Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

A Very Thankful Book Blogger

I have to say that I never expected blogging to be such a big part of my life. I may be repeating myself and this story over and over, but especially around Thanksgiving, it’s one I need to tell again. I mean, of course I WANTED people to read my blog back when I first started it in April 2012 but I figured I would write up reviews, strangers would read them and maybe they’d find a new book to read. Maybe they’d even comment! I had no idea that it would turn into a community, best friendships, a passion, a place where I belong — something that totally changed my life.

I’m Thankful for… the friends.

Yes, book blogging naturally = books but I never expected to equal best friendships. I’ve found my “soul friends” — people who I talk to all day, every day; people who I share everything with; people who have the same interests as me; people who I grew close enough to that they drove all the way out to Illinois from the east coast to be bridesmaids in my wedding. I am SO, SO thankful for Alyssa and Amy and I don’t know what I’d do without them! I’m so grateful that blogging brought us all together and helped us form this bond across the country. (Oh, and we also formed On the Same Page because we just can’t NOT read books together!)

I’ve also become close with SO many more amazing people that I never would have met without blogging. My first group feature — formerly Casting Call, now The Selective Collective — helped me form a bond with the wonderful ladies of Gone Pecan, Teen Lit Rocks, YA Crush, and The Grown-Up YA. We’ve had many, many emails about books, our lives, and so much more! I’m so fortunate to have met Sandie in person a few times (even though we’ve only been able to see each other at BEA) and I can’t wait for the day when we have our first Selective Collective reunion! This was the first group of ladies who really brought me in for a group project and really made me feel like I belonged in this community!

I also feel like I have a special bond with my Pub Date girls! Estelle, Andi, Maggie and I were all pretty good friends before we formed our book & beer feature, but our friendships just keep growing every day! I’ve known Estelle the longest and we’ve had some pretty good heart-to-hearts and Andi and I have gone in together on quite a few projects recently too! (And I need to tell her all of my feels from The Winner’s Crime!) Maggie and I still need to meet in person but I hope that day will come soon!!

And last but not least, where would I be without my Mistborn feels!? Thanks to Nikki for being there for me while I read Mistborn (and then I returned the favor with Blue Lily, Lily Blue)! I’m sure we’ll have many more feels to talk about (and let’s actually meet up in person someday)!

Of course, I can’t mention EVERYONE by name because there are so many amazing friendships I’ve formed throughout these past two years, but just know that if you’re reading this and we’ve interacted, I’m very grateful for you too! I appreciate every comment and Twitter chat and Goodreads update and excited email! You guys are my people and I can’t thank you enough for making me feel like I belong!

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 I’m Thankful for… opportunities.

When I started my blog, I never once thought about receiving books to review — whether that was digitally or physical copy. I didn’t even KNOW advanced copies existed. I was just going to read books and review them. It’s been such a dream come true (well, apparently a dream I didn’t know I had!) to be able to receive books from publishers in physical form and be approved to review egalleys and to read books before they’re released.

I NEVER would have thought I’d be going to book conferences like BEA 2013 and BEA 2014 — with plans to attend ALAMW in January 2015! Not only have I attended author events, but I’ve met and even interviewed some of my FAVORITE AUTHORS! I fell in love with their books and then dreams came true again when I got to interview them in person like with Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer + many, many more! I even got to MODERATE the Fierce Reads event in October of this year! I cannot even tell you how amazing that was.

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 I’m thankful for… the stories.

I’ve always been a reader but never have I fallen so in love with books as I am now. Something about YA just clicks with me and I just connect to these books and these authors and this community more than I ever have. I never thought I would have loved books about cyborgs or a boarding school in Paris or even finally finding a book with fae that not only enjoyed but fell in love with. (Don’t ask me why — I just don’t usually connect with fae/fairy plots!)

