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Month: October 2016

reading challenges

reading challenges

With this silly reading slump I’ve been in, my yearly reading challenges have definitely fallen by the way side. A couple months ago, that probably would have bothered me. Today? Not so much! It’s kind of nice that I’m not beating myself up over something so trivial as not completing a reading challenge.

I’ve decided to not really finish any of my reading challenges this year. With this slump, I fell hardcore behind that to try to catch up would be a bit ridiculous. I just want to try to get out of this reading slump and I think that trying to rush and read all these books just to get caught up in challenges is probably not the way to go. The books I hope to read before the end of the year will probably still apply to these challenges, but not all of them. I just want to enjoy the rest of the year with whatever reading I can get done and not stress over a challenge I more than likely won’t be able to finish. I may go back through books I’ve read previously to see which one’s I can use to fill holes, but that just seems like a lot of work for something that isn’t quite important in the grand scheme of things.

Even though I’ve decided to not really finish this year’s challenges, I’m already planning out next years. I’m a bit crazy like that and challenge obsessed. I am at least taking a more relaxed approach with what challenges I want to participate in next year. Some I’ve decided to spread out over 2 years, others I just want to read as much as I can for them (with no real set goal), and I think there’s really only one that I want to try to finish within the year (key word try). In November, I’ll probably start sharing what these challenges are and what planning I’ve already done with them.

I think I need to lighten the load for this time of year also. This is certainly the start of the busiest time of year for me at work. Even though I may not be working at the same exact place, I will probably still be working in retail and this is just a busy time for retail across the board. This is also the time of year that I’ve almost always slowed down with the reading. Even though fall is my favorite season, and one of the best seasons for curling up with a good book, it’s always been a rough time for me reading wise.

I am going to keep most of my goals the same for next year. I have succeeded at almost all of them already and the year isn’t even done yet! The one that I do want to make a more conscious effort with is my goal for how many male authors I read. Since I read a lot of young adult, most of the authors I read are females. Most people have been wanting to focus on reading more female authors and I’m over here wanting to do the opposite. I am adding a diversity element next year as well that I’m looking forward to.

I’m just excited that I’m thinking about books and reading again. I have started reading (just a smidgen) and I’m hoping this slower pace really pays off and I can finally climb out of this slump.

theories | asoiaf

theories | asoiaf

As many people know, I am completely obsessed with the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ and the subsequent TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. I have watched all the seasons and I am currently (slugging through) reading the last book (that’s been released) of the series. It is so amazing! It is one of the few book to show adaptations that I feel were really well done. The books are also really good. They are just a tad long though and the wait for the next to be released is crazy! (It’s been 5+ years since the last book was released. I thought waiting a year for a sequel was hard!)

I wanted to kind of document my thoughts and theories before the next season starts. Obviously these are theories about what will mainly happen in the show and not so much the books (since I haven’t finished reading them). There will be spoilers so beware!

Daenerys Targaryen | I love that she is finally on her way to Westeros! I don’t think things are going to go that great for her with those from Dorne. I think she’ll take the crown pretty easily and unite with Jon Snow to go after the Night Walkers. With how kill happy George R.R. Martin is, I can picture her dying in the book series, but not so much in the TV show. I think her story line is one of those that I’m most excited for.

Jon Snow | OMG he might be a Targaryen! I love the reveal that he’s Lyanna’s son and not Ned’s. It never really felt right that Ned had a bastard. He was always so honorable! I really think that Dany’s brother, Rhaegar Targaryen, is his dad. The current assumption in the series is that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and raped her and she died. I think they really did care about each other, but she did end up dying from childbirth (as we finally find out). Why else would he put one of the best Knights of the Kingsguard to guard her? Even though he is currently the ‘King in the North’, I don’t think he really wants that position nor that he’ll stay in it. I think after the battle in Westeros with Dany and after battling the Night Walkers (if he survives) that he’ll go back to the Night’s Watch. I do think there is a high chance that he’ll die though (again).

The 3 Dragons/Riders | This is a prophecy of sorts that is eluded to a lot in the books, but not so much in the show. From what I understand of it is that there are to be three dragon riders that basically change the world. Dany is rumored to be one (she’s the one who has had most of the visions involving the prophecy). I think Jon could be one. Another one that people say it could be is Tyrion. That is harder to understand, but with his love of dragons I could see it. I wish this prophecy was a bit easier to understand/follow. I know Rhaegar knew of it and talked about it in a vision Dany had in the House of the Undying, but obviously he wasn’t one of the riders. I am curious to see if they do bring it into the show at all.

Jaime & Cersei | This is one twisted relationship! I think Jaime is going to have to kill Cersei. He killed the Mad King for threatening to burn down King’s Landing. With what Cersei just pulled off (burning down the Sept), I think he doesn’t really have a choice. There was a witch who told Cersei that her younger brother (Tyrion & Jaime are both younger) would kill her and that she’d bury all her children and that a younger, prettier queen would push her out. The common theory was that Tyrion would kill her and that it was Margery that would push her out. I think it’ll actually be Jaime to kill her and that it will be Dany who pushes her out. If things don’t go down that way, I can see Arya killing her (or at least trying).

