Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Changes In My Reading Life

Changes In My Reading Life

Oh boy, I feel like I'm not the reader I used to be AT ALL.

1.) Bookstores: Unfortunately, the bookstores in my life have changed. For three years I lived within walking distance of a Barnes & Noble. Sometimes I went there 2-3times a day. Since we lived in an apartment, I joked that Barnes & Noble was sorta like our yard. We would go there to get coffee, walk, and browse, and frequently buy. I blogged about this location on my IG tons.

Now I live about an hour's drive from a B & N in each direction. And sometimes their selection isn't as nice or current as my old B & N yard.

To add to the book shopping woe, the Books-A-Million of mine and my husband's childhood and teen years suddenly turned into a 2nd & Charles. I'm not joking when I write it made us feel like a member of our family passed. The change was so sudden, we knew nothing about it, I think we still grieve for the good ole book shopping days; what we were used to. Now, I guess, I should be glad the location still has a life as a 2nd &  Charles. But even though I do shop there sometimes, it feels like a Frankenstein of store.

And my location indie books is a no go as well. Our favorite employee has moved. The owners are busy with another out-of-town location. And the last time I visited, the new employee was rude. She touched my things without asking and laughed about it. I haven't been back.

2.) The Library: The library of my young adult/college years isn't the same either. The last time I went there, I felt like I was going to be robbed at 9am on a weekday.

For the past year, they have been renovating the 1970s building. Maybe the feel and safety of the location will improve when they finish next year?

3.) New Kindle: Yeah, so all that's a bummer. But, on the bright side, my husband and I gifted each other a new Kindle last year. Most of the time, the Kindle editions of books we want to read are more affordable, which helps with homeownership expenses. Since we're not near a good bookstore, the ability to have a new release "day-of" is convenient. I do have Kindle Unlimited and it's introduced me to several helpful ebooks that I wouldn't have had access to otherwise. Plus, when one of us wants to stay up late reading, the backlight on the Kindle is more thoughtful than having an actual lamp on all night.

4.) Fiction Reading Burn Out: For 2018 and most of this year I've suffered a major fiction reading burn out. Several books I thought I would personally enjoy either disappointed me or contained triggers and/or tropes I'm not a fan of. I did enjoy some of what I read this year and I was able to savor those few.

5.) Audible Burn Out:  Ditto for Audible. I used to listen to a TON of audible books. But, my husband and I don't long-distance car travel for education/work/visit family anymore. I also used to listen a great deal while I cleaned house, but with Youtube Premium, I decided to take a break and listen to pop-culture videos and podcasts instead.

6.) Increase In My Own Creative Writing: I think with the increase of my own creative writing I've had less time to read, and also, perhaps I'm more critical of the stories I do read. Not, always, the writing or style itself. I see the characters' development or choices as more technical chunks of info, and I get more critical of what the author chooses to do. It's become harder to enjoy the story for the sake of being a reader.

7.) Non-Fiction Reading Fire Up: While I've stalled on fiction reading, my non-fiction reading has increased. I'm in full mom-to-be baby mode and trying to prepare myself the best way I know how. This personal trend will probably continue as I plan to read more parenting books in the near future. I need all the help I can get!

8.) Reading Challenges:  For the first time in nearly ten years, I'm not going to meet my yearly reading challenge. But I'm ok with that. Sometimes it felt great to do other things, put energy into other projects and hobbies, or just rest, instead of constant reading. I started an Etsy store and only read what I really liked.

9.) Clueless About New Books and Series: So, ditto for pretty much knowing none of the books nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards this year. In years past, I was able to suggest an additional book for several of the categories. But, at least, if I feel like it, I can read the best of 2019 in 2020, if I have time...

10.) Transitioning to Mommy Blog: In the next few months and years, I see myself sharing and reviewing more children's books. I've always had a heart for children's lit and I'm looking forward to discovering which titles are my child's favorites. I see myself buying more books for my child and less for myself (other than ebooks.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten: Favorite Bookmarks

 Favorite Bookmarks 

Ah, bookmarks. Those book page saving lil heroes that I can never get enough of. (I'm assuming this week's top ten meant bookmarks for books and not bookmarks on a computer browser or the more updated pins on Pinterest.)

Sticky page tabs have quickly become my favorite bookmarks, especially to mark my favorite scenes so I can quickly return to them.