These books — and the things I’ve been able to do because of them — have changed me for the better. I’ve had incredible adventures, fallen in love all over again, relived my past, and made new best friends with these characters. I’ve expanded my horizons, met new people, and traveled to new places. Not only do I flail over the new stories I read, but I also have my own new stories to tell — from going to BEA to meeting an author to my best friends driving in for my wedding. Book blogging has brought so many wonderful things and opportunities into my life and I cannot express how grateful I am to be a part of each and every one of them, and I have the entire book and blogging community to thank for it!

Thank YOU for being a part of my life and making it that much better each and every day! I feel so lucky to be able to have my hobby be such an enriching part of my life and this community just enhances it. Hope everyone has a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

 

Top Ten Tuesday – November 26, 2013: Top Ten Bookish Things/People I Am Thankful For

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic:  Top Ten Things Bookish Things/People I Am Thankful For

This post really couldn’t have come at a better time. I was talking with Estelle the other week about how I’d really like to get more personal on my blog from time-to-time but it’s hard for me to know where to start. Every once in a while, I gush about my blogging besties or how I’m proud to be a nerd, but not often to I really get into a deep conversation and really get personal about things.

This week, I’m still relating my Top Ten Tuesday to bookish things that I’m thankful for, but I’m trying to get a bit more into detail on how they’ve really affected not only my blogging life, but my day-to-day life because reading and blogging have really become a bigger part of my entire life than I would ever have anticipated when I first started.

1. All of the friends I’ve met through blogging. People that once started out as just blogging best friends have turned into real life, text every day (all day), read books together, complain about things, ask for advice, I’m asking these girls to be my bridesmaids and come to my wedding BEST FRIENDS.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not as close with my friends from high school and college. I’ve grown apart from a lot of my high school friends simply because we’ve just grown up to be very different people than we were in high school. No hard feelings, but it’s just hard for us to stay in touch when we don’t have a lot of common interests or friends anymore. I still see a few of my college roommates and my oldest friends from elementary school from time-to-time, but we’re all really busy with our own lives and we’ve never really had the type of relationship where we keep in touch on a daily basis so we’ve tended to grow farther apart instead of closer throughout the years. We can always come back together and our friendship always picks up where it left off, but for a long time, I was missing the sense of a BEST friend — someone I could talk to every day to vent and laugh and cry. Of course I have Shane to talk to but sometimes you just need a female best friend and my ladies understand me in a way that guys just don’t understand!
I have my closest friends who I text literally every day, but I also have several close friends who I will occasionally text, others who constantly email, other who I Tweet with a lot. Then of course there are all of the people with I also talk to via blog comments. I’m always interacting with someone at least once or twice or ten times a day. I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met just because I decided to pick up a hobby writing about my love of books. It’s something I never could have anticipated and I couldn’t be happier with the friendships I’ve formed when I thought I could never make “new” best friends.

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2. Interaction with publishing houses, publicists, and authors. My blogging experience is constantly enhanced on a day-to-day basis by being able to actually interact and talk with the authors whose books I’m reading and the publishers behind them. I can’t express how honored and thrilled I am when I get a retweet or a response from an author or publisher on Twitter, an invitation to a blog, a request to review a book, or the opportunity to read an ARC. For me, blogging is fun but it’s also really hard work and it means so much to me when an author/publisher acknowledges all of the work that I put into my content and sharing personal opinions. The relationship between authors, publishers, and readers is a beautiful thing and the bookish world couldn’t function without any missing piece. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate the opportunities, support, and appreciation that they offer to me and my blog.

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3. Anderson’s Bookshop. I absolutely love having Anderson’s so close (well, a little further now that I’ve moved) and how many AMAZING events they host. Being able to attend so many events has helped me meet authors and to interact with them in person has been really incredible! I’ve met several local bloggers like Katie from The Polished Page Turner and Monica from The Fuma Files and it’s been so great to be able to share the event with them and to talk about the authors, the books, and everything in between. Having Anderson’s so close has also given me the opportunity for things like my interview with the Fierce Reads authors when they were in town on tour. Macmillan asked me if I wanted to be the featured blogger for the Chicago leg of the tour and of course I had happily accepted. Without Anderson’s, that opportunity wouldn’t have even been a thought.

