Challenges, Buddy Reads, and a Fat Book

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

I’m still on a break from Stephen King’s The Stand and I’ve put the audio edition of Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins on pause as well. Mainly, these books are on hold due to my reading like a banshee for The Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover.

For the challenge, I’ve pledged to read a total of ten books – thank goodness the challenge lasts a little over a month! Since I’ve got a poor track record regarding completing reading challenges, I chose to pick pretty short books on my TBR to wipeout! 

My Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge list:

  1. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  2. The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner
  3. Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong
  4. The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  5. The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King
  6. Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
  7. Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire
  8. Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
  9. A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander
  10. The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene

Simultaneously, I’m still buddy reading Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie with my pal, Lea. We’re both slacking on reading it, although it’s an awesome cozy mystery, as we keep getting distracted by other books, but, hey, at least we’re on the same page! 😀

I’m also reading Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram and I adore it! I’m so tickled that it was recommended to me! I LOVE retellings and, quite obviously, this book is a Cinderella-esque tale; SO CUTE! Finally, I started the graphic novel, Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic for the Wipeout Challenge and, though I’m not far into it, I think it’s going to be really different from anything I’ve read thus far!

Just Finished

I finished reading Ghosts a few days ago and absolutely loved it! My review can be found HERE!

Next

Upcoming reads for me include everything on my Wipeout Challenge TBR! Like I said above, I’m so grateful the challenge won’t end until early August, so I’ve got plenty of time to read my picks so long as I stick to my list!

I’ll also be getting back to The Stand, which I want to finish by September as well as The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I’ll be participating in #ARCAugust this year as well, so I’m looking forward to clearing out my NetGalley reads so I can request MORE BOOKS!

Here’s a little list of my ARCs to be read in August:

Love, Maggie

Standing Around

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

Well, I’m taking a little break from the behemoth Stephen King novel, The Stand, for a bit to pursue some other, lighter reads. I’m enthralled with King’s post-apacolyptic epic – I never dreamed I’d love his writing as much as I do, but it’s so engrossing. I’m right at 60% finished with it, which is further than I expected to be by now – I’d set September as my goal month to finish it!

I’m doing my first ever buddy read with one of my Twitter pals and it’s such a blast, even though I keep getting behind! We’re reading a cozy mystery – a genre which I recently discovered I love – by Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It’s the first in the Flavia de Luce series and I’m really enjoying it! 

Also, I’m listening to Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle via Audible. I really like this quirky tale, but since I usually listen to it at night, I’m bad about falling asleep and losing my place! I love audiobooks, but I do have a tough time focusing on plots while listening as opposed to actually reading.

Just Finished

I’ve been on a serious Walking Dead graphic novel kick lately, although I stopped watching the show a few seasons ago, as it got really convoluted and confusing for me. However, reading the story makes the show make so much more sense! I’ve noticed a lot of plot points in the books that didn’t make it on screen that I wish had been written into the show, but, oh, well.

In the past few days I finished reading Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars and Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire. I’m anxious to get on to volumes five and six, alas, I have them on hold from the library for now. Le sigh…

Next

I really don’t know what I’ll read next, other than volumes five and six of The Walking Dead, which I’ll read as soon as they become available. I am dying to read, err, listen to, Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir, The Secrets of My Life, which I have on Audible, so it’ll probably be my next read.

Plus, I’ve absolutely got to get to reading Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury and then A Court of Wings and RuinI FINALLY read A Court of Thorns and Roses in January, so I’m anxious to find out how Feyre’s story continues and ultimately ends!

Love, Maggie

Series I Need to Get Serious About

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday invites bookish bloggers to share lists based on a given topic. This week I’ll be talking about series I have yet to start!

The List

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I’m honestly embarrassed that I haven’t even started reading this sure-to-be amazing series! I’ve had all the books forever, but others have taken precedent. Once I start a series, I tend to become obsessed and MUST read all the books and I just haven’t nailed down a good time to start.

