Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Books Read in 2017!

I read so many good books this year so it was kind of hard to choose just 10 so I did include a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list.

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  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  • Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Renegade Red by Lauren Bird Horowitz

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  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Honorable Mentions:

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  • F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

What were some of your favorites that you read this year?

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Life Update

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile, I know! I’ve had a busy year and the last couple of months have been pretty hectic and stressful (but also exciting) so my blog has taken the backseat for awhile.  I’ll still be dealing with some craziness for the rest of the year but I’m hoping to be a little more active than I have been seeing as how my last post was almost a month ago.  So I just wanted to take the time to fill you in a little bit on why I’ve been MIA and what I’ve been up to lately on the reading front and other areas.

So I may have mentioned before that my husband and I listed our townhouse for sale back in August… Well, here we are now with a buyer a little less than a month from our closing date! It’s a little bittersweet because while it wasn’t the first place we lived together in, it was the first place we owned.  But we are moving on to bigger and better things. We are actually purchasing the house I grew up in from 7th grade on from my parents who are starting to transition towards retirement.  Since I have lived in that house for most of my life, I have a lot of memories there so I’m really looking forward to continuing my life there and making many more memories there.  If all goes according to plan, we will be the new owners of the house a few days after we close on our townhouse.

One thing I always loved about this house was my room in the basement.  When they bought the house, the basement was unfinished so I was originally in a bedroom upstairs but as they gradually started finishing the basement, I moved to the basement.  I lived down there when the walls were just studs and a big black tarp haha.  But I loved it down there. I had to briefly move back upstairs during my junior year of high school while my dad worked to get the drywall put up.  Once the drywall was up and I could move back down, they let me choose my paint colors.  I couldn’t choose just one color so my mom and I came up with a fun plan to fit in the 4 colors I had chosen – blue, green, orange, and yellow.  The interior of my closet was a bright sunshine yellow, and the walls of my room  were blue in the center with zig-zagged corners that alternated orange and lime green.  What can I say, I loved bright colors! 🙂  I also quickly filled up my walls with posters from Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even Seth Cohen from The OC.  My mom wanted to make me a special quilt where I got to choose the colors… and I think she may have regretted that because I asked for the full spectrum of colors! She enlisted my aunt, a master quilter, for help and the resulting product is one of my favorite things ever.  I filled my room with hand-me-down bookshelves, a giant filing cabinet I used to store my plethora of movies and TV seasons, a comfy orange hand-me-down chair, etc. I took that room and made it 1000% my own. Anyways, this room is going to be mine once more and I couldn’t be happier! Currently it has a bunch of my parents’ stuff still in it but the hubs and I have each claimed a corner of the room for our computer setups and eventually after my parents move out, his setup will be moving into the next room over which is currently our jam packed bedroom while we are co-habitating with my parents.  So I will once again get to make that room my own.  I may not go as far as I did as a teenager, but I’m really looking forward to getting some new bookshelves to fulfill my dream of having a wall of books and put up some of the bookish art and other things I have accumulated over the years.  It’s going to be a really cozy setup and I can’t wait to get it more in order. (And yes, my door was a Spongebob Squarepants bedsheet turned into a curtain haha!)

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This past weekend I was finally able to get my desktop computer all set up.  I’ve missed it so much as I haven’t been able to use it since July.  I’ve moved three of my several bookshelves in there so far but that’s all I will be able to fit until the transition is complete. And then I want to start replacing my mismatched hand-me-downs with some better shelves. As you can see in this next photo, my parents had painted over my bright colors with a boring beige. So that will be one of the first things to go lol. Picture_20171106_200614664

On the reading front, I’ve actually been in a bit of a slump lately so I haven’t been doing much reading at all.  Also doesn’t help that with everything going on I haven’t been in the mood to concentrate on anything so I’ve been watching a lot of TV in my spare time.  I binge watched all available episodes of Nashville over the past month.  I think I have also burned myself out on review copies which is why I am slightly behind on mine. I also think that was part of the reason why I ended up DNFing All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I could not get into that one at all but I don’t know if it was because of my burn out or because I didn’t like the story so I may try it again later on down the road.  I listened to the audiobook for A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I read it in print two years ago and haven’t finished the trilogy so I wanted a refresher before continuing on with the books.  I also wanted to re-read it since they are currently filming the tv adaptation starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer.  I’m really excited to see how that turns out.  I started reading the second book, Shadow of Night, but haven’t gotten very far yet. I’ve also been carrying around an ARC of Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller in the hopes that I would get in the mood to read again.  On the way home from work yesterday I was hit with the desire to open the book and give it a shot.  I’m a little under 30 pages into it and so far I am really intrigued.  This one has gotten some mixed reviews so I’ll be interested to see how the rest of it goes.

I did plan on discussing my future plans for the blog but this post is already longer than I had anticipated so I will end it here and you can look forward to another post down the road about my plans.

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends (Which characters do you have crushes on?).


Jamie Fraser (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)10964

The Darkling (Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo)10194157

Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)1885

Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas) 16096824

Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor)8490112

Lazlo Strange (Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor) 29748925

Jon Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)
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Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery)814060

Perrin Aybara (The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan)893760

Rowan Whitethorn (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)23847976


Who are some of your fictional character crushes?

