12/30/15

2015 End of the Year Book Survey


Although I've been in a major bookish/blogging/reading slump for the last few weeks, the light at the end of the tunnel is Jaime's end of the year book survey.  Reviewing and reflecting on the past year of reading and blogging is always one of my favourite parts of the year, and I'm hoping that it'll also give me a clean slate feeling so that I can start 2016 with renewed enthusiasm for reading and blogging!


Number of Books You Read: 53
Number of Books You Re-Read: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Probably contemporary

1. Best Book You Read in 2015?
I think I'll give this award to The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord.  Although I really enjoyed Open Road Summer when I read it last year, it didn't blow me away like it did for everyone else.  But I couldn't get enough of The Start of Me & You, and was absolutely enthralled by the friendship in this story.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
My co-worker raved about Kirsten Ashley's Rock Chick and convinced me to read it.  I didn't expect to love it, but it definitely confirmed for me that I'm not much of a romance novel reader.

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way!) Book of 2015?
My husband bought me The Rosie Project for Christmas last year, and I expected to like it, but didn't expect to laugh out loud while reading it!

4. Book You "Pushed" the Most People to Read (and they did) in 2015?
I recommended Tell the Wolves I'm Home to my book club, and everyone loved it!  My next book choice is Before I Fall, and I have my fingers crossed that they'll love that one too.

5. Best Series you Started in 2015?  Best Sequel of 2015?  Best Series Ender of 2015?
I binged the entire Grisha trilogy in 2015, and loved it so, so much.  I'll give best sequel to Queen of Shadows and I suppose City of Heavenly Fire can take the best series ender title, since it was one of few series that I actually finished this year.  It was a decent series ender, but the series definitely went on too long in my opinion.

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2015?
Taylor Jenkins Reid -- I read, and loved, both Forever, Interrupted and After I Do.

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don't Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
I started Jennifer L. Armentrout's Luxe series this year, and I don't usually gravitate towards books about aliens!  Although it's super cheesy, it's still fun.

8. Most Action-Packed, Thrilling, Unputdownable Book in 2015?
My Secret Santa got me Lucy Christopher's Stolen last year, which I read right away.  It was so unusual in its narrative style, not to mention addicting since I wanted to find out what happened.

9. Book You Read in 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I'm not a huge re-reader, and haven't planned any re-reads just yet.  There are a few series starters that I may re-read just to refresh my memory, but they weren't read in 2015.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2015?
This book is beautiful -- just beautiful!

11. Most Memorable Character in 2015?
Although I can't remember the characters names, I think I'll go with the characters in Colleen Hoover's Ugly Love.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2015?
Black Iris -- the writing is equal to the beautiful cover pictured above.

13. Most Thought-Provoking / Life-Changing Book of 2015?
My book club read I Am Malala and, although I wouldn't say it was life-changing, it definitely was a thought-provoking read.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Tell the Wolves I'm Home -- so many bloggers that I trust LOVE this book, and I'd had it sitting on my shelves for years!  It totally lived up to the hype.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
When Judith @ Paperiot posted this quote on Instagram, I instantly added the book to my TBR and downloaded it later that afternoon.  A quote has never affected me this way before...

Girls love each other like animals. There is something ferocious and unself-conscious about it. We don't guard ourselves like we do with boys. No one trains us to shield our hearts from each other. With girls, it's total vulnerability from the beginning. Our skin is bare and soft. We love with claws and teeth and the blood is just proof of how much. It's feral.

And it's relentless.
~ Black Iris by Leah Raeder

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.
Longest -- A Storm of Swords (1,177 pages!)
Shortest -- The Demon in the Wood (30 pages)

17. Book that shocked you the most?
I'm honestly not sure that I was actually shocked by any of the books that I read this year, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the first three books in Abbi Glines' Rosemary Beach series.  After I finished reading the first one, I immediately downloaded the second because I wanted more of the story, and I haven't had a contemporary book affect me that way in a long time.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!)
Although I still don't fully understand the whole "ship" thing, I'll go with Celeana & Chaol again.

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
The friendship in The Start of Me and You.

20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously?
Most of Colleen Hoover's books are a bit hit and miss for me.  I liked Hopeless, but was definitely irritated with the characters during parts of the story, and didn't like the Slammed series at all.  But I LOVED Ugly Love.  I guess this was a shocking read too?

21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?
Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick.  My co-worker begged me to give her books a try, so I did!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
I'm not really a "book boyfriend" kind of girl.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I didn't read a lot of debuts this year, but I'll go with Tell the Wolves I'm Home because, as far as I know, it's her only novel.

24. Best worldbuilding / most vivid setting you read this year?
Same answer as last year -- the Throne of Glass series!

25. Book that put a smile on your face / was the most FUN to read?
The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect -- laughed out loud during both books, which I rarely ever do!

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015?
I SOBBED during Ugly Love -- full on messy crying.

27. Hidden gem of the year?
Brie @ Slice of Brie raved about The War That Saved My Life, which is a middle grade novel.  I don't read much middle grade these days, and don't see many middle grade books getting much bookish buzz, but this was definitely a solidly good read!

28. Book that crushed your soul?
Ugly Love again?

29. Most unique book you read in 2015?
Definitely Black Iris.  It was so beautifully written, but with an unreliable narrator and I'm still thinking about it months later.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?
Hmm, I'm not sure that I actually had a book instill rage in me this year.  


