Happy April 1st! How was your last month of reading? I read some amazing books during the month of March that were all 4 & 5-star reads! I did have one book that I really didn’t enjoy but you can’t win them all!
I don’t normally give a star ratings with my actual book reviews, but I do use them when rating books over on Goodreads and NetGalley and when I am sharing my monthly recaps on Instagram. Last month I thought it might be fun to start regularly posting my monthly recaps here too because it is a great and quick way to give book recommendations. You can see what I read in February HERE if you are interested.
Do you like star ratings? I love them although I wish Goodreads would allow half stars as well because I think it is a lot easier to rate them that way!
Good morning! We are at the tail end of our week off from school and everyone survived! I didn’t get half of the things done that I had hoped to…but we had fun, visited with a lot of friends and got outside, despite the pretty frigid temperatures.
Today I am excited to introduce you to my future sister-in-law, Antonia! Antonia is a huge book fan and I always love hearing what she is reading. She is also a huge Harry Potter fan and has been reading the illustrated version with our older son and he looks forward to this time so much! She loves using the Libby App and our local library too and so it is always fun to compare notes on what we are both reading. I hope you enjoy learning more about Antonia today!
Hi! My name is Antonia, and I live in Charlotte, Vermont with my fiance, Derek, and our (almost) four-year-old pup, Mateo. I work as an Intensive Special Needs Special Educator in a local elementary school, and I really, really love my job. Some days can be long and challenging, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I recently graduated with a master’s degree in Intensive Special Education and didn’t have much extra time to read for pleasure during those two years, but I did spend a lot of my time reading textbooks and articles! Now that I am no longer in school, I love to spend my time running, taking Mateo for walks, spending time with my family and friends, and reading as much as I can!
For me, reading is part of my daily routine. I read every evening and night before I go to sleep. I have always loved to read. In college, I majored in English and got my license to teach high school English (which is always what I thought I’d do until I found myself in the special education world!). Because I loved reading and literature so much, my English classes never felt like work. I loved the range of English classes that my college offered, and enjoyed the conversations that came from the books that we were reading. Since I don’t have classmates to talk about the books I’m reading with, my fiance tends to be the recipient of the conversations, whether he is interested or not!
What is on your nightstand for books?
First and foremost, Harry Potter is on my nightstand and is ALWAYS on my nightstand. I’m sure that some of you are rolling your eyes at me, but I absolutely love the whole series. I don’t have a favorite of the seven books because I honestly feel that J.K. Rowling did such an amazing job telling one complete story, and each of the books was an important piece of it. I tend to read the series about once each year, and every time I do there are new things that I pick up on. I find it amazing that she knew exactly what she was going to write in book seven when she was writing book one, and that she was able to create this world that felt so believable, even though it is simultaneously so unbelievable. Her underlying themes of equality, love, and trust make this series so applicable to our world today. I could go on forever about Harry Potter, but that is not the only book on my nightstand so I will move on!
I currently have Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh in my pile of books that I am reading. It starts as a love story and turns into more of a mystery when one of the characters disappears. I’m still getting into this one, but I am hopeful for an exciting ending! I also just added More Than Words, by Jill Santopolo to my nightstand. I am excited to start this book, which seems to be a part love story and part tale of self-discovery. This book seems like it will be a quick and engaging read.
The book I am spending most of my time reading is The Cases That Haunt Us, by John Douglass. This is a book that I borrowed from my best friend’s dad, who used to be a Police Chief. This book contains stories of six of the most famous unsolved mysteries. I can’t put it down! If you are a fan of “true crime” I highly recommend this, and any other book written by John Douglass.
What is on your Kindle?
Currently, on my Kindle, I have Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty. This was definitely an interesting read. It took a couple of turns that I wasn’t expecting, but I wouldn’t consider it a mystery or thriller. It is about the experience of nine strangers who go to a health retreat that uses some questionable techniques with their clients. I am currently reading All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda, which so far I am really enjoying. It is a pretty standard mystery about two girls going missing ten years apart from the same town. It is definitely keeping my interest and has me excited for what will happen next! I just finished Beartown, by Fredrik Backman and I absolutely LOVED it! The story is about a small town that loves hockey more than anything, and how that impacts the culture and the expectations that the town has for the boys who play. Even if you are not interested in sports, I highly recommend this book.
What are you listening to?
I am not yet listening to any podcasts. I do have about an hour commute to work, so it is probably something I will start doing in the near future!
What else is on your nightstand?
In addition to the books on my nightstand, I always keep my lip balm. I am currently using an EOS mint flavored one. Every night before I get in bed to read I spray an aromatherapy pillow spray on all of our pillows. It has a eucalyptus scent that I now associate with relaxation and falling asleep! I also keep a framed photograph of Derek and I the day we got engaged because it was the best day and I love having that memory close. I also keep a rosewood scented candle and rose lotion there at all times. Finally, I am a big tea drinker (mint is my favorite!), so I keep a coaster on my nightstand, which I use almost daily.
February was a shorter month with a lot of reading packed in for me. I ended up reading a couple books that I just loved and quite a few that were just so-so.
I always find it interesting how differently we all react to the same pieces of writing. I even will respond differently to something depending on my mood, time of year, stage of life, etc.
As I share more and more about books I always want to be aware that my feedback is just that, my own, and you may have a completely different reading experience. I think that is with makes books and media in general so interesting to share about too, we all have such different responses. 💜
My full review of the Unhoneymooners can be found HERE.
Marriage-ology by Belinda Luscombe: A fascinating and relatable book about marriage that was easy to connect with and thought provoking. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (ARC releasing 5/21/19)
The Au Pair by Emma Rous: I enjoyed much of this but the ending just didn’t work for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
My full review of The Au Pair can be found HERE.
My full review of Juliet’s School of Possibilities can be found HERE.
Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly: Heartbreaking and often difficult to read as a parent but amazing storytelling and a truly engaging read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (ARC releasing 4/2/19)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: A heavier read than you first anticipate that is full of important and timely topics…enjoyed seeing her process of self-love while dealing with many challenges…struggled with some of the choices of the main character. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (ARC releasing 3/19/19)