February Reading Goals and January Wrap Up

In order to help myself tackle more review books, both print and digital, once a month I will be posting a list of books that I hope to read during that month.  I work more efficiently when I have a game plan, so hopefully these monthly posts will keep me focused on my goal of reading and reviewing more books, and will make my TBR not seem so intimidating.  By breaking away chunks of the TBR mountain, I can better manage my reading. In theory, anyway!

I failed miserably to squeeze in all of the review books I had planned for January, but I did actually read more that I thought I would.  I just veered a little of course, and was distracted by new releases or by different books from my TBR. I completed 7 Netgalley books, and I did read 16 books overall, which surprises me because January was busy in terms of Real Life.  So, here are some books I would like to read in February (some of these are making a repeat appearance):

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Above World by Jenn Reese

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

My Favorite Mistake by Bloomberg and Hapka

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin

Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Partials by Dan Wells

Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

No Dress Required by Cari Quinn

On the Bright Side by S R Johannes

Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon

Banshee Charmer by Tiffany Allee

Ember by Kristen Callihan

Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel by Samantha Grace

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

How do you decide what to read next?  What was your favorite January read?  Mine was An Affair With Mr Kennedy by Jillian Stone.

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TGIF-Book Appeal

Ginger from GReads! hosts the weekly meme TGIF.  I haven’t been able to participate in a while because Friday is one of my busiest days and it is hard for me to hold a coherent thought, let alone post a thoughtful response to her questions.  Because I do enjoy participating, though, I decided I would just be a day late. I’m usually playing catch-up, anyway, so forgive me for being a bit tardy with my answers.

This week’s question is:


Book Appeal: When you’re browsing goodreads, the library, or another blogger’s reviews, what grabs your attention to make you want to read it?

This is a great question, because sometimes even I don’t know why a book catches my attention.  The obvious attention grabber when I’m browsing online would definitely be the cover art.  Everybody loves a beautiful cover, and I am no exception.  With the deluge of books releasing every month, there has to be something about the cover – be it the art or the title – that makes me want to stop and read the synopsis.  With the nearest physical bookstore now over ten miles away, I rarely get to browse the aisles of a brick and mortar.  Almost all of my shopping takes place online, and there has to be something to set a book apart in order for me be interested enough to even notice it.

Blogger reviews help me discover books that I might have missed because I didn’t like the cover.  Shallow, I know.  I am drawn to the pretty, and I know that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So many awesome reads are missed because of that!  Other blogger reviews help pick up the slack.  I get a better idea of the plot by browsing through reviews, and often add titles to my TBR after seeing a book on another blog.  Maybe the blogger mentions a favorite trope, or even a setting that I am curious about.  Typically, it doesn’t even matter whether or not they enjoyed the book, because what doesn’t work for one reader, works well for another.  This is what confuses me about authors attacking bloggers and reviewers on Goodreads – there are so many books to choose from, and even if that particular reader didn’t enjoy a book, that doesn’t mean another potential reader won’t.  The bad behavior of attacking a reader, instead of thanking them for taking the time to read and write about their book, boggles my mind,  and will have me crossing a title off my wish list faster than a bad review.  But that is a topic for another day!

What about you?  What makes you want to pick up  a book and read it?

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2012 Debut Author Challenge Reading List

Well, I was trying to avoid participating in any challenges this year because I am terrible at keeping track of them, but I realized that I did sign up for The Story Siren’s 2012 Debut Author Challenge, and I have already read a few this year.  I do enjoy participating in the DAC, so I will attempt to keep better track of what I read this year.  Here is a tentative list of 2012 YA debuts that I would like to read:

Already read:

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Katana by Cole Gibsen

Fracture by Megan Miranda

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards

May B by Caroline Starr Rose

Books I would also like to read this year:

Above World by Jenn Reese

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Scarlet by A C Gaughen

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

The Stalker Chronicles by Carley Moore

After the Snow by S D Crockett

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

The Cabinet of Earth by Anne Nesbet

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons


Oppression by Jessica Therrien

And that’s just for the start of the year, and it does not include the adult debuts I have read or want to read!  I’ll update with another post in April.

