My 1 Year Bookish Anniversary

Hi Everyone!!! So I’m very happy to announce my ONE YEAR BOOKISH ANNIVERSARY!!! It was one year today that I made my official Goodreads acct, started by Booktube Channel and joined Twitter! What a fabulous and amazing year it has been. Boy, does the time FLY!

I’ve seen some excellent Anniversary Booktube videos and I know I can’t compete with that. Hehe I also can’t afford some of the giveaways that bloggers and booktubers do. So, I’ve decided to focus on how the Bookish Community has changed my life. This is my THANK YOU to you!

I’ve always been a reader. I’ve never been a fast paced reader though. Some of you blow me away with your HUGE weekly numbers. I’m more of a casual reader. I pick up a book when I feel like it and slowly make my way through. Booktube has made me wanna pick up the pace and I have suffered quite a few bouts of burnout. So, I’ve learned to reign myself in. lol It has all been for the best though! Down below I’m going to list some Booktubers who have changed my life for the better. I’m also going to list the book or books that they recommended to me and how they impacted my reading. Let’s begin!!!

So, I joined Booktube because of Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. She had so many intelligent and thoughtful things to say about books I had read and books I wanted to read. I respected her. When I discovered her “How To” video, I realized that I to could join the bookish community. I didn’t have many friends who were avid readers and now I could have hundreds! Thanks to Sam’s wise words and patient explanations, I threw my hat into the ring! (I did have to stop due to computer/loading errors, but Sam inspired me and I wouldn’t have the friends I have now without her kind words). She even mentioned me in a video and I can’t even begin to explain how happy that made me. No one else had recognized me like that and I was floored for days.

The Book: Sam recommended Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I just HAD to have this book. I ran out and picked it up asap and loved every single second of it. It was touching and the message in the end made my heart swell. It’s a beautiful story and without Sam, I wouldn’t have picked it up because the reviews were so mixed. Thank Goodness I trusted her.

Michelle from Michellislife was my first true booktube friend. I’ll never forget the time she commented on my video and told me that her lil girl was loving my book reading. My heart just BURST. I was new to booktube. I was a little unsure of myself. To finally get recognition that someone, even a little cutie pie, was loving my video…priceless. I still have the picture she sent me. My heart beats a little faster every time I see it. I did it!!! Michelle has become a dear friend. She’s there for me through thick and thin. I don’t know what I would do without her. We have buddy read (one of the BEST reading experiences of my life. Go Raven Moms!!) and we have shared triumphs and failures. She’s the best friend a person could ask for. Also, she’s a Damn Fine Booktuber!! Check her out!

The Book: Without a doubt, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. She really encouraged me to pick up this book. It was BEYOND my wildest expectations! To make it even BETTER, we buddy read it. It was her second read through and my first. I think I DM’d her like crazy! Lol I was SO EXCITED! Then we read the whole series (with other amazing people for her and Jody’s ReadALong) and read the last book as a group. Best experience ever!

Marines from mynameismarines was my first fun twitter convo. At least, it’s the first one I can remember. She had a paper to work on and somehow we were discussing an Emoji Paper. LOL! You had to be there. It was so funny and I thought…”Wow! This bookish community really IS the BEST!” I love Marines quick wit and sassy words when she critiques a book. Honesty is key. Marines was also the first person to include me in a group video! That was very exciting. I was so glad to be included and also very excited to see myself mixed in with such esteemed booktubers. Overall, I will never forget her welcoming nature and my first big twitter laugh.

The Book: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Sadly, this is still on my TBR pile…along with many, many other books. I fully intend to read it though, because Marines liked it!

Jody from ohhh I don’t even know what to say about Jody. (too many good thoughts) Jody is friends with Michelle and she helped host the Raven Cycle ReadALong. Through that (my FIRST successful readalong!!!) I met Jody. She’s absolutely amazing. She reads the same kinds of books that I do. She likes the creepy, paranormal reads. YAAY! She’s sweet and honest. She’s straight to the point and the most thoughtful freakin person you will ever meet. She’s become a dear friend and I don’t know what life would be like now without her. Check out her blog! She has great thoughts and I love her reviews.

The Book: As a gift, Jody sent me What’s a Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie. OMG I LOVE this book! I need the entire series IMMEDIATELY! It’s a tiny bit creepy, it’s paranormal fun…so funny…the mystery isn’t predictable…omg. GUSH!

