July 1, 2020

The TBR // July 2020

* I am beyond excited for this new month. Not only is it full summer outside it's also my birthday month. I'm going to be 30 this year which is all sorts of strange and intense. I never really thought about being 30 until it was staring me in the face. I guess I never thought I'd make it to this point, but I'm so glad I did. This month I'm taking a break from Animal Crossing and I think I might jump back on bookstagram. Along with those two things I'm planning to get a lot of reading done. I would love nothing more than to knock 10 books off my unread shelf this month.

The TBR // July 2020

I have changed my tbr this month several times already and July has barely started. πŸ˜…It's ok though. I have a plan. Or somewhat of a plan. Haha. 

Diamond & Dawn by Lyra Selene
- I have had this book on my unread shelf for way too long. I'd been waiting ages for it to get released and then when I did I just never read it. πŸ™ˆI really liked the first book in this duology, Amber & Dusk and I really want to see how this story wraps up. I did start this already to make sure that I actually read it. Here's hoping I'll remember enough from Amber & Dusk to make sense of this one.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
- I've also had this duology and companion novel on my shelves for way too long. Tess of the Road is actually my longest-standing unread book from my shelves. I figured I'd do it the honor of reading the first two books set in the same world first. 

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
- I have had this final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series on my tbr for way too many months in a row. It's time to get this baby read. I'm hoping I like it more than the last book, Escaping from Houdini. That book was a bit of a let down and Audrey Rose's choices drove me crazy. It was insane how she knew she felt about Thomas and then still decided to give this other chum a whirl. Like no, stop being like that. 

Citadel by Kate Mosse
- This book. I started it at the beginning of June and I just didn't make myself read it. I really should have so this month it's going to be high up on my priority list. If I finish it this month I'll be all caught up on my Kate Mosse books. 

July book releases.

I got out of the habit of putting these in my monthly tbrs. I wanted to resurrect this as I find it difficult to figure out what books are releasing when. Note that this list is going to be very biased because these are all books that I'm interested in reading. I apologize if these books don't appeal to the general public, but they follow much of the same lines as the books that are already discussed on The Cozy Shelf. As always they are linked to Goodreads so that you can read the synopsis for each book if you'd like. 

- YA Fantasy

The Book of Dragons by Jonathan Strahan
- Fantasy collection of myths and stories about dragons from history.

Or What You Will by Jo Walton
- Fiction/Fantasy

The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel
- Historical Fiction

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
- Historical/Literary Fiction

Crossings by Alex Landragin
- Historical Fiction/Fantasy (one of my personal favorite genres!)

I'm so excited for this new month and this new opportunity to read some great books. I'm also really hoping to get some of these new releases! 

What are you hoping to read or buy this month? I'd love to chat about it!

Happy reading,

Alicen

June 30, 2020

Second Quarter 2020 Reading Report

* Hello! It's time again for another reading recap. I can't believe the second quarter of 2020 is over already! This year has been crazy! I know I'm probably not the only one hoping for things to get better soon. It's been a long haul my friends and the year just keeps getting weirder. But, I'm here with some normal. A nice blog post all about the books I've read, bought, unhauled, dnf'd, etc. Grab a drink and let's get started.


The past few months have literally been some of the most stressful ones of my life. I will not say I had a great reading record.  I struggled to stay focused on what I was reading and then when I did read the books were just ok. There were very few books that stood out to me or had any lasting impact on me. I am so unbelievably ready for the second half of 2020 to be something better than a giant anxiety-ridden roller coaster ride. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. Anyway, enough rambling. Let's get into this wrap-up.

All the books I've read

April:
* This was OWLs readathon month and my husband had a couple weeks off work due to COVID so I got most of my reading done in April.
- The Dragon's Heart { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- Shatter Me { ⭐⭐⭐}
- Grim Lovelies { ⭐⭐⭐}
- Midnight Beauties { ⭐⭐}
- The Wren Hunt { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- The City of Brass { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- Escaping from Houdini { ⭐⭐⭐}
- City of Fallen Angels { ⭐⭐}
- King of Scars { ⭐⭐⭐}
- Six of Crows { ⭐⭐⭐}
- This Savage Song { ⭐⭐⭐}
- The Screwtape Letters { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}

May:

- Bone Crier's Moon { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- The City of Tears { ⭐⭐⭐.5}
* It took me the entire month of May to finish this book. It was so hard to read. 
- Crooked Kingdom { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- Our Dark Duet  { ⭐⭐⭐}

June:

- Illuminae { ⭐⭐⭐⭐}
- Tatiana & Alexander { ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐}
* My one 5 star book this quarter. I'm glad it was this one but I feel I should have had more than that considering how many books I read. 
- Clockwork Angel { ⭐⭐⭐.5}
- Clockwork Prince { ⭐⭐⭐}

The Best Books I read April - June 2020


5 Star Reads:

4 Star Reads:
- Shatter Me
- Ignite Me
- Defy Me
I read Shatter Me back in April and decided that it wasn't worth my time to finish the series. I've mentioned before that I'm very quickly getting out of the YA genre. Some books are ok, but the vast majority of the YA offering is just not for me. 

- Grim Lovelies
- Midnight Beauties
I liked Grim Lovelies but Midnight Beauties was pretty bad. Bad writing, a wishy-washy plot, and an annoying main character killed this one for me.

