3/31/17

March Wrap-up!


The Books

Books Read: 14 (The Mothers, Girl Coming in for a Landing, The Tiger Rising, Freak the Mighty, A Little Something Different, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Little Knife, The Too-Clever Fox, the second and third Harry Potter novellas, Lips Touch, The Assassin's Blade, Gem & Dixie and Exit, Pursued by a Bear)
My ADSOReadathon TBR was 14 books, and I honestly didn't think that I could read that many.  Although I didn't read exactly the 14 books that I had planned to read, I did read the number that I had planned to read!  SUPER proud of myself this month.

Books Acquired: 1 (Strange the Dreamer)
Just the one pre-order!

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +4 (the novellas!)
TBR Challenge: +12 (all except The Mothers and Gem & Dixie)
Flights of Fantasy: +1 (Lips Touch)

The Blog

Definitely a quieter month on the blog, but I had a lot going on in the real world (more on that in the section below!)

 The Other Stuff

First of all, let me just tell you that I AM SO READY FOR SPRING.  We've had the snowier and colder winter than any other year, and I am so done with the white stuff.  It even snowed in early March.  MARCH!  On the West Coast of Canada, we generally get a couple of cm of snow in early December, maybe a week or two of chilly weather, but it just rains for the majority of the season.  This year we had weeks and weeks of snow, and weather so cold that the snow never melted!  I'm ready for rain, sunshine, cherry blossoms, daffodils and tulips -- bring on the balmy spring weather!

We started some more renovations in our house and are currently close to completing the addition of a bathroom in our basement.  The house came with the plumbing roughed in, but we had to do the rest.  Or our contractor did actually, but it was fun to learn a little bit about construction along the way!  I'm writing my final exam for my course in early April, and am already looking forward to having a break from school to A) read a ton and B) deep clean my house from all of the renovation dust that has spread into every little nook and cranny!

Finally, the highlight of the month is that I found a new job!  Since we moved, the commute has been less than ideal, with a drive, a train and a bus ride in order to get to work.  Plus, I've been wanting to move into more of a managerial role, and there weren't any opportunities for advancement at my current workplace.  So, I started looking for something downtown, which is geographically further away from my home, but more accessible because there's a direct train that connects the outlying city where I live with the downtown core.  I found a job that will be challenging, but will also provide me with some growth opportunities, so I'm excited!  My first day will be April 3rd.

How about you?  Are you as ready for spring as I am?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year?  Thank you for stopping by =)

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3/16/17

ATSOReadathon -- Halfway Point!

It's hard to believe that we're already halfway through March, and halfway through the All the Short Ones Readathon, hosted by the lovely Jessica @ Novel Cravings.  I thought I'd take a moment to share the books that I've already read this month...

1. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
I honestly didn't know what this book was about, but as a mother I thought I'd like it.  It was a heartwarming, incredibly unique story and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

2. Girl Coming in a for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland
This was cute, but a bit too cute for my tastes.  It's a middle grade collection of poetry and was a quick, easy read.

3. The Tiger Rising by Kate diCamillo
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kate's books.  While this one wasn't as amazing as The Tale of Despereaux or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (two of my favourite books of ALL TIME), it was still a beautiful middle grade story.

4. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
I loved the movie when I watched it years ago, and have had the book collecting dust on my shelves for years.  It was great, and I enjoyed it, even if it didn't tug on my hearstrings the same way the movie did.

5. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
This is the only genuine disappointment of the readathon so far.  The structure of this book was AWESOME -- told from nine (I think?) different perspectives, including a squirrel and a bench.  But I just couldn't get past the fact that everyone in the story only thought or talked about whether the two main characters (whose perspectives we do not see) are going to get together.

6. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This book slowed me down a little, as it's short but the content was a little heavier than the previous few books.  It was really different than I had expected (honestly, I wasn't too sure what to expect!) and I really, really enjoyed it.  Definitely glad that this readathon is motivating me to pick up books that I otherwise would have continued putting off!


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3/10/17

Spring TBR!

I didn't quite finish my winter TBR pile (just The Bone Season left) but I definitely plan to catch up and read these five books now that spring is here!

1. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
So, here's a funny thing -- I have a list of TBR books in my bullet journal, and I accidentally checked this off, when I meant to check off a different book.  So now I have to read it, like ASAP.

2. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
This book is on my All the Short Ones readathon TBR, so it'll be finished by the end of March.

3. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
4. Burn by Julianna Baggott
I'd like to knock a couple of series off my TBR list this season.

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I read, and loved, A Darker Shade of Magic last month, and I want to keep reading this series while it's fresh in my mind.

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3/7/17

Forever, or a Long Time - Caela Carter

I used to be a big middle grade reader, but slowly veered away when I discovered YA.  I've picked up a couple of middle grade books in the past few years and have been absolutely blown away, which has reminded me that these books can pack a serious punch, even if they're targeted at younger readers.  Forever, or a Long, Long Time is one of those books -- the cover looks sweet and innocent, but this book is heartfelt and heavy.

The story follows an older sister and younger brother who have been bounced around in the foster care system.  They have both been adopted into a loving blended family; however, they still bear the scars of their traumatic past.  Each sibling needs to learn to trust in the idea that this home is forever and relearn what family and love mean.

There were moments in this book that tore my heart out and moments where I was smiling through my tears.  Although the subject material may not be for everyone because of its triggering nature, the way these two children see the world is so unique.  I loved exploring the world through their eyes, and learning to trust the things that most of us take for granted.  The writing is beautiful, the characters are absolute perfection and the story is one that stuck with me long after I'd savoured the final pages.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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3/1/17

February Wrap-up!


The Books

Books Read: 4 (Forever or a Long, Long Time, Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic, Station Eleven)
A much quieter reading month, but I started back at school and have been trying to figure out a way to balance it all.  Plus, I took my time and savoured ADSOM and LOVED IT.

Books Acquired: 4 (Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic, A Little Life, A Gathering of Shadows)
Two Chapters trips this month -- oops -- plus a pre-order.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +1 (can I count Wires and Nerve?  I think so.)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Station Eleven)
Flights of Fantasy: +2 (Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic)

I still need to switch gears and focus on some series books and my TBR challenge, but I am proud of myself for already reading three of the ten fantasy books that I had planned to read this year!

The Blog

I started to write that it was a quiet month on the blog, and then remembered that I participated in the Love-a-thon this month, so it was actually quite busy!  I won't link up all the posts, just my introductory post.  This was my second year participating and I had a ton of fun, although I got sick halfway through the weekend, so I didn't get to do as much on Sunday as I had hoped.  I also read and reviewed my first book of poetry since my university days, The Princess Saves Herself in This One.  I loved The Hate U Give as much as I had hoped that I would!  I'm also looking forward to Novel Cravings' month-long readathon All the Short Ones, and planning to catch up a bit with my TBR pile challenge.

 The Other Stuff

OK, seriously, how is it March already?  I have a feeling that this is going to be the question that I ask each and every month -- time is just flying.

The highlight of the month, by far, was celebrating Marko's fourth birthday.  I should have shared a birthday post on the blog, but it was such an emotional week for me.  He came down with a low-grade fever the day before his birthday, and then I was a MESS at work the next day, worrying about him.  My co-worker offered me a ride home mid-day and I gratefully accepted, just feeling like I needed some Mama-Marko time.  I absolutely loved the afternoon that we spent together, just playing and hanging out.  He knew that I'd come home early as a special treat, and it was absolute bliss.  Next year, I'm definitely taking his birthday as a holiday from work -- I just felt like I needed to be with him that day.  Any other mamas feel that way?

The lowlight of the month was the stomach flu.  My husband came down with it on a Thursday evening, and we both called in sick on Friday, him because he was sick and me because I was sleep-deprived after being awake with him all night.  Then early Sunday morning, I succumbed to the flu, and ended up off work Monday as well.  We were so lucky that Marko didn't catch it, as neither of us have been that sick in a long, long time.  Thankfully, we're all healthy now, and hopeful that this is the end of the flu season for our family!  As a result, yoga has taken a bit of a back seat, but hoping to get back on that train in March.

How about your?  Have you stayed healthy so far this year?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year?  Thank you for stopping by =)


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