Month in Review: May 2018

This month started off pretty slow for me. I was trying to get readjusted to being back at work, fixing my sleep schedule and attempting to have a little bit of a social life. It took half the month to finally feel like myself again – and to hop back to my reading lifestyle.

Books I Read in May

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I am proud to say that I am all caught up on my reviews of books that I’ve read. I find it easiest to write them right away. I take notes on my computer/phone as I reading to figure out what it is I want to right about – what I loved, what I didn’t like and the quotes that touched my heart.

I do not quite know what the next month holds. I’m celebrating being one year older. I’m getting a new office at work. I’m moving into a new home. I’m cutting back on my extra jobs to enjoy life a little bit more. Reading is still going to be a priority, but I’m excited to see what else June brings.

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge

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This will be my first year participating in the Summer Comment Challenge and I am so excited. I wanted to find a way to interact with more book review blogs, and I think this will be the perfect way to do that!

 

What is the Summer Comment Challenge?

The Summer Comment Challenge is hosted by Lonna at FLYLēF and Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense. The challenge is designed to help bloggers connect with one another and exchange comments.


The Details

  • The Summer 2018 Comment Challenge takes place June through August
  • You are welcome to sign-up for one month or all three
  • Your hosts will post the official partners list a few days before the start of each month of the challenge
  • For the time-being, the challenge is limited to English-only blogs
  • Options for comments include 5+ and 10+ per month
  • We’d love for you to create a sign-up post or include a shoutout in your monthly/weekly wrap-ups to help us spread the word
  • At the beginning of the month we will put together a post (that’s this one) where you can sign-up and link-up with your own sign-up post

What Am I Doing?

Since this is my first (month) year participating, I decided to take on one partner and add 5+ comments to her blog during the month of June! I am so excited to announce that I have been partnered up with Dinh @ Arlene’s Book Club!

If you’re interested in participating during July or August, you can find the sign-up links on Lonna’s or Alicia’s blog!

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday looks at Bookish Worlds. You know how sometimes when you’re reading a book, you want to live in that world? What about when you’re reading a book and you think that you’re happy not to be living in that world? I’ve experience both and I imagine that most of you have as well.

Upon writing this post, I realized that I haven’t read a ton of fantasy novels. I’ve read Harry Potter (as have most of the people in the book-reading world), but that kind of spans my “fantasy” reading. It’s a genre that I’d like to delve more into, but I haven’t had the chance and I love current world reading so, so much.

So instead of wanting to live in the bookish worlds, I just want to pop in and see how life is going! No need to stay in some of these very creepy + scary places.

Ten Bookish Worlds Alexis Would Pop Into

  1. Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series
    It’s a childhood dream!! How could I not want to visit?! Except maybe when Voldemort has come back full force…
  2. Panem in The Hunger Games
    If I could have a whirlwind tour of Panem, that would be pretty sweet. Except I wouldn’t want to visit during the reaping.
  3. Any Dystopia (1984/Brave New World/Fahrenheit 451)
    I am fascinated by the way society seems to crumble in the dystopian novels. I’d love to pop in for a moment and then pop out and resume my not-quite dystopian life.
  4. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining
    I imagine that this is one of the creepiest books that I’ve ever read, but I would 100% like to go see it, except for Room 237. I’d want to take some friends with me so I could chase them around screaming ‘redrum’.
  5. The Hundred Acre Woods in Winnie the Pooh
    As a child you have such fond memories of Winnie the Pooh stories. But have you listened/read any of them recently? I came across a post that talked about how truly terrible all of the characters were and I was like… why did I love this so much as a child?
  6. Oz in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
    Another childhood dream!! I loved Dorothy and her friends when I was little. I had the beanie babies and a cardboard cutout of the entire crew. I also loved to perform ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ It might seem like a cruel place sometimes, but I just want to pop in and follow the yellow brick road.
  7. Wonderland in Alice in Wonderland
    I’m going to be honest and tell you that I haven’t read the book, but the movie was fairly creepy (especially the Tim Burton version). I’d love to see the pops of color and larger than life critters, but then I’d want to crawl home into my nice comfy blanket away from the creepiness.
  8. The Circle 
    This book freaked me out and reminded me of what our world is coming too (maybe I am already living in this world?!) I don’t want to have to be fully connected all the time. I don’t want to tell the entire world what I’m doing or what I’m eating (OKAY, I like to take pictures of my food sometimes). But I don’t want it to be a requirement to be a part of society.
  9. Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale
    Okay, so this is a dystopia… but it has its own spot because I would want to be a fly on the wall for a long time. I want to be a part of it from the beginning and see how all of the pieces came together of removing child-bearing women’s rights. I want to see how this society ends and if the handmaids can end the tyranny of their lives.
  10. The Homophobic/Racist/Sexist World of The Hate U Give and our current society
    Side Note: I found this idea while I was reading other blogs, but I thought it was so moving I needed to add it to my list. While I am lucky to have the privileges that I do, I know that others are no so lucky. I don’t want to stay in a world where men and women aren’t treated as equals, or where we judge you based on the color of your skin or your sexuality. We’re all people and we all deserve to be treated with kindness and love.

