The Guilty Reader Book Tag

I saw The Guilty Reader Book Tag on Zeezee With Books and immediately knew I wanted to participate! This was a fun one to do! Thanks so much for posting, Zeezee! If you haven’t yet checked out Zeezee’s lovely blog HERE is a link 🙂

Without even thinking about it, I recently gave myself a French braid while reading. Does anyone else do this??? I do this all the time while reading, lol…

The Guilty Reader Book Tag

HAVE YOU EVER REGIFTED A BOOK YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

I find that I hardly ever want to read a book that someone gives to me. While I SO appreciate the kind gesture, choosing a book to read is such a personal decision. Rarely are books given to me that are actually books I want to read! I don’t gift them to others for this exact reason but I do try my best to find them good homes. I give away my books during my annual garage sale and I LOVE to donate to Little Free Libraries.

HAVE YOU EVER SAID YOU’VE READ A BOOK WHEN YOU HAVEN’T?

Nope! In case you haven’t yet figured it out…I really, really love to read 😉

HAVE YOU EVER BORROWED A BOOK AND NOT RETURNED IT?

No but people have done this to me and it’s AWFUL. If you borrow a book from someone, please always return it! I’ve actually recently stopped loaning out my books because of exactly this.

HAVE YOU EVER READ A SERIES OUT OF ORDER?

Only once and it was a total mistake! I read THIS BOOK and only when I finished did I realize it’s #2 in a series. Oops. I loved that book so much that I must go back and read book #1 at some point! I’ve heard it’s wonderful!

HAVE YOU EVER SPOILED A BOOK FOR SOMEONE?

NO NO NO NO NO. NEVER EVER. NOT EVEN ONE TIME. HELL NO. HARD PASS. You can read more about my thoughts on this and why I will NEVER spoil anything on my blog (or in my life) HERE.

HAVE YOU EVER DOG EARED A BOOK?

Every single day, lol. Read about it HERE.

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD SOMEONE YOU DON’T OWN A BOOK WHEN YOU DO?

Nope!

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD SOMEONE YOU HAVEN’T READ A BOOK WHEN YOU HAVE?

Ummm why would anyone do that?

HAVE YOU EVER SKIPPED A CHAPTER OR A SECTION OF A BOOK?

NEVER. I read every single word every single time. I see other bloggers who say things like, “I skimmed the middle few chapters” and it blows my mind every single time. Why read a book just to skip over parts of it? If you do this, I’d love hear your reasoning!

HAVE YOU EVER BAD MOUTHED A BOOK YOU ACTUALLY LIKED?

No but if you read my blog for any length of time than you are WELL aware that I have bad mouthed plenty of books that I hated, lol. I pride myself on always sharing my truest feelings on books…good and bad! For example, my review of one of the worst books that I have ever read can be found HERE.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! If you do particapate on your blog, please tag me so I can see your answers!

**I’ll be back here on Wednesday with a review of a WONDERFUL book!**

Readers, I’d love to hear your answers to some or all of these questions from this book tag 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!*

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

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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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2 Books I Recently Started Reading…and Didn’t Finish.

I HATE starting books and not finish reading them. Absolutely HATE. It feels like such a waste of time…getting to know characters, immersing myself in story lines, etc. just to put the book down without finishing? Ugh.

Bookshelf at an antique store I visited a few weeks ago. Beautiful ❤️

I once wrote an entire post on abandoning books and I must admit…my thoughts on this have most definitely changed over time. Now I just stop reading as soon as I realize that I’m not EXCITED to pick up the book. Reading is my favorite hobby and as soon as it doesn’t feel fun, I’m OUT. Books should never feel like a chore and as an adult there is no required pleasure reading (professional reading, yes…but never pleasure reading).

Here are 2 books that I recently started reading and gave up before ever finding out what happened in the end.

Book #1 That I Started Reading and Didn’t Finish:

Favorite coffee mug. Not favorite book.

Goodreads Synopsis of Destination Wedding {Diksha Basu}:

Tina Das wants to belong, but she just isn’t sure where. India or America? Brooklyn or Bombay? Manhattan or Delhi? Or start from scratch in London–she still has fond memories of her one-night stand with Rocco Gallagher, the handsome Australian, as they traipsed through Covent Garden and Seven Dials, but he never called back so maybe it’s time to let that dream go, and focus on finding the next big story for her streaming network instead.

