Tag Archives: 2015

End of Year Book Survey | 2015

One of my favorite bloggers (and people. She’s a gem!), Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, hosts a wonderful thing called the End of Year Book Survey. I had an absolute blast completing the survey for 20122013, and 2014 so I was excited to hop on board for the 2015 END OF YEAR BOOK SURVEY!

As usual, all links will take you to my reviews for these books so if you see something you’re curious about, check out my reviews!

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Number Of Books You Read: 103
Number of Re-Reads: 9
Genre You Read The Most From: Looks like fantasy! That’s pretty awesome.

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015? This question is always impossible. Okayyy let’s totally cheat.
SERIES FINALE: WINTER by Marissa Meyer
SERIES SPIN-OFF: SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
DEBUT: THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace
YA FANTASY: QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas
ADULT FANTASY: THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
SCI-FI: ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
CONTEMP YA: EMMY & OLIVER by Robin Benway

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir. Soooo much hype. It didn’t work for me at all.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Hmmm I’m actually going to go with DEVOTED by Jennifer Matthieu. It’s totally not something I would have ever picked updevoted book cover for myself but it was so well done, beautifully written, and something quite different from my norm! (Thanks to Mary from Macmillan for the rec!)

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I book-pushed THE STORYSPINNER a lot!!

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015? Best series I started: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. Best sequel: QUEEN OF SHADOWS. Best series ender: WINTER.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015? Patrick Rothfuss! I’m still discovering/exploring adult fantasy and I fell absolutely head over heels for his books. I’m so incredibly invested.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Probably the handful of MG books! I really don’t ever pick them up unless I read them with my gals from On the Same Page but I enjoyed them all!

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Oooh. Obviously QUEEN OF SHADOWS but I’ll be using that for a lot of answers soooo. I’ll go with equally exciting books like ILLUMINAE and STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson. I couldn’t stop reading them!!!

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Well I planned to re-read THE SCORPIO RACES every year. This was my third year reading it. A book that I read in 2015 for the first time? Probably ILLUMINAE. I want to listen to it on audio because I’ve heard that the audio is also amazing and may do a re-read before book two comes out! First & Then

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015? I still love the cover for FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills
(she’s also such a sweetheart)!

11. Most memorable character of 2015? Kvothe from THE NAME OF THE WIND! He became one of my new favorite characters. I just love him.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015? I think THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH by Courtney C. Stevens. It was so well done, well-written, awesome characters.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2015? ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven kind of wrecked me. HARD.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? Definitely GONE GIRL. I put that one off for way too long for no apparent reason! Still need to see the movie.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? Ooh this is hard. I never keep track of quotes! I can definitely pin a favorite passage from WINTER but it’s spoilery (kind of). I mean, we can always go with the term “fire-breathing bitch-queen” from QUEEN OF SHADOWS…

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? THE WISE MAN’S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss (994 pgs), CALVIN by Martine Leavitt (192 pgs)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most? Hmmm. There were a few that shocked me in different ways… ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, ILLUMINAE, WINTER… Yeah, I think those were the big ones! 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) Oooh ummm… I had TONS of ships in THE STORYSPINNER and THE SKYLIGHTER! I was shipping them allllll. Obviously still shipping Cress & Thorne hard in WINTER. Ya know, I didn’t have too many new ships this year! My OTP is probably Cress and Thorne though!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year? Kvothe and his friend group (THE NAME OF THE WIND), The Lunar Chronicles crew (relationships aside, #squalgoals), I swore I had another one but I can’t remember now! The name of the wind

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously? We’ll go with something that was not in the same series… Ooh um… STEELHEART, probably!

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: DEVOTED! Also ALANNA, obviously THE NAME OF THE WIND.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? Man, I didn’t have a lot of super-crushes! Maybe Rowan in QUEEN OF SHADOWS?