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare – Well, so far, the only book I’ve read by Clare is Clockwork Angel, which I adored. The steampunk vibes of the story intrigued me. I want to hurry up and get to Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, but I feel like I should read Clare’s interconnected tales in order!

P.S. I just discovered the order Clare recommends reading them in on Goodreads! 😀 Naturally, I started way out of order!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – This series caught my eye when I fell in love with the title of book two, The Rose Society. When I realized that there is a book previous to number two, The Young Elites, I knew this series needed to be read by me!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I absolutely adore the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I can’t wait to get to this duology! If Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are half as good as the Grisha trilogy, I’ll be one happy reader!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I’m really looking forward to this series; it just seems so sweet! Plus, I’m hoping the books are full of fluff!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – I’ve had the first book in the series, Rebel of the Sands, on audio for what seems like forever, but still haven’t listened to it. I’ve heard lots of good things about Hamilton’s series and I’m looking forward to carving out a place in my TBR pile for it!

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I do actually have the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, on my Kindle and actually started reading it before getting bored and putting it down. I will try reading it again; I feel like the only reader in the world who hasn’t blown through the series yet! Everyone whose read the books seems to adore them; hopefully, my next try will be successful!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – I have yet to read a Maggie Stiefvater book! Eek! I’m dying to read them all though! She has a few series that I need to begin. You’d think I’d be moving her books up my TBR list, because, hey, we share a name!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski – I’m really excited to get through this trilogy – I only hear and see excellent reviews, so far! I’m so silly that I bought the second book, The Winner’s Crime, first, as I didn’t realize it was part of a trilogy! So, naturally, I had to get The Winner’s Curse before even thinking about starting Rutkoski’s trilogy!

Air Awakens by Elise Kova – I’ve been busting a gut to start Kova’s Air Awakens series forever! I feel like I’ve been putting off starting it, well, other books just get in the way and I’m a total mood reader. I’m really looking forward to reading this series on Kindle Unlimited! Plus, the covers are breathtaking!

Love, Maggie

Crown the King

Hello! I’m posting this week’s edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a day late, as I like the topic – the top books from X genre I’ve added to my TBR list recently.

I’m on a major Stephen King kick and am currently scooting through his apocalyptic epic, The Stand, the first of King’s books I’ve tackled. I’m in awe of his writing and finally saw the original movie version of It, making me even more anxious to read as many of his 50+ novels and stories as possible.

The List

The Shining is my favorite movie adaptation of a King book, so far. The creep factor is intense and the child actor is amazingly talented. Of course, one cannot forget Jack Nicholson’s penultimate role as Jack. I’m really looking forward to reading The Shining and being creeped out via an entirely different format!

It is, in my opinion, the ultimate creepy clown movie! Who am I kidding – clowns are just plain creepy regardless! I have the Audible edition of this particular work and I’m excited to see what Pennywise’s voice sounds like in it!

Carrie is among my most favorite King movies – about a telekinetic power possessing, isolated, teen girl with a creep show mother, I’m looking forward to reading this. Of course, I’ve seen the movie countless times; the psychotic mom is my favorite character.

Misery is another movie adaptation I’ve seen, but have yet to read. Kathy Bates, I think, was perfection in her role as a reader obsessed with a writer! The fact that this book concerns books at all makes me smile very big!

Pet Sematary is admittedly a cheesy, albeit creepy, movie. Pet Sematary 2 is just hilarious! Anyhow, I recently got a cool edition with a comic booky cover and I’ve heard that the book is amazing!

The Gunslinger, the beginning of King’s The Dark Tower series intrigues me. Plus, it comes very highly recommended. I heard that a movie adaptation is coming soon – with none other than Matthew McConaughey in the starring role! 😀

‘Salem’s Lot is a book I received through a swap and I’m really looking forward to hopefully figuring out why there’s an apostrophe at the beginning of the title!

