Category: Discussions

6 Months of Spotify Audiobooks

Posted April 12, 2024 / Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
6 Months of Spotify Audiobooks

Like everyone else, I was so jacked up when Spotify released Audiobooks in their Premium subscription! I’ve been a member for years and have always debated reducing my membership just because I don’t listen to a ton of music. If you see me driving or washing dishes, I’m likely listening to an audiobook or a podcast. The Spotify Audiobook section of the platform allows for 15 hours of listening time per month, with the option of paying a little bit to “top up” with 10 more hours to finish whatever other books you may want to listen to. In the six months(-ish) since this was released, I’ve only gotten close to finishing it once. I elected to top it up because I saw that you can use the extra hours at any point within twelve months – I spent $12.99 for another 10 hours of listening and I didn’t have to use it up right away. How I Use It This feature has been a game-changer for me personally because my favorite way to listen to an audiobook is when I’m already reading the book physically or on my Kindle. I love to switch back and forth to progress faster in my reading. For example, I usually am reading one physical book and one digital book at the same time. I don’t usually listen to three books at once, so I’ll try to grab an audio copy of either my physical or digital read, and switch back and forth between […]

Boox Palma | Review and First Impressions as a Kindle User

Boox Palma | Review and First Impressions as a Kindle User

I recently noticed a few people trying out the Boox Palma as an ereader instead of a Kindle (or in addition to!). On a total whim like the frivolous spender I am, I decided to buy one. I thought I would share my first impressions as a gal who loves her Kindle and wants to keep using it. How do I like it and when would I use it compared to my Kindle? Here are my thoughts. Overview I’m not big on the tech side of things so I added a quick image from their website (linked above) if you do care about that. All I knew was that the Palma is essentially a smartphone mixed with a Kindle. It has the e-ink pages you’re used to reading on and an operating system like an Android, including the Google Play store for apps.           The Palma fits in your hand and is pretty much the same size as an iPad. The screen is obviously in black and white due to the ink-like technology. It’s truly like if your Android phone had a baby with a Kindle. It has similar functions to a phone where you can take photos, download apps, browse the internet… all with a screen that doesn’t hurt your eyes!  Pros and Cons These are my personal pros and cons for this device. You may feel differently! My cons may be your pros and vice versa but hopefully you can understand its functionality a […]

Fantasy Era

Fantasy Era

I wrote a post earlier this year with all of the books on my somewhat-soon-TBR that I wanted to read that were NOT mystery/thrillers or contemporary romance/fiction. Since my reading has been choppy during the pandemic years and is finally back to normal, I’m reading a lot more fantasy books (and thinking about reading more science fiction again too). I finally got back into the Throne of Glass series to reread them and then finish it off, and then I plan to read a lot more fantasy (and “romantasy” – the new trendy name for romantic fantasy). Ya girl is back in her fantasy (faerie, dragon, paranormal, etc.) era. Here are some of the fantasy books I’ve read so far this year and the other books/series I hope to read by the end of 2023! 2023 Fantasy Reads THRONE OF GLASS / CROWN OF MIDNIGHT / HEIR OF FIRE / QUEEN OF SHADOWS These were all a part of the reread portion of the series. My immediate plan is to read the next two books in the series as a tandem read at the end of this month (probably into early June). FOURTH WING / LEGENDS & LATTES / EMILY WILDE These three books definitely could be considered in the “I read these because of the insane hype” category. All three are super different from each other but still equally interesting to read. NINTH HOUSE / LOST IN THE MOMENT / THE STOLEN HEIR And these three are either starting or continuing […]

Favorite Mystery/Thriller Tropes & Plots

Posted April 10, 2023 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
Favorite Mystery/Thriller Tropes & Plots

