How to Read 200 Books a Year

Do you ever just look at how many books someone’s read this month, or what their Goodreads goal is, and just melt into a puddle of despair crying HOOOOW?! Same. I’m that puddle. But instead of wallowing in misery that it’s highly improbable we’ll ever get around to reading all the books on our shelves or finally conquer our TBR, I’m going to give some VERY HELPFUL TIPS about how you can read hundreds of books each year. It’s pretty much foolproof.

My reading habits have remained mysterious to this very day, but NO LONGER ARE THEY A SECRET. I’ve #exposed all those other readers out there who read 200+ books a year, purely for your benefit. Shh… don’t tell them I spilled the tea. So take a seat, grab a notepad, and get ready to learn all about the secret lives of these speed-readers.

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Read multiple books at once.

You might think I mean flicking between a few different books at once – perhaps one of them is an audiobook for your commutes. Perhaps one is a physical book you only choose to read before bed. But no, I’m talking about reading multiple books AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. How are you meant to read two or more books at once when you only have two eyes, you ask? GET SOME MORE EYES. I recommend at least eight. It’s the only way to ensure you will have maximum retention of the novels and be able to smash through your Goodreads goal.

What, like, growing more eyes is hard? AMATEURS. Read More »

College Stories in YA

As I’m just about to go into my second year of university, I’ve never been more desperate to read more YA set in college than I am at this very moment. There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the need for more YA books to be set after high school — and yes, I know NA is a thing, but for someone with the majority of the books I’ve been reading since I was 12 being YA, suddenly jumping into a new readership seems daunting. And plus, I still connect to so many YA stories. I’m only 19, that weird age when you’re not quite a teenager anymore but not quite an adult either, and I still see so much of my life in the protagonists from the YA books I read. And I know I’ll be reading YA for quite some time to come, even once I leave uni.

One of the main reasons I haven’t ventured out into NA and tried to read more of those books has definitely been influenced by the stereotype that NA is more about relationships and romance, and yes, sex. I’m asexual… so you might be able to understand why I wouldn’t be able to see that aspect of myself in the protagonists. I want first romances, cute handholding, and swooning. I’d definitely be happy to give some NA a go that doesn’t involve much or any romance. But another one of the reasons why I haven’t really given NA a try is because it doesn’t have the same platform as YA. YA is everywhere I look — on Twitter, Instagram, the blogs and BookTube channels I follow — and joining a whole new community seems daunting to me.

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Fairy Tale Retellings

Girls Made of Snow and GlassAt sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

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Middle Grade Recommendations

This year, I found that I’ve read a lot more middle grade novels than I normally do. I think that’s partly due to the fact that I have more time for reading this year, or maybe that these books have been more on my radar this year. Or maybe it’s because I read some really spectacular middle grade novels and it’s made me realise that this is a readership I don’t want to miss out on.

While YA has a special place in my heart, expanding my reading sphere this year has given me the opportunity to realise that there’s so much more out there and that I don’t just like YA. I love middle grade, and some adult fiction, and some non-fiction, and I just… wow. My TBR is suffering, but in the best way possible. So here are three of the best middle grade books I’ve read this year, and some of the ones that I want to read ASAP!

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Howl’s Moving Castle

5985499Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate.

But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle.

To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

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Spreading Some Blogger Love

It’s undeniable that book bloggers do a lot of work to spread the awareness of books and promote authors. A lot of the time, bloggers do this without recognition and without payment. We do it because we love reading and talking about books, and most importantly, sharing which books we’ve loved recently and want others to read and fall in love with to. But what saddens me more than anything is when some bloggers feel like their thoughts don’t matter or that they aren’t recognised. So today, I just want to spread some blogger love.

I understand how disheartening it can feel when you spew your feelings into a discussion or a review and it doesn’t get as many views as you’d like – I’ve been there. I know how disenchanting it can feel when you think that no one is reading your blog or that no one even notices you’re posting. Sometimes the blogging world is a tough one, and sometimes you might feel like the voices of bigger bloggers drown out all the rest. But no matter what, you have to remember that your opinion matters. You matter.

Whether you’ve been blogging for ten years, or even more, or you just started last month, or last week, I believe that what you’re doing is important. It’s easy to get caught up in follower counts, and stats, and feeling like you’re not getting any recognition for the hours upon hours you spend on each post, and that’s normal. I can guarantee that every blogger has had those thoughts at least once in their life. No one ever said being a blogger was easy or not a lot of work, but we always have to remember the reason why we started – to share the love of books and discuss the issues in the bookish community that are important to us.Read More »

Stalking Jack the Ripper & Hunting Prince Dracula

Both Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula had been on my TBR for ages. I mean, historical YA fiction? Forensics and science? Creepy stories? Sign me the frick up.

