TBR Tuesday

It’s that time again to go through the bottoms 3 books on my To-Read list on Goodreads, and with your help, I will decide whether or not to keep them! Last week, I eliminated Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.

This week is going to work a little bit differently. The bottom 4 books on my To-Read list belong in the same series. So, I will be deciding whether or not to keep that series as well as listing the 2 books following those. So technically, there are 6 books on the chopping block today! Here we go:

Title: The Eyre Affair (+ next 3 in series)

Author: Jasper Fforde

Date Added: November 18, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

In my pursuit of classics, this book was recommended to me by a work friend. She raved about the series, so naturally, I had to add it to my list. I was still within my first few months on Goodreads when I added the first 4 books in this series to my list, so I had not developed my complex system of rules yet for adding books to my TBR list (more on that in another post! maybe tomorrow?). Knowing what I know now, I would have only added the first book in this series if I was interested, and I would add the others if I loved it, or just 1 at a time if it was just good, mindless reading.

Why should I keep it? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t even read the actual Jane Eyre yet, so I’m having a hard time convincing myself to keep this one at all, let alone the 3 others in the series that are collecting digital dust on my TBR list.

Verdict: Unless someone can make a compelling argument for this one, all 4 will be removed from my shelf.

Title: The Other Queen

Author: Philippa Gregory

Date Added: December 4, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 3 months

I added this one because I’ve been OBSESSED with Tudor/Stuart England since learning about Henry VIII and his 6 wives. Why? Well because in his case, the truth is more shocking and riveting than a daytime soap opera. I eat that twisted stuff up, especially the way Philippa Gregory tells it. The Other Boleyn Girl is one of my favorites as well as The Constant Princess.

Why should I keep this one? Well, it’s Philippa Gregory. I love her other stuff, so why not?

Verdict: I’ll be keeping this one. This is my second favorite historical time period (American Civil War is my first).

Title: A Lion Among Men

Author: Gregory Maguire

Date Added: December 4, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 3 months

I told you that you would see the other Gregory Maguire books later on my list! I added this one because of the popularity of Wicked at the time.

Why should I keep this one? I don’t know. I really have no desire to read it at this point.

Verdict: Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I will be chopping this one.

Have you read any of these? Should I keep the books in The Eyre Affair series or A Lion Among Men? Let me know what you think in the comments!



Review Segment: Beauty and the Beast

10 Stars

Since 10 stars are not on my normal review scale, you can tell that this movie was epic.

I will skip the summary for this one because if you haven’t seen the original, then you live under a rock.

Initial Reactions

Oh. My. GOD!!! This movie was AMAZING! Where to even begin…okay, as a kid, I always boasted that my favorite Disney movie was “The Little Mermaid.” I certainly acted like it was my favorite; singing the songs, decorating my room with the characters, dressing in clothes that had the characters on them, and watching it every chance I had. I had seen “Beauty and the Beast” in its original form and loved it like all other Disney movies, but I didn’t become obsessed with it. As an adult, I think I finally understand why.

Disney has always left young girls with ridiculous expectations for their lives, for love, for pretty much everything. I’m not criticizing this at all. Disney is the reason that I had such a wild imagination as a kid, which is the reason I can be pretty creative as an adult. These crazy expectations that Disney placed in my head made me stronger, more independent, and less likely to settle for a life of mediocrity.

Ariel was the polar opposite of myself. She was rebellious, adventurous, stunningly beautiful, and she knew exactly what she wanted at a young age. I wanted that for myself, so of course I tried to identify with her.

But Belle…Belle was beautiful, but she was reserved. She put her father before herself, which made her a hero. She fell in love with a creature that had imprisoned her and forgave him for all of his wrongdoings at the beginning of the story. She read every book she could get her hands on. She was kind, with an undercurrent of courage and stubbornness that drove her to do all of the things that she did. She was also steadily driven by her conscience. I saw myself in her, minus the hero stuff.

Seeing this movie with real people as an adult was so intense that it is an understatement to say that it broke my heart.

I remember when I saw the first Harry Potter movie. I had already read as many of the books that were out at the time, and I had the biggest crush on Daniel Radcliffe. But it wasn’t the story or the actors that affected me the most while watching this movie. I wanted magic like that to exist so badly that it made my whole body ache. I wanted there to be a place where people who were different could escape to and find out that they were actually quite special. I wanted it so badly that it hurt.

This new version of “Beauty and the Beast” made me feel that way again, except the ache was for more than just magic, and it was way more intense.

