What’s On Your Nightstand? | Reading List & Book Recommendations {Katie @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf} 

book recommendations

What’s On Your Nightstand Book Friend Series

Welcome to another edition of my reading list and book recommendations guest post series. I have a great lineup of reading friends and book professionals sharing their current reads the next few weeks and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Katie AKA @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf

Katie and I are #bookstagram buddies and you might know her by book tree she featured this past holiday season that went totally viral in the online book community!

Katie posts daily book content which I am always super impressed by and loves so many of the same genres as me so she is always a go-to for me if I needing some book feedback or inspiration.

Katie is not afraid to share her honest thoughts on the reads she reads which I always appreciate and is just so much fun (except when she gives me grief about not reading Harry Potter yet!!)

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I am actually meeting up with her and two of my other reading friends Kristina and Stephanie this spring at the 2020 Book Expo in NYC and I can’t even wait! I hope you enjoy learning more about Katie today.

Nightstand Series Introduction:

Hey everyone! My name is Katie (aka @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf) and I am a born and raised Jersey Girl! I spent my college years in Savannah, GA which is where the “y’alls” come in that I sometimes throw out!

I currently live in Delaware with my boyfriend Dave, my cat Brody, and his dog Courtney. They love each other deep down, they just never show it!

When I’m not reading, (aka when they force me to do that thing called work) I sell yearbooks for Walsworth yearbooks. I just started this job in May and am loving it so far!

I spent five years doing sales for Pepsi so when this opportunity came along to do sales but also get to add in my love of photography and graphic design I had to jump at the chance! I love getting to work with the students, and help them get creative with their book! I also love to crochet, knit, paint, photograph, sew, and really just do anything crafty!

What Kind of Reader Are You?

One of my favorite stories is that I had trouble learning to read. When I was in first grade, I could fly through the math worksheets, but reading gave me a ton of trouble. I went to extra help for it and it was game over from there.

My math skills quickly disappeared once subtraction was introduced, and soon you couldn’t find me without a book in my hand. My reading tastes are really all over the map, especially since I started my #bookstagram. I read pretty much anything except I don’t do a ton of fantasy, and I really only read sci-fi if it’s by Blake Crouch.

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

I read any time of day! I don’t really read in the morning because I am NOT a morning person. I am a roll out of bed, get dressed and brush my teeth, grab a bite to eat and my coffee on the way out the door!

I will read if I get to an appointment early and have a few minutes in the car alone, and always on my lunch break (when I take them.) Since I spend all day in the car, I always have an audiobook or a podcast going! In terms of sitting down to crack a book, I am mostly a nighttime reader though.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

2020 books

I just finished The Simple Wild and Darling Rose Gold and am starting on The New Husband, Before Anyone Else, and The Other’s Gold.

What books have you recently read and loved?

currently reading

This is a really tough one! There are so many I have loved recently. I am going to give my three 5-star reads from January though! A Sky Painted Gold, Hum If You Don’t Know The Words, and Catch and Kill. All were amazing reads that I couldn’t put down!

What books are you looking forward to reading?

2020 reading list

There are so many great sounding books coming out I don’t even know where to start! Some I am excited about include Truths I Never Told You, He Started It, Night Swim, and Beach Read! They are all repeat authors for me (except Truths I Never Told You-which I need to read her first one ASAP! It’s on my backlist shortlist!) And I can’t wait to see what they have come up with for their next read!

Any books were hoping to love but didn’t??

books I didn't love

I was hoping to love Normal People, Three Women, and Saint X. But they just didn’t do it for me. The first two I did finish and was mad I bothered, and the third I DNF’d.

What are you currently listening to?

current audiobook

I am listening to The Others Gold, and am anxious for my pre-order of Children Of The Land to come in.

book podcasts

I generally prefer non-fiction on audio, but if I’m not listening to a book I love listening to Sarah’s Bookshelves Live, Here To Make Friends (the Bachelor is my guilty pleasure), or Bad On Paper Podcast.

What else is on your nightstand?

My nightstand is pretty boring. I have my books (bottom is my next read, the middle is my current physical book read, and the top is my kindle.) I generally read my kindle in bed because I’m a side sleeper and its easier to read a kindle on my side than a physical book! So I almost always have three books going at once!

Then I, of course, have my phone and apple watch chargers, water, chapstick, and the tv remote to turn it off once Dave falls asleep! My favorite part isn’t my nightstand, but my amazing floating shelves above my nightstand! They make me so happy and contain some of my TBR, minus my superwoman one that has my lady power books!

Our room doesn’t have a lot of room for bookshelves, but I did just add these gems upstairs in the office. Since I had to put all my book tree books away it made for a good time to organize the shelves a bit better! And I see some blank spaces waiting to be filled! I have several bookshelves throughout the house, but this one looks the prettiest!


