Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cozy Chats: What constitutes a "favorite" author for me?

Hey Lovelies!

Today I wanted to have a little chat about what constitutes a "favorite" author for me! Lately, I have seen quite a number of videos on Booktube where people have been discussing their favorite authors and I realized that the way most people go about this is quite different than my own. Little bit of warning: I am not saying anybody's way is right or wrong, I am just sharing my thoughts on the subject. Anyhow, I noticed a lot of people mention authors and then say that it was the only book they have read by said author. This is probably my biggest difference because I can't bring myself to call an author my favorite unless I have read more than one of their books. I personally feel that with one book alone I don't fully appreciate or understand the author's style or voice. I might dislike every other book that author has written. For example, I read and loved 1984 by George Orwell. It was the book that got me into Dystopians and it is one of my all time favorite books. Then I read Animal Farm and completely disliked it! I wondered how I could have such radically different opinions about two books by the same author. Then I realized that simply liking a book doesn't mean liking all of an author's works. I would feel fairly bad saying George Orwell was my favorite author when I disliked the only other book I read by him so much. But I do feel confident in saying the book itself (1984) is one of my favorites.

Also, in the case of author's who write books in series, I usually will not say they are my favorites unless I have read at least one book in multiple series. What I mean by this is that if an author has written two series I want to have read from both. The biggest case of this is J.K. Rowling. I have read nine books by her but they were all in the Harry Potter world. I have yet to read her adult novels and even though Harry Potter is my favorite series of all time I don't consider her to be my favorite author. I don't know if I love her writing in general or if I am just madly in love with the world she created within the Harry Potter series.

Of course there is so much more to whether an author is my favorite that DOES have to do with their writing, and characters, and world building, ect. but I generally need more to go on than just one amazing book, even if that amazing book itself is a favorite. But now on the FUN part: three of the authors that ARE my favorites! :) (In no particular order)

My first favorite author is James Dashner! The first book I read by him was The Maze Runner and I was instantly hooked. Half way through the book I ran to the bookstore on campus to buy the sequel because I JUST had to continue on right away. I fell in love with this series right away. I love the world and the characters so much. I literally jumped for joy when the Prequel The Kill Order was announced and I devoured that as well. I seriously am keeping my fingers crossed that he writes a sequel to the prequel, there is still so much of this world that I want to know! Since then I have picked up part of his MG series The Journal of Curious Letters which I have really enjoyed as well. And the latest I have read by him is the AMAZING start to a new series The Eye of Minds! I pre-ordered this book and read it in one sitting. It was brilliant and heart racing and that ending! I didn't see it coming. Like my mind was miles away from ever thinking that. The sequel is coming out this year and I can't wait!

Besides James Dashner being a great writer he is also a great person. He makes this fandom feel like a close knit family. He is constantly communicating with readers and making us feel like we are just as much a part of his books as he is. That is a very rare quality in a person, to be able to step back and show gratitude and acknowledgement for his success to his readers. It means a lot more to us than he may ever know. I hope he continues to have so many of us supporting him because I would love to be reading more of his books 10 years from now. P.S. I am SOOO excited for the Maze Runner movie!!!

My next favorite author is Rainbow Rowell!! She currently has three INCREDIBLE books out and yes, I have read all of them. BUT I NEED MORE!!! The first book I read by her was Eleanor & Park. I picked this up a week or two after it was released and read it in one sitting! It was such an incredibly beautiful story. It portrayed first love in such a realistic way that I had yet to see in many books. I fell in love with so many of the characters. But this book isn't just a sweet love story, there were some heart wrenching moments within this book. I spent the last 50 pages crying for various reasons! My boyfriend kept making fun of me because there was literally a puddle of tears on the table! I thought it had a beautiful ending. After that I picked up Attachments and fell in love with that one as well. It is so funny and quirky. My absolute favorite part was emailing between the characters! You got two stories in one!

The last one I picked up on the day of its release was Fangirl and do I really need to say anything about this one??? Everybody has been raving about it and with good reason! It is the story of US as readers and fans and it is so relate-able. I did not want this book to end at all! I loved the characters sooo much and Levi was just fantastic! I loved his charm and his positive outlook on life. I also loved that Cath was not easily swayed into doing things she didn't agree with like many characters usually are in a lot of coming of age stories. I know a lot of people label this as an all around happy story but it did have some serious issues in it, especially those revolving around the father and mother of the girls. Everything Rainbow touches turns to gold and I am so excited to read Landline which comes out July 8th!!! Not to mention Rainbow is one of the sweetest people ever. She always replies to messages and tweets and is just one of those people that you feel radiate light. I am also terribly jealous of her husbands cooking! I haven't had pho in forever!

The last author I want to talk about is Susan Mallery! I love reading practically all genres and Romance is definitely not an exception! It had been a while since I read any good romance books and a couple months back three of her books were on sale for the kindle. I bought them and spent three nights up just reading them! I love that her characters feel so real. Many of them have really hard issues to deal with whether it is divorce, childhood trauma, or many other things. I love that these issues are addressed and not just an elephant in the room. I can always count on her books to put a smile on my face. I love that the Fool's Gold series intertwines all the characters and it really makes you feel like you are part of the town as well. So far I have read eight of her books and am planning on reading them all! They never disappoint.

