Category: Features

Holidays 2019 | To Read & Watch, Readathons, Etc.

Posted November 18, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 1 Comment
Holidays 2019 | To Read & Watch, Readathons, Etc.

Usually I’m getting jazzed up for Christmas in September and forcing myself to wait until at least Halloween, but this year I’ve been feeling weird! I’m not super duper into the holiday spirit like I expected, post-Halloween. I’ve been listening to my holiday music since 11/1 and hopefully reading some holiday books at the end of the month PLUS decorating this week will be helpful. Here we go – onto the usual holiday fun and plans! I have a system right now for scheduling my reading through the end of the year, which includes ranking and prioritizing my holiday reads. I’ll show you the priority reads and review copies (generally one in the same) then all the books I’d LIKE to get to. Scribd actually has a lot of these on audio and I don’t usually listen to holiday audiobooks since I have other stories to continue reading in December. BUT this year I’ve done a lovely job of finishing up challenges nice and early, allowing December to basically be 90% Christmas books. I have a good amount of review copies this season! The book I’ll be starting with, as a quick novella before December, is The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission. I’ll be hosting a readalong of All I Want for Christmas is You with Forever Romance in early December, so be on the lookout for that! I’m participating in a holiday blog tour with Harlequin to share A Wedding in December and Coming Home for Christmas in December, and then The Little Bookshop on the Siene in early January. […]

Lauren Lately | November 2019

Posted November 15, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
Lauren Lately | November 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 Chris’s birthday was in mid-October, so we had some fun celebrations with our friends and his family. We went to an Escape Room followed by dinner and hanging out at an arcade. The next day, we went to the local Apple Festival for some solid fair food and browsing the craft shops. I went to a focus group with my friend and then I got dismissed (they had too many people), so I took a solo trip to the bar next door, got some charcuterie and beer, and read my book until she was done! I also went to a wedding dress appointment for that friend, then we got some Mexican food afterwards! Chris’s family usually gets together around November to celebrate the fall birthdays, so we went to a local seafood restaurant – it was so good and they gave us free cake! We had dinner for my step-grandma’s 80th birthday and then hit a local brewery with Chris’s friends afterwards. We celebrated his sister’s birthday with some Korean hotpot the following week too. More dining out adventures: a delicious taco restaurant with our friends one weekend and a pretzel-based bar/restaurant before some friends came over […]

Did My 2019 Five Star Predictions Come True?

Posted November 14, 2019 / Book Lists, Features / 4 Comments
Did My 2019 Five Star Predictions Come True?

Post found on Pretty Deadly Reviews | Inspired by Mercy’s Bookish Musings For the past few years, I’ve written some prediction posts at the end of the year to predict which books I may rate five stars in the following year. They’re all upcoming releases and usually from authors I already know, love, and have rated many books five-stars from. I usually count is as a win if I end up in the 4-5 star area for these predictions. Let’s see how I did from 2019 releases! Five Stars, Baby! Honestly, if you had asked me when reading my 2019 prediction post which book would be MOST likely to be five stars if I had to pick one, it would have been Girls with Sharp Sticks. I truly have loved everything written by Young and this book was unbelievable. Easily one of her very best. If you haven’t read it yet, pleaseeeee do. There’s Something About Sweetie was SO DAMN GOOD and pulled at my heartstrings continuously. It was really hard to read at times but just so well done and realistic. I adored Ashish AND Sweetie so much. So Close: 4.5 Stars Hooo boy was I ready to get inside Nikolai’s head with King of Scars! The cover is so stunning. I believe it did take me forever to read because hello Lauren does not read fantasy in a timely manner. This book was so excellent and lived up to juuuust about every expectation I had for it. I can’t […]

Rainbow Try a Chapter Unhaul | Personal Challenge for 2020

Posted November 13, 2019 / Book Challenges, Features / 2 Comments
Rainbow Try a Chapter Unhaul | Personal Challenge for 2020

I know that I usually talk about my upcoming year-long challenges in one big post, but I’m inventing this one for myself and wanted to give my idea a full post! Inspired by the following lovely bookish people: RAINBOW READING: Chelsea @ Chelsea Dolling Reads has been doing a rainbow challenge each month, where she spends a week reading books off of her shelves from a specific color family. It’s way for her to read from her physical TBR and get some focused reading time in. TRY A CHAPTER: I originally saw the idea for a “try a chapter” tag or unahul at Bekka @ Lock and Rose. There’s also a Bustle article about linking the original creator (Book Paradise, who appears to be inactive on their YouTube channel). This “try a chapter” thing is a way to read the first chapter of a book on your shelves. If it doesn’t grab you right away, you unhaul the book and move on. For 2020, I’ll be combining some of the ideas above into my own unhaul / reading from my shelves challenge. The idea is that each month I will have a specific color that I use to pull books from my shelves. Once the books are pulled, I will read the first chapter in each one and decide if I want to keep it or unhaul it. The idea is that if the chapter DOES pull me in, I will continue reading that book immediately. I can’t just decide I want […]

September-October Bookish Bullet Journal

September-October Bookish Bullet Journal

When I mentioned the idea of sharing layouts from my reading-related bullet journal on the blog, most of you seemed interested to read about it! I can’t justify making one post each month dedicated to the 3-4 bujo pages I make during that month, so I thought doing a little bullet journal update every two months would be fun instead! In these posts you will see all of the new pages I added during the past two months. September new releases and review copies: Big release month in September, apparently! I’m not super surprised now that I look at this. September TBR: LOL this is a sad wrap-up. I didn’t read a lot in September because it’s always super busy, between alllll the things in my life happening at once. Anniversary, birthday, football, etc… all the good things I love! I don’t read as much during the month and clearly the books I DID read weren’t on my original TBR. September reading tracker: It took me a super long time to read one of my books and others were pretty long as well. Usually I don’t take an entire week to read a book – especially a contemporary romance – but that happened a lot here. Fall bingo card: I didn’t get my shit together on fall bingo until after I did some September spreads when usually I’d prefer to have that at the front of the season. Oh well. This is fairly accurate but I believe I finished a few more off after […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | October 2019

Posted November 1, 2019 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 3 Comments
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | October 2019

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. Back on track, baby! I talked about my weird reading schedule (basically structured every book like a readalong where I had a set start date and end date with page goals) for October and that really helped me. I don’t think I’ll do it all the time but just for a few months when I’m feeling like I need the motivation. This will probably be true for November, TBH. Anyways, I did a good job reading in October (including my focus on “heavier” fall books, aka non-contemporaries).      All of the books from this month: Check out my 2019 challenge sign-up post for more details, goals, etc.! Popsugar Reading Challenge 2 read this month | 37 read total | 93% complete Monthly Motif Challenge 2 read this month | 24 read total This month: Tricks and trades Retellings Reading Challenge 2 read this month | 7 read total | 70% complete Picky Pledge My goal is to work on Alexa and Hannah’s Picky Pledge, reading one book from my shelves per month that fits a category on this TBR idea […]

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 […]

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 […]