Why I Changed My Blog’s Name!


back to carolina new blog name graphicI changed my blog’s name, if you noticed at the top or my announcement on Instagram. I’ve even changed my name Twitter. All that’s left to do is get my husband to change the domain name. I’m really excited about the name change, if you can’t tell!

When I started blogging, I hadn’t been back to South Carolina for very long, yet I was so excited to get started blogging when my husband gave me the idea that I grabbed the first available domain name that matched any stupid thing we came up with. So, that is how Seriously, Sarah? was born.

Last fall, though, I started thinking more about Southern literature, the importance of place, and how much the Carolinas mean to me, even if I was born elsewhere and moved around a little bit. I went to college in the best college in South Carolina, only to leave for the big city. A few years later, after I got sick, I had to come back to carolinaso my family could help me. Living on the North/South Carolina border has been interesting (not what I would have chosen…), but I did meet my husband here!

Back in Carolina – South Carolina, that is – I bought my first home, had my first dog, had my wedding, attended more weddings and baby showers, and attended many homecomings, of course. Even though I only went to two years of high school and 4 years of college in South Carolina, compared to all of the other places that I lived, there is hardly a major city that I can’t visit with my husband and have tons of memories to share (and know all of the back roads).

I talk about wanting to pick up and start over somewhere new, but the fact is that place is as important to my heart as it is to a Southern novel, so South Carolina will always be home.

And I am quite happy to be

back to carolina header

 

 

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Categories: life thoughts Tags: ,
Literary Ladies Book Club Reading Challenge


Reading Challenge smaller

Another book challenge? Yes! I’m linking up with See You in a Porridge to show my progress! The challenge runs from June 21, 2015 until September 21, 2015. And this reader is finished!!!

1. A YA book
If I Stay, Gayle Forman

2. Non US Author
Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (British)

3. A book that was recommended by a blogger (or instagrammer / you-tuber / goodreads-er)
Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher Series) – This mystery and some other series were recommended by Moira at Hearth and Homefront.

4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more
The Black Album, Hanif Kureishi

5. A book with a kickass female character
Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear

6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show).
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries #1), James Runcie, which is a PBS series.

7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoirif neither of those are your jam.
Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari (READ THIS)

8. A book with a one word title.
Romola, George Eliot

9. A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge!
Pretty Baby, Mary Kubica

10. A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge!
Summerlong, Dean Bakopoulos

Don’t forget that you can be my friend on Goodreads to see what I read/give me ideas!

So, I finished up and read books that I really enjoyed (minus Romala, which was long and boring and I don’t recommend it. Ever.) them!

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Categories: Reading, Reading Challenge Tags: , ,
Less Life // More Imagination


Less Life -- more imagination Well, if you follow me on Bloglovin or read my blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed the extreme decrease number of posts on my blog – although, I’m still snapping and posting on IG. When I do post, I write about books. I do individual reviews of books that are usually from advanced copies that I get through companies like NetGalley. My group roundups are basically what I have always look forward to posting each month.

Overall, all you’re reading from me are about books.

That’s because I’m sick.

I don’t feel like picking up my husband’s nice camera to take photos very often. I don’t “do” anything, so I am not really capable of giving anyone a DIY. I really don’t do anything fun or go out, so I can’t tell you what fun things there are to do in my city. I have less life than I had when I started blogging.

Mostly, I listen to audiobooks. I do read ebooks, but I don’t read blogs or leave comments anymore. Reading blogs is how I used to get inspiration for posts. So, with no life and no inspiration, and really nothing to do, except talking about how excited I get when my 50% off pizza coupon works, I don’t have much to say. Except, my husband just walked in and wanted to heat up frozen grilled chicken strips to put on his Ramen. GROSS. I put my foot down.

My imagination is full from reading and listening to books and I want to write, although writing isn’t very popular. My essays don’t get shared, searched, or commented on–unless people really miss the point and leave a comment that makes that part obvious. Blog posts are supposed to be quick and easy to read. They’re supposed to be in bullet points. They are supposed to have a thesis. They should share information. All I have to share are books.

But being sick also makes it hard for me to look at a latop sometimes, even with f.lux, which I highly recommend (!). It can make it extremely hard to edit photos, when I do take them. And overall, I’m heavily medicated it sometimes; therefore I completely lack the ability to write anything that anyone wants to read.

