6/29/16

Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon -- Please Help Me Choose Which Book(s) To Read!

I had so much fun with the Tome Topple Readathon earlier this month, and then Kelsey @ Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf tweeted that she was planning to participate in two read-a-thons in July.  The Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon sounds AWESOME, and totally up my alley!  Hosted by Tea & Titles and The Innocent Smiley, the goal is to pick some books that you want to read and let others choose which one(s) you will read.  The read-a-thon runs from July 9th to the 16th, which isn't ideal for me, since my final exam and end-of-term project are both during that week, but hey, I'll still be reading something during that week!

I've picked a few books off my shelf and added them into the voting thingy below.  I'd love to know what you think I should read for this read-a-thon!  My goal is to get through one book, but may have time for two books, depending on which ones are in the lead.  So please, take a moment to read through my choices below and vote!  Thank you so much for stopping by.  If you're participating, please leave me a link to you post and I'll stop by to vote for your books too!


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6/27/16

Marko Monday [22]

Marko has started picking his own books at the library, which sometimes results in some very juvenile books and other times he picks books with barely any photos and I can't read them as fast as he wants to turn the pages.  Other times, he interacts with the story so much that he barely listens to the words because he's pointing at all the pictures and asking, "What's this?  Who's that"  What's he doing, Mama?"  So it's exciting when he picks a book that has just the right amount of words, visually beautiful images and a story that's fun to read (I love rhyming books!)

Arlo rolled is one of those books.  Arlo is a pea in a pod of five, who knows that he's destined for greatness.  So he rolls out of the peapod and sets out on an adventure across the garden.  The pictures are absolutely gorgeous and the story is dramatic, as Arlo escapes both a slimy slug and a hungry crow.  Definitely one that we'll borrow again.

As for Marko, his little personality grows stronger and more defined each day.  Along with choosing his own library book, he's been asserting his wants and needs a lot more lately.  Frequently heard in our house is "But I want to!" and "I can't."  He's got some big changes coming up in his life (switching daycares, transitioning to a big boy bed and moving houses) but I'm pretty confident that he's going to rise to meet each challenge with a smile and a good attitude.  He's just such a happy, chill and cool kid and he makes me smile each and every day.


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6/24/16

E-Book TBR Pile

Last summer, I shared my TBR pile of physical books, as well as posts about my read books.  It was fun to put that series together, and I have now added a tab to the top bar of my physical TBR pile, just to always give myself a realistic look at the books that I own and haven't read yet.  My book buying has been way, way less this year, with the exception of a few highly anticipated new releases, as well as the gifts from my OTSP Secret Sister.

Although I've started sharing my e-book purchases in my book haul posts, I haven't included my e-books in my TBR pile.  They've really started to add up and I thought I should have an honest look at the unread books on my e-reader...

  1. The Nightingale
  2. A Man Called Ove
  3. The One and Only Ivan
  4. Red Queen
  5. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
  6. Beautiful Ruins
  7. The Queen of the Tearling
  8. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
  9. Succubus Blues
  10. Written in Red
  11. Circus 
  12. The Winner's Curse
  13. A Little Something Different
  14. Secret Daughter
  15. The Invasion of the Tearling
  16. The Kiss of Deception
  17. Delinquents
  18. Innocents
  19. The Year We Fell Down
  20. Too Clever Fox
  21. Little Knife
  22. The Diviners
  23. Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend
  24. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
  25. Before We Were Strangers
  26. Night of Cake and Puppets
Yikes, 26 unread e-books!  In all honesty, I have no idea what Circus is, or how it ended up on my e-reader.  It looks like a sampler from a book?  I don't recall downloading it though, and it's a little weird that Kobo would put things onto my e-reader without asking first.  Delinquents, Innocents and The Year We Fell Down were all freebies that were recommended to me by a co-worker.  Too Clever Fox, Little Knife and Night of Cake and Puppets are all novellas.  This leaves 19 full-length novels that I have paid for and haven't read yet.

There are a few on here that I would like to read for my Around the Year in 52 Books challenge:
  • 16th Book on my TBR: The Nightingale (especially since Brie just read and loved it!)
  • A book from my Goodreads Recommendations: A Man Called Ove
  • A book about books: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
  • A book with food in the title: Night of Cake and Puppets
  • A novella from a favourite genre: Too Clever Fox and Little Knife
  • A book by an author who writes under more than one name: Broken Hearts, Fences...
  • An award-winning book: The One and Only Ivan
If I can read all of these books by the end of the year, it will leave me with 14 fully purchased but unread books on my e-reader, which feels like a much more reasonable number.  In any case, I'm definitely going to be adding my unread e-books to my TBR pile list and will be working to reduce the number of unread books that I own, both physical copies and e-copies!


