Getting Personal #132: July Goals Recap

July Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

July flew by! It’s crazy!

Here’s the link to my July Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. See Ant-Man and the Wasp. — Accomplished!
  2. Curb my spending. — Accomplished!
  3. See Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Submit our adoption application to Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption— Accomplished!
  5. See Mission: Impossible – Fallout— Accomplished!
  6. Spend at least two hours cleaning the garage. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Make sure the Household Bills Spreadsheet is updated before the end of the month. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Spend at least three hours working within Evernote. — Did not accomplish.
  9. Meal plan as much as possible for the month. — Accomplished!
  10. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018. — Accomplished!
  11. Update my TBR. — Accomplished!
  12. Start another writing challenge. — Accomplished!
  13. Plan a special challenge for the month of August! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

See Ant-Man and the Wasp. — Accomplished!

  • We loved this movie! It was almost better than the first one.

Curb my spending. — Accomplished!

  • I’m so proud of myself!

See Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. — Did not accomplish.

  • This one is just delayed – My mom is taking me to see it on my birthday!

Submit our adoption application to Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption. — Accomplished!

  • We mailed it off on a Monday, and got a call to set up the home visit on that Friday!
  • The home visit happened on Saturday, July 25th. Now we just wait for the call that they have our dog!

See Mission: Impossible – Fallout. — Accomplished!

  • We saw this with our good friend, Mike! What a thrill ride!!
  • To me, it’s one of the best movies in the whole franchise.
  • Tip: Make sure you go to the bathroom before the movie starts. You definitely don’t want to miss a minute of this movie!

Spend at least two hours cleaning the garage. — Did not accomplish.

  • This was set with good intentions, but didn’t make time for it.

Make sure the Household Bills Spreadsheet is updated before the end of the month. — Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen. I may re-evaluate our strategy in August.

Spend at least three hours working within Evernote. — Did not accomplish.

  • I didn’t make time to do this.

Meal plan as much as possible for the month. — Accomplished!

  • This was successful!

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018. — Accomplished!

  • Look for a Camp NaNoWriMo recap post later this week!

Update my TBR. — Accomplished!

Start another writing challenge. — Accomplished!

Plan a special challenge for the month of August! — Accomplished!

  • Check back in tomorrow for more details!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to nine out of 13 goals. This was awesome! I feel really good.
  • The four goals I did not accomplish: This was all timing.

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of July?

Come back tomorrow to see my August Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #119: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter E)

ABC Book Challenge - E

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:

Memorable books that start with “E”:

Image result for ellen foster book

Ellen Foster

  • This book was a hard read. So many emotions!

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  • I adored these books when I was younger!

Cover shows a futuristic aeroplane landing on a lighted runway.

Ender’s Game

  • This is one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. Although it was assigned reading in high school, it was one of the first science fiction books I truly enjoyed. I need to read the rest of the series! The movie adaptation (2013) was also well-done!

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Esio Trot

  • Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors!

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Ethan Frome

  • I think I had to read this in high school? For what I remember, I liked Edith Wharton’s writing so much, that I sought out several of her own works to read on my own.

Books I’d love to read that start with the letter “E”:

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Eleanor and Park

  • How have I not read this book?

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Extras (Uglies #4)

  • I first read Uglies in my Young Adult Literature class during the spring of 2011. I enjoyed the book, but have yet to read the rest of the series.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

  • I listened to an interview with Jonathan Safran Foer last year on NPR’s Fresh Air, and it made me want to read all of his books. Plus, I’m partial to books set in New York City.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter E? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #131: “Spiral Staircase, Law Library, Munich, Germany” (Reblogged)

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have had a good day so far. It’s almost the weekend!

As I prepare for my own busy weekend, and the end of July next week (It’s not possible!), I wanted to share this post from Just Wunderlust. Spiral staircases are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful and mesmerizing pieces of architecture. And, this photo is from a law library? Swoon!

Have a great weekend! And make sure pick up a book. I’m working my way through my first-ever ARC!!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Jada Cook
Spiral Staircase, Law Library, Munich, Germany

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Blog Awards #20: The Unique Blogger Award – Number Two!


Thanks, Bibi, for nominating me! If you haven’t checked out Bibi’s blog, you should. She writes awesome book reviews, and has done several really cool tags!

