12/29/17

2017 End of Year Survey

This is one of my favourite things about the end of the year, looking back over my past year of reading and forward to next year as well!  This annual survey is hosted by the incredibly talented Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner.

2017 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 103
Number of Books You Re-Read: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary and Fantasy

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2017?
This is always the hardest question of all to answer, but I think I'm going to go with Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  I saw the book all over the blogosphere, and I actually walked into a bookstore and paid FULL PRICE for the hardcover because I just had a feeling that I would love it.  And I did -- so much so that I found myself still thinking about the book weeks later.  

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick.  I loved Pitch Perfect, and thought that listening to Anna's story, told in her own voice, would be wonderful, but I was so underwhelmed by this book.

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way!) Book of 2017?
Amber @ Books of Amber has been "gently encouraging" me to read Unravelling for YEARS, I think since I hauled it (maybe three years ago?)  And yet it just sat on my shelf.  When I finally picked it up this year, it was SO GOOD.  I could barely put it down and I read it in two days, and its sequel equally quickly.

4. Book You "Pushed" the Most People to Read (and they did) in 2017?
The Darker Shades of Magic trilogy.  Every time I see someone post a picture of the book(s) on Instagram, I read the caption to see if they've read the it or not.  If yes, I squeal excitedly about how much I loved the series; if not, I tell them to READ. IT. NOW.

5. Best Series you Started in 2017?  Best Sequel of 2017?  Best Series Ender of 2017?
It's a slippery slope to have the Shades of Magic on every question, so I'll go with the other series of Victoria's that I started and finished in 2017, This Savage Song.  SO GOOD.  Best sequel, hands down, is Lord of Shadows.  My heart has not yet fully recovered.  Best series ender is a tie between A Conjuring of Light and A Court of Wings and Ruin.

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2017?
Celeste Ng.  Kristin Harmel.  Leila Howland.  Angie Thomas.  Karin Slaughter.  Brandon Sanderson. Victoria/V.E. Schwab.  I read lots of new-to-me authors this year!

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don't Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
Mistborn.  I was SCARED to pick up a Brandon Sanderson book.  Adult fantasy is definitely out of my comfort zone, and he's such a beloved author in the bookish community.  But I read Mistborn in September and loved every minute of it.  The next two books are a high priority for 2018, and I also want to give The Way of Kings a try.

8. Most Action-Packed, Thrilling, Unputdownable Book in 2017?
I started reading thrillers in October and couldn't stop!  This is definitely a new favourite genre of mine.  I read Black Feathers, The Girl in 6E, He Will Be My Ruin and Pretty Girls, all of which I had a hard time putting down.

9. Book You Read in 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Little Fires Everywhere, or the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy -- I'd like to reread them on audio.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2017?


These covers are SO GORGEOUS and I love them so much.

11. Most Memorable Character in 2017?
Lila Bard.  I'm trying to not mention Shades of Magic in every question -- but it's SO HARD!

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2017?
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.  That book shook me, but in a good way.

13. Most Thought-Provoking / Life-Changing Book of 2017?
Oh darn, Turtles again?  I didn't fully understand what OCD was until I read this book.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
Shantaram.  I started it in November 2012, but had to set it aside because I was too exhausted to focus on such a dense book, and I developed pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, which made holding a heavy book impossible.  I can't believe it took me almost five years to pick this book back up -- but it was worth the wait.  Truly an incredible book.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?
Usually I wrestle with this question, but reading Shantaram this year gave me LOTS of possible choices.  I'll go with a quote from the opening page of the book -- if this doesn't entice you to pick up this beautiful book, then nothing will...

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming of my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is an universe of possibility. And the choice you make between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.” 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?
How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.
Longest -- Shantaram
Shortest -- The News

17. Book that shocked you the most?
Behind Her Eyes -- I did NOT expect that ending.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!)
Feyre and Rhys.

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
The friendship between Kell and Lila.

20. Favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read previously?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo -- I loved that it was SO different from TJR's other books, but also such a unique book.  I loved how unlikeable Evelyn was -- it reminded me of my experience reading Fairest.

21. Best book you read in 2017 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?
My friend Tina texted me one day and said she wanted to read The Life Intended and that we should read it together.  I borrowed it from the library, but then our lives got busy and we never did.  Then, near the beginning of the year, I found it on a bargain table at Chapters and picked it up.  This book never would have been on my radar, had it not been for her.  And I LOVED IT.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?
I'm not much of a book crush kind of girl, but I absolutely adored Kelsier in Mistborn.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?
I think that The Hate U Give is the only debut that I read this year, and it's fitting that it's also one of my top reads of the year.

24. Best worldbuilding / most vivid setting you read this year?
The world building in A Darker Shade of Magic is INCREDIBLE.  Also, This Savage Song had an incredible post-apocalyptic world.  And Mistborn's magic system is on a whole different level.

25. Book that put a smile on your face / was the most FUN to read?
I had the best experience reading The Best of Adam Sharpe because there's a playlist that goes along with the book!  It was awesome to read, then listen to a song, then reread a passage with the song playing in my mind.  I've never read a book this way before, but it really brought the reading experience alive in a way that I haven't experienced with any other book before.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2017?
LORD OF SHADOWS.  My heart has still not fully healed.

27. Hidden gem of the year?
The One and Only Ivan.  I haven't read much middle grade in years past, but this book was so sweet and genuine, with such a beautiful story.

28. Book that crushed your soul?
I want to say Lord of Shadows again, but I'll pick something else instead.  Black Feathers, although a thriller and not really soul crushing per se, centred around the experiences of the homeless on the streets of Victoria.  It really changed the way that I look at people who are living on the streets, and made my heart hurt for the life circumstances that have led them there.

29. Most unique book you read in 2017?
A Little Something Different, while certainly not a favourite book this year, was definitely unique.  Told from the perspective of many different characters, but not the main characters, it was an interesting way to tell a story.  Particularly the parts that were told by a disgruntled park bench and a squirrel.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)?
The Lux Series -- SO.  MUCH.  EYE.  ROLLING.

