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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re finding time to get some joy from the season without being too overwhelmed. (I still have shopping to do, so…) I’m taking all of next week off and hope to see the fam, take a lot of book pics, get ahead of blog posts, go to Orange Theory, and otherwise leave the house as little as possible. This week’s links include an upcoming bookish podcast, killer boots, more justification for visiting bookstores and buying too many books, and influencing trends.
Podcast recommendation of the week: Sarah’s Book Shelves Live! My internet friend Sarah is taking her blog to a podcast. Each week she’ll have a guest and ask them to share two old books they loved, two new books they loved, a book they hated, and an upcoming release they’re excited about. I genuinely can’t get enough of book recommendation pods, so I’m happy to have a new one to add to my list!
Michelle Obama’s boots are giving me everything I need this Christmas.
In case you need some justification, there are some pretty compelling reasons as to why you should surround yourself with more books than you’ll ever need.
Bookstagrammers are doing their part to save Independent Bookstores! I know that whenever I go to a new city, I like to visit a new to me indie bookstore, both to photograph and to make a purchase. Ebooks are great and all but nothing will ever replace the feeling of holding a book in my hands.
Remember when Kim Kardashian was the only mainstream person that “was famous for no reason”? Aspiring influencers are posting fake sponsored content on Instagram with the hopes that brands will notice them and actually sponsor them. I think that if there is a market for it, there's no fault in hustling and trying to legally get paid. I know there is a certain skill that goes into marketing yourself, taking photos, and building a following. What gets me are the teenagers are inspiring to be influencers and the ones that already are. Is there an influencer bubble? When will it burst?
OMG I JUST REMEMBERED BIRD BOX IS OUT ON NETFLIX TODAY. Bird Box was the post apocalyptic debut novel by Josh Malerman about a mysteries threat that causes people to commit suicide when they see it. I know what I’m doing this weekend!! Eeee
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Happy Friday everyone! W'e’re edging closer to the holidays (and I’m so thankful I get to have a full week off!) so I’m just trying to hang in there for a little longer. This week’s links include a ton of things I’ve been listening to, reading challenges I likely won’t finish in 2019, and an Instagram scandal. Happy reading!
If you’re an audiobook lover like me, you know a narrator can make or break the experience. (Sorry Busy Phillips- I’m glad so many people are loving your book, but I couldn’t finish it on audio.) This is a list of the best of the best audiobook narrators, according to AudioFile magazine. I had no idea that there were awards for this!
Podcast recommendation of the week: Knox and Jamie at The Popcast break down The Bachelor Colton’s contestants, based on their bios. I must say, these bios are worse than ever. They look like they were written by a robot (“She also he enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with friends” WHAT). I’ve got my eye on Caelynn, Caitlin, Cassie, and Hannah G. Where are my Bachelor fans at?!
You’ve seen those perfectly curated Instagram feeds floating around with beautiful women in exotic locations who seem to be paid to travel? What if there was a class you could take to unlock their secrets? What if… the class was far below your expectations and left you feeling scammed? Here’s one person’s story of being scammed by a celebrity influencer. I don’t know anything about the Instagrammer outside of what I read in the article, but it’s a great reminder to be careful what you pay for, especially online.
Speaking of… triangle shaped things, The Dream podcast is about MLM (Multi Level Marketing). Just started it this week, but I’m hooked. It’s an investigative journalist podcast about the origin of pyramid schemes and present day MLMs. The host, Jane Marie, goes back to her hometown in rural Michigan, where a lot of her friends and families are involved in these, to ask them (direct quote): “what the fuck”. So far she’s telling their stories in a respectful way. She’s not just going in and taking trash- there’s a lot about the psychology of being involved, the history of women in the workforce, and one of the people working on the podcast joins one and tries her hand at being successful. It’s fascinating!
I read Cork Dork this month and really enjoyed learning about what it takes to become a Master Sommelier. It’s truly a remarkable skillset that takes a lot of studying and fair bit of obsession. It inspired me to watch Somm and Somm: Into the Bottle on Netflix. Somm did come off as a bit dated (from 2012). This article gives the update on where the cast of Somm is now- and filled me in on a part three that’s in the works!
How are your bookish challenges going? I always get excited about the prospect of completing them but lose excitement by the end of the year. See how I’m doing. This year I tried The Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge and Book Riot's Read Harder- and they both just put out their challenges for 2019. I really think I can finish the MMD Challenge this year- the topics are very do-able. Book Riot Read Harder’s is going to be tough to do- but that’s the point! And they’re also really good about offering suggestions. There’s also the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge that’s got a lot more categories, but most of them would be easy to fill with my regular reading. What others are out there that I’ve missed?
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Wow did April fly by! It's finally getting warm out, so I think the colder weather tricked me into thinking May was further away than it really was. Also, it's impossible to live in a place that has seasons without opening up your blog post talking about the weather. Fact. Here are a couple of my favorites from the month!
