Category: Discussions

2019 Reading Goals

Posted January 17, 2019 by Holly in Discussions | 7 Comments

This year we’re all setting reading goals. We’re all participating in Super Wendy’s TBR Challenge, and we plan to bring back our Summer Reading Challenge this year. Below are our personal reading goals.

Holly
I try not to overwhelm myself with reading goals. If I set too many I can’t keep up with, I start getting reading anxiety and it becomes a chore to read at all.

Read at least 200 books

Every year I join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and set my goal at 200 books. I’m not going to change the number this year, but I hope to read 250. I came close in 2018. So fingers crossed.

Read more diverse books

I’d like to focus more on reading diverse romances. I’ve already started a list. I’m not going to set a number goal for this, but I am going to make it a priority.

Read more historical romance

I’ve been on a historical hiatus for the past year or so. With few exceptions, I avoid the sub-genre entirely. I’d like to get my historical mojo back. For now I’m going to try to read at least 1 historical per month.

Read more new-to-me authors

This year I want to read more new-to-me authors. My goal is at least 5 per month. I’m a little nervous about this goal, because I tend to be a reader of habit, always sticking with authors I know and love, and re-reading a lot.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited and the Audible Romance Package

The Audible Romance Package is just $6.95/mo if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber or Audible Gold or Platinum member ($14.95 if not). As with KU, if you have the Audible Romance Package you can listen to an unlimited number of audiobooks from the ARP catalog for one set price, up to 6 at a time. They have thousands of romance audiobooks available. Audiobooks can be expensive, so this is a much more budget friendly way of listening. I definitely want to take better advantage of the program in 2019. The same with Kindle Unlimited. I only just subscribed to KU in March of 2018 and I definitely didn’t read enough KU books to justify the cost.

Read more from – and better organize – my TBR Pile

Let’s face it, I’m a book hoarder. Digital reading has made things worse, because I don’t see the stacks of book sitting around. I’d like to organize my digital TBR pile this year and start culling it down. I’d like to read at least 2 TBR books per month.

Review More

I’m going to try to review every book I read in 2019. I’m not going to include re-reads in that, unless I’m re-reading a book I haven’t ever reviewed. I read so much, I often struggle to get all my books reviewed. Hopefully I can change that this year.

Casee

Reading goals make me antsy. It’s just a fact. When I think I’m not meeting a goal, I tend to just quit altogether. It’s kind of like me and exercise. But that’s another story. This year, I have decided to set reasonable goals for myself.

Read at least 100 books

I always join the Goodreads Reading Challenge and this year is no different. I didn’t meet my goal last year I was surprised at how disappointed I was in myself. How hard is it to read 75 books? 2018 wasn’t my reading year. 2019? A new me!

Listen to more audiobooks

It was late last year that Holly introduced me to the wonderful world of audiobooks. Honestly, I had no idea what I was missing. I had listened to an audiobook here and there that I checked out from the library, but really. Audible has opened up a new world for me. A world that I adore.

Read more books from Kindle Unlimited

I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for one reason. To get the Audible Romance Package for $6.95. Don’t judge. I have found a few good books through KU. This year, I am determined to give KU more of my time. Just because they’re books through KU doesn’t mean that they’re bad. Honestly, I have no idea how I got that idea in my head.

Read more New-to-Me Authors

I only read ten (10!) new-to-me authors in 2018. That is crazy talk. Just crazy. I don’t even think my new author “kick” started until July. I’m ashamed. I tend to get into a comfort zone. Then I don’t leave it. I’ve already read two new-to-me authors so far this year and I’m determined to make it more this year.

Read more

What I really want to do more this year is to just read. I just want to take the time to sit down and read. Yes, I want to listen to more audiobooks, but I miss just being able to sit down for two hours and read. That’s one of my goals this year.

Review every book

Yes, you read that correctly. This year my goal is to review every since book that I read and/or listen to. I did pretty good last year since I read so few books. I remember a time when reviewing didn’t overwhelm me or feel like a chore. I started to feel that feeling again late last year. The feeling of enjoyment in writing a review. I’m hoping that feeling will continue.

Rowena

I already wrote up my personal goals for the year on my personal blog so if you guys want to catch that, you can click on over and check it out for yourselves.

MY PERSONAL, READING, AND BLOGGING GOALS FOR 2019

What are your 2019 reading goals? Tell us in the comments.


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Bookish Thoughts: Rowena’s Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

Posted December 19, 2018 by Rowena in Discussions, Features | 5 Comments

Every month, Casee, Holly, and I tackle a different bookish and sometimes non-bookish topic together and this month, we’re sharing our wishlists with you lovely readers.

