Bout of Books 12 – Wrap Up!

Bout of Books

If you’ve been on my blog this past week (or my Twitter or Instagram), you’re well aware that I participated in Bout of Books 12. It was my third time participating and, as always, I had an absolute blast. I even got to host one of the first two challenges of the week on Monday – the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – which had such an amazing turn out. Everyone’s finds were super awesome and I found some new books to read and new blogs to follow. I’m so glad everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge!

I also participated in the first Twitter chat, most of the second, and the last five minutes of the third. Again, I found more people to follow – I actually think the chats were my favorite thing of this go around of Bout of Books. I enjoyed them immensely the first two times, of course, but this time they were incredibly fun.

As for challenges, I did the Top 10 Recommendations Challenge, Describe Your Book in Pictures Challenge, and the Literary Quote Challenge, all of which were seriously great.

Now for what I read: Overall, I read an awesome total of 1,568 pages! Here’s a breakdown:

– Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – 260 pages [my review]
– The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – 299 pages
– Girl Online by Zoe Sugg – 352 pages
– Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher – 140 pages
– 102 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
– Comics: Thor #2, Superior Iron Man #2, Gotham Academy #3, Batman and Robin #36, Arkham Manor #2, Gotham by Midnight #1, Memetic #2, Feathers #1, Batman and Robin #37, Robin Rises Alpha, The Walking Dead #135, Memetic #3, Superior Iron Man #3, Thor #3, Wild’s End #4, Arkham Manor #3, and Fiction Squad #2

I haven’t reviewed any of these books except for Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, but I plan on doing so this week (either posting them or scheduling them for the future).

I think I had a pretty great week. I feel good about how much I read and the mix of genres and books/comics. I had an absolute blast and I can’t wait for sign ups for the May Bout of Books to open up! If you don’t already, make sure you either follow Bout of Books on Twitter or subscribe to their newsletter on their website so you can get in on the fun next time!

Two of my reasons to join Bout of Books:

Bout of Books “Describe Your Book in Pictures” Challenge

It’s Day 5 of Bout of Books 12! TGIF – because it means I can read ALL WEEKEND!! Wooooo. Alright, anyway, today The Book Monsters are hosting the “Describe Your Book in Pictures” Challenge. You can use the book you’re currently reading or take a book you’ve already read. Either way, choose a book and find some pictures that describe it. Fun AND easy, right? Check out the challenge if you want to participate too!

I’ve just finished reading The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, so I’ve used that for my challenge. I’ve only included four pictures, none of which are spoiler-y, so no worries!

The Iron Trial

Here’s The Iron Trial in pictures:

TheIronTrial - BoB Challenge

Have you read The Iron Trial? Think my pictures work? Link me to your challenge if you participated so I can see!

Bout of Books 12 – Top 10 Recommendations Challenge

Today is Day 2 of Bout of Books! Trees of Reverie is hosting the Top 10 Recommendations challenge, and since I actually work in a library, I thought I kind of have to participate, don’t I? 🙂

The Challenge: You’ve just started to work at a bookstore (or library) – what are your top ten go-to book recommendations?

All of the books I’ve chosen are ones that I’ve actually recommended to people at my library for various reasons. Some are favorites and some are just generally good reads. Here we go!

The Humans Anna and the French Kiss This Is What Happy Looks Like The Black Hour The Book of Strange New Things

The Humans by Matt Haig – for everyone. Seriously. Read it. (I know you’re all surprised)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – perfect for a lot of our YA readers but also for some of our older patrons who like books by authors like Debbie Macomber

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith – for basically the same reasons as above

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day – I read and loved this one and have recommended it to several patrons that enjoy crime fiction

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – one of my new recommendations because I read and LOVED this. It’s unique and interesting. Different from my normal read.

The Passage Saga, volume 1 Cover The Young Elites The Incredible Book Eating Boy Cover Fortunately, the Milk Cover

The Passage by Justin Cronin – patrons who enjoy vampires but the creepy, scary kind have been told to read this by me on several occasions. 🙂

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples – for people who want to try comics. This is how I got into comics and I’ve never looked back.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – because this was probably my favorite read of the year

ANYTHING by/illustrated by Oliver Jeffers – because stick legs

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young – for Neil Gaiman fans. For fans of silliness. For fans of fun.

A few others:The Raven Boys

Anything Maggie Stiefvater has written

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Gone by Michael Grant

What would you recommend?

Bout of Books 12 – Goals, TBR, and updates post!

