Throwback Thursday: Tunes on Repeat

Throwback Thursday

Welcome back to another Throwback Thursday. If you remember, a couple weeks ago we said that this is something we would do a few times throughout the month. Two weeks ago we talked about some of our favorite fantasy books from our childhood (and excluded Harry Potter because that’s just a no brainer). Today we are throwing it back to some of the music that we could not stop playing. The music that made our moms yell at us to turn it down and then continually share with the world how obnoxious our music was (PS we love our moms!).

So, what cd do we remember playing constantly until everyone in the house was sick of it?

Emily

Oh gosh, what do I even pick? Well…as a middle schooler I went through a lot of changes. I know most middle schoolers go through changes, but not all also have their dad die. So yea, I had a lot going on. After my dad passed I started to get a little “emo,” if you can call it that really. I started listening to stuff that I thought was super dark and songs that I felt just really got me. I loved my pop music, but it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I think this was the beginning of my journey into the pop punk and emo genre. It all began with…Good Charlotte.

 

I was 100% obsessed with these albums, but once they hit album number 4 I had decided they sold out. Yep, I was that kid. I decided that they got me and that I was doing better because I had their music. My mom hated them. My sister loved them (which is good because we shared a bedroom at the time). We got to go to a concert when I was in 10th grade and I thought it was the best thing ever. So yea. Here are a few songs just to make you smile. Because I bet you wanted to listen to Good Charlotte today.

Arika

So I have been debating all day on what cd/artist I was going to pick. Would I go with a boy band that tore up my heart (*wink wink did you see what I did there) or would I pick some good 90’s country artist. Well I decided neither of those and went with a classic group who most people love and I am so glad that my parents made me listen to their music…the amazing Queen.

So many good memories listening to Queen on road-trips with my family. Asking my parents to play the “thunder bolts and lightening” song, which was what we called Bohemian Rhapsody or singing along to We Are the Champions when our sports team won a big game! I am so glad my parents shared all their great music that they grew up to with us as kids. There music is so unique and has so much power behind it. They were on a whole different level and there will never be another artist like Freddy Mercury. Ever. So to make your day a little better, here is a few songs to jam out to on your fabulous Thursday:

Question: What are some cds or artists that you couldn’t stop playing?

 

Words We Read (3)

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.

This week I am sharing a quote from a book series that I absolutely devoured. I was very into dystopian type of books, and the Legend series by Marie Lu really hit me at that time of my life. I loved the action, the intensity, and the characters. The relationships that develop between the main characters and the drama that is happening all around them…this made it an absolute page turner for me. I binge so few series, and this was on that I dove into and didn’t leave until I was done.

Today’s quote is one that has hit me a lot lately. The past few weeks have been pretty miserable for me. I have really struggled mentally and felt like I was dragging everyone else down. I had found myself stuck in a vicious cycle of negative thinking and I couldn’t get out. This quote reminded me that I can. That each day is a fresh start and with each fresh start comes the opportunity to try again.

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.

Legend by Marie Lu

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QUESTION: What is one of your favorite quotes from a dystopian book?

emily

Make Me (Emily) Read It!

Hey everyone! I have been struggling in my reading life as of late. Not really sure what is going on, but I just can’t seem to sit and focus on my reading. I absolutely love the books that I have read this summer, so you can see why I am so confused.

Thankfully this really cool readathon was brought to my attention. The Make Me Read It Readathon is hosted by Val at The Innocent Smiley and Ely at Tea & Titles. This is my first time participating in it, but their 3rd year of doing it. I am super excited for this.

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Basically, for the week of August 6th-August 13th I will read the books that YOU choose for me. In my poll I have 5 listed and am HOPING to read the top 2, but will continue on to the rest if I find I am flying through these books. It was tough to decide what to put in this poll, because there are so many books that I am dying to read. But with me being unable to decide this is the perfect challenge to join. I picked a random 5 books from my TBR that I own and am leaving them in the poll below for you to pick.

My poll closes the day before the readathon starts, so vote away my friends! Thanks for your help. I am super excited about this!

emily

Words We Read (2)

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.

