Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting On: Storykiller by Kelly Thompson

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 with 11 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, which features upcoming releases that I am anticipating the most! Here's what I can't wait to read at the moment:


by Kelly Thompson
The monster under the bed is real.

In fact, all the monsters are real, as well as the heroes and everything in between because all Fiction is real and exists in a dimension called Story. However, plenty of them hang out in the Mortal world, living both innocent and nefarious lives. This might not mean much to the average Mortal unaware of the Fictional characters living among them, but for The Last Scion--the only Mortal that can kill those Fictional characters--things are about to become very complicated.

Tessa Battle is that Mortal.

Upon her return to Lore, Oregon after years bouncing around boarding schools in Europe, Tessa had her sights set on simple things like shoe shopping, finding a hot boyfriend, and eating as many pancakes as humanly possible. However, the Last Scion mantle Tessa just got saddled with is not making any of that easy, and as Tessa and her new friends are about to learn, Story is long from done with her, no matter how much she'd like to deny her destiny.

With more than one monster chasing her and questionable characters like The Snow Queen and Robin Hood as her allies, Tessa is going to need all the superpowers she inherited just to stay alive. 

And maybe, just maybe, it's a GOOD thing that behind her back, Stories call her THE STORYKILLER.

Why I Can't Wait To Read This
I knew I wanted to read this book before I even got the chance to actually read the excerpt - I really enjoyed reading Kelly Thompson's previous prose novel, The Girl Who Would Be King, and had pretty much added her to my mental 'insta-buy authors' list once I had finished reading it. I'm so glad she's releasing another book!

Plus, who's never wondered what would happen if certain fictional characters were actually real?! It seems that Thompson has finally penned my childhood daydreams into something I can actually hold in my hand! Not to mention all of the great comic book artists who are going to have artwork featured in the hardcover edition of the novel - I can't even put my feelings into words right now...


Instead, Brand’s eyes lit up. “Whoa. Like, Batman? Batman is real!?” 

Midas sighed. “Yes. He’s real. And frankly? He’s kind of a dick.”

Read The First Few Chapters FREE
*courtesy of author Kelly Thompson, from her blog

If you like what you see, please check out the author's blog for some cool behind-the-scenes extras!
 http://blog.1979semifinalist.com/


EDIT: 

*FOR THOSE OF YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE SCARY-VIBES EMANATING FROM THE COVER*


I honestly didn't find the cover scary when I first saw it - I just assumed it was showcasing the intensity of the protagonist. If you compare it to Buffy, then this image would be Tessa's "battle face."

The story itself seems to be rather lighthearted compared to the more intense cover - I can see how it's described as "Buffy-like" in that it so far reads like an actual episode of the show (the heroine is kick-ass, yes, but she's also still a teenage girl, and worries about your average issues while also dealing with defeating the bad guys). There is also light humor sprinkled throughout the story, like a BtVS episode.

I'm enjoying it so far! Tessa is an interesting character, and the "real" fictional characters mentioned thus far were really fun to read about (BATMAN!!!) I can't wait to see who else gets mentioned or cameoed in the story! 

If you're worried about the cover, but enjoyed the synopsis, then I recommend you check out the first seven chapters, which won't take long to read, and judge for yourself whether or not this novel is something you'd be interested in. I, for one, am totally excited! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


This week was a good week for me, in that I found out that my seasonal work position is now a permanent one! Now I'm even closer to my New Year's resolution of owning a car, since a steady income is what I needed to make the plunge of buying one (though I think I'll go for a used car, since my student loans make the idea of buying a new car quite laughable...) Anywho, I know you're here to see what books I got this past week, so here they are:


by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
I love Isa's vegan cookbooks, and this one looks absolutely gorgeous! Many of the recipes feature full-page color photos, and there are beautiful fonts throughout the book.

by Stephenie Meyer 
(Mandarin Chinese Edition)
 I've been wanting to buy a book in Mandarin for a while now, to help with my language studies. I thought about getting a Harry Potter novel, but I figured that 'Twilight' would be easier, since all of the made-up magical words in HP would probably make it harder for me to translate. I've noticed that the Chinese version of 'Twilight' features a lot of footnotes, such as information about the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic, which is interesting.

by Charles Duhigg
I've heard so many things about this book on the podcasts that I listen to, so I figured I'd give it a go and see if it could help me break some of my bad habits and start some good ones.


