New Year’s Book Tag

Hello, everyone! Today I’m doing the New Year’s Book Tag! Thank you to Dini @ dinipandareads for the tag. This tag was originally created by booktuber Heather @Bookables.

How many books are you planning to read in 2023?

I’ve decided to keep my 2023 Goodreads goal the same as the last couple of years at 100 books. I’ll likely end up reading more than this again, but we’ll see how the year goes.

Name 5 books you didn’t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2023.

Hah! There are way more than five, but here are the ones I’m hoping to read within the next few months. So, they have the highest priority.

  • Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

What genre do you want to read more of?

Last year I set the goal of reading more non-fiction, and I achieved it. There’s not really a genre that stands out this year to me. Maybe science fiction? Fantasy dominated my reading last year, but I do love sci fi too. Maybe I’ll try to squeeze some more in around all the excellent fantasy coming out this year.

Name 3 non-book-related goals for 2023

  • Get in better shape. In 2021, I was quite active and watched what I was eating and drinking. I lost 30 pounds and improved my endurance and lung capacity quite a bit, which was incredibly helpful since I’ve only got one lung left. Unfortunately, 2022 was a year of backsliding, and I lost all my gains. I’m back to being 30 pounds too heavy again and can barely walk to the mailbox without being out of breath. So, I’m hoping to get back on track this year.
  • Keep my house cleaner. I’m horrible at keeping up with my chores. My home isn’t disgusting, but it could definitely be neater. I’m going to try to keep up with clutter a bit better this year.
  • Take at least one trip. I love traveling, but I’ve mostly avoided doing so since COVID started. I realize that the pandemic still isn’t over, but I’m getting very antsy. I really want to go somewhere new. Maybe a road trip?

What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

This definitely has to be The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve had this book for as long as I can remember, and I’ve still never read it. I’d definitely like to give it a try after watching Rings of Power last year. Maybe 2023 will be the year I’m finally brave enough to pick it up. lol.

One word that you’re hoping 2023 will be

I hope 2023 will be HEALTHY. This ties into my goals, but my family and/or I have also had bad luck with our health almost every year since 2019. So, I’m hoping everyone stays healthy this year!

I’m tagging…

Celeste @ A Literary Escape
Sahi @ My World of Books
Anyone else who wants to participate!

Bookish Smash or Pass Book Tag

I was so excited to get tagged in this fantastic book tag TWICE. So, thank you to Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook and Julie @ One Book More for the tags. Be sure to check out their answers as well! This tag was created by Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog and was so much fun to do.

Bookish Tropes

SMASH. I love so many tropes, especially enemies to lovers, forced proximity, reluctant hero, chosen one, and found family. There are also a few that need to be done really well for me to enjoy them, such as love triangle, quest, and miscommunication, but I don’t outright hate any tropes.

Alternating POV

SMASH. I enjoy both single and alternating POV stories. Often, alternating POV creates a more interesting dynamic because it allows the reader to see the central conflict from multiple angles. The only time I don’t like it is when the story rehashes the same scenes over and over from different POVs. That gets repetitive and annoying pretty fast.

Ambiguous Endings

sort of SMASH. It really depends on if an ambiguous ending adds anything of value to the story. I can love a good ambiguous ending as long as the major story arcs get wrapped up in some way. I don’t need everything to be resolved perfectly to enjoy an ending. It allows me to use my imagination to fill in what might happen next.

Nonfiction

sort of SMASH. I read mostly fiction, but I also do enjoy the occasional nonfiction book. I love learning new things, and this is a great way to do it. I mostly read history, psychology, LGBT, or politics when picking up a nonfiction book.

Historical Setting

SMASH. Books with a historical setting, whether fantasy or historical fiction, are some of my favorite things to read. I just find being in the head of someone who lived in the past a fascinating endeavor, even if it was written in the present.

Morally Grey Characters

SMASH. I love them. Give me ALL the chaos gremlins please. LOL.

First Person POV

mostly PASS. I was beginning to think I’d be smashing everything… I don’t hate first person, but it is definitely not my favorite. It can be done well, but I’ve found that it often is not.

Audiobooks

SMASH. I listen to audiobooks all the time, often at 2X speed. It allows me to read while doing chores or driving, which has greatly increased my capacity for getting through books. There’s also something about a really great narrator that adds another dimension to a story.

