The Books That Shaped Me: Part 3

I honestly thought that I would only be doing one post for this series but the more that I thought about all the books that have meant so much to me over the years, the more that I realized there were way more than could fit into one post.

Part 1 consisted of the books that I read throughout elementary school. Part 2 was all the books that I read throughout middle school. And now this post, Part 3, is going to showcase all the books that I read throughout high school. There could possibly be a Part 4 someday with books that I read in college (my first attempt at college anyways) but I’ll have to see, I might also lump a few of them into the end of this post because there really weren’t many that I read. Homework kinda got to me and I avoided reading so much!

So high school was when I discovered BookTube and Goodreads. I joined Goodreads in November of 2011 when I was a freshman.

Books by Sarah Dessen

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Her books are some of my favorite YA contemporary books and whenever I need something happy to read I pick up one of hers. I haven’t read all of her books yet but I’m working on it. She and Maureen Johnson are two of my absolute favorite authors and I will probably buy every single one of their publications from here on out.

The Top 8 series, which then turned into my love for Morgan Matson starting with Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

I don’t even remember why I got the Top 8 series, I’m sure I had a gift card to Barnes and Noble, looked inside, liked the formatting and then bought all of them. But the Top 8 series were written under Matson’s pen name, Katie Finn. I’m not even sure when I found out that Finn was Matson but I remember being absolutely shocked because I had had books under both of her names for years before ever realizing.

Dystopian Books: Hunger Games, Delirium, Shatter Me, Divergent)

I would honestly be shocked by anyone who was into reading from around 2012-2014

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

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Her books introduced me to graphic novels! And boy did I reread Smile so many times, like I would be genuinely interested to see just how many times I checked it out from the library back then before I owned my own copy of it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Oh good ole TFIOS. I don’t think I could make a post about books I read in high school without mentioning this gem. This was also the first ever signed book that I owned and I literally shrieked and danced around my kitchen when I saw that that’s what my grandma had managed to purchase.

The Possession of Cassie Quinn by Kathryn Knutson

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My sister bought this book at a local bookstore in the town that my grandparents live near. After she read it, I picked it up and I loved it. I’ve read both this book and her second book and I’m so glad that I liked them because I love having the opportunity to support a Minnesotan author.

It took me a really long time growing up to get into horror things. I mean, I used to be terrified by the show Ghost Hunters and either had to leave the room or put on headphones to block out the noise. I was scarred pretty early on in life by the movie Arachnaphobia and while I’m still terrified by spiders, other horror stuff doesn’t really scare me anymore. I love the spooky stuff.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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This was one of the only classics that I was forced to read in high school that I genuinely enjoyed. The story sticks with me even to today and there are just so many quotes from this that make me feel all the feels.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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And this one is not on here for a good reason. I HATE this book, like it is one classic that I genuinely despise. I usually dislike classics for one reason or another (most of the time being that I have the hardest time reading them) but I actually have a deep seated hatred of Great Expectations. I’m now kind of fuming right now just thinking of it and almost want to write an entire blog post dedicated to my hatred of this book.

Quiet by Susan Cain

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I read this book so that I could write a paper about it in my tenth grade English class. I have absolutely no recollection what that paper was about but

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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One of the first books I’ve ever read where I saw myself. It hurt. It’s still absolutely everything to me.

Anna and the French Kiss/The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight/My Life Next Door

I also started to get really into YA contemporaries when I was in high school. I bought Anna and the French Kiss at a Borders Books store on the way back from New York one summer (does anyone else fondly think of Borders? I might like it too much because I don’t have any access to small book stores and I’ve never been a big fan of Barnes and Noble). I even saved the sticker from AatFS because I wanted to preserve the last Borders purchase I ever made.

Anyways, I very quickly fell in love with the contemporaries that I read. The idea of having an open ended happy ending just made my heart happy. I devoured happy endings as much as I could, breaking my own single little heart time and time again. I pretended that they taught me a lot about what I wanted in relationships and in guys.

So overall, my reading in high school was full of contemporaries, classics (forced reading), and dystopian. I definitely started to hone in on my favorites and began to read a bit more critically than I had in the past.

Now that I’ve written about a lot of the books that have shaped my reading and myself over the entire course of my life, I’ve started to think about a new series of posts. I would really like to start rereading some of the books featured on these posts and discuss them now. Why I loved them when I first read them, why I still love them today (or not love them depending), and if they still hold up today. I’ll preface it all by saying that I almost always fail with my post series though so we shall see how far this idea takes me.

