Features, Wrap Ups & Hauls

Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/27 – 4/2/17

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Happy Sunday bookworms!

Did everyone have a good weekend?  Mine was low key, as my kids are now on spring break.  I think I look forward to school breaks just as much as my kids because it means I am not chauffeuring my two humans around all day to and from school and extracurricular activities.

Anyways!  My wrap-up this week is a pretty long one, but filled with lots of good stuff (at least I think so).  I talk about some upcoming projects on Cover2CoverMom and pose a few questions to my fellow book bloggers.  So pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee/tea/wine (I won’t judge if you go with the wine) and let’s see what I had going on this past week, shall we?

*Weekly Wrap-Up is a weekly post where I feature what posts were published on the blog for the past week, any bookish/blog happenings, what I recently finished reading, what I am currently reading, what I will be reading next, noteworthy posts around the bookish blogosphere, and any interesting bookish articles I came across.

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This week on the blog:

Tuesday 3/28

TTT2Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Met & A Few I’d Like to Meet

Wednesday 3/29

KidsCornerKids’ Corner: Diverse Children’s Picture Books in Review (March 2017)

Friday 3/30

MarchWUMarch 2017 Wrap-Up + Book Haul

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Bookish/Blog happenings:

» I have been working on a little project and I need some help from you all !  What I need from you all is book blogger recs for bloggers who read & review predominantly within a certain genre. 

For example, bloggers who read & review mostly…

• Young Adult • Middle Grade/Children’s Books • Diverse Books • Graphic Novels • Historical Fiction • Fantasy/Science Fiction • Contemporary • Thriller/Suspense • Romance • Horror

You get the idea.  Keep in mind I said bloggers who read & review predominantly within these categories/genres.  They do not need to review 100% within these categories/genres, but a good majority.  So a blogger like myself would not fit into any of these categories because I read & review all types of books.

*Does this make any sense?  Or have I lost everyone?

If you know of a book blogger who fits into any of these (or a different category/genre not listed) please leave them in the comments down below!  Thanks in advance.

*I would also like to mention they won’t have to do anything, this is going to be more like a feature project 🙂

» I have been wanting to redesign my blog and graphics for a while now, but it is a hot mess.  Basically I have no idea what I am doing.  What I am struggling with the most is the graphics department.  How did you all do your headers/logos and graphics?  Is there some free graphics site that I do not know about?!  Do you draw/design them yourselves?!  Did you pay someone to do it?  I wish I had the money to pay someone to do all this for me, but I can’t justify spending money on my blog when we are a one income family while I am at home with the kids.  Any advice, suggestions, or direction in this would be much appreciated.

» I realized this weekend that I really need to step up my bookstagram game.  I posted a picture that got over 140 likes, which hadn’t happened to me before.  I know this is probably not a big deal to those of you who are used to getting hundreds (or thousands) of likes every time you post a picture, but I had never gotten over 70 likes before on a picture before.  So what I want to know is, how do you juggle being active on bookstagram if you also have a book blog?

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» This week I will be marathon reading to get ready for the Ohioana Book Festival that is taking place in Columbus Ohio on Saturday, April 8th.  I may be a little MIA this week around the blogosphere, but fear not, I’ll be back.

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What have I been reading?

*Book titles link to Goodreads

Recently finished reading:

» The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

TheGirlsintheGarden

5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings: No one is more shocked then me that I actually really enjoyed this book.  If you have followed me for a while, you know that thriller novels are not my go-to books, but I kept throwing them into the mix.  Girls in the Garden is one of those books where you learn about “the incident” first, then go back in time leading up to the incident.  I thought the author did a great job of holding my attention the entire time.  I really liked how Jewell introduced all kinds of characters/scenarios to thrown the reader off the trail.  The conclusion wasn’t exactly a huge shocker, BUT it was definitely more involved and complicated then I was anticipating.  Typically I don’t like when the author leaves things unresolved, but Jewell does leave a few things up in the air.  I think it worked here.

*Full review to come

» The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

TheAnimators

5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings:  I am going to venture to say that The Animators is going to be the biggest surprise of 2017 for me.  This book is so much more than I was anticipating.  I was anticipating a light hearted contemporary novel with friendship being a central theme.  While friendship is a major theme, The Animators is NOT a light hearted read.  It is very gritty and raw… definitely more of a darker novel.

I also thought this book was young adult, and it turns out that this book is very much an adult book.  I think it was because the cover gave off a YA vibe to me?  Anyways, The Animators has a lot of adult content that is not suitable for a young audience.

*Part of my SOKY Book Fest TBR

» Loving Vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell (Illustrated by Shadra Strickland)

LovingVSVirginia

5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings:   Loving Vs. Virginia is the Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races.  In this book, we learn about Richard & Mildred Loving, the couple behind this infamous case.  Told in verse, Loving Vs. Virginia is very much the love story of Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred, a biracial woman.   I was anticipating a little more historical content, but overall, this was a very well done YA book.  I must admit, I have never really read a book about interracial marriage before.  The challenges that the Lovings faced was heartbreaking to read about.

