Kindle Book Deals! | 12.28.19 {Gen The Bookworm Book Recommendations}

Kindle Books

Kindle Book Deals Extravaganza!

This time of the year, there are always SO many Kindle Book Deals that it is hard to keep up! I love sharing these because what is better than a book deal that is (way) less than a cup of coffee?! I definitely don’t need any more kindle books, but that doesn’t stop me from stocking up!

Kindle Book Deals 12.28.19

Kindle Book

The Dry by Jane Harper

Have you read any books by Jane Harper? I love her writing style so much. The detailed suspense is perfect for someone like me who wants to love thrillers but always is left wishing for more!

Kindle Deal

When All Is Said by Ann Griffin

When All is Said is on my own TBR list, and I have heard great things!

book of the month club

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Dominicana was one of my favorite Book of the Month Club 2019 selections! This book was heartbreakingly beautiful and also inspiring. You can read my full review of Domincana HERE.

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

If you haven’t seen this book all over #bookstagram this past year you must have been hiding under a rock! This contemporary romance is steamy and fun while also having some important and timely elements of politics, race, gender, and sexuality.

domestic thriller

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

I love Sally Hepworth’s writing so much. Her ability to write about family life is spot on and this was a super engrossing read.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

 

What’s On Your Nightstand? | Reading List & Book Recommendations {Tancy from @beyondbooked}

Guest Post

The In-Between

Hello! I hope you are enjoying this time between Christmas and the New Year. This week of the year always throws me off because the kids are home from school but Lucas is quite busy at work during this time of year, so he doesn’t have a lot of time off.

So while it is festive, it is also kind of like normal…except we have none of our regular routines or activities scheduled! We tend to thrive off of this stuff, so each day is kind of a mixed bag. 😉

Holiday Breaks Expectations vs. Reality

I always have these dreamy ideas of what school breaks will be like, and then I am snapped back into reality. While we do have fun, I still spend a large percentage of my life refereeing between our boys and answering the question “can I have something to eat?!” while I am currently cleaning up from the food we just made…

While I haven’t had as much time to devote to this space during the last two weeks, I am trying to stay consistent with my guest posts, and today I am excited to introduce you to my book friend, Tancy!

Meet Tancy & Beyond Booked Book Sleeves!

Tancy is not only one of my Bookstagram reading buddies, but she also makes my most favorite book sleeves ever! You can visit her Etsy shop, Beyond Booked, HERE.

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If you haven’t heard of a book sleeve before, they are fabric pouches that protect your books so you can bring them with you wherever you go! Tancy has the most gorgeous fabric choices and is just so wonderful to work with.

Book sleeve

In addition to loving her book sleeves, I love reading her thoughts and reviews of the books she is reading. She is always so thoughtful with her feedback and she always inspires me to add new book selections to my TBR pile! I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Tancy today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

My name is Tancy Campbell and I currently live in San Diego California. I am a native of North Carolina but as a military spouse, I tend to move around frequently. My husband is a Master Chief in the US NAVY. He has served for just over 18 years and has plans to do 6 to 7 more. We also have two children, Kennedy 9 and Dallas 4. We have one 15-year-old Maltese who is about 5 pounds but has an attitude of a 70-pound dog.

I am a stay at home mom that loves to read, run, sew, and help others with their finances. I am in the process of turning my hobbies into businesses. I have an Etsy shop where I create stylish book sleeves for readers on the go. In addition to that, I am in the process of becoming a certified financial coach.

What Kind of Reader Are You and Favorite Book Genres

I’ve always enjoyed reading as a kid. I remember sitting my dolls in front of me while I read to them. I was a very bored kid but I could count on books to entertain me endlessly. Once I went to high school and college, academia sort of sucked the fun out of reading, so for about 8 years I read just to get by.

Once I graduated I began picking up books here and there but it wasn’t until I found the Bookstagram community in 2018 that the desire to read was fully reignited. This was a learning time for me, as I didn’t even know what I was interested in anymore. The more I read the more I found myself attracted to certain genres. I enjoy dystopian, WWII Fiction and Non-Fiction, and African American lit.

What Time of Day do you do Most of Your Reading?

