January 2019 TBR List

… Never too late to post a TBR for the month, I hope?

Hi all, I hope you are having an awesome day today. I’m writing from one of my favorite cafes in the city, just trying to keep warm from the cold – hot cocoa, anyone? Before I get to my January TBR List, I just want to share a few updates regarding my blog…

So I finally got busy in the kitchen yesterday and did some cooking for the blog. Before starting this blog, I had the impression that food blogging wouldn’t be so complex. I mean – it’s just a matter of learning how to cook while snapping a few photos, right?

I was wrong. Of course, I was. I made Mudburgers from Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach (from the Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes book), and I struggled taking photos with my smartphone while I had dirty hands. Not to worry though, my phone is clean as I somehow managed to cook with just one hand. (Note to self: consider buying a tripod)

Once I’ve finished writing that blog and editing the photos, I promise to upload it as soon as possible. But for now, allow me to tell you a little bit of this month’s TBR. I’ll be posting reviews for these books this month as well.

January 2019 TBR List

Note: It’s currently the 20th of January. This post was meant to be published earlier this month so chances are I’ve already started on/finished reading some of these books when this post gets published.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I love fairy tales so it’s not a surprise that this book made its way to my TBR list. Apart from all the good things I’ve heard about The Bear and the Nightingale, I also wanted to read a book that fits the winter season. And this book sounds like exactly the kind of stuff I am looking for.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein

I’ve been MIA on this blog for quite some time now. I’ve been busy with work and – cue in drum roll here, I’ve been busy planning for a novel.

The Night Circus is a part of my research from which I hope to get a lot of inspiration from. I might have given it away but yes, my story has a circus involved. I’ve been told that The Night Circus is a great story but, to be honest, I’m not sure what to expect. I didn’t even read the synopsis of this one – I’m just going to let the pages lead the way.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This book was on my list for the 2019 Back to the Classics Challenge. I’ve watched the movie version a hundred times before and I remember enjoying it then. If I’m not mistaken, Dumbledore – Richard Harris was in that film as well. I might rewatch it after reading this novel. I know it’s a thick one so I’m almost sure that I won’t be finishing it this month.

The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne

This is my first ever free book from NetGalley and I’m so excited to review this among all the others on this list. The cover is just intriguing and I think it has a lot of potentials – well, I tend to think that way until the end of the book anyway. As of today, I just have a few chapters left so expect a review coming very soon.

And that’s about it for my life updates. I’m actually thinking of including my writing process on this blog but I’m afraid that it’s a bit too off-topic for a book blog. I don’t know. Thoughts, anyone?

If you’re currently writing a novel, I would love to discuss writing tips and all that with you – just so that I don’t bore everyone with my progress on this blog. Anyway, I’m looking forward to chatting with you guys. Until next update, Kim signing off!

Unpopular Opinion Book Tag

Hello, all! How are you? I’m back today to make a quick post, just to let all of you know that I’m still alive and well.

Sometime last week, the lovely JR Lynn from Eternity Book Reviews tagged me with the Unpopular Opinion Book Tag. I didn’t want to do this at first because I didn’t want to offend anyone by bashing the books they love.

But after reading JR Lynn’s post, I thought it was a good chance to get to know other people and their thoughts about certain bookish things.

That said, it is not my intention to insult others. If you find your favorite book or author on my list, please ignore me and my opinions.

Now that we’ve got that all cleared up, let’s get down to business…

A popular book you didn’t like

I feel like I’m going to get a lot of hate for this one but in all honesty, I can’t stand The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

A book series everyone hates but you love

The Da Vinci Code. I know that it’s not a great thriller and that it has a million things wrong about it. But I still thought it had entertainment value. I thought that it was at least action-packed, which makes it a little bit more tolerable.

A love triangle where the MC ends up with someone you didn’t want them to end up with

I don’t usually read a lot of books with love triangles in them – it’s one of the tropes I want to avoid. But if I had to choose one, it would have to be Gale vs. Peeta for Katniss.

