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review 2016-01-01 06:30
Thoughts: What the Dead Know
What the Dead Know - Kylie Brant

A Brief Personal Aside:  

 

My first post of 2016; a review for the last book I finished reading in 2015!  Happy New Year to everyone!  Happy Reading to all!  Happy Blogging to All!

 

Now onto the review!

 

***

 

What the Dead Know -- Kylie Brant

Book 8 of Mindhunters

 

 

What the Dead Know is extremely fast-paced and continuously forward moving, as has always been the case with Kylie Brant's Mindhunters books. This one was better written and better edited than the previous, Secrets of the Dead; and it also involved a more focused premise, story telling and progression.

The only fault I found with it, however, is the romance--the chemistry seems to be missing.


The Story:
Keira Saxon is lured into the game of a serial killer when she discovers that her father hadn't been killed in a wilderness attack by a bear--her father's liver is left in a cooler at her cabin door and Keira is led on a chase through the snowy woods, only to be attacked by the perpetrator.

Knowing that she is too close to this case, but not wanting to be left out of the loop Danny Saxon's now homicide investigation, Keira calls upon the aid of Adam Raiker's forensic investigation organization.

Enter Finn Carstens, an Mindhunter working for Adam Raiker who used to be a medical examiner. Along with Keira, the two discover that Keira's father wasn't the only murder victim and that their mysterious serial killer is playing a deadly game with human lives. And Keira is his ultimate targeted hunt.


My Thoughts:
Finn and Keira make for a great investigating team together, and this book brings back to mind one of my more favored Mindhunters installments, the very first Waking Nightmare and the investigating partnership between Ryne and Abby. Of course, Keira and Finn are less antagonistic to each other, readily creating that partnership bond and trust; unfortunately, at the same time, they also display a lot less romantic chemistry than I had been expecting for a romance.

There's an underlying OTP-ness to their slowly developing relationship, but I fail to FEEL how the two start to fall for each other. Even the sexual tension seems a bit lackluster--in comparison, the previous pair of Mindhunters in Secrets of the Dead, Eve and Declan, had a haphazard story and almost too tacky romantic conclusion, but they had chemistry.

Anyway... back to this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the crime thriller aspect of it, even if I felt that the romance was not as developed. And, really, that's all I have left to say about it.

Once again, another great Kylie Brant romantic suspense to pass the time and enjoy--a very enjoyable, entertaining crime thriller to pass a cold night in December. I could just feel the chills radiating off of the snowy Michigan setting.


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review 2015-12-28 14:23
Thoughts: Deep in the Valley
Deep in the Valley - Robyn Carr

Deep in the Valley -- Robyn Carr

Book 1 of Grace Valley trilogy

 

 

After two months of putting it off, apparently I was still bound and determined to finish this book for reasons I don't think I will ever understand. While things DO happen throughout the book and there are moments of excitement, really, a whole lot of NOTHING actually happens in this entire book. It's really just an accounting of several, everyday mundane activities surrounding the people of Grace Valley with a lot of side tangents, Cliff's Notes history-telling of the town's founding and development, talk of drug runners and DEA agents crawling all over the mountains, and a lot of domestic abuse.

And for a Contemporary Romance, there is extremely little romance. What little romance there is in this book isn't even easily acceptable by yours truly, if only because we REALLY take instalove to a higher level. There were three prominent interactions between the heroine and her love interest before the word "love" started getting thrown around. And so the main romance for our main heroine, June Hudson, was barely even there. There were three encounters and this love interest can't even be filed under the category of main hero or even main character because he's never even in the story.

After the first meeting in which our love interest pretends to faint so that he's no longer holding a gun on her and so his criminal partner wouldn't be suspicious of him, June is obsessed with said love interest. She speculates that he MUST be an undercover law enforcement agent because there's absolutely NO WAY she could fall for someone who's a criminal--because that makes so much sense... Then he shows up again and suddenly the two are contemplating becoming a couple. And then the guy keeps entering her home and doing little things for her, like feeding her dog and leaving flowers on her bed WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE. And she's okay with this. He even shows up in her home, waiting for her when she comes home... and again, she's okay with this.

