Guest of the Month #1

Have you ever wished you knew more bloggers? Do you want to have the chance to guest post on other people’s blogs? Would you love to have a break and have a post written for you? You are in the right place!

What is Guest of the Month club?Guest of the month club is a monthly opportunity to collaborate with different bloggers! Every month you will be paired with a different blogger. You will each plan a guest post for the other’s blog (topic suggestions will be provided every month!). Then all of the club members will post on the same day of the month to make blog hopping easier. This event is hosted and organized by Emily @ Emily Reads Everything.

This Month's Guest is Charlotte from Charlotte's Library 

Beyond the Blog: What do you do when you aren't blogging?

I have been blogging for almost eight years now, and have gotten to a point where blogging, qua blogging, doesn't take up too much time. Which is good, because there are little things like work (I'm an archaeologist for my state's preservation agency) and children (although they are older than they used to be, as is the case for so many of us) and home renovations, which never end, to keep me busy. There is also my hobby, which is "picking up books and trying to find places to put them down again."
At the sane end of the scale, such as one could talk about in public, there's checking books out of the library and getting books in the mail or buying them. But even here, my sanity is stretched fairly thin; I have a bad habit of placing library holds to soothe myself at work, and I seem to require lots of soothing, and they all seem to come in at once, and I end up with more books on hand than I can possibly read. I spend considerable time stacking books at home, or moving books from stacks that have gotten too big, or picking them up to actually read them, and then getting distracted, and gently shedding books wherever I go, only of course to scurry around afterwards looking for them all again!

Recently I read, with great interest, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (the Japanese book that tells you, to gather all your material things in huge heaps by category and keep only what gives you joy). Clearly, the book tidying method suggested in this book is neither prudent or feasible; if I were to put every book I own in one room, the floor would collapse (it is an old and tired house). But I was able to successfully dump the contents of my dresser drawers on to the guest room bed. This freed up considerable drawer space, and at last I have a nice place to keep the books I have on offer at Paperback Book Swap! (Although of course I currently have no nice place for houseguests to sleep....)

But the books I have at home don't seem to offer enough scope for moving them around, so I expanded my range. I run the booksales at my local library, and this involves considerable book moving, up from the donation area, where every day I find more bags of donations, into the sorting closet, and then I must squirrel the sorted boxes away as efficiently as possible...

I am trying to cut down on the number of books I move around. I try hard to find them permanent places to live, like the pantry shelves (the Japenese method of tidying up cleared up lots of good book space there too!). But it just doesn't seem to be happening.....

Thank you so much Charlotte for writing this guest post for my blog, it was super fun being your partner. 

Hidden Gates

Hidden Gates (The P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy #1)

Author: D.T. Dyllin
Series: P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy #1
Publication Date: August 31, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary from Goodreads: P.J. Stone was taught to put duty before her heart. But everything changes with a kiss…
As a Seer, P.J. is expected to choose a suitable mate to continue the bloodline. Wanting someone considered off-limits jeopardizes her future, forcing her to question everything she believes in.
As if navigating her love life isn’t complicated enough, P.J. receives a vision of a threat to her world that only she can perceive. But no one wants to believe a fledgling Seer’s warning. With nowhere else to turn, can P.J. trust a stranger with her life, her world, and maybe even her heart?

I can't finish this book. I was immediately put off by the overwhelmingly, heavy focus on romance. Yes, the summary clearly indicates that romance would be at the forefront of this book, but it was listed as sci-fi and I was hoping the Seer's warning would lead to a bit more thrilling plot line. Part of the reason I had such a problem with the romance was that it was poorly executed and annoying. Forbidden romance with a love triangle - UGH.

The world building was poor. I had to reread a few paragraphs that explained the role of the Seers, Speakers, Guardians, and Gatekeepers and the rules of their society, and I still didn't understand. I felt like there was very little plot movement - and so I called it quits.

Stacking the Shelves #39

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

For Review
Poison (Wind Dancer, #1)
Poison by Lan Chan


This one day blog hop features pictures of bloggers' book sheves.
#TheShelfieHop is hosted by Bookiemoji and My Friends Are Fiction

This is what my "bookshelf" looked like for about a year and a half after we moved into our new house. the books lived in the box they moved in and in stacks nearby for quite a while. I purchased the book shelf from Target for about $25 but never got around to putting it together.

Luckily my dad (the ultimate yard sale/ curbside freebie sleuth) found me this solid and sturdy bookshelf at the start of the summer. I was thrilled and quickly set it up.

The top shelf has all my favorites, the second shelf has books that I really like. The third shelf contains more recent additions to my collection that I haven't figured out how to reorganize the top two shelves to make room for. The bottom shelf is a combo of "to be read books" and "to giveaway/donate" books.

Stop by other blogs and check out their #Shelfies!

Stacking the Shelves #38

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Bound in Blood (The Adams' Witch Series #1)
Bound in Blood by Erin Butler

For Review
Hidden Gates (The P.J. Stone Gates Trilogy #1)
Hidden Gates by DT Dyllin

The Jewel

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)

Author: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Source: ARC provided by Odyssey Bookshop
Summary from Goodreads: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Based on the summary, I thought this book would go in one of two directions: (1) it could lack uniqueness and be terribly executed or (2) it would surprisingly good, unique, and hopefully well written. Thankfully, it was mostly option 2. Yes the premise was somewhat reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, Bumped, and The Hunger Games, but overall I felt like the story held its own. 

The world building was OK. I felt like I had a solid understanding of the social/economic structure of the society, but I felt like I needed a better grasp of the geographical characteristics of the world. I enjoyed learning about the powers and felt like they were really well written. I also found some of the information about the treatment of the surrogates and the medical treatments to be a bit disturbing, but really well done. 

The characters were good. Violet is likable, she is decently feisty and has a good heart. True to most teenage girls, she makes some questionable/naive decisions, but I can't fault her for acting her age. The Duchess is a bit unpredictable in a strange way that made her consistent. Unfortunately, the other characters were not as well developed. I am super interested in learning more about Raven and Ash. The "forbidden romance" felt rushed to me; like it didn't quite flow. 

Th pace of the book was well done, I never found myself bored and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the writing. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

November Book BINGO

Welcome to the November Review and Progress Link-Up for the 2015 Book Blog BINGO Challenge. Before linking up, make sure you signed up for the challenge. Don't forget, you can update or change your goal at any time!

I met my goal!!

My Goal
A Double BINGO (2 traditional BINGOs in any direction)

My Progress

A book that takes place in a school: The School for Good and Evil
A book purchased in 2014: Shadow and Bone
The second book in a series: Siege and Storm
A book with magic or paranormal characters: Ruin and Rising
A book written by an author that you've never read before: The Donor
A book with romance: A Wizard Rises
A book published in 2015: Bright Fire
A book that made you cry: The Sin Eater's Daughter
A review persuaded you to read it: The Winner's Curse
A book outside your comfort zone: Moneyball
A book that has been on your TBR shelf for two years or longer: Ashes of Foreverland
A book with a dragon: The Girl at Midnight
A book more than 500 pages: Days of Blood & Starlight
A book with a beautiful cover: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
A book with a color in the title: Scarlet
A book you (should have) read in high school: The Book Thief
A book from the New York Times Best Sellers List: Queen of Shadows
A fairy tale retelling: The Wrath and the Dawn
A book that someone recommended to you: Six of Crows

Congratulations to Ashley @ The Quiet Concert, she won 3 surprise YA books!
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