Saturday, December 31, 2016

December Wrap-Up and MY FIRST BLOGOVERSARY! (and a Giveaway!)

Another year come and gone! And it just so happens to be the first year of my blog! That's right - Lost in My Library is one year old!

Wow, that felt really weird to type. I've had this blog for a year. And what a year it's been. Globally, it's been 2016. (Which has been a disaster in and of itself, and I don't think I need to elaborate.) Personally, I finished high school and moved across the country to start college. And throughout that, I've been more-or-less consistently posting my various bookish thoughts here.

So to celebrate my blogoversary, I'm doing a giveaway of any of my top ten books of 2016! (Under $15 US, which I think just excludes The Marvels - I'd love to be able to give that away, but Brian Selznick books are too pricey for me right now.) It's international as long as The Book Depository ships to you, and you can enter at the bottom of the post.

December's been quite the interesting month. I finished my first semester of college! I haven't gotten my grades yet, but I'm pretty sure that I did well on all my finals, which is good. I nearly missed my flight home because of ridiculous security lines, but I made it and I'm home safely now. Consisdering how busy I've been, I think I've had a pretty great reading month.

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME by Stephanie Perkins: What a perfect way to get into the holiday season! These stories were pretty hit or miss for me, but there were a few that I absolutely adored, especially the ones by Stephanie Perkins and Gayle Forman. It's a great holiday read!

THE PROFESSOR'S HOUSE by Willa Cather: This was required for my America in 1925 class, and it's probably my least favorite thing we've read all year. It was beautifully written, but there was nothing to really keep me invested.

EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill (Clash of Kingdoms #1): This was a really fun fantasy read! It was pretty predictable, which was disappointing, but it reminded me of a lot of other books that I like, which is a good thing. You can read my full review here.

SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #1): After what seemed like a million years, my holds on this duology at the library finally came in! And WOW, do I get the hype. Fantastically built fantasy world + squad goals + mind-blowing heist plot = amazing book.

CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #2): I'll admit that I didn't like this one quite as much as the first, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't incredible! And I think it might have destroyed me a bit more.

THE LITTLE GRUMPY CAT THAT WOULDN'T: I picked this up as part of my mom's Chanukah present, but I couldn't resist reading it myself before I gave it to her. It was so cute! Pretty much what I'd expect from a Grumpy Cat book, but good nonetheless.

MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen: This was the monthly read for the Austentatious Book Club, and after being thoroughly disappointed by EMMA last month, I was glad to find that I enjoyed this one much more. It got a bit repetitive and dragged at times, but I loved the characters.

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness: I don't even know what to say about this. I knew from when I started it that it was going to break my heart, but I severely underestimated the extent to which it was going to do so. I was definitely sobbing by the end. I really don't think I'm going to see the movie in theaters, just because I know I'd bawl my eyes out and I don't think I can handle that. On an unrelated note to my emotions, the illustrations were absolutely stunning.

Reread this month (and last month):
  • SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli: I completely forgot to put my rereads in my wrap-up last month! So we have two months of rereads in this one. I reread SIMON VS about a week after the election and it made me so happy. I really needed a book like that.
  • THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Another one that I reread last month! This was the second time I've been required to read this book, and good news - I still love it! I feel like I could read this a million times and still get something new out of it every single time.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling: Onto December now. This was my second time participating in Harry Christmas to You, the month-long read-a-watch-a-long-a-thon of Harry Potter books and movies, and I decided to reread the entire series! I'm pretty sure this is my fourth time reading it. It took some serious cramming in at the end of the month, but I managed. This was just as magical as I remembered.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling: This used to be my least favorite Harry Potter book, but every time I reread it, it grows on me. I was completely sucked in this time, and it might have moved up a notch in my Harry Potter ranking!
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling: My favorite! I really love this one, and rereading it again only made me love it more.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J.K. Rowling: My second favorite Harry Potter book! And it's a very, very close second. I barely noticed how much longer this one was than the first three because I was loving it so much!
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J.K. Rowling: I forgot so much about this book since the last time I read it! Definitely worth the reread.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling: This is another one that I forgot a lot of - it's probably my least favorite Harry Potter book, but that doesn't mean I didn't love it!
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling: As of this post going up, I haven't finished this reread yet, but I'm confident that I'm going to finish it today. It's such an amazing conclusion to an incredible series. (Cursed Child? What's that?)
  • Total books: 8 new, 7 rereads
  • Longest book: CROOKED KINGDOM, 536 pages
  • Shortest book: THE LITTLE GRUMPY CAT THAT WOULDN'T, 24 pages
  • Favorite book: SIX OF CROWS
  • Least favorite book: THE PROFESSOR'S HOUSE
  • Comics/Graphic Novels/Picture Books: 1 (THE LITTLE GRUMPY CAT THAT WOULDN'T)
For a list of the books you can choose, click here. A couple of minor points about the giveaway:
  • A few of the books on my list are sequels, so I'm also open to giving away the first books in each of those series.
  • I unfortunately couldn't find anywhere that sells a new copy of THE MARVELS for less than $15, but if you win and you really want that one, I'll see what I can do about giving you a $15 gift card to contribute to that. I haven't looked into it yet, so I'm not completely sure how that would work, but it's an option!
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How was your 2016? Did you have a good reading year? A good blogging year? What were some of your favorite books? Tell me in the comments!