August 2015 Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winner

In the month of August I read and completed two books. This summer has been really difficult in terms of reading and finishing books, but I’m trying my best!

The two books I completed this month are:

I also read several other books this month, but I have yet to complete them for one reason or another (the main reason being I’m stuck in a slump and can’t find my way out), and they are:

Yeah, I started all of those, but haven’t finished them… I think reading multiple books at once is what’s stopping me from reading, really. It’s difficult to retain everything that’s happening because I don’t want to confuse one plot with another.

So it’s been a productive month for reading, but not a fruitful month, you know? I want to finish what I’m reading and find out what happens!

As well as that, I did some discussions and other things this month:

  • Shoutouts (Part 1) – I did some shoutouts to various book people! I think everyone deserves recognition for what they do, and I’m going to do this as much as I can.
  • How I Organize My Bookshelves – I talked about how I do my own shelf organization. This will probably change over time, but I think one constant I’ll always have will be my “favorites” shelf.
  • Let’s Talk Shadowhunters – The show has a full cast and production is well under way. I talk a bit more about the cast and how excited I am for this show!
  • Book Clubs: Yea or Nay? – The pros and cons of book clubs are discussed here. Would you join one?
  • Rayna Recommends: High Fantasy – In hindsight, I wish I had done a broader topic of fantasy and then narrowed from there, but here I recommend some high fantasy books and movies!
  • Bout of Books 14 Readathon + My Birthday – I participated in Bout of Books 14 and it was also my birthday this past month! It was a fun time and I’m proud of what I accomplished.
  • Reading Tastes – I talked about how reading tastes change over time and how you can love one thing one year and completely change your views in the next.

So it’s been a productive month and I’m happy to have had all the talks and whatnot.

But now it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated and joined in! I’m very happy and I hope to see more of you around in the years to come.

And the winner is…

Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl

Congratulations! You’ve already been contacted by email, but I wanted to give a shoutout here, too! Thanks all and look forward to the next giveaway!

Let’s see what the next month has to bring. What did you read this past month? Let me know!

August 2015 Book Haul

Another month, another haul! This month has been great for this kind of thing because I had my birthday earlier in the month and so my husband spoiled me with books and bookish things. So today let me tell you all of the books I got:

Physical Books

  • The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. I’ve been wanting to get this book for years, but as it’s an adult book, it’s more expensive than YA books, so I always put off getting it. But I couldn’t resist anymore and so I went ahead and got it. I’m really excited to see what it’s about and how I’ll like it.
  • Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell. My Rainbow collection just keeps growing! This is her first novel and it’s well loved by others, and from what I hear it’s kind of like a rom-com (romantic comedy) in book form, so I’m excited to get into it more! I did start it, but I haven’t continued yet.
  • The Kate Daniels series, books 1-7, by Ilona Andrews. My husband spoiled me and got me all of the books that are out so far, except for the eighth book, which is in hardcover and I want all of my books to match. I started this series already and did a review on the first book, and so far I’m enjoying it. I really want to see what happens next.
  • Ruin and Rising” by Leigh Bardugo. Again, my husband spoiled me and got me the third book in the Grisha trilogy in paperback. I haven’t even started the trilogy yet, but I know I’ll enjoy it. Magic, power, romance… I mean, yes please!

E-books

  • Forbidden” by Kimberley Griffiths Little. I started this book for the Bout of Books readathon but I haven’t completed it yet. I am interested to see where the story goes and how the romance blossoms and all of that, plus I love the fact that this takes place in ancient Mesopotamia.

Well, I got eleven books this month! Not too shabby, if you ask me. I’m definitely excited to continue reading everything, it’s just going to take me a while because I’m kind of in a slump still. No energy after work and all of that, you know?

Let me know if you’ve gotten any of these books and which you’d recommend to me to read sooner rather than later! I do plan on marathoning the Grisha trilogy soon, but for now let me know what you think! What books have you acquired this month?

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for one book up to $15USD from Book Depository! Be sure to get your entry in by midnight! The winner will be announced in my wrap-up post tomorrow, as well as contacted via email!

July 2015 Wrap-Up

Guys. It’s already the end of July. This year is FLYING by. I don’t know how I feel about that…

But my birthday’s in 19 days, so that’s exciting.

ANYWAY, this month was a rough month for me in terms of reading and doing anything really remotely related to reading. But here’s my wrap-up for the month, so let’s check out what I read, reviewed, talked about, and so on.

So what I read/reviewed this month:

  • City of Fallen Angels” by Cassandra Clare. Though I read this book back in May, I didn’t actually do a review for it because I was going to wait to finish the others before doing so. And then thought better of it, so there’s my review. As a sequel, I felt that it was mostly filler and that it was a lot of information dumping, but it still brought me back into the world and I still did enjoy it. I rated it 3.75/5 stars.
  • Rebel Spring” by Morgan Rhodes. This was the second book in the series and it did pick up more than the first book, but it was still a little boring at times, in my opinion. I did like that we got to see some chapters in King Gaius’s point of view, and even Nic’s. I did like it a little better than the first and I plan on continuing on. I rated it 4/5 stars.
  • The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh. This retelling of A Thousand and One Nights was full of intrigue, a girl with a silver tongue, a dangerous caliph, and many surprises along the way. Though I did get frustrated toward the end, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next. I rated this 4/5 stars.

Woo, what a bad reading month. Oh well, at least I read two books, which brings down my TBR a little bit.

I attempted to host my own readathon, Themeathon, this month, but it was kind of a flop as I gave up on it the last two weeks and I’m not entirely sure that people were participating with me. Oh well, always next year.

