Breaking the Binge Reading Cycle

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It was July 8th of the year 2000 and I had just got my hands on The Goblet of Fire. All 636 pages of it. It was summer and I had nothing but time. I read for nearly eight hours straight until I reached the final line “As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come . . . and he would have to meet it when it did”.

And that was how I always read; in one single sitting. I was the master of binge reading, sitting for hours at a time reading straight through a novel. It never occurred to me that you could put a book down once you started it. 

I read novels this way all through University with no problem. Then I became a “real adult”. My reading time was suddenly limited to lunch breaks, an hour here or there before bed, and my blissful weekends. I was at a loss for how to go about reading. I couldn’t possibly just read a few chapters at a time, I’d lose the flow of the story. And what if I had to stop at a really good part or on a cliffhanger? I couldn’t be that person who took a month to finish a single novel, people would think I’m a slow reader *gasp*. My solution was to sacrifice sleep. Start a book at 8pm and finish between 12 and 2am. It was great for a while, I was still getting in about three books a week but my 2am bedtime and 7:30am wake up call got old really fast. Back at the drawing board, I’m sure the solution seemed obvious. Instead I went through two years of only reading one book a month, maybe two if I had a particularly relaxing weekend. But at least I finished them in one sitting… so I was following my reading ethos at least. My TBR pile grew and grew. At 9 o’clock every night when I was ready to settle in with a book, I would talk myself out of it because I didn’t have “time” to finish the book before bed.

Finally I tried the obvious solution; read a chapter or two at a time. This was easier said than done. It required me to completely change how I spent 27 years thinking about reading. My whole reading philosophy had to change.

I was skeptical of my ability to enjoy a novel while reading a bit at a time. What is life without instant reward? The first time I purposefully picked up a book on my lunch break I thought I would end up hating it. Instead I had a blissful hour in Scotland while reading The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Did I want to keep reading? Obviously, a change in mindset wasn’t going to be a complete miracle cure. However, I did enjoy my hour and didn’t become an absolute grumpus when my reading flow had to be interrupted. I experimented with this new reading style for the rest of the week, reading for an hour here or there, and by the end of the week I had read two books. Shock and amazement followed. I could live a productive adult life, get enough sleep, read a good number of books, and still enjoy my reading time? Whhhaaatttt. Game changer.

I successfully broke my binge reading cycle, with binges reserved for the occasional weekend or holiday. Not only does it give me more time to read for business and pleasure but I’ve also learned to enjoy my reading breaks. It’s a little bit like having a nice flirtation with a novel before you get to the climax and inevitable end. And who doesn’t like a little flirtation now and again?

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

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Renegade Cover Reveal + Exclusive Excerpt

Renegade finally has a cover and it is visually stunning!

Renegade is the prequel to Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney which releases on July 3rd.


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Isn’t it just squeal worthy!

Check out an exclusive excerpt of RENEGADE below!

Exhaling, the prince took him off guard as he lifted his eyebrow. “What I don’t understand is how the Faes have achieved such loyalty. What did they do?”

He chewed his bottom lip as he hopped over a fallen tree trunk. He looked to Marquis. “They were the dreamers in a time when culture, creativity, and equality were being butchered. The Academy was the foundation of that dream, for desolates, for the people with weaker abilities. For everyone. The people of Kiero followed Roque because they can’t fear him, they can only admire him. How brave he was for standing up to his father, for breaking free of his reign to start his own.”

Marquis chewed his lip. “It sounds like you have a different opinion of him.”

He threw out his hands. “I was born at the Academy. Raised in the Academy. Who am I to doubt the intentions of the Faes? They are practically family.”

Shrugging, Marquis cooed, “Sometimes it is the ones closest to us that betray us first.”


The expansive world building in this prequel had me all kinds of delighted! The descriptive writing only gets better and better. Renegade does a stellar job of filling in some blanks that people may have had questions about from the first book. Especially for those who may have felt Black Dawn was a bit rushed. Plus you will die to see sassy little Brokk! Trust me. The character development is on point.