You can learn more about the challenge and sign up for it here.

Are you participating in 2012 DAC?  What are you planning to read?


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TGIF at GReads! – Buy or Borrow?


Ginger from GReads! hosts the weekly meme TGIF.  I haven’t been able to participate in a while because Friday is one of my busiest days and it is hard for me to hold a coherent thought, let alone post a thoughtful response to her questions.  Because I do enjoy participating, though, I decided I would just be a day late. I’m usually playing catch-up, anyway, so forgive me for being a bit tardy with my answers.

This week’s question is:

Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?

Since I purchased my Kindle Fire in November, my answer to this question has changed.  Previously, I would definitely have preferred to purchase my own books, typically from Amazon.  Unfortunately, I read too many to buy everything I want to read, so my fall-back has been the library.  If there is an author I like, I will more than likely purchase their book, and if a new to me author has a release that looks interesting, I will hit the library for a test drive.

When I first ordered my Kindle Fire, I admit that I was attracted to the shiny newness of it.  I had an older Kindle that I did not use much because the screen is not backlit.  I think sometimes that I am the only person on the planet who prefers to read from a brightly lit screen.  I was doing most of my ebook reading on my iPad, but it is kind of big and clunky, so when I saw the new Fire, I wanted it.  Badly.  I think I ordered one about 2 seconds after the press conference about it.

When I first started playing with it, I still preferred physical books to ebooks.  I still ordered books online, and had weekly shipments of Amazon’s smiley boxes delivered to my door.  After using the Fire for a few months, though, my opinion has completely changed.  I would prefer to read an ebook.  I can make notes as I read, I can sync between my egadgets, and I don’t have to lug 100 pounds of books around with me anymore, fearful that I will run out of reading material.  My back is so grateful!  Plus, I don’t have room for a gabillion books, so I don’t have to worry (as much) about being crushed under a towering stack of hardcovers.

I still check books out of the library when I feel the price is too high for the ebook.  It just irritates me when a digital version of a book is more expensive than the physical book.  Those are rented from the library.  My price point on ebooks is about 5 bucks.  I will think long and hard before I click the BUY button if a book is more than $5.  If it’s 1.99 or less, I don’t typically think about it at all.  Plus, with all of the sales and free book offers, I have plenty of ebooks to choose from.

What about you? Do you prefer to own or borrow?  Has technology changed your preference?


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Veronica Rossi’s Top Ten Books Read in 2011


Veronica Rossi is the author of Under the Never Sky, one of my top ten 2011 reads.  I think it appropriate that I was able to ask her about her favorite 2011 reads.  I haven’t read any of them yet!  I have some catching up to do!

Favorite Books Read This Year (In alpha order):

  • Across the Universe (Beth Revis)

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)

  • Divergent (Veronica Roth)

  • Enclave (Ann Aguirre)

  • Girl of Fire and Thorns (Rae Carson)

  • Legend (Marie Lu)

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door (Stephanie Perkins)

  • Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi)

  • Shipbreaker (Paolo Bacigalupi)

  • Unbroken (Lauren Hillenbrand)

Have you read any of Veronica’s Top Ten books? Which is your favorite?

[PR] Win a Book from Romance at Random


Everyone loves to win free books, so here is your chance to win one from Romance at Random!  Entering is easy, too!  US winners can win a print book, International winners are eligible to win an eBook!  Here’s all you have to do to be entered to win:

“Romance At Random on FACEBOOK is holding a drawing for a FREE book – they are asking you to ‘LIKE’ them at http://www.facebook.com/RomanceAtRandom, then email them at romanceatrandom@randomhouse.com using FACBOOK in the subject line – this will make you eligible to win either a print or ebook – must be 18 years old to enter, winners will be randomly chosen in January 2012.  Good luck!”

Are you going to enter?  What book would you like to win?  There are so many awesome books hitting store shelves lately that it would be hard to choose just one!

