Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Moment of Zen

Thursday, October 13, 2016 with 7 comments
Sometimes, I just find myself staring out my office window at work. They're building a high-rise apartment building right across the street, and though it's early days, it's going to be a monstrosity. But I could watch that crane work all day. It's amazing the things the human mind can come up with to make life easier. And yet, I also love staring at the hawk that is perpetually flying around the crane and around my office building. Somehow, he's still made a home here in this urban jungle.

I'm not here to wax poetic about the shitty ways civilization has corrupted the world, either. I like some of the technology that's come from all of that corrupting of the environment. Namely, this computer I'm using to type up this post. And my phone. And my car. And I realize that there are still places where hawks can roam freely. I live in one such rural area and fear for the safety of Weasley, who is still small enough to be carried off by a (not-so-)friendly neighborhood hawk...or owl...when he's outside.

But I digress. I don't really know where I was going with all that. Other than that I've just been thinking alot. Or over-thinking, as my husband would tell me. 😝

You may have noticed -- or not -- but I haven't been posting all that frequently this year and even less so in recent months. And I expect to post even less in November and December because of the holidays and family obligations and all that jazz. Maybe I'll even go on hiatus just to get a fresh perspective. I haven't decided yet. I waffle back and forth. I'm a waffler.

And I've been in a bit of a reflective mood lately. (Obviously, look at all the tangents I went off on just in this post alone! Wow.) About what I take for granted. How I could be a better person in general. What blogging did and still does mean to me. All the things. Let me explain.

Basically, I've been reading a lot and not doing much blogging and it's like it was when I first started blogging and I kinda miss that freedom? Yeah, something like that. And then this happened today:

Actually, it happened last night, but I was too lazy to update Goodreads before bed, lol. Yep, barely into the 4th quarter of the year and I've already hit my goal of reading 225 books. And it's pretty much all audiobooks, re-reads, and review copies. I have taken to making a little more time for books that I just want to read -- I think I might do a post about what I've read lately tomorrow, time allowing -- but the bulk of what I read this year was for review or prep for the next book in a series...which was probably also received for review.

Which begs the question: when did it become all about reviewing?

But this is not going to be one of those posts. It's's the thing: I've recently come to the realization that I tend to overextend all areas of my life. But especially when it comes to accepting review copies and blog tour gigs and the like. (She says after accepting yet another review request.) I gotta knock that off if I ever want to have a personal life/have free time devoted to something other than reading/not cower under the crushing weight of publisher expectations.

I just got rid of a ton of books that have been sitting on my shelves, unread. Because I felt guilty for hoarding them. For keeping them from the hands of people who really would read them. For accepting too many review copies knowing I'd never have enough time to read them all.

I know I've said it before, but I've really missed reading for pleasure. Just reading for the sake of experiencing a good book without any expectations. That's why it's been super awesome these past couple of months, just reading the bare minimum of review books -- those that I've already made a commitment to do some type of post for -- and then spending the rest of my reading time with books from the library and audiobooks that I never would have discovered I liked without the help of other bloggers and books from my shelves that I've been waiting till just the right time to read.

She says as the over-large pile of review copies threatens to topple over on her. But I do plan to read all of them. I just don't plan to full-on review all of them. People don't read full-length reviews these days. They like pictures of books and snippets from books and mini-reviews that basically let them know how you felt about the book while maybe highlighting some of the good and bad.

So. For the books where I haven't agreed to some type of promotional post, I've decided I'm going to start doing a reading round-up of sorts. Basically a collection of the short-and-sweet reviews I write up on Goodreads after finishing a book, maybe including some Instagram pics or quotes, but nothing like the tedious, time-consuming reviews I've written to-date. Not even like the mini-reviews I've been doing of late. Not unless the book calls for it.

I don't know what day I'll post these on, or if I'll do them sporadically when I feel like it. (I'm leaning toward the second option.) And I don't know how many books I'll include in each round-up. I'm just going to play it by ear. I'll include review books AND just for fun books. Because it's nice to discover backlist titles, too.

I have ideas and I'd like to see a post go up tomorrow before I have too many un-reviewed books under my belt, but Katie's off school for Fair Day tomorrow and even though I don't think we're going to the state fair this year, I'd still like to spend the day with her doing fall stuff. Like pumpkin-carving 🎃 and fall crafts. 😄 So I can't guarantee the first post will be up tomorrow. But soon.

I'd love to hear what you think! Do you often feel that sense of obligation that comes with review copies? Do you think my new post idea will satisfy that obligation? I mean, essentially they're for promotion, right? And that's what this would be, for the most part...

And with that, I leave you with your moment of zen:

(I said waffles earlier and now I'm hungry. Even though I just had lunch. But it wasn't waffles. *cries*)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

's Pick:

Title: Thick as Thieves
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen's Thief, book #5
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Add to Goodreads
Thick as Thieves is the eagerly anticipated new stand-alone novel set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. New York Times—bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Discover and rediscover the stand-alone companion stories The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings, all epic novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. Thick as Thieves includes two maps, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of Kamet’s journey.

I had The Thief on my shelf for years before I ever picked it up. I can't even tell you why. But I've [finally] recently picked it up and actually just finished A Conspiracy of Kings (the fourth book in teh series) yesterday, so I'm already anticipating being back in this world. And I love that cover!!!