Thank you so much for sharing today, Katie. I loved hearing all about your recent reads and I now need floating bookshelves ASAP! 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon 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 {Michelle}

reading list

First Guest Post of 2020!

Welcome to the first Nightstand Series post in 2020! I love being able to share book content with a wider range of perspectives and genres and I am so appreciative of all my reading friends who have helped make this happen by sharing their reading list and recommendations.

2019 Guest Posters!

reading recommendations

I started this book friends series last January and it has been so fun looking back at all the people and books that were shared. You can check out all of my 2019 Nightstand Series posts below…

Genevieve @genthebookworm

Molly

Emily

Kristy @kristy.dooley.photography

Katy

Kari

Courtney

Sarah

Antonia

Elisa

Melissa @readalotwritealot

Kristina @kristinasbookishlife

Mandi @mandi_reads

Caroline @texacalibooks

Stephanie @brownhousebooks

Tancy @beyondbooked

Interested in sharing in 2020?

If you are a reader and are interested in sharing your booklist & recommendations in 2020, please comment below and I will send you an email to get you on my guest post calendar.

Meet Michelle!

Today I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Michelle AKA @michellenputney! She was one of my very first #bookstagram friends and I always love seeing what she is reading and enjoying.

Michelle writes the most amazing reviews over on Goodreads and is never afraid to share her honest thoughts while also sharing an incredible amount of detailed perspective. Anytime I see a book I want to read on there, I have to see what Michelle thought first because her reactions are always spot on! 

I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Michelle today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

My name is Michelle Putney and I’m a 37-year-old bookworm from Buffalo, NY. I am married, have a 2.5-year-old daughter, Olivia and 2 golden retrievers Apollo (10) & Atticus (8.5). I would have 10 golden retrievers if I could, but sadly that isn’t a reality at the moment!!

I work in the life insurance industry but am happiest when I am with my family, walking the dogs and reading. I love instilling my love of reading in my daughter and so far she loves to read just as much as I do! We go to the library about every 2 weeks and check out about 10 books at a time so we can read before nap and bedtime.

What kind of reader are you?

I have always been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. My parents used to yell at me to get my nose out of my books while driving to our family vacation destinations of Cape Cod, MA or Bar Harbor, ME so I could see the beautiful scenery. (Nancy Drew was much more interesting to me!)

Even though I have been reading/recommending books for years, I finally figured out that people use Instagram to connect with other like-minded readers and decided about 6 months ago to become a more serious #bookstagrammer.

My handle is @michellenputney (let’s connect and be friends!)

What time of day do you do most of your reading?

Since I have such a young daughter I don’t get as much time to read or be involved in the book community as I would like, but I am very appreciative to be a member of this great group of people. I typically read during Livie’s nap time or after she goes to bed.

What books are you currently reading?All The Ways We Said GoodbyeI am reading All The Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White and Long Bright River by Liz Moore.

What books have you recently read and loved?

reading list

The Chestnut Man by  Søren Sveistrup and Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.

Any books you were hoping to love but didn’t??

reading listWestering Women, The Majesties and I have very conflicted feelings about Saint X.

What books are you looking forward to reading?

reading list

For the rest of January and for February – Long Bright River (I’m only 100 pages in so I still have a lot to go), The Dark Corners of the Night (UNSUB #3), The Sundown Motel, A Good Neighborhood, and Eden Mine.

What are you listening to?

I would love to listen to audiobooks, but I wouldn’t be able to stay focused the way I need to while doing chores around the house (otherwise, I could get a lot more reading time in!). I only have a 10-minute commute, but I make it twice a day to spend my lunchtime with the dogs so I do get a chance to listen to some podcasts.

podcast recommendationsI am listening to the latest episodes of In The Dark right now, as well as The Rachel Maddow Show. I loved Serial and listen to Pod Save America and Pantsuit Politics as much as I can (I’m a political junkie too!).

What else is on your nightstand?

books on the nightstand

My nightstand is pretty boring since I don’t want anything nice to get accidentally knocked over by my daughter since she is very inquisitive 😉

I have a stack of books I’d like to get to next, my iPad with everything I have from Netgalley and Edelweiss and the alarm clock I’ve had since 1997 (my first year in high school). The thing is a relic and is only used for the clock, but it reminds me of simpler times in life. I also like that it’s been in my childhood bedroom, my college dorm/apartments, and now my home with my own family.

Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Michelle. I am going to check out some of your political podcasts, I  think I will need them during 2020! <3

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!

Bookstagram Survey: Reading Highs & Lows of 2019 & Most Anticipated Books of 2020 {Gen The Bookworm}

2019 reading

End of the Year Recaps

It’s the time of the year where the end of the year recaps are everywhere! When thinking about how I wanted to share my own reading wrap up of 2019, I thought it might be fun to not only share mine but also include a bunch of my reading friend’s feedback from #bookstagram so that is what I am sharing today!

