Tag Archives: reading


SecretSanta55This year I participated in The Broke & The Bookish Secret Santa. This was a first for me and I was really excited to try something new and to hopefully make some new friends in the book blogging world.

My Santa was Heidi from YA Bibliophile and OMFG SHE WAS THE BEST SANTA EVER!!!!!!!! Look at the amazing that she sent me!

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5Sorry (not sorry!) to brag but omggggggggg she hit it all on the nose! I got swag from some of my fav authors and some of my fav books and then she COMPLETED MY MAGGIE COLLECTION!!! (With SIGNED books!)

Major thank you to Heidi for being so awesome and Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish for pairing us up!!!

Also, Sammy McSamSam the BEST COBLOGGER IN THE UNIVERSE made this happen when she met Maggie last month.


Best. Present. In. History.

Anyways, just wanted to blog about SOMETHING because I’ve been awful about updating over here and I’m going to make a real effort starting in the new year to update and blog more. I really want to get more serious about reviewing and just making this blog more interesting. I want to get more into the book blogging world now that I’m back in the USA and can attend events and just do MORE. So stay tuned for MORE, I guess!

River’s Reading Habits

I feel like I used to read A LOT more when I was in Japan. Now that I have some free time I’m reading about the same amount, but I think that my reading habits have changed a lot and this is leading to the feeling of ‘omggggggggggg I never get to read anymore!’

So I thought it would be fun to share my reading habits! in Japan I used to work 2pm-9:30pm. I had a 15 minute train ride, and a half hour wait FOR the train after work. So I used to read in the morning (usually from 8:30am – noon while doing housework and eating lunch) and then I’d read on the train, on my hour lunch break at work, and then while waiting for the train. I 100% read on my kindle on my commute and at work. At home I would sometimes read physical books, but it wasn’t very common since I didn’t have a lot with me (due to space and access to a bookstore with a decent English section). I also read a lot when I got home because my husband was either not home or busy doing stuff for work/ prepping for grad school. I also had zero friends during the last two years of Japan (where I lived, all of my friends were in Tokyo, which was two hours away from where were living).

NOW… I work from either 9-5 or 11-7. I don’t have time to read in the morning. I ride my bike to work so I don’t get to read during my commute. At work I have two 15 minutes breaks and a 30 minute lunch, which I do use to read, but it’s not like I can really get into anything. When I get home I cook dinner (husband and I used to eat separate due to our schedules), make our lunches for the next day, do the dishes (I feel like I do this 90% more than I did in Japan), take a shower and get ready for bed. This usually leaves me with 1-2 hours of reading time depending on if husband wants to hang out or play pool/ ping pong. He’s also home A LOT more which leads to us talking and generally hanging out more than we used to at home.  On weekends I’m usually at home but I have to do things like laundry and shopping (in Japan I would do that on my days off and spread it out over two days, now I do it all in one day), and husband and I try to get out and do stuff sometimes. I still have zero friends buuuuut I just moved here, so I’m giving myself a break.

So mainly my daily schedules and routines have changed A LOT which means that my old ‘reading time’ has shifted and become super broken up. The only time I can really get into a book and read for hours now is if husband is super into his work at night and stays up really late (I stay up with him) or on the weekend.

Also I’ve noticed HOW I read has changed a lot too. As I said, in Japan I read on my kindle almost exclusively. The only time I ever had physical books was when I either: won something and had my mom send it to me, made a trip to Tokyo and picked up a couple of things at Kinokuniya, or a friend sent me something. I LOVE my kindle and I’m pretty addicted to eARCs and kindle edeals, so there’s a lot of selection on my kindle. But now that I’m in the states, WORK AT A FREAKING BOOKSTORE (hellooooo discount!), and have space for books I’m reading A LOT more physical books.