Christmas is right around the corner and like Casee and Holly, I have an ultimate wishlist of my own. It’s filled with bookish things and even some things that might be useful to the blogger in me. Are some of these items outrageous? Definitely. Will I end up getting all of them? Probably not. But it’s my wishlist and I’m going to keep right on wishing for these things. There are a couple of things that are definitely doable and I’ll probably end up getting them myself but for now, they’re on my wishlist.

Check it out.

1. Kindle Oasis

Every few months, I’ll start getting an itch for a new gadget. I already have a Kindle Paperwhite and there is absolutely nothing wrong it, but I really want a Kindle Oasis too. I love my Kindle Paperwhite. I love that it’s strictly for reading and even though there are ads, I don’t get distracted when I’m reading a book on my kindle because there aren’t any games on there or the internet, just books and more books. The Kindle Oasis has everything that a Paperwhite has, even the waterproof thing but for me? I really want those page turning buttons so this one is definitely on my wishlist.

2. Apple iPad Pro

A lot of people don’t understand what a commitment blogging is. I’m constantly on my phone, checking the blog, jotting down notes for blog posts, tracking our stats, making lists of books I want to read and review for the blog and just all things blogging, all the time. I’ve been looking at the iPad Pro because I can do so much blogging with it and it’s like a small computer that I can get a keyboard for and just go to blogging town, so yes, I want this iPad and I don’t even care that I already have an iPad mini.

3. A 2019 Fully Booked Planner

I’m a huge planner nerd and I’ve already got my planner lined up for next year (I actually bought it back in September, haha) but after coming across this book blogging planner on Instagram, I’ve decided that I want it. I’m one of those planner nerds that decorates their planner with stickers, and washi tape so the ideas of what I can do with a book blogging planner are plenty. I already bought a reader tracker for next year to track my reading so technically, I don’t even need this planner…but I still want it.

4. Brooklyn Bruisers Sweatshirt

You guys, I think Sarina Bowen read this post a few months ago and answered my bookish merchandise prayers. She’s got mugs, travel mugs, hydro’s, shirts, t-shirts, and everything Brooklyn Bruisers and I want this sweatshirt bad. I’m sending this link to my daughter Brenna for real.

5. Kindle Sleeves

I think these things are super cute and I’ve wanted one for the longest time. I haven’t gotten around to buying it because it seems like such an extra thing to have but I still want it but I think I want someone else to buy it for me so on my Christmas wishlist it’s going.

What’s on your ultimate Christmas wishlist?


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Bookish Thoughts: Holly’s Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

Posted December 12, 2018 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 3 Comments

Every month, Casee, Rowena and I tackle a different bookish and sometimes non-bookish topic together. This month, we’re sharing our Christmas wishlists with you lovely readers.

For me, Christmas is about giving, not receiving. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I’d like to see for me under the tree. I went with a more practical list, rather than the one I was considering (castle in Scotland, 6 month world cruise, Tesla Model S etc). The things I listed are attainable, but I know I won’t be getting them for Christmas.

Stony Island Arts Bank Library Bookshelves
Stony Island Arts Bank Library, Chicago (USA)
1. New Bookshelves

I have a gorgeous, 20 foot wall in my entry way I would love to cover in bookshelves. I keep bugging my husband to build me some, and he keeps looking at me like I’m crazy. But y’all, I need them! Ones that look just like those at the Stony Island Arts Bank Library in Chicago. They’d be perfect.

2. Kindle Paperwhite

I don’t need a Paperwhite. I have a perfectly good(ish) Samsung Tab I use solely for reading (I prefer it to a dedicated reader because I read across many platforms). I still want it. I want it for reading at the beach and at the pool in the summer. And this new version is waterproof, so it would be great for reading in the tub, too.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab a 8, 32gb

I currently have the Galaxy Tab 7. It works fine (mostly) but I’d really like a new one. Since I have an iPad and a Windows Tablet, I can’t really justify asking for a new dedicated reading tablet (the only thing I want the Galaxy Tab for). And yet…Sigh. I want the additional storage and upgraded processor of the Tab a8.

Wine Glasses for Book Lovers

4. Book Related Wine Glasses

I’m in love with these stemless wineglasses from CustomKreationGoods on Etsy. Wine + Books + Bookish Wineglasses = Best.Christmas.Gift.Ever.

Silver Prius Prime Image

5. Prius Prime

If this is my ultimate wishlist, I can add a new car, right? I have a perfectly fine car now, but I commute 45 miles each way to work. Having a hybrid would be wonderful. I used to think the Prius was really ugly, but I really like the style of the new Prime. Plus, it gets 133 mpge.

What’s on your wishlist list this year? Anything outrageous or are you pretty reasonable?


