Tag Archives: Book Reviews

A reading list for fall

Fall Reading List

While I feel like I did a lot of reading over the summer, I can’t wait for fall so that I can cozy up with a book more often. AKA read while Josh watches back-to-back-to-back football games. Here are some of my favorite reads from the end of the summer that will kick-off your fall reading list. This was an interesting, and varied, group, to say the least!

Fall Reading List- Summer House with Swimming Pool

This book was not what I was expecting, at all. It was one of the hottest books of the summer and I read it on the plane on the way home from Vegas earlier this month. I loved the moments of suspense, but all of the medical neurosis of the main character, who is a doctor, didn’t come together for me until the end of the book. I’m still torn about how I feel about Summer House with Swimming Pool, but I’d still recommend it. Curious to know what you think. I’m still processing this one! Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Forever Interrupted

One of my favorite reads of the summer, I’ve had this book on my to-read list for a long time and I’m so glad that I finally read it. It was quick and romantic in an unexpected way, but with tragic heartbreak that wrenches your heart out at first, but then lets reality settle in. A must-read, in my opinion. Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Outlander

This fantasy/historical fiction genre isn’t one that I read very often. But, this book had been recommended to me time and time again, so I went for it. I loved about half of the book. The other half, I skimmed through. The parts I loved, I really, really loved. It was filled with action and amazing historical details and lots of sex. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you might like this book and there are many more books in the series, if you like something to dig your teeth into. I’m not sure if I’ll continue on to the second book… Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Goodnight June

If the fireplace on the cover doesn’t give it away, let me tell you… this is the perfect book to cozy up with this fall. Telling the story of how the childhood favorite, Goodnight Moon, came to be (at least, in the mind of Sarah Jio), I loved how the book wove its characters together, as they always do. A must-read for curling up next to your own fireplace this fall. Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- The Fracking King

This book. It still has my mind in knots because I can’t tell if it was very good… or very bad. It was one of the Editor’s Picks on Amazon for July and the reviews were outstanding, but there were times when it felt terribly awkward. Maybe it was due to the painful coming-of-age story and its main character? I’d love to hear from you, if you’ve read this book… Find it on Amazon.

More on books I’ve read this year:

5 Books I just read (including one I hated)
7 Books I’ve read so far in 2014
More summer book recommendations

My favorite book lists on Pinterest:

Books to read
Books I read in 2014
Books I read in 2013

Please note: I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way and do not get paid for recommending you buy these books there. It’s just where I purchase my books. The end.


Reading list: Momstrology (Giveaway)


// This giveaway has ended. Please click HERE to see the winner. //

Oh, how I wish I was in Seattle this weekend to attend this book signing and event with the AstroTwins, authors of the newly released book, Momstrology: The AstroTwins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One By the Stars.

It seems to be the universal string pulling all mothers together — no matter where you live or how you choose to parent, we’re all always searching for the best method to guide little ones through this crazy world. I seem to learn this lesson with our kids over and over again — children change every single day and as they change, what worked yesterday certainly doesn’t work today. And, add in multiple children to the equation, each with their own unique personalities, and parenting can seem quite overwhelming at times. For me, it’s been the most surprising part about being a mom… and the most challenging, too.

I confess that I don’t read a lot of parenting books. Once upon a time, when I was a brand-new mom, I devoured them all. Now, with nearly 10-years of parenting under my belt (wow! how did that happen?), I’ve learned that, for me, the time I spend reading parenting advice is better spent in the trenches of parenting, connecting with my kids.

However, when Momstrology came across my desk for work, I knew that I had to peek through it. It happened to arrive on a super sunny week in Bellingham and I kicked up my feet in the back deck to dig in as the kids romped in the sprinkler to keep cool.

I loved that it’s more like a guidebook, rather than a read-it-from-cover-to-cover book. I know that my reading time comes in bits-and-pieces these days — I can sneak in 10-minute sessions (at the most!) throughout the day and the format of Momstrology lends perfectly to the way that moms read… in between grabbing snacks to keep hungry tummies at bay, while parked in the school pick-up lines, and on those never-ending doctor visit waits.

