Quarantine Books / Month 2

Quarantine Books / Month 2

I am honestly blown away with how quickly the time, days, weeks, and months are passing through this pandemic, and priorities seem to change on a daily basis. Hence, why posts haven’t necessarily been happening on this platform. But that is OKAY (at least that’s what I tell myself…)

My reading has slowed down quite a bit. I have found a new daily grind and sadly it includes way too much time on my social media apps on my phone instead of reading or creating music. I think it is that desire to connect that everyone is talking about?? That being said, posts are planned and will be posted. I hope someone will read them…

Speaking of reading? Here are the books that I delved into in the month of April 2020 AKA Month 2 of Quarantine Books.


Also read Quarantine Books (March in Books)


WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry

Get ready for some literary gushing…This book was an absolute gem to read and I am oh-so-grateful for my bestie, Diana, and the Fantastic Stranglings Bookclub by the Jenny Lawson. I am so glad I read this when I did because I discovered that two of my Top Shelf Vocal gals were also reading it. We started our own little book club over email and it made my heart happy.

IMG_7063Overall, the vibe of the book is funny and realistic with some dark paranormal elements that may or may not be real… The reader spends an entire summer/school year with a high school field hockey team in the 80s. There is every 80s reference one could want as well as teen topics that we all have dealt with. There are hints of feminism, the importance of friendship, and what happens when teen girls grow up. Even though I suffered through high school in the 2010s, I felt that the issues and situations were still very relatable (even now in adulthood) and the jokes were genuinely funny. I was lol-ing in just about every chapter.

The writing was astounding. At first, I had a hard time following the flow. There always seemed to be a lot going on at once without much direction. It wasn’t until I had realized that the POV was not from any one character, or even as third-person, but from the team as a whole. Their entire psyche was connected and telling the story. It added to the vibe and created a seamless storyline.

The characters were the biggest gems (other than the writing). I highly related to Becca, because…the name 😉 and big boob probs. I had definitely worn more than one sports bra to PE and was a proud, secret, member of the BBC (Big-Boobs-Club.) I also loved and related to Julie, since I too grew up in a conservative household, and I thought her very funny. I LOVED that “The Claw” and “Splotch” were their own beings and characters and the “Philip” situation/resolution was to die for.

The setting of the Boston North Shore brought me joy since the previously mentioned bestie is from there. I fell in love with the area when I visited years ago and I miss said bestie. So it was like having her closer, especially since she gifted the book club subscription!

All this being said…I loved it and was genuinely surprised that I loved it so much. My favorite Quarantine Read so far. Boom. You go Quan Barry.

“Hit the Earth three times with your stick. Lift your eyes to the hole in the night. Remember that darkness simply requires another way of seeing. Be your own light. And just like that, you’ll find yourself everywhere and instantly.”       


Read I am Completely Fine…


MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen

An absolute classic that, surprisingly, I had never read before…

While not my most favorite Austen novel, it had all the qualities and characters that you can’t help but love in her works.

In my experience, every Austen novel is slow for the first hundred pages or so with long and expressive character development. Some necessary and some of it not. This book seemed to be extremely slow with it not capturing my excitement until the last hundred pages. The ending had the elements that I was hoping for but it seemed sudden and not satisfying. Not like P&P.

The characters were not my favorite and quite annoyed me really. The only redeeming one was Fanny Price, who may be my favorite heroine so far. I absolutely loved her and personally related to her. She had growth and thoughts that have been recorded in my little quote book.

I will say, the 1999 film rendition was absolute perfection, which I watched immediately after finishing the book. While straying from the book it still had that “Austen” essence. Fanny, in the film, was much more outgoing and outspoken. She had much more personality, which made me like her much more in general, but I was still in love with Austen’s original Fanny Price. Scenes were cut or reordered, but it allowed the flow and the themes to shine more. The humor was there and the men were oh-so-dreamy.

Overall, Mansfield Park‘s storyline was very similar to P&P, in my opinion, but still worth reading. There is nothing quite like Jane Austen on a rainy day.

“Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.”


