Reading Goals ’16 check-in

With the 5th month of the year halfway over (TIME, WHAT?), let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 Reading Goals!

  1. Read 65 books — Okay, so, according to Goodreads, I’ve read a total of 12 books so far this year. Also according to Goodreads, I’m 12 books behind schedule. Am I embarrassed? A little. I’m not super proud of my current reading habits. I’m currently part-of-the-way through a handful of books, and have about a dozen books checked out from the library, so I will attempt to narrow that gap in the coming weeks. (Key word: attempt.)
  2. Read 8 classics — I’ve been stagnant for months on an audiobook of Agatha Christie short stories, so I need to check it out again from the library and finish it. Other than that… Some of my next possible reads are: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, and several Agatha Christie mysteries I’ve snatched (with full permission) from my dad’s library. I honestly have so many classics to choose from, but, for some reason, they’re never high on my TBR.
  3. Reread the Harry Potter series — Yeahhhh no. Haven’t done this. I honestly don’t foresee myself reading the whole series, but I will absolutely try to reread the first 2 or 3 books by the end of the year.
  4. Finish 5 series I’ve already started — So, I’m almost done with the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger! I’m on book 4 of 5 at the moment. Other than that… I’ve read 2 out of 5 books of the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull and started the 3rd a few months ago. I haven’t really been in the mood for it as of late, but it would certainly be possible to finish this series in the near-ish future. As I’ve mentioned previously, book series are typically my kryptonite, so I have probably a dozen other series that I’ve started but haven’t finished. A few are: The Hunger Games trilogy, of which I’ve read 2.5 books; The Darkest Minds trilogy, with 1 out of 3 read; The Lunar Chronicles series, with 2 out of 4 (arguably more than 4 with the novellas) read; and, brace yourselves, Twilight, having read the first 2 books, 80% of Eclipse, and none of Breaking Dawn. *[cue deep male, possibly British, voice] Will Wendy ever relive her early high school years by rereading and finishing Twilight? Stay tuned to find out on this season of Bits of Prose and Whimsy*
  5. Read 3 non-fiction books — So I’m currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, and finishing it will get me 1/3 of the way through this goal! And I have a bunch more on my TBR, so this will definitely happen. YAY.

Well, it’s been real. Clearly I’m not burning it up in 2016, but I’m not completely failing. Only mostly.

How is it going reaching your goals? Does anyone else have trouble with finishing series? Classics recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

Reading Wrap-Up: Jan/Feb ’15

So, here’s a check-in for my reading during the first two months of the year. Despite feeling like I’m slacking, I’ve actually been keeping right on track with my goal of 50 books. Yay! Here are the books that I’ve completed thus far!

1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned VizziniFunny_Story_front

YA Contemporary. You guys may already know that I love this book, and it was a great one to kick off the new year with. I’ve posted a book review for it, so I have some collected thoughts there. It was memorable and poignant, and I will definitely pick it up again at some point. Loved it. ☆☆☆☆☆

2. Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) by Rae Carsonimgres

I’m just…not the biggest fan of this YA fantasy trilogy. I don’t hate it, but there are quite a few things about it that really bother me. The heroine is difficult to empathize with, I find the storyline of how she got to her position of power a bit silly and too convenient, the constant talk of religion and praying gets on my nerves pretty quickly, etc. Some people will love this series–there are definitely things to enjoy–but it’s just not my cup of tea. I read the first one (The Girl of Fire and Thorns) toward the end of 2014 and enjoyed it much more than this one. (I gave that one 4 stars.) I’ll eventually read the third one to see how everything wraps up. ☆☆☆

3. Sweet Thing (Sweet Thing, #1) by Renée Carlinoimgres-1

This was a fun read. New Adult contemporary romance about a girl who is coping with loss and unsure in which direction her life should go. Great development of chemistry between the main characters, interesting side characters, and good plot. Mia can become really frustrating, but I cut her some slack. A bit too sappy at times. Overall very enjoyable and I completely flew through it. I’ll be picking up the novella sometime this year. ☆☆☆☆

imgres-24. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson

A bind-up graphic novel about gods in the form of pop stars. I really wanted to love this, but I feel pretty ‘meh’ about it. The art style is beautiful, and that’s one of the things that drew me to it. I honestly didn’t know what was going on during a lot of the story. I might reread it at some point and try the next volume to see if my opinion changes. ☆☆☆

