Writing Prompt #236: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter Z)

The ABC Book Challenge - L

This is it! The last letter of the alphabet for The ABC Book Challenge!

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “Z”:

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Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo

  • I first read this book in high school. It inspired me to write my Extended Essay for the IB Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, to study the effects of the Bosnian and Kosovo conflicts on children.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “Z”:

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Zeitoun

  • A true story springing from Hurricane Katrina.

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Zelda

  • I’ve been fascinated with F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school. With that fascination comes wanting to learn more about his family.

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


Thank you so much for following along with me on this incredible journey! I started it in July 2018, and here we are, roughly nine months later. I’ve really enjoyed writing and researching new books, and remembering the good ones I have read.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #235: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter Y)

ABC Book Challenge - J 2

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “Y”:

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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

  • Dr. Seuss should make the list every time!

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “Y”:

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The Year of Magical Thinking

  • I’ve heard great things about Joan Didion and her writing for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by her.

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The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life

  • A book about books, and how these 52 books changed someone’s life? Yes, please.

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The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir

  • I feel like I’ve seen some of our TV special or documentary about Cylin and John Busby. Regardless, I want to read their book.

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Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape

  • The title alone makes want to go out and find this book ASAP.

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Yes Please

  • Amy Poehler is hilarious. ‘Nuff said.

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The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

  • I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this book cover before, but I don’t remember reading the book itself.

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You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

  • I first heard about this book a few months ago when I was listening to author Kristen Martin sing its praises on her podcast, That Smart Hustle.

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Your Movie Sucks

  • I love Roger Ebert, may he Rest in Peace. I really want to read this soon.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #234: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter X)

ABC Book Challenge - E

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “X”:

I haven’t read any!


Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “X”:

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X in Flight (XYZ #1)

  • I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but since this book has a Young Adult focus, I’m definitely intrigued by it.

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X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking

  • I’m technically a “millenial,” but I’ve always been interested in pop culture and the different generations. I’ll be adding this book to my next TBR. Hopefully my library will have a copy.

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Xanadu

  • I haven’t read an anthology series in years, but this one caught my eye. I’ll have to explore this one deeper.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #71: A to Z Book Tag!

a to z book tag

Image Credit: Howling Libraries

I saw this tag on Destiny’s blog, Howling Libraries!

The tag was was originally created by The Perpetual Page Turner.

Here’s the link to Destiny’s post:


a | author you’ve read the most books from:

  • Ann M. Martin. More than 150 books between The Baby-Sitters Club series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Mysteries, Super Mysteries, and a few others! I also had the Baby-Sitters Club Friendship Kit computer software in the mid-1990s.

b | best sequel ever:

catching_fire

c | currently reading:

Image result for all the missing girls book

d | drink of choice while reading:

  • Nothing. I don’t want to spill anything on my books.

e | e-reader or physical book:

  • My heart lies with physical books! However, I’m not against e-books.

f | fictional character you would’ve dated in high school:

  • Either Ron or Neville from Harry Potter.

g | glad you gave this book a chance:

  • WHO KNEW? … Reflections on Vietnam, J. Holley Watts. A powerful book / memoir of a woman’s service in Vietnam with the Supplemental Recreation Activities Organization (SRAO) program of the American Red Cross.

h | hidden gem book:

Image result for story of a girl book

  • Story of a Girl, Sara Zarr. I was assigned to read this in my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011, and I fell in love with it. If I don’t have that copy at this point, I need to buy another one. I want to re-read it and review it here.

i | important moment in your reading life:

Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows book

  • Finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during the summer of 2008. I wasn’t interested in the series originally, even though a lot of my friends and classmates devoured them the minute the new book came out. However, I caught on quickly, and enjoyed all seven books. Finishing Deathly Hallows was really hard, and I clearly remember not picking up a new book for nearly two weeks that summer. I needed to heal first.

j | just finished:

evicted

k | kind of books you won’t read:

