Monday, April 24, 2017

RocTBF2017: Books I Already Read

This will be my third year trying to read one book from each RocTBF author. I’m just dropping this little post as a shout out to the authors that I have already read who will be participating this year. I have discovered some awesome books. In fact, the reason I keep failing my own challenge is because I get caught up reading multiple books by the same author, rather than moving on down the list.

Previously Read
Any Strong Feelings?

"Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, book 1)""The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, book 2)" 
I talked about Book 1 for days.

"Fall From Grace" and "You".

Both books were awesome.

I think I don’t like this time period?

 "The Blood Between Us ""Cemetery Boys""Eighth Grade Bites” Books 1 – 5, I think
This is an author I go back and forth about.

"Undertow: Undertow Series (Book 1)"
"The Fairy-Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm”
Love both series so far.

 "Burned", Smoke
I was surprised at how much I loved Burned.

"Reality Boy""Ask the Passengers"
"Dust of 100 Dogs".
"I Crawl Through It"
Ask the Passengers was a must read. I Crawl Through it was SUPER confusing.

"Every Day" 
This is a wonderful book, but I’m scared to read the second one.

“A Court of Thorns and Roses”

"Dorothy Must Die” Trilogy
One of my favorite retellings.

"Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe" 
I didn’t love it as much as the internet told me I would. But I did like it a lot.

"Stuck in Neutral"
I was so pissed off about the ending!

Related Posts:  My Other Current Book Challenge

Friday, April 21, 2017

RocTBF2017 - Running Post

It’s an absolute travesty that I have yet to post about the 2017 Rochester Teen Book Festival. What is my life, yall?

RocTBF is an annual event focused on… yes… young adult literature. It’s grown into a massive event with over 2000 teens and 300 volunteers. This will be my fifth year volunteering I think.

So, for the last couple of years, I’ve tasked myself with having read at least one book by each author who will be there by the day of the festival. This can include books that I previously read. Ya know, the beauty of giving yourself a challenge is that you can basically change the rules when you realize that you were over- ambitious!

I’ve never actually met the goal completely,  though 2015 was NOT MY FAULT!!
So, this year, there are 28 (AAAHH) authors scheduled to attend. For the last couple of years, at least one or 2 authors have to cancel at that the last minute but you can’t predict who it’ll be! So... here's the running list/ progress:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What I've Been Reading (Outbox 4/03)

I started this post thinking that I was going to do a full March wrap-up post. But then I remembered that I did a random outbox post a couple of weeks ago. So, I guess this is just another one of those for the last part of March. Basically, my previous plan for what I usually post has gone to shit (and when was the last time I did one of my feature posts!?), but you'll have to just bear with me, folks. 

Once again, we've got a bit of book highlights and a bit of lamenting/ rejoicing about a show I'm in. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Tag: Broadway

Lookie what I found! A book tag based on musicals. Yep.  I guess these are like mini- Broadway to Book recommendations! DOUBLE WIN!
Book Tag created by Gabi and BooksABlog

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What I've Been Reading (Outbox March 22, 2017)

My outbox posts don’t usually span multiple months. I must be behind! Or ahead. Depending which month you are looking at… This is really the total books I’ve read between mid- January and now, because I basically did all Feature posts in February. I only did one review!

Despite all that, this one is going to be a quickie. Because I’ve got shit ta do!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

And I Call Myself a Book Blogger!?

Once again, Hobby 2 has interfered with Hobby 1. This is assuming that books are hobby 1 by default and seniority, because theatre is definitely bucking for the spot light based on time.

Sister Act through the Rochester Association of Performing Arts ran for the first two weekends in March, which means that the last two weeks of February were also a bust for anything resembling a normal life or book- reading and blogging. I didn't even do a February wrap up post! What kind of book blogger am I!?

I did finish a couple of audiobooks during commutes. I thoroughly enjoyed Alan Cumming's memoir, Not My Father's Son, about his adult- self remembering and then coming to terms with the abusive relationship he had with his father when he was a child. I always love when authors read their own books. 

The show was amazing, by the way. Here's some pics for your eyeballs' pleasure:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: Dr. Fell and the Playground of DOOM

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for being awesome. Also, I believe that Mr. Neilson was hoping for a review. Now, if you follow my periodic ramblings, you know that I decided not to accept review requests because I haven’t generally enjoyed the experience of “Reading on Demand.” But LOOK AT THIS BOOK!

Obviously I said yes.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Read Harder Roc - Poems in Translation

This month’s two Read Harder challenge reading categories were A Book about Poetry Written in Translation on a Theme Other than Love and A Book You’ve Read Before.This post is about the poetry. We had estimated that this would be a harder category for most people, based on our own feelings about poetry, and we were right! 

