November, 2016 Reading Roundup

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I hope everyone had a pleasant Fall holiday in November; we certainly did here at the Pathologically Literate Household! We do things small over here, so it was just Poppie, The Boy, and myself with a ham and some yummy side dishes… nice, peaceful, and more importantly, zero family drama – LOL!!

Reading slowed down a bit this month (compared to October, anyway) mostly because I’m sleeping again at night (thank you, sweet baby jaysus!). I still made it through seventeen good ones, however. Let’s take a look:

    • The Girl Before by J.P Delaney  {4 stars}
    • Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall  {4 stars}
    • Good as Gone by Amy Gentry  {3 stars}
    • The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #21) by Michael Connelly  {4 stars}
    • Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan  {3 stars}
    • The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan  {3 stars}
    • Night School (Jack Reacher, #21) by Lee Child  {3 stars}
    • Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight  {2 stars}
    • Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes {4 stars}
    • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon {4 stars}
    • Bloodroot by Amy Greene {4 stars}
    • The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan {4 stars}
    • The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner {3 stars}
    • The 4th Man (Quincy & Rainie, #6.5) by Lisa Gardner  {3 stars}
    • The Whistler by John Grisham {2 stars}
    • The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1) by Megan Shepherd (3.5 stars)
    • The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes  (4 stars)

I have to say that The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon was a standout read, as was Bloodroot by Amy Greene and Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for loved ones, these three are good places to start.

Can you believe it’s December already, y’all? I just put my Holiday wreath up and we’re picking up a tree later this weekend. Time went crazy fast in 2016! I think I’m going to slow things down for myself a little bit this morning by making a delicious pot of coffee and curling up with a cup and my current read… Ahhhh, I feel cozier already!! Stay warm, everyone and I’ll catch you on the flip side!

What are you reading to keep yourself warm this month?

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October, 2016 Reading Roundup

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October just flew by this year and oh, lawd, y’all – did I get some reading done or what?! Twenty-three books in thirty-one days! Whew! How did I do it? More importantly, how can YOU do it? I’m going to let you in on the secret, y’all. Pay close attention, now.

INSOMNIA.

Yes, you heard me right. Insomnia is the trick to hitting your reading goals and beyond! October, 2016 will forever be known as the Month of No Sleep in the Pathologically Literate Household, let me tell you. It was not a fun time (although, as mentioned, I did read like a fiend). Magically, as soon as November hit, I began sleeping like a baby. Go figure. But let’s take a look at the reading gold I hit this month:

    • Cop Town by Karin Slaughter  {3 stars}
    • City of Thieves by David Benioff  {3 stars}
    • Certain Girls (Cannie Shapiro, #2) by Jennifer Wiener  {4 stars}
    • The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel {4 stars}
    • Witness to a Trial by John Grisham  {2 stars}
    • Redemption Road by John Hart  {3 stars}
    • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware  {4 stars}
    • News of the World by Paulette Jiles {5 stars}
    • The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan {4 stars}
    • The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott  {3 stars}
    • Winter at the Door (Lizzie Snow, #1) by Sarah Graves  {3 stars}
    • The Violets of March by Sarah Jio  {4 stars}
    • A Most Novel Revenge (Amory Ames Mystery, #3) by Ashley Weaver  {4 stars}
    • The Mothers by Brit Bennett  {4 stars}
    • Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan  {4 stars}
    • Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan  {4 stars}
    • Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles  {3 stars}
    • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold  {4 stars}
    • Faithful by Alice Hoffman  {5 stars}
    • If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch  {4 stars}
    • The Lost Girls by Heather Young  {3 stars}
    • Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn  {3 stars}
    • The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner  {4 stars}

I grabbed a couple of books from the distant past to re-read this month, which is rare for me – I’m usually of the “so many books, too little time” frame of mind. Jennifer Weiner is a favorite author of mine and it was great to re-read Certain Girls, the sequel to Good in Bed, one of my fave books of all time. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold was my other re-read (from nearly fifteen years ago!), and it was just as spellbinding as I remembered.

