2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Announcement & Possibility Pile

Last year I decided to participate in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge for the first time. I liked the idea of completing the challenge but I’m also 100% sure the reason I even looked at it in the first place is because of the cute and colorful list of prompts that they came out with. I’m sorry I just really like pretty things 🤣 That aside, I failed to complete it because I just wasn’t organised. I filled a spreadsheet with possible book options for some prompts at the start but gave up before I even really started trying. Bad panda 🐼

BUT I’m ready and eager to make this year different! I’ve not only identified many possible options for each prompt but I’ve even decided what I’ll read for a few of the 40 regular prompts. I haven’t started looking at the 10 advance level prompts yet though I’m not sure that I will this year!

There are basically no rules to this challenge. You can complete it whatever way you want and on Facebook it got a little ugly when people seemed to judge others for saying that they’d use one book for multiple prompts. It wasn’t a fun time 😒 Why can’t we just let people read whatever and however they want without making them feel like they’re “cheating” when there aren’t even any rules on how to complete this challenge in the first place? Sure, a challenge means you push yourself but it’s really nobody’s business but your own, isn’t it? #tea. BUT I DIGRESS! What I meant to say before going off on that rant is that I’ve made some bookish choices that count for multiple prompts but if I complete the regular challenge early (haha) I’ll go back to some of those prompts and choose a different book for it. That way, I’ll feel like I’ve pushed myself even more but I will also have happily completed the challenge in a relaxed and fun way without putting unnecessary pressure on myself. On that note, here are the books that I’ve chosen for some of the prompts. There’s still a possibility that these may change based on my mood but I’m going to do my best to stick to them.

A book published in 2020
A book by a trans or nonbinary author
A book about a book club + A book that has a book on the cover
A bildungsroman
A book with a map + A book by a WOC

A Western
A book by or about a journalist + A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics
A book with a robot, cyborg or AI character
A book with at least four stars on Goodreads
A book with a pink cover

So far I’ve also managed to complete three of the prompts with the books that I’ve read so far this month:

A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
A book with a bird on the cover
A book with a three-word title
☝🏽 (I’ve been on the fence about counting this last one though… Would you count it?) ☝🏽

Just like I’ll do for the ARC Apocalypse challenge, I’ll share a quarterly update for the POPSUGAR, which will only help to hold me accountable for my participation and so I don’t half-ass anything lol

Are you also participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge? What do you think of my possibility pile? Do you have any suggestions for what I should read for some of the other prompts?

Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge Announcement & Possibility Pile

I was waffling on whether I wanted to join this challenge but then I finally caved because #FOMO and I really just want to read more of the Asian authors that exist on my shelves. Seeing as one of my main bookish goals this year is to also read diversely I thought it’d be perfect to join The Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge to hold myself accountable! #YARC is hosted by CW @ The Quiet Pond, Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams and the idea of it is pretty simple: read as many books written by Asian authors as you can! These books can be backlist titles (i.e. released in 2019 or earlier), new releases, and ARCs, and they can be books of any genre, format, and length. You can find out more information and sign up here.

Level 2: Indian Cobra (11-20 books)

There are quite a few levels that you can aim for (including a panda!) and I’ve decided to aim for the Indian Cobra (11-20 books). I have a surprising amount of books written by Asian authors just sitting on my shelves and I don’t really have a reason for why I haven’t read them yet, so I’m more than happy to have a great reason to prioritise them now. Here’s what I got:

Young Adult

Adult

I know I have other books by Asian authors sitting on my book shelf but I can’t recall them off the top of my head right now. But I think this is a pretty solid list of 20 to start with. I hope that I’ll be able to get my ass in gear and read all of these–I know some have been languishing on my shelves for way. too. long. #forshame. On that note, I’ll post my progress on my monthly Reading Challenge Updates post that I’ve literally just this second decided to schedule. Hopefully I’ll already have something to update by the end of this month!

Are you participating in the Year of the Asian 2020 Reading Challenge too?
Do we have any of the same books to read? What’s on your list?