Your Blogging / Bookish Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2017?
I rediscovered Rose Quartz Reads, whose blog I used to read, but then I kind of fell off the blog-reading wagon.  I've started email subscribing to my favourite blogs, so that I can read posts on my commute.  Hopefully, this year I'll get better and being on my blog reading game.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2017?
Burn by Julianna Baggott, because it's not just a review of the final book in the series, but also a reflection on my journey with the series.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
It will come as no surprise, but the post with the most comments is my introductory post for the Love-a-thon.  Rereading those comments is already getting me excited for the 2018 round.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit is one of the sweetest, kindest bloggers I know, but when I read her pregnancy announcement post, I cried so hard.  I was so blown away by how honest and genuine she was in her post about her struggles to get pregnant, and so honoured by how she shed light on an issue that affects so many, but isn't talked about openly.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I can't choose just one!!!!  I loved the All the Short Ones Readathon because it was something new that I hadn't done before, but I also loved joining the Love-a-thon again, as well as the Broke and Bookish Secret Santa.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2017?
Meeting Jessica @ Novel Cravings (and her adorable son!) in REAL LIFE.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag -- I gotta start doing more tag posts next year ... they're so much fun!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I love sharing Marko Monday posts, and will continue to do so regardless of the fact that these posts rarely get comments -- but my son is so cute!!!!  Give him some love!!!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Owlcrate -- I'm four months in and fully down the rabbit hole.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Mostly?  I just wrote a wrap-up post on this.  I finished all four of my reading challenges, but didn't quite reach all of my goals.  But I'm okay with that.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?
I started The Revolution of Marina M, but got distracted by other things.  I will definitely, definitely be reading this book in 2018.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?
I wrote a post on this too!  But if I had to choose one ...  I can't do it.  I choose two: Save the Date by Morgan Matson and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare.

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don't know if I'm anticipating any debuts (and I'm terrible for paying attention to debuts that are releasing!)  If you know of any, please let me know.

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?
Throne of Glass and the Dark Artifices.

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging in 2018?
RELAX.  I had a pretty sluggish blogging year, and sometimes the pressure of not posting and not having engagement with my posts gets to me a little bit.  BUT, I fully intend to not worry about this in 2018, and just go with the flow.  If I'm inspired to post, I'll post.  But if it's quiet on here for a little bit, just know that I'm probably curled up with a good book and a mug of tea, and I'll be back soon!

If you filled out this survey, please leave me a link to your post and I'll stop by!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, as always, for taking the time to visit my little corner of the internet =)

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12/26/17

Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish, but not for much longer!  In 2018, this weekly list-making extravaganza will be hosted by the lovely Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.   Top Ten Tuesday has been a favourite of mine since I first started blogging and, although I don't participate that often anymore, it's one of my favourite bookish things.

I've been reflecting a lot on the past year of reading while filling out Jaime @ The Perpetual Page Turner's End of Year Bookish Survey (watch for it this week -- I hope!)  As much as I love looking back at what I've read and loved, I also love looking forward to the shiny new releases -- who doesn't love that new book smell?

1. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6)
I have a love-hate relationship with this series -- I love Tahereh's writing, but the series itself isn't my favourite ... BUT this releases on my birthday, and those COVERS *heart eyes emojis*

2. The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel (March 27)
I read, and LOVED, The Life Intended this year, and I cannot wait to try some more of her books.

3. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova (April 3)
Lisa has been a favourite author of mine for a while, but I fell back in love with her books this year when I gobbled up Inside the O'Briens.  This book sounds PHENOMENAL.

4. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (May 1)
This book is going to be on a lot of books this week, because DUH.

5. 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno (May 1)
I think I need to reread 99 Days before I dive into this one, and I'm super glad that my secret sister sent me a copy so that I can do just that.

6. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (May 1)
This is another book that will likely be on a number of lists this week.  I loved THUG, and I'm eager to see if Angie can writer another incredible novel.

7. Save The Date by Morgan Matson (June 5)
MORE MORGAN MATSON.  *grabby hands*

8. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover (July 17)
While I wasn't completely enthralled by Without Merit, CoHo is still an author whose books I'll always read.

9. Vengeful by Victoria Schwab (September 25)
I have yet to read Vicious, but it's at the top of my to-read list for 2018.  I'm even more excited to know that I have more Victoria writing to look forward to after I finish Vicious.

10. Queen of Air and Darkness by Colleen Hoover (December 4)
I STILL HAVEN'T RECOVERED FROM THE END OF LORD OF SHADOWS.  The publication date for this book better not get pushed back, because I'm not sure if my fragile heart can handle a longer wait.

And of course, there's also the next (last?) Throne of Glass book, mainly because I'm eager to finish that series.  I read (and loved) Warcross this month, so I'm already anticipating the next one even though there's no release date just yet.  And finally, even though I haven't yet read Strange the Dreamer, I'm hopeful that The Muse of Nightmares will come out this year, just so that I can indulge in both books.

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12/22/17

Reading Resolutions & Challenges 2017

As we bid a fond farewell to 2017, it's time to look back at my reading resolutions and reading challenge goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of the year.  I still have just over a week to work on these goals, but I thought I'd wrap the year up now.

Reading Challenges

I participated in four reading challenges this year.

1. Goodreads Challenge.  I set my reading goal at 50 books because I know that I always read more than that, and I never want to log into Goodreads and be told that I'm three books behind schedule.  Nobody needs that kind of stress in life.  I blew past my goal in the summer, and kept on trucking, reading over 100 books this year!  Honestly, I've never had a total this high before, and I think I can credit my new commute -- over an hour of uninterrupted reading time really makes a difference!

2. Prequel and Sequel Challenge.  My goal was Professional (76-100 points) and I definitely met my goal.  I lost count of my total number of points, but it's definitely way past that.  

3. Rock My TBR.  My goal was 30 books, and I'm fairly certain that I read close to 40 books that I'd previously owned.

4. Flights of Fantasy.  My goal was 12 books, one per month.  At last count, I was at 22 books.  I'm really proud of my fantasy reading this year, especially because some of those fantasy books are my favourite reads of the year!

Reading Resolutions

1. Reduce my physical TBR to less than 100 books.
As I'm writing this post, I currently have 102 unread books on my physical TBR.  I unhauled a few books that I had picked up and set aside over the years, as well as some books that I know I've just lost interest in reading (like finally parting with Across the Universe).  I also unhauled some old, old ARCs that were gifted to me, which I've also lost interest in reading (and I plan to leave them in free little libraries!)  Although I didn't quite make my goal, I definitely felt like I focused on reading the books that I owned, and I know that I'll see that number go down even further next year.

2. Reduce my e-book TBR to less than 20 books.
I have 21 books still on my ebook TBR, and I just started one ... so I might still make it!  BUT, considering I had over 30 at the beginning of the year, and I only bought five ebooks this year, I both reduced my purchases AND read a whole bunch of ebooks!

3. Finish 10 series.
I gave up on finishing my original list of 10 series over the summer, but managed to finish/catch up to the last book published in the following nine series:
  • Shades of Magic trilogy (started and finished)
  • Monsters of Verity duology (started and finished)
  • Unraveling duology (started and finished)
  • Burn trilogy
  • ACOTAR series
  • Dark Artifices (started and am all caught up)
  • Throne of Glass (all caught up)
  • Lux series (finished)
  • Young Elites trilogy (finished)
I also read some other series books (like three more in the Magyk series) and I started (and may possibly finish) the Shadowlands trilogy.  I also read Warcross, which is another series that I plan to continue, but I didn't think I could put it on my list for only one book read.  All in all, I consider this challenge a success -- I feel good about my progress with series this year.

