Monday Update, Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post

My Week in Review 2017 #52

This is my week in review, where I update you on my life~ reading, blogging and general. I will also be linking up with some amazing blogs.

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Life Happenings:

Happy New Year! Ok, well technically New Year’s Eve! For those of you who were wondering, yes I did end up going home to spend Christmas with my family. I was in Oregon for 2 full days and it was nice to spend time with family. Though I did miss out on having my first white Christmas since it snowed in Washington, but not in the area of Oregon where my family lives.

I had my turn at being sick this week and missed a day and a half of work. Hopefully we’ll be done with it now and it won’t make a second round of the store.

After a few setbacks and delays, my furniture and stuff is finally here! I am once again able to sleep in a real bed and work at a desk! I also have dishes, books and all of my other stuff. Now I just need to unpack it all! Next week I’ll be focused on unpacking and getting my bookcases all set up. I also have furniture to build and so much cleaning {a lot of this stuff has been in storage for the last 2 years}.

I am really looking forward to getting back into a routine soon. I have felt so completely out of balance for the last 2 months while I’ve been dealing with this transition and I just really want to find my new normal now!

I’ll be launching my new look and some updated features with the new year. I hope you’ll all find something you like in the content I’ll be posting.

Last Week on the Blog:

My Week in Review 2017 #51
Down the TBR Hole #27
Top Ten Tuesday~ Coming in 2018
2017 Challenge Results
Cat Thursday #52
Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts~ The Unexpected Everything
Thursday Quotables~ The Square Root of Summer
The Friday 56~ Tempting Fate
Book Beginnings~ Jackaby
Book Blogger Hop #26

This Week on the Blog:

Down the TBR Hole #28
Top Ten Tuesday~ Love at First Read 2017
This Week We’re Quoting~ Stormchaser
My January TBR
Talking About Memes #1
Review: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

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It’s Monday! What Are you Reading from The Book Date takes a look at the books we have been reading over the past week and what we’re planning to read next.

Currently Reading:

  The Best of Adam Sharp You're Welcome, Universe Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) Make Me Sin (Bad Habit, #2) Necessary Madness Joyfully His: A Novella (Sterling Canyon Book 4)

The Best of Adam Sharp//You’re Welcome, Universe//Parable of the Sower//Make Me Sin//Necessary Madness//Joyfully His

Recently Completed:

In the Heir (Westerly Billionaire, #1) Claiming Bailey (Ace Security #3) Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Baking is Murder (Bee's Bakehouse Mysteries, #1) Only Her (K2 Team #5) Strong & Wilde Part 1

In the Heir//Claiming Bailey//Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore//Baking is Murder//Only Her//Strong & Wilde

I will also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality, a link up to share the new books we’ve added to our shelves over the past week.

Kindle Unlimited:

Up for Heir (Westerly Billionaire #2) Not Quite Forever (Not Quite, #4) Wrong Turn, Right Direction (The Bourbon Street Boys, #4)

Up for Heir//Not Quite Forever//Wrong Turn, Right Direction

Gifted:

Wayfarer (Passenger, #2) The Search Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things  Attachments The Truth According to Us

Wayfarer//The Search//Furiously Happy//Attachments//The Truth According to Us

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop #26

I am linking up with Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer for the Book Blogger Hop. And what is the Book Blogger Hop? Well according to the meme’s page:

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question:

What character or characters would you not mind sharing a New Year’s kiss with? (submitted by Kitty @ Vicarious Bookworm)

Wow, how to I narrow this down to just a few?? Because I know I can’t narrow it down to one!

Rourke from JD Robb’s In Death series
Gideon from Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series
Ryder from Nora Roberts’s Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy
Max from Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard series
Luke from Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle series

The Friday 56

The Friday 56~ Tempting Fate

It’s time for another edition of The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Link up.

This week I chose to feature Tempting Fate by Jane Green.

Tempting Fate

“In the end, she phoned her neighbor and begged her to run over so Trish could leave. She did, but Gabby knew Trish knew she’d lied, and there was no more talk of another playdate, nor did Gabby reciprocate.”

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ The Unexpected Everything

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I’m participating in Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, hosted by Lexxie over at {un}Conventional Book Views again this week.

What is Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts? Well here’s a description from Lexxie’s site:

The idea of this feature is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Each week there is a link-up for the current post so that it’s easy to find other participants as well.