23. Best 2015 debut you read? THE STORYSPINNER and ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Always love Sanderson’s worldbuilding and was so impressed with everything else that was introduced in SHADOWS OF SELF!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Honestly, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS always makes me smile like a goon.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015? I UGLY CRIED at ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and EMMY & OLIVER.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? Probably THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH or THE STORYSPINNER. I read a lot of new/popular books so those are the ones that I feel were a bit more under the radar.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? I didn’t really have many this year! I guess ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015? MIDWINTERBLOOD by Marcus Sedgwick 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Almost definitely NEED by Joelle Charbonneau. I was so frustrated with pretty much everyone in the book.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015? Lauren from Bookmark Lit, Morgan from Gone With the Words, Lindsey from Bring My Books, Kristin from Super Space Chick!  (did I first find you guys in 2015? I can’t even remember. I’m so bad at this)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015? I actually had a lot of fun with QUEEN OF SHADOWS

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? I guess I really enjoyed my post on blogging stats! It was inspired by a tweet where someone was upset that someone unfollowed them for posting twice in a day and sort of took a turn to be “blog how you want and the followers will be there for you”. It was also about how I really enjoy stats in general and I have no shame that I check my stats. Not everyone cares and I’m not blogging FOR the numbers but I also think it’s a wonderful motivator to keep me going and really just affirmation that people appreciate what I’m doing.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? Probably ALAMW in Chicago (I don’t even know if I did a recap?) and actually spending time with people at BEA15. 060215-5

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015? Ooh ummm. Actually, probably opening my Etsy shop for bookish candles (Novelly Yours). It’s not blogging related but it is book-related and it’s been so much fun and so rewarding so far!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? I’m still really, really trying to not overcommit myself. I just love being a part of so many things because they all sound so much fun but I’m really trying to pull back and not stress myself out. One of my goals for 2016 is also to try to request/download LESS egalleys/ARCs.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? If You Liked… Harry Potter

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? Definitely The Stages of Starting A New Book By Your Favorite Author, As Told By The Princess Bride. It was SO much fun to do but I felt like it didn’t get as many views as I had hoped!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Another local bookstore and some new Etsy shops. I feel like I didn’t really discover that much this year!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Haha NOPE. I actually dropped out of all of the challenges shortly after I committed.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER. We keep trying to squeeze this one in and we’re finally reading it in January for OtSP!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? THE RAVEN KING (*prepares soul*)

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Probably… SUMMER OF SLOANE! There are more but that’s one I remember 😀

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? THE RAVEN KING, ACOMAF, CROOKED KINGDOM

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016? Mostly just request less. It’s so hard because SHINY but I really need to catch up and not pick up everything that I WANT to read right away.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I think I’ve only read one 2016 book so far! It was a series-ender.


 

Another big thanks to Jamie for organizing this survey! I always have so much fun with it every year and I am SO excited for what 2016 has in store for me!

Top Ten Tuesday – December 15, 2015: Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
December 15, 2015

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was Top Ten Thirteen Books I Read in 2015

I went through a dry spell for a while with Top Ten Tuesday but I just love these end-of-the-year lists! I really enjoy gathering up everything and seeing what I read over the year (which is another reason I love year-end surveys)! I can never pass up the opportunity to book-push my favorites and I was really curious to see which books made into my overall top ten. Thankfully, I have a Goodreads shelf that I keep going all throughout the year called Best of 2015 so at least it’ll be easy to see what I need to pick from.  It was too hard to only pick ten so I chose thirteen!

Queen of Shadows six of crows winter marissa meyer

MOST-ANTICIPATED SEQUELS/SPIN-OFFS

2015 was the year of some of the BEST series continuations, finales, and spin-offs. QUEEN OF SHADOWS blew me away with how amazingly it continued the series and had me continue to fall in love. SIX OF CROWS had me reading it twice within a few months! And WINTER was the series finale of one of my all-time favorite series EVER.

The name of the wind the republic of thieves The Storyspinner Seraphina

FANTASY FAVORITES

I fell in love with THE NAME OF THE WIND and THE WISE MAN’S FEAR this year and I was so amazed with and invested in Kvothe’s story! I adore Scott Lynch’s books and could’t get enough of Locke Lamora with THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES. Becky Wallace amazed me with her debut, THE STORYSPINNER, and I finally read SERAPHINA which was just a delightful read for me.

illuminae Steelheart resonance erica o'rourke armada

SLAYING IT WITH SCI-FI

Who knew I enjoyed space so much? I was so wrapped up in ILLUMINAE and ARMADA! I found another Brandon Sanderson series to fall in love with in STEELHEART (and FIREFIGHT!) and it was a bittersweet ending to read the second and final book in the Dissonance duology with RESONANCE!

All the Bright Places book cover emmy & oliver book cover

CONTEMPORARY CRY-FESTS

I had a bit of an ugly cry with both ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and EMMY & OLIVER but they were also so incredibly heart-warming too!

