WRAP-UP | #CONTEMPORARYATHON Round 4

My first time participating in Contemporary-A-Thon was a complete success.

Who would’ve thunk it?! 😉

I’m listening to a fantasy novel as I write this, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I got approved while I was in the middle of my 2nd Contemporary-A-Thon audio book. A sign maybe? After a whole week of reading contemporary, the universe is giving me a fantasy novel to enjoy. (I was on the waitlist for this book for close to three months almost.)

Not only did I read 7 books, I also hit all prompts! This is probably the first time I’ve ever done that. Buddy read prompts usually trip me up because I don’t do buddy reads. Never will. This time, I actually built a TBR to count for every single one. Except the Instagram challenges LOL. Yes, I doubled up but I still hit all of them.

Let’s see how my readathon week turned out:

1. Read your most recently acquired contemporary novel – Newcomer by Keigo Higashino. I got approved for the audio for this right as I finished another book so it counted as my most recent acquisition.

2. Read a book with plurple (blue or purple) on the cover – Balance by Lucia Franco. It has this blue/purple watercolor effect. All the other books have the same pattern.

3. Read a diverse contemporary – Newcomer by Keigo Higashino. Japanese author. Story based in Japan.

4. Read a dark or taboo contemporary – Balance by Lucia Franco. She’s 16. He’s 32, That’s all you need to know. And also, Tied by Carian Cole. She’s an abduction survivor and he’s a pretty damaged one too.

5. Read a contemporary you meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to – Balance by Lucia Franco. I found out about this last year and I actually planned to read it for Tome Topple. But I didn’t get to it until last week finally.

6. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format. – I read Tied and Newcomer via audio and Balance as an e-book.

7. Read a contemporary with a picture on the spine. – Chihayafuru Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 by Yuki Suetsugu. I saw a set of the manga with the spines lined up and it’s all pretty.

All in all, it’s a total of 2043 pages read. I enjoyed most of them, rating all 4 to 5 stars. It was timely that I was obsessed with Chihayafuru and I was interested in reading the manga too. Carian Cole is easily becoming my new favorite author. I’ve always loved Higashino mysteries. I had a rocky start with Balance but in the end, I liked it a lot. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in the series.

I’m already scouting out potential readathons in March. Do you have any suggestions?

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#CONTEMPORARYATHON | Round 4 Check-In

They suggested to daily vlog but I’m not brave enough LOL.

(Unless you guys want to watch someone gush over Chihayafuru, Haisute, bullet journal, Nendoroids, and yeah why not… romance novels.)

So here I am with a mid-readathon check-in. And I think I’m doing well enough.

I’ve finished three things so far:

  • Chihayafuru Volume 1 by Yuki Suetsugu
  • Chihayafuru Volume 2
  • Tied by Carian Cole

That’s how I mostly consume my manga: anime first, then read the manga. Unlike with books, this method does not take away from my reading experience. I find that even when I skim through it, I don’t really lose a whole lot. I will continue to read Chihayafuru throughout the duration of this readathon and beyond. This manga series satisfies prompt #7, Read a contemporary with a picture on the spine.

As for Tied, I decided to have it count for the 4th prompt, Read a dark or taboo contemporary. This does have taboo aspects (a sort of age gap) as well as dark themes (abduction and abuse). I loved it. I’m adding Carian Cole to my favorite authors list.

I’m currently reading these:

  • Balance by Lucia Franco
  • Newcomer by Keigo Higashino

I admit, I thought I was going to breeze through Balance. The age gap aspect made it so exciting to me. But then I started reading and… yeah. It’s not bad per se but it’s quite inconsistent. The main female character is super annoying and the writing is kind of hard to read because it’s so choppy. I’m going to power through because this counts for two prompts: #2 and #5.

And finally, I’m currently listening to Newcomer. It wasn’t in my original plans. I placed a hold on Overdrive for this audiobook some weeks ago. I love Higashino mysteries. It’s just lucky that I got approved for it right when Tied was ending. I’ll have this count as my latest acquisition (prompt 1) and a diverse contemporary (prompt 3) since this is set in Japan by a Japanese author.

All of these reads count for prompt 6, Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format. I don’t own any of these physically so I’m reading digitally and through audio. A couple of days to go and I’m going full steam ahead.

