4/19/15

On Bookish Distractions

Reading is, and has always been, my favourite hobby.  Now that I'm a mom, and I work full-time, I have a lot less reading time than I used to.  Gone are the days of my childhood where I could spend hours a day with my nose buried in a book.  Now I'm a grown-up and I have other priorities, like cleaning the house, grocery shopping and paying bills.  Only after the chores are done for the day, and my son is tucked into bed for the night, do I have a blissful hour to myself to read before I head to bed.

Lately though, I've been distracted by other things.  Bookish things, but things that are taking away that precious reading time.  I'm sure that some of you share my bookish distractions, so I thought I'd confess them here:

  • BookTube.  I love the blogging community, but have lately discovered ANOTHER reading community on YouTube.  I love that this corner of the Internet is called BookTube, and have spent hours watching book hauls, unboxing, and TBR videos.  In fact, I started to feel like I was spending more time watching people talk about reading, than the time I actually spent reading!
  • Book Outlet.  Ever since my very first book order last month, I have spent a lot of time combing through the site, looking to see if there's any new books that I'd like to order.  I received a $5 coupon with my order, and I think it's burning a hole in my pocket!
  • Goodreads.  I don't spend a ton of time on Goodreads, but I do like popping on to see what my friends are reading, or have recently added to their TBRs.
  • Instagram.  I'm new to Instagram, and still haven't quite figured it all out, but I love checking out my feed each day, especially beautiful bookish pics!
Do you suffer from any of these bookish distractions?  I have enjoyed the time that I've spent on all of these sites, but I'm definitely going to be focussing on more reading time and less time online being distracted by bookishness!  How do you balance it all?  Last year, I shared about feeling out of the loop, and I feel that these bookish distractions are along the same vein.  I still haven't been on Twitter in who knows how long, and most of my online time is spent watching, rather than interacting.  Instagram is definitely allowing me to connect a bit more, which I'm loving, but I do feel a bit shy just jumping back into a community that I love, but have been absent from for so long.  How do you guys juggle it all?  Let me know in the comments below -- hopefully I'm not the only one who struggles with this =)


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4/16/15

Challenger Deep - Neal Shusterman

When I first added this book to my "to-read" shelf on Goodreads, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it already had an average rating of over 4 stars, months before publication.  I originally downloaded this book because I loved Neal Shusterman's Unwind, which I read years ago.

Neal Shusterman is a master storyteller, but this book is nothing like the dystopian world of Unwind.  Challenger Deep is the story of Caden Bosch, whose story is best summarized by the book's description:

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.
This book is hard to read because the story is all over the place, just like Caden's mind.  But in amongst the chaos the reader will find nuggets of brilliant writing and profound wisdom, which makes this book worth the read.  Although I'm not a fan of bookish comparisons, if you liked Hilary T. Smith's Wild Awake, the sleeper hit of a couple of years ago, then this one has a similar feel.  It's not an easy read, but one that will stick with you long after the final pages have been savoured.

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4/14/15

Top Ten Inspiring Book Quotes


Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today's topic is inspiration book quotes.  I love a good book quote, but am lazy about writing them down, mainly because I'm usually devouring the story and can't be bothered to grab a notebook and pen.  Thanks to Goodreads' quotes section, I pulled out these quotes, which I remember striking a chord with me when I originally read them.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

She was the heir of ash and fire and she would bow to no one.
~ Sarah J. Maas, Heir of Fire

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
~ Neil Gaiman, Coraline

The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
~ Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“As he read, I feel in love the way you fall asleep: slow, and then all at once.”
~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
~ Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.”  
~ Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” 
~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

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4/8/15

On My Nightstand - April 8

Although I'm not really writing reviews these days, On My Nightstand is a bi-weekly 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.


On my nightstand:


I'm savouring the last few pages of Champion, and then I'm jumping back into Neal Shusterman's Challenger Deep.  It's a weird, but strangely good book so far -- I'm still on the fence about whether I'm going to love it or hate it, but I'm intrigued enough to keep reading!

I also started A Storm of Swords on audio and read quite a big chunk of it, but I can never get through the entire audiobook in a three-week loan period (even when I volunteer for filing duty at work, just so that I can listen while I work!)  I want to finish reading the book before the show starts up again this weekend, since the final few chapters will encompass the final episodes of last season.


Recently shelved as read:


What are YOU reading this week?  Please leave me a comment below!
Omigosh, I finished Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone and OMG you guys.  I originally picked this book up back in 2012, but returned it to the library because I just couldn't get into it.  Lauren @ Lose Time Reading just loves this book and since I know she's as inexperienced with fantasy as I am, I decided to give it a second shot.  Boy, am I glad I did, because the story and the character sucked me in, and I ordered a copy of the next two books after only reading 100 pages!  While waiting for Siege and Storm to arrive in the mail, I gobbled up the prequel novellas: The Demon in the Wood and The Witch of Duva.

