The Book Report May 2016

The-Book-Report

Welcome to The Book Report where we run down everything that happened in the month and update you on challenges, giveaways, reviews and more!

Shari’s Update

May, oh so sweet May! Let’s just say there is no rest for the wicked in my family for May. We start off with my brother’s birthday, then onto Mother’s Day. Got to spend the day with my wonderful mother who is trying to sell her house. Heartbreaking to watch, but this isn’t the house I grew up in so I don’t have much in the way of attachment to it. Then onto my birthday, two days later my son’s birthday, throw in my niece’s birthday, plus a couple of birthday parties! And let’s not forget that it’s the end of school, so my kids are stressing out about finals. No graduates this year, so I got a break on that one. While we aren’t going on vacation until June, I am also in the midst of packing for it. So yeah, it seems like each day I don’t sleep, I don’t get to read or do anything to rejuvenate….me.

A lot has gone on….one I got a new Cricut Explore Air…say what? I am a former scrapbooker, current crafter who took a break when my son started dumping glitter all around my craft room. Now that he is in school full time, I am itching to get back to crafting. Cricut creates home die cutting systems. I have an old Cricut that basically cut out images in paper that I glued together. Here is some ideas of what I used to create with it.

Mermaid layout largeMulanLayoutOnline Wedding Card

So for Mother’s Day my family got me a new Cricut that I can create almost anything on my laptop and cut it from iron on, vinyl, paper, fabric and it even draws. For my son’s birthday I created coloring cards for Minecraft along with Creeper favor bags. I was a hit with my son! Next up, I am going to make us matching shirts for our Disney vacation. Just need for the shirts to get here!

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And I am sad and elated to say dance competition season is over for 2016! While I love watching my daughter dance, the drama (not like Dance Moms) is a little overwhelming. The season starts in August and runs through May. Unfortunately the end recital doesn’t take place until Father’s Day weekend, so it never seems we get a break to allow my kids to relax and be kids. To give you some perspective, this is my oldest daughter who has been competing for 4 years. We are retiring her solo after three years competing with it. Here’s her with all her awards.IMG_9400

Now the really sad news…my Kindle Voyage died. RIP.

I have been having a hard time charging it. The plug has to be exactly in the way it wants for the orange light to come on. So I thought I was charging it one night when I get get the battery sign on it the next morning. So I arrange the plug again and leave it charging all day. No reading *cries* on the one Sunday I had off to read. By the early evening it’s still orange, so I decide to try it anyway. Nope still has the battery sign. So I try hard rebooting it. Same image of a battery plugged in. *crying and flailing around like a toddler at this point* My husband sees my distress and tells me to order a new one because he knows I can’t live without it.

So I have a new Kindle Voyage. I looked at the Oasis, but for $289, it just didn’t offer enough features to make me jump up for $90 more. I even cringed at getting the Voyage at $199, but I love the pressure points or screen taps for turning plus the light sensor for knowing when you need more backlight or not (which the Oasis didn’t have, go figure).

blog ahead 2016-1

Blog Ahead – the mini version, started on May 1 and we rocked our goal. I set the goal pretty high at 40 posts, but I was trying to get things rolling for vacation. I was writing reviews right up to the last few hours getting my posts done. Can you believe I am caught up on my review writing? I mean the collection on my Kindle that is labeled “Needs Review” is empty! I don’t think it has been empty since the day I created it. Thank you to Herding Cats and Burning Soup for hosting this fun event and pushing me to empty my Needs Review collection!

Stranded with a Book

We also started taking requests for our summer event, Stranded with a Book, anyone can join, so head on over and sign up! So far we have 5 dates taken, so we have plenty of room for authors to join us!

What did I do this month? Besides schedule posts? Well, not much on the reading front.

  1. Read: 7
  2. Reviewed: 12 reviews (actually wrote more, but they are coming in June)
  3. Reading Statistics: 5 from NetGalley or Publisher, 1 Kindle Unlimited, 1 Purchased
  4. NetGalley percentage at 86%

Reviews

  1. [3 May] Dare to Take by Carly Phillips ★★★★
  2. [4 May] Rocky Mountain Desire by Vivian Arend ★★★★
  3. [5 May] Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh ★★★½
  4. [6 May] His Secret Baby by Vanessa Waltz ★★
  5. [10 May] Mayday by Olivia Dade ★★★½
  6. [17 May] Completing the Pass by Jeanette Murray ★★★★½
  7. [25 May] Twisted by Cari Quinn, Taryn Elliott ★★★★
  8. [25 May] Untwisted by Cari Quinn, Taryn Elliott ★★★★
  9. [26 May] Z by Larissa Ione ★★★★
  10. [27 May] Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh ★★★★
  11. [30 May] Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun ★★★★
  12. [31 May] Heart of a Bad Boy by Sugar Jamison ★★★★★

Bad Boys of Romance Challenge: 10/35

29

The Series That Never Ends Challenge: 1/12

8

Books 'N Tunes Challenge: 13/30

43

Literary Pickers Challenge: 14/35

40

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Review Writing Challenge: 18/100

18

Sophia Rose’s Update

Blink!  Where did May go?  It was just Mother’s Day, right?  Now I’m planning for the family cookout on Memorial Day.  Just wow!