Another thing I loved about Momstrology? I didn’t need to have a background in astrology before I started reading. Beyond knowing my own sign and occasionally reading my horoscope when the suggestions pops up on Facebook, I know nothing about the stars or how to use them to look at what’s happening in my own life, let alone my kids’.

Momstrology lays it all out for you, from finding out what signs your kids are (I have a Pisces, a Virgo and a Libra) to using your own sign to discover your parenting style, as well as dad’s parenting style. Plus, for each child’s sign, Momstrology outlines everything under the sun, from learning styles to gift ideas to when to try to conceive if you want to have a baby of a certain sign.

This is certainly a book that I’m keeping handy for my many parenting years to come. I’ve already busted out a highlighter and dog-eared the pages that relate to my kids for future reference!Momstrology

If you’re in Seattle this weekend, or anywhere nearby, be sure to attend the Pine & 14th Family Day on Capitol Hill, which is on Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Not only will the AstroTwins be there to sign copies of Momstrology (get a picture with them and send it to me!), but there is a full day planned with kid-friendly events. You can read the details above and click through to the event page. And, if you attend, you get an extra entry to win a copy of Momstrology (Rafflecopter entry below).

To enter to win a copy of MOMSTROLOGY, please click the Rafflecopter link below:

// This giveaway has ended, please click the link below to see the winner. //

 bellingFAM Giveaway for a copy of Momstrology

(If you’ve never used Rafflecopter before, I promise that it’s easy and the BEST and safest way to enter a giveaway on a blog, as well as for me to run a giveaways on bellingFAM. No registration necessary. All of your information provided is kept private. U.S. residents only, please.)

A copy of the book and the giveaway were provided by The AstroTwins.
No other compensation was taken for this post.
All opinions are my own, as always.

Reading list: Summer book recommendations

I’ve been on a major reading spree lately. I have no idea why, but I’m loving it and busting through books like crazy. Here’s what I just finished reading and what’s coming up on my summer reading list. What are you reading right now? Any other suggestions?

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Apparently everyone is obsessed with this Young Adult novel and there is a big movie coming out this summer. I liked it and it was a quick read, but I wasn’t insanely obsessed with it. Maybe because I’m not a 15-year-old girl? Worth reading, however.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I know that I’m late reading this book — it came out in 2011 and it’s been on my to-read list ever since. It was dark and magical and mysterious. Despite thinking that the ending got a bit jumbled up, I enjoyed reading it and would recommended it. It’s a thick book and took a few weeks to wade through, so save this for when you know you can commit.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

This book is perfect, perfect, perfect summer reading, in my opinion. I finished it in a couple of days (she insists that you do in the opening chapter) and I thought it was relevant and funny, especially if you follow pop culture and celebrity life… or, if you’re simply a 30-something trying to figure out this crazy world.

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

I’ve been trying to catch up with my sweet friend Sarah’s novels, but she is writing them faster than I can read! I devoured Morning Glory, which is based on a Seattle houseboat and this was the first book of hers that I read where I was so completely lost in the book and the characters that I stopped hearing Sarah reading it to me in my head! Highly recommend this one for some beach reading this summer.

I just started The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, on recommendation from my Seattle book club (who surprised and kidnapped me in Bellingham last weekend! it was sooo fun!).

For more book recommendations, check out 7 Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014. I keep a running list of books I’ve read on Pinterest, including what I’ve read in 2014, 2013, 2012 and books on my to-read list.

What’s on your reading list this summer?
Any recommendations for us?
(I’ll compile a list!)

All book links go to Amazon. I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way, other than I buy my books via their site for my Kindle. In case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t…


Reading list: 7 Books I’ve read so far in 2014

I didn’t really make resolutions for 2014, but in the back of my mind, I vowed to do more reading… and I’ve been keeping that promise, plowing through a book every couple of weeks.

Here’s what I’ve been reading since the beginning of the year. I always pin the books I’ve read, with recommendations to my BOOKS I READ: 2014 Pinterest board (here is my 2012 list and my 2013 list) and I keep a very active BOOKS TO READ Pinterest board as well.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter

This was the first book I read this year and I have to admit that the cover caught my eye. I rarely read what a book is actually about before I start it. I love the mystery of not knowing (this is so not like me, in life, FYI). I did like this book. It was thick and hopped between different countries and cultures and eras, which kept my interest.

