Monday, July 7, 2014

calling me home.

I can not wait to talk about this new book I just finished. This book, "Calling Me Home" by Julie Kibler, was given to me as a gift from one of my dearest friends Charli. Charli is a book lover as well and she couldn't have picked a better book for me! "Calling Me Home" was a book that I literally couldn't put down. Just ask my mother in law who sat in silence with me every morning probably bored out of her mind just watching me read. (sorry Karen!)

I'm going to be honest-I cried. I cried a lot. I feel like I was friends with these two ladies. That I was living in their shoes. That I was literally feeling every emotion they were feeling and bearing on their shoulders. I was angry with them. I was feeling deep love with them. I was wanting to make things different for them and I couldn't.

I don't want to give anything away that the back of the book doesn't already, but I just want you to fall in love with this book like I did. It takes you on a journey of two women, Isabelle and Dorrie, POLAR opposites who end up going on a trip together. Isabelle, an 89 year old woman, and Dorrie, a young, single mother and hairdresser, each end up revealing more about their own personal stories and connecting in a way you never thought possible. This book takes you on a journey through the 1930s and 40s as well as present day. Even those this book is a fictional novel, I feel like there could be so many people that went through was Isabelle did, and that breaks my heart in two. I won't spoil anything else, but I do want to leave you with a description of this book that another author describes it with:

"If Calling Me Home were a young woman, her grandmother would be To Kill a Mockingbird, her sister would be The Help, and her cousin would be The Notebook. But even with such iconic relatives, Calling Me Home stands on her own."

If that doesn't sound like an amazing book, I don't know what else does! Such an amazing adventure! And to top it all off, there are rumors of it becoming a movie too! Go ahead and starts collecting the tissue boxes! You can read more about that here.

I'm not sure what I will be embarking on next, but I will sure to let you know when I'm through! I hope you start your own journey with Isabelle and Dorrie soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You Can Never Buy Too Many Books!

What a busy yet restful summer it has been so far! I have finished 9 books so far! I have been loving this time off of work to rest and rejuvenate at the beach and at home! I found this quote and I believe it describes me perfectly. Especially this summer!

I have been reading a lot this summer so I will give a quick recap of the books I have read and the ones I am looking forward to reading next!

Hollow City is the sequel to Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children. In this book you find out what happens next to these children in the wonderful country of Wales! This book leaves you wanting more of the story and good thing because there will be a third one out soon! I can't wait to find out what happens to these special children and to see all the new photographs in the next book!

I have talked a lot about the Mysterious Benedict Society books and this is the last one of the series. This book is different because it is actually a prequel! You find out more about the Professor Nicholas Benedict and how he became how he is today! Such a funny and easy read!

I am a huge fan of these books by Khaled Hosseini. Just like the others, this one did not disappoint. It's a harder read for those that are tenderhearted, but I highly recommend it. I enjoy learning more about the Afghan culture and this author does it in such a poetic and intriguing way. I am always hooked by his novels!

I enjoyed this book so much. Rainbow takes you on a journey through the life of two high school kids whose new found love for the same music and comics helps them form a very unique relationship. Through many lifestyle differences and economical strife, these two kids find out what it's like to depend and rely on one another. Rainbow Rowell uses humor and a little bit of bad language to make this a quick and easy read.

Okay. This book. SO. Funny! It is such a fast and fun read! I would read it again tomorrow if I didn't have a list of so many books I already want to read. Bernadette is such a crazy and scatterbrained genius and I loved following her story written through an email point of view. So interesting!

John Green has done it again with "Paper Towns". I was a big fan of "The Fault in our Stars" so I picked up this book he had written before. He takes you on a journey of a young boy and girl in high school who try and not get roped in to being just paper figures in a paper world where everyone is trying to achieve the same thing. Such an interesting mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat or couch or beach chair!

So I'm a little late jumping on this band wagon of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" but I am so glad I decided to join it. Man is it good. I don't want to give anything away but if you are looking for a suspenseful, scary, intriguing mystery-this book is definitely for you! I can't wait to see how they adapt this to the big screens. Make sure to read it before it hits the box office October 3rd!

And now last but not least my most recent adventure in the Maze Runner series! Man. These books are so good. It gives me that thrilling series crave that I have been missing since Divergent and Hunger Games. I am on the third book now "The Death Cure". There are three books in the series and then a fourth book that just came out that is a prequel to the series. Just like most young adult books they are also coming out with the "Maze Runner" movie very soon. We only have to wait until September 19th! I think this is a great book full of adventure and suspense. I am always wondering what is going to happen next! I can't wait to finish the third book and read the prequel to understand why all of this is happening! I encourage you to pick up the Maze Runner at your local bookstore or Target! Such a great book by James Dashner!

Here is a list I have accumulated from other friends on must reads. I'll let you know how they are as I finish!
1. The Painter by: Peter Heller
2. The Silver Star by:Jeanette Walls (also wrote Half Broke Horses and The Glass Castle)
3. The Pursuit of Mary Bennett by:Pamela Mingle
4. The Final Quest Series by:Rick Joyner
5. The Legend Series by:Marie Lu

Happy Reading on this rainy summer day!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Recent Travels.

I recently finished two more books for my 2014 Empty Shelf Challenge. There is something about books that I love. They take me to so many different places without even leaving my own home. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good road trip or flight to somewhere new, but books have a way of taking me places that I might never get to go, like imaginary places and faraway places and to times of the past.

