Tag Tuesday: New Years Book Tag

new year tagIts my favorite day! I found this tag on Kaitlyn’s blog and thought it the perfect festive entry for the week. If you’d like to do it for yourself, just link the original post from Bookmark Chronicles, answer the questions below, and tag some friends! And now, without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Best book and/or series that you read in 2018.
I’m so glad I finally finished up the Grisha trilogy last year! Looking at the books as individuals, they weren’t 5-star reads, but the series as a whole was really great. I loved the world building and Nikolai and the Darkling as characters were just stupendous!

2. Authors that you’ve read recently that you’d like to read more of this year.
I read my first Schwab book last year when I read City of Ghosts and I absolutely LOVED it!! Plus, from what I hear, that’s not even her best book! So I am really excited to read more VE/Victoria Schwab this year and I think that the second in that series is coming out this year as well, so I’m really excited for that!

3. Most anticipated book turned movie.
Honestly I don’t even know what all is coming out this year yet! I always am excited about more Outlander. Five Feet Apart looks like all the feels. They’re making The Sun is Also a Star? I need to get reading, y’all!

4. Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight.
Levi from Fangirl was a character that I really loved, and of course the Darkling is a bad boy I swoon over.

5. What’s on your TBR for 2019? (top 5 will suffice)
Ok, I will choose a couple 2019 releases and a couple backlisters.
– King of Scars
– Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom
– Wicked Saints (this list sounds so dark so far!)
– Glass Sword
– Enchantee

6. How many books do you hope to read in 2019?
My goal is 75 and I hope to exceed that. *crossing fingers.

7. Will you participate in the Goodreads, or other Challenges?
Definitely Goodreads, plus several readathon challenges. I sort of have an addiction.

8. Any New Years Resolutions?
Ummm, not necessarily strong and steadfast, but I do want to comment on other blogs more and I do want to use my reading planner more.

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And that’s it! So if you like the sound of this tag and would like to do this one, consider yourself tagged! Please link back to me and the original maker of the tag (linked above) because I would love to see your answers. With that, happy new year!

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First Line Friday: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

First line: “It was late winter in northern Rus’, the air sullen with wet that was neither rain nor snow.”

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At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

40004709After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales. [from Goodreads]

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The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden is my current read and I have heard many good things about this one. I am about 25% into it and so far its a little slow, but I do like the wintery vibes, and there’s always something about Russian folklore that is so mystical and special to me. I have always enjoyed Russian music, history, and poetry, so I am eager to see if the book lives up to the hype around it.

How about you – have you read this book? What did you think? What other books do you feel have a strong winter vibe?

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First WWW of the new year!

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Hello and good morning everyone! I am loving 2019 so far…seeing all of the TBR posts, resolutions and goals, organizers and planners….yes, I am behind already in posting mine. But they’re coming this weekend, I promise. Working full-time is really quite the hindrance sometimes! But if I make my choices to prioritize my reading and posting smaller posts during the week and then the bigger posts on the weekends, I think that will work out best in the long run! So anywho, WWW is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.There are 3 questions to answer and I would love to see your answers too! So if you do this meme, link your post in the comments, or even just answer the questions! Tell me what you’re reading, what you’ve recently finished, and what you’re reading next!

1. What are you reading? I thought it would be mildly amusing to kick off the new year by listening to the audiobook of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I was right! Its not a very long book (5-ish hours long) and I don’t know that I’ll get much out of it in terms of self enrichment (am I supposed to?) but it is amusing to listen to the narrator say f*ck every 2 seconds. Yes, I am a big child. #noshame. I also just picked up The Bear and the Nightengale. I am a couple days late to a buddy/group read for this one, but its short so I am pretty sure I can catch up and/or read enough to engage in the discussion. I have heard wonderful things about this book, and the cover is just mystical. I am excited to finally read this book!

2. What did you recently finish reading? If you look at my last post, you will see that I just finished an ARC of White Stag, which releases next week! This was a YA fantasy that kept me on the edge of my seat and I absolutely loved it. Apparently I have a thing for goblins, and I’m not even mad about it! I also recently finished the audiobook of Marie Lu’s Champion, which is part of the Legend trilogy. I read the first two books in the series a while ago and I felt so proud to finally get back into that series!

