Books in January 2016

I’ve decided to do my book photography project again this year despite the trouble I had with it at times last year. I’ve decided to change it up by trying to go with a color theme per month and instead of trying to take a self-portrait with an entire stack of books, I am going to select my favorite to take a picture with. Here’s the pictures for this month. For 2016, I have challenged myself to read 100 books. In January I read six.

 

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Best: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
Worst: Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank
Classic of the Month: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

 

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The Opposite of Hallelujah was also really good. Dancing Naked was good but probably not something I would re-read, though I appreciate that it presented all pregnancy and parenting choices in a mostly unbiased manner. The 100 was OK but definitely not as good as the TV show.

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My favorite read for January 2016.

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My classic read for January 2016.

 
What did you read in January and what were your favorites?

 

jncname

16 Books on My Shelf that I Want to Read in 2016

I already did an original post on 16 books I wanted to read in 2016. I found many I wanted to read were ones I needed to borrow (hopefully not buy, at least until we get a house!). So I decided to make a new list and refer back to these lists to see how I’m doing. None of the books on the first list will be included on this one, either!

The bookshelf in my living room. Eeek...I know!

The bookshelf in my living room. Eeek…I know! To be fair, the top shelf is my husband’s section, plus part of the next and very bottom. But still, yeah, a lot! The middle shelves are double stacked.

 

I might be a book hoarder. Maybe.

 

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  1. Broken China by Lori Aurelia Williams
  2. The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell
  3. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  4. Dust Lands (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Young
  5. Burn For Burn by Jenny Han
  6. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  7. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  8. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  9. The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
  10. Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler
  11. I Know It’s Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
  12. Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  13. The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
  14. Kiss by Ted Dekker
  15. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas
  16. The Witches by Roald Dahl

This did motivate me to organize and clear off the bookshelf some–most of the books are going into storage.

 

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What books on your shelf do you want to read this year?

 

jncname

12 Classics I Plan to Read This Year

One of my reading goals for 2016 is to read a classic each month. After getting some opinions and looking over my TBR list, here are the 12 I have decided to go with:

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

1. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

 

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson*

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

8. The Martian Chronicles OR Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

10. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

11. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens *

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

12. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

*While I have read #5 and #11 before when I was much younger, I don’t recall either well. I remember reading #11 in 5th grade and my classmates being impressed with the thickness of it (and that I was actually reading it). I remember we did a play version of it in my middle school drama class and I loved my part as Fagin. I even won an award for it.

I have #10 and #11 in neat little red hardback classic editions that I found at Ollie’s Discount Outlet.

If I have time, I might also re-read The Witches by Roald Dahl just for fun and maybe read the Bradbury book I didn’t get to. I loved Fahrenheit 451 so I am hoping I will love some of his others.

 

Are any classics on your reading list this year? If so, which ones are you going to attempt?

 

 

jncname

16 Books I Want to Read in 2016

With over three thousand titles on my Goodreads TBR (I know, I know!), this is difficult but there are definitely books I want to finish this year. I probably have at least 50 unread books on my shelf *winces*. Here’s the ones I want to get to the most:

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

1. Finder’s Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) by Stephen King (own)

I loved Mr. Mercedes so I definitely need to get this sequel read. I plan to get a hold of the final book this year as well so I can finish the series.

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

2. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (Husband owns)

I tried to read this when I was in high school, but the formatting in whichever version I borrowed bothered me too much (don’t ask!). I love the movies and read The Hobbit a couple of years ago which was pretty good. It also counts as a classic in the Fantasy fiction genre. My husband has been listening to the audiobooks (right now he’s on The Twin Towers) so it might be fun to discuss at least one of the books.

3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (need to get)

Another fantasy classic. I love the movie so I have had this on my list for a while.

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (need to find or get)

We only skimmed this in school and it’s the first TBR on my Goodreads. Plus, with a sequel, it’s probably time to get to this. Another classic for my goal, too.

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (need to get)

Another classic I’ve had on my TBR for a long time. The first time it perked my interest was when they were reading it on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Stephen King also recommends it, and while some of his recommendations have disappointed me, I’m willing to give a go.

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy (need to get)

Since the movie is coming out, I figure I should read this. Which might also mean committing to a series if I like it.

