Bookweb vaLITine Readathon – TBR

Hey Guys,

I’m coming a little late with my TBR for the Bookweb vaLITine Readathon happening throughout the month of February. For those of you that you don’t know what this is about, I’m linking here the announcement video from chaptercviii. There are a lot of challenges, there are a lot of books you can read, but you can also double up on them. The challenges marked with an * there is no book, just bookish activities. So here is my TBR, where books are needed:

  1. OLD LOVE: read an old favorite or a book that brings back fond memories

Here I’m considering Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. It was one of the first books I read and analyzed. Never dared to review it officially though.

  1. BLACK HISTORY MONTH: read a book written by a Black author

Special by Chino Chakanga – it was sent to me by the author and I cannot wait to discover the story

3*. LOVE NOTE: spend at least 30 minutes (over the course of the month) leaving comments on videos, Instagram posts, blog posts, etc. of creators that you appreciate

This is already happening 🙂

  1. THAT’S MY TYPE: read a book either recommended to you or extremely IN your comfort zone (your favorite genre, author, tropes, etc.)

Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor – Historical Romance. I seem to be reading a lot of it lately and loving it! 

  1. FIRST DATE: read an author’s debut

Killer Domes and the Chosen One by Gibbo Gibbs – I have a copy of this book since December. Now it’s time I give it the proper attention!

6*. SHOW AND TELL: talk about a favorite book on your social media platform of choice and show it off with a picture

Will do! Probably it will be my favorite book from January.

  1. SKINNY LOVE: read a book under 200 pages

The Sea in Me by A Kelly – 149 pages 🙂

  1. LOVE TRIANGLE: read a book that is part of a trilogy

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – I am buddy reading this one with Astrid, over at Book Lover Book Reviews and I am already behind since today I haven’t read one single page of it!

  1. SHARING IS CARING: replace this challenge with any challenge from another readathon taking place in February (one I would recommend is #Blackathon )

Well, I may be cheating here, because I am using this challenge to start my Romanceopoly board (more about Romanceopoly in the following days). So I am using the Sun Challenge of Sleuth Street:  Read a mystery where the title of the book includes any words associated with death. For example: death, grave, bones etc. And my choice is A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot

10*. BUBBLE BATH: read in a bubble bath (this can be replaced with another comfort activity if you’re not one for baths)

Oh, yes!

  1. LIBRARY LOVER’S MONTH: read a book from the library

Hmm…  not sure what to choose here, because I may not have time to reach the library. But give me a sec!

  1. ONE MAN’S TRASH: read a book that you’ve seen someone HATE or UNHAUL

This one is easy – The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh. I love this series, but unfortunately, Jess from Peace Love Books (one of my favorite booktubers) does not like it L

13*. Simply tag the readathon on twitter or instagram using @readvalitines and use the tag #vaLITines on any social media platform ♥

Done that already and I’m gonna keep on doing it

  1. SET UP: read a book recommended to you by someone in your life

Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter – My other half recommended this book to me and I intend to read it!

  1. LONG TIME CRUSH: read a book that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, but SOMETHING always gets in the way

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I started reading it so many times before and, while I loved the part I did get to read, I never actually finished it (and I have all the books in the series bought!)

  1. THE NEWLY WEDS: read one of the most recent books added to your TBR

Doubling with challenge 7The Sea in Me by A Kelly

  1. MORE TO LOVE: read a book over 400 pages

Doubling with challenge 8 A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. NOT MY TYPE: read a book out of your comfort zone or read a book through a medium out of your comfort zone (audio books, e-book, graphic novel)

Doubling with challenge 14 – Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter

19*. TUNE IN: make a short playlist for your favorite book

Hmm…. I may have to come back to this one again. I’m not sure which book to pick.

