January Book Haul

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my January Book Haul, otherwise known as All The Books I got for my birthday. Although I find it silly I must give you the disclaimer: I`m not bragging, I am grateful for my presents and want to share them with you, etc. Pardon the language, but what a load of crap. I`m always bothered by the fact that now we have to give these disclaimers. It`s a free world, you can skip a post or a video. But some of us enjoy this type of content, so let us be.

Anyway, let`s get back to my haul. The majority of these books are from my loving husband, and yes, I give him a list of all the books I want. And that`s because he tends to spend a lot more if I don`t do that (and buy expensive stuff that I don`t need). So I always check various websites to look for the cheapest price and then send him the wishlist. And they say romance is dead. I also got some Amazon/Waterstone gift cards because people know I love books and I went nuts. Because life`s too short and you can`t skip all the new releases. So without any further ado, let`s start this haul.

Last year I read the first two books in the Grisha trilogy, and I completely fell in love with the world (and the Darkling). So after hearing me talk non-stop about these books, my husband decided to get me the new editions. Which are gorgeous and probably the most beautiful books that I have ever seen. Also, another life tip from me: get yourself a partner that is not intimidated by your ongoing fascination with a fictional psychopath. And who decides to feed your addiction with the Grishaverse by buying you the "Six of Crows" duology. #RelationshipGoals

Moving on to the books I got with my gift card, I decided to be reasonable and get only three. As usual, I`m late to the party, but I finally picked up "My Lady Jane". The ending of "Ruin and Rising" left me heartbroken, angry and in a bit of a reading slump, so I`m hoping that "My Lady Jane" will help with that. I`ve already read 80 pages and so far I love it.

I also want to read more new releases, but at the same time, I`m trying to keep myself grounded in reality (sadly, I`m not a millionaire and I can`t afford all the books). I am trying to read at least 2-3 new releases and the ones that interested me the most were "Batman: Nightwalker" by Marie Lu and "Everless" by Sara Holland. I`m a big DC fan, and although I`m not the biggest fan of Batman, I am very interested to see what Marie Lu will do with the story. Leigh Bardugo did a phenomenal job with Wonder Woman, so one can only hope. As for "Everless", the plot reminds me a lot of "In Time", taking place in a world where time is the currency.

OK, these were all the books that I got for my birthday. I can`t say how grateful I am for them and how excited I am to start reading them. Thanks for reading!

My 2018 Bookish Resolutions

A few days ago, I posted my personal and blogging goals over at Beauty Nerd, my lifestyle/beauty blog. But when I saw that this week`s TTT is bookish resolutions, I`ve decided to divide and conquer. Maintaining two blogs is not easy, so I`ve decided to separate my goals for each blog. Today I`ll share with you my bookish resolutions (hate the word) and my plans for Carmen`s Reading Corner.

                                                            Read 10 Classics

Back in my high-school glory days, I used to read classics all the time. But then I started reading less, and when I got back into it, it was mainly fantasy and YA contemporaries. I recently made a post with the classics I want to read in 2018, and hopefully, I can tick 10 out of that list. Or add new ones, but the main idea is that I want to enjoy classics again.

                                                            Read 8 Big Books

What do I mean by big books? Books over 500 pages. Last year I focused so much on quantity, I sometimes skipped over quality. And I`m not saying that all huge books are masterpieces. But for fantasy at least, more pages equal more world building and character development (or so I hope). A few big books that I have in mind are: "It", "The Final Empire", "War and Peace", "Strange The Dreamer" and "The Witching Hour". I obviously wanted to include "The Winds of Winter", but hey, it`s been pushed again. To 2020!!!!!!!

                                               Participate in Non-Fiction November

Since I`m going back to Uni to get my master's degree, this will be quite easy to do. At the moment, I`m debating between a master degree in Digital Marketing or one in Politics/ Economics (Management of European Institutions, to be more specific). Regardless of what I decide, I`ll probably read some books for class, though I have a couple politics books that have been sitting on my TBR forever.

                                                       Read more literary fiction

I used to read more literary fiction when I was 16 than now at 28. I don`t know if it`s because I`m tired from work and I just want easy reads, but I mainly reach for YA (fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, you name it). I try to keep up with Haruki Murakami`s new releases, but other than that I`m behind on a lot of buzzing novels. In 2018 I want to read at least one adult literary fiction book per month, so if you have any recommendations from last year, let me know so I can catch up.

