It is time for a brand-new Goodreads Reading Challenge post. Want to learn what I wanted to accomplish with my reading plans for each year? Here are my 2020, 2021, and 2022 posts.
This is my fourth year giving you an insight of what I would like to accomplish for 2023. I actually enjoy doing these types of posts, as it gives all of us (you and me) a chance to write out my intentions for the next 356 days, but let’s get real. there’s no way I will be reading everyday this year. It’s cool for when it happens in a whole month, but after a while it kind of loses its luster.
What is my annual goal?
Just before Christmas, I had a family friend ask me about what my goal would be, and I’m sure everyone wants to know as well. I’ve kept a fairly hush-hush about it; last year I wasn’t totally 100% certain I would actually make it to 40 books, mainly because I tend to forget to factor in the holiday festivities in November and December. They tend to take a lot of my energy and the last thing I usually want to do is read a whole book.
However, I made it well passed 40, I ended up with 54 books. I find it a good thing to not only show myself that I can get it done, but I can surpass the initial goal too. You always hope it can happen, but life can throw you a curveball here and there and everything can take a backseat.
So, for 2023, I am hoping to get through 50 books, but also not discriminating towards its size. I think that’s another thing to keep in mind, the term “book” doesn’t mean you have to read something that’s over 300+ pages. I count any format, whether it’s a novel, short story or audiobook.
What about other certain challenges?
In a way to see if I could handle some pressure in 2022, I decided I wanted to do two challenges. My overall goal was to hit 40 books, mainly having two equal sides of twenty books; I had 20 books of normal titles and 20 more that were focused on classics or had become a film or TV adaption. For the most part, being able to do this was easy, my only real issue was time. I flew passed the first 20 books, but I only managed to reach 19 books on the other list.
For my first time doing something like this, I am very pleased with myself. I figured I would only get to five books, so this was really cool to see at the end of the year. It was fun and interesting to see how much I would enjoy out of these classics, because I tried to stay in and around classics like LittleWomen by Louisa May Alcott. I wasn’t a bookworm as a child, reading wasn’t fun for me in school so to be able to rediscover some of these books really opened my eyes on certain parts of literature.
And with that being said, I will continue with this challenge, and I will definitely put each book into my blue journal where I have the others listed with their mini reviews. This time though, I’m not giving myself a limit on a number, I just want to focus on children’s books, middle grade and other classics for that specific goal.
What do I hope to discover this year?
I want to read more or less the same of the books I’ve been into lately, but I would like to include more of children’s books, mainly fairy tales. I’ve already crossed off three of them; two were written by Hans Christian Anderson, TheSnowQueen and Thumbelina and my first story by one of the Grimm brothers: Cinderella by Wilhelm Grimm.
I would love to get out of the historical fiction books sometime, although I’m in no rush to make this happen. I’ve just completed my first of the year, which the review will hopefully come out on Friday, and I’d finish my second if I knew it wouldn’t possibly ruin what could be featured in Melanie Karsak’s final book in The Shadows of Valhalla series. I recently just found a sleuth of Viking Sagas on Kindle Unlimited, and it’s been interesting to see the “origins” of both Hervor of The Road to Valhalla series and Ervie’s section. So, at the moment, I am holding off on it until I can get my toes on the Gambit of Swords this spring.
Speaking of Melanie’s books, I think this might be the year I decide to dive into William Speakeare’s Macbeth as it was part of the original story behind her CelticBlood series. I know it may not exactly discuss Lady Macbeth as much as HighlandVengeance and HighlandQueen, but I might understand the character Macbeth a bit more, at least that is my hope for it. I am prepared for the poetry part of the story, the Viking Sagas are mostly written in verse anyways, so I should be fine on that end, but I am thinking of listening to the audiobook instead of actually reading it.
For Christmas, I did get a large clutch of books – ones bought by family and others I got myself, so I am really going to try to dive into those books, especially the physical as I tend to ignore those unless I am at my mom’s work apparently…
Other than that, I am pretty much open to everything else. If you want to keep up with my overall goal or the books I read this year, you can find me on Goodreads, click here.
What about you, what kind of books do you hope to get into for 2023? And of course, what is your ultimate goal for the new year?
