Bookmark Lit Bulletin: Mid-November 2014

bookmarklit bulletin 2The Bookmark Lit Bulletin is a bi-monthly feature where I look back on everything I did and everything I plan to do next. Instead of participating in the weekly Stacking the Shelves or Sunday Post memes, I combine it all into two bulletins per month: one at the mid-month mark and one on the final day of the month. You can learn more and see past Bookmark Lit bulletins here!looking backblb what i did2014-11-02 13.53.30November has been fairly laid back so far, considering how busy I was through September and October. The first weekend was spent down in New Jersey for BrickFair 2014. We stayed with some friends and attended the Lego convention that weekend. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s creations. It inspired us to get a little more creative with our Lego collection; instead of just building existing sets, we’re hoping to design some of our own things soon. I love the mosaic style pieces, where the bricks can create an image. The Rosie the Riveter one impressed me the most! I remain obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new CD, 1989. I finally reached the point where I have a few favorite songs that I can’t stop listening to. “Blank Space” is my favorite, and I also LOVE “Style,” “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” “Out of the Woods,” and “That’s How You Get the Girl.” I’m also (unnecessarily) getting hyped up on Christmas stuff and have officially abandoned pumpkin spice for the season. That’s right – it’s way before Thanksgiving and I’m ready for the good stuff of December. NOT ready for snow, but definitely ready for Christmas and related fun things. I didn’t go out and do that much this month, but I’ve been thinking a lot about rereading books and have been making my list of books to start with. This month has been a HUGE four star read month! I can’t get over how many books I’ve read that are consistently four stars. It actually makes me feel kind of stupid for some reason, but oh well – I can’t control how the book ends up working for me.

blb what i reviewed

  • Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermenn | Review four stars
  • Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey | Review four stars
  • I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter | Review four stars
  • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar | Review four stars
  • The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar | Review four stars
  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter | Review four stars

blb what i postedMy post about book ratings got a lot of comments! I loved reading people’s comments. I think it’s important to note that all bloggers have a voice that deserves to be heard. Just because your reviews are less critical, or you give higher ratings than other people, doesn’t mean their opinion is less valuable. Lots of people seemed to enjoy my post about HOLIDAY THINGS! Yes, all caps are necessary. In this one, I shared the various holiday swaps, secret santas, readathons, and reviews I’ll be posting on the blog. Hopefully people found it useful and joined me in some swaps! I already know my partner for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap and she is going to be very easy to shop for I think 😉 I also shared a discussion about trusting your bookish gut vs. taking risks. I get caught up in the blogger hype a lot, and talk about it on my blog a lot, but I was curious about other peoples’ opinions that go beyond hype. If a book doesn’t sound good to you but everyone else loved it, do you give it a try? Or do you trust your instincts? Some more recent posts, like the Top Ten Tuesday about characters I want to have their own books got a lot of love too. I broke it down into three categories: side characters I LOVED and want some more of, characters I want spin-off books about because I want to know what happens next, and characters I may not have loved but would be really interested in learning more about. Along the same holiday lines, people also checked out my page about the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon! It was kind of a fail, since I read one book, but that DID actually meet my goal!

blb what i participated inChallenges

  • Series-a-Month Challenge – Check out my post here. I’ll be reading one series per month to help clear some of them off of my TBR list. You can keep up with my progress on this page. November’s series has bee The Maze Runner! So far so good.
  • Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon – I only read one book for this, but that’s okay! My goal was to do 1-2 books. I felt better finishing one holiday book early so I could schedule a review for December 🙂
  • Holiday Bingo – Between now and the end of the year, I’ll be checking off boxes on my Holiday Bingo card. I completed three books in October for the challenge and so far only one for November.
    • Reread – I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
    • Romance – Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
    • Witches – Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
    • Set during Christmastime – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

blb what i acquired

Let It SnowAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseThe Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Ignite (Ignite, #1)The Theory of OppositesThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)Tumble & Fall

Physical Books:

  • Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Percy Jackson books 1, 2, and 4 by Rick Riordan (borrowed from my little sister!)

Kindle Books:

  • Ignite by Lily Paradis
  • Percy Jackson book 3 by Rick Riordan (for my sister because she somehow didn’t have this one; I let her borrow my old Kindle like a nice sibling would do)
  • The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch
  • My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (WON in the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon Giveaway!!)

