Read Along With Me: Book Roundup

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Here's a list of some of the books I've read over the past year or so! There are quite a few, so grab a cup of coffee and get ready to beef up your reading list!

I'll put all of the books into two categories:  Books I Recommend and Books I Do NOT Recommend. You can click on the arrows on either end of each strip of photos to scroll through all of the books. I'll link to each book as well, so all you have to do is click on the picture of the book and you will be taken to the Amazon page where you can read what it's about and purchase it. Here we go!

Books I Recommend

Books I Do NOT Recommend

What are some books that you recommend?? Please share - I'm always looking for new books! As you can see, I am super into the thriller genre at the moment!

I'll do another one of these book roundups in a few months. I have a huge stack of books that I am getting to that all sound sooo good and I can't wait to share them all with you!

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Read Along With Me: Winter Reading List

This year, I'm doing my book club a bit differently. Instead of posting one book for us all to read and then discuss each month, I'll be doing one post per season. I'll be giving you a list of some of the books that I'm planning on reading each season. That way you can read along with me and pick and choose which books appeal to you! Also, if you're anything like me, one book suggestion each month is just not nearly enough.

I'll be suggesting 10 books per season, so you'll be set for lots and lots of literary goodness!

So, let's get right into it, shall we? Here are the ten books that I am planning on reading this Winter:

 1. A Man Called Ove, By Fredrik Backman (I'm currently reading this one and I am loving it!!)

6. The Chemist, By Stephenie Meyer

10. Career Of Evil, By Robert Galbraith

Let me know what you think of this new Read Along With Me format! And be sure to share any other good books that you've read lately - I love recommendations!!

Happy Reading!!

Read Along With Me: December's Book Club Book + What's To Come In 2017!

2016 is QUICKLY coming to an end...crazy! It's been so fun having you read along with me this year! To close out the year, we will be reading 'Wild and Free' by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan.

Here's a little blurb from Amazon about this book:

Wild and Free is an anthem and an invitation in equal parts to find freedom from the cultural captivity that holds us back, and freedom to step into the wild and holy call of God in our lives. With fresh biblical insight tracing all the way back to Eve and a treasury of practical application, Jess and Hayley reveal how women today can walk in the true liberty we already have in Jesus.

Because you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to try so hard to button it up and hold it together. And you certainly don’t have to quiet the voice that God gave you when he created you to sing. Wild and Free will help you shake off the lies of insecurity in your life, and step forward to maximize your God-given influence for his glory and the world’s good.

Join me in reading this book and be sure to head back to this post when you've finished it to comment with your thoughts!

So, what's the plan for 2017?

Well, I'm going to do things a bit differently. I'll be posting a Reading List each season...four total. Each reading list will contain a list of several books that I plan to read that season. That way you can see what I'm reading (and what I'm going to be reading) over the next few months.

The first reading list will be my Winter Reading List and it will be posted in January, so check back for that!

Thanks for reading along, and let's keep the discussions going! i love discussing good books with good people! :)

Happy reading, friends!

Read Along With Me: November's Book!

Alexandra Fuller is without a doubt one of my very favorite authors. You may know her as the author of the book 'Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight' and 'Scribbling the Cat', as well as 'Leaving Before the Rains Come'. She writes about her childhood and upbringing in Africa, and I find her books hard to put down.

For November, we'll be reading another of her books: 'Cocktail Hour Under The Tree Of Forgetfulness'. This book is about Fuller's parents and their lives in the wild of Africa. It sounds amazing, intriguing, funny, and raw, and I am so giddy to get into it.

Comment below to let me know if you'll be reading along with me this month!

xo, Anna

Read Along With Me: September's Book!

Who else is ready for Fall?? Pumpkin Spice, colorful leaves, crisp air... Fall is my favorite season, without a doubt! It's also the perfect season to curl up by the fire with a good book. This month, we'll be reading 'The Dollhouse' by Fiona Davis. Here's a quick little teaser:

Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950's a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.

I can't wait to dive into this one! Will you be reading along with me?? Let me know in the comments below! :) Then, once you've finished reading it, come back here and comment below with your thoughts!

Happy reading!

xo, Anna

Read Along With Me: July's Book Club Book!

How did you all enjoy 'Pretty Happy' by Kate Hudson?? Be sure to head over to last month's Read Along post and comment with your thoughts!

During the month of July, we'll be reading 'The Girls' by Emma Cline! I'm REALLY looking forward to this one! It's gotten such rave reviews so far and it sounds pretty intriguing! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts as we work our way through this book! Be sure to comment below as you finish or as you have new insight to share!

Happy reading!

xo, Anna

Read Along With Me: February's Book!