Girl of All Work has the cutest classic character designs. I've been known to use Darcy to mark the hero scenes and Elizabeth to mark the heroine's.

The last bookmark I bought for myself after seeing a user post it on Tumblr: gotta have my sequel trilogy Rey and Kylo Ben fix.

3. Stick Marker

I've found these adorable little page markers make cute birthday gifts.

4.  99 Problems Beaded Bookmark

I got this one from B&N several, several years ago. It made me laugh. Although I do still have book problems, like looking at my TBR and thinking I have nothing to read.

5. I-Clips

I like i-clips, but I don't actually own all that many of them. I bought these back during the height of Downton Abbey.

6.  Movie Bookmarks

I was very happy to receive these as a Christmas gift one year. Super excited about a new Hunger Games novel, too.

7. Movie ticket stubs

And speaking of movies, I've actually used movie ticket stubs to make my place quite often. Only nowadays most theaters don't have nice thick cardstock stubs anymore. But I can see their reasoning that most people don't reuse or recycle them.

8. Emoji Sticky Notes

I have used emoji sticky notes before, but they're a little on the large side. They're good for a typical bookmark to move from page to page while reading. Not so good for annotating.

9. Postcard

From time to time, I'll get a postcard that I really like and somehow it just ends up being a bookmark.

10. A receipt

And, when in desperation, there have been times in the past that I used a store receipt as bookmark. Notsomuch now, because I try to file them away for taxes asap.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Bookish Halloween Costumes 2019

Bookish Halloween Costumes 2019

I love costumes, mostly I guess, because I love the theater and the amazing storytelling behind productions from Shakespeare to new classics (Cats, Hamilton).

So, bookish halloween costumes? Even better!

Here's some I like and would try in the future (it's cold and rainy and I'm so pregnant '^-^).

A Book Fairy - The wheels in my head are turning. You could hand out a piece of candy attached to a bookmark.

Katniss Everdeen - I have the jacket as a raincoat! But I never officially cosplayed as Katniss. Woot for the Hunger Games new book though.

Anne of Green Gables - Easier, maybe, if you have red hair? But wigs or colorful Halloween dye are a thing, too.

Molly Weasley - Mom goals, anyone??

Ms. Marvel - Arguably a very easy and comfortable comic book costume compared to Batgirl or Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel.

Elizabeth Bennet - Classic Lizzie for a day look, maybe, and Zombie hunter for the evening?

Vin from Mistborn - So well done! I'd like to have a mist cloak in my future.

Pete the Cat - Kudos to a character I first learned about from the Decatur Book Festival. I would actually love to do a Pete the Cat family theme.

Book - If all else fails, just be the book you're reading or writing!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3) by Julia Quinn

The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3)The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My book year is not complete without a read from the incredibly witty Julia Quinn.

I felt like I had to wait forever for this one, while also waiting for more news on the Bridgerton Netflix series, that I've longed for years.

The Other Miss Bridgerton had its moments. Star-gazing. A surprise dinner-guest twist. It's an adventurous novel, in which the heroine is kidnapped by pirates. And, in which, the captain hero is undercover for the government, and also secretly a friend of her family. More kidnapping.

I've been bored by the "kidnapped-by-pirates" trope before. Mainly because it usually means spending a lot of time on a ship, doing nothing. But, as always, Quinn made it fresh, with enough tension and distractions to keep me from feeling trapped as a reader. Although, I did eventually speed-read through some of the back-and-forth sibling-like bickering between the heroine and hero. It was nearly akin to slow-burn.

Overall, "Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1)" has been my favorite. But, again, this one had some very darling moments.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2) by Sarah E. Ladd

The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2)  by Sarah E. Ladd

My Rating: 4 out 5
A little bit Jane Eyre, a little bit gambling debts, horses, and two suitors at dinner.

Patience Creighton is the "unofficial" headmistress of Rosemere. Her father, the former headmaster, has died. Her brother has not been heard from in months. Her grieving mother is stricken with melancholy.

One night, their wayward landlord, William Sterling, suddenly appears beaten and in need of aid. As Patience tends to him, the attraction is clear. Except he kept muttering the name "Isabelle."

When a fire threatens Rosemere, Patience comes to trust William. Could he be the romantic hero she dreamed of as a girl? The dream suitor she envisioned when she refused an offer of marriage from her childhood friend?

