August (A.K.A. The Month that Diana Gabaldon Took Over My Soul)

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

A long LONG while!

Let’s just say that this past month seemed to be devoted to one thing: OUTLANDER!

Well, two things: Outlander and TEA!

This month I completely got addicted to the new Outlander show and have probably watched each episode about 1,203,049,399,828 times. It’s just THAT good. I also had Outlander Week on the blog. AND I was reading Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in the Outlander series.

So yeah. This was basically the month that Diana Gabaldon took over my soul. If you look at my books read (er, book – singular) AND the books I bought this month, you’ll see that I’m pretty much keeping her in business. OK, and maybe a few thousand other people, too.

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Aside from Outlander, halfway through the month I signed up to be a Steeped Tea consultant! I had tried their teas in July and wanted to sign up then and there, but waited until I went to a Fall/Winter catalog show at my leader’s house. The next morning I signed up and so the rest of the month was devoted to lots of reading about tea and the business. It’s been SO much fun. I mean, on top of that, I get to DRINK lots of tea and try out our products! Nothing like tea and a book (or an awesome TV show) all in the sake of work. :)

And then there’s the boy — I can’t believe that he’s 9 months already! Seriously, where has the time gone? This month he’s been crawling TONS and is addicted to anything that moves. He loves anything on wheels and he absolutely ADORES the dogs. They’re not too sure about him, though. We’ve had fun this month with playdates and cuddling! We also had our first family trip, down to Calgary where we went to the zoo and the museum! Plus, it wouldn’t be a trip with the boy without seeing the dinosaur museum, too! It was a LOT of fun!

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I’d say my reading for this month has been pretty outstanding:

  1. Bedding Lord Ned (Duchess of Love, #1) by Sally MacKenzie
  2. Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4) by Diana Gabaldon

I probably could’ve done better, but Drums of Autumn is a really long book. I had started it before and made it about 3/4 of the way through which definitely seemed impressive during the 8 days it took me to read that far just to catch up. I’m currently starting the fifth book in the series which is about 1,400 pages long. So you can expect me to be done in about a year or so. Ha ha …

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This month I bought just a few books … A few I’ve read and a few I own (only one was bought accidentally …). I don’t think I intended to get so many books this month, but there you go. It happens!

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From the Edmonton Public Library Books2Buy Sale: 

  1. Gold by Chris Cleave
  2. In the Land of Birdfishes by Rebecca Silver Slayter
  3. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (Already read it but the copy was in perfect condition! I couldn’t pass it up!)
  4. A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

From the Sherwood Park Library Book Sale: 

  1. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
  2. Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey, #0.5, #1.5, #2.5) by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (Lord John Grey, #2) by Diana Gabaldon
  4. The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5) by Diana Gabaldon (I own this one in paperback — I bought the giant hardcover)

Other Books Bought: 

  1. Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey, #1) by Diana Gabaldon
  2. The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3) by Diana Gabaldon
  3. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6) by Diana Gabaldon (Already own this one in paperback — oops)
  4. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7) by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood  (Outlander, #8) by Diana Gabaldon
  6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (one signed copy & one reading copy)
  7. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  8. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
  9. Blue Notes by Carrie Lofty (Already DNF’d … sooo bad)

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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July

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

What is going on with this year? It’s flying by way too fast! As a first time mom to a now-8-month-old, I can’t believe how fast time is going by. It seems like just yesterday he was this tiny thing in my arms and now he’s trying to both crawl and walk! He’s seriously the most content little boy, though. And so much fun!

What happened in July? Not a whole heck of a lot. Like I said at the beginning of the month, I was going to get back to my roots of blogging, which meant doing whatever the hell I want (not a bad rule, if I say so myself) and for some reason or another I got into a review book reading binge. Nothing wrong with that!

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I also took a bit of a break at the end of the month and beginning of August. I did do some reading, but it was so freaking hot outside that we had lots of indoor playdates with the AC running. We also took a vacation at the beginning of August, so there was a few days spent packing and cleaning for the housesitter.

We also had Canada Day this month! We had fun watching the parade with our little guy and wandered around the local festivities. We got to go on a wagon ride this month with friends and have lots of playdates. This boy gets me out so much! Of course, when we weren’t out, I’d use every spare minute for reading since there wasn’t much else I wanted to do with the weather so hot.

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On the blog this month:

I talked about my new course of action on the blog — no scheduling at all! Fly by the seat of my pants!

Weekend Reading chat –> All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Tea Posts:
Having a Tea Party
Organizing my tea cupboard

I shared my favourite bookish things that start with the worst letter ever.

I reviewed a whopping 12 books:
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally (features my running story!)
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
One Rogue Too Many (Rival Rogues, #1) by Samantha Grace
A December Bride (A Year of Weddings, #1) by Denise Hunter
A January Bride (A Year of Weddings, #2) by Deborah Raney
A February Bride (A Year of Weddings, #3) by Betsy St. Amant
A March Bride (A Year of Weddings, #4) by Rachel Hauck
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble
The Principle of Love (The Principle of Love, #1) by Emily Franklin
How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels
Gentlemen Prefer Mischief by Emily Greenwood

I re-KINDLE-d my love for my ereader — and haven’t put it down since!

I talked about my love of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! You can see more of that love in the books I got this month …

I wondered what happened to originality in book blogging after hearing about blogs being shut down for too many promo posts.

Listening to … 

Owen Pallett’s latest! I’m usually totally on top of my favourite musicians and their newest albums, but hubs told me about this one. It’s fantastic!

