Recent Reads

Every time I get a library book with folded corners, a little part of my soul gets crushed. Just use a bookmark! Or a piece of paper! Or the receipt that the library gives you telling you when the book is due! Don’t be a monster!!!

I seriously feel like my reading schedule has been all out of wack this summer. Busy work schedule means a busy home schedule, which means I was doing other things at home instead of reading. I did manage to finish a few books over the last few months (mostly on airplanes and in airports if I’m being honest), and I’ve started a few others. For instance, I started reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, but that thing is a big beast and there is no way I am going to finish that any time soon!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children || This book had been on my list for a pretty long time, and so I finally decided to give in and read it. It took a lot longer to finish than I’d like to admit, and that’s because I kept getting kind of bored. Me telling myself that I couldn’t watch the movie till I finished the book kept me going, though, and I’m glad that I read it to the end. Once the action started to pick up (in the last 1/3 of the book) I couldn’t seem to put it down. Now I want to read the other books in the series to find out what happens to these peculiar characters!

My Not So Perfect Life || This book was just adorable! I picked it because it took place in England and I read it during my trip to England, and it was the perfect light vacation read. The plot got a little bit ridiculous at some points, but the sweet relationships between the family made me love the whole thing. It wrapped up really well and had a nice message that real life isn’t as picture perfect as social media would have you believe, and that’s ok.

All Our Wrong Todays || This book was really interesting to read, and I highly recommend it! It was a little bit science fiction which kept it imaginative, and a little bit adventure which kept the plot rolling, and a little bit romance which kept me reading. Basically imagine if technology today was SO advanced that it made everything in our world easier and “better”, but someone went back in time and ruined everything (or at least the catalyst that made the advance of that technology possible) which left us with the “worse” today that we currently live in. Trust me, just read it.

Happy reading!!

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Recent Reads: A Wife of Noble Character

When I was in college, I bought the book The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton from the bookstore. I’m not really sure why, but I had read Ethan Frome by the same author and this one was about rich people problems, so I thought I’d give it a go. Uhhhh should I be super embarrassed to say that it took me FOUR YEARS to finish it? Because it did. Four years. Four. Yeah. I just had a really hard time getting into it, and because it was written around the turn of the century, it took me a little bit longer to read and comprehend passages, and I would just start losing steam after reading a few chapters. So I’d read about 50 pages, read a few other books, come back to it, and then repeat the process over again. In the end I liked the story, but it just took forever for me to get to the end of it.

Without really knowing what it was about, I picked out the book A Wife of Noble Character from the library because I thought the cover looked kinda cool. And wouldn’t you know it- it’s a modern story that is loosely based on The House of Mirth!! Here’s the synopsis from the inside cover:

“Thirty-year-old Vivienne Cally is wealthy in name only. Orphaned as a child and raised by a cold but regal aunt, Vivienne was taught to rely on her beauty and Texas tradition, and is expected to marry a wealthy and respectable man who will honor the Cally name. Friends with Houston’s most prominent families, she’s a beloved fixture at social events, and suffers no shortage of access to the city’s most eligible bachelors. Preston Duffin has known Vivienne and her set since childhood, though he’s never shared their social aspirations or status. About to graduate from a prestigious architecture program, he is both fascinated and repelled by this group of friends he sits on the cusp of. He’s long admired Vivienne’s beauty, but isn’t sure he holds any place in so traditional a life. Intrigued by the extent to which Preston challenges the only way of life she’s ever known, Vivienne both courts his attention, and rebuffs his critiques of her antiquated values.”

I really enjoyed this story a lot! It takes place in Houston, which I loved, since my sister lives in Houston so some of the places were familiar to me. There was even a scene that took place a block from my sister’s house! Crazy! (I know it’s fictional, but it’s still fun!) I really felt for the main character, Vivienne, while at the same time being frustrated with her and her life. And her friends! The author really did a great job creating some real villains that you just want to punch in the throat.

Most of the story was in pretty close parallel with The House of Mirth… except for the ending. SPOILER ALERT – the main character in The House of Mirth dies in the end. The main character here did NOT die in the end. Knowing that original ending, I kept waiting for Vivienne to die tragically in this book, and it never happened. Which is fine, and I like the way Vivienne had her ending. Thought I must say, I’m not sure which ending I liked better… Probably the one where our heroine lives but… but… I’m just not sure!

