June Wrap Up

JuneWrapUp

Another month of 2017 has passed us by. Here, summer is upon us with long, warm days by the pool and watching fireflies at night. My daughter thinks that the fireflies are tiny little faeries and it is adorable watching her chase them in the evening. Of course, then the dog tries to eat them which leads to a bit of a meltdown but it is still adorable. Other than the first day of summer, June was a fairly productive month after I got over the reading slump at the beginning…


 

Books Read

Golden Son by Pierce Brown – rainbow starrainbow starrainbow starrainbow starrainbow star

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – rainbow starrainbow starrainbow star

Morning Star by Pierce Brown – rainbow starrainbow starrainbow starrainbow star

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – rainbow starrainbow star (review coming July 7)

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas – rainbow starrainbow starrainbow starrainbow star (review coming July 14)

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White–  DNF (I may try this one again some other time)

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Added to the TBR

Top Ten Tuesday – Father Figures in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday – Series I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday – Best Reads of 2017

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – June 7

WWW Wednesday – June 14

WWW Wednesday – June 21

WWW Wednesday – June 28

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – June 1

Throwback Thursday – June 8

Throwback Thursday – June 15

Throwback Thursday – June 22

Throwback Thursday – June 29

Other Posts

My Life in Books Tag

The Ultimate Book Tag

Mini Review Friday

Book Life Tag

Books I Won’t Be Reading

Unique Blogger Award

Down the TBR Hole #1

What Cats Do – Book Tag


Outside of Books

June included my fifth wedding anniversary! I got married on June 24th, 2012 in Groton, Connecticut. My now husband had just joined the Navy and he wasn’t permitted to live off base or given a housing allowance unless he was married. So, standing on a rocky beach looking out at the water on a sunny morning we were married with only the priest and my parents in attendance.

Now, to the part that makes me chuckle. The 24th rolled around this year and my husband suggested going kayaking on the lake. Sure! Sounds fun. So the three of us head to the lake and besides a small incident where my husband and daughter fell out of the boat we had a great time. I ended up with a horrible sunburn on my shins and ankles but it was still fun. The day passes, we come home, I’m making dinner and he STILL has not mentioned our anniversary. It was curious but not particularly odd as my husband isn’t exactly emotionally outspoken so I let it go.

My husband LOVES shellfish, especially lobster, but we don’t get it outside of special occasions now. Living so far from the water (I miss the ocean) it is just too expensive. When we lived in Connecticut it was cheaper than beef! So when he comes down for dinner and sees lobster he seems confused as to why. The big dolt thought our anniversary was the next day. I gave him a hard time but it was a good laugh. He went out to the car and brought in my present which was a new FitBit Charge 2 as my old FitBit Charge HR was literally falling apart. All in all, it was a memorable day.

Look at me sharing personal stuff. I never do that! But it was a really great day so I wanted to share it with you wonderful folks.

Kayak


 

That is all for this month! I hope you all have a wonderful July!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Book Tag

Folks, the book slump is real. I haven’t seriously read in over a week. In an attempt to get out of it I picked up a short, tacky mystery involving cupcakes and coffee this morning in the hopes of at least finishing more than two paragraphs. It’s not working so well. Maybe I’ll try a tacky romance next. At least then I can make scoffing noises to amuse myself and annoy my cat.

Since I have very little book related to bring you today, I figured it was a perfect day for a tag! I found The Ultimate Book Tag with Zuky @ The Book Bum and thought I’d give it a shot.


 

DO YOU GET SICK WHILE READING IN THE CAR?

Catastrophically. I can get car sick even while driving. It’s terrible. I talked to my mother about it not long ago and she said they couldn’t even leave the house when I was a baby because I’d get so car sick. Motion sickness is real folks…but roller coasters are still fun.

WHICH AUTHOR’S WRITING STYLE IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO YOU AND WHY?

Susan Wittig Albert. She wrote a series that revolved around Beatrix Potter’s life called The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter and I was enchanted by them. I usually like flashy stories. Things need to happen constantly to keep me entertained. However, Albert’s writing in these books kept me completely engrossed without the flash. The stories are carefully crafted with interesting characters, softly painted settings, and obvious attention to detail. They are simply lovely.

HARRY POTTER SERIES OR THE TWILIGHT SAGA? 

I have not so far, nor will I ever, read Twilight. The only vampire books I’ve ever read are Anne Rice’s because who can resist Lestat? I also took the sorting quiz for Pottermore this morning (I told you I was procrastinating reading) and got sorted into Ravenclaw which was a bit of a surprise.

DO YOU CARRY A BOOK BAG? IF SO, WHAT IS IN IT (BESIDES BOOKS)?

