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message 1: by Ashton (last edited Oct 17, 2018 05:30PM) (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments 81/104

I've decided to read at least 104 books during 2018 as I easily read 52 books in 2017. I can handle an extra book a week.

The full list I'm choosing my total of at least 104 books from can be found here Reading List

My View on the Rating System
I've noticed some people rating books 3/5 and saying in their reviews that they didn't really like the book. For me 3/5 means that I liked the book but it wasn't the best thing I've read nor was it life changing, basically nothing special. I decided to write what the ratings mean to me becasue I'm worried people will think I hate most of the books I read on first glance. Far from the truth I like most of what I read becasue I chose the books I actually read very carefully.

1: Hated it
2: Disliked it or found it boring
3: Liked it
4: Loved it/enjoyed it more then most books I've read
5: Changed my life, I'll never be the same after reading this book

Challenges I’m Doing in 2018

All Year
A-Z Challenge - 2018 21/26

An Author's Works Challenge - 2018 5/12 works (Drew Hayes (1/6) & Gail Carriger (4/6))

Every Year - 2018 21/25

Let's Turn Pages - 2018 20,739/31,000

Make Your Own Book Awards 6/25



DONE January - Marathon Challenge (January) 4,894/3,803 Pages and 23/11 Novels

message 2: by Ashton (last edited Jan 08, 2018 02:31PM) (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Reading List for Week 1 2018 (Jan 1st to 7th)

Listen to a Chapter of War and Peace on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday

Listen to a Chapter of A Storm of Swords on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

The Case Study of Vanitas, Vol. 1
Black Butler, Vol. 18
Black Butler, Vol. 19
The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us
Of Mice and Men
An Unlikely Agent
The Elements of Style
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Interview with the Vampire (I’m going to start this one earlier then I planned because now I own a copy I’m itching to read it.)

Listen to
The Night Manager
The Sign of Four

Thoughts About This Weeks Books

Before Reading
Someone on Reddit suggested tackling War and Peace by reading a chapter every couple days or so. I've decided to listen to a chapter every second day.

I've been listening to A Storm of Swords for a while and I'm about half way through the book which is 47 hrs and 37 mins long. I find George R. R. Martin good in small doses, so I've decided to finish this book and the rest of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by listening to a chapter every second day or so. My goal is to have the whole series read by the end of the year.

I borrowed a pile of books that included Of Mice and Men and An Unlikely Agent from my local library last week, then read something I already had in my Kindle instead.

Its going to be hard to wait until Jan 1st to start Interview with the Vampire and Wayward but I've got enough books to finish before the start of 2018. I'm really looking forward to Wayward after the way Pines ended. I haven't felt that way about a book for a long time.

I've read every Sherlock Holmes story before and love them. During 2017 I brought Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection from Audible. As soon as I saw it on the front page and noticed that the narrator was Stephen Fry, I brought it. It's little gems like this that make me glad to have an Audible subscription becasue I got it for only 15 dollars. I've already listened to A Study in Scarlet but I got distracted by other books. I'm going to listen to a story a week starting with The Sign of Four.

I've wanted to read The Picture of Dorian Gray since I first heard about it at around fifteen or sixteen. I already decided this year is the year I actually read it and the fact that its a group read made me move it to January.

message 3: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) That’s quite a n elaborate, well thought plan for your 2018 reading, Ash! I’ve added Wayword Pines to my TBR list seeing how enthusiastic you are about the first book.
I would love to read every Sherlock Holmes but there are soooo many great books waiting for me. Just don’t know where to start!
Nice to hear you will be joining the group read. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the book!

message 4: by Ashton (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Week 1 (1st - 7th) Reflection
I didn't really read what was on the list but I did reach my goal of two books in the week, in fact I read three.

The first thing I did was read the final volume of Death Note , Death Note, Vol. 12: Finis. I really enjoyed it, and recommend the series to anyone who likes similar manga. The Death Note series (anime and manga) does live up to the hype.

The first challenge I had was a surprise visit from family, so I had less then expected to read. Then I was given Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory as a late Christmas gift and had to read it straight away becasue I love Caitlin Doughty's You Tube channel, Ask A Mortician .

Though I started The Picture of Dorian Gray I realised that I needed something fluffy to read along side, listening to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes , especially seeing as the shows I'm currently watching are Criminal Minds and Psycho-Pass . So I read Liam Davis & The Raven, not the best thing I've read but not the worst, basically a simple fluffy, happy ending, romance. Though I did think the chemistry between the leads could have been better. I felt like there was something missing between the leads but I haven't read enough books in the contemporary romance genre to identify what it is.

I started War and Peace but it's definitely not my thing, thank god Audible Books are returnable. I exchanged it for Interview with the Vampire. I've decided that I'm not going to waste time on books I'm not enjoying, like high school me would have. I'm only going to read things I like.

I've convinced myself to write my first book review, for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory today. Hopefully it goes well.

message 5: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Sounds good Ash! Especially the not continuing a book you don’t like. Still have learn that. I’m just to afraid it will get better and that I’ll be missing out on something great...

message 6: by Ashton (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Susy wrote: "Sounds good Ash! Especially the not continuing a book you don’t like. Still have learn that. I’m just to afraid it will get better and that I’ll be missing out on something great..."

