Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Things to Do While Listening to An Audiobook

For Top Ten Tuesday this week it’s an Audiobook freebie! I’ve thought all week about what I wanted to do and finally this idea popped into my head.

Some people are wary of audiobooks (I totally was too), but now I see how much other stuff I can do while listening to one! It’s multi-tasking at its finest. Put an audiobook on and get down to whatever business you need to.

So here’s a list of 10 things that you can do while listening to an audiobook!

Laundry

I’m one of those weird people who enjoys laundry. I love an empty basket and all the clothes put away (even if it only lasts a few hours, okay who am I kidding, 5 minutes). My favorite thing to do is play an audiobook while folding clothes! Makes everything go by much faster.

Shower

May be crazy sounding, but I figured out if I put my phone in a certain spot I can hear it well AND shower! Taking me time to a whole new level. Or better yet if you have a waterproof speaker you can easily listen that way.

Insomnia (Or whatever is keeping you up late)

Maybe it’s been a long day, but your mind won’t rest. Maybe you’re a parent who needs to rock a child back to sleep. This is a great chance to pop in some headphones and listen softly to a favorite audiobook. I used to do this when I was nursing our little one and loved it!

Exercise

This was one of the first ways I utilized audiobooks. I run a lot (or did – as I’m still in a boot *sigh*). I digress, this was a great way to spend the time! If I’m feeling it, I’ll listen while I lift weights or do some yoga.

Driving

Road trippers unite! My husband travels a lot for work and I convinced him to try out audiobooks and he really enjoyed it. I do as well, especially because it means no commercials. Get in the car, put on a book, an be on your way.

Instagram/Blogging

A new way I’ve been adding listening to my day is to do so while I’m taking Instagram photos (or scrolling forever). I’ve also added in listening while I’m blogging. Since I don’t have to be super focused on these tasks I can easily take in both!

Relax

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but occasionally my eyes/head will hurt from all the reading I’ve done (especially if I have read a lot in one day). What’s great about audiobooks is that you can close your eyes, let your head relax and still get reading done!

Cooking

Sometimes I listen to music while making dinner, but if not, I’ll put a book on! It’s a great way to spend the time and make cooking not seem like a chore (for me it can be some days).

Hobby/Craft

If you’re into jigsaw puzzles as much as I am, this is a great opportunity! Or coloring in a book, sewing, stitching, whatever you’re good at doing! Even better, learn a new craft while you’re listening!

Work

Since I’m a stay-at-home Mom right now, my job consists of keeping a tiny human alive. I try to keep the TV off for most of the day, so I’ll play a book we can listen to while playing! At your office (or other environment) you could listen while on break, or lunch, or even while working!

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Book Review

Book Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Adult contemporary, fiction, romance
Length: 309 pages
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right? 

SO STINKIN’ PRECIOUS.

I thought this was the cutest contemporary romance book I’ve read in a long time. It has become one of top favorites.

This book had me laughing out loud within the first few pages and I continued to smile the entire time I read. Watching Hazel and Josh crash into each other over and over was utterly adorable. And I fear I may use many more cute based adjectives before this review is over. You’ve been warned.

One of my favorite parts was the minimal “drama” between the two. In a lot of books there’s a big break-up scene or something of the sorts before the couple officially gets together. I loved that Josh and Hazel continually moved towards each other and both were realizing their feelings had changed over the months of being friends. This drama was more between the two and allowed for the relationship to change much more organically.

I loved that Hazel owned who she is. Because, boy, that is not easy to do. She was a force to be reckoned with and marched to the beat over her own drum. I loved her attitude and zaniness. She never settled until Josh showed her that she can be loved for all of who she is, not just the pieces someone prefers. Josh discovering his feelings for Hazel had me mentally saying aww over and over. His protectiveness for Hazel made me want to clap and I was so happy with the ending. These two were both so relatable. In their own ways I connected with both of them on so many levels and it made me love them all the more.

A quick, enjoyable read that was exactly what I was looking for. And having an epilogue? Even better! I loved the look into the future and seeing what they were up to.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult contemporary romance
  • Language: quite a bit of strong language and often sexual in nature
  • Romance: a handful of explicit love scenes

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Book Tag

Book Tag Saturday: Books I’ll (Probably) Never Read

I saw this tag on a few blogs, including Sara’s (The Bibliophagist). Are you following her? Because she has the best posts, I love her blog!

Keeping it simple this Saturday with a short, but interesting tag.

1) A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading:

DON’T HATE ME. But, just haven’t felt like I want to read this. I’ll probably sit on it for a few, and see how I feel in a couple months. I think it’s size + high fantasy is daunting me. And it’s SO HYPED that I’m worried I won’t like it. Bookstagram has its weak points too.

