Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Spring TBR List

spring tbr

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is your Spring TBR list. To find out more about Top Ten Tuesday  and to join in the fun, check out That Artsy girl.

I’m so excited that spring is here! Hopefully the weather here catches up soon. I love warm weather. Summer is my favorite season, with spring a close second. I love seeing the world come alive again and was psyched to choose the books I want to read during this magical season.

All of these books are books I own and I’ve chosen them to help me keep progressing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. I’ll probably have a few other books I’ll read this spring, since I have such a difficult time not getting any books from the library, but I’m going to focus on these books. I’m giving myself until the end of June to finish all the books on the list. 🙂

1. Winter – Marissa Meyer: Now that I finally have the paperback copy of Winter, I can finish the Lunar Chronicles!

2. The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton: I’ve been waiting to read this book for over a year. As soon as I heard about it, I wanted to read it.

3. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert: This is another book I’ve been waiting to read, and lucky for me it came in the Febraury Owlcrate. 🙂

4. The Last Namsara – Kristin Ciccarelli: One of the Epic Reads quizzes said I should read this book. After checking it out, I realized I did want to read it, and was surprised I hadn’t heard about it before.

5. Persuasion – Martina Boone: I’ve already read Compulsion, the first book in the Heirs of Watson Island, and loved it. So now I need to finish the series. I also met the author and got this book signed. 🙂

6. Illusion – Martina Boone: This is the third and final book in the Heirs of Watson Island series.

7. Wild Beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore: This book is a perfect spring read, since it is about a special garden. This is another Owlcrate book that I have yet to read.

8. The Wish Granter – C.J. Redwine: I loved The Shadow Queen and I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. It’s simply been pushed down on my TBR list because I always have library books that have to go back to the library. 🙂

9. Dead To Me – Mary McCoy: This is a mystery set in the 1940’s. I love vintage stories, especially mysteries, so I had to include one on this list.

10. Finding my Edge – Karen Chen: With the Olympics just over and Worlds starting in the next day or so, it’s the perfect time to read this figure skater’s autobiography. Figure skating is one of my favorite sports. 🙂

What’s on your reading list for spring? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite Book Quotes

Today, I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I love this idea. It’s such a great way to connect with other book nerds, so I’m going to try to participate most weeks. 🙂 Today’s theme is book quotes.

book quotes

At first, I wasn’t sure how many book quotes I knew, but after some research I realized I knew more than I thought. I included quotes from some classics and some from favorite recent reads. Hope you enjoy!

1. “I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women                                                                                                    (This speech Jo gives about her dreams is one of the reasons I love her so much, and I had to include something from Little Women since it’s been such a longtime favorite.)

2. “I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cress                                                                                                                          (Cress and Thorne are my favorite couple from The Lunar Chronicles.)

3. “As the poets say, stories are truth told through lies.”
― Jessica Khoury, The Forbidden Wish

4. “I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.”
― Jackson Pearce, Sisters Red

5. “I said: “He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much.”
“But he is a Beast,” said Father helplessly.
I saw that he was weakening, and wishing only to comfort him I said, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
― Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

6. “Mirrors only show us what we are. Books show us what we can be.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book                                                         (I loved this book and it’s so quotable, I had to include a few from it.)

7. “Isn’t that what a good story does? It pulls you in and never lets you go.”
― Jennifer Donnelly,  Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

8. “Reading became my sanctuary,” Belle continued. “I found so much in those books. I found histories that inspired me. Poems that delighted me. Novels that challenged me…” Belle paused, suddenly self-conscious. She looked down at her hands, and in a wistful voice, said, “What I really found, though, was myself.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

9. “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Stalking Jack the Ripper

10. “For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Hunting Prince Dracula

 

What are some of your favorite book quotes? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Reading Challenge

Fairytale Bingo Reading Challenge

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With National Fairy Tale Day coming up tomorrow (February 26th), I felt it appropriate to share one of the other reading challenges I’m doing this year to help me get through the #unreadshelfchallenge2018.