In the beginning of 2022, I created my yearly challenge on Goodreads, where I set the goal to read 40-45 books. The reason why I added on another five onto the list was because I wasn’t just doing one challenge, I decided to mix it up with keeping track of the books that had a movie and/or show out in the world. As of 12/18, I’m still trying to complete the 20 books I allowed for myself for this, and honestly, I really enjoyed having both of them going on at the same time. I’m very proud of myself on these successes, but I haven’t exactly made my decision to continue it once the new year comes, but I’ll be letting you know my plans soon!
When I was getting ready to write this post, I was going to discuss my top 12 books, but I wasn’t sure on the time allotted for this week, so I just broke down and made it the top 7 like I did for the last two years.
1. The Best of Us by Kennedy Fox
This is the second year in a row where the authors of Kennedy Fox have claimed first place.
I truly loved this story of these characters, and as I mentioned in the review, I am not much into male characters, especially in the romance genre. I’m quite picky but I think the fact he seemed more relatable than Kendall. The story itself takes place after COVID-19 hits, which I think is what drew me into Ryan more because my mom is a registered nurse and worked her butt off in those early intense days. My heart went out for him and his selflessness and struggles during that time.
Besides all of this, it is also set around Christmastime, so it is literally perfect for this time of year. I wish anyone who is still looking for a steamy holiday themed book, this is what you should be getting into next.
Sidenote: I recently found the first and third books in the series for free on Amazon, so when I get in a mood for a little Kennedy Fox, I’ve got these babies to keep me company!
2. Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
This year I wanted to explore children’s books because I still feel the sting of my own struggles with books as a child and it cost me a lot of great stories in the end, so I felt like I needed to explore my horizons and then I found this little gem.
I felt really conflicted to make this #1 because I fell in love with this story of a young girl, who becomes a refugee with her mother after violence in Syria begins. It wasn’t just Jude and her new world that got me, but I also fell in love with the writing style too. It was in verse, and I had never read poetry before, and I liked how the author was able to bring them together like this. It was a magical experience!
3. The Raven and The Dove by K.M. Butler
When I began reading this one, I didn’t really know what I was doing because at the start of the year, I wasn’t into books about the Vikings. I’d tried in the past, but nothing could grab me as inviting until I found K.M.’s debut scrolling through Kindle Unlimited back in January.
The Raven and The Dove is the story about a group of Vikings raiding on small villages in what is now Normandy, France. A shieldmaiden by the name of Halla is a part of the crew and the best way to describe her is restless. She is a warrior, but she doesn’t just want to be that, and while she and a small party go to scope out a village that could be a great way to trade goods, she finds herself put into an odd situation.
She actually volunteers to stay and wed a Christian, Taurien. He is a very conflicting character as he was raised to hate these Northmen, but he also wants to protect his home and its people from any other raids, so he does what any desperate man would do, he decides to wed Halla. Halla oversees her fellow Vikings and attempt to keep the will of the Gods of her people, but that becomes very difficult with their Christian neighbors.
I am all about seeing how the other one lives type of person, and this reflects in the books I read of course, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two characters fight their feelings of right and wrong; their faiths and trust for one another are tested many times, but it was still enjoyable as a reader because we still have issues seeing past the other person’s origins and religions. I definitely recommend anyone who loves to be a little nosy at times.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
While I was wanting to explore more classics, I knew Little Women would pop up some time, the book is very popular on Jeopardy, and I think that’s why I wanted to just devout myself to it and the best way I did that was through audiobook on YouTube. I had actually found a channel on there that had multiple people acting out the various characters and I loved this type of reading; it reminded me of how they use to tell stories on the radio before television was invented.
This book was lovely and honestly perfect in the springtime. This truly made me happy and excited to see what would happen to these characters–until that chapter about Beth though, boy, did I cry like crazy! After I had completed it, and that was another sad night, because I had grown to dig into it after my mom put me to bed, I tried to read “Little Men” but unfortunately, it didn’t have the same magic as the first but I am willing to give it another try in 2023 because I loved the character Jo so much, I want to see what happens in the later years.
5. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
After I finished with “Other Words for Home” I dove into other children’s books, but my focus was generally on classics. I had read Little Women, the Harry Potter series, and a few by Roald Dahl, so my plan was stay in that lane for a while longer and I ended up reading three and half books of the “Little House On The Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My favorite among them was the one about her future husband, Alonzo Wilder.