What were some of your favorite books in your teenage years?

 

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Annotating Books

I have seen numerous videos of people talking about how they annotate books and I thought that this would be a really great post for my blog! I just really wanted to start a discussion about annotating books and why (or why not) you do!For a very long time I thought that annotating books was sacrilegious. I hated even dog earring pages and it physically pained me when my books got damaged!! I still cry a bit inside when my books get damaged and I still never dog ear pages but I’ve come very far with my ability to write in my books. Paper Towns by John Green was the first book I ever wrote in for fun and I’ve written in countless school books to use for papers and projects.The books that I’ve annotated most recently have been nonfiction books. I find it really helpful for keeping track of stuff in my self-help books when I highlight and take notes within the book. I used to try and journal outside of the book along with what was in the book but unless it’s a library book I’ve stopped doing that because I never reread my journals.Recently I decided to annotate my Throne of Glass series as I reread it because I want to do a review of the series at the end of it… I was going to do a post comparing that series to my all time favorite book Graceling by Kristin Cashore but have since decided that Graceling will get it’s own post because I have much to say about it! The reason I decided to go in big on annotating Throne of Glass is because I know that they’re books that I will never loan to anyone.The not loaning books out to people anymore is actually a big reason why I’ve decided that I’m going to start annotating books. I always feel anxious about writing in books because “what are other people going to think when they see this?” and honestly? Now I really don’t care. I’m going to annotate books that I know I’ll keep, or books that I really want to analyze and when/if I get rid of them then someone else gets to see what I thought was important in that book.I think that I put too much pressure on myself about keeping books in pristine condition. Books are not meant to just sit on a shelf and look pretty (though they do look really nice and pretty on shelves) in fact, my favorite books are the ones that are completely beat up and barely holding themselves together.Now that I’ve decided that it’s okay to annotate I also feel this pressure about annotating every book I read. So now I have to tell myself that it’s okay to not annotate a book if I don’t want to! I think a lot of my annotating is going to occur with books that I’ve already read. Once I have an entire set of hardcover Harry Potter books I want to annotate that entire series (going to save the paperback ones just as keepsakes).With a number of the videos that people have published talking about annotating books I find it interesting what they use as a system. I’ll include links to some of the videos that I’ve watched at the end of this post! From what I’ve seen, most people have pretty similar systems for what they decide to tab and I kind of liked that.This is the system that I’m using for the Throne of Glass series:For nonfiction books I really just highlight and write in the margins and then put a sticky tab in there. No differences in colors for those unless I run out of the tab that I used at the beginning of the book.I think I’ll use around the same type of system as with Throne of Glass for other books but I think I’ll change certain categories around depending on the book.Now I’d like to open it up to everyone reading this. What’s your opinion on annotating books? When you get rid of annotated books do you get anxious or laugh at the idea of someone reading your notes and trying to decipher what you saw in that book?If you take notes when you read, do you take notes in the book or out of it? Do you annotate your e-books? I never annotate e-books!! I used to highlight quotes but I almost never reread e-books and have just stopped annotating them at all.Here are the videos that I watched before deciding to make this post:

How I Annotate My Books by XCatherineReads:

How I Annotate My Books by BooksWithChloe:

How I Annotate Books by Little Book Owl:

I really like how she has multiple systems! Also props to her for being able to keep so many colors straight… I could never!! Which is why I have so few colors when I actually use the color system.

Annotating for a Lazy Reader by Paperbackdreams:

Honestly I appreciate the honesty in this one, I also watched her original video and it was quite similar to a lot of the other “each color represents a different thing” system but I also like her new “lazy” approach!There were also a few videos where people talked about annotating within vlogs they posted but I honestly can’t remember which ones those were.

I Love My Library

The library in my hometown is one of my all time favorite places to go. It’s bright and full of sunshine and green (what a happy color green is) and best of all, books. Even if I don’t go there for books I still enjoy my time immensely. It has such a unique smell too that I swear every time I walk into the building I immediately feel better no matter how I’m feeling.

I still have the original library card I got when I started coming here and I’ve even memorized the number (this has come in handy many many times because I almost never actually have my library card on my person). I’ve spent countless hours here over the years doing homework, browsing books, using the printers, and just hanging out people watching.

