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Looking for Something to Read? My Most Recommended Book List

I get asked for book recommendations All.The.Time. And I love it. I never get tired of talking books. But most people just don’t have (or more likely make) time to read much so often times I end up recommending the same books over and over. If you’re only going to read a few books here are the ones I would say to hit first.

Just do it my favorite books they will leave you changed for the better!

Stories of survivors, identity

  • Airman  – making the best out of what you have, hope
  • Grave Mercy (and Dark Triumph forthcoming) – making a new life, questioning your world, being strong for yourself and others
  • Throne of Glass – forgiving yourself for your past, making yourself better

They may be teeny-boopery but they are entertainment at it’s best! 

And I’m just assuming you’ve already read Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. If not definitely those too! 

Linking up to The Broke and the Bookish. Those of you visiting from B&B I’d love to invite you to link up your TTT posts and any other posts you want to share to my What We Wore, Read, and Made Link Party.

    Books I HAD To Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

    For the most part I am really good about buying books. We have such a wonderful library system that if I stay on top of my holds I can often get new releases the first week or two after it was released. I think part of my non-buying comes from having bought every philosophy book I have ever wanted in grad school most remained unread. In fact I have two big boxes to list on Amazon.

    Now I only buy books on sale, pre-ordered at low prices, and usually only after I’ve already read them. With me going to so many signings like Dark Days that I shared about last week it’s really hard for me to resist buying a book just because the author is so nice and personable but I’m trying to put my foot down. So this isn’t a Top Ten list for me. This is actually my exhaustive list of books I HAD to buy that are still sitting on my shelf.

    Oh and before you leave be sure to visit my link party an add any post you want to promote (even your TTT). A new one will start tomorrow evening but last week’s party is still up and I’m always trying to get more bookish posts since I’d like to feature some of you! I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish.

    • Masque of the Red Death – what can I say it was one of my first signings – Smart Chicks Kick It – and Bethany was so cute and I had been really curious about her book before that.
    • Everbound – I LOOOOOVED Everneath and needed to buy this at Brodi’s Everbound release party.
    • Etiquette and Espionage – This was the book club pick for this month plus the cover was so stinking gorgeous but it ends up book club is meeting at the same time as my niece’s birthday party so I haven’t read more than a few pages of this.
    • Pivot Point – Kasie was in town. The book sounded good. She was cute. I have a weakness for debut authors.
    • Prodigy – I really liked Legend. I follow Marie Lu on twitter and she’s awesome and of course she was in town for the Breathless Reads Tour. I don’t regret this purchase one bit but I’d probably not have rushed to buy it if she weren’t coming through
    • Unravel Me – Come on Tehareh is one of the nicest, funniest, sweetest people ever and she did a signing here. I really liked Shatter Me but I’m not sure if I would have bought the books if she weren’t in town. But everyone says Shatter Me is amazing so I’m happy to own them!

    And even though I have confidence I’ll like each of these if you want a sure thing. check out my Books I Recommend Most Often posts. These are the books that I not only read and enjoyed and that I HAD to own as well but that I also find myself telling people “you’ve just got to read this!”

      Top Ten Books On My Spring Reading LIst

      Spring reading list. Must read books for YA lit lovers

      It’s a good time to be a reader. It seems like SO many great books are coming out lately. I never feel like I have enough time but even more so lately. Even so I’ve been just flying through my stacks and devouring as much as I can since I know a bunch of books I’m super looking forward to will be available soon.

      Here are the books that I WILL be reading this Spring. Some are ones I’ve put off for far too long and will make sure to finally check off the list, some are highly anticipated sequels and some just look plain awesome. Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish and Breaking the Spine.

      And be sure to check back in tomorrow night to link up any post you want to promote at my What We Wore, Read, and Made Link Party (starting every tuesday night).

      • The Fault In Our Starts – I’ve been putting this off because I’m afraid of crying but I’ve heard such amazing things and The Book Club voted for it so it will be read.
      • Pretty Girl -13 – really cool psychological thriller story
      • Clockwork Princess – umm duh William Herondale?!!!
      • Transparent – this sounds so interesting
      • Dark Triumph – Oh how I adored Grave Mercy! Lucky me got an advance copy of DT and I’m loving it so far. Plus Robin is coming to SLC April 4th (who wants to go to the signing with me?)
      • Pivot Point – I went to Kasie’s signing a few weeks ago but haven’t read the book yet but it sounds so good.
      • Everbound – My copy of Everybound has already made it’s rounds with my friends and family and they gave rave reviews (I’ve really heard only good things) so I’m excited to get to this myself.
      • The Ward – You know how I can’t get enough of my dystopian tales, well this one looks super interesting.
      • Apollyon – These books are like a drug. I’m twitching just thinking of how bad I want to read this one.
      • Warm Bodies – Another of the book club pics, you know since the movie is out and all. My sister gave  up on it and I’ve heard some rough things so I”m nervous. I might wait until I can get my hands on the audiobook.
      • Override – You already know how I really liked Glitch so I’m excited to see what’s next in the story.
      • Burn for Burn – I’ve had this in my stack for ages from Literally Jen. I loved the Summer series by Jenny Han and I have high hopes for this one now just to get to it!

