Tag: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

What I’m Reading Now (12/10/18)

December 10, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 19

Kicking off an awesome week! And, do you know why it’s an awesome week?! Because I’ve finished my least favorite holiday chores: most of the Christmas shopping, ordering Christmas cards, and making the annual family photo album that my husband likes to open on Christmas morning. Anne Bogel shared an article called “Want  to Enjoy More of Your Holiday Season? Remove These 10 Things” in her “Links I Love” post on Friday…and, it really resonated with me. I used to love the holidays…and now I find myself stressed out every year. 

Let me rant for one quick second…sending holiday cards is a relic from the days before social media. When you had no idea what your long distance friends and family’s kids looked like from year to year. Now that we have social media, we see these pictures all the time. Why do we need to spend a ton of time and money taking/finding (because I never actually set up a holiday card photo shoot…I just use snapshots I’ve taken throughout the year) the perfect picture(s), updating all your addresses, and sending out a bunch of cards to everyone you’ve ever known in your life when you can see all that and more on Instagram?! I just feel like it’s gotten  out of hand…but, you can’t not send them because then you’ll seem rude. Sigh…

I’m continuing with my Best Books of 2018 lists this week…look out for Most Underrated Gems of 2018 on Tuesday and Best Books of 2018 on Thursday!

New on the blog

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It’s only December 6, but I’m starting my Best Books of 2018 lists! I’m not reading anymore 2018 releases, so I thought why not get the ball rolling? _ I love debuts and have always made an effort to read a lot of them…and I generally have great luck with them! This year’s list has lots of nonfiction on it (way more than normal for me)…and I’m thrilled to be able to honor Where the Crawdads Sing since it was tragically left off of the Goodreads Choice Awards Debut nominee list! LINK IN PROFILE WITH FULL LIST _ What are your favorite debuts of 2018? * * * * * #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes @meghanmacleanweir @aakopf @authordeliaowens @putnambooks @beckdoreystein

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I finished reading…

This Must Be the Place

 

This Must Be the Placeby Maggie O’Farrell (May 17, 2016)
I had a few quibbles with some minor plot points, but I loved it! It feels like an epic, but reads easily. And, I’m discovering that I love Maggie O’Farrell’s writing in general. It’s going on my new character-driven novels I couldn’t put down list!
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I’m currently reading…

Silver Sparrow

 

Silver Sparrowby Tayari Jones (January 1, 2011)
I grabbed this one from the library on a whim. Y’all know I loved An American Marriage (my review) and I always like to try the backlist of new-to-me authors I fall in love with. It has a very similar feel to An American Marriage and also takes place in Atlanta…but this is the story of a man with two families and daughters the same age. One is aware of the other, but not vice versa. I’m about 80% through and sh*t’s about to hit the fan! I’m pretty surprised to say this, but I think Silver Sparrow is equally as good as An American Marriage!
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

Continuing my annual end of year backlist reading…

Olive Kitteridge

 

Olive Kitteridgeby Elizabeth Strout (March 25, 2008)
DNF at 28%
OK, I’m zero for two on Pulitzer Prize winning novels (the other one is All the Light We Cannot See…sorry y’all, I couldn’t even get through the sample!). I felt like I spent the first third of every chapter orienting myself to the characters, placing them in the broader context of their relationships to Olive, and figuring out their roles in the town…by the time I got invested in their stories, they were over and she’d moved on to the next one.

Upcoming reading plans…

Continuing my annual end of year backlist reading…

Kind Worth Killing

 

The Kind Worth Killingby Peter Swanson (March 25, 2008)
Ashley Spivey (of #SpiveysClub Facebook Group) has been raving about this psychological thriller for ages and I’m thinking it’s just what I need after a string of literary fiction novels.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a novel I didn’t think I’d like, but ended up loving!

