Our Spring TBR List • Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Hello, again, friends! We’re participating in the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday this week where we’re discussing the books that are at the top of our to-read lists this spring. Estelle’s list includes a couple of library books she just took out and some review books, while mine includes the next five books on my review schedule (because I have become a little more regimented with my reading so I don’t miss deadlines and release dates). Here’s our collaborative list:

list of upcoming young adult book releases, books checked out from library

All the Rage • Things We Know by Heart • A Court of Thorns and Roses
Every Last Promise • Finding Paris • My Best Everything
LOL • Making Pretty • Scarlet Undercover
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

> > > < < <

What are you looking forward to reading this spring?
What are you most excited about on our TBR?

Thanks for joining in! Don’t forget to check out more Top Ten Tuesday lists linked up at The Broke and Bookish!

Goodbye to 2014 + End of Year Book Survey | Magan

Hello, friends! Happy last day of 2014! I wish you the happiest New Years Eve and hope you have incredible plans tonight. Dustyn and I will be staying in, playing games, and ringing in the new year in a very low key way. 2014 was full of amazing new firsts, lots of incredible books, less reading than my norm, and so many great new memories. I loved answering Jamie’s survey questions and reflecting back on all the new characters I was able to meet this year. I sincerely hope you’ll be encouraged to add a book (or five) to your to-read lists from my favorites. 

Image Courtesy of falloutgirl9001

Number Of Books You Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 2 (Anna + the French Kiss, Lola + the Boy Next Door)
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary YA Fiction (86%) / YA Fantasy (8%) / Adult Contemporary (6%)

Best-in-Books-Magan

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2014 release vs. backlist)

YA Fantasy: Heir of Fire
YA Contemporary: Open Road Summer and Rites of Passage (debut releases) / All the Bright Places (a 2015 release)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I had four books I just couldn’t finish this year — Find Me I’m Yours (unique in concept, but a bit too scattered and the language was too immature for the narrator), And We Stay (really could. not. connect. to this story),  The Secrets of Lily Graves (again, was disconnected from the main character), and Anatomy of a Misfit (hard hitting and super offensive right off the bat).

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

17 First Kisses — when I began this book, I read a lot of iffy reviews on Goodreads that gave me the impression I wouldn’t enjoy it. I have to say, I’m SO glad I gave it a try and decided to make up my own mind.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Even in Paradise. Hands down one of the books I gushed over the most. (I could have / should have included this in my Best Book list.) It’s such a multi-faceted favorite. I was on pins and needles while Estelle and Rachel read it because I wanted them both to love it sooooo much. (Spoiler: they did!)

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Well, very few of my books were series this year. I needed closure and to not overwhelm myself with lots of sequels. I love, love, loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and cannot wait to see what happens next. Stephanie Perkins’ books aren’t a “series,” but the last companion book, Isla and the Happily Ever After was so lovely; I really am so thankful to have had more of Perkins’ beautiful words to read this year.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Well, let’s just get over the fact that I’m going to cheat here. My new favorites are:

Kasie West (On the Fence)
Joy N. Hensley (Rites of Passage)
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t typically read many books written in verse so I’m awarding this to Stasia Ward Kehoe’s The Sound of Letting Go.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Heir of Fire took me a little while to read because I should have re-read the previous books again, but once I got back into the rhythm of the story, I WAS HOOKED. I have to say it’s probably my favorite in the series so far. Otherwise, I listened to We Were Liars as an audiobook while I was walking. I couldn’t stop walking; every single chapter ended on such a note that I just had to keep going. SO addicting!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Oh, you guys. Obviously I’m not a very good re-reader. I think I admit this every single year. :-/

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

 Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando — it’s eye catching, graphic, and doesn’t include photographs of people (which is just so, so common)

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Maybe it’s a complete cliche to mention this book, but Amy and Nick from Gone Girl had me reeling for weeks after finishing the book. I just could not wrap my head around that book and their marriage!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

