Monday’s Minutes : #AMonthofFaves2016 Edition

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.  This edition is a little bit different than what I usually do since I’ve decided to combine my usual “Monday’s Minutes” with today’s A Month of Favorites topic, “This Is How We Read.”

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Currently Reading:

  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien – for #FanspeakTheRing
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

towers starlight shadows

speculation Christmas Carol

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 282

Total # of books for the year: 78

Genre I read the most: Fantasy

Most read author: Lorna Barrett

Total # of Ebooks: 12

Total # of hardcovers: 6

Total # of paperbacks: 36

Toal # of audiobooks: 24

Month I read the most: August (11 books)

Month I read the least: February (1 book)

Hint for my favorite read of the year: It was a re-read of one of my all-time favorites.

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Where I do most of my reading.

What are you reading this week?

Bookish Gift Guide 2016

Image: Stephanie Kilgast
Image: Stephanie Kilgast

It’s that time again!  The Christmas tree is up, the holiday decor has been strategically placed around my office, and the questions of what to get me this Christmas are being asked by my loved ones.  So, in the spirit of last year’s Holiday gift guide for book lovers, I’ve put together another wishlist, broken up by price point as best I could.

I am not in any way affiliated with any of the companies linked to or mentioned here, and I’m not receiving any form of compensation for clicks, sales, or this post.

Gifts $25 and Under

Gifts Under $50

And of course, my list wouldn’t be complete without including an online store that has just about everything a book lover could want: Gone Reading.

#AMonthofFaves2016 – 5 Popular Books Worth the Hype

Quite a bit has been horrible about 2016.  Instead of discussing all that, however, I’m joining Andi at Estella’s Revenge, Tanya at Girlxoxo, and Tamara at Traveling with T to share all the wonderful that 2016 offered.  While I probably won’t do every topic they’ve scheduled for this month, I’ll do as many as I can because I absolutely loved A Month of Faves the last time I was able to join in.

I’m going to assume the 5 books for today’s topic can either be popular books published this year or popular books we read this year, regardless of publication date.  Since I’m woefully behind on all that is new and shiny, I’m going with the latter.  I’ve read exactly six 5-star books this year, out of the 78 I’ve read so far (The one that I didn’t put on this list is Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, but only because I enjoyed Furiously Happy even more).  That may change to seven (The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler has been phenomenal so far), but for now, here are my five books that are totally worth the hype.

  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – I knew the story would have to end eventually, despite not wanting it to, but I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to “The Raven Cycle” series than The Raven King.

Raven King

  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – Click on the title to read my review, then head over to thebloggess.com to get a taste of awesome that proves this book is a must-read.

Furiously

  • The Martian by Andy Weir – This was my favorite book from my Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge.  Click on the title to read why.

The Martian

  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – Click on the title to read why this is one of the most important books to have come into my life.

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  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This is a frequently challenged or banned book.  In fact, it’s being challenged, and defended, in Iowa right now.  I listened to the audiobook during Banned Books Week, and it’s probably my favorite banned book.  I wish I had read it when I was a teenager.

wallflower

#AMonthofFaves2016 – These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Quite a bit has been horrible about 2016.  Instead of discussing all that, however, I’m joining Andi at Estella’s Revenge, Tanya at Girlxoxo, and Tamara at Traveling with T to share all the wonderful that 2016 offered.  While I probably won’t do every topic they’ve scheduled for this month, I’ll do as many as I can because I absolutely loved A Month of Faves the last time I was able to join in.

Today is all about our favorite things.  So here’s my list:

  • My fave thing to eat this year – Shortbread.  I’ve made it twice, and it’s dangerously easy to make.  It was loved by all at Thanksgiving.

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  • My fave thing to drink – This year, it’s been all about tea.  I’ve been big into tea for quite a while, but my BFF gave me a gift of assorted teas from Teavana, and then I discovered Pique tea, and then the Boyfriend bought me the best version of a pumpkin spice tea that I’ve ever had, and then I fell in love with oh so many more different teas along the way.  I had to put a moratorium on tea buying until I found another tea I wanted to try of course….
  • My fave smell – The wonderful candle that the Boyfriend’s Mom got as one of my Christmas gifts last year.  It’s not often that it gets cold enough to burn candles, but when I do, my go-to candle is that one.  I don’t know why, but I call it my “Outlander” candle.20161130_195707
  • My fave thing to wear – I haven’t loved pajamas nearly as much as when I went back to work full-time.  Where I work is fairly casual, but nothing feels as right as pajamas after a long day at work.  Nothing makes me crankier than telling me I need to put on some real clothes and go out to do anything after I get home from work.
  • The fave thing I saw – “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”, quickly followed by the “Wonder Woman” and “Beauty and the Beast” movie trailers.
  • My fave purchase – Do I have to pick only one?  Not counting books, it’s a tie between the reading gloves from The Print and Plaid Company, and the book pins from Pigsey Art.

