Liebster Blogger award Again

It has been a hot second since I last saw this going around. I can’t even remember how many times before I’ve done this. Maybe this is the 3rd? Or 4th. Anyway, I was tagged by The Crazy Reader. So thank you for tagging me.

Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

What about your blog are you the proudest of? (Content, graphics, consistency, etc.)

I don’t really know. I like some of the content I’ve made. But nothing stands out as something I’m particularly proud of.

What is your favourite drink?

Water probably. That’s what I drink the most.

What is the first book that you really like?

The first “favourite book” i remember having as a kid was White Fang by Jack London.

Do you own any bookish merch? If so, do you have a favourite?

Yeah, I have loads of stuff from subscription boxes. My favourite are probably the socks. All of them. I have several pairs of bookish socks.

Book blogs, bookstagrams, booktubes or book twitters?

In terms of what I consumme the most of, definitely booktube. In terms of what I enjoy doing, blogging, obviously.

How has blogging helped you in life?

By providing an outlet.

Who is your favourite author?

I don’t know. I have many favourite authors.

Do you have a favourite artist? (music or visual art)

No. I don’t really do favourites.

Can you play any sports?

Not any team sports. But I do martial arts, used to do archery as well.

Can you play any musical instruments?

Not really. I can play a few songs on the guitar, but not well and nothing too complicated.

What is the thing you love the most about yourself?

That I’m clever.

11 facts about me:

  1. I’m 23
  2. I’m stubborn
  3. I don’t like cooking meat. I like meat, but cooking it is annoying, so I tend to cook vegetarian a lot of the time
  4. I don’t like cooking in general actually (but especially dislike cooking meat)
  5. Seafood freaks me out
  6. I have a younger brother.
  7. I hate clubbing
  8. I love riding horses
  9. I’m a scientist
  10. I’ve never travelled outside of Europe
  11. I’ve never broken a bone

I’ll just tag whoever wants to do this because I can’t be bothered to do it properly. So if you’re reading this, and you want to do it, you’re tagged!

Questions:

  1. Favourite indoors activity?
  2. Favourite outdoors activity?
  3. Last country (other than the one you live in) you’ve been to?
  4. Book you’ve re-read the most?
  5. Orange juice or apple juice?
  6. Have you ever taken any dance lessons?
  7. What languages do you speak?
  8. Least favourite fruit?
  9. Too hot or too cold?
  10. Smoothies or milkshakes?
  11. Do you like playing videogames?

O.W.L. Readathon TBR (that I’ll probably ignore)

So, the OWL readathon is coming up in April and I really love the concept of readathons and making TBRs for them, but I rarely actually stick to those TBRs because I’m entirely a mood reader and I can rarely stick to a pre-determined TBR. But I’m going to make a TBR anyway and see how I get on.

If you don’t know what the OWL readathon is, it’s a readathon based on the wizarding examinations in Harry Potter. It’s very cool and complex. You have to choose a career and each career has a number of subjects you need to complete in order to achieve it. Each subject has a prompt. That’s the gist of it. You can check out the announcement video for it for more details.


I have several careers that I’m interested in and I’m going to pick out books for all of them and see how it goes. There are also some extra courses you can do in addition to your career and I want to do the Animagus course in addition to all/any of my careers. Though I’m pretty sure the requirements for that overlap with the ones for my careers anyway.

The first career I’m interested in is also the hardest with 12 required subjects! Which I’m pretty sure is all of them. So if I get this one, I’m pretty sure I can do any career. And that is Alchemist. I think it would suit me the most because it sounds to me like the magical equivalent of a scientist and… well that’s my actual career. So here are the required subjects and their prompts:

Ancient Runes: heart rune – A book with a heart on the cover or in the title

every heart a doorway

This is a really hard prompt. I apparently do not own any books that have the word heart in the title or have hearts on the covers. So, if I do get around to this prompt, I will be reading Every Heart a Doorway by Seannen McGuire. I will have to buy it, which is fine since I have been meaning to anyway. But I would prefer to pick books I already own.

Arithmancy: magical qualities of the number 2 balance/opposites – a book outside of your normal genre

For this, I’m going with A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton. This is a non-fiction, which is not something I read frequently.

