Posts in Literary Lifestyle
Cheers to the Weekend 1.25.19
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It’s the last week of January, and we are grateful to be looking ahead towards spring! January is the hardest month for us both, because the weather tends to be pretty cold and wet, and life usually slows way down. Excited for a February full of birthdays, big changes, warmer temperatures, and later sunsets. This weekend we’re looking forward to our usually breakfast date, some quality caffeine, and book talk. What are you guys up to?

Around the web

You guys know how much I love a good graphic memoir, and this is a great list! I immediately put a few of these on hold at the library, I won’t lie.

Interested in starting a book club? Need help restructuring the one you already run? Just curious about what it’s like to be a book club organizer? Check out this interview.

Corporate censorship is something I’ve though a lot about (and a big reason I started @theindiebiblio to support indie presses) and this article does a great job examining it’s threat to publishing.

2019 is bringing us some exciting debut novels! We’ve heard some great buzz already about a couple on the list!

Instagram

Kat’s feed is honestly breathtaking, striking the perfect balance between simple and artistic, and plus she has flawless taste in books.

Emily has lovely, clean literary lifestyle vibes, great reads, and just a lovely style. We could look at her feed all day!

Need to feel like you’re off on a bookish adventure with a great friend? Erika’s feed is where you want to be.

What We’re Reading

Michaela - Once again I am completely all over the place, but I am loving The Raven Boys on audio so, so much and currently mood reading all over the place

Rikki - I finished Salt to the Sea recently, so I’ll be wrapping up Seabiscuit and Lolita this week!

Cheers to the Weekend 1.18.19
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*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support

Around the Web

We are mourning this well loved poet who will be immensely missed.

The best historical fiction books to listen to. There goes my TBR…

An Iranian family saga that’s sweeping the literary world.

Want a different type of book recommendation from a well-known author? Min Jin Lee has you covered.

If you’re a serious planner when it comes to books, this post is likely to make your day.

This is a bit lengthy, although timely with #bookstagram’s latest outcry. One man’s take on “There is no diverse book.” Thoughts?

Instagram

Lovely books, coffee shops, and lifestyle from Laur’s beautiful side of the world.

The greatest books and adventure to be found with this Londoner.

Incredible use of light and shadow and the familiar desire to want to read everything.

What We’re Reading

Michaela - Burial Rites and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao have my full attention this weekend and I could not be happier about it.

Rikki - I’ve started The Great Alone and I’m really loving it. And of course, I’m still happily powering through Seabiscuit and Lolita.

Interview With A Book Club Organizer | Sari Pabst
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Sari Pabst is the book club organizing extraordinaire and fearless leader behind the book club we attend locally. She has over 8 years of experience organizing various book clubs, and was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about what it’s like running large book clubs for so long (she’s been running our current one for over 3 years!). She shares what works, what doesn’t, what makes for good discussion, book club rules and structure, venue pitfalls, guiding philosophies, book club organizer pet peeves, and advice for anyone who wants to start their own club, or improve the one they already have!


Q: What made you want to start a book club?

A: I found that as an adult it’s really hard to make friends. When I started going to book club, I had just had my baby, and went from working full-time to being a stay at home mom with no other stay-at-home mom friends. So, I joined a book club near my home. They were really great, and after a couple months, the woman organizing it asked me to take over for a while. When she moved to another city, I ended up fully taking over organizing it.

How did you find a venue?

When I was in our previous town, I just picked a coffeehouse with a big table. It wasn’t great though, honestly. You have to account for the fact that anything with coffee is going to have coffee grinders, so sometimes you’d have to yell. And then a lot of the books we read are adult material, so you’re sitting in the middle of, like, Panera Bread, apologizing to the moms with their kids at the next table. We actually read Lolita, and there was a 9 year old girl at the table behind us. So there we are having this big, graphic conversation with sexually provocative things involving children, and it just made it hard.

