June 19, 2017

Review: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

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After thoroughly enjoying Jody Hedlund's An Uncertain Choice trilogy, as well as Newton and Polly, I knew I'd want to try more of her stories. And once again I was not disappointed! As a reader who used to devour historical novels but has become drawn to contemporaries more often of late, it takes an exceptional author to get me back in the genre again. Let me just say that Ms. Hedlund is definitely exceptional! :) The characters, the setting, it drew me in and left me with all the feels by the final pages.

I grew rather fond of Elise as her journey progressed. She's had such a rough life and I admired her strength to keep going in spite of everything. I cannot imagine the sheer determination required of those who lived back then, the squalor and painful, hard work that they endured every single day. Makes me glad to live in modern times, for sure! I loved watching Elise create this new little family around her once she arrives out west. Especially how her friendship with Fanny grows slowly, but surely.

And then there's Thornton! I admit to getting a little thrill every time his name was on the page, just because it reminded me of Elizabeth Gaskell's John Thornton. (swoon ;) This Thornton is fairly swoonworthy as well, he and Elise certainly have great chemistry! Yet I was glad that they were both given a nice dose of reality in the initial stages of their romance because they needed it. But never let it be said that I didn't enjoy their adorableness together! For all their differences, they truly did complement each other very nicely.

I was easily swept up into these characters lives and was more than happy to stay there as long as possible! I do have to say that the ending felt slightly abrupt to me though. I figure that's mostly for setup to get me interested in book two and it worked! So while it kind of bothered me, I can easily forgive it. And anticipate the months until the next book comes out! :)

**I received a complimentary copy via Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.

"Was that the way it was with God too? When she was hurting and crushed by the weight of heartache, was God there holding on to her hand, telling her He'd never let her go?"

"The only sound that rose in the night was the lonely whistle of the train preparing to leave. Without her."

"How about if we forget about eating sandwiches and just start with the pie?"

"She was stuck into unbreakable patterns in so many ways. So many people of her class were and had so little hope of change."


June 6, 2017

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Twenty-Eight


I'm trying to keep up with all my reading a little better this year, as in attempting to write my review in the not too distant aftermath of reading a book. So! That means I have more mini reviews for y'all! :)


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True to You by Becky Wade
I don't know how Ms. Wade does it, but she excels at writing romances that make me swoon! John has some serious and oh-so-sizzling chemistry with Nora. And Nora herself is a bookworm librarian who loves period dramas! Perfect combination in my book. :) I loved their interactions, and how totally gone over him Nora was. It was pretty much love at first sight for her, and while John took a bit more time (silly man!), their genuine friendship was a wonderful build up to their eventual romance. They simply complemented each other, in spite of all the ways they were so vastly different. And the plot twist near the end was completely unexpected! (In a good way.) As was how very anxious I am to read the other two sisters' stories now. Aaahhh, I dislike waiting! ;)

Yet I also have to mention that, for as much as I love this story, I have a few quibbles with it as well. The main one being a particular plot point. After all the angst Nora feels in the beginning due to what had happened to her in the past, I was disappointed that she essentially does the same thing to someone else. I do realize it wasn't intentional on her part, but I just wasn't a fan of the fact that she ends up helping hurt someone else the same way she was hurt, unintentionally or not. I will say that Ms. Wade does handle the situation very nicely overall, so that helps. Quibbles and all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it!