I read whenever I find the time. This maybe while for my daughter to get off the bus or whenever my son is in swim, or maybe I’ll get a couple of pages in while waiting in line somewhere. I tend to keep a book with me because you never know when you will have downtime. I plan to get in the habit of setting aside read time maybe every morning or every night.

I genuinely look forward to reading all the books. It’s such a nerdy thing to say but I get overwhelmed just thinking about all the books there are vs the time available to read them.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

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I am currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, and like most reviews will probably mention its fantastic. My favorite book this year is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It guides you on how to successfully create good habits and break bad ones.

Another favorite of mine this year was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I was very surprised to have liked this book, let alone LOVE it. I completely judged the book by the title thinking it was based on romance but after several recommendations from the Bookstagram community, I read it and LOVED it.

What Are You Listening To?

My podcast list is long and mainly in the area of personal finance and business. I’m currently listening to…

The Business Boutique

Choose FI

The Minimalists

Redefining Wealth

The Entrepreneur Lifestyle

audible book

I’m also planning to listen to The Simple Path to Wealth very soon.

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

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Currently, on my nightstand, I have 4 unfinished books and 2 books I would like to start soon. By having them on my night table I can see them and be reminded that I need to finish what I started.

I also keep a small jewelry box there, one I received from my children a couple of Christmas’s ago. Then, of course, night light and my phone charger. I’ll sometimes bring water up to hydrate before bed. Other things that can occasionally end up on the side table are my planner and pen so that I can jot notes for the next day.


Thank you so much for sharing today, Tancy! I have Atomic Habits on my bookshelf and you have made me want to read it ASAP.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Kindle Book Deals & Kindle Resources | 12.26.19 {Gen The Bookworm Book Recommendations}

eBook deals

Checking In:

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you have some time to kick back and relax now. We hosted Christmas Eve and Christmas so there wasn’t a lot of reading time around here but I am hoping to have a low key day today. Lucas is back at work and the kids are excited about their new gifts and are having one of their buddies over, so I am hoping the stars align for some lazy daytime reading on the couch.

A New Kindle:

kindle book deals

Kindle Basics, The Libby App & Finding Kindle Deals

Did any of you get a new Kindle reader for the holidays? If you did, you should check out my post about all things Kindle Reading…including utilizing the Libby App which allows you access to thousands of books for FREE, all with just your library card! I have the Kindle Paperwhite but a lot of this is applicable whether you have that or just the regular Kindle.

More about Kindle Deals

While I love reading through Libby, I also love building up my “Kindle Bookshelf” so I always have something that I read I am excited about…without worrying about holds and return timeframes.

Kindle Book Deals

Today there are some great Kindle Book Deals, including some that are the perfect easy holiday reading, a few from my 2019 favorites list and some that are on my own TBR list.  Enjoy!!

ebook deals

Today’s Kindle Book Deals:

Parkland book

Parkland by Dave Cullen 

Parkland is on my own TBR list and I have heard amazing things about it. I read Columbine, also by Dave Cullen a few years ago and it is one I will never forget. If you are looking for a powerful and thought-provoking read, this is a great option.

Jen Sincero

You are a Badass by  Jen Sincero

If you are looking for a book to start off 2020 with a more proactive mindset, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is the book to read. While her writing style might not be for everyone, some of the topics in this book are seriously life-changing. Jen Sincero is unapologetic about setting and reaching your goals using growth and abundance mindsets. I cannot tell you how much the ideas in this book have helped me in both personal and professional settings.

The only part I really disagree with is the idea that you can just “choose to just feel better when you are feeling down.”  NO. Depression, anxiety, and any other mental health issues are very real, and NOT something you can just think away with good thoughts and getting help is always okay.

I feel like this is important to share because this book was so empowering for me in SO many ways, but this part is troubling to me. So this book is a 5-star read for me with that one BIG caveat!

Colleen Hoover

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

I know it is probably hard to believe but Regretting You was my first Colleen Hoover book EVER!! Her books have been recommended to me for years but I just didn’t know where to start. When I saw an advanced copy of Regretting You on NetGalley I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. I was immediately drawn into the storyline and found it to be a totally engrossing read.

I was pleasantly surprised that Hoover took on some deeper and thought-provoking topics. My favorite part of this book was how it dealt with grief and loss and I loved seeing this from multiple perspectives. There is a YA romance that was enjoyable enough but also a little predictable but the other parts really shined through this for me.

