Bookmark Lit Bulletin | July into August 2016

Posted August 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.

looking backreading lifeThis reading month got off to a good start, I’d say. I finished a few books really early on and kept being in the reading mood through the rest of the month. I struggled during the readathon a little because I found myself not exactly in the mood for certain books.This feeling kind of continued through the rest of the month – I read some MEH books and that impacted my reading mojo. I’m well on my way to finishing my Goodreads Challenge early!

this month in books12 books read this month
(11 new reads and 0 rereads plus 1 DNF)
Hardcover: 2 | Paperback: 1 | eBook: 1
eARC: 2 | ARC: 3 | Audio: 2 | Mixed: 1
books for review and 5 books for me

books so far this year111 books read this year
(92 new reads and 15 rereads plus 4 DNF)
Goodreads goal: 160 | 68% completed
62 new releases and 49 backlist titles
51% books in series and 49% standalones

books readAverage rating for books read in July: 3.86 stars
All book covers link to their Goodreads pages 

Best of the Best  •  Pleasantly Surprised  •  Disappointed 

results may vary rebel belle in twenty years

All of the books read this month:


reviews postedAverage rating for books reviewed in July: 3.77 stars


blog posts

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Literally Underrated Books

Top Ten Non-Bookish Facts About Me

Top Ten Books Set Outside the US

Top Ten Things Books Have Influenced Me to Do/Learn

TBRs & Wrap-Ups

Halfway through 2016

Remaining Bingo TBR

ARC August Sign-Up


Blog Features

Five on Fridays

Cover Colors: Three Day Summer

Discussions & Lists

Audiobook Favorites

2nd Blogiversary Celebration

Potterhead July: Reading & Rereading Experience

Top 10 Anticipated Contemporary Romances through EOY

Book Tags

Sailor Moon Book Tag

Totally Should’ve Tag

book haul

july ss packageMy final Secret Sister package from Ginger was perfect. I can’t believe this round is already over! Insanity. She filled it with my favorite snacks (Oreos, Sour Patch Watermelons, Junior Mints), two books I’ve been super excited for, bookmarks, and some cute sticky notes/paper. I’ve loved receiving her thoughtful packages because she always seemed to intuitively know when I needed cheering up. Thanks for everything!! xo

earcs julyFrom publisher via Netgalley /// Sweet Carolina Morning by Susan Schild,
One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank, and Stealing Snow by Danielle Page

From publisher for blog tour // The Goodbye Year by Kiara Rouda

ebooks julyPurchased from Amazon // The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

Preordered for free from Amazon // Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

hc pb julyFrom Secret Sister //  Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and With Malice by Eileen Cook

From Amazon //  Sailor Moon Manga #1 and The Islanders #2 by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant

life update2016-07-02 14.45.53-1The first weekend of the month was the Fourth of July and I had my friend come visit. She came Friday night after work and stayed through Sunday. That night, we went to my mom’s house for my stepdad’s birthday. Just did a quick pop over to give him his birthday gift and hang out. My mom loves Natasha so we had to make an appearance to surprise her! The following day we saw one 2016-07-02 18.46.10of my friends then ate lunch at a restaurant with a nice patio. Natasha got picked up by one of my other college roommates while I went to another birthday party for a friend. It was so great to see her and some of the other people I used to work with during high school. The biggest thing that happened during that party was the start of my new Lularoe addiction! Ugh more on that later… After that party, I picked up Chris and we met up with everyone to play Fibbage with my other college friends. We are way too addicted to that game. Seriously. We had some drinks and hung around there 2016-07-04 13.57.47for a few hours before going home. On Sunday, we got food from our favorite NY-style deli, went shopping for makeup (as her and I always do!), and then went to the train station. The next day was 2016-07-04 14.49.20the actual Fourth of July, so Chris and I went over to his parents house for a cookout and swimming. We relaxed by the pool all day, ate burgers, made a fire in the fire pit, and then had his mom’s amazing egg rolls for dinner. It was a great night; I’m just jealous Chris didn’t have to work the next day! The next weekend, we went up to Maine for my cousin’s wedding. It was actually in New Hampshire but we met up with my dad, stepmom, and sister at my grammie’s house in Maine first. We took up Chris’s parents’ SUV because we needed it to fit all of us for the wedding. It was kind of nice, but really weird. It was in the middle of a field at a horse 2016-07-09 17.47.45-12016-07-09 14.34.47pasture and it thunderstormed right after the ceremony! Thank god we were in covered tents. My sister is afraid of storms though so that wasn’t fun. It ended up being a good night; we danced with our family and ate cold BBQ food for the meal. Overall, not a bad time. We headed straight home on Sunday because we wanted to relax. We cleaned the apartment a little bit and sat on our butts the rest of the day. The following weekend was our monthly ConnLUG meeting and then dinner with Chris’s parents. We had a good time hanging out with his uncles and eating his mom’s excellent food as always. The next day invo2016-07-21 08.20.57lved a trip up to Northampton, MA for shopping. We went to get Chris a new skateboard he’d been coveting and had some Vietnamese food for lunch. The next day (a Monday), we went to see Ghostbusters. It was amazing, especially in 3D! I loved all of the jokes and the girl power. We had some 2016-07-22 20.26.15 visitors again later in the month, in the form of the same friend (Natasha) who came over the 4th and her fiance Rahul. That Friday night, we met up with my college roommates for a birthday dinner for one of them. The food was pretty decent. After dinner we all went to a bar around the corner and had a couple of beers. That night, Natasha and Rahul came to stay with us. We just hung around at that point. The next day, we went to the New England Food Truck Festival up on the Big E Fairgrounds. It was super hot but they had some nice AC in one of the buildings in the center. We tried sopapillas (a fish one and later a nutella one – amazing!), Polish food, egg rolls, chicken tikka masala sandwiches (kind of weird – I wish it was on naan instead of a hamburger bun!), strawberry lemonade, poutine, random fried bacon cheeseburger balls, cannolis, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to finish the day. It was perfect because we got little samples and just split everything up, so no one got too full. We went out for ice cream later that night and ordered Dominoes while watching Ted 2. It was pretty crazy we had any room left in our stomachs! The movie was pretty funny; I really enjoyed the first half, but it got a little too drawn out in the second half. We slept too late to do anything else the next morning, but we went to the Indian buffet for lunch before they had to leave. Chris and I shopped in Manchester after and now have 9 of the 16 new Lego minifigures already. They were literally just released so we went a bit crazy, but what else is new. This past weekend involved a few fun things too! My boss’s boyfriend put together a surprise birthday party for my boss on Saturday night, then I went to the Harry Potter midnight event with my sister right afterwards. Chris and I did some relaxing, cleaning, and hanging around this weekend too. We went to one of the Lego stores we like – Bricks and Minifigs on Saturday before the festivities.


faves of the month

Favorite purchase:

All things Lularoe /// Ugh this is such a problem for me. I was doing very well at cutting back on buying clothes until LLR came into my life. Here’s the story. I was invited to a friend’s online LLR pop-up party, thought some things were cute, but didn’t want to spend the money. A week or two later, I went to that birthday party and the LLR consultant was there. She gave me a free pair of leggings when she gave the birthday girl some free stuff. THESE ARE THE COMFIEST LEGGINGS IN THE WORLD. Truly, they’re the most comfortable things I own. Period. I ended up going on a LLR spiral out of control and buying SO many dresses, pairs of leggings, skirts, and tee shirts. Someone come cut up my credit cards please. Everything is just SO CUTE and comfy; I cannot deallllll. It’s funny because I started writing this back in the beginning of the month and have spent waaay too much since!

Favorite meal:

One-Pot Cajun Alfredo Sausage Penne /// I modified this recipe quite a bit and was incredibly happy with the results! I was nervous about this one-pot meal because of the heavy cream cooking the noodles. I’m always afraid things won’t cook. I ended up doing this one without the chicken and changed around some of the amounts. I have a few recipes I’ve done this with that I plan on sharing on the blog soon! We did a bit of eating out this month too and I loved sitting on the patio at The Hidden Still with my friend and Chris. Great food too of course!

Favorite game:

Pokemon Go /// Yes, like everyone else, I’m addicted. Chris is significantly more addicted than I am, but I’m still enjoying it. I love catching them and seeing what ones are nearby. I’m sure my interest will fade more and more (like it does with basically all games ever), but I’m enjoying it for now. (Update: I don’t play nearly as much anymore, but I still keep it on there just in case something fun comes around!)

