book blog

An Anonymous Girl

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Last year I devoured The Wife Between Us, so when I saw that Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen were at it again with An Anonymous Girl, I immediately requested the book on Netgalley. This book has that gorgeous monotoned colored cover, with faces of women who could be anyone, and that really intrigued me. What was even more entrancing was the story.

Jessica needs money, she’s a make up artist by day, but she can barely cover her bills and her parents bills that she secretly pays each month, so when she overhears one of her clients talking about being part of a study about morality, Jessica decides to hi-jack that girls spot and get in to the study herself. I mean, what could go wrong, all she has to do is answer some silly questions anonymously and go home, right?

Of course it’s not that easy. Along with the typical morality questions, Jessica is set up in real life situations where she must go above and beyond her comfort zone, to the point of being in dangerous situations, all in the name of morality, or so she thinks. Then she meets the woman behind the study, who happens to have her own personal vendetta, and Jessica may be wrapped up in something she won’t be able to get out of alive.

Chances are if you read a lot of thrillers like I do, you’ll be able to predict this one, unlike The Wife Between Us, the twist didn’t catch me off guard, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story, and the writing was superb as usual. I cannot wait to see what these two come up with next. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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book blog

The Minimalist Home

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I have this whole idea that I want to be a minimalist. Is it actually going to happen? Probably not. Why? I have kids who have a million toys, a million clothes, and a million things that we just can’t seem to get rid of. I also have a ton of my own things. We have moved from a three bedroom home to a two bedroom apartment, so our belongings decreased by at least half, but my goal would be to decrease that by at least half as well. In order to prepare myself for this inevitable clearing out I read The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker.

Like the Konmari method, this book will teach you how to organize and declutter your home. Unlike the Konmari method, this book will teach you how to do this by going to each room, instead of categories. The idea behind Joshua’s minimalist movement is that if we have less stuff, then we have more time to enjoy our lives and our families. I totally get that, and I love that idea. Most of the time the stuff that we acquire is crap that we rarely even use. Things that take up space and time but have no relevant purpose in our lives.

You can refocus your life on the people in it, and the activities that you want to enjoy doing with those people, instead of cleaning up the possessions that we accumulate over the years. Decluttering can be hard, time consuming and stressful, but the fact of the matter is that decluttering your home can also declutter your mind.

With step by step instructions, Joshua helps you on your journey through the powerful art of minimalism. I’m still trying to finish minimizing our belongings, but it’s hard. It can be scary to get rid of your possessions, but I do know that having less can make you feel incredible. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, a perfect introduction to the world of minimalism.

book blog

Campaign Monitor

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I have been trying to figure out a way to create a newsletter for the blog, but I truthfully had no idea where to start, what to do, or how to keep things in order. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that anymore because I have discovered Campaign Monitor. This site makes it so easy to create, update, and sustain any type of campaign that you are looking to start.

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It’s honestly as easy as 1-2-3, first you start with an outline, here you can see that there are even holiday ones, and sale designs in the featured tab. Along the side there are several different tabs, and I clicked on Newsletters.

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I found this cute and simple one, so I decided to roll with it. I put my logo at the top, and all I really had to do after that was add my photos and descriptions. I can write whatever I want, this time I was going to write about what I’ve been up to this month, what books I’ve been reading, and talk about the library sale as well as the store closing sale that I ended up getting a TON of books at.

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Seeing, 1-2-3. I added my photos and captions, I can do practically anything I want. It’s so easy, it’s so fast and it’s fun!

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This was my favorite part. I am able to see what my newsletter is going to look like on a computer, as well as on a phone. There’s no second guessing on whether or not your newsletter is going to look good on either device.

After I created my campaign, which I lovingly titled Welcome to Comfy Reading (since this is my first endeavor into the world of newsletters, all I have to do is important new subscribers, such as the people in my email list, friends, family, and anyone else I want to bombard with all of my awesomeness, schedule the delivery-which can either send the newsletter as soon as you’re done, or send it later, once you click to schedule your delivery, you will be able to see reports of everyone who you emailed, this report is pretty detailed, it shows you who has opened your email, who has clicked the links provided, and so much more. Check it out:

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I am honestly so in love with this site, I can’t wait to share my newsletters with everyone. Sometimes it is hard for me to post every time that I read a book, now that I’m in school and have two kids, so this newsletter will help to bring us all together, I can share some really cool information that I may not be able to share in the blog, and we can have a more intimate relationship! If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, please shoot me your email!

book blog

Good Luck with That

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Emerson, Georgia and Marley grew up going to camp together, fat camp that is. After the death of Emerson, the two remaining girls are brought back together in Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins, and they want to fulfill Emerson’s wish of completing the list the girls wrote all of those summers ago.

The list of all of the things that the girls want to conquer when they become skinny, like being seen out in public with a boy, eating ice cream, all of the things that most of us take for granted. As Georgia and Marley go through the list, sometimes successfully, sometimes failing, they realize that Emerson didn’t just want them to complete the list, she wanted them to learn to love themselves despite not being where they want to be weight-wise.

I love how raw this book was, each of the girls had their flaws and the trials that they were individually fighting, but also the underlying theme that they wanted to lose weight. It’s important to remember that we are all worth something, and just because you may not be a size 2 doesn’t mean you are any less needed in this world. This book gives a good message to people who may be struggling in many different areas of their life.

The characters, though sometimes frustrating, were easy to relate to and that’s what I enjoyed most about this book. I felt like I knew the women in this book like my own friends after I was done reading it, it was really special. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

book blog

Start Without Me

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Being that I started this book around Thanksgiving, it was perfectly synced with the timeline of this book. Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman is the story of Adam, who is a recovering alcoholic, who is headed home for Thanksgiving, the home he hasn’t been to in years. Then there is Marissa, who is having marriage issues, the two meet and become bonded over their broken families and the holidays.

First of all, I love how much Adam is vulnerable in this novel, the fact that he goes back home after his family has seen him in his worst ways, and wants to show how he is doing better, but isn’t sure that he can live up to his families expectations is all of us, I’m pretty sure. The feelings of never being good enough hit me in my core, because that’s how it feels at my families holiday parties, when Adam opens up to Marissa, you can see how much he really cares about the people he has in his life.

Marissa, who has her own troubles, doesn’t allow those troubles to break her, the way she talks to Adam shows how strong she is, and how we all need to be a little bit more like her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was great that I got to read this while simultaneously getting ready for my families Thanksgiving holiday, which wasn’t as bad as Adam’s may have been, the characters in this book are rich with life, and the dialogue will make you think, which is always a good thing. I have never read this author before, but this book really makes me want to see what else he has out there. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Perfect for the holiday season, pick it up!