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Josephine (knotbox) WILL read 75 books in 2017!

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1knotbox
Edited: Mar 14, 10:45pm Top

Hello early birds~

I wasn't very consistent in last year's thread, but enjoyed visiting other people's threads very much.

I rang in the new year by reading a ten book manga called Honey and Clover, bringing me (with volume 5) to 50 books read in 2016! 75 seems very doable, despite the plans I have for myself...

I'm 25 and living with my parents in New York state. I work as a receptionist at an animal hospital and petsit. My passions are writing fiction, music and languages. I'm bilingual (English>German) and have studied French, Italian and Korean. Korean is my priority but I keep falling off the wagon. I'm hoping to become a translator and/or interpretor. I only have an associate's degree and am currently saving up money to study in Germany. Maybe I'll move this year in fact...

I love my Kindle, ebooks in general, superheroes, adventzeit, Indian summer and cafés.

You can find me on Instagram as 'exmatria'. I post books and animals mostly.

Looking forward to sharing my reads with you, and getting to know you in your own threads!

Thanks for stopping by,
Josephine

INDEX
01 - About Me
04 - Read in 2017
07 - Pre-Reviews for Books 1 to 8
08 - Currently Reading 1-24-17
09 - Want to Read next 1-24-17
13 - Pre-Reviews for Books 9 to 12
14 - Pre-Reviews for Books 13-18
15 - Pre-Reviews for Books 19-21

2PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 12:59pm Top



I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Great to see you back Josephine.......don't be a stranger.

3knotbox
Jan 2, 1:18pm Top

>2 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. And what a neat group it is to be a part of.

I'll do my best. :)

4knotbox
Edited: Mar 22, 10:17am Top

READ IN 2017 (23)

January (8)
1-5 - Honey and Clover v. 6-10 by Chica Umino
6 - A Series of Unfortunate Events v. 1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
7 - Bloom into You 1 by Nakatani Nio
8 - Blue by Kiriko Nananan

February (5)
9 - An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
10 - Kindred Spirits on the Roof
11 - Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
12 - The Secret of the Princess by Milk Morinaga
13 - Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid v. 1

March (11)
14 - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
15 - The Invisible Library v. 1 by Genevieve Cogman
16 - House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
17 - Kiss Him, Not Me v. 9 by Junko
18 - Catalina Blues :P
19 - Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
20 - Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
21 - Cometbus #55: Penpals by Aaron Cometbus
22 - Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Penguin Great Ideas edition)
23 - Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
24 - Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid v. 2

5FAMeulstee
Jan 3, 8:22am Top

Happy reading in 2017, Josephine!

6drneutron
Jan 3, 10:01am Top

Welcome back!

7knotbox
Jan 24, 9:52pm Top

Here are some brief notes about books I've read so far this year, almost all japanese manga, I think! I'll probably be putting up more intent reviews for some of them, but pressuring myself to write decent reviews is hindering my reading speed I think, because I'm already thinking about the review at the end of a book when I pick it up. Damn me for being so productive a couple years ago! I'm spoiled!

I finally finished...

1-5 - Honey and Clover 6-10 over New Year's Eve, splitting the series neatly in half on Eve and Day!

The series was very bittersweet, and perhaps if you don't want a lingering unfinished romance set during college years, among artists, it's probably not for you. But I really enjoyed the soul-searching of a young architect who finds solace in temple restoration, and a petite sculptor who wants nothing more than to paint gigantic landscapes and flowers instead. It's a slice-of-life, and there are some meandering romances, but I don't think any of them is ever really resolved. There's also a fairly bizarre parody of Peter Jackson/George Lucas that transported the series into Sci-Fi territory just to give a breath of air... I think.

6 - The Bad Beginning

Just before watching the new Netflix adaption, I wolfed down the first book. I'd read the series as a child and adored it, revisiting it was a fun way to spend an hour and a half. Haha. Just as fun as I remember. I like the earlier introduction of secret societies in the adaptation though. I'm looking forward to re-reading all these books and checking out the prequel series, All the Wrong Questions.

7 - Bloom Into You 1

A kind of naïve foray into highschool girl romance. I haven't read much yori/shojo-ai/GL manga because so much of it is, basically, porn. Or intended for boys or I don't know... naïve girls. I like reading romance and since coming to grips with my own queer identity, I enjoy seeing examples of girls in relationships. Especially if there is pretty art and fluffy plot. This was not problematic, per se, since both girls admire each other, but one is more physically attracted to the other than vice versa, making it feel as though one of them may not be as sexual as the other. If this leads to, as it occasionally does in manga, a very liberal view on sexual consent, I may have to revisit my optimism for this new series. I, perhaps foolishly, remain hopeful.