4. Blog whenever hubby plays video games.
My hubby hasn't played video games since I posted my resolutions!  He has watched a lot of sports this year, and I've tried to be better at plugging in my headphones to drown out the TV, rather than mindlessly scrolling through my phone while he's watching TV.  Definitely something that I can work on next year as well.

5. Participate in three online events.
Epic Success!  I participated in the Love-a-Thon, the All the Short Ones readathon and the third round of Tome Topple.  I also joined #Spookathon (and was SO PROUD of myself for posting all 31 days of the Instagram challenge!).  I tried, but didn't manage to complete, two more rounds of Tome Topple.  Just wasn't in the mood for bigger books.  And then rounded off the year with my favourite bookish event, The Broke and the Bookish Secret Santa!

Did you make reading resolutions this year?  If so, did you achieve your goals?

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12/19/17

Top 6 Books I Hope Santa Brings


Two weeks in a row -- I'm joining in with Top Ten Tuesday post, hosted by the wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week bloggers share a list based on a particular theme, and this week's topic is one of my end-of-the-year favourites: books that I hope Santa brings.  I have two bookish gifts waiting for my under the tree, and my husband was supplied with a bookish wish list, so here's hoping that some of these will materialize on Christmas morning!

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Illustrated Edition
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Illustrated Edition
I picked up the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when I saw it at Costco, but never realized that the other two editions had been for sale at Costco (or maybe they were and I just didn't see them?)  In any case, when Marko is old enough, I'd like to read these editions with him, as I think the illustrations will really help to bring the story to life.

3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
This is probably the #1 book on my wish list this year.  After reading, and loving two of her other series, I can't wait for more of her books in my life.

4. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
I was on the fence about giving this series a shot, but I think I just love her books so much that I need to own them all.

5. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
I ADORED Little Fires Everywhere, and I've heard that Celeste's first book is just as good.

6. La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman
I loved His Dark Materials so much that I got one of the worst sunburns of my life while reading those books.  I was so enamoured by the story that I lost track of time and forgot to apply more sunscreen.

How about you?  Which books are you hoping to find under the tree this year?

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12/12/17

Top 10 Books of 2017


It has been MONTHS since I last shared a Top Ten Tuesday post, hosted by the wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week bloggers share a list based on a particular theme, and this week's topic is one of my end-of-the-year favourites: my top ten favourite reads of the year.  I've been working on my end of the year survey and picking one favourite book for the year is HARD.  So this week's topic gives me the perfect excuse to pick ten favourites instead of just one!

In no particular order ...

1. The Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab
First item on the list, and I'm already cheating.  But it's my blog and I can do what I want, and I read so many amazing books this year that I can't give three of the ten spots on this list to this series, even though it is amazing enough to merit three spots.  I already can't wait to reread this one, and am contemplating a reread on audio, even though I've heard mixed feelings on the narrator.  I just loved it so much.

2. This Savage Song duology by Victoria Schwab
I was on the fence about picking up Schwab's young adult work because I'd heard that you either love her adult fiction or her YA fiction, but not usually both.  I'm SO GLAD I picked up This Savage Song because I LOVED it (Shades of Magic is still my all-time favourite of hers though!  It's pretty hard to beat Lila Bard, although Kate is a close second).

3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I READ A BRANDON SANDERSON BOOK THIS YEAR AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.  I'm dying to read the rest of the series, and bought them all already, but then life got crazy and I want to read them when I can take the time to enjoy them in all their gloriousness.

4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This book was everywhere on Instagram after it was included as a Book of the Month pick.  Even though I'm in Canada, and can't subscribe to Book of the Month, I'm definitely keeping my eye on their picks because I read couple of other BotM books this year and was wowed by all of them.

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book is going to be on a lot of favourites lists, but it deserves every single mention.  

6. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
Lady Midnight was one of my high-priority books for this year, especially after I thought I'd do the Make-Me-Read-It-A-Thon last year, and the book community picked this book off my TBR.  This is another one of those books that deserves all the hype, and I don't think my heart has fully recovered from reading Lord of Shadows.

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
TJR is an auto-buy author for me, and I have loved each of her books.  She writes solid adult contemporaries that are full of heart, but this book was very different from her other books.  Evelyn Hugo is a very unlikeable woman but, as I felt with Fairest by Marissa Meyer, I was absolutely captivated by Evelyn's character and her motivations, and the plot kept me turning the pages long past bedtime.

8. Love Her Wild by Atticus
I ADORED this book, and the combination of stunning photographs with beautiful words is an experience that I have yet to recreate.  I've stumbled across a few other poets on Instagram, and I'm going to order a few volumes of poetry in the new year, hoping to recreate the experience that I had while reading this gorgeous book.

9. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
I've loved each one of John Green's books, so I never doubted that Turtles would be on my list of favourites.  The narrator in the story blew me away, and I felt honoured that John wrote such a personal book that helps readers to truly understand how the narrator's mind works.  It made the book even more important when I saw so many reviewers expressing gratitude to John for writing a book that made them feel less alone, and a book that showed the world that someone understands their mental health struggles.  

10. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
This was a surprise favourite, although I should know by now that when Estelle @ Rather Be Reading loves a book, it'll be a favourite of mine too.  This is a book that I wish I could have read as a teen, but it warms my heart tremendously to know that teenage girls today can read this.

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12/7/17

On Trying New Things

It's December, and with December comes a lot of time for reflection on the past year of reading.  Looking back over the books that I've read this year, I'm pretty proud of myself for diving headfirst into two genres that I didn't read a lot of prior to this year...

Adult Fantasy

Ever since Alexa Love Books started hosting the Flights of Fantasy challenge (two years ago? three years ago?), I've been slowly getting back into fantasy.  As I've mentioned on here before, I read a LOT of fantasy as a child, but then slowly veered towards contemporary and more reality-based stories as I grew up.  I started slowly getting back into fantasy over the past couple of years, but have stuck primarily to young adult fantasy books, mainly because I still find adult fantasy intimidating.  The books are often tomes and I worry that the world-building will be overly complex and confusing.  

BUT, this year I did it.  I binge read the entire Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.  AND I tackled of the most intimidating books and authors on my shelves and I READ A BRANDON SANDERSON BOOK.  And it was AWESOME and INCREDIBLE and ALL THE THINGS EVERYONE SAID IT WOULD BE.

Lesson learned: don't be scared of the fantasy.

Plan for the future: read lots more of the fantasy.

Thrillers

I joined #Spookathon this year, and had only selected one thriller-esque book for my TBR, but once I read Black Feathers, I just wanted more.  So I threw the rest of my TBR out the window (how unlike me, I know!) and binge read two more thrillers.  And I'm currently reading another thriller.

