March/April Book Haul

Book Haul

Hello everyone, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Since it is highly encouraged, if not mandatory to stay inside I have a book haul from Barns&Noble online to share!

This isn’t too big of a list since I was just wanting to get rid of a gift card I had laying around. So, without further ado, here’s this mini book haul!


The Crucible

Arthur Miller

Loveboat, Taipei

Abigail Hing Wen

The Last Romantics: A Novel

Tara Conklin

If I Never Met You: A Novel

Mhairi McFarlane

Again, but Better

Christine Riccio


Let me know if you have read or picked up any of these books! I can not wait to get back into the world and visit my local bookstores. Until then, we still have out online platforms to buy from.

Until next time. Stay safe and stay healthy!

February Book Haul

Book Haul

I’m so happy that I was able to get back into buying and reading books. While my TBR list is still huge, I just can’t help getting new books that are recommended by friends and family. Especially since I had such a quiet January!

Let’s jump right into it. Here are the books that I managed to pick up this month!


Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell

Permanent Record

Mary H.K Choi

The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe

Alexander McCall Smith

Crazy Rich Asians

Kevin Kwan

17172

The Best Lies

Sarah Lyu

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Kim Michelle Richardson

The Perfect Neighbors

Sarah Pekkanen

Anna K: A Love Story

Jenny Lee

If You Tell

Gregg Olsen

John Dies at the End

David Wong

On the Come Up

Angie Thomas


January Book Haul

Book Haul

Hey everyone!

I recently did a pretty big haul from Ebay, Barnes & Noble, and my Book of the month subscription. I definitely had to start 2020 off correctly so here is the huge list of books that have bombarded my mailbox this first week of the new year.


When I was Invisible

Dorothy Koomson

The Bookshop of Yesterdays

Amy Meyerson

P.S. I Like You

Kasie West

Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery

Emma Sibley

How to Raise a Plant: and Make It Love You Back

Morgan Doane

A Secret History of Witches: A Novel

Louisa Morgan

How to Find Love in a Bookshop

Veronica Henry

By The Book: A Novel

Julia Sonneborn

Murder on Millionaires’ Row: A Mystery

Erin Lindsey

Things In Jars: A Novel

Jess Kidd

Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel

Talia Hibbert


I told you it was a huge list!

We went all out and the only downside to this is that my TBR list has gotten that much longer… All well! This year I am setting my goal at 50 books read and so far I’m two down.

As always, let me know if any of there are on your TBR or if you have already read them.

Until next time, happy reading!

Good Reads: December

Good Reads

Hey everyone!

I know I missed my November Good Reads, but I had such a busy holiday season and wasn’t able to read as much as I wanted. But I still wanted to go over the book I did manage to read in November and the books I read in December.

The Rules of Magic

In the beginning of this book I found it hard to really commit to it. I didn’t see a clear direction for the story and admittedly put it down in favor of another book. But, I tried again and pushed through. Once the story started getting more in-depth with the characters I could not put it down.

This is a story about love, sacrifice, and the bond between siblings who are each very different. I don’t think I have ever read a book this morose though. There’s death and heartache throughout the book, but there was something about the writing that kept me reading. I would totally recommend this book to a friend.

The Bromance Book Club

Oh wow! I loved reading this book. It was witty, and charming, and goofy, and sweet all throughout the pages of this story. It was a charming spin on a busy husband changing and trying winning back the affection of his wife. This book easily made me laugh and was a story that seemed real. The character development was great and it had a flow that made following the story simple. The friend and family dynamic was also very believable and I often read parts that made me think of certain people in my life saying the exact same thing.

When there is a refreshing story that actually evokes laughter as I read it I always recommend it to a friend or family member. I have already done so for this book and I’m waiting on their opinion of the story! Definitely a must read.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

I love a good bookstore romance and I ready enjoyed this story. It was cute and full of banter that kept me giggling throughout the book. When I was reading I actually found myself inspired to alphabetize my own library (which by the way, took all night)! There were adorable friendships and relatable rivalries that kept adding to this stories charm.

I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend! It definitely makes you thankful for that you have and eager to go out and accomplish more with yourself. I’m currently looking into new activities and groups to join to broaden my interests.


There we have it!

These were the books that I did manage to squeeze in last November and December. They were on my TBR and I’m so happy I was able to check them off of the list! As always, let me know if you have any recommendations or if you just have something to say about the books listed.

Until next time, happy reading!