3. What will you read next? Normally I’m a mood reader, but I have quite the TBR this month! I really want to read The Cruel Prince and Wicked King when it releases. And I am definitely jumping straight into King of Scars. I have a couple surprise ARCs that will be getting my attention and of course, my mood will probably throw some things off as well so stay tuned for all the chaos!

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Blogmas 30: Best Reads of 2018

As I mentioned in my last post, my yearly Goodreads wrap-up reports to me that my average rating of books that I read this year is 3.8 stars. I feel that that’s a relatively good rating. I generally do enjoy most of the books that I read. Looking at my list, though, I gave 18 books 5 stars. 18!!! (compared to 1 book with 1 star). But which do I feel were the “best” for this year? I have to narrow this down. Let’s reflect back….

27833670Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – This is my first pick for a favorite of the year because it is a book that I feel I could read again and still not get every detail out of. Yes, I already know the outcome, but there are so many subtleties to this book. Its like one of those trippy movies that you can watch over and over and still ask yourself “What the hell did I just watch??” Think Inception or a really good episode of Stranger Things. I did have a worry that things in this book might get over technical or too scientific, as the MC is a scientist and professor, but this never happened. Everything is really at just the right amount of science and maybe just crazy enough to work.

36082326-1Every Note Played by Lisa Genova – On a completely different level, there is this book here. I had never heard of this one but I picked it up once the Goodreads nominations for books of the year for 2018 came out and this was in the Best Fiction category. Me and my musical self gravitated to this simply because of the title and the characters being musicians, but at the same time, I’m always skeptical about books with music at the center as well. Its tough not to be a critic, ya know? But the author did an amazing job with the musical aspects and just the human aspects in general. I was blown away just by the fact that Lisa Genova is a brain scientist. Uhhh, seriously? Yeah. And she conducted a lot of interviews with ALS patients and caregivers and just really put heart and soul into this book. I thought it was beautiful.

And that’s it, folks. My top two books for 2018! How about you – what were your top books? Tell me here, or drop me your links to posts that share yours! I’d love your recommendations as always! Any genres! Until next time!

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Blogmas 25: Tag Tuesday – The Joy of Christmas

Hello to all and Merry Christmas! If you aren’t a celebrator of Christmas then I hope you’re enjoying your day, but if you are, I hope Santa was good to you and that you are having a safe and happy holiday. Today I am coming at you with a holiday book tag because it is, afterall, a Tuesday. This tag was originally created by Sam, and you can watch the video here.

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?
I’m looking forward to King of ScarsChildren of Virtue and VengeanceA Curse So Dark and Lonely….oh, so many!!

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?
Right now I’m on a Colleen Hoover kick!

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?
There are a couple details I would change in the story line, but I love the detail and the make up of the Grishaverse!

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read
I think my favorite is Frankenstein, and I really want to read (finish) the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas
The new 10th anniversary editions of The Hunger Games books. Oh, and I really wanted a copy of The Disasters (I’m a sucker for that purple cover and the tagline “Space is tough- get a helmet).

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling
Vain by Fisher Amelie was a spectacular book that game me all the feels. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?
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8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?
One Christmas (technically about three days after Christmas) my college choir was invited to and travelled to sing at the White House. It was an amazing experience! That’s probably my favorite Christmas memory.

And that’s it! I wish you all a merry Christmas, and a very safe and joyous holiday season!

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Blogmas 23: Review – The Prince and the Dressmaker

34506912In The Prince and the Dressmaker, Frances is a seamstress who aspires to become a dress designer. One day by accident she is given her chance by a mysterious employer who turns out to be….the prince! They come to be best friends who really bring out the best in each other, and help each other on their journeys toward their dreams.

I didn’t know going into this book that it was on the GLBTQ+ spectrum. I have no problem with that and honestly, I rarely read far into books anymore before starting them. I like going on recommendations of people that I trust, I like going by GoodReads ratings, and I like looking at titles and covers.

That being said, this book was SO beautiful. I loved the drawings of the dresses, and the characters were so animated in a way that that was relatable and fun. There were times when I laughed, when I was tense, when I was ready to tear up…this graphic novel had it all. I cannot recommend it enough!