It’s here! Bout of Books 12 has officially started. I hope you’re all signed up and ready to get reading. Bout of Books 12I know I am. After (or before, whichever) you read this post, make sure you go enter my challenge for Bout of Books 12 – The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt! I mean, there’s a giveaway. Why wouldn’t you participate?

Bout of Books isn’t doing a specific goals link up this go around, but I still want to lay a few out for myself. I’m not going to stress if I don’t meet them or give myself a headache reading too much just to make sure I read my whole TBR. This is supposed to be fun, you guys! So here are my goals:

– Read the four books, one graphic novel, and seven single issue comics on my TBR
– Post (or schedule) reviews of at least two of the things in my TBR
– Participate in at least one, but preferably two, Twitter chats (FYI, they are on Monday at 1 p.m. CST, Wednesday at 8 p.m. CST, and Saturday at 10 a.m. CST)
– Participate in at least four Bout of Books challenges (You can see the schedule for the challenges HERE)
– Have as much fun as I possibly can, meet some new bloggers/readers, and READ


Bout of Books 12 TBR

I plan to read (order based on mood) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, Batman R.I.P by Grant Morrison, and these single issue comics: Thor #2, Superior Iron Man #2, Gotham Academy #3, Batman and Robin #36, Arkham Manor #2, Gotham by Midnight #1, and Memetic #2.


Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Read today: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Pages read today: 260
Total number of pages: 260
Challenges participated in: I hosted the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt challenge today! As of writing this, you have two more hours to participate! The challenge (and the giveaway) end at midnight CST tonight.
Notes about today: I had an absolute BLAST hosting one of the first two challenges today. In addition to reading one book, I checked out and responded to every single one of the entries (over a hundred), which was super fun! I loved seeing which books everyone found to fit the categories. I also participated in the first Twitter chat of Bout of Books 12 which was just as insane, fun, crazy, and amazing as I was hoping. My eyes went a little cross-eyed at the end though. Looking forward to day 2!


Number of books I’ve read today: .5 books and seven single issue comics
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.5 + seven single issue comics
Read today: Thor #2, Superior Iron Man #2, Gotham Academy #3, Batman and Robin #36, Arkham Manor #2, Gotham by Midnight #1, and Memetic #2. I also started The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
Pages read today: 265 (168 = 7 comics x approx. 24 pages each + 97 of The Iron Trial)
Total number of pages: 525
Challenges participated in: I did the Top 10 Recommendations challenge hosted by Trees of Reverie. This was really fun because I got to use books that I’ve actually recommended to my patrons at the library! There’s still time to participate if you want to join in. 🙂
Notes about today: So I read maybe half of what I was hoping to read today because my mom’s bird (which usually sits nice and quiet on my shoulder if I go out on the porch) decided to FLY OFF into our TEN ACRES of land. I spent roughly three hours looking for the darn thing which was supposed to be spent reading. Thankfully, I found the idiot bird but lost valuable reading time. Hope you had better luck than I did!!


Number of books I’ve read today: .3? I didn’t read as much as I wanted to.
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.8 + seven single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial
Pages read today: 113
Total number of pages: 638
Notes about today: I was a little busier at work than I thought I’d be – we had a good amount of patrons but I also did my YA book ordering, my time sheet, and our AV order for the month. So, not as much reading. BUT I did participate in the BoB Twitter chat last night and found a few new awesome people to follow. Check them out:  (I was already following her, but she deserves a shout out), @gnarly_marly. I could go on and on, but this is a start. 🙂


Number of books I’ve read today: Part of The Iron Trial and one comic
Total number of books I’ve read: Almost 2 + eight single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial and Feathers #1
Pages read today: ~64 (40? of The Iron Trial and 24 pages – Feathers #1)
Total number of pages: 702
Notes about today: I reviewed Feathers #1 over on WatchPlayRead. I had another busy day at work so I didn’t read hardly anything at all. But we had a soup fundraiser at my library and it was a lot of fun! I also had to make up a lot of flyers for some events – which I also enjoy. Hope you guys had a good Thursday!


