Monthly Archives:: June 2013

Jun 30

Sundays In Bed With… Code Name Verity

In Bed With... 4

SIBSunday’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.

 Elizabeth Wein Code Name VerityCode Name Verity is this months book club selection. I’ve decided to be proactive this month and not wait until the last minute to read the book so that I can finish it in time and not after book club.

This was a VERY LONG week at work and I am so glad it’s over. This coming week should be easier (knocks on wood) due to the holiday and I really need that break.

Kimberly


Jun 29

Revisting Bookish Goals 2013 – Mid Year Update

Bookish Goals 3

January 8 Top Ten Tuesday topic was Bookish Goals. Six months of the year have already passed so I thought I would revisit my goals and see where I stand.

1. Have Fun

I’m still having fun so this is all good, but I’m definitely not commenting as much. I’ve been distracted lately and I need to get my groove back.

2. Read more adult books

At the first quarter mark 86% of the books I’ve read were YA. I’m hoping to strive for a more 50/50 type balance but I recognize that that probably is never going to happen because time wise I can read 2 YA books to 1 Adult book. However I’m happy to say that at the mid year mark I’m down to 70% YA, 30% Adult so that’s a win.

3. Read all the book club books – FAIL!

I failed this in February. Awesome right? But I’ve read the rest of the months so that is still better than last year.

4. Attend more author events

Even though I couldn’t attend BEA this year I have been to several author events. Most recently I went up to DC to Jessica Spotswood release party for Star Cursed. I had an amazing time!

5. Take better notes while reading

My response in March: Yeah… no. My response in June: Still no.

6. Reorganize my bookshelves

I did this!

7. Purge some books

It’s really hard to get rid of books. Even the ones you know you are never going to read or reread.

8. Update GoodReads with my TBR books reviews

I kind of updated GoodReads with my TBR books but mostly not, but I’ve decided to change the goal to updating GoodReads with my reviews because that is what I REALLY need to work on.

9. Make an effort to read books about things that I think I don’t like

I’m actually doing ok at this, and liking the books too. Hopefully my good fortune will continue.

10.  (Added 7/1) Buy less books

I actually set forth this plan in the beginning of the year but didn’t mention it in my goals but I’m adding it now. While I’m still buying books (obviously) I’ve purchased less than last year so that’s a good thing!

 

So far I’m doing pretty good on my goals. How are you doing on your goals?

Kimberly


Jun 28

June In Review

Month in Review 1

Month In Review

In My Personal Life

The beginning of the month was filled with family. My cousin got married and my parents and brother came for the wedding and a short visit. My brother painted my house, which looks fabulous :) The second half of June slowed down considerably for which I was very grateful!

July’s Recommended Book

Malcolm GladwellI’ve started a new feature to read a book each month recommended to me by someone else. If you would like to recommend me a book please do so here. For July I’ll be reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell recommended to me by Kate at My Next Life. Out of all the books recommended to me thus far this one is the furthest out of my comfort zone, but I’m diving in with an open mind.

 

Books Received

Purchased: Physical/ebook

Richelle Mead Gameboard of the Gods William Goldman Princess Bride

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle MeadThe Princess Bride by William Goldman

Purchased: Audiobooks

Dan Brown Inferno Nora Roberts Whiskey Beach

Inferno by Dan Brown
Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Gifted

Jessica Spotswood Star Cursed Jeff Hirsch Darkest Path Alexandra Coutts Tumble & Fall

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch
Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Thank you to Kate at Midnight Book Girl and Andrea at The Overstuffed Bookcase for the books!

Borrowed

Han Vivan Fire with Fire Susan Beth Pfeffer Shade of the Moon Maggie Stiefvater Dream Thieves

Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan VivanThe Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Library

Khaled Hosseini Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni

Best Book of the Month

June was a pretty awesome month for me and I hope July turns out to be just as good!

Kimberly


Jun 27

Audio Review * Shadowland by Meg Cabot

Reviews 4 ★★★

Audio Review * Shadowland by Meg CabotShadowland by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #1
Published by HarperTeen on November 1, 2000
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 287
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind ... and Suze happens to be in the way.

