Category Archives: Introverting

50 Books Challenge: 2016

I won the 50 Books Challenge in 2016! It’s been a few months, but I thought I’d share all the awesome books I read in case anyone is looking for some suggestions! They’re mostly YA, of course. What did you expect from a YA writer?

If you’re hoping to complete the 50 Books Challenge for 2017, then let me give you a tip: I kept track of all the books I read in my Passion Planner. There’s a lovely blank section in the back, so I printed out a blank list from 1-50 and filled in all my books as I went. I also marked up my monthly calendars with how many books I needed to have read when.

Here’s the complete list of books I read, with my recommendations at the bottom!

  1. Facing Your Giants – Max Lucado
  2. Wandering Star – Romina Russell
  3. The Vintage Teacup Club – V. Greene
  4. In the Eye of the Storm- Max Lucado
  5. Dreamstrider – Lindsay Smith
  6. The Darkest Minds – A. Bracken
  7. Glass Sword – v. Aveyard
  8. Cinder – M. Meyer
  9. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare
  10. The Great Hunt – W. Higgins
  11. Scarlet – M. Meyer
  12. Cress- M. Meyer
  13. Winter – M. Meyer
  14. Burning Glass – Kathryn Purdie
  15. Sleeping with Bread – The Linn Family
  16. Seven Black Diamonds – Melissa Mar
  17. Daughter of Dusk – Livia Blackburne
  18. Snow like Ashes – Sara Raasch
  19. A Court of Thorns and Rosese – S. J. Maas (the one re-read on my list!)
  20. The Heir – Kiera Cass
  21. Graceling – Kristin Cashore
  22. Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
  23. Beyond the Red – Ava Jae
  24. A Court of Mist and Fury – S. J. Maas
  25. The Crown – Kiera Cass
  26. The Star-Touched Queen – R. Chokshi
  27. Falling Kingdoms – M. Rhodes
  28. Rebel Spring – M. Rhodes
  29. Gathering Darkness – M. Rhodes
  30. Frozen Tides – M. Rhodes
  31. The Iron King – J. Kagawa
  32. Beautiful Creatures – K. Garcia and M. Stohl
  33. My Lady Jane – Hand, Ashton and Meadows
  34. Ice like Fire – Sara Raasch
  35. The Crown’s Game – E. Skye
  36. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling
  37. The Keeper of the Mist – R. Neumeier
  38. Shadow and Bone – L. Bardugo
  39. Ruin and Rising – L. Bardugo
  40. Siege and Storm – L. Bardugo
  41. A Gentle Thunder – Max Lucado
  42. Empire of Storms – S. J. Maas
  43. Three Dark Crowns – K. Blake
  44. Girls with Swords – L. Bevere
  45. The Black Key – Amy Ewing
  46. Supernatural Ways of Royalty by K. Vallaton
  47. Walking in this World – J. Cameron
  48. The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine
  49. Settle for More – Megyn Kelly
  50. Crystal Storm – M. Rhodes
  51.  BONUS- 365 Day Devotional – Max Lucado

Recommendations:

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury– Sarah J Maas didn’t disappoint with her follow up to ACOTAR! This one turns up the heat with some super steamy love scenes, but as always with Miss Maas, she tells a killer story to go with it. As Feyre struggles to overcome her PTSD, her bargain with Rhys kicks into full gear, but she soon starts to lose her love for the Spring Court and considers a different future!
  2. Lady Midnight– Cassandra Clare does it again! She always tells the best stories, with amazing characters, killer action, and forbidden romances. With the parabatai bond causing Emma and Julian to experience some strange reactions to their budding romance, Emma pulls away, but there’s a twist! The book left me on a cliff hanger and I’m dying for the next one.
  3. The Lunar Chronicles– I know, I know. I was behind on this one! I resisted the lure of Cinder the Cyborg for some time, but then gulped the entire series down in a week! So good. I love the light, fun writing style- even while covering some heavy topics. Approachable and enjoyable!
  4. The Falling Kingdoms series– A really fun fantasy series with lots of romance and drama to keep you turning the page! There are fascinating character dynamics that change throughout the series. I appreciate the idea that Cleo has more than one great love throughout the series. Because don’t most of us have a few different loves throughout our lives?