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I did pretty good this month with reading, getting 14 books in! I also kind of did a little binge reading …

  1. Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks, #5) by Miranda Kenneally
  2. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
  3. One Rogue Too Many (Rival Rogues, #1) by Samantha Grace
  4. A December Bride (A Year of Weddings, #1) by Denise Hunter
  5. A January Bride (A Year of Weddings, #2) by Deborah Raney
  6. A February Bride (A Year of Weddings, #3) by Betsy St. Amant
  7. A March Bride (A Year of Weddings, #4) by Rachel Hauck
  8. Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
  9. The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble
  10. The Principle of Love (The Principle of Love, #1) by Emily Franklin
  11. The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
  12. How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels
  13. Gentlemen Prefer Mischief (Mischief, #1) by Emily Greenwood
  14. Never Seduce a Scot (Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1) by Maya Banks (<– LOVED! Review coming this month!)

At first I started reading historical romances on the weekend, but DNF-ed a few books this month and decided to just keep reading them. One of them wasn’t reviewed on the blog since it wasn’t that great, but for the most part, they’ve been a lot of fun!

Also, 9 out of 14 books were review books! How crazy is that? I told myself I was on a mission to raise my NetGalley approval rating. Then I went and requested a few more books, which totally defeated that purpose. Oh well. It’s out of the 60s, so that’s good!

I’m also noticing a bit of girl power this month. What’s with the lack of male authors in my reading?

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Only one mailbox goody this month, but I did buy some books! I’m sure you’re all SO surprised. :)

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You can see that my love of historical romances has started to take over my book buying! Darn grocery stores … they always have some great titles for a good price! I’ve already read Breathe, Annie, Breathe in the past month and bought another running book to help with motivation (I write this as I eat cookies, so I need the motivation!). I also found a copy of Pride & Prejudice for only $2! I couldn’t pass that up! I saw Blue Notes in the romance department at Indigo and had to buy it since it had music in it. I can never pass up a music book!

Thank you to Raincoast Books for the copy of Girl Defective for review!

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Can you see I have a bit of an addiction to historical romances? It’s crazy! These are the review books I got this month via NetGalley. Already read two of them!

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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June

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June is typically the month when all the storms roll in. I remember a June where we had only a few days that didn't have rain. Thankfully, that wasn't this year, but this one particular storm was kind of epic.

June is typically the month when all the storms roll in. I remember a June where we had only a few days that didn’t have rain. Thankfully, that wasn’t this year, but this one particular storm was kind of epic.

So …. did you catch my big announcement this week on the blog? Ah, I can breathe freer now! While it seems kind of daunting to have no drafts (except for the outlines of my monthly recaps) and no scheduled posts (except for the Book Bingo posts), it’s just so refreshing to have a bit of a new start on the blog. It’s been long overdue!

What’s not refreshing — and what’s actually kind of hilarious — is my Goodreads challenge as of the half year mark:

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I was actually going pretty strong at the beginning of the year, which I attribute to the fact that the boy and I didn’t really have any mommy and baby friends, so we spent a lot of our days at home, relaxing. Now we’re just go go go ALL the time and our weeks are full of playdates and fun! Since July is here, I’ve tried to slow down on all the scheduled fun, like baby dance or other things that fall weekly and at certain times. I like to be more open for spontaneity.

At any rate, it feels so weird to be BEHIND a book! It’s been years since I’ve been behind a book!

Other than my obvious lack of reading, this month has been filled with lots of walks, lots of playdates, baby massage, Kindermusik, baby dance classes … lots of fun! I can’t believe I have a 7 month old!

The boy and the dog playing. He LOVES the dogs. They're not quite sure what he's up to. I think they thought he was going to stay still for his whole life, so they're not quite ready for all the movement. If the boy is angry, show him a dog. He will instantly cheer up!

The boy and the dog playing. He LOVES the dogs. They’re not quite sure what he’s up to. I think they thought he was going to stay still for his whole life, so they’re not quite ready for all the movement. If the boy is angry, show him a dog. He will instantly cheer up!

What is also awesome is my boy’s love of reading! Well, he’s not reading yet, but when bedtime comes and he starts to get super angry at his pajamas (because pajamas are just the meanest thing ever) he will always, ALWAYS calm down when we crack open a book. He loves to be read to! A boy after his mama’s heart. :)

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Is it sad that I was super excited to see that I actually read THREE books this month instead of the one I initially thought I read? Remember when I would read 30+ books in a month? SO STRANGE!

  1. City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) by Cassandra Clare
  2. The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass
  3. Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5) by Gayle Forman

I’m actually finishing series books this year, which is amazing. Really, City of Heavenly Fire SHOULD have been on this list, but it was such a huge book and I was getting sick and only managing about 5 pages a night, so I put it on hold. I’m hoping to squeeze in more reading time in July!

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In May I was on a book buying binge, it seemed! I thought June was going to chalk up to be similar when June 4th hit and I had 4 new books already, but I managed to check myself and only got 5 new ones this month — one of them I’m reading right now!

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I’m so interested to try some more Jojo Moyes after Me Before You — an awesome, awesome read (sorry, Laura). And the Deb Caletti book was only $2 at Indigo! Win! The Almost Truth was on the sale rack for $4.99 — I’d been eyeing that one since it came out. I’m currently reading the Jennifer Weiner, and I guess you could say I’m also reading Five Summers, though I made it through the epilogue before I got distracted by another book. I think it’ll be a fun one, though. I love summer books!

I also got a few books in the mail:

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I’ll bet you all a million dollars that the motherhood one was sent by Diana Davidson, a local author who wrote the amazing Pilgrimage, a book that starts out with a birth that kind of terrified me since I read it while pregnant. She also has a story about postpartum depression in the 40 Below anthology of stories — my favourite story of the bunch!

On the Road to Find Out was sent by Raincoast Books — thanks, guys!

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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