Shadowland was recommended to me by Christina at A Reader of Fictions. If you would like to recommend me a book you can read all about it here or fill out the form at the end of the review!

What I Thought…

  • I freaking love Meg Cabot’s books. They are quirky and funny and (knock on wood) have yet to disappoint.
  • I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Johanna Parker. The narration was good and I definitely fit the main character. I am totally bummed that my library doesn’t have the second book, Ninth Key, in audio. Actually they don’t seem to have a copy of the Ninth Key at all, in any form :(
  • Suze is my kind of girl. Not only is she quirky and fun but she doesn’t back down (though she did put herself in harms way a few times). I also love the she nicknamed her stepbrothers Dopey, Sleepy and Doc. Suze doesn’t really want to be a mediator, but since that’s the way things are going she begins to roll with it (not that she’s given many options because the ghost does want to kill her and other people).
  • Suze’s job as a mediator is to help ghosts move on. Upon her arrival in California she comes across a very angry ghost, Heather, who is still very pissed at her ex-boyfriend and has decided he should join her. Suze, of course, does not agree. She also finds a ghost in her room, Jesse, who is kind of cute and it definitely freaks her out that he’s in her room. Fortunately Jesse is not an angry ghost like Heather so Suze doesn’t have to worry about him hurting her, but she definitely wants to help him.
  • Father Dominic is also a mediator and is trying to guide Suze in her work. I say trying because Suze is pretty strong willed and will do what she thinks is necessary, even if that might turn out bad for her.
  • Suze’s mom and step dad don’t play a huge roll in the book, but they are there, and they are normal parents, which I appreciate.
  • The only thing I felt that was missing in the book was more background on Heather. I know how she died and a reason why but it seems like there should have been more to her death then what happened. Not a huge thing though.
  • Shadowland was everything I expected from Meg Cabot and definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who wants a cute, fun, ghosty read with no horror involved!

Notable Quotes

“I’m sorry, Heather, but everything was not just fine before I got here. You know how I know that? Because you’re dead. Okay? You are dead. Dead people don’t have lockers, or best friends, or boyfriends. You know why? Because they’re dead.”

Kimberly


Jun 25

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2013 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday 25

TTT

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 Best Books I’ve Read in 2013

In no particular order…
Cora Carmack Losing ItJill Shalvis It Had to Be YouMiranda Kenneally Things I Can't ForgetLibba Bray The Diviners

1. Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It is one of the best New Adult books I’ve read. Nothing too crazy like some of the other New Adult books, plus the guy is British!!

2. It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis

I have a soft spot for the Lucky Harbor series but It Had To Be You totally blew me away.

3. Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

I cried. Quite a bit. Things I Can’t Forget gave me lots of feelings.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Roaring 20’s? Check.
Mystery? Check.
Ghosts? Check.
Creepy? Check.

Katie McGarry Dare You To Gillian Flynn Gone Girl Brodi Ashton Everbound

5. Dare You To by Katie McGarry

I was a little nervous for Dare You To because I loved Pushing the Limits so much, but I had no reason to be nervous. McGarry did not disappoint.

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is so effed up it has to be good.

7. Everbound by Brodi Ashton

I enjoyed Everbound while I was reading it, but it was the ending that blew me away. I loved what she did. Loved. It.

Sarah Strohmeyer Smart Girls Get What They Want Kristan Higgins The Best Man Claire LeZebnik The Trouble With Flirting

8. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Smart Girls was cute and fun, but more important showcased an awesome friendship.

9. The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Kirstan HIggins rarely disappoints and The Best Man was no exception.

10. The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

I fell in love with the title then I fell in love with the book. Cute, fun and hilarious!

What are your best reads of 2013?