She’s hoping she’ll find it at her cousin’s lavish, weeklong Delhi wedding, and has taken her best friend Marianne Laing along for the ride to Delhi’s poshest country club, Colebrookes. Marianne has always had international tastes, in life and in love, yet can’t help but think of sweet, steady, khaki-clad Tom back home in New York.

Also in attendance are Tina’s divorced parents: her mother, Radha, who’s bringing her American “boyfriend,” David, to the wedding, and her father, Neel, who’s using the visit to India to explore the idea of dating again, only to discover it and he have both changed completely in the decades he’s been away.

Infused with warmth, charm, and wicked humor, Destination Wedding grapples with the challenges of work, love, and finding the people who make a place feel like home.

My Review of Destination Wedding {Diksha Basu}:

It PAINS me to write this review. I was SO EXCITED to read this book! I first mentioned it waaaaaaaay back in 2019 as one of the books that I couldn’t wait to read in 2020. I then mentioned it again when I was discussing my trip to the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever visited! That awesome store didn’t have Destination Wedding in stock (I asked!) but they did have THIS BOOK by the same author which I bought and ended up loving! A few months ago, my library FINALLY was able to locate a copy of Destination Wedding for me and I was READY. I was so prepared to love it!

I didn’t love it.

I was so BORED. It wasn’t a horrible book it was just…boring. I so badly wanted to feel SOMETHING while reading but the further I got into the book, the more bored I became. I stuck it out waaaaaay longer than I should have but I just so desperately wanted to love it. It became more and more clear that this was not the book for me when I continued to be completely disconnected from the characters and didn’t care what ended up happening in any of the storylines.

It literally PAINED me to put this book down after waiting YEARS to read it. Ugh.

Bottom Line:

Hands down my most disappointing book of 2021 thus far.

Aaaaaaaaand Book #2 That I Started Reading and Didn’t Finish:

Goodreads Synopsis of Are We There Yet {Kathleen West}:

Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).

Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.

As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.

My Review of Are We There Yet {Kathleen West}:

The writing was good! The depressing family drama…was not. Reading books about other people’s drama can be done in a way that the reader can find interesting. The way this book played out wasn’t interesting, it was…depressing. As a mother, reading about another mother’s struggles wasn’t interesting…it just made me feel sad.

I DO think there is probably a really wonderful and important life lesson within these pages but unfortunately I just didn’t care enough to stick around and find out.

Bottom Line:

I closed the cover and found myself YEARNING for a really wonderful book to read next. And BOY DID I FIND ONE! Review for that book will be posted here on Friday…one of the best books I’ve read all year! Stay tuned…

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Clearly these books weren’t for me…but you might love them! Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate links. 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!*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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Book Lover Life Lesson {Video}

I made this video to share an important life lesson for all of you book lovers. LEARN FROM ME!

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!*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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Book I’m Currently Reading, Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy, AND Giveaway Winners!

Book Coffee Happy’s newest series where I share the book I’m currently reading, the coffee I’m currently drinking, and 1 thing that is currently making me happy!

Hiiiiii!

Book I’m Currently Reading:

I’m so excited to start reading this one! It’s been on my to read list for MONTHS. I’ll let you know what I think, I’m starting it TONIGHT!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Wife Upstairs:

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

If you have been reading my blog and following me on Instagram for long enough, you have seen countless photos of me drinking coffee from this mug.

2 weeks ago I threw it in the garbage. #freebritney

Currently Making Me Happy:

Last week as I was laying in bed, I reached for my book that was on my nightstand and I was greeted with this. I feel like this could be one of those “show me you are living with a 5 year old boy without telling me that you are living with a 5 year old boy” situations. Hilarious!

Oh hey, Spiderman.

The Seven Day Switch Giveaway Winners Video:

Thank you to everyone who entered! Here is the video of me randomly choosing the 5 winners:

If you won, please email me within 48 hours! bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com

Aaaaand about 2 minutes after I shot the above video featuring my lovely collectible “Share” jar, this happened:

Crap.
Dyson Animal to the rescue!

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with love, BOOKS, and nothing that shatters all over your carpet, lol.

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

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*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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BOOK GIVEAWAY (5 Copies) Open to US and International Readers! The Seven Day Switch {Kelly Harms}

I am so happy to welcome guest blogger Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central back to Book Coffee Happy today! I always love working with Melissa. If you haven’t checked out her lovely book blog, you absolutely must! Hers was the very first book blog I ever read and she definitely was one of the inspirations for me to start blogging myself. We have a GREAT book (and giveaway!) for you today! Thank you so much, Melissa, for sharing an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms with me this past spring.