Arya | I’m really curious to know what will happen to Arya. She has gone to such a dark place (with good reason) that it’ll be interesting to see what her path will be. I kind of love this badass version of her, but I am so worried for her as well! I hope her story doesn’t lose steam and that she pulls off more vengeful moments.

Sansa & Littlefinger | I don’t like what these two are up to. I think Littlefinger will be quite successful in turning Sansa against Jon. It is nice to see Sansa sick of being used and walked all over, but I don’t think she realizes how much Littlefinger is still using her. I think she will fall victim to some sort of plan of his and really regret it. I do hope that she’s able to make him THINK she’s falling for this plan, but then is able to screw HIM over. That would be awesome!

Gendry | I really hope they answer the question on what happened to Gendry! He rowed away from Dragonstone and the Red Lady so long ago! I highly doubt that they will just leave that unanswered (I hope not at least…). I would love to see him just pop up randomly and team up with Arya again. I do think he could run into the Red Lady as well now that she has been banished from the North (sort of).

So there you go! These are the theories and thoughts I have about (mainly) the show and things I hope they answer in the last two seasons. Now I just have to wait at least 6 months for the new season! I should (hopefully) have the last book finished by then and maybe there will be some answers in there!

changing things up

changing things up

I know I’ve talked about changing things here a lot and I’m going to do it again!

I feel like for the most part this blog has become something that isn’t really me. I’m not a big fan of writing reviews. I have a hard time writing ‘professional’ posts. Sometimes I like to just get things off my mind and just ramble and all that. I currently have a (private) personal blog where I’ve been able to do just that and I’ve liked it so much more than this one!

I need to change that. I want to enjoy this one just as much. I want to share my thoughts on all things books and things I like. I have some personal issues with being a perfectionist and social anxiety that have controlled how I used to run this site. That needs to change and stop. I need to loosen up. I need to not be afraid to share what I’m thinking.

I’m not sure what exactly will change, but I know overtime things will. I’m going to try to have more fun with what I’m writing. I’m not going to try so hard to be perfect. I’m not going to compare myself to other bloggers/reviewers that I follow. I’m not going to hold myself to a strict schedule. I’m not going to limit what things I write about.

One thing I know will change will be how the blog looks. I’ve had the same format/layout the entire time (about 2 years I think). I think it’s past time for a change. I think some of what I write about will change. I think it’s going to become a bit more than just books. I know I’ve dabbled in other things, like movies and shows, but I think I’m going to go beyond that.

Either way, things will change. Some things will be slow and others will change pretty fast. I’m already planning on deleting most of my older posts. I just really want a fresh start and a clean state. We’ll see what happens though!

 

(#sorrynotsorry if this post doesn’t entirely make sense and is a bit scatterbrained)

the dreaded slump

the dreaded slump

Reading is my life. I read over 100 books a year and can easily read over 10 books a month. That’s not so much the case this month. I have read a whole two books and that’s it! I am definitely in a reading slump. I never really understand how these slumps happen.

book hangover | A book hangover is the number one cause for a slump for me. A typical book hangover for me is when the last book I read was just so amazing that nothing can compare and I need time to process my feelings. The issue with this being the cause is the last book I finished was not a book that I even really liked (The Martian). It was okay, but just not the book for me.

Normally when it’s a slump caused by a hangover, I re-read a favorite. It kind of cleanses the palette for me. I picked up a favorite (Someone Like You), but haven’t really been in the mood to read that either! That makes me think that it’s not so much a book hangover but an actual reading slump. If a favorite book doesn’t motivate me to read, then what will?

genre overload | My TBR this month was primarily fantasy. Fantasy is definitely one of my favorite genres and I have been reading a lot of it as of late. I’m participating (or should be participating) in three different read-a-longs/buddy reads this month and they are all fantasy! That could be part of the reason as well- just over doing it with the same genre.

The issue with this theory is that the favorite I picked up to re-read is a contemporary! Even switching genres hasn’t really worked.

pressure | Another reason I may be in this predicament is the TBR pressure. Participating in three read-a-longs/buddy reads was probably not the smartest idea. I am very much a mood reader so feeling forced to do something makes me want to push back and not do it.

I did decide to spread one of those read-a-longs/buddy reads over the next few months (A Dance With Dragons). That helped relieve some stress. Another read-a-long/buddy read probably won’t happen this month (The Hobbit). The third is one I am still going to try (Harry Potter). It is another favorite that I can try to re-read to help break me out of this slump. If re-reading a favorite and relieving some of the pressure with planned reads doesn’t work, I’m not sure what else will.

Overall, I am finally starting to feel the urge to read a bit more. It doesn’t stick around as soon as I pick up a book, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’m hoping to finish one or two more books this month. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I know giving it time is the best thing I can do. It’s already been three weeks so I don’t know how much longer this could take. I’m just going to try not to fixate on it or worry about it or anything. Hopefully this will just resolve itself pretty quick!