   

I purchased 12 Years A Slave and The Rosie Project from the Kindle store when they went on sale - I've been wanting to read them both for a while now. The Tyrant's Daughter was a 'read instantly' book on NetGalley, and sounded interesting enough that I decided to get it (this was free in exchange for an honest review). The Line was my January pick for the Kindle First program, in which Amazon Prime members can choose one of four books to read free one month before they are released. All in all, this was a good haul.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 10 Things I'd Like To Read More About

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 with 7 comments
A Meme By The Broke and the Bookish

Today's top 10 list was a lot of fun to put together - it's pretty much a compilation of the various things that I wish authors would write about so that I can read them. According to The Broke and the Bookish website, this list can refer to "a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc" - anything you'd like to read about but haven't been able to find enough of. Here's my list of 10 things I would really love to read about (feel free to give me some recs if you know a book that features any of the following):

College Life
I don't want college to be just a background, I really want to read about people who are going experiencing campus life, and trying to find a major, make friends, etc.

Life After College
I really want more books that I can relate to right now, such as trying to find a job/career, making friends & forming relationships in 'the real world,' etc.

Exotic Settings
I'd love to see more NA/YA novels set in foreign locations, especially lesser-used ones (Daughter of Smoke & Bone featured Prague & Marrakesh!)

NA Military Life
There are plenty of military novels out there, but I'd really like to see some New Adult novels featuring characters who are just starting out in or deciding to join the military.

Realistic Relationships In NA/YA
I'm sick and tired of insta-love and relationships that have one bump and flow perfectly afterwards. I want to see romances that take time to develop, or relationships that are strictly platonic without any romance at all. Also, it would be nice to see books that focus on friendships or familial relationships rather than romantic ones.

Nerdy Lead Characters
I've been seeing more of these lately - keep 'em coming! But do they all have to be romances?!

'Bookish' Books
More books about books, bookstores, librarians, etc. please!

Contemporary Texas Settings
I've hardly seen any of these, whether in YA, NA, or even Adult fiction (unless you count romances, but I have no interest in Harlequin Cowboys/etc.). I want to see more books set in my home state!

East Asian Culture In NA/YA
Especially ones actually set in China, since I'm studying Mandarin and would like to read books related to the country whose language I'm trying to learn. I'd also like to see books set in the other East Asian countries, or featuring Asian-Americans, or set in China-Town, etc. Anything!!!

Underwater Research Facilities
Are there any of these? Preferably YA or NA related. This would make an awesome setting!


What do you think? Is there anything you'd like to see more of in the books that you read? Please let me know in the comments, or link to your own Top 10 Tuesday post and I'll be sure to check it out!

Monday, January 20, 2014



Holly Hearts Hollywood
by Kenley R. Doonan
Release Date: Spring 2014
Sixteen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with the seemingly bipolar Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?




From nine to five I am a home insurance agent. At all other hours of the day I am a young adult author, singer, dancer, cat lady, fangirl, wife, bookworm, and internet enthusiast. My favorite pastimes include crying over really good books, riding with my husband on our motorcycle, and binge-watching seasons of television shows. When I’m not working or writing I like to perform in local community musical theatre productions.


Author Links: 


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Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

"You were true to her, even if she was not to you. Never repent of your own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength."


Holy smokes - I suddenly understand why everyone seems to like this series so much. I must start off by saying that the writing in this novel is absolutely fantastic! Every page is filled with gorgeous imagery and beautiful language. I even picked up a few new words that I really love the sound of (i.e. concrescence, which is the coalescence or growing together of parts originally separate).

At first I was worried about this novel containing insta-love, but it played out well enough over the course of the plot that I'll let it pass (though I admit there were a few moments when I felt myself cringing). The characters in this book were so imaginatively written that I found myself completely absorbed in their story. I also liked that the character names were creative without being too far "out there." Sometimes it seems like authors are obviously trying too hard when it comes to character names, but in this instance I felt that their names just "fit".

The story itself was paced evenly, with flashbacks that really added a lot to the main plot. I don't like to give spoilers in my reviews, so I'll just say that you'll be in for a few surprises in this novel - so much of what I read was very different from your average YA Paranormal Romance novel that made this a unique reading experience. The fact that there was so much travel and culture in this book (it mainly takes place in the Czech Republic, but there are also scenes in places like Paris and Marrakesh - Marrakesh, in a YA Novel!) also stood out to me, and was a big part of why I enjoyed this novel so much.

I'm already looking forward to continuing this series! Luckily, book two is already out, along with an eBook novella, so if I pace myself right, then I won't have too long of a wait until book three is out in April. Recommended - 4.5 stars!


