2019 || January

At the beginning of January I wrote a post titled Reading Resolutions + Challenges 2019. At each months end, I’m going to evaluate how I’ve been doing with my goals in order to keep myself accountable. After all, if I don’t keep myself accountable, how will I ever reach my goals?

The first resolution that I made in 2019 was to slow down and enjoy the books that I’m reading. In January I focused on this piece in two of the three books that I finished. The first was The Lost Girls of Paris, which I read to understand and piece together. Part of my critique was that in the version I read there were a ton of grammatical errors, so I took note of them to provide back to the publisher. The second book that I slowed down on was Educated: A Memoir. After waiting several months for a copy of Tara Westover’s masterpiece, I wanted to take the time to enjoy the effort she put into her work… and it was worth it.

The second resolution that I made was to focus on the books that I previously owned. Part of the way through January, I posted a TBR List || Reading My Own Bookshelf where I made a list of books I’ve owned and need to read. My January book was There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey. If you read this Monday’s IMWAYR post, you’ll see that I actually decided to DNF that novel. Instead of placing it back on my shelf, I put it in a donation bag to go to the library.

Resolution number three was to read more genres so I decided to participate in the Diversify Your Reading challenge. It just so happens that this month’s challenge was my favorite genre: Memoirs + Autobiographies. I read Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover for the challenge this month. February’s genre is romance!

I finished four novels in January. This year is about quality, not quantity so I am excited to see the incredible books that I connected with during the next eleven months of 2019.

2018 in Review

I can’t believe that 2018 is over (t-minus 18 hours!) I started Arguably Alexis back in February, and it has been a learning experience where I’ve picked up pieces about the blogging world and about myself. But even more than that, I reached my twenty-eighteen reading goal.


Back in January, I set out to read 52 books in the year — a goal that I wasn’t sure would be attainable. Looking at my reading goal from 2017 (12 books), which I surpassed by a mile (I finished 40 books!), I figured I could fit in a book a week.

In the first six months, I read 37 books. From January through the end of June, I was working a handful of jobs. But the first of July, I found a new job and that became my main focus — it was also a job that involved a lot of reading all day long. So from July to December, I read 20 books. While that is a rather large decrease in the number of books I read in the later part of the year, I am still impressed with the total number.

I don’t have any 1-star ratings because I only chose books that I thought I would really enjoy (although there were a few duds). I fell into a few reading slumps, especially towards the end of the year and during April when I was traveling, but I pulled myself out of those holes and found books that I loved.

I enjoyed starting Arguably Alexis this year because it allowed me to find a community in the book world that I didn’t know existed. While I still have a long way to go in connect with people around the globe, I am thrilled with the progress that I’ve made so far — and I look forward to the progress that we will make in 2019!

Book Stats

Books: 57 (goal was 52)

Star Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 10 books

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 19 books

⭐️⭐️⭐️: 24 books

⭐️⭐️: 2 books

⭐️: none!

Year Published:

Number of Pages: 17,586

Number of Re-reads: 1

Genres Read:

Contemporary6
Fantasy2
Historical Fiction3
History1
Humor1
Memoir17
Mystery4
Mythology1
Romance3
Science1
Screenplay1
Self-Help2
Short Stories2
Thriller5
Young Adult8

Format Read:

Hardback15
Paperback9
Digital29
Audio4

Where My Books Came From:

The numbers below didn’t surprise me. I love to take out books from the library because they are the newest books out there (I read 17 books from 2018 this year!) One of the goals that I’ve set myself for 2019 is to read at least one book from my personal bookshelf each month. I have a huge collection to get through and it’s probably time that I start. I have been told that I need to read more from my own personal bookshelf. This will allow me to clear out some of my to-be read list and maybe buy more books in the coming year!

From Personal Bookshelf6
Borrowed (Library + Overdrive)39
NetGalley8
Bookbubs/Amazon FirstReads4

Best of 2018

Favorite Books:

I had zero doubts or questions when thinking about which were my favorite two books of 2018. In fact, anyone who asks me for a book recommendation these days receives the names of both of these books — they also make great holiday presents.

I received The Sun Does Shine as an ARC from NetGalley back before its March release date. Anthony Ray Hinton’s story changed my perspective on life. I am still angry and heartbroken for the innocent individuals who are locked up in prison. Why is the criminal justice system not helping those who plead their innocence? It’s frustrating to know that these individuals are not receiving the care they deserve.