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Model Misfit by Holly Smale
I love Harriet Manners! I mean, how can you not? She's a bit clumsy, a lot insecure, fabulously geeky, and all around awesome! Her adventures never fail to make me grin. And her knowledge of all things random is the BEST. I love how she spouts off all these odd facts to everyone around her. Yet it's not just her intelligence that endears her to me, it's how she learns and grows through the story. She has much to learn about life and much to enjoy at the same time! And she is constantly working her way through the myriad of characters surrounding her, some becoming the best of friends and some not so much, especially in this book. I'm not sure whether Japan was really ready for Harriet, nor that she was ready for it, but there she goes anyway. Through everything that happens, she never loses her inherent "Harriet-ness", for which I am grateful! I love her to pieces, faults and all, and cannot wait to read about more of her adventures in the next few books. Harriet Manners for the win! :)


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My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella writes very addictive stories! Catchy and fun, I pick them up and can't put them down until I'm finished. While I admit that it took a bit before I decided I liked Katie herself, once she leaves the city behind, I quickly found myself swept up into her life. She doesn't always make the right choices, but is smart enough to figure out ways to make the best of them. Once Demeter enters her life again, the fun really begins! I simultaneously laughed and cringed my way through Katie's antics, and the friendship that slowly springs up between the two is wonderful to watch.

The romance bits were cute and funny as well. I wasn't sure about our hero for a while, but he gradually tugged me over to his side, and he and Katie's chemistry was rather nicely complementary to the rest of the story. They moved a bit more quickly than I had anticipated, but overall I liked watching them figure each other out and grow closer. This isn't a perfect story by any means, but has just the right amount of sweet and serious, coupled with several laugh out loud moments. Very enjoyable!




June 5, 2017

How I Feel About Audiobooks


So I occasionally (read: like only four times in the last five years) have participated in Booking Through Thursday. (And yes, I DO realize this is a Monday.) I happened to notice this question from a couple years ago and my mind started spinning! :)

I’m guessing most of you like reading (or why would you be here), how do you feel about audio books?

For me, “reading” means using my eyes, not my ears. As much as I acknowledge their usefulness while doing chores or using your hands, I only ever use audiobooks for the rare long drive–listening, no matter how pleasant, is not READING, yet people persist in telling me they like to read and that audio books are their favorites. Am I the only one to feel that’s just not the same thing?
I admit that when I finally got around to trying audiobooks a few years ago, I never even considered whether I should count the book as actually read or not. I just counted it and went on! But then I periodically started noticing fellow bloggers talking about how they counted them as books read or they didn't and all the reasons why or why not. So thinking about it more in depth, I have officially come to this conclusion:

Whichever way I read the story makes no difference to me, I'm still counting it on my list of Books I've Read.

Now! I should clarify that both sides have lots of great reasons for why they count them or why they don't. And I even agree with lots of those reasons! But my personal reasoning is simply this, audiobooks consist of having someone else read the story to you, no different than when I was a child and my mother read to me before bedtime. Perhaps I didn't physically have book in hand and my eyes reading the actual words, yet I still know the story. I know exactly what happened and who did what and said what. In fact, I have figured out that by listening to a story versus reading it, I can sometimes gain a deeper appreciation for it.

Take, for example, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I listened to the audio before I read the book and the narrators did such a fantastic job that I fell in love with the story immediately. I figure I would've loved the story regardless, but the experience of hearing the different voices and accents make the story more pleasurable than just me reading it in my head (where I can't do justice to those lovely accents, for the record!). I would say the same thing about The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien. The actual books intimidated me, so I thought listening might be easier and it was!

I read this post that stated it was more a question of how you define "reading" and I think the writer has a point. All that being said, I am, by no means, saying that my opinion is Right or Correct. It's just my opinion and there you have it.

The most important thing of all is that stories are taken in, providing a sense of connection in the reader, and thoroughly enjoyed! Regardless of how it's consumed. :)




June 3, 2017

Percy and Books

Percy does not like it when I read a book.
He puts his face over the top of it, and moans. 
He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes. 
The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down. 
The tide is out, and the neighbor’s dogs are playing. 
But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language!
The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories 
that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage. 
Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough. Let’s go.

~ Mary Oliver





May 26, 2017

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Twenty-Seven


Hello, my lovelies! How's everyone's May going? Crazy as it seems, this month is almost over and I have hardly any new posts to show for it! However, that doesn't mean I haven't been reading or doing fun things I'd love to share with y'all. In fact, I've done quite a bit of reading, at least for me! :) So let's get to the fun stuff, shall we?