Month(s) In Review: June, July 2017

monthinreviewIt’s finally August and that means we are one step closer to my favorite season!  I’m so excited for fall.  It’s been an especially hot and humid summer up here in Minnesota so I am beyond ready for a cool and crisp fall.  As I was preparing my July recap, I realized I never posted one for June so today you get a combo.  We have been really busy lately with packing and preparing our townhouse to put up for sale.  We are finally to the point where we’ll be meeting with a realtor next week to go over pricing and officially moving out.  I’m excited but also really stressed out.  So I haven’t had as much free time to read lately but I still am pretty happy with what I was able to read.

In June I read and LOVED Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.  My review will be releasing early next week so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!  It was absolutely amazing.  Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was another 5 star read for me.  I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time so I’m glad I was finally able to. And the hype did not disappoint at all!

# Books Read in June:  7

# Pages Read in June: 2,022

Books Read in June:

  • The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher
  • Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
  • Everland by Wendy Spinale
  • No Ordinary Star by MC Frank
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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In July I ended up reading a lot of ARCs and review copies.  I ended up adding another book to my DNF list but that’s okay.  Little Monsters by Kara Thomas was such a great psychological thriller!  I also loved Tarryn Fisher’s latest release, Atheists Who Kneel And Pray.  I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Invictus by Ryan Graudin and completely loved it.  Time travel and diverse group of characters including a red panda… Yes!

# Books Read in July:  8 (including 1 DNF)

# Pages Read in July: 2,674

# Books Read in 2017: 62 (including 4 DNF)

# Pages Read in 2017: 24,948 (including audiobooks)

Books Read in July:

  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
  • Into The Water by Paula Hawkins
  • The Heirs by Susan Riegler (DNF)
  • Atheists Who Kneel And Pray by Tarry Fisher
  • The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech
  • Sleep Like A Baby by Charlaine Harris
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin
  • Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

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As far as book hauls go, I got a ridiculous amount of books over the last couple of months.  I’m sure there are even some that I’ve forgotten about.

  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry (BOTM box)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (BOTM box)
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (BOTM box)
  • All The Crooked Saints (ARC) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  • Homecoming (The 100 #3) by Kass Morgan
  • Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson
  • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
  • The Heirs by Susan Riegler (review copy)
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
  • Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
  • The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
  • Strange the Dreamer (US ARC) by Laini Taylor
  • Queen of Swords by Sara Donati
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephensen
  • Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech (review copy)
  • Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
  • In A Handful Of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
  • Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
  • Midnight In Austenland by Shannon Hale
  • Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes
  • The Furies by Mark Alpert
  • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • The Shore by Sara Taylor
  • The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  • Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White (signed)
  • Little Monsters (ARC) by Kara Thomas
  • American Fire by Monica Hesse (BOTM box)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (BOTM box)
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (signed)
  • A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
  • Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Devil’s Advocate (The X-Files Origins #2) by Jonathan Maberry
  • Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
  • Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
  • Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
  • Unmarked by Kami Garcia
  • Kingsman: Secret Service (graphic novel)
  • Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen (graphic novel)
  • Tomb Raider: Secrets and Lies (graphic novel)
  • Tomb Raider: Season of the Witch (graphic novel)
  • The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
  • The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (LitJoy Crate)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
  • The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (The Bookish Box)

What have you been reading lately?

Reading Update

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted so I thought I would do an update post for you today.  I’ve been reading some great stuff lately so I’ve been pretty excited about that.  Lately I have been trrying to get caught up on review copies so I can fully dive in to my Outlander series re-read.

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So as you may have seen in my last post, I recently read and reviewed Little Monsters by Kara Thomas.  It was so good!! I preordered it before I was even halfway through because I was hooked.

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After that I read and enjoyed Into The Water by Paula Hawkins.  It was a good mystery and I had fun making theories and seeing which ones were right.  The last chapter totally threw me for a loop!

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Next up, I started my review copy of The Heirs by Susan Riegler but it was really not my thing so I ended up DNFing it.  It just felt like a dull family history of a wealthy New York family and I just didn’t feel connected in any way to the story or characters.

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I then started another review copy I received called The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech.  I’m a fan of country music so I really liked reading this one.  I love the two main characters and totally shipped them hard.  I just finished it last night before bed and it almost made me cry a few times.

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Thursday night I got super excited that Tarryn Fisher’s latest novel, Atheists Who Kneel and Pray, was published!  I snatched that one up instantly and started it on Friday.  It was so good that I ended up staying up super late on Saturday night to finish it.

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Last week I received a review copy of Sleep Like A Baby (book 10 of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries series) by Charlaine Harris.  I read the entire series (books 1-9) last year and was super excited when the publisher approached me about reading book 10.  I started reading that one this morning on my commute in to work.

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Next up I have two more review copies and then I should be free and clear to start my Outlander series re-read.  I was so excited when Invictus by Ryan Graudin was available as read now on NetGalley for the first 500 people.  I’m looking forward to starting that one next.  Then I will be reading Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang.

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With my Outlander series re-read, I’m really hoping I will be able to read through Voyager (book 3) before season 3 starts in September.  Yesterday I saw the new cover of the TV tie-in and it’s my new favorite new image of Jamie and Claire so I had to preorder a copy from Diana Gabaldon’s local bookshop down in AZ.  The new tie-in edition releases August 15th.

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I’m also planning on joining in on the Plenty of Hobb readalong that starts August 1st.  I’ve never read any books by Robin Hobb but have heard so many great things about them so I’m excited to join in.  If you’re interested in joining, click the above link to check out the readalong schedule.  The readalong follows The Realm of the Elderlings as shown above, one book per month.  So starting with Assassin’s Apprentice on August 1st.  I’m going to do my best to keep up with this readalong but I’m not going to push myself too hard.


So that’s what I’ve been reading lately!