5/31/15

May Wrap Up!

We're only at the end of May, but summer has arrived in my area!  The past couple of weeks have been warm and sunny, and we've been spending a ton of time outdoors.  This has left me craving some contemporary standalones, so you will see a fair amount of these types of books in the coming months!

The Books

Books Read: 9 (Ruin & Rising, City of Heavenly Fire, A Storm of Swords, This Song Will Save Your Life, Ugly Love, Confess, A Sense of the Infinite, The Outcast and Rock Chick)
Of these books, four were books off my shelf, three were from the library, one was a review book and one was borrowed from my co-worker.  I'm pretty proud of how many books I read this month, and Goodreads says that I'm 7 books ahead of schedule!

Books Acquired: 8 (A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Start of You and Me, Saint Anything, UnDivided, Forever Interrupted, After I Do, Firefly Lane and Opposition)
I have acquired a total of 23 books so far this year, and have already read 8 of them.  I'm definitely acquiring books faster than I'm reading them, but I've read quite a number off my shelves so far this year, including some that I've had for several years.  Out of the books that I recently purchased, I'm currently reading one of them, and purchased a number of contemporaries with the intent on gobbling them up this summer.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +26 points (20 points for finishing the Grisha trilogy and the Mortal Instruments series, plus 2 points for Ruin & Rising, City of Heavenly Fire and A Storm of Swords)
Flights of Fantasy: 2 more books read (Ruin & Rising and A Storm of Swords) for a total of 7 books so far!
TBR Challenge: 3 more books off my shelves, for a total of 13 so far!

The Blog

I decided to finally figure out how many TBR books I own.  This series has three posts thus far, including standalones that I need to read, series I need to finish and series I need to start.  Next week, I'll be sharing two posts about my read books, and then doing some serious number crunching to find out the brutal reality of how many unread books are sitting on my shelves.  I'm a little nervous =)

I also looked back at a post that I made two years ago about the series-ousness of getting my series TBR under control.  Although I have made a dent in the the TBR list that I made for myself, I think that the biggest change has been the way that I look at series.  Rather than reading a book or two and moving on, I've shifted to both finishing old pending series.  I've also binged a few series, and I have to say that I love getting lost in a world for book after book until it's over.

I reviewed Hilary K. Smith's newest book A Sense of the Infinite as well as checking in two times with what's on my nightstand.  Finally, Marko shared his first book haul!

The Other Stuff

We took a trip to my hometown during the May long weekend to visit my parents and my sister.  This was such an epic trip, as it was the first time that Marko wasn't nervous around my dad!  As I shared a while back, my dad is in a motorized wheelchair and, even though he's still just my dad, I can understand why Marko would be a little hesitant around him, since he doesn't look like anyone else that he has in his life.  Plus, he's only seen my dad a handful of times, so he's not as familiar with him.  But this trip was amazing, because he gave my dad a hug and a kiss and told him "I vuv you Gampa" and it was the cutest thing of all time.

What's happened in your life this past month?  Has summer arrived in your part of the world yet?  Does your reading taste shift when the weather changes?  Let's chat in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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5/28/15

TBR Pile - Series I Need to Start

I've always wondered how many unread books were actually sitting on my shelves.  My shelves have a bit of a wonky organization system (I can easily find things, but my husband can't), and it makes sense to me so I haven't bothered to change it.  Sometimes I wish that I actually had a TBR shelf to choose from, but most of the time I prefer not to have a specific shelf because I don't want physical proof of the sheer number of unread books in my house.  But, well, curious minds need to know.  So here's the second part of a several post series, outlining the standalones that I have yet to read.  Let me know in the comments below if you see any of your favourites here, and books that I should bump up my TBR list!

If you missed the first two posts, here's my list of standalones that I need to read and series that I need to finish.

