Monday, February 26, 2018

The Unread Shelf Project

As you probably know, you can follow hashtags on Instagram now. I didn't really care much until #theunreadshelfproject2018 started up. I am totally following that hashtag and loving it. Also, you should be following @theunreadshelf herself who started this cool project with a couple of other really cool people!

The really neat thing I started noticing even a couple days into it was that people had some pretty cool and (in my opinion) obscure reads on their shelves that I know I haven't seen on bookstagram before. Not only that, but I had some of these same books on my shelves too! 

Before bookstagram I only picked up books that interested me. I stuck mainly to the adult section, reading mostly mysteries, and occasionally the big talked about books that were on the shelves. I had some go to authors and often I only really broadened my horizons at the library or when family passed books my way. 

Since joining bookstagram, I've expanded what I read quite a bit. For one, I find myself visiting the young adult section a lot more than I ever did. (I'm going to write a whole post on that soon). 

Another thing I find myself doing is paying more attention to the new releases, and the popular books that everyone else is talking about online. 

Honestly if I see a book mentioned over 5 times randomly on bookstagram I will go find out more about it. About 6 times out of 10 I end up getting my hands on the book, either from the library, in a cheap or free e-book form, or on sale at the bookstore. 

Because of this I have quite a few book sitting around that were totally influenced by bookstagram that I still haven't gotten to, and quite a few I have read and totally loved. 

Still though, true to myself, I do still creep around in the areas of the bookstore and library that I love and I grab up older books, books that I haven't seen anyone talk about, books that are totally all of my own finding. 

If you've been following my reviews for some time you'll know that I review all different kinds of books, and I think that sometimes I might be reviewing a book that 95% of you won't have ever heard of or seen before but perhaps I might be more wrong about that then I thought!

Seeing some of the odd and little mentioned books on my shelves popping up in the unread shelf project hashtag is pretty darn cool! I'm so happy to see that we all have such different tastes!

Instead of abstaining totally from buying new books and only reading those on my shelf, I have made a couple new rules for myself because, let's be real, there's no way I could keep that up.

I've decided instead that there would be no more cover buys or picking up books on a whim because they are on sale. I am allowing myself to buy books that are new releases I can't live without, part of a series I already have/started reading, or books I've been wanting for quite a while.

I am being so much more mindful about the books I buy. I've gone to the bookstore recently and I actually had a hard time finding something. I had a gift card to spend and where I would have usually pounced on a couple things I came across, I didn't this time. I truly thought about books I have wanted or needed in a series and looked for those first.

I've got enough books now that I can almost treat my shelves like a library and come across books I've forgotten about and pick them up like new again to read. It's been quite enjoyable so far and I intend to keep reaching for my shelf! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Inferno by Dan Brown

So I'm a little behind on the hype for Dan Brown as I hadn't actually read any of his work till I read The DaVinci Code way, way after everyone else had. Since then I've watched the movie version and watched Angels and Demons but I hadn't picked up any more of his work.

This book caught my eye on sale and partially because I figured it would be a quick and fun read, and because it was made into a movie, I snapped it up.

Robert Langdon wakes up in Italy with amnesia and with the help of a doctor he meets at the hospital he must race against time to recover his memories and save the world. The only clues are based on Dante's Inferno, the literary masterpiece. He must delve into the history and the past surrounding the man and his work of art to solve the puzzle.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this book. It was interesting and exciting, but at the same time, I was waiting for it to be over. Like maybe it went on a little too long in parts. I kind of feel like the history and the facts were interesting, but they were really heavy and detailed.

This was not as fast of a read as The DaVinci Code was. This book took me quite a bit longer than I expected. It kept my attention, but I don't know. Something was missing.

The twists and turns weren't nearly as amazing as I hoped, and the ending just didn't amaze me or thrill me like I wanted. It's as if it started out as such an amazing and crazy story and then it just dropped off all of a sudden and I don't know what happened. It fell a little flat and a little dull by the end.

I think I would still watch the movie if I came across it on t.v. or something, but I don't think that I would bother searching it out. I just felt like it wasn't enough but too much at the same time?