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
Astronomical Books.  Helia's blog (and her Instagram too!) is beautiful and her writing is so gorgeous.  Many of her posts have really made me think.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I didn't write many reviews this year, but I was pretty happy with 99 Days.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Probably my post On Being You, where I wrote about taking my blog in a slightly different direction.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
When I first stumbled across Helia's blog, I went back and read all of her posts from the beginning and absolutely LOVED Is My Writing Meaningless?  I immediately started a response post of my own which, sadly hasn't been finalized yet, but hopefully will be in the new year.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Ugh, NOTHING this year.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2015?
Honestly, it's been a bit of a low blogging/reading year for me.  I've definitely enjoyed the challenges that I participated in, and even getting the Lose Time RRReading Readathon set up, even if the readathon itself was a bit of a flop.  I'm hoping to get my blogging mojo back in 2016!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My haul posts are usually the most popular, but this year it's the top ten books that I had recently added to my TBR!  Most of the time, I forget to link up my TTT posts, so this must have been one week that I actually remembered -- ha ha!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I decided to start a new thing and wrote about my yoga journey, which didn't get any love at all.  Brie left me the sweetest comment on my follow-up post about giving up on perfection, which has inspired me to keep going.  I think I also need to network a bit with yoga bloggers, since my blog is going in a bit of a different direction now?

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
This was the year that I discovered Book Outlet -- and my shelves exploded.  I'm going to try to take a little break from this site next year, as I definitely need to focus on the books that I already own!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I participated in three challenges this year, but didn't do very well at any of them.  I didn't set myself a goal for the Flight Into Fantasy challenge, and I did read some fantasy books this year, so I'll count that as complete.  The other two challenges were the Prequel & Sequel Challenge, where I went crazy on series at the beginning of the year and then slacked, and the TBR Pile Challenge, but I kept focusing on the books that I bought this year, which means I didn't read many off my shelves.  Oh, and I did reach my Goodreads goal, so that's good!


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
I'm still trying to clear up my last outstanding review copies, so hopefully I'll be getting to Julianna Baggott's Burn really, really soon.  I would also like to read Winter and Six of Crows soon!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
A Court of Mist and Fury for SURE and the yet-to-have-a-title fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I haven't had my eye on any debut books for next year, but I'm excited to see what's on everyone else's horizons for next year!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I don't think I have any current series that are wrapping up next year -- shocking, I know!

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging in 2016?
Keep having fun, whether it's posting what I want or reading what I want -- 2016 will be fun and stress-free!  And definitely hoping to get out of this icky reading/blogging slump that has been a constant presence in my life for the past couple of months =(

If you filled out this survey, please leave me a link to your post and I'll stop by!  Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

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12/29/15

Looking Back at My Bookish Resolutions for 2015

I love the end of the year for all of the self-reflection that comes around!  My bookish resolutions for next year are coming up, but I thought I'd take a moment and look back at last year's resolutions first....

1. Read what I want when I want.
I definitely rocked this resolution!  I don't think I fell victim to any bookish hype this year, and focused on reading what I felt like reading at the time.

2.Not be afraid to try new things.
I definitely read more fantasy this year, with one specific example being Shadow & Bone.  I'd picked up Shadow & Bone a couple of years ago, but couldn't get into it, so I returned it to the library.  Lauren @ Lose Time Reading raved about the book, so I gave it another try and ended up marathoning the series!

3. Stay true to myself.
I definitely stayed away from the popular bookish train this year, and read what I knew I'd love, rather than just what others were reading.

4. Read books that I own.
I kind of set myself my own version of a book buying ban, where I decided that I wouldn't buy a book unless I planned on reading it right away.  While this did have some success (I bought 34 books this year, not counting my Christmas books, which I haven't hauled yet).  I did read almost half of them, but found that this was keeping me away from some older unread books.

5. Continue to make progress with my series.
I rocked at this goal at the beginning of the year, but burned myself out on series as the year progressed.  I did finish four series, and got caught up on another, so I'll consider this a success =)

How about you?  How did you do with your bookish resolutions?  Leave me a comment below -- and thanks for stopping by!

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2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge Wrap-up!

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Hey guys! First of all, we want to thank you guys SO much for participating! We were thrilled to have such a great turnout for the third year in a row. We're also excited to be hosting it again in 2016! (If you missed it, here is the signup post.)

I know this past year we said we were planning better (and more fun) things for the challenge, and I'm afraid we kind of dropped the ball. Life happens, what can we say? But we really want to do better and more fun things in 2016! We hope our lack of hosting participation won't discourage you from participating again next year.

2016 Wrap up

Here is the linky for you to add your final progress post to. (Please don't add every single review!) This linky is only for others to see how you did. It does not get you an entry into the giveaway. For the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter below.



Giveaway


To win, you must be following BOTH challenge hosts and you must have also signed up on the original sign up post for the challenge. The final progress post is also mandatory for the giveaway so we can see that you participated. If you don't provide the link to your final progress post, you will be disqualified! The giveaway ends Jan 31st and winners will be announced on this post. If you win, we will notify you by email and you will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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12/21/15

2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge Sign-up!

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It's time for another year of the Prequel & Sequel Challenge! Last year we both suffered from some epic blogging slumps, but we're giving it another go in 2016!

Welcome to the 2016 Sequel & Prequel Challenge, hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads! The goal: To read as many prequels and sequels as you can. You set your goal at whatever number works for you.

Guidelines

  1. The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st.
  2. Any books started before Jan. 1 will not count.
  3. All books in a series count for points (see below)
  4. Novellas count, either prequels or sequels (i.e. #0.5, #1.5, #2.5, etc).
  5. Books can be of any publication date. They don’t have to be released in 2016.
  6. In order to get 10 points for a completed series, there must be at least 3 full-length books in the series.
  7. You can still get sequel points for a duology, you just can't get the 10 bonus points for finishing it.
  8. Sign-ups will be open until December 1st, 2016.
  9. To join, add the URL of your challenge post to the linky widget. (If you’d like to wait, it’s ok to use your blog URL and send us your link as soon you get the post up)
  10. At the end of each quarter (every three months), we will post a linky for you to add your sequel reviews to. The linky will rotate between our blogs on alternate quarters, so you can link up at Novel Heartbeat at the end of March and September, and over at Writer Grrl Reads at the end of June and December. If you have a ton of reviews for the quarter, you can always link to wherever you're keeping track of your progress. This will make it much easier for us - not only is it less posting, but it will be easier to keep track of how many points everyone has.
  11. We will try to do some giveaways throughout the year for participants (as long as we can afford it), as well as some mini-challenges and read-alongs ... so stay tuned for further details!
  12. There will be a giveaway at the end of the year for all participants who completed the challenge!

