SLIDER

Beyond Green Gables: For Anne Fans at Every Age

Oct 18, 2018


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is one of the books that I credit with making me into the reader that I am today, and I've loved reading many of Montgomery's other works. She was a prolific writer! A few years ago, I co-hosted a Return to Green Gables event with Rachel from Hello, Chelly and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books. It is my favorite blogging collaboration, and my discussion post about what Anne and Gilbert taught me about romance is the post I'm most proud of in my seven years of blogging. 

To say that I'm an L.M. Montgomery lover would be an understatement! I devoured this almost 700-page biography of her a few years ago and can never resist Anne-related merchandise (like this mug from Carrot Top Paper Shop that I just bought). Recently, I felt like I was seeing Anne everywhere in the bookish world! After some digging on Goodreads, I was shocked to realize there have been at least 16 books released in the past year that are perfect for fans of Anne Shirley and her creator. So, I've rounded them up in one post! And if you notice that I'm missing any, please leave a link in the comments. I just keep adding more to my online shopping cart...

FIRST COLUMN

Anne's Numbers by Kelly Hill – A darling board board with hand-embroidered illustrations that counts items in Anne's world (one cherry tree, two butterflies, etc.). Such a cute introduction to Anne!

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden (Adapter) and Brenna Thummler (Illustrator) – A beautifully illustrated graphic novel adaptation! Beloved scenes from Anne are elevated by this artwork.

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid – A stunning coffee table book that pays tribute to Prince Edward Island. Any Anne reader knows that the setting plays such a profound role in the series!

Maud by Melanie Fishbane – A young adult historical fiction novel exploring Montgomery's adolescence. If you want to see her early inspiration for Anne and her lifelong dream of becoming a writer, this book fits the bill.

SECOND COLUMN

Anne's Colors by Kelly Hill – Another board book with embroidered illustrations that teaches colors using Anne-related items (green gables, pink cheeks, etc.). This one is a little more tied to the books than the numbers version.

Anne of Green Gables (BabyLit) by Jennifer Adams – This lovely addition to the popular BabyLit series pairs places (Pond) with a relevant quote from the book ("The Lake of Shining Waters was a glory of many shifting hues").

Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George – A picture book illustrated by the talented Geneviève Godbout in which Anne says goodnight to everything and everyone she loves. Adorable, particularly for readers already familiar with Anne.

House of Dreams: The Story of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg – A Montgomery biography written for young adults and accompanied by illustrations from Julie Morstad. Perfect for fans who want to learn more about LMM!

THIRD COLUMN

L.M. Montgomery (Little People, Big Dreams) by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara – A recent addition to this picture book series that highlights inspiring women with big dreams. Such a great big picture look at LMM's life and work!

The Blythes are Quoted by L.M. Montgomery – This collection of short stories was intended to be the ninth book in the Anne series. Previously published in a severely abridged form, this is Montgomery's last work in its entirety.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy – An adult historical fiction novel that imagines the young life of Marilla Cuthbert. Experience Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century and life at Green Gables before Anne!

FOURTH COLUMN

Anne of Green Gables (BabyLit Storybook) by Stephanie Clarkson – The Babylit Storybook version is geared towards preschoolers and retells the story of Anne Shirley. The art by Annabel Tempest brings it to life!

Anne Arrives by Kallie George – The first book in a new early-reader series about Anne Shirley! Illustrated by Abigail Halpin, this one focuses on the first few chapters of the novel when Anne arrives at Green Gables.

The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate Macdonald – From Anne's Liniment Cake to Diana Barry's Favorite Raspberry Cordial, these recipes are inspired by the food mentioned throughout the Anne of Green Gables series. 

The Story Girl and The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery – New editions of Anne seem to be published  every few months, but I had to highlight this lesser-known Montgomery duology with gorgeous covers by Elly McKay.

What's your favorite book inspired by Anne Shirley or her creator?

September 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Oct 16, 2018


This is getting embarrassing! I swear I'll return to a more regular blogging schedule soon. September was so busy (as you'll see) so I'm not shocked by blog fell by the wayside. But I've missed this outlet so much!


1. Beach Vacation – We went to the beach at the beginning of the month, and it was amazing! It wasn't crowded, the weather was perfect, and my son was in heaven. It was his first time truly experiencing the sand and ocean, and he couldn't get enough! I got in a lot of reading time, and we relaxed before we coming home to chaos...

2. Moving Out – We came home from vacation on a Friday, a day earlier than we'd originally planned, to wrap things up before movers arrived on Saturday and we sold our house that Monday. Needless to say, the timing of it all was insane! But, thankfully, it all went off without a hitch. It was definitely bittersweet, but that brings me to:

3. Buying a New House – About two hours after we sold our house, we closed on our new one. Woohoo! I meant to take a photo to commemorate the moment, but all I've got in this one in what will be (SOON!) my library. Our stuff was delivered to the house the day after closing, and then painters arrived the next day. Time to get to work!

4. Enjoying Our Neighborhood – We stayed with my parents while work was being done inside our house, but we finally moved in near the end of the month. And we've already been enjoying the neighborhood! My son loves the playground here, and I'm starting to feel more at home now that our things are here and (mostly) unpacked.