Because obviously he's a good person because, and she repeats over again, she would never fall for the criminal type and because he'd pretended to faint so that he wouldn't be pointing a gun at her anymore.

It would actually be a nice Meet Cute if there had been more interaction between these two before the instalust and instalove got thrown out there. Because, yes, he turns out to be one of the good guys... except I still don't see how that justifies him just wandering into June's home without being invited first. I mean, during their second meeting, June was even hesitant about inviting him into her house while she was there because that would be taking their relationship to a higher level than she's prepared for. And yet, when she's NOT at home, he's just making himself at home. Because when is it ever okay for some strange man to just show up in your home whenever he feels like it without your knowledge, even in a community where no one locks their doors?

Anyway as for the rest of the book: character interactions were awkward, lots of decision-making processes made little sense, and despite being a small town priding themselves on being close-knit and there for each other, these people don't even know how to communicate with each other properly nor look out for each other properly considering all the bad stuff that happens throughout the book that could have been avoided if people really DID just step up and try to help each other.

Anyway... rambling aside (so much for not planning on writing a review), I'm not sure if I'll continue reading the rest of these books if they are written in the same vein of logic. Because for a Romance, this book has very little of that; for a piece of Chick Lit, self-revelation piece about a woman's ticking biological clock, there's also very little development in that aspect as well.


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review 2015-12-28 00:46
Thoughts: Spinning Starlight
Spinning Starlight - R.C. Lewis

Spinning Starlight -- R.C. Lewis

 

**This book is a fairy tale retelling based on The Wild Swans, according to sources.  It is a sister spin-off from Stitching Snow, but takes place in a different world with different characters, so does NOT require reading Stitching Snow first.

 

 

This is one of those books where I really can't think of anything to say aside from a few generic "This was an enjoyable book, but some things just didn't work out for me," comments. Of course, I say this, but in the end, I always end up rambling up a storm when random thoughts start to hit me as I write.

Spinning Starlight really is quite enjoyable and attention-hooking, with a great premise, great world-building, great characters, great story-telling, and great narration.

But it's not my pick for "really, really, really awesome read" if only because of a few factors:

First: The world building is creative. I thought the same of Stitching Snow--kind of a Star Wars meets Fairy Tale worlds retelling type of deal. But the world in Spinning Starlight is just so much more complex... and confusing. I can tell a lot of thought was put into the world creation and it's pretty awesome. That is, it would have been very awesome if I had a better understanding of the world, its' cultures, and the tech and the people and the history. But I got lost a lot reading some of the tech explanations, about the portals, about the Khua, about the conduits, about the planets... I'm not even sure if it was just me or if the book really was that confusing.

Second: The main villain was mostly absent throughout. And so the main conflict--Liddi's brother's safety and the safety of the entire universe in general--had to be the one factor everything hinges on for Liddi's actions and decisions. Which, in a way, isn't too bad, but it made our main villain seem kind of insignificant

especially since she was neutralized so easily once everything was said and done.

(spoiler show)



Third: The romance felt lackluster really. And I'm not even sure why because there's a great development from savior to friendship to romance. Liddi and Tiav are pretty great together. But they don't seem to have much chemistry.

Lastly: The other characters felt very back-seated. There was so much to learn and so many new people to meet and everyone seems to have their own uniqueness. But none of what was presented felt like it was enough for me. I would have liked to know more about Kalkig and how his hostile relationship develops into a reluctant alliance with Liddi. I would have liked to see more about Tiav's mother Shiin. I would have liked to get to know Liddi's eight brothers a bit more. And I would have liked to learn more about the Aelo and the other alien races introduced.

This book felt entirely too short, but at the same time, the main plot felt like it dragged along without really getting anywhere.


But this book isn't without things that I liked about it.

Again, the story premise, narration, writing, attention-to-detail, and world creation was wonderful! Even the characters, given more of a chance to shine, would have been excellent. I especially loved the relationship between Liddi and her brothers being such a tight knit and close one. And given more time and more story, I would have loved to see all the new friendships and alliances Liddi forms throughout with Kalkig, with Quain, with Yilt, or with Spin-Still.

