April 29, 2013

The Monday Mix (03)

While I did enjoy doing A Sunday Retrospective, I've made the decision to stop posting on the weekends. I rarely open up my laptop during that time, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. The only thing that made me really sad was the fact that I would no longer have an outlet to share my favorite links from the past week. I mourned that for all of ten seconds before realizing that I could just start a new feature - and so, The Monday Mix was born.

The Monday Mix basically gives me the opportunity to share with all of you the links I loved online from last week, everything from reviews to articles about writing and perhaps other things too. I've always valued the opportunity to share the great things I've read or seen, and this is my way to share the love.


Last week, I wasn't able to do The Monday Mix because I got very, very sick. I spent last, last Friday until Saturday fighting a raging fever, and came out of it completely only on Sunday. I felt very weak on Monday, but I'm happy to report that I've fully recovered now! Please bear with the fact that there's bound to be double the amount of links, as I do want to share the posts that I missed out on sharing. So here's two weeks worth of links for you to check out!

1. The Quill Awards are in full swing, and if you're interested, you can check out the list of nominees here. There are some amazing titles on there, I think, and I'm scrambling to check out the ones I haven't read yet! Let me know if you think there are other titles that should have made it onto the list or which ones are your favorites to win.

2. Hannah (of In the Best Worlds) posted an interesting discussion about New Adult books on her blog. I enjoyed reading what she had to say, and was definitely surprised by what angle she focused on in her discussion.

3. I loved this post about Severus Snape (of Harry Potter) that Erin Bowman (author of Taken) shared via Twitter. It's interesting food for thought, and I had to really step back and think about my feelings for Snape, both good and bad. (It also makes me super happy that Erin is just as devoted a Harry Potter fan as I am!)

4. Authors Beth Revis (Across the Universe) and Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) shared this wonderful and whimsical post that features the Disney Princesses (and other famous female animated characters, both Disney and non-Disney) re-imagined in Sailor Moon. I loved it! It makes me want to watch Sailor Moon (which I really should get started on..).

5. One of my blogging besties Estelle (of Rather Be Reading) wrote a great review for The Boyfriend App (Katie Sise). I'm definitely eager to read the book now, and get to experience this wonderful-sounding contemporary novel!

6. Giselle (of Xpresso Reads) shares this awesomely fun and extremely useful post about using a schedule for your blog. I only recently got into scheduling posts and the like, and I must say, it's definitely helped me be a better blog! If you don't know where to start, Giselle's post offers a few ideas.

7. Budgets are important in any aspect of life, whether it's clothes or books or shoes or travel. I'm working hard to be more mindful of my own budget, so this post shared by Estelle is certainly helpful.

8. I absolutely adored this beautifully written letter from Molli (Once Upon a Prologue) about how reading saved her life. It's so heartfelt and sincere, and in a way, it reminded me of why I love reading.

9. Brittany (of The Book Addict's Guide) created this amazing guide to contemporary novels. I seriously want to print this out and use it to select my next read (though I've read and enjoyed a whole bunch of the ones on there!). It is absolutely adorable, and I can't wait for her to create another one for a different genre.

10. Are you the kind of person who enjoys a good series, or do you prefer to read standalones? This is the subject of a discussion posted by Gillian (of Writer of Wrongs). I'm partial to series for fantasy and dystopian, and standalones for contemporary reads myself.

11. There are still a few days left to enter this awesome giveaway that Alyssa (of Books Will Take You Places) is hosting. It's in honor of Shakespeare's birth and death - how cool is that?

12. I finished A Game of Thrones (the first book in the A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin) this week, which was both exciting and scary. We're taking a break for a week before Cassie (of Books with Cass) will kick-off the read-along for book two! In case you don't know yet and are participating in #SOIFRA, please check out the Goodreads Group that Alyssa made for us.

13. I love the fact that Jamie (of The Perpetual Page-turner) wrote a post about this change for her Before & After series because I was just thinking about it, and planning on telling her to write a post like this. Great minds certainly think alike! (It's either that or Jamie has mind reading powers that she hasn't let me know about.)

14. Also, Jamie was brave enough to write a deeply personal, and incredibly unique post. I loved it after I read it, because her personality shines through so much and because it's so creative. I basically left her a novel in the comments... and you should too!

