#AMonthofFaves: This is How I Read


December means it’s time for Tanya’s #AMonthofFaves over at Girlxoxo and this year the event is co-hosted by Estella’s Revenge and Traveling with T.

Today’s topic is all about how we read, what we do after we finish and how we choose our next book.

How do you read?

I love reading actual books, preferably paperbacks. Sadly, I have a small budget and a badly-stocked library, so that doesn’t usually work out, so now I read around half my books on the Kindle or on my tablet via Scribd. This year, I also started listening to audiobooks, they are wonderful for long journeys and before bedtime.


How do you pick your next book?

That’s a tough one. I sort of have a tbr on Goodreads, where I always add titles I come across, and so I often browse my ‘to-read’ shelf. I also love looking through older posts from my favorite blogs for inspiration. Often there are a couple of can’t-wait-to-read books, so the choice is easy. And sometimes I’m just in a mood for something very specific and Book Riot often delivers on my strangest search terms!

What do you do after you’ve finished reading a book?

I usually go on Goodreads to mark the book finished (as I’m totally the person to read the book one month later wondering why it all sounds so familiar, if I don’t do this) and put down a rating. I do end up reviewing many books on my blogs, but it might take ages a while.

Sometimes, I immediately start the hunt for the next read or have one to read next. But often I have a book hangover and really don’t want to dive into another world just yet.

Where do you get your books from?

A lot of the physical books I read were gifts or I bought them with a voucher. I usually order them from the Book Depository or order them from a local store if they can get a copy. Every month I go to the library to return books and then just brose through the shelves, in the eternal hope I come across a new, interesting title. And these days, most of my books come from the Scribd online library or audible.

Now you know about me. How do you read? Let me know in the comments!

#AMonthofFaves: Reading Outside My Comfort Zone


December means it’s time for Tanya’s #AMonthofFaves over at Girlxoxo and this year the event is co-hosted by Estella’s Revenge and Traveling with T.

2015 has been a year where I read from two genres that are somewhat outside my comfort zone. I think I read quite widely, but up to now I have for the most part given two giants in the book world a wide berth: Young Adult and Fantasy literature.

YA scared me off because my impression was that it was inevitably paired with romance. I can stand romance thrown in here and there and make exception for a few books, but yeah not everyone is romantically inclined and the stuff is everywhere. But a few books I enjoyed this year were YA and they convinced me to read more next year.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

I really liked this one, the atmosphere, the narrative style, the what’s-going-on? I expected a bit more from the hype, but that always builds up expectations way too much, and it’s a really interesting one regardless.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

One the the best books I read this year, beautifully written, and even though it’s a love story there is hardly any romance. I usually make exceptions for diverse books, but this is a YA love story I would have probably also read if it was about a straight couple.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A fantastic premise and an enjoyable book, though I do wish the author  would have used the setting more. My interest in the love story with the Prince was basically zero, so I skimmed a few pages. But at least Cinder saves herself.

As for fantasy, I was mostly fine with science-fiction, but the images of fantasy lit I had in mind were dwarves, fairies, elves, epic epics that hardly ever end, drawn-out battle scene that make me yawn. I know, I know! But I think some of the older covers are also to blame. I’m still not especially interested in all of that, but thankfully I read some amazing books this year that chipped away at my ignorance. Not sure where they fall in the categories fantasy and speculative fiction, but some had fairies and unicorns, so there.

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the 5th book or so in the series and I enjoyed all of them. They are not perfect, I’m glad we left the friend zone problem in book 1. The characters are wonderfuly diverse, Aaronovitch makes whiteness visible and Peter Grant is one snarky apprentice. Also, in this one there were unicorns. Invisible unicorns. And fairies. And it was grand!

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

This one Eva wrote about and I just had to give it a try. It’s kind of urban fantasy with magical realism and Caribbean folklore. There’s post-apocalyptic Toronto, drug lords, family ties, voodo deities, sketchy organ donation and strong Black women. I’m up for that!

Rosemary and Rue Seanan McGuire

Another recommendation by Eva. Maguire sets up this really cool world of fairies and those unfortunate enough to be born changelings, who will always be outsiders. One changeling, Toby Daye, goes into the PI business and I gave it a try because of the mystery angle. But I really liked the world-building, critique of hierarchies and the PI thing, though things turned much darker than I expected. I think urban fantasy is my comfort zone in fantasy so far 🙂

What did you read outside your comfort zone this year? Any recommendation for YA minus romance and good fantasy reads? I know I’ll want to read more of these genres now!


#AMonthofFaves: Favorite New-to-me Authors of 2015


December means it’s time for Tanya’s #AMonthofFaves over at Girlxoxo and this year the event is co-hosted by Estella’s Revenge and Traveling with T.

My favorite author discovery of the year was hands-down Nnedi Okorafor.