And The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a random find on the public library website. Somehow the algorithm was perfect that day because this book landed in my hands and I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page. To read a fictionalized version of the true story of a young man who served as the tattooist at Auschwitz was remarkable. The anguish that Heather Morris was able to pull from the story of Lale’s time in the concentration camps is just memorable.

Books That Didn’t Meet My Expectations:

I was incredibly disappointed in Eat Pray Love and The Book Thief. I entered 2018 with very high expectations for these two novels because I know so many people who have read them and enjoyed them, but ultimately they just didn’t meet what I was looking for.

Favorite Books By New (to Me) Authors:

I requested some stellar books from NetGalley this year that I ended up truly enjoying. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell was another book that I just couldn’t put down. While Robert Dugoni is not a new author by any means, he was definitely unknown to me!

Celeste Ng was a new author to me back in January 2018, but is now a favorite author in my household. I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere, but to be completely honest… Everything I Never Told You trumps it. If I were to choose a third favorite book of the year, it would be this.

Favorite Books From Authors I’ve Read Previously:

In 2018 I focused on reading a variety of authors and new to me authors. In fact, out of the 57 books that I read during the year, they had a total of 54 different authors. And out of that 54, I read 46 new to me authors this year. That is something that I am incredibly proud of because I spent many years only reading Jodi Picoult (whom I love!!), but I wasn’t diverse in my reading selection. And now I can say whole-heartedly that I will happily read all different types of authors.

Other than the Goodreads Challenge, I participate in one other challenge during 2018 called the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge. While I started off incredibly strong, I was unable to finish the entire challenge and only read 37 of the 52 topics.


You know, I am really happy with the way my reading goals turned out in 2018. I am looking forward to seeing what comes up in 2019 — new books, new authors and new challenges! Happy New Years everyone 🙂

Month in Review || October 2018

Happy November everyone! I cannot believe we are down to the last two months of 2018. Looking back through Arguably Alexis I haven’t been the most consistent with my monthly wrap-ups. My last monthly wrap up was in July. I spent a lot of October brainstorming how to be more consistent with my blogging. When I take a look at the data from the past month, the two weeks that I posted consistently and followed my schedule the viewership on Arguably Alexis went up drastically. Part of the reason why I started a blog was to share my ideas with whoever would listen. I feel like for the most part, during October, my blog had a purpose.

I’ve been working on coming up with other types of posts that might interest my readers, but many of them seem unoriginal. I don’t want to be contributing meaningless “bleh” to the internet because I think there is enough of it. I am a little afraid of being too controversial on today’s current affairs, so I clam up and delete my posts before the world sees them. This is something that I need to work on within myself to build the confidence to not care what other people think. 

During the month of October, I had the chance to read quite a bit! I finished four books; the reviews are listed below. I also did not finish (DNF) a fifth book. I struggled a lot with the idea of not finishing Children of Blood and Bone. I felt as if I had already put so much time into reading it, but I just couldn’t finish it by the library due date and I dislike racking up fines.

October Book Reviews:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I am looking forward to the month of November (and December)! I have lots of travel planned which is both a blessing and a curse. I am only home for 16 days in November between travelling to Cancun, Phoenix and Lincoln. To be honest, I am going to miss my cat (and my bed) a whole lot this month.

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I’ve made a list of four priorities for the month of November. Obviously planning and keeping up with my weekly posts is high on the list, as is finishing my goal of 52 books. I also saw a neat concept called Non-Fiction November, so I think I’m going to focus on reading some non-fiction books this month. I also want to prioritize feelings of gratitude and thankfulness this month. So often we forget how lucky we are and we get bogged down in the minor details of our lives.

November Priorities:

  • Completion of my Weekly Posts
  • Finish Book #51 + #52
  • Non-Fiction November
  • Remember Gratitude

As the holiday season begins to descend upon us, I hope you all have a wonderful November and Thanksgiving season. Let us all try to remember to be thankful for what we have and not rush through the rest of the holidays. I know that the holidays are hard for a lot of people — remember those people and be kind and compassionate.

As Tim McGraw’s popular song says “Always be humble and kind.”

