Pottermore Presents Short Stories from Hogwarts

Posted January 26, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Pottermore Presents Short Stories from Hogwarts

Like many people, I was starting to feel the Harry Potter burnout. It’s hard when the world is EVERYWHERE, with new movies and books and plays still coming out. Half of me feels so excited to experience that world again, but the other half of me wonders when enough will be enough. Regardless of those mixed feelings, I embarked on the three novellas JK Rowling originally published on Pottermore. I decided to binge them during Bout of Books to kick my reading year off and get ahead on my Goodreads challenge. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies This little collection of stories and bits of information was really fun! McGonagall and Lupin are two of my very favorite Harry Potter characters, so I absolutely welcomed more information about them! I felt like neither were explored as deeply as I would have liked during the books. It was cool to read about their pasts with their parents, childhoods, heartbreaks, and careers. I loved it so much. The extra information about being a werewolf or an animagus was really cool. The other two stories – a little bit on Trelawney and Kettleburn – didn’t seem as necessary. Trelawney was definitely an enigma during the books, but these stories didn’t do anything to clear that up really. Rowling didn’t give her as much of a history as I would have liked. Same goes for Kettleburn, but at least I knew who Trelawney was before reading this novella! These parts […]

The Impact of Physical

Posted January 25, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
The Impact of Physical

This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays. I’m a huge fan of physical books. I know VERY few avid readers who don’t love smelling a book and opening those pages up. There’s no better feeling. I totally love my Kindle and my audiobooks, but I feel like nothing compares to the real thing. Regardless of how technology and the publishing industry evolve, I sincerely hope and believe that physical books will be around for a looong time. Cultivating a library of favorites The biggest bookworm dream of mine (and countless other people) is to have a full library room. I’ve discussed my dream library in the past. I want it to have a full bed, so many colors, Christmas lights all over the place, shelves on every wall, and book-related art and knicknacks. It’ll be a haven and I need it in my life… someday. Chris and I still aren’t planning on settling down any time soon, so for now my library dreams are far in the future. I want to have a house someday with a full room just for books and bookish things. I want it FULL of books that I love (or at least like enough to own and take pictures of). A library with all of those things will be an amazing place to relax and read. I […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #125: Classics (Freebie)

Posted January 24, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 33 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #125: Classics (Freebie)

Classics on My 2017 TBR 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. I recently came across the app Serial Reader, which allows you to “subscribe” to certain classic books and have bite-sized pieces pushed to your phone each day. You read the book for 10-20 minutes per day to keep it manageable. I don’t really like classics too much because I find them hard to read and too dense at times. The idea of reading them in small bursts every day really appeals to me, and I’ve already started one of them. Here are the top classic books I plan on reading through Serial Reader!             Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll This is the first book I started on Serial Reader. I wanted to do something a little bit shorter so that I could blaze through it and see what the process was like. I’ve always wanted to read the original story instead of basing all my retelling feels on the movie. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte This book has always been on my TBR but I really never thought I’d get around to it. It’s a little longer and will take 72 issues/days to read. I’m excited to hopefully read it at some […]

Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

Posted January 23, 2017 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

I thought it would be appropriate to put my reviews for my last read of 2016 and the first read of 2017 together. I ended up cutting it very close with my Goodreads goal because I decided to be lazy with my final book. I ended up finishing it 20 minutes before I had to leave for New Jersey for my NYE plans… whoops. That’s what happens when you tell yourself to meet your Goodreads goal exactly – no more, no less. I started my first book of 2017 on New Years’ Day while Chris and I were hanging out at home before bed. I was hoping to spend a good portion of the day reading but I ended up watching lots of football (duh). In any case, here are the books that ended one year and started another! I had pretty high expectations for this book. It ends up on a LOT of people’s all-time-favorites lists. I bought this on Scribd forever ago with one of my credits, solely because it was narrated by Jim Dale. The story itself intrigued me because I find circus settings to be fascinating, but I really only went through with the purchase because of Jim Dale. He is perfection. His narration did end up being a major highlight for me. It was jarring at times because he used similar voices to the Harry Potter characters (like one character in this book sounded a lot like Dumbledore) and the book had some similar words I […]

Why I’ve Reduced My Goodreads Goal Each Year

Posted January 20, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 19 Comments
Why I’ve Reduced My Goodreads Goal Each Year

I’ve spoken a lot about my ~resolutions~ to read less books, so I can give myself more time for other hobbies. This was something I resolved to do for 2016 and again in 2017. Book blogging has done a wonderful job of introducing me to countless friends, new authors, and books I never would have thought to pick up. It’s also wildly increased my reading numbers. This is really great and makes me feel super accomplished! I love reading. But lately, I’ve hated the pressure to read. I was often 13 books ahead on my reading challenge this year. This was mostly because I binge-listened to a series with thirteen short books. But still! I was ahead! Then, I hit my slow reading month in October and ended up catching up to be just “on track” by the end of December. I found myself on December 15th needing to finish 6 more books in order to complete my challenge. What happened?! Instead of saying “oh well” and just reading as much as I genuinely wanted to read, I pushed myself to finish it off. It ended up working out well because I squeezed in more holiday reads than expected. Because of the unnecessary pressure to read, I’ve actually ended up reducing my Goodreads challenge each year. I see most of my friends reading more and setting a higher goal each year since I started blogging, but mine has gone down. You can see from the picture that I blew my 2014 challenge […]

Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Posted January 19, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Initial Excitement I’ve been yelling about this book for a while. The Canterbury Tales is one of my all-time favorite classics. I love the book’s setup, how each character told a story that was some kind of lesson about what was currently happening at the time. I was hoping that this book would be a close retelling and use many of the same elements in each individual story. Andi let me borrow her copy because she’s the best, and I didn’t waste much time before starting! Quick Summary As I mentioned, this is a YA retelling and modernization of The Canterbury Tales. The teacher on the bus decides to make the kids tell fictional stories and whoever tells the best one gets an A in his class. Each student was pretty quick-thinking, which impressed me. I would have stood there like a moron with no story at all. I was curious to see how closely the book would relate. Would the setup be the same, but not the individual stories? Or would the author modernize each individual story from the Tales and spread them around to the kids? Well, from what I could tell, it was the latter… and I loved that! The first few stories were obvious, direct correlations to the originals. Even the in-between segues, prologues, and interruptions were the same. After finishing the book and reading the Afterword, the author explained all of the tales and how each kid correlated to them. I wish I flipped to the back to see the […]

The Impact of Digital

Posted January 18, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 19 Comments
The Impact of Digital

This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays. Getting a Kindle was one of the BEST things for me, back before college started. I was so excited for it. I got one of the early ones that had 3G on it, because I knew I’d need it when I visited my grandparents in Maine (who didn’t have wifi at the time). I used to vacation there twice each summer and a few other times each year, and I was always concerned with running out of books. This Kindle was my savior, to immediately order new ones if needed. I primarily use it now for egalleys and a few ebooks, but not as much as I used to. Today’s topic is the impact of reading digital/Kindle books, compared to other means of reading. It makes me read faster I really don’t know what it is about reading on a Kindle, but I finish books so much faster! Am I the only one who experiences this?! I don’t know. I just sit there and click-click-click onto the next page so much faster. Maybe the act of turning physical pages slows you down? I honestly am not sure what else to say about this because I can’t think of a legitimate reason for why this is true. I just notice that reading books on my Kindle […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #124: Underrated

Posted January 17, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 16 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #124: Underrated

Top Underrated Books I Read in 2016 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. I highly encourage all of you to make shelves on Goodreads for the books you read in each year. I wish I had a dollar for every time I used my “2016-read” shelf for sorting things like this! I decided to go with the literally underrated books on Goodreads that I read (minus shorter novellas and such). Not all of the books were necessarily published in 2016, but I did read them in 2016. (None were published in 2017 either because obviously they don’t have a lot of ratings yet if so!) I tried to keep the books under 500 Goodreads ratings, but I couldn’t resist adding the final book, which as around 700 ratings. I really enjoyed all of these stories and hope more people pick them up! Some ended up on my all-time favorite list, so I seriously suggest you get reading, friends! This Is Your Afterlife by Vannessa Barneveld | Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins Game On by Michelle Smith | Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath  Wrecked by Maria Padian | Winning by Lara Deloza  All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale | The Lost & Found by […]

Lauren Lately | January 2017

Posted January 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 6 Comments
Lauren Lately | January 2017

I always get annoyed with myself that my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups are too long and that no one wants to read that much. I get carried away on all sides – the bookish and the personal. So! My solution was to create Lauren Lately to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. (After all, I base all of my book stats around the month ending anyways and my personal life is more flexible 😉 ) ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨   Christmas Days Off | Because Chris had Christmas Eve Eve off from work, I took the day off too! We went for a nice wintery hike and really enjoyed that particular trail. Later that same day, we went to my mom’s house to watch The Family Man. I used to love watching it every year with them, but it has been a while since we’ve all seen it. It’s sort of Christmassy, because the main plot gets started on Christmas, but not as much as I remembered. It was great to relax with a beer, taco dip, and pepperoni bread.   Christmas | We definitely had a jam-packed Christmas as usual, but we were able to eliminate one stop on Christmas day. We went […]

Cover Love for 2017 Releases

Posted January 13, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 13 Comments
Cover Love for 2017 Releases

Part three of my incredibly-random-usually-once-a-year feature is here! (Check out parts one and two if you’re so inclined.) I wanted to focus on some of my favorite covers of upcoming releases for 2017. I’ve shared bits and pieces of them throughout the year in other situations, but here’s a roundup in my usual format. No links because there’s too many, but enjoy regardless! 😉 Check the link below to see them on my GR shelf. From my Cover Love shelf on Goodreads  Which are your favorites? I can’t resist Jupiter Lemon’s and seriously can’t stop talking about that book for some reason. I hope it lives up to my lofty expectations at this point!