Read To All the… (a book review and a love note)


WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen

*DISCLAIMER* – My reasoning behind reading this novel was based on the fact that I adore the movie. So much so that I purchased the DVD in college, despite not owning a playing device at the time. Also, Robert Pattison is a dream and Reese Witherspoon is a queen.IMG_7133

This was a nice, blissful, read. I love romantic period/historical books and movies so I was already sold to begin with. The storyline feels complete with the characters, events, the climax, and the ending. I will say that I loved the book’s switching back and forth in time in Jacob’s POV.

Jacob, Rosie, and the minor circus characters were by far my favorites. August was an alluring but somewhat boring villain and Marlena was kinda “eh” for me. Jacob was a lovable protagonist who had growth, both in the storyline of his past and future. I especially loved his kooky, somewhat negative, but sweet older self. Rosie was just a joy and I wish she had more moments in the book.

The themes were subtle but very apparent. Animal abuse, human cruelty, human kindness, family – both by blood and chosen, sex, growing up, circus (or outsider) culture, were among the few. There wasn’t one stand-out theme overall but they did add to the story. Overall it was an enjoyable read, simple in some ways but still good. Admittedly, I still like the movie better…

“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.”

“Life is the most spectacular show on Earth.”


Read Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


Although sometimes I have added a pressure to “read faster” and “read more,” because of my little Bucketlist goal – Books have still been a joyous thing to have. I love stories and different worlds. And sometimes delving into a different one is quite necessary.

Go enjoy the sun, Spring/Summer seems to be coming. Read more. Call more. Write more. Listen more.

Anyways, as always…

Thanks for the adventure, (Quarantine) Books.

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Quarantine Books (March in Books)

Quarantine Books (March in Books)

Well…what a month. I, like many others, did not anticipate this new world and this new normal. At first, like everyone else, I thought I would have much more time to read and I reveled in it. Then about a week into self-isolation after watching the news and the global pandemic unfold, reading became harder.  My anxiety levels soared and my focus turned to other things.

All in all, such good reads this month! I have to give a huge shoutout to The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson), her Fantastic Stranglings Book Club, and my best friend, Diana, who gifted me the best Christmas gift ever. Without this Book Club, I would not have survived this past, pandemic, month, and I would not have read these gems.


Why am I reading so much? (Other than just for the love of stories, books, and attempting to better myself?) Read about my Bucketlist item HERE


AMERICAN SHERLOCK:MURDER, FORENSICS, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson

First off, shout out to Jenny Lawson…the copies sent out for the club were SIGNED! For whatever reason, this made my day and made me feel exponentially more special. This book was different from my typical go-to reads, despite loving true crime and history in general. But…

If you are a true crime lover or fascinated with criminology or historical cases this is a fantastic book to read.

marchbook -4I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. As I started I thought it would be the typical, dry, biography of a guy I had never heard of. Albeit it took me a while to get through this, as I would read a chapter then jump back to one of my fiction reads. But each chapter (which was an individual case) read like a narrative with all the facts and emotions both from Heinrich but also the victims and suspects. (Comparable to individual episodes in a docuseries.) Each chapter built upon each other, revealing Heinrich’s failures and triumphs. Each case and trial was exciting to read about and I felt like I was learning and immersed,  instead of being preached to by the author, which happens in biographies at times. It was obviously well researched and it is well written. Overall, enjoyable to read. I loved how the pinnacle case bookended each end of the book and Dawson’s call to action in the epilogue. It is current and relevant.

Now I am waiting for the 1920s/30s period drama with Oscar Heinrich (played by Hugh Laurie possibly??) as the protagonist. Amazon? Hulu? Netflix? Who’s going to take it??

“Oscar never pursued the spotlight-it chased him. A shining light in the dark world of crime, his amazing feats in criminal investigations were unmatched during his time, and that is likely true today.” -Kate Winkler Dawson

“I am not positive that I am doing yet that for which I was created…life is a series of frustrations.” -Oscar Heinrich, quoted by Kate Winkler Dawson


A February themed post about books: To All the… (a book review and a love note) 


FOLLOW ME TO GROUND by Sue Rainsfordmarchbook -3

I will say, even a couple of weeks after finishing this I still can’t say whether or not I understand or loved this read. But I will say Sue Rainsford’s instagram page is one of beauty.

