I’m back here on my blog. If you follow me on Twitter (@BooksAndLife1) and Instagram (@bookslifeandeverythingnice) you’ll see my recent tweets about my absence. Sorry about that. I’ve had a lot going on and the stress (and extra time it takes) to blog was too much. I’ve still been reading and reviewing books on myGoodreads.
I’ve read a lot of great books (and some not so great) that I want to share with you …. but catching up on a backlog of 20+ books is not realistic. So I’m going to do a very quick wrap of the books I’ve read since my last book review posted on my blog. Organized by star ratings and click on the title of each book to be taken to my review on Goodreads.
Genres: contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, mental health
Rating: 5 stars
Recommend to fans of: books with all the feels, good representation of people on the autism spectrum
Foodie Vibes: cherry wine coolers
Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
I won this book for free through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads, Tracey Garvis Graves and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC copy. As always, an honest review from me.
The book is absolutely amazing! There are not enough words to accurately describe how wonderful the read was, so I’m not even going to try. I will just say this: I’ve never done this before — not given a full in depth review of a book. That’s how special I found The Girl He Used to Know. But take my word for it, read this book!
Do you ever feel like you don’t have the words to explain how amazing a book, movie, feeling is?
I don’t make resolutions. I don’t know about you, but those feel like too much pressure to me. There’s also the easy to fall into trap of making unattainable resolutions or ones that society deems acceptable.
Ahem, I’m looking at you . . .
“I’m going to get bikini body ready for summer.”
“I’m going to make $1 million this year.”
No judgment if those are your goals and you have specific and healthy steps to attain them, but I’m thinking more specific and personal this year.
That’s why goals work so well for me. Goals seem to take the pressure off, while also encouraging me to focus on what’s truly important to me.
So let’s get into my Bookish Goals for 2019
Read only 100 books in a year (max of 120)
Why? In 2018 I read 160 books, but the focus was more on quantity versus quality and savoring the reading experience. Limiting myself a bit also allows me to focus on other areas of life. And let’s be honest, 100 books in a year is still a lot.
Request/be accepted for 5-7 NetGalley books per month
As many new book bloggers do, I requested & got accepted for way too many ARC books from NetGalley. While this is great (FREE BOOKS), I didn’t have as much flexibility to read what I wanted when I wanted. The reading schedule was REAL
7 months or more of an average of 4.0 star rating
Why? This was my goal in 2018 as well. It helps to put my focus on reading books that I think I will really love.
Participate in the Book Riot 2019 Read Harder Challenge
I’ve been doing this for the past few years and really loved being introduced to books I never would have known about. I’m not forcing myself to finish the challenge or read books that I know I will strongly dislike just for the sake of completing the challenge.
Participate in the 2019 Reading Women Challenge
I just recently found out that this Reading Challenge existed, but I’m super excited to participate. My reasoning is similar to the Book Riot Challenge.
Focus more on *POC/AOC, **county of origin, and LGBTQIA+ content in books
I’ve had these goals for the past few years, but I’m continuing with them. I usually aim to hit 20% for each goal. It helps keep my reading well rounded and I am introduced to books I never would have found otherwise.
*POC- People of color (usually the main characters), AOC(Author of Color).
**Country of Origin: Countries other than the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia
Do you agree or disagree with my goals? What are your reading goals for the year?
Let me know in the comments. I’m always really interested in what people prioritize in their reading journeys.
A big heartfelt thank you to Laura Spoonie, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.
She runs an amazing blog, Laura Spoonie Blogs, about her journey through chronic illness, filled with content that inspires, educates and makes you feel a little less alone in the world.
Definitely do yourself a favor and click here to check out her blog!
The requirements for this award are as follows:
• Thank the blogger that nominated you
• Write a post to show your award
• Give a brief story of how your blog started
• Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
• Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
• Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide the link to the post you’ve created
My blog focuses mainly on books, along with other positive lifestyle content. Lately I’ve been making an effort to make it more well rounded and focus on quality content. Look out for Self Care Sundays and Friday Fun, coming soon …
But onto the reason I started my blog.
I created my blog, because I felt I had something to contribute to the bookish community and the world. A unique voice that I hadn’t read in other blogs. Not that I’m some super special unicorn of a person. However, there’s so many unattainable lifestyle posts and I wanted to bring something a bit more realistic. Also I’ve found very few people who read the unique set of genres that I do. I was constantly having people tell me, on Twitter and Goodreads, that I was introducing them to books they hadn’t heard of before. So that’s when I knew I had a unique voice among book lovers.
I also am a lifelong learner and love sharing new information with others. A blog seemed like a great way to do just that! Blogging and instagramming is also a fun but goal directed creative outlet. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful like minded people since starting my blog earlier this year.
While I still consider myself a newish blogger …
When does one consider themselves a seasoned blogger? …
When you’ve put enough thyme into it?
Okay, that was a bad cooking joke, but I’m kind of loving it anyways.
Here’s my advice to new bloggers
1. Be yourself
The best content I’ve read is always authentic. Even if it’s a topic I’m not super interested in, the authenticity will always shine through, making the writing so much more captivating. There are so many blogs out there already, why not be yourself? Also I’ve found the writing process to be so much easier when I’m being authentic. And bonus, more people have commented, liked and in general been receptive to my most authentic, vulnerable posts.
2. Interact with other bloggers and people in general
With so many people creating content, most people aren’t going to just stumble across your blog. Put yourself out there. Get on social media. Interact with other people. Type in a hashtag that related to your blog content. Comment on people’s photos, tweets, etc. Start a genuine discussion. Even if it doesn’t drive a ton of people to your blog, you’ll make some meaningful connections and have fun. That really is the most important part of blogging, anyways!
Also if you’re in a blogging slump, interacting with others might just pull you out of it.
My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award
There are so many wonderful bloggers out there, I wish I could nominate all of you. Here are just a few of the amazing people, whose content you should check out. Thanks for brightening up my day, lovelies.
I hope you all learned a little more about me and my blogging story, motivations and goals. If you want to join me on my journey for lifelong learning, books, self care and some fun positivity sprinkled about, subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading this, all you lovelies.
I most recently saw this tag on Pages and Pugs and was inspired to do it. I don’t actually believe in guilty pleasures as far as reading. Reading is all about fun with none of the guilt, but it’s super fun to answer the questions for you all!
I tag all of you. Send me the links to your posts if you decide to do the tag!
1. Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?
No, not as an actual gift. But I will let people borrow/keep books I think they’ll really enjoy.
2. Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
Maybe? Occasionally I’ve misremembered reading an assigned book for another similar book by the same author.
3. Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
No, I’m super careful about returning my books. Once I accidentally left a book in a lecture hall in college, searched everywhere for it, and then went early to the librarian to pay for the replacement.
4. Have you ever read a series out of order?
Yes, all the time. I frequently read mystery and psychological thrillers out of order. Usually those types of series can be read as stand alone too. Think Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Gardner, etc.
5. Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?
Yes, but not in a mean way. I’m not going to spoil the big ending or something, but I will tell other aspects that some might consider spoilers. I think it helps better describe some books by giving a few spoilerish details.
6. Have you ever doggy eared a book?
Occasionally. It doesn’t really bother me. I do prefer to use post its to mark passages I want to come back to.
7. Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
8. Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Rarely, only if it’s boring but I want to find out what happens at the end.
9. Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?