- Incendiary (unread)
- The Guinivere Deception (unread)
- Bone Crier's Moon (LitJoy Crate edition)
- Bone Crier's Moon (Regular edition duplicate)
-This Savage Song (read)
- Our Dark Duet (read)
- One Thousand White Women (ebook, unread)
-Soul of the Sword (dnf)

- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Ravenclaw Edition)

- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Ravenclaw Edition)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ravenclaw Edition)
Funny story about these. I retook the sorting hat quiz just for the heck of it and it turns out I'm a Slytherin, not a Ravenclaw, which didn't surprise me in the least. πŸ˜‚

- City of Bones (read)
- City of Ashes (read)
- City of Glass (read)
- City of Fallen Angels (read)
- City of Lost Souls (dnf)
- City of Heavenly Fire (unread)
And then there are these unfortunate books. If you loved them I'm so happy for you. But I could not stand these books. Terrible plots, terrible writing, terrible characters. Just so terrible. I'm just upset with myself for having read four of them before I gave up on them.


Books I purchased:

- Ninth House (UK Hardcover, read)
- Foundryside (unread)
- Shorefall (unread)
- Nevernight (Illumicrate Exclusive, read)
- Godsgrave (Illumicrate Exclusive, unread)
- Darkdawn (Illumicrate Exclusive, unread)
- Bone Crier's Moon (Owlcrate Exclusive, read)
- Bone Crier's Moon (Fairyloot Exclusive, read)
- Queen of Air and Darkness (unread)
- Crescent City (US Hardcover, read)
- The Kingdom of Copper (UK Hardcover, unread)
- City of Heavenly Fire (unhauled)
- Storm Front (unread)
- Incendiary (unhauled)
- The Bronze Horseman (read)
- The Summer Garden (unread)
- Empire of Gold (UK Hardcover, unread)


Quick recap:


Books read: 20
5-star books: 1
4-star books: 6
Books I dnf'd: 2
Books I unhauled: 22 
Books I purchased: 17

I'm actually proud of myself for reading so many mediocre books. All in the name of getting that unread shelf under control right? Even though I bought 17 books this quarter, eight of them I've already read or unhauled. 

In April I had an unread shelf count of 39. I will begin July with an unread shelf of 16. So that's 23 books I've read and or unhauled/dnf'd. I'm so proud of that number. This year one of my big goals was to read or get rid of every book I've purchased pre-2020. And I'm right on track to do just that. Do I still have quite a few new books that I've purchased this year? Yeah, but I'd rather have books I bought in the current year sitting unread on my shelves than books I bought back in 2018.  

As soon as I read all my pre-2020 purchases I'll be moving my 2020 purchases to my unread shelf on Goodreads. And I'll start the process all over again. I'd love to start each new year with a clean slate. Zero unread books coming over from the previous year. That just sounds like heaven to me. Then I could purchase books and read them immediately instead of putting them on the shelf to sit while I read books that have been hanging around for years instead. 

Happy reading,

Alicen

Wrap Up // June 2020

* Well, needless to say, my reading did not go as planned for the month of June. Once again I could not stay focused on my books and I struggled really badly to even find the desire to read. One of my best bookstagram friends has also struggled immensely to read this month, so I know it's not just me. I was so hoping June would be a better month for me. Maybe I'll get lucky and July will be amazing for reading. 

June 2020 Reading Wrap Up


In June I read 4 books. Which isn't terrible. But it's not anywhere close to what I wanted to read this month. I wanted to read a bunch more of my unread books that I've had for a long time and it just didn't happen. I just wasn't in the mood to really read much at all. The thing that saved me at the end of the month was listening to Clockwork Angel on audio. I immediately started Clockwork Prince and that was my last book of the month. Anyway, here's a recap and some of my feelings on the books I've read this month.

June 28, 2020

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

* It's the middle of 2020! Holy goodness has this year been a train wreck....I'm just praying the second half will be a little calmer than the first half. And maybe just a little bit less stressful. Since there is so much going on right now that we cannot control I thought it would be fun to do this mid-year book tag. So grab your favorite beverage and let's get cozy.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

So, I have to be honest and say that my reading this year has been so sporadic. With COVID and Animal Crossing and various other things I just have not been reading a whole lot. It's the strangest thing for me to not be reading as much as I normally do. But, I just have not been in the mood to read much at all. I know I'm not the only reader who has been experiencing this but man does it stink sometimes. 

June 18, 2020

Why I'm not throwing out my Harry Potter books or my Erin Condren planner.

* This post is going to be a bit long. I apologize in advance. I wasn't sure I wanted to publicly say anything about these two topics but I felt like it might be helpful to some. As with my other post about the Black Lives Matter movement, please be respectful. If you decide to join in on the conversation think before you speak and don't cause harm to other people, myself included. 


Why I'm keeping my Harry Potter books and my Erin Condren planner.


2020 seems to be the year of the offended. Almost every time I log onto social media I'm bombarded with some new controversy that is starting huge debates and causing a lot of hurt.

I do not discuss these things lightly.


I do not think they are funny or ok. It seems that everyone has been very selfish these past few months. Everything is all about #1 and if someone does or says something they don't agree with, they take a personal offense.