Bookish News, Fiction, Poetry, Reviews

Stranger Things Adapted For Fiction and Other Bookish News

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Enjoying this new series? I’ll be back next week with the latest rumblings in the literary world!

* Love the Netflix show Stranger Things? There’s a few books based on the hit show headed your way this fall. Check it out here.

* NPR reported that in the last half a decade, the number of U.S. adults who are reading poetry has nearly doubled. This doesn’t surprise me as my Featured Poems posts are usually well received! Read their report here.

* Check out these new releases by Simon Teen that are slated for release in Spring 2019.

* Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of their 10 best books of 2018.

* Buzzfeed created a list of 27 YA books to read beside the pool this summer.

Reading Spaces

Reading Spaces: Reading Nook

I love when I stumble across one of these pictures where someone has lovingly carved out a hidey-hole book nook. These spaces have little to no other function other than to serve as a comfortable retreat from the world where one can get lost exploring other worlds.

All images via Houzz

Reading Spaces, Uncategorized

Reading Spaces: Classic Libraries

Is there anything better than stepping into a traditional home library? You know the type. Lots of dark wood, persian rugs, antique furniture, and wall-to-wall books. Since it’s pouring rain while I’m writing this, this week’s reading spaces is dedicated to the perfect place to curl up with a good book on a dark and stormy night. Rolling ladder and bottle of brandy not included.

All images via Houzz

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Reading Spaces, Uncategorized

Reading Spaces: Unusual Bookshelves

For the longest time, I’ve always described my personal decorating style as beachy glam. Lots of white, blues, and greys with seaside and metallic accents. Recently though I realized that there’s such a thing called Transitional style and that pretty much describes my decor as well. Houzz has a nice definition of Transitional style here. Because of my style preferences, I’m a big fan of white furniture and of course, white bookshelves. I also love simple furniture with lots of straight lines. But for the person whose style is a little more edgy and modern, I’ve put together a few ideas for unusual book storage solutions. Some of these bookshelves look like modern art!

All images via Houzz

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Reading Spaces, Uncategorized

Reading Spaces: Summer Lounging

Summer will be here before we know it and I’m already dreaming of whiling away lazy summer days with a good book. Truth be told, I burn easily so there isn’t a lot of difference between reading during the summer and reading during any other time of year. But that doesn’t stop me from fantasizing about basking in the sun, preferably on one of these comfy porch swings!

All images via Houzz

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Reading Spaces, Uncategorized

Reading Spaces: Children’s Room

One of my very good friends is having her first baby this summer. And that’s got me thinking a lot about how raising child is so different than when we grew up. 1995 is roughly considered to be the year the internet really became a thing for the average consumer in America. I was five years old at the time. We didn’t get an internet-connected computer until I was eight. I grew up part of the last group of children that really didn’t have an internet-connected computer at home during their formative years. The last group where playtime meant books and toys and going outside. Yes, we had a tv. But it’s not like it is now, where families have multiple tvs, computers, tablets, and smartphones in the home and on their person. A recent NPR interview with Adam Alter, the author of Irresistible, a new book about how technology is designed to be addicting, featured a section on usage guidelines for parents of young children. You can listen to that interview here.

I always give at least one book as part of my baby gift. I think it’s important for babies to be read to and for the love of reading to start early so then when they learn how to read, they continue picking up books and reading on their own. It’s no accident that readers are leaders. Where this very long train of thought has lead me to is these lovely baby and children’s rooms and playrooms that use books almost as a form of art. Children’s books are often colorful and beautiful, so why not display them? I love the way the books are displayed in these photos, turning the child’s space into a reading space where books are all around. Children are little sponges who pick up many ideas about what’s valuable in the world from their parents. Having books and dedicated spots for a child to read teach the child that reading is a valuable activity and fosters a love of books.

All images via Houzz

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Reading Spaces, Uncategorized

Reading Spaces: A Towering Pile of Books

I was sick recently and how I passed one of the days consisted of rearranging my bookshelves and creating my TBR stack. I posted a picture of it on Instagram here, but the pile is about 3 feet tall. It’s definitely become a problem in the last year or so that I have more books than fit on my bookshelf. This was the result both of loosening up on my ban against buying books and actually reading some of the books on my shelf which were the start of a series which read to me buying the rest of the series and then loving it so I kept them all. Anyway. I am very particular about how I like the house to be. A towering stack of books with no home does not fit that vision. But. While browsing Houzz looking at images of reading spaces, I found quite a few pictures where the stack of books just worked and even added something to the space. And, the advantage of a stack of books is that any space automatically becomes a reading space. Just hopefully you don’t decide you want to read the book at the bottom of the pile.

All images via Houzz

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Non-Fiction, Personal Development, Self-Help, Uncategorized

Getting to Yes

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict. Thoroughly updated and revised, it offers readers a straight- forward, universally applicable method for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting angry-or getting taken.

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I thought I was a pretty good negotiator. Good, not great. But sufficient. Until I read this book. Boy, do I have a lot to work on!

I feel like Getting to Yes will be a book I come back to many times. I found myself reading a section and then stopping and rereading it because the concepts felt so foreign I had to take extra time to process them.

The major premise of this book is that the way most people negotiate is flawed. Most of us negotiate in one of two ways: by driving an overly hard bargain to get as much as you can from the other person for the sake of “winning” or negotiating too complacently. The book calls this time of negotiating “positional bargaining”.

Getting to Yes posits that there’s a third way to negotiate that people can learn and use to find outcomes that leave both parties feeling mutually satisfied. No particular name is given to this type of negotiation, but it has four main components:

  1. Separate the People From the Problem
  2. Focus on Interests, Not Positions
  3. Invent Options For Mutual Gain
  4. Insist on Using Objective Criteria

This book was pretty eye-opening to me and it made me think of the negotiation styles of people I know well and people in power and it did made me realize that the best negotiators I could think of were using the tactics in Getting to Yes.

