Slowly Surfacing | Feb-Mar 2014

Slowly Surfacing
Slowly Surfacing

Back on Another Novel Read, I had a couple of posts that I did each month: TBR Tuesday, where I laid out my reading plan for the coming month; and Reading Recap, where I looked back on what I read the previous month and compared it to the plan I’d made. Now that ‘m on a group blog and thus need to condense my content into more relevant and reasonable chunks, I’ve decided to combine these two into one monthly post called Slowly Surfacing. (This, of course, is in regards to the fact that at the beginning of the year I confessed that I’m drowning in my own TBR piles.)

What I Read in February

Inferno by Dan Brown Salvage by Alexandra Duncan Undiscovered by Jessica Brody Proxy by Mindee Arnett Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Stolen by Lucy Christopher The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead Magic the Gathering, Volume 4: Theros Attack on Titan

  • Books: 3
  • Audiobooks: 4
  • Comics & Graphic Novels: 13
  • Novellas & Short Stories: 2

This might look like a lot, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. In the grand scheme here, it appears I only read three full books in February. Let me be clear: audiobooks certainly count as actual, full books. But for me, they are bonus. I read them when I’m driving, during a time when I otherwise would not be able to read. So by “full books” I mean books that I read during my actual “reading time.”

The comics and graphic novels? I mean, I guess they count, but let us note that none of these were anywhere near my TBR lists! I snapped up MtG Theros on NetGalley, and it was a really quick read. And sure, I read 12 volumes of Attack on Titan, which sounds like a lot and maybe it is? I don’t know! I guess it doesn’t feel like a lot when you’re obsessed with it!

If you recall my original plan, you’ll realize that only two items up there were actually on my list to begin with. Well, whatever, I don’t usually put the audiobooks and novellas in my plan (you know, so when I report back at the end of the month, it looks like I read a lot more than I thought I would!). But that aside, I missed three of the books I’d intended to read in February. What can I say? I got approved for a bunch of new books on Edelweiss, and Salvage decided to cut in line! And, well, okay. I’m still making my way through The Way of Kings. DAMN that book is long.

Reading Goal Progress MAde in February

I did make a little bit of progress on some of my goals this month. With so many debuts and standalones left to read this year, at least I finally got one down!

  • Salvage is my first debut read and reviewed in 2014.
  • Salvage is also my first 2014 standalone.
  • Four books earned daubs on my Book Bingo card: Salvage (O1), Stolen (G3), Ready Player One (I4), and The False Prince (I2).
  • A few books also earned me daubs on my other Book Bingo card: Ready Player One (B1), Stolen (I5), and Salvage (O1).

My Reading Plan for March

Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes Elusion by Claudia Gabel Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Again, I’m trying to stick with the plan one 1 book club assignment, 1 review book, 1 book in my physical TBR, 1 book on my Kindle, and 1 other. This month, it’s my turn to choose for book club, and I selected Gone Girl. I bought it in Ireland last year, and I’ve been wanting to read it, so this was a perfect opportunity. Technically, both Sorrow’s Knot and Elusion are review books, but they’re also both on my TBR list in any case, so whatevs.

Planned Reading Goal Progress

So, if all goes according to plan (haha), then I’ll be knocking quite a few things off of my lists in March.

  • Elusion will be my second debut AND standalone for 2014.
  • Kelley’s Book Bingo progress: Gone Girl (B1), Tandem (N2).
  • Kristilyn’s Book Bingo progress: Rebel Spring (N2), Elusion (O2), Gone Girl & Tandem (B2).

How is your reading going so far this year? Are you making progress on your goals and challenges for 2014?


Read 32 comments

    • Funny, I had forgotten that Elusion is a standalone and just remembered about it when I was looking through my reading challenges page today, lol! I’m about 30% through the book right now and it’s pretty interesting so far. I really hope it stays as a standalone.

      I’ve been dying to read Tandem for like a year now. I’ve had it in my possession for MONTHS and I still haven’t gotten to read it yet — arrrgh! Hopefully, HOPEFULLY it will happen in March. :D

  1. I don’t know many of the books on you tbr list for the month, but good choice with Gone Girl. It’s a good book. The ending frustrated me, but I think everyone has their own opinion about it. I think it’s a bit of a Marmite ending.

    I admire you for planning ahead though. I never attempt such things with my book reading because as soon as I feel obligated to read a book I lose all interest, strange how that works.

  2. I totally agree that audiobooks feel like bonus, since I’m not actively using my eyes to read them. To a certain extent I don’t have to pay quite as much attention to them either – I can do other things while listening, as long as it isn’t too involved.

    And WHAT?! You read THIRTEEN comics last month? Omgoodness. I remember you being excited about Attack on Titan but had somehow forgotten it was twelve volumes, lol.

