Twelve Newest Additions to My TBR || Top Ten Tuesday

I spent a good chunk of 2018 going through my To-Be Read list to par it down to the books that actually had interest in reading. I removed many of the books that were added when I was entering Goodreads giveaways, and a slew of novels that I just knew I would never get to.

So tell me now how 2019 started and I began adding books to my TBR by the boatload?! I began exploring different genres of books; began reading more and more book blogs and honestly got clicker-happy. So many different types of books were catching my eye — after all, this was the year that I wanted to diversify my reading!

So here we are… the twelve newest additions to my Goodreads TBR. Each of these twelve novels were added to my TBR since January 1, 2019.

Have you read any of the books that I recently added to my To-Be Read list?

I’m currently in the middle of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land. I have my hands on several of these books already. I was quite excited for them to be published!

New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018 || Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

In 2018 I read 54 different authors.

45 of those authors were new to me.

Last year I focused on reading new to me authors. Prior to being a big reader, I really only read Jodi Picoult novels (which is something that I’ve mentioned several times before). There is nothing wrong with loving an author and only reading their works, but I felt that it was time to grow and explore new authors. So this week instead of giving you a list of all of the new authors I read last year, I want to show you a list of my top ten new to me authors in alphabetical order by first name.

  1. Anthony Ray Hinton
  2. Caroline Kepnes
  3. Celeste Ng
  4. Heather Morris
  5. Nina Riggs
  6. Paul Kalanithi
  7. Ransom Riggs
  8. Robert Dugoni
  9. Steig Larsson
  10. Susan Orleans

Have you read any of these new to me authors? Have any of them made your favorite list?

Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019 || Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Prior to entering this strange, beautiful book-loving community, the only time I ever knew a book was going to be released was if it was a Jodi Picoult novel. I marked those dates in heavy ink on my calendar and (not-so) patiently waited for a glimpse into the real-life novels that Picoult wrote. Since becoming more active in the book community, I’ve begun to stumble across books before they are released — some through NetGalley and some through Goodreads and news articles. Below you can find four books that I am really looking forward to being released in the first half of 2019!

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus
Expected Publication Date: January 8, 2019 (AKA TODAY!)

As a huge Pretty Little Liars fan back in the day, the title and tagline caught my eye. Two can keep a secret if one is dead? Um, absolutely. I’ve been on the list for this book since it was placed on the library website… and somehow I’m in the 9th place! Hopefully they ordered a few copies so I can get my hands of this beauty in the next few weeks.

Goodreads Synopsis: Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen
Expected Publication Date: February 12, 2019

I’ve known the name Dave Cullen for the past few years. In high school, one of my close friends was writing her Extended Essay on school shootings, and I believe that his book titled Columbine was one of her sources. I’m interested to see his thoughts on the Parkland massacre — and how it is the same and different from Columbine in 1999.

Goodreads Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling author of Columbine offers a deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting who pushed back against the NRA and Congressional leaders and launched the singular grassroots March for Our Lives movement.

Emma Gonzalez called BS. David Hogg called out Adult America. The uprising had begun. Cameron Kasky immediately recruited a colorful band of theatre kids and rising activists and brought them together in his living room to map out a movement. Four days after escaping Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, two dozen extraordinary kids announced the audacious March for Our Lives. A month later, it was the fourth largest protest in American history.

Dave Cullen, who has been reporting on the epidemic of school shootings for two decades, takes us along on the students’ nine-month odyssey to the midterms and beyond. With unrivaled access to their friends and families, meetings and homes, he pulls back the curtain to reveal intimate portraits of the quirky, playful organizers that have taken the nation by storm. 

Cullen brings us onto the bus for the Road to Change tour showing us how these kids seized an opportunity. They hit the highway to organize the young activist groups mushrooming across America in their image. Rattled but undeterred, they pressed on in gun country even as adversaries armed with assault weapons tailed them across Texas and Utah trying to scare them off. 

The Parkland students are genuinely candid about their experiences. We see them cope with shattered friendships and PTSD, along with the normal day-to-day struggles of school, including AP exams and college acceptances. Yet, with the idealism of youth they are mostly bubbling with fresh ideas. As victims refusing victimhood, they continue to devise clever new tactics to stir their generation to action while building a powerhouse network to match the NRA’s. 

This spell-binding book is a testament to change and a perceptive examination of a pivotal moment in American culture. After two decades of adult hand-wringing, the MFOL kids are mapping a way out. They see a long road ahead, a generational struggle to save every kid of every color from the ravages of gun violence in America. Parkland is a story of staggering empowerment and hope, told through the wildly creative and wickedly funny voices of a group of remarkable kids. 


Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Expected Publication Date: May 6, 2019

Harper Lee is one of the authors that I am tackling in 2019. To date, I haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird, but I have it on my bookshelf along with Go Set a Watchman. I’d like to read the two stories first and then delve into the story about Harper Lee.

Goodreads Synopsis: The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Juliet the Maniac by Juliet Escoria
Expected Publication Date: May 7, 2019

I stumbled across this novel in the past few weeks. I’ve requested it on NetGalley, as well. There’s something about the idea of hearing about life from the perspective of ‘the bad friend’ that really intrigued me.

Goodreads Synopsis: It’s 1997, and 14-year-old Juliet has it pretty good. But over the course of the next two years, she rapidly begins to unravel, finding herself in a downward trajectory of mental illness and self-destruction. An explosive portrayal of teenage life from the perspective of The Bad Friend, JULIET THE MANIAC is a bold, stylish breakout book from an author already crackling on the indie scene.


Lets Chat:

  • Have you heard of any of these books?
  • Where do you typically hear about upcoming releases?

