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Show Us Your Books – December 2018

Can you believe it’s almost 2019 already? This year has positively flown by. Perhaps that’s because I’ve read so many stories and visited so many different worlds this year — for the first time ever, I’ve completely 100 books (and I’m still going)! It feels amazing to have accomplished that, and at the same time, I’m not sure it’s something I want to repeat. Even with my blog, for which I have to carefully reflect on the books I review, I can barely remember most of the books I’ve read.

Since we last met for SUYB, I’ve finished 11 books — four of which I finished in the 5 days of the Thanksgiving Readathon. That’s a lot to catch you up on, so I’ll try to keep it brief!  

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book review, recipe

Marilla of Green Gables + Raspberry Cordial

Like many girls, I grew up with Anne Shirley. I adored her big imagination and found it amusing to watch her get into and out of trouble. Just as important to the story are Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, the brother-sister duo who give Anne a home at Green Gables. In her latest novel, Marilla of Green Gables, Sarah McCoy explores what life was like for the Cuthberts before Anne arrived.

Marilla of Green Gables

The young Marilla — idealistic and eager to please — reminded me a lot of precocious Anne, which is not what I expected. Still, we’re all young once, and I thought Saray McCoy did a wonderful job showing Marilla’s transformation from a clever, spirited teenager to the woman we came to know in L.M. Montgomery’s novels. Though for some reason the story felt more modern to me, I thought she captured Avonlea beautifully; I found myself wishing I were there yet again.

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TBR Mix ‘n’ Mingle – What I’m Reading in December

Wow, I can’t believe December is here, and next year is just around the corner! I reached my reading goal of 100 books just last week, so from here on out, all the books I read will be superfluous. I might slow it down a bit — catch up on some TV shows (here’s looking at you, The Great British Baking Show!) — but we’ll see. I usually have a book nearby, regardless of my goals.

Without further ado, here’s a look at what’s on my radar for December:

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book review, recipe

Where the Crawdads Sing + Shrimp and Pimiento-Cheese Grits

When Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing was selected for Reese Withersoon’s book club, it became an instant must-read. Equal parts coming-of-age story, mystery, legal drama and love story, I can see why! I came by it through my first HealthTea Book Crate, in which I received a signed copy, and I was excited that it was selected as one of my recent book club reads.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Kya Clark lives in Barkley Cove, North Carolina, and has watched her family leave her one-by-one, until — at the age of 10 — she is left quite alone. As she grows up, Kya chooses to stay close to home, preferring to get her supplies from a small store on the docks, where she can also fill up her boat with gas, rather than venturing into town. This fierce independence earns her the nickname Marsh Girl.

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book review, recipe

The Adults + Christmas Morning Muffins

Caroline Hulse’s debut novel The Adults is like a Christmas comedy (Four Christmases comes to mind) meets Big Little Lies. Though Claire and Matt are divorced, they decide it’s best for their daughter Scarlett to experience a “normal” family Christmas. So, they book a weekend away at a woodsy resort and bring their current partners along for the ride! What could go wrong?

The Adults by Caroline Hulse

Claire’s boyfriend, Patrick, couldn’t be any less like her ex, Matt. Patrick spends much of the novel secretly training for an Ironman, at one point even racing through a lazy river to practice his swimming. Matt takes a different approach to life. He has a laissez faire outlook, often “forgetting” important details and preferring recreational drugs to exercising. His girlfriend, Alex, is smart, extremely patient and would probably be friends with Claire in another life. The characters were almost caricatures of real people and weren’t exactly likable, but they were entertaining.

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2018 Thanksgiving Readathon Announcement

I am so excited that the Thanksgiving Readathon (hosted by one of my favorite blogs, Death by Tsundoku) is almost upon us! Last year I participated for the first time and read WAY more than I expected. I actually have less going on this time, but I’m trying to keep it a low-key, no pressure situation (as intended) to help balance the “I have a ton of books I have to read right now” overwhelming feeling I have going on. Either way, I’m hoping this readathon helps me knock some of these off my list!

Here’s about more about what I’m hoping to crack into:  

The Line That Held Us by David Joy – I have no idea how this got on my TBR, but it did and I need to read it before it’s due back at the library on Monday. I re-read the description and it sounds good, plus it’s short and thriller-esque, so I’m hoping it proves to be a quick read!

The Adults by Caroline Hulse – I got this one from NetGalley three months ago — the holidays seemed so far away then! But, now it’s coming out on Tuesday, which I also planned to be my review post day, so I guess I need to get started! Thankfully, this one feels like the perfect read for this time of year. (I’ll be reading this on my Kindle, not pictured.)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Our book club is meeting the Monday after Thanksgiving to discuss this book (and we already pushed it back once, at my request), so I really need to get this one read.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – Another book club is meeting on Thursday the 29th, so I have a little more leeway to get this one finished. Still, if I can at least start it during the readathon, I think I’ll feel a lot better.

I’ve also added By the Book and Marilla of Green Gables to the pile, mostly because I really want to read them, and a little bit because they’re both due to the library next Friday (and I can’t renew them because lots of other people want them…). These would be major bonuses if I get to either one of them.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter for updates.

If you’d like to join the #ThanksgivingReadathon, check out Death by Tsundoku for more details!

Last but not least, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving – full of food and family and books 🙂

book review, recipe

The Alice Network + Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Crostini

Whereas years past have seemed to be filled with WWII-centric historical fiction, I don’t think I’ve read a single book about it this year — until The Alice Network. Kate Quinn’s novel was a recent book club selection, and I was excited about it because I also happened to have a newly-purchased used copy at home. Unfortunately, I waited too long to start the 500-page monster and was still 100 pages short when it came time for our book club meeting. Still, despite some spoilers during our discussion, I couldn’t wait to finish the story. (Don’t worry, there are no spoilers here!)

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network follows two storylines — one during WWI (the mid- to late-1910s) and the other just after WWII ends. Both feature uncertain women who find themselves, their strength and their courage over the course of the story. Eve Gardiner is a stuttering typist when she’s recruited to become a spy, part of the so-called “Alice Network,” and go undercover as a waitress in German-occupied France. Charlotte St. Clair, more often called Charlie, is an American who travels to Europe after WWII to take care of a “problem” and find her missing cousin.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Items I’d Like to Own

It’s time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday — and it’s a really good one! As much as I enjoy topics that result in lists of awesome books, I absolutely loved making this week’s list. It’s perfect if you’re already making your holiday wish list or just looking to add more bookish things to your life. Without further ado, Ten Bookish Items I’d Like to Own. (Friends and family, take note!)

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Show Us Your Books – November 2018

I’ve been in a bit of an overwhelming book situation lately. In addition to the usual book club reads, I’ve had more-than-usual ARC obligations and a towering pile of library books to make my way through before their due dates. I haven’t read any more than usual — even though I really need to. I’m hoping some upcoming vacation days and my participation in the Thanksgiving Readathon will help me catch up!

Here’s a look at what I read over the last month and the three books I’m working on right now. Continue Reading

book review, recipe

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing + Apple Turnovers

I’m a huge fan of John Green and I heard a lot of amazingness about his brother’s first novel, and that’s basically why I picked up An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Hank did a really good job. He put together a fast-paced, entertaining novel that I couldn’t put down.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

April May is like any other twenty-something in New York City until she literally stumbles into something that will change her life — and the world — forever. It’s a giant sculpture standing outside a Chipotle. She calls her friend Andy to come check it out, they make a jokey video where April dubs it Carl, Andy posts the video to YouTube, and April becomes inexplicably tied to the Carls’ fate forever.

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