On My Nightstand - October 7

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 finally, finally finished Queen of Shadows!  It was beautiful, wonderful, perfect and heartbreaking, just like all of the other books have been thus far.  This series is truly perfection, utter perfection.

I also listened to Rainbow Rowell's Landline on audio.  It was okay; Rainbow's books are really hit and miss with me.  It was really slow in some parts, a lot of parts actually, but I did like the concept and the execution of the story.

On my nightstand:

I'm almost finished with Leah Raeder's Black Iris.  I'm thinking of suggesting this for my book club's next pick because, honestly, I'm not sure what the heck is happening in this book!  It has an unreliable narrator, and the timeline keeps flipping back and forth, so I'm getting a bit confused.  Leah's writing is absolutely spectacular though, which is definitely why I keep reading.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I gave myself a goal of five books this month, but we're already a week in and I've barely finished one!  Beautiful Disaster and The Young Elites are both books that I have started this year, but put aside in favour of something different.  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and A Discovery of Witches are both the first book in a series that I want to read so badly.  Plus, they both feel very October-esque.  Thoughts?

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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Lose Time RRReading Readathon -- Fall Edition

Lose Time RRReading Readathon

Welcome to the Lose Time RRReading Readathon, co-hosted by Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads. We were inspired to create this readathon for a few reasons. First, our reading seems to slow down as the holidays approach, and we wanted a fun incentive to keep our reading alive as the holidays approach. Second, we always see week-long readalongs all over the blogosphere, but we're two busy people and reading a book a day sounds like fun, but just isn't realistic. So then we thought: what if we hosted a readalong that lasts a whole season? And the Lose Time RRReading Readathon was born!

We'd love for you to join us on this reading adventure, and will be offering prize(s) at the end! To join, simply add your sign-up post to the Rafflecopter below and start reading! You'll have the option for lots of entries as the readathon progresses, so read at your own pace and see how many of the challenges you can complete!

The Challenges

1. Read a book with a fall colour on the cover (red, orange, yellow or brown).
2. Read a book and then watch the movie or TV adaptation.
3. Read a book that has been sitting on your shelf for more than a year.
4. Read a book that was released this year.
5. Read a book from your favourite genre.
6. Read a book that is outside of your comfort zone.
7. Read a spooky book.
8. Read an ARC that's past its publication date.
9. Read a book for a series that you are trying to catch up on.
10. Reread a comfort book or a book you really loved and have been itching to reread.
11. Read a book that was recommended to you by someone else.
12. Read a holiday/winter themed book.

Sign Up & Giveaway!

(Open internationally as long as The Book Depository delivers to you with free shipping!)
Please read all terms and conditions located in the Rafflecopter, we reserve the right to disqualify entries that don't follow the terms & conditions.

You can add the button to your blog or social media site using the below code!
Lose Time RRReading
And that's all... simply link up using the Rafflecoptor and get to reading!
Any questions? Please comment on the post or get in touch with either Lauren or myself via any of our social media & blogs :)

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September Wrap-Up!

Fall is officially here in my part of the world, but I've been loving the crisp, cool, sunny days!  We've also had our fair share of rain, which was long overdue and greatly needed.  School is back in session -- but more on that later in this post.  First, the books!

The Books

Books Read: 8 (Never Too Far, Forever Too Far, Something Strange & Deadly, Queen of Shadows)
One of these books was an older book off my shelves, but the rest were purchased this year.  I took my time with Queen of Shadows (it took me almost all month to read!) but I enjoyed just savouring it, especially knowing that I'm going to be waiting another year for the next installment of this incredible story!

Books Acquired: 2 (Queen of Shadows and Lux: Consequences)
I have acquired a total of 25 books so far this year, and have already read 16 of them, so only 9 acquired and unread books -- still pretty proud of myself!  Next year, I may have to count my e-books in this total as well, because that might make the total a bit higher ... eeek!