This was dark, haunting, provocative, confusing, but addicting to read. The mystery of who Ada is truly kept me tied in the entire time. It was quick to get through with unique and beautiful writing. The storyline was confusing, but mostly because Ada’s inner dialogue became confusing. The darkness surprised me and I was dissatisfied at the end. But sometimes amazing storytelling has to end that way. What a debut novel. I’m excited to see what else Rainsford writes in the future.


Bucketlist update: 31/52


Well there you go! Month 1 of self-isolation was also a month fueled by the Stranglings Book Club and I am incredibly grateful for it.

I am excited for what is to come, despite all the awfulness in the world right now. I am grateful for this little corner of the internet that is mine and I can share with old and new friends.

Currently reading : WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry

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Keep up with my thoughts and feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am keeping a journal series: Thanks COVID-19 pt. 2


Please share a comment! I would love to find other bloggers to follow and befriend. I am also ALWAYS in need of book (and lets be real: Netflix) recommendations.

Here’s to April!

Thanks for the Adventure, Quarantine books…


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I am Completely Fine…

I am Completely Fine…

(3/20/20) I obviously started writing this FOREVER ago. Normally I would let it go but in honor of self-isolation, more book reading time, more time in general, and just trying to add positivity here’s a book review of a book I LOVED… Enjoy!


I seem to be feeling always a few steps behind in life right now. But that’s life right?

February flew right on by and brought back the intensity of day to day life, where I can’t necessarily sit in the grass for hours at a time divulging into a book. I wish I could, and I think I am going to make it a priority this next month to make that time for myself instead of mindlessly watching Facebook videos.

This month I am going to share my absolute favorite read from February… Well, I only read two books and one was absolutely horrible and I would rather gush about one that gave me all the feels and joy.

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Read January’s reads: January in Books


ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

I am on cloud nine after finishing this book.

IMG_4036A little slow in the beginning, I had a harder time seeing Eleanor’s quirkiness as endearing and funny. But once I let myself be immersed in Eleanor’s world I was hooked. Every character was worth falling in love with. Eleanor’s comments and inner dialogues made me laugh out loud multiple times. There was a quote within every chapter that I was inspired by. I wanted to stay in the world of Eleanor Oliphant.

Honeyman is an incredible, emerging, author. The range of emotion throughout the novel is astonishing. There was enough laughter and light to counteract the very real and dark moments. Eleanor’s experience with depression was very very real. I found myself relating and needing to take a break from the book, because of how familiar her experience was to mine. The theme of loneliness is an important theme and should be talked about more within our society and I thank Honeyman for taking that on and making it such an integral part of the story. I think that is why so many readers love Eleanor. She shows that loneliness is real and okay. I also loved the emphasis Honeyman put on every little thing that brought joy and happiness to Eleanor. Such as noticing details during her walks to the bus stop. And the little, budding, romance made my heart skip beats. I absolutely loved it.

Anyways, I could gush more and more about this little book. I will recommend it to anyone and everyone. And while I love giving books away to share, this one will stay on my bookshelf to be reread.

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“I would never have suspected that small deeds could elicit such genuine, generous responses. I felt a little glow inside–not a blaze, more like a small, steady candle.”                  -Gail Honeyman


You want another book review? Read: To All the… (a book review and a love note)

Even though it has been a month since I was in the world of Eleanor Oliphant, I am feeling more and more thankful for characters like hers and books like this. Characters can help us feel less alone and less isolated. Both in times where you feel symbolically alone, but also physically alone

Like Eleanor, I am completely fine…maybe not by normal standards but for Becca’s standards…I am completely fine in this new world we are living in.

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I really recommend to those who want a moment of escape, since it seems we can’t even escape in our own homes, to find a book or a movie or a show or music to completely fall into. Fall into another world, even for a few moments.