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Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Meme by The Story Siren &
Stacking The Shelves, A Meme by Tynga's Reviews


Woohoo!!! My first box for Book Riot Quarterly arrived in the mail on Christmas Eve! I know I'm posting this super late, but better late than never, right? I decided to make this post because I know that many of you may be curious as to what goodies the Quarterly Box would contain before actually subscribing, especially since the price is pretty steep ($50 per box - eeek!!)

I myself was curious to see what kind of items it would contain, and was especially excited to see what book would be included. Luckily, it was a book I didn't have, and one that was already on my TBR list after hearing Michael Kindness talk about it on the Books on the Nightstand podcast. The book?


Lexicon by Max Barry
What makes this box special is that the book (a hardcover) includes a handwritten letter from the author, as well as sticky notes from the author hidden throughout the book that portray the thoughts that went through his mind while writing the novel. Sadly, the book itself is not signed, but the letter is. Here are some pics:


Other items that were included in the box were: The Book Lover's 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar, a Make A Point Pencil Set, & an E.E. Cummings Mini Notebook. There was also a promo poster and an book excerpt. Honestly, I'm really glad that Lexicon is something I've really been wanting to read, and the notebook and pencils are useful and cute, but I could really have done without the page-a-day calender. I'm not sure as to whether or not I'll continue this subscription, since the $50 price tag is too steep for me, but it may be worth checking out for those of you who can afford it. The book itself is what makes or breaks the box, and in this instance I was happy with their choice.

What do you think - would this be something you'd be interesting in subscribing to?

If you aren't already aware, Book Riot has a podcast out that features the latest and greatest news in the book world & publishing industry. Check it out - I highly recommend it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN

Monday, January 13, 2014 with 2 comments

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound
Nothing could have thrilled Kimihiro more than stumbling upon the bizarre wish-granting shop of the beautiful but unnerving Yûko Ichihara, who solemnly promises to make the spirits plaguing Kimihiro go away just as soon as her fee–rendered in daily afternoon chores at her shop–is paid in full.

Of course, the thrill wears off as soon as Kimihiro realizes that his payment plan bears a disturbing resemblance to indentured servitude . . . eternal indentured servitude. Still he soldiers on, ready for whatever number of adventures lie ahead. But in Kimihiro’s case, three may not be the charm!

His first assignment–to procure a pair of fake eyeglasses–is exceptionally pointless, even by Yûko’s standards. Or at least it seems that way, until Kimihiro watches a woman throw herself into traffic. He soon discovers that the doors of bespectacled perception can swing both ways.

Next, when a classmate seeks help solving a mystery involving text messages from the dead, Kimihiro is glad to play Sherlock. But he must turn to Yûko to determine whether the root of the riddle is otherworldly shenanigans, deceit, or murder.

Finally, however ready, willing, and able Kimihiro thinks he is to face the most unusual of circumstances, he still finds himself completely bewildered by the stranger who chases away his darkest spirits, condemns Yûko as a craven charlatan, and offers Kimihiro a way out of his preternatural predicament–and a fortune besides.

Let me start off by saying that I have never read the xxxHOLiC manga, nor have I seen the anime. I'm a fan of CLAMP and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, but this light novel was my first venture into the story of Watanuki Kimihiro. I'll admit that there were a few moments when I was a bit lost, if only because I wasn't familiar with the original story, but it wasn't really that hard to figure out what was happening once I got further into the stories.

This book is comprised of three stand-alone short stories - the first is about a girl who can't help but break any taboo that she comes across (if the pedestrian light is red, she'll cross the street, if a sign says 'do not enter,' she enters anyway); the second story is about a girl who seems to be receiving text messages from her dead best friend; and the third story was about an obnoxiously rude man who can see demons but also has the power to 'unsee' them if he wishes. All stories feature high school student Watanuki Kimihiro and the dimension witch, Ichihara Yûko, and are tied together through the idea of wish granting.

While I liked the stories well enough, I do have to say that the writing was a bit flat. This may be because it was translated into English from the original Japanese novel, but it felt a bit unattached, as though I were watching an anime with no sound and having to rely only on subtitles. This bothered me quite a bit, but as the stories themselves were pretty interesting, I was able to keep reading - they each had a unique spin on some oddities of human behavior, which I found entertaining.

I now think that I'd like to check out the original xxxHOLiC manga to get a better grasp of the story-line - the idea of a boy working as an indentured servant to a wish-granting 'dimension witch' in exchange for losing the ability to see and attract demons is rather intriguing. But for now, this particular story collection gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.


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Published: 06/24/13 by Spencer Hill Press
Paperback/eBook, 312 pages
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.


