Books I’m Not Finishing

Here is an important lesson: Life is too short to read through books you aren’t enjoying. I had an entire stack of books I was half way through, or haven’t started. I made a video talking about why I’m not finishing them. This is what hopefully is going to get me out of a reading slump I’ve been in for a lot of the year!


Tell me what books you won’t be finishing and why! If you need a sign to stop reading a book you aren’t enjoying: This is it!

Annotating Made Simple

Let’s talk about annotating (on purpose)

Annotating is a fancy word for taking notes when you read something. It can be done with books, articles, editorials, plays, etc.. I was first introduced to annotating in an AP literature class in high school. Being 17 and in a 4 year reading slump, I didn’t like it. Now, I love doing it. Annotating  keeps my thoughts from disappearing and I can explain my opinions. 

If you want to try it, here’s how this works:

  • Grab a pen, your reading material, a pad of sticky notes
  • when ever you feel something, read something interesting, and/or want to remember something,  write it down and stick it on the page 

If you’re annotating for school, look for what is being asked ( Information, grammar, terminology, facts to beef up essays etc.) You could also write in the margins of the book. I get a lot of my books from the library, and  like the space that a sticky note offers, so I prefer to not write in the book. 
You can now go back and see your reading journey through sticky notes. Let me know if you’ve tried annotating or have tips of your own! 

Best Books of 2016

So many books

so many favorites

Out of the 22 books I read last year, a few stuck out in my memory and I had to talk about them. This time, I actually TALK about them in my first video on YOUTUBE!!!!!! I’m making strides towards my goals for this year and youtube something I wanted to try for a looooooong time! So sit back, relax and enjoy! Book Favorites 2017  !!!

Graveyard of the Half-Read Books


School makes reading for fun difficult. There are so many assignments, and general studying, that books get set aside for another time. When that time rolls around, the last thing I want to do is read. Currently there are 3 books that have been started, but are no where near being finished. I’ve been trying to read Emma for most of 2016. The Book Thief is a newer read and is soooooo good. Real Artists Have Day Jobs is one of the funnier books I’ve read this year.

Hopefully, I’ll finish Real Artists Have Day Jobs during the few days off for Thanksgiving. To top everything off, I have 7 books to get through for my goodreads reading challenge. The stress is real, but it’ll be the kick in the pants I need. So while I work more math problems and master the art of the Punnet square, enjoy this post, the picture, and your free reading time. You’re very lucky.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan


This book was worth the year and a half wait. I wanted to wait until my local library got a copy, and it took a LONG while. I knew that half the book was short adult fiction, so I didn’t want to buy in case I didn’t like it. It sounds mean but now, other people can enjoy this incredible collection of stories and essays for free.  The fiction was beautiful. Adult fiction isn’t my favorite genre, so I can’t wholeheartedly say that I enjoyed every minute of it. I did enjoy how easy it was to get into them. The stories pulled me in and kept me guessing until the end. They had wonderful twists in the plot that weren’t completely unexpected, but still enough to keep me going to the end. The short stories also had this mysterious element to them. Marina purposefully left a sort of  “elephant in the room” in these short stories. They weren’t hard to figure out but, they were never truly confirmed either. Her essays are works of art. Instead of being painted, they were typed. These essays put into words my feelings and outlook on life right now. Well, most of them do. I don’t have a gluten allergy, so I can’t relate 100% to that essay. Reading this book in my very early 20’s was one of the best decisions I’ve made. While this book isn’t life changing, knowing that there was someone else with these ideals, a person who was twice as smart and possibly had a brighter future than I do, makes me not feel like complete misfit.  Highly recommend!

