2015 Reading Challenges|Everyone is Going Self-Hosted!

Hello, lovelies.

2015 has begun. And I have decided that this year will be bookishly fantabulous! To be sure of this, I am going to be taking part in three reading challenges that I’d like to share with you. And I invite you to participate, too! The images of each challenge will link to the original website for more info, so click away!

<div id=”gr_challenge_3082″ style=”border: 2px solid #EBE8D5; border-radius:10px; padding: 0px 7px 0px 7px; max-width:230px; min-height: 100px”>
<div id=”gr_challenge_progress_body_3082″ style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: georgia,serif;line-height: 18px”>
<h3 style=”margin: 4px 0 10px; font-weight: normal; text-align: center”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge&#8221; style=”text-decoration: none; font-family:georgia,serif;font-style:italic; font-size: 1.1em”>2015 Reading Challenge</a>
</h3>
<div class=”challengePic”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge”><img alt=”2015 Reading Challenge” src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/challenges/1420220454p2/3082.jpg&#8221; style=”float:left; margin-right: 10px; border: 0 none” /></a>
</div>
<div>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33015478-spreading-my-wings”>spreading_my_wings</a&gt; has
read 3 books toward her goal of 60 books.
</div>
<div style=”width: 100px; margin: 4px 5px 5px 0; float: left; border: 1px solid #382110; height: 8px; overflow: hidden; background-color: #FFF”>
<div style=”width: 5%; background-color: #D7D2C4; float: left”><span style=”visibility:hidden”>hide</span></div>
</div>
<div style=”font-family: arial, verdana, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:90%”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/2061351″>3 of 60 (5%)</a>
</div>
<div style=”text-align: right;”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/2061351&#8243; style=”text-decoration: none; font-size: 10px;”>view books</a>
</div>
</div>
<script src=”https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/widget/33015478-spreading-my-wings?challenge_id=3082&v=2&#8243; type=”text/javascript”></script>
</div>

This is a widget, not an image, so hopefully it links to Goodreads…

One reading challenge I have accepted is the 2015 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. My goal is to read 60 books, and I am one book ahead of schedule! Yay! Last year I started the 2014 Challenge about halfway through the year, and I read 20-ish of 50. This widget will be on my sidebar, too, so you can keep tally with me.

The Goodreads challenge is a really good way to motivate yourself to read a lot, or more. If you haven’t started the challenge, I encourage you to. You can personalize the number of books, too, so you can choose which is best for you. If you don’t have Goodreads account, you should make one! It’s a great way to keep track of your TBR.

And you can brag about how many books you’ve read.

This next challenge I saw on Evi’s blog and thought it looked cool. The rules are on the page. This is my first time participating, but it’s a good way to read lots of different books.

Some ideas I have so far…

White cover: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Fairytale Retelling: Fairest or Winter by Marissa Meyer

Over 400 Pages: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Pink Cover: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Romance: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Blue Cover: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Just some ideas… Anyway, I think this will be totally fun! :D

Also from Evi. :) This is an addition to the Bingo.

On a completely unrelated note, although it’s in the title, have you noticed that bloggers have been going self-hosted lately? Emily, Cait, and Sam a while back. I am planning on going self-hosted soon myself. This will probably be around February, because you know what happens then?

3…2…1…MY BLOGOVERSARY! It’s on February 2, to be exact. And although I’ve only been blogging for a year, I’d reaaaaally like to have a dot-com blog. And I’m thinking of using Book Host, because they move stuff for you, which I definitely need. [If you have any others, tell me in the comments below. :)]

And the same woman who does Book Host has templates. One of them is called “Chloe” [:D] and I think I’ll use that.

Then there is the matter of my name. Free As a Girl With Wings isn’t as bookish as I’d like it to be. I have two ideas so far: The Book Hugger and Reveling in Words. I want something bookish, maybe punny, or just plain adorable.

Here is a poll/survey/thang that you could maybe pretty please [p.s. I love you] participate in…?

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8S22KJY

Untitled 7

Book Haul + Bookshelf Tour :)

If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you might have seen me get very excited about a package that arrived from Amazon yesterday.

You know what was inside?

Books!

Of course they’re books–why else would I be posting about it?

books.jpg

000012

Clockwise from left:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor–I’ve heard good things and I’ve heard bad, so we’ll see what I think.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson–Only good things. I’ve been waiting forever to finally read it!

Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins–OMG!!!!

I am super stoked and excited and everything, so I cannot wait to read them!