Favorite surprise:

Sunflowers from Chris ///  Chris worked second shift a few nights during the month. One morning he was being annoying about asking if I was getting up to make coffee. Eventually he asked me to get him a glass of water and I told him to get it himself. He insisted I get it for some reason, so I decided to be nice. When I got into the kitchen, there were three sunflowers in a vase waiting for me! He picked them the night before on his way home from work as a surprise, because I always say that I want to stop to grab a few. Loved it <3


month in pictures

2016-07-04 15.16.09 2016-07-11 07.27.32-2 2016-07-21 19.22.33 2016-07-20 20.01.13 2016-07-12 12.16.31 2016-07-17 22.51.07 2016-07-21 19.39.12 2016-07-25 17.41.57


media addictions

KING OF THE ROAD vicelandAs I’ve said before, I’ve become obsessed with skateboarding. Chris introduced me recently to King of the Road, which is essentially Jackass meets skateboarding on a road trip. A few pro skateboarding teams compete against each other and try to get as many points as possible, doing bizarre or gross or crazy things (both skateboarding and not skateboarding related!). It used to be just on YouTube (created by Thrasher Magazine) but now it’s on Viceland on TV. We are OBSESSED. I could watch this all day.

I looooved the new Ghostbusters movie! ^ She was easily my favorite character. I thought the humor was suuuper on-point. The girl power vibes were off the charts too. I highly recommend seeing this in 3D if you can, because it was awesome to have ghosts coming at my face the whole time 😉

SAILOR MOOOOOON. Thanks a lot to the bloggers hosting the Summer of Sailor Scouts. I can barely read anymore because all I want to do is watch Sailor Moon. I just recently got to the episodes where all of the original girls (up to Sailor Venus) have been introduced and things are getting craaaazy.

We finally started getting back into Daredevil after a brief hiatus. We finished season two last week and I liked it a lot! This season was definitely different, especially because of the other superhero/villain cameos I was expecting. I LOVED The Punisher and Elektra was kind of interesting. Overall, a solid second season that got crazier towards the end for sure. I didn’t agree with a lot of what Daredevil did and basically was on the sides of Foggy/Karen/etc. the whole time. It made me miss Jessica Jones though…


challenge progress

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
Make Me Read It (Readathon)


Goal: 3-4 books
books read during the readathon

I didn’t even bother with a wrap-up post for this one because I failed. It’s okay. I like to be a mood reader and was really hoping to crank through the TBR, but I wasn’t feeling it. I had a few other commitments come up that I also needed to take care of. I’m super happy about the two books I did read though!


Debut Author Challenge

Goal – 12 books
1 book read this month
108% complete

Books read this month:

  • Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum

Backlist Books Challenge

Goal – 20 books
3 books read this month
130% complete

Books read this month:

  • The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
  • Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins
  • Miss Mayhem – Rachel Hawkins

Flights of Fantasy Challenge

Goal – 20 books
1 books read this month
80% complete

Books read this month:

  • Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Rock My TBR Challenge

Goal – 25 books
3 books read this month
48% complete

Books read this month:

  • The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
  • Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins
  • Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum

Contemporary Romance Challenge

Goal – 21+ books
5 books read this month
210% complete

Books read this month:

  • Defending Taylor – Miranda Kenneally
  • Results May Vary – Bethany Chase
  • The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
  • Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
  • In Twenty Years – Allison Winn Scotch

Monthly Topic | Contemporary Romance Challenge

Top 10 Books I’m Anticipating for the Second Half of the Year


 Seasonal Bingo
Summer Bingo

Hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews
july bingo end

  • Name in title • Defending Taylor – Miranda Kenneally
  • F/F or M/M romance • History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
  • Red cover • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • White cover • The Islanders Vol 2 – Katherine Applegate [currently reading]
  • Part of 4+ book series • The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas
  • Magic • Caraval – Stephanie Garber
  • June/July/August release • One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Food in title or on cover • Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
  • Water on cover • The Islanders Vol 1 – Katherine Applegate
  • Folklore or myths • Fables #3 – Bill Willingham
  • Starts with S U M E or R • Run – Kody Keplinger
  • Political intrigue • The Long Game – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Weather words in title • Mystic Summer – Hannah McKinnon
  • Book about books • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katrina Bivald
  • Yellow cover • Summer Days and Summer Nights – Stephanie Perkins
  • Monsters • Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

