My Month in Review
The holidays! There was Christmas, today is New Year’s Eve, my sister came home from school, as well as many friends, and we visited family – that’s been my month in a nutshell, really.
Music of the Month
Excluding Christmas music, of course, because you’ll all probably a little sick of Christmas music at this point – or you’re still mourning the fact that we have to wait another year for it to come around again.
1. Bea Miller – “Young Blood”: Apparently this girl was on X Factor, but I found her through Spotify. This is the name of her EP, and it’s definitely my favorite of the four songs. I don’t know why, but I just love those songs where the singer’s voice sounds really raw or whatever, and that’s one of these songs. Also, I feel like this show would be a good theme song for The 100 – anyone else who watches that show feel that way?
2. Celeste Buckingham – “I’m Not Sorry”: Wow – I just included this song because I found it on Spotify and loved it, but when I searched for it on YouTube, the music video that came up for it was dedicated to “all the women and girls around the world” on International Women’s Day, and my love of this song just went way up!
3. Marina & the Diamonds – “Happy”: This is the Acoustic Band version of this new Marina song, and it’s just so gorgeous, the video and song both. “Don’t go out much at all/I’ve never been the type to call/I realize to be happy/Maybe I need a little company” – these are just some of the lyrics that make this song seem so personal to me, and I just love it so much.
Top Books Read
1. Mortal Gods (Kendare Blake): I was happy to see that I enjoyed the second book just as much as the first – although it did have a bigger cliffhanger ending, which is frustrating since the next book doesn’t even have a cover yet, and I continue to dislike Cassandra’s character – but otherwise, all good.
2. The Dream Thieves (Maggie Stiefvater): This book went a little smoother than the first one since I understood it more, but I enjoyed it the same amount and look forward to the third book, which is luckily already out.
3. Big Boned (Meg Cabot): And Meg Cabot continues to be a reliably enjoyable author, adult or YA.
Favorite (Non-Review) Posts
1. Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2014: I really just liked making the graphics for this one.
2. So, How Did NaNoWriMo Go? Even though I didn’t do as well as I wanted to with NaNoWriMo, I was really happy with what it taught me, as I talked about in this discussion post.
3. Sometimes I Take Books Way Too Damn Personally: This post is super personal and was scary to post, but was nice to get it all out.
4. The Re-Read Challenge 2015 – Intro Post: I just liked talking about all the great books I want to reread.
5. Top Ten Books I Read in 2014: Books! Looking back on amazing books!
6. End of Year Book Survey 2014: And more reflecting!
7. I Love Fluffy Books – So Why Do I Have So Much Trouble Rating Them? Seriously, why do I have so much trouble being honest with my ratings for fluffy books? This is an important questions.
8. Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year: Again, I just had so much fun making the graphics for this one.
9. The FIVE Challenge: More reflection!
10. Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2015: And finally, looking forward rather than back.
Books I’m Excited About
I am determined to finally read all these books, but February might be a better bet since I’ll finally be back in school and won’t be able to go to my public libraries as much.
Upcoming Releases I’m Excited About
Fire Fall and I Was Here are both from established authors who I enjoy, so they’re safer bets – but Playlist for the Dead is the first debut that I’m excited for! Hopefully they’re all great and start off the year on a good point.
Challenges – END RESULTS!
It’s time for the big reveal (although not really, since you could always check my progress on Goodreads or my Challenges page): I read a total of 167 books! Sure, some of them were DNFs, but I really don’t care – I more than reached my goal, and it makes me confident that I can continue reading at least 100 books in the future!
The majority of the books I read this year were all new books. I wanted to read 50 new ones and ended up reaching 113 new books, which is pretty great in my book! I love rereading, obviously, but it’s great discovering new books, and luckily there were plenty of interesting ones in this mix.
Considering how many books were on my Debut Authors shelf, I guess I didn’t read that much, but I did read 16 debuts this year, and since that’s 4 more than my goal of 12 total books, I’m pretty happy with that. Plus, I discovered some interesting authors who books will hopefully show up in my next challenge…
I came so close to this challenge going up by one book, but I had to return The Fourth Wish before I could finish it, so the Sophomore Author Challenge remains at 12 books. Sure, I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t raise it more, but I still achieved this challenge! My goal was 10 books and I did that, so I am not going to complain!
I DID IT! I was getting worried the closer I got to the end of the year with only 9 of the 10 books I wanted, but then I finished another Meg Cabot book last week and I’ve now read 10 adult books in 2014! Sure, some of them were DNFs, but I’ve realized that mysteries tend to interest me more than literary fiction, and hopefully I can have more adult books read next year as a result!
Favorite Non-Book Things
1. Orphan Black: My sister and I are finally watching the second season of this amazing show. We’re not quite done with it – we have a handful of episodes to go – so no spoilers, please! I’ve managed to stay relatively unspoiled so far, and I want to keep it that way!
2. Tumblr: I’ve had a Tumblr for a while now, but I’m going through one of my many phases where I’m on it nearly all the time right now. That also leads to my number three…
3. Fan Fiction: Yes, I’ll freely admit that I like reading fan fiction. Sometimes I like the longer ones, but right now I’m reading a lot of one shots, mainly for The 100, with some Harry Potter/Jily (James and Lily Potter) ones mixed in. Yeah, there are plenty of terrible ones, and they can be fun to read, but there are also plenty of great ones from aspiring authors, and it has me in the mood to maybe write some of my own…
A Goal for January
Be happy with my reading. For the past couple of months I haven’t read nearly as much as I would like, but rather than force myself to read, read, read, I want to want to read, and hopefully that’ll happen!