Recommendation: For lovers of Dan Brown, for lovers of thrillers that are heavy on history and facts, but perhaps not for the everyday sampler of books.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Throne for Sisters by Morgan Rice

So let's just talk about Book Bub for a quick second. If you aren't signed up and getting their emails about super cheap and free(!) ebooks every day then what are you waiting for!?!

Anyway, this was a lovely freebie that I found through Book Bub a little while ago and I snapped it up. Partly because of the cover and partly because it sounded pretty cool.

This book is about two orphaned sisters who want to live the lives they dream of. They both have the special ability to read the minds of others, which comes in handy with their pursuit of their ideal fantasy. One sister dreams of the good life, living rich as royalty. The other dreams of a life fighting like a solider and being tough and brave. 

This is a fantasy set in a world of its own, not one really like ours so it's got that older, almost medieval feel to it. 

I have mixed feelings about this book though. I liked it, but I wanted more out of it. I felt like the main premise of the story wasn't fully resolved by the end, but it wasn't like a cliffhanger in the traditional sense. It just kept going then stopped. It's hard to explain. Like I was pretty into what was going on, but then it just kind of ended. 

Without giving anything away, it was like things were working out for them and I spent a good chunk of time reading this waiting for the other shoe to drop because there has to be bad with the good. Then for there not to have been a final resolution in the end did kind of bug me, but I don't know if it was really compelling for me to read the second one, because what if it happens again? 

I never really give star ratings for books but if I had to, I'd say like 2.5 or 3 stars out of 5. It was good, but there was just a little missing for me. I wanted more in this book without needing to continue the series to find out more. Needed some more meat on the bones for me. 

Recommendation: It's an easy YA fantasy read. It had good elements and was interesting while I read it. I would get this at the library or like I did though if you're thinking of reading it. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Nightshade for Warning by Bailey Cattrell

This is the second book in the Enchanted Mysteries series by Bailey Cattrell. You can find my review of the first one here. These books are 100% cozy and 100% awesome!

This book follows Ellie Allbright who runs the Scents and Nonsense shop with connected Enchanted Garden. Ellie has the ability to use scent and solve people's problems. She can sense what is wrong and what herbal mixture will make everything better. Somehow, she also finds herself getting caught up in murders.

Ellie is to be interviewed and photographed for her tiny house and garden efforts but before this can happen the journalist who was writing the piece gets killed. She now needs to find the killer before the wrong person is collared for the murder instead.

These books are just cute and simple and great. They are cozy stories that take you out of your normal life and throws you into a new place with new people and lets you follow along. It's a total bonus that this book has a little hint of magic to it too!

I totally recommend these books for the lovers of cozy mysteries that are challenging in that you probably won't guess whodunit before it's revealed by the author (I know I didn't know who it was!) but they are simple in that they take you out of your life and allow you to escape to a new one.

Also, can we just talk about this cover for a second?! I read this book quite a while ago but I waited for so long to post my review because I wanted to take the perfect photo of it outside in nature, but then winter hit. Ah well.

Recommendation: Totally great read for the lovers of cozy mysteries. Honestly, so good.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This book is insane. I don't often read memoirs but this one is pretty darn amazing. I picked it up used a couple years ago because I had heard it was a must read, and they were not kidding about that. This book is a total must read.

It's about the life that Jeannette Walls had growing up. It details in the realest ways her past and it's not pretty. It really brings into perspective the truth that you don't really know what someone else's life is like and you shouldn't ever judge, or compare, because no one's life is like yours.

Her writing is mesmerizing and beautiful. So many times my heart broke for her and the things she experienced. If this book isn't the book that highlights how to deal with family and how to persevere then I don't know what is.

I'm pretty sure I told my fiancee literally everything in the book right after I read it because I needed to talk about it with someone. It's like I knew it was real but I couldn't deal with that because how could it have happened that way?

I don't want to go into details about it really, you can find some more insight on Goodreads because I don't want to explain everything as I think you just need to read it. Like for real. Please read this.

The reason I picked it up off my shelf to read it now was because I heard it was being made into a movie, and boy, I cannot wait for that movie.

This book was so good, but yet, so terrible that it's true, but again, so good!

Recommendation: If you want to be amazed and horrified and amazed all at once, read this. Scratch that, just read this!