Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Haul [10]

Happy Saturday everyone!  I wasn't going to do a book haul post this month, because I honestly didn't think there were many new titles on my shelves, but I actually do have quite a few new books to share!

For my birthday (which was last month), I pre-ordered Dreams of Gods & Monsters.  Oh, was it worth the wait!  I didn't realize that Chapters was doing an "Indigo Exclusive" so my copy came with a signed drawing of Karou in the back!  And I needed to add another $8 or so to my order to get free shipping, so I added the paperback release of Dark Triumph, even though I haven't yet read Grave Mercy.  I just have a feeling that I'm going to like the series!

I signed up for Epic Recs a while back and, even though I haven't posted about it on the blog, I've been paired with a fellow new mom who's an avid reader!  We've bonded over Goodreads messages, but she doesn't have a blog.  Last summer, I had a major case of the blogging blahs and one of the things that's helped is allowing myself to read and enjoy books without forcing myself to review them.  My Epic Recs books have been just that.  I've only read one book so far, and it was a hit, but I just picked up Tamara's lastest recommendation, The Husband's Secret, from the library.  I'm not sure that I'll have time to get to Roomies and The Sea of Tranquility before they're due back (all three are short loans -- grrr!) but I'll try!

I have no new e-galleys in the last month!  I'm getting caught up on what I already have for review and trying to read all my summer books so that I can see if there are any fall releases that I'm interested in reading!  I'm hopelessly behind on watching Epic Reads' Tea Time since I had to focus all my attention on getting my schoolwork finished, but I'm hoping to get caught up on the missed episodes in the next week or so.  It's through Tea Time that I find out which e-galleys I might be interested in downloading!

BUT, Random House sent me a list of their April releases and I chose The Here and Now (which I've heard mixed reviews about already, but at least it's short!) and All My Puny Sorrows (I LOVED A Complicated Kindness when I read it years ago).  I can't wait to read both of these!

What about you?  What's new on your shelves lately?  Leave me a comment below!

Friday, April 11, 2014

If We Were Having Coffee... [2]

Last year, I shared my first "If We Were Having Coffee" post, inspired by Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner's post of the same name.  I've been itching to do another one ever since.  So grab your coffee, or other beverage of choice, and let's chat!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I'm absolutely loving my new job!  Although there has already been a tiny bit of office drama (seriously, are there ANY drama-free offices out there?), I really like that my office has a great support system in place to deal with any conflicts.  The office that I left, in retrospect, is quite dysfunctional in that aspect....things are just swept under the rug and not dealt with by management, which creates a cesspool of negativity for the rest of the office to work in.  It's not healthy, and I'm happier than ever that I'm no longer in that environment.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that, despite what I wrote above, I'm also a little sad that a few of my favourite co-workers (and my former boss) seem to have no desire to stay in touch with me.  I've sent a few e-mails, stating that I'd really like to stay in contact, only to receive rather chilly responses or, in my former boss' case, no response at all.  Although I know in my heart that these were colleagues, and not really friends, it's still hurtful that I've just been shut out of their lives.  I'm certain that it has to do with the fact that I didn't go back to work, but it's also a bit frustrating that they didn't care to ask for my side of the story as to WHY I didn't go back.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I still have moments where I feel my blogging blahs from last summer coming back.  I'm trying to focus on the positive and make sure that blogging stays fun for me, but there are moments where I sometimes wonder WHY I'm spending all this time and energy working on the blog.  For every moment that I feel this way, there are usually more positive moments, like the thoughtful and super sweet comments that show up or a message on Twitter.  A big heartfelt thank you to those of you who do read my blog -- it means a lot to me!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that I'm so happy to be done with school for the summer!  I wrote my exam this week and am now looking forward to four blissful months with no homework!  I can't wait to spend some of this time reading!