For years I exclusively browsed the children’s section, then moved to both that section and the YA (teen) section where I stayed for years. I honestly don’t think I even set foot in the adult section until I was almost 20. The past few times that I’ve visited the library, I’ve been browsing the adult section endlessly; it’s honestly a little (a lot) overwhelming! There are just so many books. Sometimes I want to burrow myself back into the teen section and stay there but I know that there are so many good books in the adult section that I need to suck it up and just accept that I’ll never leave the library empty handed.

Libraries are absolutely wonderful and I am so grateful to have grown up so near a great one. For many summers I would bike there frequently, stuffing my backpack full with as many books as it could handle. I’m hoping that this summer I’ll be able to get a bike so that I can start biking to the library again because it’s a great excuse for exercise and also the backpack is a very helpful limit in keeping me from bringing home too many books.

After my post about collecting or hoarding books I just really want to talk up libraries. They’re really important to a lot of people for more than just borrowing books. They’re places for gathering, a great resource for people who can’t regularly access internet or printers, and of course the books are there too. I think it’s really important to support your local library in some way shape or form, they’re a community staple for people everywhere!

Do you have a library that you love to go to?

A Trope That Never Bothered Me Before

So I finally sat down to read Save the Date by Morgan Matson. I’m going to preface this post by saying that Morgan Matson is one of my all time favorite authors and I will read absolutely anything that she comes out with. I also used to be quite obsessed with her Top 8 series the she wrote under the alias Katie Finn.

Warning you now that this post will contain minor spoilers for Morgan Matson’s books.

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I got this picture off of Morgan Matson’s website in case any of you were wondering 🙂

I’ve read every single one of her books multiple times (except Second Chance Summer, because 1. It makes me sob and 2. I don’t have a physical copy of it) and until reading Save the Date I never realized that there was a common theme in her books that now really bugs me.

In almost every single one of these books, the main character is a high school student (I think every single one is said to be 17) and the love interest is in college. As I was reading STD (yes, I am going to refer to it as that for the rest of this post, sorry!!) I kind of figured that Jesse was going to be a scumbag, it just made sense that Charlie had to have her little crush shattered by the person she thought was her “dream guy”. It made me so uncomfortable that Jesse is a sophomore in college and he’s trying to have a casual hook-up relationship not only with his best friend’s sister but also a high schooler.

Matson’s main characters are all romanced and a few are even implied to have lost their virginities to these college boys. To me this just screams inappropriate. I get that a lot of these are very innocent, I mean apart from scumbag Jesse, the farthest Charlie goes with a guy is a kiss on the cheek from Bill at the end of STD. There’s also a whole lot of underage drinking and other shenanigans… Like in The Unexpected Everything Andie was almost caught drinking at the age of 14, yep FOURTEEN! And okay, maybe I did spend my entire high school career reading books and staying up too late scrolling through Tumblr and taking too many AP classes but I still feel like 14 is really young to be out partying.

When I first read Matson’s books I was in high school and I never thought anything of an age difference or even a lifestyle difference but now that I’m older and have gone off to college and just been in the “real world” for a while I can’t even begin to imagine wanting to date a high schooler. Now I do think it’s different when someone continues to date a younger boyfriend/girlfriend when they leave for college but I also don’t feel comfortable with people who do things like date a freshman when they’re a senior. And yes, most of the characters are just finishing up their first years of school (or in Clark’s case, not in school at all) but that’s a whole year of being an adult and they’re deciding to be with high schoolers.

And you know what, maybe I’m crazy in developing this dislike for the pairings that are developed in these books but I just feel like no one who has moved past high school should be dating someone who is still 17. I’m in no way condemning Matson’s books, but I also don’t want impressionable young girls to read these books and fall for the Jesse’s because it’s “cool” or “exciting” to be in love with a college guy. Trust me, young girls reading this, college guys aren’t that great… Honestly, most guys aren’t that great. Read your books and wait to find someone who actually cares about you!

On a similar note, I also have never found myself interested in books where college students fall for their professors. I just think it’s a storyline that doesn’t make sense. There’s a power difference there that makes me uncomfortable and I don’t really think that there needs to be as many stories involving this storyline as there are.

As I’m working through Morgan Matson’s books again this spring, as I tend to do, I have to wonder how many other odd tropes I’ve just looked over in books before. Like I mentioned in my Rereading Old Favorites post I have to take a step back from a good chunk of my old favorites just because there are so many issues in them now that I completely brushed over in the past.

