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The National Book Festival

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to the National Book Festival, and it was so cool! They are now hosting it in the convention center rather than on the National Mall. It’s a lot easier to move around and it’s air-conditioned. 🙂

We got there right when the doors opened, so we were able to visit all the exhibits before it got really crowded. I loved the Parade of States exhibit.  Each state had its own table and there was a state booklet you took around to get stamped by each state. The people there from Indiana actually knew of the little town I grew up in, and the people from Illinois knew the tiny town I was born in, so that was cool.

Also, PBS had booth for The Great American Read that was fun. They had a wheel you could spin to win a prize. I landed on the special space that allowed me to pick a prize from a box. I got a journal.

I had heard about The Great American Read, but didn’t know exactly what it was about, so I was glad I was able to find out more about it, because now I’m participating in the event. (More to come about The Great American Read in a later post, so if you’re interested, be on the lookout for that.)

There were three authors I was hoping to meet and get books signed by, and I was able to meet all three and get my books signed.

I got When Dimple Met Rishi signed by Sandhya Menon,  Wonder Woman and The Language of Thorns signed by Leigh Bardugo, and The Darkest Minds signed by Alexandra Bracken.

All in all, it was a great day, and if you ever have the chance to check out The National Book Festival, I’d highly recommend it!

What about you? Have you been to any book festivals?  What did you like best about it?

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Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Check-in – #unreadshelfproject2018

shelf update

So since we are halfway through the year (hard to believe, isn’t it?) I decided to do a check-in to see how I’m doing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. If you haven’t heard about this challenge or missed my first post about it, you can check it out here.

I have read 86 books this year, and 23 of them were my own unread books. My original goal was to read 120 of my unread books, so I have a lot of work left to get to that goal. I love my local library, and every time I go, I find more books to read. I’m going to have to limit library visits so I can finish more of my own unread books! 🙂

These are the 23 books of mine I’ve read so far:

  1. Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
  2. Finding my Edge by Karen Chen
  3. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  4. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  5. In Her Skin by Kim Savage
  6. Veronica Mars: The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
  7. Fall of Night by Rachel Caine
  8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  9. Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  10. Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
  11. Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  12. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  13. Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
  14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  15. The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
  16. Private by James Patterson
  17. War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes
  18. Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  19. Ferdinand and the Bullies by Walt Disney Company
  20. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  21. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  22. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  23. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

How about you? How are you doing on your challenges for this year? Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for the beach/pool

summer tbr 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Today’s theme is books to read at the beach/pool. I love summer and loved finding books to fit this theme. This is also my summer TBR list and it has lots of mermaid books. 🙂

These are also all books I own (except the last one) to help me work toward the #unreadshelfproject2018. You can find out more about that here.

1. Caraval – by Stephanie Garber. Everything I’ve heard about this book has been positive, and the synopsis sounds intriguing. The carnival theme also makes it perfect for a summer read.

2. Legendary – by Stephanie Garber. I thought the first books sounded so good, I went ahead and bought the second one too! 🙂

3. Daughter of a Pirate King – by Tricia Levenseller. I’ve had this book awhile -it came in one of my Owlcrate boxes. It also sounds really good, so I’m planning to read it sometime this summer.

4. Daughter of a Siren Queen – by Tricia Levenseller. Since I’m reading the first one, I have to read the sequel. Plus, this one has mermaids. 🙂

5. Of Poseidon – by Anna Banks. This is the first book in the Syrena Legacy. And mermaids!

6. Of Triton – by Anna Banks. The second book in this triology.

7. Of Neptune – by Anna Banks. The third book.

8. Between the Sea and the Stars – by Chantal Gadoury. This is a little mermaid retelling, and I’ve seen so much about it on Instagram, I can’t wait to read it!

9. To Kill a Kingdom – by Alexandra Christo. This is another little mermaid retelling, though it has a bit of a darker spin. I’ve heard many good things about it on Instagram.

10. Sea Witch – by Sara Henning. Also a little mermaid retelling, this one doesn’t come out until the end of July, but I am pschyed to read it!

What about you? What’s on your summer TBR list? Do you like mermaid books? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – “Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early”

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Tope Ten Tuesday (1)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I’d slay a lion to get early.”

I hate waiting to read books, so typically I wait to start a big series until several of the books have already been released. Sometimes though, I read a book I didn’t realize was part of a series. Also, if a book is by a favorite author, I go ahead and read it. So I only came up with seven instead of ten:

1. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – this is the second book in the Truly Devious series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

2. Part of Your World by Liz Braswell – This is a Disney book, part of the Twisted Tales series. So far they’ve done Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan (which was just released and is on my TBR list for this month). This one is The Little Mermaid and as I love the movie, I can hardly wait for this one!

3. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – I love the Stalking Jack the Ripper books and am psyched to read this next one.

4. Last Seen by Sara Shepherd – This is part on The Amateurs series and the books always end on a cliffhanger. Anything by Sara Shepherd pretty much leaves you wanting more.

5. Black Coats by Colleen Oakes – This doesn’t come out until next year, but anything by Colleen Oakes is an automatic TBR for me.

6. The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine – This is book 4 in the Ravenspire series. Each book can stand alone, but they’re all set in the same world. Each one is also a fairtytale retelling.

7. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead –  This is part of The Glittering Court series. A bit different from Mead’s other YA books, but I still really enjoy them and can’t wait to read this last one.

What books can you hardly wait to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

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!

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!