Two Years Ago: I read my first Anna Quindlen novel, kicking off a new auto-buy author.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (12/3/18)

December 3, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 11

Well, the holidays are in full swing! My husband has a Clark Griswold side to him and began decorating our house the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sure our neighbors love the projectile lights we have flashing on our house! But, the best part for me is he genuinely enjoys doing it and takes all that work off my hands. Win-win.

End of the year posts are going to start popping up on the blog this week! Stay tuned for my 2018 Books That Deserved the Hype…and Those That Didn’t list tomorrow and Best Debuts of 2018 list on Thursday. AND…I’ve been working on something big for the past few months (big for this blog, anyway!) and I’m going to be able to tell you about it soon…hopefully in the next few weeks! If you subscribe to my email list, you already know what I’m talking about!

New on the blog

  • Annual Holiday Gift Guide – I’ve got book recommendations in 7 categories, my favorite bookish subscription services, and bookish gifts that aren’t books!
  • 2019 Rock Your Reading Tracker – I used my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” this year to track all my reading stats in real time and figure out who my best recommendation sources are…and, my reading QUALITY improved 42% from last year! The new and improved 2019 tracker is now available for $14.99…get more details here!

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Have you recovered from the Black Friday / Double Whammy yet?! I hope you’ve still got a bit of shopping left in you because my annual Holiday Gift Guide is here! LINK IN PROFILE ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ I’ve got books in 7 categories:⠀ * Go-To Recommendations⠀ * Edgy Literary Fiction⠀ * Introspective Books (i.e. life wisdom type memoirs)⠀ * Page Turners⠀ * Something Fun (your brain candy)⠀ * For the Hobbyist⠀ * Investigative Journalism⠀ _⠀ ⠀ What books are you hoping to see under the tree this year?⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #giftsforbooklovers #bookishgifts #giftidea

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I finished reading…

The Ensemble

 

The Ensembleby Aja Gabel (May 15, 2018)
5 star character-driven novel I got completely engrossed in! I really didn’t think I’d like this one and have had the ARC sitting around since May! I cannot believe I almost missed it. Mini review coming.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

This Must Be the Place

 

This Must Be the Placeby Maggie O’Farrell (May 17, 2016)
I’m almost done with this family / marital drama and I’m loving it! It feels like an epic, but reads easily. And, I’m discovering that I love Maggie O’Farrell’s writing in general. I have a few quibbles with minor plot points, but I’m so glad I went back to her fiction!
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

Continuing my annual end of year backlist reading…

Olive Kitteridge

 

Olive Kitteridgeby Elizabeth Strout (March 25, 2008)
Can y’all believe I haven’t read this Pulitzer Prize winner…especially since I loved Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton (my review) and Anything is Possible (my quick thoughts)?! Well, now I have something motivating me to fit it in…Strout has a new book coming out in September 2019 called Olive, Again, so I have to be prepared!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read a novel that’s a must read if you like demented characters.

Two Years Ago: I took the week off.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (11/26/18)

November 26, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 18

I hope everyone had a great (and food-filled) Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (Food! And, a lot less work than all the gift purchasing of Christmas) and this year my cousin made the most delicious turkey I’ve ever tasted…no lie. And, I’m not even a turkey girl…Thanksgiving is usually all about the stuffing and pie (or pumpkin cheesecake) for me. So, I’ve spent the past few days recovering…watching my team (UVA) blow yet another big football game and reading (went better than football did).

I’ve officially finished my Nonfiction November reading and will share my mini reviews (and favorite book of Nonfiction November) later this week. I’m also wrapping up 2018 books and will read all backlist for the next few weeks until I start on January 2019 releases.

And, I have to apologize…I haven’t responded to my blog comments in a really long time. Tis’ the season for busyness and having to cut a few corners. At this point, I’m kind of overwhelmed at the thought of going back and answering them all. So, I might just start a clean slate moving forward. I generally try to be pretty good at responding to comments, so this kind of pains me, but I hope you all understand!

