2019 Book Bingo Update – September Update

It’s time for more books, y’all!!! Since we’re officially in *~*spooky season*~* I thought I should read a few books that would get my anxiety up a little bit because that is a normal, healthy thing to do. I also finally read a book that one of my friends wrote, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

I read The Woman in the Window to take the spot of a book being made into a movie. This book really reminded me of The Girl on the Train, in that your main character is a bit unreliable and you’re not sure if you’re crazy, she’s crazy, or everyone else is crazy. The story is about an agoraphobic woman living in New York City who becomes friends with one of her neighbors. But then… her neighbor is gone and replaced with someone else? And did that neighbor get murdered? Is everyone trying to cover it up? Is she going crazy? Will she find out what happened? This book had a great plot twist at the end that surprised me! I will definitely watch the movie when it comes out to see how they portray all the characters and how closely they stick to the story!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

For the spot of a thriller, I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I chose this one because the author also wrote The Woman in Cabin 10 and I really liked that book, so I thought oh good, I’ll probably like this one, too! And wow. I was so very wrong. This book…. I mean honestly, just skip it. Was it thrilling? No. Was it full of plot twists? I mean kinda but they weren’t surprising or great. Let me tell you what it’s about real quick: a young woman is in financial trouble and accidentally gets invited to a will reading for a seemingly wealthy woman, so she decides to go and pretend to be a relative to see if she can get some money out of it. Then there is a lot of drama that happens and family stuff going on and flashbacks and blah blah blah you get it.

There were SO MANY things I had problems with about this book, but one of them was that there were seriously like 18 plot holes that just never got resolved by the end of the story. Like (spoilers alert) there is this guy who threatens her like “you owe my boss money I’ll come break your legs if you don’t pay up” and then we just like, never hear about him or his boss again. Don’t they want their money? Did she ever pay them back? Did she kill him along the way and I was just so bored reading this that I missed it? Who knows.

No More Holding Back by Kat Armstrong

Oooooooooh this one was so good! And I don’t just think that because I know and love the author! I read it to fill the square of a book about faith. In her book, Kat emboldens women to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and move past insecurities or perceived barriers that have kept them holding back in their ministries and their faith. She debunks 5 common myths that women of faith often hear but just aren’t true: that women can’t be trusted to learn and lead, that we don’t have a lot to offer, that our greatest joy is marriage and highest calling is motherhood (as a single lady this one really spoke to me!), that we are too much to handle, and that leading ladies don’t fit in supporting roles. I can’t recommend this one enough!

 

 

 

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2019 Book Bingo – July/August Update

I’ve got a few more books coming at ya today! I can’t believe that I’m so far along in my book bingo for the year! But then again, it IS already September so I’d be worried if I still had a lot of it left to go! I’m still having fun with it, and I’ve got books picked out for all the spots I have left – hopefully they’re as good as I anticipate they will be!

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

For a book that’s part of a series, I read Still Me! It is the final book in this particular trilogy – you’ve definitely heard of the first book “Me Before You” and maybe you’ve seen the movie! I read the first book and the second book 4 years ago and it took me a little bit to get reacquainted with the characters and remember what happened leading up to that point. But once I got back into the swing of the story, I LOVED it! It was so much better than the second book. So much better. This story picks up with Louisa Clark moving to New York City to be a caretaker for a family and she has lots of adventures! She struggles to keep things going long-distance with her boyfriend back in England, meets some new friends in NYC, and a series of events leads her to figuring out what her dream is and what is really important to her. I read this so fast and was genuinely sad when it was over!

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

For a book with more than 600 pages, I read the Alexander Hamilton biography. This one took forever to finish but I FINALLY DID IT!!!! Obviously I was inspired to read it because I’m very much still obsessed with the Hamilton musical, and it was actually really good! Yes it’s incredibly long and full of a crazy amount of detail, but Chernow did such a good job writing it. He weaved all the details together in a way that made you want to keep reading to find out more of what happens (even though it’s history so we all pretty much know what happened…) It was REALLY fun to read this knowing so much from the musical – I would pick out certain phrases and connect them to lines from the musical and it was very fun for me!! (Was it as much fun for my friends on Snapchat that I would send pictures of the lines correlating to the pages to? Maybe not… haha).

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

For a Young Adult book, I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This one had been on my radar for a while, and when I saw that Netflix made it into a movie I knew that I’d have to read the book so I could then watch the movie! This book was overall pretty cute! Lara Jean would write a letter to a boy she loved when it was time to get over them. After writing the letter, her feelings were gone. She kept all the letters in a hat box in her room and one day, she finds out that the letters got mailed out and the boys received their letters! Drama! I liked the characters and thought it was an interesting take on a common romance story line! I was rooting for different boys at different points in the book, but I’m happy with the way it ended!