I found this story unique compared to the ones written about Laura and her life. “Farmer Boy” was set in Alonzo’s point of view and even though it was fictionalized, I was still amazed by how this little boy lived in these times; readers get a chance to look into the differences between boys and girls on the prairie. My favorite scene was Christmas, they would spend it with one another in absolute silence and eat apples and popcorn with warm apple cider. I’m not much on any kind of cider but I found this interesting and peaceful.
6. Shield-Maiden: Under the Howling Moon by Melanie Karsak
Apparently, it’s not a book list without a book by Kennedy Fox or Melanie Karsak. This year alone, I read 8 books by Melanie. but only three of them were written by Kennedy Fox.
Anyways, as a couple of months since I had finished The Raven and The Dove, I was itching for another book that discussed the Viking world, but I was still a bit hesitant because I didn’t think I would find anything that could hit that bar and then I went through Melanie’s work and found out she had two series about shield-maidens, so I thought about it a bit, but ultimately went for it.
The story of the shield-maiden Hervor was everything I needed at that time. I love a good badass heroine and Melanie makes a lot of strong but relatable female characters. I was very upset once I was done with the final book, and then I did something totally stupid, I decided to dive headfirst into the sequel “The Shadows of Valhalla” which focuses on Princess Blomma’s children Prince Loptr and Princess Hervor aka Ervie. I was bawling my eyes from the events that happened in “Under the Dark Moon” and then I went into “Gambit of Blood” where they were talking about characters previously featured in the other books and I began crying again. I was truly a mess, and my mom laughed at me! I’m currently waiting on the four and final book in the series as I just finished the most recent installment and I’m already semi depressed about leaving these people for good.
7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling
I am very happy to say I have finally read all of the Harry Potter books. I did believe I would actually do this because before I went on this journey, I was just a fan of the films, and I was too afraid I wouldn’t enjoy watching them if I read the series. I was forced to read “The Sorcerer’s Stone” back in 2006, and my teacher had us watch the movie a few days after so everything was still fresh in our minds to do comparisons between these formats, so you can understand why I was hesitant going into it in the beginning.
When this book came out, there were a lot of mixed comments about it, the most significant was it isn’t written in the same way J.K. wrote the original seven books. This is a screenplay of the play that appeared in 2016 by John Tiffany It still has the spirit of Rowling with familiar characters jumping in here and there. I found this way of writing better oddly enough. It is different, but after coming out of reading “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio, I was able to picture the entire thing in the same way I did when they were doing Shakespeare’s work. I didn’t like this book unfortunately, but I thought it was a lot of help while I was into this one instead.
When I finished “Deathly Hallows” back in July, I felt the epilogue wasn’t that satisfying for me. I wanted to know how Harry and the gang were doing in their lives after the Battle at Hogwarts, and so when I went into this story about Harry’s middle son Albus Serveus Potter and how he deals with being a son of this hero of the Wizarding World, Harry is an adult and father now, so as much as he doesn’t feel like it, his children are faced with making their own legacies or in Albus’s case, attempting to fix a wrong and that in itself was absolutely amazing! It was heartbreaking, between the scene Albus meeting Professor Snape and the final scene at Godric’s Hollow will break you whole, that is, if you weren’t in the first place!
If I hadn’t waited majority of the month to write this post, I would have made it longer. My original plan was to do Top 12, but I didn’t want to rush getting everything done in a short number of days, so I went with seven books total, and I’m still shocked I was able to shrink it down enough for today.
I am excited on what kind of books I discover in the new year. I do hope to get started on my Goodreads Challenge on the first of January and after that, I will type up my goals for 2023 because I know everyone is wondering on how many books I want to read, if I am truly doing two challenges again, and honestly, I enjoy writing those posts for you too, so be on the lookout for that, okay?
How many books did you read this year? Did you hit your intended goal or not? What are your Top 3 books for 2022 as well?
I have been looking forward to doing this tag again for the third year in a row, since the end of March, and what makes this one different from my previous posts, I will also be giving you an update look into reading journal! I said in the beginning that I would like to discuss my progress was going sometime this summer and since we’re right at the middle of 2022, I figured it would be awesome to do it all together so I wouldn’t have to do more scheduling this month!