Soul Kissed by Courtney Cole-Excerpt!

Courtney Cole’s newest book, Soul Kissed, has just been released!  Courtney sent over an excerpt to share with all of you.  I love the premise of this one, and the cover is striking as well.  What do you think of this new release?


Question: When your mother is a powerful witch and your father is a soul-sucking vampire, what does that make you?
Answer: Cursed.

With all the beauty and charm of a Siren, but cursed as a blood-sucking succubus, Empusa longs for love and a normal life. Neither of these can ever be hers, because the only thing she brings to anyone she loves is death.

Em lingers in the mortal world, hiding from her father and existing in a lonely life. Until she meets Brennan. With golden hair and a radiant smile, he captures her heart and awakens it from slumber.

But Brennan is more than he seems. And in a relationship where life itself hangs in the balance, is love ever really enough?

Soul Kissed Excerpt

“The world is not going to end,” I insisted slowly, taking in the desperation on Brennan’s stricken face. “Why would you think so? I was wrong when I said it would, Brennan. We can prevent my visions. We can do anything we set our minds to.”

Brennan turned to me, his expression slightly calmer than it had been a scant moment ago. I reached out to grab his hand, but he backed away, causing my heart to race. He stepped out of the tent and I trailed behind him quickly.

“What is it?” I whispered. “What did you see, Brennan?”

His eyes were pain-filled and stark when he answered. “I saw flames and floods and a lot of blood. There was so much blood. I saw the same things that you did, Empusa. And if we both see it, I think it is likely to happen.”

“It won’t!” I cried, gritting my teeth and throwing myself at him. Clutching at him, I gripped his shoulders, trying to make him touch me. Yet he still shirked away from my fingers, like I had a sickness. It was alarming.

“Why are you moving away from me?” I asked helplessly, trying to ignore the cold pit growing in my belly. “I didn’t cause your visions, Brennan. I wish nothing more than to protect you from any ugliness in the world.”

“I know,” he admitted softly. “But I also know that this isn’t going to work.”

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Guest Post – Into the Past by Kersten Hamilton

Kersten Hamilton is the author of In the Forests of the Night, the second book in her Goblin Wars series.  I enjoyed Tyger Tyger, so I was delighted to be able to ask Kersten about books she loved from her past.  Check out what books made an impression on her and helped to shape her writing today.  After Kersten’s post, check out the giveaway for a hardcover copy of In the Forests of the Night!

Hi, Julie! Thank you for having me on your blog today! Let’s see, books I would have recommended…I have always gravitated toward strange, eclectic and archaic reads.

Age 5: Where the Wild Things. I love, love, loved that book! My parent’s weren’t so fond of it, though. Perhaps they thought I was a little too wild myself. Muggins Mouse goes to the Moon, The Color Kittens, and The Jungle Book.

Age 11: Where the Red Fern Grow, Savage Sam, Old Yeller, My Side of the Mountain, Down the Long Hills, Never Cry Wolf, Podkayne of Mars, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Tunnel in the Sky, The Star Beast, Storm Over Warlock the Witchworld series and the Time Travelers series, The Dragon Riders of Pern. That was the year I read every single animal story and adventure story in the library…and most of the science fiction.

Age 16: The classics. All kinds, from social commentary to swashbucklers: Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Scaramouche, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Scarlet Pimpernel, (for some reason, I loved stories of the French Revolution) Les Misérables, and Captain Blood.

Age 20: Historical fiction, mysteries and comedy. The Brother Cadfael mysteries, the Amelia Peabody mysteries, Wooster and Jeeves, and plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Much Ado About Nothing.

Happy reading, everybody!

Kersten Hamilton

Thanks, Kersten!  I loved the Pern books, Where the Red Fern Grows, and  the Amelia Peabody books, too! 

Now you can win a copy of In the Forests of the Night!  All you have to do is leave a comment with the name of a book that you would recommend to another reader, and fill out the form so I have a way to contact the winner.  The contest ends on December 22.  Open Internationally.  You must be 13 to enter.