TBR

Renegade Red Covers Revealed!

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*Want to look closer? Check out the large-size cover graphics at the end of this post.

RENEGADE RED REVEALED!

RENEGADE RED, the sequel to the award-winning novel SHATTERED BLUE will be available in THREE special edition covers, in both Hardcover and Paperback, in March 2017! Distribution from online sites and into bookstores will be random, so you have a chance to collect them all— the POET EDITION, the WARRIOR EDITION, and the very exclusive TRAVELER EDITION. Happy hunting, and learn more at LaurenBirdHorowitz.com!

Featured in USA TODAY!

Join Lauren and Zoe Cope, the designer of all three covers, for a live Twitter chat at 10am PST/1pm EST Thursday 9/22. (Just click on the image below)

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Recapping Reads: June in Review

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Unfortunately I didn’t get around do writing many posts in June, but I did manage to get a lot of reading done. In fact, I even managed to stick to my summer reading goal for the month, which was pretty surprising even to me since I started the month without about 2 or 3 other books that I needed to finish before I even started on my summer reading. (Also, I rarely ever stick to a reading list this closely, so this is probably already the most successful I’ve ever been with a summer reading list).

June just seemed to fly by. I have several books I intended to review here, but somehow it’s now almost July and I still haven’t posted those reviews. I’m hoping next month I can balance my time more between reading and posting.

Books Read in June:

JuneReads

  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson – This was the May selection for Our Shared Shelf, though I didn’t finish it until June.
  • Wool by Hugh Howey– This was the June selection for Watch the Skies.
  • Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison – One that had been on my TBR for a long time, then my boyfriend insisted I finally read it. I’m glad he did.
  • Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Backman– Review to Come. I requested this on a whim, not having read any of his other books and thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware– I loved last summer’s In a Dark, Dark Wood and while this year’s follow up didn’t quite meet my expectations, it was still a pretty good read.
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah– I loved this novel more than I expected and it had a lot more feels than I was expecting.
  • The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes– I love her style of writing and this novel sucked me in almost immediately.
  • Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews– Not my typical type of book, and it took me a while to really get into it, but it was a lot of fun once I did.

Currently Reading:

JuneCurrent

  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty– I’ve been curious about her books for a long time.
  • The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin– The synopsis of this book intrigued me and it’s been sitting in my TBR for months.
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – I feel like I’ve been reading this for months. I enjoy it, it’s just that I keep focusing on other books instead of finishing this one.

Reading List for July:

  • Summer Reading-JulyThe Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry – I loved The Lace Reader and I also have an ARC for her next book, but wanted to read this first.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Surprisingly, I have never read this classic.
  • Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews – I picked this up because it sounded fun and went with my Summer Reading theme of lighter, fun books.
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – I’ve been wanting to read this book for years. Hopefully it doesn’t let me down.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Another classic that I’ve never read but am looking forward to finally getting to it.
  • Beach Music by Pat Conroy – I read a random comment in another review, article or comment (I can’t even remember now) about how good this book was and have been curious about it ever since.

Hopefully I’m as successful with my July reading list as I was with June! I’ve also picked up a couple ARCs in the last few weeks that I’d love to get to if I have time to squeeze them into my reading schedule.

What’s your favorite summer read so far?

 

Summertime = Summer Reading Lists

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Summer Reading2016Ever since I was in high school, every summer I would create a list of the books I was looking forward to reading once I had free time and could read whatever I chose (instead of what was assigned to me). More recently, I’ve discovered that creating those lists on a month basis helps me to (most of the time) actually read what I plan on reading and not get too distracted by shiny new books (but let’s admit, we all get distracted by shiny new books…)

My reading has been a little touch and go lately. At the end of May I discovered that I was still reading the same books I had started the month reading, and hadn’t actually finished anything. Part of that is because May was a busy month for me and I didn’t get a lot of time to read. But I think part of that is also because I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. I (like many readers) have a tendency to gravitate toward certain types of books. For me, it’s usually scifi/fantasy books and books that tend to be really dramatic and serious. So for this year’s summer reading list I decided to change things up a little and try something new.

When I first started thinking about my summer reading list and what I wanted to do differently my first thought was to try to be more intentional about reading more women writers. And then I thought about all my favorite authors: Tana French, Gillian Flynn, Jen Lancaster, J.K. Rowling … the majority of the authors I read and love on a regular basis – those whose books I look forward to being published – are women. Of my favorite authors I could only actually think of two men whom I consider favorites: Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher.

That’s when I realized that while I read a lot of books written by women, I don’t read a lot of books about women. At least, not everyday women and their lives. I’ve always shied away from the “popular women’s fiction” thinking it wasn’t something I’d ever be interested in – I couldn’t care less what Shopaholic is up to now. However, when I thought about this habit (or lack of, as the case may be) in my reading and my desire to try to work a little bit more lighter, fun beach reading type books into my summer reading list, I came up with quite a few ideas on how to shape my summer reading list.

This list is definitely different from my previous summer reading lists, and contains several books that in the past I may not have even considered reading, but I’m looking forward to all of them. The list is a little ambitious, but we’ll see how well I do (I even have a few alternates if I seem to be reading ahead of schedule). And in my mildly OCD nature, I also grouped them by month in which I hope to have them read. (August is primarily ARCs in anticipation of ARC August).

