Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Newest Books on My Bookshelves

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome weekly meme from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

This took a while to actually figure out since I've been so bad lately at keeping up with my books on Goodreads! I did get everything sorted eventually, so here they are. This is a mix of physical books and e-books, but I didn't include any ARCs I've obtained recently. I've been so very good lately about not buying books when I can get them from the library or Scribd, so these books represent purchases going back to late April.

2. Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid (Newly obsessed with Penny Reid thanks to Joy from Joyous Reads!)

10. The Associated Press Stylebook 2013 (Because life isn't always fun and games)

What books have you recently added to your collection?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: First & Then by Emma Mills

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

     I am a huge fan of Jane Austen, but I tend to stay away from books that are described as Austen retellings. For Darkness Shows the Stars (a retelling of Persuasion) was the book to show me what I could be missing, so I'm trying to keep an open mind going forward. First & Then looks like a really great book, so I have high hopes that I will enjoy this "Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights" story.

From Goodreads: Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself. 
First & Then is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2015.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Hyped Books I Haven't Read (yet)

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome weekly meme from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

I will admit that I sort of had a hard time with this one, just because "most hyped" is a vague category. In my time reading book blogs (and now blogging myself), I've noticed that there are plenty of books that get a lot of hype when they first come out that don't have much staying power in the long run. Also, hyped by whom? I went with books that have been out for a least year that still get a fair amount of hype. I do plan to read most of these at some point, although there are a few that I'm not really worried about missing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Sherry Thomas's Elemental Trilogy has been a highlight of 2015 for me personally, so I'm especially excited to read The Immortal Heights!

From Goodreads: In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

June Round Up

Soo remember that time I planned to catch up on my "Currently Reading" list? Well, I think I did a pretty good job, although I didn't completely finish everything. As you can see below, I officially gave up on three books. There are two books in which I made progress, but still haven't finished, and one that I didn't even touch. And I made absolutely no progress on The Orchid Affair, but only because I had barely started it. I will confess that I read two books not on this list, but other than that I stayed pretty true to my plan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Tunes #4 - Tove Styrke

Top Ten Books I've Read This Year (so far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome weekly meme from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

I have a feeling that this week will see more than the average number of TTT posts with at least a few books over ten. I know my post has thirteen total! But I almost feel like two of them shouldn't count since I put two books each from two different series on the list.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

From Goodreads: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 Popsugar Challenge REWRITE

Back in the early days of 2015, I had a plan. I was going to do the Popsugar Reading Challenge, and then I proceeded to pick out all 52 books based on my mood at that time. Now that we are nearing the half-way point for 2015, I thought it would be prudent to take a look at the challenge and see how I'm doing. Not surprisingly, in addition to reading a handful of the books from my challenge, I have also read a boatload of other books. And a lot of these books happen to fill criteria for this challenge, so I figured I would make my life a little simpler, and just substitute books where I see fit.

2015 Reading Challenge
Editing my original list

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Fun

CA family (minus Kathy), L-R: Me, Riley, Laurie, Dad, Holly, Grandma
ME family, L-R: Abby, Me, Mom, Holly, James, Laurie, Grandma

Happy Father's Day to my super awesome dad & step-dad, as well as any other dads out there! I don't actually get to spend today with either of them, since my dad (Rick) is in California, where he lives, and my mom and step-dad (James) are visiting my aunt and uncle in Barcelona.

Growing up as a bookworm, both my dad and James were great about making sure I had all the books I could handle: my dad repeatedly let me buy books from the Scholastic catalog that came home with me throughout the school year, and James would take us to the library about once a week when we spent our summers in Maine. I'm so thankful that both of my fathers are readers (as are my mom and step-mom), because kids really do look up to their parents in the hopes of mimicking them. I had great examples to look up to! 

I thought it would be fun for Father's Day to ask them both a bunch a questions about their reading habits going way back, so here are their answers!

Name: Rick
Age: 56
Occupation: Small business owner

What book are you currently reading (or what is the most recent book you read)? Soldier XVII by Todd Brooks.
I like action adventure type of books in general and this book fits the category, except this is a Christian perspective of a soldier/spy. I won't tell you how the story ends since I don't know, the second book will continue where this one stops. Written by a Christian man who was kind enough to invite Laurie to live with his family while she finished college. Todd Brooks lives the kind of Christian life he writes about.

What is your favorite genre? Action adventure.  I also like biographies, particular biblical biographies.
​Like many guys, I like the doing things, battling evil, with character development to contrast the two.​

Do you have a favorite author? John MacArthur

My mother was a teacher and she would get Burroughs' publisher to donate paperback books to her school and I would get to read them all as well. 
Plus every summer vacation, my mom would encourage/require us to read twenty books
​, so that was a good time to access those which she had at her school.  The ones I liked a lot she would recommend them to her students.  Since she taught at a public school for​ boys that was their last chance to stay in the LA city school district (most were placed by the legal system in minimal security boys "home" next door to the school).  So I don't get that connection.