William knows he should be thinking of his gambling debts and finding a buyer for his foal. However, his thoughts are increasingly on the headmistress of Rosemere. But how could he ever hope to love, again? What can he offer her? When he finds his late mother's jewelry in the headmaster's office, a mystery from his past resurfaces.

Very enjoyable read. I couldn't put it down.

The ending was a little rushed for me. I needed a chapter in which Patience takes in or thinks over the mystery of William's past. She did a lot of thinking about every other situation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Persuasion and Mansfield Park - Jane Austen -  I'm dragging my feet a little because these are the only finished Austen titles that I haven't read. And I can only read them for the first time once...and while it'll be great to have bragging rights that I've read all her work, on the other hand, it's sad there's not more of it in existence.

Dancing at Midnight, Everything and the Moon, Brighter Than the Sun, Minx by Julia Quinn - When I someday read these, I'll be all caught up on the author's work and I'll be left slowly waiting for the new releases.

In Calabria - Peter S. Beagle - I was stoked to find this in an indie bookstore on vacation in Asheville, NC. I bought it! But there's just so much to read. Right now, after seeing Beagle at Dragon*Con, I really want to go back and re-read the work he said is his favorite, The Innkeepers Song.

A Size 12 Is Not Fat - Meg Cabot - The title alone would have been right up my alley during my weight loss journey. Ditto for A Size 14 Is Not Fat Either - I can remember a time when I would have loved to be a size 14...back when I was a size 20.

Inferno Squad - Christie Golden - I have it autographed. The husband has read it. I just haven't got around to it. I'm not much of an SW "Empire" person. I'd be more likely to join the Rebels.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Decatur Book Festival 2018

Decatur Book Festival 2018

Thankfully, the post-residency life schedule has been flexible and my husband was able to take us to this year's Decatur Book Festival and Dragon*Con.

Decatur Book Festival

It's a little overwhelming to think this was the first year we actually had a choice in deciding what day to attend the Decatur Book Festival. In years past, my husband was usually on call at least one day during Labor Day, so we attended depending on his schedule. There was no such thing as holidays. Making Labor Day fun but stressful, as it was a little like attending an event in the middle of a work week.

But for a long time we felt it was worth it. We love books.

Dragon*Con in Atlanta is a little crazy on Saturdays, a lot of people only buy Saturday memberships, so I thought Saturday would be the best pick for the Decatur Book Festival instead.

Unfortunately, my husband was sick most of Friday night into early Saturday morning.

So, I was content to miss the festival this year.

Last DBF, 2017, was just ok for me. Inside some of the church sanctuary panels, I had issues with individuals seating themselves directly in front of me...when there was plenty of room on the pew and in pews several rows up front. It was just, like a magnet, there was something about sitting right directly in front of me that these people wanted to do. I swear they were part of the Matrix. (It's like who does that without looking if they are blocking someone? Bots, that's who.) I got really close to starting a mockumentary Twitter account using the photos I took of the back of their heads. But I guess that would make me as rude as they are.

And, there was also a big panel we wanted to see and for some reason it was put in a tiny venue and it just made the whole festival experience feel off. Sorta, like, you, young people (if, 31 is young to you), not welcome here. You either gotta be under 18 or 50+, is what it felt like. 

This year wasn't much different. In years past, I felt like there were more people our age at the festival. Maybe they were all at Dragon*Con Saturday because they like crowds. Or just not enough NA, fantasy, romance, or other authors to draw people our age and my husband and I are anomalies.

The one and only panel we attended was "Women Take Charge In Sci-Fi" with Malka Older and Liza Yaszek. I don't have a photo because the host stated it's no longer allowed during panels.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to checking into Liza Yaszek's collection of classic American science fiction by women from the 1920s to the 1960s titled The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin: A Library of America Special Publication which releases according to Amazon, October 9th.

I felt the panel was very informative to me. I've always been a big fan of scifi and fantasy movies. Recently, I've been wanting to branch out and read more classic scifi and fantasy novels. Tons of interesting recommendations were thrown out: Parable of the Sower(Earthseed, #1)EscapologyHow to Suppress Women's WritingAn Unkindness of Ghosts, and many more I didn't manage to type into my phone.

So, even though I was kinda meh about going because of past experiences, I'm glad I did.


We usually don't escape without buying a few books. It was our first year visiting the Georgia Book & Paper Fair.

And, we'll probably be back.


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