The Point System

For each prequel and sequel read this year, points will be awarded as follows:
  • 1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
  • 2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
  • 10 points for completing and reviewing a full series (doesn't require novellas)*†
  • **You do not get points for the first book in a series
To get points, you must review the book/novella somewhere. If you want to earn points, please link up your reviews at the end of each month, and enter the number of points earned (we will give examples in the linky). Each point earned is an entry into the giveaway at the end of the year for all participants who completed the challenge. So, the more sequels you read, the better your chances of winning the giveaway! Plus, we are also considering one prize for the "overacheiver award" -- the person who gets the most points!

*The 10 bonus points is for finishing a FULL series. That means that all books must be published (unless you got an advance reader copy early). i.e. If you are completely caught up on a series, and the next book is not releasing until 2017 (and you do not have an advance reader copy), that does not count toward the 10 bonus points.

If you started the series before 2016, you can still get the bonus points for finishing it if you reviewed the other books in the series at some point. For example: You read The Hunger Games in 2015, but read Catching Fire and Mockingjay in 2016 - you would get 2 points for both sequels and 10 bonus points for finishing the series (14 points total). You don't have to start the series in 2016 to get the bonus points.
10-25 points: Newbie
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran
So let this year be the year that we stop whining about how many sequels are sitting on our TBRs or cluttering up our shelves! Take control of your reading destinies and sign up to read with us!

Grab a button:


Link up!



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12/16/15

Hollow City - Ransom Riggs [A DNF Review]

It makes me sad to write this review, because Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was one of the very first books that I read and reviewed on this blog.  I loved it so much, and was completely blown away by the uniqueness of the mixed media in the book.  I thought it was a perfectly creepy standalone book, but I was intrigued when I found out that the story would be continuing.

I picked this book up a few times, after Hallowe'en last year, then again in the spring and finally during October this year.  Each time, the story just wouldn't hold my attention and I found myself setting it aside.  I think I'd prefer to just remember Miss Peregrine's as a standalone, and give the rest of the series a pass.  I know that so many others have loved this series, but it's just not for me.

I received a copy of this book for review, but this did not influence my thoughts on the book in any way.

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12/15/15

Adult Onset - Ann-Marie MacDonald

It's no secret that I love Ann-Marie MacDonald's books.  I've gushed about my love for Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies in my Friday Favourite posts.  It had been ten years since I'd read The Way the Crow Flies when I heard that Ann-Marie was publishing a new book.  I was overjoyed and could barely wait to get my hands on a copy.  When I received a review copy from Random House, I waited until I had an uninterrupted stretch of time so that I could really delve into the story and enjoy it in its fullest.

I had high hopes for this book, and didn't end up loving it as much as I had hoped that I would.  The story centres around a mother and I thought that I would identify with the main character a bit more.  There were moments where I saw myself reflected in her character, but on the whole I didn't connect with the story as much as I had hoped that I would.  Also, when I was close to finishing the book, I abruptly ran into a blank page in the middle of a chapter.  It was jarring and seemed misplaced, so I thought that my book was misprinted.  I actually stopped reading and made a trip to the bookstore so that I could see if my book was misprinted and, if so, exchange it for a new copy.  When I got to the bookstore, I found out that it was an intentional blank page, but it still didn't quite make sense.  This disrupted my reading of the final pages of the book and left the ending a bit anticlimactic.

I'll definitely read anything else that Ann-Marie MacDonald writes as she's still one of my favourite writers of all time, but I was still underwhelmed by this book.  Hopefully, her next one will blow me away!

I received a review copy of this book, but this did not influence my opinions in any way.

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12/14/15

All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews

It's funny how you read a book years and years ago, and remember it, but in a completely different way.  I read Miriam Toews' A Complicated Kindness for a book club many years ago, and always thought that I liked it.  When All My Puny Sorrows popped up as a potential review book, I requested it right away, eager for another of her stories.

I liked All My Puny Sorrows, but I didn't love it.  The premise was immediately intriguing, as it's the story of two sisters.  One sister is determined to die, while the other one struggles between wanting her sister to be happy and wanting to keep her alive against her will.  The story has Mennonite roots, like A Complicated Kindness, but it wasn't the basis of the story.  The book had its touching moments, but the story dragged a bit at other times.  On the whole, I liked it and I might try Miriam's other book, Irma Voth, which I've heard is her best book.

As a random aside, this is my Goodreads review from A Complicated Kindness, which also pretty much sums up my thoughts on All My Puny Sorrows...

Weird. Weird. Weird. There were lots of moments that made me laugh out loud but, on the whole, it was a little strange. It's the story of 16 year old Nomi who lives, and rebels, in a Mennonite town. Her writing style is interesting enough that I might try another of her books. Maybe it was just the subject material that made this book a little tough to read? Nomi is a likeable character though, slightly eccentric and more than a little odd.

A review copy was provided by Random House, but this has not influenced my thoughts on the book in any way.

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12/2/15

On My Nightstand - December 2

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I finished Colleen Hoover's November 9 and it was pretty good.  Her books don't usually blow me away, but they're decent reads.  This one was a little cheesier than most, but I enjoyed the fact that she's a reader and he's a writer.  A solid three stars.

On my nightstand:

Honestly...nothing.  I thought I'd try to finish Beautiful Disaster, which I put down in favour of Queen of Shadows, and haven't picked back up yet.  Then I thought I might tackle the next book in the Lux series.  I'm not really in the mood to read right now, and although I have some highly anticipated new releases on my shelf, I don't want to pick them up if I'm not in a reading mood, because I don't want to be disappointed with a book that I was sure I'd love.