I also re-read Legend by Marie Lu on audiobook while I was completing my practicum (checking off an inventory list of dusty, smelly boxes necessitates some good audibookish distraction!) and I love, love loved it even more the second time.  Re-reading my review from 2012 (yikes!) reminded me of how I used to be SO excited for book 2 to come out, but then the excitement of reading on in the series faded as the months went by.  I've binged a couple of series over the past six-ish months, and I really love this feeling of getting utterly and completely lost in a world for an extended period of time.  So, I immediately leapt into reading Prodigy and then Champion, excited to keep the momentum going!

Calling my name from the shelf:


As soon as my Book Outlet order comes in, I will be diving into Siege and Storm, followed by Ruin and Rising.  I can't get enough of the Grisha world!


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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4/7/15

Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Check In With


Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today's topic is characters that I'd like to check in with ... the book/series is over, but I still wonder what's going on in these characters' lives...

1. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, etc. etc.
I still desperately wish that J.K. Rowling would write just.one.more.book.  Just one more?  Is that too much to ask?

2. Celeana Sardothien from Throne of Glass
Luckily, I will get the opportunity to see what she's up to when Queen of Shadows comes out in the fall, but until then I'll be in withdrawal!

3. Louisa from Me Before You
I recently found out that Jojo Moyes is publishing a sequel to this phenomenal book, so I'm looking forward to getting to know Louisa a little better.

4. Samantha from Before I Fall
This is one of my all-time favourite books, and I would love to spend a little more time with Samantha.

5. Macy from The Truth About Forever
My heart shattered at the end of this book, and I would love to sit down with Macy and find out how she was feeling after the final pages of the story.

6. Leah and Adah from The Poisonwood Bible
I love these twins so so much and, although the book wrapped up so well that I was fully satisfied, I would love to check in with these two and see a bit more of the world through their eyes.

7. Astrid from White Oleander
This book is at the top of my favourites pile, and is the only book that I finished and immediately flipped back to the first page to start it all over again, just because I couldn't bear to have it end.  I would love to have another installment of Astrid's story.

8. Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Christopher's world view is so unique and memorable, and I would love to see how he grew up.

9. August from Wonder
Just like Christopher, I need to see how August grew up!

10. Katniss from The Hunger Games
Although Mockingjay wasn't my favourite of the series, and I felt that it could have just been a standalone rather than a trilogy, I would like to see if Katniss is still as badass as she was in the first installments!

What about you?  Which characters would you like to check in with?  Thanks for stopping by! 

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4/4/15

Book Haul [17]

I've done a bad, bad thing you guys.  After watching a lot of book hauls on YouTube, I decided to look at the website for Book Outlet, which is a site that a lot of people have purchased books from at crazy low prices.  I kept my spending to a minimum; however, I can definitely see myself ordering more books from here in the future!  Here's what I bought for my very first order...






Siege & Storm and Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo
I was loving Shadow & Bone so much that I ordered these two books when I was only 100 or so pages into the book.  I can't WAIT to read the rest of this beautiful series!

Lux Beginnings by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Confession: I have yet to read a JLA book, even though I've had Half-Blood sitting on my shelves for YEARS.  I've seen these bind-ups around the blogosphere, and they're SPARKLY.  Honestly, the aliens concept creeps me out a little, but I've heard that they're good books, even for those that don't really like aliens?  Thoughts?

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
This is the first Sarah Dessen novel that I ever read, and I don't own many of her books.  I couldn't pass up the chance to own this book (and for so little money!) so I happily added this one to my cart.

Thanks for stopping by and please let me know what's new on your shelves!  Have a great weekend!

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4/2/15

Life of a Blogger - Astrology


My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome 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 astrology -- what a fun topic!  I used to be more into astrology than I am today.  I read my horoscope every morning, and read quite a few books on the topic.  Over the years, I have become a bit more jaded about whether or not astrology is true.  I am a Pisces and have found that a lot of the things written about Pisces are quite true.  My husband is also a Pisces, and I find that we get along quite well because at our core we are quite similar, even if we do have very different personalities.  I've had a more in-depth reading done of my astrology, centered more around the specific location where I was born and where all the planets were in relation to one another at the moment that I was born, and found that that was much more accurate than the daily horoscopes.  I'm definitely intrigued by the whole concept of astrology, even if I am a bit skeptical too =)

What about you?  Do you believe in astrology?

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