Physical books:

photo 1I am giddy beyond belief that I can do this. I am not a book snob and I am not going to disown you for having an ereader. I’m not going to preach about the feel/smell/texture/whathaveyou merits about physical books. But I do love books, I love to collect my favorites, and it makes me so happy that I can basically get whatever I want now (and not break my wallet).

So far I’ve been reading physical books at home. I don’t really want to haul them around with me because I have limited space in my bag (which is a small backpack now because it’s too much hassle to deal with a purse in a bike basket). I usually rotate between reading a physical book and then something on my kindle.

photo 2Oh my old keyboard kindle. You have served me well. I love this thing and will cry when it finally dies on me and I have to switch to a touch screen. I love the side buttons! I used to read both ARCS and finished books on here, but now I mainly read eARCs. I do have a pile of finished books that I got through amazon eDeals on here, so I really should work on those someday too… hahaha. I used to keep this in my purse, but there’s no good way to keep this in my current bag without putting the screen in danger, so I’ve stopped carrying it around with me. I tried to read it at work, but it was too much hassle to go down to my locker, get it out, take it to the break room, read, and then return it all in my 15 minute break. So I leave it at home and read on it when I’m not reading a physical copy.

photo (2)This is the biggest change to the way I read. Yes, I read on my iPhone. I didn’t want to, but as I said, getting my kindle out at work was just too much trouble and wasted my break (and lead to no reading time) so I decided to start reading on this (I keep it with me while I’m working, so I don’t have to waste time going and getting it/ putting it away). I 99% read eARCs on this (and 1% novellas). I generally try to read short things on here because I hate how it feels like it takes me FOREVER to get through something. I also read on it in short doses, so it doesn’t bother my eyes too much. (It’s also nice to grab and read on for a bit when I’m laying in bed waiting for husband and don’t want to get up and get my kindle). I know a lot of people could never imagine reading on their phone (and I’ve had a few coworkers ask me about it) but for me I’d rather READ than anything, and using this allows me to do just that.

So what do you think? Are my reading habits super weird? Are yours similar? I’d love to hear how YOU read (and I hope that Sam will post her own reading habits on here soon!)


General Status Update

I feel like I should post something! Ugh, Sammy, you are the best for keeping this blog going. But maybe I am finally starting to get some free time. So here are 10 random things that have been going on lately.

1. I am ALMOST caught up with my goodreads challenge! I keep getting ‘on track’ only to fall 1-2 books behind. But that’s better than the 4-5 behind I was after moving. Remember when I was EIGHT books ahead??? (yeah probably not)

2. This: cambridge

3. I love my job! Like I really honestly truly ENJOY my job. I don’t dread waking up in the morning. I don’t spend the entire day wishing it was time to go home. I don’t feel my soul dying.

4. I’m trying to contact publishers about receiving physical ARCS! A few book bloggers on twitter have been helping me out and hopefully soon-ish I’ll be posting reviews for books that publishers have so kindly granted me permission to review (aside from my eARCS, I mean I love those, but I’d love some physical ARCs oh man would I love them). Wish me luck.

5. I might do NaNoWriMo next month. Might. I uh, have characters, and an idea. So that’s a thing.

6. This: halloween

7. Came up with a new life goal: swear like Ronan Lynch. (Jesus. beep. Mary. beep.)

8. I saw robots tonight. Legit robots. Like, robots that are probably some of the first robots that will even be close to achieving consciousness. Jesus. There was a red one and it’s face was like, an iPad or something and it was freaky.

9. I’ve been learning to cook all the Mexican food because for some reason that’s the food that my husband loves the most in the USA.

10. I READ BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE AND MY LIFE WHAT IS LIFE WHAT IS THIS BOOK WHAT IS MAGGIE. Oh Jesus. That book. I ordered a copy at work and had to short list it because we didn’t get any on pub day and then when it came on Wednesday my co-worker handed it to me AND I HUGGED IT. It’s a physical struggle to keep my hands from reaching for it because I want to re-read it so badly. GANSEY HAS A FANCY FACE AND I LOVE IT OKAY.




