Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

September 13, 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!


Today, September 13, 2019,
is National Positive Thinking Day!


Yes, there literally is a day for everything it seems!

So, I’m encouraging you today (and this weekend) to do something to spread the positivity wave! Buy someone a coffee, send an encouraging note or a thank you, phone or text your best friend, smile at a stranger, extend a compliment…. SHARE THE POSITIVITY!

Here is a set of positive quotes to celebrate National Positive Thinking Day!



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 

What do you do to maintain a positive attitude?



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Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

September 6, 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! Tina at Reading Between the Pages Blog joined the wave today!
#positivity #gratitude

Positivity

Gratitude and Positivity are FREE and make every day BETTER!

New Vehicle!

I don’t purchase a new vehicle very often (I previously owned a classic 2002 Ford Excursion!), so I’m thrilled with my new GMC Yukon!

Yukon

Air Conditioning!

Every day I’m grateful for air conditioning and it’s essential to the “positivity wave” around here!

a dog and a fan

IN-N-OUT! IN-N-OUT!
That’s What a Hamburger’s All About!

If you live in or have visited California, you know!
IN-N-OUT was a frequent dating destination for my high school crowd back in the day.
Now, every trip to IN-N-OUT is a trip down nostalgia lane for me!
Have you enjoyed an IN-N-OUT burger and fries?

in n out burger

Family Parties!

The longer I live, the more special family parties become!
Bio family and/or found family ….. draw a wider circle!
Heading to a family party tomorrow!

Rogers family quote

family quote

Spiritual!

Think on these things!

think-of-these-things-3.jpg



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

August 30, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity amongst 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!

Mild Summer!

I’m grateful that so far we’ve experienced a mild summer in my neck of the woods! No extreme heat waves…YET! I haven’t resorted one time to posting this favorite summer cartoon!

it's hot outside popcorn cartoon

Celebrating a Birthday!

Birthdays are always fun for the young and young-at-heart!

blowing-out-candles-e1567202065226.jpg

Fall TV!

It won’t be long now and new fall programming will commence! Do you have favorite television programs? A few that I look forward to including This is Us (I love this show because it’s structured like a multilayered, complex, literary family drama!), Blue Bloods, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, NCIS, The Rookie, The Crown: Season 3 (Netflix), and, of course, Jeopardy (for the nerd in me!).

fall tv

Back to School

The bittersweet aspect of retiring from teaching is missing out on the “back to school” anticipation and vibe! I love “back to school” supplies, planners, new outfits, and the excitement of learning! I definitely don’t miss the early wake-up call!

back to school cartoon

teachers

Spiritual

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

give thanks to the lordThis is the day



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today? 



Check out other bloggers participating in the #PostitivtyWave

Chocolate’n’Waffles (host)
Blue Mood Cafe
Reading Between the Pages
The Secret Library Book Blog
Carla Loves To Read
Zooloo’s Book Diary
One More Word
FromBelgiumWithBookLove
The Reading Closet
Chat About Books



Happy Friday! #ThePositivityWave

August 23, 2019

Hello and Happy Friday!

For the first time, I’m joining with Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles to spread some positivity amongst 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!

Family Swim Day!

I’m grateful for every opportunity to spend laughing, playing, and loving with FAMILY! We enjoyed a swim party this week, and “Cooper” is an integral part of the family fun!

family swim day

Dove Chocolate Covered Raspberry Sorbet Frozen Bars

Trust me! For 150 calories, this is a perfectly satisfying snack.

dove bars

Support!

A blogging highlight of the week was an opportunity to be “blog of the day” on @The_Writereads’s Twitter account. Their support is so appreciated, and it provides a chance to interact with the blogging community!

the write reads twitter post

A Highly Anticipated Read

Louise Penny’s new release is in my NEAR future! Four more sleeps until I can immerse myself into the world of Three Pines and check in on Inspector Gamache and the gang.

A Better Man

Spiritual

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

This is the dayThis is the day



QOTD: What are you feeling Positive about today?



 

TTT: My Favorite Literary Tropes

August 20, 2019

 

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links

top ten tuesday

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

My Favorite Literary Tropes

Do you have favorite tropes?

Part of successfully choosing your next read is knowing what tropes (themes or plot devices) you enjoy and which you don’t! I will almost always be happy with my reading experience when I choose to read a book with one of the following tropes (listed in no particular order). 


The Gruff Older Character Whose Life is Changed by a Precocious, Precious, or Extraordinary Child

Examples: The One-In-A-Million Boy, News of the World, A Man Called Ove


The Importance of Family, Complicated Family Drama

Examples: A Place For Us, We Were the Lucky Ones, Little Fires Everywhere, Ask Again Yes, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters


Found Family

Examples: Louisiana’s Way Home, News of the World, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words


Reconciliation

Examples: Ask Again Yes, A Place For Us, Invention of Wings


Faith

Examples: From Sand and Ash, Paper Hearts, A Fall of Marigolds, Unbroken


Adoption

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Book Characters That I’d Like as Best Friends

August 13, 2019

 

 

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters That I’d Like For Best Friends.