I may even have loved Renegade more than Black Dawn. Which is saying a lot because Black Dawn was part of my heart, soul, and years of childhood dreams.

P.s. I may be bias because the author is my favourite human in the universe (and my blood) but I was also her first (and hardest) critic.

Mal

About the Author:

Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

Someone Thought #BookTube Was a Great Idea…

And it was me.

I have no idea why I suddenly (in the middle of thyroid cancer treatment) thought BookTube would be a wonderful idea. But I did, so i’m doing it.

It all started with the #TryAChapter Tag on BookTube.

I decided to experiment with the #TryAChapter tag and give it my own spin. Every Tuesday, when new releases hit the shelves, I’m going to go out and grab my favourite new release of the week (or the most recommended/ requested) and i’m going to read you guys an excerpt of the 1st chapter! Sometimes I find goodreads/ the book description just doesn’t give me enough of a feeling about if I should buy a book or not. I find reading the first chapter generally gives me a good idea of if i’ll be into it. So now you can have this luxury without leaving the house/ forced socializing with well meaning bookstore employees. As long as you don’t find my voice or reading style too irritating. Although the reading style can always improve. Unfortunately my voice is my voice and that’s all i’ve got.

This is the 1st video in my new series, cleverly titled “#TryAChapter Experiment Series”.

And because I’m super keen and my bookish energy has been rejuvenated, I’ve been filming other content as well. Like Book Hauls and TBR videos everyone hates to love.

Check out my BookTube Newbie video, where I answer a bunch of questions in the most concise way I know how. Which isn’t concise at all.

I know BookTube is really going to challenge me. Not only because I’m the type of person who has fluctuating energy levels (and commitment levels because of that) but also i’m fairly insecure about my physical appearance. So putting myself out there in Youtube land is a little scary. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is for me because i’m enjoying the process SO SO much and I needed a new bookish outlet. And if there’s anything i’m good at, it’s talking about books…or just talking in general. Ask anyone who knows me. So i’ve decided to take on the challenge and hopefully overcome my insecurities.

Here’s to a long BookTube “career” and many more videos of me being an awkward taco. But hopefully a charming awkward taco.

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

Labyrinth Lost

Charmed but with Latina Brujas.

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Book Blurb from Chapters Indigo

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland?

I had zero expectations for this book; I saw the word Bruja and knew I wanted to read it. And as we all know, if the cover is stunning (which it is) I need to have it. This book hit so many marks for me. Full of POC characters, with a strong and varied female cast, a good portrayal of bisexuality AND bruja mythology.

I was pulled into Alex’s world immediately. Despite not loving her character to start, I grew to understand her rational and was fascinated by her family and cultural dynamics. Power NEVER felt like a positive thing to Alex and she worked to distance herself from her bruja identity. Once the secrets started to unfold, I felt more connected to Alex and loved her blunt sense of humour. Once we hit Los Lagos, things went from mostly paranormal to fantasy real quick. I thought the pacing was good and the world building was detailed enough that I could get lost in it. There were occasional moments when the world building felt slightly vague but it didn’t take away from the plot enough to bother me. That being said, I’m really looking forward to some world building advancement in book two. 

I will say that I was super concerned about potential queer-baiting about halfway through the novel. It was clear that Rishi loved Alex but she was developing a romantic fascination with Nova. What wasn’t clear was if Alex’s love for Rishi was just friendly or something beyond. I honestly thought that Rishi would die after confessing her love and a heartbroken Alex would find solace in Nova. I was clearly being too pessimistic. I was pleasantly surprised when the girls got their happy ending. I was over the moon that Rishi and Alex ended up together but I can’t say that I loved Rishi’s character, despite her being exactly what Alex needed. She just felt slightly one dimensional? I love a salty, mysterious and slightly broken character (Kaz Brekker anyone?) so obviously I was a Nova fan, even after the betrayal. I know we aren’t done with his character though, so I’m really excited to see how that situation pans out in book two.

I enjoyed Labyrinth Lost and it left a very complete feeling but I didn’t end the book with a WOW. I know I loved a book when I can’t help but utter a soft “wow” at the end. Maybe I’ll fall in love with the sequel, which I will definitely be reading. I’m looking forward to diving further into bruja culture and mythology.