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6/22/16

Book Haul [28] - Best. Secret. Sister. Ever.

I signed up to participate in the OTSP Secret Sister project this year, as one of the ways that I planned to be a little bit more involved in the online bookish community, and it's been an absolutely incredible experience so far.  I've had so much fun shopping for and planning the packages that I've sent to my sister, and it's been equally awesome to receive parcels from "Mare" whose real identity I will find out soon!

For my May parcel, she really knocked it out of the park!


I've had Falling Kingdoms on my TBR for a while for two reasons.  One, those covers are absolutely gorgeous and two, I've heard great things about the series.  I have avoided starting this series for only one reason, which is that I'm intimidated by high fantasy.  I've been dipping my toes into fantasy and complex series lately and, although I'm nervous at the beginning, the series that I have conquered are absolutely, without a doubt, at the top of my list for favourites of all time.  I approach a new series with equal parts excitement, hoping to discover a new favourite, but also trepidation, because I worry that I'm going to be the only reader in the universe who doesn't love a beloved series, like my recent experience with The Raven Boys.

Mare also sent me two arcs.  I haven't heard of The Museum of Heartbreak but it looks like a perfect contemporary read for summer.  I had already purchased a finished copy of The Unexpected Everything, so I passed along the ARC to my coworker, who doesn't read much YA but thought it sounded interesting.  I'm so excited for her to experience Morgan Matson's beautiful writing and I hope she falls in the love with the book too.

Last month's package had a stuffed frog inside, which I brought home and gave to Marko.  This month, I decided to keep the penguin at work, so he's sitting on my desk.  The notepaper has moose on it which, ironically enough, were my OBSESSION in high school.  I had moose everything!  That wasn't in my introductory notes to Mare, so it's funny that she thought to include something from my past, even though she didn't know that's what she was doing =P

And finally, a second Harry Potter colouring book!  I had been thinking about re-reading the Harry Potter series this year, but on audio instead of in print so that it would be like reading them for the first time.  Originally, I was thinking to do this at the beginning of the year, because of my ridiculous reading slump at the end of 2015, but it's June now and it hasn't happened yet.  I definitely need to get some colouring done this summer, and get crackin' on my re-read, especially since I've already pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I'm excited about this book, but terrified that it'll be like the release of A Casual Vacancy, where everyone was excited for the release of more J.K. Rowling and, even though everyone knew it wasn't going to be a new Harry Potter book, everyone who read it gave it meh reviews, and were disappointed because it wasn't a new Harry Potter.  I think there was a little bit of everyone that hoped it would be Potter-esque.  I mean, at this point, I want J.K. Rowling to write more books set in this work, just like Leigh Bardugo did with her Grisha trilogy.  A whole new story in a whole new series, but it's still the same world.  I'd love another book set in the Potter world, but maybe on a different continent, or in a different time period?  There's gotta be more adventures to come, right?!?

Anywho, whoa, totally rambling off topic!  Basically, my OTSP Secret Sister is the bestest ever and this box just blew my mind!  I already have a guess in mind about who she is, but I'm waiting to find out if I'm right =)  There's something about not knowing that makes it worth the wait =)

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6/20/16

On My Nightstand - June 17

I had this drafted, but forgot to post it on Friday, so I thought I'd share a belated Nightstand post, but on a Monday for a change!

Recently shelved as read:


Omigosh, you guys, this book was SO GOOD.  Morgan's writing is incredible, her storytelling is always on point and her characters are just so real and loveable, even in their moments of imperfection.  Another five star Morgan book for me, and she just solidified her position on my auto-buy list for sure!

On my nightstand:


I figured I'd knock my June TBR out of the park, since May was an epic fail on my part.  Emery Lord's books have always been perfect contemporaries for me, and this one is no exception!  

I've also (finally!) started to re-read the Harry Potter series, which was unofficially a goal for me this year, especially because of my epic reading slump at the beginning of the year.  I'm listening to the series on audio, which is a little like experiencing it for the first time.  

Calling my name from the shelf:

I'm honestly not sure what I'm in the mood for next ... I've been a little distracted with Dance Academy on Netflix (thanks to Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner for this new obsession!) so I'll probably pick up another book once I'm finished with season 3.  If my heart can handle the ending -- I sobbed through the last three episodes of season 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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6/19/16

Tome Topple Wrap-up

As I shared earlier this month, I decided to participate in Thoughts on Tomes' Tome Topple Readathon, which officially wraps up today.

