What I did: May 2018

If I publish this before midnight it means I wrote it before the first half of the month is done. The illusion of me planning is still there.

The month started off with a lot of friend time and Harry Potter since one of my best friends got accepted into the Disney college program so she will probably never return. At least it gives me an excuse to go down to Florida. Another one of my friends moved as well so we had a going away party with the most delicious ice cream cakes I’ve had since last time I had ice cream cake and it was great to have one last party before she left.

One of the breweries partnered with the new cookie dough restaurant here in town to do a pairing. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the pairings because they  made some of my least favorite types of beer into something I would actually want to drink? I definitely went back for more cookie dough a couple days ago with one of my friends. Pro tip: Only have one scoop. There is such a high chance of gut rot from so much sugar.

Stephen King’s newest book came out toward the end of the month and I attempted to binge read it before the month was over… that didn’t happen but it’s amazing so far I just need some time to finish. It does have one of the characters from the Bill Hodges trilogy who talks about the ending so read that first.

Books read:
Steve Jobs- Walter Isaacson
The Death of Mrs. Westaway- Ruth Ware
Every Exquisite Thing- Matthew Quick

Update: Got it done. 10:30 p.m. my time.

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Lying In Wait: eARC Review

Author: Liz Nugent
Publisher: Gallery Books
US Pub Date: June 12, 2018

In Two Sentences:
To everyone else the Fitzsimons are the perfect family, but when their son learns the secret life as they know it comes crashing down. As lives intertwine the plot thickens.

My Thoughts:
I read Unraveling Oliver earlier this year and it took me a while to get into. By the end I loved it and wanted something else by her. And there was NetGalley to the rescue.

Liz Nugent is unlike any other thriller author I’ve read before. You go into this story knowing exactly what happens and who did what. And then the story begins. You start to understand why and get to know the family members and how their stories intertwine.

If you are expecting an edge-of-your-seat, jump-scare, keep you up at night thriller Lying in Wait is not it. They will keep you wondering what will unfold but it is nothing like Stephen King, Gillian Flynn or B.A. Paris.

Nugent excels at character-based thrillers. You get to see these characters grow up throughout the years and change. You know how they will react and then life changes, just like real life.

Told in alternating views, this was actually very easy to follow. Whereas some novels with multiple viewpoints are confusing because all of them have the same writing style or repetitive, Lying in Wait was none of these.

Then there was the ending. That ending was everything. I didn’t see it coming and even looking back there isn’t anything that leads up to it. It’s such an amazing surprise ending.

If you haven’t read anything by Liz Nugent I would say start with this one and go in expecting a character-based thriller with plenty of plot.

I buddy read this book with Regina @BookishInBed and Luna @BookishLuna.

Bring Me Back: ARC Review

Author: B. A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
US Pub Date: June 19, 2018

In Two Sentences:
When his girlfriend, Layla, disappears, Finn only tells the police part of the story. But when he’s about to marry her sister he starts getting messages from Layla.

My Thoughts:
I read The Breakdown a while ago and I knew I needed to read more by her. When I saw Bring Me Back on NetGalley I instantly hit request and I did not regret it one bit. I buddy read this with Regina so go check out her review as well.

The storytelling sucked you in and wouldn’t let you go. I read every night until my eyes burned and I was about to fall asleep. I was reading it between jobs and attempted reading on the treadmill. Unfortunately I forgot my eyes aren’t used to reading without glasses anymore.

I loved every single character. Normally there’s at least one I cringe when they come on the scene but there wasn’t one! I thought I would know how everyone would act in a given scenario but then another layer was added to the story and it was completely different. There were so many different layers to the story and I never knew what would happen next. I am falling more in love with B.A. Paris’s novels with every one I read.

I had so many theories running through my head so obviously one of them was right and it was the one Regina from Bookish In Bed put in my head kind of early on… and I fought against it the entire time.

The only problem I had was toward the end, during a kind of key turning point there was a flaw logically. However, spoilers.

If you haven’t read anything by B.A. Paris I highly suggest you start.

#BoutOfBooks

#BoutOfBooks 22: Sign Up

It’s time for my favorite readathon! I’ve honestly lost count of how many times I’ve participated in #BoutofBooks. It’s been three times on my blog and I think I’ve participated on Twitter or Instagram once or twice. However, I am trying to start putting them all on my blog because it’s the easiest way to find them all when I want to look back on them even when I’m super busy in life.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

This year I’m super busy and I haven’t been reading as much as I did last year so I just want to make my way through some books I am currently reading a bit faster. My goal is to read at least 500 print pages throughout these books and listen to more of the Well of Ascension audiobook.

Are you participating in #BoutofBooks? What books are you planning on reading?

What I’ve Done: April 2018

April started out crazy busy and toward the end got a lot calmer. To the point where I got to do a lot of things I had been putting off and I had time to hang out with friends. April seemed as though it was what I had been working toward for the past couple months/ past year. And I’m nowhere close to stopping.