This fall I've had a lot going on.  Work has been busy.  I finished the last class for my HR Management certificate (and it was a dry, difficult class filled with lots of labour legislation).  As a result, I struggled a lot to find the energy to read and, as a result, have watched a lot of TV this fall (Stranger Things and This Is Us).  And although I'll always give myself the flexibility to walk away from reading when I need a break, I've also noticed that picking up a gripping contemporary (like Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova) or a thriller (like my current read, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter) seems to be a surefire way to suck me back into reading.

Lesson learned: I like a book that I can't put down.

Plan for the future: read lots more of these unputdownables.

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12/5/17

Reader Problems Tag

I love watching tag videos on BookTube, and have been writing posts on tags whenever I feel inspired to do so!  The Reader Problems Tag was created by About to Read, and you can see the original video here.


1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
I've tried all kinds of things, from TBR jars to having my husband pick my next book. I've tried sticking to TBR lists too, but in the end I just pick what I'm in the mood for. Sometimes I have to pick up and put down a few books before I find something that sticks.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?
Definitely quit. If I can tell that I'm just not in the mood for the book, I'll set it aside to read at a different time. But if it's a book that just won't work for me, I have no problem DNFing the book. Life's too short to waste time reading books that aren't my cup of tea!

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
I've purposely set my Goodreads challenge way lower than I need to because I don't like the pressure of trying to read a certain number of books by the end of the year. So, as a result, I'm never behind!

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?
It bugs me but I wouldn't waste money replacing the books of the series. Except Harry Potter -- I'm on a mission to acquire all of the original Canadian hardcovers.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
Hmmmm.... I have similar bookish taste with Jessica @ Novel Cravings and Lauren @ Lose Time Reading, so chances are I'll be able to chat with one of them about the book.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
I'd just go with it! This has actually happened to me on a ferry with Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes and it ended with a sweet little old lady sharing her chocolate and Kleenex with me.

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?
It depends on my love for the series. Sometimes I'll re-read it, but other times I'll just look up a synopsis online and then dive in. If it's been a long, long time since I read the series, and I've lost interest in the series, I'll just move on with my life.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
I don't mind lending out books, but I'm always cautious about lending books to people who know how to take care of their books. I lent a book to a coworker once whose cat knocked over a glass of water and water damaged the book, like the book would never lay flat again because the pages were utterly warped. While I understand that accidents can happen, this coworker returned the book without even acknowledging the damage or apologizing, just said "Thanks for lending it to me; it was pretty good." Needless to say, I didn't lend any other books to her.

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
This happened to me a couple of years ago, and it was AWFUL. In all honesty, I just stopped reading altogether. I watched a lot of BookTube, binge watched Dance Academy on Netflix, and reading was there waiting for me when I was ready to come back.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
I buy the books that I know I'll love and want to cherish forever. Generally, I research my book purchases pretty well, so I have a pretty good idea ahead of time that it's a book that I'll love. If it's a book that I'm not sure about, I'll borrow it from the library instead.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
Honestly, since I'm such a mood reader, it totally depends. I've read about half, or a little more than half, of the books that I've bought this year. I'm pretty proud of that, and I know that the books that I haven't read are the ones that I just haven't been in the mood to read just yet. But they're there and they're shiny and pretty and waiting for me when I'm ready.

And now the fun part -- I tag Jessica @ Novel Cravings and Lauren @ Lose Time Reading, since I mentioned you both in my post!


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12/1/17

December TBR

I know, I know, I said no monthly TBRs and now this is, what, four months in a row?  I have tons of books that I want to read right now, so let's see how many of these I get to before the year is over!

Library Books
1. Warcross by Marie Lu
I'm not 100% sure that I'll like or finish this one, since I loved her Legend series but could barely make it through her Young Elites series.  I'm willing to give it a shot though.

2. Endless by Kate Brian
3. Hereafter by Kate Brian
I gobbled up Shadowlands last month, and immediately put the next two on hold at the library, even before I hit the crazy cliffhanger of an ending!

4. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
I read, and loved, Unravelling a couple of months ago, and want to finish up this duology while the first one is fresh in my mind.

Review Books
5. Someone in the Way by Rachel Del
I reviewed Rachel's book How to Be Someone Else on the blog last fall, and really enjoyed it.  I was honoured when she reached out to ask if I'd be interested in reading this book, which is a complete re-write of her first book!  It comes out in early January.

6. She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop
This one may not happen, as it's a February release, but I would love to start the year ahead on my ARC game.  Wishful thinking, but a girl can dream, can't she?

From My Shelves
7. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
8. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
9.  Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter
10. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
These are the books calling my name from the shelf at the moment.  The Passion was gifted to me by my Secret Santa last year, and I'm so intrigued by it.  I ADORED Stargirl when I read it many, many years ago and I think it's time to pick up the sequel.  I've read a lot of thrillers this fall, and saw that Jordan @ The Jordan Journals really enjoyed Pretty Girls, so I hope that I will too.  And, finally, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto has just been calling my name for a while.  I love that the story is narrated by music (or something like that) which just gives me some good Book Thief type vibes.  Plus, I saw someone on Instagram say that he read it in a day because he couldn't put it down.

Ten books is fairly ambitious and, knowing my moodiness when it comes to reading, I'll likely change up my entire TBR by the time this post goes live!

What about you?  What are the books that you're hoping to get to before the end of the year?

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11/30/17

Reading Round-up - November

It's Christmas next month.  CHRISTMAS.  This year has flown by so incredibly fast!  November was a pretty good reading month for me.  I started off thinking that I might actually hit 100 books this year, but then I slowed down and read some chunkier books, so we'll see where I end up at the end of the year.  I'm not too concerned either way.


1. Little Fires Everywhere
This book was INCREDIBLE.  I saw rave reviews popping up all over, and the hype is so so SO deserved for this book.  It centres around two families in a suburban town, and I was riveted from page one.  I already can't wait to re-read it; hopefully, with the Badass Book Bitches (my new reading crew on Instagram).


2. Felicity by Mary Oliver
Every since I read Love Her Wild during the summer, I've been searching for another poetry book to blow me away.  This one was very good!


3. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
After I finished Little Fires Everywhere, I could feel a reading slump coming on because I couldn't decide what I was in the mood to read.  I tried picking up The Name of the Wind and the second Mistborn book, but couldn't get into any of them.  Then I thought I felt like a contemporary, but couldn't settle on one.   So Marko picked a book off the shelf for me, and he chose this one.  I read The Shadow of the Wind on my honeymoon and LOVED it, but hadn't picked up either of his other two books.  I'm so glad it read this one, as it evoked a lot of the magic that the first book did.  I'll definitely be picking up the third book in the not-too-distant future.


4. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
The Five People You Meet in Heaven is one of my all-time favourite books and, although I've enjoyed each of his other books, I still haven't quite hit that WOW factor that I found in Five People.


5. Shadowlands by Kate Brian
So I randomly realized the other day that I picked up a cheap ebook of this book AND my OTSP Secret Sister bought me a copy, so reading this book knocked a book off both TBR piles.  And HOLY SMOKES this book was unputdownable.  It was amazing content-wise, but once I started I raced through to the end.  And then put the next two on hold at the library.


6. The Power by Naomi Alderman
I have a new reading group on Instagram called the Badass Book Bitches.  An amazing group of inspiring ladies, and we're dedicated to feminist reads.  As I've likely mentioned on here before, I have a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Women's Studies, so I've read a lot of feminist texts or read texts through a feminist perspective, but university was a long, long time ago, and it's been refreshing to discuss with these ladies and really delve deep into a text.  The Power was good, but not amazing, but our conversations were truly the highlight of the reading experience.


7. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My book club picked this one, and I listened to it on audio.  The beginning was really dull and I contemplated DNFing the book, but it got better as it went on.  Although reading from the perspective of the mother was interesting, I think Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult did a better job of tackling the concept of school shootings and, possibly, no other book on the topic will ever compare?


8. It Happens All the Time by Amy Havatny
I picked this one up on a whim because I was buddy reading The Power and took my ereader to work, but needed another book to read after I'd finished the week's allotted reading.  I flew through the book, absolutely enthralled by the story and the dual narration.


9. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
OMIGOSH THIS BOOK.  It's been hyped all over, but totally lives up to the hype.  It's the book that I wish I could have read as a teen, because it's full of feminism and grrrrrrl power and all the things I wish I'd been exposed to at a younger age.  BUT, with that being said, I'm just happy that teens today can be exposed to this book and its awesomeness.


10. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
At the time of typing this, I'm not 100% sure I'll finish this by month end, but considering the fact that it's only 130 pages, I think it's possible.  I picked this up on a whim at a used bookstore, when I asked the bookseller for a recommendation.  At first I thought, Steve Martin, like the funny guy, and thought it couldn't possibly be that good; however, Steve Martin can WRITE.  It's very well written and I'm totally caught up in the plot line already.


11. Flora & Ulysses by Kate diCamillo
I was looking for an audiobook and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to spend my Audible credits on, so I hopped onto Overdrive instead and saw this.  Kate's other books, The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, are high up on the list of my all-time favourites, so I always have high expectations for her books.  This one is good, and the narrator is delightful, but I realized halfway through that the book is illustrated, and I think I might be missing out on the full magic of the story because the illustrations aren't a part of the audio experience.  SO, while I will finish this one (I only have 45 minutes left in the audio), I know that I'll revisit it in print format.

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11/27/17

Marko Monday [25] -

Lately, Marko has been into snakes.  For his birthday last year, he acquired a large plus snake, and has acquired three more since then.  On weekend mornings, we can hear the rattle of his rattlesnake's tail as he brings all four plush snakes down the hall and climbs into our bed.  Then we all have to "squeeze up like a happy family" with him and his snakes in the middle.

So when we stumbled across this book at Value Village one day, we had to grab it and it's been a favourite lately.  The story is told from the boy's perspective and the snake's perspective, and the book is flipped upside down when switching perspectives (front to back, and then back to front). It's a cute story, because the boy is scared of the snake, and then when the snake tells the story, he's scared of the boy.  As a mama who wasn't super fond of snakes to begin with, this is a good reminder that they're probably just as scared of us as we are of them.


It's hard to believe that we're closing in on this little man's fifth birthday.  He's growing like crazy and has lost some of his short stockiness, as he's quite tall and a bit lankier now.  He loves imaginative play as well as curling up on the couch with a book or watching a movie together.  Cuddles are harder to come by these days as sometimes he's "too busy" but it just makes them all the more enjoyable when he does slow down for just a minute to snuggle.  I always want to grab him and squeeze him and demand that time slow down, just a little bit.  But he squirms away and races off to fight some more bad guys before dinner.  For "just one more minute, okay Mama?"

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11/16/17

Tome Topple - Round 5

My favourite part of November is Tome Topple, especially as I always seem to feel myself burning out on reading towards the end of the year, as I try to catch up on reading challenges and read all the things I'd planned to read.  Generally, by November I've either realized that I'll get it all done in time, or I've completely given up hope.  This year it's the latter, and I'm fully ready to curl up with a tome or two for the last half of November, and just enjoy reading.

Tome Topple was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and you can watch her announcement video here.  The challenges for each round of Tome Topple are the same and as follows:

1. Read more than one tome.
2. Buddy read a tome.
3. Read a graphic novel.
4. Read a tome that is part of a series.
5. Read an adult novel.

I've never managed to complete all five challenges for this readathon, mainly because the focus is on reading larger books and I'm always impressed with myself for getting through one book!  In order for a book to count as a tome, it has to be over 500 pages.


For this round of Tome Topple, I will be reading Janet Fitch's new release The Revolution of Marina M.  To say that I'm excited about this book would be an understatement as Janet Fitch is, without a doubt, one of my favourite authors of all time.  I read White Oleander when I was 17 and loved that book so much that I flipped back to page one as soon as I was finished because I couldn't bear for it to be over.  I absolutely cannot wait to get lost in her writing again, and this book is a BEAST -- 800 pages!  Perfect for Tome Topple.

If I feel like a second book, I'm considering either the second book in the Mistborn trilogy or The Cuckoo's Calling, both of which count as a book in a series.  BUT we'll see.  One massive tome will likely be more than enough =P

Are you participating in Tome Topple?  What are you planning to read?  Let me know in the comments below, and good luck with your reading goals!

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11/15/17

Looking Back ... At Six Years of Blogging

Six years ago, I shared a post called Hello World and dove into the world of blogging.  To say it's been a whirlwind adventure would be an understatement, but I wouldn't change a moment of this adventure for the world.  I thought I'd share a few highlights of the past six years, including some of my favourite posts.  Thank you to all of you that have been on some or all of this adventure with me.  From reading my words to leaving thoughtful comments ... your presence and support mean the world to me.  Here's to another six years!