Calling my name from the shelf:

See above =)  Do you have any recommendations?

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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12/1/15

Book Haul [21]

It's been a long, long time since I shared a haul!  I haven't bought any books since Queen of Shadows back in September (although I ordered it in August -- feels like such a long time ago!)  I went a tiny bit crazy on Book Outlet, but I think I'm done with that site for a while, and then treated myself to two new releases when I got my raise at work.  Here goes...


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I inhaled the entire Grisha trilogy earlier this year, and loved it, so I'm excited for a new story set in the same world.  Plus, who can resist that gorgeous edition with the black edged pages?


Winter by Marissa Meyer
I was planning to read both Six of Crows and Winter before the end of the year, but I still haven't read Fairest and, honestly, haven't felt like reading much of anything in the last couple of months, so I'm going to save this book for when I really feel like reading it.


Unspoken, Untold and Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Lauren @ Lose Time Reading binge read this series a few months ago, and encouraged me to pick it up.  When I saw all three for super cheap on Book Outlet, I figured it was a sign!  I ordered them all in paperback, but received two library bindings and a paperback, which I'm a little bit bummed about.  Oh well, I'll live.


Pure and Fuse by Julianna Baggott
If you've followed my blog since the beginning, one of the early book that I reviewed was Pure, the first book in this incredible dystopian trilogy.  I loved Fuse just as much and, despite the fact that Burn is the oldest unread (and totally expired) e-galley on my Netgalley account, I still haven't finished this series.  Burn is out in paperback now, so I've put it on my Christmas wishlist and will definitely finish this series next year.  For sure.  I hope.


Darke by Angie Sage
I read Magyk many, many years ago and really liked it.  Then, I found the next three books in the series for really cheap at a used bookstore.  This is book six, so I'm still missing book five, but I would really like to revisit this series.  It's been a while since I read middle grade consistently, and I would like to give it another shot.  I hope that I like the books, since I've invested in purchasing the rest of the series!


Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano
I was going to buy this when it was originally released, but I'm glad that I waited because I like the new covers better.  I'm hoping to wait and read this once the third book is out, because I have a feeling I'll binge read the entire series.  Lauren's writing is just perfection, and I know that Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea loves this series too!

That's it for this haul!  Have you read any of these?  Any suggestions on what I should pick up next, or another book that would break this reading slump?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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11/30/15

November Wrap-Up!

Um, how is it almost Christmas?  Seriously.  This year went by crazy fast, and it's hard to believe that we're already into the Christmas season (although I really need to get my butt in gear and start my shopping!) and that it's almost time for all those year-end posts and resolutions and all the fun stuff that happens around the blogosphere in December!

The Books

Books Read: 5 (A Discovery of Witches, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Night Film, November 9)
I finished A Discovery of Witches, which took me most of October and into November!  Then I re-read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (because I couldn't remember what happened in the story, even after reading the summary on the Recaptains site) and then gobbled up The Evolution of Mara Dyer.  I was going to read the third one right away, but Colleen Hoover's November 9 came in at the library, so I thought I'd take a contemporary break!  I've been slowing working my way through Marisha Pessl's Night Film on audio, which took me close to two months!  It was weird, but good, but really, really weird.  Review to come.

Books Acquired: 9 (yikes! -- book haul to come, so I won't spoil which titles!)
If my counting is correct, I acquired 34 books this year!  I tried to read them as I bought them, but Book Outlet was my downfall in that regard.  I'm not too disappointed with myself though, as I realized that making myself read books as I buy them was also preventing me from reading the backlist titles on my shelves, so I split my focus for the rest of the year, which meant that I did buy a lot more than I read.  But that's okay -- I just have more TBR books to choose from for next year!

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +2 (The Evolution of Mara Dyer)
Flights of Fantasy: None.
TBR Challenge: +3 (A Discovery of Witches and both Mara Dyer books) 

The Blog

It was a pretty quiet month on the blog, although I'm surprised looking back that I actually wrote eight posts!  I feel like it was a lot less, although I am really proud of the posts that I did share.  My two favourites are part of my yoga-inspired posts, Reading On My Mat, where I shared about giving up on perfection and about joy.  Writing these posts definitely re-invigorated my sense of blogging, as it reminded me that my blog is mine and that I have a lot to share that isn't necessarily book-related.  I truly hope that my words connected with the handful of readers who did click on the post, and I hope that you'll enjoy the future posts too.

I participated in one Top Ten Tuesday post about debut writers (although I struggled with finding a full list), and shared one discussion post about long unread series.

The Other Stuff

We're still working on hiring a new marketing person at work, so I've been helping with the hiring process, which has been awesome!  Ultimately, I'd like to get into more of an HR/Management type role, so it's been great to have this experience under my belt.  I'm looking forward to going back to my old job, and hoping that we find the perfect new employee who will stick around!

I'm in the home stretch for my coursework, with a paper due on Friday and my final exam this coming weekend.  It's going to be a crazy weekend, with my company Christmas party and a really good friend's birthday, so I'll be completing the multiple choice section while Marko naps on Saturday, and then racing to finish the short answer questions before the submission deadline on Sunday evening.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks of non-school reading before I'm back at it in January.

I'm really excited for Christmas this year, since we'll be heading to my hometown to spend Christmas with my family this year.  It'll be Marko's first Christmas in Victoria, and my parents are really looking forward to it.  Plus, this is the first year that I feel like he actually has a concept of what Christmas is.  The whole Santa thing is still a little bit foreign, but he's absolutely enthralled with Christmas lights.  We'll be putting our tree up on December 1st and I just know that he'll be excited to help (unlike last year when he spent most of the month pulling the decorations off the tree!)  Seeing the magic of Christmas through his eyes is really special.

What's happened in your life this past month?  Have you read anything interesting lately?  Are you ready for Christmas?  Or still in shock that it's December already?  Let's chat in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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11/25/15

On My Nightstand - November 25

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I picked up The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and quickly realized that I had absolutely no recollection of the first book!  I re-read it, and enjoyed it the second time, but was less enthused about the second book.  Maybe it's the over-hyped aspect again?  I'll still read the third book, hopefully before the end of the year, just so that I can knock it off my TBR.

