The Bookshelf Corner

Writer. Blogger. Book Reviewer.


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TBR At A Glance – January 13, 2022

TBR At A Glance

Hello, hello! I’ve been busy with work lately. It’s been a slow start to the new reading year so far. I have three books going at once and I have at least two others I need to finish by the end of January. I’ll make it work somehow. All things considered, I am loving what I’m reading and am super nervous but excited for how things will end.

CURRENTLY READING

  • Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon (arc)
  • No Gentle Giant by Nicole Snow
  • Starlight by Olivia Wildenstein

 

READING NEXT

  • Just Right Jillian by Nicole D. Collier (arc)
  • The Iron Sword by Julie Kagawa (arc)

 

RECENT REVIEWS

 

REVIEWS COMING SOON

  • TBA

AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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2022: January Happenings!

 

January Happenings at The Bookshelf Corner blog

Hello, again! I hope you all had a good weekend and you’re ready to kickstart the new year into high gear. I know I am. Here’s what’s happening this month at The Bookshelf Corner:

Eyes on the Prize: 2022 Bookish Goals

Hello, 2022! There are several goals I want to accomplish this year, but today I’ll just focus on the ones of the bookish variety. I want to:

    • Visit the library regularly
    • Be a more active blogger
    • Donate books I’m no longer interested in reading
    • Reduce the number of unread owned books on my shelves
    • Read more back-listed titles
    • Finish the first draft of WIP
    • Participate NaNoWriMo for the first time
    • Read and/or acquire my very most anticipated 2022 releases
    • Buy more books

The 2022 Reading Challenge I Almost Got Carried Away With

Feeling energized after last year’s success I was toying with the idea of challenging myself to read 200 books this year, but at the last minute decided 150 is more reasonable given my overall 2022 plans.

I don’t have a tbr for this month – there are certain books I should really get done this month, but for the most part I’m just continuing with the winter tbr and going with the flow.

To start the new year, I’m currently reading Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon and Starlight by Olivia Wildenstein. The former I’m hoping to finish this week. The latter is around 600 pages so that’ll be a month long read unless I totally becomes unputdownable (which is 100% likely).

Rebranding the Blog for a Better Experience

Lately, I’ve been working on major rebranding for the blog. Some changes have already begun to be implemented, but there are still additional things to figure out, such as choosing a fresh, more modern theme, changing my approach to writing posts, creating a new logo, and designing for accessibility. More on that later once it’s all complete.

Have a great first full week of 2022!

 


 

“Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.”
– Betty White,
If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

 


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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The Best of the Best Books of 2021: here are my favorites

Hello, again! Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! It’s been a busy while relaxing, reading, and just enjoying my time off work. This break was much needed for everyone.

Today’s post is a rewind, reminiscing about all the books I read this year and sharing the ones that stood out and left big impressions on me.

This year seems harder than past ones because I read so many good books! It was difficult to choose just one for some of the categories I’m using below. But we’re book lovers. Choosing just one book rarely is an option.

In 2021, I surpassed my reading goal of 100 books and read 27,146 pages across 131 books.

I’m still reading “Operation Sisterhood” but will be able to finish before the year is over. That review will be posted January 4 (its release day).

Through much deliberation, here are the best of the best books of 2021:

Best Picture Book was:

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, Illustrated by Dan Santat

Honorable Mentions:
Eyes That Kiss In The Corners Bedtime Bonnet

Best Middle Grade was:

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Honorable Mentions:
Thanks A Lot, Universe ● Unplugged

Best LGBTQIAP+ Fiction was:

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Image via NetGalley

Honorable Mentions:
Ana on the EdgeBat BoyBrothersong Feel the FireOnly Mostly DevastatedOne Last StopThanks A Lot, Universe

Best Young Adult Romance was:

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Honorable Mentions:
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for RomanceYou’ve Reached SamOnly Mostly Devastated

Best New Adult Romance was:

Celestial by Olivia Wildenstein

Honorable Mention:
Bat Boy One Last Stop

Best Adult Romance was:

Set to Music by Negeen Papehn &
At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

Honorable Mentions:
Feel the FireRock HardFloat PlanA Lowcountry BrideHome to MeWaiting for YouAll Night Long with a CowboyGetting His Game Back