EDIT* Just found out book two is going to be about Lula…so maybe no more Nova. But I still don’t feel we’re done with him yet.

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

King’s Cage

“All will burn.”

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(Photo Credit: Epic Reads)

Book Blurb from Chapters/Indigo

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

As one of the most anticipated YA novels of 2017 I was pretty excited to sit down Tuesday night and dive back into this world. I meant to read a few chapters before bed but ended up reading the whole novel in just over five hours. I was not disappointed.

It was clearly a “middle” book, very political (which I loved, SO relevant to current events) and it worked to set up the final book for the action/ climax/ultimate emotional destruction. The political hopelessness I can’t help but feel on a daily basis was mirrored perfectly in King’s Cage. But the hope and drive to continue to stand up for what is right was also mirrored.

And my Maven feels were all over the map. I can’t help but hope he can be redeemed, but another part of me knows that he doesn’t deserve to be. Despite his mental struggles and childhood torture. Such a wonderfully complex character can’t help but create mixed emotions in the reader.

And Cal, ohhhhh Cal. No spoilers but there is a scene at the end that may crush some and maybe I should have been crushed but maybe i’m just not as attached to that whole situation as I should be? Definitely attached to the characters but I totally understood where everyone was coming from plot wise, so maybe that’s why I felt slightly detached. Or maybe it was just because it was 3:23am.

I’m already looking forward to the release of the 4th and final book to see how this is going to end.

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

#WayfaringReadsTheThousandthFloor **Giveaway**

It’s GIVEAWAY time everyone!!

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We had a lovely Twitter chat with @katharinemcgee last night, but if you missed it don’t worry the fun isn’t over yet! We have a really amazing #thethousandthfloor swag bag to giveaway to one lucky follower!

How to Enter:

It’s simple.

  1. Must be following @regularlyreads, @thewayfaringbookworm and @katharinemcgee
  2. Repost the giveaway photo on either @regularlyreads Instagram or from @thewayfaringbookworm
  3. You can earn additional entries by posting your own photos featuring The Thousandth Floor and using the tag #wayfaringreadsthethousandthfloor
  4. Must be 18 years of age or have parental consent to disclose mailing address
  5. Giveaway closes on Nov 13th at midnight EST with the winner announced in the following couple of days.
  6. Open only to US and Canada

⭐️Swag bag includes: 1 autographed HC copy of The Thousandth Floor, a Thousandth Floor tank top and a Thousandth Floor inspired candle!

GOOD LUCK!!

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

 

 

Gushing about VE Schwab

About last night 😍

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We had a fantastic time at the @veschwab event last night! @authormalmccartney and I rode a book high all the way home.

Victoria is so incredibly eloquent and confident in the way she speaks about the writing process, world building, character motivation and just life in general. I am continually in awe of her.

Also she drew Allegro in my book 🐱.

The way Victoria spoke about the inspiration for her books was really compelling. This Savage Song came from her need to explore the USAs cultural desensitization to really horrible acts of violence. Layers guys, lots of layers.

She spoke about how when writing, she starts with the world building because the world informs her characters and from there she can predict how they would react to the plot. Which was a really interesting perspective, one I had not considered before.

One of my favourite speaking points was on the characterization of her female characters. How she doesn’t go for “the self sacrificing saviour” heroine, her characters are self interested. They would burn the building down with people in it, if it served their best interests. If they happen to save the world while serving their own interests…well then that’s just a bonus. Maybe that’s why I love Delilah Bard so much, because I can relate better to her realness than I can to other YA heroines.

Victoria hilariously told us that Kate from This Savage Song is growing up to be Delilah Bard while she writes A Dark Duet. Which she mentioned is maybe problematic but she’s dealing with it.

How she spoke about music in This Savage Song and the magical otherworldly-ness she associates with music was really gorgeous. She was just talking about her lack of musical talent but she made it sound like poetry. Like I said, continuously in awe.

