#TheShelfieHop

Here's one of my all-time favorite shelfies for #TheShelfieHop:





 
 


Check out the rest of the hop:
 

Bookiemoji
My Friends Are Fiction
Between Fantasy and Reality
The Literary Hedonist
Books and Ladders
Bellsiebooks
Let's Take A Shelfie
The Bookkeeper's Apprentice
In Love With Handmade
Ex Libris
Just Another Bookish Blog
Here's to Happy Endings
DEA LENIHAN'S BLOG
A Tree Grows in Bookland
BookCatPinPlease Feed the Bookworm
Perks of Being a Book Nerd
Bookmark Lit
Christina Writes
By Breenah
BIBLIOPHIBIAN INC.
Novel Ink
Adventures of a Book Junkie
The YA Book Traveler
The Bookish Emporium
Books In My Suitcase
The Green Reader
BooksABlog
Big Books & Grande Lattes
The Green Reader
YA Indulgences
Hope To Read
coffee-inked tales
The Reader & The Chef
Yellow, Green, & Read All Over
It Starts at Midnight
Blame It On the Books
Wandering Bark Books
thoughts and afterthoughts
Here be Me Shelf
A Reader Under the Sea
Books and Prejudice
Lauren Skidmore
The Best Books Ever
Cruising Pages
Loving My Lit
Pretty Deadly Reviews
Chasing Faerytales
Savings in Seconds
The O.W.L.
Word Revel
Follow the Yellow Book Road
Rebelle Reads
A Perfection Called Books
The Magical Adventures of Cassie the Weird
Once Upon A Dream Books
Reading Among the Stars
thebibliophagist
The Reading Nook Reviews
The Novel Orange
Betsy's Random Assortment of Thoughts
Vi3tbabeFiery ReadsThe Fox's Hideaway
bookishnessandtea
Rattle The Pages
Beauty and the Bookshelf
Shelfie
Bookish Bevil
Spines & Covers
Quality Fangirls
Ohana Reads
Bookish Unicorn
Mia in Narnia
ADDLEPATES AND BOOK NERDS
somethinglikelydia
There were books involved...
Literary, etc
The Book Addict's Guide
My Thoughts...Literally!
Books and Swoons
The Psychotic Nerd
The Novel Hermit
Read.Sleep.Repeat.
Writer of Wrongs
Only True Magic
 

The Six Month Book Slump

Hi, remember me? The book blogger with an obscene amount of books and no desire to actually pick them up and read them?
 
 
 
I am in the worst reading slump of my entire life. I haven't been reading consistently for the past SIX MONTHS. SIX! MONTHS! Half a year.
 
That isn't to say I haven't read at all. There have been books I've read and enjoyed, and I even fully intended on reviewing them here. Especially Mackenzi Lee's This Monstrous Thing and Lauren DeStefano's A Curious Tale of the In-Between, both of which I loved.
 
I've also read tons of graphic novels and children's books. But my novel reading habits have been woefully pathetic. I've read a few books I promised friends I would read, a few books for my grad program, a few books for funsies... but my once ever-present drive to read and never stop reading burnt out around last May, and I haven't been able to jump-start it again.
 
The really crazy part is, I have amassed over 100 new books for my shelves in the last six months. The majority of which have been through giveaways, trades, and book events I've attended. And each time I have a new book in my hands, I think, "This is it. The book that will get me reading again." But no, I put it down on a shelf, and the poor thing languishes there along with the rest of them.
 
I have so many other commitments that take up a lot of time in my life, and I don't feel like I even have to time to pleasure read. But the thing is, I used to make time. I side-eyed people who said, "I'm too busy to read." To me, when people say that, it just means they don't count it as a priority. Reading is a priority for me. A form of self-care. It's what has driven me to the career path I've chosen.
 
I think it all probably comes down to me putting too much pressure on myself, which is why I haven't been reading like I used to. And this pressure turns into guilt. At this point, I've decided to just ride it out like a wave. And then (hopefully) one day I will wake up renewed and ready to binge read with the best of 'em.