I really do like Matson’s books but I do hope that girls don’t romanticize dating an older boy because of the couples that she creates. When I was first reading her books it never occurred to me that this could even be an issue, I didn’t know any older boys and honestly I know that not a single one would’ve looked my way anyways. But I know that there are other girls out there that would and still will catch the attention of older men and I genuinely worry. I know that high school relationships can be awkward but that doesn’t mean that we have to glorify dating older people because they’re “mature” and “experienced”.

All in all, I don’t want to just brush this off but at the same time I have to wonder just how influential these relationships might be… I mean, maybe I’m reading too much into things and it means nothing. But I just got that nagging thought after reading STD and had to sit down to write about it.

Do any of you have thoughts on this? Or know of other YA books that have this trope? I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head but I’m sure there are others out there.

 

Collector? Or Hoarder?

I’m calling myself out in this post… I’m a little bit of a hoarder. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years but holy cow is it hard for me to give my belongings up. I like to collect things; books, mugs, fabric, yarn, merch, journals, the list goes on!

Now when minimalism started to become a big thing I really strived to want to be a minimalist. At one point (and I’m a little ashamed to admit this) I got rid of a whole bunch of stuff because the guy I was dating at the time was an extreme minimalist and I figured that I needed to be like that too. Like he literally owned 9 shirts and 1 (one) pair of pants.

I will admit that yes, there is a lot of stuff that I owned/own that I needed to get rid of. Like a really productive thing I did was type up a whole bunch of old papers and got them made into a book so instead of having a box of loose papers I now have a nice and compact book with a whole bunch of my school projects dating all the way back to early elementary school!

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But now I think back and think of all the books I just tossed aside that I would actually really like to go back and read now. And yes I can just check them out from the library but so many times I just check books out from there and never end up reading them…

So this brings me to my big dilemma in this post… How important is it really to have an extensive book collection? I love having books, I love how they look on my shelves and it is so much fun buying new books. Recently there have been a lot of books that are new releases or books that released within the last few years that I haven’t read yet that I really want to just buy (I think I have a total of five or six books on this list right now).

My library has a pretty extensive collection of books and I enjoy going there, in fact I’m sitting at a table at my library right now while writing this! The only thing with this is that I often can’t get books right away or I’m not in the mood to read them when they’re available and when they are available then I’m in a reading slump. Like one book that I really want to read right now and don’t want to buy is The Unhoneymooners and that currently has 14 holds on it before me and I haven’t decided if I want to add myself to that list yet or not.

I know a lot of book “influencers” pride themselves in having an extensive wall of bookshelves and I once really wanted that look too! And some part of me still really wants that wall of books no matter what. Some of the books that I really want to add to my collection are books that I read as a kid. I just want to have them on hand because they bring back so many fond memories! There are also a few authors that I want to own all (or most) of their books because I know that I’ll enjoy them. These authors include Morgan Matson and Maureen Johnson. I also own not one, but two sets of the Harry Potter books, one hardcover and one paperback.

One of the biggest things that makes me hesitate wanting to grow my collection is the fact that I no longer allow other people to borrow my books. I’ve learned my mistake one too many times of allowing people to borrow books and then either getting the book back in poor condition or never seeing those books again. So why should I own an extensive collection of books if I’m just going to let them sit there after I’ve bought them? How many of these books do I actually read right after getting them? The answer? Not many. How many sit there for years after purchasing? The answer? Too many. And I think that’s why I forced myself to get rid of a huge number of books over the years. I’ve probably sold off over 100 books since 2015 and there are probably more that I should let myself part with that I just can’t bring myself to do yet.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped myself from buying books. I finally caught up on my Sarah J. Maas books, allowing myself to have all the published books in those series (my main guilty pleasure books). And I also didn’t hesitate buying Again, But Better when that came out because I really and truly wanted to own that book.

In the end, I think that my book collection is going to be one of those things that I will spend years trying to hone but it will always be a bit too extensive for what I feel I should own. I have to come to accept that I will never be a minimalist, I just cherish things a little bit too much. It just makes me happy to see a shelf full of books and I’m not going to take that away from myself just because I feel like I hoard things. Someday I’ll have an office in a home that I’ll be able to fill with things I love, I just might have to let things sit in storage for a while before I get to that point.