All the Bright Places. I know, I know. I’m mentioning this book a lot, and in a few days, I’ll be tweeting non-stop about it on release day. I think, honestly, that this is one of my favorite all-time books. It’s so incredible. THE WRITING IS SO AMAZING.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

We were Liars made me think SO MUCH while I was listening to it, and I mentioned that in my review. There’s so much you can take from how the family ripped itself apart, vying for belongings and things.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

Over Christmas, Dustyn and I had a lot of miles to cover. We re-read the second book in the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. I read these books in high school and I’m so glad I’m re-reading them (with Dustyn!) because they’re quick, enjoyable, and I love the story.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

I did a post with a few of my favorite ones! Here’s one I particularly loved:

jenny han quotes

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest: Heir of Fire (562)
Shortest: This Christmas (160)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

We Were Liars and Gone Girl

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Charlotte (Charlie) and Braden from On the Fence — there’s no way these two could ever break up. I mean, how could they? Her brothers wouldn’t allow it!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The relationships in Head of the River, all around, were awesome. I can’t even pick one specifically because there were so many strong aspects here.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Roomies by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr — This book was amazing! Estelle couldn’t recommend it enough and I’m so happy I took her advice. (Not that I can ever turn down a Zarr book…)

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I’ll Give You the Sun — hasn’t everyone raved about this book this year? It felt like it to me, and I’m really glad I read it, too. There’s a reason there’s been so much excitement.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After. This is one of those few times when I really wanted his perspective added because I adored him so much. I think I connected to him even more than I did Isla!

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

See Question #1: Open Road Summer and Rites of Passage.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Considering I didn’t read as much fantasy as I would have liked, this easily goes to Heir of Fire.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Not in the Script — there were some great laugh out loud moments here. Plus, I really, really loved the characters and their ability to make smart, mature decisions (for the most part).

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

I’m seeing that I didn’t read a lot that made me cry this year. (That’s a shocker because I always sob!) However, All the Bright Places had me ready to hyperventilate with all the feels.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless — this was an easy, quick read with a main character I found interesting, a great setting (a grocery store), and told over the course of one day.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I’m going to assume this means in the best way possible, and therefore, my answer is intended positively. I felt soooo wrapped up in Rites of Passage. Sam was so mistreated and bullied and I wanted to take care of her, but I also admired the living daylights out of her because she was so much stronger than I would have been.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Party by Tom Leveen — his books always seem to have something special about them; in this case, the story is told from 11 different people’s perspectives.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

See Question 28. For all of those reasons, I was super angry. Bullying, of any kind, gets my heart racing and makes me wanna protect someone.

My-Bookish-Blogging-Life-Magan

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

I was really, really terrible about perusing as much as I used to because I had my daughter, Everett, in February. I was doing really, really good to keep up with simply writing my own reviews. Goal for 2015 is to get back in the game and be more social again!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

My review of Head of the River. I put so much thought into it and poured over the words until it seemed just right.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My post on friendship and how I think it’s important to not lump people into boxes so we can know more about them.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I photographed the Texas Teen Book Festival again this year; I hung out in the author room and photographed the photo booth, taking photos like these:

Gayle Forman posing with a teen who interviewed her at the Texas Teen Book Festival, October 2014.
Gayle Forman posing with a teen who interviewed her at the Texas Teen Book Festival, October 2014.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

I guess I’m just super proud that I kept up with blogging. I didn’t read as many books as I have in the years past, but I seriously doubted my ability to do this well once I had my daughter. I spent a lot of time working on my time management this year and while I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked to, I certainly did okay.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

 Our most popular, comment-wise, was Lola’s bedroom decor we created from Lola and the Boy Next Door. (A post that was so, so fun to create together!)

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Estelle’s non-bookish Q&A in which she answers questions I asked her at the end of this year; timing these posts is always so tricky at the end of a year! As far as a personal post I wrote, I think my themed-gift-pack for The Prince of Venice Beach. A lot of our readers are female, but I hoped to reach out to a few guys with this one and it wasn’t very popular.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I love a good bookish deal. When Rachel mentioned the BookOutlet to me a few weeks ago in a tweet, I quickly had to look it up. I may or may not be obsessively checking it now.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My goal was to read 52 books this year and I’m hoping to have read 53. I’m hoping I can bump that back up again next year, but I ultimately want to be realistic, love what I’m doing, and not make this feel like a job. I want this to always, always be enjoyable.

