The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #73: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth December 28, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1)

By: Veronica Roth

Coming: 17 January 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

Why I’m excited:

I’m fairly excited for this new book from Veronica Roth even after the immense disappointment of Allegiant. My reviews of Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant.

Why I need you to be excited:

I’m hoping Veronica Roth can redeem herself in my eyes with a great new series after the appalling take in Allegiant.

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Waiting for Wednesday #58: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo September 14, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

By: Leigh Bardugo

Coming: 27 September 2016

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Summary:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Why I’m excited:

I loved the Grisha trilogy. I was going to read Six of Crows when I pre-ordered it, but I got behind and decided to wait until Crooked Kingdom came out since it’s just a duology. I can’t wait to jump back into the Grishaverse!

Why I need you to be excited:

It’s another beautiful finale for Leigh Bardugo. It will be grand!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #99: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND – Villains/Criminals/Other Nasties August 9, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND – Villains/Criminals/Other Nasties

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 

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Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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Loki, God of Mischief from Thor

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Black Knife from The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

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Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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Arin from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Sturmhond from Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Top Ten Tuesday #94: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads July 5, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

This isn’t a pure list as I skipped books from the same series.

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  1. The Prophecy by Erin Rhew (all the books in this trilogy are under a dollar on Amazon!) My reviews for The Prophecy, The Outlanders, and The Fulfillment.

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2. Waterfell by Amalie Howard (This duology is a great quick beachy read!) My reviews for Waterfell and Oceanborn.

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3. Napoleon & Josephine The Sword and The Hummingbird by Gerald & Loretta Hausman. I read this back in high school and fell in love with it!

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4. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano. The other series I started with book one, but it has over 2k views. Books two and three don’t. This series is fantastic!

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5. Rite of Conquest by Judith Tarr. I stumbled across this at our used bookstore in high school. I absolutely loved it! I should do a reread soon!

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6. In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. While this is the third book, it can easily be read as a standalone. My review of In Defense of the Queen.

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7. The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows. Plus the other Black Knife novellas! I would suggest reading The Orphan Queen first though. SPOILERS and all that. (;

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8. Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. My love for Artemis Fowl goes deep and I finally read the graphic novels last summer.

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9. Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz. Companion to the Blue Bloods series. My review for Blue Bloods

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10. A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. I adore Rachel and her books. The My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series is so cute and a quick read. My reviews for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, A Tale of Two Centuries, and My Not So Super Sweet Life.

 

What are some of your under 2k rating reads?

 

Goodbye June, Hello July! July 1, 2016

June started out to be a very promising reading month, and then turned out to be a bust haha. Hubs was gone to annual training for two weeks so I ended up staying at our office the full day every day which obviously, cut into home reading time. Though I had slow days, it was much easier to get some blog work done and stop in the middle of a post than stop in the middle of a good reading part. I could’ve done audiobooks since my mom was keeping the kids, but I ended up binge rewatching Reign and Agents of SHIELD. haha. We have a few vacations coming up in July and that will lead to lots of time in the car, so I should have a much better reading amount! I hope your June went well and have lots of exciting things coming up in July. We’ll be heading north for hubby’s sister’s wedding and the kids & I are heading to the beach with my mom and step-dad this month too! Good times for sure.

Books I read June (In order of completion)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

 

Coming Up in July

My sister-in-law’s wedding

Bug being a flower girl

VA trip

Beach trip

 

 

Goals for July

RELAX

Juggle mama life and blogging life!

Write some reviews and posts

Try to get ahead and stay ahead on blogging

 

July Releases I’m Excited For

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

DC SuperHero Girls

Magic Tree House: Night of the Ninth Dragon

 

July TBR

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Lois Lane Fallout by Gwenda Bond

 

 

 

2016 Reading Challenge (completed in bold)

A book based on a fairy tale: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

A National Book Award Winner

A YA Bestseller: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

A book you haven’t read since high school

A book set in your home state

A book translated to English: Dream of the Rood by Cynewulf

A romance set in the future: Their Fractured Light by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner

A book set in Europe: The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

A book that’s under 150 pages: The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows

A New York Times Bestseller: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

A book that’s becoming a movie this year

A book recommended by someone you just met

A self-improvement book

A book you can finish in a day: Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

A book written by a celebrity

A political memoir: Memoir of Marguerite de Valois by Marguerite de Valois

A book at least 100 years older than you: Beowulf by Unknown

A book that’s more than 600 pages

A book from Oprah’s Book Club

A science-fiction novel

A book recommended by a family member

A graphic novel

A book that is published in 2016: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

A book with a protagonist who has your occupation: American Wife by Taya Kyle

A book that takes place during summer

A book and its prequel: The Winner’s Curse & Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski

A murder mystery

A book written by a comedian

A dystopian novel

A book with a blue cover: My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins et al

A book of poetry: Holy Sonnets by John Donne

The first book you see in a bookstore

A classic from the 20th century

A book from the library

An autobiography: The History of the Bloody Massacres of the Protestants in the Year of Our Lord, 1572 by Jacques Auguste de Thou

A book about a road trip

A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

A satirical book

A book that takes place on an island

A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy

 

Waiting on Wednesday #47: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab June 29, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)

By: Victoria Schwab

Coming: 5 July 2016

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Summary:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Why I’m excited:

Victoria Schwab has secured her place on my automatic preorder/buy list, so it’s not surprising to find This Savage Song on my Waiting on Wednesday list. I’ve been intrigued by this book since Victoria started tweeting about her mysterious monster book. I’m always a glutton for a good fantasy, and it definitely sounds like This Savage Song will not disappoint!

