I started 2019 strong with my reading! I’m still focusing this year on increasing the diversity of what I read (genres, styles, lengths, authors, etc) and I think it’s going to be awesome.
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my top rec:
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
abandoned books this month:
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
my 2019 goal progress:
12 books this month
Truly Devious by Kathleen Johnson
review: I have SO many thoughts about this one. So many loose ends. So few answers. So much mystery. NEED THE SEQUEL ASAP. (It’s a very well written YA murder mystery but honestly I don’t know what I thought because so much was left hanging?! I think i liked it though?!)
Words by Elizabeth Ole
review: (A free copy was gifted to me by the author in exchange for my review!) This poetry collection is heartfelt and honest, ranging in themes from love and relationships to faith and forgiveness and more. It's one I feel many girls in their teens and early 20s will be able to relate to -- nothing is sugar coated, and the words are relatable and real.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
review: This was a fun one day read — I’ve heard great things about the Netflix movie and wanted to start with the book first (as always). It didn’t completely win me over, but I did appreciate the main character being a self-proclaimed “fat girl” (so not the norm!) who is real about body image and teenage drama and dating, although I did want more from the mother/daughter/aunt dynamics and wished for a liiiiittle more character development overall. There were a lot of characters and I think it made the story a little less strong, but I’m also anticipating it playing really well as a movie, so we’ll see! It felt a little anti-climactic and slow overall... but maybe I’m overthinking things
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
review: Blew through this one yesterday, and I liked it more than Dumplin’! More character development (it switches between Millie and Callie’s POVs), a more engaging plot, and just a more endearing story to me!
The Infographic Bible: visualizing the drama of god’s word by karen sawrey
thanks to: BookLook Bloggers for the free copy to review
review: This infographic Bible is BRILLIANT. It beautifully and creatively illustrates elements of Scripture and helps you to understand and visualize concepts, context, and meaning SO well. (Swipe to see a video flipping through it!) I’m blown away by the intricacies of these graphics and am so glad a resource like this exists for the more visual among us— it’s incredible!
review: Read this one as I was preparing to teach a bullet journaling workshop at the library, and found it to be incredibly thorough and helpful resource! Ryder is the creator of the @bulletjournal and he walks you through the process, the formatting, ideas, his story, mindfulness practices, productivity tips, and so much more in this book. Highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about the bujo! (I blogged about mine here!)
Indestructible: Leveraging Your Broken Heart to Become a Force of Love & Change in the World by allison fallon
review: I’ve followed Ally donline for a long time and have admired her heart, soul, and spirit, and all three shine in this vulnerable and heartfelt book. She tells the story of her marriage, its end, and her process of rebuilding in a way that is moving and powerful. She speaks openly about the pain and heartbreak she lived through, and she reclaims her independence, identity, strength, and story in such a beautiful way throughout every page. She’s got a gift with words, for SURE.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
review: THIS BOOK. I don’t even know what to say because I don’t want to ruin a single bit of it... but wow. I loved it.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
review: It took me a little bit to get through this one (because I got distracted, not because the book wasn’t great) but it was SO good. It’s such a rich, graceful, honest, and beautifully told memoir and made me love her even more. So worth a read, regardless of your political affiliation!
The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
review: OMG THIS BOOK. If you like Riverdale, you’ll love it. YA mystery/thriller about a town where the cheerleading squad all died— from a car crash, a murderer, a suicide— and while the town just wants to forget, the sister of one cheerleader wants to get to the bottom of it all. I was HOOKED on this one. It’s been a long time since a story had me so enthralled, and I didn’t predict the twists at all (which i loved). This was SUCH a good one! I was screaming and gasping and freaking out all the way through the last few chapters... so yeah, it gets five stars from me. (edited to add: it was not a perfectly written story and i have a lot of questions and some loose ends I’m unsure about... but still!)
review: I started this one MONTHS ago when it came out (I was even on the launch team!) but I put it down part way through when the holidays got crazy. I finally got back to it this week and it was EXACTLY the right time for me to finish it. Don’t you love when God is totally at work orchestrating the timing of things like that? So good. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my enneagram 1 inner critic, and all the lies I repeat to myself with or without realizing it, and the ways I can be working to rework my thinking to renew my brain, and the wisdom from Hayley here is SO HELPFUL for all of that. Loved this one so much!
maybe in another life by taylor jenkins reid
review: This one was like that whole “expectations vs reality” meme mixed with a choose your own adventure story set in a chick flick... and I enjoyed it! It plays out in two parallel storylines based on one crucial choice the main character makes in the beginning, and it was really cool to see both plots unfold as a result! There’s a lot of talk of fate and love and what’s meant to be, so maybe not the book for “true love” cynics. I first LOVED The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by her, and have loved going back to her older books — she’s definitely a favorite of mine now.