Readathons coming up

Two readathons are coming up and they both take place from June 1st to the 7th.

#AYEARATHON – Finish/Catch up on a series

I was thinking about finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson.

#TBRTakedown Readathon hosted by Shannon (learninglights)

1. A book that’s been on your TBR shelf over a year!
2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf.
3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf.
4. An “out of your comfort zone” book on le TBR shelf!
5. A book from your most recent book haul!

I’m thinking about doing the #AYEARATHON first and then do #TBRTakedown Readathon later in the week, if I have time.  I haven’t decided what I want to read for the #TBRTakedown Readathon yet.  Decisions, decisions…

Bout of Books Read-a-thon Wrap-up

I went ahead and did a vlog style update for this read-a-thon.  Sorry for the audio quality.  Should have spoken louder.

Start: p. 78 (12:58 a.m.)
End: p. 117 (2:25 a.m.) – tired
Finished around 5:30 p.m.
Total pages read: 82 pages

Ship of Brides
Total pages read: 51 pages

Total for Monday: 133

Ship of Brides
Start: p. 52
End: p. 161
Total pages read: 110

Bridget Jones’ Diary
Listened: 01:03:21 (Disc 1)

Ship of Brides
Start: p. 162
End: p. 266
Total pages read: 105

Bridget Jones’ Diary
Listened to Disc 2 and the first three tracks of Disc 3

Bridget Jones’ Diary: 89 pages (2-90)

Ship of Brides
Start: p. 267
End: p. 382
Total pages read: 116

Bridget Jones’ Diary
Start: p. 91
End: p. 95
Total pages read: 5

Total for Thursday: 121

Ship of Brides
Start: p. 383
End: p. 415
Total pages read: 33

Bridget Jones’ Diary
Start: p. 96
End: p. 169

Total for Friday: 107

Bridget Jones’ Diary
Start: p. 170
End: p. 307
Total pages read: 138

Saint Anything
Total pages read: 35

Total for Saturday: 173

Saint Anything
Start: p. 36
End: p. 176

Total for Sunday: 141

“Winger” by Andrew Smith

ZSynopsis: Ryan Dean West is known as “Winger,” the position he plays on his school’s rugby team. He’s a 14-year-old boy starting his junior year at Pine Mountain, a boarding school in Oregon. He begins the school year living in Opportunity Hall with one of his rugby teammates, Chas, who is one of the school’s biggest bullies.  They can’t stand each other.  Things get worse when Chas’ girlfriend falls in love with Ryan Dean, but there are worse things that happen.

Ryan Dean falls in love with his best friend, Annie, who is two years older than him.  One of his friends, who is the same age as Annie, also develops feelings for her and it causes problems in his friendship with Ryan Dean.  Then he ends up becoming friends with someone who is gay.  High school is bad enough, but having a gay friend brought on its own new set of problems.

All of the things he’s going through makes him feel like he’s a “loser.”  The phrase, “I am a loser,” is mentioned several times throughout the book.

Thoughts: Winger is a great coming of age story that many high school students can relate to.  He experiences so many things at such a young age and ends up becoming a better person because of it.  He also owns up to his own mistakes (like saying stupid things and getting into unnecessary fights), which takes a lot of courage because a lot of people don’t like to admit they were wrong about something.

The characters had so much depth to them, even the bullies, like Chas and Casey Palmer.  They all had insecurities that made them human.  Andrew Smith included a good mix of characters in this book.  Although the book focuses on Ryan Dean and his peers, we also saw a glimpse into adult life, thanks to characters like Annie’s parents, Mr. Wellins, and a couple of awful hall directors.  Life isn’t always pretty, even as an adult.

I’ve read some awesome books so far this year, and this was one of the best.

Booktuber Tag: Reader Problems

I’ve seen so many tag videos on Booktube, which is people talking about books on YouTube.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I look at my shelf and pick up whatever book I’m in the mood to read.  Sometimes, I let Booktube decide for me.

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or commit?

Depends on the book.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

If it’s one to five books, I might power through and finish it.  More than that?  Fuck it.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I’ll get over it.  Hell, I have Harry Potter books with the American covers, British covers (some old and some new) and three of them in paperback.

Everyone and their mother love a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

I’ll bond with whoever I find on the internet.

You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I don’t really cry over books.

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!

