Tag Archives: let’s talk about books

What’s On Your Nightstand? H.A.G.’s March Reads

What's on your nightstand - March Edition Reads

Let’s talk about BOOKS! It’s the last Tuesday of the month, and I actually got a lot done as far as reading goes this March…nothing else maybe, but I was reading!

Actually, I have been loving my “The Blended Blog (TBB)” Virtual Book Club picks. They are all fun reading all the time, and honestly for me, if it isn’t fun to read, then I am out- Even though I am a librarian, and reading IS work, it really shouldn’t be- there are enough un-fun things that I have to do every day, and reading should be my respite from that chaos and drudgery, don’t you think?

*This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them and make a purchase, I make a small percentage. I include them so that you can find what I am referencing and loving!*

So, for the TBB reads, here’s what I read for March:

The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho

This was a re-read for me. It follows a young sheppard, Santiago, through a mystical adventure searching for his dreams, and encountering struggles, lack of language with other cultures, and people who he isn’t sure he can trust or understand. Those who know me, know I love a good self-help book- so I liked the narrative of a spiritual and physical journey and what it can tell us here in this very quick and short book- which I always appreciate. Reflections of following your dreams, deferring a dream, universal languages of love and hate, mis-read first impressions, suffering making us appreciate the value of the gifts run throughout this short story. It’s a nice little nugget of a book that I think, will continue to teach me something every time I read it. Which I will again.

Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris

I feel like I already told you all about this book. Without spoiling it for you, the premise of the book is how things are never what they seem “Behind Closed Doors.” This one was a bit far fetched at points, where I was thinking it took place in the 1950’s the way the female main character gave all of herself (money, power, trust) to her fiance without question and in a short period of time. I could totally get how this could happen, when love first starts, and things are all roses and sunshine- a girl can get lost in the romance of it all, especially if she needs a way out and up from her current life. The book just plays on this to the extreme level, taking the reader through a gripping story. It was riveting, in the same ways as All the Missing Girls was- disturbing like that too. I have decided to lay off the dark-themes for a bit after this one!

The April picks are in right now over on the TBB site, so you can sneak a peak at what I’ll be reading next month. 


The Last Chance Matinee, by Mariah Stewart (full review on March 29th!)
Let’s just say, I loved this. Full review tomorrow and  GIVEAWAY for a hardcover copy of the book, April 3rd!! So stay tuned!

Simple Green Suppers, by Susie Middleton
Okay, so I am buying this for all my people for Holidays 2017! I loved it- and if you love vegetables but are always looking for creative, but easy ways to best make them, then read my full review from last week. Beautiful book!

On my own, just for FUN (yes!):

Paper Girls, Vol. 2, by Brian K. Vaughn
You may remember, that I read volume 1 trying to fill in my Read Harder Challenge picks, and it was dark, and fun, and truly a graphic novel for children of the 80’s and 90’s! In two lunch-breaks, I finished and loved it. Highly recommend a fun graphic novel to change the way you read- the pace and visual-aspect really slow you down in a good way. Worth trying one, and this one was fun.

Listened to:

Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín 

Such a great read. Aside from the awesome Irish accent by the narrator, I just loved this book. I haven’t read Colm Tóibín before, but he wrote Brooklyn which is a recent box office hit, as it was made into a movie. In Nora Webster, the characters, the setting, and the deep tone of the book just felt so beautifully done. It is about a woman, recently widowed with 4 kids. Her husband was a beloved member of the town where they live in Ireland, and the story begins with her struggles in grief, through trying to live again, and having to raise children who are grieving themselves, while creating a new life of her own. A beautiful struggle, full of humanity and honestly, and I loved every word.

Next on my list of his work!

Currently still reading:

…as I had to put it off to finish the others! 4th in the series by Louise Penny, A Rule Against Murder. Love this series…to death (harhar! …it’s a murder series, get it! I crack myself UP!)

Lined up for April:

Listen: Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley

Read: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah & Small Great Things, by Jodi Piccoult

Remember: Full review tomorrow and  GIVEAWAY for a hardcover copy of the book, April 3rd!! So stay tuned!

What are you reading? I’d love to know- Lemme’ know in the comments!!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient along with the Blended Blog Virtual Book Club on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page

November Reads: What’s on your nightstand?

What's on your nightstand? November

Jean-Honoré Fragonard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s talk about books!

