Month: October 2019

November + Non-Holiday December TBR

Posted October 31, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 2 Comments
November + Non-Holiday December 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. October Progress Finally feeling good from October! I managed to pull from my TBR, pretty much exclusively, and read a LOT of books. I didn’t finish STEPSISTER after getting about 8% through. It wasn’t bad, just not in the mood for it really. I also am still reading IMAGINARY FRIEND. Otherwise, I fullllly booked out my reading month and it made a world of difference. As you can tell from the title, I’m going to put all of my November reads AND my December non-holiday reads into this TBR post. I plan on reading mostly Christmassy books throughout December and didn’t feel like duplicating with a December TBR that looks like my same holiday TBR post (coming late November). I spoke about how I plan to finish up my challenges in October/November recently, so you’ll see some books on here too. Up Next in November-December Review Copies The Pretenders by Hanover | The Bromance Book Club by Adams Ricochet by Berla | Blitzed by Martin I’ll definitely be focusing on review copies of Christmas books in December, so I probably won’t get to anything else… but here are some options for November […]

Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

Posted October 30, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

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! Because of a REALLY FUN SPOILER IN THE *FIRST SENTENCE* OF THE KING OF CROWS SUMMARY, I knew something major was going to happen in this book… and I wasn’t going to like it. I was on high alert the entire time, so nervous for my sweet baby Diviners. My ships were sailing and thriving, so it was only a matter of time before something went terribly wrong. There’s a whole other book for Libba Bray to fuck us up with after this one!!! I digress – this is obviously the third installment in this series, and is quite easily my favorite. I loved the first two but this book just hit even harder. There were a lot of things going on and plates spinning that left me wondering how things would turn out or connect. We’re slowly learning more about more about Project Buffalo and everything related to it – the King of Crows, the visions that people see/dream about, and some more history for our characters and their families. Straight up though, Libba Bray is masterful. A paranormal story set in the 1920s is somehow a perfect parallel to what’s currently happening in our country in 2019. It’s insane how she pulls this off. I’d […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #259: Halloween

Posted October 29, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 0 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #259: Halloween

Halloween Freebie: Spooky, Mystery, Fantasy Books on my Instagram 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’ve said this a bunch of times: I’m not a horror kind of gal. Spooky books can be fun but I certainly read them seasonally, and they’re never TOO scary. Last year I did a Halloween round-up for the TTT near the 31st, so feel free to check that out. I thought I’d keep it simple today and highlight all of the spooky, horror, mystery, and thriller books from my Instagram over the past year or so. (1) Imaginary Friend I kind of thought I would be able to finish this one by the end of the month but it was inadvertently put on hold. I still have all of my page markers to plan how to break up the reading, but I’m lacking the motivation to read this one. Nonetheless, probably the spookiest book from my Instagram page!   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lauren • Bookmark Lit (@bookmark_lit) on Oct 7, 2019 at 3:09pm PDT (2) The Darkest Part of the Forest While this isn’t overly spooky, it’s definitely a woodsy fantasy with a lot of the fae world. […]

ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

Posted October 28, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

I have loved every Jennifer Lynn Barnes book I’ve read, even including the ones that were not necessarily up my alley synopsis-wise. I still have to read THE NATURALS series and I can’t wait to be blown away by those too! In any case, I was sure to read this one relatively quickly to continue the story I loved so much. I didn’t remember that much from the first book but Barnes did a good job of recapping without overdoing it or feeling like an actual recap. I think the biggest issue with these books, which became even more of a problem in this one compared to the first, is that there are SO many characters. I could never keep anyone straight! The book, like the first one, also has chapters in the present and small flash-forward chapters that you’re working up to timeline-wise. This book additionally had some chapters set 25 years in the past, with the parents of all of the main characters. I was constantly trying to remember who was who. On top of the amount of characters, there are so many secrets around everyone’s parentage and family lineage too. Just when you think you’ve figured out who gave birth to someone or is related to someone else, everything changes again. I can’t say much more without being spoilery so I’ll just try to leave it at that. Overall though, this made it challenging to follow the story. There were a lot of big reveals though. I […]

ARC / Anthology Review: His Hideous Heart

Posted October 23, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC / Anthology Review: His Hideous Heart

I can’t lie: unlike most anthologies I request or read, I don’t have a lot of experience with this “topic.” I like to read retellings in general and have been so curious about this compilation of Edgar Allen Poe reimaginings since Dahlia first spoke about it on Twitter years ago. I thought, why not give it a shot? I saw that the original stories by Poe were in the back of the book in case I wanted to read those too, but I figured I’d read quick synopses online for each instead. I also decided to break this up over the course of October to (a) not pressure myself too much and (b) break up the spooky across the whole month! With there being 13 stories, I needed to complete a story every 2-3 days to finish by the end of the month. Therefore, I decided to read one story approximately every other weekday and move things around if I knew I had plans that wouldn’t allow for much reading. I ended up really liking the vast majority of these though, which led to a bit quicker of a read time than I expected! As usual, here are mini reviews for each story in the anthology and the overall rating (above) is an average of all the stories’ ratings. She Rode a Horse of Fire by Kendare Blake | Inspired by: Metzengerstein This was nice and spooky! I was invested and curious without knowing as much about the original tale. […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #258: Book Titles