Astronomy: night classes – read the majority of this book when it’s dark outside

This is such a cool prompt. I’m going to leave this as a freebie. I’ll just mood pick for this prompt.

Care of magical creatures: hippogriff – a book with a creature with a beak on the cover

For this I’ve chosen Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco. It’s got a big ol’ bird on that C.

Charms: lumos maxima – a white cover

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. I read One of Us is Lying earlier this year and thought it was… pretty bad, but entertaining and a good palate cleanser. And I bought the first two books on offer at Tesco for like £3, so I may as well read the second one too since they’re so short and quick to go through.

Defence Against the Dark Arts: Grindylow – a book set at sea/coast

throne of jade

This was kind of hard to find, and I’m not 100% sure this even fits. But I think it does. I think there is some extended sea travel in here. I’m talking about Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik.

Divination – assign a number to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read

I’m assuming it’s referring to my whole TBR not the readathon one.

a beautiful mind

So, this landed on A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. I already know I am not going to read this. I’m not super interested in this book to be honest. I got it for free at a book exchange thing. So… yeah. I’m probably going to fail but we already knew that.

Herbology: mimbulus mimbeltonia – a book that starts with M

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

History of Magic – a book featuring witched/wizards

Order of the Phoenix

I’m going to be meta af and go with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix since I’m currently re-reading the HP books anyway. SO I’ll be reading about Harry taking his OWLs while completing my OWLs.

Muggle studies – a book from the perspective of a muggle (contemporary)

I hate contemporary. Well, hate is a strong word. But it’s definitely one of my least favourite genres. SO I’m going to bend the rules a bit for this one and go with a non-fiction. Which technically is from the perspective of a muggle.

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Why Does E = mc2 and Why Should We Care? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

Potions: shrinking solution – a book under 150 pages

wild embers

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill. This comes at exactly 150 pages including the acknowledgements and all that.

Transfiguration: animagus lecture – a book that contains shapeshifting

half blood prince

I don’t have anything on my TBR as far as I’m aware that has any shapeshifters, so I’m gonna be cheeky and just go with another Harry Potter Book.

Now, as I mentioned, this is the hardest career that has all subjects, so there are no extra prompts for my other careers, but here they are and what their subjects are. Hopefully I’ll at least get one of these.

Hogwarts Professor

  • Defence Against the Dark Arts
  • A subject you wish to teach (Transfiguration)
  • 5 other subjects of your choice:
    • Potions
    • Arithmancy
    • Muggle studies
    • Astronomy
    • History of Magic

Since an academic career is essentially my career (though less emphasis on the teaching and more on the research), this seems like the next best thing if I can’t get the Alchemist one – which realistically I won’t be able to. So I’ve chosen the subjects that I think I’m most likely to pass.

Librarian

  • Defence Against the Dark Arts
  • Arithmancy
  • Ancient Runes
  • Transfiguration
  • History of Magic

If I can’t be a scientist, I wanna be a librarian. This one is easier, with only 5 required subjects.

Magizoologist

  • Care of magical creatures
  • Charms
  • Herbology
  • Potions

I’ve always said that if all else fails, I just want to have an animal farm. So this seems like the perfect fallback career for me.

And finally, for the animagus course:

  • Transfiguration
  • Arithmancy
  • Potions

Top 5 Magical Realism Books I Want to Read

The title is a lie. But first things first, I was tagged by Mandy @ Devouring Books who hosts this top 5 series. So thank you Mandy for bringing me back from my hole of completely ignoring this blog. I have actually been wanting to get back into blogging what with the obscene amounts of time I have on my hands due to the quarantine going on at the moment. So this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

This week’s theme is top 5 magical realism books and here are the rules of the game:

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (see the link above)
  • Tag 5 people

Now to the reason why the title is a lie. I’m not a huge fan of magical realism. The only magical realism book I’ve read was The Night Circus and while I did like it, I don’t love it the way everyone seems to. I think it was a 4 star read for me, but it was a 4 star because I appreciate how well and beautifully written a book it is, rather than 4 stars based on how much I enjoyed it. It’s just not a genre I click with. As such, I only have 2 books that I’m interested in from this genre at the moment.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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I think her writing is really beautiful and her stories are really creative. If there’s one magical realism author I’m interested in reading, it’s her. I’ve actually started reading this book and have not finished it, but I do intend to finish it because I was enjoying it. I just picked it up at the wrong time.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrowten thousand doors of january

I have started reading this one as well and I think I actually enjoyed it a little bit more than The Starless Sea, however it was a bit too romance heavy for me to cope with at the time being. So again, I picked it up at the wrong time and I do plan to read it at some point in the future.

