Let’s talk about…Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellision

35900323The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board. 

That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.
Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans…
To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.
Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.
She just isn’t sure that she won’t.

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Immediate reactions upon finishing:

This was such a fun read! I haven’t really read a lot of pirate books, so I was pretty excited to dive into this world of female pirates as they kick butt across the seas. I found this book super to be really quick to get in to and was filled with an adventure that I had definitely wanted to read.

Here are my top 3 reasons to read this book.

  1. AWESOME main character! I absolutely loved Grace. She was brave, strong, and just slightly imperfect. Sometimes she hesitated when I felt that I would also hesitate. She didn’t see everything that was going on in front of her, but she continued on anyway. She fought for what she believed in and was willing to do anything to get the people that she loved most back to her. I feel like she is a main character than any reader could look up to.
  2. Lady Pirates on an adventure! It’s pretty awesome to read a book about kick butt women taking on the seas. Nothing like laughing at the myth that women on a ship are bad luck and instead filling a ship with all women. There was adventure and surprises while on board the Luck as one would expect, and they kept me continuing on with the story. This book had some of the typical pirate story points, but I don’t think I could ever get sick of that. I love a good pirate story (even if I mostly watch movies and shows about pirates). This book made me need more pirate books!
  3. A nice break from reality! I have had a lot going on lately, and I found this story to be fun and exactly what I needed to take a temporary vacation from what was going on. I could definitely feel myself on the ship with the pirates and could see the story playing out. I felt that it helped me relax more, and I think that’s definitely a possibility for anyone that might pick up this book.

If you are look for a quick, fun, lady pirate adventure book then look no further! It could be a nice distraction, and I definitely think you need to meet Grace!

emily

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If We Were Having Tea (4)

20638302_10210095186557818_268576923072112750_nI have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

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If we were having tea…

  • I would tell you that I am going strong with this whole War and Peace thing. Have been working hard to get one chapter read a day and I think I’m still caught up. In the car I am listening to Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, and I just started the book Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellision. What are you reading or listening to lately?
  • I would tell you that I started my half marathon training officially. It starts slow, so the thought of having to run 13.1 miles in a few months is BEYOND me, but I’m going to push through and get it done. Feeling pretty motivated. Do you have any events coming up that are motivating you?
  • I would tell you that the weather has FINALLY improved. We had a blizzard in the middle of April that basically shut down EVERYTHING, but since then…no snow. The temps have reached my comfort zone, the sun has been coming out, and that has made me pretty happy in general. How has the weather been treating you?
  • I would tell you that I still have the massive itch to travel further than what I seem to know. It was a year ago right now that I was in California, and I am just itching to get out of this place and see something new. Does not help that my friend and my husband are off to New York City, a place I would love to see but seem to be missing out on this year. A little frustrating, but oh well. I have a list of places I want to go, and I am going to try to get there. Have any travel plans coming up?
  • I would tell you that I am doing my best with this blogging thing. I’m really hoping that May is my month, though it hasn’t started off great. But I have to remember, the weather is warming up and I am going to be able to be out and about doing more things more often. I love summer, so the fact that that is coming up should also help, as well as knowing that I will be getting a break from my job which should help me refocus on things. How are you handling this new month?
  • I would tell you that I am on the job hunt. I have been feeling incredibly unhappy with where I’m at, and I’m really the only one stopping myself. So I’m back at it. I feel like my motivation is fresh and I’m ready to try what I can to make my situations better. Do you have any job hunting advice?
  • I would tell you that I have a busy summer coming up, or at least a busy June. Weddings and travel have really taken over my first month of summer, and I’m not even mad. I’m so tired of feeling stuck here, so I’m hoping some of this will help kick it. Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this summer?
  • I would tell you that I did, indeed, see Infinity War. I will only say that I have feelings, and I did not expect to leave with feelings. I don’t like that I left with feelings. But I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to having a fresh batch of movies come out this summer. Any summer movies that you are looking forward to?

emily

Words We Read (4)

Words

Words We Read is a feature that we created to share various book quotes we read that really mean a lot to us. For more information and past posts you can head over here.

Wow. Haven’t done this one in a long time. But man, I am super excited and super motivated to get it going again.

I have read a lot of books with words that hit me just right, especially lately. With words that touch me and make me think about my own life and the things currently happening in it. Sometimes they come from a book that blows me away, other times they come from a book that I didn’t fall head over heels in love with. Even in those instances where I like it but don’t adore it I find that I can take something away from the book. Today, it comes from one of those books.