Looking-Ahead-2015-Magan

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

I’m behind on Miranda Kenneally’s books, much to Estelle’s dismay. I hope to plow through all of her work I’m behind on!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

The Start of Me and You by Emery LordThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 Because You'll Never Meet MeBecause You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas: Great, unique premise, AWESOME cover.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

 Winter by Marissa Meyer, the end of the Lunar Chronicles series. (SOB.)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

 Read more. Maintain balance. Get ahead on my writing. Not get stuck in a review vortex because I want to write thoughtful, personal posts as well.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

 All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Releasing on 1/6/2015) — DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.

 


THANK YOU so much for reading through all of that. Happy New Year! Happy reading!
We’ll see you in 2015!

Visit Jamie’s blog to link up and participate in the End of Year Book Survey!

(Image for Titles Courtesy of falloutgirl9001)

Santa, I Promise I’ve Been Good This Year | Top 10 Tuesday

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

 

Welcome back for Top 10 Tuesday, where this week participants are discussing which books they hope to find under their Christmas trees this year. Santa, are you listening? In addition to these books, I’ll happily take a few solid days off work and will soak up any given opportunity to read them. Promise.

Lights Large

Rather-Be-Reading-All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Book-Edition

Four • Just One Night • Rebel • The Lonely Hearts Club • Ask Again Later

(Truth: My favorite Elf, Estelle, just surprised me with Ask Again Later. Eeep!)

Rather-Be-Reading-All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Book-Edition-02

Me Since You • The One • One Plus One • Don’t Call Me Baby • Twelve Days to Christmas

Lights

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top 10 Tuesday!
Be sure to check out which books they hope to unwrap in a few days + tell us what you’re most hoping for…

Top Ten Tuesday: Tough Subject Books

I’m pretty drawn to tough subject books. I scoured my Goodreads lists and narrowed it down to these FIFTEEN tough subject books instead of ten. (Bonus reads!) Obviously I didn’t follow the rules very well. Some of these were harder than others, but they all have aspects of them that really open your eyes to some difficult-to-discuss topics. If you have recommendations for me, I’d love to know what you suggest I add to my TBR.

I broke these down into a few topics and added brief notes for why they were difficult. No spoilers included. All links go to either a review on Rather Be Reading or Goodreads so you can check out the summaries.

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BULLYING:

young adult books about bullying recommendation

  1. Rites of Passage — bullying, sexism, hazing
  2. Tease — teen suicide, bullying
  3. If I Lie — knowing the secret truth about characters, bullying, ass-hat father
  4. Some Girls Are — bullying. bullying. bullying. stupid high school.

 

CIRCUMSTANCES & RELATIONSHIPS:

young adult books with difficult topics, circumstances, and uncomfortable relationships

  1. The Tragedy Paper — albino character, seclusion, longing after an unavailable girl
  2. Ketchup Clouds — written to a prisoner, hidden identity of main character
  3. The Lucy Variations — uncomfortable relationship with an adult, parents dictating every move
  4. When You Were Here — loss of a parent, misuse of prescription pills, loss of sense of self
  5. Small Town Sinners — discovering one’s own religious beliefs apart from what parents have taught you to believe
  6. Room — being held hostage, abuse, kidnap, written from the POV of a 5 year old

 

SEX / ABUSE / PREGNANCY:

young adult books about sex, mental and sexual abuse, and pregnancy

  1. Where the Stars Still Shine — mental/emotional abuse MC suffered from mother’s instability
  2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz – implicit sexual fetish, death of a friend, crumbling friendship
  3. Me, Him, Them, & It — teen pregnancy + working through the decision to keep, abort, or give up the baby for adoption
  4. Uses for Boys — language + actual way it was written, but also sexually explicit, borderline uncomfortable for me — sex isn’t described as overly poetic and is raw and often very in-your-face
  5. Live Through This — sexual abuse by a relative, mental instability of the MC who questions right from wrong

 

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Which of these books was most difficult for you to read?
What tough subject book recommendations do you have for me?

