Friday, January 31, 2014

January DNF

These are the books that hit my DNF pile in the month of January. My rules are that I (generally) must have given the book at least 50 pages to win me over, and I must have a reason for putting it down, in order for them to qualify here. Sometimes a book comes due back at the library, or education strikes, and I don't finish it due to other circumstances. This is specifically for books I put down because of them, not because of anything else.

January was a bad one for me- I think I DNFed more books than I finished. This may be in part because I've been kind of busy with school and such. It may also be because, recently, I've had a hard time pushing through books that don't thrill me. Once again, these are highly subjective, seeing as preference is unique to each individual.
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)
Jan.4- Jan. 5
I read Something Strange and Deadly last year, and wasn't thrilled with it, but I thought I would give book two a go none the less. I couldn't get into it, and I think it was mostly because the world and story didn't interest me. Nor, honestly did the characters. They just didn't really thrill me, and I wasn't engaged by the storytelling. It just wasn't the book for me.
Impostor (Variants, #1)
Early January.
This really wasn't the book for me. I really didn't like Tessa, the main character and narrator. She seemed incredibly self-centered, and honestly not very smart, and just over all annoyed me as a character. I also didn't care for the supporting characters or the love interest (ugh, he was annoying). The story, which was only somewhat interesting to me, could not be carried by the overall weak characters.
Splintered (Splintered, #1)
Jan. 26-Jan. 30
I actually was kind of looking forward to this one, but it unfortunately didn't pan out for me. It started off alright, and I think that the "Wonderland" component of the story was fine. There were just some other parts that I couldn't read at this point. I think it may have mostly been the romance, to be honest. I didn't like either of the love interests. I disliked them a lot, both as characters, and as participants in a romance. I didn't like the possessiveness (I'm no expert, but that seriously doesn't seem attractive- people are not things to be possessed). I don't like love triangles as a rule (there will be a rant, it is coming...), they're rarely done well, or even passably. I also wasn't a huge fan of Alyssa, the main character. Which is sort of unfortunate, because I think that I might have really enjoyed this one if not for my dislike of the characters.
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Jan. 31
After deliberation, I decided that I probably won't be continuing this one. I got about fifty pages in, and I just found that I didn't really enjoy the writing style of the book. Once again, I wasn't mad about the love interest. It was one of those relationships that I didn't really understand why it existed- as in "Why do you like each other? I don't like either of you." The characters just felt kind of two dimensional to me. This one might improve further on, but unless someone tells me otherwise, this is where it will stay.
And I believe that is it. Happy Year of the Horse everyone! (Chinese new year).


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want To Live In

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created by and hosted at The Broke and The Bookish
1. The 5th Wave Trilogy. I'm pretty sure would not do well in that world. At all.

2. The Hunger Games Trilogy. Another obvious one. Our own society is unequal, cruel and capricious enough for me, thanks.

3. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown. I'm not a fan of vampires, and while the vampire plague was a fascinating concept, I certainly wouldn't want to live in the world. It almost feels like a world that is slowly dying- there's almost this feeling of inevitability, that, one day, you will either be a vampire or you will be food.

4. Razorland Trilogy. I don't think I'd fancy that much.

5. Quarentine Trilogy. I wouldn't enjoy being trapped in a school for years with a bunch of teenagers after all social order has deteriorated.

6. Orleans. I wasn't a big fan of this book as a reader, and I found the world pretty doomed, depressing and for me not that interesting. And it really isn't a world that I would like to live in.

7. Legend Trilogy. There's a lot not to want to live in about this world. A totalitarian government that kills civilians they don't like, or that don't fit their standards, and test biological weapons on civilians for a constantly ongoing war. I don't think it sounds terribly fun.

Those are the main ones that I can think of. There are a whole lot of worlds that I have no interest in living in, but not for any stronger a reason than because they just don't interest me (seriously, so, so many). There are probably some (many) that I would never want to live in, but I haven't thought to put here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created and hosted at The Broke and The Bookish
...basically, if I could request an author to write on a topic, character type, issue, type of plot etc., this is what it would be. I warn you that they will probably be mostly fantasy, because that is the genre I adore most.

1. Stories where the world begins anew. This one is difficult to explain. I don't mean it in an apocalypse or dystopia way. More when a group of people come upon a completely new place, and form a society and such based on their surroundings and what is available.

2. Slightly fantasy. Worlds that feel very like the one that exists today or in the past of our own world, but have some very slightly different characteristics (or subtle magical elements). Pretty much everything is bound by the laws that exist in our world. Like Nation or The Scorpio Races. Just a dash of otherworldly.

