Bout of Books 21 Sign up and updates

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team


I love Bout of Books and I pretty much always take part, so this is no exception. I’ve actually just finished my current read last night so I’m not sure what I’ll be starting with this week! I’ve just borrowed a variety of books from the library though so I have plenty to choose from.  Last Bout of Books I smashed my target and hit 2000+ pages, but I’m working 6 of 7 days this week, so I’m setting my goal at 1000 pages.


  • Read 1000 pages
  • Finish 2 books
  • Visit other blogs 🙂

Possible TBR:


Well I didn’t stick to my possible TBR at all – only one of these books (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes) featured in my reading this week!

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (audiobook)
Started at: 37%
Finished at: 100%

Total pages: 202
Time spent listening: ~7 hours

The Hypnotist’s Love Story
Started at: 0%
Finished at: 100%

Total pages: 480
Time spent reading: ~5 hours

Truly Madly Guilty
Started at: 0%
Finished at: 100%

Total pages: 415
Time spent reading: ~ 4 hours

Mythos (audiobook)
Started at: 0%
Finished at: 10%

Total pages: 43
Time spent listening: ~ 1.5 hours


Total pages read: 1140
Total books completed: 3
Total time reading:
~17.5 hours

January 2018 TBR List: Voting time!

My TBR list (#MyTBRL) is a meme hosted by Michelle at Because Reading which aims to help knock a few books off our TBR piles by letting everyone else vote on what we should read!

I’ve got a few books on my currently-reading shelf which I haven’t really made much progress with, I think because I’m just not far enough into them to get hooked yet.  I’m putting them up to a vote and hoping the TBR vote can push me to get far enough into one of them that I get engrossed!


Mistborn #2: The Well of Ascension

Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire. Three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.




Secret identities. Extraordinary powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies―humans with extraordinary abilities―who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice―and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


Lost Boy

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.





Which book should I read for the January TBR vote?

  • Lost Boy (50%, 3 Votes)
  • Renegades (33%, 2 Votes)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) (17%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Thank you for voting! Next week I’ll check in to let you know which book won!

Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)

Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 698
Format: audio
Source: Purchased

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★

I have a somewhat rocky track history with Cassandra Clare’s books… I loved books 1-3 of The Mortal Instruments but I thought 4 was pretty poor, and then ended up enjoying 5 & 6.  I’ve tried multiple times to get into The Infernal Devices, but despite having read Clockwork Angel I remember almost nothing about it and felt decidedly underwhelmed by it.  I put off picking up Lady Midnight because I assumed I’d need to have read The Infernal Devices first, but since I had an audible credit to spend I thought I’d just give it a try and look up a wikipedia summary for if I really needed to.

Lady Midnight follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns, five years after City of Heavenly Fire. Based mostly at the LA Institute, this is a shadowhunter world that’s both familiar and still a little new to us as readers.  We’ve got characters that we know, sort of – we met Emma and the Blackthorns in City of Heavenly Fire – as well as new characters, like Kit Rook and Kieran.  We’ve got a few plot threads to follow throughout Lady Midnight: the return of Mark, who’s both changed and unchanged by his time in faerie, Emma’s search for evidence of what happened to her parents, and her desperate desire for revenge, and Emma and Julian’s potentially-veering-into-dangerous-territory feelings.

I have to say, I actually love most of the characters. Julian, like Jace, is a little too perfect-seeming for me at times, but I loved his siblings.  I instantly liked Kit and both Emma and Christina are very easy to like. The family dynamics between the Blackthorns are great, and the intense feelings stirred up by Mark’s return led to some moments that tugged on the heartstrings!  The romance definitely wasn’t my favourite aspect – one of my least favourite things in YA, especially when there’s a big cast, is when everyone gets paired off so neatly, with their forever partners (I don’t love all of Maas’ pairings for the same reason!) – but I didn’t dislike it. It felt plausible enough, and I could see why each would like the other, even if I thought everyone’s feelings were a little over the top!

Listening to audiobooks always takes me longer than reading a book of the same length because I only listen while walking to work (which I don’t do every day) and briefly to fall asleep.  Having said that, I listened to nearly 20 hours of audiobook in just under a month, which is a little higher than usual probably, because I was enjoying it!  While Morena Baccarin probably won’t be making it onto my list of all-time favourite narrators – which are all men so far, weirdly – I did find her very pleasant to listen to, and I’d happily listen to another audiobook she narrated.

I enjoyed Lady Midnight a lot more than I expected to, and as soon as I got another audible credit, I bought Lord of Shadows, and listened to it pretty much straight away.  You can bet I’ll be getting book 3 when it’s out too!

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

2018 Goals

I’m a big fan of goal setting (even if I’m not necessarily great at following through with them!).  I’m joining in with the Bookish Resolutions challenge which covers reading, writing and blogging related goals so I’m including my sign-up for that in this post.

