Friday, December 28, 2018

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven


The Next Person You Meet in HeavenThe Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness... I absolutely loved this book. From page 1 till the very end.
If you loved the first book "The 5 people you meet in Heaven" - you'll love this. I think even more.
This was a heart tugger. But had some deep insight & thoughts about life & living & how we're all connected.

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In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie—the little girl he saved on earth—in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.
The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally  found happiness.
As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.
Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Catching Christmas

Catching ChristmasCatching Christmas by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really cute book. Picked it up at the library & didnt even know what it was about. Pleasantly surprised to see it had a faith based background in the story. & while this book could be really sad in moments, it really showed how to live life full of joy & expecting what Heaven is like.
This would totally be a cute Hallmark movie!

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This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time 

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

“Terri Blackstock’s latest offering touches tender places with its quirky characters and stirring plot. Catching Christmas explores what happens when the paths of a disenchanted Taxi driver collide with that of an overworked attorney. Blackstock weaves a compelling, romantic tale that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!” —Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams

“Blackstock’s Catching Christmas is not your average romance. Darling and laugh-out-loud cute, it makes the reader think about the important things in life. I read it in one gulp and wished there was more. Highly recommended!” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Hope Beach series and the Lavender Tides series

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Miracle Creek

Miracle CreekMiracle Creek by Angie Kim
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quite the mystery full of action packed courtroom drama. Felt a little long to me in moments & at times, but held my attention to find out the truth. In the end, it was enjoyable & interesting - & quite sad really, but a decent read.

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A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely thought this was a cute book, a fast read & super sweet. It was interesting to see some of the Indian culture. I will say, Dimple aggravated me towards the end of the book but I was happy with the ending of it.

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Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Image result for beloved 365 devotions for young women


This is a precious gift for the young lady in your life.

It is 365 days of devotions that are short & easy enough to read, but full of powerful & impactful stories, scriptures & thoughts.  It even has room at the bottom of each page for notes or prayer requests or whatever you want to use it for.
The book itself is also so beautiful & sturdy & will definitely withstand a year of opening.
The pages are even beautiful with floral work on the edging - making the outside of the book look even beautiful on the paper spine & the pages inside look even more lovely to look at every day.
I've scanned a few days of the devotions & so excited to give this to my niece so she can get her dose of time with God daily.

Thanks to Handlebar Marketing for the opportunity to review this book

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Beartown

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had no idea what to expect going into this book.
I just knew it had to do with hockey.... & didnt know how powerful & impactful the story was wrapped up in the world of hockey in this small town of Beartown.
I have to say, it made me nervous at first with all the characters in this book - I am someone who writes down character names to keep everyone straight & it literally was two pages long with everyone in this town. But by the end, I felt like I was a member of the town & knew everyone by name & by personality.
& SO many personalities.
I really dont want to say a lot to give away the book if you've never read it before so you can have the stomach punch that I had reading it.... but I closed this book feeling so many emotions, which just shows me now invested I was in the story.
I just love Backman's writing & glad I finally got around to this one.
& sort of torn on going into the next book "Us Between You" because I thought Beartown wrapped up so well. But I dont want to not know about some of my favorite residents of this small town & how they are fairing the summer after the town nearly became divided.


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People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bright Side

Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)Bright Side by Kim Holden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do Epic!
Oh gosh... my heart. It takes a lot for me to dish out actual tears from a book. I can get sad & I can feel the feels, but tears? Yeah, a lot. & this book, I was totally hiding my face reading this book in public.
I loved the story & just loved all the characters. I love how it shows friends become family & being surrounded by people that you love & love you can make a life complete. I just really enjoyed this book & dreaded getting to the end - for more than one reason - & just feel like I love all the characters.
Gus, Keller & Katie... I am heart broken with all of you.

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Secrets. 
Everyone has one. 
Some are bigger than others. 
And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you ... 
And some will end you. 

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks. 

They both feel it. 
But they each have a reason to fight it. 
They each have a secret. 

