READ. THIS. BOOK.

During this quarantine I have been continuously making sure to have books on hand to occupy myself as the library has been closed.  At first I looked at this as somewhat of a challenge to FINALLY read those books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years.  I read one of them (whyyyyy on Earth did it take me such a long time to read that book?!?) but then I was faced with a pile of other books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long.  And despite everything else…I truly didn’t (and still don’t) have a desire to read any of them.  Ugh.  So I borrowed a book from a friend (another one that I loved) and worked my way through the pile of library books that I had previously checkout out pre-corona.

Back in May, another dear friend and neighbor of mine texted to see if I would like to do a book swap with her as by that point we were both needing some new material to keep us busy!  We texted each other pictures of books that we own and were willing to trade.  The 2 that I gave to her were these:

Eh.  Despite popular opinion (everyone else seems to love both of these), I truly didn’t love either of these books.  You can read my review of The Wives HERE and of Becoming HERE.  I happily passed both of these books along!

After looking though the pictures of the books that she was willing to offer, I chose these 2!  I had never heard of either title nor had I heard of either author.  After a bit of Internet research, both sounded great!

She put them on her front porch.  I sent my husband to grab them and replace them with the 2 that I was giving to her, and…success!  Now her and I both had some new-to-us reading material.

Book friends are the best 🙂

I chose to read The Perfect Girlfriend first and…WOW.

Book Synopsis of The Perfect Girlfriend {Karen Hamilton}:

My Book Review of The Perfect Girlfriend {Karen Hamilton}:

(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.  WAS.  GREAT.

After finishing the last book that I read and didn’t love, I was more than ready to read an awesome book, one which wouldn’t allow for me to put it down.  JACKPOT.

(Great book + Dunkin’ coffee = joy)

From page 1 until the very last sentence, I was completely hooked.  This book was CRAZY and I found myself with my hand literally covering my mouth on NUMEROUS occasions while reading….the sign of an awesome psychological thriller.  This genre is absolutely one of my very favorites, and books like this are the reason why.

Short chapters, awesome story lines, CRAZY main character who does even CRAZIER things as the book goes on….loved it all.

You must read this book!  I absolutely loved everything about it and couldn’t put it down.  Definitely one of the best books I read during the quarantine…and one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2020!  I feel bad for my friend because the 2 books that I gave to  her were NOT nearly as good as this one, lol.  Oops.  Sorry Megan!

I cannot wait to read more from this author!  Apparently this is her debut book.  If she can create a story and characters this involved and awesome right from the start, I can only imagine how amazing her other books will be!

Karen Hamilton, I’m a FAN.

Bottom Line:

Read this  book.  Stat.

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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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

My #2 Must Have Book Accessory

I once posted about my #1 must have book accessory of all time and I still stand by that product and statement that it is #1!  I very literally use that product EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Today I present to you my #2 must have book accessory!  I first saw this product a few weeks ago when another book blogger whom I follow was using it.  My very first thought was: what a waste of money for such an unnecessary product!

But then I bought one.  And I LOVE IT.

It’s an….interesting looking product.  I think it actually looks a bit naughty, lol.  It’s totally not! 

For YEARS I’ve struggled with reading while drying my hair.  I always wanted to but I could never get the book to lay flat enough while I was using both of my hands to dry and comb my hair.  I’ve tried to use my cell phone, other books, etc. to put weight on books but could never figure out a good solution, especially for paperback books.

Problem solved.

Eating while reading?  No problem.

The one and ONLY complaint that I have with this product is that the rubber material that it is made of seems to be made of some type of HAIR MAGNET.  If you shed thick, dark hair like I do, you might want to consider a darker color weight (this brand has various color choices).  I chose clear because I thought a big dark object on the page might be distracting….but random hairs is also proving to be quite distracting (and gross, lol).

After I finish drying my hair:

Ew.

I mention this all the time but the older I get, the more minimalistic I have become.  I believe our society is filled to the brim with unnecessary products…but this…well, turns out that this isn’t one of them.  I LOVE THIS PRODUCT SO MUCH!  The possibilities are so endless!  Cooking from a cookbook, pumping with a breast pump, eating any meal, reading while on vacation, etc.

Do you have a weighted bookmark?  When do you find yourself using yours?  I’ve had mine for a few weeks now and I’ve found that drying my hair is my absolute favorite way to use mine.  It pains me to think of all of my missed reading opportunities over the years because I couldn’t find a good hands free solution to keep the book open!