Re-reading

SMASH. I don’t re-read books nearly as often as I’d like, but I do enjoy it. I think it might be one of my priorities for the coming year because I have a pretty large stack now that I’d love to get back to.

Classic Novels

PASS. I’ll read classic novels occasionally, but I often find them tedious. I’d much rather read something contemporary most of the time.

Annotating

mostly PASS. I don’t usually take notes while reading. I consider marking up physical books an unforgivable SIN (jk… sort of), but I do occasionally highlight passages when I’m reading on my Kindle. I’d actually like to get in the habit of annotating a bit more (in a notebook obviously), but it just seems like a lot of work.

Cracking Book Spines

HARD PASS. Nope. Nope. Nope. I do everything I can to avoid this because I hate the way a cracked spine looks on my bookshelf.

Smut

SMASH. I love having erotic content included when it serves a purpose to further relationship-building and growth of intimacy between the characters. Although, I usually also enjoy it even if it’s gratuitous and there for no other reason than to be hot. lol.

Character Driven Books

SMASH. If I love the characters, I can sit and read about them doing nothing forever. I enjoy plot-based books too, but I enjoy reading about relationship dynamics and internal growth. So, I’m down for those types of stories as well.

Past/Present Split Timeline

SMASH. I almost always enjoy a good split timeline. It just adds an extra layer to the story, and I love when the split allows for extra mysteries, exciting reveals, or greater insights into the characters.

Heavy World-building

SMASH. This is one of the reasons that I love reading SFF. I enjoy being transported to new worlds/societies and getting to explore them through the eyes of the characters. I’m not a huge fan of info-dumps, but I really love organic world-building, even when the learning curve is pretty steep.

Tags

I tag the following bloggers to participate:

Celeste
Caitlin
Sahi
Anyone else who’d like to do it!

Thanksgiving Book Tag

Gobble, gobble! 🦃 Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the United States (and anywhere else you may be celebrating)! I’ve been wanting to do another book tag and thought a holiday themed tag would be fun. So, I scoured the inter-webs to find one. Luckily, Anna’s Book Nook created one a few years ago.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Give credit to the author (Annasbooknook)
  • Answer the prompts
  • Tag others if you desire!

The Questions

1) Friends and Family: A Book with Characters that Feel Like Family

I don’t know what it was about the Green Bone Saga, but I fell in love with the Kaul family almost immediately. I laughed and cried so much as their family went through its ups and downs, and it felt as if I was a part of their family experiencing everything alongside them.

2) Fallen Leaves: A Book that Fell Flat (didn’t meet your expectations)

I had really high hopes for this duology, but it just did not work for me. It had so much potential, but the annoying protagonist coupled with the focus on the love triangle just squandered it. Don’t get me started on the ending. It was awful. Needless to say, these definitely fell flat.

3) Thanksgiving Dinner: A Book You Want to Read Every Year During This Season

I don’t really do a ton of re-reading and have no books that I read every year during this season. However, these three books are at the top of my re-read TBR right now. One day I’ll get back to them again…

4) Turkey: A Book With a Bird in It

A Restless Truth

This book had a parrot and its cage at the center of a bunch of mayhem on a boat. There was also murder, mystery, magic, and lots of sapphic goodness. 🙂

5) Ham: A Book that Made Your Eyes Glaze Over (Boring)

The Stars Undying

I don’t often DNF books, but I could not make it through this one. The writing was tedious and confusing to read, and I didn’t find the characters interesting at all.

6) Dinner Rolls: A Book that Melted Your Heart and Made You Feel Warm

Jack's on Fire

This YA romcom was so sweet it completely melted my heart. I loved its focus on queer joy and just had a wonderful time reading the types of interactions I wish I had when I was a teen.

7) Mashed Potatoes: A Book With a White Cover

These are two of my fantasy faves from this year so far. Both of them were thrilling adventures and should be on the TBR of every fantasy fan.

8) Gravy: A Book You’re not Totally Sure Why You Love, but You Do

Rosebud

This short book was SO weird, and I didn’t have a clue what was going on for a significant portion of the story. lol. The weirdness gave it a charm that I cannot really put into words, though, and it ended up being a 5-star read for me.

