2019: Weeks 1-4 Reading Roundup

So… long time no blog, huh? That was a bit unforeseen. At some point, I just kind of got overwhelmed with review writing and blogging. That feeling still hasn’t gone away but I do genuinely love blogging so I thought I would ease my self back into things by doing weekly reading updates. I think that’s something I can handle right now. Now let’s take a peek at my reading so far.

WEEK 1 (Sunday December 30 2018 – Saturday January 5 2019)
Books Read: 4

  • The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson 

An ARC I won through a BookishFirst raffle. [RTC]

  • Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Peptalks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrated by Jonny Sun

Great little book best consumed in small doses. [4*]

  • Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics by Alicia Keys

​Unmemorable. [2*]

  • Little Men (Little Women #2) by Louisa May Alcott

​We meet the young boys that Jo and Professor Bhaer welcome into their new school. [3*]

WEEK 2 (Sunday January 6 – Saturday January 12)
Books Read: 1

  • Jo’s Boys (Little Women #3) by Louisa May Alcott


The conclusion to the March family history. This particular book focuses more on the grown up lives of the little boys we meet in Little Men. [3*]


WEEK 3 (Sunday January 13 – Saturday January 19)

Books Read: 1

  • Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel adapted by Hope Larson

​Doesn’t quite capture the magic of the original. [2.5*]



WEEK 4 (Sunday January 20 – Saturday January 26)

Books Read: 3

  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult

​While it does justice to the heavy topics it covers (mental illness, suicide, teen pregnancy, etc.) I was annoyed half the time I was reading. [2*]

  • El Principito/The Little Prince (bilingüe) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

​First time reading it in spanish. Just as magical and lovely. [5*]

  • Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

​An incredible read about women/WOC breaking barriers while working for NACA/NASA. [5*]


TOTAL BOOKS READ THUS FAR:
9


CURRENTLY READING:
3

  • American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

[My current audiobook. Started listening to it January 22nd, and am about 70% through it.]

  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

[Started reading this January 2nd. As of writing this post, I am about 62% done!]

  • The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America’s 100 Best-Loved Novels by Jessica Allen

[Started going through this book December 29, 2018. Had to set it aside for a while because the terrible editing job put me off. Eventually picked it up once again. As of writing this post, I have read up to book #70.] 

UPCOMING READ: 1

  • Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen

[I won an ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway!]

Well, that’s it. That about covers all the reading I’ve been doing. For now, the plan is to do one of these posts every Sunday. I’m a little more active on Goodreads lately so you can add me there! 🙂


HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE!
😀

Book Haul #5: November Edition

Apparently I am a liar with no self-control. Last month I said I was on a book buying ban. Bahahahaha. All lies. Because look at the size of this book haul. Double last month’s! I have failed miserably. My restraint has gone out the window. Sigh. 

ON THE LEFT:

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
BFF and I saw the movie on Netflix. Cried our eyes out. So of course as soon as I saw the book I knew I had to buy it. Gotta get the tissues ready…

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of my favorite books. I first read it when I was fresh out of University and I fell in love with it. But for some reason I never bought myself a copy. Until now 😀

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Ah, this book. It’s one of the loveliest books I’ve ever read. And the movie is just as good. I think I’m going to gift it to my niece when she’s a bit older. For now, it stays with me.

The Secret in the Old Lace (Nancy Drew #59)

The book that broke my book buying ban haha. It was Thursday and I had already scheduled the Friday Nancy Drew post for the week. So I quickly went home and read it. Wrote a review and fixed the next day’s post. #noregrets

Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. It’s the year of Steinbeck. I probably won’t get to it this year. But I can’t wait until I do.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Um, does this need an explanation? One of the best books I’ve read.
 

BOTTOM TO TOP:
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Okay, so when I bought this book I hadn’t read it. But I actually recently finished it. I really liked it. A review will appear around here at some point.
 

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

I love this book. I read it a few years ago but I constantly think about it. The writing is simply so beautiful. And the story is a bit heart-wrenching. Would also recommend the movie.
 

The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones #2) by Helen Fielding

BFF and I constantly sing “All By Myself” to each other because of the Bridget Jones movie haha. We both have the first book (still unread). Now I have the second. I’ll get to these eventually. Maybe when I get the rest of the books in the series. There are more, right?

The Girl You Left Behind (#1) by Jojo Moyes

I read and loved
Me Before You. I refuse to read the rest of those books though. But I do want to read more of what Jojo Moyes has written. 