looking aheadcoming up on the blog

I have my usual reviews and Top Ten Tuesday posts coming up, which goes without saying I suppose. Now that I look at my calendar I actually have a lot of open space! That’s nice because I plan on doing another book tag or something to fill the gaps. I already have the bedtime book tag scheduled. There are multiple series binge reviews coming up as long as I can actually finish them! Whoops. A new entry into my read-bait series will be  coming up later this week, which I’m super excited about. I’m not going to spoil what the read-bait words are though. 😉 There’s a discussion on savoring books by a favorite author – I can’t be the only one who does this, right? I also am taking a post to highlight some books that don’t get featured on “favorite” or “best of” lists that often – four star books that deserve more love. I also have a couple of discussions about reading books that aren’t on your immediate TBR (and how it works out for me) and the ebb and flow of blogging/creativity (some months I have so many ideas and other months I have zero!). I’m hoping to get some other fun posts up and running that are sitting in my drafts but I’m not sure which ones yet. There will likely be a Five on Friday post in August because I have so many things I’m currently obsessing over. Maybe a Color Covers post is also in order? Or a Reading Recap? We shall see!
coming up in my life

August is shaping up to be another busy month in my life! I have a night booked at a hotel in Mystic, CT for Chris and I on the 6th. We’ll be hitting up the aquarium, seaport, and (of course) Mystic Pizza. We only live about an hour away but it’ll be nice to have an overnight there because we can actually do and see everything in the area.  We’;; have our usual Lego meeting in the middle of the month. I still need to work on both of the builds we have due within the next few weeks, gah! Sailor Moon is taking up my reading and Lego time. We have another vacation towards the end of the month for two days in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. It’s where Chris’s parents moved when they came to the United States so we like visiting there when we can! The nice beach and fun boardwalk don’t hurt either 😉  Chris’s sister and her boyfriend will be down there during the week and we’ll be joining on the Friday night into Saturday. The following weekend, we’re back down to New Jersey for my friends’ engagement party. There are some activities ahead of time and another couple nights in a hotel, so it’ll be an interesting month of not living in our apartment 😉
possible TBRFrom left to right: a library book that’s due soon, a reread that’s also for my book club meeting in August, a preordered audiobook I am SO excited for, a newer release I can’t believe I haven’t read yet and NEED in the summer, and finally- continuing with the ToG series/audio read. A good start to the month!

The NestBefore I FallTruly Madly GuiltyThe Unexpected EverythingCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

next months preorders

results may vary
Results May Vary by Bethany Chase

Out on August 9th

Already read and loved this baby (as you could see above – it was my favorite book of the month!), so I’m definitely eager to have the finished copy in my hands! I love the covers for both of her books, so it’ll be great to see them on my shelf together 🙂 BUY THIS.

How’s your summer going so far?
Any good beach reads yet?love lauren sig


10 responses to “Bookmark Lit Bulletin | July into August 2016

  1. I was also disappointed in In Twenty Years and loved Results May Vary! You are rocking all of your challenges! I have been avoiding the LLR craze but I think I might get some leggings for the fall. A lot of my friends love them. Hope you have a great August!!

    • Thank you! Let me know if you need to know any good consultants or groups if you decide to dive in – I have quite a few favorites 😉 I HIGHLY Recommend getting at least one pair of leggings if you love leggings, because they’re the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn. No exaggeration.

  2. I definitely want to go see the Ghostbusters movie! I remember so many people hated on it when the trailer first came out but I’ve always wanted to see it. I’m glad that it keeps getting so many positive reviews! I also really want to start watching Daredevil because I’m a huge fan of Marvel comics. I have been marathoning One Tree Hill and Stranger Things, both of which are pretty awesome.

    • I loved it so much! The people who actually saw the movie liked it. Seems like there are some sexist people who are rating it without seeing it!

      I loved Daredevil and just started Stranger Things!

  3. Holy cow, this is the most beautiful and thorough monthly wrap up post I’ve ever seen. Kudos.

    I’m trying so hard not to get caught up in Lularoe so I’m staying far away from any and all things Lularoe but dude they have beautiful clothes!

    Looks like you had a great reading month too. Love your blog. It’s so pretty!

  4. I liked seeing what you’ve been up to in your recaps, both on the reading side and the real life side! It’s pretty cool that you were able to do and see so much in July 🙂

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