November 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Dec 10, 2018

Does this mean I'm finally back on track? Not quite, since I'm still four months behind on Quick Lit posts. But it's a start! And honestly, it's hard for me to believe that it's December now. Where did the year go?

1. My (Mostly) Finished Library – In my October recap, I mentioned that Nick built me bookshelves. In November, I finally got them all filled in. It took me a little time to unpack my books, decide how to arrange them, and then find things to style the shelves. Now I just need a rug and window treatments. It's my favorite room in the house! 

2. Thankful for My People – My sweet boy and I both caught colds in November that went away, came back, and then lingered. And so we spent more time than normal up at home, watching movies, reading books and just all cuddled up. But I'm thankful for that time, and that Nick was in town, because it was nice to rest and relax together.

3. #OperationGoPeachGo – Kelly came to visit at the end of the month, and the week passed in a blur. She got to see my new house, enjoy my library, and shop in bookstores all over Georgia. She had quite the book haul to send home! I'm so thankful for our friendship that is both silly and sweet. If only she'd move to Georgia...

Read 30 Books | Favorites:
The Hathaways Series by Lisa Kleypas
Strange the Dreamer (and Muse of Nightmares) by Laini Taylor
All Fall Down and All Aces by Ellie Marney

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

“And do not ever waste your breath again with more of that 'lost cause' nonsense.
Consider yourself found.”
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

“It was finally becoming clear to her that love wasn't about finding someone perfect to marry.
Love was about seeing through to the truth of a person,
and accepting all their shades of light and dark. Love was an ability.”
Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

 “When I give you away at the altar, Bea, I want you to remember something.
I'm not really giving you away. I'm merely allowing him the chance
to love you as much as the rest of us do.”
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

 “I carry thoughts of you like my own personal constellation. How far away you are,
my dearest friend, but no farther than those fixed stars in my soul.”
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

 “I didn't mean to send love letters, but that is what they became.
On their way to you, my words turned into heartbeats on the page.”
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

 “I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite.
And I hope you'll let me be in your story.”
 Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 “Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song,
and then I found you, and now everything is music.”
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

“And that's what it's about, isn't it? Love?
Love's about making it last, making it stick, making it count -
even when it hurts, when times are hard, when people change, when life changes them.
If you love someone, then you have to want to love them, whoever they are.”
We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

 “It seems as if you see me exactly as I wish to be seen. There is no greater gift than that.”
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 “Love wants the best for others. Attachment takes hostages.”
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

Not one single thing! Struggle. In case you were wondering, that's how I was able to read 30 books in November. I basically ignored every other hobby / activity that I enjoy. But I think I've found my blogging mojo – and a little more balance in my reading life – and am hoping to end the year on a high note. I love end of the year recaps, which was good motivation to finally open my computer.

I had several favorite photos in November, but I think this one tops the list. I was so excited to finally get a letter board (a navy 10x10 one from Felt Like Sharing) and knew exactly what quote I wanted on it as soon as it arrived. It always makes me smile when I see it, and I'm already brainstorming what I'll do next. • @soobsessedblog


Favorite Song #1: "Beloved" by Mumford and Sons
I'm familiar with a few popular Mumford and Sons songs, but that's about it.
This popped up on my Spotify Release Radar playlist, and I was hooked. It's so good!

Favorite Song #2: "Between You and Me" by Betty Who
This is another artist that I only listen to sporadically, but I was loving this song in November.
It's just so catchy! I should probably listen to more of her older stuff.

Favorite Album: B Sides by Brooke Fraser
I've been a fan of Brooke Fraser for a while and was excited when I saw this release.
I prefer the new music on here to the live songs and demos, but it's still a great listen overall.

Bodyguard, Season 1, starring Richard Madden and Sophie Rundell – I picked this for Nick and I to watch, and it was SO GOOD. There were several times that I felt like I wasn't following the story (or found myself zoning out a little), but it won me over by the end. Rachard Madden was great, and I want to rewatch it in the future!