The Bookish Resolutions challenge is hosted by Laura @ trips down imagination road and Michelle of Because Reading.

Reading Goals (5)

  1. Read 100 books
    I’ve no idea whether 100 is a good goal or too high – I read 103 in 2017, and 105 in 2016, but I’ve got a lot of real life things going on next year so I’m not sure whether I’ll get as much read as I normally do.  On the other hand, I’m feeling really determined right now too, so I don’t want to set it lower!
  2. Finish/catch up with 15 series
    I set a goal of finishing/catching up with 10 series in 2017 and am pleased I managed to exceed it. I want to knock even more series off my TBR this year.
  3. Read at least 12 manga volumes or graphic novels
    2017 is pretty much the first year I really got involved with graphic novels/comics and manga, and I read 17 in total (~17%). I’m hoping to keep that trend up this year, because I loved mixing up my reads with something quick and addictive every now and again.
  4. Get My NetGalley ratio up to (and then keep it above) 80%
    I got it to 75% last year, and I’m hoping I can get to that elusive 80% this year!
  5. Read at least 48 backlist books

Blogging Goals (4)

  1. Post a recap every month
  2. Publish at least 100 blog posts
  3. Take part in at least 3 events (bloggiesta, Blog Ahead, readathons etc)
  4. Review at least half the books I read

Writing Goals (3)

  1. Read at least 2 books related to writing
  2. Join in with Cait and Sky’s Beautiful People meme at least 6 times throughout the year
  3. Try and complete a first draft of something!

Outside of blogging, reading and writing, I’ve got a few personal goals for the year too, not included with the bookish resolutions challenge.  I’ve tried to stick to a few, even though it’s tempting to go mad and decide I’m going to do ALL OF THE THINGS.

Personal Goals

Lose ~3 stone

I’m not 100% sure exactly on my goal weight, but I think 3 stone is about right.  I made a bit of progress (~10lbs) with my weight in 2017, but I’d really like to keep going. I’m determined to feel less self-conscious on our wedding day and honeymoon!

Complete a 10K

I started running last year and actually sort of learned to enjoy it. I got very lazy and stopped towards the end of the year though, so I want to start back up again. This also ties in nicely with my weight loss goal.

Career change

I’m keeping this one very close to the chest for now because it’s all still very uncertain, but I’m hoping to be in a new field for 2019.

2018 Challenge sign-ups

The Beat the Backlist challenge is hosted by Novel Knight, and the aim is to get through the stacks of books on our TBR that get forgotten about when new releases come out!  Only books released prior to 2018 count for this challenge.

I took part this year and managed 56 backlist titles – 60% of my reads this year.  Next year is going to be a very big year personally, so I’m setting my reading goals a bit lower for 2018.  I’m setting my goal for this challenge at 48 backlist titles, which although a lower number than this year will probably work out as more than 60% of my reads next year.  I hope that makes sense!

I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be reading but there are plenty of series I want to work on – which is exactly what I said when I signed up for the 2017 challenge!  I worked on quite a few this year (The Dresden Files, Game of Thrones, Feedback, Grisha, The Dark Artifices and probably some more I’ve forgotten!).  I’d like to keep focusing on series as part of this challenge, and while I might not get to all of these, I’m hoping to work on some of them!

  • The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong – book 8+
  • Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Heroes of Olympus/Kane Chronicles/Magnus Chase/Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
  • The Obsidian Throne by J.D. Oswald
  • In Death series by J.D. Robb – books 31+
  • Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith – books 2+
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I’ve been assigned to the Novel Knights team and I’ll be doing my best to earn points for the team throughout the year.

What counts for points?

  • Reading a backlist book
  • Posting a review of a backlist book to a RETAIL website
    • You can submit reviews you’ve written for books that you read before the challenge started as long as you didn’t post the review before Jan. 1, 2018.

The fact you can get points for reviewing backlist books you’ve already read as well might help with my NetGalley score too!


The aim of this challenge is to visit and COMMENT on 365 blogs throughout the year.  I was pretty rubbish at tracking this one this year, so I’m determined to do better next year! I’ll be focusing on book blogs, but since I read about other things and want to blog about other things, I’ll be counting non-bookish blogs too.

Ellie is hosting a Science Fiction vs Fantasy Bingo challenge for 2018, and you can bet I’m joining in! Sci-fi and fantasy are my favourite genres, though I find myself reading more fantasy recently. I’m determined to increase my sci-fi reading though, and I’m just going to aim to hit as many of these squares as possible throughout the year!

One of my goals for the Bookish Resolutions challenge is to finish 15 series in 2018, so I’ll be aiming for the A-List level, though I don’t yet know which series I’ll be tackling first!