Book haul, Bookish Thoughts, July, Monthly Wrap-Up, Random Thoughts, Wrap-Ups

Book haul|June  

We’re just about halfway through July but I wanted to share a few of the books that I purchased– and remembered to take pictures of. I have a bad habit of forgetting to jot down the books as I buy them, or at least take pictures, which then leads me to buy another copy of a book I already own 😦

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been on an e-book reading kick. It’s just far easier for me to quickly download a book, no matter where I am, and read it at that moment in time, as opposed to buying the book and waiting until I have free time to read it.

Books I Pre-Ordered:

I Call Upon Thee by Ania Ahlborn (Release Date: August 7, 2017)

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover (Release Date: October 3, 2017)

e-books I purchased:

Woman On the Eadge by Marge Piercy

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Books I purchased:


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Book Outlet had yet another amazing sale (no surprise there) and I had to take advantage! 🙂 I didn’t notice I bought two copies of Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. I may have to do some kind of giveaway soon along with other books I already own copies of.

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

The Most Dangerous Animal of All by Gary L. Stewart with Susan Mustafa

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Evil At Heart by Chelsea Cain

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall

Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

That Night by Chevy Stevens

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Bitter Almonds by Lilas Taha

 

It was a great month for book buying but I seriously need to buckle down and start working on my TBR. I have lots of plans for this second half of the year and my money needs to go to those plans… but then books go on sale and all I do is buy, buy, BUY! I’ve already bought a handful of books and e-books… 😦 other than a few pre-orders I have on Amazon, I really don’t think I’ll be missing out on anything, right??

Happy Reading,

R.

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Bookish Thoughts, Features, July, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

E-Readers vs Physical Books 

This is a very tiring argument but I wanted to add my own two cents…

Nothing beats the experience of walking into a bookstore and inhaling that beautiful scent of books, or grabbing a book and flipping through the pages, or just holding it in your hands feeling the smoothness of the book. It just feels… right.

It was just a few short years ago when I joined the dark side. I bought my first tablet in 2013, but I went in completely clueless and blindsided. Notice I said tablet. I was not familiar at all to the digital world as far as ebooks went but I had heard about the Nook from Barnes & Noble and headed to the store to check out was all the fuss was about. The Nook HD was pretty pricey but from what I read and what was explained to me, it was worth it. Of course the employees would talk up their product, right? Well, I purchased it anyway because I really thought I would use it.

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At first, I loved it, I even bought a cute little case for it thinking this was going to be a great tool for me. That feeling quickly evaporated, I maybe read one book on that thing. I was so distracted with the countless other options it had I pretty much forgot what I intended to use it for. On top of that, I couldn’t be on the tablet more than maybe 30 minutes because it would strain my eyes. I eventually let my kids use it as a way to keep them busy while I was doing other things, and for me, passing things on to my kids means that I’m pretty much over that particular fad.

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I used it maybe for an entire year before I switched to the Amazon Kindle. Best. Decision. Ever. I had the Kindle App on my Nook but because I didn’t like how it hurt my eyes, I figured an actual e-reader would be the better option. This time around, I did my research and went to Best Buy to buy this handy little gadget.

I went everywhere with this ereader. I took it to work, read it as I put my kids to sleep. I really did do a lot of reading on it. It helped that Amazon has a bunch of great deals on their ebooks. At the time, I didn’t even think about night time reading. It just didn’t cross my mind. I still hadn’t fully converted into the digital world so this was enough for me. It was another year before I realized that I could be doing a lot of reading during the dark hours of the night.

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I eventually got my favorite ereader of all time, the 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite. I absolutely love this one. I take it everywhere with me and even thought it’s in great condition as far as the surface, it is now laggy because of all the books I own. I recently cleaned it up a bit and flushed out all the books I won’t read, have read and organized them. The battery life is great and I am so grateful for this gadget. E-Readers are a matter of convenience for me and I am not ashamed to admit that I mainly read ebooks. I buy physical books with the intention of reading it, but more often than not, I purchase an ebook copy so I can read it during my lunch break or at nighttime– which are essentially the only times I get to myself.

