LOOKING BACK ON NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FROM 2018- SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

Who’s EXCITED for the New Year?! I’ll tell you- I’m very much looking forward to 2019! I’m gonna be brutally honest- 2018 has been a weird year for me. Not looking to get all “it was the best of times it was the worst of times…” but it had its ups and downs. Even with a few knocks though, I’m still standing 😉 (*resisting the urge to burst into song*) I’m gonna fight fight fight fight fight for this blog and all that jazz (resistance is futile)- so let’s see if I can’t kick the butt of some resolutions from 2018:

boxing fighting orangutan0002

BOOKISH:

number 1

10 MORE BOOKS FROM MY CHALLENGING LIST

 

 

Whoa let’s start with a hard one why don’t we? I didn’t complete this, but I did okay on this one and I’m glad I read what I did read.

8 points

number 2

10 NON-FICTION READS

Again, I didn’t make it to 10, but I did alright. Considering this overlaps a lot with #1, it makes sense.

8 points

DELAY PUTTING A GOODREADS CHALLENGE ON

number 3

Well I did do this- I only used the challenge in December to get my stats- so ten points to Ravenclaw! In all seriousness, I don’t know how good this resolution was cos I ended up just counting in my head anyway… so yeah, I did it, and it relieved some of the stress that comes with book counting, but not all of it. Whatever, still did it 😉

10 points

5 REREADS

number 4

I smashed this with 10 reads! HP x7 and Secret countess, wee free men, shiver

 

 

5 points

number 5

TRY AND BE MORE ORGANISED WITH READING PLANS

You know, like have some sort of TBR. It doesn’t have to be official (let’s face it, it won’t be in posts cos *laziness*) still I should at least try to be a bit more organised. Especially since I’ve had a couple of ARCs in particular that I want to read and okay, I’ve been in  a slump for a month, but I still feel bad about it and LET’S GET ON WITH IT already!(Immediately after writing this, I scribbled down a list for January… so can I already count this as a success please?)

 I struck this one off the list in March– so I’m not counting it. Which is good- cos I didn’t keep to TBRs this year.

number 6

TRY TO STOP READING BOOKS YOU KNOW YOU WON’T LIKE

Gosh this was a good resolution to do- cos this is a terrible habit! Unfortunately I read a few books I knew I’d hate:

 

 

So that means out of 5 points, I only got…

2 points

NON BOOKISH:

number 7

FINISH COMPILING NOTES FROM NOTEBOOKS

 

 

I did this super early in the year that I’ve now got more notebooks to compile lol. Regardless, I’m happy I did this one and I don’t have nearly as much of a backlog as I used to:

10 points

number 8

FINISH THAT AWFUL GUITAR FOR DUMMIES BOOK

guitar for dummies

Yeesh- this. did. not. go. well. To be honest, I don’t think it was the best resolution- if you put “awful” in the resolution, it’s hardly likely you’ll follow through. I also think progress in this area doesn’t really work with chapters. I did actually work on this for four months, however didn’t get far in terms of chapters and had to stop when I went away. I did want to pick this up again- just haven’t had the time! Anyhoo, *excuses excuses*, I’m giving myself a point for those few months of effort.

1 point

number 9

MUMBLE BUMBLE SOMETHING ABOUT FRENCH…

Wowee another one that didn’t go well. I think this was also a poorly chosen resolution because HOW DO YOU MEASURE THIS. I did a few things- like reading a book, watching a movie, talking to people- so I’m giving myself a point for each of these (though I’m not sure it’s deserved- this is the problem with not defining what a success would look like!!! Next time I’ll have to pick something I can actually measure).

3 points

And for personal goals (incidentally one of which was not-so-personal and just related to my #supersecretive WIP and I talked about it here)I actually did all of these- but not necessarily to the best of my ability, so I docked some marks:

27 points

74 points total- which in grading terms works out as a…

grade c

Well what do you think? Have I been to generous or too harsh with my grading? And how have you done with your resolutions this year? Let me know in the comments!

