My 2017 Reading Goal!

 

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HAPPY 2017! I am so ready to begin a new year. 2016 was killing me, but it was also a great year for me to try some new things (THIS BLOG)- so I am thankful for that. It was such rough year, not only politically and socially, but it was difficult for me to get to my goal of 40 books this year, too. BUT I DID! You can see all of the books I read this year on my Goodreads page.

My Best/Worst of 2016:

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Top 5 Books I Read in 2016:
1. Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst
4. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
5. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

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3 Books That I Wouldn’t Recommend:
1. Close to You by Kristen Proby
2. To All The Boys, I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
3. Façade by Nyrae Dawn

I think I succeeded in reading some wonderful books because I couldn’t even choose five that I wouldn’t recommend, so that’s good! For 2017 I chose to up the ante and read a total of 50 books that I will thoroughly enjoy!

My 2017 Reading Plan by Month:

January: 5 books
February: 4 books
March: 4 books
April: 4 books
May: 4 books
June: 5 books
July: 5 books
August: 3 books
September: 4 books
October: 4 books
November: 4 books
December: 4 books

It may seem a tad bit ridiculous for me to be planning how many books I read by month, but it will hold me accountable so I can succeed at reaching my goal.

5 Steps to Achieving My Goal:

1. Read for at least an hour a day.

2. If I don’t think I’ll like a book after the first few chapters, stop reading it!

3. Read outside my comfort zone, I may surprise myself.

4. Read reviews before I begin reading a new book.

5. Be open to recommendations from people I trust.

My plan is to not only read 50 books but to also read as many recommendations, classic novels, and independent works of fiction that I have time for. If you would like me to read and review your work, check out my review request guidelines. 

I have a really good feeling about 2017, guys! Let’s kick this year’s ass!

What is your reading goal for 2017? Let me know in the comments!

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A Book Lover’s Gift Guide

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I was baffled when I looked at the calendar and realized there are only TEN days left until Christmas! Where did the time go? I have barely even began my Christmas shopping! Luckily, I work extremely well under pressure and i’m used to waiting until the last minute. I love to give books as Christmas gifts because I love books, but there really are so many more fun options for that special book lover in your life!  Today, I’ve put together a list of eight fun gifts for book lovers! I hope this list  give you some ideas for this holiday season 🙂

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Photo courtesy of MyBookMark.com
  1. A unique bookmark like this ‘Gingerbread Man Legs’ one from My Book Mark. They also have book characters and animals to choose from!

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Photo Courtesy of Etsy
  1. Book inspired candles! Try these ‘Book Lovers’ Soy Candles’ from Frostbeard’s Etsy shop.

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Photo courtesy of Etsy
  1. A good literary coffee mug. Check out this Jane Austen mug from PonderandDream’s Etsy shop.

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Photo courtesy of Obviousstate.com
  1. Notebooks, like these author quote notebooks from Obvious State, make great gifts.

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Photo courtesy of Strandbooks.com
  1. A book inspired tote bag! Check out this, ‘Lost in the Stacks’ bag, and many others, from New York’s famous Strand Bookstore.

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Photo courtesy of Amazon
  1. Book art! Because who doesn’t love showcasing their love for literature? These prints from Vintage Book Art are beautiful!

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Photo courtesy of Etsy
  1. Book and music lover? You will love these vintage book ends from DIYMike’s etsy shop!

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Photo courtesy of bookofthemonth.com
  1. And if you’re feeling really generous, you can always buy a subscription to a “book box”. Book of the Month Club sends you a book every month! And right now, if you give a gift you receive a free month membership of your own!

Happy Shopping!

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12 Illustrated Literary Quotes to Boost Your Creativity!

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I’ve been finding inspiration between the pages of books more than usual lately. I will read a quote and become attached to it for days, writing it over and over in my planner. Plus, I’m making some blog changes next year (get excited!), so I’ve found myself paying extra close attention to beautiful words that stand out to me. For your enjoyment, I have chosen some of my favorite illustrated literary quotes that will hopefully boost your creativity, whether you’re writing, painting, or just trying to get through a tough week!

I found all of these images on Pinterest!

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 Now get out there and get creative!

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15 Books To Cuddle Up With This Winter

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Happy December everybody! Can you believe it’s almost X-Mas? I am too excited! I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving and I’m slowly decorating my apartment to match. I can’t wait to show you guys HOW I decorated my tree…but I’m getting ahead of myself! That will come later. Yesterday, I realized that’s it’s getting kinda cold (which I love) and there is nothing better than “cozying up” with a cup of hot chocolate (or something very caffeinated), a warm blanket, and a great book! I felt that it was extremely necessary  to share with you a  list of 15 great books to take into hibernation this winter season. These are my personal recommendations to get you through the winter!

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For the Adventurer: In the mood for some magical winter settings? Look no further!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Harry Potter Series

The Golden Compass

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For Your Inner Teen: Relax and reminisce!

The Book Thief

The Secret Garden

We Were Liars

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For the Romantic: Add some warmth to your cold winter nights!

The Notebook

Me Before You

Winter’s Tale

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For the History Buff: Historical FICTION that is!

All the Light We Cannot See

The Forgotten Room

The Devil in the White City

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For the Mysterious: These page turners will make you forget how cold it is outside!

Gone Girl

The Lovely Bones

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Why You Should Give Audio-Books A Try!

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Some people think it’s considered cheating to listen to a book. I’m not one of those people and here’s why:

I don’t know how many times I’ve shot down the idea of audio-books because “the feeling of a real book in your hand far surpasses listening to it”…how pretentious can I get, right? But when I started blogging, it was clear to me that there were just not enough hours in the day for me to read 5-8 books in a month, work a full time job, and write reviews and blog posts. Audio-books have seriously changed my life. Call me dramatic. I don’t mind.

I’ve never been that person who can read multiple books at once, but since I started listening to books it makes it so much easier to do so. I can listen to some of a book at work while I’m shelf reading, and then actually read a few chapters of another book when I get home! It’s fantastic. It’s a great way to multi-task! When i’m cleaning my house, walking to get coffee, driving across town to get the extremely un-healthy fast food I eat on a daily basis…I’m usually listening to a book.

You should give audio-books a try for three reasons:

1) You will be able to read more books in a shorter amount of time!

2) You won’t have to choose between reading a book or getting your dishes clean!

3) Sometimes the narrators make the book more interesting with their voice acting!

Now that you understand my love for books that are read aloud to me, I want to share with you some of my favorite audio-books that I’ve listened to this year! I also want to share one or two that I disliked. I based my decisions on the narrator’s voice, character acting, and the overall mood that the narrator set. For example, The Shining was a scary book; Campbell Scott made it even more scary by using an ominous tone or by actually shouting at times!

Favorites

  1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling— Narrated by Jim Dale
  2. The Shining by Stephen King — Narrated by Campbell Scott
  3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler –Narrated by Amy Poehler & Friends
  4. Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst –Narrated by Abigail Revasch, Jorjeana Marie, Cassandra Campbell
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs–Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

Hollow City and Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs are narrated by Kirby Heyborne. I much preferred Jesse Bernstein.   

Disappointments 

             1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han –Narrated by Laura Knight Keating

I’m going to be completely honest, I almost stopped listening to this book about five times because the narrator’s voice acting was absolutely awful. I know it’s harsh, but if I keep losing track of who is who because every guy you portray sounds the same….there’s a problem.

          2. The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich–Narrated by Quincy Dunn-Baker

I don’t know if it was the writing or the narrating, but this one just fell a little short for me. By the time the ending came, I was way past ready to be done with it. It was boring. That’s the best way to put it.    

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