Also: I am postponing my read of The Scorch Trials and the rest of The Maze Runner series until a closer time to the next movie. I’m also getting very grossed out by them…

Recently, I got a new bookshelf and moved all my books and stuff, so I decided to do a tour of my bookshelves. Let’s get to it!

000011

This is my bookshelf. [Actually, bookshelves.] I have 131-ish bookies, I believe. AND I LOVE THEM; THEY ARE MY CHILDREN.

00001

Do you see that??? My TMI books, all together and pretty. :)

So, I’m not going to write down all the books, so I shall show you pictures and possibly little words.

00003

LOTS OF BOOKIES. <3

00002

My PERSONALLY SIGNED TO ME Lunar Chronicles books. *dies of happiness*

00004

Yes, that is the Dork Diaries series, my [not so] guilty pleasure reading…

00005

00006

Lots of hardbacks…

00007

00008

00009

My TBR…

 

000010

And my junk: notebooks, old magazines [Cricket or Stone Soup, anyone?], and papers and other junk. XD

 

I hope you enjoyed my book haul and bookshelf tour. How many books do you have? Tell me in the comments below.

Untitled 7

Goodbye, 2014!

This post will include stats from my blog this year, thank you’s to some special people in the blogosphere, and my ideas and resolutions for 2015. :)

2014 was a great year. I learned so much and met so many new people I can now call my friends. Having a blog has made me feel so happy and fulfilled. My TBR is now sky-high, I’m more committed to my writing, and I have a whole group of people to fanpeople with.

If you are reading this, thank you. If you have followed me, thanks even more! And if you comment regularly, you are an angel. You have helped me on a crazy, fun, and interesting adventure that has just begun.

reaction animated GIF

WordPress sent me some lovely stats that I’d like to share with you, so here we go!

f2

I have 5,100 views??? OMG. I never believed that that many people would visit my blog!

121 photos. That is a lot. BUT nothing compared to the 1,200-ish on my phone. XD

Bridgett’s interview was the most popular that day? Props to her for letting me interview her. She is such a wonderful woman. :)

f4

The number one post is About Me? XD I’m so popular.

f5

Cool…

I wonder how Facebook got there? I don’t have a Facebook.

Sadly, it seems that Twitter hasn’t done much. :( Oh, well, hopefully next year!

f6

61 COUNTRIES???

*dies*

f7

Thank you to the following people for commenting a lot:

  • the most lovely bloggy friend ever, Evi @ Where Books Never End, for being the top commenter on my blog! I love you to pieces. *throws chocolate at you*
  • my inspiration, role model, and most importantly, a great friend, Sam @ Bookish Serendipity, for snagging the number two spot of commenters. *throws cake at you*
  • my same-age bloggy friend, Isa @ A Doodler’s Freedom and Books and Stuff, for being the person with the third most comments on my blog. *throws candy at you*
  • the bestest IRL older-than-me but shorter-than-me friend, __You__, aka Tara, for the lovely 30 comments. *throws flowers at you*
  • my nana, who constantly supports me in everything I do, for fifth place in the comments. *throws love and hugs at you*

I’d also like to give shoutouts to these people, who were not mentioned in the comment thank you’s:

Don’t see your name here, but you’d like to? Talk to me! Comment! Follow me! Be my friend! Maybe you’ll be on the list next year. ;)

What if I told you that I’m hoping to go self-hosted next year? And that I might change my blog’s name?

That brings us to my 2015 goals and resolutions and all the changes I will make.

I’ve wanted to go self-hosted for a while, and I was planning to in October. I chickened out though, when I learned that you have to move everything–all your posts and comments and followers and pages–to the new site. And I don’t know how to do that. Fortunately, I found Book Host, which does it for you! Hopefully I will be moving soon…perhaps around my one-year blogoversary?

If I do go self-hosted, I want to change my name. I created this blog without much direction, so Free As a Girl With Wings was a good enough title. But now I have a direction: I am a book blog, and my name doesn’t reflect that very well. I have some ideas (The Book Hugger, Reveling in Words), but I’d like your opinions. Do you have any ideas for my blog? Leave them in the comments below. By the end of January I’ll hopefully be able to narrow them down to three to five, and have a poll to see what you think.

I do have some other goals and things I’d like to accomplish in 2015.