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I’ve seen everyone around the blogosphere rave about this book. And I’m intrigued by the premise. I really want to read it in the original though…

The Clue of the Black Keys (Nancy Drew #28)

Ahhh one of my favorite Nancy Drew’s!! This is the one with the young professor. Swoon. Shout-out to my BFF for spotting it when we were at the library bookstore!

 

ON THE RIGHT: 
Saving Private Ryan by Max Allan Collins

A novelization of the film of the same name. One of the best war films tbh. I cry everytime I watch it. Have to mentally prepare for this one. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Another one of my favorite books. And yes, I already own a signed copy. But it seems I’ve become one of those people that collects multiple editions of their favorite book. Oh well. 

 
I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

I’ve watched the cheesy movie plenty of times. Most recently this past summer lol. This book was free so I’m willing to give it a try. 

Three Junes by Julia Glass

I have zero clue what this book is about. BFF read the synopsis and liked it. There were 2 copies so we each got one. We’re planning to read it together
🙂

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Thanks to BFF I have a Nicholas Sparks collection going. So far I’ve only read one :/ Next year, next year.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

I have yet to read anything by Lahiri. But the synopsis of this book caught my attention. Can’t wait to read it!

Phew! So many books. 2019 goal: read the books I own!!!! Anyway, I am officially out of room. I have to donate a lot of books before I can buy more for myself… If there’s a December book haul then that means I’ve managed to donate some. And I say manage, because parting with books hurts. Even the ones I didn’t particularly like. But it is the season of giving… hm, wish me luck!

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

Tag: 13 Reasons Why I Keep Going

This tag is personal to me. 4 years ago, almost to the day, is when I was hospitalized. I’ve talked a bit about it before so I won’t do it now. But since 2014, I’ve gotten treatment and everyday I’m thankful to be here in this wonderful world. 

THE RULES:

  • Mention the person who nominated you
  • List 13 Reasons Why you keep going
  • Nominate 10 people
  • Display the picture

So, here are just a handful of the reasons that keep me grounded. In no particular order: 

1. Family


My niece and my brother. My brother was my Christmas gift many moons ago. I begged my mom for a baby brother and he was born days before Christmas ❤ My niece is mini-me. She’s a reader and for her upcoming birthday I’m planning to get her her first Nancy Drew books 😉

2. Rain


I love the smell of rain. Or wet dirt haha. It’s soothing. 

3. Friends


Specifically, my person ❤ We balance each other out. She’s the Meredith to my Yang. I will forever be grateful to her for not only putting up with my moods but for letting me practice my mothering skills with her children lol

4. An NSYNC reunion

I will be a thousand years old and still waiting for a reunion tour haha. JT give the people what they want!!

5. Travel

There are still many countries I would like to visit. The motherland is #1 on that list. 

6. My Princess


Memorial Day 2014, we got my dog. Her original family gave her away (to my mom’s friend) once she got “old” and was unable to have anymore healthy puppies. My mom’s friend already had too many pets so they gave her to us. When we brought her home, my dog was depressed. She wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t drink, she wouldn’t move. She stayed in her bed for days. At the time, I was struggling as well. But I made an effort to help her. Months later, she helped me. Now, we’re both happy and healthy together ❤

7. Books

​​​
This is my physical TBR. Not to mention, there are tons of unread books on my Kindle as well. So many books out in the world still waiting for me to read them. 

8. Moments like this with the little ones

My Godbaby’s first trip to the zoo and she was excited to see the giraffes. When it was her turn to feed Philip, his tongue brushed against her fingers and amidst giggles she exclaimed “he lick me!”. Now, if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, then IDK what will. 

9. Sunsets

Not only are they gorgeous, but it means nighttime is near which is comforting. I’m a night owl. 

10. Ziplining 

I don’t want to pee on a bunch of people lol! But ziplining is at the top of my bucket list. Specifically through a jungle or forest or something. I want to pull a Jane and fly through the trees. 

11. Baseball


Love baseball. Funny thing is, I’m not a Dodger’s fan lmao. I’m an AL girl. I would love to see my little Angels win another World Series!

 

12. Adventure

I’ve had some of the best times going on road trips with my friends. There are many more adventures I plan to go on. 

13. Beauty in the world

This is where the deep-buried, semi-religious upbringing I had appears. All I could think when I snapped this picture (besides “omg how amazing”) is “it’s a double promise”. Anyway, there are a lot of beautiful sights, sounds and smells that fill me with unexpected hope. It’s the little things. 