Goodreads Synopsis of The Seven Day Switch {Kelly Harms}:

Celeste Mason is the Pinterest stay-at-home supermom of other mothers’ nightmares. Despite her all-organic, SunButter-loving, free-range kids, her immaculate home, and her volunteering awards, she still has time to relax with a nice glass of pinot at the end of the day. The only thing that ruins it all is her workaholic, career-obsessed neighbor, who makes no secret of what she thinks of Celeste’s life choices every chance she gets.

Wendy Charles is a celebrated productivity consultant, columnist, and speaker. On a minute-by-minute schedule, she makes the working-mom hustle look easy. She even spends at least one waking hour a day with her kids. She’s not apologizing for a thing. Especially to Celeste, who plays her superior parenting against Wendy whenever she can.

Who do Celeste and Wendy think they are? They’re about to find out thanks to one freaky week. After a neighborhood potluck and too much sangria, they wake up—um, what?—in each other’s bodies. Everything Celeste and Wendy thought they knew about the “other kind of mom” is flipped upside down—along with their messy, complicated, maybe not so different lives.

Jenny Share’s Review:

I read (and loved!) The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms a few months back (you can the synopsis and my review HERE) and was so excited to read her newest book The Seven Day Switch. She has such an easy to read, easy to love style of writing and I am a BIG fan. I had a pretty good feeling about this book before I even opened to the first page and I’m so happy that my first thoughts turned out to be correct.

I absolutely loved this wonderful book.

This book should be required reading for every parent out there! You truly don’t ever know what somebody else is going through and what that person chooses to reveal to the world does not in fact always tell the entire story.

This book has made me look at so many people in my life in a whole different light and has made me wonder about what is going on in their lives that I am not privy to.

“Mommy Wars” are a very real thing and moms are constantly comparing themselves to each other. STOP THAT! The decisions that you make for your own family should never be compared to decisions that somebody else is making for her own family.

I recently came upon this quote and it really spoke to me:

“Your kids don’t care what other moms are doing.”

How incredibly true is that? Your kids really don’t care what other moms are doing as long as you are doing the right thing for them. Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual and what is right for one family may not be right for the next.

This book really spoke directly to my heart and if you are a mother, it will speak to yours too! Every mother will be able to identify with at least something within these pages. The characters, the storylines, the messages…I truly loved this beautiful book so very much.

***I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t say the following. Those who know me in real life know that I am a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding. Extended breastfeeding (breastfeeding toddlers) is normal, beautiful, and something that I did with both of my children. As much as I love this book, I did not love the negative connotation that came with this particular storyline. For a book about breaking judgmental parenting barriers, this storyline was clearly negative against parents who choose to feed and nurture their children in this way. I really wish that this particular storyline and all that went along with it could have been written with a bit more objectivity.***

Melissa Amster’s Review:

I’m always a fan of surreal stories, where you have to suspend disbelief. So the premise of The Seven Day Switch was definitely up my alley before I even opened it! And what was inside was even better than what I was expecting. Even though the topic of switching minds has been done before, such as in Freaky Friday, Kelly Harms puts a fun and refreshing spin on it, while also emphasizing the importance of balance in one’s life. As soon as I read just one chapter, I knew I had to tell my friend who runs Balanced Working Moms on Facebook about it. And, of course, I knew this book would be perfect for Jenny and I was not only excited for her to read it, but also to review it together at her blog.

 
I really liked and identified with both Wendy and Celeste in different ways. I enjoyed seeing them navigate each others’ lives and the things they did to try to help each other out, even if it wasn’t always with the best of intentions. There was one part I didn’t agree with at first, but I’m glad it was recognized and hashed out between the two women. Wendy’s son reminded me so much of my younger son. (Even Celeste’s son was similar to him in some ways.) I think, personally, I am more of a Wendy. However, I am thankful to have a relationship with my husband and kids that is more on par with Celeste. There were a lot of great moments, as well as some humorous ones. It’s always tricky to write about one character living another character’s life, but Kelly did this flawlessly throughout the novel.

 This was a sweet and touching story that I definitely recommend!

