Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by quick to let you know about a readathon that is going on right now, hosted by Katye. This readathon started on June 27th and runs until July 3rd. The goal is to read as many books as you can. In addition, there are some fun challenges.

Here are the challenges and the books I am planning to read:

1) A book with less than 300 pages-You Know Me Well
2) A Book with Yellow on the Cover-You Know Me Well
3) A Book Published in 2016-Here's to Us
4) Read Four Books-Tonight the Streets Are Ours and Yes, Please
5) Read 30 Pages Outside

I will stop back to let you know how everything goes!

Are you participating? If so, Best Wishes!

Happy Reading!

7/3 Update: I am happy to report that I read 4 books for this challenge and I was able to do all but the read outside challenge. It has been pretty humid here, so I think I will just skip that one! But other than that, I think we are good to go. Thanks for the fun challenge! 

Waiting on Wednesday: Talking As Fast As I Can

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Photo Credit: Amazon

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week I am excited to feature a book that is about one of the actresses behind my favorite tv show: Gilmore Girls! This book is about Lauren Graham (Loreli) and I am crazy excited for it!

Talking As Fast As I Can
Lauren Graham
Release Date: November 29, 2016

Details from Amazon:
In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called “you’re so much taller than the other kids.” But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham

Are you excited? I know I certainly am!

Happy Reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons You Should Join the #VASRP!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hi Everyone! 

Just stopping by with another Top Ten Tuesday!  This week's topic is Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie week and I am so excited to bring you my topic: Top Ten reasons you join the Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program (#VASRP). Never heard of it? No worries! Let me explain. 

This is a summer reading challenge that Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat and I are hosting between June 20th-September 5th! You can get all of the details and sign up here!

Without further ado...

1) The books! Who doesn't love to curl up with a book that takes you to a wonderful adventure that can cost you next to nothing! I love that you can learn something new, take a trip, cheer on your favorite characters, all of it!

2) The prizes! Yes, we have not revealed all of those yet, but they are here and they are good! We have some Advanced Reader Copies (ARC's) of books coming out yet this year as well as a other fun ones to be announced!

3) The mini challenges. Each Monday throughout the summer we will be posting a mini challenge for you on our blogs. Think you're up for it? They won't be too hard and it will be a fun way to find out about the other people doing the challenge!

4) The people! Speaking of others, who doesn't love meeting other new people, especially new bookish people? This will be a great chance to meet new bloggers and friends from across the globe! 

5) The twitter chats! We will be hosting a monthly twitter chat and it is going to be a fun way to remember summers past, as well as share about how things are going for you this summer. Reminder we have one tonight June 28th at 8 ET. Hope you join us, use the hashtag #VASRP! 

6) The levels for reading! We have set it up so that you can read anywhere from 1 book to 25 plus and achieve a level as a result! Need someone to hold you accountable? We got your back! 

7) Not sure what to read? No worries! We can help. We put together a Fantasy List, Contemporary List, Sci-Fi List,  and a Sequel Take Down list  to help you come up with ideas! You don't have to follow these either, feel free to create your own!

8) The location! This book can be 100% done from anywhere you chose. You can do this while on vacation with the kids, while relaxing on the beach, from a comfy reading chair or anywhere you decide! 

9) It's free! Who doesn't love that? Sure your time is worth something, but I love that it is low cost :)

10) Because I said so! I know silly reason...and really I don't want to pressure you...but I kinda do, just a little....:) Who doesn't want to be part of something awesome? This book challenge is all about you! But for my own selfish reasons, there is nothing I love more than meeting other bookish friends. The whole goal of the program is to do something fun, get some great conversations going about books, and to connect! Feel free to send me a line or leave a comment below.

I look forward to getting to know you and for all of the book recommendations! Please let me know if you have any questions! Don't forget to use the hashtag #VASRP!

Happy Reading!

#VASRP Mini Challenge 1!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hi Everyone!

I thought that I would get in on the fun of the challenge! Here are my responses :)
*Who you are and do you have a blog/if so, what is your blog? I am Val and I am the blogger at He Said Books or Me and one of your co-hosts for the #VASRP! 

*What are the reading goals you are setting for the summer? I have set a goal to read 12 contemporary books from the list we created for this program!
*Did you participate in a summer program as a child? What made it memorable for you?
Yes, I did! And I think the fact that I had something to look forward to with reading. I loved the stories, but I loved being able to tell others about the books I read too!
*What is something interesting about yourself?
I have  retired racing greyhound! He is such a good dog and I love him to pieces!