Middle Grade:

  1. Dealing with Dragons
  2. Eragon

Young Adult:

  1. Finnikin of the Rock
  2. The Forbidden Game
  3. Switched
  4. Fury
  5. Bloodlines
  6. Graceling
  7. Fire
  8. Bitterblue
  9. Something Strange and Deadly
  10. Unraveling
  11. Half-Blood
  12. Halo
  13. Across the Universe
  14. Beautiful Disaster
  15. Starcrossed
  16. Dangerous Girls
  17. A Court of Thorns and Roses
  18. Obsidian & Onyx
  19. Opposition

Adult:

  1. A Discovery of Witches
  2. Shadow of the Night
  3. The Name of the Wind


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5/27/15

On My Nightstand - May 27

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 have book club tonight, and I'm slowly plodding through Sadie Jones' The Outcast.  The premise sounded intriguing, but the writing isn't all that great.  I don't think that I'll finish it in time, but I'm not worried if I don't find out how it ends.  

I'm also listening to my first Kristin Hannah book, Home Front, and I'm really liking it so far!  It's had heartwarming moments, sad moments and is a really great family story.

Recently shelved as read:

I picked up two Colleen Hoover books from the library, Ugly Love and Confess, and loved them both.  It's been a while since I've ready any of her books, and I forgot how much I enjoyed them!  I've been craving contemporary lately, so I also read (and reviewed!) A Sense of the Infinite and This Song Will Save Your Life.  Both were amazing!

Calling my name from the shelf:

I have had Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses sitting on my shelf for a couple of weeks now and, as much as I want to read this right away, I also want to wait a little while since there's still so long to wait until Queen of Shadows is released in September.  I also borrowed  Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick from a co-worker, and know that this one will fuel my desire for yummy contemporaries.  My co-worker also wants to buddy read Kristen Harmel's The Life Intended, which sounds AWESOME.

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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5/26/15

TBR Pile - Series I Need to Finish

I've always wondered how many unread books were actually sitting on my shelves.  My shelves have a bit of a wonky organization system (I can easily find things, but my husband can't), and it makes sense to me so I haven't bothered to change it.  Sometimes I wish that I actually had a TBR shelf to choose from, but most of the time I prefer not to have a specific shelf because I don't want physical proof of the sheer number of unread books in my house.  But, well, curious minds need to know.  So here's the second part of a several post series, outlining the books that I own that are part of a series that I've started, but haven't finished yet.  Let me know in the comments below if you see any of your favourites here, and books that I should bump up my TBR list!

If you missed the first post, here's my list of standalones that I need to read.

Middle Grade:

  1. Land of Silver Apples
  2. Inkspell
  3. Among the Imposters
  4. Among the Betrayed
  5. Among the Barons
  6. Among the Brave
  7. Among the Enemy
  8. Among the Free
  9. Flyte
  10. Physik
  11. Queste
  12. The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Young Adult:

  1. The Bane Chronicles
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess
  4. Hollow City
  5. The Evolution of Mara Dyer
  6. The Retribution of Mara Dyer
  7. Wolfsbane
  8. Bloodrose
  9. UnWholly
  10. UnSouled
  11. Spells
  12. Dark Triumph
  13. Mortal Heart
  14. Fairest
  15. Love, Stargirl

Adult:

  1. A Feast for Crows
  2. A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast
  3. A Dance With Dragons: Dreams and Dust
  4. Lover Unleashed
  5. Lover Mine
  6. The King
  7. The Prisoner of Heaven
  8. The Angel's Game
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5/25/15

Marko Monday [15] - A Book Haul Post!

Marko Monday is a monthly(ish) feature, where I showcase a book that Marko has been loving, as well as an update on what my little man is doing these days!

This has been a big month for our household, as Marko is making the transition from board books to books with paper pages.  It's a work in progress, as I have to continually remind him to be gentle with the books, especially when he gets excited by what he finds on the pages!  We went to Value Village over the weekend, seeking solace in a fun, indoor place when the skies opened up, and Marko had a blast picking out some new books from the shelves!  He spent a good 20 minutes going through the books on the shelf with me, before getting distracted by the toy section.  I love buying him books at Value Village because they're $0.99 each, and they always have a "Buy 4 get 1 free" sale.  We came home with a big stack for about $10!


