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text 2017-06-01 18:35
May 2017-Round up!
Boo! - David Haynes
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge - David McCullough
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Black Mad Wheel: A Novel - Josh Malerman
Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman
Saffron And Brimstone: Strange Stories - Elizabeth Hand
Dare Me - Megan Abbott
The Well - Jack Cady,Tom Piccirilli
Between Two Fires - Christopher Buehlman
Skitter - Ezekiel Boone

In May, I read 15 books! 


Graphic Novels:


The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-The Battle of Tull

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-The Way Station


Total: 3


Audio Books: 


The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, narrated by Bruce Springsteen

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott



Total: 6




Skitter by Ezekiel Boone

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman


Total: 2


Random Books: 


Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse

The Well by Jack Cady

Boo! by David Haynes

Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand


Total: 4


Total Books Read in May: 15


Reading Challenges


Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017


January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

Running Count: 5


Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge: 

Goal: Read Horror Books!


January Books: 5

February Books: 3 

March Books: 4

April Books: 9

May Books: 6


Running Count: 27



Graphic Novel Challenge:


(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017  


January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

Running count: 20


Keep Calm and Read On!






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review 2017-03-13 20:55
Shadow Soldiers - Madelaine Montague

Kaitlyn O'Connor is still one of my favorite authors, but in saying that for some reason when she writes under her other pen names she's not as good. This book was like an O'Connor-lite. There wasn't much about the shifting and the guys got along really well for men that are fighting over (well maybe fighting over is too strong - maybe pouting would be better) the affections of one girl. Usual HEA (happy ever after) but sometimes I like those. 3 out of 5 stars.

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text 2017-02-02 15:52
Romance Bingo 2017 | Mid-game Update

As of the first day of February, I finished The Moon-spinners for a total of eight books read for Romance Bingo.  Unfortunately, no BINGO so far.  I had been hoping to read one more Tessa Dare book to fill the Historical Romance square for a BINGO, but for lots of reasons, my reading started to lag behind nearing the end of the month.

I'm working on a series review for Cynthia Eden's For Me trilogy and will have it posted as soon as I finish listening to the last book, Scream for Me.  I'm considering counting this book for Key to My Heart based on our main couple's "I've never felt this way before" monologues along with the whole, "This is the first time I've ever told anyone about my dark, dark past" conversation that just took place mid-book... typical of a lot of Rom-Suspense.

Meanwhile, the review for The Moon-spinners is also forthcoming.  And I'm slowly tumbling through books and hoping that at least one of my Rom-Suspense reads will yield an Insta-love, because those are aplenty in that genre.  =D




(All links lead to my Blogspot reviews, since I haven't posted reviews on BL this year yet.)

Too Stupid To Live:  Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti
"Headless" Woman:
Love is Murder:  Die for Me by Cynthia Eden
New Adult:  Overruled by Emma Chase

Young Adult:
Regency Romance:
Eyeshadow and Heaving Bosom:
Virgin & Best First Time:  A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Gothic Romance:  The Moon-spinners by Mary Stewart

Blown Away:
Man in a Kilt:
Love (Free Space):
Rogue:  A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare
Historical Romance:

Secret Billionaire:
Fairy Tale Retelling:
Wedding Bells:
Second Chances:  Fear for Me by Cynthia Eden

Key to My Heart:
Pirates Argh:
Guy/Girl Next Door:
Interracial Couple:
Urban Fantasy Romance:  Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Currently Reading:
Scream for Me by Cynthia Eden || Key to My Heart
The Search by Nora Roberts || Love (Free Space)

Planned Next Reads:
A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare || Historical Romance
That's Amore! anthology || Wedding Bells
Sweet Bea by Sarah Hegger || "Headless" Woman
A Kiss At Midnight by Eloisa James || Eyeshadow and Heaving Bosom
Highlander Claimed by Juliette Miller || Man in Kilt
Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis || Guy/Girl Next Door
The Substitute Sister by Lisa Childs || Twins

Squares Still Undecided:

  • Insta-love -- As I mentioned above, I'm hoping that one of the many Rom-Suspense books I read will have insta-love.
  • Young Adult -- I'd like to read Kasie West's newest book, but I'm hesitant to purchase it.  Chances are, I will probably listen to the audio book version of The Distance Between Us, my first of Kasie West favorites.
  • Regency Romance -- Many options, probably another Tessa Dare... or maybe something by Amanda Quick.
  • Blown Away -- No idea what to read for this square.
  • Secret Billionaire -- Probably going to just steal some ideas from someone else's square.
  • Fairy Tale Retelling -- I was going to read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.  But at the rate that I'm going, and with the length of this book, I'm not sure I'll be able to finish it and all the other books before the end of this month.  I may just chose another book, like maybe Cybele's Secret also by Juliet Marillier, and also part of my Reading Assignment Challenge this year.
  • Pirates Argh -- Nothing chosen yet.  Will have to steal ideas.
  • Interracial Couple -- I have a Rom-Suspense that has an interracial couple, but I don't know if I want to read that one.  Any ideas?