See. Lots of names, lots of characters, lots of interactions (as much interacting as a girl who cannot speak can do), but little insight into these characters and their defining relationships with Liddi. Sure, you can see a connection of some sort forming between our heroine and these side characters; but there's not chemistry, no feels, no intrigue to bind them. The interactions feel lackluster, much like the romance felt lackluster.

On the other hand, I DO like the way in which Liddi's inability to speak was handled. How she communicated with each character was done quite well, even if I'm maybe a little doubtful that all the characters could so very easily pick up Liddi's meaning without elaborate pictures and pantomiming. Still, her communication with everyone without actually speaking and without knowing a written language was interesting enough, and the author didn't make it easy on her just because she's the special heroine.

This book also does a great job of emphasizing the troubles that people have with media and social networking--how easily and readily other people use it as a means to cut other people down because they can, how easily it is for another person's private matters to be broadcast into the public... etc. At first, I thought the little tidbits of Liddi's childhood flashbacks were kind of awkward, but I ended up liking them by the end.

Back to Liddi and her brothers, again, I loved the interaction and relationship between them and wished we could have seen more of that. In fact, there were some feels to be had and it DID help in favor of me liking this book more.


Anyway, of course this supposedly "short" review becomes a bit more rambling than I had intended.

Spinning Starlight is enjoyable and entertaining, well-written and well-thought out. It's safe to say I will still be watching out for future works by R.C. Lewis and am now a bit interested in the fairy tale that this book is based upon (The Wild Swans? I think.)

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review 2015-12-23 13:07
Thoughts: Head Over Heels
Head Over Heels - Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels -- Jill Shalvis

Book 3 of Lucky Harbor

 

 

Head Over Heels is definitely my favorite of the first three Lucky Harbor books. I had been looking forward to this book for a few reasons, one of them a bit shallow, but what are ya gonna do?

First of all, I was the most interested in reading about Chloe since she was first introduced in Simply Irresistible. She just seemed so much more complex than the other two sisters, but probably moreso because she’s the less standard type of Romance novel heroine I have typically seen reading a lot of contemporary romances. Second, we will have seen much more interaction and have a bit more backstory on Chloe and Sawyer by the time their love story rolls around (unlike Maddie and Jax’s instalust to instalove story). And as much as second chance romances are more believable in the relationship developing arena (for Tara and Ford’s love story), I sometimes also like to see a developing romance in progress without pre-storyline emotional ties being an issue.

Finally, Sawyer is Lucky Harbor’s town Sheriff--and I like men in uniform with hero-style jobs. Yes, this is my shallow reason for being more interested in this book.

Romance-wise, the romance between Chloe and Sawyer is extremely sweet and cute, very wonderfully developed over the course of the book. With a case of opposites attracting, a straight-laced sheriff and a free-spirited “wild child”, the two seemed to be meant for each other. But in regard to what actually occurs in Head Over Heels these two have earned their Happily Ever After™.


The Story:
Chloe is the free-spirited “wild child” with a penchant for wanderlust and, according to the Lucky Harbor Facebook newsreel, a knack for getting into trouble. Of course, we get to see over the course of the book that Chloe’s trouble-making life in Lucky Harbor borders more on a Robin Hood-like vigilantism than actually just getting in trouble for the sake of getting into trouble. But for the past six months that she has been living in Lucky Harbor with her newly found half-sisters, Chloe has finally found a place she feels like she’d love to call “Home.” And to be able to call someplace home, she’s slowly started to show her sisters that she, too, would be able to settle and whittle down her wanderlust ways.

But Chloe is far from wanting to change her free-spirited personality.

Meanwhile she has drawn the attention of town Sheriff, Sawyer Thompson, who is somehow determined to save her when she’s in distress, or keep her out of trouble as much as possible. In turn, Sawyer’s altruistic nature and hero complex has also drawn Chloe’s attention as well.

In other Lucky Harbor news, there’s a new Cute Guy in town who is now the center of our Lucky Harbor gossip crew’s attention; two of our three half-sisters are currently engaged with one sister’s wedding pending; and some intrigue may be afoot in the more secluded wooded areas around Lucky Harbor.