I hope everyone is happy and healthy amongst all the craziness that our world is going through. And all I ask is, stay at home. Social Distance. This isn’t about you. You can make it about you by staying at home and reading a book or watching a movie or face-timing a friend. Let’s come together and flatten that curve and share some love.

Thanks for the Adventure, Eleanor


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Bucketlist goal: 31/52

To All the… (a book review and a love note)

To All the… (a book review and a love note)

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It is the month of  #Galentines #Valentines #singlesawareness #selflove ….

Everyone is posting about self-love for themselves and appreciation posts for their loved ones. It makes my heart happy to see people so positive and bright. But I am going to be honest: I wasn’t really happy during this most recent Valentine’s and felt some bitterness and sadness. I was feeling lonely and wishing I had that special someone. I was wishing that the holiday was on a weekday instead of a Friday. I was wishing it was just a normal Friday. I was wishing that I wouldn’t feel the pressure to “love myself.”

I do want to point out that it is OK to feel this way. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about loving yourself and truly believe that it is important to love and know yourself before you bring in another person into the mix. I want to promote all of those self-positive things in the internet world but I also don’t want to just follow the crowd. I want to be genuine with what my thoughts are currently. Not with what is trending. So instead I’ll post this – a book review with some little thoughts on love.

I am always scared to post on this blog. In reality, I am scared of having this blog. Sharing thoughts and feelings is not in my nature. But for some reason, I feel that I need to. I always seek like-minded people and others who can offer insight to their experiences. So I guess that is why I am doing it.

What a time to be alive on the Internet.

Also read : The Start of the Adventure

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Last week Netflix released P.S. I love you – the highly anticipated sequel of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. So, of course, I watched it.

I have been a romantic sap since the idea of love, relationships, human connections, and boys were finally appealing (which was probably around the age of 13.) I love romcoms, old movie musicals, and classic romance novels. But YA romance has been my jam for a very long time and will probably always be my go-to.

I fell in love with the first movie a few months ago. There was a brief time period last year where I avoided any sort of romantically themed entertainment because of heartbreak and boys, but this one was the first romance-themed anything I allowed in. It was perfect. I loved the wittiness, the visuals, the acting, and of course the story.  So with the announcement of the new movie and the need for some beach reads and what I call, “bubble-gum reads,” I went to the library and checked out all three novels for my trip to Cancún this past November.

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE TRILOGY by Jenny Han

These books had all the quintessential charm that I love with YA romances – a protagonist that is witty, charming, and endearing. She doesn’t quite fit in and has quirks that I (as a female and equally quirky reader) could relate to. She is a dreamer and she is intelligent. I relate to her but also want to be her. She is real, makes mistakes, and is inspiring.  The themes of race identity, sisterhood, family, and love are all over this series. But there are also the real emotions of what it is like to experience love for the first time. There is the heartbreak, the fear and the bravery it takes to fall for someone. Even though I am a twenty-something-year-old, I have been experiencing a lot this “love” stuff for the first time in the past couple of years. So maybe it was just good universe timing to come across these books, but I found them very relatable and enjoyable despite being well past high school age. (Which you can’t say about all YA books…) Jenny Han nailed it and I want to be her best friend.

Also read : January in Books

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BOOKS OR MOVIES??

Books. Books all the way. The first movie is great and preferably better as a stand-alone film. No need for a sequel. Again it had all of the charms as the first book. But the second movie just didn’t do it for me. “But I want to know what happens, Becca!” Well… Read the books to find out what happens with our favorite Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky is all I can say.

The sequel film was cute. It had the beauty and the things we loved about the first movie. Our favorite characters and actors could be seen in all their glory – with their desirable vintage wardrobes and perfect eyelashes. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE these actors and have delved into the rabbit hole of endless internet interviews with them. But when it comes to the story the second movie didn’t really do it for me. Mostly because of John Ambrose’s character. In the movie, he still wasn’t even near in competition with PK. In the book though…he was winning for me. Better LJ and JA moments are all over and there is much more Stormy (whom I love dearly.) The characters are developed better (you go Jenny Han), and the turmoil of PK and LJ is more intense.

So books. Books always win.