I know that there are a lot of similarities between people’s list this week because many of us grew up reading the same books. If you had to choose one world that you would be in for the rest of your life, which bookish world would it be?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #8

Hello there book friends! We’re back with another It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? which is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

There was nasty weather for a large portion of the week which left me with lots of time to curl up with a good book. I’ve been scheduling a few posts, been working on some of my own personal content.. and you know, I’ve read a couple things.

What I Read Last Week:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Review coming on Wednesday 5/30!)

 

What I’m Planning to Read This Week:

My top reading priority for this week is to finish The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell! It has been wonderful so far, but I’ve just been reading a lot of different books at the same time. So the ultimate goal is to have this finished by the end of the day on May 31st.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

If I finish that early on in the week, I’m going to give re-reading a shot. I haven’t in recent memory ever re-read a book for pleasure. The first one I’m going to tackle is Looking for Alaska by John Green. I don’t plan on re-reading every book I’ve ever read. I just know that I have fond memories (although sad) of this book, so I want to re-read and remember.

 

Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 32/52 books completed (62%) –>  12 books ahead schedule

Around the Year in 52 Books: 19/52 books completed (37%) –>  1 books behind schedule

A-Z: 13/26 books completed (50%)

What are you reading this week? What is your favorite book to re-read?

Down the TBR Hole #5

I am back with the 5th edition of Down the TBR Hole! This idea was created by Lia at Lost in the Story. Cleaning out the TBR shelf feels so good. I love to reflect on the books that I’ve added to my shelf – do I really want to read these books or were they added on a whim?

For me, it works like this. I have three shelves on my Goodreads account to separate the read now, from the someday maybes and the educational reads that would be smart to read for my career.

The Rules:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
The Books:

The Light in the Summer by Mary McNear
I haven’t been into romance novels lately. I also haven’t been huge into ‘chick lit.’ I have a feeling this was a book from a Goodreads Giveaway that I didn’t win. I’m not interested in reading it.

The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After Happiness: A Memoir by Heather Harpham
I definitely won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway! It’s also on my list for the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge. I’ll be keeping this one on the list because I think I’ll read it in the next couple weeks.

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan
I’m not entirely sure how I came across this. But it’s listed as a mystery thriller and I love those! I’ll going to move it to the someday-maybe pile because I truly hope to make it to this book in the future.

Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence by Melvin A Goodman
I’m not a big reader of politics books, especially those that are about whistle-blowers. I am going to go ahead and delete this.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I’ve been wanting to read this book for years… and then it was made into a movie! (I haven’t yet seen the movie though). This is staying on my TBR until its gone.

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
I don’t know where this came from but holy moley the summary sounds AMAZING. I might pick this up from the library sooner rather than later because a) it’s a thriller and b) it talks about a real life conflict: the Syrian Conflict.

NightA Memoir by Elie Wiesel
I think I was supposed to read this book for hebrew school many, many years ago. I never got to it. It’s another book that’s on my Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge. I’ll be reading it before the end of the year!

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon
It’s listed as a thriller novel, but it doesn’t have a super high star rating. I don’t want to get completely rid of it because like I’ve mentioned before… I love thrillers. So I’ll move it to someday-maybe.

