Roaming Around the Web (2)

It’s been a while since my last R.A.W. post, but with a new year, there’s all sorts of new and interesting bookish news and happenings.

  • Exclusively Yours, the first book in Shannon Stacey’s famous Kowalski Family series is currently *free* on Kindle and Nook. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series so when I found out book one was free I downloaded it ASAP! I definitely can’t wait to read this one.
  • Harlequin is releasing a new imprint called KISS. The stories will feature “edgy, modern day characters” and is set to release next month in North America. The first batch of titles are already available for pre-order and to kick off the new line, Harlequin is currently offering Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly for free (Kindle/Nook) to give readers a taste of the KISS line.

    With my personal Harlequin challenge in the works, I’m adding the KISS line to books that count toward the challenge. Also, two words about the covers: bright and cheery. As someone who judges books by their covers, I’m already in love!

  • Reports of the USA’s first book-less library have been floating around the interwebs this week, making waves in the book world. Reactions have varied between embracing the technological advancement and outrage at the paperless blasphemy. According to reports, the 5,000 square-foot space will resemble an Apple store and patrons will be able to check out ereaders and ebooks, as well as use the library’s computers and tablets.

    A library without books? I dunno… What do you think about it?

  • As per my 2013 bookish resolutions, I’ve been on the prowl for books to read that are outside my usual romance genre. As if on cue, I came across this list of 13 most anticipated YA books on the RT blog. Cha-ching!

ROAMING QUESTION: Have you come across anything interesting (romance/book-related or not) in the World Wide Web? If so, please share! I’m especially keen to links that feature cute animals doing even cuter — and quirkier — things.

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! The holiday wouldn’t be complete without taking a moment to reflect on all the things I’m grateful for this year. Before I begin prepping for tomorrow and tackling recipes in the kitchen, I thought I’d pop in to list a few things that I am blessed to have in my life. Here we go:

  1. My health, of course. From minor surgery to pulled muscles caused by athletic activities (soccer, running, etc.), I’m thankful to my body for being able to keep up and pull through when I needed it most.
  2. Used bookstores and libraries have kept my bookish addiction afloat during the past year of serious penny-pinching. Thanks to my local library and used bookstore, I was still able to get my fiction fix for cheap and/or free.
  3. The beau and I have been together for a long while and I am still as head over heels for him now as I was on Day One. As cheesy as it sounds, he is my rock (go on, it’s okay to roll your eyes) and most definitely my best friend and biggest supporter. He is the only one who can keep my flailing Kermit arms in check!
  4. My month-long trip to Guatemala is an experience I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. Not only was I able to experience new things, but I also had the chance to meet amazing people while relishing in breathtaking views and different cultures. Oh, and the food — I still salivate when thinking of it!
  5. Bailey, my wily little pup keeps me young and entertained by the little things. I swear, I will never tire of watching her perform her “doggie yoga” stretches and the funny way she eats her kibble like a cow chewing on cud. Absolute hilarity.

Of course, there are more things (both large and small) for which I’m thankful, but I most definitely do not take the above list for granted. Now to crank up some festive tunes while waltzing through the kitchen… Wish me luck that I don’t dig into the sweet potato pie before tomorrow!

ROAMING QUESTION: What are you thankful for this year?

Update: 2012 Reading Goals

It’s me again! Remember when I discussed my reading goals for this year? Since we’re about a quarter of the way through the year, I figured it was time for an update on how I’m holding up so far with the challenges I set for myself.

Goal 1: Read books outside my comfort zone — While the majority of the books I’ve read thus far have been romances, I did give in to peer pressure and read the Hunger Games trilogy, a YA series about a girl who is sent to fight to the death against other teenagers in the annual Hunger Games competition. With the movie coming out and all the hype surrounding the books, I just had to see what all the hoopla was about. While the first book was just okay (reminded me too much of Battle Royale), I was completely entranced with books two and three, consuming them both in less than a week. I dabble in YA every now and then, but these books were a bit outside my normal realm of reading because of the dystopian theme and violent nature.

Goal 2: Read more — Well, as of now I’ve read 13 books since the beginning of the year. According to my (okay, Goodreads’) calculations, I’m four books ahead of schedule, which I’m taking as a sign that I’ve been reading plenty. Plus, there’ve been many a night when I’ve curled up on the couch with my Kindle and read while the beau watched T.V. After about ten minutes, I’m in the zone and so caught up in my book that don’t even hear what’s playing in the background.

Goal 3: Visit my local public library — I’m very proud of this one, as I just happened to have taken a trip to the library this past weekend! I admit, I was a bit jaded when I walked in (bad past experiences), but all my doubts were quickly squelched when I came across book after book that I just had to read. In the end, I only checked out five books, but believe me, I had my eye on many more than that.

Goal 4: Blog more — Sigh. Okay, so I haven’t been doing so well with this one. I really need to start carving out time to blog and sit down and force myself to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about — in fact, I have a whole list of post ideas — but I just need to develop a blogging routine so that I can be somewhat regular with posting. I’ll try harder, I promise!

