Top Ten Books I’ve Read in One Sitting

Linking up with Broke & Bookish to share the top ten books I've read in one sitting. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with the Broke & Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday meme.

It’s rare that I have time to sit down and read a whole book in one sitting, although I love when that happens. In light of that fact, I’m interpreting this prompt as “books I couldn’t put down, even when it was inconvenient to continue reading.” These are all books that I enjoyed so much that I would have read them in one sitting if it weren’t for those pesky things like work or family obligations…

The Passenger [ARC]

I love me a good mystery, and this thriller kept me engaged all the way to the end. I read it in two big chunks, not even putting it down to eat dinner.

Winter

This installment in the Lunar Chronicles series is the one I took with me for my sister’s wedding. Despite all the chaos and swirl of activity, I kept sneaking off to quickly devour another couple of chapters of this book.

Life After Life

I was so excited to reach the end of this book that I didn’t even get out of my car when I pulled into the parking lot before reading through the last chapters.

Geekerella [ARC]

This book is my most recent can’t-put-it-down favorite. The sweet romance and fun twist on the Cinderella story kept me up late until I finished reading it.

Everything, Everything [ARC]

I’m so excited that they’re making this book into a movie! I can’t wait to see it. I was in the midst of reading this book when my husband came home from work, and I refused to speak to him until I raced my way to the end of the book.

The Age of Miracles

I took this book with me to Europe and read it on the train, and I was so enthralled by it that I actually looked forward to the end of the day so I could finish reading it on the ride back.

Because of Winn-Dixie

I had read this Newbery book as a child, but it wasn’t until I re-read it recently that I realized how sweet it was. It’s short enough to read in one sitting even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Adulthood is a Myth

Is it cheating to list a book that’s made up mostly of comics in a list of “read in one sitting” books? Oh well, I’m including it either way.

Hyperbole and a Half

See above.

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

This was the book I read in close to one sitting when my husband and I got stranded in Nowhere, Florida when our car broke down. It was a fun escape from an otherwise stressful situation.

What books have you read in one sitting, or close to it? Leave your links in the comments!

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List

Linking up with Broke & Bookish to share the top ten books on my spring TBR list. | NewberyandBeyond.com
I’m linking up with the Broke and Bookish for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

As always, my TBR list is extensive and continually growing, so it’s nice to take a close look at it and figure out what I’m going to read next. These books aren’t in any particular order, they’re just the first ten books on my list that struck my fancy to read over the next couple of months.

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

This one sounds fascinating, but also depressing (which is why I haven’t read it yet). I’m going to be requesting this from my library very soon.

Heart of a Samurai

I’m always working on reading more Newbery books, and I think this one might be the next one I read.

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

This is a middle grades book that has been on my list for so long, I can’t remember a single thing about it. I’m trying to read through some of my super-backlist books, and this is one of them.

Truckers

The only Terry Pratchett book I’ve read is Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman. I think it’s time to get into some of his work.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

This is one of those classics that I’ve never actually read. Now might be the time.

Bridget Jones’ Diary

This is more of a modern classic. I didn’t like the movie much, but I’ve heard the book is great, so I’m willing to give it a try.

The Flavia de Luce series

I started this series years ago (the first two books were some of the first I reviewed on this blog!), and I’ve never gotten around to finishing it. I need to finally read the latest additions.

The Little Book of Hygge

This one just sounds fun. I need some of those books interspersed with my more difficult reads.

The Trespasser

I’ve read two of Tana French’s other books in this series, and I’d love to read her newest one. I just need to get in line to check it out from the library!

Anna and the French Kiss

Another one that just sounds fun. It’s not my typical genre (I’m not a huge romance fan), but I’ve had a lot of friends recommend it to me, so I think I’ll give it a try.

What books are on your spring TBR list? Leave your TTT links in the comments so I can check them out!