Book soundtrack: “Vogue” by Madonna
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Blogmas 22: Jumping in on Short-a-Thon 2018

Hi friends! Christmas is getting so close, and I am running behind on EVERYTHING! But no apologies. I’m doing the best that I can, and its no use crying over it. That’s not what Christmas is all about. Its about BLOGGING! Nah, just kidding. But this is a big goal of mine so I am sticking to it and pushing on.

So yesterday, my friends Destiny @howlinglibraries and Kathy @booksandmunches began hosting an event called the Short-a-Thon. So Short-a-Thon runs from December 21-31 and the goal is to read shorter books and finish 2018 strong. Goodreads is telling me I am 7 books behind my goal so I am hoping this brings me closer to my goal! Its only 75 this year! I have hit +125 in years past!! However, I knew that with two family weddings this year (one of them being mine), I would probably get way less reading done. I was right. I’m not one of those people who likes to set the bar super low and then hit my goal in like, April, and then go up and up and up for the rest of the year. No, a challenge is supposed to be a challenge!! Hence, here I am grappling for my final 7 books in the last 2 weeks of December. Enter: SHORT-A-THON!!

48395131_368452943911813_999185396514422784_nCurrently I have started Mr. Dickens and His Carol, which is pretty short. I can probably sit down and knock that out pretty quickly. I went to the library and picked up 2 graphic novels that I took interest in earlier this year, along with one book that I have been hearing good things about for a long time–Every Heart A Doorway. And I have the audiobook of My True Love Gave to Me going on amidst all of this. I’m really enjoying these short stories for the most part so far! I go back to work on Thursday so if, between all of the holiday hoopla going on, I can manage to knock out at least these 4, I am in pretty good shape! I could maybe go back to my regular-size novel (White Stag) and finish that…get another short-a-thon book or two…there is hope for me yet!

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Blogmas 21: First Line Friday – Mr. Dickens & His Carol

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First line(s): “On that unseasonably warm November day at One Devonshire Terrace, Christmas was not in his head at all.”

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34275234For Charles Dickens, each Christmas has been better than the last. His novels are literary blockbusters, and he is famous on the streets of London, where avid fans sneak up on him to snip off pieces of his hair. He and his wife have five happy children, a sixth on the way, and a home filled with every comfort they could imagine. But when Dickens’ newest book is a flop, the glorious life he has built for himself threatens to collapse around him. His publishers offer an ultimatum: either he writes a Christmas book in a month, or they will call in his debts, and he could lose everything. Grudgingly, he accepts, but with relatives hounding him for loans, his wife and children planning an excessively lavish holiday party, and jealous critics going in for the kill, he is hardly feeling the Christmas spirit.

Increasingly frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace and inspiration in London itself, his great palace of thinking. And on one of his long walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets a young woman in a purple cloak, who might be just the muse he needs. Eleanor Lovejoy and her young son, Timothy, propel Dickens on a Scrooge-like journey through his Christmases past and present—but with time running out, will he find the perfect new story to save him?

In prose laced with humor, sumptuous Victorian detail, and charming winks to A Christmas Carol, Samantha Silva breathes new life into an adored classic. Perfect for fans of Dickens, for readers of immersive historical fiction, and for anyone looking for a dose of Christmas cheer, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is destined to become a perennial holiday favorite. (from Goodreads)

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I am currently almost halfway through this book and so far it is a pretty charming read. It is certainly not action-packed, but I’m just curious about how things will play out and captivated by the setting and by Dickens himself. I am glad I chose this for my holiday read this year and I can’t wait to see how A Christmas Carol forms in Dickens’ mind!

Have you read this book? Do you know much about the real Dickens? Please share!

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Blogmas 19: WWW Wednesday

Good evening everyone! I think this is a good week to catch up with a good ol’ WWW Wednesday meme. Now, if you happen to be out of the loop, WWW is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. All it is is three questions that are easy enough to answer. So with that being said, here I go!

