Month: February 2019

Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

Posted February 28, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! As usual, it took me a long time to read this one. The combo of me reading less physical copies AND the fact that this book was a million pages? Yeah, I spread this shit out. Luckily my book club was on the same page as me! We decided to read half of the book for our January meeting and finish the other half to chat about in February, just because we knew we’d struggle to finish. We procrastinate… it is what it is! After the first meeting on the 22nd, I kind of spread the rest of the book throughout the final 9-ish days of the month, reading a set number of pages per day. Interesting developments started happening near the halfway point too, which made me eager to read it… finally. (I got caught up a little bit trying to prepare for KING OF SCARS by reading CROOKED KINGDOM but I still managed to get this one done for the end of the month.) While it IS a long book, the story is super easy to read. I think this primarily speaks to the writing style of Marissa Meyer. Even though I enjoy her writing a lot, this book could have used a lot of […]

March TBR

Posted February 27, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 14 Comments
March TBR

My monthly TBR feature here shows my progress based on last month’s TBR, my plans for this month, and anything else I might be thinking about from a reading perspective. Sometimes I feature a little poll at the bottom so you guys can help me figure out a certain title I should read from a group of books. February Progress       One of the bigger issues with moving from December to January is how quickly those review copies for January creep up on you! I had way too many ARCs due between January and February and definitely didn’t get ahead (December is holiday month, obvs). I was able to do some catching up AND getting ahead in February though, so I can’t complain too much! I OWE YOU ONE and THE AU PAIR were overdue egalleys that I didn’t enjoy as much as I hoped, but still had pretty positive ratings. THE BRIDE TEST is something I couldn’t resist – I NEEDED IT. I finished CROOKED KINGDOM in anticipation of KING OF SCARS, which took me most of the month to read. Whoops? Up Next in March Review Copies (Egalleys) Enchantee by Trelease | The Truth About Leaving by Blitt | The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Applehans | One Night at the Lake by Chase | You Owe Me a Murder by Cook I talked recently about my desire to develop an egalley reading schedule that allows me to catch up, stay on track, and get […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #224: Places to Visit

Posted February 26, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 2 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #224: Places to Visit

Places Mentioned in Books I’d Like to Visit 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 always talk about the book settings I love or places I’d want to move, but this is a little more specific? I love a good, cozy, small town. ALWAYS. I also love books in boarding schools or at resorts or in beach towns. Vivid settings are some of my favorite things to talk about. The vast majority of these are RECENT books I’ve read because I literally went through my “read” list on Goodreads, in order. My grandfather was from Punxsutawney, PA… and VERY proud of that fact. I’ve always wanted to visit there for that reason (I don’t care much about the groundhog but obviously it’d be cool to see). Pretty in Punxsutawney being set there definitely got my wheels turning on making a visit happen someday for him. It sounds like there isn’t a hell of a lot to do but it would be worth it for me and my family. (My mom went a bit as a kid!) As I said in my little intro, I’m a huge fan of small town stories. They remind me of my hometown and high school years. Hindsight definitely […]

Picky Pledge

Posted February 25, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 2 Comments
Picky Pledge

I noted in a couple of wrap-up posts that I wanted to join Hannah and Alexa in their Picky Pledge, which is where they read books from their shelves and limit book buying. I’ll admit that I definitely don’t have a book buying problem because of how picky I already am, but I DO have a problem with not reading backlist books on my shelves. I *used to* have a book buying issue, which has led to a lot of books on my shelves that I either (a) will never read or (b) still definitely want to read but haven’t yet. I’ve already embarked on this for January and February, as you saw in the linked Bulletins, but I thought I’d run through some ideas for a Picky Pledge TBR. For more details on the project, be sure to read Alexa and Hannah’s posts I linked earlier! Both of the books below could be interchanged because they fit both categories – I bought both books because they’re book two in a series or duo, and I love both of the authors. I just put them this way arbitrarily. Because there are 12 prompts for the Picky Pledge, I decided to read one book from my shelves each month to finish up the challenge. Below are some ideas that I pulled from combining and cross-referencing my “to read” and “own physical” shelves on Goodreads. A book you bought for the cover   The Last Little Blue Envelope by Johnson | The […]

ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six

Posted February 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six

I still have one more TJR book to read that I’ve been holding on to for years now, just in case of emergency, but I still managed to read two books by her in 2018. I read her short story and this… I knew I couldn’t wait until closer to the release date. The vibe of the book seemed to be more in line with EVELYN HUGO than her traditional contemporary love stories like AFTER I DO, so I was pretty optimistic. I’ll be honest – the first 30% of the book felt a bit generic to me. I was getting nervous but had faith she’d turn it around, like I knew she could or would. The story goes back and forth, introducing Daisy and tho other band members in The Six. There was a lot of “background” information and then stereotypical rockstar stuff. Sex, drugs, drama – the usual. I wasn’t overly impressed or excited but again, I was optimistic. The “generic rock star” bent didn’t really improve or change THAT much but I’ll admit that things did get more intricate The stories from each of the members of the band, plus some staff/crew mixed in, blended together seamlessly to show where every single one of their heads were at. It’s like a successful version of All of This is True – people sharing their perspectives in an interwoven narrative. I love the format of “piecing together” a book through emails, lyrics, interviews, and more… It’s such a fun […]