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”
Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


Now for little love letters…

“To all those friends who I have loved before…

I still love you. And always will. Even if we don’t see or even speak to each other – you mean a lot to me as you have affected me and my life. My life and how I view the world has been shaped in some way by you. Thank you for sharing the time and the moments with me. Thank you for being part of the memories. Thank you for making me laugh and smile. Thank you for standing there as I cried, complained, or acted simply ridiculous. Thank you for accepting my quirks and for supporting me. Thank you for still loving me.

Love, Becca”

“To that person who means more to me than they know…

I still love you. There is so much to say, but not really the words to express it all. I have felt the entire range of emotions with you. I have felt sadness, anger, but also utter joy and giddiness with you. You are the first person who I have truly felt that desire to put your happiness first above my own. You have opened up my mind to new things and a new life.  I have felt your love. I love our memories. I love our habits and little phrases we say to each other every time we are together. I love the little things – every little hug and handhold. Now, who knows what will happen. Maybe the stars will finally align. I miss you, I am so proud of you, and I will talk to you soon.

Love, Becca”

Lastly…

“To Becca…

I still love you. Even though I will self-depreciate, criticize, and judge you I still think you are pretty great. You have accomplished so much and have legitimate dreams that are worth pursuing. You are beautiful, but it is also ok to not like what you see or how you feel. You are human. Anyways, this is a little weird but…I love you and you are worth loving.

Love, Becca”

Also read : Thoughts by a Human…


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Thanks to love for influencing almost every part of our lives and being the one feeling that every human being can understand and can use to connect.

Thanks for the Adventure, Love.

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January in Books

January in Books

Back to the books books books! This past month I let myself completely delve into whatever book I wanted and it was great! During the Holidays, I was gifted an Amazon Kindle (for all those future trips I hope….) and fell in love with it surprisingly, as I LOVE the feeling of a real book. I also tried my best to get through a giant stack that I had spontaneously checked out from my local library.

I am still aiming to complete my Bucket list item!

Related: Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


HUNGER GAMES TRIOLOGY by Suzanne Collins

5 Stars

I had a blast rereading these. I read them on my Kindle as they were free in the Kindle Unlimited Library. After each book, I watched the corresponding movie. I loved these books when they first came out and I loved them again. The writing, the suspense, the characters were just what I wanted out of a consuming, fun, YA read.

Are you Team Gale or Team Peeta? Back in the day, I was Team Gale all the way. I couldn’t help but sympathize with him and I loved the idea of a long-time friend turning into a long-time love. (Well let’s be real…I still love and believe in that idea.) This time around, Team Peeta. More realistic. The better person in the long run. I mean the end of Mockingjay….c’mon Gale…

Fun Fact: I read the first book merely months after it was first published, thanks to the recommendation by Stephenie Meyer on her website. Which I followed and read religiously at that time. I simply grabbed it off the shelf of the library, as no one knew about it. I had to wait a year and a half for Catching Fire, and by that point, it literally caught fire amongst my age group.

“Better to not give in to it. It takes ten times as long to pull yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

“I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play.”            -Suzanne Collins in Mockingjay


ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell

4 Stars

This was another sweet, fast, endearing read. I picked it up on a day I was feeling extremely anxious and needed something to pull me away from my problems quickly. This was absolutely perfect. Within an hour I was 70 pages in and hooked. I fell in love with the characters. The emotions were real and extremely relatable. First love is no joke and this novel nailed it right on the head. It touched on deeper topics such as race, poverty, self-esteem, body image and social pressures. It had a sad ending, leading to tears on my end, but there is just enough hope in where I could imagine where I wanted it to go. Which made me feel better overall. Someone recommended to me to read all of Rowell’s books, which I plan on doing.

“There was something about the music on that tape. It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the word, wasn’t what she’d thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing    -Rainbow Rowell in Eleanor and Park


MATCHED by Ally Condie

3 Stars

The premise is interesting and of course, I live for a love triangle/story. Even cheesy and unrealistic YA ones. I gave the third star for Condie’s writing. There were simply beautiful passages that were almost poetic. The descriptions were artistic and enjoyed her overall tone.