My Thoughts:
To be totally honest, once again it is my love for the characters of Lucky Harbor that keeps me so hooked on these books, and the fun, crazy humor in the narration. Chloe and Sawyer’s love story isn’t all that unique even with a much more non-standard heroine as Chloe. And to be totally honest, without the wonderful bantering between these two, they’re courtship (if you could call it that) might have been kind of bland since they spend more time than not either having “Moments” together or trying to seduce each other.

And then you get some mundane, side tangent stuff such as a look at the everyday happenings of Lucky Harbor town sheriff and what he has to deal with on a regular basis; which is great, but almost too mundane to be of significance. Granted, it shows you more insight into Sawyer’s personality and his day-to-day life, but it’s not really all that exciting even if some of the events are newsworthy.

On the other hand, Chloe’s self-development was actually quite interesting to follow as she goes from traveling all over the place and being without roots, to finding a place she could see herself settling down into, if only her sisters and the people of Lucky Harbor would give her a chance. And the heart of the matter is, you also get to see the thought process in Chloe’s mind, wrought out from years of growing up following her equally wanderlust-y mother and having no real place to truly call “Home”. I also think it’s great that, even in her process of finding a group of people to belong to, she doesn’t completely banish her free-spirited attitude towards life.

Again, Chloe is the much more complex of the three sisters, which is probably why I loved her book so much more than the first two, even if I had a blast reading all three of them.

The romance developing between Chloe and Sawyer, though not all that unique, stands out in their interactions with each other. After professing their attraction and their interests to each other, they actually spend more time trying to be in each other’s presence as much as they can manage. And they spend a lot of their developing friends-with-benefits relationship building a rapport, learning about each other, and in general, trying to take care of each other in their own little ways.

Sawyer may be a commanding caveman at moments, but with Chloe, I love how he’s so sweet and thoughtful, especially during those times when she needs someone to lean on the most. And during sex, I’m absolutely thrilled that an asthma attack doesn’t completely scare him off and instead, he goes and learns how to best give Chloe pleasure without putting her in the hospital since Chloe has admitted that she cannot have sex without straining her asthma and ending up in the ER. If that doesn’t scream “sweet” for the Lucky Harbor sheriff, I don’t know what does.

The sexy times in this book were probably much steamier and hotter for that fact, even if they were already kind of hot and steamy by their own merit.

The romance between Chloe and Sawyer is so much fun to follow, and as I love Head Over Heels more than the first two books, I also love this couple more than the first two as well. As I already stated, despite the implied “Meant for each other” vibe that the whole polar opposites attracting plot device gives off, I’m satisfied to say that the love the between these two was actually developed and outlined really well. They got their Happily Ever After™ because they earned it--not that other couples don’t deserve theirs as well, but we actually get to see the relationship slowly develop from mutual attraction and lust, to friendship, and then finally a much more caring and deeper love for one another.


Final Side Thoughts:
I have every intention of continuing into the rest of the Lucky Harbor series. The writing is witty and fun with a great dose of humor infused. If the character interactions are going to continue in the same vein as what I’ve come to love in the first three books so far, then I know I’ll enjoy the rest of the books. Certainly, it will be hard to replicate the awkward, yet tightly-knit, sweet and loving continued development between the three half-sisters, but I’m holding out that we’ll still get to see a bit of them here and there throughout the rest of the series.

And skipping forward to peruse the summary blurbs of the rest of the Lucky Harbor works, I’m pleasantly surprised to see a return to Chloe and Sawyer in a side novella--although it does happen to be listed as Lucky Harbor #12.5. Nine more novels and another short story and another novella to go before we come back to my favorite Lucky Harbor couple...

I am absolutely anal enough to read everything just to make sure I get to that last novella at the proper chronological moment, even if I don’t know if I’ll enjoy all of it.

 

 

***

 

This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):

 

 

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text 2015-12-20 08:50
2015 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up

Original 2015 Reading Challenge Post

 

 

As the post title states, this is really just a general wrap-up for all the reading challenges I participated in this year.  There's a sense of accomplishment in completing so many challenges, but at the same time, I know that I had chosen several of these challenges because they WOULD be easy to complete (Romantic Suspense Challenge, Men in Uniform Challenge, and so on).

 

My biggest accomplishment, honestly, would be the 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge hosted by Michelle at Because Reading and Berls at Fantasy is More Fun.  To create a large list of assigned reading, stick to it, and officially complete every book I set out to complete for the year... it feels good.