When I moved down to Tacoma, one of the things I did was to just go and check places out. I knew I wanted to move it to a bar, because I wanted it to be an “over 21” venue. Not because I think people under 21 don’t have anything valuable to add or to say, but because, I have two kids— whom I love, they’re wonderful—but if I’m going out for a night to have adult time, I don’t want to bring my children, and I don’t want other people to bring theirs either. I don’t want anyone to have to censor what they’re saying or how they’re feeling because there’s a 7 year old in the room. So for me, I was very specific in wanting an age limit on not just our book club, but on who could be in our immediate area.

Plus, moving into a location that was adults only, and to a time that was a little later in the evening made it so that a diverse amount of people could come, because now people could come after work. It’s appealing to come chill and have a drink with friends; it just makes for a much more casual environment. Then I just picked a space like that, one that would let me borrow a room once a month. They’re wonderful, they always let me have the room, and always make sure other patrons are clear from the space if we need it. It’s our home now

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How did you pick a day and time?

We have a core group of people who have hung in there with me for years and years, so I picked a day that worked for them as well as with my schedule and my co-organizer’s schedule, because it was important to me that the core group could have what they wanted. As long as it’s on the same day of the week, most people’s schedules are pretty set, so we just picked what worked best and we’ve stuck with it.

Has keeping it 21+ affected the dynamic of the group?

We have a really interesting demographic. I’m in my mid-30’s, and we have a few people who are in their 40’s and 50’s, then we have a bunch of people who in their mid 30’s or 40’s who don’t come as regularly, and then we have a ton of people in their 20’s. It’s this really interesting range of people. There are months that I come and I’m the only person in the room who has children. So my perspective may be incredibly opposite than the person sitting across from me who just graduated from college, or the person who’s kids have already left home. I love when you get to see different perspectives, especially now that more men have started to come. Having it at our location, it’s gender neutral, and set at a time when professionals can come after work, or stay at home moms can come when their husbands get off work; it’s really opened us up to more interesting discussions.

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You have a pretty large group, right? How do you manage a group that size?

Yeah! We have almost 1,400 followers on Meetup and we regularly have about 20 people show up. I was really overwhelmed when I first moved it to Tacoma, because in our previous location, the largest group I’d had was maybe 17. It’s kind of a trendy thing now in our area to mix alcohol and books, but it definitely wasn’t when we started. I was a little bit overwhelmed, and my voice doesn’t really carry very well, so at first it was little bit of a free-for-all. One of the things that helped me the most was physically standing in front of the group to have command of the room. Which sounds weird, because I’m not actually somebody who likes having all the attention on her, but if I don’t it just becomes complete chaos, with different sections having different conversations and nobody really paying attention.

If I'm actually standing, it gives the room someone to focus on, so it’s almost like passing the baton when I call on somebody, and gives everyone a chance to be heard. Sometimes there will be a great dialogue, like two people will get really heated about a topic, and I’m not going to cut that off if they’re going back and forth. If someone raises their hand to interject, I can be like “hey guys, they’ve wanted to comment on your discussion for a minute, let’s hear what they have to say,” and that will bring it all back around.

What do you think keeps people coming back to this group?

I hope that it’s that we’re creating a fun, healthy environment for people to get to know each other!


Do you intentionally structure your discussions?

Depending on what the novel is, I look up discussion questions, see what’s been popular in other book clubs, but actually my favorite is when the author has given discussion questions in the back of the book or on their website. There are also questions I’ll ask every single time. The first thing I ask as we start is “who has read the book?” and sometimes it’s just one or two people, which is totally fine. The next question is always “who liked the book and who didn’t?” because I’m very aware that I usually have the opposite opinion of the group, and it gives everyone a chance to see where people stand. Plus, just knowing who felt the same as you and who felt the opposite of you is a discussion point. Like, well, what did you like about it?

Also, even if I really loved a book, I’m probably going to have to act like I hate it if everyone else loved it too, just so I can be that opposition. My job when I show up to book club is to make a discussion happen and to keep it going. Sometimes it’s really easy, but of course, sometimes it’s really hard. We’ve only ever had one book that had a discussion that lasted under an hour. 

