January + February Books

March 2, 2017

I read a total of 17 books in January and February! I can’t really believe it, but making the commitment to read for at least 30 minutes every day has really paid off. I’ve also been taking advantage of Audible and the free audiobooks from the library – that helped me read a lot of books.

January – 7 books

  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson (audiobook)
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (audiobook)
  • Euphoria by Lily King (audiobook)
  • The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (audiobook)
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (audiobook)
  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks (ebook)
  • All the Time in the World (audiobook)

February – 10 books

  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (ebook)
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (audiobook)
  • Siracusa by Delia Ephron
  • These Are the Moments by Jenny Bravo
  • Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (audiobook)

As you can see, I was heavy on the audiobooks in January and heavy on the paper books in February. Part of this is that I spent most of January trying to read The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. It’s a 850 page book and I made it halfway through before deciding to set it aside for a while and read some other paper books. I’m absolutely planning on getting back to it (probably in March) but considering I spent half the time I was reading it staring at my accumulating book pile and feeling bad for it, I made the right decision.

Standouts from this list include Modern Lovers, Brooklyn, Dark Matter, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Next month I’ll be better about doing proper reviews, but this will have to do for now!

12 Week Goals: Q1

March 1, 2017

(It’s a bit late for this post now that we’re two months in, but I figure better late than never!)

My friend Rachel was the first to tell me about the idea of a 12 week year. Basically, you approach each 12 week segment as its own “year” and set goals for that time period. I thought about what I wanted to do for the whole year, and then I broke down these goals into ones that are possible to complete in 12 weeks. When the twelve weeks are up on March 25, I’ll take a few days to come up with goals for the next 12 weeks, and then I’ll start again!

So without further ado, here are my goals that I made at the beginning of January:

  • Read 18 books
  • Complete Whole 30
  • Train for + complete a half marathon
  • Lose 15 pounds
  • Go through bank statements to cancel unnecessary subscriptions
  • Create a sustainable budget + spending system
  • Outline entire novel
  • Write 30 blog posts
  • Complete BBG
  • Get two articles published online
  • Stay up to date on 2017 Project Life
  • Declutter and organize craft supplies
  • Clean out closet + donate clothes
  • Clean ten boxes from the attic

I’ll update you on how things are going at the end of March!

Collaboreads | The Nest

February 28, 2017

Hi friends! I’ve had high hopes for getting this new version of my blog going for MONTHS (if you can’t tell by the fact that I started in October!) but have had so many other things on my plate that I haven’t made the time. This month’s Collaboreads link-up is the perfect chance for me to get my feet wet and start writing all those posts that are begging to be written! The prompt this month is a book you chose for the cover.

the nest

Here’s the Amazon description (it’s 3 paragraphs long, so I trimmed it a lot!):

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.. Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives. This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down.

RIVETING.
What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? I loved reading about  the characters of this book, who were not all that likable. They do some pretty terrible things for money or because of it, and wondering what they would do next kept me engaged. Their family drama and the thoughts of “how are they going to get out of this mess?” were great to read about. I also loved reading about the different descriptions of New York.

ELEMENTS.
How did you relate to/care for the characters? What’s your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? I wrote about this above, but on a deeper level, I found that reading about one family who all had their own problems and how they dealt with them was really interesting to me. That’s not a unique story, be it fact or fiction, but this one was told in such a way that I was very engaged as a reader. The plot line captured my interest immediately. As I mentioned, the characters were often unlikable, which led to me not caring if something bad happened to them and almost rooting for it at a few points.

ASSOCIATE.
What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with its themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now?

Books about dysfunctional families are a dime-a-dozen, yet I can’t think of one right now to answer this question! I actually googled “The Nest read-alikes” and found this article. I don’t recognize any of the books there, but it may be worth checking out.

DESIGN.
You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? Well, considering this linkup is about choosing a book based on the cover, I think it’s fair to say that I was really intrigued by the cover! It evokes old, classic boarding schools and rich families and tufted armchairs, at least to me. The pages were well-designed. I was surprised at how short this book was (from top to bottom) because I feel like it’s a bit petite.

STARS.
How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend? I would definitely recommend this to a friend! I gave it to my mom almost immediately after I finished, though I don’t think she’s read it yet! I gave it four stars on Goodreads – it’s probably more like 3.5, but we can say that the cover bumps it up to 4.

And that’s it! The March prompt for Collaboreads is “Green with Envy” – pick a book with green on the cover or in the title. Not sure what I’m going to do for that yet. There’s a chance I’ll read Christina Baker Kline’s A Piece of the World. Stay tuned!

A Fresh Start

October 25, 2016

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It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. So long, in fact, that I couldn’t remember my password, and my college email was deleted, so I couldn’t retrieve it. But I missed writing, so here we are again, with a new website and the same me.

I’m in a big state of transition right now. I just ran my third half marathon, finished up two part-time jobs in Boston, and am trying to find a job across the country to try something new. We’ll see what happens, but I’m ready for some warm weather and a fresh start.

I’m looking forward to blogging again, about writing and creating and traveling and running and whatever else crosses my mind. I’m in a novel writing class and I’m about to start my eleventh attempt at National Novel Writing Month and I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles, so I have a lot in my head and I’m excited to share.