The challenges for this readathon were:

1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn't need to be over 500 pages!)3. Read a tome that is part of a series4. Read over 500 pages in one week5. Read an adult novel


I am pretty proud of my reading during the past couple of weeks, as I finished ACOMAF (over 600 pages, although I started it before the readathon) and The Unexpected Everything.  Despite also having my midterm halfway through the readathon, I did manage to get through TUE in 7 days, so I completed three of the five challenges!  I've heard that this challenge is coming back again in the fall and, with more advance preparation (I literally decided to jump on board this challenge only a couple of days before it started), I'm confident that I could definitely do even better the second time.


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6/15/16

The Love That Split The World - Emily Henry

I finished this book a few weeks ago, and have been struggling to find the words to review it every since.  It's a very unique book that doesn't really even fit into a genre.  It's a contemporary love story, but also a bit of magic realism / science fiction-y time travel.  With Native American legends and creation stories tossed in.  And some psychology.

After getting fully caught up with my review copies from Penguin Random House, I decided to pick this one up.  In all honesty, it was a complete cover grab, since I had no clue what the book was about.  Between the beautiful title and the gorgeous cover design, I thought I would love this book.  But then the book started getting mixed reviews, which made me hesitant.  Thankfully, I went into this book with low expectations (mainly because of those mixed reviews), and I was BLOWN AWAY.

The writing was spectacular and the characters were so memorable.  The plot was completely unique and unlike anything that I've ever read before.  I'm constantly searching for a new and unique read because I sometimes feel like YA is just the same story told over and over with slight modifications.  This book is definitely a unique read, as I can honestly say that it's unlike any other book that I've ever read.  The book has been called The Time Traveler's Wife meets Friday Night Lights, and I can see the comparison since there is time travel and football elements, but there's also First Nations mythology and love and friendship and self-discovery.  Emily Henry's writing is absolutely gorgeous and both the story and the writing drew me in from the very beginning.  This is truly a memorable story, and one that I thought about long after I'd read the last page.  If you're looking for something unique and unlike anything else out there in YA, definitely give this one a shot.  The story is as beautiful as the cover.

Please note that I received a finished copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but this did not affect my thoughts on this book in any way.

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6/13/16

The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare


I drafted this post on August 27, 2013.  And by drafted, I mean that I promised that this series would be the next one knocked off my "In All Series-ousness" list.  But, instead, it took me almost THREE YEARS to pick the series up.  Honestly.  2013 Melissa, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?  WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?  I think I read Clockwork Angel before I even started this blog, because Clockwork Prince was in one of my earlier hauls.  I promised to read Clockwork Prince on a ridiculous and embarrassing number of TBR posts, but still this series remained unread.

Then, Lady Midnight somehow ended up in my possession (I swear, it made me buy it at Costco!) and then all of a sudden I was in the mood to read the Infernal Devices because I wanted to catch up with Cassandra Clare's books.  By this point, I had already packed 98% of my books (less the few that I have stashed in my closet that my husband thinks I packed -- mwah ha ha!) so I borrowed them from the library.

Now, I'm a mom.  I work full-time and go to school part-time (just one course online, so I study in the evenings after my son is in bed and on the weekends while he naps).  This doesn't leave a heck of lot of time for reading.  Yet somehow, I managed to gobble up over 1,500 pages of this series in THREE WEEKS.  I couldn't get enough.  Honestly, I got a little less sleep and didn't really study for my final exam, but I just couldn't stop reading this series.

I think I put this series off for so long because of my love/hate relationship with Victorian era titles.  I love the fashion and the epicness of the time period, but I really wrestle with the spinelessness of the heroines.  I mean, I know that women had less rights and freedoms during this time, but I just find it frustrating to read about main characters who are constantly about to faint or who don't ever stand up for themselves.  Two examples are Something Strange & Deadly and The Madman's Daughter, both of which I didn't enjoy all that much.  In a way, I think I'd written off reading Victorian-era fiction because it just wasn't my cup of tea.  But Tessa was the PERFECT Victorian heroine.  Sure, she still wore her corset, but she definitely didn't whine and she wasn't weak.  So, if you're like me and are on the fence about reading this series because of your love/hate relationship with this time period, please give the series a chance.  It's totally worth it.

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6/10/16

On My Nightstand - June 10

Recently shelved as read:


Omigosh, A Court of Mist and Fury is just as good as everyone says it is!  I love it when hype pays off.  I have a feeling that I'll re-read this one next year before the release of the final book.  It's so epic and there was a lot of backstory introduced in this book, so I think it will need a reread so that I don't misunderstand anything during the final installment next year.  