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What was the worst discussion you’ve ever had?

Good Omens. We’ve done all kinds of books, and usually there’s some kind of hidden nugget you can pull on to really get everybody going and there was such satire, and such slapstick comedy in that book, but there wasn’t enough depth to have any feelings about it. Most of the group felt the same, and it was just really hard to create a discussion off of one-liners.


Why did you choose Meetup to advertise the group?

Mostly because that’s originally how I found the book club. Six years ago, members suggested we move it to Facebook, but what happened was we went from having 15-17 people come, to having maybe 6-8 people coming, because it just wasn’t getting out there. Also, it just lost something. I love when new people come and offer fresh perspectives, versus when it’s just the same people, you kind of already know what they’re going to say, and who’s going to like or not like the book. When I moved and re-started, I decided to put it back on Meetup because it seemed like the best way for us to get the most exposure, and I genuinely don’t mind paying for the service as long as people are showing up and they’re enjoying it.

As long as it continues to be something I look forward to every month and not something I have to do every month, I’ll keep doing it, because I really appreciate that I have this platform to invite people to come enjoy and discuss books. Also, I think a lot of people really underestimate how difficult it is to put yourself out there. Walking into a room of people full of people you don’t know, it’s scary and it’s hard-- I definitely remember how hard it was for me to walk into my first one. I used this club to make new friends and build community, because I didn’t have it, so I want everyone to feel comfortable walking in. I try to shake each new person’s hand and introduce myself, because I want people to feel welcome, and I do appreciate how hard it is just to walk in the door. 

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What is it about a book that makes it create a good discussion?

Controversy. And it doesn’t even have to be big controversy. One word I can say that will always set somebody off in the room is “sexuality”. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about, but if I say that word the entire room is going to explode, and there are just little triggers like that. It could be the most tame book in the entire world, but as soon as somebody says a key word, all of a sudden it’s like a bomb went off. So you have to feel the book out, and see what that thing is going to be. Sometimes even just bringing up something I didn’t like will outrage somebody and spark a conversation.

How do you pick what your group will read?

Everyone in the room can bring whatever books they want to recommend, they just have to tell the room what it’s about, and it gets put on the list. We then let people vote for every book mentioned. The first time through, everyone can vote for any book on the list that they’re interested in, and if it’s unanimous, or there is a situation where one book got like 15 votes and the others only got a handful of votes, that’s our book. If two books are close, we do a second round of voting where you can only vote for one book. The reason I do it that way is because I want people to feel like it’s their book club too, instead of it being like “ugh, what is she going to make us read this month.”

I want to read what the group wants to read, and I get to read so many things that never would have been on my radar, so it’s really exciting for me too. Another thing that really worked for us, is that while we used to pick the book two months in advance so that people would have plenty of time to get it from the library or listen to is as an audiobook, we switched to just picking the book for the following month. I realized that people were fighting for the book that they want to read now, and by the time we were actually getting around to that book two months later, nobody actually cared about it any more.

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Do you have any other book club rules?

If you show up, whether you’ve read the book or not, we are going to talk about the end of the book, because it’s not fair that everybody read it and we can’t talk about a part of it because somebody didn’t finish it, even if that person is me.

Is there anything that you, as an organizer, would not have thought about as a member?

I get a lot of messages behind the scenes. One of the most frustrating things for me is when people don’t bother reading the actual event details on Meetup, because I try to make sure that when you click the event listing, all the information is there about what time we meet, where we’re meeting, how to find us…everything. People will inevitably private message me asking the same questions over and over again, and every single month having to answer the exact same questions when you’ve already posted the information, can be really frustrating. I try to be understanding and give a gracious reply, but it’s one of those things, that as a participant, I didn’t realize was so frustrating.

I also get messages from local authors who want us to do their book, as in have us all buy copies of the book. It’s not that I don’t want to support local authors, it’s that I’ve been working on this club for 8 years. It sounds like a really silly thing, but I’ve literally put 8 years of my life into these book clubs to be able to cultivate it to be the way it is, and I care a lot about it. So I get frustrated when I feel like somebody is trying to financially profit off of my hard work, especially when I go out of my way to make sure that there’s no financial hardship on my members. 

