July Wrap Up

A bit behind on posts as I’m dealing with lots of things in real life, so here’s my short July Wrap Up. I read 14 books this month!

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  1. See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
  2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
  3. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
  4. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  5. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough*
  6. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
  7. Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor
  8. Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
  9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  10. Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb
  11. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  12. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  13. The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood
  14. Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge

Have you read any of these titles? Let me know what you think if you have!

Challenge: The Reading Quest

I’m participating in this really cool reading challenge called The Reading Quest! It runs from August 13th-September 10th! The Reading Quest is hosted by the amazing Aentee at Read at Midnight with graphics from CW at Read, Think, Ponder.

Here’s the scoop — you pick a character to play:

Then you follow their path along the board!

Then if you finish your original path, you can follow others! There’s points and rules which you can find on the original post here.

I’m going to play as a Mage. Here’s my starting character card!

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And here’s what I plan to read:

A book with a one word title: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
A book that contains magic: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
A book based on mythology: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
A book set in a different world: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright
The first book of a series: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Aaaaand we’re off! I will be out of town from 8/13-8/20 with little time to read, so let’s see how this goes!

Are you joining #TheReadingQuest? Share your class below!

“Hello, Sunshine” by Laura Dave

New release Tuesday!

71uRCzlwUgLSunshine Makenzie is a YouTube star, coming up in the world with a fresh cookbook deal and a Food Network show in the works. But when her twitter account is hacked and the hacker posts proof that she’s a fraud and has cheated on her husband, Sunshine’s world falls apart.

When her apartment is sold out from under her, she is forced to go to her last resort — her estranged sister in Montauk. Burned from the cooking celebrity world, she has to rebuild her confidence in herself, her friends and family, and the world to get back to what she enjoys. She makes some new friends — a burly fisherman, a chef with a Gordon Ramsay-like temperament, and her own 10-year-old niece, Sammy.

This is the classic story of a woman’s life falling apart, her losing everything, then fighting to regain some semblance of normalcy in the aftermath. But the unique part about this book is that it has lots to tell about the celebrity chef world — gaining a following, creating recipes, working in a restaurant, getting a cookbook deal and Food Network show.

I absolutely love watching Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Next Food Network Star, and the like, so I enjoyed the subject matter here. In fact, I read this entire book in one night, which doesn’t happen too often anymore! I originally picked it up because of the adorable cover and because I really enjoyed Dave’s last book, Eight Hundred Grapes.

Bottom line: Want a fresh, tasty read with a couple of spicy twists? Get this one to-go — you won’t be able to put it down until you devour the whole thing.

Rating: ★★★★

Purchase the book here: Hello, Sunshine

May and June Wrap-Up

When I was preparing to write my June Wrap-Up post, I realized that I was in NYC for BEA/BookCon when I would have needed to do my May Wrap-Up! So, I’m doing a 2-month wrap up post. Because I can. 🙂

In May, I read a whopping 32 books! Here’s a picture of the toppling tower!

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  1. The Doll’s House by M.J. Arlidge
  2. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  3. The Kill Order by James Dashner
  4. The Fever Code by James Dashner*
  5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (re-read)
  6. Spill Zone Volume 1 by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland
  7. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (re-read)
  8. Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  9. Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge
  10. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
  11. The Best Man by Richard Peck
  12. Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge
  13. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  14. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  15. Antisocial by Jillian Blake*
  16. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
  17. No Way Back by M.J. Arlidge*
  18. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  19. Running Blind by M.J. Arlidge*
  20. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
  21. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  22. The Party by Robyn Harding*
  23. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
  24. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal (re-read)
  25. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  26. Life of the Party by Bert Kreischer*
  27. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge*
  28. Salt by Nayyirah Waheed*
  29. Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
  30. The Shift by Theresa Brown*
  31. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

(Plus 1 book read for work that doesn’t fit in the scope of this blog.)

Starred items are not pictured because I read them via ebook, audiobook, or library book.

And now on to June! I was a really slow reader comparatively this month. Only 13! I’m currently sitting at 132/200 for my Goodreads 2017 Challenge! Here’s the tiny tiny tower from June.

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  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (re-read)
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  3. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Volume 1 by George R.R. Martin
  4. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  5. The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
  6. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort*
  7. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  8. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  9. This Raging Light by Estelle Laure*
  10. But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure*
  11. I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
  12. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (re-read)
  13. Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

(Plus 1 book read for work that doesn’t fit in the scope of this blog.)

Starred items are not pictured because I read them via ebook, audiobook, or library book.

Have you read any of these? Which are on your TBR?

7 Series You Need to Check Out

I love a good series — diving in and getting to fly through multiple books in the same world, reveling in the sheer mass of story you have to conquer.

I have many different series I’ve started, some finished, some unfinished, some with books still yet to come. Here’s some you need to check out.

