Book Tags

Brotherhood of the World Award

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Hey guys! I was nominated by the wonderful Aditi, who has a beautiful blog and fantastic posts! Check her out!

Here are the rules –

• Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
• Answer the questions sent to you.
• Nominate around ten bloggers.
• Create your set of questions for your nominees.
• List the rules and display the Brotherhood Of The World logo in your post

Let’s get this thing started!


The Questions!

  1. Briefly explain your blogging style (where your favorite blogging spot/tools – as in, on the couch using your smart phone or something).

    My couch is my perfect blogging spot, as well as my office at work! Mornings are usually when my brain decides to give me something to work with (it could also be the help of the copious amounts of coffee I drink), so weekends are when I get the most done. Take right now for example: it’s Saturday, I haven’t changed out of my PJs, my hair isn’t even brushed, I’m nearly finished with my first cup of coffee, and all I want to do is work on my blog.

  2. How do you manage your blogging time including blog reading time?

    I do both when I can. Life gets crazy for everyone at times, and it can be difficult to stick to a set schedule with these things. I check up on my blog at least once a day, scroll through my reader to check up on other blogs, and see if there’s really anything I feel like putting into words at the moment. Same goes for reading. Luckily I’ve been at a job that gives me two days with A TON of free time, so that’s when I get a lot of my reading done. That’ll be changing soon, so we’ll have to see how things work out from there.

  3. How did you come up with your blog name?

    Well, my real name is Emily, but Emmy is a nickname I’ve been called by my dad and brother for as long as I can remember. My middle name starts with a B, so I figured, “What a cute little play on words.” And so Emmy B. Reading came to life, after a few days of thinking and thinking and overthinking it.

  4. What keeps you blogging?

    The book blogging community, really. You all are so supportive and kind, that it truly blows my mind all the time. I’ve only had my blog for a little over a month, but I’ve made so many friends through this and discovered so many books that I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed by it all at times. The good kind of overwhelmed, I promise!

    My love for reading also keeps me going. I’ve always been head over heels in love with reading, and I’m sure it’ll be a love that I’ll carry until my last day.

  5. What would you do if I grant you a wish?

    I’d probably ask you to pay a bill!

    Just kidding.

    I know the unselfish answer would be to end world hunger, or introduce never-ending world peace, but quite honestly, I’m not sure if those will ever be possible. So, I’d have to go with another book shelf. I’m seriously running out of room. Thank goodness for Kindles!



    My Questions:

    1. Where do you see your blog this time next year?

    2. If you could sit down and chat with any author (alive or dead) for an hour, who would you choose?

    3. What’s the very first book you remember reading?

    4. What introduced you to blogging?

    5. What’s the one book you’ll read time and time again?


    I Nominate:

    Perpetual Fangirl

    The Past Due Review

    Will Read For Booze

    (It asks for ten blogs to nominate, but I’m just going to go with three!)


    Thanks again to Aditi for nominating me! This was super fun! I hope you all enjoyed reading, and have a fantastic weekend!

    xoxo

    Emmy B.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

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It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.
Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard’s assignment–find them and then…”retire” them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn’t want to be found!


“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity.”

I. Loved. This. Book.

Everything about it — the characters, the dilapidated city of San Francisco, and the moral struggle of hunting down androids. I loved it all.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about this book. Not a huge sci-fi reader, but I think Philip K. Dick has changed that for me. I’m definitely going to try to get my hands on his other books.

He writes a world that is a universe all its own, but at the same time, is still the Earth we know. New technology is introduced, and although it seems a little overwhelming at first, it all has a purpose. The mood organ has to be one of my favorites, and I wish we could have something like that in real life. How convenient would it be to simply dial yourself happy, or easily switch over to a sense of peace after an awful day at the office?

Reading this book for the first time is a fantastic journey. As characters are introduced, its impossible to tell if they’re human or android. Even if you think you know, there’s almost always a small hint of doubt. That mystery is a great addition to the overall gloominess of the story.

There’s a certain unpredictability within the characters that keeps you on the edge of your seat. How will so-and-so react when they find out they’re actually an android and all of their memories are false? Will people riot when the fact that their religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be is released? How can it be so easy to just retire androids who bare a perfect resemblance to another android you just fell into bed with? There were a few points in the story in which someone said or did something that caught me by surprise, and only dragged me deeper into the universe.

I haven’t seen Blade Runner, but I do know that it completely overshadowed the book. Everyone should give this book a shot, whether or not you’ve watched the movie! I’m glad I did; it definitely found a spot in my top five favorite books.

5star

xoxo

Emmy B.

TBRs

Happy New Year & My January TBR!

Happy New Year, everyone! 2018 is finally upon us!

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Although 2017 was a tough-love kind of year, I have a feeling that 2018 is going to be GREAT!