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over time, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.
We're going to have glorious weather here this weekend, but I hope everyone on the east coast is safe and sound. Katie's got a play-date today so I'm hoping (and praying) I get to start my buddy-read of Traitor to the Throne with my bestie while she's gone, lol. Otherwise, I'm just hoping for a chill weekend. Don't get too many of those around here, and I know it's only going to get busier with the holidays approaching. *sigh* It's getting chillier in the evenings, so I'm hoping for a fire in the backyard sometime soon...maybe even tonight! October is simply my favorite. It's, like, the only month it's actually comfortable to be outside for any length of time - at least in TX - so I'm going to take full advantage of it! =)

Anyway, here's what I scored this week...

From Publishers/For Review:

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Wintersong

You know, I just felt like there was a reason why I hadn't started my ARC of Gemina yet, and this is why: I got the audiobook for review, so now I'm listening and reading simultaneously and it is beautiful. :D And I don't know how I forgot that I got Wintersong this week, but maybe it was because I put everything else on hold to read it, which I rarely ever do, so I assumed I'd always had it. Lol. At any rate, it is gorgeous.


No trades this week, but I do still have these available for trade and/or pay for shipping:


A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2)

Eeek! I was hoping the next book would be about the Duke of Warnick after his interesting role in the previous book. Too bad it's narrated by Justine Eyre. womp womp womp

So, that's my haul. =) What fabulous bookmail did you get this week?

The Week in Review:


The Sun Is Also a Star

Current Giveaways:

Check back soon!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:

Currently Reading:

WintersongThis book is fucking amazing. All of my wildest Labyrinth fantasies in one place. I am in love, and I may have finished reading by the time this posts, but you better believe a Labyrinth re-watch is imminent.

Currently Listening:

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Dude, I'd totally planned to read this much sooner, but I got distracted by other pretties and then I got the audio for review and so I'm reading/enjoying the visuals while I listen and it is giving me life. I thought I couldn't love this book any more than Illuminae but I was wrong.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

{WOW} LUCKY IN LOVE by Kasie West

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 with 4 comments

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

's Pick:

Title: Lucky in Love
Author: Kasie West
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Add to Goodreads
Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment -- She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Two new Kasie West novels next year!?! This is amazing!!!! Her books always leave me smiling and content and her covers are just the cutest! This one sounds equally adorable, though I did see another book's synopsis that rang a little familiar with that whole lottery plotline. Still, I'm sure I'll love this one and it will easily have a home on my shelf, next to all of her other books. :D

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In celebration of the release of The Midnight Star next week, Penguin has put together an epic blog tour. You'll find all manner of posts for this tour but yours truly is taking another stab at a look book, which you can find below.

But first, here's a little more about the final book in The Young Elites series:

Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites, book #3
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

The Midnight Star Book Looks:

About the author:

Marie Lu is the author of the New York Times bestselling Legend series. She spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one boyfriend, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Find Marie:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr

The Midnight Star Blog Tour:

Week One:
Monday, 9/26: Expresso Reads (Series Sensory Associations)
Monday, 9/26: Ensconced in Lit (TYE “What Makes a Villain” Discussion)
Tuesday, 9/27: Myriad Inklings (Review/Book Playlist)
Tuesday, 9/27: Two Chicks on Books (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Wednesday, 9/28: Mike the Fanboy (Villains/Anti-Heroes in Pop Culture List)
Thursday, 9/29: Reading Teen (Guest Post)
Thursday, 9/29: Twirling Pages (Favorite Quotes/Mood Board)
Friday, 9/30: Bibliophile Gathering (Review)
Friday, 9/30: Brittany’s Book Rambles (Favorite Quotes)

Week Two:
Monday, 10/3: Once Upon a Twilight (Guest Post)
Tuesday, 10/4The Starry-Eyed Revue (Midnight Star Look Book)
Tuesday, 10/4Arctic Books (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Wednesday, 10/5Folded Pages Distillery (Review + Instagram)
Wednesday, 10/5Fiktshun (Review)
Thursday, 10/6The Book Nut (Review + Mood Board)
Thursday, 10/6Bookiemoji (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Friday, 10/7MundieMoms (Review + Favorite Quotes)

Week Three:
Monday, 10/10The Fandom (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Tuesday, 10/11Forever Young Adult (Guest Post)
Wednesday, 10/12Owl Always Be Reading (Review + Quotes)
Wednesday, 10/12Buttermybooks (Favorite Morally Ambiguous Characters)
Thursday, 10/13IceyBooks (Quote Candy)
Friday, 10/14Dark Faerie Tales (Guest Post)
Friday, 10/14A Page with a View (Favorite Fanart)

Week Four:
Monday, 10/17The Book Shire (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Monday, 10/17Seeing Double in Neverland (Review)
Tuesday, 10/18What Sarah Read (Guest Post)
Wednesday, 10/19Adventures of a Book Junkie (Top 5 Reasons to Read TYE)
Wednesday, 10/19YA Bibliophile (Review + Favorite Quotes)
Thursday, 10/20Eater of Books! (Swoon Thursday)
Friday, 10/21Me My Shelf and I (Bookish Scents)
Friday, 10/21Oh the Book Feels (Review + Favorite Quotes)

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