The Green Mile seems very different from some of King’s tales. I’ve never seen the movie version, so reading it will be a total surprise!

Needful Things is a book I’ve been curious about for a long time. I remember when the movie came out – I haven’t seen it – and being creeped out by the previews. I hope to be creeped out when I read it as well!

Christine, the classic killer car tale, will undoubtedly be great in print, as I love the movie. It tickles me that the nerdy main character is avenged by his dang car!

Love, Maggie

April = Graphically Reading

Sporadic Update was inspired by The Sunday Post meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 😀

Sweet Reads

I did my first ever reread this month, as I listened to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone via Audible. I’ve been wanting to reread the Harry Potter series for a while and I’m thrilled that I decided to go with listening to the books as opposed to simply rereading them – the voice of the narrator, Jim Dale, is perfection.

I did not realize how long it’s been since I read the Harry Potter books – I started the series in college in the early 2000s. I remember anxiously awaiting each sequel’s release after falling in love with the books. A friend had to convince me to give Harry a try, as the hype surrounding the books turned me off, but I’m glad I gave in.

There are so many details in the first Harry Potter tale that I’d completely forgotten, such as the prominence played by the jerks whom raised Harry, the dreaded Dursleys, and the awesome introduction to Quidditch. While I will definitely be listening to the books in order, I’m really excited to get to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my favorite of the series.

In a few days I read a bunch of graphic novels – G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why, Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed, Saga, Vol. 2, Saga, Vol. 3, Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan, and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye, and The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us.

I quit watching The Walking Dead TV show a few seasons ago, but I love the graphic novels on which the show is based – they’re so much easier to follow than the AMC version. I loved the show when it debuted, but it took a turn for the convoluted pretty quick, so I’m excited to read more of the books to find out what the hell is really going on!

Additionally, I read Jennifer Keishin Armstong’s Seinfeldia, a chronicle of the evolution of the amazing sitcom, Seinfeld, and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Seinfeldia was a fun, factual read – it was so cool to read about how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David conceived the premise of Seinfeld. I also loved learning about the costars, especially the elusive Michael Richards, who played Kramer.

I was really surprised to read about the off-screen drama regarding the show and it was cool to read tidbits about different episodes. As for Scarlet, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me the way the first Lunar Chronicles book, Cinder, did. For some reason, I have a feeling I will really like Cress, the third in the series.

Sour Reads

I didn’t read anything that left me with a sour feeling in April, which makes me very happy! If I were to choose my least favorite book of the month, it would be Scarlet. As I said above, I really enjoyed the second Lunar Chronicles installment, but compared to the other books I read last month, it places at the end of the line.

Welcome to My Library!

As for my personal library, I welcomed quite a few books in April in physical, Kindle, and Audible formats. I preordered a book for the first time, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, and it arrived on the release date, which thrilled me to death. I’ve still got to read A Court of Mist and Fury, but I plan to do so soon – the suspense is killing me!

I bought a few more graphic novels in April – I’m so into the genre lately. I got, of course, Saga, Vol. 7 as well as Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, and Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1. I’ve suddenly discovered comiXology unlimited, which is where I read the two Walking Dead books and the second and third Ms. Marvel installments.

Additionally, I purchased Stephen King’s The Stand and On the Fence by one of my newest favorite authors, Kasie West. Thus far, I’m really engrossed in King’s book, by far the largest I’ve ever read at 1153 pages. As of today I’m a tad over 250 pages into it, which is really good for a slowish reader such as I.

As for Kindle editions, I obtained Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, The Gunslinger by Stephen King, and Psycho by Robert Bloch. I haven’t delved much into horror books, which is weird because I love to scare myself, but I’m really excited about the creepy ones I did get!