#Bookstagrammer Bonanza!

A few days ago I shared on #bookstagram HERE that I would love to include feedback from my fellow bookworms when I shared my reading recap of 2019.

I asked them to share their favorite books that they read in 2019, the ones that didn’t meet the hype and the ones they are looking forward to reading/publishing in 2020 and boy did they deliver!

SO many reading friends took the time to share their feedback and today I am excited to be sharing it with you!

Varying Perspectives & Genres with Reading

I love posting my own reading wrap-ups and recommendations but I also love being able to share other people’s perspectives and genres that might be outside of what I tend to regularly read.

While putting this post together I loved seeing the wide variety of answers because it is just so fascinating that we all react to books so differently…even when we read similar titles!

This blog post is definitely a long one, but I am hoping it inspires your own reading lists and helps you discover some titles and authors you might not have previously heard of.

Meet The Bookstagrammers!

While not everyone on this list is a “book reviewer”, everyone is an avid reader and I loved the diversity this allowed for. If they do share books publicly, I included a link to their Instagram page for easy access along with their first names.

You will notice that some of the books that are shared below are either ARCs that have not been officially published yet and some people shared books that were highlights of their 2019 reading even if they were published in previous years.

I am including links to all of these books for easy access where you can easily see more details about each of these titles.

Here we go!!

Gen The Bookworm

Katie @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf

2019 Reading Highs:

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff and A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.

2019 Reading Low:

Ninth House and Saint X.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

I am excited about American Dirt finally coming out because I loved it!

2019 reading

Kristy @kristy.dooley.photography

2019 Reading Highs:

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center, The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer and The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo.

2019 Reading Low:

The Night Tiger

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

I read ARCs of The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and loved them!!

2020 reading

Melissa @readalotwritealot

2019 Reading Highs:

American Dirt, Just Mercy and The Most Fun We Ever Had.

2019 Reading Low:

Whisper Network 

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

A Good Neighborhood, Saint X, The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner, This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan, and Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.

2020 reading

Sarah @sarahsbookshelves and sarahsbookshelves.com

2019 Reading Highs:

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff, Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

2019 Reading Low:

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

Most Anticipated Books of 2020:

Long Bright River (already read and loved!) by Liz Moore, We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

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Wrenn @wrenn_bongo_and_books

2019 Reading Highs:

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen and Where The Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah.

2019 Reading Low:

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison. 

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs.

guest post

Erica @ericalovesbooks

2019 Reading Highs:

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

2019 Reading Low:

I was really excited about The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and it just fell flat for me.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Untamed by Glennon Doyle and The Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White.

2020 nonfiction

Tara

2019 Reading Highs:

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey and To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood were my top two picks of 2019.

2019 Reading Low:

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Most excited about Jenni Allen’s book coming out called Get Out of Your Head but so much more! I am a lover of nonfiction mostly!

reading highs and lows

Kelly @miss_kellysbookishcorner

2019 Reading Highs:

The Gown by Jennifer Robson, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

2019 Reading Low:

Where The Crawdads Sing (loved the story, but it was such a slow read for me) and Sing, Unburied Sing (DNF)

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle and The Return by Nicholas Sparks.

book recap

Jen @jenlovesreading

2019 Reading Highs:

Daisy Jones & The Six and The Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.

2019 Reading Low:

Normal People by Sally Rooney and Three Women by Lisa Taddeo didn’t work for me.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.

2020 readsErin

2019 Reading Highs:

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, Normal People and The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.

2019 Reading Low:

I felt that both The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Most Fun We Ever Had did not live up to the hype.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt and Untamed!

2020 books

Maggie @maggiee_reads

2019 Reading Highs:

Long Bright River, Dear Wife, and Little Fires Everywhere.

2019 Reading Low:

The Silent Patient & A Nearly Normal Family

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Darling Rose Gold and American Dirt.

2019 reads

Victoria @victorias.loves.lit

2019 Reading Highs:

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, Inheritance by Dani Shapiro and This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel.

2019 Reading Low:

Sadly, City of Girls by Elizabeth GIlrbert did not live up to the hype for me. Neither did Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (though I loved Lilac Girls the prequel).

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Dying to get to American Dirt and Know My Name by Chanel Miller soon!

2019 reading

Julia @booksbitesbeaches

2019 Reading Highs:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, and The Idea of You by Robinne Lee.

2019 Reading Low:

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin and The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

I’m most excited about Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey, You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, and Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel.

2020 books

Jessica @jessbooksit

2019 Reading Highs:

Night Road by Kristin Hannah, The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker, and Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.

