#ShelfLove: Literary Travels

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

This month’s #ShelfLove discussion is all about the real places in books that we would visit.  While I would love to say I’d go on a road trip across the US, visiting all the literary spots that American literature has to offer, I realized after being honest with myself that the literary locations I want to travel to are, with one exception, in Europe.  Without further ado, here is the literary vacation I would take if time and money weren’t an issue.

First stop: Scotland

Scotland - Moyan Brenn
Image: Moyan Brenn

If you are someone who knows me well enough to know what my favorite series is, then you would also know that the first place I would visit, and where I want to someday move to, is Scotland.  Particularly the Highlands of Scotland, but, thanks to the Boyfriend’s Scottish roots, I would also traipse around the Lowlands.  I would probably need a year to see every little spot and visit every library and bookstore.

Next stop: England

Platform 9 34 - rawen
Image: rawen
Bust of J.R.R. Tolkien -summonedbyfells
Image: summonedbyfells










I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time in England, but it would still take me awhile to see everything because I would visit for two reasons.  The first being that I would have to visit every real place mentioned in the Harry Potter series.  The second being that I could not go to England without seeing anything and everything related to J.R.R Tolkien.  Also, I would want to stay in Podditon.  Perhaps half a year would suffice.


Next stop: France

Cuisery - marnix.catteeuw
Image: marnix.catteeuw

I would spend even less time in France, but I added it to my list of literary vacation spots after I read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  The idea of slowly making my way down the Seine in a barge full of books and stopping for a long visit in Cuisery while improving my spoken French seems like the perfect way to spend a lazy month or two.

Last stop: New Zealand

Hobbiton - Tom Hall
Image: Tom Hall

This is another obvious choice if you know me well enough to know my all-time favorite book.  Thanks to that book and The Lord of the Rings books being made into movies, I can now visit the home of my people, Hobbiton, as well as other Middle Earth locations.  I would probably only stay here for a week or so before heading back home to Texas.

If you won the lottery or had a seemingly endless trust fund and lots of time to kill, where would you go?

#ShelfLove – My Ships

Shelf Love Challenge 2016
This month’s discussion for the Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge is supposed to be about our Book Boy/Girlfriends.  However, I don’t have any.  I was going to bow out of posting anything this month, but then I read one of Terri’s posts over at Second Run Reviews.  It was about her lack of a Book Boyfriend because her Husband already possesses the qualities she admires in Jamie Fraser.  After that, I saw this week’s Five Fandom Friday topic was OTPs.  I didn’t (and still don’t) have enough OTPs to participate in FFF, but it did give me the idea to write about my favorite Ships in place of a Book Boyfriend.

I Ship:

  1. ♥Jamie and Claire♥ – Like Terri, if I were going to have a Book Boyfriend it would probably be Jamie Fraser.  However, I’ve already got an IRL man that has many of the qualities I admire in Jamie.  Also, the Boyfriend is a Scot from a well-known clan with a verra long history.  So, I think I’ll keep him instead of pining for a fictional man.  Besides, Jamie belongs to Claire, and they’re perfect for each other.  Their marriage is the kind of marriage I hope to have, and before meeting the Boyfriend, Jamie and Claire gave me hope that it’s possible.  I don’t ever want them to lose each other.
  2. ♥Eleanor and Park♥ – While I loved the book by the same title for more reasons than E and P’s relationship, this is young love at it’s finest.  I hope that their love for each other blossoms into the kind of relationship that lasts a lifetime, but even if it doesn’t, the time they have together in the book is full of those moments that any of us who experienced our first romance in high school will never forget.  I shipped them so hard I started reading the book a second time as soon as I finished it because I just couldn’t handle the book hangover.  I also now have an E&P playlist chalk full of the Cure, the Smiths, and so many other great bands and songs the two of them listen to together.
  3. ♥Ceony and Emery♥- While I haven’t yet read the third book of the Paper Magician trilogy by Charlie N. Holmberg, I already know that these two get each other on a level that a lot of couples never reach.  I have difficulty writing about them without getting all spoilery, so I’m just going to stop there.

Why do I only have three Ships?  My “Read” shelf on Goodreads is a pretty good indication that I rarely read books involving a romance.  When I do, they’re usually not major parts of the story.  So, while Harry and Ginny’s relationship resulted in marriage and kids, it wasn’t developed enough before the epilogue to make much of an impression.  Ron and Hermione’s relationship is a little more developed, but they spend more time arguing than anything else, and Ron was never my favorite.  Other series with the potential for a major Ship are ones that I’ve only read the first book, and so the relationship hasn’t grabbed a hold of me yet.

What are your Ships?  Are there any books or series I must read so I can add more Ships to my list?

#ShelfLove 2016

Shelf Love Challenge 2016
I’m joining the Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge again!  Below are my goals.

My Goals

  • Read at least 51 books from my personal library that I got before January 1, 2016 (my shelves and I are going steady).
  • With the exception of one book, I can only buy books using gift cards.  I can “buy” as many free books as I would like, accept ARCs, and enter giveaways to my heart’s content, but I may only use my hard earned cash to buy one carefully chosen book.
  • The one book I buy this year must be purchased with the funds I raise from selling books to the used bookstore.
  • Participate in the monthly discussion posts.