It was for simpler times, when people read out loud to each other and just enjoyed each other’s company.

It was for that library and all of those books. They were actually real in this movie, and I cried a little when I saw all of them in one place.

But more than anything, it was for love; the kind of love that actually creates magic in this twisted world that we live in.

I used to believe in that magic, and my heart aches to believe in it again.

To feel all of these things in one movie sitting was intense, and I felt like both an innocent, inexperienced child and a struggling adult while I watched it. I may have bit my lip on more than one occasion to keep myself from openly sobbing over how beautiful and wonderful it all was.


So on to my actual review. A few spoilers ahead!

The additions they made to this version with the music and the plot were complete perfection! The new songs were just as beautiful as the originals, and the plot twists about Belle’s mother and at the end when the villagers are remembering the castle and its inhabitants were all perfect.

I also loved the direction they took with Lefou! He turned out to be a good guy, which was so perfect.

Every actor in this movie was placed PERFECTLY; Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Kevin Kline as Maurice, the devastatingly handsome Dan Stevens as the Beast, and of course the stunning Emma Watson as Belle. They could not have casted this movie any differently or it wouldn’t have been as wonderful.

The imagery and costumes were amazing, and the wolves scared the living daylights out of me! I just can’t say enough about how much I loved this movie.

Things I LOVED

I know I can’t cop out and say everything here, so I’m going to pick a handful:

Lefou. Without a doubt, Josh Gad stole the show in his role as Lefou, coming in second only to Emma Watson as Belle. He was hilarious as usual, and they turned him into a good guy, which I so so so appreciated!

The library. It was a favorite of mine in the original, and it was a favorite of mine in the new version. I’m not embarrassed to say that I cried when I saw it.

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The costumes. Okay, so I used to dress up like the “clean the house” version of Cinderella whenever I had to dust as a kid. As an adult, I want to dress like Belle every second of every day; not yellow dress Belle, but everyday Belle with her aprons, pantaloons, and everything. Yet another reminder that I was born in the wrong time…

The music. It was so beautiful! The originals were enhanced, and the new songs were incredible!

Belle’s Mother. You never find out what happens to her in the original, but the story they tell in this version is heartbreaking and so real for the time period. It was sad, but the addition of it gave Belle, Maurice, and the story as a whole so much more depth.

Thing I Didn’t Love

There was only 1 thing I didn’t love, and that was the whirlwindy path the camera took sometimes in the castle, like when the gold flakes are falling from the ceiling and magically attaching themselves to Belle’s dress. It just made me feel dizzy.

I HIGHLY recommend this movie to all! It was amazing, and I will be seeing it again as soon as I possibly can!

Review Segment: Killing Kennedy, the End of Camelot

5 Stars


Most Americans are familiar with the outer details of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We know that Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter. We know that John’s wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was at his side when he was shot. We know that Kennedy’s assassination affected our country so deeply, that many continue to tell the story, “I remember where I was when JFK was assassinated…” much in the same way that the majority of the Millennial generation tells the story, “I remember where I was when 9/11 happened…” We know that Kennedy’s wounds were fatal, and his chances of survival were slim. We know that Kennedy was a strong, influential leader whose infamous Presidency is only second to that of Abraham Lincoln’s.

But what don’t you know about the JFK assassination? Did you know that Kennedy was advised to stay out of Texas while campaigning due to the lack of support and loose gun laws in the state? Did you know that Lee Harvey Oswald decided to kill JFK because his wife left him? Did you know that Jackie scrambled onto the back of the car that Kennedy was shot in to retrieve the bits of his skull and brain matter so that the press would not be able to take photos of it? Did you know that Lee Harvey Oswald had been previously investigated by the FBI due to his communist sympathies not once, but twice?

The series of events that led to JFK’s assassination are oddly specific, and leave you wondering, what if? What if he had listened to his advisors and stayed out of Texas? What if the local police had better inspected the procession route and followed protocol by keeping the President out of areas with tall buildings where snipers could shoot from? What if the onlooker who SAW Lee Harvey Oswald aiming a gun out of the factory window hadn’t assumed that it was a Secret Service officer and had taken action or yelled for help or done anything but turn to his wife and point to the man saying, “want to see a secret service officer?” The series of events fell into place so perfectly that the assassination seems more like an act of fate than anything else.


I love history, but the way Bill O’Reilly tells it makes me feel like I am there watching it all unfold. I was not alive when Kennedy was assassinated, but by the time the assassination occurred in this book, I felt deeply affected by it, as I’m sure most Americans felt  when it actually happened. The details were graphic, vivid, disturbing, and simply stunning.