The Interestings

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

This has been my favorite so far this year, which was a surprise to me considering I couldn’t even finish Meg Wolitzer’s other book. This one took me back to being a teenager, despite the fact that these teens experienced life in a different decade than I did — I suppose that there are some things and experiences that are just intrinsic to being a teenager, right?

Divergent Series

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

I just finished reading the last book a couple of days ago and now I’m dying to see the movie (want to be my date? i promise not to hog the popcorn). I thought this was a fun series to read and it caught my interest. Obviously it’s in the Young Adult category, although I thought it was a bit more mature than Twilight or The Hunger Games. The first book was definitely my fave and they went a bit downhill from there, in my opinion. The last two books felt like the were trying to hard and I almost wish I would have read the first book and called it a day. Did anyone else feel the same?

Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

If you were a fan of the first book, I would say that it’s a must-read. It went in a different direction than I was expecting and I’m really hoping that they make it into a movie. Mostly because this is the only Anne Hathaway that I can stomach. Perfect for beach reading or I-don’t-really-want-to-think-much reading.

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I’d been hearing about this book for a while and knew that it was wildly popular, but I was skeptical. I hate getting so excited about a book that everyone is swooning about, then being disappointed when it’s not so great. However, I really loved this. The story was light, relateable and relevant.

Have you read any of these? What are you reading right now?

Reading list: REAL HAPPY FAMILY, A NOVEL (Giveaway)

Real Happy Family Cover

// This giveaway has closed. The winner has been announced HERE on Rafflecopter. //

When TLC Book Tours asked me to review one of their latest books, REAL HAPPY FAMILY, by Caeli Wolfson Widger, the email exchange went a little something like this:

Them: “Are you interested in reviewing a book that is focused around pop culture and reality TV?”

Me: “Hold on, let me turn down the Real Housewives of (Insert Favorite Bravo Franchise Here).”

In all honesty, once I dug into REAL HAPPY FAMILY, it wasn’t quite what I expected. Reading about pop culture and reality TV seems like it would be a pretty cushy gig, but this book is much darker and grittier than those topics let on.

The story follows a family, mainly a mother and a daughter, who are trying to survive in Hollywood, eventually ending up on an intervention-style reality TV show… which kicks off in a Reno hotel room, of all places.

I’m still finishing up the last few chapters of REAL HAPPY FAMILY and while it took me a few chapters to pull the story together, the characters kept me going. I loved that this wasn’t a fluffy-take on reality TV or a profile of a “struggling” actress. It feels real and borderline scandalous in a man-behind-the-curtain way, without being sensationalized with the glitz and glamour of typical celeb-fiction reads. To top it all off, it’s smart and witty, in all of the right places. My favorite.

There were times when I had to put it down to take a break from the almost painful family interactions. I felt as if I were peeking straight into the lives of Lorelei and Colleen, like I was watching them on Real Happy Family (the reality show they land on) myself, rather than reading a piece of fiction.

I’d certainly recommend REAL HAPPY FAMILY, especially if you’re a self-confessed reality TV junkie, like me. (I have no shame.) Your secret is safe with me. Looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up… I still can’t tell if there is a happy ending in the works or if this family will dive right into tragedy, yet again.

Pick up your own copy on Amazon. (The Kindle-version is under $5 right now!)
Save it to your Goodreads account.
Follow author, Caeli Wolfson Widger on Twitter.

To enter to win a copy of REAL HAPPY FAMILY, please click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below:

// This giveaway is closed. Please click the link below to see the winner. Thank you for participating! //

bellingFAM Giveaway for REAL HAPPY FAMILY, A NOVEL

(If you’ve never used Rafflecopter before, I promise that it’s easy and the BEST and safest way to enter a giveaway on a blog, as well as for me to run a giveaways on bellingFAM. No registration necessary. U.S./Canada only.)

A copy of REAL HAPPY FAMILY was provided for the purpose of this review. Giveaway provided by TLC Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

TLC Book Tours