Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Reading Resolutions and Direction

Greetings Internet!

2013 proved to be an eventful year for me and among the many life changes (I graduated from college in May and married in August, just to name a couple), there was less (but some) reading going on at the Book Nook. I'm back, again, and I have some resolutions that I'm hoping to keep up in 2014.

1. Blog! And regularly. I've devised a blogging schedule that is low impact to start. I'm hoping that minimal commitment will enable me to keep to a regular posting schedule that is small but consistent. I'm never absent from the blogging world, but I'm easily overwhelmed in life and blogging is the first of the things that is neglected. My schedule is a Tuesday/Thursday post every week with fun days on the weekend. Tuesdays will always include a tag (Top Ten Tuesday, which I loved doing in the past) and potentially a haul or review. Thursday will always be either a review or reflection on a book. On the weekends, I'm hoping to blog posts that complement my YouTube channel videos. This will fall in several categories but most common will be the "Things from Books," a spin on the Vlogbrothers "Thoughts from Places." It will be a place where I share the things I find in books, whether they be physical remains left from previous owners, thoughts, quotes, or anything else from a book. It's been an idea living in my brain for a while and I'm finally in a place where I can implement it.

2. Read! This should probably be first in the scheme of resolutions. In 2013, I really let reading fall to the side so that I could focus on major projects in my life. This allowed me to accomplish all of the things I needed but also took one of the main sources of my enjoyment. I'm proposing a reading challenge of 50 books for myself. The challenge is not going to be enforced strictly as I kind of need to work myself back into the scene. I'd like a portion of these books to come crossover with the Sequels and Series portion of the blog. I really need to clear some series off of my shelf. So, here's to lots of reading in 2014.

3. Donate! I have managed to amass an astonishing number of books in the three and a half years that I have lived in my own home. While I'm not planning on donating all of the books, the Great Purge of 2014 is in full swing. Many of the books have been given to me or are from a inheritance following the death of my grandmom. As a result, they are not my particular style, genre, type of book and I'm in a space where I'm comfortable enough to pass them along to other readers. I will be donating them to three book charities: Books for Africa, Books for Soldiers, and Books through Bars. Whatever is not acceptable at these will be donated to the library or a local not-for-profit thrift store.

Those are my main reading/book resolutions. Be sure to check me out on YouTube, too!

Happy reading,
xoxo The Book Nook

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How do you shelf?

I have my three Billy Bookcases in a row. It saves room and it actually creates the illusion that I have more space than I do. This is great for small rooms, like my library. Also, it makes a nice background for my videos and makes me feel very scholarly, which motivates me to do work.

I also make sure to use the space on top of the bookcases. If you get stackable totes and organizers, you can make the most out of the space that you have. You can also put pictures on top, which adds a nice ambiance to your room.

I hope that my shelves provided some inspiration for you! There are great resources out there for how to organize your shelves and StumbleUpon and Pinterest are good places to go to for bookish inspiration. Happy shelving!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Book Nook Presents: The Book Haul

Until recently, I have been on a very strict book buying ban. Weddings are expensive and so are books when you buy as many as I do. Alas, I knew it would not last and I am proud of myself for making it this long. On a routine trip to the book store on campus (it's called book buying ban not book looking ban, to those of you who raise your eyebrows at the word routine), I spotted some of my most anticipateds and one of them was signed! So, needless to say, I made a purchase.

Below are the books that I now call mine:
  1.  Fever- Lauren DeStefano
  2. Pandemonium- Lauren Oliver
In addition to that, I also have three items that my future MIL gifted to me:

     3. An Innocent Traitor- Alison Weir
     4. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen- Syrie James
     5. Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy (Audiotape)

I am very excited to read them and will be starting the first of them as soon as I finish the Fault in Our Stars so stayed tuned.

Happy reading!
The Book Nook

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Nook Reviews: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Note: This is the first written review that will incorporate my newly developed review formula. I’m sure that it will be less than spectacular as I try to work out the kinks in my process. With time, my reviews will become stronger. I appreciate your continued support and hope my review is helpful to you.
This is a novel about self-discovery, first love, and friendship. It is beautifully written in a distinct prose that is unique to Julie Kagawa. For me, it took a few chapters to become comfortable reading it without being distracted by the diction and sentence structure. But, much like Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, after a short time it flowed nicely. After becoming more akin to the writing style, I was able to focus on the plot, which was very enjoyable. The build of the plot was thorough and I felt like it developed nicely. The story line didn’t feel rushed but I also didn’t feel like I was waiting for something to happen. Each plot development occurred in what seemed like a natural pace. I liked the presentation of exposition and found it very interesting to learn about the characters, setting, and the general theme of fey. I will say that other than the Artemis Fowl novels, I’ve never encountered a novel or series that was set in the world of fey so I was totally new to it. Personally, I feel like this a great series to read if you’re new to the idea because the Meghan is also new to the fey world so you’re able to learn the intricacies along with her.
In addition to the great plot, I also really enjoyed the characters. Meghan is a very likeable main character. She is written very realistically and I felt like she could be an actual person (except for the whole her being a fairy princess and all). Her character development progresses nicely throughout the novel and I look forward to seeing her grow more in the remaining novels. The two male leads, Puck and Ash, have me conflicted. I won’t go into too much detail so as not to spoil the novel for anyone but there is a bit of a love triangle that has developed. As to their characterization, I can’t give a final determination yet because I’m still reading the series but at first glance, I thought that Ash’s character was pretty well-developed but inconsistent (which actually fits the story because he himself isn’t sure of who he is or how he should feel). I would have liked to see more of Puck but I have a feeling that his place is better served in further novels and that we will definitely be seeing more of him.
Overall, I thought this was a great first novel and I am definitely going to read the rest of the series. In fact, I can’t wait to read the sequel.
 The Book Nook

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Books Nook Reviews: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication: September 29, 2011
Summary:The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

In a word, this book is awesome. It contains all the elements of a great book: mystery, instrigue, and well-developed characters. To describe the plot in detail would spoil it, but know that one of the best portions of the story is experiencing the details along with Rory. The mystery surrounding what's happening really makes the story come alive. Maureen Johnson is a master at crafting a story that will keep readers guessing and the Name of the Star is definitely one of those stories. From the first page to the last sentence, this story is full of suspense. What's better is the characterization is well-developed and each character feels like they have a purpose in the story. Rory, the main character, is one of my favorite MJ leads. She is spunky, interesting, and developed. I definitely recommend it for fans of MJ and those who like a little mystery.

March 2012 TBR List