Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back at 2014 Challenges

Alright, so it's time to finally see if I managed to do any of the 2014 challenges I set out to complete this year. At the beginning of the year, I was pretty ambitious, signing up for 4 year-long challenges, and 2 mid year reading challenges I'll also talk about. So, let's talk about 2014 challenges, and if you're curious you can check out my summary of my 2014 reading goals and challenges.

Year Long Challenges

hosted by Bookish
My intended goal: A First Kiss level (21-20 reviews)
Challenge Completed? 
I did a total of 23 reviews on the blog and on Goodreads that met this requirement. I'll be updating the 2014 Challenges tab with the results and linked up reviews shortly.

Challenge Goal: 12 debut novels
Challenge Completed?
No, I read and reviewed 5 debuts

My intended goal: Newbie level (10-25 points)
Challenge Completed?
I calculated my points and ended up with 36 points from sequel reviews.

Mid Year Challenges

hosted by Fiktshun
No set goal
How many series-ending books did I read and review during this time period?

hosted by Katie's Book Blog
My intended goal: Read 12 books during the time period
Challenge Completed?
I ended up reading 36 books and 1 novella during the time period, and of those books that I read I ended up writing 17 reviews, although those were not necessarily posted during the time frame.

So, those are my 2014 Challenges. I ended up completing most of them, which I'm happy about. However, going into challenges next year, I saw Cassi mention in her recent Top Ten Tuesday that one of her New Year's Resolutions was to link up to challenges for the updates. And I thought about it... and I never did that this year. Seeing as that's part of the challenge, I'm hoping that when I sign up for 2015 challenges, I can try and keep updated on them as well. I've been updating the 2014 Challenges into a new system of organization and so I've checked back on the challenges and updated the scores here.

I hope 2014 was a good year, and best wishes for 2015! See you next year in the Paper World!

From the paper world,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Goals - Top Ten Tuesday

It's almost the end of another year, and this week's Top Ten Tuesday is all about New Year's Resolutions! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and each week there's a new topic to discuss. Since we're talking about New Year's Resolutions for blogging, I wanted to look back at my Top Ten Tuesday of this from last year, and see how I ended up doing with those goals in addition to my goals for the new year.

So how did I do in 2014?
A lot of these resolutions had to do with 2014 Challenges I'd wanted to do, and so I wanted to briefly talk about these challenges and how I did this year. (10) I surpassed my Goodreads reading goal of 75 books. (9)For the Bookish 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, I had a goal of reading and reviewing 21-30 books published in 2013 or earlier. Even though I didn't end up reviewing as many books the latter half of the year, I still met this goal with 23 books published before 2014 that I read and reviewed on either the blog or on my Goodreads. (8) I participated in Bout of Books so I really enjoyed that readathon, and I signed up for the 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program. I never really updated my progress much on the blog in terms of whether I met my goal of reading 12 books from the beginning of May to the beginning of September, but I can say now after checking my Goodreads I read 36 books and 1 novella during the designated time period.

(7) I had one of my goals as simply 'blog', and I think that was so important because I knew that I wanted to continue on with blogging, etc. I think that's definitely going to be a goal for the New Year as well because lately it has been super busy for me and I want to continue to try and post and get back to writing more reviews. (6) Currently, I'm going through my bookshelves and reorganizing and trying to minimize the TBR Pile, so maybe I can say I've somewhat contained the TBR craziness? (5) The aforementioned reorganization of the bookshelves was another goal I had in mind for 2014. (4) I ended up taking away the Book List tab since I found it wasn't the best way for me to organize everything.

 (3) I really enjoyed the books I read in 2014. I ended up adding 25 books to my Favorites shelf on Goodreads for books that I started and finished in 2014, and the book I was reading from the end of 2013 into the beginning of 2014 was a favorite as well. I posted about my favorite books in a past Top Ten Tuesday and also talked about some in my one post of Reading YA Rocks's A Week of Looking Forward and Looking Back. Earlier on in the year I did a series of posts all about the books I'd read and loved in the First Half of 2014. (2) Themed TBRs is something that I just couldn't keep to. I had been having problems with it even when I tried in late 2013, but this year showed me that I was too much of a mood reader to go with a set theme for every month, when what I wanted to read changed based on the book I'd just read, how I felt, etc. 

(1) I definitely did this goal of starting 5 new series and finishing 5 old. The series I started are from 2014 debuts, older series I wanted to start, etc. but some of my favorites that I've started include The Falconer by Elizabeth MayRebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsArticle 5 by Kristen Simmons, and Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen.