I met Rainbow Rowell. Just it almost killed me. AHHHHHHHH

First I must thank Sammy oh Sammy Sammy McSammy, my lovely coblogger, for keeping this place running while I’ve been MOVING ACROSS THE FREAKING WORLD. Last time I posted I was driving a huge truck around Michigan and playing with my niece all day everyday. Wellllll since then I’ve moved to Boston, bought a bike, had a bike accident, gotten a job, gotten a bed, furniture, and my shipment from Japan arrived! Woohoo.

Things have just been moving SO FAST and I need a moment to catch my breath. I started working way sooner than I thought (which is fine, because I REALLY wanted the job) but that meant I was working while trying to set up my house (so far we have bookshelves! Oh I can post a photo of those…)

bookshelfThough it looks different now that I have even MORE books on it but yes. There are two of these bookshelves (one is my husbands and it’s covered with all his text books and whatever), husband has a super fancy desk (it’s a glass top! And I assembled it!), roller chair, and then we have a dining table (hmmm, can’t find a photo on facebook so just imagine a cute table the color of ~cappuccino~ yeah idek either), a fancy lamp


annnnnd I think that’s it. I’m going to get a reading chair eventually (since it doesn’t look like a sofa will sit too well in our studio apartment)

Oh and here’s the view.


Sadly I cannot save all my photos from twitter on my computer so we’re just dealing with the ones that were also posted on facebook. ENJOY!

Anyway, so yes. I met Rainbow Rowell last night! One of the things that I was looking forward to THE MOST about coming back to the USA was BOOK EVENTS. I actually went to Fierce Reads on Thursday and met Ann Aguire, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski and got copies of all their books and had them signed! It was my first book even (I don’t know if I should count the one time I met an author back in college or not) and I babbled like an idiot. I think I was MUCH smoother when talking to Rainbow (I told her about how Landline paralleled my life at the end of July –separated for husband for the longest time in our relationship, only way to communicate was through my parent’s landline and his ~magic~ skype connection, etc)– and she signed all of my books (and a copy of Fangirl for my sister) and we even took a photo (her idea! posted above).

Next weekend is the Boston Teen Author Festival and I managed to get half the day off from work so I’m going to go from the morning (9:00am!) and attend a writing workshop and the two morning events and then at lunch break I have to go to work. SADFACE. But I’m glad that I can go at all. And then after that I don’t think anything is happening until the Boston Book Festival, which I’m going to try to get the day off to go to the Teen day at least.

Now with all of this moving and settling and assembling furniture (I should have an honorary degree in engineering from MIT for all of this furniture that I’ve built!) and working full time my reading has SUFFERED. Also husband challenged me to read THREE non-YA books (I’m half way thru my last one!) so my TBR list and ARC list are crying and I am crying and I just can’t wait until like… it snows so that I can curl up inside and just read all the books or something (idk why I have to wait until it snows, I just feel like snow = curling up and reading).

Also for those of you who are curious, husband is LOVING MIT. He’s taking a class (grad students only have to take 4 classes in two years), working in his lab, and just spending all of his time researching and studying and he’s super happy about it.

And our new favorite thing is to order chinese delivery. HA.


Three – BEFORE & after

In case you missed what this feature is about… check out my post here: BEFORE & AFTER

So here’s my list of ARCs to read in May. I was able to read all but one ARC in April, so I’m pretty confident that I can kick this month’s butt. I’ve already knocked a few off the list, some that I was DYING for, so it was a little difficult to choose this months…

saywhatyouwillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern is one that I’m DYING to read. I’ve been wanting to read this so bad since I got it and I’ve been good, making myself wait until May and now that I can read it I’m so excited! The reviews coming in are super positive, and this just sounds so sweet. I love misfit love stories, and I can’t wait to dive into this and have all the feels.

wickedgamesWicked Games by Sean Olin. I’m SCARED to read this one. It seems right up my alley, ugly-pretty-people doing awful, scandalous things. LOVE these kinds of stories. But the reviews aren’t so good and while I try not to put too much faith in a lot of the goodreads reviews, some of what I’ve read (very briefly) makes this sound like a train wreck. I do want to read it though, so I’ll give it a shot and let you guys know how it goes!

