Category Archives: Monthly Updates

June Wrap Up and July Goals

What is it?Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com's linkup on the first day of the month!

Two different link ups one at Writes like a Girl called Small Goals, and another one at Stay Gold Autumn.

My Rating System:

Forgot to do it most days.

Somewhat met this goal (did at least 1/2 of the days.)

Mostly met this goal (did at least 2/3 of the days.)

Accomplished this goal.

June Goals

Finish June still in the top 100 on Goodreads.

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

2 sets of Sit ups a day.

Finish Six of Crows, Empty Threat, and Wise Mans Fear, and start the Dark Frigate if there is time.

June Wrap Up

What I read in June:
Six of Crows
How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (audio)
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book
Gerald McBoing Boing
Hooper Humperdink … ? Not Him!
I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!

What I’m reading now:
The Thirteenth Gate

Up Next:
Empty Threat
The Devil’s Feast

The first part of the month was great, I was able to be really on task with my goals. Then life took several unexpected twists and all my goal planning fell apart. I did manage to finish Six of Crows before everything went wacky on us, I also technically ended the month in the top 100 but barely (at #92 in the USA) and I did manage to create my bullet journal pages.

But well the goal of small goals is to take it one step at a time.

A Goodreads review tracker for my BuJo.
My book page for Six of Crows.
My Sit-Up Tracker, unfortunately so far in July I have done exactly 0 sit ups.

July Goals

Finish Empty Threat (because my review is due before July 30th.)

Stay in the top 100 on Goodreads. Write an average of 3 reviews a day from here on out or 69 total reviews.

Continue creating new pages for my Bullet Journal at least one a week.

Sit down and review my week every Monday.

June 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderOnce again I got WAAAY too many books this month. I’ve really got to stop opening up book deal emails and emails from authors. My Kindle is over flowing.

Plus a book by my friend Karen Barnett came out in June, and our local independent book store had a sale.

Also over summer break we are trying to read all of the Dr. Seuss books on this checklist (as many as we can get our hands on.)

For Kindle:

The Pearl of Wisdom Saga: Two Book Bundle
Why I got it: Author freebie. The description for this fantasy series starts, “Kings. Queens. Treachery.” That was enough to get me interested plus the title of the first book “Two Heads Two Spikes” sounds intriguing, and then the cover for book 3 sealed it. Yeah this is a series that I want to check out.

Whispers From Another World: Whitney Powers Paranormal Adventure #1
Why I got it: Won it from an Amazon giveaway. It’s by the same author as the Pearls of Wisdom saga. While I’m not a fan of “medium heat romance” or urban fantasy, winning is always nice ;).

The Man of Legends
Why I got it: My Kindle First Selection for June. To tell you the truth I didn’t really scrutinize the list this month, and just picked out the science fiction selection.

Cage of Deceit: Reign of Secrets, Book 1
Why I got it: Author freebie. A princess by day, vigilante by night is a pretty unique twist on the princess troupe. You know the one where she’s a political pawn, but feels in her heart she’s something more, and then boom! turns out only she has the special whatever to save her kingdom. I am hoping this one turns that on its head.

99 Days (Red Proxy Book 2)
Why I got it: Author freebie. “Kertram is a contented man with a simple life. He likes the dangerous, but rewarding work of shepherding baby dragons… His wife is murdered and his babies kidnapped. He knows his newborns will be ritually sacrificed on the 99th day of their lives to satisfy the monstrous appetites of others — unless he can get there first.” Wow! I totally want to know what happens.

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow Book 1)
Why I got it: Author freebie. Ok the cover, I’ll admit it, one look at the cover and I was in. I’m not as into Fae stories as some, but it does sound interesting, and this books is a A 2014 Readers’ Favorite GOLD MEDAL WINNER in YA Fantasy.

Conan: Broadsword Legacy Collection
Why I got it: Instafreebie had this collection listed in a email I received from them. It’s EVERY Conan story in the preferred reading order. Now I can read Conan without having to wonder “what order do I tackle these in?”

