Writing Prompt #147: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter I)

The ABC Book Challenge - I

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “I”:

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

  • Maya Angelou is a wonderful writer!

in-cold-blood

In Cold Blood

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Insurgent

  • This was my favorite in the Divergent trilogy.

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Island of the Blue Dolphins

  • I loved this book as a kid.

Books I Wish to Read that Start with the Letter “I”:

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • This book has been on my list for years!

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In the Shadow of Blackbirds

  • Historical fiction? Yes, please!

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Into the Water

  • I enjoyed reading The Girl On The Train, so naturally, this book made my list quickly.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #141: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter H)

ABC Book Challenge - G

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “H”:

Image Credit: goodreads.com

The Happiness Project

  • It’s hard to believe that I read and reviewed this book more than three years ago. It’s still one of the best memoirs I’ve read.

Image result for harry potter series books

Harry Potter series

  • I was a little late to the party with the books, but once I started, I was hooked.

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The Hunger Games

  • This is the book that got me started with the dystopian genre. The series is my favorite trilogy.

Books I Wish to Read that Start with the Letter “H”:

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The Haunting of Hill House

  • This book has been recommended to me numerous times, by different people.

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Hollow City

  • We saw the movie adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to read the books.

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Hysteria

  • Al bought me All The Missing Girls for Christmas, so I’m intrigued to see how Megan Miranda wrote this one.

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #133: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter G)

ABC Book Challenge - G

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


Memorable books that start with the letter “G”:

Image result for a great and terrible beauty

A Great And Terrible Beauty

  • I remember being captivated by this book!

The Great Gatsby - Complex

The Great Gatsby

  • This is one of my all-time favorite books. I re-read it every year! And, F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors.

Book I wish to read that start with the letter “G”:

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The Giver

  • I’ve never read this all the way through!

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Gone Girl

  • I’ve heard many good things, I just haven’t gotten it to yet.

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Gone With The Wind

  • This one has been on my “book bucket list” since middle school!

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


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: www.shapingyouth.org

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

TTT-Big2

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