Sunday, August 30, 2015

I've been wanting to read Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction ever since I first heard Michael's recommendation on the Books on the Nightstand podcast earlier this year. To be honest, I don't read as much non-fiction as I would like to, so hopefully this will be the push I need to get me to start reading this one - I already placed it on hold at my local library, so I should be able to check it out and start reading it this week. Here's a synopsis of what the book's about:

Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.

In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.  

If you're interested in signing up for the read-along, you can do so over at Doing Dewey's sign-up post HERE. Sign-ups are open from now through September 26th, and you can follow the discussion on Twitter using #NFBookClub. Here's a copy of the schedule:

Google Doc Opens for Free Form Discussion – September 1

Ch 1-8 Discussion Questions Posted – September 10

Ch 9-16 Discussion Questions Posted – September 24

I hope to see you there!
What is it about tags that makes them so addicting?! I knew the moment I saw this tag on my feed that I had to participate! Thank you Liza @ Reading With ABC for posting this, or I may not have stumbled across this. Am I the only one who hasn't participated in this tag yet?! Better late than never, I suppose.

Snow White
Name Your Favorite Classic

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I read this book both in high school and in college, and I loved it both times. It always gets me thinking about what the monster would be like had Victor (or anyone) bothered to treat him humanely.

A Book That Kept You Reading Past Your Bedtime

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This is the first book that came to mind, as I remember making the mistake of starting this book before bed. Before I knew it, the sun was coming up and I had finished reading it in one sitting - I never got the chance to sleep!

A Book About Making Sacrifices & Chasing Dreams

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman. This book is about a girl who gives up everything to leave her small village in China to pursue her dream of going to the U.S. Once there, she even disguises herself as a boy and risks her life working for a crime boss, ultimately working not only to earn her own freedom, but the freedom of others, as well.

A Book With A Smart & Independent Character

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. Sydney is incredibly smart, and while she's an alchemist, it's apparent from the very beginning that she is an independent thinker, choosing to trust her judgement and experience rather than just blindly siding with the alchemists.

A Book With A Character Who Challenged Social Conventions

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinder was the first character to pop into my head when I read this category, and I don't think I could've picked anyone else. In a society that shuns cyborgs for being "unnatural," Cinder is forced to go by performing her duties as a mechanic while keeping her head down, especially around her stepmother, who loathes her. When her step-sister Peony gets infected with a deadly infectious illness, however, Cinder will do whatever it takes to try and save her, even if it involves losing her heart along the way to a prince she knows she can never have.

A Book Whose Ending Was A Roller Coaster of Emotions

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Well, actually, the whole book was a roller coaster of emotions for me. It takes place in a future where humans and androids co-exist, though androids are not really thought of as people. The main character, Cat, grows up with the android, Finn, who seems incredibly human, and has to figure out exactly what her feelings for him are. I totally cried reading this one, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

A Book With A Kick-Ass Female Character

Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy. The main character, Ardis, is a Chinese-American mercenary who can kick total ass. She's strong-willed and independent, and despite her job, she remains a good person at heart.

A Book With A Hardworking & Self-Made Heroine

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson is totally a self-made woman - she works as a mechanic and owns her own trailer. She may not be loaded, but she's found a way to earn money while doing what she loves, and she's able to support herself and live comfortably without needing to rely on anyone else. To me, that is the definition of self-made.
A Book With An Artist

Ink by Amanda Sun. The heroine's love interest, Tomohiro, is an artist whose ink drawings come to life. Also, that cover is a piece of art in and of itself.

Elsa & Anna
A Book With A Great Relationship Between Siblings

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. I really liked the relationship between Dean & Alex in this series - even though they didn't always get along, you could tell that they really loved each other. They also respected each other enough to let each other make their own decisions.

Would you like to join in on the fun? If so, then consider yourself tagged! I'd love to see what books you choose, so feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments below so that I can check it out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

 Anticipated Release Date: January 12, 2016
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Why I Can't Wait To Read This

This sounds super cute!!! It's about a bookish girl who is so used to having "book boyfriends" that she doesn't know what to do when an actual real-life boy likes her, so she relies on her favorite book characters to find out how to act. It's a disaster waiting to happen, of course, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. There's just something about awkward and nerdy love that sounds like it'd be an appealing read....maybe it's because I can relate, haha!

What do you think?