And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you … 
And some will end you.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

An American Marriage

An American MarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was going to give this one 3 stars because at the end, I wasn't too happy with how it all turned out - but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized how invested I was in this book & how there really was no good ending that could happen, & it hit me how much I really did love the story & the REALNESS of this story & I liked it more than I thought I did.
This really was tough to read at times, & frustrating & honest. Some books just have that glaze over them that doesnt seem like real life - this one just felt like it could be someone's memoirs in a way. I really enjoyed the 3 different points of views in the story as well. Perspective is always different from another's point of view. I especially loved it in this story of a marriage falling apart & a best friend who was there in the midst of struggles.
I was glad for a rainy day to sit & finish out the story.

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Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss QuotientThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I keep seeing this one everywhere & all the raving about it.
Me? I thought it was ok. I wasn't as wrapped up in it as it seems everyone else is. That's OK. Why everyone has an opinion. I just wasn't expecting it to be so .... so.... R-rated. I have no problem with those sorts of books - I just wasn't expecting it in this one. I guess I should have known better when the main character is male escort. I didnt even realize that was the case when I picked up the book - I just grabbed it when I saw it at the library knowing it was what everyone else was reading.
In the end, I thought it was a simple read, but that's it - I didnt think it was much of a story besides the 'relationship' between the 2 characters. I thought it had its sweet moments when Michael would protect & care for "his Stella" but mostly I was just feeling like there was more to the deeper story with Stella's Asperger's that could have been touched on & it just wasn't.
This is still a fun weekend read if you are into that sort of racy & blushing sort of read.

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Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All the feels!!!!!
This was written so beautifully & so heart felt. I felt like my own heart was being pulled in every direction & broken for everyone throughout the story.
I haven't seen the movie yet on this one but now I feel like I have to check it out.

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A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. 

Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 

M. L. Stedman's mesmerizing, beautifully written debut novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel's decision to keep this "gift from God." And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another's tragic loss

Friday, August 24, 2018

Audacious

AudaciousAudacious by Beth Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A really fast read - short enough to enjoy but long enough to inspire you.
I always love Beth's insight on the Bible & the adjectives she uses to describe them all.. a southern girl with a great use of wording.
It really did leave me with a WANT to find a bigger & BOLDER passion for God.
Glad to stumble on this book.

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Thirty years in the making, Audacious is a deep dive into the message that has compelled Beth Moore to serve women around the globe. Glancing over the years of ministry behind her and strengthening her resolve to the call before her, she came to the realization that her vision for women was incomplete. It lacked something they were aching for. Something Jesus was longing for. Beth identifies that missing link by digging through Scripture, unearthing life experiences, and spotlighting a turning point with the capacity to infuse any life with holy passion and purpose. What was missing? Well, let's just say, it's audacious and it's for all of us. And it's the path to the life you were born to live.

Side Effects may Vary

Side Effects May VarySide Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet read. I totally could see this book made into a movie. It touches on all the heart strings of a teenager - & its got that added touch of how precious life is. I really loved Dumplin' & was excited to read another Julie Murphy book. This didn't disappoint. It wasn't amazing or horrible - it's just a really enjoyable, easy read.

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When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope.

But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Year of No Sugar

Year of No SugarYear of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm not sure I get the point of the book. Spoiler alert - they did NOT indeed go a year of no sugar.
& what the book is telling us is basically, its IMPOSSIBLE to do. So there's that.
I did find some things interesting in the book - but most of the things I found interesting were facts she shared from other writers on the subject.
She never really mentioned anything about how it effected her family, except little snippets of her daughters journal, who basically felt tortured & hated every minute of it, but nothing about health & energy. I think she mentioned one time about the fact that they didnt loose any weight - that was the extent of her documenting their health. Oh, & that her kids missed less days at school by a few days. M'kay.
& then she COMPLETELY 100000% lost me when she talked about an anniversary trip to Tanzania where they slit a goats throat & how she wished she could go back & do it again - because then, she was a pescetarian & now, she's a carnivore - & even drinking the blood mixed with milk (A local tradition) sounds interesting to her. EXCUSE ME? She also goes on to talk about why eating meat is a good thing & even goes as far as visiting a friend's farm to watch chickens being "processed" & even slits a chicken's neck herself. Needless to say, for me - after this chapter, I really didnt even care what else she had to say. This was a book on sugar, not about a switch from vegetarian to a carnivorous life style.
In the end - I'd tell everyone to skip it. You'll not really learn anything & you'll be very sick of hearing the word "Dextrose"

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It's Dinnertime. Do you know where your sugar is coming from?