Just remember that it’s not important whether you own 1000 books or 0. If you use exclusively your library or only buy books firsthand. It all supports something in the end and reading books that make you happy is the most important thing you can do.

History Book TBR

So I’m a bit of a history junkie. I feel like a lot of people find this surprising about me or even strange but I am sort of obsessed with history! If I were to guess, it would probably be due to all my exposure to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books when I was growing up and playing pretend with my sister. I was always Mary and she was Laura and I think that plays such a huge role in why I love history so much. Another book that really threw me into that realm was this book called The Green Glass Sea which was about two girls who had parents that worked on Project Manhattan during World War II. Oh and I can’t forget about the influence that Oregon Trail must have played into this too! (I feel like not surprisingly but pioneer times and world war II are two of my favorite parts of history now).

Today I’m going to be sharing a bunch of the historical books that I have on my TBR list at the moment.

Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman by Mary Mann Hamilton

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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

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The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

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Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

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The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

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Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

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The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Marta McDowell

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I feel like there are definitely other books that I could add to this list but I’m being too lazy to look them up. If you have any recommendations of historical nonfiction I’d love to hear them! I’m always looking for new books within this genre to read.

I’m actually currently reading Testament of Youth, I bought it two years ago while I was in London at one of the many museums that we went to and I figure since I’ve had it that long I really should be reading it now. Hopefully I’ll be making a post about that soon and if I do I’ll link it here.

Anyways, happy Monday everyone! I hope your week starts off well.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Books That Shaped Me

At this point in my life, I have read too many books to count. Going to the library as a kid was one of my favorite outings and every year my uncle used to give me $50 to Barnes and Noble for Christmas. Though nowadays I struggle greatly to find my motivation to read I still love devouring books and when I find a good one it makes me so grateful.

I was going through my goodreads account looking at all the books I had there so that I could look some stuff up for another blog post and I couldn’t help but get slightly emotional over all of the books that I had listed on there that I read way back in elementary and middle school. Books played such a pivotal role in my childhood that I decided to round up a bunch of the books that really shaped me as a person and as a reader and share them with you. I feel like this post could get really long so I might end up sharing this in parts!

I’m basically just going to compile this list with just the names of the books/authors with some commentary when I see fit because I feel like if I were to add my commentary to every single one of these this post would be two miles long and no one would read it! However, if you are interested in more of my commentary on certain books or series just comment on this post and I can make singular posts about certain books/series if you want to know more!

Anyways, here are the books that shaped me!

The Harry Potter series

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Books written by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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Specifically Running Out of Time which to this day I maintain as being one of my all time favorite books. Which reminds me, I need to buy a new copy of this still as my last one was stolen from me… This story is just crazy and I highly recommend this book to anyone!

The Main Street series by Ann M. Martin

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Though in general Ann M. Martin’s books all were a really big childhood, her Main Street series was probably my favorite (and I’m honestly still trying to read them!) Her Babysitter’s Club series will always be a classic as well.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

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When I first read this series the books were still being released and I remember waiting for the last book and I was so excited when it finally showed up at my library and I could read it! It was the weirdest set of books I had ever read and I was genuinely extremely confused by the entire experience of reading this but I loved it!

American Girl books

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I think that these books had a really big influence into my love of history, as did a few others on this list. American Girl books and the dolls were huge in my life. The magazine was my first ever subscription and I have every single one of those saved in a box still! Kit was my favorite and to this day I still watch the movies if I can get my hands on them!

Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park

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I have to brag for a second when I mention this book. We actually read this book for a school thing (I can’t remember what it was called but everyone in my grade got this book for free and after we read it we had a big game of jeopardy) and I have to credit myself for winning grade-wide jeopardy for my class. All because I knew the name of the study of bugs! It’s entomology btw if any of you wanted to know. I will also say that I think that this book was one of the first times that I really stopped to think about how creatures that aren’t humans are treated and it made me really sad!

The Beacon Street Girls Series

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Somewhere out there, there is a website that is somehow related to this series that has my first ever attempts at blogging on it. I’m not even going to lie, as I’m writing this post I’m thinking about going to the library to check out books from this series. I loved these books so much growing up! I actually kind of regret getting rid of my collection of them!