Movie casting suggestions:

Wendy: Piper Perabo

Celeste: Ginnifer Goodwin

Seth: Alexander Skarsgård

Davis: Sam Page

Hugh: James Roday Rodriguez

Ruthie: Mary Elizabeth Ellis

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of The Seven Day Switch? We have 5 copies to give away (open to our US and International readers!)

To be entered, just leave a comment below (on this blog post)!  Your comment can be about anything!

**You must comment below to be eligible for the giveaway and you must comment here on this blog post (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (7/8/21) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winners will be randomly chosen and announced here on my blog on Friday (7/9/21).

Make sure you check the blog on Friday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winner to email me the mailing address where you would like your book sent.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

Good luck!  We can’t wait to read your comments!

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!*

*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 12 best books that I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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

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READ THIS BOOK STAT!

READ THIS BOOK STAT.

Yesterday’s Mystery Drive Thru Coffee. I paid and pulled away. I took the first sip and quickly realized that this was most definitely not 3 cream/3 Splenda. However, it was DELICIOUS so I just kept on driving, lol. Thanks for the mystery, Dunkin! Xo!

I rarely buy books. The minimalist in me LOVES borrowing (and then returning) books to the library. It’s such a win win…I read so many books and if I don’t love them…eh…I just bring them back.

Do I have big, colorful bookshelves proudly displayed in my home artistically filled with all of my reading adventures? I do not. Do I sometimes get Bookstagram Envy on Instagram? Oh I sure do. Do I love having a clean, clutter free home? YES YES YES.

Sometimes, I cave.

Barnes and Noble gift card? I bought THIS BOOK. Global pandemic? Ordered THIS BOOK on Amazon.

Needless to say, I hated both of those books and gave both away as soon as I finished reading. Ugh.

And then I bought THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK while on vacation a few months ago and I loved every word. A smart purchase indeed. I also bought THIS BOOK on that same trip and it ended up being the very best book I’ve ever read!

And I DID just buy 2 books last weekend when I just so happened to be a few miles away from the MECCA of bookstores…

A few weeks ago I put my name on the library waitlist for Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest book, Malibu Rising. I was so excited to read it! In the meantime I read THIS BOOK. And hated it. And when I finished reading that awfully boring book, I KNEW I needed something AWESOME to read next.

Approximately 5 clicks later and Amazon Prime promised me that I would have Malibu Rising in my hands the very next day. And I did 🙂

Goodreads Synopsis of Malibu Rising {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind. 

My Review of Malibu Rising {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

EVEEEEERYONE is reading this book right now. And there’s a reason.

I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVED. IT. I finished the last page, heard myself breathe a huge breath I didn’t even know I had been holding , and out loud (to absolutely nobody but myself) said “WOW”.

This book was amazing and I was completely all in from the very first sentence. It was interesting, it was fascinating, it was AWESOME.

PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE THIS BOOK INTO A MOVIE. OR A TELEVISION SERIES. OR A MINISERIES. ANYTHING ON A SCREEN!!! This would be an amazing story to be able to actually see unfold on a screen.

I do have 2 complaints…

1. There were so many characters and so many backstories that I’m STILL not even sure I know who everyone was. I think there were definitely wasted pages talking so much about these unnecessary characters but I suppose it did give an overall feel to the depth of the partygoers?

2. A few of the big twists were highly predictable (although a few were NOT).

However, these complaints are SMALL in comparison to how many things I absolutely loved about this book. It’s a wonderfully written story, so complex and so amazing.. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished reading. An absolutely perfect summer read.

Bottom Line:

Buying this book was such a SMART decision, so happy that I did!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts 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!*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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I Bought 2 Books!

I bought 2 books!

Last Saturday, my family was at a massive barbecue competition. There were tons of competitors, each with their huge equipment. My husband is actually a certified barbecue judge and when he’s not judging, he’s competing! It’s his most favorite hobby and our patio is always overflowing with smokers, grills, etc. We have entire pieces of furniture and sheds devoted solely to his grilling supplies.

But we weren’t there on Saturday to support my husband. He wasn’t judging and he wasn’t competing. We were there to support my 9 year old DAUGHTER! There was a kids BBQ competition happening right next to the adult BBQ competition and my daughter entered. It was awesome! She NAILED IT! She worked SO HARD with absolutely zero help from us (and by us I obviously mean my husband…I have no clue how to grill). My husband, my son, and I sat on a bench and watched as my daughter made DELICIOUS looking burgers from scratch, plated them, and turned them in. She used secret ingredients, fancy methods, and was so proud of herself.

