Monthly Archives:: May 2013

May 31

Armchair BEA – Ethics & Non-Fiction

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Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads.

Hello! Today’s discussions are about ethics and non-fiction.

Ethics

Do you have recommendations to new bloggers to ensure credit is given to whom/where credit is due? Have you had an experience with plagiarism? How did you deal with it? What are the guidelines as bloggers that we must follow?

Ethics can be a difficult topic to discuss. Even though I would like to think that we all have the same ethical beliefs as others I know that’s not always the case. However I would say that the general population shares the same ethical beliefs, whether or not the actually abide by them.

As bloggers it is important to blog responsibly and give credit where credit is due. It’s not only the right thing to do (people deserve credit for their work) but it’s also important for your reputation and it could potentially lead to legal trouble as well.

If you participating in a meme, link back to the host. If you are using a picture make sure you are following the creators guidelines. Personally I recommend using free pic websites like Wikimedia Commons as you don’t have to pay for pictures, and the creator’s guidelines are clearly listed below so it’s super easy.

As far as plagiarism goes… don’t do it! Use your own words! (Note: As far as my understanding goes it is totally ok to use both the book cover and book synopsis in your reviews.) Plagiarism is a sure fire way to ruin your reputation.

Personally I don’t read any reviews of a book that I have read but not yet written the review, am currently reading or plan to read in the next few months. I don’t read these reviews because I don’t want to get someone else’s ideas stuck in my head! It’s impossible to read someone else’s review and not take something away from it, so I’ve made this my practice.

Ethics comes down to doing the right thing and treating others how you want to be treated.

Non-Fiction

Do you read non-fiction?  Why or why not?  Is there a specific type of non-fiction that you prefer to read (i.e., historical, true crime, memoirs, biographies, etc.)?  What is the perfect book for a first-time non-fiction reader?

I will be perfectly honest here – I discriminate against non-fiction. Whenever anyone recommends a book as soon as they say the words “non-fiction” I am thinking to myself that there is no way in hell I’m going to read that book. Now I have read some non-fiction that I have liked, but mostly I’ve found that non-fiction books are written like textbooks and if I wanted to read a textbook I would go back to school.

For me to enjoy a non-fiction book is has to read more like a story less like a textbook. I’ve attempted some history, memoirs and true crime stories and either couldn’t finish the book I had to force myself to trudge through it.

I don’t have any recommendations for a first time non-fiction reader, but do you have any recommendations for me?

Kimberly


May 29

Armchair BEA – Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

Armchair BEA 31

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Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads.

Blogger Development

I’ve come a long way in the last 18 months of blogging. When I first started blogging I didn’t really feel like it would be something I would stick with, mostly because I start/stop a lot of things, but I fell in love with the book blogging community pretty fast.

It did take me awhile to really branch out into the community. The first few months I was writing things and posting things and I would get a comment or two but it took me like 3 months before I realized that people aren’t going to magically find me – I have to find them!

Last year at this time I was preparing to be at BEA and freaking out about not having enough posts/reviews scheduled because I just couldn’t seem to get ahead. Over the last several months I’ve been much more relaxed and taken a “I’ll post when I post” approach, which is a million times less stressful. I plan to get back into the groove I was in before, but I know that it’s OK if I only post two posts one week instead of five.

As time goes by I continue to grow as a blogger. I’ve made quite a few changes to my blog over the past year and a half and I’m sure there will be more in the future. If I ever reach the point where I am not growing and changing as a blogger that will be a sure sign that I need to reevaluate why I blog.

In the future I plan on writing more discussion posts and sometime in June I will reveal my brand spanking new rating guidelines… if I ever settle on what I want them to actually be. Ratings are a tough business people!

How have you developed as a blogger?

Genre Fiction

genre of choice

If I had to pick one genre, and only one genre, to read for the rest of my life it would be contemporary romance. It can be YA or adult, though if I had to chose between the two I would chose adult. No matter how many great books I read in other genres, contemporary romance is my automatic go to when I need some comfort or I am in a reading slump or whenever.

Why contemporary romance?

