Hiatus

Due to work and a few other things, my plate has gotten quite full! I’ve decided (especially after not being able to update for a few months) that I’ll be going on a hiatus until May.

By that time things will have settled down a good deal. In the mean time, when I do get the chance to read, I’ll be reviewing books and adding them to the queue so that we’re off to a strong start in May. The first post breaking the hiatus will be May 5th (a Friday)

I hope that in the summer months I’ll be able to do some fun posts and such along with my book reviews. I’m also making plans for special holiday related posts in the autumn months.

Thanks for your understanding! In the mean time, happy reading and I’ll see you in May!

Bookish Recap (September)

 

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This month was a great month reading wise! I got to team up with Xpresso Book Tours and help out with two book tours by reviewing the books and that was quite fun. I got my hands on Nevernight and devoured it and got my romance in Sun and Moon. I feel like this month made up for the past couple where I’ve been in reading slumps.

I’ve also made a couple of changes around the blog. From here on out in the Bookish Recap, books will be listed in alphabetical order by author (it used to be random). I’ve also gone through and updated my Past Reviews page and added the star rating for each book. I’m considering adding a new page for my 4 and 5 star reads so that those are easier to find and you don’t have to hunt for them.

Nine Candles of Deepest Black (Matthew S. Cox; 4 stars)

The Shattered Seam (Kathleen Groger; 3 stars)

Nevernight (Jay Kristoff; 4.5 stars)

Sun and Moon (Desiree Williams; 3 stars)

I think by far this month my favorite book was Nevernight. I had seen it around and in the bookstores. I was in love with the cover and the idea was certainly interesting. But I wasn’t sure if splurging on a book that I might not like would be worth it or not. It was worth every single penny and I am so proud of the life choices that brought me to that moment. Ok, ok, melodrama aside, it was a really awesome book that was 100% what I was looking for. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, but the whole book is about defying expectations in a way, so it fits that the book would defy expectations as well.

Overall, the books I read this month all surprised me. They took old tropes and made them new, or had fresh writing styles, or were beautifully heartfelt stories. I might not have given every book 5 stars, but these books were all well worth the reads and I’m glad I had the chance to read so much this month.

Book Review: #GIRLBOSS

|+| Warning: Strong language throughout |+|

“Failure is your invention.” ~ Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)

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Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author: Sophia Amoruso

Genre: Business/Memoir

Summary: At seventeen, Sophia Amoruso decided to forgo continuing education to pursue a life of hitchhiking, dumpster diving, and petty thievery. Now, at twenty-nine, she is the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Nasty Gal, a $100+ million e-tailer that draws A-list publicity and rabid fans for its leading-edge fashion and provocative online persona. Her story is extraordinary—and only part of the appeal of #GIRLBOSS.

This aspirational book doesn’t patronize young women the way many business experts do. Amoruso shows readers how to channel their passion and hard work, while keeping their insecurities from getting in the way. She offers straight talk about making your voice heard and doing meaningful work.

She’s proof that you can be a huge success without giving up your spirit of adventure or distinctive style. As she writes, “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this.”

My Opinion: I’ve must have done something right at one point because lately I’ve really been lucking out with my non-fiction. Usually I’m deeply unsatisfied with my non-fiction, but #GIRLBOSS promised a lot and delivered more. I really think for any woman interested in business this should be mandatory reading.  There were just one or two things that bugged me though so I gave it 4.5 stars.

I’ll start with what bugged me first. Amoruso gives it to you like it is, which is great and very needed. Many a times I read a book (especially a business book) that does more coddling than helping. There’s no coddling here which is fantastic, but sometimes it felt like Amoruso was a bit too blunt. There’s a fine line between giving it to you like it is and being outright mean and once or twice for me Amoruso crossed it. That is my only complaint though.

Otherwise I think this book is fantastic. Amoruso does an excellent job combining her life experiences with how she made it in the business world. She gives tips that she used and uses to not only help women become #GIRLBOSSes like herself, but also to just live better lives. A great example is her tip about putting 10% of all earnings into savings and use it as an emergency fund. Most people don’t put nearly that much in if they do that at all. That’s just one of the tips and the great thing about it is that her tips are quite practical and easy to implement.