But the book that stood out the most for me this month was something truly special, y’all. News of the World by Paulette Jiles is a finalist for the 2016 National Book Awards. News of the World is my most recent Favorite Book of 2016. Captain Kidd and Johanna have stolen my heart. This is a beautiful, enchanting, rollicking, and humorous love story between an old man and a ten-year-old girl (but not in a creepy way), set in the wilds of Texas shortly after the end of the Civil War. I laughed, I gasped, I wept – and I devoured it in one sitting. You have to read this, y’all. Promise me. Promise. Or I won’t be able to sleep…

What have you been reading this Fall?

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I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

i-almost-forgot-about-yoiu“The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning.

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life–great friends, family, and successful career–aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, quitting her job as an optometrist, and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I Almost Forgot About You will show legions of readers what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction.” – Goodreads

I’m just going to say this up front, y’all: I have not yet met a Terry McMillan novel that I didn’t like. I began reading her novels twenty years ago, when I picked up Waiting to Exhale at a bookstore clearance sale (this was long before it became a movie – just sayin’). I then began gobbling up everything McMillan had written, that I could find, and have remained a loyal fan to this day. She has never let me down. And I can say the same for I Almost Forgot About You, her most recent novel, published June 7, 2016. It is a winner through and through.

54-year-old Georgia Young is a successful optometrist living in the San Francisco Bay area. As the single parent of two grown daughters, she is twice-divorced and growing tired of her rather pedestrian, routine daily life. After learning of the death of a man she once loved, Georgia comes up with the grand plan of hunting down all of the men she has loved in her lifetime. She wants to let them know what they meant to her, to ask what they loved and didn’t love about her, to gain understanding and closure – but most of all, to forgive and to be forgiven. Cheered on by her two brutally honest best friends and distracted by her two troubled grown daughters – and 81-year-old newlywed mother – Georgia embarks down memory lane and discovers that there is much more to life than the one she has been living.

Georgia Young – what a character! Such a loving woman – although those she loves get on her last nerve. Georgia is wise, experienced, and street-smart, yet in the next moment can appear clueless and blind to something she is feeling or experiencing – though not to worry, her eyes are always opened sooner or later. McMillan has created a superstar cast of supporting characters to surround her protagonist, imbuing each with enough personality and spark to last long after the story has ended. As usual, this novel is laced throughout with strong, intelligent, proud women – something I’ve always loved about McMillan’s writing.

Initially I was concerned that I wouldn’t bond with Georgia – I focused on the age disparity between she and I – but there was nothing to worry about; she was as relatable as I have always found McMillan’s characters. Indeed, there was no better guide than Ms. Young for this journey through a middle-age crisis – and no better creator than McMillan for a story and characters who spread their arms to include us in their loud, crazy, joyous lives. I Almost Forgot About You is a summer read you do not want to pass on – go and get you some, y’all!

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan: Read it today!

4 stars

Source: Crown Publishing {via NetGalley}

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What I’ve Been Reading – May, 2016

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All right, all right, all riiiiight! This is more like it, y’all. I’m ramping up the reading, and managed to crank through twelve books in May. Still not up to my usual count, but still plenty enough to keep me occupied and always thinking. Let’s take a look at the list:

As you can see, while I did continue with the Outlander series, I took a little breather before I read the last (for now) book in the series. I definitely found some great reads during that time, so I’m certainly glad I made that choice! Out of all of the books I read in May, however, I have to say that the one that stood out the most was Sue Klebold’s memoir, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. If you are a parent, teacher, or any other person who in some way is connected to youth: if you read only one book this year, this should be it. Sue’s frank discussion of brain health and brain illness, and the frightening revelation that the ones we love the most aren’t always who we see them as, nearly dropped me. To. The. Floor. Other good reads worth mentioning include Everyone Brave is Forgiven, All Things Cease to Appear, Night Shift, and Juliet Takes a Breath. All four of these are definitely great for summer reading picks! I can’t wait to get started on my haul for June – have I got some doozies waiting for me! Hope the rest of you have some good ones to look forward to, as well. Happy Reading!!

