Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

November 15, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

New Crayons!

Do you remember the thrill of brand new crayons? This set recently came into my home and I’m enjoying the newness as if they were mine!

crayons

New 2020 Planner!

I bought my 2020 Planner for planning blog content! Do you have your 2020 Planner? Does a new planner bring you joy? This is a small planner because it’s exclusively for blog planning and I love that I can tuck it in my purse for planning on the go!

planner.jpg

Books to Movies!

Does the prospect of your favorite book coming to the big screen bring you joy?! These are a few of the movies I’m positively looking forward to in the near future! Have I missed any movie adaptations that you are excited about?

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    The movie, December 25, 2019 trailer
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
    The movie, December 25, 2019 trailer
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (MG)
    The movie, May 29, 2020 trailer
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (MG)
    The movie, Apr 15, 2020  trailer
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (MG)
    The movie, Aug 14, 2020
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
    The movie, Dec 25, 2020 
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
    The move, date TBD, 2020
movie night

National Kindness Day!

This week included National Kindness Day, and I have a heartbreaking and inspiring story for you! Early this week, a member of the bookstagram community posted that she had received a few unkind comments on her post that featured a selfie in which she promoted her current YA read. Several unkind commenters expressed their rude opinions that she appeared too old to be posting selfies or to be reading YA. She was shocked by the age discrimination and deleted these hateful and hurtful comments. Now, the positive part of the story! The bookstagram community rallied to support her by posting selfies to show that social media is comprised of all ages (great literature is ageless!). The public support and solidarity were inspirational and heartwarming! It demonstrated that we all need to speak up and stand up to bullying and unkind behavior! I’m proud to be a participant in the inclusive and supportive bookstagram community! @readingladies_book_club

choose love

kindness day

Spiritual!

Steadfast love of the lord



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



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Nonfiction Books and Racial Injustice: #NonficNov

November 11, 2019

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert (today’s post)

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, I am sharing five books (plus one TBR) in a subgenre that I have read and can recommend. These are my favorite recommendations for books on the topic of racial injustice. I chose them because they each share a personal story and help build my understanding of racial injustice. Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Nonfiction Recommendations on the topic of Racial Injustice:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

just mercy

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (a personal experience) (MG)

Brown Girl Dreaming

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis (The Three Doctors) (MG)

we beat the street

TBR:

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers.jpg

***UPDATE: THANKS!

Many of you have left recs in the comments here and on my instagram account, so I’m compiling them here:

Recommendations From Readers:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by by Robin DiAngelo 
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
They Can’t Kill Us All:Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
The Undefeated by Kwame Aleander (picture book)
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (poetry)
Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person Blog posted a list of books on the topic of race in America here.

….list in progress….



QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a nonfiction book that addresses the topic of racial injustice.



Fall TBR Update

Four more…



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 25, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

New Baby!

Our extended family enjoyed a sweet celebration for our eagerly awaited and already treasured newest granddaughter!

baby shower cake.jpg

Baseball: U.S. World Series!

The Washington Nationals win the award for the most fun and positive dugout!!! Click to watch an example of one of their great team celebrations! Even if you don’t follow baseball, it’s entertaining and inspirational to watch their dugout shenanigans!

This is guaranteed to bring a smile!

 

World Series 2019

Dog of the Year!

My sister is a diabetic and she has worked hard to train her beloved German Sheppard to detect high and low blood sugars. He doesn’t leave her side and is always on alert. Such a good boy! Dogs are amazing companions!

Jax

Currently Reading!

Ah! It’s a treat to turn to the first page of a new and highly anticipated histfic release! Kate Quinn signed my copy of Ribbons of Scarlet!

Spiritual!

This is the day



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 18, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

Positively Inspirational!

The #positivitypost this week is a spotlight on authors!

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending an awesome author event! It was a delightful day in the company of other readers and gifted authors! Every time I read an unforgettable book and am transported to different places and cultures and meet memorable characters, I ponder how thankful I am for authors and their talent!

authors spotlight

author panel 5

Fifteen authors were at the event sponsored by Adventures By the Book, Novel Network, and Friends of the Corona Library.

Author List:
Huda Al-Marashi
Jeanne Blasberg
Julie Clark
Matt Coyle
Amy Mason Doan
Loretta Ellsworth
Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani
Jan Moran
Kristin Rockaway
Ona Russell
Katrin Schumann
Stephanie Storey
Kate Quinn
Abbi Waxman
Gwendolyn Womack

author panel 1

Panel 4

author panel 2

Panel 1

author panel 4

Keynote Speaker: Kate Quinn

author panel 3

Panel 2

author panel 6

Panel 3

One more highlight is that four Southern California Bookstagrammers were able to meet up for the first time! Jeanne Blasberg (center) was kind to be in our group picture!

bookstagrammers

L to R: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark @booksnbikram@jeanneblasbergauthor @bookishinmidlife @readingladies_book_club

author event lunch

We enjoyed a scrumptious continental breakfast and a substantial lunch! The day was even more special when Kate Quinn joined our table!