Is there any advice you have for people who want to start a book club?

I would say have an idea of what you want it to be. I know that sounds silly, like of course you want to read books, but decide how you want to run it and what you want it to feel like. If you come to my book club, be aware that I curse, and I drink, and I’m a really laid back person who tries to be really open and non-judgmental. It’s easy to take things personally if your space isn’t the right space for someone, but try not to.

Know what you want your group to look like and feel like, and be okay if its not the right fit for someone. I want my group to be people who enjoy being around each other and enjoy coming, and I don’t want someone to have to censor themselves because another person isn’t comfortable with swearing. Be aware of what your goals are, and be okay that you’re not everybody’s cup of tea. Just make sure you don’t take it personally, because I know it’s hard when you put your heart and soul into something, and it feels like a personal rejection, when in reality it’s just…he’s just not that into you.

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Do you have any other questions for Sari?

Reading Resolutions for 2019
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2019 is already off and racing ahead of us, but we belatedly took a few minutes to reflect on what we’d like to improve on in our reading lives. We each agreed we had some really simple, basic goals to ensure this reading year was better than the last, and that we choose books that are better and better suited for us. In the end, all any reader wants is a satisfying reading life, and a few tweaks can make all the difference. With that said, we have some simple resolutions:

Michaela

  1. Read from my SHELVES- I’ve amassed a collection I’m really excited about, and need to just commit to actually reading them instead of getting side tracked by new releases. I reorganized the TBR shelf in my bedroom into rainbow order so that it looks fresh and appealing (is the rainbow trend dead yet? This is the first time I’ve tried it!), and I feel more compelled to draw from it. I really do love having a legitimate home library filled with books I’ve curated for myself, so it’s time to read some more of them!

  2. Quality above anything- I feel like 2018 was kind of a “meh” year for my reading life, and that needs to change in 2019. That means prioritizing quality reads and being better about discerning whether I’m interested in the BOOK or the CONVERSATION going on around the bookish internet when choosing what to read next. I also need to accept that fun, contemporary, fluffy reads just don’t tend to be my jam. They always look appealing, I almost always hate them, and I just need to accept I have to get my fluff elsewhere (looking at you, kdramas!). Quality for me is going to mean more of the classics and meatier reads that leave me feeling fulfilled, and I’m looking forward to it.

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Rikki

  1. Read the classics I know I’ll love - I am so eager to keep reading the classics that speak to me. The winds have changed directions toward a deeper prose that leaves me thinking a little more, that speaks to my soul, and provides a greater foundation and appreciation for the literature I want to carry with me. A lot of foreign novels and classics are what I’m after for the foreseeable future.

  2. READ FROM MY SHELVES!!! - Do you hear me, self?! I want to be intentional about reading what I have. Story of our readerly lives, right?! But really, my main bookshelf got a major facelift this year. So many books were purged and made way for so many brilliant and beautiful new-to-me books. It’s time I resist the urge to read everything at the library and maybe even buying, and focus on the good that I have for awhile.


Do you have any reading resolutions for the New Year??

Cheers to the Weekend 1.11.19
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Around the Web

Can you believe Pride and Prejudice is celebrating its 203rd anniversary?! If that’s a thing worth celebrating to you, here’s a list of retellings to commemorate the occasion.

I read and loved Fahrenheit 451 last year. So this is kind of the coolest, strangest thing!

Do you agree this is the best thing to do for your reading life?

Are you looking to up your photo game? These tips will help you get there!

Some of the most anticipated books of 2019. Are any of these on your list?! I see a few I’m anxious for.

Instagram

I love to see posts with equal parts talk of the book and discussions. Jordan has it down!

Anaïse has an interesting taste and style that I can’t help but be drawn to.

A lovely literary lifestyle feed full of color, good books, and good conversation.

