Friday, December 1, 2017

December is Here! It's the End of the Year

Hey there Everyone. I hope you've had a great few weeks since I posted last. American Thanksgiving was last week and I had a lovely time with my family and friends. Unfortunately I had some health issues over the past week that landed me in the hospital. Even though I'm on the mend, I want to spend December on staying healthy and enjoying the holidays with my family.

So I won't be around much this month. I may post a few End of the Year updates, but its possible you won't here from me until 2018!

See you soon! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tome Topple TBR (Round 5)

It is time, once again, for Tome Topple. This readathon is so much fun to participate in and last time I accomplished a lot. I've taken what I learned from that readathon and plan to read a physical tome as well as listening to an audiobook version of one tome. Check out my TBR!


Monday, November 13, 2017

GRWM & Booktuber Recommendations

This week I was excited to talk about some booktubers I really love. I had an inspiration based on Elizabeth from Books and Pieces. She reminded me how much I love the conversations booktubers start. So today I wanted to tell you most of the creators that make me think the most and inspire me to leave comments the most.
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Friday, November 3, 2017

Why My TBR Goal for 2017 was Unrealistic

It may be a little early to talk about goals from this year and whether we failed or succeeded. However, I already know the ultimate outcome for my TBR goal for 2017. I failed. I read a lot of books this year. Even so, I realize now that this goal was never going to happen this year.

At the beginning of this year I had high hopes that my TBR bookshelf would be reduced by the end of the year. According to my shelf on Goodreads I had 235 books unread and I set the ambitious goal (and I knew it was ambitious at the time) of reducing that number to 150. I also wanted to purchase fewer books than I did in 2016. So I stepped into 2017 hoping to buy less than 106 books and reduce my TBR by 85. I was going to have full shelves of books I have read!


Based on the fact I usually read around 100 books a year and there are usually 25-30 library books, ebooks, and audiobooks mixed in with what I read from my physical owned book, you may be thinking the same thing I was about half way through the year. That math doesn't add up. Both of us would be very very correct. This goal was never going to happen.

Some other things contributed to my failure to read this goal. First, I had quite a few books in my house and on my shelves that were not counted on my Goodreads TBR Shelf. I didn't realize there were quite a few books missing and I imagine I had closer to 250 books on my TBR shelf at the beginning of the year. The other reason was I didn't realize I would discover a second library I could subscribe to on Overdrive and I didn't know my friend would introduce me to Hoopla. Both of these discoveries led me to borrow more books and graphic novels from the library than I anticipated. Such amazing discoveries, but they destroyed any hope I had about reducing my TBR shelf to 150 in 2017.



Overall this year I did not make as much progress as I hoped for my TBR in 2017. At this point I hope to finish out the year under 200. That would be mean I finished the year 50 books fewer than 2016. If that happens, then I can start the real work of reducing it to 150 in 2018. Next year I also hope to get my entire TBR back onto the bookcase. Right now I am overflowing a bit, but it is quite an improvement from the beginning and middle of the year!

Do you make an effort to keep your TBR under a certain number? Do you even keep track? I've been making an effort to spend less money on books, be more conscious of the books I purchase, and ultimately have a smaller TBR. Please let me know your thoughts!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

October Wrap Up (2017)

Overall October was a good month. We finally got a taste of the cooler fall weather in my area and it was my birthday month. Even so, I had a little bit of a slumpy month. I read a lot at the beginning of the month but struggled toward the end. Check out everything I finished in October.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wrap up for #AllHallowsWeek

This year All Hallows Week has been a little rough and trying to polish it off today will also be a little rough. A severe cold hit me right in the middle of the ten days of the event this year and it really knocked me off my game. I'm sorry things have been a little slim and today there almost wasn't a post!

Today I want to list a few books I hope to feature next year or at least read before All Hallows Week rolls around again. I'd like to feature some Non-Fiction books in the future as well as more adult reads that have those spooky elements in them I love.

Happy Halloween and thanks for reading! 

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1) The Mirk and Midnight Hour


Monday, October 30, 2017

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning



Bloodfever (Fever #2)

Series: Fever #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Library
Ebook - 337 pgs
Delacorte Press (2007) 

Rating: 4/5

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

The jump in quality between books one and two is incredible. We delve a lot deeper into the world of Fae and learn more about Mac’s abilities. The story arc was a lot stronger and overall the book didn’t have the slow start that Darkfever did. Personally, I found the description a little misleading. I do not find the sexual assault, V'lane, attractive at all and his presence in this pseudo-love-triangle is something I could dump from this series all together.