Magan’s Farewell to 2013

end of year survey 2013

I just can’t even … how is today the last day of 2013? I’m flabbergasted, really. So much of what I anticipated for 2013 turned out to be completely different, and my reading life was certainly altered so much by the arrival of our foster daughter. Solid reading time became more of a challenge for me, but so much more precious (does that even make sense?). Hopefully I can give you some solid recommendations, but Estelle’s End of Year Survey just rocked my socks off with all the variety. Be sure to revisit hers for even more book recs! And as always, thank you to Jamie for taking the time to create the survey!

[ BEST BOOKS ]

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

Best Sequel: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas / Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
OMG-I-Can’t-Believe-I-Waited-so-Long-to-Read-This: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Best New Release: Winger by Andrew Smith
Best New-to-Me Author: Rainbow Rowell, Author of Eleanor and Park and Fangirl

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles — I just couldn’t connect, the pacing was soooo slow, and I had to skip to the end to read what happened because I wasn’t invested. For an adult book choice, it was He’s Gone by Deb Caletti. The story was so back and forth with past and present and it felt really strung out. The main character wasn’t appealing to me. I didn’t finish the book, and I didn’t even skip to the end to see what happened.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson has been on my kindle since its release last year, but one random day I decided to start reading it at the end of this year. I could not put it down. The writing just pulled me in right away and I kept wishing I hadn’t waited so long to read it after I was done.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Hands down the answer is Eleanor and Park. A friend of mine even asked me if we’re naming Baby Blasig Eleanor or Park. No, I’m not kidding. And sadly, no, neither of those names made the final cut, but it would have been a brilliant idea!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I’m so belated in falling in love with this series, but I am deeply in love with Ally Carter’s Heist Society series! They make me laugh. I love the mystery of how they’ll steal what they’re looking for, and oh em gee do I love Hale.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Whelp, I somewhat answered that in question 1, but I also fell in love with Leila Howland (author of Nantucket Blue). I continued to love Sara Zarr’s work with the release of The Lucy Variations. Louise Rozett really captured my attention with her Confessions of an Angry Girl series, too.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

My answer’s a little unorthodox because I’m going to say Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. The book itself wasn’t outside of my comfort zone, topically, but it was in the respect that it was an audio book. The same goes for There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. I’m so happy I finally listened to audio books, but at the same time, I haven’t exactly made this a habit yet.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I’m going to go with Tahereh Mafi’s Destroy Me and Unravel Me. I was SO Team Adam before reading Destroy Me and then I did a 180 and fell for Warner. I don’t remember a twitter conversation that went on so long as those involving these books. Everyone has such strong, strong opinions and that makes me so happy. (And also frightened. WHO WILL IT BE?!)

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Oh, dang. Y’all, I am not, not, not a huge re-reader. My answer would likely be Eleanor and Park because it made me feel all the feels, but again, re-reading is so RARE for me!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

10594356

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

I absolutely loved Parker Frost in Jessi Kirby’s Golden. She reminded me so much of my high school self — how I always had to follow the rules, color within the lines, and not question things. I enjoyed her transformation and couldn’t stop thinking about her when I finished the book.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Let’s talk beautifully written in terms of why I connected with them… Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell because my emotions were out of this world and the writing was so freaking perfect. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland because it really hit on all the emotions of what it’s like when a friendship is unraveling before your eyes and you’re not quite sure how to make things better. Winger by Andrew Smith because the journey was so unexpected.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

I’ve always enjoyed Daisy Whitney’s writing, but When You Were Here really struck a chord with me. I am extremely close to my family, so Danny’s loss was one of the gut-wrenching variety that made me feel extremely grateful and thankful. And also — the visuals? The scenery? How gorgeous was that? I definitely wanted to travel with Danny and wished for more funds to do so.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

I answered this in question 1, too, but another awesome book was Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt. Estelle and I have had many chats about this book. We’ve recommended it to so, so many people. Sean is sweet and charming and the family aspect is just so wonderful and … just read it, please!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“And sometimes you held somebody’s hand just to prove that you were still alive, and that another human being was there to testify to that fact.” – Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: I read a lot, lot, lot of children’s books this year. A favorite was Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin. The shortest non-kids book was Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi at 103 pages.

