27 December 2020

Review: Greenlights

Greenlights Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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A look back on 2020 book picks

 Today I thought I would look back at a year of Read with Michelle.  I chose a book (or two---and a couple of bonuses) for us to read together.  I thought I would put the list here in case anyone wanted to look back or revisit the list.  


1. The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

2. Dear Edward by ann Napolitano

3.  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

4.  They Called it Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton

5.  Follower: A Novel by Megan Angelo

6.  The Queen's Secret by Karen Harper

7.  Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens

8.  The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

9.  The Lions of 5th Ave by Fiona Davis

10.  Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly

11.  The Luckiest Man by Mark Salter

12.  The Oregon Trail by Lauren Reeve and Wow, no thank you by Samantha Irby





Bonus books:

Recipe for the Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams




25 December 2020

How is your reading challenge going?

Hello to you fellow readers!


 Here we are approaching the onset of winter. I am ok with winter as long as I have enough clothes to keep warm.  I love snow if it snows like it means it and not spit snow. I hate nothing more than snow that just messes up things and then leaves and you get nothing out of it (snowcream, snowman, or photos). 

Winter is the perfect weather to just grab a book, curl up in your favorite chair with your favorite cat, and spend the day in another world.  

 

I only did one reading challenge this year and it was the one I created.   I am not sure exactly why because usually I have three or four going at once.  Covid has changed so much this year and I guess this is just another thing that I let slip by during the quarantine, healthy at home, and all the jazz.  


My reading goal was 100 books read and as of today, December 21, 2020, I have read 124, so there is one goal complete!!! In the next week, I will compile my reading stats and share those with you, but for today you get my complete reading challenge.




Have you made new reading habits or completed a challenge in 2020?  Share here or on my Facebook page, Read with Michelle in 2020.   





 

 

21 December 2020

Read with Michelle first book pick(s) of 2021---a new classic and a new release

  The January book pick is On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.





In September 2009 I discovered this little book, basically because the cover gripped me the second I saw it sitting on the library shelf.  I took it home that day and finished it before I went to bed (September 20 according to my book journal).  The story was riveting and I may have shed a tear or two during my journey.  I have picked it up a few times since that first reading and every time I love it a tad more.  


It is the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese American man, who in present-day sees that inside the Panama Hotel are found trunks of belongings from families that were sent to internment camps during WWII.  He wonders if he knows anyone whose belongings are in that basement.  He flashes back on Keiko, a Japanese American girl that he loved.  During the war, Keiko and her family were sent to an internment camp in the USA, yes they existed here on American soil).  

In 2013, Jamie published a digital read called Middle, Lost and Found.  It is a little small work that talks more about the lunch lady (who is one of my favorite characters in OTCOB&S).  If you can find this, I highly recommend it to you also.  I met Jamie in 2014 and I had printed off this digital book (because he likes physical books) and bound it for him.  Actually, I made two, one for him as a gift and one I wanted him to autograph for me.  My autographed Jamie Ford books are some of my prized possessions.  

In 2015, my husband and I went to Seattle and we both looked and looked for the Panama Hotel. I know we were close, but my husband got sick (drat that Norwalk virus) and we had to abort the plans, I went to the first Starbucks instead.  


Please don't stop with this book, Jamie has other books that are simply divine.  Songs of Willow Frost and my second favorite of his, Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  Also, there is a movie being filmed, or maybe has completed and Covid has screwed up its release too (stay tuned).  



I also want to give you a currently published book in case you have read this or only want to read new releases.  I have not read this one, but I have read every book by the author and she has never let me down.  So the bonus January pick is Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson.  I admit I have no idea what this one is about...I just know that I will read it because (as I said I love all of her books) she is a fantastic writer.  I actually was granted the right just today to read it before it was published so stay tuned.  







Review: A Promised Land

A Promised Land A Promised Land by Barack Obama
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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17 December 2020

Book Journal System---Michelle Style

 I have kept a paper book journal since 1996 (and a digital one for stat purposes since 2011), and I have edited it a lot over the last 25 years.  At the bottom of this post, you will find the actual log that I have used for about five years.    I finally think I have found a formula that works perfectly for me, so much so that I had a rubber stamp printed with exactly this text on it so that I could stamp it in a Moleskin journal (they are my favorite journal books).  While I did not create the original layout, I have had added to it, changed it, and made it my own.  I am sharing it with you today in case you want to use this version or get inspired to create your dream reading log too.  Maybe you just want to keep a Moleskin (I am telling you they are the BEST) with just the title and the dates read. My 1996 journal looks exactly like that, a title and a date, nothing else.  That little pet postage stamp journal has been tortured over the last 25 years as I perfected what I wanted to retain in a reading journal.  


I would love to know how you keep a log of your reading life. Please don't hesitate to reach out and let me know.  


My reading journal page can be found here.  Below you will have a snippet of what you will find on the download (there are three entries on a page with the download).  



Kelly's 2021 Reading Challenge




 If you follow or know me at all, you probably know Kelly is one of my very good friends.  She is a librarian and the host of a book club/Facebook group called Bookworms (she is also part of the reason my TBR list is about 100 books long).   

Kelly and I both like to get folks to read more books and almost at the same time we told each other "I am working on a reading challenge".  I shared mine with you a few weeks ago (but if you missed it go here) and today I am sharing Kelly's.  


It is a fabulous challenge!!  Her goal is to read a book a week, but you can do it as you like.  There are some good categories here, and I think you will have a good time with this.  Remember reading challenges are to inspire you not overwhelm you.  You do you, but have fun and hopefully, our challenges will inspire you to read more.  


Kelly's Reading Challenge



Review: The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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15 December 2020

Review: Beverly Hills Country Club

Beverly Hills Country Club Beverly Hills Country Club by Earl W. Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Review: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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Review: Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Review: ...And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail

...And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail ...And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail by Lauren Reeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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14 December 2020

2021 Read with Michelle Book Challenge

 Good day to you all.  I hope this finds all of you doing great and planning out those 2021 reads.


Every year I do multiple challenges and create my own too, but for the first time ever I am sharing my challenge with you.  There is only one rule....... you do what you want to do.  While I do hope you like some of the categories I have chosen, my goal is to help you be the reader you want to be. If you don't like a category, feel free to change it.  If you fill there are too many, mark out six of them.  If you want one book for each category, on one book to cover multiple categories, all of that is fine. You are in charge of your reading challenge.  I am hoping my challenge ignites that spark in you, and I would love your feedback too!!


You can download the form here.  




Missed the 2020 challenge?  Click here to download.  


12 December 2020

Thankful for you

 I am so thankful for those of you that started following me this year.  You have challenged me in so many ways and I am just so grateful. I hope that you will continue to follow me in 2021. I have high expectations for us in so many ways....the first is to get rid of covid19 and start living and being friends again.  The second is I hope to challenge myself (and hopefully you too) to a new reading journey.  While there may be some new releases that I just MUST share with you, I am going to try and focus most of our monthly books on backlisted titles.  I have already picked out January's book and in a few days, I hope to share it with you.  Before I share it I have a reading challenge that will go up on Monday morning.  Woo hoo!!!  


Thank you for everything and if you didn't already get this end of year gift (book journal page) please download it and post your end of the year "books read" on my Facebook page, I would also LOVE to see your reading stats for 2020.  I know some of you that have played along this year have read some awesome titles.