April 11th was when phase one of the Udacity Front-end Web Development ended and I turned in my final project the day before. In the week and a half leading up I basically did nothing else in my free time. The featured image is when I was completely flailing around so I know that code is wrong.

I found out roughly a week later that I got into phase two of the program and now we’re off again. I gave myself a little bit extra time to be able to recover from the stress of part one and to catch up on a bit of reading but from now until it’s done Oct 24th I’m going to be working on it hardcore again.

Phase two is six months and it’s roughly “10 hours” of work (which for me means it’s about 15 to 20 hours. Hopefully I’ll get faster. There’s a lot more information and a lot more resources available and it’s a tad overwhelming. I’m slowly diving into it but I know some people just went all in and have looked at everything.

The other main event that happened in April was that I was offered (and accepted obviously) full time at my job. For those of you who don’t know, I work at an internet marketing agency. We mainly do websites, SEO and social media. I am going to be taking on more of the keyword research and more of the set up when we get new customers.

In April I also attended Untitled Town, a book festival in town. The three talks I went to were R.L. Stein, Roxane Gay and Christopher Moore. You can read more about that here.

We also had the library book sale and I went on the day books were six for six dollars and got a a lot of books I hadn’t heard of and also IQ by Joe Ide and Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

I finally went to Titletown for food instead of just drinks and I got the shrimp tacos and it was so good! It was a tad bit spicy but it was so worth it. I did notice a lot of their food has bacon so I’m when I order there I have to make sure to ask for it without if I get one of those.

Books read in April:

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nuget
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

What was your favorite read this month? Did you do anything exciting or out of the ordinary?

 

Untitled Town: 2018

This is the second year Untitled Town has been around, and the second year I’ve gone. However this year, unlike last year, I actually have enough to say because I’m not waiting for two months to post it.

I went to the main three author talks this year: R.L. Stine, Roxane Gay and Christopher Moore. There was one a night so each night I took a nap after work, went to pick up my grandma and drove to whatever location it was at.

Authors at Untitled Town

Honestly, R.L. Stine was my favorite of the three. When I was in middle school we had competitions each quarter to see who could read the most pages and I would devour one of his Fear Street books a night. He was pretty hilarious, reading his favorite fan mail, and cracking jokes. If you ever get the chance to go to an even where he’s speaking I highly suggest you take it.

Roxane Gay made you think a lot more. She had deep insights on life and viewpoints and she wasn’t afraid to share them. She talked a lot about her novel Hunger and her upcoming novel. My favorite part about Untitled Town author talks is the Q&A. People came up with some interesting questions covering anything from the sexualization of young girls to how to know when to stop writing a memoir. Before I saw her I hadn’t read any of her books and they haven’t really moved up or down my TBR.

The last night was Christopher Moore, he wrote Lamb, his latest is Noir, he has quite a few books out. He started out his talk with a commencement speech and it was okay, there were a couple good parts but it wasn’t very memorable. Then it went into a Q&A portion where he answered a ton of questions. One person had a spoiler in their question…. Moore called him out on it and scolded him. Unfortunately I haven’t read anything by him so when people asked questions it was all over the board of all of his books and I was left clueless.

Throughout Untitled Town there are also local authors and writing workshops that I didn’t go to. I said last year I’d go to more of these but I worked every day during the day so I didn’t have a chance to, maybe next year I will.

What has been your favorite bookish event or favorite author to see?

Graceland

What I’ve done: March 2018

I know…. it’s halfway through April but the beginning of April was insanely busy and kind of stressful. I didn’t even get to read that much.

I didn’t read much during March either but I did listen to a couple audiobooks which was weird to me. But they were both really good audiobooks. Then I started listening to Steve Jobs and wow…. this is such a huge book and is taking a while to get through.

At this point March is so far away I’ve forgotten what I’ve all done and I didn’t take many photos which is how I normally jog my memory. I worked a lot and I attempted to start getting back in a workout routine which has been fading in an out of existence.

Toward the end of the month I went down to Memphis to (finally) visit my sister. We went out for BBQ and to Graceland and toured her school. Her, her boy and I went out to this bar that was basically the Tardis. It looked like it was just a normal size bar and then you go in the back and it’s a huge area with fire pits and then there was another bar in the back and there were some more areas we didn’t go in.

We went to the National Civil Rights Museum, which was a lot more reading than I expected. I was expecting more artifacts associated but there wasn’t much. There was also Beale Street which was kind of a let down as well. I think it would be a lot busier and a lot more how I pictured it if we had gone at night.

Books Read:

Sometimes I Lie- Alice Feeney
Beneath the Sugar Sky- Seanan McGuire
Reconstructing Amelia- Kimberly McCreight
Scrappy Little Nobody- Anna Kendrick
Words in Deep Blue- Cath Crowley