10/26/15

Marko Monday [18]

Marko pulled Love You Forever by Robert Munsch off the shelf a few weeks ago, and has now insisted that "Mama read a baby story!" almost every night for the past couple of weeks.  After some repeated readings, I've finally managed to read the entire thing without getting a lump in my throat, crying or getting to the point where I'm so emotional that words won't come out.  Then, while reading it the other night, I read the words that the mother sings to her little boy:
I'll love you foreverI'll like you for alwaysAs long as I'm livingMy baby you'll be
Marko was sitting on my lap, but he twisted around so that he was looking at my and said, "My baby you be" and my heart MELTED.  I absolutely love the little man that he is becoming, but I still always see in him the little boy that he's always been and the baby that he was.  I carried him out of the bath, wrapped in his puppy towel, the other day and I guess I carried him differently than my husband does, because now he insists that I carry him "like a baby" after his bath.

Love You Forever was the first picture book that I featured on Marko Monday, and it's a book that Marko and I are going to treasure for years and years to come.  In honour of this throwback review, I've also decided to look at new and old photos of my little man.  It's crazy how much he's changed over the past couple of years!




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10/24/15

On End-of-the-Year Reading Blahs

Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I created a fun fall readathon (if you haven't signed up yet, go here -- we have very few entrants, so you have a really good chance of winning!)  Originally, it was a way to motivate ourselves to read more as the holidays approach, but lately I've come to realize why I get these end of the year reading blahs...

At the beginning of the year, it's a fresh start.  New reading challenges, new Goodreads reading goal and an entire 12 months of reading stretched out before me.  Armed with my bookish resolutions, I aim high and just read and read and read.  As the year draws to a close, I find myself getting a bit overwhelmed with everything that I want to read and I know that I don't have enough days left in the year to read it all!  Instead of just reading as much as I can, I find myself not reading at all.

Of course, I'm also back at school this year, which eats up some of my time.  Honestly, after starting at my Organizational Behaviour textbook for an hour, sometimes I just relax and watch some TV or surf the net for a bit before heading to bed to read.  I've been reading one chapter a day for the past couple of weeks, which has resulted in me making my way through A Discovery of Witches, but very slowly.  I'm enjoying the book, don't get me wrong, but I think that part of me thought that I'd gobble up the whole series, plus the Mara Dyer trilogy, plus the rest of the Saga books, and maybe another book or two before the end of the year.  Now I'm looking at the calendar, realizing that November is only a week away, and it seems too daunting to read all of that in two months!  Over the summer, I was reading six to eight books per month, and now I'm looking at a book or two per month.  I think that my reading has definitely slowed down.

Although at times this is frustrating because I do want to read all of the things, I also have to remind myself sometimes that it's quality over quantity.  Yes, I read lots over the summer, but most of the books that I read were contemporaries which generally are faster reads for me.  At the moment, I'm halfway through a historical paranormal book, which is beautifully written and the storyline is intricate, so I can't fly through it the same way I'd fly through a young adult or new adult contemporary.  And that's okay, because sometimes it is nice to slow down and just enjoy a book for what it is.

How about you?  Do you find that your reading changes during the fall and winter months?  Have you signed up to participate in our fall reading challenge?  It runs right until the end of December, so there's lots of time left to participate.  Join us -- I'm hoping to read more than I have so far, but I'm also okay with not reading that much if that's where my reading journey takes me =)

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10/23/15

Friday Favourite - The Truth About Forever

It's been a while since I shared one of these posts, mainly because I'm not really writing reviews much these days, but it is fun to share some thoughts on an older favourite!

It was the summer of 2004, the summer I met my husband, when I first discovered Sarah Dessen.  A co-worker read The Truth About Forever, and couldn't stop raving about it, so I picked it up.  I started reading it one afternoon and then completely ignored the world while I tore through this story, unable to put it down for a single moment.  I sobbed at the end, and spent the rest of the summer reading everything that Sarah Dessen had ever written.  I remain a huge fan today -- this woman can WRITE.