Number of books I’ve read today: .4 of The Iron Trial and .5 of Girl Online
Total number of books I’ve read: 2.5 + eight single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial and half of Girl Online
Pages read today: 226 (49 of The Iron Trial + 170 of Girl Online)
Total number of pages: 928
Challenges participated in: I did the Describe Your Book in Pictures challenge hosted by The Book Monsters, in which I described The Iron Trial in a series of four pictures. It was a lot of fun!
Notes about today: I worked at the library by myself. We are a really small library, with only three employees – one was off (she’s part-time) and one was at a branch managers meeting, so I was alone. I did have a bit of time to read and finished The Iron Trial. I know we’re not supposed to stress about how much we read, but stressing is just who I am. However, I feel pretty good about how much I’ve read and I’m having a lot of fun. 🙂 Only two days left though. 😦


Number of books I read today: .5 of Girl Online, nine single issue comics, 22% of Never Never
Total number of books I’ve read: 3 + 16 single issue comics
Read today: the last half of Girl Online, nine comics (Batman and Robin #37, Robin Rises Alpha, The Walking Dead #135, Memetic #3, Superior Iron Man #3, Thor #3, Wild’s End #4, Arkham Manor #3, and Fiction Squad #2), and the first 22% of Never Never
Pages read today: 428 (182 of Girl Online + 216 = 9 comics @ approx. 24 pages each + 22% of Never Never – approx. 30 pages?)
Total pages read: 1,356
Challenges participated in today: Today, I did the Literary Quote challenge hosted by Gone with the Words. This was fun, and I got to put another quote in my Book Memories Jar…er…can. 🙂
Notes about today: So after I finished Girl Online, the plan was to start rereading Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. But then I decided I felt more like comics and raced through NINE single issues I was behind on. Then I wanted to start Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher because one of my favorites (Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek) was gushing about it to me on Twitter along with Bradie (at Brandie is a Book Junkie – a new friend!), and I HAD to read it. It was amazing. Should be doing a joint review with those two ladies soon. So I ended up having a GREAT Bout of Books Saturday – even though I missed almost ALL of the last chat.


Number of books I read today: 78% of Never Never and 25% or so of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Total number of books I’ve read: 4.25 + 16 single issue comics
Read today: The rest of Never Never and the first quarter or so of Forever
Pages read today: 212 (110 pages of Never Never + 102 pages of Forever)
Total pages read: 1,568
Notes about today: It’s the last day of Bout of Books 12. 😦 Other than being super sad about that, I had a pretty great reading day. I finished Never Never while still laying in bed this morning, had a break from reading, and then dived into a reread of Forever, which I’m loving even more the second time.

I hope you all had a wonderful Bout of Books, and I look forward to seeing you all on here or on Twitter! Hope you’ll all join Bout of Books again in May, everyone!

Bout of Books Challenge – Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Bout of Books 12

I am so excited to be hosting one of the first challenges of Bout of Books 12! This challenge is only open to read-a-thon participants, so make sure you’ve signed up!

It’s a bookshelf scavenger hunt!

Find a book with the following criteria on a bookshelf:
1. Find an author with the same initials as you
2. Find a book with the color yellow on it
3. Find an author’s name with the letter “S” in it
4. Find a book with a female protagonist
5. Find the longest book you own
6. Find a book with a map in it or on it
7. Find a book with a face on it (photograph or illustrated)
Bonus: Find something on your shelf that isn’t a book.

Here are my finds so you can see an example:

Bout of Books Challenge Pic

1. Samantha Shannon – My initials are SS. 2. Saints of the Shadow Bible. 3. J. J. Abrams – also, book is called SDouble win. 🙂 4. Isla from Isla and the Happily Ever After. 5. The Instructions at 1030 pages. 6. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. 7. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. BONUS: My TARDIS. Also, my fairy lights. 🙂


You can take your own pictures or use images you find online. Up to you. Stack ‘em up, lay ‘em all out, make a collage, use Goodreads, whatever. Find a book for at least four (4) of the prompts to be eligible for the giveaway. You can post on your blog, FB, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. Then post the link, list, whatever in the comments of this post and enter the giveaway! Use hashtag #BoBScavengerHunt if you talk about your findings so we can see what everyone found!

If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me – @StefaniSloma

GIVEAWAY: One random winner will get a book of their choosing from The Book Depository for $15 or less. Giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository delivers to you. You can check whether TBD delivers to you HERE. The challenge and giveaway will close after 24 hours (12 AM CST on Tuesday January 6, 2015). I’ll contact the winner that day. Winner will have 72 hours to respond, after which I’ll have to choose another winner.

Giveaway Enter

Make sure you check out today’s other challenge, New Year’s Resolutions, on The Book That… and have fun reading!

P.S. If you want another chance to win a book, why not enter my other giveaway for My True Love Gave to Me or $15 to TBD? 🙂

Happy New Year! My Reading Goals/Challenges for 2015

Here’s the pic I made for my display at the library of new books for the new year.