By the way, I’m making an effort to read on my NOOK Tablet 7″. I mainly use it for watching videos on the go but I have books on there also. Since I wasn’t feeling Balance too much, I crochet an easy tablet sleeve instead. But don’t worry, I was listening to Tied as I stitched away.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

WRAP-UP | JANUARY 2019

I wanted to start the year strong but for some reason, I only managed to read six things. It’s not bad but I can’t help but compare. I know I’m not supposed to, I do. I got sidetracked by other stuff, one of them being another book I’m reading long term.

February is shaping up to be the same. Oh well, with two more vacations lined up for me this year, I’m glad I put my yearly goal to 25 books. LMAO.

Anyway, my reading had a rocky start with 3 consecutive 3-star reads but then it was followed by three 5-star reads. Let’s see how my month went.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 6.

  • Kemono Friends: Welcome to Japari Park! Omnibus by Furai – It was entertaining but I very much enjoy the anime more. It follows a different story and ezo red fox’s character is very different vs the portrayal in the manga. This is how I usually enjoy my manga: I stumble upon the anime first then read the manga. I wonder if my enjoyment of the manga would differ if I did it the other way around. 3/5 stars.
  • Haikyuu, Volume 26 by Haruichi Furudate – That… was a long way to a 7-4 score. O___O As I understand, it’s going to be like this moving forward. Also, I need to re-read the Nekoma vs Fukurodani vs Nohebi parts because of the new stage play this spring. Super excited for that! 3/5 stars.
  • Dr. OB by Max Monroe – I liked it overall but there are some parts that I just could not care about. I felt that there were parts of the story we could’ve done without. Especially the different bodily fluids. Sure, fluff is needed to pad a book but a lot of the extra stuff here didn’t do much for the story. I’d much rather read about the other employees of the hospital or the friends they have than an exploding menstrual cup. 3/5 stars.
  • Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen – Holy crap, this was SUPER cute. OMG. I want more books in this series! I read the first one some time last year and that was cute too. I would like to read more M/M fiction and most of the ones I find are rather on the dark side. This one was light and fluffy. I loved it so much. 5/5 stars.
  • Torn by Carian Cole – You know me and my affection for age gap romances done right. I lived for the angst and tension between everyone involved. It was definitely a complicated relationship between Kenzi and Toren, considering their situation and age gap but somehow, it all made sense. All the decisions made by all parties were realistic and reasonable. The storyline about the mom was a bit out of nowhere but in the end, I saw why it had to be done. 5/5 stars.
  • My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata – I’ve always wanted to read this when I saw this at Kinokuniya. It was surprisingly dark and light-hearted at the same time. It was funny, raw, and real. 5/5 stars.

STATS:

  • 1596 pages
  • 2 audio books, 3 manga

While I received a crapton of Nendoroids and otaku merch in January, I did not purchase a single book. I started watching book hauls on Youtube again but my self-control is still very strong LMAO. I still love my Overdrive and Hoopla library apps, mainly for audio books and both have been a huge help.

 

#CONTEMPORARYATHON | Round 4 + Reading Plan

Who would’ve thought that one day, I’ll find myself participating in a readathon for contemporary literature? In the past, I almost exclusively read fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, and historical fiction. It’s only in the last year that I discovered that you can also get away from your own reality by reading someone else’s. Of course, I found that escape by reading what many consider guilty pleasure reads – emphasis on pleasure, lol – in the form of new adult romance but they are set in the present time, no magic and fairy dusts apart from the kind that you get when you fall in love.

As you will see, my picks for my first Contemporaryathon falls more for Smutathon (hah!) yet I’m still going to do it. I admit, the cutesy contemporaries still don’t do it for me, although I did love Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I do have another Matson book on my shelves but that fits more into Tome Topple than a week-long readathon. I really just aim to read one or two books, more if I decide to tackle manga. I have one book that satisfies a lot of the challenges. Plus, it’s a week-long readathon. I applaud those who can read 7 books in that week. I’ll never be that person, but I am extremely pumped if you are. 🙂

The fourth round of Contemporaryathon starts Monday, 2/11 until Saturday, 2/17.