What books are you kicking the summer off with, y’all?

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

salt-to-the-sea“Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.” – Goodreads

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a woeful and fictional depiction of the true story of the world’s most disastrous maritime tragedy known to man.

In 1945, near the end of World War II, four youth from different war-torn countries and of different backgrounds converge on a frozen path, intent on traveling to board a ship – the ill-fated Wilhelm Gustloff – bound for Kiel, Germany, where they are purported to be safe from Stalin and his army, who are pursuing them. What follows is the largest maritime disaster and loss of life in recorded history

Joana is a compassionate and knowledgeable nurse from Lithuania who brands herself a murderer as she grieves for her lost cousin and family. Emilia has been fleeing the Russian troops since she left Poland and is harboring a precious secret under her coat. Florian is a Prussian art restorer who is enacting his vengeance upon the Reich as he travels undercover. Alfred is an SS officer and sailor who maniacally worships Hitler and fantasizes about proving his heroism to the world at large.

Through the voices of these four young narrators, Salt to the Sea reveals to readers the calamitous tale of the Wilhelm Gustloff – which, despite the loss of over 9,000 lives when it sank at the hands of Russian torpedoes, is to this day a much overlooked tragedy in maritime history. This enormous pit of loss, horror, and despair is where Salt to the Sea is at its best. The fear and hopelessness of these characters is palpable, as is their will to survive and continue on toward salvation and a better life. It is easy to feel their grief and guilt for those they were forced to leave behind, and for those who died along the way during the long, hard trek.

It is quite clear that Sepetys was meticulous and exhaustive when it came to her research. The content of this novel meant much to her – one need only to read her touching Author’s Note at the end of the novel for proof. Unfortunately, I found that I was unable to forge an emotional connection with the novel, nor did I form any sort of attachment to one or more of the characters. The structure of the book was short and choppy, with each chapter only a few pages or less – this isn’t always a problem for me, however, with four separate narrators it cut short the time spent with each character and put me at a disadvantage when it came to forging a relationship with anyone.

Salt to the Sea is definitely a novel worth reading, if not for any other reason than this is a haunting tale that needs to be told to the masses.  The horror and tragedy of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the enormity of the impact on the people who were kicked out of their homes and forced to trek so many miles through vicious snow and low temperatures, and the fate of so many who were a part of Operation Hannibal as they attempted to escape the Eastern Front press of the Russian army are things that must not fall by the wayside of our awareness.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – Read it today!

3 stars

Source: Lincoln City Libraries

What I’ve Been Reading – April, 2016

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Well. Hmmph. So, here’s the thing. I’m almost embarrassed to share with you my reading exploits for April, particularly after comparing them to those of March of this year. You see, in March I read twenty-two books. Par for the course, for me. This month, however, I will be lucky to have read nine novels by the end of the month. Now, no less than five of those novels were 1,000+ pages long, which may be somewhat of an excuse, but not entirely enough of one. Granted, there has been some upheaval in the Pathologically Literate household in April – The Boy was in the hospital for a week with Pancreatitis, Poppie was sick with Strep Throat, and there were umpteen appointments to attend to related to these occurrences – however, I’m still not sure quite how this slowed my reading down by over half. I’ll be curious to see how things go in May (reading-related things, that is) so I have one more month to compare to these last two.