2019 Rock Your Reading Tracker

Y’all know how I’ve been using my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” all year to track all my reading stats in real time and figure out who my best recommendation sources are? Well, my reading QUALITY improved 42% from last year! I know this is because I started paying attention to who my best and worst recommendation sources are. 

Only 2 more days to get the new and improved 2019 tracker for last year’s price of $11.99. The price will go up to $14.99 on Wednesday. Get more details here!

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This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

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Nonfiction November Day 22: A fitting topic for this Thanksgiving holiday…the one most devoted to…FOOD! I used to read tons of foodie memoirs, but haven’t read many lately, which I’d like to change. ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ 📖 Heat – the author goes to work in the kitchen of Babbo, Mario Batali’s flagship New York restaurant⠀ 📖 Service Included – the memoir of the first female captain at the famous New York City restaurant, Per Se⠀ 📖 Kitchen Confidential – the granddaddy of them all. RIP Anthony Bourdain.⠀ 📖 My Life in France – Julia Child’s memoir of her time in France with her husband, Paul…and one of the books that inspired the movie Julie & Julia⠀ 📖 The Making of a Chef – the author’s account of his time at Culinary Institute of America, the U.S.’s premier culinary school⠀ 📖 The Pat Conroy Cookbook – stories and recipes from my all-time favorite authors⠀ 📖 The Reach of a Chef – Michael Ruhlman looks at culinary trends through a number of high-profile restaurants⠀ ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Do you read foodie books? What are some of your favorites? And, what is best thing you ate this Thanksgiving?!⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #nonficnov #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #foodmemoirs #anthonybourdain @michaelruhlman #patconroy #juliachild ⠀

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger (June 5, 2018)
An easy read…not one of the best ones, not one of the worst ones. A bit heavy on the ridiculous Greenwich housewife types, but salty Emily Charlton helped balance them out.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam (May 29, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
I didn’t really learn anything earth-shattering in this book (a lot seemed like common sense to me), but it’s definitely a good primer for those interested in improving their time management. Would make a great companion read to The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck…both address choosing where to devote your time and cutting out the fluff.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

American Radical by Tamer Elnoury (October 23, 2017) – AUDIOBOOK
Pretty chilling. The most interesting part about it for me was the exploration of Elnoury’s version of Islam and how he feels about those that practice the radicalized version of his religion. Great Dad gift for the holidays!
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

The Ensemble

 

The Ensembleby Aja Gabel (May 15, 2018)
Y’all…I’m so glad I made time for this one! I’d had the galley sitting around since May and kept seeing mixed reviews. Plus, it’s about a classical music quartet and I’m not a music person at all…especially classical. But, it’s one of those character-driven novels I got completely engrossed in and will end my 2018 books on a 5 star note…assuming it doesn’t fly off the rails in the 13% I have remaining to read!
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

Starting my annual end of year backlist reading…

This Must Be the Place

 

This Must Be the Placeby Maggie O’Farrell (May 17, 2016)
I adored O’Farrell’s essay collection (I Am, I Am, I Am) earlier this year, so have been itching to try some of her fiction. I picked up this family / marital drama on a Kindle deal earlier this year on the recommendation of Anne Bogel and can’t wait to finally dig in!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading an unsettling novel that ended up on this year’s summer reading guide.

Two Years Ago: I read Pat Conroy’s last book.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (11/19/18)

November 19, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 19

I finished my Nonfiction November TBR list and am now back to fiction for a bit (although, you’ll still see lots of nonfiction on the blog and on Instagram through the end of the month!). I have one more 2018 release I’d like to fit in before jumping into some backlist books I’ve been meaning to read forever (which is usually how I spend late November – mid December).

2019 Rock Your Reading Tracker

Y’all know how I’ve been using my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” all year to track all my reading stats in real time and figure out who my best recommendation sources are? Well, my reading QUALITY improved 42% from last year! I know this is because I started paying attention to who my best and worst recommendation sources are. 

The new and improved 2019 tracker went on sale last week! For a limited time only, you can get it for last year’s price of $11.99. The price will go up to $14.99 on November 28. Get more details here!