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

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Bethany Hamilton, to this day, is one of my biggest heroes! Her faith, strength, and heart are so inspiring and I’m so glad that I discovered her when I did. In sixth grade I actually did an entire presentation as her after reading this book. She’s an amazing woman and I love following what she does!

Halfway to the Sky by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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This (along with the next book on the list) have been huge in influencing my wanting to explore more. Halfway to the Sky actually inspired my want to hike the Appalachian Trail someday!

Skye’s the Limit by Megan Shull

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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

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I read this book in sixth grade as well and actually read it for a small reading group. The reason this made it onto the list has more to do with my experience of reading it though instead of the story itself (though I do love the story and totally want to reread this!). I’ll try to tell the story quickly…

So back in first grade I got really excited about a book that I was reading for a reading group and ended up reading the whole thing in one night. The next day I said this to my teacher and it was like I had done something illegal! She yelled at me in front of my entire reading group telling me that I was horrible for not being able to follow directions and that I shouldn’t have read ahead and should never do it again. So I tried to never read ahead again (and I still think that this might be why I hated reading books for school more often than not).

Then in sixth grade, I ended up reading this entire book in one night because it was so entertaining I had to finish it! I revealed this to my reading group during our discussion and one of the girls actually told the teacher when she came around to talk to us… I was genuinely terrified when my group mate told her but my teacher almost immediately asked me what I thought of the ending and couldn’t help but discuss how much I had liked the book. The way she reacted compared to my first grade teacher actually shocked me and made me realize just how important it is to have good teachers who have fun/encourage their students to do stuff.

Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass

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The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald

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Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles

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This book kickstarted this weird obsession with anthropology that has always stuck in the back of my head. It’s the reason that I loved the show Bones so much and honestly has now inspired me in my newest collegiate pursuit. Weird how random things will end up influencing your entire life!

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

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And finally…

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

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I borrowed this from a friend in elementary school and have been hooked on learning about World War II ever since! This book, of all of these, probably jumpstarted my love of history more than anything and I credit this to my insanely crazy interest in the World Wars (especially the experience of those on the homefront) ever since.

So now that I’ve talked your ear off… I want to know, what books shaped you as a kid? What was your favorite book growing up? I’d love to read them!

 

*This post contains affiliate links

 

Author Adventures: I Think I’m Writing A Book

I have long dreamed of being a published author. Like this is a dream that goes all the way back to elementary school. Back in high school I discovered NaNoWriMo and I attempted it every year for five years straight! And for all five of those years that I tried I failed miserably each time. I even tried out Camp NaNoWriMo on a few occasions and shockingly I failed all of those attempts too.

Some of those failed attempts included multiple contemporary romance books filled with extreme teen angst and a book about a girl who found out that she was cloned by her “real” mother because that woman’s “original” daughter had died. I’ve gone back and forth between working on contemporary books and fantasy based books and I’ve often thought about writing nonfiction or even historical fiction. When it comes to writing anything other than fantasy though I get nervous about doing research. I do realize that research is a part of writing but dang does it stress me out! I mean now that I’m not in school I could dedicate more time to research things but it still just weighs me down.

I’ve come decently close to finishing a nonfiction book that I wrote a few summers ago, I got about halfway through it before realizing I had nothing more to write about. I would love to revisit it eventually but I would have to change the entire infrastructure of the book and I’m not sure if I’m willing to overhaul it quite yet.

I also started at least one, if not two, writing projects with an ex of mine that were going well. It was actually pretty beneficial to me to have someone else to write with because it helped keep the story going when I got stuck; as soon as I didn’t have something to write about he would jump in and so on. But now I am writing by myself and because of that I have no idea if any of the small tidbits of stories that I have in my brain will ever come to fruition or if I’ll just have folders upon folders of Scrivener documents that never make it past chapter three. Knowing me, there will definitely still be folders upon folders but I’m hoping that in documenting my writing process that maybe I’ll hold myself accountable enough to write more than the bare minimum.

So as an end to this introduction to yet another new series on my blog I would just like to say welcome to my descent into madness, if there is never another post to this series you will know I gave up… again. Anyways, here’s to hoping this will end in me becoming a published author! I’ll chat with you about my potential projects in the next post. Have a great day everyone!

New Year, New Me?

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve even touched this website. For a while I honestly thought that I was done blogging for good. Sometimes I still feel like I should give up on this blog completely and delete it. I’ve actually started getting rid of all of my social media and it’s been wonderful!