I know everyone has their New Year resolutions, whether it’s to start going to the gym more often or to just simply smile at one person a day, but I want to hear yours, no matter what it is! As for me, mine is to stop being such a push-over. This year, I’m going to learn how to say no for the sake of my mental and physical health, and I’m going to learn how to put myself first.

I’m also going to read more dang books!

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Starting this month, I’ve decided to do a monthly TBR list. I’ll be giving a quick rundown of the books I plan to read and review for the month. My Goodreads challenge this year is to read 50 books (starting low — I’ve never done a reading challenge before), so if I read roughly four books a month, I should reach my goal!

January 2018 TBR:

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
I started this book yesterday and am nearly finished with it. What a mind-twist this book is! I may read it twice before reviewing it.

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Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My friend Bree introduced me to this author through the Lux series, and even bought me this book as a birthday present. I’m definitely a Jen fangirl now, and I can’t wait to start this book!

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Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
I’m a sucker for those “fall of society” books!

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Never saw the movie, but I plan to after reading the novel!

I also want to take a quick moment to say thank you to everyone who follows this blog. It may be small, and I may have no clue what the heck I’m doing, but you’ve all been so supportive and helpful. I’m so grateful for you all and I hope to make this into something you’ll love!

Here’s to a fantastic year full of love, health, and new possibilities!

xoxo

Emmy B.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Christmas at the Castle by Melissa McClone

A royal wedding. A meddlesome mother. An unexpected union.

A European getaway during the Christmas holiday is exactly what veterinarian Katrina “Kat” Parsons needs. She can’t wait to be a bridesmaid in her childhood friend’s royal wedding, but she hopes to steer clear of the bride’s arrogant older brother.

Crown Prince Guillaume wants his younger sister’s wedding day to be perfect, but he’s suspicious of Kat. He and his mother on are on high alert, afraid Kat is not just there for the wedding, but also to find a prince of her own.

But when Kat’s kindness and generosity prove them wrong, the prince realizes there’s more to her than he ever imagined. Can he trust his heart or will he lose the one woman he can’t live without? 

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After battling some kind of awful cold for the last week, I’ve finally finished reading Christmas at the Castle and even felt okay enough to write the review for it! I originally planned to do this on Christmas Day…a week ago, but better late than never!

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WARNING
Possible Spoilers
(Goodreads told me there were spoilers included in my review, but I don’t see any.)

Definitely a cutesy Cinderella Christmas story. Very enjoyable for the holiday season, and also for a quick romance read. I also didn’t know this was part of a series (I feel like I mention that in a large portion of my reviews — oops!), but I’m going to read the previous books next Christmastime!

I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers kind of books, and although Kat and Gill aren’t exactly enemies at first, they certainly aren’t buddies. The tension between the two in the beginning was nicely placed. There were no random rude gestures for the sake of the story, and their relationship progressed nicely as events unfolded.

The fact that Kat was a veterinarian was a plus for me. Animals + fluffy plots = 98% chance of a book I’ll read more than once. Gill’s ever-faithful pup, Max, was a fantastic key character. McClone sure knows how to write animals in a way that her readers are sure to love them like their own pets. I was a little impressed with the way Max’s actions seemed to be the final push that Gill and Kat needed to really try to put personal opinions of each other aside and give the other a chance.

Such a good boy!

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After reading through some of the other reviews for this book, I would have to agree that it felt like a Hallmark movie. It was clean (thankfully — the book was great as is; adding a dash of something more adult may have lowered it a star for me), had more than enough adorable moments, and even threw in a meddling mother antagonist.

Speaking of the meddling mother antagonist, she was the reason why I’m not giving this book five stars. Although I understand her reasoning, I felt as though she acted more like a jealous, bitter mother rather than a queen with fully-grown children. Her actions toward Kat during the wedding seemed childish, and she just reminded me of Cinderella’s evil step-mother. I had to force myself to get through parts of the story in which she reared her sour mug.

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The book is full of colorful characters that just add to how charming the story is. The love between Kat and Sophie gave their relationship a more sisterly feel, Jamie’s witty comments gave the right about of humor to the story, and the back-and-forth tug of emotion from both Kat and Gill had me reading chapter after chapter even after I told myself I’d put the Kindle down after the next one.

Christmas at the Castle is worth the read and deserves a spot on anyone’s holiday TBR list!

My Rating: 4/5

xoxo

Emmy B.

Personal Posts

Twas the Day Before Christmas!

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here! Time surely is flying by!

What are some of the things you all wished for this year? As for me, my list was definitely more on the “adult” side. I asked for socks. All the socks.

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I also asked for a paper towel holder, a heated blanket, and Amazon gift cards.

Oh, the joys of getting older.

