Guest of the Month Club: Five Books Sophie Wants to Read in 2016!

Hey everyone! It’s the last Sunday of the month and you know what that means (or maybe not)—Guest of the Month Club! This amazing program was set up by Emily @ Emily Reads Everything. Each month, she pairs up two bloggers and gives us a topic, and then we write guest posts for each other’s blogs. You can get more information here. I love the program, and I am so happy to tell you that my partner for this month is Sophie from Sophie the Bookworm.

You have to check out her blog, guys! We’ve actually been friends for a while now, basically since we both started blogging (which was around the same time). I literally shrieked when I found out we were partners, and I’m so glad that you guys get to read her post!

Hello bookworms,

How are you doing? I’m Sophie, and today I am going to list the top five books I want to read in 2016. I won’t be listing any books which will actually be released this year, since I don’t really read a lot of series and am slightly too lazy to look up the release dates. I already own quite a lot of the following books, making this post basically an extension of my TBR pile. Maybe writing this post will finally motivate me to read those books, hope you enjoy!

  1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

cover illuminae

I know I will say the following sentence a lot in this post, but, I really really want to read this book. I have heard so many great things about it (people compare it to Ready Player One, the best sci-fi/dystopian I’ve ever read), and I even bought the book already, but I just can’t get myself to start it. The reason for this is because I am scared that I’ll love the story so much I will be needing the yet to be released sequel right away, knowing that it hasn’t been published yet. Also I want to have plenty of time to read it (something that I don’t have), to enjoy it as much as possible. But 2016 will be the year I read this book, I’m sure.

  1. Tamar by Mal Peet

cover tamar

I bought this book over two years ago because it sounded amazing, and started reading it straight away. I loved the premise of it, but since I was only twelve I couldn’t follow the story at all, never mind how much I tried. Disappointed, I put the book back on my shelf where it remains to this day, with the bookmark still in it. I really hope to get back to the story this year and start over, even though I have forgotten what it’s about. I am going to trust the judgement of the twelve year old version of me and finally finish that damn book.

  1. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

cover wolf by wolf

I saw this book on Jocelyn’s list and immediately added it myself. I, and you probably too, have seen this book floating around in the blogosphere for ages. I am not exactly sure what it’s about, but the cover is cool and it has 4,3 stars on Goodreads. Also I really want to be able to join the fandom, since they literally pop up anywhere (just like phan, do you guys know what phan is, I see it everywhere but I have no idea, I might try googling it but it sounds dangerous).

  1. A Monster Calls, the movie

cover a monster calls

I lied, this post was supposed to be about books, but I’m going to go ahead and ad A Monster Calls, the movie. I finished this book a few days ago and cried, twice. This story is just so incredible and it’s the ultimate epitome of everything that is Patrick Ness, and now it’s being made into a movie! I think it’s going to be released this October, but you can find the teaser trailer already somewhere on YouTube.

  1. Winter by Marissa Meyer

cover winter

I absolutely adore the Lunar Chronicles, and I can’t stand the idea for it to be over, so I have been putting of reading it (I am starting to see a pattern emerge here, do you?). But ah well, all good things come to an end, even if I’m in denial. I liked Cinder, Scarlet was okay, I loved Cress, and now I am hoping for Winter to be awesome (but judging by the things I’ve heard it probably is).

These were the top five books (actually four, but shhh…) I want to read in 2016. Thank you so much to Jocelyn for having me, I love your blog and have read every post (seriously, I am following you via email, so usually read it from there. And yes, I am aware how stalker-y that sounds). Also, having a pen pal is awesome, so yay for the Guest of the Month Club (and thanks to Emily for coming up with this concept). Please let me know what books you guys are looking forward to reading in 2016 in the comments! (Maybe we can even fangirl together!)

Bye, Sophie

Thank you, Sophie! Hope you all enjoyed her post and are going to check out her blog right now!

Guest of the Month: Kirstie and Her Favorite Holiday Traditions!

