Month: July 2017

Reading Bad Books… On Purpose

Posted July 21, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
Reading Bad Books… On Purpose

Have you ever finished a few GREAT books and thought… okay, now I kind of need to read a bad book. I’ve read some really solid ones, somewhere between 4-5 stars, and now I need something not-so-great. I call these buffer books because they act as a buffer between allll of the good books. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the only weird one, but let’s see. Where’s my logic in this? Let’s discuss. Cleansing the Palette If I read a number of really good books in a row, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t like to read too many highly anticipated books one after another, just because I could end up ruining them with a book hangover (more on that later). I never want to bang out 5 great, anticipated reads in a row because JUST MAYBE the 6th one will get ruined. I think this often has to do with genre or certain tropes being used a lot. Either way, I like to read some great books and then “cleanse my reading palette” with one I know might be bad in one way or another. Sometimes it’ll be an author that writes ridiculous and addicting stories. Sometimes it’ll be a book I’m reading completely for nostalgia. Sometimes it’ll be an angsty NA that I know will annoy me but I’ve wanted to read for one reason or another. Either way, tossing a book I think will be “bad” in them middle of a few good ones […]

Wednesday Wrap-Up #4 | WoW & WWW

Wednesday Wrap-Up #4 | WoW & WWW

I don’t like to do too many weekly memes on the blog and usually stick to TTT, but I thought it would be fun to occasionally post Wednesday memes I’m interested in. It won’t be weekly, but it’ll be fun to recap the previous week or so and talk about what books I have on the docket. It will be a combination of WWW Wednesdays and Waiting on Wednesdays (more details below!), as well as anything else I’d like to share. Waiting on…Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and asks upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. I’m currently waiting impatiently for… The Broken World by Lindsey Klingele Release Date: August 29th 2014 The adventures of three teen royals and foster girl Liv, which began in The Marked Girl, conclude in this exciting sequel. In the fantasy world of Caelum, Liv, Cedric, and Kat must attempt to defeat an evil traitor and his army to save their families and the kingdom. But the city they left behind is facing its own problems: back in Los Angeles, the sky is orange, gravity isn’t working right, and earthquakes shake the ground every few hours. Opening the portals has had devastating effects, and Liv’s best friend Shannon and Cedric’s frenemy Merek are the only ones who know what’s going on – and that tracking down the murderous Knights of Valere might be the way to fix everything. It’s a race against time as the crew must find a way to reunite and combine their quests to save both worlds. I really liked The […]

Series Review: Blue Heron

Posted July 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Series Review: Blue Heron

I’m clearly a sucker for companion series set in small towns with unique characters and charm. I adored the Black Dog Bay series and listened to all of them, one after another. This series I took my time with a little more (just because my podcast addiction is still going strong), but it was a worthy series binge! This time, the books are set in Manningsport, New York. The main characters are all generally surrounding the family that owns the Blue Heron Vineyard. Many of the stories also star those family members and their love stories. This was also another audio binge with the narrator Amy Rubinate. Quick summary: When Faith is ditched at the alter because her fiancee is gay, she moves to San Francisco to break away and start over. She returns home to find that the “best man,” Levi, is now the town sheriff and just as difficult as he was when they were teens. Heroine: Faith was a really good character! She got herself into some funny situations and tried really hard to please everyone. She dealt with a lot of guilt over her mother’s death and struggled to move on years later. I liked watching her realize she needed to be home and get over her ex. Romance: This was truly the slowest burn romance I’ve ever read. I looooved the banter and major hate-to-love feels. Levi was so grouchy because Faith was always chipper and positive. They balanced each other out and really felt strongly for each […]

Make Me Read It Readathon | Poll, TBR, and Tracking

Posted July 17, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 7 Comments
Make Me Read It Readathon | Poll, TBR, and Tracking

Hosted by Ely @ Tea & Titles and Val @ The Innocent Smiley /// August 6th to 13th Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It’s up to you how many you pick, personally I’d pick a few more than you expect to be able to read in a week. Example: if you think you’ll only read two, pick out five books or if you think you can read seven, pick out ten. Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read. When the readathon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. If there’s a tie, then it’s your preference. The goal is to read as many as possible. I’m excited to participate in this readathon for the third year in a row! (See other years here and here if you’re curious.) In the past, I’ve exclusively used books from my shelves and library books. This year, I definitely want to mix in some egalleys and ebooks (since I’m working with less physical copies lately!). I usually rank the books in order […]

Library Love | July

Posted July 14, 2017 / Features, Library Love, Weekly Memes / 14 Comments
Library Love | July

I’ve been wanting to share some library hauls on the blog, since I don’t include them in my monthly wrap-ups. I go through phases where I use the library A LOT and phases where I forget it exists somehow. Whenever the mood strikes, I’ll share what I’m working on from the library during any given month. This is a somewhat special version of library love, because I’m currently using the library in my new home! One of the first things I did when we got here (literally, we went on the third day we were here) was get a library card. I specifically made my grandma send me a letter so I had proof of address and everything. The Portland Public Library is really nice because there are multiple branches in different areas. I’m near the Burbank branch, so that means I don’t have to go downtown to get books! I can request for books to move from different locations too. I’ve already placed a few holds for books that are coming out later and picked up some more. I love that the library has self-service locations. You can find and grab your own holds from the shelf AND check them out yourself. Easy in and out! Anyways, enough of me rambling about my new library. Here’s what I’ve got! Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly | I’ve checked this out from the library previously but never got around to reading it before the due date. I don’t […]