Month in Review: July 2018 + August TBR

I hear a lot of people talking about reading slumps. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a reading slump… but then I just have realize that I am just a busy person. July was an exciting month. I *officially* started my new position at the School of Medicine. I saw Taylor Swift, Weezer, OneRepublic/Zac Brown Band and attended the last Vans Warped Tour (and saw my favorite band: Simple Plan!!). I got all moved into my new apartment, visited the zoo and celebrated Michael’s birthday. All in all, July was a very full month. With all of that going on, I still managed to finish two books! While that is way down from my previous numbers, I still set aside time to read – which is honestly the most important thing.

A lot of people have asked me why I like to read so much. And I think the shortest answer is that it clears my brain from all of the extra stress, but still fills the brain with knowledge.

Books I Read in July

August TBR

I’m setting my goal to read three books this month. One is my last remaining NetGalley ARC, and the other two have been sitting on my bookshelf for at least a year! I’m looking forward to tackling (at least) these three novels.

  • Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi (already started!)
  • The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After: Happiness by Heather Harpham
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I hope you all have a very nice and productive August! Keep an eye out for new topics coming to Arguably Alexis.

The Half-Year Wrap Up

I’ll admit that I’m a little bit behind in my blog posting and looking at the progress I’ve made in my reading goal so far this year. From January to April I did a stellar job reading and writing about the books – but then life seemed to get in the way and I didn’t feel as inclined to be reading all the time.

From reading other people’s postings, this doesn’t seem uncommon for the regular read-for-fun readers. In the past six months, I’ve travelled to Europe for two weeks, moved in with my best-friend, started a new job, worked a lot of old jobs, and read 37 (!!) books. Prior to starting writing this post, I was feeling down that the number of books I’ve been reading has decreased in recent weeks… but then I looked at my reading list from last year and I only read 40 books in twelve months! That just means that I am way ahead of schedule and I can still hit my reading goal of 52 books by September/October of this year.

The First 37 Books of 2018
The Only Life I Could Save Katherine Ketcham
Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay J.K. Rowling
Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty
When Breathe Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
Here On Earth Alice Hoffman
American Sniper Chris Kyle
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
Braving the Wilderness Brene Brown
Twist of Faith Ellen J. Green
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided Diane Guerrero
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
Still Me Jojo Moyes
No Place to Die Jaden Skye
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Meik Wiking
Silent Victim Caroline Mitchell
Bossypants Tina Fey
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Mary Roach
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
All Grown Up Jami Attenberg
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying Nina Riggs
Wonder R.J. Palacio
School for Psychics K.C. Archer
Seriously… I’m Kidding Ellen DeGeneres
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas
Turtles All the Way Down John Green
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories Marina Keegan
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell Robert Dugoni
Looking for Alaska John Green
Would You Rather? A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out Katie Heaney
Providence Caroline Kepnes

I started blogging at the end of February as a way to keep myself accountable to my goals for reading this year, and in the future. I want to do more with my blog though, but I am unsure of how to proceed. I’ve been trying to determine which direction I want to move: do I stay as a purely book review/book list blog, or should I write commentary pieces about the book world and bookish things? These are just some of the things that I’m contemplating in the next six months as arguablyalexis continues to develop.

Thank you for checking out my thoughts & ramblings. I am thankful for all feedback and comments.

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.

Monthly TBR: May

It’s almost the middle of May already (whaaaaat?!). On a positive note, that means my birthday month is already here and I looove my birthday month. It turns out that I have started a bunch of books recently, but I haven’t truly made any progress on completing them. So that is how I have decided to start doing a monthly TBR in the middle of the month in hopes of focusing my reading.

These are the books that I am hoping to finish during the month of May:

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’m also overly ambitious, so I have a further list of books that I would love to have finished before June:

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  2. Looking For Alaska by John Green

I’ve read 8 books in a month before. Finishing these shouldn’t be too challenging. They also all just look SO good. Plus, Looking For Alaska will be the first book that I’ve ever re-read (so that’s exciting!!).

Month in Review: April 2018

April has been a crazy month! I spent the last two weeks exploring Europe, but I am now home and very tired. In fourteen days I visited 5 countries (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland + Northern Ireland) and walked 125+ miles. I loved seeing new places, eating delicious food and drinking lots of beer. However, I’m happy to be home now and be back with my kitten!