I read the book Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner recently. Though this book really hit on some things that I think we need to talk about more, I just fall in love with it. I felt pretty meh towards it, no feelings one way or the other. But the writing…oh the writing had it’s moments where it just hit me and I had to stop and think about it. So today, I share a quote from this book, because it really had me thinking. And this is a solid reminder that just because you aren’t in love with the book doesn’t mean that it has nothing to offer you. There’s a difference between a bad book and book that you enjoyed but didn’t love.

So…the quote that I found that I could not stop thinking about…

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

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What’s a book that you’ve read lately that has a quote that really stuck with you?

emily

I’ve Gotta Say Something…

Hey all! Long time no talk.

Yep, I know. I’ve been pretty silent on here. And honestly, that’s why I’m about to issue an apology to each and every one of you, but probably to myself as well.

I’m sorry this blog hasn’t been as active as I had wanted it to be. I have gone down a spiral of craziness in the past couple of months. I’ve had some personal stuff going on that I don’t really want to go into for all the world to read, but with all of that my motivation to do this just lessened. I’ve been in a not so good place this year. The year that I had wanted it to be, the year that I try new things and let go a lot easier…yea, hasn’t been happening. I’ve let myself get buried under my own emotions, stress, and feelings of general helplessness and have found that I haven’t really enjoyed anything. I can’t say I’ve tried to enjoy anything either, so that’s very much on me.

The truth is, this blog has always been an outlet for me. I avoided it because I didn’t want to drag it down with my own personal issues, so instead I have been letting it sit because I “haven’t had time.” I’m sorry, but that’s been bullshit. I’ve been in my own pity party for months and I am so sick of it. I’m so tired of feeling this whole “woe is me” thing. I definitely suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this never-ending winter we seem to have going on here doesn’t seem to be helping (just spent the last 3 days digging myself out post blizzard and I bet I will have to pick up the shovel again tomorrow at some point). I have been the worst at letting it get to me and I am so tired of it.

But the thing is, I’m not sure what to do to stop it. I’ve let myself get so into this downward spiral that I can’t seem to pull myself out. So, little by little I am trying. Here’s what I have done so far…

  • I continue to workout 3-5 times a week. Endorphins are good right?
  • I signed up for a half marathon in August. I may be trudging through it the way winter seems to be going, but I did it. Training will keep me moving and it’s a goal to meet. And you best believe I am going to meet it.
  • I applied for a job that terrified me. Well, the application terrified me. I worked my butt off and put myself out there to get references and honestly, it was terrifying. Unfortunately I got that fabulous rejection I was expecting, but I’m trying not to let that get me down and to help me move forward.
  • I’m making plans with my husband. Not just saying that we should do something, but actually making plans. A lot of our plans have fallen through due to money, timing, etc…but these should hold up. I hope. Because I definitely need this.
  • I’m working on getting myself on here more. This apology is just one step. I’m hoping that I can come at you with more on this blog. I have things I want to blog about, I just haven’t sat myself down to actually do it. That’s gotta change.
  • I’m journaling. This terrifies me because I feel like there’s a right and wrong way to journal, but the more I looked into it (because that’s how I am) I realized how stupid that was. A journal is so personal to you and there’s no template. It’s for you. For your growth. So I found some prompts to help me get my wheels turning, and it’s been so helpful. I found one that is supposed to help with stress relief and oh my gosh, each day the prompts have made me laugh (like the one day I felt like my entire life was falling apart and the prompt was to write what was going well in your life. Hilarious. I cried while laughing).

I am taking this one step at a time, one day at a time. But I know I can be better. I know I can do better. And I’m sorry I’ve been so silent on here. Please know I take this apology oh so seriously, and really do plan to kick it into gear. I miss this. I really really do.

So now, I have to know….what do you do to get yourself out of a slump like this? Activites? Mantras? Helpful books? In the land where winter doesn’t seem to want to end and the sun refuses to shine I find I am definitely in need of some tips.

Thanks for bearing with me through this all. I promise I’ll be coming back. I will.

emily

Adios 28!

Guess what guys….IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!

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I was asked at work if I was turning 29 for the 3rd time and I gave them that awkward look and said…uhm no this is the 1st time. So yes, I am 29 today and have been thinking about where the past year of my life went and where the next year might take me.