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The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

“Every society says its outsiders are the problem. But the outsiders are not the problem; the urge to create outsiders is the problem. Overcoming that urge is our greatest challenge and our greatest promise. It will take courage and insight, because the people we push to the margins are the ones who trigger in us the feelings we’re afraid of.” 

Through stories from her own life and women around the world, Melinda Gates shares an inspiring book that is also a call to action for everyone. Highly recommend!

Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

Parenting is hard and sometimes you just need to laugh. Humor can get you through so much and Gelman’s writing style is relatable and witty. You’ve Been Volunteered is the follow-up book to her first novel, Class Mom.

Gelman succeeds at makes light of things that most any parent with school-aged children can relate to. enjoyed that while the book was humorous she was able to address so many very real issues that parents deal with. If you have, or ever have had kids in school, you will love this one!

Camille Pagan

I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan

I’m Fine and Neither Are You takes on some heavy topics including substance abuse, loss, family dynamics, infidelity, the struggles of long term relationships and finding your voice, all while being a completely engaging read. Camille Pagan is one of my favorite authors and I love how readable her writing always is. You can read my full review HERE.

Lea Geller

Trophy Life by Lea Geller

Trophy Life is a fun and entertaining read that had a lot more depth than I initially expected. I was thinking that Agnes might be vapid or unrelatable but she was anything but. This book covered motherhood, friendship, disappointment, self-discovery and finding your own path in life. You can read my full review HERE.

Etaf Rum

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

This story follows three generations of Palestinian women who live in Brooklyn and their struggle to break the mold that generations prior have set before them. We are lucky to live in a country where it’s easy for us to advocate and vocalize opinions but it is easy to forget how many people still live in oppression.

A Woman is No Man is heartbreaking and Rum’s writing gives a voice to the many women who are still struggling to find their own. This was an eye-opening read for me and it also was a powerful reminder of how hard it can be to break the cycles that have been set in families and communities for generations. You can read my full review HERE.

Winter in Paradise

Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand 

Winter in Paradise is the first book in Elin Hilderbrand’s Paradise Series that is set in St. John USVI. After enjoying the Winter Street Series so much, I was so excited to have a new one to binge on.

Elin Hilderbrand Paradise Trilogy

Book number two, What Happens in Paradise, came out this past October and I can’t wait for the final installment, Troubles in Paradise, in the fall of 2020!

Hello Sunshine Book Club Selection

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo 

The Night Tiger is on my own TBR list so I was excited to see this one as a Kindle Book Deal! I have heard great things and I am always intrigued by the books that are chosen by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. & Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.| Ballantine Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

parenting book

The Power of Showing Up 

Book Summary:

One of the very best scientific predictors for how any child turns out—in terms of happiness, academic success, leadership skills, and meaningful relationships—is whether at least one adult in their life has consistently shown up for them. In an age of scheduling demands and digital distractions, showing up for your child might sound like a tall order. But as bestselling authors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson reassuringly explain, it doesn’t take a lot of time, energy, or money. Instead, showing up means offering a quality of presence. And it’s simple to provide once you understand the four building blocks of a child’s healthy development. Every child needs to feel what Siegel and Bryson call the Four S’s:

• Safe: We can’t always insulate a child from injury or avoid doing something that leads to hurt feelings. But when we give a child a sense of safe harbor, she will be able to take the needed risks for growth and change.

• Seen: Truly seeing a child means we pay attention to his emotions—both positive and negative—and strive to attune to what’s happening in his mind beneath his behavior.

• Soothed: Soothing isn’t about providing a life of ease; it’s about teaching your child how to cope when life gets hard, and showing him that you’ll be there with him along the way. A soothed child knows that he’ll never have to suffer alone.

• Secure: When a child knows she can count on you, time and again, to show up—when you reliably provide safety, focus on seeing her, and soothe her in times of need, she will trust in a feeling of secure attachment. And thrive!

Based on the latest brain and attachment research, The Power of Showing Up shares stories, scripts, simple strategies, illustrations, and tips for honoring the Four S’s effectively in all kinds of situations—when our kids are struggling or when they are enjoying success; when we are consoling, disciplining, or arguing with them; and even when we are apologizing for the times we don’t show up for them. Demonstrating that mistakes and missteps are repairable and that it’s never too late to mend broken trust, this book is a powerful guide to cultivating your child’s healthy emotional landscape.