My Reading Stats for 2018 – A Bookish Overview

Hello all! I did this last year and I had a lot of fun with it, so I figured, why not make it an annual tradition?

my reading stats 2018.png

Also since I did it last year I figured I could draw plenty of comparisons!

number of books 2018 stats

average rating 2018 stats

genre breakdown stats 2018

age breakdown stats 2018

ratings 2018 stats

What I find interesting looking at these stats is how some of my reading has changed in just a year. One of the best things is that while my number of books read has gone down (from 220), my average rating has gone up (from 3.5). I’m really excited to see this and my best guess for this improvement would be the way I choose books- aka I think I know my tastes better and reading so many reviews means I can vet books a lot better nowadays- so I owe the blogging community a vote of thanks for this one!

And cos I’m dorky and like statistics, I had a good time comparing 2018 to 2017 (link). For instance, the amount of YA I read was wayyy up- from 39% to 47%. Makes sense- I needed more time to relax. My reading of classics and literary fiction has remained largely static in terms of statistics- around 13%- although given how many books I read last year, this works out as significantly less. Fantasy reading is down from 43% to 34%, while contemporaries are up from 16% to 23%- not only is it interesting to note that I spent more time in the real world, but I can speculate that this more varied approach stopped some genre fatigue. Interesting stuff!

shortest book

callum

It’s sad that even though it was super short, it was still a complete waste of time.

longest book

gone with the wind 2

It’s taken me years to finally brave this one- I count this as a total victory!

worst book

foxhole court

Normally I’m reluctant to use the term… buuut in this case I’ll make an exception.

favourite book

the master and margarita

Well, it is a little slice of genius

no. dnfs

Just the one:

mysteries of udolpho

no. rereads

Ten! I did *a lot* of rereading this year and it was a great change! I used to reread way more when I was younger and it felt great to reconnect with that habit. I reckon it also had something to do with the fact that I got more enjoyment out of my books this year (just look at those ratings!)

HP x7 and Secret countess, wee free men, shiver (don’t remember reading it the first time)

most popular

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Okay, duh.

least popular

rulers and mages

Well then, this means you guys had better get on and read it 😉

highest rated

kingdom of ash book cover

It currently 4.65- possibly cos it’s a new release and only the most enthusiastic readers will have read it at this stage (in fact, when I started making this post it was 4.67, so there you go, it’s already going down).

lowest rating

art of hygge

At 3.26- makes sense- it’s a complete waste of time.

And that’s a wrap! Do you keep track of your stats? How have your ratings been this year? Let me know in the comments!

Just *Some* of the Incredible Books I Read in 2018

All of these got top bananas from me and I’m surprised that a lot of them didn’t make it on to my top ten (but also not cos the books on there are frickin’ out of this world- wait till you see it 😉 ). Even if it takes more time for me to do it this way, I really enjoy celebrating the highlights of the year and these books deserve some love. Without further ado, here’s some honorary mentions:

Okay that’s all for now- hope this gets you PSYCHED for what’s to come… I know I am!!

My Most Disappointing Books of 2018

my most disappointing 2018.png

Thanks in a large part to blogging I pick up fewer books on a whim. That means a lot of what I read tends to be vetted and I’ve been choosing a lot of better books this year. Even so, a number of stinkers have slipped through the net- and that’s what this post is about! Of course, as the title suggests, these are mostly just books that let me down in some way. As always, if you click on the book covers you can click on the book covers and see my less-than-glowing reviews- however you’ll also see I haven’t completely slated all of these. Evidently, *fumbling to insert quick disclaimer*, I’m not saying these are the *worst* books on the planet- a lot of them merely didn’t live up to what I hoped they would be- starting with…

number 10bone queen

The Bone Queen– I actually gave this one a middling rating- see I told you they weren’t all terrible! Still, this made the list because I thought it would be *so much more*. I loved the Pellinor series when I was younger, so when this prequel rolled around I was PSYCHED. Sadly, this didn’t end up building on my pre-existing love. Instead, I got a book that was stuffed to the brim with infodumps and all the dramatic moments being told not shown.

