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text 2016-03-08 22:12
The Roundup



It looks like my reading mojo has followed me into February. It was another stellar reading month for me. All the books I read fell within the 3.75 to 5 star range. Here's the roundup:


One Night with Her Bachelor - Kat Latham  Moonshifted[MOONSHIFTED][Mass Market Paperback] - CassieAlexander  Shapeshifted - Cassie Alexander  

Deadshifted - Cassie Alexander  Bloodshifted - Cassie Alexander  A Better World - Marcus Sakey  Written in Fire (The Brilliance Trilogy) - Marcus Sakey  



 1. Kat Latham's One Night With Her Bachelor: A sweet, light contemporary romance. Loved everything about this story. Rating: 4 stars


2. Cassie Alexander's Eddie Spence series, Books 2-5: This is a darkish, noirish, quirky urban fantasy series. I was devastated to learn that the publisher decided not to continue this series after Book 5. The last book does offer a conclusion, but there are enough dangling threads that the series could have easily used another 2 books in order to feel like it was fully completed. I'll miss this series so very much. Ratings: Moonshifted (Book 2): 3.75 stars, Shapeshifted (Book 3): 4 stars, Deadshifted (Book 4): 4 stars, Bloodshifted (Book 5): 5 stars. 


3. Marcus Sakey's Brilliance Saga, Books 2 and 3: A nail-biting, fun, thrilling, action-packed story. This is essentially an action film on paper, which sounds like something that couldn't work, but worked great in this instance. Ratings: A Better World (Book 2): 4 stars, Written in Fire (Book 3): 4 stars.





Source: rachelbookharlot.booklikes.com
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text 2016-03-02 04:46
February 2016 reviews


As far as reviewing went, February wasn't bad. I got a lot done and, at the moment, I'm only behind by one review.


My favorite February covers were:


Blood Alone, Vol. 4 - Nan Rymer,Masayuki Takano  One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 - Yusuke Murata,John Werry,ONE  


Okay, so I didn't like the series, but the Blood Alone Vol. 4 cover was lovely, dreamier and less posed-feeling than the previous covers.


I like the One-Punch Man cover better in person. Murata did an amazing job on Genos's arm.

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text 2016-03-01 03:42
24 Hour Take Control TBR Pile Read-a-thon

hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This read-a-thon is in conjunction with the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. However anyone can join. All you need is a pile of books, an ereader or audiobooks released before March 1, 2016. The idea of this thon is to read only books from your TBR pile for 24 hours. You can choose to read during the daylight hours or you can get jacked up on Caffeine and go the distance. The idea is to have fun, reduce your TBR pile and make new friends.


I'm feeling another read-a-thon and I've also been considering the connected reading challenge that goes with it... though maybe for next year.  This time around, I'll just try my hand at the 24 hour thon, though I know I won't actually be able to read for all 24 hours.  I'm working the weekend of March 12th, and my brother will be coming into town as well, so at most I will probably only be able to finish one book.


  • Thus, that is my goal:  Finish 1 book 


I'm being realistic here.  At most, I'll either finish a book I already started reading, or start a book and maybe finish reading it within the day.  Although, with a read-a-thon lurking in the background of my IRL activities, I'll at least consciously reach for pre-March 1, 2016 release books, and I will at least think about reading instead of piddling around.


I may or may not post updates throughout the day and if I do, they might be in 8 or 12 hour intervals.


Read-a-thon Hopefuls

(even if I only manage to read one of these)

by Deanna Raybourn

Silent in the Grave

Silent in the Sanctuary



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text 2016-03-01 00:54
What I read (and listened to)
Myths, Lies and Half-Truths of Language Usage - John W. McWhorter
Dragon Day (An Ellie McEnroe Novel) - Lisa Brackmann
Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations - Mary Beard
The Raj Quartet, Volume 2: The Day of the Scorpion - Paul Scott
Bring the Monkey - Miles Franklin
Plato's Republic - Professor David Roochnik,The Great Courses,The Great Courses
The Republic of Plato - Allan Bloom,Plato
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird) - Claudia Gray
Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues - Professor Michael Sugrue,The Great Courses,The Great Courses

Inspired by the upcoming summer release of the last book in Jo Walton's Thessaly Trilogy, which tells the story of the goddesses Athena's attempt to create Plato's Republic, I spent much of this month happily ensconced in the classical world of Greece (mainly) and Rome (a little).  I re-read The Republic for the first time since I was 18, which is a little more than 4 decades ago...  And  I also listened to two audio courses on Plato and read a book of essays by Mary Beard about classical Greece and Rome.