That being said, the reason I didn’t love this dystopian YA romance was simply the character development. Especially concerning the main heroine, Cassia. Love her and what she represents but her growth and change didn’t make sense to me. She begins as one of the “citizens,” naive and oblivious to the underlying evils. You sense that events chapter after chapter are an important discovery but they don’t line up with her sudden change to “rebel.” It’s as if the author knew what Cassia would be but not where she came from. I was bothered by that. Her sudden love for Ky also did not make sense. There was no major dilemma or choice that she made to not be with Xander, despite the sweet passages, in the beginning, all the way through halfway in the book. Again, seemingly very sudden. No sense of story arc as well. Overall struggled.

I’m still going to read the other two as I have this incessant need to know what happens. Especially if the answer is sitting on my bookshelf…

“Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.”       -Ally Condie in Matched


Related: July in Books

Honorable mentions…Those that I started but didn’t finish because of Library due dates…

MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen

THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES: A STORY OF TRUE LOVE, SPIES, AND THE UNLIKELY HEROINE WHO OUTWITTED AMERICA’S ENEMIES by Jason Fagone

I’m excited for my February reads. I am joining a couple of book clubs and I never know what I’ll find in the library.

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Thanks for the Adventure Books!

Bucketlist update: 27/52


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August in Books

August in Books

This past month was crazy with end of summer fun including family and friends visiting, exploring my new city, hustling to find a job, auditions, call backs, rehearsals and starting a new normal. I am completely overwhelmed and thrilled about it all, but it also meant that my brain did not allow blissful reading unless I was sitting on a beach not worried about time and to-do lists.

So my August in books…

I found a Free Book Library in my neighborhood! I saw these everywhere in the neighborhoods in Downtown SLC. I never participated and quickly regretted it later, but thankfully I found one in my new California street! My one read this month came from this cute, little, “take a book, leave a book” library.

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THE MOZART CONSPIRACY (BEN HOPE #2) by Scott Mariani

Untitled design-4I didn’t love, love, this book. I chose it simply from the title and the cover. Lolz. It was different than my normal reads: action, guns, and lots of alcohol. Very James Bond… But the mystery was exciting. Very Da Vinci Code… And I won’t lie that I was pulled in by the romance. It was a quick read, which once my brain shut off I couldn’t put it down. The excitement and writing made up for the “spy” genre that I don’t normally go for. And I loved the European and Opera references!

My book haul this past month came from a little shop in Pacific Beach, San Diego called PENNYWISE BOOKS. It was the quintessential used book store, complete with a man reading a book behind the counter and not even using a till or computer to take payment. They had a couple of shelves outside filled with books for $1. I HAD to indulge and bought IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich (which I am currently reading and loving) and THE GIRLS by Emma Cline. Why is it that browsing book shops and buying books sometimes more exciting than actually reading them?? Haha Read about my full adventure in San Diego HERE.

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Overall, despite the lack of actually reading and contributing more to my Bucketlist Challenge, in was a good month in the book department.

You can keep up with what I am currently reading at my GOODREADS (come be my friend!) As well as on my personal Insta @beccaanneclarke (I tend to post on my stories when I start something new!)

Bucketlist count : 13/52

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Thanks for the adventure, Books!!

 

July in Books

July in Books

As part of my Bucketlist goal #2, which you can read about HERE, I have been delving back into the world of books. I want to share which ones I have loved and hated and all of the in-between this past month.

You can also keep up to date with what I’m exploring on my Goodreads and my Instagrams @thanksfortheadventureblog and @beccaanneclarke !

So here is my #Julywrapup in books!

THE STRANGER BESIDE ME: TED BUNDY: THE SHOCKING INSIDE STORY by Ann Rule

Taiwan -4.pngThis was a hefty read. Over 500 pages of information and heavy emotions. It took me a month to get through it but totally worth it. It was absolutely fascinating. I have seen quite a few documentaries and thought I understood the darkness and mystery surrounding Ted. Ann Rule offered so much insight and information. It was beautifully written and easy to read despite the length, subject matter, and the immense amount of facts. But more importantly she brought so much emotion and light to the victims. Highlighting how terrible it was to loose those girls. Gave them a voice. Thank you Ms. Rule for sharing your side of the story and putting so much work and effort in telling the story of all characters to this story: including police forces, detectives, journalists, lawyers, judges, the families of the victims, and of course those who perished at the hands of Ted.