Anna and the French Kiss The Raven Boys - Maggie Steifvater The Scorpio Races paperback cover Deathly Hallows cover

RE-READS

I do tons of re-reads (okay, not tons. But more than ten) throughout the year! Instead of reviews, I did a read-alike guide for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, an informal re-read review of THE RAVEN BOYS, some YA Aesthetics for THE SCORPIO RACES, and a mini re-read review of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

Which of these made YOUR top books of 2015? Any of the same ones? Was it hard to pick just ten books… or surprisingly easy?

Statistics Survey 2015

Last year, Andi (Andi’s ABCs) and I got to talking about how much we love the end-of-the-year surveys (and really all of the other surveys) that go around, obviously Jamie’s Annual End of the Year Survey (The Perpetual Page Turner) being one of our favorites! After a discussion of our love of stats and looking back on our year in reading through statistics, we decided to devise a survey to help us with our quest and the STATISTICS SURVEY was born!

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Obsessed with your bookish stats like we are? Join us for the 2nd annual Statistics Survey!

This survey is more about checking out the facts and details behind what you read and not necessarily favorites and reflecting. Fill out and post whenever you like (my answers will be going up in late December or early Jan to get the full year in)! These statistics should all be for books that you read in 2015 (not books necessarily published in 2015). We have a linky at the bottom to link up your survey once it’s done! Hope you have fun!

number of statistics survey

  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages (not including novellas):
    • Between 400-449 pages:
    • Between 450-499 pages:
    • Over 500 pages:
    • Over 1000 pages:
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 
    • Re-reads: 
    • DNFs (did not finish): 
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 
    • One/Two Stars: 
  • Number of authors met in 2015:
  • Number of book events attended in 2015:
  • Number of books you read in one day:
  • Number of books that made you cry:
  • Number of 2016 books you have on pre-order:

by the books statistics survey

  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?):
  • Book that took you the longest to read:
  • Book that you personally connected with the most:
  • Book that made you love the villain:
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again:
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date:
  • Book you read on your birthday:
  • Book with a character who shares your name:
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?):
  • Book you read in 2015 but already want to re-read:
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have:
  • Book you which you could go back and read for the first time again:
  • Most books read by one author this year:

this & that statistics survey

  • Happiest & saddest:
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number: 
    • By title: 
    • From buying to reading: 
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads: 
    • Books you read/your rating: 
    • Series enders: 
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2015:
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right):
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise:
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned:
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: 
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings:
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read:

grab bag statistics survey

  • Book you read that is red:
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z:
  • Book you hugged when you finished it:
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room:
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book:
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: 
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: 
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): 
  • Forced yourself to finish: 
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): 

Blogging_Life

  • First… 
    • Post of 2015:
    • Review of 2015: 
  • Last…
    • Post of 2015: 
    • Review of 2015: 
  • Number of posts in 2015:
  • Number of reviews posted this year:
  • Least coherent review:
  • Post with the most views (posted in 2015): 
  • Post you wish you could re-write:

[bctt tweet=”Join @bookaddictguide and @andiabcs for the Year-End Statistics Survey! ” via=”no”]

Thanks so much for joining our 2015 Statistics Survey! We hope you had a lot of fun! Want to share with others? Post the link to your answers in the linky below!

July 2015: Recap & Wrap-Up!

JulyRecap

July was a really, really weird month. I had a lot of things going on at home and I’m guessing that was part of the reason I didn’t read as much but I sort of fell into a reading slump! I’m always an audiobook listener but I feel like I spent a lot more time listening to audios this month than reading a physical book!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read: 8 — I guess that’s not TOO bad! It’s one more than I read last month, at least.
  • Popular Search Terms:  “books like divergent” and “books like anna and the french kiss” // “lunar chronicles personality quizzes” // “otsp secret sister”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “how to do french kiss step by step” // “throne of glass costume” (Yes, please) // “romance novel dead lover” (hmm)
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): Perpetual Page Turner, Rather Be ReadingGReads!
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media)Books Take You PlacesTripping Over Books, Book Nerds Across America

Popularposts

 THE ACCIDENT SEASON       SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE

Other Reviews Posted

Goodreads Reading Progress

july 2015 goodreads

Featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions

Events

  • I went to Anderson’s to see Erica O’Rourke, Amber Lough, Joelle Charbonneau, and Christa Desir! Always such a delight to see Erica again!!