2019 Reading Low:

Dominicana by Angie Cruz and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (publication on the last day of 2019 counts as 2020, right?!)

2020 readingShannon

2019 Reading Highs:

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

2019 Reading Low:

The Unhoneymooners and Normal People.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

2020 reading list

Melanie

2019 Reading Highs:

Maybe You Should Talk to Somone (total surprise as nonfiction books are not my favorite) and Where The Crawdads Sing.

2019 Reading Low:

The Giver by Lois Lowry (I have always wanted to read it but it was SUCH a slow read for me) and The Silent Patient (highly recommended but also a slow read and just couldn’t’ get into it.)

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Soooo many on my TBR list, but thinking of starting with The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Things You Save in a Fire or The Most Fun We Ever Had.

2020 books

Mandi @mandi_reads

2019 Reading Highs:

Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson, Verity by Colleen Hoover, The Swallows by Lisa Lutz and Call me God.

2019 Reading Lows:

My Friend Anna and Saint X.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

The Missing Sister, The Girls Weekend and Long Bright River.

2020 books

Lori @yoyosyumyums

2019 Reading Highs:

The Book Women of Troublesome Creek, Cilka’s Journey and Where The Forest Meets The Stars.

2019 Reading Low:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Flatshare.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle and Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

2020 reading list

Melissa

2019 Reading Highs:

Where The Crawdads Sing, Queen Bee, and Cemetary Road.

2019 Reading Low:

Still Lives by Maria Hummel.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver and The Lies that Bind by Emily Giffin

2019 books

Stacey @staceyloscalzo

2019 Reading Highs:

The Dutch House, City of Girls, and A Hundred Summers.

2019 Reading Low:

Normal People and the end of After The Flood.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt!

2020 book list

Emily

2019 Reading Highs:

Daisy Jones & The Six, Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain and Just Another Kid by Torey L. Hayden (while this book was first published in 1988 I read it for the first time in 2019.)

2019 Reading Low:

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand and Run Away by Harlan Cobin were both books I really looked forward to and fell short for me.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Writers & Lovers by Lily King, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell and The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren.

2020 books

Jenn @theliteraryhedgehog

2019 Reading Highs:

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, Daisy Jones & The Six, The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton.

2019 Reading Low:

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah.

2020 books

Andrea

2019 Reading Highs:

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.

2019 Reading Low:

Where The Crawdads Sing – I think it’s possible the hype was too high by the time I read it.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt. 

2020 reading list

Kelsey @klgloyd33

2019 Reading Highs:

The Wreckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood, Children of Virtue & Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, A Woman is No Man by  Etaf Rum.

2019 Reading Low:

Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Long Bright River by Liz Moore, These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Madel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins.

2019 books

Laurie @bookaddictpnw

2019 Reading Highs:

A Woman is No Man, The Lost Man and She Said were some top books.

2019 Reading Low:

American Predator, Get a Life Chloe Brown and Verity (I know everyone loves it but aargh the stupid naive woman trope!!)

2020 book recommendations

Genevieve @bookgirlgen

2019 Reading Highs:

The Dearly Beloved, Ask Again, Yes, Ten Thousand Doors of January and Gilead.

2019 Reading Low:

The Last Romantics, The Huntress, and The Starless Sea.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt!

2020 reading

Meaghan @anopenbookblog

2019 Reading Highs:

The World That We Knew and The Dutch House were my absolute favorites.

2019 Reading Low:

Nevermoor and The Giver of Stars were books I was so excited about but just weren’t for me.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Very excited for American Dirt and The Heir Affair!

2020 book list

Natalie @doctornataliereads

2019 Reading Highs:

Daisy Jones & The Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and A Woman is No Man.

2019 Reading Low:

City of Girls.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

American Dirt and A Good Neighborhood.

2020 reading

Jessica @nocknockbooks

2019 Reading Highs:

The Beekeeper of Aleppo, The Dearly Beloved, The Dream Peddler, Ask Again, Yes, Daisy Jones & The Six, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Flatshare.

2019 Reading Low:

Three Women and Talking to Strangers (I felt hoodwinked by the marketing of both of them.)

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Saint X, Valentine and American Dirt.

2020 book list

Lisa @nzlisam.ig

2019 Reading Highs:

The Stand by Stephen King, The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton and The Chesnut Man by Soren Sveistrup.

2019 Reading Low:

The Whisper Man, Good Girl, Bad Girl, and Elevator Pitch.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

The Other People by CJ Tudor, Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough and The Dilemma by BA Paris.

2020 reading

@thelazybookshelf

2019 Reading Highs:

Ask Again, Yes, The Flatshare and Rise and Fall: The Story of 9/11.

2019 Reading Low:

Once Upon a River and The Bromance Bookclub.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel!

favorite books

Jasmine @sistersandpages

2019 Reading Highs:

A Woman is No Man, and There’s Something About Sweetie.