This week I am sharing a quote from a book written by a favorite actress of mine, Lauren Graham. I absolutely loved her in Gilmore Girls and I have tried my hardest to follow her throughout her career elsewhere. I read her debut novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe, and really enjoyed it. Her nonfiction, Talking As Fast As I Can, really hit me.

Throughout the book she shared the ups and downs of life, the struggles of trying to make it and failing every now and then. In this book she became a real person to me, and someone that I kind of found I could relate to. It was amazing to listen to her talk about what it was like to film the reboot, and I think that gave me a whole new perspective on it and what it meant to everyone who was a part of it.

While reading, well actually listening, to this book there was one quote in particular that stuck me. To this day it is something I think about as I deal with various things in my life.

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QUESTION: What are some of your favorite quotes from a memoir?

emily

Let’s Talk About…The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

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When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with al

 

l the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

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

Initial reaction upon finishing:

Wow. I really am not even sure where to start this. Originally I wasn’t going to post anything, but this book hit me so close to home that I really can’t help but share. I closed this books with tears in my eyes, tears that found another book that I could relate to so much. Throughout this story you follow Lucy as she is trying to navigate her life after finding out her mom was diagnosed with cancer for a 2nd time. To have your world rocked a 2nd time…that would be tough. The 1st time is hard enough as is, but to know the possibilities of everything all over again is something I cannot even comprehend.

Now…I will try to put into words a few of the things that I absolutely loved about this book.

  1. I could relate to this book so much. My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13, and the feelings and emotions that Lucy has in this book are exactly what I have had. I felt betrayed just like Lucy. I questioned God and why in the world He stopped listening to my prayers. My relationships with people changed and my outlook on life changed. If you haven’t been through this experience I would highly suggest this book for that reason alone. The topic of faith and religion wasn’t over the top, and though I am a religious person myself I don’t think that it was at all in your face. On top of that, the depiction of someone fighting with cancer seemed real to me. There were no ribbons, no walks, but sickness. Because people with cancer are sick. They lose their hair and lose weight. They throw up because chemo makes them sick and foods just stop tasting good. Though this book doesn’t go into the nitty gritty, it does give you that image of things not being perfect. This book got real in those areas and I think that was really important.
  2. There were some awesome characters. I related to Lucy so much in so many ways, as I have already said. But Lucy is so much more than her grief and her situation. Throughout the book we see Lucy grow, discover, and learn so much about her life and the world around. She becomes a strong individual, ready to tackle any of life problems. This growth is definitely in thanks to her friends that she makes at Daybreak. All of these characters felt real to me. They broke down and took breaks. They were sarcastic but also serious. They were there for each other no matter what happened. Each one has a complex background filled with challenges they had to overcome, but none of that seemed forced. Everything flowed and their relationships really worked so well together. I just adored this group and I want to be a part of it.
  3. Emery Lord just has a way with words. Within the first few pages I was sucked in. The words flowed and they hit me. They hit me in so many ways that I found myself diving in for more. A few of my favorite quotes…

    “Here’s what I am learning: Sometimes, the bg changes seem to happen in small, fast moments. A diagnosis. A breakup. A crush. But usually, there was something there – underlying, building up – all along.”

    Hasn’t Daybreak shown me, day after day, that people can outlast unbelieveable pain? That human hearts are like noble little ants, able to carry so much more weight that you’d expect.”

    “It is not the type of love that ends.”

In the end, this book was everything I wanted and an excellent reminder of why I love Emery Lord’s books. I felt like this book was written directly for me. It gave me so many things to think about and almost gave me a little bit of closure on old wounds that have been there for a long time.

I think everyone needs to read this book. It will give you an account of grief that you can’t find in a lot of places. It will give you something real, raw, and something that I went through (as well as many others). Definitely pick up this book.

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite contemporaries?

emily

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2017 So Far

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy Tuesday! It’s the last Tuesday of June which is nuts! Hope everyone has been having an amazing summer so far.

As we close out the month of June we are taking some time to look back at what we have read this year. There’s been some great books and some bummers, but really…it’s been a great reading year over at Midwestern Book Nerd. Lots of very enjoyable books which MIGHT make it tricky to keep it at 10, but we will try our best. Can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!