Happy Reading! 
Don't forget about our Twitter Chat on Tuesday June 28th at 8 ET! Use the hashtag #VASRP for a chance to win awesome prizes!! 

#VASRP Mini Challenge 1 and Twitter Chat Announcement!

I am so excited to be co-hosting the Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program! And what would it be without a challenge or two thrown in the mix?!

So for our first challenge we're asking for something simple but fun!

Create a post (can be Instagram, blog, anything) that lets us know:
*Who you are and do you have a blog/if so, what is your blog?
*What are the reading goals you are setting for the summer?
*Did you participate in a summer program as a child? What made it memorable for you?
*What is something interesting about yourself?

When finished, promote your post using the #VASRP tag to be entered into a drawing for the following ARCs!

But there's more! This Tuesday, June 28th, we'll be hosting our first #VASRP Twitter Chat! Follow us using the #VASRP tag! Hope to see you there!

Reading Recap

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Just popping by quick with a couple of mini summaries from books that I have been reading lately.

A Corner of the Universe
I first heard about this book from my blogging friend Melissa. She suggested it because she knows that I am a big fan of Ann M. Martin! I really liked this book because it was very different than the typical books I have read from her. This book has to do with mental illness and how you make sense of that. In this case, it is from a character who has never met her Uncle before. I enjoyed the book very much.

Summer Days and Summer Nights
A collection of short stories from a group of YA authors. I enjoyed these stories very much. Especially the ones from Stephanie Perkins and Veronica Roth. I was told that there was actually a book that came out before this one that I need to go back and read! I enjoyed the fun summer atmosphere and hope that they continue to write two more books-one for Fall and one for Spring!

What a powerful book. This book is the story about the holocaust. There were passages that don't sit easily with the reader. That said, it was deeply powerful and I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this period in time. I enjoyed this book.

This is the book about Plum and her own struggle with her weight. But it is more than that, there is also a twist to this story and her life that is going on right in front of her. When that life is exposed, it creates for a very interesting read. I am not exactly sure how to describe in detail without giving away too many spoilers. I think for those people who enjoy a 'coming of age' novel with a twist, this might be the book for you.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Happiness of Pursuit

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Have you ever felt discontent in your life? Have you ever wanted to do something inspired? Are you feeling like something is missing? If any of these sound like you, this may be the book for you.

In this book, Chris Guillebeau introduces to some amazing people who have felt empowered to take a quest. In doing so, he interviews people who have done all sorts of unique things with their lives. I loved reading the stories and hearing about the amazing challenges that they have achieved in their lives. Not everyone has the ability to take on a major task or the resources. In the back of the book is a chart that helps you take a small step towards a quest. The book fills you with ideas and and how to make your ideas a reality.

If you feel like there could be something more in your life, then this may be the book for you. I love that Chris uses the information from his interviews to create some themes and ideas about what is that makes these people happy. The book certainly will leave you wanting to and making a commitment for making great things in your life happen.

For anyone who enjoys a book about adventure, I would recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from blogging for books, but all opinions are my own.


Happy Reading!! 

Book Review: Reverie

Friday, June 24, 2016

Author: Lauren Rico
Do you love classical music? Do you love romance? Then this may be the book for you! I was contacted by Lauren with an offer to read Reverie and I am glad that I did. (While provided a copy of this book, all views are my own.) This book does a great job of capturing elements of both of those things and further the blurry lines that can exist between the two.

What stood out to me the most about this book was the characters. You could feel the emotion/passion in this book. The saying is true about wearing your heart on your sleeve, when you think about Julia. She bottles her past into her ambition and drive, but then so much happens to her throughout the story. This book makes you feel deeply and I appreciated that very much. Then we meet Jeremy. This is game changer for Julia and she finds that her world is maybe not as neat as thought it could be.

The plot of this book is interesting and I enjoyed the story line. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who has not had a chance to read it, but I have to say that when things don't go the way you expect, it is always an adventure.

I recommend this book for those that have an interest in love stories or those who have a passion for the arts. For those that enjoy both, this is the book for you. Thanks Lauren for the opportunity to read this book.

Have you read this book?

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Mine and Indiana Belle

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by today with a couple of reviews of books by author John Heldt. John reached out to me regarding two of his books and he shared copies with me. I hadn't heard of his books before, but I appreciated the opportunity to check them out. While he provided them to me, all views are my own. 