I feel bad. I spent a long time building my blog and networking. My first few months of blogging were pretty bad and funny. I finally got to a spot that I liked and then my body was like, nope. Sorry. Too bad. Go back to bed (but not to sleep!).

Again, my imagination is on overdrive, but my body is stuck on zero. I hope to unstick my body one day. Until then, books for you. I hope to share some recipes, fashion, makeup, and other things that make me happy when I can think more clearly and do justice to the post. I would rather write no post than a less-than-great post.

Please enjoy these pictures of my dogs, to make up for reading about why you will see a lot of book reviews:

IMG_5121 IMG_5122 IMG_5131 IMG_5159

 

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Categories: life thoughts
Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont: Review

Among the Ten Thousand Things Among Ten Thousand Things

This is a beautiful novel about love, life that ruins love, family, and what’s leftover when life is done. This new release is definitely worth your time, even though there aren’t a whole lot of reviews on it yet. I got an early copy from NetGalley – but early by about two days. So, in my typical fashion, I used my accumulating Audible credits to pick it up because I was loving it, but my new medications have my sleep messed up. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the book – even when I shed a tear or two. The book, broken into four parts, tells the story in an interesting way. The first part sets up the falling apart of the family. The short, second part, gives the reader a fast glimpse into the end of the family’s lives. How people die. How the kids grow up. Things you don’t expect in the middle of the novel. The third part of the novel, finishes telling how the wife, husband, and two kids get to part two. Mostly told from the point of view of the wife, it’s an beautiful, heart-wrenching look at the thoughts of a woman who has been betrayed and how she decides what she is going to do with that betrayal. While Among the Ten Thousand Things is not a light summer read, it is a beautiful, poignant novel. I don’t know if other readers will appreciate this part like I did, but Simon, the 15 year old son, is a wonderful representation of a teenage boy. He reminded me so much of my moody, angry, teenage brother with a bad attitude! It made me laugh a lot. The novel reminded me of the humanity in all of us. Parents are people. Kids see more than we know. And kids turn into adults who will perpetuate the cycle. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel for review. All opinions are my own.

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Why You Should Read Pretty Baby: A Book Review


Pretty Baby Book Review
Pretty Baby Book Review: Seriously, Sarah?

I was eager to read Pretty Baby, since I had so thoroughly enjoyed Kubica’s first novel, The Good Girl.

The story begins with a charitable mother of woman, who lives in the heart of Chicago and works at a non-profit. On the public transportation system there, she notices a homeless teenage girl holding a baby. Both the girl and the baby are not properly dressed for the cool, spring weather. The charitable woman, Heidi, runs into the teenager two more times in a short time span.

All the while, the reader is privy to the thoughts of Heidi, the homeless teenager, Heidi’s husband, and even Heidi’s teenage daughter. The narration style lends itself to the slow unfolding of secrets or lets the reader see misunderstandings that the characters don’t see. My favorite part, though, is that not all of the storytelling is chronological. There is one character who is occasionally retelling her story to someone else, in the future, when hindsight is 20/20.

Who Should Try Pretty Baby?

People who enjoyed the twists, turns, and unpredictability of Kubica’s first thriller, The Good Girl.

If you haven’t read The Good Girl, but have liked any of the popular thrillers, Pretty Baby will be a definite winner for you.

If you want to try a thriller that isn’t too gory or scary, you can also start here.

Pretty Baby has a little something for everyone who enjoys anything about interesting storytelling or psychological thrillers.

I particularly enjoyed Kubica’s examination of the mind. Two characters went through what most people would consider to be an unrecoverable hells, but each reacted in a completely opposite ways, in my opinion. I’m interested to read what other people think!

You will be able to pick up a copy on July 28! Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads “Want To Read” List, so you’ll get the email notification!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel, Pretty Baby, for a book review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads, if you have the time!

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Categories: Book Review, Reading, Review Tags: , ,
Somebody I Used to Know Review


Somebody I Used to Know
Somebody I Used to Know

Somebody I Used to Know is a mystery novel by David Bell. The main character, Nick, has been haunted for 20 years by the death of his college girlfriend. Even through his marriage, his wife says that he was still in love with Marissa, the girlfriend who died in a fire. So, as a divorced middle-aged man, Nick keeps busy working for the under-dog and playing basketball with his friends.

