Blogger Awards · Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Blogger Recognition Award

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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!

 

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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

 

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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. 

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

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.

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

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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. 

Jasmine’s Reading Blog 

Crazy Little Things

Thrifty Bibliophile

Tammy’s Reading Life 

Perpetual Fangirl

Sarah June

Swift Coffee 

Life Should Be Lit

For the Love of Books

Kook Bookery

Ruth In Revolt

Jill’s Book Blog 

Read with Allison

Reader Voracious 

The Past Due Review 

 

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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. 

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Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

 

Thanks for reading. 

Peace and love, 

Amanda 

3 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · feminism · memoir

ARC Book Review | Freedom is an Inside Job by Zainab Salbi

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Freedom is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World by Zainab Salbi

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Sounds True

Pages: 184

Genres: memoir

Rating: 3 stars 

Recommend to fans of: enlightening personal exploration, learning to forgive people who have hurt you, stories of women who grew up in Iraq

Foodie Vibes: homemade authentic Iraqi meals shared with family

 

Synopsis:

By all appearances, Zainab Salbi has had an impressive life. Growing up as the daughter of Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot, she eventually became a celebrated humanitarian and activist. Yet, as she was helping thousands of women in war-torn countries, Salbi’s personal life was coming to a crisis. In Freedom Is an Inside Job, Salbi explores her own riveting journey to wholeness—and how embarking on such a journey enables each of us to create the world we want to live in.

After years of working as a successful CEO and change-maker, Salbi realized that if she wanted to confront and heal the shadows of the world, she needed to face her own shadows first—and this could only be done by looking within. Through personal anecdotes, real-life stories, parables, and insightful guidance, Salbi takes us through a process of self-discovery. We learn to uncover our hidden motives and desires so we can live in alignment with our authentic values. “As long as we are conflicted within, we will continue to live in conflict without,” writes Salbi. “If we want to change the world, we must begin with ourselves.”

 

Review:

I won this book for free through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads, Sounds True Publishing, and Zainab Salbi for a free ebook copy. As always, an honest review from me.

Zainab Salbi’s story takes us from her childhood in Iraq to an arranged marriage in America to founding an organization to help women all over the world. She’s very accomplished. The book is her life story along with all the lessons she’s learned along the way. 

Her story is unique, yet many women can relate to her emotions and lessons learned. I liked that we get a peek into daily life of women living in Iraq at that time, not just what the U.S. mainstream media was delivering – a very limited, one sided view of the world. The life lessons of forgiveness, shame and fear, taking inventory of one’s inner self, and rediscovering your feelings is a main focus. There’s a lot to learn from her experiences and revelations.

However as great as her story is, it isn’t captivate me personally. It’s not boring by any means, but jumps around a bit. Also some parts feel like a therapy session for her; a book of remorse and past mistakes. It’s important to acknowledge but it dominated a lot of the chapters.

Overall, the story of the author’s life combined with the lessons she learned pull together to educate, inspire and enlighten others. The cons of the book made it not quite as enjoyable as I had hoped.

 

 

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

New Release | Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

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Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Aria 

Pages: 426

Genres: contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, romance, Christmas, holidays 

Rating: 4.5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: sweet holiday romances that aren’t over the top Christmasy, the movie The Holiday, relaxing beachside vacations that make you so badly want to be there 

Foodie Vibes: mug of hot cocoa and homemade Christmas cookies ~ so cozy 

 

Synopsis:

The perfect Christmas romance for fans of Karen Swan.

As the snowflakes start to fall, the village of Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…

For lifestyle magazine journaist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around’…

So Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air, and rugged stranger Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.

Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Chiristmas wishes might just come true…

Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly rugged Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands; the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.

As cosy as a marshmallow-topped cup of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Aria Books and Lucy Coleman for the ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

My rating is actually 4.5 stars, but since there aren’t half stars I always round up.

Please transport me to Holly Cove right now! The beauty and unpredictability of the ocean, the picturesque views, kind people, and relaxing atmosphere is amazing. It sounds like the perfect place for me.

Tia is sent to Holly Cove by her boss months before the holiday season. She works at a magazine that’s planning to feature couples in love in a series of articles around the holiday season. Tia’s also had a rough time in her personal life and even had to take time off of work. She’s given six weeks to relax, recharge and also interview the couples/create all of the magazine content. It’s a sweet gesture by her boss, but is it only that?

I loved the people in Holly Cove. They’re nice, introverted, private and a little awkward but mean well. All in all, they’re my kind of people. The setting is gorgeous beyond gorgeous. Seriously, take me there! The relationships are slowly revealed over time, unravelling the nuances and hurt from many years.