So there you have it, a really short post to ease me back into blogging. Now for tagging 5 people, I’m going to tag my latest 5 book blogging followers because what better way to get to know you guys. So if you decide to do this, please comment a link to your post.

Kathryn @ Metaphors and Miscellania

The Hungry Book Dragon (awesome name btw)

Amanja @ Amanja Reads too Much

Abookblog

Jen @ Jenniely

 

 

Most Anticipated Books of 2020

I was actually having a look on Goodreads to see what is coming out this year and quite frankly there aren’t a whole lot of books I’m excited about, but here are the ones I am excited about (in order of expected publication).


Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – 3 March

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Hesitantly excited about this. I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, but at the same time, I haven’t really read much Cassandra Clare lately. I still have to read Queen of Air and Darkness but I can’t because I’m emotionally sound enough to go through the emotional torture that are her books. Especially when talking about my boo, Will Herondale. I know the series follows their kids more than anything, but still.

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin – 26 March

I honestly know nothing about this book except that it takes place in NYC. But it’s N. K. Jemisin, so I will give it a go.

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence – 30 April

I am ready for more of this world. This is probably my second most anticipated release of the year. I love the Book of the Ancestor series and I still have a lot of questions that will hopefully be answered in this companion series.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – 19 May

I am cautiously optimistic about this. I really, really hope its great, because The Hunger Games is to this day one of my favourite series. But I’m always a bit wary when authors come up with random series continuations 5 years later. Technically, this is a prequel. But still. Fingers crossed it’s as good as THG though.

Stormlight Archive Book 4 by Brandon Sanderson – 17 November

My most anticipated book of the year by far and the one I have to wait the longest for 😥 We don’t even have a title or a cover yet, but Brandon said he finished it on time so we’re (almost) definitely getting it this year!

Another Try a Chapter Thing

Everyone keeps doing these and they’re actually useful. I once again find myself overwhelmed by my TBR and I want to get rid of some books. I have a bunch that are sitting on my shelves and I’m not very excited about, but I also don’t want to unhaul them. So I’ve decided on another try a chapter thing to decide whether they stay or no. I’m going to do 6 books today, because I feel like more than that would just be too much. Anyway, here we go.


A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

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I read the prologue and first chapter and didn’t really like it. It basically feels like a ripoff of Three Dark Crowns (which I’m currently reading) but with vampires and fae and shapeshifters added. It’s basically about this Princess who has a specific type of magic and she has a sister who she has to fight to the death for the throne and her sister has a different type of magic. Sound familiar? Not only that, but I also didn’t like the writing. It was super info dumpy in a super annoying way. Here, it’s easier to illustrate with a quote:

Glamour, the fey ability to to cast illusions over the world and themselves
made their glossy skin shine as bright as the moon. Beside them, groups of
human girls [...] passed around tiny cups of ouitza, dark liquor made from
the sugarcane that grew along the river.Three-story akelaes - Myrean homes 
built around a central courtyard [...]

And it just goes on and on and on like that for nearly a page. It’s like reading a dictionary. And then there’s a bunch of boring tropes that are in no way creatively implemented: gay best friend, best friend who’s kind of a goody two shoes and the wild and mischievous MC who gets them to loosen up, MC with super duper rare and powerful magical abilities unseen for generations. And this was just the first chapter. So yeah, this one’s going. I’m really enjoying Three Dark Crowns and I think I’ll stick to that for my fill of rival sibling queens. I realise that I just hauled this recently and now I’m unhauling it, but I have had it for a couple months. I just didn’t do a haul for a long time.