Recent Reads

We made it to Wednesday! Hallelujah! It’s not usually the case, but this week is FLYING BY. Man. It’s probably because I’m super busy at work right now, so the days are just going by super speedy fast, but even the evenings are rushing by, too! But I’d rather have it this way than what usually happens, which is that the week d r a g s  o n  s o  s l o w l y.

So books. I’ve read a few more books. As I’m sure you’ve guessed. I’ve also read half of like, 3 or 4 books. Let me explain. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I get 95% of my books from the library because I wouldn’t be able to afford food if I bought ALL of the books that I read. Sometimes I just grab books off the shelf that I want to read, but other times I’ll see a book online that’s not available at my branch, so I’ll put in a request on my library’s website! Usually I do this for really popular and new books, so the waiting list can be pretty long. Whenever those requested books become available, I usually have to read them pretty quickly, since you can’t renew a book when people are on a list to read it and there is ALWAYS a list. And that means abandoning the book I was currently reading to quickly read another. I’ve had a lot of book requests come in, which means a lot of abandoned ones. I’ll get to them eventually!

So here are the most recent books I’ve read!

Scrappy Little Nobody || Man I’m a sucker for celebrity essays and memoirs. I just look forward to hearing their stories so much! I listened to this as an audiobook and at first I was NOT a fan of Anna Kendrick’s speakign voice… but then once I got used to it I kind of enjoyed hearing her inflections while telling her stories. I definitely learned a lot about her and man does she have a potty mouth. All in all, it was a fun mindless listen and she was pretty funny.

The Futures || This one was a lot different than I expected! It takes place during the financial crash of 2008 and follows the relationship of Julia and Evan as they move to New York after graduating from college. It jumped back and forth between points of view (with Julia and Evan, naturally) and it really showed that there are two valid sides to every story. Julia would be upset at Evan and you would be just as upset, but then you’d hear from Evan and realize that he was actually in the right and now you found yourself mad at Julia. It was very well written and the ending was a pleasant surprise!

Big Little Lies || OOOOH THIS ONE WAS SO GOOD NOW I UNDERSTAND WHAT ALL THE HYPE IS ABOUT BECAUSE I AM NOW HYPING IT UP, TOO! The point of view jumped around from paragraph to paragraph, but it actually wasn’t distracting at all. It was a long-ish book, but I wished it was LONGER! The book starts out first thing letting you know that someone was murdered at a school event, and then the rest of the story leads up to the event and you are guessing who died and who did it throughout the whole story and man, I was wrong on BOTH accounts! They made this into a mini-series on HBO and now I need to find a way to watch it!

I Can’t Stop Reading! (Recent Reads)

Hello, hello! Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend so far! I’m down in Houston visiting with my sister and her family which is always fun for me! I love that they’re only a few hours away – I get to see them pretty often and I can catch up on podcasts along the way! I listened to the latest episode of The Gilmore Guys (now the Bunhead Bros) on the way down, and later today when I drive back I’m going to start in on Missing Richard Simmons. Have you listened to it yet? I keep hearing about it EVERYWHERE and from EVERYONE, so I need to see what all the fuss is about!

Like always, I’ve been reading up a storm and I have some more books that I’ve finished recently to share!

Murder on the Orient Express || This is such a classic and famous story (and movie) and it was about time I read it. I saw an article somewhere that they are going to remake the movie soon (I think it’s coming out later this year?), so I wanted to read it before then! The story went by pretty quickly and I was making wrong guesses throughout the entire plot. That Poirot – he is a smart one!

Interrupted || This was the first book I’ve read by Jen Hatmaker, who is a fairly well known Christian author and there were so many good little nuggets in this book. The 2nd part of the title says “When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity” and it really got me thinking about being a good witness and showing God’s love through my actions. I highly recommend that you give it a read or a listen (I got this from the library as an audiobook but kid of wish I had a physical copy to highlight and underline.)