This isn’t a very long book, but it’s definitely a must-read even if you’re not in a sales or negotiation profession. The tips in here are applicable to all kinds of problems.

 

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reviews, Uncategorized, Year in Review

2016: The Year of the Good Book

2016 IN REVIEW:

2016 was a lot of things to a lot of people, but one thing it was to me personally was The Year of the Good Book. I may have had whiplash from the terrible things, bad news, and even worse luck that rained down on us this year, but at least I had many wonderful books for comfort!

HOW MANY BOOKS READ IN 2016?

– 75 books

FICTION/NON-FICTION?

–   52 Fiction /    24 Non-Fiction

MALE/FEMALE AUTHORS?

–     35 Male /   23 Female

OLDEST BOOK READ?

-The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

NEWEST BOOK READ?

The Honor Was Mine by Elizabeth Heaney

LONGEST BOOK READ?

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

SHORTEST BOOK READ?

The Heart of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

ANY IN TRANSLATION?

In Praise of Darkness by Jose Luis Borges

BEST BOOK READ IN 2016?

This was so hard for me to do in The Year of the Good Book so I’m cheating a little on this answer:

Best Stand-Alone book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Best Trilogy: Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

Best Series Longer Than 3 Books: The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

MOST DISAPPOINTING BOOK IN 2016?

Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand-Ugh

MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN BOOK IN 2016?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

MOST SURPRISING (IN A GOOD WAY!) BOOK OF 2016?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I had no idea what kind of book I was signing up for, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

MOST THRILLING, UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK IN 2016?

Red Queen, Red Rising, The Girl on the Train, Library of Souls, Shatter Me, The Dark Tower series

BOOK THAT HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON ME IN 2016?

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

BOOK THAT HAD A SCENE IN IT THAT HAD ME REELING?

Every book in The Dark Tower series, Red Queen, Morning StarCity of Mirrors

BOOK I MOST ANTICIPATED IN 2016?

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin and The Last Star by Rick Yancey

MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTER IN 2016?

All the main characters from The Dark Tower series: Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jake, and Oy

HOW MANY RE-READS IN 2016?

One, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

BOOK I READ IN 2016 I’D BE MOST LIKELY TO REREAD IN 2017?

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – King’s Cage comes out in 2017!

BOOK I RECOMMENDED TO PEOPLE MOST IN 2016?

The Success Principles, The 5th Wave, All the Light We Cannot See, The Martian, Red Rising, Red Queen, The Passage, The Dark Tower

FAVORITE NEW AUTHORS I DISCOVERED IN 2016?

Pierce Brown, Victoria Aveyard, Leigh Bardugo, Stephen King

MOST BOOKS READ BY ONE AUTHOR THIS YEAR?

Stephen King, with 8

FAVORITE COVER OF A BOOK I READ IN 2016?

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Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

FAVORITE PASSAGE/QUOTE FROM A BOOK I READ IN 2016?

“There’s nothing fated in our stars. No meant-to-be in any of it. We are accidental people occupying an accidental planet in an accidental universe. And that’s okay. These seven billion billion atoms are good with that.”-Rick Yancey, The Last Star

“The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high… but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower

“All his life he had wanted to be known by just one person. That’s what love was, he decided. Love was being known.”-Justin Cronin, The City of Mirrors

“Justice isn’t about fixing the past, it’s about fixing the future. We’re not fighting for the dead. We’re fighting for the living. And for those who aren’t yet born.”-Pierce Brown, Morning Star

“Survival is insufficient.”-Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

DID I COMPLETE ANY READING CHALLENGES OR GOALS IN 2016?

Yes! I read 75 books, up from my original goal of 50 books for 2016.

BOOK I CAN’T BELIEVE I WAITED UNTIL 2016 TO FINALLY READ?

Many-Red Queen, Red Rising, Station Eleven, The Girl on the Train, Six of Crows, The Dark Tower series

Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Uncategorized

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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I have a weird OCD habit where I have to mark off where halfway is in the book I’m reading. I really don’t know why I’m so compelled. It usually doesn’t create an issue, except in this case where it revealed the fate of a character. And knowing the fate of that character without any context made me suspect all along that they were the one responsible for Megan’s disappearance. And sadly I was right. So most people talk about the big twist in this book, but for me, it wasn’t really a twist because I was already suspecting that.

Still, this was a great book. I read so much and so often that it really takes a lot for me to have that craving to finish a book. Because 99% of the time I read every night before bed even if it’s just a few pages. So since I know when I get to read the book next, the intervening time doesn’t bother me so much. But with this one it did. When I got to the middle of the book, I was irritated that I had to go to bed because I had work the next day. And then all day long I couldn’t wait to get home and read the rest of the book.

The concept of this thriller was unique in my opinion…Rachel, the narrator, riding the train back and forth to London and observing the people who live in this house. Until one day she sees something bad.

Rachel was a character I wanted to reach into the book and shake. An alcoholic and a person who has trouble leaving things alone, I constantly wanted to yell at her for being stupid. But she didn’t bother me all that much.

I liked that there were actually three narrators for this novel and all of them were women: Rachel, Megan, and Anna. And the three narratives work together to cast suspicion, remove suspicion, cast suspicion, and ultimately reveal the true suspect at the center of the investigation.

I’m planning to see the movie soon. I think Emily Blunt is a good choice for Rachel. Emily is pretty, but in a sort of unconventional way and she has a mournful face that is a good choice to play an alcoholic. I’m not familiar with the other actors and actresses, but am looking forward to seeing how this book was translated to film.

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