Books of 2015: July

20. I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
I honestly did not enjoy this book at all, so I didn’t finish reading it.  I figure that there is no point in finishing books if you’re not enjoying reading them, so I stopped.  I got it from the library so I’m not upset I didn’t like it.  The main thing I didn’t like is that I was expecting a book with lots and lots of stories about event management from the get-go… but it started with her describing, in detail, her very very violent attack and the aftermath of that.  It definitely sucked that it happened to her, but I’m not interested in reading about it.  Especially when I was expecting a light book about event planning!  Too heavy for me.

21.  The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
I also got this from the library and I’m so glad I did!  While I didn’t try all the recipes in it, I tried a few, and they made me feel way more comforable and confident in the kinds of foods that I’m giving Autumn.  For example, when I’d make something with onions in them, I took them out of her portion..l this book showed me that I can give her onions, and it turns out that she actually likes them!  Great book to get you started with baby-led weaning for sure.

22. Paper Towns by John Green
I think this was my favourite book of his!  I’ve clearly been on a bit of a John Green kick, but I had been interested in reading this book ever since I saw that they were making it into a movie.  I put myself on the list for the book at the library, and was very disappointed to discover that I was number 100 on the list 🙁  Luckily!  I was able to borrow it from a friend.  This book was SO much fun to read! There are parts where it’s creepy, parts that are hilarious, and parts that made me think.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I am so glad that I did!  Now I am even more excited about the movie, and I’m curious to see what they do with it in movie-form.

23. I’m Happy For You (Sort of… Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma
I’m Happy For You (Sort of…Not Really), is kind of a “how to” style book about not comparing yourself with others.  It’s got a lot of personal stories from the author about her experiences with friends and her family.  It has a little bit of spirituality in there, too.
There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, and other parts that I really didn’t enjoy at all.  A lot of it was kind of a bummer.  I know that I do compare myself with others, so it’s not that I didn’t relate to the book totally, but I didn’t feel that she really gave many solutions to the problem of comparison.  I really enjoyed the specific personal experiences and stories that the author shared about her family and friends, but the rest of the book was almost depressing.  Additionally, I was under the impression that this book would be more spiritual than it was.  The Bible and God were barely even mentioned, and I thought that this book would include more aspects of Christianity in it.  Overall, I would say that this book was okay.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review, but the opinions here are my own.

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Books of 2015: June

June Books

This month I read a lot more books than last month!  It really helped that I spent a week at Victoria Beach with no wifi and no tv.  😉

11. Daddy Hugs by Nancy Tafuri
This was a cute little book.  For this month, I wanted to get books for Andrew to read to Autumn, so I picked mostly “Daddy” books.  This one was really cute.  There are little animal noises and it was super cute when Andrew would read those parts, too.

12. The Newlywed Cookbook by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss
Lately, I’ve been borrowing cookbooks from the library to find new recipes! Pinterest is great, but I love being able to go through a book to pick things out.  This book had a lot of really fun ideas and I can’t wait to start making them.

13. Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos
I LOVED this book! Nia Vardalos is absolutely hilarious, and I love reading her writing.  She talks about how she got My Big Fat Greek Wedding made into a movie, and how she got her start in comedy, which I loved reading about.  The main topic of the book was about her struggles with infertility, and how they adopted a 3 1/2 year old girl.  Such an amazing story.  I recommend this book highly!

14. Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss & Tell by Rob Thomas
The next installment in the Veronica Mars story, this book was even better than the last one, imo.  Mostly because Logan is actually IN the book.  With the last one, I had been disappointed that he wasn’t in it.  I love Logan.  I read this one fairly quickly.  It’s a real page turner 🙂 I enjoyed it!

June Books

 

15. A to Z of Wedding Style by Kate Bethune
This was a pretty interesting read.  Fun to read, too.  I read it cover to cover, as you would with a novel.. and I eventually skimmed and just read the things that I was interested in.  I liked the history in it, and the quotes from different people.  It was fun!

16. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Eh.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this honestly.  Mostly because I didn’t really like the main character.  I like John Green as a writer, this just wasn’t my favourite of his.

17. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
This was so much fun to read!  I love how positive Kristin is, and her writing style is great.  I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely read it again.  Plus, it had recipes in it, too that I can’t wait to try.

18. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
This book was also eh.  I don’t know what it is… but it wasn’t really that enjoyable of a read.