On my nightstand:

I picked up Colleen Hoover's November 9 from the library, and I'm really liking it so far!  Her books are always a nice, easy read, which I think I need right now.   I've got two weeks left of school, and my reading attention is waning these days.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I really have no idea -- I'll see what I'm in the mood to read after my final exam is over.  I'm thinking of maybe tackling Fairest and Winter, or maybe Six of Crows?  I really haven't been in the mood to read much these past couple of months, but I'm hoping that disappears once school is over.

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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11/22/15

Reading On My Mat - On Joy

One of my favourite bloggers, Estelle @ Rather Be Reading, shared this update post and mentioned that she'd completed the #30DaysofYoga challenge.  (As a side note, these "just checking in" posts that she's started sharing are freakin' AWESOME, and a total inspiration!)  That night, I'd completed the first 20 minute class from Yoga Download (it's a podcast -- check it out here!)  Traffic has been horrendous over the past few weeks, which has resulted in me getting home late from work and, consequently, missing the opportunity to head to a yoga class.  Coupled with a head cold that lasted for close to two weeks, I've been seriously missing out on the opportunity to practice lately.  I didn't realize how much I crave yoga as part of my life, until I finished this short class, featuring sun salutations, and realized that I can still have yoga as part of my life, even if I can't make it to the studio.  Just 20 minutes left me feeling refreshed, energized and focused on my happiness, and I resolved to make it a part of my daily life.  When I saw that Estelle felt emotional about completing her yoga challenge, I completely understood how she felt.  Although I had just completed one class, I already felt a feeling of joy surging through my body, as well as feeling at peace and content.

Although I haven't had the opportunity to practice this weekend, I have spent a lot of time walking outside with my two loves.  We spent Saturday morning at a local park, and then this morning we went walking at a local lake.  It was chilly, but not insanely cold, and the sun was shining.  Marko was just so happy to be outside and enjoying the fresh air.  Most of our winter is cold and rainy, so we don't get the opportunity to be outside all that much.  We enjoy every moment that we can, since we never know when the sun will come back out again.  Seeing him shriek with glee as he ran across a little bridge, or gaze in wonderment at a heron across the lake (so BIG, Mama, like a DINOSAUR!) filled my heart with such joy and contentment.  I am overjoyed at the opportunity that I have to share in these experiences with him, and it is such a blessing to see the world through a toddler's eyes, as he experiences the wonders of the world for the first time.

Plus, I've had the Christmas music going for about a week now (Shhhh, don't tell my husband though, who insists that the Christmas season can't begin until December 1st!)  This will be the first Christmas that Marko will start to understand about what the season means.  I already can't wait to put up the Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men and sing carols together.  It's going to be a special season, just one of many, many, many more to come.

Hope that your Sunday has been filled with joy, and that your days to come are filled with even more joy and wonder.

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11/13/15

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless - Liz Czukas

From the Goodreads summary:

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000 

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

I couldn't have said it better myself.  I read this book in the summer of 2014, which was a bit out of season because the book takes place on Christmas Eve.  It's the perfect fluffy contemporary read with a hint of the festive season permeating through the book.  

If you liked Liz's first book, Ask Again Later, you'll definitely like this one too!

Note: I received an e-galley for review from Edelweiss, but this did not affect my thoughts on this book in any way.

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11/11/15

Reading On My Mat - Giving Up on Perfection

I shared my first Reading On My Mat post over the summer, outlining my yoga journey.  I was a bit disappointed that the post didn't get much love and that made me a bit shy to write more.  Coupled with the fact that I felt a bit shy about branching out a new direction with the blog.

But then two things happened.  As I've shared before, I have a new obsession with watching BookTube videos and one of my favourites is TheBookHoarder.  Her videos are fresh and exciting, and my favourite thus far has been her video about not following through on her big projects.  This rang true for me, because I fall victim to the same thing.  I have all these big ideas, but then never quite get around to doing them.  Writing about yoga was something that I felt passionate about, but the longer I went since my initial post, the more I felt like a yoga fraud for even thinking that I could even try.  But Dana makes a great point in her video: that it's okay to go crazy on a project, and then put it away for a while and revisit it when you're ready to do so.  That resonated with me since it relates to how I feel about this blog -- it's always here and waiting for me when I'm ready.

The second thing was that I read this amazing article on DoYouYoga.com on the shape of your asana.  The article speaks to how yoga practitioners often look around the room to compare the shape of their poses to those of others, and often feel inconsistent from class to class.  I've wrestled with this both on and off the mat.  Sometimes, I'm in the zone and feel like I'm pushing my poses to the next level, other times I wobble unsteadily and feel like I'm going to fall over.  The first suggestion that the article offers is Close your eyes.  By closing your eyes, you stop looking around at others and, therefore, stop comparing yourself to how others are doing.  I've done this in a yoga class before and it is liberating.  It takes the focus off the external, and shifts it to the internal.  What I still need to work on is taking this practice off the mat.  I need to close my eyes more often and stop worrying about what the world around me with think or say, and just take the plunge.  Stop worrying about whether anyone will read these posts, and just write them because I want to.  Stop thinking about whether I'm saying the right thing, and just be.

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On My Nightstand - November 11

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I finished Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches a few days ago and, wow, what a book!  Lauren @ Lose Time Reading adores this series, and I knew that I would too.  I'm glad that I picked this up when I wasn't in a mood to read and race through a book, since it took me close to a month to finish it.  I savoured the book, reading a chapter or two a day, and enjoyed the slow pace of the story, coupled with the epic storyline, the historical details and the perfect slow-burning romance.  I can't wait to read the next two books, but I think I'm going to take my time with this series and not binge read it.

