Tag #66: The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Autumn _ Winter 16

I was tagged by Daniel, who writes at Page to Page.

Thanks, Daniel!

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


How long have you been blogging?

  • According to WordPress, eight years. For Hot Shot Headlines specifically, I started it in 2014.

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

  • Probably never.

What is the best thing about blogging?

  • Being able to write freely, and publish my own work.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

  • It’s not really the worst thing, but sometimes I struggle with keeping up with all of the tags and awards that amazing people have nominated me for or to do. I work through all of them, one by one!

How long does it take you to find make/find pictures to use?

  • It depends. I use a lot of Google Images.

Who is your book crush?

  • Oh, wow. Ummm …. Probably Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

  • Any of the following: J.K. Rowling, Laurie Halse Anderson, Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, Ann M. Martin.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

  • Clothes.

How long does it take you to prepare?

  • It varies. I like to have at least 3-4 posts ready to publish during one week.

How do you feel about the book blogging community?

  • I’ve met some of the most wonderful people through book blogs! Everyone is so supportive, and it’s amazing to me that so many people, around the world, love to read books and write about books.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

  • Write from your heart.
  • Use tags – It helps bring your work to a bigger audience!
  • Engage with other bloggers – Like posts, comment when you feel led, and support blogs that you love. It’s a wonderful community.

Tag – You’re It!

  • I’m not tagging anyone in particular. But, if you feel led, I would love it if you participated!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Getting Personal #130: Seventh TBR Recap

Book Quote - Neil Gaiman

Image Credit: Ebook Friendly

Welcome back!

In case you’re interested, here are the links to my previous TBR posts:


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Prez: A Story of Love, Margaret Garrison
  2. A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks, Denise Lewis Patrick
  3. A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton, Rebecca Paley
  4. Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide, Patrice Banks
  5. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling

Like I said in my first “Down The TBR Hole” post, I want to change up my TBR  posts a little bit. Going forward, I will state my “Remove” list, and then state my “Keep” List.

As of May 5th, my updated TBR had 48 books.

Subtracting the five I read, that makes 43 books.

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Bader, Bonnie, A Girl Named Helen: The True Story of Helen Keller (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  2. Calonita, Jen, Z On Location (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 2)
  3. Casanova, Mary, Menace at Mammoth Cave: A Kit Mystery
  4. Choi, Mary H.K., Emergency Contact
  5. Crowley, Cath, Words in Deep Blue
  6. Falligant, Erin, The Legend of the Shark Goddess: A Nanea Mystery
  7. Gaskell, Elizabeth, North and South
  8. Gilbert, Kelly Loy, Picture Us in the Light
  9. King, Stephen, 11/22/63
  10. Lyons, Kelly Starling, A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  11. McKinney, Ruth Ann, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert
  12. Nijkamp, Marieke, Before I Let Go
  13. Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
  14. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  15. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Braving the Deep
  16. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Out of This World
  17. Toobin, Jeffrey, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst
  18. Tripp, Valerie, Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2
  19. Tripp, Valerie, Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit
  20. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In
  21. Yee, Lisa, Lea Leads the Way
  22. Yee, Lisa, and Kellen Hertz, Lea and Camila

Removal Rate: 22/43 = 51%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Bader, Bonnie, and Connie Porter, The Underground Railroad (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  2. Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker, The War I Finally Won
  3. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  4. Carlson Berne, Emma, The Titanic (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  5. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  6. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  7. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  8. Haddix, Margaret Peterson, Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1)
  9. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  10. Lehr, Dick, Trell
  11. McNamara, Michelle, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  12. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  13. Murphy, Jim, My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
  14. Myers, Walter Dean, My Name is America: The Journal of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy
  15. Paley, Rebecca, The Boston Tea Party (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  16. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  17. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  18. Swanson, Jennifer, Pearl Harbor (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  19. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  20. Toobin, Jeffrey, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson
  21. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1

Keep Rate: 21/43 = 49%


Adding To The TBR

I’ve decided to limit myself to adding no more than 10 books to my existing TBR every quarter. Hopefully, this will keep me in check, and also motivate me to add books that I really, truly want to read.

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Block, Lawrence, Small Town
  3. Fisher, Carrie, Wishful Drinking
  4. Hopkins, Ellen, Crank
  5. Reynolds, Jason, Long Way Down
  6. Summers, Courtney, All the Rage

So, my current total is 27 books. Much better than over 180 a while back!


Do you have a TBR?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #116: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter B)

 

ABC Book Challenge - B

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable titles that start with the letter “B”:

The Baby-Sitters Club - Elle

Baby-sitters Little Sister - Amazon

Baby-Sitters Club series

  • I devoured this series, as well as Baby-Sitters Little Sister books, for years. Check out my Awesome Authors post on Ann M. Martin!

