Month: April 2017

April Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Posted April 29, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 3 Comments
April Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Erica from Diving Under the Cover and I introduced our Netflix and Books Challenge for 2017 as a way of making progress on books we want to read and TV shows we want to watch. The TBR lists were chosen by matching books up to various TV shows based on characters, plots, etc. You can learn all about the challenge and join in anytime here! Don’t forget, you can also still participate in our Netflix and Books Tag that we debuted in 2016; it’ll give you some points in this challenge too! Reading Progress No news to report here! I’m still in waiting mode for a few books to be released from my TBR. I also haven’t really been in the mood for my rereads on here either (The Great Gatsby and Gossip Girl). I’m afraid that GG will create a whoooole binge of the series and I have too many review copies to read instead haha. I wish I had those books in audio form… Completed books so far: Still to read: TV Watching Progress LOL so yeah no progress here either. I just have been watching very few shows aka mostly Friends. We’ve watched some random other shows, plus Shameless as always, so we’ll see when these final get banged out. I think the most likely one will be Bob’s Burgers because I’ve watched a few recent episodes with Chris. I may let this be my “before bed” show since I’ve seen a lot of them already. I’m also half-watching the current […]

May TBR (and Bout of Books 19 Sign-Up)

Posted April 28, 2017 / Book Challenges, Book Lists, Features / 13 Comments
May TBR (and Bout of Books 19 Sign-Up)

I recently started a monthly TBR feature, where I try to pin down which books I plan to read in the upcoming month. It also helps remind me throughout the month which books I’m supposed to be reading, for various reasons. I add a little poll at the bottom too, so you guys can vote and help me narrow down some of my options as well. Here are my top TBR choices for this month and how I did last month… April Progress & Challenges    April’s TBR was a little different because I participated in some month-long challenges. One was my own personal challenge to read mostly books from my own shelves, plus there was a blogging community challenge to read ARCs in April. (More info below.) Overall, I did pretty well! I got derailed because I forgot about my book club pick AND that I had a book coming from an ARC tour. I only read three books from my actual April TBR list because of those things… and I didn’t read much at all until the very end of the month regardless! Owned Book April      Goal: 75% of books read in April should be books from my shelves (physical ARCs or pubbed books) Progress: Started and/or finished 11 books in April – 5 of them were owned copies – 45% A Very ARC-ish Readathon      Goal: 50% of books read in April should be ARCs (physical or egalleys) Progress: Started and/or finished 11 books in April – 5 of them were ARCs – 45% On […]

Summer Releases to Add to Your TBR

Posted April 27, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 11 Comments
Summer Releases to Add to Your TBR

I have a tendency of reading summertime releases really early for some reason. I posted a round-up last year of summer 2016 releases to watch out for as a result of this weird habit. I happened to notice the same thing happening in 2017, so here we are today. A little more background: I love when bloggers make “save the date” style posts like Jamie and Ginger, so this is sort of a quick version of that. Here are a few books coming out in the summer (starting in May, because I can’t resist) that I’ve already read and enjoyed. This book was a breath of fresh air and really kicked my reading year off right. I love Emery Lord, but NAMES is easily her best story. I don’t like reading about religion but this was incredibly well-done and accessible for people who don’t like it. I wouldn’t have read it if her name wasn’t on it, but I’m so glad I did. I LOVED the characters, the ship, the family and friend feels, the setting… you name it. I loved reading this geeky romance between Dimple and Rishi, whose parents are trying to push them together during a summer coding camp. I thought the Indian rep was really well-done from my seriously limited perspective. If yo’re looking for a new OTP, I highly suggest this book. It was so fun to read and I couldn’t believe how quickly I would fly through it in each sitting. I expected to love […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #136: Opposite of Read-Bait

Posted April 25, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 13 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #136: Opposite of Read-Bait