Click the image below to order the exact weighted bookmark that I have directly 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)*

*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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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Finished Reading, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #10) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW!  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Synopsis of The Perfect Girlfriend {Karen Hamilton} From Goodreads:

YOU’VE NEVER READ A LOVE STORY AS TWISTED AS THIS.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

I’ll have a full review posted as soon as I finish reading!

What did you recently finish reading?

I have mixed feelings on this book!  You can read the book synopsis and my full review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ahhhh I can’t WAIT to read this one!  It came very highly recommended to me by a friend who KNOWS my taste in books and she promised that I’ll love it 🙂  This was one of the books that I received during my very first visit back to our library drive thru!

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the books 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)*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

Book Review: The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}

I had been wanting to read and review The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James for MONTHS.  I finally got to the point where I couldn’t wait even one more day to read it  (you can read the post where I finally broke down and bought this book HERE).

Goodreads Synopsis of The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}:

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

My Review of The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}:

(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)

Before purchasing this book, I did read peoples’ spoiler free reviews just to make sure that this was a book I would indeed want to buy.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of positive reviews that everyone had!  It’s so rare to find a book where literally it seems that EVERYONE has such glowing things to say!  Reading these reviews made me even more confident in my decision to buy this book.

From my Instagram:

So what are my thoughts after reading?

First of all, this book was most definitely NOT what I was expecting.  LOTS OF TRUE CRIME, ghosts, etc.

My feelings as I was reading were ALL over the place.  Just when I was starting to like this book…suddenly I was bored.  Just when I was bored…the pace picked up and I was liking it once again.

My biggest complaint with this book was that it was told from the perspectives of 2 woman leading extremely similar lives yet 35 years apart both alongside many of the same characters.  It got CONFUSING.  So many characters, so many timelines, so many story lines. If one of these main characters had been male while the other had been female, I think that really would have helped to keep their story lines and characters straight.  If you do read this book, I would highly suggest making yourself a chart with all of the characters and story lines to reference as you read.  You’ll thank me later!

There was a large portion of this book where I literally had no idea what was going on!  Truth be told, if this was a library book there was no way I would have finished it.  HOWEVER, because I bought it…I was finishing no matter what!  It took me significantly longer to finish this book than I would have liked but I honestly just never wanted to pick it up.  Eh.

I’m glad I did finish because the last 100ish pages were the best parts of the book!  Everything finally came together and made a bit more sense.  I did figure out one major twist pretty early on (ugh) but none of my other predictions turned out to be correct!

The cover is GORGEOUS but not how the Sun Down Motel’s building, surroundings, or sign are actually described in the book???  How does that even happen???

Would I recommend this book?  If you are a true crime fan than 100 PERCENT YES!  This entire book is true crime.  If you are like me and don’t necessarily love true crime….eh….probably not the book for you.

I’m also not a huge paranormal fan and this book most definitely has paranormal elements.  I knew about this before I started reading but all of those positive reviews had me convinced that I should read something out of my normal comfort zone.  I’m glad I did….sometimes you need to read things that you normally wouldn’t read and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Thank GOD my library drive thru has reopened!  I have now purchased 2 books over the past few months and didn’t love either one (you can read about the other one that I bought HERE).  Ugh.

Bottom Line:

True crime + ghosts + too many characters + too many similarities in different story lines = not the book for me.

Xo,

Jenny

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

I didn’t love this book…but you might!  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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*”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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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

My Library Drive Thru is OPEN!

My library drive thru is OPEN!  I repeat: My library drive thru is OPEN!

OH HAPPY DAY!

While nobody is allowed into the building, the drive thru is now officially back OPEN!

This stack of library books has been sitting and just waiting to be returned for MONTHS.

(Of all of the books in this stack, the 3 that I would recommend the most are this one, this one, and How to be a T. Rex (affiliate).

***It’s worth noting that I never received the call that my books were ready for pickup at the library.  However, I pretty much stalked my account on the library’s website until I saw that they were.  I wish I could say that I only did this because I’m bored in quarantine buuuuuut I do this even in the absence of a global pandemic.  #booknerd***

I tossed these overdue books and my children into the car and we were OFF!

This was the last time I was at our beautiful library.  March 12th. 92 DAYS AGO. Carefree, unmasked, ungloved.

Aaaaaaaand today:

Ready for either an innocent trip to the library or to go and rob a bank.  Either way, I’m prepared.

So sad.

Beautiful, empty building.

Why don’t all libraries have a drive thru?!?  It’s always amazing but especially during these times.  So thankful.

