WWW Wednesday – 12/4

I’ve decided that to help me get back into the swing of blogging I’d like to participate in more weekly type posts just to get me typing again ūüôā

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words.

The three questions are:

1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

So, what am I currently reading?

I’m one of those people where when I’m sad, instead of doing things like reading happy books or watching happy movies or listening to happy music to, I don’t know, make myself HAPPIER, I do the complete opposite. So I’m rereading The Fault In Our Stars because I like to torture myself ūüôā

The Fault in Our Stars

What did I recently finish reading?

Oh, that’s funny, I like that this question assumes I can finish books… Wait. I did finish a book? And the review is coming out tomorrow?? WHAT??? AMELIA WHO ARE YOU? (Also I have been out of using my pen name for so long that I almost typed my real name twice while writing that sentence lol)

The Luminous Dead

Anyways, I just finished reading The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling while I was at work yesterday. It was v good, super spooky. Review will be published tomorrow!

And I guess this means I now have to answer:

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m still in a really funky headspace. I ended a 13 year friendship the other day (albeit possibly only temporarily) and I’m taking it rather hard. School is almost done for the semester (two more tests and then a whole month off!!) and work is hopefully going to be slowing down soon so I’m hoping that I can find some happiness and motivation in reading soon. I have so many books that I want to read and after how great of a month I had in October, I can’t help but feel let down with myself and what I’ve managed to read. I finally returned the massive stack of library books that I had because I know I won’t get to them before they needed to be returned so now I’m just left with my ARCs and all the books I own… I guess also the library e-books too since I don’t have to worry about bringing those anywhere to read.

So the books I have in mind to read next are (because I am indecisive as heck and am always reading more than one book at a time anyways):

ARC: Epic Solitude by Katherine Keith

Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North

 

Library e-book: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Book I Own: Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

Beyond the Black Door

Now watch me read none of these books by next week. Ha!

Hope it’s a wonderful Wednesday for you! Bye guys!!

 

 

Changes In My Reading Life

So it’s Friday. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to skip out on the topic from this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I really liked this topic (it’s about changes in your reading life!) and I felt it could be a good post for me to use to get back to writing blog posts. I’m also planning on writing about my favorite bookmarks soon because I had the whole thing planned out and then never got around to taking pictures so I do really want to share those with you too!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I started reading big books in kindergarten. I was still 6 when I picked up my first Harry Potter book and I guess you can say that the rest is history. I don’t remember a lot of the books that I read back then but I do know that I was a big fan of rereading books. I think that right there is one of the biggest things that’s changed. In elementary school, I would pick up the same books every single year. This included rereading Harry Potter (the entire series up to whatever book had just been released), and books like Love, Ruby Lavender and Running Out of Time.

Nowadays, I don’t reread a ton of books. At least not yearly, anyways. 15 of the books that I’ve read this year were rereads (two of which the books were completely new to me this year but since I’ve read them twice obviously I’m counting them). With the amount of new books that I hear about now I couldn’t imagine rereading the same books yearly like I used to. But back then I’d only find out about new books when I’d go to the library or the bookstore and even then it was mostly just if I went to the bookstore. I liked to check out the same books every time I went to the library because that’s just who I am lol.

Another change for me is that now I actually read e-books! I’m a huge fan of my Kindle and I also read a decent amount of e-books on my phone through the Libby app (my library has greatly stepped up their e-book selection and ease of checking them out and I LOVE it). When I got my first Kindle, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade and I don’t think I ever actually read books on it. I did, however, play a lot of Angry Birds. I think I also discovered fanfiction after getting my first Kindle? I can’t really remember that timeline though. I’m still trying to find this one fic that I was obsessed with but still no luck.

I don’t know why, but I used to feel like reading e-books wasn’t really reading books. I always reached for physical books instead of e-books. It was the same thing with audiobooks, but I also have come to realize that audiobooks really aren’t for me! I’m still a little jealous of people who can listen to audiobooks with no problems.

