Are You Ready for Sweater Weather? The Autumn Tag

I love a good tag and I love this beautiful season so I’m super excited to participate in this one!  Thanks so much Jenn @ Jenniely  for creating this tag.  As soon as I saw it on Paper Eyed Girl I knew that I wanted to participate!

Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?

I don’t have a “comfort book” rather I find comfort when I’m really into a book and find myself thinking about it throughout the day when I’m not reading.

Pumpkin Carving – what is your favorite creative outlet?

Hands down, writing this blog.  In fact, the entire reason I started writing it in the first place was that I was looking for a creative outlet.  Creative outlet for me?  CHECK.

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

I know this is a tag about fall but my answer is most definitely SNOW!  Oh how I love snow, I always have.  Whenever there is snow in the forecast and everyone is freaking out I am over here all, “SNOW is coming?!?!?” and I’m running around lighting seasonal candles, making hot chocolate for my family, and dressing in the fuzziest and warmest clothes I can find.  I.  LOVE.  SNOW.  Absolutely nothing better than being snowed in with my family.  My husband makes fun of me because I use the term “hunker down” every time it snows and I prepare the house in case we just so happen to get snowed in, lol.

(That picture was taken last year. I can’t WAIT for the return of snow!!! PS I wasn’t a huge fan of that book. My review can be found here.)

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge

Tofu.  I absolutely love tofu.  How do people not love tofu???  These beauties are sitting in my refrigerator as we speak.  Nobody else in my house will touch tofu…just means more for me 😉

Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

Time spent with my family.  Movie nights in our pajamas, going out for dinner (Chinese food is our favorite and both of my kids use chopsticks like pros), or anything else that we do…as long as we are together!

Fright Night – favorite scary book or film

The best one that I have read recently is this one.  Loved it!

Halloween candy – favorite thing to eat

BANANAS.  I’m obsessed with bananas and eat 1-2 every single day.  Plain, chopped in my oatmeal, drizzled with peanut butter, etc.  Literally obsessed.  I may or may not have been known to travel with them packed in shoe boxes so they wouldn’t get smashed during flights.  Also…grapes.  I eat an insane amount of grapes daily.  Purple has always been my favorite but lately I’ve been loving crunchy green ones!  Fun fact: Halloween candy doesn’t tempt me at all…but put a giant bowl of grapes in front of me and I literally can’t stay away.

Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

SCARVES!!!!!  I own a ridiculous amount of scarves and basically live in them all fall and winter.  The bigger and cozier the better! I recently bought 2 wrap/shawl/scarves and I think they are brilliant.

Fire – a book or film that burns your soul

The book I am currently reading isn’t a romance or a “smutty” book by any means but there has randomly been a startling amount of times that the author has mentioned erections.  Nothing else!  No kissing, no sex.  Just…erections.   I wouldn’t say this is “burning my soul” but I’m finding it quite interesting.  Like…why so many erections?  This poor man (lucky man?) literally has them ALL. THE. TIME. I’m about 100 pages in and I would say that erections have been mentioned at least 10 times so far.  That’s a lot of erections!  Any guesses as to what book I’m currently reading???  I will be beyond impressed if anyone figures it out solely based upon this description (not romance, not smutty, lots of boners).

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

This book (insert tongue sticking out emoji here).

I Tag:

Bookathon

Mummy is Reading

Fictionophile

Be sure to check the blog on WEDNESDAY!  I have a giveaway for one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2019!  Can’t wait to share it with you 🙂

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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Book Review of a Currently Popular Psychological Thriller

Everyone in the book blogger community seems to be reading and loving this book right now.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy!  Psychological Thrillers are obviously some of my favorite books to read and this one sounded GREAT.  I couldn’t wait to read it and share my thoughts in a blog review.