Samantha from Sam’s Nonsense, how I can NOT talk about her?! She is such an amazing inspiration. She’s witty and poised. She’s so articulate and extremely intelligent. She has excellent thoughts when reviewing a book. It’s hard for me to describe…she’s very unique in the best way possible.  She can break down a book so thoughtfully and make you clearly understand every point she is making. It’s an art. She’s clear and concise. Yet, at the same time…she’s your best friend and you are just having a chat about a recent purchase. Does that make sense? She’s just so darn relatable and yet I feel like her videos are something we all aspire to achieve.  You want to be THAT good. You want to be THAT funny or get your message across THAT well. I’m just in awe of her and darn it if she isn’t the sweetest person! She’s always been so kind to me. She even became a Guest on my blog…lil ole me! She had the kindest words to say about me and it really made my day!

The Book: Well, if this one isn’t blatantly obvious, you don’t know me too well lol The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. ALL things ROBIN HOBB would be a better answer! Lol I am now completely addicted and own all of her Elderling books! You see, I’m a gamer (thanks to hubby) and I love fantasy worlds. I’ve always struggled with high fantasy books though. I was very unsure of Robin Hobb, in fact I thought Robin was a guy. Oops! So embarrassing. I knew that the books sounded very interesting, but was afraid the text would be too heavy for me. Sam said that even beginners could read these books. She was absolutely correct. I ADORED the first book. I ADORE the characters. The funniest part is, there’s no intense mystery to keep pulling me through and yet I never wanted to leave Fitz. Even now, I miss him. Robin Hobb is incredible. If you are like I was, pick it up!

Kristin from WhatsKappening is another wonderful human being! I love her videos! I miss her videos when they aren’t there. She’s funny and really smart. If she doesn’t like a book, she tells you exactly why. It’s fantastic. Her thoughts usually align with mine. So, when she recommends a book or dislikes a book, I know to pick it up or steer clear. She gives excellent reasons for liking or disliking. I really appreciate that. I have found a few booktubers who just don’t explain their choices all that well. Kristin does an amazing job. She’s also straight to the point. I can blow through her videos quickly (also a wonderful thing on a busy day!) She’s so kind and fun to talk to. When she’s not on Twitter or I’m not on twitter, I miss chatting with her. She was also a guest on my blog and I can’t thank her enough for doing that for me! It was so fun!

The Book: Well, it may sound sappy, but she’s helped me with so many books that I can’t choose. She’s talked me off a ledge when it comes to some books that weren’t so great. Thank goodness because once she gave her reasons I thought…omg I would have HATED that book. She’s also talked about some great books that I adore! Lunar Chronicles being one of them! I honestly have a long list of Kristin recs!

So those are my “First Experiences” bookish people. I can’t even begin to list all of the wonderful people who have shaped me and molded me over the past year. If you think you should be on this list…you probably SHOULD be!! Consider yourself added! You have all touched my heart and I can’t thank you enough! Thank you for your kind words. Your support and advice mean the world to me. Your “Likes” and “Follows” put a smile on my face. This is my ME place. Not a mommy place…Not a wife place…just plain old me space. Thank you for your acceptance and friendship. I hope to continue for years to come. Once again, thank you all!

If You Were A Book Character (original)

So I’m creating this Tag because I was recently inspired by a friend and wanted to do something fun. This Tag is just for a fun laugh/giggle/chuckle amongst friends. Feel free to give it a go! Since everyone is writing this month…this can be a quick creative distraction…if you need one. Or be for those of you not taking on such a long project, but still wanna write.

The only rule, if you Tag someone…you have to include them. It goes like this…

If Michelle from Michellislife was a book character, I’d call her book “Librarian Knows Best”. It would be set in a children’s library and Michelle would be this mysterious and magical person that pops outta bookshelves. Think Mary Poppins, but with books! She could open a book and draw people into the story. Make them feel at home and teach them a valuable lesson. It would be a long running series that teaches children different life lessons and about diversity! She’d probably kick some butt too, cuz Michelle’s pretty bad ass.

If Jody from was a book character, I’d call her book “The Dark Inside Us”. It would be a spooky read about things that go bump in the night. Only they aren’t necessarily evil. You just start off thinking they are. By getting to know the characters and Jody’s narration, you discover they are teachable and really soft hearted. This magical series would be a duology!

If you could create a book about your friend, what would it be? Why?

