The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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July Happenings!

Welcome July 2018!

Writing When I Can But Still Delivering Good Content…

In last month’s Happening post, I mentioned how this summer was going to be really busy for me and that I might not get to post as much as I would like. Still true. My to-do list and work schedule is taking up a lot of free time.

But here and there there should be snatches of free time for when I can draft posts for the blog. As much as I want to continuously push out content, that’s not feasible. I’d rather push out quality more than quantity blog posts (same applies for my WIP) in order to give you all the best content I can make.

To Read Or Not To Read But Need Time To Read…

I’m still reading With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland. Reading may prove difficult to accomplish but I’m going to try because it’ll help me relax on the more stressful days.

Reading Next: either Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (YAF) or A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers (MG).

Recent Reviews: Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee | Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (DNF)

For my full Summer Reading 2018 list, click here.

Book Recommendation of the Month

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
The Immortals, book 1
First Published: December 1, 1992
Hardcover Image: December 1, 1992 by Atheneum Books
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Image via Goodreads

Summary (via Tamora Pierce’s Official Website): Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.


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AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING AND HAPPY WRITING!

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The Bookshelf Corner Is On Summer Break!

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

Hi all!

I’ll be off for the next two weeks with nothing but fun and relaxation (and, of course, books!) on my mind. I’ll still be around here and there checking the Reader on occasion and maybe posting/updating my Twitter and Goodreads.

New posts will resume JULY 1.

Have a great day and summer everyone!

And, as always, happy reading and happy writing!


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Mid-Year Look-Back: Top 5 Favorite Books of 2018 (so far)

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Text added in Paint

2018 has been an exciting year for books for me. There have been surprisingly fantastic reads, reads that made me feel the feels and swoon, and some I didn’t expect to be disappointments. But it’s still been a good reading year.

I’ve managed to read 64 books so far and surpass my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal earlier than last year.

I recently posted my 100th book review to this blog, which was amazing.

I read books by 19 new authors that I haven’t read from before.

Obsessively read 39 volumes of manga (and probably consumed equally as much anime).

But the best thing has been being able to share this crazy passion for books with all of you and in turn discovering new books/authors from you. So thank you thank you to you lovely people. May your book hunting and reading be ever more fortuitous. 🙂

Here are my favorite books of 2018 so far (titles lead to my reviews):

Black Butler by Yana Toboso, Translated by Tomo Kimura (Volumes 1-22)

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce (2nd Read)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen (ARC review)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


How are you all doing on your TBR lists? What are your favorite books that you’ve read so far this year?

As Always, Happy Reading!!!



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Blog Milestone: 100th Posted Book Review

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Edited in Paint

The coolest thing happened yesterday: I posted my 100th book review to this blog. Another huge milestone that I can’t believe I was able to achieve! I knew when I started this blog that I wanted to do book reviews foremost – because who doesn’t love talking about books?! Sometimes writing reviews were easy, sometimes hard. And sometimes I didn’t know what to say. But I could feel with each review I wrote that I was getting a little better at it until I found a method that worked for me. I’m also happy to see people are enjoying them – thank you for the lovely likes and comments!

Anyway, this is just a quick post for the day. I’m at a loss for words, haha!

Thanks for stopping by The Bookshelf Corner!

As always, happy reading!


100th Book Review: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee

Image via Goodreads

Summary (via Goodreads):
The seventh and final tale in the dazzling, heartwarming, pulse-racing Weekday Brides series.

Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

Read Full Review here.


Currently Reading: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (The Folk of the Air, book 1)

Recent Reviews: Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee, From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon


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June Happenings!

Welcome June 2018!

Preparing the Blog for Summer…

Now that it’s June and summer is right around the corner it’s time to make some serious plans. I’m doing a lot of things this summer so I don’t think I’ll get to post much. For June, I’ll be taking a break in the second half – a happy-summer-this-time-is-for-you break. For July and August, posts may be just one or twice a week. I’m predicating that at most any blog posts I write once summer is finally in full swing will be book reviews.

I’ve also changed the blog to brighter summer shades…just for the summer. I really like the color scheme in darker tones but a change of scenery every now and then can’t hurt.