The Fear of Striking Out by Amy Terveer-Manwarren
“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” is one of my all time favorite movie quotes. Even better, Hilary Duff says it. I’m honestly going to keep this on my someday-maybe shelf because it reminds me of that quote and it has an adorable cover.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
I picked this book up for $1 at my local library’s book-sale that benefited the library! I think it’s fascinating that there are so few books about hermaphrodites, and I have been told that this is one of the best. It’s on my Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge, so it will be staying!

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional: 365 Inspiring Ideas to Reveal, Give, and Find God’s Love by Kristin Demery
This was 100% a book from a Goodreads Giveaway that you had to click “add to to-read list” in order to be entered. I didn’t win. And honestly, I probably will never read.

Off the Page (Between the Lines #2) by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
I read Between the Lines way back in 2012 when the novel first came out. It was given to me by a friend as a graduation present because she knew how much I loved Jodi Picoult (It was a shared love). I definitely didn’t realize that this was the second book! Because it’s Jodi Picoult, it will definitely be staying on my TBR.

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
This is one of the few books by Jodi Picoult that I haven’t read and that I don’t own! I look for it everywhere because I need to own all of her books, but I’m not willing to pay full price. It’s going to stay on the TBR list. I’m hoping to buy it and read it before I go back and re-read all of her other novels too!

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Before anyone screams, I don’t know how I escaped schooling without having to read To Kill a Mockingbird. Would you scream even louder if I told you I have no idea what it’s about *shame-face*. It is on my Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge, so I will read it this year. I’ll conquer it and finally be able to say that I’ve read it.

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird #2) by Harper Lee
I’m honestly only going to keep this on my TBR and not my someday-maybe shelf because I plan on reading it directly after I finish To Kill a Mockingbird. That way I no longer have to listen to people say ‘oh my goodness!! You haven’t read it and you call yourself a reader???’ First off, bite me. Second off, I’ll get there.

The Keepers:

Links back to my previous Down the TBR Hole posts:

Down the TBR Hole #1 (03/25/2018)
Down the TBR Hole #2 (04/08/2018)
Down the TBR Hole #3 (04/15/2018)
Down the TBR Hole #4 (04/22/2018)

Did I get delete any books that you’ve read before and loved? Did I keep any that you’ve read and didn’t like? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness, Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

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Release date: April 8, 2014

Publisher: Scribner

Genre: Non-Fiction/Short Stories


Premise: Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at TheNew Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

As Marina wrote: “We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over…We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.” The Opposite of Loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world. “How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, Keegan could take a clever idea…and make it something beautiful” (People).



Thoughts + Feelings: I’ve been looking at The Opposite of Loneliness for a couple years. I loved the cover; and I was heartbroken by the idea that her book was only published because she had passed away in a terrible car accident after graduation. I wanted to love everything about this book. I wanted to appreciate the time that she had on Earth and love the essays and stories that she left behind to tell us a little bit about herself. But this collection, to me, felt only average. I hate to say it, but I’m not sure it would’ve been such a commercial success if Marina had lived to publish her own works. There were pieces that were touching and sometimes her words felt magical, but… it wasn’t all that way. It’s hard to judge a book like this without judging the person who wrote it (which feels wrong in this instance).

There was one piece in particular that left me speechless (until now). Marina wrote a non-fiction piece titled “Why We Care About Whales.” The pages that followed carry true through the veins of our society. Why do we care more about whales than we do about our homeless population? From her home in Cape Cod one summer Marina witnessed 50 pilot whales get beached on the shore at one time. She discovered that while they were not endangered, people were spending thousands of dollars in rescue efforts – from trucking the wounded whales to a safer location to airlifting them off the beach. I am not diminishing the idea that we need to help the worlds animals. They are part of the balance of the ecosystem.  However, Marina makes a valid point, “I worry sometimes that humans are afraid of helping humans. There’s less risk associated with animals, less fear of failure, fear of getting too involved.” This is a problem with a tangible solution – Help move the whales off of the shore. But it poses the question… if we’re willing to spend thousands of dollars to move whales back into the water or take them to a hospital for treatment, why can we not do the same for the stranded human on the corner asking for money and shelter. Not helping animals wouldn’t fund all of our problems… but it’s something to think about. What makes an animal life more valuable than a human life?

