The Hiatus is Over!

My blogging hiatus officially ended yesterday, but I ended up being really busy and didn’t have a chance to sit down and catch up on anything. I really enjoyed my blogging hiatus and ended up also taking a break from Twitter which sort of drove me crazy the first couple of days (my fingers were itching to open the app), but ultimately I think taking a break from both blogging and Twitter together was a good call. I’m still feeling my reading slump and didn’t read quite as much as I’d lhoped over the past week and a half, but I’ve kind of been dying to get back to blogging in general. I missed so many things about this community though and am ready to get back to discussing books with everyone. I will try to get to all the comments that I missed while away, but I do have a bit of blogging to catch up on including a couple of reviews, so don’t be surprised if I don’t get to them all. I hope everyone has had a lovely April so far. I’m so ecstatic to be back!

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag

This spring I have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do when it comes to my bookish life. This includes me taking care of all those tags I’ve got in my drafts. But I just could not resist when Elizabeth @ Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me for this (thank you!). I’m currently on hiatus, but I wanted to schedule a couple of posts while I was away and this tag just seemed perfect. Covers linked to Goodreads.

FLOWERS.
Look on your shelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I actually read a library copy of this one, but almost immediately ordered my own because I literally want to weep over McLemore’s words again.

GRASS.
What is a book that you find others like way more than you do?

I wouldn’t even say that I like Shatter Me at all. I read this one about five years back, so my memory’s a little iffy, but I just remember rolling my eyes a whole lot while doing so.

RAIN.
What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

Kasie West’s books always have a way of making me smile. P.S. I Like You was such a cute read, I almost wish it had never ended.

DEW.
What book made you feel alive?

I don’t know if it’s Leigh Bardugo’s characters or the excitement of Six of Crows, but this book gives me so many feels. I suddenly want to be a part of a team of criminals and pull some inconceivable heists. Who’s with me?

STORMS.
What book did you find unpredictable?

Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Long Game, sequel to The Fixer, completely pulled the rug out from under me. She shattered my very soul and I am forever broken because this is only a duology and how am I supposed to put myself back together again?

RAINBOW.
What was a book that you struggled with only to be happy that you read it in the end?

Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch kind of lost me when I first picked it up. There’s a lot of terminology you have to learn in order to understand this world, but ultimately I really enjoyed this one (enjoyed it even more the second time around) and the sequel was all kinds of amazing.

CHILLY WEATHER.
What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

I still don’t really get why so many liked Vic James’s Gilded Cage. I really wanted to like this one, but the characters just did not do anything for me.

WARM WEATHER.
What book did you love and want more of?

I mentioned this in my review of Rhoda Belleza’s Empress of a Thousand Skies, but it was far too short! I needed more of these characters and story and I’m so stoked for the sequel.

GREEN.
What book have you not read yet but really want to?

I am dying to read Ibi Zoboi’s American Street. Before I went on hiatus, I requested this book because I will need some amazing reading material while I’m away from the blog.

PINK.
What book made you feel a strong connection to the characters?

There are a couple of mini reviews I’ve written that I wish I had not been in a bit of a writing slump because they are so deserving of all the praise. Meg Medina’s Burn Baby Burn is one of them. I connected with the protagonist Nora almost from the very start and I can’t wait to get my own copy so I can reread it.

PURPLE.
What book makes you feel safe when you read it?

My comfort book is definitely Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read this story, I fall in love with it every time I pick it up. It’s also my comfort movie.

ORANGE.
What book do you feel is intelligently written?

Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is one of the most brilliant books I’ve ever read. Thomas’s story touches on so many subjects, I’m just amazed she was able to fit so much into this book.

YELLOW.
What book puts a smile on your face?

I love Natasha and Daniel so much. Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star made me so unbelievably happy. I think I’ve written off every single case of insta-love I’ve come across, but I will fight you to the death defending these two. So good.

If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself officially tagged!

Hiatus Time!

Last November I took a necessary break from the blog for personal reasons. It was the first time since I started blogging that I chose to step away from the blog and the break was something I look back on fondly. Recently I’ve been struggling with blogging and reading. I feel like I’ve only been able to put in half the effort I usually do and it’s really starting to get to me. I’ve been feeling really scatterbrained over the last month and there are some days where I feel stretched so thin, it’s hard to find the motivation to do anything book or blogging related. All this is leading up to me taking a little blogging break. From April 12th through the 21st, I’ll be on hiatus. For me, this means I won’t be on the blog and I’ll be shutting off my WordPress notifications. I will have a couple of posts scheduled to go up while I’m away, but I won’t be responding to any comments until I come back. I will still be on Twitter. I haven’t decided how much, but I have no plans as of now to stay off it while on hiatus. If you need me, Twitter or email is the way to go.