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

catwoman

I have had a bit of a falling out with Sarah J. Mass. Used to be a huge fan, but didn’t really like her last few books. Which is why this is on the list. I’ve had it for nearly two years now, or however long it’s been since it came out and I’m never tempted to pick it up. However, after reading the first chapter, I think I will keep it for at time when I’m the mood for some dark, gritty superhero trash. It’s definitely not high quality literature, but it does capture that DC grunge. Reading the first chapter kind of felt like watching an episode of Arrow (which is the last DC show I’ve watched because I don’t have a life) in terms of atmosphere. So I want to have something like that on hand if the mood strikes.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

turtles all the way down

I was never really going to unhaul this. I just wanted to see what it was like. I’ve been avoiding it because usually John Green = romance and I really haven’t been in the mood for romance in the past 2 years really. Which is how long this has been on my shelves. I read the first chapter and it’s very John Green, philosophical teenagers and all that. I know that it’s very personal for him and that it depicts his own struggles with OCD and anxiety and thought spirals. And it’s somewhat relatable for me. While I don’t have OCD, I do have anxiety and I understand how hard it is to stop the thought spirals. Anyway, I digress. I am definitely keeping this, but I’m giving myself permission to take it off my TBR for the time being because I cannot handle reading it in my current state of mind.

The Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

anothwicked fox

I’m a bit conflicted about this. I enjoyed the first chapter. But I know this is a romance. It’s marketed as one and I’ve heard people say that it focuses much more on the romance than it does on the Korean folklore. The folklore is really the reason I would like to read this and the reason I enjoyed the first chapter is because we haven’t met the love interest yet. So I think I’m going to let this go. But I will say that the book was decently well written and it’s probably worth reading if you’re looking for a YA fantasy romance. Of course this is just based on the first chapter, so it’s not a particularly reliable recommendation.

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

mark of the thief

This is another one that has been on my shelves for ages and I never reach for it. But I should because I really loved Nielsen’s Ascension trilogy and just reading the first chapter of this brought back all the things I really loved about her other series. I’m glad I did include it in this challenge because now I want to read it, so it renewed my interest in this book.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

crow girl

This is definitely staying as well. I can tell that it’s the type of thriller I will enjoy. You know, the kind that’s actually thrilling and keeps you on edge, not the boring type about a cop with a drinking problem, tortured past and toxic “relationships”.

New Year, new books – Book Haul

I didn’t get all of these in the past 4 days, just for the record. These are the books I’ve acquired since my last haul which was in October I believe. Considering Christmas happened, this is a remarkably small haul. Which I’m pleased with.


Physical books I purchased for myself

The Girl In the Tower by Katherine Arden | The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden | The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Physical books I received as gifts/in subscription boxes

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy | The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow | The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Electronic books I’ve purchased

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson | The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien | The Toll by Neal Schusterman | The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang | Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Vol. 1 by Matt Fitton

Why Does E=mc2 and Why Should We Care? by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw| Rome: A History in Seven Sackings by Matthew Kneale

 

December 2019 Wrap Up

As I mentioned in my November wrap up, from now I will also include books I’ve DNFed or am partway through in my wrap-ups. I only completed 1 book in December as I was pretty slumpy and just wanted to play video games and watch Netflix. But I did read a fair bit of a few others.


Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures Vol. 1 by Matt Fitton

I basically re-watched the first 7 series of Doctor Who in December and I was just in the mood for it. So when I saw this in a Audible deal, I had to get it. It’s the only book I completed in December, but it was great fun. I gave it 3.5 stars.

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

oathbringer

I started this in November. I didn’t read much of it in December, perhaps around 100 pages. I’m currently on page 324 of it. I jumped straight into this after finishing Words of Radiance, but I guess after about 1500 pages of the same story, I wanted a bit of a break. I’m definitely loving this book, but I did want to read other things as well. Also, I don’t want to finish it too soon, because then I have a whole year to wait for the next one.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb

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I read Assassin’s Apprentice in November and surprised myself by picking this up almost straightaway. I got maybe 80% of the way into it. I’m audiobooking it, so I don’t know exactly what page. But I didn’t like something that happened and stopped. I’m not DNFing it, but I just wanted a break from it. Although I have to say, this is probably my favourite in the series, despite the thing that happened that I didn’t like.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

ten thousand doors of january

I also read about 130 pages of this in the very last few days of December. I am enjoying it, but I realised now that I have a problem with magical realism. I thought it was a problem with Erin Morgenstern’s writing, because hers are really the only magical realism books I’d read, but I realise now that it’s the genre I have a problem with it. I enjoy it, but I don’t get immersed in it and I struggle to read a lot at a time. After reading 20-30 pages, I feel like I need to stop. Whereas with normal SFF books, I can easily read 80-100 pages before I start feeling tired. So now that I know that, I think I will actually enjoy magical realism more because I’ll just go into it with the mindset of reading it slowly and won’t get frustrated when I need to stop after only 20 pages.

