Writing Prompt #212: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter W)

ABC Book Challenge - C

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “W”:

A Walk to Remember (Hardcover).jpg

A Walk to Remember

  • This is one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books. The movie adaptation (2002) was also really well-done.


The War That Saved My Life

  • This was one of my favorite books I read in 2017. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, The War I Finally Won, soon!


Where Have All The Flowers Gone?: The Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty

  • This is one of my all-time favorite Dear America books.


Where The Sidewalk Ends

  • Shel Silverstein was so gifted. I’m not a huge poetry fan, but I love his writings and illustrations.


Where The Wild Things Are

  • This is one of the best children’s books.


The Whistler

  • I love John Grisham! This particular book was a bit disappointing, but I still enjoy his work.



  • The books are delightful. I remember doing a school project on A.A. Milne, and how he created these characters!

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Amazon

The Woman in Cabin 10

  • Al bought this book for me for Christmas 2017. I quickly devoured it, and want to read more from Ruth Ware.

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


Water for Elephants

  • I’ve wanted to read this book since finding out, years ago, that Sara Gruen wrote this during NaNoWriMo!


When You Reach Me

  • This one looks intriguing.


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

  • I’ve been curious about this book since I first saw in on the local library shelf when I was in high school.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson

  • I don’t remember reading this, although John Green is one of my favorite authors.



  • This book has been on my radar for the last year or so.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #204: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter V)

ABC Book Challenge - G

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “V”:

The Vacationers

The Vacationers

  • After abandoning it originally, I’m glad I finished this book. It’s definitely more of a “fluff” or “beach” read, but it was entertaining and fun.


The Velveteen Rabbit

  • I don’t think this was my favorite book, but we definitely had a copy!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  • This book was special to me and my family! Eric Carle is such a talented artist and writer.

Victory in the Valley

Victory in the Valley

  • Domeka used to work at my company. He’s an amazing pastor, husband, and father. This is his first book. It’s part memoir, part testimony, part Bible study. I’m already looking forward to the sequel!

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


Vanishing Acts

  • I keep hearing good things about Jodi Picoult and her books. I need to get this one at the library soon.


Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

  • I wasn’t alive when the Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986, but I’ve been fascinated by it since first learning about in several of my history classes.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #192: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter U)

The ABC Book Challenge - I

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “U”:


Uglies (Uglies, #1)

  • I had never heard of this book before my Young Adult Literature class in 2011. I ended up really liking it. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but I want to.


The Underground Railroad

  • I first heard about this book when the author was interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air. By the end of the interview, I knew I needed my own copy. It was not a disappointment.

Books I Would Like to Read Starting with the Letter “U”:


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

  • I’ve wanted to read this for quite a while. I’m in a fun Facebook group called The Book Drunkard. As part of a fun book and chocolate swap around Valentine’s Day, my swap partner sent me this book and yummy chocolate. I can’t wait to read it soon.


The Uncoupling

  • I first head Meg Wolitzer’s name when one of the critics for Fresh Air reviewed her newest book at the end of a podcast episode. It led me to research her other works.ย I need to pick it up at the library.


Under the Banner of Heaven

  • Jon Krakauer has been on my watch list for a while. I’ve heard good things about several of his books. This one is especially intriguing because of its focus on faith. I want to see his take on religious beliefs and its extremes.


Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity

  • It may be a bit dated now – The book was first published in 2005 – but I still want to read it. As someone who works for a regional health system, I’m always curious about other people’s perspectives on insurance and health care.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Awesome Authors #18: Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen Quote

Image Credit: Quotefancy

I’m long overdue for an Awesome Authors post.

I inhaled Sarah Dessen’s books when I was in high school and college.

Dessen was born in June 1970 in Evanston, Illinois. Her parents, Alan and Cynthia, taught classicism and Shakespearean literature at the University of North Carolina.

When she was 15, Dessen became involved with a 21-year-old man. She realized it was a bad idea, and cut ties shortly thereafter. In an interview, she said she took the blame for the situation and relationship for years afterward. When she herself turned 21, she made a point to look at teens and ask herself whether or not she wanted to hang out with them, or even date one. The answer, she said, “was always a flat, immediate no. They were kids. I was an adult. End of story.”