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  1. 34275234._SY180_What are you currently reading? Mr. Dickens and His Carol. I bought this book last holiday season and didn’t get to it. However, this year, I got myself into two different group reads of A Christmas Carol and I thought this would be a nice compliment to that. So far I am liking the book. I don’t think it really holds truth to the actual Dickens’ life, but its still a nice read. Basically, Dickens’ latest story isn’t doing very well and his publishers think the best move is for him to write a Christmas tale. Dickens, however, disagrees. Money is tight in the household, and the family is not used to pinching pennies, especially around the holidays.
  2. 37854049What did you recently finish reading? I just finished Sisters of the Winter Wood, because with all of the holiday things I’ve been reading, I wanted something a little different. So this still had ‘winter’ in the title, but it was different too…a fairy tale of sorts. I will be putting a review up soon, but as a little teaser, I will say that this tale of two sisters who could transform into magical beasts wasn’t my favorite read ever, but it was just what I needed.
  3. What do you think you’ll read next? I need to get to my ARCs so next up I will be reading either White Stag or Miraculum! Both are winter (Jan/Feb) releases so I am really looking forward to them. PLUS it is one of my New Years resolutions to get my NetGalley score up to 90%!

If you do WWW Wednesdays, feel free to send me your links below! I’d love to know what you’re up to!

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Blogmas 18: Tag Tuesday – The Christmas Carol Book Tag

Its the last Tuesday before Christmas!!! Well, not including Christmas itself, of course. Time is flying (which, I feel like I say in every single post…but its so true!!). I am looking forward to working through this tag, and I hope you will too!

YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH
Name a villainous character you can’t help but love to hate.

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The Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. He is vile and ruthless, but he is so in love with Alina and would do anything for her. How can you not love that?

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
What book do you most want to find under your Christmas tree this year?

Colleen Hoover’s latest (which I only learned about recently): Verity. Unlike all of CoHo’s other books, this one is a thriller/suspense novel and everyone who I have seen read it have come away saying something along the lines of “WTF?!” So basically, I MUST READ THIS!

rudolphRUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Name a favourite character that had to overcome a major obstacle.

Katniss Everdeen is forever one of my favorite characters and I think, by now, pretty much everyone knows her story. The obstacles that girl had to face and the pressure on her shoulders was just enormous. From being sent into the games not once but TWICE, to everything that happened to Peeta, to losing her sister, to then being manipulated into being the Mockingjay and leading an assault into the Capital…yeah, she’s pretty much my hero.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
Which characters do you think are at the top of Santa’s “Naughty” and “Nice” list?

At the top of Santa’s “Naughty” list is the Ministor/Pastor in Christina Dalcher’s Vox. This dude was awful. He truly believed what he preached about women’s true place being at the head of the household, and that they should be seen and not heard. Vox is a dystopian sci-fi book but honestly, I would almost categorize it as horror because the concepts and just how realistically it was written is just terrifying. On a lighter note, at the top of Santa’s “Nice” list is Jamie Fraser. This man is a saint. I mean, he gives all of himself not just for his wife but for his entire family, for his country, and for the bum on the street, no matter his or her nationality. Definitely at the top of the “Nice” list. We all need to be more like Jamie.

frostyFROSTY THE SNOWMAN
What book just melts your heart?

I’m going to say A Christmas Carol for this one. I think the book is absolutely great. Not only that, but it is tied in my head to the movie versions which are so sentimental and hold such good memories.

FELIZ NAVIDAD
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our favourite book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Uhh, Harry Potter….duh!! 😛

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
What book do you read to get in the Christmas spirit?

I read different books every year, and I sort of have a rotation going. So other than A Christmas Carol, which I already mentioned, I also have Skipping Christmas in my rotation which I really enjoy. That’s the John Grisham book that the movie “Christmas with the Cranks” is based off of. Its really good, if you haven’t read it before!

SLEIGH RIDE
What character would you most want to spend the holidays with?

Christian Gray, baby! *wink*wink*

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BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
What book do you hate so much you would sacrifice it to the fire to stay warm?

Twilight. When I first read the series several years ago, I didn’t think they were too bad. Of course, I was several years younger and I read them post-surgery. Both of those factors must have had much to do with my thinking because when I *tried* to re-read them last year….yeah, I’m ready to throw them into the fire.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
What book would you recommend to everyone?

The Light We Lost. This book warmed my heart and then broke my heart. So good.

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If you’re in the mood for a Christmas tag, I hereby tag you to do ^this^ one! Its not too long, not too short! Just right! And now I have these stuck in my head. 😉

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