Posted October 22, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 4 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #258: Book Titles

Books I’d Give Different Titles To 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. The second half of this prompt involves writing up new titles for these books. I’m definitely not going to do that because I’m terrible at that kind of thing, but I WILL let ya know why I don’t like these titles based on my experience reading the book! I had to go back super far – multiple years – to find titles I didn’t like. Maybe I’m just not that picky! Notes from a Former Virgin: Junior Year by Emma Chastain | I used to love this series but I think I’m aging out of them. Chloe is too immature for me now and I don’t know if I’m judging too harshly as a 28 year old reading YA books, but I don’t remember being like that when I was a junior in high school. Oh well. This title makes me cringe so much. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud | I didn’t love this book and I think the title is a little silly. It gets the point across, sure, but there’s nothing really “truly madly” about it. I don’t know how to describe it but I just don’t think […]

2020 Releases I Can’t Wait For

Posted October 21, 2019 / Book Lists, Features / 12 Comments
2020 Releases I Can’t Wait For

Here to fuck all of your TBRs up again, y’all! Sorry, I am definitely not sorry. We’re all in this together. I recently saw a decent amount of 2020 releases get announced and/or obtain gorgeous covers, so I thought I’d throw some of them your way. I’m only doing January for June because my list got a little out of control.   We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding | January 2020 Synopsis excerpt: Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. This book will probably be sad and I hope not super confusing – going forward and time for some chapters and going back in time for others sounds right up my alley though! As you’ll probably hear a million times in this post, I love this cover too. Lie to Me by Kaitlin Ward | January 2020 Synopsis excerpt: Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she’s been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist it was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl is found nearby — one who fell, but didn’t survive. I’m a sucker for mysterious-accident-related-memory-loss books! I’m intrigued by the boyfriend that the other half of the synopsis mentions. I’m pretty bad about actually reading mystery books after they get put on my TBR so hopefully […]

Lauren Lately | October 2019

Posted October 18, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 2 Comments
Lauren Lately | October 2019

You can read my monthly Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups to learn about the bookish and blog-related things I’ve accomplished. Lauren Lately was created 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. What I’ve Been Up To Connecticut Renaissance Faire | I’ve always wanted to attend a ren faire and this was further proven when I read WELL MET recently! Chris has always wanted to go as well and we got super lucky – the CT ren faire was happening in Sept-Oct and it’s only 20 minutes from our house. We enjoyed the day but ran out of things to do and see pretty quickly. We ate some food, watched jousting and a parade, then basically went home. It was also super hot for late September! Wedding and Maine family weekend | I had a morning wedding in late September, so Chris scooped me from the wedding and we continued up to Maine for the weekend. It was family weekend at my sister’s college. We checked out the school, walked around campus, and went for a sunset walk on the beach near my Grammie’s house. On the way home the next day, we obviously had to stop for Henry VIII sandwiches! AEW Dynamite Boston | The newest wrestling company to compete with WWE is pretty much all I’ve ever wanted? We got super lucky and got tickets to the second-ever television taping for Wednesday night Dynamite. […]

In Which I Get Ridiculous About Reading Goals and Scheduling (Readalong-Style)

Posted October 16, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
In Which I Get Ridiculous About Reading Goals and Scheduling (Readalong-Style)

Maybe it’s the large amount of readathons and – more importantly – readalongs I’ve been doing lately, but I’ve gotten into the habit of reaaaaally scheduling out my reading. I set small reading goals per day or week and plan my TBR (and other things) at a super detailed level when I really need some motivation. My reading mojo has been down the tubes since late July/early August and I just can’t get myself to care about reading sometimes. However, I simultaneously want to read all the things??? Like, ya girl can’t stop adding books to the “currently reading” shelf and thus never actually finishing anything. I spoke a while ago about the schedule I developed for how I try to balance all of the audiobook-listening, YouTube/TV-watching, and podcast-listening I want to do on a weekly basis, so this isn’t a foreign concept to me. Sometimes setting weird goals and schedules makes me MORE satisfied and interested in reading. Following along with a basic concept from readalongs, I decided to make some kind of reading schedule for myself in October. I’m currently participating in the Diviners Readalong and FaerieAThon, where the hosts plot out one week(ish) per month to read the next book in the series or author’s backlist. They further determine how many pages or chapters need to be read each day, so everyone is having fun reading along with each other. I love the idea of setting highly-specific reading goals on a daily basis to get books DONE within […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #257: Book Titles

Posted October 15, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 7 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #257: Book Titles

Extraordinary Book Titles 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. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton | I’m reading this one for this month’s local brewery-based book club and it’s had quite a bit of buzz lately! I think the title really makes you curious: why does this bitch keep dying? I know that’s one of the main reasons I added it to my TBR last year. My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff | I didn’t love this holiday story but the cute title and sweater cover definitely sold me. I like puns or plays on words for book titles, so this was an auto-add-to-the-TBR kind of title. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth | I literally added this to my Goodreads TBR a week or so ago because this title immediately made me HOPE I knew what the book was about. And I was right! The couple base their summer romance around classic rom-com date montage moments. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young | Yes, please. This title just screams something about badass girls doing badass things and most likely fighting the patriarchy. I knew I wanted to read this book  because Suzanne Young is […]