Ebay Book Haul

Book Haul

I love Amazon and Barns & Noble, but getting all of my books there can be so expensive! Rotating between Ebay, Goodwill, and Antique stores is a great buffer for when I don’t have a bunch of money to blow on new books.

I really like getting books from Ebay and I’ve never gotten a book in bad shape. Plus, even though it is the peak of the holiday season I received them all a week early!

Just so we can see how much there is to save I will also provide the price per item (including tax). Without further ado, here are the books I bought in this haul.


All The Missing Girls

Megan Miranda $3.84

Practical Magic

Alice Hoffman $3.84

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Maurene Goo $4.30 (Hardcover)

The Upside of Unrequited

Becky Albertalli $3.99 (Hardcover)

The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern $8.00

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman $8.33

The Husband’s Secret

Liane Moriarty $3.68

Emergency Contact

Mary H.R. Choi $6.50

Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng $3.99


Every book on this list was a steal and they came in great condition. I really saved big on using Ebay instead of Amazon this purchase. In total I spent $46.47 with Ebay when this would have been a $87.37 purchase on Amazon. And to me, saving $40.90 is totally worth a bent corner or creased spine!

I hope you enjoyed this post and it inspires you to look into Ebay for your next buy! Let me know if you have read any of there or if they’re on your TBR.

Until next time, happy reading!

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt #Booktag

Boot Tag

Here’s another Book tag! I found this beauty of a scavenger hunt on the Secret Library Book Blog and just had to do it! I have a bunch of books and I think it’ll be a fun challenge for me to actually find books matching the challenge!

Here we go!

Find an author name or title with a Z in it

Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago

Find a classic

A great classic we have in our library is Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

Find a book with a key on it

Yikes! I searched high and low for a book with a key on it and I can’t believe that we don’t have one.

Find something on your bookshelf that is not a book

Aside from nicknacks that represent books or themes on the shelves, we also have my boyfriend’s records. Patsy Cline Reminds me of cool breezy days like the ones we have been having lately, so I decided to go with this record of hers.

Find the oldest book on your shelf

This is the oldest book in our library and it actually is a textbook that belonged to one of my boyfriend’s grandparents.

Find a book with a woman on it

I love this soft and elegant cover.

Find a book that has an animal in it

Marley and Me is such a bittersweet read that I enjoyed, but would not read again.

Find a book with a male protagonist

James Hook’s point of view and a look into his past with Peter Pan.

Find a book with only words on the cover

Fun fact about Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, it is the only novel my boyfriend has willingly finished.

Find a book with illustrations in it

Charles Tritten’s Jack and Jill we found in an antique store in Prescott Arizona.

Find a book with gold lettering

I have a few gold lettering books, but I wanted a book from my favorite series to make an appearance on this list. So the final book of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

Find a diary, true or fictional

The only book that I would consider being close to a diary in my library is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is a great book that makes me laugh and cry everytime I read it.

Find a book written by an author with a common surname (like Smith)

Arthur Miller has a pretty common last name in my opinion.

Find a favorite childhood book

Here is a two for one! Little Raccoon and the Outside World is my boyfriend’s favorite childhood book, and Scamp The Adventures of a Little Puppy is mine. Another fun fact, my dog is named Scamp after this little guy.

Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period

Our winner for the earliest time period is Shakespeare’s Macbeth taking place in the 11th century.

Find a hardback book without a jacket

I have a bunch of books without jackets and we randomly pulled John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath out of the fray.

Find a teal/turquoise coloured book

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is just one of those books I could reread every year. It is just such a feel good story!

Find a book with stars on it

Though it’s hard to see in the picture there are stars on this cover.

Find a non YA book

I’m a sucker for Margaret Moore’s stories and love the way the characters feel so real.

Find a book with a beautiful cover

This cover is one of my favorites because of its design and style it is drawn in.

This was great and I had so much fun looking for the books! I even roped my boyfriend into helping, so that was a plus. I think this really gives everyone a chance to show whats on their shelves.

Have you done this challenge? If you have let me know! I’d love to read your answers.

Until next time!


Reading Habits #BookTag

Book Tag

I have been looking for a Book Tag to do and I’m excited that I found one on Book Inspector‘s blog!

I’d love to read more tag posts and see if anyone has the same habits that I have when reading. If you have a habit that I mention or a weirder one then I’d love to hear about it! Comment down bellow with your thoughts.

Lets get started!