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

7.  The 100 by Kass Morgan (own)

My husband and I loved the show (at least the first season minus a few episodes we didn’t get too. ADHD for the win) so I picked up the book recently. Maybe he’ll like it, too. He’s run out of sci-fi/fantasy. Another that has a series.

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

8. Into the Wild (Warriors #1)  by Erin Hunter (own)

My sister used to love these. I’m a cat lover and have had this on my shelf for a long time. While my husband will probably gloat at me again showing evidence of being/becoming “a crazy cat lady”, I want to try it. Part of a series as well.

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (own)

Another one that has been on my shelf a while. I could watch the movie, too.

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (need to get)

Technically, I’ve read this. But it was a long, long time ago and I don’t remember it all despite the movies. I’d like a re-read. Also considered a classic for children.

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

11. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger (own)

Another that has been on my list for a long time. Plus another movie I can see. I didn’t like the one Keplinger book I read years ago so it might be nice to give her another go.

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  by Lewis Carroll (need to get)

Another classic I have never read. I know, I know!

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

13. Beastly by Alex Finn (need to get)

A re-imaging I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

14. Crank by Ellen Hopkins (own)

Another I’ve had on my shelf for a while.

Source: victoriaaveyard.com

Source:
victoriaaveyard.com

15. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (need to get)

A recent addition but for some reason I just really want to read it. Sounds interesting and I am in love with the cover.

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

16. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (need to get)

Another “classic”. I know friends who really like it and I enjoyed the show growing up.

So here’s 16 books I really hope I get to this year. I’m going to try to go to the library for the ones I don’t have since I don’t need to buy any more books. Hard but going to really try!

Maybe I will also do a post on the top books on my shelf I want to get to. Not including the ones on this list. Sounds like an idea!

 

jncname

New Website

Hey everyone. So I have already accomplished one of my writing goals for the year–creating a professional website. I opted for a free site from Weebly for now just as a test drive, but I still intend to spring for my own domain name in the future. I’m thinking of spicing up the front page and maybe the contact page a little more, but the site is up!

 

Check it out at http://jncahill.weebly.com/

Don’t worry, the blog will continue to exist. I’m just going to do a re-vamp. Let me know what you think if you visit.

 

 

 

 

jncname

Favorite Books of 2015

2015 is over! To wrap up my book pic project, I decided to choose my favorite reads of the year by month. Apologies in advance–I totally spazzed and forgot to get the book for October. I was trying so hard to decide on which book to pick for February (Time Between Us or When You Were Mine) that I guess it slipped my mind to double-check the books. Oh well. The pictures are done and the books are put up so I’m not going to worry about it. You live and you learn, right?

This was a very challenging project. It was fun at times but it could also be frustrating to get the lighting and pose right. Most of the trouble came from fitting both me and the books into a picture because I took the pictures with my fancy Sony camera with a timer and no view of what the pics would look like. So sometimes my plans didn’t work out. I ended up using my camera phone for some of the self portraits–can you tell which?

 

I decided to take my favorite self-portraits and compile them into a collage. What do you think?

PicMonkey Collage

 

My Favorite Reads of 2015


Jan–Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale
Feb–The Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
March–The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
April–Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
May–White Oleander by Janet Fitch
June–The Corner of Sweet and Bitter by Robin Palmer
July–The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
August–The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
September–Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
October–The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
November–Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
December–Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, & Lauren Myracle

 

My top three reads for the year, in no particular order, are: White Oleander by Janet Fitch, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

While I did not meet my goal of reading 115 books, I did manage to read 85. Which considering how busy 2015 was is a bit of a miracle to me. So 74% of my overall goal isn’t bad! According to Goodreads, I read: 85 books and 23,735 pages. Not bad!

 

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I haven’t decided how I will do next year’s book pictures, but I definitely do want to keep doing them. I’m just not sure if I want to do them the same way or change things up. While having the self-portraits and “themes” were neat, it also was a hassle at times. Weather, schedule, just not feeling up to it, difficulties getting good pictures (everything in frame, lighting, etc). I am toying around with the idea of doing color schemes, though. All in all, I’m glad I started this project despite the difficulties.