June:

July:

August:

So there is my overly-ambitious Summer Reading list, which is sure to be interrupted by book clubs, new releases, and who knows what else (I think I’ve managed to get through about half of last year’s summer reading though it took me all year to do it). What books are you planning to read this summer? Are you trying anything new?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR

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Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List. As always there are way more than 10 books on my current TBR list (more like 10 times 10) but I’m going to try to list the 10 that I am most interested in reading as soon as possible. Then, maybe since I’ve listed it here for you all to see I’ll actually stick to the list and read all these books this spring.

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List:

Spring TBR

  1. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read this book for over a year and I finally picked up a copy last month.
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This would actually be a reread for me. I read this book years ago and absolutely loved it. I’m excited it was chosen for my book club’s April meeting as I love having an excuse to read it again.
  3. Night Study by Maria V. Snyder – I am actually surprised I haven’t yet read this book, as I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release for over a year now. I love everything Snyder has written, especially the Study series. After the way Shadow Study ended, I can’t wait to see what happens next for Yelena and Valek.
  4. All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks – This is the March book selection for Emma Watson’s book club. I love that this book club is getting me to step out of my comfort zone and read titles that I might not have considered otherwise.
  5. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin – This novel sounded really interesting, so I was excited when a free finished copy was sent to the bookstore and I was allowed to claim it. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
  6. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle – The ARC for this has been sitting on my TBR pile for months and I meant to get to it before Christmas, but then I got super distracted and barely read anything for two months. Hopefully I’ll be getting to this one soon.
  7. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – I didn’t love the first book of this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I am still curious about the series. I’m hoping that all the setup in the first novel means that the second one will be a lot more interesting.
  8. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston – I helped a customer find this book at the bookstore one day and it piqued my interest. Since then I found it in a used bookstore and couldn’t resist picking up a copy.
  9. Tell The Wind and Fire by Sara Rees Brennan – I received this ARC about a month or so ago and it sounds really interesting. I wanted to get to it right away, but naturally it’s been sitting in a pile. I’m hoping to get to it very soon.
  10. The Widow by Fiona Barton – This ARC arrived just before Christmas and I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. The comparisons to The Girl on a Train makes me nervous, because I really didn’t like that novel, but it still sounds interesting enough that I’d like to give it a chance.

So there is my Spring TBR list, as it stands right now. I have no doubt that it will change – books will be added, removed, replaced, etc. However, for the time being I intend to try to read these 10 books by the end of Spring (in addition to the four books I am currently in the middle of reading at the moment). Even now I can think of at least 2 or 3 books that I will likely be adding to this list.

Which of these books needs to be immediately bumped to the top of my list? Are there any that you don’t see, which you think I should add? What books are on your Spring TBR list?

Introducing Notes from the Bottom Shelf

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Notes from Bottom Shelf

As I’m sure most of you have already surmised, I am a HUGE book nerd. Along with that, I am also a huge hoarder of books. I can’t resist a good deal, so if I find a book I think I might want to read at a reasonable price I’ll buy it. I also have a really bad habit of just buying books that sound interesting, whether or not I’ll be able to read them any time soon. As you can probably imagine, this has led to a rather large number of books occupying my TBR shelf next to my bed – so large in fact that there are actually multiple stacks of books there as well; my TBR pile has long since outgrown the actual shelf.

Recently I looked through some of my books on and around that shelf and discovered there that there are a lot of really interesting books that I’ve been wanting to read forever, I just haven’t gotten around to it as other books get in the way. Therefore, I’ve created a new blog feature to try to accommodate these books that I would really like to read.

Each month I am going to attempt to read at least one book that’s been sitting in that TBR pile. Hopefully, in time, I will be able to cut the pile down to a more manageable size (or at the very least, maybe the number I read can catch up to the number I buy). This feature will be aptly titled “Notes From the Bottom Shelf” as I slowly try to work my way through those books. I’m not sure if I’ll do full length reviews of each one, or mini-reviews, since these are all books that have been around for several years (at least). It’ll depend on my thoughts and feelings on the books as I read through them.

I’ll also be making an attempt to curb my book purchases in the future, so I can focus on ARCs and books I already own, but that is definitely something that is easier said than done (as any bibliophile knows). Starting this month I am going to try very hard to only purchase a book if it meets one of two criteria: 1) I will be reading it right away (and not simply adding it to my pile) or 2) It is a book that was selected for my book club to read. If I can stick to this plan, then perhaps the exponential growth of my TBR pile will slow to a more manageable pace. (At least until library sale season hits.)

I am also going to start making attempts to borrow books from our local library instead of just outright buying them. I honestly can’t remember the last time I took a book out of the library just to read – usually I only use them for research purposes. However, my budget is becoming tighter as my piles of unread books grow, so I think maybe taking books out of the library will help solve two problems. It’ll save me some money and stop me from adding books to my piles. Even though I haven’t used libraries often, I am a big believer in the necessity for local libraries, so this will also be showing them support.

So there’s my plan. Hopefully I can stick to it long enough to at least make it a habit, and hopefully you’ll see my first real “Notes From the Bottom Shelf” post in a couple weeks.