Via Audible I got Stephen King’s clown classic, It, Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir, The Secrets of My Life, about which I’m incredibly excited, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and narrated by Rachel McAdams, whom I adore, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, read by the fabulous Claire Danes. Finally, I got hold of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Challenging

I’m so proud to still be able to say that I’m ahead of my Goodreads goal! Yay! Thus far this year I’ve read 26 of 40 pledged books, meaning I’m clocked in at 13 books ahead of schedule. I read a bunch of graphic novels in April, so I’m planning to read harder this month, hence my starting the behemoth epic The Stand.

I’m joining in on the Bout of Books 19 challenge that begins tomorrow and I’m so excited! I haven’t done a reading challenge all year and I think I’ve set an attainable goal consisting of three not-too-long or too emotionally heavy books.

For the challenge, I’ve chosen to read Geekerella by Ashley Poston, On the Fence by Kasie West, and Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich.

May(hem)

Well, from May 8 through May 14, I’ll be focusing on reading the three books I picked for the 19th Bout of Books challenge. In the meantime, and especially after I (hopefully) complete the challenge, I’m going to continue working on The Stand, which is enthralling!

In Closing

Have a fantastic May, y’all!

Love, Maggie

March = Laid Back Style

Sporadic Update was inspired by The Sunday Post meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 😀

Sweet Reads

While I didn’t read a ton of books in March, three is the grand total, I did read books of great quality, which was a nice change of pace, as I despise to despise a tale!

My favorite read of the month was Erin Morgenstern’s gorgeously written The Night Circus. Beautiful inside and out, I read it over the course of about two weeks. The book isn’t slow-paced at all – I simply savored every word – I didn’t even shorten words into contractions or skip certain romantic parts of the novel. I’m looking forward to writing my review for this one!

The first book I read in March was an ARC of Rita Stradling’s Ensnared. While this futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast was quite unlike anything I’ve read before, I really enjoyed it. I lament that it won’t be released until near the end of the year – I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks of it!

My middle book read in March was The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket. The fourth installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events books, this is my favorite thus far. I’m looking forward to getting my eyes on the fifth tale, The Austere Academy, soon.

Sour Reads

My only sour read for the month was actually a sour listen – I had to give up on the Audible edition of Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I don’t know if it’s the narrator’s voice that turns me off or what, but I made it through about three hours before I decided I still didn’t know what in the hell was going on.

Therefore, I DNFd the audio version of Caraval, but, as I still want to give it a chance, I’m going to attempt reading it in print form. The hype is too heavy for this book and my curiosity is so very piqued by it that I must give it another shot.

Welcome to My Library!

As for book buying, I didn’t get QUITE as much as I have recently, but I still had a good time! 😀 I fell in love with Kasie West’s writing in February, so in March I got the paperback of By Your Side. While I’ve seen some mixed reviews of West’s book set in a library – a huge draw for me – I’m excited to judge for myself, especially since I never dreamed I’d be a West fan!

As I mentioned above, I’m giving Caraval another chance, so I ordered the hardcover version. I’m wary of reading it, as I’m afraid I won’t be able to follow the print edition like I wasn’t able to follow the audio. I’ll just have to dive in headfirst.

I think Charles Krauthammer, a brilliant syndicated columnist and psychiatrist, is so enlightening in everything he says, whether or not I agree with his statements. I got his latest book Things That Matter and I’m really looking forward to reading it; I’ve wanted it forever.

I am also absolutely thrilled to welcome an eARC of Geekerella by Ashley Poston to my Kindle! 😀 I’ve been dying to read this book for ages and I still cannot believe I was given access to it! *pats self on back*

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi is another book I’ve been putting off buying and finally broke down and purchased. Chronicling the Charles Manson murders, this book is sure to give me the creeps! But, I love true crime, so I’m expecting a treat!

Although I’ve still only read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, I went ahead and pre-ordered the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin, releasing May 2. I thankfully have the middle tale, A Court of Mist and Fury, so I can get caught up in time for the publishing date.

I broke the mold a bit in March by buying a new cookbook, Cooking Comically by Tyler Capps. The recipes are simple to follow and look delicious – hello, jalapeno poppers! Also, the book is hilariously laid out, hence the title! I’m excited to do some actual cooking!