  • Meeting Evie @ Bookish (unfortunately, right before she moved away!)  She was so lovely and supportive and encouraging for a new blogger, and I know that she's one of the reasons that I kept blogging in the earlier years
  • My first blog award (are these even a thing anymore?) because it meant that someone was validating what I was doing
  • My first Bloggiesta, where I made a friend who showed me how to make a blog roll
  • Announcing a reading slump .... caused by pregnancy!
  • Meeting Lisa Genova, and the first time I posted a picture of myself on the blog
  • Sharing our how we met story (spoiler: it was in a bookstore!)
  • I meet Lauren @ Lose Time Reading through The Broke and the Bookish's Secret Santa -- and we're still friends today!
  • My beautiful baby boy, Marko, arrives
  • Losing my e-book virginity
  • The first Marko Monday
  • Summer of Standalones -- a fantastic readathon hosted by Cass @ The Casserole, and one that I've found myself unofficially doing every summer since
  • I made a series-ous decision to conquer my list of unfinished series
  • My first round of blogging blahs
  • My most personal review ever, Me Before You, where the story of my dad's accident and his strength
  • My first If We Were Having Coffee post -- despite the above-noted personal review, this was the first time that I really felt like my book was about ME and not just books
  • I started hosting The Prequel & Sequel Challenge with Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat.  Despite the fact that we don't talk regularly, and the fact that I've been the crappiest co-host, I still consider Jessi to be one of my bestest blogging buddies
  • Meeting Marissa Meyer
  • My blog gets a makeover
  • Wrote one of my favourite posts about ARCs
  • Revisited the series-ousness of my physical TBR -- I loved putting together the stats on this!
  • Shared my first (and only) Reading On My Mat post -- I will bring this series back soon
  • Shared the beginning of my Reading Journey -- another series I plan to continue
  • Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I were SO EXCITED about our Lose Time RRReading Readathon -- it was a bit of a flop, but I'd love to try it again someday
  • One of the worst reading slumps in my life, but the comments on this post warmed my heart
  • Had one of the most amazing Secret Santa experiences with the incredible Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit
  • Joined the OTSP Secret Sisterhood, and met Jessica @ Novel Cravings and Amanda @ Books, Brains and Brawn in my first round -- friends forever!
  • Participated in the first of many rounds of Tome Topple
  • Received and reviewed my very first physical ARC (I still squeal internally when I remember opening this package from Random House)
  • Participated in #Bookmas, while moving houses (I'm still amazed that I posted so much this month considering all the hecticness that was my life at the time!)
  • Although this year was my second time participating in the Love-a-Thon, it was the first time that I really felt that I joined in
  • My dear friend Jessica @ Novel Cravings hosted the All the Short Ones Read-a-thon and I read SO MANY BOOKS
  • Went through a blogging identity crisis (in all honesty, I think I'm still there!)
  • Participated in Spook-a-thon and, although I can't link it here, I posted on Instagram for all 30 days of the challenge!
  • Shared 25 Bookish Facts About Me -- a recent post, but another one that I'm quite proud of!

In addition to all of the things that I've linked above, I've participated in a lot of other fun things, like Top Ten Tuesday, Life of a Blogger and much, much more.  I'm so grateful for the friendships that I've made through blogging, and the opportunity to share a little bit about myself in this little corner of the internet.  I'm eternally grateful for each one of you that takes the time to stop by my blog (yes, you, you wonderful person!) and I cherish each and every comment.  I'm excited to continue blogging -- who knows where this blog will be in six more years?!?

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11/13/17

On Dusty Books

Last week, I shared a list of books that I've bought this year, and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I've read about half of the books in the same year that they were purchased.  A few years ago, I tried my own version of a book buying ban, where I promised myself that I'd only buy a book if I planned to read it right away.  There's something exciting about coming home from the bookstore and diving into a new book right away, rather than sticking it on the shelf and forgetting about it.

One of my reading goals this year is to get my physical shelves to less than 100 unread books.  Currently, I'm sitting around 115 so it feels doable by the end of the year.  I've also unhauled a few old ARCs that were gifted to me that I have zero interest in reading, to help bring my numbers down. I have a few short books that I was thinking of blitzing through, as it'll get the numbers down quickly and, if I don't like them, I can just immediately drop them into the unhaul pile.  But there's something holding me back.

I have had a truly incredible reading year.  Truly, truly incredible.  For a while, it felt like every book that I was picking up was blowing me away and I was marvelling at how few DNFs I had this year.  This is precisely what's holding me back from picking up some of these older titles -- I'm fairly certain that they're books that aren't my cup of tea anymore; however, I don't want to just unhaul them without giving them a shot first.  BUT, since I'm having such a stellar reading year, I also don't want to pick up and DNF a string of books in a row, just to get my unread numbers down.  There's always a little part of me that thinks that I might love the book, if I read it at a different time in my life.  For example, I used to read a lot of middle grade, so I have about 20 unread middle grade titles on my shelves.  I don't read much middle grade anymore, which isn't to say that I won't enjoy those books, but I probably would have enjoyed them more if I had read them ten years ago.  Or maybe I'll enjoy them in another five years.

In conclusion, I probably won't sweat my reading goals and will just keep picking up the books that I want to read when I want to read them.  I read 13 books last month, so finishing off 15 more from my shelves in two months doesn't seem unreasonable.

What about you?  How do you deal with dusty books that you're not sure you are interested in reading?  Do you keep them for a rainy day or try them and DNF or just unhaul them?  I'm interested to hear your thoughts, so let me know in the comments below -- and thanks for stopping by!

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11/8/17

25 Bookish Facts About Me

I saw this tag over at Confessions of a Book Geek a long, long time ago and, although I wasn't tagged, I just had to participate.  What a fun way to share bookish things with you all!

1. My name is literary.  My parents picked Melissa because they were watching Little House on the Prairie while my mom was pregnant, and they liked Melissa Gilbert's name (the actress who played Laura on the show).  My mom's middle name is Ann, which she wanted to pass along to me, but she preferred "Anne with an E" from Anne of Green Gables, so that's how she spelled it.

2. I loved Rachel's story of how she started reading Harry Potter, so I thought I'd add my own.  I was a Girl Guide leader at the time, and the girls were OBSESSED with talking about Harry's adventures and I had to figure out what Quidditch was.  I had only planned on reading the first book, just so that I'd understand what the fuss was about, but quickly binge read the four books that were released at that point ... and never looked back.

3. Speaking of Harry Potter, I worked at the launch of the sixth book and was in line for the seventh book at midnight.  I have yet to find another series that has impacted me so profoundly, although some of the adult fantasy that I've picked up this year has come pretty close.

4. I don't write in my books or dogear pages, but I haul my books around in my purse and they get pretty beaten up while I'm reading them.  Even though I recently scored a Book Beau in an Owlcrate, I still find myself shoving my book into my purse ... alongside the Book Beau *hangs head in shame...*

5. I'm not too concerned about the wear and tear on my books, but I despise it when I lend a book out and people don't care about how they treat the borrowed book.  I once lent a book to a coworker who spilled a glass of water on it, and then returned it without either acknowledging the damage or even apologizing.  I'm not super concerned about the wear and tear on my books, but I think that people should be super considerate and careful with borrowed books, and if accidents happen at least say sorry!