Audiobooks:

  • The Maze Runner books 1-3 by James Dashner (from my boyfriend)

Library Books and Audio:

  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter – audio
  • Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter – audio
  • Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts – physical

looking aheadblb what i have nextNot sure what’ll be happening the rest of November! I have a few things I may be doing with friends at one point or another, but nothing is set in stone. I’m slowly compiling gifts for my swaps and secret santas too; I already have four things for my 12 Days of Christmas Swap partner. I also need to get going on Christmas gifts for family members! For bookish things, I have my Book Buddies review coming up with Kaitlin at the end of the month; we’ll be reviewing Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I just started it this week and so far so good. Otherwise, I am hoping to crank through some of the books on my Holiday Bingo card. I really need to whittle down my TBR so I know exactly what books I want to read by the end of the year. As you saw on my holiday post, I have a bit of things going on around the blog for December, starting with my Holiday Reads segment! You’ll see holiday book reviews every Monday and Friday throughout December. There will be one review ON Christmas, which is my Book Buddies read of My True Love Gave to Me with Cristina. Later today you’ll see my Getting to Know You Blog Hop Giveaway post also! 😉
what i need to doBy the end of the year, I have some major bookish goals to achieve. I plan to:

  • Finish the Private series (hopefully/finally)
  • Start and finish two series by the end of the year for the Series-a-Month challenge
  • Have a strict book buying ban: only library books and books I currently own between now and the end of the year! I have to spend money on friends and family instead of myself
  • Finish my Gallagher Girls reread via audio
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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: October 2014

bookmarklit bulletinHello friends! As you know, I introduced the Bookmark Lit Bulletin as a way of reviewing what I posted and did throughout the month. A lot of bloggers participate in Sunday Post or Stacking the Shelves memes, but I try to stay off the blogosphere on weekends. To that point, I post the Bookmark Lit Bulletin twice a month to serve that purpose. The first is posted for a mid-month update on the 15th, and the second is posted for a monthly wrap-up on the 30th or 31st. I post my book haul at the end of the month. For past bulletins, click here!

wrap up this month

bookish thoughtsThis month has been a good reading month for me! I really enjoyed the majority of the books I read. I think the biggest disappointment was Rites of Passage. I expected to hopefully love it like everyone else, even though I had a feeling the book wasn’t for me. Unfortunately I should have trusted my instincts. I admired the strength of the main character but couldn’t deal with the hazing and otherwise boring plot. The biggest surprise was probably Damsel Distressed. I had a feeling I’d enjoy it, but the plot completely caught me off guard. It was a much darker book than I thought, but it was very emotional and insightful. My favorite book of the month – no surprise here – was Dissonance! Definitely exceeded my expectations and was the most Lauren Book of all time.

non bookish thoughtsPicMonkey CollageWe had a pretty busy month on the weekends. We had friends visit the first weekend of the month and then traveled to NYC later in the month for Chris’s birthday. We had a pretty relaxing day on his actual birthday – just hung out, watched football, and had sushi for dinner. My football team is killing me slowly this season and has absolutely no consistency. It’s pretty infuriating. We finally did pumpkin picking and fall activities this past weekend! We went to the farm that I used to go to as a kid and it was a lot of fun. We got a few different pumpkins and bought apple cider and cider donuts. So good. The apple cider is literally the best I’ve ever had! I’m going to be scouring every grocery store in a 20 mile radius trying to see if they sell it there. If I knew it was that good I wouldn’t have only bought the mini bottles! On the work end of things, I started a marketing-oriented project that hopefully will make me feel a little better about my situation here. Sometimes I don’t mind my job, but this week has been killer for me.

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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: Mid-October 2014

bookmarklit bulletin

Hello friends! It’s time for October’s first Bookmark Lit Bulletin. As you know, I don’t participate in weekly haul memes or do a lot of updating on my life each week. I developed my little newsletter here to fill you in on all of the bookish and non-bookish things that have filled my head throughout the month. The first bulletin comes out mid-month and the second bulletin comes out at the end of the month. The end-of-month version will feature my book haul! Thanks for reading xobookish thoughtsI started my month by finally finishing Trial By Fire! It was a great book that unfortunately kept getting interrupted by other books with deadlines. My Goodreads tells me I took a month to finish it – yikes. Now that I received that surprise book mail, I’ve anxiously hoped for more! As a new blogger I was pretty surprised when it came to my apartment. I know I shouldn’t expect it too much but now I’m hoping and hoping every day when I check the mail! I’ve read five books since the beginning of the month and finished one audiobook. Overall (as you can see below), they were all pretty great! I wish I could say the same with the current book I’m listening too; Rites of Passage isn’t for me so far.

