Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club: Reader's Choice

Now that I'm back on the blog, I'm happy to be bringing back my posts about who read what each month for the Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club.  As a refresher, since it's been a very long while, CYOA reads by theme rather than by book.  We came up with a list of themes, tossed them in a Tardis cookie jar, and each month we draw out a new theme.  Everyone chooses any book they want to read based as loosely as they want around that theme and then we get together and discuss what we chose and if we liked it the next month.  It means that there's no pressure to read a specific book that you may or may not be in the mood for.  It never feels like homework and we always come away with a full TBR after hearing what everyone else chose for the theme.

This month we had a new member join - our friend Ann, who we met through our Forever Young Adult book club branch, where we discuss assigned young adult titles.  We also let this month be considered a Reader's Choice month.  I got busy and forgot to draw a theme for us, and didn't realize it until it was too late for anyone to have time to choose based on a theme.  We decided just to discuss whatever we had recently read and loved.  Here's what we talked about:

  • Stephanie read A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas and she can't stop talking about it. It's a definite rave from her and others in the group have also been enjoying the series.  It's one I hear about all over the place, but I'm waiting because of my "series has to be finished rule".
  • Rachel read Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (squeee!).  We've both been waiting for this one for ages.  The group is divided on the series - some of us love it and others don't. Rachel and I are firmly in the "devoted to Eugenides" camp and she highly recommends Turner's latest addition to the series.  I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!
  • Courtney is in the midst of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Her raves about it have led me to bump it up my TBR list.  I'm reaching back for my creativity, which was misplaced somewhere in the last year or two, and now that I'm starting to find it again, I think this book could be a great jumpstart.  Courtney definitely agrees.
  • Ann read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood in anticipation of the upcoming adaptation on Hulu.  Her mention of it immediately made me realize that I have no idea which shelf my copy is on and also that I need to read it immediately.  A search is underway.  She loved it and said, like I've heard from many other sources, that it's timely and beautiful, and worth reading. As soon as I find my copy I'll be reading it as well.
  • As for me, I'm currently listening to The Fireman by Joe Hill on audio and loving it.  The narrator is excellent. I've got a road trip planned for this weekend and hope to knock out a significant portion of it because it is quite a long one, but once you start it's hard to turn it off.
The last new adjustment to CYOA is that we decided to start trying on a food theme each month.  This month we did ice cream sundaes.  I had the ice cream and everyone else brought toppings.  We wrote down a whole list of other ideas and we're going to try making it a food and book club since we had so much fun with the sundaes!  

How about you, Reader Friends?  Are you currently reading anything spectacular?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit

The Mother of All Questions
In this follow-up to Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit offers commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more.
Solnit is quickly becoming one of my favorite feminist essayists between this collection and Men Explain Things to Me.  I appreciate that she doesn't take a purely scholarly approach, but she also doesn't use as much humor as others use, which gives her voice a seriousness that is sometimes lacking in popular feminist writing.  She's funny at moments, but she's also completely serious about the difficult issues women and minorities are facing, and she's not using jokes to soften the intensity of her feelings.  She's obviously a talented writer and these essays show her skill with words and rhetoric well.

Entertainment Value
As I mentioned above, Solnit writes for a popular audience, but she doesn't do so with as much levity as other popular feminist authors, which I appreciated.  She does, however, use some humor, and her essays are easy to read and understand, regardless of how familiar you are with feminist theory.  I loved the range of topics she covered, from intersectionality to literature to film and I particularly enjoyed the essays covering rape culture.