  1. TOKEN OF AFFECTION: read a book that you received as a gift

I was gifted many of the books mentioned before in exchange for a review – I hope this counts. I’m choosing the same book as challenge 4 Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

  1. COMMITMENT ISSUES: start or continue a book series

Definitely Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

22*. LIFT THEM UP: share at least five creators that you love on the platform of your choosing (we encourage diversity in your recommendation and for you to share creators that are outside your immediate social circle)

I’ll get back on that as well…

  1. YOU SEE ME: read a book that you feel represents you in some way

This is a though one… rain check for now?

  1. SHALLOW: read a book that you definitely bought for the cover

There’s one book by Nora Roberts (it’s quite big) that I bought from an airport (in Warsaw I think) but I don’t have it right now with me (visiting my parents at the moment).

  1. PICTURE PERFECT: read a comic book, graphic novel, or picture book

Am I Ugly? by Siobhan Hill – this sounds like such a fun read! And the author is amazingly friendly!

 

Oh, there are a lot of books to read! I don’t want to fail it and I do want to keep up with the blogger challenges too. More on that in the following days.

This was exhausting to put together, but fun nonetheless. I will be hosting Twitter sprints on the official

bookweb ♥ vaLITines (@readvaLITines) channel, so be sure to follow and join the fun!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Weekly Quote #9

Hey All,

I hop you’ve started the week in good spirit and that you have enjoyed your weekend! In my case, I have no idea when last week ended. I had a lot to do for my “day job” and lost count of weekend hours. But it’s fine, I did manage to sneak in some good reading.

Today I am coming with a quote from “Unconditional” by Lexxie Couper, a book I have reviewed yesterday on my blog – here. This book is about a girl that comes to Australia on a scholarship and has her entire routine turned upside down. Her Parkinson’s Disease does not allow for much (in her opinion), but things change when she meets a very handsome (and famous) guy in the Australian Airport. Many things happen, some funny, some that would make you think. An interesting and intense book. Check it out!

I am always nervous when starting a new book. I have my expectations and I am afraid that those expectations will not be met. So for me it’s important how a book opens up, how well I am included in the story ever since the beginning. I did not have this issue with “Unconditional”. The tone used is so friendly and clean. I feel as if the main character would pause her life from time to time just to tell me bits and pieces.

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I have selected this quote not only because it describes perfectly our main character. Maci is so strong and refuses to bend to her illness. She fights it, to the best of her abilities and does not want to pose as a victim. But we also have the best sample of the writing. Just a simple phrase can speak a lot to the type of writing and story that we have here. This is what made me open up even more to “Unconditional”. It made me feel good, despite the serious aspects that are discussed here. Beautiful!

Well, that’s it for now. Come back tomorrow to check my thoughts on another absolutely fantastic story, by the lovely Olivia Drake. Until next time, happy reading !

Goodreads Choice Awards 2019

Ever since I discovered Goodreads I have enjoyed reading about the Choice Awards. It gives me a list of titles to add to my TBR for the next year. I must admit that is difficult to cast a proper vote, with so many books out there. Well, anyway here are the results to the categories I am mostly interested in.

  1. FICTION: The Testament by Margaret AtwoodThe Testament by Margaret Atwood

The winner is no surprise, taking into account that The Handmaid’s Tale has stirred a lot of discussions. I listened to half of it on Scribd, since actually reading it was a bit difficult to follow. The writing feels heavy somehow. Once I’ll have completed it, I’ll move to The Testament for sure.

  1. FANTASY: Ninth House by Leigh BardugoNinth House by Leigh Bardugo

It won with almost 20,000 votes more. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgensten had 35,351 votes while Ninth House had 53,430. Great Result! Sadly, my book of choice for this section, The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty, received 5,588 votes. I confess, I have not read it yet, but I own a physical copy and it’s on my list. I love the series so much!

  1. ROMANCE: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistonRed, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This was not such a complete surprise. 2018 and 2019have been the years of diversity. Most of the popular books have either an LGBT relationship or a different type of diverse character. But this book had 40,000 votes more than Verity by Colleen Hoover, which occupies second place. Wow! It also won the best Debut Novel.

