Been Awhile…

Well… hello!

It’s been a bit since I’ve blogged, which is sad, if I do say so myself. I guess I got caught up with my surgeries, the holidays, school, etc… but here I am.

I honestly can’t even say I’ve been reading too much on this blogging hiatus either! I can’t even say I’ve read at all… I’m currently reading Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel and am loving it. I purchased it right before flying on a plane… that was a bad idea, but nonetheless, it’s a great read so far. I’ll let you know how I feel about it in the end.

I am about to start my next round of surgery, but my goal is to not go on a hiatus from blogging, but rather use blogging as an outlet and a way to fill my free time. I promise to read too. I can’t remember the last time I went this long without reading a book… yikes.

Instead of reading, I’ve turned into a couch potato and have become a total Hulu and Netflix junkie.

I’ve binged:

Grey’s Anatomy (of course, not for the first time)

Friends (probably for the 19th time)

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (yup, I know)

Real Housewives of New York (…this one too, yup)

The Fosters

Switched at Birth

I’ve started to watch:

Say Yes to the Dress

90 Day Fiance (that sh*t is crazy!)

Good Trouble

My 600-lb Life (yeah, those TLC shows are racking up here)

Movies I’ve watched recently (whether for the first time or the 90th time):

Ted/Ted 2

Bad Moms

Girls Trip

Forrest Gump

Saving Private Ryan

Dunkirk

I Feel Pretty

The Proposal

Princess Diaries 1&2

The Town

The Departed (I’m from Boston… 2 Boston movies in a row is acceptable)

The 40 Year Old Virgin

 

….That’s not even all of them… and it was a lot… I think I should hit the books…

What’s everyone reading??? I want to hear!

Happy Saturday!

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Long Time, No Post! (Ft. Review of The Identicals)

HELLO!

I am sincerely sorry for my absence. No one likes a blogger who’s inconsistent and doesn’t post… but when depression strikes, everything is left behind.

SO… what have I been up to? Well…

Last week I read The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand… in approximately… 8 hours total?

AWESOME read. Honestly, probably one of her best ones. I am an avid Elin Hilderbrand fan – the only books of hers I haven’t read are her winter short stories and Silver Girl, which I just picked up at my library today! Oh and Winter in Paradise, but it’s new enough that it’s acceptable that I haven’t read it yet… and the library didn’t have it so… boooooo 😦

Here is my Goodreads review!

The IdenticalsThe Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Physically identical, but polar opposite personalities.

Hilderbrand depicts a story of identical twins Tabitha and Harper Frost who were separated from each other when their parents decided to divorce as they went to college. Before they left, the two played a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who was going with their father Billy and who was staying with their high-strung, money hungry, designer mother Eleanor Roxie-Frost.

That game of rock-paper-scissors changed their lives forever.

Separated by 11 miles of ocean, Harper resides on Martha’s Vineyard with her father while Tabitha resides on Nantucket with her mother and her 16 year old daughter Ansley. When tragedy strikes the family, it’s time to reconnect and work together as a family to get through their hardship.

After 14 years apart (with a small meet-up in the middle when Tabitha had struggles with a premature baby), Tabitha and Harper are forced to reckon with their past and have each other’s backs. Will they reconcile or will it all blow up in shambles?

Hilderbrand writes, yet again, another novel that pulls your heartstrings and keeps you turning the pages. As a long-time fan of Hilderbrand, I have to say this was one of my favorites. One of my favorite things about Hilderbrand is that she knows Nantucket and the state of Massachusetts so well that when she writes a setting in her story, it is so ecclecticly vibrant in description that you feel like you’re right there in the story.

View all my reviews

 

I recently decided to obtain a library card because I am currently unemployed due to medical reasons and I can no longer afford my book obsession. Today, I had myself a little library mini-haul.

What did I pick up?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Finding Emotional Balance: A Guide for Women by Merry Noel Miller

 

Some may think – that last one seems a little out of place considering the genre of the other three. I decided to pick it up becuase I am currently experiencing one of the worst bouts of depression in all my years of life. Sometimes, not even a book can take me away from the reality of it all like it usually does for me. I had to do something… So I’ve decided to start with that one. So far, so good. I’ve only read 42 pages and I’m completely enlightened about the woman’s body and mind. I don’t feel out of place or alone; so many others are going through exactly what I am.

I was reading All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner… I did not finish (although I probably will at some point because one of my pet peeves is leaving a book unfinished regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it). I ordinarily adore and admire Weiner’s writing, but this one seemed redundant more than anything.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you, especially during this tough time.

Happy Friday! TGIF

xo – liv

Reviews of Heron’s Landing and Girl, Wash Your Face

I’m back after a few day hiatus. I had surgery (again) on Tuesday so I am still recovering. Today, I am much more awake and ready to post!