15. Steph (of Steph Su Reads) wrote a thoughtful blog post about reading for solace or escape. I know that I definitely do that, especially when I reach for a fantasy novel. I love that her post really got me thinking!

16. I might not be the sporty type, but I do like reading about sports in books. Estelle has some solid recommendations for books with baseball in them, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them at some point in this year (or more accurately, my lifetime).

17. WARNING: This post will make you hungry. Elena (of Novel Sounds) wrote a sweet (see what I did there) post about all these amazing dessert spots in New York City. [This was part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY.] (P.S. Elena - we are doing an unofficial dessert tour when you are here!)

18. Chachic (of Chachic's Book Nook) shares two of her passions apart from books - postcards and washi tape. It is totally adorable you guys, and now I totally want to hunt down some washi tape for myself.

19. Were you a 90s kid? Epic Reads has put together this cool post featuring side by side comparisons of 1990s book covers and their updated versions. I think, for the most part, I love the vintage, old school feel of the 90s stuff. What do you think?

20. Kat Zhang (author of What's Left of Me) shares a bit about how screenwriting skills can be helpful when writing. I found it to be supremely helpful, and practical, and other aspiring writers will too!

21. Erin Bowman shares about outlines and diverging from them on Pub(lishing) Crawl. Honestly, I like creating an outline when I start something - but it has to be loose. I can't have it too structured or I'll feel like the story has been told and there's nothing left for me to do. Plus, when I'm loose about the outline, my characters will sometimes surprise me and do something unexpected. Aspiring writer friends, what do you think?

22. I loved reading what Jodi Meadows (author of Incarnate) had to say about finding inspiration and writing. I wholeheartedly agree with her thoughts, and I think that a lot of people could benefit from reading this brief post.

23. Erin Bowman wrote an incredible post for the Turning Points series on Distraction No. 99. I think a lot of aspiring writers will be able to relate to this one, as I did!

24. The Last is an incredible video that my best friend showed me this past week. Not only does it star Harry Shum (who I think is pretty darn talented), the message is absolutely lovely. It made me sigh and smile and swoon the teensiest bit. As my friend put it, she'd probably say yes if a guy proposed to her or asked her to be his girlfriend after saying all those things!

25. Renae (of Respiring Thoughts) had a thoughtful, interesting blog post about the appeal of YA. Her thoughts are so clear, concise and well-presented, and I'm so envious of her ability to express herself so well! I totally like that this post made me really think.

26. If you enjoy shopping, then you'll love this post! Rachel (of Hello, Chelly) shared her favorite shopping spots (and I absolutely agree with her selections). [This was part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.]

27. Elena shared this amazing post that she came up in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day. This girl always astounds me with her creativity and talent, and this post is exceptional. Seriously, you don't want to miss out on reading this one!

28. One of my favorite authors Veronica Roth (author of Divergent) wrote about writing. I love her post, as I generally tend to love her stuff. She's an inspiration to me as a writer, so to see what wisdom she has to impart in a post like this is generally something I do.

29. Another of my writing inspirations and favorite authors Maggie Stiefvater (author of The Raven Boys, among others) shares a bit about publishing. The honesty behind this post astounds me, and I really enjoyed seeing what she had to say about it.

30. Don't forget to join me and Vi (of Confessions of a Vi3tbabe) for the Companion Novels Challenge! For April-May, we're reading the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. I've actually read all three books already, and I thought they were really good! They've got a bit of a Spanish telenovela feel to them, but since I generally like stuff like that, they worked for me.

31. Thanks to Estelle, I was able to read this incredibly beautiful post about how to be in love. It's such an inspiration, and I think it will be a wonderful post to read time and again in order to remind myself of how wonderful it is to be in love.

32. Jamie has some great suggestions for food trucks to try in the New York City area! I haven't tried a lot of these, but I will say that the Wafel & Dinges truck (which I have tried) is the BEST. I always try to find it because I'm always craving dessert. [This was part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.]

33. Jess (of Gone with the Words) shares ten reasons why she loves book blogging! I absolutely wholeheartedly agree with them. It's posts like this that serve as to remind me why I love doing this and why this community is so great.

34. When Estelle wholeheartedly recommends a book, I usually want that book right away. She reviewed Criminal by Terra Elan Mcvoy and now I want it in my hands, stat. It sounds like a good read!

35. Do you like watching Broadway shows? Estelle shares her personal recommendations for shows that you should check out when you're in the city. [This is part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.]