Most likely everywhere. Sure, it's in ice cream and cookies, but what scared Eve O. Schaub was the secret world of sugar--hidden in bacon, crackers, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken broth, and baby food.

With her eyes open by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband and two school-age daughters to join her on a quest to eat no added sugar for an entire year.

Along the way, Eve uncovered the real costs of our sugar-heavy American diet--including diabetes, obesity, and increased incidences of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. The stories, tips, and recipes she shares throw fresh light on questionable nutritional advice we've been following for years and show that it is possible to eat at restaurants and go grocery shopping--with less and even no added sugar.

Year of No Sugar is what the conversation about "kicking the sugar addiction" looks like for a real American family--a roller coaster of unexpected discoveries and challenges.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Still Lives

Still LivesStill Lives by Maria Hummel
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I just can't.
I got through 47% of this book & I still felt like I was forcing myself to read it & gouging my eyes out all the way.
I just thought the book was so boring - especially for a mystery. I honestly had no interest in the characters & can easily walk away not even caring what happened to Kim.
I've got too many other books to get to then forcing myself to try & enjoy this & thinking it'll get better. Half way done & still hate it? It's not gonna happen.

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Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.
As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.
Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala
Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.
Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Then She was Gone

Then She Was GoneThen She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Talk about creepy & emotional.
This story of a missing girl & what happened to her really got to me. It held my attention & kept me wrapped up in how it was all going to end. I ended the book so sad for Ellie & her family & just so super freaked out at the crazy mentality of people.
I'm still a little confused about what happened to Frank - I mean, I know what happened to Frank - but the why. I dont think he deserved that ending really.
I really enjoyed the style of writing - seeing everyone's story from different time lines of the events. It makes me want to check out this author again & see if the suspense & the story telling is just as good.

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THEN
She was fifteen, her mother's 
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. 
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. 

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie 
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up 
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a cafĂ© and sweeps Laurel off her feet. 
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. 
Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away. 

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. 

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? 
Who still has secrets to hide?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jenny Lawson... what an interesting person.
I read one of her other books & knew how she came across - so I was prepared. Some chapters have me laughing out loud & some have me frustrated & feeling like its rambling - but I hang in there because I know its all honesty.
I appreciate a person who shares her struggles with depression & mental illness in an open way.
This was another book full of insight, humor, struggles & yeah, for me, sometimes, rambling & frustration - but in the end, I totally understood her & appreciated her a little bit more

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In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?
 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Obesity Code

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight LossThe Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've got so many emotions on this book.
It started off full of detailed information - & read easy enough for someone to understand that isn't a doctor or a dietitian. Some facts that were eye opening & it did a really good job of explaining how insulin & cortisol are the big contributors to the yo-yo of weight gain. I even at one point was like, This needs to be a documentary.
It left me sort of feeling defeated reading how badly diets dont work & how its like a loosing fight trying to eat healthy, or watch the carbs, or proteins, & repeating over & over how exercise doesnt work or change anything.
The detail & information was so in depth - & at times, repetitive, which I thought was trying to emphasis the point - so I was so excited to get to the end of the book. The HOW to apply all of this information.
Except at the end, I felt totally let down. Like that Sesame Street Book where "There's a Monster at the end of this book" - only to see its just a let down.
Literally, his answer is to eat a balanced, clean diet. After he pretty much downed it the whole book... & then the BIG SECRET of it all? Fasting.
& I get that it may be something to look into, but we just read over 300 pages about diet & nutrition & how bodies work with insulin & we get one little appendix that says to fast for a few days a week. No big detail or research, except a lot of "people have been doing it for years - even Jesus & Buddha" sort of thinking. & the thing that got me with that, he even says that it will come to a time where you will plateau. Isn't that what he just dogged out other methods of loosing weight for doing?
I'm just frustrated. I felt like it was a total let down at the end.
& I will say, I am intrigued to look more into intermittent fasting - though he's suggesting going like 36 hours (or longer if you can) just to see how it makes me feel & if there are any changes in my body because of it.
All of this to say, Mr. Fung pointed out so many times in the book how diets in our country were like a good business scam. How America promotes eating 6 times a day, eat breakfast, eat more protein, eat cleaner, eat more superfoods.... why? "Because no body makes any money when you eat less".... but in the end, I feel like this book has a bit of a scam on it as well - just telling you NOT to eat at all for hours on end - even after a chunk of the book is drilled in our head "Eat Less DOES NOT WORK! FACT! ACCEPT IT" That's a direct quote....
A lot of contradiction.