The process of checking out the books today was seemless.  The wonderful librarian didn’t even touch my library card, I just held it up for her to scan.  When she handed me the books, I touched the opposite end of them from where she was touching.  Perfect.

Here are the 3 books that I got today:

(As with everything else, these will sit in our garage for the next 3 days before I bring them into our house to be disinfected.  The waiting will be pure torture for me).

Have you read any of these 3 books?  Which should I read first?

FYI I finished reading this book and will have a full review posted here ASAP!  Stay tuned…

And finally, this is how I’m currently blogging. It’s GORGEOUS outside here today!

***I’ve been back at home now for about an hour sitting here and working on this blog post. A librarian JUST called to tell me that my books are ready to be picked up.  She seemed quite surprised when I informed her that I already have them before I even received the call!  Lady, you clearly don’t know who you’re dealing with 😉

Xo,

Jenny

Is your library open yet?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

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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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Finished Reading, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #9) {Book Coffee Happy}

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post! I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate!  These posts are intended to be posted on Wednesdays…but…does the day of the week even count while in quarantine?!?  Happy Friday 🙂  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Ahhh you guys are so SMART!  Many of you guessed the book that I am currently reading based upon the clues that I gave in my last post!  Between the comments on there, on Facebook, and the private messages and texted I’ve received, I’m quite impressed with all of you blog reading sleuths 🙂

Gorgeous day today!  Perfect for reading and blogging outside!

I’ll post a full review once I finish reading 🙂

What did you recently finish reading?

Oh did I love this beautiful book.  You can read my full (spoiler free) review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Oh man, I really have no idea.  I have a few books sitting here so I’ll probably dig into one of those?  Unless I decide to order myself another book on Amazon??? This could get addicting 😉  Fingers crossed that my library’s drive thru window opens up again soon!  I currently have SO many wonderful books on hold and I keep adding to that list every day!

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images 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)*

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

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

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

I Bought a Book!

Throughout this quarantine, I have been reading my way though a huge stack of library books that I had checked out before the Illinois shelter in place began, books on my bookshelf that I hadn’t yet read, and books borrowed from my dear friends. If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I am completely obsessed with my local library.  I absolutely love checking out library books and VERY rarely purchase books on my own.  However, with our local library currently being closed and with no plans of reopening any time soon (insert sobbing emoji here)…I finally bought myself a brand new, beautiful book!

On Monday, I posted the following on Facebook:

That post received SO MANY great responses and some AMAZING book suggestions!  I just love the Book Coffee Happy reader community so very much. 🙂  Some of your  suggestions were books that I’ve read (and LOVED) and others were new to me titles.  I read every single one of your comments and looked up the synopsis of every single book mentioned.  I’m VERY happy to report that my To Read list has grown thanks to that post!  Some of the books mentioned by you guys sound AMAZING.  I love, love, love book discussions.  Thank you so much to those of you who commented!  If you haven’t read that post or it’s amazing comments, you can follow my Facebook page HERE.

I gave my decision as to which book I was going to buy lots of thought.  Being the president of my daughter’s school’s PTO has been hard work…and receiving this gift card as a thank you touched my heart.  I needed to spend it wisely!  Although a few of those Facebook post suggestions reaaaaaaally got me thinking…I ultimately decided on a book that wasn’t even mentioned by any of you in that post.

I Bought A Book!

The book that I bought is a book I have been dying to read for MONTHS AND MONTHS…even before it’s release.  I’ve been on my library’s wait list forever (before the book was even released) and my name isn’t even coming close to the top (especially now, lol).  Every time I would walk into the library, I would desperately check the new release shelf in hopes of it randomly being there but it never was.  The good news is that if you are on the wait list at my local library…your name just got moved up 1 spot 🙂

I initially thought of buying this book but then decided to see if any of your suggestions would sway me into thinking that maybe I should spend my gift card on a different title instead.

So after much thought (the minimalist in me does NOT take purchases like this lightly), I ultimately went on Amazon and thanks to Prime…it arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

Here are some clues about this book:

  • It was published in February 2020…a brand new release!
  • It’s listed genres include: mystery, thriller, horror, fiction, and suspense.
  • This is the 7th book written by this author but the first one I’ve ever read.
  • The reviews on this book are INSANE….like….everyone loves it.  I searched and searched and couldn’t find a negative review!  People are LOVING this book which clearly explains why I couldn’t get my hands on a library copy.

Any guesses???