So May was an eventful month.  My latest venture has been dealing with a bout of Poison Ivy.  It was hiding in my north front flower bed among the bushes where I was weeding.  I gardened for an hour after that and managed to spread it well as a result.  But meds and lotion are doing the job.

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On the book front, I participated in Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reader and Kristen @ Happily Ever After’s month-long #CleanSweepARC challenge and the extra #Cleansweepthon.

My goal was to finish sixteen review books and as of this post, I’ve hit twenty-five.  Woohoo!

And that readathon?  I finished a full novel.  Felt good.  See my Instagram page if you want to catch my wee-hours readathon action. Haha!

Thanks to these ladies for hosting and giving me the incentive to gets some much needed work done on my review pile.

Along those lines, I have decided to keep going with another challenge to keep me motivated (don’t ask me how this works with my psyche, but it does so I’m going with it).

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The COYER Challenge hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun, Michelle @ Because Reading, and Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

Here’s the link if you want to check it out for yourself:  http://www.becausereading.com/time-sign-coyer-summer-vacation/

Many of you have done the COYER (Clear Off Your E-Reader) Challenge in the past and it looked fun, but I always had review commitments so I couldn’t dedicate so much time mostly to freebies and inexpensive ebooks (though Lord knows I need to).  However, they relaxed the rules for the Summer COYER challenge which makes it possible for me to give it a shot.  Huzzah!  Pretty much any book and format goes, but I want to stay narrowed and finish up my review pile and then work at my TBR pile.

So my goal for amount of books read between June 18th and Sept 2nd35 books

For the month of May, my books read total is: 44  (The total includes a few from the last month b/c I did my last monthly update early)

Book Breakdown:  16 Net Galley (92%), 23 author/publisher requests, 21 New to Me authors, 15 new series, 4 end of series, 1 DNF, 12 TBR pile, 4 audio

Challenge Updates:

Austenesque Lovers: 22/21  COMPLETE Moved up to next level

Delighted Reader’s Books N Tunes: 25/50 books

Delighted Reader’s Series: 5/9 books

Herding Cats Burning Soup’s Read All the Books:  0 books

Addicted to Romance’s Oldies But Goodies: 10/10 books COMPLETE  Moving up to next level

Delighted Reader’s Literary Pickers:  98/99 books

My Reader’s Block’s Mt. TBR:  82/75 books COMPLETE  Moving up to next level

**Herding Cats Burning Soup’s New to Me: 79/75 books  COMPLETE

The Book Nympho and Hot Listen’s Audio:  22/20 books COMPLETE Moving up to next level

Herding Cats Burning Soup’s Blogger Shame:  25/50 books

**Delighted Reader’s Bad Boys:  25/15 books COMPLETE

Under the Cover’s Romance Roundabout:  11/12 Categories

Brazen Babe’s Diversity:  32/50 books

** If I complete a challenge goal and there are no additional levels, then I will no longer track it on the report.

To Be or Not to Be…Read Vote update:  I haven’t updated on these books over the last few months, but the I am reading and reviewing them.  Have to tell you that the opening scenes in the April book were real lulus.  I thought it was crazy stuff and wondered if I could do it.  I mean the hero was a POW and injured, comes home to find out that everyone thought he was dead, aaannnd, his girl was getting set to marry his best friend.  Yep!  But it worked out.  Your winning streak of good picks is still intact.

Can’t wait to see what you all think of our new Summer Event and variety of posts.  Think you’re gonna like it.  So how did your month go?  Do tell!