I still read plenty of physical books but I also frequently reach for e-books. I’m a big fan of getting books when they go on major sale ($1 or $2 books are my kryptonite). I also feel less gross when I spend too much time on my phone when I actually open my e-book apps instead of just scrolling through social media.

This next change I actually find kind of comedic. Back in the day if a book was written by a male author, or had a male main character, I probably wasn’t reading it. I want to say that John Green was the first male author that I ever read extensively from (oh and Lemony Snicket) and I’ll read books with any type of narrator now. I’m trying to reach for more diverse books and authors and I think that’s a really important change in my reading life.

The last really big change in my reading life is that I finally delved into reading adult books and actually seek out adult books instead of reading strictly YA. So, back before I started spending too much money on things (cough books… and makeup and just all the things) I would get all or most of my new books from the library. Now at my library, the YA and children’s sections are right up front but the nonfiction sections and adult section are allllllllll the way at the back of the library. And you know what the worst part is?? YOU HAVE TO WALK PAST THE LIBRARIANS AT THEIR DESK TO GET TO THEM. So obviously, anxious past me NEVER went to the sections in the back of the library.

When I finally did hit up the adult section, I was completely overwhelmed with how many new books I had to choose from. But slowly and surely I’ve been reading more and more adult books and finding that I enjoy a lot of them. Now that I’m 23 it’s getting harder to exclusively read YA books so branching out has been really great. It’s the same thing with nonfiction books. I read way more nonfiction books now than I ever have and I enjoy it immensely. Like I mentioned before, I’m working on reading more diversely and also trying to just read widely. I love most genres and storylines and I’m willing to pick up most books to try out!

I have seen myself change so much in recent years with my reading and I love being able to read things more critically but also still have that ability to fall in love with stories without seeing only bad. I love finding new authors and new books and discovering tropes that I never realized I loved. I think reading is such a different experience for everyone and it’s genuinely so interesting to see differing opinions and reviews. I am so thankful that I discovered this community and that it’s been such a welcoming and fun experience.

I’m very much looking forward to 2020 and new books and experiences. Happy Friday everyone!! Talk to you soon ūüôā

 

I Saw The Movie First: Jurassic Park

One huge taboo in the book community has always been watching the movie before reading the book… Or just watching only the movie. I used to be so adamant about making sure that I read the book first that there were some movies that I went years without watching solely because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the book yet.

Now I’ve become really relaxed on my “Must read the book first rule” and I also have come to find out that a¬†ton¬†of my favorite (or old favorite) movies were actually based off of books! So I figured, might as well use it to my advantage and write some blog posts comparing books and movies.

Does anyone else get an incredibly weird feeling when they go into a book that they’ve already watched the movie for? Like that is definitely how I felt when I reread Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton last weekend. Jurassic Park is in my top 5 favorites movies of all times. I even have a quote from the movie tattooed on my thigh!! I think the first time I ever watched the movie I was 6 or 7 and it terrified me. To the extent that I had a reoccurring nightmare about getting chased by a t-rex for over 10 years! But now, I’ve come to love the movie and have used it to allow myself to foster my obsession with all things dinosaur.

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I first read the book version of Jurassic Park in 2017 and then reread it last weekend. It’s an insanely fascinating book but one that I could see a lot of people not enjoying anywhere near as much as the movie. It leans heavily on the sciencey side of things and goes into incredible detail explaining everything. It took me a while to get through it but I thoroughly enjoyed it in the end.

Personally, I think both the book and the movie are absolute masterpieces. The main thing that differs within the book is how much more heavily they focus on the velociraptors. There’s an entire subplot about them that is taken out of the movie entirely and it’s just, wow. *chef’s kiss* And there are two t-rex’s which is fascinating getting to see how that works out.