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In my 28th year of life I…

  • Read a lot. Seriously. Even with reading slumps I was able to crush it. My reading tastes have been changing, which has been both fun and frustrating. Learning to roll with it and take it as it comes.
  • Saw the Pacific Ocean! I went to visit my sister out in California for her grad school graduation. While there I tried lots of different foods, wandered around, saw Pawnee City Hall, soaked up some rays at the beach (before the clouds came and it actually got a little cool), hiked the Hollywood sign, and was just a tourist in general. It was so much fun.
  • I ran! I never thought that I would run. Ever. My shin splints have been terrible in the past and I had a doctor legitimately tell me to not run because they were near stress fractures. I was getting frustrated, not necessarily because I wanted to run long distances but because I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to. That and my husband and friend were doing so much running and I just felt useless. With the right shoes and the right training I have been able to run some 5ks, and have done way better than I had anticipated.
  • I have taken in local sports. No, not the Packers. Forget that. Never happening. But I did get to go to some more local baseball games and hockey games. It’s been a lot of fun exploring this area more and seeing what it has to offer.
  • I went to Northern Minnesota for Thanksgiving. And when I say Northern Minnesota I basically mean Canada. We spent some time up there with my husband’s family. Was a pretty good time.
  • I went further into my Christmas spirit and made my own gingerbread houses for fun. The night itself was a little interesting, but it was fun and I do have some good memories from that evening.
  • I went to my first ever show! Last weekend I was able to see Les Miserables and it was gorgeous and I cried. So wonderful, despite the woman sitting next to me that seemed to try everything she could to ruin it.
  • I found time to dedicate to my health. Once I made the switch I honestly have been shocked at how much better my life has been. I have more energy. I’m happier (mostly). I love being active. Who woulda thunk it?
  • I had many adventures with my husband and close friend. Camping, sporting events, trying new restaurants, movie nights…we’ve had many a good time this past year. So so fortunate to have them in my life.
  • I had the best sandwich in the world. Seriously. It was delicious. And I figured it would be much appreciated if I listed it as one of the highlights of my 28th year of life.

 

So, what’s to come before I turn 30!? (eep! I turn 30! I’ve been waiting my whole life for my golden birthday!):

  • READ! Obviously I am going to try my best to read all the things I can get my hands on. And try to get on here more. I am a slacker, and that’s gotta change.
  • Bucket list concert. I AM GOING TO SEE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN SEPTEMBER! I am incredibly excited!
  • Half Marathon. Yes, you read that correctly. I signed up for my first ever half marathon. I am terrified. I am excited. I am all over the place with this one, but I think it’ll be good. My goal? Finish the race.
  • Chicago weekend. My husband and I will be taking a mini-vacation in the Chicago area since we really don’t live that far away. I’m getting pretty excited. I honestly can’t remember the last time it’s been a getaway for just the two of us.
  • More shows! The Lion King will be performed her beginning of next year and I am ready to sell a kidney for tickets. In general I really did enjoy watching a show live (no shocker there, I just never had the chance) so I am really hoping that I can make this one work.
  • Travel. I want to travel. I honestly find I have the travel bug. I went to California last year, so I am hoping to find somewhere to go this year. I am also hopeful that my husband can come with me. It just seems to never work out that way.

Obviously that’s not all that I want to do over the next year. Some are more personal goals. Some are things I don’t want to talk about until they actually happen. But I am really wanting to make this next year awesome. I have ideas. I have plans. And I am going to make it happen.

So here it is. Let’s do this 29!

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emily

 

If We Were Having Tea (3)

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I have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