  • Anything that is truly horror, or glorifies abuse (Fifty Shades of Grey, for example).

l | longest book you’ve read:

  • The Bible.

m | major book hangover because of:

  • I don’t think this has happened to me in years. See the letter I for more context.

n | number of bookcases you own:

  • In my house, just one! It’s six-feet-tall, and I love it.

o | one book you’ve read multiple times:

The Great Gatsby - Complex

p | preferred place to read:

  • In bed before going to sleep, or a comfortable couch/chair if I’m reading during the day.

q | quote that inspires you/gave you all the feels from a book:

  • “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

r | reading regret:

  • I can’t think of one.

s | series you’ve started and need to finish (all books are out):

t | three of your all time favorite books:

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix book

A Walk to Remember (Hardcover).jpg

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
  2. Looking for Alaska, John Green
  3. A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks

u | unapologetic fangirl for:

Pleasant Company Catalogue Holiday 1991

The Smugglers Treasure Cover

  • All of the American Girl books. I started reading them as soon as I could, and I learned a lot about history through these characters. I’ve re-built my childhood collection (Samantha, Felicity, and Kirsten), and added plenty more. I’m also on a quest to own all 22 History Mysteries. Also, I highly recommend The Care and Keeping of You series for girls. There’s a book for boys, too!

v | very excited for this release:

Image result for parkland book

w | worst bookish habits:

  • I buy more books before reading my current stack. I can’t let a good book pass by me.

x | x marks the spot! start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

The Lady's Slipper

y | your latest book purchase:

Image result for janesville an american story

Image result for mosquitoland book

Image result for the hate u give book

Image result for a sky for us alonebook

  • Last week, I bought four books from Barnes & Noble with a generous gift card from my mom for my birthday last year:
  1. Janesville: An American Story, Amy Goldstein
  2. Mosquitoland, David Arnold
  3. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  4. A Sky for Us Alone, Kristin Russell

z | zzz-snatcher book—last book that kept you up way too late:

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond.

Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #159: “The Alphabet Post Challenge”

the alphabet post challenge

I saw this post on Kristian’s blog, Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table! I wasn’t tagged for it, but I wanted to do this because it looked like so much fun. I could see how much fun Kristian had with it. Her enthusiasm is contagious!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:


Guidelines

The post was created by Stuart of Stuart of Something to Stu Over

Acknowledge the blogger that challenged you.

Display the challenge photo or create your own. 

Link back to this post so I can read yours. 

Create one post or multiple posts, using a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet and share your thoughts on the word you chose and how it can be applied to our lives.

Be creative and have fun!

Nominate 5 -7  bloggers to participate.


Here we go!

A is for Al.

This was a no-brainer for me. Al is not only my husband. He’s an amazing friend, brother, son, secret-keeper, dog dad, and so much more. I love you, baby!

B is for Big Bird.

Those of you who know me well, and see me on Facebook, know that Big Bird is one of my all-time favorite characters. Sesame Street is one of the only shows that I have watched for forever. I had not one, not two, but THREE stuffed Big Birds when I was a kid. They were small, medium, and large. The small one was handmade by someone in my family, either my grandmother or my aunt. The medium one was bought for me at our local mall, I think at the KB Toys? The large one had a pull string that made him talk. There are many family photos where one of them makes an appearance. He was my “lovey” for so long. I think Mom and Dad still have at least one of them at their house. I sincerely hope that’s the case, anyway!

C is for Church.

I was raised in an incredible United Methodist church. I have so many memories from there – Sunday School, Confirmation class, youth group, volunteering, starting our blood drives, mission trips, retreats, communications committee, the media team, and more. I also married Al in the beautiful sanctuary on November 14, 2015.

D is for Dolls.

I grew up with Barbie dolls, and then a Bitty Baby. When I was nine, I received my special American Girl of Today doll for Christmas, whom I named Stephanie. Now, 21 years later, I have six American Girl dolls, including Stephanie. Al’s dad designed and hand-built this amazing display case, wardrobe, and double-sided shoe rack. I love it so much, and it’s in the perfect place in my Lady Lounge.

