Discussion: Why I’m No Longer Doing Monthly TBRs

Creating your monthly TBR (or To Be Read list) is something that you do when you are a book blogger or BookTuber. After trying it for a year, I have come to realize that I hate doing it. They’re not my jam for a few different reasons and I thought I would share those reason with you those.

1. I’m a mood reader.

I’ve learned so much about my reading self over the past year thanks to this blog. One of the things I’ve learned is that I’m a mood reader. I tend to enjoy books way more when I’m in the mood for them.

When I create a monthly TBR, it’s to know what exactly I want to read that month. For example, when I plan to read a ton of fantasy, I sometimes find myself in the mood for a fluffy contemporary (and vice versa). When this happens I feel so conflicted, but usually end up sticking to my TBR and not reading books I want to. This has a negative impact on my reading, which brings me to my next point.

2. Sticking to a monthly TBR pushes me into reading slumps.

When I’m very strict about sticking to the TBR I’ve made for myself at the beginning of the month, I find that the next month I get into a mini-reading slump. Which sucks! Nobody wants to be stuck in a god awful reading slump.

I think that when I force myself to read books I’m not in the mood for, it makes reading feel like a chore. When it feels like a chore, I don’t want to do it as much. Then the reading slump attacks and I’m fighting to get out of it.

I don’t want reading to feel like something I have to do. It is supposed to be fun, right?

3. I find TBRs limiting.

Once I create my TBR for the month, there’s always at least one book I become aware of that I want to read asap. However, the books on my TBR are books that I’ve been meaning to read for like ever, so I feel bad picking up that book.

Also, I post my TBR on the internet and feel like I have to stick to them because of that. I’ve let the people know what I’m reading and I don’t want to disappoint the people! I know it sounds silly, because I don’t think you guys care how much I stick to my original TBR, but it’s the way I feel sometimes.

4. They make feel like I’m not reading the books I want to read.

So this one is a little melodramatic, but some months I make a TBRs that do not excite me. Or rather when I post them, I’m excited to read all of the books on the list and then my mood changes. New books catch my attention and I want to read those, not the ones I put on my list.

But I stick with my list most of the time and when I get to my wrap-up I feel like I’ve read nothing I really wanted to read. Which sucks! Reading is a hobby for me and I want it to be fun. It should be fun, but some months it doesn’t feel fun.

* * *

Basically, monthly TBRs are sucking the fun out of reading for me, and I’m not standing for it anymore. Since it’s a new year, I’m trying a new thing and seeing how it works for me.

So I’m done with them, at least for this year! We’ll see if this works better for me, or if I miss making those TBRs. However, I’m excited to see where this decision leads me!

What is your opinion on TBRs? Do you love making them or secretly hate them, like me? Let’s discuss down in the comment section below. 

My Blog Turns One and 2018 Goals

My blog turned 1 year old a few weeks ago, which has been pretty exciting! On January 5th, I posted my first ever TBR and began my book blogging journey. Since then I have gained over 100 followers, started a BookTube Channel, and I read a total of 44 books. 2017 has been a pretty productive year, but I’m hoping 2018 will be even better.

Today, I thought I would share with you my Bookish and Writing Goals for 2018. I don’t usually set so many goals, but I thought it would be fun! That way next year I can look back and see what I managed to accomplish.

Bookish Goals

  1. Read 50 books — 50 books was my reading challenge for last year, but I did not manage to reach that goal. So this year I’m determined to actually go and read those god damn 50 books! Out of all my bookish goals, this is my top priority.
  2. Read at least 1 book from my physical TBR — I have developed a serious book buying problem in 2017. My favorite used book store is only 3 blocks away from my job, and they always have such great deals. Their dollar book section specifically is very good, so I usually just pick up whatever titles I’ve heard of and that I’m interested in. This has resulted in me collecting a shit ton of books that I have yet to actually read. I’m hoping by reading at least 1 book that I own a month will help me make my way through all of the unread books on my shelf.
  3. Finish or get caught up with at least 3 series — Another bad habit that I have is starting series and not finishing them. It’s such a problem! Half of the time, I forget or am lazy. The other half is because I don’t want the series to end (which I realize sounds stupid). However, I have started so many series that it’s gotten way out of hand and I desperately need to catch up.

Writing Goals

  1. Reach my halfway/reevaluating point with my WIP — This is something that I should have been able to complete last year, but was too lazy to do so. Currently, I am a chapter and a half away from completing this goal so if it doesn’t happen someone needs to slap me.
  2. Finish first draft of WIP — This is sort of a lowkey goal, my main concern is reaching my halfway/reevaluating point. I’m also not sure what I will be doing once that point. I may go back and start my rewrite, or a may just continue on until I finish the draft. Regardless, I would like to complete a first draft of this project by the end of this year. I’ve been working on this book for so long, and would like to actually make some headway with it.
  3. Outline Heist Novel and finish character bios — Yes, you heard that right. I am writing a heist novel! I had a massive breakthrough with this project in December, and am really excited to start working on it. Since heist novels require so much research and planning, I am giving myself a year to do all of that. If you’d like to hear me talk about this project more in length, check out my latest writing vlog.
  4. Begin sketch writing again — Three years ago, I was very much into sketch writing. Since then I have really slacked off with my sketch writing, which is a shame. I really enjoy the medium, and would like to see some of my works performed. I am participating in a sketch workshop, so this is another goal that will be completed in the near future.