It is clear from the beginning that Kennedy is not the man that many assumed he was at the time. He is not the man that history books paint him as either. He looked trim, physically fit, and collected most of the time, but he had some pretty serious health issues, including crippling back pain. He was a womanizer who slept with so many different, anonymous women that the Secret Service stopped running background checks on all of them. Jackie would leave the White House for long weekends frequently with their children so that her husband could have these liaisons without her being present while they were happening!

It was details like this that stunned me about Kennedy, his Presidency, and the assassination.


I’d love to be specific here, but I loved this entire book! It was packed with details that I had zero knowledge of. As an amateur historian, I am utterly embarrassed at my lack of knowledge regarding our second most famous President whose Presidency and road to assassination was oddly reminiscent of that of our most famous President, Abraham Lincoln.

One thing that I truly loved and appreciated about this book was that O’Reilly didn’t rely heavily on the conspiracy theories that have circulated surrounding Kennedy’s assassination. He only gave information that had  been documented, and although the conspiracies were mentioned, they were given little merit.

Thing I Didn’t Love

Nothing. I LITERALLY LOVED this entire book!

A Minor Comparison

Some time has removed me from the book Killing Lincoln, the Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, but I think I can honestly say that Killing Kennedy was A LOT better than Killing Lincoln. I have two theories as to why:

  1. I know so much more about Lincoln’s assassination, so although I did learn new things and THOROUGHLY enjoyed the story, much of it was repeated information. I knew very little about the Kennedy assassination, so my brain soaked up all of these details like a sponge. I’m ready to start telling anyone who will listen about the things I’ve read in this book!
  2. Bill O’Reilly may have had a lot more invested in the Killing Kennedy story. He is a distant relative of the Kennedy’s, so this was a family story he was telling.

Thank you so much for reading! Have you read any of the Bill O’Reilly books? Which is your favorite?

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I felt betrayed by

I see a lot of bloggers doing Top 5 posts, and I would really like to jump on the bandwagon! There’s a topic every week, and the topic for this week is “Books I felt betrayed by,” which I think will be really interesting!

A little bit about the Top 5 Wednesday tradition: I’m told that it was started by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and is being looked after by Sam @ThoughtsonTomes. Take a look at their YouTube stations by clicking on their names!

The Top 5 Books I Felt Betrayed By

1. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

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This book truly broke my heart. (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) The fact that one of the sisters actually died just blew me away and left me so sad. I had expected some heartwarming conclusion to one of my favorite series as a pre-teen, but that’s not what this book was. It was definitely aimed at an adult audience, no doubt the adult versions of the young women that enjoyed her first 4 books.

2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

The level of irony in this book is so ridiculously awful! I loved the book. It’s definitely one of my favorites, but the ending is such a punch in the stomach. This book most definitely betrayed me, but I appreciate the ironic turn that Picoult took with the story. I loved this one so much that I picked out pieces of it to give dramatic interpretation and prose speeches on my high school speech team. It won me 4 awards.

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book betrayed me in a different way than the others on my list. It wasn’t some surprise ending, ironic death, or even the fact that I hated the turn it took. Like My Sister’s Keeper, I loved this book, and it is also one of my favorites. HOWEVER, the book takes an even darker turn, and more horrifying things happen in the last few chapters than in the rest of the book combined. I remember finishing a chapter and thinking, “Yes! The war is over. Time for some happy endings!” Nope! The true atrocities happened after the war ended, and I was absolutely stunned at that.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book was not one of my favorites. I don’t like Young Adult to begin with, but I read this one as part of a book club I’m in. I should say, I didn’t like it until the truth was revealed. Everything seemed so disconnected, and situations seemed to be surrounded by a foggy haze that I couldn’t navigate my way through. I often try very hard to figure out the ending and the whodunnits when reading books, but I did not see the end of this one coming. Once the truth started to reveal itself, it snowballed into this huge, unfortunate, and truly awful thing that you hoped was just another lie, but it wasn’t. By the end, I was stunned, depressed, and really upset with myself for not figuring it out before the truth came out. The only thing I can compare it to is the movie “The Sixth Sense.” Like that movie, all throughout this book, something just doesn’t seem right, but you have no idea what it is until the truth comes out.

5. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

If I’m being completely truthful, I felt more betrayed by this book than any other. It’s #5 on my list though because I hate it so much, that I could not make it #1 on any list! Plus, I not only felt betrayed by this one, but I truly despised it. Most of the time, when I’m betrayed by a book, I’ll be sad, upset, or angry, but I can almost always appreciate the turn that the story took, feeling as though it was completely necessary for the story to be told in that way. But this book did not need to take ANY of the turns it took, and the ending of this series was truly HORRIBLE!!! I was a twihard in my early college years when the books were starting to gain momentum but before the first movie came out. I read this 756 page whopper in less than 48 hours, and the amount of sex and weirdness just left me feeling like I had lost those 48 hours with very little sleep to nothing but a trashy, plotless mess. HUGE disappointment!

What books did you feel most betrayed by? Do you feel differently about the ones I listed?


TBR Tuesday

Another TBR (To Be Read) Tuesday has come where I list the bottom 3 books on my Goodreads To-Read list, and with your help, decided whether or not to keep them! Last time I posted, I decided to get rid of Dragon’s Keep by Janet Lee Carey and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, but I decided to keep The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston.

This week, we have 3 more classics on the chopping block! If you’ve read my prior posts, then you know that I usually add classics and read classics just to be able to say that I’ve read them or that I plan on reading them. But I’m in a rather short mood, so I might just ax one of them. Let’s take a look:

Title: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Author: Jules Verne

Date Added: November 17, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

I know that I added this because it’s a classic, but I think I also added it because I had probably just finished reading the children’s version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for the second or third time. I remember reading that when I was much younger, and thinking, “Wow, I’m so advanced to be able to read a classic like this!” Yeah, I didn’t realize they had “child versions” of so many of the classics! So, I ambitiously decided to add this one to my list.

Why should I keep it? Well, I don’t know really. Aside from Dr. Emmett Brown being so obsessed with his works that he named his children “Jules” and “Verne” after the author of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, I haven’t really heard anything else about this book. I did enjoy the children’s version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but I’m not so sure that this one would be worth it.

Verdict: Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I will be chopping this one.

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Date Added: November 17, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

I have a history with this book, even though I still haven’t read it. When I was in middle school, I had a friend that liked the movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo. She tried on so many different occasions to get me to watch it, and I just kept refusing, insisting that there was no way I would like it. It looked dull and boring. Well, she eventually wore me down, and I sat down to watch it, fully expecting to fall asleep while it was on. I LOVED it SOOOOO much! It is now on my top 10 favorite movies of all time, and I don’t know if I ever properly thanked her for it, but I am so glad that she made me watch this movie! It was sad, inspirational, and just amazing. So, I added the book version, hoping to love it just as much.

Why should I keep this one? We all know that movie versions can either be ten times worse than the book or it could be significantly better than the book. It’s very possible that I will hate the book, but I have to try.

Verdict: Having talked about this wonderful story again, I have decided to push this one up on my list, and make sure that I read it this year! This one is most definitely staying!

Title: The Three Musketeers

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Date Added: November 17, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

I also have a history with this one. One of my other favorite movies is “The Man in the Iron Mask,” which features the three musketeers. Given my obsession with “The Count of Monte Cristo,” I decided that I needed to read everything else that Alexandre Dumas had written. I believe that I actually own this one as well. I just have never gotten around to it!

Why should I keep this one? Well, I own it already, so it would be silly not to?

Verdict: I’m going to keep this one for now. It just seems like the right thing to do!

That’s it for today! What do you think about Journey to the Centre of the Earth? Is it worth keeping? Anyone out there read it and loved it?



Top Ten Segment: Women I Admire

I promised this post via Facebook at the end of last week, but I seem to have lost track of time…again. I feel that this is a necessary post though, not just because last week was International Women’s Day, but because there’s never a bad time to call out the women you admire, past and present.

I was originally going to make this list strictly full of historical women, but that didn’t seem fair. There are a lot of women around today that I want to acknowledge, and even though some of them are not icons, they are amazing and deserve some recognition.

10. Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope

It’s hard for me to mention Amy Poehler without also including Leslie Knope. Both are such influential people in my life, even though one of them is fictional. I haven’t kept it a secret that I have read Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please” 3 times in less than a year. I was blown away by it the first time, feeling as though her messages in the book of being who you are, doing what you want, and not feeling guilty for working outside the home were aimed specifically at me. I felt empowered as a mother and as a woman after reading it. It drove me to write several of my earlier blog posts about being a working mom, and my writing was only any good because I was just coming off the high of reading this amazing book. The second time I read it, I felt like I needed that empowerment again. There was some serious stuff going down in my personal life, and I just needed someone like Amy to tell me, “You are awesome. You matter, and the work you are doing for your family is not going unnoticed.” I also needed her humor and her passion again. The point is, as Amy Poehler and as Leslie Knope, she has been able to make me laugh, cry, and feel so proud to be a successful woman and mother, so she had to be on this list. I don’t know how else to describe her level of importance to me. She’s just a role model, and I look to her for empowerment.