How gorgeous is our new fall mum?!? My daughter picked it out at our local farmer’s market last week. It’s absolutely perfect and it makes me so happy.  I LOVE FALL!!!  Perfect backdrop for a book picture…especially when the word “lovely” is in the book title:

My Lovely Wife By: Samantha Downing

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3 Stars

This book is DARK. Obviously all psychological thrillers are dark but this one was even more disturbing than most.  Without revealing spoilers, I will just say that there were numerous parts of this book which left me feeling uncomfortable.

This book just had too many of everything. Too many characters, too many storylines, too many insignificant details.

I kept hearing how shocking all of the twists were and I was extremely disappointed when none of them shocked me. And I am NEVER able to predict twists! I predicted just about all of them long before they happened without even trying. So annoying.

And one of my biggest pet peeves…when authors casually mention something completely insignificant in 1 or 2 sentences and then 200 pages later you as the reader are expected to remember it as it becomes a major plot twist. HATE. THAT.  Who remembers every single sentence of a book as they continue to read?  If something will be important later, at least give it enough attention that the reader will remember what you are talking about.  This happened MANY times throughout this book!  I was reading this while sitting next to my daughter (who was silently reading a book about unicorns) and at one point she asked me why I kept flipping back to previous pages while reading, lol.  Even my 7 year old appreciates that books should be read from front to back…not from front to back back to front back to back back to front back to back, lol.

However…

I DO have some positive things to say about this book. I loved the short chapters! I wish all books had short chapters. Also, I really enjoyed her writing style although the topic was just so weird.

This book completely held my attention from the very first page although I just didn’t love it.  It WAS interesting and I wanted to see how it all would end…even though the ending (as well as the rest of the book) was overall pretty predictable.  Ugh.

Bottom Line:

I didn’t love this author’s debut novel BUT I did enjoy her writing style enough to want to read others she will write in the future! Fingers crossed the topics and details won’t be as disturbing…

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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One of the Worst Books I’ve Ever Read

Today feels like FALL here and it’s making me so happy.  It’s cold, rainy, dreary, and…perfect.  I love fall so much.

(I’m totally one of those people who have a porch goose and I change her outfit every few weeks based upon holidays, seasons, etc. This is her current “fall look”).

My husband has a (ridiculously) strong aversion to anything cinnamon.  Hates the taste, hates the smell, hates everything about it.  Who on Earth hates cinnamon?!?  Insane.  I could eat it by the spoonful, lol. He can’t even be around the smell which makes this time of year a bit tricky for me as I’m obsessed with anything cinnamon!  If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I light candles pretty much daily and I looooove a good seasonal candle.  I’m DYING to light a pumpkin spiced candle over here!  I’ve been hunting for the perfect fall candle for months in anticipation for a day just like today.  I have a few apple scented ones (eh), some campfire scented ones (eh), but nothing truly FALL because fall means cinnamon.  I came across this one at Homegoods last week all mixed in with their other fall candles and although it’s a bit “citrusy” for this time of year, I’m pretending that it’s fall enough because apparently Homegoods does.

Anyone have any fall (non cinnamon) candle recommendations for me?

From Instagram:

Happy Fall, Happy Rosh Hashanah to those who celebrate, and Happy Belated National Coffee Day!  A true season of happiness 🙂

After I published my last post discussing one of the best books I’ve ever read, I thought it would be fun to write a post about one of the WORST books I’ve ever read.  I have read A LOT of books…like, a lot.  Some I loved, some I hated, some fell somewhere in between.

Today I give you an example of a book that I absolutely hated.

Landline By: Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

This book won the 2014 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction.  As soon as the results were posted, I immediately went to the library to check this one out.

Ummm….HOW did this win???

I literally hated every single second of this book.  The synopsis promises that there’s no time travel…and yet the entire book is about time travel?  If I’m being very honest, the details of this book escape me (not the sign of a remarkable piece of literature) but the feeling of complete confusion over the time travel is exactly what I remember about this book.  I couldn’t wait for it to end, I hated every second.  The one and only reason that I didn’t abandon it midway through reading was the fact that it won such a prestigious award.

The good news is that although I HATED this book, it’s actually not my MOST hated book of all time!  You can read this post to see which book I hated most of all.

