Thursday, January 7, 2021

Announcing the February Round of Witchy Readathon! Info and Sign Up Post


Happy New Year! I'm excited to be hosting a yearlong reading challenge called the WitchyYear Reading Challenge. However, I'm feeling a bit romantic at the beginning of this year. I will be hosting the next round of WitchyReadathon in February and it will have the optional theme of Love is Magic. The readathon will last the entire month of February.

This readathon is also unique because it includs fiction and nonfiction books. (I know some of you may be saying wait, there's nonfiction books about witchcraft? Yes there is! You can see my top ten favorites here!) 

The readathon will have an OPTIONAL theme of Love is Magic. This theme includes books featuring love, romance, and relationships. This also includes both fiction and nonfiction books. Read a paranormal romance or read a how to book on love spells. The choice is yours!

 The Rules:
  • This readathon begins February 1, 2021 and ends February 1, 2021
  • You may sign up anytime during the challenge. 
  • I won't be creating different challenge levels or prompts. I've always preferred a more open flexible readathon style.
  • Read as little or as many books as you want. Even if you just read one book I want you to participate!
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.
  • Books may be nonfiction or fiction. (Here's a list of my top ten favorite nonfiction books on witchcraft and magick!) Fiction books can be any genre but they need to have a magical person as the main or supporting character. This can be any kind of magical person such as a witch, wizard, magician, shaman, pathworker, bruja/brujo, druid, shapeshifter, and so on. The story must focus on magic in some way. 
  • The OPTIONAL theme Love is Magic includes fiction and nonfiction books on love, romance, and relationships. The love story may be the main plot or a subplot. The only rule is that the main character must be a magical person or the story must focus on magic. Nonfiction books should be about love magic and spells, sex magic, dating, relationships, and so on. Here is a Suggested Reading List to get you started!
  • You may reread books. Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Books may count towards my WitchyYear Reading Challenge.. Note you do NOT have to participate in both challenges to participate in this readathon.
  • Use the hashtag #WitchyReadathon on social media.
  • If you could be so kind, please place the Witchy Readathon banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Instagram, tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Sign up below by leaving your below!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme and blog hop hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The topic this week is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021

Released January 5



Released January 5



Releases Jan 12



Releases February 2


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Announcing the 2021 WitchyYear Reading Challenge! Info and Sign Up Post


This past year I hosted a #WitchyReadathon, which was a short-term reading challenge. While I enjoy hosting short-term readathons and plan to do so in the coming year, I decided I'd like to extend this challenge to a year-long reading challenge in 2021! 

There will still be some short term WitchyReadathons during the year. (Dates are still TBD.) 

To distinguish the long-term reading challenge from the short ones, I will be calling it the #WitchyYear Reading Challenge. 

This reading challenge is unique because it includes fiction and nonfiction books. (I know some of you may be saying wait, there's nonfiction books about witchcraft? Yes there is! You can see my top ten favorites here!) 

 The Rules:
  • This year-long reading challenge begins January 1, 2021 and ends December 31, 2021. 
  • You may sign up for the reading challenge anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different challenge levels or prompts. I've always preferred a more open flexible challenge style. However, feel free to set and share your own reading goals!
  • Read as little or as many books as you want. Even if you just read one book I want you to participate!
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.
  • Books may be nonfiction or fiction. (Here's a list of my top ten favorite nonfiction books on witchcraft and magick!) Fiction books can be any genre but they need to have a magical person as the main or supporting character. This can be any kind of magical person such as a witch, wizard, magician, shaman, pathworker, bruja/brujo, druid, shapeshifter, and so on. The story must focus on magic in some way. 
  • I faced a dilemma regarding nonfiction books. Many books are related to the category of witchcraft, such as books on paganism, spirituality, herbs, crystals, tarot, reiki, deities, and so on. I considered including any type of book on this topic but ultimately decided against it. Books on these topics may count but ONLY if they focus on the subject through the context of magic or witchcraft. Again this includes nonfiction books that are written for a witch, wizard, magician, shaman, pathworker, bruja/brujo, druid, shapeshifter, and so on. However, general books on these topics can NOT count. For example, the book Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen would not count but The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot by Skye Alexander would. The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall would not count but The Crystal Witch by Leanna Greenway would.
  • You do NOT have to read fiction and nonfiction. If you only want to read one genre, that is fine.
  • You may reread books. Books may count towards other reading challenges.
  • Use the hashtag #WitchyYear on social media. 
  • If you could be so kind, please place the Witchy Readathon banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Instagram, tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Sign up below by leaving your below!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Malorie (Bird Box 2) by Josh Malerman (Book Review)