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +16 (two points for each of the series books that I read, plus I'm giving myself 10 points for completing Blaire and Rush's story, even though I know that the series still goes on and on -- I don't plan to read any more, so I'm giving myself the points!)
Flights of Fantasy: +1 for Queen of Shadows!
TBR Challenge: +1 for Something Strange and Deadly for a total of 15 books so far this year.  I had been aiming for 30, but I don't think I'm going to make it there this year.  I'm going to focus on books that I own for the rest of the year, and see what happens.  

The Blog

It was a pretty quiet month blog-wise, and most of my posts were Top Ten Tuesday lists (authors that I've read the most, finished series that I haven't read yet, and, of course, my fall TBR pile!)   I also shared a small book haul.

I've also been struggling with the direction in which to take my blog.  As soon as I start to write a post that takes my blog in a different direction, I start to worry about where my blog has been and how I'm going to tie it all together.  In this cathartic post about new beginnings, I vowed to stop worrying about all that, and just approach each new blog post as a new start, rather than worrying about what came before.

The Other Stuff

Work is still busy, but starting to calm down.  We have our performance reviews next month, so I'm excited!  Plus, I started a new course that is part of a certificate in Human Resources Management, which will ultimately allow me to get into HR.  I've had a complicated career path thus far (I should totally write a blog post about that!), but I've basically spent the last eight years in office administration, and I want to get into more of a management role which will ultimately mean a higher income.  I live in the most expensive part of Canada, and we want to buy a house one day, so I'm focusing my efforts on increasing my earning potential.

Otherwise, we've just been enjoying the crisp sunny days by spending as many evenings and weekends outside as humanly possible.  Once "winter" hits in my part of the world, it's just dreary rainy days for weeks on end, which means we'll have lots of puddle jumping and indoor time ahead of us.

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

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Marko Monday [17]

It's been quite a few months since I shared one of these posts, but Marko had a few months where he was less into reading than he used to be.  It's likely due to the warmer summer months and we were spending more time outside and less time at home, but now that the weather's turning colder and the days are getting shorter, he's happy to curl up with a pile of books when we get home from work.  I also re-arranged some of his things in our house, and I find that his interest is reinvigorated when his toys and things are in different spots.  I moved his little chair and added a bin full of books, and he was content to sit in his chair and read book after book.  Then, we came home from Costco with a big box which, of course, had to be transformed into a car with his chair inside as the driver's seat.  Now, he's perfectly content to read inside his new car!  Forgive the terrible lighting, but I had to snap a quick pic to share...

As I shared in my August wrap-up, we finished with potty training last month, and Marko has done incredibly well!  We're still a ways away from him being diaper-free at night as well, but I'm just blown away by how quickly he picked it all up.

Marko has been back into dinosaurs lately, and his current favourite bedtime story is Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?  This book has gorgeous illustrations, and I love that there are so many details for him to look at in the pictures.  The dinosaurs start off naughty and not wanting to go to bed, but then finally settle down and say goodnight.  It's perfect for this stage in his life, where we're really working on listening and doing what has been asked.  Marko always says, "That a bad dinosaur, not listening to Mama!" when we read the story -- it's super cute.

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Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Although I almost never read what I had planned to read, I do enjoy putting these posts together.  As summer draws to a close, I find my attention shifting away from the fun, summery contemporaries and towards some more fall-ish titles.  I crave fantasy, mystery, thriller, paranormal and scary stories as the days get shorter and the nights get chilly.  My sister bought me a Harry Potter snuggie this year, and I can't wait to curl up underneath its coziness with a big mug of tea and one of these delicious reads...

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
2. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
3. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I loved the first book when I read it back in 2012, but I can barely remember the plot at all.  I would like to re-read the first book, and then binge read the rest of the series.  

4. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
5. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
These books have been calling my name from the shelf for a few months now, but I wanted to wait until fall to really savour them.  Of course, if I love them as much I hope that I will, I will definitely rush out to the bookstore to pick up the third book, but I only have these two on my shelves at the moment.

