Sunday, January 25, 2015

2014 in numbers...



Back by popular demand, here is my numbers post :) I've had the numbers compiled for a while, but haven't had the chance to put this post together until now. I'm so happy to finally have a post up and one about books, yay!! Enjoy all these numbers LOL.


Number of books read

179

This number is always the most important, isn't it? The one we care so much about LOL. My goal in 2014 was 175, so being up 4, I'm quite happy. It's also the most books I've read since 2011 :) The one thing that bothers me a bit though is that part of that 179, 8 were The Kraken King since I read it as a serial ^_^; In addition, there were a few very short novellas... so it does feel like the number is somewhat boosted. Oh well, I'd rather reach my goal and has that feeling, then count The Kraken King as one book and be short and so close of my goal ^_^;

For 2015, I'm aiming for 180 books. Hopefully, all goes well ;)


Number of books bought

125

I've been working hard on lowering this number in the past few years and been quite successful :) However, this year, I have a jump of +30. I don't mind it that much because I know exactly what happened: Chapters closing. On that shopping spree, I bought 38 books!! So had it not been for it, I would have been -8. Not bad :)

This year, I wasn't such an avid customer of Book Depository. Well one explanation is the Canadian dollar losing some of its value, so the exchange rate wasn't as advantageous for me. Plus, Chapters/Indigo had quite a few sales... And of course, there were a few trips to the States :) So the break-down is as followed:

Bought print online = 29
Bought print in-store = 82
Bought e-books = 14

Basically, I've stayed consistent for e-books and my numbers for online and in-store just switched up. Many wonder why I haven't converted more to e-books and it's basically because buying e-books is not cheap. First, because you don't get discount on books from main publishers... and also, because I pay two taxes on e-books (federal and provincial) while only one on print books (federal). Weird, I know, but that's how it is. And the provincial tax is 9.5%, so not negligible!!

So, want to know how much money I saved this year?! 621.89$!!! Isn't that awesome? That's my highest number ever :) In 2010, I did save 517.57$, but for 193 books... so 621.89$ for 125 books? I'm in heaven LOL. Obviously, we're going back to that Chapters shopping spree where all books were 50% off and where my i-rewards discount of 10% was applicable :) Gotta grab those opportunities :)

By the way, I've read 81 books out of those 125... so that's 64.8% of the books I bought, I've read. A bit low compared to other years, but still pretty good I think. As long as it's above 50% LOL...

For 2015, I'm going to try my best to limit my book purchases because I'm planning to go to RWA. Wish me luck! :)


What did I read?

Contemporary = 40
YA = 25 (Contemporary = 18, Fantasy = 2, Sci-Fi = 5)
Urban Fantasy = 22
Romantic Suspense = 21
Historical = 18 (Regency = 16, Western = 1, 1920's = 1)
New Adult = 16 (Contemporary = 16)
Paranormal romance = 10
Steampunk = 8
Category romance = 8 (Contemporary = 8)
Mystery/Thriller/Cosy Mystery = 4
Fiction = 2
Erotica = 2
Chick-lit/Women's Fiction = 1
Fantasy = 1
m/m = 1

Genre-wise, I don't feel like there's been much change in my reading. Contemporary romance is still leading the pack. I am surprised that YA came in second, but I think it's because I binged on certain authors such as Julie Cross. New Adult being all the rage at the moment, it's no surprise that that number increased. The genre with the biggest decrease was category romance and for that one, I think it's a publisher thing. I usually read Harlequin KISS and I think there was a re-structuration or something because there weren't that many released. Plus, it seems many of my favorite category romance authors decided to try something different...

Quite frankly, I have no idea what to expect from 2015. I don't really know where the romance market is heading, what's going to be the new hit...  Guess I'll have to wait and find out.


Who published them?

1. Penguin (Berkley, NAL, ROC, Putnam, etc.) = 53
2. Harlequin (HQN Books, Mira, SuperRomance, KISS, Mills & Boon, Carina Press, etc.) = 22
3. Self-published = 19
4. Harpercollins Publisher (Avon, Avon Impulse, etc.) = 17
5. E-Publishers (Samhain, Entangled, Montlake, Tule) = 14
6. Kensington, Random House Publishing = 12
7. Simon & Schuster = 11
8. Macmillan (St. Martin's Press, etc.) = 9
9. Hachette (Grand Central Publishing, Little Brown Books, Headline, Orbit, etc.) = 8
10. Hyperion/Scholastic/Bloomsbury = 6
11. Hardie Grant Egmont, Llewellyn Books, Walker Books = 3
12. Subterranean Press, Traverse = 2
13 .DAW = 1
14. Sourcebooks = 1

