Category: Features

On Playing Catch-Up

Posted October 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
On Playing Catch-Up

Over the last few years, I never really struggled with my Goodreads Challenge. The number was always achievable based on how I anticipated my life going in that calendar year, or how ~into~ blogging and reading I was at the time. I was 13 books ahead for most of 2016 because I binge-listened to the Series of Unfortunate Events on audio. It gave me so much wiggle room during the months I didn’t read as much. I even wrote a post about how I always get ahead on my goal and maintain it throughout the year. However, this year has been a struggle. Last year was a bit of a struggle too. I can’t motivate myself to read nearly as much as I used to. The saddest part of all this too is that I’ve LOWERED my Goodreads challenge over the past few years because I wanted to feel less pressure to read and achieve some balance in my hobbies. My current issue is that I feel like I have too many other interests right now – I don’t dedicate time to reading in the same way that I used to. There are a lot of different factors and potential reasons why, so I thought I would chat about my life at the moment and be honest with myself about my reading life. Playing Catch-Up I’m currently (at the time of writing this post) two books behind on my challenge and it’s all too familiar at this point. I know things like […]

Lauren Lately | October 2018

Posted October 15, 2018 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 3 Comments
Lauren Lately | October 2018

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 ✨ My life was finally due to calm down after our trip to Charlotte and all of the wedding madness would (mostly) end for the year. Here’s what I’ve been up to from mid-September through mid-October! 6th anniversary and the Big E later | On September 16th, we celebrated our sixth anniversary of dating! We celebrated the best way that we, as a couple, could. We went to the Farmers Market in the morning, followed by football at my dad’s house in the afternoon. We grabbed sushi takeout on the way home and enjoyed it while watching the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. It involved most of our favorite things, so that’s a win all-around! Chris bought me a Daryl Takahashi stuffed animal and I could not be happier about it. He’s the cutest and squishiest. We went to the Big E later in the month, which is a huuuuge regional fair in Mass. […]

On My List (6)

Posted October 11, 2018 / Features, On My List / 6 Comments
On My List (6)

I love Jamie’s New to the Queue feature because it highlights new things she’s added to her different “to do/ read/ watch/ etc.” lists. This new random feature – called simply On My List – will show off the most recent books, movies, shows, podcasts, recipes, crafts, and other things to make it on my to-do list. Published Books     Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | I’ve seen this book everywhere lately! A lot of my trusted friends have read it or added it to their TBRs, so I decided to go ahead and do the same. It honestly isn’t a very ~Lauren~ book but I’ve been expanding my reading choices a lot more lately. Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay | My recent affection for cozy mysteries led me to this one. My local library evidently has a mystery book club and this is what they picked for the upcoming month (I’m not planning to go though). I decided to toss it on my TBR and see how it goes! All the Little Bones by Ellie Marney | I haven’t read her popular Sherlock Holmes-retelling trilogy yet but I hope to. I’ve been into the whole carnival/circus thing since reading CARAVAL but I tend to add them to the TBR and never read them. Hopefully that changes soon because this sounds gooooood. I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns/Melinda Metz | I was evidently invited to read this one via email but for some reason didn’t see it until recently. (Stupid Gmail […]

Gimme the Books (5): Mystery/Thriller Edition

Posted October 4, 2018 / Features, Gimme the Books / 4 Comments
Gimme the Books (5): Mystery/Thriller Edition

I’ve written a few posts to talk about books I’m super excited about that haven’t been released yet, but I felt like adding to that title repeatedly like I had been doing was a bit much. See early posts here: 1, 2, and 3. I decided to make this into a realistic regular feature where I do kind of a Waiting on Wednesday wrap-up post for when I add books to my TBR and “jazzed up for this” Goodreads shelf. Upcoming Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Novels These posts are usually more general but my last one (fluffy-ish contemporary fiction) got me inspired to do some genre-based ones as well. I’ve been reading a LOT more mystery books of all kinds: adult mystery light romance, thriller/suspense… you name it. I decided to highlight some books in that area here! You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook Goodreads | Release date: March 5th 2019 Seventeen-year-old Kim gets more than she bargained for when she is set up for murder. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, E. Lockhart, and Gillian Flynn. 17-year-old Kim never expected to plot a murder. But that was before her boyfriend dumped her for another girl. Now, Kim’s stuck on a class trip to London with him and his new soulmate and she can’t help wishing he was a little bit dead, even if she’d never really do that. But when Kim meets Nicki, a stranger on the plane who’s more than willing to listen to Kim’s woes, things […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | September 2018

Posted October 1, 2018 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 1 Comment
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | September 2018

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 had more reading mojo this month and that’s definitely thanks in part to audiobooks. Even if I was flipping between the audio and a physical copy, I was able to read more things in less time. I wanted to get my Goodreads goal around the right amount, meaning I should finish the month with 90 books read. I finished off a trilogy and embarked on another series binge, which always helps my reading mojo. Overall, this was a solid month that definitely got me back on track! All of the books read this month: Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge 1 read this month | 34 read total | 73% NG ratio Popsugar Reading Challenge 1 read this month | 29 read total | 73% complete Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 1 read this month | 10 read total | 83% complete Seasonal Bingo Breakdown:  1 bought  |  0 borrowed  | 6 free/gifted | 6 for review  Review Copies    Publishers via Netgalley: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Hodkin, Daisy Jones and the Six by TJR, I Do Not Trust You […]