Last week was scorching hot -- felt like summer already!  We headed to the Island to visit my parents, at had ice cream at Beacon Drive In.  Their ice cream is amazing, and was a staple of my childhood, so I was happy to share that tradition with Marko!  Ice cream moustaches are always fun =)

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5/23/15

Book Haul [18]

This month was Mother's Day and, as a treat to myself, I bought some new books!  The first three are from Chapters, and the rest are from Book Outlet's Mother's Day sale.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I actually went into Coles on release day to buy this book in store, but it turns out that the stores never received copies!  They think that there were so many pre-orders that there weren't enough copies left to ship to the stores, so I ended up placing an online order.


The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
I read, and loved, Open Road Summer last year, and knew that this book was a must-have addition to my summer reading pile!


Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Ditto on this one.  Sarah Dessen = summer.


UnDivided by Neal Shusterman
The Unwind Dystology is one series that I would like to finish this year, probably when the weather turns chilly in the fall.  When I saw the hardcover on Book Outlet, I snatched it up to complete my collection.


Forever, Interrupted and After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
These books were all over the blogosphere last year, and I know that I'll love them both!  Plus, at $4ish each for adult trade paperbacks, I couldn't say no!


Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I've always been intrigued by Kristin Hannah's books, mainly because they have such pretty covers.  I started Home Front on audio last week, and I'm really enjoying it so far, so I thought I'd pick up another one of her books.


Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This was a bit of a silly purchase, since I haven't read the first book yet, but I have a feeling that I'm going to like the series, so I picked up the last book in the series since it was so inexpensive.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is at the top of my TBR pile, but any other ones that I should bump up the list?  Let me know in the comments below!  Thanks for stopping by and please let me know what's new on your shelves!  Have a great weekend!

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5/22/15

A Sense of the Infinite - Hilary T. Smith

I read, and loved, Wild Awake, Hilary's debut novel.  It always makes me a little nervous when I pick up a writer's second novel, because I never know if it'll live up to my expectations.

A Sense of the Infinite blew me away, in a similar yet completely different way.  Hilary's writing style is INCREDIBLE.  She weaves together such beautiful phrases, and I'm captivated by her writing style, which I find quite similar to Lauren Oliver's style, but also unique in her own way.  She writes truly special books that are heartbreakingly beautiful because she touches on topics that are hard to read at times.  A Sense of the Infinite is no exception, as it contains themes of teen pregnancy, abortion, eating disorders, friendship, identity and many others.

I find it hard to write about books that I really, really loved.  So I'll just say this: if you haven't yet read a Hilary T. Smith novel, go pick one up.  Her writing style might not be for everyone, but if you like a beautifully written novel that doesn't shy away from darker topics, you won't be disappointed!

I received an e-galley for review from the publisher via Edelweiss; however, this did not affect my review of the book in any way.

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5/13/15

TBR Pile - Standalones I Need to Read

I've always wondered how many unread books were actually sitting on my shelves.  My shelves have a bit of a wonky organization system (I can easily find things, but my husband can't), and it makes sense to me so I haven't bothered to change it.  Sometimes I wish that I actually had a TBR shelf to choose from, but most of the time I prefer not to have a specific shelf because I don't want physical proof of the sheer number of unread books in my house.  But, well, curious minds need to know.  So here's the first part of a several post series, outlining the standalones that I have yet to read.  Let me know in the comments below if you see any of your favourites here, and books that I should bump up my TBR list!

Middle Grade:

  1. Dragon Rider
  2. The Gammage Cup
  3. Searching for David's Heart
  4. The Red Badge of Courage
  5. Absolutely Normal Chaos
  6. The Tiger Rising
  7. The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles
  8. The Magickers
  9. The Thief Lord
  10. Dragon Rider
  11. Just Ella
  12. Stowaway
  13. Music of the Dolphins
  14. Flush
  15. Spinners
  16. Sexy
  17. Lyddie
  18. The Wave
  19. Drive
  20. Bite
  21. The Thief
  22. Girl Coming in for a Landing
  23. What's In a Name?