What I’m Into + March Small Goals

As always, I'm linking up to share my March small goals + what I've been into recently. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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As always, I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my March small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

I tried to keep it simple this month, but I still struggled a bit:

  • Make breakfasts ahead of time. I’m counting this as completed, although I changed the goal a bit. Instead of prepping breakfasts, I decided to prep lunches for the whole week. On Sunday, I’ve been making mason jar salads to take with me to lunch. Not only has this given me quick, cheap, and healthy meals for the whole work week, but we’re not throwing away rotting spinach and broccoli nearly as much as we used to. Hooray for limiting food waste! (For breakfast, I compromised and bought some snacks from Nature Box instead of making my own granola bars–that will have to wait for another month.)
  • Read and review the 2017 Newbery books. This one is about half done. I’ve read three of the books, and I’m waiting for my library to have the fourth available. My sister and I plan to do a joint review of the newest Newbery books like we did last year, which will be really fun.
  • Actually post more Etsy projects in the N&B store. Hmm… No. I have been working on more watercolor experiments, but I haven’t posted anything new yet.

1.5/3 isn’t too great, but I am super excited I got my work lunches figured out. Maybe that will give me more time to complete my March small goals:

  • Relax! I started out the month of February with strep throat, and I felt like I never really got my feet under me after that. I’m struggling to find a sustainable rhythm for my new work schedule, and even yesterday I wasted more time than I’d like to admit being frustrated at myself for wasting time! I’m hoping to make March the month I get back on track with all my weekly to-dos, and hopefully that will include time to relax (on purpose, rather than just wasting time and feeling guilty about it…).
  • Hand letter every day. I’m challenging myself to letter every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Hopefully this will enable me to actually finish my goal of posting some new projects on the N&B Etsy store.
  • Work on my massive cross stitch project. This has been on my small goals list before, but I think it will go well with my goal to relax. When I’m listening to an audiobook, podcast, or TV show, it’s just as easy and way more relaxing to pick up my stitching rather than trying to multitask by doing paperwork or mindlessly browsing the internet.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: Of course, I’m excited about reading the last 2017 Newbery book. So far, they’ve all been wonderful.

TV shows I’ve been watching: Netflix has a new season of The Great British Baking Show! It’s a lovely show to watch after a long, stressful day.

Music I’m loving: The Hush Sound is my go-to right now.

Podcasts Audio books I’m listening to: I just finished listening to Symphony of the Dead, about Shostakovich, his seventh symphony, and the siege of Leningrad. I knew a bit about Shostakovich from my music history classes, but this book was fascinating and horrifyingly informative. (Review to come soon!)

My favorite Instagram:

This is pretty much my life motto.

Hand lettering by NewberyandBeyond.com
All rights belong to me. Please don’t use without permission!

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

What I’m Into + February Small Goals

I'm linking up and sharing my February small goals, along with my favorite things from January. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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As always, I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my February small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

January wasn’t the greatest month for me. I’ve been battling stress and illness (strep throat is no joke, people), but I managed to get a couple of things done anyway.

  • Post three new items on the N&B Etsy store. Not yet. I’ve been brainstorming and experimenting, but I haven’t posted anything new yet.
  • Start meal planning. …Nope. My husband and I collected a bunch of recipes, but we didn’t actually get to the “planning” part of this goal.
  • Do a joint book review with my sister. You can read it here!
  • Take care of home maintenance tasks. I’m counting this one mostly complete. There’s still a burnt out lightbulb that we haven’t gotten around to replacing yet.
  • Continue to carve out time for relaxation (and reading!). Yes. I’ve been organized about my work schedule and the things I need to do at home, and I’ve worked hard to make space for relaxing and being unproductive.

I’m keeping it simple for my February goals, since January didn’t go as planned:

  • Make breakfasts ahead of time. This is sort of related to my meal planning goal from last month, but it’s (hopefully) a lot simpler to accomplish. There are a couple days a week that I have to get up much earlier than the rest of the week, and I rarely feel like making breakfast when I get up, so I want to pre-make breakfast bars and other healthy, easy options.
  • Read and review the 2017 Newbery books. I’m so excited about this year’s Newbery books! One was already on my TBR list, but the others are books I had never heard of.
  • Actually post more Etsy projects in the N&B store. I’m experimenting more with watercolors, and I’ll be posting some bookish items as well.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: I’m currently making my way through the NetGalley review books I ordered. Lots of YA coming up soon!

TV shows I’ve been watching: Whenever I’m sick or stressed, Unlikely Animal Friends (on Netflix) can always cheer me up.

Music I’m loving: After several months of waiting, because I just can’t handle that level of awesomeness every day, I’m finally re-listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.

Podcasts Audio books I’m listening to: Did you know that the movie Hidden Figures is based on a book? I’m listening to it on audio book right now.