3. Science fantasy. Fantasy worlds where science still holds sway, and magic and science work in tandem. I'm very choose-y about these though.

4. Can I say this? I'm just going to. A short story from the world of The Scorpio Races. I don't even require character cameos. I just want to get back into the world. It seems that Maggie Stiefvater made me develop a crush on a place. Like how everyone in the Raven Boys jokes about Gansey's one true love being Henrietta (which is a town by the way), even if they are kind of mocking him, I'm a bit like that about Thisby.

5. Fantasies set in the desert.

6. Stories based on Native American mythology. I don't know enough about the mythology, but it is fascinating. Fantasies based in Chinese and Japanese mythology. Basically, fantasies based in any sort of non-classical mythology.

7. Third person point of view. I love third person for fantasy.

8. Books with Selkies and other mythologies. I know of one selkie book that sound interesting, which I plan to get to when it becomes possible.

9.  Steampunk with a story outside of being steampunk. Steampunk is not a plot- it is a sub-genre. It should be a feature of the book, but the book must still have a driving plot. However, the steampunk elements must be a part of the story- no steampunk for the sake of being steampunk. If your story would be pretty much the same without it, don't bother. There will certainly be more on this to follow.

10. GSM (gender and sexual minority, or LGBTQIA+ or whatever the abbreviation is now) characters whose only main traits are not their sexuality or gender. As in you the first thing you think when you think of them that they are gay or whatever the case may be. Because it really isn't the defining trait of a person (more on this to come also).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: The Naturals

The Naturals (The Naturals, #1)Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals
Volume: 1
Genre: Mystery

A Quick Introduction: Cassie can read people. Just by looking at them, she can decipher who a person is and what it is that they want. It hasn't been of much use to her until the FBI approach her with an offer. They want her to join a classified program where gifted teenagers work to crack cold cases. Of course, a bunch of teenagers living in a house will have it's complications, even if one wasn't expert at reading emotions and another wasn't an excellent liar and lie-detector. And two profilers. Cassie has her own reasons for joining: her mother disappeared when she was a child. And not in an up-and-left way. In a there-was-blood-all-over-the-dressing-room way. Her mother is a cold case- after so long, she's presumed dead, but that doesn't mean Cassie doesn't want to find who did it- and prevent anyone else from losing someone the way she did. Shortly after she arrives, a new killer strikes, and suddenly things are terrifyingly close to home. There's more on the line than cold cases.

Review at a Glance: This mystery would benefit from focus on plot and characters.

Review: I think a part of the issue for me was that I wasn't incredibly interested in the concept, though I did think it had potential. I actually do enjoy mysteries and detective stories, but for some reason, I wasn't crazy about this one. The program that Cassie was involved in didn't seem realistic. By which I mean that the way they were treated and trained does not seem in any way how forensic investigators would be instructed. I wish there had been more build up to the reveal of who was behind the killings, rather than there being no real suspects for most of the book, and suddenly action.

Part of the problem for we was that I overall didn't like the characters very much. I found them kind of dull and one dimensional. Cassie didn't seem to have much emotional depth. I didn't really feel for her most of the time. Really, the only time I felt anything for her was when she had the flashback(s) to discovering her mother's dressing room. She seems to have PTSD to a degree as a result of this. This is not really treated with any degree of seriousness in the book, though her feelings concerning this are the only parts of the book that I actually felt anything for her. Besides that, I found her to be a pretty one dimensional character. A tragic back story does not a multi-dimensional character make. I found the supporting characters annoying on the whole. None of them went through much in the way of a development arc that I could see. There was a completely unnecessary love triangle, and the story would have benefited from the loss of it, and more of a focus on characters and character development. Love triangles are an overused trope, and rarely are they executed successfully.

I didn't really find the writing style engaging. It didn't stand out to me one way of the other. This book is told in first-person from Cassie's point of view for the most part, so my frustrations with her as a protagonist didn't help my reading experience. Every few chapters, a view from the killer's point of view is given. It is told in second person (the profilers use "You" when trying to profile a killer, to get in their heads, and the reader sees into the killer's head the same way here). This was a strength. It is an unsettling way for the killer's point of view to be presented.

In conclusion, I don't think that I will be continuing with the series, it just wasn't for me. I found most of the characters uninteresting at best and annoying at worst and I really didn't enjoy the love triangle. The plot and how the program was run didn't ring true for me at all, and I was unable to lose myself in the story at all. In the end, it wasn't for me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited For

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish
My 2014 list is mainly sequels, or authors that have already published something, which I may or may not have read. Going solely by synopsis, there aren't that many debuts that have caught my attention. I have never chosen books specifically because they are debut novels. I just go with what interests me. If  it happens to be a debut, it has very little to do with why I read it.