Read 15 Books | Favorites:
I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Still Life by Louise Penny

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

 “With apologies to Kathleen Kelly, what I’ve come to learn is this:
if my real life reminds me of something I read in a book,
I’m reading well — and I’m probably living well, too.”
I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

 “I wadn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 “If remembering tells us who we are, then forgetting keeps us sane.
If we recalled every song we’d ever heard, every touch we’d ever felt,
every pain no matter how small, every sadness no matter how petty,
every joy no matter how selfish, we could surely lose our minds.”
The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

 “Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit,
what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices.
It's as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful.
So when I'm observing that's what I'm watching for. The choices people make.”
Still Life by Louise Penny

Y'all, the only thing I posted in September was my August 2018 Recap. I think it's safe to say that moving sucked up all my free time and affected my motivation. I've been more active on Instagram lately, so follow me @soobsessedblog if you're interested! I'll keep blogging – and hopefully more consistently now that we're settling in to our house – but that's another place you can see what I'm reading lately.


 
Favorite Song: "Happy Nowby Zedd feat. Elley Duhé
I listened to more audiobooks than music in September, but this was the song I had on repeat!
It's such a fun song to blast in the car with the windows door.


Candy Jar (2018) starring Jacob Latimore and Sami Gayle I just randomly turned on this Netflix movie one night, partly because I can never resist a teen movie. I liked the concept, but the movie itself was pretty lackluster. To quote my girl Kelly, "Could be better. Could be worse." It wasn't terrible, just forgettable. 


Bachelor in Paradise, Season 5 – When I visited Kelly in August, Bachelor in Paradise premiered. She lucked out because I'd sworn I wasn't going to watch it... and then two episodes later, I was hooked! I was way too invested in this ridiculous show, but we had the best chats about it. Laughing about it with her made it worth watching!


Beach Buys: The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and Still Life by Louise Penny

Pre-Orders: Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen and I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

Release Day Purchase: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith


Bargain Finds: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Gifted: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Kindle: All the Little Bones by Ellie Marney and A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

August 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Sep 20, 2018


Bless my heart... I'm recapping August near the end of September. It's been that kind of month, y'all! Between traveling and moving, I haven't opened my computer much. So, forgive me for being so tardy to this recap party.


1. Fernbank Museum  My son is obsessed with dinosaurs, so Nick and I finally took him to natural history museum in Atlanta. Seeing the wonder in his eyes was so precious, and he told us so many dino facts that came from books we’ve read together. What a sweet reminder that the time we spend reading is always worth it!

2. Visiting Kelly – Kelly has come to visit me, and earlier this year I met up with her in England for the best trip EVER. But I hadn't yet made it to Wisconsin! The timing finally worked out, and I spent five days with her. We scoured bookstores, devoured good food, slothed in our jammies, went on adventures and never stopped talking. 

3. Solo Blogging Day – My husband works from home, and I love so many things about this arrangement. The biggest is the opportunity for spontaneous alone time! He went to lunch with his dad one day and took our son, so I got to take my planner and laptop to the bookstore for a few hours. Living the dream!

4. All the Pool Days – We went to our neighborhood pool more in August than we did the rest of the summer! School starts back pretty early here in Georgia, and I noticed that our pool was practically empty every day once it did. From that point on, we went to the pool every chance we could! It was so fun without a crowd.


Read 24 Books | Favorites:
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

“No one can ever know the inner parts of anyone else’s marriage. It’s a strange business.”
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

“It’s so on sale, it’s practically paying you.”
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

 “Learn to say no. And when you do, don’t complain and don’t explain.
Every excuse you make is like an invitation to ask you again in a different way.”
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

 “Minds don't rest; they reel and wander and fixate
 and roll back and reconsider because it's like this, having a mind.
Hearts don't idle; they swell and constrict and break
 and forgive and behold because it's like this, having a heart.
Lives don't last; they thrill and confound and circle and overflow
 and disappear because it's like this, having a life.”
Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

 “Even when other things come in loud, we have to keep choosing each other.
That's marriage. You can't only say the words once and think they'll stick.
You have to say them over and over, and then live them with all you've got.”
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

 “I am one of those people who believes that at least half of love is simply paying attention.”
I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos

“Nobody warns you that life continues to be complicated after you’ve Done the Right Thing.
That there is no reward, beyond some intangible sense of moral fortitude.”
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

 “Don’t mistake softness for weakness. Only a strong man can be soft with a woman.”
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

My blogging motivation tanked in August, and it was a miracle that I managed to post four times. I'll my trip to see Kelly + all the craziness of packing, but it's also just that I really wanted to read during my downtime. I shared my July 2018 Recap, and my July 2018 Quick Lit had mini reviews for all 14 books that I read that month. 

The most exciting post in July was celebrating a big milestone – My 1,000th Blog Post – and reflecting on comparison and finding peace with where I'm at right now. And finally, my favorite post was talking about When You're Feeling Blah About Books with 10 tips for overcoming a reading slump and pairing each tip with a book.

