Month: January 2019

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

As usual, a new year brings new planners and spreadsheets! It’s my favorite thing to organize and get settled. I’ve talked in the past QUITE a bit about my planners and spreadsheets (bookish and otherwise) because they change every year AND whenever I’m in the mood to try something new. Here are all the ways I plan to organize my 2019, now that we’re about a month in! Happy Planner As you’ve seen before, I use a physical planner for most of my life and work-related planning. I’ve tried mannnny types over the years and am still continuing to try new ones! This year I’m using a Happy Planner again. The “socialite” one I picked offers many of the things I’m looking for in a planner. I was really looking for something where boxes were customizable in some way. I prefer to label things on my own because my life has a few different elements to incorporate. I don’t have a bookish planner this year, so I knew I’d need a box to track books or blog things. Otherwise, you can see how I organize above. The top box is about bills or things due that day. Box two is a mini to-do list and errands I’ll run during lunch. There are two boxes for AM and PM, in case I have time-specific things to do before, during, and after work. Next is the book box and last is a meal planning box. The top left picture also shows the pen color […]

Lauren Lately | January 2019

Posted January 16, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 1 Comment
Lauren Lately | January 2019

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 ✨ Holiday party and festivities with friends | We went down to southern Connecticut for a holiday party with my friends. We always do a secret santa (last year was awkwardly pushed to March) and hang out for the night. We had good food and played games, as usual. Alaina had me and got me bath bombs, my favorite candle, and some chocolate covered cherries. Christmas Eve and Day | We have a big run-around between the two days, since our family tends to host things on the same day unfortunately. On Christmas Eve we split up for the first time in a while. I went to my dad’s to see his family while Chris went to southern Connecticut to his uncle’s house. Usually the parties are hosted within 20-30 minutes of each other so we can hit both but that didn’t happen this year. On Christmas Day, we bounced from my nana’s house in the […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #218: New Authors

Posted January 15, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 4 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #218: New Authors

New-to-Me Authors from 2018 Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, 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 read 120 books in 2018, while managing to read 104 different authors. That’s not a lot of repeats! I read so many great books throughout the year and was introduced to a lot of authors I need more books from ASAP. Here are some author highlights from 2018.

Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

Posted January 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town. Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as […]

My TBR Cart

Posted January 11, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 8 Comments
My TBR Cart

Like everyone else in this bookish space, I got a TBR cart in 2018! (I loved reading a few posts by Jamie, Brittany, and Cristina too!) It works really well for me because I have a tendency of tossing library books wherever and running out of shelf space. I also have a shelf for planner-related stuff, since it’s something I’ve finally gotten back into and never had space to store. My desk downstairs in the living room is kind of pointless because even if I work from home on a snow day, I’m more likely to be on the couch or bed. I don’t NEED a designated space really. I do use it sometimes, but it usually becomes an annoying spot for clutter collection (like aforementioned library books and mail). I’m tempted to move it upstairs into the Lego/storage room instead. I digress. TBR Cart Early setup When I got it back in early December, I filled it with some random stuff and a very loose TBR plan. I didn’t have any library books checked out at the time but knew I’d be incorporating them sometime soon. Here’s how I set it up: Top shelf: upcoming holiday book TBR, bin with sticky notes (later bookmarks), Kindle, iPad mini Middle shelf: bags of pens/markers/planner supplies, cup of colored pens, unused bin, book sleeves Bottom shelf: upcoming physical copy TBR (two ARCs and some hardcovers) I figured that my immediate TBR and books I’m currently reading would be on the top (possibly library books), planner […]

ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

Posted January 10, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

When I arrived at the end of the Black Dog Bay series, I was not ready to leave that perfect setting. I loved the town and its characters, plus all of the quirky breakup-themed businesses there. I started to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t get to visit there again because the final book came out in 2016 without any word of follow-ups. I was randomly browsing Netgalley one day and saw IN DOG WE TRUST. I was excited to see a new title by Beth Kendrick in general, but was even mooooore excited to see that we’d be returning to my beloved Black Dog Bay for the story. I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait on this one and had to read it immediately. The premise of the book, from the synopsis, is that Jocelyn is put in charge of some purebred Labradors after their owner passes away, and is suddenly working and living in a beachfront mansion, instead of cleaning up after tourists in her business with her mom. The late dog owner’s son shows up, looking for his inheritence, and a legal battle (of sorts) ensues. So… this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in my unexpected return to Black Dog Bay, my literal favorite book setting of all time. First, the romance was…bizarre. Without getting too far into spoilers, Jocelyn and Liam were essentially in a legal battle throughout the book, which led to a weird version of the “hate to […]

2018’s Anticipated Reads – How’d I Do?