Longest: Cress by Marissa Meyer (560 pages)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin really, really surprised me. The book begins with a scene that gives a snapshot of what’s to come, but the ENTIRE BOOK I kept hoping for something else. Or hoping that I misunderstood.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Eleanor and Park wins double points for being a lovely friendship and romance. Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding features a fantastically diverse family that I adored. And Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer also had this beautiful mixture of romance (without it being too in your face), an incredible family, and self-discovery.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen. There was something so, so beautiful about this book. A male POV, a confused character trying to figure out what he wants when he finds himself in a relationship he didn’t plan to be in. A tough decision to make. Yes, loved this one. I read Zero last year, and enjoyed it, too, but I connected with Leveen’s writing way more with Manicpixiedreamgirl.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I would probably still be saving Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour for a rainy day because I just didn’t want to be “done” with reading Morgan’s work. (I NEED MORE, Morgan!) After one of the LitLush twitter chats, I was very “peer pressured” (ha!) into reading it right then and there. I immediately grabbed the book off my shelf and began when it was over. Aside from that, my answer mirrors Estelle’s; I read Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer because of our book pusher friends, Cassie, Hannah, and Asheley.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Contemporary for sure, but the majority of the series I’m hooked on are dystopias/sci-fi/fantasy.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Cassie is going to love this answer, I’m sure of it. Let’s talk about Dean Holder in Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. *fans self*

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I love, love, loved How to Love by Katie Cotugno. It’s definitely a bit more on the adult side of young adult in that it deals with some bigger issues and a teen mom, but the struggles just felt so real and relatable, even though I haven’t been through the same exact scenarios myself.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I felt Veronica Rossi did a fantastic job of bringing the world to life in Through the Ever Night. I loved the first book in the series, Under the Never Sky, but dang did I feel even more hooked and obsessed after this sequel!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I loved how much Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway made me laugh out loud while I was reading it. Audrey is a hilarious main character and her situation is a bit absurd, but that just made everything even more entertaining. And her parents? SPOT ON. Loved them!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Eleanor and Park (duh.) and If I Lie — buckets and buckets of tears, y’all.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin — the story is so beautiful and the friendship is so… real. I really swooned over the love between the two main characters and just didn’t want the story to end.

[ BLOGGING ]

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I really can’t keep track of who I started following and when, but Book Rock Betty certainly made me LOL a lot this year with so many clever posts. Jen at Pop Goes the Reader is such a lovely lady, and the design of her blog? Gorgeous. An awesome new friend is also Ashley at yAdult Review. Sometimes we bond over cereal. And Liz at Consumed by Books has got to be one of the sweetest, most supportive people out there.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?

My review of Golden by Jessi Kirby was fun to write (and I included some photos!) and I loved being able to review a whole series when I wrote my Ruby Oliver review.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

We’ve really been loving our personal posts — that we have an outlet to share and people who are so supportive and willing to offer advice/love/encouragement. Some of our favorites have been when I announced I was pregnant and when Estelle talked about the internet and friendships.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

This isn’t a book blog, but Estelle shared this article, I Can’t Do Everything, with me recently and it just really struck a chord. Who else feels like they need to be able to balance it all, wear multiple hats, and do it perfectly. Oh, you know, and save the world. Sigh.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I went to TLA in April and connected/roomed with some of my favorite Texas bloggers — Ginger, Lena, Jess, Sarah. I also volunteered as an event photographer for the Austin Teen Book Festival and nearly fell over from the awesome author lineup. (You can check out all the photos we photographers took throughout the day here.)