Happy Reading!!!

***********

Cameryn

50 Books in 2015 – Part 1 of 3

I decided at the end of February that I wanted to participate in the 50 Books challenge, which simply means that in 2015, I will read 50 books. With April over, I thought I would share what I’ve accomplished in the first third of the year! It’s been a rough one, but I’ve still managed 17 books. So here’s what I’ve done so far.

January

1. Heir of Fire

2. Slayers

3. Slayers: Friends and Traitors (Book 2)

4. Trial by Fire

5. The Jewel

February

6. The Red Queen

(Rough month for me, I was really off my reading game!)

March

7. Inferno

8. Quiet

9. Zodiac

10. The Shadowhunter Academy (short novel)

April

11. The Dead Key

12. The Elite (re-read)

13. The One (re-read)

14. The Bane Chronicles

15. City of Glass (re-read)

May

16. City of Heavenly Fire (re-read)

17. Dragonfly in Amber (current)

What’s next? God Loves Ugly (for non-fiction) and Percy Jackson (for fiction). I’ve heard excellent things about both books! My biggest recommendation so far is Trial by Fire, by Josephine Angelini. It is a very unique, alternate reality fantasy! I can’t get over it! (Also, it’s pretty sexy. Just sayin’.)

I’m a little behind on the numbers, but it’s been a rough few months! As anyone paying attention can probably tell, April afforded me a lot of reading time. Here’s why, in one word: unemployed. So it’s a trade off! Yay, books!

My only concern with my current numbers is that I included a few book I was reading for the second time. I checked out a few places online and everyone seems to count rereads, as long as they haven’t counted those books for a previous challenge, and they read the books cover to cover.  I’m counting them, with the stipulation that I state they are a re-read. Who else is participating in the 50 Books Challenge? I’d love to follow your progress! Also, if anyone is as obsessed with reading as I am, let’s be friends on Goodreads!

My Millennial Failures (and why I’m TOTALLY okay with them)

In high school, I was pretty cool. I was up on trends, artists, et cetera. Flash forward six years, and I am so out of it, you would think I never kept up with it. (Does that make any sense?) Anyways, it is called to my attention daily just how out of it I really am by some coworkers who happen to be just a bit too trendy/millennial/current whatever you want to call it. They can’t understand me for the life of them, and I can’t make sense out of half the stuff they say. So here are a few ways that I’m a millennial failure (and TOTALLY okay with it):

1. I’m not big on partying. My ideal Saturday involves mass amounts of reading and writing. I don’t go out and get wasted with my closest fifty friends every weekend. I honestly don’t consider myself as having fifty friends. I have a lot of people who like me, but as far as friends go, I only count people who really care about me and actually KNOW things about me. And I only drink and get a bit crazy when I’m with people that I consider close. I’m just not interested in having drunk dudes at bars hit on me. Sorry other millennials.

2. I don’t listen to hip-hop/rap/current pop music. Unless it’s on a movie sound track. I don’t know any of the artists or own any music like that. I don’t watch the Grammys, because I don’t care about any of the nominated artists. As far as music goes, I like what I like and don’t keep up with what’s popular. It means I listen to a lot of Tom Petty, Queen and the Postal Service.

3. I’ve never been on Tinder and hope I never will. Much like my dislike for being hit on by drunk guys in bars, I also dislike being harassed over an app. They should just advertise it: We bring all the harassment of bars to your phone! I’ve had enough friends on there with crazy weirdos messaging them every day, that so help me God, if I ever get a Tinder, people should know I have a brain tumor.

4. I like to be alone. I’ve written articles to this effect before, on Sociology of Style, but I will reiterate that I think my generation is woefully out of touch with themselves and their own feelings. Millennials who are actively everything I’m not tend to NEED to constantly spend time with others and never be alone.