Hey everyone! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!


As some of you know, I am a member of Emily’s (@ Emily Reads Everything) Guest of the Month Club, where she matches up two bloggers every month to guest post on each other’s blogs! (Get more information or sign up here.)

This month’s theme is My Favorite Holiday Tradition and my amazing partner for this month is Kirstie. She is an Australian book blogger and is a really sweet person! You guys should definitely check out her blog, Upside-Down Books.

Without further ado, here is Kirstie’s guest post!


IT’S CHRISTMAS! (Well, technically that’s done and dusted, by a let a girl dream, will ya?). Christmas time has always been one of my favourite times of the year. I love that everyone is home, the atmosphere, the carols, the surplus time for reading (when in reality you should be buying presents/baking), and, of course, the chocolate.

Therefore! My favourite holiday tradition would indeed fall within this joyous season of excess cake and off-key singing. I still live at home with my parents (because: moving = lots of money, and, me = very little money) but that’s the most wonderful thing! We hardly ever go ‘on holiday’ somewhere at this time because we all love being together so much – which I think is pretty darn special. There are several ‘traditions’ that occur throughout the month, such as:

  • The Christmas tree goes up on the 1st of December (always – unless it doesn’t, then we just pretend that it’s the first anyway even if it’s the 5th) and my siblings and I make fun of each other’s homemade decorations from when we were 4 years old (I made a pasta angel, don’t be too impressed).
  • Mum writes clues and hides a chocolate for myself and my siblings each morning.
  • The entire 2 CDs of Christmas-y songs are played at least once a day.
  • Every day must begin with, “Today, I will make ginger bread!” even if, in fact, you really don’t have the time.
  • The Polar Express movie MUST be watched on Christmas Eve (or, at a push, Christmas day).
  • A Christmas Carol MUST be watched in the week leading up to Christmas, itself.
  • You have to swim in the pool at least once a week (I live in Australia, calm down, it’s warm for Christmas here).
  • And finally, we go to a French Horn Christmas carol night which sounds fantastic.

So these are all little things, but that doesn’t make them any less special (even if some are somewhat silly). However, my favourite tradition is the baking of the Christmas cake. My mum always puts this one together (I do the gingerbread house & decorate the cake) but she requests one thing: when she’s stirring the ingredients over the stove every member of the family must give the cake a stir and make a wish! That’s my favourite little holiday tradition for me, so there you go.

What about *you* – do you have a special tradition at this time of year?

Happy New Year all – don’t party too hard and I hope you meet your reading challenges for the year!


Thanks for that amazing post, Kirstie! ♥

Guest of the Month: Beyond the Blog

I am super excited to introduce a new series of posts that you guys will see on my blog each month: Guest of the Month Club, hosted by Emily @ Emily Reads Everything! This is a great program that connects different bloggers each month to guest post on each other’s blogs. You can find more details and sign up here.

This month I’m paired up with Michael @ Your Own Pay. He’s a really inspiring guy, and you should check out his blog and podcasts!

This month’s topic is Beyond the Blog. Here is Michael’s post discussing what his life looks like when he isn’t blogging.

You can see my post—a semi-rambling depiction of my clueless high school existence—on his blog here.

“The alarm goes off promptly at 6:30 AM, isn’t it interesting how that thing’s never late! I drowsily feel for my phone, and when I find it I hit one of the volume keys to silence it and give me another 10 minutes of blissful sleep. I know however that I won’t take advantage of those 10 minutes; I need to get up and get my brother ready for school. So I disconnect my phone from its charger and tap the lock button to display the lock screen. Flicking through I noticed that one of my clients paid me via PayPal, that’s always nice; 3 new followers on Twitter, and my wife commented on last night’s Facebook status I posted. After I’ve reviewed all of the notifications on the lock screen, I quickly brush my thumb against the thumbprint raider at the bottom of my phone to unlock it and roll out of bed.