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  • Harry Potter — Okay, this is an obvious one. But it continues to shock me when I find out someone I know hasn’t read them yet! And before you say it, no, the movies don’t count. And if you want my brutally honest opinion, I’d tell you that the movies are complete garbage compared to the books. They left out so many great things! Peeves! Winky and S.P.E.W. All of the flashbacks they left out in HP6!
    • Bottom Line: Read them however you can, but I highly recommend the Jim Dale narration of the audiobooks. It’s like watching a movie IN YOUR HEAD!
  • uglies1Uglies by Scott Westerfeld — In this series, Tally Youngblood is about to turn 16. In her society, that is the age when you “turn pretty” — you get surgery to make you perfect and bubbly-headed. This series has such cool technology and rebels and swoons and fights. Uglies was one of my favorite series when I was in middle school, and I have it from a very reliable source (Mr. Westerfeld himself) that there is more in this world coming!
    • Bottom Line: Is the price of being Pretty worth losing what makes you original? Does Tally have what it takes to fight back?
    • If you liked Uglies, try Divergent and The Hunger Games.
  • d1cehmuxhes-_sl250_fmpng_Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge — This is an adult mystery/thriller series in which the main character, Detective Helen Grace, is on the prowl for serial killers. Each book focuses on a different killer, and they are all pretty gruesome and heart-pounding cases. This series has 5 books out in the US, but 2 additional out in the UK that aren’t here yet, PLUS two novellas.
    • Bottom Line: While they won’t win a pulitzer prize, these books are fast-paced, chilling thrillers. I flew through 5 in about a week and a half, and I can’t wait for more!
    • Bonus: Killer covers. (Pun intended.)
  • The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristilluminae-filesoff — These books are awesome for a few reasons. First, the story is just top notch space race against the enemy. On top of that, both books feature absolutely bad-ass young women that show the villain who’s boss. But ultimately, the reason that puts these at the top of many people’s lists, is that the format and design of the book itself is stunning. Told through transcripts, emails, chats, web pages, and more, reading The Illuminae Files is a lot like what it sounds like — you’re literally reading a file of evidence. But it’s extremely well-done.
    • Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something different and fun, plus space and bad-ass bitches kicking ass, you need to pick up Illuminae and Gemina. (Plus Obsidio comes out next year! Time to catch up!) 
    • Bonus: While I haven’t personally listened to them, the audiobooks for this series are narrated by a full cast and are allegedly amazing. Let me know if you’ve listened to them.
    • If you liked The Illuminae Files, try The Themis Files (ALIEN ROBOTS NEED I SAY MORE?).
  • a-darker-shade-of-magic-ve-schwab-series-book-covers-1024x513A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab — Set in a universe where three Londons exist in different worlds (Red London, White London, and Grey London), there exist two beings who are the only ones who can travel between worlds. When one of these beings unknowingly brings a piece of evil magic into the world, it creates a series of chaotic events that seemingly can’t be stopped. You can also read my review here.
    • Bottom Line: If you like fantasy books, this is for you. If you don’t like fantasy books, I think this is still for you. It’s just so much crazy awesomeness that I can’t even properly put into words why you should read these massive, beautiful tomes.
  • 516wcmsapcl-_sx332_bo1204203200_To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han — This is just a cute, squishy, happy feels series. It all starts out when Lara Jean’s letters get mailed out. Sounds normal, right? But they’re not — they’re “break up” letters Lara Jean wrote to everyone she ever had a crush on or “loved,” as the title implies. This series has food, cute decorations and adorable clothes, swoon-worthy boys, and a strong family support system not often seen in books.
    • Bottom Line: These 3 books are definitely something I used as a palate cleanser, and I mean that in the best way possible! They’re just consumable, sweet, and adorable. I love them like a little sister.
  • 51qxkni9til-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French — This series is super unique in that each book is from a different officer’s perspective, and you meet the new officer in the book before (typically). These books are beautifully written, but thorough, so don’t expect to fly through them. There’s 6 of them, and they range from creepy, to strange, to sad, to school-girl, and so much more. The perspectives aren’t always from a man or a woman, but rather switch off, which I find to be a nice change of pace. Read my review of In the Woods here.
    • Bottom Line: Read In the Woods and try to tell me you weren’t biting your nails and running away from dark rooms. This isn’t to say they are all scary, though, and they’re definitely not horror books, so they’re okay for the easily frightened.

That’s just a few of my favorites. What are your favorite series? Have you read any of these and agree or disagree with me?

NYC Trip – BookExpo & BookCon 2017

Tomorrow I leave for New York City! The main reason for my trip is to attend BookExpo and BookCon! I went last year and had such a great bookish time, and I decided I couldn’t miss out this year! Check out my post-BEA/BookCon 2016 blog here.

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BookExpo is May 31-June 2 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. BookCon is June 3-4 at the same convention center.

However, I’m leaving early to go sightseeing around New York! I’m so excited to see the Big Apple. I’m planning on going to the 9/11 Museum and memorial, Ellis Island, the Top of the Rock, a Rockefeller Center tour, a broadway show, but most importantly, the bookish sites: The New York Public Library, The Strand, Books of Wonder, and more!

Though this isn’t a travel blog, I do plan on blogging every day to show you all what I was up to that day! As for the BookExpo and BookCon posts, I hope to show who I met, what I picked up from the show, and exciting things coming for the next year in the book industry!

Thanks in advance for following me on this new adventure! I’ll be blogging from a different time zone tomorrow night! And I can’t have a trip to New York and not end a post or two with the famous words from my current Netflix binge:

XOXO – Gossip Girl 😉

Have you ever been to NYC, BookExpo, or BookCon? Will you be there this year? What are some other things I should see while in the city?

April Wrap-Up!

It’s time for the April wrap-up! I read 23 books in April! That makes 87 towards my goal of 200 for this year!

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  1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  2. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  4. Leave Me by Gayle Forman
  5. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan*
  6. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
  7. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  8. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (reread)
  9. Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
  10. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  11. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  12. Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star*
  13. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  14. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  15. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust*
  16. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  17. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  18. Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
  19. Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  20. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  21. Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

*Indicates a book not pictured because I read it via library book, ebook, or audiobook.
Does not include 2 books read for work that do not fall in the scope of this blog.

What did you read this month? What are you looking forward to reading in May?