Heavy — Grace and Lavender Blog

One of my old friends has just started an inspirational/Christian blog, you should check her out! This post really spoke to me.

By: Abigail Summers There is a weight on my chest. It’s the kind of heavy that makes your stomach hurt, causes your shoulders to ache, and your knees to buckle. There’s a liar in my ear, telling me that I don’t deserve anything less than what is already more than I can handle It is […]

via Heavy — Grace and Lavender Blog

Reflections on 2018 + 2019 Goals & Happy Blogiversary!

Exactly two years ago today, I started this blog. It was originally named Bri’s Blog 2017, but then I realized that having a specific year in my blog’s name isn’t the best idea, and changed it to Bri’s Book Nook. My blog has grown so much over the past year, in ways that I never thought possible. I also got a beautiful art overhaul, so I don’t have to worry about creating my own headers for posts anymore! I finally feel as if I have my own site identity, and I love that.

First, let’s talk about my goals for 2018 and see which ones I achieved, and which ones I didn’t.

Read 200 books!

I read 303 books this year, so I definitely surpassed this goal by a long shot!

Get up to 1000 comments!

I’ve received exactly 606 comments this year, so I didn’t meet this goal, but I’m also not upset about that. I’ve met quite a few awesome people on this site, and that’s what really matters to me. Quality over quantity 🙂

Either start streaming games on twitch, start a booktube channel, or create an Etsy account for knitting and crocheting. Either way, make money online doing something I like.

I didn’t do this because I never moved out of my parent’s house and commute to college instead of dorming. If I dormed, I might have tried to stream or make videos, but here I decided not to. Maybe in a few years, I will return to this!

Have at least one physical copy of an ARC sent to me by an author.

I had many, many physical ARCs sent to me this year, and it’s hard to remember a time where I was hoping so much to receive one! Now, I just have to figure out how to read all of them quickly so I can start to properly organize my shelf.

Start college off well!

Even though I’m not attending the colleges that I dreamed of, I am attending a good college, and I love my classmates. I am going to be having a lot of fun these next 4 years, in between classes of course, and I definitely started off strong.

Now, onto the 2018 Stats!

Total Visitors for 2018: 8,361 (Definitely wasn’t expecting this much growth from last year, 4 times more unique visitors!)

Total Views for 2018: 18,453 views (That means that each visitor looked at at least 2 pieces of my content, if not more. Again, so happy about that.)

Total Likes for 2018: 8,208 (Thank you all, this is what really makes me want to continue making content, seeing how you guys enjoy it so much!)

Total Followers: 634 followers (Grew so much this year, hi everyone!)

Total All-Time Posts: 950 posts (526 are book reviews and 10 are webcomic reviews, the rest are anything from book blasts to Top Ten Tuesday posts)

Best Performing Post: True Beauty Webtoon Review! Since this post was one of the top results on Google if you searched for the webtoon, I got a lot of views for that. 1,426 to be exact!

Now, onto my goals for next year. I have been in a bit of a slump for these past few months, and I definitely haven’t been interested in reading as much as I wanted to be. I had many tours that I had to read for, but even then, I sometimes didn’t even have the time to finish everything in time. This lead to a lot of stress, as I felt as if I was spending every waking minute reading, and then I still forgot stuff or got things done very late. This is going to change for next year.

This leads to my first goal.

No more than 3 blog tours in a single month

Blog tours were honestly the bane of my existence this past year. I sign up for way too much during an impulsive burst, and then I am stuck trying to read multiple books in a single night to write reviews at midnight. I only want to do 3 blog tours a month, maybe even less, so that I can get back to truly enjoying the novels rather than rushing to get to the end.

No more than 2 book blasts per week

I feel as if book blasts are bloating my post numbers, even though I don’t really do much for them except repost the content I’m given. I want my blog to be full of content that I actually create so I will cut down on those specific posts.

Accept no more than 30 ARCs all year

Unless the book is coming from an author that I already know and love, I am going to be extremely selective. Again, this year was very stressful trying to review books before the release date, and I am still reading books that I forgot about throughout the year and getting those reviews done as soon as I can. I want to be able to catch up on my other favorite series in 2019 so I will be cutting down.

Finish the Outlander Series

This is something that I always wanted to do, and I really think that I could finish it next year. They are huge, but I might have the time to do so.

Spend more time writing reviews

I feel like the quality of my reviews and posts vary all the time. I want to be able to spend more time on each review to make it the best that I can possibly be. I feel bad when rushing reviews, or when I feel that I have writer’s block and can’t write as well as I want. As I am reading fewer books and truly delving into the ones that I read instead of rushing through them, I feel as if the quality of the reviews will improve.

Merry Christmas + My Top 15 Books of 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful day with plenty of food with friends and family. I am personally enjoying my day with my family, and watching a few Christmas movies.

I have officially read 300 books (so far) in 2018, and I might add a few to that list once I make sure that I have reviewed all the books that I read on my Kindle. Here is my list of favorite books that I have read in 2018!

15: The Forest Beyond The Earth

The Forest Beyond the EarthThis book made it to my list because it had such a unique ending. The worldbuilding was great, and Wisp was a charming protagonist, but the ending really made the whole book come together for me.