This week I am featuring The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. Here we have Clark and Andie on a first date in a cantina. {pg. 162}

The Unexpected Everything

“I guess you’re not so into spicy foods?”
I shook my head and took a sip of my water, like my mouth needed to be cooled down just thinking about this. My friends teased me about it, but I preferred all my food pretty bland. I’d gotten adept over the years at eating around offending sauces and garnishes. My dad was the same way– it had become one of those things reporters write about, how he always traveled with his own supply of bread and peanut butter. My mom had been the one to push both of us out of our comfort zones, to make reservations at Ethiopian and Peruvian restaurants, who got us to try Korean barbeque, soup dumplings, and escargot. But without her, both of us had retreated back to what we liked, and for me that was bean and cheese burritos, extra-cheesy pizza, and hamburgers without any vegetables on top. “Not so much,” I said, still trying to understand why someone would order something that spicy unless it was some kind of a dare. “But it sounds like you do?”

Thursday Quotables

Thursday Quotables~ The Square Root of Summer

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Because I love sharing quotes from books, the more random the better, I decided to join Bookshelf Fantasies for Thursday Quotables to highlight some great quotes from the books I’m reading.

This week I’m featuring quotes from Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s The Square Root of Summer.

The Square Root of Summer

1

Whatever just happened, it definitely only happened to me. Or it happened to us both, but I’m the only one who saw it– we’re at opposite sides of the event horizon. The point of no return. I don’t want to think about which side I’m on.

2

Until then, I’d thought it all happened at the same time: I was born/she died. No one had ever told me there’d been a moment, in between, when I’d had a mami.

3

It’s as though every time there’s a moment like that, where I think I’m better, there has to be something sad to balance it out.

4

This kiss is changing the universe. I have butterflies, the earthquake-in-Brazil kind, as I pull away.

5

I’m ready to live in the world again, but the world won’t let me.

Challenges

2017 Challenge Results

I signed up for a lot of challenges in 2017, and while I did amazingly well on some of them, I crashed and burned on others… here’s my final numbers for the year

New Release Challenge

Since I was able to buy books this year, and I was requesting a lot of ARCs at the beginning of the year, I thought for sure I could complete 12, 2017 releases this year! Nope, I completed 3!

Full House Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge 2017

I was so close to finishing this challenge coming into December! I only had 2 categories to go, so I made sure to pop a cozy mystery and a western into my December reads!

Nonfiction: Daring Greatly
On TBR for more than 2 years: Going Home
More than 500 pgs:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Page Turner: Wrong Number, Right Guy
Middle Grade: Legend of the Guardians
Published in 2017: Rejected Writers Take the Stage
Published pre-2000: Mary Poppins
UK or European Author: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Backlist: City of Ashes
From a List: When Breath Becomes Air
Award Winner: Bone Gap
Book about books: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Size word in title: The Little French Bistro
2 word title: Game Changer
Debut book: Bitter is the New Black
Food on the cover: The Sweet Life in Paris
Cozy mystery: Baking is Murder
From Childhood: Stuart Little
Diverse read: I am Malala
Australian or NZ Author: Tempting Autumn
Western: Strong & Wilde
US or Canadian Author: Faultlines
Not You: The Food of Love
Attractive cover: Across the Universe
Borrowed: 10% Happier

Backlist Challenge

If we were to look at this challenge literally, I have successfully read more than 36 backlist titles this year, which was my goal. I wanted to tackle the books in my existing library, but since I didn’t move until December, I didn’t have access to them, so I only read 15 of the backlist titles that had been living on my shelves.

Goodreads Challenge

I originally started the year with a goal of 60 books. I was working full time again and figured that was pretty much a stretch. It became obvious very early that I was going to have no problem reaching 60 books, so I doubled that and set my goal at 120, which I met in late October. November was a very light reading month, so I entered December aiming for matching last year’s total of 133 books. I’m sitting at 129 right now, but have 4 more books I should complete by the end of the year.

New to Me Challenge {Authors}

For a long time I tended to stick with my tried and true authors and didn’t branch out a whole lot. This year I really wanted to break out of that comfort zone and set a goal to try 15 new authors. I more than met that goal… in fact I tripled it with 45 new to me authors!

Read All the Books Challenge {Nora Roberts}

When I took on this challenge, I knew that I probably wouldn’t complete it in one year, especially since I chose an incredibly prolific writer! As 2017 comes to a close, I have read approximately 1/3 of all Nora Roberts’ titles published under her name. This does not include the books written under her pseudonym JD Robb. As I work on clearing through the books on my shelves, I will hopefully be at least 2/3 of the way through her catalog by the end of 2018.