A couple of talks I had:

  • Half a Year in Review: I talked about some of my favorite books, reviews, and discussions that I held over the last six months. It’s been a surprisingly good year so far.
  • Acclimating to Some Changes: I talk about some life things and blog things and how things may be changing around here for a little while until I get into the flow of things.
  • One Year Blogiversary!: That’s right! I’ve been blogging for over a year now and I’m so excited to see how my blog has changed and grown over that time. I’m glad to have joined the book community as it really brought out my passion and love for books once again.

I did participate in several Top 5 Wednesdays and Top 10 Tuesdays over the past month, which are always fun.

I did the Unpopular Opinions Tag, which was a fun tag where I talked about some of my own unpopular opinions.

And I did my collective June and July book haul! I didn’t get a crap ton of books over the last two months, which makes me proud that I was able to resist the urge to buy ALL THE BOOKS!

Now, as for my August TBR, I’m not actually going to make one. I’m just going to read what I want and what I’m able to, and hope that I can read as much as possible/doable for me. I am going to try to do the TBR Challenge for the month, which this month is to read a classic, but we’ll have to see what happens!

How was your reading month for July? Did you have a difficult time reading like I did, or did you fly through book after book? What was your favorite read for the month? Let me know!

June & July Book Haul

Since I didn’t actually do a book haul last month, I’m combining June and July together! I don’t think it’s a lot of books, but we’ll see, won’t we?

Physical Books

  • P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han. I’ve already read and reviewed this book, but it’s a cute continuation of the first as it follows Peter and Lara Jean through their attempt at a real relationship after their fake one.
  • The Witch Hunter” by Virginia Boecker. I started reading this book but didn’t get very far before putting it down. It’s about a girl who has the mark of a witch hunter, but one day she is accused of being a witch herself and so she has to run for her life.
  • The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh. I’ve already read and reviewed this book, and it’s about a king who takes a new wife every night, only to kill her before sunrise the next morning. But there is one young woman who volunteers to be his next bride – and she’s determined to live to see the next sunrise, and the ones after that, too.
  • The Heart of Betrayal” by Mary E. Pearson. This is my current read and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s a continuation from the first and how it follows Lia, Rafe, and Kaden during their time in Venda.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters” by Laini Taylor. This is the third book in the trilogy and I’m so excited to read it! Eventually. Once I read the second one…
  • Fangirl: The Collector’s Edition” by Rainbow Rowell. I couldn’t resist and I had to get this pink collector’s edition of one of my favorite books from Target. Totally worth it.
  • The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski. I won this as part of a giveaway that was hosted by Thoughts on Tomes, Kap89x, and TheBookLife on YouTube. Was so excited to win this! Love, slaves, crime. Everything comes with a price.
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns” by Rae Carson. I won this in a giveaway that was hosted by SharleneSays. I gave a bunch of suggestions and ended up winning! I’m excited to read this because all I know about it is that there’s a wide variety of diverse characters, including an overweight main heroine. Yes please.

E-Books

  • A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray. I’ve been wanting this book since the first time I saw this cover. There was an e-deal on it so I snatched it for super cheap! I’m so excited to read this story about parallel worlds.

Audiobooks

  • Words of Radiance” by Brandon Sanderson. This is the second massive sequel to this series and though I haven’t finished the first one yet, it is interesting to far so I hope to get to it sometime this century, haha!

I believe those are all of the books I’ve acquired the last two months. I could be missing some, who knows? But yes, not bad for a full two months, if I do say so myself.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts/opinions/feels on them? Interested in reading any on this list? Let me know!

June 2015 Wrap-Up

Another month gone and we’re already half way through the year. Whoa.

This month was an okay month for reading. I only read four books, gave up (kinda) on two, and am still in the process of reading one.

Here are the books I read in June:

I had ups and downs this month in terms of reading. Some books I really enjoyed, others not so much. And there were two I started but am having a hard time getting into the story for one reason: the main character. I’ll come back to them at some point, but for now I’m putting them down.

And the one book I’m continuing to read in between all of these times is “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin. I am currently 40% of the way through it, so I’m slowly making progress!

Also during the month I held several discussions, including a blog tour:

  • Blog Tour Interview with a Narrator. This was an interesting interview featuring the narrator for Keira Gillet’s novel, “Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.”
  • Rayna Recommends: Dystopian. My second installment in my recommends series where I discussed some books and movies that feature a dystopia of some sort.
  • Cataloging Your Books. When you have too many books and you need to write them all down and see your progress (or lack thereof).
  • Over-Hyped Books. We all know they exist, but what about when they live up to their hype? I talk about a few books that did and didn’t for me.
  • Booktubers vs Book Bloggers. This was a big topic floating around and I felt the need to address it. We’re all part of the same community, guys, so let’s act like it.
  • Reading While Away. I was on a weekend getaway and I just wanted to relax and read the whole time. Do you ever feel that when away?
  • The Reading Experience. Sometimes the experiences we have while reading affects the way we actually enjoy the book.

I also did a few read-a-thon related posts:

  • Springtime Readathons Wrap-Up. I participated in three readathons in May and this is my wrap-up of them.
  • Themeathon Announcement. I’m excited to let you know that I’ll be hosting a month long readathon throughout July where each week is a different theme.
  • Themeathon TBR. And here are the books I’m hoping to get to each week! This is also my TBR for next month.

Overall it was a pretty productive month, but there was a lot of down time because I just started a new job and I’m trying to acclimate myself to my new schedule as a full-time teller. So, yeah, I’ve been hella busy, but at least I’m still finding time to read.