The book is so lovely. However, if I’m being nit picky, Tia’s relationship with Nic was not surprising, but the readers needed more hints as to what she was thinking. It seemed to happen quickly, even though it didn’t.

All in all, Snowflakes Over Holly Cove is a wonderful book to read anytime of year. The holiday season will make it extra special. I definitely recommend this cozy relaxing read.

 

What’s your favorite winter holiday tradition? 

Book Reviews · non fiction · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Non Fiction Edition

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

 

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The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in the Brain Drives Love, Sex and Creativity — and Will Determine the Human Race by Daniel Z. Lieberman and Michael E. Long

4/5 stars

enlightening, fascinating, interesting look at brain chemistry

 

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Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt

4/5 stars

intriguing, informative, weird science and history

 

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara 

5/5 stars

fantastic true crime, the ultimate book of the genre, can’t get enough 

 

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

Blogger Awards · Book Tags

Mystery Blogger Award

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Hi everyone! I am so honored to have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Julia at Fable Hunter. She’s an amazing book blogger who features a variety of bookish topics from classic literature, fantasy novels, and hunting for that new amazing book. Her passion and adventurous spirit is evident throughout. Before continuing, please visit her blog and check it out. A big thank you to Julia for nominating me!

 

Before this I didn’t know about the Mystery Blogger Award. The award was created by Okoto Enigma. The explanation on her blog is as follows:

The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

As a newbie blogger, I was absolutely floored and so honored to be nominated for this award. It’s such a sweet gesture and keeps my motivation up, to keep creating great content for you all.

There are so some rules and questions to answer, so let’s get into them and have some fun!

 

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

 

To begin, here are three things about myself:

  1. I’m a big cat lover. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve had the pleasure of caring for 9 cats, that were my pets. I’ve taken care of so many more furry friends. For some reason the cats all have had multiple health and behavioral issues. Maybe the universe knows that my family and I can and will love and care for them. One summer I even rearranged my entire schedule including staying up until 5 AM to care for my dying cat . . . essentially hospice care for kitties. The moments when she was happy and pain free, which was 90% of the time, were some of the best memories. And I don’t regret one minute of the time I sacrificed to spend with her.
  2. I used to use the fact that I would read magazines from back to front cover as an interesting fact about me, in high school. I thought it made me seem interesting and quirky. Oh, teenage self what were you thinking?
  3. For the past 6 months I’ve been watching the television show ER on Hulu. I’m currently on the last season with less than 20 episodes left to watch. I watched the show on and off when it originally aired on TV in the 90s. And yes, that would make me maybe 10 or 12 years old at the time. What can I say, I was a weird kid. It’s been a wonderful whirlwind revisiting the world of County General Hospital with Carter, Abby, Haleh, Luka, Morris Neela, and so many more.

 

I have 5 questions to answer from Julia:

  1. What are your hobbies?

Besides reading? Because I think that’s obvious. Painting, adult coloring, cooking, caring for my cats, getting obsessed with a TV show, creating pretty planner journals, and being a life long learned which is probably why I love to read.

2. What is your biggest goal this year?

Personal- Take more time for myself and put myself first, which is something I don’t do nearly enough. Set boundaries, especially to deal with the negative people in my life.

Book blog- By year’s end reach 200 follows on my blog, 1000 followers on Twitter and Instagram

3. Do you have any pet peeves?

Sure I have a bunch of little pet peeves but those are petty and usually more about me being tired and cranky at the moment.

The things that bother me the most are people being rude, disrespectful of my time, and ignoring boundaries.

4. How would you describe yourself in 5 words (or less)?

Considerate, observant, caregiver, lifelong learner

5. What was the weirdest/grossest thing you did as a child?

Oh gosh! Too many to count; my sisters and I got into so many shenanigans as kids. The one that pops into my head right now is digging for worms in the garden, picking one up and putting it on my 3 year old sister’s head. Yuck! And kind of mean. Sorry, sis.

 

My Best Posts 

That is so hard to choose. I don’t have a favorite Book Review per say, since the books are all so different and have each taught me something.

I’m incredibly proud of my 3 part series of Underrated Books.

I love introducing people to great books that they probably haven’t heard of before.

Seriously Underrated Books- less than 100 Ratings

Seriously Underrated Books- less than 500 Ratings 

Seriously Underrated Books- less than 1000 Ratings 

 

I nominate

 

My Questions:

  1. What’s the funniest experience you’ve had on vacation?
  2. What’s your favorite reading snack?
  3. How do other people describe you?
  4. Of which accomplishment from last year are you most proud?
  5. What 3 things would you tell your younger self?