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If we were having tea…

  • I would tell you I am still rocking that chapter of War and Peace each day. I have been SLOWLY reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which is very good but definitely something I am taking my time with. Other than that I am not really reading a lot, which is too bad. What are you reading?
  • I would tell you I ran my first race of the year. It went pretty well, even though it was a low key race. I ran the fastest I ever have and I had a really great time. The weather was awesome too, so that helps. Do you have any races or events coming up?giphy
  • I would tell you that I just signed up for my first ever half marathon! AHHHHHHH! I am both excited and terrified because I never in a million years thought I would run even a 5k and now I’m signed up to run an extra 10 miles after that. It’s one of my goals for this year and I have plenty of time to train for it. How are your 2018 goals coming?
  • I would tell you that I am struggling with a co-worker at work. In general, this person is kind of creepy and is lacking a lot of social cues. I am trying SO SO hard to be polite and kind, but it’s becoming work. I honestly can’t handle it. Should be noted his creepiness is probably not intentional, and I am trying SO hard to not cause any more drama in a department that has had a rough year. What do you do when you are struggling with a coworker?tenor
  • I would tell you that I am STILL struggling with this whole blogging thing. Life has been stressful and I am definitely letting it get in the way. But I am trying. I have a list of ideas, I just need to sit and actually crank some stuff out (besides this post…but honestly…I love this post). How do you get back into routines?
  • I would tell you how excited I am for the weather to FINALLY be warming up. It hasn’t been a snowy winter here, but it seems that after it melts and warms up we get dumped on all over again. I am really tired of scraping off my car and am in need of more outdoor activities! Are you looking forward to the weather warming up?giphy1
  • I would tell you that I am counting down the days til spring break. My big plans…LIBRARY BOOKS! I plan on spending my days reading because I can’t really afford to go anywhere. I am pretty excited. Do you have any breaks coming up with big plans?
  • I would tell you that I’m off to the theater this weekend! I am so excited to take in my first ever show, and the fact that it’s Les Miserables is even better. Have you been to a show (and which ones if you have)?92ea265ce3eefd3719b31fdf73be921f

That’s all I have for today. Until next tea time all!

emily

If we were having Tea (2)…

20638302_10210095186557818_268576923072112750_nI have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

If we were having tea…

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  • I would tell you that I am still going strong with my chapter of War and Peace a day. I honestly don’t know if I could sit down and knock the whole thing out. I am also working on Little Fires Everywhere, which I am super pumped about. Also listening to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for my classics club. Not sure how I feel about it yet. Are you reading anything right now?
  • I would tell you that I am doing my best to combat seasonal depression. My latest thing…coloring. I have been turning on a show that I have watched a few times and cracked open the coloring book to help me relax. How do you combat seasonal depression?
  • I would tell you that I am struggling with some massive cabin fever. It’s always cold here and I just need the sun to not be a lie (because here if the sun is out it probably means that it feels like -20 outside and the air hurts your face). How do you handle when cabin fever strikes?
  • I would tell you that I am in the process of refocusing my fitness routine. My husband and I are trying to focus at least 3 days a week on lifting, which I am loving. I am also really working on trying to get back into running so that I can accomplish some of my running goals for this year. Do you have a fitness routine?
  • I would tell you that my days are starting to fill up again, but with some pretty awesome things. When I first moved to this area I had nothing and no one besides my husband, and honestly we spent a lot of time just hanging out on our own in our apartment. It’s crazy how when you find a group of friends (or even just one or two more friends) your life becomes busy but in the best way possible. I have hockey games, fun runs, shows, movies, and all kinds of other things to look forward to. Maybe that will help this winter sadness. Maybe. How do you spend your time when you aren’t reading?
  • I would tell you that I am definitely struggling with getting back into the blog life. I love doing this, I really do. But I am definitely struggling with the balance of blogging and real life (because I honestly didn’t have a lot of issue with that when I first started this blog). I want this to be a blog that I am proud of, that we are proud of, but I think the start is making it a little bit more active.
  • I would tell you that I am struggling with my “career” choice. Can you call it a career? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I’m not happy with where I’m at. Definitely struggling to see positives and find my way to something that I want and feel successful at. Things have been stressful at my current job but I have been feeling this way for a long time. Unfortunately I can’t turn off my feelings (my husband’s words) and just stop working there mid-school year. I am definitely riding the struggle bus, but don’t feel I can really give out more details than this. What do you do when you are feeling like you aren’t on the right path in your life?
  • I would tell you that I hate ending these things on a downer. So…let’s talk about how much I still love The Greatest Showman. I went to it again the other day and…SPOILER ALERT…it’s still good! Ok, not much of a spoiler but meh. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MOVIE YET?

emily

Let’s talk about…Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

I must be on a roll this year. I have actually drafted blog posts (that I haven’t actually published yet, but hey…drafted). I have been longing to read (I have just given up on watching whatever my husband is right now as we hunker down to both save money and avoid the cold and have been diving into my current reads). I actually finished a book and…I loved every minute of it.

This book has my heart. It had me laughing, crying, and cheering alongside the characters as they worked to overcome obstacles. It made me feel every single feel. It made me ache and made me excited at the same time. The book…Kids of Appetite by David Arnold.

33516292Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.
This is a story about:
1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

Add to your Goodreads | Buy this book | About the Author

NOTE: I am very nervous that I will not accurately be able to get all of my feelings out coherently. I also worry that my words just won’t be enough to convey how much love I have for this book. So note, I wanted to hug this book over and over again after I finished it. It has moved onto my favorite shelf. I am so excited to be new to the David Arnold fan club.

