Tag #70: Book Blogger Confessions Book Tag

book blogger confessions book tag

Found on Fiction No Chaser

I found this tag on Fiction No Chaser!

Here’s the link to their post:


The Rules

  1. Answer these questions truthfully.
  2. Once you’re done, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

I have to go back into 2018 for a minute. I think it was All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. However, at the beginning of January, I picked back up and am enjoying it again.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Pretty much anything written by Nicholas Sparks. I did my college senior thesis on his books. I haven’t read several of his new releases, so I may do that soon.

Which book do you love to hate?

I have to agree with Fiction No Chaser here. The Twilight series.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I really struggle with multiple POVs in general, but this book drove me nuts! And I was super disappointed, too, since I LOVED and absolutely inhaled Divergent and Insurgent.

Which book have you read the most?

It’s a dead-on tie between The Great Gatsby and To Kill A Mockingbird. I re-read both of these every single year.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Nothing. I adore books. And I agree with Fiction No Chaser – Worst case, I can give it to someone who wants it.

Which book could you not live without?

I just can’t pick just one. If my house were to catch on fire, I would automatically save my hard cover British copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that I got in England on the release day in the summer of 2005, and then my Bibles.

Which book made you the angriest?

Can I say Allegiant again? That’s seriously the ONLY BOOK that comes to mind.

Which book made you cry the most?

I’m not usually a big crier while reading. But, I agree with Fiction No Chaser. I cried quite a bit while getting through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It took me quite a while to read it and finish it, but there were definite tears. And it took me at least two weeks to pick up another book, and that’s saying something for me.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

I loathe book covers that have the movie adaptation characters on them. I refuse to buy them! Nicholas Sparks and John Grisham are two examples.


Tag – You’re It!

  • Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  • Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • Destiny at Howling Libraries
  • Daniel at Page to Page
  • The Electric Contrarian

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #160: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter O)

The ABC Book Challenge - L


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “O”:

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • This is by far one of my favorite memoirs, and writing craft books. I first found the book on a whim at the library. I loved it so much, I knew I needed my own copy. This book is staying on my bookshelf forever.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • This was a hard book to read and digest in high school, but it was definitely magical.

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The Outsiders

  • I love this book. I read it when I was younger. Then, I re-read it, and fell in love with it. The movie adaptation (1983) is also quite good.

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The Odyssey

  • This was a whole unit in one of my high school English classes. I’d originally learned part of the story from Wishbone.

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

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Of Mice and Men

  • I enjoyed reading Steinbeck in my American Literature class in college. We didn’t read this one then, but I tried after the class ended. I failed. I want to try again, however.

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On the Road

  • I became fascinated with Jack Kerouac, and the other Beat Generation poets, while studying history in high school.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  • I first learned about this book from Sesame Street! They did a “Monsterpiece Theatre” segment where they were discussing classic literature. A number 1 flew over a cuckoo’s nest.

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Ordinary People

  • I really should read this book. The movie adaptation (1980) is fabulous.

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Our Year of Maybe


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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #69: Holiday Drinks Book Tag

Holiday Drinks - Wide Open Eats

Image Credit: Wide Open Eats

holiday drinks book tag

Found on Page to Page

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but I loved reading Daniel’s post so much, I knew I needed to post my own version.

Here’s the link to Daniel’s post:


Hot Chocolate: Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my! Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.

Forgetting My Way Back To You

Forgetting My Way Back To You, Karina Bartow.

I read this book as an ARC a few months ago, and it’s really sweet and touching. I noted a touch of cheesiness, but it was also integral to the story. No spoilers!

Peppermint Mocha: The flavor of peppermint is strong and distinct. Recommend a book with a lot of strong emotions.

Image result for harry potter and the goblet of fire book

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.

It’s so hard to pick a single Harry Potter book for nearly anything. This one runs the reader through the gauntlet of emotions, though!

Apple Cider: It’s so good it can’t be good for you, but it’s from apples – That means it’s healthy, right? Recommend a book full of characters with questionable morals.

hunger-games

The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins.

I will probably never stop raving about this trilogy. If you’re looking for a great series with a ton of diverse characters, I highly recommend it. And there are definitely lots of characters with questionable morals here!

Eggnog: It’s creamy and smooth, with a little spice, and some people even add alcohol to it. Recommend a book that’s mostly fun, with just a hint of danger.

Image result for safe haven book

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks.

This is one of Sparks’ books where I truly felt scared several times for the main character. No spoilers, but it was certainly intense for an author who has traditionally written sweet romance novels.

Gingerbread Latte: A drink with a veritable explosion of spices. Recommend a book with a lot of action.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins.