Firstly, we will go on with the tag itself and then I’ll show you my journal afterwards. I do have a couple of things to mention though, I am only talking about the books I’ve read from January to mid-June and I’ve kept the same questions, so if you’d like to do this challenge on your blog or YouTube channel (or just for fun!) I would really love to see your answers, so please tag me in your posts!
Honestly, I’ve read a lot of really good books. I’m trying to break out of my normal genres like romance and rediscover old favorites like historical fiction. It took me a bit, but I’ve finally started to push through the historical aspect with diving into stories about the Vikings, and I am forever grateful for taking a chance on K.M. Butler’s debut “The Raven and The Dove” which is based on the Vikings living in Normandy. Before reading this book, I wasn’t interested with these types of books, but I have a soft spot for women’s stories and despite the fact the author wrote this in two POVs, I actually loved it! It was fun to look into the main character’s lives and how they viewed one another personally and the customs of the times.
After I finished it, I tried my foot into similar books, but I wasn’t able to mesh with any others until I came across Melanie Karsak’s own Viking stories called “The Road to Valhalla”. I had tried to read one back in December, but it wasn’t what I wanted to read at the time and then a few months later I discovered the actual series and I adore the fact that Melanie can create such interesting characters and settlings that you can clearly picture in your mind at all hours of the day (or in my case at night!) and attempt to figure out how it will all end for them. Once I completed “Under the Howling Moon” back in March, it didn’t take me long to whiz right through them! I will probably be finished with all five books by the end of the season.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year?
I’m surprised with myself, but I haven’t really read any sequels or at least any proper sequels than besides The Road to Valhalla. However, when I was done with “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott back in March, I decided to test out “Little Men” which is about Jo’s school for boys and discusses her life with her nephews and other young gentlemen that live amongst Jo and her husband Friedrich. The stories are very dated, but I have enjoyed love discovering the way people wrote their stories. Louisa wrote her books in the style that reflected her life in some way, so in a way she gave her accent and voice to her characters.
The other sequel is Harry Potter and the “Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling. Some of you might know about this, but I tend to only read my Harry Potter books whenever the weather warms up a little, so from spring to early summer to the end of autumn, I am sitting outside with our cats on the back deck continuing my Harry Potter journey. When I came back to it in late April, I was halfway done with it and usurpingly remembered everything I had previously read several months before and so I was thoroughly excited to finish it but now I feel weird that after I am done with ‘Half Blood Prince”–and I could finish it by the start of fall–that I will have one more book in the series and I would cross it off my reading bucket list!
New release you haven’t read, but would like to
I’ve tried my hardest to not think of the recently released books, but I do take advantage of the Amazon’s First Reads for prime readers, as you can get one book a month and they are usually free to any user, and I’ve collected three books I thought looked interesting and they were: “The Last Rose of Shanghai” by Weina Dal Randel, “The Taste of Ginger” by Mansi Shah and “The Lobotomist’s Wife” by Samantha Greene Woodruff. As you might be able to tell, all three were from the Historical Fiction box. I am excited to get to these books, but I have no idea when that will be exactly!
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
There are a couple of books I’d like to get my feet on soon, like I said above, I haven’t paid that much attention to the lists. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t see anything on social media from my family and friends… One was inspired by my friend Ella, as she had checked it on Goodreads as “want to read” last month. She has a large array of books and this one really seemed odd and right up my alley, It is called, “The Drowned Woods” by Emily Lloyd-Jones.
The second book was listed as part of Hot Summer Reads blog post on Goodreads, and I thought the title was both hilarious and morbid, but once I saw what it was about, my curiosity was piqued, it is former actress Jeannete McCurdy’s “I’m Glad My Mom Died”. Besides historical fiction, I also have a huge weakness for memoirs, and I think this would be a great read as we enter the colder months. I only say it like that because I tend to want sporty and coming of age books around the time school starts back up!