Happy February! It's hard to believe that January already flew by and 2016 is now well under way. It's time to get your hands on this month's book club book: 'This Is How I'd Love You' by Hazel Woods. This book sounds like a romantic one, which I figured was pretty appropriate what with Valentine's Day coming up and all! So, go ahead and start reading, and then come back to this post when you're finished to share your thoughts!

If you've finished January's book, 'The Knockoff', head over to the previous 'Read Along With Me' post and tell us all what you thought of it! Be sure to reply to other member's posts as well. I will have some prizes coming up for the most active book club members! 

Happy reading!!

xo, Anna

A Special Book

There are many things that can make a book stand out as special or meaningful. Sometimes a character can strike a chord with your soul, causing you to relate on a level deeper than anything you thought possible. Sometimes a story can be so moving or terrifying or beautiful that it stirs you or changes you. A book can show you a new way of thinking or can take you to a different world. A book can make you cry, laugh, or send a shiver up your spine. A book can feel like a part of you - like a family member, or a piece of your history. It can seem like the missing piece that you have been searching for. It can make you feel whole. Books can make you feel alive.

I have read many books that I would consider "special". Each of them have moved me in some way beyond what is normal. They have touched me, moved me, and made me think. They have left me longing for more and dreaming of different times, places, people, and worlds. 

The most recent book that I've read that I would consider "special" is 'The Valley of the Moon' by Jack London. The Valley of the Moon refers to Sonoma Valley, and that is where my dad's side of the family is from. In Glen Ellen, more specifically. Glen Ellen has always held a very dear place in my heart and in the heart of my father's whole side of the family. It is a part of our heritage and our history. Incredible tales have been told of times in Glen Ellen. It is a magical place. Another factor that makes this book stand out is that my dad and I were reading it at the same time. It was something that we shared together. The story was dear to us both and it was special knowing that we were both delving into the same world and tale.

Jack London's ranch sits above the little town of Glen Ellen. It is a beautiful place to spend a day. I love wondering through the museum in the House of Happy Walls which was built by Jack London's wife in tribute to him. Each time I walk through Jack London's cottage I get a surge of emotions a longing for a simpler time of beauty and quiet in the country such as the time in which Jack lived there. 

'The Valley of the Moon' takes place in such a time, and for me, it brings to life certain things that I have fantasized about. It describes Sonoma Valley long ago, before my grandmother had even been born there. It's one of those books that has reached me on a whole new level and touched a part of me that I didn't even necessarily know was there. It seems as though the story told in 'The Valley of the Moon' is a part of my own. 

Over the course of your life, you may read many books that stand out as special to you, or you may read only one. Special books are dear and they should be treasured. They become a part of who you are. They shape you and influence you and move you. Books are powerful in that way, and "special" books are the most powerful of all. 

Decorating Woes of a Bibliophile

As a self-professed bibliophile, I am not ashamed of admitting the fact that my book collection has sort of taken over my home.  At first, as my mini-library began to grow, book by book, it remained neatly contained on my one wooden bookshelf. I took unnatural pleasure from staring at the shelves as they filled. I would carefully find the perfect place for each new book, sometimes rearranging my collection several times before it felt just right.

Over time, the empty spaces on my shelf became fewer and fewer. It began to get a bit harder to squeeze my new books into the tight spaces and before long my bookshelf was packed. At that point, I had to get creative. I began a neat pile on top of the bookshelf. It soon became a massive mound of books, two rows deep and three rows wide and over a foot tall.

When I could fit no more books atop my bookshelf, I started double stacking books on the shelves. I placed them carefully in front of the books that took already took up residence there. I piled them from one shelf up to the shelf above. They completely covered the books behind them. My bookshelf was overflowing. It was beautiful and made me giddy each time I looked at it. 

Then, my husband gave me a wonderful gift: a little antique bookshelf. It was about half the size of my first bookshelf, and a lovely dark wood with carvings around the trim. I instantly began transferring some of the excess from my first bookshelf to my new one. For a short time, my shelves were organized and my books were relatively evenly spread out. But that didn't last long. My book collection grew and grew. The extra stacks and rows and piles began to accumulate again.

Now, books are a main feature of my home. There piles on my husband's and my nightstands, a shelf full to the brim with books in the entry way. An overly full bookshelf in the dining room, and an overflowing bookshelf in the living room. It's messy, it's ridiculous, and to me it is the most beautiful thing. My book addiction gets stronger and stronger each day and my collection will continue to grow. My home's decor will always be a little book heavy and my shelves may not be super neat and tidy looking due to my need of more space to display my prized possessions. But that is something that I am happily willing to live with.