  • Favorite book of the month: Dissonance! I finally read it and it was exactly what I had hoped it would be.
  • Biggest let-down: I was obsessed with Liane Moriarty after finishing The Husband’s Secret, but unfortunately Big Little Lies didn’t measure up. It was an enjoyable read and I miss the characters a lot since finishing, but I predicted every single twist.
  • Biggest surprise: Damsel Distressed was a really surprising book for me because I didn’t expect it to be so dark. The main character has self-esteem, depression, and self-harm issues; it was really heavy, but balanced out with funny and insightful characters. Overall it was SO much more complex and interesting than I expected!

non bookish thoughtsLet’s see, this month has been pretty low-key compared to last! We had some friends come stay for the weekend, which was a lot of fun, but otherwise we’ve kind of relaxed at home. I’ve gotten TOTALLY addicted to Girls, the HBO show. Lena Dunham and everyone else on that show is so perfect. I cranked through season one in a matter of hours. We are going to NYC this weekend for Chris’s birthday! We’ll be visiting the Central Perk pop-up shop, the Lego Store, and all of the usual sights. I’m hoping next weekend we’ll be able to do some autumn activities, too. I need pumpkins, cider, and cider donuts ASAP. Football, as usual, takes up our Sundays. Luckily the Panthers are doing pretty well. They tied last week, which is super lame and basically never happens in the NFL – but hey, it was better than a loss. (Not sorry that I’ve been inserting a little too many Panthers gifs into some posts)funny animated GIF


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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: September 2014

bookmarklit bulletinHello friends! As you know, I introduced the Bookmark Lit Bulletin as a way of reviewing what I posted and did throughout the month. A lot of bloggers participate in Sunday Post or Stacking the Shelves memes, but I try to stay off the blogosphere on weekends. To that point, I post the Bookmark Lit Bulletin twice a month to serve that purpose. The first is posted for a mid-month update on the 15th, and the second is posted for a monthly wrap-up on the 30th or 31st. I post my book haul at the end of the month. For past bulletins, click here!

wrap up this month

bookish thoughts

As I’ve said a hundred times before, this month was super super busy in my personal life. Unfortunately I only managed to finish 10 books this month, which is kind of small considering how well I did last month! Most of the books were really enjoyable though. I’m happy I was given the opportunity by On The Same Page ARC tours to get two books this month (Damsel Distressed and Famous in Love). With ARC tours, you’re given a week to read the book before you have to send it along to the next person. Unfortunately that made me have to stop in my tracks with the book I was reading (my ARC of Trial By Fire, thanks Macmillan!) to read these two. Luckily it hasn’t been too hard to pick right back up with it when I can, though. I’m just grateful I had the opportunity for these ARCs, so I’m not complaining! Aside from that, I had completely forgotten I had a guest post due on the 27th until Andi reminded us all that week. Whoops! I read Just Like Fate in two days because it was so good anyways! Stay tuned for my post during Parallel Time Loop on October 13th at Andi’s ABCs. Since my reading has been very structured and scheduled this month, I’m glad that the books I’ve read have been great! I would hate to have a strict reading timeline and be forced to read books I’m not enjoying. I recently posted about my blogging schedule and started using Google Calendar to plan my posts better. It’s been great so far because I can see what I need to do, project out my review schedule, and plan when I need to read certain books.non bookish thoughts

This has been a CRAZY busy month. We moved into our new apartment at the beginning of the month, celebrated my birthday, went to alumni weekend at my college, celebrated our anniversary, and traveled to Maine for this past weekend. My boyfriend was given a paid week off from work because their customer changed their mind about shipment dates, so I was able to take off two days this week. We had some bookish adventures…until he was called back into work for the next day. I was able to head to the Big E with my mom for my second day off, so at least it wasn’t wasted. Otherwise, we’ve been enjoying our new apartment and laying low now that things have calmed down. I’ve been trying to make more personal posts on here lately, because I am always interested in learning more about the bloggers behind their blogs. It helps me vary the kinds of posts I make and share a little bit of my life. This was original going to be a book and lifestyle blog, so why not add a little of that in from time to time? Continue reading

Bookmark Lit Bulletin: Mid-September 2014

bookmarklit bulletin

Hello friends! It’s time for September’s first Bookmark Lit Bulletin. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the first half of this month has been absolutely crazy for me. It consisted of a lot of packing, moving into our new apartment, my birthday, and my college alumni weekend (check out my personal post from my birthday with some more details!). Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to and where I’m headed next! bookish thoughtsI wish I could say I read a lot during this month. August was INSANE book-wise for me; I read 20 books – this is definitely a record! Many thanks to Bout of Books for really getting me going. I definitely enjoyed most of them, with a few exceptions. The first half of September has involved very little reading. I finished a few books immediately at the beginning of the month, but lately I’ve had a bit of a rut. I just haven’t had a lot of time to read. I also think I’ve been reading too many contemporaries; I need to switch my genre up soon so I can have something a little different. I’ve posted seven reviews so far this month.

