Freebie Friday: Books on My 2019 Reading Challenge(s) List – Part Three

Dear Readers!

We’ve made it! We’ve made it to part three of my 2019 Reading Challenge TBR list (blog) series.

And I feel like I’ve saved the best (challenge) for last! The last reading challenge is Book Bingo. Yes! I’ve created a book bingo that I feel will help take me out of my reading comfort zone.

To create the actual bingo card I found a website where I could plug in what I wanted the card to be filled with, and with s click of a button the website generated a bingo card.

Obviously there’s a free space because you know, bingo. But the other spaces on my customized bingo card are:

  • Buddy read a book
  • Read a book by a female author
  • Read a historical fiction book
  • Read a backlist (TBR) book
  • Read a book about music
  • Re-read a book
  • Read a manga
  • Read a superhero comic book
  • Read a book set in a foreign country
  • Read a book that was recently published
  • Read a classic children’s book
  • Read an e-book
  • Read a book that is 500+ pages
  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Read a book with a blue cover
  • Read an award winning book
  • Read a nonfiction book
  • Read a book that a friend suggests
  • Read a Stephen King book
  • Read a book that was made into a movie
  • Read a book set at a boarding school
  • Read book 2 in a series
  • Read a book borrowed from a library
  • Read a fantasy book

So there you have it dear readers! Those are the books on my Challenge TBR list.

I hoped you enjoyed this little series!

 

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Freebie Friday: Books on My 2019 Reading Challenge(s) List – Part Two

Dear Readers!

2019 is the year of reading challenges. Today I’m going to share with you my (planned) TBR list for yet another challenge I’ve decided to take on.

This particular challenge – The A to Z Challenge – is one I found on girlxoxo.com I wanted to take on this challenge, not only because it sounded fun and manageable, but also because I felt it could help me clear my shelves — a task I’ve been meaning to tackle for a very long time. Another reason, is that I liked how I could easily customize this challenge to my own liking..

The books on this list are:

  • A is for Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
  • B is for Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  • C is for Choker by Elizabeth Woods
  • D is for Dramarama by E. Lockhart
  • E is for Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb
  • F is for Family by Micol Ostow
  • G is for Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  • H is for Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
  • I is for Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
  • J is for Joyride by Anna Banks
  • K is for ???
  • L is for Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaire
  • M is for Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
  • N is for Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
  • O is for Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
  • P is for Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Q is for Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
  • R is for Rebel Belles by Rachel Hawkins
  • S is for Small Town Sinners by Melissa C Walker
  • T is for Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • U is for Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • V is for Vesper by Jeff Sampson
  • W is for Wanderlust by Kirsten Hubbard
  • X is for ???
  • Y is for ???
  • Z is for ???

As you can see there are a few blank spaces. The reason for those blank spaces is because, as I scrolled through my backlist of books to be read I couldn’t immediately find books to go along with those specific letters. And because I want to enjoy these challenges and not put so much pressure on myself I’ve decided that since it’s my challenge (and I can do what I want with it) I can leave those letters blank for now and fill them in eventually.

Are there any books that seem to have been sitting on your shelf forever?!? If so, are you hoping on tackling them this year? If so, please share in the comments!

 

Books I Bought While On Vacation Part II

Hello Readers!

A few months back, my bestie and I went on an adventure. We packed our bags for a long weekend in San Antonio, Texas. Both of us had never been to this place, but we were excited at our chance to spend time together, and experience this new city as friends.

We did a lot of exploring. And of course, we came across a bookstore or two. And because you know me, I couldn’t pass up my chance to check them out.

The first book store that we stumbled upon was an independent/antique-esque bookstore called Cheever Books. This store was packed to the gills with used and rare books. It was hard to look around as it was all organized chaos. But as we walked around – me cautiously trying not to knock anything over – I finally found my section: the youth section.

A lot of the books were rare, and super old. A part of me didn’t even want to touch or pick anything up out of fear that the yellowed pages would disintegrate in my hands. But I looked and looked, and found the Little Golden Books section. For as long as I could remember, I’ve been on the hunt for the Alice In Wonderland Little Golden Book.  I flipped through, what seemed like, endless Golden books, and when I couldn’t find it, gave up. But my bestie – being my bestie – plodded on and found it!

I didn’t set out to buy a book within the first few hours of this mini vacay, but I did. And I like to think that it set the pace for the rest of the trip.

After that we headed to Half Price Books – a chain that sells books at half price. Obviously. While there was a lot of great titles, and I really loved the store as a whole I didn’t actually buy anything. There wasn’t anything that I particularly needed or wanted. And I knew that there would be other bookstores on our adventure so I might as well pace myself.

A few days later, we decided to check out Austin. And while driving around, we found Book People – a large Barnes and Noble like store that is independently owned. Even though it reminded me of a Barnes and Noble, it was nothing like it. This store had character. And I liked it immediately.

My bestie and I are both book people. And we can spend hours in a store. While she looked for books that fit her fancy, I looked for my own. And somehow, we ended up in the picture book section. Picture  book sections are a favorite past time for us. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve hung out at a bookstore reading and laughing at our favorite, or newly favorited picture books.