9. Jane Austen

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She may not have been an icon for women, but she wrote about strong women in her novels at a time when strong women were not favored. While most of her legendary characters eventually found love, most of them maintained their strong-willed, independent natures in the process. I not only admire her characters for their determination in not “settling” for a mate just to get married, but I also admire Jane Austen for writing about such women in the time that she did. Though Jane Austen never found her Mr. Darcy, she certainly never settled for anything less.

8. Mindy Kaling

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When most people think of the talkative and often ditsy Kelly Kapoor from “The Office”, they probably don’t feel empowered or inspired, but the truth is that her real life counterpart, Mindy Kaling is an incredible and inspiring woman. She holds an ivy league degree from Dartmouth, and if you’ve read any of her books, you know that she doesn’t take the Hollywood B.S. from people who try to make her feel like she doesn’t fall into some starlet stereotype. She hates the idea of one night stands, the thought that some women actually walk around not wearing panties, and the judgement of some of those snooty fashion designers. She’s real, beautiful, and one of the very few TRUE role models that young girls need to be looking up to in Hollywood. After reading her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, I felt like I had found my best friend. I agreed with pretty much everything she said (including the disgust at women walking around without panties on, it just seems gross), and I LOVED that she wore what she wanted to wear even though the fashion designers she worked with tried to put her in frumpy outfits and dull colors.

7. Jacqueline Kennedy

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I know that Jacqueline’s presence on my list of inspirational women might seem a little misplaced, but I do have a reason for her being on this list. For starters, I have started to develop an obsession with “Camelot” and the time the Kennedy’s were in power. It’s starting to replace my obsession with Abraham Lincoln, which, if you knew me, would sound positively insane. But alas, I can’t help it. The story is full of drama and conspiracies. This is all beside the point. Jacqueline is on this list because she was more than just a fashion role model for women of her time. She was a strong woman who lost a lot in a short period of time. In Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy, the End of Camelot, Jacqueline is portrayed as a force to be reckoned with, constantly conducting herself in a mysterious way that never showed others of her true feelings. I admire this about her, and I agree with this idea that not just women, but all people should maintain a certain level of “mystery.” Too many people today let their emotions guide their words, and they speak before they think about what they are about to say. The age old ideal that words hurt more than weapons is still true, and not very many people respect that.

6. Mother Teresa/Saint Teresa of Calcutta

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I couldn’t put together a list of influential women without mentioning Mother Teresa. As a Catholic, she has been a constant and positive influence on me. I am embarrassed to say that I know very little about her life, but she was an advocate for our faith and for peace, which I admire so much. Many of the things she said were what influenced me the most:

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

5. Emma Watson

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Oh how I love Emma Watson! She’s kind, real, educated, and advocating for feminism like crazy. I love her reading lists on Goodreads, and I love the example she sets for young women. One of the more recent stories I’ve heard about her was that she refused to wear a corset while filming “Beauty and the Beast” because she didn’t like the message it sent to all the young girls and women she knew would be watching her in that role. I’d like to meet the person who suggested this and possibly punch them in the face because that is an insulting thing to say to anyone let alone someone as fit and lovely as Emma Watson. From hiding books at train stations all over London to advocating for women’s rights as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, she has done amazing things, and I can’t wait to see what she does as we age at the same time.

4. Abigail Adams

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I am also embarrassed to say that I do not know as much about Abigail Adams as I would like, but I’ll tell you what I do know. Her husband, President John Adams sought her advice in everything. She was his advisor and often persuaded him one way or another based on her feelings and beliefs. She was also an advocate for women’s rights! She believed that eighteenth century women should strive to educate themselves in order to be strong influences in the lives of their children and husbands. She is on this list because she was a woman way ahead of her time, and in accordance with my obsession with first ladies, she’s at the top of my list right now. My favorite quote:

“Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.”