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The way they changed the characters for the movie too is interesting. They aged up Ellie and aged down Grant, I think mainly to add in that underlying¬†romance¬†between the two because in the book, Ellie is engaged to someone else and Grant is almost twice her age! In the book, Tim is the older child while Lex is the younger. Oh! And IAN MALCOLM IS BALD. Y’all, the whole time I was reading this I was picturing a bald Jeff Goldblum… Oh, I laugh every time. Everyone essentially has the same personality in the movie and I think they did a great job with the cast and characterization of everyone. I have a really hard time with making my own picture of a character in my head so while I tried to come up with new pictures of the characters in the book, I mostly just put the movie actors in there instead…. Even if they don’t match the book description.

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There are definitely a lot of scenes within the book that are left out of the movie and I really enjoyed going more in depth with learning about Jurassic Park and everything inside it while reading the book. I really can’t say that I enjoyed either one more because they’re so alike but so different in really good ways. I feel like a lot of times it leans one way or the other with a book or movie being better but I’m happy to say that at least for me, this pair is spectacular all around.

Now I just want to watch all the Jurassic Park movies again…

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I follow a lot of other blogs that participate in Top Ten Tuesday and I finally decided that I wanted to join in. These posts are so much fun to read and I love seeing what everyone has on their lists each week.

So this weeks list is favorite things to eat or drink while reading. Now, I’ll read whenever I get a chance to but being able to sit down with a nice drink and a book is one of my favorite feelings in the world. I would say that I don’t tend to eat a lot when I’m reading but I actually read a lot of e-books during meals.

I’m going to split this up and do five and five, starting with my top five foods!

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Cheez-Its

Peanut M&M’s

Sour Anything

Fruit

Chips

And now for my top five drinks:

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Coffee

Chai Tea

Fruity Tea

Moscato With Lemonade

Pop/Soda

I feel like all this list has done is show how much of a bad eater I am… I swear I’m not (other than my soda addiction) most of these are just things I *want* to be eating when I’m reading… Half the time I’m reading books while working anyways!

I really like cold drinks in the summer and warm drinks in the morning. I almost always have to have something to drink while I read but I’m not a really big snacker anymore so I tend to not eat anything when I read. And if a book is really engrossing? I can almost guarantee I’m not going to consume anything until I’m done with it. I think my favorite combination is Cheez-Its and moscato with lemonade. Now that’s a great Friday night.

Now back to work, with no snacks… And lukewarm coffee because I didn’t drink it fast enough. Happy Tuesday!

Guilty Reader Book Tag

So Emer over at A Little Haze Book Blog posted this tag the other day (here’s a link to her post) and I immediately knew that I wanted to do this tag as well! It was originally made by ReadsLikeWildfire on YouTube and has since been making the rounds.

I think this is such a fun tag because it really shows how different people can be when it comes to reading habits!

Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?

In school? Oh 100%, all the time. Almost every single book that was required of me to read in high school I never finished reading. I got really good at bullshitting my way through every single assignment in my English classes.

And in real life? Yes. Also yes. The main example of this that popped into my head was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I say she’s one of my favorite authors and that I love her books but in truth I’ve never actually finished one.

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Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

Yes…………

Okay but in my defense I borrowed this book with every intention of returning it. I swear I’m going to return it. I just need to suck it up and ask my professor where I can mail the copy to.

I borrowed a book from one of my professors and then ended up dropping out of that school and couldn’t go anywhere on the campus except the dining hall without panicking so I never went to his office again in order to return the book. And now I live almost three hours away from that school and I’m too chicken to email my professor and apologize for stealing the book and asking him how I can get it back to him.

Have you ever read a series out of order?

Not since I was a kid! At least not any that I can think of! But when I was younger I had this really great skill of finding a book that looked super interesting and then buying it without realizing it was a part of a series… Luckily so many middle grade series have enough introductory information at the beginning of each book that it was easy to get away with. The two that I for sure know I read out of order were the Gilda Joyce series by Jennifer Allison as well as the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter.

Also speaking of introductory information in books, the whole time I was writing that sentence in my mind all I could think of was Junie B. Jones (My name is Junie B. Jones, the B stands for Beatrice except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.) Iconic introduction.

Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?

Yup. Never on purpose but if I really need to talk about a book to someone I’ll usually just ask a friend if they ever intend on reading the book or if they care about spoilers and then just rant to them about whatever I needed to. There’s a good chance I probably spoiled books for my sister while we were growing up as well but she also didn’t start enjoying reading until almost middle school and I talked a lot…

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And on the topic of spoiling books. Somehow in my lifetime I have been immensely lucky with avoiding spoilers, usually I have to seek out spoilers in order to find something out. One thing that I did get spoiled on was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. My mom told me because she thought that I had already read the book and I still wonder what my reading experience would have been like had I not known of Dumbledore’s fate. Also was that a purposeful spoiler? Maybe… But like Harry Potter is old news at this point lol.

Have you ever dog eared a book?

Definitely! And ripped covers, cracked spines, dropped in water, spilled food on, cried on, written in, etc. etc. My books are well loved and while I used to hoard bookmarks, I genuinely can’t be bothered to keep them around anymore because I literally NEVER use them. Now I tend to just leave my book flipped open to the page I’m on if I’m reading a physical book or if I’m reading a hardcover I use the dust jacket as the bookmark. I try to take good care of my physical books but I’m a mess in every aspect of my life and if I’m being honest, pristine books feel unloved to me.

Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?

Probably… But only because I’m so bad at knowing what books I do and don’t own anymore. That’s what happens after multiple moves, a lot of decluttering, and a sister who likes to steal books. I have a very general knowledge of what I own but I’m very forgetful and also my e-book collection is something I hardly ever acknowledge so there’s a good chance I’ll forget any of the books that I have on my Kindle.

Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section in a book?

Yes. And I will continue doing so when it comes to things that give me extreme second-hand embarrassment or are triggering.

Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?

The one thing that immediately comes to mind is Twilight. Because honestly are you a true Twilight fan if you don’t also talk extreme shit about it?

twilight

Other than that I don’t think I’ve ever actually bad mouthed books that I like. With books that I enjoyed that I later found out were really problematic then I voice that I was educated differently but if I genuinely enjoyed the books while I was ignorant to the problematic things then I won’t actively bad mouth it after that.

I guess I am quite the guilty reader… Haha, well this was fun. I will chat with you all again in my next post!

A Thrilling Post: Why Can’t I Read Thrillers and Love Them?

I have a love-hate relationship with reading thrillers. I continue to consume them but none of them really¬†thrill¬†me. I’ve found with a lot of books that readers claim to have “shocked” them I go into them expecting the same thing only to be extremely underwhelmed because I guess the twist ending before it comes close to happening. One big example of this was when I read¬†The Girl on the Train¬†by Paula Hawkins (shockingly I never once got spoiled on it despite waiting so long to read it). I guessed the ending long before the actual ending but I still enjoyed reading the book nonetheless.

I’ve been picking up a lot of thrillers recently in the hopes of finding something that will actually wow me. I’m not sure how well this will end up going though. It seems by the end of every thriller I’ve read I find myself trudging along and just waiting for it to be done. I’m not sure why I’ve been in such a thriller/horror kick but I kind of think it’s just my anticipation for fall and Halloween… JUST GET HERE ALREADY SPOOKY SEASON. (Though I’m really not excited for winter but I genuinely cannot wait for fall).

I’m starting to wonder if I just go into thrillers with too high of expectations or if I’m just letting my pessimistic viewpoint of the books I’ve already read turn me off from new books too early. I think that one thing that really gets to me with this genre is that it’s typical with other genres for books to follow patterns. With thrillers following the same patterns, however, they become far too predictable for me.

One thing that I’ve begun to do when picking up thrillers is not reading a description. I’ve started doing this with a lot of books but especially with thrillers because if I know too much about the plot I start trying to pick out the loopholes and the whodunnit way too quickly instead of just allowing myself to be immersed in the story.