      YA Romances Perfect for Valentine’s Day

      10 Young Adult books perfect for Valentine's Day that grown ups will love too - Rae GUn Ramblings

      In celebration of Valentine’s Day week I’m sharing some of my favorite YA romances. And you know me I rarely read a book without powers or fighting but these are all books I really liked that made me swoon over their romantic bits. I’m linking up at The Broke and the Bookish.

      • All the Graceling Books – Seriously Kristin Cashore has a way with romance, and fighting, and powers. The love stories in these books are some of my favorites.
      • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Oh Noah Shaw, need I say more? Is their relationship healthy, umm probably not but with all the psychoness that is happening to Mara thank goodness she’s got Noah to help her through. The sequel while definitely creepier has just as much lovely romance.
      • The Night Circus – There is a line that reads “I have been surrounded by love letters you two have built each other for years, encased in tents.” and that’s really how the book felt to me.
      • Vampire Academy – Oh Dimitri oh Adrian. Richelle Mead can make one fine romance with a bunch of butt-kicking thrown in.
      • Anna and the French Kiss – Falling in love in Paris with a boy with a hot accent? Okay sure. And this is a good old contemporary no powers no sci-fi one.
      • Crown of Embers – It’s not the main focus of the book but something about the little flickers of romance are so great to me. I just adore Elisa and there is just something so mature but very romantic about the relationship here.  Plus kissing in sewers, am I right? (This is the second book in a series of which I adored the first Girl of Fire and Thorns just as much)
      • Covenant Books – The chemistry between these characters is just so strong and you can’t help but feel it too. Steamy I tell you, with fighting, I like fighting.
      • Grave Mercy – Fighting nuns, a slow developing romance in a castle, so much fun.
      • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares – Love the awkwardness of these two and watching their little romance grow, such a sweet story. Another contemporary.
      • Die for Me – A French boy, in France whose just an all around admirable guy and super attractive with a fun paranormal twist.
      • Infernal Devices – Cassie Clare can write some mighty attractive male folk but I am definitely partial to the romance between Mr. Will Herondale and Ms. Tessa Gray. Triple swoon.

      What are some of your favorite romances? Who did I forget?

      Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to link up your favorite posts at my What We Wore, Read, and Made Link Party (TTT posts are welcome)! And if you’re a fan of the Beautiful Creatures books you can see what I thought of the Beautiful Creatures movie and make sure to check back in later this week for a fun giveaway.

      TTT: Some of My Favorite Bookish Memories

      This week I’m sharing some of my favorite bookish memories and linking them up over at The Broke and the Bookish.

      I keep meaning to tell you book folk that find your way over here that I have a weekly What We Wore, Read, and Made Link party that goes live every Tuesday night and I would love you to link up your TTT posts, book reviews or really any posts you’re proud of there too. I know a lot of my crafty readers really appreciate getting to know about more awesome books and book blogs. Last week’s is still open if you want to link anything up now but I’ll have a new one up this Tuesday evening.

      On to the memories…

      • One of my earliest book memories is reading Little Women in the back of a Jeep in Thailand during a family vacation trying to finish as the sun was setting before I lost light. I think that was my first time I was so sucked into a book that I can remember.
      • Going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can see my picture and thoughts from it in my post here. But really it was SO amazing to set into this world that I had grown to love.
      • The many frantic phone calls between my sister and I to discuss books and the decisions our favorite characters were making and the conundrums there were in most notably the Mara Dyer books and The Infernal Devices books.
      • One Summer in college I did a study abroad term in Oxford and one of the highlights was popping in and out their many libraries. It was so cool. Reading and studying all day in awesome libraries it was pretty great.
      • My first book signing which happened to be with Veronica Roth. I was the most ridiculous fangirl of all time.
      • When I made myself Molly Weasley’s Clock from the Harry Potter books. I thought I was SO awesome and then I typed up the blog post, pushed publish and realized how high I had just flown my geek flag. Luckily there are plenty of book nerds to share my craziness.
      • I’ve always said that books are like vacations. When you find someone who’s read a book you loved it’s that same awesome experience as finding someone who has traveled to somewhere you love. And likewise with places you didn’t enjoy and books that didn’t impress. So I’ve got to say every time I find meet someone new or discover in an old friend a shared book love. It’s kind of the best thing ever. I’ve been totally adoring the online book club I started last month.