A mix of all three.  Depends on the series.  I’m planning on re-reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” so I can read the other two books.

You do not want anyone. ANYONE. Borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

Luckily, hardly anyone asks to borrow my books.

You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

Watch Booktube videos hoping someone talks about a book that I might be interested in.

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

ALL THE BOOKS!  Just kidding.  I don’t have the $ for that. One or two at the most (I might go crazy during Christmastime).  Lately, I’ve been borrowing a lot of books from the library.

After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Sometimes, I’ll pick up a book right away.  Most of the time, they’ll sit there for months or even years.


Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon Wrap Up

IT’S OVER! :(  I seriously wish I had more time to read.  I managed to read 329 pages, which wasn’t bad for my first 24 hour read-a-thon, but I had things going on during the day.  I couldn’t skip out of work, obviously.  I think I’ve only read about a total of 5-ish hours because I had a hard time waking up at 8 a.m. and couldn’t read too much at work.  Plus, driving takes up quite a bit of valuable reading time.

Things to do for my next read-a-thon:

Managing my time. I didn’t set my alarm until 8:25, which meant that I lost 25 minutes of reading time.  Plus, I also went back to sleep after reading a few pages, which meant I lost another hour and a half.  If I had woken up on time, I would’ve gotten more reading done before work.

Adding short stories to the mix. This would help with getting more books off my TBR list and keep me from getting bored with a book.

Eating healthier snacks. I had a croissant and brie for lunch and a sandwich for dinner, but I could have thrown in some fruits.  The strawberries I bought a week or two ago are still sitting in my fridge.

Still, I had a fun time doing it though, and it was fun reading everyone’s updates and seeing the #readathon hashtag trending on twitter.

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? The 1st & 18th hours because I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Book Thief by Marcus Zuszak, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
  5. How many books did you read? The second half of Let It Snow and the first half of Confessions of a Shopaholic. Technically, I didn’t start and finish a book during the read-a-thon.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Let It Snow Confessions of a Shopaholic
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Confessions of a Shopaholic
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Let It Snow.  Overall, it was just ok.  Nothing great.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t a cheerleader.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Oh I’ll definitely be back again in October, and I’ll probably just be sticking to reading and updating my blog.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 11 Challenge

It’s time for another challenge!  Boy, I’m slacking on these things.

This hour of the readathon (Hour 11) is hosted by Camilla, and she’s asking us what books will become classics in 100 years.

The books have to be written in English and published after 1990.

1. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling

This book has shaped so many lives, including adults, and it sparked worldwide interest in children’s literature and reading overall.

2. “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

TFIOS is a great book that focuses on love, friendship and life lessons.  The moral of the book is that you have to live each day to the fullest because you might not know when it’ll be your last.

3. “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zuszak

It’s a book that takes place during WWII in Nazi Germany, and it shows that love conquers all.  Evil people may treat you like you’re nothing, but the important people in your life will give you something to live for.  This is the best book I’ve read so far this year.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 12 Challenge (Half-Way Point)

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
2. How many books have you read so far? 1
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Probably the one I’m reading now.  I don’t know if I’ll have time to get to a third book.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? A lot. They’re interruptions like driving to the gym, going to a French festival with mom, driving to work, working, etc.  I had to take them all in stride, especially the work part, because I still had to exercise, eat, and of course, avoid getting fired from work.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  The time goes by so quickly.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon

Today is the Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon!  It’s an event where everyone around the world starts reading at the same time for 24 hours.  Plus, it’s only held twice a year, April and October.  This is my first time doing this, and it’s going pretty well so far (as of noon).

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Virginia
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? It’s not really a snack, but rather a meal.  I’m looking forward to lunchtime because my mom and I are supposed to go to a French restaurant festival.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m 27 years old.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my first read-a-thon, and I want to see how many books I can finish within a day.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Hour 1): 10 pages of Let It Snow

I woke up around 8:25.  It’s hard for me to wake up so early, especially on a Saturday.

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Hour 2): 0 pages

I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up again until 10:30.

Words of Wisdom Challenge:

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” —Helen Keller

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Hour 3): 35 pages

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Hour 4): 24 pages

I got up between 11 and 12 to go brush my teeth and eat some cereal.  Now it’s 12:30, and I’m updating my blog.  I haven’t read any pages yet for Hour 5.  Time to get back to reading.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (Hour 5): 2 pages

I was updating my blog and getting ready to go to the gym.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Hour 6): 62 pages!  Woohoo!