What was your favorite book growing up?​I grew up going to library every week, reading all the time.  The local library was very familiar to me and I would scan the shelves for ​books that would pique my interest. So, Tarzan/John Carter of Mars series, Hobbit/Rings trilogy and fictional sports books.  I read these books 5 times or so.
As a teenager, I got to the point of playing sports all the time instead of reading about them.

Do you have a favorite fictional character? No favorite 
really, but if I was forced to choose one it would be ​John Carter of Mars.

Do you re-read books you love? Yes, if it is a good book I read it at least twice​.  Many books are read 5 or 6 times.

When and where do you like to read? I love to read during "leisure" time.  Which often as an adult I have none of, but that requires I reorient my reading to priority items.  I try to read some Bible in the mornings. I really like being in a Bible study group, so I usually do that reading during my lunch hour. That is more likely a digital copy on my computer than a physical book.

Do you use an e-reader or tablet? If not, would you ever consider using one for reading? I do have a tablet and a number of books on it.  The genre of these books is "free" and interesting to me. 

What do you do if you start a book but can't get into it? Finish it? Or set it aside and look for something better? If it is an unfamiliar author, I might set it aside for a time but will get back to it two or three times.  A familiar author I probably keep going.

What makes you decide to read a book (recommendations, looks good at the bookstore, etc.)? Either they are gifts, or sometimes my family (they go to library every week) will bring me a book.  Otherwise I try to read something that my 15 yr old is reading, like the Maze Runner books.​

Name: James
Age: 49
Occupation: Art Teacher

What book are you currently reading (or what is the most recent book you read)? 'Transhuman' by Ben Bova

What is your favorite genre? Science Fiction

What are your top three favorite books?'Neverwhere', 'Anansi Boys', 'Stardust'.

Do you have a favorite author? Neil Gaiman.

What was your favorite book growing up? 'Tarzan of the Apes' -Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Do you have a favorite fictional character? Tarzan.

Do you re-read books you love? Yes.

When and where do you like to read? In the classroom, and at night before bed.

Do you use an e-reader or tablet? If not, would you ever consider using one for reading? Nope. Nope.

What do you do if you start a book but can't get into it? Finish it? Or set it aside and look for something better? If it doesn't tickle my fancy in the first 100 pages I abandon it.

What makes you decide to read a book (recommendations, looks good at the bookstore, etc.)? Looks good at the bookstore, or it's an author I'm familiar with that I wish to pursue.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: River Road by Carol Goodman

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Carol Goodman has been one of my favorite authors since I was in high school, which I wrote about last Thursday, so it's only fitting that I feature her next standalone thriller today.

From Goodreads: From the award-winning author of The Lake of Dead Languages comes a chilling new psychological thriller about a professor accused of killing her favorite student in a hit-and-run accident.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday, AKA My TBR for July/August

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome weekly meme from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish
This week's prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is 'Top Ten Books on my TBR for Summer 2015,' but since I've posted twice this month about my June TBR (here and here), I figured I would just go ahead and post my TBR for July & August (read: way more than 10).

Monday, June 15, 2015

June TBR Check-In

June has officially been the month of cleaning up my "Currently Reading" and "Need to Restart Piles," and since we have finally reached the middle of the month I thought it would be a good time to check in and report my progress. So without further ado, here's my original list:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday #4 - The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
Pages: 390
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: January 2, 2002
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In the evocative tradition of Donna Tartt’s first novel, The Secret History,comes this accomplished debut of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins. Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakeside school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories that will become a living nightmare.

Since freshman year, Jane and her two roommates, Lucy Toller and Deirdre Hall, were inseparable–studying the classics, performing school girl rituals on the lake, and sneaking out after curfew to meet Lucy’s charismatic brother Matt. However, the last winter before graduation, everything changed. For in that sheltered, ice-encrusted wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of senseless suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden for more than two decades in the dark depths of Heart Lake. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Yesterday's Top Ten Tuesday post was all about 2015 books that we are still waiting for, but I've also got my eye on quite a few books scheduled for a 2016 publication. One of these books is The Forgotten Room, by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig. You might recognize a couple of those names from yesterday's post, since Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig each have two books coming out later this year (I just realized they kind of dominated yesterday's post!). 

P.S. I Still Love You - Review

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Pages: 337
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Genre: YA/Contemporary

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing. 

My Thoughts: 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Tunes #2 - Summer Concerts

I love listening to music as much as I love reading, and buying tickets to concerts is one of my favorite ways to spend money! I am planning on several fun shows, so I thought I'd share with you some of the music I'll be hearing live.

