Looking Back on My Reading in 2018

My Reading in 2018

It’s the very last day of 2018 and what a year it’s been! Actually, I’m not in that much of a reminiscent mood this December. The year had its definite highs and lows, but I don’t really feel like dwelling on them, so I’m not going to! I’m excited for 2019 and I’ve got a lot of plans, but we’re going to talk about those in another post. One thing I do love looking back on is the things I read in a year, so that what’s were going to do today!

I’m going to look at Jamie/The Perpetual Page-Turner’s End of Year Book Survey for inspiration, but I’m not going to do the whole thing because it’s long and I only have an hour before having to get ready and leave for New Year celebrations #oops.

So, let’s get to it!

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My Thoughts on Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (with spoilers!)

This review contains spoilers for the entire Throne of Glass series, including Kingdom of Ash itself

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

First published: 2018

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Five Year Blogiversary + Giveaway

5 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

It’s time to celebrate because today marks Books Baking and Blogging’s fifth anniversary! That’s right, I’ve been keeping this thing going for five whole years now. I’m as surprised as you are. A lot has happened in those five years since I posted my very first post, but this blog has been a constant throughout it all and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, let’s look back over the years, shall we? Keep reading until the end to find out how to enter the giveaway!

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Book vs. Film: 3 adaptations I watched recently

BOOK VS FILM

I love a good film adaptation, but like a lot of readers, I tend to want to read the book first. That usually makes me even more excited to watch the film, although I am also more likely to be a bit more critical (but that’s fine; I like being critical). When it’s the other way around, however, meaning when I see the film first, I’m usually not very inclined to pick up the book afterward. That happened to me with Everything, Everything, for example.

Over the past couple of months, I read a couple of books mainly because I was excited to see the films: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows (wow, that’s a mouthful), Room by Emma Donoghue and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I thought it’d be fun to write a post comparing these books and films because I had very different reactions to all of them. It ranged from loving the book way more than the film, preferring the film over the book and thinking both were great in their own right.

So, let’s get to it!

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Top Ten Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s been ages since I last did a Top Ten Tuesday – it was still hosted by The Broke and the Bookish back then, so that means this is my first TTT of the year. And it’s September. Whoops. Last week, I was reminded of this lovely prompt again, though, so I figured I’d participate again this week! It’s now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and the prompts are still just as fun and creative!

I think the reason why I stopped participating is that I sometimes find it difficult to come up with 10 books that actually really fit the prompt of the week. I don’t read as many books as some other book bloggers, so I sometimes felt like I was just repeating the same books over and over again. But I’m going to step past that insecurity and just get back on the horse, as they say, because Top Ten Tuesday is a ton of fun, and that’s what it’s all about!

So, let’s get straight to it! Here’s my top ten books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read…

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Book Reviews: Yay or Nay?

book reviews_Yay or Nay_

I was planning on writing a book review today. I haven’t written one in ages and in between all of those recipes I’ve posted recently, I figured it was high time for another review. So, I looked through the books on my “Read” shelf on Goodreads to find the perfect book to write a review about. But… I couldn’t really find one. I’ve had plenty of interesting reads recently, so that’s not the issue. I also haven’t been in a reading slump, so that can’t be it either. What is it that made me go “meh” about writing reviews on these books?

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Why How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis Is the Perfect Book for Female Bookworms

While debating literature’s greatest heroines with her best friend, thirtysomething playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelation—her whole life, she’s been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre.

With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies—the characters and the writers—whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. And, just as she excavates the stories of her favorite characters, Ellis also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives.

HTBAH

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Love, Simon vs the Book (spoiler: the film wins)

love simon vs the book

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of those books that everybody seems to love. Some people adore it with a passion; others simply like it, but I haven’t seen anyone say “it’s crap, I don’t get why everbody loves this so much”, which is what does happen with most hyped books. I think that’s because even if you didn’t fully connect with the story, you can still see how sweet and warm it was and how it could mean a lot to other people. This book is kind of like a puppy, I guess.  It’s adorable and you just really don’t want to see anything bad happening to it. Is that a good analogy? We’ll just go with it.

I read the book in the summer of 2017 and I really liked it (you can read my full review here). I wasn’t completely blown away by it and there were some aspects that I didn’t think were great per se, but overall I thought Simon was absolutely lovely. It warmed my heart and gave me fuzzy feelings. Kind of like a puppy (see, the analogy is perfect).

So, when it was announced that this book was going to be made into a film, I was overjoyed. Film adaptations have a long running history of being not that great, but I actually had high hopes for Love, Simon (I guess Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was too long a title). I got more and more excited when other bloggers came back super enthusiastic from early screenings and articles started to pop up about Love, Simobeing a lovely but also groundbreaking film. Last week, I got to see the film myself and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

In fact, I liked the film more than I liked the book.

*gasp* I know! A bookworm who likes the film better than the book?! Hell must have frozen over! This is certainly a first for me (I think)! So, let me explain.

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What I Learned about the War from a Children’s Book: The Secret of the Blue Glass

In a dusty library, in the quietest corner of a house in a Tokyo suburb, live the Little People: Fern and Balbo, Robin and Iris. Just a few inches high, sleeping cigarette boxes and crafting shoes from old book jackets, they need only one thing from their Humans–a nightly glass of milk, served in a sparkling blue glass goblet, by a trusted young member of the Human family.

But when the Second World War come to Japan, both Humans and their beloved Little People face a world they could never before have imagined. It will take great love, bravery, and a rather loyal pigeon, to bring their unique families back together once more…

First published: 1959 (in Japanese); this translation/edition is from 2018 by Pushkin Press

**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

the secret of the blue glass

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