Spring Cleaning: Bookworm Edition

If you’re like me, when it comes to your books (physical, digital, or ones you only wish you had), you’re a little disorganized. I have an absurd amount of books on my TBR and this number just seems to grow every week. The books on my shelves have no real order and if I’m honest, I own far too many which I’ll probably never open again. My Goodreads shelves lack the kind of organization I see from other users, making me question my lackluster methods. And when it comes to knowing exactly what’s on my TBR, I don’t always know because my Amazon wishlists do not always match what’s on my Goodreads TBR. There’s also the blog to think about as well, I’ve been sitting on a number of posts and I’m not sure they’ll ever be ready to publish. So this month and next, I want to spend some time cleaning out and organizing my bookish life. There is obviously so much to get to, but I wanted to share ten ways I plan on tackling the disorganization and hopefully this gives you a few idea if you’re looking to do a little spring cleaning yourself.

1. Deleting Books on My TBR – If you have only 30 or 300 books on your TBR, it’s always a good idea to evaluate which books you really intend to read and those it’s okay to cross off.

  • What I’ll be doing: Going through the 380 books I currently have on my Goodreads To-Read shelf and delete books I know I won’t be reading. I’m hoping to bring this number way down (under 300?), though that might be too optimistic.

2. Organizing My TBR – Sometimes there are certain books on my TBR that I want to read before any others, but I’m not always good at keeping track of these and before I know it, a year has passed by.

  • What I’ll be doing: Creating a shelf of high-priority reads, so next time I’m trying to figure out what to read next, I’m considering these books first.

3. Book Unhaul  It’s time. I can’t recall when my last unhaul was, but I’m feeling the need to get rid of several books from my shelves.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: Asking myself the tough questions – Do I need this book? Will I reread this one? Is it important for me to keep an old favorite if I’m not really interested anymore? Will I ever finish this series and if not, why do I need to keep these earlier books?

4. Reorganize My Bookshelves – I’ve been meaning to move my books around. There’s really no set way I have them all set up and I’d like to change this.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: I’ve tried almost every way imaginable to organize my shelves and I think the one that works out the best for me is alphabetically. It may seem boring, but I like knowing where books are right off the bat rather than have to study my own shelves to quickly locate a book.

5. Clean Out Blog Drafts – I can’t even tell you how many of my blog drafts are actually posts I plan on publishing. I’m pretty sure some of them are titled but are completely blank.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: Completely all those drafts I have that are currently collecting dust. Deleting any I haven’t the time to do or are not interested in anymore.

6. Create/Organize Library Holds Lists – My library’s website allows me to create lists of items and I’ve been using this to try and keep track of books I’d like to request, but they are currently not as organized as I’d like.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: Creating several different lists to help me decide what to request for hold next. This should also help when I’m floundering about what to read next.

7. Reconcile Amazon and Goodreads Lists – I have several (small estimate, it’s probably in the dozens) books on one platform that aren’t on the other.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: Doing a lot of back and forth between the two platforms to ensure whatever books are on my TBR on one are also on the other.

8. Get Blogging Planner Up-to-Date – Whenever I get into a slump, I start slacking when it comes to my blogging planner. I have been slacking big time.

  • What I’ll Be Doing: Take some serious time working on my blogging planner. The farther ahead I plan, the better.

9. Put Unwanted Books Up For Sale – This is something that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while, but I’m thinking of putting the books from my unhaul up for sale.

  • What I’ll Be Doing – I’m giving myself until the end of summer to sell any books I can and whatever is left over, I’ll be donating. I really have no idea how I’ll be doing this, but if you have any experience doing so, I’d love to hear from you. I’ve been thinking of putting them up on half.com, Amazon, or setting up a Paypal account and doing it myself.

10. Lowering the Number of People I Follow – Do you ever look at your Twitter, Bloglovin, or WordPress account and wonder why you follow so many people if you don’t interact with them?

  • What I’ll Be Doing: I’ve already started cleaning out my bloglovin account. It’s actually kind of sad seeing how many bloggers I still follow whose blogs are no longer active. I also want to evaluate who I’m following based on if we interact and if I ever visit their blog. I really want to clean up my feeds, so the people and blogs I’m interested in following don’t get lost among the ones I’m not.

