August 2021 Recap

Once again, I find myself asking how it is the end of the month already?? Summer truly flew by this year and I’m in denial that fall is right around the corner.

While August might have flew by, it was also an incredible reading month for me. I didn’t even realize how much I read until I sat down to write this. This month I read 11 books, bringing my total for the year up to 77 books! I’m feeling really good about surpassing my goal of reading a 100 books this month based on how the last few months of reading have gone.

August 2021 Reads

Looking back at my August TBR, I read 8 out of the 10 books on the list. The two I missed were The Day of the Duchess (which I skimmed for scenes of Caleb and Sesily in prep for Bombshell) and It Happened One Summer which I still really want to get to!

Here’s what I actually read:

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July 2021 Recap

Another month in the books! I hate that summer is flying by!

July was a busy month for me – both on the reading front and personal front. I finally got to take a vacation to a beach this month. I haven’t done that since the summer before the pandemic so I was super excited!

On the reading front, July ended up being a very strong month! In July, I ended up reading 12 books, bringing my total for year up to 66 books. I’m about 8 books ahead of meeting my goal of 100 books this year so I feel like I’m in a good position to hit that this year.

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June 2021 Recap

I cannot believe June has come and gone. Does this year feel like it is flying by for anyone else, or is it just me?

Since we just passed the midpoint of the year, I thought I’d start with a quick check in on how I’m tracking against my reading goal for the year. This year, my goal is to read 100 books. So far, it looks like I’m track to meet that as I closed out June with my 54th book of the year. According to Goodreads (if we’re not friends, come add me!), that puts me about 5 books ahead.

Now let’s dive into the June recap!

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March 2021 Recap

I cannot believe we’re already at the end of March – this month feels like it’s flown by! This was my first full month back to blogging and I have to say I am loving it! Not only did I relaunch my blog this month, but I also launched my bookstagram @overflowingshelf and I’ve been having so much fun.

My whole reason for my blog and Instagram was to connect with other readers as I missed talking about books with people as passionate about them as I am. Thank you to everyone who has followed and come along on this journey so far – it’s been a blast and I’m hoping to keep it up for as long as I can!

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the March recap!

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Kim Harrington’s Launch Party

On March 5, I had the immense pleasure of being able to attend Kim Harrington’s launch party for her debut novel Clarity. I had the pleasure of arriving early to pick up two copies of Clarity (a great thing since they sold out of every copy in the store! All 80 copies) and then met up with some awesome blogger buddies (Ariane, Danielle B, Jen, Nikki, and Gail) to head out to lunch at Chipolte before the event. Awesomeness ensued at Chipolte and I was introduced to the Narwal Song (seriously how had I never heard that before!) by the fabulous Jen and Gail. We then headed back to Tatnuck where Kim was all prepared and greeting everyone. We then all went to Tatnuck’s event room which was great a socialized with a bunch of bloggers and authors who attended the signing while waiting for the event to start.
Kim Harrington, Leigh Fallon (Carrier of the Mark) and Karsten Knight (Wildefire)
So many people came to the launch! Not just bloggers but a bunch of local authors, like Leigh Fallon (Carrier of the Mark, Sept 2011) and Karsten Knight (Wildefire, July 2011). Kim’s editor Aimee Friedman (also author of Sea Change, The Year My Sister Got Lucky and others) also made the trip from New York for the event.
Aimee Friedman and Kim Harrington with Clarity 
We were all chatting and having a blast when we then called to order so the event could get underway. Kim was then introduced to a packed house by Nikki Mutch, the local sales rep for Scholastic.

Kim then took to the podium. Kim started about by discussing her journey to being a published author. For as long as Kim can remember, she was a voracious reader and always wanted to be a writer. Kim’s parents wanted Kim to have an enlarged photo of herself when she was younger up with books the whole time of the event but Kim didn’t want that but did show the picture off to everyone in the room.
Little Kim. 
While discussing her childhood, the first thing Kim remembers writing is a poem about a dog. When she was younger, Kim really loved the ocean and had a strange obsession with sharks (she even had a small one in a formaldehyde jar). One day she decided she was gonna write a book about sharks so she went to all her books about sharks and copied lots of facts about sharks and called it her own book. After that shark book, in 2nd Kim wrote a story about a house that swallows children who walk by. Kim admits she has a strange fascination with violence and horror.

Kim’s journey to become a writer changed in high school. During high school, Kim questioned herself about if she really wanted to be a writer and want to be poor her whole life. For her whole life, Kim wanted to be a writer, so in high school she took a career test to see what jobs she might be good at and got florist, lawyer or accountant. When she went to a job fair she decided to become an accountant. So Kim went to school as an accountant major, but ended up changing majors to a marketing major, and graduated with a degree in marketing.

All throughout college, the fascination with writing was still there. So Kim decided to challenge herself and see if she could write a book and just finish one – she did finish one but she admits it was crap but now she knew she could write a book.

