Posts in Literary Lifestyle
Cheers to the Weekend 12.7.18

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Around the Web

A roundup of 2018’s best debut novels, have you read any? I’ve been anxious to get to the second one!

If you’re looking to reach your reading goal by the end of the year, here’s a list of short novels to help you.

I absolutely love storylines with quirky old protagonists, this list just changed my TBR.

I’ll be cozying up this weekend with this fluffy heated blanket and a good book!

All the holiday books for the rest of the month for me please!

I don’t personally agree with this list of books that deserved hype and those that didn’t. What are your thoughts on it?!

Are you on the bookish naughty or nice list?!


Corinne has a lovely feed, with so many good books, a cute kitty, and insightful captions

I love finding guys who aren’t afraid to share their bookish side, a stellar beard helps too!

When each book post feels like a little adventure into new and different books

What We're Reading

Michaela - War and Peace, I’m 350 pages from the end and I WILL FINISH this month!

Rikki - Still reading A Little Life along with Too Loud A Solitude, and then it’s on to my stack of holiday books!

Wrap Up | November 2018

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War and Peace | Leo Tolstoy- The end is drawing closer! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying this book, even if it’s taking me forever. I admit that I’m generally a pretty fast reader, and am very used to being able to knock out a book in a day or two. This book has been a little humbling, because not only do I kind of need to be in the right headspace to read it because of it’s density, it’s also much slower going than most books. Because of that, though I’ve really sat with these characters and their journeys in a way I don’t sit with most books, and I appreciate it. This one will definitely stick with me for a long time, I can tell.

Good Omens | Terry Pratchett + Neil Gaiman- While this was irreverent and fun enough, it was 90% dialogue which left no room for any kind of atmosphere or really any kind of actual plot. It’s going on my “meh” list and definitely doesn’t feel like the Gaiman I know and love. We went to book club for this one, which was actually helpful, and had it confirmed from Pratchett readers that the book sounded more like him. I give them credit for how much fun they apparently had writing it together, and try to remember it was written in the 1980’s—long before Gaiman really became himself. I’m looking forward to the TV series, because its style of humor should translate well to the screen.


A Piece of the World | Christina Baker Kline - Having enjoyed Orphan Train, I had been looking forward to this book for awhile. It’s a very interesting story to say the least. However, I do wish I’d read this years ago. With the place I’m at right now in my reading life, this book didn’t hold up with the prose. I enjoyed it, but really wanted to love it, nor did I like the ending, which felt very unfinished.

Good Omens | Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Well, this book is certainly not representative of the Gaiman I know and love. It’s fun, a little offensive, and humorous, but wasn’t for me at this time. I do think it’ll make a fun tv series, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Update: A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara - What more can I say about this book? I love it wholeheartedly. Yanagihara has an incredible talent for writing that is everything I want in every novel I ever read. The entire book is intelligent and clever, and despite the immense difficulty of abuse and heartbreak in this novel, I’d read it again and again. I’m down to the last third of the book and look forward to its conclusion next month.

Cheers to the Weekend 11.30.18

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It’s the last day of November. Is anyone else feeling complete disbelief that it’s nearly December?! I’ve been struggling to accept the changing seasons and holidays since early fall. I know, I need to get with it already! Thankfully, Christmas decor is slowly creeping out of hiding and taking over every open space, so it’s really only a matter of time. You just can’t ignore the warm ambiance of those twinkling lights! We both have plans to get Christmas trees this weekend with our families, and Michaela has the first holiday party of the season to attend on Saturday night. What are you up to this weekend, friends? Has anyone else started decorating?

Around the Web

Picture books for Christmas for the kiddos in your life. I love checking out a bunch from the library for mine!

Are you ready to scroll through winter book lists and find the perfect cozy tale to get you through? Ready or not, here it comes!

Do you agree that this is the most literary country?

Bad People Book Club’s November book pick, cocktail pairing, and a boozy afternoon.

Another round up of the best books of 2018. I can’t stop peeking at these selections!

Seasonal cocktails to get you through the busy holiday?! Yes please!

It’s time to tackle that Christmas shopping list, we’re here to help!


I never tire of seeing how people place books in their lives. I learn of so many good, new-to-me books from Huda.

Looking down at new contemporary books with Melissa

Bookish adventures and solid reviews from Laur make us the happiest.

What We're Reading

Michaela - Broken record here….War and Peace! Still chugging away, still loving it, and the end is near!

Rikki - I’m so happy to be back to finishing the last half of Other People’s Love Affairs, along with the last third of A Little Life. Despite saying I didn’t want to pick up anything else, I’ve also started Uprooted and A Place for Us, we’ll see if I actually commit to finishing either one.