My Book Wishlist || Top Ten Tuesday

From reading different blogs in the book review community, I feel as if there are two groups of people: those who buy themselves books and those who do not. I’m part of the latter community – I try very, very hard not to buy myself books. I prefer to get them from the library to not fill up my already clogged bookshelves. (Let’s face it, I do buy books but I try hard not too).

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Winter 2018 TBR || Top Ten Tuesday

In my post yesterday, I listed out the five remaining books that I want to finish during the last few weeks of 2018. I would probably claim that to be my Winter To-Be Read list for 2018 because I want so badly to follow through on my plan. I find it really challenging and a personal offense to myself to loan books from the library and then not have the time to finish them — there are so many other people waiting for those popular books (I’m looking at you…. Children of Blood and Bone.)

I will say that I don’t have a *terrible* track record of loaning books and then not reading them, but sometimes three weeks is just not enough time. I’ve had a handful of books recently that I had taken out and then they sit on my table for three weeks until I make the trek back to the library to return the sad, unread novels.

So that’s where I stand with my Winter TBR list. Maybe I should project farther than the next 2.5 weeks, but I want to focus on the right here, and right now.

How far does your to-be read list go for winter 2018? Are you usually good at finishing all of those books? (Let’s be honest, I do not thrive at finishing my TBR list for a season — whoops).

I hope you all are having a nice slow down time at work as the holidays continue to ramp up. Whether it’s just a day, or a week, I hope you enjoy the time you have with your friends and families. With all of the chaos around the world, remember to be grateful for what we do have, and appreciate those individuals around us.

Much love,
Alexis

10 Things I Am Thankful For || Top Ten Tuesday

We’ve hit the holidays where people begin to remind themselves of what they’re thankful for. I’ve focused a lot this year on being thankful + grateful for the opportunities that I’ve worked towards. As a young adult, I feel that I have grown immensely in the last 12 months. I finally feel like an adult, which is something that I couldn’t say this time last year.  It’s becoming more apparent to me that people figure out ~adulthood~ at their own pace and that social media doesn’t show the truth of life. I am thankful to be figuring out this life with my best friend and our kitkat, Harper. I am thankful for life itself, and all of the bits + pieces that come with it (like books, good food and loving families)

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Library of Trinity College || Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Bookstores or Libraries I’ve Always Wanted to Visit

I am going to do my own little twist on the topic. My post today is all about the Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve seen the library pop up on numerous lists today! I had the pleasure of visiting Dublin back in April 2018, so obviously I took a trip to visit the library.

The Library’s history dates back to the establishment of Trinity College in 1592 and it is the largest library in Ireland. You can stand in line to buy timed tickets to enter the library and see the Book of Kells, or you can purchase your tickets via the interwebs before you get there.

The Book of Kells is considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces in both Irish art and early Christian art. It contains the four Gospels of the New Testament. I went to the Library of Trinity College without having any clue as to what to expect — and I didn’t even know what the Book of Kells was! I think the best way to describe it is that the pages are made of a special material (I don’t know exactly what it is), but it allows for the words to be decorated upon and illustrated. From what I remember, there are more drawings/decorations in the book than there are words!

The thing that is absolutely bonkers is that they only show one or two pages of the Book of Kells at a time. That means each time you go back and visit, it is likely that a different page is out for show.

 

After visiting the Book of Kells exhibit, you walk through the rest of the “library.” We were not permitted to go look/touch any of the other books in this part of the library… I have a feeling that there is a way to go and see more (especially the parts that the current Trinity College students use!) but for the short amount of time we were at Trinity College, we unfortunately were kept behind a line.

Looking from afar at the bookshelves was magnificent though. You just kind of get the feeling that you are in an important place. It smelled like old books – and I loved it so much.

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Lets Chat!

  • Have you been to any of the libraries or bookstores that are filling everyone’s lists this week?

I’ve also been to Shakespeare & Company in Paris, France and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.!

Top 10 Longest Books I’ve Read in 2017 + 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Longest Books I’ve Read

I really started to track my reading in January 2017. I have a spreadsheet for each year where I track many different details about the books that I’ve read. One of those big details is the number of pages in each novel – so this was an easy question for me! I was surprised by the number of books that I read that had 400+ pages. I had seven other books that were above that range too!

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (645 pages)

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (550 pages)

8. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (496 pages)

7. The Circle by Dave Eggers (493 pages)

6. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (480 pages)

5. American Sniper by Chris Kyle (448 pages)

4. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult (448 pages)

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (444 pages)

2. American Assassin by Vince Flynn (435 pages)

1. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni (434 pages)

Surprisingly, I enjoyed every single one of these longer novels. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was probably my favorite; The Book Thief was my least favorite.


Let’s Chat!

  • Looking at your list of books from this week, were there any of them that just dragged on forever? Do you have that “when is this going to end?!?!” feeling?

I have definitely read some books that I wish would’ve ended way sooner, but luckily none of them made this list!

  • Have you read any of the longest books? Do any of them appear on your TBR? Post your link below so I can see your top ten!

 

Authors I’d Love to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Author’s I’d Love to Meet

I have a feeling that if I got the opportunity to meet any of my favorite authors that I would completely freeze and not be able to speak. Underneath it all, I know that they are humans just like everyone else. You know – they put their pants on one leg at a time. But it’s just like when you get nervous in front of anyone who inspires you. I’d feel like Leslie Knope meeting Michelle Obama on Parks & Rec. I just wouldn’t know how to handle all of the thoughts flowing through my brain.

  1. Jodi Picoult
  2. Ellen Hopkins
  3. Jojo Moyes
  4. Stephen King
  5. J.K. Rowling
  6. John Green
  7. Angie Thomas
  8. Mary Roach
  9. Brene Brown
  10. Gillian Flynn

Have you ever gotten to meet your favorite author? Who are your top three?