Month: September 2015

Giveaway: Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’ (paperback)

A Walk in the WoodsHappy Friday everyone! I’ve talked a few times on the blog about how Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors–hilarious, informative, and more than a little snarky. His books blend travel writing, science and history with wit and humor that leaves me doubled over laughing!

A Walk in the Woods is the story of his attempt to hike the Appalachian trail, and this week the movie version is hitting theaters, so I thought it was the perfect time to do a book giveaway! Once you’ve had a chance to see the movie, you can read the book and see how they compare.

Entry is simple; just use the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally through September 13; everyone can earn a freebie entry, but you can also earn additional entries by leaving a comment or following on my social media channels (I especially recommend following on Bloglovin’, so you don’t miss out on future posts and giveaways!). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What I Read: August 2015

Yay, I’m back to doing my monthly roundups! My reading was pretty hit and miss through spring and summer, with a lot of DNFs and very few books in July, thanks to packing up and moving. But I got back on track last month and really want to get back in the habit of doing these monthly roundups! (If you’re curious about other books I’ve read this year, you can check out my page on Goodreads. I’ve also posted lengthier reviews of most of the books below, if you’re curious.) Now, on to the roundup!


These books are not ‘The Night Circus’ (mini reviews of ‘The Gracekeepers’ and ‘The Book of Speculation’)

The Gracekeepers and The Book of Speculation(Disclosure: I received these books from Blogging For Books and NetGalley for honest review.)

I’m starting to think that book blurbs comparing Book A to Book B are a terrible idea. I’ve read several books this year with blurbs that exclaimed “in the spirit of _____!” or “perfect for fans of _____” and eagerly rushed out to pick up the book, thinking, “Ooh, I’ve been waiting for a book like this to come along!” And then…I was disappointed. Massively so, in the case of the two titles I’m reviewing today.

I’m lumping them together in one post, since both were raved about as comparable to The Night Circus, one of my favorite books of all time. But alas: these books are nothing like The Night Circus…not even close. Read on for reviews of The Gracekeepers and The Book of Speculation, and find out why!


Restaurant-worthy meals at home: how to dress up canned soup and a basic sandwich

Like many people these days, and especially with the husband going back to school, we’re trying to stretch our budget a little further each month. One of the areas we’ve really cut back is eating out/delivery–takeaway Thai, pizzas, lunch out while running errands. Not necessarily the most fun or easy, but I’m learning that there are lots of little ways to recreate our favorite restaurant items at home, or dress up simple meals so they feel a little more “luxe” on the weekend.

One lunch meal that’s easy to recreate is a soup and sandwich combo. Condensed canned soup isn’t exactly the most appealing thing, but I’ve found you can easily dress up a basic tin instead of spending a lot of money on a fancy packaged soup. The same goes for your sandwich–a few mix-ins make all the difference between a basic lunch and one that feels like a takeaway from your favorite cafe.

Fancy up canned tomato soup with spices and almond milk, and add some unexpected fillings to your grilled cheese for a restaurant-worthy combo.


Book review: If I Fall, If I Die

If I Fall If I Die(Disclosure: I received a copy of this title from Blogging For Books for review.)

I actually read this book back in May, and somehow never got around to posting a review on the blog until now.

If I Fall, If I Die is one of those odd books that isn’t really YA, even though the bulk of the book features young adults as the main characters. This can make it a bit misleading at first since the blurb makes it seem like another YA coming-of-age story, when in reality, it’s a pretty heavy story that probably wouldn’t “click” with anyone who wasn’t old enough to have experienced a bit of the world. With themes of depression, phobias, and death, it’s definitely not a lightweight volume, but if you can accept that, you’ll be rewarded with a unique and poetic story. (more…)

Top Ten Tuesday: (almost) ten characters I just didn’t click with

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s been months since I last linked up for Top Ten Tuesday! TTT is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish; this week we’re discussing the characters we just didn’t click with. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have pretty strong reactions to book characters. Either I love them or I just can’t connect with them at all, and if it’s the latter, I often won’t end up liking the book, no matter how well written. In general, it’s the characters who are whiny or helpless who ruin stories the fastest for me, or those who simply do incredibly stupid things. It’s hard to click with a character when I’m facepalming at the same time! (more…)