Category: Wrap Ups

Nina’s Top Five Favourites of 2017

So, this is it. 2017 has come to an end. To be frank, I’m not sad to see it go. This year has thrown so many obstacles my way, and as if that wasn’t enough, I found the quality of the books I read to be quite lacking as well. There were a couple of gems among my reads I’d like to talk about, but first, let me give you a quick overview of my 2017 in general.

Life in 2017. I could write an essay about the things that made me feel sad, angry, or helpless this year. But I do not wish to dwell on the negative experiences I had this year. Instead, I’d like to mention a few things that brought me joy or made me proud: I made new friends in and across fields of study at my university. I worked hard and reaped the reward in form of very good grades. I took a class to improve my Spanish. I went skiing a lot last winter, so I spent a lot of time doing a sport I love with people I love. I travelled to several cities and countries in Europe I’d never been to – including Valencia, Edinburgh, London, and the Cyclades (Greece) – and got to visit my co-blogger Chantal in the UK for the first time since she’d moved there to pursue her studies. I also experienced one positive thing related to the painful cards 2017 has dealt me: The unwavering support of family and friends.

Books in 2017. In terms of books, I’ve read more diversely this year, but not necessarily because I picked more diverse genres. At least half of the books I read were of the fantasy genre, which means that diversity is not something that is reserved for contemporaries anymore. It makes me so happy that we now encounter diverse individuals across genres. This is a step forward in the battle for realistic representation in literature. I ended up reaching my goal of reading 50 books but it was close! I read 22 books featuring people of ethnicities other than Caucasian as their main characters and half of those were people of colour. I read 17 books featuring LGBTQ+ characters. I read books by 21 authors who identify as members of minority groups. I read at least 7 books featuring mental health issues or disabilities, and 3 books with disfigured characters. I read 3 short stories, two comic books, and a poetry collection. To draw a conclusion to my reading of 2017, I’d like to present and talk about the five books that impressed me or stuck with me most this year. The books are ordered alphabetically and clicking on the titles will lead you to my reviews of the respective books.

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Nina’s July Wrap Up

The last time I wrote a wrap-up was… last year. Both Chantal and I have struggled with blogging this year, and while I still find time to write reviews or gush about anticipated releases, the wrap-ups have been pushed to the sideline. From the amount of books I’ve read in July – and this year in general – you can tell that recreational reading is not going that well for me. Albeit being on summer break, I’ve been preoccupied with work and my thesis, but I’ve tried to at least get to the advanced reader copies (ARCs, for those of you unfamiliar with the term) in order to maintain a somewhat reliable feedback score on NetGalley. As a result, I’ve read 5 books this month and all but one of them were ARCs. ARCs can be a huge hit-or-miss, as not a great deal of people will have read them yet and you have barely any other opinions to rely on, so it’s no surprise that my average rating this month was not high. My July reads are listed (from left to right) in the order in which I read them. Clicking on the titles will lead you to my reviews.

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Chantal’s Top 10 Favourite Books of 2016

So…that was 2016. What a year. Unfortunately, it was a pretty bad year for the world, socially and politically, and I can only hope that 2017 will be better. That we make it better. From a personal point of view, it was a year full ups and downs. I successfully finished my first year of university, made many new friends, read lots of books, started applying for jobs for the first time in my life. And perhaps most importantly for all you reading this: Nina and I started this blog! It’s been such a rewarding experience and I want to take a moment to thank all of you who follow us, leave comments, or just read our posts from the bottom of my heart. It truly always makes my day when any of this happens.

At the beginning of the year I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 50 books. I ended up meeting that goal in September and so upped it to 65. Once again, I was able to meet it and ended up reading 68 books.  Though I read a lot of good books this year, I also read many that I didn’t enjoy and I’m hoping that 2017 will bring many awesome new ones. So, to round off the year, here are my top ten favourites of 2016. I’m very happy with how diverse this list is in terms of genre; I’ve really expanded my reading horizon this year and that is something I want to continue doing in 2017. I have decided to take on the challenge and do a ranking, but please note that this was extremely difficult and I will probably look back on this list in two days and wish I would have put them in a different order, so take the chronology with a grain of salt. I have added age categories and genres in brackets for those of you who may have not heard of a book and would like a quick overview.

