January has started off to a much stronger start than December did, and I’m so thankful for the time to read and get back into the swing of things. Today’s post will be my list of gift ideas for bookish individuals. I had planned on posting this list closer to the holidays, however, December took an unexpected turn and I didn’t get to share my ideas. But bookish gifts are always a great idea, not just for the holidays. They make great birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, thank you gifts, and “just because” gifts. So, here they are…my round-up of bookish gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life.
Happy New Year, fellow book readers and reviewers!
December took quite the unexpected turn for me. I ended up leaving the snowy northeast behind for a bit and heading to the sunny southwest to help take care of a family member who had an accident and needed unexpected surgery. Between traveling, work, and the chaos of the holidays, I’ve had little time for reading and blogging. But family comes first, the holidays were wonderful, and I plan to get back on track with reading in January.
I had planned on my next post being a list of bookish gift ideas for the holiday season, but now the holidays have come and gone. I do plan to share my list of gift ideas in an upcoming post. After all, bookish gift ideas can be useful year round for birthdays, anniversaries, or even to keep on reserve for the next holiday season. But for now, I’ll be sharing my 2018 wrap-up, my December book bucket list pick, and my reading plans for 2019.
November was a quick month for me, most likely because I was so busy. The Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful, although it was colder than I would have preferred! After a brief warm-up, there is snow on the ground once again as we move our way into December.
But colder weather has its advantages…it means more chances to curl up by the fire with a book and tea or hot cocoa. I found myself doing just that a few times in November as I read my way through two book bucket list picks and discovered the magical world of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval novels. November was indeed a good month for reading.
I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving last week had an enjoyable week and long weekend with family and friends, reflecting on what you’re thankful for. I sure did. My hubby and I hosted dinner for twelve people which was exhausting yet wonderful! We had a houseful of family on Thursday and then Friday was for relaxing, reading, and online shopping. Did anyone grab any great deals? I’m definitely gifting books to some people this holiday season, but I can’t say which ones because those people read this blog!
I was able to sneak in some read for fun time over the weekend, finishing up two book bucket list picks that I’ve been catching up on, Wuthering Heights and Little Women, so watch for those reviews to post shortly. Today I’ll be reviewing a Christian fantasy novel, Mark of the Raven. I love Christian-themed fantasy novels. The Chronicles of Narnia will forever be my favorite. I was excited to see a new fantasy novel offered through Bethany House.
Thanksgiving week is always a favorite of mine. My hubby and I are hosting dinner on Thursday for the family, and it’s a real blessing to be able to provide a nice meal and family time for everyone. I look forward to the family gathering on Thursday, and I also look forward to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, a glorious long weekend with nothing to do but – you guessed it – read! (and eat leftovers of course!)
But before I get cooking, I have a new review to share. Today I’ll be reviewing Legendary, the sequel to Caraval, which propelled me into an unputdownable magical adventure, just what I needed!
Each year on Veteran’s Day I find myself reflecting on my freedom and how grateful I am to the many men and women who have dedicated and given their lives to defending that freedom. I am so grateful that I can walk into a bookstore or library and pick up a book on just about any topic I please and educate myself. I can learn, read, and write what I please without fear of persecution or harm. It’s not lost on me how many other people, especially women, are not so fortunate in many parts of the world. So I would like to dedicate today’s post to Veterans, particularly my brother who is currently serving. Never forget.
I don’t know about you, but October felt like a long month for me. I spent about three weeks reading The Shining, which is an unusual amount time for me to spend on one book. But I had to take breaks from it here and there, and I learned quickly that it was not a book I could read at night. I mean, come on, it’s The Shining! In addition to this scary read, I was able to check a book off my TBR, and I did my first three-part series of posts, a review of a new online literary-based gift store. So while it felt like a long month, it was a good month! Here’s my October wrap-up and reading plans for November.
“Does the phrase ‘the shining’ mean anything to you?” – Stephen King’s The Shining
In the spirit of October, Halloween, and all things scary, I decided it was a good time to read my second Stephen King novel, The Shining. This might surprise some of you, but I’ve never seen the movie version. I have seen clips of it over the years and can easily recognize Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. I’ve been curious about the story for a long time but just recently added it to my TBR pile when I made it part of my 2018 book bucket list lineup. I read my first Stephen King book last year and decided October would be a good time to pick up another one.
I wanted something scary for Halloween…boy did I get my wish!
“He’d discovered that he liked houses. Maybe mostly because they were understandable. They could be calculated and drawn on paper. They did not leak if they were made watertight; they did not collapse if they were properly supported. Houses were fair, they gave you what you deserved. Which, unfortunately, was more than one could say about people.” – A Man Called Ove
While picking up a stack of books for work at the library, I happened to browse the fiction section on my way out. Okay, I made a hard right away from the exit because I’m a book addict who can’t not browse books if there are books to browse.
My eyes wandered over the titles available to check out, scanning for familiar authors, genres, and titles on my TBR list before landing on one title in particular, A Man Called Ove.
I have been anxious to read Fredrik Backman for some time. Titles like A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry have been popping up in my Instagram feed for a while now, piquing my curiosity. I’ve heard Ove described by some as being among their favorite books and in their top-rated books, which only made me more curious.
Did I have a bag filled with books to be read for work? Yes. Did I have another stack of review copies to read at home? Yes. Did I hesitate to grab Ove off the shelf and bring it home? Nope!
September got off to an unseasonably warm start in the northeast. I went into the month ready for orange leaves, pumpkins, and all things magical. But instead I got record-breaking heat and humidity! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer! But after a particularly grueling, hot, and humid one, I was beyond ready to transition into fall. By the end of the month, I got my wish. I have been loving these last few days of cool, crisp air, the appearance of pumpkins and fall decorations, and leaves starting to turn.
One of the things I most look forward to about October is the reading. I recently blogged about my first scary read. As much as I loved scary stories as a teen (R.L. Stine, anyone?) I just started getting into them as an adult. I’m excited to read more this month. But before I get into my upcoming reads, here’s my September wrap-up!