Here are the announcement posts of our amazing hosts:

JULIE | CHELSEANATASHAMELANIE

They also have a bunch of giveaways. I’ll pass but best of luck to those who are participating!

THE CHALLENGES:

1. Read your most recently acquired contemporary novel
2. Read a book with plurple (blue or purple) on the cover
3. Read a diverse contemporary (keep in mind it’s Black History Month)
4. Read a dark or taboo contemporary
5. Read a contemporary you meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to
6. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format.
7. Read a contemporary with a picture on the spine.
8. INSTAGRAM CHALLENGES


As for my TBR, I really only have one book… Balance by Lucia Franco

It counts for prompts number 2, 4, and 5. For #6 too, if I’m pushing it since I’ll be reading the ebook instead of the paperback. I messaged the author asking if signed copies (or at least book plates) were available but she said they weren’t yet. Maybe it’ll be the same case as Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas where I purchased a signed copy as soon as I finished the Kindle copy. Also, I think it’s better for me if I read this digitally because hey, it’s 600-some pages. Tome Topple material as well! And it doesn’t have an audio book, I think. I’m still not comfortable reading a book with a rather risque cover in public so e-reader it is. Whoo, what a tall order for my first foray into Contemporaryathon!

When I read the prompts, especially the 4th one, I immediately picked this book as my main read. And it’s also a book that I wanted to read last year but didn’t because of traveling. Conveniently, it has a blue and purple cover. Even the sequel has it. I might pick up an audio book to fulfill the other prompts such as the first one. Or like I said, a manga. I may have a perfect one in mind.

Now, all I need to do is to finish my current audio book and finish watching Chihayafuru 2 (I can do this today, but then I’ll be watching the live action movies too… omg I am thoroughly obsessed.) Also, yes… I do plan to touch the Chihayafuru manga for this challenge as short reads.

What are you planning to read for February?

Edit: I just remembered that the sequel to My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata, My Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 2 is out! At least I saw it already at my local Kinokuniya. I might read that for prompt number 3. 🙂

#T5W | 2019 Reading Resolutions

This week is a freebie so we’ll be talking about my 2019 reading resolutions.

January is basically one big wrap up and look ahead. This is my “look ahead” part. I actually wrote it down in my bujo… reading resolutions rather than ordinary resolutions. That’s more doable, in my opinion.

I won’t keep you long. I’ve been sitting on this list ever since I missed the topic at the very beginning of the month. Good thing there’s a freebie week.

  1. Read more New Adult.
    I keep acquiring NA titles but I still hesitate on reading most of them. I feel uneasy when I notice that I’m reading one author’s entire backlist over something else in my TBR. Or I’d read a recent acquisition vs a longtime TBR resident. I also have feelings of not wanting to burn myself out of a certain trope that I like. But at the end of the day, it’s okay to go through an author’s work back-to-back-to-back even if it’s not in a series. Yes, it can get repetitive and trope-y but I really do enjoy them a lot. It’s also okay to double up – reading and listening – to books from the same genre. I just have to pace myself and go genre breaks from time to time.
  2. Read more manga.
    … apart from the list of things I’m catching up on currently. There are so many manga series out there… on-going, finished, BL. Try something new. Binge-read a finished series. Get over my preference of tankobon volumes vs chapter releases.
  3. Participate in more readathons.
    Tome Topple and Smutathon introduced me to books that I wouldn’t otherwise try to read. It also somehow forces me to read more, to read under time pressure, and make it a point to make time to read because I have a goal. And no, it does not take the fun out of reading. I’m also getting better at not being pressured by challenge prompts and JUST READ.
  4. Read physical books.
    I may be favoring e-readers and audio books lately but I still like and own a lot of physical books. Especially signed ones. I went through a year of buying books left and right, collecting, and completing series. Then eventually, I did good and bought less than 10 books in six months. A lot of my Japanese fiction books are in physical format so maybe I’ll start with them.
  5. Read true crime novels.
    Venture into the non-fiction world through by favorite subgenre. I’ve always wanted to read true crime but my podcasts scratch my itch. I’m reading one right now but no pressure… I’m treating it as a long-term project.

Wasn’t that easy? 🙂

What are your reading resolutions?