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This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

Dopesick by Beth Macy (August 7, 2018)
Y’all, this book is absolutely terrifying…especially for a parent. I’m astounded how little I knew about the opioid crisis, especially in my home state. Mini review coming at the end of the month.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

My Sister, the Serial Killerby Oyinkan Braithwaite (November 20, 2018)
Great little read! There’s Korede, the “good” sister, who does everything right and always cleans up after Ayoola, the beautiful sister, who sails through life without a care in the world…yet kills her boyfriends and manages to be their mother’s favorite. Is it weird that I thought a book like this was unexpectedly funny? Parts of the story are preposterous, but for some reason, it totally worked for me!
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

When Life Gives You LuluLemons

 

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger (June 5, 2018)
After months of waiting, my library hold came in at the exact right time. Last week was a tough one and I’ve been in the mood for easy reading since finishing my Nonfiction November TBR list. And, it’s just that…nothing more, nothing less. I’m about 65% through.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

This will likely be the last 2018 release I read this year…

The Ensemble

 

The Ensembleby Aja Gabel (May 15, 2018)
I’ve had this galley about a celebrated string quartet for months and kept putting it off. I’ve been seeing mixed reviews since it came out, but Annie Jones of From the Front Porch podcast (and one of my best recommendation sources) loved it, so I’d still like to give it a try. I started it before When Life Gives You Lululemons came in from the library and am certainly intrigued by the opening…but, I can definitely tell it’s not going to be an easy reading kind of book.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read a bunch of good nonfiction!

Two Years Ago: I took a week off!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (11/12/18) – A Double Shot

November 12, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 13

I’ve been knee deep in Nonfiction November (#nonficnov) reading and it’s been fantastic so far! I’ve liked every book I’ve read and listened to so far…and I’ve gotten through my entire TBR list. So, I’m going to sneak in a novel after I finish my current book…I’m ready for some fiction.

Y’all know how I’ve been using my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” all year to track all my reading stats in real time and figure out who my best recommendation sources are? Well, my reading QUALITY improved 42% from last year! I know this is because I started paying attention to who my best and worst recommendation sources are. And, the new and improved 2019 tracker will go on sale on Wednesday! 

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This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

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Nonfiction November Day 9: True Crime…I’ve always loved true crime. Since way before I started Sarah’s Book Shelves (I wrote my junior year term paper on Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood in high school!) and way before the prevalence of true crime podcasts brought the genre back in vogue. I’m not sure what that says about my psyche, though 🤣⠀ _⠀ ⠀ A murderer’s row of my favorites…⠀ ⠀ 📖 One Day in September – the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Olympics…and the Israeli retaliation mission.⠀ 📖 The Stranger Beside Me – Ted Bundy.⠀ 📖 The Monster of Florence – the most infamous double murders in Italian history.⠀ 📖 Justice – crimes of the rich and famous (including O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, and Michael Skakel).⠀ 📖 Fatal Charms and Mansions of Limbo – more crimes of the rich and famous.⠀ 📖 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – the Savannah murder of Billy Hanson and trial of well-known antiques dealer Jim Williams.⠀ 📖 The Devil in the White City – Dr. Henry H. Holmes terrorizes the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.⠀ 📖 I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (not included in this picture because I only had it on Kindle!) – the East Area Rapist / Golden State Killer.⠀ ⠀ Do you read true crime?! What are some of your favorites?⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #nonficnov #nonfiction #nonfictionbooks #truecrime #truecrimeaddict ⠀

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (January 1, 1994)
This was my maiden voyage with Anne Lamott and I had some pre-conceived notions about her because she often writes about faith. I thought she’d be wise and heartfelt…and serious. But, she totally surprised me with that last one! Mini review coming at the end of the month.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