Best books I read in 2019

Yesterday I talked about my least favourite books of 2019, so today I’ll talk about my favourite ones. Thankfully, the good certainly surpassed the bad this years at least in terms of what books I read if nothing else. I’ve discovered quite a few new faves and re-read some old favourites. I won’t talk about any of the re-reads, because I have quite a few new favourites to talk about. This year was the year of series for me. I read quite a few of them. So without me rambling any more, in the order I read them (more or less), here are my favourites of 2019.


Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

I read three volumes in 2019 and I loved them. This has become one of my favourite graphic novel series and I can’t wait to continue with it. The story is so good and the characters are amazing and there’s a cat that knows when people are lying and it’s just great. It’s the science-fiction fantasy type of story I’ve been craving ever since first reading The Broken Earth series. It’s nothing like that series, except that they’re both really good. I’m trying to pace myself because they are on hiatus at the moment, so I don’t want to run out too quickly, but I think I’m overdue for a volume soon.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

skyward

This is not the first Sanderson book on this list. I very nearly put all the Brandon Sanderson books I read in 2019 on here, but I wanted to limit myself to 10 books and I didn’t just want to talk about Brandon Sanderson. It was a choice between this and Elantris and while I did really like Elantris, I’ll be talking about another Cosmere book later on in the post, so I wanted to give a not to his YA sci-fi. I was honestly very pleasantly surprised by this. I questioned whether or not I would like it since it’s so different from the Cosmere books I’d read and part of what makes Sanderson’s books so good is how cool and creative his magic systems are. So I questioned whether I would like a sci-fi book. But I shouldn’t have because I flew through this and I will unquestioningly read Brandon Sanderson books from now on.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Another graphic novel series. 2019 was my year for delving into graphic novels. This one is the grimdark steampunk I never knew I wanted. It’s so good and weird and creepy and interesting. And the artwork is so good. I read the first two volumes last year and I can’t wait to read the rest. I’m once again pacing myself. There are 2 more volumes out and then I have to wait and I’m not sure how long. So I’m saving them for moments when I really need something amazing.

The Martian by Andy Weir

martian

This was such a surprise for me. I thought I wouldn’t like it and ended up reading it in one day and it just made me happy. It’s a book about science where the science isn’t messed up. The majority of the books I didn’t like this year I didn’t like because of the way they used very inaccurate and implausible science. So this was great. It genuinely improved my mood at a time when I was very depressed and didn’t think anything could make me feel better. And that’s really all I need to say about this book, though I have reviewed it if you want to hear a bit more of my thoughts.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

holy sister

I love this series and I know some people didn’t like this finale, but I really did and I can’t wait to read his new series in this world. I hope it’s just as good. I’m going to miss Nona, but I’m also very curious to know more about the world and hopefully the magic system. All I’m saying is magical assassin nuns. I have also reviewed this whole series if you’re interested in that.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

sadie

This is somewhat of a deviation from the SFF books that are predominant on this list. I like thrillers, but they have to be really good for me to like them. There are so many mediocre thrillers out there. But I digress. This books was so good, I could not stop. I definitely recommend it as an audiobook. It works so well because the whole book is basically a podcast. So listening to it on audio just makes it that much better. Definitely one of the best thrillers I’ve read recently. A great book totally deserving all the hype it got. I’ve reviewed this one as well.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

scythe

I actually read this whole series in 2019, but I think only this first one is worthy of this list. I liked the second one a lot as well, but not enough for it to be on here. I hated the third one as I mentioned in my worst books post and also in my review of it. But this first book was great. I was hooked and it just reminded me of all the things I do enjoy about utopia/dystopia as genres. I don’t read much of that genre anymore because it’s so cliched and full of mediocre books, but this was so refreshing and cool. I am still fuming about the finale, but this is a positive post, so I’ll refrain from further ranting.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

