2017 End Of Year Book Survey

2017 End Of Year Book Survey

Helllo 2018! The last few months have sucked, emotions running low and motivation non-existant but I’m back and the new year has brought with it my long-lost motivation! After a difficult January I’ll be posting about my word of the year, plans and a review of last year, however, first of all it’s time to start out with something bookish.

I was surprised to find that this was my first time doing one of Perpetual Pageturner’s End of Year book surveys. I thought I’d done it at least once before, but that was actually her A-Z book survey! You can find out more about the End of Book survey over at her blog! I’ve linked my answers to their respective goodreads pages so you can go add them to your TBR if they tickle your fancy 🙂

 

2017 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 371 – Most of these were comics as I started reading DC in a big way this year.
Number of Re-Reads: 0 – I don’t have time to re-read, too much new stuff to devour!
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.

 

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? Non-fiction has to be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. This book really did have a massive impact on my life and how I think. Fiction, wow that is a tough one. I guess it will have to be the Gilded Cage by Vic James.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Probably The Green Arrow DC 52 series. I have been such a fan of Green Arrow in Smallville and Arrow, but the comics were just so bad. I had to give up.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Most of the DC comics I read. I started with the New 52 series and was surprised at how good they were, especially the Green Lantern series. I ended up reading the Red and Yellow Lantern series as well.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I’m not sure I pushed many, but I did recommend the Mindfulness book a lot. I doubt anyone actually listened though.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017? Best series goes to the DC comics, namely the new 52 run of Batman and Batman and Robin. To be honest, all the Bat family storylines were fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable! Best sequel goes to Patricia Briggs’ Fire Touched, book 9 of the Mercy Thompson series. I read a couple of good enders last year as I made a point of catching up and finishing series as much as possible. I think Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is the winner though. The previous book in the series was such a let down that I left it years before picking up Heavenly Fire, which I devoured, then devoured the Infernal Devices and the next series and finally two seasons of Shadowhunters!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017? I didn’t read many new authors  last year, but it was a pleasure to be able to finally read some of the work of my friend Leah Chiasson. I absolutely loved her novella Bound by Blood, and can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Again, DC comics. I’ve been around the fandom and enjoyed the film and tv verses, however, getting into the comics properly was quite scary and intimidating at times.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?  I’ve named several of them already so to throw a new name into the hat; Rick Riordan. I caught up with Magnus Chase, started the Apollo series and finished off the Kane Chronicles. I literally have to pick up several of his books from the library at a time so I can read them back to back!

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I’m not a big re-reader, as I said, so it will probably just be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World  because it has so content that is always going to be relevant to what I’m going through.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017? I’m a major sucker for pretty covers, and have picked up quite a few amazing books just by cover, so this is a really hard question! I think it has to be the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The cover is as mysterious as the book, however, once you’ve read the book the cover takes on a whole different meaning. It’s like a puzzle all on it’s own.

11. Most memorable character of 2017? Oh wow, another difficult one! I always become very emotionally involved in books and their characters. I fully immerse myself in anything I read, and if I can’t then it’s a sure sign that the book isn’t enjoyable for me. I would answer every character because every one has left an imprint on my mind and heart. Two came to mind immediately; Apollo from the Trials of Apollo series and Jem from the Infernal Devices series. Apollo, to put it bluntly, is a complete ass. He’s a god that has been dumped on earth and has trouble adjusting. But then you begin to see things from (some of) his side of things, including what it must be like to have Zeus as a father. His character gave me a lot to think. Jem was memorable for a complicated life that transcended time, and his story was particularly poignant to me.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017? The Night Circus – This book came highly recommended and I can see why; it is a work of art, as intricately created and connected as each part of the circus within. I found it very reminiscent of Victorian Horror stories, a genre that I really enjoy and admire. However, that being said it is a genre and writing style that I appreciate more from an academic standpoint rather than as a reader. The story is enjoyable, but it is the construct of the novel that makes it truly remarkable and while it intrigued me, it just didn’t hit all the spots for me.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017? Again, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? So so many!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017? It would take me hours to find one, so I’m going to pick one from the Mindfulness book that had such an effect on me;