5. I don’t get into causes for causes’ sake. I think a lot of millennials take on social causes, and claim to know what their talking about, with NO research. One of their friends told them that they should care about Bill X29 going through in two weeks because it affects women. That’s all they know, and they’re out signing petitions and raging on Facebook. So then, I’ll ask them, what is the petition specifically about. What female issues will it affect? This matters to me. And you know what: THEY NEVER KNOW! “I don’t know, but my roommate is really upset about it.” And sometimes I feel like I’m the only millennial asking the deeper questions. (At least near me, I know other sane millennials must be out there!)

Anyway, if you’re a generational failure like me, it’s okay! Celebrate your differentness and find some friends who are as weirdly awesome as you. You can all go be alone and not party together!

I’ll leave you with scary Millennial statistics. Check it:

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How to Survive Thanksgiving With Your Family

Ah, the holidays. A time of peace and relaxation surrounded by your closest and most important loved ones. Yeah right. Thanksgiving is the time for your sister to debut her new boyfriend (he’s a doctor), your cousin to show off that he’s lost twenty pounds, and your heinous uncle’s day to get a little mulled-wine happy and admit to things in his past that no one needed to know. How will you make it through? Follow these tips and you’ll be home free (well not really free, as you had to buy your cousin that tank of gas).

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1.  Carve not only the turkey, but your personal space.

You may think to yourself that you need space, but people rarely are open and honest with their family members about needing it. Yet, people generally will respect you when you say, “I really need a little personal time for a few minutes. I’ll come out and join you in a bit.” Revel in the solace of your childhood bedroom and reading your favorite middle school books for a few minutes. Go for a run or walk and soak up the solace. Is your family not respecting your boundaries even if you ask perfectly clearly? Tell them you have to send a few emails for work and need some quiet for an hour. People tend to be more understanding when it is work-related, rather than personal.

 

2. Refuse to do it alone.

Most people have a perfect vision of their holiday: After cooking the green beans, mash potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce (all from scratch and organic, of course) your family would see the beautiful table you set with brand new decorations, smell the amazing bouquets that you handpicked from your garden, and appreciate all of your time and effort. What will really happen is that you’ll be miserably trying to scrape together all the dishes and wishing to God that someone had offered to help. Even if Thanksgiving is at your home, make it a team meal. You can prepare the turkey and gravy, but ask your relatives to make the sides and dessert. Let them know that you simply cannot do it all, and as everyone will be eating it, everyone should participate. After all, didn’t the pilgrims and Native Americans share foods from both their cultures on that first Thanksgiving?

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3. Distract, distract, distract.

Feel like your Mom is about to ask you about that nice Billy boy you dated in junior high? Is he still available? You can sense it coming, so why not stop it with a pre-approved topic, like the new book you’re reading. Your Mom will have heard all of the good hype about Gone Girl and will love to hear your thoughts when you recommend it. Your grandfather wants to know your feelings on recent politics? Sense the impending doom and ask him to tell one of his war stories. When he hits the part about “those damn Commies”, you can sneak out of the room. You have the whole story memorized anyways.

 

4. Have a car.

Cars are stressful. Families are crazy. Everyone will have errands they need to run and things to pick up, so make sure, even if you are visiting Ohio all the way from California, that you have an accessible car to get out of the house. A rental car is simple enough to arrange at the airport, and then you won’t have to wait for your definitely-on-something nephew to pick you up from the airport on the way back from ‘oboe practice.’ Safety first, people.

 

5. Make firm plans.

Aunt Gladice really wants your opinion at the doctor’s tomorrow when she goes to have her warts removed. “Aunt Gladice, I wish I could but I already made plans to meet cousin Cheryl for Black Friday. So sorry to be missing your wart removal.” Having backups and cover stories prevents you from getting sucked into anything too awful. Schedule exercise in for peace of mind and a convenient story. Gee, you’d love to take your niece to get her ears pierced, but since you’re training for a half marathon in March and you haven’t run all weekend, you need to squeeze it in when you can.

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And if worse comes to worse, watch some of the classic Friends Thanksgiving episodes. Their awful Thanksgivings (Monica being forced to make 6 kinds of mashed potatoes, Chandler’s toe getting sliced off, and them all being locked out of the apartment with the oven and burners on) will make yours feel much better by comparison. Happy holidays!