I listened to the audiobook version, but I am waiting for a copy from my library to see the illustrations.

*I am definitely interested in reading a book that goes a little deeper into the history of interracial marriage, as well as challenges that interracial couples face in today’s society.  If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.

Currently reading:

» Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb

EverySingleSecond

*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR

» The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett

The Magician's Assistant

*SOKY Book Fest TBR

On deck:

» The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR

» Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini

*Part of my Ohioana Book Fest TBR

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Around the bookish blogosphere:

» Cait @PaperFury talks about how to come up with discussion posts for your book blog → How To Think Up Discussion Post Ideas For Your Book Blog

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» Ashleigh @A Frolic Through Fiction shares her favorite underrated characters →Favourite underrated characters | Some characters just aren’t appreciated enough

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» Marie @Drizzle & Hurricane Books talks about the trend of series and novellas →The series and novellas trend

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» Fadwa @WordWonders asks if relating to characters is a must to enjoy a book →Relating to Characters: Is it necessary to Enjoy a Book?

RelatingToCharacters

» Kirsty @Kirsty and the Cat Read discusses audiobooks →Discussion: What Makes A Good Audio-Book

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» Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek talks about some of the downsides to book blogging →Jaded by Blogging

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» Stephanie @TeacherofYA hosts her first giveaway →TeacherofYA’s Very First GIVEAWAY! (::cheers::)

*U.S Only*

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» Megan @bookslayer Reads talks about book review layout →Reading & Writing Reviews // Does the layout of a review determine whether or not you’ll read it?

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» Amy @NovelGossip is hosting a giveaway →Giveaway: The Breakdown by B. A. Paris #giveaway

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Interesting bookish articles:

» Quiz: Which Character Are You Based On Your Astrological Sign?

*I’m an Aries, and got Elizabeth Bennett from P&P.  Very fitting.

» 20 Best Books To Pick Up This April

» The World’s Highest Paid Authors

*I was actually shocked at #2… especially being paid more than J.K. Rowling?!?  Was also surprised who was at the bottom of this list… Happy to see so many female authors (6 out of 14)

» Twice the fun: 9 Books featuring twins

*One of my favorite books, East of Eden, is on this list 🙂

» Series About the Brontë Sisters Coming Soon

*Um, yes please!

» The 50 Best Books for 11- and 12-Year-Olds

*I’ve only read 5 of these books?!?! I just added 45 books to the ole TBR

» 5 Children’s Stories That Really Freaked Us Out

*I read Coraline this past October… It definitely gave me an unsettled feeling.

» Quiz: Who’s Your Author BFF

*J.K. Rowling and I would make the bestest of friends 🙂

» 9 Imaginative Fairy-Tale Retellings

» 12 Images All Bookworms Can Relate To

*Yup

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Whoa.  That was ridiculously long.  If you have reached this point, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

What are you currently reading?

What will you read next?

Have a wonderful week, and happy reading:)

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32 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/27 – 4/2/17”

  1. Your post was so long I literally made notes of the things I wanted to say so I wouldn’t forget and sure I still have 😂
    I think I follow a few people who I could recommend for your project so I’ll get looking for you and send links!
    Seems like some of your goals are similar to mine, I’ve been wanting to up my graphics games since starting my blog but it’s so hard to know where to start or what to do! Also need to up my Bookstagram game, I tend to get myself on a role and then forget about it!
    Also thanks for putting Loving Vs Virginia on my radar looks like something that will be right up my alley!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha sorry I made this post so much work for you lol

      Can’t wait to see your recs! I appreciate all the help I can get.

      Graphic are so hard. Interested in seeing if anyone has any insight.

