Monday, January 4, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 4, 2016)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme begun by Sheila at Book Journey. Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

I had a quiet week at home reading, blogging and trying out some new recipes. Snowy weather kept me inside (as if I wasn't already planning to be inside!) on Monday and Tuesday but I did get out for a quick trip to Rochester for grocery shopping and errands on Wednesday.

I spent a lot of time with my calendar planning my reading. I slot in review books as I receive them and then fill in the remaining spaces with books I want to read from my TBR mountain. I have been filling in the spaces in February and March since I have finished all the books I'm reviewing in January.

When I am looking for the next book on my reading stack, I look at my calendar and read the one that is coming soonest. February has a lot of adult books that I read a while ago because, when I get new review book, I decide the best day to review it and I move the post that was already scheduled for the day to my next open day. This means that, unless it is a review book, posts can be moved. Two adult review books that arrived this week meant more calendar rearranging and changing the dates of the scheduled posts in Blogger.

Choosing my next book based on what's coming next on my calendar means that I will be reading more young adult books than adult books for the next little while. I like to alternate an adult book with a young adult book but my calendar has gotten off balance.

School starts again today and just three weeks remain in the first semester. My fifth graders are working on their final project for me - research on a famous scientist presented to the class using Google Slides. They are still in the research phase. My third graders have finished their research on an unusual animal and are now organizing and presenting their findings using Kidspiration. The first and second graders are being introduced to various genres and authors in the media center and various computer programs in the lab.

I'll be changing both the time of day I'm at the elementary and the classes that I see when the second semester arrives. I'll say good bye to the third and fifth graders and have fourth and sixth graders instead. I'll also say good bye to my current first and second grade classes and see the other four first and second grade classes. I'll get to meet my kindergartners for the first time. My daily schedule changes from 7:30 until 1:30 to 9 to 3 the second semester. 

Again this year, I am making no resolutions and joining no blogging challenges. While some of the challenges sound interesting and match with what I am already planning to do, joining them just means more work for me and one more thing to keep track of. I don't need the additional incentive or stress. As for resolutions, I have never been able to keep one past the end of January and don't want to set myself up for failure. Each day provides enough opportunity for change as it is.

2015 in Summary

I read 315 books in 2015 with a total of 107,004 pages. I read 136 that I owned and 149 review books.  I read 147 YA books. Mystery/Suspense was the genre I read most this year with Fantasy and Urban Fantasy/Paranormal coming in second and third.

I added 432 books to my collection this year with 151 still on my TBR stack. While this is still a large number of additions to my stack, it is better than 2014 when I added 599 and 2013 when I added 712. My goal for 2016 is a book a day or less. I want to add 366 or less including review books.

In 2015, I set a personal goal of reading all the adult books I added to my collection this year. I failed. I still have 73 that I haven't read. Most of those were Kindle Daily Deals and/or additions to series that I just didn't get to.

I also went through my physical TBR mountains and removed books that I am no longer interested in reading and set a new goal. I want to read or donate those books that I added to my stack in 2008. I have 99 of them.

I noticed that I am reading more ebooks each year. This year I read 201. In 2014, I read 148. In 2013, I read 98.

Read Last Week
Curio by Evangeline Denmark was a steampunk fantasy that tried to fit a massive amount of plot in to the expense of character development. I did really like the world building especially the world inside the curio cabinet. My review was posted on December 30. See the link below to read my review.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan begins a new fantasy trilogy. I really liked the main characters and thought the story was an exciting one. I really disliked the cliffhanger ending which leaves me aching for the second book. My review will be posted on February 4.
Jockey Girl by Shelley Peterson was a contemporary story about a girl and her horse and abuse and addiction and a whole bunch of other things. While I thought the wise elder character was too good to be true and the message maybe pounded a little too hard, I couldn't put this book down and read it in one day. My review will be posted on February 6.

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker was a very entertaining historical fantasy. I loved the snarky main character and loved that the book wasn't a love triangle despite the two men vying for our heroine's attention. My review will be posted on February 11.
The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh O'Brien is the second book in a trilogy. Our main character split in two and now we follow the adventures of each of the new characters as they try to elude the villain and survive. My review will be posted on Feb. 13.

Next on the Stack
Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance is a middle grade fantasy with a lot of art history. It also begins a series. It will be released on February 23.

Next Week
Also being released in February are The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - time travel - and The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine - dark epic fantasy retelling of Snow White. These will both be released on February 16.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

I couldn't resist going back to Edelweiss for a few more HarperCollins ARCs.
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (May 3)
The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen (May 10)
Even If the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia (May 10)
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (May 17)
I also took advantage of a couple of Kindle Daily Deals this week.

Undertow by Michael Buckley was a book that could have been on my review stack but I just couldn't fit it in on my calendar. It sounds intriguing and was a bargain too.

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon also sounded intriguing. I hadn't heard very much about this book until it showed up as a bargain book. 

You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read. 


  1. I hope your first day back goes well! My mom returns to the classroom today too.

    I look forward to hearing what you think of The Shadow Queen and The Girl From Everywhere. These Vicious Masks sounds like a fun book too.

  2. You will probably like Undertow. It was a bit too much on the Y.A. Side for me. Looks like you made a lot of progress in 2015!

  3. Nice! I soo can't wait to read Reign of Shadows and Rule of Mirrors! The Shadow Queen is another I have my eye on! Hope you enjoy all your reads this week!

    Here's my Monday Wrap-up

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  4. Behind the Canvas has a great cover. :)

  5. Wow, sounds like you are very organized with your reading life already! I refuse to read books where it ends in a cliffhanger. Haoopy reading in the new year.

  6. The Girl from Everywhere looks great - and I am overwhelmed by the number of books you have posted here - they all look interesting. Winter seems like the perfect time to read. :)

  7. Wow, you are very organized about your reading!! And 315 books in one year? That's amazing! I read 78 last year (and that was good for me).

    You had a great reading year - hope 2016 is just as good for you!


    Book By Book

  8. You seem super organized -- my reading plan is all over the map and often dictated by what is due back at the library. But you read a lot of good books.


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