To Savor Or To Binge? That’s Literally Always The Question.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a binge watcher/reader. Whether it’s a show on Netflix that I love or a book I’m obsessed with I just cannot control the impulse to stop my entire life and do nothing until I finish it. It’s a thing that Will and I “fight” about when we are watching a show together and I’m like, “WOOOO 10th episode in a row LET’S KEEP GOING ALL NIGHT” (that’s what she said, amirite?) and he’s like OH DEAR GOD WE NEED TO STOP RIGHT NOW THIS IS MADNESS. I dive in head first and don’t come out until I’m done and then have the biggest hangover ever and feel depleted emotionally depending on the show. I LOVE IT. Definitely with shows it’s always been this way — even before Netflix I remember my college roommate and I getting stuck in show vortexes even without Netflix auto-playing it and having to get up to put a new disc in. Which is #dedication.

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What Are They Up To?

Every once in a while I’ll have a book I really enjoyed and then something will make me think about the book/author and think, “huh! I haven’t heard anything new about them in a while.”  I will then scamper over to Goodreads to find out what ~they~ know and more often than not I will find out one of three things:  1) they came out with a new book and I didn’t even know (rude! why didn’t the world alert me!) or  2) they haven’t come out with anything new or 3) they have a book coming out soon! Hurray!

This happens quite a bit because honestly I only really heavily keep track of news of favorite authors. And by that I mean I stalk their social media and Publisher’s Weekly and Goodreads and websites for any updates on new work from them! I wish I could be up-to-date on all authors I enjoy but alas…I’m not so this happens so often.

I thought it might be fun whenever this happens to share it on the blog because 1) I get to talk about a book I enjoyed a while ago and maybe YOU get to discover it for the first time and 2) maybe you are curious too.

So this first one up is the book that actually inspired this idea and it’s taken me forever to actually write this post:

 

THE AUTHOR

Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna - new dystopian book series

Amazon // Goodreads // My Review Of The Lost Girl

 

I read this book back in September 2012 and absolutely LOVED it. I feel like it’s such an underrated gem! I had hoped that it would be a series I remember!

What It Is About: The Lost Girl takes place in the future when scientists (the Weavers) have perfected a way to make an “echo” or copy of somebody that would take the place of the original human being, or the “other” as they are referred to, in the event that the “Other” died. The practice is not widely accepted in some countries and is against the law in many others so the echos have to be hidden. The echo’s life is devoted to studying their Others life so intently that, if something happened, they’d be able to take their place seamlessly. They are quizzed on their other’s friends, learn everything they learn at school and even have to get a tattoo or an ear piercing if their Other does it. Eva has been studying her Other, Amarra, for fifteen years and gets her chance to fulfill her duty when her Other dies in a car accident. She must say goodbye to the family & friends she has made and must travel to India to live and convince everybody that Amarra still lives. When she arrives she quickly realizes how hard it will be to BE Amarra amongst a family who has known her for her whole life & a boyfriend who knows her so intimately  — especially when Eva struggles to eliminate who SHE is and fully become Amarra.

 

AND NOW?

I actually didn’t even have to go to Goodreads for this one because my friend and literary agent extraordinaire Eric Smith made an announcement about signing Sangu this year!

My hopes for a Lost Girl sequel probably aren’t happening but the book that was queried sounds AWESOME.

From Sangu’s website:

“The book, for those of you who have asked, is a YA space fantasy based on Indian mythology. In which a teen girl tries to reunite with the family that abandoned her and instead ends up on the wrong side of a war.”

YA SPACE FANTASY BASED ON INDIAN MYTHOLOGY? Um yes. Editors! People who make decisions! Pleaaaaaase please scoop this book up because I want it. THANKS!

So this is my reminder to read The Lost Girl if you haven’t already and keep your fingers crossed for this YA space fantasy!!

When Everything Feels Heavy

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I know the darkness has always been there in the world but I feel like I’ve felt it weighing heavier on me more than usual lately. Maybe it’s that I’m paying more attention to current events and things. Maybe it’s the way I see everything on the internet so it feels all up in my face. Maybe things really ARE just especially bad right now more than usual. Whatever the case…these days I just feel heaviness. Like I have “heavy boots” to steal a phrase from a book I love. It’s murder and injustice and terrorism and garbage people and hate. So many awful headlines. So many scary current events.

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6 Years of Blogging? Say WHAT! (Plus A Different Sort of Giveaway?)

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As of yesterday this blog is 6 years old. OH MY STARS. That is a long time. I’ve said this before but I have always been surprised I lasted for more than a year at this as a serial hobby dropper. 24 year old Jamie who started this blog probably would have never imagined that at 30 she would have been able to keep this blog that long and really let it grow alongside her.

Look how cute I was like 3 months into blogging!!! And skinnier, oof!

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I didn’t write anything for yesterday because I just didn’t know what to say. What more can I say after 6 blog birthdays? I’ve done flashy giveaways. I did an embarrassing video my first year. I’ve thanked you all profusely and talked about how important this blog has been to me/how it has changed my life. All the things you’ve seen me through. I’ve reflected and given advice to people on this blogging journey.

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Home Sweet Home

I’m back!! Some of you might be like, “hmmm oops didn’t even know you left.”  I did though — thanks to the internet it maybe felt like I never went anywhere. I just got back from my two week trip to London and Madrid with my husband — I’ll share some pictures down below. I sooo could have done another week or two in other cities after these two weeks but 1) haha money 2) I missed our dog.  We had a great time at which maybe I’ll talk about in more detail later…or maybe I won’t. I haven’t decided because motivation is always a problem so we shall see.

I will slowly be catching up with responding to things (lols to my inbox right now) and getting back in the groove but I have a feeling this week might be S L O W.