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For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund
Each book in this series is just full of adorableness, yet with the slightest touch of tension so as to keep you turning pages. And this one is no exception to that! :) I instantly fell for Sir Bennet in book one, so had been looking forward to seeing what lady would catch his eye. Lady Sabine is perfect for him! I wanted so badly to make everything easier for her, poor lady has in no way had an easy life. Her "blemish" that makes her so insecure actually makes no difference to those who truly love her. Especially her grandmother, who is absolutely the best! Their relationship was definitely a favorite. And, of course, I loved each of Bennet and Sabine's conversations. They are clearly equals when it comes to intellect, and their shared love of art and history, not to mention their mutual attraction, made for lots of banter, sarcasm, and wit being thrown around. :)

As in the previous books, Ms. Hedlund fills her story with sweet romance and a swashbuckling good time. This might even be my favorite of the three books? I'm not certain, but I will definitely say that Lady Sabine is my favorite character!


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Right Where We Belong by Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, & Courtney Walsh
So much swoony happiness in these stories! I loved all three and if I had to pick a favorite, I'm not sure I could do it. Ms. Raney's meet cute between Lily and Gage was super cute! And the way Lily kept ordering stuff one day at a time just so the cute guy could keep coming back to her house? Too funny! Yet the chemistry between Ms Tagg's Megan and Eric? Wow! There was no denying it, no matter how much they both tried. The same goes for Ms. Walsh's Eleanor and Jason! They had good chemistry and best of all, history behind it. I loved watching the two of them swoon over each other. :)

So! Long story short? These three stories are absolutely adorable fun and I sorely wish they were full length novels because I could've used a few hundred pages more with each of these characters!



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Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
SUPER adorable and MUCH too short! I absolutely loved this little novella and so, so wish it were a complete novel. There is ever so much more that could've been expounded on! But I'll take what I can get and what I got was cute and funny. Ms. Rowell certainly has a way with words and I loved every minute, from Elena's arrival at the line until they all walk out of their first viewing of the movie a few days later. I know a bit about Star Wars, but still haven't watched all the movies yet, so I was glad that I didn't get lost in some of the references. Also I cannot imagine actually camping out for days and days like people have done in real life! But I suppose if I was guaranteed a cute boy to hang out with, maybe that might sweeten the idea? ;) Probably not. Still, Elena was willing to do it and her adventures in line go quite a bit differently than she expected. Some not so fun (I mean, the whole bathroom situation? Yuck.) and some rather sweet and then we get to that ending! So much laughter and cute to be found in this story, I highly recommend it.


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Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
I've read a few reviews which mention comparisons to You've Got Mail, and I can agree with that. But the online chats really got pushed into the background so the story could focus on the "real life" portions more. Which was a good choice because the real life interactions between Bailey and "Alex"? So much fun! I rather enjoyed their antagonistic attraction, which leads to many a good sarcastic and banter-filled convo between them. I also really enjoyed watching Bailey's relationship with her dad grow over the course of the story. Definitely a highlight of the book!

Yet for all the cute that I liked, there were a few things that bugged me. I wasn't all that impressed with the amount of coarse language used, for one. A little bit I can usually overlook, but this felt slightly excessive and unnecessary. Also, the violence portrayed was a little much for my comfort. It's not overly explicit, but just the way the characters respond to it bothered me. Especially Bailey herself. So while it was, overall, a very enjoyable read for me, my feelings are too mixed for me to recommend it wholeheartedly.