“Who ate all the damn strawberries?” Aidan yelled. “I was saving them for my cereal.” 

“I did. Use the banana,” Josh said. 

“A banana isn’t a strawberry. I marked the container with my name. You’re a jerk—” 

The container hit the metal wall of the chute with a crack. I always jumped when it did that. I hated it. It reminded me of the banging and crunching we’d heard when Cam’s sub-POD was cut off from the main. 

“It’s not time for our blood checks,” I said. 

“Maybe it’s strawberries. I’d really like some strawberries… Josh,” Aidan said, an edge to his voice. 

“Drop dead,” Josh replied, never looking up from his computer. 

David got up from the table where we were having breakfast. Taking the container from the chute, he pulled a manila envelope out of the basket. 

He dumped the contents on the table for everyone to see. Inside were ten name badges, one for each of us. Our photos— except Faith’s— and names were printed on one side; the other had barcodes. David scanned the label on the envelope, his face growing pale. “What’s it say, David?” I whispered. 

“‘The seals to each sub-POD will be broken tomorrow morning. Do not attempt to leave your sub-POD. Officers will give residents directions and escort them to their appropriate area topside.’ That’s all it says.” 

“It’s over,” Tiffany murmured, pulling the baby close. 

“Hot damn! Finally, I’m free of this tin can,” Josh jumped up and hurried to the guys’ bedroom. 

Well, at least Josh is happy. Why aren’t the rest of us? I thought we’d be excited. But instead everyone looks… anxious. What will we find up there? What has the world become? 

“Well, guess we should start packing up our stuff,” Aidan said.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Seth agreed, rising slowly from his seat, rubbing his hands up and down his thighs. 

One by one, everyone walked to their sleeping areas and started packing their belongings— except me. I sat in the living room alone, flicking the corner of my name badge with my fingernail. The lanyard wound so tightly around my fingers they turned red. My insides were quivering, jittery. Something wasn’t right. For fifteen months we’d all looked forward to the moment we could leave, but now that the time was here it felt… wrong.

Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

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I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order. I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction and paranormal romances and have recently started dabbling in young adult contemporary romance. Reading was one of my earliest passions, writing soon followed. I began writing seriously during college where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a career that frowns on creativity remains a mystery.

I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write, have an abnormal obsession with hoodies and can’t write without one, and I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television. An unabashed romantic, I love a swoon-worthy ending that will give me butterflies for days.

I wrote my debut young adult novel, PODs, in 2011. PODs, a science/fiction, post-apocalyptic romance, will be released June 4, 2013 through the amazing Spencer Hill Press. My second young adult title, Milayna, a paranormal romance, will release through Spencer Hill Press beginning in March 2014. Milayna is a standalone, with series potential. It’s meant to be a trilogy. The Infected, a PODs novel, will release November 2014. It is the second, and last, book in the PODs series.

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a snooty cat.

Keep up-to-date with my current, future projects, appearances, and fun giveaways at www.michelle-pickett.com.

I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!
Find me here:

First place: Signed copy of PODs, tote bag, and swag (US only see note for international)
Second place: Signed copy of PODs and swag (US only see note for international)
*International winners will receive a print copy of PODs only if www.Bookdepository.com delivers to their country. Otherwise they will receive an e-book. Swag will not be included.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Saturday, January 11, 2014 with 1 comment


Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.


The Golem and the Jinni is Helene Wecker's debut novel, and what a debut it was! A magnificent fantasy with masterful storytelling, this book was the perfect pick for my first read of 2014 - and it was one of those books that I would happily read for the rest of my life, if only there were never an ending. In fact, I actually found myself wanting to slow down my reading, because I felt that this was a book to be savored slowly, rather than devoured quickly.

I loved learning about aspects of Jewish and Arabic folklore, and getting a slice-of-life image of what it was like to be an immigrant in 19th century New York City. I also enjoyed reading about the developing friendship between the golem, Chava, and the jinni, Ahmad. Both characters were very three-dimensional, and you could easily see how much they influenced each other as the story progressed - they actually made each other better people.

What I really must applaud the author on, however, is the way that she connected everything in the novel. There are many subplots to the main story, and they are all interwoven with each other in a seamless fashion. Normally when a book has so many characters with names that are foreign to me, I have a hard time keeping them all straight, but every character in this novel was so well-developed and so real to me that I remembered each and every one of them, even if they were only mentioned a few times throughout the novel. I had so much fun reading all of their stories, and seeing how they all connected with each other, that I was sad to see it end.