Though I still don’t approve of Mac’s self deprecating tone either, she takes less crap from Barrons and works more independently in this book. Mac’s journey is somehow even darker in this book and she has to face consequences from her choices in book one. Moning does a good job of almost answering my questions and keeping me on the edge of my seat.

On an amusing note. At the beginning of this book I finally realized Jericho Barrons has dark hair. For some reason this has increased my opinion of him by more than is reasonable. He does improve a little in this novel, but I'm hoping there is some reason for his tortured exterior. There usually is. Book three is already downloaded and I'm ready to keep rolling though this series. (After I finish Stranger Things)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cool Weather Recommendations #AllHallowsWeek

As Halloween draws closer I wanted to recommend some books that are good for spooky reading as well as just cold weather reading. Even though I like all the spooky recommendations, I'm ready for general cool weather reading. I'm ready for long books and creepy books with atmospheric writing. Here are the best ones I've read. 



Saturday, October 28, 2017

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning


Darkfever (Fever, #1)

Series: Fever #1
Genre: Paranormal 
Age Group: Adult
Source: Library ebook
Ebook - 382 pgs
Delacorte Press (2006) 

3/5

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

Looking back at this book I’m not sure how I made it through the first half, but I’m glad I stuck it out.

The first half of Darkfever is slow and Mac makes some dumb decisions. Until the fantasy side of the story introduced, the story just dragged. If you can get through this section the second half of the book is really exciting and things improve a lot in book two. I feel like I say this about every paranormal series I read, but that is a discussion for another day.

Throughout the book Mac from the future breaks the fourth wall to talk to the reader and I was frustrated Future Mac talked so poorly about Current Mac. It sets a tone for the reader that we shouldn't like this version of the character. Several of the characters also comment on how Mac's attire and style is a reflection of how soft and silly she is which was simply overdone. Mac can kick butt in a pink skirt if she wants to! Moning's writing style just isn't my favorite. In between action scenes she repeats herself a lot and described things in a lot of detail.

However, I did enjoy the ending of this. Mac really starts to become an active participant in her own story. At that point I was invested and I loved how she took the reins to start directing her own fate. It just took her a long time! The action really picked up, so the writing was better, and I was intrigued enough to pick up book two. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Update - #AllHallowsWeek

This week has been a WEEK. Work has been really busy and I contracted some type of cold last weekend. The beginning of the week went ok. I just had a sore throat, but on Wednesday I woke up with a headache (migraine strength) and a fever. You would think a sick day would be a day I could read in bed, but I slept most of the day and couldn't muster the strength for much else. Even after I went back to work yesterday, I fell asleep early after I started my rewatch of Stranger Things. Anyway if you are interested in a Friday update, I posted a video to Youtube.

 

This weekend I'm hoping to catch up on things. Mainly I want to finish at least one book for the Autumnal Readathon. I was so excited for this before this cold kicked me in the butt. Hopefully I'll have a little time and energy left to do that. I also want to watch Stranger Things! I'm excited for Season 2, but since the first season is only eight episodes I might watch that all over again. Don't look for me too much online this weekend because I'll be avoiding spoilers! 

Happy Reading! 

Check back tomorrow and through Halloween for more creepy bookish posts!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review - Crimson Peak by Nancy Holder #AllHallowsWeek

Crimson Peak: The Official Movie Novelization
Series: Standalone
Genre: Gothic Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased from Audible 
Audiobook - 10 hours
Titan Books - 2015
Add it //Buy it 

Rating: 4/5

When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. 

Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro.

When the movie Crimson Peak was released a few years ago, I was very intrigued. However, I am not a horror fan so I skipped the film. Afterward I purchased this audiobook to get a taste of what I missed. Overall, I would classify this story as a romantic historical thriller. It is quite creepy and atmospheric for the fall.

Throughout the book I kept comparing this story to The Fall of the House of Usher. Someone had to have taken inspiration from the decaying house and dying corrupt bloodline of that story. Even though the story is a little predictable, I was still addicted to the audiobook and I listened to it as much as I could. Although I did not listen to it when I was home alone one evening. It was too creepy for that!

The characters are quite interesting and I was surprised by their complexity. At each turn of events characters were conflicted and had a lot of complex motivations for their choices. I was not expecting this since this was a novelization of a movie. This was true for the description and the plot as well. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this story. The writing is very descriptive and Holder paints a strong picture even though I had images from the movie in my mind.

Honestly I'm excited to watch the movie at some point now and I think I will be able to handle it. After many hours of creepy audiobook filling my ears, I hope I can handle two hour of creepy film.