2019 Reading Low:

The Beautiful and We Met in December.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Such a Fun Age, Ten Things I Hate About Pinky and In Five Years.

2019 books

Rebekah

2019 Reading Highs:

Beyond The Point, The Girl in the Letter and One True Loves.

2019 Reading Low:

The Divorce

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

I have so many on my TBR that aren’t 2020 book releases…Things You Save in a Fire, Labor with Hope and The Most Fun We Ever Had.

2019 book recap

Kristen

2019 Reading Highs:

The Great Alone, The Things We Cannot Say and The Idea of You.

2019 Reading Low:

Next Year in Havana (too slow for me)

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Looking forward to American Dirt and Long Bright River!

2020 reading

Debbie @storiesandstacks

2019 Reading Highs:

The Silent Patient and The Unhoneymooners.

Most Anticipated Book of 2020:

Looking forward to Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson and In Five Years by Rebeca Serle!

The Most Highly Anticipated Book Voted by #Bookstagrammers is…

Jeanine Cummins

You probably noticed a pattern in this post, but American Dirt is most definitely the most anticipated book of 2020!! I read an ARC copy this past month and I can’t wait to share my thoughts soon, but let’s just say, I already know it will be one of my top 2020 reads because it was THAT GOOD.

My 2019 Reading Wrap-up!

My 2019 reading recap will be posted soon, in the meantime, you can see check out my favorites of 2019 (so far!) post from July, to see how things were stacking up at the halfway point.

best books of 2019

Best Books of 2019 (so far!) blog post


Thank you to everyone who shared in today’s post! I hope this has inspired your own book list and helps make 2020 your best reading year yet! Happy reading. <3

*I apologize in advance for any errors or misunderstanding with titles/book covers when transcribing these results from Instagram to this blog post. I am happy to update anything if necessary! <3

Disclosure: Some of the links on this blog are Amazon 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!

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!

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

book friends

Hello from the Depths of December!

Hi everyone! How is your week going? I can’t believe we are so close to the kid’s holiday school break, considering it feels like Thanksgiving break was just yesterday! We have been busy at work getting all our 2019 things tied up before we have almost two weeks off from school and this time of the year always feels like a race to the finish line.

We try to keep it low key with the holiday festivities but even so, it always feels like a lot. As much fun as this season is, the kids are always wired, the noise decibel is high, there is so much sugar EVERYWHERE and there are just so many things to remember(or a lot of times, to forget, in my case…ha)

I often struggle to try to find the right balance between being real and straight up whining and I think it can especially be hard online. Family life is great AND it can feel like so much. As the kids have grown older, some things feel much easier and some things feel SO much harder.

I have been feeling like I am treading water lately and while I know I am not alone it can sometimes feel that way. I am always grateful for friends, both in “real life” and online that remind you that NO ONE has it all figured out.

Today I am excited to introduce you to one of those people, my #bookstagram friend Caroline!

Meet Caroline!

Caroline and I connected over DMs on Instagram. Caroline is part of the amazing #bookstagram duo @texacalibooksFriends Caroline and Nina share about all things reading and for this post, I asked Caroline to share how @texacalibooks came to be…

Nina and I went to law school together and have been besties ever since. Nina had the account for about a year called “One Awesome Book” and about 50 followers. She kept telling me to start one too since we constantly gave each other book recs.

We decided it would be more fun to do it together since we don’t live in the same city. So we changed the name, got me added, my obsessive personality kicked in and here we are !!

#Bookstagram Buddies

We may live on opposite sides of the country, but we always end up having so many things in common. Her kids are a bit older than mine so I always appreciate her great perspective and advice.

We love chatting books, work/life balance, and COFFEE and she is just one of the sweetest most genuine people and her writing always makes me smile. I am excited for you to learn more about Caroline today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

#Bookstagram Buddies

My name is Caroline and I live in Los Angeles with my husband, who I met in law school, and our two kids – Alexa is 14 years old and Beckett is 11 years old.  I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and went to the University of Arizona for undergrad and The Ohio State University for law school (go Bucks!).  I am a partner at a law firm in Century City specializing in real estate finance and have been at the same firm for almost 18 years.  Ack, I am old!

Simply put, I am a working mom constantly trying to find that elusive work-life balance and failing miserably.  I work very long hours and every weekend so between that and having two very active kids who play club sports, there is not much time for hobbies.

My daughter plays soccer and is also on her high school lacrosse team and my son plays soccer, basketball, and baseball.  Life in sunny California means club teams are year-round and I am that soccer mom who has a sweatshirt, tee-shirt, and hat for my kids’ soccer club that I wear while I pace on the side of the field.