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Nina’s Top Five Favourites of 2016

2016 has come to an end, and it’s time to do a recap of a turbulent year. Foremost, 2016 was the year this blog was established, a project Chantal and I worked really hard for over the summer. This year, I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I travelled to the place of my mother’s origin, the beautiful island of Sicily. I met two more Goodreads friends in person, after having finally met my friend and co-blogger Chantal last year. I worked at two child and adolescent mental health facilities which was so interesting and highly gratifying. I’ve seen half the globe but visited England for the first time ever, which was a dream come true. And can you believe Leonardo Di Caprio won his first Oscar this year? Yes? Yes.

Unfortunately, 2016 was a year of struggle, too. It was the year a majority of Great Britain’s population voted to leave the EU, though these weren’t necessarily the people who will have to bear this decision the longest. Many beloved celebrities died, most recently George Michael. It was a year in which terror and violence shattered us, poisoned our hearts. Ultimately, this lead to the biggest tragedy of them all in 2016: A misogynistic, racist, politically rash, rich white man took over the most powerful position this globe currently has to offer, spreading the poison fast like a viper. Suspicion and hate has flared like a wildfire.

Which is why I love logging into sites like Goodreads, connecting with friends on the blog, and gushing over other people’s bookstagram shots (which are truly amazing). Amongst the book community, though we have our differences about books, too, we spread love. Love for books. I feel that, through our mutual passion for books, many other gaps are bridged – people from different genders, sexual orientations, countries, races, and religions come together to share their enthusiasm for the written word. Literature is a weapon, and therefore we are armed and powerful. I hope that we will continue to find our strength in books and in each other as friends, regardless of the distances and time differences.

To share my love for books wrapped into one package, I would like to present my Top 5 favourites of 2016 which all merited 5 stars from me. Clicking on the titles will lead you to my reviews, either on the blog or on Goodreads.

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Nina’s November Wrap Up


Hi everyone! This month’s wrap up is probably my most depressing yet, as I’ve only read roughly a quarter of what I was able to in October. There are two explanations for my tiny book pile in November. Firstly, I started a new internship closer to home, and while I was able to read for 2 hours on my daily commute before, I now barely have enough time to take my book out of my bag. Of course, this also means that I can sleep longer than the previous 3 months, and I’m certainly not complaining. Secondly, my parents are currently abroad for while, which means all the household chores and getting organised has fallen straight into my lap (technically, there’s two of us at home but if it were up to my brother, we’d probably be eating pizza every night). Therefore, my time and capacity for reading has been cut drastically in November, and I hope this will change in December, for I still have quite a few books I’d like to have read before 2017.

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Chantal’s October Wrap Up


Hi everyone! I can actually not believe it’s already November. Where has this year gone?? It feels like October blew right past me. For those of you who don’t know, I started my second year of university at the beginning of October and that definitely reflected on my reading. This year is particularly tough because next to all the classes, readings, projects and essays I have to do, I’m also applying for jobs for next year (we call them industrial placements in the UK) and it’s been difficult handling both plus trying to maintain a halfway adequate social life. Having said that, I’m still pretty happy with how much I read this month. It’s not a lot, only 4 books, but considering everything else that was going on, I’m content. So let’s get into it, in chronological order:

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Nina’s October Wrap Up


Hi everyone! Can you guys believe October has passed already? Because I can’t. It feels like I’ve only just written my September Wrap Up, yet here I am, reflecting on this month’s reads. In October, I had a pretty constant reading cycle without slumps and was therefore able to exceed September’s reading amount of 6 books. So, I consider this quite a good reading month for me. Additionally, I made good on my vow to myself to read more diversely in October, because I mostly hang out in my fantasy corner and get incredibly lazy and far too comfortable. From the fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary genre, I read two of each. And so, I present to you my October Wrap Up in chronological order.

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Chantal’s September Wrap Up

folie04September was both a fantastic and an unusual reading month for me. While the average amount of books I read in a month is normally around 4, I ended up reading 11 things in September and most of it I really enjoyed. It was unusual though, because all the books except one are classified as adult while I would consider myself someone who primarily reads YA. However, at the beginning of the year I set out with the goal to diversify my reading (both in terms of diversity within books as well as books of different genres and age groups) and I’m so happy that I’ve been doing so.

So, without further ado, here are the books I read in September (in chronological order):

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Nina’s September Wrap Up


Hi everyone! The first month of autumn has passed in a breeze, which means it’s time for a wrap-up of the books I read in September. My pile is pretty modest compared to Chantal’s but I’m actually quite satisfied with the amount I squeezed in on my long commute to and from work. As usual, I was fully immersed in the fantasy genre – two of my September reads being Arabian-inspired fantasies – but I vowed to myself to read more diversely in October.

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