2015-12-29 11.54.22

These are, of course, only my physical books, and not all of them are books I haven’t read yet, but the majority of them have never been opened. Total, I have approximately 400 unread books sitting on my shelves or in my Kindle and Nook.  One of my projects this year will be to update my TBR shelf on Goodreads to get a more accurate total (none of the ebooks on my Nook are on it).

#ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge: Avoiding Relapse

showyourshelves_zps8f6e8b06-png320x480This month’s #ShelfLove topic is all about how well we’re sticking to our goals and what we’re doing to refrain from caving to the temptation of buying books.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve got it pretty easy so far.  The Boyfriend has been buying me one book of my choice, as long as it’s not a full-priced hardcover or new release, every week that I get all of that week’s writing finished for my research papers.  Not only is the agreement motivational, but it’s keeping me sane.  It’s also making this No Book Buying Challenge a breeze.  So, check back with me around mid-May, when I’m not getting a book every week.

Besides the Boyfriend’s amazing gift of books, I’ve been making do with the books I already own but have never read, as well as the books I get through Netgalley, and I just recently used up the last of my gift cards.  I’ve also done quite a bit of “buying” and downloading of free books offered around through so many different websites besides the major book sellers, and checking out the occasional book that grabs my attention from the library.  Other than that, I don’t have any special strategy, which is why I’m a little worried about what I’m going to do when the semester is over and the Boyfriend is no longer enabling my habit.

The problem is that I’m addicted to bookstores, and not just to books.  Bookstores, with their mostly quiet and peaceful atmospheres and organized shelves, calm me down, but I have difficulty leaving them without buying at least one book.  Even when I lived in South Korea, I would find something to read in the smallest of sections dedicated to books in English.  It doesn’t matter if I’m also buying a magazine or something to eat or drink from the store’s cafe, I will come across a book that will call out to me and beg me to take it home.  After this semester is over, if I want to make it through this challenge, I will have to stay away from bookstores, unless I have adult supervision.  I have no idea how that will affect my mental health, but I plan on trying to mitigate any craziness by making frequent trips to the library, since it has a similar calming effect.


No Book Buying Challenge: TBR List


There’s no way I could possibly list every single book on my TBR bookshelf and all the ebooks I have in my 1st gen Nook (thankfully, Kindle links to Goodreads).  Even just randomly listing the amount of books for the level I chose (Black Belt: 51+ books) is daunting.  Since I signed up for this challenge, I’ve been very slowly adding books I already own onto a newly created TBR shelf on Goodreads, but those are only a drop in the bucket.  So, my TBR for this challenge is a weird combination of lists and photos:

To start off, I’ll be reading my review books:

  1. The Kingdom Lights by Steven VS
  2. Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley
  3. The Very Best of Kate Elliott by Kate Elliott
  4. The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber
  5. Cannonbridge by Jonathan Barnes
  6. Onyx Webb: Episode One: The Story Begins by Andrea Waltz
  7. Feast of Fates by Christian A. Brown
  8. Walking the Labyrinth by Lisa Goldstein
  9. Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr

Then, I’ll be clearing out as many of my ebooks until March 6th, which marks the end of COYER.  These are the ebooks I’ve managed to get listed on Goodreads:

Foreign Correspondences Lesley Krueger
Little Boy Lost (The Librarian, #1) Eric Hobbs
The Princess of Dhagabad Anna Kashina
Ren of Atikala (Kobolds, #1) David  Adams
Turn of the Tide Margaret Skea
The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town Gregory Miller
Lights Out Holly Black
Birth Of The Monster Shane K.P. O’Neill
The City of Worms (Everville. #2) Roy Huff
Everville: The Rise of Mallory Roy Huff
The Magic of Highland Dragons (The Clan MacCoinnach, #1) Kella McKinnon
Vigilante of Shadows (Novel 1 of The Scarlet Rain Series) Miranda Stork
The Final Formula Becca Andre
A Sea of Shields Morgan Rice
Gods & Dragons: 8 Fantasy Novels Daniel Arenson
The Lord of the Plains (Mixed, #1) Sarah Chapman
Fell’s Hollow A.J. Abbiati
Penny Dreadful Multipack Vol. 3 Robert Louis Stevenson
A Tide of Shadows (Chronicles of Llars, #1) Tom Bielawski
A Quest of Heroes (The Sorcerer’s Ring, #1) Morgan Rice
Mad Tinker’s Daughter (Mad Tinker Chronicles, #1) J.S. Morin
The Great Darkening (Epic of Haven Trilogy) R.G. Triplett
A Shadow of Lilies (The Last Savior) R. Moses
The Sibyl Cynthia D. Witherspoon
Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1) Garth Nix
The First Pillar (Everville, #1) Roy Huff
The Queen of the Tearling Erika Johansen

After COYER ends, I’ll move over to my physical TBR shelf.  Here are the 3 I’ve added to Goodreads:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) Catherynne M. Valente
The Haunted Bookshop Christopher Morley
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Gabrielle Zevin

And here are pictures of my bookshelf, sans knick knacks, with the books I’ve already read, and decided to keep, blacked out:

first shelf

second shelf

third shelf

As you can see, I have way more books to read than I will get through this year, and it doesn’t include the 136 books I have on my Nook.  I would be ashamed if I didn’t know that I’m not the only one with a major book buying addiction.