He lives a life of the status-quo, so to speak, until a young woman who has a strong resemblance to his long-dead girlfriend shows up in the grocery store of his small town. When he approaches her, she drops her groceries and runs. The rest of the novel unfolds as Nick, with the help of another college friend, who kind of disappears halfway through the novel, start to unwind the tangled web of the past.

As I read the novel, I thought it was a great start for a first novel. I thought that the author had a really good shot at going somewhere with his writing, if he kept on writing. I was shocked when I reached the end and read at the bottom of his biography that he was the author of several other novels. To be honest, his writing wasn’t what I expect from a seasoned author.

Characters, like the main character’s college friend, come and go with little explanation. There is little to no character development of anyone other than the main character. And finally, while the ending makes sense logically, it doesn’t make sense realistically. The motives assigned to the perpetrators were a bit far-fetched in my opinion, which is why I thought the author was new and would tighten his plotlines in the future.

While I don’t regret reading this novel, I don’t recommend rushing out to read it immediately.

You can pick up a copy of Somebody I Used to Know when it publishes on July 7, 2015.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of Somebody I Used to Know for review. All opinions are entirely my own.

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

 

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Categories: Reading, Review Tags: , , ,
Monthly Goals: July

July Goals

Well, I haven’t posted any goals in awhile because the last time that I posted them, I got through three-fourths of the month before excruciating pain stopped my life and all goals, large and small, halted. I know that I wrote that I was a person, even though I was sick, who still needed goals. Unfortunately my body, was like “yeah, good luck with that!”

Again, I am not doing well, but I am determined to reach a few goals. Not only will I use the daily goal tracker, but I have a few other things to accomplish:

monthly goal tracker final

[Again, I can’t figure out how to embed an pin still, so you’ll have to click the picture.]

Daily Goals:

  • Some type of daily activity. This doesn’t have to be classic exercise. This can be physical therapy, PT exercises, washing my hair and going to a doctor appointments, or even just a 10 minute stretch.

  • Taking supplements everyday. I’m terrible about this, but if I check it off, I’ll do it.

  • Drink enough water every day

  • I’m sure I’ll think of a few more…

Monthly Goals:

  • Read three novels from NetGalley for review. I’m really bad about over requesting because I’m afraid of being turned down. Then, I’ll get too many. I don’t want to hurt my percentage (they want you to keep an 80% review rate), so it’s time to get reading.

  • Write more blog posts. I neglected this space for awhile. I still feel horrible, but sometimes taking my mind off of my pain and turning it towards something like writing is helpful.

  • Organize bill due dates so I don’t overpay again this month. (Oops.)

  • Try to keep myself organized so that I don’t forget to call in medication refills, pay bills, etc.

What are your goals this month?

 

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What I Read Last Month: June


What I Read Last Month: June 2015 >>> Seriously, Sarah?
I worked a little bit on my Summer Reading Challenge and TBR Pile Challenge this month. Also, I decided to read a few classics and fun novels. Basically, I was all over the place!
Contemporary

Life After Life

Life After Life

Honestly, a few weeks after reading this novel, I barely remember it. I know it got a ton of awards and lots of people love it, and maybe it was too difficult for my brain to understand during that time period, but… it didn’t stick with me.

The Kind Worth Killing

The Kind Worth Killing

The story was simple and an exploration of moral dilemmas, but I think it was overrated.

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

The Plantagenets

This was a looooooooooooooooong one. However, I really liked it. I don’t read/listen to a lot of non-fiction history books, but this one was really helpful. I’ve read historical fiction novels about the beginning of the Plantagenent family through the end of the reign of Richard the Lionheart and then novels that pick back up with the War of the Roses, but there are several hundred (almost a thousand) years of history that I didn’t know about. This book filled that in for me!

There is a sequel to this book. I am thinking about listening to it. Reading? No way.

Where They Found Her

Where They Found Her

I found this novel more “adult” than the author’s first novel, Reconstructing Amelia, which seemed more young adult. It wasn’t the best novel that I’ve ever read, but I liked it. It kept me guessing until the end. I read the hardback instead of listening, since I read that the novel would be told through several mediums – like Reconstructing Amelia, which used text messages, instant messages, emails, and many types of prose. There weren’t as many in this novel, but I still liked it.