“Mindfulness meditation teaches you to recognise memories and damaging thoughts as they arise. It reminds you that they are memories. They are like propaganda, they are not real. They are not you. You can learn to observe negative thoughts as they arise, let them stay a while and then simply watch them evaporate before your eyes. And when this occurs, an extraordinary thing can happen: a profound sense of happiness and peace fills the void.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017? Shortest (not including comics) – Bound by Blood and Longest – City of Heavenly Fire.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Lord of Shadows, I did not see that ending coming and ohmygoodness I need the next book like NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Jem/Theresa/Will from the Infernal Devices.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Apollo and Meg from Trials of Apollo, their relationship is so serious and so hilarious at the same time.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Betrayals, book 4 in the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong. I have loved every single one of these books and will be pretty bummed when the series ends.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Wonder Woman comics.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017? I wasn’t sure, and then I remembered; Diana aka Wonder Woman. With the new movie coming I decided to start with her various comic arcs and fell in love with her. Until then I’d never seen the appeal, I wasn’t really interested in her compared to other female superheroes. Tying with her is Dick Drake aka Robin/Nightwing. I love his character, but have to be honest; the art work in his 52 series is seriously swoonworthy!

23. Best 2017 debut you read? I only read one this year, and it was Gilded Cage by Vic James. Fantastic series set in a contemporary British setting – pick it up!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Night Circus  for the same reasons listed in #12.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Any of Rick Riordan’s books, with a special shout out to Magnus Chase because his take on Norse mythology is hilarious.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017? Every Cassandra Clare book I read this year? Yep seems about right!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. It’s a set of short stories and they are amazing. Usually I find additional short stories are ok, great sources of additional information but Clare really out did herself with these.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; the whole plot is just urgh! It’s so heartbreaking to watch the characters go through everything.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017? Gilded Cage by Vic James.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; I just wanted to scream at everything happening, at all the mess and heartache.

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017? I don’t read many book blogs, but I’ve really enjoyed Epicfied’s blog in 2017!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017? Nada.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? It was actually my last entry about my struggles with my ME diagnosis and why I’ve been so quiet. The comments really helped me realise I had nothing to be ashamed with and I’m planning to talk a lot more about it this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? I only went to one, so it was the Sci Fi Weekender which we’re heading back to this year!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017? No idea.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Realising that I need to change how I do things, and having to cut back on some of my blog series because I don’t have the energy for the upkeep. Likewise, accepting this was not an easy thing to do.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? N/A.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? My birthstone series.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I don’t think there were many this year.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I completed my goodreads goal twice and upped it, but failed the third one.

 

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018? The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. I’ve been trying to get around to reading this and finishing the series all year, and now that there’s a TV series due I really want this finished.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)? Tempests and Slaughter the first book in the Numair Chronicles by Tamora Pierce. It has been a very long time coming and so long since we had a new Tortall book!

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? My book list is so huge that I am way behind on new releases, and very rarely get hold of debut authors the year they actually debut.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018? It’s a toss up between the Queen of Air and Darkness, the next book in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series (December! 🙁 ) and the next book (Burn Bright) in Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018? I want to get back into the ease of reading. Due to a difficult January that’s not happened, and I’ve read a handful of comics this year and that’s it – which really isn’t like me at all.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable): None I’m afraid!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this survey, as late as it is, and get some great book recommendations from it!

February Movie Roundup

February Movies Roundup

This month I watched a hell of a lot more movies than I normally do which was a combination of several factors; DVDs from Christmas, DVDs from my fiancé’s birthday, feeling awful due to a lovely chest infection and finally, drowning out the noise from our neighbours. The later not only gives me migraines, but also makes me really irritable. I think I now know why I’m so sensitive to it, so that’s a plus and a future blog post in itself, however, the movie thing is working. So here’s a run down on what I’ve watched this month and my thoughts on them. (Please note – This post contains affiliate links.)

 

Total Recall

I’m a big Arnie fan so I’ve seen the original a few times, and like with any reboot I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. I actually really enjoyed it. I’m a bit Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel fan so having those two as the leading ladies was great. Plus watching Kate Beckinsale switch accents and go pretty damn psycho was fantastic to watch.