Not gonna lie – it’s the happily ever after. The real world life is not perfect and sometimes relationships don’t pan out and sometimes people don’t have the ability to change. In books anything is possible, even the most ridiculous things. I don’t care that it doesn’t make the most logical sense for the two characters to be together, I enjoy reading how they got there.

I like that these books are fun and cute and can make me laugh and make me cry. I’m also partial to “series” books, where each book is about a different couple, but they all take place in the same town or they know each other in some way and then you get to see little glimpses of the previous characters in future books.

Contemporary Romance Suggestions

Whether you are new or old to contemporary romance here are some great choices:

Jill Shalvis Simply IrresistableKristan Higgins  Until There Was YouSophie Kinsella Can You Keep a SecretMeg Cabot The Boy Next DoorJennifer Crusie Bet Me

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis takes place in one of my favorite fictional towns, Lucky Harbor. Someday I am going to live here with it’s beautiful nature and hot guys.

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins is quirky and fun and a little heartbreaking too. I could have put any of her books on this list, but I really enjoyed Posey’s quirkyness so this is a good place to start.

Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella is a barrel of laughs. It’s my favorite of all her standalone books. It’s ridiculous and funny and it’s the perfect read when you’re feeling a little blue.

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot is another funny one. It’s told through emails and the unique approach made it more fun (it’s not annoying like you think it would be).

Bet Met by Jennifer Crusie is another ridiculously fun book. The premise is a tad (ok, a lot) outlandish but it doesn’t matter because you’ll enjoy yourself the whole way through.

What’s your genre of choice? Why do you love that genre more than the others?

Kimberly


May 28

Armchair BEA – Introductions

Armchair BEA 14

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Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads.

Hello there! I have debated back and forth on participating in Armchair BEA due to possible lack of time, but ultimately it sounds like fun so I’m doing it! For those of you that don’t know what Armchair BEA is you can click the picture above to read all about it at the official website, but basically it is a discussion of books and bookish things for those who are unable to attend Book Expo America. Here is my introduction so you can get to know me a bit better!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

My name is Kim and I’ve been blogging for a little over 18 months. I got into blogging because I met Kate (Midnight Book Girl) at book club and she was talking about this 24 hour readathon thing and I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to participate. She said readathons are most fun with a blog so the Friday before readathon I created one and I met some awesome people and I liked talking about books so I kept right on blogging!

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.

I live in the great state commonwealth of Virginia! I moved here 6 years ago this week and I don’t regret it for a second! I love being so close to:

P1020378 Mountains!

P1030285DC!

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The Beach!

Some interesting things about Virginia.

  • Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, and from Richmond on down you are in The South. Being part of The South is taken VERY seriously.
  • When people say that everything moves slower in The South that is not a lie.
  • Between the Civil War and Colonization there are tons of historical places and battle fields to visit, if you’re into that kind of thing.
  • Virginia is not a state, but a commonwealth. To be honest I still don’t actually understand the difference.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I am a huge football fan. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I’ve been a Packer fan all my life. Fall can be a difficult time for me because I have to choose between my two favorite things: Books and football.

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

This is a tough one but I’m going to go with Sophie Kinsella. I love pretty much all her books and she never fails to make me laugh and smile (and sometimes tear up) while reading. She’s also British, which is awesome.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?

The people! Prior to book blogging I discussed books with only a handful of people, and even that was rare. Now I get to discuss books all the time, and with such awesome people! I have met so many new people, people who I consider friends, through blogging. I can’t imagine life without them. I also love how book blogging has opened me up to so many excellent books that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

I look forward to a week of awesome bookish discussions and meeting new people!

Kimberly


May 28

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unfortunate Character Names

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! This week I’m doing Top Ten most unfortunate character names.

1. Jane Jameson from Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs

You probably just read that as Jenna Jameson (the porn star) instead of Jane Jameson. Need I say more?

2. America from The Selection

I know there are a some America’s running around but it’s a total cliche in this book.

3. Rhine from Wither

In my head I kept thinking Whine. Which is oddly appropriate.

4. Peeta from The Hunger Games

Pita Bread. Enough said.

5. Echo from Pushing the Limits

You get the explanation of her name in the book, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate.

