Bookmark Lit Bulletin – March 2016

Posted April 1, 2016 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 10 Comments

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The Bookmark Lit Bulletin was created to wrap up each month and prepare for the next. I share my life happenings, book haul, books I read and reviewed, posts I shared, challenge updates, and more from the previous month. I also let you know what may be coming up on the blog in the coming month. You can read past bulletins here and learn more about the feature here.

last month

statThis month was a whirlwind. Sometimes I was stuck on one book for a few days; other books I finished within a couple of hours. It was nice to have a mix, but I have to say – I stressed myself out a little too much this month. I neeed to relax on my ARC borrowing because this month was chock-full of June and July releases. Kind of insane, considering what month it is… Oh well, moving on!

this month in books20 books read this month
(16 new reads and 4 rereads plus 0 DNF)
Hardcover: 0 | Paperback: 4 | eBook: 1
eARC: 2 | ARC: 8 | Audio: 5 | Mixed: 0
books for review and 10 books for me

this year in books49 books read this year
(41 new reads and rereads plus 1 DNF)
Goodreads goal: 160 31% completed
28 new releases and 22 backlist titles
46% books in series and 54% standalones

readsAverage rating for books read in March: 3.8 stars
All book covers link to their Goodreads pages 

Best of the Best  •  Pleasantly Surprised  •  Disappointed 

my lady jane winning autofocus

All of the books read this month:
The Memory BookRuby RedThe Wide WindowThe Marked GirlThe Reptile RoomThe Bad BeginningLiars, Inc.
Blue Lily, Lily BlueAutofocusMy Lady JaneSeven Ways We LieSecrets of My Hollywood LifeTrue Letters from a Fictional LifeCruel CrownThe MartianWinningRebel Bully Geek PariahDream OnUnrivaledThis One Summer

floralreviewsAverage rating for books reviewed in March: 3.84 stars


Top Ten Tuesdays

If You’re in the Mood For #SquadGoals

Characters I Didn’t Connect With

My Spring TBR List

Books that Need More Love

Best Books Recently Read


Cover Colors #8: Meant to Be

Five on Fridays

Discussions & Personal

Adjusting My Blog Post Schedule

Recent Read-Bait Books

New & Upcoming Book Excitement

Issues with TBR Planning

Organization Part Six: Goodreads II


Favorite Romance Tropes

Challenge Sign-Ups (Clean Sweep & Bingo)


Secret Sister Project

march ss packageI swear, my Secret Sister is a mind-reader. The day I received this package, I was thinking about how badly I wanted to read 17 First Kisses soon. Insane timing! She also sent along some of my all-time favorite candies, which were eaten way too quickly. My favorite hot chocolate was perfect when it (ugh) snowed again the following week! She also gave me this really awesome Lego-style mug, where you can build right on it. I made a little design and keep it on my desk at work 😉

Books Acquired

phyiscal marchARC from publisher| Two Summers by Aimee Friedman (thank you, Scholastic!) ///
Paperback preorderThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

marchh ebooks Amazon preorder | Right of First Refusal by Dahlia Adler /// Amazon sales | One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin, Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh /// Won in a giveaway Black Iris by Leah Raeder (thank you Angie!)