 

 

What I'm Currently Reading

These are the books that I am still reading and hope to have finished by the end of the year.  I've also listed which reading challenge they will qualify for if I DO manage to finish reading them before 2016.  Otherwise, another year is another year.

 

 Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge
  • 2015 Reading Assignment -- extra credit book #2
  • Men in Uniform Challenge -- Police

 

 The Chimes by Charles Dickens (narrated by Richard Armitage)

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge

 

 Risky Christmas (two story anthology)

-- Hidden Secrets by Jill Sorenson

-- Kidnapped at Christmas by Jennifer Morley

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL

 

 

What I Hope to Read Before the Year is Over

There are still eleven days left of the year and so I'm in hopes that I will be able to 1) finish reading the above listed books, and 2) add a couple more books to my 'Read' pile for 2015.  So the following are books I DO plan to start reading before the year is over and hope to have completed, as well as the challenges they will be part of.

 

 Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge
  • Mount TBR Challenge
  • Romantic Suspense Challenge
  • Men in Uniform Challenge -- FBI agent
  • Neverending Series Challenge -- final book to complete!!!

 

 Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge
  • 2015 Release -- not an actual challenge, but I'm keeping track

 

 The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge
  • 2015 Release -- not an actual challenge, but I'm keeping track

 

 A Family For Christmas by Mona Ingram

  • General Reading Challenge @ GR and BL
  • Outdo Yourself Challenge

 

 

The Stats

  • General Reading Challenges -- COMPLETED 11/13/2015

Goodreads Reading Challenge -- GR list/shelf

BookLikes Reading Challenge -- BL list/shelf

My Goal:  150 books

Progress:  170/150 books read

 

This is a typical reading challenge I participate in every year and aside from cheating my first year participating in 2012 (by dropping my goal at mid-year when I realized I probably wouldn't make it), I've actually been pretty good at keeping up.  I think I increased my goal by a small amount last year and ended up surpassing that number, which gave me the confidence to set a more stable number of books to read as my yearly goal.

 

Of course, this particular reading challenge includes everything from short stories, anthologies, novellas, and even manga volumes.  Last year I had read several manga volumes, each listed as one individual book on my list.  This year, my count actually has more full-length novels included.  Last year I managed my time a little differently.  This year I struggled through a lot of pre-chosen books for reading challenges that made my time management a little more difficult.

 

I will be participating in this same general numbers goal challenge next year and my goal will remain the same.

 

 

  • Outdo Yourself Challenge

-- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 12/17/2015

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1 - 5 more books

(I read 154 books for this challenge in 2014 / My goal will be 155 - 159 books in 2015.)

My Progress:  155/155

See Also: 2015 Outdo Yourself Challenge shelf for list of books

 

This is probably one of the harder challenges I picked up two years in a row, although last year, it was no difficult feat to surpass the number of books I had read in 2013.  But since I pretty much stretched my limits in 2014, this year ended up being a real challenge to try and outdo my final reading count from last year.

 

The reading count for this challenge is a little more restrictive as we can only include books that are at least 100 pages or more in length.  So, no manga volumes, no short stories, no picture books.  So this particular reading challenge number is a bit more accurate describing the number of books I've read (or audio books I've listened to).

 

I barely made it to complete my goal this year.

 

I will not be participating in this reading challenge next year, if only because I'm pretty sure I've found my yearly book average and will probably remain fairly steady for a while to come.  Maybe in a year or two I will try my hand at this challenge again.  Knowing myself, however, I'll probably still keep track of books for this challenge and maybe join the challenge at a later date.

 

The Book Vixen will no longer be hosting this Reading Challenge, but Corinne Rodrigues will be taking over:  2016 Outdo Yourself Challenge.