2019 Shh… Challenge!

The full name of this challenge is – Shh… ⚜️ Big Bad Shhlut 2019 Reading Challenge!

New Adult romance has taken over my reading life. I can’t get enough of it. Granted I’m currently reading horror, YA fantasy, and true crime books at the time of posting, I can still honestly say that NA is my jam right now. I’m just taking a break. 😉

I admit, I wasn’t into this genre a couple of years ago but I still am a fan of well-done smutty and/or erotic books… especially those with taboo topics. I guess you can call it my guilty pleasure. Care to guess my favorite one? It’s not for everybody but I’m a sucker for a good age gap romance. I’m lucky to have read some really good ones. I get majority of recommendations from GoodReads – either through lists or peeking into romance readers’ shelves. Of course, booktube as well. I even love listening to NA books on audio. A lot of them come with two narrators and I’m all for that.

Which brings us to this unique year-long reading challenge. This is technically my second time participating. Last year, I started around the second half of the year and still made good progress. Now, I’m starting early and as with all my other reading challenges, I’m not pressuring myself to only read books to satisfy the challenge prompts. I do foresee that a good number of my 2019 reads will be romance. However, I will give myself breaks and variety; reading books that may not be applicable to this challenge.

There are so many books so I won’t be putting recommendations on here. Otherwise, I’ll trick my brain into locking in and reading that one book for the prompt LOL. I’m still quite new to the genre and I see this to be a good way to explore it even further. Also, there’s a chance that not all of my romance reads qualify for the challenges. Let’s see how I do, okay?

Here are the challenges: Continue reading

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | This year, maybe?

My January posts are looking like one big review and wrap up of my 2018 reading activities. Thanks to these weekly prompts, I get more motivated to actually sit down and write out these posts. It’s quite interesting to me to read other people’s best/worst lists and other similar topics. I hope you’re finding mine interesting too.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday the ten books I meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to.

But here’s the thing… I’m not much of a TBR person. I use my GoodReads “to-read” list mostly to catalog the books that either I own or NA titles that I want to read but I’m just waiting for a sale on Kindle. LOL, I know… it makes more sense in my head vs on paper. Anyway, the point is, I don’t do TBRs. I may have a list of things that I want to read at that time but nothing set in stone. Also, I no longer follow new releases so I have no idea what’s up and coming. I’ll try to make it to ten but we’ll see.

One last thing, this is NOT a 2019 TBR. At least, not officially. Some of these titles will be read this year but I’m not out to strike them all out of this list in the next 12 months. I might be able to do that but I won’t be making a conscious effort to do it. And now, on to the list!


  1. The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin.
    I fully intended to read this in 2018 but I always got the mood to pick it up during my vacations. I told myself that this book will be my last read of 2018 but then I went to Japan and no reading was done at all.
  2. Balance by Lucia Franco.
    Super hot and super-duper taboo. I’ve skimmed through this book and oh man, it’s quite intense. I want to read it so badly but I didn’t feel I was ready. Some time this year, I hope. 😉
  3. Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas.
    I told myself I’ll read this while on the plane to Japan. Nope, didn’t happen. I’m thinking of picking up a physical copy because I have a hunch that this is one of those books that I’d rather read a hard copy vs digital. I hope I’m right.
  4. Vengeful by VE Schwab.
    I pre-ordered a signed copy and I had all the intentions of reading it as soon as possible. But I had readathons lined up when I received this in the mail and for some reason, it got pushed back until I had no desire to read anything else but New Adult books. But VE Schwab is one of my favorite authors of all time so I’ll get to this sooner rather than later.
  5. Iron Gold by Pierce Brown.
    Another signed pre-order. I even have an ARC copy. I planned to read this during Tome Topple but it was right in the middle of AX2018 so yeah, that’s as good as a vacation. No reading was done apart from 3 chapters of this book. I stopped not because of disinterest but I had no time. Then I heard not too favorable things about it from Red Rising fans so… yeah. Idk.

And honestly, the rest of the list is made up of New Adult titles. Towards the end of 2018, I got reintroduced to NA and romance and I finally found stuff that I liked. A LOT. But again, I’m in no hurry. I have a lot of older NA titles on my TBR list but I do find myself reading my recently acquired stuff. Eh, reading has no rules! LMAO.