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The journey begins in a police station as Vic and Mad are giving statements about the murder of Mad’s uncle. Throughout the story we not only listen to the statements that they give, but we go back to the events of the past 8 days and uncover what happens and just who the Kids of Appetite are. I loved the setup of this book. I think it was great that it bounced back and forth so that you would only get a little information about the past before jumping in to the police station. It left you trying to fill in some blanks as far as if these two were guilty, or if their friends were. I felt that these police station scenes really helped set the tone of who Vic and Mad are, and what they are to each other. Though I rolled my eyes a little bit at the way that they talk (I just don’t know a single teenager with that kind of vocabulary), I found myself fully invested in their story and what was going to happen to them.

So…what are some amazing things about this book?

  1. The writing! I absolutely loved the writing. There are so many quotes that had me feeling all of the feels (and sobbing like a baby). I have finally, 16 years after experiencing it myself, found a description of what it feels like to find out a family member has cancer and what it’s like to watch them fight the battle that can end so quickly. Some of my favorite quotes…
  2. I found something I could relate to in each character. Vic lost his father to cancer and is watching his mother move forward from her intense grieving period in life. She is dating and just not who he remembers. I can relate to his struggles as he battles grief and the guilt that not everything is as clear as it once was. Baz and Zuz are refugees, and though I am not a refugee myself I have worked with a handful. Hearing the story of how they came to America in the book really hit me because it’s so much like what some of the students I have worked have gone through to get here. I have felt lost and alone and unsure where to go next, like many of these kids.
  3. I loved watching their relationships grow and deepen. As each character finds out more about the other you can see their relationships change, but for the better. They continue to gain and deeper understanding of each other, and see the things each person has gone through that no one that age should ever see. These terrible events brought them together and created a bond that I haven’t ever really known with anyone. Honestly, this story was about how your friends can become family.
  4. I loved all the characters. I honestly can’t pick a favorite one. Each one broughy their own selves to the story, and their backgrounds helped continue to move the plot along. They started off a bit unsure, and throughout the story they grew and matured. They weren’t perfect. They disagreed, argued, and had to have some space from one another. They made assumptions that they shouldn’t have made. But in the end, they made their relationships with each other the most important part, and there’s something to value in that.

Kids of Appetite was an emotional journey that really reminded me of a more modern take on Mad’s favorite book, The Outsiders. Parents were pretty much nonexistent and they were forced to grow up further than what their ages imply. From start to finish, I was totally hooked. I found myself really caring for the characters, to the point where I would comment on things out loud.

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I am honestly so thankful I found this book and glad that it was my first book of 2018. I cannot wait to read David Arnold’s other book, because if it’s anything like this one…well, then I will need to redo my favorites bookshelf.

emily

If we were having tea…

I have seen this post many times over at Jamie’s page (The Perpetual Page Turner) (I don’t believe she is the original creator of this, but I hope linking back to her page gives credit where credit is due) and have always wanted to give it a shot. I think it’s fun, personable, and a great way to kind of get to know one another. So, with it being a new year I thought why not give it a shot? But there will be a bit of a difference…we won’t be having coffee. Instead I will be having tea.