If you were included, consider yourself TAGGED!

Feel free to repeat friends, just create your own story idea. Again, just for fun. Make it as silly or just plain stupid as you want. Hehe Share on any platform and hashtag #ifyouwereabookcharacter

PLEASE BE KIND WHEN CREATING STORIES ABOUT ANYONE! I made this for fun, not to  hurt people!

*Note: I didn’t look up these titles. I just made them up. If they are actual book titles…my apologies. Also, feel free to create stories about me. That’d be fun! 🙂

Silent Night & The Time is Right!

Silent Night & The Time Is Right…for a Great Christmas Read!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a great Christmas read. It usually starts right after Thanksgiving and I finish 3-4 books before Christmas. I’m very selective about my Christmas stories and I thought I’d share my top picks with you. So, in this post you will discover my Pro’s and Con’s of Christmas books and get a list of the BEST books I’ve read! Sound like fun? Hopefully you will find some wonderful books for yourself!

*I’d like to note that it takes me HOURS to scour the web for new Christmas Books. I’m not sure if they aren’t too popular, but finding them in general can be tricky. Amazon used to have a Holiday Page. You could choose Christmas and find the latest books. They have since changed that. Now it’s a “Christian” page. These books focus on the religious side of Christmas (absolutely nothing wrong with that, but not always what I’m looking for) and not always a lighthearted fun Christmas read. Therefore, it’s HARD! Plus, I have strict criteria. So, let’s begin with that…

Let’s start with what I like:

Normally, I am not a Contemporary/Romance fan. I like fantastic worlds and crazy plot twists. I’m not very interested in human behavior and more serious topics. I don’t enjoy predictable, sappy books. By predictable, I mean the books where you know that this person will overcome this and that person will deal with that….then they end up together. Sorry, I’m just not interested in books that focus on characters’ daily struggles or everyday life events. I like twists and turns, as I said. I like major suspense. SOOO it’s quite funny that during Christmastime…I LOVE those predictable romance books. Lol! I just love sappy endings and loveable moments during Christmastime. Now, I still want a good plot and if it’s too predictable (I’m lookin at you, Call Me Mrs. Miracle) I will still DNF it. So this list will be filled with sappy love stories, but they will still have good laughs or minor plot twists.

What I Avoid:

Christmas is a time to be cheerful and happy. I want to feel good and uplifted at Christmastime. I DON’T want to be brought down by children dying, their parents dying, or people struggling through cancer diagnoses. WHY do authors think this is acceptable??? Death during Christmastime is painful and people will forever remember that’s the Christmas their loved one died. Even if that older cancer patient taught the little boy a life lesson…good for him. I don’t want to hear about it around my happy/sappy time of year. Nope. No thanks. I’m sorry, to anyone who does find these books uplifting/enjoys them. That isn’t my preference. You will find none of those books on this list. That said, it must be a popular concept, because it’s very hard to find a Christmas book each year that doesn’t have those elements. Why would you want to cry around Christmas? The Christmas Shoes makes me bawl like a baby!! I have to change the radio station! Why?? Ok, I’m done. Taking a deep breath and moving on. Sorry about that.

As I mentioned, it’s very hard to find a book that is uplifting (not sad at all) AND doesn’t bore me to tears with predictability. So, if you agree with me or haven’t tried a Christmas book, but want to…look no further! Here we go!! (So excited!!!)

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts. Easily my favorite Christmas read and I will be rereading it this year! This story focuses on The Snow Globe, of course. A young woman comes into an antiques shop and discovers the globe. The man behind the counter tells a tale about a German toymaker who received the globe as a gift after a great tragedy in his life. (it won’t bring you down, because the book is not focused on this tale) It’s said that the toymaker saw the image of a beautiful woman when he looked into the globe. This woman did come into his life and mended his broken heart. The snow globe has been past down from generation to generation always ending up in the hands of someone who needs a Christmas miracle. (I paraphrased this from the summary on the jacket) Obviously, our main character needs that miracle and so the story begins! This book touched my heart and I hope it touches yours. I’m very eager for a reread. By the way, it’s only about 166 pages. So you can fly through this on a cozy Saturday!