Once her burgers were officially turned into the judges, we had to wait for 2 hours until the winners were announced. We hung around the competition for a bit while we waited and then my husband had a GENIUS idea.

As it turned out, the competition was just a few miles away from the GLORIOUS Half Price Books Outlet that we stumbled upon when returning from our beautiful Galena getaway (you can read about our vacation HERE and about the amazing Half Price Books Outlet that we found HERE). My husband asked if I would like for us to drive there while we awaited the competition results.

Ummmm do I even need to answer that?! GET. IN. THE. CAR.

We jumped in the car and headed straight to the MECCA. We did some quick math and realized that I would have approximately 20ish minutes to be in there before we needed to head back to hear the competition results. Would I have preferred 3 hours? Hell yes. Was I prepared to take advantage of the 20 minutes that I had? Also hell yes.

The last time I was here I purchased what turned out to be the very best book I have ever read so my expectations from now on when making purchases here will remain HIGH, lol.

We pulled up, I threw on my mask, and I quite literally JUMPED out of the car.

I took this photo WHILE I WAS SPEED WALKING IN. I’m shocked it’s not blurry! No time to stop for a photo, lol! Aaaaand as I uploaded it to the blog, I noticed my reflection in the window! I’m cracking up…actual PROOF that I didn’t even stop walking as I was snapping this photo, lol!

There was no time for selfies but I did manage to snap a few pictures while inside!

#happyplace

I have now been to this amazing place 2 times and each time I was super limited on time with my family waiting in the car, ugh. I MUST get back there alone one day when I have lots of time to browse the shelves! It’s so incredibly AWESOME there.

20 minutes to run in, browse, AND pay? I got this. My husband and daughter might win barbecue competitions but if there was an award for shopping, Mama would be the CHAMPION.

I Bought 2 Books

While browsing (and by browsing I mean frantically scanning each shelf as my 20 minutes quickly ticked by) throughout the young adult section, this book caught my eye. Have any of you read it? After reading Starfish (oh Starfish is so amazing, synopsis and my review HERE), I’m curious as to how this one will compare with a similar topic.

Goodreads Synopsis of 45 Pounds:

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up! 

A quick glance at my Fitbit told me that I literally had 3 minutes. 3 minutes! Only 1 choice on what to do! I clearly BOLTED to the clearance section. The first book that caught my eye was a hardcover copy one of my favorite books of all time for A DOLLAR. A DOLLAR??? Someone is going to hit the JACKPOT finding this beautiful $1 gem on that shelf. (You can read why this book is so special to me HERE).

And then I noticed this book. For some reason I haven’t read it although it’s been on my list to read for YEARS. Why have I not read this book yet? Have any of you read it? I’m sure many of you have, lol. I definitely grabbed this one for $1.00! I have very high hopes for this book since I LOVED Liv Constintine’s The Wife Stalker (synopsis and my review HERE).

Goodreads Synopsis of The Last Mrs. Parrish:

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. 

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent. 

Once I purchased my books, I literally RAN back to my waiting family in the car, jumped in, and we headed back to the competition to hear the results.

2ND PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, so proud of her!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE DID IT!!!!!!

Proudly hanging in her bedroom. Note the cloth on top so she can polish it each time it’s touched. She’s the cutest 🙂

I hope you are having a good day! I’ll be back on Friday with a review of an AMAZING book that I recently read and LOVED!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate links. 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!*

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

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1 Book I’m Currently Reading, 1 Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me HAPPY!

Book Coffee Happy’s newest series where I share the book I’m currently reading, the coffee I’m currently drinking, and 1 thing that is currently making me happy!

Book I’m Currently Reading:

Goodreads Synopsis of Are we There Yet {Kathleen West}:

Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).

Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.

As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.

I’ll post my review as soon as I finish reading!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

I’ve read online that people swear this is the very best coffee creamer on Earth. Apparently it’s incredibly hard to find so when I randomly walked right by it at my local Target last week, of course I knew I had to try it for myself!

I’ve been pretty obsessed with oatmilk in my coffee lately so I had high hopes for this creamer!