Publication Date:

January 7th, 2020

Genre:

Parenting/Child Psychology

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

attachment theory

The Power of Showing Up

When I saw that authors Siegel and Bryson were releasing a new parenting book, I couldn’t request The Power of Showing Up fast enough! Their past writing has been such a formative part of my own parenting.

Siegel and Bryson always share their knowledge, research, and experiences in an accessible and compassionate way. While they have decades of work in this area they make brain development and psychology approachable and easy to understand have the ability to write in a way that makes you feel heard while also empowering you with new tools and ideas.

The Power of Showing Up is another wonderful addition to their collection of books that speak to you whether you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, etc. They take on attachment theory and share the powerful reminder that the most important thing we can do for our children and to be there for them.

Doing this, we can teach and show them the value of comfort, support and unconditional love through both the highs and lows of being humans. They explain how we can do this through the idea of the “Four S’s”…being seen, safe, soothed and secure.

As a person who experienced insecure attachment as a child, I often hyper-focus on our children always knowing they are heard and loved, while also dealing with the reality that parenting is never-ending and sometimes I lose my cool.

The reality is, everyone makes mistakes, and it is what we do next that is far more important. While I know this in theory, having it presented in an insightful and accessible manner is something I will always remember. I could go on and on about this book but I will just say that I highly recommend it and got so much out of it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


 

You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy | Celadon Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Celadon Books

You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

Book Summary:

At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation.
On social media, we shape our personal narratives.
At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians.
We’re not listening.
And no one is listening to us.

Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here.

In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.

Publication Date:

January 7th, 2020

Genre:

Communication

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Kate Murphy

You’re Not Listening

“When all we crave is to understand and be understood, You’re Not Listening shows us how.”⁣

In You’re Not Listening, author Kate Murphy explains what listening truly is and isn’t, and how important it is to our connection with ourselves and one another. Not only is this book super fascinating but it is always making me rethink so many things!

In our technology-filled world, there are so many new ways for us to interact, yet we are all longing for connection more than ever before. Many of us long for the days of simplicity and meaningful face to face conversations. When we do interact, it is often rushed and interrupted by the distractions of the fast-paced world around us.

I loved the balance of informative research and relatable text that made You’re Not Listening both engaging and thought-provoking. I also appreciated that Murphy emphasizes that listening skills are learned through implementation and practice and that it is something we can always learn, no matter how old we are.

“It takes awareness, focus, and experience to unearth and understand what is really being communicated. Good listeners are not born that way, they become that way.”

From The Publisher…Q&A with Author Kate Murphy:

communication

How did you get the idea to write this book?

As a journalist, I listen for a living, and, increasingly, I noticed that people I interviewed seemed surprised, almost taken aback, that I was actually paying attention to what they said. They began telling me profoundly personal things, wholly unrelated to the stories I was writing, as if they’d been long waiting for the opportunity. And these were very successful, well-connected people—not lacking for company, but apparently lacking for listeners. They would always thank me for listening, and also often apologize for unloading. It happened with such regularity, it made me think this was something worth investigating.

What does it mean to be a good listener?

What I found is that rather than being a checklist of dos and don’ts, listening is more a state of mind. It’s about getting yourself in a receptive mode and also developing an awareness of the kinds of things that hijack your attention, cloud your perception, and make you zone out during a conversation. And, just as importantly, listening has to do with how well you respond—the degree to which you are able to encourage and elicit the clear expression of someone else’s thoughts. It’s both an art and a skill.

How do we balance planning what to say next and listening to the person talking?

A better response will come to you when you have taken in all that the other person has to say. Then, pause if you need to after the other person concludes to think about what you want to say. And if you’re still at a loss, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say.” You can also say, “I’d like to think about that,” which conveys that you’re honoring what the other person said by taking time to think about it, while, at the same time, honoring that part of you that is uncertain or anxious and needs time to process. Better that, than responding in a way that is insensitive or misses the point.