What We’re Reading

Michaela- I’m reading like three books, and since two are pretty heavy, I needed a brain break and have been focused on The Hating Game, which is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: funny, fluffy, and pure escapist fantasy.

Rikki - Seabiscuit is a lovely story so far. I’m anxious to get into the meat of it and be fully immersed, like I know to expect from Hillenbrand. I’ve finally committed to Lolita as well, aside from the difficult story, the writing is insanely phenomenal. I’m also listening to Between Shades of Gray, and is a really good, but hard-to-hear historical fiction story.

Taking Better Bookstagram Photos

A new year brings about all sorts of motivation to improve ourselves, our lives, and the details that make up both. One of the things I find myself thinking about is the shift from holiday photos to winter and then to the much anticipated spring. I won’t lie, I’m ready to be outside again, but our beloved #bookstagram is still holding onto those cozy vibes. Thus, I’m stretching myself to find a mix of working with low light and cozy indoor vibes to document our reading lives.

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If you’re stuck inside because of the cold, rain, or snow, fear not friends, you aren’t alone. Unless you live in Australia, we’re all struggling to find inspiration and take beautiful photos to share. The days are indeed getting longer, but we still have some time before it’s a substantial difference. I have a few tips to help you through.

  1. Plan ahead - I cannot say this enough: plan ahead. What does that mean exactly, you ask? It means that if you want decent content to post without stressing or burning yourself out, plan a day during the week that you’ll be home when there’s ample sunlight. Taking a few varied bookish photos to get you through the week will help immensely.

  2. Find the light - There has to be at least one spot in your home that gets some decent light in the late morning or early afternoon. Whether it means scooting a chair over, bringing in a blanket, or setting up a little prop spot, use this area and plan to shoot in. Going out for coffee? Sit by the window and snap a few shots there too. And just because you take the photos now, doesn’t mean you have to post them right away.

  3. Change your angle - When you have a setup that you love, consider taking an extra shot or two from different angles. This gives you additional photo content to mix in throughout the week and add some consistent interest to your feed.

  4. Add variety - Even if you have to use the exact same spot, you can easily make a few small adjustments to keep it interesting for you. Add in a cup of coffee, a plant, change up your book choice, pose the book open and closed, add a blanket, get yourself in the frame. The options are endless. Also, if you’re working with window light, change your angle. If you subject is lit from the left side, move to the right, above, eye level, step in closer and move away.

  5. Keep your captions interesting - Ok, so this isn’t exactly a photo tip, but if you are planning ahead with your photos, you’ll need to ensure that your written content is just as interesting and diverse. Not only do you not want to post too similar of photos back-to-back, you also want to keep the conversation interesting. Think about your book AND your reading life, and mix both into your posts.

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Wrap Up | December 2018
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*some links are affiliate, and we deeply appreciate your support

Michaela

War and Peace | Leo Tolstoy - That’s right friends, I FINISHED! I’m still kind of unpacking the novel, but I finished War and Peace, and it was sincerely amazing. It deserves 5 stars for sheer scope alone, but the characters, the playing with micro/macro, the themes, just everything, all combined to make one seriously (giant) powerful read. I also learned arguably too much about 19th century warfare tactics and logistics. Truly though, this book is obviously very long, but it is actually beautifully, compulsively readable, and the characters, their choices, their romances, their lives are the heart and drive of the novel. Andrey was probably my favorite (I love me some angst!), but Pierre and Natasha and all the rest feel just as alive and interesting to me. I will say, if you’re considering reading this, it is WELL worth it to compare translations and choose one that works for you! If you don’t want to commit to the book yet, I highly recommend that you watch the 2016 mini series; it is so, so well done, and you will immediately see why this novel is such an enduring story. This was the most stand out reading experience of my year, and I’m so glad I took the time to read this novel. Anna Karenina (again, but in a different translation) next!