I don’t like the argument that one is better than the other because reading should be enjoyable no matter the format. For some, it’s more comfortable to read a physical book, and for others, it’s just easier to carry a lightweight piece of technology that holds thousands of ebooks that are at hand if you’re in the mood to read something different everyday. Also, I personally don’t like to carry a book around in my purse where it can get damaged, because I have kid-ninjas that like to go through my stuff behind my back.

Do you have a preference? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading,

R.

 

Book haul, Bookish Thoughts, Features, July, Monthly Wrap-Up, Update, Wrap-Ups

Quick Wrap-Ups + Mini Reviews

It’s been months since I’ve done any kind of wrap-ups and I don’t think I’ve done any reviews. So I’m going to quickly summarize my thoughts on the books I’ve been reading these last few months…

April 2017:

33140405Naughty Boss by Whitney G.

⭐⭐⭐

This was my first Whitney G. read after reading my favorite novellas Reasonable Doubt. I was craving more of her work and although I enjoyed it, Nuaghty Boss was nothing compared to RD. Maybe I was expecting too much after reading those novellas but this came up a little short for me. This didn’t stop me from reading any more of her books, though. I’ll talk about those a little later.

 

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Charade by Nyrae Dawn

⭐⭐⭐

I came across this author because her second book was in the clearance section at Barnes & Noble. I picked it up and even ordered the third installment and the first installment on Amazon. I wasn’t sure what this book was about but it was a fun read. It was one of those where I wasn’t in a hurry to pick it up and read it but whenever I did, I didn’t want to put it down. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

May 2017:

 

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was dreading finishing this series. When I first read TUMD, I loved it. Re-reading the first two books reminded me of why I enjoyed this series so much. It was dark and had its spooky moments. It took me this long to finish it because I didn’t want to leave the characters, then I found out that Noah Shaw was going to have his own series and I quickly jumped on it so I can be ready for his story. I had the book the day it came out and was super happy to finish it.

 

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a beautifully written story. I kind of predicted the ending, rather it was more of a hunch, and wasn’t too surprised that that’s what it was. Still, I loved everything about it. It was raw and it was real. It resonates with what is going on in today’s society, and if this doesn’t open your mind and your eyes, then there is something wrong with you. It was a tough read at some points, but I think that was the premise. It’s not a fun read and it will most likely hit close to home, but I definitely recommend this book to those looking for a more diverse read. One of my favorite books of 2017.

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Dirty Doctor by Whitney G.

⭐⭐⭐

This was another miss of Whitney G.’s for me. I still enjoyed it as the wit and humor of all Whitney’s characters is very entertaining, but other than that I found the characters annoying and the plot was just too quickly wrapped up. This still didn’t dissuade me from reading her books, though 😉

 

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This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book by Jennifer E. Smith that I actually finished. I’ve started a few of her other books but never seemed to catch my interest past the first few pages. But for some reason, this one was the one to get me to fall in love with her writing. She develops her characters so well as well as her

 

June 2017:

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren ⭐⭐⭐⭐

As much as I enjoyed this book, it was a three-star rating for me. The one subject in this book that I appreciated above everything else was that it spoke about sexism in a working environment. This is a topic that is still taboo and needs to be open to a wider range of people. Overall, I loved reading about the jobs of these TV/movie agents in Hollywood and enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters. Having read Beautiful Bastard a few years ago (and loving it), I was expecting it to be much steamier than what it really was, but to be honest, I was okay with that.

Bossman by Vi Keeland⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been on such a contemporary romance kick that a lot of these books starting to blur a little bit, and with this one in particular, I was reading two books at one time (the other one being Cocky Bastard) and ended up loving the other one more than this one. The heroine in this book was smart and funny but to me she was missing some spunk. Especially in comparison to the hero of this story who came on strong and was aggressive in his pursue of her. The attraction was hot and again, the witty banter between the two main characters was funny and very entertaining. Vi Keeland has a way with words, let me tell you! 😉

Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward⭐⭐⭐⭐

This would have been a five star for me had it not been for the lying on the main character’s part. For me, starting any kind of relationship on that kind of note is a deal breaker, no matter the intentions. That’s just a small pet peeve of mine. I know in this case it’s fictional, but to me it’s still cringe-worthy. Other than that, this was another great red for me. Vi Keeland teamed up with Penelope Ward and I have to say, they know how to write great characters. Was a fun summer read.

Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward⭐⭐⭐⭐

I rated it for stars only because there is no option for “3.5” on Goodreads. I mentioned earlier how I don’t like relationships based on lies, well, I despise when a story involves a manipulative ex. It almost bothered me to the fact that I wanted to stop reading but I wanted to support Keeland and Ward since I really enjoy their character development and the I loved the banter between these two characters. I loved how the heroine handled the situation with the ex and especially how she could keep up with the hero of this story. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, fast moving story plus excellent characters.

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.⭐⭐⭐⭐

To me, a great and long-lasting relationship is when it starts off as a friendship because you’ve already seen them at their worst and you know what that person is capable of and you know their heart and understand where they came from. Those are my favorite kind of love stories. Which is why I enjoyed this one so much. These two characters have such a strong connection, you just know they’re meant to be together. I didn’t too much like how they would literally put their significant other on hold for each other, but I guess those side relationships weren’t all that important to them in the first place. I wasn’t expecting such a sweet story from Whitney G. especially after reading a steamy series of hers previously. But I really liked this one and definitely recommend it.

Sincerely, Arizona by Whitney G.⭐⭐⭐

This short novella, however, I could have done without. Whitney G. mentions that she would have added it as an epilogue to Sincerely, Carter and I really wish she would have done that. It was already short, but a lot of the details could have been cut. It was a sweet and fun short read.

Cocky Bastard by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay, so the hero in this story is Australian. Enough said.

But seriously. It was a sexy, fun read that I finished this one in a matter of days, I couldn’t put it down. The two main characters meet in Nebraska, of all places, and their mini adventure begins from there. I wanted the whole book to be on this high but then all of a sudden we get thrown to a “two years later” dealio that caught me off guard. Regardless, it was an enjoyable read from beginning to end and highly recommend it.

July 2017:

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Ego Maniac by Vi Keeland⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Apparently, I have a thing for guys that are full of themselves, because these heroes that Keeland and Ward write about I happen to fall in love with (shhh! Don’t tell my bf!) Not only is he charming and sexy, but with the addition of a funny and gorgeous redheaded heroine, you know this relationship is going to be steamy! These characters were well developed and had such depth to them it was hard not to enjoy this book. They’re both perfect characters who are perfect for each other with the perfect chemistry. This was another winner for me 🙂

Booktubeathon, Features, July, Update, Weekly Update

Life + Reading Updates + Booktubeathon

Hellooo!! We are more than halfway through 2017 and lots has been going on! Summer is just starting to really heat up and I am dreading those restless, sticky, humid, dry heat time of the year 😦 on a much more positive note, we have had lots of family time! 🙂 I have been spending a lot of one on one time with each of  my kids, as a family we’ve visited a number of zoos and aquariums here in SoCal and my kiddos are at the perfect age to appreciate the animals and be in awe about it all. This has been my favorite part of Spring/Summer so far. The younger ones probably won’t remember these trips but I will forever cherish these moments.

In regards to reading, I’ve been doing really well. According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I am actually two books ahead of schedule. I read nohting but contemporary romance in June– I’ve been on a Vi Keeland kick, as I read four or five of her books. Whitney G. is also another author that I have read a few books of and enjoyed. Back in May, I reread and finally finished the Mara Dyer series. It’s been a long time coming and now I can’t wait for the Noah Shaw spinoff!

Here’s what I read in June:

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But as far as getting reading in July though, I have read zero books 😦 which is why I have decided to participate in Booktubeathon. I do plan on filming a TBR video and joining the challenges but through Twitter/Instagram. I don’t have the books ready just yet, but will post the list and the video on here soon so you guys can check it out. I’m nervous about being in front of the camera, but excited because I want to venture in to the BookTube community.

Tell me: are you going to participate in Booktubeathon? Will this be your first time participating? If not, do you have any tips to make filming easier? I would love any and all ideas!

Hope your summer is going well!

R.