Party of One by Joy Beth Smith

For a book published in 2018, I read Party of One which is all about singleness. As a single person, I thought that I could read this and maybe get something out of it. And I did! It was incredibly encouraging and had so many reminders that the single time in you life can and should be fulfilling. That it’s not just a holding pattern while you wait for your “real life” to begin once you get married. That joy isn’t spelled m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e. That you are valuable to the kingdom and have just as much, if not more, to offer in this time in your life. That it’s ok to want to be married and still enjoy NOT being married- like really have fun and really enjoy it! I honestly think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for married people to read this book, too!

2019 Book Bingo – May/June Update

Ooooh man it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a book bingo update! On the one hand, I’m not as far along as I thought I’d be at this point, halfway through the year… but on the other hand, I’ve been busy and I’ve still managed to read quite a few books this year, so I’m ok with the progress I’ve made so far!

Now that I’m done moving and I’m back on a regular commute schedule, I’ve been reading a TON again and it feels so good! There have been quite a few mornings where I wish my commute was LONGER just so I could spend more time reading on the train, and I get genuinely sad in the evenings when I have to stand on the train ride home because that seriously cuts into my book time. Rude.

I’ve got 4 new reads to share with you today, so let’s get started!!

China Rich Girlfriend

I read China Rich Girlfriend to take the place of a book with a place in the title on my bingo board. I read the first book in this series, Crazy Rich Asians last summer and loved it, and so I had really high hopes for the sequel. And it was so good! It picked up where the last book left off and did a great job balancing keeping up with established characters and adding in new, fun characters. I had kind of forgotten a few of the plot points of the first book, but the sequel did a perfect job of kind of reminding you what happened without just flat out giving a recap. I got so swept up in the story and ended up finishing this book really quickly! I can’t wait to read the third book in the trilogy!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

I’d actually read this one before, which is why it took the bingo space of a book I’ve read before! I’m part of a super fun book club, and we were trying to pick out a fun book to read next and Where’d You Go, Bernadette was suggested and I jumped at the chance to read it again! I’m hoping that we can go see the movie later this summer as a group- how fun would that be?!? I loved this book as much the second time – probably because I had forgotten some of the details (it had been 3 years since I read it last!!!) It’s just written so well and it was funny and you really feel for all of the characters as different details start becoming clearer. If you haven’t read it already – make it your next book! Seriously!

Daisy Jones & The Six

To take the spot of a book with a name in the title, I read Daisy Jones & The Six. This is a new release and it seemed like EVERYONE and their mother had read it the second it came out and EVERYONE was raving about it. I’ve read a few other books that everyone raved about immediately and I was usually disappointed with them… but not this book! It was legitimately so good! But more that liking the story, which I did, I thought it was written SO WELL.

The story talks about the rise and ultimate fall of a super popular music group in the late 70’s. You hear from all of the band members, significant others, friends, managers, and more to piece the story together of how they got their musical start, how they rose to fame, what made it all fall apart, and ALL the drama that comes along with being the top rock band in America for a time. Imagine that you’re reading a transcript for an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music. It’s written decades after their popular album was made, so everyone has slightly different memories and points of view on how things really went down – go get you a copy!

Year of Yes

I chose to read Year of Yes to fill the spot of a book with a blue cover. This was another book that I’d been meaning to read for a while, and I’m really glad that I finally got around to it! Shonda Rhimes (the creator of your favorite Thursday night TV shows) took a full year of saying “Yes” to the things that scared her (having difficult conversations, putting her health first, going to social events, talking on stage, etc.) and shares how it changed her mindset, made her life more full and meaningful, and how she would have missed out on so many great opportunities if she hadn’t said yes. It was a super fast read and was quite fun and even a little motivational!

 

2019 Book Bingo – April Update

Hello and happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! My company gave us last Friday off for Good Friday, and it was nice to have a day to just get some stuff done! I ran errands, browsed at Target while pretending to be running errands, got my car washed, did ALL THE CLEANING, and then went to a Tenebrae service at my church. I’d never been to one before, and it was really moving to be in the sanctuary lit by candlelight and reflecting on the suffering and sacrifice Jesus made when he died on the cross.

The rest of the weekend was filled with family and fun! I tried out a new-to-me coffee shop with a new friend on Saturday, got to spend time with my parents and sister, celebrated that Christ is risen with my church family on Easter Sunday, and then had a great cookout that afternoon with the fam!

But now onto books – books books books let’s talk about some books! I’ve read some really great things in the last month and I’ve been dying to talk about them! And I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again – filling out a bingo board for the books I’m reading has just been bringing me so much joy! Yes it’s silly and yes it’s a little restricting since I selected the categories I need to read to fill the whole thing out, but who cares because I’m having fun! I wonder what the first “bingo” I’m going to get will be…?

For a non-fiction book I read It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst. It was the book for a book club that I’m a part of and it was good!! Lysa talked so openly about disappointments and how to handle them. I got the audiobook from the library and “read” it that way, but I wish I would have purchased the book, honestly. There were so many good nuggets in there that I would have loved to underline and have to look at later! Because life isn’t perfect and fun fact there WILL be hard times and disappointments in the future and I can definitely see myself reading this one again. This sounds like a bummer of a topic for a book, but it wasn’t a bummer at all. It was really full of hope and inspiration and I highly recommend it, whether you’re currently experiencing disappointments or not!