Redemption: A Malvers War Story
Why I got it: Author freebie. This one didn’t actually sound too fascinating to me, but the others in the series did, Ancient Enemies and Ancient Allies. Monsters and humans in a never ending war, dark prophecy, and warrior women in an epic fantasy tale.  This story is still available on Instafreebie.

Seventh Mark (part 1 & 2)
Why I got it: Author freebie. This is one of the reason I’ve got to learn that not every freebie is worth it. Shifters, love triangles and romance… well I probably won’t be getting to this any time soon.

Salted
Why I got it: Author freebie. The author was intrigued when his mother challenged him to write a “mermaid” book that would appeal to boys. So what we get is an under the sea tale about Selkie’s, action and adventure. I’m am definitely excited to dive in this one.

eARC:

The Thirteenth Gate: Dominion Mysteries #2
Why I got it: New Kat Ross novel!!! **Dances in the streets** I am so hooked on Kat Ross, some of the best new fantasy I’ve read in the past couple of years. And if my enthusiasm isn’t enough here is a bite sized description, “Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night.”

ARC:

1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Muscle Cars In Detail No. 4
Why I got it: My husband and I enjoy classic muscle cars, so I took a chance with this book.

Kids Books:

Tangled: Kingdom of Color
Why I got it: My weakness for cheap thrift store books and Disney Princesses strikes again.

The Berenstain Bears and the Sitter
Why I got it: IT WAS FIFTY CENTS! Seriously, that’s all to add another Berenstain BEars book to our collection.

Great Buildings
Why I got it: My husband picked this out at the thrift store.

Serendipity
Why I got them: Two reasons 1. I love Serendipity and endeavor to own them all. 2. Our local book store Browser’s Book had a 25% off sale one weekend in June and I found they had recently received a whole huge collection of Serendipity books. Thank you Dottie (name plate inside the books), whoever you are for passing on your books, we will make sure to enjoy them all.

PS: I’m personal friends with the owner, and when I told him what I had bought during the sale (at really reasonable prices I might add,) he told me, “I know I could put them on Ebay and get more for them there, but I want them in the hands of children.” Bingo! The Little Bug loves them and yep they are certainly going to be read not just shelved in a collection.

Other:

The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel
Why I got it: This is the latest novel by my friend Karen Barnett. I had it on pre-order since day one. It’s a historical fiction novel set in the early days of Mount Rainier National Park.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
Why I got it: The online book fair for Little Bug’s school had this as one of the weekly deals, so I got a copy for $1. I may finally get into this YA series that everyone raves about. And really since I’m a big fan of Greek Mythology and retelling you’d have thought I would have already read this.

From The Library:

Six of Crows
Why I got it: The June choice for the Date A Book Club on Goodreads. It’s been a while since I’ve been involved with a book club and another book blogger I know was going to be doing it, so I jumped in. And I devoured this book. I can’t believe that I have never read a Leigh Bardugo book before.

How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (Audio)
Why I got it: June is Audiobook Month, so I thought I’d give audio books another shot, and besides this one was read by David Tennant. However the library sticker prevented me from seeing that this was book 12. Way to start at the end **head slap**.

Dr Seuss – Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book, Gerald McBoing Boing, Hooper Humperdink … ? Not Him!, I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!
Why I got them: We are working through the Doctor Seuss library this summer. I will have to say that so far Gerald McBoing Boing has been the big hit.

May Wrap Up and June Small Goals

What is it?

Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com's linkup on the first day of the month!Writes like a Girl has a linkup called Small Goals. Each month you post a short list of small goals you intend to work on plus your progress towards your goals from the previous month.

Stay Gold Autumn has another goal linkup with the rules:

  1. Add your goal posts to the linkup: it could be your goals for the year, 101 in 1001 goals, monthly goals, or just a post that talks about a goal you have completed!
  2. Display the button on your blog or post (button + code is available on my sidebar)
  3. Comment on 3 other blog posts that are linked up!

My Rating System:

I decided to use a emoji rating system for my goal like I use for my books.

Forgot to do it most days.

Somewhat met this goal (did at least 1/2 of the days.)

Mostly met this goal (did at least 2/3 of the days.)