During the past few days, I completed reading Heron’s Landing by JoAnn Ross, and in 3 days I knocked Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis right off my October TBR. Awesome, quick little read!

I have posted my reviews on Goodreads, but I will share my thoughts here.

Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor, #1)Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The synopsis of this story made this book sound like a quick and easy, truly intriguing read.
It was and it wasn’t. In the first few chapters alone, you are introduced to so many different characters it’s hard to keep track of who’s who. As the book went on, I caught on and actually grew to love the story. I have a love for some of the characters that I hope to see again in a continuing novel.

Brianna Mannion – Our main girl in the story. She has returned back to her quaint, quiet little hometown after years of working in Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps. Her reasoning for returning home is to purchase the local Heron’s Landing and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. Brianna, a young, single woman with a strong head and stubbornness as hard as concrete, can’t fulfill her dreams all alone. Heron’s Landing is in shambles and needs lots of TLC.

Seth Harper – The ever famous town contractor, Seth, of the well known Harper family, is one of Brianna Mannion’s best friends from adolescence, and also the widower of her best friend Zoe. Brianna comes upon Seth in Honeymoon Harbor (whom she has crushed on since the dawn of time) and they decide to revamp Heron’s Landing together. Does that lifelong crush of Brianna’s become a mutual feeling? Or do past memories keep them apart?

Kylee and Mai – LOVE THESE TWO. Not your average lesbian couple. So much love between these two as they prepare for their wedding, new home, and incoming baby. I don’t want to give much away about them, but I loved whenever I’d turn a page and they were in the scene. Follow these amazing women seeking a life of love and success.

You also have Seth’s parents, Brianna’s parents and brother Quinn, who owns the local burger and beer joint.You also have Doris and Dottie who own the local shop, The Dancing Deer. There are a slew of characters, but these are the ones who were the most important to me and I hope to read about again.

 

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FABULOUS!
Hollis is straightforward, very blunt, and honest. I loved her personal stories and how open she is with her readers. I grew up Roman Catholic with a strong belief in God. Today, that is no longer true in my life, but I support her Christian beliefs and I agree with them to a certain degree.
I thought she did a great job addressing the most crucial issues in women and she truly hit the nail on the head with the lies we believe. I commend her for all she has achieved and chosen to share with her readers.
She made me laugh, cry, and everything inbetween. Bravo!!! Loved this one!!!

Now, I am currently reading A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult. I know many of you are reading it or have just finished it! Thoughts?!

 

Happy Thursday!

xo – liv

 

Online University.. Anyone else out there?

I attend university online… Are there any other bloggers out there that are on that journey too?

Allow me to rant for a second.

ONLINE. SCHOOL. SUCKS.

I have never so desperately wanted to sit in a classroom and have a professor lecture me. It is absolutely impossible to find the motivation to sit down, on your own time, open up your computer, and do the readings and assignments that need to be done.

I don’t know about you guys – but when it comes to reading a 31 page article, I can’t read it all on a computer screen. I have to print it so I can write on it, highlight, take notes, etc.

Do. you. know. how. much. ink. I. go. through…?

At this point, I may have spent more money on ink than my tuition.

Also, online school is so impersonal. I don’t know what my classmates look like, half of them are halfway across the country/actual Earth, and the most I know about my professors are from a shpeal they write at the beginning of the term and a little tiny icon picture of them.

As an actual physcial college student, I used to love to go to my professors after class or during office hours just to get that extra leg of help or confidence I may have needed. Now, it literally feels like I am on my own. To teach myself. To be the professor and the student.

Not to mention, these online classes are 8 weeks long when a real semester is 16. SO you’re doing DOUBLE the work.

And my not-so-smart self decided to take 2 classes at a time (which categorizes you as a full time student) and MY OH MY is it a LOT of work!

So this whole thing brings me back to my Time Management post… because I SUCK at it. Any advice on time management and how to organize my time to include homework, blog posts, and reading?

I’m personally feeling unmotivated, unproductive, and completely debilitated. Someone motivate me!

On the upside to all of this, my new books came in yesterday:

  • How To Walk Away – Katherine Center
  • Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis
  • A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

I am so excited I don’t know which one to start with! Most of the bloggers I follow have either read these or are currently reading them and no one has had a bad thing to say about any of them, which makes for a harder decision! Thoughts on these reads?

I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Saturday!

xo – liv

Three Bookish Things Tag!

I haven’t posted in a couple days – I had a funeral to attend, then I had food poisoning, and I’m having complications from surgery so I have to go back into the operating room on Tuesday. (Bleh, please send healing vibes)

I wanted to post today, but really have no energy for thinking up an entire post and typing it out… SO…

I saw this post on Kris’ Boston Book Blogger site and it looked super fun and I figured I can do that today!