Well wow. I still read a lot of mainstream publishers, but look at that! The self-published and e-publishers books are increasing! Slowly, but surely!! Of course, that has a lot to do with my favorite authors trying different route and me being a follower LOL. Still, it's nice to see. I'd also say if you're a new author, I'm more likely to pick you up if you're with Penguin, Harlequin or Harpercollins. I know that Hachette still releases a lot of romance, but I don't know... I feel they don't do such a great job at marketing. I mean, I see them around at the bookstore and on blogland... but aside from Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series, nothing stands out in my mind for that publisher. Also, I need to give Sourcebooks another go. In the past few years, I've been shying away from that publisher because I don't seem to click with their books... but I think it's time to give it another go.


When were they published?

2014 = 140 (78.2%)
2013 = 25
2012 = 4
2011 = 6
2010 = 2
2009 = 1
2007 = 1

Yep, I'm a current reader. That hasn't changed... which is kind of sad considering the state of my TBR pile. In other words, if I don't read a book in the two years following its release, chances are slim that I'll ever pick it up... Maybe it'll change one day, but I seriously doubt it ^_^;


How did I enjoy the books?

A = 6 (A+ = 0, A = 0, A- = 6)
B = 100 (B+ = 17, B = 57, B- = 26)
C = 70 (C+ = 30, C = 30, C- = 10)
D = 3

Seems like my grade distribution has been very consistent compared to last year. I still have difficulty to dole out A grade. Perhaps I'm being very picky. At the same time, it means if I give it a A, it automatically makes it to my Best and Faves list :)

In any case, I think I'm fair with my grading. Or at least, it really reflects what I think of it, how I feel about it :)


Did I share my thoughts with you?

I'm skipping this section, because I know I didn't ^_^;


Random numbers

New-to-me Authors = 36

This number is pretty similar to last year and I'm quite happy with it. It's actually more than I expected LOL. I mean, I know myself. I'm very picky when it comes to trying new authors... It needs a nice cover, a good blurb or lots of recommendations... but this number shows that I'm trying ;)

Books part of a series = 148

What can I say? This is how it's been the past few years and it's not changing.

***

There you go. My number post... All in all, I feel that I'm a very consistent reader... which makes for very boring comments because really, they're the same year to year LOL. Still, I think it's fun to have these numbers and be able to compare from year to year :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Debutantes tournament

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the silence ^_^; This is definitively not how I wanted to start the year. I'm going to try better, but truthfully, my blogging might only pick up after curling season. I checked the calendar and till the end of February, curling is ruling my  life LOL. Hopefully though, I'll find time to put together my 2014 recaps.

By the way, one of the reasons I was so busy last week-end was the Debutantes tournament. It's a tournament for female curlers with 5 years or less experience (not years old LOL). The past two years, I've been wanting to participate, but always missed it for some reasons. This year though, I made it... and my team won!!




It was really a great experience. I knew we had a good team and the odds were good, but to win it... Yay!! Now, onto the next tournament which is for female curlers, 7 years and less experience!

Anyway, just wanted to share and let you guys know what I've been up to :) What about you all? Anything exciting?

Monday, January 05, 2015

My Life According to Books I Read in 2014

Good morning everyone!

Okay, let see if I can post this up this morning. Jeez, you wouldn't believe the day I had yesterday. The weather this past week-end has been pretty bad. We got 15cm of snow (6 inches) on Saturday which in itself, was not too bad. However, it was followed by rain/freezing rain the whole freaking day yesterday! And to top it up, the temperature plunged back to -13C (8F) during the night. I haven't gone out yet, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a huge ice rink... oh and there's the gusts of wind!Brrrr.  But the very worst yesterday was losing power due to the freezing rain. From 9.30am to 7pm. It was a bit reminiscent of the ice storm that we had in 1998 - not a good memory!! I've been off two weeks and had planned to spend my last day catching up on my blogging, cataloging and spreadsheets... Let say it just didn't happen. So happy I now have a smartphone with data plan! But it still cannot replace a computer with internet in certain aspects.

Anyway, once power finally came back, I had a bit of time to blog. Decided to complete the "My Life According to Books I Read in..." meme. I like this meme because it fits so well with all the yearly recaps and wrap-ups. Of course, when I was ready to post, well I lost the cable - i.e. internet, phone and tv cable. Didn't lose it long, but long enough that I cut my losses and just went to bed ^_^; But at last, here it is! :)


Describe yourself:
The Collector by Nora Roberts

How do you feel:
Chilled by Kendra Elliot

Describe where you currently live:
The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Your favorite form of transportation:
Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Your best friend is:
Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake

You and your friends are:
Gifted by Kelley Armstrong

What's the weather like:
Tempest by Julie Cross

What is life to you:
Flirting with the Forbidden by Joss Wood

Favorite time of day:
Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs

Your fear:
Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

What is the best advice you have to give:
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Thought for the day:
Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

How I would like to die:
Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

My soul's present condition:
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

My family is:
Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

***

My previous editions...