Accomplished this goal.

May Goals

3 Sets of Sit-ups.

Read for 15 Minutes.

Finish one book a week.

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

May Wrap Up

May was a crazy month, I was sick most of it and could barely concentrate half of the time because of being on tons of decongestants and stuff. So I had lots of time to read, but sit-ups um… nope. I also spent quiet a bit of time putting my backlog of reviews up on Goodreads, which got me into the Top 100 Reviewers.

I’ll be posting my May pickups later this week, but I also got a ton of new Kindle books, and added a whole bunch to my TBR list.

I started doing a bullet journal/ art journal page for each book I finish. (Thanks to Bec at Readers Wonderland for the idea.) Here are my first two pages:

The Waterfall Traveler (read my review)

Ticker (read my review)

June Goals

Finish June still in the top 100 on Goodreads.

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

2 sets of Sit ups a day.

Finish Six of Crows, Empty Threat, and Wise Mans Fear, and start the Dark Frigate if there is time.

 

That’s it for my June Small Goals. Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish this month?

May 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderOk, wow I got too many books this month. Partly from author emails and deals, and partly from thrift store finds.

I have to wonder how I’m going to find enough time to read all these Kindle books. A lot of them sound really good too!

And yes those are my toes in the picture, I was having a really hard time with the lighting, and this was the best one of the bunch. 🙂

For Kindle:

The Lioness of Morocco
Why I got it: My Kindle First selection, unlike EVERYONE else who got The Hundredth Queen.But I like to use Kindle First to try out books that aren’t auto-select, so I often get mysteries or suspense, instead of the usual fantasy and sci-fi.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Why I got it: I had to write about Mother Teresa for a one of my weekly devotions at GodSpeaks.com. I came across this book while doing so and it was on sale.

Murder at the Book Fair
Why I got it: Why wouldn’t you want a book with a title like this? And when it was offered for free in one of my bargin emails, yeah I snapped it up quick.

Half-Blood Dragon
Why I got it: The cover is beautiful, and I got the book for free for being on the authors list.

Queen of Extinction
Why I got it: Also got this one for joining the author’s list. And with a sentence like this in the description, “If you like fairytale retellings, magic, steampunk, and romance…” well I was done in. It sounds great.

The Cruel Path
Why I got it: Another email freebie, I fell into a deep, deep hole of author freebies this month. This is a fantasy story about 3 brother who have to face some kind of trail, where at least one will have to die.

The Savage and the Prince
Why I got it: Author freebie. I don’t actually remember much about this book, except its fantasy.

Keeper
Why I got it: Author freebie. Could be a pretty good urban fantasy novel, if I can get into… urban fantasy can be hard for me to dig into.

The Road to Rebirth
Why I got it: Author freebie. I have the first book Call of Agon already (but haven’t had time to read it yet.)

Exhale
Why I got it: Author freebie. I read Feral, another story in the same Many Lives world this month, so when the author offered a freebie I took her up on it.

Final Dawn: Episode 1
Why I got it: Author freebie. This post-apocalyptic novel sounds great.

Prip’Yat: The Beast of Chernobyl
Why I got it: Author freebie. This one has such an interesting premise… how many stories do you know that are set in Chernobyl.

Surviving the Fall – Book 1
Why I got it: Author freebie. Another post-apocalyptic novel by the same author as Final Dawn and Prip’Yat.

Ocean’s Trial
Why I got it: Author freebie. Mermaids. Yep.

Kids Books:

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
Why I got it: Our local Teen Challenge thrift store had a 75% off books sale! And they had a lot of gems, like this Eric Carle big board book.

Corduroy
Why I got it: 75% off sale. Corduroy is a classic, and I couldn’t pass it up.

What a Bad Dream
Why I got it: 75% off sale. This is a Little Critter book, got to pick those up when I see them.

Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed
Why I got it: 75% off sale. Five Little Monkey’s is a classic so I picked up this one. Not as good as the original, but it was like 25 cents.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Why I got it: 75% off sale. A book on the Amazon 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime, and we hadn’t read it yet.

