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2015 Reading Goals

This upcoming year, I am planning on delving into the literary world. I am really focusing on building up my "read" shelf (both physical books and goodreads shelves). I really want to complete all of the books on my refurbished TBR. I hope to read at least one book a week to stay up with my goodreads group, but sometimes life happens. My mantra for the upcoming year is: don't worry so much about the number of books you've read; worry about whether or not you are reading. So here are my reading goals for 2015:
  1. Read 52 books
  2. Read 5 books that are 500 pages or more
  3. Reread 10 books (including the Harry Potter series)
  4. Read more new-to-me authors
  5. Read 3 classics
  6. Do Katytastic's TBR Jar challenge
  7. Popsugar / Goodreads group challenge

Refurbished To-Be-Read List

  1. All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  3. The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
  4. The Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer
    1. Fairest (Prequel of the Lunar Chronicles)
    2. Cinder
    3. Scarlet
    4. Cress
    5. Winter
  5. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
  6. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton
  7. Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien
    1. The Fellowship of the Ring
    2. The Two Towers
    3. The Return of the King
  8. Heroes of Olympus Series - Rick Riordan
    1. The Lost Hero
    2. Son of Neptune
    3. Mark of Athena
    4. House of Hades
    5. Blood of Olympus
  9. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  10. Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  11. The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak
  12. Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
  13. Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  14. Four - Veronica Roth
  15. The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices Series - Cassandra Clare
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
    4. Clockwork Angel
    5. City of Fallen Angels
    6. Clockwork Prince
    7. City of Lost Souls
    8. Clockwork Princess
    9. City of Heavenly Fire
  16. The Iron Trial - Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  17. Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wien
  18. Rose Under Fire - Elizabeth Wien
  19. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick
  20. The Good Luck of Right Now - Matthew Quick
  21. The Throne of Glass Series
    1. Throne of Glass
    2. Crown of Midnight
    3. Heir of Fire
    4. (Prequel) The Assassin's Blade 
  22. The Drowning of Arthur Braxton - Caroline Smailes
  23. The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
  24. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  25. Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
  26. The Starbound Series - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
    1. These Broken Stars
    2. This Shattered World
  27. Shatter Me Trilogy - Tahereh Mafi
    1. Shatter Me
    2. Unravel Me
    3. Ignite Me
  28. The House Girl - Tara Conklin
  29. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
    1. Anna and the French Kiss
    2. Lola and the Boy Next Door
    3. Isla and the Happily Ever After
  30. The Diviners - Libba Bray
  31. The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) - Samantha Shannon

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Historical Books

December 17 - Top 5 Historical Books

1. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

This is my top 5 books of all time, so naturally it has made my list of top 5 historical books. I had to read this book in school, but I didn't have any dread coming into it because it was a book that no one else in my school had to read because we had a new teacher. Since then, I've reread it at least twice and quickly made it into my favorites. This novel follows Doctor Manette when he is released from the Bastille. The before takes place before and during the French Revolution. It also follows the lives of two very different men, Syndey Carton and Charles Darnay, who both are madly in love with Doctor Manette's daughter, Lucie.

2. Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is a character that everyone knows but not that many people have read about. If you haven't heard of Sherlock Holmes by now, I don't know where you've lived. If you've never read the books, and if you have seen any adaptation of these stories, I would encourage you to read them. They're great.

3. Essential Tales and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe

I love Poe. You can't deny his importance in literature; you just can't. He is the father of the short story, and my personal favorite of the dark romantics. His poems are haunting and beautiful with their constant rhyming. Even his short stories rhyme within the writing. I picked up this book the other day because I hadn't owned any Poe, but I had studied him and school and loved him. If you're a skeptic about Poe or if you read him in school and were a little intimidated, I would pick this up because they don't show you the good stuff in school.

4. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

First off, if you're scared of this book because of it's size but otherwise are intrigued by it, go to Books a Million and ask them for this "Lifetime Library" edition of it because it's half the size of the others. The words are small, the pages are thin, but the size is much less intimidating. Jane Eyre is an orphan who lives with her aunt and her children. Her aunt hates her, and ends up in the Lowood girl's school. And when she becomes a governess, she meets Mr. Rochester. 

5. All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

I haven't read this book yet. However, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this book, so I feel as though I can put this in here as my top 5 because I'm already in love. I mean, look at that cover.

goodreads group

176. The Bone Season

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon

Started: Monday - 1 December 2014
Finished: Sunday - 7 December 2014

In short, I adored this book and stayed up quite late the past few nights because I just couldn't keep my hands off of it. In the midst of studying for midterms and Christmas shopping chaos, this book was my wonderful little escape. This book is almost 500 pages and technically an adult novel, but it reads like Young-Adult in the sense that it is a fast paced plot, but the characters are very not-YA and it lacks the angst that YA most always brings to the bookshelf.

This novel is part urban fantasy, part futuristic, and part supernatural. The novel takes place in 2059 and follows 19 year old Paige Mahoney. She lives in Scion London -Scion being the governmental security that desires to rid their cities of the "unnaturals" or "clairvoyants" aka the people like Paige. Paige is a dreamwalker, which basically means that she can walk in other peoples' minds (how cool, right!?). This specific type of clairvoyance is super rare, but Paige just being alive is illegal. Because Paige's power is so rare, she works with an underground groups as part of the Seven Seals.

The one drawback with the novel is that the terminology used is hard to understand at the beginning, but Samantha Shannon has you back. She knows you don't understand it, so she intricately weaves in the understanding throughout the novel in a way that doesn't make it seem like you're learning anything new. However, while some people found this not-understanding rather frustrating, I found it really intriguing. I was able to really delve into this alternate-London that Shannon so delicately pulled together.

(Also, I feel like I need to address the ending of this novel in a very spoiler-free way, so here goes. I loved it because I think it was the most realistic ending for the characters Shannon created, and I think the ending remains true to their characters. Also, when I finished this book, I just hugged it for a really long time because I love it, and it has rightfully earned it's place on my favorites shelf.)

goodreads - 5/5

175. Paper Towns

Paper Towns - John Green

Who are you? Do you open yourself like a book to the world, or do you tend to keep your pages to yourself? Do you have multiple faces that you where depending on where you are and who you're around?

Meet Margo Roth Spiegelman. Even though this story is from Quentin Jacobsen's point of view, this story is very much about Margo, about finding Margo and who Margo is.

Quentin Jacobsen, affectionately dubbed Q, is a senior in a high school in Orlando, Florida. Q isn't the coolest kid at school, but he doesn't sit alone at lunch or hate people or anything. The only thing he hates is prom. Until they were nine, he and Margo were best friends. Since then, they have grown into completely separate circles at school -Margo is a "cool kid" while Q hangs out with the band kids despite not being in band- and completely separate lives -despite being next door neighbors.

I loved this book immensely because I was really able to connect with these characters -not being a cool kid, thirsting to leave, thirsting for adventure, confused about life, being a senior and making decisions. However, I think people older will also really connect to Q and his friends -Radar and Ben- by being able to look back on their years in high school.

I honestly don't want to give you too much information about this book because I really think you don't need to know too much before going into it. What I will tell you is to not judge the book by it's author. That's new, right? I hated The Fault in Our Stars, and but I really liked Looking For Alaska, so when this one was $5 at Target, I picked it up.


"That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste." -Margo

"When you say nasty things about people, you should never say the true ones, because you can't really fully and honestly take those back, you know?" -Margo

"It's more impressive . . . from a distance, I mean. You can't see the wear on things, you know? You can't see the rust or the weeds or the paint cracking." -Q

It all struck me as so lonely and so very unMargo . . . Margo was herself -at least part of the time- very unMargo. -Q

"You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves." -Radar

The town was paper, but the memories were not. -Q

goodreads review