July’s Top Instagrams

 

 

 


 

 


What’s in store for August?

  • A bunch more authors will be featured on Book and a Beverage!
  • I need to catch up on the blog a bit! LIFE has been so busy but hopefully I’ll have some more time for reading and I can shake this little reading slump!
  • I’m hosting a LUNAR CHRONICLES (RE)READ ALONG all throughout August, September, October, November, AND a bit in December. We’re reading CINDER in August! Come join us!!!

June 2015: Recap & Wrap-Up!

JuneRecap

NO REALLY where did June go!?! I was honestly on Twitter, seeing people saying things about how they loved monthly recaps and I was like, “Oh that’s nice but it’s not even time yet…” NOPE, it was July 1st. June flew by even quicker than previous months and I feel like I did a whole lot of nothing… But I guess the reading wasn’t so bad!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read: 7 — For some reason I had a hard time reading print this month! I just got REALLY into audiobooks and naturally, those take more time!
  • Popular Search Terms:  “books like divergent” and “books like if I stay” // “brandon sanderson hero of ages” // “otsp secret sister” // “lunar chronicles quiz”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “books mentioned in boy meets world” (no, but let’s hear the answer to that!)  // “young adult books inspired by disney movies” (Yes!) // “blog niches for book addicts” // and something else super raunchy that I didn’t even want to list it. How did THAT lead to my blog!? Eeeeek.
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): Perpetual Page Turner, Rather Be ReadingAndi’s ABCs
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media)Books Take You Places, Andi’s ABCs, Tripping Over Books

Popularposts

 EMMY & OLIVER       DEVOTED

Other Reviews Posted

Goodreads Reading Progress

July 2015 gr

Featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions

Events

  • I went to the Boldly Bookish tour! Thanks to Bloomsbury for inviting me to hang out with the authors beforehand and for bringing a fantastic group of ladies to town!



 

June’s Top Instagrams





What’s in store for July?

  • A bunch more authors will be featured on Book and a Beverage!
  • The third round of On the Same Page Secret Sister is open for sign-ups on 7/12! Be sure to check out our FAQ page + all the info you could need before sign-ups open!
  • Some… umm… reviews? I don’t really have many plans for July!!! Ernest Cline is coming to Naperville so I may go to that event!

 

 

May 2015: Recap & Wrap-Up!

MayRecap

Once again, the month flew by. With BEA (and friend-visit) preparations, I totally forgot that May was actually ending… oops. So my May recap is here but a bit late! I’ve mostly just been trying to catch up on some reading here  and there with no huge goals in sight. The TBR pile is, of course, never-ending so I’ve been aiming at making a dent in a few ARCs and so far, it’s gone well!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read: 9 — a pretty good month for making it through books!
  • Popular Search Terms:  “books like divergent” and “books like if I stay” // “lunar chronicles character quiz” // “books about best friends falling in love” // “anna and the french kiss”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “i loved this book. what is like it?” (I’m confused?)  // “young adult books inspired by disney movies” (Yes!) // “today is the day your sister is coming and your’e over much excited” (I don’t even know what this means!)
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): Perpetual Page Turner, Rather Be Reading, Oh, the Books!
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media)Books Take You Places, Andi’s ABCs, Tripping Over Books

Popularposts

 FILL IN BOYFRIEND       SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS

Other Reviews Posted

  • I really enjoyed Trish Doller’s latest book, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. It hit my mystery/thriller sweet spot!
  • LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca sounded like a total “me” book… But I didn’t QUITE connect with it.
  • I just fell head over heels for THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. I’ve already started the second book and I’m so in love!
  • I read the second book in Lynne Matson’s Nil series and NIL UNLOCKED was just so much fun!
  • Sadly, I had a few DNFs this month (some months in the making) and I added one mini-review to the mix in a quick wrap-up of mini-reviews/reports!
  • Sometimes I have a hard time with full reviews so I came up with a new review style for some mini reviews called “10 Things I Felt About…” The first one was for PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS!

Goodreads Reading Progress

may2015 goodreads

Featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions

Events

  • I went to BEA again this year! You can catch my full recap here: BEA 2015 Recap!

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May’s Top Instagrams


 

 


What’s in store for June?

  • Lots of blog tours again! Check out posts for PROOF OF FOREVER, FINDING AUDREY, and DEVOTED!
  • Excited to post reviews for two more excellent reads for me this year — RESONANCE by Erica O’Rourke and EMMY & OLIVER by Robin Benway!
  • I’m heading to the Boldly Bookish tour at Anderson’s on 6/11. Will I see you there??