2) A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing:

I made it through the first book, and DNF the second book. I love re-tellings, but I think that Wizard of Oz is not my fancy. No harm, I know now.

3) A classic you’re not interested in:

I have read a lot of classics, but this is one I could care less for. I have no desire to read a book about a whale.

4) A genre you never read:

Erotica. I prefer more mild love scenes, but when they are more explicit I want more story surrounding the relationship, and that the entire book wasn’t just to have sex.

5) A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read:

I read the first book, read the synopsis for book two and decided I had NO desire to continue this series. Crazy Rich Asians was good and I’m fine that I read it, but I think it should be a standalone.

Not tagging anyone, feel free to do this and let me know if you do. Have a great weekend!

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Award

Blog Award: The Liebster Award

I was nominated by TheGeekishBrunette for this award! She is so sweet and I’ve loved following her blog and Instagram! Definitely make sure to check her blog out and give her a follow.

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

What is the weirdest book you have read?

While my husband loved this series, I unfortunately thought it was just to strange for me. I thought it was odd and weird and wasn’t for me.

Favorite book to movie adaption?

ALL TIME favorite book to movie adaptation (The Kiera Knightly version).

What is your favorite book series, and why?

SJM’s ACOTAR series is my absolute favorite. The story that Feyre goes on really hits me in the feels every time. I love the emotions, the plot, the characters, the romance, everything. It has yet to get old to me in any way.

If you could collide two book worlds together, what would they be and why?

Okay, I’m not even really sure which ones. But an interesting concept would be somehow combining a Sci-Fi book like The Illuminae Files with something full of fae (i.e. The Cruel Prince, etc.).

Just thinking about faeries dealing with flying spacecrafts is making me chuckle.

Who is your favorite book couple?

Oh of course, Feysand.

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Guys I’m beating a dead horse, A Court of Mist and Fury. I could re-live that romance all day.

Besides reading, do you have another hobby?

I absolutely love running! Unfortunately at this time I’m still in a boot so I can’t do anything but arm weights. But hopefully I’ll be healed in the next few months.

I also love baking muffins! I make them often and for everyone.

What is a favorite quote of yours?

“There are good days and bad days for me — even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

Morrigan – ACOMAF

Favorite book genre and why?

All things fantasy! I love reading worlds that I have no way on conceiving myself. It’s nice to be taken away from the real world for a bit while reading.

What was the last book you gave 5 stars?

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. This book was so cute y’all!

You are to go on a date with your favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend, who is it and what would your date consist of?

Since we already know my love of Rhysand, I’ll go with Rowan Whitethorn. Y’all I have no idea what we would do. I’m too starstruck by even the thought of these males being real to concentrate on a date. I’m also a fan of really simple dates. Dinner and a walk through a bookstore. I’m not sure what a date with a fae might consist of, I wouldn’t be mad about it though haha.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I am terrified of flying. I take so much Dramamine before I even get near the terminal. It’s unfortunately hindered me from traveling.
  2. I was bitten by a Copperhead (very poisonous snake) 2 weeks before I got married.
  3. I got married really young (20 years old!) and we’ve been together for 7 years.
  4. I played year-round competitive basketball for 15 years, but didn’t want to play in college.
  5. I love painting/crafting, but haven’t gotten to do it much since I had a baby.
  6. I’m left handed (so is my husband — we’re cool).
  7. I am a true Southerner and NCAA football is my religion (GIg ’em Aggies).
  8. My favorite spice is Lemon Pepper, and I put it on almost everything.
  9. I am a roller-coaster fanatic and love theme parks!
  10. My perfect place to live is a bungalow on the beach.
  11. I am obsessed with french fries, the best kind you ask? Chick-fil-A.

Okay, going a little off the path here and only nominating 5 bloggers and giving 5 questions. Holy mackerel 11 is a lot!

I’m tagging:

Book Allure || LaureGalie || #Bookish (Bibliophile Prints) || The Wolf and Books || Reader Fox

And here’s the questions:

  1. Who was your favorite childhood author?
  2. Do you judge a book by its cover? Or give it a chance?
  3. Who would be your best pal from a book?
  4. Where is the strangest place you’ve read a book?
  5. You’re stranded on a desert island: what book do you bring?

Now that my mind feels like mud from trying to be creative with my questions, no pressure in participating! Just wanted to spread the love.

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Book Review

Book Review: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, historical fiction
Length: 416 pages
Author: Robin LaFeveres
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sybella’s duty as Death’s assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic,vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy in the critically acclaimed, New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassin series, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Kristin Cashore, and Victoria Aveyard. 

The convent returns Sybella to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Return to the world of the critically acclaimed His Fair Assassin series in this “romantic fantasy with a vengeance” and sequel to Grave Mercy that takes reader’s deep into the wicked world of corrupt politics, dangerous love, and hard-won vengeance.