The Fifth Riskby Michael Lewis (October 2, 2018)
Totally fascinating, but his overall purpose felt muddled to me. But, the fascinating elements made it all worth it! Mini review coming at the end of the month.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Timesby Mark Leibovich (September 4, 2018)
Leibovich writes with dry, sarcastic wit and I loved how he essentially made fun of all the self-important people that run the NFL. And, that’s what this book is about far more than actual football. Mini review coming at the end of the month.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friendsby Kelsey Miller (October 23, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
One big nostalgia trip about Friends…and a bit of enlightenment on how parts of the show are problematic when viewed through today’s lens. Upon finishing the audiobook, I immediately started binge watching Friends on Netflix…from the beginning! Mini review coming at the end of the month.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Dopesick

 

Dopesick by Beth Macy (August 7, 2018)
Y’all, this book is absolutely terrifying…especially for a parent. I’m over halfway done and am astounded how little I knew about the opioid crisis, especially in my home state.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Upcoming reading plans…

I need a little breather from nonfiction…

My sister the serial killer

 

My Sister, the Serial Killerby Oyinkan Braithwaite (November 20, 2018)
I mean, the title alone of this one made my ears perk up. But, Susie at Novel Visits also liked it. And, it’s about exactly what the title says.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I took a week off!

Two Years Ago: I read Pat Conroy’s memoir about his reading life.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (10/29/18)

October 29, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 15

I got an early start on my Nonfiction November reading last week, which is a nice change of pace from my normal reading! Focusing on a different genre and reading lots of backlist and based on mood is a bit freeing. Go here for more details on how to participate. And, look for my Year in Nonfiction post tomorrow!

And, here are the Nonfiction November Instagram prompts! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Nonficnov!

Nonfiction November 2018 Instagram Prompts

 

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It’s taken me 10 months into 2018 to find the right combination of books for an Alcohol & Advil post! So, welcome to the first Alcohol & Advil post of 2018…LINK IN PROFILE ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Waiting for Eden by @elliot.ackerman gut-punched me over and over in only 192 pages. It’s not for everyone, but if you like books that make you acutely FEEL, even if those feelings are tough, you have to read this book. ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Sadie by @courtneysummers, while not perfect, was just the quick and easy read I needed following Waiting for Eden. It’s YA, which is not normally my thing, but I love that Sadie was partially told through a Serial-esque podcast transcript.⠀ _⠀ ⠀ What was the last book that gave you a massive reading hangover?⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Alcohol & Advil is my feature where I pair a book likely to cause a “reading hangover” (i.e. the alcohol) with a recovery book (i.e. the Advil)! For me, the “alcohol” is usually a book that I either absolutely loved or one that punched me in the gut in an emotionally depleting way…and, in this case, it’s both.⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #youngadultbooks @aaknopf @wednesdaybooks⠀

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

Driven by Julie Heldman (August 22, 2018)
I enjoyed all the tennis history in this memoir, but it desperately needed an editor (it was self-published, which I don’t normally read for this very reason)! 446 pages was outrageous. Mini review coming.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou (May 21, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
Though I did get lost in some of the science and engineering details, this true story of the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of the Silicon Valley startup, Theranos, was kind of mind-blowing. And, also a bit scary for investors. Mini review coming.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Bird by Bird

 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (January 1, 1994)
Believe it or not, this is my first time reading the legendary Anne Lamott! She’s so relatable and funny, which I didn’t expect for some reason. I’m only 25% through, but think I’ll definitely be reading more of her in the future.

Upcoming reading plans…

Still waiting on this library hold, which my Libby app says is “coming soon”…

Fifth Risk

 

The Fifth Riskby Michael Lewis (October 2, 2018)
Michael Lewis is one of my auto-buy authors. I think he’s a master at making dry topics entertaining and breaking down complicated concepts so the layperson can understand them. This time, he’s tackling the U.S. government. However, I’m a little skittish because I didn’t love his two most recent books (Flash Boys and The Undoing Project).

was reading…

One Year Ago: I read what I’m pretty sure is one of my favorite books of all-time!