Yes, I’m on Team Gale.

A popular genre you rarely reach out for

Young adult contemporary. I’m not sure why… If you guys have some recommendations to help me get started, I would love to hear about them.

A popular character you don’t like

Celaena Sardothien (forgive me if I spelled that wrong – I just don’t care enough to Google it) Aside from that ridiculous name, I have so many things to say about this character, and none of them are good.

A popular author you can’t seem to get into

Tahereh Mafi. I haven’t read her middle-grade fiction (Furthermore) yet, but I didn’t like her style of writing in the Shatter Me series.

A popular trope you are tired of seeing

Like many others in the bookish community, I’m also not a big fan of love triangles and insta-love. But these days I find myself getting irritated with the “Kickass Girl” trope.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m all for girl power and all that but let’s be honest, this trope is problematic – especially if you pair it up with really bad writing. I guess what I meant to say is, I am tired of seeing this trope being misused. It has a lot of potentials but a lot of the popular books don’t get it (I’m looking at you, Calaena Sardo-whateverien)

A popular series you have no interest in reading

The Mortal Instruments. Throne of Glass – or anything by Sarah J. Maas. Twilight.

As the saying goes, the book is always better than the movie. But what movie do you prefer to the book?

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. There were many parts in Stieg Larsson’s book that I felt weren’t necessary. I know that he was a journalist and that fact reflected in his book but I just couldn’t get into it.

The movie gave me more Lisbeth Salander than the book could ever have. And I honestly think that this book wouldn’t be as popular as it was today without Lisbeth.

Top 5 Wednesday: 2019 Reading Resolutions

Hello, all! How have you been? I hope 2019 has been treating you well so far. The first week of the year had gone by so fast, I didn’t have enough time on my hands to post an update (how many times have you heard me say this as an excuse for not blogging?)

I spent the first few days of 2019 visiting shrines, having my fortune read through an omikuji, and eating edamame mochi. We also decluttered our home a few days ago. My library has been purged of books I DNF-ed last year and let me tell you, sometimes a roomy shelf can look more attractive than one that’s filled with books. Or maybe that’s just me…

As I was cleaning my shelf, I had the opportunity to look back at my 2018 reading habits. Which is why I find this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic to be so fitting. This week, I’m going to be talking about my 2019 Reading Resolutions.

(P.S. Yes, I’m aware that I’m posting this on a Sunday. I’m doing my best to catch up so let’s just pretend that today’s a Wednesday)

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: 2019 Reading Resolutions”

End Of The Year Book Tag

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! 2019 has finally arrived. It’s almost 1:20 PM where I live, but here I am writing a new blog post. New Year’s Day celebrations seem a lot quieter in this side of the world so I have some time on my hands to post something up.

A few days ago, I’ve been tagged by the wonderful JR Lynn from Eternity Books Reviews (thank you!) I meant to post this earlier but of course, life got in the way. This is the End Of The Year Book Tag so let’s just go ahead and dive into it, shall we?

Best Book you’ve read in 2018

I’ve read V.E. Schwab’s Vicious and Vengeful this year and I believe it is the best out of the very short list of books I’ve read.

Best Sequel you’ve read in 2018

As mentioned above, I also picked up Vengeful after reading Vicious.

New Release you haven’t read, but want to

I talked about this in my previous blog post. It’s Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. Help me, I still do not have a copy!

Biggest Disappointment

I’m Watching You by Teresa Driscoll. I write about why I didn’t like it in this blog post. I don’t really have anything else on this list… (Unless I consider the books that did not help me get out of my reading slump)

Biggest Surprise

I mostly read Japanese novels this year. I read “Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai” (Let Me Eat Your Pancreas) by Yoru Sumino for my Japanese class last spring. It’s not the kind of book I would be normally interested in. The story wasn’t that great but for some reason, I still enjoyed reading it.