Are you planning any Spring Cleaning this season? When’s the last time you did a book unhaul? How do you organize your TBR list? Have you ever sold any of your books online? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Monthly Wrap-Up: March ’17

MonthlyWrap-UPMuch to my own astonishment, I picked up seven books this month. I say astonishment because I’ve been combating a bit of a reading slump these past couple of weeks. I could read, but I really had to make myself pick up a book. This month I participated in a readalong of Jane Austen’s Emma which I found so enjoyable. I’m planning on taking a little blogging hiatus in April, so you can look for that post around the 12th. I feel myself falling into a blogging/reading funk and I don’t want to continue to force myself into finishing posts/books. This month I also posted my book haul for the last three months and surprisingly, I wasn’t as out of control as I thought I was. Progress, people.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.)

Favorite Book This Month:

If you’re breathing, you’ve probably heard of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. If this book isn’t on your TBR, it needs to be. Buy it. Request it. Read it.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

All the books I read this month received a positive rating from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read But Not Reviewed Yet:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR List – I’ve stopped making TBR lists every month, but every once in a while I don’t mind taking a look forward and sharing what books I’m hoping to get to.

2017 First Quarter Book Haul – I bought some really amazing books these last three months. I’ve read quite a few and the rest are ones I’m really excited to pick up.

Reading Challenges:

I’m starting to fall behind on my Flights of Fantasy challenge. I’ve been meaning to pick up more fantasy books, but I just haven’t really found the time.

1. The 2017 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This month I read two debuts: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 8 books

2. Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017 is hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Cherry. This month I read The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.

  • Challenge Goal: 20 books; Current Count: 5 books

April Releases I’m Excited For:

   

Month in Review

Which March read was your favorite? What’s on your spring TBR? Let me hear from you in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.

2017 First Quarter Book Haul: In Which I Show Some (But Not Much) Restraint

I had a beautiful series of photos for this book haul post. I spent extra time laying them out and editing and they looked amazing. And then I realized I forgot to include my current read and because that’s been the way my life’s been going lately, this post will only include one new hastily taken photo. I’ve been itching to buy a few books this month, but I held back because I really didn’t know how many books I’d accumulated in the last three months. And surprisingly, I didn’t buy as many books as I thought I did. I should celebrate by buying those books I’ve been eyeing. Ha! Click any image below to enlarge. Title are linked to Goodreads.

New Books:

1. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – This conclusion to the Shades of Magic series was everything I dreamed it would be. Read my review here.

2. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi – Chokshi’s writing in her debut The Star-Touched Queen blew me away. I’m really excited to pick up this sequel.

3. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza – I loved this science-fiction debut and it just ended way too soon because these characters were amazing. Read my review here.

4. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this author and I can’t believe I’ve held on to this book for so long without reading it.

5. Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I’ve been eyeing this author’s other novel Certain Dark Things, but this one sounded too amazing to pass up.

6. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig – I’m currently reading this sequel right now! The Girl From Everywhere was one of my favorite debuts last year and I’m already loving this follow up.

7. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – This book is amazing! I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a more compelling protagonist and I’m still thinking about this novel almost two months later. Read my review here.

8. The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera – I loved this debut. The characters felt so real and even though the protagonist was delightfully flawed. Read my review here.

9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – The book of 2017 that everyone’s been talking about finally debuted and it was a knockout. Please find the time to read this book this year, you won’t be disappointed. Read my review here.

10. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez – I won a diverse book of choice from Rich in Color and picked this novel which I’ve been dying to read forever. I still haven’t gotten a chance to read it, but I will very soon.

11. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis – I loved this read from McGinnis and it took me far too long to obtain a copy. Read my review here.

12. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – This was a super cute contemporary read and when I saw the paperback super cheap, I thought I’d treat myself. Read my review here.

13. By Your Side by Kasie West – My go-to feel-good author is definitely Kasie West. Also, it’s always hard to resist super cheap books. Read my mini review here.

14. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin – This was my first purchase this year because I need to try N.K. Jemisin. I’m really looking forward to this one.

15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (illustrated by Alice Pattullo) – And the final book purchase I’m sharing is my favorite. I’ve been talking about this edition of Pride and Prejudice forever and I finally got my hands on it. This book is so beautiful, it makes me want to weep. You can take a look at the rest of my photo set for this book here. You’re welcome to tear up too.

What’s your favorite book purchase this year? Have you been purchasing any debuts so far this year?