100 followers! Say what?!

Hey all,

So I just want to thank everyone who has been following me. It means so much! Yesterday I hit that milestone of 100 followers and while that may not seem much compared to others, I am more than appreciative to have gotten this far.

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 12.20.50 PM

I started this blog in 2017 to put my thoughts down about the many books that I read and discuss those books with other readers. However, at that time, it was just something to do whenever I had the time, more of a passing hobby. I barely had a dozen posts and maybe like 5 followers.

Then at the beginning of this year, I decided to take a more serious approach to the blog, creating a posting schedule as well as unique posts other than reviews. I also branched out and began to network with other bloggers.

It’s only been 6 months and already this blog has grown more than I ever expected it to. And it’s all because those of you who have taken the time to read my posts or follow me consistently. I have learned so much from this community and I enjoy logging in everyday to see what my fellow bloggers are up to. I have so much more to learn, but it can only be for the good. Here’s to more things to come!

Yours truly,

Book Admirer

 

Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn is quickly becoming one of my top five authors. She has a way of immediately sucking you in, waiting until you are engrossed and thinking you know where the story is heading, and then flipping it all on your head.

I devoured Sharp Objects in a few hours, staying up until 2 a.m. to finish it. I couldn’t stop. I NEEDED to know what happened next. And when that inevitable flip happened, I was just as dumbfounded as I always am.

From Goodreads:

Sharp ObjectsFresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming

Can I just say, Flynn’s portrayal of Camille’s 13-year-old sister had me on the edge of my seat the whole book. I mean she is your typical rebellious teenager but you just know there is more to it. You just don’t know why. Again Flynn keeps you guessing. At first you think it’s her, then you don’t, than you do. OMG the rollercoaster ride.

Then you wonder about Camille. If maybe she is going off the deep end. I mean she did just come out of the psych ward. Is this all delusional? Some of the stuff she does with her sister … if my fiance wasn’t sleeping beside me, I swear I would have screamed out loud “DON’T DO IT”

That is the thing about Flynn. She makes her characters unreliable so you really don’t know who is at the root of the issue until the end and as always it’s a shocker. Like how did I not see it?!

I don’t want to keep going for the fear of spoiling it for those who have not read it. All I will say is that if you decide to read this, you won’t be disappointed.


Have you read Sharp Objects? What did you think? What other book have you read that kept you on the edge of your seat? Post in the comments.

FFF: Would you rather read by a fireplace or by the beach?

Given that I am from Jersey, I have to say the beach. I just love sitting outside in the summer on the porch or in a hammock, but my favorite is on the beach.

It’s the one thing I miss since moving to upstate New York. I used to live 15 minutes from the beach and now I have none near me except for beaches by the lake. I don’t get to the beach as often as I used to. Only once a year and that is when I go to visit my fiance’s family down in Florida. Speaking of which, I am heading down there next week and I CAN’T WAIT! I can just hear the ocean waves calling my name. Hopefully it doesn’t rain the whole time we are there.


Where would you rather read? Let’s discuss!

What inspired your blog name?

This isn’t an either/or question but I felt like mixing it up a little this week because I need to resolve my curiosity. It amazes me every day how many of us book bloggers are out there and how unique each of the blog names are. So I am curious, how did you come up with that name.

Mine is by far not as creative as others I have seen but I have my own reasons for my name.

Upon entering high school, I already knew I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up but was dismayed to learn the high school didn’t have a school newspaper. Taking action, I wrote a letter to the principal explaining why the school needed one. I remember him reading it right there during my lunch period. When he was done, he looked my way and motioned me over. He asked me if I had written it and when I nodded he said it was well done. I vaguely recall saying something to the effect that I was an admirer of the written word. He was impressed. Suffice it to say, next school year, we had a budget for a school newspaper.

reading giphy.gif
giphy.com

That simple line helped propel me on a path that would lead to where I am today. So when I started this blog, I tried to think of something catchy or play on words but then realized I wanted to pay homage to what started it all. Because in fact, I am an admirer of the written word.

I remember as a kid, always being excited to get a new book and reading the first lines of the book and how they skipped across the page. I liked reading aloud because I liked to hear how the words sounded in a sentence. I remember, at an early age, writing short stories for fun because I liked creating my own sentences and paragraphs.

Even now, so many years later, there are times I still get giddy with excitement when I read a new book. There are times, when I will stop to admire how an author just expressed a particular point or described a scene. I don’t think it will ever get old.

Yours truly,

Book Admirer

 

 

Popular titles that just didn’t do it for me

One of the things I base my TBR list on are books that get some hype or really popular books (especially when it comes to classics). I may not read it at the time that everyone else does, but sooner or later I will read it to see what all the hype was about. What I hate is when I do finally get around reading it and the book is a big, fat disappointment.

So I thought I would share some popular books that everyone raved about but just didn’t do it for me. (Thanks MissM. for the post suggestion!)

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

OutlanderThis is a recent book that people are still raving about, especially now that it is a television show. I read the first book last summer and was surprised that I didn’t take to it.