Kimberly


Jun 24

Audio Review * Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Reviews 5 ★★

Audio Review * Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Published by Little Brown BYR on November 6, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 517
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

What I Thought…

  • This was a really hard review to write as pretty much everyone I know that has read this loved it. I did not. I did like Daughter of Smoke and Bone, though as five months have passed since I listened to it I can say that it was by no means as memorable for me as it was for others.
  • I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Khristine Hvam. She is one of my favorite narrators and while I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I hoped I did enjoy her narration.
  • The best part of Days of Blood and Starlight for me was the writing. Her writing is beautiful and for someone like me who struggles with imagery she made me able to see things.
  • So what was the problem with Days of Blood and Starlight? It was depressing. And it was boring.
  • Despite the awesome narrating and writing it was a struggle to finish the audio and there were a couple of times that I considered stopping because I was so bored. I don’t have one specific thing I can point to as to what bored me, just that I was more interested in work, then the story. I also thought it was a lot darker than Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I wasn’t quite prepared for that level of darkness.
  • In the second book in the series Karou is now working for Thiago (for those that have not read Daughter of Smoke and Bone he is not someone you want to work for) doing Brimstone’s job of resurrection. The war between the chimera and the seraphim still rages on, with Karou and Akiva on opposite sides. Karou is still (understandably) pissed at Akiva, and Akiva thinks she is dead. I liked that this tension was in Days of Blood and Starlight and that Laini Taylor didn’t resolve the issues between Karou and Akiva in the beginning of the book like so many others.
  • I didn’t really care for Karou in Days of Blood and Starlight. She wasn’t as strong of a person as she was in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I realize that things happened and that can break a person down, but I felt like she changed a lot and in some ways was very accepting of her new fate. Even though she was in an unfavorable position I still wanted her to be that strong character that she was in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
  • Most of my favorite parts of Days of Blood and Starlight revolved around Zuzana. I loved her even more in this book than in the previous one. She is one kick-ass bff and I wish there would have been a lot more of her and less of other some of the other characters. Both her and her boyfriend Mik provided the small amount of lightness that I so desperately needed in Days of Blood and Starlight.

Typically I fall into the majority of what people like/don’t like but Days of Blood and Starlight just didn’t work for me. Here are two other reviewers that loved Days of Blood and Starlight:
The Overstuffed Bookcase
Midnight Book Girl

Kimberly


Jun 23

Sundays In Bed With… Boundless

In Bed With... 12

SIBSunday’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.

 Cynthia Hand BoundlessAfter having a conversation with Jen from YA Romantics I decided that I really needed to buckle down and finish this series. So far I’m enjoying it, but it’s always hard to say goodbye to a series.

In other, strange, news after two years of living in my house I finally met (for real, not just the wave of acknowledgement) the neighbors behind me. I have two different bushes right near the property line and she asked me to remove one of them (my choice lol) because it bothers her that they don’t match. Her husband was clearly embarrassed and apologized for her asking.

I can’t even be appalled at the request because I find it funny that out of all of the badness of my yard (I am so not a gardener) she is bothered by the bushes that don’t match.

If you knew me in real life you would have laughed too…

I was telling my mom this story and all she did was laugh and exclaim “She’s just like you!”

This is true.

Now that the mismatched bushes have been pointed out to me I am now really bothered by it and it looks like I will actually have to do some real yard work now.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Kimberly


Jun 21

Bookish Pet Peeves: Chapter Length

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 19

RTB

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Why on earth do you need to have a chapter that is 70 pages long?

Everyone has their pet peeves, and of course I have quite a few bookish ones. Many things can set me off, but nothing sets me off quite like long chapters. When I’m reading a book I can’t just stop anywhere, I need to stop at the end of the chapter. It’s a thing for me. I absolutely hate when any circumstance causes me to stop mid chapter. It’s just not a good place to end.

William Goldman Princess BrideOccasionally this happens when I’m reading and the circumstances dictate that I stop right now (like when I’m reading in the waiting room at the dentist or doctors office). It irritates me, but I can’t exactly make them wait so I deal (and then finish the chapter in the car).

The worst thing for me is when the chapters are super long, like more than 25 pages (personally I think 30 pages is too long, but I can deal). Sometimes I can only read for 15 or 25 minutes and I can’t read than much in the time frame so than I have to stop in a weird place. Or I’m tired and I just want to read a chapter before bed and then I’m reading and reading and reading because it’s the chapter that won’t end.

My most recent encounter with this is The Princess Bride. While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t enjoy the fact that a few of the chapters were 70 pages in length. 70 pages!! Why so long? Where are people supposed to pause their reading?

Say what you want about James Patterson’s books but he does one thing right for me and that is short chapters. I would so much rather have a boat load of chapters that are 2-3 pages than even one chapter that is 50 pages.

