Great Endings (formerly The Garden Gazette) is a feature here at Great Imaginations. Instead of doing weekly Stacking the Shelves posts, we’re going to be doing a monthly wrap-up on the last Saturday of every month. This will open up the weekends for more posts from us, and is also another way to bring the four of us together in one post – which is one of our favorite parts of co-blogging! Great Endings will include our book hauls, past posts, challenge updates, and more. (And hopefully, this is the last name change!)
Lyn: January – I should love it, but I always end up hating it. This has been no exception. The temperatures are crazy, and I am just really tired of my job. I was so excited a year ago, but now I feel kinda stuck and bored. March has some prospects of a change, which should bring up my enthusiasm (I hope), so I feel just generally low-level annoyed and unhappy about everything. Which I really hope isn’t showing online. Another pain point at work is the return of a co-worker that I pissed off a year and a half ago by beating her at a cupcake contest returned to work after a prolonged absence. She has certainly made sure to remind me that she is superior to me in EVERY way (she takes a higher amount of her migraine medication than me, she cooks better spaghetti than me, she goes to the gym longer than me, etc etc) and since I have lost some weight already with my medication, she keeps bringing me donuts and such to make sure that I stay fatter than her. It is taking a toll on my anxiety and my overall mental health. Ugh.
The bright side is that February is coming, and that means cute heart things, and Blind Date with a Book! That has given me something to focus on, and also, our project, Blogger Professions, has helped keep some of the gloom at bay.
And since my migraines have improved with my regiment of medications, I have been hitting up the gym harder than before, and I am LOVING it. A wonderful resource on Twitter gave me some new music for my iPod, and I have new work out clothing, making gym time some Lyn time. I love my gym.
Other than that, the kitties seem well. Kili ate a rubber band, but he is running around, chewing up his brother, so all is well with my babies. We have a stray outside that I want to catch and neuter, and he can hang around. I just want him to STOP SPRAYING MY STUFF.
That’s about it!
Maryam: OHH January has been really really hectic. Work has just been taking up so much time that I had to take a break from reading, which placed a strain on my reading schedule. So, basically January was the month where I had to take a step back and learn to manage my time well, in between working, reading, blogging and well, watching TV shows. And I’m happy to say that I actually managed to do so, and I am so proud of myself MUAHAHA. So, yeah, the start of 2016 was WOAH, it was stressful. BUT one of the few good stuffs that happened was that I was confirmed in a school. Like, I got my school posting result just last Thursday, actually. And I got into the course that I wanted, which was Computer Engineering. Basically full of mathematics and IT, which was what I wanted anyway. And I got into Singapore Polytechnic, which was one of the few schools that had a HUUUUGE library. Yes, I totally judge a school based on its library size, especially since I KNOW that I will be spending a lot of time in there hehehehe. Anyway, WHO’S LOOKING FORWARD TO FEBRUARY? Because I am. I think February will be fabulous. HEHE.
Kara: This has been a great month, but it’s also been a crap month. I was able to get a new sectional, paint, and carpet in the unfinished room in our house, which means I finally have a cozy living room and a comfy place to lounge and work from. But Lily also got REALLY sick, and the last week has been really rough. She was diagnosed with whipworms and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, and we had to get all sorts of stuff done at the vets, and then we had to take Shiloh in too because the worms probably spread to her, so the total bill for the two of them came to almost a thousand dollars. We’ve been going through some financial problems as it is (trying to get caught up with bills after purchasing a house), so we could NOT afford this to happen. And yet it did. Things are gradually getting better now–Lily feels better, which is the important part–and I opened a medical credit card, and as long as I pay the bill off in 6 months, there is no interest charged. But yeah, it’s been a rough month. Here’s to a better February. I really hope I have GOOD things to say next month!
Oh, but I registered myself and Dan for ALA Annual in June, so if you are going, you’ll definitely see us!