I started the month with Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage, an audio course by my favorite linguist, John McWhorter. The Day of the Scorpion is the second book in Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, set in India during WWII, Dragon Day is a thriller set in modern day China, Bring the Monkey is a spoofy English country house mystery, and A Thousand Pieces of You is a YA novel that explores the multiverse--it was a reread for me. I was about to start its sequel and just planned to skim the last chapter to remind myself of where it ended, but then couldn't resist diving back into the whole book. My original review is here: A Thousand Peices of You--Racing through a Multiverse of Alternate Lives


Source: jaylia3.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/what-i-read-and-listened-to
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text 2016-02-29 13:00
2016 Bookish Resolutions -- February Progress Report

2016 Bookish Resolutions

hosted by

Because Reading and trips down imagination road


My 2016 Bookish Resolutions Summary post



I suppose February could have been better.  I tried keeping up with my goals, but sometimes, you either get lazy... or you get lazy.  I didn't feel as productive this month as I felt last month, but then again, I still feel quite accomplished.


At least I DID knock one series off my TBR--the Death Sworn duology.  Now if I can start whittling my TBR down a little more... and get to cracking on those personal goals.



Blogging Goals

 - 1 - Participate in at least 50% of the Top Ten Tuesday meme (@ The Broke and the Bookish) topics for 2016--that's 26 of the TTT topics.  


  • January:  3 Top Ten Tuesdays written
  • February:  2 TTTs written // Running Total: 5 TTTs

2/9/2016:  Valentine's Theme -- Top Ten OTPs

2/23/2016:  Ten Books Outiside My Comfort Zone



 - 2 - Continue to post Monthly Reading Wrap-ups... with a slightly less overwhelmingly bulky form.




 - 3 - Create and try to maintain a blogging schedule.


  • January:  Lots of out-of-control, lots of colors.  See January update for more info.
  • February:  No pictures this time.  Just know that things are continuing to get more chaotic. 


Well, okay, maybe one picture.  But that's it.  This was before February got more chaotic.  


The rest of February looks more like a rainbow of colors trying to squash into one little tiny box.




 - Bonus Goal - Attempt participating in at least two other monthly/weekly bookish memes.  


I guess I've technically, successfully completed my bonus blogging goal of participating in at least two other monthly/weekly bookish memes aside from the Top Ten Tuesday.  Of course, I'm going to hold out a little longer before I call it a complete.  As a motivator for myself, I'm going to require that I continue participating in these two memes for another five months before I call this a completed goal.


I feel accomplished now.  In five months, I'll feel utterly impressed with myself if I can keep up.


-- Review of The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap


  • Cover Crush on Thursdays:

2/18/2016:  The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

2/25/2016:  Nevernight by Jay Kristoff



Reading Goals

See Also: 2016 Bookish Resolutions shelf


 - 1 - Finish reading 10 completed series that I have already started reading.


I started reading a Haruhi Suzumiya book this month, but I got side-tracked by other books.  On the other hand, I hadn't expected to finish a completed series at all until my library hold pinged for Death Marked and I thought: "What the heck!" and went ahead and picked it up and started reading.  There may or may not be a review for this book, but it wasn't the best thing in the world.  Of course, I am now one series closer to finishing up everything I'm already reading... except that I DID start a whole new series this month as well.


There is no give.  Because my reading list for March clearly indicates that, even as I am finishing yet another series... I'm also beginning two more.  Or three, depending on how the reading goes.


  • January:  1 series finished
  • February: 1 series finished // Running Total: 2 series finished


Death Sworn by Leah Cypess -- 2/23/2016

Already Read:  Death Sworn

#2:  Death Marked -- 2/23/2016



 - 2 - Catch up with 5 ongoing series that I have already started reading.


I am still in the midst of catching up with Cindy Gerard's One-Eyed Jacks series.  I thought that I would immediately go out and buy Taking Fire at its publication date, but things are going on IRL and so I may not get around to going to the physical bookstore until later this week.  But, as it stands, I will have Taking Fire read before March comes to an end and fulfill at least one series in this goal.


