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Showing posts from 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Goals for 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2015. These can be bookish, blog related, or anything else. Here's my list!!

1.  Read 90 books. This year, my goal was 70. I finished with 86. So clearly I beat my goal! Upping it a little bit more to 90 books for 2015.

2. Participate in as many reading challenges as possible. The main reason for this is that it's a fun way to connect with other bloggers! I met some super awesome people from participating in reading challenges in 2014, and I look forward to more fun in 2015!

3. Continue blogging! Goal is to post 2-3 times a week. I started my blog March 31, 2014 and am super excited to start my second year of consistent writing and blogging.

4. Write more. One of my life goals is to write a book. You can't write a book if you don't regularly write!

5. Participate in the A-Z blog challenge in April.  This will help me with Goal #4. Need to start think…

It's Monday! What are you reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

I had all last week off from work, but unfortunately didn't get as much reading done as I would've liked! Lots of family obligations and Christmas activities. I did manage to get halfway through the current book I'm reading (and it's a long one) so I am happy with that progress! My books "On Deck" I'm saving for the Bout of Books next week!

Recently Finished: (see my review here)
Currently Reading: On Deck:

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Brining This Year!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Brining This Year. What a fun theme! Here we go!

1. Anything and everything by Colleen Hoover.... she is amazing!

2. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

5. A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

6. Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner

7. The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms

8. Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

9.  Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Ann Mah

10. Any Rainbow Rowell book (except Landline, which I already have)

What books would you like Santa to bring you this year?

Happy Reading!

Review: Me Before You

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Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
369 pages, published December 2012
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: purchased for my Kindle

From GoodReads:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.  What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


My Review: 

I was excited to read this book because I'd heard so many good things about it! This was my first time reading one of Jojo Moyes…

Review: The French for Christmas

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Title: The French for Christmas
Author: Fiona Valpy
304 pages, published October 2014
Genre: Holiday, Women's Fiction

I received this ebook from Netgalley. This is my honest review.

From GoodReads:
Evie used to LOVE Christmas, but this year she can’t wait for the tinsel and presents to be a distant memory.

When her best friends offer the use of their cottage in the beautiful French countryside, Evie jumps at the chance. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband, celebrity chef Will Brooke, plastered over the news with his latest ‘love interest’, leaving the country seems like the perfect plan.

Armed with her French grandmother’s tattered notebook of recipes, Evie is determined to ignore Christmas altogether and bake herself back to happiness.

And when Evie meets her next-door neighbour – the très gorgeous doctor Didier she finds a very willing taste-tester. But is it possible that he could be interested in more than just her Tarte Tatin?

With snow falling, a special Réveillon dinner a…

Bout of Books 12 Sign Up!!

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I'm so excited to be participating in Bout of Books 12, my third Bout of Books experience!! I had a fantastic time with Bout of Books 10 and 11, and can't wait for the fun that Bout of Books 12 will bring!! Here's some information about Bout of Books 12 from the official site:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I will set my goals for Bout of Books when the event gets closer. My main goal is to …

Review: The Boston Girl

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Title: The Boston Girl
Author: Anita Diamant
256 pages, published December 9, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction

I received this ebook from Netgalley. This is my honest review.

From GoodReads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable coming-of-age novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.

Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine - a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.

Eighty-five-year-old …

Top Ten New To Me Authors in 2014

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten New to Me Authors in 2014. I'm really excited about this topic because I've discovered some great new authors in 2014!

1. J.K. Rowling : I know, it's so sad that I've just now discovered the wonderfulness of Harry Potter just this year.  But on the upside: I LOVED the series. It was a fantastic summer reading project!

2. Colleen Hoover: one of my FAVORITE new authors!! I read Maybe, Someday and Ugly Love this year and fell in love with both books. I cannot wait for future CoHo reads!!

3. Sarah Jio: another one of my new favorites!! Her books are so creative and interesting, and I love that the ones I've read (Goodnight June, Blackberry Winter, and The Look of Love) have all bet set in Seattle!

4. Rainbow Rowell: I read all four of her books this year, and my favorite is definitely Eleanor and Park. RR is absolutely brilliant. Along with CoHo and Jio, RR has made my &…

Review: The Look of Love

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Title: The Look of Love
Author: Sarah Jio
320 pages, published November 2014
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Purchased for myself

From GoodReads:

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

My Review:

I've read several of Jio's books this year, and she's become one of my favorite authors. I preordered this book and was excited to receive it in the mail the day it came out.  What I loved about this book was how creative the plot was. However farfetched the concept of your …

Books: Never Leave Home Without Them

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In yesterday's blog post, I discussed my work with the This I Believe project. As promised, here is my own This I Believe essay, entitled, "Books: Never Leave Home Without Them."


Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with books.I was fortunate to have parents who read to me on a regular basis. Bedtime each night meant reading a chapter or two from the current book Mom and I were reading together—the Little House on the Prairie series and the Anne of Green Gables series were some of my favorites. One of my favorite stories my mom has told me about my childhood was how even as a toddler I was enthralled by books—after unwrapping one at Christmas I would immediately sit down to read and ignore any and all other presents from that moment on.
Our weekly library day at school was my absolute favorite day of the week, and one of my favorite events of the year was the Battle of the Books—a team trivia competition based off of a selection of children’s and young adult …

This I Believe: In the Classroom

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For the last six years, I've been teaching a First Year Experience course at the university where I work.  In class we address topics such as time management, study skills, and campus resources. Each year, we also do a project, and this years' project is one of my favorites so far.  The project is based off the book and NPR series, "This I Believe."

From Goodreads:

Based on the National Public Radio series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty essayists--from the famous to the unknown--completing the thought that begins the book's title. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring a well-known list of contributors--including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike--the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk from R…

Review: He's So Fine

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Title: He's So Fine
Author: Jill Shalvis
368 pages, published September 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: purchased for my Kindle

From GoodReads:

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?


My Review…

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List! Even though it's not winter yet.  The first few are new releases, the rest are ones I'm wanting to read but are already available.

The New Releases:

1. The Look of Love by Sarah Jio. Release date TODAY. I preordered it and it will be in my mailbox when I get home!!!

2. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen: Release date: January 20, 2015. Love the cover on this one!!!

3. Saving Grace by Jane Green: Release date: December 30, 2014. I love her books!

4. Confess by Colleen Hoover: Release date: march 10, 2015. It's Colleen Hoover. Need I say more?

5. Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner: Release date: December 23, 2014. I loved Rayner's book One Moment, One Morning so I'm super excited for this one!

The Already Released:

6. One in a Million by Jill Shalvis. This is book 12 in the Lucky Harbor series.

7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriatrty. Be…

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts: November 20

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This is a weekly event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

1. I'll admit it: I have a book hangover. Ever since finishing Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Steaphanie Perkins, nothing is quite measuring up. I'm currently reading two books, The Search by Nora Roberts and He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis, both of which I am liking, but neither of which I'm loving the way I loved Ugly Love and Isla.  I'm hoping reading Sarah Jio's new one, The Look of Love (which I pre ordered) next weekend will pull me out of it!

2. A week from today is Thanksgiving!!! My absolute favorite holiday of the year. It angers me that everyone seems to skip over Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas (and by everyone I mean retailers, not individual people).  The hubby and I will be going over to my mom's for the day and I am super excited to help her cook for it Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning :)

3. Peyton is now five and a half months old and a…

Waiting on Wednesday: The Look of Love

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  The event spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am excited for the release of:
The Look of Love  By Sarah Jio Release Date: November 25, 2014 305 pages Genre: Contemporary Fiction
From Good Reads:
Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.
I've read two books by Sarah Jio, Goodnight June and Blackberry Winter, and absolutely loved them both! I was sad that I didn't get approve…

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

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Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
352 pages, published August 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Library

From Good Reads:

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

My Review:

What a fantastic finale to the series! Yet another fantastic book from Stephanie Perkins. I loved that this one was once again set in Paris! What I really loved about this book (and the whole series, really) is how realistic the relationship between Isla and Josh is. It's not farfetched, it's not fake, and the character's feelings are legitima…

My First Birchbox!

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I know this isn't book related, but I'm so excited about this I have to share! I recently started a subscription to Birchbox. I first heard about Birchbox awhile back from a blog I absolutely love, The Small Things Blog. Kate has been a longtime subscriber and always posts about each month's box of beauty treats! As a subscriber, each month you get 5 samples of high end beauty products tailored for your likes based off your beauty profile. You can try out the samples, and buy full size versions if you like them! I've been debating subscribing for a few months now, and finally decided it was time to treat myself each month. The women's subscription is $10 a month, and after receiving this first box, it is completely worth it!


 It was hard to pick a favorite, but after using the samples for a few days my favorite is definitely  the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Linen (top left in picture). I like wearing makeup but I prefer a more natural look and this product was pe…

Review: Ugly Love

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Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
337 pages, published August 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance, Contemporary
Source: Library

From Good Reads:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.


My Review:

It's official. Colleen Hoover I my new favorite author!! A book about a gorgeous pilot who lives next do…

Scenic Sundays: Lunch with a View

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Scenic Sundays is a weekly meme hosted by Terri at Second Run Reviews
.  The goal of the meme is to share a photograph (that you took yourself) and one quote to go with it.

I work in university admissions, and last  Monday I was lucky enough to travel to visit a high school on the Oregon Coast!  This meant I got to have lunch with my coworkers at Mo's, a hugely popular Oregon Coast chain of restaurants famous for their clam chowder.  The Siletz Bay was my lunch view for the day and I was pretty happy about it! Also had some yummy clam chowder (of course). Here's a photo of my lunch view:
 "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." --Jacques Cousteau So true, so true!
Have a great week!