  • The Trouble with Christmas, It Happened at Christmas, and Snowbound at Christmas by Debbie Mason. These are apart of her Christmas, Colorado series and I adore them! I bought her debut book, The Trouble with Christmas and instantly fell in love. Obviously, I can’t sum up all of the books without spoilers but I can tell you about that debut book! So, the story focuses Madison Lane. She’s this big wig in the city and is accused of botching up a deal with Christmas, Colorado. Her company is supposed to spruce up the town and create a beautiful tourist destination. The town needs the money, the company needs the deal! Now that things are all messed up, Madison is shipped off to Christmas to clean up the mess. There, she meets Sheriff Gage McBride. Now, Madison isn’t met with a warm welcome and she’s quite a character. So, things just keep happening to her…funny things. Poor Gage is stuck cleaning up the mess. OF COURSE, the ending can be predicted. You see where it’s going already, right? The charming part… the characters in this book (they are all so unique and entertaining)…and the town that just comes to life. It’s a character of its own. You want to live in Christmas, Colorado. You wanna visit its shops, befriend its residents and laugh along with Madison. It gives you the warm fuzzies, but still has elements that you DON’T see coming. They may be smallish things, but I found them enjoyable. Now, all of Debbie Mason’s books tie together. So, Madison’s friend Skylar will become the focus of It Happened at Christmas. Cat is the main character in Snowbound at Christmas. I won’t get into how she relates (it’s not a spoiler, but it’s still fun to discover as you go) but each book focuses on people you are familiar with in previous books. Make sense? She also has Summer time books. They fall in between these books. I have found that I can read these pretty well and not feel like I’m missing something. If you enjoy the first book, maybe you want to give them a go. I will be, because I notice some minor plot points that I had to guess what happened…they don’t affect the overall story, but I’m curious. This is getting long, so I’ll stop, but if you want additional detail just tweet me or DM me over on twitter @letsbookaboutit.
  • A Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs. This book is interesting to me, because I’ve tried a couple of her other books and was bored to tears. Sorry! Yet, somehow I loved this book. I may reread this one also! So, this story is about a Librarian! Yaaay!! Her name is Maureen and this is her big chance to direct the local holiday pageant. She’s going to make it PERFECT…or is she? Along comes Eddie…he’s a rock star (ohh yeahh! I’m a sucker for a bad boy, you?) The dude crashes his car into the town nativity scene!! Oops!! Now, he has to do community service and help Maureen with the pageant. Ya know that isn’t gonna go well! These two make each other crazy aaaand of course fall in love. How in the world does that happen? What does this mish mosh of a pageant look like? Read the Book!!! I really enjoyed this one. It could be the librarian/bad boy thing…either way, I highly recommend this particular book. OH, and you don’t need to read any of her other books to read this one. I don’t even know what number this is in the series.
  • A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is a Victorian Christmas story set back in 1894. Margaret Campbell is a teacher and can’t wait to go home for Christmas, but fate has another plan. She ends up meeting Gordon Shaw and her Christmas will never be the same. If I remember correctly, she’s forced to spend Christmas with his family and the characters learn a lot about each other. I feel like Margaret grows a lot in this book and it was a very interesting read. It’s written well and easy to understand. It’s not written like a Classic, as I expected it to be. Overall, I found this one very enjoyable and touching. I plan to reread eventually.

Honorable Mentions:

I found Sheila Roberts’ Merry Ex-Mas to be a cute little story. It has multiple character perspectives (all women) and focuses on how their lives unfold right before Christmas. They are each at different stages in life and it was a fun read. There were definitely predictability issues here, but I did experience quite a few giggles.

Also, Heather Graham’s Home in Time for Christmas. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish this book, but it was me being me. I still think it’s a pretty good story. I just had trouble with the lack of twists. If you enjoy Contemporary love stories…this will be perfect for you. It’s a story about Melody Tarleton (I really enjoyed her). She’s driving home for Christmas and a man clad in Revolutionary War clothing pops out in front of her. He’s convinced he’s a Patriot soldier. His name is Jake. So, of course Melody brings him home to meet the family. Wouldn’t you? LOL! She makes up this story to explain his…eccentricities. Now she needs to figure out, is he really a Patriot soldier? Or is he just confused…very confused? Also, is she falling for him??? Hmmm! Check it out! I may try to reread eventually. So I’ve always kept the book.

Well, this was a long one folks! Sorry about that! I hope you enjoyed it though and you’ve found at least 1 book that appealed to you! If you have any wonderful Christmas Time reads, please send me a tweet/DM/Comment down below. I’m always on the lookout! Also, please check out my instagram page for pics!! Until next time!!