And if you haven't done so already, feel free to join in by linking-up to your own Waiting on Wednesday post over at Breaking The Spine.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Book Blogger TMI Tag

Monday, August 24, 2015 with No comments
Hey everyone! I know it's been a looong time since I've posted, but I wanted you all to know that I'm still here. I'm working on a post that will be up soon to explain what's been going on during this impromptu hiatus (which will now be officially over!), but for now, I thought I'd participate in a tag to fill in the void that I've left you all, haha! ;) I found this on The Runaway Reader, and have been meaning to participate.

How old are you?
What book are you reading?
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.
What are you wearing?
Work clothes - a black blouse, grey dress slacks, and black flats.
Favorite OTP?
My favorite OTP isn't bookish, it's Lily & Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. I aspire to have a relationship like theirs one day...
Blogger or WordPress?
I'm not really familiar with WordPress, since I've only ever used Blogger, so I really can't answer this fairly. I like Blogger enough, as it's easy to use and serves my purpose well, but WordPress themes are usually better eye candy. 
Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?
I'm almost always inside, but on the rare occasion that I happen to be doing something outside, I find that I'm almost always in a better mood. How about a combination of going outside and reading a book?
What is the last book you read?
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.
What is the book you’re going to read next?
Probably The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. I know, predictable, right? But I just love this series!!! I also love the feeling of falling in love with a series that is new to me - it doesn't happen too often, but it's one of the greatest feelings in the world!
Ebooks – yes or no?
Yes. I love my Kindle! It's so convenient to carry around, and I'm never limited to one or two books to choose from, as I can fit an entire library of books on it!
Where do you prefer to read?
Definitely in bed, but when it's not insanely hot outside (like it is now), I do prefer reading outdoors.
Who is the last person you tweeted?
I don't tweet that often, but it seems the last person I tweeted was @GabeMedrano, because I was excited to have found another nerdfighter in El Paso.
Whose blog did you look at last?
J. Money's blog, Budgets Are Sexy. Not a book blog, but a really great financial blog that has some great advice on getting out of debt (yea, student loans suck.)
Who is your favorite blogger?
Wow, this is a hard one! There are so many great bloggers out there, and I follow more than just book bloggers, so it's really hard to choose...I may have to go with Leo Babuta on this one - he's the blogger for Zen Habits, which is a life habits blog that really offers some great advice. I probably read his blog more than any other, which is why I'm choosing him.
Who is your favorite book-tuber?
Probably Christine of polandbananasBOOKS. She's just so entertaining, and I enjoy watching her spoilery reviews after I've read the book, because I feel like I have someone to fangirl with. I need friends who read, lol.
What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?
I laugh. And then I feel sad for them, because they don't know what they're missing. All it means is that they just haven't found the right book for them yet. 
Who is the last author you spoke to?
I don't speak to many authors. As far as I can remember, the last author I've conversed with was Oksana Marafioti, who happens to be an amazing human being.
Who is the last person you texted?
My sister.
Who is your all-time favorite book character?
Harry Potter.
Both? I haven't read that much UKYA, but they do have Harry Potter...
What is your preferred drink whilst reading?
Hot Cocoa
If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?
Wow. If I hated reading and the other aspects of my life were all the same, I'd probably be unable to get out of bed from depression. Seriously, books are my escape from reality, and I don't think Netflix can really serve as an adequate replacement.
How many bookshelves / bookcases do you have?
One. But it's not enough! I plan on getting another one - the one I have now is a really nice bookshelf by Better Homes & Gardens that I bought at Wal-Mart, and I love the way it looks (plus, it's really sturdy!)
If you had the choice to meet all of your favorite book bloggers or all of your favorite authors, which would you pick? You can only pick one.
My favorite authors! Sorry, fellow bloggers, but there are some authors that I have been dying to meet sometime in this lifetime.
Insta-love: yes or no?
No. It's annoying, predictable, and unrealistic.
Favorite author?
I think I'd have to say John Green. His books are fantastic, but thanks to his Vlogbrothers videos, I also get to know a bit of the man behind the books - it makes me feel closer to what I'm reading. Looking for Alaska made me literally burst into tears and shook me like no other novel ever has, and I know that it isn't the best piece of literature ever written, but I was able to connect to the story and felt the same fears in regards to feeling trapped in a labyrinth, trying to find a way out.
What is the number-one book on your wishlist?
Winter by Marissa Meyer. It's been a painful wait, but I've managed to fill in the time with Rick Riordan's amazing novels. I still feel this void, though, waiting to be filled. I need more!!!
Do you prefer books with female or male protagonists?
What's funny is that I thought I didn't have a preference, but then I looked at my favorites list and discovered that the books I love the most all have male protagonists (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Guy Montag, Hamlet, Pat  Peoples, Frankenstein's Monster, Holden Caulfield...). Hmmm....I guess I must prefer males.
Which is your favourite book-to-film adaption?
I think I'm going to go with Where The Heart Is, just because the book and the movie are just both so amazing! Gah!!! Also, I don't want to pick a movie whose book I haven't read, because it wouldn't be fair.
What is the last song you listened to?
Which do you enjoy reading more – negative reviews or positive reviews?
Both, I guess. It really depends on the voice and the passion of the reviewer.
Who are you going to tag?
Anyone reading this that would like to participate!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Semi-Charmed 2015 Book Challenge

