Showing posts with label End of the year post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End of the year post. Show all posts

Thursday, December 29, 2016

End of the Year Post (2016)

Well, 2016 is just a few days from being over, and it’s time to share some of my general thoughts about my year in blogging. To make it easier on myself, I’m going to divide this post down into sections, and talk about those subjects individually.
  • Books…
This year, I went back and read a lot of older releases that I’ve been meaning to get to. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun, and I realized just how many great books I’ve missed.

One of the big things I’ve come to accept this year is that I don’t need the new releases as soon as they come out. I’ve realized that I’m okay with waiting a little longer—sometimes months—to read the books I’m really looking forward to. My reasoning is that I’m still going to eventually read the book, so I just don’t worry about it anymore and feel more relaxed.

I’m still okay with DNFing books I’m just not enjoying. I used to be one of those people who tried to finish every book I started. So, I’ve tried that before, it takes forever to get to the end of the book, and I end up losing my enthusiasm for reading and blogging. In 2016, I’ve pretty much stuck to the first 100 page thing—sometimes I’ll read a little more than that if there’s something I find promising about the story. However, for the most part, I’ve set aside books that I just couldn’t get into, in favor of ones I really wanted to read, and ended up enjoying.

The biggest thing I’ve focused on is reading what makes me happy, rather than spending too much time on things that I don’t like.
  • Memes…
I actually really like the memes I’m currently participating in. They’re pretty easy to do, and it’s really up to me what I do and don’t want to post. Nothing has really changed since 2015 in that regard, except for the fact that I tried out some non-book related memes. Music seemed like a good fit for Our Thoughts Precisely. So, I tried out two—one on Thursday and the other on Monday. The Thursday meme didn’t work out since it added another day to my regular posting schedule. I wanted to keep Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as the days I primarily post on. So, Music Monday stuck around. It worked out for the better since I could use the two Monday memes interchangeably, or participate in both.

For the past several weeks, Adri has been blogging regularly on Music Monday. It has been so much fun writing out the post, and sharing our music recommendations.  

  • Some thoughts about the blog...
I don’t think my method of blogging has changed much since last year. A lot of the things I started doing in 2015 occurred regularly in 2016 since they worked so well for me. Could things change in 2017? I don’t really think so. I’m pretty happy with how things currently work. However, a big part of blogging is learning as I go. So, it would be kind of premature to say “never!” to any potential changes.  


Monday, January 11, 2016

End of the Year Post (2015)

Well, I'm finally back. 2015 is finally over and I’m ready to put that year firmly behind me; however, I guess I need to talk about it somewhat. First, I hope everyone had a great holiday. I enjoyed my mini hiatus from the internet. I did read, but not as much as I thought I would since I was preoccupied with other things, and now I’m ready to get back to blogging.

So, what did I really think of 2015?

Well, 2015 started out on a good note for blogging. I made some changes to how I wrote posts and how many reviews I did per week, which worked out better. I didn’t really set any goals besides trying to read at least one book per week, maybe more if I felt like it. Mostly I kept to the first hundred pages for books—if it didn’t grab me then it just didn’t, factors tend to vary—which helped me get to more novels that I ended up enjoying, rather than spending time on something that just wasn’t for me.

As for the books, well I got a lot of reading done, which I’m pretty happy about. I found a lot of new favorites, read a couple of trilogies, and started some new series that I do want to finish—plus, I’m waiting for several sequels to come out. So in terms of reading, 2015 was an extremely good year, and I hope that trend continues. There were some books I didn’t enjoy, but they were so few and far between that it didn’t throw me off too badly—I did take a couple of breaks when I needed them.

For now, I'm pretty happy with the blog art, but who knows, I might get the urge to update it (but there's no telling if or when that might happen).

So that’s about it. Happy reading!

Up next: 2016 New Year’s Blogging Resolutions

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Books of 2015

Since the year is almost over, it’s about time to look back on the year, specifically, the books. This post is going to focus on all of the books I liked and reviewed this year, give or take a few.

It’s always nice to discover a new book that ends up being a favorite. Last year, I more hesitant to step out of my comfort zone, and while I did find new authors, it wasn’t that many. But this year, I’ve tried to do better and give more books a try. On the other hand, it was also nice to keep up with series/trilogies by author’s I was already familiar with.