Because she writes fantastic speculative fiction set in Africa, and critiques all the -isms in really creative, exciting stories. I listened to her novella Binti on audiobook and raved about it in detail. I also read another one of her works, Lagoon, this year and loved it, too.


Another one was Rainbow Rowell. I know, I know, everyone told me so. But, I never really got around to reading her books and this year decided to give her new book Carry On a try. Of course, I loved it. Now, I’m looking forward to reading her backlist, happy I have so many to look forward to. Trying a hyped author or series late does have its upsides!


Catherynne M. Valente, because Radiance was so good and so imaginative. She took the absolute best aspects – decopunk, Hollywood, althistory, space opera! – combined them in one book, and it worked brilliantly. Another author with a backlist for me to discover next year.

Dow0061336. Attica Locke for DT Books. Picture date 30/03/2015

Attica Locke because The Cutting Season was one of my absolute faves this year. She’s so strong on atmosphere and setting, delves deep into slavery, racism and delivered a great mystery, too. And apparently she writes for Empire!


And finally, Jeremy Whitley who writes the fantastic Princeless comics and came up with them because he wanted there to be awesome Black girl lead comics for his daughter to read, in which girls don’t need any saving.

What were your favorite author discoveries this year? Let me know in the comments!

#AMonthofFaves: Four Books Worth the Hype and One That Was A Bit Meh


For the most part, lots of hype around a book is much more likely to turn me off reading than running to the store to buy it. Often this works out well and I find later that I really don’t enjoy the book and am glad I got a copy from the library. But sometimes I find out about ten years later that the books are amazing (Harry Potter).

This was a tough one, I don’t often read new releases and I may have had to google if my selections were actually hyped books. Oh well, here are five books that are worth the hype and one that was a bit meh:


1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Not really likeable female protagonist, train commute, mystery and suspense, London, multiple perspectives, voyeurism. This book is also a wonderful choice for audiobook. I think the genre has been called Chick Noir.


2. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson.

Lumberjanes has everything! Amazing girls, summer camp with a twist, epic friendship, better Indiana Jones than Indiana Jones, dinosaurs, DINOSAURS!

carry on

3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

Damnit, Rowell tells a good story with great characters and lots of snark. This was my first of her books! Are you jealous or what, I ignored the hype and now get to read them all for the first time (it’s Harry Potter all over again…it actually is Harry Potter all over again!) 🙂


4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

This book had two strikes against it: YA fiction and romance. But: It is why I am now no longer extremely skeptical about YA literature. Sáenz gives us the beautiful friendship of two teenaged Mexican-American boys that’s also one of the best romance reads. I’m kinda allergic to romance, so this is high praise.


5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

This is the one that was over-hyped but I found a bit meh. Lockhart did much more with the bored, rich, white kids thing than I expected so kudos. But the twist wasn’t very twisty and the characters were like empty vessels. But I loved her Frankie Landau-Banks, so I’ll definitely try more by her.

How do you deal with hyped books? And which books did you think were worth the hype?

#AMonthofFaves: My Reading Year 2015


December means it’s time for Tanya’s #AMonthofFaves over at Girlxoxo and this year the event is co-hosted by Estella’s Revenge and Traveling with T.

It sounds great fun and so I’ve decided to join this year. Between the holidays, prepping for Christmas, family visits and my thesis I was wondering how much blogging I would manage in December. #AMonthofFaves gives you a schedule of daily topics to blog about and while I don’t think I’ll manage a post a day, short posts about favorite books etc seem a great way for me to do some stress-free blogging and look back at at the reading year.

The topic for today, December 1st, is ‘My reading year.’ 2015 has been an interesting year for me, I was reading more or less all year, but was so busy and blogging only irregularly that I read less than usual while at the same time rarely keeping track of what I read in the first half of the year. So I read at least 45 books so far.

The genre I read most from this year: Usually I would say crime, but this year I also read more fantasy/science fiction, a couple of comics and nonfiction. I suppose I read less ‘literary fiction’ than usual, but I don’t regret a thing!

Most read authors: Umm, I think I read at the most 2 books by an author this year. I read most by Noelle Stevenson if I count the Lumberjane comic issues as individual books. Managed two by Ben Aaronovitch and 2 by Nnedi Okorafor (heh but that’s only if I manage to keep from reading all of her others this year).

Ebooks, paperbacks, audio: This year was quite a change in that I joined audible and Scribd for audiobooks and ebooks. I’m really happy I tried both services, they provide me with a much greater choice in reading material than my small library.

The month I read the most and month I read least: I definitely read the most in October, readathon was great for my reading stats! And then I probably read the least during January and June/July because I was swamped with work and sick.

As for my favorite book (a hint): There’s been a few truly amazing books this year. Three come to mind right now and I’ve mentioned them all in blog posts. Can you guess? Let me know in the comments!

Now I want to know about your reading year! How has 2015 been for you so far?