Here are our top 10 books of 2017 so far.

Arika

A Court of Wings and Ruins by Sarah J. Maas | Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Emily

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | The Union by S Usher Evans | Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson | Geekerella by Ashley Poston | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

QUESTION: What are some of the best books that you have read this year? Any crazy exciting ones in the future?

*sidenote*

Who is joining us for #mdwstreadalong as we reread Harry Potter? Let us know if you are joining us and where you are at! Isn’t it fun to be back in our favorite world again?

Words We Read

Words

Isn’t it funny how books can touch us in the deepest and most meaningful way!? Obviously there is a reason that authors do what they do, and it’s just so fascinating that they can take ordinary words and put them into the context that makes us feel emotions, that makes us cry. We are always in awe of the talent levels of authors. Even the authors that are more “mediocre” have more talent than we could ever dream. It’s amazing what authors do, and we are in awe of your work (whether it’s a book for us or not).

Book quotes are some of our favorite things, ones that we tend to forget to share. They remind of the story we read, of the journey we are on in our lives, and the feelings that we have had (or are having) in our lives. These are the quotes that we write down wherever we can, that we put up all over the internet, that we share with so many people because they are on a journey too…and maybe these words can help.

So today, and randomly throughout the months, we will be sharing some words that we have read that have hit us. For our first post we have a very special theme for you.

For the 20th birthday of the Harry Potter books, we have decided to pick a book from the Harry Potter series to share with you! If you are among the mass of Harry Potter nerds (just like us) then you know that it is SO hard to pick a quote. JK Rowling just has such a way with words, and we could probably pick multiple quotes from each book. But here are some of the quotes that have stuck with us…

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. ”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape.

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

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ANNOUNCEMENT! There is more than one reason that we are sharing Harry Potter quotes today. Not only are we celebrating 20 years of the series that drove us further into reading, but we are also planning on…A HARRY POTTER REREAD!

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That’s right! Starting this Monday (June 26th) we will be opening up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (for the first time in AGES) so that we can once again get lost in that world. Let us know if you want to join us (comment or email) and we can set something more formal up. But that means you should probably be looking for more Harry Potter on the blog in the future.

NOTE: We will be using the hashtag #mdwstreadalong on twitter and instagram if you want to keep up to date with what we are doing. We are pretty pumped for this.

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite Harry Potter quotes?

Words I Needed to Hear (8)

This is something I have started doing randomly on my blog, finding quotes that kind of hit me and sharing because I think someone else may need it it. More information and past posts can be found here.

Wow. It’s been awhile since I have really dug into this feature. Life had gotten pretty busy and honestly..this is the first week in awhile that I have no big plans and can finally relax and recover. I am hoping to really dive back into this feature, because I think it has a lot of value including being a bit therapeutic for myself as I discuss just why these particular words have hit me.

Today, we get a little background before I share what I stumbled upon. Years ago, many many years ago, I was pretty crushed by someone I had thought was a friend. I won’t give names, I won’t give a lot of details (because years later I still worry that people would judge me and my reactions and what I did because of it). To sum it up vaguely…this person worked pretty hard to earn my trust. We became fairly good friends (I had thought) even though many people shook their head. Even though deep down in my gut I was not sold on it and not 100% comfortable. Well this person worked hard to earn this trust and then took advantage of a particularly weak moment, a not so fabulous moment on my part. And then…they never said a word about it. I actually found out from a different friend of mine at the time, and I was hurt. Oh I was so hurt. I honestly can’t even describe how I felt without really getting into the nitty gritty. Betrayal. I think that’s the most accurate word. I couldn’t trust this person. I started feeling like I couldn’t really trust anyone. Eventually I gathered up the courage to confront this person (confrontation is not my thing) and they denied everything and told me everyone else was lying to me to make a dramatic situation out of nothing. So yes, ties have been cut with this person and I have never looked back. Am I bitter and angry today? Not really. I mean it sucked, but I have moved on and forgiven that person as best as I can.