I think the beauty of this book is that because Amoruso holds nothing back, you realize that being a boss (or in this case #GIRLBOSS) isn’t just about being a CEO or manager, it’s about taking control of your life and keeping your cool in the uncontrollable situations. She shares her bizarre life and business experiences and owns up to her mistakes-but also to her successes. There’s a lot of details I could go into, but for me the most powerful part of the book was when she was growing Nasty Gal from her home, and her home was just being overtaken by everything. While she was nailing her business, she was also so in over her head. Yet she never gave up and took that as a sign to enlist some help. And there’s some pretty great stories with that too (not everyone sticks around). Just like Amoruso takes responsibility when she hires someone, she makes you take responsibility from the get go by always referring to the reader not as “reader,” but as “#GIRLBOSS.” By the end of the book, that phrase kind of gets ingrained in your head. Frankly, it makes me really want to live up to it.

It gets even cooler from here because when you talk about the book, the title of the book isn’t Girl Boss, it’s #GIRLBOSS. So when you use that hashtag, you’re making yourself a part of a community of women who have also read the book and are taking control of their lives and businesses. I noticed this when I posted a picture of the book on Instagram. Which is insanely cool to me because throughout the book Amoruso talks about how important it is for women to support each other and not to start fights. And just through the title of the book she helped build a community of women who are willing to work together.

If that’s not a boss move I don’t know what is.

TL;DR: This book should be mandatory reading for women who want to go into business. Not only does Amoruso show the behind the scenes of building Nasty Gal from the ground up, she adds in personal details that shows that  no matter how rich and cool you are, you’re still human. And humans are bound to make mistakes. But as she shows us, every mistake comes with a lesson and taking control of those learning experiences is what makes a woman not only a better business leader, but a better person in general.

Books I’m Dreading (Part 2)

I had a lot of fun doing the first post of this and am going to keep it as an ongoing thing.

Now as stated in the first edition of this, I might be dreading these books, but I’m also really looking forward to them. You can see the problem. But I know I’m not the only one that feels this way about certain books. I’d love to hear what books you’re dreading/looking forward to. Feel free to comment your take on any of these books too!

A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Bless the fans and everyone involved in this book for giving us a nice abbreviation for this  monster of a title. Honestly? I have no interest in reading the first book but I really want to read the second book (seriously y’all stop drawing awesome fan art). I  mean it should be something I’d like, the premise is apparently a spin off of Beauty and the Beast. As in it has some elements of the story but is pretty far from it. Goodness knows that is one of my favorite faerie tales (seriously I have read so many wonderful variations of it). ACOTAR has politics and strong world building too if the hype is to be believed. But it also has abusive relationships and is more on the New Adult side, and I’ve had a hard time so far finding NA books I’ve liked. Despite all the promise and fan art, this book just might not be for me and I’m dreading my potential dislike of it. At this point I want to love it cause I love the fandom and want to be a part of that. Also, thick books.

Obsidian

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People I trust swear by this book. Said people also really enjoyed Twilight and I love Twilight. But man, the last time I read about aliens it was a Stephen King book with death by alien via toilet. Not my thing. Aliens have never really been my thing outside of comics anyway. But I have read a sample of this book and the writing style seems strong, the cover is mostly green (green is one of my favorite colors), and apparently the heroine has a youtube channel dedicated to books. That all seems promising. But…aliens. I’ll read this one for sure, but kind of worried that this is just going to be another Twilight rip-off, and I hate rip-offs of any kind. But I swear I will eventually give this one a go. Just so long as there’s no death by alien via toilet.