Susan also does this great thing where she gets her readers involved in the process of writing her new books and asks them to help name characters and places. It is a lot of fun! I keep trying but I have yet to give a good suggestion! haha

So there you have it! Three of my favorite authors! There are a couple more but I might share those in a later post this is already too long as it is. I want to mention that while these three authors are very active with their readers, I don't hold that trait for or against authors. I love it when authors interact but I also know they have lives of their own and lots of work. There are several authors who I love that don't even have a twitter! So while this can be a plus it should never be a negative in my opinion.

Let me know how you classify your favorite authors and who some of them are!

Happy reading :)

Judith <3

Monday, February 24, 2014

Diving into the Unknown

Hello lovely readers!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about diving into the unknown, by which I mean reading various genres you normally don't. I know many people find a genre or two where they are comfortable and tend to stick to it, there isn't anything wrong with this, people should read what they enjoy. Personally, I like to dive into as many genres as I can. There are so many hidden gems that I would hate to miss out on any. That being said, there are still quite a few I have never read from or have read very little from.

The first genre I would love to jump into is Steampunk! I don't know too much at all about this genre but I did win the first two books in the Clockwork Empire series. The first one being The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper. The novel and the genre in general sound so interesting and whimsical and I hope to get to it soon!

The second genre is Alternate History. The first book that comes to mind is Leviathan by Scott Westerfield. I know this series can also be classified under Steampunk, which makes it even better! Although the Alternate History part is what first drew me in. I am a fan of books with historical elements in it but I have yet to read any books with an alternate version of the past, other than fantasy books that play on elements of the past. Little bit of extra info here: the one kind of historical novel I am not a big fan of is historical romance! I don't know why but I have never liked it, despite hearing Kristy talk about it all the time! ;)

The third and final genre I will be talking about in this post is Horror...ah I don't even want to include it because just thinking about it scares me! Little bit of backstory: I am the BIGGEST wimp when it comes to anything scary. I don't watch horror movies or shows, I don't like ghost stories, I don't go to haunted houses, and I don't read much horror at all! You guys don't even want to know how many times I have screamed because I have rounded a corner in the house and ran into my boyfriend...yeah, it is that bad! I have read 2 or 3 novels with horror aspects but nothing too encompassing. One of my biggest reading goals is to read something by Stephen King! When I was younger I picked up Pet Cemetery and I had to put it down and get it out of my house! I did also have him to blame for about 13 years of massive clown phobia after watching IT. Anyways, I thought that I would give Under the Dome by Stephen King a chance because it seems to have a lot of Sci-fi and Dystopian elements to it which seems like a good place to start. I think out of all the genres in the world this will be the one that will take me the longest to get into, if I ever can. I wish I wasn't such a big baby but c'est la vie. I am working on it, little by little.

Well, that is all for this post! Let me know what genres you would like to read more of and also let me know any book recommendations you may have for any of the ones I mentioned above!

Judith <3

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cozy Reads


It's true, and it is sad. I had such a great start to the month and within the first week I had read 4 books! But it ALL went down hill from there on out. I haven't finished one single book in TWO whole weeks. Even just talking about it is making me depressed. It is not like I don't want to read, I just can't seem to figure out WHAT I want to be reading or find a book that grabs me and doesn't let go! I know a couple books that I would love to be reading but I don't currently own and I am on a no buy book diet right now. Anyways, I do have some books I am someway into and hope to finish this weekend or in the coming week.

First up, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling. I have been wanting to re-read the whole HP series for years now and I had not had the chance. The fact that I didn't devour this book in one sitting should be indicative of how bad my slump is. I am currently on page 228 and have a little more than 100 to go. I am going to try to read one or two a month. I am LOVING being able to relive the fantasy and magic that is Hogwarts. It makes me so sad that I never got my acceptance letter! :(

The other book I am reading is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This is another re-read for me. Do you see a trend here? This is one of my all time favorite books by one of my all time FAVORITE authors! This time I am going through and tabbing some of my favorite quotes as I read along. I am on page 128 at the moment. I am hoping that reading some of my faves will pull me out of this slump.

That's mainly what I will be reading, though I have started two other books which I won't even mention because a) I barely have read anything from them and b) I don't think I will continue to read them anytime soon.

Hope you guys are having a great reading month and if you have any recommendations please let me know! :)

Judith <3

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Judith's January Wrap-Up

Hello lovelies!

It has been WAY too long since I was last able to post anything! Life has been hectic and somewhat stressful lately. That mixed in with the fact that this month I have been struggling with having a pretty slow reading month. I have only read 4 books and 2/3 of another. I had a great start to the month reading 3 books the first week, but after that it has just been a struggle to even choose what I am in the mood to read. Which totally sucks! But here is to hoping I can at least reach my monthly goal of 8 books!