Unfortunately, my better half is half way across the country during this Christmas, visiting his family in Oklahoma. I’m stoked that he gets to see his family, and I get to spend some quality time with my own family, but being apart is rough during this time of the year! I give serious kudos to those couples who have to spend months, or even years, apart.

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What are some of the Christmas Eve traditions you all have? My family never really made traditions, so I’ve always been so curious to learn how others spend their holidays.

And how about that snow? Have you gotten any at all where you live? Here in Nevada, we’ve gotten barely any, which is such a bummer. Personally, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’m complaining about how much snow is on the ground!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting my review for Christmas at the Castle by Melissa McClone, so be sure to stop by and check it out!

Have a great weekend, and happy holidays, everyone!

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xoxo

Emmy B.

Book Tags

Book Tag: Christmas Song Book Tag

Thank you so much to Books and Co. for tagging me! This was a fun one to put together!

“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

I’d have to go with everyone’s favorite villain, Voldemort!

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“All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

If I hadn’t have gotten it for my birthday, I would’ve said The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. But since that already happened and I finally have my own copy again, I’ll go with It by Stephen King. Those books are so dang expensive now, thanks to the movie.

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“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Oh man, this is a tough one. I’d have to go with Jenna Stone from Trusting Jake by Lauren Giordano.

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“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list? b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

My naughty-lister would definitely have to be Wren, and my nice-lister would be Cath, both from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

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“Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.

I actually have two of these. Honestly can’t get through these books without shedding a tear or two.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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“Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead, even though only part of it takes place in Russia.

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“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I honestly haven’t read any Christmas-themed books yet, so that’s a bit of a bummer. That’s changing here shortly, though!

“Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest.)

There’s so many! It’s hard to choose! I’d probably have to say Cath from Fangirl, only because we could spend the holidays talking about fanfiction and fictional characters!

“Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Oh, this is easy. Zombie War by Jean Booth.

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“Do You Hear What I Hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

My top suggestion to people is always Fangirl, but I also think people would also really love Minstrel by Marissa Ames!

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So there you have it: my Christmas Song Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed it!

Also, if you have any suggestions for Christmas themed books, please send them my way!

I’m nominating:
Brittany
Books in the Skye
CJRthebrit

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Emmy B.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Minstrel by Marissa Ames

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Arriving in the royal city of Cynegil just after the good king’s death, Liam and his traveling troupe face arrest for entertaining during a time of mourning. The new king, Riordan, offers them a choice: play for the court as he demands or be punished for the crime. With little recourse, they acquiesce. While the troupe entertains within the hall, Liam witnesses the dissension between the king and his twin brother, Shamus. When Shamus enlists Liam to record the kingdom’s history from his own viewpoint, the king becomes suspicious. And when Liam becomes involved with Molly, the mysterious redheaded washerwoman, and Tristan, the royal soldier with a deadly secret and a skill for causing unfortunate accidents, his life becomes even more complicated. As the kingdom staggers beneath drought, famine, and conflict, Liam and Shamus must flee Cynegil with prices on their heads. Will they survive their journey or will they become just another ballad to be sung?

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I’ve read this book twice. Once back in 2013 when I bought my copy from Marissa Ames herself. Super sweet woman and very eager to help other writers, but for the life of me, I could not get into this book. I’d finished the entire story, but remembered nothing about it.

This time, however, I fell in love with it. I’m not sure why my opinion had changed (comes with maturity, I suppose), but I’m glad I decided to give it another try.

Minstrel is a charming tale of deceit, politics, and most importantly, love. It follows Liam, a humble minstrel recruited to play for a king who only concerns himself with impressing other nobility and giving the impression that he truly deserves the crown while his kingdom crumbles around him. When the king’s brother returns from the northern lands and witnesses the corruption, Liam is pulled into matters much larger than himself.

The playful banter between Shamus and Liam had to be one of my favorite parts of the book. Right from the beginning, they acted almost as if they were brothers. There were a few times when their antics made me chuckle.

The story itself was wonderful. Even though there were some pretty hefty timeline gaps (a year here and there), it all flowed together perfectly. Liam’s character development, as well as many others’, was obvious and believable. Ames truly has a talent for reflecting personality changes based on what happens to the character.

The only thing I could find wrong with this book was the effect that death had on the characters. There’s plenty of death in this story, but not enough surrounding emotion to really make the reader feel sad about it. Usually, the deaths were mentioned once, a living character would ponder on it for a short paragraph, and then it was as if they’d gone forgotten for the rest of the story.

Important people died. It’s okay to be upset about it for more than five minutes.

The end of the book was a nice wrap-up. It didn’t give away a definite future for anyone, but it hinted to possible new romances and a successful new kingdom. Although I’m very satisfied with the book, I wish it had been longer. I just can’t get enough of this tale.

My Rating: 4/5