  1. YOUNG ADULT FICTION: Five Feet Apart by Rachael LippincottFive Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Also my choice, it was expected. What surprises me here is the number of votes. I was expecting to see 50,000 or 70,000. The winner gathered 36,232. Looks life there are more romance readers out there 🙂

 

 

  1. YOUNG ADULT FANTASY: The Wicked King by Holly BlackThe Wicked King by Holly Black

I’ve heard mixed opinions about this one, but I am happy it won. My vote went to it as well, even if I did not read it yet.

 

 

  1. MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S: The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick RiordanThe Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

As expected. Lately, when one wants to buy a book for a kid, Rick Riordan is the best choice (I’m speaking from experience here).

 

 

What do you think? Do you agree with the choices? Which one of these books have you read? Did you cast a vote? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading!

2019 Goodreads Challenge – Stats

While I honestly did my best to complete my Goodreads challenge for 2019, I did not manage to do that. Well, what can I say? It happens… But I am quite happy with the 65 books I did read, according Goodreads. There are some more (maximum 7) that I have finished but did not review which I will not include in the following statistics. I will probably need to reread them this year anyhow, so that I am able to write a proper review.

Ok, Let’s see: 65 books read, with a total of 14,216 pages. My average rating is 4.4 stars. Hmmm, I’m one if the kind reviewers looks like. Longest book: Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon and shortest: Home for the Holidays by Eden Summers – both amazing books, I might add!

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The most and least popular books I have reviewed are: A Lie For A Lie by Helena Hunting and Corporate Christmas by Bernadette Marie. In case of this last one, I am sure it is because it was recently launched. It will quickly gain popularity for sure.

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For 2020 I intend to keep my goal of 100 books and I am sure I will be able to do complete it this time. I have 3 or 4 challenges I want to complete, one of which has over 50 books. More about them will follow soon.

How did you do in 2019? How many books have you finished or, if you are a writer, how many books or stories have you written? Goodluck to all participating in the Goodreads 2020 challenge! Until next time, Happy Reading!

Bookish Resolutions – 2020

I have to admit to myself finally that I have failed to achieve my Goodreads goal for 2019. Unfortunately it was not a good year for my blogging activity: not only I had weeks I was not able to post, I failed to achieve my bookish resolutions, I did not manage to post all my reviews in time or read all the books I really wanted to.

I want to leave the failures behind, leave the bad in 2019 and start 2020 in a good spirit, with a higher motivation. I have drafted these resolutions since mid-November and they don’t sound so difficult to achieve:

  1. Stay organized and plan ahead: in the beginning of December I looked up ideas on the internet of the best ways to plan my articles. I started a planner (nothing fancy, just enough to get me through) and added as well some brainstorming pages or pages fr special projects. I am quite excited! I used this method for these last couple of weeks and it gave great results. Of course, I need to stock to it because articles ain’t gonna write and plan themselves, ya know?

  1. Prepare (and use) a predefined template for my reviews, or my weekly and monthly articles: this will eliminate the time I spend adding the same pictures or preparing the same formatting.

  1. Spend more time on graphics: having a nice banner and creating some simple pictures for my quotes has been on my list for 2019 as well but I did not invest so much time into it. Well, with point 2 from above on the table, I can accomplish this.

  1. Be active on social media: simply because having friends is nice 🙂

  1. Develop the promo and beta reading pages: this blog is a cost for me. Even if I don’t mention it enough, I do buy books and I do pay for my domain. I would like to have at least a third of the expenses recovered. So I want to add some promo activity to it, at a (very) low price.

  1. Start statistics in Excel: I was inspired by Portal in the Pages to start a data base that would give me an overview of what I have read during the year. Hers is much more complex, mine is simple and focused on what I need to follow (like making sure I post my reviews on NetGalley as well!)

  1. Complete Romanceopoly: I will come back to this in the beginning of January but Romanceopoly is a yearlong readathon inspired by Monopoly and focused on romance books. Except the board, there are also challenges that the hosts are announcing throughout the year. I want to be 100% involved.