Pixie: School swamped me immediately into the first week and I have barely managed to look up to take a breath. If anyone ever tells you that online-only is taking the easy way out, you laugh in their face because it’s just as much damn work. Lol. I’m considered “part-time” with two courses, but I still have up to twenty pages of lecture notes a lesson, 8 lessons per course per two weeks. And with English Comp, I’m doing essay assignments three times a week along with the tests of the other course four times a week. Ha. Gets exhausting. A lot of late nights here studying, typing, writing notebook pages full of notes… fun times. I haven’t managed to get a book fully started and finished yet into this new year and it’s been sort of depressing me lately. Reviews you’ve seen through January were books I’d finished before the new year started, but other than that no books read yet so far other than textbooks. How sad? I’ll fix this soon. February is going to get better. I’ll make it better. On other life fronts: I joined a gym! My anxiety really kicked my ass the first night I went in but I adjusted with a little help from my friend and now I absolutely love it. Going a couple times a week has really been a great stress reducer, too. Hope everyone has had a good month. <3
Soundless by Maryam
He Will Be My Ruin by Kara
Uprooted by Kara
Group Review: Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lyn
The Impostor Queen by Maryam
John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy by Pixie
Tell Me Three Things by Kara
Other Broken Things by Maryam
Wolf by Wolf by Kara
Epic Recs Review: Falling for Hamlet by Lyn
The Help by Pixie
Group Review: Underwater by Lyn
No and Me by Kara
Features and Discussions:
Challenges: Story Sprites: Round Three
Discussion: Would You Read the Book of Watch the Movie First? by Maryam
Survey: 2015 End of the Year Survey by Great Imaginations Team
Discussion: Goals and Challenges… Yah! Nah? by Pixie
Project: #BloggerProfessions Intro Post
Discussion: Why You Should Be a Proud Faaaabulous Bookworm by Maryam
Discussion: Lyn’s 2015 Reading Stats by Lyn
Tag: The Secret Life of a Book Blogger by Kara
LOTS of ARCs this month. I also bought one book, and it was for Forgotten Fridays: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
For Review Consideration:
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema
The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
The Monster On the Road is Me by J.P. Romney
Whatever. by S.J. Goslee
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (loved it!)
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Alice and the Fly by James Rice
Thank you to Quercus, Penguin Teen, Macmillan, and Harlequin MIRA.
I overdid it with the E-ARCs again. But all I have to do is click a damn button. GAHHHH. I hope my co-bloggers were better than I was.
100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen
I didn’t really spend much this month, because I wanted to save money for school, so I got these three books:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Soooo….I had a rough month. And therefore, I went a little spending crazy.
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Velvet by Temple West
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Mind Games by Kiersten White
Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
Pure by Julianna Baggott
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
The Cure from Dreaming by Cat Winters
Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
(not pictured) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Thank you, Macmillian!
Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Genius by Leopoldo Gout
All The Feels by Danika Stone
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
100 Days by Nicole McInnes
How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo
Gifted by H.A Swain
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
I only got one book for January, but ordered a few and will post those for February.
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain – John Boyne (Thanks, Macmillan Children’s Pub!)
Around the World 2016:
Let’s start with this one. I am doing GREAT. My goal with this challenge is not really to complete it, but to travel to as many places as I can, and just to keep track of them in Google Maps because it is fun. So where did I travel to in January?
New York City, Paris, Osaka, Puerto Rico, El Paso, Berlin, Northern Scotland, and New Orleans.
You can see the books that go with those locations by clicking on the link to my map.
I’ve read 4 books this month off my TBR. Two were physical books, and two were ebooks.
Lych Way by Ari Berk
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
My Goodreads Challenge is to read 125 books in 2016. So far I have read 10 books and am 1 book ahead of schedule.
I have a little bit completed on every path EXCEPT the yellow path. I have not completed any paths yet, however.
Middle Grade Challenge:
Continuing from last year, I’m just really trying to read more middle grade, as it’s an age category I love. I’m not doing a challenge from any blog or anything, it’s just a goal I have set for myself. And so far I have read only one middle grade book, but I am reading one now, so…