The main thing that I’m going to take from reading all the thrillers that I plan to is that despite the fact that in the end they don’t always impress me they’re still good. There are very few thrillers that I get all the way through and genuinely hate. If I do hate it there was most definitely something objectively wrong. A lot of thrillers are messy with unreliable narrators and I’ve come to accept that those things are just part of reading these types of books. For a while it was so hard for me to not get so incredibly frustrated with how idiotic some of these characters act until I forced myself to feel the fear and unease that they feel and realize that for the most part, they aren’t thinking straight.

If you have any recommendations of thrillers you think I should read, leave me a comment so that I can add them to my list! I’ve got a lot that I’m planning on working through and I’d love to have more.

In addition to reading a lot of thrillers, I’ve also been watching a lot of thrillers and I’d like to recommend two to you now.

The first is called The Endless:

Overall I found this movie really well done. It was very trippy and I already want to watch it again.

And the second is called I Am Mother:

This one is a Netflix original and I just watched it the other night and holy cow it genuinely fucked me up because robots and AI are one of my biggest fears and this entire movie played into that. I highly recommend.

So far this month I’ve read three thrillers and I’m already deciding which one I want to read next so expect to see a lot from this genre in my wrap up at the end of the month! Maybe I’ll be able to talk about something that wows me!

 

June Reading Wrap-Up

Well I feel like if I continue to read as many books as this month or more I might have to start splitting up my wrap up posts into multiple parts! This was a really productive reading month for me. Although I’m sure if I end up getting back into school this fall that my “for fun” reading will diminish greatly as it always does when I’m in school.

Anyways, after each book I have attached links to the places that you can go to purchase these books if you are interested. The Amazon link is an affiliate link. The links attached to each of the titles will send you directly to that books Goodreads page for more information! And without further ado, here are all the books that I read in June!

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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4/5 Stars. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was an incredibly (sometimes overwhelmingly) detailed tale following a myriad of characters through the events of a Singaporean summer. Though there were some aspects of the story that I didn’t enjoy, I could see why it was written the way it was. Such a lavish and interesting book. I highly recommend.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barns and Noble // Book Depository

If Only by Melanie Murphy

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2/5 stars. This was a sweet slow-burn romance about second chances, “if only’s”, and learning about oneself. It was an easy read but I felt like the plot dragged on as well as being pretty predictable. I had some problems with the story and characters that kept me from fully enjoying it but it was by no means a bad read. I think I’m just really picky with my romances! It was also a lot more emotional than I had expected it to be but I appreciated the rawness of some of the emotions throughout.

I would recommend this to people who like more emotional contemporaries, sweet, slow romances, and a little bit of magic. Also this was the first ARC review that I’ve done so I was really excited about that! Still kind of surprises me that I can get ARCs!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

The Girls by Emma Cline

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3/5 stars. This book had been sitting in my Kindle library for over two years and I finally checked out a physical copy of the book from my public library to actually read it. The plot dragged on at some points but it was really well written and incredibly atmospheric. It just felt like it was missing something!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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5/5 stars!!! Definitely going to be in my top books of the year I feel! Here’s the link to my blog post about this book. I highly recommend this book and I am so excited to read what Casey McQuiston comes out with next!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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5/5 stars. I’m working on a post right now about all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books and I started with this one. Absolutely loved it and it had the exact ending that I was hoping for! I found the characters in this story to be really mature and I was really impressed with how logical the ending came about. Reid writes lovely stories that just fly by!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Fled by Meg Keneally

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4/5 stars. This is a debut novel by Meg Keneally. I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley and will link my Goodreads review here. I think that anyone who likes really engrossing historical fiction would enjoy this. Some bits drag on but the book also takes place over quite a few years so it’s kind of understandable that there will be slower parts. Such an interesting story though and to think it’s based off of a real woman is just amazing. I’ll be interested to see what else Keneally comes out with in the future!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