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The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley
I am definitely a fan of Ms. Kearsley's without any doubt now! Her ability to string together words and phrases and create these atmospheric tales of interesting characters and places is incredible. So far (of the entire 2 1/2 books of hers that I've read), I love how the details of the geography and the architecture of the areas she describes feel so real to me. It's almost like they become characters themselves. The ruins around Chinon certainly felt like that in this book.  Enough to make me wish I could go visit! :)

Emily, herself, is a character I easily connected to and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this "forced" holiday with her. All the vast and interesting people she meets and the certain someone who continually remains on her radar, especially when she'd rather not be quite so aware of him. The romance bits are limited, but do they ever pack a punch! Ms. Kearsley excels at using few words, yet depths of emotion are felt. While I wouldn't say I loved this story with no reservations, I can absolutely say I am planning to read more of her books in the very near future!




May 25, 2017

The BEST Part of my Trip to Biltmore


Some friends and I visited Biltmore Estate the other weekend and I hadn't realized they had period drama costumes on special display right now. BEST surprise ever! Because those lovely costumes you see up there? Tell me y'all know who had the privilege of wearing them!

Yes! Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice '95. (!!!!!!) As soon as I stepped into the library and caught a glimpse of them, I knew immediately what they were. To say that I was dancing on the inside would be an understatement! (It was a busy day and there were far too many people around me to make dancing for realsies actually possible. ;) Needless to say, this Jane Austen fangirl was very, very happy. :D

I don't know if any of y'all have ever visited Biltmore yourselves or happen to know any of the history. Delightful author Pepper Basham is always posting pictures of her numerous visits to the estate on social media, so I knew a tiny bit from what she's shared. But I had no idea that George Vanderbilt (the original owner of the house) was such a huge reader.

BECAUSE THAT LIBRARY IS AMAZING.

I mean, look at all those books...




(Yes, that is a balcony up there. It went around the entire room.) I think we were told that there were upwards of at least 10,000 books in there, in several different languages. Can you imagine owning such a library?! I wanted SO badly to have hours to wander that room and look at all the beautiful stories encased within. If only... *daydreams*





I also enjoyed seeing one of Mia Wasikowska (and yes, I did just go and google how to spell her last name) and Michael Fassbender's costumes from Jane Eyre '11.



Also, I learned that Alicia Vikander (I had to go look up her last name too) is much shorter than I. And definitely much shorter than Matthew MacFadyen! (Although I'm thinking that lots of people are probably much shorter than he. ;) Seeing their costumes from Anna Karenina side by side, the difference in height is quite obvious. I haven't watched that movie, but I did like the costumes they chose to display.



And lastly, this is Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts' costumes from Far From the Madding Crowd. I haven't seen that movie either (I've heard really good things about it, so I'm hoping to watch it one day soon), but I've seen lots of pictures and that particular pose is familiar. I knew who it was even before I read the sign! :)

There were many more costumes throughout the house, but I didn't recognize any of the movies or period dramas they were from, so I took no other pictures. Still, my period drama and especially Jane Austen fangirl heart was absolutely delighted! :) The estate itself is incredible and the costumes were the icing on the cake of the entire day. Not to mention it was wonderful to hang out with dear friends the whole time.

Best weekend of the year! (So far. :)




May 3, 2017

Sunshine blogger Award :: take two


I know I just did one of these a couple months ago, but I saw Hamlette's post for this yesterday and since she didn't tag anyone specifically, plus I was searching for some post ideas, here we are! I thought the questions were fun.

{Also, I'm not tagging anyone specific either. So if you want to join in, have at it!}

1. Do you like to read an entire series at once or spread out the books over time?

I would much prefer to read them all at once. If I have to wait, it's incredibly painful. (I'm looking at you The Lunar Chronicles). And then once I've read them all and loved them, I can reread again and again all I want! :)

2. Would you rather be stuck in the past or the future?

Hmmmm. That's a tough one actually. I'd say the past, at least I could have some semblance of understanding what's going on (maybe?).

3. Have you ever had dream re-runs? (In other words, the same dream twice. XD)

I have no idea. If I ever actually remember my dream, usually I've forgotten it a couple hours later.

4. What is your favorite vacation you've ever taken?

Not a pic from that trip, but
imagine thousands of these
all in rows.
There's several that would be in my top ten, but my most favorite ever? I'd probably go with this one: back in 2001, a couple friends and I drove straight through from VA to CA (it took 41-45 hrs....I think?), stayed there a few days, then drove up the west coastline to OR and WA. We stayed in each of those states a couple days apiece, then drove east. We stopped at the Grand Canyon for a few hours on the way out, and Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore on the way back. We also saw the most beautiful (and HUGE) fields of sunflowers in South Dakota, as well a very large amount of motorcycles around Sturgis, SD. Not to mention we did a lot of tent camping, which brought it's own flavor of adventure to the trip. (You try chopping up a long piece of wooden board that we found alongside the road into firewood without an axe. Lucky for us, a rather handsome gentleman came to our rescue. ;) I have the best memories of that two and a half weeks. It was crazy, a bit chaotic, but awesome!

5. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Not really, so I don't have a favorite.

6. If you found the entrance to Narnia, would you tell anybody? Who would you take with you if you did?

Yes! I would tell a couple good friends of mine, who I know would be thrilled beyond bits to go on an adventure like that with me. :)

7. Waffles, pancakes, or neither?

Both!

8. Do you use the Shift key or the Caps Lock key every time you capitalize something? (Odd question, but it's something I always wonder, haha.)

The Shift key, unless I'm typing in all caps like I do for work. But for just one letter capitalization, I use Shift.

9. What is one smell that never fails to make you happy?

Anything freshly baking in the oven.

10. Have you ever been rollerskating?

Many, many times. Mom and dad's house has a basement with a cement floor and two poles in the middle of it. So around and around we went as kids, in skates and trikes and anything we could find with wheels! :)

11. You've gone into hiding and have to conceal your identity. What new alias would you adopt?

I have no idea? Off the top of my head, how about....Anne Shirley. :D




May 2, 2017

2017 INSPY Awards Shortlists

The day has arrived. We are ready to announce our 2017 INSPYs shortlists.


We thank you so much for your continued support, especially in light of the 2017 changes as we strive to create a program that is considerate of the many wonderful novels written in this genre.

Following multiple book deliveries plus multiple time zones, and juggling our respective schedules, the INSPY Awards Advisory Board is thrilled to (finally) announce the 2017 shortlist contenders. As each year does, another daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 6th annual INSPY Awards.


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 


Can’t Help Falling (Howard) by Kara Isaac
Her One and Only (Bethany House) by Becky Wade
Just a Kiss (Thomas Nelson) by Denise Hunter
A Twist of Faith (Southern Firefly Fiction) by Pepper Basham
You’re the One that I Want (Tyndale) by Susan May Warren


DEBUT FICTION


Close to You (Howard Books) by Kara Isaac
Counted with the Stars (Bethany House) by Connilyn Cossette
Leaving Independence (Waterfall Press) by Leanne W. Smith
The Secret to Hummingbird Cake (Thomas Nelson) by Celeste Fletcher McHale
The Undoing of Saint Silvanus (Tyndale) by Beth Moore


GENERAL FICTION


The Alliance (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim
The Feathered Bone (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell
Land of Silence (Tyndale) by Tessa Afshar
Long Way Gone (Thomas Nelson) by Charles Martin
A Portrait of Emily Price (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay


HISTORICAL ROMANCE


A Flight of Arrows (Waterbrook) by Lori Benton
The Lady and the Lionheart (Mason Jar Books) by Joanne Bischof
A Heart Most Certain (Bethany House) by Melissa Jaegers
The Captive Heart (Shiloh Run Press) by Michelle Griep
The Ringmaster’s Wife (Thomas Nelson) by Kristy Cambron


MYSTERY/THRILLER


Conspiracy of Silence (Bethany House) by Ronie Kendig
Cold Shot (Bethany House) by Dani Pettrey
Dressed for Death (Bethany House) by Julianna Deering
If I Run (Zondervan) by Terri Blackstock
When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson) by Carrie Stuart Parks


LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS


A Daring Sacrifice (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund
Gilt Hollow (Blink) by Lorie Langdon
I’ll Be Yours (Sweet Pea Productions) by Jenny B. Jones
Siren’s Song (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber
Unblemished (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella


SPECULATIVE FICTION


Accelerant (Enclave) by Ronie Kendig
The Calling (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker
The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (Thomas Nelson) by James L. Rubart
Seasons of Glory (Blink) by Lisa T. Bergren
The Shattered Vigil (Bethany House) by Patrick W. Carr


Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our 2017 judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.






May 1, 2017

A few things I'm "weirdly passionate" about...


Hello, my lovelies! Look, I'm back again! Isn't that fabulous? I knew you'd think so. ;)

Anyhoo! I haven't been blogging much recently, as all of the maybe five whole people who probably still read my blog know all too well (thank you for sticking with me, for the record! I'm so grateful I still have at least a couple regular readers). Still, all evidence may seem against this, but I haven't given up on blogging! Nope. Hence, I stumbled over this post from a new-to-me blog from last week and it made me think. Laura read this quote that she loved and it struck a note with me as well...

"We should all find something to be weirdly passionate about." 
~ Emma Mills

Laura wrote a great post on why we shouldn't give up on the things that we're weirdly passionate about which others may never understand. (Seriously. Go read her post, it made me smile. :)

Enthusiasm is a good thing! Whatever it is we're passionate about, it doesn't matter if others understand it or not. Which reminded me of a conversation I had this past weekend with friends of mine. Somehow my enthusiasm for books and reading came up (I definitely didn't bring it up myself! So not my fault.) and I had the delightful opportunity to gush over my fun experience with the INSPYs. (Mainly because that's been my focus when it comes to reading for the past few weeks and when I was asked what I'd been reading currently, well...)

It was lovely to have the chance to show a bit of my enthusiasm and, while those listening didn't share the same feelings as I, they seemed to enjoy the fact that I was happy. That doesn't always happen, so yay! :)

So! I thought I'd share two things that I am, without a doubt, "weirdly passionate" about:

1. books (obviously) - This passion of mine is one of the biggest reasons I began to read blogs and was brave enough to start my own. I've said before that I've loved reading since before I can even remember. Probably since I was old enough to learn to read! :)

2. korean dramas (I love seeing Suey's enthusiasm for these and her courage inspires me) - I was a silent watcher of these for several years before I was brave enough to even mention it to a single person. And even then, I was a bit embarrassed to admit it. I don't know that I can even explain to someone what it is about them that I love so much. All I can tell you is I stumbled across one on youtube one day a few years ago and decided I must needs find more! And the rest, as they say, is history. I will say that when I've had a few reading slumps in recent past, or been sick and unable to concentrate on reading, kdramas have kept me happily distracted. Crazy, yes! But crazy awesome, if I do say so for myself. :D

What are you weirdly passionate about?




April 30, 2017

Little Letters :: Fifteenth Edition

via
Dear spring weather, thank you for finally arriving and sticking around! I was so ready for winter to be officially over.

Dear library book sale, I am SO sad that I totally forgot you were happening! Yes, yes, I know I was sick, but still. I could've at least come on the last day... *sniff*

Dear library, thanks for always being there. I've neglected you of late, but it was so comforting to return and find you still peaceful. My heart was happily restful in your presence.

Dear books on my TBR, I've been concentrating on the INSPYs for the past couple months, but am determined to get back into reading for pure pleasure now. So be on the lookout, I'm coming for you! :)

Dear Beauty and the Beast, you were such a delight! Thank you for existing.

Dear Lindor truffles, mmmmmmmmmm. :D

Dear dad, I'm happy you're happy. Truly! It's still a bit of adjustment for me, but it's definitely good to see you smiling again.

Dear Carrabbas, thank you for helping me "eat my feelings".

Dear weekends, why can't you last longer than just two days?

Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.




April 13, 2017

It just all depends on the reader...


We readers are a unique bunch and we all have books we love and books we don't. And sometimes those "books we don't" happen to be ones that everyone (and I do mean just about everyone out there who's read it) loved. The first time or two this happened, I remember feeling slightly embarrassed. What was wrong with me that I didn't love it? Everyone else did and especially some favorite bloggers whose recommendations are usually spot on? But see, I was totally wrong. It is perfectly normal not to like what everyone else does! Especially when it comes to books. Thank goodness.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was my first time experiencing this. I even went out and bought a hardback copy because I just assumed I would love it! It had all the things that normally worked for me. The romance sounded cute and the issues that the teen protagonists were going through were heartfelt and appealed to me.

But....

I didn't like it. At all. Wait, wait! Before you throw things at me, let me just state that there were some nice moments, it's not a terrible book. I just.....didn't like it.

And because of that experience, I am now really leery about any overly hyped book or series. If everyone loves it, then I'm a lot more likely to approach with lots of caution. I might actually end up loving it too! Take The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, for example. I was a bit leery of Cinder when it first came out. Everyone raved and I wasn't so sure. But I ended up trying it from the library and then I had to go purchase my own copy because everyone was right! (And that whole series is epic and awesome and amazing and yeah. So I totally bought into all the hype for those. ;)

So what I'm saying is, hype isn't always what it's cracked up to be. And sometimes it is. It just all depends on the reader. It also means that there are books out there for everyone. I love this book, but you don't, yet you love this book and I don't. And yet again, we both love this other book!

At the end of the day? There's no right or wrong, it's just books. And if we all love books, then we all win anyway, right? :)




April 12, 2017

30 Days of Books :: Day 22


See? I told you I was trying to get back into posting! And here I am three days in with three whole posts. Amazing! ;D

Alright, alright. Enough with the sarcasm, yes? On to the books!

{many thanks to Jenni for the idea}

Day 22: Favorite book you own


Oh groan. Another hard one! But if I have to choose, I'd say it was a toss up between My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay (I own two copies) and Persuasion by Jane Austen (I own four copies). Not to mention The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery! (Sadly I only own one copy of this one, but plan to get at least one more for it's beautiful cover! :)




I can't choose a favorite between those three, I pick them all up very, very often to reread yet again. Sometimes I read the entire story all in one sitting, sometimes I skim only my favorite parts, sometimes I just read the final few chapters (where all the good stuff happens ;). But of all the books I own, of which there are many, I'd say it's those three books that I pick up the most often.



And you? Do you have a favorite that you own?











April 11, 2017

30 Days of Books :: Day 21


Hello, my lovelies! It's me again. Trying to get back in the fun of posting again. I've just been kind of out of sorts for a bit here, so my posting has gotten even more sporadic. But here I am! I love writing too much to give this up. :) I hope you all are doing well?

On with my final ten days!

{Many thanks, again, to Jenni for the idea.}

Day 21: Favorite book from your childhood

This is truly a tough one. I'm not sure I can name one favorite actually. I know I say this every time I post one of these, but this time it's actually true. I'm honestly not sure what book was my favorite from back then. I remember enjoying Dr. Seuss stories, The Berenstain Bears, and the little golden books when I was really young. When mom couldn't read them to me, I'd spend hours looking at the pictures and imagining what was happening in them (in short, creating my own stories around them :). As I grew older and able to read on my own, I liked The Boxcar Children, the Encyclopedia Brown stories, Ramona Quimby and other books by Beverly Cleary, The Babysitters Club series, The Hundred Dresses, Miss Nelson is Missing, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, Richard Scarry's books, all manner of fairytales, and basically I loved just about everything. 

Clearly, I have always loved to read! I spent hours and hours reading and rereading all the books at our house, all the books at my grandma's house, and any others I could get my hands on! :)

What about you? Did you have a favorite book when you were young?




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