On my nightstand:

I picked up the next three Saga novels from the library, and am going to try to read those ones before they're due back at the library.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I had wanted to read the Mara Dyer trilogy in October, but instead spent most of the month on A Discover of Witches.  I'd like to finish this series before the year is over!

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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11/9/15

On Long Unread Series

I was signing up for The Broke & The Bookish's Secret Santa yesterday (if you haven't already done so, go now -- it's one of my favourite parts of Christmas!) and I was updating my Goodreads wishlist.  While working on that, I was also browsing through my TBR list for series that I have to finish, and I realized just how many OLD series I have on that list.  For example,

  • Bone Series by Jeff Smith -- I read the first four (or maybe five?) books in the series long before I started blogging.  I can hardly remember what happened in the books that I did read, but this was one of my very first graphic novels and I loved the ones that I read.
  • Magyk Series by Angie Sage -- I read the first one (I think in late 2005 or early 2006) and remember really enjoying it.  I don't read much middle grade these days, but I own the next three books in the series, and would love to binge read them all.  It was Harry Potter-esque (and I use that term loosely because nothing is REALLY Harry Potter-esque!)
  • Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike -- I'm not much of a fairy book person, but I really did enjoy the first in the series, since it was a unique take on the topic. I own the second book (received from my very first Secret Santa three(?) years ago!) but I haven't jumped back into the series yet.
  • Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen -- I started this series right when I started blogging, so it's been close to four years since I read the second book.  I liked it -- it was historical, but fluffy and kind of Gossip Girl-esque.  Plus, those covers -- so pretty!
  • House of Night Series by Kirstin Cast & P.C. Cast -- Again, I was reading these books near the beginning of my blogging "career" and I kind of lost interest in the series.  I've read nine books so far, and the series wrapped up earlier this year, so there's only three books left to read.  I kind of feel like I've invested so much time into the series that I should just read the rest ... or maybe not?
  • The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon -- This is perhaps my greatest embarrassment on this list.  I ADORED the first book when I read it during the summer of 2011 and bought both of the other books in hardcover right when they were released, yet they sit on my shelf unread.
There are more than a few other series on the list, but these are the ones that have been unread for years and years.  I would love to knock a few of them off my TBR pile, and am hoping to read a mix of newer and older series next year.

How about you?  Do you have any long unread series sitting on your TBR list?  Are any of my series also on your list?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!


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11/3/15

Top Five Debuts That I Want More Of and Top Five Sophomores That Didn't Disappoint


Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.   Today's topic is either  Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel or Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author's Debut!  I've decided to combine the topics, and give you five of each...

Top Five Sophomore Reads That Were Just As Good As the Author's Debut:

1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
2. After I Do by Taylor Jenkis Reid
3. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
5. The Way The Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Top Five Debuts Novels Where I Need MORE From This Author:

1. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
2. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
3. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for weeks, expecting that I could think of a few more debuts where I was waiting for more.  Unfortunately, I just can't think of any.  BUT, there are a few books that I've read this year, where it was my first book by that author, and I know that I want to read more of her books...so here are my last two picks for this week's topic:

4. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
5. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Did any of my choices make your list?  Let me know in the comments below, and leave a link to your post and I'll stop by!  Thanks for visiting =)

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11/1/15

October Wrap-Up!

It's hard to believe that we're already a month into fall!  The rain is here in spades, and I've enjoyed reading under my Harry Potter snuggie the past few evenings, sipping a cup of tea.  I can get used to this weather!

The Books

Books Read: 1 (Black Iris)
It was a very slow reading month for me.  Black Iris was a bit tough to get into, partly because it's a strange little book, but partly because I'd just finished Queen of Shadows.  I'm mostly finished with A Discovery of Witches too, but it'll count towards next month's reading, and I'm also halfway through an audio book.

Books Acquired: None!
I have acquired a total of 25 books so far this year, and have already read 17 of them, so only 8 acquired and unread books -- still pretty proud of myself!  I have placed an order for two new releases though, so stay tuned for a book haul in the coming weeks!

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: None -- the only book that I read this month was a standalone.
Flights of Fantasy: None, again.
TBR Challenge: None, yet again.  I'm definitely not going to make my goal on this challenge, but I think it's also due to my reading books as soon as I acquire them goal.  I've already started re-thinking my resolutions for next year =P 

The Blog

I started the month off with launching the fall-long readathon that I'm co-hosting with Lauren @ Lose Time Reading.  It's very low key, and we have a prize, but there's very few people who have signed up so far.  If you still want to join, it's running until December 31st, so sign up now!  I also shared a fun TBR post which, at my reading rate, will definitely not be completed this year =P

I'm really struggling with guilt over unread review copies and end of the year reading blahs.

Finally, I brought back my Friday Favourite posts with a look back at The Truth About Forever, and another look back at my very first Marko Monday post!

The Other Stuff

We had our performance reviews at work, and I got the raise that I asked for!  The newly hired marketing person left, so I'm doing that job again for the time being.  Instead of juggling both roles, the company brought in a temp to handle my job, and it's actually been quite fun working at a totally different job for a while.  I'd consider putting my name forward for the job permanently, except that I don't have much in the way of Adobe skills, or web design, both of which are important components of the job.  I've been enjoying the proposal writing and the template design components though, especially because I've learned some fun new tricks in Word.

I just finished my midterm for my course before writing this post and, phew, I'm glad that's over.  I don't do well with multiple choice questions, but I managed to get 37/40.  Hopefully I do just as well on the written answers, but I have to wait a bit to hear my results.  I'm really enjoying the course, since it's more of a practical application to what I do at work all day.

Hallowe'en was pretty low key in our household.  Marko wore his costume at daycare (he was a minion), but wasn't too impressed with the whole thing.  We took him to a pumpkin patch, which he loved (especially the "kumpkins"), but the trick or treating was a little over his head.  It poured rain on Hallowe'en night here, so we went to a friend's house for dinner instead.  I think he'll be more into Hallowe'en next year, when he's a little older.

