Getting Personal #197: Thirteenth TBR Recap

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

Welcome back!


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

  1. Buckey, Sarah Masters, The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery
  2. Goldstein, Amy, Janesville: An American Story
  3. Hupfield, Stanley F., Political Malpractice: How the Politicians Made a Mess of Health Reform (DNF)
  4. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban *Re-Read* (In Progress)
  5. Vaughan, Brian K., Paper Girls Volume 1
  6. Welteroth, Elaine, More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR

  1. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  2. King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft *Re-Read*
  3. MacNeal, Elizabeth, The Doll Factory
  4. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee
  5. Reid, Taylor Jenkins, Daisy Jones & The Six
  6. Ware, Ruth, In A Dark, Dark Wood

Removal Rate: 6/9 = 67%


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

  1. Brunt, Carol Rifka, Tell The Wolves I’m Home
  2. Polacco, Patricia, Thank You, Mr. Falker
  3. Sanchez, Alex, Rainbow High

Keep Rate: 3/9 = 33%


Adding to the TBR

  1. Betz-Hamilton, Axton, The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity
  2. Elliott, T.E., Loved by the Beast: A Historical Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  3. Jennings, Ken, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs
  4. Westover, Tara, Educated
  5. Wilkinson, Lauren, American Spy

So, my current TBR is 8 books.

Do you have a TBR?

What book are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #28: The Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Seven!

sba

Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated: The Sunshine Blogger Award from Rob

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger (s) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger (s) asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Kristian’s Questions

  1. What fictional world would you like to explore if you could?
  2. What is your idea of a perfect day?
  3. If you could be a professional athlete in any sport, what sport would you play?
  4. What is your favorite joke?
  5. What movie(s) can you watch over & over again?
  6. What are your New Year resolutions, and if you don’t have any, what are some long term goals you hope to achieve?
  7. Is there a meaning behind your name? If so, what is it?
  8. If you could master one skill, what would that skill be?
  9. What is your favorite Disney movie?
  10. In your opinion, what movie has the best soundtrack?
  11. What snack(s) can’t you live without?

Laura Beth’s Answers

  • Hogwarts!
  • A perfect day starts with a cup of coffee, cuddle time with Al, carve out time for writing (fiction and blogging), an hour or more for reading, a comfy blanket, and at least one episode of Law and Order: SVU.
  • I would love to play softball!
  • My favorite joke is: Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar. “Get out of here!” The bartender shouts. “We don’t serve your type!”
  • I can watch Ghostbusters (1984), Dirty Dancing (1987), Forrest Gump, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and pretty much any movie with Tom Hanks over and over.
  • Here are some of my 2020 Goals: Complete the first round of editing of my first novel, pay off all credit card debt, de-clutter the entire house, and go on vacation with Al for our five-year wedding anniversary!
  • I was named Laura Beth after my great-grandmother, Laura Bethany Powers. She lived to be 102!
  • I would love to master flight.
  • My favorite Disney movie is Mulan.
  • The movie that has the best soundtrack is Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
  • I love popcorn, tortilla chips with white sauce, and Reese’s!

My Questions

  • If you’ve been to a Disney theme park, which one is your favorite?
  • What song is your favorite earworm?
  • If you could go to any school, real or fictional, which one would you pick?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go? You can pick multiple destinations.
  • What is your favorite quote?
  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
  • If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  • Do you see yourself living somewhere else?
  • Where is your dream vacation destination?
  • Which three authors would you like to have dinner with?
  • If you could interview anyone, who would you pick?

Tag – You’re It!

I’m not tagging anyone for this particular award. If you want to do it, then go for it!

Thanks again, Kristian!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #196: January Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back! Happy New Year, friends! Welcome to 2020 – A new year, and a new decade!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Finish the first read-through of my novel in PDF form.
  2. Print out the first draft, and begin editing it by hand.
  3. Clean out the cabinet above the oven.
  4. Start my spreadsheet for cataloging my American Girl items to sell.
  5. Deep clean the living room.
  6. Go through at least three boxes in my office.
  7. Make an appointment with a new eye doctor.
  8. Read my Daily Guideposts 2020 book every day.
  9. Celebrate P.E.O. Founders Day 2020.
  10. Celebrate Al’s birthday!
  11. Celebrate Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary.
  12. Publish at least two blog posts every week.
  13. Purchase photo canvases for the living room.
  14. Get back to a regular cleaning schedule.
  15. Make at least one thrift store run with donations.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of January?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #195: December Goals Recap

Image Credit: The Trends 24

Happy New Year!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post: Getting Personal #192: December Goals.

  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Publish all outstanding Tag posts where I’ve been tagged. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Make at least one thrift store run. — Accomplished!
  4. Write at least two Book Reviews. — Accomplished!
  5. Clear more clutter. — Accomplished!
  6. Work in my office for an hour each weekend. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Clean out the cabinet above the oven. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Sponsor Christmas gifts for two local children. — Accomplished!
  9. Start my spreadsheet for cataloging all my American Girl items to sell. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Celebrate Phineas and Ferb’s Gotcha Day! — Accomplished!
  11. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!
  12. Participate in my P.E.O. chapter’s gift wrapping fundraiser. — Accomplished!
  13. Enjoy Christmas! — Accomplished!
  14. Enjoy New Year’s! — Accomplished!