SO here it goes…

THREE READ ONCE AND LOVED AUTHORS
  • Dorothy Garlock
  • Kristin Hannah
  • Jennifer Weiner
THREE TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ
THREE CHARACTERS YOU LOVE
  • Olivia Marsten (Take Me Home)
  • Oskar Schell (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
  • Blue (Blue)

 

THREE SERIES’ BINGED
THREE UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS
  • I’m not a fan of book series, like I just mentioned
  • I actually hate when books become movies, especially if I have already read it.
  • I am not a Kindle fan. At all. I’ve had a NOOK for 8 years. Not sorry!

THREE CURRENT FAVOURITE BOOK COVERS
  • Plan out my blog posts rather than trying to attempt at random
  • Don’t bite off more than I can chew
  • Meet some fellow bloggers/gain more followers!

 

I am not tagging anyone because I have a feeling most of the people I would tag have already done this book tag! Feel free to take it, just mention me so I can see! 🙂

Happy Friday! TGIF!

xo – liv

New Books on the Way!

Hi everyone!

So… In yesterday’s post I talked about my October TBR… well… One of those books doesn’t hit shelves until 2019 and I was just too amped about the story to notice that…

With that being said…

I just ordered How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, which I had listed as one this month’s TBRs and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis because it’s been on my TBR for awhile and I’ve heard nothing but incredible things so I thought, why not now?

I am SUPER excited for these to come. I usually go to Barnes and Noble for my books, but unfortunately I’m rather busy this week – my mom is in town from Florida for the week due to a death in my family and I am hosting her.

Now I’m like a giddy little girl who’s going to jump for joy when I get that package and it’ll be like a mini Christmas morning! I would’ve ordered more books but I would’ve gotten myself in trouble AND I’d much rather enjoy a day to myself in B&N soon.

My B&N Membership is my best friend. I love the coupons I receive in the mail and the deals I can get in store. Plus the free express shipping? Yes please!

Also this month, I want to gather supplies for a fresh bullet journal and practice some ideas so hopefully next month I can start! Does anyone bujo? Any tips you can share?

I’ll let you know when I receive my package! I can’t wait to smell the fresh books! (Call me weird, I don’t care)

Short post today! Happy Tuesday!

xo – liv

The Ultimate Book Tag!

I love the idea of tags and I came across the Ultimate Book Tag on In Love & Words by Bree and I wanted to jump on! So, I won’t babble on, let’s get going.

Questions

Do You Get Sick While Reading In The Car?
I’m nauseous just thinking about it. Y.E.S. I can’t even play DJ in the car if I’m the passenger because I can’t scroll for songs.

Which Author’s Writing Style Is Completely Unique To You And Why
I’d have to say Dorothy Garlock. When I read Take Me Home, at first I thought I wasn’t going to be a fan because I’m not always a lover of older-set books, i.e. early 1900s. I like present day novels. Her writing had me hooked and made me dive right into the story as if I were the main character, living the whole thing. I actually hope to read it again. It’s a novel that made me feel the butterflies and jitters a girl feels when falling in love. I don’t think a book has ever made me physically feel anything like that.

Harry Potter or Twilight? Give 3 Reasons Why.
…two totally different things. But Harry Potter.

Do You Carry A Book Bag? If So, What’s In It (Besides Books)?
I do! I carry my laptop around, my tablet, always a book or two that I’m reading, chargers, my wallet, maybe a folder of schoolwork depending on the day, etc.

Do You Smell Your Books?
Ok, when I first read this question I thought “so I’m not the only one!” So there’s your answer.

Books With or Without Illustrations?
With is cool, but I don’t really care.

What Book Did You Love While Reading, But Discovered Later It Wasn’t Quality Writing?
Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes. I thought the story line was great, but getting through it was tough at times because it was repetitive.

Do You Have Any Funny Stories Involving Books From Your Childhood?
Umm… I had way too many books by the time I was like 12/13 and my mom did a large book unhaul when I wasn’t home and I was devastated, for weeks, like, my young pre-teen life was over.

What Is The Thinnest Book On Your Shelf?
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Classic 🙂

What Is the Thickest Book On Your Shelf?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Classic Works.

Do You Write As Well As Read? Do You See Yourself Being An Author In the Future? 

I do write, but I keep it very private as of right now. I could see myself being an author, but I don’t think I’m confident enough in myself yet to take that leap.

When Did You Get Into Reading?
I started reading when I was 2. The first book I read was the Adventures of Curious George. I was reading 400+ page chapter books by the age of 7.

