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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Top 12 Favorite Books that I Read in the Last Year


Top Ten Tuesday is here again! Today I’m linking up to share my all time favorite books that that I read within the last year. The link up gave me the option for 3 or 5 years, but I didn’t read much after college. I think I maybe read two good books in the two years after college. College was over 5 years ago, so that pretty much precludes college, so I can’t include things like Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (At the time of writing, this novel was 50% off and the whisper sync version is only $3 – read here about how you can save a lot on Audible books! What works for Classic novels will work for all novels) or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I also couldn’t chose just 10. I wanted to pick many, many more novels, so you get 12 with an honorable mention! I also thought that I would share a favorite quote or two from some of the novels!

My Top 12 Favorite Books that I Read Last Year | Why Did I Wait So Long to Read Some of These?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

where'd you do bernadette
At the time of writing, this Kindle book was on sale!

This book is TOO funny. It is poignant, hilarious, and just so much fun.

That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”
― Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

This Is Where I Leave You

this is where i leave you

I absolutely loved the insight into the dysfunctional family. The family is insane, but there is a lot to learn about life from the novel.

You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost. I know this to be wise and true, just as I know that pretty much no one can do it.”
― Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You

Girl, Interrupted

girl interrupted

This memoir was – for lack of a better word – memorable. It started a bit slow, but by the end, I understood the structure and totally fell in love with it.

Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
― Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted

Gilead
gilead

This novel made me cry. Sobs. It was so rich in wisdom. I do need to read the sequels, but I’m a little afraid of tarnishing my perfect memory of this novel.

Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

one more thing If you can’t laugh at this, you don’t have a sense of humor. I listened on to the audiobook, though. Delivery is EVERYTHING.

The wise quote:

You want to meet someone who likes the same things you do, and who likes you most when you’re most being yourself, so that when you are in a relationship, the person will truly be compatible with the real you.”
― B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

The funny quote:

If you love something, let it go. If you don’t love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything. Who cares.”
― B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

East of Eden

east of edenI can’t believe that I waited so long to read this novel. It is so rich and complex, but in an amazing way.

I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy This novel is hilarious. It’s like if Jane Austen wrote a slapstick novel. It make me laugh out loud. I loved it. It was just so amazing.

It is abominable, Sophy!”
“Yes, if the motive were not pure!”
― Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy

The Poisonwood Bible

the poisonwood bible Again, why did I put this off? A story about a Southern Baptist preacher trying to force his culture on the African culture and the way that the family does and doesn’t mix with the culture was great. It was nice to read all the different viewpoints, too.

Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place. ”
― Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

The Blind Assassin

the blind assasian So, Alias Grace is my favorite Atwood novel, but it’s not the traditional dystopian novel that Atwood writes. I loved this one, though, because of the time period in which it was set!

The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

The Handmaid’s Tale

the handmaid's taleAgain, how long did I make it so long without reading this? I was a little dismayed after I read the novel and saw so many reviews that revolved around the gender roles in the novel. While you could definitely read this as a gender studies book and look at it through that lens, I saw it as a political warning that had nothing to do with gender. It’s more of a warning about what can happen if lots of little things can be passed as laws until they add up to something horrible.

Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower

 

So, I was 26 when I read this novel. I’m still 26, but only for another week. I am glad that I waited to read this book. Of course, every teenager in my high school was reading this in 2004, but I didn’t read it just because I refused to do what everyone else was doing. I did read it last year, though, and loved it. I think I was able to appreciate it a lot more in retrospect than I would have as a 16 year old. By placing 10 years between myself and the age of main characters, I gleaned a lot more than simply plot.

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

 

I watched the movie first and loved it. Then I read the movie. Loved it. They really aren’t the same story at all. There are some parallels, but they’re different. They’re both good. That doesn’t happen often, but it was great. I recommend both.

Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.”
― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

Honorable Mentions

honorable

Veronica Mars Series:

Not amazing literature, but I sure did love them!

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 2)

The Likeness was insanely creepy. I couldn’t put it down. It was so creepy that I had to keep reading just to get the feeling away. That has to be good and powerful writing!

All the King’s Men

I love Robert Penn Warren. This novel was incredibly interesting. It was not my favorite from last year, but I do think it bears mentioning!

Linking up with Broke and Bookish!

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Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books


It’s Top Ten Tuesday again, so I’ll be linking up to share my top ten favorite heroines from novels, (tv, and movies).

Veronica Marsveroinca 2

 

Veronica Mars started as a television character, but she’s been a movie character, and now the start of two novels that follow up that movie. The premature ending to the show was infuriating, but I get by with the movie and books. I love her self-assurance, self-reliance, relationship with her father, and general smarts. She will kick your ass and still use you as a pawn to get to where she wants to go–to solve the crime. I wish I was that clever.

