JB’s 2015 Reads

Hello book lovers! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and got lots of reading material!

At the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on the books I’ve read. Did I accomplish my goals? Did I do lots of rereading? How many books did I read? Thankfully, Goodreads makes it easy to keep up with what I read throughout the year!

Let’s see how I did with my goals! (See original post here.)

1) Meet my Goodreads goal of 40 (new-to-me) books. DONE! I actually read 49 new-to-me books this year! This year I chose a lower goal for new books so I could do more rereading. I reread 20 books, bringing me to a total of 69 books for the year. (Possibly more if I do any reading in the next few days!)

2) Read two classics. …Didn’t happen. Why is it so hard for me to make myself read classics? Someone please recommend me a classic to read for 2016! (Preferably one that’s enjoyable and short.)

3) Read two non-fiction books. Okay, I read one and a half. I read Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell and half of Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado. I really enjoyed both! (I’ve also almost finished my annual Bible reading… does that count?)

4) Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series. I read The Horse and His Boy and absolutely loved it! Next is Prince Caspian. (Yes, yes, I know I didn’t finish the series. But at least I’m one book closer!)

5) Read the second Percy Jackson book (if not more!). Also didn’t do this, but I’ve been on a romance book kick this year, so.

So, it seems as though I did a terrible job at meeting the goals I set for myself a year ago, BUT I have had an incredibly good reading year. I rated 41 of the 69 books I read FIVE STARS. I discovered my favorite standalone, reread my favorite series, and also reread the first three Lunar Chronicles books in preparation for Winter! (Which was fabulous, of course.)  

Below I’ve listed some of my favorite reads this year (that haven’t already been mentioned in this post). Click the link to go to that book’s Goodreads page!

Geek Girl by Holly Smale (I actually liked the second one better!)
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis (Perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles!)
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (Did you seriously think I wouldn’t include Kasie West?)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (A Most Favorite.)

To see everything I read this year, friend me on Goodreads!

What were your favorite 2015 reads?



JB’s 2015 Reading Goals

2015 reading goals, shadow and bone, the grisha trilogyHello lovelies! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Years!

Today I’m here to talk about my reading goals for 2015. (See my 2014 reading goals here.)

1) Meet my Goodreads goal of 40 (new-to-me) books. Last year my goal was fifty, but I decided to lower it this year and do more rereading! I definitely want to reread CinderScarlet, and Cress before Winter comes out at the end of the year! Plus, it’s been far too long since I’ve read the Gallagher Girl series.

2) Read two classics. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of Emma for… like six months now. (Confession: I haven’t read any of it in a few months.) I’d like to finish Emma and also read The Giver (before my husband makes us watch the movie) and Great Expectations.

3) Read two non-fiction books. This is definitely not a big goal, but I don’t really like non-fiction. I’m currently reading It Starts With Food, but I’m not sure what other non-fic I’ll read. If you have any suggestions for me, leave them in the comments!

4) Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series. I read the first two last year and loved them! I have a friend who also wants to read them this year so we plan to read and discuss them together.

5) Read the second Percy Jackson book (if not more!). I really loved The Lightning Thief and want to read the rest of this series!

Overall, I don’t have any super huge goals, which I’m totally okay with. I feel like these goals are perfect for this year and I’m excited about my 2015 reading!

What are your reading goals for 2015?

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday TPG

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Today I’m sharing some things on my bookish bucket list! Some of these are absolutely attainable, while on others I’m dreaming big! Here we go:

1. Reread the Mandie Series: This was my favorite MG series growing up, and I have all 40 of the books sitting pretty on my shelves in my home office. I recently reread the first book, and look forward to reading the entire series again!

2. Interview Ally Carter: I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, we’re The Girls in Plaid Skirts because of Ally Carter—we’d love the opportunity to interview our favorite author!

3. Read The Lord of the Rings: Let’s just get this out of the way: I don’t even like the LOTR movies. They are too long for me. (My attention span isn’t very long when it comes to movies.) However, I’d really like to read these books (at least the first one) because they are classic, and also because it would make me feel really smart.

4. Become a full-time book blogger: Dreaming big, huh? I think it would be awesome to be able to work full-time as a blogger, even if I split my time between book blogging and my personal blog (from which I am currently on hiatus). Getting to write and be creative and wear my PJs at work? Serious dream job.

5. Get a bookish Master’s Degree: I love to learn. I’d be a full-time student if I could. (Or maybe a part-time student and part-time blogger…) I’d love to learn more about the book world. If I don’t choose library science, I’d enjoy learning more about the publishing side of things, specifically editing.