Shadow and Bone

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Honestly? I have no interest in this series outside of the bad guy. When the series first came out the plot sounded promising but I just couldn’t get into the writing style. Which is odd because I have Six of Crows which is by the same author and I bought it because I loved all the samples of it I read. But I keep on seeing The Darkling pop up on best villain lists and man I am a sucker for a well written bad guy. On the other hand, I hear that while the setting is supposed to be a tribute to Russia it comes off more as appropriation. That always makes me wary of a book. But…well written villains? When I give this book a go I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The Woman in Black

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Look y’all I love horror. I get so frustrated with it though, because rarely do I find books or movies that genuinely frighten me. The movie adaption of this story almost made me cry it was so terrifying to me. When the movie first came out the commercials used a review that said “Don’t see it alone” I like a good girl for once listened to that sage advice. My friend and I were freaking terrified and I slept with my light on for at least a week. I loved it (so uh anyone want to watch it with me again?). True, genuine scares are few and far between with both books and movies, but for me it’s so much harder to be scared by a book. What if the short story isn’t as scary? It’s hard to pull of scares in a short story (short stories are hard in general yo).  What if this doesn’t live up to the promise? I cannot have another Divergent situation. I just can’t.

The Architect of Song

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I resent how the blurb starts off “A lady imprisoned by deafness.” Umm what? As a hard of hearing (HoH) person, who’s deaf when I take my hearing aids out, that’s just  offensive. But this book takes place in the Victorian era, so yeah, that would have actually been accurate. The resources people like me have today are astounding (I mean we’ve got a looong way to go, but that’s a story for another time), and next to none of them existed in the Victorian era. And if they did, they weren’t readily available for women. The premise sounds interesting and the setting and time period (Victorian era ftw!) sound like my cup of tea as well. I’m just really hoping that this book was well researched and written respectfully, but I’m also prepared for (and kind of expecting) it not to be. I think this might be the book I’m most nervous about.

While that’s it for this batch, there will be more in the future! My recommendation pile is ever growing and I’m always finding new books I want to read. I’d love to hear your take on any of these books, if you’ve liked or loved them, or if you’re dreading them too. Even if these books aren’t your cup of tea, I’d love to know what books you’re dreading yet looking forward to!

Books I’m Dreading (but can’t wait to read)

This is a bit different than what I usually do, but I figured it was a fun thing to do. This is a long and somewhat image heavy post though, so heads up!

Ok, so I know I’m not the only one this happens to. But sometimes I dread reading certain books. They’re books I want to read, but because of all the hype surrounding them, and bitter disappointments from other hyped up books, I have a mild feeling of dread towards them.

I love seeing what others are dreading but wanting to read and sometimes even helping them out by giving them a gentle push in the “read” or “flee” direction. I’d love to hear your take on any of these books!

In absolutely no order:

Throne of Glass

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Ok so I know the heroine is totally hardcore and there’s this really awesome witch later on in the series, not to mention realistic love situations (the heroine falls in love with more than one person and it’s natural apparently). But I’ve heard such mixed reviews about the latest book. It seems like people either loved it or hated it. The title also reminds me a lot of Game of Thrones. I haven’t read those books but, the similarity is off-putting for me. I like seeing wholly original things.  I can’t help but wonder if this is just gonna wind up being a women centric/less sex filled version of the SoIaF series. Also, more on the personal side, I read the first few pages to take a peek and the writing didn’t blow me away. I was told to read the first two books before saying if the series works for me or not, so I’m going to but….I keep putting it off.

Game of Thrones

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Speaking of A Song of Ice and Fire….I love big books. The bigger the better and the more right it feels for me. I love high fantasy. I especially love my political driven high fantasy. This series seems to have it all. And there’s dragons! Buuuut the show has put me off of it a bit. There’s apparently a lot of sex and rape. I’m not cool with that. Sex is fine, I’m ok with it when it’s well done and it’s not done for shock value, but from what I’ve heard while there’s less sex in the books, it’s still more for shock value. It’s certainly that way in the show. Also while the show has a lot of really hardcore ladies, I’m not sure how much of that is actually in the books. I’m hoping it’s in there and inspired that in the show, but there’s no telling. Besides, I already know how the series ends. Everyone dies. Right? I mean that is how it’s going to end right? Everyone dies and the throne just sits there empty and laughs. At this point, that seems to kind of be the thing of the show and books. Kill of the favorites for shock value and a bit of plot, and that just becomes less shocking the more it’s done. I want to read this book/series so badly but I also really don’t want to be disappointed. And it just looks like it’s loaded with disappointments.