This is a bingo challenge, and it’s the second bingo challenge I’ve done. There are two ways to complete the challenge. You can either choose to get a BINGO (five squares in a row- horizontally, vertically or diagonally), or you can choose to complete the whole board.
fairytale bingo

I’m going to focus on completing a BINGO for the next month or so, but am aiming to complete the whole board by the end of the year. I have already read Spindle by Shonna Slayton (and loved it 🙂 ), but that’s the only square I’ve filled in so far.

The Fairytale Forum facebook group (ran by Ashlee Willis and Shonna Slayton) is hosting this challenge. If you love fairytales, you should definitely check this group out.

And tomorrow, I will be posting an original fairy tale to my blog. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

How will you be celebrating National Fairy Tale Day? Let me know in the comments.

 

diyMFA book club, For Writers

A Writer’s Reading List – diyMFA book club

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Today I’m doing my final post for the diyMFA book club. (If this is the first time you’ve heard about diyMFA, you can find out all about it here.) One of the prompts was to share your reading list.  I enjoyed the reading section of the book, and I loved the way Gabriela broke the writer’s reading list down into three categories. The great thing about it – you tailor it to your genre. The three categories are:

Craft Books: These are the books that deal with the craft of writing –  books that help you improve your writing.  Currently, these are the craft books I have on my TBR list (some of them I’ve read parts of, but I haven’t read any of them in their entirety):

    1.  diyMFA by Gabriela Pereira

    2.  Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin

    3.  Story Genius by Lisa Cron

    4.  Self-Editing For Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King

    5.  Social Media for Writers by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine 

(You can add me as a friend on Goodreads, where I have a bookshelf full of these books 🙂 )

 

The Classics: These are the books that are classics in your genre. I write YA – which doesn’t have as many classics as some other genres. Widely considered the first YA book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, was published in 1967. I’ve already read this classic and loved it! Here are some more YA classics on my TBR list:

1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Ursula Le Guin

3. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

4. Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (Written in 1942, some people considered this to be the first YA book, as opposed to The Outsiders, so I’ll have to give it a look)

5. The Grey King by Susan Cooper

Comp. Titles: These are books that are comparable to the book you are writing. I write YA fantasy with a fairytale twist (some are retellings, some are just stylized like fairytales), so I read a lot of fantasy, especially retellings. I don’t have a specific list for this group, because I am always on the lookout for these books and am continually adding to my TBR list. This month I have selected several books to read for the #fantasticfeb reading challenge, and several of them fall into this category. You can see my #fantasticfeb list here.

Another diyMFA book club prompt was to share a picture of your writing space.

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I write a lot of different places, but I do have a desk where I do a fair amount of that writing. There’s a window on the left side which lets in lots of natural light. I find this energizing and motivating.  Also, I’ve hung a lot of inspirational pictures above it. 🙂

writing space

I love this desk! I’ve had since I graduated from college. One day, my grandpa (the same grandpa who helped inspire me to become a writer by telling me his stories) and my dad helped me comb through garage sales to find a sturdy desk. We found this one for a dollar.  It needed some cleaning, a little sanding, and a new coat of stain, and then it was ready to go. Pretty awesome, right?

 

So how about you -What’s on your reading list? Do you have a favorite craft book? Where do you write? Let me know in the comments.

Reading Challenge

Fantastic February

The first smaller reading challenge I’m doing this year is a monthly (February) book challenge. If you missed my previous post about the yearly reading challenge I’m doing  you can check it out here.

The Fantastic February reading challenge is hosted by Kathy, author of the Books and Munches blog, and you can find all the details here.

Basically, this is a challenge that focuses on reading fantasy/paranormal books. Since I have a bunch of those on my unread bookcase, this is perfect!

Here is my TBR list for February:

fantastic february books

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I started this series awhile back and only have four books left in this series, so I’ll be finishing the series this month – Black Dawn, Bitter Blood, Fall of Night (not pictured), and Daylighters. 

The Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes – I loved the first book and can’t wait to read the last two in this trilogy – Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz – This books sounded so good I pre-ordered it, and just haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve heard so many good things about this book,  it had to be added to the list.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’ve actually never read a book by Maguire before, but have heard many good things about him, I decided to give this book a try. Also, this is an audiobook. (Audiobooks are one way I up my book count for the year.)

If you couldn’t tell, I love fairytale retellings, and am psyched to be doing a fantasy-themed challenge. I realize this is an ambitious list, but I will be trying to fit them all in. Like I said in my previous post, challenges motivate me. 🙂

What’s on your TBR list for February? Are you participating in Fantastic February or any other reading challenge for the month? Let me know in the comments.

 

Reading Challenge

The #unreadshelfproject2018 Reading Challenge

unread shelf

This year, I’m focusing on my reading by having more specific goals, and with that comes the reading challenges. I love a good challenge. I’m a bit competitive, so challenges really motivate me. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), then you know I’m participating in the #unreadshelfproject2018. What is that, you ask?  It is a reading challenge hosted by @theunreadshelf,  @katereadsbooks_, and @calsreads on Instagram.

The objective of the challenge – to focus on reading your own unread books. I have a ton of books that I haven’t read yet, and had been contemplating doing something like this for 2018 when I found this challenge. It’s the perfect motivation! The hosts will be posting weekly, and sometimes monthly, challenges throughout the year which will help me stay motivated and stick to my goal.

One of the first challenges was to count your unread books. Now, when I say I have a ton of unread books, I’m not exaggerating. Some are in boxes and others are scattered among books I have already read. I started with the one bookcase I know contains mostly unread books.

unread bookshelf

There are 120 unread books on that shelf, so that’s my goal for the year – to read 120 of my unread books.  I read 140 books last year, so this is doable for me. I will read a few library books as well, but only ones that qualify as highly anticipated reads for this year.

First I’ll be reading series – there are several series I’ve started, but haven’t finished. I’m currently finishing up the Lunar Chronicles.  I’m also planning to finish The Queen of Heart series, The Morganville Vampire series, the Beautiful Creatures series, and The Throne of Glass series.

This is my big reading challenge for the year, but I’ll also be doing some smaller challenges to help me stay motivated. I’ll be posting about some of those a little later. 🙂

What are your reading goals for 2018? Are you participating in any challenges? Let me know in the comments!

 

Book Reviews

Chivalry’s Children Review

Hi everyone! I took a bit of a break for the holidays, but I’m back and will be posting again every week. Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

One of the last books I read in 2017 was Chivalry’s Children by Alexis P. Johnson. Set in medieval times, it follows four girls and their friends.

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From the back of the book:

Meridian the blacksmith, Keira the minstrel, Aurielle the alchemist, and Ivy the librarian, are four spirited and very different young women of Orion’s Court in the European nation of Laudeland. Knights, inventors, and even a prince share in their daily adventures from woodland hunts to masquerade balls. 

But their peaceful existence is shattered when a ruthless villain from their past lays siege to their country in vengeance, transforming their lives forever. The ladies and their comrades are then thrown into an even greater conflict that will test the strength and endurance of each of them, yet the inner trials of their hearts may prove to be even more challenging. As iron sharpens iron, the nation of Laudeland will need to unite in honor and chivalry as they face the storms of change.

Because there were so many primary characters, it took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I did, I flew through the book. The world building was great. I felt like I could have stepped into Laudeland through the pages, and I loved how the women were able to have the jobs they wanted without the stigma of something being “a man’s job”.

I could tell Alexis has a background in screenwriting, because this book would make a great movie. I could totally envision it as one while I read. I also really loved the spirit of camaraderie among the characters. It reminded me of the relationships I have with my siblings and a couple of my closest friends.

Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, medieval reads, or adventure.

You can find out more about Chivalry’s Children and Alexis P. Johnson here.