Book Characters That I’d Like For Best Friends

Oh my! This is a difficult topic! I admire so many characters!

Many characters I love are from the histfic genre, and I can’t imagine sharing their difficult lives. Also, some of the characters I’d like to be friends with are younger than I am……but maybe that’s OK because we are pretending, and I guess I can become their age if I’m their imaginary friend! So I won’t worry about those pesky details!

Here’s the list I created (tomorrow could be a different list)…..I don’t want to hurt any favorite character’s feelings by leaving them off this list…..just know that there are a hundred more! (listed in no particular order)


Inspector Gamache, Reine Marie, Myrna, Clara

I’d love to be friends with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife, Reine Marie (…..and Myrna the bookstore owner and Clara the artist)….. but prickly Ruth the poet kind of intimidates me!). I’d love to visit the Safe Haven of Three Pines and sit by the roaring fire in the Bistro for pastry and hot chocolate, or visit one of their homes for a comfort-food dinner and enjoy their cozy friendship.

A Better Man (Installment #15 in the Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines Series) by Louise Penny (counting the days until the 8/27 release!)
Genre: character-driven mystery
(My Kingdom of the Blind ReviewThe Series and Glass Houses Review)

A Better Man


Eliza

I’d love to be friends with the industrious, loyal, patriotic Eliza Hamilton (wife of Alexander Hamilton). Although she had eleven children and partnered closely with her husband in writing and drafting documents and probably wouldn’t have time to chit-chat, I still think it would be inspirational to have known her.

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Genre: Historical Fiction, U.S. History and the Founding
(My Review)

my dear hamilton


Cussy

I would love to have had the opportunity to befriend Cussy Mary Carter who endured racism because of a rare medical condition that caused her skin to appear blue and suffered more than her share of hardships due to poverty and isolation. Cussy is courageous, committed to literacy, always chooses kindness, and cares deeply for others (especially children). It would be a privilege to call her “friend.” (no worries, she doesn’t cuss!)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Racism, Prejudice, Book About Books
(Review coming this Friday)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek


Precious

I would be honored to be best friends with Precious Ramotswe. She’s a gentle spirit, gracious in her hospitality, wise, thoughtful, and kind. I could learn to drink tea!

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
Genre: Fiction, Gentle Mystery (Africa)
(a review of The House of Unexpected Sisters)

No 1 Ladies Detective Agency


Maggie

I can always be friends with a competent, caring, compassionate, creative teacher! I would love to be Maggie‘s teaching partner and her best friend! We would share middle grade lit recommendations and create engaging lesson plans!

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
(my review here)

The Secret of Clouds


Layla

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If You Like That, Read This

July 30, 2019

***Titles are Amazon affiliate links or links to my reviews

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday “Freebie,” I’m listing ten sets of compatible reads.

 

If You Like That, Read This!

10 Sets of Compatible Reads

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
both Contemporary Fiction by Rachel Joyce
(character-driven companion reads)


My Dear Hamilton (Historical Fiction) by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
and Alexander Hamilton (NF) by Ron Chernow
(for fans of U.S. History and the Founding)


Where the Crawdads Sing (Fiction) by Delia Owens
and The Scent Keeper (Fiction) by Erica Bauermeister
(especially for readers who are interested in unique coming of age stories)


The Romanov Bride (HistFic) by Robert Alexander
and I Was Anastasia (HistFic) by Ariel Lawhon
(for fans of Russian History)


For One More Day by Mitch Albom
and The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
(for fans of reflective, meaning of life stories)


Paper Hearts (WW11 YA HistFic) by Meg Wiviott
and The Librarian of Auschwitz (WW11 YA HistFic) by Antonio Iturbe
(for readers who appreciate inspiring, unforgettable characters)


A Man Called Ove (movie) and Britt-Marie Was Here
both by Fredrik Backman
and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
(for fans of poignant, character-driven contemporary fiction)


The Glass Castle (NF Memoir) by Jeanette Walls (movie)
and Educated (NF Memoir) by Tara Westover
and The Great Alone (Fiction) by Kristin Hannah
(for readers who want gritty, beating-the-odds stories)


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (HistFic) by Lisa See
and The Secret Daughter (Fiction) by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
and Far From the Tree (YA Fiction) by Robin Benway
(for fans of adoption themes)


A Grief Observed (NF Memoir) by C. S. Lewis
and Becoming Mrs. Lewis (HistFic) by Patti Callahan
(and then watch the movie, Shadowlands)



QOTD!

I love to make connections between my reads! How about you?
What other pairs can you suggest?



Posts You Might Have Missed:

2 Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

Summer’s ONE “Must-Read” Book

Summer 2019 TBR

Book Club Recommendations

My Best Reads of the Year So Far 



Happy 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



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.

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***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.

2 Year Blogiversary & Giveaway

July 28, 2019

 

To celebrate my two-year Blogiversary, I’ll reflect on what I wish I knew two years ago and offer a GIVEAWAY!

10 Things I Wish I Knew Two Years Ago as a Beginning Blogger:

3 books graphic

I wish I knew how much time I would devote to social media.