Buffy Summers

tumblr_lpw0h9zmYg1qjlba6o1_500

 

Buffy. Oh, Buffy. I love you. She started out as a slightly insecure vampire slayer, but over the years, I enjoyed watching her turn down the counsel, formal training, being self-reliant, taking care of her sister, and all of that.

Elizabeth Bennett

lizzie bennett

 

Girlfriend is smart, witty, won’t settle, loves her family, and can tell cranky aunt lady where to shove it, politely. Who doesn’t want to be her?

Jo March

Jo-March

 

If you haven’t noticed the trend, I like smart girls. Jo has a huge heart that puts her family first – something I wish I had more of. Jo is hysterical and witty. Jo chooses to love the smart dude. I mean, she had two good choices, but she’s smart enough to know what’s good for her.

Hermione Granger

grid-cell-18309-1395168174-10

 

Oh Hermione. She wants to be the best at everything. She’s not afraid to study hard. She works hard, but she also knows how to be a fiercely loyal friend. I find fiercely loyal people the most admirable.

 

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen

 

Again, Katniss is so smart. She’s physically and mentally strong. She cares about her family and friends above everything else, but she’s also willing to be the face of a revolution. It’s not easy, but she freaking puts herself out there and fights for what’s right. Who doesn’t love that?

Cassandra Mortmain

icapturethecastle04

 

I Capture the Castle is one of my favorite books ever. Cassandra is reflective, smart, and is family-oriented. She also doesn’t take the path of least resistance. She makes hard choices. She doesn’t accept the love of men she doesn’t love back just because it would be secure or easy. She’s willing to wait and write her own story.

Jacquetta of Luxembourg: The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins’ War #3)

9542439Jaqcuetta shows up in several of the Cousins War series books and is based on a real person. I loved her the most because she was the matriarch of matriarchs. She had a young marriage to a much older man. After he died, she gave up a lot to marry for real love. She gave birth to more kids than I can even remember. She raised children that grew up to be kings, queens, princess, and princesses. I just found her a very admirable character after reading that series and would love to read more biographies about her.

Alicia Florrick:

alicia

 

Um, I think the graphic says it all. Get it, girl.

Sophy (The Grand Sophy)

the grand sophy

 

I discovered Georgette Heyer’s novels last summer. I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the antics that “The Grand Sophy” got into during the novel. The novel, set during the regency period, is like what Pride and Prejudice would be, if it was a comedy. Like a slapstick comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed her.

Who are your favorite heroines? Who did I miss? I had to cut the list!

Linking up with Broke and Bookish!

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I Capture the Castle: Blogger to Blogger Book Club


I hope you’re ready to link up your book club question answers today! I am! And so is Josie. This was a reread (like 5th) for me. I fell in love with this book during high school and return to it frequently!
IMG_5694 (1)

You can visit Kelly’s blog to read more about the other upcoming book club questions!

Questions:

I Capture the Castle is told through Cassandra’s entries in her journals, an exercise she has undertaken in order to teach herself how to write. Why do you think Dodie Smith chose the form of the diary to tell the story of Cassandra and the Mortmain family?

Using a diary is a great way to tell a first person narrative story. Since her father was a writer, it is great to be in the mind of Cassandra, an inspiring writer. As a diary, Smith allows Cassandra to narrate events from her point of view, plus add commentary with her own thoughts. Since Cassandra’s point of view is limited to where she is, things like the incident with her sister in the woods isn’t reviled to Cassandra or the readers until the end.

Mortmain’s celebrated novel is described throughout I Capture the Castle as a literary breakthrough, a predecessor to James Joyce’s work, and meriting the analysis of famous literary critics. Yet beyond a few spare descriptions, Smith tells us little about the actual story. What do you imagine Jacob Wrestling to be about?

Since Jacob Wrestling is described as a predecessor to Joyce’s work, I imagine that the work is stream of consciousness or similar. Also, since Jacob Wrestling is also meant as a reference to Jacob of the Old Testament, that also reminds me a little bit of Ulysses, which is about a Jewish man (Old Testament references abound!) So, I think that it is likely written in a stream of consciousness and is about a person wrestling with what is happening in his life and God. Also, I would imagine that the main character has some type of physical deformity.

A voracious reader, Cassandra compares her situation to that of the Bennetts in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. How would you compare the situation of the Mortmain sisters to that of the Bennett sisters?