New Year, New Books!

If you celebrated, I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve. I celebrated by reading and watching Once Upon a Time, which was definitely fun. As it’s the new year, I’ve seen a lot of people posting about the challenges they’ll be participating or their reading goals (along the lines of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday on our 2015 bookish and not-so-bookish goals). I’ve been invited to A LOT of reading challenges for 2015, some of which seem fun but a lot of which are overwhelming and almost ridiculous in their complexity.

Because of that, I’m not participating in any except four.

1. My own personal challenge: I own WAY too many physical books that I haven’t read. The books I own but haven’t read currently take up THREE full shelves on one of my bookshelves. I created a Goodreads shelf for all of these and found out that I owned 61 books I haven’t read. In case you weren’t sure, this is CRAZY. Therefore, I’ve been put on a self-imposed book buying ban until I read at least one full shelf of the three. I’ve printed the shelf from Goodreads and will be crossing books off as I read them. Here’s my physical shelves and the printed shelf (yes, that does say “Read the books you own, dummy!” Gotta keep myself in check, right? 🙂

IMG_4174     IMG_4175

2. The Popsugar reading challengePopsugar has come up with a challenge of 50 (technically 52) books to read this year. I’m not going to stress to try to read all 52 or feel bad if I don’t read them. Mostly I think it sounds like a lot of fun (where am I going to find a book set in my hometown?). I’m excited to find a book that scares me or read a book that came out the year I was born. I’ve also printed this challenge at taped it onto the side of one of my bookshelves. I’ll be checking them off and writing the name of the book next to the prompt. Want to do the challenge with me? Print it and let’s keep each other accountable. Maybe we can throw in a buddy read or two?


3. The Goodreads challenge: I’ve seen several people who’ve decided they no longer want to participate in the Goodreads challenge this year. They seem to be doing it for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they feel obligated to read or it makes them anxious when Goodreads tells them they are ____ books behind schedule. I completely agree that the reminder from Goodreads that you aren’t reading as much as you “should” sucks, but personally, I like the Goodreads challenge because it helps me to keep up with what I’ve read this year. Just like the Popsugar challenge, it’s mostly just fun for me. I don’t feel stressed to complete it. I’m challenging myself to 120 books this year. For 2014, I began my challenge in March and challenged myself to read 100 books; well, I read 158 books, including a few single issue comics, some children’s books, lots of comics volumes (Saga and The Walking Dead making up the majority of those), and many, many novels. I’m pretty confident I can read 120 books, but I don’t want to make it too high – that’s when the anxiety would kick in. I think that’s why I don’t feel stressed. I make it an amount I am pretty sure I can reach. If you make it something like 300 books but you only typically read 100, that’s bound to make you feel stressed out. It’s supposed to be fun! Read and have fun. Don’t get crazy.

2015 Goodreads challenge

4. Bout of Books: This isn’t a year-long challenge, but rather a week-long challenge that happens every few months. I’ve participated in two so far, and I have loved every minute. I’ve already announced I’ll be participating in Bout of Books 12, which is kicking off this Monday. I’m currently figuring out my TBR and my own personal challenges for the week (BoB isn’t doing a link up for challenge this year but I want to have a few for myself). I’m also hosting one of the first two challenges for the week – a bookshelf scavenger hunt – on Monday! You should totally come back on Monday to participate. If you haven’t already, sign up for Bout of Books 12 and let’s have some bookish fun!

Bout of Books 12

So what about you? Are you participating in any challenges this year?

Also, why not start your year off with a chance to win My True Love Gave to Me or $15 to The Book Depository by entering my giveaway?!

Bout of Books 12 – Sign up announcement

Bout of Books 12

Hi guys! I’m super excited to say that I’ll be participating in Bout of Books 12! This will be my third time participating in Bout of Books. You get to read (a lot), meet readers and bloggers from all over the world (virtually, of course), participate in fun challenges, and the Twitter chats are crazy awesome. If you’ve ever thought about participating, or you’re interested now, I encourage you to sign up. It’s super low-key and you get to set your own goals!

If you decide to sign up too, I would love to know what you’re goals are and what you plan to read! Link me up, Scotty! Go sign up on the Bout of Books blog!

If you don’t know what Bout of Books is, here you go:  

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I haven’t picked a TBR  or goals or anything yet. I’ll be deciding on those a little closer to the start date (January 5th). Let me know if you’ll be participating too, so we can encourage each other and talk about our progress!