Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky // Spotlight

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky // Spotlight

I didn’t end up finishing this one when I started it. Mostly because it was too serious and too hard sci-fi for my tastes. But I know that many folks out there still love these kinds of books, so I wanted to spotlight it for those who may be interested in this Shards of Earth by Arthur C. Clarke winner, Adrian Tchaikovsky. If you’re into reading a space opera with tons of alien life, a rag-tag crew of misfits on board with the one person who can possibly save humanity from this dangerous enemy, and some deeper conversations about what would happen if humans were to leave Earth?

Here’s more about Shards of Earth

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

  • Published: August 3, 2021
  • Publisher: Orbit Books
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎560 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316705853
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316705851

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Six Great Reading Challenges for 2018

Six Great Reading Challenges for 2018

I don’t really have any resolutions for myself this year, but many of the goals I have are book based and meant to help expand my bookish horizons. I want to read more books by authors of color. I want to read more books about muslim and middle eastern people. I want to read more non-fiction. I did some analysis of what I read last year and made these goals for myself.

However, for some people, they want to feel even more challenged or challenge themselves for the first time. Maybe it’s finally picking up a book and reading one for the year. Maybe it’s reading 100 books in a year. As book readers, we challenge ourselves daily with what we want to read next. Give me something good to read, as I like to say.

Luckily for those who aren’t sure how they’d like to approach reading this year, book challenges exist for this very cause. I’m not the type of person to create challenges for other people to follow, but I’ve put together a list of some great reading challenges I found on the Internet.

Some of them are hosted by bigger well-known companies. Others are hosted by bookstagrammers like myself who just want to spread the good word. You can pick and choose whichever you want. I know that I’ll be trying my hand at a few to help my ever-growing need to expand my thinking, so don’t feel the pressure to stick with those you choose. These are just worth trying and there’s no shame in quitting if you can’t quite do them. We all know life throws us some nasty curveballs every once in a while.

For readers who want to read a few books this year

The best bet is to go with a simple challenge; give yourself a number of books to read this year and read it. This is a great challenge for those who love to read, but can’t find the time to do it. Goodreads is a great place to start your challenge! I’ve been using Goodreads for quite some years now and it’s been great to record what I’ve read, share with others, and challenge myself to read more. If you’re just starting out, this might be the perfect place to start. You can also find me there at simoneandherbooks.

For readers who want to read even harder

One challenge that I’m setting myself to do this year is the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. Book Riot has put together 24 prompts for you to follow throughout the year. It’s designed for you to choose two prompts per month. You don’t have to do them in order and you can double up on a few if you’d like. The challenge here is to take what you’ve been reading and take it to the next step. Try your hand on this one if you’re like me and love to expand your thinking.

For readers who own way too many unread books

I came across The Unread Shelf Project on Instagram as a way to challenge yourself to read the books on your TBR. We’re all culprits of buying way too many books and we end up spending years trying to get through the backlog. The ladies at @theunreadshelf@katereadsbooks, and @calsreads have decided to take this challenge head on. You can find more about this challenge by checking out their Instagram hashtag #theunreadshelfproject2018. As Whitney says in her first post, it’s not about shaming yourself for not reading these books. It’s about slowing down and reading what you have. I think I could probably participate in this one as well!

For readers who want to read more diversely

I know I have some goals for myself when it comes to diverse reads, but I also know that Sara-Jayne over at @bookish.harpy has decided to create a unique challenge. Her #harpiesreadtheworld will be themed prompts throughout the year. The challenge is to read books within those themes. That’s it! However, the themes SJ chose will be a little tougher than just reading more stories written by POC. I’ve already got a few books down for the three prompts and I hope I can keep up with them during this busy January!

For readers who never read Harry Potter

This is a great one! I’ve read Harry Potter twice in my life, but because of my age and the age of some of my bookish friends that option came a little late for them. So, Maggie at @mugandnook decided to create a challenge of reading Harry Potter throughout the year. She’s put together a plan for pacing out all seven books throughout the year, but if you’re like me, you might want to read them all at once. As she described it, this is for anyone who wants to read or reread Harry Potter. It’s more of a buddy read than a challenge, but you can follow along at #harreadpotter for more discussions and sharing.

For readers who love to photograph their reads

Calling all bookstagrammers! If you’re just starting out as a book influencer on Instagram, then this challenge will help you get started. The lovely ladies at @theardentbiblio will be hosting photo prompts each month. The task is easy; take photos of books based on what the prompt says and post it on that day. This is a great way to ease yourself into taking bookish photos for yourself or for others! Who knows, maybe you’ll be an influencer with that sick #instalife.

My 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

My 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

Wow, 2017 felt like a whirlwind. I hit a ton of different milestones, came to some interesting decisions, and will be starting my new year with a different career path. While the world was in shambles, 2017 treated me pretty well and I’m thankful to be starting off 2018 with some great plans.

It was a great year for books (well, every year is a great year for books) and I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve read, what I’ve learned, and a little on what I will be reading next year.

First, let’s get to the numbers.

  • # of books I wanted to read: 25
  • # of books read: 43
  • # of books that were diverse reads: 18

My favorite books of the year


It was tough to dwindle this list down and I had a tough time to get it to these eleven. I restrained myself and thought about what really captivated me about them. Here’s my favorites:

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saez
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Isn’t it kind of funny that by the end of the year, you remember most of the books you read during this half rather than the early half. I feel like the books I read in the early half of the year don’t really represent the repertoire of reading I picked up in the second half. I think I’m going to try and keep my reading pretty even across the months.

Some interesting insights

I read some really interesting books this year. Books I didn’t think I would read because it just wouldn’t be available to me in the methods that I chose. I also received so many books from various different publishing companies and I couldn’t be more grateful of that.

I think my favorite books will have to be the ones I ordered from Book of the Month Club. I don’t want to gush or advertise for them, but the judges have wonderful taste and I always found every book I read to be intriguing and interesting. I would strongly recommend especially if you’re a bestselling books reader. You’ll be the first to read the best sellers!


I realized that thrillers and mystery aren’t my favorite thing. I think I have a few that I will try and read but mostly because I heard good things. I don’t think I’m going to actively search for any more thrillers, but maybe horror will be in there? I don’t want to poop my pants while I read.

I also revived my love for Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, which also ties into my love of Young Adult novels. I’m so excited to continue reading more of these stories in the future.

My future plans

I’ve accumulated a fairly large pile of books. While my book buying ban will continue to go through 2018, I want to focus on reading what I already have. Being surrounded by books all the time is quite comforting, but sometimes it can be a real eyesore and a nuisance. I can’t justify buying any more books not only because I’m trying to save money, but because there’s already enough for me to read.

I also haven’t read ANY non-fiction. I love non-fiction every once in a while and I somehow just skipped over all of that this year. I do have some non-fiction in my TBR so I hope to read those and get some more stories that aren’t just based in the mind of the author. I think I already know where to start.


I’m also going to focus on reading more books written and about POC. While I did read 18 diverse reads this year, this was still less than half of my reading. I am pretty proud that the majority of my reads were from female authors, I still feel like there’s more diverse books to read and share with people. I especially want to read books by Middle Eastern/South Asian authors and characters. I also want to read way more Latinx and Hispanic authors and characters. I feel like both of these areas have been really neglected by me and other readers and they should also get some of the spotlight.

The final resolution (can we call these that?) is to really share more with you all. I’ve been pretty busy all this year with work and other obligations, but I want to double up my efforts with my blog and share a lot more with you all. You know where to find me on the social media universe, so I’ll be sharing on all those platforms.

Happy New Year, bookish peeps! I can definitely see 2018 as a big book year for all of us!