Thank you Sophia Ismaa and Crystal Girl for tagging me! 

This has been one cathartic trip haha. And kind of nostalgic. Had to dig through the archives for some of these pictures.

And in honor of National Dog Day (!!), here’s another picture of my furbaby! 😀

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 🙂

The Sunshine Blogger Award #2

 THANK YOU  Booklook for nominating me 😀 !!! And I’m sorry for taking so long in getting to it lol

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog

BOOKLOOK’S QUESTIONS FOR ME: 

1. Define yourself.

An overly ambitious and completely  introverted bookworm 😉

2. What is your greatest fear?

Failure!! Oh, and clowns. Stupid clowns. 

3. What are your strength and weaknesses?

Strength: Patience. Weakness: Pride. Definitely, pride. 

4. If, only for once, time travel is possible, what would you like to do?

​I’d go back in time and catch a Beatles concert! 😀

5. What keeps you going and positive in hard times?

A lot of things. Is it weird if I say therapy? Let’s see… the people I love, the books I read, everyday adventures, the endless possibilities before me…

6. Did you ever cry hardest? Why?

The day I was triggered, which opened the floodgates to all the horrid thoughts running through my overactive brain, leading to my being hospitalized weeks later. That relatively small period of my life was one big, depressing, sobfest. Fun times.

7. Tell your notions about hell and heaven.

Honestly, my views change all the time. Sometimes I do believe. But then the other 90% of the time I think it’s a creative way to keep people in check. Today? I’m on the latter side.

8. Who/what is closest to your heart?

Besides my books?? Um… my girls ❤

Throwback to the day my goddaughter and my princess first met

​​
9. What is your birth date?

January 31st. I share a birthday with Justin Timberlake haha. Destined to be an NSYNC fangirl from birth lmao



10. Why are you into blogging?

This community! It started out because of books. But seriously, it’s you my fellow bloggers that make me stick with it. Everyone here has been amazing and just plain welcoming. And I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people! Love ya’ll ❤



11. Which comment had the biggest impact on you?

“You inspire me” and “You’d make a wonderful mom”. 

NOMINEES:

BOOK PRINCESS REVIEWS

BRIANNA THE BOOKWORM

KRISTIN KRAVES BOOKS

SPRINKLES OF DREAMS

MORGANA’S BOOK BOX

MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
1. Would you rather travel back in time and alter history or go to the future and find out how and when you die and why?

2. What songs would the soundtrack of your life consist of? 

3. If you woke up tomorrow in somebody else’s body, who would you want to be and what would you do?

3. When was the last time you binge watched a show and what was it? 

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?

5. Have you met any celebrities before, and if so, who?

6. What books would you recommend to someone that says they hate reading?

7. Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet?

8. What is your favorite word?

9. If you had a boat, what bookish name would you give it? 

10. What would be the title of your autobiography?

11. What is the one question that you absolutely hate being asked?

Once again, thank you Booklook ❤ !



No pressure on anyone to participate! 



HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 🙂

The Versatile Blogger Award #2

THANK YOU SOPHSKI for nominating me for this award forever go! I know I lagged it haha but I am very appreciative of all the love you send my way! Sophia has an incredible blog where she not only reviews books, but uses her platform to spread awareness on current social issues. If you haven’t already, you need to visit her blog @Sophia Ismaa Writes ASAP! You won’t be disappointed!!

Now, onto the award 🙂

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Leave a link to their blog
  • Tell us 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers/bloggers you’ve discovered recently or follow regularly

7 THINGS ABOUT ME:

1) I hate summer. The heat, the humidity, the scorching sun, the damn mosquitoes that continually suck my life’s blood out of me no matter what I do!!!! Ugh. It’s awful. I do not leave my air-conditioned home unless I have to (a girl’s gotta work). And even then only if it also has AC (thank goodness it does!).

2) My siblings and I were born in different decades. My sister is an 80’s child. I am a 90’s baby. My brother is a 2000’s brat (and I say that in a loving way) lol. 

Yikes! Less than 2 years now…

3) A water bottle is my comfort object. It goes everywhere with me. And it’s not only a summer thing. I always, always have a water bottle. My mom: “You swear you live in the desert”. Me: “Hey, my elementary school teacher said California is a desert!” 😛



4) A Dr. Seuss book taught me how to read. The ABC book to be precise. We had the cassette that went along with it. 