And finally, I’ve decided on a reading challenge number for this year. Drum roll, please… My goal is to read *50* books this year! It’s the perfect number between reasonable and slightly pushing myself. So far I’m ahead of schedule, which I hope to maintain, but if not, it’ll be good to have a buffer if something ever comes up and causes me to take a reading break for a bit. Oh, and If you’re ever interested in keeping tabs on how far along I am with my reading challenge, my progress meter is conveniently located on the sidebar. For more detail about which books I’ve read or the reading challenge in general, just clickety-click on the appropriate links.

I know it’s only March, but I’m doing pretty darn good on keeping my goals so far! *Pats self on back* Hopefully I’ll stick to it as the months tick by, but only time will tell. I plan on doing another update in another couple of months, so be sure to keep a look out for part II.

Roaming Question: Did you make any goals for the new year? Have you kept up with them?

Bookish Books for Bookworms

For a bookworm like myself, the only thing better than reading and books is reading books about books. Did I confuse you there? What I mean is that I’m a sucker for plots centered around books, settings that include libraries and/or bookstores, and characters that are librarians/writers/readers.

After a trip to my charming local library this weekend, I fell even more in love with libraries and bookish establishments. Then I thought, what better way to feed my need for all things book-related than to, well, read about all things book-related? So I sifted through my TBR list and searched for titles that feature libraries, bookstores and/or bookish characters. Unsurprisingly, I had more than a few that fit the bill. Instead of listing them all, I’ve compiled a short list that covers a variety of genres — after all, bookish books span beyond the romance genre!

  • The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin: A category romance featuring — you guessed it — a major and a librarian. No need to even read the blurb — you had me at “librarian”!
  • How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson: a fictional tale about a girl whose parents try to get her to read by having a book written especially for her.
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman: a collection of essays in which the writer recounts her love of books.
  • Provoke Me by Cari Quinn: Both the hero and heroine manage a bookstore and love books… but can they admit their love for each other?
  • Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett: the first in a cozy mystery series about an entire town known for its abundance of bookstores.
  • Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: A contemporary YA featuring two bookish teens, the infamous Strand bookstore, and a crazy fun scavenger hunt around New York City.

Roaming Question: Do you read books about books? If not, what topic or hobby are you a sucker for & can’t help reading about?

Diving Head-First into 2012

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post. I didn’t intend for my hiatus to be so long, but then again, I’m all about the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” philosophy. That said, instead of harping about the past, let’s dive right in — Happy New Year! Despite what the Mayans thought, I believe 2012 will be *my* year. My reading drought has finally passed (hooray!) and I’m adding books to my TBR list at lightning speed! Speaking of TBRs, am I the only one who gets just as much pleasure from looking for books as I do from actually reading them? I can literally spend hours surfing Amazon, Goodreads and the bookstore just skimming through books and deciding whether or not to add them to my constantly expanding list of books to read. What can I say, I just love books — paperback, e-book, hardcover… If it has words, count me in!

Which brings me to my next point: my 2012 reading goals. Goodreads has a section where you can set your own personal reading goal, in which I plan on participating. The thing is, though, I haven’t quite decided what I want my numerical goal to be. Fifty books? Twenty-five? Sixty? I’m still mulling it over, but in the meantime, I have made up my mind about other reading goals for the year. This is only a quick ‘n dirty list of what I’ve come up with so far, so I’m sure this will change and expand as the days weeks go on:

1. Read books outside my comfort zone. As if it wasn’t obvious from the title of this blog, romance is my favorite genre. However, I know there are other amazing books out there and I don’t want to limit myself simply because it falls outside my “happily ever after” expectations. I plan to test the waters with YA, thriller, comic books — anything that I normally wouldn’t jump to read, I plan to.

2. Read more. This sounds absurd since I already read a lot, but believe it or not, there are times when I choose to watch TV or surf the ‘net instead of picking up a book. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish my TV/internet/etc. downtime, but there are times when I’m mindlessly flipping through the channel when I could instead be getting lost in a good book.

3. Visit my local public library. I go back and forth with this one. Not because I don’t like libraries — I love them! In fact, I used to check out a dozen books a time when I was younger — but because of the state of them nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I completely empathize with the whole lack of public-funding, catering-to-everyone ordeal, but the last few times I went to the library my experiences were less than stellar. For instance, a librarian asking “Who?” when I asked where the Jane Austin books were (don’t even get me started on that day). And of course there’s the likelihood of them not carrying a book I want to read or the “checked out indefinitely” status. Plus, it also comes down to the lack of instant gratification. Why would I put myself on a months-long waiting list to read a book when I could just go out and buy it? Nothing against those who do, and I’m definitely no Mr. Ms. Moneybags, but buying books is something I will always allow myself to do. And also why I bought a Kindle.

Well, that’s about it for now. Three things may not seem like a lot on the surface, but it’s definitely enough to keep me busy in the next upcoming months. Oh! There is one more:

4. Blog more! Or should I say, blog more regularly. I did a decent job last year of updating RtR, but I don’t want to fall into another three-month dry spell. Plus, perhaps blogging more could help me through my reading droughts (which is inevitable in every reader’s life). I won’t set myself up for unrealistic expectations and vow to blog every day, or even every other day (if I do, though, great!), but a minimum of once a week seems manageable.

Okay, so there you have it. My reading/bookish goals for the year. When I decide on a numerical reading goal or if I think of more general goals, I’ll be sure to fill you all in. In the meantime, I’m off to add more to my TBR list. It’s times like this I’m proud to be a bookworm!