Challenging

Shockingly, I’m still ahead of my Goodreads challenge goal of 40 by five books! This is truly a miracle – I may actually complete – even surpass – my goal for the first time ever! Yay for me! As I’ve stated previously, I’m hoping to remain ahead of my challenge goal, so as not to sweat its completion at the last minute.

In Real Life

Well, let’s see, my life this month has mostly revolved around my babies. I’m working on getting Jack used to going out in the yard with me without running across the street! He’s getting so much better about listening; he’s only two, but he’s learning.

As for my six-month-old, Hank, he’s getting SO close to crawling! I feel like I watch him constantly when he’s awake just in case he crawls all of a sudden.

I wasn’t good at all about keeping appointments this month, I either canceled or skipped the three I had scheduled – oops! Sometimes I’m really bad at holding to engagements – I hate appointments of any kind.

We’ve got our boys’ baptism scheduled for the end of the month and I’m so excited to have everything set and almost ready to go! I even have the babies’ white outfits already, so I’m on the ball as far as that goes!

Weather wise, it’s been weird here in Tennessee. Early in March, we had a little bit of snow; at the end of the month it was in the 70s. Strange, but not really, considering where I live. The weather has always been strange. I feel like I sat around all month waiting for it to rain and/or storm. It was cloudy and ominous for so many days, with zero climax, rarely even a shower.

April Showers

As for my April reading plans, I’m not going to make any predictions this month. Seeing as I’ve rarely read what I’ve planned thus far this year, I’m not going to worry about it. I do have a few books in mind, but nothing set in stone!

In Closing

Here’s to a fantastic May and (hopefully) nice weather! 😀

Love, Maggie

A Series of Circuses

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

I finally picked up The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. So far – and I’m about 30 pages in – I adore this book! I’d really like to curl up and read it in one sitting, but, you know, life!

I started listening to Carolyn Keene’s The Message in the Hollow Oak on Audible. I don’t think I need to mention again just how much I love Nancy Drew! 😀

My goal this week is to finish listening to the final seven hours of the Audible edition of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval. I’ve been struggling with this book for a few weeks now – I don’t think I’d pass a pop quiz on what I’ve listened to thus far!

I hope to complete it by the weekend, as my co-bloggers at The Bookkeepers’ Secrets and I want to do a group Caraval review! I’m really looking forward to putting our review together; it’s going to be interesting to see our differing, and similar, opinions!

Just Finished

I have been recently inspired to return to my goal of finishing A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, especially because I’m in love with the Netflix series based upon the books.

Luckily for me, only the first four books have been made into shows thus far, meaning I’m free to watch the whole series! A few days ago, I completed the fourth Snicket book, The Miserable Mill, and I really enjoyed it. I think it’s my favorite unfortunate book so far.

Next

Being the mood reader I am, if I had to choose right now what I want to read next, I’d pick A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas or Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan. Both are books I want to read before their sequels debut this spring!

That wraps up my reading plans for the week! If you drop by, be a dear and leave me a link to your WWW Wednesday post so I can visit you back! 😀

Love, Maggie

The Caraval Conundrum

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

I started The Miserable Mill, the fourth in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events the other day. I think this is my favorite installment in the series thus far. I really want to hurry up and get the whole series read so I can watch the Netflix show – which I really hope is still on by the time I finish!

I haven’t listened to my audio book of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval in seemingly forever. I just haven’t gotten excited about it, which I hope will change soon. I’m almost two hours into the Audible edition, but I don’t feel like anything is happening – nothing exciting to me anyway. I’m going to give it another go shortly, but the jury is still out…

I feel like I SHOULD love Caraval, if only because of the hype and the outstanding reviews I’ve read. However, I did notice on Twitter that there are brutal scenes between the sisters at the heart of the tale and their father. I’m still waiting to be shocked!