Reading Habits

• Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I really don’t! I can pretty much read anywhere I can relax. Since the weather has cooled down I have been reading on the couch in our living room under a warm blanket with my pups.

• Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I use a bookmark when one is near, or if I remember to swipe one off the bookcase when I start a new book. I know it’s cringy, but I just dog-ear my pages to keep my spot must of the time.

• Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/certain amount of pages?

I read until I start dozing off whether its mid paragraph or beginning of a chapter. I don’t mind where I leave off when reading since I usually pick the book back up that next day.

• Do you eat or drink while reading?

Sunflower seeds! It was a habit I started back in middle school when I would read at night. It stuck through high school and though I’m reading on the go most days I will snack on them if I’m home.

• Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I don’t mind reading with a movie going or music playing in the background. More often than not most evenings consist of music or the TV playing softly in the background in the living room with my boyfriend.

• One book at a time or several?

I usually have one book going at a time and it’s been that way for a long time. Recently though, I’ve gotten into reading work in progress fan fiction and have to wait for updates, so I now have a few going at a time.

• Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere! Growing up, my parents were constantly packing us into our Avalanche for road-trips and because of that I have built a habit of reading in vehicles. Maybe it was a coping mechanism or maybe I was just bored, but either way I love reading on trips or wherever I have a book with me. It’s hard not to start reading when I am a passenger.

• Reading out loud or silently in your head?

The only time I ever read aloud is when my boyfriend is having a hard time sleeping. He will ask me to read an article or from whatever book I’m reading at the time to help lull him to sleep. I am not the most confident when reading aloud, so it makes me feel really good knowing he enjoys it.

• Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I don’t read ahead because I like for a book to surprise me. I love the feeling of rushing to read each paragraph to get to a big part in a book. With that said though, I’m quick to ask for movie spoilers and don’t care if someone ruins the plot for me.

• Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I don’t intentionally break the spine when reading, but if it happens then it happens. I love a worn book, it just shows how much a reader enjoyed the story.

• Do you write in your books?

I don’t anymore, but I used to. Back when I was a troubled youth I would write my feelings and insecurities in books sort of like a diary with out a flow. I don’t believe I have any of those books anymore, but that’s probably for the best. I have a feeling it would be too cringy to even re-read.

Readabit Questions

• When do you find yourself reading?

I read all the time, but I tend to read more when I’m stressed or sad. I’ve always used it as a way to get away from everyday life and live through the experiences of the characters. There is just something about happy endings and character growth that has a way of making my heart melt.

• What is your best setting to read in?

My ideal reading setting is probably during the colder months with a chilly breeze seeping in through the screen door. On days like this I will light a warm smelling candle, curl up with my pups under a ton of blankets and read for hours.

• What do you do first – read or watch?

I don’t have a usual rule so, whichever I come across first is fine by me! It has happened both ways, and I’ve found that I kind of like watching the movie before reading a book now. Once I read the book it’s like having all this insight added to your original understanding of the story.

• What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book?

I love physical books. All platforms are great, but I love the feeling of closing a book after I finish the story. There’s something about returning it to the shelf that is just so satisfying.

• Do you have a unique habit when you read?

If I do then I can’t think of of it. A regular habit I have when reading is to immediately look up any word I don’t know. My favorite times are when I am sitting near my boyfriend and I break the silence in the room to ask what a word means, and of course he always has the correct answer.

• Do book series have to match?

Nope! There are a few books that I have that were bought years apart or with movie artwork instead of the original illustration. I think it gives the shelves character.

This was so much fun! A lot of these questions really had me think back to find an answer. I’d love to find another to do, so leave a comment if you have one you’ve done or think I should try!

Until next time!


Amazon Books Review

Amazon Books

This weekend I decided to visit the new Amazon Books location in Scottsdale, Arizona. This location opened November 19th of this year, just in time for the holiday season. I joined a group of friends to visit this location for the first time on Saturday. It is quite a ways from where I live and the suspenseful drive had me on the edge of my seat.

Layout

When I looked at the photos online for the store it was easy to see that it was not going to be very large. This thought was only reinforced when we arrived. It was cramped and had a very overwhelming first impression. Aside from the confusing layout there are also devices and accessories for home and work. While the walls of the store are lined more or less with books, they also have a variety of small kitchen appliances, board/card games, toys, and electronics. It seemed more like a little department store (minus the clearly labeled sections) than a bookstore. Weaving between displays and navigating single person walkways were irritating and waned on my initial excitement.

