31 January 2016

2016 Reading Challenges Update - January

Because Reading is better than reali life

The first Challenge I will be participating in is the 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge, hosted by Laura @ trips down imagination lane and Michelle @ Because Reading. The challenge runs from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016 and you can sign up here before 1st March 2016.

My 2016 resolutions are:

Bookish resolutions
  • Get Netgalley ratio up to 80%
    • January - 57%
  • Read 20 physical books I already owned prior to 1st January
    • January - 2
  • Reread 5 books
    • January - 0
  • Finish 6 series
    • January - Finished/Up-to-date = 2
  • Reach my Goodreads goal this year (65 books)
    • January - 8
Blogging resolutions
  • Finish updating all blog posts to current layout
    • January - A few updated this month
  • Visit 4 blogs a week (not including memes) (by visit I mean comment on)
    • January - 9 (Need to be better)
  • Blog ahead - get to at least 6 weeks ahead
    • January - 2 weeks ahead (I think...)
Personal resolutions
  • Start going to the gym again
    • January - I'm joining tomorrow...
  • Start learning Spanish again
    • January - Haven't started yet...


New-Release-Challenge2016-450x450

The second challenge I will be participating in is the 2016 New Release Challenge hosted by Lexxie @ (Un)conventional Bookreviews and Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!. The aim of the challenge is to read as many books released in 2016 as possible. Sign up is open until 15th February 2016.

As this is my first year participating in this challenge and I'm wanting to read more books that I already own, I'm going to set my goal as New Release Pro so 16-30 books.

Because Reading is better than real life

The third challenge I want to participate in is the 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading. Sign up is open until 1st July 2016. I'm hoping this will help me reduce the number of physical books I have still to read.

As this is also my first year participating in this challenge (and I don't know how well I'll do reading from a set list), I'm aiming for level 1 so 12 books and 1 book a month. These are the books I plan to read over the year:


The fourth, and final, challenge is the 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Evie @ Bookish Lifestyle. The aim is to read as many books (published in or before 2015) from your TBR as possible. Sign up is open until 31 November 2016.

I'm going to set my goal at A Friendly Hug so 11 to 20 books.

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The Sunday Post (31 January)

Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

29 January 2016

Discussion: DNF Reviews

I've been blogging just under a year now and one thing (amongst many others) that has always conflicted me is DNF reviews. I'm never too sure how to deal with them. Luckily, I've only had two to contend with so far, but I'd be naive to think I'll finish every single book I pick up.

On Goodreads, I don't even mark my DNF's as read because, in my view, it wasn't read. I gave up so why would I say I read a book if I didn't. I only attempted to read it. Of course, this means that I can't post these reviews on Goodreads.
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Because of this, I only post DNF reviews on my blog. And, of course, I still share links via Twitter and Facebook (and Netgalley if applicable).

To me, (and I may be wrong) this means that there is less chance (probably not) of authors actually seeing these reviews. And I'm okay with this as I'm not cruelly waving all the things I didn't like in their faces. God knows what that does to an author's confidence. Even though I don't necessarily like their book, they still have my respect as they were brave enough to write a book and get it published. Something I could never dream of doing.

Of course, there is a chance of authors seeing my Twitter post as I'm mentioning their name (just not tagging with @)... oops! 
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So, if they do end up stumbling across my review then oh well... I can't really do much about it. I just hope they don't take it to heart too much.

To be honest, it really is a bit of a catch-22. I review honestly so I feel I need to be honest about why I don't finish certain books. But I also feel so bad about doing it, which is why I limit where I post them I think... or, at least, that's what I've convinced myself.

So, how do you deal with DNF's? Do you still review them, and if so where do you post your reviews?


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28 January 2016

ARC Review: The Truth, Jeffry W. Johnston

The Truth

Title: The Truth
Author: Jeffry W. Johnston
Published: 02/02/2016, Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 4/5

"Lie, torture, kill—there's nothing Chris and Derek wouldn't do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he's trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek's little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris's story won't change. It can't. There is far too much at stake…

Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn't deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother's killer is the only way to the truth, then he'll go to extremes. But Chris's truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…"

26 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I NEED to Start Now


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is a freebie. Therefore, I've decided (and I can't remember if I've done this before or not) to do my top ten series I NEED to start now! And there's slightly more than ten this week...

25 January 2016

Book Review: Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 30/01/2014, Pan Macmillan
Pages: 461
Source: Bought - Secondhand
Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

"Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

A tale of fanfiction, family, and first love."

24 January 2016

The Sunday Post (24 January)

Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

21 January 2016

Book Review: Learning to Live (Infinite Love #1), Kira Adams

Learning to Live (Infinite Love, #1)

Title: Learning to Live
Series: Infinite Love #1
Author: Kira Adams
Published: 11/01/2015
Pages: 214
Source: Amazon freebie
Format: Ebook

Rating: 3.5/5

"Ciera Nelson wants what any other outcast wants, invisibility. If she can just make it through the rest of her year with minor incidents and a head held low she will be able to put the hell hole they call school in her rearview. Unfortunately, life has different plans for her. 