Best Paranormal Romance was:

Brothersong by TJ Klune

Honorable Mentions:
Wildfire Griffin The Boss

Best Fantasy was:

Bloodsworn by Scott Reintgen,
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, &
Celestial by Olivia Wildenstein

Honorable Mentions:
Roar A Swift and Savage Tide These Feathered Flames Gilded Serpent

Best Manga Volume was:

Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo (Vol. 1)

Honorable Mention:
An Incurable Case of Love

Best Standalone Novel was:

At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, &
Set to Music by Negeen Papehn

Best 2021 Release was:

*For this, I’m listing all my favorites because there were too many new releases that I absolutely loved. This year I read more new releases than any other year.*

All Night Long with a Cowboy    Amari and the Night Brothers  ●  Ana on the Edge  ●  Be Dazzled  ●  Bloodsworn  ●  Celestial    Eyes that Kiss in the Corners  ●  Float Plan  ●  Gilded Serpent  ●  Home For A Cowboy Christmas  ●  A Lowcountry Bride  ●  My City Speaks  ●  One Last Stop  ●  Open Your Heart  ●  Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance  ●  The Right Side of Reckless  ●  Set to Music  ●  The Squire  ●  At Summer’s End   ●  A Swift and Savage Tide  ●  Thanks A Lot, Universe  ●  These Feathered Flames  ●  Trashlands  ●  Truly Tyler  ●  Unplugged  ●  Under the Whispering Door  ●  Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business  ●  You Can Go Your Own Way  ●  You’ve Reached Sam

 

So those were some of my top favorite reads from the year. It’s been another amazing reading journey that I’m going to remember fondly. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my wrap up along with my favorite book, cover, and author of 2021.

See you then!


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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2021-2022: Winter TBR List

Header image for winter T-B-R list 2021-2022

The Bookshelf Corner’s Winter 2021-2022 TBR List

ARCs
Starlight by Olivia Wildenstein
Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon
Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter
Turning by Joy L. Smith
Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews
The Iron Sword by Julia Kagawa

MANGA
Snow White with the Red Hair (Vol. 14 & 15)
The Water Dragon’s Bride (Vol. 6-8)

MIDDLE GRADE
One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Ten Thousand Tries by Amy Makechnie
Maya and the Return of the Godlings by Rena Barron

YA SCI-FI & FANTASY
Endure by Sara B. Larson
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Steelstriker by Marie Lu

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Crave by Tracy Wolff
The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh
Inferno by Donna Grant

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Line Mates & Study Dates by Eden Finely & Saxon James
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
Christmas from the Heart by Shelia Roberts
All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy by Jessica Clare

FANTASY ROMANCE
The Becoming by Nora Roberts
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Saranna DeWylde
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen


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2021: November Wrap-Up

Happy Tuesday!

Another month down; one more to go. November was a whirlwind for sure. This is the first time in three months I had the energy to make a wrap-up post for various reasons, but I wanted to get back to doing posts like this and other content.

Reviews Posted

Reviews this month were a mixed bag, averaging a rating of 3.9 collectively.

You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dragon Released by Terry Bolryder2 | ⭐⭐
Wolves’ Queen by Jen L. Grey | ⭐⭐⭐
You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Flawed Scotsman by Hildie McQueen | ⭐⭐⭐1/2
At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Swift and Savage Tide by Chloe Neill | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Speaking of reviews! Tomorrow I start 25 Days of Book Reviews. It’s year 3 of posting a review every day from December 1 to December 25. Challenging but worth it. If you’d like to learn how it all began, check out this post from year 1.

25 Days of Book Reviews logo.

This year’s logo for 25 Days of Book Review (2021).

Favorite Read

Kindle unlimited got me again (in a good, bookish way, of course)! I binged read a lot of short reads over the month, so only got through 4 books from my tbr. And because I only read so few I don’t really have a favorite read from this month. These enjoyable, high-rated reads were:

  • You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao (heartbreaking!)
  • Getting His Game Back by Gia de Cadenet (emotional!)
  • A Swift and Savage Tide by Chloe Neill (thrilling!)
  • Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee (charming!)

