To List or Not to List…

My TBR list is out of control. There I said it. I admit to the problem. I’m a reader and I love books. My TBR will always be out of control. But I have to wonder if there is a way to manage it at all. Is there a way I won’t forget my old “must be read” books? Is there a way to not be distracted by all the new shiny available to me? The answer is…

Basically all of this pondering led me to one question, do a make a TBR list and stick to it or do I continue to fly by the seat of my pants?

The thing is I have done both and have been successful at both. When I was blogging with Michelle at Galleysmith I used to makes a list of 10 books and I would read those 10 books before making a new list. It worked for me then. I was just starting out in the book blogging world so I was only mildly overwhelmed with books. But then the list started to feel like a chore and I started to mood read.

Mood reading is a fabulous thing, but man does it get messy. I have found myself reading 3 books at a time because of mood reading and that can be a nightmare, especially when two of those books have a main character named Josh. It is fun though to just pick up a book when the mood strikes. I can find myself reading a book that came out 5 years ago, or one that will be out in 6 months. There is no order to mood reading and I kind of like that. But I also feel like books get neglected way easier because of this. It is so much easier to just say, “I’m not in the mood for it”.

And then there was the epic failure of the TBR jar. This was just not for me. It ended up with me still mood reading. I would pull a book and think, nah, I want to read something else, which totally defeated the point of the jar. But it did lead me to my next attempt at listing…

 

The category list was actually my most successful attempt at not reading by the seat of my pants. By selecting categories I would then be able to fill the categories with what ever book my mood was feeling, but a little more narrowed down. To be honest I’m not sure why I stopped doing this. It was kind of the best of both worlds. I actually wrote a post on it almost 3 years ago. It was a really fun way to move down my TBR but not be bogged down by rules. I may need to revisit this idea.

What is the point of this post? I have no idea. I keep questioning if there is a way to get a handle on my TBR but also who am I kidding. I’m a reader. I want to read books and sometimes I just want to read all the books!

Now I ask you, do you make a TBR list or do you mood read?

 

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Three Things (1)

I found the idea for Three Things when I was looking at Lauren’s blog, Bookmark Lit. She originally got the post idea from a couple of places (this post and this one). I borrowed some questions from others and the rest I just came up with, but could be found else where as well. Basically this is not my idea at all, I just wanted to do it because hello…fun! Feel free to join in but share the credit around 🙂

Three foods I love| French Fries, Pizza, buffalo chicken

French Fries and my go WAY back. They are hands down my FAVORITE food. If I could eat them and only them forever and not have all the health problems in the world, I would do it! I mean if you search my Twitter you will see I had a 6 month + convo with people that revolved around our love for French Fries. Now pizza on the other hand I have a specific relationship with. I will not do a chunky sauce pizza. That is a hard pass for me. And I’m also not deep into deep dish. And buffalo chicken is a newer thing. I’m a picky eater so I would never have tried this, but about 10ish years ago I took the plunge and it was love at first bite.

Three books I need to read| The Raven Boys, Six of Crows, To Kill a Mockingbird

There are certain books that it seems like everyone in my life as read. I mean Harry Potter is a given (although I did quit that series last year), but lately I have made more and more people tell me I need to read Six of Crows, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Raven Boys. Just know they are high on my TBR, but when I do read them I can’t promise anyone will know. There is just too much pressure when people do.

Three shows I’ve binged watched| Veronica Mars, Prison Break, The Office

It starts with a tweet usually. Someone will post a gif about a show and I’ll find myself wanting to watch that show all of a sudden. For Veronica Mars it was all Gaby’s fault (you’re the best Gaby!). She was the driving force to me binging the series and I will forever thank for. LoVe for life! Prison Break was my own doing. I got myself hooked on it randomly and then I couldn’t stop. Over the course of some show days and not leaving the house I was addicted. And The Office was a mix of tweets and my just finally wanting to sit and watch every episode. I’m just about to start season 9 and it only will have taken me a month to watch them all.

Three places I want to visit| Santorini, New Orleans, San Diego

I have had a dream to go to Santorini for years. I don’t know why, but that is my number one bucket list place to visit. I am turning 40 next year (wow, that was oddly hard to type), and I plan to make this dream a reality. As for the US places, New Orleans is about 95% certain to be off the list in June because I’m pretty sure I’m going to ALA Annual. And San Diego will happen some day.

Three places I’ve been| Nashville, Hawaii, Cancun

Nashville, Hawaii and Cancun are actually three of my most favorite vacations I have been on. Nashville I went with a friend so we could go to a concert. We split out time between there and Memphis and I would do that trip again in a heartbeat. Hawaii was a trip I went on with my mom to go to a wedding. The two of us went to LA first and had a blast and then met more family in Waikiki. It was really a fantastic time. My only complaint was the flights home. SO LONG. And Cancun was about 10 years ago with a group of 6 of us. It was so much fun and still ranks as my favorite out of the country trip ever.