Monday, June 01, 2015 with No comments

So, I just realized that Megan @ Semi-Charmed Kind of Life was already hosting the Summer 2015 Book Challenge. I'm about a month late, but I've decided to still sign up and give this challenge a go, since, surprisingly, a lot of the books that I read in May can count towards a category. I'm excited that I'm not behind!

If anyone is interested in joining, there's still time - you can sign up and count any applicable books that have been read since May 1st, 2015. Let me know if you decide to join in!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (452 pages)

10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.
Falling by Barbara Elsborg 
(282 pages; browsing on Amazon & immediately bought it and read it on my Kindle)

10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years.

10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.

15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.

15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout (392 pages; I've read "The Lux Series" before)

15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")

20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional.
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (294 pages; named after Monument, Colorado)

20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs (336 pages; there's a wolf howling in the background)

25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford (330 pages; book 4 of 'Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter')

25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
Cress by Marissa Meyer (550 pages)

30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title.

Total Points So Far: 120

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Once again, I've decided to join in on Joy's Readers' Workouts link-up. I keep hearing that one of the best ways to ensure that you stick with a weight-loss habit is to talk about it with others, and since this blog and my readers are important to me, I thought that I'd try sharing my progress with all of you.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been going to a gym for fitness boot-camp. So far, this has been the longest that I've ever stuck with a particular workout routine. Here's a look at some of what we did  yesterday:

Lunges, with & without dumbbells
Squats, using a 25lb weight
Flutter Kicks, with dumbbells
Running Laps

I know we did more, but I honestly do not remember the names of most of the exercises we've done. Sorry, but I just suck at that! Anywho, my biggest issue yesterday was just keeping up - I felt so light-headed during the workout, which I know is a direct result of what I ate (or didn't eat yesterday). I haven't had money for grocery shopping lately, so yesterday I had coffee for breakfast, popcorn for a snack, and udon noodles for lunch (the packaged kind - like ramen). Obviously, that's a pretty terrible meal plan for a workout day, but I definitely learned not to do it again! (Darn you, student loans!!!)

Results Thus Far: In addition to dropping a pant-size since I've started working out, I've noticed that my muscles have been toning up a LOT. When I flex my calves, all I feel is hard muscle, which is getting me pretty excited! Sadly, I haven't been seeing the numbers on the scale decrease too much, so these visual results are what have been keeping me going.

My Homework: While I'm glad that I've been sticking with my commitment to attend boot camp classes, I know that I really need to start making exercise a true habit by doing it on my own, as well. My current homework is to incorporate exercise on my "off days." Since I only have boot camp Monday thru Thursday, I'd like to try doing something on Fridays and Saturdays (I haven't yet decided if I want to keep Sundays off for rest, or do something light, like stretching). Maybe I'll just go for a jog in the park on those days. I also would like to browse through Pinterest for a 30-day challenge to complete (but nothing too strenuous, as I don't want to burn myself out or create an injury.)  I'll try putting together a plan, and I'll share what I come up with next week.

If you know of any great 30-day challenges you'd like to recommend, or have ideas for workouts I can do when I'm not at the gym, please let me know in the comments! Any ideas are greatly welcomed :)

Monday, May 18, 2015


Monday, May 18, 2015 with No comments

I discovered this tag on Mel's blog, The Daily Prophecy, where she stated that she will be tagging whoever wants to join in. It sounded like a fun way to share how I felt about certain "bookworm problems," so I decided to give it a go! This tag was originally created by Tiffany on her About To Read YouTube channel.

1) You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

#StoryOfMyLife. I honestly just read whatever I feel like reading at that particular moment. It doesn't matter if I have been dying to read a given book for years, if I don't feel like I'm "in the mood" for it, I'll wait until I am. Life is short, so there's no point in reading a book if I'm just "not feelin' it." This is why I hardly ever accept books for review - I don't want to feel obligated to read something within a certain time-frame, because my reading moods are constantly changing.

