Tag: Bookish Thoughts

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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Bookish Thoughts: Casee’s Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

Posted December 5, 2018 by Casee in Features | 7 Comments

Every month, Holly, 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.

Christmas is the season of giving. I love buying gifts for my family and friends. I often get so excited that I want to tell everyone what I got them. I’m quite impatient. I start my Christmas shopping in November, so the time between the buying and opening of the gift seems even longer. I usually don’t think about what I want. When I do, it’s actually difficult. I’m pretty lucky in life insofar as I don’t have to wait until Christmas to get the things I want (within reason of course). Making a list like this really reminds me how fortunate I truly am. With all that said, there are a few things I really, honestly need. Number one on my list is an absolute necessity. Absolute.


A Money Tree

This is my number one. Número uno. Numéro un. I always knew that putting a kid through college would be pricey. But the thought was always in the abstract. Like seriously, it was forever away. Forever and ever. Now my oldest is living in the dorm and going to school full-time about four hours away from home. Not only that, but my youngest is a junior in high school. While the thought of “when did I get so old?” has run through my head, the more important question of “which body part should I sell to pay for this?” is on a loop. Thus the money tree. It doesn’t even have to be a large one. Just a small one. Like six feet tall would be nice. With as many leaves as the trees in my backyard drop. Yep, lets get it done. It would also help me buy all the books I ever wanted. That would just be a huge bonus.

iPad Mini

Because I’m such a nice wife, I gave my husband my iPad when his died. Which obviously equals me needing a new one! When you add the fact that my Kindle is start to fail, well, it all makes perfect sense.

 
A kitten

On August 7, 2018 I had to put my sweet Molly to sleep. She was sixteen. She was nine months old when we got her. My daughter was also nine months old when we got Molly so they grew up together. We’re a cat family (cats aren’t evil!) and we are ready to rescue a kitten and/or cat. We aren’t picky, we just want to rescue rather than buy. I have to admit that I did see some really cute kittens, but they were actually asking $600/ea. For real. So yes, I’ll take a kitten for Christmas please. It would also be nice to have a kitten to snuggle with while I’m reading. I miss that.

New Kindle Paperwhite (without ads)

Like I mentioned above, my current Kindle is starting to fail. It’s freezing, restarting, all the normal things that tell you that Amazon has started to send updates out to the old Kindles to slow them down so you’ll buy the new Kindle. No, I’m kidding. I don’t know if they do that. We all know that it’s Apple that does that. Ha.

 

This bookshelf

I first saw this bookshelf on Pinterest about two years ago. I literally begged my husband to build it for me. I don’t know where he would have put it, but I wanted it anyway. He looked at me and laughed in my face. Laughed. In my face. My husband is a handy guy. He builds things. He likes DIY things. He does stuff like that. But he laughed at me when I showed him this. Since it is that time of year, perhaps it’s time to show it to him again. Again, I would have to find somewhere to put it, but details right?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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


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Standalone Series Books: Yes, That’s a Thing

Posted November 6, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

Holly: Lately, Rowena and I have been increasingly frustrated with the number of authors who label their books as standalones when they are, in fact, part of a series.

The Chase by Elle Kennedy is the first book in the Briar U series, which is a spinoff of the Off-Campus series. Yet the description says, “A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy!”

The blurb for Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely says, “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance…”, yet it features characters we met in Wanderlust (Part-Time Lovers series).

Rowena: It seems to me that this is a new development, at least in romance because I don’t ever remember going through this before. Books in a series could be read as standalone but they were linked by something. Some of those series were linked together by characters, some were linked by the world that they were set in, and sometimes they had a story arc that went through multiple books, but that last one wasn’t necessary or even the case for every series. I can’t agree with what Holly says above enough. It is possible for a book to read as a standalone but still be part of a series.

She also mentions that there are some readers that prefer to read standalones and that’s fine, you should be able to love and want what you want. We prefer to know that characters we meet and love in one book, also show up in their own books…because then it’s not a standalone, it’s part of a series and should be labeled as such.

I just finished reading Sleepover by Serena Bell and though the book is listed as a standalone, I just know that the hero’s brother Brooks is going to get his own book because the ending led the reader to believe as much. The ending also announces the engagement of a couple from another book that was released back in June of this year. So this book is definitely part of a series and is linked together by the characters but if you were a new reader of this author (like me), you wouldn’t know that. “Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.” Yet, it follows Do Over and Head Over Heels.

She’s not the only author that is guilty of this. She’s just the latest one that I’ve read and my frustration continues to grow and grow and grow. Holly hears about this frustration every time so we figured it was time to write this post.

Here are some examples of series with books that can be read as standalones but are linked together under the series umbrella.

The 21 Wall Street Series by Lauren Layne

This series follows three friends who work together on Wall Street. You don’t have to read the first book to get the second book, or the third book. The only thing that links these books together are the heroes in each book are friends. That’s it.

FBI/US Attorney Series by Julie James

Here’s another series that doesn’t need to be read in order. Each book can be read as a standalone and the series follows a different couple in the same world.

Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley


The same deal applies here with this series. They don’t really need to be read in order but there are recurring characters in each of these books. Some characters show up in all of the books, some show up in only a few but the common link in these books are the characters. The point is, the books can be read as standalones, but they’re connected in some way.

I’m not sure if this is a publisher thing or an author thing but whoever is in charge of making these decisions, please change this back. If books are linked in any way, readers should know that. I’m not sure when books being part of a series became a bad thing but I promise, I don’t see it as such.