For a memoir I read The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. I wasn’t sure if I would like this one since it was written interview style with Nick and Megan talking back and forth to each other (I find I’m much slower reading things like that), but since I’d read a few of Nick’s other books, I decided to give it a go. And it was overall pretty great! One of my FAVORITE THINGS is hearing how couples met and so it was neat to hear their story of how they met, what they were like back then, and what their lives have been like in the 18-ish years that they’ve been together. Their back-and-forth was sweet to read; they’re so playful and you can tell that they just genuinely enjoy each other’s company. But what I loved most was reading just how supportive they are of the other! They were constantly saying the sweetest, nicest things about the other (about them as people, their work, their families, etc.) and it just warmed my heart.

For a book with a green cover I read Point of View by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I got to meet Elisabeth a few weeks ago when she spoke at the monthly Polished lunch I go to, and I was just so impressed with her. I went into the lunch thinking “she’s a celebrity, so this talk is going to be nothing but fluff and not a lot of substance and she’s just going to try and get people to buy her book…” but it was so much more than I expected! She got real with us and told some great stories and gave great advise about balancing work and faith, and she spent like a solid 5 minutes talking with every single person that wanted to get their book signed. I listened to her book (which she read!) while driving to and from Oklahoma to visit my parents 2 weekends ago and it was great! She talked about her time on Survivor, playing softball in college, finding job opportunities that she never really thought she’d want in the television industry, her marriage to her best buddy Tim and their family life, and she related all of it back to God in a really lovely way. It’s a short read but worth it to get from the library!

For a book published in 2019 I read Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken. And it was… fine. It was different than I expected – it started with an older lady’s mysterious appearance in a cemetery who starts a candlepin bowling alley in the New England town. The story continues with the people who frequent the bowling alley and follows along with their lives and generations after the lady dies in a freak accident. It all centers around the bowling alley and I liked that you saw into the lives of a LOT of characters, but there was just something about this book that I didn’t love. I think it might have been the writing? It seemed like it was a little too purposefully quirky and funny but it wasn’t actually funny. So, you wouldn’t be wasting your time with this one, per se, but also don’t feel the need to go read it IMMEDIATELY.

But a book that you should feel the need to go read immediately is One Day in December by Josie Silver – I read it for the spot of a book “everyone” has read. And now I know why “everyone” read it – and so quickly! It was just published last fall! I saw the book in a cute little bookstore in Connecticut last November and by the time I had requested it at the library later that week, it already had OVER A HUNDRED holds! So I finally just got the chance to read it last month and it was just such a sweet story! It had all the classic elements of a good chick lit read – romance, misunderstandings, friendship, love, an accident that comes out of nowhere, and just the best ending! I love this type of book so much because it gives all the warm fuzzies – and it’s officially become a book I recommend to people when they ask me what books to check out next!

 

2019 Book Bingo – March Update

It’s time for more books, y’all!!!! I read 3 mediocre books over the last few weeks and got to add them to my super fun 2019 book bingo board! But seriously, I’ll go into more detail in a sec, but these books were just ok. If you’ve read them, too, then I bet you’ll agree with me. If you haven’t read them, then you can just keep that going. I’m reading a few books right now that I already like SO much better, so that’s nice for a change! But I can’t share those with you just yet, so for now let’s dive into the books I just finished!

For a book set in NYC, I read Social Creature. It was a really interesting concept for a book, the plot was pretty unique, but I just don’t love how it was executed. This story is like a modern-day version of The Talented Mr. Ripley (kind of… that’s not exactly true but it’s what Amazon said) about a toxic friendship filled with fancy parties, the NYC elite, friendship that turns into obsession, and a girl that gets in way over her head when her friend dies. And while the author did a good job incorporating modern technology into the story, it just seemed SO FULL OF PLOT HOLES. It ended in literally the only way that “made sense” but I spent the entire last half of the book thinking “well that isn’t realistic” or “nobody would actually do that” or “if the police look into this she is toast because she hasn’t covered her tracks AT ALL.”

For a book with a pink cover, I read (well I listened to) The Glitch. If a book is labeled as “deeply hilarious” and “laugh-out-loud funny” and “riotous” I would expect to laugh at least once. Not even out loud. Just a small giggle here or there. Did I giggle at all during this book? Sadly no, I did not. I thought this book about a tech mogul who thinks she has been visited by the younger version of herself would be awesome but I was honestly kind of bored during most of it.

For a book written at least 10 years ago, I read The Little Stranger. This spooky story about a country doctor tending to a family living in a huge estate home in post-WWII England was by far my favorite of the three I read. I kind of hoped that it would have been a little scarier/spookier, but there were quite a few moments that had me on the edge of my seat! This book was made into a movie last year and now I want to go get it from the library and watch it ASAP!