Blogmas 15 & 16: Bookish Quotes I Read This Year!

I’d like to share quotes from a few books I have read and enjoyed this year. Here we go!

“’Vegr yfir fjor.’ Honor above life.” – Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

“What’s the secret to a perfect marriage?’ The old man leaned forward and looked at me very seriously. ‘Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.” – All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

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“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.” – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“Stay as you are…and don’t let the worlds you walk break you.” The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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Blogmas Day 12: November Wrap-Up Part 2

FontCandy (40)Hump Dayyyy!! So rather than do a WWW Wednesday, I feel that I need to finish my November wrap-up first. What was I thinking, reading so many books in November that I need to put them in two posts?! Oh yeah, I’m behind on my Goodreads goal for the year and I need to catch up. 😛

35402204To pick up where I left off, the next book I read was a Middle grade ARC called The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane. I don’t always read middle grades, but when I do, they are mysteries or V.E. Schwab (i.e. City of Ghosts–LOVED IT!). I picked this one up because I wanted to boost my Netgalley rating but I really enjoyed it. The boarding school setting and trio of friends were extremely Harry Potter-esque, as was the mystery. That’s about where the similarities end though. I’m always intrigued by secret society mysteries, so if any of these things are appealing to you, I recommend picking up this book.

36082326Every Note Played was my 5-star read for the month. I chose this book because it was a finalist for the 2018 Goodreads awards. Turns out that it didn’t win, but oh my gosh, my heart. The book is about a famous classical pianist who is diagnosed with ALS. He is a divorcee, and turns to his ex-wife as his health declines. The story of this man’s journey is so incredibly vivid, it really feels like we are in his head. It changes POV’s with the ex-wife as she cares for him. This was the most bittersweet I think I’ve ever read. If you need a good cry, or a reason to be thankful for life as it is, this is the book to reach for.

37796866On a completely different note, my last book of the month was Vox. This is another book that was on Goodreads best books of the year for 2018 and it was a pretty powerful read as well. While I was reading Vox, it seemed like every other chapter, I just HAD to talk about what was going on in the book. I thought this was so ironic because the book itself is based in the future world where women are restricted to using only 100 words per day. The book is about silencing one gender, but yet the book is meant to spark conversation. I LOVE IT!! The book itself didn’t end the way I wanted it to. I feel there could have been an entire book after this! But alas, its a standalone.

So there we have it. My 6 reads for November. Thus far in December, I’ve finished 4 books. I’m still aiming to get as close to my Goodreads goal of 75 as possible. We’ll see!

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Blogmas Day 10: Cozy Reads

What is better than a book, a blanket, a warm drink, and a blazing fire in the fireplace? Sounds like absolute heaven to me! The prompt for Bookending Winter from yesterday (yes, I’m a day late) is cozy recommendations. Allow me to hit you with some of my favorite reads to snuggle up in front of a fire with. What recommendations do you have for me?

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5. Vain by Fisher Amelie – I loved this book. It is a new adult contemporary that I was so into from the very beginning. Sophie is a spoiled, rich girl who feels she is invincible. When she gets busted for doing drugs, she is sentenced not to jail or rehab, but to volunteer work in Uganda. Vain did a great job–an amazing job–bringing the characters to life. I could cozy up and read this book for hours.

4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I just added it to my list of life goals to cozy up and read this enchanting book in front of a fire.  This book was inspired by the classic A Thousand and One Nights. Hate to love is probably my favorite trope, and The Wrath and the Dawn hit the spot for me.

3. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – This beautiful book is so underrated, in my opinion. It is another one that reads a little like a fairy tale. Apparently “enchanting” is my word for cozying up by the fire. The story is about a girl who is meant to wed the horrible Emperor of a neighboring kingdom. She flees the home she has always known and sets off on a transformative adventure. I loved how vivid the writing was in this tale, as well as the beautiful magic system in the book. If you like mythology, retellings, parables, anything like that, you’ll like this.

2. Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon – I have to add a little bit of suspense to this list so I’m going to go with this one, mainly because of the twist at the end. There is NO WAY to see this coming! At least, not to this extent. The entire book reads like a thriller where a child goes missing, there are strange phone calls, and a twisty-story line. You think its all real, until POOF! Mind. Blown.

1. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – This is the perfect book to read in front of a fire! SITD has all the cozy things–family, friendship, community (eventually), and a little romance. Plus, the cold and forest-y setting is just meant for fireside reading.

So there you have it, folks. My top 5 fireside reads. So crank up that Yanni holiday album and cozy up. I hope you enjoy.

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Blogmas Day 9: The Afterlife of Holly Chase – GIVEAWAY and bookish playlist!

47682600_2286068788328770_4690194679113711616_nWhy hello and good evening, everyone! I would like to invite you all to join in my giveaway! I mentioned just a couple posts back that I run an Etsy shop. I make and sell booksleeves–decorative foam pouches to carry your books in so that covers and pages aren’t ripped, wrinkled, or ruined. I am giving away a booksleeve and a book on my Instagram this week. The booksleeve I chose for thia GA is my favorite pattern from this season. The book is one that I have read and reviewed before: The Afterlife of Holly Chase. It came out last year, but it has been receiving a lot of hype this year! If you want to check out my review of the book, you can do so here. What I did just for today’s post is put together a short playlist of songs that remind me of the book. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – Holly is our cold-hearted, modern-day, teenage Grinch so of course, what other song would I choose? ‘I wouldn’t touch [her] with a 39-and-a-half foot pole!’
  2. “Jingle Bells” by Michael Buble & the Puppini Sisters – Its gotta be this version of Jingle Bells, friends. The setting of the book reminds me of a TV set that needed background singing sisters like in this song!
  3. “Baby Its Cold Outside” – this is my pick for Holly & Ethan. They both are stubborn people who are used to getting what they want. Plus, of course, the bantering back and forth.
  4. “Carol of the Bells” by Trans Siberian Orchestra – This one is the perfect pick because it is a rockin’ version of an original classic. And of course, if you haven’t gotten the hints yet, this is a spin on A Christmas Carol.
  5. “God Bless Us, Every One” – So lastly, this grand finale of a song is from my favorite movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol…the most recent one with Jim Carrey. To me this is the epitome of holiday songs and I can just picture snow and happy people and happily ever after.

So that’s my little list for you all. And now for giveaway details. Go find me on Instagram – username @thereadsinger. On my giveaway post, you’ll find all the steps to follow to enter. Just follow, like, share, and you’re in! There are optional additional steps for extra entries. Have at ye! I hope to see you there!

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Blogmas Day 7: First Line Friday!

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This is a new type of post for me, but I love it. First lines can either be really catchy, or just meh. I am so excited to begin tracking first lines here on my blog! If you’d like to jump in and track your own, this meme is hosted by Hoarding Books so I hereby invite you to share the fun, or share your latest link with us!


First line(s): “Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”

47579318_338876880176649_1344974544955244544_nA Christmas Carol is an absolute classic, am I right? I have read it once before and I was so amazed at the perfection of this piece of literature. If you haven’t picked up this one before, its an absolute MUST. And if that first line doesn’t make you want to read more, then I just don’t know what to tell you. Imagine reading this for the first time right after publication; before if ever became the sensation it is now. Who is Marley? How and why is he dead? What the heck am I reading?! These days, we all know the story. We know exactly who Jacob Marley is and what Scrooge has in store for him, but back then this could have been quite suspenseful! Scrooge adventures through Christmases past, present, and future with these ghosts to ultimately learn an important life lesson.

Have you read A Christmas Carol? Which movie version is your favorite? (I love Jim Carrey’s version!)

Soundtrack: “Silent Night” — Josh Groban

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Blogmas Day 6: The Read Singer

Did you know…..