If you haven't yet experienced a Sarah Dessen novel, this is a great one to pick up, since it was my first and spurred a lifelong love of all things Dessen.  It's a beautiful story and an example of what great YA contemporary is.

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10/19/15

On Unpopular Opinions

I've seen this book tag around on YouTube, and thought it looked like fun.  I feel like the black sheep every once in a while when it comes to some books, so I thought I'd compile it all into one post =)

1. A popular book or series that I didn't like:
I think I might be the only person in the world that didn't fall head over heels in love with Gayle Forman.  I read If I Stay before I started this blog, but had no interest in reading on with the series, nor have I had any interest in picking up any of her other books!

2. A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate, but I loved:
Wither had a lot of popular reviews, but everyone's opinion of the series tanked after the second book and dropped even further once the series wrapped up, but I loved the entire series.

3. An OTP that I wasn't a fan of:
Warner.  Ugh.

4. A popular genre that I hardly reach for:
I don't know if dystopians can still be considered a popular genre, but I think I'm dystopian-ed out.  I read WAY too many when I first started this blog, and have not been in the mood for one since then.

5. A popular character that I just didn't like:
Can I go with Warner again?

6. A popular author that I just can't get into:
Rainbow Rowell.  I know, I know, don't hate me!  I've actually read all of her books (with the exception of Carry On), and the only one that I really liked it Attachment.  I enjoyed Fangirl as well, but I skipped all of the fanfiction sections, so I feel like I really only read half the book.  Eleanor + Park was okay, as was Landline, but everyone seems to LOVE her books, and they're just okay in my opinion.

7. A popular book trope that I'm tired of seeing:
Love triangles.  No more, please and thank you!

8. A popular series that I have no interest in reading:
I did read the first one, but I have no interest in reading any more of Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits series.  I really thought I would like them, but not so much.

9. A movie/TV adaptation that I liked better than the book:
This might seem contrary to my first answer, but I did enjoy the movie version of If I Stay WAY more than the book.  The music in the movie really added to the story.

Do you have any of the same unpopular opinions as me?  Let me know in the comments below!

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10/15/15

Lose Time RRReading TBR Pile!

There's nothing that I enjoy more than making TBR lists, jars, piles, you name it!  Although I love to plan my reading, I rarely ever follow the lists that I set out for myself ... but that will never stop me from making 'em!

If you haven't already seen our launch post, Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I are hosting a fall-themed readathon that lasts the whole season, rather than just a week-long readathon.  We have prizes too, so please sign up and join us!  The sign-up post is here.

Here are the books that I'm planning to read ... if I can get to them all!

1. Read a book with a fall colour on the cover (red, orange, yellow or brown).
I read the first volume of the Saga series at the beginning of this year, and would like to read the rest of them before the end of the year.  The second volume just happens to have red on the cover!


2. Read a book and then watch the movie or TV adaptation.
I haven't decided if I'll complete this challenge, as there aren't any book to movie adaptations that I really want to see at this moment.  Although, I still haven't watched the Hobbit movies (I know, I know!) so I might catch up on those this fall.

3. Read a book that has been sitting on your shelf for more than a year.
I'm planning to finish Beautiful Disaster, which has been on my shelves for at least two years!

4. Read a book that was released this year.
This one will be either Winter, Fairest or Six of Crows!

5. Read a book from your favourite genre.
It's hard to decide what my favourite genre is these days!  A few years ago, I would have quickly answered dystopian, but lately I seem to be either contemporary or fantasy.

6. Read a book that is outside of your comfort zone.
Ideally, I'd finish A Feast of Crows, but I doubt that it going to happen!  I may count A Discovery of Witches for this challenge, as it's a book I wouldn't have picked up without Lauren's love of the series prompting me to do so.