 

 

  • Romantic Suspense Challenge

  -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 4/9/2015

2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  SWAT: read 21+ romantic suspense novels

My Progress: 77/21

See Also: 2015 Romantic Suspense Challenge shelf for list of books

 

 

  • Men in Uniform Challenge

  -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 3/17/2015

2015 Men in Uniform Reading Challenge

Hosted by Book Vixen

My Goal:  Chief: read 16+ men in uniform novels

My Progress: 71/16

  -- 16 books read -- COMPLETED -- 3/17/2015

See: 2015 Men in Uniform Challenge shelf for book list

See: 2015 Men in Uniform Challenge post for detailed list

 

The above two challenges were the easiest two challenges I've ever chosen.  Knowing full well that I can binge-read several Romantic Suspense novels (a good percentage of which involve Men in Uniform), I was certain I couldn't fail these two challenges even if I tried.  On top of that, the goal levels were also pie.  And as anyone can see, both challenges were completed in full at the highest goal level before June even rolled around.

 

I will not be participating in either of these challenges next year, if only because they really just present an extra set of statistics I need to record... despite the fact that I will probably continue to record these statistics for future use.  Maybe.

 

The 2016 Romantic Suspense Challenge will be hosted by Shooting Stars Reviews.

 

 

  • 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

 -- CHALLENGE FAILED -- 

Hosted by Roof Beam Reader

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge Summary Post

My Progress: 10/12

See Also: BookLikes shelf / Goodreads shelf

 

This is the third year I participated in the TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader.  This is the third year I have failed, even if not miserably.  You would think that if I could finish a 48 book Reading Assignment Challenge (see below), then I'd have no trouble at all finishing a 12 book reading challenge wherein I can read any of these books at any time during the year.

 

The problem is, I keep choosing books to place on this list that I can't find the motivation to read.  This is my "I would love to read these books one of these days" challenge, with books that I include that are books that I keep telling myself to read and books that are sort of outside my comfort genres.

 

It probably helped that I did some challenge crossover books between this challenge and the Reading Assignment Challenge, but by the time the last stretch of the year rolled around, I was so obsessed with the Reading Assignment Challenge that I sort of blew off this challenge.

 

I will probably not be participating in this challenge next year for obvious reasons.

 

 

  • 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge

Hosted by Because Reading & Fantasy Is More Fun

My 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge Summary Post

My Goal:  Reading Level 5:  48 books (4 books/month), 4 Extra Credits, 1 Pass

My Progress: 48/48 (4 Extra Credits used / No Passes used)

-- Goal Reached on 12/13/2015

Extended Goal:  Added on 2 Extra Credit books

Extended Goal Progress:  1/2 Extra Credit books read

See Also: BookLikes shelf / Goodreads shelf

 

This was my favorite reading challenge this year.  I can't really say why, but I had a lot of fun with making my list, formatting my update posts, and in general, reading books I would have otherwise avoided reading (**coughcough**Allegiant**coughcough**).  But I don't deny the huge sense of accomplishment bestowed upon myself for setting out a large list of books to read, with a restricted number of books to read monthly, and completing this grand mission.

 

I've picked up new-to-me authors because I chose to list books I probably wouldn't have picked up dependent on my reading mood.  New-to-me authors include: Molly Harper, Tess Gerritsen, Christine Feehan, Roxanne St. Claire, Meg Cabot, Robin Benway, Meagan Spooner, and a few others.  Unfortunately, I can't really say that I've actually liked all of them, and really only a small percentage of the new-to-me authors picked up due to this challenge actually made my "interested in reading more from this author" list.

 

Fortunately, I also picked up a second or third book of an author I had previously only read one book from and had never been sure whether or not to continue reading said author's works.  These authors include: Jill Shalvis, Julie Garwood, and Marie Lu.  Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor pilot novel turned out fun and I'm not opposed to continuing that series.  Julie Garwood's Heartbreaker was an average start to a long series, but I'm now kind of hooked to said series.  And Marie Lu's Legend trilogy was excellent and I look forward to continuing on with other books she has written.

 

I will definitely be participating in this challenge next year and have already formulated my list and other thoughts.  I have even given thought to including series that I need to finish, that I actually DO want to finish as well as some new authors or new series I've been circling around for ages without making time for.  Some of these authors will include Jeannie Lin, Amanda Quick, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, and others who've always sat on my radar only, or who have drawn my attention recently.