      And  a few book memories I would love to add to my list

      • Stalking the filming of the Divergent movie in Chicago. I really am tempted to do this. Kinda crazy or kinda awesome?
      • Okay this is going to sound rediculous to some of you but I really want to have a picnic with girl friends where we dress up and regency dresses and read books in a field with baskets of treats. 
      • I desperately want to have a Midnight dinner inspired by The Night Circus. I’m pretty sure this is going to happen. 

      And it’s not bookish but I’m super duper proud of my post from yesterday if you’re bored. You know those heart pendants made from your spouse and your finger print? I made my own fingerprint heart necklace and tutorial.

        Tutorial: Quick Little Man Bow Tie

        There’s just something Valentinesy about bow ties don’t you think? You may remember a while back me sharing a picture of this fun bow tie that I helped baby M’s mama make. It is so quick and easy and a great way to use up scraps that I thought I’d share a little tutorial for you in in time for Valentine’s Day. How darling would a bow tie-ified little man picture on a Valentine be? Warms my cockles:)

        To make the body of the bow. Start with a 5×5 scrap of fabric (the size is approximate you can adjust it to your personal taste). We thought this size was cute on a one year old. Fold and iron it in half. Sew around the three edges leaving a small gap in the middle of the long edge. Flip right side out. Iron. (You can stitch closed the hole if you want but we didn’t)

        For the loop of the bow tie. Cut a strip of fabric about 1 1/2 -2 inches by 5 inches. Fold and iron in half length-wise. Sew around the long edge. Flip right sided out. Iron. Tuck one unfinished edge of the strip in and then stuff the other edge into the opening so you have a loop. Hand stitch to secure.

        Next stuff the bow into the loop. Add a safety pin and you’re good to go. You can stitch everything in place if you’re an overachiever but we just stopped there :)

        You can use the same technique to make a bigger man’s pin on bow tie just tweak the size a little to your liking.

        If you try it out I’d love love love to see. If you blog about it feel free to add to my blog party and let me know in the comments. And if you Instagram it I’d love you to tag me using @raegunramblings and or #raegunswag :) And as always you can add it directly to the Rae Gun facebook for more fun.

        Easiest baby bow tie ever. Quick DIY cheater bow tie tutorial

        Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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        Tutorial: Cheater Cake Bites

        I don’t know about you but I have oogled at everyone else’s cake pops and cake bites but hadn’t really tried it. So when I finally decided to give it go I wanted to make it easier on myself so skip some steps and low and behold it worked. Today I’m sharing my “Cheater Cake Bits” over at Making the World Cuter. See my tutorial here.

        If you’re are visiting from Making the World Cuter welcome! It’s great to have you. I hope you stay and take a look around. You can see some of my most popular posts in the side bar to the right. My weekly link party is still open so if you are a blogger I would love you to share any posts you are proud of.

        UPDATED: This was previously shared at Making the Wold Cuter on 12/16/2012.

        Today I want to share with you my cheater method of making cake balls. All you need is a slice of cake (I bought mine for just a few bucks at the grocery store) and some candy melts. I like this method since it saves you the trouble of first making a cake but it also makes it so if you wanted you could make a bunch of different flavors with out having to make a thousand.

        First mash up the cake so that the frosting and the cake is well incorporated. Then roll a spoonful of the mixture into ball shapes and freeze.

        Next melt the candy melts I like to do 10-20 seconds increments in the microwave stirring each time. Then take the frozen balls of cake and dip. Try to work quickly and let set on wax paper. Top with more candy melts, sprinkles or what ever you like if desired.

        Easy right? One piece of cake (I think it was 1/4 of a sheet?) made 16 cake balls and they were really rich so most everyone just had 1 or 2. Perfect diet treat right?

        Please, Please Let Me Reply To Your Comments!

        I feel like this at least 10 times a day and on Wednesdays after my link party even more. What happens is that I get an awesome comment so I go to reply to the comment and I can’t. The problem? The blogger who left the comment has their email, probably unknowingly so, hidden. They are what is called a no-reply blogger. If this is by choice by all means keep it that way but I know for many of you who are trying to grow your blogs probably don’t realize that you are closing off potential connections.

        About 50% of all people who comment on my blog are no-reply bloggers. Are you one? If you haven’t taken the time to change your default settings you probably are.

        I’ve noticed that every time I’ve had quality interactions with bloggers (especially bigger bloggers) it’s been through email. Often times I leave a comment and they reply to me directly through email and it’s easy and natural to have a back and forth. For me I rarely have time when a comment appears in my inbox to my blog, open the comments page, clicking on the commentator’s ID, click on their blog, search for an email or leave a totally unrelated comment on a random post because there is no where else. That’s way too hard. If it’s a direct question I try to make the time to answer it but I’m not going to lie sometimes in my business I forget even though I have full intentions of doing so.

