26

Apparently it’s my blog’s birthday

Where have I even been right?

I don’t have an answer but certainly not here. Fall isn’t normally so busy for me! I usually have way more time to read and blog and chill. These days I’m forced to be social which is exhausting.

I’m trying to cobble together some posts but it’s definitely been a challenge. Not because I haven’t read anything worth discussing – I have. Girl at War, Killing Monica, The Martian, and The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty have all been post worthy. And I swear I will post about some of those soon.

Today though, we celebrate.

It’s been four years since I started this blog!

cher

Four years of blogging about books! Four years of talking about books with other readers! Four years of connecting with other book bloggers who have introduced me to books I probably never would have looked for, who have challenged me to read broader and more diversely.

I started blogging about books because I wanted to talk about books all the time. I mean, I pretty much do that in real life but my audience isn’t always so appreciative. That’s more like “yeah yeah, Eva. We get it. You read all the time.” But you guys, you guys get it. You encourage it.

ashleys

Blogging has given me permission to embark on The Great Harry Potter Re-Read and the Green Gables Readalong. It’s allowed me to chat with authors and read their work before it’s been released – a real thrill for this hardcore book nerd. I will happily die crushed under the weight of all the incredible books that currently live with me.

The book blogging community is filled with some of the most brilliant, wonderful, amazing and creative people. I’ve long admired so many of you and continue to get a thrill from the interactions with you all. If you’ve recently started following me or you’ve been here for a while, I thank you. I started this blogging thing for myself but it’s so much better knowing I have some peeps to share it with.

adele

22

Book Hoarding: Tales from the Front Line

For months I tried really hard to curb my book buying. And for the most part, I was successful. I borrowed from friends, and went to the library more often but I didn’t buy too many new books.

And then we came back from our trip and I lost my damn mind.

In the span of two short days, I managed to get three book trips in. One was a library sale (a stack of books for $3.50!) but the others were not. Want to know what all I got? Don’t tell my husband.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Money well spent. I loved it.

The House of Dolls by David Hewson. I posted about how much I wanted to get this book. And then I basically went out and got it. It was pretty alright. I really liked the fact that it takes place in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a good setting for crime fiction! The whole thing was suffused with a real sense of “Dutch-ness” that I appreciated.

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy. I love Maeve Binchy and I like to always have some on hand for a) a rainy day or b) when I need to reset my book mojo. So when I saw it at the library sale I got it only to realize when I got home that I had already bought a copy of it. So…anyone want a copy of Scarlet Feather?

Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James. I loved her other books, especially The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte. It was $5 at the bookstore, my friend and I both bought a copy.

The Legacy of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park. I don’t think I ever posted about the first book, The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi, but I really loved it. It had been a while since I’d read really great historical fiction and that first book kind of restored my faith in the genre. The second book is mercifully shorter but after the surprising ending of the first book, I’m all kinds of curious about the second book. Did I mention the author is an octogenarian?

Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope. I’m not sure why but I’ve been in the mood to read Trollope recently. I keep hearing about him and I’ve only ever read The Way We Live Now but it was great. This story about a woman who wants to become a countess and marries a wealthy Lord and six months later he claims that the marriage never occurred, he has a living wife, she was only ever his mistress and the child she carries illegitimate – it sounds Victorian awesome.

Elizabeth & Leicester by Sarah Gristwood because I take every opportunity to expand my Royals library and I haven’t read about the Tudors recently.

The Astronaut’s Wives Club by Lily Koppel. I’d been interested when this first came out but when I heard it was going to be a TV show, it shot back up in the priority line.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I can’t get enough of Liane Moriarty. It started when Big Little Lies was a book club book and then I finally read The Husband’s Secret – my friend had been after me to read it for months. What Alice Forgot will be my next fix. Hopefully Moriarty is working on something else…

Anne of Ingleside by LM Montgomery. I’m still working my way through the series and this is the next book and I didn’t have it.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. The Woman in White is part of my TBR Pile Challenge so obviously I needed The Moonstone for when I love The Woman in White.

Servant’s Hall by Margaret Powell. This is the follow-up to Below Stairs about what life was like for servants in the great Victorian houses.

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory. I can’t seem to quit her, even after she keeps disappointing me. Maybe this one is a return to her greatness?

Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris. Even though I’ve read biographies on Audrey Hepburn before I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much Hepburn.