*This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them and make a purchase, I make a small percentage. I include them so that you can find what I am referencing and loving!*

To recap what I read last month, you can read the post or I can just tell you:

The Story of a New Name, Dad’s Fat, and Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing

I am happy to say that I kept up with the good pace and read even more for November- and soooo I have a bunch of great titles to share with you. Honestly, the reason why I am reading so much is that I sort of panicked! I have just 30 more days to complete my Book Riot 2016 challenge and I still haven’t read quite a few books.

After a dive into my TBR (to be read) pile, I now am happy to say that I have just a few (omg- still too many to finish!) for December.

 Here’s what I read for November:

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante (finished!), 2013
Not part of the challenge, so it takes up a lot of my reading time, that doesn’t “count” toward anything but is probably the most fulfilling…As I finished this book, I found that this is pulling me completely to the next in the series. I have to say, I am tired of series in general though. It limits you to having to read the next one if you liked it. I feel like I need to get on with other books already but am tied to having to read the series! The third book in the Ferrante books is on my pile of to-read books now, so I will start it this week.

Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (audio), 2016

I loved this! what a great audiobook! It did win the 2016 Audie award for book of the year(!) so I knew other people thought so, and I had always wanted to read it, but never had. It was so compelling and fun to read that my commute was all but over before I wanted it to be! I finally finished it by sitting in my driveway until it was done! Highly recommend as audio, but as a book as well. Now I just have to watch the movie to complete my book challenge of both reading the book and movie of the same name. Do you ever try not to do that? I always shy away from a movie if I loved the book, so that I am not disappointed. But this time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the face of Emily Blount whenever her character was read. Hazards of books turned into movies, I guess! It’s a who-done-it type of book, that keeps you guessing as the story line is told from several points of view, that track time backward from a terrible event. Yes. Just get this one!

Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson, 1979
I had never read this true story, but I remember when the movie came out and was super scared by the concept.  This was the “horror” book that I challenged myself to read this year, and since it is a true story that occurred in 1975, I wanted to know about it. As told in a journalist style, the book details how after moving into a house where a horrible event occurred, a family experienced several repeated occurences and situations that left them terrified and running from the house after just 28 days of living there! This is a non-fiction book, my friends. So if you are interested or intrigued by poltergeist, exorcisms, or things of this nature, then maybe read this when you want to be spooked. It is a fast read- I read it in a day, which says a lot on it being super fast to read! Overall, I liked it. Very different from what I would normally pick, so it was a push to explore something I know nothing about.

Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler, 1980.
This is the first in a series of 4  in the Patternist Series, about two immortals who live in constant struggle with each other: one as a healer, the other who only exists by killing others.  The “wild seed” is the healer, Awaynyu, who Doro, the tyrant wants to breed, in order to finally create a people who are like them: special powers of mind reading, shape shifting, and long lives. The time period of the book is during slavery in Africa to America and presents a different existence based on the lives of these two beings. This books is both a historical account of the atrocities of slavery and also a futuristic look of what our world would look should these books be reality. Very much a science fiction pick here. If this is your type of book you will love it. It definitely would compel me to read the next in the series if I didn’t have so much to read already!

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, by Fredrick Bachman, 2013

A story about a very different and lonely little 7 year old, who has a very connected relationship with her crazy grandmother, who tells her wonderful fairy tales and stories to make the very best of some very hard situations. It is brilliantly told- the best stories unfold as the book progresses. I love the sense of peeling back of the layers of the onion to find the best part at the end of the story. This is such a great book. The author wrote the bestselling, A Man Called Ove, and also the book, Britt-Marie was Here…which I of course now have to read both of these!

What’s on my eBook reader- reviews?

I am in the midst of reviewing for its January release, Selection Day by Aravind Adiga. He wrote a great book, White Tiger, which won the Booker Prize in 2004, about a poor boy living in Bangalore, India who grows up yearning to be a part of what he deems the true Indian culture of entrepreneurship. It is a dark and funny book, that I loved, so I decided to review Selection Day, which is also a book about Indian culture, but one much different. This book is about two brothers who play game of Cricket and how their lives are shaped by their intense upbringing and lives together. Review to come!

What are my kids loving?

11 Year Old

Now done with #3 of the Harry Potter books, she is onto #4 and in deep love with these books.

10 Year Old

The Thea Stilton books feature a girl-mouse who encounters a dilemma and then figures out an answer. Very cute, straightforward middle-reader here, but the way that the text is written and with scattered pictures is compelling for an 8-10 year old- the beauty is that she is reading harder books, and this is a fun read that she can finish. This series is one that she will re-read when there is nothing else. Fun and cute.

