End Of Year Book Survey – 2016

Originally created by Perpetual Page Turner, this survey is to look back on everything you read during the year and seeing as I actually read some things, I thought I’d join in! Found out about it through my friend Alice’s blog (The Geeky Burrow). 🙂

If you’re wondering why I’m doing this now and not when the year has ended, it’s because I’m taking a small break from books–well, sort of. I’m going to spend the remaining 13 days reading about Tolkien which is something I’ve been putting off for a long time.

2016 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: According to Goodreads it’s 75, which sounds super impressive but it’s mostly comics and graphic novels
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Combining The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance because HOOOOOOLY SHIIIIIT, they’re so good. They’re from Brandon Sanderson’s epic-fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive, and they’re massive books (think LOTR-massive) but in my opinion soooo worth the time to read. The third book should be out next year!


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

It kills me to say this but I’m going with The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I watched the movie dozens of times as a kid so I thought I would love the book but it took me over a year (embarrassing) to finish it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. I can’t say much without spoiling it, but there are three stories going on in this graphic novel that tie together at the end. My mind was kinda blown.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson!! I recommended it to at least 5 people this year and I see myself recommending it for the rest of my life, soooo good, you guys, so good.


5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

(You might be sick of reading Sanderson’s name by the end of this post, I’m sorry.)

Best series is definitely The Stormlight Archive.
Best sequel goes to Words of Radiance.
Best series ender? Hmm. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the final book in the first Mistborn series and it left me feeling so hallow but in the best way possible. Continue reading

Recent Obsessions

I’m a sucker for monthly favorite posts/videos. If I see those on YouTube you best believe I’m clicking on them. I’m definitely not interesting enough to write about things I like every single month, I’m barely interesting enough for this post! But here I am.

There are two musicals I’ve recently fallen in love with, the first being Waitress. I’ve wanted to watch it for moooooonths, hopefully I’ll get to watch it some time soon! Literally 5-10 seconds in the first song I was hooked. ♪ Sugar, butter, flour ♪

I usually don’t listen to a soundtrack until I see the show (so far Hamilton and Waitress have been the exceptions) but with how much more expensive Broadway tickets are getting, that’s probably not realistic. Sara Bareilles wrote the music and lyrics for the show and she did an EXCELLENT JOB. I hope she continues to work more in the theatre world because I need more show tunes from her. I recommend listening to the entire album (seriously) but if you just want a little taste (♪ it only takes a taaaaste ♪), I recommend listening to: “When He Sees Me”, “Bad Idea” and “She Used to Be Mine”–those are currently my favorites.

Jeremy Morse, Molly Hager, Jessie Mueller, Aisha Jackson and Stephanie Torns (Photo: Joan Marcus)

The other musical I want to talk about is Dear Evan Hansen. I’ve been hearing about it a lot lately and what finally made me decide to look into it was Tyler Mount’s video where he talked about his top 5 musical songs. “Waving Through a Window” was #2 on his list so I figured it was time. I listened to the song once and then I listened to it again. And another 10 or so times. What I’m saying is that I have it on repeat. I have only listened to this one song but it’s more than enough for me to love the show. Along with Waitress and In Transit, this show is at the top of the list of shows I want to see. You can listen to “Waving Through a Window” here.

If what I have to say isn’t enough for you to be interested, here are some extra tidbits:

  • Michael Greif is the director. He directed other shows such as the original production of Rent (!!!!!), Next to Normal and If/Then.
  • Alsoooo, Alex Lacamoire, the music genius behind Hamilton and In the Heights, among other shows, did the orchestrations.
  • In addition to Dear Evan Hansen, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul created the music/lyrics for the James and the Giant Peach musical which is spectacular. Okay I’m done now.

This year I discovered the genius that is Brandon Sanderson and so far I’ve read 12 of his books.

  1. Elantris
  2. Mistborn: The Final Empire
  3. The Well of Ascension
  4. The Hero of Ages
  5. Alloy of Law
  6. Shadows of Self
  7. The Bands of Mourning
  8. Mistorn: Secret History (novella)
  9. The Way of Kings
  10. Words of Radiance
  11. The Emperor’s Soul
  12. Warbreaker

I love all of them, especially the Mistborn books, but give me a moment to talk about The Stormlight Archive series. There are only two books out now (The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance) out of the 10 Sanderson is planning to write. The books are beasts but soooooooo worth the time it takes to read. More people need to read them because I need more people to talk to about it!!! My friend, Joff, has been an absolute saint and put up with my many messages on Twitter; I needed to get my feelings out somehow! Such a great series, SO GREAT. Great.

On more than one occasion I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. Sanderson is the master of plot twists and emotional torture and I love him for that. I check his website often to see if he’s made any progress on the third book and it’s currently at 73%!! I’d give you a brief summary but I’d butcher it so just look it up. It’s a great series. Thought I’d remind you.

From Patrick Rothfuss’ blog

I only have one more thing to talk about and that’s the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics! Words cannot express how much I love the show and how it inspires me, it’s just the best. I read The Promise ages ago but only recently read the rest and I’m more than ready for North and South! I’m not going to spoil anything but finally learning more about Ursa, Zuko’s mother, lifted a giant weight off my shoulders. The art throughout the stories is beautiful just like in the show and seeing the Gaang grow up and go through more adventures makes me happy. And I know there’s going to be comics for The Legend of KorraI need more of this world!! How great would it be to get comics about past Avatars? I hope people continue to create more Avatar products because I’m not done with this fandom.