The more you know and all of that…


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Books Holly Would Hate If She Read Them Today

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 5 Comments

While formatting some old posts, I came across some reviews I’d written for books in Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series. Reading my reviews, I started to wonder if I read those books today, would I still give them such high marks? Just reading through my reviews had me shaking my head. I gave up reading some authors years ago, because I know that, while I loved them in my youth, they’d never hold up to my reading standards now.

Chasing PerfectAlmost PerfectFinding Perfect

Chasing Perfect, Almost Perfect and Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
Released 2010-2012
Publisher: HQN Books
Genres: Contemporary Romance
My Reviews: Chasing Perfect, Almost Perfect, Finding Perfect

Return to where it all began—the romance, the friendships, the community, the warmth and laughter of Susan Mallery’s New York Times bestselling series Fool’s Gold.

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Fool’s Gold, California, is a charming town like no other, where newcomers and locals alike find endless—if unconventional—opportunities to fall in love.

From Charity Jones, a city planner hired to create jobs that will keep the town’s men from moving away, to Liz Sutton, still trying to shed the stigma of being the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and Pia O’Brian who, despite having a disastrous romantic track record and the parenting skills of a hamster, has inherited three frozen embryos, Fool’s Gold is overflowing with quirky characters, passionate moments and heartfelt emotion.

I really enjoyed this series back when, but just reading my reviews had my blood pressure up. I’m glad I enjoyed the books when I read them the first time. I definitely won’t be going back to read them again.

Almost HeavenAlmost Heaven by Judith McNaught.
Released: June 1, 1991
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 384
Genres: Historical Romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught crafts a powerful and unforgettable tale of two willful lovers in a twisting path of secrets throughout nineteenth-century Great Britain.

The Countess of Havenhurst, Lady Elizabeth Cameron, possesses a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thorton—notorious gambler and social outcast—her reputation is shattered. Thorton, rakishly handsome but with a mysterious lineage, embarks on a voyage to Elizabeth’s heart. Unfortunately, this journey is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge. Destined for each other, yet wary of the other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love, from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands. Will Elizabeth find true love or is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

McNaught was one of my favorite authors back in the day. I was always swept up in her tales and so anxious to see what would happen. Almost Heaven was a particular favorite. Ian. Sigh. I know if I read it today the drama would be too much. As it is, just the memory of all the drama Elizabeth creates makes my teeth clench. I’m going to keep my happy memories of JM and stay far, far away from re-reading this book.

The GiftThe Gift by Danielle Steele
Released: February 5, 1996
Publisher: Dell Books
Pages: 288
Genres: Historical Romance

On a June day, a young woman in a summer dress steps off a Chicago-bound bus into a small midwestern town. She doesn’t intend to stay. She is just passing through. Yet her stopping here has a reason and it is part of a story that you will never forget.

The time is the 1950s, when life was simpler, people still believed in dreams, and family was, very nearly, everything. The place is a small midwestern town with a high school and a downtown, a skating pond and a movie house. And on a tree-lined street in the heartland of America, an extraordinary set of events begins to unfold. And gradually what seems serendipitous is tinged with purpose. A happy home is shattered by a child’s senseless death. A loving marriage starts to unravel. And a stranger arrives—a young woman who will touch many lives before she moves on. She and a young man will meet and fall in love. Their love, so innocent and full of hope, helps to restore a family’s dreams. And all of their lives will be changed forever by the precious gift she leaves them.

This is a book I read at a time in my life when I needed the story. Thinking back, I’m sure much of it was problematic, but at the time I didn’t see the flaws. I was swept up in the tale of this brave girl who was on her own, dealing with an unwanted pregnancy in the 1950s. The story truly touched me. There’s no way I’d feel the same if I read it today, but I’ll keep my fond memories.

Prince of DreamsPrince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas
Released August 1, 1995
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
My Review: Prince of Dreams

A wealthy and bitter exile, he most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, he burns to possess a proud, headstrong beauty who is promised to another. But winning Emma Stokehurst’s exquisite hand through threats and determination does nothing to fill the empty spaces in Nikola’s heart—until passion’s magic carries the handsome, tormented prince back to a bygone era of splendor and romantic dreams. For there his destiny awaits him in a distant life. And in one remarkable woman’s tender touch—achingly familiar but gloriously new—he must seek the elusive promise of ecstasy . . .and learn, at last, to love.

This is an old school novel by Lisa Kleypas. I love the last 1/4 or so of this book. Adore it, in fact. But the first 3/4 are pretty rough to get through (and yes, Nikolai did cheat ::wince::). I don’t know that the last 1/4 would make up for all the terrible if I read it now.

Night PlayNight Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Released: August 1, 2004
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Bride McTierney has had it with men. They’re cheap, self-centered, and never love her for who she is. But though she prides herself on being independent, deep down she still yearns for a knight in shining armor.

She just never expected her knight in shining armor to have a shiny coat of fur…

Deadly and tortured, Vane Kattalakis isn’t what he seems. Most women lament that their boyfriends are dogs. In Bride’s case, hers is a wolf. A Were-Hunter wolf. Wanted dead by his enemies, Vane isn’t looking for a mate. But the Fates have marked Bride as his. Now he has three weeks to either convince Bride that the supernatural is real or he will spend the rest of his life neutered–something no self-respecting wolf can accept…

But how does a wolf convince a human to trust him with her life when his enemies are out to end his? In the world of the Were-Hunters, it really is dog-eat-dog. And only one alpha male can win.

I loved Bride and Vane back in the day. Adored them. I loved how petty Vane was, getting back at Bride’s ex. How cute they were together, all of it. But I can’t imagine reading the book now and feeling the same way. I grew out of SK some time back.

via GIPHY


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