I basically spend my time not working acting as their Uber driver to and from practices and cheering them on in games that are all over Southern California – as far south as San Diego and as far north as Santa Barbara.  We had one weekend a few months ago where the kids had 9 games between them, all out of town and about 25 miles apart from each other.

But I do carve out a little time for myself every day by running about 3 miles very early in the morning (and in the dark!) before my kids are awake and I always make sure that I read before bed every night regardless of what time I am finally going to bed.  I also have an intense love for coffee, Target, extra soft sweatshirts, sneakers, Hallmark movies, and Bravo shows.

We are family who loves to ski so we go to Utah every winter for a family ski trip and we also spend a week doing nothing but laying by the pool in Hawaii every spring break.  In the summer our crazy lives come to a grinding halt because my kids each go to sleepaway camps in Wisconsin.

My husband is from Chicago so my son attends the same camp that my husband went to as a kid and my daughter attends the sister camp that is owned by a camp friend of my husband.  So after a very hectic school and sports year, my husband and I have an empty house which is always weird.  However, the time is filled quickly with work, scouring the camp websites for pictures of the kids and making sure that we are not messing up our son’s many fantasy baseball teams while he is away.

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I have been a reader my entire life.  I was the dorky kid who brought a book everywhere with me. I remember being the only kid at sleepaway camp who actually read in the cabin during rest hour.  The only time I had a lull in my reading was in law school because between all of the studying and working, there just was not time to read.

When I graduated law school, the chick-lit genre was just starting and authors like Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, and Helen Fielding sucked me in immediately and kickstarted my love for reading.

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

I read in the mornings when I am getting ready for work.  I put the book on the bathroom counter, propped open with hairbrushes while I brush my teeth, blowdry my hair, etc.

My son also reads before bed so if I can take a breather from reviewing documents for work, I snuggle up to him with my book.  Also, I always read a little before I go to sleep.  And I suffer from insomnia so I often read my books in the middle of the night with my little itty bitty book light.

The ultimate is when one of my kids has an out of town game and there is not a conflict between the schedules so my husband drives and I can read in the car.  Freeway reading is the best.

Favorite Book Genres

I am all over the board right now in terms of genres. I still love chick lit the best but I am also very into thrillers, young adult, historical fiction and contemporary fiction.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

Gen The Bookworm

I recently finished American Royals and The Swallows and loved them both so much.   The last book that really shook me and stayed with me long after I finished it was A Woman is No Man and I had a major book hangover after The Flatshare.

What’s Coming Up Next?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

I am desperately waiting for the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and American Dirt!

Any Books You Didn’t Love?

Goldfinch

My one real book confession is that I didn’t love The Goldfinch.  It dragged on too long for me and I was impatient and bored.

What Are You Listening To?

I only listen to music in the car. My kids insist on it and I am usually at my office before I realize that I am still listening to whatever they put on.  They went through a major Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen phase but now it is more pop music.

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

I always keep a glass of water on my nightstand because I wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.  Other necessities are my glasses because all of my reading at work has made me absolutely blind and lotion (I have a whole routine at night where I put lotion on my feet and then sleep in socks and my feet are nice and soft when I wake up.)

I have an alarm clock, my phone, the remote control that I have to keep on my side or my husband will find it and put on sports, a picture of my kids hugging each other so I can remind them that they actually do love each other, candles because this is LA and we have earthquakes, a flashlight because this is LA and we have earthquakes (see candles), my Casper light which is my most favorite thing ever and a little ceramic keepsake that my mom gave me when I was a little girl.

book stack

On the shelf under my nightstand is my stack of library books. I am a big library supporter which I love because I never spend money on books and I don’t have to worry about clutter when I am done reading them.  The downside is that it also means that I am always a little behind on the hot new books and I am beholden to the library due dates.  The struggle is real!


Thank you so much for sharing with us today! I hope you enjoyed learning more about Caroline. <3

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 {Julia}

books on the nightstand

What’s On Your Nightstand?

Welcome to another edition of The Nightstand Series! Kristina got us kicked off again last week and today I have another book-loving friend sharing her reading list and book recommendations!

Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Julia!

Julia and I met on #bookstagram and right away we connected over our love of the same books! When she started her own book feed, I was super excited to follow along! She has great taste in books and always has such thoughtful comments with her reading recaps.

I love that we have very similar reactions to books and also that she reads “ahead”. She is a book reviewer too so she is often reading ARCs too and is able to discuss them with me before the actual publication dates! I love that reading is an escape for her too and I am super impressed that she prioritizes it while also being IN school.

I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about Julia today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

Hi, I’m Julia! I’m from Michigan but am currently living in Lincoln, Nebraska with my boyfriend of 3 years. I’m a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and I conduct aging/Alzheimer’s research. Back home in Michigan, I have 2 dogs and 1 cat who I miss very much!