 

April 2015: Recap & Wrap-Up!

AprilRecap

April was a bit of a hodge podge… Not too much was going on and yet I feel like I didn’t get anything done! I actually DID spend a lot of time on behind-the-scenes stuff like updating ALL of my reviews from the old graphics to new, switching to UBB format, and cross-posting them to Goodreads, Amazon, and Edelweiss. WHEW. It was a ton of work but I also feel REALLY glad that it’s done and out of the way so maybe I can focus on more reading and coming up with posts now instead of formatting & updating!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read: 7 — not great but also not too shabby!
  • Popular Search Terms:  “lunar chronicles character quiz” // “books to read if you liked divergent” (and similar terms) // “where she went ending” (how many times  // “we were liars discussion questions”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “a good book is the best friend” (truth)  // “to love a scoundrel” (I do!) // “lunar chronicles like star wars” (high five!)
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): Andi’s ABCs, Rather Be Reading, GReads!
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media): The Cheap Reader,  Books Take You Places, Book Soulmates

Popularposts

 ACOTAR       SERAPHINA

Other Reviews Posted

  • I adored DISSONANCE so I read the novella HARMONIC by Erica O’Rourke and loved it!
  • Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series is SO much fun. I had a blast listening to THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES on audio!
  • I put together some mini reviews for THE AUDITION (a Seraphina short), PLUM SPOOKY, and a DNF “report” for TETHER
  • I feel like I’ve had a rocky road with Lauren Oliver’s books. I enjoyed VANISHING GIRLS but not as much as I had hoped
  • On the Same Page read THE WRATH AND THE DAWN together for April! It was a slow start for me but I ended up really enjoying it!

Goodreads Reading Progress

goodreads april 2015

Bloggers featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions

Events

  • I got to see Melissa Gray, Rachel Hartman, and Arwen Elys Dayton on April 24th! I went to mainly see Rachel Hartman since I hadn’t read the other authors yet but they were such a fun group! They were all so funny and I had such a lovely time!

April’s Top Instagrams


 


What’s in store for May?

  • I’m heading to BEA but only for one day! Because of my honeymoon being only six months ago, I couldn’t really afford to stay the whole week (time off and money) so it’s just one day of BEA for me! But I hope to see you on Friday if you’re going!!!
  • I’m excited for a few spring/summer reviews like THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS, and LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE!

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: May 2015


book_blogger_organization_challenge

Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!

If you haven’t heard of this challenge and are interested in finding out more, check out the intro post! But basically the concept is simple: Whether you want to dedicate a lot of time to this challenge or a little, I’m here to help you get organized and work on blog maintenance in 2015! Everything is broken down month-by-month so you only have to focus on ONE idea at a time. January seemed to kick us off GREAT! Let’s get ready for May!

MAY 2015 ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
Spring cleaning!

Okay, let’s talk spring cleaning for May! I actually happened to tackle a bunch of this stuff in April simply because my blogoversary was last month and the giveaways helped clean off my shelves. But May is spring cleaning of all sorts! Books, catching up on things, reading borrowed/gifted books… Now’s the time!

CULLING

  • Epic book culling! Okay, maybe it’s not epic, but maybe your shelves need a bit of spring cleaning. Maybe you have some books on your shelves that you bought/won/requested and you know that you won’t read. Ponder what you want to do with them this month! Hannah from So Obsessed With wrote a great post on culling & a handy set of questions to ask yourself to decide if you want to keep those books or pass on them!
  • What can I do with the books I don’t want? Not everyone can afford to do a giveaway for the books they don’t want to keep (honestly. I went to the PO the other day and it was lots o’ money) but you don’t have to! Aside from hosting a giveaway you can:
    • Sell them to a used book store
    • Donate them to Goodwill/charity
    • See if your library is accepting donations
    • Post them on the YA Book Exchange
    • See if anyone using Have You Seen This needs something you have and wants to trade
    • Ask your friends if they want any
    • See if local schools are in need
    • Peruse other swap sites like Paperback Swap or Book Mooch
    • Put them up for sale on Half.com (But don’t sell your ARCs!!! (of course))
  • Culling doesn’t have to stop at physical shelves either… Did you participate in a previous month where you cleaned up your Goodreads shelves? Is it time to go through your TBR and part with a few? I know I need to go back and delete some series that I had added, books I just lost interest in, or things I had added on whim that I knew I would really read. I’m sure a smaller TBR will make you feel better too!