Let Me Eat Your Pancreas was originally a web novel. It was so popular that it got published and turned into a movie. It now also has a manga and animated version.

I’ve also watched the film version of this book earlier this year as well. But I wouldn’t recommend anyone to watch it. However, if you have access to the English versions of the novel or the manga, it’s worth a shot.

Favorite New Author (debut or new to you)

There’s a trending manga series in Japan right now called “Yakusoku no Neverland” (The Promised Neverland) The thing about this series is that the writer and the illustrator are two different people.

Author Kaiu Shirai originally did the artwork for his stories in the past. But after being rejected a couple of times, his editor thought it would be a great idea for him to team up with another illustrator – and he was right!

There’s a big reason why this manga is becoming very popular. Not to discount its beautiful art, I really think Shirai’s plot writing and storytelling are grade-A stuff. I recommend everyone to pick the manga up and read it.

Newest Fictional Crush

None 😛

Newest Favorite Character

Easy. Hanzawa Naoki from Ikeido Jun’s “Oretachi Baburu Nyuukougumi”

A book that made you cry

I read The Color Purple by Alice Walker around summer with no expectations whatsoever. I didn’t even bother reading the synopsis.

It was one of the more interesting books in the local library and they are a rarity. I live in a very local city in Fukuoka, Japan. The library isn’t huge and obviously, the selection of English books was limited to just one shelf.

The Color Purple, although short, was a challenge to read for me. But after getting used to the language, it broke my heart to pieces. Page one already had a strong start but the meat of it all made me feel so vulnerable I might have shed a tear or two for the characters.

And that says a lot considering I don’t usually cry over a book.

Book that made you happy

Would a cookbook count? I received a copy of the Outlander cookbook a few months ago. In case you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of the Outlander series. It is one of the very few historical romances that I love.

I haven’t tried making any of them yet so I guess we can sort of expect what my blog content will look like this year…

Most beautiful book you bought or received this year

What books do you need to read by the end of the year

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I only have a few pages left so by the time I post this, I should have already finished it.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books You Didn’t Get To In 2018

Hello, friends! It’s me again. I hope everyone had a great Christmas! The New Year is now upon us and I can’t wait to start the year with this blog. But for now, I’m back for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday and yet again, I am late. The holiday celebrations kept me away from blogging.

This week’s T5W is Books You Didn’t Get To In 2018. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’d know that this year wasn’t the best for me. Thinking about that, this list should be huge. But this is Top 5 Wednesday which means I had to choose only 5 out of probably 50 books. Here we go…

T5W: Books You Didn’t Get To In 2018

Title: Skyward

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Publishing Date: November 6, 2018

Goodreads Rating; 4.51 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I started reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson this year and I absolutely loved it. Sanderson is easily one of my top fave writers and I would read anything he writes.

That said, I should have read/be reading Skyward by now. The book was released last month but I still do not have a copy. This year is such a terrible reading year for me, I can’t believe I’m missing out on this book. I mean, why am I not reading this already?

Title: The Decagon House Murders

Author: Ayatsuji Yukito

Publishing Date: September 5, 1987

Goodreads Rating: 3.67 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

The Decagon House Murders is one of Japan’s most loved mystery novel and it’s been on the top list of the mystery genre for years. I have a physical copy of the Japanese version and the English version on my Kindle. And yet, I haven’t read even a single page of it yet.

This book is said to be similar to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. In fact, the book was referenced in this story a couple of times. I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie and this book doesn’t seem too long to read. But again, did not pick this up.

Title: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Publishing Date: March 27, 2007

Goodreads Rating: 4.55 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

If I remember correctly, Daniel Greene recommended this book on his YouTube channel. I really wanted to read a lot of fantasy books this year and this one has been at the top of my list.

The size of most fantasy novels scare me sometimes – this one has about 700 pages. And again, because I haven’t been very productive with my reading this year, there was no way I would be able to pick up a book that’s more than 300 pages. Definitely moving this up on my TBR List.