 

 

Bookish Thoughts, Features, Random Thoughts

Self-Help vs Non-Fiction vs Every Other Genre

Just like most readers, I have my favorite genres: psychological thriller and horror. I read a lot of contemporary romance and recently got into sports romance (I really did not know that was a thing until I did some research and found out there are lots and lots of sports romance books) and occasionally read sci-fi/dystopian, and I’ll read biographies if they’re interesting enough and/or if it’s about a person or celebrity I really like. I have a few favorite Young Adult authors (some of which I’ve met!). I also love historical fiction, but would rather read a story based on actual historical facts. Although, I’m not too fond of Non-Fiction books all that much either. All in all, I like to think I’m a well-rounded, well-read, erm, reader… person?

With all that said, I tend to be more of a mood reader. I will read whatever I am in the mood to read. Sometimes, I can be in a dark place mentally and I need to read darker books. Books that are mind twisters and will leave you feeling somber. On the flip side, there are times where reality (read: politics, news) has me already feeling somber and disgusted with humanity that I need a quick, light, fluffy read to get me out of my own head and keep me away from the internet. There usually is no in between for me.

There is one genre, though, that just can’t seem to pique my interest. It doesn’t do anything for me, and I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way- self-help books. I’ve tried reading self-help books, but to me, it is redundant to read something that you could be helping yourself to physically do in the first place, you know? Like, from the summaries I gather from a lot of these books, it’s really common sense. I know why I am the way I am. I know I can be cruel, cold, distant and unapproachable, but I promise you I am a happy, content, confident, kind, genuine and honest person. I am like any other person who can be insecure and confused and lonely but I refuse to let those down times define who I am and what I want to be. I don’t need to read in a book that everything you do or have or want is all based on choices. You have to love yourself before you can love another person. Keep moving forward. I’ve learned and taught myself these cliches from a very young age and have since gained that much more experience.

I understand that this may seem like I’m bashing self-help books, I’m really not. I’m simply saying that self-help, in my opinion, are pointless. If it helps you be a better person, great. But you can’t live life experiences from a book. You have to go out and make mistakes and take risks and CHOOSE to be happy. It’s far easier to be sad or angry, but what you give into the world, you get back. I believe in that. I believe in energies and karma and anything in relation to that.

I’m not a perfect person, in fact, I’ll be the first to admit I am very contradicting. I won’t ever take my advice no matter how right I am (and 9.5 times out of ten, I am right), but still, I am a very happy person. I may not look like it because I’m not this bubbly, perky, smiley person, but I promise you, I am very content with where I am in life right now.

Life is too short to defend the kind of books you read, so please, don’t let me discourage you from reading what you like, but self-help books aren’t for me. I have maybe a few on my bookshelves, but I don’t think they’ve ever been read. The main reason I read is to take me to another place, just temporarily. I like feeling like I’m in another world sometimes. I’d rather not read from another person, who is imperfect and also going through life’s motions like I am, advising me on how I should do… something to live a better life, or a more fuller life, or whatever kind of life, or to be happy. I think being happy is subjective, anyway.

 

Just wanted to share my thoughts on this subject.

Happy reading,

R.

Book haul, March

March Book Haul & Wrap-Up

HAPPY APRIL! 🙂  We are officially a quarter into 2017 and this year has flown by, don’t you think? Anyway, reading wise last month sucked balls; I only read two books. Neither were five star reads but I enjoyed them both enough. Julianna Keyes’ Undeclared (sequel to Undecided) was a major disappointment. At them moment I can’t remember what rating I gave it on Goodreads, but if I gave it a three I was being generous. I completely loved her first book and had high hopes for this one, unfortunately it fell very short. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters, in fact I thought the entire plot was pretty dull and it took me almost all month to finish it. I figured it would pick up at some point, but it didn’t. If there’s a third installment I’ll read it, or if she comes out with another book I’ll read that, too. I’m not giving up on Keyes just yet. I also read Dare You To by Katie McGarry. I’ve heard nothing but great things about her Pushing the Limits series and I have to admit, so far so good. I really enjoyed the sequel. Quite possibly a little more than the first one. It felt like it was maybe a little more raw and edgier than the first one as far as what her main character had to go through, still, I couldn’t put it down.

 

Books I bought:

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I stopped by Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago and they had a great clearance section. Usually they don’t, or at least it never catches my fancy, but this time they had such great books that I went back a second time to get more. I am suuuuuuper excited to read teh Stephen King companion. It has some amazing pictures and stories in there.