Drowsily I stumble into the kitchen and opened the cupboard above the coffee maker. Feeling around I find that the coffee can is about in the same spot I remember it last being. So I take it out and place it on the counter. Then I recall that yesterday I did not empty the coffee filter in the K cup machine. So I deposit the already used grounds into the garbage, and fill up the filter with fresh grounds. Reaching over, I grab my coffee cup off the counter where I left it last night, put it under the receiver for the brood coffee, and fill up the back of the K cup machine. As I smell my poison brewing, I turn to the cereal sitting next to the microwave and grab a bowl out of the cupboard. Pouring some cereal into the bowl, I remember that yesterday my brother asked if he could have bananas with the cereal in the morning. Grabbing a banana out of the fruit bowl on the counter, I peal it and break it up into small chunks mixing it in with the cereal. Adding some milk I place the bowl on the table and call out, “Benjamin!”

Benjamin comes into the kitchen and asks, “Can I turn the light on?”

Chuckling to myself as I walk over to the coffee machine to grab my cup I say, “Of course you can”!

I pull my phone out and ask my personal assistant Siri what’s on my calendar for today, and while he is reading that information to me I will introduce myself and thank Jocelyn for letting me post on her blog. This is a guest posting inspired by Emily and her Guest of the Month blog group. I’m very excited to be part of this like-minded group of bloggers so I can share what it’s like when I’m not blogging, and connect with those who truly want to learn more about the environment of bloggers.

So it looks like I have a conference call at 8 AM, then an online seminar I’m attending related to acquiring new followers on Twitter at 10:15 AM. I’ve also got a doctors appointment this afternoon, and it sounds like I’ve even got a paid coaching call at 2 PM. Finishing up listening to my calendar events, I check the reminders I have as well thanks to my amazing personal assistant. Siri lets me know that I have set a reminder to contact a blind advertising site to market my WordPress training from a blindness point of view. In addition, I’ve also got a reminder set that Benjamin needs to have his shots done for school by the end of the month so I need to set an appointment for that to be done. It sounds like I’ve got a busy day, and then I remembered that it’s Tuesday so I need to speak with the team about the marketing objectives I gave them last week to see where they are with them.

Benjamin has finished his cereal and bananas now, so after prompting him to brush his teeth and get dressed so we can catch the bus I begin pondering the idea I want to Podcast about today. It’s my objective to release one podcast per day through the end of the year, and sometimes coming up with podcast topics can be a little bit difficult especially since I’m pretty sure I’ve covered quite a bit of stuff already. As  Benjamin finishes up brushing his teeth, andgetting his clothes on we walk out the door at 7:20 in the morning. After Benjamin gets on the bus, I start my day when it comes to not blogging.

This is just a quick glimpse into the morning of a stay-at-home digital marketer who is completely blind. I like to not let my blindness hold me back, and am always encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and connect with people who might not understand that it’s possible for someone even with a “disability” to be able to do anything he puts his mind to. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Blab, Periscope, YouTube, and more have made it so much easier for me to connect with other like-minded individuals off of my blog, and bring them back to my blog to share the content I’ve got with them.

When I’m not blogging I’m connecting with people on other social media sites and doing stuff around the house while my more than amazing wife is working! I won’t admit it publicly to my wife, but I also enjoy spending some time with our two cats and just hanging out. If I’m not doing work related stuff, I’m typically reading some sort of marketing or personal development book to help better myself personally and the businesses I work with. (Thanks Audible and Youtube!)

What about you? What does your day look like when you’re not on the Internet? Or, maybe you are on the Internet all day, what types of things do you enjoy doing?

Leave me a comment and I look forward to connecting with you. Once again Jocelyn, thanks a lot for allowing me to share my message with your readers!

Thank you, Michael, for sharing this amazing guest post! And thank you Emily for making this possible!

You guys can listen to his podcasts and get to know him at his blog or on Twitter @PayOwn.