You know how sometimes you know something is bad but you don’t know something’s bad until it’s staring you in the face? I’m in so much trouble…

10

Packing Bookish Essentials

Because I’m a super organized blogger, by the time you read this, I will be at the lake already, settled in for an extended long weekend of reading at my in-laws’.

I know, I’m surprised I made this happen too.

So you know what this means right? If I’m headed to the lake, then it’s time for a post about the books that I will be bringing with me to the lake.

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I’m not a fan of packing in general. I’m always excited to go away but the preparation part I could do without. I will probably end up wearing the same hobo outfit the whole time I’m up there anyway. But appropriate reading material? That is no joke. Suddenly I’m a girl scout.

Right now I’m reading one of the following:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This is our book club book and I’ve been saving it for this long weekend. If it’s as good as I’ve been told it is, I’m sure it won’t be long before I read The Husband’s Secret.

The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag. OK I know that I was not kind to The Dress Shop of Dreams but a friend who’s literary judgment I completely trust read this and loved it and told me to read it. So here we are. Second chances for everyone.

Anne of Windy Poplars by LM Montgomery. It’s April which means I get to read book four for the Green Gables Readalong hosted by Reeder Reads. I feel like Anne and the lake are going to pair REALLY well together.

A Measure of Light by Beth Powning. Look Naomi! It’s happening! I saw it at the library as a speed read this week and realized that I had a copy at home and the cover looked all sorts of good so I’m tucking it into my bags and hoping to be blown away.

When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid. I bought this after Canada Reads was over and then my sister asked me what I thought of it and I had to tell her that I hadn’t read it yet. She told me to hurry up and here we are.

The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes. I read Me Before You up at the lake and haven’t read any of Moyes’ other work. It seemed like the right time to reacquaint myself with some of her work this long weekend.

Looking at the pile, I’m not totally sure that it’s enough reading material and I say that in all honesty. Four of these books are barely 300 pages. Guess I better go and find one more!

What are you reading plans for the long weekend?

Whatever they are, I hope you have a lovely long weekend. See you back here next week peeps!

17

Reading One By One

For the first time in months I’m only reading one book.

And it’s heaven.

I’ve tried to be one of those people that can multi-task their reading. I see and hear about fellow book bloggers juggling two, three, four and five books at any given time and I envy that. I can’t do it. I’ve tried to do it before and found myself doing that for the past several months.

Reading two books at once was bad enough but then I added Persuasion to the mix and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I finally sat down and finished the last 150 pages of The Count of Monte Cristo and the day after that I sat down and finished Persuasion and then I only had one book left and it FELT SO GOOD.

I keep trying to be the kind of person that can read more than one book and keep the characters and narratives straight; the kind of reader that has no problem jumping from post-Revolutionary France to Regency England to modern day Switzerland and back again.

But I can’t do it. I’m not that kind of reader and I will contribute much more to my own happiness if I just accept that and stop trying.

I love that I can focus all my attention on one book now. I feel lighter and freer.

My TBR list stands and I will read them all, one at a time.

10

#PersuasionReadalong – Let’s Do This

FotorCreated

Yeah I’m not sure how it got to be March so quickly either. BUT since it is, that means that it’s time to start reading Persuasion so that you can join Amanda and Holly from Gun In Act One and yours truly as we (re) discover the charms of Jane Austen’s criminally under-read book Persuasion!

This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s not. You can TOTALLY read this at the same time as all the other books on your TBR list that are demanding your attention. This can be your vacation read. We will be discussing the first 8 chapters next week, chapters 9-16 the week after that, and the final 8 chapters in the last week of March. In my Vintage Books version, that’s 82 pages this week.

You can do that.

Still not convinced? Then let us tell you a bit about why we want to read Persuasion.

Amanda
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that nearly everyone has read -by choice or by force– Pride & Prejudice.

I love Pride & Prejudice and have reread it often.  Usually when I love one book by an author I compulsively track down all others and devour them, yet for some reason I’ve held back with Austen.  I have read all kinds of Austen related books, yes even Pride & Prejudice and Zombies.  So with the 2015 TBR Challenge as my inspiration I added Persuasion as my next Austen to start.  I am really excited to see where Anne and Wentworth’s romance goes!