14: Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale

Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale book 1 (Reverse Fairytales)I really do love reverse fairytales, and this trilogy was my favorite reverse fairytale one all year! I loved reading about Charm and Cynder, a princess expected to marry, and a servant with a secret. To anyone looking for a reverse fairy tale trilogy to read that has fairly cheap novels, this is the one.

13: Spellbinding His Ranger

Spellbinding His Ranger (Looking for Group #1)I enjoy LitRPG novels, but this novel took things to another level. Not only did it have the LitRPG elements I love, but it also included a real-life romance between characters in a guild. This is also a series, so I am excited to see who falls in love in the third installment of this series.

12: Trouble In Glamour Town

Trouble In Glamour TownI had heard some stories about how dangerous/difficult it was to work in Hollywood in the 1920s, but this book truly took inspiration from those stories and turned it into its own world. I love all of Mallery’s historical fiction novels, but this one definitely taught me some things that I would have never guessed about old Hollywood.

11: The Mermaid’s Escape

The Mermaid's Escape (The Siren, #1)This book was what truly got me into the Reverse Harem genre, and I loved reading the series. Unfortunately, it finished this year, but I am totally into McAllen’s new series. I will never forget this mermaid reverse harem tale.

10: Tales From Piney Grove

Tales from Piney GroveNot many people know what it was like to grow up on a farm as a sharecropper, and it is a piece of American history that is being purposely forgotten. Morrison tells you everything in this novel, their joys and sadnesses, their wins and their losses. Then, he tells you about how it is now in Piney Grove, and it truly opened my eyes. Definitely a worthwhile read.

9: The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining WomenI was truly saddened after reading this book, and partially scared. I was sad for the teenage girls who were tricked and lost their lives because of radium. I was scared because many of the stories took place in a city truly close to mine, and I know my city also had some really bad factories in it at one point. I know that these poisons don’t go away, so I wonder what/who is truly hiding in the cities graveyards and parks. Truly frightening thoughts!

8: Don’t Look At Me

Don't Look at MeThis Beauty and the Beast retelling really stuck with me, and I fell in love with how the story was told. I will definitely be rereading this novel in 2019!

7: Enlightened

EnlightenedI never really got into reincarnation fantasy novels, but this YA one sold it for me. It had parts that were historical fiction, other parts that were romance, and other parts still that were fantasy. I even loved the sequel to this one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

6: This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)I have read a lot of fantasy YA novels, but I hadn’t read a great science fiction YA novel in a while before this one. This book, wow. It completely blew me away, and restored my faith in YA science fiction novels!

5: Nevermoore: The Trials of Morrigan Crowe

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)This book has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve seen in a middle-grade fiction book in a while. I loved the sequel as well, even though I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. Stay tuned, I will definitely post my review soon!

4: Off And Away

Off & Away

I definitely wasn’t expecting a picture book to be on my list of favorite books of 2018, but here we are. The art in this book was absolutely stunning, and I was completely drawn in by the story. I am keeping this book for as long as I can, and I hope to be able to see more by Atkinson soon.

3: In A Time Never Known

In a Time Never KnownThis historical fiction novel was long, addictive, and so intricate that I felt as if the characters were leaping off the page. I have heard that there is also a sequel in the works, so I can’t wait for that as well!

2: The War Between Us

The War Between UsI never thought about how World War II would affect Korean-Americans. They weren’t all sent off to internment camps, but people in America would still discriminate against them because they “look Asian.” This story tells a romantic tale of true love in spite of ignorant surroundings.

1: Elizabeth’s War

ELIZABETH'S WAR: Missouri 1863Looks like I truly loved the historical fiction books that I read this year! I still think about this book, and how it opened my eyes about the Civil War. Even though the Union is deemed as a “hero” in the history books, the Southerners weren’t “evil.” Some, like Elizabeth and her family, were simply minding their own business on a family farm when the war broke out. All of a sudden, they were on the front lines, making difficult decisions for the good of the family. This book and Crossfire in the Street were truly amazing reads this past year, and I hope to see more from D.L. Rogers in 2019.
That’s all for now, I will have a 2018 Wrap UP Post as well later this week that includes my goals for 2019. Have a great day everyone!

 

New Art!

BBN_LOGO

 

Thank you so much Evil Eye Candy for the new blog art! The artist I worked with was so nice and made sure that I got everything I wanted for my blog, and more. Now you guys get to see the final product! Doesn’t everything look awesome? I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for new art for their blog or other websites. Here are links to their sites!

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First Impression Friday: Crossfire In the Street

First Impression Fridays are a weekly meme hosted by J.W. Martin. This week I will be discussing Crossfire In The Street.

CROSSFIRE IN THE STREET: Lone Jack 1862I started reading this book on the train today, and I was drawn in immediately. Cora is seventeen and she loves someone who is against slavery. Her family doesn’t own slaves, but they are pro-states rights. She doesn’t know if their father will support their love, and he seems to be wary about marrying her. He only seems to be in it for stolen kisses, and he is about to go off to war. Her brother Pete is also making the tough decisions between going to war or staying to work on the farm.

This is what I got within the first 30-40 pages of this novel. I am SO excited to read the rest of this historical fiction novel! I haven’t really seen anything about the South that isn’t super pro-slavery, but it is interesting to see some people who were kind of caught in the middle. I don’t know if they actually existed in real life, but I would like to think that they would.

Also, I love the cover. It isn’t too flashy, but it shows the true darkness of the war. As of now, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new historical fiction novel about the Civil War.