My favorite Instagram:

I love this quote! (Plus, this photo offers you a sneak peek into some of the art I’m experimenting with for the Etsy store.)

Hand lettering by Newbery and Beyond | newberyandbeyond.etsy.com
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If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

2017 Book Challenges

I'm excited to be joining two book challenges this year--one focusing on Newbery books and the other on classic books. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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A couple of years ago, I participated in a book pairing challenge, but last year I somehow ended up with no book challenges. I want to change that this year, so I’m joining up with two book challenges!

The first challenge is a Newbery book challenge, so you know I had to join. This one is being hosted by Smiling Shelves, and participants can get points by reading Newbery Medal or Honor books as well as Caldecott books. Because reading all the Newbery books is the whole reason I started this blog, I’m going to aim for the highest challenge level (Konigsburg, which is 75+ points).

The second challenge is a classic books challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate. Reading the classics that I somehow missed is another reading goal that I’ve been attempting, so I’m excited to have this challenge to keep me on track. I’m hoping to complete all twelve challenges, but this one is sure to be more difficult than the Newbery challenge. I really struggle with reading classics when I’m not in the mood to trudge through antiquated writing and slow plots. (I’m going to do my best to read books from this list.)

What about you guys? Are any of you joining a book challenge this year?

What I’m Into + January Small Goals

I'm linking up on the blog today to share what I'm into recently + my January small goals. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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As always, I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my January small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

December was a whirlwind of parties, concerts, and family get-togethers, but I still somehow managed to get things done!

  • Organize all my bookish statistics for the year. You can see that post here.
  • Post watercolor pieces on my Etsy store. Yes! The watercolor gift tags I made last month were one of my favorite pieces so far. Be sure to check out the Etsy store, and be on the lookout for even more pieces to come this month.
  • Create space to relax. I did this! The first half of the month was crazy, but since I had some time off between Christmas and New Year’s, I was able to do a lot of things that filled my relaxation need: eating out with friends, playing board games with the roommates, watching movies with my husband, and (of course) doing lots of reading.
  • Read through my backlog of books. Mostly. I’m counting this one as completed because I did read a significant amount during the last few weeks of 2016… but I still have a huge stack of books by my bed. Some were gifts or last-minute purchases, but I also have a large amount of library books I need to burn through before I have to return them!
  • Sponsor a businesswoman through Kiva. Yep! (If you want to check out Half the Sky, the book that helped inspire this goal, you can read my review of it here.)

I am absolutely thrilled at completing all of my goals for December! (I think this may be the first month that has actually happened.) Now, for my brand-new January small goals:

  • Post three new items on the N&B Etsy store. I’m bubbling over with ideas, including some bookish-related items, and now that the holidays are over I’m hoping to have enough time to complete a few of them.
  • Start meal planning. I hate the idea of meal planning, but since my husband and I are both getting busier at work (more on that below), I know it needs to happen. Unless we want to continue eating dinner at 9:00 every night. (If you have any favorite recipes that are quick, tasty, and somewhat healthy, please let me know in the comments!)
  • Do a joint book review with my sister. Posting more joint reviews is one of my overall goals for 2017, so I figure I might as well start now! My sister has posted on the blog before, and it’s always a lot of fun to talk books with her.
  • Take care of home maintenance tasks. Why does it seem like the lightbulbs burn out, faucets leak, and doorknobs get loose all at the same time? I’ve been ignoring these small inconveniences for waaaay longer than a responsible home-renter should.
  • Continue to carve out time for relaxation (and reading!). I’ve just added more time to my work schedule, which means I’ll need to be more intentional about getting things done around the house (see above), but it also means that I’ll need to focus on relaxing. It sounds silly, but if I’m not careful, I’ll spend all my downtime spinning my wheels, trying to complete tasks and worrying about things that I can’t change. (Anybody else have this problem??)

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book is still sitting next to my bed. I’m waiting for the perfect time to dig in. I also have some new books from two of my other favorite authors, Jasper Fforde and Shannon Hale.

TV shows I’ve been watching: My husband and I finally finished watching Veronica Mars (the TV series and the movie), and I am totally obsessed! I wish there were more seasons to watch, but I’ve heard the Veronica Mars audio books (written by show creator Rob Thomas and narrated by Kristen Bell) are really good.