As a fun follow up to yesterday’s post where I was burning a Christmas scented candle, here is the candle currently burning next to me as I type.  Quarantine life has taught me not to wait for the correct time to burn the seasonal candles….there are no seasons in quarantine!  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Off to rip open this Amazon box and wipe down my brand new book with these disinfecting wipes so I can start reading ASAP!

What book do you think I bought???  I’d love to hear your guesses in the comments below 🙂

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!*

*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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

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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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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

 

Book Review: Before We Were Yours {Lisa Wingate}

Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours has been on my To Read list for such a long time.  It has received such high praise and due to that, I knew I wanted to read it and yet for some reason just never did.  Maybe because I knew how heavy the story was going to be?  Maybe because I’m not a huge historical fiction fan?  Whatever the reason, this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year.  No time like a quarantine to catch up on your To Read list!  I was so excited to finally read and review this book for the blog.

If you recall from my last WWW post, I was reading another book and was planning on reading this one next but ultimately changed my mind.  I HAD to find out why everyone loves this book so much!  I put the other book down after reading just a few chapters although I do plan on picking it back up again at another time.  The time just felt right for me to dig into this one…and I’m so glad that I finally did.

Goodreads Synopsis of Before We Were Yours {Lisa Wingate} :

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

My Review of Before We Were Yours {Lisa Wingate}:

(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)

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that on Saturday I posted the following:

After reading the comments, there was one big takeaway:  KEEP ON READING.  And so read I did.  And just like that…I couldn’t put it down.  I read on Saturday, I read on Sunday, I read yesterday.  FINISHED.

Yesterday morning’s Instagram story:

Like everyone else, I ended up truly loving this beautiful book. I LIKED it from the beginning but it wasn’t until I was about 3/4 of the way through where I couldn’t put it down.  I was expecting to feel this way from the start but unfortunately it took a bit for me to get there.  However once I got there…wow.  WHAT.  A.  STORY.

Once I finished reading, I was up until 1:00 am researching the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and Georgia Tann.  The more I researched, the more I just can’t believe that this is a piece of our country’s history.  I also can’t believe that this piece of history is not more well known.  A big kudos to Lisa Wingate for bringing this horrific part of our country’s past into the minds and hearts of readers today.  The more I read about this topic, the more disgusted and outraged I became.  HOW on Earth did Georgia Tann get away with this and for as long as she did?!? Absolutely mind blowing.

One complaint that I do have with this book is that for as much as the beautiful and complicated STORY was so incredibly well developed, I wish that the characters were as well.  There were so many characters (many with a few different names) that at times I had to remind myself who was who to keep each of them straight (especially the siblings).  I also wish we could have had more of a glimpse into life on the Arcadia at the BEGINNING of the story rather than first learning the beautiful bits and pieces throughout.

However, it is such an amazing book filled with such a detailed, complicated, messy, beautiful, and heartbreaking story.  The impression that this book has made will stay with me forever.

I highly, highly recommend this book if you haven’t yet read it.  I will absolutely be looking into reading more titles by Lisa Wingate.  I loved her writing style and she painted such clear images throughout this book.  What a talent!

…And on a side note, I’ve got my favorite seasonal candle burning next to me as I’m working on this post.  WHAT SEASON IS IT ANYMORE?!?!  #quarantinelife

Bottom Line:

This book is both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  A must 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)*

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

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

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

{VIDEO} How I use my Erin Condren Life Planner to Organize my Life!

Today I have a post (and a video!) for you about a different type of book…the one that keeps me organized!  If you haven’t heard of the Erin Condren Life Planner you are MISSING OUT  (I have a link to the exact planner that I SWEAR BY (and have loved since 2012) and also a VIDEO of me showing it’s features and all of the ways I use mine to organize my own life at the very bottom of this post)!

If you know me in real life, you already know that I am extremely Type A.  I like things organized, planned, and thought out from conception through conclusion.  I will always and forever use a paper planner.  No phone calendar for me!

I have owned some version of a paper planner every single year since I was in junior high school!  I vividly remember decorating the front cover of my planners with cut out pictures from magazines which represented my interests at the time.  I worked on them for HOURS making sure they looked perfect!  Even then, the aesthetics of my paper planners clearly were very important to me. 🙂  10 year old me would DIE to see the gorgeous planner that adult me uses daily!