In the meantime… The last book that I read in March was one that had been on my TBR list for ages, and strongly influenced my reading list for April, which is why I’m mentioning it now. Y’all, I finally read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and it was everything it was promised to be! I loved it so much and immediately moved on with the series (as I am wont to do when I find an author/book series I admire). Thus, my book list for April:

Now do you see what I mean? Diana Gabaldon up the a**! And while I’ve mostly enjoyed it, I am finding that the series is getting a little more out there and a bit less exciting as it moves on. Hopefully that will change with A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book six in the series, which I have just begun. The Murder of Mary Russell is a novel I had been eagerly awaiting – love me some Sherlock & Mary!! – and while it was refreshingly different from past novels, it didn’t have the Wow Factor I’d been hoping for. Alas, not much has held that Wow Factor for me lately; I don’t know if I’ve become harder to please or if people just aren’t writing as well anymore…

Depending on how quickly I get through A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I may have time before month’s end for one more book. If so, I’ll include it in May’s round-up. Until then, y’all, take care and don’t forget to get your Read on!

I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been reading this month! Please share in the comments below!

Shelter by Jung Yun

shelter“Why should a man care for his parents when they failed to take care of him as a child?

One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of the Year (Selected by Edan Lepucki)

Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.

A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage—private tutors, expensive hobbies—but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he’s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?

As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one’s family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.” – Goodreads

On the surface, Shelter by Jung Yun appears to be a tale about a modern family in the midst of a financial crisis, brought on by living above their means. Add to that some parent/child family dynamic issues between Kyung Cho and his wealthy Korean-immigrant parents and there is a sense of palpable tension to the novel right from the start. Yet this is nothing compared to what is about to come – nothing compared to a tale so captivating, so devastating, that you won’t be able to put this book down until you’ve read every last page.

As the Chos are showing their un-fixed fixer-upper in once of the area’s nicer neighborhoods to a realtor, the three look out the back window to see a naked woman running about in the field behind the home. As Kyung looks more closely, he realizes that the woman is his own mother, with whom he has minimal contact in his daily life. And thus begins the emotionally frenzied pace of a novel I least expected.

Kyung’s parents, Jin and Mae Cho, have been the victims of a brutal home invasion in their ritzy neighborhood just blocks away from Kyung’s own home. Kyung is forced to bring them into his own home to care for them. This brings into play a plethora of issues, not the least of which includes the long-hidden abusive relationships within Kyung’s family: his father’s abuse of his mother, his mother’s abuse of Kyung, and even Kyung’s own emotional self-abuse that permeates this story. Kyung seems to be constantly filled with a sense of rage and ineptitude, trying his hardest to instill a sense of normalcy within his family yet furious when he senses anyone else – his wife, his parents, their church members – trying to do the same.

There is some strong writing and certainly a few harrowing (read: graphic) scenes in Shelter, that may cause some discomfort, however, I feel that they fit concisely within the context of the story. Ultimately, this affecting story has an universal appeal. Kyung, his struggle to hold on to his wife and child, his resistance to forgiving his parents, and his inevitable fall from grace – along with the devastating effects of the home invasion upon Jin and Mae – will keep you hooked from beginning to end as you race through the pages of this gripping and satisfying literary thriller.

Shelter by Jung Yun – On sale March 1st!

4 stars

Source: Macmillan-Picador {via NetGalley}

Libraries Around the World Coloring Book by Lacey Losh

cover_librariesaroundtheworld“50 libraries from across the globe have been transformed into line art coloring pages in this unique coloring book collection. These line art images will delight the adult coloring crowd as well as all ages of coloring enthusiasts.

The Libraries Around the World Coloring Book offers a first-of-its-kind combination of two current trends (the adult coloring phenomenon and little libraries) into one neat package. These coloring books feature libraries, large and small, with locations in 23 US states along with 13 countries on 6 continents!

This coloring book includes library steward stories, location details and interesting tidbits alongside the coloring sheet for each library, connecting art and education with the mental health benefits of coloring.” – Goodreads

I almost titled this post, “In Which I Don’t Even Know Where to Begin…” Do I start by professing my love and obsession for Little Free Libraries? Do I launch into a lecture about my newfound love for adult coloring books and the multitude of mental health benefits to be gained from coloring in them? Or do I simply begin by telling you about Lacey Losh’s amazing new publication, the Libraries Around the World Coloring Book?

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What exactly is a Little Free Library, you ask? The Little Free Library website states:

“A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.”

The mission of Little Free Libraries is:

To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.”

There are currently over 36,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curbside literacy home and sharing millions of books annually. You can read more about the history of the Little Free Library movement here.

Lacey Losh, author of the Libraries Around the World Coloring Book, is the steward of a Little Free Library right here in my very own Lincoln, Nebraska. You can visit – and LIKE – the Losh Free Library Facebook Page here. Lacey collected 50 photographs of Little Free Libraries from across the globe, created line art pictures from them, and gathered them into a coloring book collection that will delight the minds of creative, coloring individuals young and old alike. Each picture also includes charming details and stories about the library it represents.

Great things about this coloring book (other than featuring LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES?!):

    • Each picture is on a page of its own, with no picture on the backside
    • The paper is of the perfect weight; even markers would work without bleeding through (NOT including Sharpies, friends!)
    • While each picture is detailed, it is not so intricate that it is difficult to color and can easily be completed in one sitting

I was so thrilled to be gifted a copy of this coloring book. The lovely pictures and charming stories, along with Lacey’s personal bio, brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I realize I am a library nerd, but I think you will be moved as well. There are two things you need to do today: visit a Little Free Library near you, and snatch up a copy of the Libraries Around the World Coloring Book! Go and get you some, y’all!

losh-free-libraryAbout the author:  Lacey Losh is a professional Digital Prepress Specialist and Graphic Designer. She is the steward of a Little Free Library in her own front yard, now in its third year of operation. She also volunteers as a Community Organizer with Common Root, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based nonprofit agency. Lacey is currently working on her second coloring book project, The Tiny Living Coloring Book. You can learn more about Lacey and her work at her website, Coloring With Lacey!

Libraries Around the World Coloring Book by Lacey Losh: Get it Today!

5 stars

Source: Lacey Losh

My Bookish Resolutions for 2016

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At the end/beginning of each year, I sit and think on any goals or ambitions I might have for my reading in the coming new year. I generally keep these filed away in a random part of my mind, thinking about them only rarely, when it is convenient for me or when I am reminded of them. Thus, it is often that I do not reach said goals or lofty ambitions that I set for myself – surprise, surprise. I’m going out on a limb here and sharing with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing these words in black and white will make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – and also, because a little accountability and fear of public failure/humiliation is always good for motivation from time to time…

1. read a minimum of 150 books in 2016.

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As part of the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I have pledged to read 150 books by December 31, 2016. In past years I have read: 171 in 2015, 225 in 2014, and 213 in 2013. We had a few bumps in the road in 2015 that ate into my reading time, bringing my total down quite a bit from past years. As certain issues are yet to be resolved, I’m going to play it safe and keep my challenge goal down to a manageable number since I  just don’t seem to be able to keep up with my former pace as of late.

2. keep a private reading log (separate from Goodreads and Pinterest).

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Two words, y’all: PIE CHARTS. I’m so jealous of the book bloggers that keep such meticulous records that they are able to produce pie charts outlining their reading habits at the end of each year, and have been telling myself for ages that I am going to do the same: This. Is. The. Year! Amanda Nelson at Book Riot tracks her reading via The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet in Google Docs. She shares the template for her spreadsheet here. I have downloaded it to Excel and, after making various personalizations, will be recording the hell out of my reading in 2016 so I can get my pie chart groove on next January…

3. read the books I own.