Just Finished

I blew through my ARC of Ensnared by Rita Stradling. Let’s just say that I highly enjoyed this book – I can’t believe it won’t be released until December! I’m looking forward to finding out what other readers think of it.

A futuristic take on the beloved Beauty and the Beast, Ensnared is really creative and exciting, yet predictable, because, hey – retelling! Nevertheless, I love that the romance is set in the future!

Next

Okay, I know I said last week that I was planning to read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, but Lemony Snicket ruined my plans. But, I am for certain reading The Night Circus next! I’ll be ready for it after my light reading of The Miserable Mill.

I also want to read a classic soon, alas, I am undecided on which to pick up. I figure I’ll see where my reading mood leads me following Morgenstern’s sure to be beautiful tale – I have high expectations.

Love, Maggie

P.S. If you stop by, leave me a link to your WWW Wednesday post – I’d love to visit you back! 😀

February = Heart Reading

Sporadic Update was inspired by The Sunday Post meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 😀

Sweet Reads

February began slowly for me, reading-wise; however, I sprinted toward the end of the month by starting and finishing five books over the course of two weeks, which for me is a lot! I am an admittedly slow reader, plus I’m a parent, making it difficult to carve out reading time.

I’m still ahead of my Goodreads challenge goal of 40 by five books, with a grand total of 11 read. I hope to maintain my pace and stay ahead of my goal until I reach it. I’ve toyed with the idea of upping my 2017 reading goal, but I’m torn as to whether or not to simply leave my goal as is and let extra books tick up my percentage. I’ve got time to ponder this, thankfully! 😀

As for February’s sweet reads, three books made the cut! I didn’t intend for it to be, but The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West turned into the perfect read during the month of love. I hadn’t planned to read anything romantic in February, but I couldn’t resist, as I’ve been incredibly curious about West’s work for a while now.

I also really enjoyed Rick Riordan’s The Throne of Fire, second in the Kane Chronicles trilogy. I may have mentioned that I love to learn as I read, especially while perusing fiction. Long story short, Riordan never disappoints when it comes to melding entertainment with education.

My favorite book of the month was the debut novel in the cozy mystery series, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, Elementary, She Read, by Vicki Delany. I’m really looking forward to writing my review for this one. Let’s just say that I recently stepped out of my genre comfort zone by trying a cozy mystery – Delany’s book is only the second cozy I’ve read! It didn’t take long for me to realize that I adore cozies!

Sour Reads

My not-so-favorite, so so reads of the month both received a mediocre three stars from me, meaning I liked them okay, just meh. More often than not, I adore Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene. Sadly, the Audible edition of The Sign of the Twisted Candles didn’t grab me.

Figment, the second book in Cameron Jace’s Insanity series, didn’t grab me either. I understand that it has a plot more focused on character building rather than action, but I’m looking forward to the third installment, Circus, which I hear is action packed and exciting, as was the series opener, Insanity.

Welcome to My Library!

I’m proud to have been approved for some great ARCs on NetGalley this month! I was so lucky to receive my first ever invite to read a popular upcoming book, Roshani Chokshi’s follow-up to The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes! I got the invitation because I was approved much earlier to read an ARC of Chokshi’s debut. 😀

I requested and was approved for Noteworthy by Riley Redgate and Ensnared by Rita Stradling, which I’m reading at the time of this typing and enjoying! I really liked Redgate’s debut novel, Seven Ways We Lie, so I hope to feel the same about Noteworthy!

I also bought a few books this month, mostly Kindle editions. I thought The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani looked cute, so I snatched it up. I also got Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, about which I’ve been curious for a while, on special.

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest finally found its way onto my Kindle, as did Carolyn Keene’s The Clue of the Dancing Puppet. With my Audible credit for the month, I got Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and narrated by Jim Dale. This will be my first reread ever and I’m really looking forward to hearing Harry’s saga.

Speaking of sagas, I went nuts and bought volumes four, five, and six of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, rounding out my collection, in preparation for volume seven’s release this spring.