  • January:  0 series finished
  • February: 0 series caught up // Running Total: 0 series caught up


One-Eyed Jacks by Cindy Gerard -- Completed date

Already Read:  Killing Time, The Way Home

#3: Running Blind -- 2/7/2016

#4: Taking Fire -- To be read



 - 3 - Read 5 completed series that are new to me.


Per my Reading Assignment challenge, I actually started one new series this month, but as it is an ongoing series, it can't go under this goal anyway.  I've also read another book, also of an ongoing series, but I started that series last month... again, another book that doesn't fit under any of the goals.  The only series I managed to finish was from a series I started a couple years ago--see above.


So... nothing new for this goal for February, sadly. 


  • January:  1 series finished
  • February: 0 series read // Running Total: 1 series read



 - 4 - Participate in at least one Read-a-thon in 2016 (Bout of Books, Dewey's 24 Hour, any personal or community improv/unofficial read-a-thon, etc.)


-- GOAL COMPLETED -- 1/10/2016 --

  • January:  Participated in Bout of Books Read-a-thon // Total = 1
  • February:  There really weren't any read-a-thons I was interested in participating in.  Maybe next time.



 - 5 - Pick up at least 10 new to me authors (books not pre-listed for my 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge).


  • January:  3 new-to-me authors read
  • February: 3 new-to-me authors // Running Total: 6 new-to-me authors


Author name // Book(s) Read

1.  Lynn Raye Harris // Hot Pursuit -- 2/4/2016 -- review to come

2.  Donna Kauffman // Where There's Smoke...* -- 2/14/2016

3.  Kate Angell // The Gingerbread Man*  -- 2/16/2016


*novellas are part of The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap anthology



 - 6 - Accomplish my 2016 Mount TBR Reading Challenge goals.  Tackle those books already on my shelves pre-2016!


  • January:  6 Mt. TBR books read
  • February: 5 books read // Running Total: 11 books read


1.  Hot Pursuit by Lynn Raye Harris -- 2/4/2016

2.  Running Blind by Cindy Gerard -- 2/7/2016

3.  Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin -- 2/12/2016

4.  The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap anthology -- 2/22/2016

5.  The Green-Eyed Doll by Jerrie Alexander -- 2/25/2016


See also My 2016 Mount TBR Challenge summary post for complete listing.



Personal Goals


 - 1 - Clock at least 2 hours of cardio workout each month.


  • January:  0 hours cardio clocked
  • February: 2.42 hours cardio // Running Total: 2.42 hours cardio


Due to lots of reasons--namely insurance and workplace health wellness rewards and stuff and the fact that my brother is getting married in a little over a year--I was able to finally get off my lazy butt and start getting some things done.


This still isn't the most ideal work out plan I'd had in mind, and I didn't do as well as I had pre-planned before the year started, but it's still a start.  While it looks like I met my 2 hour cardio goal, the majority of it was just a lot of walking.  And while walking is still good for you and I still consider it an exercise, part of cardio in some ways, it wasn't what I'd been planning for.


Looks like we'll work on this goal a bit more next month.



 - 2 - Attempt to work out at least twice a week.  Failing that, attempt to work out at least 8 times a month (which will be met if I can get my lazy ass to work out at least twice a week).


  • January:  0 times worked out
  • February: 1 time worked out // Running Total: 1 time worked out


All of my walking didn't actually happen in any official work out capacities.  So, again, not exactly the ideal planned goal-meeting I'd been hoping for.



 - 3 - Learn 12 new recipes.  Actually make said recipes.  And take pictures.  For evidence. 


Recipes did not happen this month.  Lots of cooking happened this month, but nothing I didn't already know how to make.  Boo...


  • January:  1 new recipe learned // Tomato Basil Soup
  • February: 0  new recipes // Running Total: 1 new recipe



 - Bonus Goal -  Be better at being sociable, in general.  


I commented on people's blogs.  I hung out with my best friend once.  I had a mini-weekend vacation with my family...  That's pretty much it.  I'm resigned to the hermit life, really...





Previous Update Posts

2016 Bookish Resolutions -- January Progress Report





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