May & June Highlights

I haven’t done a highlights post in forever! It feels nice to be back into blogging regularly :)

Here is what I was up to the past two months…

I read 8 books.

Hitchhiker's Guide  Jurassic Park  Persuasion harrypotter whereshewent

      Fables  Seconds  Stealing the Groom

Which is a lot considering I was still coming off my reading slump last month.

Most Popular Posts

Where I’ve Been – It was nice to finally share with everyone our exciting news and explain why I’d been absent for several months.

25 Things: Ever After’s Château de Hautefort – I love that this post from last summer is still so popular, especially since it was on my bucket list for so long & I’d love to revisit it!

What I Watched

I finally got to catch up with my favorite web series! I updated my ‘Literary Vlogs’ sidebar to reflect some of the new YouTube shows I’ve been watching, like Northbound and From Mansfield With Love (adaptations of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, respectively).

Northbound

I relate very much to Catherine Morland…and of course, who doesn’t love Henry Tilney?!

I also caught up on From Mansfield With Love, finally. It’s a harder Jane Austen novel to adapt, but the frequent cameos from the minor characters make it pretty interesting :)

May & June Highlights

  • Traveling – I traveled a lot the past two months. Probably more than a pregnant lady should, but I always had a buddy with me (either family members or Solo) and it was nice to visit friends and family.
  • 2nd Trimester! – After the first trimester’s ups and downs, it’s been like a breath of fresh air being in my second trimester. We also got to see our “little baby french fry” up close and found out it’s a boy! Since then we’ve been preparing our tiny apartment (and ourselves) for his arrival. Every time I see a friend has had her baby I get a tiny bit jealous! For now, labor doesn’t scare me, but I’m sure that’ll change in a few months!

    24 Weeks

    24 weeks as of July 6th!

  • VACATION! – Last week we went on a family reunion cruise. It was wonderful :)
    Key West

    My husband and me in Key West (we also visited Cozumel).

    Carnival

    Carnival Ecstasy

    Cruise

    My mom’s side of the family :)

    Matt and Ian

    My brother would probably kill me if he knew I put this online, but I love this picture so much! We were all pretty exhausted on the drive back from Miami.

    We also got to spend 4th of July at EPCOT so my husband and I got an unexpected Disney fix (thanks to my aunt’s sister who works at the parks).
    Epcot

    Matt

    Isn’t he cute? ;)

May & June Challenges

  • Feeling hungry all the time – This has been the one pitfall to my second trimester. I feel like I’m hungry so often, and most of the time the only foods I want to eat are sweets and junk food =P I’ve always been active and have had a fast metabolism, so it’s hard for me to limit myself but I don’t want to overindulge at the same time.
  • Missing having a job – I wasn’t able to find a job before we moved to Wilmington, and after I hit the 12 weeks mark I figured it would just be best for me to take it easy and pick up my job search early next year. But I miss having a routine and that extra income. If anyone knows of some reliable, non-telemarketing, work-from-home jobs, PLEASE let me know!

Things I’m Looking Forward To in July

  • More traveling – Hey, it’s better to get all this traveling in now than when after the baby arrives!
  • Catching up on reading – I’m trying to put a big dent in my Classics TBR plus I have tons of unread books on my shelves that I’d like to get to sometime this year.
  • Summer activities with friends – We have some game nights and beach days penned down for the summer that my husband and I are both looking forward to (although I’m much more hesitant about the ocean after the 8th North Carolina shark attack this year was reported a few days ago…).

July To Be Read

harrypotter  The Martian Wives and Daughters

My husband and I are continuing through our read along of the Harry Potter series. I started reading The Martian last month and although it’s holding my attention, it does take a while to read. I’m seriously behind on my Classics Club list, so I’m picking up Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters this month.

What was your favorite moment from June?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read (So Far) in 2015

toptentuesdayThe year is halfway over, and despite the fact that I took a 3-month long reading and blogging hiatus, I have read a decent amount of books so far this year! Which is great, because today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about the top books I’ve read so far this year. Unfortunately, I’ve only read a handful of books that I really loved (meaning I gave them a 5-star rating), so I’m cutting this list down to 5 books.