Here’s the link to the post where I was nominated:

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer their questions
  • Share some love with the blogging community by nominating 8-12 people
  • Ask three questions for your nominees

The Three Questions from Bibi:

  1. How do you decide what book you will read next?
  2. If you had to build your own harem, which 3-5 book loves would you choose? You can only pick one per book.
  3. What’s your favourite kind of blog post to write and why?

Answer #1 – Usually, I have a stack of books on my nightstand, and I pick my next book from that stack.

Answer #2 – Ooooh! Fun. I think my list would be: (1) Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby, (2) Harry Potter, (3) Gale from The Hunger Games, (4) Noah from The Notebook, and (5) Miles from Looking for Alaska.

Answer #3 – I love writing my Commentary pieces, especially the ones where I analyze a news article or do some investigative journalism. I enjoy the research, the writing, and teaching others through the blog. It keeps my college days alive, too, bringing back memories of working on the student newspaper, The Rotunda.

Three Questions from Me:

  1. If you pick a dream job that involved books, what would it be, and why?
  2. Do you have a favorite library or bookstore?
  3. If you could read uninterrupted for a straight 24 hours, anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Tag – You’re It!

  1. Destiny – Howling Libraries
  2. Jenna – Bookmark Your Thoughts
  3. Teagan & Jess – Fiction No Chaser

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #78: “T10T: Unexpected Levels of Impact” (Reblogged)

Thanks to Destiny at Howling Libraries for inspiring this post!

Here’s my top ten, in roughly chronological order:

Baby-sitters Little Sister - Amazon

1. Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Ann M. Martin, circa mid-1990s

  • I can’t name a specific book in this series. There’s over 100 books!! I loved the adventures Karen got into, and how realistic her life was. Her entire family, and neighborhood, felt real to me. Martin also covered a lot of poignant issues in the eyes of a child: Divorce, two houses, re-marriage, school trouble, friendship issues, and more! I was about Karen’s age in the books when I started reading them, so I identified quite a bit with her.

Pleasant Company Catalogue Holiday 1991

2. American Girl Central Series, Various Authors, circa mid-1990s

  • I grew up with devouring the six-book series. I’m slowly rebuilding childhood library. I started with Samantha’s books, then Felicity’s, and eventually read all of them. Molly’s books remain my favorite. However, I feel close to Felicity, too, since her stories are set in Colonial Williamsburg!

Image result for harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book

3. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, circa 2000-2001

  • I was definitely late to the party with reading the Harry Potter books. I remember telling my classmates who had read everything that had been released to that point, “I don’t like fantasy. I’m not interested.” Once I tried it, though, I was hooked. I finished Sorceror’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets by the time the first movie was released, and my obsession only grew!

4. A Walk To Remember, Nicholas Sparks, 2003-2004

  • I’m pretty sure I watched the movie before reading the book. But, it was my first introduction into Sparks and his books. It was sad, but I wanted to read everything that Sparks had written after that. I ended up doing my college senior thesis on his books, so I’m fairly certain his books had a significant impact on my life.

5. This Lullaby, Sarah Dessen, 2004-2005

  • Like Destiny, I was hooked after finishing my first Dessen book. I remember taking out 2-3 books of hers at a time from the library!

Speak - Wikipedia

6. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson, circa 2006-2007

  • I think I borrowed this from the library? Regardless, I identified somewhat with Melinda, and her struggles. Anderson quickly became another favorite author, and I appreciate her writing and crafting of compelling characters. I’ve re-read this book multiple times, at several different stages of my life, and the impact is the same, every single time.

The Battle of Jericho - Amazon

7. The Battle of Jericho, Sharon M. Draper, circa 2005-2006

  • I don’t remember why exactly I picked up the book from the library, but I loved this book. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted more. Reading this book gave me a glimpse into the lives of African-American teenagers, and I found it fascinating and well-written. I have actively read almost all of Draper’s work because of her storytelling and care for her characters!

Looking For Alaska

8. Looking for Alaska, John Green, 2011

  • This was one of my assigned reading books for my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011. I hadn’t read anything from Green until then, and it was such a powerful book. I thought it was fitting that I took this course during my last semester of college. A lot of the themes resonated with me, and I found myself reading it several times after graduation. Since then, Green has become one of my favorite authors.

