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?

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?

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Wicked King
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Panda Rating:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

3.5 stars for that pre-epilogue ending! And just when I thought that things were turning around and I’d like this newly established alliance, that ending had to go and happen! I’m shook but also angry? But also, I get it too? This seems to have really messed with my feelings (of which I thought I didn’t have many of for this series) 🤣

The Cruel Prince: ★★★½ – ★★★★☆
The Wicked King: ★★★½
The Queen of Nothing: ???

Continue reading “The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – #BookReview”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

Yes, I’m well aware it’s no longer Sunday but wow, this weekend went by so quickly and didn’t feel like a weekend at all… So we’re back with another SundaysMondays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent yesterday stuck in a car for about 9 hours because of roadwork that caused major traffic. Fun times. But that meant I got to spend more time with Sadie. So glad I decided to follow this one on audiobook because the full-cast was really great and helped me build a deeper connection with the characters, which I feel wouldn’t have happened had I only read the book.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction
Panda Rating:

“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

I guess it’s time for my unpopular opinion because this one has received really great ratings on GR. This book was chosen as the January read by the Goodreads group for the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge following the prompt: “a book revolving around a puzzle or game”. I was really excited to start reading this, especially for my first reading challenge book of the year; but unfortunately, I think this book just really wasn’t for me.

Continue reading “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #BookReview”

The Snowman (Harry Hole #7) by Jo Nesbø – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Snowman
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Panda Rating:

Soon the first snow will come
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.
And then he will appear again
Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.
And when the snow is gone…
When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.
…he will have taken someone else

This was my first Harry Hole novel and my first book by Nesbø, and while I enjoyed The Snowman and its compelling plot, I also found I struggled with the writing and it took me longer than expected to get through the book. I enjoyed it though and I’m even curious enough to one day check out more of Nesbø’s novels, especially the ones involving Harry Hole! I’m certainly wondering what’ll happen to him next.

Continue reading “The Snowman (Harry Hole #7) by Jo Nesbø – #BookReview”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ve spent this Sunday finishing up The Snowman. This was a pretty dense thriller but I do find that I struggle a lot with books written by Scandinavian authors… I don’t know why. But that means it took me a while longer than I expected to finish this book, though I’m glad I finally read it and tried my first Jo Nesbø!

Soon the first snow will come
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.
And then he will appear again
Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.
And when the snow is gone…
When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.
…he will have taken someone else

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Triwizardathon: Task 3 Possibility Pile

RECAP

Has one week already passed in between Task 2 and now? Time flies! I didn’t do as well in the second task as I did in the first, but I did manage to complete my own challenge; I just didn’t get the extra points for rescuing anyone else! The two books below are what I ended up reading. I’m hoping to do better in this final task but let’s see how it goes! It’s already Monday and I’m still wafflin’ on what books I want to read. I’m going to aim for just two books but I could surprise myself and read more!

Continue reading “Triwizardathon: Task 3 Possibility Pile”

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ve spent this Sunday thinking about the two books that I’m currently reading: Darkdawn and Descendant of the Crane. I’m really enjoying both and I know I said I would give my wholehearted attention to Darkdawn once I started it but I read the first page of DotC last week and found that when I put it down I couldn’t stop thinking about it… So here we are reading both books!

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”