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Why you’ve never been able to lose weight, and how that can change now 

Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.

In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps, a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels, Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight—for good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Girl, Wash Your Face

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have given it 3.5 stars if half star ratings were a thing here...

& I could have potentially given it 4 stars if I didnt do the audiobook on this one.
I typically dont do audiobooks but I'm now in love with the Hoopla app from the library where I can listen to audiobooks on my phone & this was the first one that popped up.
This is why audiobooks make or break for me - the reading & the voice.
I struggled with the book because mainly of Rachel reading the book herself. Her voice just came across as very young & almost whiny at points & it just irked me, feeling like some 'kid' was giving all this life advice. It also irked me with how much she talked about raising her business & all her accomplishments - just came across as braggart more than anything. Again, I think if it was read, & not listened too, I may have had a different outlook on it.

Same with the info in the book. I did get so much out of it & loved her inspirational thoughts, but some of it was just so simple & repeated that it just left me rolling my eyes. I get it - write things down. Focus on positive. You're a runner. You've made this incredible company. Fingers crossed for your Hawaiian dream home on your dream board.

Saying all that, I did laugh at points of the book & I did take away some meaningful thoughts & did feel inspired at points. So that's why I'm keeping it middle of the road.
I totally do think its a good read to pick up - but I know I would have had a total different experience reading it in my own infliction & mind. & I may just do that down the road.

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ounder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son's request that she buy a necklace to "be like the other moms," Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.
 

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Would like to give 3.5 stars*
I saw everyone reading this & excited to find it in the library.
I was into it from the first chapter & it held my attention it all the way through. Love the little turns & surprises in the story. I will say, I wasn't as shocked by Daniel as I think I'm supposed to be - I think I've read a lot worse in books about some crazy characters.
But I did enjoy the twists throughout the book. You really have to pay attention because the story jumps back & forth throughout & it could be easy to get lost in what period of time you are in.

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When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Church of the Small Things

Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a LifeChurch of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life by Melanie Shankle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. Someone who has stories that involve Xanadu & roller skating, & hair & style from the 80's & references of TV shoes & music from the same time I grew up? Yep... I love Melanie. One of those people that I know I'd be best friends with.
The book is just filled with each chapter being little stories of her life & they have subtle little life lessons in all of them. I'm all about books like this. They are easy to read - touch the heart, make me cry & totally make me laugh. Another book I'd buy all my girlfriends!

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Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?

It’s been said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” The pressure of that can be staggering as we spend our days looking for that big thing that promises to take our breath away. Meanwhile, we lose sight of the small significance of fully living with every breath we take.

Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.

The million little pieces that make a life aren’t necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness—and sometimes they look a whole lot like packing lunch. 

Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vinegar Girl

Vinegar Girl (Hogarth Shakespeare)Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think books that take classic stories & modernize them. Its the only way I understand them. LOL But I thought this was a cute retelling of the Taming of the Shrew. It wasn't earth shaking or anything special, but it was a fast read & I appreciated the character, Katie & her love for her family & I actually appreciated her "shrewd-ness" attitude. I'm always a fan of Anne Tyler anyways as well so that helped.

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Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr…

When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?

Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern, independent woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. Its answer is as individual, off-beat and funny as Kate herself.

The Outsiders

The OutsidersThe Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cant believe I had never read this book. I remember the movie so clearly & reading the book, I could envision it all over again. & of course, the book is so much better. I even had to look up the movie cast to get who played who so I could envision them while reading. I'm a sucker for Patrick Swayze in my mind for any novel. But it was just as heart wrecking reading it as watching it on the screen. This is one book that I can say was really true to the movie - or vice versa. Glad I took the time to read it. Stay Golden Ponyboy

View all my reviews The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser

The Vegetarian

The VegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I know I'm not on the majority of this.
This book just left me disturbed & bothered, which shows a book moves you - but it just left me angry that I wasted my time.
I think something got lost in the translation for me & just the story with 3 different points of views of a woman who seems mentally is, it just made me glad to close the cover & walk away from it.