3. Eleanor Roosevelt

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Eleanor is ahead of Abigail on my list probably because she is simply closer to my time than Abigail is. She advocated not just for women’s rights, but for human rights. After her husband, Franklin Delano suffered a Polio attack, Eleanor stepped up to help his political aspirations and forever changed the role of the First Lady. She was not content to stand behind her husband and smile. She gave press conferences, wrote her own newspaper column, and continued her activism after her husband’s death. She eventually became the chair of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission and wrote several books about her life and experiences. She is on this list because she pushed the boundaries of her position not just to push them but to help her husband and women everywhere.

2. Katelyn, my sister

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She may hate me for using this picture, but I feel like it conveys her so well as a woman. Katelyn is 2 years younger than me, but she knows what she wants out of life and refuses to settle for anything less. She is strong, passionate, and could care less about what anyone thinks (ok except my Mom and Dad). She tries to hold her tongue when she has a strong opinion about something in my life, but it usually comes out, and I almost always need to hear it. She’s listened to me whine, cry, and scream, and she was in the hospital waiting room when I went into labor with Nicholas just in case my husband couldn’t handle the blood. She’s my best friend, and a great role model for strong women. I love her, and even though I don’t think she’ll read this, I hope she knows how important she is to me.

1.Deane, my mom

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Oh, my Mom. She is the strongest woman I know, and she doesn’t even act like she knows that. She’s currently working as a full time middle school English teacher (which any other teacher knows means 80+ hour work weeks) while simultaneously working towards her Doctoral degree in Children’s Literacy. She also somehow finds time to watch my son at least once a week and makes me dinner a lot more frequently than I’d ever expect. I love this picture of her because it is so her in so many ways; snuggling with her only grandchild at a family party with a look of pure exhaustion and happiness on her face. She loves fiercely and is the glue that keeps our little family together. I know she will read this, and that’s why I love her!

That’s my Top 10! I hope you enjoyed my list, and I hope that you all have lists of your own! It’s so important to have influential women in your life, both past and present.

Happy (belated) International Women’s Day!

TBR Tuesday (technically Thursday…again)

I did it again! I skipped TBR Tuesday, except I have no excuse this week. Last week I was sick, but now I’m just being lazy. But, as I like to say, better late than never.

If this is the first time you’re joining me, TBR stands for To Be Read. In these weekly posts, I go through my To-read books on Goodreads (3 books at a time), starting with the ones that have been on the longest. With your help, I decide which ones to keep and which to send to the chopping block!

Last week, I decided to delete All I Have to Give: a Christmas Love Story by Melody Carlson from my TBR list, but I decided to keep 1984 by George Orwell and The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. We have a nice variety on the chopping block this week! So let’s get started:


Title: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Date Added: November 3, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

I believe this one was recommended by a coworker, which was why I added it. It may have also been around the time that the TV series based on it was coming out? I don’t really remember, but I was probably still on a Twilight high and looking for more vampire books to devour.

Why should I keep this one? I’m a bit sick of vampires even though I haven’t watched or read a Twilight movie or book in years. However, I did hear good things about this book, so I would still be willing to read it if the right mood struck me.

Verdict: I’m not sure about this one. Any thoughts? I don’t know if I like the idea of keeping a book on my TBR list just in case the mood strikes me. Anyone love this series?


Title: The Monster of Florence

Author: Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

Date Added: November 3, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 year, 4 months

I’m a sucker for dramatic non-fiction, and who doesn’t love a true story of investigation and murder! With a title like The Monster of Florence, I just couldn’t pass this one up when I heard about it.

Why should I keep it? I will always have a special place in my heart and on my TBR list for non-fiction. My Bachelor’s degree is in History, so true accounts of anything just make me feel knowledgeable and alive. I realize that this is a terrible ironic comment when talking about a book that involves a serial killer, but it’s history, so it’s going to make me smile.

Verdict: I’ll be keeping this one. I will want to read it, but it’s definitely going to have to wait till I get to Devil in the White City. American history (and Tudor England) will always take precedence over European history.


Title: Dragon’s Keep

Author: Janet Lee Carey

Date Added: November 4, 2008

Time on TBR List: 8 years, 4 months

I’m pretty sure I added this one because of a recommendation, probably from a library patron. If I’m going to recommend things to people, I like to take their recommendations as well.

Why should I keep this one? I’m honestly not sure. Enough time has passed since said patron made this recommendation to me. I haven’t been in the mood enough for Fantasy in a really long time, and even if I was, I’d be reading more Middle Earth accounts or one of the many YA Fantasy books on my list.

Verdict: Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I will be chopping this one. I can’t think of any good reason to keep it.

Have you read any of these books? Should I keep Dead Until Dark and/or Dragon’s Keep. Let me know what you thought of all of these in the comments!