36. It's time to get serious for a moment. This post might prove to be helpful when it comes to laws and such things when it comes to blogging. It deserves at least one read at least!

37. Erin Bowman wrote this lovely post the day prior to the release of Taken (which came out on April 16!), and there's a particular paragraph that I thought was lovely. Congratulations on your book release Erin!

38. I was chatting with Jen (of Almost Grown-Up) about writing, and she shared this post from Kiersten White with me. Even though it was published quite some time ago, I still thought it was relevant. Thanks Jen!

39. Marie Lu (author of Legend) tells us why it's important to know your characters on Pub(lishing) Crawl. I really like getting to know my characters well, because it certainly helps to make the story more cohesive and easier to write (since you can kind of tell what actions/choices would suit them). Aspiring writers, this post is super helpful!

40. Tara (of Fiction Folio) shares some helpful, practical tips for BEA. As a second timer, I think Tara's tips are spot on! If you're curious about BEA things, you can definitely benefit from this post. (Also, if you have any questions - you can leave them in the comments or shoot me an email!) [This was part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.]

41. Do you like to drink coffee? Or alcohol, for that matter? Well, Estelle has some wonderful suggestions for places to visit if you come to NY. [This was part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.]

I wanted to add a new aspect to The Monday Mix. Since I'm an avid Twitter user, I thought sharing my top tweets of the week would be fun. Every week, I'm going to pick one author/publisher/bookstore tweet and one blogger tweet that I personally really liked. Since I wasn't able to post last week, there are going to be two picks for each (author/publisher/bookstore and blogger) this week. Without further ado, here are this week's favorites:


And in case you missed it, here are my posts from the last two weeks:

I'm a bookstore junkie, and here are 5 favorites, as part of the BEA Part of It/New York, NY series.
And Then I Found You (Patti Callahan Henry) was my first official read for She Reads.
Using verse for Odette's Secrets (Maryann Macdonald) was really very creative and effective.
This is probably one of my favorite posts I've ever written, and it's all about fantasy.
I haven't read many novels in verse, but Out of this Place (Emma Cameron) was pretty good.
I shared some of my favorite NY tourist spots in this post for BEA Part of It/New York, NY.
Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly) incorporated history and music into the story, and I loved it!
I loved the bits about surfing, but was overall let down by Riptide (Lindsey Scheibe).
Strands of Bronze and Gold (Jane Nickerson) was surprisingly fascinating and really creepy.
Currently, I Have a Series-ous Problem tells you guys about my series binging habit.

I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I did! Now it's YOUR turn - are there any posts (on your blog or other blogs) from last week that I missed out on? Please feel free to share links in the comments and I'll try to check them out.


  1. Awesome links this week! I think I clicked through on almost every one because they all sounded so good.

    1. Aww, thanks! I make it a point to try to get a good variety of posts in there to appeal to different people. Glad you found something you liked!

  2. Thanks for including my link, Alexa!! I had so much fun making that little guide and I can't wait to start working on more for different genres :) :)

    1. I think you should do a fantasy guide next. That would be AMAZING. OR another great possibility is a new adult guide! I think you did a stellar job with the graphic.

  3. Replies
    1. You're very welcome! I can't believe I wasn't following you before. You write such amazing posts!

  4. So glad that you are all better now! Sorry you were so sick. I love your Monday Mix and my favorite part this week was the introduction to Renae's blog. She is amazing!

    1. Hi Dana! Thank you so much - I'm happy to be better too. And I'm glad that you enjoy The Monday Mix! I think it's awesome that you've met Renae - she's wonderful!

  5. This may be my favorite post of the week and it's Monday. SO many good links.

    1. Aww, thank you! I do think it's fun to share the link round-up on Mondays. That way everyone can have some great posts to peruse at the start of the week!

  6. I absolutely love that you do this! I LOVE Veronica Roth's posts on writing and this one is really awesome. Thanks so much for including my NA post in here. And I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better!

    1. Thanks Hannah! And I was happy to include your post, as I thought it was very interesting and insightful. I love Roth's posts (on just about anything) so I perked up immediately when I realized that this one was DEFINITELY worth sharing!

  7. I'm so excited to see you again at BEA! Thanks for including my link in your post :)

    1. You're very welcome! And I cannot wait to see YOU again at BEA. This time, we need another picture and to hang out a little more ;)


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