4. All of the comments and tweets and blogger interaction. Well DUH, of course I need a shout out to all of the followers and commenters and readers! Blogging would not nearly be as much fun without anyone there to read my words and share them with and every time I get a comment, it’s still new and exciting to me. I’m so grateful for all of the feedback, all of the support, all of the laughs and YOU guys make it worth blogging every day!

5. WordPress.org. I absolutely love self-hosting my own website. WordPress.com was a great starting place but switching to self-hosting (it’s been almost a year! Wow!!!) has been so much fun. I love being able to customize whatever I want to (with LOTS of help from the WordPress.org forums because let’s be honest… CSS is a lot of Googling and then guess & check) and actually embed Rafflecopter haha. I think it’s really helped me take my blog to the next level!

6. Recommendations. Admittedly… Had it not been for blogging, I probably never would have picked up a fantasy novel. Or sci-fi. Or had the courage to pick up and read A Song of Ice and Fire! I’ve had recommendations galore for books I need to try, authors I need to read, and people to read series with! Speaking of which….

7. Read Alongs. I’ve actually been a part of many read alongs and hosted quite a few myself! I love being able to read a book at the same time as other people, talk about it in different ways that I wouldn’t normally think of, and have a support group as I read!

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8. The opportunity to have a hobby. I didn’t really have a hobby for a long time. Not one I could throw myself into. I would scrapbook here and there, crochet, paint, take pictures (none of which I was really good at haha!)  but once I started getting back into reading, it was so easy to dive right it. There will always be new books, new stories, new adventures, and I’m lucky enough to have a hobby that never gets old!

9. An excuse to stay in. For that last few years, I’ve been growing more and more reclusive. Or maybe I”m just growing up. I’m not quite sure. Either way, reading and blogging and writing have all become wonderful excuses for me to stay in or rather, wonderful pulls to sway me from going out haha! I’ll go out every once in a while, but really, clubs and bars and parties are just SO not my thing anymore. I think that’s what they call growing up, but I call it an obsession with books! I’ll take any excuse to stay home with my books and get all nice and snuggly on the couch.

10. Most importantly, a sense of accomplishment. I think I have a fairly good job and they treat me well (on the days I don’t want to pull my hair out, but don’t we all have those days?) but I don’t really leave there feeling accomplished. I finish what I need to do at work but I don’t necessarily feel satisfied from doing my job. Reading, blogging, setting goals, achieving personal milestones, sticking with a freaking project for once, I mean come on! Blogging is the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread. (“Ah, sliced bread. A wonderful Lady MacBeth.”) I feel a sense of accomplishment when I sit down to write a review and finally finish it (sometimes days later, but hey, that happens) or come up with a new idea for a discussion or complete a reading challenge. I have a daily sense of achievement from my blog posts, my reading accomplishments, and my interactions with the book blogging community. It’s just a fantastic place for me to be in my life and I’m so happy that I’ve found something I can grow so passionate about and really feel like I belong. 

The Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt!

Hey, friends! Book Brats is hosting an awesome event called The Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt running from November 12th through the 25th and this is my stop on the scavenger hunt!

What is this event, you ask? Here’s the rundown from Book Brats:
At each stop, a secret special word will be hidden deep inside the post – ranging from guest posts to thankful lists to discussion topics on books and giving thanks! Each day, you’ll insert that word into the Rafflecopter until the last day, when you’ll need the secret phrase to get FIFTEEN extra entries to the contest! And with each stop, you’ll get extra points for following or commenting! Stopping by each blog on each day gives you a better chance of winning! And who doesn’t love giving thanks to books?

What are the prizes, you ask? Each blogger is donating one prize and your entries will go towards a chance to win one of them. Anything from your choice of a book from The Book Depository, specific books donated from a blogger (I’m giving Tiger Lily to one lucky winner!), a box of books, and coveted ARCs. Visit the Rafflecopter for the details!