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If we were having tea…

  • I would tell you that we have to have tea because coffee makes me so sleepy. I know, you are probably giving me that look like I’m crazy but it’s true. Coffee typically makes me super sleepy. Anyone else have this problem?
  • I would tell you that I have a lot of reading going on right now. I am listening to Treasure Island as part of a challenge to read a classic each month. I have finished Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (loved it!) and have moved on to Reign the Earth by AC Gaughen. I am also reading War and Peace. My husband and I are doing a challenge where you read a chapter a day for the entire year (found on reddit). Are you reading anything right now?
  • I would tell you that I saw The Greatest Showman on the 1st and I am OBSESSED! The songs are constantly in my head and that could be because when I am not listening to my audiobook in my car (or while working out) that I am listening to that. I highly encourage you to see it if you haven’t because OH MY GOSH ALL THE FEELS!tumblr_os9fxwinjy1qd4rf5o2_500
  • I would tell you that my seasonal depression is coming in real strong. I know the country has been pretty darn cold lately, but up here…our highs have been from -3 to maybe 8 (and then you add in the windchill which actually makes it feel like -30). Even with the sun shining I have found that my mood stinks and getting out of bed is hard. Thankfully, a warm stretch is just upon us (but followed by more ridiculous cold…). Anyone have any tips for keeping that seasonal depression to a minimum?
  • I would tell you that I have been weirdly focused on fitness lately. Last year I decided enough was enough and I committed to a workout program that had me working out 6 days a week. Now I have to work out anywhere from 4-6 days a week or I am super thrown off. I have taken to weight lifting, yoga, and running, and even plan on trying to tackle a half this year. What do you do to stay moving?
  • I would tell you that I had an excellent winter break. I was able to be home with my entire family for the first time since last Christmas and it was a really good time. My brother just this week went to California for the next few months so I probably won’t be seeing him again until maybe this summer? A good time was had by all.25994492_10211072670274300_6690703015253191571_n
  • I would tell you that I am going to my FIRST EVER SHOW this year. I have adored watching Les Miserables or Chicago as a movie, but this year I am actually able to attend a show in March. I am super excited to get dressed up and bawl my eyes out while watching Les Mis happen right before my eyes.
  • I would tell you that I am getting the itch to get out of this area for some sort of vacation. It’s cold. There’s not a lot happening right now. I need warmth and sunshine. I am tired of the upper midwest (even though I love being from the midwest). Anyone have any travel plans for the winter?

Hope that you are all having a wonderful January. Hope that you are embracing winter, or at least diving into a really great book.

emily

 

 

Hello 2018

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Hi everyone! Yes. I still do this. I am still alive and still making doing my best to get through it all, but man…has this year been a weird one. 2017 is ending, and honestly…not that sad. There were a few good things that did happen, but I have definitely struggled on so many levels.

The year has ended with a stream of “not for me” books. I kept to my genres, I thought. I kept to my strong suits, I thought. And though the books weren’t at all bad, they just were falling flat for me.

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And then I picked up the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and fell in love. I fell in love with the characters, the island…everything. It shocked me that after a string of bad book that books written in letter form was what got me back in my groove. It wasn’t fantasy, which has always been my go to. It was historical fiction. It wasn’t young adult, which I seemed to stick in a lot over the past few years. It was adult. What. Was. Happening.

Then I thought back to the past year – heck, the past few months- and thought about what books have really been sticking with me. The Names They Gave Us. The Nightingale. The Alice Network. With Malice. All of these books had branched out of my “comfort zone.” I was starting to really read in a wide variety of genres. This is something that I have obviously not been paying attention to.

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I kept trying to return to what I thought was my reading home, but my reading home has been evolving and changing.

Now, with this in mind, I am ready to tackle some reading goals for 2018.

Obviously I still love fantasy, but I think I may be a little more picky. I think it may be the same with YA books. I have a list of ones that I am dying to try, but it’s not what it once was. I am adding in classics. I am adding in Adult fiction. I am adding in books that a year or two ago I probably wouldn’t have really thought too hard about.

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I am still a mood reader, so making a firm TBR is not really something I can do. But I am going to try to read more of what my mind wants and not try to overthink it. So…what am I going to do in 2018…

  • Slow down on the netgalley requests. I have a few eArcs to read that I am excited for, but after that I am taking a break so that I can kind feel of out where I’m at.
  • Read a classic a month. Some lovely ladies and I have come up with some choices so that we can read them together. Not all classics work for everyone, so it will be so awesome to have others to help me power through if I am feeling it’s not 100% for me (because I still want to read them and feel that I can learn more from them).
  • Have my husband make a few selection. I don’t think he ever reads these posts so maybe he will never see this (haha I am sure this is the one he will read). Whenever he has made a selection for me it has been a bit out of what I would typically select, but not so far as to be something that he knows I would absolutely hate. He knows me better than anyone, even better than myself. I think having him select a few for me to read this year would be fun.
  • MORE READALONGS! I would love to do more readalongs with you guys. So here’s to hoping that Arika and I can get some ideas going. Reading is always so fun in groups.
  • Read for fun. Don’t overthink it, just grab the book and go. I seriously debated Guernsey for so long. I picked it up and then put it down more times than I can count, and I really regret that. I put off a book that has become pretty near and dear to my heart. It could have changed my reading habits for the better these past few months. But you live and learn.

2017 was a year of pretty great reading. I didn’t read anything that I found to be absolutely terrible (though there were some things I disliked). I enjoyed most things and could always find some positives in all the negatives. I am not unhappy with how it went at all. But 2018…2018 is going to be a great year of reading.

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emily