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    Random Thoughts: My 2011 Top Ten List of Unread Books

    This post can alternatively be titled: My 2011 Unread Books Shame Spiral

    So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I can’t possibly read every single book when it comes out. But, oh, I so want to. However, I usually try to read all of my favorites within a week or two, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And as more time passes, especially now that my evenings are taken up with blogging, some of my favorite reads are falling farther and farther down my “to be read” list.

    I never thought the day would come when a “can hardly wait” book would end up at least thirty books away from the top of the heap, but it’s happened. And I’m actually kind of devastated.

    When I first started blogging my enthusiasm fueled me and allowed me to pull any number of all-nighters to stay up reading and writing my reviews. Those days feel like a lifetime ago. Somewhere around two o’clock in the morning I crash and no amount of caffeine will keep me awake reading into the wee hours of the night. Or morning as the case may be.

    Of course what prompted this post of shame is the fact that I am sitting here, three weeks after release date and I still haven’t read City of Fallen Angels. I do blame iBooks and their download debacle which has yet to be resolved, but in the end, I am ultimately to blame for not taking the time out to read this book.

    I’ve posted quite a few giveaways, saw the author at both the signing and the RT Convention in Los Angeles, but still haven’t managed to finish the book. And right now, it’s about midway through the second page on my Kindle, and falling fast, as week after week more books download and push it farther away from my watchful eyes.

    But CoFA isn’t the only book that has drifted from my grasp. There are oh so many more that have slipped away – sometimes quietly, sometimes not – but I do feel their loss.

    If I had to go back to November 2010 when I started blogging I don’t think I could create a top ten list, as there would just be too many to choose from. And so I will list just those books released in 2011 that I was so eager to read on release date and yet still haven’t managed to squeeze in the time.


    Blue Bloods by Kailin Gow is one of the books I was eagerly awaiting. This installment was to be much more action packed than its predecessor and I couldn’t wait for its release. I’m sad to say it is still waiting a read.


    Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard was also a book I wanted to read right away. I even started to read it, but was on deadline for a promised review – I feel like I’m on way too many deadlines these days – so had to put it down. Sadly it has yet to be picked up again, but I have not forgotten just how much I want to read this book.


    The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker was so top-of-the-list for me. I couldn’t help but become hooked on all the craziness with the pink wigs and pinked Twitter avatars. I could not wait for this book and was so jealous of everyone who got a chance to read it before release date. I think four or five books downloaded that night for me and I knew that there was no way I could read it immediately, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to. I kept moving it forward so that it wouldn’t sink to the back of the pack on my Kindle, but now it’s four pages in.


    Lemniscate by Jennnifer Murgia wasn’t released too long ago, but it was a sequel I was waiting forever for. It took me two reads to fall in love with the first book in the series, but fall in love I did. It was one of the first Indie books I had read and wasn’t quite used to the different style of the Indies, but when a much wiser and more experienced me re-read it I absolutely adored it. And then couldn’t wait for the sequel. And I’m still waiting to find the time to read it. I don’t feel too bad as it’s only three pages back, but still. So much for reading on release day.


    The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith was an absolute must read. I have loved this series forever. (Both the TV show and the books.) I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next but I knew that there is no way I’d have time to read this book immediately as it’s a huge book. And sadly when time is a factor, it’s much easier to choose the shorter reads. Besides, I’m not entirely sure just how to write a review for these books as they are so elaborate and so detailed. But I really want to read this last book in the series written completely by the author and am sad that I still haven’t done so.


    Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany was a fairly newly discovered series for me. I read the first book only a short while before book two was to come out. I couldn’t wait. I was so hooked on this series that I couldn’t imagine not reading it the second it downloaded. But I can’t even remember what happened. I was so psyched to read it, and then somehow completely spaced. By the time I realized that I missed the chance to read it, I was already late on every single deadline and so I had to put this one back in the TBR pile. This is a book that I do not want to wait to read until the release of the paperback so that I’ll have a timely review. I just hope it doesn’t end up that way just because of my schedule.


    Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon is one one of the books that I hyped here on the blog. I couldn’t wait for its release and I absolutely love this cover. I was completely fired up to read this on release date and once again I had to set it aside for a mandatory read. I’m not too far off from release date, and I still see it hanging out on page three of my Kindle, but that’s way too far back for my liking. I really hope to have the time to read this one in the next few weeks. I think I have got to stop checking NetGalley and requesting new books to review.


    Afterlife by Claudia Gray is my saddest missed read. I didn’t care that this was the end of the road, I just had to know what happened. I even set aside a book I was reading and began to read this one. It was just as grabbing as all the rest of the Evernight series and I couldn’t wait to finish it. But as I was reading, the guilt crept in and I had to put this down. There was a little war between good and evil going on inside, but sadly the hedonist did not win against responsible me and since that date I have not had a moment to return to this story.


    Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr is yet another final book in a series that I absolutely loved. I was desperate for this book to come out, but at the same time I was devastated. I knew, especially as there were a whole bunch of series ending, that I might not want to read this right away and say goodbye to some of the most interesting characters I’ve known in a young adult series. But I didn’t think I’d have waited this long. Really. This cover still calls to me from my book pile even though the eBook is now long buried I don’t know how many pages in.


    Oh c’mon did you really expect to see anything else here? I talked about this before I even started the list! City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is my greatest shame. There is no real reason why I shouldn’t have blown off every single deadline and read this from start to finish. Who cares that there’s a cliffhanger ending? Who cares that every single person would have read and reviewed it on the exact same day? There are absolutely no excuses for why this book has not yet been read and reviewed. None.