9) Pumpkin Pie: A Dessert Book That You Love

The House in the Cerulean Sea

I’d not heard of the term ‘dessert book’ before this tag. I’m taking it to mean a sickeningly sweet book, and I can think of no better book than The House in the Cerulean Sea. I adore this book so much and love its genuine found family vibes.

Bonus: Black Friday: The Top 5 Books on Your “I want to buy them” List

I’m about to shock all of you with my answer to this one. At the moment, I don’t have any books on my ‘want to buy them’ list. Why? I’ve already bought them. lol. I’m very impulsive and buy whatever books I want to read mostly on a whim. I also utilize the library a lot and ARCs, of course. Will this keep me from perusing Black Friday sales. Nope. 😂 But at least I won’t be going in with a list. Although, maybe that’s even worse…

I Tag

Anyone who wants to participate. I recognize that today is Thanksgiving. So, if you’re bored, feel free to have some fun and consider yourself tagged. Otherwise, bookmark it until next year!

End of the Year Book Tag

How is it already this close to the end of the year? It seems like just yesterday I was setting my annual reading/blogging goals, and now we are rapidly approaching December. I was tagged by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook to complete this tag, and I’m excited to participate. Be sure to check out her answers on her blog, as well!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Other than my current read, Heart of the Sun Warrior, I don’t have any books that I haven’t finished and plan to pick back up this year. I’ve DNFd a few books this year, including The Stars Undying, Silk Fire, and The Starless Crown, but I don’t plan on picking them back up. I did start Empire of the Vampire, as well, but I wasn’t in the mood to finish it. I doubt I’ll return to it before the end of the year, but I plan to finish it eventually because the bit I read was really good.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

No. I’m not much of a seasonal reader, in general. I’m mostly just scrambling to finish up all my 2022 ARCs and BBNYA reads at this point. 🙂

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

There are still a few releases this year that I’m looking forward to. The first adult novel of the second phase of The High Republic, Convergence, is released later this month. Never Ever Getting Back Together and The Gentleman’s Book of Vices are two others releasing at the end of November. I’ve also got my eye on The Ivory Tomb by Melissa Caruso, which is the last book in a trilogy. I plan to read the trilogy once this last book is out. So, I’m looking forward to it releasing in December.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Only three? LOL. I’ve got so many books I’m hoping to get through before the end of December. I doubt I’ll get through them all, though. Here’s three that will likely make it onto my December TBR.

Is there a book you think that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Honestly, probably not. I think Babel by R.F. Kuang will be clenching the top spot. It would take something truly spectacular to knock it off the top.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2023?

Of course! I’ve got a great line-up of ARCs coming out in the first half of next year and have been mulling over what I want my annual goals to be for 2023. Here’s a sneak peek of the ARCs I’m looking forward to the most.

I Tag

Last, Now, Next Book Tag

Thank you to Jordyn for the tag! It has been a while since I’ve felt motivated enough to do a tag. This one is pretty short. So, I think I can handle it. lol.

Rules

  • Link back to the ORIGINAL CREATOR-@Shivakshiiifyblogs.
  • Show gratitude to the person who tagged you.
  • Mention these points in your post.
  • Tag as many bloggers as you want.
  • Have fun!

What was the last book you read?

Ruination by Anthony Reynolds

Did this book meet your expectations?

It did! I requested it mostly because of the cover and didn’t really know what to expect from the story. I’ve never played League of Legends. So, I was somewhat concerned I wouldn’t understand the book. It ended up being a great introduction to the lore and world.

Will you recommend this book to others?

Absolutely! If you enjoy epic fantasy with cool magic, political conspiracies, and world-breaking consequences, I definitely recommend this book.

What is your current read?

Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans

Why did you pick this book?

This tag is going to make me sound super shallow, but I picked this one based on its cover too. The blurb also made it sound intriguing, and I think I saw somewhere that the main character is bisexual. Those three things combined made this one unmissable for me.

How much time do you think you’ll take to finish your current read?

Hmmm. I’m really not sure. I’m struggling to balance this book with my participation in the Sabriel readalong, the audiobook of Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, and finishing up my BBNYA excerpts. I hoped to have it finished today, but that doesn’t really seem feasible at the moment. I’m going to try really hard to finish it by tomorrow so my review can be done by the publication date on Tuesday… All in all, it will probably be approximately 4 days or so to finish it from when I first started the book.