$21.19 for a total of 5 books | 2 preorders (1 ebook, 1 paperback) + 3 on sale

real lifeThe month started out with celebrating my dad’s birthday. We went to the same restaurant we always go to (he’s an easy to please kind of guy) and had dinner the night before.  I had one of my best friend’s birthdays to celebrate as well, so we went out to eat for appetizers after work. I’ve loved seeing her more often lately! We had our monthly Lego meeting in the middle of the month, so that was fun. We have some planned builds coming up soon that Chris and I need to get working on. One of them is a scene from your favorite movie (or a movie you like) made out of Lego. I can’t decide! Another build upcoming is for the local library – anything literary them2016-03-27 13.15.56ed! I can’t decide 2016-03-27 13.09.54what I want to do for that either because of course I have so many options to choose from. The rest of that weekend involved some running around, shopping, and reading. We tried a new restaurant near us that was pretty good! I had my book club meeting last week and we read Liars, Inc. Most of us generally liked it but we had some issues too. I think we all kind of agreed it was so-so. The last weekend of the month is Easter and I continued the yearly tradition of having my friend come stay with me and celebrate with my family. Back during college, we all would go home for Easter weekend. Her parents are Hindu and Muslim, respectively, so they don’t celebrate. She started coming home with me and just loved 2016-03-27 13.09.07hanging around my family. It’s been our tradition ever since! We did all of our usual stuff over that weekend, including buying matching Easter outfits from Old Navy. (Spent so much money there, whoops…) After our shopping trips, we gave Natasha her first egg dyeing experience. It was great but I wish we had vinegar to make the egg color brighter instead. Then, we saw Zootopia late on Saturday night with Chris, which was… cute. I did really enjoy it, but we saw some friends earlier (we got ice cream at Sonic with them) who REALLY hyped it up too much. We were expecting something life-changing but instead got a cute movie with a great message. Not a bad thing, considering it was still really good, but not a new favorite. We had our Easter celebration at my mom’s house, which involved an egg hunt that I forced her to do for us in the yard. Chris won with 17 eggs, I came in second with 16, and Natasha had 15. Sooo fun. The food was great too! She went home Sunday

2016-03-06 13.48.562016-03-13 09.55.532016-03-09 12.35.302016-03-07 12.43.082016-03-17 06.22.092016-03-06 10.58.392016-03-26 20.39.352016-03-27 13.15.03


Still working on American Crime Story each week. It’s on too late at night to watch live, so we usually watch it immediately the next day. I love it but the episode about Marcia completely broke my heart. I can’t believe how terrible people were to her!

I’m really enjoying the new season of Ink Master, except I HATE Saint Marq. He’s so terrible and annoying and I can’t believe he’s been back since the first episode. I do LOVE getting Cleen Rock One and Sausage back though – some of my favorites from past seasons. I have a few favorites this season so I hope they go far!

My Name is Lizzie Bennet - Ep: 1I randomly started watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I love how short each episode is! It makes it easy to just watch one or two at a time without making a huge time investment. I’ll probably finish it off sometime soon once I really get going. I also have the book to read too!

Fuller House Opening Credits OFFICIALI think we’re about 75% of the way done with Fuller House now. We usually try to watch one before bed but have been kind of lazy about it lately. Still enjoying the cheesiness but loving the more modern updates to it.

I’m a very casual Adventure Time watcher, especially compared to Chris. We currently have about 30 episodes on our DVR at the moment so I see a lot of it coming up in my future. I love it, but just never make time to watch it. Hopefully it’ll be on in the background for a while so we can clear those off.


I signed up for five challenges in 2016, plus I’m hosting a super casual link-up challenge. Want to know why I chose these? Check it out here. The Contemporary Romance challenge also hosts a monthly topic to discuss, so I’ll be occasionally including that in my Bookmark Lit Bulletin posts.

During this Month

No challenges this month!


Debut Author | Goal: 12 books | 4 read in March| 92% complete

  • Winning – Lara Zeises Deloza
  • True Letters from a Fictional Life – Kenneth Logan
  • Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate
  • The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele

Backlist Books | Goal: 20 books | 6 read in March| 65% complete

  • This One Summer – Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • Secrets of my Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Liars, Inc. – Paula Stokes
  • Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier

Flights of Fantasy | Goal: 20 books | 4 read in March| 45% complete

  • Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard
  • My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
  • The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
  • Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier

Rock My TBR | Goal: 21+ books | 1 read in March| 16% complete

  • Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier

Contemporary Romance | Goal: 21+ books | 4 read in January | 81% complete

  • True Letters from a Fictional Life – Kenneth Logan
  • Secrets of my Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
  • Autofocus – Lauren Gibaldi
  • The Memory Book – Lara Avery
Monthly Contemporary Romance Challenge Topic:

Top 10 Romance Tropes & Themes I Love


spring bingo end marchSpring Bingo Card | Hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews

  • Set over 200 years ago • My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
  • Book meets another challenge • Winning – Lara Zeises Deloza
  • More than one author • This One Summer – Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki
  • Set in space • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • March/April/May release • Dream On – Kerstin Gier
  • Rec’d by 1+ friend • Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
  • Criminals • Rebel Bully Geek Pariah – Erin Jade Lange
  • Number in the title • Seven Ways We Lie – Riley Redgate
  • Under 200 pages • Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard
  • MC shares first initial • Unrivaled – Alyson Noel
  • Ugly cover • Secrets of my Hollywood Life – Jen Calonita
  • Written under a pen name • The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
  • Standalone • True Letters from a Fictional Life – Kenneth Logan

next monthpostsI’m loving my new blog calendar and condensed reviews! I feel very free to post whatever I want, whenever I want. This means more discussions, TBR posts, and sharing books I’m excited about. I’ll have my usual Top Ten Tuesday posts each week, as well as at least one (hopefully) Five on Friday. I’ve also made the decision to bring back Inside & Out and schedule one each month instead of two. It’ll be kicked off again in April! I am finally going to see The Martian after reading the book, so there will be a special book and movie review for The MartianI have a few discussion posts already primed and ready to go, about a few different things. Keep an eye out for my thoughts on some upcoming summer releases to add to your TBR, my seasonal mood swings, the “currently reading” shelf on Goodreads (and how anal retentive I am about it!), and my thoughts on the Fantasy genre. I’ll also have my contemporary romance challenge monthly topic list, which has quickly become one of my favorite posts to write each month.
real lifeApril is usually just as busy as March, in terms of birthday celebrations. My sister and my mom share a birthday so I usually have to juggle those two people in one day. (My sister is a half-sister on my dad’s side, so it’s not like I can even celebrate with them both simultaneously!) I also have the birthday of my college roommate to celebrate too. We have some Lego builds coming up for our group that I hope to get started on next month, once my TBR/ARC tour situation hopefully slows down. I do plan on reading less in April. It’s been my goal this year to focus on other hobbies (Netflix binging being one of them!) but I’m already 10 books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. Time to take some time for ME and other things! I guess otherwise our weekends are open. Hopefully the warm weather comes in so we can spend some time walking outside and enjoying it.
tbrAs you learned last week, my new Goodreads shelving system has helped me a lot with maintaining a TBR but still giving me flexibility to deal with my mood reading tendencies. Up next for April? A few new releases I’m dying for, a couple of older ARCs, and some library books. I started Right of First Refusal on the 29th, technically, but I haven’t picked it up since finishing another book yesterday. I wanted to get going early and pace it out when I feel like reading on my Kindle at night.

Right of First Refusal (Radleigh University, #2)When We CollidedHow It Feels to FlyThe Smell of Other People's HousesThe Epidemic (The Program, #0.6)The Forbidden WishThe Love That Split the WorldThe Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)Fables: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)Gena/Finn

love lauren


10 responses to “Bookmark Lit Bulletin – March 2016

  1. Kate

    I love your blog Lauren! Your posts are so creative. I look forward to your posts and check back every day! 😀

  2. Sounds like you’ve had a really good March. I like celebrating birthdays and all that with the people I love, though it can be difficult to find time to see everyone! I don’t usually worry about the actual day – instead, I just try and focus on the week before or after their birthday to see them, etc.

    I’m curious about Zootopia. Sorry it was hyped a bit too much, but it does look really cute overall! It would be a fun drive-in film, but the drive-in near me JUST opened for the weekends today, so I doubt they’ll be showing this one. Ah well…lots of fun movies to come!


  3. This posts must take you a crazy long time to write. I have been such a slow reader over the past month, so I don’t expect it to pick up in April too much, but May should be a good month. I loved Zootopia. It was such a great movie.

  4. Your posts are always so fun to read because it’s an interesting mix of personal and bookish things! I really love that My Lady Jane was your favorite of the month 😉

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