2015 Bookish/Bloggish Goals:

  • Receive my first ARC
  • Read and review the following books:
    • Anna and the French Kiss
    • Lola and the Boy Next Door
    • Isla and the Happily Ever After
    • The Wicked Will Rise
    • Since You’ve Been Gone
    • Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy
    • Fairest
    • Winter
    • The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard)
    • Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, Book 1)
  • Reach 200 followers
  • Have ten people participate in My Hero Monday
  • Read 100 books throughout the year
  • Go to an author event
  • And, of course, go self-hosted

So those are my goals for 2015.

A Girl’s Voice has been deleted. Any inquiries will be answered on the About Me page.

Goodbye, 2014!

Untitled 7

The Heroine Tag

I haven’t been tagged to do this, but it seems fun, so here we go!

Which heroine would you trade places with?

I would totally trade places with Cath from Fangirl. I mean, Levi? It’s a no-brainer!

Which heroine would you push off a cliff while hoping that there are some jagged rocks at the bottom?

Tally from Uglies. She is so utterly dull. I kinda-ish-ish-ish like her, but… :(

A heroine you couldn’t care less about? (They’re so bland that they don’t even trigger the hate in you.)

Adelice from Crewel. Really, that whole book is just meh.

A heroine you thought you wouldn’t like but ending up liking, and vice versa?

A heroine I thought I wouldn’t like: Cress from Cress. At first she seemed kind of odd and obsessed, but she’s grown on me. <3

A heroine I thought I’d like: Katniss from The Hunger Games. She is pessimistic, and never smiles! [And she totally should’ve chosen Gale. *cough*]

A side heroine who is much more interesting than the main heroine?

I guess I wouldn’t say a LOT more interesting, but I’d like to know more about Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments. She is so badass.

Which heroine would you want as your friend?

TOTALLY Hermione from Harry Potter. We would be besties. :)

Which heroine do you wish would just CHOOSE between the guys in her little love triangle?

Tessa from The Infernal Devices. And she kept switching!

A “bad girl” heroine?

Amy from Dorothy Must Die. Very kickass. And the pink hair. Me want!!!

A “good girl” heroine?

Mia from If I Stay. VERY good girl.

Your favorite heroine of them all? (If you can’t choose, pick your top three.)

My top three:

  1. Hermione
  2. Cath
  3. Cinder

That’s it, lovelies! I hope you are having a very merry Christmas Eve.

Untitled 7

TBR Tag: Let Me Show You a Mountain of Books

It’s time…for a tag…time…for a TAG!

disney animated GIF

The TBR Tag, to be more specific. The lovely Nirvana @ Nirvana’s Pocketful, a book blog that I do not comment nearly enough on, tagged me, so…yeah. Fun stuff! Let’s get to it.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Whenever I see a book I want/need, I usually enter it in Goodreads. But it is also permanently branded into my brain. So I have both! [I also usually forget to put into Goodreads, so… Yah.

Is your TBR mostly  print books or e-books?

I am print books ALL THE WAY. I cannot stand to read on an electronic device–it kills me.

How do you decide which book from your TBR to read next?

Like this:

  1. Library books [if I have any]
  2. Most current release
  3. If it’s part of a series I’ve been reading recently
  4. The one I’m most interested in.

2 and 3 probably flop around quite a bit.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Probably those three Stephanie Perkins books. I will hopefully order them from Amazon in January-ish.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

I actually went through a list of 2015 releases and added them to Goodreads. I judged by their titles and covers [I know, I’m horrible]. The most recent is Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen. I actually just read the synopsis [I added it because of the cover…] and it is HEAVY.

Skyscraping

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he’s kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family’s fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

Let’s go back to the 2015 list, shall we?

Things We Know by Heart

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

It actually sounds cool. But the cover is beautiful, no?

A book on your TBR you never plan on reading?

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

NEVER WILL I EVER. The first few lines of the synopsis make Bella seem like an airhead.

About three things I was absolutely positive:

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Like, lady: How are you in love with him???

Just no.

I mean, if they had come out more recently, I probably would’ve. But they didn’t. So I won’t.

An unpublished book on your TBR you’re excited to read?

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)

Two. Cuz I’m a rebel.

A book in your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Number of books in your TBR?

According to Goodreads, only 70. But there are more than that. I just am too lazy to add them. XD

I tag…

Evi @ Where Books Never End

Sam @ Bookish Serendipity

Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer

Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars

And you! If you’d like to participate and your name isn’t on the above [short] list, feel free to do the TBR Tag and leave your post’s link in the comments below. :)

I hope you enjoyed this tag! I sure did. Tags are always fun. Thank you, Nirvana, for tagging me. Look for a review of The Bane Chronicles coming soon!