Topher Carlson is one of the biggest jocks on campus. All the guys want to be him, all the girls want to claim him. When secrets are uncovered, Topher’s life spins wildly out of control.

They are far from friends when the school year begins, but each will impact the other’s life in ways they never dreamed possible. Can Ciera help Topher realize that popularity and status mean nothing in the real world? Can Topher help Ciera learn the true meaning of living?

Sometimes you have to let go to really live. Sometimes being alive means taking risks."

19 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to My TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is my top ten books that I've recently added to my TBR.

18 January 2016

Book Review: Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage

Title: Riders of the Purple Sage
Author: Zane Grey
Published: first published 1912
Pages: 142
Source: Amazon freebie
Format: Ebook

Rating: 1.5/5

"Told by a master storyteller who, according to critic Russell Nye, “combined adventure, action, violence, crisis, conflict, sentimentalism, and sex in an extremely shrewd mixture,” Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic of the Western genre. It is the story of Lassiter, a gunslinging avenger in black, who shows up in a remote Utah town just in time to save the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen from having to marry a Mormon elder against her will. Lassiter is on his own quest, one that ends when he discovers a secret grave on Jane’s grounds."

17 January 2016

The Sunday Post (17 January)

Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

15 January 2016

Discussion: How Many Books I Read Last Year

On 21 February 2015, I started both My Expanding Bookshelf and my Goodreads account. Before then, I didn't really keep track of how many books I was reading. Cause laziness really...

However, since then, I read 58 books with 16,015 pages in 2015. That's 1.09 books a week! Averaging at 43.9 pages a day! I think that's pretty damn good. Especially, when I tie in the fact that I was working 2 jobs for 5 months of the year and then quit them both to start my first full-time job in September. I leave my house by 7.30am and get home at 6.00pm. I honestly have no idea how I found the time to read at all never mind read 58 books. And that doesn't even take into account the time blogging takes up!

I'm honestly mind blown by the idea that some people can read 150 to 200 books a year! 

mind blown taylor swift amas 2014
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I mean how on earth is that possible? Fitting that in with family, jobs and other commitments seems impossible to me. I applaud anyone that manages this!

disney applause cartoons & comics clapping aladdin
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Before I started my blog, back in February 2015, I thought I was a really fast reader. It turns out that although I'm fairly fast, I'm nowhere near as fast compared to other bloggers. But you know what, I'm okay with that. I can still read a book in a day if I really want to and have the time to.

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That being said I'm hoping to break past this record this year. And maybe even *fingers crossed* get close to 70 books. That would make my year! I'm hoping this will be easier now that I'm more settled at my new job now and have sort of established a nice routine now.

So, how many books do you read a year? Are you one of the superhumans that read over 150 books? And if so, HOW on earth do you find the time and WHAT are you reading? 

(Also, opinions on my first Discussion post - how did I do? Cause I don't trust my own rubbish opinion haha! *Fingers crossed* I'll get better!)



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12 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases I Didn't Get To


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is my top ten 2015 releases I meant to get to but didn't.

11 January 2016

Book Review: The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Published: 16/05/2012
Pages: 308
Source: Amazon freebie
Format: Ebook

Rating: 3/5

"When spoiled child Mary Lennox loses her family to a cholera outbreak, she moves to her uncle’s manor surrounded by a massive garden. Within, Mary discovers a whole new outlook on life thanks to a supportive household and the garden’s power of healing."

10 January 2016

The Sunday Post (10 January)

Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

07 January 2016

Book Review: Diverging Cadence (Cadence #2), Katie Hamstead

Diverging Cadence

Title: Diverging Cadence
Series: Cadence #2
Author: Katie Hamstead
Published: 25/08/2015, REUTS Publications LLC
Pages: 282
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 5/5

"When Cadence Anderson woke to find her husband and infant daughter had been killed, she thought her life was over. Instead, she was offered a second chance and sent back in time to do it all again. 

She’s made the most of this opportunity, repairing her relationship with the best friend she lost the first time, avoiding the romantic mistakes she made originally, and even bringing her family closer together. But she’s also done something she wasn’t planning on—she’s fallen in love with someone other than her future husband. 

Stepping onto a plane and flying across country to attend university is the hardest decision she’s had to make. But unless she follows through with it, her future with Austin might never happen. And what becomes of her beautiful baby if she stays with James, the man she was never supposed to love? 

The only thing she knows for certain is that she has to see Austin again, and she’s intent on reliving that part of her previous life exactly like she did the first time. Even if that means she has to lie to James to do it. Because, deep down, she can’t quite bring herself to let him go. 

Now, past and future are about to collide, and Cadence has to make her final choice—follow the uncertain path of a life with James, or the one she came back to save . . . with Austin. 

In this emotional conclusion to the story that began in Deceptive Cadence, relationships will be tested, identities revealed, and the past will overshadow the future, putting the finishing touches on an unforgettable tale of courage, sacrifice, and, above all, love."

05 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is my top ten resolutions for 2016. It's highly unlikely I will keep to most of them...

04 January 2016

ARC Review: This Is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends

Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Published: 05/01/2016, Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 292
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 2/5

"10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival."

03 January 2016

The Sunday Post (3 January)

Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
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