This is probably my favourite Sanderson series that I’ve read this far. I’m so glad we are getting book 4 in 2020 because I’m about a quarter of the way through book 3. I read the first two in 2019. And it’s a testament to how amazing this series is that I easily got through 2 1000+ page books and I’m still super excited that this series has 10 BOOKS PLANNED!!! And it’s Brandon Sanderson, so there’s a real chance that we’ll actually get to read all 10 of them in this lifetime! God bless Brandon Sanderson, honestly. In a world full of Patrick Rothfusses and George R. R. Martins, we just need a Brandon Sanderson.

Circe by Madeline Miller

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I avoided this for the longest time because I thought I’d find it boring, but I loved it. I really love mythology so I’m not sure why I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. I guess the synopsis and the reviews I’d heard just made it sound boring. And it’s really hard to summarise this book without making it sound boring. But it’s actually great and I want Madeline Miller to write more mythology books please and thank you.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This is another series I put off for ages because everyone said it’s a historical fantasy and I though that would be a bit dull. Don’t ask why, I read medieval based fantasies all the time, but my brain hears ‘historical’ and thinks ‘oh, boring’. Even though I actually do enjoy historical fiction. LOGIC? WHAT LOGIC? But anyway, I can’t really articulate how much I loved this series. It made me feel happy and warm inside and I am grateful for it.

Worst Books I read in 2019

I was in a kind of reading slump for the majority of the year and as such I was very picky with what I read. So for the most part, I really enjoyed what I read. But as always, there are some books that missed the mark for me. These are in the order I read them in.


A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

a wizard of earthsea

This was one that I didn’t dislike at all, but I just found so forgettable, I hod to include it on this list. I never think about it and even as I was reading it, I was only ever mildly invested in it. It kind of felt like the outline for a good novel. Like it wasn’t quite fleshed out enough. And I was really disappointed because I’d heard a lot about Ursula K. Le Guin.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

children of time

I really didn’t like this book. I had a lot of issues with the logic of it. It didn’t make sense to me in so many ways. I didn’t care about any of the characters and the story was in turns boring and confusing and just… wtf. And on top of that, I found the synopsis very misleading, so I went into it expecting something completely different. I’ve written a whole rant about it, so you can check that out, but this was barely 2 stars for me. I think more like 1.5 stars.

Lock In by John Scalzi

lock in

I think this was my only 1 star read for the year. I cannot find even one redeeming quality for it. The writing was bad, the characters were annoying, the audiobook narration was bad. I did not like anything about it. This was basically one of those super stereotypical crime thrillers… but the main character was kind of a robot. I really enjoyed John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. That was funny, insightful and well written. I don’t know what happened with this one. But it was bad.

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

to best the boys

I didn’t hate this one, but I found it boring and predictable. I was expecting it to some extent. I went into it with the expectation of your basic YA fantasy and that’s what I wanted to read at the time, but something about it really annoyed me. I think it was mainly the science. I noticed that inaccurate science really bugs me in books. Especially when the MC is supposed to be a scientist of some sort. Because it just shows a lack of research from the author on very simple things. If you’re going to incorporate science into your book, DO SOME RESEARCH!!!! I do have a review of it, so you can read that for more details.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

the toll

This is the most shocking one on this list. I fully expected to love this as I loved the first two books, but I really didn’t like it. Namely, the ending. I didn’t have a problem with most of the book. At least, not anything that would cause me to write off the book. But how it ended, I HATED. It was stupid and disappointing. Just no. It’s not cool to build stuff up for 2 and a half books and then end the book like that. I have both a spoilery discussion and a spoiler free review of this, so you can check those out. For the longest time, I didn’t rate this because I was conflicted. On the one hand, it’s well written and so on, but on the other hand I hate the ending. I finally settled on 2 stars. I can’t bring myself to give it more than that.


Those are the worst books I read in 2019. There’s not many of them, I had a pretty good reading year. There are some books that I DNFed that are not included in this post, but I have a separate post about them.

I did a non-Goodreads reading challenge?