number 9

lonely hearts hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel– this one might be the most controversial one on the list, because a lot of people love it. And I get why. It’s a really well written book- but boy this was not my cup of tea. Honestly, the biggest flaw with this book is that it’s totally miss-marketed. Described as “the next Night Circus”, I was expecting delicious magical realism; what I got was a heavy dose of stomach-churning historical fiction on topics that were too much for me.  That’s not to say it’s bad- it just wish I’d had some inkling of the actual material going in. If you’re into gritty (bordering on gross) topics, then go for it; otherwise maybe give it a miss.

number 8

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– it pains me a little to put this on here, because I really enjoyed the rest of the series. Ultimately though, this was a great example of a series fizzling out. There was a lot of potential here- yet I didn’t feel like the ending lived up to it. It felt rushed, unsatisfying and underdeveloped. *Sigh*- and it could have been so good!

number 7

forest of hands...

Forest of Hands and Teeth– years ago I saw this title and swooned- it’s a thing of perilous beauty. Unfortunately, the charm ends there. There’s nothing remotely thrilling about this all-too-generic read. It’s so meh that I wouldn’t have bothered putting it on this list if not for the fact the title got my hopes up. Unless you’re a massive fan of love triangles and the regular host of YA tropes, I’d give this one a miss.

number 6

life's golden ticket

Life’s Golden Ticket– I kind of feel duty bound to put this on the list based on the simple fact that it wasn’t well written. And while I can handle a little cheese, this one stunk to high heaven. Turns out allegorical, glorified self-help books are not for me.

number 5

ransom my heart

Ransom My Heart– I’m disappointed in myself for reading this one when I had reason to suspect it was gonna be bad! I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with the author to be fair- so I should have known not to give this one a chance. But it sounded different and I liked the idea of it being one of her character’s novels and *excuses excuses*- I read the damn thing and now I have to live with myself. As historical fiction, this isn’t remotely believable- unless you count the misuse of archaic words. Since this is supposed to be Princess Mia’s (from Princess Diaries) book, it could be a comment on how celebrities sometimes manage to get their crap books published just cos they’re celebs… somehow I doubt it though. It seems more likely that this is simply a crap book.

number 4

truth or dare

Truth or Dare– I think I’ve wiped most of the memory of this book from my mind. All I can remember from it was that it was aggravating and nuts. There’s lots of virtue signalling and infodumping and even an instruction at the front of the book to go read other, better books. Seriously. Even this author thinks you should choose something else. So go do that- cos I ended up wondering why I didn’t take that advice.

number 3

falling fast

Falling Fast– there were very few things this year worthy of having a banana peel slung at them- and this was one of them. Everything about this sucked. Worst of all though, it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. There was mature content written in such a childish way that I couldn’t pin it down. Not to mention that the characters were horrible and the romance was awful.

number 2

mysteries of udolpho

Mysteries of Udolpho– oh man, this pushed me into a realllly long slump. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t even finish it cos it was BORING AF. I was hoping for thrills and I got overindulgent descriptions of the landscape. I got *zero* pleasure out of this when I all I was looking for was a good bit of escapism. The only horrifying thing about this was that it was horrifyingly dull. Pick this up at your peril I guess.

number 1

foxhole court

Foxhole Court– I can’t believe I read this. There seems to be a chain of foolish readers who pick this up out of morbid curiosity (I read it cos I saw Angelica’s negative review, Lucinda then went on and read it, and who knows read it after that!). We’re all completely daft obviously– because this book is on big, steaming hot pile of NOPE. Want to read a book about a bunch of rapey weirdos obsessed with a made up sport that makes no sense? No? Well, I suppose you could read this book anyway, cos that’s what I did. And I don’t suppose this disappointed me by living up to its reputation-though it would have been nice if it wasn’t quite this awful- but I had to put it on the list cos it’s definitely, objectively the worst, most bizarre-in-a-bad-way thing I’ve read in a long while. The only explanation I can give for its existence is to give me the opportunity to exclaim “why god why?” at random intervals. And what makes me even more bemused is that this is massively popular in some groups- well I guess I’m (happily) not down with the tumblr kids, cos I don’t get why this is a thing.