YA:

  1. This Song Will Save Your Life
  2. The Moon and More
  3. Golden
  4. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
  5. Velveteen
  6. This Girl is Different
  7. The Glass Arrow
  8. Saint Anything
  9. The Start of Me and You
  10. Imaginary Girls
  11. Wild Roses
  12. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  13. The Glass Arrow

Adult:

  1. The Robber Bride
  2. Alias Grace
  3. P.S. I Love You
  4. Midwives
  5. The Law of Similars
  6. The Story of Danny Dunn
  7. How to Kill a Rock Star
  8. In the Company of a Courtesan
  9. Knocked Up
  10. The Virgin Suicides
  11. I Love You Like a Tomato
  12. Burial Rites
  13. The Undomestic Goddess
  14. The History of Love
  15. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  16. Shopgirl
  17. Italian Fever
  18. I Shall Be Near to You
  19. Atonement
  20. The Birth House
  21. The Last Letter from Your Lover
  22. The Falls
  23. We Were the Mulvaneys
  24. Back Roads
  25. Rooms
  26. Keeping Faith
  27. Songs of the Humpback Whale
  28. Mercy
  29. The Elegant Gathering of White Snows
  30. Shantaram
  31. Atlas Shrugged
  32. Sea Glass
  33. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  34. Amy and Isabelle
  35. All My Puny Sorrows
  36. Night Film
  37. Bedtime Story
  38. Forever Interrupted
  39. After I Do
  40. Firefly Lane
  41. A Light Between Two Oceans

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5/11/15

In All Series-ousness -- Two Years Later

Almost two years ago, I shared a post where I promised myself that I would finish all the series that I had started, and refrain from starting any new series unless all of the books were out.  Since that post, I have definitely done a better job of committing to some series-ous reading, but I thought I give myself a reality check and list them all out:

Here are the series that I said that I would like to FINISH (with those crossed off that I did finish):
Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (Iron Daughter, Iron Queen and Iron Knight)
Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess)
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (books 2-6)
Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen (Envy & Splendor)
Bright Young Things Series by Anna Godbersen (Beautiful Days & The Lucky Ones)
Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris (I've only read the first two books)
Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke (Inkspell & Inkdeath)
Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver (Requiem)
The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano (Fever)

Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer (Wolfsbane & Bloodrose)
Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart (books 2-4)
Birthmarked Trilogy by Caragh M. O'Brien (Promised)
Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson (Crown of Embers & The Bitter Kingdom)
Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Angel's Game & Prisoner of Heaven)
Sea of Trolls Trilogy by Nancy Farmer (Land of the Silver Apples & Islands of the Blessed)

Series that I had planned to binge-read because all the books are out:
Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (I read Outlander, but won't be reading more of the books)
Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angellini
Covenant Trilogy by Jennifer Armentrout

Here are the series that I had committed to reading upon release of their final installments:
2013
October:
Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution & The Retribution of Mara Dyer) 
Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (Allegiant)
November:
Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Prodigy & Champion)

2014
January:
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Everneath Series by Brodi Ashton (Everbound & Evertrue)
February
Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Scarlet & Cress)
Pure Trilogy by Julianna Baggott (Burn)
Article 5 Trilogy by Kristen Simmons (Breaking Point & Three)
Final Book in the Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi
March:
Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire)
April:
Days of Blood & Starlight and Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young (Rebel Heart & Raging Star)
October:
Unwind Trilogy by Neal Shusterman (UnWholly & UnSouled)

Series that I had planned to binge-read when all of the books are out:
Shadow & Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (2014)
Unraveling Trilogy by Elizabeth Norris
Grave Mercy Series by R.L. LaFevers (2014)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (2016 -- although I may read book 1 earlier, since I own it)

There are 38 series included in this list, and I have now finished 16 of them!  Of course, there are a few other series that I have since added to the list (ahem), so I think I'll do another updated series TBR post soon.