Three things I will spend a lot of money on| handbag, boots, winter coat

I know people think I’m crazy when they see I have a Louis Vuitton bag or Frye Boots, or an expensive winter coat. Sticker shock is a real thing. But I have started looking at the cost to wear ratio and these items have far surpassed what I have paid for them and have I have saved not buying cheaper items that may fall apart and need replacing in a few years. My last winter coat was North Face and was pretty expensive. It lasted me 5 years and still has life it in. I will always be willing to spend money on bags, boots and a winter coat for that reason alone.

Three movies I rewatch| Apollo 13, Miracle, Scream

I’m a movie rewatcher. Just like I love rereading, I love watching movies again. I actually have a huge list of movies that I put on if I happen to come across them. Currently those three movies are the three listed. I literally put Miracle on every night to fall asleep.

Three gift cards I love receiving| Starbucks, Amazon, J Crew

I got to Starbucks 5 times a week. A gift card from there is ALWAYS welcome. And Amazon has EVERYTHING. I swear if Amazon doesn’t carry it, you don’t need it. And if you know me know know my love of all things J Crew.

Three places to go in the Boston area| Galleria Umberto’s in the North End, Fenway Park, The Border in Harvard Square

I always am asked on Twitter where people should go when they come to Boston and these are always my top three answers. They are all train accessible and three of my favorite places in Boston and the surrounding areas (The Border is in Cambridge).

That was a lot of fun! I look forward to doing it again in the future.

Any idea you have for Three Things topics, feel free to share in the comments.

 

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It’s a Celebration {giveaway}

5 years is a long time to do anything. I mean you are typically only in high school for 4 years. College is roughly 4 (although my school was 5). People sometimes don’t even last a year at a job. But for 5 years I have nurtured my little corner of the internet and have made Andi’s ABCs what it is today, my place to share my love of all things books, clothes and more recently handmade cards.

Happy 5 year Blogiversary to me!

In the 5 years I have been doing this (I have been doing it longer, but I was co-blogging at Galley Smith when I started), Andi’s ABCs has had a lot of ups and downs and has gone through changes. My very first post basically showed I knew nothing about the journey I was in for. I had no pictures, no banner, well no anything really. It was just words. How silly of me.

Over the 5 years the blog went through some changes.

I had three different banner design/looks. The 1st two were of my own creation, but last year when I hit year 4 I decided I was going to have someone make something for me so I hired the amazing Rachel of Hello, Chelly and she wowed me with her design that captured exactly what I wanted. She captured everything I wanted Andi’s ABCs to feel like with an awesome banner and design. I can’t thank her enough. Not to mention she is one of my favorite people I don’t get to see enough *stupid distance*.

I had some features come and go. There has been The ABCs, Book a Date, and Parallel Time Loop (to name a few). I’ve done blog tours, had guest posts, and got to interview some of my favorite authors and people (Perkins, Kenneally, Akins, Young). I’ve gotten to post on Simon Teen’s blog, Riveted Lit not once but twice (All in Pieces, Alex, Approximately) and I would LOVE to do it again. And I have gotten to moderate signings for Sarah J. Maas (2 times, once co-moderating on a freaking stage in an auditorium with Sarah from What Sarah Read), introduce AC Gaughen and Emery Lord, and moderate a signing for Tiffany Schmidt and AC Gaughen. Not to mention run a panel at Boston Teen Author Fest with Sarah. I have also been lucky enough to go to BEA  (2014, 2015) BookCon once, and ALA Midwinter when it was held in Boston. I have also been able to host the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge in 2017 and again in 2018 (SIGN-UP!).

Over 5 years I have also read some really fantastic books. You all know that Anna and the French Kiss is my favorite. I’m not very subtle about that [shrugs]. But I have also found some other books that are just fantastic. My new blog feature, New to You, is going to showcase some of these, but here is just a sampling (click on the cover for the review):

Over 5 years I probably have close to 50-100 books that hold a special place in my heart and have become some sort of favorite. But for the sake of time These are just a sample. Who knows, maybe one day I will do a post of my top 100 books. 🙂

I have also been lucky enough to meet some of my favorite authors. Some I have spent time with at signings, others just sitting at a bar having drinks. Some I even consider friends which I never would have expected when I started. I can’t list them all but some of the highlights have been Miranda Kenneally, Sarah Dessen, Sarah Maas, Sarah Ockler, Tiffany Schmidt, Emery Lord, AC Gaughen, Jodi Meadows, Rainbow Rowell, Morgan Matson, and of course the one and only Stephanie Perkins. There have been plenty of others in between like Leigh Bardugo, Kristin Cashore, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyers, Lauren Oliver. Honestly I could go on and on. But just know what a privelege it has been to meet every author I have had the chance to.

Truly though the best part of this 5 year journey has been becoming friends with some of you. Whether you are a fellow blogger, a reader that I have connected with on Twitter, or someone I have became actual friends with, I couldn’t have done any of this without you. Getting to meet some of you and talk to you either on Twitter or over text has made these last 5 years amazing.

      

And because all of you are the reason this blog exists it’s time for me to say thank you with a giveaway.