NEW TO THE TBR PILE
The Other Woman | Sandie Jones | Expect to see this one everywhere later this year.
Two Steps Forward | Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist | I had no idea Graeme Simsion was coming out with a new book! I loved The Rosie Project and think this would be a nice feel good.
NEW TO THE BOOKSHELF
I went a little overboard this month, per usual. Book of the Month had especially enticing choices and a couple of publishers sent review copies to me, so... just building my collection!
The Other Woman | Sandie Jones | Emily loves Adam, and Adam seems like the perfect man. Except for his mother, Pammie, who will not stop until Emily is out of the picture... for good. #partner
Match Made in Manhattan | Amanda Stauffer | Serial monogamist Alison finds herself unexpectedly single after two, dead end long term relationships. She decides to try online dating and finds herself in the throes of dating in the digital age. #partner
Baby Teeth | Zoje Stage | This is another book that I've been seeing all over Instagram. The premise reminds me so much of We Need to Talk About Kevin. Little Hanna is downright cruel to her mother, but only acts that way when her father isn't around. Mom paranoid, but also feel that Hanna really might be trying to kill her.
Circe | Madeline Miller | There were so many enticing choices for Book of the Month this month, so I didn't pick this one up there, but I jumped on it when I saw that it was $3 on Amazon! Looks like it was a mistake that help land the book of the New York Times list.
Our Kind of Cruelty | People had lots of opinions about this one on my Instagram! And I love it. It sounds super messed up- basically, a man is obsessed with a woman from his past and has sculpted his life to become the man of her dreams... but she's marrying someone else. But she's just playing their game, right? Very creepy, but I love when we get to hear directly from the sociopath.
Then She Was Gone | Lisa Jewell | Jewell's last book, I Found You, was one of my favorite books of 2018 so I have high hopes for this! And the early reviews are telling me it's a good one.
The Oracle Year | Charles Soule | This was one that I immediately picked up after reading the synopsis- a 20 something New Yorker wakes up with the ability to predict the future. He posts the predictions anonymously online, as one does, but quickly finds himself having made both money and enemies. It's on Hoopla now if you're interested!
Force of Nature | Jane Harper | Yay, the sequel to The Dry! I really liked Detective Aaron Falk and am excited to see what's next for him.
The Fifth to Die | J. D. Barker | Of course I'm going to read this- I loved the first book in the 4MK Thriller series- The Fourth Monkey, and really can't wait to see what Detective Sam Porter has been up to. Plus, that book ended on a cliffhanger so I have to know what happened!
Stray City | Chelsey Johnson | I'm always looking to read perspectives from authors with difference experiences than mine, so when I heard this was about the queer scene in early 90s Portland, I grabbed it. A woman from a small Midwestern town moves to Portland, finds her people, loses her blood family, and has a baby. Lots of discussion of what make a family and of 90s punk / queer culture. A great debut!
A few of my favorite Bookstagram accounts!
Soo... there's only 72 days until our wedding, so I'm in a full panic mode at most times. There's still so much to do! Thankfully, a friend of mine is also planning a wedding and introduced me to an app- Wedding Happy. It's giving me all of the things that The Knot was not- an ability to add payment due dates as well as tasks, a cost per guest, a place to easily budget and make payments, and a grid showing me how many tasks are completed and how many are left. 60 tasks to go.... but seriously, if you're getting married I can't recommend this enough! And it's free.
I don't know about you, but I'm a skincare junkie. So when I found out I was lucky enough to receive a Lancôme Skin Feels Good Voxbox from Influenster, I was thrilled. I've tried some of their products before and really like them so was happy to try more! There's the Advanced Genifique Skin Youth Activating Serum that I use every day. It's pretty light weight and sinks into the skin quickly, which I like. The Skin Feels Good foundation is lighter than what I would normally use, but it's great for no makeup makeup days. The Prismatic Plump Lip Gloss was super interesting- the color I had, Bare Glow, has almost a purple shift to it- but ended up being very natural and glossy without irritating my lips like some plumping glosses do. Finally, the Renergie Lift Multi-Action Ultra Firming and Dark Spot Correction Moisturizer is probably my favorite product of the group. (Why are there so many words in its title?) It's got that strong Lancome scent, but it doesn't irritate my skin and eyes like some moisturizers with sunscreen do and it makes my skin really soft. And it has SPF 30- win! Thank you again to Influester for sending the products complimentary for my review.
I rekindled my love for the My Favorite Murder podcast after the thrill that was The Golden State Killer story. (Just Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about). The book, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, is a smash hit and I am totally shocked that he was caught just a couple of months after its publication. There's no way that's coincidence. SSDGM!
Killing Eve | Oh, to have Sandra Oh on my TV again. I loved her in Grey's and I think she's a fantastic actress, so when I saw a commercial for Killing Eve I was intrigued. Then when I found that it was about a female assassin and a detective... I immediately had to see if I had BBC America. The series just started and is only a couple of episodes in, so if you are looking for a new show I highly recommend this. Oh, and it's not for the sensitive... there are some pretty brutal scenes. But Oh makes it palatable.