The only time I carry a specific bag for books is when I’m going to the library. Otherwise I just tuck a book into my purse and go on my merry way.

DO YOU SMELL YOUR BOOKS?

I did when I was younger but not anymore. I considered it one day not long ago and then started thinking about inhaling other people’s skin cells and slowly decomposing tree pulp. That put a damper on that book smell. Rory Gilmore would be so disappointed in me.

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BOOKS WITH OR WITHOUT LITTLE ILLUSTRATIONS?

It really depends on what I’m reading. For some books it works to have a little illustration at the start of a chapter and in others it feels tacky and misplaced. If I had to make a definitive choice I’d say no illustrations unless I was reading a graphic novel.

WHAT BOOK DID YOU LOVE WHILE READING BUT DISCOVERED LATER IT WASN’T QUALITY WRITING?

24690 by A.A. Dark. Look, even while I was reading it I knew it wasn’t the traditional sense of quality writing…and I didn’t give a damn. As long as I am entertained I really don’t give a horse’s back side if it is socially acceptable “quality writing.” If the story pulls me in and makes me forget reality for a while, that is what matters to me.

WHAT IS THE THINNEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

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Cupcakes, Cappuccinos, and a Corpse by Harper Lin. This is listed on Goodreads at 286 pages but on my Nook it comes in at 155 pages so that is what I’m choosing to go by. I told you I was trying to read a tacky mystery to get out of my reading slump. All that has really happened is I now want a peanut butter cupcake. Damn.

WHAT IS THE THICKEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

I’d have to say A Dance with Dragons by GRRM at 1016 pages. That is a lot of pages and lot of shelf space that sucker is taking up. A whole tree was probably murdered per book.

WHEN DID YOU GET INTO READING?

Up until I was probably in my mid twenties it was more of a sporadic interest. I enjoyed reading but I didn’t feel that need to pick up a book. My then boyfriend (now husband) saw that I would enjoy snuggling onto the couch with a good book at times and bought me a Nook. Honestly, that really turned things around for me. I could just click on a book, have it downloaded, and start reading it then and there. That made a huge difference for me as I would get overwhelmed in book stores and usually leave empty handed. I’ve since started collecting both digital and hard copy books as well as taking advantage of library services but it was that one thoughtful purchase by him that turned things around for me.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASSIC BOOK?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I always sympathized with the monster and raged against the doctor. Not to mention the history behind the book. If I recall correctly, Mary, her husband Lord Byron, and one other friend were having a friendly writing competition which she wrote Frankenstein for. Just an interesting historical tidbit.

“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

IN SCHOOL WHAT WAS YOUR BEST SUBJECT?

As I majored in English and have a love of reading you would expect me to say English, correct? Nope! I excelled in history although English was a close second. I can vividly remember when my love of history began. I was in the eighth grade. My family had just moved to a new town and I was feeling awkward and left out. One of my classes was ancient history taught by Ms. Wilson. Most of the other kids hated her and that class but it was the only place that year I felt comfortable. It was the very first time that a teacher complimented my work. My love of ancient history has stuck with me thanks to Ms. Wilson.

IF YOU WERE GIVEN A BOOK AS A PRESENT THAT YOU HAD READ BEFORE AND HATED, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

It’s a gift. Don’t be a jerk. Be thankful that someone thought to give you a gift. Be grateful…then maybe see if you can exchange it somewhere or at least donate it to a used book store or the library.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD?

Odd question, there are a lot of lovely words in the English language. Here is one that I’ve enjoyed recently- Suborn – to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing.

ARE YOU A NERD, DORK, OR DWEEB? OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?

I am a lover of literature. A connoisseur of the written word. Impassioned by a fictional tale. There is no single word that can encompass all of that.

VAMPIRES OR FAIRIES? WHY?

Neither? Let us go with neither. Pirates! There needs to be a pirates option. I have a bit of a crush on Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time at the moment.

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SHAPESHIFTERS OR ANGELS? WHY?

Both make me think of Supernatural in which they are both pretty much assholes all of the time. I think I’ll go with shapeshifters because angels have that whole “holier than thou” complex which is just irritating.

AND FINALLY: FULL ON ROMANCE BOOKS OR ACTION-PACKED WITH A FEW LOVE SCENES MIXED IN?

Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, action packed with a few scattered love scenes and those love scenes damn well better be steamy. I’m not a romantic in case you haven’t figured that out.


 

That was a fun tag for a Monday morning! I think it’s one of the favorites that I’ve done. If you’d like to do it, please feel free, I never tag people for these. Have a lovely day.