If you read and enjoyed Men Explain Things to Me or if you are a fan of popular feminist writing, it's a must-read.  I think it will also appeal to those who enjoy reading feminist websites like Jezebel and Bustle and to those who have a left-leaning or feminist mindset and are interested in current events.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Yoga Book Reviews: Yoga Bodies by Lauren Lipton and Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley

Yoga Bodies: Real People, Real Stories, and the Power of Transformation
Artfully capturing yoga's vibrant spirit, Yoga Bodies presents full-color yoga-pose portraits of more than 80 practitioners of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and skill levels--real people with real stories to share about how yoga has changed their lives for the better. Some humorous, some heartfelt, others profound, the stories entertain as they enlighten, while the portraits--which joyously challenge the "yoga body" stereotype--celebrate the glorious diversity of the human form. Handsomely jacketed and richly visual inside and out, Yoga Bodies is a coffee table-worthy contemplation, a meaningful gift, and a source of endless inspiration for anyone seeking fresh perspectives on how to live well.
Less instruction and more inspiration, this is a coffee table-type book full of pictures of people of all shapes, races, sizes, and ages in poses of varying degrees of difficulty and ease, accompanied with their own words about why they practice yoga or what their practice means to them.  I spent several days flipping through and looking at the images and reading the stories, but it could also be used as inspiration for your own practice.  No instruction is included, and the book is intended for those with a basic knowledge of yoga, although an extensive knowledge certainly isn't required.  I loved seeing how yoga means different things to different people and hearing the reasons various people practice - from the ultra spiritual to the very practical.

 Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body.
It’s a book of inspiration for beginners of all shapes and sizes: If Jessamyn could transcend these emotional and physical barriers, so can we.

It’s a book for readers already doing yoga, looking to refresh their practice or find new ways to stay motivated.

It’s a how-to book: Here are easy-to-follow directions to 50 basic yoga poses and 10 sequences to practice at home, all photographed in full color.

It’s a book that challenges the larger issues of body acceptance and the meaning of beauty.

Most of all, it’s a book that changes the paradigm, showing us that yoga isn’t about how one looks, but how one feels, with yoga sequences like “I Want to Energize My Spirit,” “I Need to Release Fear,” “I Want to Love Myself.”
When I first started practicing yoga and discovered the world of yoga on instagram, Jessamyn was one of the first yogis I followed (you can follow her by clicking here).  I fell in love with her energy and body positivity, and she's still one of the most inspiring yogis I follow.  I love her strength and her pride in how amazing her body is, and it's great to see what the poses look like when they're done by a person with a body that looks more like mine than like the "traditional" yoga body.

This book is full of gorgeous color pictures and contains Jessamyn's person story and thoughts on yoga as a spiritual and physical practice, but the main draw for me was the instruction.  Jessamyn provides visual and written instruction for the basic poses and an entire section of sequences focusing on different parts of the body and attitudes to embrace.  Her practices are thoughtful and easy to understand and I found her explanations helpful.

These are both great choices for anyone seeking inspiration and guidance in beginning or continuing a yoga practice.  I found a lot to love here from both books, both visually and in terms of learning more about the practice of yoga and asana techniques.

I read Yoga Bodies through my local public library and Every Body Yoga courtesy of NetGalley.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review: milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

 Oh wow.  This is one that got a ton of attention when it came out and that I added to my TBR, but, because it was poetry, I thought I'd probably put off for a very long time.  I tend to let my older brother be the poet of the family.  It's just not usually my thing.  But yesterday, by happenstance, I read a tumblred excerpt from one of Kaur's poems and immediately pushed it to the top of my list.

Evaluating poetry is hard for me.  I'm not going to give this my usual writing/entertainment review, I"m just going to say this was the perfect book for me at this moment in time.  It's about loss and relationships and grieving the loss of relationships and moving forward and falling in love.  Instead of trying to explain how amazing I found this book and how beautiful I thought the words were, I think I'll just post my very most favorite portion and let you decide if it's the book for you.  It was exactly the book for me at exactly the time for me.

i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
and then
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire

Thanks to my local public library for providing me with a copy of this one.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review: Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

From Goodreads:
In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by -facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves.- It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere-within us and outside us, all around us-and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it's crucial, as kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all.
Full of Lamott's trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise--a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality. 
It's been a while, Reader Friends, I know.  I've been around, but busy and missing this blog, but also needing some tine away from feeling an obligation to it.  I think i'm ready to be back now.  It might be slow going for a bit but here I am.  Back to the books.  When I finished this one I knew it was the one to start back with.  I got divorced in December and since then I've been recovering.  It's involved a lot of things, good and bad, and I can truly say I've never been in a place before where I've needed to give and receive more mercy.  Especially lately.  Seriously, this book could not have appeared on my holds list at a more providential time.  There is so much mercy I need to extend (to myself and to others) and so, so much mercy I need to let myself receive (and ask for). 

