The 2017 Blogoversary, Part 1: Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend + Giveaway

This Sunday, July 9th marks my eighth blogoversary! And based on the results of this recent poll, this year’s celebration is going to be… giveaways! (Many thanks to everyone who voted, btw!) This is perfect, because blogoversaries aren’t just a time of virtual cake, confetti, and fireworks. They’re also a great opportunity to thank readers for their friendship and support, no matter how long they’ve been following you. So, consider this week’s and next week’s posts my gift to you guys. (*bows in gratitude*)

For this first giveaway, I wanted to do something bookish, but something different from the usual “favorite reads or authors of all time” theme. Then I read these recent Top 10 Tuesday posts by Sarah J. Higbee and The Bibliosanctum, and a lightbulb turned on. So, here are Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend, along with links to my reviews¬†at Goodreads. At the end you’ll find a Rafflecopter link and instructions for how the giveaway will work. Sounds like a plan, yes? ūüėÄ
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Sara’s Favorite Reads of 2016, Plus Two Times the Giveaway Fun!

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Since¬†it’s still the first week of 2017, it’s¬†still a good time to look back on the year that was, right? ūüėČ On Tuesday I shared my annual reflection on writing, personal life, the blog, and goals for the new year. Today, it’s time to share my list of favorite reads of 2016!

Last year I split my year-end list into two posts: brand new books, and previously published books. But this year, I decided to “condense” and put it all in a single post.¬†So, which books ended up as¬†my favorite reads of 2016? You’ll find a few hints if you look closely at the banner¬†image. Otherwise, let’s head on in and see the full list – and maybe a chance for you to win one of the honored books!

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My 10 Favorite Reads of Fall 2016 (+ Win Your Choice in a Giveaway!)

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When I announced in September that I was reducing my blogging schedule, I knew that change would mean ending the monthly Recent Reads series. But I didn’t want to walk away from the idea of discussing books we’ve recently read. Then I read Leanne Sowul’s summer reading round-up here, and inspiration sparked. Why not do a seasonal reading recap – and also make it fun for my readers?

So, today I’ll share my 10 favorite reads from Fall 2016 (September through November). What you’ll find after the jump¬†aren’t reviews, but rather blurbs that mention why I enjoyed each book with¬†links to my full¬†reviews at Goodreads and Amazon. As for the fun part: The title says it all, so¬†stay tuned for the Rafflecopter link and instructions at the end of this post! ūüėČ
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Recent Reads: August 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of the books I read. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Feel free to share your bookish happenings in the Comments section!

With this month’s Recent Reads, I’m making a slight organizational¬†change in the “Other Books I Read In…” section. Instead of listing books in the order I read them, I’ll show them in order of¬†rating, starting with the second-highest after the Read of the Month.¬†No one has commented on this before, but I thought it might make it easier to determine which books I liked more than others.

As for the books themselves, I managed to finish 5 more¬†(all of which are reviewed below) and am now reading¬†my 41st book of the year.¬†How in the world have I managed this?! The only thing I can think of is that I’ve really grown to appreciate my reading time, and a day doesn’t feel complete without it. I might not be a fast reader, but gosh do I love it. ūüôā

Anyways, onto August’s Read of the Month! And it is…
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Five Reasons Why The DIY MFA Book Is a Must-Read for Writers

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While I love a good book on the craft of writing, I wouldn’t normally say that such a book would be one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Gabriela Pereira’s¬†DIY MFA, however, is a exception – and perhaps biasedly so. I’ve been a staff writer at DIY MFA’s website since November 2014. So, not only have I been eagerly awaiting the book’s release ever since Gabriela broke the news to us,¬†but I also agree with her philosophy and the concepts she presents.

Last month, the¬†DIY MFA¬†Book was published last month by Writer’s Digest. I’ve had a chance to read it, and I’m thrilled to say it surpassed my expectations. Writing a review for a writing reference book, however, is different than writing one for fiction. I don’t want to spoil too many of the¬†insights that¬†Gabriela shares. Instead, I’ll give Five Reasons Why The¬†DIY MFA¬†Book Is a Must-Read for Writers. Then, if you like the sounds of it, you can fully immerse yourself in the DIY MFA learning experience. Ready?

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Recent Reads: July 2016 (+ How I’m Doing With My 2016 Reading Plan)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of the books I read. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Feel free¬†to share your¬†bookish happenings in the Comments section!

Last month¬†I took a good look at my reading plan for 2016, which I shared back in January. While I’m doing well in some categories, others might have to roll over into 2017. But that’s OK. I’m just pleased with how many books¬†I’ve read so¬†far this year (36 in total). In fact, I’m on pace to read more books in 2016 than I did in 2015!

So, for this month’s Recent Reads, I’ll share my progress with this year’s reading plan. And of course, I’ve got book reviews! Let’s start with my pick for Read of the Month, which is…
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Recent Reads: June 2016 (+ My Favorite Reads So Far In 2016)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your¬†bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Huh? How did it become July so fast?! This year is flying by, and I’m sure I’m not the only one in denial about it. But time won’t¬†slow down if I ask it to, right?

This month’s Recent Reads post has a little something extra. In addition to June’s¬†book reviews and a preview of what I’m reading in July, I’ll also share some of my¬†favorite reads so far in 2016.¬†We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get right to my choice for Read of the Month!
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Recent Reads: May 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your¬†bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

You know what I realized while finishing¬†this post? Next month is July, when writers and bloggers celebrate the year’s halfway point by looking past on their 2016 reads and achievements so far. I’m not¬†ready for that yet!¬†:S

Mind-boggles aside, I managed to read five¬†books during May. Out of those five, I’m reviewing four, including two brand-new¬†YA fantasies, an eerie children’s classic about the Fey / Fair Folk, and a novella collection set in one of the most¬†popular fantasy worlds at the moment. Which one was my Read of the Month? Let’s find out!

By the way, I’m¬†still taking votes and suggestions for next month’s blogoversary! Click here to¬†check out the poll and share your feedback before Thursday, June 16th.
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Recent Reads: April 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your¬†bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

I’d never describe myself as a fast reader, since I know plenty of people who read more books per year than I do. But as of the end of April, I’ve already read 18 books so far in 2016. That means I’m on track to read at least 50¬†books this year, topping last year’s total of 43. Nice!

As for April itself, it was a pretty good month for reading. I wrote reviews for four of the five books I read – and I may have found a strong contender for Favorite New Book of 2016. ūüėČ Let’s jump to that one first!
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Recent Reads: March 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your¬†bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

At first glance, March¬†might not¬†look like it was a productive reading month. (That’s what happens when you read a 1,000-page book!) However, all three books I finished were nothing short of AMAZING, so I can’t wait to tell you about them. ūüôā

That, of course, made picking my Read of the Month a real challenge.¬†All three are deserving of the title for different reasons. But in the end, I chose…
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