What's happened in your life this past month?  Have you read anything interesting lately?  Let's chat in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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10/26/15

Marko Monday [18]

Marko pulled Love You Forever by Robert Munsch off the shelf a few weeks ago, and has now insisted that "Mama read a baby story!" almost every night for the past couple of weeks.  After some repeated readings, I've finally managed to read the entire thing without getting a lump in my throat, crying or getting to the point where I'm so emotional that words won't come out.  Then, while reading it the other night, I read the words that the mother sings to her little boy:
I'll love you foreverI'll like you for alwaysAs long as I'm livingMy baby you'll be
Marko was sitting on my lap, but he twisted around so that he was looking at my and said, "My baby you be" and my heart MELTED.  I absolutely love the little man that he is becoming, but I still always see in him the little boy that he's always been and the baby that he was.  I carried him out of the bath, wrapped in his puppy towel, the other day and I guess I carried him differently than my husband does, because now he insists that I carry him "like a baby" after his bath.

Love You Forever was the first picture book that I featured on Marko Monday, and it's a book that Marko and I are going to treasure for years and years to come.  In honour of this throwback review, I've also decided to look at new and old photos of my little man.  It's crazy how much he's changed over the past couple of years!




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10/24/15

On End-of-the-Year Reading Blahs

Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I created a fun fall readathon (if you haven't signed up yet, go here -- we have very few entrants, so you have a really good chance of winning!)  Originally, it was a way to motivate ourselves to read more as the holidays approach, but lately I've come to realize why I get these end of the year reading blahs...

At the beginning of the year, it's a fresh start.  New reading challenges, new Goodreads reading goal and an entire 12 months of reading stretched out before me.  Armed with my bookish resolutions, I aim high and just read and read and read.  As the year draws to a close, I find myself getting a bit overwhelmed with everything that I want to read and I know that I don't have enough days left in the year to read it all!  Instead of just reading as much as I can, I find myself not reading at all.

Of course, I'm also back at school this year, which eats up some of my time.  Honestly, after starting at my Organizational Behaviour textbook for an hour, sometimes I just relax and watch some TV or surf the net for a bit before heading to bed to read.  I've been reading one chapter a day for the past couple of weeks, which has resulted in me making my way through A Discovery of Witches, but very slowly.  I'm enjoying the book, don't get me wrong, but I think that part of me thought that I'd gobble up the whole series, plus the Mara Dyer trilogy, plus the rest of the Saga books, and maybe another book or two before the end of the year.  Now I'm looking at the calendar, realizing that November is only a week away, and it seems too daunting to read all of that in two months!  Over the summer, I was reading six to eight books per month, and now I'm looking at a book or two per month.  I think that my reading has definitely slowed down.

Although at times this is frustrating because I do want to read all of the things, I also have to remind myself sometimes that it's quality over quantity.  Yes, I read lots over the summer, but most of the books that I read were contemporaries which generally are faster reads for me.  At the moment, I'm halfway through a historical paranormal book, which is beautifully written and the storyline is intricate, so I can't fly through it the same way I'd fly through a young adult or new adult contemporary.  And that's okay, because sometimes it is nice to slow down and just enjoy a book for what it is.

How about you?  Do you find that your reading changes during the fall and winter months?  Have you signed up to participate in our fall reading challenge?  It runs right until the end of December, so there's lots of time left to participate.  Join us -- I'm hoping to read more than I have so far, but I'm also okay with not reading that much if that's where my reading journey takes me =)

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10/23/15

Friday Favourite - The Truth About Forever

It's been a while since I shared one of these posts, mainly because I'm not really writing reviews much these days, but it is fun to share some thoughts on an older favourite!

It was the summer of 2004, the summer I met my husband, when I first discovered Sarah Dessen.  A co-worker read The Truth About Forever, and couldn't stop raving about it, so I picked it up.  I started reading it one afternoon and then completely ignored the world while I tore through this story, unable to put it down for a single moment.  I sobbed at the end, and spent the rest of the summer reading everything that Sarah Dessen had ever written.  I remain a huge fan today -- this woman can WRITE.

If you haven't yet experienced a Sarah Dessen novel, this is a great one to pick up, since it was my first and spurred a lifelong love of all things Dessen.  It's a beautiful story and an example of what great YA contemporary is.

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10/19/15

On Unpopular Opinions

I've seen this book tag around on YouTube, and thought it looked like fun.  I feel like the black sheep every once in a while when it comes to some books, so I thought I'd compile it all into one post =)

1. A popular book or series that I didn't like:
I think I might be the only person in the world that didn't fall head over heels in love with Gayle Forman.  I read If I Stay before I started this blog, but had no interest in reading on with the series, nor have I had any interest in picking up any of her other books!

2. A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate, but I loved:
Wither had a lot of popular reviews, but everyone's opinion of the series tanked after the second book and dropped even further once the series wrapped up, but I loved the entire series.

3. An OTP that I wasn't a fan of:
Warner.  Ugh.

4. A popular genre that I hardly reach for:
I don't know if dystopians can still be considered a popular genre, but I think I'm dystopian-ed out.  I read WAY too many when I first started this blog, and have not been in the mood for one since then.

5. A popular character that I just didn't like:
Can I go with Warner again?

6. A popular author that I just can't get into:
Rainbow Rowell.  I know, I know, don't hate me!  I've actually read all of her books (with the exception of Carry On), and the only one that I really liked it Attachment.  I enjoyed Fangirl as well, but I skipped all of the fanfiction sections, so I feel like I really only read half the book.  Eleanor + Park was okay, as was Landline, but everyone seems to LOVE her books, and they're just okay in my opinion.

7. A popular book trope that I'm tired of seeing:
Love triangles.  No more, please and thank you!

8. A popular series that I have no interest in reading:
I did read the first one, but I have no interest in reading any more of Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits series.  I really thought I would like them, but not so much.