I’d heard amazing things about both of these books, and even better things about listening to them on audio. So I decided to listen to Stalking Jack the Ripper on audio and read Hunting Prince Dracula and I can 100% say that both reading experiences were different but equally as exciting. These two books were just so spine-tingling and captivating, and I’m so pleased I finally got around to reading them! I need more books by Kerri Maniscalco.

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Writers in YA

I’ve always had a special connection with books that include characters who love to write or enjoy reading. Part of me thinks that’s because bookish people are some of the most passionate, kind, hardworking people there are, and I want to read about those sorts of people. But really, I think the main reason is because, as a reader and a writer (what a surprise) I’m able to connect with these characters and see a piece of myself within them. As readers and writers, we’re all connected. There’s something about the love of books and the written word that ties us all together — the adoration of stories and storytelling is something we all grow up on, and the ones that keep this passion throughout adulthood have a sense of creativity and empathy that might not be as prominent in other people. So you, as a reader or a writer, are spectacular. That’s what I’m trying to say.

It’s amazing to open a book and be able to see a part of yourself on the page — whether that be represented through your cultural identity, your sexual orientation, your disabilities, your neurodiveristy, or even something seemingly as simple as your passions or interests. It’s so important that readers, especially teens and young adults, are able to see a part of themselves in what they read, because seeing people like yourself is something that shows your identity or who you are is valid. You matter, and as a reader, you deserve to see people like you in the books that you read. That’s why reading diversely and supporting #OwnVoices is so important — to show young people that they matter.

I could go on and on about my identity as a neurodivergent queer cis woman and how I see myself represented in what I read, but today I want to talk about a different part of my identity — my identity as a writer. I love reading about writers and content creators more than anything, specifically because those are the people I identify with and those are the things I want to be doing with my life: writing and creating other cool content. To me, if you hand me a book with a good writer character that I can either want to nurture or swoon over, where their writing process is realistic and relatable, there’s a 99% chance it will end up on my Favourites shelf. So today I’d like to recommend some of my favourite books with writer characters in them to you!

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10 Books I’ll Never Read

Like most readers, I’ve bought a lot of books over the years. I don’t really want to count them because I know if I saved that money I could have probably bought a planet by now, but I’d say I’ve accumulated close to 500. Thankfully a lot of those are review copies and ARCs, but I looked at my Book Depository purchase history the other day and… yeah… let’s not do that again.

But of course, because I’ve bought so many books that it’s actually physically impossible to read them all before I die at the rate I read compared to how many books I buy, there’s bound to be some that I’m never going to read. Ever. I mean, my tastes are constantly changing, some books I bought a few years ago have zero appeal to me now, and I always feel the need to read recent releases, as opposed to ones released five or more years ago.

So today I wanted to share ten books that are on my shelves and I’m never going to read! And probably cry about having -$17 in my bank account but MOVING ON.Read More »

My Top Bookish OTPs

Ahh, OTPs. If you’ve ever read a book (which I’m assuming that’s why you’re here, unless you’re really, REALLY procrastinating and have fallen deep into your laptop and don’t know how you got to my blog – which, in that case, GO AND DO THE THING YOU’RE PUTTING OFF) then it pretty much goes without saying that you’ve shipped characters, had an OTP, or have maybe even shipped YOURSELF with a few of them.

But before we continue, there are just two terms I’d like to clarify:

  1. OTP: In short, “OTP” stands for “One True Pairing.” It’s used in fandoms to describe any given participant’s favorite couple — or couples, because, perhaps contrary to the term’s very definition, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one OTP (and no, they don’t have to be canonical).
  2. Shipping: Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film, literature, television etc.) to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise.

You’re welcome.Read More »

Being Internet Famous in Books

One of the trends I’ve seen in YA in the last couple of years is exploring what it means to be internet famous, and sharing the stories of those content creators who are well renowned online. What I love most about these novels are how they reflect what’s important to me at my place in life at the moment, and how they so clearly give a snapshot into this aspect of society at the present. As a blogger who considers her residential address to be the internet, you could say that social media and other platforms where people post their content takes up a large portion of my life. Because of that, I find reading about teens who write fanfic for a large audience or become a YouTube sensation overnight extremely satisfying to read about. So these are some of my favourite books about internet and the modern era!

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