#ARMEDWITHABINGO Announcement & Possibility Pile

This year I also joined the #ARMEDWITHABINGO reading challenge hosted by Kriti and Ariel @ Armed with a Book. I thought this sounded cool as it’s a personalised book bingo challenge with regular check-ins, book giveaways, guest posts and more! The challenge has 24 prompts that require individual books for each square (except for the book over 500 pages long, which counts for two!) and it runs throughout the year.

The sign up is open until 15 March, so if this sounds like a fun challenge to you, head on over to their page and let’s BINGO! 😃

So what’s in the bingo? My personalised card below has all the prompts:

I know my announcement is coming in pretty late into January *cough* so I’ve actually managed to already cross of four of the squares so I’m just a tiny bit closer to bingo 🤣

A book in the middle of a series
A book from the last decade (2010-2019)
A young adult novel
A dystopian novel

I still haven’t figured out the books I’m reading for all of the prompts but I do have some ideas. Part of me wants to just “wing it” and see if what I read throughout the year will fit any of the prompts, but that attitude is what caused me to bomb hard last year? So I’ve already started identifying options for some of the prompts 😅 Consider this my mostly “loose” possibility pile. Since I’m trying to cut down on spending most of these are books I already have on my shelves–though I’ma be nice to myself and allow for some of this years’ releases because I mean… I’m only human riiiiiiight? 😬

A book that’s published in 2020
An anthology or poetry collection
A book that a friend recommends
A book that has a number in the title
A fantasty/science fiction

A book by an Indie author
A book with a beautiful cover
A book you saw someone else reading
A book which was gifted/borrowed
A book longer than 500 pages (2 spaces!)

I’ll be sharing progress updates for this along with all the other challenges I’m doing this year in a monthly reading challenges recap post, so be on the look out to see if I’ve managed to cross any other boxes by the end of this month!

Are you joining this reading challenge too? What do you think of my choices? Do you have any suggestions for any of these spaces that you think I must read?

ARC Apocalypse Announcement & TBR

As I mentioned in my bookish and blogging goals, I’ve joined quite a few challenges this year! Last year I (very loosely) joined one year-long challenge outside from Goodreads and that was the 2019 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I was complete trash at keeping track of what I read and basically gave up before I even started. That was fun 🙄 I guess I must be feeling more optimistic in 2020 because I joined a whopping FIVE challenges, and first up is the ARC Apocalypse!

This challenge was created by Destiny @ Howling Libraries in an effort to tackle those ARCs! And what’s better than tackling these reads with a bunch of other book lovers with the same goal, right? There are fun chats and buddy reads if you don’t think you can go it alone. Head on over to Destiny’s page (linked above) to find out more and join the challenge! I’ve mentioned it before but as an international book blogger I unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) don’t get as much access to all the reads on NetGalley, Edelweiss and from publishers, so my overall list isn’t as long as everyone else’s. Still, there are a few 2020 titles I’d like to stay on top of . but most importantly there are quite a few overdue titles I want to finish this year! Here are my current stats:

  • 2020 eARCs: 12
  • Overdue eARCs: 10

Ten overdue titles doesn’t look so bad right? But overdue is overdue and there’s no making excuses! My game plan is to prioritise my 2020 deadlines (while I’m still ahead of the game!) and alternate with reading the overdue titles. Sounds doable. Seeing as these have deadlines this is going to be my actual TBR for the coming months (January-early March):

After some thought I think I’ll be sharing my progress at the end of every three months along with what’s next on my TBR for the following three months*. I hope that my progress will basically be me saying: I’VE READ THEM ALL! 😍

*After some more thinking I decided to share a monthly progress updates for all my challenges, so you’ll be getting an update from me soon! I still hope that I’ll have made some progress 😂

Are you also joining ARC Apocalypse?
How do you plan to tackle your ARCs?

Top 5 Saturday: 2020 Book Releases!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books coming out in 2020! Ooh this is a fun one because I spent my half-day before Christmas at work scouring Goodreads lists for what’s coming out in 2020 and there are loads that I’m excited for. I’m also participating in one or two blog tours for some of these books so YAY!

