#MotivationMonday

motivation monday

I’ve come so far!

The picture on the left is me just out of college. I was unemployed, overweight, and struggling with my blood sugar. With all the stress of trying to find a job I never took the time for myself.

The picture on the right is me today! In the last year I’ve really started to prioritize and to make time for me. I’m down 5 books from my tbr, and only have 15 books to meet my yearly reading goal! Since I started reading I’m happier, healthier, and more confident than ever before. I am absolutely my best self! When you put in the work, amazing things are possible.

 


***Disclaimer***
This post originally appeared on my Instagram about a month ago, but I find it too silly not to share. It took so long because I had other, more interesting posts lined up. I’ve finally postponed it enough times to make it a BONUS POST, lol. Sorry if you’re seeing it twice. 🙂

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PBS Made Me Read It

AAAAAAAAAAAND FOR THE THIRD TIME IN EIGHT DAYS…

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PBS recently launched a show called The Great American Read. I’ve already gone into absurd amounts of details in other posts, so I’ll spare the repeat visitors, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here. Okay, that’s done.

Anywho, one of the major pluses of actually watching the show instead of just reading the list was that people were talking about why they loved a book. And clearly I’m a sucker for people telling me they loved a book. I’m a book blogger. So there’s now a kajillion books that I like, HAVE to read, that I can’t believe I’ve never read before, and that I’m hitting myself trying to figure out when I’m going to squeeze them in.

New to My TBR

Things Fall Apart
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I just don’t think I had any idea what this book was about. I’ll be honest, I thought it was by Ernest Hemingway, who I can’t stand, so I have no one to blame but myself. They read aloud a short passage, and it sounded so touching and heartbreaking and amazing. Continue reading

My Summer Reading List

IT’S SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!

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Being a teacher is rough, but I have to admit, summer vacation is an awesome perk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably going to be doing a lot of work this summer lesson planning and stuff, and I’m taking care of my sweet baby too, but it’s definitely going to be better than getting up early and going to work every day.

My plans for this summer include:

  • Reading
  • Getting back into excercising
  • Reading
  • Zoo trips on Mondays
  • Reading
  • Possible beach trip
  • Did I say reading?

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Last summer I probably read about twenty books. And while I think I’ve got a little more on my plate this summer and won’t quite be able to manage that, I’m really looking forward to what I have coming up. Continue reading

Why I Almost Never DNF a Book

I’ve only quit before finishing three books in my adult life.

The first was Gulliver’s Travels. I realized about halfway through that not only was I not enjoying it, I had no idea what was going on. It’s a satire, and I didn’t have a historical context for it, so I was lost. Tossed it aside and didn’t look back.

The second was A Tale of Two Cities. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Dickens, but this book sounded so intriguing that I picked it up anyway. Again, I got halfway through and realized I didn’t have a clue what I was going on, or even who the characters were. This was after like, a month, by the way. I put it down intending to finish it later, but never came back to it. Maybe in my retirement or something.

The last was Anna Karenina. After reading 50 pages of Russian agriculture and never even meeting Anna yet, I decided 800 pages was not worth it. I watched the movie instead.

And that’s it. Only three. I almost never give up on a book. I’ll read it to the end even if I’m not really enjoying it very much. Why? Continue reading

The Great American Read Recap

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Last night PBS launched a new mini-series called The Great American Read. They have compiled a list of the 100 most popular books in America, and over the course of the summer have asked viewers to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned Americas Favorite Book. The 2-hour launch was last night, and they touched on all 100 books. They featured some books over others, interviewing celebrities and authors about their favorite books.

Here are some of the books they featured:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Harry Potter
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Color Purple
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Dune
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Invisible Man
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Tales of the City
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby

I loved listening to people talk about why they love a book and how it impacted their lives, sometimes in huge ways. Because of the show I’ve added several books to my tbr, and I’m itching to re-read a few that I might not have completely understood in my younger years! Continue reading

The Great American Read

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This week I stumbled on an ad for a new show: The Great American Read on PBS. It airs this week on Tuesday, and I’m so excited! They’ve picked 100 favorite books, and assembled a bunch of mini-documentaries about the books, why we love books, and how authors write books. Then we get to vote to choose America’s favorite book! YAY!

Based on the preview, the list looks like it has a lot of variety, from classics to very new, YA, kids, adult, science fiction, fantasy, a little bit of everything. I’m really looking forward to whatever the show has to tell us about these books, listening to favorite authors talk about their favorites, and (of course) casting my own vote!

Here. Watch the preview.

Continue reading

Must-Haves for a 5-Star Book

It’s a rare thing, that 5-Star book. They only come around a couple of times a year, if we’re lucky. I know I’ve had years where I didn’t read any. So what makes those books so special? Is it a certain je ne sais quoi, or can you define it?

For me, personally, it’s a little of both. My favorite books, for the most part, have very little in common with each other. They’re from a variety of genres in different styles. A lot of times if you asked me what made them so special I would be at a loss for words. They just … are. But there are definitely some characteristics that a book must have in order for me to love it that much.

Note that this is my list, not a universal one.


Must-Haves

Outstanding Writing

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I’m discovering that I’m a bit of a literature snob. High-quality writing is important to me. That’s not to say I can’t enjoy a book with flaws, but if I’m in any way distracted by the writing style I probably won’t give it 5 stars. Continue reading