Finally, I ended my book spree by purchasing three books for my two-year-old, My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle, Curious George Tool Time by H.A. Rey, and Dinosaur Dance! by Sandra Boynton.

Near the end of the month, I received the ultimate book mail – my first ever Fairy Loot box! I’ll be showing off the entire contents of the February box later, but I do want to mention that the chosen book was the enticing Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.

Challenging

In my Pulling the Plug post, I explain why I decided to abandon the year-long reading challenges for which I had signed up so early in the year. I decided to alleviate the reading pressure I was already feeling by solely keeping up with my reading through the Goodreads challenge.

As for short and mini reading challenges, bring them on!

In Real Life

In last month’s Sporadic Update, I mentioned applying for a job as an in-school therapist. I had an interview scheduled, but ultimately decided to cancel the day before. I dwelled on whether or not to take the job for a couple of weeks prior to my set interview.

I finally came to the conclusion that I’d rather continue with my role as a housewife and full-time mother. I adore every moment that I’m with my children and ever since I applied for the job I have tried even more to avoid taking any minute with my boys for granted.

My mother, who didn’t have the luxury of staying home with my brother and I full-time, implored me to let go of feeling the urge to have a full-time job. She re-instilled in me how important my job as a mother is – I am charged with raising two beautiful, spirited, happy boys.

Basically having little lives in my hands is definitely overwhelming at times, but it is so rewarding. I sometimes feel like what I do – raise my children and maintain our family’s household – isn’t worthy of admiration. But, I realize now that my boys will ultimately be the best they can be at least partially because of my love and the sacrifices I make for them.

March Madness

I am a humongous college basketball fan and, quite naturally, my [second] favorite time of year is March Madness, the technically 64-team tournament that serves as the season’s grand finale.

I say technically 64 teams because there is a play-in round these days known as the First Four. Anyway, Selection Sunday is coming up I believe next week for the men’s tournament and then Selection Monday will follow to announce the women’s tournament contenders.

I always root for the SEC, excluding Vanderbilt, as I am from the South. However, every year features at least a few Cinderella teams with whom I fall in love. I could ramble on about basketball forever, alas, I shall return to the subject at hand – books!

I’m not totally sure as to what I want to read this month, aside from Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Since I ditched my reading challenges, I don’t have any particular books that I need to get to; I’m free to mood read!

On the other hand, I would like to finally read my ARC of Gilded Cage by Vic James – I’m really looking forward to it. So I figure I do have a bit of planned reading after all! I would also like to get on with reading Noteworthy.

In Closing

I hope all of y’all have a fantastic March and happy reading! 😀

Love, Maggie

ARC Attack

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

At the moment, I’m reading Ensnared by Rita Stradling. A futuristic take on Beauty and the Beast, Ensnared reminds me a lot of Cinder by Marissa Meyer thus far – lots of robots!

I’m still stuck on listening to the Audible edition of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval. I’m just not excited about it anymore…I think my expectations were set incredibly too high due to the book’s huge hype.

Just Finished

Yesterday I finished an amazing cozy mystery releasing soon, Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany. I read it in two days – I’m lucky I loved it so much, as I only had a few days to get the Sherlockian tale read before it was archived on NetGalley!

I’m really excited to write a full review of Delany’s first book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. Needless to say, I will be delving into other books by Delany!

I also finished Cameron Jace’s Figment, the second installment of the Insanity series. While I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much as the first, Insanity, the plot makes sense as a jumping off point to the third tale in the series, Circus.

Next

I am incredibly excited to get my eyes on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! I’m totally planning to pick Morgenstern’s novel up after finishing Ensnared, but, being the mood reader I am, my plan can definitely change!

I’ve heard that The Night Circus is a gorgeously written book – if the story is half as appealing as the cover, I’ll be a happy reader!

Plus, I’m looking forward to taking an ARC reading break for a bit!

Love, Maggie