Looking Ahead: April 2018

What’s on in April?

This month I am: going away for a few days, going to see Nashville in concert, doing lots of wedding planning (<6 months now!), taking some serious steps towards the career change I mentioned in my 2018 goals and taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo!

April’s TBR list

 

Beneath The Sugar Sky (174) | Scribd
Authority (341) | Scribd (started)
City of Brass (544) | ARC
Our Dark Duet (510) | Scribd
The Well of Ascension (781) | From my shelves

Target pages = 2350

This is below my total target pages for the month, but because we’re a bit all over the place this month, I know it’s likely that I’ll finish a book somewhere away from home and not have something pre-planned lined up. Plus, I’m a definite mood reader, so if I plan out my reading in too much detail, I get frustrated by not being able to add in whatever I fancy at that precise moment 😉

April Goals

  • -8.5 lbs: an ambitious goal, but this would take me into the next stone bracket so I’m going to try! Less than 6 months until our wedding now so I’m feeling pretty focussed.
  • 8 blog posts
  • Camp NaNoWriMo – 20k words. I have no plan for this, and I don’t mind if it’s all one story, a bunch of short stories, fanfiction, anything. I just want to get into a bit of a writing habit!

What do you have planned for April?

March Wrap-Up

Reading


Indexing | Deathnote #10 | Into the Drowning Deep | Harry Potter & The Cursed Child | Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine | A Thousand Perfect Notes | Indulgence in Death | Renegades | The Blood of Olympus | Other Minds

Books read: 11 (1 more than Februrary)
Pages read: 3444 (47 more than February)
Average pages per day: 111 (10 less than February)
Average book length: 313 pages (27 less than February)
Favourite: Every Heart a Doorway/Down Among the Sticks & Bones

Watching

Tomb Raider – I had pretty low expectations but this was just generally a fun adventure.
The Greatest Showman (again) – Yeah I know.  This is time number 3… But what can I say, I liked it!
Ready Player One – I’m actually seeing this tonight, so I can’t comment yet on whether I enjoyed it…

So apparently this month I watched ALL the TV…
Altered Carbon (1 x 7-10) – I didn’t love this – a bit bleak and gruesome for me, though I really liked the concept. Okay, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected.
Grey’s Anatomy (14 x 10-13) – I’ve been watching Grey’s for over a year, catching up, and now I’m finally up to date I’m hating having to wait each week!
Nashville (5 x 1-2) – LOVE. So gutted this is ending.
Jessica Jones (2 x 1-8) – I love Malcolm, Jess is just a bit of a bitch though. Enjoyable despite wanting to punch a lot of the characters at times.
Arrow (2 x 1-23 & 3 x 1-4) –
Felicity is my favourite person ever. I mean I’m basically just sticking with it for her, and for the fact that eventually, somewhere in the DC universe, I know Tom Felton appears…. Hahaha no I am actually enjoying it, I’m just not as emotionally invested as I expected to be. I’m excited that I get to start watching some of the Flash now though!

Blogging

Reviews:


Other posts:

NetGalley % change: +/- 0% (73%)

Challenge Updates

Sci-fi vs Fantasy Bingo
Immortal: Suicide Club
Undead: Boy on the Bridge
Bite Me: Down Among the Sticks & Bones
Haunted: A Torch Against the Night

Beat the Backlist (23/48)

Finishing the Series (3/15)
The Girl with All The Gifts

Goodreads (33/100)

Personal Goals

Lost 1.5lbs (8/ ~42)

How was your March?

An update on Scribd

I posted a few years ago about how much I was enjoying using Scribd, when I was getting through a lot of audiobooks as part of my commute.  I let it lapse once my commute changed, as I just didn’t have time for many audiobooks, and because I got a bit fed up with the bank cancelling my card every month because the payments were in dollars.  I saw Lauren’s post a while back about how much she was enjoying it, and having looked into it, I decided it was worth pausing my audible membership for a few months and seeing how the two compared now.

How it works:

  • The subscription reading service is $8.99 a month (about £6.40)
  • Unlimited audioooks and ebooks
  • You don’t own the books but borrow them

The Good:

  • Scribd is cheaper than audible, and I can listen to as many audiobooks as I want, as well as read e-books.  As long as I listen to one audiobook a month, I’m no worse off (in fact, I’m just over £1 better off) and of course I could listen to/read a lot more than that if I want to
  • I’ve found that being able to buy multiple books makes me a lot less picky: I’m no longer worrying that I need to get my ‘money’s worth’, so short stories are back on the menu.  I’d probably never get to these short-stories otherwise.
  • I don’t feel the same pressure to make sure I pick something I’ll really like – if I don’t get stuck into something, I can just start something else instead
  • Because I CAN listen to more than one audiobook each month, I’ve found that generally I do.  I always felt like one book a month was about right with audible, but actually now that I have the option to listen to more I find myself making excuses to listen more often and getting through more books.
  • The technical problems I had previously (download speeds, disappearing books) have all disappeared, and using PayPal has got round the fact the payments are in dollars.
  • You can save books for later – it doesn’t download them or take up space on your device, but means that I’ve got plenty of options lined up ready for when I finish a title.