 

Star Trek Beyond

I had mixed feelings about this one, and I think Chris summed it up when we got to the end of the film; “It felt like a TV episode”. It was good, don’t get me wrong, it just felt like an extended episode rather than a movie. Enjoyable, and interesting to see other characters have a bigger role, but ultimately felt a bit off. It was also very bittersweet watching Anton Yelchin 🙁

 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A random movie to keep my mind off the noise, this turned out to be very clever and well written. It had a great amount of British actors in it, which is a plus to me. However, it was a little bit predictable. Normally with spy/thriller movies I’m in the dark until the reveal happens, and this time I knew who it was. It was still very enjoyable to watch and I recommend it.

 

Battleship

I’m pretty sure this movie got trashed by the critics, however, since it came out I’ve wanted to see it. I’ve liked Taylor Kitsch as an actor since seeing him in The Covenant so I was curious to see him in this. I can’t explain what attracted me to it, just various elements that seemed intriguing and I did enjoy it. Is it the best film ever? No, but I tend to like films on whether I enjoy them. I was honestly surprised to see that Rihanna can actually act, and wasn’t just there as a token character. The film includes other actors such as Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Neeson and Brooklyn Decker and has some touching moments regarding Pearl Harbour and Veterans. Over all it’s a fun sci fi romp.

 

Edge of Tomorrow

I’ll start by saying that I am not a huge Tom Cruise fan, never have been, and after the whole Scientology thing my interest him declined further. I tend to avoid his movies unless something else interests me about them, in this case it was his co-star Emily Blunt who I always enjoy in films. This is a very complex and emotional sci fi film, and it does hit right to the heart at several points. I like the ideas behind the aliens and the concepts, it’s very clever and for that alone worth a watch. Plus, there is something highly amusing with watching Tom Cruise get killed over and over again. Emily Blunt is on top form as a tough takes-no-prisoners female soldier.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

I LOVE these remakes. The first film was amazing and the second was great too. I grew up with TMNT and I can’t put into words how spot on these films have got it. I like Megan Fox as April, and as an Arrow fan it was fantastic to see Stephen Amell as Casey Jones. These films are a great homage to part of my childhood and can’t wait for more.

 

Paranoia

As part of my 2017 geeky goals I’m trying to watch films by certain actors and Harrison Ford is one of those. I’m a big fan of him but there’s some gaps in my watch list. Liam Hemsworth plays the lead character alongside Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman as big corporate enemies, with Amber Heard as a sassy love interest. All give fantastic performances, but the older cast outshines the younger one massively. Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford are on top form and are damn right scary at times.

 

Lucy

Don’t watch this film if you’re wanting something as background noise. It’s a mind bender and a half! The premise of the film is to ask the question of what would happen if a human could use 100% of their brain. Insert a lot of philosophy, science and special effects. It was an enjoyable watch which left me with many questions.

 

Deja Vu

An older film that I’ve had my eye on since it’s release, we picked it up in a charity shop last summer. Like Lucy there are some head hurting moments, and a whole lot of heart wrenching ones too. It’s an action thriller with Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer and the delightful Paula Patton.

 

Suicide Squad

I’ll start off by saying that I’ve not read any of the comics, and so my knowledge of many of these characters were limited. I know Deadshot from Arrow, and Harley from well… who doesn’t know Harley Quinn?! The Joker was probably the only character I’d say I know relatively well. I really enjoyed it. Yes, it got totally trashed by fans and critics alike but I liked it. I wasn’t sure about Will Smith as Deadshot, but as the story unfolded I found that he was a good fit for the role. I totally did NOT recognise Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, was pleasantly surprised by Cara Delevingne and may be just a little bit in love with Margot Robbie 😛 I liked the introduction to the bad guys using the DC heroes, and the tiny snapshot of The Flash made me wonder if Ezra Miller might not be so bad.

 

Ghostbusters (2016)

I was ready to love this, ready to have the feminist in me applaud it… and it failed miserably. It tried too hard to be wacky, and there were just so many stupid moments. I don’t do stupid funny. I do witty funny. It was hilarious at points, don’t get me wrong, but when you’re watching an all female led movie and you think the male co-star was the best? Yeah something went very wrong there. Chris Hemsworth stole the show, not because he was a guy, just because he was the better actor. I loved the cameos from the original actors more than anything. Sorry, originals 1, reboot 0.