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
As far as I can tell this is debuting in North America this year. I think it was released in the UK last September, but it hasn't been available on this side of the ocean yet. (I think). Any way, I'm looking forward to this one. It's set in Scotland if I'm not mistaken, and the main character is a faery hunter.

Trust Me, I'm Lying
Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
The main character is a con artist and master of disguise who comes home to find her house ransacked and her father missing. There's not much more in the synopsis, and I'm hoping for a mystery.

Wild by Alex Mallory
Modern retelling of Tarzan-ish.

All That Glows
All That Glows by Ryan Graudin
I'm hit and miss with books about the fae, but I can't seem to avoid giving most of the ones I come across a try. (I'm actually hit and miss with almost all books so I'm not sure if that says much...) But I always seem to try it, because I somehow find them fascinating.

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
I do enjoy my high fantasy.

The Islands at the End of the World
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
I don't know very much about Hawaii. Though I've kind of gone off dystopian recently, I'm going to put this on the list anyway, because I still think that I might give it a go.

I didn't make it to ten. I considered trying to find more that I was kind of looking forward to, but I figured it would be better to only share the ones that I actually am anticipating in any sense. There are likely to be some books that I pick up this year that I did not know were debuts, or that I didn't know were coming out at all.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Survey 2013

best books 2013 end of year survey
This is a survey created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. You can click on the button (as in, the logo directly above) to see her filled in survey. Make sure to check out her blog while you're over there.

Best YA book 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

The Scorpio RacesProbably The Scorpio Races. I found it by through the recommendation of a friend in one of my classes (I do actually have friends, believe it or not) when we were talking about books and horses. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I had high hopes for The Madman's Daughter, but they didn't really pan out for me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I'm pretty picky about my contemporaries (I guess this is a contemporary, right?), but I enjoyed this one.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Hmm... maybe Cinder? I don't actually remember, to be honest.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I love The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (two of the four books have been released). Also, I'm really enjoying The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan (the last book comes out in 2014).

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Maggie Stiefvater. All three of the books that I've read are some of my favourites from this year, and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the Raven Cycle when the other books come out.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four MealsThe Omnivore's Dilemma. I (obviously) read mostly fiction, and this was my first time reading a non-fiction food book. I believe the genre would be called food science?

This was something that I wanted to read for a while- food science and food ecology and such are another one of my interests. I have a strange taste in things... In any event, this one proved to be a really enjoyable read, especially the part about sustainable farming. I actually read another book that I really enjoyed that talked about permaculture and urban gardening, called Paradise Lot.

It seems that I enjoy books and plants, and I'm looking forward to reading more books on the subject of urban agriculture and sustainable agriculture.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The 100. I picked it up meaning to read a couple of chapters before I started working. I then proceeded to read through the entire book in one morning. There were constantly new revaluations, and the suspense between the alternating points of view really pulled me through the novel quickly.

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably a lot. I am a chronic re-reader. Definitely the books from The Raven Cycle that are out so far. Most likely, Clockwork Princess since I seem to re-read that a lot. And The Scorpio Races. I'll stop here, but I re-read almost as often as I read books- or I re-read bits of books.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I'm going to have to cheat on this one....
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
It's a lovely piece as a piece of art, and it suits the books really well.
Champion (Legend, #3)
All of the covers for this series are lovely for an aesthetic standpoint.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
I'm very hit and miss on photo-covers, but I really like this one. It's such an atmospheric photograph, and the colouring is beautiful too, and you can't really tell if she's being drowned or saved from drowning. It's a bit strange, but so is the book. 

11. Most memorable character in 2013

Probably Gansey from The Raven Cycle. It was just very comfortable to slip into his mind (In case you weren't tired of that series showing up in this post...). Also, most of the main cast from The Lynburn Legacy.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

 I really enjoyed the writing in Vessel. I tend to go for very fantasy storyteller styled writing, and I really enjoyed how this one was told. I also really enjoyed Sorrow's Knot for the same reason.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

...Oh goodness... I don't know.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Airman by Eoin Colfer. I have had the book for years, but I never seriously sat down and read it. I loved his Artemis Fowl series, but I wasn't as able to get into this one when I first got it. However, I sat down and read it in the last few days of December, and I enjoyed it.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013? 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest:  An Abundance of Katherines by John Green at 229 pages
Longest: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima at 598 pages

17. A Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About?

That one revelation at the end of The 100 (not the "we are not alone" one, I called that, but the one about why the ship is damaged...). A friend of mine and I got a lot of mileage out of Clockwork Princess as well (especially genealogies and Shadowhunter genetics... because we're science nerds).

