Wednesday, September 19, 2018

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Book Review


"America's First Daughter" by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Martha Jefferson, which is Thomas Jefferson's oldest daughter. You learn a lot about Martha reading this book, and really the most striking thing to me about this novel was just how well researched it clearly was, while still maintaining a really interesting narrative voice - it never felt like a textbook. There wasn't a note about that research though until the end of the book, which was over 600 pages for me. And I've always found that super frustrating, anybody else? Because the entire time I am reading a historical fiction novel I am thinking - is this real, did this really happen? The authors did take some liberties with history and I will leave a note below about my thoughts on those. Have you read America's First Daughter? Let me know what you thought of it below in the comments!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

10 Books on My Fall Reading List - Top Ten Tuesday


What even qualifies as fall? I always get a little salty this time of year because I live in Texas. You just never know what kind of weather you will get here, but short sleeves are definitely a feature of most the autumn months. I mean it's 95 degrees outside today so...yeah. I am sharing ten books I am excited to read this Fall today as part of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I took a peek at my library holds list and holy good books headed my way! I am excited for each one of these and I hope that enthusiasm is contagious and your TBR list fills up, too! Check out the video above to hear me talk about the books or keep reading to see the books I picked.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dumplin by Julie Murphy- Book Review


"Dumplin" is a YA book told from the perspective of Willowdean Dickerson. Willow's mom is a former beauty queen who is now in charge of the town's big pageant and she also gave Willoe the nickname Dumplin' because of her weight. But in an act of defiance and bravery Willow decides that she wants to compete in the town's big pageant. On the one hand the plot is fairly straight forward, but there's also a lot going on in this story, there's a love triangle, there's tons of Dolly Parton references, and there's also some really enjoyable and life affirming messages about body positivity, and family, and friendship. This book is currently in production for a film adaptation - it is being produced by Jennifer Anniston, and just taking a peek at the IMDB page for it, it's going to be amazing. Leave a comment down below if you're excited for a book to film adaptation releasing this year or let me know if you've read "Dumplin" and your thoughts about the book!


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Favorite "Hidden Gem" Books - Top Ten Tuesday




Today I am sharing with you my favorite hidden gem books! Those books I love, and CAN NOT believe more people haven't read. While there were many books I felt could qualify, I narrowed it down to only include books that had 5,000 review or less on Goodreads to make sure that they were truly hidden gems. This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Check out the video above to watch me talk about the books or keep reading to see my list of picks!

Friday, September 7, 2018

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero - Book Review


"You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero is a book I stumbled on while scrolling through Hoopla for a new self help book to try. I decided to read it because it had about a four star average on Goodreads, although I would say I am more in the 3 star area on this one. The author did not reinvent the self help wheel for me, but she did make it more entertaining and engaging than most authors. There are concepts in this book thought that you just have to buy into, like "source energy", or in my case, just completely gloss over them. What I did get out of this book though was the benefit of positive self talk. Pursuing your passions in life because you're excited about them, they're important to you - but what bothered me is that she would say something incredibly encouraging that I agreed with, and then in the very next paragraph she would say something that made me strongly question her critical thinking skills - which isn't a great impression to get from somebody who you're taking advice from. If you've read "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero let me know what you thought of it below in the comments. Or, let me know what your favorite self help book is!


Monday, September 3, 2018

Ten Percent Happier by Dan Harris - Book Review



I really enjoyed listening to "10% Happier" a few weeks ago, and I think if you are a skeptical person who is interested in self help - there is a lot that you can take away from this book. Chunks of the book are like a memoir of Dan Harris's life and his career, and then other chunks are about self help tactics and meditation. The author, Dan Harris, had a panic attack on live, national television - and after that he began seeking out, and was inspired by, different idea within the self help community. But each time he would find a new self help idea, he would hit this wall of skepticism. At which point he would start to look elsewhere, and he finally settled on meditation as being the most beneficial to him. I really enjoyed hearing Dan Harris's perspective on all of these different self help ideas - it's kind of life a taste test of all of these different self help gurus and philosophies. Have you read 10% Happier? Let me know what you thought of it below, or let me know which self help book you have found most help-ful!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill- Book Review


"The Girl Who Drank the Moon" by Kelly Barnhill is middle grade fantasy and one I picked up for Middle Grade March, which is a readathon that I will leave information about below (click on the video to see the notes). This book follows several different plot threads, that weave together the story of a town where each year the youngest baby is sacrificed. It is a pretty dark start for a middle grade book. But the other threads in that story show the unbreakable bonds between mothers and their children, and the powers of empathy and love, and it was just AH, it was a good balance. As an adult reader, I did struggle at times with suspending disbelief when reading this book, but even with that, this book is so beautifully written and I was encouraged by so many of the messages, most of the time it was very easy to forget that "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" is written for middle schoolers. Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!