Recovery and Renewal:

Your Essential Guide to Overcoming Dependency and Withdrawal from Sleeping Pills, Other ‘Benzo’ Tranquillisers and Antidepressants

Recovery and Renewal

I found this book extremely helpful. I am always being switched around on my medications, so it is no secret that I have gone through withdrawal a few times. I’m not addicted, but physically dependent. As the author of the book points out, the people who post on the internet about their withdrawals are usually the ones with horror stories or who did not cope well. The author actually had an extremely horrific withdrawal, but as a counselor, she utilized her formal training on herself (the author is also in the UK where the medical system is different). Anyway, I recommend this for anyone who is tapering or going to be tapering off of a benzo.

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

Lessons from Madame Chic

I read this for the Summer Reading Challenge. I picked it up as a book that I had never heard of before. It seemed interesting. While it would be really easy to make fun of, I still didn’t mind it terribly. I did think it was interesting to read about an entire society of people who live with “capsule” wardrobes. [I’ve never been to France and cannot vouch for the validity of any of the book.] I hardly have one, but my closet has been whittled down due to the fact that I’ve lost weight, so a lot of clothes went upstairs because they were too big and don’t need that many different outfits anymore, anyway.

[Summer Reading Challenge: 10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.]

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

I chose this novel because it has alliteration in the title. It was the shortest one I could find – I am kicking myself for reading Dear Daughter before the start of the challenge! It was funny and fit. Not to spoil a book that came out 20 years ago, but I don’t think the ending was very realistic, but I’m not a professionally trained counselor.

[Summer Reading Challenge: 30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it’s worth the most points!)]

Second Life

second life

It took over half of the novel for the story to start to “come together.” And by “come together,” I mean that the torrid affair scenes cooled down enough for the story to move forward. In the end, Watson made a good point about life, but it got lost in pandering to trendy literature.

[Note for other readers: This book is not PG-13. It might test the limits of R ratings, if you’re not comfortable with reading that. And some of it was gratuitous, whereas some added to the plot.]

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1)

maisie dobbs #1

Solid 3.5, so I’m rounding up, since I rate everything a 3!
I put it down a few times, so it wasn’t as compelling as I would have liked, but I’m kind of burned out on books that take place during the World Wars.
The “mystery” wasn’t as much of a mystery as I would have liked, but I think it introduced readers to the main character and her background, nicely. I intend on reading the next book in the series!

[Summer Reading Challenge: 25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books. There are at least 11 novels in this series so far.]

The Black Album

The Black Album

I purchased this novel with the short story at the end back in 2010 or 2011. I really bought it for the short story. I read that. So, for the summer reading challenge of reading something that’s been on my shelf for 2 years, I chose this novel.

[Summer Reading Challenge: 10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you’ve had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)]

Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How & Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications

your drug may be the problem

This book mostly focuses on antidepressants, but I picked it up with the hopes that it would talk more about benzodiazipines. However, some medications marketed as antidepressants have been given to me over the years as neurological medications, as well as the benzos. I guess it is obvious from what I’m reading that I am trying to educate myself more on what medications could be doing to me. I’m just an English major, but as a professional patient, who has been reading medical literature online for years, I decided to graduate to books.

Modern Romance

Modern Romance

I laughed, I learned, and how the heck did I end up married? I listened to the book (so I didn’t get to see all of the funny charts that Ansari was putting on Instagram), but his asides to the listeners were hilarious. It seemed well researched and even if it wasn’t, the excerpts from the focus groups were hilarious.

Hausfrau

Hausfrau

I think there was a lot to learn from this story, but the ending left me wanting more concrete details. Like Second Life, I think a lot of the story was obfuscated by the endless affairs for me, but unlike Second Life, this novel did a better job of actually getting to “the point.” Essbaum is a wonderful writer who wove the main character’s therapy sessions (and psychological theories) with language, how we use it (and how it might reflect our personalities – I loved that part), and just more than I can fit in this review.