The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series. 

The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang

To most people, Quan Diep is nothing but a surly-looking, underachieving playboy. The problem is he’s not any of those things. And now that he’s the CEO of an up-and-coming retail business, he’s suddenly a “catch,” and the rich girls who never used to pay any attention to him are looking at him in a new way—especially Camilla, the girl who brushed him off many years ago.

Anna Sun dislikes Quan Diep almost as much as germy bathroom door handles. Or so she tells herself. She will never admit that she has a secret crush on him, especially because he only has eyes for her charismatic and newly engaged younger sister Camilla. Over the years, Anna has worked hard to overcome her OCD, but she’ll still need to find a way to bury her anxieties and seduce Quan so he doesn’t ruin her sister’s engagement, and with it, a crucial real estate development deal.

Slowly, Anna breaks down Quan’s dangerous and careless exterior while peeling off her own tough, protective shell. But when Quan discovers Anna’s true intentions, he’s forced to confront his own hurtful past and learn to forgive, while Anna must face her greatest challenge: truly opening herself up to love.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Grey may be the heir, but he doesn’t want anyone to know his secret. On the run since he destroyed Lilith, he has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war. 

Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well. 

Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

From the internationally bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a young woman’s journey to the Alaskan wild and a life she never imagined for herself.

What 2020 releases are you excited for? Are you excited for any of these too?

The End of the Year Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this one but I first saw it on Jenn @ Jenniely’s page and immediately thought I’d love to do it, especially after doing the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! I really can’t believe it’s the end of the year already. We’ve got less than one week until we’re ringing in 2020, friends! How is it even possible when sometimes it still feels like February only just ended the other day?! Craziness… Anyway, without further ado, let’s get to it!

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

I started The Goldfinch during The Worst Reading Slump of 2019. It was a bad time for my mental health and now whenever I think of picking it up again, I just feel dread… I wanted to read Good Omens before the show came out but I wasn’t in the mood for it and it was tough to concentrate. The same goes for My Lovely Wife! I hope I can at least finish one of these before 2019 ends!


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

I’m… Not sure what this means? An autumnal book? But… It’s not autumn? Or am I just confusing myself? Lol


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

I’m taking this question to mean are there any more books that are coming out that you’re looking forward to and the answer would be no! 2019 has been an incredible year for books but there’s nothing else I’m waiting on now!


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

If I really only had to pick three of the many, it’d be these: The Queen of Nothing (I just finished TWK and I’m not putting this off anymore!), The Toll and Well Met!


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

Ooh, I feel like this is a pretty tough question to answer because I’m not even sure if I can say what my favorite of the year is! I’m notoriously bad at making these kinds of decisions. I’m thinking of all the books that I still want to read before 2020 (beyond the three above) and I think there’s a strong possibility for one of them to be a contender… I’m not going to name which book though because I don’t want to jinx myself 🤪


Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

I’m surprised to say YES to this question! In previous years I’ve never really made plans for reading but now that I have a blog and am participating in blog tours and have eARCs to read before certain dates, I’m hoping to get better organised by setting up a proper calendar for when I need to finish books! I really want to get on top of my eARCs (NetGalley mostly) in 2020 because then I won’t feel so guilty requesting more books to read 🤣

And that’s a wrap folks! I still can’t believe 2019 is pretty much over. I still have to think about my favorite books of the year and that’s for sure going to be a tough one since I’ve never read so many books in one year until now 🤣 I think I’m looking forward to the challenge though! Let’s see if I’m saying that by the end of it lol

I TAG

It’s okay if you don’t like tags or don’t feel like doing this one. No pressure at all! Also, even if you’re not tagged and want to do it, consider yourself officially tagged! Don’t forget to link back so I can see your answers 😉

Jess | Mere | Emer | Joanna | | Nen & Jen | Ali | Sammie | Amanda | Leelynn | Mani

AND YOU!