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Because of Winn-Dixie

  • I don’t remember when I read it, but it made me cry.

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Beezus and Ramona

  • I loved Beverly Cleary’s books. I read nearly all of them before I started middle school. Ramona has always been one of my favorite characters.

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The BFG

  • Roald Dahl is another one of my favorite authors. I remember being assigned to read The BFG in elementary school, but falling in love with it.

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Bleachers

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Briana’s Gift

  • I stumbled upon Lurlene McDaniel at the library when I was in high school, I think. Like a few other authors, I quickly devoured all of her books. All of her books make me cry, but they’re well-written, and also somewhat relevant, too.

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Bridge to Terabithia

  • This is one of my favorite books. However, it always makes me cry. I sense a theme here!

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Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America

  • I appreciate Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing, too. Al gave me this book for Christmas, and I eagerly read it.

Books starting with “B” that I wish to read:

Between Shades of Gray

  • Tiana mentioned this book – I’m definitely intrigued!

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Blood Drive

  • I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this short story until now!

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The Bonfire of the Vanities

  • I’ve never read it. But, I feel it’s appropriate. Wolfe was a heralded writer, and I’m always intrigued by books set in New York City.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

  • Another book I’ve never read. I love Truman Capote. Adding this to my TBR, stat!

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The Bridges of Madison County

  • I think I have a copy of this, somewhere. If not, I’m sure my library probably has a copy, since this book was one of the best-selling books of the 20th century.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #64: The Muppets Book Tag

The Muppets

Image Credit: Disney

I stumbled upon this tag from Bibi’s Book Blog at the end of June. Most of you know that I love the Muppets, so I definitely wanted to do this tag!

Here’s the link to Bibi’s post:


Swedish Chef

Name a book that should have been good but left the foulest taste in your mouth…

Swedish Chef

 

Allegiant. I had such high hopes …

Fozzie Bear

Name a book that you couldn’t help but laugh at the jokes or characters

Fozzie Bear

Harry Potter. Ron Weasley, especially.

Bunson Honeydew and Beaker

Name a book that made you feel a little smarter by the end of it

DR Bunsen Honeydew And Beaker

The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space. I learned so much about NASA, and it’s ties to the Hampton Roads area!

Crazy Harry

Name a book where a character or something about the book drives you crazy

Crazy Harry

The Casual Vacancy. I didn’t like how many characters there were! It was hard to keep up.

Janice

Name a book that was an easy read and gave you good vibes

Janice

Any of the American Girl books. I love reading about history!

Stalter & Waldorf

A book that you loved and was turned into a movie that you hated

Stalter and Waldorf

Oh, goodness. I’m not sure I have a true answer for this one!


Tag – You’re It!


Who is your favorite Muppet?

I’m with Bibi – I was disappointed to not see Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, Animal, and Rizzo!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #62: “The Casual Vacancy”

The Casual Vacancy

Image Credit: Kobo.com

It took me quite a while to read this book. I purchased it at Barnes & Noble at least two years ago, if not longer than that. I think I had a gift card to spend, because the paperback had the bargain price of $5.98.

I’ve been interested in this book since it was published in 2012. Having been a massive Harry Potter fan, and this being her first novel for adults, I had full confidence that I would enjoy this book just as much.

Poor Al. He’s heard me gripe and complain and whine about this book for weeks! But, I finally finished the book earlier this week after he went to sleep. It took way too long for me to finish 503 pages, but I DID IT!

Rowling is still one of my favorite authors, by the way. But, this book doesn’t make my list of favorites.

It’s not a bad book, but it’s really dense. There are SO MANY characters. It made my head spin initially. I get it – She’s focusing on multiple families, all who are involved in some way with the parish council. Also, the book could have been condensed. In my opinion, 503 pages for this book was too long. She could have certainly told this particular story in 300-400 pages.

As an American, I’ve been fascinated with England, British life, and so on for several years. Getting this fictional perspective of a parish council, different communities, and challenging decisions was really interesting. Overall, the cast of characters were diverse, and interesting. There was a lot more drama than I was expecting, but it wasn’t too distracting.

The book dragged quite a bit through the first half. I almost gave up – I was struggling with the characters, and it was a lot of mundane exposition.

However, around Part Five or Part Six, the action increased, and I actually started to enjoy it. Toward the very end, I was on the edge of my seat – The last 75 pages or so were really exciting. Definitely dramatic, and more than a bit of tragedy, but it felt like a thriller at that point. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I was slightly sad when I got to the last page.

Again, not my favorite book by Rowling, but I was happy I plowed through to finish.

3 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #115: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter A)

Image Credit: The Book Raven

I found this awesome book challenge through Tiana, who writes for The Book Raven! Tiana writes some of the most in-depth, intriguing book reviews. Check her out!

My goal is to post about one letter every week!