E is for Enthusiasm.

I’ve typically been described as enthusiastic, energetic, and excitable. All three of these personality traits go hand-in-hand!

F is for Forrest Gump.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies! If it’s on TV, I usually end up watching it until it ends. Tom Hanks became one of my favorite actors because of this movie, and Gary Sinise is top-notch as Lieutenant Dan. I know my interest in 20th century American history started because of this movie, too. It’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2019, and I would love to go see it on the big screen.

G is for Glee.

Glee is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I fell in love from the pilot episode in 2009. I own almost all of the albums. If I’m having a rough day, I know I can pop one in my CD player in the car, and singing along helps lift my mood. Also, I used their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mine” to serenade Al during our rehearsal dinner in 2015.

H is for High-Fives.

I love giving, and receiving, high-fives!

I is for Ice Cream.

Ice cream is one of my loves. I don’t eat as much as it any more, but you can count on it being in the freezer during the summertime, and for any birthday celebrations. My favorite is chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum!

J is for Josh Groban.

My family fell in love with Josh Groban early in his career. My mom and I have seen him perform live twice in Norfolk, and I would love to see him perform again. Also, he’s quite the comedian, with several guest spots on late-night talk shows.

K is for Kermit the Frog.

Like Big Bird, Kermit is one of my favorite Muppets. When I was 15, my Florida friend Megan and I went to a fun game/arcade place called GameWorks in Miami. Together, we gathered enough tickets to get matching stuffed Kermits, and leopard-print plush mirrors that were flower-shaped. Also, Jim Henson was a genius, and many of us miss him. He was taken from this world too soon, dying as a result of pneumonia in 1990.

L is for Libraries.

Libraries are amazing. I’m been a proud card-carrier since I was four years old. I can’t wait to show Al the main branch of the New York Public Library when we go visit New York this summer.

M is for Michael Buble.

Another one of my favorite singers!

N is for New York.

I was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. It’s right across the street from Central Park. Because of my premature birth, one of the things the nurses told my parents was that they wanted to see these kids, graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) do well and thrive. So, my parents took me back to the hospital every summer until I was 16.

We lived on Governors Island for two years, and then moved to Virginia. I have so many wonderful memories of New York. Seeing several shows, the World Trade Center before 9/11, all the sights and sounds, THE FOOD, the architecture, the subway, and more.

Central Park is one of my favorite places! Also, my Great-Aunt Sherri lives in the Tribeca/Soho area, and happens to live about a block and a half from the firehouse that was the Ghostbusters headquarters!

One of the coolest experiences was playing at Carnegie Hall with my high school orchestra in my senior year. The head nurse from Mount Sinai’s NICU, Doris, came to the performance with my parents, and brought me flowers. The orchestra also got to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Winter Garden Theatre. It was a ton of hard work – We prepared for nearly 18 months – but so incredibly worth it.

O is for Oreo.

I love Oreos! One of the best things my Grandma Grace taught me was that Oreos taste better when they’re frozen!

P is for The Polar Express.

The Polar Express has always been one of my favorite books. My parents have a gift set which includes the hardcover book, an audio cassette of the book reading, and a bell.

Also, the movie adaptation (2004) is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Q is for Queen.

I discovered Queen’s music in high school. After football games, they would play “We Are The Champions.”

Their Live Aid performance (1985) is on YouTube, and it’s one of the most spectacular music performances EVER.

It wasn’t until Al and I were dating that I first watched Wayne’s World (1992) and their epic rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

If you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), GO SEE IT. It’s one of the best movies that I’ve seen in the last several years. It’s also one of those movies that should be seen on the big screen. I can’t wait to get it on DVD.

Also, Rami Malek did an awesome interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. I was captivated!

R is for Reading.