Top Ten Five Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

Jurassic ParkJurassic Park by Michael Crichton – I shared my review for this book last week, but this book was definitely a big hit with me. I loved the characters, the dinosaurs, and even the philosophy in the books (which is funny, since I usually stray away from books or discussions heavy in philosophy).

harrypotterHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – My first reread this year! I’ve been reading the series with my husband, who has seen the movies but never read the books, and even after having read this book so many times that the pages are literally falling out, I still enjoy it just as much. Eternal 5-star rating!

mara dyerThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I feel like it’s been much longer than 6 months since I’ve read this book, but I still remember staying up really late to finish it because I had to know what happened next! It has so much: mystery, suspense, romance. Definitely my favorite book in Hodkin’s series and obviously one of the best books I’ve read this year.

earnestThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – An easy book to read in one sitting (or listen to on the way to and from work, as I did), Oscar Wilde’s “trivial comedy” had me laughing and hoping for a happy ending, and I was definitely pleased :) This is a great read for people who aren’t very used to reading classics.

PersuasionPersuasion by Jane Austen – Oh, I lied earlier. Persuasion was my first reread this year (although I did reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the same week), and it was also the first time I had reread this particular novel, my second favorite of all Jane Austen’s works. I still felt just as much for Anne Elliot, and I definitely still swooned at Captain Wentworth’s letter <3 This book has gotten me all excited for Austen in August in a little over month! (I’ll be following along with two blogosphere events this year: here and here)

Honorable Mention:

whereshewentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman – I read this sequel last month and never got to talk about it, but I definitely enjoyed it more than the first novel, If I Stay. That’s probably because I got used to Gayle Forman’s writing style. In If I Stay I wasn’t prepared for the whole book to take place over 24 hours and most of the plot happening in flashbacks, so I got a little annoyed, but this time I anticipated that and had more fun reading it.

Thanks for reading! What have been some of your favorite reads so far this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Series & Sequels

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is about sequels! Unfortunately, I don’t read very many series, but there are lots of series I want to read. So I’m altering this meme to include series I’ve already started and ones I’ve been wanting to start as well.

Top Ten Series & Sequels I’m Excited to Read

whereshewent mylifenextdoor clockwiser silencedbytheyams thescorchtrials

Where She Went by Gale Forman – Earlier this year I read If I Stay, and although I liked it, it is a heavy book with lots of feels. I’ve really been wanting to read Where She Went since then, but I’m saving it for when I’m in the mood for an intense read. Where She Went is told from Adam’s POV which is exciting!
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick – I had to use the cover for My Life Next Door since the cover for the sequel hasn’t been released yet! This one is coming out sometime next year and I’m really excited for it. My Life Next Door really bested my expectations, and I know its sequel will be amazing as well.
Clockwiser by Elle Strauss – Clockwise was one of my favorite reads from last year. It’s a YA time traveling story that was really fun and actually inspired me to write a short story last year. Clockwiser continues where it’s predecessor left off, and the time-traveling becomes even more dangerous when the main character’s brother gets transported back to Civil War America…and enlists!
Silenced by the Yams by Karen Cantwell – This is a murder-mystery-romcom series that I really enjoy. The first book in the series, Take the Monkeys and Run, is actually the first book I bought when I received my first Kindle. I read the sequel, Citizen Insane, last year and I’ve been wanting to finish the series ever since. I love this romance series because it focuses on the main character trying to fix her relationship with her husband.
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner – I haven’t actually read The Maze Runner yet, but I broke my cardinal rule by seeing the movie earlier this month (gasp!). I will get around to reading this series, I just need to carve out time to marathon 4 books.

virals theeyeofminds theevolutionofmaradyer brokenhearts athousandpiecesofyou

Virals by Kathy & Brendan Reichs – I bought the first book in this series for my husband while I was at YALL Fest. I’ll probably read it too, since I love Bones and this book is told from the POV of her great-niece.
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner – Another book I bought for my husband at YALL Fest, this series is about an internet gaming kidnapper. Yep, that looks really interesting!
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I haven’t read the first book in this series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but while I was at YALL Fest I bought the second book (the first was sold out) because my friend wanted to get her copies signed. Michelle Hodkin was so nice and took several minutes speaking with each of her fans. This book looks dark and mysterious, probably something I should have read during Halloween, but it’s on my Christmas wish list so if someone doesn’t gift it to me I’ll be buying a copy myself.
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn – I’ve been itching to read this series. The second novel Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold, comes out next year. Katie Finn is Morgan Matson’s pen name, and I know these books differ from her other ones, but I have no doubt I’ll like these ones just as much.
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – I haven’t read this book yet, and I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about, but the cover is gorgeous and it has a lot of my favorite genres AND there are 2 sequels in the works according to Goodreads, so I’m adding it to my TBR. I think I put this on my Christmas wish list, too!

What are some sequels (or series) you’re excited about reading? Clearly a lot of the sequels on my list have been out for a while–do you have any recs for current series?