But enough dwelling on the bad!

In January I had a GREAT reading month! It was full of great fun reads! I won't go into much detail in this wrap-up since I talked so much about most of these books in my read-a-thon wrap-ups.

1. The Magician by Michael Scott (#2)
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (#3)
3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
4. Angelfall by Susan Ee (#1)
5. Stuff Every Man Should Know by Brett Cohen
6. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (#1)
7. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (#1)
8. Life Before Legend by Marie Lu (Novella)
9. Losing it by Cora Carmack (#1/Companion Series)
10. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (#1)
11. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
13. Disconnected by Jennifer Weiner (Novella)
14. Pieces of You by Tablo
15. Three Little Words by Susan Mallery (#12/Companion Series)

So now to do a little summary in terms of numbers:

* I managed to read 13 books and 2 novellas.
* I finished 1 series, continued 2 series, and started 5 new series.
* I read 5 stand-alone novels.
* I listened to one Audiobook.
* I re-read 2 books.

Overall it was an amazing reading month! I loved almost everything I read. My most disappointing read was probably Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy it but I didn't find it as hilarious as most people and the way the main character spoke and acted I kept thinking they were 12 years old and then they would do something and I would remember they were teens. There was nothing wrong with the book itself or the writing I just think I thought the main character was annoying and childish but I am sure as the series goes on she will probably mature a bit. I might not pick up the next one right away but I will continue the series.

One of my favorite reads was a re-read and that was The Fault in Our Stars! I loved it even MORE the second time around and I went a bit tab crazy marking all my favorite quotes! If I could I would tab every sentence! It is such a beautiful book and story and I cried twice as hard this time as well! I can't wait to see the movie this June!!!

My copy after I got done reading it!!!

That's all for this wrap-up! Let me know what you read in January and what you are reading in February! 

Happy Reading! <3

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kristy's Wicked Valentine's TBR

As you all may or may not know, having read my earlier post, the Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon begins at midnight!!! I'm excited and have compiled a rough list of the books I plan on reading these 10 days. As I had mentioned before, in the a fore mentioned post, I want to have an underlying romantic theme throughout my books so I have chosen these which, if I do say so myself, do the job quite nicely. I don't know if I'll get to them all or not or which I'll be starting first, but here is my To Be Read:

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  • Love Is Strange - by 
  • Days of Blood and Starlight - by Laini Taylor
  • The Devil Wears Kilts - by Suzanne Enoch
  • The Dream Thieves - by Maggie Stiefvater
  • First Light - by Michelle Frost
The list isn't in any particular order, though I'll probably start [or rather, continue] with Dream Thieves since I already started that one. Anyway, this list is only a rough plan of my TBRs. The books may change or some may be taken out or exchanged with others. I have a few Kindle Books that I got this morning, so who knows what will happen. I just cant wait to do absolutely nothing but read!!

Have fun with this everyone and read on!!! Let us know what you guys will be reading if you are participating in the read-a-thon and if not, just let us know what you guys are thinking, any books you want to see on here, or even any tips you guys have for getting through a book challenge.

Happy Reads!!!

Kristy <3

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wicked Valentine's Read-a-Thon Vol.2

Wicked Valentine's Read-a-ThonThere's no time like Valentine's to do another Read-a-Thon book challenge. We all love them! And at least now I'll have a few significant others (cough all my book boyfriends cough) to have dinner with.

This is actually the first time I have heard of this book challenge and I am excited to not be spending this Valentine's alone....I'll have all my books to keep me company!

So who's ready?! I am!!

The  Wicked Valentine’s Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of February 7-17 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun! For more information about the Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon make sure to check out My Shelf Confessions. They've got all the details for you as well as the challenges, prizes, and more awesomeness to follow! 

This is a long challenge and I am hoping to read as many books as possible. I don't know which books I'll be reading, but I am thinking of making it all romantic themed books. Not exactly romance novels, but paranormal romances or contemporary romance. I think that's a good idea for Valentine's don't you? I'll let you guys know exactly what I will be reading in a later post, so keep an eye out for that.

I know Judith is going to want to join in on this one (she never says no to a Read-A-Thon). I wonder what she'll be reading that week. 

If you guys are going to participate in the Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon let us know and post what books everyone is reading! 

Good Luck and Happy Reading!!!

Kristy <3

Kristy's Book Haul!

     After reading Daughters of Smoke and Bone and The Raven Boys I knew that I needed to get the next in both their series. They were so addictive that I wanted more - no, I needed more! So last week, when I got my paycheck, I went straight on amazon (via my iPhone app) and made the purchase. No regrets. I also added a little extra book in of my guilty pleasures
   I have actually started reading The Dream Thieves, but unfortunately, my job has been giving me way too many hours to work and I haven't been able to read more than a few pages, which really blows because I really really want to read these. Plus I have a lot more I need to read this month and that I want to purchase.
     I really do love purchasing books...I mean I do have my own personal mini library in my room, which reminds me, I have to put up more shelves!!