So, all the members of the Read Harder Roc group had a hard time with the poetry. It was kind of difficult to find something in this unfamiliar genre, especially given the very specific kind of poetry that we needed. The librarian at one of my local libraries just pointed me to the poetry section and told me to "see what I could find." Nothing. I found nothing that day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Read Header Roc: A ReRead

This month’s two Read Harder reading categories were A Book about Poetry Written in Translation on a Theme Other than Love and A Book You’ve Read Before. This post is about the rereads. This was considered an "easy" task and based on the group, we were right! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would, if I have an opinion about a book before I read it, I will almost always like it less than I think I will. I try to avoid as much information about a book as possible, except for possibly a brief summary (like on the book jacket). This is why I get so pissed when the story turns out to be nothing like the summary! But, anyhoo…

Here are 10 books that failed to live up to my own mental – hype. Note: Book cover pics were found on the internet and link to the book's goodreads page.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Broadway to Books - Wizard of Oz

Welcome to my first Broadway to Books post of 2017. Wow. That makes me feel like a slacker! It’s already the middle of February. Ah, well. Life. AmIRight?

Today we (The Royal We) are thinking about a little Musical Magic called The Wizard of Oz, which should not be confused with that popular musical based on a Wizard of Oz retelling. See my Broadway to Books post for Wicked (one of my favorites!) here.

Let’s jump right in.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


This post was going to be a review for The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid but then turned into a rant about the quarterly YA box I can’t seem to get rid of.

The Diabolic has been on my shelf for almost a year, I think. I received it in the first Quarterly.Co YA book box, a subscription that replaced the previous YA book box from Book Riot. I was planning to cancel my subscription, anyway, because I prefer to get the stuff in boxes rather than the books in boxes. But when Book Riot announced their subscription was coming to an end anyway, I figured I’d let it ride for the last two and that would be that. But apparently they started a new YA box several months later and signed me up for the new product automatically. Obviously, that is bullshit and I was ENRAGED, but not so enraged that I went through the trouble of cancelling the damn subscription. Because, as usual, figuring out how to get out of things on the internet was much harder than getting in to it in the first place. I just got the 3rd box, that’s how my efforts went. I’ve attempted to have my password reset a few times and nothing!

Now, I love book mail and this box subscription usually comes with a couple of books and a couple of bookish items. It’s curated by the author of the featured book. HERE’s THE PROBLEM:

Yes, those are sticky notes stuck into places in the book with notes from the author about inspiration or thoughts or whatever. I’m sure that I am not alone in this torn rollercoaster featuring the primary emotional poles of 1)COOL and 2) HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO READ THIS!? Obviously, I’m not going to take the stickies out of the book. Am I wrong in this? The stickies are now part of the book, amIRight?

So here’s what I did; I borrowed the damn book from the library. Once I read it, it was neat to go back and look at the comments from the author. And, since I liked the book, the book is a neat item to have. But the whole thing has renewed my motivation to cancel this damn subscription.

The other two books I have that will be super cool to own AFTER I read a different copy of the book are: A World without You by Beth Revis and The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles. Both sound great. I may never know.

Two Asides:

I enjoyed The Diabolic. The concept is interesting though the story is fairly predictable. I may be reading too many of this kind of book all at once, though.

I currently have a subscription to the Bookish Box from Appraising Pages and I mostly love it. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Series Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

I surrendered a large chunk of my life to this series based on the recommendation of a twitter friend. I told him that whether or not I liked this book was going to determine if he was trustworthy forever. That’s kind of how book recommendations go, right? Super important, people! Don't be that person who recommends crappy books. 

Anyway, the series in question is The Passage by Justin Cronin. The final book dropped in May 2016, illustrating how important it is to read series after they are finished if you don’t want to wait the lifetime of a child to finish a story! I mean, really! I don’t have that kind of long- term attention span.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Ember in the Ashes is awesome, but let me not get ahead of myself . I got this book from the library and I think it was my final read of 2016. 

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, it’s most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Two Cents:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine's Day Giveaway (Blog Hop)

We're spreading some Valentine's Day love with a giveaway full of chocolate, books, and pretty things! 
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter then hit the comments and tell us about something YOU love. Your favorite author, book, or blog. Tell us about your true love, your kids, your best friend or your pets. Anything you love. We want to hear about what makes your heart full or just makes you smile.
Enter the Giveaway!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Wrap Up - Three Excellent YAs

I’m exhausted right now. But, I have to wait for my daughter to get out of rehearsal, anyway so I might as well tell you why by Book January sucked so hard.