Blog Milestone

Achievement unlocked! I posted my 400th book review (You’ve Reached Sam) in November. Reviews are the core content I feature on my blog. I like writing them and sharing my thoughts even when I struggle with putting complex feelings into words. I don’t post a review for every book I read, mainly manga because I go through volumes way faster than I can write reviews for. And there are A LOT of volumes in just one story. So I stick with novels for the most part and it’s worked out best.

Birthday Haul

Birthdays are a great reason to get more books even when you have a gazillion other ones sitting on your shelves.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
The Becoming by Nora Roberts
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Maya and the Return of the Godlings by Rena Barron

Some were from a wish-list I keep and others I didn’t plan to get so soon but that’s the reader’s life.

But wait! There’s more! Other reads not pictured:

  • While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory
  • Blackout edited by Dhonielle Clayton
  • The Water Dragon’s Bride (vol. 6-8)

If you’ve read any of these books, what did you think of them?


That’s all I have for today. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my post. As always, much appreciated!

How was your reading month? Was there a book that surprised you? Any 5-star reads you’d recommend to others?


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Off for the Holidays!

A white mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows on a wood surface of autumn leaves.

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

Hello, friends!

I decided to take a blogging break for the holidays, so there’ll be no new posts. I plan to read, relax, write, maybe play a video game, and enjoy my birthday and time off work.

New posts will return the last day of November. Can you believe the month is nearly over!?! Then after that I start the 25 Days of Book Reviews.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating and great weekend!

Happy reading! I’ll see you on the 30th.

💙 Christina


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2021: September Happenings!

School Is Back In Session…

I’ve been trying all month to get back on my work sleep schedule so that I’m ready for the first day of school. Results have varied in success, but I’m getting there.

While I’ve enjoyed my first official summer off in many many years (no work, no commitments), I am ready to get back to work. I’m not sure how this school year will go with all students in the building and covid cases rising in my area. On the upside, I’m working with some awesome people this year, so I’m looking forward to that.

I expect this month will be busy, tiring, overwhelming maybe, as we make the adjustment back to a mostly normal school life. I remain ever hopeful but practical. We got this!

New Theme Incoming…

I have a new theme ready to go for autumn that I can’t wait to show you. I’ve also been thinking about re-branding lately, changing much of the visuals for posts, and redoing my About page. You may see a few of those changes before the end of the year.

I like to periodically change the appearance of my blog because it keeps things fresh (at least for me) and it gives me a chance to do something artistic. Plus, the blog will be turning 6 years old in January and it’ll be a brand new year. I want to do something different for the occasion.

September TBR

I’m nearly done Blade of Secrets and will be able to start on my (tentative) September tbr over the weekend. Right now on my tbr I have:

  • How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan (arc)
  • You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith (arc)
  • Servant of the Crown by Duncan M. Hamilton
  • At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

This is the minimum I want to get through since I’ll be going back to work soon. If there’s time for more, great! But everything left over from summer reading is being moved to my fall tbr.


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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2021: August Wrap-Up

Reviews Posted

I’m now all caught up with writing reviews. I was way behind before due to procrastinating and struggling to find the right words to say. So half of this month’s reviews ended up being of books I read in July. But the good news is I’ll be back on track come September.

Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson | ⭐⭐
Ignite by Sara B. Larson | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Wolf of the North by Duncan M. Hamilton | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Bad Seed by Jory John, Illustrated by Pete Oswald | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson | ⭐⭐⭐1/2
The Squire by Duncan M. Hamilton | ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2
I Promise by LeBron James, Illustrated by Nina Matta | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Favorite Read

August reading was so so. There were some good bookish moments but also frustrating ones. So imagine my surprise when All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews stole the show as my favorite read August.

The previous book of hers I read last year was good but really frustrating, so I was somewhat hesitant to read this book yet still drawn to do so because of Crews’ storytelling capabilities. This turned into a great read with a beautiful enchanting romance.

Image via NetGalley

Blog Posts to Check Out

Here are some great posts from fellow book bloggers you may be interested in reading. These are fun, thoughtful, and informative content that stood out to me and particularly enjoyed.