New favorites…

  • A.G. Howard: I enjoyed Howard’s take on Wonderland, and though I had a few issues with Splintered, I really enjoyed it.
  • Megan Shephard: I had the Madman’s Daughter on my shelf for a long time, and it was only during 2015 that I finally got around to reading it. The book was fantastic and Shephard’s writing style paired nicely with the story.
  • Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: One word: Illuminae. That book was epic, awesome in so many ways, and I look forward to the next book.
  • Mari Mancusi: Scorched is by far one of my favorite books featuring dragons.
  • Angelica Banks: Finding Serendipity was a ridiculously cute story and I’m really looking forward to the sequel coming out next year.
  • Kim Karalious: Basically the story was cute for the most part and proposed the idea of love going seriously awry with some terrible consequences.
  • Ray Bradbury: His style of writing is absolutely fantastic. The Halloween Tree was a really great story.
  • Brian Selznick: The Invention of Hugo Cabret was just a really lovely book. The illustrations were also fantastic so obviously I will be reading more novels by Selznick.
  • Alexandra Bracken: The Darkest Mind’s trilogy was fantastic and it was kind of nice that I didn’t have to wait for the books to come out (the plus side to waiting so long to start the trilogy).
  • Jennifer Latham: I read Scarlett Undercover earlier in the year and I really liked it.
  • Ryan Graudin: Graudin’s style of writing is easy to get into, and I look forward to reading more of her novels.
  • James Dashner: I had the chance to read the entire trilogyand the last book earlyoverall it was a great series.
  • Sherry Thomas: The Elemental Trilogy is just one of my favorites. I'm glad that I finally got around to reading it.
  • Neil Gaiman: I read Coraline in October and I have to say that I really liked it. There were some differences between the book and the movie. And while I did enjoy the film, the ending to the book was an aspect of the story I liked better.
Review List…
Old favorites…
  • Victoria Schwab: I read the second book to The Archived series, and I liked it.
  • Madeleine L’Engle: For obvious reasons I finished reading A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet this year. I had the omnibus edition with the first three books, and I liked A Wrinkle in Time. So I was curious to see the next part of the characters story.
  • Stephanie Thomas: I read the second book of her series, Lucidity, and I liked it better than the first.
  • Melissa West: Hover was a good book and I need to eventually read the last novel of the trilogy.
  • Amanda Sun: Rise was just a really good short story and If you have read the series then I recommend checking it out.
Review List…

Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year Post 2013 Edition

Blogging made me realize some things…

     Well would you look at that, 2013 is all but over already.  It’s been a blast doing the blog this year, but I’ve come across a few things.  And for the most part, I’ve realized that I wouldn’t have figured these things out if I hadn’t started blogging.  I used to be one of those people who would buy anything, as long as the synopsis sounded good, and it had a nice cover.  Because I used to love reading, I really did.  But I can’t say I love it as much anymore. 

    As you can see things have been pretty slow around Our Thoughts Precisely as of late—*Cricket Chirping*—but it’s not without reason.  I really just haven’t found much that I actually wanted to read.  As far as 2013 has gone, it’s been a pretty dismal year on the book end for me.  I started getting so many bad books that it had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to give any new authors a chance.  Many times I found myself questioning why I’m still blogging when all I felt like I was doing was wasting my time and sometimes my money.  

     Sometimes I’ve bought books thinking I’m getting one thing, and then when I actually get to the reading part, I find that the synopsis was misleading.  Book covers are book covers.  You can make it look as pretty as you want, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what’s inside of a book.  A book cover isn’t going to make me like a book, sorry.  Many times I’ve seen other bloggers/readers gush about a book, and I fully expect to love it too.  But that’s not the case.  And some of these books that I’m talking about never even made it to the review stage, and probably never will.

     Moving on, this year I found myself unwilling to promote certain books—I won’t name names.  And that was because of one thing.  It’s an issue with comfort, some things I’m just not comfortable reading, and never will be.  While things that bother me might not bother others, the blog is just an expression of our opinions, no one else’s.  But that being said we are not, in any way looking for books with the following content: child abuse, excessive drug/alcohol use, older men interested in underage girls/vice-versa, lack of consequences for actions, and woman being mistreated/ disrespected in ways that crossed—overshot it actually—the line of ok into straight vulgarity.  If the book has gone into that vulgar territory, then I’m not obligated to say a thing about it.  Because I won’t, and will not ever recommend something that I wouldn’t even show my own mother.  Oh, I forgot one on that list, too much sexual content, to the point where the plot suffers a great deal because of it.

     I want to read to be entertained, to be immersed in a world that I could get lost in.  I don’t want to feel frustrated at the end of a book because the shock value overshadowed the plot.  I would love to see more books with strong female leads who are independent, resilient, and don't need a boyfriend to justify their existence.  I just don’t want to feel like I want the hours I lost back. 

     Maybe 2014 will be better, or maybe it won’t.  No one can say for sure until the new batch of books start rolling in.  Needless to say, I’ve moved away from YA.  I’ve mostly been sticking with Middle Grade, or just General Fiction books.  I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t been finding the right books.  Was your year of books better than mine?  If you want, leave your answer in the comments.  Anyway, have a happy holiday’s everyone! 

*And hey, the Go-Go bar/brothel scenes do nothing for books, I’m just saying.
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