Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! To help celebrate today I am going to recommend some of my favorite books that are red, white, and blue.


  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Come on, you had to be expecting this one from me *wink wink* One of my all time favorites. Time travel, romance, history, 16th century Scotland…  What more could you ask for?
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Travel to the land of Weep with Lazlo Strange and experience this new world right alongside a sheltered librarian eager for adventure!
  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner – I love this man’s writing. He just has a way of speaking to your soul. This book will make you cry so make sure you have some tissues on hand when you read it if you haven’t already.
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – Powerful World War II story about three people from different backgrounds working together to gain freedom.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Beautiful writing and storytelling. I was never a fan of the circus until I read this book and then I found myself DYING to see this magical circus.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Seriously awesome fantasy about alternate versions of London. Kickass characters, especially the spunky Lila Bard.
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – Gorgeous retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. This one will really tug at your heart strings.
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Easily one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year! Faeries, both evil and good, including an adorable little guy name Oak.
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Exciting urban fantasy complete with a criminal underworld filled with clairvoyants, including Paige Mahoney.
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – And of course, my other love, Nevernight! I can barely sum up my feelings about this book in a couple of sentences so just read my 5 star review here.

Have fun out there today everyone! Be safe and stay hydrated! Looks like it’s going to be a scorcher.

Monday Update

Hey everyone! Things have been pretty crazy lately. My brother-in-law was in a motorcycle accident earlier this month so we’ve been pretty worried about him. He’s doing okay now and recuperating at the family farm where his grandma is around to help out. I was also sick and am still getting over that so I haven’t been reading very much lately so I haven’t had a lot to post about.  Within the last week I finished reading two books though so things are looking up!

25332115The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner was my first book completed for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. It is a memoir written by a woman who grew up in a polygamist colony in Mexico that was started by her father. Her father died when she was a baby so she grew up with a creep of a stepfather who repeatedly molested her from a young age among other things. I had a hard time not throwing the book across the room most times I was reading. It was such a dark and tragic read that it was really hard to read it for long periods of time.

32895291Next I read The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. Total coincidence that their names are so similar haha! The Lying Game is a mystery taking place in England involving a group of girls who became friends at boarding school and something very dark happened causing them to be removed from the school and sent their separate ways. There were times when I really enjoyed reading it and times I was a little bored. Once the twists and reveals started happening, I was hooked though. This was my third book written by Ruth Ware and she is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I’m really looking forward to reading her latest which is supposed to be fantastic – The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

I recently got a couple ARCs so I’m going to take a little step away from the 20 Books of Summer challenge TBR to read those.  One of the ARCs is actually the third book in a trilogy which I didn’t realize until I looked it up on Goodreads. So unfortunately I need to read books 1 & 2 before I can start the ARC. It’s a series of historical fiction taking place in Ireland. I adore Ireland so I’m really excited to read this trilogy.  Book one is called The Irish Girl. Luckily for me, it was only $1.99 on Kindle. I have book 2 on hold at my library.

What have you been reading lately?



Bout of Books 22 Sign-Up


It’s almost time for the next round of Bout of Books! I am really excited for another readathon!

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

I’m already starting to think about the books I want to read but will post a loose TBR and goals as we get closer to the start.

Are you planning on participating in Bout of Books?

I’m Back!

Hey everyone! Long time no see! I really thought that my last post back in February would have been my last.  Blogging had felt more and more like a chore between trying to post often enough and reading review copies.  I felt bogged down and had decided to call it quits.  But, maybe all I needed was a nice, long hiatus!  Because at least once a week for the past few weeks I’ve been itching to post again.  It feels good to WANT to post again!  I’m going to take it easy, and only post when I feel like it so I may not be as active as I was before but I’m really looking forward to coming back here and there.  I also will probably add in non-bookish posts… general life happenings, etc. I just want to have fun with it again.

So what have I been up to while I’ve been away from the blog?  As I have mentioned before, my husband and I bought my parents’ house where I grew up from 7th grade on.  We had been living there in the basement while my parents still lived there since August but my parents moved out in March! So we have been gradually changing things here and there, making the house our own.  Painting rooms, adding some new furniture pieces, and changing up rooms.  One thing I am still geeking out over is that I was finally able to get my new bookshelves and have my own personal library room!  I got 5 white BILLY shelves from Ikea to have a full wall of shelves.  They make me so ridiculously happy and I will sometimes just sit in that room, staring at my shelves.  I optimistically had hoped I would have plenty of leftover room to display some of my favorite book covers, but I ended up running out of room completely! I am planning on doing a pretty big book unhaul soon so hopefully that will help.  Who wants to see a bookshelf/library tour after my unhaul?


In other bookish news, I participated in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon over the weekend.  Of course, as it always seems to happen on scheduled readathon days, we had some kind of last minute plans with friends for a fun night out so I didn’t get to read as much as I was hoping to. But I had a great time out with our friends and still managed to fit in 8.5 hours of reading!  I read a total of 1,025 pages between 6 different books.  I started off finishing the last 107 pages of The Well of Ascension (which was awesome) and then moved on to some shorter books and graphic novels.  I finally got around to reading Saga vol. 1 and it was absolutely 100% worth the hype! I can’t wait to read the rest of the available volumes soon.


I’m really looking forward to getting back into the blog.  Coming up in 2 weeks is the next round of Bout of Books so I am really excited to participate in that.  I’m already starting to think about the books I want to read during that week.

So what has everyone been reading lately?

In Which I Bid You A Fond Farewell

Hello everyone!  After much deliberation off and on over the past year, I have finally come to the decision to end my book blogging career.  I have had a great 3.5 years talking about books and making new friends in the bookish and blogging community but the past year just hasn’t felt the same.  Blogging has become more of a dreaded chore for me with each passing day.  Between trying to come up with new posts and review copy deadlines, I’ve been stressing out on something that used to bring me joy.  I’ve tried to take a more laid back approach but that just hasn’t been working either.  One of my goals for myself this year was to let go of any unnecessary stress and unfortunately I have realized that blogging falls under that category for me.  I will also no longer be posting on my bookstagram account, @thewornbookmark for the same reasons.

However, I am not going away completely! You can still find me on Goodreads and my personal Instagram @pennma05!  I would love to stay in communication with you all so feel free to follow and chat me up over at those two places.  I will also still be updating my reading around the world map so you can still keep up with all the different places I’m reading about if you’re interested.

In closing, I would like to thank all of the people who have been following my blog over the last 3.5 years! You guys have been amazing. When I started this blog I never even thought I would have 100 followers let alone over 900!  I would like to offer some book blogger suggestions that I have really enjoyed following and talking to over the years.

Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm

Tricia @ Bookworm Coalition

Brandie @ Running on Words and Wine

Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse

Haley @ I Lay Reading

Yvo @ It’s All About Books

Kelsey @ Darcy’s Book Blog

Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense

Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle

Farewell everyone! Happy reading! And remember to look me up on Goodreads and my personal Instagram if you haven’t already 🙂