6. Renesmee from Breaking Dawn

You knew this was going to be on the list, right?

7. Sookie Stackhouse from The Southern Vampire Series

The name itself is unappealing, but hearing Vampire Bill say “Soooookie” makes me cringe.

8. Hartley from Deadly Cool

I keep thinking of Harley and that is such a guys name, it does her no favors.

9. Ysabeau from A Discovery of Witches

I listened to the audio version and I totally thought it was Isabel.

10. Hermione from the Harry Potter series

Raise your hand if you pronounced this correctly from the beginning. *Looks around* Hmmm, No one I know!

Kimberly


May 26

Sundays In Bed With… Shadow of Night and Fragments

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PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Deborah Harkness Shadow of NightI’m currently listening to Shadow of Night and I have about 2 hours left so I’ll be finishing that one up today! I’m enjoying it, but not as much as I enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. I am very excited to see what will happen next, though it saddens me that there isn’t even a release date yet!

I’m also hoping to get enough work done today so I can tuck myself in early and finish Fragments by Dan Wells… finally. I’m having some trouble finishing it and you can read about that here.

This will probably be another slow week on the blog. I have to get my house ready for my parents and my brother who are coming in for a wedding and I found out on Friday that I will have additional work on my plate this week.

June is going to be awesome though! I’m working on my post about ratings and I have some awesome reviews coming your way.

Kimberly


May 24

Why Can’t I Finish This Darn Book?

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 14

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new feature. It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

Why is it taking so long to finish this darn book?

Dan Wells FragmentsWay back on March 30 I started reading Fragments by Dan Wells. Admittedly it was probably not the best time to start a 600 page book. My class was quite demanding in April as the culmination of work done since January needed to be finished by the first week of May. But Kate (Midnight Book Girl) was really excited about the book, so I started it anyway.

Now here I am, 7 weeks later… and still not finished. I know a lot of people would say DNF that book! But here’s the thing – I want to know what happens (plus I only have a little over 100 pages left, I have gone past the point of no return).

And it’s not as if I haven’t had any time to read, because I have. While time has been short the last 2 months I have still managed to read How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, You Look Different In Real Life, This Is What Happy Looks Like, Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men and Innocent In Death. Count ’em up – that’s 5 other books!

For awhile I’ve been thinking that maybe I’m just not in the mood for a dystopian book right now and that’s why it’s taking me so long. Other than Innocent In Death the books have all been on the contemporary or humorous side of things. But then last night when I got home and went to read before bed I reached for Breathe instead of Fragments.

I have committed myself to not starting any new physical books until I finish Fragments – with a little over 100 pages left the end is so close, yet it seems so far away.

Now I’m wondering if maybe I should just admit that maybe I don’t really care what happens. I keep telling myself that I want to know, but if I really wanted to know I would have finished it by now, right?

Has this happened to anyone else? Or am I alone in this? Let me know in the comments :)

Kimberly


May 22

Catching Up

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Oh how quickly one falls behind!

It was silly of me to assume that once my class ended everything would just “go back to normal.” That has yet to happen. I’ve had lots of things to do that I put off and work has been more… work, so I haven’t been able to write any posts then either.

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Arches National Park, Utah (To break up the monotony)

I’m hopefully going to be able to spend the next week at work catching up on all blog related things. The timing for this couldn’t be better since half the bloggers I know are going to BEA next week. (I hope everyone has fun!)

Things you can look forward to:

  • Survey results and survey giveaway winner!
  • A discussion on my rating system, why I think I need to change it and how I’m going to change it.
  • Reviews for: Perfect Chemistry, The Diviners, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, Fragments (if I ever FINISH the book) and possibly A Discovery of Witches.
  • The return of commenting! I have like 100 posts I marked as favorites in my reader to go back and comment on. Truthfully I probably won’t comment on all those, but I will get back to commenting and

I will also have an end of the month wrap up post where I will finally start disclosing the books I’ve purchased. So far May doesn’t look too bad…

 

Kimberly


May 21

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Covers of Books I’ve Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Favorite Covers of Books I’ve Read