6. Best moment[s] of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Well, that will always and forever be anytime I got to spend with Estelle. We were so lucky to get to hang out twice and one of those times was during the HOT Texas summer. Did y’all know that we had never hung out during the summer before? Hence why we were always wearing winter coats/scarves in all of our other photos.

Estelle + Magan in DC

Hanging out in DC for brunch + book browsing!

Trying on sunglasses in Urban Outfitters!

Trying on sunglasses in Urban Outfitters!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My pregnancy post caused an enormous uproar in the comments section and my twitter feed. (Thank you all again for all the congratulations. I can’t believe it’s been so long since that post went live. How is Baby Blasig almost here?!) On a very different note, I loved being silly and hormonal when I wrote the PMS Survival Kit post.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

This is silly, but I really loved recommending children’s books in this holiday shopping guide. I know we’re not a children’s book blog, but the books are still super cute and of course, I always love more recommendations!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Ditto what Estelle said about LitLushes in her End of Year Survey. I have absolutely loved joining in on the twitter chats when I’m free. When I realize I missed them for whatever reason, I get SO upset! It’s always so nice to gush about books with fellow readers and get more recommendations.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I decreased my reading goal from what it originally was (I think 100 books). I set it at 75 and seriously, I’m finishing that book up right now. It definitely wasn’t the kind of reading year I anticipated for myself, but considering all the change that occurred this year, I’m pretty darn happy that I was still able to manage that.

[ THE FUTURE ]

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Hmm. There are a lot of books Estelle read and reviewed here at Rather Be Reading that I’d like to get to. One of those being Wild Awake, and another being Dangerous Girls.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (I’m sure you’re so surprised by this choice.) and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. This book is being published THREE DAYS before my due date. Who needs a scheduled induction when they have this book to look forward to?!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

My goal is to be able to balance being a mom to a newborn and my reading life. I don’t want that to completely go away. It’s been manageable with our foster daughter, but then again, we didn’t have her for the first seven months of her life. I really want to try to stay one step ahead and be better at planning (and following through with) reviews and other ideas. I feel like I really let go of wanting to review tons and tons of new books this year and became more satisfied than I was with reading what was on my own shelves; I need to keep that up because there are so many things here on my shelves I’d love to talk to you guys about.

♥

Estelle said it best in her survey, but I just want to reiterate how thankful we are for you guys. Thank you for loving books and for enjoying our posts. Thank you for your comments, your support, your tweets, your friendship. We wish you the happiest 2014 and hope that it’s incredibly fulfilling — both realistically and fictionally, of course!

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Magan’s May 12, 2013 Shelve It

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Surprise, surprise! I’m back with a vlog for this week’s Shelve It! It’s been a while, huh? I know — I’m sorry about that. There seems to rarely be quiet time to do a vlog with our baby girl happily crawling around everywhere. (But seriously — what a joy it is to have her!) I attended TLA a few weeks ago with my great friends Jess, Ginger, Lena, and Sarah. I was very intentional about selecting only books I am 100% interested in and did not want to walk away from the conference feeling greedy. What I’m showing you is what I got (aside from a few books Estelle will share with you that I got signed for her).

Happy watching!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQv8J6Cn87c&feature=youtu.be

For Review from TLA:

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols — July 16, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young — August 27, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle — June 4, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney — June 4, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney — September 3, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller — September 24, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story by Sonya Sones — August 27, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange — September 3, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott — August 27, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Fault Line by Christa Desir — November 12, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick — August 13, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen — June 4, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon

For Review (e-books):

shelve it - rainbow rowell and jennifer brown

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (!!!!) — September 10, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown — May 21, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon

Recently Purchased:

suzanne young books

The Program by Suzanne Young — April 30, 2013 — Goodreads | Amazon

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What Happened on the Blog:

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Have an awesome weekend! What books did you guys get?
Thanks for checking out this week’s Shelve It!