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Before Book Outlet began their crazy sale (more on that in a future post), I wanted to purchase a few books on there just because. Two aren’t picture in here because I already had a copy of both so I didn’t want to haul them. The Inexpolicable Logic of My Life was a pre-order and am looking forward to reading it. I haven’t read any reviews and am staying away from them for as long as I can because I don’t want to spoil anything.

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We went to a rummage sale a few weekends ago and there was an entire section dedicated to books and they were a score!! These were all the books I got there. They are all in really good condition, too 🙂

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That Book Outlet box is the first of two orders. I haven’t opened it because I’m thinking of filming my first ever BookTube video (still not sure yet) so I kind of want to surprise myself. Either way, there will be another post showing what my books orders were. I can’t wait! 🙂

e-Books I bought:

Also bought a few ebooks that were on sale because I’ve been reading a lot on my Kindle/tablet lately more so than physical books.

So, yeah. I am that crazy cat lady… but with books because I don’t like cats.

How was your March? read any good books? Bought any interesting books? Let me know!

R.

 

Book Meme, March, Top 10, Weekly Update

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Authors I Want To Meet or Have Met

The first five are authors I am dying to meet (in no particular order):

1. Stephen King: because obviously, amiright? King of Horror. Wrote one of my favorite horror books in The Shining and I have been obsessed with this man for yeeeeeaaaaarrrsssss. Not only is horror, but it’s more psychological and it is because of his stories that psychological thriller is my favorite genre.

2. Dean Koontz: I was 11 years old when I read Tick Tock. It was my favorite book for so long and I kept my copy nice and clean up until three years ago when my kids tore it up (grrrr) and then spilled juice on it (grrrrr x10). I finally came across another copy with a different copy and you should have seen me dancing in the aisle when I found it! 🙂 I actually yelped! Hahaha seriously. I will be honest and say I haven’t read anything else by him but I have been collecting his books ever since. Once I have all of his work, I will read them.

3. Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (because we all know they’re a package deal): Besides a couple of novellas, I have read all of Colleen Hoover’s books. I didn’t know who she was up until maybe four years ago and quickly loved her writing. When she came out with the Never, Never series, Tarryn Fisher won me over and have been obsessively reading her work, too.

4.Stephanie Perkins: because Lola is one of my all-time favorite characters.

5. Michelle Hodkin: because her Mara Dyer series is one of my favorite series even though I have yet to read the final book. I remember pre-ordering The Retribution of Mara Dyer and anticipating it only for me to not read it three years later because I do not want the series to end. I do have plans to start the series over and finally finish it but I am dreading it.

The following authors I have met and loved an am looking forward to meet again (in no particular order):

6. Gretchen McNeil: she was the sweetest and I am hoping to get more of her books to sign. Possess is one of my favorite YA Horror books. I love that she is just as obsessed with that genre as I am, and she has an appreciation for it like I do.

7. Kiersten White: She was so quirky and so funny, it’s easy to see why people love her books so much. Definitely one of my favorites in the YA contemporary genre.

8. Tahereh Mafi: because her Shatter Me series is one of my favorites. She is so kind and beautiful and when I meet her again I will not be shy and awkward.

9. Lauren Oliver: because as a fan I owe her a do over. I was so shy and embarrassed that one of the books I had her sign I hadn’t read and she asked me about it and I looked dumb. I was just starstruck because Pandemonium is one of my all-time favorite books and I wanted to talk to her about that one but she was promoting Vanishing Girls and I was just lost.

10. Robin Reul: because her book is the very first ARC I’ve ever won since joining the booktube community and it holds a special place in my heart. I met her and she was so funny and gorgeous and sweet and I felt bad I only had the ARC and not a finished copy.

The following authors are ones I wish I had met:

11. Emily Dickinson: my favorite poet of all-time.

12. Afeni Shakur: because 2pac.

13. Maya Angelou: main reason because she’s a phenomenal woman.

14. William Peter Blatty: because the movie based on his novel ruined my childhood… and I LOVE IT.

15.Edgar Allen Poe: because after reading his poetry in middle school, it put me in a dark place and I wrote pretty cryptic poetry (words of my 7th grade English teacher. Never forgot) and my childhood wasn’t even all that bad during this particular time. 7th grade is actually one of my favorite years of school career.