Bad People Book Club | November 2018

*We were sent this box in exchange for an honest review, and of course, all opinions are wholly our own. You can see our policy right here

November’s book pick for the Bad People podcast (available wherever you listen to podcasts) is The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. This custom cocktail was easily one of our favorites; made with a tea cake, Pellegrino, spices, and whiskey. It was so delicious!


We’ve said so many times how great it is to get together for a fun unboxing, always anxious to see what the book is, and especially what the cocktail is. Each drink card comes with a list of ingredients (which are included in the box), how to make it, and then details about how the drink relates to the book based on its origin. Interesting, right?!


I have a few friends I think this box will be the perfect Christmas gift for. It’s such a fun, unique concept. Last year, my husband gifted me a subscription box that I’d had my eye on for awhile, and let me tell you, it is so fun to get gifts even after the holidays are over. There are so many good options out there, but Bad People Book Club is pretty perfect to send to just about any one, or even for yourself!


If this sounds like something you need in your life (and you know it is), you can use our code ARDENT10 for 10% off your order. Cheers, friends!

Cheers to the Weekend 11.23.18

*some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support

Happy Thanksgiving weekend friends! We’re entertaining family and enjoying plenty of good, homemade food, while looking forward to breaking out those Christmas decorations. Have an amazing weekend. We are truly so thankful for you!

Around the Web

An excellent list of family stories to read over Thanksgiving break. Number six is a sure favorite!

If you have to take a break from reading, here are some fun games to play.

A lovely sentiment of thanks for the books we read and the people who write them.

A wonderful nod to Native American writers and the beautiful books they’ve put into the world.

Last minute Thanksgiving dinner inspiration and a look at a simple and lovely table setup.

Don’t forget to check out our gift guide while you’re Black Friday shopping!

NY Times has shared the most notable books of 2018. If I’m honest, I’ve only read one of them. Yikes!


A fellow graduate student, writer, and reader of good books. I especially love her scenic countryside views.

Jane has such a simple and lovely feed, I find I’m always curious what she’ll post next.

Warm tones, coffee, and open books we’d love to crawl right into.

What We're Reading

Michaela - You can’t be surprised that I’m still reading War and Peace, and as you know, Good Omens for book club.

Rikki - I won’t even lie, I can’t stop reading A Little Life. It’s so beautiful and I’m anxious to know what the conclusion looks like. Meanwhile, I’m slowly reading Good Omens, hoping to fly through it post holiday festivities.

Black Friday Book Deals

If you’re going to be shopping Black Friday this year, check out our master list of the best book deals! Most online retailers are running sales all week, so it’s probably worth checking them out during the next couple days.

  • Barnes and Noble has a landing page dedicated to their Black Friday sale, that will reveal the deals! The in-store deals look like they will include signed copies, and 50% off a wide range of books. They’re also slashing the prices on their Nook e-readers and are giving you a $10 gift card for every $50 in gift cards you purchase.

  • Amazon has deals rotating hourly all week. Watch for book coupons and e-book deals especially, and for the Kindle to go on sale, because generally they do! I usually add items to my wishlist and then monitor them to see if they go on sale through the week.

  • Target made their Black Friday ad available online so you can peruse that and see if you spot anything you have to have. If you have a Red Card you can get early access to the sale, RIGHT NOW!

  • Half Price Books has 20% off everything with the code FRIDAY18 starting NOW online and in-store on Friday. They also are offering a free $5 gift card for each $25 gift card you purchase.

  • Book Depository is doing deals all week. Check out the separate deals pages for Wednesday, Thursday, and of course, Friday which was revealed this morning!

  • Thrift Books is offering 20% off $20 or more with the code SALE20

  • Book Outlet is running a site-wide additional 30% off deal starting Thursday morning!

  • Books A Million is running a bunch of different deals. Including BOGO on signed editions, buy 2 get 1 free on a wide variety of books, and some various discount codes. They’re doing a sliding scale, so $10 off $50 code 10SALE50, $20 off $100 code 20SALE100, and $50 off $200 code 50SALE200.

  • Better World Books has 30% off 3 or more used books with the code BOOKFRIDAY18

  • The Strand is offering 10% off $100, 15% off $150, and 20% off $200. Plus if you spend $75 you get a free holiday tote!

It’s also definitely worth noting that your local bookstore will probably have Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals, so definitely check them out!

Cheers to the Weekend 11.17.18

*some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support

Instead of our usual coffee date, we’re preparing for our annual Friendsgiving, and this year, we’re styling it like a dinner party. We’re so excited! With cooler temps, we’re enjoying all the cozy indoor time with cups of hot tea in the meantime. Are you preparing for the holidays already?