October TBR

Posted September 28, 2018 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 4 Comments
October 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. September Progress        I actually did a great job for September! I started my series binge and got fairly far into it (about halfway?), as well was completed the CRAZY RICH ASIANS series. I read IN OTHER LANDS for my book club too. I pushed off some of the end-of-summer books I hoped to read because it just wasn’t gonna happen. On Deck for October Continuing My Series Binge         Rose Gardner Mystery Series by Denise Grover Swank I read the first few books in this series and really think I’ll just continue on right away. I haven’t done a full-on series binge in a long time! I have taken some “breaks” in between (meaning I’m reading multiple books at once) but am always also reading one of these… if that makes sense. I was able to borrow two from my coworker that she owned but I’ve had to buy the rest on Amazon. (The series WAS on Kindle Unlimited but it’s rudely not there anymore!) Library Books The Royals by Hawkins To Right the Wrongs by Scarborough I managed to catch up on some of my library books so I […]

ARC Analysis

Posted September 24, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
ARC Analysis

I have always felt like I’m ~bad at ARCs.~ I request books and never want to read them, or I read them super late, or I forget to email the publisher with my feedback… the list goes on. I’m ashamed to say that I have quiiiite a few old ARCs around that I still want to read but just haven’t done it yet. At the time of writing this, my Netgalley ratio is 75%. That’s really not bad, considering how terrible I THINK I am with reading ARCs. I recently – finally – developed a spreadsheet to track my books for review (more on that in a second) and was able to do some major analysis about my ARCs, where they come from, and if I really am as bad at reading them as I think. If you like stats and random analysis like that, keep on reading! The Spreadsheet This spreadsheet concept very randomly came into my life. I loved reading about Nick’s review copy spreadsheet and thought about making my own for a couple of weeks. Later in August, Shealea commented on my TTT post and I went to check out her blog and TTT, which was about 10 spreadsheet hacks for book bloggers. It was a great post and linked to her “owned book” spreadsheet. Because I have an app for that, I decided to revamp her spreadsheet and turn it into my “review copy” spreadsheet instead! I basically reworked some of the formulas and formatting, added some […]

Bookish Things I’ve Learned About Myself

Posted September 21, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
Bookish Things I’ve Learned About Myself

This is a little random round-up of some bookish facts or habits I’ve learned about myself in the last few months. My preferences or habits have changed a lot since moving (and then moving back) in the past few years so I’m constantly learning new things about my bookish self. 1. I cannot and should NOT let myself request fantasy books on NetGalley The reason? I am the biggest mood reader when it comes to fantasy books. THE BIGGEST. I rarely read them because I have to be in a specific headspace, time of year, and at a certain level of Goodreads challenge status. I take a long time to read them because I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to complex world-building and often slow starts (because of said world-building), so I need a lot of time to read them. I don’t read them in the summer either because they’re just not light enough. The fact of the matter is, requesting fantasy books on NetGalley NEVER works for me because there’s a 10% chance I read the book before the pub date. Why bother then?! 2. I don’t need my physical shelves in a specific order To be fair, this is primarily because I have a lot of small/random bookshelves and not a gorgeous library room with built-in bookshelves. I will someday, but not yet. I have two taller/bigger black bookshelves, two smaller white bookshelves, and one little corner bookshelf. I also have one at […]

Gimme the Books (4): Fluffy Contemporary Edition

Posted September 20, 2018 / Features, Gimme the Books / 3 Comments
Gimme the Books (4): Fluffy Contemporary Edition

I’ve written a few posts to talk about books I’m super excited about that haven’t been released yet, but I felt like adding to that title repeatedly like I had been doing was a bit much. See early posts here: 1, 2, and 3. I decided to make this into a realistic regular feature where I do kind of a Waiting on Wednesday wrap-up post for when I add books to my TBR and “jazzed up for this” Goodreads shelf. Upcoming Fluffy Contemporary Fiction These posts are usually more general but I decided to focus on fluffy-ish contemporary fiction for this edition instead! I love books like this and think the term “fluffy” is NOT an insult by any means. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a book that will make your heart happy. All of these books SEEM to fit the bill based on the synopses on Goodreads, but no promises that they’re 100% fluff – how would I know until I read them?! Hearts Made for Breaking by Jen Klein Goodreads | Release date: April 30th, 2019 From the author of SHUFFLE, REPEAT and SUMMER UNSCRIPTED comes a new novel about mysterious boys, first-time love, heartbreak, and the incredible bonds of friendship. 17-year old Lark knows how to survive high school dating: date boys briefly, let them down gently, remain friends, and move on. Her best friends, Copper and Katie, think that Lark is denying herself the opportunity for true love because she does not want to be hurt. They challenge her […]

“Cozy Mysteries” – My New Obsession

Posted September 17, 2018 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
“Cozy Mysteries” – My New Obsession

I mentioned in a few recent posts how I’ve been obsessed with the Aurora Teagarden Mystery movies on Hallmark Channel (based on the book series) and my coworker recommended the Rose Gardner Mystery books for me to read as well. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been loving these style of books/movies without really knowing what they were called. I’ve HEARD the term “cozy mysteries” but never really knew what it meant… until I finally made the connection. Wikipedia says that they feature these main qualities: sex/violence are downplayed (compared to straight up murder mysteries) small town location – intimate communities amateur detectives, often women who are well-educated with public-facing jobs (they know everyone in town) and have some kind of insider connection to the police often dismissed as nosy busybodies even though they’re working it and solving murders 💁🏼 murderers are regular community members with some kind of revenge/greed/jealousy as motive What started it all After the Christmas season wrapped up and all of my holiday Hallmark movies were binged, I missed Candace Cameron Bure. I don’t remember how I exactly stumbled across the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries but I thought: why not? I was in the mood for more CCB so I went for it. I LOVED THEM. I binged the first few movies over the course of a week or so, while Chris was working overnight, and didn’t stop thinking about them when I wasn’t watching. There were also THREE new releases in the “series” this year (January, April, and July) that I […]