The first event on my schedule is the 42nd Annual 2015 Old Port Festival, scheduled for this coming Sunday, June 14. This whole day is so much fun; Portland's Old Port is closed off to all traffic, and the neighborhood turns into this huge party with food, music, and various activities for kids. There are vendors from many of Portland's favorite restaurants and food trucks, as well as booths with local artists and artisans, and there are live music stages set up across a several-block radius. I've already planned out which stages I need to be at throughout the afternoon to catch the artists I want to see: Jacqui Lee, Andrew McMahon, Rachel Platten, The Veronicas, and Spose. I'm so lucky to live in such a great city, and I am very excited to see such a high-quality line up at no cost! As of right now, the forecast calls for a sunny Sunday with a high of 74 deg., but these things can change pretty rapidly in New England, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome weekly meme from the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

     There are so many books that have already been released this year that I haven't read yet, so I'm a little daunted by the quality of the books scheduled for release in the latter half of this year. It was really hard to narrow the list down to only 10 favorites, and it would be really hard to list them in any order other than the one in which they are scheduled for release. And here they are!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome meme brought to us by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish.

I have pretty mixed feelings about adaptations. Sometimes they're wonderful, like Harry Potter, Call the Midwife, and a good chunk of the series from Masterpiece Classics. On the other hand, some of my favorite favorite books have been slaughtered, like Ella Enchanted and Ender's Game. And sometimes I can't really decide how I feel: I loved Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and my whole family went to see it in theaters, but there were definitely parts of the movie that did not track at all with the book. But overall, I still enjoyed it! I know it can be tricky to adapt a book for movies/TV, and I definitely don't want any of these adapted just for the sake of having the movie or TV show. I only want them if they are done right!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Struggle to Finish Books

I have a problem. I realized it this morning while I was fighting with the stupid Scribd app, trying to download a stupid audiobook. Fine, the book is NOT stupid - it's The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig (book 8 in the Pink Carnation series, which I happen to love). The Scribd app routinely raises my blood pressure, so I'm totally ok sticking with "stupid" on that count. But the problem I'm writing about has nothing to do with Scribd. I realized that the book I was downloading was the fourth audiobook I have saved on my phone. That seems excessive, especially since I can only listen to one at a time. And then that got me thinking: I have EIGHT (8!!!) books on my "currently reading" shelf on Goodreads! I just took another look at them, and apparently I am over 60% finished with half of them. Why, oh why, must I continue to start new books instead of finishing whatever books I'm already reading? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Characters I want to Check in With

Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome meme brought to us all by the clever ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

I love love love stories that end on a happy note. Sometimes life is really tough, and things don't always go the way we want, so I especially enjoy books with a happy ending for characters to whom I've become attached. But as much as I like neat little endings, I also want to know how the rest of their lives go!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday #4 - The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Pages: 273

Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Genre: Magical Realism
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, my grubby little hands (they're not really grubby... I wash them all the time) are itching for a copy of Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins! I just finished Rebel Belle earlier this week, so I'm especially looking forward to April 7 now!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday #3 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Series: The Ender Quintet #1
Pages: 324
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: 1985
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Gifted (paperback) & Purchased (Kindle edition)

Synopsis (from Goodreads)In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Discuss - Super Repetitive Tropes

     The other day as I was taking a shower, I suddenly thought about the fact that a good chunk of the books I've read so far in 2015 have been sort of repetitive. Why I was thinking about this in the shower, I couldn't tell you. Probably because it's the one place I can't take my laptop/phone/kindle/book. BUT ANYWAY, about these  repeating tropes. I've read quite a few books this year featuring a main character who finds out she has magical powers that she has to learn how to use, often learning along the way that everything she thought she understood about her life was either a cover-up or an outright lie. I know, this is a time-honored story line (think Harry Potter, just to start), but I still think the current YA market is overrun with this particular trope.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

     Happy Wednesday, party people! This is my first time joining the WoW fun! So very exciting for me! :) So for my first ever WoW, I am shining the spotlight on The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Here's the Goodreads synopsis:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome meme brought to us all by the clever ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

     This happens to be a running list that I always have going in the back of my mind... those books that I read in ye olden days that I just loved to pieces and want to add to my shelves. I even have a wishlist on Amazon devoted to these books, which was helpful in coming up with this list. And this week I only have eight, since a lot of my childhood and teen favorites (Ella Enchanted, Ender's Game, Anne of Green Gables, Song of the Lioness Quartet, Protector of the Small series) are books that I continue to re-read somewhat regularly to this day and don't necessarily need to be rediscovered or whatever.

Back to Blogging

Last 20 books I've read according to my Goodreads challenge page.

      Sooo.... In case you hadn't noticed, I sort of took an impromptu break from blogging. It snuck up on me, really; one day I was posting about my blogging and reading goals for 2015, and then all of a sudden we are at the end of March with nary a post in the meantime. But now I am back and feeling refreshed and somewhat more goal-oriented than before.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Challenges

Up until this year, the only reading challenge I've ever done was the Goodreads challenge. I thought I'd branch out a (teeny) bit more this year, so I'm including the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge and the 2015 Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't at all nervous, but I am definitely game.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

End of the Year Book Survey

     Happy 2015! I love this 2014 Survey courtesy of Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner. It's the perfect way to look back at all the books I read in 2014.