Are there authors more readable than Lamott?  Anywhere?  Particularly in the area of Christian non-fiction?  I mean, obviously there are astounding writers in Christian non-fiction.  So many.  But Lamott just begs to be read and read and read.  I read almost the entire book in a single sitting on a day when my brain was so fried from sadness and anxiety that I literally could not move off the couch.  This is Lamott's gift.  I couldn't make myself a sandwich.  I couldn't drive my car.  But I could lay on my mother's couch and read Lamott and receive mercy.  I think that's all that needs to be said as far as the quality of her writing, right?  It isn't that she's simplistic, it's that she writes from her heart and doesn't get too wrapped up in flowery words.  She writes like she's talking to a friend, and when you're at your lowest that's what you need.  

Entertainment Value
Again, she's an author I turn to again and again when I'm at my worst because she's been there and she writes like a friend who has been there.  She doesn't try to have all the answers, but she does write love.  And who doesn't need both love and mercy.  This book felt like a friend offering a hug and advice over a cup of coffee and who doesn't need that.  It felt like being told "It's going to be ok" and "You're forgiven".  And who doesn't need forgiveness?  

This is a must read.  Even for those who don't identify with Christianity, Lamott is "spiritual" enough to appeal to a wider range than the traditional evangelical crowd.  If you've got an interest in giving mercy, you need to receive some mercy, and especially if you're hard on yourself, this book is something you absolutely need to have in your life.  

It came to me via my local public library, and I recommend you check your own for a copy!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilevsky

How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life
How to Be a Person in the World is a collection of never-before-published material along with a few fan favorites. Whether she’s responding to cheaters or loners, lovers or haters, the depressed or the down-and-out, Havrilesky writes with equal parts grace, humor, and compassion to remind you that even in your darkest moments you’re not alone.
I hadn't heard of Ask Polly before, but given my love of Dear Sugar and all things advice column, I knew I'd enjoy this, regardless of the author's voice.  I was thrilled to find that I actually identified with Havrilevsky as both a writer and a person, so I found her advice to be both inspiring and beautifully composed.  She's simpler in tone than Strayed, who I can't help but compare her to, given the nature of the works, but it agrees with her very well.  I preferred the less flowery, effusive tone and the more blunt approach.

Entertainment Value
Definitely an entertaining read, whether you pick it up a chapter at a time or read it all in one go.  I liked that Havrilevsky doesn't seem to shy away from making definitive statements and addressing issues with a real opinion.  She isn't wishy-washy and she doesn't try to make things as vague as possible in an effort to make everyone feel good. I didn't agree with all of her advice, but I loved the way she delivered it and didn't shy away from hard topics.

If you're a Cheryl Strayed devotee, this one absolutely must be on your list.  It's such a fun book to read, regardless of how much of the advice you agree with, and Havrilevsky provides a great mix of humor and heart.  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Coloring Book Reviews: Atelie Fashion, Color Me Mindful Seasons, and In Bloom!

Right before Christmas I was lucky enough to get my hands on this trio of adult coloring books from Simon and Schuster and I'm finally, finally getting around to reviewing them.  A HUGE thank you to the publisher for sending them to me - I can't wait to fill the pages with beautiful colors!

This one might be my favorite of the three.  It's mostly patterns, with a slightly Russian influence in some places, but mostly just full of whimsy.  It's pretty divided between more simplistic patterns that will color quickly and intricate designs that will take me longer, which I like.

Color Me Mindful: Seasons starts with the New Year and takes you right through to Christmas.  It tends to be more intricate and the style reminds me somewhat of Johanna Basford's work, which is always nice.  