What are you dying to read this month? Anything you’re scared to read? Let me know in the comments! And check back at the end of the month to see how my predictions hold up!

River’s April Wrap-up

jtmayHow, HOW is it May???? Time is going by so fast, I can’t even. Sooooooo anyway, in April a lot of things happened! What you ask??? Well…



I read fifteen books. Eleven ARCs and four of my own books. YES! I didn’t read ONLY ARCs for once! Also my lovely friend Melissa Giorgio’s book The Soul Healer came out and that was really exciting! Best book of April was a tie between After the End by Amy Plum and Audrey, WAIT! by Robin Benway.



Reading Audrey, WAIT! brought back ALLLLLLL the music feels from my youth (along with maybe my birthday, sobs) and I started to listen to a lot of the music that I listened to when I was in college. So this past month I’ve been rocking out to bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, and all that indie-emo-rock that was ‘so underground it’s cool’ back in the early 2000’s. MAN, I miss being in my early twenties, going to shows, moshing, all that fun stuff.



I’m SUPER behind on my TV watching thanks to all of the reading I’ve been doing (and running around being busy with other things) but husband and I have been SUPER into S.H.I.E.L.D since it suddenly got REALLY FREAKING GOOD. I’ve also been watching Game of Thrones but I tend not talk about that because I can’t keep up with the freaking book fans who want to crucify me for not reading the books. Other than that I haven’t started anything new and wont until I catch up with Arrow, The Originals and The Vampire Diaries.

General life stuff

tokyoI went to Tokyo three times last week and I’m going back next week. So crazy… but it will probably be my last time to do anything in Tokyo. I know I haven’t said much on here, but husband and I are moving to the USA in a few months (I will make a big post about that soon-ish, we’re still working on the details and I feel crazy saying anything until I know more spesifics)

Anyways, I took this photo from the fourteenth floor of the Shibuya West Mark City tower. Husband and I were stopping by the bank before heading to his alma mater to visit his college professors. It was really fun, but A LOT of train riding (about 6 hours total for the day!!!). It was really fun to see his school again and to speak with his professors. We also went out for THE MOST delicious sushi I’ve ever had.

A few days before that I’d also spent a couple of days in Tokyo with husband’s family, and I went to the eye doctor. My eyes are super stable right now and I said goodbye to my eye doctor (it was actually kinda bittersweet! She’s been taking care of me for the past SEVEN YEARS) and got some documents to give to my new eye doctor in the USA. I just… have to hold out until I get there (and get health insurance… come on eyes, you can do it!) and hope that my eyes remain stable.

And next week is Golden Week (which is just a series of national holidays that a lot of people get off from work) so husband and I are going to spend some MORE time in Tokyo to say goodbye to friends, visit his family and… say goodbye to Tokyo itself.



Two – BEFORE & after

I am DYING to read this one! Why? I want to find out why WWIII was a lie, why Juneau and her people were led to believe such a lie and where they went and how she’s going to deal with going back to modern society and just WHY WHY WHY I have so many whys. I love things like this, where nothing is as it seems and there’s some crazy conspiracy. Also, I’ve never read anything by Amy Plum, so I’m excited to see what her writing is like. So yes, SO excited for this!

I am SCARED to read this one! Why? Because I love Strohmeyer’s other books, but they were all fluffy contemporary so I’m not sure how this darker mystery is going to work. I HAVE FAITH. But I am so scared of being disappointed by something that I really want to love.

What books are you most looking forward to this month? What books are you terrified to read because you’re afraid of disappointment? Let me know in the comments!

And check back at the end of the month to find out how these two fared!