View all my reviews Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.
Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book gave me chills. I'm not a person who cares for futuristic books but this was sort of creepy how you can see similarities on how this world is headed - a world full of offended people, of lack of connection with humans, having technology being a focal point & most disturbing, having books taken away so the knowledge of digesting information can be controlled. I could have done without some of the writing one one area, but thought other areas of it was described beautifully. All in all, I did appreciate the message behind the book. Kind of shocked this is a school read because it does have some violence & disturbing scenes in it - but I do appreciate the younger generation receiving the point of this book.

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Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family." But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Surprise Me

Surprise MeSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My first Sophia Kinsella book. Cute. I actually was surprised at some turns in the book & didnt see some things coming. I also laughed at Sylvie & the way she thought & really appreciated how it all ended. I also now want a job working in a museum.
I'll be trying out more of this authors books to see if they all have the sort of fun wit about them with that extra touch of drama.

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After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected "until death do us part" to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Love Does

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary WorldLove Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know I am so late to the game on reading this - but so glad I finally picked it up - & devoured it. Read it in less than 2 days. Would have been 1 if I didnt have to go out Saturday night.
It's just full of encouragement & motivation to start looking at the world through different eyes. I told a friend that each chapter in itself could be a lesson to just sit & ponder over - but I just had to keep reading because it was just so good. Not too heavy where you can't understand the point of each chapter, but enough to hit you in your spirit where you end each chapter with a big sigh of content. I totally can't wait long now before I get his new book.

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As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren't good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean's office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world's best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world's most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it's not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob's love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.
 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in Another LifeMaybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of the movie "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow where she catches a train in one second/misses it another & how different her life is because of that one choice, & we get to see both versions of the lives played out. This book is exactly that. What life can look like & how differently it can be with just one small decision made.
I loved the story & how each chapter was back & forth in Hannah's life & where each direction took her. I appreciated how there were things that stayed the same in both versions & the ending, though I thought it would somehow be different - I had Sliding Door movie ending such in my mind - it didnt work out that way - so it was a pleasant surprise to get a different ending than I expected. & I didnt mind it. A good book to remind you that things play out as they should & happiness can lay at the end of each.
I especially loved the friendship between Hannah & Gabby - that to me is a big part of how special this book is. A good friendship story in the midst of life's crazy ride.
Another win for me from Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Docomes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Into The Water

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Whew... this book felt forever long. & complicated... & in the end, I was just "meh"
From the same person who wrote The Girl on a Train, I knew I was in for a good mystery - which I'll give that much, I continued reading because I had to find out how it would all end - the "Whodunit?" part of the story.... but getting there was tough.
There's just so many characters in this book - SO MANY - & it was constantly changing POV - which I'm usually OK with - but I literally had to keep a list of characters near me so I could remember who I was switching to on each chapter.
& in the end, I wasn't too impressed with it all.

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In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .

Friday, June 15, 2018

100 days of real food

100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love by Lisa Leake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this is on sale right now for kindle for $1.99 & I do recommend it for that price.
It is full of helpful hints & some insight on why this family decided to give up all processed foods & go for REAL foods & how it changed their thinking on nutrition & how it effected their health.
I do enjoy the tips & tricks in this book & the recipes are totally ones that I will be checking out (all the meat-free ones, that is) - saying that - this is NOT a vegan or vegetarian book. It's a book about eating real food so if you are a meat eater, you will still enjoy this book.
I especially for the weekly challenges to help you ease into this thinking. 12 weeks with a different challenge that when broken down, doesnt seem so unobtainable. I'm going to be starting with week 1 soon.
On the down side for me - which may be an upside for many - a lot of this book is dedicated to making changes for kids. How to incorporate this thinking for children & how to involve them in the process. I'm sure most moms would appreciate this big part of the book - for me, it just was something I skimmed.
But y'all - for $1.99 - get it right now just for some of the great recipes & the tips & tricks!!!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It Ends with Us

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so emotionally vested in this book. It wasn't what I was expecting & I didnt realize the topic this book was going to take but man, it held me in. I was rooting for each person in their own way - to be stronger, to get help, to get better, to walk away, to stay... what a wonderfully written book this was. Completely grabbed me in. & I loved the history in the story of Atlas & Lily growing up & reading her journals from being a teenager. I really am glad I finally got around to this book. What a insightful look inside of domestic abuse. Loved reading the epilogue as well to find out more about the story behind the book. Makes it even more powerful to me.


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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.