Lauren Lately | February 2019

Posted February 16, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 4 Comments
Lauren Lately | February 2019

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 ✨ Skiing and winter activities | The weekend after our Vermont trip, we enjoyed some more snow and cold weather activities at home! We went skiing for Chris’s dad’s birthday with his sister and her fiancee. The snow at our place kept us indoors, which we definitely needed! We’ve been hanging around and enjoying books and Chris’s new Switch. Planetarium, Wolfpack game, and bingo nights | We had a busy stretch of a few days in mid-January. There was a planetarium event where they discussed the upcoming lunar eclipse and taught us a LOT about their history. I’m a huge fan of planetariums so hopefully we come back. The next night, we went to a Hartford Wolfpack hockey game with some friends. I’ve been going to Wednesday night music video bingo every other week with my friend and it’s SO much fun. Harry Potter high tea and Olde Mystick Village | My friends and I decided a […]

2019 State of the ARC

Posted February 15, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 9 Comments
2019 State of the ARC

State of the ARC is hosted by AvalinahsBooks Current/Recent Approach I recently spoke about where I get my ARCs, how good (or bad) I am at reading them, and countless other things under the “how I deal with review copies” umbrella of conversation. I’ve learned that I’m really not terrible about keeping up with them overall, but there are still plenty I leave unread at the end of the year. I don’t want to ignore my review copies from previous years completely, but I need to figure out my new approach to reading ARCs from 2019 to stay on top of things. I am the person who reads a book and writes the review within the next 1-12 hours at most. Yes, every single time. This is partly because my memory is garbage but also because I’m just DETERMINED to do it. I like to be on top of things. This is why I don’t have a problem reading books super early – I end up with posts scheduled months in advance. It feels good to have a more full blog post calendar; I love getting to the next month and realizing I already have at least a few things on there, scheduled and ready to go. I read the book and write the review immediately. Period. No matter the pub date. I’ve been trying to be better about reading my ARCs early enough, mixing in some backlist ones while getting ahead on future ones. One day you’ll see me reading […]

ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

Posted February 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

I’ve been requesting and reading an absurd about of books from Berkley / Berkley Romance lately. I can’t stop myself. EVERYTHING they put out has an adorable or intriguing premise, a cute cover, and/or a lot of buzz. I was initially interested in THE AU PAIR but held off on requesting it (somehow)… then I saw Cristina’s review. I don’t have a lot of success with mystery/thrillers in the sense that I don’t always rate them highly. I love reading them, but my expectations are always higher than reality. I’m going to include a snapshot of her review because it perfectly describes how I feel about this genre and my struggles/wishes: In today’s over saturated world of mediocre thrillers, it can be hard to find one that simultaneously manages to surprise me and that’s well written. So many thriller novels I actually find work better for me in a movie format, so I’m always on a hunt for a solidly written mystery/thriller that manages to create an unsettling, atmospheric world on the page. That’s exactly what I experienced with The Au Pair to my delight, and found myself completely immersed in a mystery that not only enveloped me in its setting, but actually had an ending that I didn’t foresee in advance. – The Au Pair review at Girl in the Pages I actually enjoyed a somewhat mysterious (more contemporary-ish, but you get the point) book earlier this year that was also set in England AND involved some kind of castle/huge house… so this […]

Sharing Reading Progress on Social Media

Posted February 13, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
Sharing Reading Progress on Social Media

I was thinking about this as I was updating my Instagram stories with my most recent finished books, as well as those I’m currently reading. That seems to be the latest social media trend for tracking book progress and sharing our reads. Last year, we were all updated Twitter threads and moments with books as we finished them, maybe including a mini review too. Lindsey avidly uses the Bookerly app and shares cool graphics for books as she reads and finishes books. Some people do one thing, some people do multiple, some people do nothing. I think it’s fun to watch reading progress from others and (in general) share mine… but I get so lazy later in the year. I’m just not in the mood to take the picture, especially if it’s of my Kindle screen or I have a poorly formatted egalley. Sometimes I screenshot the Goodreads page and that takes an extra step, plus having the screenshot annoyingly saved on my phone. I’ll get into all that later, but thought I’d go through some of my past preferences for tracking my reading progress on social media and why I went with the ~decision~ I did for 2019. 2017 Tracking I used the Twitter moment in 2017, which was kind of annoying for me personally. After finishing the book, marking that on Goodreads, and writing a little review, I would then have to duplicate those steps on Twitter AND track down the photo of the book/Kindle from when I started reading. […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #222: Shippy Couples

Posted February 12, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 5 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #222: Shippy Couples

Recent Favorite Couples in Books 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 have talked about some of my all-time favorite book couples but so many of them are outdated at this point! I think it’d be fun right now to take you through some of my more RECENT favorite couples in books, or the books that I most recently added to my “ship so hard” shelf on Goodreads. Let me know what you think of these, if you’ve read any!