Blog Goals

  1. Post at least 1 time a week — Since starting my BookTube Channel, I have been horrible at posting on this thing. I do enjoy blogging and want to continue writing reviews and posting. I think posting at least 1 time a week is manageable, so that’s what we’re shooting for. I think I might decide on a specific day to post, but that is TBD.
  2. Post things other than reviews — Recently, I have been posting a lot of reviews. Which has been fun, and I’m sure helpful for you guys, but this blog needs some variety. If you would like to see me do a tag or talk about something, leave a comment down below!

BookTube Goals

  1. Post at least 1 time a week — I’m just really bad at posting guys, across all platforms. There are some weeks I post like 2 videos in a week, and then it takes me a week and half to post the next batch. I want to get on a more consistent uploading schedule to make life easier for me and make sure that my content is consistent
  2. Become more active in the community — I really suck at talking to people, commenting, and just being an active member in the BookTube community (the book blogger community too). That is something that I would like to see change and meet more people.

Those are all of my goals Bookish/Writing Goals for 2018. I think I set a fair amount of goals that I can totally complete this year. My writing goals will be the most challenging, but this is the year that I am productive!

Let me know what your New Year’s resolutions are! They don’t have to be book related, they can be life goals or any sort of goals. Let’s chat down below.

ARC Review| Keeper by Kim Chance

It has been a while since I read a book involving witches, so I was excited to pick this book up. What intrigued me the most about the synopsis was this idea of an all powerful spell book. To be honest, I thought that this book would be super nerdy and all about using magic books to fight evil.

While the book did not head in that direction, I had fun reading it anyway.

Synopsis: When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.

With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.

Keeper is Chance’s debut novel, and the start of a new series following Lainey who discovers that she is a witch. It comes out on January 30th. I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was such a fun read. I think my favorite aspect about it was the friendship between our main character, Lainey, and her best friend Maggie. I find that in YA books, friendships usually take a back seat to the love interest, but Maggie was not about to let that happen. The banter between them was hilarious and felt extremely genuine. The passages when they were having a heart to heart, or going on an adventure were my favorite.

I might be a little biased, because Maggie was my favorite character in the entire book. She is a comic-book super nerd, who is hilarious. She had the funniest, and best lines, in the entire book. She was weird, but also a strong female character in an atypical way. She is human and not physically strong, yet she refuses to let Lainey face everything alone. I also loved how she applied her comic book knowledge to what was happening in real life. She was clearly the stand out character.

Part of the reason that Maggie stood out so much, is because so much of the book felt generic. You’ve got your Chosen One, your bad boy with a mysterious past as the love interest, dead parents, etc. It was filled with tropes that I have seen over and over again. The plot felt very predictable, up until a certain point, and I wish we spent more time with the parts that were unique to the story.

I really wanted there to be more world building as well, because I found myself wanting more information on the magic system and the paranormal world that Lainey finds herself in. This book is told through first person narrative, so I get that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and just learning about her powers. However, I wished that the adults in the story could have provided more of an explanation on how things worked in this world. Based on the ending, I have a feeling we will get more information on that aspect (and maybe a mentor figure too).

Even though much of the book felt very generic, it did manage to surprise me at the end. I did not expect the book to go where it did. The end was very exciting and only left me wanting more. It also gave me hope that the next book will be more interesting than this one. Needless to say that I will definitely be continuing on with the series.

All things considered, I did really enjoy reading this book. While it was filled with cliches, I still found the book fun to read. I loved our three prominent characters, Lainey, Maggie, and Ty. I liked where the romance lead. The ending was great! Was this the mindblowingly amazing, no. But it was a fun quick read, with great sequel potential.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

I would love to hear your thoughts on this book! Did you love it or hate it? Let’s chat about it in the comment section down below. Big thank you again to Netgalley and Source Books for providing me with an eArc! 

So I Kinda Sorta Started A BookTube Channel…

As the title suggest, I started a BookTube channel!

Back in September, I wrote a post called “To BookTube or Not to BookTube?” where I basically talked about how I was on the fence about starting a BookTube channel. Annalee over at Buttons Book Reviews suggested I make a video and see what happens. It was the push I needed to be like, “Fuck it, let’s just do this thing.”

I posted my first video on September 30th (The BookTube Newbie Tag, in case you were wondering). I had a blast making the video and received some positive response. The BookTube community, like the Book Blogger community, is super friendly and nice. In real life I’m a ridiculous human being, so I was worried that I would get some hate for being super weird. Definitely not the case at all.

Since that first video I have made a few more when I have had the time. October was an extremely busy month for me, so it was hard to manage on top of everything else but doable. The fact that it was doable in the busiest of months for me, just gave me the confidence to keep doing it. I really enjoy making videos. It’s a passion I have that I have not been able to express in a while, so it’s been super fun just making these videos.

