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?

#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.

A Month of Favorites: Winter Survival

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is about the 5 Must Have items to survive Winter:
  1. Fuzzy Socks – They’re so soft and comfy and they keep my feet warm.  Often, they’re infused with aloe.  I find mine in the foot care section of the drugstore/HEB/Target/wherever there is a foot care section.  They last longer if I let them air dry after washing, but sometimes I just want to put them on right after they’ve come out of the dryer.
  2. Large Men’s Cardigan – The Boyfriend calls this my Hobbit Cardigan.  I put it on at the first sign of Winter temps and I don’t take it off again until it becomes uncomfortably warm.  Mine is originally from the Gap, but I found it on Ebay.  I will cry when the day comes that I can no longer wear it.
  3. Warm pajamas – My favorite pair of pajamas is a pair I found a couple years ago by Nick and Nora sleepwear.  Zooey Deschanel’s character, Jess, in the show “New Girl” started a trend of fun and comfy pajama sets that were, of course, way over priced.  Nick and Nora Sleepwear are just as fun and comfy and have the added benefit of not breaking the bank.
  4. Harney & Sons Holiday tea – I hope they never stop making this tea!  I’ve only been able to find their teas at Target, but if the day comes that I have to order online, I will do so with only a brief and mild complaint.  If anyone has ideas for what to do with the metal tins, please leave a comment.
  5. My Favorite Winter Reads – I could never survive the Winter without my favorite books.

A Month of Favorites: Five Fave Winter Reads

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is about my 5 favorite books from last Winter.  The links are to goodreads:
  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – Though I read this in December of 2013, it still falls into last Winter, so I’m counting it.  It’s my top favorite book on my list of all-time favorite books, and I try to find time to read it every Winter.
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This is another one that I read every Winter.
  3. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – I’m not the type to jump on bandwagons, no matter how much the internet is talking about something, so one day long after season 3 of the show was already over, I sat down to give the 1st episode of the 1st season a chance because I didn’t have anything else to watch.  24 hours later….I started reading the book.  Well, I slept first, but then I started reading the book.  I’m really hoping to read the 2nd book before the end of this Winter.
  4. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce – “Take the saddle off the dinosaur!” is my line for anytime I see something ridiculously stupid.
  5. Before the Chop by Henry Rollins – I usually read one of Henry Rollins’ many books during the part of Winter when I’m at my most grumpy and cynical.  It’s not so much because he’s grumpy and cynical (though he often is in his books prior to this one), but because he writes from an insightful human perspective instead of one slanted towards a political agenda, and he’s extremely well-read.

A Month of Favorites: Top Ten Books

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is about the 10 books that blew my mind this year.  I put them in order from most to least amazing, and the links are to my reviews or goodreads:
  1. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  2. Chimera by Phil Gomm
  3. The Stranger by Max Frei
  4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  5. Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans
  6. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  9. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  10. Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

A Month of Favorites: 10 Fave Book Covers

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is all about favorite books covers.  These aren’t in any particular order, but they’re my 10 favorite covers from books I’ve read this year:
A Passion For BooksInkspellDreaming Books
Chimera1Magician
Paper DoorBone
Hobbit PhilosophyBliss

A Month of Favorites: 5 Fave Fantasy Books

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is all about choosing 5 faves by a theme, and since Fantasy is my favorite genre, I decided to tell you about my 5 fave Fantasy books that I read this year.  I didn’t include any re-reads.  The links are to my reviews or Goodreads.
  1. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg – I immediately added The Glass Magician to my wishlist when I finished reading this, even though it’s not at all necessary to continue to the next book.  I JUST NEED TO KNOW, OK?!  These characters own me now.
  2. Chimera: Books 1 – 3 by Phil Gomm – this is really a tie with The Paper Magician, but I put them in 2nd place because you have to read all three.
  3. The Stranger by Max FreiThe Stranger’s Woes is also excellent.
  4. Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans – I almost didn’t request this on Netgalley because I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  I’m glad I gave it a chance!
  5. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – I read this for my book club.  I often skip several months at a time because either I refuse to pay for the book and can’t find it at the library, or I simply can’t find it anywhere for a reasonable price.  I was lucky enough to find this one at Half Price Books.  It ripped my heart into little shreds and then somehow put it all back together again.  What more could I ask from a fairy tale retelling?

What are your favorite Fantasy books that you’ve read this year?

A Month of Favorites: Introduction

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is all about introducing myself and my reading this year:
  • Favorite genre: Fantasy
  • Favorite author this year: That’s difficult to decide.  It’s a tie between the authors of two very different Fantasy books – Phil Gomm, author of Chimera Books 1 – 3, and Charlie N. Holmberg, author of The Paper Magician.
  • Formats this year: Physical – 37 (65%), eReader – 19 (33.3%), audiobooks – 1 (1.7%) I’m not a big fan of audio books, but I’m trying to get used to them for when I’m doing something (other than driving) that doesn’t allow for holding a book/eReader.
  • When I read: Mostly at night after I’m done with whatever homework I have and after the boyfriend has gone to bed.  However, I read whenever I get the chance.
  • Genre I read the most from this year: Fantasy
  • Total number of books read: 57 so far, which is 7 above this year’s goal.
  • A clue about my favorite book this year (try to guess): It’s a recent addition to my all time favorite books (which isn’t in any particular order), since it was published just a few months ago.

Will you be joining in on this Month of Favorites?  Even if you’re not able to participate, what are your answers to any of the above?  Leave a comment 🙂