Kim recalls an important phone call with her parents, where one of her parents (she admits she can’t remember which and bet they would fight over who gave her the advice later) asked her a very important question: “Do you still enjoy writing? Then write another book.” This lead to Kim ending up writing Clarity.

After recounting her journey to publication. Kim then did a short reading from Clarity, and proceeded to a Q&A with the audience. I did the best I could taking notes so any errors people are my own.

Where did your idea for Clarity come from? Kim admits she heard one voice, a voice of a teenager girl who said “Welcome to the freak show” (a line still in the book) and only that one voice. From their Kim proceeded to play the “What if?” game about that voice in her head and from that Clarity was born. Kim decided to set the book in Cape Cod but created a fictional town for freedom to create whatever she wanted. She found inspiration where she could.

What’s the inside joke? (a result of something Kim said while reading about the name of girl murdered in Clarity) In the original version of the book, the girl had a hard to pronounce last name that needed to be changed. Her good friend Susan then said “Kill me!” enthusiastically. So Kim did, using her friends name for the girl killed in the book.

How did you learn to write? Practice and more practice. You learn by doing and keep writing. Some agents will help develop story and craft. Since Kim was a marketing major, she had no actual schooling for writing, so she read as many books as she could on writing and took some advice from that. But the way to learn is to practice and learn from the makes you make and continue writing to make it better.

Are you ever going release the short stories you wrote before being published? Probably not because the short stories were horrifically violent.

How much of Clarity is Kim? Kim admits that people who know her will recognizes Clare’s sarcasm as Kim’s. Clare’s eating habits are extremely similar to Kim’s too, such as her hate of the smell of sea food, coke for breakfast and basically any other eating habits of Clare’s are also Kim’s.

Where there any major changes from the first draft to the finished version? The motivation for the crime in the original draft was different than the finished version. Originally Clare’s house burned down. There was a lot more violence in the original draft.

What book do you wish had been available when you were a teen? Kim admits she wished the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins had been published when she was a teen. That book series would have really appealed to her violent side. Kim also admitted to reading a lot of Stephen King while growing up.

Is there a particular song that represents Clarity? For the darker scenes: Closer by Kings of Leon and Army of Me by Bjork. There were a few more that I didn’t get but Kim says she plans on posting a playlist on her website.

What are you working on now? Right now she is working of on the edits of Perception, the sequel to Clarity(out March 2012).  Kim is also working on a standalone ghost story (currently untitled) that will be out in Fall of 2012.

Where the three books before Clarity YA? One was YA, one college and one was adult.

How long does it take you to write? It took Kim 9 months to write Clarity and about the same amount of time for Perception but she was doing Clarity edits at the same time. She thinks the new book she is writing now will take the same amount of time as the other two.

The last question came from Kim’s son who didn’t think he should have to wait until he is 12 to read Clarity to which Kim responded that Scholastic rated it 14+ and her should be lucky she was only making him wait until he was 12. Much laughter ensued after this.

After the Q&A, Kim began signing to a line that seemed to NEVER end.
But people didn’t mind waiting since there was cake.
And tarot card readings to keep everyone interested.
Here are some pictures from the event. Including pictures of the AWESOME CLARITY shirts some of us had made.
All of Us in our AWESOME Clarity Shirts!
Kim and I
If you’ve made it this far, I will reward you with a giveaway. Luckily I was able to pick up an extra copy of Clarity before the store sold out and was able to get it signed. So below is a form you can fill out to enter to win ONE SIGNED COPY OF CLARITY. Contest is open in US only and ends March 25, 2011 (3/25/11). 

2011 100+ Challenge

My goal for 2011 is to read a 100 new books. Last year I came a bit short with reading 80 new books, but that still is a lot. This challenge is hosted by J. Kaye at Home Girl’s Book Blog
This challenge runs from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011. I will list all the books I read here on this post.  To learn more about this challenge view visit the challenge page
  1. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
  2. The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee 
  3. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
  4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  5. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
  6. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  7. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale 
  8. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
  9. Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann 
  10. Clarity by Kim Harrington 
  11. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
  12. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 
  13. False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
  14. Haven by Kristi Cook 
  15. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
  16. Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt 
  17. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 
  18. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen 
  19. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  20. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on Her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer
  21. Red Glove by Holly Black
  22. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson 
  23. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
  24. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  25. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  26. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  27. The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan
  28. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
  29. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  30. Love Story by Jennifer Echols
  31. He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
  32. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
  33. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
  34. Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
  35. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  36. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Favorite Books of 2010

Now that 2010 is over, it is time to reflect on the year. This year there were so many wonderful books published it was impossible for me to pick just 10. I’m going to show you my top ten but then also show you my other favorites from this year as well. There was just so much AWESOME this year, it was nearly impossible to limit my list.

My Top 10 Books of 2010 (in no particular order):

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
An amazing debut novel from the extremely talent, and extremely nice, Alexandra Bracken. I just love this book. I love the world Alexandra Bracken created. No matter how many times I read this book, I’m always blown away by it. Everything is just perfect. And of course this book has North, who I love. Read a full review from The Book Cellar.

Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Ahh Sea. Whenever I think of Sea I get all warm and fuzzy. I love this book so much. Heidi R. Kling has written such a powerful, moving book that captured my heart the moment I read the first page. I remember the day this book came out I got it on my Nook and was reading it in school when I should have been doing work. I cannot explain how much I love this book. So breath-takingly beautiful. I love its so much I even created a website for it. Without a doubt Sea is a great debut and a fabulous book from 2010. Read my full review.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
One of my favorite contemporary romances, and one of the best books without a doubt of 2010. Funny, romantic and just amazing. This book was everything and more. Another great debut novel from such a talent writer. ANNA is simply amazing. Read my full review.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
I don’t think I’ve ever reread a book immediately after finishing it, but I did with Hex Hall. This book was perfect. Sophie was such a great character and truly had me laughing out loud. Once again, Hex Hall is a great book from a debut author. It’s got a great cast of characters, cute boys, mystery and magic. Everything I want in a book and more. Read a full review from Frenzy of Noise.

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Wow. This was such an emotional book. I still remember reading this book and crying during parts of it. So good. This book says so much while its main character says so little. Dealing with the difficult topic of suicide and death, Julie Anne Peters capture’s Daelyn’s struggle perfectly. This book will definitely stay with you once you read it. Read my full review.

13 to Life by Shannon Delany
One of my new favorite series. 13 to Life was so much more than a typical  paranormal romance. I loved everything about this book, especially the wonderful characters. If you couldn’t tell, I really love this series, and the next one Secrets and Shadows continues this wonderful series. Read my full review. Check out my Fragment Friday featuring 13 to Life.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
I was awaiting this book for so long and was not disappointed at all. If anything, I think this first book in the Infernal Devices is even better than the Mortal Instrument series. I mean it’s hard not to love. Victorian England, Shadow Hunters, hot boys, steampunk. What is not to love? Read a full review from Ticket to Anywhere.

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel 
Oh Infinite Days how I love you. Such a beautifully written book. I loved that this was soooo not a typical vampire book. Rebecca Maizel was able to suck me into Lenah’s world from the first page of this book. A vampire who turns human in order to feel. Lovely, truly, lovely. Read my full review.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 
Not many times do I love a sequel more than the first in a series, but Beautiful Darkness surpassed Beautiful Creatures. This book was amazing. So much happened and I literally could not predict where Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl were going to take us next. And poor Ethan. I literally just wanted to give him a hug. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl really do know how to write a kickass story. Read my full review.

The Iron King and The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Okay, while these are two books, they both make my top ten list since they are in the same series. Wow. The Iron Fey series is definitely one of the best book series out there. I love the new take on fairies, with a whole race of Fey created of iron. And boy, does Julie Kagawa know how to write a kick ass story. And then there is Ash *sigh*. I don’t know how you can not LOVE this series. Read a full review of the Iron King from The Book Cellar. Read my full review of the Iron Daughter.

Other favorite books from 2010 include:

Books of Wonder Mega Signing Recap and a Giveaway

Yesterday, on 10/10/10, Books of Wonder in New York city held a huge signing for some debut authors of 2010. The event had eleven fabulous authors: Amber Benson, Josh Berk, Alexandra Bracken, MArgie Gelbwasser, Emily Horner, Shaun David Hutchinson, Phoebe Kitanidis, Jessica Leader, Mini Scott, Laura Toffler-Corrie, and Amy Brecount White.

The event was wonderful. All eleven authors talked about their books, read excerpts, and answered questions from the audience. All the authors were wonderful and it was great chatting with them.
Phoebe Kitanidis and Jessica Leader
Alexandra Bracken discussing Brightly Woven
Mindi Scott discussing Freefall
Josh Berk with copies of his book The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

I have a signed copy of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken and a signed copy of Freefall by Mindi Scott to giveaway. One winner will receive both signed copies.

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Contest Ends NOVEMBER 1, 2010

Books Of Wonder Signing

On Wednesday, June 30, I was fortunately able to head into New York City to attend the Books of Wonder event “Coming Of Age: Romantic Adventure Abroad” with Angie Frazier author of Everlasting, Heidi R. Kling author of Sea, and Christina Diaz Gonzalez author of the Red Umbrella.

After eating some lovely and delicious cupcakes

It was time to head to the signing. I had such a great time at the signing and it was great to finally meet Heidi, Angie and Christina. It was great hearing them all discuss their books and answer the audience questions.

After the discussion, Angie, Heidi and Christina signed copies of their books for everyone there and even signed extras for people to pre-order. I had such a great time at the signing. I was decked out in my Sea shirt and made an extra for Heidi.
Heidi even signed my Orange Converses and my Nook and the signing:

Heidi and Me:
Angie and Me:
It was a great event and I had a great time. Thanks to Heidi, Angie, Christina and Books of Wonder.