 

Jungle Book

I’m not a Jungle Book fan, never have been. I love Disney and I can’t even remember the Jungle Book movie apart from 1-2 songs (the second I remembered during this film). After watching this I’m still not a big fan, however, this film isn’t about the Jungle Book story. It’s about the acting of the super talented 13 year old kid, Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli. I had to check out how it was made after watching it, and the whole thing is CGI. Award winning actors voiced the animal characters, but they didn’t crawl around on all fours for the kid to act alongside. He had props and people in the CGI get up to bounce off, but still, that is amazing for a guy his age. I can’t wait to see him grow into an even more amazing actor. And oh my, the CGI. It is incredible. Really beautiful and so detailed.

 

Central Intelligence

If you love buddy cop movies like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour you will LOVE this. I have not laughed so hard at a movie in so long. It was brilliant, and Dwayne Johnson wearing a unicorn t-shirt and a fanny pack? Oh my. It is not to be missed. The movie is based on a former bully victim (Dwayne Johnson) who grows up to be a kickass CIA agent, and ropes in someone from his old high school in a thrilling espionage mess. Yes, mess. Kevin Hart plays the other part of this duo and the chemistry is hilarious. Seriously, go watch it.

 

The Legends of Tarzan

After watching Suicide Squad and Battleship this moved up my list as I wanted to see more Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård. Unlike most Tarzan films, this picks up AFTER meeting Jane and leaving the Jungle – which I was very glad about because the whole Tarzan meets Jane thing has been so overdone. Tarzan, now Lord John, heads back to the Jungle with Jane and gets into a load of trouble. The plot is predictable, however, it has some great acting and the animal scenes are amazing and poignant. Samuel L Jackson is in there as a gun-totting American who provides some comic relief, and overall it is a very beautiful and fun film. As an animal lover though it is the scenes watching Tarzan meeting his animal friends again and rekindling those relationships that stole my heart.

 


Have you seen any of these? What did you think? I’m taking movie recommendations, especially any available on UK Netflix and Amazon Prime so let me know you’re suggestions <3

 

Word of the Year 2017: Treasure

World of the Year 2017 - Treasure

The fact that is now almost a week into February tells you how well my year is going so far! January is always a messy month for me; something I’ve only just realised this year. It’s always a transitional and planning time, moving on from the old year and getting over the holidays. There’s usually travel involved as well, which comes from being in a couple residing in Scotland in which one person is from Scotland and the other is from England. This usually leads to me picking up germs from somewhere. What seems to be a chest infection took it’s time (painfully) building up before exploding over the weekend and I’m thankful that it at least seems to be moving on its own. I’m not against anti-biotics, but anyone with a bowel condition (like IBS) will tell you that sometimes they cause more aggro than they’re worth. In short, being so late with this post is annoying but not surprising. Hopefully now I’ve recognised what happens in January I can lessen the stress on myself and just go with the flow.

Going with the flow is kind of what my word of the year is all about. In December we had some horrible health news; my fiancé Chris has a very rare heart condition. One that comes with some very scary stuff. We’re still in the middle of hospital appointments right now, so we don’t know much and that alone can be even more scary. It was a wake up call, that’s for sure. We’ve been together 10 years this October, and 10 years ago before I met Chris some big changes happened in my life. I finished my first degree, I broke up from my (then) longest relationship (4 years) and moved back home to a very uncertain future. In the last decade I’ve come to realise the future always looks like that, but that was a big turning point in my life. I’ve spent that time with an amazing guy who looked after me as I healed and grew, and spent the entire time desperate to prove myself. To be worthy, to be able to say I’d accomplished great things, and most of all; striving to make myself better. Better? In what ways? Honestly, I don’t think I ever really knew. I had some healthy goals that I worked towards and reached, but otherwise I was trying to impress people who were long gone from my life or were never important anyway. As I wrote in my 30 thoughts on 30, growing older has helped put things in perspective but it was only December’s events that made me truly realise just how much I’ve been focusing on changing my life and not on what I have.