Well, Rose, like Jane, is the older sister who attracts a wealthy man. Cassandra, like Lizzy, is smart, witty, and on her guard. She does allow herself to like a man, but she does not pursue anything. Also, like the Bennett sisters, both girls want to marry a wealthy man in order to bring their family out of poverty.

Why does Mortmain encourage Cassandra to be “brisk” with Stephen? What does I Capture the Castle say about class in mid-twentieth-century England?

Even though Cassandra’s family is living in absolute poverty, they are well educated and upper class, even though they don’t have they money to back up the lifestyle anymore. Stephen works for them and even lives with them. On all practical levels, he is an equal with the family. However, since he is not of the same class, Mortmain encourages Cassandra to be brisk with Stephen when he shows affection for her. It is kind of funny because for most of the novel, Stephen is actually the only one in the family who earns any money! The fact that the well educated and celebrated writer, Mortmain cannot earn any money and married someone who is only an artistic muse, who also cannot earn money, shows a shift from people living off of the money of previous generations and becoming self made men, like Stephen, who goes into modeling and acting.

So, on one hand, following WWI, class distinctions are blurring because Stephen is living with and acting as part of the family, but on the other hand, the upper class still wants to keep a distance by not marrying and intermingling too much.

Link up your thoughts!

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Jazz Age January Round Up


Well, I don’t want to ruin any spoilers from my monthly round up that I’m posting next week, but I did read a bunch of books from the Jazz Age this month!

Jazz Age January

It was really fun to read a bunch of novels written during the same time period and compare/contrast them. I tried one novel written about the Jazz Age, but I couldn’t finish it. It was that bad. I also know I read a TON of Fitzgerald. I had planned to read some other authors, but I won’t have time by Friday to finish them. There was also one in particular, discussed below, where I couldn’t track down a copy! I need to go back to college, because my the local university had it, but they don’t let county residents get library cards!

The Beautiful and Damned

book recommendations the beautiful and damned

Rating: ***

I really wish that I had read this before I read a biography of the Fitzgeralds’ since it is semi-autobiographical. It was a little predictable because of that. I also wish that I had read This Side of Paradise first, since it was Fitzgerald’s breakout novel.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

book recommendations lady chatterley's lover
This novel was very interesting because I read it immediately following The Beautiful and Damned. The novel takes place during the Jazz Age, also, but it takes place in the UK. It dealt a lot with social classes, like The Beautiful and Damned, but it referred to World War I and the class changes a lot more than Fitzgerald. Money was discussed at length in both novels. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is much more explicit with sex than The Beautiful and Damned, which danced around the topic much more. Honestly, I was completely shocked that this novel was published in the 1920’s, due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes and language. Lady Chatterley’s Lover does mention jazz, dancing, and bobbed hair in passing, but it more about what love, sex, and intimacy means to men and to women. Lawrence wrestles with the three (love, sex, and intimacy) to see where and if they overlap with each other, plus how men and women might view them differently! Women and aristocratic women, specifically, are held to a different standard in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, as opposed to The Beautiful and Damned, where the men seem to be falling over themselves to make the American women happy.

This Side of Paradise

this side of paradise

Rating: ***

I wanted to read this novel because it was the novel that gave Fitzgerald his start. Again, not my favorite book, but I can appreciate it for what it was, a portrait of the “lost generation.”

The Sound and the Fury

the sound and fury

Rating: **

Ok, I love Faulkner. Sanctuary and Absolom, Absolom are two of my favorite novels ever. This one, however, I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’ll try it again some day!

Benjamin Button and Tales of the Jazz Age

tales of the jazz age

Rating: ***

It’s hard to rate a collection of short stories because I loved some more than others.

This collection contained some of Fitzgerald’s best stories from the Roaring ’20s. Included were the classics “The Jelly-Bean”, “The Camel’s Back”, “May Day”, “Porcelain and Pink”, “The Diamond as Big as The Ritz”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Tarquin of Cheapside”, “O Russet Witch!”, “The Lees of Happiness”, “Mr. Icky”, and “Jemina”.

I thought that “The Camel’s Back” was absolutely hilarious! I never saw the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but from what I understood, it was kind of a love story. The short story is anything but a love story. There was no love lost between Benjamin Button and his wife as she aged and he un-aged. It seemed like he couldn’t be any happier to go to the dances in town because he was finally feeling and looking young. While some of the stories were humorous, the story like “May Day,” highlighted the lost generation’s differences. Some men were still partying with their college fraternities, even though they were well past college, but other men couldn’t let the war go, so they protested against socialist newspapers. The story contrasted high society with the working class. And like many other characters in Fitzgerald’s work, there was the man who was straddling the line between being upperclass, but not having the money to afford the lifestyle.