  1. Complete my Goodreads challenge: I’m sticking to 100 books again. It’s definitely doable, if I stick to reading!

  1. Promote more: I want to promote more my 5 star reads. I feel I am doing so little in this regard and I know I can do better, with proper planning 😉

  1. Enjoy: this blog started out of passion. I love reading, it’s what keeps me grounded, it’s what keeps the negative thoughts at bay. So I plan to enjoy every book, every picture I take or make, every minute spent planning!

 

Ok, I’d better stop now 🙂 every time I write these resolutions I feel motivated and empowered. I would love to hear what your bookish resolutions are for 2020, so drop a message below and let’s chat 🙂splash

Happy New Bookish Year!

November Wrap Up and December TBR (?)

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Hey Guys,

December is here! I don’t know if I should be excited for the festive days ahead, or sad that another year is close to an end. I cannot help myself not to think about some of the things I would have wanted to achieve in 2019, but I still have one month to go, so let’s see 😊

Looking back on November, I am quite happy with the amount of reading done. I did not manage to complete all books, but I read a lot of great ones. Here with the list:

For the end of the year, my plan is to read as much as possible because I am so behind my Goodreads goal: 56 out of 100! I have 44 to go and in one month is not reachable. But at least I will try. So this time I won’t make a TBR 😊 I have an idea about the book tours I need to attend this month, but my primary focus it to READ A LOT and try to reach those 100 books.

I may read some novellas, listen to some audiobooks…

Let the countdown begin!

 

 

Weekly Quote #7

Happy Monday!

How was last week? I read a lot, I have enjoyed most of the books and I am so happy about it. I have also finished crocheting another doily. Sadly, I also realized that I am so far behind my goal of 100 books this year and I have no idea how to catch up.

One of the books I have finished is “Hot Nights in Morocco” by Catherine Wiltcher. I have two quotes and one more that will be included in the review (also up on my blog today).

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This was one of the many funny lines in this book. I loved it to the core and it made me feel good. All 400 pages! I don’t quite believe that swearing is a sign of intelligence. There should be other ways one can express the wits. But I do agree that somehow all the nerves need to come out and maybe a bad word helps. I am not encouraging this, but I sometimes recur to less… appropriate collocations. So, moving on:

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Both characters in this book have baggage and are not ready to give up their walls. But in the process of falling in love, they somehow hut each other. Jake has a stronger personality and his words hurt, same as his actions. Charlie is overwhelmed by the new world she has discovered, but she is quickly wrapped up in the famous producer. So they both end up doing more damage then intended.

This was a great story and I do invite you to check my review and learn more about this book. Also, I would really want to know what are your plans for the week, so leave your comments below and let’s chat 😊

Weekly Quote #6

Hey there!

New week, new quote, new books to read, many new things! But enough about me, how are you guys? Any interesting plans for this week? Any new books? Got some to recommend ?

This Saturday I finished “Anyone but Cade” by Penelope Bloom and I’ve been quoting this book to so many people! It has so many great lines. Penelope Bloom is amazing, it’s hard to imagine it’s my first book by her. What have I been reading?! If you want to read my thoughts on this book, head over to my review here. You can also check my Facebook or Pinterest page for more quotes from this book and many others (buttons on the right side), but let me get to the one I chose for today:

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It was a difficult decision to make as I have another funny quote lined up. But the profoundness of Cade, as a character, lies exactly in this quote. In his crazy and care-free attitude, he has deep emotions that he may not be willing to let into light. In this line, he may have said the most beautiful words in the entire book. This line right here made me love him so so much.

The thing with feelings is rather true, to be honest. You can run as fast as you can, as far away as possible, they will still come back with a brutal force. The impact is painful and hard, but once you learn to deal with them, things start fitting back into place. So don’t bottle them up, face them and learn to embrace them, be good or bad. That’s what makes us creatures with soul. (I’m avoiding “humans” because my cat has feelings too 😎 ).

Bye for now!

