Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blogger Ramblings: The Fun of Reading Challenges...

This year, I have participated in multiple reading challenges, and still have several running. I've had an absolutely blast. I never really thought about how fun it is to have an ultimate goal, whether it be reading everything on a list, or trying to out-read someone else. So, since it's been a while since you've heard me ramble, I think I will talk on the challenges I've done this year.

SWON Teen Reading Challenge (February - April) - This is a library thing, and one I have participated in several years running. The goal? To read as many Teen/YA books as possible to get a better idea of books to suggest to interested readers, reluctant readers, etc. What I also enjoy about this challenge is that it doesn't just have to be YA books, it can also be adult books that are of interest to, and appropriate for, teens. Even better? Our library team is competing against other libraries - and boy, oh boy, can it get crazy.
       How many books I read for it: 87!

Library Staff Summer Reading Club (June 1 - August 15) - Another library challenge. This time, it was our library's different branches competing against one another for bragging rights (also for a pizza/food party, which is almost as important). This is a yearly thing that started two years ago. Anything YA or Adult counts, and we're terrible about goading each other on... Not to mention finding short cuts.
      How many books I read for it: 104!

Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge (All year) - This is something a bunch of library staffers found at the beginning of the year, and we jumped on it. We all work at the library because we love books and reading, and this Popsugar challenge got us reading out of our comfort zones. Though really, a lot of what I would have read anyways ended up counting, and I definitely had stuff I read for the above two challenges also count for this one. The full list of qualifications are HERE. I would definitely do it again next year if there is a different set of requirements.
      How many books I've read for it: 49! Only three more to go - and three months left to do it!

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge (All year) - This is my fourth year participating, and I'm amazing how I continue to beat my previous year's record each time! Though I'll admit, I aim low near the beginning of the year, and keep moving it up as I near my goal. I originally set this year's goal at 300, and now it's up to 400! Admittedly, some of these books are juvenile books, short stories, and such, so I'm sure the number of actual adult/YA books is a little lower..
      How many books I've read for it (so far): 380!

So I've read all these books (and more!), yet you don't see the reviews here. Why, you may ask? Because I really only review things I have been sent to review on this blog. If you want to know my honest opinion about everything I read, find me on Goodreads via the follow link on the side of this blog. My GR reviews are short and sweet, and I read a wide variety of things.

Lastly... it's not a reading challenge, but...

I found a list of books while browsing around one day, and realized I was very intrigued. After further investigation, I realized it was a Buzzfeed list of 27 books that will get you hot and bothered (find the list HERE). Sure, some of the books on there are definitely sexy, but I've found more than a few of them to be more emotional roller coasters than just all sexytimes.

But I was interested enough to make this my personal reading challenge. I want to read all the books on this list. I'm not setting an end date, just planning to work through them as I can. But I already discovered some amazing books through this list, and authors I have never heard of before.

   Examples!: "Archer's Voice" by Mia Sheridan, and "The Bride" by Julie Garwood. Okay, so I had heard of Garwood before, but I never would have picked up this book had it not been on the list - but it was absolutely fantastic.

I didn't find the list that long ago, so I've only done 7 of the 27 listed. But I will get there eventually. Slowly but surely!

So that's it for me today. What types of reading challenges have you done? Do you like being taken out of your reading comfort zone now and again?

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, September 24, 2015

COVER REVEAL: "The Play" by Karina Halle!!

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn't play by the rules.
A vivacious man-eater who's given up on love.
When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don't just attract - they explode.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.
Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.



Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle , on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit  and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: DRESDEN FILES: DOWN TOWN by Jim Butcher & Mark Powers

Release Date: October 13th, 2015

Type: Series, Magic, Graphic Novel, Comic Book, Wizards, Between the Novels, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Talking Skulls and Such

About the Book: Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden and his new apprentice, Molly Carpenter, intend to end the havoc caused by a mad sorcerer - one whose ambitions would have the Windy City streets carved out as his own private kingdom. But when the magical upstart enters into an alliance with the notorious mob boss "Gentleman Johnnie" Marcone, will the fast-and-loose Dresden and his young charge survive unscathed? This graphic novel collects the critically acclaimed, six-issue series in one volume, and features a bonus section with Jim Butcher's original story outline, sketchbook artwork from Carlos Gomez, cover gallery with roughs from Stjepan Sejic, and more! [Description from]

My Review: I like these "between the novels" stories because it lets me get a taste of Dresden's world for a short time. I really enjoy this series, in fact, I consider it a modern day classic in the field of Urban Fantasy. Dresden is a fascinating character, and his friends even more so. All the wacky members of his family (be they blood related or no), add so much to the series, and make it something special - and this graphic novel is no different. In fact, I think Mouse, Molly, and the ever interesting Marcone make this graphic novel more interesting than it would have been if it was just Dresden fighting the bad guy.

There was nothing wrong with this story. I didn't find any major faults. My only comment is that it wasn't so deeply fascinating and magical that I couldn't put it down. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. Maybe because this story is so short, it doesn't have the magic of the actual Dresden novels. But this was good enough to hold me over until Dresden gets his next book.

Cover Lovin': Looks good, and fits with the other Dresden Files graphic novels I have seen.

Recommendation: At least some familiarity with Dresden is recommended prior to reading this. Background information is included for those that might not be caught up, but there's a lot of little stuff that will leave the reader confused or unsure if they're not familiar with the series.

Final Rating: THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars (3.5/5).

Check out some of the other Dresden Files Graphic Novels!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.