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I continue to amass a collection of novels (mainly on my Kindle) that then remain unread as I continue to aggressively read library checkouts and NetGalley selections. While my situation is not as dire as my friend Cathy’s over at 746 Books, if I don’t take action now it could certainly grow to such an outlandish situation. How am I going to achieve this? I’m not yet sure. So many new releases are tempting me, as well as all of those goodies on my TBR list – I must be strong, y’all. I’m thinking… Maybe one book I own for every one or two library/NetGalley books, perhaps? I’ll have to fine-tune my process over the next month or two and will return here for an update. Andi over at Estella’s Revenge has started up a “read whatcha got” reading effort for 2016 called #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. As she says, it’s totally a choose-your-own-adventure, no rules type of thang – if you’re interested and would like to join in, you can link up here.

4. Continue to read more diverse books.

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I thought I was making a conscious effort to do this in 2015, but apparently not, for I failed miserably. Out of 171 books, only 28 of them could truly be classified as diverse literature. However, it is a new year and time for a fresh start! I’ve read nine books so far in 2016, and three of them can be classified as diverse literature. Over at the website for We Need Diverse Books, I have pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books this year – that would mean, if I were to reach my goal of 150, that 1/3 of those books would be written by or about people of all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. This is equal to about four to five “diverse” books each month. Personally, I think it should be more than that and plan to be a bit more intentional about the books I read in order to try to increase that amount, but I will ultimately be satisfied if I reach my original goal of fifty, because I can always improve upon that in 2017!

5. Join a book club.

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I’ve always wanted to be in a book club. Always. Alas, no one I know (IRL) likes to read the way I do or would ever consider forming a book club with me. Boo-hoo. Rushing in to save the day, however, is Amy Allen Clark over at MomAdvice.com! Amy recently created the MomAdvice Hangout (join us!) over on Facebook, a group of which I am a part, and which I adore! We chat about all kinds of things, of course, but an oft-discussed topic is books, books, and more books. The best part is that Amy has created the MomAdvice Book Club, which began in January, 2016. Our first book, chosen by Amy herself, is The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – it was a great read, and I can’t wait for the discussion to start!

These are my top five resolutions for 2016 – as they relate to reading, that is. It’s going to be a great year full of great reads, I can just sense it (my TBR list is telling me so, as well)!

Have you made any bookish resolutions for 2016? Please share in the comments below!

11/22/63 by Stephen King

11-22-63“Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.” – Goodreads

Holy Mother of Sweet Baby Jesus.

Hands down, BEST book I’ve read this year.

Sorry, David Joy (I promise you came in at a close second).

I was a Stephen King fan back when I was in middle school. In my first year of high school, I read It, which scared the crap out of me. Beyond words. And that, my friends, was the end of me and horror novels. I broke up with Stephen King lickety-split, I will tell you what. Swore him off fo-eva, y’all.

But people would not shut up about 11/22/63. So, I bought it for my Kindle Paperwhite. Back in, oh, January of 2013. And there it sat, on my Kindle bookshelf, for two years. Taunting me, daring me, threatening me with visions of 849 pages of possibly creepy science-fiction-y boredom… Oh, how wrong I was. How. Wrong. I. Was.

Along with all of the accolades, ultimately the premise of this book was just too good to pass up. At the urging of my MomAdvice Book Club, I gritted my teeth and dug in. And I’m ever so glad that I did. There is so much to this novel that it is difficult to craft a concise summary about it. It is nothing like the Stephen King novels I read oh so many years ago. Those who enjoy historical fiction, particularly those with an interest in 60’s history – and maybe a side interest in sci-fi – will enjoy this book.

And, y’all, this is no joke – I flew threw all 849 pages of this novel – absolutely captivating, I tell you. King quite obviously researched the hell out of the time period he was writing about – details, details, details. His writing was simply flawless. I was a bit concerned that at some point, perhaps near the end of the book, that things would take a bend toward the science fiction side of things and ruin the beauty of this work – and while it did rear its head, it wasn’t in a bad way at all. Y’all, I am not lying when I tell you that I loved everything about 11/22/63. Except the fact that it ended. Boo-hoo for me.

11/22/63 by Stephen King. Read it today!

5 stars

Source: Personal Library {Kindle Paperwhite}