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.
I was definitely reading too many books in the beginning of the month, and it threw me off. I usually like to keep it to two books at a time, maybe three if I feel the need to read a Kindle book before bed… but at the beginning of the month I was juggling four at once. Because of that, I felt like I never made progress on any of them. I did a better job with some of the reading challenges in the middle/end of the month though, so that was nice.
12 books read in August
11 new reads • 1 reread • 0 DNFs
7 books for review • 5 released books
2 physical books
1 Kindle/digital book
1 mixed format
7 review books
121 books read in 2016
105 new reads • 16 rereads • 4 DNFs
62 books for review • 5 released books
52% books in a series • 48% standalones
Goodreads Goal: 160 books | 74% complete
Average rating for books read in August: 3.91 stars
Highlights & Lowlights
All of the books read this month:
ARC August Challenge
7 books for the challenge • 1:1 ratio goal exceeded (7:5)
Books read this month:
Bout of Books Readathon
2 books for the challenge • “Only read ARCs” goal achieved
Books read this challenge:
Contemporary Romance Challenge
6 books this month • 50 total read • 238% complete
Books read this month:
Debut Author Challenge
1 book this month • 14 total read • 117% complete
Books read this month:
Backlist Books Challenge
2 books this month • 28 total read • 140% complete
Books read this month:
Flights of Fantasy Challenge
2 books this month • 18 total read • 90% complete
Books read this month:
Rock My TBR Challenge
2 books this month • 14 total read • 56% complete
Books read this month:
Summer Bingo Challenge
21 books this month • 88% complete
Final bingo card for this season:
Books read for the challenge:
Defending Taylor – Miranda Kenneally
History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Gemina – Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
Cherry – Lindsey Rosin
The Assassin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas
If I Fix You – Abigail Johnson
Nantucket Red – Leila Howland
Caraval – Stephanie Garber
One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Year We Turned Forty – Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke
Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
The Islanders Vol 1 – Katherine Applegate
Fables #3 – Bill Willingham
Run – Kody Keplinger
The Long Game – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Mystic Summer – Hannah McKinnon
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katrina Bivald
Summer Days and Summer Nights – Stephanie Perkins
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
- [3 Aug] Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins ★★★★
- [3 Aug] Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins ★★★
- [3 Aug] Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins ★★★½
- [5 Aug] Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum ★★★★½
- [10 Aug] Results May Vary by Bethany Chase ★★★★★
- [18 Aug] Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne ★★★★
- [22 Aug] Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty ★★★
- [25 Aug] The Islanders Vol. 1 by Katherine Applegate, Michael Grant ★★★
- [25 Aug] Nantucket Red by Leila Howland ★★★★
- [29 Aug] Game On by Michelle Smith ★★★½
- [29 Aug] Sweet Carolina Morning by Susan Schild ★★★
- [31 Aug] Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton ★★★
- [1 Aug] Bookmark Lit Bulletin | July into August 2016
- [2 Aug] Top Ten Tuesdays #100: Gift Card Buying
- [4 Aug] Recent Read-Bait: Fake Dating, Bucket Lists, and Family Drama
- [8 Aug] 4 Star Book Love
- [9 Aug] Top Ten Tuesdays #101: Rewind – Covers
- [11 Aug] Pokemon Go Book Tag
- [12 Aug] Five on Fridays #22
- [13 Aug] Bookish Lego Builds: SJM and Captain Underpants
- [15 Aug] ARC August Check-In and Bout of Books Sign-Up
- [16 Aug] Top Ten Tuesdays #102: Beach Setting
- [17 Aug] Wednesday Wrap-Up #1 | WOW & WWW
- [19 Aug] Gimme Some Recs! | Mystery / Suspense / Thrillers and Historical Fiction
- [23 Aug] Top Ten Tuesdays #103: Pre-Blogging TBR
- [24 Aug] Recently Announced Books I NEED Right Now
- [26 Aug] Books I Seriously Need to Read by the End of the Year
- [30 Aug] Top Ten Tuesdays #104: Back to School
My new Secret Sister did an amazing job with my first package! I was so excited to see the Lego stuff (salt and pepper shakers plus a minifigure bag), my favorite candy, EXCELLENT bookmarks of my favorite things (Sailor Moon and coffee), a Harry Potter mystery mini (which ended up being Ron, by the way! eeek), and Female Chauvinist Pigs, which was been on my TBR and wishlist forever!