Summer Reading Here I Come…

My summer reading list is nearly ready – that post will be up soon. I’m really excited about the books on this list. Hopefully, I’ll manage to get through them all before the Fall season starts but I plan to read at my leisure.

Currently Reading: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee (The Weekday Brides, book 7)

Reviews Coming Soon: Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee – June 4

Recent Reviews: From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon | How We Roll by Natasha Friend (ARC) | Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi

Book Recommendation of the Month

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes, book 1
First Published: October 14, 2014
Hardcover Image Edition: October 14, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Goodreads Summary: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. 

My Review of Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3


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AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING AND HAPPY WRITING!


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May Happenings!

Welcome May 2018!

A Personal Writing Challenge…

This month I am challenging myself to 1) finish a manuscript and 2) write two short stories (at minimum 5 or 7 pages each). I’m hoping to spend most of my free time writing.

Spring Reading Keeps Getting Better…

I read far more than expected last month, so I’m going to try to not good too overboard with my TBR list this month and stick to just a few to read.

Currently Reading:

  • River of Dreams by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 8)

Reading Next:

  • Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
  • Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
  • The Ancient Magnus’ Bride (Volume 1) by Kore Yamazaki, Translated by Adrienne Beck
  • From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

Reviews Coming Soon:

  • (NetGalley) Startup Fiancé by Shilpa Mudiganti – May 2
  • (ARC) Bitten Under Fire by Heather Long (Bravo Team WOLF, book 2) – May 14

An Organized Posting Schedule…

Posts for the month of May will be on most Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. I structured it in a way that it has a consistent “theme” for each weekday.

The Blog Posts Are Getting Slight Makeovers…

I’m creating and changing header images for some of the recurring posts I do to be more visually appealing and consistent across the blog. I’ve already gotten a head start with the “Quotes of the Day.” I changed the background for the quotes to appear on. Quotes will alternating appear on a blue or green filtered backdrop (see example from last week’s post here).

Book Recommendation of the Month

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
Ranger’s Apprentice, book 1
First Published: 2004
Paperback Image Edition: June 8th 2006 by Puffin Books
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Image via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary: They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied…. 


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AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING AND HAPPY WRITING!


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2018 Reading Challenge Complete!!!

as of 4/24/18

Earlier this week, I reached my goal of 50 books to read this year as a part of the Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge. I did not expect to finish so soon in the year as it took me far longer last year with a 30-book goal.

The past two months I’ve just been whisking through books one after another in short periods of time. Also, I read a lot of manga of which I devoured three to four volumes in a day at a time. There’s been just so many good reads that have held my attention regardless of the post-read ratings.

Below you’ll find all of the titles I’ve read for the challenge up until the goal reached. This includes book I haven’t official reviewed yet as well as 10 post-read thoughts and review excerpts.

Enjoy!


Manga

Black Butler by Yana Toboso, Translated by Tomo Kimura
(read during challenge: Volumes 1-18)
(Volume 1 Review)

Volume 1 Image via Goodreads

I am enjoying this manga immensely. I had planned to pace the reading of this out but it’s just too good that I kept checking out volume after volume from the library. There’s just so much…right with this manga and the art is absolutely gorgeous.

Volume 1 Review Excerpt: “I really like this manga. I love each character – the main characters are so charming, especially Sebastian and Ciel! I love all the humor throughout – I laughed a lot. And I was completely surprised at every turn.”

 

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya, Translated by Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley
(read during challenge: Volumes 1-16)
(Volumes 1-5 combined review)

 

ARCs/NetGalley

Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren (ARC)
Alphaville, book 1

Image via NetGalley

I can definitely get behind this series. Shifters – wolves in particular – are my favorite of the paranormal/supernatural sub-genre. This book was just too too good and I need to read book 2 asap!

Review Excerpt: “First off, I fell head over heels over the fact that Renny is a librarian and Mick is a graphic novelist. *insert book-nerdish swoon* That alone deserves all the stars in the world. But of course, that was the cherry atop the sundae for my love of these two characters.”

 

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (ARC)

Fade to Us by Julia Day (ARC)

Image via NetGalley

There’s so much to love and admire about this novel, specifically the sister-sister relationship that develops. Brooke and Natalie make this book: from the conflict with each other to the conflict they have with other people to the conflict they have with themselves.

