Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Woman in Cabin 10

This book was a Christmas present and I have to say it is my favorite book I’ve read this year. While it started out slow, I’m not exactly sure why I thought it was slow because there was a home invasion but I wasn’t really feeling it. But then I got to Lo’s time on the boat and wow I could not put it down!

Maybe it’s my unhealthy obsession with the Titanic and tragedies at sea (a story for another time) but I was hook line and sinker for this book. I would describe this book as a psycho-thriller, I was on edge the whole time and just as I thought I figured it out, there was a plot twist to hide the truth yet again.

I will say I had some serious Shutter Island vibes going on here. But I was completely wrong, there’s so much going on here and that’s the least of Lo’s worries.

If you’re looking for something to keep you on the edge of your seat that isn’t scary (I’m not good with horror movies) this is it!

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I had The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society in my To Be Read pile for quite some time now and I wish I had picked it up sooner!

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and one of my favorite time periods to read about is is WWII. You can see there were pretty high expectations to live up to and this book knocked it out of the park! I fell in love with each of the characters and I can say that now Guernsey is on my travel bucket list.

Just to give you a little background information: Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands. It is not part of the U.K., although they are a British Crown dependency. Guernsey was occupied by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The Germans landed there and thought they would sweep through the U.K. only to realize it would not be that simple. The army continued to inhabit Guernsey until the end of the war.

This novel by Shaffer and Barrows follows the life of a writer, Juliet, who published a series of short stories about life during WWII. She is asked to continue writing her Izzy Bickerstaff books but Juliet wants to venture out and create something new. A resident of Guernsey stumbles upon Juliet’s name in a book and suddenly she is pulled into the life of a literary society in the midst of the German occupation.

One of my favorite things about this book was that it takes the form of a series of letters. It’s a narrative you don’t see often and it was a nice change from the usual.

Another thing that I loved about this book was all of the characters. Falling in love with Juliet and all of the residents of Guernsey was so easy and I could have kept reading about them forever.

It does have a movie adaptation on Netflix but I haven’t dared to watch it, the book was that good! If you’ve watched the movie, let me know if you think I should give it a try!

Let me know what you think of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and be sure to leave any book recommendations in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

I discovered The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle from @between2covers_ on Instagram. I’ve discovered so many bookstagrams recently and I’ve made a bad habit out of adding these snaps to my saved list… it’s only bad because my reading list had at least quadrupled. 

I’ll admit what drew me to this book was Audrey Hepburn on the cover but I was reeled in after learning more about it. The Dinner List is about Sabrina who gets to live out the age old icebreaker question of having 5 people, living or dead, with her for dinner. 

The main character, Sabrina, chose four people she knew and Audrey Hepburn to join her for dinner in an old school assignment. Little did she know, that school assignment would come to life on her birthday years later. The book alternates between the present, the dinner party, and the past, her life surrounding her boyfriend Tobias. I really enjoyed the premise of the book and I loved that the chapters alternated between “reality” and Sabrina’s past because you got to understand the way her mind worked better. But, about halfway through the book I was over it. I was left feeling like Sabrina’s friend Jessica and I was ready to kick Tobias out of the party myself. To me it felt like Sabrina was so infatuated with the idea of him rather than in love with him. 

I have to say, although I was over it halfway through, I would have to recommend this to anyone looking for something to read because isn’t that what a book is meant to do? To make you feel something? Serle did such a great job creating unique and frustratingly-wonderful characters that I was moved and truly felt like I was the seventh person at this birthday dinner. 

I was so immersed in this book, if I hadn’t read it in the middle of my semester I would have finished it in a day. It may be practically winter but this would make the perfect beach read!

Happy reading!

xox, 

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The World’s Strongest Librarian

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I almost didn’t pick up The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne. I went in to the library to get Monday Mornings for my class but this caught my eye when I was walking to the desk to check out. They had a whole display on the importance of having a library card and naturally I was drawn to it. My mom used to think I would be a librarian when I grew up, I am one step closer to that because I am working on creating a Little Free Library on campus but that’s a story for another time.

So I saw the cover and was intrigued and this book certainly did not disappoint. It combined so many things I was interested in into one book and I loved everything about it.

Josh artfully strings together his struggle with his faith, Tourette’s, and how exercise helped him to regain control of his life. Before reading this book I never really had learned anything about Tourette’s. I knew that it often caused people to have tics, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I had never thought about the social and psychological implications Tourette’s had on a person’s life.

My personal favorite part of this book was the end. While having to write a 3-5 minute talk on what implicit bias was for a school presentation, Hanagarne was describing the variety of people who came into the library and he summed up implicit bias without even saying the term,

” ‘That Arab _____ over there is trying to steal someone’s wallet, but I grabbed it from him!’ The “Arab” was a refugee from Ethiopia who was there to attend a job-search class with the International Rescue Committee. He was done using the computer and had picked up his own wallet, which he had set on the desk while he worked.”

There are a ton of lessons to be learned from reading and reading this book can teach you a lot. Hanagarne stressed throughout the book the importance of asking questions and this book will answer questions you didn’t even realize you had.

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Monday Mornings

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I was assigned to read Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta for my PT Professionalism class and I absolutely loved it. It’s follows seven doctors through their Monday morning meetings, called Morbidity & Mortality, or more affectionately known as M&Ms. The purpose of M&Ms is that from every mistake a lesson can be learned, and what better way to teach that lesson than by having the guilty party on trial in front of their peers.