CATCHING UP ON BOOKS THAT YOU DIDN’T BUY/REQUEST

  • Books Received As Gifts: If you have amazing bookish BFFs or family who knows you very well, chances are you get books as gifts… a LOT. So how many of those books have you read? How many gifted books sit unread on your shelves? I’m not saying read them ALL right away, but maybe pick a couple to try to work on! It’ll make your gifters so happy too!
  • ARC catch-up: Story of our lives, right? But hey, always time to work on some ARC catch up! Take May to consider what you’ll really read — whether before pub date or maybe even at all. If you think you won’t read it soon, pass them along!
  • Borrowed Books: If you’re [a terrible person] like me, you still have books that you borrowed from your friends (*cough*years ago*cough*) and haven’t read them yet. I’m going to make a valid attempt to return these books (damn you friends who keep saying “hold onto them until you read them”) or you know… actually read them. NOW’S THE TIME! Or maybe a time to attempt reading some or at least making plans to get to them soon!

MORE UPDATING AND CROSS-POSTING

  • Do you have more reviews to update? More reviews to cross-post? It’s a VERY daunting task (I just finished after hard work for MONTHS)! Take May to work on those a little bit more. Maybe just one a day and then you have 31 more done! Right? Right!

Resources Mentioned: YA Book Exchange // Have You Seen This // Paperback Swap // Book Mooch // Half.com // Post on Culling (So Obsessed With)

Don’t forget to share what you’re accomplishing this month with the hashtag #BlogOrganization!

blog_organization_button

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NEXT MONTH: Freebie month!

June is the month to pick anything you need to work on — choose from anything we’ve already worked on, tie up some loose ends, and generally finish some updates!

March 2015: Recap & Wrap-Up!

MarchRecap


March was a very fun month for reading! I feel like I got a bunch done (even though I had a bit of a lull in there and some books that weren’t so great) but looking back, I feel very satisfied with what I read this month! I also had a couple blog events so that was a ton of fun too!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read In March: 8! I had a couple of novellas in there but hey, I’ll take it!
  • Popular Search Terms:  “which lunar chronicles character are you” // “books similar to if I stay” // “books like the fault in our stars” // “otsp secret sister” // “we were liars discussion questions”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “playlist de eleanor y park” (YAY espanol!)  // “summary of cendrillon charles perrault” (Autocorrect at work?) // “anna and the french kiss passage when st clair spent the night” (dreamy sighhhhh)
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): There Were Books Involved, Rather Be Reading, The Broke and the Bookish
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media)Books Take You Places, Andi’s ABCs, Bookmark Lit

Popularposts

 THE STORYSPINNER       LIARS INC

Other Reviews Posted

Goodreads Reading Progress

March 2015 Goodreads

Bloggers featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions

Events

  • No author events in March but it was my birthday! Hooray!

March’s Top Instagrams


 


 


What’s in store for April?

  • I’m on the blog tour for The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (4/3) and the paperback release of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (4/13)!
  • I’m participating in Ginger’s event, Open Letter to Your YA-Self!
  • My third blogoversary is April 10th so keep your eyes peeled for a big, fun giveaway!

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: April 2015


book_blogger_organization_challenge

Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!

If you haven’t heard of this challenge and are interested in finding out more, check out the intro post! But basically the concept is simple: Whether you want to dedicate a lot of time to this challenge or a little, I’m here to help you get organized and work on blog maintenance in 2015! Everything is broken down month-by-month so you only have to focus on ONE idea at a time. January seemed to kick us off GREAT! Let’s get ready for March!

APRIL 2015 ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
Graphics, HTML, CSS

April is a SCARY month. Even more daunting than blog maintenance, I think… but it’s a good thing to work on! I make all of my graphics on my blog and have always done my own layout myself…… but it also usually takes me HOURS to do these things (maybe even days) since I’m not graphically inclined. Graphics and CSS are really, really hard work for me but it’s also very rewarding when things finally turn out the way I want them to! So take April to work on some of the scarier things and give yourself the whole month instead of a short time span.