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5/5 stars. I thought that this graphic novel was cute and funny and it reminded me so much of my own time at camp that it made me super nostalgic!! The art style was lovely and I really enjoyed the monochromatic color palette that Brosgol chose. When I was reading other people’s reviews I was kind of surprised by how harshly it was rated but it didn’t make me want to change my own review. I could see where everyone was coming from but I thought it was a 5 star book for myself nonetheless.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

See How She Dies by Lisa Jackson

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1/5 stars. This book was published in 2004 and let me just tell you that it did not age well¬†at all.¬†Trigger warning for abuse, rape, incest (I don’t even care about how the plot ended up but I’m calling whatever this BS romance was incest.) I feel like this book had so much potential and then it just fell short in every single aspect. There were so many plot holes and stupid reasons as to why the plot couldn’t be different (I spent half the book yelling at them to do a DNA test but apparently it wasn’t possible because the parents were cremated, um the girl has four living siblings? Do they not possess the ability to give a sample of their DNA?) Really just not a great book.

Also I’m not linking places to buy this book. Don’t read it, honestly. And if for whatever reason you feel a need to read it, just get it from a library or find it second hand. But truly, guys, it is not worth reading! I’m not even sure anymore if I want to give Lisa Jackson a second chance. There’s a whole shelf of her books at my library but every time I go there I see this book on there and just get sick to my stomach.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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4/5 stars.¬†This was the first Christina Lauren book that I have read and I really enjoyed it! I’ve come to realize that I am really not a fan of enemies to lovers stories because I’ve yet to see one executed in a way that the “enemy” aspect isn’t literally only from miscommunication. So if any of you know of a book where they’re¬†actually¬†enemies first send that recommendation my way!!

I wrote a longer review of this which you can read here.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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5/5 stars. If I could go back in time and give this book to my high school self I would. I will be recommending this book to every high schooler and early university student from here on out. Like this is exactly the type of book I would’ve wanted to read when I was questioning my entire life back when I was 16-18. And because I’m in a similar headspace again now I think this book just hit really close to home.

You can read more of my in depth thoughts here.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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3/5 stars. Again, working my way through Reid’s books for an upcoming post that I’d like to publish by the end of July! Of the three books by her that I read in June, this was my least favorite. I found the main character to be really grating and I wish that I had liked the romance in this a little bit more. I just felt like the relationship leaned more towards toxic than it should have. Felt very lusty over lovey in my opinion and I wasn’t overly impressed.

If you like Reid’s other books I would recommend this but if you haven’t picked up her books before I wouldn’t suggest this to be the first one that you read. It was an interesting concept with killing off the love interest in the first chapter and seeing how the characters go from there but the flashbacks to before his death kept me from really seeing how she loved this guy so much. I’m sorry but I really feel like nothing good comes from rushed relationships.

Despite all of that it was breezy to read through as I’ve found with each of Reid’s books and I did enjoy most of it which is why I ultimately gave it 3 stars.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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5/5 stars. Earlier in the month I had read If Only by Melanie Murphy which is another sort of “what if” plot. I would have to say that Maybe in Another Life executes the plot better. At least in my opinion anyways. I found the parallel plot lines in this novel to be really interesting. Some people didn’t enjoy it when things were the same down to very specific things but honestly I kind of enjoyed that! I thought it was so interesting to see how similar the plot lines could end up and how much overlapped and intertwined despite them playing out so differently.

I also loved that the message in the end was that no matter how your life ends up due to the choices you make, you can find happiness. It just gave me a lot of really warm fuzzy feelings to read the last couple of chapters.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

While the Duke was Sleeping by Sophie Jordan

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2/5 stars. Okay I still can’t stop laughing at the fact that I read this book… Oh boy I am so not a fan of these type of romance novels! But I decided to give it a try anyways because people won’t stop talking about these types of books. Reading this though definitely showed me that these are not my style and I don’t need to try and make myself read others even though people rave about books like this.

