Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Weekend Update - 11.22.14

Saturday, November 22, 2014 with 1 comment
So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.  April's also doing her own Stacking the Shelves posts on Sundays.  Stop by and say hi!  =)

Yay, it's almost Thanksgiving! Which means Christmas decorating is in full force around my house this weekend, haha. Funny how that goes, huh? We alternate which holiday we spend with the family each year because of everyone else's familial obligations, so this year will be a quiet Thanksgiving and a rowdy Christmas. I'm not complaining, though. ;0) Jerrod's trying to talk me into heading to the deer lease again the day after Turkey Day, but I ended up with strep after the last time, so I'm not too excited about going back until the weather's warmer. :P

Oh, we've got plans to go see Mockingjay later today since it's just going to rain and be generally yucky. Are people going to give me looks for taking my 6yo, though? She watched the first one with me at home the other day, and she asked questions but she understood that it was just a movie and that those kids weren't really killing each other, so she should be okay, right? Right? I don't want to traumatize her, but I also don't want to get a sitter since we'll be spending the rest of the day doing holiday stuff.

The lucky child is out of school for a whole week, too, for the holiday! I remember we only got three days off for Turkey Day...when did that change? Change makes me feel old. :(

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review:

via Edelweiss
When Joss Met MattMr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars, #2)Rebound (Boomerang, #2)

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill - I still haven't read a Liz Czukas book yet, but I'm about to devour them all at one time, including this NA written under her pseudonym! :D
Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas - Gaaaaaahhhhh! I cannot, absolutely CANNOT wait to read this. Please let them make more movies, too, though.
Rebound by Noelle August - Loved Boomerang and I anticipate I'll enjoy this companion just as much, even if it is about two characters that I wasn't all that interested in from the first book. ;0)

StraySnow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

Stray by Elissa Sussman - Eh, already listened and it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I actually can't even remember the ending very well. And it's going to be a series? Hmmm...
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch - Loved this when I read it earlier this year, and I'm keen to see if the audio is just as good...or better!


A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far, #1)Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers -- 
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr -- 


Nothing, yay!



So, that's my haul. How about you? What did you get this week?

The Week in Review:

Current Giveaways: 

                   Check back soon!!!

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  

Jen's Currently Reading/Listening To:

99 DaysThe Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

At the time of this post, I'm between books and having a hard time picking exactly which of my new reads I'd like to start. These two are definitely in the running, though. Just not sure whether I should start another fantasy -- urban as it were -- or if a contemporary might fit the bill better.

Upcoming Reviews:

StrayThis Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The Great Book Purging of 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014 with 8 comments

I don't think it will come as any great shock to many of you that I'm a book hoarder. I think we've established in this community that many of us suffer from this proclivity. It's a daily struggle, what with Kindle daily deals, review copies, and frequent trips to the bookstore -- even when you're technically on a book-buying ban.

I was once consumed with the fiery need to own all the books. For some ungodly reason, if I read the book, I felt the need to own it. For instance, if I read an eARC and liked it, I went out and bought the physical copy....not in support of the author but in support of my own personal library. I mean, I didn't even have to like the book that much and still I'd find a way to procure it for my shelf. Which means after over three years of this blogging thing, I've amassed quite the collection of books.

So much so, that when we decided to turn my office into Katie's playroom and move my desk and shelves into the master bedroom -- which my awesome husband has obligingly agreed to allow me to decorate with a bookish theme soon -- I had to parse my collection down a bit by favorites and probable re-reads versus unread books and never-to-be-read-again books. And thus, the great READ IT OR GET RID OF IT shelf was created. Basically, a shelf to light a fire under my ass so that I quit stalling and finally read these books because you know I don't really want to get rid of any of them.

Much to my hubby's chagrin, this shelf ended up in the living area for lack of room in my new "office" space. And now he says I have to move it because I stuck it right where he'd planned to put the Christmas tree. Oops. But I did give up my pretty teal shelf (above) to Katie for all of her books, so I had to put them somewhere. :P So, now I have to decide if I want to keep any of the books on this shelf -- and where to put them if I do.

The top shelf is full of all the signed books that I'm iffy on keeping. The Lauren Kate books are all personalized to me, but I've read them and I know I'll never re-read them. But who wants a set of books personalized to me? There are a few more on that shelf in the middle that were signed to me, but the rest were won in giveaways and only have the author's signature. Well, except the two Tracey Garvies Graves books, which April gave to me in hopes that I'd love them as much as she does. (I promise, April, I'm not giving these away...I just thought putting them somewhere I'd see them all the time would make me read them that much quicker, lol.) I should also make a point to read Sekret soon since I have the ARC of the second book waiting on me, as well.

In the beginning, you think you'll never get sent ARCs. And then, all of a sudden, they're coming out of every orifice and you don't know how you'll ever read them all. I've read some of these and some I have not. Some I even really enjoyed, but in reorganizing my shelves, they didn't make the cut when I started running out of room.

Same goes for this shelf of even more ARCs. There are some that I have every intention of reading and others that were unsolicited or that I just lost interest in. And yet...I've kept them all. Book hoarding is a serious problem, y'all.