Holly
I would like to point out that I put Persuasion on my 2015 TBR Challenge list first, so therefore, Amanda’s inspiration came from me. I have only ever read Austen’s P&P. My sister counts it among her faves, and my husband loathes it. Thankfully, they get along quite well, Austen-aside.

Anyway, I got excited to read Persuasion after reading For Darkness Shows the Stars, a YA, post-apocalyptic novel by Diana Peterfreund that I thought was just lovely. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the story, I could definitely see the Austenian influence in the story of Elliot and Kai, and I was intrigued to read the original. In much the same way, I’ve been meaning to read Emma since 1995, thanks to Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. Maybe that will be on next year’s list.

Eva

I’ve been addicted to Jane Austen for nearly two decades. I think for most Austen addicts, P&P is the gateway drug and I’m no exception there. It took me until I was in my 20s to finally read Persuasion. There is no way that I would have appreciated this late-blooming love story nearly as much when I was a teenager so I’m glad I waited. I’ve re-read at least one Austen book every year since forever and it’s Persuasion‘s turn. When Holly and Amanda both put it on their TBR Challenge lists they decided to host a readalong and asked me if I wanted to participate. Just as it is “always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage” so too is it unthinkable that I should refuse to participate in a Jane Austen reading challenge.

Convinced?

Let’s chat next week!

11

The #PersuasionReadalong – Come Join Us!

Every year I re-read at least one of Jane Austen’s books. I consider a reading year without Jane Austen to be a reading year wasted. I also love nothing more than to force other people to read Jane Austen for the first time.

I was planning on re-reading Persuasion next. And then Amanda and Holly from Gun In Act One both put Persuasion on their 2015 TBR Pile Challenge lists. So when they asked if I wanted to read it along with them I was like “when do we start?!”

FotorCreated

So here’s what we’re going to do! Together, the three of us are going to host a little casual readalong! No sign ups or posting required from you! We’re going to split the book into three sections and each of us will post about one section through the month of March and try and get some discussion going. So if you want to join us, go and start reading Persuasion soon! That’s all you have to do and then we can talk about!

It’s one of the most underrated books probably ever. And it’s so good! It’s funny! And clever! And so satisfying.

You should read it with us.

And if you chat about it on the twitter, use #Persuasionreadalong so we can all join in!

Simple right?

Persuasion – go read it. I bought a brand new fancy copy just for this!

14

Some Bookish Fun: The TBR Tag

Part of book blogging is participating in this wonderful little corner of the internet that is all about the book love. Which is why when Chelsea @ Chels And A Book tagged me to participate in the TBR Book Tag, I was ready to give ‘er. Chelsea herself doesn’t know where the tag originated, so if it was you that started it, we’re sorry, please take the credit!

Not too many rules – I’m going to answer some questions and then I will tag some peeps to participate. Or I won’t. I live on the edge like that.

  1. How do you keep track of your TBR Pile? Let me count the ways! I have a handy little agenda that I carry around with me where I write down books to read, as well as logging the books read. I also have a log on Goodreads and on the 50BookPledge.ca I have a book journal as well that has pages full of TBRs. And also here.
  2. Is your TBR mostly print or e-book? Like Chelsea, I’m not down with the e-reading. All print all the time.
  3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? I think most readers are mood readers – we pick our next book based on what we feel like reading in that moment. This year I’m doing the TBR Pile Challenge so there is a smaller TBR list within my TBR list that does need to get read and I’m trying to read one of the books on that list each month. Same goes for the Anne of Green Gables Readalong.
  4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest? The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
  5. A book you recently added to your TBR? Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy.
  6. A TBR on your list strictly because of it’s beautiful cover? I’m rarely seduced by cover art anymore. I’ve been burned too many times. The version of my TBR List that I visit most often, is the one I carry around so I forget what they look like.
  7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading? The Steve Jobs biography! I just don’t think I care enough about the man to spend the time with that book.
  8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for? Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson because no one writes non-fiction like Erik Larson!
  9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you? We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I think it’s probably a good one to save for the summer.
  10. A book on your TBR list that everyone recommends to you? I don’t get people recommending books to me that often. I’m the recommender.
  11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read? When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
  12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf? 109! So apparently I’ve been adding a bunch!

OK I tag the following:

Holly AND Amanda @ Gun in Act One

Naomi @ Consumed by Ink

Karen @ One More Page

Jennine @ My Life in Books