See Also:  My Romance Bingo 2017 Page



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/02/romance-bingo-2017-mid-game-update.html
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text 2016-12-28 14:00
Ani's 2017 Reading Challenges

So I pick up reading challenges every year, ever since the first time I discovered Goodreads' book reading challenge.  It's such a simple challenge of just choosing a number goal and reaching it--it gives new readers a chance to push themselves to read more books, and it gives seasoned readers a chance to read EVEN MORE books.

For the past few years, the number of books I've read has steadily increased.  According to my stats:


  • In 2012, I made a goal to read 25 books and completed my goal by reading 27.


  • In 2013, I started my goal at 50 books and met that goal in June, so then I increased my goal by 25 and met that goal not long after.  I further increased my goal to 100 books and completed the goal at 103 books read!  That's a huge difference from 27 books the previous year, so I got really confident.


  • In 2014, I started my goal at 100 books!  By May, I was nearing my goal with 90-ish books, so I increased my goal by increments of ten for the next two months, landing on 120 books... and then I really overshot that goal by reading a grand total of 178 books!


  • In 2015, I increased my goal to 150 books... while my total was 177, I'm not sure I really accomplished as much as I should have.


  • In 2016... well... I started with a goal of 150 books again.  In October, being so much closer to my goal with somewhere around 130 books read, I increased my goal to 160 books.  As of today, three days from the end of the year, I have finished 155 books...  So I'm not sure if it counts as completing my goal.

For 2017, I'm going to keep a constant.  I will set my number goal at 150 again.  But this time, I will keep it at 150 and not increase or decrease it.  2016 was a fairly good year for reading, but at the same time, it seems as if I had slowed down quite a bit.

For one, I might have bit off more than I could chew.  I cut down on reading challenges, but at the same time, I picked up a fairly difficult to complete reading challenge.  It may or may not have hindered my progress a little bit.  Meanwhile, small challenges that took place within the span of one month, two months, or one whole summer, jumped out at me, and I knew wanted to participate in almost everything.  But with other year-long challenges taking priority, my reading life became more of an obligation than pleasure.

So while I will still participate in some reading challenges in 2017, I think I'm also going to take it easy.  If I don't overburden myself with too many challenges at the beginning of the year, then I'll be free to choose some of the short challenges interspersed throughout the year.

For a full summary of all the challenges I will be participating in, I will keep track of them at my 2017 Reading Challenges page.  The link will remain at the top of my blog.  I will update this post with said link when I actually get a chance to create that page.

Meanwhile, here are the challenges I am already participating in, as well as a forecast of other bookish activities I am looking forward to or may try to participate in:

Goodreads Reading Challenge

My Goal:  150 books
GR shelf:  2017 Reading Challenge

On a side note, I usually participate in the Booklikes Reading Challenge, too, simultaneously.  But to be honest, I'm not sure if that's necessary, as both challenges are the same thing.  And also, with the slowness of Booklikes at intermittent times, I'm not sure if I care enough to update my book stats regularly at Booklikes.

2017 Reading Assignment Challenge

hosted by Because Reading and Fantasy is more fun
My Goal:  Reading Level 2 // 24 books (2 books/month)
GR shelf:  2017 Reading Assignment Challenge
My 2017 Reading Assignment Challenge Summary Page

2017 Mount TBR Challenge

hosted by My Reader's Block
My Goal:  Mount Vancouver -- Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
GR shelf:  2017 Mt TBR Pile Challenge

Romance Bingo 2017

hosted by Obsidian Blue and Moonlight Reader (also find them at Bookish Pursuits)
GR shelf:  2017 Romance Bingo
My Romance Bingo 2017 Summary Page


These are less intensive challenges I have pre-chosen for 2017.  There will probably be more, but for now, this is it.  I'm considering other such challenges as COYER or any other series challenges that may come up.  Obsidian and Moonlight may put out more Bingo cards throughout the year, and sometimes another random reading challenge may strike my fancy.