Erin Condren Life Planner 

2011 was when I first discovered Erin Condren.  I was an elementary school teacher and was sitting in a faulty meeting when the teacher across the table from me pulled out her Erin Condren Life Planner.  One glance was all it took for me to know that I NEEDED that in my life.  I spent the remainder of that year finishing up the boring paper planner that I was using, all the while counting down the days until I could order my very first Erin Condren Life Planner.

I spent FOREVER designing my perfect cover and 8 years later it still remains one of my most favorites that I’ve ever owned:

2013: I loved the swirls and lace on this one!  I remember spending FOREVER deciding between various shades of grey and was so happy with how it turned out.  So pretty.

2014: I loved that pretty butter yellow (currently the exact shade of my iphone)!

2015 was the year I decided that I was going to try one of the Erin Condren knockoff companies and save myself some money on my precious planner.  I bought this one (a 2 year planner so it took me all the way through the end of 2016).  I.  HATED.  THIS.  PLANNER.  The cover would constantly fall off!  There wasn’t anywhere to store important papers so I bought folder inserts which made everything so heavy and bulky.  The coils on the side were MASSIVE and made turning the pages such a chore.  Literally everything would fall out all the time and made everything in my life feel so UNorganized!  The worst.

In 2017 I decided to try a DIFFERENT knockoff company.  I loved this cover but didn’t love everything inside!  I had so many issues with this planner!  The coil was better but everything else was just eh.  This one was close to an Erin Condren and yet…not quite close enough.

And yet…2018 had me thinking that I STILL could use a planner from yet a DIFFERENT knockoff company!  Whyyyyyy did I ever think this would be a good idea?!?

Albert Einstein once famously stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

So true, Albert.  So true.

2019 led me very happily straight back to where it all began!  Oh Erin Condren, I’m so sorry I strayed.  I learned my lesson.  Yes, your planners cost more than the others…FOR A REASON!  They truly are the very best there is!  I will never, ever stray again.  Erin Condren Life Planner for LIFE.  Here is my current 18 month planner.  Gorgeous, functional, and perfect in every single way.

All of my planners since 2012!  Makes me smile to think of all of the amazing memories written within these covers.  I love looking back and seeing my day to day life throughout the years!

The official Erin Condren Launch Day is a VERY big day for loyal Erin Condren fans.  It happens each spring and it’s the day where all of the new cover designs are revealed!  True Erin Condren fans literally count down to this special day and obsessively check the website each day leading up to it’s release. I ordered my new planner as soon as it debuted!

I’ve tried all types of planners…January-December, July-June, even July-December of the following year!  After many trials, I’ve determined that the planner that makes the most sense for me in the season of life that I’m currently in is 12 months July-June.  I LOVE being able to see my childrens’ school schedules all together in one planner!  I sit at the very beginning of the school year and fill in the entire year’s events (days off, PTO meetings, PTO events, half days, conferences, etc.).  ***NERD ALERT:  I may or may not light a candle and play music while I’m doing this to make it a special event.***  It makes me feel so much more organized than only writing in the events until December and then having to sit down in January to fill in the rest of the school year!  I suspect this will change one day as my children get older but for now…my life and my planner are completely tailored around their schools’ schedules.

And….drum roll please….my newest Erin Condren Life Planner!  It arrived this morning and it’s GORGEOUS!  I also use this video as a tutorial as to how I organize my own planner to organize my entire life.  I discuss exactly how I use each section and why.  Enjoy 🙂

If you have never heard of Erin Condren or her AMAZING life planners, here is link directly to her website.  FYI this is not an affiliate link, just a link to the very best planner out there.

Do you use a paper planner?  Have you ever had an Erin Condren Life Planner?

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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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Finished Reading, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #8) {Book Coffee Happy}

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post! I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate!  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Book Synopsis From Goodreads:

Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.

When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.

Laura is hailed as a hero for her actions at the mall but 24 hours later she is in hospital, shot by an intruder, who’s spent decades trying to track her down.

What is Andrea’s mother trying to hide? As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?

I have gone 2 whole days without picking up a book and I’m going through withdrawl, lol.  I’m still not 100 percent sure, but I think I might start reading this one today?  Have any of you read it?

What did you recently finish reading?

Book Synopsis From Goodreads:

Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorne College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving.

I posted my review of this book yesterday!  I have lots of thoughts.  You can read my review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Book Synopsis From Goodreads:

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

I think I might be one of the very last people on the planet to read this book!  I got it so long ago (along with the book from above that I’m about to start reading today) and still haven’t read it…I’m thinking possibly after I finish reading that one?  Have any of you read it?

Have you read any of these books?  What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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)*

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

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

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE