Fall Reading – 2019

Fall is almost here! I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge and my 2019 Focus on Authors Challenge. Titles are mostly based on giveaways and book club picks. What are y’all reading this fall? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danieleweski
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

NetGalley Reads

  • Manhunters by Steve Murphy & Javier F. Pena
  • Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes
  • One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
  • A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
  • The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Bookish First

  • The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews

Readalongs

  • Dune by Frank Herbert

2019 Focus on Authors

  • The Body by Stephen King
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Other

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott – audiobook
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone – audiobook
  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – audiobook
  • The End of Procrastination by Petr Ludwig – audiobook
  • American Predator by Maureen Callahan – audiobook
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – audiobook
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet – audiobook
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – audiobook
  • Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham – audiobook
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper – book
  • Love Big by Rozella Haydee White – book


HAPPY FALL!!!!

Advertisements

WWW Wednesdays – September 18, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I’ve made some good progress with my Stephen King reads this month (A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I have so many thoughts and opinions about what I’ve read so soon, that I can barely contain myself and wait until the final review I will make at the end of the month.

Currently Reading

See how I am trying to balance out my horror reads with a little Christmas romance thrown in the mix?!

Finished Reading

Focus on Authors Challenge: Christine by Stephen King – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Challenge: Apt Pupil by Stephen King – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦
Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the title of the book for my full review. All Stephen King reads will be reviewed at the end of September.*

Reading Next

What are y’all reading this week? Leave a comment and/or your WWW links below!

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – September 11, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I’ve started my month of reading Stephen King for my Focus on Authors Challenge. I have only ever read Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption prior to this month. What are your favorite Stephen King reads?

Currently Reading

Recently Finished

Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson – audiobook = ♦ ♦
Focus on Authors Challenge: 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Challenge: On Writing by Stephen King – book/audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
IRL Book Club: Recollections of Things to Come by Elena Garro – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

*Some titles have links to my review. All Stephen King reads will be reviewed at the end of September.*

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Tell me what you are reading or post your WWW link in the comments!

HAPPY READING!!!

Book Review: Book Girl

BOOKGIRLTitle: Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life
Author: Sarah Clarkson
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Pages: 288
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: August 31, 2019

Goodreads Description: When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle’s delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson’s delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage.

She’s convinced that books can do the same for you.

Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you’ll discover:
how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith,
why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin),
how stories form your sense of identity,
how Sarah’s parents raised her to be a reader–and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and
20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries.
Whether you’ve long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well.

My Review: I really wanted to love this book. What book lover doesn’t appreciate hearing about someone else’s love of books?!

The author made some fantastic points about how reading is knowledge, but that reading should also be for enjoyment purposes. I’m a little jealous of the author’s upbringing – that reading was encouraged. I did not come from a family of readers. They often were confused on why I enjoyed reading so much.

The author gives excellent advice on how to make your reading life more enjoyable too, including doing book discussions and participating in book clubs. She also recommends keeping a book journal or even writing down your favorite quotes. These suggestions are all good ones to make you truly appreciate literature and reading in general.

However, I felt that there was quite a lot of repetition throughout the book. While I love lists and especially book lists, the author’s lists seemed a bit narrow. Yes, I understand that the author went to Oxford, especially after she mentioned it the 50th time, so having an appreciation for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien is understandable, but they are not the only authors out there. There are so many amazing authors that should have been included. At one point she mentions a book that takes place in North Africa, but it was from the perspective of a missionary not from a local. She did briefly mention Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but there should have been a lot more authors of color included in her lists.

Unfortunately, because of those reasons, this was an overall disappointing read for me.

My Rating: ♦ ♦

WWW Wednesdays – August 28, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I got back into my reading groove this last week. This is mostly thanks to the Bout of Books readathon. It helped me focus my free time on reading. I managed to make progress on both my Focus on Authors and my Reading the Classics challenges.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

IRL Readalong: East of Eden by John Steinbeck – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦
The Home Edit by Clea Shearer – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Tell me what you are reading or post your WWW link in the comments!

HAPPY READING!!!

Book Review: The Home Edit

homeeditTitle: The Home Edit
Author: Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
Genre: Self-help
Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Pages: 256
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: August 27, 2019

Goodreads Description: There’s decorating, and then there’s organizing. From the Instagram-sensation home experts (with a serious fan club that includes Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mindy Kaling), here is an accessible, room-by-room guide to establishing new order in your home.

Believe this: every single space in your house has the potential to function efficiently and look great. The mishmash of summer and winter clothes in the closet? Yep. Even the dreaded junk drawer? Consider it done. And the best news: it’s not hard to do–in fact, it’s a lot of fun.

From the home organizers who made their orderly eye candy themethod that everyone swears by comes Joanna and Clea’s signature approach to decluttering. The Home Edit walks you through paring down your belongings in every room, arranging them in a stunning and easy-to-find way (hello, labels!), and maintaining the system so you don’t need another do-over in six months. When you’re done, you’ll not only know exactly where to find things, but you’ll also love the way it looks.

A masterclass and look book in one, The Home Edit is filled with bright photographs and detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color (there’s nothing like a little ROYGBIV to soothe the soul). Above all, it’s like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

My Review: The authors of The Home Edit have their own home organization business. They have a good collaboration, as one focuses on practical use and one focuses on aesthetically pleasing. Both ideas are difficult for me to grasp when I am organizing my house, so I was more than ready to hear some functional organizing tips that also look good.

They start off with the practical:

  1. Don’t keep things you are not going to use.
  2. Don’t buy more items than you have space for, so understand your space restrictions. If you are bringing things into the house, make sure you are taking things out of the house. (This bit of advice was particularly helpful to me. I tend to buy and stock up on household items when they are on sale and then have no idea where to put them when I get home.)
  3. Don’t try to tackle too much at one time. Start with one drawer.
  4. Everything should have a place.

Then they go into the functional but also looks great part of organizing. This tends to be the part that most people enjoy. Not many people like to go through their belongs and toss things and then try to decide where to put the items they are keeping. However, labeling and shopping for storage containers, etc. seem to bring more joy to the task. Personally, I am not sure I like any part of organizing, but when your life is crazy busy, being organized and knowing where your belongings are should be one less thing you need to stress about.

Here are some ways to get started on this part of organizing:

  1. Once you know everything that you have, design a system that is functional and looks good.
  2. Invest in shoe box containers (not the cardboard ones your shoe purchases come in).
  3. Having see-through containers means that you don’t necessarily need to label.
  4. Invest in over-the-door hanging organizers.
  5. Get in the habit of putting everything in its designated place, but also be prepared that things may not stay perfect.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found the authors need to constantly name drop a bit of a turnoff. In the Introduction, the reader becomes aware that the authors have done organization projects for many celebrities. I think it is a negative toward their home organizing points by using their projects for celebrities as everyday examples, because the average reader of this book is looking at organizing stuff into a much smaller space and with a much smaller budget. I didn’t feel like this book catered that much to someone on a tight budget. I went into the Container Store once, so I could get some organizing supplies and was totally shocked by how expensive many of the containers and organizers were. I am looking for much more affordable options, and didn’t feel that they really helped me understand where to get things that were affordable. However, I am aware that I listened to this audiobook through my library and apparently there is a downloadable pdf that is normally included with this audiobook that I did not receive.

I would normally have given this book more like a 3 out of 5 stars. However, while I found that much of the book wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked, the authors were humorous and personable and made this book a much more enjoyable read than most home organizing books tend to be, so it has earned my 4 out of 5 stars. The following passage really made me laugh hard:

“Top 5 ways to keep your entry looking picture-perfect at all times:

  1. Live alone.
  2. Make sure your kids use a separate entrance. 
  3. Don’t own things.
  4. Change your mailing address to your neighbors and pick up your mail once a week.
  5. Start going places without shoes or jackets, so there is nothing to take off when you walk in the door.”

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Bout of Books 26 Wrap-Up – August 2019

Bout of Books

This last week I participated in the Bout of Books 26 Readathon. This readathon really helped me get back into reading after a busy summer of work and travel. I was really happy with the goals that I set for myself. This is how I did:

1. Complete 80% of the Challenge:

Instagram = 6 posts (85% of the challenges)
Twitter = 9 posts (didn’t necessarily do the challenges, but I gave updates everyday)
Blog = 2 posts

2. Finish 3 books:

Here are the books I completed:

3. Read 800 pages:

I read a total of 1,179 pages.

4. Read for at least 2 hours a day:

I read for an average of 3 hours per day during the readathon.

I’m so glad I participated in this readathon, as it definitely helped me get my reading groove back!

Bout of Books 27 dates:
January 6-12, 2020