She first attended Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She dropped out quickly to enroll in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She graduated with the highest honors in Creative Writing.

While launching her writing career, Dessen worked as a waitress at a restaurant called Flying Burrito. Her first book, That Summer, was published in 1996.

The 2003 movie How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore and Allison Janney, was based on Dessen’s books That Summer and Someone Like You.

Several of her novels have been named the American Library Association’s (ALA) “Best Fiction for Young Adults” selection. Along for the Rideย (2010) made the New York Times Best Sellers List.

In 2017, Dessen received the Margaret A. Edwards Award as a result of seven of her novels, published between 2000 and 2011. Her newest book is Once and for All (2017).

Just Listen (2006)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure this is the first book of Dessen’s I remember reading, although I’m not 100 percent sure.

Lock and Key (2008)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

As someone who has struggled all her life to ask for help, this one cut deep.

That Summer (1996)

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Image Credit: Goodreads

I think I’ve read this? I’m not sure. This is Dessen’s first novel.

Dreamland (2000)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I passed by this book so many times at the library, and then once I finished either Just Listen or Lock and Key, I knew I needed to read it.

This Lullaby (2002)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I remember this one, since having faith and learning to leap is something I’ve worked on for years. The cover also caught my eye at the library.

Along for the Ride (2009)

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Image Credit: Goodreads

I don’t remember reading this one, but I know I want to.

Keeping The Moon (1999)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

If I have read this, it was early on. I distinctly remember the cover, and I know I saw it on the library shelves. Regardless, I do want to pick it up and re-read it.

Saint Anything (2015)

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Image Credit: Goodreads

This is one I definitely haven’t read. I’m pretty sure the last new release I read was Lock and Key.

What about you? Have you read any of Sarah Dessen’s works? Have you seen How to Deal?

Until the next headline, Laura Bethย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #184: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter T)

The ABC Book Challenge - K

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “T”:

Maryellen - amazon

Taking Off: A Maryellen Classic 2

  • I love Maryellen’s books. They remind me of what my mom’s childhood was like in Florida in the 1950s.


Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

  • Judy Blume’s books defined my childhood!


Things Fall Apart

  • I was assigned to read this toward the end of high school. I remember struggling with it, but the discussions we had in class were good.

This Is Where It Ends - Goodreads

This Is Where It Ends

  • This was a tough book. An important subject, but tough to read when The Pulse nightclub shooting happened in Orlando, Florida.


To Kill A Mockingbird

  • I was assigned to read this in high school. It quickly became one of my favorite books. I re-read it every year.

Image Credit: www.shapingyouth.org

Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life

  • Another powerful book. It was put into my life at the perfect time. Buying my own copy was perfectly timed and orchestrated, too. The coolest part was when the author, Elin Stebbins Waldal, found my Book Review in July 2015, read it, and took the time to comment on my post!

Books Iโ€™d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “T”:


The Tales of Beedle the Bard

  • I want to round out my collection of Harry Potter texts with this one.

Image result for that was then this is now book

That Was Then, This Is Now

  • The only book I’ve read by S.E. Hinton is The Outsiders (1967). I really want to read this one soon.


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

  • I really do want to read all of the Bronte sisters’ work, someday. This one looks fascinating!

Tex SE Hinton.jpg


  • Another book from S.E. Hinton. I really need to capitalize on my local library.


The Time-Traveler’s Wife

  • I’ve heard good things about this book for years!


Treasure Island

  • I remember learning about this classic through Wishboneย (“Salty Dog”), and then Muppet Treasure Island (1996).


Tropic of Cancer

  • This book was on the list during my year-long reading challenge, but I never got to it. Another one I should look for at the library.

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #176: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter S)

ABC Book Challenge - D

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter โ€œSโ€:

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Samantha Saves The Day: A Summer Story

  • I read all of Samantha’s books first. I love the lake and forest setting of Piney Point!


Sarah, Plain and Tall

  • This is one of the first chapter books I remember reading in elementary school.