Image Credit:

9. Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life, Elin Stebbins Waldal, 2015

  • It was clearly a cover draw when I found it at the library. I remember circling back to it during that library trip before picking it up and taking it home. I cried. It was such a hard book – I felt like I knew Elin and her struggles, given my own with my abusive relationship with John. I was compelled to buy my own copy after borrowing it from the library years later – All I could remember to search on Amazon was the title, and a yellow-orange flower. The copy I own, although used when I bought it, was lovingly signed by the author. It’s a book I will treasure forever.

Prez: A Story of Love

10. Prez: A Story of Love, Margaret Garrison, 2018

  • This book impacted me in several ways. First, it’s written by a fellow P.E.O. sister, which boosted my confidence in wanting to become a published author. She signed my copy, and it’s a really good story. It’s Garrison’s debut novel, and it’s an impressive one. I loved the story, the element of historical fiction, and having a woman break the proverbial glass ceiling in university administration.

Tell me about a book (or two, or five, or ten!) that impacted your life!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

howling libraries


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s prompt was to list ten books with Sensory Memories, and I decided to take it a bit further.

These are ten books that impacted me on an unexpected level, in a good way. Some of them are books I expected to impact me at least a little, but not as much as they did in the end.

These are sorted in order from oldest memories to newest. 🙂

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Book Review #63: “Among The Hidden” (Shadow Children #1)

Among the Hidden

Image Credit: Amazon

If my memory serves me correctly, I bought this from Amazon last summer after reading about it on Thrice Read. It makes sense, because I think this book is one that one of them read in anticipation of teaching it to their students.

Regardless, I thought this was a good book to use in a classroom setting, or to encourage reading in general.

It’s definitely a middle-grade book, designed for younger readers. But, as I was explaining it to Al in the car over the weekend, I thought it was one of those books, and series, that could capture the interest of a boy or young man very easily. At the same time, girls could easily be interested in it, too. As an adult woman, I was definitely intrigued by the story.

Luke, the main character, is a hidden child, in a world where things are changing, and not for the better. There’s this force called the Population Police, and Luke’s family is almost living in fear, afraid that Luke will be discovered, and taken away. Luke is watching his family struggle with their farm, as gorgeous, brand-new houses are built behind them.

Why is Luke a “hidden child”? Why is his family so fearful and protective? Will their farm be shut down? What’s going on with all those brand-new houses behind them? And, who are the Population Police?

It’s a quick read – I breezed through the majority of the book within two nighttime reading sessions. I’m not sure I’m going to read the rest of the series, but I highly recommend it for younger readers. It’s a unique story, blended with several real-life themes and elements that readers can easily relate and identify.

4 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #118: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter D)

ABC Book Challenge - D

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:

Memorable Books that Start with “D”:


The Da Vinci Code

  • Picking up from Angels & Demons, I just love Robert Langdon’s character. All of Dan Brown’s books, so far, have been absolute thrill rides!

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Dear John

  • Whenever a Nicholas Sparks book comes up, I feel compelled to mention it. I don’t read a lot of his work anymore, but I think fondly of books like this.

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The Diary of a Young Girl

  • This was required reading in school, but reading Anne Frank’s story was incredibly powerful. I have my own copy, and I look forward to sharing this with my future child/children.

Image Credit:


  • In spite of my issues with the end of the trilogy, I hooked from the beginning of this book. I devoured it, and the second book, within a matter of days!

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  • I fell in love with Sarah Dessen and her writing in high school. Look for an Awesome Authors post on her very soon!

Books I Wish to Read Starting with the Letter “D”:

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Dark Places

  • One of these days, I intend to read everything that Gillian Flynn has written.

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Death on the Nile

  • I first became interested in Agatha Christie in elementary school, since I devoured all of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys books. It’s high time for me to work my way through her extensive collection, too.

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Deception Point

  • It almost goes without saying – Seeing Dan Brown’s name catches my eye.

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Different Seasons

  • Over the years, Stephen King has definitely become a favorite.

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The Distant Hours

  • Oooooh! Historical fiction, plus castles?! Yes, please!

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  • I don’t ever remember reading this!

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter D? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