea what to blog about. And I'm not the best writer, but I try to perfect if I can.
Simply put, I just really like sharing my thoughts, and since there are very few friends in my actual real life I can discuss books with, I chose to blog my book thoughts. Thus far, it's been pretty satisfying.
2013 has been quite the year for me as a book worm. Ever since the days of elementary school when I first started reading for leisure regularly, and then into my middle school years where I proclaimed to anyone who would listen that I wanted to read "every book in the library", I'd pretty much given myself the mission of becoming a Master Level Bookworm with "uber fantastic reading skillz!"
That dream is still a work in progress.
Starting in high school, I began making my reading lists, compiling titles such as Lord of the Rings, everything Michael Crichton and Dean Koontz, what was out for the Harry Potter series... and so on and so forth. I always enjoyed English class reading assignments and I spent a lot of time allowing friends to randomly choose books for me to check out from the library.
But then college started and leisurely reading had to be put on hold in place of required reading of text books, essays, journal articles, research papers... the works.
And then college ended and now I have all the time in the world to read whatever I want to read.
And now I may begin to continue satisfying my Master Level Bookworm goals.
In 2011, I had just begun the task of going through my book shelf and reading all the books I owned. In 2011, I also discovered The Hunger Games and a little book cataloging site called Goodreads where I then went to discover a way to find all sorts of books I would be interested in reading. And also in 2011, I picked up my first e-reader, thus making it so much easier for me to find and purchase books with the simple click of a button.
2012 was a good year in fiction land for me, but still not quite as satisfying as it could have been. After the discovery of online book communities and social networking dedicated to books as well as several different book cataloging websites and the convenience of e-books, however... I've managed to go from reading 27 books in 2012 to having completed more than 100 books in 2013 -- 101 to date.
Sure... some of those books might have been short stories. But at least one of them was a two book volume and three of them were extremely long length novels totaling up to 700 pages and more. Nonetheless, setting aside the short stories, I still feel extremely accomplished in the number of books I've read, the number of reviews I've written, and the many number of books I will be planning to read soon.
Since this blog post would be immensely longer (than it already is), and I know I have a tendency to ramble on in a nonstop fashion, I'm not going to mention every book I've read this year (especially since I've read upwards of 100 books, and yes, I'm proud of myself for that).
Instead, I'm just going to talk about the end of the year and how I'm going to wrap things up for 2013, including the most recent books I've finished and the current books I'm reading. If I feel like it later, maybe I will write a post about the books I've read this year, emphasizing the ones I especially liked the most and the books that were the biggest disappointments.
But until then, here's the end of year wrap up and random thoughts.
Anna and the French Kiss is a book I borrowed from the library and ended up being book number 100 of the books I've read in 2013. While enjoyable and fun, there won't be a review written for it simply because I have nothing else to say about it (and possibly because I'm lazy). This is a milestone for me because I had set my Reading Challenge goal to 50 books for this year, but as the year progressed and I finished my goal of 50 books in June, I decided to change my goal about two months ago when I reached 75 books and realized that I could probably keep right on going.
The Scorpio Races is a second "Bookworm Milestone" for me, as it is the first book that my BFF and I chose to read as our amateurish foray into book clubbing. A review will be forthcoming, but being the lazy person I am at the moment, I'm not certain when this will actually happen. Soon, hopefully. But one thing is for certain, we DID enjoy the book even if there are a lot of glaring flaws about it that makes me a bit disappointed since I'm utterly in love with Maggie Stiefvater's writing style.
For the remainder of 2013, my personal reading goals include finishing these three books: Heart's Blood, The Cuckoo's Calling, and yes, even The Diviners. Heart's Blood is the second book chosen for the mini book club for me and my BFF and as of the completion of this article, has been finished and in the process of being discussed with my BFF. The Cuckoo's Calling came to me recently when my long hold for the library's e-book copy finally became available. Seeing as how I started it in early December, I shall try to finish it before the year is over (mostly as a point of pride). Unfortunately, other real life activities beckon, and so I have a feeling I won't be finishing it before the year is over. It also doesn't help that the darn book will be returned to the library in two days time.
The Diviners has been the bane of my existence since the beginning of the year and I stubbornly simply want to have it finished and over with. I started reading it in February only to put it on hold after getting distracted with other, better books. I gave it a second go some time a few months ago and had to reread the first chapter two more times before moving on to the rest of the book and then putting it on hold yet AGAIN when I got interested in other books again. And then picking up from where I left off, I managed to get a little less than half-way into the book before putting it down once more with the promise to "come back to it after I finish reading [insert names of several books I've read since then here]". And as you can see, I'm still not done with it.
As a point of stubborn pride I can and I will finish reading this book, even if I have to suffer through the rest of it. Why am I torturing myself when I could just as easily drop the whole thing and start from scratch in a few years after giving it some more time? The hell if I understand my own logic, but this is one thing I KNOW for certain: I will NOT be DEFEATED by one simple book!
I just feel like I'd like to start 2014's reading list on a clean slate with a whole new book and a whole new line-up of book choices.
If any of my above logic made any sense to anyone, then kudos to you, because my own madness still doesn't quite make much sense to myself.
And on THAT note....
2014 will begin the year with an already chosen Mini Book Club selection of The Book Thief that my BFF and I are excited to start reading now that we've "tested the waters", so to speak, with two book club books under our belts. Flipping through the pages (yes, I bought an actual paper back this time), it seems like it would be quite the interesting read. And we're even discussing asking other people to join us in our book clubbing exploits. It might be more fun with more people and more discussion... but that is still kind of up in the air.
Allegiant and Kinslayer are two books I'd been meaning to read since their releases this past year. Kinslayer got put on hold for reasons I'm not sure I'll ever understand. There were several other books I got interested in and I am unable to read more than three books at a time, it seems, and so it kept getting pushed back. But, mark my word, the book WILL get read come the beginning of 2014. As for Allegiant, since the spoilery of the "undesirable" ending got out in the online world, I'd been hesitant about reading and finishing the Divergent series. It's not that I'm opposed to sad endings, but I've always been more a proponent of the "Happily Ever After" persuasions. Knowing that a sad ending awaits me really DOESN'T help my motivation. However, sightings of fairly agreeable reviews from bloggers I have come to trust and follow have gotten me back into being interested in how the series will end. And also, it's not like Divergent was a particularly beloved series for me in the first place (honestly, it's a so-so series that I came to enjoy on an average scale), so I don't know why I ended up hesitant.
Lastly, Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered series, the first book of which I earnestly enjoyed (as a pleasantly surprising experience) to the point that finding out about a second book made me squeal (just a little). So I look forward to it's release at the beginning of January and will hope that it is just as enjoyable as Splintered had ended up being. Also, that is one freakishly awesome cover!
Finally, probably my favorite book I read this year (as well as favorite series!). I won't elaborate because I'm sure I've done enough gushing in my review alone. But as of right now, at the end of 2013, I have found the author, series, and book that tops my current favorites list. For 2014, I am desperately looking forward to the third book in this series of The Raven Cycle.
There is just so, so much love in this little section alone!
So here's to the end of 2013 and high hopes for the Reading Year of 2014. I already have a wall of expected new releases with my star-shaped post-it notes reminding me what to expect. I'm serious -- I have at least twenty titles I'm already highly anticipating.