The Things I’d improve:

  • Occasionally if I pause the app, when it starts playing again the volume has disappeared.  I’ve only noticed this on my phone, not on PC or iPad, so it’s probably a problem with my hardware, but a simple force-close has always resolved it.
  • The one thing I’d love Scribd to add would be a percentage/progress marker of some kind. Just because I’m a stats nerd and I’d like to be able to update Goodreads with my progress more easily than doing the maths to work out how far into the book I am.

What I’ve read so far (since February 1st):

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
  • The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan
  • Down Among The Sticks & Bones by Seanan McGuire
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (still reading)

The selection isn’t as good as audible, and you have to be careful because some audiobooks are abridged, which I personally avoid.  The books available do change pretty regularly though, so there are a few books on there that have become unavailable since I saved them, but there are other titles I’ve saved because they’ll be available from the 1st of April.  The only potential issue I can see is if you got started on a long series, and later books ended up getting removed before you’d reached the end of the series.  Personally, I haven’t found it an issue yet, because I’ve got a long list of other things I want to listen to, so I’m more than happy to enjoy those and maybe the titles that expire will come back on in future months.

The cost for what you get is excellent value – about the same as 10 months of audible, so as long as I listen to at least one audiobook a month (or more accurately 10 audiobooks a year), I’m better off.  It hasn’t been at all hard to find at least one audiobook a month I wanted to listen to, and I’ve got 30+ audiobooks and another 25 ebooks saved for future months.

 

The Verdict: Definitely sticking with!

If you’re curious, you can get a two-month trial (no affiliate advantage as far as I can tell, just a nice perk for friends!)

#SeasonalSeries Readathon

I came across the Seasonal Series readathon on Twitter yesterday, and couldn’t resist joining in.  It’s a three-month long readathon running from March 20th to June 20th, and it’s all about trying to read books from series, which sounds pretty good to me! I’ll be doing the Spring board  – although I have to admit I liked the look of the winter board, it is technically spring here, so it just seemed sensible to use the spring board!

Spring Tasks & Possible TBR:

1. take a walk while listening to an audiobook
2. read a book while drinking lemonade
3. read the first book in a series – Wintersong
4. try to unhaul a book you’ve lost interest in
5. read a book that’s been on your shelves way too long – Seraphina
6. read with rain in the background -> real rain or sounds
7. read a book with pink on the cover – Beneath the sugar sky
8. read a book from a middle grade series – Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer
9. read a series with a new book coming out in 2018 – A Torch Against the Night
10. read a book of a series where the parents of the MC aren’t dead – The Darkest Minds
11. read a book with character growth
12. read a book while eating chocolate
13. Free Space: read any book of a series – A Court of Frost and Starlight
14. read a book where only the first book of a series is out – The Extinction Trials
15. read a book set in the real world – Ten Thousand Skies Above You
16. read a book with a spring colors on the cover – The Treatment (yellow)
17. finish a duology – Our Dark Duet
18. use a flower as a bookmark
19. read a book with great friendship – Six of Crows
20. read the last book in a series – Conqueror
21. read a book while sitting outside
22. read a book that is (partly) set in spring
23. read a book with green on the cover – Authority
24. read a book that includes an animal
25. read a book under 300 pages – Shadowsong

As you can see, I haven’t picked out a book for every task, and I doubt I’ll get through all the ones I’ve picked, but it’s fun to try and plot out.  I guess I’ll see how many points I end up with at the end!

Spring Bloggiesta

 

Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a piñata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta! This edition of Bloggiesta runs Monday March 19th – Sunday March 25th. Sign up here.

– From the Bloggiesta team

Bloggiesta is always so motivating to get involved with, and this time around I’m off for three of the seven days instead of the usual two, so I’m hoping I can get lots done.  I have a couple of exams coming up too so that’ll take some of my time up, but I’m planning to use bloggiesta tasks as a bit of a break from preparing!

Here are my goals:

  • Write two reviews
  • Schedule two other posts
  • Reformat 5+ old reviews for the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin
  • Take part in at least one mini-challenge
  • Sign up for mini Blog Ahead
  • Update reading spreadsheet with recent reads ✓
  • Update twitter thread with recent reads ✓
  • Leave at least 10 comments on other Bloggiesta participants’ blog