The countdown is on for The Conjuring of Light and Victoria warned that she dives straight into the madness.

I am not prepared.

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

#WayfaringReadsTheThousandthFloor

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is so stunning, it makes me want to cry. The Wayfaring Bookworm feels the same way which found us gushing over it on each other’s bookstagram. Long story short…we were so excited about it we decided to buddy read but it felt selfish to keep all the excitement to ourselves. Which is how #WayfaringReadsTheThousandthFloor was born.

Here’s the deal, we’ve broken the book up into four parts and will be reading one section each week followed by IG chats about that section on either one or both of our pages (so be sure to follow us both!), followed by a Twitter chat at the end of the book.

We are creating a delightful contest but the prize is classified while we work out the details. Hint: It will be pretty awesome. Be sure to use the hashtag #WayfaringReadsTheThousandthFloor when you post your own photos to participate in the chat AND be entered in the contest.

The reading schedule:

  • October 3rd – 9th: Read up to page 109
  • October 10th – 16th: Read up to page 219
  • October 17th-23rd: Read up to page 327
  • October 24th – 28th: Finish the book!
  • October 28th: Twitter chat

If you read ahead that’s great, but our chats are a spoiler free zone so please be considerate.

Happy reading and we can’t wait to see your pictures!

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp

Rebel of the Sands

“They say she’ll always be more gun powder than girl. The desert has other plans.”

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Book Blurb from Chapters Indigo

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.  Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead. Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew. Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

Was this book another cover buy? You bet it was. Is this a common theme with me? Absolutely.

I was expecting a lot of spaghetti western and a little splash of Arabian mythology and I’m so glad I was wrong. It was such a wonderful mixture of cultures and mythology, with a touch of badass spaghetti western.

Amani, our sharp-shooting gun powder girl, was so very human – stubborn, unrelenting in her goals and quick witted. Not to mention, her tendency for impulse decisions kept the plot alive. And Jin- wonderful yet slightly vague Jin. He was such a delight. Although he was the obvious love interest (among other things- totally called who he was in relation to the rebellion), there wasn’t the repulsive insta-love I’ve come to expect and hate in YA. Their relationship started as one of convenience and turned from mild reluctance, to mutual respect, to friendship, to something much bigger than Amani ever expected. It was really enjoyable to read. The classic rom-com back and forth was just what I needed.

“Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand”

This was not a character driven book for me (although the secondary characters were fabulous as well). The most vivid part of the book for me was the mythology and atmosphere created. It’s not every day I come out of a YA novel being more jazzed about the mythology than I am about the character driven relationships. I find dijinn mythology fascinating and Hamilton did a fantastic job mixing it into the culture as both fact and fiction to the characters. To Amani, it had always just been old stories of immortals long gone, despite the occasional run in with ghouls and buraqi. To Jin, it was his life and family history. It should have been obvious to me, in that case, that Amani was the one who had dijinn blood in her veins.

Between the unravelling of everything Amani thought she knew, the rebellion, and the epic sibling showdown to end the novel, I was enthralled through all 300 and some odd pages.

I would definitely recommend this debut novel. It does follow a classic fantasy novel arch-type but I found it comforting rather than boring. I can’t wait to see how Hamilton continues to spin the mythology and rebellion in the second book, Traitor to the Throne.

Until next time-

TheReadersigntransp

Bookish Pet Peeves

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We all have our bookish pet peeves, whether it be folded page corners, broken spines, insta-love, writing style, etc…but I feel like we all have that ONE that can make or break a book for you. Mine broke Miss Peregrine’s and I’m super disappointed about it.

One of my big bookish pet peeves is a book that has an incredible concept but fails in 1st person execution. There are a lot of really wonderful 1st person books out there, a few of my favourites actually. However my big pet peeve is immature, underdeveloped 1st person. Unfortunately for me, Miss Peregrine’s fall in that category.

Stunning concept and great book atmosphere but horrible 1st person narrative. With the movie coming out soon (which looks stunning) I really wanted to love this series but I just can’t 😭😓.

What are your big bookish pet peeves?

Until next time,

TheReadersigntransp