Blogging Struggles: How Do Bloggers Stay Motivated? | Eleanor @ Not-So-Modern Girl

4 THINGS THAT MAKE ME DNF A BOOK written by Briana | Briana & Krysta @ Pages Unbound
SHOULD LIBRARIES GO FINE FREE? written by Krysta | Briana & Krysta @ Pages Unbound

Sunday Smiles ~ Sister Act Spectacular | Kim @ By Hook Or By Book
Lyrical Lines | Kim @ By Hook Or By Book
Black Cat Appreciation Day | Kim @ By Hook Or By Book

10+ ESSENTIAL (AND FREE!) BLOGGING TOOLS TO GROW A SUCCESSFUL BLOG written by Marie | Marie & Nyx @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

New Bookshelf

I finally around to rearranging furniture to make space for another bookshelf. I really like the finishing of this one; it’s so smooth and sturdy. My books look great on it. Nearly all my books now have a home. It’s wonderful.

More Paintings

I’ve been trying to get back into painting because it’s really fun and relaxing.

This month I painted a fictional character I like named Rimuru in his slime form from the manga/anime That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (a great reincarnated in another world fantasy).

An acrylic fan art painting on white 9 x 12 canvas of Rimuru from That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime in his slime form blushing.
I also made a Hamilton painting accompanied with a jam sessions to the soundtrack. Both are going on my wall. It turned out better than I thought it would and now I want to try doing more silhouette paintings.

Acrylic fan art painting on an 9 x 12 canvas of the Hamilton musical logo.

More Book Hauls

I did not one but two book hauls all within a month or so, which is not the norm for me. One was all physical books (my preferred way to read) and the other all ebooks. All of which I have not read any of as I’m saving them for the upcoming fall season. While I’m constantly finding new intriguing books that I really want to read, I mostly was able to stick to books from my tbr than new book finds.


How was your month? What books did you read and which were your favorites?


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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July 2021 Wrap-Up

Reviews Posted

Waiting For You by Claudia Connor | ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf, Illustrated by Ashley Barron | ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

He’s My Mom!: A Story for Children Who Have a Transgender Parent or Relative by Sarah Savage, Illustrated by Joules Garcia | ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight, Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat | ⭐⭐⭐

Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Her Renegade Cowboy by Lora Leigh | ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ana on the Edge by A. J. Sass | ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bat Boy by Christina Lee | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Open Your Heart by Cheris Hodges | ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Favorite Reads

My favorite July read was Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma. It was a fun and captivating story that combined two things I love: food and dance).

Image via NetGalley

Bloggers’ Posts I Liked

Let’s Talk Bookish: Prologues & Epilogues: Are they necessary? written by Missy – Tay & Missy @ Frayed Books
Let’s Talk Bookish: Positive Message = Good Book? (written by Missy) – Tay & Missy @ Frayed Books

10 Reader Stereotypes (And Why They’re Wrong)Marie & Nyx @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

HOW TO GET OUT OF A READING SLUMPKristin @ Kristin Kraves Books


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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August Happenings!

Getting Back In the Habit…

It’s hard to believe it’s August already. Feels like the summer has been going by super fast. I only have a few weeks left before I go back to work, so it’s time to get back into the habit of things. I need to start preparing for the upcoming school year, whatever that may look like with the state of covid and delta variant we’re in nationally.

I completely got off my sleep schedule, some nights horrendously so. Therefore, I have to start going to bed and waking up early. Otherwise, the first few weeks of school are going to be difficult to get through.

I’ve also haven’t been posting regularly these past few months, a combo of work and life mental exhaustion and days where I was just too busy. The goal is to get back to regular posting and not fall behind on things.

Plenty of Summer Reading Left to Do…

I’d say I’m about halfway through my summer reading list. With a month and a half left of this intensely hot summer season, that still leaves plenty of time to finish reading everything.

I’m currently reading:

  • Carefree Black Girls by Zeba Blay (arc)
  • The Squire by Duncan M. Hamilton

The rest of my August TBR includes:

  • Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  • Fairytales From Verania by TJ Klune
  • Fiance by Friday by Catherine Bybee
  • Servant of the Crown by Duncan M. Hamilton

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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