Month: December 2023

2024 Resolutions and Goals

Posted December 29, 2023 / Book Challenges, Features / 0 Comments
2024 Resolutions and Goals

I’ve been making these posts ALMOST every year since starting my blog (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023). I’ll do a quick check-in on how I did for 2023’s goals at the bottom but dive into my plans for 2024 first. Stay on track or ahead of my Goodreads challenge | I like to keep this one for obvious reasons. I’m still debating about what I want my Goodreads goal to be for the year though. I easily surpassed 80 books this year and will be finishing around 116. Do I move it up to 100? Based on another goal you’ll see in a second, I’m on the fence about increasing quantity. Keep up Instagram stories about TBRs and completed reads | I did a good job of this in 2023 and want to also keep it up. I adjusted the verbiage because I like to share monthly TBRs and reviews but only occasionally share current reads. Read my 24 in 24 | I pulled together the 24 books I want to read in 2024, which I’ll be sharing on the blog soon. It’s heavily backlist titles I wanted to read this year but I gave myself a few “freebies” of anticipated 2024 releases as well. Read bigger books | One of the main reasons I don’t know if I want to majorly increase my Goodreads goal is because I really want to read big books I’ve been putting off. I plan to start the Crescent City series (hopefully in January) […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #435: Recent Additions

Posted December 26, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Top Ten Tuesdays #435: Recent Additions

Recent Additions to my Bookshelf 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 shared the books I hope Santa brings last week and I’ve already gotten a couple of them! I know I may get one more from my dad (EMILY WILDE) but I’m going to write this post before Christmas 😉 I also decided to do both physical and digital bookshelves so I could show some of the egalleys I’ve received lately. Egalleys I’m really excited for these new egalleys! Two of these are longtime favorite authors (Kieran Scott – literally a preteen favorite of mine when she wrote as Kate Brian – and Emma Lord). Lauren Kung Jessen is a promising new favorite. I loved her debut and am even more excited for her sophomore novel. The premise is right up my alley! Purchased Books I did decide to buy the special FOURTH WING edition just for the hell of it because I preordered the IRON FLAME one lol. I bought THE TAKEDOWN and THE GRAHAM EFFECT on the same day at B&N because they were BOGO 50% off. I saw ZERO DAYS at my library book sale for $4 so I just grabbed it even though people haven’t really […]

Holiday Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Christmas and Through the Snow Globe

Posted December 21, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Christmas and Through the Snow Globe

Story I really enjoyed THE SANTA SUIT last year and was excited to try another short and sweet Christmas book from Mary Kay Andrews. BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CHRISTMAS followed Kerry as she joined her brother in NYC selling Christmas trees from the family farm. She hadn’t been at their lot since she was a kid – when her parents split up, her brother and father ran the tree farm while Kerry stayed with her mom. She’s feeling lost between jobs and is subbed in for her father this year, who recently had a heart attack. The characters were good – there’s a romance with a cute single dad from the building next door. I really loved meeting everyone else in the building and the nearby restaurants too. One of their neighbors goes missing and they all band together to find him in time for Christmas. It leads to an interesting new life path for Kerry that I really enjoyed reading about. I didn’t love the romance necessarily; the kid was cute but the father was a little pushy. It was off-putting to have him move so quickly on her when they’d known each other for a couple of weeks. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels NYC during the holiday season is one of my favorite settings, as I’ve mentioned time and time again. The block they were located on felt real and gave some nice Christmas feels. Christmas tree lots or farms are some of my favorite settings for holiday books. […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #434: Santa

Posted December 19, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 0 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #434: Santa

Books I Hope Santa Brings (and Post-Christmas Gift Card Purchase Ideas) 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 don’t usually put a lot of books on my Christmas wishlist because we’re an Amazon wishlist kind of family. I try to buy my books from pretty much anywhere other than Amazon. However, I did have a few for people to pick from. I also have ideas of what books to buy/preorder using the gift cards from Christmas. On My Wishlist I added EMILY WILDE to my wishlist for my dad because I loved it and really want to own a copy. I have a review copy for book two but definitely will need that hardcover as well (see below lol). I’m in a booktuber’s Patreon and she buys a book for her patrons at the end of the year so I added a few books to that wishlist for her to pick from to send me. Post-Holiday Gift Card Purchases / Preorders There are a handful of books I’m really excited to read in 2024 and all of these are coming out somewhere from January on. I love most of these authors and there’s one that I still haven’t read from yet […]

Holiday Reviews: Snowed in for Christmas and The Christmas Orphans Club

Posted December 14, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Snowed in for Christmas and The Christmas Orphans Club