Barnes & Noble • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne; A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody (technically purchased on July 31st during the midnight release party)
Preordered • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee and Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
Amazon/Kindle purchase on sale • 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
Vacation/long weekend in New Jersey • We took off a Friday towards the end of the month to go down to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Chris’s parents met there when they first came to America and we’ve made a habit of visiting every so often. We met his sister and her boyfriend down there to spend two days/one night. We walked around the town area, the boardwalk (killed it in the arcade!), and the beach area in general. It was really nice to get away for a night even though we didn’t actually go to the beach. We love the boardwalk shops and restaurants, minus one terrrrrible experience at a rooftop restaurant. (Yelp review by me is here if you’re curious…)
Pictures L to R: Ishod Weir, Chaz Ortiz, Chris Cole, and Evan Smith
Street League Skateboarding • When we found out that Street League was happening in New Jersey the day after we were supposed to go home, we contacted my BFF in New Jersey to see if she’d be willing to open her house up to us overnight on Saturday. She was, because she’s the best, and we had a fun time with her too! (We built a cooler and stayed up until 2 AM watching a terrible Bollywood movie lolol). Anyways, after that impromptu sleepover, we went to Street League in Newark. It was AWESOME to see so many skaters we love compete. Of course Nyjah Huston won but we have a few new guys to follow now too (Chris Joslin and Evan Smith for starters). It was such a cool experience to see an SLS tournament live. We totally watched the TV broadcast of it that we recorded on Monday night too 😉
Day trip to Mystic • As I discussed in a recent review and TTT, I was inspired to head to Mystic before the summer ended… and we finally did it! We went to the Mystic Aquarium and then, of course, Mystic Pizza before heading home. I wanted to also go shopping a little but we were limited on timing because it was Sunday. It was still a really excellent day; I’m so glad we got a chance to go! I’m glad it’s closeby.
Happy Hour with coworkers • One of the ladies in my office had a few of us over for a Happy Hour with drinks, snacks, and dinner. She’s had her house for about two years now and it was weird I still hadn’t seen it. I didn’t take any pictures because we were just hanging out, but it was a lot of fun anyways!
Around the Blogosphere
Lindsey at Bring My Books has been keeping up with her Book People Talk Movies feature… and I guest posted (again)! When I saw the topic of “It’s So Bad It’s Good” I knew I needed to partake. I talked about my love for The Room and Wet Hot American Summer. Go check it out!
Jen at Pop! Goes the Reader makes gorgeous wallpapers all the time. When she asked for suggestions (and I saw she’d done some TV show-related ones recently), I suggested Arrested Development. And she delivered! I am waaaay too obsessed with these. It took me forever to settle on one for my wallpaper.
Ladies with Capes was started as a way for some bloggers to get together and discuss comics. I’m loving it so far and can’t wait to see what else they come up with! Check them out here.
Stuffed Steak: I found a recipe on Pinterest and modified it as usual. I took a few cube steaks and squished them a little flatter. I defrosted and drained frozen spinach, then mixed it with chopped roasted red peppers, bleu cheese crumbles, some breadcrumbs, and one egg. I filled the steak with the inside mixture, rolled it up, and baked at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. SO GOOD.
Honey Sriracha Salmon: I loooove this salmon recipe! I made it a few months ago and then again in August. It’s so easy. I always keep frozen salmon around for when we’re in the mood, then I just defrost and go. Marinate the salmon in a mix of garlic, soy sauce, honey, and sriracha. I bake it at 425 for 15-20 minutes. I also love making a sriracha mayo mixture to go on top too!
Bang Bang Chicken Pasta: OH GOD this was so good I need to make it again ASAP. It’s a ridiculously easy recipe and I always have every single one of these ingredients in the fridge. Cook up some chicken (in garlic and olive oil on the stove) and some thin spaghetti. While those are going, mix up thai sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and mayonnaise. Toss it all together when you’re done and become as obsessed as I am.
Items & Bookish Things
Bookmarks • It’s a little hard to tell, but this adorable bookmark was custom made by my friend Tonya at Lilybloom Books! I sent her the Lego charm and she made a fantastic bookmark for me with beads that match. She has an Etsy shop that’s super underrated and has great prices, so please check it out! I’ve started to get back into expanding my bookmark collection. I have a lot of bookish things, especially mugs, and Chris keeps yelling that we have no space. He’s kind of right. So, bookmarks are much easier to collect and store than anything else!
Lego • This one is kind of obvious because I talk about it every month, but I recently shared some of the bookish Lego Builds that Chris and I made for a library display. We also made some really fun Disney-themed minifigure vignettes on display at a local Lego-related store. I’ll post pictures when I have some better ones! I’ve just been trying to improve my building.
