2017 Book Wrap Up

Another year in the books. I have decided to stop remarking on how fast time goes by, so I won’t say that “I can’t believe 2017 is over!” Every year that passes, time seems to move even faster. I can’t say that 2017 was a momentous year for me, especially coming after my fantastic 2016 year, but 2017 held its own. One area that surged for me in 2017 was how many books I read, surpassing last year’s total by 25 books! Not having graduate school to contend with really opened up my schedule for spending more time reading for pleasure. I also devoted significantly more time to this blog, which has been a welcome addition to my bookish adventures. Continue reading

2017 Family Book Club Wrap Up

book-club-picks-graphic

Our very first year as a book club has concluded! We started this book club as a way for my sisters, mom and I to stay connected even with the distance between us through our mutual love of books. We live in Rochester (NY), Pittsburgh (PA), and Philadelphia (PA), all of which are about 5-6 hours from each other in a triangle. We don’t get to see each other more than a few times a year, but video calling once a month has made the distance a bit easier this year. We spent time discussing each book, but inevitably our conversations would veer to other things and the kids pop on screen. It was a nice way to catch up each month beyond phone calls.

From a reading perspective, this book club helped me to read books I would not normally read. It also helped me finally read some books I have been wanting to read. Our book selections were fairly diverse in character experiences and locales around the world. Through our selections we visited Sweden, Appalachia, provincial England, Russia, pioneer Alaska, the wild west of America, Japan, and Nigeria. Our main characters ranged from teenagers to old curmudgeonly men. We also had the chance to see through the eyes of characters who come from cultures vastly different than our own. In essence, this year was everything I’d hoped from a book club. Continue reading

HCM Review: Magical Christmas Ornaments

Magial Christmas OrnamentsWhat a terrible name for a movie. Hallmark Channel is lucky that I like Jessica Lowndes, because otherwise I don’t know that I would have even looked at the summary of a film by that name. This is the movie that follows Lowndes’ character, Marie, who is a hard-working book publisher who has become a bit of a Scrooge about all things Christmas. Marie hasn’t always been a Scrooge though, she once was the picture of a Christmas elf, until one day when her heart was broken by her beloved on Christmas Eve. Ever since then, she lost her Christmas cheer, not even buying a tree (gasp!). Continue reading