Why I need you to be excited:

Victoria Schwab has proven time and again that she is a fantastic wordsmith. I’m super excited at the dawning of a new series by her and I think you should be too! I think this will be a very interesting book considering the world we live in where tragedies seem to be becoming a daily occurrence and it really feels like there are monsters all around us.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #92: Favourite 2016 Releases June 21, 2016

Filed under: Books,Top Ten Tuesday — Maura @ 12:01 am
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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten (More like six so far) Favourite 2016 Releases

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  1. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. Sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn.

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2. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. Standalone fantasy!

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3. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. Finale of The Winner’s Curse trilogy.

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4. When We Collided by Emery Lord. Contemporary standalone.

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5. The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows. Finale of The Orphan Queen duology.

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6. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. Finale of An Ember in the Ashes duology. Currently reading or recently finished.

I haven’t read them yet, but I know I will enjoy these 2016 releases!

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7. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. Sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.

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8. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows. I’m SO excited about this one! I know it’s gonna be great!

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9. The Last Star by Rick Yancey. The final book in The 5th Wave trilogy. I adored The 5th Wave, and I can’t wait to read the other two books! I think this will be what I take to the beach this year!

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10. A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab. Sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. I’ve heard through the grapevine that this ends on an EPIC cliffhanger, so I’m currently waiting until A Conjuring of Light comes out to read books two and three at the same time! I HATE cliffhangers!

What have been your favourite 2016 reads so far this year? What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

 

Non-Contemporary Young Adult Beach Reads June 20, 2016

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When I read Jamie’s post about non-contemporary young adult beach reads, I knew it was the perfect post for me to share my own recommendations. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary reads. I do recommend Emery Lord and Jennifer Echols though if you are looking for good contemporary authors.

These are all quick reads. They aren’t heavily detailed in world building (no Tolkien style writing here!) but the character development is great.

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  1. The Wrath and the Dawn is a delicious quick historical fantasy. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and Renee Ahdieh is a brilliant story teller. Just make sure you take the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, with you!

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2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a little heavier on the world building, but this trilogy is still a fantastic read. It’s always great to read about a badass girl who can take care of herself! Plus there’s a super steamy romance that’s perfect for beach reading. Don’t forget to take along The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss.

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3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. In my opinion, The Infernal Devices is the superior series in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter realm. On audio or physical reading, this trilogy is a fantastic quick binge.

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4. Legend by Marie Lu. This was actually a beach read for me a few summers ago. I devoured Legend and Prodigy at the beach and it left me panting for Champion. This dystopian is a brilliant page turner.

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5. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano is a middle grade novel, but that doesn’t take anything away from its brilliance. I devoured this read in one sitting, even though it wasn’t at the beach, but at home. I do think this would be a quick beach read though!

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6. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I’m always a glutton for a good read involving Greek mythology. This series by Aimee Carter is a super quick binge that’s light, dark, and romantic all in one!

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7. Die for Me by Amy Plum. A swoony Frenchman? Yes, please! I adore Paris, so even visiting through reading is great. Throw in relaxing by the ocean and it’s PERFECTION.

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8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. While I still need to read the last book, this is a fantastic fantasy. Plus it’ll make you want to ditch the beach and head to Prague!

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9. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Yep. Melissa de la Cruz’s drama filled series with fallen angels as vampires series makes the list. The fantasy aspect is light and almost contemporary in presentation, it makes it a great, light beachy read.

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10. Waterfell by Amalie Howard. Alien mermaids? Colour me intrigued! What makes this such a great read for the beach is that it takes place at the beach! This is a light world building fantasy as it mostly takes place in San Diego. The realm of Waterfell is a super interesting idea though. Make sure you have Oceanborn to read too!

What are some of your favourite non-contemporary beach reads? Keep an eye out the next few weeks for more beach reading recommendations!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #91: Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases June 14, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Mid-Late 2016 Anticipated Releases (AKA What I currently have preordered for the rest of the year)

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  1. Catalyst: A Rogue One Story. I don’t know anything about it other than it plays into the new Star Wars movie. I preordered it on faith. Hoping it won’t disappoint!