Her collection of essays and stories is prefaced by her piece titled “The Opposite of Loneliness.” First published in a special edition of the Yale News, The Opposite of Loneliness is truly the keystone of her published works. For any twenty-something this essay can bring about powerful, unyielding emotion for the events that are happening in your daily life.

We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.

Holy cow, right?! We often forget that we are young and have so much time to live our lives. I think this piece was the most meaningful because of its purpose once she was gone. It’ll stick with me from now until the end.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Recommend? I wouldn’t recommend the entire book to the vast majority of the people that I know. A quick google search of “The Opposite of Loneliness” will pull up just a copy of her first essay. That’s the key piece that everyone should read. The rest was just a bonus.

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Release date: October 11, 2017

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult

Premise: It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.


Thoughts + Feelings: I was really looking forward to Turtles All the Way Down. In fact, it was the book I chose for the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge topic: A book you have high expectations or hope for. My expectations for this book were a little too high, especially in comparison to some of the other John Green novels that I have read.

I knew that this book was going to be about a mental illness, but I wasn’t sure how the topic would be handled. I loved Aza Holmes and her mind. I understood Aza and the tightening spirals of never-ending thoughts. There are days when I find myself spiraling – Days when I can’t control my thoughts and they overpower me. In no way do I show the symptoms as severely as Aza (I am able to bring myself back into control), but I empathize with people who suffer this greatly.

There was something different about this John Green novel that I just can’t place my finger on, but I didn’t like it as much. Maybe there wasn’t as much mystery, but in the beginning it looked like it was going to be a cute romance. It wasn’t. This novel had a scientific background which I really liked (shout out to C. diff!!) Obviously this ties back to my fun masters program in emerging infectious disease… Clostridium difficile is a scary scary microbe that you don’t want to flourish in your body. Aza was correct in that we all carry it in our microbiomes.

The scientist in me loved the descriptions of how the bacteria from Davis’ mouth becomes a permanent part of Aza’s microbiome after they kiss. I loved it – I honestly chuckled because sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurd thoughts that get stuck in our minds.

“But you give you thoughts too much power, Aza. Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don’t.”

I am a huge sucker for quotes, especially those written by John Green. I was surprised to find myself not connecting with his words in the way that I have in the past. It’s hard for me to classify this as a ‘young adult fiction’ book because of the language used. Young adults typically do not know about C. diff, or about microbiomes. It seems like this was more aimed towards older young adults (if that makes sense), but even so it didn’t connect.

I would’ve liked to see more of an ending to this story. It didn’t necessarily seem random, but I was let down.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommend? This was a good book about mental illness. It showed that there is not always a way to classify what is going on in someone’s head. It also speaks wonders about a disease that we can’t see. We can’t see that Aza is sick because the thoughts are in her head. This is a book that I would recommend to a friend, but with the warning that they may be disappointed if you compare it to Green’s previous novels.

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Hate U Give

Release date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult


Premise: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.



Thoughts + Feelings:  This book hits you with every possible emotion. I cried on the metro, got angry at the ballpark and laughed on my couch. This was an incredibly powerful book.

Starr Carter’s character was so well-written. Angie Thomas was able to portray the extreme duality that a young woman would have to go through in her life if when she is torn between two very different environments. Starr describes herself as the Starr at Williamson and Starr in Garden Heights. She talks about the way she has to dress around her “other” friends and how she changes the way she speaks when she’s in Garden Heights vs her time at school. It became interesting to me during her car ride with DeVante, Seven, and Chris. Chris asks a question about the ‘normalness’ of the black people’s names.

“Anyway Chris,” Seven says, “DeVante’s got a point. What makes his name or our names any less normal than yours? Who or what defines ‘normal’ to you? If my pops were here, he’d say you’ve fallen into the trap of the white standard.”

BOOM. White Standard. I was thrown by Seven’s response to Chris’ question merely because I have felt like Chris before. I’ve wanted to ask questions but I’ve never known the way to approach my questions that may come across as ‘socially/racially unjust.’ I’ve never wanted to offend anyone – but I can imagine how hard it is for Chris to ask his question, but I can also feel the strain that Seven, DeVante and Starr have when answering the question.