Fiona Paul Venom Kendare Blake Anna Dressed in Blood Brodi Ashton Everneath Myra McEntire Timepiece Libba Bray Beauty Queens

1 Venom by Fiona Paul

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

3. Everneath by Brodi Ashton

4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire

5. Beauty Queens by Libba Brya

Emmy Laybourne Sky on Fire Libba Bray The Diviners Markus Zusak The Book Thief Michelle Hodkin The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer MIchelle Moran Nefertiti

6. Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

7. The Diviners by Libba Bray

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

10. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Kimberly


May 19

Sundays In Bed With… Breathe

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Sunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Sarah Crossan Breathe

Today I’m reading Breathe by Sarah Crossan. It has been a long time since I’ve read a book on my ereader. So long in fact that the battery was dead when I turned it on the other day.

After much deliberation I decided to just select any book on my ereader TBR list and got this one. So far I’m intrigued but I haven’t made very much progress.

I am FINALLY finished with my class! I was really excited to finally have some free time but then I realized that in the next two week I have a to do that is a mile long that includes awesome things like power washing my house.

Everything should return to normal soon though, I promise!

Kimberly


May 16

Review * Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Reviews 10 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Dare You To by Katie McGarryDare You To by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 28, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 462
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Pushing the Limits, Crash Into You, Take Me On, Breaking the Rules
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

 

What I Thought…

  • Katie McGarry’s second book, Dare You To does not disappoint! I really loved Pushing the Limits so I was a tad bit nervous to read Dare You To, but I had no reason to be.
  • When I found out that Beth was going to be the girl in Dare You To I was very excited. Then I found out that Isaiah was NOT going to be the guy and I was totally confused and saddened by this. After reading Pushing the Limits I felt that they HAD to be together. However after reading the first couple chapters you can clearly see how awful that relationship would have been. Isaiah is so infatuated with Beth that he does whatever she wants – no matter how crazy or stupid it is. He would have been a complete enabler to her and this would not be good folks!
  • I liked Ryan. I especially liked that he is a good boy rather than a bad boy. I like bad boys and all, but I also like the good ones and lately I don’t feel like there are enough of those.
  • I expected to like Beth and she did not disappoint. Parts of her story were really hard to read though. Between her and her mother Beth is the parent and her mother is the child and these kind of things always drive me crazy. Kids should not have to be the adult! Beth also enables her mother in a lot of ways which I understand why she wanted to, but I could help but wait for someone to finally get Beth to see that enough was enough. Beth’s mother also has the worlds worst boyfriend, but of course to her he’s perfect and everything is all her fault.
  • Beth’s uncle, Scott, was awesome (but not perfect). He came in to save Beth but their relationship was pretty rocky given the fact that he should have “saved” Beth long ago. There were a lot of issues that they had to work out and it was great to watch them work through their issues.
  • Ryan’s family is one of those perfect on the outside all effed up on the inside families. Ryan’s brother left for reasons that I won’t be mentioning here, but his situation made me all kinds of angry. Ryan is working through the issue on his own, but what made me the most angry was the fact that his parents forced him into the situation. Not cool!
  • Ryan’s parents essentially have his whole life planned out for him so there is a lot of “you’re not doing that” coming from them because the other things that Ryan wants to do “aren’t important.” His parents definitely do not support any of their children making their own choices.
  • There are so many swoon worthy moments between Ryan and Beth. So many! Beth really needs those kind of moments in her life and Ryan delivers. There is an especially swoon worthy scene involving rain and perfume bottle. Sigh.
  • All of Ryan and Beth’s friends were great. Despite the rocky start I also liked Beth’s aunt Allison. Once you find out why things started off rocky it’s pretty easy to like her. I did not like Ryan’s ex-girlfriend. She is the epitome of mean girls.
  • My least favorite part of the story were the dares between Ryan and his friends. I realize this was part of bringing Beth and Ryan together, but I just didn’t care for it.
  • While there are no unresolved story lines at the end I appreciate the fact that McGarry didn’t slap a bow on everything and make it a happily ever after kind of story. Things aren’t perfect at the end, just better, and that’s the perfect ending for Dare You To.

Kimberly