Spinning Silver | Naomi Novik- I honestly didn’t like this one as much as Uprooted. It felt a little messier, was a little harder to follow (some stuff wasn’t really explained??), and I wasn’t as attached to the characters. I did like having so many bad ass ladies running the show, and I thought it was a clever twist on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale. Novik’s writing is also just really enjoyable to read, and she builds atmosphere beautifully. So, still a solid read, but not going on my favorites list. Thanks so much to the publisher for gifting us a copy!


The Nutcracker | E.T.A. Hoffman + The Tale of the Nutcracker | Alexandre Dumas- If you pick this up, you’re in for Christmas magic, the feeling of being a child at this time of year, lush descriptions, and a tale that is a beloved classic. It does differ from the ballet a bit, and is a tad darker (most old fairy tales are), but I see echoes of Beauty and the Beast, of Narnia, and of Sleeping Beauty in this story. It’s a wonderful description of an old fashioned Christmas, a princess story, a battle between good and evil, and a magical trip through a Christmas wonderland packed into 60 short pages. In Dumas’ version, the narrator is telling a group of children the story of the Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, but he adds and embellishes a lot of details, so it’s actually a more lively story to read, while still being faithful to the original. All in all, an evening well spent reading by my Christmas tree, and the perfect story to get me to feel some of that holiday magic.

The Fir Tree” + “The Snow Queen” | Hans Christian Anderson- The Fir Tree was a quick little tale with a clear message that I loved, but was kind of sad. I really really loved The Snow Queen though, it has all the elements I most enjoy in fairytales: a quest, a witch, sassy characters, whimsical details (the flowers that tell their stories, omg) and of course, a happy ending. Such a solid fairytale, and one I really enjoyed.

Mrs. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf- Holy shit guys. After War and Peace, I was looking for quick reads, and while this is a slim little book, it is dense. So dense, so magically, beautifully brilliantly dense. I can’t even describe how much I loved this novel, and I’m shocked it took me so long to pick up Woolf. I can’t wait to read more from her, because I was completely blown away by this novel, and it’s going straight on to my all time favorites list. Hands down one of the best things I’ve read in the last couple years. It’s all the atmospheric nostalgia, and all the genius, and insight, and lyrical prose I could ever want.

The Age of Innocence | Edith Wharton- After Mrs. Dalloway I decided to stay with the same themes, but go with a different style. I picked up this one because it was another short classic on my shelf, and Wharton swept in and swept me off my feet. The Age of Innocence is truly magnificent, and if you like society novels, this is undoubtedly one of the best of the best. Crisp prose builds the glittering, atmospheric world of old New York and its strict society, which is cleverly and fully drawn. As a reader you can truly feel how suffocating and opulent it is, and Wharton’s tone manages to be lovingly satirical. Ultimately though, this is a bittersweet love story. Watching Newland and Ellen fall together and fall apart, is beautiful and excruciating, and you truly feel for them. Ugh and the ending was just. Dead on perfect. So many layers to this one, and just so, so well written and emotional.

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Rikki

A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara - What an incredibly heartbreaking and beautiful story! But like most people who loved this book have said, it’s really ALL ABOUT THE PROSE. Yanagihara knows she’s intelligent, witty, and writes accordingly, and I love that she does (you should watch her interviews if you haven’t already). I’m so anxious to read The People in the Trees, and am wishing on all the stars that she finds another story to write about! A Little Life was beautiful, heartbreaking, albeit a little melodramatic, but the characters were so alive—so real. Their names and stories keep replaying in my mind, I imagined scenes they were in and wondered what would happen next. It’s been hard to know their story has ended, and that’s all there is for them. There are many parts I marked that I want to revisit in time, because I can’t imagine not visiting Jude, Malcolm, Willem, and JB again.

Too Loud A Solitude | Bohumil Hrabal - I stumbled on this book from a fellow bookstagrammer, and I’m thrilled my library had a copy. This book is a gem, and one I’ll need to read again, because I’m not sure I got everything the first time. A beautifully, uniquely written story that is reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451, but also completely different. So good and thought-provoking.