Music I’m loving: I can’t stop listening to Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. (If you don’t mind a bit of raunchy humor, this interpretive dance to the song is hilarious!)

Podcasts I’m listening to: I’m not usually a fan of D&D-related media, but my husband and I are hooked on The Adventure Zone podcast. The McElroy brothers and their dad are hilarious. (Listen at your own risk! There’s a lot of swearing and sexual innuendo here.)

My favorite Instagram:

I love to take part in the Broke & Bookish secret Santa swap, and I got some lovely gifts from my secret Santa this year.

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If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2016

Linking up with the Broke and the Bookish to share my top ten best books I read in 2016. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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It’s the end of the year, which means tons of reflection posts and best-of lists (which I love!). I read many wonderful books this year, but these ten were the best books on my list. I recommend each of them wholeheartedly!

The Penderwicks series

If you enjoy Hilary McKay’s delightful writing style and quirky families, you must read this series. The Penderwicks are a family of sisters whose different personalities often clash, but who deeply love and take care of each other. They have fun adventures together and help each other adjust to the changes of growing up. I’m currently reading the fourth and latest book in the series, and so far each one has been just as wonderful as the last.

The Passenger

I don’t often read thrillers, but I greatly enjoyed this one. I read it practically in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.

Come, Thou Tortoise

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Audrey has to come to terms with her recent loss, and as odd as our main character is, the writing style is just as strange–there are no question marks or quotation marks here. A quirky book with surprisingly lovable characters.

The Secret Adversary

I absolutely love Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence mysteries, so I really liked reading their first adventure together.

Thursday Next series

This series is a must read for book lovers and anyone who thinks a humorous time travel/alt history SFF series sounds awesome (it is).

Last Stop on Market Street

This is just a lovely picture book. Whether or not you have kids, you should pick this Newbery winner up.

Half the Sky

Heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. If you care about women’s issues, you should read this book.

Abandoned America

I have a weird obsession with abandoned buildings, and reading this book made me realize I’m not alone. The author treks through various abandoned places, from a classic ghost town to an enormous mall, from hotels and vacation spots to theaters and mental hospitals. The photos are amazing, and he tells the fascinating stories of why each place was abandoned.

Dumplin’

A wonderful YA book about an overweight girl trying to fit in and stand out in her beauty pageant-obsessed town. All the characters are wonderful–they make bad choices sometimes, sure, but none of them are cringe-worthy–and I love the Texas setting.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

This picture book is definitely one of the best books of this year. For any child (or adult) who wants to look at some beautiful artwork and read about the amazing women who shaped our world.

What were your favorite reads of 2016?

Ten Books I’d Like to See Under My Christmas Tree This Year

Linking up with Broke & Bookish to share my top ten books I'm thankful for. | NewberyandBeyond.com
I’m linking up with the Broke and Bookish for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

I’ve already received a couple of awesome books for Christmas (thanks, Secret Santa!), but there are always more books I’d love to receive. Here are just a few I’d like to see under my Christmas tree this year.

1. The Year of Living Danishly. This book sounds so fun! And sadly my library doesn’t have a copy of it.

2. Refuse to Do Nothing. This book on ending modern-day slavery has been on my TBR list for a couple years now, and unfortunately my library doesn’t have a copy! I want to have a copy of my own.

3. Hyperbole and a Half. I’ve already read this book, and it is hilarious! I want to be able to read this book anytime I need a pick-me-up.

4. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run. Another book that just sounds hilarious. I need more of those books in my life.

5. The Cardamom Trail. My husband and I got obsessed with The Great British Baking Show this year, and we fell in love with Chetna’s baking style. If I had this book, I could probably convince my husband to do some baking with me!

6. I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla. As someone who wants to adopt someday, this book on interracial adoption is a must read.

7. Quiet Power. I’ve read Susan Cain’s original book and enjoyed it a lot. I want to add this one to my stack of books!

8. The Princess Problem. I loved this book! I want to have my own copy for when I have children.

9. The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. I’ve been reading my library’s copy of this book, and I loooove it! (You know how much I’m into mysteries.) I really want my own copy so I can reread my favorites every December.

10. Eleanor Roosevelt: You Learn by Living. Eleanor Roosevelt is my role model! I’ve read a lot about her, but I’d love to read a book that she wrote.