What were your favorite discoveries this month?
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I'm going to get better at wrapping up every month. I plan to share bookish news like buzzed about new releases and books I've bought for the month as well as things that aren't necessarily book related. I'd also love it if you told me your recent favorites!
NEW TO THE TBR PILE
All We Ever Wanted | Emily Giffin | Goodreads tells me I've read everything Emily Giffin has ever published! I loved her early books (the Something Borrowed series) but downright hated some of her newer stuff (The One & Only). However, I definitely added All We Ever Wanted to my must read list because when her stories hit, they're great.
Bridge of Clay | Markus Zusak | I need not know anything else about this other than it's the latest from the author of one of my favorite books of all time, The Book Thief. His first since 2005!
Girls' Night Out | Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke | I love these authors. These two introduced me into buddy writing and are great with engaging with readers on Instagram.
NEW TO THE BOOKSHELF
I went a little overboard this month, but I visited several new to me bookstore and had to support them! I was also luckily enough to be sent a couple of ARCs for review.
The Favorite Sister, Jessica Knoll | A thriller with a reality show as its backdrop? It's like it was tailor made for me.
The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah | I tried this once and didn't get very far, but I got a gorgeous hardcover for $3 and couldn't pass it up.
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides | Celebrated its 25th anniversary this month!
Bel Canto, Anne Patchett | I hear such good things about this author and haven't read a book of hers yet! This synopsis sounds so compelling.
Every Body Yoga, Jessamyn Stanley | I'd love to get into yoga but I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm every body.
The Dry, Jane Harper | A 5 start mystery that's the first in a series!
This Will Be My Undoing, Morgan Jerkins | A memoir about "living in the intersection of black, female, and feminist in (White) America. Sign me up.
Not That I Could Tell, Jessica Strawser | You had me at "for fans of Big Little Lies".
I'll Be Gone In the Dark , Michelle McNamara | I first borrowed this from the library, but the writing is so rich and detailed it's taking me a bit to get through. And I don't mind one bit. This is one of the best true crime books I've come across, so I definitely wanted to add to my shelf.
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyeme | I had to buy this book as soon as I heard about it- it's a West African fantasy inspired debut.
scared_str8 <-- The funnest captions with a beautiful NYC backdrop.
acourtofcrownsandquills <--- Holy colors!!
whatshepictures <---Not a bookstagram account, but my god the beautiful flat lays! With how to's.
readwithkatie <---White background done right.
deebibliophelia <---A lifestyle bookstagram hybrid!
My two favorite products for the month go hand in hand. First, I know I mentioned wireless headphones in my last post, but I found a different pair this month that I like even more than my Beats. Apple Air Pods. I'l admit. When I first saw these IRL, I thought they looked so lame. I figured they'd fall out of my ears and that I'd lose them immediately. HOWEVER, they are the most convenient wireless headphones I've ever used. They connect to my phone immediately (something I CANNOT say for the Beats). The sound quality is great- but if I'm being honest, I'm mostly listening to podcasts and audiobooks so I don't know how they'd work for someone who's truly into music. They are very comfortable and I can wear for even longer than the Beats. They connect to my phone and I can use them to make calls. The case itself is charging so mine never run out of charge.... I really could go on and on. If you're at all interested, go to an Apple store and try them out! I love using audiobooks to help me do errands around the house and I've started to wear them when waiting in line and grocery shopping because #introvert. New favorite!
Along the same lines... between the Apple Watch, my iPhone, and the AirPods the bedside charging situation was getting out of control. I wanted something to streamline the situation. Enter this 3 In One charging station. I'll admit, it was a pain to set up but one it got going I love the minimalist look to it. I know this is a pretty specific product, but if you have all of these things you won't regret this charging set up.
I binge listened to two podcasts this month! Discovering new podcasts is the best, especially when their back catalog is short enough to feel like you don't have to do a ton of work to get caught up.
In By The Book I feel like I made two new best friends. Jolenta and Kristen are so wonderful to listen to. They pick a self- help book and live it to the letter for two weeks. Their husbands are absolute gems and are supportive through the process, and they do wrap up episodes to let us know if any new habits stick. They're on break for now and I'm waiting with bated breath for them to come back
If you know anything about me, you know that I'm obsessed with skincare and makeup. Forever 35 is another podcast hosted by two women who are friends. They share their love self care, which includes for serums and face masks. They bring on to interesting guests about their habits and items that they've been using. Warning- this podcast is likely to make you spend some money on yourself!
A plug-in that helps you check books out quickly from the library! When you Google a book the plug-in automatically links to your library so you can add it to your list.
This recipe- we've made it about once a week this month.
Any List- My favorite new app. This makes grocery shopping and meal planning a breeze!
The Confession Tapes on Netflix- I've only gotten through the first two episodes, but holy cats. Think mini versions of Making a Murderer.
What were your favorite discoveries this month?
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