I’ve mostly forgotten about this and I didn’t really choose books to read that would specifically complete these prompts, but oh well. Let’s see how I did. The ones in bold are ones I’ve completed followed by the book that fits them. Italics are incomplete followed by an explanation. This is going to be a long post. To just quickly give you the stats, I completed 45 out of 52 prompts plus all 3 bonus challenges that I set myself. So I’m pretty pleased.


  1. A book you bought for the cover – The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  2. A book by an author you’ve met – I’ve only ever met Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas and I haven’t read a book by either of them because I cant handle their books right now 😦
  3. A book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read yet – The Dark Vault by V.E. Schwab
  4. A book that is under 220 pages – Saga vol. 1 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  5. A book that came out the year you were born Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
  6. A book whose title uses alliteration – To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
  7. A book in your best friend’s favorite genre – Thriller: Sadie by Courtney Summers
  8. A book from an independent publisher – honestly, I’m too lazy to properly look into this. I may or may not have read such a book, but meh.
  9. A book written by a PoC – The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  10. A book featuring a fictional language – A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin
  11. A novel that includes a recipe – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has lots of potion recipes. I’m counting it.
  12. A sequel – The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
  13. A book about going on a quest – The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  14. A book set in a city you’ve visited – Harry potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A good enough chunk of it happens in London and I’m counting it because most of the books I own are set in nonexistent cities so…
  15. A book with a dust jacket – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
  16. A book by two or more authors – Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  17. Four word title – A Feast for Crows by G. R. R. Martin
  18. A book that’s been out for less than a month – Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. I was on this as soon as it came out
  19. A book with a name in the title – Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  20. A book from a genre you want to read more of – Graphic novels: Monstress Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu
  21. Male protagonist – Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
  22. A book with an asexual character – Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
  23. A book you were given as a gift – I almost managed this, but then I didn’t finish the book. I haven’t officially DNFed it because I like it and want to finish it, but I’m waiting for the right mood.
  24. A space opera – Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  25. An award-winning graphic novel – Saga Vol 2 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  26. A book you’ve been putting off – The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  27. A book you meant to read in 2018 – The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
  28. A book featuring a memorable cat – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Doesn’t get much more memorable than Aslan
  29. A book set in South America – Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. Briefly. But I don’t own that many books that happen on Earth, let alone South America.
  30. A book with a cover you kind of hate (but a story you love) – The Martian by Andy Weir. I have the movie tie-in edition and I just hate it.
  31. A book by an author you’ve never heard of before – Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
  32. A book of short stories – The only book of short stories I own, I don’t actually really want to read so…
  33. A debut novelThe Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
  34. A book you’ve been waiting for forever – I did start reading Darkdawn, but unfortunately did not finish it. Again, waiting for the mood to strike. Being a mood reader kind of sucks sometimes. 
  35. A book about intersectional feminism – Honestly, idk why I left this one in here, I don’t really read non-fiction. I suppose it could be a fiction book that has intersectional feminism as a theme, but I don’t think I’ve read any that fit this year. 
  36. A book with a place in the title – A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
  37. A book bought at your local bookstore – Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
  38. A book by an author you’re thankful for – The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
  39. A book with gorgeous descriptions – The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  40. A book signed by the author – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  41. A book set in Africa – City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. I know this barely qualifies because only the beginning takes place in Egypt. But I’m counting it because I don’t think I have any books that take place in Africa on my owned TBR.
  42. A book about mental health – Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter
  43. A non-fiction book – What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  44. A retelling – Alice by Christina Henry
  45. A book about incarceration – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  46. A book recommended by an author – The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden was blurbed by Robin Hobb. I count that as recommendation 😀
  47. A book with a person of colour on the cover – Saga Vol 3 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  48. A book by an author who uses a pen name – Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  49. A book whose title includes a verb – One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence. Kill is a verb. 😀
  50. A book that you owned since before the start of the year – Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  51. A book being adapted in 2019
  52. A re-read – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

BONUS: Read a book over 1000 pages – The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

BONUS: Finish a series you started this year – I finished THREE: The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden; Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (this one is still ongoing, but I read all the published ones this year, so it counts)

BONUS: Read a contemporary – Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson


Overall, not bad I think. Considering I didn’t really pick books specifically to fit this challenge.