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship etc.)

I thought this one over quite a lot, and I still can't figure it out. I have a lot of favourite relationships for a lot of different reasons- realistic ones, larger-than-life ones, romantic, familial, friendship any combination thereof. If I spend any more time trying to figure this out, I won't be posting this until Mid-February, and I would really like to get it up, so I'm going to bow out of this one for this year. (What a pointlessly long explanation).

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You've Read Previously?

Probably Airman. (As something that is not a part of a series that I am already reading.) I really enjoy Eoin Colfer's writing.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Base SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?

I only picked up For Darkness Shows the Stars because there were several bloggers I follow that raved about it, and was really glad I did. I think part of my aversion to it was how much it was pitched as a romance, when I feel like there was more to the story. More on that later, though.

21. Genre You Read The Most From In 2013?

Young adult fantasy, though a lot of it bordered a line between fantasy and science fiction, or was historical fantasy. I basically read a lot of books in the broader fantasy genre.

22. Newest Fictional Crush From A Book You Read In 2013?

I've never really had one... which somehow is more awkward than having one. (?)

23. Best 2013 Debut You Read?

The 100. I know some people had mixed feelings about it, but I found it captivating and really suspenseful- I couldn't put it down.

24. Most Vivid World/Imagery In A Book You Read In 2013?

What comes to mind immediately to mind is Sorrow's Knot. I found it to be beautifully written.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read In 2013?

I know what I enjoyed reading, but having fun reading something seems different. Hmm... actually, probably Unspoken or Untold. I know that a lot of people cried over these, but I found them really fun to read. Of course, they had their not-fun moments, but overall, I think I had the most fun with these. But talk about a cliffhanger at the end of Untold.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry In 2013?

27. Book You Read In 2013 That You Think Go Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

NationI can really only attest to this year, since book blogging is something that I only recently rediscovered, and the community was pretty new to me before this year. Hello community *waves*. One book from a while ago that I don't know anyone else to have read (admittedly, I am still pretty new to this stuff, so maybe you're all in hiding...) is Nation. I really liked it, though maybe I'm a sucker for islands... and it was such a wonderful sci-fantasy-adventure story (that is totally a genre). That one came out a while ago, though. If anyone has read it, drop me a line.


1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2013, But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority In 2014?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating In 2014 (non-debut)?

 One from an author that I have never read is The Uninvited. From authors that I have read, (mostly series continuations) Cress by Marissa Meyer (who isn't?) and book 3 of The Raven Cycle (hitherto unnamed, in fact, I'm eagerly anticipating a synopsis) by Maggie Stiefvater. I could go on... but I think I have cheated enough for one question. I have a list.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating In 2014?

So many. Rivals in the City (Mary Quinn Mysteries #4) is a big one for me. Y.S. Lee recently blogged that she had finished a major editing/re-write. As well as Umade by Sarah Rees Brennan.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Become more consistent with the blogging, and be a little more diverse (not just reviews). More at this post.

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Volume: 1
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance,Retellings (In this case, Jane Austen's Persuasion)

A Quick Introduction: Several generations after genetic experimentation lead to the Reduction, which decimated most of the human race, Luddite nobility, descended from those who refused genetic modification, has outlawed technology. Elliot North is of one of these noble families, but her father's poor management of the house since her mother's demise has left them more or less nobles in name only. Elliot does her best to manage the estate, maneuvering her way through her father's irrationality and violently swinging moods and trying to keep the household afloat with little help from her older sister. In a desperate attempt to save the estate she rents land to the Cloud Fleet, a group of Post Redutionists who are explorers with more than a few secrets. With them comes a boy from her past, one who she had refused to run away with four years previously, choosing her duty to the estate and those living there over love. While he appears to completely hate her now, she is once again forced to wonder if she made the right choice, especially as some world-shaking secrets come to light.

Review at a Glance: An thoroughly engaging dystopian retelling with a quietly strong heroine.