Book Review & Blog Tour: Isabella Louise Anderson's The Right Design (+ Giveaway)



Title: The Right Design
Author: Isabella Louise Anderson
Publisher: Chick Lit Goddess
Publication Date: March 8th, 2014
Format: Paperback
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Page Count: 183


Synopsis:
Do business and pleasure mix? In the author's debut novel comes a story about picking up the pieces, letting go of the past, and finding love along the way--even if morals are tested!

Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job--Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish.

But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him--something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.

Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one?

Review


I’ve been in a terrible reading slump all summer. I can’t seem to truly get into any of the books I pick up. I’ve DNF’d 4 books in recent memory, which is actually something I never used to do. I’d pick a book, and I’d stick with it until the end. But this summer has been different. I won’t get into it now, but perhaps stay tuned for a post about how I think the pressure of promising reviews to publishers and authors got to me. Moving on.

In the midst of my slump, I picked up Isabella Louise Anderson’s The Right Design. I picked it up in order to review it for the Chick Lit Plus blog tour (which is, by the way, the very first blog tour I’ve been a part of, and I feel honored). I loved the synopsis, and the cover, though simple and unassuming, made me think of happy times on the beach with my fiancĂ©.

Once I got into the heart of it, I started to enjoy myself. It was such a pleasant surprise. I found myself smiling and even laughing during my very quick and breezy read of The Right Design. It’s fun, sexy, and it doesn’t ask much from the reader, which I think was something I really needed. I wanted to get out of my head for a little while. So, if you are looking for a distraction, look no further than The Right Design. I’d recommend reading it if you enjoy chick lit, romance, and light beach reads.

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

FTC Disclaimer:
I received a free, finished physical copy of this title from Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio

Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn't blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing.

She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel, and she is currently working on her next release.

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

 
Organized by the lovely bloggers at BookHounds & I'm A Reader, Not A Writer.

Exciting giveaway everyone! I joined a "Clear Your Shelf" blog hop which allows bloggers to get rid of books they already own by holding a giveaway. I have five popular books for you, all categorized as YA & Fantasy.
  1. Shatter Me by
  2. The Selection by
  3. Throne of Glass by
  4. A Great and Terrible Beauty by
  5. Midwinterblood by
This giveaway is open to the U.S. only, considering international shipping is rather expensive. It will be running until 8/27/15. I will be contacting the winner via email. You will have 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner, so be prompt.

Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway





ARC August

My friend Octavia over at Read.Sleep.Repeat is hosting the third annual ARC August, and considering that this is the first August where I have found myself overwhelmed with ARCs, I figured, why not join in?

The entire goal of this challenge is to tackle your ARC TBR. Here are Octavia's rules from the sign up post

Rules:
The rules are very simple.
  • It may be a physical ARC or eARC but it MUST be an ARC.
  • Yes it can be an ARC that has already released; as long as it’s an ARC I’m not going to nit pick really
  • HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Feeling like you are being “forced” to read is the best way turn a fun event into a yucky obligation.
  • Update post! I personally will do a post for each Saturday in August but that’s just me. You can update once a week, every other week or once for the whole darn event. This update can be in the form of a blog/tumblr post, vlog, link to your “ARC August 2015″ shelf or even an instagram pic! I want to make this as easy and low pressure as possible for you.


My goal is to read five ARCs. This may seem low-key to some, but for me, it's huge considering that this summer, I've been going through possibly the worst reading slump I've ever had.

Here's my tentative list:


  1. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
    Pub. Date: Sept. 1
  2. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
    Pub. Date: Sept. 1
  3.  Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
    Pub. Date: Sept. 1
  4. A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
    Pub. Date: Sept. 1
  5. Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr
    Pub. Date: July 14
As you can see, a lot of the ARCs I have are for books releasing the first of September, so I have a lot of reading and reviewing to do before then. I also missed the window on Stone Rider, but partaking in this challenge is my way of making up for it. Also, Octavia is holding ARC giveaways as prizes for the challenge, so it should be a lot of fun.

Are you joining in on the ARC August challenge?
Leave me your TBR in the comments!

ARC Giveaway

Hello, lovely bookish people. If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed I started another giveaway today. It's a simple Follow & RT, with a stack of ARCs as the prize.




Check out the original tweet below. The giveaway ends 12 a.m. EST 8/7 (US Only).

Good luck!



July 2015 New Release Giveaway

  
Organized by the lovely bloggers at Librarian Lavender and It Starts at Midnight.

