2 New Books and Which One I’m Currently Reading

2 New Books and Which One I’m Currently Reading

Months ago, my best friend Amy and I visited a Half Price Books Outlet (remember when I first went there and bought what turned out to be the BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ???)

I look tired but happy in this photo, lol. Here’s hoping that Dunkin helped to wake me up! Also, it’s now August and I was wearing a winter coat in this picture.

I bought 2 books that day. 1 had been on my TBR for quite some time and 1 was a new to me book/author that I had never heard of.

The New Book That Had Been On My TBR For Quite Some Time:

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before {Jenny Han}

Goodreads Synopsis of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before {Jenny Han}:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.

But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.

As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. 

New To Me Book/Author:

Skinny {Donna Cooner}

Goodreads Synopsis of Skinny {Donna Cooner}:

Find your voice.

Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own. 

I Read One Book and Am Reading the Other One Now

I was super excited to find these 2 books! I read Skinny first but am actually saving my review to publish during…BLOGMAS! Yes, I am doing Blogmas again this year, I loved doing it last year even though I didn’t quite complete it (HERE is a link to a video I made allllll about what Blogmas is). Stay tuned for my full review but in the meantime here’s a hint as to how I felt about this book: READ. IT. STAT.

And now, I’m 150ish pages into To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Jury is still out on how I feel about it but my friend Jenna absolutely loves it so I feel like I need to continue to give it a fair chance :). So far, I would say that I’m liking…not loving…it??? Fingers crossed I start loving it soon!

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

Xo,

Jenny


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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!*

*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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4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

Last week my family and I took the most lovely getaway to Galena, IL. You can see pictures from our beautiful trip HERE.

We had rented a house right on the water with a massive wrap around porch. The whole scene was just begging for someone to read a book there! I happily obliged 😉

I came home refreshed, relaxed, and of course with plenty of souvenirs. Somehow 4 new books came home with me!

Fantastic Book #1:

We spent one morning visiting Dubuque, IA and the very best part of that morning was visiting the most wonderful local bookstore. River Lights is such a charming bookstore and the beautiful lady working and I had the most lovely conversation discussing books. When we left she told me that she enjoyed our visit…so did I 🙂 If you are ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this charming bookstore!

Dead body in front of the thriller section!

When I spotted Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years on the shelf, I knew that I wanted to purchase it…I absolutely love supporting independent bookstores, especially one as wonderful as this.

This book has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. I started reading it on our last night of our amazing trip and I finished it a few days ago. I’ll have my review posted for you soon!

How stunning is this cover?

In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}

Goodreads Synopsis of In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Fantastic Book #2:

When I see a sign like this…I get very, very excited.

Obviously I knew I had to visit and that amazing store did not disappoint! I could have spent hours in that store, omg.

So many rooms and so many nooks all covered in books! A dream!

I had posted this on Instagram:

I saw Primates of Park Avenue on the shelf and I was reminded that I had wanted to read it when it first came out. It reminds me of The Nanny Diaries which I LOVED when I read it almost 20 (!!!) years ago! I’m a bit nervous because I usually HATE reading memoirs (even if they ARE written by Michelle Obama. You can see my thoughts on her book HERE) but…I do think this one sounds great???

Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}

Goodreads Synopsis of Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}:

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe.

After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop. And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns, display rituals, physical adornment, mutilation, mating practices, extra-pair copulation, and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously unexpected.

Every city has its Upper East Side, and in Wednesday’s memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and the compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that Upper East Side mothers want the same things for their children that all mothers want: safety, happiness, and success;and not even sky-high penthouses and chauffeured SUVs can protect this ecologically released tribe from the universal experiences of anxiety and loss. When Wednesday’s life turns upside down, she learns how deep the bonds of female friendship really are.

Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil on a secret, elite world within a world: the exotic, fascinating, and strangely familiar culture of privileged Manhattan motherhood.
 

Fantastic Book #3:

Driving home from Galena, we stopped in Rockford, IL for lunch and my husband suddenly spotted the MECCA.

He immediately turned into the parking lot, dropped me off, and took the kids for dessert so I could have time to browse all by myself. HELL YES. It was AWESOME in there. I must get back there asap!

One of my favorite Bookstagrammers/bloggers, Jenna Stop Reading, absolutely LOVES this book and has convinced me that I need to read it. I LOVED Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young so I’m excited to read this one (if you haven’t read Young Jane Young, you must! HERE is a link to it’s synopsis and my review….one of the very first blog posts I ever wrote!)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Zevin}

Goodreads Synopsis of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Ziven}:

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. 

Fantastic Book #4:

While at the Half Price Books Outlet, I randomly came across this book on the clearance shelf. I had never heard of it but think it sounds great! And it was $1.00 so…

Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}

Goodreads Synopsis of Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}:

A gentle satire on reality TV, as a mother and daughter face numerous challenges both on and off the show. As the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?

What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe – from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England – to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.

What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.

Have you read any of these 4 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 link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, X
o




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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