What Is Your Favorite Classic Book?
Catcher in the Rye

What Was Your Best Subject In School?
Call me crazy…. Mathematics, specifically Statistics and Calculus.

If You Were Given A Book As A Present That You Read Before And Hated, What Would You Do?
I’m always polite when accepting gifts. I’d thank them very much and say I appreciate it.

What Is A Lesser Known Series That You Know Of That Is Similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?
That’s a toughie…

What Is A Bad Habit You Always Do (Besides Rambling) While Filming?
I’m not a vlogger (yet) so I can’t answer that one!

What Is Your Favorite Word?
Flabbergasted.

Are You A Nerd, Dork, or Dweeb?
Nerd.

Vampires or Fairies? Why?
Fairies. Not a vampire person.

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
I think shapeshifters are kind of interesting, but I’m into angels too, so both?

Spirits or Werewolves? Why?
Spirits – not a werewolf person.

Zombies or Vampires? Why?
Neither, but if I had to choose one, zombies.

Love Triangles or Forbidden Love?
I love a juicy love triangle, but it has to be written right.

Full on Romance Books Or Action-Packed With A Few Love Scenes?
Oh give me that butterfly-inducing romance all the way!

Tag… You’re It!

Take a whack at it! Let me know if you gave it a shot; I’d love to see!

What’s Your Library Like?

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I’m a complete bookworm.

Most of my friends like to go out to the bars or clubs on Friday and Saturday nights, some would like to binge watch Netflix with endless snacks, while I like to curl up in a room with cozy lighting, a cup of coffee or wine, depending on my mood, and a good book.

Am I weird because without the right lighting I just can’t get into reading?

I like all different genres of books – Romance, Nonfiction, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy (to certain limits…….), Self-Help, Adventure, Mystery, the list goes on.

Am I someone who has read every classic novel known to man like Moby Dick and anything Jane Austen? No… But I’ve read a few and I do value certain classics, for example, Catcher in the Rye.

I like current novels. Novels written in the last 5-10 years, maybe 20 years. One of my favorite authors is Elin Hilderbrand. She is a Massachusetts native author on the island of Nantucket. Majority of her stories are based on the island and her writing is so ecclectic and detailed, it pulls you right into the story. You feel like you’ve been to the island and experienced what it has to offer after reading one of her books.

I’ve read 11. I’d LOVE to meet her. She, to me, is a writing icon.

Another author I favorite is Danielle Steel. She has SO many books and short stories, a lot of them being New York Times Bestsellers. She, like Hilderbrand, draws you right into her storyline. Some of my favorite books by her are BlueFine Things, andCountry.

I’m also a total chick, and I love Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read many of his novels including, but not limited to Safe HavenTwo by Two, and The Guardian.

I thoroughly enjoy reading series as well. Debbie Macomber writes different series based upon different locations. The character list grows and thrives through the stories and I love getting caught up in them.

I am currently exploring a new series (sort of like Debbie Macomber’s) by JoAnn Ross. I’m enjoying what I’m reading so far, but I’m not completely immersed in the story like I am with many other books I’ve read. I don’t like to stop reading a book unless I’m absolutely dreading it, so I will finish and see how it goes!

 

Share your bookworm lovin’ thoughts with me!

Good Reads for All You Bookworms

Do you prefer curling up in a comfy chair or bed with a good book on a rainy day instead of binging on a Netflix series?

Well, I DO!

Here are some great books I’ve read in the past year that I thought I’d share!

This site does contain affiliate links.

  1. Danielle Steel – Blue – Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 1.31.21 PM.pngDanielle Steel knocks it out of the park with this one. I couldn’t put it down! It’s a heartwarming story of a woman who meets a homeless boy and takes him under her wing. Through triumph and tribulations, this story will bring you laughter, tears, and will make you feel like you know the characters.
  2. Ashley Prentice Norton – If You Left – Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 1.40.40 PM.pngNorton is a fantastic writer. Through a true love story, raising a child, and mental health issues that bring a windstorm to the marriage, this story is one that keeps you wondering after every page you turn.
  3. Allison Leotta – A Good Killing – Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 1.44.58 PM.pngI read this one in about 24 hours. A true page-turner, Leotta writes a mysterious story that keeps you on your toes. Who killed the beloved high school coach?
  4. Jude Deveraux – As You WishScreen Shot 2018-09-20 at 1.38.11 PM3 completely different women end up in the same summer home. Is there crazy girl drama or does a friendship form? …or both?
  5. M.O. Walsh – My Sunshine AwayScreen Shot 2018-09-20 at 2.13.00 PM A mysterious random attack on a young, popular athlete in a small, quiet town. I promise, you won’t regret this addictive read!

I have a LONG list, but I want to hear any feedback on these (whether you’ve read them already or if you read them after me!)