Hopefully next year or the year after, my boyfriend and I will move into a house that allows pets and get a cat. When I’m not reading or doing research, I really love to bake! I show some of my baked goods (and of course, lots of books) on my #bookstagram at @booksbitesbeaches.

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I grew up in a family of readers. My brother loves fantasy and science fiction, my mom loves general adult fiction and self-help books, and my dad was always reading the newspaper so it only felt natural to me to start reading at a young age.

The first books I can remember loving were in middle school when I read the A-List series and Gossip Girl. From there, I moved onto Sarah Dessen and my love for reading only grew throughout grade-school.

I fell off the reading train a bit with undergrad because other things seemed to take priority. That all changed about a year ago, actually! I was in the process of applying to graduate school and had been dealt with my first school rejection and I turned to a book to escape.

The Next Person You Meet In Heaven

I read The Next Person You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom in one sitting and for 2019, it was my New Years Resolution to read more! I started with a small goal – 25 books. I quickly met that and upped my goal to 50. Right now, I’m starting my 64th book and plan to set my goal for 75 next year.

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

I do most of my reading in the early morning before I have to get out of bed with a coffee mug on my nightstand and then again at night when I’m winding down. I really love my quiet mornings and it’s a nice way to wind down in the evening.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

Such a Fun Age and A Good Neighborhood

I just recently read Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid and really loved it! Genevieve and I both talked about how we didn’t love the ending, but I still think it’ll be a very talked-about book of 2020! Same with A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler. They’re both quite timely and I think they’d both be really great book club picks.

What Are You Reading Next?

In Five Years

My most anticipated book of 2020 is In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. The Dinner List was one of my favorite books of the year so I have high hopes for In Five Years.

You Are Not Alone

I’m also excited for Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s newest, You Are Not Alone because they’re a favorite writing pair. (*For reference, their 2018 book is The Wife Between Us and their 2019 book is An Anonymous Girl)

Are There Any Books You Read and Didn’t Love?

contemporary romance

I was recently disappointed by Not the Girl You Marry by Andie Christopher. It was essentially How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days but role reversal and in a book. It was lacking creativity and I need creativity in books! I don’t like to guess the ending 15 pages in, but sometimes a predictable romance is just what you need… it just wasn’t what I needed at the time.

What Are You Listening to?

I have never listened to an audiobook! It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally started listening to podcasts because there’s just something about listening to other people’s voices through my headphones that can bother me.

true crime podcast

The only podcast I consistently listen to is My Favorite Murder! I should probably read some true-crime stories given how much I love that podcast.

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

book recommendations

On my nightstand, I have all my essentials! I always have my Yeti water bottle with me. It keeps my water so nice and cold and I love it so much that I even have a Yeti coffee mug. I don’t usually care much about being brand loyal but they’re great products and I’ve dropped the water bottle multiple times and it’s still in great condition.

Even though I have multiple lip balms pictured, vaseline is still my go-to. It always cures my dry lips and knuckles in the winter and it’s so cost-effective! For on the go, I like Grove Collaborative’s Mint & Argan Lip Balm and then for going out, I like using Burt’s Bees colored balms.

My favorite skincare brand is Mario Badescu and this lotion is one of my favorites. I have one on my nightstand AND at my desk at work – that’s how good it is. It smells lovely and isn’t too expensive, which is important to me. I really like his products because most of them are vegan and cruelty-free and as far as skin-care goes, they’re pretty cheap!

daily journal

I also have this journal, An Inspired Life, which includes prompts to reflect. It helps me reframe when I get stressed out and writing is one of my favorite forms of self-care, therefore, having this notebook close by helps me unwind in bed at night!

Lastly, an Anthropologie candle!! I try to get one of these for Christmas each year, and then treat myself once or twice throughout the year with one of these because they are the best candles out there. The volcano scents are my favorite and Nordstrom usually has them on sale.


Thank you so much for sharing today, Julia!!

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 {Kristina}

book friends

The Nightstand Series is back!!

After a little hiatus, I am so excited to bring back my book friends series, What’s On Your Nightstand? If you need a little refresher, each week I invite a book-loving friend to share their recent reading lists, including what they have recently read(and loved OR didn’t love!), what they are currently reading and what’s coming up next. In addition, we get to know them as readers and get small peek into their regular lives as well.

Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Kristina!

Kristina and I met over our love our reading on Bookstagram. We bonded when we realized that we were reading a lot of the same exact books and having very similar reactions. Kristina is an amazing book reviewer and her reading genres are very in sync with mine so I can always count on her for a great recommendation or honest feedback about ones I should skip! I can’t wait for you to get to know Kristina more today, she’s wonderful.