19. Looking for Alaska by John Green
I’m on a bit of a John Green kick right now.  I like this one.  It was a sad story though. I wasn’t expecting it to be sad, and then it was 🙁 well written though!

What have you been reading this month?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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Books of 2015 – May

books

07. Sippy Cups are Not For Chardonnay by Stephanie Wilder-Taylor (not pictured)
This book isn’t pictured because I didn’t finish it.  I didn’t like it, so I didn’t keep reading.  I was going to let the girl on girl hate slide, because apparently mommy wars are a real thing (not what I’ve seen but whatever)… but then she got super racist and I just could not continue to read the book.  Sorry not sorry. I wasn’t interested in anything else this writer had to say because of the racist stereotypes used in this book.  Some parts, before the racism, were pretty funny though.

08. Carrie by Stephen King
I saw the new movie version of this when it came out, but I was interested in reading the book, too.  I found it in the bargain book section of McNally Robinson, which is where I find lots of great books that I end up loving.  This book was great and I am really glad that I read it.  It totally holds up, and the modernization used in the newer movie version made sense with the original.  It’s a sad story though. Bullying is the worst and all I could think about was how it was too bad that Carrie’s universe was different than that of Harry Potter … or Professor Xavier … or Matilda.

09. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
I heard about this almost a year ago, and I’m really glad that I got to borrow it from the library to read.  OF COURSE Jesus was a feminist. I don’t see how he wouldn’t have been.  It was nice to be able to read a book about Christianity and Feminism and how they definitely work together.  I think that if you’re a Christian, how can you not be a feminist?  Very much enjoyed this book.

10. A Lullaby for Little One by Dawn Casey, Illustrated by Charles Fuge
This book is too cute.  For most nights, my husband reads Autumn her bedtime story, and it’s become their thing that they do together.  I was really happy to find a book about a daddy/child relationship and this one was really sweet!  I read it so many times in the last few weeks that I probably have it memorized haha. It’s great though.

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Books of 2015: April

06. Baby-Lead Weaning by Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett
This book was really interesting.  I went to a workshop type thing about introducing solids to babies, and that was all about purees… but I had heard from a friend about baby-lead weaning and how beneficial that is to do instead.  I was definitely curious, and thought that maybe I would do both, a little bit of spoon feeding, and some baby-led stuff.  This book totally changed that and I am so excited to start giving Autumn actual food.  She’s definitely seeming interested in it, at least she tries to grab things that we eat when we’re holding her.  It was great to be able to read the book and hear the why and the how of baby-lead weaning (aka baby-led solids).  I can’t wait to start!!

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Books of 2015: March

I didn’t get much reading done this month.  Between the surgery, and the recovery, and just being so tired that I didn’t think I could pay attention to what I was reading, I just didn’t end up reading too much.  I did finish one book though, so I’d say that’s a pretty good deal for what a wild month it was.

sexy feminism

05. Sexy Feminism by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudulph
This book was pretty interesting.  There was some stuff that I wasn’t interested in reading about, such as the body hair debate, and other stuff that didn’t apply to me, like dating, but overall, this was a pretty good read.  It would have been nice if they had put more focus on some of the intersections of feminism though.  It was an okay read for a bargain book!

What have you been reading this month?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Books of 2015: February

February Reads

02. Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read the story as NPH, I loved the concept of a choose your own adventure book when applied to an autobiography. As NPH, I was a young doctor on tv, hosted an award show, met the love of my life and started a family, hung out with Harold and Kumar, and met your mother.  I also got killed by piranhas, spoiler alert 😉 I’m pretty sure I missed some stuff, but it was a good read!!

03. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I LOVED this book! Her stories were funny and interesting to read, and I really liked hearing about behind the scenes stuff from SNL.  Plus, she had some pretty good advice, and as a new mama some of her mommy stories were really great to read.  All in all, this book had pretty much everything I want to read about right now.  Loved it!!

04. The Family Blessing by Rolf Garborg
This was a pretty interesting read.  It was basically about why to give your child a daily blessing.  I’m really excited to be able to do this with Autumn.  We were given this as a gift when she was born, and we’ve been trying to bless her nightly.  Even though she doesn’t know what we’re doing just yet, it’s nice to be able to share a blessing over her, even if it’s just for ourselves at the moment.  I’m excited to do this for years to come.

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Books of 2014 + January Reads

In 2014, one of my new years resolutions was to read more.  I ended the year with 32 books finished, so I would say that I was successful in that resolution!