Ribbons of Scarlet cover

Each person received a free book! Ribbons of Scarlet

signed copy of Ribbons of Scarlet

Signed by Kate Quinn!

rainer marie rilke



QOTD:

What are you feeling Positive about today?

Have you attended an author event?

Other posts about author events I’ve attended at the Corona Library are here and here.



TTT: Ten Irresistible Book Titles

October 15, 2019

Ten Irresistible Book Titles

TTT Irresistible Book Titles

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links; my reviews are linked as available

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Extraordinary Book Titles.

Ten Irresistible Book Titles

Do titles influence your reading choices?

This is not the only way I choose a book, but sometimes titles are irresistible! I’ve listed examples of a few irresistible titles (all titles are also highly recommended). There are so many more! What are some of your favorite irresistible titles?  (listed in no particular order). 


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson

My review here

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek


The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi

My review here

Pearl That Broke its Shell


How to Find Love in a Bookshop
by Veronica Henry

My review here

How to find love in a bookstore


Castle of Water
by Duane Hucklebridge

My review here

Castle of Water


The Lost for Words Bookshop
by Stephanie Butland

My review here

The Lost for Words Bookshop


If You Want to Make God Laugh
by Bianca Marais

My review here

(more…)

Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 11, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

Positively Delicious!

Enjoyed a giant bakery peanut butter cookie this week!
What is your favorite cookie?

peanut butter cookie

Great TV!

U. S. “World Series” Games

Even though the Dodgers lost, I enjoy baseball playoff season…..especially cheering for an underdog!

World Series 2019

Blog Stats!

Last month, I celebrated a record number of views! Thank you so much for following, sharing, and reading! I appreciate each of you! Your views and comments mean so much to me and give me a great deal of encouragement! THANK YOU for your support!

thank you

Book to Movie News!

One of my favorite books is becoming a movie!
News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Have you read it?

Tom Hanks is in New Mexico filming News of the World!
December 25, 2020 release!

News of the World

Spiritual!

Steadfast love of the lord



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



 

TTT: Traits That Help Me Fall in Love With Characters

October 7, 2019

Traits that Help Me Fall in Love With Characters

 

 

***Some book titles are Amazon affiliate links; my reviews are linked for other titles

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Traits.

My Favorite Character Traits

Do you have favorite character traits?

One of the greatest joys of reading is the characters we encounter! I admit that I have a difficult time appreciating stories with unlikeable characters unless there is significant character growth or a major redemption theme. When I look back at my favorite books, they all include memorable and unforgettable characters. I think my very favorite character traits are found in WW11 stories. But traits like courage, determination, sacrifice, and grit can be found in other genres as well. The following is only a sample of a few of my favorite character traits.  (listed in no particular order). 


Bravery

to Live Your Best Life

Examples: Eleanor (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine), Lovejoy ( The Lost For Words Bookshop), Harold (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)
(find my post about quirky characters living their best lives here)

 


Actions

That Make a Difference For Others

Examples: Caroline (Lilac Girls), Cussy (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek), Grimke Sisters (Invention of Wings)

 


Compassionate

(especially toward children)

Examples: the Captain (News of the World), Cussy (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek)

 



Perseverance

in the Face of Dire Circumstances

Examples: Cilka (Cilka’s Journey), Zlatka and Fania Paper Hearts), Dita (The Librarian of Auschwitz), Ma (Room)

 


Loyalty

to Family

Examples: Kurc family (We Were the Lucky Ones),

we were the lucky ones

 


Courage, Determination, and Grit

Against the Odds

(more…)

Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

October 4, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity among all the doom and gloom on social media and in the news. Please feel free to join in with your own Happy Friday post and link to Meggy. Thanks to Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog and Jonetta at The Blue Mood Cafe for the inspiration!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup!

Yes, my favorite Panera Bread soup is in season!

autumn squash soup

Great TV!

PBS Documentary, History of Country Music

Even if country music isn’t your favorite, you will appreciate this well-done documentary and its content comprised of fascinating narrative, historical facts, and famous artists! As soon as my husband and I finished, we exclaimed, “Let’s watch it all again!”

Johnny Cash

Bookstagram Buddy Reads!

If you don’t have a book club, consider joining with bookish people on Instagram for buddy reads! There are plenty of opportunities to join book chats or create your own! I just finished buddy reads for The Vanished Bride and If You Want to Make God Laugh. Right now, I’m in a buddy read with @fictionophile56 @cometreadings and @nurse_bookie for an ARC of The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae.

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Six Years Old!

When it’s your six-year-old birthday, you win the positivity and excitement award with your new riding toy! Six-year-old birthdays are the best!

Spiritual!

do not fear quote



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



Honest Reviews

September 29, 2019

Do I Write Honest Reviews?

Writing Honest Reviews

My TL:DR answer to “Do I Write Honest Reviews” is Yes, you can trust that my reviews are honest.

Here’s the explanation:

Several book review bloggers have written posts on this topic, and I want to join this discussion so that my response will be an official statement on this blog.

“What raises this question?”