What do I want to accomplish this year?
I'm planning on having a post up later this week with more specific goals of 2015, as well as another look at how I did in some of the 2014 challenges, but suffice it to say that I have a few goals in mind for 2015 in terms of reading plans and participating in some challenges run by several blogs, as well as the Goodreads reading challenge.

no. 1 - Meet my Goodreads reading goal
I don't think I'm going to be raising my Goodreads goal from 75 books. Now, here's my reasoning. I think 75 books is going to be a much harder challenge for me to meet this year because I have a lot of events going on this year that I can see impacting my schedule and making it much more difficult for me to set aside time to read at certain times throughout the year. I can always raise my goal if I find I get more reading done than I'd anticipated.

no. 2 - Participate in (and complete!) several 2015 challenges
More on this later this week, but I want to have a few reading goals to meet throughout the year, and I think that there are different kinds of challenges to find and participate in.

no. 3 - Blog
Yes, the vague goal of blogging is back. But I want to continue to make this a goal for me because I want to find a nice routine to get into in terms of posting, and what kinds of posts to make, etc.

no. 4 - Features
I had a few posts and series I tried earlier in 2014, and I liked some and didn't like others. So, in 2015 I'd like to continue on with some of the ideas I found worked well for me in writing posts and get into the routine of having posts I enjoy writing for the blog and that will be (hopefully) interesting for readers.

no. 5 - Participate in some blogging events
One of my favorite things from last year was the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon hosted by Alexa of  Alexa Loves Books and Katelyn of Tales of Books and Bands. So, this year I'd like to participate in some blogging events like that.

no. 6 - Read more 2015 debuts
I didn't end up reading as many 2014 debuts as I wanted to at the start of the year. So, hopefully this year I will be catching up on some of those and reading more 2015 debuts.

no. 7 - Write more reviews
I ended up not writing as many reviews towards the end of the year because I wasn't able to read as many books. I'd like to review more novels in 2014.

no. 8 - Reorganize my bookshelf
I'm currently in the process of doing this, and I'd like to have an organized system for my books by the end of 2015.

no. 9 - TBR Pile management
Last year one of the goals was to contain the TBR Pile. Hopefully I will avoid buying a ton of books.

no. 10 - Continue to read 
Sometimes when it's a super busy time and I feel like I have a million things to do, I don't set aside time to read and relax with a good book. I want to change that in 2015. I want to try and set aside a little bit of time to catch up with a book and end my day with reading.

So there are my 2015 Goals! Let me know what yours are down in the comments.

From the paper world,

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Week of Looking Forward and Looking Back... and a Delay in Posting

First off, I truly have to apologize. This past week was so busy that I hadn't realized it was the week of Reading YA Rocks's "A Week of Looking Forward and Looking Back", which is one of my favorite end of the year series I participated in last year. I had all the books chosen for each category, but due to some scheduling conflicts and just being so unexpectedly busy during the holiday season, I hadn't had the posts up. So, today I'm bringing you all of my picks for this week, all in one post. I'm sorry to have to do the post in this way, but as I mentioned how much I enjoyed this and so I wanted to share my lists with you all. Definitely check out the posts on Reading YA Rocks to see everyone else's as well!

Monday, December 22nd
Best Books I’ve Read in 2014 (Doesn’t have to be released in 2014, just a book you’ve read in 2014)

Tuesday, December 23rd
Best Book Covers of 2014 (MUST be a book released in 2014. Would be best if it’s a book you’ve READ in 2014, but it’s not required)

Wednesday, December 24th
Best ________ of 2014 (Reader’s/Blogger’s choice. Please fill in the blank with ONE of these topics – Villains, Contemporaries, Dual POV’s, Novellas, Adult titles, New Adult titles, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys or Debuts. REMEMBER: this list MUST be from books you’ve READ in 2014)


Thursday, December 25th
Best Book Boyfriends of 2014 (MUST be from a book released in 2014 and from a book you’ve READ in 2014)

Captain Thorne from Cress by Marissa Meyer, 3rd book in The Lunar Chronicles

Morpheus from Unhinged by A.G. Howard, sequel to Splintered

Friday, December 26th
Top 10 Books I’m looking forward to in 2015. (This list should be comprised ONLY of books released in 2015)

So, there is my ridiculously belated post for A Week of Looking Forward and Looking Back. I hope this was a fun way to see how my year in books went, talk about some of the ones I'd loved and some of the ones I've yet to read but look forward to in the new year. I hope you all had a wonderful year and discovered some incredible books. If you have any reads that you really loved that you discovered this year and think I would enjoy reading in 2015, let me know in the comments!

From the paper world,