Thank you to Celadon Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith | Hachette Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Bowen Method

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith

Book Summary:

Licensed therapist and mental health writer Dr. Kathleen Smith offers a smart, practical antidote to our anxiety-ridden times. Everything Isn’t Terrible is an informative and practical guide — featuring a healthy dose of humor — for people who want to become beacons of calmness in their families, at work, and in our anxious world. Everything Isn’t Terrible will inspire you to confront your anxious self, take charge of your anxiety, and increase your own capacity to choose how you respond to it. Comprised of short chapters containing anecdotal examples from Smith’s work with her clients, in addition to engaging, actionable exercises for readers, Everything Isn’t Terrible will give anyone suffering from anxiety all the tools they need to finally…calm…down.

Ultimately, living a calmer, less anxious life — one that isn’t terrible — is possible, and with this book you’ll learn how to do it.

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help/Anxiety

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Hachette Books

Everything Isn’t Terrible

I am a big fan of self-help books in general but I am especially drawn to the idea of confronting our own anxieties. In Everything Isn’t Terrible, author Kathleen Smith presents an approachable explanation of the Bowen theory of therapy which involves not only looking at ourselves as individuals but also at our relationship systems…

“Because when we feel anxious, we often try to make other people change. We try to calm everyone else down so we can finally relax. But if you can work on managing yourself in these relationships, it’s likely that your family, your workplace, and even the greater world will calm down a little too.”

Smith uses this approach in the work she does with her therapy clients and shares valuable examples in her writing regarding this methodology then gives us questions and ways to put these ideas into practice.

I really enjoyed this hands-on approach and how interactive this book felt while reading it. The writing is accessible and also shares things we can implement into our lives in a large variety of relationships and circumstances.

I love the idea that while we cannot always change the circumstances we are in, we can change how we react to them. “By changing yourself, you change the equation.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight | Little, Brown & Company {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Sarah Knight

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight

Book Summary:

How to say no without being an a**hole, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
Are you burnt out from taking on more than you can handle or accepting less than you deserve? Tired of giving in instead of sticking up for yourself? Sick of saying yes all the time? You’re gonna love F*CK NO!
 
No is an acceptable answer, and it’s time to start using it. Whether you’re a People-Pleaser, Overachiever, Pushover, or have serious FOMO, bestselling “anti-guru” Sarah Knight helps you say what you really mean without being really mean–or burning out for fear of missing out.
Life is so much better when you say no with confidence–and without guilt, fear, or regret. F*ck No! delivers practical strategies that give you the power to decline, and concrete examples that put the words right into your mouth. You’ll discover:
  • The joy of no
  • No-Tips for all occasions
  • How to set boundaries
  • Fill-in-the-blank F*ckNotes
  • The No-and-Switch, the Power No–and how to take no for an answer yourself
  • And much more!

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

F*ck No

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight

I enjoy Sarah Knight’s book so much. Her blunt wisdom and practical techniques are approachable and relatable. I am working on being less of a “yes” person and one of the biggest things I have learned(and am still working on!) is that saying “NO” can actually help you say “YES” to the things that really matter to you.

In F*ck No, Knight offers practical ideas that can help you say “no” in a variety of circumstances while also being realistic about it which I really appreciated. Saying “yes” all the time sounds like a good thing, but then you just feel spread too thin and aren’t really there for the people and things that you really want to be prioritizing.

Her insights are the perfect balance of humor and useful tools to help work towards our own individual goals of setting boundaries in real-world situations. I got so much out this one and I highly recommend it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

What’s On Your Nightstand? | Reading List & Book Recommendations {Stephanie}

Guest Post

Holiday Happenings

Hi everyone! We are in the final countdown to the holidays and I am feeling it. The kids are definitely amped up and there is something so special about seeing this time of the year through their eyes. While I do love the festivities, the feelings holidays can bring up are mixed for me in many ways and I can’t say that I am not really looking forward to January in a lot of ways!

While I will be home with the kids during their school break(which as any parent knows isn’t exactly a “break”), I am looking forward to a slower pace than our usual leaving the house by 7:30 weekday schedule.and just have daylight time to get out and do some winter adventures together. There’s a fine balance to do this though and having some kind of plan to get out of the house at least once a day is necessary for parent survival!

This is a busy time of year for Lucas at work so it will be a lot together time just three of us (plus Buzz!) so I am hoping that we are able to get together with friends quite a bit. I am also crossing my fingers that the snow sticks around (and more comes soon!) so that we can have a White Christmas!