Posted January 9, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
2018’s Anticipated Reads – How’d I Do?

I predicted which books I thought I’d rate five stars (and already analyzed those for the year), but I thought it would be fun to go back and look at my “most anticipated” lists and TTT posts as well. Cristina posted one a couple of weeks ago and it inspired me to do my own! I’m keeping it simple because I’m lazy today but there will be some info on my ratings for these books too. Books I Read I’m extremely impressed that I managed to read the VAST majority of the books I put on my “most anticipated” list at the beginning of the year. Many of them lived up to my expectations or exceeded them, with most books falling in the 4-4.5 star range. Some got a little less and one even earned 5 stars. The most disappointing was SAM & ISLA, which isn’t overly surprising.      4 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 3.5 stars | 4 stars      3.5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 4 stars | 3 stars      5 stars | 4 stars | 4.5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars Books I Didn’t Get To I attempted to read all of these books at one point or another. I even got ALL WE CAN DO IS WAIT and THE WEDDING DATE out from the library, but the books sat there unread and acquired fines. For the latter though, I put off reading it because of some of […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #217: Most Anticipated

Posted January 8, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 5 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #217: Most Anticipated

Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019 Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, 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 honestly feel like this is one of the few times I’ve really thought ahead to 2019! I looked a little bit when I prepared my winter TBR for bingo, but I didn’t go beyond February (or review copes I have publishing later). It was fun to check out my “TBR-unreleased” shelf. Without further ado, here are some of the top releases I’m excited about in the first half of the year! [I am typically not including books I already have ARCs for because I can technically read them whenever, but some I’m REALLY pumped for may appear.] January February March April May June

ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Posted January 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Initial Excitement & Summary Oh man, where should I begin? I started 2018 with FOOLISH HEARTS because I like the idea of reading a favorite author (one who has NEVER let you down) as the first book of the year. Get the reading year off to a great start, right? It definitely worked last year and let me tell ya – it worked again this year. I borrowed FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN from Wendy to make sure 2019 got off on the right foot again. If I could start every year with one of her books, I would and I will. This one doesn’t give much away in the synopsis but it’s about a girl named Sophie and the new cute boy next door, August. She envelops him in her amazing friend group as they try to track down their small town’s most famous person (Megan Pleasant, a country singer) in order to raise money for the marching band. She learns more about August’s mysterious past and about herself, her friends, and her neighbors in the process. Storytelling & Characters The book really felt like another quiet, slow and steady Emma Mills book. They’re my favorites because they spend so much time developing the characters so you really don’t worry much about if there’s a plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a plot, but some are quieter than others? This book definitely felt like it would be a snapshot of time within this amazing friend group and nothing […]

ARC Review: The Similars

Posted January 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Similars

Many thanks to Sourcebooks for sending over this free package of goodies and a finished copy of THE SIMILARS for me! Initial Excitement & Summary Clearly I was excited to read this one, because I decided to go for it back in early June! I was stuck in sort of a reading slump because I binge-read too many contemporaries in a row. Usually I need to mix in a few different genres throughout the month so I don’t fully burn out. I knew I needed something sci-fi or paranormal (because reading THE COMPLICATION at one point the previous month reset my burnout too). I loved the idea of clones coming to a school without a lot of explanation and learning why they were so special. It was set sort of in the near-future; everyone has fancy “phones” with digital assistants Storytelling, Setting, & Characters There’s actually a lot to unpack with this book and truthfully I’m not smart enough to do it! There were a lot of correlations to today’s society, where people who are “different” can be ostracized for all the wrong reasons. There are growing hate movements based on leadership today and a lot of that was reflected in this book through clone rights. It was fascinating but didn’t feel like a forced theme to make a bigger picture, if that makes sense? These messages didn’t take me out of the story at all. Hanover did a really great job of keeping me guessing and keeping me reading. […]