Two Years Ago: I was reading a couple books that I remember virtually nothing about.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (10/22/18)

October 22, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 17

My October hot streak continues this week with another 5 star book and still no books I haven’t liked! October is more than making up for my dismal September.

We’re only 1 week out from the start of Nonfiction November and I’m starting my nonfiction reading early! Check out all the details here and hope you’ll join us starting next week!

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I thought I’d jump into @howjessreads’ #31bookpics extravaganza today….featuring blue books! ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Let me introduce my blue all-star stack from my shelves…⠀ 📘 Shelter by @jungyun71 – one of my favorite books of 2016! ⠀ 📘 The Dinner by #hermankoch – one of my favorite “short books that packs a powerful punch!”⠀ 📘 Black Chalk by @christopherjyates – One of my top dark and twisty campus novels…which is also one of my favorite reading categories!⠀ 📘 The Art of Fielding by #chadharbach – About baseball, but not really! PS – WHERE is Chad Harbach?? Are we ever going to see another book by him?⠀ 📘 A Little Life by @hanyayanagihara – Needs no description. Except it was one of my favorite books of 2015! Was it really that long ago?⠀ 📘 Beach Music by #patconroy – You didn’t think you’d get a stack from my shelves that didn’t include Conroy, did you?!⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Are any of these among your favorites, too? ⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #bluebooks ⠀

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

 

Sadie by Courtney Summers (September 4, 2018)
Not in the top echelon of Brain Candy or YA or anything, but exactly what I needed following Waiting for Eden. Mini review to come.
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A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (November 13, 2018)
Much darker and more demented than The Heart’s Invisible Furies, but also incredibly engrossing! 5 stars and it deserves a place on my 16 Character-Driven Novels I Couldn’t Put Down list! Full review to come.
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I’m currently reading…

Driven Julie Heldman

 

Driven by Julie Heldman (August 22, 2018)
I’m only about 10% into this memoir from a 1960’s tennis star and the emotional abuse…it sounds like it’s going to be Mommie Dearest of tennis.

Upcoming reading plans…

If it comes through from the library when I think it will…

 

Fifth Risk

 

The Fifth Riskby Michael Lewis (October 2, 2018)
Michael Lewis is one of my auto-buy authors. I think he’s a master at making dry topics entertaining and breaking down complicated concepts so the layperson can understand them. This time, he’s tackling the U.S. government. However, I’m a little skittish because I haven’t loved his two most recent books (Flash Boys and The Undoing Project).

was reading…

One Year Ago: I started Nonfiction November reading early last year too!

Two Years Ago: I was in the middle of an excellent Alcohol & Advil combo!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (10/15/18)

October 15, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 33

I finished 3 books last week…which is a ton for me! And, I was rewarded with STILL being 3 books behind schedule for my Goodreads goal. I shouldn’t care about that, but I do…just because it’s there. The way I feel about this is making me lean towards not setting a Goodreads goal next year. Hmm…

I shared my October 2018 Books to Read (and Skip) on Friday…and have one more October book coming this Thursday with its very own review!

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Now that school has started back up, a new reading routine has developed in my house. My son, who’s in 2nd grade, has to read for 20 minutes every night as part of his homework. I’ve taken to reading along side him for those 20 minutes…and, I’ve found that it completely settles me down from the day.⠀ _⠀ ⠀ Every night, I start my stopwatch and he proceeds to ask me every 3 minutes how much longer he has to go. Meanwhile, I’m wishing for the 20 minutes to never end. Fingers crossed my son gets to the point where he’s enjoying reading so much that he stops asking me how much longer he has!⠀ _⠀ ⠀ What are some of your reading routines…with or without your kids?⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #igreads #booksofinstagram #badassbookbabes #readeverywhere #diaryofawimpykid