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I didn’t read as much in April as I have in the previous months of 2018 because I was gone for so long. I honestly thought that I would read more while I was on the airplanes and trains, but I used that time to watch the world go past and rest my eyes a little bit.

Books I Read in April

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

School for Psychics by K.C. Archer

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (will be published on Wednesday 5/02)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (will be published on Thursday 05/03)

Currently Reading

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is one of the books that I received from NetGalley a couple months ago. In the last few days, I’ve made some serious progress on it. I found the beginning to be a little slow, but now I’m into it and find Ray’s story fascinating and heartbreaking. I honestly downloaded Eat, Pray, Love this morning because it’s the next book that I want to read on my Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge. I guess I haven’t technically started reading it yet, but I’m going to start today!

Coming Up Next

I made very little progress in completing all of the books that I’ve received from NetGalley during April, which was supposed to be my catch-up month… and I’ve fallen behind on my ATY52 Books Challenge… so this month will be a modge-podge of books from both lists. During World Book Day I also downloaded 10+ free books from Amazon, so those might make their way into May also!

I’m also planning on doing some reformatting to Arguably Alexis over the next month. Since starting the blog two months ago I’ve definitely figured out some things that I really like on my blog and others that I could do away with! Stay tuned for new updates coming soon 🙂

March in Review

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It was a busy month in all aspects of my life this month, but I already read more during March than I did in January or February! This month I also travelled to Phoenix with my dad, celebrated St. Patrick’s day, went skiing, saw some Washington Wizards basketball and saw the cherry blossoms. It was an exciting, fun filled month for me. At the same time I read eight (8!!) books in the month too!

Here are the books that I’ve read this month:


 

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

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Premise: Louisa Clark moves to NYC and begins working as an assisted hand for a wealthy woman with emotional issues. She becomes invested in her friendship and the family, but things never seem to go right for Louisa. Ultimately, she figures out what works best for herself and takes a step towards becoming fiercely independent.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: I love Louisa Clark, but I am so ready for this series to be over. I think she deserves all of the happiness in the world, but that she also needs to stick up for herself. I love Moyes’ work. She develops her characters beautifully and the story line continues to grow and develop, but please please please be done with this story.

No Place to Die by Jaden Skye

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Premise: Olivia and Todd are madly in love and travel to Key West, Florida and get engaged. Suddenly, Todd dies and Olivia is left trying to figure out what happened and who is trying to frame her.

My Rating: ⭐⭐

Thoughts: I found very little of this book to be believable. I finished the book because it had a semi-interesting storyline and the book was so short. Otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

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Premise: Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: A simple, easy read on a rainy and cold afternoon. I read it as an e-book. It might have been more enjoyable as a physical copy to better see the pictures and receipts. I like to soothe my soul, so this was a cute book to read and see if I could find other ways to relax in my home.

Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell

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Premise: Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen…. or so she thinks.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: This was my favorite book for the entire month of March! It was entertaining and exciting — you never knew which direction Caroline Mitchell was going to take Emma. Lies, deception, truth and love all come out during this epic, and mysterious novel. It was one of the books I received for free from Amazon First Reads for the month of February.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

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Premise: Over the last decade we have come to love and enjoy the comedy of Tina Fey. This was the autobiography of her life up until this point — through her beginnings, to SNL and 30 Rock and motherhood.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: This was the first audiobook that I ever listened too. Tina Fey was nice to listen too. I don’t know how much I’ll retain long-term so I’m not a great listener, but it was an enjoyable self-told story.

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers

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Premise: Everyone dies eventually. Everyone has died since the beginning of time. So what happens to our bodies when they are donated to science? How have our bodies been used for science since the early days of civilization?

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: Dark + humorous are a good way to describe Stiff by Mary Roach. It took me several weeks to finish this book. I had to loan it twice from the library. It isn’t necessarily a book you can fly through. I suggest reading a chapter (or half a chapter) at a time to fully understand and love what Mary discovered!

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Premise: Anne Frank was a young girl who was killed in the Holocaust. Prior to her death, she was hidden in an attic with her family for several years in Amsterdam. This is her diary – both with some parts included and some parts left out.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thoughts: I’ve been hearing about The Diary of a Young Girl since I was in elementary school and attended Sunday School. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this diary, but the idea of it had been completely built up in my head. It was a good memoir, but I was left questioning the authenticity of it as it’s hard to believe a 13 year old girl wrote it.