Fall Reads 2016 

*Elisabeth,  you are writing this in the middle of a hurricane, so if this doesn’t get up Sept. 1, don’t beat yourself up.*

August has come and gone in a blink of an eye. School has started up again, but does that mean I’ll shorten my reading list? HA no. I still have an ambitious list . The goal now is to get 3 chapters into all of the books. I may finish some, and I may not, but the point is to read right?  So here we go!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I AM SO EXCITED TO READ THIS. I have been waiting almost too patiently for this book. It’s been out for a few months, but my library ordered it so I wasn’t going to buy it. *I’m sorry Victoria* I’ve already gotten a few pages in and let me tell you, it’s great!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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The Nightingale 
The adventure of reading in Spanish is a long one. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this one. I do not plan on finishing it. Spanish is not my dominant language, this will not be a quick read.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

This book has been on my wish list for ages. I first  heard of TOL when Ingrid Nilsen talked about it in a favorites video a literal year ago (This is it). It was before I got a job, and the libraries where I live didn’t have them (FOR SHAME). I want to ration it, but pretty sure I’m going to finish it in a few days.

Real Artists have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa
Non-fiction is quickly becoming something I can’t live without. I saw this at the library, thought it looked good, checked it out. The cover and layout seem fun, I’m in need of a few chuckles, I’m going to give this a go.

Knowing me I’ll probably drop books and pick up a few new ones. I’ll try to do a wrap up towards October (where does time go?), possibly a video??????? I’m playing around with my camera we shall see. Tell me, what are you reading this month?


I Only Read These Because School Made Me…

AND NOW I LOVE THEM (I’m done yelling I promise)! Even though I love reading and literature, like everyone else I strongly dislike assigned reading. Reading and scrutinizing every detail of a book, with deadlines, homework, tests, AND projects is nobody’s idea of a good reading experience. On the other hand, If no one forced me to read these, I would still be reading YA exclusively. My English classes and teachers taught me the appreciation of the classics and why they’re so important. There were 4 that have stuck with me after high school.

*these are ordered in the order that I had read them*

*The word love is thrown about excessively*

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This is one of the first times I had ever read a book where I saw that the main character was dealing with a mental illness. It’s so subtle, because it’s set in the late 1940’s and the book was published in the early 1950’s. Mental illness was horribly misunderstood and it wasn’t a subject  you directly addressed. The main character Holden is telling us the story of how he got put in a mental institution. He has had a tough time dealing with the death of his brother. He doesn’t fit in that well at school, his parents have shipped him from school to school and don’t really know how to help him, and Holden is also 17 so throw in all the usual teenage angst. One winter he just can’t take it and runs away from school . He spends a few days roaming around New York City and he kinda finds himself.

I love this book so much, it’s such a wild ride start to finish

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Let me be 110% honest, this book has destroyed my tear ducts.  The story of Miriam and Laila is beautiful, tragic, and eye opening. Their stories are set in the beginning of Afghanistan’s struggle that has spread to a lot the middle east and is still a big issue today. One of them has a happy ending the other doesn’t. You can’t help but cry for both women.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte  Brontë

Before this, the only other classic book that I read is Pride and Prejudice. I thank my teachers everyday for exposing me to other authors and writers. In this book you follow Jane Eyre, throughout her life. The main thing to know about this book, is that Jane isn’t always in the ideal situation. It doesn’t last forever , but just as the situation improves, she is somehow uprooted and ends up again in another crappy situation. It ends happily for her which is amazing!   I think I love this book so much because A) my friend loved it, so peer pressure and B)  It was my first experience reading a Gothic novel (Gothic romance technically) and I really enjoyed the gloomy atmosphere. Also, a bit of feminism before women even had the right to vote.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This is a bit of a cheat because this book was never assigned to be by a teacher. My friend had to read it for a class and he loved it, so I got is as a gift.

This book made me realize that it doesn’t really matter what era someone grew up in, teenagers still go through the same issues. Cliques are a part of life and it’s a struggle when people start to break off into them and you just don’t seem to fit in anywhere. It’s also short and awesome to take along for travel.

Ummm I don’t think this needs a summary. I just love books a lot. My question is what books were you assigned to read that you ended up loving (or at least appreciating)?

Vintage Finds at the Library

Before getting into this post, how old does something need to be for it to be considered vintage? Let me know 

Working in a library has many book nerd perks. My favorite is seeing the withdrawn books before they go out on a cart for people to take home. This week I spotted two books from the 1960s. They were about American life from the 1600s to through the civil war. Not the most interesting material, but American Girl turned me into history fanatic I can’t help it!!  