Bottom Line:

I now take the Goodreads Choice Awards with a grain of salt. As should you.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  What is one of your most hated books of all time? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

I hated this book…but you might not! Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

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One of the Best Books I’ve Ever Read

I knew just from reading the synopsis that I would love this book but I had no idea that it would gain a coveted spot as one of the best books I’ve ever read (quite possibly THE best book I’ve ever read).

If you haven’t yet read this book, you MUST.  Today.  It’s such a beautiful book in every way and I absolutely loved reading it.

I laughed, I sobbed, and I felt everything in between while reading this beautiful story. This book took me on such an emotional roller coaster…I absolutely loved it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent all summer not so patiently waiting for my turn to read this book. It had been on my radar since last spring and I couldn’t wait for it to be released! However, I ultimately made the classic booknerd mistake and the release date (6.25.19) somehow slipped right through my fingers! Ugh! I was innocently shopping at Costco when I made the unfortunate discovery that this had been released. I took out my phone on the spot and immediately went straight to my library’s website to gain my place on the waitlist. #43. Awful. As you know, I’m a proud minimalist and reaaaaally didn’t want to buy a copy…so #43 on the list for me it was.

Ugh.

I checked that website allllllll summer for updates and slowly, slowly, slowly my name moved up on the list.

**If I would have known how much I was going to love it, I would have just bought the book :)**

It was a happy day indeed when the library called to tell me that my copy was waiting! I wasted no time and started reading that very night.

This review is tough for me to write. How can I put into words how much I absolutely LOVED this book? Hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read. In my entire life. And I’ve read A LOT of books 😉

Warning: This book is LONG. Almost 540 pages. Don’t let that intimidate you! I would have happily read 600 more pages once I finished. How can some 200 page books draaaaag on and yet this 540 page book was completely effortless to read?

The writing in this book was simply beautiful. She was able to tell stories from so many different points of view throughout so many timeframes and continuously connected all of the stories, characters, and timelines together. That takes some major literary talent. Everything about this book absolutely blew me away.

Fans of the television shows “This is Us” and “Parenthood” will LOVE this book. I often think that certain books would make excellent movies but this one would be an AMAZING television series! Or…a book series. There are so many rich storylines and so many colorful characters. I firmly feel as though I’m not ready to say good-bye to the Sorenson Family quite yet.

There were numerous nights when I stayed up way too late reading this book and numerous mornings when I woke up early just to read.  I finished reading last night and have not stopped thinking about these characters (the sign of an amazing book).

Side note: I absolutely loved all of the Chicago references! Street names, places, etc. All of them just added to the wonderful experience of reading this beautiful story.  I currently live in a suburb of Chicago but did live in the city for 8 years.  Best city in the world.

This was Claire Lombardo’s debut book…I can’t WAIT to see what she will write in the future. What she was able to accomplish in 1 book is something many authors never achieve in their entire careers.

Brilliant.

Bottom Line:

Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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5 Awesome Psychological Thrillers

I LOVE a good psychological thriller.  It is hands down one of my all time favorite genres.  There is nothing better than a twisty plot that takes you on such a ride that your heart starts beating at triple speed and you never even saw any of it coming!  The BEST.

From Wikipedia:

Psychological thriller is a thriller narrative which emphasizes the unstable or delusional psychological states of its characters. In terms of context and convention, it is a subgenre of the broader ranging thriller narrative structure,[1] with similarities to Gothic and detective fiction in the sense of sometimes having a “dissolving sense of reality”. It is often told through the viewpoint of psychologically stressed characters, revealing their distorted mental perceptions and focusing on the complex and often tortured relationships between obsessive and pathological characters.[2] Psychological thrillers often incorporate elements of mystery, drama, action, and paranoia. Not to be confused with psychological horror, which involves more terror than psychosomatic themes.

HELL.  YES.