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a less complicated and less adventurous DaVinici Code or National History [I only watched the movies… and National History was just a movie I liked. Don’t judge 😉 ].

classics

Ruth
Ruth

Why so many sad stories for the Victorians? Hardy? Wharton? Stop it. I liked this right up till the end. Ruth, I love you.

[Summer Reading Challenge: 15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)]

Where Angels Fear to Tread

where angels fear to tread

I didn’t love this novel, but I didn’t hate it. It was kind of sad.

The Reluctant Widow

the reluctant widow

This novel had a lot more murder and intrigue than I’m used to in Heyer novels!

The Nonesuch
the nonesuch

A typical Heyer novel, but in a good way.

Drumroll… it took me two months this time…

finished summer reading challenge

You can read my projected list here, but my actual list is here! They aren’t very similar, like my winter lists. I want to thank Megan for hosting these seasonal challenges because they stretch me, and I look forward to them!

read theseThe Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England – If you like historical fiction, this was a wonderful companion to help make sense of the novels, but it is not a light read.

Modern Romance – Listen if you can!

if you have time

Where They Found Her

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1) – if you like “cozy mysteries.” (Apparently this is a genre).

don't bother smaller

The Kind Worth Killing

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads

You can read my past monthly round ups:

May 2015
April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

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Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , , ,
Top 10 Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015


My Top 10

Today I’m linking up with Broke and Bookish to talk about my Top 10 Favorite Books that I’ve read so far this year. Earlier this year, I was supposed to write about my favorite books from the past few years, but I limited it to the past year because, well, let’s face it, I didn’t read much after college. (I’m a terrible English major, I know…)

In no particular order, here are my top 10 favorites that I’ve read so far in 2015! (The titles are clickable to get to the Goodreads page!)

Astonish Me Title

astonish me

 

This wasn’t a light read, but it was thought provoking and interesting.

modern romance title

Modern Romance

Oh, wow. Stick around for my full review tomorrow, but it was hilarious, well researched, and informative.

 

Yes Please

yes please

Amy Poehler was hilarious and candid in this autobiography. Loved it.

Where All Light Tends to Go title

Where All Light Tends to Go

David Joy wrote a heart-wrenching and beautiful novel. I can’t wait to read more from him in the future.

dear daughter title

Dear Daughter

While Dear Daughter was no great work of literature, it was hysterical. I also think I read it at the right point in my life when I really needed something funny.

everything changes title

everything changes

I’ve read all but on Tropper novel. This novel, which was written earlier in his career, didn’t have the ambiguous ending that Tropper seems to be favoring these years, so I liked the cleaner, warmer ending.The Bookman's Tale Title

the bookman's tale

I read Lovett’s second novel, first. I backtracked and read his first novel, which I loved even more. In fact, it’s one of my favorite that I read this year!

Into the Tangle of Friendship Title

into the tangle of friendship

I don’t typically read non-fiction or memoirs. However, I picked up Kephart’s memoir on friendship because friendship is a topic that is near, or shall I say, very far, from my heart right now. I honestly enjoyed her reflections, especially on how she has wanted friendships that never turned into anything, watching her son make friends on the playground, or how she maintained friends throughout the years.

 

 

The Invention of Wings Title 2

The Invention of Wings

My first exposure to Sue Monk Kidd was The Secret Life of Bees, which I read for my Southern Lit class in college. When I picked up The Invention of Wings when I saw it popping up all over my Goodreads feed, I knew that I had to read it. I couldn’t put it down!

This is Where I Leave You title

this is where i leave you

This is Where I Leave You was the first Tropper novel that I read. I picked it up because the movie version was star-packed. Once I read the novel, though, I was confused about how it would translate onto the screen, since the novel is mostly introspective. In my opinion, it didn’t translate well, despite the excellent work by all of the actors and the fact that Tropper wrote the screenplay. So, I highly recommend the novel over the movie. But, watch the movie if you have two hours because the star-studded film was still kind of fun.

What have been the best novels you’ve read so far this year?

 

 

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Categories: link up, Reading Tags: , , ,
Summer Reading Challenge Results

 


Summer Reading Challenge Results: Seriously, Sarah?

I would like to thank Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life for hosting a twice a year reading challenge. Last winter was my first participation, in which I I read everything within a month! It took two months this time, but I liked it because it pushed me to read books that I had meant to read or books that had been on my “I would like to read one day… maybe…” list outside of my comfort zone!