What’s On Your Nightstand? Series!

‘Today I am excited to introduce to you another one of my #bookstagram friends, Stephanie. Stephanie is one of my favorite people to follow on #bookstagram. She has mastered the art of finding time to cozy up and read between the juggling of daily life as a working mom and I love how she always makes it a priority. Her reviews are always so fun to read and I love that we enjoy so many of the same genres. I hope you enjoy learning more about Stephanie today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

Hello, hello! I’m Stephanie, wife of eleven years and mama to a four-year-old little lady who loves books almost as much as I do. We have a little Bichon Frise, Andy, we rescued eleven years ago – his favorite activity is lying on my lap while I read.

We live in a cozy century home in northeast Ohio, and it’s about the time of year that I am busily preparing for my months-long hibernation with a stash of tea and coffee alongside a pile of books and my heated blankets (yes, plural) to see me through ‘til spring.

I have worked as a travel consultant for seven years, and also do social media and marketing for our company – there are days I cannot believe I am paid to write blog posts, do creative social media and help people plan vacations.

I absolutely love my job and feel very blessed to be part of the travel community. This summer I also started teaching ESL online to children ages 4-12 in China – it is so much fun, and seeing the smiley faces of the kiddos when I log on while the rest of the Eastern Standard time zone sleeps is pretty great.

Besides reading, I love travel (obviously), crafting, playing board games and video games, doing puzzles, cooking vegan food, and making family memories at fun events and activities around Cleveland. I started a neighborhood book group for the women on our street, and we meet monthly for a hang-out but select a book for every other get-together. One of my favorite projects has been decorating our home, and I love the concept of hygge living and making it a place we love.

You can find me on IG at:

@brownhousebooks (my reading life)
@travelbystephanie (my travel life)

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I have always been an avid reader. I grew up on Little Golden Books (my mom always let me pick one when we went to the grocery store) and moved on to Beverly Cleary, The Babysitters Club, the American Girl series (when I was young there were only THREE American Girls!), the Nancy Drew series, and then read anything by VC Andrews that I could get my early teen hands-on (no judging). One of my earliest memories as a young bookworm was my mother speaking with the librarians to ensure that my reading selections were age-appropriate.

My love of reading continued through middle school, high school, and college, where I majored in English Literature and Spanish, so my final years at Ohio University were all about reading and writing papers in two languages – because of this, I barely read for pleasure during that phase of my life.

Favorite Book Genres

As an adult, I read about 80-100+ books per year across genres. I prefer literary fiction but will dabble in middle grade, narrative nonfiction, self-improvement books, mysteries, and thrillers. I don’t read much sci-fi, fantasy, or YA.

What Time of Day do you do Most of Your Reading?

I squeeze in my reading whenever I can. I used to start my day with a cup of coffee and a book before my little one would awaken, but now with teaching ESL in the morning, I don’t do this as much. I love to read before bed and during the kiddo’s nap time. When I work from home, I try to fit in some pages before I start my workday.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

Elin Hilderbrand trilogy

I am currently reading What Happens in Paradise (*the second book in the Paradise Trilogy) by Elin Hilderbrand and some cozy Christmas fiction. I am a HUGE seasonal reader, and I love settling in with a Christmas story during this time of year – I usually read about five of these during the season. This year has been an incredible reading year for me with so many standouts I will highly recommend to those seeking their next selection.

My favorite books so far in 2019

2019 fiction favorites

The One (John Marrs), How to Find Love in a Bookshop (Veronica Henry), The Mother-in-Law (Sally Hepworth), Into the Jungle (Erica Ferencik), Daisy Jones & the Six (Taylor Jenkins Reid), Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes), The Girl He Used to Know (Tracey Garvis Graves), The Escape Room (Megan Goldin, and The Story of Arthur Truluv (Elizabeth Berg).

Are There Any Books You Didn’t Love?

2019 books

My biggest disappointments of the year have been: The Unhoneymooners  (Christina Lauren), The Chain (Adrian McKinty), and Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty).

What Are You Listening To?

I don’t listen to many audiobooks because when I do work in the office my commute is short, but the bigger reason is that I LOVE PODCASTS. I have been listening to podcasts for about ten years, back when I had to hook up my iPod to my desktop computer to download them for listening. (Guys, I am old.)