And that is how the word ‘Treasure’ came about. You can read more about what a word of the year is and it’s origins in this post from Abbey of the Arts. Last year was Evolve and I feel that even with the ups and downs 2016 did see me evolve and try new things. I’m not sure if I had a 2015 one, but 2014 was Change (you could argue that evolve is the same word, but for me they had very different meanings). But as you can see it was all about changing, transforming, making me into something else. I’m now past that stage, at least for the moment. I’m no longer cookie dough, I’m baked and I have found my various callings. I’ve found my niche with this blog, I’ve come to terms with my many disabilities and health issues and living with them, and I’ve found my calling as a Librarian. Am I complete? Probably not, and I honestly don’t think we as human beings ever are. What is important is to realise what we do have, what we have achieved and treasure all of it before it is gone. I’m done worrying about what people might think, of what they’re saying about me or whether they approve. I have a beautiful loving fiancé, two gorgeous annoying loveable furballs, supportive close family and crazy ass geeky friends who will get into all sorts of mischief with me, fangirl with me and keep me happy and sane.

I’m weird, I’m different, I’m completely geeky, I’m both introverted and extroverted.

I’m me.

Welcome to my 2017.

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5 Geeky Goals for 2017 [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - 2017 goals

I’m still playing catch up after the holidays so this is a few days late! As I’m going to be doing two other goal related posts, one for the new year and one for January, I decided to use this prompt to look at specifically fandom and nerdy related things I want to do in 2017.

 

Video Games

While World of Warcraft is usually my primary game, I do have a variety of games sitting around waiting for me to play. Chris and I often get stuff cheap in steam sales or Humble Bundles, as well as snatching up free games from Origin and Uplay. Last year I did terribly at finishing or even starting these games so 2017 I’m planning to finish 6 games. That’s 1 every 2 months roughly. I’m also planning to do more youtube stuff, for WoW and possibly other games!

 

Reading

I use Goodreads to track my reading and challenge myself to read so many every year. It keeps going up each year, with last year’s challenge being revised three times. I failed the third time, which is this years target of 300. I want to try to focus on finishing old series before I start new ones so I’ll be grabbing stuff from my local libraries and book mooch to finish those up (or get up to date). I also want to make my way through my massive amount of kindle books I’ve picked up for free from indie authors, so I’m going to be making ‘Book Bingo cards’ for some months. Here’s my January one!

 

Films

I’ve decided on a few film related goals for 2017, starting with watching every film we own. I’ve seen most of them, however, some I’ve slacked on and some were Chris’ before we got together and after almost 10 years together I still haven’t watched them. I also recall a conversation at uni last year with my classmates discussing ‘classic’ films, like A Clockwork Orange, and they were quite appalled at how many I’ve not seen. So I’m planning to remedy that! My idea of classic is probably not the same as everyone’s, and while there will be some old films from the 60’s and 70’s, I probably won’t be going much earlier. On top of these two goals, I want to catch up on films of some of my favourite actors. Some of them are no longer with us (Carrie Fisher, Robin Williams), while others (Harrison Ford) I’ve seen a lot of, but there’s still some I’ve not watched. Those are the few I can think of and will be my starting place for now!

 

Bullet Journal

I messed around with a notebook type bullet journal last year and found that having a nice bullet journal with a to do list for each week just doesn’t work for me. Incorporating the two just got messy and meant that I couldn’t keep things neat. So instead, that notebook is for notes and my weekly planner. I’ve bought a new, proper, dotted journal to keep an actual bullet journal for 2017.

 

Online Projects

2016 was a woefully fulfilling year for online projects, with my focusing on my Msc and my blog. I don’t have any major plans for new layouts for 2017, unless inspiration strikes, but I would like to change a few things around. Namely, my personal site photo gallery which doesn’t work and hasn’t for aggges. I want to move it to another script, and do the same with my screenshot and scan gallery. Speaking of scans; I have loads that need editing and made into png and brush packs for deviantArt. I’ve been slacking and would like to try to get into one a month. I have also been contemplating getting back into the fanlistings world for a while now. I left due to drama, but I’ve changed and I don’t think I’m going to take everything so seriously any more. I don’t intent to go crazy, just start out small and go from there.

Finally, I’ve been working on a big project that will either work really well or just collapse on itself. I started work on it a few years ago and it’s slowly bugging me that it’s still in limbo. I want to get it launched this year!

 

What do you think? Anything strike your fancy? I’ll be posting updates throughout the year so stay tuned 🙂

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