This is the only one I've had a chance to finish a page of yet, and I'm loving it.  Its pictures are less intricate, which makes them great for coloring when I want to finish something in one sitting instead of taking a few days to work on it.  I also like the botanical theme and the stylized artwork.

Thanks again to Simon and Schuster for sending these!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Goals and Plans for 2017

I've been promising to do this post and talk about my goals for a while now, and I need to just sit down and do it.  I'm a big fan of setting goals and having an idea of what you want your life to look like in general as a way to guide your every day decisions.  That said, I have a tendency to be a bit rigid when it comes to anything that could be interpreted as a rule, and, as the last year of my life proves, you never know what's coming and flexibility is a necessity.  I'm trying to make fewer goals this year and also make those goals broader.

Reading Goals
I have to say that I'd be disappointed to read less than 100 books in a year, just because I know what I'm capable of and I think that's a minimum.  Outside of that, I'm not going to obsess over a number.  I barely made 101 in 2016 and that was ok.  I hope to do more this year, but I'm not going to set a goal that places stress on me to achieve anything more.

My main goal for reading this year is enjoyment only.  I'm not going to worry about keeping up with reviews or even accepting books for review without much more consideration than I've given in the past.

I also want to be quick to put down books that I'm not enjoying for any reason.  Along with the goal of putting things down quickly if they aren't inspiring me or entertaining me, I want to also keep a record of what I'm putting down and why I'm putting it down.  That should help me look back over what I haven't enjoyed and make better choices in the future.

Read all of Shakespeare.  Yes, all of it.  Even the histories.  I've got a schedule and I'm starting a bit behind, but I think it's very achievable.  I haven't read Shakespeare since college and I'm super excited about getting back in touch with the Bard.

Life Goals
It's weird to come up with life goals with only myself in mind for the first time ever, really, as an adult.  I could literally try to do anything.  I'm keeping it simple in this area too, though with two main goals.  The first is to try to say yes to new opportunities, especially social opportunities.  Make new friends, try new experiences, meet new people, and be open to anything.  I want to say yes to new foods, new friends, new movies, and new experiences of all sorts.

My second goal is the exact opposite.  Say no.  Say no to things that take up time and space that I don't have to give or want to give and that don't bring joy and life to me or to others.  Say no to going and doing and making myself too busy to enjoy the experiences I'm saying yes to.  Say no to buying things I don't truly need and cluttering my (tiny) new home and space with things that are distractions from what matters.

Did any of you set any goals for the year?  I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Recap in Statistics

This is a tragic post to write because my reading statistics for 2016 are at an all time low.  I had some really rough reading months.  I kept thinking it was a phase and I'd pass by it, but it really was just an eight or so month slump.  During the worst of it, I read only one or two books a month.

I did try a few new things this year in terms of keeping up with my statistics.  I continued to use my Google Docs spreadsheet, and I've also created one for 2017 that you are free to borrow.  I also downloaded the Modern Mrs. Darcy printable reading journal and started keeping a handwritten list as well.  I like handwriting and this gave me a spot to make some notations about who I read with and who I recommended to and anything else special about the experience.  I plan to do the same again in 2017.

The Basics
Books read in 2016: 101
Pages read in 2016: 25,798
Hours spent listening to audiobooks in 2016: 193 hours and 20 minutes, or approximately 8 days.

Best reading month in number of books: February
Worst reading month in number of books: September
Best reading month in number of pages: June
Worst reading month in number of pages: September

Male authored books: 28
Female authored books: 73

Adult Fiction: 32
Adult Non-Fiction: 29
Poetry: 1
Young Adult: 16
Graphic Novel: 23

Most frequently read subgenres: suspense/thriller, memoir, contemporary YA, and graphic adult non-fiction.