Review Excerpt: “Great story. Wonderful characters. Pretty cover. Awesome that musical theater was involved. And loved the sister-sister relationship. Fade to Us deserves a standing ovation. Brava, Julia Day, brava!”

 

Henry Hodges Needs a Friend by Andy Andrews, Illustrated by Colleen Madden (NetGalley)

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen (ARC)

Image via NetGalley

For laughs, cats, telling memes, and insightful art, I highly recommend reading this graphic novel. It’s so light and funny but unapologetically serious about the life of an introvert and arts.

Review Excerpt: “Fantastic. Hilarious. Just what a creative person (and everyone) needs to hear and see. Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen is an art and narrative to be experienced.”

 

Blood Veil by Megan Erickson (ARC review)

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela (NetGalley review)

Image via Goodreads

I think this a novel to be added onto every TBR list if you like middle grade novels. Young readers will learn about perseverance, self-worth, failure, triumph, friendship, and a whole host of new vocabulary words. It’s a great story told really well.

Review Excerpt: “Truly…a stupendously sweet and spectacular story…It’s light, charming, wholesome, and educational”

 

Bitten Under Fire by Heather Long (ARC Review Coming Soon)
Startup Fiancé by Shilpa Mudiganti (NetGalley Review Coming Soon)

 

Novels

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Image via Goodreads

The YA narrative version of the song “This Is Me” in a nutshell. The struggles experienced and message that saturates this novel are truths that ring long past the story is over. I can’t help but reflect when I think about this novel: that in-your-face awareness of the flaws you perceived to be true and the flaws others see in you they believe to be true until you reach that moment when you realize you are human. This was just a really poignant YA novel and fantastic read.

Review Excerpt:Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is written with grace and style, creating a daring and enriching story that reminds you that you are wanted.”

 

Slammed by Colleen Hoover
The Winter King by C. L. Wilson
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
The Numair Chronicles, book 1

Image via Goodreads

The nostalgia is real! I am in love with the writing and how the story was told. The author has truly outdone herself this time. I just need to know what happens next now. 2019 (the expected publication year) is so far away.

Review Excerpt: “The story I’ve been waiting to read for years did not disappoint. Nostalgic, exhilarating, tumultuous, and bittersweet; I am left one very happy reader.”

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce
(with Julie Holderman, Timothy Liebe, Megan Messinger)

Image via Goodreads

I never thought I’d enjoy what is essentially a compilation text book, but this was so captivating to read. I learned so much more about George’s work and the world of Tortall – too much to remember, but still! This was perfect to read after spending years reading all of Pierce’s other books.

Review Excerpt: “But I really enjoyed reading more about one of my favorite fantasy worlds. It was a pleasant and delightful reading experience – so compelling I could hardly put it down.”

 

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Image via Goodreads

I went through a back and forth with this book before even picking it up. At first, I was looking forward to reading it, then I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to read it, then I was like I think I do want to read it, and then I was back on the I-want-to read-but-don’t-know-when-I’ll-get-to-read-it phase. It wasn’t until there came a stretch of days where I needed (ahahaha, I always “need” a book to read) a quick read and decided on this. I’m so happy I did because it was better than I thought it was going to be. The book just made my admiration for John Green soar higher. Turtles All The Way Down is an incredibly brilliant story I’d recommend to everyone.

Review Excerpt: “Aza is a fantastic character and individual…Her narrative is incredibly raw and, in my opinion, an accurate representation of what the inside of a truly anxious mind looks and feels like. “

 

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan
The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan
The Caldera by John Flanagan

 

2nd Reads

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper, book 3

Image via Goodreads

This is how you craft an intricate, captivating plot with highly compelling characters smack-dab in the middle of a beautifully created fantasy world where the stakes are higher than ever. I love this series but this book in particular I just love so much.

Review Excerpt:Mastiff is one of those stories that stays with you long after the story is over. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it even more the second time around, though it didn’t make dealing with the conflict of the story any easier. Still, Mastiff is a book that will easily exceed all expectations.”

 

A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland


If you’ve taken up Goodreads’ challenge, how far along are you currently? What books are you hoping to get through before the year is out? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!

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