This giveaway is for an Amazon Fire 7, 7″ display Tablet with Alexa and surprises picked out by me. The giveaway will run from 1/11/18 to 1/25/18 at 11:59PM EST. It is US ONLY. I love you my international readers but shipping is just too much. Giveaway accounts will be disqualified so please don’t enter if you are just a bot looking for free stuff.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you stick with Andi’s ABCs this year. There will be a boat load of giveaway over the year for my new feature New to You with all of these books as a possible prize at different times:

There will also be giveaways for the monthly topic posts for the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge so sign-up for that. Other new features will include My Favorite Things, What I’m…, and a yet to be announced idea I plan to do with Gail from Ticket to Anywhere.I am alos heading to ApollyCon in DC in March where I will see many of you fab people and get to finally meet Suzanne Young. And I hope to go to ALA in New Orleans and hang with some of my Fantasy Football girls. It’s gonna be a good year and I hope you follow around.

Now if you stuck around to read this whole post and not just jump to the giveaway, I will leave you with this:

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Birthday Wish List

My birthday was yesterday and with every great birthday comes some money/gift cards you get to spend. I still don’t really know what I want (I think I’m waiting to see what is up in the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale) but here are a few things that I have had my eye on for a while:

 

Birthday Wish List

 

 

What do you typical like to buy with birthday money? What do you think of the things I have my eye on?

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An App for That

What if there was an app that…

This is the concept for Lauren Miller‘s book, Free to Fall. Long after Google and Apple are gone a new tech company comes in and creates Lux, and app that makes decisions for you. Lux makes sure you are making the right decisions that will lead to the utmost happiness. The idea completely fascinated me in a way I didn’t expect. It is a very now idea as technology grows and grows but is it a good idea to have an app that made all you decisions?

I started thinking about what I would want an app to decide for me and came up with a number of ideas. Instead of sharing all of mine I asked a few friends that read and loved Lauren’s book to tell me what they would want decided:

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Amber – YA Book Indulgence

Let me say first off that my love for Free To Fall knows no bounds. I think it was the first real book that I was completely obsessed with. I loved it so much that for a while it was even my profile picture on Twitter. It may still be my profile picture for the YA Indulgences Facebook page.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I was so happy when Andi asked me if I could quickly participate in this post! Free To Fall did an amazing job with showing how easy it is to let an app decide things for you. This is especially great if you are an indecisive person, as I sometimes can be.

I could think of several things I would like technology to decide for me, what job to take, what clothes to buy, what kind of blog post to make or what book to choose to read.

I think if I could only pick one thing though, I would have technology decide if I should pursue relationships or friendships or not. It’s easy for relationships and friendships to become complicated with life circumstances and people changing. I don’t think I’m the only one that has struggled with whether or not a relationship is still worth fighting for. In Free To Fall, the main character, Rory follows the apps order on when danger is coming and where to go to prevent it. I think I would like that kind of decision for an app with relationships. I know it could be hard to relinquish control or at least take into an account, a technological decision, but if the app truly did know best, as is expressed in Free To Fall, I think I would take the risk.

Amy – A. C. Shaw

I must admit that I don’t really like the idea of technology making decisions for me; it’s nice to feel a sense of control in the choices I make. However, one thing I would appreciate technology helping me with is determining whether I need to go to the doctor or not. You know you’ve been there, sitting on WebMD, wondering if you’re experiencing a random pain or if you have a tumor. It would be great to have some sort of smart tech that could truly detect just how serious your symptoms are, whether you should go to the doctor, and what kind of doctor you should see. No more hypochondria and no more wasted co-pays!

Lauren – Love is Not a Triangle

I loved Free to Fall, and though is definitely a cautionary tale, I also think there’s a lot of appeal for smart technology that makes decisions for you. I recently started wearing a Fitbit, and I dearly wish that it could track the calories I eat, just by me wearing it, instead of me having to write everything down manually in a tracker. I just put food in my mouth and it can read the calorie content through my skin. Then, it could tell me how much I should be eating, and offer suggestions of what I should eat – and how much I should exercise that become more tailored to my diet, and how fast my metabolism processes, the longer I wear it. That would save me a lot of time and effort. I don’t think it’s a device I’d want forever, but it would certainly be helpful!

Andi: Andi’s ABCs

One of the many thoughts that came to my head when deciding what I would want an app to choose for me was lunch. Everyday I sit at my desk at work and know that lunch time is coming. I know that the dreaded part of my day is upon me and I will have to do something I hate…decide what I want to eat. I work right in downtown Boston so I have a ton of option. But I have also been working in the same area for almost 19 years. Everything is just the same and I never know what I want to have. I wish I could have an app that would decide what I want to eat based on my past likes and dislikes of food. That right there would make my life so much simpler.

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I don’t know about you guys but I can easily see how this decision making and parallel life ideas could really work together. Maybe we should get Lauren Miller to write a book combining them both. One half is the decisions the app makes and the other half is the decisions it doesn’t. Hmmm…

Huge thanks to Lauren, Amy and Amber for helping me out. I’m so happy you loved Free to Fall like I did.

What decision would you want an app to make for you? Have you read Free to Fall yet?

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