      You are welcome! The illustrated version just arrived at my library, so I’ll keep you posted 👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I feel like you’re going to have loads of fun on your blog for the coming weeks, Amanda, I am eager to know your feature on book bloggers and everything especially 🙂 I hope you’ll have a lovely month ❤ And thank you so much for sharing my post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loads of fun and lots of work I expect 😅 You are so welcome Marie, I really enjoy your blog and love to share your posts. I figure if I enjoy them as much as I do, then others would as well. I know how much thought and effort goes into discussions, so they should be shared!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this! Thank you for sharing my giveaway, Amanda! Loving the bookish world happenings and as I’m not one for wrap-up posts, I’ll have to start checking yours out bc this is phenomenal!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks Stephanie! Wrap-Ups are some of my favorite posts to do because not only can I talk about what I’m reading (have read lately) but I get to share blog posts and articles that I loved reading with others. You are so welcome for the share!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for linking to my giveaway!! Chelsea does mainly thrillers at SuspenseThrill, Sam at Clues and Reviews is the same. Abby at Crime by the Book is all crime/thrillers, Noelle at Crime Book Junkie is all crime. I’ll keep thinking. Oh Kate at Bibliophile BC is mostly crime thrillers. Amy at Hello Chick Lit is, well you get it haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t do a lot of posting on Instagram, I’ve often wondered how bloggers keep up with that and the blog…I’ll have to read your comments to find out how others keep up. To me, Instagram takes longer to write up posts with all the #’s and I hardly ever have the book since I read on my kindle most of the time so I don’t have cute pics. Looking forward to meeting you next weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok… be prepared because this may be a long comment…
    Firstly, I wanna say that I really, really love your blog. Theme, graphics, all of it! But of course, change is sometimes a good thing (although super scary. At least it was for me.) So if you’re looking for a free site for images/blog graphics, I would highly suggest Canva. It’s free, it’s awesome, and it’s what I use for my featured images. They have tons of free images, but they also have images that you can buy, if you wanted to. Another site I’d recommend is freepik.com. Flaviathebibliophile recommended that site to me, and that’s where I found my arrows, flowers, and feather images that I use in my posts now. It’s pretty awesome, too!
    Ok, secondly… Amy at http://novelgossip.com is a great reviewer and reviews so, so many books! But mainly mystery/thriller/suspense type books. You probably already know her blog, but if you don’t, you should definitely check it out!
    Next… I wanna say thank you so much for linking to my discussion post! You linked up some amazing discussions and I love it because I’ve been totally MIA from the blog for the last couple weeks, so I haven’t been blog hopping like I should. So I missed most of the posts you featured. So now let me tell you WHY I’ve not been around the blogosphere much in the last couple weeks…
    You mentioned bookstagram. THIS is why I’ve been MIA. Damn bookstagram. I’m addicted. Seriously. And like you, I have no idea how people consistently keep up with bookstagram AND their blogs (along with Twitter and Facebook or whatever else they have!) I just don’t see how it’s possible. I have spent so much time on bookstagram, and trying to take pretty bookish pics, that I’ve had no time for the blogosphere. And I hate that. I wish I had the secret to how to manage all of it at one time. Congrats on reaching more than 140 likes on your photo! That’s awesome!
    Alright, alright… on to the last thing I have to say now… I thought The Animators was YA, too! That’s cool to know it isn’t, and that you loved it! I’ve been wanting to read it. So hopefully soon, I guess! Also happy to hear you enjoyed The Girls in the Garden. That one sounds really interesting! And Loving vs. Virginia has been calling my name, too. Gosh, so many books, so little time!
    Ok I think that’s it for now! If I forgot something, I’ll come back and let you know 😉😂

    Like

    1. Ahhhh this comment was LONG but so very helpful!!!! Thank you so much for all the design site recommendations! I am going to be working on my redesign this weekend and now I have a place to start.

      Ah hah! I wondered how people juggled bookstagram with their blogs!!! I didn’t see how it was possible. Between taking pictures, editing, posting, and being active on bookstagram, who would have time to blog?!? I have noticed you stepped up your bookstagram game! You can see the progression in your pictures. I don’t think I’ll ever get the best of both worlds. I’ll probably just keep on posting the pictures I take for my blog on bookstagram. I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to manage it all 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay, okay, one thing at a time, haha!
    First, yay for new projects! I can’t help you with the Instagram thing, as althought I do have one, I have stopped logging in last year for many reasons and I’m struggling to go back. I feel it’s too time consuming to few moments of true bliss, you know? Also, the fact that I don’t have a proper shelf sucks all my resolution to go back :/
    On the blog design, I did my own =) I googled panda images that I could use if I credited the artist/or free to non-commercial use and photoshoped on, haha! I’m not great by any means, as what I know in theory is far superior to my practical abilities (just see my blog versus my cover analysis hahaha!), so I use a wordpress standard theme + my personalized header and graphics with pandas to try standing out =)
    To be honest, I don’t follow any specialized bloggers – I like to read reviews for every gender of book, so I never searched for book bloggers that mainly stay on a same subjects (which is kind of awkward, as I know that a huge percent of everything I read in a month is usually gay romance, that can’t even be considered as diverse because I always read the same ‘diverse’ subject, HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA). I’m REALLY curious about your project, tho!!
    Ugh, I think that’s it? I’m sorry for not being even slightly helpful =(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you are saying about Instagram. I’m not sure I’ll ever be super active there. I think I’ll just keep posting my pictures that I take for my blog there and call it a day lol.

      I love your blog design! I think the best part is that I now associate pandas with your blog lol So when I see a picture of a panda, I automatically think of you 😂

      I’m living my little project! My first set of features will be bloggers who read & review mostly thriller/suspense/crime novels 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a good strategy for Instagram as any order if you ask me, haha! o/
        AWWWWW Amandaa ❤ ❤ Thank you, hahaha! Feel free to tag me on Panda related posts as well, I love those big, furry and cute fake bears *–*
        OOOh, I can't wait to read more about the new project!! I'll get on this post sooner than later on my catchin up ❤ YOU GO, AMANDA!! You rock ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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