Here are the final results!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey (The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #2)

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

I was definitely disappointed in how much it overlapped with the first book in the series. If I could give half stars, it would be 2.5 because it wasn’t terrible, but there wasn’t anything earth shattering in the WWII research, of course, and there wasn’t even much detail on the clothes, manners, or things that I found fascinating in the first book.
Those things were mentioned, but inconsistently. It felt like if the author needed to fill some space, she’d throw it in there, instead of focusing on it.

Pages: 368


10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!)

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

Lessons from Madame Chic

I picked it up as a book that I had never heard of before. It seemed interesting. While it would be really easy to make fun of, I still didn’t mind it terribly. I did think it was interesting to read about an entire society of people who live with “capsule” wardrobes. [I’ve never been to France and cannot vouch for the validity of any of the book.] I hardly have one, but my closet has been whittled down due  to the fact that I’ve lost weight, so a lot of clothes went upstairs because they were too big and don’t need that many different outfits anymore, anyway.

Pages: 283


10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you’ve had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)

The Black Album

The Black Album

I purchased this novel with the short story at the end back in 2010 or 2011. I really bought it for the short story. I read that. So, for the summer reading challenge of reading something that’s been on my shelf for 2 years, I chose this novel.

Pages: 320


10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.

We Were Liars

we were liars

I have heard a lot about this novel. It won a Goodreads award, of course. I haven’t read anything similar like it in a long time, so I did enjoy it. I was a bit (and still confused) why the main character called her friends “The Liars” from the very first, but I’m sure that’s a spoiler. I read the Kindle version fairly quickly. It was short, interesting, and very trendy.

Pages: 227


15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.

Don’t Try to Find Me

don't try to find me

Decent coming of age/young adult novel. Don’t buy the publisher’s advertising. Nothing like Gone Girl/Reconstructing Amelia. Not innovative at all. This novel did fulfill a summer reading challenge requirement, which was a plus, since it was an easy read.

Pages:  384


15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)

Ruth
Ruth

Why so many sad stories for the Victorians? Hardy? Wharton? Stop it. I liked this right up till the end. Ruth, I love you.

Pages: 499


15 points: Read a book with “light” or “dark” in the title. (Or “lightness” or “darkness.”)

Where All Light Tends to Go

Where All Light Tends to GoI’m really glad that I took a chance on this novel. I did need something with “light” in the title for a reading challenge, but when Audible recommended it, it seemed to be the perfect Southern Lit book for me. I can’t wait to read more from David Joy in the future.
I have to say that the novel seemed all too heartbreakingly realistic. Joy did a great job writing beautifully about the messy side of life in the rural South.

Pages: 260


20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title.

Jamacia Inn

jamacia inn

Ehh, this has to be my least favorite du Maurier novel, and I love her novels. It was predictable and kind of cheesy.

Pages: 320


20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.

A Civil Contract

a civil contract

This novel, by an author that I obviously like, was read for the Summer Reading Challenge to fulfill the category for a novel with an animal on the cover. I listened to the version with the horse on it!

a civil contract animal cover

Pages: 320


25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs #1)

maisie dobbs #1

Solid 3.5, so I’m rounding up, since I rate everything a 3!
I put it down a few times, so it wasn’t as compelling as I would have liked, but I’m kind of burned out on books that take place during the World Wars.
The “mystery” wasn’t as much of a mystery as I would have liked, but I think it introduced readers to the main character and her background, nicely. I intend on reading the next book in the series!

Pages: 309 / At least 11 novels in the series


25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.

The Way We Live Now

the way we live now

Sorry, Trollope you could have cut this book by at least 1/4. However, I still liked it.

Pages: 1024


30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it’s worth the most points!)

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

I chose this novel because it has alliteration in the title. It was the shortest one I could find – I am kicking myself for reading Dear Daughter before the start of the challenge! It was funny and fit. Not to spoil a book that came out 20 years ago, but I don’t think the ending was very realistic, but I’m not a professionally trained counselor.

Pages: 369


 

Now, I’ll have to read books from my other challenges and maybe a few of my fun books from my Summer Reading list… or even some from my Spring Reading list!

 

 

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