I *DID* post while I was gone but did a crap job of promoting it via other social media so you may have missed it. So, maybe while I get my crap together, you can check those out in the meantime.

 

So here’s a little sneak peek of my trip in the event you weren’t following along on Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter.  I plan to go through our pictures from our real camera this week but these are just ones from my phone that are largely unedited.

 

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Segovia from the alcazar

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THE BEST OF THE BEST

I’ve been blogging consistently (mostly except like when I was planning my wedding) for the past 6 years. In those years I’ve written A LOT of posts — reviews, discussions, lists, all sorts of random goodness. I always thought I’d run out of things to say but lololol if you know me…that’s likely to never happen.

There are some people who I know have been along for the journey with me since the beginning and there are some who may have just come along in more recent years. And when I was thinking about what I’d post while I’m away on vacation for two weeks I started thinking how when I find a blog I like to dive deep into their archives when I have time. I’m the one who will be click click clicking around your website. So I thought it might be fun, whether you’ve been here for a few years or a couple days, to revisit some of my favorite and most popular posts I’ve done through the years.

I mean, because, really….as bloggers we spend a lot of time on these posts and I’d hate for them to be collecting dust and never seeing the light of day again. I always try to link to relevant old posts in my posts (such a good thing, for many reasons, for all bloggers to do if you aren’t doing that!) but sometimes I just want to shout, “HEY I WROTE THIS POST ONE TIME AND IT WAS GREAT AND YOU SHOULD READ IT!”

So, while I’m away, let me guide you through a tour of some of the blog posts you may have missed along the way (narrowing this down was sooooo freaking hard)! Hope you enjoy catching up/revisiting! And, I hope, maybe some of these will even spark a blog post or two for you! Would love to know if it does!

(NGL, it’s going to be light on the posts from 2010 and 2011, because while I’m proud of a bunch, they are ugly and need to be spruced up and reformatted (or are just outdated) and I never find time to do that.)

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Random Musings On Accessibility To Your Heroes

Things have changed so much in the author/reader space since my childhood/teen years. If I loved a book or something I didn’t have Twitter to jump on to exclaim my love for it directly to the author immediately. I had to write a letter on my best stationary (probably multiple times because I always would mess up or sound dumb), beg for a stamp from my mom, lick the icky envelope and mail that puppy…more than likely to the publisher who would then forward it and WHO KNOWS if the author ever got my letter. I sure never got a response. Sidenote: sometimes I really want to send snail mail to the authors of my most favorite books to show my appreciation rather than popping off a quick tweet or blog post.

I’ve talked about this before but authors, and our heroes/idols in general, are so incredibly accessible because of the internet. It’s great. It really is. I love being able to connect with an author whose book I loved. To talk to them about it. To show them my appreciation. To sometimes even create really good relationships past that. I love having some access to my favorites — to see the behind the scenes and get to know the person. To learn more about them. To go on this journey with them. It can all be a really positive thing.

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Truthwitch Pen Pal Blog Tour

Truthwitch pen pal blog tour

 

One of my FAVORITE books (like literally in my top 5) that I read in 2015 was Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. You can read my 6 reasons you NEED to read Truthwitch post if you need any more prodding at all. I devoured it immediately after I got it at BEA in June (yeah, I have no impulse control) and it’s been THAT book that I want to reread and talk about and yell about and READ THE SEQUEL TO (wah, 2017 why you so far away)…and OMG IT IS OUT TODAY!!!!

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Looking Back On My 2015 Book-Related Goals

Before my post with my 2016 bookish resolutions goes live on Tuesday I wanted to share how I did on my goals for 2015….because, you know, accountability and crap.

Last year I had an overall goal and that was to keep focus on why I do this blogging stuff. And I think I REALLY did a great job with that. That’s a harder one to quantify and measure but I really truly can say I think I did great with this.

 

 

Now for the individual goals I had last year:

 

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The essence of this goal was to add more diversity in my reading and as I looked back over my year I did this 11/12 months. I will be honest…me doing well at this challenge had less to do with me actually having this goal in my mind but more so just the things I happened to pick up — which did make me happy because it means that I had diverse books on my TBR or prioritized them for review. I know I could definitely do better and be even MORE conscious about this. I think me pretty much been successful in this goal was a fluke.

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Farewell 2015…I’m Coming For You 2016!

Last year I talked about my best moments of the year in my Best of Things Not Books post but this year I wanted to recap my 2015  a la 2012 style that I did and also really reflect upon it a la 2013 style with some lessons. It will be a mesh of the two I think.

So let’s start with the fact that 2015 was a pretty good year I have to say. I know it wasn’t for a lot of people but, for me, it was good. Not like BEST YEAR EVER. But not the awfulness of the past couple years where I feel like I struggled to make it out alive…just telling myself one day at a time. Reading my 2013 reflections brought up a lot of feels (what a truly awful year) as I was thinking about 2015. I remember the hardships so clearly but, having some distance, I’m just really proud of myself because I made it through. I persevered through depression and being scary broke because I had gotten laid off and so many times of being kicked when I was down and thinking “this can’t get worse.”

2015 has not been without it’s struggles or tears or days where I just want to be done. There were disappointments. Bad news. Really hard things I didn’t think I’d be able to handle. Days of just sobbing in the shower. Job rejections. Having to grieve my mom so intensely again after 9 years because my stepdad got remarried, we had to go through my mom’s stuff and I became a guest in my childhood home — the only place left that held so much of my mom besides my own memories (I talked about the fickle nature of memories this year). But weirdly the good seemed to outweigh the bad and I think my coping skills improved in 2015 and I think I worked to not let some of these things define me. I let go to stuff. I held on to even better stuff.

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