Reading

T5W: Five Goals for the New Year!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is goals! Huzzah! To join us in Top 5 Wednesdays, just join the Goodreads group.

Most of these are reading goals, but a couple are general life goals. I’m typically a big goal setter, but the last few years, I’ve tried to keep goals simple and manageable (and realistically achievable). I find this helps boost confidence while also building up discipline toward the things I want to achieve. My goals for this year are definitely going to be a big challenge, but I’m ready to hit them hard!

 

  1. Read 100 books // I somehow managed to read 90 books in 2016 when my goal was originally 36, so I decided, why not? The only person holding me back from hitting the 100 mark is me! Onward we go! (I’ve already got 1 short story and 2 full novels under my belt, so we’re off to a good start.)
  2. Read more YA. // There are so many great YA authors and books floating around out there and the genre has always been a favorite. I read some YA last year, but not a ton. I’ll probably stick with fantasy YA, but it still counts. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary fiction unless it really grabs me.
  3. Get better at writing book reviews. // Sometimes I’m just lazy about writing extensive book reviews, other times I just have trouble expressing how amazing (or not amazing) a book was in so many words. This year, my goal is to significantly improve my reviewer skills and bring some pizzaz to them.
  4. Be able to watch anime without subtitles by the end of the year. // I’ve been slowly working on building up my Japanese skills for years and it is really important to me that I get conversational with the language before 2018. I’m trying to do a bit of study every day and it is starting to click. Anime is a top fave of mine and it seemed like a good, measurable goal to shoot for.
  5. Celebrate others and refuse to tear down myself. // Real talk. I get jealous and so down on myself when I look at other writers or readers who seem so much more talented than me. I think this is normal, but I don’t want to settle for bad habits like this. This year, I’m going to try to step up my positivity game and work hard to celebrate my fellow writers and readers for their amazing, unique skills and do the same in myself.

 

What are your goals for the new year?! Any series you’re particularly looking forward to reading or a specific number of books you’d like to read? Comment and tell us!

 

Reading

T5W: Series That Got Worse with Each Book

The prompt for today is:

December 14th – Series That Got Worse with Each Book: What series started out strong but got increasingly worse with each book?

WOW. Talk about a really really hard topic to think about and write about. I have had to wrack my brain to find 5 series to expand on here and I’m still not sure these are the answers I’d like to give. BUT I’m always up for a challenge. Here we go!

 

  • 3236813Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow – I loved the first book in this series. Loved it. Scarlet is a pedlar who meets a roguish bandit on a mountain pass and slowly falls in love with him. There was action, adventure, and some UST that made it all worthwhile. But, in the second book, they travel on a ship to the White Wolf’s homeland and things get…uncomfortable. Liall (The White Wolf) treats Scarlet like a child and that really bothered me. In book 1 there was all this equal footing and it slowly devolved into Liall telling Scarlet what to do all the time and withholding information from him. Perhaps this didn’t bother other readers, but it did bother me. I find myself hesitant to read book 3 and beyond if it will just be more of the same. Perhaps book 3 would redeem the series for me which is why I’m like…do I continue?
  • 23840035Dragon Blood Series by Lindsay Buroker – I feel sacrilegious even saying this. I am a ginormous Lindsay Buroker fangirl, but I have to say it. I had trouble with this series. I adored her Emperor’s Edge series to pieces. It is still one of my favorites. But I just didn’t care about these characters enough to continue in the middle of book 5. I know, I know…if I made it 5 books in, why couldn’t I finish it? But I just don’t care enough to continue. I mean, the main premise is interesting, but a dragon doesn’t show up until book 4 and so far in book 5 (at 33% in), still no dragons. I was hoping for more dragon action but it just didn’t deliver. Sorry, Buroker. Like I said, I feel like a traitor saying this… *huddles in a corner, ashamed*
  • 2917816The Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier Again, I feel like a traitor, but I have to say it. I just did not enjoy books 3 – 6 anywhere near as much as books 1 and 2 of this series. Feel free to disagree, but I just didn’t. Book 1, Daughter of the Forest is my one of my absolute favorite books of ALL time. I read it at 13 and it literally changed much of how I viewed womanhood, faith, and historical fantasy fiction in general. Sorcha is one of the bravest and most courageous heroines I’ve ever seen and her relationship with Red is precious, precious, precious. But books 3-6 were lackluster in comparison to the first 2 books.
  • 7260188The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I am probably in the minority here, but though I enjoyed book 1, book 2 was just okay to me, and book 3 was a DNF. I know it is one of the most popular series to come along in forever, but they just didn’t grab me like they did so many others.
  • 428263Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer – Again, probably an unpopular opinion, but RENESME. COME ON. Enough said, really.

 

I did it! I managed to find 5 book series that I felt could have been so much more and ended up being merely okay or worse.

What are your series that you feel really went downhill after book 1? I’d love to hear!

Reading

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Finally Read in 2017!

Happy official Book Blog Birthday! Since I have a website for all of my author and writing endeavors, I really wanted to resurrect Unearthing Words and make it a book blog. I read a LOT. I have been reviewing books on Goodreads for a long time but have wanted to participate in challenges, buddy reads, etc. I have decided this is the best place to do it. So, without further ado, here is my inaugural post for 2016!

BOOKS I WANT TO FINALLY READ IN 2017:

  1. The Last Herald Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey // This is an older trilogy, but one that was far ahead of its time in its themes, symbolism, and storyline. I can’t wait to follow Vanyel on his journey!
  2. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss // I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this series – – including that it is many people’s favorite duology. I am eagerly anticipating seeing what all the fuss is about.
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas // I am currently reading her Throne of Glass series and an loving it. If this series is half as good as that one, I will be pleased. All the fanart out there is making me so curious!
  4. The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett // This series sounds like so much fun, I can’t even tell you. I love Scotland as a setting and an looking forward to getting lost in Francis’ story.
  5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer // This series has been making the rounds forever and I’m so utterly behind. It sounds so interesting with its mixture of genres. Super looking forward to it.

 

These are obviously all series books, but I read so much that it isn’t a stretch to say I’ll read these and many many more in 2017. I’m a big fantasy reader, so most of these fall into that category if not all.

What are you reading these days? What are your top 5 books you’re looking forward to reading in 2017?

**Want to join in the fun? Come be a part of our Top 5 group on Goodreads!**