Couldn’t Finish

This is a new category for me. I had to quit a book about half-way through this month.

Call Me Zelda

call me zelda

This novel was marketed as a fictionalized account of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life after she was institutionalized.  The story is told from the point of view of a nurse who is taking care of her. The nurse’s story was distracting, but what was worse was the fact that there was no new information. Because I had read other novels about Zelda Fitzgerald, I knew the general gist of her life. Most of those books, though, end once she is sent to the psychiatric hospital. Instead of this novel telling me about what it was like for her there, the emphasis was on Zelda rehashing her past, as she worked on her autobiographically based novel, Save Me a Waltz. At the half-way point, I decided that it wasn’t worth my time.

Overall Thoughts:

I am so glad that I chose to participate in Jazz Age January! It was great. I actually have a bunch more books from the era that I would love to read. I have already read most of the recent popular fiction that is set during the Jazz Age, so I had to go back and read writers from the time period. During my research, I found a few new-to-me authors from the time period that I want to read, a historical fiction novel set during the Jazz Age by Phillipa Gregory (I loved the Cousins War Series last year!), and specifically a book called The Green Hat, which was a best seller and provocative for the time. I couldn’t track it down in an e-book or through my library. I hate buying new books, so I’m patiently waiting to track it down on Thriftbooks or Paperbackswap.com sometime soon. If I run out of books, I’ll break down and buy it.

What I Read

You can read my past monthly round ups for more:

December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
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 or even grab a few of my books off of Paperback Swap here (or check out my unlisted, but available deals here).

 

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Saturday: Jazz Age January


So, I’ve decided that Saturday posts will be dedicated to all things literary. I’ve been posting a lot about my reading plans and goals for the upcoming year over the past few weeks because:
1. It’s just that time of year.
2. Readership is down anyway.
3. Signing up requires a post!

I’m really excited to talk about Jazz Age January because it’s one of my favorite time periods to read about. Last year, I read some really bad books set in the Jazz Age (you can disagree, but The Paying Guests, The Chaperone, and The Girls at the Kingfisher Club were all horrible, in my opinion. The Paying Guests and The Chaperone were both stories that could honestly have taken place during any other time period. I was hoping that The Paying Guests would focus more on class differences). I loved a novel that I read about Zelda Fitzgerald, but when I tried to read Zelda’s novel, I just got a headache. (Someone find an editor!)

jazz-age-january-small

So, I thought that I’d go on and read a few Jazz Age books this month and share a review at the end! You can read more about it and sign up and link up your reviews here! There is even a great Jazz Age guide for reading ideas! (Yay!)

This month, I’ll be trying out:

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

If I Have Time:

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J Mann

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (splits between the present and the Jazz Age)

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Any more suggestions?

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B2B Book Club Announcement! I Capture the Castle

I am SO excited about co-hosting the Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club because we’re reading I Capture the Castle this month! It’s my favorite, favorite book! My mom gave me a copy when I was in 8th or 9th grade. I’ve been rereading and recommending it to everyone like crazy ever since!

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THE BOOK


Buy from Amazon  |  Buy from Barnes & Noble


Dodie Smith’s first novel transcends the oft-stodgy definition of “a classic” by being as brightly witty and adventuresome as it was when published nearly fifty years ago. 

During six turbulent years in 1934, 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain keeps a journal, filling three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries about her home, a ruined Suffolk castle, and her eccentric and penniless family. By the time the last diary shuts, there have been great changes in the Mortmain household, not the least of which is that Cassandra is deeply, hopelessly, in love. Illustrations .

THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Once you’ve finished reading the book choose 3-5 questions using this link to include in your post. Be sure to come back on Friday, January 30th to link your post to mine and check out everyone’s posts. 

THE LAYOUT

You’re welcome to format your post however you’d like. I will be formatting mine like I’ve always done by book review / book club posts. You can view them here. I like the idea of giving each book a start rating so if you’d like to join me with that you are more than welcome to download the same stars that I do by using this link.

#blog2blogBC
I hope that you’ll share your links, thoughts, and opinions throughout the month on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #Blog2BlogBC. Lets get the word out there. The more people we have participating the better the discussions will be and the more connections you’ll make with other bloggers. We also have a Facebook Group so please join us there too!!
I can’t to hear what everyone thinks of the book!! If you’re interested in being a co-host all you’ve gotta do is fill out this form!
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Categories: link up, Reading
Beautiful Ruins: Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club

You may have seen me participate in this fun book club before, so I’m back to link up my review of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter! Information about participating in the future is at the bottom of the page!

beautiful ruins large

 

Rating: ****

The book’s opening is reminiscent of a lush, epic romantic film—the beautiful dying Dee Moray steps off the boat and into Pasquale’s heart. Although the book veers off new directions, is it still a love story? What kinds of love are presented in the novel? What, ultimately, does the novel have to say about love?
The book is about all types of love. The book deals with lust, romantic love, family love, and self love. The novel really is about the tension among all the different types of love.