” ‘Conscience doth make cowards of us all’ but conscience is what gives us our humanity, the factor that separates us from animals. It allows us to love, to feel another’s pain, and to grow. Whatever drawbacks are to being blessed with a conscience the rewards are essential to living in a world in other human beings.”     -Ann Rule

PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE by Jane Austen

A classic, obviously. And a favorite of mine since I was in middle school. I HAD to read it Taiwan .pngagain to bring back the magic of reading. I wanted to get excited about the characters and completely transported from this world and after such a hefty commitment to Stranger… I needed it. Jane Austen just got it. She understood the human conscience so well therefore her characters are so relatable. The human emotions she describes are so accurate. It has been years since I read it last, and before I had dealt with real love and heartbreak but boy, she got it. I related to Elizabeth more than ever, and found quite a bit of comfort in Victorian England. Anyways, I loved it as always.

“Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried.”    -Jane Austen

“Elizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she.
‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’  ‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”    -Jane Austen (SPOILER… my favorite part….ugh)

Taiwan -3THE GUNSLINGER (DARK TOWER #1) by Stephen King

I did not like this one. At all. I read over half and had to stop. It was very slow and overall felt like a young man’s fan fiction. Apparently it’s like a “prologue” to the rest of the series, but it just did not have my attention. This was my first Stephen King novel, so I was sad to be so disappointed. I will though make sure to read at least one of his other more popular ones. So give your recommendations!

 

 

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a, “It was good. I didn’t LOVE it. Probably won’t read it again.” I can see why itTaiwan -2 has won awards. The story was interesting, and the writing overall very well done. For the longest time (like the first half of the book) I couldn’t figure out whether it was a historical, dystopian, or plain Jane fiction. I did eventually feel connected to the characters, but there was not an overwhelming need to know what happens to them. It would be a good book to start conversations about culture, humanity, and how humans view each other. I’m glad I read it, and I would recommend it but not an absolute “stay on my bookshelf” read.

“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they’d once belonged to the sea.”    -Kazuo Ishiguro

“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast, And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The currents too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart.”    -Kazuo Ishiguro

I AM MALALA: THE STORY OF THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Taiwan -5.pngEver since seeing the documentary of the same name and hearing about her story, I have wanted to read Malala’s memoir. Overall, what an inspiration. I think it is important to be aware of the world, other cultures, as well as other people’s struggles. It brings into perspective what is actually important in life and how lucky we are. I admire Malala’s bravery and dedication to what she has decided is her life’s purpose. Education is important and should be given to all. Violence and discrimination for power should be stopped. It was not the most engaging read, but inspiring. She gives a look into her beliefs, religion, culture, country, fears, joys. Yes, like many others, would relate it to The Diary of Anne FrankMalala is on the top of my list of inspirational people on this planet.

“Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”    -Malala Yousafzai

“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.”    -Malala Yousafzai

“We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and sensitive loving hear. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which we see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love.”    -Malala Yousafzai

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate

Loved loved loved this book. This was by far my favorite read all month. So many Untitled design-23gorgeous passages. The mystery is engaging all the way through. The human relations are real and beautiful. I liked the switching between time and characters. The message of love, family, and courage thrives all the way through and leaves you inspired at the end. I caught myself squealing, laughing out loud, and crying throughout. The historical significance is interesting, sad, and important to acknowledge. Overall such a good story and book and I will recommend it to everyone. As well as keep it on my shelf..

“I shush my mind, because you mind can ruin it if you let it.”    -Lisa Wingate

“Life is not unlike the cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. No matter how music we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.”     -Lisa Wingate

“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her own music. To hear the tune she must stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.”    -Lisa Wingate

So here you go…a July summer month in books…here’s to the next month!

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Thanks for the Adventure Books!

Bucketlist update: 11/52