Tuesday, September 1, 2015

July/August 2015 Roundup

Hang on–what do you mean that August is over? And in just a few short months it’ll be 2016? I’m in denial. Where has the year gone? I feel like it’s still March or April and it’s like I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath. What more can you expect from someone who still thinks 2007 was a couple of years ago.

I must admit it was surprising to look at the calendar and see the month ending. Summer is over and autumn is just around the corner. I am so excited to leave behind the ridiculously hot temperatures and feel the breeze. It’s time for me to ditch finding some shade to read outside in, and embrace the ability to sit comfortably on the porch with the dogs and enjoy the crisp and cool air.

Goodbye, sundresses, unbearable heat and glaring sunshine; hello sweater weather, tasty fall/winter flavored drinks and playing in the leaves with my dogs!

If you couldn’t tell, autumn is my favorite time of the year and just thinking about it is giving me the warm and fuzzies. It’s almost time to grab some pumpkin spice coffee, a pumpkin muffin for good measure, wait patiently from the new season of American Horror Story, reread some good old Harry Potter and of course make plans for Halloween parties.

I know what you’re thinking: Jessica, you’re getting ahead of yourself. And you’re right, but the truth is it feels good to be this excited again. I’ve been in a bit of a slump this year, especially in April after my Grandfather died and it’s just nice to be looking forward to something again. While it may seem small, it’s a huge deal for me.

That being said, this is my first real roundup on my blog. That’s right: I’ve been a book blogger since 2007 and this is my first time posting a monthly roundup. I had planned to do one in July, but the thing is July was a weak reading month for me. And to make up for that, I’m going to be combining both July and August in this roundup.

Yay!



First up, book mail! Now, I haven’t been getting as much in the mail as I used to but fortunately for me I did receive a few printed ARCs that I’d requested over time. Quite a few were on my most wanted lists for the year and others were a pleasant surprise. I’d like to thank every publisher who sent me something because it’s always a wonderful feeling to be given the opportunity to read such amazing material.
 The Lake House by Kate Morton: who else has received their copy? I’m so excited! It was such a surprise to have my request filled on this one I honestly wasn’t expecting it. It’s definitely been on my to-read/most anticipated list this year so I’m beyond excited! 

Cleopatra’s Shadows by Emily Hollemon: another surprise and also one I couldn’t help but to want. I’ve been very curious about historical fiction lately so naturally this caught my eye. I do have mixed feelings on how it could possibly turn out but I am excited.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: the book that I am most looking forward to diving into. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it so I’m really pumped to have some time to read it. I almost threw a fit when I couldn’t find my galley of it – it fell through my shelf and because it’s so small it just kind of hid behind some larger novels!
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica: I’ve heard AMAZING things about Mary’s work and this one sounds so, so good and fun and mysterious. Who else has read it? Or anything by the author?

I was pretty limited on money this month given my current lack of a stable income. So, I only bought a handful of new books. And a few of them were purchased with leftover gift cards and/or bargain prices!

Sometimes, you just want to treat yourself, you know?

(Whispers: TREAT YOSELF!)

Okay, handful is a bit of an exaggeration. I only purchased the paperback of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (completing the series) as well as a digital copy of The Good Girls and the hardcover print of Ali’s Pretty Little Lies by Sara Shepard.



Here’s where things really get going! Luckily, I live in an area where people are pretty well-off financially so the thrift shops in the area are to die for. A lot of the time, they treat their books and clothing and DVDs as disposable: one use and poof, they’re done with them! Which isn’t a bad thing and it’s also really fortunate for me because I love some good deals.

I always luck out with purchases here and in the past have scored some major bargain hauls.

Somehow this summer I have popped into various shops and seen MASSIVE deals. Practically steals, if I’m being honest! It just kept getting better and I’m not going to lie I’ve gotten a bit cocky with my luck at these shops it’s all very cringe worthy and I would like to apologize to everyone who has had to deal with my constant gushing and swooning.

In July and August, I caught two sales per location: one was a two for one dollar book sale (all books: hardcover and paperback), the other was half off day.

Jessica HAPPY.

First: I found a hardcover of The Fault in Our Stars; it’s that pretty silver collectors edition. I was very, very surprised to find that. It’s not in bad shape but the jacket does have a little wear in it. I also purchased a hardcover of the beautiful Susane Colasanti’s So Much Closer, which I have had in paperback for quite some time, rounding that up to another dollar spent on two books. Are you squealing with me?

Sticking to books with a similar feel, I found a hardcover of Sarah Dessen’s Along For the Ride and a paperback of Keeping the Moon. This one was a bit more expensive than the others, but still a fabulous deal–it was on a half off day so I got the two of them for just a bit under $1.50. Phew. I’m not including them in the photos because I’ve already tucked them away with my other Sarah Dessen novels and they’re at the top of my shelf and well, I’m much too lazy to reach for them today.

As a HUGE Ellen Hopkins fan in my teenage years, I squealed a little bit when I spotted Tricks and Identical, two of the books I have not read by Ellen, for just two dollars each. Those were my most expensive thrift store purchases but I just can’t find it in me to complain.
Alice Hoffman’s work has been on my to read list for quite a while and to my surprise I found hardcovers of both Skylight Confessions and Local Girls; once more spending only a dollar for both – and they are in excellent shape! I wasn’t kidding when I said I scored some massive deals!

Jackie Collins is a guilty little pleasure of a lot of people and while I’ve been considering reading some of her work, Poor Little Bitch Girl was a bit more of a happy accident and cover buy instead of an actual decision. I’m sorry, I have no self control–it was only a dollar!
Last but certainly not least, this delicious hardcover of Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Cecelia Ahren’s The Book of Tomorrow. Together, they were just a few cents under two dollars.


To wrap things up, I will now give a shout out to my favorite reads from this update. Unsurprisingly, there's quite a lot of girl power from this list...

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