Wild by Cheryl Strayed

As the weather outside gets colder, I find myself dreaming of being outdoors more. Of course, in the spring/summer/fall I’m out and about soaking up the whatever kindness the Kentucky weather gives me, but by this time of year, I’m starting to feel the lack of sunshine. So, from my pile of December TBRs, I pulled out Wild, ready for an adventure with some cozy feels.

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Let me tell you, if you haven’t read it yet, the emotional journey in this book will have you cheering on Cheryl and every woman you know who is searching for inner peace. I connected with her as the narrator in the way that I connected with Liz from Eat Pray Love– I felt like her confidant, and she inspired me in so many ways.

First off, Cheryl is not a perfect person. She’s lost her mother, her husband, her family, her sense of identity, and dealing with these tragedies lead her to drugs, adultery, desperation, and poor attempts to escape her reality. She decides that the only way she can figure out how to face her problems is to go on a physical journey- hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) from Southern California to the Oregon/Washington border- alone. Terrified and relatively unprepared, she sets out with her pack (lovingly dubbed Monster) and literally carries her baggage through the wilderness, getting stronger mile by mile.

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It’s excruciating and exhilarating all at the same time. Each step of the way, the reader in inside Cheryl’s head, reliving her past, figuring out how to handle what could come in her future, and yet staying in the moment with her as she sees some amazing views of the country. And, on the occasions that she meets up with those on similar kindred travellers, the reader gets to experience the camaraderie of people who walk the same path for all sorts of reasons.

I’ve seen the movie as well, starring Reese Witherspoon, and no matter which medium you partake in, it’s absolutely worth it. I highly recommend the book (although I know I’m not the only one, and Oprah beat me to it years ago). I’m glad I found this copy on a recent book haul, because it is certainly one of my new favorites.

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Hello December ❄️

… And hello Everyone!

Can you believe that we are already on the last month of the year? I have no idea where the time has gone, but I know it’s been a whirlwind!

I wanted to talk to you all today about my goals for my blog. Since June, I’ve been trying really hard to be more active here and on social media, and I’m loving being a part of the amazing the bookish blogging community. I made it a goal to post every other day, and to push myself to read as many books as I could in November- knowing this would be tough due to my day job work schedule being at it’s busiest. It was a little stressful, I’ll be honest, but I’m proud that I made it happen!

But now, I need to recharge a little, and I think that since the holidays are near, it’s time to give back some of the love you’ve all shown me. So this month, I’m going to do my first ever giveaway (!!!) and do more on my social media accounts. I’m also cutting my posts back (just a little!), in the hopes that I’ll be able to give myself some time for more social aspects of the holiday season- time with my family, evening gift exchanges with friends, and maybe the occasional outdoor adventures to enjoy this seasonal weather we’ve been having in the Bluegrass. On a more personal note, I’ve also put myself on a book buying ban for the month of December (Lord knows I bought enough to last me the winter this past month!) and am doing a no-spend month. The holidays, to me, are about giving, NOT getting, so I’m trying to give more than I get!

On that note, I need some help from you all. I have some giveaway ideas, but what would you recommend as good prizes? Comment below with your suggestions, or message me on Twitter or Instagram!

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

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If you’re like me, money isn’t exactly a strong suit. Actually, I could say I’m excellent at spending it, and not so much at saving it. So when I saw this book in Goodwill, I thought it must be a sign to get my finances straight before the new year began. I also thought all of you might be interested in what Mr. Bach had to say, so I’m going to give you a few of his pointers!

  1. “The problem is not income- it’s what we spend!” I’m guessing we all know this, but truthfully the most helpful advice is to put money away, not spend it.
  2. “Without values, goals rarely get accomplished. Values are key.” The obvious target audience for this book is women, and Bach easily shows how women understand the value of money more than men. We tend to aim it more towards security, freedom, and happiness, rather than just posession of stuff- cars and big houses and fancy vacations.
  3. “Make getting you financial house in order a priority.” I’m a bit of a neat freak, so I have a really great filing system. But I also have a stack of ‘to file’ papers and nothing organized enough to draw a conclusion out of my financial statements. It’s completely daunting to think of having to get all of it organized to use the information in this book, so Bach urges you to break it down. Get stuff in order. Then set aside time to read through the book. Then, set aside more time to go through your financials. It’s a process for understanding, not a race.
  4. The secret isn’t making more money- the secret is saving as much as you can! Even if it’s your daily latte money, set it aside and make that money work for you by gaining interest, etc.
  5. “Practice Grandma’s three basket approach to financial security.” The security basket for unexpected hardships, the retirement basket, and the dream basket for the goals you want to achieve.
  6. Learn the mistakes investors make. They’re human, and make mistakes too. Educate yourself, and don’t put blind faith into someone managing your money.
  7. Teach others how to be financially secure, such as your parents, children, and friends. (Haha, this counts right? Check!)
  8. Allow the choices you are making to reflect your values. This will help your overall focus of acquiring what you need to meet your needs and goals. And if you’re a believer in karma, what you put out into the universe will come back to you- so think of that when you think of why you need money.
  9. Get inspired! If you need motivation (like I did/always do), then get out there and find it! Books are one of my favorite ways to get inspired, which is why I decided to spend (splurge, haha) the $1.00 on it. If that wasn’t money well spent, I don’t know what to tell you! But there are plenty of other ways to be inspired to get financially secure- attend a lecture, take a workshop, talk to an adviser- whatever you need to do to get motivated.