Here again with another chat about mysteries and thrillers! My new fave genre. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this category surpasses romance or contemporary fiction for me this year. Okay, maybe not, but it will definitely come closer! Some related posts for further or introductory reading – I’ve spoken about my favorite mystery/thriller reads (I still lump them together because I’m really bad at remembering the difference…) – both adult and young adult – in recent weeks. Way back in the day I also talked about some of my struggles with YA mystery/thrillers (and just had a general discussion about my favorite tropes back then). As for today, I thought I would go through some of my favorite tropes and plot points in mystery/thriller books. (Similar to my read-bait series but I’m being lazy about the formatting and just calling this a discussion 😉 lol). What are some of the keywords, plot points, and tropes in a mystery or thriller synopsis that lead me to pick the book up? Back when I posted my original discussion about YA specifically, I listed the following tropes and types of books within the genre: Historical fiction mysteries Political thrillers Disappearances Memory loss Long series of mystery novels Paranormal elements Boarding school / secret societies I think these are still fairly accurate but not a perfect representation today. For example, I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a historical mystery, paranormal mystery, or political thriller. (There are some notable exceptions like The […]

“Throw the TBR Away” Kind of Month

Posted April 7, 2023 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features, TBR Lists / 2 Comments
“Throw the TBR Away” Kind of Month

I am actually quite good at generally staying on track with my monthly TBRs. I never use them as an exhaustive list and always plan to NOT read some of the books, while subbing in other books where mood or opportunity strike. I also usually include upwards of 15+ books just to have variety when I look at what I might want to read next. My TBR lists are usually structured with the following criteria in mind: Upcoming review copies that are due Variety of formats (audio, ebook, physical, mixed) Variety of genres (usually contemporary, mystery, maybe some fantasy, etc.) Books I’ve generally been in the mood to read New releases I’ve been excited and waiting for Book club and readathon selections I usually read two books at once, and typically I have an audiobook available for one of them. I may be reading one physical book and mix in the audio of that book, while also reading another book on my Kindle. I may have a Kindle book and audio option to alternate between, plus another book as a physical copy. There are plenty of times I’m not listening to an audiobook and just skip it altogether. As you can see, I like to have all my options. I also read multiple genres at the same time – you’ll never catch me reading two contemporary romances at once. I may be reading one contemporary and one mystery, for example (this is the most common lol). I also try to […]

I’m Reading Hyped/Popular Books This Year

Posted March 15, 2023 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
I’m Reading Hyped/Popular Books This Year

I feel like most people fall into two camps: those who keep up with the hottest and most hyped releases, and those who pretty much refuse to do so (with some exceptions). I think I’ve been more of the latter in recent years because my reading time, energy, and interest has been so limited. I’m sick of talking about it and you’re sick of reading about it by now but yes, my reading life has been crappy since mid-2020. This year, it’s like I’m reinvigorated and back to my old self. I’m finding myself more curious about all the books and adding them to my TBR, even when I’m not sure they’re for “me.” I’m going out of my way to read books that are hyped and seeing if they are as good as everyone says. Many of these overhyped releases are usually literary fiction and that’s kind of the main reason I’ve stayed away, especially in recent years. I don’t love books with heavy topics or ones that make me sad (especially for contemporary fiction – it’s different for me if it’s a mystery or thriller). I just don’t gravitate toward those topics when I read because I like to either solve a crime or be happy in a romance haha. I don’t know what it is about this year that has me wanting to keep up with the Joneses but I’m having a lot of fun doing it, if I’m being honest! Instead of saying “ugh I won’t ever […]

Series Audit

Posted February 17, 2023 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Series Audit

I’ve been watching a lot of booktube lately and have loved watching people like Meg With Books hold themselves accountable about reading and finishing series. I thought it would be fun (and tedious…) to see how I personally do with reading and completing series. Do I start too many and never finish them? How far along do I get before I lose interest? How many series have I read in my life? Read on to find out these answers and more! Overall Series Stats I’ve engaged with 192 different book series in my lifetime. Yes, this is not super accurate since I only put some of my pre-2014 history in Goodreads when I started using it. I didn’t include random books like Watership Down that I read in high school and is technically in a series, but I did include many/most of the series I read for pleasure back in high school (The Clique, Gossip Girl, etc.). I was going to include books that are kind of a series, like the author wrote one full-length book and then followed it up with a novella epilogue or prequel, but those didn’t make the cut here for obvious reasons. I’ve read a total of 560 books that are a part of a series in my life as well. On average, the book series that I’ve started/read contain 4.18 books in the series. This is probably balanced out a bit because some series are duologies or trilogies while others have a lot more books. I’ve read an average of 2.92 […]