8 - Blue by Kiriko Nananan (author links to book... oddly)

In the past, I've read a couple "light" novels, a type of sparse novella that commuters in japan could theoretically read on their phones*. Specifically, I've read some of those that inspired the manga, anime and probably other stuff, called Strawberry Panic!. Which occupy a nebulous area of romantic fantasy about a barely physical relationship, a platonic, fiercely romantic friendship between (frequently) two highschool girls a year or two apart*. In hearts and minds they are a sort of 'starter' relationship, a test-run and a safe space for emotions run rampant**. These relationships may lead to kissing or even groping, but rarely last long, typically never past graduation.** I wonder how that might feel to a girl more like myself.

I think this is where Blue comes in. Though at first the relationship seems sparse, as the artwork is, you feel the connection between the girls as something that might last a long time, you can imagine them moving to Tokyo and starting a life together, as in the Korean tv-movie Daughters of Bilitis Club, or the Japanese manga Girlfriends by Milk Morinaga. Eventually, a couple moments after I'd closed the volume, a single relationship told in less than 200 illustrated pages, I was reminded of Strawberry Panic! and the patina of temporary circumstance. Though I believe both girls cared for each other very much, and that the feelings were real, and that the sentiments that pushed them apart were sincere, I ultimately think that one of the girls saw the relationship as more tangible and able to last longer than the other did. In my mind this raises the single volume story above the glittering anthology omnibus of SP! to something more literary, cruel and beautiful in its honesty. But I probably shouldn't believe everything fiction tells me about society.

*Barely researched supposition.

**I'm speculating.

8knotbox
Jan 24, 10:02pm Top

Oh, I'm currently reading:

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
Cometbus #55: Pen Pals
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
House of Leaves
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
AND a book by a friend which I wish I could track on goodreads! I also wish I could tell people about it!

I honestly struggle with the dryness of Meditations, he struggles with the same things in many ways so it often feels repetitious, but I envy those reviewers who sped through and found insight in the oversight.

Cometbus doesn't allow anyone to redistribute ANY part of his zine. I like some lines very much, and am trying to see it through the eyes of the friend who gave it to me, but I feel my inner cynic rearing it's head.

I love An Ember in the Ashes, Ancillary Sword and The Invisible Library so far.

I cannot read House of Leaves except on exceptionally happy mornings, when the light is bright. And the sun is out!

I know that I already agree with the author of Delusions of Gender so it feels somewhat self-congratulatory, or self-important, to read this.

9knotbox
Edited: Jan 24, 10:58pm Top

I want to read next:

A Series of Unfortunate Events v. 2: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket (continuing my re-read)
The Magicians by Lev Grossman (my friend leant it to me in July 2016)
Illuminae by ... two people (I just got it from the library as welll...)
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (new release I pre-ordered and signed up for a reading challenge for)
Rogue One (cause I loved the movie and heard good things about this novelization)
Sand Chronicles 1-10 by Hinako Ashihara (I finally filled out the whole series)
Harry Potter (reread)

The problem is, I'm also dissecting the dilemma of reading too many books at once. Ideal would be 1-3 books at once. 1 English, 1 Foreign Language and 1 Non-Fiction (assuming the other two are fiction).

I am currently reading ZERO foreign language books, and have fallen off the Korean study wagon. Ack!

ETA: I also really feel like some Haruki Murakami...

10scaifea
Jan 25, 9:21am Top

Oh, I've got House of Leaves on deck - it's been on my shelves for ages and I'm kind of excited about it.

11knotbox
Jan 26, 10:53pm Top

>10 scaifea: You know, I am sorry to say I'm so conflicted about it. I'd never heard of it when my friend read it and loved it, so I'm... I trying to keep an open mind.

12scaifea
Jan 27, 6:55am Top

That's funny; it's been on my shelves for the same reason - my best friend read it, loved it and insisted that I read it...

13knotbox
Edited: Mar 6, 7:13pm Top

Everyone, things are going well.

9 - An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Far from a perfect book, I really just enjoyed the writing. The villain was evil, the ghouls were creepy, and, man, was there gore! I'm just not really feeling the love for the main characters. Will read the sequel and hopefully the next two books. I really want to know what happens to this martial empire.

10 - Kindred Spirits on the Roof

A bit of a let-down, falls into the vein of 'practice' romance between girls, rather than innocent queer high-school love.

11 - Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

I'm wearing gloves and sipping tea all the time now. Where can I buy memorial pins for all my dearly departed fictional characters?

12 - Secret of the Princess by Milk Morinaga

Another home-run from the queen of innocent queer romance. She deals with coming-out in a non-angsty fashion, but is still so real. It's a fantasy, but we love to be diverted, don't we? I thought the ending was a little overwrought.

14knotbox
Edited: Mar 8, 12:06am Top

I'm posting full reviews as well. But I don't really want to take up room here with those...

13 - Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Vol. 1 by coolkyoushinnjya

Very strange. I'm gonna try book 2 to see where this one is going...