So there you have it! Stop by each of the event hosts to gather up your mystery word which will help you put together the mystery phrase for the fifteen extra entries! Here’s the full line-up of hosts for you to visit:
Nov 12 – Book Brats
Nov 13 – Making The Grade
Nov 14 – Writing My Own Fairytale
Nov 15 – The Book Addict’s Guide (you are here!)
Nov 16 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Nov 17 – Beauty and the Bookshelf AND Author JC Emery
Nov 18 – Dizneeee’s World of Books
Nov 19 – The Book Babes AND Gypsy Book Reviews
Nov 20 – Starting the Next Chapter
Nov 21 – I Love Books Club

Okay, now let’s get to the giving thanks! Ever since I started my blog seven months ago, I have been having the time of my life reading some excellent new books, meeting and talking with some amazing authors, and have the wonderful opportunity to work with and receive amazing support for all of you fellow bloggers out there! Without any single one of these pieces, my blog would not be what it is!

THE BOOKS

How many amazing books are there that I have been fortunate enough to read this year! Obviously I can’t go into all of them, so here are some of my favorite reads since the inception of The Book Addict’s Guide:

Granted, there are a WHOLE ton more, but if I listed them all, we’d be here for days!

AUTHORS

Gosh, I cannot tell you how fortunate I feel to have been in contact with some truly amazing authors. They’re the ones who make it all happen. Without them, these books would not exist! Here are a few of my favorites I’d like to give some shout outs to!

Thanks for your support of me and my blog – for the chats, the meet & greets, the signings, and the guest spots: Wendy Higgins, Lauren Morrill, Lauren DeStefano, Sangu Mandanna, Meagan Spooner, Leigh Bardugo, Anna Banks, Veronica Roth

Thanks for writing some of my favorite books of all time: J.K. Rowling, Lauren Oliver, Janet Evanovich, Gayle Forman, Richelle Mead, Kristin Cashore, Robin LaFevers, Jandy Nelson

Of course there are so many more because there are tons of simply amazing authors out there. I love how authors and bloggers are able to support each other in a mutual relationship and we both have a blast doing it!

BLOGGERS

Alyssa from Books Take You Places: We pretty much chat on a daily basis about anything and everything, any half the time I don’t think we even talk about books. Alyssa and I have become really good friends through the blogosphere and hopefully we’ll even get to meet up at BEA next year (it’s totally happening)! She’s one of the people that keeps me sane day to day and I think we may even be better friends than some of the ones who live close and I don’t really keep in touch with haha.

Maggie from Gone Pecan also is one of those who I’ve grown especially close with! We tend to have daily Twitter chats (with Alyssa also) which also seem to be mostly un-book related!

My gals from Casting Call/The Selective Collective: I absolutely love working with all of the amazing ladies that started out forming Casting Call and grew into an actual book club called The Selective Collective. I have a blast chatting back and forth through emails on a daily basis about all kinds of books, authors, and especially book boyfriends! I feel like these ladies have really helped me grow as a blogger and I’ve been so thankful for their help and guidance as I still try to figure out what I’m doing! I love working with them and being able to send an email at any time for us to chat about whatever book we’re in the middle of or what we’re most excited to read next. So thank you Sandie  and Diana (Teen Lit Rocks), Dixie & Maggie (Gone Pecan), Candice (The Grown-Up YA) and Tee (YA Crush). You guys are amazing!

Once again, I’d be here all day if I listed every single blogger that I love talking with (because believe me, there are a LOT). You guys are truly amazing and I’m so thankful for every single person who has passed along advice, stopped by my blog, leaves comments, follows, and stalks me on Twitter! The book blogging community is one of the best and I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of it!

So to wrap it all up, I just want to give one great big THANKS to everyone who’s helped make my blogging experience a fantastic one! I look forward to the years to come and all of the people I get to share it with in the future!

And here’s your link for the Rafflecopter to enter your secret words for a chance to win!