Image Credit: www.karynbosnak.com

Save Karyn: One Shopaholic’s Journey to Debt and Back

  • I found this gem at a thrift store several years ago. It was a very interesting and insightful work on shopping, lifestyle, debt, and gaining your life back.


The Sky’s The Limit: My Journey with Maryellen

  • As much flack as American Girl has received for revamping their books, I like the choose-your-own-adventure books for the historical characters. It’s fun! Maryellen and her world remind me a lot of my mom, who grew up in Florida.


Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

  • I’ve had this book for half of my life. I found it at a thrift store on a whim. I’ve re-read it at least three times since then. It’s a sobering (no pun intended) story about alcohol and its effects on one woman, coupled with statistics and stories about underage drinking that will scare anyone straight.


Summer of My German Soldier

  • I think this was one of the summer reading books in middle school? I didn’t like it the first time, but I re-read it a few years later. It’s one of the better middle-grade historical novels I’ve read.

A Stand for Independence

A Stand for Independence: A Felicity Classic 2

  • Al bought me the first two Felicity BeForever books for my birthday. I loved the original Felicity books growing up, especially since her world is set in Colonial Williamsburg.

Stars Stripes and Surprises

Stars, Stripes, and Surprises: A Molly Classic 2

  • I’ve raved about Samantha and Felicity, but Molly has always been my favorite character from American Girl. Her BeForever books were no different, transporting me back to 1944.


Image result for stepping on the cracks

Stepping on the Cracks

  • I devoured Mary Downing Hahn’s books when I was younger. This is another WWII-era novel, and a powerful one.

Story of a Girl

  • I was assigned to read this as part of my Young Adult Literature class in college. I loved it.

Books Iโ€™d Love to Read Starting with the Letter โ€œSโ€:


The Secret History

  • I’ve heard about this book several times.


Sense and Sensibility

  • One of these days, I will be able to claim I’ve read everything by Jane Austen.


Specials (Uglies #3)

  • I read Uglies in my Young Adult Literature class. I’ve wanted to read the rest of the books since then.



  • I remember trying, and failing, to read this book many years ago. I think it’s time I pick it up again.


A Study in Scarlet

  • How I can turn down Sherlock Holmes?

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

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Book Review #69: “All The Missing Girls”

All The Missing Girls

Image Credit: Amazon

It took a long time to get to this place, let me tell you!

This book was originally a Christmas gift from Al in 2017. I first started reading it in the summer of 2018, and then abandoned it about halfway through.

However, abandoning it started to bother me several months later, so I committed to pick it back up. Finally, after about a month of effort, I finished it!

Part of the reason I abandoned it at first was due to the story structure. Told in reverse, Miranda presents quite a complex set of characters, all trying to piece together the reasons why certain events occurred ten years prior.

The main character, Nicolette, known as Nic, was hard for me to grasp at first. She appears likeable, but as you get deeper into the story, it gets muddled and messy. Almost all of the characters have darkness in their pasts. Some, in their present, too.

On the surface, it’s a mystery story. Everyone in Cooley Ridge, or mostly everyone, is trying to find out what exactly happened to Corinne Prescott ten years earlier. Is she dead? Is she still missing? What the hell happened to her?

Then, just as mysteriously, Annaleise Carter vanishes off the face of the Earth. Everyone is a suspect. And Nicolette is at the center of it all.

This was not my favorite book in the world. It was a good idea, a decent mystery. Once I finished reading it, I started to better understand why I originally abandoned it. Nicolette was a tough main character for me, and it was almost too much trying to keep up with everyone else in her world. There were too many people involved in the story, and it got muddled and confusing from the first chapter. And maybe that was part of the point? To make it confusing to add to the story.

However, I’m glad I stuck with it. Miranda did a good job building the world of Cooley Ridge, and made the past and present blend together well. At the same time, I feel like she tried to accomplish too much in one novel, her debut for adults. I felt exhausted after just 1-2 chapters in a night, and struggled to read more than that in one sitting.

If you’re a fan of suspense and solving mysteries, this is a good read to try when you’re on vacation, or wanting a different book to read. Other than that, it’s a challenge for me to recommend it higher.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