I think that is one thing that is magical about reading. There are no boundaries, no limitations. It's all up to your imagination and the words of the author.

I recently went on a trip to London with P.L. Travers's second Mary Poppins book "Mary Poppins Comes Back".  These books are so fun and light. I always find myself learning more lessons from Mary Poppins now then when I was a kid watching the movie. There are so many more adventures with the nanny in the books than the movie can hold. I can't wait to read the next one soon!

And my latest endeavor was to a mysterious Island off of the coast of Wales. Some say the island doesn't exist. I say it's filled with a small town, one beautiful house, and a dozen peculiar children seeking to restore their world and survive. "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" is a book illustrated with old photographs found at various flea markets and antique stores. The writer, Ransom Riggs, collected these photographs and wrote an amazing story with them. 

The story ends with the children leaving the island in search of more children just like them. They are also trying to save their own kind from these terrible creatures. "Hollow City" is the sequel and I can't wait to get my hands on it soon. I highly recommend this book for an interesting and exciting adventure. It might be a little scary at times, but who doesn't love that?!

Off on another travel soon!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

P.L. Travers and Maya Angelou.

I finished the Apprentices and highly recommend it! It was left with unresolved issues, so I am very hopeful of a third book in the series! Isn't that just the best?

I have also started and finished the famous "Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers. It was such a good book. I was wanting to read her books ever since I saw the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" in the theater this Christmas holiday. It was all and more than it was cracked up to be. I can't wait to get the second one in and start it. The second book P.L. Travers wrote is "Mary Poppins Comes Back" then "Mary Poppins Opens the Door" and last "Mary Poppins in the Park". I can't wait to complete my collection and tell you all about them.

While I am waiting for the second and third ones to get here, I have started "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. I have always wanted to read this book and picked it up last year at Booksellers. I have been busy reading other things, but now I am going to start it. I love when books have discussion questions in the back (geared toward book studies) because I feel like it makes me think more about the authors purpose and different themes the author intended us to think about. Honestly it just makes me feel smarter than I really am. : )

On another note, we are on our trek of watching all the Oscar nominee movies (it's kind of an obsession of mine) and last night we saw "12 Years a Slave". Let's just say I now know why it was nominated for so many categories. Man was it good. Hard to watch, but very good. I think that is one reason I wanted to read "Caged Bird" next, because I enjoy being enlightened on the life in the time of slaves and how much heartbreak existed then. I can't help but feel sad and weary when I watch/read things like that, but then again I have to rejoice with how far we have come. I think that movie definitely deserves awards and recognition for it's screenplay and outstanding acting. Go check it out see if you feel the same way.

Go Pick up a Book today. Happy Reading : )

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book #2 and Shelf!

I have finished my second book for my empty shelf challenge and I'm on my third now! 

The "Fault in our Stars" was an amazing read. I would recommend it to everyone I knew under one condition: buy some tissues first. This young adult fiction is a story about a girl with cancer who finds something she was never expecting. It's gives me chills just thinking about it. 

I am about half way through "The Apprentices", another young adult fiction. It is actually the sequel to "The Apothecary". Pick up the first one if you ever get a chance and you will be caught up in the world of a boy and a girl on a mission to save an ancient potion/spell book from landing in the wrong hands. "The Apprentices" is set about three years later. I can't wait to get back to reading it. 

Now for my actual empty shelf! The space in or house is limited and all of my bookshelves are already full with books so I had to resort to making my own bookshelf for this challenge. 

I found an old shutter at a wonderful  antique store here in Memphis. Then we ordered some metal brackets from Anthropologie. Next we went and got a piece of wood from Home Depot and cut it to the exact length of the shutter. We nailed the brackets into the shutter and put the board on top of the brackets. And poof we have our very own shelf! I am so happy with the outcome and know that this will continue to be one d my favorite pieces in our home because of all the hard work we put into making it and all of the books that will fill it up this year! 

Happy Reading! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Empty Shelf Challenge

This year, my dearest friend April asked me to do the Empty Shelf Challenge with her. The Empty Shelf Challenge calls you to clear a whole shelf in your house and fill it with books that you read this year. Trying to fill the shelf motivates you to read more than you already do. To find out more about it, you can follow this link.

So I have started. I have my shelf, but it isn't up on the wall I am just reading now to put on the shelf later. I have finished my first book.

I am a young adult/children's book snob/nerd and my first book was one geared more toward young readers. But what can I say, they are my kind of books.

Escape from "Mr. Lemoncello's Library" might just be one of my favorite books because it's all about being trapped in a library! What is better than that?! A new library opens in this town, and the creator is a brilliant, fun-loving, creative man. He sets up a game for 12 kids and well...I won't give the rest away. The author tied in so many different books within this one book with creative puns and quotes. Ah I just loved it!

So needless to say I am on to my next book for my empty shelf. "A Fault in our Stars" came highly recommended by my friend Kristen, and I had been wanting to get it for quite some time. I can't wait to start my next journey into another world and make even more new friends.

I hope this challenges you to pick up a book and empty a shelf in your house.

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

A month ago we had some amazing family pictures taken by the wonderful Ginny Webb from Sleepy Fox Photography!

We haven't had professional family pictures taken-ever! So this was a real treasure to have, especially with our new little Paisley girl here! Here are a few of my favorites!

We also have loved having a "little one" of our own this holiday season! Phoebe girl is growing so fast and has such a fun personality! She is a picture perfect dogs and we can't imagine our life without her!

Happy Holidays from the Wood's!