2) You're halfway through a book and you're just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

As I mentioned in the previous question, life is short. Most of the time, I don't even make it halfway through a book that I don't love - I'm pretty good at finding out within the first few chapters. I have no problem chucking something that I've started reading and end up disliking, but there have been a few instances when I've made myself push through - usually either when it's a review book, or when it's something that I have to read for school. But for the most part, there are just too many good books out there to waste my time on something that I don't enjoy.

3) The end of the year is coming and you're so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

Usually, yes. It bugs the crap out of me when I don't meet my goals. If I find myself falling behind on my yearly Goodreads challenge, then I find books that I know will be quick reads. This doesn't mean that I start reaching for short books - it means that I look for books that I know will interest me so much that I can probably read them in one sitting (such as m/m romances, thrillers, horror, etc).

4) The covers of a series you love do not match. How do you cope?

Not gonna lie, it really bugs me. Now, I don't really care if some of the books are paperbacks and some are hardcovers (as long as it's like: the first three are paperback and the rest are all hardcovers, instead of: books one, three and five are paperbacks while books two and four are paperbacks, 'cuz looking at that would piss me off), but if cover styles are completely changed midway through a series, I get really frustrated. Especially if the new covers are uglier (like the covers for Beth Revis' Across the Universe series). 

Right now, I am in the middle of coping with the change in covers for The Morganville Vampires series. I purchased the first eight books in their regular mass market paperback form only to discover that not only did they stop making them in that format, but also the covers look completely different. Double whammy. I may have to just re-purchase them at some point.

5) Everyone and their mothers love a book you really don't like. Who do you bond with over their shared feelings?

Honestly, I'm a bit of a hermit, so my method of "bonding" with someone over my mutual dislike of a book would be watching a YouTube rant or reading a blogger rant about it. If I'm feeling daring, I may even leave a comment.

6) You're reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I am totally okay with crying over a book in public. I don't think I've ever done it before, but I know that if I were to see someone else crying over a book in public, I would get excited about seeing someone else who's as in to books as I am. I'd also probably try to sneak a peak at their book's cover so that I could add it to my TBR.

7) A sequel of a book you love just came out, but you've forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?

I am not afraid to admit that I have done all of the above. For the most part, I will end up re-reading a series, but there have been instances in which I either just try to wing it, or search for a revealing review. I guess it just depends on the series. I've been putting off a lot of sequels lately just because I'm not quite ready to devote the time to re-reading all of the previous novels in the series (such as The Morganville Vampires, which goes on forever).

8) You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

For the most part, I don't really mind lending out my books. If I really love something, then I don't mind sharing it with friends/family/coworkers/etc. in the hopes that they will love it, too. There have even been moments when someone has borrowed something for too long that I just buy another copy for myself and let them keep it. If the book is cheap enough, it's no big. If it's a book that was rather costly, however, and I'm hesitant to lend it out because I wouldn't want it to be in anything other than pristine condition, then I may say yes, but then continuously "forget" to bring it until they forget about it or give up.

9) Reading ADD. You've picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

I hate reading slumps! When I'm in one, I usually end up just adding books to my Goodreads TBR without actually ever reading anything. I think the best cure for one is reading something that I know I'll love, which is usually something that has insanely good reviews, and has a really good synopsis. Once I find something I can fan-girl over, I'm usually pretty good about sticking with my reading,

10) There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

None, usually. I tend to add books I'm dying to read to my TBR all the time, but then when they're released I just never get around to them. I don't really have any extra cash thanks to student loans, so when I want to read a book I usually just wait until I can check it out from the library. The only exceptions are when they're books that are part of a series I already own the prior books for, or when it's a book that is something that I have to own to get the full experience from (i.e. a cookbook or graphic novel collection, or maybe something offbeat like S.), otherwise, I tend to buy my books used, which means they've already been out for a while.

11. After you've bought the new books you can't wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Sometimes I read them right away, sometimes it takes a few months or even a year. I was dying to read The Ruby Circle when it came out - so much so that I pre-ordered it, which is something I rarely do - but I still have yet to read it. I started it, but then I got upset with Adrian's mother and put it down. Now I just think that I'm hesitant for the series to end, which is why I haven't picked it back up. As long as I don't read it, the story remains "to be continued," and will still have new content for me to read. I know, I'm a dork.

Like Mel, I, too, tag anyone who wants to participate! Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments if you join in so that I can check out your answers.