YouTube Tuesday: Booksandlala

I’ve found that there are so many people/channels that I’ve been enjoying on YouTube, so I would like to share my picks with you on a more regular basis. So, I’m going to be posting some of my favorites on what I will call YouTube Tuesday!

Today, I would like to introduce you to the first BookTube content creator that I started following: Kayla from Booksandlala.

I love how structured Kayla/Lala’s channel is. She typically starts every month with her TBR list and closes the month with a wrap-up video that goes over what she actually read and her thoughts about them.

She also does a fair amount of vlogging, where we get to know her better, and a fair number of readathons (which I appreciate, as it inspires my competitive nature to participate as well, with the result of expanding my reading diversity).

Her haul videos are dangerous, as they always lead me to want to buy far more books than I can read in a month. Watch with caution! But one of the best things about Kayla is that she often buys her books from a resale shop or some online stores like Book Outlet, which sells books at a discounted price. TBH, I started shopping on Book Outlet because of Kayla and I’ve filled at least 3 shelves on my bookcase already from them!

She also films a lot of tag videos, which are videos which are meant to be re-created by different people answering the same set of questions or doing the same challenges. I love the viewer participation that this fosters.

I’ve only discovered her channel midway through 2018, thanks to Monica (IG: @plan_with_monica; Etsy: PeanutButterTaco), but I’ve already watched nearly the complete body of work so far, if that tells you anything about how enjoyable her content is. πŸ™‚

Books Read in December 2018

I’m publishing this post just as the ball is making its descent on New Year’s Eve, since I want to give myself as much time as possible to finish my reading goals that I set back in January. I’ll have a separate post to talk about how well I fulfilled my 2018 bookish goals, as well as talk about my goals for 2019.

Stats

This month, I read 12 books, with a total of 3,983 pages!

That’s about 128 pages/day.

  • 1 β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • 7 β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • 4 β˜…β˜…β˜…
  • 0 β˜…β˜…
  • 0 β˜…
  • 1 Children’s books vs. 11 YA/Adult
  • 7 E-books/Audio vs. 5 Physical books
    • My Kindle’s Reading Insights tell me that I’m in the middle of a reading streak 17 weeks long.
    • I read 22 days on my Kindle in November, but only 14 days in December (which seems odd, since I’ve had about a month off work).
  • 0 e-ARCs; 0 Library books; 7 Owned books; 4 Subscription books; 1 book that I bought as a gift and read first πŸ™‚

Books Read

I’ve added the book reviews as links below, to try and shorten the length of the monthly wrap-up posts, and hopefully encourage me to post them as I finish reading throughout the month, instead of waiting and having a pile to do all at once. Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments. Thanks!

  1. The Gender Plan by Bella Forrest
    1. “I’m sorry if that doesn’t make me strong in your book, but I don’t care. I don’t exist for your approval.”
  2. The Gender End by Bella Forrest
    1. I haven’t written a review for this series yet, but I enjoyed it. There were times where it was a little slow, or had battle scenes that dragged on for too long in excruciating detail, but overall, it had good world building and was a fun time.
  3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    1. No review for this one yet, either. I kinda suck this month.
    2. I rated it 3/5 stars. The first half or so was pretty slow and uneventful, but the second half was decent.
    3. A lot of people compare this to Harry Potter, but it was missing a bit of the awe and wonder that the Harry Potter series invoked in me.
  4. Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent
    1. 4/5 stars. This was a really interesting read.
    2. Being prior Navy, I enjoy reading about naval military stories. Combine this with my fascination for Shark Week, and you have this book.
    3. I was glad that, although the subtitle is about the exoneration of the captain, the book focused more on the crew, the incident, and their time in the water, and not so much on the legal proceedings.
  5. Rome by Jay Crownover
  6. Nash by Jay Crownover
  7. Gabriella the Superhero by Eric James
  8. Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony
  9. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  10. The Queen: History in an Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon
  11. Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony
  12. Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft

December TBR Books I Didn’t Get To

  • A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood
    • This one I had borrowed from the library, and I ran out of time before I had to return it. Our library is going to be closed for renovations for much of January, so I wasn’t able to renew it. I did mark in my Goodreads where I left off, so that I’ll be able to pick it back up later (which is one of the great things about a short story compilation).
    • So far, it is rating about 3/5 stars. The stories are well done for the most part, but unfortunately the time periods are not ones that capture my interest.
  • Rerouting by Fr. John Riccardo
    • Since this one contains a lot of self-reflection questions, I wanted to hold off on just reading straight through this one until I had the proper time and attention to give it and answer all the questions as I go.
    • When I do pick it up again, I think I’ll create a new series of blog posts where I can talk about my ideas, reactions, and answers to the reflection questions.
    • I jokingly said that I refuse to read a book by Fr. John without it having been autographed for me. And I haven’t yet had this one autographed. LOL!
  • The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
    • This one was an interesting concept, but was a little slow when I set it down a month or so ago and I became distracted by other, shinier, books.
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • This was another library book that time ran out on.
    • I hadn’t gotten too far into the story. I think the main character had met one person and gone out of her room once.
  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
    • I just never made it to this book.
  • My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
    • Since this anthology has 12 stories, I thought it would be best to read one story per day for the 12 Days of Christmas. So, it should be finished early in January.
  • What Light by Jay Asher
    • I just never made it to this book.
  • The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
    • This book was selected for Monica’s book club, and in my typical fashion, I had only read 1/2 of the book by the designated day. When I also was unable to make the book club meeting, I set aside the book for a little while.
    • It was a *really* good story when I set it aside, so I am looking forward to picking it back up again.

Jesus-Shock

Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well-reasoned book. Dr. Kreeft is able to make his points in a very accessible fashion, weaving together Scripture, anecdotes, humor, logic, and reader participation into a convincing and entertaining catechism. His main point is that you can be angered, scared, terrified, or overjoyed by Jesus, but you can’t truly be bored by Him.

I re-read this book as part of an A-Z Reading Challenge tonight, on the last night of 2018. After re-reading, I think I would upgrade my star rating to 4.5/5 stars. Dr. Kreeft really did a great job giving us a new perspective while at the same time keeping us interested.

View all my reviews

Xone of Contention

Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a solid Xanth novel. The main characters were not my favorites, but they had good redemptive arcs and a decent adventure. They were a little flatter and more boring than a typical set of Xanth characters, but perhaps that it okay or even intentional, as they are Mundane characters.

The addition of the kids – DeMonica, Demon Ted, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm – were cute to see.

View all my reviews

The Queen: History in an Hour

The Queen: History In An Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was part of a series called “History in an Hour” and understandably is a very quick, abridged look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II. For all of its brevity, I think it was well done and interesting.

I would be interested in reading their other offerings. I think they would provide a good jumping off point for historical studies.

View all my reviews

Verity

Verity by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This was such a compelling read! I read it in two sittings, 25% on 12/8 and the rest this morning on 12/30/18. Likeable characters? Yes. Detestable characters? Yes. So much twistedness, that the book is finished and my eyes are still bugged out, asking myself, “What just happened?” At different parts of the book, I felt that any character could be the ultimate villain of the story. As a reader, it’s uncomfortable to not know who to trust and who to root for.

Colleen Hoover’s books typically mess with my heart and my emotions. This time, she was able to mess with my mind.

View all my reviews

Zombie Lover (Xanth #22)

Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I selected this book to re-read so that I could complete my A-Z Reading Challenge (I’m going my titles only). I had re-read another Xanth book recently, only to be disappointed. It didn’t have the same fun and enjoyment that I had remembered from my childhood.

However, this time around, I appreciated the clever puns and fun, fluffy adventure. Breanna, the main protagonist in this book, had a great story arc and had a lot of personal growth throughout the narrative. There were a lot of side plots and foreshadowing that wrapped up nicely in the end. There was a lot of older, beloved characters who made an appearance, so that long-time fans could have something to look forward to. That being said, even though this is the 22nd Xanth novel, it could easily be read as a standalone.

View all my reviews

YouTubers I Follow: Emmmabooks

Hey, what’s up, hello!

Emmmabooks

I found Emma fairly early in my dive into BookTube. She is upbeat and enthusiastic and such a sweet individual. She tends to review more YA and Fantasy genres, which are some of my favorites. She also reviews a lot of popular books, which really works for me, as I’m usually too busy to be in-the-know about what is coming out or what people are talking about. Thanks, Emma, for keeping me updated!

One of the strengths of her channel is that she has a lot of very creative videos:

YouTubers I Follow: Merphy Napier

This year, I started getting into books and reading more and found BookTube (which I’m still not sure is something other than the collected YouTube videos about books and reading – is it also a specific site or membership?)

Merphy’s channel I happened upon by sheer chance one night as I was unproductively binge watching videos. She has an intelligent and critical approach to her book reviews, which I really appreciate. She is also fairly calm and straightforward in manner, which is a good change up from some of the other channels that can be a little too loud or overly bubbly in presentation.

This is the most recent video of Merphy’s that I viewed.

She reads a wide variety of books, and several genres that I’m personally interested in (contemporary, YA, dystopian, some fantasy), so we are compatible in that regard. I’ve added so many books from her suggestions to my mammoth TBR list.

From this video alone, I’ve added the following books to my TBR:

Please let me know in the comments if there are any BookTubers that you particularly enjoy watching!