The Happiness Tag

First, thank you to Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional for tagging me for The Happiness Tag! I always enjoy doing these tags as it gives your readers a sense of who you are outside of books and literature. It is just a fun way to bring the bookish community together.

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LIST FIVE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY 

  • A clean house– I never feel like I can get anything productive accomplished until my home is clean. I need the tidy and everything to be in it’s place.
  • Snuggling my little girl as she is falling to sleep– I’m not usually much of a snuggler but I love to pull my little three year old in as she is falling to sleep. The soft sleepy sigh, the little wiggle to get really comfortable, and just knowing she feels safe enough to sleep all cuddled up with me. It’s a good feeling.
  • A full tank of gas in the car– There has been more than one occasion in the last 10+ years that I have had to dig for change to put gas in the car to get to work. It’s a terrible feeling. When the tank is full and you don’t have to worry about it, that sure makes me happy.

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  • Spring flowers– For most of my life I have lived in cold, snowy areas. This winter the wind chill hit into the negatives (Fahrenheit) on more than one occasion and it was brutal. I think because of that I have a love of spring flowers. Those first tulips and hyacinths of the year let me know that warmer days are on the horizon.
  • Family dinner- I love to sit down to a meal with my family when everyone enjoys what is on their plate. At dinnertime we sit together and, since we aren’t a chatty group, we typically watch a comedy special or something entertaining. It’s just nice to be together as a family eating a meal that I put together.

Alright, answering those made me feel old. Hah! Ten years ago the answers would have been more along the lines of, “going to the beach” or ” sleeping in.” The times, how they change. I also left reading out because, really, this is a blog about books. I feel like it is pretty obvious that reading makes me happy.


 

LIST FIVE SONGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY

I think that this section is going to be a little tougher. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in for a song to make me feel happy. Am I already in a decent mood? Then some pop music would elevate that. Do I have a case of the grumps? Some hard rock would help get rid of that black cloud. Let’s see what I come up with today!

  • Adrenalize by In this Moment- Not exactly a song that most people would say can lift their mood but it always does the trick for me. It leaves me feeling powerful like I can conquer anything.
  • Inside Out by Eve 6– I remember singing this as loudly as I could in the back seat of the car with my sister. We loved this song. Pretty sure it drove our mother nuts but it’s a happy memory that always leaves me feeling good.
  • Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie– To be honest, the whole Ziggy Stardust album leaves me feeling good. Bowie was a musical genius.
  • Basket Case by Green Day– I love Green Day. I got to go see them live with my dad a few years ago and it was really a lot of fun. That’s right, I had a blast with my dad. Basket Case is one of their most popular songs for a reason. It’s catchy, has an upbeat rhythm, and just leaves you boogieing in your seat.
  •  3 AM by Matchbox Twenty– This is another one of those songs that I started listening to with my sister and it has stuck with me. Every time it comes on I can’t help but stop what I’m doing and sing along.

That was tougher than I thought it would be. I debated for a good ten minutes between Matchbox Twenty and Queen. Ended up picking 3 AM because I can sing along with it. Freddy Mercury had a wonderful voice but singing along with him never turns out well. I think for a song to really lift your spirits you need to be able to sing along with it and my voice just can’t hack Queen.


 

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically to do this but, please, feel free! Have a lovely day, everyone.

 

 

The Unique Blogger Award

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First of all, thank you to Laura @ The Book Corps for nominating me for this. She has a great blog over there and if you aren’t following her you should check it out. I love getting nominated for these things. It brings the people of the bookish community together to get to know one another and gives you some insight to the person behind the reviews and opinions.

Rules

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

I know we’re all mainly YA readers on here, so what is your favourite adult fiction novel?

I love a good mystery. My favorite mystery author is Christopher Fowler who writes the brilliant Bryant and May mysteries. It is impossible to pick just one favorite from that series because they are all brilliant. Two elderly detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, head the Peculiar Crimes Unit which is part of the London Police Department. It is an old unit and the head of the London police is often looking for reasons to close it. Using somewhat antiquated methods, the pair and their team solve crimes that are listed as dangerous to public moral (a leftover term from their creation in WWII). The books are fun and I rarely know who the evil doer is before the detectives tell me. Well worth reading and so glad I found them.

Enough with the heroes, they’re boring. Who is your favourite book villain?

This one took me a few minutes of pondering. I feel that to make a good villain they have to be likable and relatable as a character even while carrying out their villainous tasks. For this, I chose The Gardener from The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. The Gardener holds girls hostage in a lovely garden away from prying eyes. He kidnaps them when they are around 16 or 17 years old and tattoos each of them with a large, intricate butterfly on their back. While they reside at the garden he cares for all of them in his own despicable way. In his mind he truly loves them. None of the girls ever live beyond twenty-one. On their twenty-first birthday he encases them in resin and puts them and their tattoo on display in the hallway for the rest of the girls to see. The story itself may be horrible but it is well written and I feel like the villain is a very unique character.