While she sat there, I told her to check out the Mother Bruce books. They are my faves. I can’t help but laugh (out loud) each and every time I read these books. I knew she would love them. And as I sat by quietly, reading my own really strange picture books (I found them in a section labeled “weird”) I heard her laughing. I knew she was enjoying the books as much as I knew she would.

We then hit up the middle grade and teen section. I suggested that she get the Hazel Wood. And she found a MG book called Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller that screamed “Nicole” from the moment she read the dust jacket flap.

Besides that book, I bought one other book. As I was browsing, I decided to check out the adult section. I don’t read a lot of adult fiction, but I want to. While browsing The Seas. by Samantha Hunt caught my eye. First the cover, and then the description. Impulsively, I picked it up and knew I would buy it immediately.

I’m happy with the choices of books I picked up on this trip. And no matter if I like them or not, I will keep them as a memento of an unforgetable trip!

Freebie Friday: Books on My 2019 Reading Challenge(s) List – Part One

Hello Readers!

A few weeks ago I posted about what reading challenges I was taking on this year. In that post (which you can check out here) I explained what challenges I was taking on and why. Not only that I asked if you, dear readers, would want to know what books were on said challenge lists.

I decided not to wait for your response, and just share these TBR lists.  Why? Because it seems like a fun thing to share.

The first challenge I decided to take on is one that hopefully will help me tackle all those series I’ve started but haven’t finished. I’m calling it the Series Challenge. Not only do I hope to read  the books I haven’t read in the series, but I’m also planning on re-reading the first book – the book that originally got me hooked on that series.

Besides listing the series I’ve started, there are several series on this list that I’ve wanted to read but haven’t.

In no particular order, here are the series I’m hoping to get to in 2019:

  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
  • Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  • Revenants by Amy Plum
  • Birthright by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Shades of London by Maureen Johnson
  • Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson
  • The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood
  • Jackaby by William Ritter

Because I don’t want this post to be super long, I have decided to be best to break it down into three parts. Consider it a mini-series of sorts.

So, dear readers, are there any series that you hope to start and finish this year? Please share in the comments! I’d love to hear all about what you’re reading, and what challenges you are taking on this year.

Reading Tracker: March Edition

Hello Readers!

Before I jump right on into my March Reading tracker, I feel like I should fill you in on what I’ve read during the month of February.

I like to think that I read a lot considering it was a short month . I had an idea of the books that I wanted to read, but didn’t have a set TBR list. All I knew in February was that I wanted to read a total of four books (that number does not include  any books/reading I do for work).

During February I read:

  • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

While I didn’t necessarily make my reading goal, that’s okay. After all, reading is about quality, not quantity. And besides, when I factor in the books I read for work, I not only made my goal by I surpassed it.

In total, during the (short) month of February, I read twenty-six (26). The books I read, excluding the ones mentioned above, are:

  • I Do Not Like Al’s Hat by Erin McGill
  • Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
  • Ask Me by Bernard Waber
  • Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant
  • What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobi Yamata
  • When I Grow Up by Julie Chen
  • When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic
  • President Squid by Aaron Reynolds
  • Hands Can Cheryl Willis Hudson
  • Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
  • Ten in the Den by John Butler
  • How to Be A Lion by Ed Vere
  • Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
  • You Are My Magical Unicorn by Joyce Wan
  • The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
  • Old Hat by Emily Gravett
  • Hello, Moon by Francesca Simon
  • Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward
  • This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson
  • Cat and Mouse in the Rain by Tomek Bogacki
  • Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist
  • B is for Bulldozer by June Sobel
  • Ready, Set, Build by Meg Fleming
  • Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty

Moving  on …

In March I am setting out to read another four (4) books, again not including any books that I read for work.

The four books that I am hoping to finish and/or get to this month are:

  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • Always & Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  • Sabrina The Teenage Witch (Comic) 1962-1972 by Archie Superstars.

We are just over half way through with March, and I am happy to report that I think I’m doing well. So far I have finished reading Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner and Dramarama by E. Lockhart. I have also started listening to via audiobook Always & Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Both audiobooks I’ve just started, but I’m confident that I could easily finish them by the end of the month.

What have you read so far, dear readers? Please share in the comments.

Books I Bought While on Vacation Part 1

Hello Readers!

You all know by now that I love to travel. But what you may not know is that I recently went on two trips. The first was back in December when I traveled solo (for my very first time) to London. And most recently, I went for a long weekend adventure with my bestie to San Antonio, Texas.

Now, one of the highlights of traveling for me is discovering new and interesting places to see and things to do. And the one thing that is always on my things to do and see list are check out the local bookstores.

I thought it would be fun to share with you what books I picked up on my first solo adventure in London.

 

London is one of my absolute favorite cities. I love the bloody history and the beautiful sights to see. Besides that, as a shopper, I love the shopping that this hip city has to offer.  And that includes the London bookstores.

On this trip I visited three bookstores, and found treasures in each.