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now


A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (October 16, 2018)
I liked this one, but it was a decidedly lukewarm like. It definitely didn’t fill Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald‘s very large shoes. Check out my review for more thoughts.
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From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein (July 10, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
This quarter life crisis memoir set in the world of politics might be my favorite audiobook of the year! It’s like listening to your fun friend who happens to have a job (stenographer) in the White House with access to the President give you all the very best anecdotes (plus, a good dose of her love life) over a glass of wine! Great pick if you loved Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastronmonaco or The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close.
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Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman (September 25, 2018)
Y’all, this book. It’s rare to find an author that can tell such a powerful, immersive story in so few pages, but Ackerman did. The first chapter absolutely gutted me…and I was gutted many more times after that. This one is definitely an emotional read, but worth it…it’ll absolutely make my Best Books of 2018 list come December! Mini review to come.
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I’m currently reading…

Sadie


Sadie by Courtney Summers (September 4, 2018)
I needed something easy after Waiting for Eden and this YA novel told partially via a Serial-esque podcast transcript is doing the job quite nicely. I’m about halfway through and do wish the entire novel was being told in a podcast transcript format, but it’s still working for me overall.
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I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Virgil Wander

 

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (October 2, 2018)
I liked the writing, but I kept zoning out and there were just too many characters. It could also have fallen prey to following Waiting for Eden. I shared my thoughts in Friday’s October 2018 Books to Read (and Skip) post.

Upcoming reading plans…

A Ladder to the Sky


A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (November 13, 2018)
John Boyne (author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies) goes super dark with a “psychodrama” about a man with psychopathic tendencies who pursues fame at all costs. Y’all, this may be one of my most anticipated books of this entire year! I’m terrified it’s not going to live up to my expectations.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading one of last year’s critical darlings that didn’t work for me at all.

Two Years Ago: I’d just finished one of the more controversial novels of last year.

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (10/8/18) – A Double Shot

October 8, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 21

Sorry I missed y’all last week! The 1st of the month fell on a Monday, which means my Book of the Month post had to go up. I was considering doing two posts, but then realized I hadn’t finished a single book that week so had nothing to report! So, you’re getting a double shot today. And, I did finish some books…two on the first day of October, actually! So far this month, my reading has recovered from September’s dismal showing and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried in October.

I also wanted to let you know about a new book podcast I’ve been loving lately! It’s called Currently Reading…featuring two best bookish friends (Kaytee and Meredith) talk about what they’ve been reading every week. And, they read a TON. They each normally have 3 books to share every single week. There’s a good amount of backlist and audiobook recommendations, too. Check out their websiteInstagram and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts!

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This email from a 9th grade blog reader made my week! First, I had no idea I had blog readers as young as 9th grade. Second, she’s reading some hefty books and is showing such initiative in starting her own blog.⠀ _⠀ ⠀ I’m not sure I can tell you exactly what I was doing in 9th grade, but I do know it wasn’t anything as ambitious as starting my own blog. Putting yourself out there on the Internet for anyone to judge is a scary thing and I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to take that emotional risk in 9th grade. Kudos to her for going for it!⠀ _⠀ ⠀ You’re going to be seeing more of my 9th grade friend…she’s going to be my November “Readers Recommend” guest and you can be sure I’ll be sharing her blog all over the place once it’s up and running!⠀ _⠀ ⠀ What were you doing in 9th grade? Starting your own blog?! 😉⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #badassbookbabes

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs (September 4, 2018) – AUDIOBOOK
In this memoir from Steve Jobs’ oldest daughter that he alternately claimed and refused to claim for many years, Jobs comes off as a weird, overly particular, arrogant prick. He’s incredibly hot and cold with his daughter…almost toying with her. However, Lisa isn’t super likable either…giving the book an overall cold feeling. This inside look is fascinating (and sad), but I do think it could’ve been a hundred pages shorter. And, I would’ve liked more focus on the end of Jobs’ life…when Apple truly took off with the iPad, etc. and he was battling cancer, but maybe that’s to be found in a different book.