Llama Llama Red Pajama
Why I got it: 75% off sale. I love the Llama, Llama books! This was a great pick up!

Trapper
Why I got it: 75% off sale. I would have bought this even if it wasn’t 75% off because Serendipity books are auto-buys for me.

Katie, the Kitten Fairy (Rainbow Magic, Pet Fairies, No. 1)
Why I got it: 75% off sale. I thought this early reader chapter book might be interested to the Little Bug (Age 6.)

Mouse Makes Words: A Phonics Reader
Why I got it: 75% off sale. A book that I knew Little Bug could read on her own.

Minions: The Deluxe Junior Novel
Why I got it: 75% off sale. Minions! Enough said.

The Berenstain Bears and the Substitute Teacher
Why I got it: 75% off sale. I had no idea that McDonald’s had at one point and time had Berenstain Bears books in their happy meals, there are 4 of them.

What’s This?
Why I got it: We went to a small multicultural fair, and there was an independent book seller there. I picked this one up because it’s cute and colorful and about gardening.

eARC:

Empty Threat
Why I got it: I participated in a Book Blitz for Empty Threat, and the excerpt was great so I requested to review it too. It sounds like a book lovers book. Like seriously here is the beginning of the description:

“Elana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.”

Newbery:

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Why I got it:  I’ve got to get back on schedule with reading the Newbery books, I bought this one because it looked interesting and I love Kate DiCamillo.

Other:

Heart and Brain: Gut Instincts: An Awkward Yeti Collection
Why I got it: The Awkward Yeti reached 2 million followers on Facebook and had a sale of 20% off of item at their store. So not only did I get a book to fill a gap in my library, but I got a signed copy too! And these cartoons are sooooo funny!

April 2017 Book Pick Ups

For Kindle:
The Deliberate Reader

Atomic Underworld: Part One: Outcast
Why I got it: I’m on the Authors email list, and he offered it for free, plus I seem to be on a huge steampunk kick right now.

Excalibur Rising: Book One of an Arthurian Saga
Why I got it: Again I’m on the authors email list, and it was free, and it’s Arthurian which is pretty much an instaread for me.

The Golden Spider (The Elemental Web Chronicles Book 1)
Why I got it: I had read a preview of book two, The Silver Skull, and so I borrow this from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. However the books graphic sex was really a let down and I won’t be reading the full version of the second book.

Crimes Against a Book Club
Why I got it: My Kindle First selection for April. It sounds like a good summer read.

Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles Book #1)
Why I got it: This one was either from BookBub or another email list, but it looks like a interesting post-apocalyptic story.

Kids Books:

T-Rex And Other Prehistoric Creatures (Discovery 3D Reader) & Favorite Pets (Discovery 3D Reader)
Why I got it: Hollar had it on sale for a dollar. These books are so much fun, we already had one on reptiles, so getting these others helps complete the set. Plus they have stickers, 3D stickers!

Other:

100 Classic Books – Nintendo DS
Why I got it: We go to Cowlitz Gamers for kids every year and I found this there for only $5. I doubt I’ll really ever get into read any of these books, but it’s kinda fun to have.

Martian-American War & Alice Roosevelt and the Tunguska Menace
Why I got it: I also picked up these Steampunk booklets at the Cowlitz show. Last year I got a Steampunk coloring book from the same artist. Both are alternative-history stories with lots of art included. At around 25 pages they aren’t quite a book, and not quite a comic either.

Introducing Small Goals

May Small Goals

Thanks to Newbery and Beyond for introducing me to Small Goals, which is a monthly linkup.

What is it?

Writes like a Girl has a linkup called Small Goals. Each month you post a short list of small goals you intend to work on plus your progress towards your goals from the previous month.

Stay Gold Autumn has another goal linkup with the rules:

Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com's linkup on the first day of the month!

  1. Add your goal posts to the linkup: it could be your goals for the year, 101 in 1001 goals, monthly goals, or just a post that talks about a goal you have completed!
  2. Display the button on your blog or post (button + code is available on my sidebar)
  3. Comment on 3 other blog posts that are linked up!