                                                       Start a Booktube channel

The scariest and yet most exciting thing I want to do in 2018, is to start a Booktube channel. I wanted to start one in 2017, but I let fear get the better of me. I was terrified that nobody would watch my videos, or worse, that people will say mean things. But until you try something, you can`t be sure of the outcome.

As for my blogging goals, I`d love to reach 80.000 pageviews. I`d also love to get my DA over 40. It would mean the world to me if I could reach 1k Bloglovin followers. Or 10k Instagram followers. But numbers are tricky, and they can never give you real satisfaction (plus, with all these changes, it's hard to increase your presence). I know I don`t have the biggest following, but I have a loyal group of online friends that I interact with regularly. And that means the world to me. Although it`s nice to have a specific goal to motivate you, the main thing I want to accomplish in 2018 is to still enjoy bringing out content. 

Let me know in the comments what are some of your 2018 bookish resolutions. How many books do you want to read this year?

*TTT is a weekly meme created by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. Now it has a new home at That Artsy Reader Girl.

TTT: Top Ten Books I Wanted to Read in 2017 and Failed Miserably

2017 TBR
                                           TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

A new year brings new beginnings, but also the shame of your last year failures. That`s why I normally don`t like New Year`s Resolutions and never set them. I don`t like to feel the pressure of doing something. Obviously, every year I want to be the better version of myself. But that should happen gradually and naturally. On that note, I also suck at sticking with my TBRs. These were all books that I wanted to read in the previous year and failed miserably. So hopefully, I`ll have better luck this year.

1. "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern
This book was on my Spring TBR. Let that sink in! Honestly, I have no excuse for not reading it. It seems to have that whimsical vibe which I love in my books and I`m pretty sure I`ll love it. So I need to just pick it up and read it.
"Truthwitch" Susan Denard

2. "Truthwitch" by Susan Denard
I am trying to read more epic-fantasy novels and this one seems to get a lot of praise on Goodreads. The focus appears to be on female friendship and we can all use a bit more of that.

3. "Nevernight" by Jay Kristoff
This book has an amazing Goodreads rating, and I know that can be misleading (hello Cassie Clare), but I`m intrigued by it. Not going to lie, I`m a sucker for the covers. And everything with assassins in it has my full attention.
Throne of Glass

4. "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas
I have a feeling I`ll hate this series. And I know that I just mentioned that I love assassins. Sadly, many reviewers that I trust disliked these books (or liked the first one or two and then it went downhill). But I believe that you have to read a book for yourself before you judge it. And every reading experience is personal. So who knows, maybe I`ll like this one.

5. "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doer
I have been very lucky with my historical fiction picks last year. It`s a genre that I highly enjoy and I rarely get disappointments. This book has gotten so much praise, it`s crazy. All I know about this novel is that it`s about a blind French girl and a German boy who try to survive WWII.

6. "Red Queen" by Victoria Aveyard
People have mixed opinions about this book and one of the most common complaints is that it`s not that original. But I love dystopia and I`m willing to give it a chance.

7. "Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon
I`m currently in one of those phases when I am not happy with YA contemporary. I`m tired of the same trope and especially insta-love. And this book seems to have a lot of that. But again, I want to read it before I can judge it.

8. "Traitor to the Throne" by Alwyn Hamilton
"Rebel of the Sands" was one of my favourite books of 2016 and I was so impatient to get the sequel. But then I started reading other books and I also realised that I`ve forgot many details from the first book. So now I`m waiting for the conclusion and after that, I`ll marathon the whole trilogy.
Snow Like Ashes

9. "Snow Like Ashes" by Sara Raasch
When I was reading the synopsis of this book, I instantly thought of Arya Stark. It`s about an orphan girl that was raised as a warrior and would do anything to save her kingdom. Also, there`s magic involved.

10. "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer
A retelling focused on the Queen of Hearts. Again, opinions are mixed, but this looks to me like a guilty pleasure read that you read easily.

I know that many of you will recognize these books from my Fall TBR. What can I say? I`m hopeless. Hopefully, I`ll be more productive this year.

The New Year`s Book Tag


It`s the beginning of a new year and although I am on a blogging kick, I`m not in a reading mood. I know it sounds silly, but I want the first book of a new year to be an amazing one. And I can`t decide which one it should be. I mean, I want to finish the Grisha trilogy, but from what I understood, I`ll hate the last book. So until I decide what my first book of 2018 will be, let`s do the New Year`s Book Tag, which was created by Heather.