Now you’re probably curious as to what that means for this blog. Well, I don’t plan on abandoning it, so if you’re a fan of my blog posts, I will still be making them. I really enjoy writing Book Reviews and being a part of the blogger community. I really want the content on my channel to compliment the content on my blog. That way if you follow both, you won’t get the same content in different formats.

My blog will mostly focus on book reviews. Not only do I enjoy writing book reviews and discussions, but I think I am able to critique books more effectively in this format. I will also still be doing tags, Top Ten Lists, and discussion posts (when I can think of them). I may also do posts that expand on videos I create.

On my channel you’ll find my TBRs, wrap-ups, book hauls, and writing vlogs. Plus other random videos that I come up with. I’m still experimenting with this whole BookTube channel thing and trying to figure out what works best.

Anyway, the point of this post was to tell you guys what I have been up to for the past two months and let you know about some changes that I will be making on this blog. If you would like to check out any of my videos, I am at Book to the Becky on YouTube.

Talk to you guys in another post soon!




October Wrap-Up!

Hello fellow booknerds! It’s been a while. Sorry that I dropped off of the face of the earth, but October was an incredibly busy month for me. Not only was I swamped with theater and improv stuff, but I have started a new creative project which has been exciting. I will tell you guys all about that creative project in another post.

This blog is all about the books, so let’s get into those books. Even though I was super busy this month, I was able to read a decent amount. It wasn’t my best reading month, but certainly not the worst.

1. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #2) — This was the first book that I dove into. I was highly anticipating it after finishing the first book, Three Dark Crowns, in July. Three Dark Crowns blew me away, so I definitely had some high expectations for the sequel. I’m happy to say that I was not let down. One Dark Throne was just as exciting and addicting as its predecessor. I read the book in three days. Things just kept happening and I needed to know what happened next. Unlike most people, I think I enjoyed Three Dark Crowns just a hair more. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but my favorite aspect of Three Dark Crowns was the fact that the plot constantly kept me on my toes. When I was reading One Dark Throne, I was able to see more of the twists and turns coming. That being said, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next installment. For more of my in depth thoughts, check out my review! Warning, it does contain some spoilers for the first book so I recommend only reading it if you have finished Three Dark Crowns(Rating: 4/5 Stars)

2. Lucky in Love by Kasie West — I picked this up because I was in the mood for a fun light read. That’s exactly what a Kasie West book usually entails so it was a good choice. She writes mostly cute YA contemporaries. This one was no different. It follows Maddie who randomly wins the lottery. Once she comes into money, it changes how people interact with her so we see her deal with that. There’s also this cute boy that she works with, Seth, who is unaware that she’s won the lottery. She likes that he just treats her the same and wants to keep it that way. I enjoyed reading this and thought it was cute. This book was nothing mind blowing, but just a fun read. I loved Seth and thought he was the best part. Not only was he super adorable (seriously, I think I fell in love with him), but I appreciated the fact that he was Asian American. I feel like it’s so rare to see a non-white dude as the male lead, especially in YA contemporary. I also think Asian American men are not often shown as sexy or attractive in American media. Seth definitely doesn’t follow the typical Asian American stereotypes and he just felt so real. Overall, this book was adorable. As I said nothing mind blowing, but not super cringy either. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

3. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2) — I decided to finally continue on with the Mistborn series this month. I absolutely fell in love with this world when I read The Final Empire back in May. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to read this sequel, but I took the plunge this month. The book absolutely blew me away. I mean Sanderson is known for being such an excellent writer, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but still! After loving The Final Empire I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to the first, but it totally did. The Well of Ascension is definitely a slower paced book, but everything continues to build and build as you read until you reach the end. God, the ending was so good. It’s the kind of ending that just whacks you over the head and makes everything come full circle in a way. I’m still not over it. Needless to say that I will be picking up the final book in the trilogy a lot sooner than this one! I cannot wait to see how Sanderson wraps everything up. If you are a fan of fantasy and haven’t read this series yet, please, I urge you to pick it up! (Rating: 5/5 Stars)

Those are all of the books that I read this past month. The Well of Ascension took up most of my time since my copy was a whopping 776 pages. It was easily my favorite read of the month so I can’t be mad at it.

I wish I was able to read more, because I’m slowly falling behind with my goal of reading 50 books this year. I need to get it together somehow.

Anyway I would love to know what everyone has been reading recently! What was your favorite book you read in the month of October? Have you read any of these books? Let’s talk about all things books in the comment section down below. 

Book Review/Discussion|One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

Ever since I read Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, I’ve been desperately waiting for this sequel to come out. I got my hands on it as soon as I could, and I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed it!

It’s really hard to talk about this book without majorly spoiling the first. Trust me when I say that you do not want to be spoiled for the first book. If you have not read it, please click out of this review and come back when you have at least read the first installment. I have a brief, spoiler-free review up on GoodReads for One Dark Throne, so you can check that out here if you’re still curious.

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