I'd have likely powered through if it was shorter but I know I'd never get through a book as long as War and Peace, unless I really liked it. I listened to the first two hours of the audio book before I decided it wasn't for me.

message 7: by Ashton (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Week 2 (8th to 14th) Reflection
I'm only going to do reflections from now on, only writing about the notable books I've read. I read 4 books this week and stopped reading 1 book.

I had to stop reading The Picture of Dorian Gray about 60% of the way through. I might go back it later and see if it was the edition I was reading but based on the reviews I've read from people who didn't like it, this won't solve the issues I had with the book. I found the story interesting but I couldn't get past the writing style. I've never felt like I've been driven half mad by a book before this one. It felt like half the book was spent overly describing rooms or the items characters owned or on the philosophical monologues of my now most hated fictional character, Lord Henry Wotton. Oddly enough if I hadn't picked up The Picture of Dorian Gray this title would have went to another character from a book I read this week, Armand from Interview with the Vampire .

The first book I read this week was The Sign of Four my least favourite Sherlock Holmes story. I don't hate it but large parts of it are rather boring. This is the second time I've read this story and I've decided it's still a solid 3/5, likeable but not anything remarkable.

My favourite book this week was Interview with the Vampire, I've rated it 4.5/5 rounding down to 4/5. The only thing that held me back from giving it 5/5 is how whiny the main character, Louis can be. While I like to take a break between books in a series, I continued straight onto the next book becasue I love the character, Lestat and he's the focus of the second book.

Last night I read Nailbiter, Vol. 1: There Will Be Blood the first volume of the graphic novel series, Nailbiter . I wish I brought more issues during the new years sale because this series is fantastic.

message 8: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Ash wrote: "I had to stop reading The Picture of Dorian Gray about 60% of the way through.

Did you get past chapter 11 Ash? I found that the most boring chapter, unnecessarily long too. After that it picked up a bit....

message 9: by Ashton (last edited Jan 15, 2018 12:53AM) (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Susy wrote: Did you get past chapter 11 Ash? I found that the most boring chapter, unnecessarily long too. After that it picked up a bit....

I think I quit during chapter 10 or 11 during the middle of one of Lord Henry's monologues. The chapter I stopped on exemplified everything I hate with the style of writing. It felt like it went stright from a page or so describing something, Dorian owned to a long monologue from Lord Henry.

I will try and read it again because I liked the overall story but I'm going to try a diffrent edition because people in the forum for the group read were talking about a charcter that doesn't even appear in the edtion I was reading.

message 10: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Ash wrote: "because people in the forum for the group read were talking about a charcter that doesn't even appear in the edtion I was reading."

??? How strange! Which character was that?

message 11: by Ashton (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Susy wrote: ??? How strange! Which character was that?"

Sibyl Vane's brother, James. Once I saw people talking about him in discussion for chapters I'd already read, I did a search for his name and it didn't appear in the edition I was reading.

message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy | 13 comments I like the idea of read one chapter from War and Peace every few days. I think I will try that. I have wanted to read this one and Anna Karenina but have been intimidated by sitting down to hack away at the two.

I usually only read one book at a time...however I think that I will try it chapter by chapter

message 13: by Ashton (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments Weeks 3 & 4 of January (15th to 31st)

I’m doing a combined update because I didn’t get a chance to write an update during Week 3. Between my friends being back in town after the holidays, work, actually reading, two new video games and working on editing my novel I forgot to write an update for that week, so I decided to combine the rest of January in one update.

Nailbiter, Vol. 2: Bloody Hands I wish I brought more volumes of the Nailbiter series during the Image comic sale at the start of the year because I really enjoyed the two volumes I’ve read. I recommend them to anyone who likes the TV shows Criminal Minds and Hannibal as the series reminds me more of them then anything else.

This week I also finally caught up with the Black Butler manga series. Its definitely my new favourite manga series now, replacing Pet Shop of Horrors . My top three are now Black Butler , Pet Shop of Horrors and Fullmetal Alchemist .

Gail Carriger is one of my favourite authors and I read three new books by her during this period and re-read another. The highlight of these was Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies, the first two books in her Finishing School series. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series after I work my way through a few of the books I’ve borrowed from the library.

Though The Vampire Lestat wasn’t as good as I expected, it was still very good but I gave it a solid four star rating because it dragged in a few places. I’m having a break before I read the next book in the series becasue I’m not sure Anne Rice’s writing is for me. While the story The Vampire Lestat and Interview with the Vampire told is amazing, I think there’s something about Rice’s writing style that is stopping me from giving these books five star ratings. That beside Interview with the Vampire is now one of my favourite books and I’m glad I’ve given this series a chance.

message 14: by Ashton (last edited Jan 31, 2018 08:22PM) (new)

Ashton (geek_aflame) | 49 comments January Reflection

Books Read: 23
Pages Read: 4,894
Challenges Completed: 1
Favourite books of the Month: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Interview with the Vampire, Black Butler Volumes 19 to 21 and Nailbiter Volumes 1 & 2.

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