I have so many downloaded and so many listed in a journal to come back to, but my current listens are: The Deck the Hallmark Podcast (to accompany our Hallmark Christmas movie viewings), The TV Talk Machine (even though I don’t watch much television I love listening to these guys), Watch What Crappens, Be Our Guest, Currently Reading, Hello from the Magic Tavern, Sorta Awesome, Stuff You Should Know, The DIS Unplugged, and The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

book friends

I like a tidy nightstand, so I try to keep the stuff from accumulating. Usually on my nightstand: my earbuds, my Kindle in its Novel Nuzzler sleeve, and my vintage-inspired alarm clock.

Sometimes on my nightstand…

The tv remotes (I am bingeing ER on Hulu and watching at bedtime), my current library book, chapstick, an oil roller, and lotion. (In the winter months, my controller for the heated blanket.) I keep my acupressure mat next to my nightstand and use it every night.


Thank you so much for sharing today, Stephanie!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Kindle Book Deals! |$2.99 & Under! {Book Deals & Recommendations}

Kindle Books

Holiday Reading

Who is ready for some holiday reading? I know I am! I love stocking up on kindle deals for this kind of occasion. While I read a lot from the Libby app, there is something about grabbing a kindle deal that has no timeframe for when you read it! Kindle deals are a great and low-pressure way to read things you might not normally select.

Dysfunctional Family Dramas

family dramaI grabbed A Nearly Normal Family which has been on my TBR list and I can’t wait to dive in. I had been on the fence about it for a while but when Sarah’s Book Shelves recommended it to me, I knew it was worth a shot because we enjoy so many of the same books. If you are into dysfunctional family dramas like I am, I would also suggest All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg! 

Inspiring & Powerful Reads

Etaf Rum A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum is on my list of top powerful reads of 2019 and The Moment of Lift is inspiring and would be a great book to start off 2020.

Easy & Engaging Readsholiday reading

I have heard great things about American Royals(* FYI this one is now $4.99) by Katharine McGee and You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman is hilarious and relatable if you have ever had the experience of having school-aged children! You can read my full review HERE.

CoHo, A Classic & Our January 2020 Book Club Selection

book deals

After reading Regretting You, I am fulling on the Colleen Hoover bandwagon! It Ends With Us is on my list and I am working up the courage to read Verity!

The Giver is one of those classics that I am excited to introduce to our older son. He has been way into some of the books I read at his age like Hatchet and it makes me so happy.

Finally, The Gift of Failure is AMAZING and is also our January 2020 Better Together Book Club Selection! You can read more about our book club and our upcoming book discussion with author Jessica Lahey HERE.


Are any of these books on your reading list? I would love to hear!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey | Better Together Book Club | January 2020 Selection {A Motherhood Book Club}

The Gift of Failure

Better Together Book Club!

Last week we had our final Better Together book club of 2019. Although our book club has only been going for a few months now, I am feeling so excited about the bonds and connections we have already formed, the amazing discussions we have had and the exciting things that are to come!

Our First Three Book Selections

Motherhood Book ClubOur first three books were all impactful in very different ways and each of them resulted in such fascinating conversations.

To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood was the perfect book to start off with as it discusses the transition to motherhood.  While we are all in very different stages of parenthood (from babies and toddlers to college-aged children), we could all relate back to the adjustment of new motherhood. And not only did we get to discuss the book with each other but we also had the most wonderful guest, author Molly Millwood herself!

Small Animals by Kim Brooks was one of my very favorite books from 2018 and I couldn’t’ wait to see what our group thought of it. Our conversation really helped us all realize how much we think about judgment from one another in modern parenting and really inspired a lot of connection with one another.

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza inspired a lot of great discussion because people either loved it or strongly disliked it!! I was (and am) a huge fan, but it was fascinating to talk about the reasons why it didn’t work for some readers.

January 2020 Book Selection

motherhood book club

Our first 2020 Better Together Book Club selection is The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey! Jessica will be joining us for a Q&A and book discussion of her book which we are super excited about!

If you are local (Chittenden County Vermont) and would like to join our group, please contact Susannah at the Charlotte Library at (802)425-3864 or email me at genthebookworm@gmail.com

You can also follow along on our brand new Instagram feed @bettertogetherbookclub


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!