February Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Posted February 25, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 6 Comments
February Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Erica and I introduced our Netflix and Books Challenge for 2017 as a way of making progress on books we want to read and TV shows we want to watch. The TBR lists were chosen by matching books up to various TV shows based on characters, plots, etc. You can learn all about the challenge and join in anytime here! Don’t forget, you can also still participate in our Netflix and Books Tag that we debuted in 2016; it’ll give you some points in this challenge too! Reading Progress I’m glad I managed to finish two more books so quickly! I’m now 1/3 of the way through the book portion of this challenge. Three more of the books haven’t been released yet, so they’re delayed regardless. The final three books here include two rereads and one already published book. I won’t be too mad if I don’t finish one next month because I’m already ahead! Completed books so far: January   Book main character has the same name as a TV show MC: Book: Take the Key & Lock Her Up TV Show: Will & Grace Connection: MC named Grace February Still to read: TV Watching Progress Dang. I’m terrible. I have no idea if and when I’ll get to some of these shows! I know Chris and I will likely focus on finishing off Community and catching up on Atlanta once we’re doing binge-watching Shameless. I need to work on Sailor Moon and Bob’s Burgers! I’m on the fence about actually watching Parenthood, to be […]

DNFs and Reading Challenges

Posted February 23, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 26 Comments
DNFs and Reading Challenges

I liked Shannon’s post a while ago about giving books a fair chance. Sometimes, despite all the warnings, we read books we know we probably won’t like. We want to read them because just MAYBE we will like them. We read and read and read, and (some of us) refuse to DNF. I’m usually one of these people. I always push myself to just finish the thing, especially when I’ve read nearly half of it. The biggest thing with DNFing books usually – for avid Goodreads users – has to do with the challenge. Do I include it in my numbers for the year because I read some of it, or does it not count because I didn’t finish the book? How do you decide? Books I’ve DNFed in my Life The list of books I’ve marked “DNF” is so small, I can include literally all of them here. There are probably a few more from my childhood but I don’t remember at this point. These all happened between college and now. All of these books except two of them were DNFed before the 50% mark. The other two were after.            How many of these will I come back to someday? I would think less than half. Some of them were probably mood-related while others… there’s no coming back to. I usually have a decent idea of what I want from a book. If a bad book can hold my interest, I’ll keep reading. The minute I start losing focus […]

Planner-Related Struggle Bus

Posted February 22, 2017 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 13 Comments
Planner-Related Struggle Bus

I’ve talked so many times about my desire to use planners… and the various kinds I’ve failed at actually using. I had a whole ~organization~ series on the blog and I don’t use nearly ANY of those methods anymore. I’m going to call a spade a spade and just tell it like it is: I am so effing lazy. I love planning for the first week or maybe even month, then I lose all motivation. This honestly happens regardless of how “pretty” or “not pretty” I decide to make my planners. I’ve gone through so many options since 2014 and it’s exhausting to waste money and time when I ultimately write my grocery list on a sticky note and call it a day. Planner Probz You can scroll through the history of my planners here: Traveler’s Notebook, Erin Condren/ Day Designer/ Happy Planner, and Bullet Journal (no post because LAZY FAILURE). I’ve tried having little notebooks for each “topic” or are of my life. I’ve tried planners with fun layouts and stickers. I’ve tried plain planners with hourly boxes to schedule legit things out. I’ve tried completely free and wide-open planners, where you can be creative and design your own pages. Seriously, I’m too lazy for all of them. I only want to work on them when I’m really in the mood, but then I refuse to use them at ALL if they’re not “prettied up.” For example, I should still use my bujo for to-do lists but just keep it simple, […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #129: More and Less

Posted February 21, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 9 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #129: More and Less

Recent Books I Liked More & Less Than Expected Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, 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. This is one of those prompts that makes me so happy because I have Goodreads shelves for this! There’s the “pleasant surprise” shelf and the “super disappointed” shelf to keep track of books I liked more or less than expected. I decided to go back as far as 2016 from those shelves but nothing older than that (in terms of read date, not pub date). Monstrous Beauty | How to Hang a Witch | Cruel Beauty | Down with the Shine | The Leaving Most of these books were just not ones I expected to enjoy as much as I did! This is mostly genre-related (I don’t read too many books about witches or mermaids or magical realism). CRUEL BEAUTY was a pleasant surprise because I actually DNFed another book by this author. MONSTROUS BEAUTY was a random choice based on a recommendation and I ended up loving it. It just wasn’t a book I’d reach for on my own. Otherwise, yep – just basic not-Lauren books surprising me in a very good way. I don’t read books about witches or anything too creepy, but HOW TO HANG A WITCH and THE LEAVING […]

Reviews: Ice Like Fire and Frost Like Night

Posted February 20, 2017 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Reviews: Ice Like Fire and Frost Like Night

I enjoyed Snow Like Ashes but I didn’t see the series becoming a new favorite or anything. I’m pretty hard to please with fantasy books, generally speaking, and listening to an audiobook and often zoning out on what was happening definitely didn’t help my case. Regardless, my book club continued on the series after we all liked the first book in our December meeting. This book follows Meira – with a handful of chapters from Mather’s perspective – as she travels to various kingdoms to find some magical keys and shit like that. I was really hopeful that the world would expand in this book and she would travel to other places, so that was a huge win for me. It was interesting to see what the other kingdoms were like, what they valued (fun, learning, etc.), and how their leaders were. I enjoyed the few chapters from Mather’s POV because it provided some insight as to what was happening back in Winter while Meira was on her journey with Theron. I absolutely grew to love Mather more and I really hope she doesn’t end up with Theron. 🙄 My ship selection was on the fence after book one, so I’m glad I have a clear guy that I prefer now. Overall, this book was slightly more interesting than the first just because we met other rulers and saw other kingdoms. In terms of actual plot? I’m not sure. Both were slightly boring at times and to be completely honest I […]