6. Fill my lovely shelves completely: My incredible husband surprised me on Valentine’s Day with these gorgeous shelves in my office. Because I mostly borrow books from the library, I don’t actually buy a lot of books, but I’d love for these to be filled one day!

7. Read 100 books one year: Whew! Again, quite a lofty goal for me. Last year I read a total of 56 books—the most books I’ve read in a year since I joined Goodreads in 2010. (I’m unsure of how many I read in the years before I joined.) I want to have at least one year where I read 100 books! (You can see my 2014 reading goals here.) (And speaking of Goodreads, feel free to friend me!)

8. Be mentioned in a book: You know how some books will have a page dedicated to bloggers who helped get the word out about it? I want The Girls in Plaid Skirts to be on that page. Bonus points if our blurb is in the book!

9. Go to a book premiere party: We joined in on the Cress release party via the web, but how fun would it be to go to a book premiere party in real life?

10. Get invited to a book’s movie premiere: I guess this is the list for big goals and dreams, because this one is pretty huge! Any movie premiere would be lucky to have The Girls in Plaid Skirts!


What are your bookish goals?


2014 Reading Goals

The other day I was setting my Goodreads goal and it got me thinking about other goals I’d like to achieve in my reading this year. I learned long ago that it’s far too easy to let goals fall by the wayside if I don’t write them down, so I decided to not only write them, but to–gulp–share them. I hope this will keep me accountable. So here goes:

1. Meet my Goodreads goal of 50 books. The thing is, the Goodreads goal only counts new books, not rereads. (Changing your “read” date will mess up the other years’ goal results–I know from experience.) So this means that I will read 50 new books in 2014. This is a big goal for me, because in 2013, I read 56 books total, with 31 of those being new-to-me reads. Also, I’ll probably be starting back to school in the fall, which will probably hurt me reading-wise. But I’m hitting the ground running now!

2. Read five “required reading” books. I somehow missed out on reading all those books that everyone reads in high school (with the exception of a few of Shakespeare’s plays and The Scarlet Letter and maybe one or two more I can’t remember). When Rachel discovered how much of an uncultured swine I am, she filled a bag with some classics that I should read, each including a sticky note of the basic must-read sections and any other notes she felt were necessary. I’ve had this bag of books for several months now and have only read bits and pieces of two books. This year, I want to read at least five of those books. I’ve started with Animal Farm, and I’ve been reading a few pages before bed every night. Slowly but surely is how I’ll win this race.

3. Read (or reread) five of those books I’ve been meaning to get to. This is different from my required reading. These are books like my favorite series when I was growing up (I have all 40 books and it is my goal to reread the entire series again–not all this year, of course), The Chronicles of Narnia series (I only read The Magician’s Nephew), and the Percy Jackson series (I started the first one today!).

So those are my 3 reading goals for the year. What are yours? Have you set a Goodreads goal yet?

(Speaking of Goodreads, you can friend Rachel and me!)

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2014 Goals

With a new year here it is a good time for us to set some goals for the blog. Through a group iMessage conversation this morning, the Girls in Plaid Skirts came up with several goals that we aspire to reach before 2015. You can hold us accountable if you wish!

1. Post a book review every week. (at least one).

2. Read a greater variety of books and be venturous in our genre choices. It is so easy to get in  a rut and choose things that we are familiar with. Reading a greater variety of books will help us help more people in finding books to read.

3. Find “clean” reads. We come from conservative homes and several of our younger friends do too. We want to find novels that these young people can read and their parents feel completely comfortable with what they are reading. We want everyone to enjoy reading.

4. Make connections with readers, bloggers, librarians, and bookshop owners in our local community. Reading is fun when you have someone to share books with and get book recommendations from.

5. We would LOVE to interview William Joyce and perhaps tour Moonbots Studio. This falls under goal 4, but is more specific. The studio puts out amazing quality stuff and we want to share their awesomeness with you.

6. Interview another author. If we cannot interview Mr. Joyce, we want to find someone else to interview and share with you. If we do interview Mr. Joyce, we still want to interview another author. The more the merrier!

7. Host 4 giveaways. That should be a giveaway once a quarter!

8. Host a guest blogger. We have some friends that are also nerdy bookworms and would love for y’all to meet them!

9. Reach out to the male readers. We realize we three are girls and read “girly” literature (I hate the idea of literature being labeled “girl/boy”, but sadly people do. -Rachel). Our plan is to let one of our guy friends guest blog in order to connect with guy readers.

10. Get feedback from you as readers. We want to hear from y’all and get to know our fellow blogging friends and readers. What do y’all read? What do you think about x, y, and z? We have something coming up soon where we can chat it up!

So these are our goals for 2014. What goals have you made for yourself or your blog?

-The Girls in Plaid Skirts