December was far busier and a bit more stressful than I would have liked. I didn’t write here on the blog very much, but I’m grateful for what I did accomplish. I had several meltdowns, but it was all because of my need to control and acting like I could handle everything. The truth is – I can only handle so much. Thankfully, Al was off work for most of the month, and I eased a lot of my anxiety (after the meltdowns happened) by asking him to help with the dishes and laundry when I was at work. In turn, I was less stressed going into Christmas.

Not to say that Christmas wasn’t stressful! We found ourselves at the emergency vet with Ferb on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, he’s okay. He gave us a good scare. He got overly nervous and stressed with all the activity and home improvement project noise in the house for the several days leading up to Christmas Eve. We had some medication left over when Phineas experienced similar symptoms last May, and one dose helped get things back to normal. Our vet is also wonderful – He called us the day after Christmas, after the office closed, and offered to get us the medication to the pharmacy closest to our house if we truly needed it. That one bottle cost us $13.50 on December 27th, and it’s like gold to us. We will always keep some on hand!

We hosted Christmas breakfast and opened gifts. We went to my parents for Christmas dinner, and had a wonderful time with family and friends. I was grateful to have a few days off during Christmas week, and then a day and a half off this week for New Year’s.

I read and reviewed three books this month: Janesville: An American Story, The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery, and Paper Girls Volume 1.

I also started reviewing the first draft of my novel in PDF form – I’m almost done. I’m looking forward to printing it out this weekend, and starting to edit by hand. I also received incredible feedback from my friend and fellow writer, Mike H., and can’t wait to dive into his comments.


Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back later today to see my January Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #84: “Paper Girls Volume 1”

I first heard about this book from Sara’s review on her blog, The Bibliophagist!

I found my copy at 2nd and Charles in Newport News this summer.

One of the beautiful things about graphic novels is you get a great story, plus beautiful illustrations. The writing of Brian Vaughan and illustrating by Cliff Chiang did not disappoint!

This was a quicker read than I expected. The first night, I got through about a quarter of the book. The next time I picked it up, I got through another 10-15 pages. Last night, when I finished it at the chiropractor’s office, I’d flown through the rest of it in less than 30 minutes. All told, I think it was roughly an hour to 90 minutes for me. The illustrations in particular were incredible, and I wanted to keep turning the pages!

I was left with wanting to find Volume 2 immediately. However, I’m going be a responsible adult here, and wait a bit before purchasing the next one.

I loved the characters, and the adventure they are thrust into within minutes of the book’s opening. I also appreciated the setting – 1988 – and the “vintage” vibes and multiple references. I felt like I was watching everything unfold in the background.

Have you read any graphic novels?


5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #194: My Favorite Things of 2019

Image Credit: Quote Master

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2019:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 4
  • 4 1/2 stars: 5
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 2
  • 3 stars: 0
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews – Zero this year. Here’s to more in 2020.


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • A Girl Like Her
  • Blinded by the Light
  • Captain Marvel
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
  • Frozen II
  • Long Shot
  • Midway
  • Shazam!
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • The Devil We Know
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Favorite TV Shows

  • The Act (Hulu)
  • Cold Case (Netflix)
  • Emergence (Hulu)
  • Flint Town (Netflix)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Seasons 2 – 6 (Hulu)
  • Mindhunter (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things – Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (Netflix)
  • Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Special (PBS)
  • The Orville – Seasons 1 and 2 (Hulu)
  • The Passage – Season 1 (Hulu)

Favorite Podcasts

  • Aftermath
  • American Girls
  • Bag Man
  • Cold
  • Dateline NBC
  • Forensic Files
  • Not Guilty
  • The City
  • The Dream
  • The Thing About Pam
  • Today in True Crime
  • Visitations

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2019!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #83: “The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery”

I received this book through a fun gift exchange on Facebook. I’m part of several American Girl groups, and one of them started an Elfster gift exchange last year for Christmas. The group has done it three times since then. It’s been very popular!

I don’t remember ever reading this particular mystery, so I was thrilled to get it!

The book is a solid 171 pages, which is great for American Girl’s target audience of 8 years old and up. Being a mystery, it does have some frightening moments, but it’s also an easy ready, with shorter chapters and a good story.

Set two years after Samantha’s original books, she and Nellie set sail on the RMS Queen Caroline, headed for Europe. Now eleven years old, they want to have fun on the voyage, but are accompanied by a French tutor to help them keep up with their schoolwork while they miss school for two weeks. Along the way, they meet quite a cast of characters. When the legendary blue sapphire disappears, everyone on the ship is a suspect! And Nellie appears to be hiding something as well.

For years, Samantha’s character has been criticized as snobby, stuck-up, and privileged. Her original books are set in 1904, and it’s no secret that her family is wealthy and of high society. However, Samantha is kind, and reaches out to Nellie and her sisters, especially when they realize they have all been orphans due to their parents’ early demises.

This mystery was exciting. The first night reading it, I only made it through the first two chapters before going to sleep. However, the next night, the story was so engaging, I couldn’t put it down. Before I knew it, I had finished the book. I wanted to figure out who the thief was! For a book aimed at young girls, I loved how it was really hard to guess the real culprit. It was like I was playing detective with Samantha and Nellie, navigating the ins and outs of the ship, which was more modest than other ocean liners of the early 1900s.

I was pleased with this book. It has the right amount of character development, conflict, suspense, and mystery. I want to read the other Samantha mysteries now, and go back to re-read her original books, too.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