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  • My fave thing to do – If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you might remember me complaining about not having much time to read while I was in college.  HAHAHAHA!  Oh, silly college student me!  Though I still manage to read an average of 300 or so pages a week despite my full-time job and other adult responsibilities, it feels like I have no time to read at all post college.  In fact, most of my reading is done in the car via audiobook during my commute to and from work.  Another way to make me cranky very quickly is to tell me I don’t have any time to read during the weekend because I have to be an adult and get stuff done.
  • The fave place I visited – The Texas Book Festival!  This was the first year I was able to go, and I had a blast!  I was lucky enough to have just gotten my overtime pay and therefore was able to afford all the hardcover books I bought to get signed.

Thursday’s Things: The Holidays Edition

Home Alone Gif

‘Tis the Season to be jolly, so here’s a list of Holiday bookish things to help make that happen!

  • Gone Reading Shop – Didn’t find anything in my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide that would make the perfect gift for your favorite reader?  Check out this shop dedicated to reading and book-related products.
  • 36 Best Audiobooks for Your Road Trip and Beyond – Traveling to visit family and friends and need an audiobook?  Check out this list from Book Riot.  I recommend Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and while I haven’t read Landline, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and Fangirl are excellent options.
  • Book and Dessert Pairing Guide – These book and dessert pairings would make great and inexpensive gifts.  Instead of just buying a book, make or purchase a snack to go with it.  You could even add tea, coffee, or hot cocoa mix to go with it all, and if you’re really “crafty,” place everything in a basket, wrap it all up, and top it off with a bow.
  • 60 Bookish Films Streaming on Netflix – Are you tired of watching Christmas specials, but sticking your nose in a book would be rude while you’re with family?  Give one of these bookish movies a try (be warned: not all of them are all-ages friendly).
  • 12 Books That Will Lift You Up When You Are Down – Many of us get the Holiday Blues or suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  While reading isn’t a cure-all, I’ve found it does help to lessen a case of the blahs.  Reading also helps reduce stress, another common problem during this time of year.
  • Project Night Night – Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids out there who are homeless.  This is a great bookish alternative to Toys for Tots.  Consider donating $25 towards a Night Night Package (which contains a security blanket, a children’s book, and a stuffed animal inside a canvas tote bag) or build your own and mail it to one of the donation centers they list.
  • 5 Bookish Charities Santa Claus Approves – If you’re looking for even more bookish charities to support this Holiday season, check out Litha’s list over at Victorian Soul Critiques.
  • Free snowflake patterns inspired by Game of Thrones – Here’s some DIY snowflake decorations.
  • 10 Classic Christmas Carols and the Stories Behind Them
  • Holiday Tradition and a Book – I was a guest blogger over at Michelle’s blog Because Reading is Better than Real Life, and I wrote about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Check it out along with the other guest posts throughout December.

The 2015 Book Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

Image: Stephanie Kilgast
Image: Stephanie Kilgast

Several people who love me are having difficulty figuring out what to get me for Christmas.  So, I decided to do another Holiday gift guide for book lovers.  Like last year, it’s my wishlist.  Unlike last year, I have included more comic book stuff and broken up the list by price point as best I can.

I am not in any way affiliated with any of the companies linked to or mentioned here, and I’m not receiving any form of compensation for clicks, sales, or this post.

Gifts $20 and Under

Gifts Under $50

Gifts Under $100

 

Tuesday’s Tunes and Things #4: Christmas

I’ve been watching all my favorite holiday movies, and reading a couple of my favorite holiday books, while eating popcorn, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, and wearing my Hobbit Cardigan, favorite pajamas, and fuzzy socks.  The playlist below is the much shorter version of the Christmas music I love to have on in the background until I get sick of it and take it off my mp3 player until next year.

Christmas Playlist