 

 

  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge

 -- CHALLENGE FAILED

Hosted by My Reader's Block

My Goal:  Mt. Ararat:  Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s

My Progress:  31/48

See: 2015 Mount TBR Challenge shelf for book list

 

I have a huge bookshelf.  I keep adding to that bookshelf.  Both digital and physical.  Unfortunately, I also have a huge reading list that also keeps growing, a bad spending habit, and this uncanny ability to always check out four weeks worth of reading from the library at least once a month.

 

When I first set out to participate in this challenge--to read books I acquired on my shelves before the reading challenge year--I had even made a list and had done some rough guesstimation calculations and came up with a realistic number of 48 out of all 200+ books on my shelves.  I figured that of all the books I owned, 48 was a reasonable number to whittle my shelves down by.

 

And I have failed spectacularly.

 

HOWEVER, I will not be deterred.  I'm going to try again.  2016 is another year and I will always have more books on my shelf to add onto my challenges... or something like that.

 

 

  • The Series That Never Ends Challenge

Hosted by Delighted Reader

My 2015 The Series That Never Ends Challenge Summary Post

My Goal(s):

First Goal:  Surviving the Book Tsunami - 5-9 books / COMPLETED

- 5 books completed -- 3/8/2015

- 9 books completed -- 6/1/2015

Next Goal: Removing the Thorn From My Side - 10-15 books / COMPLETED

- 10 books completed -- 6/9/2015

- 15 books completed -- 7/31/2015

Next Goal: Goddess of Reading the Never Ending Series - 15+ books / COMPLETED

- 16 books completed -- 8/16/2015

My Progress: 18/15 books

Listed Series Goals Completed:  2/3

See: 2015 Series Never Ends Challenge shelf for book list

 

 

I chose to participate in the Neverending Series Challenge because I had recently started into a few long-running Romantic Suspense series that were still getting new installments as the years go by:  Tracers by Laura Griffin was a new one I started in 2015.  Buchanan-Renard by Julie Garwood was a series in which I had started the year before with the first book--curiosity and continually loving the next book more and more got me interested in continuing the series.  Bishop/SCU by Kay Hooper was another series I'd been following for some time, but just never made time to continue even though I wanted to read the entire series.

 

In the ensuing months of 2015, I went on to reading other long (5+ books) or ongoing series such as KGI by Maya Banks, Steele Street by Tara Janzen, Bullet Catchers by Roxanne St. Claire, and so on.  I wasn't sure how dedicated I was to reading these other series so I didn't include them in this challenge, but they would have totally qualified.  And also, I'm already up to book #9 of KGI and I recently finished book #6 of Steele Street.

 

I'm a little conflicted as to whether or not to participate in this challenge in 2016.  For one, this is not an easy challenge unless it's crossing over with other challenges.  I've still got one book left to go in the Buchanan-Renard series to complete my challenge.  On the other hand, I had only planned on reading 5 of the Tracers books as part of my challenge goal, but ended up finishing all 8 of the already published installments, then continuing to read the newest, recently published installment #9, thus catching me up with the entire series at present..

 

In 2016, some of the books for my Reading Assignment Challenge are part of some really long series, both ongoing and completed, with at least 5 books in the total series book count.

 

So this might actually be a good challenge to continue to participate in.  I just haven't quite made up my decisions yet.

 

 

In Summary

I will be publishing an official Reading Challenge post for my 2016 Reading Challenges, but here is the gist of everything:

 

I have decided to cut back on the number of challenges I will be participating in next year.  Keeping track of all of my books read and for what challenges and any other statistic has become something of a tedious, obsessive activity for me this year and I realize that I might have gone a bit overboard.  If I showed everyone my bookish spreadsheets, it could get a little scary.

 

So aside from the general number goal challenge via GR and BL, I will only be participating in 3 other challenges (decided as of this moment):

 

2016 Reading Assignment Challenge

2016 Mount TBR Challenge

2016 Bookish Resolutions

(I will update links as I create each starter post.)

 

I will probably still end up keeping track of the number of series I've read and completed and started as well as all other statistics I normally keep track of on my personal spreadsheets, but that's probably about it for me.

 

I DO, however, want to participate in more Read-a-thons, so those are still in the 2016 bookish plans.  I'm particularly interested in the Bout of Books week-long read-a-thons, though I haven't decided which one to participate in yet.

 

Otherwise, this year, I feel like I've managed pretty well.

 

 

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