First off, I have only completed 6 books this month, three since the outbox post a couple of weeks ago. This isn’t really a low number and I would never think this isn’t “Enough” books. It’s just well below by average for the last couple of years. However, I’m trying to take it easy on myself and switch my way of thinking about THE NUMBER. My goal is to read fewer books more mindfully this year. My guess is that the goal will wax and wane like so many others.

All three of these books earn a We Need Diverse Books badge!! Whoot whoot! Here's what I've read:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Read Harder - ROC: A Book about War

Last week was the first meeting for the Read Harder Rochester book group! We had four whole people show up! Whoott!!

The group is new and each month we plan to get together to talk about two tasks from the challenge. This month’s categories up for discussion were: A Book about War and A LGBTQ Romance. This post is about the former.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Read Harder - Roc: An LGBTQ Romance

Last week was the first meeting for the Read Harder Rochester book group! We had four whole people show up! Whoott!!

This month’s categories up for discussion were: A Book about War and A LGBTQ Romance. This post is about the latter.
 An interesting point that came up doing the discussion about this category is that all members agreed that it would be important, moving forward, to choose books in the “diversity” categories that were written by authors from the under-represented group. Not all of our books this time reflect this approach and the readers could tell that an "insider" voice would probably have been better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Read Harder 2017: Running Post

Last year I did a bunch of reading challenges and have since decided that keeping up with them was too much of a chore. I do plan to do a few Readathons throughout the year but Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge is the only reading challenge that I’ve officially decided to do for 2017, though Book Riot recently posted the 59 Book Fandom reading challenge that I might check in with unofficially and I haven't decided about participating in the Review Diverse Books challenge, yet. As a blogging challenge specifically, that one would be a new thing for me. Appealing or terrifying? Hard to say!

Anyway, theoretically, this post will be my running list of books that I read to complete the challenge. I've paricipated the last three years, failing by two categories (THE HARD ONES!) each time. This year, I've teamed up with other local readers to meet each month to talk about two categories to encourage me to get those books read. 

Here's the official Book Riot Link

Here's the PDF you can download to play along

Sarah (over at Sarah Says Read) and I went through the the 24 tasks and paired them based on "easiness." Hard tasks were basically those that might require more research to know if it will work, be harder to find, or have more difficult content. We tried to pair each hard task with an "easy" task and put all the hard tasks earlier in the year. Here's how it came out and my running log:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Outbox: Mid- January - Slowing Down and Abandoning Books

I’m still trying to move away from the book- sprint mentality, this urgency to read books quickly that sometimes gets in the way of fully engaging in a book. This is especially a problem with longer books, because I start to feel that the book is taking up too much time. But really. There is no prize for reading the most books… I mean, not any prizes that I am actually competing for.

But still. It feels weird to say that I have only completed three books for January so far. WTF!? What a slacker! Also, though, Sister Act rehearsals have started, which cuts into my reading time. I have also put two books back on my To-Read shelf. Not finishing books that I’m not feeling is something I am trying to let myself do more often. The two books I abandoned this month seem like really good books. Really. It's me, not them. 

So here’s a book update for January so far: The Read, The Abandoned, and the Currently Reading.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Broadway to Books: Matilda

This post was originally part of a larger post published over at Book Bloggers International on July 25, 2016.

Broadway to Books is a (possibly) unique feature that I do that I originated as a guest post (linked above) that was way too long and involved. I have pared it down and am hoping to make it a regular thing. Without further fondue...

Theme: Girls overcoming hard situations and finding their strength (especially against jerk adults)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Tag: Mary Poppins

Alrighty, the book tweep behind Let’sBook About It created this Mary Poppins book tag. Y’all! MARY FRICKING POPPINS! So, obviously, not only am I doing the tag but I will be incorporating asides from my time as a member of the ensemble in Mary Poppins the Musical that I was in in 2015. That’s right. I do not let the opportunity to talk about a show pass me up… no, siree.

The questions include facts about the book and the movie, BTW. LesGo.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Clear A Shelf Wrapup and December Outbox

It’s hard to believe that it is 2017. My guess is that it feels a lot like 2016. Here’s hoping that we aren’t embarking on the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. I will be honest, though. If the dystopian future is about to happen, I am definitely going to be part of the over- controlled (but possibly rebellious) group within the walls who have electricity and central heating. I ain’t gonna lie. I don’t like temporary camping. I definitely wouldn’t survive as a member of the Resistance holed up in the woods.


We all know that outbox posts are harder if they cover the whole month. And, yet, of all the posts I did in December, none of them were outbox posts. Welp. And because I don’t want to do a separate post for the Clear A Shelf challenge, I’m smooshing that in here, too!

Here are the highlights for the month.