Here’s the link to her original post:


Memorable titles that start with the letter “A”:

A Girl Named Rosa

A Girl Named Hillary

A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks

A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton

  • I was immediately intrigued by this new series of books from American Girl. They’re designed for younger readers, but I still like reading them.

A Stand for Independence

A Stand for Independence: A Felicity Classic 2

  • Despite not having the original, beautiful illustrations, I love the historical books from American Girl. Felicity is one character that is close to my heart, because her story is set in Colonial Williamsburg!

A Winning Spirit

A Winning Spirit: A Molly Classic 1

  • Molly has always been my favorite American Girl.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  • I struggled to read this book in middle school, but eventually re-read it in college. I think it’s time to read it again.

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American Wife

  • This is my favorite Curtis Sittenfeld book. I re-read it three times over the course of one summer.

angels-and-demons

Angels & Demons

  • As much as I despised the ending, I love Robert Langdon’s character!

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Angela’s Ashes

  • Another good book that I read when I was in college.

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Animal Farm

  • I think I read this in high school? Orwell’s fiction feels closer to the truth now. *shudders*

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

  • I’ve always loved Judy Blume.

Books starting with “A” that I wish to read:

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Accident: A Day’s News

  • I stumbled upon this book recently whilst scanning Goodreads. I haven’t read a lot of fiction about Chernobyl, so I’ll seek this out at my local library.

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All the Missing Girls

  • Al bought me this book for Christmas. I started it, fell into a reading slump, and stopped. Now, I’m ready to start fresh.

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All the President’s Men

  • Having seen the movie multiple times, I’m long overdue to read the book about the events that thrust Woodward and Bernstein into the spotlight.

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All the Rage

  • I just learned about this book from another blogger – Destiny, I think. Hopefully my library will have it.

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American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

  • This book is in the stack on my nightstand!

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Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

  • This book is on the top of my nightstand stack. This will probably be the next book I review.

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And Then There Were None

  • I love Agatha Christie, so I hope my library has a copy.

Image result for anna and the french kiss

Anna and the French Kiss

  • Several bloggers have read this book, so I need to satisfy my curiosity.

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Anne of Green Gables

  • I tried reading Montgomery’s books as a kid, but was never able to get into it. I think my mom has the whole series!

Image result for aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

  • Several bloggers have been raving about this book, so I’m adding this one to my list. Plus, I love the synopsis.

I love this challenge so far!

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #62: Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Image Credit: Fiction No Chaser

I was tagged by Teagan and Jess, of Fiction No Chaser, to do this hilarious book tag! I laughed so hard while reading their post, I nearly cried.

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


Rules:

  • Please link back to Daniel @ Page to Page
  • Respond to the scenarios
  • Tag 5 people (or however many you like)

Spring Cleaning Tag

It’s time to make your bed, but you’re going to have some friends over later and want to pick the perfect book to place on your nightstand for them all to see that you’re “reading”. Which book do you choose?

Image result for camino island book

Image Credit: Goodreads

  • Camino Island by John Grisham. Most of my friends know that I love Grisham’s books.

Oh no! The house needs dusting, but you just can’t put that book you’re reading down! What book would you buy on audio just so you could continue the story while cleaning?

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  • I’m with Jess. I’ll choose podcasts over audiobooks any day. I love true crime podcasts, as well as several from NPR (Fresh Air, This American Life, Ask Me Another, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!Suspect Convictions).

Darn it! The ceiling is leaking! Turns out Mass-Market Paperbacks are the best things to soak water up! Which popular book do you use to soak up the water?

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • The entire Twilight series.

Bathrooms need a good scrubbing, and your 2007 Cosmos are a little outdated and need replacing. What book do you place in the bathroom for some light reading for when people need to take care of business?

  • I agree with Jess, again. I don’t read in my own bathroom.

Family is coming over, but you have no idea what to make for dinner! You read somewhere that tearing up the last chapter of a book whose ending you hated and sprinkling it in a casserole dish makes for the perfect meal! Which book do you choose?

Image result for allegiant book

Image Credit: Amazon

  • Jess and I are kindred spirits, apparently! I would totally shred Allegiant, in a heartbeat.

Organization is key, right? When it comes time to organize your bookshelf, you realize you have enough room (and money) to get three new books! Which books do you buy?

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Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

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Image Credit: Amazon

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Finally, some peace and quiet! But, before you can relax, you realize you forgot to send your Aunt a thank you gift for the lovely “ADULT LIFE FOR DUMMIES” book she gave you for Christmas (maybe she’s trying to tell you something?). What book do you send to her to show her how much (this is sarcasm) you appreciate her gift?

Image result for the subtle art of not giving a f

Image Credit: Amazon

  • Hehe, I love Teagan’s answer! The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Tag- You’re It!


I loved this tag, so much! I laughed so hard as I was writing this post.

Thanks again for tagging me, Teagan and Jess!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