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What where your favorite reads of 2015? Hope you have enjoyed this photography book project!

 

jncname

Goals for 2016

I figured since today is the last day of 2015, I would list the goals I wish to accomplish. Not “resolutions”, which are usually not followed through on, but actual goals. I make goals for the day, week, and month so I see nothing wrong with making some for a new year.

 

2016 Writing/Reading Goals

1. Finish editing/re-writing Creeper. I have decided to put Creeper and I Know You Love Me and Recovery into one book as a novel with parts instead of a short story collection. That way I can try pitching and querying it.

2. Edit/re-write Evil in the Walls.

 

3. Edit/re-write Our Reasons.

 

4. Edit/Re-write The Birthday Bash.

 

5. Edit/re-write Cluttered.

6. Finish CHALTS.

 

7. Query/Enter Pitch Contests for Creeper, Evil in the Walls, Our Reasons, The Birthday Bash.

 

8. Read 100 books. (I got to 85 this year)
9. Read one “classic” book per month.

10. If unpublished, consider self-publishing.

 

11. Have a professional author website.

12. Be more active in blogging.

 
What are your writing and reading goals for 2016?

 

jncname

Books in December

Today is the last day of 2015! I can’t believe it. And here are the pictures from December. I plan to do a wrap-up at the beginning of the year.

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My reading goal for 2015 is to read 115 books. In December I read five books. I know I didn’t meet my end goal, but I’m OK with that. I got a lot of good reading in. I plan to set a more relaxed goal for 2016.

 

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Favorite: Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, & Lauren Miracle.

Least: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

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Did you read any great books this December? If so, what were they?

jncname

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For 2016

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For 2016

This was supposed to be a post for yesterday, but it didn’t happen. Oh well, since I already had the majority of it ready, I’m still going to post it. ;)

 

I’m really bad at playing catch-up, whether it comes to books, movies, or shows. I grew up with basic channels and few book runs so maybe that’s part of it. Another part is that I just don’t devote enough time to see what’s coming out. I’ve gotten behind on a lot of movies, shows, and books I had plans to get to. Money is probably another issue, as new books can be expensive. The original post was for the “First Half” of 2016, but I’m going to focus on the entire year. Hope that’s cool.

 

This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

Anyway, here are the books I am most excited about for the new year–whether I will get to them in 2016 is a different story!

1. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by various YA authors (edited by Stephanie Perkins)
Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

I really wanted to read My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories but it ended up going to back order. I am a sucker for summer romances so this sounds right up my alley.

2. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

I haven’t read many re-tellings but I love the idea of them. Aladdin has been one of my favorites growing up so this sounds really exciting.

3. Untitled by Stephanie Perkins

Source: naturallysteph.tumblr.com

Source: naturallysteph.tumblr.com

Even though the book is unnamed and it’s all a mystery, I am a sucker for Perkins. Bring it on.

4. The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

Sounds intense and right up my alley.

5. Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

I’m all for creepy and this sounds like something I might really enjoy.

6. End of Watch (Bill Hodges #3) by Stephen King

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

I haven’t read the sequel to Mr. Mercedes yet BUT of course this is on my list. Even without that amazing sounding synopsis!

7. I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

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Sounds intriguing. No book cover yet so here’s an author photo.

8. Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

Her debut, Six Feet Over It, was good, and I love the subject of ballet so this is definitely on my list. The plot also sounds unique.

9. Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

Jennifer Brown…synesthesia…murder…Enough said.

10. The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

Source: Goodreads.com

Source: Goodreads.com

This new YA Horror sounds really good. I’m always up for horror, especially YA. It’s rare to find good ones.

 

What books are you most excited for in 2016?

 

 

jncname

Books in November

The end of the year is fast approaching so I am happy to say that I have for the most part finished my book pictures. Here are my pictures and books from November.

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My reading goal for 2015 is to read 115 books. In November I read four books. While I loved it, Gone Girl was a long read. Here’s what I read last month.

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Favorite: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I really, REALLY loved this book!). Dissonance by my friend Mariella Hunt was #2, though.

Least Liked: Shut Up by Anne Tibbets

Books make a great meal.

Books make a great meal.

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Did you read any great books this November? If so, what were they?

jncname

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