But then I remembered how much I actually enjoyed writing for this blog, how excited I got coming up with new content, and how it helped to add structure to a chaotic life that I honestly wish was still my life.

A LOT has changed since the last time I talked to you and while I know I will update you on some things, most of my life will be staying private, it’s been a whirlwind to say the least.

Now, that it’s quite a bit into the new year I figured I’d share with you five ways that I’m going to try and make this a really good year!

 

1.I’m going to get back into reading. Beginning next week I’ll have a half hour commute to and from work and while I know I’ll be listening to music most days (especially in the morning to get myself pumped up) in the afternoon I think I’ll listen to audiobooks. I recently tried Audible and really enjoyed it! Though I can’t afford the full subscription yet, I hope to be able to soon because I have yet to have the concentration to be able to sit down and read a physical book. I’d really like to power through all of Jen Sincero’s books because I have heard nothing but good things about them. I’ll be starting with You Are a Badass and then go from there.

2. The next thing that I’m going to try and work on is drinking more water and cutting out the soda. Granted my caffeine addiction is far from gone (I found out I can make really great iced coffee at home and I’m completely hooked. I will be sharing how I make my iced coffee in an upcoming post.) I think the first thing I need to do is get a new water bottle. For some reason those always make me more motivated to drink more water. I really want a HydroFlask but I might have to just stick to my trusty Nalgene bottle that I’ve had for years.

3. I really want to start exercising as well. I had a really good habit of going to my apartment gym for a while but then I got sick and a bunch of other stuff happened and now I’m back living at home and don’t have access to a gym. I think I’ll try to start doing yoga and weights in my room before work and then as soon as the weather gets nice I’ll be hiking as many weekends as I possibly can! My goal for a few years now has been to hit up every state park in Minnesota and I really want to get going on that goal.

4. I’d like to keep journaling. I started that pretty early on this year and have done really well with keeping my journal updated. I think I’m going to make another post soon on journaling again and talk more about how I journal now and also how I read and annotate self help books.

5. I want to develop and maintain a self care routine. At least once a week I want to pamper myself and pretend that I actually like it. I also want to have enough money to do things like possibly get my nails done or go get a massage if I had a really bad week. But first I’ll start off with face masks and not so healthy food. (This carbonated mask is still my absolute favorite when I want to have fun… I also reeeeeaaaally want to try the Hell Pore mask.)

So overall these are the things that I want to try at the beginning of this year to better myself. And included in all of this is a continuance of blogging. I’d really like to try and post once a week, if not more. I’m not going to try and force myself to stick to a schedule because I have sooooo much that’s going to be going on but I’ll start with posting once a week and going from there.

I’m really excited to be back y’all! Hope you’re ready for spending a great year with me!

 

Sincerely,

Amelia

P.s. I joined the Amazon Affiliate program so the links in this are from that. I promise I won’t share anything I know isn’t good.

 

 

 

June Favorites

Summer is whizzing by, I can’t believe it’s already July!

Here are some of the things that I loved in the month of June:

First off was the nonfiction section in my local library. I have spent a great deal of time perusing this section and have a massive stack of books that I need to read this summer. Most of the books that I’ve checked out were in the Christian section and I’m loving learning more about my faith!

Next favorite is my Sand Cloud towel. I have wanted a nice beach towel for a few years now and I finally got one that is instagram worthy. I bought the acid wash print and honestly look how nice it is! I’m so glad I got to contribute to #savethefishies.

Next up is my favorite new top that I got from Old Navy. It fits me so well and it’s really comfortable. I’ve been sorting through my closet slowly but surely and stocking up on basic pieces and I’m definitely a fan of this basic tee.

The day lilies have been in full bloom! I love flowers and my favorite part of spring and summer is seeing all the pretty flowers bloom in my front yard.

Red lipstick has been my go-to for years now and my most recent red lip purchase is this ColourPop and Hello Kitty collab. It’s the nicest liquid lipstick I have ever purchased, goes on smoothly and stays for hours!

My last favorite is this body mist that I got while I was in London. It is scented white grape with aloe and smells like my favorite lotion (which has been discontinued) so I had to get it! I have yet to look up if I can buy this online so I’m a little nervous about using it since I’m sure I’ll run out quickly. However, I love it so much it’s worth it to use it every day.

So that’s what I’ve been loving this month! What have you guys been into this past month?

Have a great week everyone!