“Smoke and Shadow”

Obligatory question: what things have you been loving lately? Comment below!

Tolkien Collection Haul: April-June 2016

I almost forgot to do this post! For some reason I thought April-July was three months, can’t tell you why I had that brain fart. The past few months have been very good to my collection, especially the book portion of it! Like I said in an earlier haul post, one day I’ll figure out how to nicely display everything but today is still not that day. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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25 Bookish Facts About Me | Tag

I watched a video by Amanda Carter, a booktuber I’ve recently subscribed to, called “25 Bookish Facts About Me”, pretty self-explanatory. Here’s the original video.

I wasn’t tagged BUT I’m gonna do it anyway.

1. I don’t mind movie/television book covers. I don’t care which edition someone buys because inside the story is still the same, so if you want a particular edition with a movie photo, you do you.

2. I’m the kind of reader who bends the spine or dog ears pages. I’m sorry!! You can unclutch your pearls now.

In my defense, I only do it to the books I own and never ones I borrow. Even I know that’s a big no-no! (I know that’s still unheard of for a lot of people.) Even if I happen to not bend the spine, the book I’m reading ends up looking distressed by the time I’m done with it. I sound like such a violent reader, oh god.

3. I buy too many books. That’s probably old news for some of you. I have a bad habit of buying lots of books to add to my TBR list, and it just piles up to the point of being overwhelming. I have 40+ books that I have yet to read and it’s a problem. But it’s hard not to buy more when they only cost $1-5! (I shop at used bookstores and Goodwills frequently…)

book shelf tbr
A majority of these books are part of my TBR list

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Carry-on Necessities

Traveling Bag 1

I’m the type of person who over-packs. No matter where I go, I bring more than I need, and if I don’t have all of my things with me I feel anxious. I just like knowing I have a certain something if a situation arises where I need it.

I’m going to be traveling with my mom later this month to a few countries in Europe (I’ll talk more about that later) for about 9 days, so I started thinking about what I’m going to be bringing. Oh, another fact you should know about me is that I usually pack way in advance because I get too excited.

I like “what’s in my bag” kind of videos and posts, so if you’re interested in seeing what I usually pack in my carry-on’s, here you go:
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Tolkien Wishlist: If I Were a Rich Man

…yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…

I’m positive that I’ll never stop collecting which also means my Tolkien wishlist will never stop growing. I would say many of the items in my list are possible, but I do have some things that are really expensive, I’m talking $100+ USD. If I had money to spare, these are items I’d add to my collection without a second thought:

Aragorn’s Crown


My collection doesn’t have nearly enough Aragorn-related items.

Aragorn's Crown



The most beautiful sword from all six films, I will fight you on this.

Photo by: yellowmo on Flickr

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Book Artist Tag

I’ve been wanting to do this tag since I saw it on Maria’s blog last year! I definitely judge books by their covers. A good design is very important, if I don’t like the way a book looks, I won’t be drawn to it. I’m a designer, so book design is something I’m very interested, but I don’t think I have the talent to make a career of it (YET!!).

You can find the original tag video here — it’s in German, so thank you, Maria for the translations!.

1) Show me whatcha got: Show me a book with the best cover

Do you understand HOW difficult this was?? I ended up choosing this set of Lord of the Rings with cover art by John Jude Palencar. This is one of my favorite copies of LOTR.

Book Art Tag 1

2) The inside matters: Show me a book with the best colours/ design on the inside of the cover

I chose this edition of The Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith. I love all the different colors in the map.

Book Art Tag 2

3) It’s all about the spine: Show me a book with the most interesting/ beautiful spine

I tried not to include so many Tolkien books but here we are. I picked two editions of The Hobbit for this one: the 50th anniversary and a collector’s edition (not sure if that’s the official title).

Book Art Tag 3

4) Make my heart sing: Show me a book with the best colours (cover, spine, and back)

Ever since I saw this book a while back, I knew I wanted to buy it and read it (haven’t yet though). Red, white and black is a classic color scheme and it really works with the cover. I love the way the title is treated, using two colors to separate the words, the clean illustration, ahh I just really like it.

Book Art Tag 4

5) It starts at the beginning: Show me a book with the best designed chapter beginnings

The edition of The Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee is beautiful! Anything Alan Lee does is superb, let’s be real.

Book Art Tag 5

6) Down to the basics: Show me a book with a unique title font

This is another book I haven’t read yet, but after seeing the cover I had to buy it. Shadow and Bone is part of the Grisha Trilogy and the other two books are equally well-designed.

Book Art Tag 6

7) Do it like Picasso: Show me a book with the most artistic cover

I am only halfway done with The Neverending Story, I stopped reading it last August…I got a little bored with it. I’ll finish it eventually. All that aside, I love this cover! There’s a lot going on but it flows nicely in my opinion.

Book Art Tag 7

8) Everything matters: Show me a book with the best book edge

This was my dad’s set of LOTR, as you can see it looks pretty old. The pages are all yellowed, there are little tears and rips on the covers but that’s what I love about it. I’m the type of person who has a habit of bending spines and being kinda aggressive with books so I like seeing worn books.

Book Art Tag 8

9) Pretty without any makeup on: Show me a book that is still beautiful without its book jacket

When I go to bookstores, I always take hardcover books out and take off their dust jackets because I want to see what the actual book looks like. For this, I ended up choosing The Secret Garden illustrated by Inga Moore. I bought this from a Goodwill for $2, and it’s sooo nice!

Book Art Tag 9