Sunday, January 10, 2021

2021 Pages Read Challenge

     While I’m participating in a number of challenges that shows how many books you’ve read, I am joining as well the Pages Read challenge, which is hosted by Gina @ Book Dragon’s Lair. Gina does not seem to post any more or is having a break, but I still like this challenge and would like to continue with it just for my own statistics. According to this challenge you are judged by the number of pages you read.

Bonsai - Read 12,000 pages
Shrub - Read 24,000 pages
Dwarf Peach - Read 36,000 pages
Apple Tree - Read  48,000 pages
Oak - Read 60,000 pages
Douglas Fir - Read 72,000 pages
Sequoia - Read 84,000 pages
Redwood - Read 84,001+ pages

Dwarf Peach (36,000 pages) is a nice deal, but I will set my goal to 24,000 (Shrub) again this year.  In 2020 I have read only 26562 pages, so no point to add pressure to my reading.

Read Your Bookshelf – Reading Challenge 2021

This fun yearly challenge is hosted by Chantel from An Intentional Life
         This challenge is about reducing the number of unread books on your shelves. Here are some prompts for each month to make it more interesting and challenging. 

        You can watch the announcement video for info on what the prompts are for each month, Chantel also suggests two books recommendation as well as the book she would read for that prompt.

Let’s get into the challenges for each month!

a “home-ish” word in the title

red on the cover or spine

recommended by a friend

five or more words in the title

a book you should have read before graduating high school

an animal on the cover

a book that starts with the first letter of your first name

a book in a series

a translated book

set in a different country than your own

has a night scene on the cover

a winter scene on the cover

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Nonfiction November 2020

Nonfiction November is a month dedicated to celebrating nonfiction and runs from 1st November to 30th November 2020. 

    I do read a reasonable amount of non-fiction throughout the year anyway, but it’s great to have a month where I focus on reading more non-fiction than fiction. I know about Nonfiction November from Olive's channel 'A Book Olive'. This is the first time I am taking part, thought I followed this initiation from the beginning.
     I’ve really struggled to pick my TBR, as I have so many other books that I want to read. So I’ve decided to pick one book for each challenge and hope to finish each of them in every week of the month.

So without further ado, here is my TBR

I am going to read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, who unfortunately died before he finished the book, he ran out of time.

 Here I choose Развивающие занятия "ленивой мамы" by Anna Bykova. Educational games for children from "lazy mum". This book aims to develop and educate children in a less intrusive manner. And children are in constant movement as you all know))



For this prompt I am reading Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch. I know about Jane Lynch from TV show Glee and I loved her character and how she made it shine. She also played in one of my favorite middle grade movie Sleep over, and thought her character is not that prominent I loved her in it. So I look forward to reading about her life and her way to success. And Glee was quite a buzz in its time. 



The last book I am going to read is French Women Don't Sleep Alone: Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love by Jamie Cat Callan. I do not know much of it as it was a present, but I hope to discover some new secrets and ways to enjoy life.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Author: Neal Shusterman
Original title: Scythe 
Pages: 448
Edition Language: Russian
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Format: e-book
Genres: Fantasy

     A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

My thoughts: 
     I read the synopsis of this and loved the idea. And I really, REALLY wanted to love this book. It’s so popular on Booktube, Goodreads, everywhere. I was sure it was going to be a good one.
It was such a boring and predictable book. I understand that an imaginary world is created in a dystopian fantasy, but even then, the set up needs to be worked out well with reasons and consequences. The writing was not impressive, the characters flat and predictable.
      All in all, it was an tiresome 450 pages story of some kind of weird apprenticeship. The utopia was full of unexplained, contradictory rules and setup. The action seems to be created for the sake of it and pushed in front of the reader to be taken for granted. I really did not know if I should give the series another chance or just DNF it, but I decided to read the second book and was hooked, it was much more interesting, which I did not expect, so defensively finishing up the series.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

They shoot the horses don't they? by Horace McCoy

Author:  Horace McCoy
Original title:  They shoot the horses don't they?
Pages: 288
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: e-book
Genres: Classics, Crime

       The marathon dance craze flourished during the 1930s, but the underside was a competition and violence unknown to most ballrooms—a dark side that Horace McCoy's classic American novel powerfully captures.

My thoughts: 
      I find this title in one of the "you should read before you die" lists and it perfectly suited one of the prompts in my #popsugarchallenge2019 - read a book with the question mark in the title. Was I expecting anything special? No, just another display of difficult life. But I was so surprised by this short novel. It is really short and very brutal, full of events and great array of the side character and snippets of the their lives, all these give us enough to see humanity at the bottom of desperation and despair.
      The entire novel takes place on the dance floor, which is also quite unique and fresh setting. I have a feeling that the contest, in many ways, is the falsity and illusion of the American Dream.
      I found this short work was beautifully assembled, although the prose is quite simple, the narrator gives insight into the events of the dance marathon and the character of Gloria, a negationist, who sees through the falsity of this marathon. I did not like the main female character though and found her terribly irritating. But still definitely recommended.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Middle Grade March Announcement and TBR 2020 - add some and ready

One of my favorite month long challenges is happening again. Middle Grade March is a month long readathon happening March 1-31. It will be hosted by Katie @ Life Between Words  and Krista from BooksAndJams.
Katie's Announcement Video
Krista's Announcement Video
Don't forget to use the hashtag #middlegrademarch

CHALLENGES (optional, of course):

1. A book with illustrations 
2. A book about books or stories 
3. A mystery 
4. A book set in another country 
5. A book to screen adaptation

  I do not read too many so I put up quite a big TBR list so I can choose from.

1. I want to check Serafina series by Robert Beatty: Serafina and the Black Cloak; Serafina and the Twisted Staff; Serafina and the Splintered Heart; Serafina and the Seven Stars. There are four books so far and quite chunky, so it will be good to start and see if it's any good. I do not have the 4th book, so my aim here is read at least first 3 that I have.

2. For challenge #2 I have not found a book that grabbed my attention.

3. For challenge #3 I have Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens. It is the first book in Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series, which has at least 9 more books. I am not sure about this one, as this book will be out of my comfort zone, I do not read many middle grade mysteries.

4. For challenge #4 I have Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. I would like to continue in the series as I loved the first book. So I hope it will be the same good.

5. For challenge #5 I am thinking about The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. There are 5 books in the series and I am not sure if I would like those books as a grown up. My nephew loved another series by Rick Riordan - Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and I want to check this series before him, so I can be sure to recommend it or not.

Apart from the challenge prompt, I want to read below books which I have for a long time, but never picked up.
So altogether it is 10 mandatory books, which is quite ok. So I am quite hopeful that I will be able to read through many series during the month and find new favorites.

Friday, January 24, 2020

December 2019 Wrap up

Read books: 
read: 3/ listen: 0/ pages: 1373/ hours listened: 0
1. Macbeth by Jo Nesbø p.608 **
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini p.445 ****
3. Sweet Revenge by Lynsay Sands p. 320 ***

Movie watched:
1. And Then There Were None (2015) *****
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) **
3. Green Book (2018) ****
4. To the Bone (2017) ***
5. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) **
6. The Lost City of Z (2016) ****