Books for November

Sadly, I was only able to read 5 books in the month of November. I was going to do a favortie books in November post, but hey, might as well do all five. (Note: these books are in no particular order.)

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Everything I Never Told You

This book just broke my heart. I loved it because it looks at family and all the pressures that happen just inside the home. It’s not bad pressures, but pressures that can really put a strain on an individual. I could definitely relate to this book. It’s not all sad, the family learns to finally heal despite the odds.

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Career of Evil

This was probably my most anticipated book of the year. I had it marked on my calendar for months. My wonderful fiance (still not quite used to using that term lol) gave me The Silkworm for Christmas last year, it’s the second book in the series. And me, being the OCD bookworm that I am, refused to read the second book without reading the first, much to Brent’s dismay. So he bought me The Cuckoo’s Calling and after that I was hooked.

The whole series has to be one of my favorite crime series. Most murder mystery novels I read can be really predictable. I can usually figure out who did it not too long before it is revealed. But in all these novels I am left completely dumbfounded! I had no clue who the guilty party was until the author revealed it.

This installment focuses more on Robin, Cormoran’s assistant and partner. We learn more about her story and why she desires to pursue a career in private investigating. I can’t say too much without giving everything away.

Side note: Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling!!! I totally freaked out with I found out. She actually does an interview as Robert Galbraith and you can listen to it here.

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The Secret Wisdom of Earth

I won this book in a drawing for the adult summer reading program this summer. I had never heard of this book and I finally gave it a go. And I loved it! I had just finishing reading To Kill a Mockingbird in preparation for Go Set a Watchman, and this book is so similar! A family seeks healing after the youngest son is tragically killed and finds it in a small town with their Grandfather. Instead of racism, it deals with homosexuality. But adds murder and suspense to it. This is definitely a book I will read again. And it took this guy 15 years to write it!

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Red Queen

If you loved The Selection Series, you will love Red Queen. I actually liked this better. Less romance and more action in liberating people from a cast system. The next book will be realease in 48 days (Glass Sword). It’s already marked on my calendar.

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Carry On

I debated and debated about whether to buy this one or not. I read Fangirl and loved it. The story is very interesting. We receive no background what so every. It’s like reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows without any of the other books, but it works. You can get more background from Fangirl as Cath writes the story, but Carry On is not what Cath wrote. It continues the story of Simon Snow, his enemy Baz, and many other characters. It’s extremely similar to Harry Potter. If I had read more books than just 5, it would not have made it onto this list. I liked it, yes, but it wasn’t as good as the others mentioned before.

Coming Soon

Oh my. SO much has happened in the past few months, it’s been hard for me to keep up. Thanksgiving for my family is different this year, so I will have more time to get a game plan.
But so you aren’t feeling left out or disappointed by this post, I’m going to preview some things that will be coming.
1.

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I think this picture says it all.

2. My favorite books of November. (I’ve cranked out a lot of books this month)

3. Goodreads best books of 2015 final round. (Im trying to read all the ones I own for an honest vote)

4. My journal. (Journaling is such a big part of my life and I want to share it)

5. Midori Traveler’s Notebook. (Technically a FoxyDori; my lay out; uses; etc)

6. Girls Movie Night. (Featuring Paper Towns)

7. List of lists.

8. Herb Garden soap and updated skin care routine.

9. NexGen Manicure.

10. Everyday makeup look.

Just a few things to help get my blog going again. I was talking with some fellow alumni and we all agreed that we have less time now than we had in college (minus the homework) but none of us miss school. I have the time to read so many books (heaven!). But for anything else, not really. After work I have my regular activities, laundry, cleaning, cooking, or anything else that needs to be done.
I hope to get a lot of these ideas posted before the end of the year. As well as sharing some of my personal favorite blogs. So keep checking back for more updates!

Summer Reading

Summer is sadly coming to a close. I will miss the sandals, short sleeves, and the sunny warmth. But this summer hasn’t been too bad. I remember as a kid that the highlight of my summer (besides no school) was the summer reading programs at the library.

We lived in Myrtle Beach for a good long while and there was an AWESOME library there. My mom would take us at least once a week. The best summer reading program was here. The goal was to read 30 hours. For every 5 hours, your name was put in a box for a drawing. If you reached 30, you got a medal at a large party in the party at the end of summer. Those were the days.

I moved up to the teen reading program, and it wasn’t that great. Not as much to offer as the children’s one. And now I’m an adult. When I first signed up for the program at my local library, I stated my goal for 50 hours. My mom laughed and said I could do that in three weeks. Well she was about right. I read a total of 220 hours over the course of 2 months. My name was even picked for a drawing and I won 2 books! That was probably the highlight of my summer!

Local libraries have so much to offer, even beyond their bookcases. More on libraries later.

Planner Love

It’s weird to know that I have graduated from college and will not be returning to school. I was always so

excited to start school, my favorite thing being school supplies. My grandma always sent us money for

school things and Mom always wanted us to get what we wanted. I would look for the coolest school

supplies and be so excited to use them.

My most important item was my planner. As long as I had gotten ‘that’ planner, everything else was

going to be ok. I’ve used the Target hardcover planners for a several years, and I just love the layout. It’s

convenient, has plenty of space to write assignments, and looked super chic. My senior year, I caved and

got a Kate Spade planner. I loved the cover design (books! Lol) and how ‘adult’ it looked. But it did not

have a monthly spread in a convenient place. I like having an overview of the month in the middle of the

weekly calendar. The Kate Spade one just had a week to week layout.