Mainly, though, I just want to keep it light and fun.  While some challenges in 2016 were fantastic, others started feeling a bit heavy when I couldn't keep up *coughcough*Bookish-Resolutions*coughcough*; though to be fair, maybe I over-estimated my own commitment or determination.

So for 2017, it's just going to be laid back and fun!  That is all!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/12/anis-2017-reading-challenges.html
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text 2016-08-26 05:55
2016 Halloween Bingo | Ani's Book List

I'm so hyped about this Halloween Bingo!

A big thanks to Obsidian Black Death and Moonlight Murder for putting so much work into putting this activity together.  The Bingo card is so, so pretty that even if I hadn't already been considering joining the fun, I would jump on board.


(Bingo Card links back to original Bingo Card reveal posted by Moonlight Murder.)

As far as books are concerned, I don't typically read a lot of scary stories or horror, so I will definitely be stepping outside of my comfort zone for the next couple months... maybe.  But as it is, the books I've browsed and chosen for a lot of these categories sound very interesting.

I'm kind of in a reading slump at the moment, so I think this Bingo activity is exactly what I need for my reading life right now.

I've kind of filled some of the squares with books I'm considering, after doing a few days worth of research and googling.  With some vacation time coming up in October, I'm really hoping I'll be able to get through these twenty-five books as well as the four books I need to read for my 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge.  Some of these books are going to work for both though, so I think I'm good.

Below is a list of some of the books I'm considering, but everything is always subject to change.


Read by Candlelight or Flashlight -- A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (library, hardcover)
This category felt almost like a freebie, since it's like an action square or something like that.  At the very least, if we DO need to choose a book that would fit into another square, this one is a mystery, so I think I'm covered.  Also, it's on my Reading Assignment list, so--two birds, one stone.



Magical Realism

-- Un Lun Dun by China Mieville (owned, paperback)
Also a book on my Reading Assignment list, as well as a book on my physical shelf that has been sitting for some time.



-- Dark Witch by Nora Roberts (library, hardcover)

Speaks for itself--'witch' in the title--and I imagine some supernatural elements to the story itself.  I might be taking some liberties, since I'm sure this book (as well as the rest of the trilogy) are far from spooky Halloween stuff.



Genre: Horror

-- The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens (owned, paperback)

This one is a stand-alone tagged as 'horror' on Goodreads, so I'm going to go by that.


I have read Amanda Stevens' The Graveyard Queen series', the first three books, and they were pretty excellent, even if not as scary as they had the potential to be.  But the atmosphere of her settings are beautifully done.  So if anyone still needs a book for the 'Grave or Graveyard' or 'Genre: Mystery' squares, I would recommend the books in this series.



Black Cat

-- Voodoo or Die by Stephanie Bond (Scribd)

This book is on my Reading Assignment list.  The cover has a black cat on it, even if the black cat looks awkwardly photo-shopped on next to an equally awkwardly photo-shopped Voodoo doll.


Exhibit A:

Diverse Authors Can be Spooky Fun!

-- The Ghost Bride by Yangze Choo (library, hardcover)

I've been looking for an opportunity to read this book.  My BFF in real life and I have thought about buddy reading it, but that was at least two years ago.  What better time than now to dive in?



Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses

-- Ghost Story by Jeff Brackett (owned, Kindle) ???

This is still a tentative selection and may be subject to change.


Second choice:

-- Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell (library, paperback)



Young Adult Horror

-- Coraline by Neil Gaiman (library, hardcover)

Let's just say, after going over my choices, I became very determined to read Coraline for this square.  But if it doesn't really fit, someone let me know.  I know that the lines between young adult, middle grade, and childrens can be bit murky.  But after establishing from others that Coraline is considered horror, I sort of jumped on it.



Scary Women (Authors)

-- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (library, hardcover)

I wanted to use this book for the "ghost stories and haunted houses" square as well, so this is a tentative selection.  Now that I'm more aware of the many other possibilities for 'scary women authors' I might swap out for something else, and insert this one somewhere else.


Reads With (Booklikes) Friends

-- Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels (bought, Kindle)

Let's just say, I am so totally pumped to start reading this book and am counting down the days!  Buddy Read with Murder by Death and others (click the link to check out the details and join if interested).



Grave or Graveyard

-- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (owned, Audible)

Another one by Gaiman.  Kind of a gimme for 'graveyard', no?