I'm finally almost caught up on my Feedly, but I forgot to save anything while I was going through it. Probably because there was so much I missed! The majority of things I've been saving lately are house-related (more on that in my September recap), and I'm pretty sure y'all don't need to see all my decorating inspiration. Haha!

I loved this movie so much (see the section below!), and the music was one reason why.
I had this playlist on repeat all of August and still haven't turned it off.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) starring Lily James and Michiel Huisman – I'd been looking forward to this release for months, and it was such a happy coincidence that it came out my last day in Wisconsin with Kelly. We watched it together, of course! I was a little disappointed by it but can't put my finger on why. It was fine and I liked the cast, but I don't think I'd watch it again.


To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo – Here's another book-to-movie adaptation that I couldn't wait to watch, and it far surpassed my expectations! I watched it five times in the first week it released, and I love basically everything about it. I ended up re-reading the trilogy on audio afterward because I needed more time with these characters. PS: HELLO, MOVIE PETER.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018) starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding – Here's another book-to-movie adaptation, but I cheated with this one: I watched the movie and haven't read the book yet. Oops! Nick took me to see this on a date night, and we both loved it. I'm totally here for the return of the rom com! I can't wait to watch this again and again once it's on Blu Ray, and it made me even more excited to binge the series.


Iliza Schlesinger Netflix Comedy Specials – I watched all four of these at the beginning of August and then against when I was with Kelly. I needed her to share my Iliza obsession! I started with Elder Millennial (2018), and it's definitely my favorite of the bunch. Confirmed Kills (2016) was next, followed quickly by Freezing Hot (2015), and I go back and forth on which one I love more. Maybe Freezing Hot? But only by a smidge! And finally, I finished with War Paint (2013) which was my least favorite but was still hilarious. I love Iliza's writing and delivery!


Wisconsin Finds: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Roomies by Christina Lauren, Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan, Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman and How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Pre-Ordered: Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas

Goodwill Grabs: Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery, and The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand


Audible: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Kindle: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

When You're Feeling Blah About Books

Aug 23, 2018


Over the weekend, I was browsing upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics. I really liked this week's topic – Ten Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump – but already had another post planned. Instead of skipping the topic altogether, I decided to do my own twist and came up with 10 things I'd tell someone struggling with a reading slump. 

There might not be anything radically new in my post, but it was fun to think about what's helped me in past slumps and what advice I've passed on to friends. And, as a nod to the TTT inspiration, I paired every tip with a book that fits that category for me and that I might recommend to someone else in a slump. Let's go!


When I'm in a slump, the first thing I do is reach for an old favorite. There's something comforting about returning to characters you already know and losing yourself in a story that you love! A slump makes me indecisive about what to read next, but a re-read takes away that uncertainty. I'd grab Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center.


Keep the length of the book in mind when you're in a slump! This is when I'll reach for something short – a book of essays or short stories, a memoir, or even a Middle Grade novel. Taking forever to finish a book only makes my slumps worse so I look for books that I can read in an hour or two, like Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.


This suggestion doesn't always work, since there are often reasons you don't pick up certain genres. But, in some cases, I find that trying something new can surprise me! The fact that I don't know what to expect makes me more excited to pick up my book. That's how I felt with The Illuminae Series by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.


The last thing I want in a slump is a slow book! It goes back to needing to finish a book quickly so I don't get stuck reading something boring. I generally love character-driven stories, but I'm less likely to reach for them in a slump. I want a plot with twists that compel me to keep reading, as was the case with Force of Nature by Jane Harper.


The tone of what you're reading can make a huge difference when you're in a slump! I've noticed that books that are happy and hopeful can jumpstart my reading when I'm stuck in a rut. And if I can find something that will make me swoon? Even better! To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han fits the bill for both for me.


Do you have any books on your TBR from a favorite author that you've been saving for the right time? This would be it! I'll often binge an author's entire backlist if I fall in love with their writing, but I love when I'm able to leave a few for later. I was glad I had The Chance Sisters series by Anne Gracie for just such a moment.


Mixing up the format might help, even if you're usually hesitant to try audiobooks. After all, what's the worst that can happen when you're already in a reading slump? I'd probably suggest an audio re-read, but that's just because those are my favorite. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella was a recent favorite for me.


When nothing on your To Be Read pile appeals to you, head to the bookstore or library! I've noticed that a slump can make me feel very meh about the books I already own, so this can be a good time to treat myself to something that I've been dying to read, like Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. It helps get the urge to read back!


Alexa from Alexa Loves Books came in clutch with this suggestion: try reading a book with a friend so that you can look forward to the bookish discussions throughout and at the end! It creates a little reward for reading – and will probably become a great memory, too. My Bestie Beatriz Binge with Kelly from Belle of the Literati is proof.


If you find yourself in a slump that you just can't seem to break, I'd suggest focusing on anything other than reading. For me, that looks like writing blog posts, decorating my planner, watching TV shows on Netflix, painting my nails, and so on. Pursue other things that you love and the desire to read will eventually return!

How do you deal with reading slumps?
And tell me a book that got you out of one!
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