Review: It took me a long time to pick this one up (a very long time all things considered), mostly because of how much it was pitched as a romance. Also because I'm not at all crazy about the cover. I don't often enjoy reading something that is purely romance, and, when I picked it up, I found that this was not. There's more to the story than that. There's a girl struggling to keep her family's estate from failing, while her father spends recklessly and generally manages the house very poorly. In Elliot's world, humans attempted to genetically modify themselves, which lead to their offspring being born disabled. The Reduced who live and work on Elliot's estate are her responsibility- they work the farm, but it is the Luddite's duty to ensure that they are kept fed and healthy. Several generations after the Reduction, some of the children born to the Reduced seem to have finally beaten the Reduction- the are just as cognitively capable as the Luddites are, dubbed "Children of the Reduction" (CORs) or "Post-Reductionists" (Posts). They are treated in the same way as the Reduced are, despite the fact that their mental capacity is equal to that of the Luddite. Four years ago, Elliot fell in love with Kai, one of the Posts working on the estate. In spite of this, she refused to run away with him, since she was all that stood between those working on the estate and starvation. Since then, she's been devoting herself to keeping the Reduced fed and the estate together. Just doing that requires her to resist her father at almost every turn.

Elliot is a subtly strong character in that, while she isn't physically fighting like a lot of "strong female characters", she's still brave and determined in her own way. She gave up her chance to be with Kai in order to make sure that others do not suffer. She struggles to reconcile the strict beliefs she was raised on, and her own personal conclusions. When Kai returns, now under the name Captain Malakai Wentforth, an explorer, who seems to hate her, she wrestles with her feelings, both past and present. Though she often considers whether or not she made the right choice about staying behind, she never truly sways from her belief that she couldn't have left the people on her estate to suffer. Overall, I enjoyed her character. She endures a lot, and much of she endures alone. Kai is, well, sometimes a little impossible. He has his reasons for being angry with her, as well as the society that they are a part of, but he could be a little bit irrational sometimes. That said, I didn't dislike him as a character. While their relationship was a bit frustrating sometimes, I didn't find that part to be unrealistic- they both have a lot to work through, and certainly have duties outside of worrying about one another.

I enjoyed the story. I found that it flowed, and was very character driven. Elliot's struggles, failures and triumphs are what pull the story along, and it really is very much her story. I found that she was someone whom I could feel for as a character- I wanted her to have her triumphs, after everything she's given up and how much she's struggled. The ending was wrapped up quite tidily (almost too tidily, but it  is based on a Jane Austen novel).

In addition to being told in third-person limited perspective (hurray, third person!), where we see only inside of Elliot's head, there are also a series of letters that they exchanged as children,and up until the time when Kai left. (I gather that this is a change from Persuasion, which I have yet to read, and which contains a single letter). Given their different standing in the society where they lived, they would leave letters for one another in secret, hiding them in a knothole in a barn. Even four years later, Elliot can't help glancing that that knothole every time she enters the barn.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed For Darkness Shows the Stars, and I recently discovered that it is part of a series (or has a companion novel?) which was released last year, and I'm looking forward to reading it when I can get my hands on it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish

Blog Resolutions

1. Actually do Top Ten Tuesdays. I've been meaning to get back into doing them, since I enjoyed it for the short time that I actually did them. This resolution starts now, and I'll try to keep it up for the year.

2. Put book review up if not the day I finish it, then at least in the next two. No more of this procrastinating reviews until I've finished two more books.(I am not very good at backlog...)

3. For goodness sake make sure the reviews are coherent. (I feel as if they are sometime not all that clear... I think I need to find someone to critique me or something. By the way- anyone whose reading this, if anyone has constructive criticism/ ideas for me, now is the time.)

4. Develop some sort of ranking system for the books that I review. Figure out what rating something "four stars" should mean (I liked it? Almost perfect? I'm thinking "I liked it".)

5. Do things other than review. As with resolution #1. A blog of just reviews is not very interesting to anyone, least of all me. Find memes. Find challenges. Do read-a-thons. Something.

Bookish Resolutions

6. Find people to talk to about books (read as "panic about"). A lot of my friends don't really read (and certainly not as much as I do). To be honest, it's still kind of strange for me that there are people that read as much as I do, until now it has been sort of this strange thing that I do. It's great that so many books have passionate fan-bases that I didn't really know about before.

7.  Read The Silmarillion. I started it once, but life (by which I mean school) intervened. I'm hoping to get around to it this summer. It should be a challenge, but I feel like I'm missing information by not reading it, so I will give it a try.

8. Organise my bookshelf. It's a bit messy now, so I'm thinking this year is a good time to overhaul a little.

9. No looking at the end of the story. (It is bad habit of mine. I usually only do it under certain circumstances, and I think that I'm getting better, but still.)

10. Perhaps be a little less clingy about the books I lend out to people...?