Untitled 7

Book and Office Supplies Haul|How I [Do Not] Contain Myself in Certain Stores

I bought books, I bought books, I am HAPPY!

Be jealous.

books.jpg

So…I bought some books. And I got uber-excited. So I did a photo shoot. It was really fun. :)

yaghThis haul is dedicated to finishing up series. I got the last three books in The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, the last two books in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, and Four by Veronica Roth.

My dad was feeling really nice today for no reason, and he bought all of my books. :) Thank you, Daddy!

Yes, I call my father “Daddy.”

finding nemo animated GIF

I also bought office supplies!

I was going to buy a mechanical pencil because my other one broke, and then this happened:

yagh2I now have two more notebooks to add to my ever-growing collection, these sticky-note things I’ve wanted ever since I started marking pages in books, and, of course, a mechanical pencil.

See? I DID buy what I went into that store for. :)

swag animated GIF

Today I’d like to discuss shopping. And not just any old shopping. Book shopping.*

*And office supply shopping. But that’s much too long.

When I walk into a book store, sometimes I know what I’m going to buy. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to buy. But, regardless, I’ll probably end up finding a billion books I “need” yet am unable to buy because:

a) my dad won’t let me get that many

or

b) I don’t have enough money

Even though I am aware of this, why does my body still seem to pretend as if that information was never given to me? I don’t know. But I think lots of bibliophiles experience this, so I think it needs to be noted.

I know I already have 600 books. I know there is a library. I know that I should wait for the paperback copy.* BUT I DON’T WANT TO. I WANT MORE AND MORE AND MORE. >:)

*But hardbacks are so much prettier and shinier. <3

commercial animated GIF

This also happens to me with journals.

I have many many many many many notebooks/journals that are empty in my bedroom. Yet I buy more. It’s kind of an obsession…? I just cannot use a journal once part of it is filed. I either use it completely, or not at all.

Do you compulsively want books/notebooks? Tell me in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this GIF-tastic Book Haul and discussion! :)

signature2

Book Blog Reflections Linkup Hosted by Bookish Serendipity

I was originally going to do a rant-post but decided to do Sam @ Bookish Serendipity’s linkup instead. Who wants to hear a bunch of my school angst, anyway? This will be much more fun.

refle

How do you think your blog has developed over the year? (content, views, opinions, etc.)

Well, it hasn’t been a year since I started blogging! But I definitely have improved since the beginning. I didn’t even classify myself as a book blog. [I didn’t choose the book blogger life; it chose me. :P] I didn’t start writing real reviews until June 2014 [I began blogging in the beginning of February]. I recently gained a lot of followers [Thank you, everyone!]; I am now VERY close to 100. O.O I went through a few designs, too, and finally found one I like a lot. I’m hoping to learn coding in the future and design my blog so it’s perfect, though.

In your opinion, what is the best part of blogging?

I think my favorite part of blogging, especially in this bookish community, is meeting other readers and writers. I don’t have any IRL friends who write seriously. And I’ve gotten so much advice from them to improve on my writing. And I can fangirl on my blog with all of these fantabulous people!

How did you start blogging?

I discovered Sam’s previous blog, Young Writers Café, through the internet, and was immediately entranced. I decided to do something like that, and now, here I am!

Do you have any role models? Favorite blogs?

Sam, the creator of this tag, is probably my main role model. She was my first. <3

Here are a few others:

Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer

Cait @ Paper Fury

John @ Teens Can Write, Too!

Matt @ The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel

Honorable mention to Evi @ Where Books Never End for being my best bloggy friend and possible twin. ;)

Name a few of your favorite 2014 releases?

What’s your advice to new bloggers?

  1. Comment on other blogs that are similar to yours. This way you can join a whole community of bloggers whose interest are similar to yours.
  2. Post meaningful content. If you’re bored and don’t know what to blog about, don’t blog. It will probably be boring [no offense] and not be very interesting to read. You can, however, create a list or something of things to blog about so you always have interesting and new content.
  3. Be yourself. If you are part of a blogging community, you probably know people like you. It is important to be yourself instead of trying to fit in. It’s different than school.

Name a few of your all-time favorite reads?

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?

New Years Resolutions About Blogging:

  • Have more thoughtful posts
  • Interview authors
  • Possibly upgrade my blog more

And that’s it! If you want to participate in the linkup, click here. It’s really fun. :)

signature2