I have read plenty of romance novels and historical romance novels and loved them. So when someone suggested reading this one, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. While I was reading it, it was fine, but as soon as I put it down, I didn’t want to pick it up again. I don’t know if the pace of the book was slow or drawn out but I could barely get through it. I just found the story line boring. I do have the second book on my bookshelf but I don’t know if I will pick it up. I have so many other books I want to read.

Catcher in the ryeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Here is a classic that many schools have as part of their English curriculum in high school. When I ask people what one of their favorite classics is, this is one of them and I just don’t know why. Am I missing something here? I thought the book was ‘meh’ at best. I just couldn’t related to Holden’s character and didn’t see why I should care. However, this is one book that I would try reading again. Maybe, I just couldn’t appreciate it at the time.

 

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Another classic I read in high school and just didn’t like. I never really liked learning about the 1920s so I think that has something to do with it. The story line just didn’t interest me. I will say F. Scott Fitzgerald is a good writer so I wouldn’t mind trying to read some of his other works but Gatsby wasn’t for me.

 

 

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse fiveFor the longest time I wanted to read Vonnegut but his books were always out of the library, especially Slaughterhouse Five. So when it finally was available, I took it out. It is one of the books that always appears on a “should be read” list so I figured why not.

I am sad to say that I only got through a quarter of the book before I returned it. I didn’t even have the urge to renew it to try to finish it.

As I read the Goodreads summary now, it mentions that this isn’t a simple book to get through. Maybe that was my problem. I just didn’t give it the time that it deserved. I was trying to rush through it and it isn’t one that can be rushed. Perhaps I will try again at a later date, but I can’t promise anything.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbras 24 hours bookstoreI am not sure if this is a popular one but I saw it on several TBR lists on Pinterest. I had to read it for book club and sadly its one that I didn’t finish. I was really disappointed with this one because every time I saw it on a shelf in the bookstore I made a mental note to pick it up. C’mon, it had 24-hour bookstore in the title, every book lovers dream. Add in the description of secrets and strange characters in the summary and you have me sold. I was fooled.

I just thought it was very slow paced and boring. It was another one where when I was reading it, I was fine but as soon as I put it down, I had no desire to pick it up again. It just didn’t call to me. The concept was interesting but I just felt like it dragged and dragged and was taking forever to get to the point of the story.

Unfortunately, I never made it to book club that month so I never got to hear what everyone else thought but from what I heard later, it was a mixed bag.

It is very rare for me not to enjoy a book so when it happens, I am truly disappointed. There have been others (like the Ginger Man as I just reviewed) but these five I felt were some popular ones that many people have either heard about or have read for themselves. I may try to give them a shot again but right now, the answer is no.


Have you read the books on this list? What did you think? Are there any popular books that you didn’t like? Let’s discuss. Post in the comments below. 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award

Wow!  I am being nominated for another award. Thank you to Bree over at In Love and Words blog. I am truly honored. Go check out her blog here! She has a lot of fun and interesting posts and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How Does it Work?

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

Bree’s Questions

What is your all-time favorite romance novel?

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. It is my favorite of his books but I love everything he writes.

Is there a certain book that launched your love of reading? Which book?

I was reading at a pretty early age and advanced quickly so I don’t remember what book that started it all. However, the first book that I absolutely loved and reread every year is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

Have you ever read a book that has actually scared you?

Umm anything Stephen King especially “Pet Sematary”

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

“The Lord of the Rings.” There are some things that are different but overall it is one of the best movies ever. I actually read the book after the movie and was surprised by how much was the same.

List your dream cast for your favorite book.

My favorite book has already been made into a movie and I’m quite happy with the cast.

What are some of your favorite YouTube channels (if you watch them.)

I don’t watch YouTube channels.

Name 3 items on your bucket list.

My dream is to go to Italy. My other two are to go skiing and to finish my novel.

What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?

Hmmm I think this is a week early to answer because I don’t know what is going to happen but as of right now, my boyfriend taking me on to a surprise weekend getaway to Manchester, Vt. He refused to tell me where we were going until we pulled into town. We stayed at a nice lodgey hotel that had  a library in the main room and a wrap-around porch with rocking chairs and blankets. Mountains were on both sides. It was absolutely beautiful.

Have you ever had a meetcute? What happened?

I don’t know what that is lol.

What is one of the best blogging tips you’ve ever heard or given?

Keeping a schedule to remain consistent. Thanks Bree 🙂

Post a picture of your favorite bookish meme.

82ed814973c1d8e542577a0fc6a5296b
Pinterest

My Nominees

  1. The Introverted Book Nerd
  2. Adventures of a Bibliophile
  3. What Jane Read Next
  4. Thrifty Bibliophile
  5. Miss M
  6. Boston Book Reader
  7. D.T. Krippene
  8. Inexorable Spark
  9. By Air and Land
  10. Life of Chaz
  11. This is My Truth Now

My Questions

  1. What have you learned since starting your blog?
  2. What is your favorite plot twist in a book?
  3. Who is your favorite literary hero?
  4. What is the most unique/unexpected thing to happen to you?
  5. What are some of your most anticipated reads in 2018?
  6. What is your favorite genre and why?
  7. Do you like superheros? If so, who do you like the most?
  8. What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
  9. What television show are you currently hooked on?
  10. Do you have a particular reading spot? Where is it?
  11. If you could learn a language, what would it be?