Story I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one but I have to say, I enjoyed it! Becca and Harrison are neighbors on a college campus (one is a sorority house mom and the other is the football coach) who went on a date two years ago… then he ghosted her. They’ve spent the years since avoiding each other until a huge snow storm comes right as the students are heading for winter break. They end up hunkering down together due to power outages, lack of firewood, and extreme wind and temperatures. I really enjoyed their chemistry and the snowed-in style romance here. It’s so much fun to watch two people get closer from a relationship perspective while they’re forced together in those circumstances. Becca was such a fun character who tried her hardest to not let other people’s assumptions about her get in the way of her being herself. Harrison was grumpy but soft underneath, which I like. Honestly, I think Harrison got off a little too easy on the ghosting thing. There’s obviously some explanation as the two start talking about it but I think that could have been beefed up a little bit. The ending got progressively more cheesy (lots of instalove) but was still cute in general. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels There’s definitely a difference between books that take place on Christmas and Christmas/holiday books. I think this story straddles the middle a little bit. The story happens right before the holiday and the […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #433: Winter TBR

Posted December 12, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 2 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #433: Winter TBR

Winter TBR (EOY – Feb) 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. We’re right around the middle of December and I know winter “starts” in a week or two, but I fully agree with anyone who thinks winter begins on December 1st. I’ve been working through holiday stories this month and will definitely bang out as many as possible before the end of the month! This TBR will feature some books I hope to get to for the rest of December as well as early next year (January and February). Already Released Publishing Soon Review Copies

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Appeal and Tide and Punishment

Posted December 8, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Appeal and Tide and Punishment

Story I really enjoyed THE APPEAL when I randomly picked it up last year on a vacation. I couldn’t put it down and found it super addicting due to the mixed media format. (I still haven’t read anything else by Hallett but I have multiple books ready to go on my Kindle!) This was a Christmas novella featuring the same Fairway Players from the initial book. They decided to put on a holiday play of Jack and the Beanstalk using a gross old beanstalk from years and years ago. The mystery unfolded in a really neat way, much like THE APPEAL. I didn’t figure it out right away but there were definitely a few elements later in the book that I saw coming. It was a pretty fun mystery in general given its length. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels There were somewhat limited holiday feels in this one, partially because of the mixed media format and partially because the content itself wasn’t overly holiday-oriented. I liked the “holiday round robin” emails sent out to set the stage and time of year at the beginning, which also reacquainted us with the characters. The play of Jack and the Beanstalk is not really Christmassy… I think it was necessary for the plot and mystery that comes in later, but A Christmas Carol or literally any other holiday play would have upped the seasonal feels for me. Overall I really enjoyed this one, and think the audiobook was done well! I’d recommend readers […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | November 2023

Posted December 6, 2023 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | November 2023

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin wraps up the last month in reading and what was on the blog, as well as what’s coming up next. You can check out my book haul, books read, posts shared, challenge updates, etc. You can read past bulletins here. If you’re looking for more personal updates, you can check out my Lauren Lately feature; it highlights my life events and non-bookish fun from the previous 30 days. I definitely planned to read more in November (and didn’t expect for so many of my books to be novellas!). My trip for the last week of the month didn’t involve really any reading, so there are two books I didn’t complete in November that I figured I would. Oh well, it just means December is off to a good start!      9 books in  November 9 read  •  0 reread  •  0 DNF Pages read: 2,545 •   Average rating: 3.89 stars Genres: 5 mystery/thrillers, 2 contemporary, 2 fantasy Formats: 3 mixed, 2 audiobooks, 2 ebooks, 1 hardcover, 1 paperback Sources: 3 borrowed, 3 purchased, 2 library, 1 preordered Age Target: 8 adult, 1 new adult      Here are all the books I read this month with ratings and one-line thoughts!      Popsugar Reading Challenge: 76% 52 Book Club: 75% Must Read in 2023: 75% Romanceopoly: 23% Mystery/Thriller Reading Challenge: 96%      Breakdown: 4 hardcover | 3 paperback | 2 egalley All review copies were provided for free in exchange for an honest review. For Review From Berkley: Summer Romance by Monaghan From […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #432: Holiday Covers

Posted December 5, 2023 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Top Ten Tuesdays #432: Holiday Covers

Freebie: Favorite Recent Holiday Book Covers 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. A freebie usually means a cover-related post from Bookmark Lit! In the spirit of the holiday season (which I am doing a terrible job of keeping up with so far this year…), I thought I would share some of my favorite holiday book covers that have been released recently.