Ttitle: The Bear Whispers To Me

Author: Chang Ying Tai

Publishing Date: October 1, 2010

Goodreads Rating: 4.33 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I went to Taiwan for our summer vacation this year. My husband and I visited Alishan and Taichung within 5 days. It was amazing.

Can I just say how much I love Taiwan? I would go back there every year if I could. I would drown myself in all the milk tea and have all the peppered fried chicken in the night markets.

I missed Taiwan sorely so I thought maybe a book by a Taiwanese author could help me recover. The Bear Whispers To Me by Chang Ying Tai is apparently one of the must-read books written by Taiwanese authors. Not sure what to expect really but I’m hoping it will be good.

Title: The Good Daughter

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publishing Date: August 8, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.14 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Last on the list is a Karin Slaughter book. I wanted to read one of her books this year mainly because I’ve heard a lot of good things about them. The Good Daughter sounds like the kind of stuff that might put me out of my reading slump. But I remember how things got so busy for me at work when I got a hold of this book so no – I didn’t get to read it in the end.

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

Hi, everyone! It’s me again. How are you? I haven’t been posting as much as I had planned. The holiday season kept me busy with work and social events so I didn’t have enough time to sit down and write a blog post.

… Well, that and because my husband and I were doing a marathon on The 100. I’ve been a fan of the series since season 1 but my husband just recently got into it. I know I should have been blogging but I just couldn’t help it.

Calling all The 100 fans in the book blog community – where you at?

Anyway, I’m back now with this week’s Top 5 Wednesday. This week’s theme is ‘Most Anticipated 2019 Releases’. Honestly, I’m not the type who keeps tabs on new releases so I’ve never really had to make this kind of list – until now, that is. I enjoyed the searching for books though.

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Most Anticipated 2019 Releases”

The 2019 Back To The Classics Reading Challenge

As part of my plan to rediscover the classics next year, I have decided to participate in the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge hosted by Karen from Books and Chocolate. (Thank you for hosting!)

The rules of the game are simple: complete a minimum of 6 categories listed below and you get one entry for the year-end drawing. Finish 9 of the categories, you’ll get 2 entries and you get 3 entries if you complete all 12. 

Honestly, I’m not sure if I can make it out alive but I know I’ll be contented if I could finish at least one of these books. That’s another step closer to my goal! Anyway, if you are interested in joining the challenge, you can find a complete and detailed list of rules on Karen’s blog: click here.

But if you’re here to watch me try or wish me good luck, here is a tentative list of books I’m planning to read for each category. I might change some books as I go along. But for now, this seems about right. Let’s do this! 

Continue reading “The 2019 Back To The Classics Reading Challenge”

Top 5 Wednesday: Books To Give Food Lovers As Gifts

Hi all! How are you today? I’ve just joined the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads and this is my first post following the topics. Technically, it’s Thursday over here in Japan. But as they say – better late than never! 

The topic for this week is Books to Give _ As Gifts. And if you’ve read my previous blog entries, you’d know that next to books, I love food. So I’m making a list of books to give to food lovers like me. Christmas is just around the corner so if you still have some Christmas shopping to do, I hope you’d consider the books on this list. 

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Books To Give Food Lovers As Gifts”

Why I Want To Read The Classics

Hi, everyone! It’s me again. I hope you’ve had a happy bookish weekend. Before I begin with today’s post, I want to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone who made me feel welcome in the book blogging community. I’m so thankful for your comments and for following my blog. 

I’m not much of a talker in real life, but your kind words have encouraged me to find my voice. And it has helped me find the courage to express my views on this blog…

Which leads me to today’s topic – the reasons why I want to read the classics

As you may have read on my blog intro/2019 goals, I want to rediscover the classics in the coming year. I thought I should talk more about this and what I hope to accomplish on my blog. I also want to know what others in the book community think about such issues and so here I am, writing about it. Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? 

Continue reading “Why I Want To Read The Classics”