What genre would you like to read next?

I’m thinking about reading either romance or fantasy. I’ll actually probably pick a romance audiobook to listen to while reading a fantasy ebook. I typically have one audiobook and one ebook/physical book going at a time, and I prefer to listen to romance more than any other genre.

What would you like to pick: a long read or a short read?

Hopefully short. I’ve been reading a lot of chonkers lately, and I’ve struggled some with maintaining the attention necessary to do so. Knowing me, though, it’ll likely end up being a tome that I could use to murder somebody. That seems to be what I go for the most, especially when it comes to fantasy.

Mention some books you’re eyeing!

Tags

This has been a ton of fun to do! I’m going to invite the following people to join in (feel free to ignore if you don’t want to participate):

Mid-Year Freakout Tag

I did this tag last year and had a ton of fun with it. So, I guess it is time to make it an annual tradition! I’m still not quite sure where the tag originated, but I’ve seen it all over on a bunch of blogs. If you know where it came from, feel free to tag/link them in the comments. I can’t believe the year is already halfway over. Even more surprising, I can’t believe I already read 91 books in the first half of the year. That is only nine away from my goal for the entire year! So, I’ve got plenty of great options to choose from for this tag.

Read More »

Meet the Book Blogger Tag

Hello, everyone! Today I’m doing a book tag. I feel like it has been forever since I took the time to do one of these. So, I’m kind of excited about it! Thank you to Dini @ dinipandareads for the tag!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you (See above)
  • Mention the creator: Lauren @Lala’s Book Reviews
  • Tag as many (or as few) people as you’d like
  • Have fun and get to know one another!

Introduction

INTRODUCE YOURSELF

My name is Chris! I’m in my mid-30’s, and I love books and all things reading, which shouldn’t come as much of a shock since this is a book blog. 🙂 I’ve lived my entire life in Louisiana, and even though the state ranks last in almost every good thing out there, it isn’t all bad because there is good food and interesting culture. I’m currently a house husband, which gives me plenty of time to read. However, I’ve got four degrees and have worked in multiple fields, including biomedical research and mental health. I’m just lucky to have an awesome partner with a lucrative career that allows me a lot of flexibility right now.

SOMETHING MOST EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW…DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?

I do! My partner and I have four pets. The first is a golden retriever and lab mix named Shelby. We’ve had her the longest for over 11 years. She’s getting up there in age (like us…lol), but she’s still a puppy at heart. We also have a lionhead rabbit named Pancakes. He is super cute and super fluffy, but he loves to chew through EVERYTHING. So, when he’s out of his cage we have to watch him like a hawk. We’ve lost a lot of cords and furniture to his nibbling. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t been electrocuted by this point since he’s been at it for almost ten years. Finally, we have two cats, Meesum and Cash. Meesum is the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Cash, on the other hand, is a bit of bitch, especially to other animals. They are both incredibly needy and revolt with incessant whining if they do not receive the required amount of snuggles per day. Here are some pics because I know that is what everyone will want…

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DRINK?

I feel like this was covered pretty thoroughly in my post from earlier this week about my Top 5 Drinks for Reading, but the short version is any type of Dr Pepper.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?

Winter. I love the cold and being able to bundle up. There’s nothing better than curling up in a blanket to read a good book, and I can only do that comfortably in the winter because of how hot it is during the rest of year. I also just really hate the heat and humidity here in Louisiana, which is present pretty much the entire year except for a couple months in winter.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TALENTS?

Not really. Unless you count being super uncoordinated. I’ve never played an instrument or been great at sports. I’m unable to carry a tune. So, I can’t really think of anything.

Blogging

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG?

I started my blog in March 2021. There were quite a few reasons I started blogging. I’ve always loved to read, but I don’t really have any close friends that read as much as I do. So, I wanted to join a community of like-minded people with similar interests. I also had recently quit graduate school because of the pandemic and my battle with cancer, and I needed something constructive to do with my time. Finally, I wanted free books. lol. I’m not afraid to admit it. Although, it has definitely backfired because I spend way more on books now than ever before even though I get lots of ARCs. I blame all the other bloggers for that because they make me notice books I never would have considered before.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW ABOUT BLOGGING WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?