The Rise of Cozy Reads (Recs, TBR, and Other Media)

Posted January 27, 2023 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
The Rise of Cozy Reads (Recs, TBR, and Other Media)

The latest book trend in the past couple of years has been around all things COZY. It can mean something different to everyone and encompass a number of genres, but lately it’s all about the cozy mysteries and cozy fantasy books. (Hell, even romance books are getting lighter – I’ve noticed with many that I’ve read in the past few years, the “black moment” is not as big and dramatic as other books I’ve read in the past. The couple has a reasonable issue to fight through and the drama is lower.) All of my favorite booktubers have also hopped on this genre trend, with tons of themed reading vlogs and recommendation lists coming out regularly. I, for one, love it. I wrote about my fascination with and interest in cozy mysteries (books and movies) a few years ago and have always added them to my TBR. I also have discussed companion series set in cute, cozy, small towns. I haven’t really gotten to cozy fantasies yet but I’ve added a ton to my list. I finally made a Goodreads shelf specifically for “cozy reads” of all genres for when I really just need it in my life. So why this trend now? I think the last few years have been hard on all of us, collectively, with the pandemic and state of the world. (Realistically ever since 2016…) We all want something lighter, something cozy, and something comfortable sometimes. I remember when the hygge moment took the world by […]

#7booksin7days Recap and Learnings

Posted September 7, 2022 / Book Challenges, Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
#7booksin7days Recap and Learnings

I decided in mid-August to try to read 7 books in 7 days. Here’s a quick recap of my approach and reasoning: I’ve been inspired lately to try to get back into reading and on track with my book life since I’ve been watching a lot more booktube. (I’m sure most people expected me to say booktok since that’s all the rage but honestly it makes me mad seeing every 3rd video on there recommending Colleen Hoover.) I watched a couple of people do “7 thriller books in 7 days” challenges and thought it would be exactly what I need to get me reading again. I’m currently a whopping 9 books behind on my challenge, so this would certainly help me eliminate a lot of that. I struggle with reading too many books of the same genre in a row though so this is a more broad and basic 7 books in 7 days. Honestly I have a feeling they’ll be mostly thrillers anyways since those tend to be the most addicting for me. I had read 37 books out of the 75 I need to read for my Goodreads challenge, which had me 9 books behind at the time. My potential TBR included some thrillers, shorter contemporaries or ones I’d been looking forward to, and some audio rereads to keep it moving. I ended up reading 7 books as planned – 5 were on my TBR (including the books I was currently reading when I started the challenge) and […]

My Highest Rated Authors

Posted May 20, 2022 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
My Highest Rated Authors

As I wrote yet another glowing review for a Rachel Lynn Solomon book, I wondered if there’s any other author that I consistently rate as high. Taylor Jenkins Reid is up there. Anyone else? Katie Cotugno? I started thinking about this and decided to roll through all of the authors I’ve read and figure out which ones I’ve rated the highest in my years of book blogging. It was a little tedious but my parameters were the following: (1) I needed to have read three or more books by the author to count them for this experiment, since two books can sometimes be a fluke. Novellas or short stories in anthologies did not count as “one book” in the totals to determine if the author should be included, but… (2) …I did include novella book ratings in the rating calculation. For example: I read four books by the author, one of which was a novella, so that was counted for ratings purposes. I didn’t include short stories within anthologies because then I’d have to go into the review post and find the individual story rating. (3) I did not include authors where I’ve only read one series by them (3+ books). Saying I loved the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy doesn’t necessarily mean that Holly Jackson herself is on my highest rated author list, since I’ve only fallen in love with one series by her. For all I know, her next series may not hit me as hard. I did include […]