7. Read a spooky book.
Mara Dyer -- this IS happening this year!

8. Read an ARC that's past its publication date.
I have a post about this from earlier this week, but I will catch up on ALL my ARCs and/or decide that I'm not going to read the ones that I haven't read thus far.

9. Read a book for a series that you are trying to catch up on.
Hopefully, the next two Saga books!

10. Reread a comfort book or a book you really loved and have been itching to reread.
I will likely begin the Mara Dyer series with a reread of the first book, as I liked it but can barely remember what happened!

11. Read a book that was recommended to you by someone else.
A Discovery of Witches!  And probably the next two as well!

12. Read a holiday/winter themed book.
Winter!  Which probably isn't winter themed, but it's CALLED Winter, so that counts for something, right?

What are you planning to read for the readathon?  Let me know in the comments below!

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10/14/15

On My Nightstand - October 14

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 finished Leah Raeder's Black Iris.  There were moments where I absolutely loved the book, and others where I had no idea what the heck was going on.  By the end, it was a solid read, and I think I'd get more out of the book if I read it a second time.  Beautifully written, but the narrative was confusing at times.

On my nightstand:

I've been dying to read A Discovery of Witches for quite some time, and decided that it would be the perfect fall/October read!  It'll likely take me the rest of the month to finish this book, as I'm reading a bit less now that I'm back at school, but I'm enjoying it a lot so far!  It's been quite a while since I've read any adult fiction, so I'm enjoying that aspect.

Calling my name from the shelf:

Depending on how I feel when I finish A Discovery of Witches, I might just continue on with Shadow of Night, since I own that one already.  If I'm craving some YA afterwards, then I might just jump into the Mara Dyer series.  I'm still on the fence about re-reading book 1, or just jumping into book 2.

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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10/13/15

I'm a Bad Reviewer

Although I've posted before about saying no and bookish guilt, I have had this nagging feeling for a while now that I have to share.  I'm a bad reviewer.  Why, you ask?  There are three reasons:

1. I have five unread/unreviewed e-galleys on Edelweiss.
Seriously?  I can hear your eyebrows raising.  I know, I know, five is not that bad.  BUT, one of them I read last year (last November) to be exact, and I haven't reviewed it yet.  I loved it!  It was hilarious and a super cute Christmas-y read, but I forgot to write my review last December, and then it seemed odd to review a Christmas book after Christmas, and then it got to be so long since I read it that I forgot what happened.  The other four books have expired, but I have one of the four on hold at the library.

2. I have three unread/unreviewed e-galleys on Edelweiss.
I know, I know, this isn't even as bad as Edelweiss!  BUT, two of these books are from 2014 and, although I've borrowed them both from the library, I STILL haven't read them.  And I want to, I really do!  But there's just something about reading books with obligations lately that I have been wrestling with...

3. I have four unread/unreviewed finished copies from Random House.
This is where most of my guilt lies.  I am so grateful to have received these beautiful finished copies, and I honestly have read two of the four books, but have yet to write reviews for them.  One of them I read at the end of 2014, the second was in the last month.  I worry that Random House is going to take me off their blogger list because I suck at getting reviews written in a timely fashion.

Part of my problem is that I've pretty much stopped writing formal book reviews, and have been generally just adding a sentence or two of my thoughts in my On My Nightstand posts.  As a result, I'm a little out of practice when it comes to finding the words to share my thoughts!

I have a resolution though.  By the end of 2015, I'm going to work really hard at clearing out my backlog of unreviewed and unread titles.  You'll be seeing a few reviews coming up in the next couple of months, and I'm going to make some decisions on the unread titles, basically deciding if I'm still interested in reviewing these titles.  This way, in 2016, I can either say no to reviewing books altogether, or request and read/review right away, which is how I prefer to tackle my review copies anyways.

Do you struggle with review books?  Do you have any tips for me on how to manage my bookish guilt?  Let's chat in the comments below and, as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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10/7/15

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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10/2/15

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
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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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