5. Soulless (Parasol Pretectorate, #1) by Gail CarrigerPrint

This is the first book in a Paranormal/Fantasy steampunk romance series and it’s fast-paced and sassy and so, so fun. Alexia is a snarky, intelligent, and badass heroine who doesn’t take shit from anyone. The romance is great, the side characters are colorful and hilarious. So enjoyable. A friend lent this to me because it’s one of her favorite series, and I was happy to report back that I loved it. I’ll definitely be reading the next one very soon–I’m sure it’ll be just as addictive! ☆☆☆☆☆

6. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo CorralChopsticks

I’ve done a review for this one as well, so you can see my semi-collected thoughts over there. I already had enough difficulty forming coherent thoughts the first time around, so I’m simply going to say that it was a thought-provoking read that offers a very unique and unexpected narrative and premise. ☆☆☆☆

2274437. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) by Helen Fielding

Oh look, I just talked about this one. This wasn’t really what I was expecting. A fast read, somewhat enjoyable, but pretty ‘meh’. ☆☆ 1/2

8. The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) by Maureen Johnson

13595639YA Paranormal/Fantasy about a Jack the Ripper killing spree. I really wanted to like this more than I did. There were definitely parts that I enjoyed, but I was never truly invested in the story. I was neutral about most of the characters and what happened to them. Yet another example of why I should seriously just give up on ghost books. (I’m really stubborn though.) ☆☆ 1/2

I think I’ll be switching gears into more high fantasy books and graphic novels for a while. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books or any recommendations for me! 🙂

Book Thoughts: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary227443
Author: Helen Fielding
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Year: 1996

Rating: ✩✩ 1/2

Huh. I have mixed feelings about this one. I decided to read this right around Valentine’s Day, since I wanted a silly rom-com read. I lost interest for a week or so, then picked it back up a few days ago.

I thought the character of Bridget Jones would be more endearing than she turns out to be. I kept comparing it to Pride and Prejudice, an inspiration for the story, and the end result didn’t totally work for me. I’d be all over a well-written, modern version of P&P, but this just wasn’t it. Bridget wasn’t the spunky Elizabeth Bennet-esque female character I was hoping for. (A side note: her obsession with her weight gets really irritating after a while.)

I’ve watched only a few scenes from the film adaptation, but I was somewhat familiar with the basic premise of the story. I honestly think I’d enjoy the film a lot more than the book. One of my major issues with it was the writing style. It’s written as if it were a diary (duh), but not in a fun way. She skips words like “a” and “the” and writes “v.” instead of very. It’s a bit off-putting. I don’t know about other people, but this isn’t the way I write when I’m on a journal-writing kick.

The ‘fun’ and ‘silly’ aspect that I was expecting came across instead as more whiny and infuriating. There wasn’t much character growth, in my opinion, which is what typically keeps me reading.

I wasn’t ever expecting to love this book, since it falls outside of what I typically read, but I thought it would be a fun change. It was quick, entertaining, and somewhat relatable. There were several moments when, in my mind, I was like, ‘I feel ya, girl. You do you.’ Overall, however, I ended up feeling pretty ho-hum about it. I might pick up the next one at some point, but I’m not itching to at the moment.

The Ultimate Book Tag

I found this tag through booksoverpeople and it looked like a lot of fun! I’ve watched a ton of booktubers do tags like this, but I’ve never done one myself. So, here’s my first book tag!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Usually, yes. Especially in the passenger seat. I can read for a bit but have to stop pretty quickly. It’s kind of a bummer during long road trips when I have time to get some reading done.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Neil Gaiman. Hands down. I don’t even understand how he writes the way he does. There’s so much mystery and magic in his words. Please go read some Gaiman if you haven’t. Neverwhere was my first of his and I highly recommend it.

3. Harry Potter series or Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

I’ve never understood why this comparison became a thing. I guess it’s because of the movie franchises? Obviously Harry Potter. Come on.

1. The world-building. The fantastically rich world that J.K. Rowling came up with? Spectacular. The world-building in Twilight is noticeably superficial.

2. The characters. Essentially all of Rowling’s characters are memorable. I would pretty much read anything she could ever write about any of her side characters. I can’t even pick my favorites. (Well, Lupin is definitely up there.) Twilight, on the other hand, has very one-dimensional characters with little personality. Besides Bella’s dad, most of them are pretty boring.