I notice two circumstances that can cause followers to ask the question:
1. You occasionally receive free books … can you really express an honest opinion when the book is free?
2. It seems suspicious that book reviews on this blog almost always earn four or five stars … can you honestly give every book four or five stars?

“Do you wonder if my reviews are honest?”

When I first started my blog over two years ago, I determined that my purpose for the blog is to offer readers my best recommendations for great reads. Therefore, week after week, followers will see almost all four and five-star reviews on this blog. This does not mean that I give every book I read four or five stars. It means that on the blog I select the best of what I read for review posts. If you follow me on Goodreads, you can see ALL the books I read and notice that I give a wide range of star ratings. There are many books I review on Goodreads that never make it to the blog. I read an average of ten to twelve books a month. I publish approximately four or five reviews per month, so only about 50% of what I read receives a blog post.

One reason I choose not to publish blog reviews of lower-rated books is because of the power of an image. Let me explain….. if you see the cover of a book on my blog, that image stays with you more than what I’ve said about the book. My fear is that when you are in Costco or Barnes and Noble, you will see a book cover and remember seeing that same cover on my blog and not remember that the book wasn’t to my taste and that I didn’t highly recommend it. You’ll buy the book because you think “I saw that on Carol’s blog” and then if you don’t like it, you will wonder why it was on my blog and not trust me again! I realize that some book bloggers review everything they read on their blog and leave it up to followers to take responsibility to find the gems. Because that doesn’t fit with my original vision for the blog, it may appear that I’m giving everything I read four or five stars and this leads some followers to question whether or not they trust me to give an honest review (because not every book is a four or five-star read).

One reason I hesitate to publish a monthly wrap up where I list every book I read in that month is that I fear you will see the cover and think I’m recommending it. For my monthly wrap up posts, I try to be very clear about my star ratings and hope that followers are paying attention!

Always keep in mind that no two readers ever read the same book and that you may have a very different opinion about the book! The four and five star reads I recommend here may be a one star read for you. I think over time that book review bloggers attract followers with similar tastes!

Also, I need to state here that I read every book that I review and recommend. I always hesitate to publish my TBR or other posts that contain covers of books I haven’t read. If I review a book, you can be certain that I’ve read it.


“If I receive a FREE ARC, am I required to give a good review?”

I do receive free books from time to time and that is always clearly stated before I begin my review. Even though I have received the book for free, I strive to be honest in my review. Because I care about authors and their work, I try to state any disappointments in the read as kindly as possible. I vet books as carefully as possible and I don’t accept certain genres so that I’m not caught in an uncomfortable position. So far, I have contacted an author only once and explained why I couldn’t review her book on my blog (the content was not what my followers expect me to recommend). If I can’t give a free book a four or five-star rating, I review it on Goodreads where I feel more comfortable giving two and three stars. If it happens that I will likely give the book a one-star rating, I will contact the publisher or author to let them know I will not be reviewing the book. You can be assured that if you see a free book reviewed on my blog or Goodreads, that my opinion is an honest one. I am not afraid to share honest opinions.

In addition, I want to emphasize that I have never experienced pressure from a publisher or an author for a certain star rating or a positive review. When I receive free books, it’s with the understanding that I will give an honest opinion.

My Five Star Rating Scale

5 stars (excellent) twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

  • given sparingly to the very best books, exceptional in every way, beautifully written, an important high impact book (lots of substance), unputdownable, ponder it for days and weeks after finishing, always a highly recommended must-read, important themes, a ddefinite WOW factor that gives me a “book hangover”

4 stars (great) twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

  • very enjoyable on many levels, important themes, frequently recommended, has a lot of substance, WOW factor

3 stars (ok) twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

  • an ok or meh read, mixed feelings about the writing (premise might be good, but execution lacking in some areas), still might be recommendable for some reasons, no WOW factor

2 stars (meh) twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

  • not recommendable, underwhelmed, unremarkable, finished but didn’t enjoy,  might be rated highly by others but not the right book for me

1 star (avoid) twinkle-twinkle-little-star

  • usually a DNF (did not finish), lacking in several important elements, skipped/skimmed large sections, I won’t be recommending it


I would love to hear your thoughts or questions!

Happy Reading Everyone!

Hello Fall Reading!

September 23, 2019

Welcome Fall Reading!

fall

What kinds of books are you looking forward to reading this fall?

In today’s post, I’ll explain why I’m an outlier when it comes to fall reading.

fall reading meme

While others are looking for spooky, thrilling, chilling, or haunted reads, I’m clinging to the same types of reads that I’ve read all year. I’m not really a seasonal reader, and I’m too much of a scaredy-cat to venture into the typical fall reads.

I like cozy but not chilling.

I hope that you find the reads you’re looking for this fall! If you’re looking for thrilling, chilling, or spooky, you’re not likely to find recommendations here. I’ll be continuing to offer the same types of reviews I’ve been writing all year!

Spooky, chilling, thrilling, and creepy gives me nightmares!

Happy Fall Y’all!

 



QOTD!

Do you have a favorite type of fall read?



Happy Fall Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead:

 Tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/24), I’ll post my fall TBR. 



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.