6 Year Olds
Still love their Richard Scarry books. It  is funny, but my guys love the character of Mr. Frumble. He’s such a pain in the neck for the Fire Fighters and for whatever reason, it compels the boys to read this over and over. I am partial to these books too, since I read them when I was a kid and remember loving Lowly the worm and his apple-car.

I have trying to find books with a theme for the boys, so last month we were Fall-themed and this month, in the lead-up to winter we picked some snow-books that we’re liking:

Blizzard, by John Rocco

This author accounts his own experience in the “Blizzard of 1978” as a young boy. My kids love this book because the pictures are from a little-one’s viewpoint…like 4 feet tall and covered in snow! Their dad has a few stories and pictures from when he was little and sitting on a mountain of snow from the blizzard and they love that the book is true and also a great story. Nice pictures and a fold-out that is a fun, map of his world type of picture.

Sooooo. That is IT! A lot, right? Well, for me, it was!

What’s on YOUR nightstand? Comment below to share– I am not a book snob, clearly, so bring it on! I love hearing what’s out there: good, bad or ugly!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page.

What’s On Your Nightstand: October Edition

What's On Your Nightstand? October Edition of Book Picks for H.A.G. | Hardly a GoddessLet’s talk about books!

Books I read:

The Cruelest Month, by Louise Penny

This is the third in this Inspector Gamache series, and I am going to order the 4th, so stay tuned for the review on that one! It continues with Gamache and his sidekick detectives going to “Three Pines” – a most beucolic place, aside from all the murders(!)- to solve a case. What I love about the books is her characters. They are so interesting. I think I like a character, and then the flip side of their personality or something small that they do, sets me thinking they might be the murderer. They are all like this. Things are never what they seem, and it pulls you in and around the mystery in an intellectual and fun way. Loved it and highly recommend. But take note: you have to read the series in order though, because each one is based on the last.

I am still reading:

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante

This is the 2nd in Elena Ferante’s series that chronicles the lives of 2 girls (now women), Lila and Elena. Lila is now married which is not all that she expected it to be in book one, and Elena finishing her studies, is figuring out her next steps. It is a quiet book, yet it pulls me along. It is just so nice not to have to worry over the characters, or the storyline as you do in a mystery, so it’s a good balance for my other reads this month. I am enjoying it, and it will continue throughout November, I am sure since it is  471 pages and I am on page 100. Agh, reading.

Books Listening to in October:

Dad’s Fat by Jim Gaffigan

I haven’t started it yet, but it is ON tap. I am so excited. I need a good laugh, and the thought of listening to him in the morning on the way to work sounds like a perfect way to start off the day. I love my audio books as they have totally helped me read more this year, and I am truly enjoying them as they make the commute SO much better!

What’s on my eBook reader?

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing, by Jennifer Weiner

Many of you have probably read books by her, but I surprisingly haven’t. Not one. But I will. After reading this memoir, I am so curious. She is so likable and funny.  There is heart-full and sadness and truth in this book about her childhood and self-image as it’s progressed through a tough adolescence to her great success and fame now. I think if her books are for women, then I should read them. I did see a movie made from one of her books and it was heart breakingly good: In Her Shoes, made way back in 2005 with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette (who is awesome). Definite “Chick-Flick” tear jerker and for that night where you want to just cry and laugh and aren’t sure what…That the one. So, long story, short…I am reviewing this one and you will read my full review a bit later.

What are my kids loving?

11 year old: 

The Harry Potter Series
, by J.K. Rowling.

Eating this UP! I pushed it and pushed it, and then she watched the movies. Ugh. But wait! Watching the movies made her want to read the books! Sort of like the Rick Riordan series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Awesome books that my 10 year old is now into.

10 year old:

Flora & Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo

Could be the cutest and best book ever. A super-squirrel has made his way into my heart, and just reading this book has made me hate squirrels so much less. They really are so smart, people. Which leads me to the boys picks:

6 year olds:

Those Darn Squirrels, by Adam Rubin

This book is fun-ny! My boys love shaking their fists and laughing at these clever squirrels. There are 2 more “Darn Squirrel” books and I can’t wait to get them for the boys.

So that is it. I may not be reading a ton, but I have been reading a ton of kids books, which has been fun. I don’t care how old my kids get, they always love picture books. The illustrations feed the story so thoroughly and are so key to the books enjoyment- there have been some great ones.

What’s on YOUR nightstand? Comment below to share– I am not a book snob, clearly, so bring it on! I love hearing what’s out there: good, bad or ugly!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?