Bach recommended reading this book in its entirety, and reading each chapter twice, before applying it to your own financials. So I’ve got some more reading before I really get to work. I hope this advice helps you out, or inspires you to ‘get rich’ too! I suggest picking up your own copy so you can reference all the good information. I’ve already flagged and highlighted mine the first time around!

The Book Lover’s Tag!

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Another book tag today, folks! Brigid at Watching the Daisies  posted the Book Lover’s tag not too long ago and said that anyone who wanted could give it a shot, so I’m taking mine! Also, feel free to have at it yourselves 🙂

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1. Do you have a specific place for writing?

If it’s handwritten, I’m probably on my bed or the couch, somewhere comfy. If I’m typing, I’m at my desk… or sometimes on the couch, if I’m feeling lazy, haha.

2. Book mark or random pieces of paper?

Hahaha… random pieces of paper. I LOSE EVERYTHING. I think bookmarks are gorgeous and I’d totally use them more, but I tend to leave them in books or they get crumpled in my purse or I set them somewhere while I’m reading and then walk away with the book in my hand only to remember I forgot the bookmark. *facepalm* I know.

3. Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?

I can stop anywhere, but I prefer it be the end of something- like the end of a paragraph or a chapter or the end of a section of dialogue.

4. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

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Coffee coffee coffeee. So yes. Also I eat and read on my lunch breaks pretty much every day.

5. Music or TV whilst reading?

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Music- yes, the earbuds go in if I’m in a room/car full of people and want to drown them out while I’m reading (haha introvert much?). TV- sometimes. Sometimes I want the background noise, so I’ll turn it on something I’ve seen before so I don’t lose focus on the book.

6. One book at a time or several?

One at a time, most of the time. Of course I’m reading two right now. But that’s my max.

7. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I can read for longer periods of uninterrupted time at the house, so I prefer that, but I can read anywhere, except in the car on winding roads.

8. Read out loud or silently?

Silently. It slows me down to read outloud, which drives me crazy.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

If I can’t get into a book, I’ll read the last few pages. If I’m blown away- like, how did that happen?!- then I’ll go back and read the whole book. If not, and I can guess exactly what happened, then I’ll DNF that book and move on to the next. Life is too short to read something you don’t enjoy on your own time.

10. Break the spine or keep it like new?

I try to keep my books in new condition, really I do… but my track record points me to breaking the spine. Also, I buy a ton of used books, so many times they come to me well-loved anyways.

11. Do you write in your book?

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If it’s a gift to someone, I may write in the front cover a note, but most of the time I won’t write in a fiction novel. Textbooks are different- I highlight like nobody’s business.

12. What books are you reading now?

I’m about to devour The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky. I’m also reading Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach, trying to help figure out my financials.

13. Favourite childhood book?

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I made my dad read “The Three Little Kittens” and “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” about a million times each. He can still recite them, I bet!

14. All time favourite book? 

How can you choose favorites when you’ve read so many amazing books?!

 

 

 

The Reader Problems Tag!

Hi everyone! I’m back with another book tag, on account of the fact that my work schedule is crazy (in a good way!) right now, and I won’t have a lot of time to read this week. I follow Sarah at Book Hooked Nook , and the Reader Problems Tag sounded like a fun one to try (check out her blog an answers via the link!). I think you’ll be surprised by my answers! Also, feel free to have a go at it too 🙂
1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I actually can’t imagine having that many books on my TBR- totally overwhelming. I enjoy reading too much to put that kind of pressure on myself! But as far as deciding what to read next- that’s all in my mood and what I know I’ll have time for. If I’m going on vacation, a short, lightweight, fluff book will travel, etc.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?


Oh I quit. Life is too short to force yourself to read what you don’t enjoy. And there are so many books in the world! I not of the “no page left unturned” club, haha.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try and catch up and how?


I haven’t gotten that serious about Goodreads (pause for effect), because again, I don’t put that much pressure on myself. Reading is my hobby, my escape from the real pressures of my life! So no, even if I did participate in a GR reading challenge, I wouldn’t try to catch up.

4. The covers of a series do. not. match. How do you cope?

Hahaha… well, part of me doesn’t care because I’m all about the content of the book and not the cover, but the OCD part of me is cringing and all I can do is just look away.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you don’t really like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Well if I really need to complain about why this book is bad and how I’m the only one who thinks so, then I’ll just complain to one of my awesome friends or family members, just to get it out of my system. If they commiserate, cool, but most of the time they’ll pull me out of my grump and remind me that there are worse problems, haha. But I also love when I post via my blog or social media that I don’t like the book despite the hype, and someone actually agrees with me! Haha such a thrill!