9. A movie/TV adaptation that I liked better than the book:
This might seem contrary to my first answer, but I did enjoy the movie version of If I Stay WAY more than the book.  The music in the movie really added to the story.

Do you have any of the same unpopular opinions as me?  Let me know in the comments below!

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10/15/15

Lose Time RRReading TBR Pile!

There's nothing that I enjoy more than making TBR lists, jars, piles, you name it!  Although I love to plan my reading, I rarely ever follow the lists that I set out for myself ... but that will never stop me from making 'em!

If you haven't already seen our launch post, Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I are hosting a fall-themed readathon that lasts the whole season, rather than just a week-long readathon.  We have prizes too, so please sign up and join us!  The sign-up post is here.

Here are the books that I'm planning to read ... if I can get to them all!

1. Read a book with a fall colour on the cover (red, orange, yellow or brown).
I read the first volume of the Saga series at the beginning of this year, and would like to read the rest of them before the end of the year.  The second volume just happens to have red on the cover!


2. Read a book and then watch the movie or TV adaptation.
I haven't decided if I'll complete this challenge, as there aren't any book to movie adaptations that I really want to see at this moment.  Although, I still haven't watched the Hobbit movies (I know, I know!) so I might catch up on those this fall.

3. Read a book that has been sitting on your shelf for more than a year.
I'm planning to finish Beautiful Disaster, which has been on my shelves for at least two years!

4. Read a book that was released this year.
This one will be either Winter, Fairest or Six of Crows!

5. Read a book from your favourite genre.
It's hard to decide what my favourite genre is these days!  A few years ago, I would have quickly answered dystopian, but lately I seem to be either contemporary or fantasy.

6. Read a book that is outside of your comfort zone.
Ideally, I'd finish A Feast of Crows, but I doubt that it going to happen!  I may count A Discovery of Witches for this challenge, as it's a book I wouldn't have picked up without Lauren's love of the series prompting me to do so.

7. Read a spooky book.
Mara Dyer -- this IS happening this year!

8. Read an ARC that's past its publication date.
I have a post about this from earlier this week, but I will catch up on ALL my ARCs and/or decide that I'm not going to read the ones that I haven't read thus far.

9. Read a book for a series that you are trying to catch up on.
Hopefully, the next two Saga books!

10. Reread a comfort book or a book you really loved and have been itching to reread.
I will likely begin the Mara Dyer series with a reread of the first book, as I liked it but can barely remember what happened!

11. Read a book that was recommended to you by someone else.
A Discovery of Witches!  And probably the next two as well!

12. Read a holiday/winter themed book.
Winter!  Which probably isn't winter themed, but it's CALLED Winter, so that counts for something, right?

What are you planning to read for the readathon?  Let me know in the comments below!

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10/14/15

On My Nightstand - October 14

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a weekly-ish feature that allows me to share what I'm currently reading, some thoughts on what I just finished reading and what's coming up next from my TBR pile!

Recently shelved as read:

I finished Leah Raeder's Black Iris.  There were moments where I absolutely loved the book, and others where I had no idea what the heck was going on.  By the end, it was a solid read, and I think I'd get more out of the book if I read it a second time.  Beautifully written, but the narrative was confusing at times.

On my nightstand:

I've been dying to read A Discovery of Witches for quite some time, and decided that it would be the perfect fall/October read!  It'll likely take me the rest of the month to finish this book, as I'm reading a bit less now that I'm back at school, but I'm enjoying it a lot so far!  It's been quite a while since I've read any adult fiction, so I'm enjoying that aspect.

Calling my name from the shelf:

Depending on how I feel when I finish A Discovery of Witches, I might just continue on with Shadow of Night, since I own that one already.  If I'm craving some YA afterwards, then I might just jump into the Mara Dyer series.  I'm still on the fence about re-reading book 1, or just jumping into book 2.

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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10/13/15

I'm a Bad Reviewer

Although I've posted before about saying no and bookish guilt, I have had this nagging feeling for a while now that I have to share.  I'm a bad reviewer.  Why, you ask?  There are three reasons:

1. I have five unread/unreviewed e-galleys on Edelweiss.
Seriously?  I can hear your eyebrows raising.  I know, I know, five is not that bad.  BUT, one of them I read last year (last November) to be exact, and I haven't reviewed it yet.  I loved it!  It was hilarious and a super cute Christmas-y read, but I forgot to write my review last December, and then it seemed odd to review a Christmas book after Christmas, and then it got to be so long since I read it that I forgot what happened.  The other four books have expired, but I have one of the four on hold at the library.

2. I have three unread/unreviewed e-galleys on Edelweiss.
I know, I know, this isn't even as bad as Edelweiss!  BUT, two of these books are from 2014 and, although I've borrowed them both from the library, I STILL haven't read them.  And I want to, I really do!  But there's just something about reading books with obligations lately that I have been wrestling with...

3. I have four unread/unreviewed finished copies from Random House.
This is where most of my guilt lies.  I am so grateful to have received these beautiful finished copies, and I honestly have read two of the four books, but have yet to write reviews for them.  One of them I read at the end of 2014, the second was in the last month.  I worry that Random House is going to take me off their blogger list because I suck at getting reviews written in a timely fashion.

Part of my problem is that I've pretty much stopped writing formal book reviews, and have been generally just adding a sentence or two of my thoughts in my On My Nightstand posts.  As a result, I'm a little out of practice when it comes to finding the words to share my thoughts!

I have a resolution though.  By the end of 2015, I'm going to work really hard at clearing out my backlog of unreviewed and unread titles.  You'll be seeing a few reviews coming up in the next couple of months, and I'm going to make some decisions on the unread titles, basically deciding if I'm still interested in reviewing these titles.  This way, in 2016, I can either say no to reviewing books altogether, or request and read/review right away, which is how I prefer to tackle my review copies anyways.

Do you struggle with review books?  Do you have any tips for me on how to manage my bookish guilt?  Let's chat in the comments below and, as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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