14 - Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Fluffy, the main character didn't seem to grow, but there's something that kept me reading and makes me want to know what happens in the next books...

15 - The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1) by Genevieve Cogman

A delightful romp. Very meta, but intelligent and tongue-in-cheek. I'm so glad this is a series.

16 - House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Ultimately unsatisfying and unrecommendable.

17 - Kiss Him Not Me 9

I'm getting really frustrated with the plot development, it constantly stagnates. It almost progressed and then the characters proclaimed they were happy with the way things were! Apparently the next one will have 'change' and 'things will pick up' but I truly wonder if they will and if the end will have been worth the wait. There could have been a lot of slow and steady development between the characters. Maybe I need to be a connoisseur of the genre to see them, maybe this is just the way the genre is and there is no actual character development.

18 - Catalina Blues

Does re-reading your own novella count? I still like a lot of it, but found a problem here that I've had with other writing as well. (It's a secret.) I confessed my self-admiration to a friend who reminded me of all the clever critique leveled at me two years ago and... it's nice to know that I could write well despite all the things I didn't fix within this slice-of-life romance... I don't know. What are birds?

15knotbox
Edited: Mar 14, 10:46pm Top

19 - Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) Sarah J. Maas

This felt more like a second part to the first book, and if streamlined and combined, it would have made the story much better so far. As it is I already own most of the rest of this series and will most likely continue it, but my expectations are very low. So many clichés, a lot of fluff, and almost no character development. Also, the assassination of that one character from a far-off land (trying to be vague) was very aggravating.

20 - Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) Leigh Bardugo

I don't read a lot of Young-Adult books, comparatively, and I'm not a big fan of contemporary books anyway, where I feel like the most revolutionary YA is found, so I stick to Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Still, believe me when I say I'm crazy about this book.

It was soooo good.

Described as 'Six Dangerous Outcasts. One impossible heist.' Its basically teenage criminals pulling off a fantasy oceans eleven (even though I'm not familiar with OE, I can say that. Haha.) and it is really well written. There is nothing extraneous, everything is well thought out and researched. If you can stomach 17 year old protagonists, and you enjoy fantasy and heists, you must read this book!

I'm re-reading it right now while trying to finish Cometbus and Meditations. (I've been reading Meditations for one-and-a-half years. Come on, already.) I needed to digest the ending before reading the sequel.

ETA: 21 - Cometbus 55 by Aaron Cometbus

I finished Cometbus last night just past midnight and am afraid the best I can say is that I didn't hate it. I don't think I'll seek out any more by him.

16knotbox
Mar 20, 7:23pm Top

22 - Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Penguin Great Ideas edition is really good. I marked that sucker up, and despite a slow and rocky beginning find myself thinking often of things that Marcus has said ("you don't mind if I call you Marcus, do you?") and wanting to re-read and share things. We disagree on a lot, but still. I'd be such an annoying friend of his. I'm really glad I read it.

23 - Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A rolicking adventure, I enjoyed the invented pages, where text was obscured or ran in all directions, much more than in House of Leaves (16) and the story was good to boot. In brief: A hacker and a pilot come up against a weaponized pathogen and an insane artificial intelligence while in deep space. What up!

17knotbox
Edited: Mar 20, 7:50pm Top

So, I'm having a lot of fun reading all these books, and can you believe it, I'm only reading one book right now? That hasn't been the case for me in years. (Well, I started a graphic novel this afternoon, but I can finish that off after dinner...)

But...

I suppose there's a group somewhere on LT that specializes in this, but I'm gonna start progress on this here: reading all the books already on my shelves. I own 1,138 books according to my record keeping. I'm getting read of a couple books (less than 50) and have read something like 700 books in my lifetime (wow... so few?).

I'm not sure the best way to keep track of this. Have a tag called 'unread my shelves' and change it to 'read my shelves'? I'll look into it, but if anyone of you clever folks stumbles across my thread and has an idea, I'd love to hear it!

ETA: I went ahead an joined the ROOT group! My goal is to read 10 of my own books this year. Seems pretty low though... https://www.librarything.com/topic/252837

18drneutron
Mar 20, 9:49pm Top

Awesome! Several of ou 75ers are also in ROOT, if I remember correctly.

19knotbox
Edited: Mar 20, 11:36pm Top

>18 drneutron: That wouldn't surprise me! I'm still trying to figure out the whole ratio of the library, I suppose I just mark them unread? haha.

Thanks, Jim.

20PaulCranswick
Mar 25, 10:04pm Top

Josephine there is an option in Your Books that allows when you edit under "collections" to tick "to read" or not.

That might help as you can sort later on this.

Have a lovely weekend.

21knotbox
Mar 27, 3:50pm Top

>20 PaulCranswick: That is already being worked on, thank you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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