Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added to My TBR

What an easy TTT (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, as usual). I went onto Goodreads and chose my most recent additions to my To Read list... Granted, my TBR has 187 books on it, so this is just a smalllllll sampling of the many books I'm itching to read.

March Wrap-Up

Wait. March is already over? I've been so busy this month with social (fun!) obligations and school stuff that I completely missed the month flying by!

March in One Word: Spring!

My Favorite Memories in March 2015:
  • Celebrating my favorite one year old's birthday
  • Attending the Bridal Expo with some of my favorite women ever
  • Winning a free bridal session!
  • Having cheerleading tryouts and officially becoming sponsor for next year
  • Beginning to write a textbook!
  • Showering Eric and Nicole with love and gifts and champagne
  • Boiled crawfish and the dog park in the Spring weather
  • A great lunch and movie with the family
  • Celebrating the end of March, a best friend's birthday, and my early birthday with great friends
Books I Read this Month: 
  • The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • The Mercy of Thin Air by Donlyn Domingue
  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Articles from Around the Web:
    3 Things I'm Looking Forward to in April:
    • My 26th birthday!
    • My future sister-in-law's bachelorette party
    Favorite Quote from a Book I Read this Month:

    “I don't know when we'll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.” 
    ― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Challenges Update

    So the Winter Book Challenge that I was working on (hosted by A Semi-Charmed Life) ended on February 28. Overall, I did ok. I finished half of the books (completely ignoring the ones with food or directions in the title).

    I was looking for a new challenge, and I thought about the Rory Gilmore Book Challenge. (I also just finished the seasons of Gilmore Girls over Mardi Gras... #teamJess) Over the course of seven seasons, Rory is shown reading or talking about a total of 339 books. (!!!!!)

    I posted the list of books on my Reading Challenges page, but for a synopsis, these books span contemporary fiction, classic fiction, memoirs and biographies, short stories and poetry, and even a few guidebooks to traveling around Europe. I've already read 58 of these novels, which is not a huge dent, considering most of them I read in high school and undergrad and barely remember.

    I'm definitely NOT putting a time limit on this, but I hope that when I'm stuck without a book to read or wanting something different, I can turn to Rory's suggestions. I'll probably skip all of the guidebooks and Stephan King books (horror is NOT my thing), but this list definitely made me realize how many classics I haven't read yet.

    Whiiiiiiich led me to a Google search to find a challenge that is just about the classics. And of course, the second link I clicked on had almost exactly what I was looking for. Check out Books and Chocolate's Back to the Classics Challenge.

    Here's the required categories:

    1.  A 19th Century Classic -- any book published between 1800 and 1899
    2.  A 20th Century Classic -- any book published between 1900 and 1965
    3.  A Classic by a Woman Author
    4.  A Classic in Translation
    5.  A Very Long Classic Novel -- a single work of 500 pages or longer, regular-sized print
    6.  A Classic Novella -- any work shorter than 250 pages
    7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title -- First name, last name, or both, it doesn't matter, but it must have the name of a character
    8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic
    9.  A Forgotten Classic -- This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more
    10.  A Nonfiction Classic -- A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that's considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author
    11.  A Classic Children's Book
    12.  A Classic Play

    (A few of these will definitely be read later in the year when I start teaching full time... especially that play!)

    Do you have any suggestions? I'd love to have a starting point on choosing books!

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Book Review: Let's Get Lost

    “It was time to let go of the mad desire to remember. It was time to start living whatever life would come. In the present, not the past.” 
    ― Adi Alsaid, Let's Get Lost

    Book Title: Let's Get Lost
    Author: Adi Alsaid 
    Publication Date: 2014
    Genres: YA Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction
    Goodreads Rating: 3.78 Stars 
    My Rating: 3.75 Stars

    Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. 

    Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

    There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

    Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way. 

    1. Such a unique point of view! After reading the synopsis on the back of the book, I really thought we would see Leila's travels and all the people she meets along the way. Or that they were all on a road trip together. NOT SO. Each section is from the point of view of a person that Leila meets, meaning we don't really know Leila's whole story, but we see how she impacts four people from their point of view.

    2. I liked all of the characters. They were all flawed, but overall, I really enjoyed meeting each character. I was entranced by all of the adventures, from Bree's joyriding to Sonia's Canadian adventures. Plus, the struggles that the characters are going through are each so relatable and interesting.

    3. I'm glad we finally got Leila's story too. Leila gives so many variations of her life to the strangers she meets, so when I saw that the final section was from Leila's point of view, I was thankful. Her story is one of the most interesting ones!

    This novel was unique and interesting, and I would recommend it for a quick, light read.. A great summer book!

    “Funny, how it took a little bit of pain to remember that certain parts of yourself were alive.” 

    “People hurt each other. It happens to everyone. Intentionally, unintentionally, regretfully or not. It's a part of what we do as people. The beauty is that we have the ability to heal and forgive.”

    “I don't really ever have to tell myself to seize the day. It's just, whenever I'm not, I feel like I'm slowly disintegrating or something. Like my soul is itching, and I'd I don't actively live my life, it'll never stop.”