I started devouring books as soon as I could. I know my parents and relatives read to me, too, since there are several photos of that.

Reading is one of my true passions. I love books, libraries, collecting books, and more. I love writing Book Reviews here on the blog. Also, I’ve been writing a fun Awesome Authors series, where I research different authors, their lives, and their books.

S is for Swings.

As a kid, I loved the swings at the playground.

Many of my dreams have portrayed some sort of swing – Tire swings, playground swings, porch swings, rope swings over water, and more.

That feeling like you’re flying while on a swing is indescribable.

T is for Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift is magic. I love her voice, her presence, and her dedication to charity and her fans!

U is for “Uptown Girl.”

Billy Joel is another one of my favorite singers! This song, while not the first one I remember hearing, is one that I love. And it’s so catchy! I’ve practically memorized all the lyrics.

V is for Viola.

I played the viola for eight years, starting in fifth grade. We had the choice between the recorder in our music teacher’s class, Mrs. Brennan, or strings. I had taken piano lessons for several years, and just did not want to play the recorder! I originally wanted to play the violin, but the viola was a good compromise. It looks like a bigger violin, but has the strings of a cello.

Orchestra was one of my fondest memories of middle school and high school. Sixth grade, with Mrs. Glasco, at Western Branch Middle School was big and loud. For seventh grade, my house/neighborhood was part of the transition to the brand-new Jolliff Middle School. Jolliff’s orchestra class, with Mrs. Rice, in seventh and eighth grade was pretty small – I think there were only four violas, maybe six tops.

I was in orchestra class when I found out that I had been accepted into the brand-spanking-new International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Oscar Smith High School. I was the only student from my district, Western Branch, to attend the program when I started at OSHS in the fall of 2003. I started in the Concert Orchestra with Ms. Kringel (Yes, that’s really her name!), and then moved up to the Chamber Orchestra when I was a sophomore. As I mentioned in my New York entry, we had the ultimate trip of a lifetime when we were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2007. I can’t think of a much better way to cap off my SENIOR YEAR of high school than that!

W is for Writing.

Writing has been one of my passions since I was in elementary school. I would fill journals, notebooks, and tons of loose-leaf paper with short stories and doodles about everything, but mainly stories about my Barbie dolls, and then my one American Girl doll, whom I named Stephanie.

As part of the “Young Authors” program in elementary school, kids had the opportunity to write and illustrate their own spiral-bound book. When I was in fifth grade, I called my story “Electro Girl,” and it was a simple friendship story about a girl and her new friend, a robot, set in the forests of Oregon. “Electro Girl” was selected as an honorable mention in the program, and I was able to attend the special ceremony with my parents and other kids from around the city. That ceremony is where my friendship with my best friend, Melissa, started to bloom!

I’m pretty sure I still have my copy of “Electro Girl” (I hope so), and my treasured dark blue three-ring binder with all of my childhood short stories. It’s covered with stickers from the doctor’s office, from craft stores, and birthday parties. I threw away many of the journals and notebooks as a teenager, and I’m so mad now that I did!

Fast-forward to January 2019. I’ve completed four National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo), two Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, and began drafts of four novels. On New Year’s Eve, I hit a HUGE milestone. I crossed the 50,000-word mark on my first NaNoWriMo attempt, which I started in 2012. I made so much progress on this baby in 2018 alone. I’m almost finished, but I’m struggling with the ending!

Next up: Making headway with my 2013 WIP.

Also, I have this little blog of mine as a huge part of my life. Thank you to all my readers and followers thus far. I appreciate every one of you!

X is for Xeno.

I love Nick and Savy’s dog, Xeno! He has so much energy, and he always makes us laugh.

Y is for You!

Thank YOU for supporting this little blog of mine for many years. I appreciate every follower, like, comment, tag, and more!

Z is for Zebra Cakes.

I love nearly everything with a Little Debbie label, except for Oatmeal Cream Pies! Zebra Cakes, however, have always been delicious, and funky-looking!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