Genre: Mystery

-- In Deep Voodoo by Stephanie Bond (Scribd)

Okay.  I am probably taking lots of liberties with the books on my list, but I'm not that into horror or really scary stuff.  But this book is both on my Reading Assignment list, and the first book in the two-book series--the second book being Voodoo or Die of which I've already listed above for the 'Black Cat' square.  So I chose to insert it here as my 'mystery' choice.


It's tagged as a cozy mystery, anyway.



Free Space

-- Beg for Mercy by Jamie Alden (owned, paperback)

Free Space book is a freebie, right?  :P  But this book can also be a mystery.  And to be honest, the cover gives me a semi-creepy vibe...  Also, Reading Assignment list...




-- We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson (library, hardcover)

Another Shirley Jackson.  Very interested.  Could be used for another square if necessary.


-- Someone in the House by Barbara Michaels (library) //  Also contemplating for 'Supernatural' square.

-- Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels (library)

-- Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels (library)



Creepy Crawlies

-- The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle (owned, Audible)

To be honest, creepy crawlies freak me out more than anything else on this Bingo card.  I didn't really have a pick for this square, and was giving up hope until the final selection listed was brought to my attention in the comments section of a Halloween Bingo related post (Thanks Murder by Death and Tannat!).  Because I browsed a lot of the recommendations being listed around Booklikes and only one had initially caught my attention--it being of unavailable status to me made me a little saddened, actually...


But now I'm all stoked for Bingo, filling in the last square I needed!



"Fall" into a good book

I typed in the word "fall" into Goodreads' search engine and came up with too many books for my own good.  I narrowed down to  two in particular that I am considering for this square.  Meanwhile, I added about six more books to my TBR during this activity.


-- Falling by Christopher Pike  -- This is a crime thriller that also has a 'horror' tag on it, so I'm curious.


-- The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe  -- No explanations needed.



Locked Room Mystery

-- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (owned, paperback)

Another book that's been on my TBR and physical shelf since forever.



It was a dark and stormy night

-- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (owned, Audible)

Buddy Read with Moonlight, Obsidian, and others.



Set in New England

-- Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (library, hardcover) // Also considering for 'Supernatural' square.

This book takes place in Massachusetts, according to the summary.  Please let me know if it doesn't actually work for this square, though I double checked with Google in case my geography knowledge is sketchy.  Mass. is part of New England.  Otherwise, if anyone else has other suggestions, let me know!


-- The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson (library)



Full Moon

-- The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (library)

Full moon on the cover illustration; 'moon' in the title.  Cute sounding Chick Lit with a bit of magic and supernatural elements.  I'm game!



Vampires vs Werewolves

-- Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (library, hardcover)

I went ahead and checked out this book from the library hoping I could insert it into the Bingo card somehow (before the card was revealed).  I really liked the first book, Written in Red, so I'm looking forward to reading this one.




-- Someone in the House by Barbara Michaels (library)

This one is a tentative selection since supernatural is such a broad category and I could potentially find some other book I'm interested in that will fit.  But after browsing a good portion of books by Barbara Michaels I'm kind of interested in more of her books.


-- Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (library) // Also considering for 'New England' square

-- Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels (library)

-- Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels (library)



Classic Horror

-- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (owned, hardcover collection)

Two years ago, I told myself that I would finally read this Borders' Classics, leather bound collection of "Three Classics of Horror" I bought when I was still in college.  I started with Frankenstein.  I read Dracula last year, though technically I listened to the audio book with full-cast narration.  This year, it was going to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.




-- Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan  -- This is the second book of the Mattie Winston

Mysteries, a cozy with a main character as a coroner.  I'm very interested!  There is a pumpkin on the cover illustration.  I'm going to try to read the first book soon so I can get to this book since I'm kind of anal about reading series in order.



-- Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont  -- This is a back-up for this category, the first book in the Celebration Bay series, for just in case I don't get around to the first Annelise Ryan book in time.



Set on Halloween

-- The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (library)

This looks to be a short story set during Halloween.



Again, a few of these books might get swapped out, if only because I am half mood reader, half planner.  For sure, I will be covering a lot of new-to-me authors, as well as stepping slightly outside of my comfort zone.  I will admit that I specifically tried to steer clear of truly 'horror' type books and might have found some loopholes for other squares.



I didn't think I'd be able to cover every square on this card at first, but now I'm super determined to get through all these books, just on principle alone, having spent so much time searching for good book choices.


And also, the majority of the books I've listed, I'm extremely interested in reading.



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