This book was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It kept me on my toes, and on the edge of my seat, almost the entire time. Great book!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #156: Ninth TBR Recap

book quote - good housekeeping

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

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. Laakso, Laura, Fallible Justice (ARC Review)
  2. Watts, J. Holley, WHO KNEW? …Reflections On Vietnam
  3. Block, Lawrence, Small Town
  4. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  3. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  4. Hopkins, Ellen, Crank
  5. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  6. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  7. Summers, Courtney, All the Rage
  8. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  9. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give
  10. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1

Removal Rate: 10/14 = 71%


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

  1. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America *Re-Read*
  2. Ng, Celeste, Everything I Never Told You
  3. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  4. Weldon, Fay, Habits of the House

Keep Rate: 4/14 = 29%


Adding To The TBR

  1. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  2. Kubica, Mary, Good Girl
  3. McGinnis, Mindy, The Female of the Species
  4. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  5. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee
  6. Pon, Cindy, Want
  7. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone *Re-Read*
  8. Sanderson, Brandon, Mistborn: The Final Empire
  9. Westover, Tara, Educated: A Memoir

So, my current TBR is 13 books.


Do you have a TBR?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #68: Disney Princess Hair Book Tag

disney princesses

Image Credit: The Washington Post

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but I love Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts so much! Her enthusiasm for this tag was contagious!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post:


The Rules

  1. Link back to Kyera’s original post on Kyera’s Library and Mandy’s post on Book Princess Reviews so they can see all your answers! Be sure to do this via pingback, we don’t get notified if you just tag our URLs.
  2. Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  3. Obviously, come up with your own wonderful answers!
  4. Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

Best Hair Accessory

Favorite book sidekick

Princess: The red ribbon in Snow White’s hair.

Book: Ron Weasley from Harry Potter.

Biggest Hair Change

Plot twist that totally caught you off guard

Princess: Anna’s streaks from Frozen.

Book: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. So crazy!

Prettiest Up-Do / Bun

A book or author with the most elegant prose

Princess: Princess Tiana! I love the The Princess and The Frog. So elegant and gorgeous!

Book: To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I was assigned to read this book during the summer before ninth grade, and I fell in love. It’s one of several books that I strive to re-read every year.

Most Bounce / Body

Book that bounces between multiple time periods

Princess: Ariel, hands down! So beautiful.

Book: I haven’t read it yet, but Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, immediately comes to mind.

Most Intricate Braid

Favorite plot with multiple story-lines that are woven together

Princess: Elsa!

Book: I got nothing!

Short & Sweet

A book that’s short and sweet

Princess: Mulan! One of my favorite princesses of all-time.

Book: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is another book that I typically re-read every year.

Nicest Half-Up / Half-Down

A book / character that you had a lot of ups and downs with

Princess: Belle! I love Beauty and the Beast!

Book: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling. Such a good book, but it was also the end of the epic series that defined a good portion of my childhood and my life!

Medium & Manageable

The last book you felt right in the middle about

Princess: I’m running out of princesses! I think Moana is the best pick for this one.

Book: Small Town, by Lawrence Block. A good read, but also long, heavy, and graphic. I gave it 3 1/2 stars in my review.

Best Bangs

Eye-catching cover

Princess: Ariel!

Book: Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. I don’t normally pick books based on cover, but the minute I saw it, I need I wanted to read it. It’s going back on my TBR soon!

Long & Loose

Longest book you read this year

Princess: Merida!

Book: I honestly can’t answer this question. I don’t normally pay attention to the length of books.

Best Pony

A book that swings from POV to POV

Princess: Jasmine! I wanted hair like hers for years.

Book: Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. Many know my disgust with this book. I have trouble reading books with multiple POVs thanks to this one.

Stunningly Straight

A book that made you want to dive straight into the sequel

Princess: Pocahontas! Absolutely gorgeous!

Book: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This book captivated me. I think I had all three books in my possession when I finished this one. If I hadn’t, I think I would have gone straight to the store to pick up Catching Fire the minute I finished the first one. If you haven’t read the trilogy, DO IT!

Enviable Curls

A book with twists and turns

Princess: Aurora.

Book: The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. Holy moly! This was such a good book! It kept me on the edge the entire time. What a ride!

Hair Closest to Your Own

A book that you strongly connected to

Princess: Rapunzel’s hair after it’s cut off. I felt this way when I decided to cut my hair to its current length. I’d grown my hair out from 2013 through 2017, and I’m glad I did since my wedding hairstyle came out beautifully in 2015. But, after a while, the length was frustrating and I really started to not like it. It took FOREVER to blow dry! I decided to cut it off, and I’ve never looked back. I know Al was sad, but I’ve loved the compliments I’ve gotten with my current style. Plus, blow drying is a cinch now!

Book: This is one of the toughest questions. But, I think the proper answer, at this moment, is Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, by Lilly Ledbetter. I greatly enjoy human interest stories, and especially ones written by women. As a woman, and someone who is very much aware of the wage gap, I try to learn more about it. Reading Ledbetter’s story was so encouraging and inspiring to me. This book will remain on my bookshelf forever.