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I gobbled up the entire Grisha trilogy earlier this year, and I can't wait for more of this work and Leigh's beautiful writing.

7. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
I've had this book sitting on my shelves for over a year, and I need an unputdownable read in my life.

8. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
I'm a bit scared to try this one out, since I couldn't get into Jellicoe Road and so many people love all things Melina Marchetta.  But I'm also hopeful that I'll love this series too, so I want to give it a try.

9. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
I started reading this before my copy of Queen of Shadows arrived, and I want to finish it before the year is over.  I'm enjoying it -- it's not blowing me away, but still a fun contemporary.

10. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
This is another one that I started, but haven't finished yet.  It was too summery and nice for this darker story, so I set it aside, but I was liking it and definitely want to pick it back up.  Plus, I think the sequel is out soon-ish?

Do you find that your reading tastes change when the weather gets colder?  If so, what kind of books do you like to read in the fall?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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Book Haul [20]

It's been quite a long time since I last did a book haul, and the last haul featured almost exclusively library books!  This time, it's a mix of purchased and borrowed books, but I'm excited for them all!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
I pre-ordered this one, but was really bummed when it didn't arrive before the long weekend.  Well, technically, it arrived on Friday morning, but we'd already headed for the ferry, so I didn't get to start it until we got home.  I'm still slowly making my way through this book, and enjoying every moment of it!

Consequences (Opal & Origin) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I read, and enjoyed the first two books in this series, and also picked up the final book on my last Book Outlet order.  I needed to add one more book to my order in order to get free shipping on Queen of Shadows, so figured I'd grab this one and hopefully finish the series soon!

Saga Volumes 3, 4 and 5 - Brian K. Vaughn (illustrated by Fiona Staples)
I read, and enjoyed, the first book in this graphic novel series at the beginning of this year, but was recently nudged towards picking up the rest of this series when Lauren @ Lose Time Reading told me that she had loved them too.  I feel like I'm a bit behind in my fantasy and series reading this year, due to months of so many standalones, so banging out this series will help me catch up a bit, plus I'm looking forward to getting back into a graphic novel again!

What's new on your shelves this week?  Let me know in the comments below, and leave me a link to your hauls if you have posted some!  Also, this is totally random, but I just noticed that all of these authors have middle initials -- is that a new thing these days?  Or just a coincidence?

Hope you've all had a great weekend!

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On My Nightstand - September 16

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've tucked A Feast of Crows aside for the next while, since my audiobook expired and the weather was too summery for such a heavy fantasy.  I'll pick this one up again soon though!  I also couldn't get into Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey -- maybe because I'm used to her adult books?  I just found it a bit too juvenile and silly.

With the continuation of the summery weather into September (but the evenings are chilly and wonderful!), I gobbled up the first three books in Abbi Glines' Rosemary Beach series.  I haven't read books that fast in a long, long time -- three books in four days!  They were such fun, lighthearted reads.

I also finished I Am Malala for my September book club meeting -- so good!  I listened to it on audio, which led an excellent authenticity to the story.  I can't wait to talk about this one with the rest of my book club.

Finally, I finished Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, which I started about a month ago (but put down in favour of the Rosemary Beach books).  It was good, not amazing, but good.  I'm on the fence about continuing with the rest of the series.  I feel like I did about The Madman's Daughter -- everyone else loved it, but I was kind of underwhelmed?  I think it might be the fact that books set in the Victorian era aren't really my thing?

On my nightstand:

I realize that September is half over, but I am still savouring Queen of Shadows.  When I first picked it up, I had planned to just devour it, but then realized that I'd rather savour the story since it's going to be at least a year until I get to enjoy more of this wonderful story.

Calling my name from the shelf:

I have been wanting to pick up Leah Raeder's Black Iris for a couple of months now, and I think it'll be a good change in genre after what I imagine will be the ultimate heartbreak/book hangover that Queen of Shadows will provide.  Plus, this cover?  GORGEOUS!

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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