Lauren Lately | July 2017

Posted July 13, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 6 Comments
Lauren Lately | July 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 ✨ End of Connecticut | Since I last wrote one of these, we packed up our apartment and moved everything into Chris’s parents’ house (basement). We lived with them from July 18th through July 2nd before coming up here. It was a nice period of time and pretty relaxing, once we had everything organized. The biggest issues are animal-related noises, since they have two bark-y dogs and lots of squawking chickens. Exploring Portland! | This is a large category because we’ve been here for almost two weeks now. It’s so weird to think about! I felt like the day was never going to come, and now we’ve been at it for half a month already.  We spent the first two days doing a lot of apartment shopping, since we got rid of a lot of stuff before we moved. We’ve been biking into the downtown area and trying to figure out our favorite route. There are gorgeous […]

Contemporary Romance Challenge – TBR Update

Posted July 12, 2017 / Uncategorized / 4 Comments
Contemporary Romance Challenge – TBR Update

As usual, I signed up for the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, this year hosted by my love Andi. I generally blow this challenge out of the water because over half of the books I read each year would be classified as “contemporary romance” or just plain contemporary fiction. I’ve been trying to make my reading a little more even with fantasy, mystery, and sometimes historical fiction, but it doesn’t happen. I challenged myself this year to read a 21-book-TBR of contemporary romances I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read yet. Here’s how I’ve done so far…   HAHAHA nice work, Lauren.  So, clearly I have some reading to do. I know it will be nearly impossible, knowing me, to actually read the other 19 remaining books on the TBR between now (mid-July) and the end of the year. I just don’t think I’ll motivate myself to do it, especially when I’m trying to prioritize other genres too. This post really just exists to shame myself into reading these damn books: I do HAVE some of these books with me in Portland (either physical copies I brought, galleys on my Kindle, or found them elsewhere like Scribd, the library, or a library-related app). Some of my physical copies are still in Connecticut but I hope I’ll get to them. I think it’s most likely going to be the summery books I get to somewhat soon, since that’s my favorite thing to read. I’m going to try to split this TBR in half to […]

On My List (2)

Posted July 11, 2017 / Features, On My List / 12 Comments
On My List (2)

I love Jamie’s New to the Queue feature because it highlights new things she’s added to her different “to do/ read/ watch/ etc.” lists. This new random feature – called simply On My List – will show off the most recent books, movies, shows, podcasts, and other things to make it on my list. Unreleased    The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix | Hidden secrets? International travel? A popular girl and a not-so-popular girl coming together? Alllll of that. Give me it. I don’t think I actually read this author back when everyone else did, so we’ll see how I fare. Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls | I’ve been trying to add more historical fiction to my TBR and this seems like a fun start. Rallies, marches, and early feminism are right up my alley (in terms of reading books in general but also if I were to branch more into historical fiction). Turn it Up by Jen Calonita | This cover is just so cute, I couldn’t resist. I generally liked the books I read by Jen Calonita so I hope this one is even better. I don’t care too much about music-oriented books but this girl-centered a cappella group could be fun? We’ll see! Published    Haven Point series by RaeAnne Thayne | I loved Hannah’s review round-up about this series recently and immediately added it to my TBR. I love cozy holiday stories, especially when they’re companion stories set in a small town. I seem to be addicted […]

Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

Posted July 10, 2017 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. First up, we have the sequel to A Study in Charlotte. I enjoyed the first book but it wasn’t a favorite. I felt really disconnected from the characters and those issues definitely continued in book two. I’m still intrigued by the “retelling” of Sherlock Holmes vibes, so I will probably read the next book. Next, the newest Kasie West book! She’s clearly in my top three favorite authors. I always love her stories and have not rated one less than four stars. This wasn’t my favorite by her, but it was a solid story about winning the lottery and finding your own way.

ContRom Challenge Topic: Anticipated Releases

Posted July 7, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 8 Comments
ContRom Challenge Topic: Anticipated Releases

Each month, Andi poses a monthly topic for the Contemporary Romance challenge. I try to participate in my wrap-up posts if it’s a quick, short list, but I like to have a full post about it when I have A LOT to discuss. This month’s topic involves the contemporary romance releases (publishing in the second half of 2017) that we’re most looking forward to reading. Here we goooo!    Who’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh | July 11th 16 Ways to Break a Heart by Lauren Strasnick | July 25th Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn | July 18th   Top Ten by Katie Cotugno | October 3rd My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff | October 31st Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills | December 26th    You Don’t Know Me but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow | August 29th The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody | November 28th This is Not the End by Chandler Baker | August 8th