3. My childhood. Like so many others, I literally grew up reading Harry Potter. I can’t imagine another series ever replacing it as my favorite.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books…)?

Well, now that I’m not in school anymore, I don’t carry a book bag. But, when I did, I would often have my laptop, notebooks, pens, kindle…Pretty standard.

5. Do you smell your books?

Not usually, but I do love the smell of old books.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I’m fond of both, but some stories lend themselves well to illustrations. They can add something special if done well.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

Twilight. In either 8th grade or my freshman year of high school, I started reading the Twilight series and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. I enjoyed them for what they were, but I would definitely feel differently about them if I reread them in my 20s.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Hmm not really…But I was really obsessed with keeping my books nice, so any scratches or bent pages would really stress me out. I still like to keep my books looking good, but I don’t drive myself crazy over it.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I don’t know for sure, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely one of the thinnest.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

One of the Harry Potter books, most likely. Maybe Order of the Phoenix?

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future being an author?

I do write! I took a creative writing class my last semester of college, and it definitely helped me with consistently writing and gaining confidence in my work. I would absolutely love to be a published YA author. It’s one of those far-fetched dreams that I hope I can one day achieve.

12. When did you get into reading?

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. During my teen years, however, I didn’t read much for pleasure, as I was overwhelmed with all the required reading for school. I’m so happy that I’ve made reading a priority during the last few years.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

The Great Gatsby or any of Jane Austen’s novels. I’m also fond of Great Expectations and To Kill a Mockingbird. I plan to read more classics this year!

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Yes, it was through most of school. Ironically, I didn’t take many English classes in college.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

I would act like I was excited and hadn’t read it before so the person who gave it to me wouldn’t feel bad. I’d eventually donate it.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I honestly can’t think of one…

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I don’t think I’ve been at this long enough to have already acquired a bad habit. 😛

18. What is your favorite word?

I have many words I love, such as silhouette and conundrum.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Mostly a nerd, and perhaps a dork as well. 🙂

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

I’m not sure, since I haven’t actually read any books about fairies. Vampire books can be really terrible, but some are enjoyable.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Probably shapeshifters. The idea of shapeshifting is so cool to me. Maybe due to my fascination with animagi?

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

I’m not sure whether I simply don’t like books involving spirits. At the very least, I’ve had terrible luck with them. Werewolves can be awesome. Remus Lupin, anyone?

22. Zombies or vampires? Why?

I haven’t read any books about zombies. These questions have shown me that I definitely need to expand my horizons in the fantasy/paranormal genre!

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Probably love triangle. Maybe. Right? If they’re done well. For example, the love triangle in the Throne of Glass series is great. ( But I’ve only read the first two books.) They can also be super obnoxious.

25. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in? 

I’m typically not a fan of full on romance books. They can be a bit nauseating. So I’m gonna go with the latter.


Why is it so fun to answer random book-themed questions? Beats me.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my preferences or have any suggestions for fantasy/paranormal books to read! That would be rad.

Reading Goals for 2015

Despite it already being February, I’ve decided that it’s time to set myself some reading goals for 2015. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, so maybe some goals will help me get back on track.

  1. Read 50 books — This was also my goal for 2014, but I was just shy with 48. I’m determined to reach 50 this year! Because reasons. I don’t know. I like that number. I’ll bump it up later if I’m rockin’ it.
  2. Read 8 classics — I’m using the word ‘classics’ somewhat loosely so that it includes children’s classics as well. I have three shelves of beautiful editions just sitting in my room waiting for me to finally pick them up.
  3. Reread the Harry Potter series! — I haven’t reread them in years, so I really want to get back into that world. And it’s Harry freaking Potter. Do I really need another reason? No. The answer is no.
  4. Finish 5 series — These can be either series I’ve already started or ones that I begin this year. Obviously, finishing up series that I’ve already started is preferable, but I’ll end up reading whatever I’m in the mood for.
  5. Listen to 4 audiobooks — Audiobooks are a nice change of pace, so I’m going to try to listen to them more often. And checking them out from the library is the easiest thing ever, so I don’t really have any excuses. (Well, besides my tendency to fall asleep when I listen to them before bed.) But yeah, audiobooks.

I think those are all pretty manageable. Does anyone have any other suggestions for reading goals that have worked for you? I’d love to hear ’em!

Cheers to a splendid year of reading!