    Ahhhh I’m so excited for you to finish reading Gone Girl so we can yell to each other about it! There’s no talking involved over that book, it’s totally yelling. And I was the same way still about halfway through it, I think. Things pick up quickly very soon, if they haven’t yet. I’m still unsure what I think about the whole experience but I had to give it 5 stars for the pure messed-up-ness of it and how it was able to get to me.

    • Yeah, sometimes I find that I don’t pay *quite* enough attention to an audiobook as I should, but like… EL OH EL — I often just don’t care because usually it’s a book I’m not SUPER keen on remembering every detail. And if it’s a book like Ready Player One, I won’t be distracted anyway. Hehe…

      But dude… Reading 13 comics in a month is like nothing. I mean, you can read them so fast that it hardly counts! And you should totally read/watch Attack on Titan (OMFG just realized how AMAZING that would be as one of the Bookish Games, too!)

      Man, I HOPE Gone Girl picks up soon. I mean, not that it’s slow but like… so far I’m just getting annoyed by how predictable it seems, so I’m waiting for some HUGE TWISTS or something (and trying to guess what they might be lol).

      • Right, I’m the same way. I mostly pick audiobooks that might be boring were I to read them physically – like (auto)biographies or military stories or any other type of history. I find those things interesting, but for some reason not if I have to read them to myself. Anything I think I *might* love or want to review I usually just wait til I can get my hands on it. There’s no way I could take notes on an audiobook!

        I just checked, and yay! My library has all the Attack on Titan books as physical copies! They’re almost all checked out right now, though, lol. I’ll have to see about putting holds on them when I finish the ENTIRE SERIES of Girl of Fire and Thorns.

        I hope Gone Girl picks up for you too. I found some of it to be predictable but the pure deviousness was just fueling me to want to keep going. I hated so many people in that book, lol.

        • You know, it’s crazy because I’m now starting to want to take some notes on the audiobooks I’ve been listening to recently, but I think it’s because I need to gripe about them, lol. I’ve resorted to jotting down quick notes on my phone or using the voice recorder!

          Dude, for real, you should just watch Attack on Titan on Netflix. O_O Well, then pick up the rest of the manga where the anime leaves off, lol. I am so excited that you’re loving Rae Carson’s series so much!!! :D Gone Girl has definitely picked up, now that I’m in Part 2! Can’t wait to have some time to finish it!

          • I take a few very brief notes on audiobooks sometimes, but it usually is just locations for Circumnavigator. If I can’t stop thinking about it sometimes I will jot down something quick at work, but that isn’t very often. I love the convenience of audiobooks but wish they would just morph into physical copies when I wanted them to. >_< I stayed up way later than I should have just to finish The Girl of Fire and Thorns last night. I WAS LITERALLY FLAILING! I kept mentally changing the rating of it in my head as I progressed in the book and as soon as I hit page 360 I was like "this is so getting 5 stars omg." I can tell this is gonna be another series I'll have to buy the books for, even though I'm reading them from the library first. Yay! I wasn't sure which part you were on with Gone Girl so I didn't really know when to say it would pick up. I'm pretty sure that means you've gotten to one of the major plot twists, though, and it just keeps getting more amazing and infuriating from there on out, haha. Wellll I might watch Attack on Titan soon. I still need to watch through all the Fullmetal Alchemist that are on Netflix! Ahhh why do I have to sleep?! I could get so much done in that 6 hours.

        • I know exactly what you mean. I really wish that I could have a physical copy to follow along with when listening to audiobooks sometimes, if for nothing else than just to see how things are spelled, lol. Or to keep track of quotes, etc.

          I’m so glad you loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns so much!!! The next one is even better, imo. :D :D I’m almost finished with Gone Girl and I keep thinking how much it reminds me of Death Note, with the… stuff.. you know, lol. It’s definitely interesting (although I still like Death Note way better!).

          Ohh ohhhh Fullmetal Alchemist! I love that series so much. Obviously my favorite animes all give you that OMGWTFOMGGGGGGGG feeling after like every episode, haha!

  3. You have read A LOT last month! Way more than me. I feel horrible, my reading has been very minimal this year which is so weird for me. I mean, I read probably between 7 to 10 manuscripts a month for work, but that doesn’t do anything to get rid of my TBR list.

    I agree about audiobooks, but I don’t do them really. I tried to, but I don’t usually like the voice and my favorite part of reading a book is seeing how the words are put together and how the sentences are structured. I can’t tell if an author used a comma or a semi-colon or a period really if the book is read to me.

    Good luck with your March goals!

    Kim @ YA Asylum</a.