Sophia Rose’s May 2016 Reviews

  1. [1 May] The Steel & Stone by Annette Marie ★★★★½
  2. [2 May] Where There’s A Will by Cari Z. ★★★★½
  3. [3 May] The Devil You Know by Jo Goodman ★★★★½
  4. [6 May] Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan ★★★★
  5. [7 May] Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton ★★★★½
  6. [8 May] A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories: Petite Tales Volume One by Renee Beyea ★★★★
  7. [9 May] Precious Metals by L.A. Witt ★★★
  8. [11 May] By Her Side by Lizzy Chandler ★★★★
  9. [12 May] Tempest by J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry ★★★★
  10. [13 May] Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer ★★★★½
  11. [14 May] Dial L for Lynda by Amanda Washington, Tracey Jane Jackson ★★★★
  12. [15 May] A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde ★★★★★
  13. [16 May] Only Beloved by Mary Balogh ★★★★
  14. [18 May] Let Me by Cecy Robson ★★★★½
  15. [19 May] Reunion by Jaye Frances ★★★★½
  16. [20 May] Dreams of Her Own by Rebecca Hefflin ★★★★
  17. [21 May] Breaking Skye by Eden Bradley ★★★½
  18. [22 May] The Girl From Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux ★★★½
  19. [23 May] Altered by Marnee Blake ★★★★
  20. [24 May] A Reason to Love by Alexis Morgan ★★★½
  21. [26 May] Burned by Karen Marie Moning ★★★
  22. [27 May] Dance With Deception by Tracy Goodwin DNF
  23. [28 May] Bluewater Bay #DelightedBytheSeries
  24. [28 May] Starstruck by L.A. Witt ★★★½
  25. [28 May] There’s Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg ★★★½
  26. [29 May] A Lady in the Smoke by Karen Odden ★★★★½

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • oh look at your month here!! Love your progress!! May did go by so quickly right? I can’t believe its almost June. Oh your poor reader!!! The oasis is so expensive, I was tempted to get that one but just didn’t seem worth the extra cost. Hope you both have a great month in June!!! Happy Reading.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      May is always my busiest month next to December. June is my vacation month and I am so looking forward to it. I love my new ereader, but sad to put the old one to paster. Yeah the Oasis just was way to much money for a charging case.

  • Another month gone by! Sounds like may is a busy month for you Shari with all the family birthdays! Those scrapbook pages look so pretty! A lot of time and effort must’ve gone into them! And that’s fun you got back to your hobby now that your son isn’t to young anymore. I never heard of a Cricut Explore Air before, but it looks and sounds very handy! Your daughter really has won a lot of award, wow!
    I am so sorry to hear about your kindle dying! I can’t imagine how distressed you must’ve been. But yay for getting a new one! I love Blog Ahead, it’s a great challenge to get motivated and write those posts!

    @Sophia that poison Ivy sounds nasty, but I am glad the meds and lotion is helping. You did amazing on the clean sweep arc challenge, it seems we booklovers always have a way too big pile of reviews books and making a dent in it is very welcome. And I am so happy you’re joining Coyer! It will be fun! Also e-format review copies count for winter coyer too, so I usually focus on those and fit in a few paperbacks that won’t count if I want to. But the relaxed rules in summer are nice too as then everything counts.

    I hope June will be a great month for both of you!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thank you on the scrapbooking pages. It does take so much time, but it is fun to see the end project. I just finished making custom shirts for our vacation on the Cricut tonight. My new cricut is so versatile. Megan is such a good dancer and I love watching her! Kindles die on me a lot, but I can’t live without one.

    • Thank you, Lola! Oh, and that is good to know about e-format reviews counting in winter. That does make a difference if I will participate or not.
      Yes, the poison ivy is almost gone. Just a few more days left, I think. 🙂

  • You did good and that cutter is so cool! Thanks for sharing the photos, your daughter looks so pretty and congrats on the wins! Good job this month, I’ve been freestyling so much I’m so behind my goodreads challenge. Eh, I’m having fun though so zero ducks given!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thank you my daughter! She is so graceful and I love watching her dance and win the awards. We have wins and losses, so she knows both feelings. I am just on target for my Goodreads challenge. I need to find time to get ahead!

  • Wow Shari, you were busy. And I thought my family had a lot of May birthdays. Me, DH, MIL, 2 SILs. I think you still have me beat. That is awesome about your daughter.

    Looks like both of you had great reading months. I hope you have a great June too.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Thanks, Melanie!

      It was a great reading month. Wow, you have a lot of May birthdays, too.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      May just is a busy month. Just got home from vacation so I am hoping things slow down a bit.

  • Ooo I’ve looked at the Cricut and so wanted one. Yay for a new toy 😀 Glad Blog Ahead went well for yall! That’s awesome the needs review pile is empty 😀

    Ergs! on the poison ivy, Sophia. Man that’s so not fun! Looks like you got in a lot of great reads this month 😀

    • Thanks, Anna! Just finished the last week of the meds and the patches on my skin are fading. The poison ivy definitely was a menace and makes me wary of weeding in my own yard. Not that I needed an excuse to not want to do yardwork. LOL
      Oh yes, lots of good books this month. Best part of having the Poison Ivy. Haha!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I have two older Cricuts from when they first started. I got the latest one for Mother’s Day and made iron on t-shirts for our vacation. It was fun and I love it! Blog Ahead is a hit with me each time!