Don’t know where the book is but the tape still works!

My mom used to sit me down, play the tape and have me follow along with the book. I was 2-3 years old.


5) I am a very picky eater. To the point where my family and friends won’t tell me what’s in the food they make. #firstworldproblems. If it’s healthy and/or good for you I probably won’t like it. Fruit is the only exception haha


6) I am an unofficial Godmother! Months and months ago my friend, my pancha, my person ❤ Joanne, asked me to be Godmomma to her youngest. 


Ya’ll don’t know how much this means to me! Her kids are my babies. And her youngest calls me her best friend (she’s 2 lol). Oh and it’s unofficial because my babies haven’t been baptized yet but will be soon! Which means at some point this year I have to start going to church…

7) When I was about 5 or 6 years old I broke my elbow. The story I told my mom: my neighbor (older than me by at least 2 years) and I were racing down the sidewalk. Somehow or other I tripped over a sprinkler and landed wrong. The truth: my neighbor and I were racing down the sidewalk. She tripped me when she realized I was catching up to her and I landed wrong. I didn’t want to scrape my palms so instead I landed on my elbows smh. I spent the summer with my whole right arm in a cast.

NOMINEES:

#BOOKISH

BEAUTY AND THE BEAN BOOTS

CHEERS TO THE BOOKENDS

HAMMOCK OF BOOKS

THE QUIRKY BOOK NERD

As always, no pressure on anyone to participate!

& a final THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Sophski for nominating me! ❤ 

 

Now I’m off to watch the World Cup! 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE!!! 😀

Tag: Me in Book Characters

Thank you Sophia Ismaa for tagging me! I thought long and hard about doing this tag because most of the characters I relate to are pretty depressing. So while this post starts off that way, I think it picks up lol. 

RULES:

  • Thank the creators of the tag – Thank you, Windowsill Book Blog
  • Thank whoever tagged you – Thank you, Sophia Ismaa
  • List 5 characters who you are most like and explain why
  • Tag other bloggers

1. Charlie 

I found my book!!!

Sigh. Okay, 4 years ago I was in a really dark place and I wound up in the hospital. This is the first book I read afterwards and getting to know Charlie helped me cope with what was going on in my life. Never have I related to a character so much. It’s depressing but I love him. And when I met Stephen Chbosky all I could do was stand there like an idiot while he signed my book. I said absolutely nothing to the man. So, I’ll do it right now. Thank you Stephen Chbosky for creating Charlie and giving a voice to all wallflowers in the world. Thank you for writing a book that has had such a great impact on my life. Thank you, thank you thank you!!!

2. Anne Elliot

​Like Anne, I am the middle child. And like Anne, I’ve had to learn to not put aside my own feelings. To not be completed swayed by the opinions of others. 


3. Emily

​Her best friend is a social butterfly that is always trying to get her out of her comfort zone. Hence the lists. I am Emily. And like her, I too have a friend that is always getting me to go out and try new things. She makes my life so much more interesting. And she puts up with me, so how can I not love her? ❤


4. Lane Kim

I’m kind of cheating with this one lol

I loved Rory and while I could obviously relate to her book obsession, it was her best friend Lane that I could see myself in. Lane grew up with a strict mother (same!), has an alternative music taste (same!) and a best friend that her mom doesn’t really approve of (same girl, same!). 

 

 5. Bess Marvin

Tag yourself! I’m Bess, the one on the left

I like to think I’m the voice of reason amongst my friends haha. And like Bess, when push comes to shove, I set aside my fears and help my friends out.


So… I’m a mess. Thanks Sophski 😛 I’m crying and laughing over here haha. Kind of cathartic though. Not gonna lie. I realize this post was a little depressing. So no one worry, I’m fine. Seriously 🙂

I TAG:

MY WORLD OF BOOKS 

PUFFLEHUFFLE KITTEH READS

READER OF TALES

VELVET SPADE READS

VICKIETHEREADER

AND ANYONE AND EVERYONE THAT WANTS TO PARTICIPATE! 

As always, no pressure on anyone to do this tag! 

Happy blogging! 😀

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 3

A final thank you to Emily @ Emily’s Escapist Books and Reading for tagging me! This has been incredibly fun!!

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

Quote Brought to You by:

I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

One of my favorite quotes ❤ It pierces my soul!