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Auto-Buy Authors Holly Stopped Buying

Posted November 27, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 9 Comments

This is a difficult topic for me, since a lot of these authors are still wonderful. Some I outgrew, some I plan to go back to at a future time, some I may never be able to read again. I stopped auto-buying all the authors on Rowena’s list awhile ago. Some others I stopped buying are…

Hannah Howell

I adore Howell’s older highland romances. She writes fabulous heroines who are smart and plucky and always manage to save themselves. Plus, she does female relationships really well. But after awhile they all sort of blend together. While she’ll always have a special place in my heart, I don’t buy her new releases anymore.

Christine Feehan

Oh, Christine Feehan. Where do I begin? About 14 years ago, Casee sent me the first 4 Dark Series books and told me I had to read them. I stuck with that series for about 15 books until I gave up. I still gobbled up every Sea Haven and Leopard book she put out, though. Now that the Sisters of the Heart series is done, I think it’s time to say goodbye. I’m not interested in the MC books and the Ghostwalker and Leopard series just don’t work for me like they did.

Jill Shalvis

I used to love JS’s small-town contemporary romances. They always managed to hit the spot. It’s not that I’m really over her book, necessarily, just the small-town romances in general. I have a good number of her books in my TBR pile, but until I start reading them again, she’s off my auto-buy list.

J.D. Robb

Robb’s In Death series was a long-time favorite of mine. I eagerly awaited each release and read them as soon as they came out. I think I’m behind about 9 books now. As much as I love Eve and Roarke, I haven’t been in the mood to read them. I may go back to the series at some point, but for now I’m no longer buying them.

Julia Quinn

Y’all. This one is hard to admit, but it’s true. I’ve stopped buying JQ. To be fair, I’m really not reading historicals much at all lately. Even so, when I see a new JQ release I don’t immediately think “I need to buy that”.

Which auto-buy author was the most shocking for you to give up?


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Auto Buy Authors Rowena Never Thought She’d Stop Reading…And Did

Posted November 14, 2018 by Rowena in Discussions | 13 Comments

If you’ve been paying attention in the last couple of months, you will have noticed that Casee, Holly, and myself have each taken to writing our thoughts on a shared topic and then posting them throughout the month. This month’s topic is about auto-buy authors that we never thought we’d stop reading until we did.

When I first started reading, I was all about Julie Garwood, Linda Howard, and Judith McNaught. I read every single thing that they wrote and counted down the days until they released something new. I didn’t read a lot of new to me authors (even though there were plenty to choose from) because I was too scared but I grew as a reader and before I knew what was what, I had new favorite authors and I read less and less of the authors that I used to love and read before.

Putting this list together surprised me some because there are quite a few authors that I used to love and obsess over on this list. My list consists of authors that I used to read religiously and haven’t read or bought anything from on a consistent basis in years.

Rachel Gibson

Rachel Gibson is one of the authors that I read in the early days and I loved the hell out of. See Jane Score was one of the earliest contemporaries that I remember reading and I used to want to lick Luc’s tattoo. I haven’t read a book by Rachel Gibson in years and I’m not all that keen on picking anything up either. There are still quite a few of her newer releases that I haven’t touched yet and I doubt I ever will.

Jennifer Crusie

I used to be obsessed with all things Jennifer Crusie. Her books were always filled with humor and a steamy romance that I couldn’t get enough of and yet, I haven’t finished reading through her backlist or bought any of her later releases. I just..moved on from her and that surprises me because Bet Me? LOVE THAT BOOK FOREVER.

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts used to be the author that I turned to for fabulous contemporary romances with a suspense plot that I couldn’t get enough of. I used to say that I was looking forward to reading all of her books for the rest of my life and yet…it’s been years since I’ve been interested in reading any of her new stuff. I do re-read her older stuff from time to time. I still love Seaswept and the other books in that series but I stopped buying her books because I’m just not reading them anymore.

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is in the same boat as Julie Garwood in my book. I will forever love their older stuff but I have read some of their latest releases and my love for that stuff just isn’t the same. I’ve enjoyed some of Linda Howard’s stuff but my desire to read her isn’t instant anymore. I’ve moved on from being that reader that had to read everything under the LH sun.

Julie Garwood

I’m sad that I just can’t get into the newer Julie Garwood books and have lost interest in them. I still haven’t read Shadow Music and Fire and Ice. I wanted to read both of those books way back in the day but lately? Nah. I have them both but they sit untouched on my TBR pile day after day and I really doubt that I’m ever going to read them. That’s a far cry from my attitude toward anything new by JG back in the day. I still read and LOVE her older stuff but I haven’t wanted to read any of her newer stuff and that’s wild to me because I thought I’d love her stuff forever.

Who are some authors that got bumped off your auto-buy list? Share in the comments!


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