 

October Wrap Up & November TBR

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Hey Guys,

Remember my TBR for October? Well, out of the 22 books (not considering the extra 2)I have managed to read 14, 13 with reviews already posted. I cannot say I am satisfied, but I still am very happy with what I’ve read. I enjoyed all of them, even if some have a lower rating. I loved my time with each of these tiles, there are different genres and so much to choose from. Here are the titles I did manage to complete, with links to the corresponding reviews:

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller (not reviewed yet)

One Last Time? By Khardine Gray

Pregnancy Scandal by Khardine Gray

Woodhouse Hall by Sara Marks

A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting

Enamored by J.S. Scott

A Guardian’s Heart by Renee Wildes

A Guardian’s Hope by Renee Wildes

A Guardian Revealed by Renee Wildes

A Guardian’s Dream by Renee Wildes

A Guardian’s Destiny by Renee Wildes

I See You by Mary Burton

Everything Girl by Emily Mayer

Chasing Beverly by Ashlynn Cubbison

November is a different story, yet to be unfolded. The month started with good and bad news. I am (trying to be) an optimistic person, so I keep a smile in hand always and my wishes for the best 😊 In terms of reading, I have again a big TBR and I can say I am already behind. Let’s see the titles:

  1. Anything Between Us by Sarah Fine
  2. Meows and Mistletoe: A Holiday Anthology
  3. Heist by Kezzy Sparks
  4. Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager
  5. In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety by Krysten Lindsay Hager
  6. Forlorn by Gina Detwiler
  7. Forsaken by Gina Detwiler
  8. Mark Of The Empress by M. Dalto
  9. Anyone But Cade by Penelope Bloom
  10. The School for Humans by Vanessa Kittle
  11. The Dark Awakening: A Vampire Thriller & Suspense by D.L. Blade
  12. The Dark Underworld: A Vampire Thriller & Suspense by D.L. Blade
  13. The Dark Deliverance: A Vampire Romantic Thriller by D.L. Blade
  14. A Fresh Restart by Chelsea Falin
  15. The Family Journal by Carolyn Brown
  16. Parting Words by Kaitlyn Davis
  17. My Girl by Jacquie Biggar
  18. Skyjump by Anastasia Bolinder
  19. Sealer’s Game by Kathy Coleman
  20. Guardian, The Choice: Magical Beasts Book One by Geoffrey Saign
  21. Dragonsworn by Marty Mayberry
  22. Disarm by Karina Halle
  23. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

23 books again and again I wish I can read more, or at least keep up with all the ideas I have running around in my head.  I have already started reading some of these books and I can tell you I will have different ratings. There is a lot I want to do in November and I have the energy to do it. Let’s see if I can keep up with all my expectations. Until next time, Happy Reading!

Weekley Quote #5

Hey Everyone!

Here we are, starting a new week, with new titles to read, new activities, new challenges and happy moments. During the last 7 days I have read quite a lot and I am quite happy on how the month is progressing. You will see some interesting articles, which I plan on posting every month, in relation with the books I’ve read the month before and as well many other reviews and recommendations.

This Monday I come with an interesting quote, from a book that was too intense, or dramatic, to my taste: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood:

Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There’s a lot that doesn’t bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last.

The Handmaid's Tale

 

That’s a very disturbing thing to say. In the universe of this book, women are instruments, but are not cherished as one would believe. They exist to bear children, not to give or receive love. A mechanism. Our main character seems afraid, but she is strong enough to keep pushing through this new world, this new social classes. So she does her best to leave aside any dark thoughts. It must be difficult sometimes. Would it be good to be able to have only positive thoughts? Would we be able to appreciate positive thoughts and optimism if the possibility of something unfavorable did not exist?

Anyway, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not an easy book to read. I probably would not have read it, if it were not for our local book club. We will have our first meeting this week and this is our first choice. It’s an interesting start and I am anxious to see what the others thought about Margaret Atwood’s book. I’ll keep you updated. Until next time, Happy Reading!