So- dare I ask- what do you think of these? Have you read any of them? And what were your worst books of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish (and Some Non Bookish) Resolutions for 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

woohoo 2018.png
Literal stock photo 😉

So, like most of the population on New Year’s Day, I’m completely zonked today and basically want to huddle under my duvet until winter stops… which means it’s the perfect time to write some resolutions for 2018!! (cos we all know how well that tends to work out) Warning: it’s almost guaranteed I will forget about these in a month or two, but everyone loves a guilty book blogger, and these are guaranteed to make me nice and red-faced come next December 😉

Bookish:

number 1

10 More Books from My Challenging list

Yep, starting off with one that was on my resolutions last year. My list of challenging books is quite long (and always growing) so I can’t include all of them, but here’s a few that are top priority:

selection from challenging reading list.png

How’d this list get so cheery? 😉 No wonder I’ve been avoiding this list like the plague…

Also subheading: FINISH READING MAPS OF MEANING YOU LAZY SCHMOCK! (I read the intro and first chapter back in 2016, it’s getting a bit ridiculous now, no matter how hard it is)

number 2

10 Non-Fiction Reads

The great thing about this is a fair number of the books still on my challenging reading list are Non Fiction- so hopefully this’ll be two birds, one stone.

number 3

Delay putting a goodreads challenge on

So this is a complicated resolution- but last year I focused wayyy too much on how much I was reading- and a lot of that came from doing the goodreads challenge straightaway in January. Even though 75 was my goal *for the year*, I saw that and thought “challenge accepted” and proceeded to bulldoze towards that goal. To the point where I kept pushing the goal up-and-up-and-up before the end of the year. I wish I’d taken more time with my reading now and been a bit more relaxed in those opening months especially (cos right now I’m really experiencing burnout). That’s why my goal is not to put the challenge on for as long as possible (although I’m not saying to not do it at all, because I know that’ll be an impossibility)- I’ll say I get a pat on the back for every month I manage to have s(h)elf control.

number 4

5 Rereads

This goes back to trying to *relax* with my reading more (pahahaha, me? Relax? Good luck with that). I’m not going to push my luck- but I’d like to manage a similar number to last year.

number 5

Try and be More Organised with Reading Plans

You know, like have some sort of TBR. It doesn’t have to be official (let’s face it, it won’t be in posts cos *laziness*) still I should at least try to be a bit more organised. Especially since I’ve had a couple of ARCs in particular that I want to read and okay, I’ve been in  a slump for a month, but I still feel bad about it and LET’S GET ON WITH IT already! (Immediately after writing this, I scribbled down a list for January… so can I already count this as a success please?)

number 6

Try to Stop Reading Books You Know You Won’t Like

Yes, sometimes I’m guilty of picking up books where I think “this sounds so cliché and awful” annnd then proceed to read it anyway. Obviously you can’t avoid all bad books- yet sometimes I know I’m making a mistake. I just need to step away from the hype and back off from the trashy teen stuff. Hey future self: PUT IT DOWN.

Non Bookish:

number 7

Finish compiling notes from notebooks

This one is actually not that hard, considering I’ve done most of the legwork. I’ve basically been compiling notes from my notebooks (on the left is the ones I’ve done), for various different stories (not including WIP) that go back about 10 years. I’m down to the last three (on the right) and they’re only small, so this should be a doddle.

number 8

Finish that awful guitar for dummies book

guitar for dummies

Okay this also = do something about my awful, sporadic practising habits (I have a feeling I’m setting myself up for failure here)

number 9

Mumble bumble something about French…

Aka find some new way to practice French instead of just duolingo- which I’ve kinda tailed off with anyway (it’s really boring once you finish the course). Again, this is kinda a fun one- yet also one I will probably fail, cos I have other things I need to do this year… so we’ll see.

I’ve written a couple of personal goals down on this document as well (like get fit) (not actually on the list lol) so I’m aware of them when I go back at the end of the year and publicly shame myself for not doing it 😉

Okay- who else has New Year’s Resolutions you totally plan to not do? Let me know in the comments!