Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: My Year in Books

It's that time of the year again! A few hours to go and we're wrapping up 2016. 

Sadly, I committed a high crime of not posting a wrap up for 2015. Surely such a bummer - after I pledged to do that every year. But anyway, before the year comes to a close, here it is: my year in books!

Tried to do a hand-lettered tribute to this post in a haste. It turned out a bit fine, I guess. >.<

This year, I pledged to read 10 books. Such low book count, I know, but I just don't really feel like disappointing myself if I don't hit the target. Not a good habit, but it's something I need to not feel bad on a large scale this year. It sure is hard trying to juggle work, life, studies + all these hobbies but it sure is worth it every time.

This is my 6th year of doing this challenge -- and gladly, this is the fifth consecutive year of completing it! Hurrah! This year, I managed to read 18 books out of the expected 10 books -- the last one, I just finished a while ago. *grins widely*

Here're the books that I've read this year:

Books I've Read This Year

Happy Again by Jennifer Smith | After Dark by Haruki Murakami | Queen Song (Red Queen, #0.1) by Victoria Aveyard | Steel Scars (Red Queen, #0.2) by Victoria Aveyard | Death: The High Cost of Living (Collected) by Neil Gaiman | The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman | Forget-Me-Not (Ceruleans, #2) by Megan Tayte | Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1) by Haruki Murakami | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8) by John Tiffany | Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1) by J.K. Rowling | Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeist (Pottermore Presents, #2) by J.K. Rowling | Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3) by J.k. Rowling | Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard | Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling | Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith | Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo | Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo | Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2) by Haruki Murakami

Novellas sure dominated my read list this year. Out of the 18 books that I've read, 6 of it are actually novellas. I guess you could consider Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 as novellas but since these are major reads, I am categorizing them as novels. So counting in those 2, 10 are full-blown novels and 2 are comic book collections. Nice! Can you believe I actually ventured to a new media this year?

Haruki Murakami has a considerable presence in my reading list this year -- maybe the most relative to my other years and I am so happy. I just wished I had more alone and quiet time for it. Murakami books are best read in the wee hours of the night when almost everyone are asleep and all you can hear is your breathing and that distant nagging of your head. I've had some, but I haven't really gotten much of it enough to savor the experience -- so there are time when I read some pages just to pass the time, which is a waste really.

I've also read a bunch of books from the Harry Potter world mainly because the release of the Cursed Child script + the Fantastic Beasts movie somehow resurrected the interest in the franchise (not that it even died, anyway). Pottermore also released some short story collections, so it was really fun.

I also had some Jen Smith + Victoria Aveyard fixes this year: I continued on with the Red Queen from last year -- with the release of Glass Sword and other novellas related to the Red Queen world, as well as the This is What Happy Looks Like epilogue in the form of a novella continuing on with her recently released Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in between (which, truly, is another heartwarming read from her).

On another note, The Sandman Series was a welcome change in my routine these days. I've read two volumes already, with one already in my currently-reading list. It was really good. I was so used to reading manga and japanese things and the difference in style and story telling was really big. Couldn't say I am not learning my ropes around loving the medium, but it was really interesting trying out something new. Plus the writing and top notch art make up for it.

And finally, finally, a new discovery: Leigh Bardugo -- which, honestly speaking, dominated my 2016. Reading into the Six of Crows doulogy was like reinvigorating my love for books. The days when I can't sit still and the books I read don't leave my mind (night and day, I became a slave of it) suddenly came back in an instant. That was really fun and interesting, and I hope I could have more of it in 2016. Days have gone fast and unnoticed because of that - I enjoyed myself too much to even notice that time has passed that quickly.

Statistically speaking, in terms on pages, I am a few pages shy of equaling my 2015 count. Can't really argue with that especially with all the novellas I've been reading these days. 2012 is still clearly the winner (LOL) but I am glad that I am still maintaining my page count. After all, reading has become an integral part of myself... and through the years, it also became a way of maintaining my sanity - to keep my head floating when all else are insistent in drowning me and dragging me down *drama*.

Again, here I am disappointing myself once again because I haven't really posted a review of sorts for all the books that I've read this year. But I am trying. We'll get there, I hope. :)

There you are, Goodreads, buttering me up again. LOL.
This wrap-up won't ever be complete without me listing the top books that made my year. So hear it is:

5 Books That Made My Year
(in particular order)

  1. Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, #8) by John Tiffany
  4. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  5. Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2) by Haruki Murakami

As I've said, the Six of Crows duology dominated my year! Read my thoughts by clicking on the individual link and you'll know. Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa really did it for me, and of course, the whole gang but you get it. The inclusion of Cursed Child was mainly because of the emotion it evoked when I read it. I figured I probably will never get tired of coming back to the Harry Potter world - no matter the time, no matter the age. Plus, a really good pairing was born (in my head, but not canon lol Scopius X Albus) so it's good. Plus -- I would never forget: Murakami. Gaaah, The amount of introspection and wonder his writing brings to me knows no bound. How with ANYTHING I read from him, something ALWAYS resonates. There is always something in his writing that I feel on an almost spiritual level it is insane. Those moments were particularly strong with two books listed.

So that was it, really. My 2016 in books. I hope I could write more reviews in the coming days. Plus, I really would like to publish a 2017 to-read list so watch out. I am planning to revive this blog more than this leaving year so some changes are about to happen. Yey!

There it is guys: HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let's leave 2016 with a big smile on our faceS as we brace ourselves for the coming year. Happy reading, still, on 2017! :)

Friday, December 30, 2016


A little experimenting on stream of consciousness at 3:00 in the morning, the first few hours of my birthday. Definitely stained by something that's a bit depressing for the occasion. Birthday blues, I guess.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

In the cold Christmas morning of 2016

It took a moment to realize that, yes, I just dreamt that you were still around.
In my dream, you were just missing but you were found.
In my dream, it just took a long time but you woke up, you opened your eyes.
In my dream, you were not perpetually gone but you were alive.

I woke up with this weird, lingering feeling that is close to nostalgia or even emptiness. I wonder why it took a few more seconds still to say to myself that, "oh, I dreamed that".

In the cold Christmas morning of 2016, the first thing I dreamt about was you. They say in Christmas, one should wish to their heart's desire. Really, I won't be surprised if that was an unconscious plea on my end -- an impossible wish for an impossible heart.

Realizing the impossible distance between your wants and reality always hits hard.


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