Good as Gone || Ehhhh, this book was… ok. Didn’t love it. It was supposed to be suspenseful and thrilling and kind of a mystery but I just… I just didn’t super care for it. I liked that the cover was bright, but that’s about it. It kind of had the same plot as that ABC show from last year, The Family. A kid goes missing and then out of nowhere, returns home 10 years later. But is it actually the same person?!? I honestly don’t really recommend this one… didn’t love the characters, didn’t love the way the story unfolded or a lot of the elements of the story, either.

Paris for One and Other Stories || This was half book, half short stories, and mostly great. The bulk of the book was one story, “Paris for One” and that story was SO ADORABLE!!! I wished that the entire book was just that one story and we would have gotten to spend more time with the characters! And it was a happy story, not one that will make you cry like a baby like some of Moyes’s other books. The other short stories in the book were ok… but the first one was definitely the best.

That’s it for today! Oh and a quick update on my new apartment – I’m STILL not done unpacking yet!!! I AM SO SLOW!!!! But it’s ok, I’m fine with it. For now. I am planning on hosting a brunch at my new place soon though, so that will get me motivated to get everything put away and hang pictures and things like that. I also need to find my hammer… I know it has to be around somewhere…

Recent Reads…

Oh my goodness, the last few weeks have been CRAZYPANTS! Here’s a quick recap:
-I packed up my apartment (so slowly, might I add…)
-I celebrated my 29th birthday (hooray!)
-I got SO SICK with what I’m pretty sure was a gnarly sinus infection
-I spent a few days in Phoenix for a work conference (where I was sick, btw)
-I moved into a new apartment
-I had a friend come visit me in Dallas for a few days

See?!?! Crazypants!! Prepping for the conference meant long hours at work, preparing for a move meant lots of time packing and planning, and moving meant more time doing all the junk that goes along with it. I’m STILL unpacking (I moved like 6 days ago, so I’m still fine… right?!?) but I finally unpacked my TUB OF SHAME!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, what is a tub of shame, you ask? Well, it’s a plastic tub that was packed when I moved to STL in 2013, got shoved in the back of a storage closet when I moved into my apartment there and was never unpacked, then got unearthed and moved to Dallas and once again was stuck in the back of a storage closet and was never unpacked. So finally, here in 2017, that tub has been unpacked. Hoorah.

Being sick and working crazy hours didn’t leave much time for reading at home, but I still got a lot of reading done on airplanes, on the bus to and from the office, and listening to audiobooks while driving around in my car.

The Hopefuls || I know that Jennifer Close is a very popular author,  but I don’t think that I’d ever read something of hers until I picked this one up. I put it in the category of books where there’s really not a big plot but still things happen and I enjoy spending time with the characters anyway. It was an interesting look into marriage, friendship, following someone who is following their dream, and THEY MENTION TORCHY’S so obviously this book gets a thumbs up from me.

Maybe In Another Life || This book was adorable! I listened to it in my car, and found myself taking the long way home on multiple occasions just to listen to more of it. The story follows Hannah who just moved back to LA, and one decision she makes on a night out creates two story lines. Both come with hardships, challenges, victories, and a chance for romance with different people. I liked it because I think you can find happiness in every circumstance life throws your way, and this book was a great example of that.

Talking As Fast As I Can || THIS BOOK WAS THE BEST!!!!! I had been waiting to read it since I pre-ordered it in the summer, and it totally lived up to all of my expectations! Having read it after watching the Gilmore Girls revival was amazing, and this book truly made me love Lauren Graham even more.

The Magnolia Story ||Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh this book was so good (and so short!) Like, seriously, it was very short. My mom and I listened to the entire thing (except for 15 minutes) on the drive from Tulsa to Dallas. But y’all it was such a good listen! I love with authors (especially celebs) narrate the books themselves, and it was fun to hear their voices telling their story. Some parts had mom and I LAUGHING OUT LOUD, some parts made us giggle at how adorable they are together, and other parts made us think wow- didn’t know that about them! They were very honest about their struggles and stayed humble about their success with the show and everything that has come from it.

I think that yes, I would recommend all four of these books to you. Especially the last two. And especially if you want a quick read. Have you read any of these yet?!?