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Will you ever lend a book to a friend? Why/Why not? Any horror stories?

Honestly, I can’t recall the last time I lent a book to a friend. I don’t think I ever trusted my friends well enough for that. Recently I did lend a book to my mother, though, if that counts. I know she’ll take care of it which is not something I can guarantee from a casual friend. Also, I know where she lives and can go ransack the house to get it back.

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My questions for you

  1. You have the opportunity to edit and rework any book to make it into the story you always knew it could be which will then be republished with you credited. What book to you choose to edit, why, and what are some of the edits you would make?
  2. You are given the chance to go back in history and make a change. For example, you could stop Hitler from being born or warn the crew and scientists from the space shuttle Challenger about the problem. What do you change and why?
  3. Not exactly a question, but, tell us all your favorite memory and why it is important to you.

 

I never tag anyone for these but, as always, feel free to do it if you would like! It took me some time to come up with those questions so I hope that someone does this. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Anything But Books Tag

Alright, I wasn’t actually tagged to do this but I saw it over on Catia’s page, The Girl Who Reads Too Much, and couldn’t resist. I believe this is the first one I’ve done that isn’t book related. Thought it might be fun to do something more personal!

 

1. Name a cartoon that you love.

The original Scooby Doo. I love Scooby! Fun, quirky, makes absolutely no sense 90% of the time. How could I resist that clumsy dog with his snack attacks and the unmasking of the monsters at the end? However, if the opportunity ever arose, I’d punch Freddy in the teeth. Pompous ass hat.

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2. What is your favorite song right now?

I always have trouble picking a favorite song. However, one that always perks up my mood and gives me some energy is Porn Star Dancing by My Darkest Days. Sure, it has an un-feminist theme but it’s still something fun to boogy to while getting some chores done. Anything to make laundry time more bearable.

3. What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

I love taking my dog, Patrick, for a long walk. He is a German Shepherd/Husky mix and is so full of energy. He is always just so darn happy and I love trekking through the woods with him. The picture below is from our walk this past Sunday, April 9th. He was eyeballing a stream he wanted to jump into. Yes, I let him.

PuppyWalk

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love watching history documentaries. Love them. Anything before 1900 and I’m on board. Recently while making dinner I’ve been binge watching Expedition Unknown where the host investigates pieces of the past with other experts in hopes of turning up new clues. Sounds a bit lame when I say it but it is really fun! I mean, look at this guy. He just makes it more fun!

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5. What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

Bit of an odd question but I’ll bite. I will read and pick up anything I see about the pharaoh Hatshepsut. She was a fascinating 18th dynasty pharaoh that the next ruler tried to erase from history. Of course, the next ruler was her “step” son and she had ruled in his stead while he was a small child and declined to give him his power by birth right when he came of age. Kinda understand why he wanted to wipe her from history but still interesting.

6. What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I can play the bassoon. I even used to be part of an orchestra/winds and percussion ensemble. It was a lot of fun and something I would love to get serious about again.

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7. Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.

I made my daughter a really warm afghan for her bed this winter. She picked the colors. It’s not perfect but it made her happy and I like her using something that I made for her. Not to mention that sucker is warm!

Blanket

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Hm. I can’t think of anything specifically. I crochet sometimes, I write short stories when the mood strikes me, I write a second blog that is more lifestyle leaning than book specific. Can’t say that I have a specific project at the moment other than trying to figure out how not to fail at life. Has anyone figured that one out yet?

9. Tell us something that you think about often.

Potatoes. No, I’m just kidding. On a personal level, I think about my daughter’s future and her life. What school should we send her to? Is she learning everything she needs to? Is she being kind? Is she getting enough exercise? What the heck stain is that on her shirt this time? Where is the cat and what is he destroying? He is being too quiet…

10. Give us something that is your favorite.

Going with the non book related theme, I’ll give you my favorite football team. American football. Yes, I know, Americans are the only ones that call it football and they really use their hands a lot but I can’t help what it is named. I love the Baltimore Ravens. During the season we have them on every Sunday. Just fun to watch and I love to shout at the TV. My three year old even has her own jersey. We are a bit obsessed in this house.

11. Say the first thing that pops into your head.

Chocolate chip cookies. Guys, I’m hungry here. Send food.

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Hah! Alright, that was fun. Hope you all enjoyed! I’m not going to tag anyone specifically but if you want to do this tag please feel free! Have a wonderful day, everyone.