1. How many books are you planning to read in 2018?
This year I want to focus more on quality, not just quantity. And that`s why I set my Goodreads goal at 24 books, though I`m pretty sure I`ll read more than that. I also want to read some hefty books, over 500 pages, and I won`t be able to enjoy them if I constantly worry about stats.

2. Name 5 books that you didn`t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2018
First of all, I have "The Night Circus", which has been on my TBR forever. Then I`d like to start and finish the Shades of Magic trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.

3. What genre do you want to read more of?
Historical Fiction. I`ve read some amazing historical fiction novels last year, and I`d like to continue that in 2018. On my main TBR I have: "All The Light We Cannot See", "The Nightingale", "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and Code Name Verity". 

4. Name 3 non-book related goals for 2018
  • Start my Master Degree
  • Travel More
  • Start a Booktube channel (cheating, I know, but it`s one of my biggest goals of 2018)
5. What`s a book you`ve had forever that you still need to read?
A year ago the answer would have been "Pride and Prejudice", which I managed to finish this year. So now the answer involves another classic and that is "Wuthering Heights". I`m familiar with the story, but I always struggled to get into it.

6. One thing that you`re hoping 2018 will be:


This year I want to get out of my shell and be more open to new experiences. I`m terrified of starting a Booktube channel, but I`ll always have regrets if I don`t do it.

7. Tag a friend
I tag all of you that might be interested in this tag.

TTT: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2017

                                  TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Can you believe it`s 2018? I seriously have no idea where 2017 went. But rather than focusing on all the things I did not accomplish in the last year, I want to think about new beginnings. New goals and hopefully, better decisions. And hey, new books to read. Whilst my TBR is out of control, I have set my Goodreads challenge to 12 books, meaning 1 book per month. Obviously, I will read more than that. But I want quality over quantity. And there are some pretty lengthy books on my list, with more than 600 pages. And that requires time and energy.

Like always, I digress from the matter at hand. Today I`m supposed to talk about the new authors I discovered in 2017 and in that department, I was very lucky. I fell in love with so many phenomenal writers and so many of their works have become instant favourites. So without any further ado, let`s get down to business.

1/2 Patrick Ness and Adam Silvera
It`s very hard to choose between these phenomenal writers. Ness can write anything from contemporary to dystopia and magical realism. Silvera is the master of heartbreaking contemporaries.
"Shadow and Bone" Leigh Bardugo

3. Leigh Bardugo
My first Leigh Bardugo novel was actually "Wonder Woman: Warbringer", which I loved. And then I discovered the Grisha Universe, and totally fell in love with that world and its characters (not Mal, cause he sucks, but everyone else is great). It`s not often that I sympathize with a sociopath, but Leigh Bardugo made the Darkling such a complex character that you could not help root for him, even a tiny bit.

4. Lainy Taylor
I did not know what to expect when I picked up "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". I mean, I`ve heard stories like that a million times before. But Laini Taylor can take even the most common YA trope and give it a spin of her own. And her writing style is absolutely superb.

5. Agatha Christie
I don`t know what else to say, other than this woman can write the most complex murder mysteries. Her attention to details is exquisite and even though I`m good at picking up clues, I`m always shocked by her revelations. I still get chills when I think about the ending of "Murder On The Orient Express".

6. Becky Albertalli
If you want a fluffy YA contemporary that will make you feel all good and warm inside, you need to pick up one of Becky`s books. Her writing style is pretty straightforward, but the magic consists of her lovable characters.

7. Gabriella Lepore
I consider Gabriella Lepore one of my guilty pleasure authors. Granted, her writing style is not as mesmerizing as Laini Taylor`s or Leigh Bardugo`s. But she writes fun and entertaining books about witches. And sometimes you just want an easy book, that will make you relax.

8. Markus Zusak
I`ve only read "The Book Thief" by him, so I don`t know if I`m cheating or not. But the writing style in that book was superb, and making Death the narrator was such an original idea. Definitely worthy of a spot on this list.

9. Sandhya Menon
Just like Becky Albertalli, Sandhya Menon is the perfect author if you`re looking for a cute YA romance. Next year she`ll release another meet-cute story and I`m all down for that.

10. Maggie Stiefvater
Funny thing: I did not enjoy "All The Crooked Saints" as much as I thought I will. But I did enjoy Maggie`s writing, and it was enough to leave me wanting for more. This year I want to pick up "The Raven Boys" and I really hope the books will live up to their hype.

What authors did you discover in 2017? Were any of these on your list?

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