Read the Books You Buy

This is another challenge that sounded great at the start, but soon became almost impossible to achieve. I knew that I was probably going to buy a lot of books this year, after having been on a very restricted budget for several years, so I set my goal fairly low at 10%. But I bought way more books than I expected {I stopped counting around 150} and read a lot more audiobooks {which were borrowed, not purchased}, so I had only read about 1% of the books I had purchased this year… at the point I stopped counting anyway.

Blogger Shame Review Challenge

I am so ridiculously behind on reviewing ARCs, it’s not even funny. I really hoped that this challenge would help me to get on top of them, but sadly no. I set a goal to finish 20 past due ARCs and only completed 10. I still have 2016 releases that I haven’t reviewed yet! When it became obvious mid-year that I was only getting further and further behind, I stopped requesting ARCs.

Charity Reading Challenge

This was a tough one for me. At the start of the year I committed to donating $5 per book read to a different charity each month. And while I am incredibly passionate about helping out where I can, I was reading way too much to be able to commit the necessary funds each month. When I set the $5 donation point, I was thinking I’d only be reading 60-ish books for the year. But  I ended up reading more than twice that. So while I donated a lot of money in the beginning of the year to some worthy organizations, I just couldn’t maintain it throughout the entire year. I do hope to put something like this together again, with a more realistic expectation for myself.

Alphabet Soup Reading ChallengeI really didn’t think this challenge would be as hard as it was. As I rolled into December, there were still 4 letters eluding me. I searched out books in my TBR that were pretty quick reads starting with V, X, Y & Z so that I could call this challenge complete!

GWB 2017 Book Bingogwb-2017-book-bingo-blue

This one was a total bomb. I didn’t even get anywhere close to completing it. I filled in maybe half the stars.

eBook Reading Challenge
This one came down to the wire and I wasn’t sure I was going to complete it. But I got my 24th book at the start of December and have 3 more that should be completed by the end of the year.

Audio Book Reading Challenge


As this turned into the year of the audio book for me, it’s safe to say I blew this challenge out of the water. I set a goal of 25 audio books and finished with more than triple that amount. In fact, if I hadn’t moved 15 minutes from work the last month of the year, I probably would have quadrupled my goal. As it is, I have completed 87 with one more that should be completed by year’s end.

2017 Net Galley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

If you see the results for the Blogger Shame Review Challenge above, you’ll know I didn’t fare so well on this challenge either. I did complete a few reviews that weren’t as far overdue, and finished with 15 out of the 24 I was aiming for.

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017

Again, this one came down to not moving when I expected. My plan was to read mostly from my already owned books, but since I didn’t move until December, I didn’t have access to most of my books. Instead of the 36 I was aiming for, I finished 16.

2017 Literary Escapes Challenge

This one was kind of an eye opener for me. I never realized, until I started keeping track, that most of the books I read either take place outside the US or in California or New York. There were a few other states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado that were popular as well, but in all I only read books from 24 of the 50 states in the US.

2017 Audiobook Challenge

I mentioned above with my other audio book challenge that I am blown away by how many audio books I completed this year. My goal for this one was 30, so the 87 plus books I listened to is almost triple that goal!

2017 Library Love Challenge

This is another challenge that I did really well with! I set a goal of reading 24 library books this year, and finished 43 before my county lost library access at the beginning of June. I had no library access until I moved in December and was able to check out books again. I have not completed any additional library books yet this year, but am close to completing a couple.

Reading Assignment

Again, my problem here is that I didn’t move when I thought I was going to, so I didn’t have access to books that I had scheduled. So unfortunately I just let this one slip away.

Bookish Resolutions

I was extremely ambitious and made all kinds of goals in every possible category. I did complete a couple of them… I moved closer to work {though I kind of had to when I was transferred out of state} and I cleaned up my Bloglovin’ feed. I completed 1 out of 2 readathons, 2 out of 5 series, and 8 out of 10 reading challenges. But I came nowhere near to starting my book… which I say I’m going to do every year and yet… don’t.