My Life According to Books I Read in 2011
My Life According to Books I Read in 2012
My Life According to Books I Read in 2013

Friday, January 02, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!!


Happy New Year!!
Good health, good times and good books to everyone :)

Hope that everyone had great holidays! I meant to blog since the last post... but between curling, the annual gift exchange and the holidays, things have just been so hectic! Seriously, I think I need a vacation to recover LOL. I've been off since December 19th and thought that after the turducken dinner with some friends on the 23th (picture above), I'd be free to rest and relax. However, it feels like I've been spending my time running around ^_^; Ah well, still a few days left. Going to make as much of it as I can :)

I don't really want to make any resolutions this year, because I never keep them ^_^; However, I definitively want to make an effort to blog, blog-hop and comment. Hopefully, that'll happen. Actually, I've started the new year well as Ames and I have our new releases post up at Breezing Through :) We're trying out a new format, so check it out and let us know what you think :) Also, I've finally finished updating my spreadsheet today and so, should be able to write up my number post and recap in the coming days! One thing I've also decided regarding blogging is that I'm going forward. That means no trying to catch up on all the monthly recaps that I haven't done in 2014 or reviews. If some of them call to me and I end up writing reviews for them, good ;) Otherwise, I'm not forcing myself to go back.

Oh, and I definitively need to detox from all those Facebook games. They're wayyyyyy too much time consuming! LOL.

That's it for me, for now. I promise though, soon, I'll be talking books!! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas is knocking at the door!


I bet most of you have heard of the motto "Winter is coming" from Game of Thrones right? Well forget that. This week, in Montreal, winter has arrived LOL. And with such a bang that it's here to stay ^_^;

So, how have everyone been? I bet everyone is busy, especially with the holidays coming up. I know I was! I started a review last Friday, but didn't have time to finish it. I was hoping to complete it this week, but just no time! In addition of curling, I had appointments to physio and family doctor (just regular check-up). I was supposed to have a work thing today and it was stressing me big time, but at the last minute, it got cancelled. Yay! Because this week-end is definitively not slowing down. We're having a Christmas Cafe Cheer tonight at the curling club, an in-house tournament tomorrow and Sunday, I'm hosting our annual gift exchange. Tired yet? LOL. Oh and the snowstorm we had this week definitively didn't help.


Anyway, I just wanted to share some Christmas spirit with you all :) We put up the tree last week-end and my sister has been in a baking mood. We were able to squeeze in writing some Christmas cards - still not done though, but at least, the ones outside of Canada are written. Hopefully, I'll mail them tonight. Also, tonight is pot luck, so I made some panna cotta. I'll post an image of the final result :) This week-end, I'm going to try to make green tea panna cotta with black sesame brittle. We'll see how it works out ;)

So hopefully, after this week-end, I'll be to finish my review. Want to take a guess at which book it is? And what about you? Are you in a Christmas mood? :)




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Radio silence...

Hi everyone!

Yes, I'm alive... I really have no excuse for not blogging other than I lost my blogging mojo ^_^; And quite frankly, I don't know if it's back. I don't even know if I miss blogging. That's kind of sad :( I miss the people, that's for sure. I miss discussions about books... but the pressure of putting up posts, of coming up with ideas, of hoping for comments. Not really. At the same time, I'm not ready to close the blog and call it quit. I guess we'll have to see where this goes.

So, what have I been up to? Well in my defense, back in September, I was really busy. After the shopping trip, I went to the States again at the end of the month. We had a family celebration - 70th wedding anniversary/95th birthday. Pretty awesome isn't it? It was a great week-end... Gorgeous weather, happy event and family. I haven't realized how much I missed that side of the family. Oh, and I totally made up my lack of shopping loot LOL.