This year I’ve been trying to listen to more audiobooks and back in February, I decided I wanted to check out some childhood classics, and I found “Matilda” by Roald Dahl and I have always been curious about it, and the fact I have only watched the film once in my whole life, I thought I would be fine with it but I was so upset with it by the end of the experience! I still don’t believe it deserves to be in a “children” category, especially with the amount of traumatic themes in it. I literally rated it as a three out of five stars, because I thought it seemed fair. I mean I didn’t absolutely hate it, as there were good spots here and there, but overall I’m glad I got it off my list for good.
There was another children’s classic that I didn’t finish but thought it was worthy a mention here. Upon recommendation, I decided to check out “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery and before going into this, I had just finished “Little Women” so I thought I would mesh fairly well with it. I didn’t. My first thought was I didn’t like how the author used the word “ejaculated” in the beginning of the story as to being a substitute for “gasping” or Louisa May Alcott’s favorite “raptures” but after the first chapter, it kind of disappeared and I thoroughly happy about it!
I can be a big talker when I want to be, and I’m constantly daydreaming just like Anne, but even I thought she was too much for me to handle, so by the time I had passed Chapter 10, I thought it was going by so slowly but slightly amusing to hear this little girl yap about anything and everything. Unfortunately, when I was about to hit Chapter 19, I couldn’t take any more of it. so, I eventually had to find something because this wasn’t working out very well.
Last year, I did something I thought I’d ever do, I watched The Notebook. I still don’t remember what caused me to go for it, other than it must have been on our movie channels constantly and I might’ve been in a huge rom-com mood, and this was what my brain chose first, but I did enjoy myself. It wasn’t too awful, but I still don’t want to watch A Walk to Remember though…
Although I might consider listening to the audiobook instead, since I did give “Safe Haven” a chance back in February. I have watched the film when it came out in 2009, but I have only watched it once so I thought this insight would play in my favor, but it didn’t. I still remembered everything of the movie, but I was shocked when I found myself crying in the middle of the night for certain chapters and the ending really got me good, but now I can’t stand to rewatch the film and that part sucked but I am open to listen to more Nicholas Sparks books in the future!
Favorite new author (Debut or new for you)
For the most part, I have discovered a lot of “new” authors, but my favorites so far have been K.M. Butler, and it was his first historical fiction novel and my first of the new year. I owe him for creating such interesting characters like Halla and Taurin. They came from two separate religions and worlds, but he found a way to make it work and tell the story of how people can accept and change their views for the greater good of others.
Another historical fiction book I found at the end of May, is about Lady Katherine Swymford, simply titled “Katherine”. She was the mistress and later wife and Queen Consort to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. It was written by Anya Seton in, get this, 1964! Honestly, I thought the author’s not in the beginning was odd, because she explained how her family would travel back to England in the ’50’s and she studied as much as she could that was available at the time, in order to write the story of Katherine de Roet. It just never occurred to me of how old the book itself would be until I did some digging of my own! It is 500 pages long, so I am probably still reading it as this post publishes, but it’s been very interesting so far!
Newest fictional crush
Well, when I started reading Melanie’s “The Road to Valhalla” series, Hervor wasn’t the only one to fall head over heels in love with Prince Hofund. The moment when he and her cousin Leif and their warriors arrive out of the sea and into battle in the second book was amazing because for once everything came so vividly to me at that moment. It wasn’t supposed to be a sexy scene but leave to me to make it that way!
Unfortunately, I have had some difficulty picturing these Viking men lately, sometimes, descriptions can be blurred together for me and since I haven’t watched many films or TV shows set in the Viking world, I don’t know certain hairstyles and/or the ordinary look of these characters, however, I have better luck with the women because it’s easier to picture them for some odd reason.
Book that made you cry
Well, considering I just told you this back in the “Biggest Surprise” question. I have cried to a few others, such as, “Other Words for Home” by Jasmine Warga, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “Under the Hunter’s Moon” and “Under the Blood Moon” by Melanie Karsak. I am trying like crazy to stay away from those that could turn me into a blubbering mess, but sometimes it just happens without any warning!
Book that made you happy
One of my secondary goals for this year was to read books that have become a film and/or TV series in the last couple of decades; and I had one book where I was curious but worried about because I have watched the film before and hope to show it to my niece and nephew someday. James and the Giant Peach. This was my second Roald Dahl classic and as I was listening to the audiobook for it, I was so happy to know that there wasn’t a lot of things changed for the film, and despite it also discuss childhood abuse and trauma, it is generally a cozy little story.