Thank goodness for reading on the treadmill!

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Hour 7): 0 pages

I was at a French festival with my mom, and we were stuck walking in the rain. :(  At least I got a sandwich, some salad, a croissant and brie. :)

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Hour 8): 0 pages

Off to work I go!  The 6 p.m. newscast can’t edit itself.

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Hour 9): 13 pages

I’m at work, so I’m reading whenever I can.

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Hour 10): 8 pages

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Hour 11): 0 pages

Update @ 6:38 p.m.: I’m finished editing the 6 p.m. newscast, and now it’s time for break.

Update @ 6:57 p.m.: I just completed a challenge for Hour 11.  Now it’s time to go heat up my dinner.  I hope to finish “Let It Snow” by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle before I leave work tonight.

7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Hour 12): 42 pages of Let It Snow & 4 pages of Confessions of a Shopaholic

Update @ 7:42 p.m.: I’m done with Let It Snow!  Woohoo!  Time to move onto Confessions of a Shopaholic.

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Hour 13): 31 pages

I also organized my workspace and made myself a cup of hot chocolate.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Hour 14): 0 pages

Back to work…

10 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Hour 15): 0 pages

11 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Hour 16): 16 pages

12 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Hour 17): 38 pages

1 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Hour 18): 44 pages

I fell asleep and couldn’t read anymore.

Total: 329 pages

Book Review: “Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love is about two characters, Miles and Tate, and it’s not exactly love at first sight.  Tate moves in with her brother Corbin because she needs a place to stay.  When she moves in, she finds Miles lying in the hallway drunk in front of Corbin’s apartment.  Eventually, they form a “no strings attached” kind of relationship.

Miles has two rules: 1. Don’t ask about his past and 2. Don’t expect to have a relationship.  On the other hand, Tate wants a relationship and wants to know about his past.  Eventually, they start to develop feelings for each other, despite Miles denying it.


[Read more…]

Budgeting and YNAB

BUDGETING IS SO MUCH FUN!  Yeah, I’m sure that’s the first thought that comes to people’s minds… but let me tell you that it can be fun, especially if you’re using the right program to help you along the way.

Let me tell you my story.  I don’t have any debt, but I was still in what they call “the credit card float,” meaning that I kept having to withdraw from my savings to pay off my credit card.  It felt like I wasn’t saving any money because the money I set aside for savings each pay period was being pulled right back out.  So what’s the point?  Then I discovered this group on Facebook called Budgeting and Personal Finance, and a lot of people brought up the Dave Ramsey plan.  His plan is mainly for people who have debt, but I made it work for me.

The thing is that his system is a cash envelope system, meaning you withdraw cash from your bank and put it in an envelope.  You label the envelope whatever category you want, like groceries, etc.  I tried that for a few weeks, but it really hard whenever I was shopping at Target or Walmart.  Would I have to do separate all of my items whenever I went to the cash register?  Annoying.  Instead, I only do the cash envelope system for certain things I want to save up for.

For everyday things, like groceries and toiletries, I use my debit card and You Need A Budget (YNAB).  I love YNAB because it allows me to be flexible with my budget, and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for things.  The only thing about YNAB is that you’ll have to manually enter your transactions, which might be a deal breaker to some, but I like that because it forces me to stay on top of things.

YNAB has four rules when it comes to budgeting.

Rule 1: Give every dollar a job

You enter your paycheck into YNAB and tell your dollars where to go.

Rule 2: Save for a rainy day

Self explanatory.

Rule 3: Roll with the punches

If you overspend in one category, it’s not the end of the world.  You just subtract money from another category to cover your overspending.

Rule 4: Put this month’s income to next month

Basically, when you get paid, you just send some of your money to next month’s income.  If you keep doing that, you’ll eventually accumulate enough money to live on last month’s income.  It’ll make it easier for you to budget your necessities and bills.

If you’re interested in budgeting, why not give YNAB a try?  You can try it for free for 34 days and then buy it using my referral code:  You’ll save $6 using my code.  The original price is $60, which might seem steep, but it’s worth it.

More information about YNAB: YNAB videos

I was not paid to write this post.