    • Gosh, I really don’t know how I did so much reading in February, but I think it’s because I start powering through stuff near the end of the month. This month, so far? I haven’t finished one book! At this rate, I’ll be lucky if I make it through two books by the end of March. >_< I know what you mean about reading books vs. listening, because I'm the same way. I think that's why I only choose to listen to audiobooks in two categories: 1) books that super epic in length and would take me forever to read otherwise (usually these are high fantasy, I've probably read some of it visually so I have a feel for the writing style, but I like the audio so I can comfortably hear all the strange words/names without trying to fit them in my mouth every time I read them), or 2) books I'm not sure excited about or interested in, but they were either free or were just kinda far down on my list (some of these books I just consider like... "low shelf" or whatever, where I know I won't be interested in or impressed by the writing structure so I don't care to see the words on the page as much). Anyway that was a long explanation, sorry, lol! Good luck with your March reading, too! I hope you get more time for it this month. :)

    • Yeah, I’m like 30% through Elusion so far and enjoying it, but I am curious to see how things unfold. I seem to recall you posting a review for it, but I could be wrong (I tend to avoid reading reviews for books on my TBR, especially ARCs — until after I’ve read and review them).

      I’ve heard a lot about Gone Girl, too, which is why I was so keen to read it. So far I’ve been VERY intrigued and now I’m starting to get annoyed, so I’m hoping the second half of the book is satisfying. We shall see!

  4. Well you read Ready Player One, so that should make it a good month on its own. And Sorrow’s Knot really looks good. I bounced off of Morgan Rhode’s first book, yet still found myself intrigued and thinking of reading the second. Ultimately decided to to for a while.

    You must have a decent commute to have an audio book a week down.

    • Ah, I know, right? Ready Player One is definitely in my top favorite books EVER and definitely the best audiobook I’ve heard! <3

      I have been so keen to read Sorrow's Knot for months but it just hasn't come up in my queue yet. I really hope I can get to it this month!

      What was it that pushed you away from Falling Kingdoms? I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm definitely curious to see what unfolds in the second book.

      My commute is about an hour a day, and I can get in a bit more audiobook listening if I go out for lunch. I also have extra drive-time on Fridays, so I can usually get in a good 5-6 hours of audiobook time each week if I'm lucky. I love it!

      • Had to check my old review but it appears I like the first half of Falling Kingdoms but hated the second because it was suddenly ‘one true love’ and some personality changes in characters. Don’t really remember enough to be sure if that stands true.

        Really wish I had access to Overdrive when I was commuting an hour each way, much better than repetitive sports talk radio outside of football season.

        • Hahaha, I see! Oh, yeah, the instant romance thing — that was my one major complaint about that book because it just seemed to come out of nowhere. I guess it was needed to drive that character’s development/arc further, but argh, could have been done better.

  5. Gah! I’ve fallen so behind in reading it’s not even funny even more. I’m seriously considering audio books to read in the moments when I’m on the go, but I’m hesitant at the thought. It sounds like a completely different experience than reading and I’m not sure I’ll like it. What book did you start out on audio? Do you have any that you recommend?

    Looks like you got some great goals Kelley! Make sure to share your thoughts on Gone Girl, I’ve been eyeing that one for a while myself. :)

    • You know, what got me hooked on audiobooks was the Wheel of Time series. It’s a long, epic fantasy series, so listening to two very skilled narrators read these books to me was a treat. I actually had to read one of the middle books on paper (it wasn’t available on audio) and I was just slogging through it! You know, sometimes it’s just easier with that type of book to listen to it.

      But then I know there are some people who don’t like to listen to audiobooks that are too long, or they lose interest! I think it just depends on what will hold your attention. It definitely helps to have skilled narrators, though. If you want to try one out, I recommend a couple of options: 1) a book you’ve already read, so you won’t feel bad if you miss a thing here or there, 2) a book like Ready Player One that actually seems MORE enjoyable on audio because of some of the content and the way it’s delivered, or 3) the first book in a long series you’ve been wanting to read — but make sure the narrators are good first!

      Seriously, if you have a long commute, audiobooks are a godsend. They make the drive, and sitting through traffic, so much more tolerable! :)

      Anyway, as for Gone Girl — yes, I will most definitely be posting a review of some sort! Happy reading! :D

  6. I randomly had a strong interest in Tandem pop out of me from nowhere sometime last month. If I wasn’t so self-disciplined, I probably would have bought it right away, but I didn’t. The random strong interest died down, but I’m still interested in it and will be curious to hear your thoughts on it!

  7. I’m actualy doing quite well with my reading goals so far. Well at least for my overall I’m 3 books ahead of schedule (yes, 4 of them are novellas, but oh well!), which is surprising to me but I guess I’m getting a lot of reading done while pacing with the boy at night and when he falls asleep on me. Now if I could keep caught up in cleaning and laundry ;)

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gone Girl and Elusion sounds pretty interesting. It looks like you have a pretty nice selection of books to read this month :) I hope you end up enjoying them.

    Audiobooks definitrly count, even if they are nice little bonuses. :) You already know my thoughts on

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