Around the Web

Lists for the favorite books of 2018 are starting to show up. I’m not ready to commit yet, but I love to see which ones I’ve read are making people’s lists!

An interesting interview with author of Green, Sam Graham-Felsen, on some timely and sensitive topics.

Curious about what writers think about writing? Colin Winnette answers some questions in this interview.

This podcast talks about the National Book Awards giving translated literature the spotlight for the first time since 1983.

Self-care is so important, especially during the darker days of the long, cold winter. A list of books to make you feel better is going to change our TBR, for sure!


Such a relaxed, lifestyle feed, with the occasional good views, and bookstores too

All the beautiful lattes and books our heart’s desire

I’m a sucker for an account full of good classics, and Charlotte has the coziest mix of the best books

What We're Reading

Michaela - I’m taking a little intermission from War and Peace to read Good Omens, but it’s so hard to put down with my determination to finish!

Rikki - Other People’s Love Affairs and A Little Life are mostly on hold right now so I can try to finish our book club book, Good Omens, for the end of the month.

Cheers to the Weekend 11.9.18

*some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support

I am already mourning the fading of the fall colors, but frankly I like like cold weather, though I prefer cold and clear to the rain. I’m enjoying my son’s delight in the way his breath fogs in the morning and dressing like a giant lump of sweater while it’s crisp out. We’re in for a chilly weekend, but we’ve got blankets (I just bought this one) and tea and candles at the ready to cozy in. Plus, Saturday means our weekly early morning coffee date, and Sunday is bringing some family from out of town for a quick visit, both of which I’m looking forward to. What are you guys up to this weekend?

Around the Web

Need a Gothic novel for your next dark and stormy night? This list is FANTASTIC.

If you love books about money + families as much as I do, check these out!

This is an excellent list of debut novels from women over 40. So inspiring!

We buddy read The Picture Of Dorian Gray last month, and this is pretty amazing to see!

If you’re an adult who loves fantasy, this is for you.

We JUST talked about this exact thing this morning! This is such a great resource to have found.

Some short novels to help you hit your reading goal for the year!


A distinct and lovely bookish lifestyle, along with an impressive collection of specific editions we all want to get our hands on.

Yadi’s seemingly effortless living with books style is a breath of fresh air.

Cityscapes and bookstores and books-on-the-go are a good reason to love this literary lifestyle feed.

This classy babe has the most beautiful atmospheric vibe, making you just want to crawl into each of her lovely photos

What We're Reading

Michaela - Still going strong with War and Peace! I’m really, really hoping to finish by next weekend! I love it, but I’m also ready to get to some other books that are waiting for me.

Rikki - Not much new that I’m reading right now, but do plan on pushing myself to finish Other People’s Love Affairs this weekend, it’s a great collection I’ll add to my re-read shelf. And of course, A Little Life, which I can’t get enough of, it’s really quite good.

Cheers to the Weekend 11.01.18

*some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support

Happy NOVEMBER, friends! We are officially poised at the beginning of the holiday season. Are you excited, or dreading it? I saw the Starbucks holiday cups came out this morning, and Target is releasing the new Magnolia holiday line—definite harbingers of the holidays in our culture. We’re focusing more on slowing down our holiday season though, and planning the next two months of our reading lives to close out 2018 with books we love. This weekend will bring books, brunches, leaf piles, and fall walks with family. What about you?

Around the Web

A few anticipated new releases in November. Have you read any of these?

I love Halloween movies, but not scary ones; this is a great list if you’re anything like us!

Tis the season for baking, and this recipe looks divine! A perfect accompaniment to a good book!

The cleverest way to get the community involved in helping a bookshop move, we would’ve been there in a heartbeat.

A great post on Murakami’s latest novel. I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Did you see our literary breakfast for The Legend of Sleep Hollow?! So good!

Check us out on the Bad People Book Club podcast! Thanks again for having us, Abbey!


Aayushi has a natural lifestyle feed, is a fellow classics lover, and poses great conversation

Books in the wild all day everyday, Corinne always has a book with her

We love to see books in the air and on the go, plus lots of pretty bookshops

What We're Reading

Michaela - War and Peace….all day every day haha! I’m bound and determined to finish it this month and am still absolutely loving it.

Rikki - I’m happily situated with two great books right now and look forward to them being my first books of the new month. Other People’s Love Affairs is really good so far, and so is A Little Life. So far, I can’t get enough of either one!