I felt like this was a book version of Grey’s Anatomy. While there’s less romances in the book you still feel like you’re in the middle of all of the drama. This book has everything from dating in the workplace to that intern you just really want to see success (still crying over O’Malley).

While I found the whole book interesting, I flew through the last 30ish pages. Gutpa throws plot twist over plot twist in the final scenes and the book simply wouldn’t have been the same without them. That’s what really reminded me of Grey’s, it’s as if Shonda had read the original book and told him, “oh no you definitely need to add a major life event to every character the reader could have gotten attached to.”

As I mentioned earlier, this was a book I read for class so I wanted to share a valuable lesson I had learned from it. While an intern was frantically trying to write down the lesson a doctor said, “Don’t worry about writing this stuff down. Just immerse yourself in the situation and you will never forget.” I know I often fall into the habit of writing every word my teachers are saying but there is some truth to this. Experience often teaches you much more than you could ever learn from a book.

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

Four Friday Faves: Vol. VI

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Happy Banned Books Week! This week I wanted to give you a rundown of my favorite “most challenged” books! Each of these books appears on the list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books. If you wanted to learn a little bit more about each book open up the PDF  version of this post and I have linked the GoodReads Page to each cover art option.

I feel like I have been turning into a bookstagram lately but I promise there is a style post coming your way this weekend! I am still working on a post of my Disney trip which will also be up by Columbus Day weekend!

Here are my honorable mentions for other banned books I have read:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  • Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
  • The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
  •  Black Boy, by Richard Wright

Let me know what your favorite banned book is!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Crazy Rich Asians

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Happy What I’m Reading Wednesday! My newest read was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I picked this one up on the Vineyard when I got Hope Never Dies a few weeks ago. I saw this on the shelf and knew I needed it. I really wanted to see the movie once I saw the commercials with Ken Jeong in them!

I absolutely adored this book! It brought me back to middle school when I was reading the Clique books but on a whole new level! Massie Block’s chauffeur has nothing on the Young family’s Gurkhas, lady’s maids, and private jets. The characters in this book really are crazy rich and it transports you into a whole new world. It also feels slightly Gatsby-esque being centered around the biggest wedding of the century- sorry Will & Kate and Harry & Meghan!

This book follows Rachel Chu (not of the Taiwanese Chus) to Singapore where she meets her boyfriend, Nick Young’s family. While they’ve been dating for awhile, Rachel does not know too much about Nick’s family. She’s in for quite the shock when she finds out just how crazy rich the Youngs are. Rachel then navigates how she can fit into this world that seems a lot farther away than NYC.

My favorite part of this book was towards the end, it seems like the story is wrapping up but Kwan throws in a few more plot twists before he ends it. With the way the story ended I cannot wait to get started on China Rich Girlfriend. 

Just a warning, at first the book can be a little much. You are introduced to a whirlwind of characters and there are several narrators. Personally I think that just adds to the story, it truly feels like you are Rachel, being thrown into this complicated family. You learn more about the inner workings of the clan by being able to learn about Nick Your and his many cousins, aunts, and childhood friends.

The Young’s world is very intriguing and I promise if you pick this book up you won’t want to put it down!

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Hope Never Dies

I found this book in Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven and the “An Obama Biden Mystery” that pulled me to pick it up. Once I picked it up I was hooked. I needed to know what happens. It was just published in July of this year and I think it’s bound to be a hit. In an NPR interview with Shaffer, the author, he says he’s working on a sequel that takes place in Chicago, I’ll be counting down the days. Personally, I’m hoping for a movie with Obama and Biden playing themselves in 2020. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the election year.

This book actually had me laughing out loud. It doesn’t matter if you’re an elephant, a donkey, or something in between you’ll either be laughing at the BROTUS (Bromance of the U.S.) or at how he appears like he doesn’t know what’s happening. The Bidenisms in this book are endless and I think I spoiled all of the funny parts for my mom when I kept sharing every line that was eve the slightest bit funny.

The story starts with regular Joe, “Amtrak Joe”, in his house following the 2016 election. He’s been living low-key since he left the office while Obama is having the adventure of a lifetime partying with the most high profile celebrities. A death brings Obama to Wilmington and then the two find themselves as the next Sherlock and Watson.

This is a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat while taking you through the bad parts of Wilmington. It is full of bromance, motorcycle gangs, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom. What more could you ask for?

If you’re looking for a light hearted murder mystery go pick up Hope Never Dies, you won’t regret it!

Up next on my reading list: Crazy Rich Asians

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Summer at Tiffany

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It’s almost time to hit the beach and do I have the perfect book for you! I read Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart on a trip to Boston a few weeks ago and it was so good I finished it on the train ride home!

This memoir follows Marjorie as she leaves her small hometown to work in New York City for the summer. She travels to the city with her sorority sister Marty and together they work as pages in the Tiffany store on Fifth Avenue. The story starts just before the end of WWII and the only reason the girls got the jobs as pages was because all the young men were enlisted at the time! Marjorie and Marty were the first girls to work on the floor at Tiffany’s.

The book is filled with their adventures- everything from dating midshipmen to seeing Judy Garland walk into their store on her honeymoon. If you want to experience the magic of NYC in 1945 this is the book for you! It’s such a fun and quick read it would be perfect for lounging on the beach.

Let me know what you think and feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments!

xox,

Marissa