One of the biggest complaints I saw in the reviews was that there didn't need to be a sequel to Bird Box and this was just a cash grab. After reading this and seeing how the entire story ended, I disagree.  I think the ending justified there being a sequel to Bird Box and tied up a lot of loose ends the first book had about the world with the creatures.

The character development of the three main characters was done well too. Malorie is given a detailed backstory that the first book completely lacked. The teenagers are really likeable. It’s a coming of age story for the teens and a redemption story for Malorie. I think this is the best book on post-traumatic stress disorder I have ever read. And at times the book is even scarier than the first. There are also two major plot twists that I really enjoyed.

That said, it is a book with some flaws. The author repeats himself constantly. The book could have used more editing. This constant repeating is why I can’t quite give it five stars. Most of Malorie’s point of view is told via stream of consciousness and she’s constantly flipping back and forth between every thought and emotion possible. At times, she’s annoying AF and completely and utterly unlikeable. I did like her more towards the end though and you learn many of these unlikeable traits are part of her PTSD.

Another annoyance was that the creatures are described somewhat but never well. They are mostly face but not. They aren’t really creatures but something else. I know it may be petty but we’re never given a clear description of what they actually look like. Either describe them accurately or not all.

Lastly, 17 years has elapsed between the two books which makes it really hard to believe some of the advances took this long. That time frame seemed to be more a matter of plot convenience to make the kids teenagers.

I do hope Netflix develops this sequel into a movie. It has more action sequences than the first, great characters (even if Malorie was irritating at times), and the potential to be a great movie.

There was one line from the book that really stuck with me though because it reminds me of our world with covid-19 and wearing masks. It says, “It’s hard for Olivia to imagine a world where blindfolds weren’t central to a person’s wardrobe.” I think since the coronavirus pandemic is happening right now it made this book more scary than it would have been if it had been released prior to 2020. The idea that we’ll be stuck with this new normal for years to come is terrifying psychologically. Malorie repeatedly talks about “living by the fold” which makes me think of “live by the mask” so the book almost seems like a metaphor for the coronavirus at times.

My rating is Photobucket .

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Adding Sbooktober, Vampathon, and the Hocus Pocus Readathon


There are so many good readathons this month I can't choose. So I'm going to attempt to do more of them because the book topics just overlap so easily. These are all the month-long readathons. This doesn't even include the short term ones. (See my sidebar for the full list!)

First up is Sbooktober

There are a LOT of reading prompts. I'm still going to stick with my Gothtober TBR but many of those should fit these prompts. 



Next is Vampathon

I'm already have planned on a vampire heavy TBR so I will easily be able to cover these prompts.

 
Prompts: 
1. Book you want to sink your teeth into 
2. Classic vampire 
3. Non-traditional vampire 
4. Old legends (short stories, novellas, anthologies, essays, etc.)


I've decided to join Team Undead. It just seemed fitting. 

Team Undead! 
Prompts Group Book: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (15pt) 
Binx: Read a book that has to do with family (10pt) 
Billy: Read a book with a morally grey character (10pt) 
Emily: Read a book about ghosts or paranormal (10pt) 

Team Undead! 
Strength: You are now the Ghost of Emily Binx. No one can see you, you get to be stealthy. You may double up on one prompt of your choosing. 

Weakness: Unfortunately, Billy only has 24 hours until he must go back to his grave. You must have a 24-hour readathon

This one is a little trickier because I don't have a book about ghosts and will have to add the group read to my TBR, but I already wanted to read The Shining by Stephen King and that would count for my ghost book.