 

So how did you do on your challenges?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ Coming in 2018

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books I’m looking forward to in 2018. Here are the 2018 releases on my radar:

Still Me (Me Before You #3)

Still Me

Promise Not to Tell

Promise Not to Tell

The Curses (The Graces, #2)

The Curses

Surprise Me

Surprise Me

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

Obsidio

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4)

Iron Gold

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)

Unearthed

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Meet Cute

The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2)

The Girl in the Tower

Broken Beautiful Hearts

Broken Beautiful Hearts

**all covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

TBR

Down the TBR Hole #27

Time for more Down the TBR Hole inspired by Lost in a Love Story.

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Merry Christmas! Here are this week’s selections:

The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection

The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
Nonfiction; Memoir; Food
Added March 21, 2012

In his second in-depth foray into the world of professional cooking, Michael Ruhlman journeys into the heart of the profession. Observing the rigorous Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America, the most influential cooking school in the country, Ruhlman enters the lives and kitchens of rising star Michael Symon and renowned Thomas Keller of the French Laundry. This fascinating book will satisfy any reader’s hunger for knowledge about cooking and food, the secrets of successful chefs, at what point cooking becomes an art form, and more.

Verdict: Remove

Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read

Read This Next by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman
Nonfiction; Reference; Books
Added March 21, 2012

Read This Next is a guide to over 500 great books, many of which you have not yet read. (On average, 481.) Once you have read even one of these books, you will be amazed you survived without it this long. Multiply that by 481, and you get a lifetime of value for just $14.99, or even more value if you don’t have long to live.

Each book is set among surprising anecdotes, funny discussion questions, and witty commentary by the authors, designed to bring out each book’s best qualities. You’ll find categories that include both old favorites like Love, Work, and Family, and the unexpected delights of lists like Death, Drugs and Apocalypse.

Furthermore, Read This Next is itself – a book! Not only does that make the total number of great new books you get 482, but it is a neat postmodern trick that not just anyone could pull off. Please note: $14.99 divided by 481 is ONLY 3 CENTS! What else can you buy for three cents nowadays?

If you have ever enjoyed reading a book, you will enjoy reading Read This Next and the books it leads you to. If you don’t — this month only! — you can have your 3 cents back! (To people trying to cash in by buying multiple copies for the refund: well, you are too smart for us.)

Verdict: Remove

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A Basbanes
Nonfiction; History; Books
Added March 21, 2012

When it was first published, A Gentle Madness astounded and delighted readers with stories about the lengths of passion, expense, and more that collectors will go in pursuit of the book. Written before the emergence of the Internet but newly updated for the twenty-first century reader, A Gentle Madness captures that last moment in time when collectors frequented dusty bookshops, street stalls, and high-stakes auctions, conducting themselves with the subterfuge befitting a true bibliomaniac. A Gentle Madness is vividly anecdotal and thoroughly researched. Nicholas A. Basbanes brings an investigative reporter’s heart and instincts to the task of chronicling collectors past and present in pursuit of bibliomania. Now a classic of collecting, A Gentle Madness is a book lover’s delight.

Verdict: Remove

Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness

Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Nonfiction; Spirituality; Buddhism
Added March 21, 2012

“For mindfulness is the knowing quality of awareness, the core property of mind itself. It is strengthened by sustaining, and it is self-sustaining. Mindfulness is the field of knowing. When that field is stabilized by calmness and one-pointedness, the arising of the knowing itself is sustained, and the quality of the knowing strengthened.”

Verdict: Remove

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears

Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron
Nonfiction; Spirituality; Buddhism
Added March 21, 2012

In this book Pema Chödrön shows us how to break free of destructive patterns in our lives and experience a new sense of freedom and happiness. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of shenpa, she helps us to see how certain habits of mind tend to “hook” us and get us stuck in states of anger, blame, self-hatred, and addiction. The good news is that once we start to see these patterns, we can begin to change our lives for the better.

The key is learning a new way of facing the inevitable difficulties and insecurities of our daily lives: we must learn how to stay present and open our hearts. “This path entails uncovering three basic human qualities,” explains Pema. “These qualities have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and almost forgotten. They are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others.”

This book gives us the insights and practices we can immediately put to use in our lives to awaken these essential qualities. In her friendly and encouraging style, Pema Chödrön helps us to take a bold leap toward a new way of living—one that will bring about positive transformation for ourselves and for our troubled world.

Verdict: Remove

And to finish out 2017, I removed 5/5 today for a total of 94/135 books in 2017 removed (of course I didn’t start this until the year was half over). I’ll be back next week with a new look for Down the TBR Hole and there are many more books on my TBR shelf to clear out in 2018!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}