Things That Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I had this post all ready to go for another day on the blog, but then noticed it fit right in with a TTT topic! I started this post because Michelle wrote about her instant NO’s for books (the things that make her pass on reading a certain book) made me really think. Coupled with this TTT, I decided to explore what topics are the opposite of read-bait for me? What keywords, settings, or storylines make me say NAH no thanks? Motorcycles Yes, I feel the same way as Michelle about this one. I don’t know why but it doesn’t appeal to me AT ALL. I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy and highly doubt that I ever will. The concept doesn’t appeal to me and I personally hate driving near them on the road in my real life (it makes me so nervous). Pregnancy or babies Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I’ll never read about this, or have any actual problem with pregnancy. I just don’t enjoy the drama it can create in YA books and personally never choose to read them. It’s the main reason I haven’t gotten around […]

ARC Reviews: Cold Summer and Windfall

Posted April 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Reviews: Cold Summer and Windfall

I’ll be honest… I think three stars is generous for this one. I liked the ending, which does outweigh some flaws for me! I love second-chance-romance stories, especially when the two characters were best friends through childhood and reunite when they’re older. I also love anything involving time travel or alternate universes. In theory, this book is right up my alley! However… while the setup was interesting, SO much more could have been done with this premise. The biggest flaw for me – that can be applied to every single aspect of the story – is that the book lacked depth. It didn’t have any oomph to it. The romance was fine, the characters were fine, the time travel was fine… but that’s it. There wasn’t enough characterization for me to feel anything for the characters; I knew the bare minimum about them. Honestly, there were so many chapters where I forgot whose head I was in at the time. Characters (and their thoughts) should not be that flat and similar. I liked the side characters and their relationships, but they were even less developed. I don’t think we even know officially what happened to her aunt? And her relationship with her mom? I know the two things are related but the “closure” around those issues was either rushed or nonexistent. Time travel is a huge draw for me, but that was kind of boring too. Kale (yes I kept picturing the leafy vegetable) keeps traveling to the same time period for some […]

Book Cravings

Posted April 20, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 12 Comments
Book Cravings

I’ve written and rewritten an intro to this post over and over again, but everything I wrote sounded stupid. Do books ever make you crave specific foods? Yes. I’m sure they have. Because obviously. I love books involving restaurants, friends who have food “traditions,” and characters who just constantly eat the same things over again. These books make me super hungry for those specific foods and I totally end up associating those foods with the books. Sorry not sorry for making you hungry today, but here are some books that made me crave certain foods while reading! The book: Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | The craving: bacon tuna melt Why: The main character in this one always ordered the same bacon tuna melt whenever she visited the diner where her friend worked. I’m not usually a fan of tuna melts because I prefer them tuna to be cold, but this ALWAYS makes me crave a nice bacon-filled tuna melt. This is the first food-related book I think of. The book: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen | The craving: pizza, fries, and lollipops Why: The family in this one own a pizza shop and there is CONSTANT mentioning of pizza and french fries. I already crave pizza 24/7 because it’s my favorite, but just thinking about this book makes that craving even more real. I love fries too, so I had to include those. There’s also many mentions to Dum Dum lollipops. The book: Winter series by Elin Hilderbrand | The craving: fancy breakfasts Why: The B&B that the family operates […]

What’s the Best Audiobook Genre for Me?

Posted April 19, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 8 Comments
What’s the Best Audiobook Genre for Me?