46744432_759222051084233_6375760710462341120_nthat I own and run a small business? Well I do!! Its very, very small, but its my baby. At the very beginning of 2018, I made a comment to my husband that I wanted to figure out how to sew my own booksleeve so I didn’t have to continue spending money buying new ones each season. Well, my hubby is an idea man. He took my little “I’d kinda like to” and turned it into “Well if you spend money on a sewing machine to make them for yourself, then you might as well make & sell them for other people!” And thus, the seed was planted, and here I am running an Etsy shop called The Read Singer.

I got my official business license (yep, I’m registered with the county and everything!) in March/April and since then of course, there have been many ups and downs. Sales and then no sales. But I’m up to 50 sales which means that I’ve made probably at least 100 sleeves (whoa) and I’m not tired of it yet. I’d like to expand my shop and start making another type of product. Maybe rice bags or pin hoops? Bookmark holders or mug rugs? But I’m not quite there yet. Hopefully soon!

40628793_524192508027856_3957805933697957888_nIts another goal of mine to take a “business trip” to a book expo/con of some sort during some summer. Or anytime, really. Since I started my business, I have tried to choose patterns for sleeves that correlate to book and/or movie releases. Example: I found an Avengers pattern when the new movie came out. I had a Viking/rune-looking pattern when Sky in the Deep released. One of my best memories with the business was meeting Becky Albertalli and Julie Murphy and they loved my sleeves. I brought sleeves with that matched their books at their signing and they went gaga over them…as did several other people in the store. It was great marketing.

So just in case you’re wondering what my shop looks like, what patterns I have in stock (think snuggly flannels and winter holidays, as well as year-round fabrics), here is the link to check it out: The Read Singer @ Etsy!

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Blogmas Day 5: November Wrap-Up Part I

FontCandy (40)Well, tell me: how was your November reading?? Mine wasn’t too bad. Especially considering the bit of a slump I had been in in September. I finished six books in total, and there were two more I was hoping to wrap up but I didn’t quite make it. Oh well, 6 is pretty good! I am definitely going to be finishing short of my overall goal for the year of 75 books…but I had a super busy year so I’m not going to beat myself up too badly. And besides, we’ll see what December holds. I have readathons and buddy reads coming up so I should be pulling a pretty good number. If I can hit 9 or 10 for December, I’ll be happy. Even 8! But anyway, here is a rundown of my November finishes:

33977969Haunting the Deep is book #2 in Adrianna Mathers’ “How to Hang a Witch” duology. I read How to Hang a Witch last year and thought it was pretty good. What I really like about Adrianna Mather is her direct tie in her family line to what she writes about in these books–first to the Salem Witch trials (she is a direct descendent to Cotton Mather) and in this book to the Titanic (I think you can figure this one out). The books aren’t mind-blowing Blockbusters, but they are pretty sweet reads and I think they’re fun.

35305625Next up, I listened to the audiobook version of The Broken Girls. I hadn’t really heard of this one but it was up for a Goodreads Choice Award. Don’t ask me what category at this point…Mystery/Thriller, maybe? The book is told in dual time periods and revolves around a woman whose sister was murdered and an old asylum where a former refugee from a Nazi war camp was a student went missing decades ago. Again, not a heart-pounding thriller, but I liked the mix of history and mystery, and the writing was good. Also, the audiobook narrator was fabulous.

31952703Words in Deep Blue is next on my list. This one was also an audiobook and I flat out did not enjoy this one. It had a few charming little moments, considering that I am a sucker for book stores and heartbreak. There really wasn’t much heartbreak in the book, but there was some humor and a little bit of cuteness in the friendships. Overall though, this book was a flop for me.

So there is the first half of my wrap-up overview. More in-depth reviews to come! How did you do with your reading in November?

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Blogmas Day 3: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Whoa. Where did November go?? The past month has been so busy for me, doing what, I don’t even know! Work and holidays and just fall frolicking in general. And now we’re three days into December. Wow. Of course I’ve been reading the entire time, I just took a little step back from blogging. But now I’m back and it feels so good!