I TAG:

ELLY. V

PERFECTLY TOLERABLE

PUFFLEHUFFLE KITTEH READS

No pressure to participate! 

Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 2

Once again, thank you to Emily @ Emily’s Escapist Books and Reading for tagging me! Let’s get to it! 

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

Quote Brought to You by:

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

      Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

It is the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities that is often quoted. But to me, the closing line of the novel is the one that has always struck me. It’s so eloquently beautiful coming from Sydney Carton’s lips. It gets me every time. 

I TAG:

FICTION NO CHASER

MERV READS

THIS IS ONE FOR THE BOOKS

No pressure on anyone to participate! 

Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 1

Thank you to Emily @ Emily’s Escapist Books and Reading for tagging me in this! I’ve seen this tag floating around, and I’m happy to be taking part in it! (Even though it’s taken me forever to get to. My bad). 

RULES

  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

Quote Brought to You by:

The indifference of the People is the opportunity of the despot. It is as true as that the whole is greater than the part, and the maxim is so old that it is trite – it is laughable. It is neglected and disused for the sake of some new ingenious and complicated theory, some wonderful scheme of reorganization, the fact remains, nevertheless, simple, fundamental, everlasting. The People have but to say ‘No’ and not the strongest tyranny, political, religious, or financial, that was ever organized, could survive one week. 

     – Frank Norris, The Octopus

(The emphasis is all mine).

A long quote but one that really gets me thinking. Even though it is referring to a struggle between farmers and a railroad union, the sentiment behind the words is still relevant. Especially in today’s society. 

I TAG:

BIONIC BOOK WORM
FLYING PAPERBACKS
THRICE READ
No pressure on anyone to participate!

Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

The Cliché Book Tag

A while ago I was tagged by Sophia Ismaa Writes to do this tag. And recently I was tagged by The Orangutan Librarian. So I think it’s time I stopped lagging on this and get to it haha. 

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
.

A Book That Wasn’t Or Couldn’t Be Better Than The Movie.


This movie is a damn masterpiece so my expectations of the book were high. When I finally got around to reading the book, I was completely underwhelmed. Not what I was expecting at all. It is meh at best.


The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
.

A Rags To Riches Or Riches To Rags Story.


What better example than Wuthering Heights? Heathcliff goes from literal rags to riches. Whereas Hindley Earnshaw goes from riches to rags thanks to Heathcliff.

The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree.

A Parent Child Relationship That You Love


 Atticus is a compassionate man full of integrity. And he does his best to instill his morals into Scout and Jem. The father-child relationship in this book is one for the ages. 


You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover
.

A Great Book That Needs A Better Cover

Every classic novel ever written. Why do some of them have such awful covers? But if I have to go with one, I’ll go with my favorite. The Idiot


You Can’t Please Everyone
.

A Book You Hate That Everyone Loves.

The Secret History!! This book dragged on for days! It’s not exactly a murder mystery. There’s a murder, but no mystery. It was pretty obvious why the pretentious students did it. I honestly don’t get the hype.


What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.
What’s A Book That Made You A Better Person For Having Read It.

​When you think of the civil rights movement, MLK comes to mind. But Malcolm X was a part of the movement as well. I feel I understand where he was coming from a lot more now. A powerful read. 

Love Is Blind
.

A Book With A Disabled Character Or Actual Blind Love.

​Helen Keller is a true inspiration. A childhood illness left her deaf and blind but that didn’t stop her from blossoming into an incredible woman. She overcame many obstacles and accomplished so much.

Ignorance Is Bliss
.

A Book That Is Bad But You Just Don’t Want To Admit It.

Another book I just didn’t like. It’s extremely well-written, don’t get me wrong. There are several literary devices used throughout the novel which I liked. My issue is with the story. It simply didn’t captivate me. 


There Is No Time Like The Present.

What Is Your Favorite Contemporary Book?

Hands down, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I am lucky enough to have met Stephen Chbosky and have my copy of the book signed. Definitely one of my treasured possessions (that I seem to have misplaced 😥 ).


Better Safe Than Sorry
.

A Book You Don’t Want To Read In Case It’s Bad.


I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book but I have seen some of the movies. A Walk to Remember is the first one I watched so it holds a special place in my heart. I really want to read the book but I’m terrified it’s going to be horrible (too many bad reviews) and ruin my love of the movie. 


TAG! You’re it! I tag anyone and everyone reading this post!


Happy blogging everyone! 🙂