What I've Been Reading

My book list is much shorter this month - I didn't read as crazy many books as I have been because I started work a few weeks ago. I picked my books for my book challenge by Erin, and have started reading one of them so far. I'm excited for all of the books on the list and have also read a few good books, lately.



The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti - 4 stars

I loved the flashbacks to Samuel Hawley's life leading us up to his current life with his daughter. I almost wished the whole book had been about that, but I understand why both view points were there. I raced through those parts and slowed down during his daughter's story.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - 4 stars

Rainbow Rowell is an author I've had my ups and downs with. I loved Attachments but didn't enjoy Fangirl nearly as much. This one was right under Attachments for me. It took some time to grow on me, but the characters were endearing, especially Eleanor. I was expecting a fluffier story - I'm glad it actually had a little harder edge.

Boston Girl by Anita Diamant - 3.5 stars

This story was easy and enjoyable although it meandered a bit. I'm not sure I will pick up other books by this author because it didn't leave a strong lasting impression. I enjoyed the school bits in the beginning because I love a school setting and after that it wandered.


Currently Reading:

Have you read any of these books? I'm linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been reading. If you haven't done so already, you can always find me on Goodreads here.

Currently... July

I haven't checked in here all that often - I've been doing my best and keeping up with books, if nothing else! Every day I think it will be less crazy when Ellie hits whatever milestone, but every day remains crazy. Things are awesome and I wanted to update; I haven't been purposely hiding but sometimes during any downtime I get, I want to zone out and read or play on my phone.

I am constantly reading posts from my birth group on Facebook, because it's easy to pick up my phone every now and then rather than settle down for a long time. I highly recommend finding one if you have a baby - I ask a ton of dumb questions I don't feel bad for asking because we are all in the same place, as far as baby age goes. I found my group via Reddit.

I'm still pumping 2x a day, which is way less than I was before - I am ready to kick the breast pump out of the house. It's a gradual process, though. Can't wait to be done with it! Ellie has already weaned from nursing, on her own through teething and she does better with bottles. Finding time to pump with a baby who is constantly crawling around is not easy.

Life update-wise, we have been living with my mom in SC for a while and it's helped us out a ton after moving from Delaware. Ellie has so much more space and it gives us time to find our own place.

Ellie turns 9 months old tomorrow! She's getting so tall; we think she might be around 28 inches from our measurements but we will find out at her doc appointment tomorrow.


We have been job searching for a while, and I found a job a few weeks ago and Greg recently also found a job, which he will start next month. Moving to a new state and job searching is no fun so I couldn't wait to be done with it. My job is literally a mile or two away, which is fantastic. I feel like I'm living in Mayberry, sometimes, but it's a good thing. We are in a really small town and we are getting used to everything being 20-30 minutes away in SC. My hours also give me Friday's off, which is perfect to have some flexibility and extra time with Ellie.

The pics above are my desktop background at work - I love having her face smiling at me.

We played twinsies the other day and we put my shirt on her. Then she came at me like a baby velociraptor.

We took her out for her first storytime yesterday and she did great. She was totally wary of everyone the first 20 minutes but crawled out and explored for the last 10 minutes.

She was still pretty "WTF" about the whole thing.

She makes this squinchy face and breathes through her nose loudly ALL the time. It's her favorite expression. Also, look at all those teeth! She has six, now.

I'm pretty sure she'll be standing on her own soon. She can do it for stretches of a few seconds right now and she can stand up holding onto something with no problem.

Greg's also being an awesome SAHD right now, until he starts work and Ellie starts daycare next month. I'm reallllly nervous about it because she's wary of strangers and generally doesn't like being around a lot of people, but hopefully she will adjust.

Today, Greg and I went out to Chipotle while my mom watched her for the first time since we moved here. Ellie did great! She didn't want to eat much but I think she'll get used to being watched by my mom.

This picture cracks me up.. she's got such a goofy, happy grin in it.

That turned out to be mostly baby updates but that's what my life is right now. We take her out shopping with us, she eats out with us sometimes and sits in a high chair and is generally pretty cool about things besides wanting to wake up at 5 am every single morning and not quite sleeping through the night.

Work is good so far - I wish I had full time hours sometimes for the pay but not really because I'm home more with Ellie, and Greg is going to be working long shifts, so a few less hours will stress me out less with me taking care of her a large portion of the time.

It's buckets of hot outside every day and wickedly humid. Welcome back to the South, I guess! I know lots of you are in the South, as well, so you already know what the summers are like.

Hope you're having a great summer and staying as cool as possible!

Book Challenge by Erin 7.0

I've been wanting to join Erin's book challenge for a while, and am really excited to catch it this time. I love this challenge because it makes me pick some books that are not my usual genre. I have less time to read now that I'm back at work, but the challenge is pretty relaxed and I'm going to do my best. 


Rules:

·     First and foremost, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.


·     The challenge will run from JULY 1, 2017 to OCTOBER 31, 2017. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count.  (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)


·     Each book must be at least 200 pages long.   Audio books are fine too.


·     A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the book you originally chose, no worries. 

·      You can read your books in any order you choose.

·      Rereads can be used only once.  If a book you love fits into a category, go ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety.  But, only do this once for the challenge.

·     There will be a photo album for each category with links to books chosen.  Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them.  A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation…other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice.  (if you need help with this, let me know…or there is a file attached to our group explaining what to do.)

·     There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points.   That’s 10 books in four months.  For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy.  It’s all for fun, remember!

·      Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation. 

·     After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible).  If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other.  (Late entries will still be accepted.)

·     The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. The following will get a small prize from me (1st to complete 1st round; 1st to complete both rounds; most points accumulated; and WILD CARD random draw – all who finish the 10 book challenge will qualify as an entry)!  Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!

·    Lastly, have fun.  Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.  Wait, I’ve read that somewhere before…Good luck!

My picks:

· 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I've heard so many good things about this one and can't wait to read it.

· 10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Same here - I've heard lots of good things and I am excited to get into it. I haven't read anything from this author before and have several of his books on my TBR list.

· 10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover
Slade House by David Mitchell
I haven't read a ghost story in a long time so this is unusual for me. I'm excited/scared.

· 15 points: Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
I admit half the reason I want to read this one is because the author has an amazing name, but the story sounds fascinating, as well.

· 20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I love books with a little bit of fairy tale and mythology in them.

· 20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title
East by Edith Pattou
This sounds very similar to Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, which I really enjoyed. I guess I love stories about anthropomorphic polar bears.

· 25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books in America: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_most_commonly_challenged…
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
I've never read a Chuck Palahnuik book so this will be different for me. I'm a fan of the movie, but not sure if I'll like Palahnuik's writing.

· 30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
I loved this movie and I hope I love the book as much or more.

· 30 points: Read a book with a non-human main character; i.e. animals, elves, gods, robots, merpeople, etc..
Watership Down by Richard Adams
I read this when I was a teenager and it was one of my favorite books. It's a reread for me but it's been so long, I barely remember what happens.

· 35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
I wanted to reread Cinder since I wasn't a huge fan for the first time and thought I'd give it another try, but I'm already doing one reread for the challenge, so I'm trying something new. It was hard to find a Disney-related book over 200 pages. I love Beauty and the Beast, which is why this ended up being my pick. Let's see how it goes.

I'm excited for this challenge and need to start gathering my books once we're closer to July. Are you thinking of joining Erin's challenge?