The Raven Boys, on the other hand, did not live up the hype for me.  This series is so beloved by many, but I found it to be really slow and not very enjoyable.  I've heard other people say that they loved the characters so much, but Blue and the Raven Boys didn't instill the same sense of love for me.  I'm still glad that I gave this series a chance, even though I won't be continuing.

On my nightstand:


After the epicness of ACOMAF, I knew that I needed a contemporary break.  It was gorgeous and hot last week, so The Unexpected Everything was the perfect fit.  I love Morgan's writing so, so, so much and she creates the best friendships (well, her and Emery Lord!)  I'm loving this one so much.  And, strangely enough, I'm actually only reading ONE book at the moment!

Calling my name from the shelf:


Since I'm on a roll with my June TBR, I think I'll finish it off and pick up When We Collided next.  One of my co-workers has asked to borrow this book when I'm done, and I love sharing beloved books with friends!

How about you?  What are you reading this weekend?  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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6/7/16

Top Seven Books on My Summer TBR Pile


Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I know, I know ... this week's topic is "Top Ten Reasons I Love X" but it's been crazy smokin' hot here for the last few days, and there actually IS no summer TBR topic this month (gasp!) so I just felt like writing this post and being rebellious =P

I didn't do too badly with my spring TBR, and read three of the ten books (and I'm currently reading a fourth one!)  Granted, the Infernal Devices consumed the entire month of April for me, and then ACOTAR/ACOMAF took over the month of May!  Summertime is definitely all about the contemporaries for me, and this summer these ones are calling my name from the shelf...

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
2. When We Collided by Emery Lord
3. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
5. Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
6. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
7. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

I know I'll read more than seven books this summer, but the other ones will likely be non-contemporaries, which I'll just pick up whenever I'm in the mood for something different!  Hopefully I can get through all of these ones from my TBR, as a few of them are from my 16 books to read in 2016 list!

How about you?  What's on your summer TBR pile?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you so much for stopping by my blog =)

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6/3/16

Tome Topple Readathon

One of my favourite BookTubers, Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes, is hosting a super fun readathon over the next couple of weeks.  Generally, I don't usually partake in readathons, given that I generally only read when Marko is sleeping.  But this one looks fun, and goes for two weeks (June 6th to June 19th), so I thought I'd join in.  You can see the video with the challenges here.

Basically, the purpose of this readathon is to devote some time to some chunkier reads, which often get overlooked in pursuit of reading challenges.  We all do it, gravitate towards the shorter reads because we're behind on our Goodreads challenge.  I've read quite a few chunkier reads this year, and have loved taking the time to savour them and not being too worried about my reading goals.  I'm currently working my way through A Court of Mist and Fury and, even though I have some new summery contemporaries that are calling my name from the shelf, I'm still loving every minute of this book and I'm in no hurry to finish it!

The challenges for this readathon are:

1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)
2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn't need to be over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Read over 500 pages in one week
5. Read an adult novel

Now, as with most readathons, I highly doubt that I'll complete all of the challenges, but I'll try.  As mentioned above, I'm currently reading A Court of Mist and Fury, which will count as reading a tome that is part of a series.  (I've already been reading the book for a week, but shhhhhh it still counts!)  Next, I think I'll dive into The Unexpected Everything, which is also over 500 pages.  It'll be a quick read, so I might be able to read more that 500 pages in a week, even though I do have my midterm on June 12th.  We'll see.  I'm not sure about the graphic novel or the adult novel, unless I swing by the library and borrow an adult graphic novel?  Any suggestions?

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6/1/16

June TBR!

While I was planning my TBR for May, I really had no idea what to pick.  I wasn't sure what I was in the mood to read, and ended up spending most of the month reading Sarah J. Maas' ACOTAR and ACOMAF.  It was a great decision!  I'm not too worried about neglecting my TBR for the month, since I honestly wasn't really in the mood to read either of the two books that I had picked.  But this month, I'm definitely craving some summery contemporaries ... 


I received both of these in a recent Chapters order and, although I hadn't set my same "buy and read right away" goal like I did last year, I've been doing a pretty good job of staying on top of my recent purchases.  I've also bought way less books this year, which helps.  And I don't have that many books to choose from, since most of them are packed.  BUT STILL, these summery reads are absolutely on the horizon for June, especially since we've had sunny and warm weather for the past few weeks.  As soon as I'm finished with ACOMAF, I'll be diving into one of these two books for sure!

Have you read either of these books?  Are you craving summery contemporaries too?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you for stopping by =)

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