        In short, if you make your email visible you make life easier for all of us and you’ll probably start making more connections with other bloggers which is totally fun.  It’s super easy to do, and if you’re worried about spam, don’t. I have not had a problem with that at all.

        First what you want to do is sign in and open your dashboard on blogger. Look in the upper right hand corner and click on your name.

         On the pop up that opens click on “Blogger profile”

         
        From there click “Edit Profile”

        Find the box that says “Show my email address” and make sure it’s checked. Easy right? Okay and as much as I love love love it when you pin my posts, don’t just pin this to deal with later. Just do it now, it takes less than a minute. 

        update: I thought about this after  reading a few of the comments QUESTION: Do you think we should tell NRB if we have time? I wasn’t sure if that should be reserved to “real friends”. I feel like there’s a few stages 1. strangers 2. have commented multiple times and 3. real friends . What do you guys think, tell or just let the real friends tell?

        Did You See My New Outfit?

        It’s been busy busy around here but just in case you didn’t notice I wanted to point out my new outfit! Some of you more observant folk may have noticed my brand new blog design that went up last week. Cindy at Blessed Design Studio did an amazing job. If you’re viewing this in a reader today I hope you’ll pop over and check out her awesome work. She was wondwerful to work with and really fast. I told her that my blog finally feels like home. I am loving it.

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        In addition to the prettiness I wanted to point out a few functional bits that I’ve added. My “Let’s Connect” hub over to the right has all my links and online addictions. Now that I’m finally getting a better hang of Twitter and Intagram I’ve added links to those accounts as well as all the other places on the interweb that I hang out at :)

        And something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is add an Events page. My goal is to update this with fun activities that I’ll be participating in or just think are plain cool. Most of this will be local (so SLC, UT area) but I’ll also post some stuff that you non-locals may be curious about too. One of my tips from my grow your blog guest post last week was to try to connect with other bloggers. I know many of you were wondering how I find the fun meet ups that I often post about so I finally have a place to share the various events I’m planning on going to. I’ve got a few there now so feel free to check it out. And if you know of an event you think I’d like by all means send me a note!

        And finally I’ve got new buttons to match the new decor. I would love you to update your buttons when you get a chance. Thanks much for visiting I read all your comments and love checking out what you’ve been up to as well.

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         If you don’t already, I hope you’ll join me at my link parties on Wednesdays. Anything creative, fashiony, bookish, tasty, or helpful is welcome. This weeks party is still open

        10 Characters I’d Switch Places With and Anna and the French Kiss Necklace

         
        This week’s top 10 with Broke and the Bookish is so fun – 10 book characters you’d switch places with for 24 hours. So fun right? This was a lot harder than I expected. Sure there are tons of worlds I love but being a reader of dystopian and post apocalyptic novels makes me wary about really switching places with even my favorite of characters.  Here what I came up with.

        Ginny Weasley from The Harry Potter Books – you get the awesomeness of the world but not quite the same level of danger as the main players

        Poppet from The Night Circus – growing up in the circus, in all the amazingness with knowing some of the magic that sounds awesome

        Petra from Ender’s Game  – it would be so awesome to be at Battle school and I think the unique feature of being a girl at battle school would be super cool

        Art3mis from Ready Player One – umm just going through all the virtual worlds would be so cool and pretty much living a fandom dream

        Fire from Fire – I would love to see the bridges. Especially Monster bridge at sunset.

        Aria from Under the Never Sky – but when she’s still in the Realms. I didn’t care for most of the book wandering in the dessert but the Realms where you can go literally anywhere you can imagine would be amazing.

        Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl books – he’s always doing crazy things but seems totally safe, most of my adventurers are in real danger but I never fear for good old Artemis with Butler by his side. 

        Tessa from the Infernal Devices books – all the cool magic plus going back when there were amazing dresses and you actually got dressed up for dinner every night that would be fun to see.

        Annabeth from the Percy Jackson books – I would love to hang out at Camp Half-blood for a day.

        Anna from Anna and the French Kiss – to be in boarding school in France um yeah I think I’d do that for a day

        As always I’ve written reviews for each of these you can see them on my Goodreads. And if you want I’d love to be Goodreads friends :) Ohhh and I’m trying to get more book folk to link up their reviews and such at my weekly link party. If you have any post you want to share I’d love you to link up at my most recent party and come back on Wednesday for this weeks party!

        And since I can’t resist a good book inspired necklace I made myself this baby after finding an awesome listing for banana shaped lampwork beads on etsy. All I did was add a jump ring, opening it sideways as opposed to simply spreading the ring, and it was ready to put on a chain.

        I know I’m a total geek.

        :)