Nightstand Series Introduction:

Hi, my name is Kristina!! I live in New Jersey with my husband and two children—-a 15-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. A month ago we adopted our 1 1/2-year-old kitty, Nala. She completes our family. I work as a Program Coordinator for a non-profit organization, working with individuals that are homeless and have a severe or persistent mental health diagnosis.

As a family, we enjoy watching movies together, traveling and exploring different places. I enjoy walking when the weather is nicer. Another hobby (besides reading) is looking up new places that we could travel to in the future.

Another hobby of mine is to write reviews for my Bookstagram. I enjoy reading others’ reviews and writing about the books I read. It’s a way to connect and build a community. My Instagram handle is: @kristinasbookishlife

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I remember learning how to read when I was about 4 years old. I would sit down with my father and try to read the comics section, while he read the newspaper. One day it just clicked. Another early memory was reading Dr. Seuss books. I have been reading since that day and only took breaks during Grad school and when my children were newborns.

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

I enjoy reading in the early morning. I usually get about 30 minutes to read in the morning before it’s time to get up and ready. I feel that reading in the morning sets the tone for the day. I recently started listening to audiobooks so as I get ready, head into work, and on the way home, I will listen to one. When I come home, I make dinner, spend time with the family, and then will get about 2-3 hours of reading done. I’m not a person that will watch tv or movies unless it is a family movie night on a Friday. Therefore, I get a ton of reading done!

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

The Giver of Stars

I am currently reading The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. This has been on my TBR for a long time, so when @meetmeinthestacks and @lauralovestoread announced they were doing a buddy read, I said why not? This book has grasped my attention from the beginning but I have slowly been working my way through it. Looking forward to seeing how it unravels!!

Book Recommendations

I recently read Long Bright River by Liz Moore. I was lucky enough to win the book in a Goodreads giveaway. This book came on my radar a few months ago and what drew me to it was that it’s based in Philadelphia(Philly). I consider Philly my home away from home, my mother still resides there. What captured and kept my attention though was the two main characters, Mickey and Kacey. This book was so much more than a mystery.

The mystery is that Mickey is a police officer walking the same beat where her sister disappeared from. The story unfolds as she is on the search for her sister, as many women in the same section are killed. This is all in the synopsis so no spoilers!! But it’s so much more! As you see the past and present unfold you learn about the sisters and what lead them to their current path. It was an amazing read and a book that will stay with me for a long time!

Jeanine Cummins

Another read that I recently finished and will be pushing into friends and family’s hands is American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. From page one, you are literally thrown into the story of Lydia. A mother who experiences a horrific tragedy and is faced with the choice of giving up or doing what she can to survive. I read this book with my heart in my throat the entire time. It’s so relevant to the times we are in now. A necessary read.

What Are You Reading Next?

Chanel Miller

I am looking forward to reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller. I know it’s going to be a tough read but one that is necessary to read. I’m looking forward to reading her story as the victim and the impact it had on her. I’m looking forward to viewing her growth through the lens of a reader.

Are There Any Books You Read and Didn’t Love?

Leigh Bardugo

A book that I was excited for but haven’t been able to get through is Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. This was my most anticipated book of the year, so imagine my disappointment!! I attempted to read it three times but am having trouble getting past the first part. It doesn’t go in order and starts basically in the middle of the story. I am having trouble reading it for this very reason. I’m finding it confusing. I often do not finish books if it’s not for me; however, I want to try to read this one. We shall see if it actually happens.

What Are You Listening to?

As stated above, I am newly into audiobooks! I’m finding them great because I can listen to them as I get ready for work, make breakfast and dinner, on the way to and from work. Basically any time I can’t have a physical book in my hand!

Erin Morgenstern

I’m currently listening to Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It is amazing!! The narrator sounds great and just the overall magic of the story! It’s basically a story within a story and I am savoring every moment. I already know this will be a re-read or re-listen for me.

When I’m not listening to an audiobook, I enjoy catching up with a few different podcasts! My favorites are Sarah’s Bookshelves Live, All the Books, and What Should I Read Now.

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

Besides my basket full of books, I like to keep it pretty bare. I keep my book light on my nightstand and normally clip it to the basket that holds my books. I have many bookmarks on top and inside the nightstand (can never have too many of those)! On top of the nightstand, I keep 2 bottles of water, my Apple Watch, and phone on the charger. In the drawer, I have my nightly medications, lip balm, rings, a pen, post-its, socks, lotion, and body spray! At the bottom, where there is an open space I keep a box of tissues.

We got our nightstands from Target when we moved into our new apartment in August. My husband felt that we didn’t need them. I laughed and laughed because where’s a girl to keep her books?! Well, I still went ahead and ordered two, for each side of the bed. He now loves it just as much. His side is messier because he doesn’t have books that need protection!


Thank you so much for sharing today, Kristina! You were the perfect person to get this blog series back in action. <3

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