The second thing that also made me happy was when the book itself was originally released on November 1st, 1964. It actually came out on my birthday, and it was a wonderful surprise after I had finished reading it and the fact that my views on the film adaption didn’t change either made things work so well!
Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year
The most beautiful book I’ve read this year was definitely “Other Words for Home” by Jasmine Warga. It was exactly what I needed at the time of Ramadan and the start of Eid. I don’t really celebrate the holidays of the Muslim communities and friends, but mainly it was my way of supporting them unknowingly. It was such an adorable, but kind of sad modern children’s book set on a little girl named Jude, who is a Syrian refugee in the Midwest of the United States, and you learn about how she is learning how to adjust to life in America with her mother, as they stay with her uncle’s family.
What books do you still need to read by the end of the year?
By this time, I’d hope to be around 24 books into my initial goal for the year, which is 40-45. I am currently reading six different series, and I’m almost finished with “Harry Potter” and “The Road to Valhalla” series, I doubt I will be able to finish “Deathly Hollows” because I know it’s a giant book and chuck full of information, so I would like to take my time on it, plus I tend to only read my HP books while I am outside with the cats, and really it all of it depends on the weather too, but I am looking forward to completing TWO of them this summer! As for the others, it will be interesting on what actually happens with them.
And then, there’s my notion of finishing the “Me Before You” by JoJo Moyes and “Sinners on Tour” by Olivia Cunning series I had mention last year or back in 2020, because those are fairly shorter on their percentages, especially “Wicked Beat” but I don’t know, it’ll just depend on my mood and what I generally want to read for the next half of the year.
Now let’s move on with our next subject. My reading journals.
Before 2022 started, I had a lot of plans and thoughts that I thought would be fun to create in this new venture, but in the last three months I’ve noticed that I am not grabbing neither one of my journals on a daily basis.
The most important spread I use in journals are the monthly trackers. It has been kind of fun shading in a box or circle for every day I’ve read, but recently I’ve had to make a faint line after seven days because for the last five months I’ve been counting each dot in the Blue journal and it can get very frustrating if you’re not careful! In my Green journal, I was smart enough to create an easer tracker system that includes the numbers on the left side of the graph, and I tend to go for that one most of the time; if it wasn’t so heavy I may actually use it everyday!
The second most popular habit tracker is my “amateur” bookshelves I created in the Green journal–I am still very impressed they worked out so well, especially after going over it with my pen! Next time I will just forgo the pen because that was such a disaster! Anyways, I completed one shelf, I did that back in late March or early April I think. It was a quick discovery I will say! I definitely have a lot more Kindle reads but I’ve added one print, two novellas, and seven audiobooks so far! Also, I need o make a not for year to pick prettier colors than gray, pink turquoise and green because they are ugly together!
As for my actually Reading Log, I’ve had to do some editing here and there. Since my overall theme is Harry Potter, I had wanted to use the House colors for each section, but I didn’t have all of the colors so I had to improvise and although I use the heck out of it, my hopes for it didn’t work out well for me but I would like to work on them to do this layout again in 2023.
And my final layout is the end-of-the-month stats and again, I didn’t have big plans for it but I am happy on what I was able to do for it. I have done some updating this past month and I am going to need to create two more blocks for November and December and the end results for the year.
For those who don’t know, I have four things I keep a record of each month and they are: how many books I finish, the number of pages I read, days of the month and finally the selection of words. If you’ve read about the post where I talked about how I wanted a space reserved for all of the words I collect as I read each of these books, mainly because I love to collect but I also wanted an everlasting reminder of the stories.
I apologize for the bad lighting, I decided to take them just after the sun went down and had to deal with my regular light and the shadows of my feet! I bet you never thought you’d see those words in the same sentence! Anyways, for the most part the photos actually came out really good!
Are you the type of person who needs to create a book journal like me? How would you design yours or what has been your favorite layouts/themes? If you don’t have a reading journal or blog, how do you keep track of everything?
I never thought I’d be here to discuss anything to do with Star Wars, but here we are!