Ebook: 21
Hardback: 21
Paperback: 26
Audio: 23

Spent on books I read this year: $8.00
Amount I would have spent had I purchased each book: $1,176.96
Money saved by using the library, reading what I own, and reviewing: $1,168.96

Chattanooga Public Library: 59
Work Library: 5
Review via NetGalley: 18
Review via publisher: 4
Review via TLC: 7
Own: 5
Borrowed: 2
Given: 1

I don't do ratings on my blog, but I do give ratings on Goodreads, so these are the results of the star ratings I give out on Goodreads.  I gave one book one star, fifteen books two stars, twenty-two books three stars, forty books four stars, and twenty-two books five stars.

I continued to track books that fell into the category of what I'd consider "nothing" books.  Books that were neither good nor bad but were just completely unmemorable in any way.  This year was about the same as last year, with 15 total "not worth my time" books.  At right about 100 books, I maintained my 15% miss rate from last year, but it feels worse when I read half as many books.  I did DNF quite a few books this year, although I did a poor job of keeping track (see my goals post later this week for some ideas I have about this).

Hopefully 2017 will be a better and more fruitful reading year, but I'm not displeased with how I ended my 2016.  I think it wound up on a good note with some great books and I'm excited about what the next year has in store for me!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 End of the Year Survey

My very favorite book club event of the year has quickly become our Christmas pajama party and after a particularly difficult personal year and reading year, this year I was especially excited to snuggle up in my pjs with my best book buddies and talk about what we loved, hated, and failed to read in 2016.  A big thanks, as always, to Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner for hosting the survey.  I'll put my answers in black and the CYOA answers in red beneath my own.


Number Of Books You Read: 101 (my worst year in quite some time)
Number of Re-Reads: 25,798
Genre You Read The Most From: Adult Fiction


1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

I had a decent list, covering a few different genres: Better Than Before, The Raven Cycle, Adulthood Is a Myth, and American Housewife
CYOA says: The Lunar Chronicles; In the Country We Love; Wink Poppy Midnight; Romancing Mr. Bridgerton; Starflight; Giant Days; Paris in Love; The Truth about Forever; A Darker Shade of Magic; In Real Life; The Woman Upstairs; S.; Jacksonland; and When a Scot Ties the Knot

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Sadly, I also had a decent list of these from several genres: The Girl in the Red Coat, The Pocket Wife, Teeth, and Sweet Lamb of Heaven

CYOA says: Crimson Shore; Fates and Furies; Nos4atu; Heart-Shaped Hack; Out of the Darkness; Embassy Row Series; and YA fantasy as a genre

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

I went with the contemporary romance genre in general.  I tried it for the first time this year and found it actually pretty delightful, in small doses.  I particularly enjoyed Sex, Lies, and Online Dating, The Substitute Series, and the Hating Game

CYOA says: Modern Romance, 11/22/63, The Captive Prince Series; Being Mortal; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Fill-In Boyfriend, The Walls Around Us, and The Royal We

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Starflight to the CYOA group, Better Than Before at the library, and The Sound of Gravel to my online besties.

CYOA says: The Captive Prince Series, The Rook and Stiletto, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Out of Darkness, The Royal We, and The Raven Cycle

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

The Raven Cycle (expect to see this repeated frequently from me)

CYOA says: The Lunar Chronicles, Starflight, The Captive Prince, Stiletto, Kings Rising, Sloppy Firsts, The Last Little Blue Envelope, Christina Henry's Alice series

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Rachel Gibson and Denise Grover Swank for romance; Joe Abercrombie for fantasy

CYOA says: V.E. Schwab, Marie Kondo, Julia Quinn, Claire Messaud, Catherine Lao, Elizabeth Hoyt, Kate Noble, and Kate Congo

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Again, I'm going to go with the contemporary romances I read this year - the Writer Friends series, the Substitute series, and The Hating Game

CYOA says: Paris in Love, Jacksonland, The Secret Place, 11/22/63, The Royal We

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Raven King
CYOA says: The Female of the Species, A Darker Shade of Magic, Love and Other Perishable Items, Behind Closed Doors, Sharp Objects, and The Grownup 

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Spark Joy, Better Than Before

CYOA says: Starflight, My Lady Jane, Tiny Beautiful Things, Bread and Wine, The Royal We