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This year, though I am not in school, I bought a Lilly Pulitzer planner. I went with the smaller size so that

it conveniently fits in my bag. I don’t write assignments in it, but I do write appoints, events, important

dates, etc. on the days. I also use it as a ‘one line’ journal. I am a total journal writer, but some small

insignificant things that I don’t put in my journal goes on my planner. I but down when I finish a book,

what I ate for lunch, movie dates with Rose (follow her blog her), when I wear a really cool outfit, etc. It

gives me a tiny snap shot of my day that I can go back and see what I did on that specific day.

So far, I am really loving my Lilly planner. It has the layout that I prefer, as well as a bit of sophistication

for an older me. It keeps me organized and focused on my priorities.

Book Club! (For Real)

At the beginning of summer, I thought it would be cool to join a real book club. I never really thought of doing one before and I thought that book clubs just did not exist anymore. I Googled book clubs in my area, and low and behold, there was a book club! I was so so excited! I immediately went out and bought the first book and read it in only a few days. After discussion, everyone goes out to a restaurant to eat and continue talk on books (my kind of dinner).

This particular book club has been going on for (wait for it. . . ) 11-12 years. YEARS. And I think to myself, ‘Why have I not heard about this? I could have been doing this for my whole college career!!’ I’ve really been missing out. This club is independent from my local library, but they still use the meeting rooms. I arrived early, and was literally bouncing on the inside (‘I’m in a book club!!!’). The first book was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawking. It was published this year, so many people were interested in the book. We sat in a circle and went around, introducing ourselves and giving our opinion of the book. Since there were so many of us, we took up the whole hour going around. There were discussions that popped up as the opinions continued. It was a lively discussion all around. Before I knew it, the hour was up and it was time for dinner. Not many people came to dinner, but the conversation was all about books (I was in heaven!).

The next month, there was less people, but conversation was still good. The organizer of the book club brings discussion questions. When the discussion lulled, the organizer would ask a question that she got off the internet.

The books are chosen 6 months at a time. Recommendations are made every 6 months and we vote on what books we want to read. It’s quite simple. If the book is being made into a movie close to the time we read the book, we will all go to the movies.

So one question is probably ‘Why join a book club?’ I joined because I wanted to meet people who loved books as much as I do. The discussions about symbolisms in books that we’ve read has really fascinated me. I read for pleasure and enjoyment, sometimes for enhancing myself intellectually, but most of the time I do not see the connections or symbolisms. Why did the author have the mentally handicapped Frederick draw spirals all day in All the Light We Cannot See? Every word of an author means something, and without book club, I never would have realized that.

Another reason I joined book club is to branch out my reading genre. We read The Lady in Gold and it was not a book that I would have just picked up off the shelf. It’s a nonfiction book about stolen art from the Austrians in WWII. The cover wasn’t really appealing nor the summary. But I enjoyed the book and it encouraged me to read more nonfiction. I’m having discussions and reading books that I never thought I would do.

Book club has been a great thing for me. I only wish that it was more than once a month.

Goodreads

At the beginning of the summer, I really started exploring the website Goodreads. I had joined a few years ago, but didn’t really get into it (like Pinterest), but now that I’ve explored the site I cannot live without it.

Goodreads is a site for people who love books! And that is perfect for me. All the books I’ve ever read are on there and I can add it to my profile, rate it, write reviews, note if you own the book, etc. It’s a way that I can keep track of all that I’ve read. And my friends can see the books too and add the books if they want to read.

There are all kinds of lists on the site that you can rate books. There is a list for top Young Adult books, lists for Historical Fiction, any list you can think of. Most of the books that I have added to my ‘To-Read’ virtual shelf have been from lists. The site also makes recommendations based on what you’ve read, want you want to read, and what you are currently reading. You can also keep track of your page numbers in books you are currently reading.

My favorite thing about the site is the yearly challenge. You set your goal, and it keeps track of how many you read in the whole year. My goal was a modest 50, I wasn’t sure how busy I would be with this new chapter in my life, so I kept it low. I have read 45 of 50 books so far. And I’m positive I will meet my goal.

So go check out Goodreads and see if it enhances your reading experience.

New Life, New Title

I have now graduated from college. COLLEGE. Hello???? College!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s it, I’m done. No homework, no studying, no exams. But then comes working everyday of your life with no big summer break, plus the school loans that need to be paid off. Yay.

But it’s a whole new stage in my life. I’m working (which has ore to do with organization of people than human resources) and I have a pretty decent paycheck. I cannot complain. Is it what I wanted to do? No. But it’s not forever. I mean hey, my dream job is one where I can read books all day and still have a bit of a life. That would be absolutely perfect! But I haven’t had much time finding that dream job.

I am a Mary Kay Consultant and I’m a Young Living Essential Oils distributor. I haven’t done much with either of them, but if anyone is interested in any products please let me know. 🙂

Now let’s take care of the elephant in the room. I’ve changed my whole blog title. I chose Reality Check out of the blue. I could not think of a title that I wanted to use that spoke to me or anything that allowed me to be really flexible with writing whatever I wanted. Now that I no longer have endless reading assignments, I’ve been reading constantly in my free time. It’s like I’m trying to catch up on the 4 years that I lost while in college. Books are my passion. I buy them everywhere. I love spending time in the library. I love going on book sites and looking for my next book to read. It’s part of who I am and I want to take this blog in that direction.

Hope you enjoy it and find it fun!