The addition of better/larger labels on end caps and walls would have been a great addition. Instead, after we had been in the store for a few I asked my friend what the other end of the store had to offer instead of having an initial idea or a sign to read. Toys, children’s books, and a few electronics were in the back and since that wasn’t on our shopping list we didn’t spend much time in that area.

Books

I asked an employee what the store had to offer us with it’s book selection and she let us know that newly released, top sellers, and 4-star books were stocked which is also what Amazon has advertised. We noted that there was a small section that contained Scottsdale’s favorite books, which was a nice touch and made the store more personable for Scottsdale locals.

Unfortunately, the lack of order and user friendly labels just kept coming back to haunt us. In the photo above you can see that they did use genre labels however, the only indicators you were browsing a different genre were in the style of little black binder-like stoppers. It was honestly aggravating searching for books we had on our lists and in the end some weren’t even in the store.

The books we didn’t find here will just have to be bought at another bookstore. Out of our group of six, only two of us were able to find books that looked interesting or ones that we had come looking for.

Checkout

One experience I did not have any complaints about was the checkout process. It was really smooth and being a Prime Member has its perks. Bought were, four books and my boyfriend’s addition of two mini Nerf guns. My order total was $64.47 and after having my prime account barcode scanned there was a Prime savings of $18.62 (22%).

I was even able to choose the card making the payment through my Amazon account not even needing to pull out my card for the purchase. My friend making her purchase did not have a Prime Membership and I was able to let her use my barcode to scan for the savings then physically use her card for her purchase. This was all convenient and made for a quick and easy checkout.

The savings are really nice and definitely worth having a Prime Membership. In comparison, Amazon did have cheaper prices for their books than Barnes and Noble would have. And that is without including the discount at the end.

Bought

I wanted to provide the books and their prices, plus the price it would have been at Barnes and Noble. (Prices are before Prime discount)

Paperback $10.49

Barnes and Noble- $13.46

Paperback $13.69

Barnes and Noble- $15.30

Paperback $12.24

Barnes and Noble- $14.40

Hardcover $13.29

Barnes and Noble- $17.09


Thoughts

While the selection left much to be desired, I found the staff and bright atmosphere welcoming. And if you are in the market for new releases and popular reads then this will be a great option for you. Knowing Amazon, they will likely keep up with the newest releases and top picks from the website. With their friendly and helpful staff you shouldn’t have a hard time navigating the new store.

The lack of books was something that my friends and I immediately noticed and it made us forget that this is infact a bookstore. We spent around an hour and a half in the store and did not have much to show for it.

The layout and displays are something that should be worked on and due to that, navigation was probably the reason for the amount of time spent in the store. The single person isles were something that took from the experience especially since the baskets that are provided by the store take up so much room.

For the fifty mile round trip drive I find myself confident that I won’t be visiting again anytime soon. I would rather just purchase books on their website instead of dealing with the traffic.

When leaving they have a rate your experience tool and I stand by my original rating of a 3. Maybe with improvement and listening to customer feedback they may rethink their store. If so, then I would be happy to give them another try. Maybe even using a second floor for the electronics, toys, and gadgets.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you visited an Amazon Books near you? Was it the size of a Home Depot? Did it have elbow room? I’m dying to know so leave a comment below!

Until next time!

November Book Haul

Book Haul

Hello everyone!

Recently I went out to a local Barnes & Noble with a few friends to get a drink at the cafe and browse for new reading material. I should have known that I wouldn’t be able to just look. After about an hour and a half in the store I walked out with more than a few books that I am excited to read.

So, let’s get this book haul started and share what I picked up!


IKIGAI The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

This book is translated by Heather Cleary for you English enjoyment. Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy and way of life. I admire many aspects of Japanese culture and really think this book looks interesting and I hope to take away tips on how to continue living happily into the future.

THE RULES OF MAGIC

Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic is the prequel to Practical Magic, which I have heard many good things about. This story follows three siblings in a coming of age tale filled with magic and historical references. I can’t wait to do a book review on this pick!

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT YOU

Terry McMillan

I Almost Forgot About You is a story about change and becoming the person you want to be. It is an inspiring motivational story and I am excited to see if it makes me want to change something about my life.

YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT

Laura Silverman

This adorable story is about a weighed down college student with way too much on his plate. After failing a test he seeks out a tutor and gets back more than what he signed up for.