The latest psychological thriller that I read and LOVED was this one.  Omg that book was so amazing.  If you can somehow manage to get your hands on a copy (it was just released last month), I highly recommend it!  Stop whatever you are reading and read this one STAT.  You’re welcome.

However…if your library waitlist is long or your local bookstore is sold out of this incredible new release, I’ve got you covered 🙂

While you are waiting to get your hands on a copy, here are 5 (older) psychological thrillers that I also loved which should be a bit easier to get your hands on:

The Good Girl

I just love Mary Kubica so much.

The Couple Next Door

Read it in 2 days.  Literally couldn’t put it down.

Gone Girl

One of the very few times where the movie was just as good as the book!  I LOVED the book, I LOVED the movie.  I think they did such a good job bringing this one to the big screen (and I RARELY say that)!  Awesome story.

The Woman in Cabin 10

I suspect that this one may be a bit hard to find right now as everyone is scrambling to read anything by Ruth Ware!  This one was great.

Behind Closed Doors

Another one that I finished in 2 days.  AWESOME book.

Have you read any of these books?  Did you love them like I did?  If you haven’t read any of these…do any of them sound interesting to you?  What are other psychological thrillers that you recommend?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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A Smile for You

My husband took my daughter to a farmer’s market and she picked out flowers to give to me 🙂 I’m obsessed with the color pink and they are the most gorgeous flowers I have ever owned in my home!  They were HUGE, I cut them down to fit in my favorite Kate Spade vase.  My dining room table now resembles a table at a wedding reception. Every time I walk into the room, these beautiful flowers make me smile….

….so I wanted to share them with you.  Hope this makes you smile today, too 🙂

I’ll be back later this week to discuss books!

Anyone know what type of flowers these are???  LOVE.

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

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Book Review: Read This Book. Today.

I have a full review of an AMAZING (adult) book to share with you today!  But first…a bit about what my kids are currently enjoying 🙂

Thanks so much for the love on my last post. 1 year feels like such a big milestone to me and I’ve been feeling great about it all week 🙂  Happy 1st Birthday, Book Coffee Happy!

Bring it on, Year 2!

My daughter brought home this book from her school library and it was AWFUL but watching my kids read it together was adorable (for the record they loved it and so did my husband).

My 1 and only favorite joke in the whole book. This one actually did make me laugh out loud 🙂

She also brought home an “I Spy” book from her school library…I LOVE I SPY BOOKS!  If you haven’t heard of these, they are so fantastic.  When I was a teacher,  my students LOVED these…and I love doing them now with my own kids.  My son was so proud when he found something that both my daughter and I were unable to!

**Amazon affiliate link for you to order I Spy books below**

And now…A Book Review of a FANTASTIC book.  If you haven’t read this, RUN to the library or the bookstore STAT:

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

Omg this book. It’s AWESOME. I literally couldn’t put it down. It was intense, spooky, twisted, and PERFECT.

This book was CREEPY. Like…CREEPY. Ruth Ware sure knows how to utilize adjectives in her descriptive writing, lol. I could feel my heart rate speed up as I read! Loved, loved, loved it.  So intense.  So amazing.  YES.

Pro Tip: I read a portion of this book at 3am while an insane thunderstorm was happening. The glows of lightening and the cracks of thunder outside my bedroom window complimented this story perfectly. Check your local weather forecast before starting this book…I highly recommend reading it during a thunderstorm.  Adds to the whole spooky and intense experience.

I had so many predictions while I was reading and I’m happy to report that I was wrong on every single one of them. Every single one!  LOVE. THAT. There’s nothing worse than correctly predicting an intense story such as this one. Literally kept me guessing until the very last page.  And that last page was AWESOME.  Omg I loved this book so much.

Please make this into a movie. Please make this into a movie. Please make this into a movie. And…I don’t even enjoy watching movies but I would totally watch this one.

I also really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 although I enjoyed this one more. I recommend both but I do think this one really stands out!

Bottom Line:

Read this. You’ll love it. Especially during a creepy thunderstorm.  Perfection.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through these links, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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