The Winner’s Curse

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I’ve had some booklr friends swear by this series. They say that it’s perfect for fantasy lovers, especially those who like a twist of romance and need that political element. So pretty much it’s the perfect book for me. But it seems pretty romance heavy, not to mention that some have said that it romanticizes slavery. Also if I like it the only way I’ll get matching covers is to buy all the books in hardback (ugh, honestly publishers what were you thinking?). I think this is one of those books I’m going to have to try. It sounds like it might be another Twilight for me. I can call out how problematic it is, and still enjoy it.

Falling Kingdoms

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All I know is that it’s got magic, politics, and the cover reminds me of the Shannara series. From the summary I both desperately want to read it , yet am immediately setting myself up for a 3 star read. In the summary alone it sounds like the author is playing into troupes, and makes me feel like I’ve gotta get out my dice for a D&D game. That cover is stunning though and high fantasy is always good. But I’m looking for books that will blow me away, and while I’ve heard some awesome stuff about it, I’m still on the fence. Therefore procrastination!

Legend

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I don’t do dystopia. Divergent was such a bummer for me and I felt like The Hunger Games series had a huge dose of Second Book Syndrome. Dystopian books tend to disappoint me. I do politics though and this book promises to have that, as well as a touch of naturally developed romance. It also seems to have a really cool computer concept and hackers yo! It’s also a part of a completed series, so I don’t have to worry about waiting for the next book if I wind up loving it. But it’s dystopian, and it sounds a bit like The Hunger Games. I flipped through it to get a feel for the writing, and it switches between two characters both in first person. That’s really hard to pull off and it takes a heck of a writer to do it. I’m not sure if this book will cut it for me but it’s kind of a genre modern classic at this point in a way. I want to give it a try for sure. I just don’t want that try to be a legendary disappointment. (see? Look at that horrible pun! look at it! I love puns y’all).

This is only a handful of books that I both am looking forward to reading and dreading. I’ll do another batch of them sometime in the future. In the mean time, have you read any of these books? Feel free to give me a kick in the pants to get on with it if you have! On the other hand, are any of these books a part of your TBR (To Be Read) pile? Feeling any excitement or dread over any particular ones?

Updates (new post schedule)

Howdy, long time no post. Unfortunately.

I love books,  I love reading, and I love this blog. I also love my new job!

But between school and my job, I haven’t had as much time to post reviews as I would like. My reading habits remain unchanged, I still read every chance I get. But writing reviews takes time. I take it seriously because I love doing it and I want each review to be the best it can be. I want my reviews to be as honest and accurate to myself as possible and I feel like doing a rush job on my reviews wouldn’t be true to me and it wouldn’t be fun for people to read.

So I’ve decided that two posts a week is too much for now. I’ll temporarily be bumping down my posts to once a week, posting on Fridays (starting this week). Eventually, hopefully this summer, I’ll get back to posting twice a week (Monday and Friday).

I’ll admit, I’m already looking forward to when I can post twice a week again, I didn’t realize how much I  missed it. But in the mean time, once a week will do.

Thanks for your understanding and I’ll see you on Friday!

#readselfpublished April (reviews open)

I know, I see y’all giving that title some weird looks. It’s ok, just stick with me here.

A tumblr friend inspired by challenges such as #readwomen and #bigbookschallenge has started #readselfpublished. Of course the idea is to read self published books for the month. To give us reviewers and readers plenty of time to get together books for the challenge, the designated month is April.

I really want to participate in this, so I’ve decided to temporarily open up my blog for self published book reviews.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself so I will only be reading and reviewing 3 books. You can find all the info for requesting a review here.

Please note the following: 

  • I will only read/review 3 books
  • Your book will be read and reviewed sometime during April
  • I currently have a preference for horror, paranormal, and mystery books, although I’ll consider any book that falls into the genres listed on the request page.

 

As always, be sure to include the following and send all requests to annasbooksnstuff[at]gmail[dot]com (again this is listed on the review request page):

  • title of book
  • genre
  • synopsis
  • social media links for yourself and the book
  • Is this an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy)?
  • Is this a part of a blog tour? If so, please provide details and dates of blog tour.