Author: John Heldt
Book: The Mine (Northwest Passage Series)

In this book, we meet Joel. Joel is an adventurer with a big attitude. I have to be honest, I am not sure I cared for the character at first. I think he gets softer as the pages progress. In one of his adventures he encounters a mine. In this mine, when he emerges he is taken back to the early 1940's. This is a very unknown time for him and very different than the modern day world he is used to. We get to explore with Joel as he makes sense of the world around him. I enjoyed the plot of this book and the story was one that kept me entertained.

I can't imagine what it would be like to go back 60 years in history and I think that the author did a good job of capturing that unknown. I also found the author did a good job of creating a picture that represented the 1940's. For someone who doesn't know much about that era, the book did a good job of painting a vivid picture in my head.

I enjoyed this book. If you like books about adventure and time travel, I recommend picking up this one.


Author: John Heldt

Book: Indiana Belle (American Journey Series)

In this book, we meet Cameron who is working on his doctoral dissertation about the 1920's. When he is given a box of goodies that includes a picture of a mysterious woman, the adventure just begins. Similar to The Mine, we find ourselves along with the characters in a  time travel and adventure.

I enjoyed the plot of this book and the characters. I was a little worried that I may have missed something because I had not read the earlier books in this series, but actually the story flowed easily and I felt like I could follow it alright. I enjoy the writing style of the author and his books provide for entertaining reads.

If you like books about exploration, the 1920's, or adventure, this just may be the book for you.


Have you read either of these books?

Happy Reading! 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Underground Railroad

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Photo Credit: Amazon

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week I am excited to feature a book that is about The Underground Railroad. I remember reading about Harriet Tubman as a child and it was always this interesting piece of history that intrigued me. I am hoping that this book is just as fascinating! 

The Underground Railroad
By Colson WhiteHead
Release Date: September 13, 2016

Description from Amazon:
From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Have you read any books about The Underground Railroad that you would recommend?

Happy Reading! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Releases of 2016 So Far

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hi Everyone! 

Just stopping by with another Top Ten Tuesday!  This week's topic is Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Releases of 2016 so far. This is hard because I don't always read new releases. I try to find a balance between the older books and the new ones coming out. Not to mention the stack of books I own that still haven't had a chance to read. But without further complaint, here are some of my favorites from this year so far...

Who doesn't love Paris? Books? This book was adorable

In this memoir the author develops celiac disease and has to learn to cope with life without wheat products.

Super cute story set in Italy. Not only is the cover adorable, but so is the story!

Two friends have to learn to cope with the loss of a 3rd friend. This is how they find their way back.

A cute romance chick lit type book. When in another place...you never know what may happen!

A contemporary read by the talented Emery Lord. This was an excellent read.

A percussionists memoir about how she was driven for success.

I can't get enough of this series!

I guess you can say that I have a thing for cute romance contemporary stories and memoirs! :) I know that this is only eight, but they are the ones that I felt most inclined to talk about so far.  Some of favorite authors have books that have just come out that I have not had a chance to read yet, so rest assured they will be probably added to this list soon!

What is your favorite 2016 book so far?

Happy Reading!

Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program (#VASRP)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hey Everyone!

Do you remember the summer reading program that you participated in as a child at your local library? Do you wish you had a fun way to entertain yourself this summer? Never fear—the Virtual Adult Summer Read Program (#VASRP) is here to help! Join Octavia at Read Sleep Repeat and I for the fun.

Here is how it works.

Between now (the first day of Summer) June 20th thru September 5th 2016, we encourage you to read as many books as you can. These can be books you have been meaning to read, or you can now select one of the lists that we created below based on your interest. The most important thing in all of it is to have fun reading!

We have picked the theme “Get Hooked On Books” for Summer 2016. To that end, the levels that you will be reading are based off that theme. Your level will be calculated at the end of the summer and based off that you will be eligible to win awesome prizes! In order to win the prizes at the end of summer, you must sign up using the linky below and provide us with your status during our monthly posts in July, August, and September.

Guppy Read 1 to 5 books
Minnow Read 6 to 10 books
Fishing Jig Read 11 to 16 books
Spin Bait Read 17 to 24 books
Book Worm (ha get it!) Read 25 or more books

To help you out with this Octavia created a few pdf lists to draw inspiration from!
Fantasy List

Contemporary List (thanks Shelly!)

But you don't have to stick to these! Make a graphic novel list! Or middle grade! Make a potpourri one that's a mix of them!

And don't forget to keep your eyes open for the mini challenges each week and monthly twitter chats...WITH PRIZES, thanks to some awesome publishers!

Leave your questions in the comments below, and help us spread the word by using the #VASRP hastag!
Happy Reading!  