GRAVEMAIDENS

Kelly Coon

Gravemaidens is a story about sacrifice, deceit, and danger within a city-state called Alu. A sisters dedication is strongest when her sister’s life is in danger.

Bloom

Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

Bloom is coming of age story for a boy named Ari. He has recently graduated from high school and Ari wants to quit his family business and move to the big city with his band, but this summer may have other plans for him.

GOING DUTCH

James Gregor

Richard is a graduate student struggling to write and in danger of loosing his funding. In comes Anne, a smart and accepting classmate that has the lifestyle of Richards dreams. After a one night stand with a successful lawyer, he finds himself unable to step away from Anne’s addictive life.


These gems are going to be really great reads and I can’t wait to get started! November’s Good Reads may be a little longer than Octobers with all of these books being read.

Until then, Happy reading!


Good Reads: October

Good Reads

Hello Everyone!

I thought it would be fun to start sharing the books that I’ve read each month and would actually recommend to friends and family. Reading has always been a huge part of my life and has continued to help me through troubled times. I am constantly reading whether it is an escape from reality, a feel-good read, or just learning about a new interest.

I read through a lot of genres, so there will be books ranging from Young Adult to Romance.

In the reviews I’ll give a summary of the plot (no spoilers), what I thought about it and why I’m recommending these books. So, let’s jump in!

The Wife Between Us

This is a truly wild ride co-written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This book is the best Psychological Thriller I have ever read! I thought I had it all figured out, a typical story about a psycho ex-wife who is stalking the ‘new woman’. Oh boy was I wrong.

We are first introduced to Vanessa who has been divorced for about a year and working at Saks while living with her aunt. Her ex-husband, Richard, is a successful hedge fund manager and is currently engaged to a woman named Nellie.

The book begins with Vanessa watching Nellie and that is where I automatically thought it was going to be a simple to follow jealousy plot. See, that’s where I messed up, I assumed I knew what was going to happen next. The best advice I can give to someone reading this masterpiece is to not assume you know what is happening.

This story has so many twists and turns that I was honestly mislead many times. The further I read, the more things made sense. By the time I had finished the story it had taken the understanding I thought I had and tossed it out the window. This books ending was much better than anything I could have anticipated.

While the story is amazing, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters. There was not much within the story that I have experienced in my own life. If a reader could find common ground with any of the characters, combined with the utter intensity I’ll bet this will make their top five reads. I recommend this book to anyone just looking for an exciting read with an even better ending.


Red, White & Royal Blue

Our author, Casey McQuiston, does a great job of combining things I do not have a passion for, like Politics and History, and somehow use them to highlight a great romance.

In this book we follow Alex Claremont-Diaz, the U.S. President’s son and aspiring politician himself. During a long-standing rivalry with Prince Henry of Wales and after an altercation at a royal event, they are forced to appear as friends and allies.

It’s quickly realized that they’ve gotten off on the wrong foot and begin to find common ground. The characters are admirable with their abilities to overcome problems with society throughout their clashes. Family is a huge factor in this story and really helps to mold the two young men. In spite of Alex’s pride and Henry’s royal maternal ‘apron strings’, we can’t help falling in love with our boys by the end.

I read this Young Adult romance novel earlier this month when I honestly just needed to smile about something. The story was able to make me smile, laugh, and cry throughout my read. I would really recommend this book to both adults and young adults for its wit and humor. This book was on an end-cap at my local Bookstore and I’m happy I decided to give it a try.


Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes is another Psychological Thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. Sarah Pinborough does an amazing job with this story and is able to keep you reading for hours on end.

This story seems like your typical romance plot when Louise, a single mom at a bar connects with a stranger. When she goes in to work Monday morning the ‘mystery man’ turns out to be her new boss, David. To make things worse, David has a picture-perfect wife named Adele who is everything that Louise isn’t.

Louise befriends Adele one day in town and they start to share secrets and hang-out often. The closer Louise gets to Adele, the more we find wrong with her marriage.

This is an emotional roller-coaster and I LOVED it. It was easy to get in to plus the story did a great job with character development. Adele’s backstory had me hooked and shocked once I got to the later chapters. So, if you’re looking for a quick read that isn’t predictable this will definitely throw you for a loop and have you wanting more!


There we have it!

These were great books that I read this month. I would love to keep this going and read some of your favorites as well. Comment down below if you have a book you would like me to read this November. Until then, Happy Reading!