I REALLY WISH I KNEW, OKAY? I’ve always been a huge fan of audiobooks, but I honestly like them more in theory instead of in practice… which means that I force myself to listen to them in order to read more books. Don’t get me wrong: the idea of reading ALL the time when I’d usually be doing anything else (cooking, showering, driving, putting makeup on, etc.) is fantastic. I’ve always been under the impression, though, that the audio format impacts my reading and my ratings more than other formats do. A bad narrator can ruin a book completely. I can lose focus and not pay attention to what’s happening, which causes me to rate the book lower because I “feel like nothing happened.” 🙄 I set out today to explore which audiobook genre is the best for me, and see how ratings are impacted by the genre combination. Audio Ratings by Genre I came to an interesting and unexpected conclusion when I looked at my statistics. My average rating for audiobooks in 2016 was 3.8 stars, which is exactly the same as my overall rating for books in all other formats (ebooks, physical copies, advanced copies, etc.). So it looks like I really don’t rate audiobooks any lower than I rate my other books, even though it feels that way for some reason. Here are my ratings for audiobooks by genre: Contemporary audiobooks: 3.5 stars Fantasy audiobooks: 4.1 stars Paranormal audiobooks: 3.9 stars Retelling audiobooks: 3.5 stars Dystopia audiobooks: 2.7 stars I don’t read […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #135: Read-Bait

Posted April 18, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 14 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #135: Read-Bait

Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read a Book Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I talk about read-bait all the time on my blog – the certain words, phrases, settings, and tropes that immediately draw me in. I’ll add it to my TBR and be suuuuper excited for it until I can get my hands on it. Because I talk about it so much, there are plenty of places to look on my blog. I decided to just go crazy for this TTT by listing all of my favorites and then linking where applicable. General Topics Stuck in limbo between life and death; stories set in heaven with finished business on earth Parallel universes, time travel, and parallel life/choice stories Books about fairies Reunions with old friends in the hometown they left Losing memories / amnesia Bucket lists (checking items of the list for themselves or for someone else who died) Family dynamics and drama after a death Disappearances and people returning home from being kidnapped/etc. Winning the lottery or being rich “You’ve Got Mail” secret pen pal relationships Stereotypical mean girl learns a lesson and fixes her behavior Romance Tropes (Full post here) Best-friend-to-more romance (bonus points if childhood best friend and/or neighbor) Best friend’s brother, or […]

Weird-for-Me Covers I’m Inexplicably Loving

Posted April 17, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 15 Comments
Weird-for-Me Covers I’m Inexplicably Loving

In keeping up with my never-ending stream of book cover-related posts, here’s a different one for you. I have certain elements I LOVE about book covers (pretty colors, hearts, watercolor, typography… all of those items can be found here). Not ALL of my favorite book covers have those elements. Lately I’ve found myself more and more drawn to weirder book covers, or more unique ones at least. Here are some book covers that are out of MY normal range of favorites that I’m kind of obsessed with. In fact, there are quite a few books of the opposite design. I’m a fan of the pretty, colorful, upbeat covers with lots of intricacies (or beautiful text). Now, I’m adding a lot more plain, simple, and dark covers to my “cover love” shelf. Book cover feature I usually love: sunsets and sunrises Book cover feature I love lately: dark, outer space elements I usually love books set on earth (lol) with sunsets or sunrises. It makes for a beautiful, colorful background in the sky. There’s something so jarring about outer space covers; I can never look away from them. These two are really striking for some reason, with the small color elements and black background. Book cover feature I usually love: pretty and/or watercolor flowers or floral patterns Book cover feature I love lately: dead and/or creepy flowers As you can see everywhere on my blog, flowers are my THING. I love watercolor floral designs and pretty, living flowers on book covers. These two covers have very […]

Lauren Lately | April 2017

Posted April 14, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 6 Comments
Lauren Lately | April 2017

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ New England weather | I’ve lived in this region my whole life so I’m very familiar with the saying “if you don’t like the weather today, wait until tomorrow.” This past month, it’s been so true! We had one weekend where it snowed and sleeted on Saturday, then was 60* and sunny the next day. We were able to squeak in skiing one more time and then went for a nice walk the next day. It’s crazy!     Hiking and other outdoor activities | I already alluded to this but the weather finally stopped being back-and-forth, so now we’ve got some nice weather. Rain was in the forecast a little over the last week but there were some warm and sunny days too. I’ve been taking full advantage of reading on the porch as much as possible. We’ve also gone for a lot of walks around our apartment and on some new hiking trails. TV […]