They look so old (in the best way possible), and I can’t wait to get through them! 

Top 5 books of 2016 (Mid-Year Edition)

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How is it the end of July already?! There are only a few months left to tackle my Goodreads reading challenge (faints, but gets right back up to type this out). I only have 16 out of 30 books left to read (yes yes I feel the pressure too), and it’s always cool to look back and see which books stood out in my mind after finishing them. I listed my 5 favorites from the first half of the year in case anyone reading this needs inspiration on what to read next. Currently, I’m making my way through Victoria Schwab’s This Savage Song and let me tell you IT. IS. SO. GOOD. AND. SO. ORIGINAL. GO. OUT. AND. READ. THIS. BOOK.

I have links to all the books mentioned below as well as a little (who are we kidding here, biggish) gush about them.

Also, have you joined the Goodreads reading challenge? How many books did you pledge and how are you getting on?

*Disclaimer: the pictures for Red Queen and Room are taken off of google. I checked them out from the library and returned them way before I had the intention of writing this post.*
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Wrote an entire post about this, but basically this and  Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard is what got me back into reading young adult again. This book is about 6 criminal outcasts trying t pull of what seems to be an impossible heist. Finished this book in about 2 days. I can barely wait until the sequel comes out!!

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

The movie was great, and the book was even better! I loved how normal this book was.Save the dramatics for another read. Again this book and movie got it’s own post, but it’s about a girl named Eilish. She moves from Ireland to Brooklyn New York and we follow her journey and how she adapts to american life.  Book & Movie: Brooklyn

Room by Emma Donoghue

Every once and a while, I think it’s good to read a haunting book to put life into perspective. This is what Room did to me. Such a great book, such an incredible movie.

The Book of Speculation  by Erika Swyler

Dove into the world on regular fiction and it was great! I enjoyed how this book is two stories in one, and how they fit together so well. I loved how the story is about finding yourself as well as knowing who your family is. Be it your actual blood related family, or friends that have become a part of it.

Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard

If you have read the selection series by Keira Cass, it’s like that but sooo much better. If you haven’t, the best way I can describe it without ruining the story is by taking the little blurb off of amazon

“Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. There, before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess, and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays the only certainty is betrayal”



Six of Crows

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good young adult book. To be honest, I’ve been avoiding them. In the past few years, all I’ve seen when searching for young adult is sappy sappy romance and or a dystopian novel and I was over it. So I gave it a few months and then at work we got this all black, aesthetically gratifying book. It was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and it looked too cool to not check out. At first, I shamefully thought it was part of the Raven Boys cycle (silly silly me). As I read, I remembered how much I loved books like these. There was suspense, adventure, and just enough tension between certain couples that the hopeless romantic in me started shipping characters together from chapter 2 (where most of the characters were introduced) . I loved it enough to stay up until 4 am to finish it and by the end, I sat in silence processing what just happened. If that’s not a sign of a good book I don’t want to know what is!!! In each chapter, we follow the viewpoints of  different characters. It’s usually one of the main 6 characters. All chapters are also told in third person so it’s not as confusing as it sounds.

It’s good to see a book where all the characters have so much strength. Nina, Inej, Kaz, Matthais, Jesper, and waylan are all so strong despite their heart breaking backgrounds. It’s kind of inspirational to see them “defeat” the odds. Also, there are main characters of color which makes this little brown chika very happy. 

If you are like me and haven’t read Leigh’s other series the Grisha trilogy, which is the world that SoC is set in, it won’t ruin the plot of the other books, but it is a lot to keep up with along with the main story lines. I have heard that there is a major spoiler from the Grisha trilogy, but I’m not reading it for a while.  Also, this isn’t a part of the review, but the song Heathens by Twenty One Pilots, matches this book SO WELL.

Have you read Six of Crows? Are you excited for the sequel  Crooked Kingdom? Let’s talk about it!