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #158: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter N)

The ABC Book Challenge - K


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “N”:

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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

  • I was introduced to Barbara Ehrenreich in my freshman year of college by way of this book. I plan to re-read it soon. It’s a powerful book regarding minimum wage, and how a lot of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes not even that.

1617

Night

  • I first read this book in eighth grade. We were studying the Holocaust, and it left a profound impact on me. Everyone should read this book.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • This book creeped me out for quite a while. However, I feel the need to read it again soon.

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November Blues (Jericho #2)

  • I really like and enjoy Sharon M. Draper’s books. I’ve gained a greater perspective of African-African teenagers through her fiction. The Jericho trilogy is one of my favorites.

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Number The Stars

  • I was assigned this book in fifth grade. Originally, I really struggled with this book. It was one of the first times that I read so fast that my comprehension suffered. Through this book, I learned to slow down in my reading, especially assigned books, and my comprehension improved. Also, Lois Lowry is one of my favorite authors!

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

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The Night Circus

  • I’ve wanted to read this book for several years. The author wrote this book during NaNoWriMo!

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North and South

  • I’m part of a Facebook group called The Book Drunkard. This book has been recommended to me several times, so I need to find it at the library soon.

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A Northern Light

  • I’ve heard so many good things about this book!

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Northanger Abbey

  • I learned about this book from Wishbone! I know I have a greater appreciation for Jane Austen now than I did years ago.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #68: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”

evicted

Image Credit: Amazon

I think I first heard about this book from friends on Facebook, who all said what a powerful book it was.

Then, author Matthew Desmond was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air in April 2018. My local area, Hampton Roads in Virginia, was specifically mentioned in the interview regarding high numbers of evictions in three separate cities. It stung, and propelled me to want to learn more. As soon as possible.


I bought the book in August, and finally started it in late December. But once I started, I could not put it down. By the time we came home from the farm on December 26th, I’d flown through Part One. I was itching to go to bed that night, eager to dive in to Part Two. It only took me a few more nights of intense reading to finish it. I came away from it with a greater understanding, and appreciation, for being able to own my own home with my husband. It’s one of those books that makes me realize how good I have it, especially as a white woman with no children.

I’m drawn to books like this because of the human interest. I was reminded of the term “ethnography,” which is the systematic study of people and cultures. Author Matthew Desmond settled in Milwaukee, in the trailer park and other low-income neighborhoods, to not only interview people for the book, but to learn about their lives, and specifically what they go through day by day. The housing crisis and recession of the late-2000s began while he was conducting interviews, and it’s referenced in the book as well.

However, the housing crisis and recession are not all to blame here. It’s just one factor. There are many other factors involved with eviction and those who struggle with it. Landlords have profited by buying cheap, often dilapidated houses or buildings, charging rent, and then sometimes refusing to fix inherent problems in these properties. The tenants complain, nothing gets fixed, and rent can go unpaid or withheld. There are certain processes for evictions, but they vary greatly. There are voluntary and involuntary procedures. It’s definitely not black-and-white.

When someone is evicted, that goes on their record. It’s exponentially harder for parents with children to find an affordable place to live, and eviction(s) exacerbate that problem. Multiple evictions are even more problematic. It’s a vicious cycle, where parents want to protect their kids from negative influences and crime, but can’t break out of those areas because of their eviction record. Welfare benefits can also be affected. If you’re lucky to have a job, getting evicted can cause immense stress, affecting job performance and more. Choices have to be made, painfully – Pay rent, or the utilities, or the car repair, or a need for your kids. Kids are uprooted, shuffled, changing schools, and also stressed. It’s a horrible experience all around.

Desmond’s dedication to these interviews, living in their space, researching the processes and procedures, and soaking up everything he could about eviction shines through this book. It’s depressing, in more ways than one, but incredibly informative, educational, and eye-opening.

This is one of those books, in my opinion, should be studied and taught in schools, especially upper levels of high schools and colleges/universities. It’s an important issue that needs more focus, discussion, and change.

My eyes were opened widely to the multiple problems regarding eviction. I thought I knew a few things, but this book turned my thinking completely on its head. The book focused specifically on Milwaukee during a set number of years, but there are eviction problems and issues throughout the entire U.S.

That was one of the focuses of Desmond’s interview with Terry Gross – Thanks to receiving a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in 2015, Desmond has started The Eviction Lab, where a dedicated team of researchers and students from Princeton University are creating the first-ever eviction database in the U.S. At the time of the interview, in April 2018, the Lab had already collected 83 million records from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The book was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. That says something, too.

“Stabilizing a home has all sorts of positive benefits for a family,” Desmond said in the interview.

Desmond has written two other books, and co-authored one on race. I look forward to reading and seeing more from him.

5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