If we were having coffee...I'd take a moment to ask you what's new in YOUR life?  Have you read anything sensational lately?  Please leave me a comment below!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life of a Blogger - Food

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is going to make me hungry ... it's food!  I'm a pretty easygoing eater and I eat mostly everything, with just a few exceptions:

  • Indian curry.  Blech.  Even the smell makes me gag.  I don't mind Thai curry though (red or green), it's just the yellow curry that I can't stand.
  • Liver.  This stems from my mother not letting my sister and I leave the dinner table until we'd cleared our plates.  The longer we sat, the colder that liver got.  It doesn't go down any easier when it's cold, let me tell ya.
  • Mixing sweet and savoury, like sweet 'n' sour.  If something's sweet, it should be sweet, and the same goes for savoury.  Mixing the two is a strange taste to me.  With the exception of Hawaiian pizza -- yum!
  • Cilantro.  I'm just not a fan of the taste, and I find it overpowers whatever it's in, so all I can taste is the cilantro.
  • Raw onions.  I used to be fine with raw onions, but I couldn't stand the smell or the taste when I was pregnant and, although I don't mind the smell now, I still haven't been able to eat them.  I'm fine when they're cooked though -- we put onions in everything!
Yup, there's not too much that I won't eat!  In terms of what I do like, I love to try new things, but I'm a bit fan of flavourful food.  I don't like things insanely hot, but a little spice goes a long way for me.  I love soul foods, like stews and pasta, good soups, sushi, donairs and we've recently been addicted to pho (Vietnamese food).  It's almost cheaper than cooking at home!

What about you?  What are some of your favourite foods?  Or least favourite foods?  Leave me a comment below!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WWW - April 9

Happy Wednesday Everyone!  W...W...W...Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

What are you currently reading?
I have far too many books on the go!  I'm reading Josin L. McQuien's Arclight, which is good, but a little confusing, and I've just jumped back into Anne Blankman's Prisoner of Night and Fog after setting it aside for a bit.  Finally, I'm listening to Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero on audio.

What did you recently finish reading?
On audio, Jojo Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind and in physical format Trish Doller's Where the Stars Still Shine.  For review, I just finished Chris Bohjalian's Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.

What do you think you'll read next?
For review books, I'm not too sure.  I'm trying to read them in publication order, but somehow keep jumping into the July releases -- oops!  I will also be picking up Julianna Baggott's Burn very, very soon -- hopefully this weekend!

What are YOU reading this week?  Please leave me a comment below!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Girl You Left Behind - Jojo Moyes

Last year, I read and fell head over heels in love with Me Before You.  The story was heart-wrenching and beautifully written, which was mainly due to Jojo Moyes' incredible storytelling skills but also due to my deeply personal connection to the story.  I knew that I had to try another of Jojo's books, so when I saw that The Girl You Left Behind was available on audio at the library, I jumped right in.

Jojo Moyes has now secured a spot on my list of favourite authors of all time.  Seriously, this woman can do no wrong.  From the opening sentences of the book, I was drawn into an absolutely captivating story.  Told in alternating viewpoints between Sophie in WWI German-occupied France and Liv in present day London, England, the story is a whirlwind adventure of love, life, strength, friendship and sacrifice.  My experience with the story might have been a touch more special, since I also got to benefit from alternating narrators: Sophie was narrated by a woman with a beautiful French accent, and Liv by another narrator with a perfect English accent. 

Honestly, I don't want to spoil the storyline for you, so I won't say much more.  I would listen on my drive to and from work and, if I arrived a bit early, I'd sit in my car and listen for a little bit longer.  At work, I volunteered to take on a really grubby task of sorting through archived storage boxes, mainly since I could pop in headphones and listen to some more of this story.  It's heartwarming, rich in complexity and is pretty much literary perfection.  I will be checking out more of Jojo's work FOR SURE!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Life of a Blogger - Handwriting

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat has just started this awesome new feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Series Spotlight - April Edition

Welcome to the April edition of the Series Spotlight!  This is a monthly feature where we'll highlight some of our anticipated series books that are releasing this month, as well as which series are on our TBR piles for this month!


Laini Taylor's Dreams of Gods & Monsters (release date: April 8)
I re-read Daughter of Smoke & Bone in February, and then finally read Days of Blood & Starlight last month ... I am SO EXCITED for this book.  I've already pre-ordered a copy, and will be eagerly waiting for the mailman to deliver it!  Plus, this series is going to look so beautiful on my shelves!


I know I've highlighted Requiem already, but didn't actually read it in February like I thought I would.  BUT it will happen this month!  (I hope).  I have already borrowed Burn from the library (and renewed it once), so this will also happen this month!  After reading these three series enders, I think I'm going to reward myself by choosing a NEW series to start -- I'm thinking Arclight, since the sequel releases this month?

What about you?  What's on your TBR pile this month?  Let me know in the comments below!
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