non bookish thoughtsOn a personal note, as I said earlier, lots of personal updates this month! I turned 23 on the 9th and had a good time celebrating with my boyfriend and friends. My celebrations will continue into the weekend as I head back to my alma mater for a couple of days. We moved into a much nicer and newer apartment with a perfect patio for reading, a washer/dryer included in the unit, and a hell of a lot more space — so much space that we have some empty spots throughout the apartment that I continue to be shocked by. We’re not used to extra space; between my boyfriend and I, I don’t even want to think about how many pairs of shoes or clothes we own. It’s a bit excessive. We’re still settling in but have been enjoying it so much so far. I just need some good patio furniture next so I can enjoy what’s left of the warm(er) weather! I finally set up my bookshelf on Sunday and was able to fit everything I currently have on it. I have so many more books at my parents’ houses but luckily those can stay put for now.

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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: August 2014

bookmarklit bulletinHello friends! As you may remember, I introduced the Bookmark Lit Bulletin earlier this month as a mid-month update. Since then, I’ve decided it makes sense to condense my monthly book haul/update posts with the Bookmark Lit Bulletin. Now, you’ll see a post like this on the 15th of the month and on the 30th/31st of the month. The Book Haul piece will only be in the end of the month segment.

wrap up this month

bookish thoughts

What a great month of books. Most of my books were rated very high!  My lowest rating was three stars and that was only ONE book. I got so much reading done in August, it’s been amazing. Bout of Books really helped me in that regard. Reading 6 books in 7 days was crazy and so, so fun.  I was able to stop by my favorite used book store, Annie’s Book Stop, up in Wells, Maine, during my (short) family vacation to Kennebunk. I didn’t find as many books as usual, but still managed to walk away with a few! This has been my first full month with this blog and I’m super grateful to the people who started following me. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of you and hope we can partner on some features in the future.

non bookish thoughts

I wish I spent a little more time outside enjoying the summer and going on walks, but my boyfriend and I have just been so lazy! Since we’re moving soon (less than a week!!) to an apartment with a cute little patio, I plan on spending a lot of time outside drinking coffee and reading. We have to get packing, though, because it’s coming up sooner than we realized. Aside from the moving, work has been a bit crazy lately. I work in a recruiting firm for engineering and technical types of jobs, and we’ve been so swamped with requests. I’m single-handedly working on filling 8 positions at one company! It adds a lot of stress and I’ve been very unfocused lately, but I’m hoping the changing season will make me start fresh.

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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: Mid-August 2014

bookmarklit bulletinHello! I have a new feature here at Bookmark Lit that gives you a mid-month update. Each month, I’ll put out the bulletin with a summary of the books I’ve read, reviews I’ve written, and whatever else has been going on around Bookmark Lit! I’ll post one each month around the 15th, but I could easily increase the frequency depending on how much news there is to share. Without further ado, here’s the first bulletin for the first half of August!

bookish thoughts

You’ll see that it was a VERY good reading month for me – all books were awesome! I can’t help but wonder if I’m too generous with my reviews, but I keep evaluating the books in my head and can’t imagine rating them any lower. All of the books/reviews below earned between 4 and 5 stars. The last bad book I read was September Girls by Bennett Madison [review] and I just so happened to finish that one on July 31st! My favorite books of August definitely have to be the three Stephanie Perkins books – you just can’t beat those. Also, it’s my one month blogiversary! Well, technically yesterday was…but still! I’m proud of myself and impressed. Thank you all for the support xo

non bookish thoughts

Parson's Beach in Kennebunk, Maine

Parson’s Beach in Kennebunk, Maine

Tomorrow morning I’ll be headed to one of my favorite places for relaxation – Maine! My grandma lives in Kennebunk and my dad, stepmom, and little sister are already up there. I’m taking work off tomorrow and Tuesday to join them. Luckily it’s only a 2.5 hour ride from where I live, and I’ll be enjoying my audiobook on the way there and back. There’s an adorable used bookstore up there, Annie’s Book Stop, that I will definitely be heading to. We shop around the Port for souvenirs and clothing, 2014-08-17 21.46.59even though I couldn’t even count the number of Kennebunk clothing items I own at this point. I’m also getting VERY anxious because we’re moving into a newer, nicer, closer-to-everything apartment on September 6th! We can’t wait to get over there and start the next chapter. Then, it’s my birthday on the 9th. I love autumn 🙂 I COULD NOT be more excited for football. It’s the only sport I enjoy and the Carolina Panthers have been my favorite team since the year they joined the league (1995). Words can’t express how obsessed and insane I get during this time of year. Continue reading