Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year, New Books, New Ventures

I’m a bit late with this post, but like a lot of my bookish friends, I’ve been recovering from sickness, or as we referred to it at my house, “the death virus,” so my blogging break was a bit longer than I originally anticipated. I’ve missed you guys and can’t wait to stop by your blogs and catch up!


I completed my 2012 reading challenge last year and surpassed my goal by reading 107 books...



and challenged myself to read 100 books in 2013.




This year, I completed my first Debut Author Challenge, and a couple of the books I read for this challenge became 2012 favorites:


Debut Author Challenge 2012


12 / 12

I won’t be participating in any challenges or tours this year, and I’m cutting way down on requests and ARCs. I am officially declaring 2013 the year of the fun reads. I want to read what I want to read when I want to read it, and the same goes for reviews.  No deadlines and no pressure.

The lovely Ari from Reading After Midnight posted this on her Facebook page last year and it has stuck with me:

  “I blog because I read, I don’t read because I blog.”

I don't ever want to lose sight of my reason for doing this.  No out-of-control TBR piles and not being able to read new releases because of being buried by requests.  That's just not what I want. I already have a job and blogging is my fun hobby -- my ‘me time.’ Life is too short to read a book I don't enjoy when there are so many amazing ones waiting on my bookshelves.

There are a lot of older books/series that I never got to, and I have so many recommendations from my favorite bloggers that I want to read as well. I'm looking forward to several much-anticipated new releases, and a few of my favorite trilogies will be coming to an end (*sniffs*). I’m also exploring some different genres this year - some that I have shied away from in the past. That’s right… some of them will be -- *gasp* -- monster-less books... but I’m braving the scariest genre out there: contemporaries. *quivers*

  I’ve already read several books since Christmas that aren't in my 'reading comfort zone':


EasyHopelessStolen: A Letter to My CaptorThe Perks of Being a Wallflower


 And you know what? I LOVED them. I’ve cried bucketfuls. One made me ugly cry/sob my guts out… and I think that may be why I cut such a wide path around these type of books, but sometimes we all need a good cry and, more importantly, to FEEL. I can't wait to share my reviews of these awesome books with you.

One of my favorite quotes from Hopeless is this:

“Should it matter what genre it is if the book is good?”

How fitting that I came across that line as I’m wading into these new reading waters!

Any great books you think I should add to my list? I'm taking suggestions!

I had an amazing 2012! I read some incredible books, I met some fabulous people, I got to know some of my favorite bloggers better, and I reached and even surpassed certain bookish and blogging goals I set for myself.

I look forward to meeting more book lovers and fellow bloggers this year, and I wish you ALL an amazing and beautiful 2013!    I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule on Monday. Until then, my lovely fellow readers… xoxo

22 comments:

  1. Welcome back lovely. I need to take a lead from you and do the same. I am though making an effort to pencil in many of the books I want to read amongst all the TBR commitments. I will dig out by summer. I have so many good books waiting for me and I agree about not being able to read the new releases. I am cutting way back on tours as well. Happy reading! Loved all your quotes Welcome back!

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    1. Thank you, my friend! It is good to be back! You're doing great and I know you will meet that summer goal! Happy reading to you! Big hugs! <3

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  2. Good for you..blogging should be fun, and if it isn't then yeah cutting back on arcs and such is important. I am very selective about the books I choose and accept for review, and it makes the whole thing a joy..if I am not super excited about an ARC then its not fun! Good luck and hope the crude is finally gone at your house!

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    1. Thank you, Kimba! I definitely plan on being more selective. Blogging is so much fun - I just have to remember it's up to me to keep it that way. We are finally feeling much better - hope you are too! <3

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  3. Love this post and congrats! Which one of those made you cry ugly bucketfuls? I love emotional books :) Your quotes are very fitting and great as well. 2013 will be a fun year, indeed :)

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    1. Hi Sunny!! Thank you, lovely! Well, to be completely honest, all of them made me cry, but it was Hopeless that brought on the chin-quivering ugly sob. It's a beautiful book that I highly recommend! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I wish you an amazing and FUN 2013! <3

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  4. Eww.. glad you are feeling better. I am cutting back a lot for 2013 too. I just don't want the blogging to take so much of my time to where I'm more stressed than enjoying it. Oh, I recently got Hopeless and look forward to reading it!

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    1. Thanks, Christy! I hope you love Hopeless as much as I did ;) Good luck cutting back some - I think we'll both be happier when we do!

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  5. Way to go on your 2012 goals. I admire your blogging stance. It's one I need to take. I loved Hopeless abs Easy too!

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! Aaaaaah, weren't those two books amazing?? Loved them SO much!

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  6. I love this post! Like I cant even! YAY for fun reading!

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    1. Heart you!! Thanks so much for stopping by and definite YAYYYY for fun reads! We have so many to gush about this year! ;)

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  7. Ahh contemporary... I think I made a fair stab at it last year and picked up more than I used to. I plan to continue that this year. :) Blogging can get out of control pretty easily for me. I also plan to take it easy this time around! Good luck with your challenges, Michele. :)

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    1. Thank you, Sam! You reviewed some great ones last year, that I added to my list!

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  8. I hope you are all feeling better. We've been sick around my house to and it's no fun. I love the saying "I blog because I read, I don't read because I blog." That is something we all need to remember. I admire you for taking time for fun reads. I am swamped with reviews and tours for January and February, but I am slowing down after that. I have so many books I want to read, but can't get to them. Great advice.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen! We are feeling much better, and I hope you and your family are, too! You do a great job, especially being as swamped as you are! Hope things will slow down a bit so you can enjoy those books you want to get to. <3

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  9. It's good to see that are other people thinking a bit like me ;) I understand you so well.
    I read only for the fun, the joy of it (and it doesn't mean that I read fluffy/happy books only; I love to cry over a story just as much) and most of my books have ratings starting at 3stars. It's not like I love al the book I read though, it's just that I don't finish a book that I don't like, one that would deserve 1 or 2 starts only.
    As you say: "Life is too short to read a book I don't enjoy when there are so many amazing ones waiting on my bookshelves. "

    It might not be OK for the people that come to my blog as they should probably know which books I didn't like and why, but I prefer not to lose my time reading and reviewing a book I didn't even like. I prefer to use that time to read a better book.
    You see, I feel so .. alive after reading a good book. It makes me happy, it makes me feel somehow complete.. Yeah, I might be crazy like that, but I just love reading so much :)

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    1. You definitely inspired me, Ari! I've never had a DNF shelf - just couldn't stop myself from finishing the book, no matter how annoyed with it I was. I'm never doing that again. If I can't get into the story -- for whatever reason -- I'm going to decline to rate or review it.

      Feeling so alive after reading a good book is a feeling I understand completely. Not crazy at all... just crazy about reading, and you're in good company there ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. Welcome back! So happy to hear you ladies are feeling better! Missed you. :)

    I love your plans for 2013. Reading what you want is so important! You don't want to lose sight of the fun of reading. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013 filled with all kinds of fabulous books!
    ~Stephanie

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    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie! We have really missed you and Jess! Wishing both of you lovely ladies a beautiful 2013! <3

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  11. fantastic post love! I'm so with you. Blogging becomes not fun when it starts getting stressful because you have so many author requests and such to read. I have had the same problem. I couldn't read my fun books and I'm still behind on author requests but I'll get to them when I can, this is not my job. you said it well! Lets kick our TBR Piles butt this year :) OMG You got me to read Easy and that book was so flipping amazing! I'm going to be starting hopeless was just trying to get homework done first so then I can devour it :) Good job on meeting your reading goal. I had to lower mine when I couldn't really read much anymore because of school. I hope this year will be better :) Happy new year of reading! I love this post :) <3

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  12. YAY to new genres but BOO to several of those series ending. In 2012, you and your amazing reviews inspired me to read more than ever! so much love for you!

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