As for a 24 hour readathon, I don't just have one. I have two! The Spooktober 24 Hour Readathon is October 10 and the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is Oct 24.

I know all of this is a lot but I've really barely read this year and I'm trying to make up for it. Most of my books are audiobooks now that I've discovered I can listen to a book up to four hours while at work. Hopefully this will motivate me to reach my reading goals!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Quotes I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme and blog hop hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The topic this week is ten favorite book quotes from books you love or about books in general.


1. This is my absolute favorite quote about books. 



2. This quote about reading is perfect for quarantining in 2020.



3. Any bibliophile understands this quote.



4. I've always loved this quote about death from Peter Pan. Death is probably my biggest fear and this quote gives me comfort.



5. This quote fascinates me because of how Roosevelt words it. He doesn't say books are part of him but the reverse of that. It makes me think of the relationship the author has with the reader.


6. This George R.R. Martin quote is another one of my favorites.



7. This Dr. Seuss quote says something similar to the last one. 


8. This is another quote only a bibliophile will understand.



9. Although sometimes the reason we're poor is because we keep buying books.



10. It's now sweater weather so this quote felt appropriate. 



Bonus Quote because I had to include this one.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover Audiobook Review


It may come as shock to anyone reading this, but this is the very first audiobook I have ever listened to. Technically I do own a copy of The Celestine Meditations by Salle Merrill Redfield which I have listened to many, many times over the years but I don't really count this because it's never been in a hardcopy book form. I've never listened to an actual audiobook, fiction or nonfiction.

The worst part is, I have been working at Walmart doing a stocking job and have the ability to listen to an audiobook for about 5 hours a day. Most of my hours are after the store closes and I'm able to listen while I work. I've worked at Walmart since the Monday after Thanksgiving of LAST YEAR and am just now trying out audiobooks. Do you know how many books I could have finished by now? It's embarrassing.

I also decided to get a hardcopy version of the book and compare reading it to listening to it being read. What I found was that I read passages way different than they were read by Candace Thaxton. I often read the main character as being entitled and whiny but Candace read her thoughts and dialogue very differently. I found I liked the audiobook version of the characters much more than I liked the book version of the characters. Jokes were funnier. Lucky's accent could clearly be heard which was absolutely hysterical. And things just felt more...dramatic. Candace is a talented actress, which is something I never realized contributes greatly to audiobooks. I always thought someone just read the book. I didn't realize they act out the parts like they are reading a play or script.

The book blurb from Goodreads:

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness. 

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. 

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. 

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

My review (may contain minor spoilers);
This story and characters was so unique. The Voss family is truly like no family you will ever meet or read about. Some of the characters were likeable and some were not. The main character, Merit, for the most part isn't likeable but this seems to be intentional by the author. Her likeablilty is actually a huge part of the plot. (You'll understand when you read the book.)

As someone who suffers from mental illness, this aspect of the story was dealt with realistically and respectfully. I'd share more details but those would be major spoilers.

Colleen Hoover also avoids overused, romantic tropes. This book absolutely is unique as a romance as well. This is incredibly hard to do in a genre that has thousands upon thousands of books. Don't let the fact that it's a young adult book fool you. It deals with adult themes at times. The book is about Merit having to deal with these themes as a teenager. (Actually, it wasn't even in the young adult section at my library so I'm not entirely sure it is a YA,)

The one thing I didn't like about the book was that there are so many subplots and backstories that often seemed even more interesting than Merit's story. I would love to read a book about Merit's mother and her life before and after the car accident (all backstory). I would love to read how Victoria and Barnaby ended up falling in love and getting married (all backstory). I would love to read about Lucky and his adventures working on cruise ships (all backstory). And I especially would love to read about Sagan's backstory which isn't even revealed until you're near the end of the book. Sagan's story is never wrapped up and actually would make an excellent sequel that I would love to read.

I also would love to see this book as a movie. Rarely do I read a book and think it would work great as a movie (maybe it had to do with it being an audiobook) but this book would. This book made me want to read more by Colleen Hoover. 

My rating was a solid  Photobucket .