Not long after we came back from Boston, I received some bad news from Hilcia. Her husband, John, was gravely ill. I love my blogger friends :) I've met quite a few of you while traveling :) However, aside from Ames, Hils is probably the blogger friend I know best because I've visited her quite a few times and stayed with her on those occasions. And every time, John opened his arms wide and welcomed us. He was an awesome man. So when we got the news, my sister and I wanted to see him and we made the drive on the Canadian Thanksgiving week-end. And I'm soooo happy we did it when we did, I'm so happy we got the chance to see John one last time before the disease took him away T_T

After we came back, well curling started up for me. Once again, I'm playing in three leagues this year. The difference though is that I play on Mondays instead of Sundays... and well that takes a toll on my sleep ^_^; The beginning of the season was kind of rough, but I think we started getting it together on all three of my teams and are now starting to play better and get some wins :) The only set-back was last week-end. There was a special tournament among the curling clubs in Montreal. My debutante team (5 years and under) entered it together and well, I got injured ^_^; Slipped, fell and landed on my shoulder. Got lucky that I didn't hurt myself too badly... However, I did injure my rotator cuff. Went to physio last week and have another appointment this week. It's still sore, but at least, hurt less... Seriously, from now on, I'll have to mark off November on my calendar. Something always seems to happen in November. Sigh.

Aside from curling, I've been crocheting a bit. I made a scarf for myself :) I hope to do a hat and
handwarmers that will match that scarf. There's another twisted cowl on my project list - I'm actually excited to start that one!! And my dad has just expressed interested in an infinity scarf in the past week. That's cool because it's right on time for Christmas!! So my sister and I will team up... My sister is going to knit the infinity scarf and I'll crochet a matching hat... Anyone has pattern suggestions? LOL. We went out and bought the yarn this afternoon. Hopefully, we'll be done in time. Speaking of Christmas, parties have already started! Our annual gift exchange is in two weeks... I'm hosting. And then, V decided to spoil us this year and we're having a Turducken on the 23rd :) Yum yum. Can't wait for the holiday season!!

And last, but not least, I have been reading :) Actually, my reading is going really well this year. I'm on track to hit my target this year which is 175 books. I've read some really good books too... so I'm hoping my blogging muse comes back so I can share with you all my thoughts :)

That's it from me for now :) Hopefully, more to come very soon!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September's shopping sprees

Hi everyone!

How are you doing? Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth like that ^_^; It wasn't my intention, but you know how it happens :(

It all started with a girls' shopping trip :) My sister and I have been planning to go to the States for some shopping for a while. Actually, we were supposed to go last year around Canada's Thanksgiving with Ames, but then, I got appendicitis. Consequently, the trip was postponed. We found out that some of my friends were interested. We didn't make it during the summer, so finally, set the date for September. Initially, we were 4... then 5, then 6 and finally, 7 :) Can you imagine how much damage 7 girls can do during a week-end's shopping spree? And boy, was it intense!! Two outlet malls (Merrimack and Wrentham), 1 regular mall, Walmart, Target, DSW, Bed Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Noble, Costco and Trader's Joe... all in 3 days!! Many of us needed a new pair of feet at the end of it all LOL.


 




We chose NH because there was no sale tax comparatively to 15% here in Quebec province. We also went to MA for one of the outlet mall and seriously, it was worth it all. The shopping, but also the fun we had!! Because we were 7 and none of us owned a van, we went in two cars... but we were prepared. Had GPS, paper routes from Google maps and walkie talkies. Those walkies came in soooo handy! Not only to communicate between cars, but also when we split up. It sounds a bit extreme to be walking around with walkie talkies, but when you can't use your cell phones...


In the end, I was the one who bought the least. I think part of it though is I was too busy taking pictures and videos. Still, my loot was not bad. Also, it helped some of my friends that went crazy LOL.



Not bad right? In addition to that, I have a top from DNKY... but it's all wrinkly right now ^_^; Seriously, it took me a week to recover from that week-end away :) But I would do it again in a heart beat :)

Not too long ago, we got news that one of the bookstores in downtown Montreal, Chapters, was closing on October 4th. While it saddened me a lot, it was kind of predictable. First, there's only really one bookstore chain of books in Canada and that's Chapters/Indigo... and in downtown Montreal, there's a Chapters and an Indigo on the same street, 3 blocks apart ^_^; With the way the industry is going, I think it is a good decision. Still sad though. Anyway, a few years ago, one of their other bookstores closed and there wasn't any sale of any kind... So I didn't expect Chapters to have a closing sale... but boy, was I wrong. It was 50% off on everything in store!! It started last Monday, but crap, I only found out on Wednesday! Still, Wednesday was enough to make enough damage LOL.



The first picture was actually what I bought on Wednesday night - in 20 minutes. And because I only had 20 minutes to browse on Wednesday, I told myself I had to go back on Thursday... Just in case I missed anything. Really, I didn't need to go back. I don't need more books... but 50% off!!! It NEVER happens. Never! Just couldn't help myself ^_^;

So there you have it. My shopping sprees for September... If that was all I spent money on, I'd be lucky... but nope. Curling season is coming up and open house is next week-end. And September is far from over. My poor wallet. Can you hear it moan and whimper? LOL.

What about you? How is September treating you?