Lularoe • Yes again. I’ve slowed down on my purchasing for sure but it doesn’t help that I’m still a member of sooo many groups on Facebook. They’re always in my feed! Luckily I’m a lot better in that I don’t just buy cute things whenever I see them. I have specific items and patterns I’m looking for and only buy things when they’re THOSE items I desperately want. Better, right?
We started watching Agents of SHIELD a few months ago and then were bored of it. The first few episodes just didn’t hold our attention. Chris suddenly got inspired to watch it again so we have been ADDICTED ever since! Episode 4-5 were super addicting and things got so crazy as we came to finish the first season. We’re officially in love with this show and everyone is a little cinnamon roll I need to protect forever.
I was browsing Buzzfeed and read an article about The Office opening scenes, and was suddenly inspired to watch (and somewhat rewatch) the show. I used to watch it religiously for the first handful of seasons but stopped watching once Jim and Pam got together. I always knew I’d want to go back and finish it, so I’m glad we’re doing it now! It’s so hilarious and I completely forgot how in love with it I was.
Chris and I randomly started talking about Doug one night and decided to see if it was online anywhere. Lo and behold! It exists on Hulu. We started watching some episodes to “wind down” from Agents of SHIELD before bed some nights and have been popping them on randomly.
Top Blog Posts Coming Up
Like This, Read That • I’m usually not a person that can pull off that kind of recommendation post, but there were some recent books that just really struck me with other recs. I try my hand at my first “liked this? then read that!” post, including a bunch of underrated books you should probably read.
Favorite Authors: What Makes a Favorite? and Savoring their Books • Two discussions towards the end of the month that discuss favorite authors! What makes an author your favorite? I have some faves where I actually didn’t like a few of their books, but still consider them an auto-buy. I also have a post to talk about savoring your favorite authors’ books. Do you read them ASAP or do you keep some backlist titles on the back burner?
Vacation Week TBR • I have Labor Day week off this year because it’s my birthday week and I need some time to relax. Chris is going to take off a day or two to spend with me, but we don’t have any legitimate plans. Most days I’ll be sitting at home alone reading, so I plan on doing a vacation TBR post right beforehand.
Blogging Ebb and Flow • Do you hit a stride with your blogging for a few weeks or posts, and then lose it all? I suddenly realize my calendar is empty because I was too excited to post all of my shiny new discussion ideas… and then completely run out. I explore the ebb and flow of my blogging creativity!
Books I’ve Been Waiting Forever For • I was looking at my Goodreads shelves and noticed there are books that are STILL not published that I’ve had on my shelves since 2014 or earlier. Is it really possible I’ve been waiting for certain books that long?! With this post, I talk about the unreleased books I’ve been waiting the longest for.
Birthday (and vacation) things! • My birthday is September 9th, so I’m taking off the entire week (since I already have Labor Day) to do whatever I want. I haven’t had uninterrupted time to myself in forever, so I’m excited to get some shit done. I don’t know what we’ll do on my actual birthday, but we’re leaning towards a day trip somewhere.
Anniversary things! • My four year anniversary with Chris is coming up on September 16th, so we usually have a low-key night with a dinner out at a nostalgic restaurant. Usually we’ll go to the sushi restaurant we had our “first date” at (I didn’t think of it as a date at the time, but he did!), so I’m thinking we’ll hit another restaurant from early in our relationship instead.
Football! • Honestly I’m more excited for this than anything else above (sorry not sorry). FINALLY real football is here!!! I miss it so much when it’s gone and preseason doesn’t do anything to satisfy my itch for football. The Panthers have an interesting opening game this year so we’ll see how that goes as a birthday present for me 😉
Engagement party and trip to NJ • We just got back from New Jersey for vacation and are heading there this weekend for my friends’ engagement party. We’ll be spending two nights in a hotel with my close friends from college as we celebrate the engagement of two of them. It’s going to be fun, with delicious Indian food and henna!
Parties where you spend money • I’m hosting a Lularoe party next week and have a friend hosting a Norwex party later in the month. I’m excited to get free clothes 😉 and try out the Norwex face cloths. I’ve heard great things. Again, let me know if you want to be invited to the Lularoe party!
Top Books on the TBR
All of these release in September (except one) and I’m SO EXCITED. I plan to read most of them on release day. I’m working on my ToG audio read (yes, the first time!) and hope to go right from HoF to QoS within the next couple of days, then maaaaybe get to EoS during its release week. Fingers crossed! Otherwise, SUPER pumped for THE GOAL! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book foreeeeever and I can’t wait to read it. Yay for all!!!