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?


Close the book, closethebook, closethebookclosethebook. Now think inappropriate jokes, insider jokes, anything funny…. for example (gold star if you LOL):

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7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads?

Probably re-read. That way everything is fresh in my mind.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?


I’m actually the complete opposite. I’m like Oprah with my books…

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9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

Oh I’m too OCD to be ADD with my books. I hate starting two books at the same time, let alone five. But in general if I’m in a reading slump, I just try to match my mood with the book choice. Do I need something funny to pick me up? Or something more thrilling? etc.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?


Haha wellllll, I’m forever on a budget, so if the library gets them, I’ll read them that way first. But if it’s part of a series and I’m dying to read it, then I’ll buy it right off. Most of the time, I make myself wait to check it out from the library or buy it on sale after a while, even if I’m dying to read the book. #adultprobs

11. After you’ve bought the books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

It depends. If I’ve been dying to get a copy of the book and I haven’t read it, then I’ll read it immediately or as soon as I’ve finished my current read. If I have read the book and just really wanted a personal copy, I’ll reread when I’m ready to, which could be months or years, haha.

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Okay everyone! I hope you enjoyed my answers, and remember you are more than welcome to join in on the fun!! Also, while you’re here, don’t forget to follow me on WordPress and on my social media platforms (Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter!) to keep in the loop! I’m working towards a goal of 250 followers on my blog and trying to bump up my traffic, in the hopes that soon I’ll be able to do more fun things like giveaways and challenges! If you’re already following me- YOU ROCK!! And thanks for all the support y’all!!

 

 

Fall Time, Cozy Time Book Tag

@ThriceRead  did the #falltimecozytime tag and I loved it, so I decided to do it too! I don’t know if that’s allowed in the book tag universe, and if so, sorry for the faux pas. But if it’s not and you want to join, feel free to do it too!

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – Choose a book that has reds/oranges/yellows on the cover

I have yet to read the Divergent series, but it’s on my TBR, and the covers are so cool!

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Cozy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to wear warm cozy clothing – What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

Oh gosh, anything by Nicholas Sparks, Sarah Dessen, or John Green. Depending on the story, there may or may not be a warm and fuzzy liquor in addition to the book!

Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding – Choose your favorite book or genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

If you follow me, you probably already know this answer- but I love historical fiction. I love being transported back to a certain time frame, and reliving the period with the main characters.

Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

Here’s the thing- there are so many cool characters out there, that I’d have hard time chosing which one I’d want to trade place with! But, if I would be pretty content switching places with Laura Ingalls or Jo March. Both were adventurous, imaginative, and total tomboys, and I always wanted to be a writer when I was younger.

Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

There are two series that I don’t think got enough hype but should have been made into movies- The Bronze Horseman trilogy, and the Uglies series. Both seem to have had something in the works, but neither went large scale. I’d love to see them become as big as they are in my head.

Coat, Scarves, and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I HAVE NO SHAME. I really don’t put much emphasis on the covers- I’m all about what’s on the inside. So I also don’t really care if people see the cover of what I’m reading, therefore I don’t hide them. Though sometimes it is embarrassing to answer the standard “What are you reading/ what is it about?”

Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite fall time comfort food/foods?

1.Coffee (all the time). 2. Fresh venison in butter and grilled onions. 3. White borscht (it’s an Easter food, but I love it so much I make it at least once or twice during the fall/winter). 4. ALL THE PUMPKIN PIE.

Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

Texts From Jane Eyre is another very witty and clever book that I highly recommend for a change of pace and a good laugh. The book is comprised of short “screenshots” of text conversations between some of literature’s most memorable characters and authors, including Jane Eyre (hence the title), some done in a modern style and some retaining their classic voices.

Because it’s such a short book and again, I don’t want to spoil it for you, here are just a few classic characters you will “chat” with:

  • Circe:
    • “where did the pigs come from Circe?”
    • “i don’t know, a pig farm, a pig mommy and a pig daddy who loved each other very much…”
  • Jane Eyre:
    • “I KNEW IT. DID YOU LEAVE BECAUSE OF MY ATTIC WIFE IS THAT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT”
    • “yes. Absolutely.”
  • Hamlet:
    • “darling i don’t mean to criticize but you really hurt your father’s feelings last night”
    • “hes not my real dad. why do you even like him”
  • Nancy Drew:
    • “do you think you can come get me?”
    • “are you tied up again?”
    • “i’m just over at the cave by the old mill”
    • “so you’re tied up…in a cave.”

If you giggled at any one (or all!) of these, then you’ll really enjoy the rest. It’s a perfect way to get to “connect” with some of your favorite literary characters in one place. It’s fast paced, light fare, and well worth checking out!