Putting this post together reminded me of a few older series that I had planned to tackle, so I picked up the following books at the library the other day:

  • Burn, the final book in Julianna Baggott's Pure trilogy
  • Everbound and Evertrue, the second and third books in Brodi Ashton's Everneath trilogy
  • Rebel Heart, the second book in Moira Young's Dust Lands trilogy
  • Beautiful Days, the second book in Anna Godberson's Bright Young Things trilogy
I definitely want to read Burn one day, but every time I have borrowed it from the library, it gets returned unread (sometimes late, and I've even paid fines on this unread book!)  I loved Everneath, but I can scarcely remember the storyline, which has prevented me from reading further.  It's the same story for Rebel Heart.  I won the final book in the Bright Young Things trilogy from one of Epic Reads' Tea Times, so I read the first one, and thought it was okay, so I've been unmotivated to continue.  I kind of just want to unhaul the third book, but then I also feel like that might be a bit ungrateful because I won a copy.  Thoughts?
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    5/8/15

    April Wrap-up

    I know that I say this every month, but where is 2015 going?!?  I can't believe the year is flying by so quickly, but I'm also grateful that spring is here and we've been blessed with some truly incredible sunny weather so far.

    The Books

    Books Read: 7 (Legend, Shadow & Bone, Prodigy, Champion, Siege & Storm, Challenger Deep, Requiem)
    Of these books, all but one were books off my own shelves.  One book was a review copy.

    Books Acquired: 6 (Siege & Storm, Ruin and Rising, The Truth About Forever and Lux: Beginnings)
    I have acquired a total of 15 books so far this year, and have already read 6 of them.  That's almost half!  I'm not reading immediately after purchasing, as I had originally promised myself in my new year's resolutions, but I have read a few immediately after buying them.  I'm keeping the pile of recently purchased books on my nightstand, so that I can choose my next read from this pile.

    The Challenges

    Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +24 points (10 points for finishing the Legend trilogy, plus 2 points for the Prodigy and Champion; 2 points for Siege and Storm and 12 points for Requiem)
    Flights of Fantasy: 2 more books read (Shadow & Bone and Siege and Storm) for a total of 5 books so far!
    TBR Challenge: 5 more books off my shelves, for a total of 10 so far!

    The Blog

    I shared a list of top ten characters that I'd like to check in with, inspiring book quotes, all time favourite authors, as well as the most badass characters that I've read.  I read quite a few review books this month, and shared my reviews for 99 Days, Things We Know By Heart and Challenger Deep.  I also made my very first order on Book Outlet and then shared a subsequent post about this being one of my new bookish distractions!  Finally, I shared two more of my new On My Nighstand feature, as well as participating for the last time in Life of a Blogger -- it was fun, but it's come to an end.

    The Other Stuff

    April was a pretty quiet month in our household.  We were supposed to head to the Island to visit my parents, but double booked ourselves with also promising to cat sit for my sister-in-law, so we postponed our trip until later in May.  The weather has been all over the place this month, with warm sunny days followed by freak hail storms!  We've made the most of whatever sun we have had, and have spent many lovely afternoons at the park.  I forsee a lot more of these types of days in the coming months!

    Hope you had a great April too!  And thanks for stopping by =)

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    5/6/15

    On My Nightstand - May 6

    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 just finished a book this evening, so I'm actually NOT reading anything at the moment!  My co-worker is lending me her copy of Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick, so that'll be my next read for sure!  I'm excited -- I haven't read a contemporary in quite a while, and my co-worker is absolutely obsessed with Kristen Ashley's work.  I hope that I love it as much as she does!

    Recently shelved as read:

    I have spent the past few days savouring the final chapters of Leigh Bardugo's Ruin and Rising, and finally read the last few pages tonight.  What an epic series!  I loved every moment of it, and am now highly anticipating Six of Crows in September.  I love that her new book will take place in the Grisha world, but revolve around different characters.  I totally think that J.K. Rowling should adopt this idea.  I would gladly read about different characters in Harry's world!

    I also finally, FINALLY finished A Storm of Swords, which is good because the show started up again!  I'm going to wait until after the season is over to start book four, just so that I'm not reading and watching all over the place.

    Also, I read (and loved!) the final book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series,
    City of Heavenly Fire.  I really, really liked it, although I still think that the series should have been a trilogy.  The series did have a Harry Potter-esque feel to it, since I feel that I have been experiencing these characters' adventures for so many years, so it was a bit bittersweet to say farewell.  Fortunately, I still have the Infernal Devices series to read and enjoy.

    Calling my name from the shelf:

    I'll be picking up a copy of Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses this week, and diving straight into this book.  I just found out that it's new adult?!?  Super pumped to read something new and different from this amazing author!

    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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