    Do you have any books that have fallen prey to the deadlines of blogging? Have you sacrificed your favorite read because your life got in the way? Have you overspent on books that were less important, forgetting about your favorite release and now your wallet is bare?

    I’ve shared with you my dirty little secret and would love to know what unread books are your greatest shame?


    The Extras: May

    Back with another “Extras” post. As some of you may already know…

    Whenever I find either a legal free download, an excerpt or sneak peek of a book online, I try to link to it in a related post or include the link in my sidebar (to your right).

    But once a month I’ll pop them into a post for a “one-stop shop” with a brief description. You may have previously seen some of these in my sidebar and one or two may still be lingering, well here they are once more in case you missed them. (My sidebar tends to have a LOT of info.)

    We have a few peeks at upcoming releases, just released books and some of them are just items that have been offered for free for awhile but you might have missed.

    And yes, I know it’s not May yet, but it’s a monthly post that I do around this time each month in anticipation.

    Shift is the second book in the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready. It will be released on May 3, 2011. As you may know from my Book Watch post, I’m a huge fan of the author and I can’t wait for this book to be released.

    The author has given us a peek at the first chapter in this book on her blog, HERE.

    This is definitely a series worth taking a peek at. And if you haven’t read the first book in the series, Simon & Schuster is giving readers a chance to look at the first 99 pages of Shade, HERE.

    Dead Reckoning the 11th book in the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris will be released on May 3, 2011. This is not a young adult novel, but is one of my favorite non-YA series.

    The author is offering a peek at Chapter One on her website, HERE.

    There is also an excerpt from Chapter Three being offered by Penguin, HERE, for those who just can’t wait.

    I have decided not to read any of the available sneak peeks of Dead Reckoning as the last time I did that I went completely insane waiting out the book’s release.

    Die for Me by Amy Plum will be released on May 10, 2011.

    A look at the cut prologue from the book is available on the author’s website, HERE.

    I love the cover of this book. I think it’s absolutely beautiful. And the tagline – Would you risk your life for love? – has me definitely interested.

    The book’s description mentions star-crossed lovers, fate, destiny and eternity. How cool is that? I really cannot wait to read this.

    Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton will be released on May 24, 2011.

    I already read and reviewed this book, but I think it’s absolutely amazing and I love this cover too. And, yes, the link is still in my sidebar, but I thought I’d put it here, among all the May releases so that it will remain in the archives long after I remove it.

    If you want to take a look inside, Random House is offering a peek, HERE.

    If you’d like to see what I had to say, click here.

    Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly will be released in the U.S. on May 24, 2011. It was previously released under the title Angel in the U.K.

    The U.K. publisher, Usborne, is offering a peek inside at the prologue, HERE.

    This is another one of those books that I loved but wasn’t sure what to expect when I first got my hands on the eARC. The prologue (which is what is being offered as a sneak peek) is what got me hooked.

    If you want to check out what I had to say, click here.

    And there is a new trailer for the book that came out the day after I posted my review. If you want to check it out, click here. This one’s about Alex.


    And for one more chance to take a peek, here are a few books that are available now.

    Invincible is the second book in the Chronicles of Nick series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It was released on March 22, 2011.

    To read or listen to excerpts from chapters one and two on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    This is another series that is wildly entertaining. If you haven’t read this series and want to learn more, check out the author’s website via the link above.

    Entwined by Heather Dixon was released on March 29, 2011.

    HarperTeen is still offering a look inside Entwined, HERE.

    I haven’t yet had a chance to read this book, although I own it, so I may check out the sneak peek just to see if I’ll be instantly hooked.

    Teeth: Vampire Tales is an anthology of stories by some pretty awesome authors. It was released on April 5, 2011.

    HarperTeen is giving readers a sneak peek, HERE.

    I haven’t checked out the excerpt as I own the book, but there are just so many great stories that the excerpt will most likely only serve to tease.



    The Trailers: Invincible

    The trailer for Invincible, the second book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series was just released today.

    As mentioned in my “Book Watch” post for Invincible, this second installment in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s young adult series in the Dark-Hunter world will be releasing on March 22, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    It is available for pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    This is a book I’ve been waiting on forever and it’s finally going to be releasing in just a few days. I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen to young Nick in this book and I hope that he is truly invincible as it seems things aren’t going so well for him. (Just check out the description, below.)

    Description from the author’s website:

    Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse…

    Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

    His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

    But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them…

    An excerpt is now available for Invincible on the author’s website.

    To read the excerpt, or to learn more about Nick Gautier and the other characters in the series, click here.

    There is a third book planned for the series entitled Infamous.

    And for those who haven’t read the first book in this series, Infinity, the author offers an excerpt and all the info you can ask for on her site. Click here for the deets.

    And now for the AWESOME new trailer for Invincible!

    And for those who asked: Who is Sherrilyn Kenyon?

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is proud of her Cherokee mixed heritage, lives a life of extraordinary danger… as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than twenty-three million copies of her books in print, in over thirty countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with too.

    In the past two years, her books have claimed the coveted #1 bestselling spot twelve times. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre she writes. Her current series include: The Dark-Hunters, The League, Lords of Avalon, BAD Agency and the Chronicles of Nick. Since 2004, she has placed over fifty novels on the New York Times.

    Her Lords of Avalon novels have been adapted by Marvel and her Dark-Hunter novels are now a New York Times bestselling manga published by St. Martins.