April Goals

Since I’m just starting I didn’t post April’s goals ahead of time. Part of the reason I am interested in the Small Goals linkups is that we are finally settling into the new house and new routine and I feel like I need to get some more structure back. I also downloaded the Onceaday app this month to help with goal tracking.

Onceaday Goals:

3 Sets of Sit-ups – This was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I only hoped to do 10 sit-ups in each set but found that doing it 3x days was just hard to remember.

Read for 15 Minutes – This is pretty easy for me, but since the move I haven’t had a lot of extra time. So telling myself that I WILL set aside the time has helped me to actually do it.

Other Goals:

Finish one book a week – My normal yearly goal is 50 books, but because life has been so crazy and mixed up the last couple of years I’ve been lucky to get 30 books in. I’m setting out to fix that, even if it means reading more YA titles this year.

May Goals

Continue With:

3 Sets of Sit-ups

Read for 15 Minutes

Finish one book a week

New Goals:

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

So that’s it, my small goals. Do you also have a way of tracking your goals? Do you use a goal tracking app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

March 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderI am so far behind in my book pick up posts that I couldn’t hope to catch up, so I just decided to start fresh by posting just last months books.

Since our move I kinda settled down on picking up anything but kindle titles and kids books. We just have less space, and I have less time for personal reading right now. Hopefully as we get more settled in and use to our new routine that will change.

For Kindle:

The Daemoniac (Dominion Mysteries Book 1)
Why I got it: Because Kat Ross is an awesome author and I want to read more of her books. Go follow her on twitter and then check out my reviews for her other books Blood of the Prophet and Queen of Chaos.

Ella Dethroned
Why I got it: You know I forgot I had picked this one up, I’m assuming it was from Instafreebie or Book Bub. It’s the prequel to a fantasy series, and has mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It sounds exciting so I’ll give it a shot.

The Silver Skull Preview
Why I got it: This one is going up to the front of my TBR list because it sounds so intriguing. Add Steampunk, plus spies, plus a dash of fantasy and I’m am in. (I believe this copy is just a sample though, and I will probably end up buying the full book.)

ARC:

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Why I got it: I got this children’s book through the LibraryThing early readers program. I requested it because it looked like a good childrens book about some of the parables of Jesus. However I had mixed feeling about it. Read my review here.

eARC:

The Waterfall Traveler
Why I got it: I am going to review this book for Xpresso Book Tour in May. It sounds like a good fantasy story, with rouges, fugitives, conspiracies and someone the power to travel through water. Also, the cover is just amazing.

Kids Books:

The Little Grumpy Cat that Wouldn’t (Little Golden Book)
Why I got it: I picked this up from my Goddaughter’s school book fair, partly because she loves Grumpy Cat and partly because this year is Little Golden Books 75th anniversary. And the thought of Grumpy cat in a Little golden Book is hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Why I got it: It was .99 cents at St. Vinny’s and I am a big sucker for collecting all the books in a series. Plus this gives me more to read than Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the front door, which is her favorite bad kitty book and therefore I have read it about 4,00 times.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Why I got it: Same reasons as above, but this one we got from the book fair.

Mary Poppins
Why I got it: .99 cent at St. Vinny’s and it a book I’ve always wanted to read. Now that my goddaughter is a little older I’ve started reading chapter books to her, like Winnie-the-Pooh and I think we’ll try Mary Poppins too.

The Shy Little Kitten (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: I remember reading this book as a Little Golden book when I was a kid. The step into reading version is just right for my goddaughter to practice her reading aloud.

Cinderella (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: A cheap thrift store pick up. And like I said before I like to collect books in a series, and we already have a bunch of Disney princess Step Into Reading titles.

The Sweetest Spring (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Ditto what I just said, but even more so because this one is part of a series-within-a-series of Disney princess seasonal books.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Another Thrift store find, and who doesn’t love Tink?

Misc:

National Geographic Inside the Medieval World 2017
Why I got it: This is actually what I’m reading right now. I saw it on a supermarket newsstand and picked it up because I’m intrigued by the Medieval World and a century-by-century guide is a great tool for understand the pieces of history.