Other People’s Love Affairs | D. Wystan Owen - A collection of intertwining short stories that was charming and wonderful to read. I really enjoyed it, but also found myself losing patience as this book kept getting pushed back due to buddy reads and book club. Overall though, I kept hoping for more from it. The stories were good and in decent prose on the surface, but I really did want more.

The Nutcracker | E.T.A. Hoffman - A worthwhile holiday read that is nothing like what you might expect, but that whisks you off into a fantasy land of good vs evil when your toys come to life. I really enjoyed reading this and bringing it to life with a dinner party.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas | Agatha Christie - What a fun novel to end the year with. I haven’t read an Agatha Christie book since Murder on the Orient Express last year, and before that, I can’t even tell you when, but it’s been ages. This is one of her older novels, and it’s witty, clever, and has the classic language I love. You can really tell a difference between some of her books and this one goes to the top of my favorite Agatha books.

What was the best book YOU read this month??

Cheers to the Weekend 12.21.18
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It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and ours will be filled with family gatherings, last minute errands, menu planning, welcoming family into our homes, and gift wrapping. Anyone else completely procrastinate on the wrapping thing? Santa has some work to do! We’re both anticipating the end of the year, choosing our last reads, tying up loose ends, and thinking about the year ahead. What are you guys up to this weekend?

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Around the Web

If you’re planning for the New Year, here are some great books on leadership to give you a boost. Let’s do this!

Some thoughts and tips on staying present through the busy and stressful parts of the holiday season.

A few feel good books to finish off the year with. I bet you can guess which one we’ve read!

I really love to scroll through the books people spent their year with. Rachel had an amazing reading year!

Should you watch the TV show of My Brilliant Friend? Have you, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

I am so here for these cinnamon roll cookies, I’m excited to try them this weekend with a cup of hot tea and a new book.

Get the most out of your reading life with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2019 Reading Challenge.

Instagram

I love a good bit of satire, history, and an overall great selection of books.

Taylor-Mary has a great lifestyle feed I want to cozy up in! Welcome to Bookstagram friend!

So good at capturing the season along with her books, and really, I am super envious of her beautiful porch!

What We're Reading

Michaela - I FINALLY FINISHED War and Peace, guys. Let’s all heave a sigh of relief. I was having a hard time starting anything new, so I decided to tackle my unfinished books. You know how it goes, you get halfway, something distracts you from it, and then it sits on your nightstand with the bookmark sticking out for a few months. So I’m currently finishing off Spinning Silver, which I really do enjoy, but with 60 pages left, I can tell you I still prefer Uprooted.

Rikki - I’m wrapping up reading The Nutcracker before moving onto my last holiday read, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot’s Christmas.

Cheers to the Weekend 12.14.18
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The holidays are in full swing for us this weekend, and we’re spending it with our families doing some of our favorite traditions. Trips to see Santa, light displays, family dinners, and more. We’re both hoping to sneak in more time to read, because it feels like December is flying past us and our TBR’s have barely been touched! What are you guys up to this weekend? Reading anything good?

Around the Web

Ambitiously declared the best holiday cookie ever. I guess we’ll be testing that theory!

Best non-fiction books of 2018. Have you read any of these?

A really great guide to strategically planning to get the most out of your reading life in 2019.

Selected by authors and poets, a 2018 book guide to take you into the new year.

Last minute bookish gift inspiration.

Looking back at our last summer dinner party to get us through until our Christmas one!

Did you also read and love any of these proclaimed “underrated” books this year?

Instagram

Classics to swoon over. I find myself looking through these types of feeds for inspiration.

A fellow reader and hiking lover, she was also recently on the What Should I Read Next podcast. You already know we’re fans!
Of course Nichole would have a gorgeous feed. We’ll be vicariously living through her for the foreseeable future!

What We're Reading

Michaela - So. Close. To. Finishing. War and Peace!

Rikki - Guys, I am nearly done with A Little Life, and after hitting a short period of not wanting to read on, I’ve come into a renewed sense of loving the story and am so excited. I think I’ll start on Stoner next, until I get my copy of The Nutcracker to read for our dinner party and buddy read this month.

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?!

Instagram

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!