I wish I knew how addictive and time-consuming it would be. The amount of time spent reading, writing posts, and interacting with others is a lot more than I ever expected. I’ve always been fairly obsessive when it comes to work of any kind… I’m a bit of a workaholic. So, if I’m not careful, blogging has a tendency to take over my life. There have definitely been times where it has started to feel more like a job or obligation. I’m wary of that because this is supposed to be for fun. When I start noticing those feelings creeping in, I do my best to switch something up or force myself to do something else for a while. It took a while for me to recognize that I don’t have to post every day or respond to every comment immediately, and I almost closed the blog down because of it. These days I just try to have fun with it, and I wish I had been less stressed about numbers and self-imposed deadlines from the beginning.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING?

The hardest part about blogging for me has been keeping up with everyone else’s stuff. I feel constantly bombarded by notifications, and it stresses me out because I want to read everything and support everyone. I’m also a super shy and introverted person by nature, and it makes interacting with others, even through a screen, incredibly exhausting. So, I’m usually super picky about what I comment on or interact with to keep from getting overwhelmed. If I interact with your blog/posts in any way, especially a comment, know that I love your work because that is a super rare occurrence.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BLOGGING?

The books. I’ve found so many books I would have never read otherwise, especially a lot of great indie books. So many, in fact, that I’ll probably die buried under my massive TBR pile. Oh well. Surely there are worse ways to go.

DO YOU WRITE YOUR POSTS AHEAD OF TIME OR WRITE THEM THE DAY OF POSTING?

I’ve changed my mind about the special talent. I think it will have to be procrastination. lol. I’m always waiting until the last minute to get things done, including my blog posts.

Reading

WHO ARE YOUR TOP 5 FAVORITE AUTHORS?

This is such a tough question to answer! I love the work of so many authors, but if I have to narrow it down to five, I think I’d pick these awesome people:

  • TJ Klune
  • Fonda Lee
  • Adam Silvera
  • Claudia Gray
  • Alice Oseman

WHAT GENRE DO YOU READ THE MOST?

I definitely read more fantasy than anything else. Although, I also read quite a bit of LGBT+ YA.

WHAT GENRE SURPRISED YOU BY HOW MUCH YOU LOVE IT?

Romance. I didn’t think I’d ever really enjoy this genre that much. I refused to read it for the longest time, but now I love it and always try to include at least one romance read a month. If the romance is LGBT+, fantasy, and/or historical, I’m almost guaranteed to love it.

WHICH POPULAR BOOK DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE FOR YOU?

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. This book was all over Twitter back when it came out last year. It seemed everyone only had good things to say about it. I didn’t like it very much. I thought it was boring and found the main character to be super annoying.

WHO ARE SOME POPULAR AUTHORS YOU HAVEN’T READ?

There are so many!!! These are just a few that I have on my bookshelves but haven’t had a chance to read yet:

  • Holly Black
  • Chloe Gong
  • Brian McClellan
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Jim Butcher
  • R.F. Kuang
  • Pierce Brown
  • Olivie Blake
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Lev Grossman
  • Tracy Deonn

WHAT UPCOMING RELEASE ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ?

Once again, there are so many!!! Here are some of the ones I’m looking forward to the most:

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE READING?

Nope. Anything with noise makes it really hard for me to concentrate while reading, which means no music or TV playing in the background.

WHERE ELSE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?

Twitter: @biblionerdrflxn
Goodreads: biblionerdrflxn
Tumblr: @biblionerdreflections (I rarely do anything extra besides my WordPress content here)

Tagging

I don’t think I’m going to tag anyone specific in this one. If it looks like fun and you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged. Just be sure to link back to this page so I can see your post!

The Book Recommendations Book Tag

Hello again, everyone! Today I’m participating in the Book Recommendations Book Tag. I was tagged by Tabitha from Behind the Pages. So, make sure to go check out her answers to the tag, as well. This tag was created by Ally over at Ally Writes Things, and it has the following rules:

  • Tag Ally @allypallystaken so she can see your recommendations!
  • Give at least one recommendation for each of the prompts below
  • If you don’t have a recommendation, talk about a book you want to read
  • Tag your friends
Read More »