DARK AND ENCHANTING.

I think this book was even better than the first. And definitely darker. And twisted. So twisted I didn’t think the facts being laid out was actually true, but it was, and it made my heart hurt.

Sybella was an even better heroine than Isame. She is so broken (with every right to be) and fierce. I wanted all the happiness for her and she kept continually trying to dodge it. JUST LET BEAST LOVE YOU. I will say, with their romance, it was heart-breakingly tender when Sybella got to choose who to love, and when to love. The author gave Sybella the choice and it exactly what Dark Triumph needed.

There was a little less BIG action, but a lot more stabbiness in this book. Sybella is a force to be reckoned with and the size of her heart…and her ability to kill are astounding. She was sneaky and striking.

One of my favorite sub-genres of fantasy is when they have a historical fiction aspect to them. I love the author’s note at the end that details what they took for liberties and what was true.

I’m excited for the third book and think this series has been great so far. It’s interesting and the romances are on fire and I am here for it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy & historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, a very glossed over, no detail love scene
  • Trigger warnings: mentions of rape, attempted sexual assault, infanticide

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Howdy y’all.

Really excited for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday! I’m a terrible TBR planner because I’m a mood reader. I picked books on this list that are things I feel I MUST get through at one point or another before summer.

So these are books I hope to read (whether they are out yet or not) before Summer hits!

Books Already Released:

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series and am stoked to start it! I won a Book Depository giveaway that will be here in a few weeks and I chose this book. Just needs to get my hands on it.

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

All I want is to start this series. But I can’t find this particular hardcover anywhere (it’s sold out on Amazon currently) HELP ME!

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

This has been sitting in my at-home TBR pile and I know I want to finally get to this!

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

I have this on audible but am still finishing Warbreaker before I break into this one. So I know I’ll get to it in the next week or so! I’ve heard varying reviews on here. It’s making me excited to see what I think of it.

Netgalley Reads:

In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

I’m on the blog tour for this the week it releases and so I’ve been patiently waiting to read it til it’s a bit closer to then (April 9th!). This historical fiction novel is calling my name.

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Actually wasn’t planning on getting this because I forgot that I had wished for it on Netgalley. Turns out, they granted my wish! So we’ll see what I think of this. I’ve heard very mixed reviews.

New Releases:

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

NO PATIENCE. I HAVE NO PATIENCE WAITING FOR THIS. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT!?

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

I requested this on Netgalley (but have also pre-ordered) and I’m hoping a book god is listening because I NEED THIS BOOK.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amy Kaufman

This cover. This duo. This book is begging me to buy it. It will win. I’m hoping for another stunner like The Illuminae Files.

Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

#bookstagrammademedoit

I’m a sucker for books involving pirates and fantasy. This is getting hyped all over the place and now I want nothing more than to read it.

Have you read any of these? Are you excited for some of these releases? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 656 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

SPLINTERED ALLEGIANCE.

Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf Line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf Line.

ANCIENT DANGER.

In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a Southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms… as well as the enemies within the castle.

THE DEADLY COST OF PEACE.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

FANTASTIC FINALE.

Oohhh this book was so good. I am distraught that this world is at last at an end. I enjoyed the Seven Realms series more, but I definitely had a good time reading through Shattered Realms.

I love that I couldn’t figure out who the traitor was. Every time it would lean one way and I was convinced they were the culprit more facts would be laid out and I couldn’t believe it! Well, I believe the character who committed the fraud is capable of such a thing, I was hopeful that they were better than that, but GUESS NOT.

The ever changing POV was on point. I was left feeling suspense on a feeling of suspense but also that the scene had finished. It was smooth and easy transitions as things were utterly ruled by chaos before the last moments of battle.

“He cocked his head, grinning charmingly, exposing teeth the size of rock slabs. Flame female?

Y’all, dragons. Dragons. And, oh, did I mention dragons? There was a whole cadre vibe with the family of dragons and there interaction and dialogue was seriously the best. I’m so happy they played a much bigger role and dealt out vengeance to all.

The plot was heavy story driven vs. character driven. I wished there was a bit more relationship building among the couples, friends and the like. It would have really put the whole book over the top.

The characters all stepped up their game too. Each reunion scene has me holding my breath. Shouting, AT LAST!! I needed those scenes, and I got those scenes. Destin was one of my favorites. He was sassy and conniving, but also could shed some tears, and when he saw Evan again? I couldn’t even handle it.

Getting Lyss and Hal back together was also momentous. Their final scene was the nice little cherry on top. I love happy endings. I like knowing where things are going. All the questions I had were answered and I fully understood the angle of the antagonists and well as our heroes.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: a handful of mild words
  • Romance: two glossed over love scenes, some kisses
  • Violence: knives, poison, fire, physical