The book’s timeline, locales, different voices and unusual text treatments (Hollywood film pitch, biography, unfinished novel, how-to book) are jumbled. Did you find it confusing, hard to follow, irritating? Or was the variety intriguing? What might the author be hoping to achieve by scrambling everything up? How would the book be different if it were told in chronological order with a straightforward narrator?
I prefer books that are set up non-chronologically. I loved the different voices, jumbled timeline, the unfinished novel, and the pitch was especially interesting!

What is the significance of the novel’s title? (It was first used by a journalist to describe Richard Burton many years after his marriage to Taylor.) Who else, or what, are the “beautiful ruins”?
I think every relationship in the novel is a beautiful ruin. Dee Moray’s relationship with Pasquale’s is the most beautiful of all. It breaks my heart that he did not reunite with her for so long. Dee’s relationship with her son was once beautiful, but as he grew up it was just a ruined verison of what they once had. In turn, Pat ruins every relationship he is ever in, until the end, which is beautiful. Since no relationship is perfect, it seems like the phrase “beautiful ruin,” could be applied to every relationship. Relationships are messes full of mistakes, forgiveness, failures, and triumphs. Sometimes relationships end because they can’t withstand all of the failures.

You can go here to read more about participating in future Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club link ups!

Next month’s book is Little Women. There is even a Facebook group to join and talk books 🙂

Categories: link up, Reading
Friday Favorites Vol. 5


I am here to share my 5 favorite posts from this week! I loved even more, but I only have a little bit of time (and patience). The regularly scheduled Cervical Dystonia series is taking a break because… well, my dystonia prevented me from doing the researching and writing that I wanted to do this week.

All The Joys Friday Favorites

On Making Time for the Things You Love (A Beautiful Exchange): I love this post because it is all about prioritization. I am such a time waster, so I set a lot of goals to motivate myself. I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life recently, so I have also been thinking a lot about making the most of each moment and time with people (and dogs) that I love.

What I Wish I Knew in College (Sew My Soul): I would say a lot of these same things to myself. Maybe not my freshman self, but more like my Junior/Senior self. I know Kaitlin now, post college, and it hurts my heart when I think of all that she went through when she was younger, because she is like one of the most legit people that I know in real life and in blogging, but I am so happy to hear about how she’s grown. She is a role model for me – and I’m older than her! (Shhhh).

DIY Citrus Scrub (Latte Everyday): Last Christmas, I made a ton of peppermint sugar scrub for people. My husband has really dry hands, but hates to use lotion. I was able to get him to use it because he says it leaves his hands non-greasy. I’ve been thinking about making him something more manly – and Citrus seems to be the answer. I love this recipe because I don’t have to buy extra oils for scent!

French Press Latte Recipe (Seasons with the Strattons):  No secret, I love coffee. I also really love french pressses and Lattes. I use an automatic heater/frother at home, but I love Martha’s idea to shake the milk a lot and then microwave. So, now when you see my recipes that use the heater/frother, you can use that technique!

Finally – An Update (Journey Mercies): I absolutely love reading about Whitney’s time in Cambodia. I have always known that it is a sacrifice for Americans who go abroad to become missionaries, but it has been eye opening to read along. Plus, she always has such wonderful thoughts. I’ve been following along on Instagram with her 31 Days of American Culture Shock, which has been convicting for me. I know my life is full of excess, but it really hits hard when Whitney reflects on it. Seeing her 7 month old son’s first experience with grass was also crazy! I take so much for granted.

Categories: link up
Goodreads Link Up: Favorite Summer Read


If you like to read, this is the link up for you! I am hosting this link up with Jenn and Rebecca today!

What was your favorite book that you read this summer? Link up your Goodreads account at the bottom and leave a comment with the best book you read this summer!

favorite book summer sarah

Goodreads

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favorite summer read jenn

Goodreads

Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter// Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook

favorite book summer rebecca

 

Ok everyone, now it’s your turn!
1. Follow the hosts on one of their links.
2. Add a couple of other people who link up as friends.
3. Comment with your favorite book that you read this summer! Feel free to discuss any and all good books.
4. Come back next month for our next account link up and book topic!

[inlinkz_linkup id=447563 mode=1]

Categories: link up, Reading