July is an amazing month for new book releases! In celebration, I’m giving away a book worth up to $20 USD of the winner’s choice. This giveaway is open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you. It will be running until 7/31/15. I will be contacting the winner via email. You will have 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner, so be prompt.

Good luck!




 

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Book Review: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater


  

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Format: ARC
Genre: MG/YA, Fantasy & Magic
Page Count: 192



Synopsis:
From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures.

When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.

Review

          What a charming and adorable little book! It's short, super sweet, and so delightful. I was smiling almost the entire time I read it. Let me tell you why.

          Pip, the narrator and heroine of this tale, is funny, clever, and just a little bit socially awkward. What I think the authors do extremely well with Pip's character is that she ends up doing the brave thing in all the crazy magical-creature-related situations she faces, despite always second-guessing herself first. You know, like a real person. One phrase she uses several times is "Think Twice, Act Once," which I love, and I think it's an important message for young readers (and old) to hear. 

          Not only can Pip express animals' feelings and thoughts for them (because she can talk to them), but she is also very sensitive to the feelings of other (human) people. Pip picks up on what she believes people are thinking or notices when they do something out of character. As a very self-aware person who picks up on the subtlest shifts of mood in my environment, I liked seeing that highly-sensitive nature reflected in a young character in literature. HSPs are out there, and we are legion.

          I'd also like to add that I didn't realize Pip was a girl until quite a bit into the book. I simply assumed she was a boy 1) because of her name, and 2) because she wasn't doing anything stereotypically feminine. When she's eventually referred to as a "daughter," it dawned on me that I may need to rethink my gender assumptions. And honestly, I really appreciated that! Such an unexpected lesson to learn from a book marketed towards kids ages 8-12. Whether this effect was intended by the authors or not, it was really refreshing.

          There are some loose threads to the plot that are not tied up by the end of the book, but I am hoping that's because there will be sequels. I'd love to read more Pip (and Regent Maximus) adventures!
 
Rating: 4/5 (Enthusiastic) Stars

Quotes:
"Everyone approved of Marisol. She never had chocolate on her cheek. She remembered to brush her hair. Her handwriting was neat. The corners of her homework folders were never crumpled." 

"'Oh, right! Your brothers are triplets!' I remembered. 'That's so cool.'
'Cool if you're a triplet,' Tomas replied. 'They get to do whatever they want. They are tall enough to reach whatever they want to reach. They don't have allergies.'
I could tell he was feeling low about it, so I said, 'They also don't get to have adventures with Pip Bartlett.'"

FTC Disclaimer:
I received a free physical uncorrected proof of this title from a fellow book blogger.

Waiting On Wednesday: Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 

 
Publication Date: July 14, 2015


Summary:
An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.


This is one of the biggest and most highly anticipated books in (my) living memory. Dare I say, even bigger than Harry Potter? ...Nah, but very, very close! The hype, intrigue, and turmoil surrounding this book's release is unreal. And I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

How about you? Are you going to inhale
Go Set a Watchman as soon as it's released like I am?


My First Giveaway!

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have noticed that I am holding my first giveaway! It's a really simple Follow + Retweet, and I'm giving away the following:


  • An Epic Reads *bookshimmy* tote from the BookCon
  • Four books and a preview pamphlet
  • Assorted swag (including a bookish lanyard, stickers, fortune teller, and more)

Like I said, just follow me on Twitter and retweet the tweet below to enter!

Book Mail is the Best Mail

Pixel is a huge fan of book mail from Penguin Random House.


Though maybe not for the same reasons as I am...





Update: Pixel is now an internet celebrity.

Boston Author Event 2015

Big news! I am going to be the photographer at the 2015 Boston Author Event this weekend!

It's going to feature New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors of the YA, NA, Teen, and Romance genres.



Join/Share The Facebook Page:  Click Here

Fan FAQ Sheet: Download Here

Date: 
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Noon–4 pm

Venue:
Boston Marriott Copley Place
St. Botolph Room (2nd Floor)
110 Huntington Avenue | Boston MA | 02142

Authors:

You'll be able to meet each author, get a photo with them, and have them sign your books. If you live in the greater New England area, you should go!
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