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg 

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Premise: Andrea is a thirty-nine year old single and child-free woman (Initially I typed careless, which would’ve been equally as fitting). Her brother’s child gets sick and her mother moves away. She’s been looking for herself since her early twenties and can’t seem to piece together a solid life.

My Rating: ⭐⭐

Thoughts: I would stay away from this book. It wasn’t a good fit for me. I didn’t feel empathy for Andrea through her challenging life issues and the storyline was hard to follow when it jumped between early life and present life.

 

Did anyone else find themselves vastly underwhelmed with the books they read during March?

February in Review

Over the last month I’ve come to realize that writing an in-depth review for each book I read in unnecessary. As mind-boggling as it seemed in the beginning, it’s honestly saved me gobs of time throughout February. (How is February already over??) I was finding it challenging to write an honest, heartfelt review of each book, when quite a few of them just haven’t been that great.

Even though February is a short month, I am absolutely killing the reading game. I’m five books ahead on my Goodreads 2018 challenge and right on track with the ATY challenge. I just love that I have found so much more time for reading this year — In the in-between stage I’m living in right now, it gives me comfort to accomplish a solid task each week.

Below are the books that I read this month:


American Sniper by Chris Kyle

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Premise: Chris Kyle is a US Navy SEAL with the most recorded sniper kills in United States military history. This is the book that he wrote about his time as a Navy SEAL.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts: This was a good book if you don’t think a lot about war and how many people have died from our overseas excursions. I may not agree with all of his perspective, but it’s his perspective from his experiences. And I’m thankful for his service to our country.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

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Premise: A journalist and a girl with a dragon tattoo work together to solve the mystery of what happened to a rich man’s niece.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts: HOLY COW, WHAT AN AMAZING BOOK.

The first ~80 pages are a little slow, but are completely necessary to set up the rest of the novel. But once it gets started, wow does it get started. There are twists and turns, love and loss. I’ll admit that I tried reading this book about 5-6 years ago, but never passed page 45. I wish I would’ve powered through the first little bit sooner. I can’t wait to read the next books in the series and I hope that they are as enticing as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

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Premise: “True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.”

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts: Brené Brown hit the nail on the head with this one. In the beginning, it looked like it was going to be written from a privileged perspective, which in reality, it was… but from a researchers perspective.

The quest for true belonging is a journey that each of us in on, even if we think we know our true belonging. It’s ever-changing and looks different to each of us. Brené Brown defines a way to help us on this quest with using the letters B-R-A-V-I-N-G. Boundaries. Reliability. Accountability. Vault. Integrity. Non judgment. Generosity.

There’s a difference between lying and bullshitting. I wonder how many people truly pretend to be educated on any topic brought up when it doesn’t hurt to ask questions to try to understand.

Common Enemy Intimacy. We’ve gotta stop this. I have to stop this. We all have to stop binding to people and having relationships based on gossip and hate. This doesn’t bring us together in a time when we need to be brought together.

The Practices:
– People are hard to hate up close. Move in.
– Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.
– Hold hands. With strangers.
– Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart.

Recommend? 10/10 would recommend to anyone who can get their hands on it.

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

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Premise: Ava doesn’t know who her real mother is. There’s a big conspiracy within her adoptive family. A lot of people die.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts: I really, really liked this book until the end… There was mystery, relationships, never-ending questions. It was everything I needed in a thriller novel. However, it seemed to have ended abruptly. According to Ellen J. Green, there is going to be a sequel titled Absolution which may help to further explain the ending of Twist of Faith, but I felt like it was very rushed in the end.

Bonus: I received this book for free through Amazon First Reads for the month of January 2018.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

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Premise: The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts: I was moved by how Diane Guerrero continued to grow up and power through the seclusion and difficulty of having her family deported as a teenager. It brings up important issues around immigration and deportation that need to be discussed in our current political climate. I just didn’t particularly care for Diane’s writing style.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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Premise: The spirit of fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon describes her murder, her surprise at her new home in heaven, and her witness to her family’s grief, efforts to find the killer, and attempts to come to terms with what has happened.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thoughts:  I truly wonder how this novel became such a wide success. It’s slow and boring. As a reader, you are waiting to see where there is going to be a twist in the story. After all, you read the best part of the entire novel in the first chapter. I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it.


What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for what I should read in March?