However, I realize that this situation has started playing in my mind a lot lately. The warning signs I should have seen, how I should have acted before it became an issue, etc. My mind is kind of going crazy and it’s definitely changing how I view my relationships now. And the sad thing is, there is NO similar situation right now. I trust myself, especially after all of that. I trust the people I am around, and it has taken awhile to even get that trust going. So why? Why is this suddenly playing in my mind over and over again? It’s silly, but now I think I have never fully gotten over the emotions and the hurt. I may have forgiven all parties involved. I may have said I moved on and would be perfectly civil and polite if we were to run into each other, but the feelings have really rocked me (and this was YEARS ago).

So what words have really hit me today? What words have given me a reminder that I am more than this and that this does not define my life and my current relationships?

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I am not going to let this situation take over my life. I am not going to give this awful memory the power to make it so that I don’t try, so that I don’t trust, and so that I don’t move forward and create deeper friendships. I will not let this take over my life as it’s threatening to do. If anything this situation made me stronger. It made me stand up for myself instead of letting myself get walked all over, which is typical of me. It made me take control of a situation and end those relationships that were clearly toxic. It made me value those I could trust so much more. I hate that I had to go through this to come to these realizations, but I am so glad that I can bring some positives out of this.

I can’t imagine I am the only one in the world that needs these words today. Whatever your situation, whatever memories are haunting you…just remember that they don’t define your future. Use them, learn from them, grow from them. We are all so much stronger than we know.

What are some words that have really hit you lately?

emily

Top Ten Tuesday: We’ve Been Meaning to Read That…

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Welcome back for another Top Ten Tuesday! We got to admit, our Tuesdays just are not the same without making a list of 10 books or bookish things (yes, Emily was a little sad to miss out last week but at the same time it was necessary…). On this particular Tuesday, the 3rd of June (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?) we are listing 10 series that we have been meaning to start but just haven’t gotten around to yet. These can be books we have owned for forever, books that have been our lists forever, etc. So, here are some series that we have been meaning to dive in to but just haven’t yet (due to not owning them, not having all the books in the series, the book series not being completely finished, or because we have book ADD).

Emily:

Red Rising (Red Rising series) by Pierce Brown | Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles) by Melina Marchetta | Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms series) by Morgan Rhodes | Spells & Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan series) by S. Usher Evans | Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone series) by Julie Eshbaugh | A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird series) by Claudia Gray | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer series) by Michelle Hodkin | The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game series) by Evelyn Skye | Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone series) by Laini Taylor | Incarnate (Newsoul series) by Jodi Meadows

Arika:

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen | The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski | A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab | A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica CluessTrial by Fire (Worldwalker #1) by Josephine Angelini | Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) by Tamora Pierce | Defiance (Defiance #1) by C.J. Redwine | The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye | Air Awakens (Air Awakens #1) by Elise Kova | Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff

QUESTION: Which series should we prioritize? And what are some series that you have been meaning to read but just haven’t yet?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’ve Recently Added

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy First Tuesday of June!! Can you believe we are finally in those summer months!? We hope you all have some awesome summer plans, even if they are as simple as relaxing with a book (something more people really need to do).

This week for Top Ten Tuesday we are talking about books we recently added to our TBRs. The actual prompt asks for a particular genre, but in actuality…we are mood readers, and this moodiness seems to transfer into when we add books to our list. We add books of ANY genre whenever they seem to sound good. Sometimes we go through particular genres, but most the time it’s at random and whatever we hear may be good. So instead of focusing on 1 genre, we are just picking what’s new on our lists (note, there may be genre trends. This is unintentional).

So…here are some books we have recently added to our TBR!

Arika:

The Fairytale’s Daughter by Carolyn Swanson | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | The Alice Network by Kate Quinn | Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | Vicious by V.E. Schwab | Murder In Thrall by Anne Cleeland | Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao | The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg | 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Emily:

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen | We Were Strangers Once by Betsy Carter | The Address by Fiona Davis | Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate | Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller | With Malice by Eileen Cook | Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski | Cage of Deciet by Jennifer Anne Davis | A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck | House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

QUESTION: What books have you recently added to your TBR?