My new years resolution this year is to remember the word Joy in my day-to-day life, and reading brings me a lot of joy, so I’m definitely going to continue reading and documenting what I read on here.  I doubt that I’ll read as many books this year as I did last year, I have a very adorable distraction for that, but I’d like to read as much as I can.  So far this month, I have read one book!  Wayy less than last year, but it’s a great start 😉

So, here is what I think about what I’ve read in January:

01. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this book.  I’m on the fence about Lena Dunham, so I wasn’t sure what to think going in.  I knew she is a comedy writer, so I was expecting a funny biography, similar to the ones by Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling.  I was wrong to have any doubts.  If I had been reading my own book, and not a book borrowed from a friend, I would have highlighted parts of it.  There was a lot in there that I could really connect with.  Lots that I couldn’t (like where she worked right out of college, and her general lifestyle), but lots of stuff I really enjoyed.  Overall, it was a fun read and I’m glad that I gave it a chance!

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

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October Reads

books

 

29. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
I enjoyed this book, especially as my due date gets closer.  In true Shopaholic fashion, she tells a lie and then tries to cover it up and it snowballs and snowballs.  Hilarity ensues.  Pretty much the same as the other books, except that she’s pregnant.  One thing that I really liked about this book, as someone who is currently pregnant, was Rebecca’s thoughts on how the baby was going to come out.. which was that by the time she gives birth, there will be a better way to make that happen.  It was pretty funny!

30. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book was way more serious than the last book I read.  I love that it was from the perspectives of two women, and how they started out, how they met each other, and how they became best friends.  It’s a very sad book though.  I enjoyed reading it.

31. The Penny by Joyce Meyer
This was a really easy read.  I don’t know how I got this copy of this book, but it was large print.. so I finished it pretty fast.  I feel like it was geared toward someone younger than I am, but that’s ok.  It was just really easy to read.. I could read it without having to think too much, which is different than the last book I read also.

And now I’m reading through Wicked!  What have you been reading this month?

xoxo,
Alysa

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September Books

September Reads

29. Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
I’ve been plugging through this book all month. It’s very slow moving.  Not because I’m finding it difficult to understand, but because I’m just not enjoying it.  I would say “at all” but that’s not entirely true.  I’m only enjoying the Jon Snow chapters, and even then it’s not by much.  So I’m not finishing this book.  I don’t have lots of time to read, and I’d rather read something that is enjoyable, or something I’m learning from.  Additionally, I really wish someone had warned me about all the graphic rape scenes there are in this series.  I am not interested in reading about that.  There is far too much of it in real life, that I don’t want to also have to read about it “for fun” in my fiction.  That’s not fun to read about, real or fictional.  So I’m done.  This book would have been my 29th book for 2014, but since I didn’t finish it, it’s not.  Hopefully the next book I read is better.  What is the point of reading a book you’re not enjoying or getting something out of?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Have you ever stopped reading a book halfway through? Tell me about it in the comments!

xoxo,
Alysa

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My Favourite Banned Books

best banned books

This week is Banned Book Week, so I thought I’d share my favourite books that have been banned (for various reasons) and why you should read them anyway.

In no particular order:

1. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Why it was banned: “Banned in Lebanon for portraying Jews, Israel, or Zionism favourably” (source)

Why to read it anyway: This is a definite must read.  I read it in high school, and was in a play version of it.  I think it’s probably one of the most important pieces of literature you could read.

2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Why it was banned: It was banned and the author was prosecuted for “offences against public morals” (source)

Why to read it anyway: I originally read it because it was mentioned on The O.C., and I’m glad I did.  It was a great read, really interesting.

3. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Why it was banned:  it was considered “too radical” (source)

Why to read it anyway: I read it in junior high school as part of my English class, but it was one of my favourite books from all of high school.  It was an interesting perspective, and I’d definitely recommend it.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Why it was banned: Religious viewpoint, unsuitable to age group (source)

Why to read it anyway:  Other than to know what is happening in the movies before it happens? I enjoyed the series because it was a fairly easy read, but I loved how it was written, and I loved reading a more “action” type of book from a girl’s perspective.

5. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Why it was banned: For being occult/satanism (source)

Why to read it anyway: How could you not??? I mean really! The movies don’t show ANYTHING and barely make sense.  Read the books because there is so much more to it than a school of witches and wizards.  WAY more. And there is absolutely no satanism in there what?  SO good!!

What are your favourite banned books?

xoxo,
Alysa

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