TBR: February 2018

Once a month, I grab my canvas bag and take a trip to the library to fill up on some good reads for the next few weeks. What I come home with is usually an assortment of must reads for book clubs, books from my Goodreads or Pinterest TBR, impulsive grabs or other recommendations. I figured I would start sharing my hauls after each trip.

My latest trip was my biggest haul yet but I have already finished one with another already started. I am sort of cheating because a third I have already read but its for book club so I will of course.  That’s 3 out 8 already.

img_0013

It looks kind of daunting seeing that pile but I have a whole month and some of these I know I will probably finish in a day so I am excited. Here is a breakdown from top to bottom. All the titles are linked to Goodreads.

“As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner

This is my February book club read for the Capital District Book Club that I read for my other book club a few months ago. I am actually really glad that I get to read it again. I thoroughly enjoyed it then and can’t wait to write a review on it.

“Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue

As some of you already know I have already read this one and LOVED it. If you haven’t already done so, you can check out my review here.

“Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs

This has been on my TBR list for awhile and this year’s goal is to read more nonfiction. This was the one I came across on my list so I thought why not.

“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

I was introduced to Gaiman last year with his work “Neverwhere.” I loved it. I kept coming across “American Gods” whenever I went to the book store and then I heard they were making a show of it. This is on 14-day loan so I have to have it back to the library by the 15th. Crossing my fingers that I get this one in.

“The Obituary Writer” by Ann Hood

This is a complete impulse grab. The title caught my attention while I was browsing the shelves. Probably because I work on obituaries daily for the paper. Upon reading the book jacket, I was intrigued and dropped it in my bag.

“The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey

I saw this book a while ago on some list and kept a mental note to check it out. The summary totally had my attention. I want to know all about this Snow Child. So when I ran across it in the library I figured now was as good a time as any.

“The Ginger Man” by J.P. Donleavy

I am currently reading this for my classics book club and it’s not an easy one. The style of writing take a little getting used to. It’s goes in and out of stream-of-consciousness so its kind of confusing trying to figure out what is going on. I think I have a handle on it now so I ‘m hoping to move a little faster, especially since our meeting is Wednesday. I hate not finishing the book.

“The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan” by Jenny Nordberg

Definitely getting my nonfiction in this month. This was a recommendation from someone in my Capital District Book Club. We had read “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and an individual who wasn’t a particular fan had told us about this one instead. I wrote it down to be read later.

I am excited to see if I can meet this goal. I have been good at reading at least 5 a month so this will definitely be a challenge. I will let you all know how it goes. 😉

Yours truly,

Book Admirer


What is everyone currently reading? Have you read any of the above? If you would like, share in the comments below.

Weekly schedule

Hey guys, Happy Hump Day! Wow! I am completely shocked and humbled by all you who have taken the time to visit, view and/or like one of my posts this past week. Traffic has steadily increased since I revamped last week and my followers have tripled. Thank you so much! As a result, I thought […]

When you just cant seem to finish….

Hey all,

My plan was to review “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout for this week’s review but alas I am still reading it. I have been reading it for over a week now and I don’t know why.

It’s weird. When I’m reading, I am fully engrossed but then when I put it down, I am not that enthusiastic about picking it up again. And it’s not that it isn’t good. Strout’s writing is smooth and the topics that she raises in each of the story lines is engaging. It seems that I am allowing other distractions get in the way, which is not necessarily a bad thing, since that main distraction has been this blog.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, my goal for this year was to make this blog more interesting, from the look to the content, so I have been busy doing some research. I have actually taken the time to explore the vast blogging world and was surprised by how many of us are out there. When I say “us” I mean book bloggers. I didn’t even know that we actually had a specific blogging title. Huh. Not to mention our own lingo. “TBR” took me a moment to figure out.

Anyway, I want to thank all of you for helping me, whether you know you did or not. Many of your pages are so creative and fun, exactly what I was hoping to aspire to this year but I didn’t even know where to start. Thus I found myself watching YouTube videos on design. Then I was busy most of yesterday creating my own designs for the page, which will probably be uploaded later.

I was also surprised that while each of you have your own way of book blogging, many of you share the same content, in terms of themes for the week, like” Top Ten Tuesday,” which I must say is VERY popular.  It made me start to think of ways I can make my own content unique. I can’t necessarily participate in “Top Ten Tuesday” because I work crazy hours for the first half of the week, but I have Thursday, Friday and Saturday free so I have plenty of room to grow.

I did read a few more chapters of “Olive Kitteridge,” this morning but I guess you will just have to wait a little longer to see what I think of it.

Until then, continue reading.

Yours truly,

Book Admirer