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Wicked Bugs, Starflight, The Female of the Species
CYOA says: Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic, Assassin's Blade, Casket Girls, Wink Poppy Midnight, For Real, S., Alice

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Ronan from the Raven Cycle
CYOA says: Iko from Cinder, the Six Characters from Six of Crows, Mr. Hemming from A Pleasure and a Calling, Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (particularly the portions that talk about books and reading) 
CYOA says: Wink Poppy Midnight, Love and Other Perishable Items, Six of Crows, Stiletto, The Secret Place 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

 Better Than Before
CYOA says: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, In the Country We Love, Jacksonland, The Catcher in the Rye, The Woman Upstairs, Nos4atu

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

 Raven Boys, Summer at Tiffany (this one has been on my shelf since 2008!)
CYOA says: Room, anything by Gillian Flynn, Miss Marvel, Throne of Glass, Cinder

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: September Roses (another that's been on my list for at least 8 years)
Longest: The Royal We
CYOA says: Shortest: The Princess and the Pony, The Snowy Day, The Queen's Army, In the Shadow of the Towers
                        Longest: Flame Caster, Mississippi Jack, 11/22/63, Nos4atu

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Out of Darkness, Alice

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Gansy and Blue from the Raven Cycle

CYOA says: Nina and Mathias from Six of Crows; Sam and Jack from Nuclear Heat; Damon and Laurent from Captive Prince; Ronan and Adam from The Raven Cycle; Cress and Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles; Chale and Selena from Throne of Glass; Jen and Eric from S., and Bex and Nick from The Royal We

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Harry, Ron, and Hermione; Noah and Blue; Polly and Hermione (Exit Pursued By a Bear)
CYOA says: Cinder and Thorne; Ronan and Blue; Felicity and Odette (Stiletto); Max and Nev (In Real Life); Jack and the girls (Nuclear Heat)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

 Better Than Before; Starflight
CYOA says: The Boy is Back, Love May Fail, One True Love, Six of Crows, The Substitute

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Raven Cycle, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

CYOA says: Behind Closed Doors, Throne of Glass, The Madwoman Upstairs, Alice, Captive Prince series

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Ronan from the Raven Cycle; A.J. Fikry
CYOA says: Jack from Nuclear Heat; Caz from Six of Crows; Doran from Starflight; the Duke of Wakefield from Duke of Midnight

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

The Hatching

CYOA says: How to Live by Katie Contigo; Throne of Glass; An Ember in the Ashes; Special Topics in Calamity Physics

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Raven Cycle
CYOA says: Smoke, A Darker Shade of Magic, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The Scorpion Rules

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

 Adulthood is a Myth, Texts from Jane Eyre
CYOA says: The Princess and the Pony, My Lady Jane, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Sloppy Firsts

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
CYOA says: Be Frank with Me, The Truth about Forever, A Reunion of Ghosts, Out of Darkness

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Grunt, I'm Just a Person by Tig Notaro
Jacksonland, 84 Charing Cross Road, Wink Poppy Midnight, I Was Here 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
CYOA says: Out of Darkness, Alice

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Luck Archive; Paper Girls
CYOA says: Being Mortal, S., Becoming Djinn, Stiletto  

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

CYOA says: Behind Closed Doors, Throne of Glass series, American Girls, Don't Look Back, Crimson Shore, The Walking Dead comics


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own
CYOA says: Crooked Kingdom, Talking As Fast As I Can, A Winner's Curse Trilogy, Winter, Familiar #1  

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

Difficult Women 

CYOA says: Starfall, Court of Thorn and Roses, Scarlet Epstein Hates it Here, Strange the Dreamer

5. Goals You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

I'm going to be doing a post on my own goals tomorrow, so you'll have to wait for those, but I'll include CYOA's below:
  • DNF more books
  • Read Anathem
  • Get rid of more books
  • Read more non-fiction
  • Finish some series
  • Keep a list of DNF books
  • Have no more than two books at a time on my currently reading list
  • Read from my fantasy shelf