Eh. I liked the “oaty” (that’s definitely not a word) flavor but the oatmeal cookie flavor just tasted fake and chemically to me. I’ll take plain old Half and Half any day! I’m always on the hunt for ways to take my coffee to the next level so I’m glad I tried this but…I would say this was a fail. Have any of you tried it? Does anyone have other coffee creamer recommendations?

Currently Making Me Happy:

READING OUTSIDE!

I finished reading Malibu Rising 2 days ago! I’ll have my review posted next week!

Oh how I love to read outside and the time is HERE! I try to read outside whenever I can find the chance to do so. On my hammock, on our front porch rocking chair, on a chair in our backyard, etc. I LOVE reading outside, especially when the sun in shining! The weather here has been beautiful and I’ve definitely been taking advantage by spending as much time outdoors as possible…with a book!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS!

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

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)*

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

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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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The 1 Phrase That I WISH Authors Would Stop Using!

I have never written a book. I can’t even imagine how hard it ust be for authors to find words to convey to the reader the innermost thoughts and emotions in characters. That being said, there is 1 phrase that I WISH authors would stop using. I cringe every single time I read it and authors use it OFTEN.

Authors: STOP DARKENING THE EYES OF YOUR CHARACTERS.

Examples:

“His eyes darkened”

“Darkness spread over his eyes”

“His eyes suddenly went dark”

Like…What does that even MEAN? He intently stared? His eyebrows furrowed? He frowned?

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the work “darken” as a verb :

VERB

  • 2 Make or become gloomy, angry, or unhappy.no object ‘his mood darkened’
    1. 2.1 no object (of someone’s eyes or expression) show anger or another strong negative emotion.‘his face darkened and he lunged away’
    2. 2.2 with object (of anger or another strong negative emotion) show in (someone’s eyes or expression)‘misery darkened her gaze’

Thanks Oxford. Still a stupid verb.

“His eyes got wide”…Ok so THIS I can understand because it actually is something physical that can happen. But…how does someone’s eyes go DARK?

Eyes suddenly darkening is my #1 most hated phrase in books and for some reason authors use it ALL THE TIME. I notice it each and every time and I hate it so, so much. It takes away from whatever scene I’m reading because all I can think is, “UGH! Not again! Whyyyyy???”

Other examples of things that I wish authors would stop doing can be found HERE and HERE!

Do you agree with me? What is an expression that authors use that you hate? I’d love to hear your thoughts 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!*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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{Unpopular Opinion} Book Review: Beach Read {Emily Henry}

I’ve been staring at Emily Henry’s Beach Read sitting on my bookshelf for months but refused to read it until the summer because I cannot read a seasonal book during a non corresponding season, lol. Summer in Chicagoland is officially HERE and so is the time to read and review this book! I was so excited to start reading, I couldn’t wait to see what the hype is all about.

Goodreads Synopsis of Beach Read {Emily Henry}:

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

My Review of Beach Read {Emily Henry}:

I REALLY didn’t like this book.

So with a title such as Beach Read, one would assume this would be a light hearted story, correct?

Wrong.

This is most definitely not a lighthearted story. It’s deep, it’s sad, It’s so boring, it’s NOT what I would call a “beach read”. Not at all. There were definitely some parts where I smiled but mostly I was just bored.

And the words. THE WORDS. There were just so many words, so many descriptions, so many thoughts, so many WORDS. Like…it’s a book, of course there are words. But this book just had SO MANY DESCRIPTIVE WORDS. And thoughts. SO MANY THOUGHTS. Every character just did SO MUCH THINKING.

Aaaaaand one would assume with all of those descriptions that the sex scenes would be steamy and amazing, right? Nope. They were CRINGEWORTHY. Ugh.

I really didn’t like this book and it absolutely dragged for me the entire time. The one and only reason that I even finished it was because so many people love it so much!

There were definately some good life lessons and the last 50ish pages were definitely the best parts BUT…I still really was not a fan of the overall book.

This is just one of the amazing things about books…each reader can view them so differently. Years ago I wrote an entire post about this after I reviewed another book that everyone else loved and I hated! You can read that post HERE.

If anyone local would like my copy of Beach Read, I’ll leave it on my front porch for you. Free to a good home! Clearly, I don’t recommend it but you might love it (everyone else seems to)! If nobody wants it, I will put it in a Little Free Library.

Bottom Line:

I have no idea why there is so much hype surrounding this boring book.

Have you read Beach Read? Do any of you agree with me? Or…did you love it? I’d love to hear your thoughts 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!*

*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

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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