Posted in Chatty

Kindle 2022 Year-End Challenge Achievement Guide!

Hey y’all! With the end of September comes the end of the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge from Kindle. You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the Year End Challenge! This new challenge runs from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 with 15 possible achievements.

Below is a guide to the Kindle Year End Challenge. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!

Kindle Year End Reading Challenge Achievements

This one runs from October 1st to December 31st, 2022. There are 15 possible achievements.

Days Read

  • Bronze Reader: read on any 15 days during the challenge
  • Silver Reader: read on any 40 days during the challenge
  • Gold Reader: read on any 75 days during the challenge

Books Completed

  • Bookish: read one book
  • Bookworm: read two books
  • Bibliophile: read three books

Streaks

  • Head Start: read one day
  • Perfect Week: read 7 days in a row (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Perfect Month: read every day for a calendar month (ex. every day in November)

Mystery:

  • Mystery 10/10
    • Hint: A Prime Time to Read
  • Mystery 10/24:
    • Hint: You’ll be on the edge of your seat
  • Mystery 11/7:
    • Hint: There’s something for everyone
  • Mystery 11/23:
    • Hint: Skip the crowds
  • Mystery 12/5:
    • Hint: Get the inside scoop
  • Mystery 12/14:
    • Hint: Cozy up for the holidays
Continue reading “Kindle 2022 Year-End Challenge Achievement Guide!”
Posted in Book Talk

October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!

Hey y’all! I’ve got my TBR rip raring and ready to go for October, and it actually has no planned spookiness or anything “Halloween” themed. I guess there might be some that could fit it, but that wasn’t the intention, you know? Anyway. Here’s my non-spooky TBR with my attempts at making them spooky-fied. xD

Book club choices

Oh, you know, actually… okay, maybe there’s some spookishery going on here. But I swear, it was unplanned spookishery! *ahem* moving on…

Sign Here I grabbed from Book of the Month because, despite how leery I was of all the hype I’d seen around it, it does actually sound like a book I’d like. It’s about a demon trying to get a whole family to trade their souls to him, so uh… I guess demons and Hell are pretty Halloweeny.

The Night Ship came from Aardvark Book Club, which just launched! This one is a dual-timeline story about two kids who end up on an island off Western Australia and they’re looking at old shipwrecks and monsters and maybe ghosts which actually kind of sounds like it fits October reading too.

Continue reading “October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!”
Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Lovely Wordy Covers 😍

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is typographic covers. Covers where words are the winner, and that’s all there needs to be. Covers where the title is the focus, and maybe it’s done creatively or just smashed in huge letters so you can’t miss it. I ADORE this topic because I think making an attractive, interesting cover without any usual visuals is an impressive skill, and can be done so well. I found a bunch below!! 😀

The books

The covers are more giant than usual this week since the focus is entirely on the cover!

That’s it for this week! Have you read any of the above books? Link to your posts this week in the comments as well 🙂

Posted in Reviews

Review: Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola (Honey and Spice)
Recommended: YES!!
For fake dating gone right, for gestures both grand and minute that matter equally as much, for characters who confront hard truths about themselves and challenge others to do the same, for excellent frienships, and yes, romance too

This is one of the few books this year — maybe the only book this year? — that I finished and feel like it was EASILY a five-star read, smashing through and getting all the way to the top. Loved it. 😍

Summary

Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.

They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?

Thoughts

So many of the women in this book sound like excellent people to be friends with and I wish I knew where to find folks like them. Making friends as an adult is weird, y’all. I think the female friendships in this book were very well done and I adored them. Yes, some of them come about because of a man, and they do talk about their men, but damn if it wasn’t so much more than that. It felt empowering and hilarious and vulnerable all at once.

Continue reading “Review: Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola”
Posted in Book Talk

Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

Ugh.

If you use Goodreads and haven’t seen it yet, the book page on their website has been redesigned! Personally I’m not a fan overall, but I tried really hard to think of some positives about it too. 😂 Below are my lists and overall thoughts. Vote below on if you like it or not and drop a comment about why!

Love!

  • The fact that they redesigned it means they’re giving Goodreads more attention than it’s gotten in like a decade. Maybe that will bring some good changes soon!
  • The spot that shows how many people have the book marked as “currently reading” is really cool! It feels more like a community thing with that.
  • It remembers your settings for whether the book page should show the edition&book details or have it collapses by default.
  • The reviews show a breakdown of people you’re friends with or following and how each of them rated the book.
  • The book cover, status, and rating in the left sidebar stays with the main page as you scroll through sections.

Haaaate.

  • The reading status / tags button. I hate that it’s popped into the middle of the screen now — why make me go somewhere else from where I just clicked? I also hate having to select reading status, THEN tags on a new screen. Again, more clicking. Ugh.
  • Everything is HUGE! Why is it all so giant!
  • I can’t get to my individual review page from my review on the books page — only through the “My Books” listing. EDIT: Misty noted that you can see the review page by clicking the date on the review. Added a photo below! Thanks Misty!
  • If you’re looking for other books in the series, you have to scroll WAYYY to the bottom of the page in order to find them. WHY.
  • The book details button to collapse it when it’s open is not intuitive to find as it’s buried under a bunch of stuff instead of remaining at the top as a coherent “open/close” toggle.
  • There’s just SO MUCH on the page and I have to scroll so far to get to any of it. God forbid I’m at the bottom and want to return to the top. A floating Table of Contents with links to each section or TOC embedded in a sidebar would help navigate the page a ton. Even a standard “Back to the top!” floating button! SOMETHING!
  • Randomly get an error saying it cannot load reviews under the Friends and Following section, and retry doesn’t work. Kind of also a pro though, because now I have less scrolling to do!
Continue reading “Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign”
Posted in Book Talk

20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!

Hey y’all! In early June, I started my first year challenging the 20 books of summer goal that’s hosted at 746 Books. The goal is to read and review 20 books from June to September 1. The reviewing is the key part!

In my sign up post, I chose to go for 15 based on specific prompts that I wanted to fulfill. I did hit all 15 prompts, as well as a lot of other books that I read and reviewed outside of it! Below is a list of the books I completed for each prompt, as well as the other reviews I posted during the summer. 😊

The 15 prompts & their books

Continue reading “20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Happyish by Jeanette Escudero (9/20/22)

Happyish by Jeanette Escudero
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2022
Recommended: yep
For a story with “last day to live” vibes, for a lot of character reflection, for lovely settings and journeys that’ll make your feet itch to wander

Summary

It was supposed to be a good day.

On the one-year anniversary of her divorce, Alex Martinez is getting closure—and margaritas with her two best friends. But just before the celebratory meetup, Alex is clobbered by life once again. Damping the cheer is the diagnosis of a brain tumor she can’t pronounce, a procedure she’d rather postpone, and the prospect of what to say to an already heartbroken mother. Not that Alex plans to tell her anything anytime soon.

Going from blissful to blindsided in one afternoon, Alex has other plans: to be impulsive and embark on an adventure she’ll never forget. Expected destinations: the Grand Canyon, Puerto Rico, and zip-lining through Costa Rica. Unexpected companion: a hiker named David who’s found a woman after his own heart. But no matter how enriching the journey, how long can Alex keep running?

It’s time to accept past griefs, reconnect with her mother, and find her way back to happy. For Alex, whatever the future holds, maybe everything she really needs to face is right where she left it. 

Thoughts

Key point to jump straight to because there’s one big, obvious question when the blurb and point of the book is about a woman learning she has a brain tumor: the ending was unexpected, but in a good way. I felt like I learned a lot about myself through the way the ending was handled, and that was an interesting (and maybe humbling) experience in itself. I won’t say exactly what happens, just that it was done well and added to the rest of the story building up to that critical moment.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Happyish by Jeanette Escudero (9/20/22)”
Posted in Chatty

Why I try to keep an open mind about authors

A month or so ago, I started a book that I’d seen a few times and thought sounded like one I might enjoy. Not long after, I ended up abandoning the book because of how unlikable the characters were to me. With a plot that was focused on redemption, I was lost without being able to cheer on and support the character. I put it aside and thought, “well that was a waste.”

Around the same time, I requested an ARC on NetGalley for a book about a woman whose life is turned upside down so she tries to live to the fullest while coming to terms with recent changes. I finished that one recently in just a few days and really enjoyed it the whole way through, already planning out how I would write the review and what moments in the story I wanted to focus on.

So color me surprised when I turned to the last page and the author’s bio mentioned their previous book, which you might have guessed already is the one I had abandoned a month before! Maybe it was subconscious that I had recognized the author’s name on one book after seeing the other when looking through titles.

The book I disliked was the author’s debut, so maybe their style had shifted a bit in the time between books that let me enjoy it. Or maybe I would have liked the first one more if I had been able to get past the character issues I was seeing at the start. Who knows? But I took this as a reminder to myself not to write off an author just from one book, because another they have might completely resonate with me.

This is your reminder too, if you need one. 🙂

Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved So Much I Bought a Physical Copy (or two…)

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

Today’s prompt is books that I bought because I loved them so much (prompt recommended by Alecia @ The Staircase Reader). This is one that I can only join because of recent changes in my life, namely having space to HAVE a library of my own of shelves and shelves of books. It’s such a luxury, and it’s basically all I need to be happy in my home.

The books that have moved me most enough to buy a copy tend to be nonfiction or graphic novels (or sometimes both!). This is partly because nonfiction tends to have a lot of information that I like to quickly thumb through and refer to or dip back into on re-reads, and graphic novels or heavily illustrated books are nicer to have a physical copy of to enjoy the art. With that in mind… here’s my list!

The Books

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved So Much I Bought a Physical Copy (or two…)”
Posted in Book Talk

September 2022 TBR: A Very Gentle Month

Hey y’all! This month’s TBR is very very short, because that’s just where I’m at. It’s totally possible that I’ll read more than these, but I’m not looking ahead too much. Anyway, here are the 4 books I’m planning on reading/finishing.

September’s Books

The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick –
I splurged on a gorgeous physical copy and have been slowly making my way through

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo –
Continuing my buddy read with Nicole 😊

Take It From Me by Jamie Beck –
an ARC I’m really excited about ^.^

City of Bones by Clarissa Clare –
a re-read I’m looking forward to as I just picked up a new set of the series at a library book sale. I’m not sure I’ll ever get my old set back, so I’m delighted to have a new one of this series I really enjoyed.

So that’s it for this month, very gentle. I’m feeling like some slower paced books, and/or ones I’m familiar with and can sink into a bit.