The books on these bottom two shelves would actually fill this entire shelf without doubling up or stacking them all willy nilly, like you see here. There are books I've read and enjoyed here, as well as books that I haven't read yet. And maybe that I have no intention of reading...ever. There are books that were gifted, books that were won, and books that were purchased at Half Price Books or at one of those Borders liquidations sales way back when. These books leave me feeling guiltiest about the task at hand because for the most part, I spent my hard-earned money on them. My husband would be speechless if he ever tallied up how much of our income went to my book-buying addiction, but luckily, I've always been able to distract him when it comes up. :D

When undertaking this endeavor, I attempted to leave room on my shelves for books that I knew I'd be purchasing in the future, whether they exist yet or not: future installments in series I've already started, new series from favorite authors that I already know are in the works, etc. And yet, my newly reorganized shelves still look much the same to me now in their new space as they did before:

Sorry, it was dark by the time I got done and I hadn't placed any of my knick-knacks where they go yet. Also, there's a bed in my way now, but at least the first thing I see when I wake up every morning is all those lovely books! =) Some of the rows on the bottom are still doubled up and there's a weird stacking situation going on in some of the cubbies. Also, I didn't organize alphabetically for, like, the first time in my life. Seriously. I'm a perfectionist by nature, so these won't stay this way long. I won't rest until I'm completely satisfied. But purging some of the books from my shelves least a little. I still have hopes of my dream library one day, but not till we have a bigger house. :(

And now, friends, I need your help. Take a good look at the books above that have been removed from my shelves and tell me which ones I absolutely must read. I'm reading for myself and no one else these days, so I should have time to fit in some of your recommendations sooner rather than later and make a decision as to the fate of their place on my shelves in the process. Also, in light of all of this, I imagine a Clear Your Shelf-type giveaway is in order, so stay tuned for that. ;0)

I look forward to your suggestions! Happy reading!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #5
Narrator: Emily Shaffer, Alden Ford
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: July 29th, 2014
Source: Purchased Audio
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

So I was in a bit of a reading slump. I'm slowly clawing my way out of it. I was listening to a book that just was not pulling me in, so I put it down and loaded Silver Shadows on my phone. So glad I did, because it was just what I needed. 

When you leave off in The Fiery Heart, Sydney has been captured by the Alchemists. So I was DYING to know what would happen. I have to say, so far this may have been my least favorite of the group. It still deserved a 5 start in my opinion, but being that Sydney is holed up somewhere, there is much of the book where she doesn't even have contact with Adrian, and that was rough. 

The Alchemists... are crazy fuckers. There I said it. It needed to be said. Holy cow those people are messed up. I loved that we get to see what they are up to in those secret facilities they always hinted at in previous books. 

Sydney is as strong as ever, but you get to see some weakness from her too. She's always been so calm and collected. I feel like I got to see a whole different side of her in Silver Shadows. And Adrian, well, he has his demons too, and there were some times I got really pissed at him. But he redeems himself. 

The last quarter of this book was insane. Like none stop, and I could not put it down. I was finding every easy task I could at work, so that I could listen to bits throughout the day. My co worker joked that she thought I was hiding a man in the file room with me when she walked by and heard voices. HOLY CRAP ending. I kinda saw that coming though, with all that was going on. I need to know what happens. Hurry up February!  

I cannot stress enough how much I love these books. I will be starting The Ruby Circle the minute it comes out. I cannot wait. I'm so freaking excited! 

About the author:

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

Find Richelle:

Website | TwitterFacebookGoodreads

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Narrator(s): Will Damron, Amy Rubinate
Series: stand-alone
Length: 5 hrs 27 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Source: ARC received from publisher, audiobook borrowed from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
The distinctive new crowdsourced publishing imprint Swoon Reads proudly presents its first published novel—an irresistibly sweet romance between two college students told from 14 different viewpoints.

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.

But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

This story was absolutely adorable and exactly what I needed while I was reading. I never would have believed that fourteen (14!) different perspectives -- and two of those from a squirrel and a bench -- could work so well, but they did. Even despite the fact that none of those were actually from the couple in question -- or possibly because of it.

I delight in people-watching, guessing where people are headed and what their stories are, and that's essentially what this book is: fourteen different viewpoints and opinions on one couple's path to each other, some even from inanimate objects. I was ecstatic to see how painfully awkward Lea and Gabe were around each other, as seen through the eyes of friends, casual acquaintances, and even a nut-obsessed squirrel. (He was my favorite point of view, in case you were wondering.) Despite how cute the story is, it's actually quite realistic, if you discount the fact that a squirrel is narrating at times. :)

I had an ARC of this title, but there are never enough hours in the day to read all the novels you'd like, so I went the audio route, thanks to my local library. And, oh my goodness, it was even more adorable than I would have believed. Will Damron narrates all of the male perspectives, plus those of the squirrel and the bench (IIRC), and Amy Rubinate voices the female narrators in the story. Considering there were so many different perspectives, it would have been easy for some of them to sound similar, but each narrator did such a fabulous job of making each character's voice unique, making them sound like the type of person they were portrayed as while they relayed what they knew of Lea and Gabe.

If you're in the mood for a quirky little romance that's as unique in it's presentation as it is genuine, I heartily suggest you pick up this would-be comedy of errors, full of missed opportunities and miscommunication. You'll be smiling all the way through, I guarantee it.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

I'm a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I'm not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.

Find Sandy:

TwitterGoodreads | Tumblr

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selections are...

's Pick:

Title: The Ruby Circle
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines # 6
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 10th, 2015

Add to Goodreads
The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here...

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

So I just finished listening to Silver Shadows. I loved it. As sad as I will be to see this series end, I still cannot wait to get my hands/ears on it. I'm so glad I took a chance on these this year. I have to say though, these covers blow. So did the VA book covers.

's Pick:

Title: The Conspiracy of Us
Author: Maggie Hall
Series: n/a
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: January 13, 2015

Add to Goodreads
To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

Oooohhh...a secret society! Forbidden love! Code-breaking! All things I love! =) I also love how fast-paced and intense this book sounds. That cover is pretty spectacular, too. So many points in favor of me reading this novel...hope it's as intriguing as I've been led to believe!

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

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