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2. Gemina by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. Honestly, I still haven’t gotten to Illuminae, but I went ahead and preordered this on faith (plus to make the casualty list!) The idea of being written in file/report format fascinates me. I’ve just decided to wait til closer to October to binge both of the books.

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3. Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer. I have to be honest again. I would MUCH rather one of my favourite authors be writing about Captain America or the Winter Soldier, but I am pretty excited for this book!

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4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling. Seriously? Have you seen my Harry Potter collection? Did you honestly think this wouldn’t make the list? I can’t wait for the movie!

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5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. Surrounded by controversy to be sure. I’m in #TeamCanon. I fully take this as 100% continuation of the Harry Potter story. Yes, I’m disappointed I can’t make it to London to see it this summer, but they’re releasing the screenplay AND it will most likely tour/expand. I’m excited. I would also love to see this come out on video. #KeeptheSecrets

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6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (Illustrated edition). Wow. In 2007, I could have only dreamed that there would be THREE new Harry Potter books in one year. YES! Chamber of Secrets was my least favourite in the series, but I’m super excited to see the illustrations!

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7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. I definitely have this preordered, but since I will have to reread the whole series to be ready, I’m kinda thinking I’ll wait on reading until the final book comes out. With so many incredible things to read, re-reads get harder and harder to work in with multiple books!

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8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love the Grishaverse. I haven’t read Six of Crows yet cause I decided that I would preorder and then binge the duology together. Same reasons as above with Empire of Storms! I know they’re companion series, but I like the refresher!

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9. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Let’s face it. She writes it, I read and buy it. (: The plot for this one sounds incredible. I only wish it would be out BEFORE I head to my first beach trip this summer. Ah, well. It’ll be a great thing to come home to though!

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10. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m actually currently reading this ARC thanks to Mary. It’s great so far and I’m pleased with my decision to preorder the first day it was up! I adored An Ember in the Ashes. It was easily a favourite of 2015! I’m excited to see where Elias an Laia’s story goes.

 

 

A Bookish Tour June 13, 2016

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 12:01 am
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Not sure if I have ever done a bookshelf tour post before, but I thought I would do one today. My bookcases are currently stuffed to the gills and will probably be redone or added to in the coming year, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into my organisation. Keep in mind this is strictly my YA books. My children’s, middle grade, and adult bookcases are super hot messes. We recently attempted to reorganise my children’s bookcase, but there are so many that it is still super stuffed and messy haha. The kiddos also need a new bookcase, but hubby isn’t wanting to budge on more bookcases until we remodel downstairs. *sigh* Anyway! Welcome to my shelves!

The first two bookcases are actually small bookcases in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. They were empty for a while until I reorganised my books back in early spring. I decided to move favourite series and oversized books to these bookcases to free up some space on my main YA bookcase. It helped, for like a week until I reorganised that bookcase! haha. Left picture: Top shelf: JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s books and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Bottom shelf: Sarah J Maas, Melissa de la Cruz, and two of the Eragon books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Right picture: Top shelf: the rest of  my Harry Potter collection. Companion guides and more foreign editions (German, Spanish, and French). Also Jodi Meadows collection. Still on the hunt for an Incarnate ARC if you can help a girl out! (This shelf is also precarious now. I went to put Mirror King on the bookshelf and it collapsed. I couldn’t find all of the pins to put the shelf back up! Not that the bookcase is in the best of shape anyway haha) Middle shelf (which is laying on the books on the bottom shelf!) is full of oversized books. I just kinda have them shoved on here for this picture because The 5th Wave trilogy is in my June TBR. Bottom shelf: A combo of oversized books and my Maggie Stiefvater collection. Ballad is also in th stack, but I just realised from this angle you can’t see it. Oops!

Now my main YA bookcase in our office/den. We have three big bookcases in our office/den. The first is my Adult/School books. The second is overflow adult with my middle grade collection. The third, above, is my YA. The fourth is the kiddos’ bookcase stuffed full with picture books. If you notice, there are books with flags on them. Those are all unread books. I finally gave up on keeping my TBR books from my read books separate, but wanted a system to ID unread books. This system is not completely foolproof. The kiddos like stealing my flags on books they can reach, like the Ruta Sepetys books in the last picture. Everything easily fit on my bookcase for maybe a month. I’ve been promised floor to ceiling bookcases in my office when we remodel, but I need more space now! I’m thinking I might pick up another bookcase soon. Not sure where I’ll put it yet though! haha. Most of these, excluding the majority of my Melissa de la Cruz, JK Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer books have been accrued in the last four or so years. The bulk coming in since right around when I started blogging. Pretty sure Hubs thinks I have a book hoarding problem. I do not think so!

Anyway, that’s my organisational system. All books on the YA case are alphabetical except a few that have been displaced, but I didn’t feel like completely overhauling my bookcase for one or two books. How do you organise your books? I love the idea of by colour, but I HAVE to have all of my books together by author haha. It bothers me if they’re not!

 

 
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