The first bookstore is one I literally stumbled upon. While walking around Portobello Road in the Notting Hill area of London,  I turned down a side street to find a bit of space and quiet to take a phone call, and I spotted a strange sight: a group of tourists snapping pictures of a store front that I couldn’t quite see (that’s how many people were crowded in front of it.) I stepped a bit closer to discover that it was the Notting Hill Bookshop and aside the sign there was a blue tile stating the stores fame: it was featured in the movie Notting Hill.

I have a rule .. whenever you stumble upon a bookstore, especially an independent one, I have to pay it a visit. I walked in, and yes it was crowded. And not just because of the massive amounts of people in it, but because it was very small. Although small, it was charming.

I looked around and found myself in the children and teen section of the store.  The Notting Hill Bookshop had a great selection of some of the most popular books. I think found the children’s classics section since I’m always on the hunt for a new addition to my (always) growing Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass collection. While most I already had or had seen, I found the picture book adaptions. And that’s when I saw it. That’s why I saw the most unique edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This edition, not adapted, but illustrated and created by Irena Trevisan and Nadia Fabris, tells Carroll’s famed story with beautifully intricate cut-outs.

I also bought a matching bookmark because … why not!

The next store I went to, I didn’t necessarily stumble upon. I sought this one out. I went to Foyles Bookstore – a massive store that seemed like it would have every book imaginable.

Going into this London adventure, I had researched books – books that I’d potentially want, books that weren’t necessarily published in the States. I mean, I didn’t want any old book I could buy. And I found a ton of books that I would want, but I knew I couldn’t buy all of them. There is a luggage weight limit after all.

One of the two books, which I was sure they’d have, it turned out it wasn’t available. As much as I was saddened about it, I was still hopeful that I could still find it at another bookstore.  The second one, however, they had stacks of.

In Foyles I purchased a total of four books,  two of which were new to me editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. both were books that I read about online, and both feel like true “Nicole” books. The first one I picked up was a signed copy of Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles. The second was Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling.

As I was checking out, the guy helping me flashed the copy of Bookshop Girl I was purchasing, and commented that “I had great taste in books!” I told him I was excited to check the book out, as I heard good things about it. He proceeded to tell me that the author of Bookshop Girl, Chloe Coles, is an employee at that very Foyles. For whatever reason, I found that totally cool, and made me only want to read this book more and more. I am so glad that I purchased this book.

On my last day in London, I ended up in the Piccadilly Circus area. It’s an area that, even though it’s very reminiscent of NYC’s Times Square, I absolutely love it.  I went back to the very first Waterstones that I had ever stepped foot in several years ago. This Waterstones has several floors, and it’s chock full of books. Immediately, I knew what book I wanted. The one I was hoping to find at Foyles but sadly didn’t: Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence. I can’t explain exactly why I wanted this book so much, besides the fact that the summary really appealed to me, but I had to have it. And as luck would have it, there was only one copy left! Score one for me!

There’s one last book I purchased on this adventure. However, I didn’t purchase it in a bookstore. My first full day in London I had a ticket to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. (In case you’re wondering … it was AWESOME! And if you want a post about it, let me know in the comments!) While walking around the store I (finally) came up on the various house editions. I knew I wanted a Hufflepuff edition, and before actually seeing what stock was available, I wanted my favorite book in the series. But they only had one book in the house editions: Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets. So I quickly bought it, and no regrets as it is probably my second favorite book in the series.

In total, I purchased a total seven books. And I know that’s a lot, but considering I have very little self control when it comes to books I’m pretty proud that I didn’t fill my suitcase with books!

Freebie Friday: Adulting

Hello Readers!

And happy Friday to ya!

At the end of 2017 I took a look back at all of the books I read, and I realized that there was a gaping hole. Because of that, I decided to make it one of my 2018 goals: to read more adult fiction.

I really, really want to read more adult books, not because I’m an adult and I feel I should, but because I feel that I’m missing out on some really great reads. And I hate to think that because I don’t love to to step outside of my comfort zone I’m short changing myself.

There’s just a little problem … I’m not exactly sure where to start. I’ve tried wandering the adult fiction section of my library and I felt lost.  Judging by the few adult books I have read in the past, I know that I like quirkier books. I’m not looking to read the latest James Patterson book – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I know that it’s just NOT a “Nicole” kind of book. But how does one search for “quirkier” books? It’s not like quirk is a genre.

In the past these are the adult books I read and have enjoyed:

  • Eating the Cheshire Cat by Helen Ellis
  • Whores on the Hill by Colleen Curran
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  • Swamplandia by Karen Russell

Wandering the stacks I felt like I couldn’t find a book that suited me and my tastes. I picked up a few, and from summaries  that sounded like books I couldn’t relate to. I tried judging by the cover, but nothing stood out. Nothing caught my eye. Everything felt … blah.

When all else failed I took to Amazon, and randomly started searching. I’ve made a list, but it’s a very short list. The adult books that seem interesting enough for me to want to read are:

  • A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
  • The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

But readers … I want more.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you, dear readers. I’m asking all of you to suggest some really great, really quirky adult books. Because I am not ready to take a giant leap outside of my reading comfort zone, I’m asking specifically for works for pure fiction.

With that, I want to say THANK YOU in advance. I just know you are going to suggest a few of my new favorite books!