I think that people who are fans of smutty romance would probably enjoy this a lot more than I would. It’s a pretty average book and was really quick to read so I’m sure there will be people out there that would love this!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository

So at this point I have about 6 books that I’m currently reading so if I can make myself come out of this reading slump that I’m falling into I will hopefully be able to finish reading those books. There is a very long list of books that I want/need to review as well as quite a few other posts that I’d like to get out this month. I think July is going to be quite busy for me so we’ll see how this goes!

What books did you read this month? Anything that you think I should check out? Did you read any duds this month? What are you looking forward to reading in July?

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.

Audiobooks: An Internal Struggle

People love audiobooks. And for years now I’ve wished that I could be one of those people. I really and truly want to try and love audiobooks but no matter what I do they just don’t seem to mesh well with my brain and reading style.

It’s funny because I’ve had this struggle for my entire life. I remember trying to listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks when I was a kid and giving up on them before I made it to the second CD. They just read so slowly! (Maybe this plays into why I hated¬†the Order of the Phoenix for so long!!)¬†And then I couldn’t control the speed of their talking so I just had to read at a snail’s pace along with the narrator.

I want to say that I tried audiobooks for the second time sometime during the end of high school once I had my own car. I’m a little foggy on if this was actually during high school or if this was during my first summer after college but I want to say it was during high school. I figured I might as well try to listen to books while I drove to and from work (like my 15 minute “commute” across town was enough time to get in some good listening lol). But again, it was just never enough time and on most trips, if I wasn’t going to work I had someone else in the car; usually my sister because I was always her go-to chauffeur after I got my license and car.

In college I learned about Scribd and Audible thanks to BookTube, Whitney from WhittyNovels in particular always influenced me to try audiobooks again because I always saw her getting so much reading done with Scribd! I used many, many free trials and never finished a single book. I always thought, “Oh! I can totally use this while I’m cleaning or doing something that requires my eyes but not necessarily my whole brain power.” And then I’d be 20 minutes into the section I was listening to and could not understand any of the story because I’d zoned out from concentrating too hard on cleaning or whatever.

This year I again tried audiobooks after a few years of giving up on them and wow, they yet again sat in my car completely untouched (I checked some out from the library) because I always turned on music when I was driving instead.

Now when I watch reading vlogs where audiobooks are used, or hear about how many audiobooks people listen to I feel oddly jealous. I wish that audiobooks worked for me but they just don’t.

When I’m doing idle work, I like listening to Youtube videos, music, or podcasts. Those never seem to cause me any problems, even when it’s a pretty information heavy educational podcast. So that constantly makes me question why I can’t also pay enough attention to audiobooks to know what happened by the end of it! I can even pay enough attention to Youtube videos to understand what is going on in them while I’m also reading a book but for whatever reason I don’t mesh with audiobooks at all!

I also have a slight aversion to e-books so maybe it’s just some deep seated prejudice towards electronic “reading” that keeps me from utilizing audiobooks. I would love to try a Kindle again but I haven’t decided if I want to go for it or not. I’d love the ease of traveling with a small e-reader and have seen that one of the newer Kindles is waterproof which I think would be an awesome feature.

Audiobooks are amazing and I think that it’s really cool that they’re becoming so innovative with them; like when they have a full cast of people for the characters or just the fact that they’ve become so easily accessible with apps and subscriptions. And while they might not be my cup of tea I do like seeing them become more and more popular as the years go on. I think they’re a great way to encourage reading for those that don’t actually enjoy reading, or even for those who can’t use a physical book.

For now, I think it’s time to set aside my need for wanting to find a way to love audiobooks and just move on and keep trucking with physical books. I’m sure someday I’ll attempt to use audiobooks again but for now, I’ll just take the time to sit down and read even if it does mean I can’t multitask as well!

Do you “read” audiobooks? If so, what’s your favorite part about them? What’s your least favorite part? What is your overall preferred way of reading?

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

TrialsoftheEarth

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

AlexanderHamilton

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

AstronautWivesClub

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

TestamentofYouth

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

TheGirlsofAtomicCity

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

JaneAustenatHome

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Marta McDowell

TheWorldofLauraIngallsWilder

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