Favorite Food and Drinks Lately

Favorite Food and Drinks Lately

Because I’ve cooked a LOT of great things in the last 1-2 months, I thought I’d do a little round-up here instead of having a million things in the food section of Lauren Lately. My favorite thing to do while cooking is make things as easy as humanly possible, so most of these recipes will be super simple, as the header suggests 😉 Homemade Crunchwrap Supremes | I found a WW-friendly version of this recipe and it was so good! I tried to buy tostadas online because no store carried them locally, and then they got crushed in transit. I made homemade ones with small tortillas and they were just as good! Buffalo Chicken Chili | God this was amazing; I already want to make it again. I’ve been seeking out Crockpot and Instant Pot recipes like crazy and this one was a major win. I ended up using HALF the amount of cream cheese it called for to make it a little lighter and it was still super creamy and delicious. Chai lattes at home | I was in the mood to get something nice and cozy for the weekends, instead of only having hot chocolate, so I grabbed this one from Target. It’s sugar free so the only WW points are for mixing it with milk, and I use skim milk anyways. SO GOOD! Blue Steak Wraps | This is a simple recipe that I was itching to make to use up the million containers of blue cheese I somehow acquired. It […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #223: Under 2,000 Ratings

Posted February 19, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 20 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #223: Under 2,000 Ratings

Books I Loved with Under 2K Ratings on Goodreads (Actually, these ended up around 500 ratings or less!) 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 feel like most of my books with a low number of ratings are because the books aren’t out yet, but I was able to peel through some of those low-rated (numbers-wise, not rating-wise) books on GR and highlight some hidden gems! I also am skipping over novellas and sequels since those tend to not have a lot of ratings. In general, I’m a huge fan of pushing books that are deserving of praise but otherwise don’t get enough attention. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Charlotte Butterfield | “This book somewhat reminded me of a Sophie Kinsella novel, but maybe a little tamer. (Maybe it’s because it’s an English book set in London too…) I did laugh out loud a few times and immediately added her other book to my TBR!” Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott | “The first step in this story? Suspend your disbelief. You really have to just let yourself enjoy it and not think about how ridiculously crazy the idea of this story is. There are so many wild twists that happen later on […]

Anatomy of a TBR Post

Posted February 18, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
Anatomy of a TBR Post

I know I’ve spoken about this at length in various posts, whether it’s about my ARC habits or how I pick the books for my TBR, but I thought it would be fun to talk about my overall methods for curating a TBR post for each month, which includes picking the specific books and determining the categories I should read each month. I remember back in 2015 I followed Andi on an experiment of using TBR-related categories when picking books for the month. It worked so well for me because my mood reading for a specific book mixed well with the reading obligations I still wanted to follow. The lists would include things like format, genre, publishing year, debut author, etc. – any kind of book you could think of, in order to diversify your reading choices. My current TBR posts follow a similar structure but I am typically able to pick certain books now instead. Here is my current TBR post setup: Required Reading As I’ve discussed before, there are plenty of “required reading” books each month. These are basically books with due dates of some kind. I keep physical ARCs around here because I tend to view them differently than egalleys. I will usually have 1-2 books from the library and 1-2 blog tours on deck in the coming month, so those make up some slots on the TBR. I also have a monthly book club pick. All of these things have specific guidelines of when to finish […]

Lauren Lately | February 2019

Posted February 16, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 4 Comments
Lauren Lately | February 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 ✨ Skiing and winter activities | The weekend after our Vermont trip, we enjoyed some more snow and cold weather activities at home! We went skiing for Chris’s dad’s birthday with his sister and her fiancee. The snow at our place kept us indoors, which we definitely needed! We’ve been hanging around and enjoying books and Chris’s new Switch. Planetarium, Wolfpack game, and bingo nights | We had a busy stretch of a few days in mid-January. There was a planetarium event where they discussed the upcoming lunar eclipse and taught us a LOT about their history. I’m a huge fan of planetariums so hopefully we come back. The next night, we went to a Hartford Wolfpack hockey game with some friends. I’ve been going to Wednesday night music video bingo every other week with my friend and it’s SO much fun. Harry Potter high tea and Olde Mystick Village | My friends and I decided a […]

2019 State of the ARC

Posted February 15, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
2019 State of the ARC

State of the ARC is hosted by AvalinahsBooks Current/Recent Approach I recently spoke about where I get my ARCs, how good (or bad) I am at reading them, and countless other things under the “how I deal with review copies” umbrella of conversation. I’ve learned that I’m really not terrible about keeping up with them overall, but there are still plenty I leave unread at the end of the year. I don’t want to ignore my review copies from previous years completely, but I need to figure out my new approach to reading ARCs from 2019 to stay on top of things. I am the person who reads a book and writes the review within the next 1-12 hours at most. Yes, every single time. This is partly because my memory is garbage but also because I’m just DETERMINED to do it. I like to be on top of things. This is why I don’t have a problem reading books super early – I end up with posts scheduled months in advance. It feels good to have a more full blog post calendar; I love getting to the next month and realizing I already have at least a few things on there, scheduled and ready to go. I read the book and write the review immediately. Period. No matter the pub date. I’ve been trying to be better about reading my ARCs early enough, mixing in some backlist ones while getting ahead on future ones. One day you’ll see me reading […]