You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

Posted February 17, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 16 Comments
You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

There have been a few TTT topics about debut authors and their sophomore novels (like one’s we’re excited about, can’t wait for, etc.). I was thinking about revisiting some of those posts and reflecting on the authors who haven’t let me down yet, based on their debut and sophomore novels. There’s nothing worse than reading a near-perfect debut and then being disappointed by the author’s second novel. Luckily, there are quite a few authors who absolutely did NOT let me down with their sophomore novel! FYI, some authors here have published adult and/or middle grade books before these YA books, so I’m including them here as debut YA authors (or in one situation, debut adult contemporary authors). First & Then   |   This Adventure Ends  I’m a HUGE fan of these covers obviously, but the books inside? Near perfect. I adored FIRST & THEN because of how cute and addictive it was. The football obviously helped too 😉 THIS ADVENTURE ENDS was pretty amazing because of the friend feels and cute slow-burn romance. The only problem with both of these books is that the romance and kissing came waaaaay too late in the book. We’ll see what her next book does! The One That Got Away   |   Results May Vary Oh, Bethany Chase. You are way too good. I don’t deserve you. Both of her books have been complete hits for me. There was a liiiittle something missing from THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, but RESULTS MAY VARY was amazing. Easily a favorite of 2016. […]

Lauren Lately | February 2017

Posted February 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 8 Comments
Lauren Lately | February 2017

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 ✨    More hiking | It was 50 degrees a few weeks ago, so we went on a nice hike in one of our new favorite spots. There are so many different trails throughout, so you can really choose how long you want to be out there. The weather was perfect and I was able to try out my new Vans All-Weather MTEs. So good!   Busy weekends… | The last weekend of January was a busy one! We went hiking and had all-you-can-eat sushi for Chris’s dad’s birthday on Saturday. It was a mess at the end of the night because LONG story short: they left the car key at home when we drove an hour and a half away, so Chris’s uncle had to drive us home at the end of the night. Sunday, our LUG and the New England Lego Users Group got together for a display at the Railroad Hobby Show […]

(Late) Top Ten Tuesdays #128 + Contemporary Romance Challenge Monthly Topic: Shippy Books

Posted February 15, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 9 Comments
(Late) Top Ten Tuesdays #128 + Contemporary Romance Challenge Monthly Topic: Shippy Books

Ten Recent Super-Shippy Books I’ve Read Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, 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. So yes there are so many random things happening with this TTT. First, you may notice, it’s a day late. I figured I’d just push it off to Wednesday instead of double-posting on Tuesday (I had a blog tour). On top of that, I decided to combine this TTT topic with the monthly topic for the Contemporary Romance challenge. The general TTT topic involved counting down favorite romances, tropes, etc. – so I thought this would be a perfect combination for this week. The Contemporary Romance Challenge, hosted by my friend Andi, features a new romance-related topic to link up and talk about about each month. I’ll try to squeeze out individual posts when I can, but otherwise they’ll be located in the Bookmark Lit Bulletin. This month’s topic is… favorite shippy books. What’s the point in reading contemporary romance with a crappy ship? NO POINT, I tell ya. There are plenty of books that have a good ship but not enough to be a favorite though. These OTP-level ships are found on my ship-so-hard shelf on Goodreads in case you’re in the mood to check it out 😉 Upcoming Releases    When Dimple Met Rishi by […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Posted February 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 4 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Hello friends! I’m here today for my stop on the DREAMLAND BURNING blog tour. (If you’re visiting my blog for Top Ten Tuesday, you can see the belated post tomorrow!) This book has some really important and interesting connections to previously overlooked historical events, so I hope you like what I put together today. You can find more information about the book and a mini review from me at the bottom of the post. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with book covers. I love the colors, the typography, the different designs that cover artists can create. I even have a guest post feature where people share their favorite book covers and bookmarks! I decided to start up this random feature where I draw color inspiration from my favorite book covers. I may create an outfit, pick out some nail polish, or design a quote graphic. Today’s cover is… Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham I’ve never done such a muted cover before for this feature, but I love how these colors use the sepia tones to imply history. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but the connections between past and present for this story really intrigued me. I pulled colors from the backgrounds, text, and hair to create the old-timey palette. I grabbed the above quote from a section of the synopsis before even reading the book. This quote could not be more relevant to feature here, both from a historical perspective and from the book itself. This book is […]

(No New) FRIENDS

Posted February 13, 2017 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 10 Comments
(No New) FRIENDS

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way. The tee shirt design was created by me. As you know, my biggest challenge when watching TV is that I generally won’t watch anything aside from Friends. I get too attached and emotional when I see episodes. I don’t even like talking with people about how much I love this show because I can’t handle it. As a part of the Netflix and Books Challenge that Erica and I are hosting this year, I wanted to spend some time highlighting some of my all-time favorite shows and maaaybe I can convince you to watch them. When I was contacted by Uberprints to make a shirt design for my blog and share my thoughts on the process, I was blanking on which book I would want to feature for the shirt. I only had a few review posts scheduled for early 2017, so my options were limited and nothing was speaking to me. I, of course, reverted to my original favorite thing – Friends. I’ve talked at length about how much I love this show and why it’s so important to me, so I won’t bore you with that right now. Instead, I’ll show you the cool Uberprints website, my shirt, AND recommend some books for the characters from Friends. All of my Friends Funkos plus the boxed […]