What books do you want to see under your Christmas tree this year?

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2016

These ten authors are my favorite new-to-me writers this year. | NewberyandBeyond.com
I’m linking up with the Broke and Bookish for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

I don’t usually buy books based on authors, so this was a tricky topic for me! A few authors did spring to mind immediately, though.

  1. Jasper Fforde. His hilarious, quirky fantasy worlds just draw you in, whether they’re YA or adult fiction.
  2. Cheryl Strayed. I never expected to enjoy Cheryl Strayed as much as I did, but I found her writing as Sugar to be touching and thought-provoking.
  3. Delia Sherman. This author’s debut middle grades novel was super fun (I did receive this one as an ARC).
  4. H.Y. Hanna. I’ve been receiving review copies from this author since January, and I’ve loved every single one of her books. They’re fresh, fun cozy mysteries.
  5. Jenny Lawson. I’ve known about the Bloggess for a while, but I never picked up her books until this year. They’re hilarious, heartbreaking, raw accounts of the crazy things that happen in Jenny Lawson’s life.
  6. Russell Freedman. He writes great biographies about amazing people in America’s history. Freedman’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt started my obsession with her.
  7. Tana French. I know, this isn’t a unique pick. But I greatly enjoyed the two Tana French books I read this year.
  8. Virginia Hamilton. Her writing is filled with beautiful stories that often focus on non-white women.
  9. Timothy Hallihan. I love his unique characters and fun mysteries.
  10. Victoria Jamieson. Her book, Roller Girl, was one of the wonderful 2016 Newbery books.

What new authors made your top ten list this year?

What I’m Into + November Small Goals

I'm sharing my favorite October moments and my November small goals in today's link up. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my November small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

 

My October goals didn’t go half bad!

  • Have a TBR reading day. I’m counting this one as completed. Although I didn’t take a whole day just to sit and read through a bunch of books, I did request almost 20 books off my TBR list from the library and have read through almost all of them.
  • Open my Etsy store! This is actually today’s project. I have all the supplies I need, I’ve made several sets of m first products, and all that’s left to do is take photos for the Etsy listings! I’ll include the link here as soon as the store is open. The store is open!! I’m beyond excited, and I’d love for you to check out my products here.
  • Get an actually significant amount of cross stitching done. Yeeeesss…? I’m counting this one as completed, but again, there’s a huge amount of cross stitching left to do if I ever want to finish this Christmas stocking.
  • Repair, replace, or remove certain household items. This is another goal that’s about halfway done. I did repair some items that just needed a little hand stitching, but I still need to get my pants hemmed and take a bunch of clothing to Goodwill.

I’m trying to keep my November small goals simple, since I know I’ll be spending a lot of time traveling for the holidays and rehearsing for my church’s Christmas concert.

  • Prep Christmas gifts. I know what I’m going to be giving almost everyone on my list, and I want to prepare them this month so I can drop them off at my family’s house when I visit for Thanksgiving (instead of having to pay to ship them).
  • Open my Etsy store. Yep, for real this time.
  • Dye my hair again. This will be a fun project! I’m trying something new this year–photos to come!
  • Experiment with watercolors. I’ve got some more ideas for my Etsy shop involving watercolors, but I’ve never worked with them before. I’m hoping to harness my husband’s expertise with this.
  • Complete the Skillshare challenge. Skillshare classes were a great help to me when I was learning to hand letter, and I’m hoping to complete the teaching challenge this month so I can start my own hand lettering class.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: A book club I’m part of on Goodreads is going to have its first in-person meeting early next month, and we’re going to be discussing The Girl from the Train. I’m excited to read and discuss it!

TV shows I’ve been watching: I’ll be honest, I’ve only been watching Parks & Rec and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries this month. The first is a great backdrop for my cross stitching work, and the second is a super fun show that I’ve been rewatching with my husband (I’ve already seen all the episodes on Netflix; he hasn’t).

Music I’m loving: I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.

Podcasts Audio books I’m listening to: I’ve read so many audio books this month (and skipped several that I thought I would like and hated about five minutes in). I just finished listening to Words in the Dust, and I found it pretty interesting.

My favorite Instagram:

My sister and her husband visited us in October, and we spent time doing all the great Florida tourist things. We had a great time at the beach (of course).

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If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my new hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

 

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

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