Does chapter length bother you? Or do you just go with the flow?

Kimberly


Jun 20

Review * Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

Reviews 4 ★★★

Review * Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men by Molly HarperNice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper
Series: Jane Jameson #2
Published by Pocket Star on August 25, 2009
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 376
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
With her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she’s expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Jane’s future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiancé, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur’s marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

Combining Mary Janice Davidson’s sass and the charm of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is an incredibly satisfying read for fans of paranormal romantic comedy.

What I Thought…

  • If there is one thing that I can count on Molly Harper for it’s to entertain me and make me laugh. I thought Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men was even funnier than the first book.
  • Jane’s best friend Zeb is marring Jolene, who has decided to have a Titanic themed wedding. The jokes about a Titanic themed wedding did not get old. Zeb’s mother (Mama Ginger) has her own ideas about how the wedding should go down (with a different bride). Mama Ginger’s actions regarding the wedding planning were hilarious, though by the end I was ready for her to stop and accept it because it was almost a bit too much.
  • Jane is starting to come into her own as a vampire. She is becoming stronger, especially when it comes to dealing with her family, all of whom are seriously crazy. She still has her librarian’s wit but is using her strength a bit more.
  • Jane’s family is seriously messed up. Her crazy sister still hates her for getting the house, her mom still acts like she’s not a vampire and her grandma is dating again and there is something incredibly fishy about her new guy. Jane decides to investigate, even though her grandma is terrible to her.
  • There is a little romance brewing between Andrea and Dick (Jane’s friends) that I found cute and I hope something really becomes of it in the next book.
  • Despite how much fun I had reading Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men I got easily annoyed with Gabriel. Too. Many. Secrets. And Jane accepted his secrets, though there are things revealed at the end. Gabriel is still overprotective, but he’s around less and Jane still manages to get herself into trouble all by herself.
  • Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men was more about the secondary characters than Jane, and I wish it would have been more about Jane. There was a little side story revolving around an ex-crush but mostly it was about the wedding and her grandma’s new fiance.
  • I’ve only read two books in the series thus far, but I definitely prefer this series to the Sookie Stackhouse series. I think the books are funnier and Jane is much more likeable than Sookie. Plus, no Vampire Bill.

Notable Quotes

“…and challenging your neighborhood to a round of competitive outdoor decorating. Because you’re not really celebrating the birth of Jesus unless your house can be spotted by passing aircraft.”

Kimberly


Jun 18

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday 17

Photobucket

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 books I probably won’t read this summer because I put them on this list.

I feel like making these seasonal TBR lists are the kiss of death for me. Each time I get worse and worse with actually reading the books on the list. I finished three books from my Spring TBR list (finished the third one on Sunday!). Three of the books from my Spring TBR list are repeats for summer (TTEN, Boundless and Pivot Point).

Veronica Rossi Through the Ever NightCynthia Hand BoundlessHelter SkelterKasie West Pivot Point

1. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

I was DYING to read this when it was released but I waited to buy it until I went to a signing and since then it’s been just chilling on my shelf.

2. Boundless by Cynthia Hand

I started Requiem and couldn’t get into so I’ve been putting off the end of the Unearthly series because I’m just a little bit scared.

3. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry

This one is a bit of a cheat because I’m selecting it for our August book club book, but that’s not going to stop me from putting it on this list.

4. Pivot Point by Kasie West

Love the cover. Love what it’s about. I must make time for this one.

Jennifer Doktorski Summer FlamesKhaled Hosseini Kite RunnerElizabeth Norris Unbreakable

5. How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Looks like the perfect summer read!

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve always wanted to read this one, but I’ve yet to make the time. I have it on reserve from the library and it looks like it should come in in July.

7. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Preordered this one and it’s still sitting on my shelf.

Kiera Cass The EliteSophie Kinsella Wedding NightKate Brian Shadowlands

8. The Elite by Kiera Cass

See #7.

9. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

I pretty much love all her books so I’m super excited about this one.

10. Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Honestly, I can’t remember what this one is about anymore, I just remember that I want to read it.

What books are on your Summer TBR list?

Kimberly