6. It bothers me a little when my series don't match, but I would never really consider spending the money on books that I already own.  In that vein, I don't own multiple copies of beloved books.

7. Further to number 6 above, the one series that does irritate me is Harry Potter.  I'm slowly replacing my mismatched set whenever I stumble across one of the original Canadian hardcovers.  So far, I've got my original books six and seven, and I found book four a few weeks ago.

8. Again, further to number 6 above, I also recently bought the third illustrated Harry Potter book, and plan to pick up the first two if my lovely husband doesn't pick them off my wish list this Christmas!  So, I will own multiple copies of the Harry Potter series, but I think I'll cap that at two copies per book.

9. I can't WAIT to read the Harry Potter series aloud to Marko!!!  This is the sole reason that I've purchased the illustrated versions.  Reading them aloud with the pictures is going to be MAGICAL.

10. I don't own any funko pops (is that what they're called?) and don't have a desire to.  I'm not a fan of things that I have to dust, except my books.  I think that makes me a bit of an anomaly in the bookish world, but I'm okay with that =P

11. I have yet to find a bookshelf organization system that works for me.  I've organized my shelves purely alphabetical, but later reorganized by genre so that my husband's sci-fi and horror wouldn't be sitting with my books.  I later shuffled by size so that I could fit everything together, and lost the alphabetical order.  After our recent move, I unpacked books into read and unread shelves, and I hopeful that splitting up my unfinished series will motivate me to reunite the books!

12. I sometimes wish that I could start my Goodreads shelves all over again, but I have way to many books on my shelves and it would take HOURS to reorganize it all.

13. I love the idea of doing a rainbow shelf organization, but I know that it would take FOREVER to set up, and would promptly drive me bonkers.

14. I met my husband in a bookstore!  He was a customer and I worked in the store.  And we lived happily ever after.

15. We had a bookish wedding (I'll link my post with our how we met story and a few pics of the wedding, if you're interested!)

16. I spend an hour and a half commuting to work, and another hour and a half commuting home.  The way Vancouver is laid out, the only place to make a decent salary is downtown, and the only place one can afford to purchase a home is waaaaay east, so most people have a similar commute.  But you know what, I kind of love it.  I drive half an hour with my husband, who drops me at the train station, and then I blissfully sip my coffee and have some uninterrupted reading time!

17. Due to the reasons above, it's entirely possible that I may finish 100 books this year -- gasp!

18. I recently stumbled across a video of myself explaining my 2010 New Year's Resolutions.  In the video, I explained that the previous year I'd planned to read one book a month, but in 2010 I was planning to read two books a month.  In consideration of the item noted above, my first thought was WHO IS THIS GIRL AND HOW IS SHE POSSIBLY A PAST ME?

19. I recently subscribed to Owlcrate and, although it's been fun getting bookish mail, I'm not 100% sure I know what to do with all the "stuff" that comes in the box.  Last month's box was good because the items were all functional (tea, mug, coaster, etc.) but I may cancel my subscription if there's too many trinket-y things.  As mentioned above, I don't clutter my shelves with candles and bookish things.  There's just books and framed photos on my shelves.

20. I'm only a few days away from my sixth blogoversary.  I still can't believe that I've been doing this for SIX YEARS.  If you want a good laugh, here's my first post -- it still makes me laugh to this day.

21. When I stumble across a new blog, the first thing I do is read the blogger's very first post.  I like to see where people began, and I especially love it when the first post is a "welcome to my blog" or similar introductory post, rather than a review.

22. If Marko doesn't love reading when he's all grown up, it'll probably shatter my soul.  No seriously, it probably will.

23. I totally judge books by their covers.  (Shhh, I won't tell anyone that you do too).  As a result, there are a few books that I probably would have totally passed over because the covers didn't wow me (like Me Before You or Turtles All the Way Down), so thank goodness for people raving about these books online and convincing me to give them a shot!

24. Speaking of covers, my biggest cover pet peeve is putting a real person's face on the cover.  I don't want the publisher to tell me what the character looks like; I want to imagine it for myself.

25. For the very reason noted above, I will search high and low for the original printing of a book in order to avoid buying a movie tie-in cover.  NO THANK YOU to Hollywood actors on the front of this girl's books!

Well, there you have it -- 25 random bookish facts about me!  This post sat in my drafts for WAY TOO LONG (as with many other posts lately!) but I'm happy I finally finished writing it.  Let me know some bookish facts about you in the comments below, or leave a link to your post and I'll stop by!  I love learning about other people's weird (or totally normal) bookish idiosyncrasies!

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11/6/17

An Entire Year's Book Haul -- in one post!

Book hauls are my favourite posts to write and to read; however, I actually haven't shared ANY this year!  I thought I'd wrap up my year's worth of purchases in post ... since I stop buying for myself November 1st, this will be all I buy this year!  The next one of these will be my Christmas haul.

Books Bought and Read

  • Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
  • Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel
  • The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  • Love Her Wild by Atticus
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Books Bought and Not Yet Read

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, et al
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
  • The Ministry of Almost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
  • All Our Wrong Yesterdays by Elan Mastai
  • Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
  • It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • Before She Rises by Jodi Meadows
  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
That's a long list of books, but I'm actually quite proud of the fact that I've read about half of what I've bought this year!  There are quite a few that I still hope/plan to read before the year is up.  Do you see any favourites in my list?  Let me know if there's a book that I should prioritize!

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11/1/17

November TBR

I decided that I was doing away with monthly TBR lists, but I've also kind of changed my mind on my fall reading since I posted my fall TBR list ... so here I am, back with another monthly TBR list!

Towards the end of June, I planned out the rest of my reading for the year, thinking that if I focused on certain books, I might be able to get through the 17 books that I planned to read in 2017, as well as the ten series that I had planned to finish.  At this point in the year, I've tossed that all out the window.  At last count, I believe that I have four of the 17 books still to read, and plan to read one this month, possibly two.  Finishing all but two of that list is WAY better than I did last year, so I'm pretty proud of myself!  And, in all honesty, the two books that are left (The Bone Season and Graceling) are books that I'm not sure I'm even interested in reading at all anymore, but we'll see.  Maybe next year.



1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This book is my top priority this month.  At 21 pages per day, it might take me all month to finish it, but that's okay.  I'll probably pair it with some contemporaries, just to lighten the mood.  Books that are currently calling my name include...

2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
3. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
4. The Elegant Gathering of White Snows by Kris Radish
5. Mercy or Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
In all honesty, I'm not sure which of these I'm in the mood for.  I just picked up The Elegant Gathering of White Snows and I've been sucked in so far, but I'm also battling a head cold, which always makes reading a little trickier!  Edit: After finalizing this post, the audiobook for Little Fires Everywhere came in at the library, so looks like I'm picking that one up first!

6. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
I don't know if I'll read this one in November or December, but I would like to pick it up before the year is over.  I've been eyeing Alias Grace on my shelves as well, and I have PVRed the show to watch after I read the book, but Robber Bride is a little bit shorter so I think I'll start with this one, and then move to Alias Grace later.  I've been craving another of Atwood's books since I reread The Handmaid's Tale earlier this year.

7. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
I've always been intrigued about this book, but equally terrified by it as well, especially now that I'm a mother.  I'm listening to it on audio, and I'm about two hours in and it's not as sad as I thought it would be?  It's our next book club book, and I can already tell that this will be a book that some love and some hate, which always makes for excellent discussion.

Plus, I'm also contemplating another Mistborn book, since I ordered the rest of the series.  Another round of Tome Topple starts mid-month, so stay tuned for a TBR post if I decide to participate!  We'll see how The Name of the Wind is coming along, and whether I just blast my way through that, or tackle another tome!  Who knows, maybe it might also be time to pick up A Little Life?  Oh, who knows -- I'm all over the map with my reading!!!

How about you?  What are you reading this month?  Have you read any of the contemporaries that I listed above?  I need some help deciding what to read along with The Name of the Wind!
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10/31/17

Reading Round-up - October

Seriously ... HOW are there only two months left in this year?  I had a pretty good reading month this year, and a momentous moment where I gave up on all of my reading goals and just decided to read what I feel like reading!

1. Always and Forever, Lara Jean
My bookish buddy, Jessica @ Novel Cravings, binge read the first two in a ridiculously short time, so we decided to finish the series off by buddy reading the final book.  I gobbled up the first two books in an equally ridiculously short amount of time last summer, and I can't BELIEVE that I waited so long to pick up the final book!  While it was still a delightful conclusion to the series, there are a couple of things that I wish had been done differently.

2. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
I had originally planned to read ten series this year, and I just might make it, but they won't be the original ten series that I had planned to read.  One of the reasons for that is that I discovered Victoria Schwab this year, and binge read the Shades of Magic series earlier this year, and the This Savage Song duology later in the year.  HOLY COW this woman can write and this duology is INCREDIBLE.  ALL THE STARS.

3. Unraveling
Amber @ Books of Amber has been telling me (sometimes in SHOUTY CAPS) to READ THIS BOOK ALREADY for two, maybe three years?  And I did it.  I FINALLY DID IT.  AND IT WAS AMAZING.   I already put the sequel on hold at the library, and I'm passing along my copy to a friend to spread the love for the series.

4. Queste by Angie Sage
Phew, made it through book four in this series!  As much as I wanted to finish all seven books this year, I think I need a little break from this world -- this series will go on my 2018 TBR list instead.

5. Black Feathers by Robert J. Wiersema
For the #spookathon, this book was calling my name from the shelves.  So glad I decided to go with my gut and pick it up.  It was creepy and captivating and set in my hometown.  Highly recommended. 

6. The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
After Black Feathers, I was craving more adult thrillers, so I started this one.  I read, and loved, Alessandre Torre's book Love, Chloe and was eager to see what she wrote under a pen name.  The Girl in 6E was so different, but in such a good way.  I love it when an author can write completely different things, and have each style work in its own way.  Definitely checking out some more of her books!

7. He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker
Still craving thrillers, so I cracked open my last unread thriller on my Kobo.  This was also excellent, and my first experience with K.A. Tucker's work won't be my last!

8. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
I don't need to say much about this one because everyone's been gushing about it.  Let me just say this: the hype is real, and this is going to be a book at the top of many favourites lists this year.  Aza's character is incredible, and I feel like I learned a lot about what it must be like to live with anxiety and OCD.  Truly an incredible book.

9. The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel
After Turtles All The Way Down, I knew I needed something different, so I grabbed this on a whim off my shelves.  I was absolutely sucked in from the first chapter, and read 130 pages in one day!  This book reminded me a lot of Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe in Another Life, and I loved every minute of it.

10. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
I started this in September, and it took me well over a month to finish.  In all honesty, I'm falling a little out of love with this series, and I'm glad that there is only one more book left.  This book was good, but not incredible, and I think I'm just reading on because I've invested so much time and energy into the series, rather than because I love it so much.

11. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
As soon as I picked up Colleen's newest book from the library, I knew that I was done with Spookathon and ready to dive in.  I always gobble up her books in two or three days, depending on how much I have going on, but this one was different.  I read the first half, then got distracted by a few other books before returning to finish the last half.  It was good, but I had trouble connecting with Merit's character, which made it less un-put-down-able than her other books.

12. Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
I did a "try a chapter" thing last week, when I couldn't decide what to read, and this book captivated me from page one.  Lisa's books are like that -- so relatable and well-researched and well-developed that I was enthralled with the story from the beginning, and that love carried me right through to the end.  I can hardly wait for her next book in 2018!

13. The News by Rob Taylor
After I finished Love Her Wild, I asked some poetry-loving friends for recommendations, and this was one of the recommended books.  I really enjoyed this collection of poems, covering the duration of his wife's pregnancy week-by-week, but I also wish that I could read the same collection from thm the wife's perspective.

I can't believe that I read 13 books this month!  It's close to the number of books that I read in March, when I was only reading books under 300 pages.  Granted, two of the books were ones that I started last month, but my far-fetched goal of hitting 100 books this year doesn't feel so far-fetched anymore!

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10/26/17

Trying a Chapter...

I'm having some trouble deciding which book to pick up next, so I thought I'd pick five books and try a chapter of each ... and then read the one that grabs my attention the most!  So here goes...

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
My mom passed along a copy of this book after she read and loved it.  We have similar taste for some books, but often very differing tastes.  I read the first 15 pages of this book and I'm definitely not interested in it.  In fact, I think I'm going to put it into my unhaul pile.

2. How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie Debartolo
My copy of this book is an ARC and I picked it up back in 2005 when I worked at Bolen Books.  I've hauled it through five moves, and still haven't read it.  I read the first chapter and I'm already intrigued!  I love books that weave music into the narrative and I can already tell that music is going to be central to this story.

3. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
I won this book on Epic Reads' Tea Time many years ago.  I read the first couple of pages and liked it, but I don't think it's what I'm in the mood for at the moment.

4. Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
I've read, and loved, all of Lisa's previous books so I can't believe that I haven't read this one yet!  I read the prologue and, holy moly, this is going to be just as good as her previous books.

5. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
This is a recent acquisition -- I didn't even know he had a new book out until I stumbled across a bargain copy at Coles this week.  I read the first few pages of this one and I know that I will love it.

In the end, it's a toss up between The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto and Inside the O'Briens.  Although I know that I will love The Magic Strings, I think I'm in the mood for Lisa Genova's writing.

And now, off to read a few more chapters of my pick!

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