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!

 

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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!

2019 Book Bingo

A few years ago I created a reading bingo board to keep track of the books that I read that year, and while there really wasn’t a point to doing it, I REALLY enjoyed it! I made a resolution for 2019 to read 25 books throughout the year, and that is just the perfect number of books to go on yet another reading bingo board. I had a lot of fun thinking about what to put in each square and then trying to find what books I might get to read throughout the rest of the year.

Seeing as we’re halfway through February, I’ve already read a few books and marked off a few squares! Here are the books I’ve read so far in 2019:

For a book written by a celebrity I read The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide. I have no interest in changing careers and moving to New York of Los Angeles to try and make it as an actor (tho 9-year-old Kelly really wishes I would!) but I love Jenna Fisher and it was fascinating to read about how she got started in Hollywood and just how much work, time, effort, and rejection goes into making a living as a performer. She did a great job giving out practical advice and sharing her wins and failures over the years.

For a book that was made into a movie, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I had a lot of friends that read this recently and so I thought I’d give it a go. It was… fine. One person in particular told me multiple times how this book was their all time favorite and the best book they read all year which REALLY made me build it up in my head. And ultimately it did not live up to my internal hype. It was a lovely story, yes, but I was just expecting… more? Yeah. I still want to watch the movie and see what is different and who knows, maybe I’ll like the movie better than the book!

For a book club pick I read The Last Mrs. Parrish. This was recently on Reese Witherspoon’s book club list, and I was in the mood for a story that might make my heart beat a little bit faster, and this one certainly got me amped up and feeling VERY anxious. It’s told kind of in two parts with one narrator in the beginning and a second narrator filling in the gaps in the second half of the book, and I love when books do that. It reminded me of Gone Girl a lot, how you read the first half and think you know everything, but then you switch narrators and you’re like OH OK I KNEW NOTHING. This book definitely made me think that every man is definitely a sociopath, and if you have any sort of abuse or trauma in your past romantic relationships, maybe skip this one. I was fine with it but I can see how it could be a little triggering for some people. I straight up told a friend “you should never read this book,” so just keep that in mind.

Just like with my 2019 resolutions, I created a page for my 2019 book bingo! You can click on the link at the top of my page and check in to see what books I’ve read and how far I’ve gotten with filling in my bingo card!

Recent Reads

Oh man do I have a lot of books to catch you all up on! I read a LOT over the past few months and honestly liked most of what I read! I feel like I’m at an age now where I’m 100% ok abandoning a book if I am not enjoying it. I even gave up on a few books and returned them to the library, which is something I would NEVER have done a few years ago! Of course I try to give a book a good chance, but sometimes you just have to let things go. I’m too busy to read bad books, and I love that feeling. So let’s dive in, shall we?

She Reads Truth

I had this one sitting on my shelf for longer than I’d like to admit, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. The two authors (from the very popular She Reads Truth website and app, if you hadn’t made that connection yet!) share different stories from their lives and showed how no matter what the circumstance, God was always there with them and His word was always constant and a source of truth. “Sometimes it takes everything moving to notice the thing that doesn’t move. Sometimes it takes telling two very different stories to notice how the Truth was exactly the same in both of them.” I really enjoyed reading this and yes, it DID make me tear up while reading it on an airplane, but I highly recommend it!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

This book had SO MUCH BUZZ and I felt like everyone had already read it, so obviously I had to read it, too! It’s about a young woman who struggles to fit in socially and isn’t really considered “normal” but she is completely fine with the way she lives her life. But then she meets a new friend at work and he brings her into his life and world and together she starts to repair what she didn’t even realize had been damaged. I did like this book… but also this book was kind of… a downer? It made me feel…. happy sad. So I liked it, but it also took a lot out of me to read it. So I recommend it, but also you have to be feeling pretty happy when you read it or else man it will not be a fun time! It’s going to be made into a movie that comes out next year, so you still have some time to read it before you see it!

The Lies We Told

I was in the mood to read a thriller, and was so excited when I found this one at the library. It follows a few different story lines and leads to the point where they all intersect and oooooooh it gets intense! I seriously couldn’t put this down and stayed up WAY too late reading because I just had to know what happened!!! There are mysteries, family secrets, people acting suspicious all over the place, people getting kidnapped, and more. I did see some of the “plot twists” coming, but there were enough things that honestly surprised me and I love when a book can just throw a twist at you like that!

The Kennedy Debutante

This was the very best kind of historical fiction! I seriously loved this one SO MUCH! I knew pretty much nothing about Kick Kennedy (JFK’s little sister) and now I know so much! This story focuses on her time living with her family in London and how she met the love of her life and eventual husband, Billy. It gave an interesting insight to real events and let me daydream along with Kick as she sauntered through London society before and during the war. It just made me really happy while reading it and sent me down a long Wikipedia path looking up all the people, places, and events that were talked about in the book!

The Wondering Years

One of my all time favorite podcasts is The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, and one of the hosts wrote a book! He is HILARIOUS on the podcast, and I knew before I even started this book that it would be hilarious and amazing, and guess what? I was right. He shares how he’s always had a love for pop culture and how those tv shows, movies, songs, and more helped him on his journey to learning more about God as he was growing up. I listened to this as an audiobook (because I’m so used to listening to Knox talk, anyway) and it was a good, short listen! Definitely read this book if you like celebrity memoirs but are up for reading one that isn’t written by a celebrity and it contains hilarious stories with a good overarching message!

A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out

While I didn’t hate this book, it honestly wasn’t my favorite one of the bunch. I might even say it was my least favorite of this bunch. Not the worst book I’ve ever read, but certainly not the best. This story follows Casey, who works at an ad agency, and basically is becoming a sellout. She is rising in her career but becoming a terrible person in the process, and then OH NO everything falls apart and she is left at rock bottom. She slowly starts to rebuild her life and finds out that being genuine is the way to go. It had a good ending, but honestly you can probably skip this one.

And now we’re all caught up from 2018! Have you read any of these before, or have any of them been siting in your TBR pile forever?