  • I wish I knew about the amount of time social media requires.
  • Time: 2-3 hours every morning on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook. Pinterest, and blog comments (my blog and others). As I read blogs, I comment, like, and often share the posts on Twitter. Sometimes I link up with other bloggers (Top Ten Tuesday for example).
  • Instagram: Engage with the bookstagram community and post my own content. In order to share posts on Instagram, I first need to create a picture (because I read digitally, I use PhotoGrid to create graphics using book covers in lieu of using physical books……setting up physical books for a photo shoot would take even more time than creating a graphic in PhotoGrid). One more option to consider with Instagram is setting up the LinkTr.ee app which will enable you to add more than one link to your profile.
  • Goodreads: Check in at least once a day and engage with the reviews in my feed, or I post a review (always adding my blog link to the end of the review).
  • Pinterest: Check for notifications and look to see what I can pin. On days that I publish a post, I pin my post to several group boards (it took me a while to figure out how to find and join the boards in my niche). I create my Pinterest images using a Canva template.
  • Twitter: Check my notifications, retweet, comment, and look for opportunities to share a blog link.
  • Facebook: From my personal page, I engage with many book groups I follow and post my blog links when the opportunity arises. Then I post links or memes on my blog’s FB page.
  • Throughout the day, I also respond to various notifications from my morning’s engagement on social media. In the evening, I will often revisit my morning routine to take advantage of more opportunities to share my blog link.
  • I wish I had all the social media set up and ready to go the day I launched my blog, it would have been a lot smoother and more effective. It took me months to set up all my social media accounts. It took me about a year to finally get around to Twitter (eventually, Jennefer-TarHeelReader was kind enough to comment that she couldn’t share my blog on twitter and offered encouragement to help me get that set up!). I missed a lot of promotion opportunities by not having Twitter set up from Day One because I receive more views from Twitter than any other social media platform. It’s extremely easy for readers to click and share your blog post to Twitter for you!
  • Best Tip: Make sure all your social media accounts reflect your blog name in some way.

3 books graphic

I wish I knew how much bloggers benefit from each other’s support and encouragement.

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The Island of Sea Women: A Review

May 27, 2019

Have you experienced a patriarchal or matriarchal culture?

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Island of Sea Women Review

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, South Korea, Women’s Roles

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

You may have read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, or Shanghai Girls by popular author Lisa See. In The Island of Sea Women, See imagines the story of Mi-ja and Young-sook. As the story begins, we are introduced to these two young girls living on the Korean Island of Jeju. Although the girls are best friends, they come from very different backgrounds. As the girls mature, they begin working in the sea with other women in the village as part of the diving collective (the haenyo). Even though diving is dangerous, the girls are eager to be allowed to join the women of the sea as they learn the trade and follow in the tradition of the other women in the village who are the sole providers for their families. In this matriarchal culture, the men stay home, cook, and assume primary care for the children. Women take on the responsibility for providing an income from selling the bounty of their diving expeditions. It’s women who worry about the livelihood of their families and village, assume great physical risks, and take responsibility for knowing the best locations and times/conditions to dive. The  sea women dive when they are pregnant and sometimes give birth on the boat as part of their workday if necessary. The story begins in the 1930s and continues through WW11, the Korean War, and the modern technology boom. Over the decades, circumstances put the girls’ friendship under great strain and the story encompasses their entire lives. It’s a story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession.

My Thoughts:

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Blogger Recognition Award

May 13, 2019

I’ve Been Nominated For The Blogger Recognition Award!

Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve been nominated! It makes my day to be nominated for an award! Bloggers work hard to bring their followers consistent, inspiring, and relevant posts, and although it’s thrilling when followers leave likes and comments, it’s extra thrilling when fellow bloggers recognize and shout out your efforts.

It’s with a full heart that I shout out a huge thank you to Amanda at The Lexington Bookie for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award. As well as answering the questions, this is a great opportunity for me to share a few extraordinary bloggers with you.

Blogger Recognition Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog.
  2. Write a blog post on your website showing the award.
  3. Describe the story of why you started your blog.
  4. Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers.
  5. Nominate 10 more bloggers.
  6. Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them.

Why I Started Blogging:

When I first contemplated retirement from my teaching career, I knew I would need to channel that passion and energy. I needed something I could jump right into that would help ease the bittersweet sting of retirement. I started by thinking about my interests and skills: I am a voracious reader, I love searching out and recommending the best books (especially histfic), I love to read new releases, I love to write, I often annoy others by oversharing my great reads with anyone who will listen, I am not intimidated by technology, (teaching required learning new technology and before my teaching career I dabbled in graphic design), and I was already an avid reader of various blogs. During the last week of teaching, I drove home each night dreaming and scheming about creating my own space on the world wide web to share my love of reading and great books. On the last day of teaching (June 17), I hunkered down with a yellow pad to write my first blog post. By July, I had met with a techie friend (thanks Chad!) to help me with the intricacies of WordPress and by July 27, I was ready to hit publish. Of course, the weeks and months since then have provided great opportunities for learning more about the wonderful world of blogging.

Advice For New Bloggers:

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