As of May 10th, I have completed five movies, and I needed a way to express my feelings out loud because Nolan isn’t, technically, old enough to watch the films yet. I’d like to say he was the reason I decided to watch them, but I can’t. I’ve always been curious about the newer movies and since Disney+ has a few series about the past and present stories of this drama–plus the mania that surrounded the “Baby Yoda” a couple of years ago!–I realized I needed to see what all of the fuss is about once in for all.
So, with this being sad, let’s get into my top five impressions from, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith. I’ve recently watched Rogue One but will not talk about it in this post. I hope to do another on the next three films and finish with the latest movies as well.
5. My Love for Jar Jar Binks is Infinite
When I started my SW journey, I knew any character(s) that were quirky in some way, would capture me almost immediately, and when Jar Jar Binks was introduced in the middle of the first film, I knew I was a goner! I really wish he was around the third film instead of that one little scene that he is walking in Padme’s funeral. I enjoyed his bubbly personality and in an odd way, he, R2-D2 and C-P30 reminded me of Hagrid in the Harry Potter series, because despite his big appearance, he is such a lovable guy, who has a different way of speaking to others.
4. Tatooine Looked Like Bedrock from ‘The Flintstones’
As I was watching all of the scenes that feature the desert planet Tatooine, I was always thinking in my head of how much it looked like Bedrock from the live action versions of The Flintstones! I didn’t understand my thinking about it at first, but then I started to pair different things up like the usage of little handmade huts, giant weird creatures, and the angry alien versions of Fred Flintstone.
3. Master Yoda Can Really Move
This one really threw me for a loop. but you’ll (hopefully) understand in a minute.
Ever since the “Baby Yoda” craze erupted all over the world, I did know he was sort of portrayed as an older character, whenever I did see scenes of any of the movies, I would notice he was either propped up by a crutch or sitting in a levitating chair of some kind, so imagine my reaction in the third film and he is just running around like crazy, I was very shocked but I know when your adrenaline kicks in, you can do almost anything with your body and mind. So, as he was fighting Count Dooku, I was taken back by the spirit of Yoda’s abilities.
Master Yoda is like every elderly man out there, and that includes my papaw, because even though he wasn’t the strongest–physical wise–he had a restless mind, and he definitely did not like to be told ‘no’ about anything. We knew he shouldn’t bend over to pick up a tissue he dropped on the floor when I was around, but I think he did it because to give us mini heart attacks, so Yoda basically abandoning his cane altogether was somewhat familiar to me. As a newbie to the universe itself, now I am wondering if he is merely hiding this on the account of being an older creature to the Jedi council or what actually happened to earn that type of battle wound, so I’m hoping as I continue on with my list, I will finally get my answer to this burning question.
2. Anakin & Padmé
Okay, let’s start at the beginning, where we meet a young Anakin Skywalker in his cute chubby cheeks and inventive mind on Tatooine. I absolutely adore this little cute from the start of the whole thing. I vaguely remember seeing promos from “The Phantom Menace” and thought he was adorable, but it wasn’t enough to check them out along with my peers. I thought superheroes were cooler for me!
Anyways, when you are introduced Queen Amidala, you automatically think “she looks like a geisha!” because that’s exactly what she looked like and then before heading out to Tatooine, we meet her most trusted handmaiden Padmé and she obviously looks young, I’d say around 14-16 years but compared to this little boy that seems to be around 10, you would hope they would be able to keep up with each other as friend, but then “Attack of the Clones” comes on and Anakin definitely has a crush on her and acts on it, kind of bothered me at first. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to see happen between these characters, but I did not believe they should be a couple throughout the entire film.
1. The Origins of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia
I am still reeling by the events that happened in third film. Despite my feelings against the union, I did warm up to them and I didn’t realize how much I felt for Anakin and Padme as individuals until I got to the moment Anakin attacks the younglings at the Temple. I am surprised I didn’t believe in that change to Darth Vader after he killed Master Windu but once he walked into their room, my mind didn’t want to believe he’d kill them. This has happened before, and it was when it was revealed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. about which side Agent Ward was really working for, and I had the same exact reaction where I didn’t want to believe it until I saw the person mentally and physically change into the enemy.
Sadly, it wasn’t until Obi-Wan was fighting Darth Vader, and he couldn’t allow himself to kill him, even though he saw the evidence of execution of the younglings and Master Windu, although there wasn’t footage of that scene, but it was absolutely heartbreaking hearing him groan and wail in pain as he’s being burned alive and seeing Padmé lose all hope for her little Anakin and the life they both desperately wanted for their little family, At the end, and Padmé gives birth and it is revealed to be two babies, who turn out to be Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, the former Queen dies, but while this is going on Anakin is essentially reborn as Darth Vader, and it really pulls at your heart and you can’t quite understand how it all went to hell so fast for them.
I couldn’t believe how much I adored these early characters so much. You get a chance to see the beginning of the whole world that makes STAR WARS so special. However, since I chose to watch the films in order, and seeing the special effects between the original three movies against what CGI can do to films, might’ve been my downfall because I am currently at a crossroads because I cannot stand to watch anything past the mid 1990’s movie magic, so I’m not exactly going through the group as I was when I started this list. I’ll get there, but I wouldn’t exactly hope for another update until possibly the start of July!
If you are a fan of the STAR WARS franchise, do you have a favorite film and/or characters? I’d love to hear what everybody enjoys about the pandemonium below in the comments, but please do not tell me any spoilers, it’s bad enough I know Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker have heck of a meeting so, please be considerate of this newbie, okay?
In January, I talked about the fact that I’m keeping a reading journal for 2022, so I have a better way to keep up with what I’m getting into on a daily basis. I keep a note of everything from the number of books I read each month, how many pages I finish, and the days in every month as well. These things are perfectly normal of a regular bookworm, but I took a step further with adding my favorite words, affectionately titled “Lovely Words” as it was an innocent thing to include in my journal at the time. And then, it definitely grew into something I tend to focus a lot of my time because I really enjoy finding new words and looking up what they mean, especially if they are from other languages.
In my ‘Goodreads Reading Challenge’ post, I had shared a collage banner of all of the words that captured my attention during that first month, and it was interesting to see everyone’s comments about this section, but I felt bad for only discussing those 31 words, so when I came up with this series, I thought it would a great idea to include every word from the previous three months. So, I hope you enjoy this batch just as much as I do!
I am arranging each month based on the colors they were given at the start of the year. I know I don’t mention it a lot but I technically have two journals, and for my habit tracker of how many days I actually read, is in a different color. For the most part, I’ve stuck to that color but unfortunately I don’t have an orange and can’t see the yellow very good so I have had to switch those colors around. I know it doesn’t really matter for you, but in case anyone was curious by the color changes with every month.
One thing I do need to explain is, I may have finished three books in February, but I attempted to read about three others, which were The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Curse of Beauty by Lauren Lee Merriweather, and Disease and History by Frederick Cartwright. I include ALL of the words, even if I don’t complete the book itself, because honestly that would be too much work to remove them anyways.
March as a whole was on another level when it came to reading in general. I managed to complete five books, but I also tried one other book and it was Waylon: Angel and Ruthless Reaper by Theodora Taylor. I did not make it very far with it and I’m pretty sure I did not include any words mentioned in this story. I collected 56 words in all with the others, so a part of me was happy as a clown at this accomplishment!
PS: Can you tell I read two Viking fiction books or is it just me?
This month I really wanted to finish every book I put in front of myself, but sometimes when I think I’m ready for something else, I end up changing my whole lineup, so with that being said, I attempted to read three romances These Three Words by Alexis Winter, Sexy Filthy Boss by Piper Rayne and Hitching the Cowboy by Kennedy Fox. I’d like to get back with the ones by Alexis and Kennedy because I love how these authors write their characters and couples, but we’ll have to see where in the log they will end up and I’ll definitely write a book review of the Kennedy Fox book as it goes with the bonus post I released over the weekend!
PS: I read about 18th Century ladies, a Syrian refugee, and Vikings jarls. I traveled a lot in April, thus the many unique words above.
I think I will do like a mid-year review of my progress sometime this summer, because I’d like to compare it with whatever happens in the next six months. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get that one out for you, but I’ll figure out some way though!
How are your reading goals for 2022 going so far? Do you keep a book journal every year to keep track of everything like I am? If you are or have in the past, tell us something about your overall design or what you thought was most important to keep notice of during a single year!