I felt my white privilege showing while I was reading The Hate U Give. I was embarrassed by the actions of the police officer. Starr and Khalil were just kids. They were sitting in the car hanging out and one of them gets shot and killed. They were just kids. I don’t ever feel afraid when I see a police officer driving behind me. That is my white privilege. I do not have to change the way I speak or dress in situations so that I am not judged or stereotyped. That is my white privilege.

My heart broke for Starr when I read her identity struggles. As a sixteen year old girl, how are you supposed to focus on being the best version of yourself when the best version of yourself is different in your daily life. This is a book about race. There is no doubt about it. It was painful to read about the reality that other people face on a daily basis – old people, young people, wealthy, poor, African American, Chinese. I recognize that these biases occur throughout the world on a daily and regular basis.

Prepare yourself to be uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable reading it. I was uncomfortable carrying it around because I felt like someone was going to judge me. But that’s life. There were many moments throughout the book that I had to stop and think about my actions and words that I’ve said to my friends – Did I come across as racist or insensitive? I’ve seen reviews that call this book anti-white and reviews that do not acknowledge how the Carter family discusses white people. I do not think that this is an anti-white book. Angie Thomas has forced me to think outside of my little bubble; to put myself in someone else’s shoes that doesn’t have white skin. Is that uncomfortable somethings? Absolutely, but by reading and talking about this book, we can make the world a better and more understanding safe space for everyone.

I don’t want to go into any more specifics of the story-line because I think it’s important that everyone reads this book. I flew through Starr’s story, but it’s only one of many like it. This was a work of fiction, brought on by the real life happenings of police brutality and killings of unarmed children in the United States. We can do better. We must do better.

The quotes that punched me in the gut:

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommend? In today’s society, this is a book that we all need to read. We hear about police shootings every week. We hear and see bias against people who look different than us. We cross to the other side of the street when we see someone who we stereotype as threatening. This is a book we can all learn from, whether or not you are ready to acknowledges your own personal weaknesses. I’ve seen comments that this is now a required reading in high school – I don’t know if that’s true or not because I’m way out of high school, but I think it’s a good point in the student’s lives to read this and learn from it.

Top Ten Unique Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic is focused on best/unique character names. I saw this topic and immediately thought of the names I would name a future pet (or a kid). I’m going to be honest and say that I haven’t read all of the books mentioned in my list today, but I have viewed some of the movies which have the same characters (therefore the same names).

  1. Matilda, from Matilda by Ronald Dahl
  2. Rue, from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. Luna, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  4. Aza, from Turtle All the Way Down by John Green
  5. August, from Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  6. Sawyer, from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  7. Noah, from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  8. Holden, from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  9. Lisbeth, from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  10. Daisy, from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Are there any names that you have come to adore because of a book that you’ve read or a movie that you’ve watched?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #7

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

Hello book buddies – Happy happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday morning is going smoothly so far. Last week was really wonderful for me. I read a lot, I slept a lot and I was able to catch up on my television shows. The next couple weeks are sure to fly by and then it’ll be my birthday 🙂

What I Read Last Week:

It took forever, but I finally finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It took me way too long to read – and I didn’t really enjoy it. Check out my full review here.

I also got The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas from the library! I was on the hold list for three months and I finally got the courtesy email saying that it was my turn to pick up the book (I swear… sometimes those hold lists are too long). It was worth the wait. I finished it in less than 24 hours. A review of The Hate U Give will be up soon!

What I’m Planning to Read this Week:

At the same time as The Hate U Give was ready for me at the library, so was Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (HOORAY!). I’ve been dying to read it since it came out but I just kept finding other books to read first. However, the time is now.

I’m also going to try and finish The Book Thief because I’m already 30% through with it. Liking it so far, but we’ll see how it progresses.

Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 30/52 books completed (58%) –> 11 books ahead schedule

Around the Year in 52 Books: 16/52 books completed (31%) –> 3 books behind schedule

A-Z: 13/26 books completed (50%)