GRAPHICS

  • Pick a program to create your graphics: I bought Photoshop Elements a couple of years ago and it’s really my go-to for everything. I KNOW I do not use it to its full potential because I simply just don’t know how to do everything so I’m going to try to familiarize myself with a couple online tutorials to see if there’s any way I can improve! Photoshop Elements is also cheaper than the whole big package of Photoshop and (I think?) it’s a bit more newbie friendly. A lot of bloggers use PicMonkey to create images for their blogs and I actually use it here and there too! It’s a web-based design program so you don’t have to download anything and can visit it anywhere you can get onto a computer. There are some things that are only available in the Pro version which does cost money, but there’s a lot in the free version too!  Another nice option is Gimp which is essentially designed to be like Photoshop but a free version. I used to use it for a while but it did get a bit tricky because I didn’t really understand how it worked BUT if it’s a free download and you don’t want to pay for Photoshop, it’s worth a shot!
  • Grab some design inspiration: I’ve learned I don’t exactly have the kind of brain that can come up with design ideas out of nowhere so I’ve created Pinterest boards to help me come up with ideas. I’ll pin a logo I like, search for design inspiration, grab a nice color combination, etc. A lot of times we just need a kick start to an idea and you make the rest of it your own. Just don’t totally steal someone else’s artwork, of course. (Honestly, I couldn’t steal a design if I tried. I’m not that good with Photoshop either way haha!)
  • Not a do-it-yourselfer? Research some blog designers! Bloggers like Stay Bookish, Hello, Chelly, and Parajunkie offer blog + graphic design if you’re not up to trying your hand at it. Other companies include Designer Blogs and Creative Whim — bloggers, what do you say? Any other design companies you’ve used or love?
  • Make plans to update: If you want to update some of your blog graphics, try to figure out what kind of styles you want beforehand so you don’t start a graphic and totally switch the design five times because it turns out to be nothing (clearly speaking from experience). If you’re not doing it yourself, make sure you make a nice list for whoever’s doing it for you with desired color schemes + possible ideas (although I’m sure they’ll ask you for that anyway)!

CODING/HTML/CSS

Honestly, I can’t believe how much CSS I understand at this point in time. I really can’t do any major blog design but I have learned SO much from working on it myself and I’m so proud of what I’ve done with my blog on my own! You CAN learn how to code and navigate CSS if you put the effort into it!
And I apologize in advance that most of this stuff probably applies more to WordPress and WordPress self-hosted users since that is what I’m familiar with! If you use Blogger, you may need to consult the interwebs for a few more tips!

  • If you’re a total newbie to CSS, try websites like w3schools.com, HTML Dog, and CSS Tricks. They can help you get an understanding of how CSS works and why things appear the way they do.
  • If you’re going to modify ANYTHING in your Stylesheet on your blog, create a child theme first. WordPress has a tutorial on how to create a child theme and then you can start working on your CSS modifications from there. This is important for many reasons but one of which is that when your themes update as WordPress tweaks them, you WILL lose some of your CSS functionality. I modified on my parent theme and not my child theme and had to do a lot (all? I don’t remember) of my CSS coding allllll over again. It was not fun.
  • Ashley from Nose Graze is an AWESOME resource. She uses her coding knowledge to create many, many helpful things for bloggers. She has:
    • Let Me Help You With Your Blog: Ashley just started a feature offering FREE assistance on simple CSS questions!
    • She has many, many, many awesome posts on blogging in general and it’s VERY much worth your time just hopping over to her blog and checking them out.
    • She created the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In which is SO helpful for reviews, a review index, and SO much more. The plug-in currently costs $35 and I personally think it’s so worth the money.
    • She also created the Tweak Me theme which allows you to purchase the main theme and customize it so you don’t have to do ALL of the coding yourself!

HELPFUL BLOGGER RESOURCES

Lots of bloggers like to share helpful posts with their own tips & trick on how to better your blog. Here are some that I’ve visited and ones that have helped me too!


If you have any other resources for anything I’ve mentioned above, PLEASE share in the comments! Any bloggers who give great blogging tips? Any awesome blog designers? Let us know!

Don’t forget to share what you’re accomplishing this month with the hashtag #BlogOrganization!

blog_organization_button

 Grab the button!


NEXT MONTH: Book clean-up + spring cleaning!

  • Culling shelves, giveaways, donations, giving back borrowed books
  • Reading books you were given as gifts, ARC catch up
  • Rearranging shelves, updating Goodreads again, giving back borrowed books
  • More cross-posting & cleaning up GR shelves