#TBRTakedown 4.0

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Since I enjoy challenges, I have decided to participate in #TBRTakedown 4.0 (hosted by Leaning Lights) that runs from June 20-26. I have a few ideas for books, but I have an insane week ahead of me for work, so my goal is really to read as much as I can!

Here’s the books on my list based on the challenges:
TBR over a year – Yes Please (which will double for COYER)
Sequel –(TBD)
First book in series – Cinder (which will double for COYER)
Out of comfort zone – The Assassination of the Archduke
From recent haul – The Happiness of Pursuit

Are you participating? What are you reading?

Happy Reading!  

6/26 Update:
So I am just stopping by quick with my final update for this challenge. I am happy to report that I finished 6 books! Yay! However, I was only able to get to one of the challenges this go round. I am a little bummed, but considering everything else going on this week I will take it! :) Thanks to Shannon (@leaninglights) as always for hosting a fun event!

COYER Summer Vacation Challenge

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the Clean Out Your E-Reads Challenge! This is an event that is being hosted June 18th – September 2nd! During this event, it is your goal to get some of the books you have been putting off read. I am excited to participate, because my Kindle certainly deserves some love. I am setting a personal goal to read at least two e-books for June, July, and August. More information about the challenge can be found here.

1. Yes Please 
2. The Season
3. Small Great Things 
4. The Secret Ways of Perfume
5. River Keep
6.  The Left Us Everything

Are you participating? Which book are you looking forward to catching up on?

Happy Reading! 

7/28 Update: I know that there is still another month on this challenge, but since I hit my goal of six books and I have a very busy August, I am going to call it here. I enjoyed catching up on my reading and I know I have a long ways to go, but I have to get through a few others that are top priorities. Thanks for the fun event! 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Hi Everyone!

So as you know, I spend a lot of time reading. I have been trying hard to make my blog a place that captures those reading experiences. While doing so, I have learned a lot. That said, there is still so much to do. Thankfully for me there is a event that is held throughout the year called the Bloggiesta! During this 'mini' event, you prepare a list of things you would like to accomplish related to making your blog better. (During the year 'full events' happen twice and are held for a week.) This event is being held June 18-19.  You can find out more here. 

Here is my list of items that I am considering on my to-do list:

1) Creating two new graphics for ideas that are coming soon to the blog!

2) Launching a fun new summer project! (Tune in Monday!)

3) Prep all posts for the week of June 19-25 (because it is going to be crazy!) (1/2 way done)

4) Participate in a mini challenge or twitter chat or comment on other people's blogs

5) Create a Features Page for my website

6/19 Note: I am personally going to extend this work into Monday the 20tth a bit. I hope to have this all taken care of by the end of the day on Monday. :) 

6/20:  So I had hoped that I was going to have some additional time to get these done, but it just doesn't look like it is in the cards. I am happy that I got 2.5 of the 5 things I wanted to get done done. This week is an insane one for me for work, so I am going to have to just put the rest of these on hold for now and revisit when I can.

Are you participating? What goals did you set?

Happy Blogging! 

Book Review and Tour: The Museum of Heartbreak

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to share with you a review of a book that I was provided as part of the Irish Banana Book Tours. (Disclaimer: While I was provided a copy of the book, all of the opinions below are my own.

This book is The Museum of Heartbreak and it was a good one! This book was released on June 7th, so I recommend getting a copy to call your own.

Let me tell you a little about the book:

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

My Review: 

How do you cope with pain? Especially if it is one of heartbreak? In this book, we met Penelope, a person who is trying so hard to do that. She faces a number of situations with her friends and in her love life, that everything has become such a mess. Not an easy place to be!

One of my favorite parts of this book was the characters. You can tell that Penelope feels things very deeply and wears her 'heart on her sleeve.' I enjoyed the interactions with the others and the way you feel like you can almost be 'in her head' thinking what she is thinking was something I appreciated about this book.

I enjoyed the plot of this book. While it was a little bit predictable for me, I enjoyed that it was and would have probably been upset had it gone the other way. That said, we don't do spoilers here on the blog, so if you want to talk more in detail, please send me an email.

All in all, I found the story to be a cute one. It reminded me on some of the other cute contemporary's that I have read. Plus, did you see that cover? I love it! I think it was a fun story and I am glad that I had this chance.

Happy Reading!


A former bookseller and teacher, Meg Leder currently works as a book editor in New York City. Her role models are Harriet the Spy and Anne Shirley. She is the coauthor of The Happy Book, and spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her on Twitter at @MegLeder.