On Playing Catch-Up

Posted October 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 6 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 […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #205: Bookstores

Posted October 16, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 7 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #205: Bookstores

Favorite Bookstores I’ve Visited 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. The technical topic for this week is “bookstores and libraries I’ve always wanted to visit” but honestly I don’t have many on that particular list. I do a lot of adventuring to used/indie bookstores whenever I can, so I’ve seen some great ones up in the northeast. Here are some highlights from those visits! New York The Strand I feel like I have to start my list with one of the most famous bookstores available, especially in the northeast! The Strand does live up to the hype for me. I’ve been there multiple times and they always have a vast selection. I apologize for these garbage pictures – I haven’t been in a few years and for some reason haven’t taken many photos there. Massachusetts Montague Book Mill This is such a scenic spot in Mass! I love the country roads and the fact that this mill is basically hidden in the middle of nowhere. It was the kind of used bookstore you may not really find what you want, but it’s so worth checking out. You can read about our bookish adventures in the country from way back in 2014 […]

Lauren Lately | October 2018

Posted October 15, 2018 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 4 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. […]

Five Things Friday | Football

Posted October 12, 2018 / Five on Fridays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Five Things Friday | Football

I used to post a Five on Friday every once in a while, but then my Lauren Lately wrap-ups (and more personal posts around here like On My List, Currently, lifestyle or makeup stuff, etc.) took over my need for a Five on Friday. They used to just share five things I was thinking about, doing, buying, loving, etc. Many of my bloggy friends have started similar themed posts on Fridays (Cristina has the wrap-up kind and Kay has more recommendations based on a weekly theme) and I decided to kind of bring it back a little in a different format. I’ll be sharing my thoughts or recommendations on a specific topic whenever I feel the need. This week I’m chatting about… football! The Panthers won last weekend by kicking a game-winning 63 YARD FIELD GOAL. The Panthers and the Giants somehow always find a way to make their games interesting, even though they have no real rivalry. The last time they played each other in 2015 was when this GIF of Cam Newton became popular: That year, OBJ and Josh Norman antagonized each other the entire game. The Panthers dominated most of it, then allowed the Giants to come back, and then squeaked by with a victory in the end. I’ll be honest, the Panthers love getting ahead, allowing a comeback, and then barely getting a win in the end… but it’s even more dramatized with the Giants for some reason. This game was no exception. There were terrible […]

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 […]

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Reviews: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems

Posted October 10, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Reviews: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems

I posted my review for Crazy Rich Asians (and the movie) recently and had to keep reading ASAP to see what happened next! I binge-read (and listened) to both books in September, so here are my thoughts on the remainder of this trilogy! This book took me forever but I have to blame my lack of reading motivation and not the book itself. It was definitely a fun sequel, but I preferred the first book probably? This series is ridiculous in many ways, but some of the plot points in this one were crazier than I could have imagined. It was interesting following a mix of new character and old ones; I wish there was a bit more of Rachel, Nick, and Astrid (especially because I wanted to knock some sense into Astrid this whole book). Kitty Pong has turned into a really intriguing character because she was previously painted pretty terribly in the first book. You learn a bit more about her motivations here. I think one of the things I like the most in this series is that none of these rich people are strictly good or bad really – there are many shades of gray. They’re all motivated by money, greed, and power, but a lot of them kind of mean well? Some are terrible and some are nice, but everyone has a bit of darkness no matter what. The new characters, like Carlton and Colette, were definitely an interesting addition. It was fun to see Rachel […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #204: Longest Books

Posted October 9, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 9 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #204: Longest Books

Longest Books I’ve Ever Read 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. This is the perfect topic for ya girl, who is feeling quite lazy with blogging lately. I have afternoons of inspiration where I write five posts… and days where I can barely be bothered to put a TTT together. Today’s post literally just required me sorting my “read’ shelf on Goodreads by number of pages and going from there! Spoiler alert: it’s a LOT of Harry Potter, y’all. On top of that, there are actually only FIVE different authors represented here. Most of my longest books were parts of major series with looong books.

A Day in the Life (10/5)

A Day in the Life (10/5)

I’m taking a cue from lifestyle bloggers and vloggers who share daily vlogs about their lives for this feature! I’m not sure if it will be a regular things around here or not, but I always am fascinated by people’s daily lives and routines. I’ll be sharing various pictures and descriptions of a day in my life – what I wore, what I ate, where I went, what I did, and more. Let me know what you think in the comments! 6:30 AM – 9:00 AM I used to love getting up super early and having time to myself before work. That changed when we moved to Maine for a while because our schedules were really weird with Chris working nights and me working from home. I had to get back into the swing of having a commute and giving myself “me time” in the morning again. I have to get up at 7:30 to shower, get ready, and drive to work for 9 AM, so I like to get up anywhere during the “6:00 hour” to have as much time as possible to enjoy my morning. I went to bed somewhat early last night because I was uninterested in the TNF game, so I woke up at 6:30. I scrolled through my phone a bit and got out of bed at 6:45 to make coffee and cereal. Tis the season for Pumpkin O’s from Trader Joe’s! I ate my food in the kitchen while listening to the newest episode […]

Media Recommendations: If You Liked This, Try That

Posted October 5, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 4 Comments
Media Recommendations: If You Liked This, Try That

I love matching books and movies up with each other, providing recommendations based on other books you liked (if you liked this, try that!), and a bunch of recommendations from just one book. I was thinking about some of my other favorite forms of media and how I might be able to make recommendations based off those. Some of these involve podcasts that are popular with lesser known shows, or vice versa, so you’ll see how they can be mixed and matched. I also have a couple that couple podcasts with books, instead of just shows or movies. A Very Fatal Murder + American Vandal As a true crime podcast aficionado, I’ve come to realize that A LOT of them follow the same formula: incompetent law enforcement, botched investigations, suspects who aren’t taken as seriously as they should be (or vice versa), and the commentary on ~small towns~ / “it could happen anywhere.” I absolutely LOVED The Onion’s true crime parody podcast (complete with fake ads from products that will definitely remind you of stereotypical podcast sponsors). The show reminded me of every true crime podcast mashed into one, with the added element of parody and comedy. This is EXACTLY like Netflix’s AMERICAN VANDAL, where high school students investigate the very serious crime of penis graffiti on teacher’s cars (and the second season about the Turd Burglar). It’s another crime procedural parody and I loved every second of its insane humor. Clue + Deadly Manners I only saw the famous […]

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 […]