Reader Survey

Posted February 9, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments

Hey friends! I’ve never really done one of these since I started blogging in 2014 (!!!!!) as far as I can recall. I’ve talked A LOT on the blog about ~making changes~ and integrating my life more into this book blog. I typically include a decent number of lifestyle posts each month or week on here and I hope people enjoy it. I don’t get a lot of blog comments in a general sense but I have good viewership, so I think people are at least reading the posts? I just can’t decide what people actually want or need from this blog. I’ve tossed around the idea of keeping the books here (due to the name of the blog, established numbers for review copies, etc.) and then making a second blog about my life. I’ve even made them before but abandoned them without advertising anything to people. As you’ll see below, I would only do this if people genuinely prefer that kind of thing. If everyone is happy with the current breakdown and enjoys my posts as they are, I’m happy to keep everything under one umbrella as a book and lifestyle blogger. It would mean the world to me if you took the survey, especially if you are a regular blog reader. None of the questions are required so you can literally answer any or all of them, but I would really appreciate the feedback! 💖  Loading…

Requesting Review Copies as Motivation

Posted February 8, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 8 Comments
Requesting Review Copies as Motivation

Okay, this could be an absurd topic, but I need to talk about this. I’m finding myself doing it more and more and it’s NOT a good thing but also kind of a good thing???? I’ve talked a lot about authors that I keep adding to my TBR and never actually read. It’s a bad habit and I keep getting stuck on it. I recently noticed that there IS a way to “force” me into reading these authors – request or receive a review copy. Let me clarify again that (a) these are authors I WANT to read but keep putting off for reasons I’m not sure about; I’m not actually forcing myself to read authors just for shits and giggles, and (b) I’m not saying this is a GOOD STRATEGY but it happens to be working for me, so I want to talk about it… and see if anyone else is as garbage as me. When I like the sound of an author and their stories, I keep adding things and telling myself to just READ one of their books, for gods sake. I don’t know why I drag my feet or get nervous about trying new authors (honestly it could just be me getting crushed my review deadlines and blog tours and the never-ending TBR pile in general). I’ve found that the best way for me to finally get around to reading these authors is just requesting a review copy. Or joining a blog tour. Or borrow an ARC from […]

ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Posted February 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Initial Excitement & Summary I was sold on the premise of this one right from the beginning because it’s weirdly something I think about a lot. Let me first say that people can make their own decisions and this is just MY opinion – but I can’t imagine sharing so much about my children online without their consent. I can see posting some pictures or talking about a few things, but having them reach a certain level of fame before they’re old enough to make their own decisions? That’s hard for me to figure out. One of my favorite YouTubers has said that she won’t feature her children on her channel until they’re old enough to understand and decide for themselves, which is probably what I’d do (aside from some pictures here and there). But I digress! The storyline fascinated me because it’s definitely going to be an area of contention going forward, as more and more people live SO much of their lives online. This book focused on twin daughters of a famous fashion blogger and how they were essentially pressured into creating their own vlog channel and following in their mother’s footsteps. Story & Characters I like that this story was both fluffy and young while also having some more serious topics involved. Claire is struggling with her identity because her life has been shaped by her mom’s blog. She’s famous because she’s a twin and is forced to participate in vlogs and Instagram posts all the time… […]

If We Were Having Coffee…

If We Were Having Coffee…

I LOVE reading personal posts from other bloggers and seeing Jamie’s “If We Were Having Coffee” feature take off is so fun. Laura and Lindsey also have some great spin-offs of this feature too. I was very tempted to also make mine margarita-related (like Lindsey) but coffee is so ingrained in my daily life that it just makes sense to keep it. If you’re not familiar, it basically involves a fake little conversation about what’s been happening in our lives lately. Read on to see what’s been happening lately and feel free to chat back in the comments! If we were having coffee… I’d ask how your weekend was! Start any new books? Get anything done around the house? I’m feeling very on top of things lately and it’s kind of a nice change. Chris and I have been good about cleaning up, staying organizing, buying things we need and not putting them off, and meal prep. I think I still need to work on the grocery shopping part of meal prepping and not wasting food, but baby steps… If we were having coffee… I’d tell you about some of my favorite new beauty and skincare items I’ve added to my current rotation! I don’t change up the foundation of my makeup routine (overall face makeup, mascara, etc.) very often because once I find something that keeps me matte, I don’t change anything… but I’m always excited to try new skincare, eyeshadow, and lip products. I bought the Gerard Cosmetics liquid lipstick […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #221: On the Fence

Posted February 5, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 13 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #221: On the Fence

Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About 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 have an unreleased TBR shelf, general to-read shelf, and consideration shelf on Goodreads. I really don’t put unreleased books on the consideration shelf but maybe I should start doing that… because this was tough to pull out a little bit!    The Art of Losing being on here will definitely garner some gasps from friends! I know many people who personally know/love Lizzy Mason from her publishing work, but this book sounds just a little too heavy for me? I have been straying away from non-fluffy contemporaries lately for some reason because I just need the romance and no drama or sadness haha. The Cliff House may be a surprise to some people, who know I am a huge fangirl for the Haven Point series by RaeAnne Thayne. I’m on the fence because its a standalone novel and my favorite thing about her writing is the cozy small towns, explored through multiple books. The synopsis sounds halfway up my alley, so that doesn’t exactly help its case. We Rule the Night is one of a few fantasy books I expect to be on this list because I just never read them […]