Wrap Up | October 2018

*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support


A War and Peace update! - I am a little over halfway through this monster, and devoted most of my reading time to it this month, so I figured I would give an update instead of a review. Basically, I freaking love it. I can’t focus on any other books because I love it to much. I’m nearly at the halfway point now (about 600 pages in) and I am riveted. It’s hard to explain, but Tolstoy is just so good at the micro and the macro, and has built such amazing characters who you really, really get to know. This book is a behemoth, and so, so worthwhile. There is just so much going on, and it’s all just so good. I wish I had more coherent thoughts, and maybe by the time I finish I can say something worthwhile, but for now, I just love love love it.

Warbreaker | Brandon Sanderson- This was a book club book that I went into with high hopes! Sanderson is a much lauded author in the fantasy genre and I was genuinely excited….until I got 300/676 pages into it and literally could not focus on reading it because I was so ragey at how terrible it is. Poor plot pacing, passive, weak lead characters, and “witty” banter that was downright painful to read it was so strained and trite. Oh and I guessed the “big twist” on like page 50 (yeah, I definitely skimmed the ending). The internet agrees this is an anomaly for Sanderson, and not representative of his other work, so I may try another of his novels later on.

Frankenstein | Mary Shelley- A pretty quick read, and definitely nothing like the commercialized version of the story we all know. I was surprised at how political this book got, and enjoyed how utterly Gothic it was, melodrama and all. I love reading classics like this precisely because they tend to be so different than the version pop culture shows us. I’d highly recommend this one if you enjoy 19th century or Gothic literature, because it’s a great example of both.



Stay With Me | Ayobami Adebayo - This was such a well done story. I was really immersed in the lives of the characters and had to see it through. With that said, this was also a hard one to read and kind of the worst. I can seldom do without some redemptive qualities and this story had pretty much none. Plus, I loathed the ending and that left me utterly disappointed.

This is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel - Another well done story that was character driven and had me holding on till the end. I had to know what happened. Frankel took a controversial topic in our society and placed it in a work of fiction that was handled beautifully. However, every single thing in this story wrapped up neatly in a bow, every character was intelligent and knew what to say, and the convenience of how certain aspects played out was too much of a coincidence. Again, well done for the topic of a transgender child, but a little too neat for my taste.

Autumn | Karl Ove Knausgaard - I picked this up at the perfect time for me. I was feeling more than contented with my reading life and was ready to settle into something slow and steady, and this collection of short stories fit the bill and the season. But, as this book goes, it’s meant to be read and enjoyed with time to think it all over, and well, I got impatient at the time it took and was ready to be done. I enjoyed it immensely, and though there were a handful of stories I didn’t care for, there were many more I marked for re-reading. I also felt this was much less a collection of "letters to his unborn daughter” as it was a collection of “thoughts on random things in life.”

There There | Tommy Orange - This book was pretty good. Orange does something very different, in a very real way, and I fully appreciated the story. I especially loved the interconnectedness of the characters and thought that while the ending was a tragic wrap up, it ended absolutely perfectly too, as a finale of sorts.

As I Lay Dying | William Faulkner - This was my bedtime story each night and was so perfect to read slowly and soak in Faulkner’s beautiful prose. It took me about 20 pages to realize what was going on and how it was going to unfold, as Faulkner has a very unique way of writing and this is an even more unique, sometimes funny, sometimes morose, story. I also felt reminisce of Steinbeck throughout, in the same layered, impressive descriptive and immersive writing that I love, but not nearly as straightforward.

The Thirteenth Tale | Diane Setterfield - I would have loved this story much more when I was younger. I will say that I enjoyed it quite a bit and loved the unique plot and elements of mystery. Where I think the story took a wrong turn for me is how unbelievably convenient every single thing (read: attempts at mystery and intrigue) that occurs. The plot/mystery could have easily been elaborated on much more.

Where the Crawdads Sing | Delia Owens - Michaela didn’t finish reading this last month and passed it off knowing I’d enjoy it. I see exactly why it wasn’t for her, although I very much loved this book. There is a very mellow, but very good atmosphere, very accurate, albeit unique, character development, and the little plot twist hidden at the end left me chuckling just a bit at how clever, no bullshit the main character is. I thought Owens’ writing was beautiful, I loved the poetry and story development, and if the prose had been a little more thought-provoking, this would have been an all time favorite forever and ever. Still, it was very good. I can’t wait to see what else she writes!

Frankenstein | Mary Shelley - This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It constantly blew me away. While I found the story to have some gaping holes and leave some things to be desired, I found every single word to be absolutely beautiful—and for a teenager to write this—I’m speechless. There are a ton of nuances littered throughout, a lot of philosophy, and even some political undertones. I’m just going to crawl into a deep book hangover for the next week.