I found The Golem and the Jinni to be a very unique reading experience, and an excellent example of true storytelling at its best. If you have a love for the written language, rich history, and epic fantasy tales, then I highly recommend you give this book a try (there's a reason it made so many 'Best of 2013' lists!)


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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Top 10 Resolutions For 2014

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 with 8 comments
A Meme By The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is about New Year's resolutions. I had a hard time narrowing this list down, since there are so many things that I'd like to do this year, but it was nice to spend the time reflecting on what it is that I actually want. Here's what I finally decided on adding to this post:



I really want to focus on reading books that are outside of the YA genre this year. I love YA, but since it was my main focus last year, I'd like to try reading some more classics, literary novels, and even some non-fiction. I also want to make sure to read every single day, even if it's just for a few minutes - I just want to make sure that I at least read something, even a short story, since there were a lot of days last year where I chose to watch television instead.

And of course, I would also like to maintain my health, and get in better shape. So far I've managed to exercise every day this year - can you believe that a lot of these health related resolutions were already broken by the 6th for most people? (at least, that's what I heard on the radio....) I will try my best, since I'll be turning 25 this year, which is a milestone birthday (I'll be a quarter of a century), and since I'm pretty much a hermit I'm going to try to go out more on the weekends, even if it's just to the library.

Please feel free to share your goals with me, or link to any posts you've made about them - I would love to check them out and cheer you on!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

{Bout of Books 9.0} Goals + Progress

Sunday, January 05, 2014 with 7 comments
Hey guys, welcome to 2014! Sorry that I haven't posted anything this past week, but the holiday was pretty busy for me. I'm glad to be back, though, and I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday! How great is it to be able to start off the year with another Bout of Books read-a-thon to help you kick-start your TBR pile? I'm excited to start - let's make this year another great year for reading! And if you're participating in the read-a-thon as well, let me know so that I can check in on your progress and cheer you on!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
My Goals
Read at least 3 books
Participate in at least 5 challenges
Comment on at least 5 blogs per day

I'll do my best to try and reach my goals, but since I'll be working all week I won't beat myself up if I'm unable to meet them. がんばれ!
Books To Choose From
*subject to change*
   
   
    

*I'll also be starting Vampire Academy 
for a read-along hosted by Kelly @ Dandelion Dreams*

Updates

Monday
Books Completed:
none
Currently Reading:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (58% done)
Challenges Completed Today:
none
Thoughts:
I didn't get any sleep last night, so when I got off work today I wasn't in the best shape to stay up and read. Hopefully I can catch up on sleep tonight and will be able to stay awake easier tomorrow.
Tuesday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Currently Reading:
*in between books*
Challenges Completed Today:
Thoughts:
I finished The Golem and the Jinni, and it was utterly amazing! Such fantastic writing and masterful storytelling - it's now a favorite! My next read will have to be something lighter, since I'll need time to recuperate after this one...
Wednesday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Currently Reading:
xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN (on page 43 of 208)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audiobook - on part 2 of 8)
Challenges Completed Today:
none
Thoughts:
It's a lot harder than I thought to read through these books - sometimes after work I feel like I don't have that much time for it, since I also have to make dinner, exercise, etc. I'll try my best, though!
Thursday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Currently Reading:
xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN (on page 108 of 208)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audiobook - on part 3 of 8)
Challenges Completed Today:
Thoughts:
I'm still trudging through! Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday - this weekend will be full of cramming! Also, that poem challenge was pretty fun, and I recommend you give it a shot.
Friday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN
Currently Reading:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audiobook - on part 3 of 8)
Challenges Completed Today:
none
Thoughts:
Two books down, and now I need at least one more to read my goal. Hurrah for the weekend!
Saturday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN
Currently Reading:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audiobook - on part 3 of 8)
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (23% done)
Challenges Completed Today:
none
Thoughts:
Sorry, I was planning on reading more today, but then I started playing Left 4 Dead 2 for the first time, thanks to Steam giving it away for Christmas...I think I stayed up until 3 am playing it.
Sunday
Books Completed:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
xxxHOLiC: AnotherHOLiC by NisiOisiN
Currently Reading:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (audiobook - on part 3 of 8)
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (23% done)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (25% done)
Challenges Completed Today:
none
Thoughts:
Well, sadly I didn't get much reading done during the challenge. In fact, I kind of went all over the place, and now I'm in the middle of two YA books and one audiobook. I'm enjoying all three, but this is new for me, since I'm used to reading books one at a time (yet I have no problem juggling multiple TV shows at once, so I wonder why I haven't tried this before with books....)

Books Completed During This Challenge