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The Witch Elm by Tana French (October 9, 2018)
Once I got my expectations in line (it’s part family drama / part mystery and the mystery is slow to develop), I really enjoyed this one! It’s long (maybe too long), but absolutely engrossing. Mini review to come.
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I’m currently reading…

A Well-Behaved Woman

 

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (October 16, 2018)
I’m about 75% through this novel about Alva Vanderbilt and I’m liking it well enough, but I’m not loving it nearly as much as I loved Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Zelda was just a much more dynamic character.
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Upcoming reading plans…

Virgil Wander

 

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger (October 2, 2018)
I’ve never read Enger before, but Catherine at Gilmore Guide to Books read the first chapter of this one and told me I had to request it! It’s the story of a small town in the Midwest trying to revive itself…Beartown (my review) minus the ice hockey?!

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading a bunch of not very memorable books.

Two Years Ago: I was reading one of my favorite dysfunctional family novels ever!

How was your reading week?

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What I’m Reading Now (9/24/18)

September 24, 2018 It's Monday! What are you reading? 16

Well, I thought we’d escaped Hurricane Florence last week, but we got an out-of-nowhere (well, it was actually caused by Hurricane Florence, but no one was expecting it!) tornado blitz on Monday afternoon. The kids and I spent 2 hours in our basement storage room as funnel cloud after funnel cloud was spotted around town. There was some pretty severe damage, but thankfully nothing hit us directly. And, we do not live in tornado country, so this was pretty incredible.

I’m hoping my reading has gotten back on track…I feel like it might have! I just need these next couple books to fall in line. I’m also overloaded with listening at the moment. Serial just dropped Season 3 (covering the Ohio justice system), I’m listening to the Dr. Death podcast, and an audiobook library hold just came in (Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs). There’s nothing like a library due date to get me to push an audiobook ahead of all the podcasts I listen to!

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I have a finicky relationship with historical fiction. I used to LOVE it. But, I think I’ve gotten bored with it lately…and started to view the genre as perfect for my mother’s generation, but not edgy enough for me. ⠀ _⠀ ⠀ However, there are a few historical fiction novels that I’ve loved…and I finally figured out that they’re unconventional in specific ways. Check out my full blog post for the 6 Types of Unconventional Historical Fiction that work for me! (LINK IN PROFILE)⠀ _⠀ ⠀ How do you feel about historical fiction? Are there certain types that work better for you than others? ⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ *⠀ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookgram #amreading #bookworms #instabooks #instabook #booktalk #booklovers #booklover #bibliophile #biblio #bookaddict #bookaddiction #badassbookbabes #historicalfiction @melaniebenjamin_author @georgiahunter @tjenkinsreid @ahoffmanwriter @johnboyne @stephenking @delacortepress @vikingbooks @atriabooks @simonbooks @simonandschuster @hogarthbooks @scribnerbooks @bookofthemonth

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I finished reading…

what I'm reading now

 

November Road by Lou Berney (October 2, 2018)
Just so-so. The page-turning vibe I thought I was getting didn’t show up until the very end and I didn’t really care by then. Mini review coming.
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A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson (October 9, 2018)
Whew! Lots of thoughts about this book, but I was overall pleasantly surprised (think a bleaker Anna Quindlen)…despite it’s unfortunate title and cover. I’m trying to decide whether to do a full length or mini review. Regardless, some type of review will be coming soon!
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I’m currently reading…

Witch Elm

 

The Witch Elm by Tana French (October 9, 2018)
I’ve only read one Tana French (The Secret Place), but I’m in the mood for a good mystery (and my Instagram followers voted that this is what I should read next!). I’ve literally just started, so I don’t have any opinions yet.

Upcoming reading plans…

A Well-Behaved Woman

 

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (October 16, 2018)
I absolutely loved Fowler’s last novel, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, so I’m super excited to see what she does with Alva Vanderbilt.

was reading…

One Year Ago: I was reading an old school favorite author that I think I’ve now outgrown.

Two Years Ago: I was reading back to back 5 star memoirs!

How was your reading week?

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