HB Regina Cake

Today, January 20th, is MY BIRTHDAY. Woohoo! *Throws glitter EVERYWHERE* And because of this momentous occasion, I thought I would reward our blog followers with my most intelligent thoughts and reflections. Oh, and a chance to WIN one of MY FAVORITE books.

The past year went by in a blur for me, and I’m told the years only become more blurry the older one gets. 2014 was rough and so was 2015, so I’m betting on the regression to the mean theory and predicting that my 2016 will be average or better yet, AMAZING.

Reflecting back on my 2015, there are things I wish I would have navigated differently and there are things that I realize are (and have accepted as) part of my person. Like completely withdrawing from the world when I’m experiencing challenges or spending a lot of time mulling over themes and concepts. I’ve read online and in numerous articles that periods of alternating extroversion and introversion are typical of highly creative types and while this information has helped me judge myself less harshly, I’m still learning to cope with this aspect of my personality. So this year, I’ve decided to just roll with my occasional withdrawals from social interaction/social media and not beat myself up about it. Those who know me best and like me enough to understand will still be there when I crawl out of my bouts of extreme introversion.

I’ve also realized how necessary it is for me to reach some kind of left brain/right brain balance on a weekly basis. I know there are recent studies in the Journal of Neuroscience that debunk the theory that people mostly fall into one of those categories because as dynamic individuals we are constantly accessing both sides of our brains, but I did a lot of critical thinking/analysis/research paper writing this past year and completely put my creative side on hold. It wasn’t until this recent winter break that I realized how much that creative side of me would have been beneficial to my more serious projects and my physical/mental stamina. Blogging was one of the first things that fell to the wayside for me last year because I started to view it as a chore instead of a fun outlet. BAD IDEA. I started blogging to begin with because it felt fun, so this year I will try to view blogging through a more fun and creative lens again.

Last year, I also indulged myself in reading books that weren’t up-and-coming or highly anticipated new releases. I think I would like to continue with that this year, so I’m joining the 2016 TBR+Backlist Challenge hosted by the lovely Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews.

backlist-books challenge 2016


I also read a lot of Historical Fiction so I will be doing the 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Passages to the Past for the second year in a row. I didn’t finish the year off with a bang in this 2015 challenge but it still inspired me to connect with other Historical Fiction bloggers and to write reviews for the HF that I read even if it wasn’t YA.

2016 HF Reading Challenge Button 2

And here’s a #bloggerconfession from me: I’m always worrying about current/future/former bosses, co-workers, or former/current professors somehow coming across my blogging. I feel like this has inhibited my reviewing personality. But I hate feeling censored, so I’ma get over it this year.  *shrugs*

Okay, now for the fun stuff. My gift to YOU on my birthday will be a chance to WIN one of MY FAVORITE books. For the sake of time/space/sanity, not all of my favorites are listed. I’ve just thrown some in here that I would love for others to win and read. Enter the rafflecopter below and ONE WINNER (INTERNATIONAL) will get the choice of one of the books featured below. Good Luck!

love and other unknown variables 1600x2400Collector coverbook of ivy final template2_high res frontIlluminae CoverBohemian Gospel coverAIoA cover

17586505AcademyIntroductions-AUnknown AmericansA Mad Wicked FollyKnight Assassin coverGrave Mercy cover

a17836528F&FTWoW coverPatriceMichelle_BrightestKindofDarkness_150pxEnchantress of Paris cover

Her Majesty's Necromancer coverTB&TCCall Me ZeldastormTSW

a Rafflecopter giveaway