For now, I want to share my thoughts on Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Just as a caution, this review may contain swearing (or edited swearing), as this book was an absolute mind f**k! And I mean that in the best of ways.

So yes, I heard that this book was worth a read before I picked it up. I didn’t know too much about it or the author, but I was seeing it everywhere when it released. Took me a while to actually get to reading it, though, and I AM SO GLAD I DID! I listened to the audio book and it was fantastic. 

27833670Honestly, this book reminded me a little bit of Timeline by Michael Chrichton, in that it was so well-written and (Timeline is one of my all-time favorite books) has a strong mix of science fiction and thriller and it really plays with your head and makes you think “MAN, what if this could really happen?!” Unlike Timeline, though, rather than travelling to the historical past, in Dark Matter, main character Jason Dessen is a physicist who has learned to travel to different worlds, more or less. Alternate timelines of his own life, if you will. He finds himself battling, well, himself basically, as he struggles with the question “What if I had made choice Z in stead of choice A?”

I will leave it at that so as to not spoil anything. The concepts in this book will spin your head around several times and leave you questioning your entire existence. This is absolutely the type of thriller that I love to read. It wasn’t too overwhelmingly scientific, but just enough to where I could keep up and get excited about ideas and plots and characters and action. I LOVED it and highly recommend it!

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Blogmas Day 2: Christmas Readathon

FontCandy (31)If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that I am an addict when it comes to challenges and readathons. Over the past month or so, I have found a community of friends and bloggers who have taken me in, and within this group are the hosts for this event. To check out the original Christmas Readathon Challenges page, check out Amy’s blog here! There is also a link to join up if you’re interested.

And now for the break down:

FontCandy (32)1) Read a book you can make a Christmas related word out of the title and/or authors name. You can choose one out of these 5 words to make: Christmas, Reindeer, Mistletoe, Bells, Jingle. 
A Christmas Carol
2) Read a book with a number between 1 to 12 in its title (e.g. Ready Player One)
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
3) Read a book you have been putting off to read for the entire year
Six of Crows
4) Read a book you got within the first 3 months of the year that is unread
TBA ….
5) Read an angel book
The Stupidest Angel
6) Read an extravagant/sparkly/beautiful/decorative book that is unread
TBA ….
7) Read a book set in winter
TBA ….
8) Read a book with a white or light blue cover
Mr. Dickens and His Carol
9) Read a book with snow on the cover
TBA ….
10) Read a book that has been on your TBR since last year
TBA ….
11) Read a book you have bought as a gift for a friend
TBA ….
12) Read a book with ‘Frost’, ‘Snow’, ‘Ice’, or ‘Light’ in the title
The Light Between Worlds

Are you doing any challenges or readathons this month? Looking forward to any bookish events? Let me know!

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Blogmas – Year 2!

Hi everyone! Thanks for sticking with me as I’ve had such a busy fall. Now winter is here (how is it December??) and things are calming down ever so slightly. Already the city I live in is buried under 10 inches of snow and more winter storms are forecasted. Mother Nature is absolutely wild, eh?

So December marks the first day of one of the biggest events of the year for me: Blogmas! I participated last year and it was a lot of fun, and a bit of a challenge. The goal of the game is to post every day until Christmas, so I am working on 25 holiday and bookish posts! I will try to keep things varied and fun, and we’ll see where the tide takes us!

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So let’s talk TBR’s! I have found a personal trend of making a monthly TBR for myself and rarely following it. I know myself and my reading habits well enough to know that I am a mood reader. However, I still set these lists for myself and hardly stick to them! But why? Well, my intentions are good. I know that I want to read what is on my TBR….there is just so much good content out there! How about you? Do you create monthly (quarterly? Yearly?) TBR plans for yourself? Do you stick to them?

For this month, my proposed TBR that I-probably-won’t-follow-except-for-a-couple is:
 – The Bear and the Nightingale
 – Six of Crows
 – Mr. Dickens and His Carol
 – A Christmas Carol

And that’s all I have for today! Until next time….!