Sex and the City, Season 4, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon – After tearing through the first three seasons in October, I finally slowed down a little and only finished the fourth in November. I continue to cringe at the sex but love the friendship feels, so there's nothing new to report here.

The Princess Switch (2018) starring Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladino and Nick Sagar – I didn't used to watch many holiday movies, but Kelly has converted me. She's a Hallmark addict during Christmas, and it's rubbed off on me. This Netflix movie was cheesy and required so much suspension of disbelief... but also, it was fun? Haha!

Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (2018) – After the twists and turns of The Bodyguard, Nick and I were in the mood to laugh. I loved Noah's 2017 comedy special on Netflix, so I was excited to see he had a new one in November. It definitely didn't disappoint! He makes me laugh and think, which is the best kind of comedy.

Used Bookstores #1: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Column of Fire and World Without End by Ken Follett, Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman, Anne of Green Gables (x2) by L.M. Montgomery, We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Used Bookstore #3: Lorna Doone by R.D. Blakemore, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and England Under the Stuarts by G.M. Trevelyn

From Kelly: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh, and The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright

For Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Audible: Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

NetGalley: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton, I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella, and Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center 

Kindle: The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan 

October 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Dec 7, 2018

Yes, you're reading that post title and main graphic correctly. This is my October recap... in December. I'm laughing at myself, honestly, but I couldn't resist posting this anyway. Here's what I've been up to this fall:

1. My New Bookshelves – As I mentioned in my September recap, we recently moved. When we found the house we ended up buying, I realized there was a room that would be perfect for a library. I mentioned an Ikea Billy bookcase hack to Nick, and he surprised me by making it happen. It's a dream come true!

2. All Things Fall – October was filled with all things fall: corn maze, hay ride, hot boiled peanuts, petting zoo, trick or treating and a good ole' fall festival. This photo is from the fall festival in our neighborhood, and it felt like being a mini Stars Hollow. I haven't blogged much lately because I've been soaking up this special season. 

3. My Most Anticipated Release – We did so many fun things in October, but I had to mention the release of Kingdom of Ash. It was my most-anticipated 2018 release and such a bittersweet moment when I had it in my hands. I drove to the bookstore that morning and got to spend all day binging it. Such a great memory! 

Read 14 Books | Favorites:
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

“Pretending you're OK when you aren't isn't strength.”
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

 “Tears were misunderstood, she thought, and used inappropriately most often.
They were designed as a private response of being. Because sometimes life filled you to the brim
and spilled over. Tears were the body's way of cleansing the overflow of emotions,
from sorrow to joy and so many others that couldn't be described.”
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

 “Remember that we have something to fight for, and it will always triumph.”
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

 “When someone stabs you it's not your fault that you feel pain.”
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

“How frightened we are of being known, and yet how desperately we long for it.”
The Good People by Hannah Kent

I didn't get very much blogging done in October. I started off the month with my September 2018 recap, even though it was weeks late by the time I posted. Then, I was excited to talk about all the Anne of Green Gables related books that I'd seen recently in Beyond Green Gables: For Anne Fans at Every Age

And finally, I finished the month by collaborating with Alexa from Alexa Loves BooksKelly from Belle of the Literati,  and Rachel from Hello, Chelly on a celebration for the release of Kingdom of Ash. We called it Light Up the Darkness. Our Series Roulette and Twenty Questions posts were so fun, but it was our final post – What Throne of Glass Means to Me – that was my favorite. I, unsurprisingly, wrote an essay about my love for the series.

This is a new recap section that I thought I'd try! I've been more active lately on Instagram, which is probably one reason that I've had less blogging energy. But ideally, I'd really like to make time for both things. I'll probably never blog as frequently as I used to, but I'm not ready to abandon this space altogether. But, since I am posting content on @soobsessedblog that you aren't seeing here, I figured I'd start including one of my bookstagram photos from each month in this recap. It won't necessarily be my post popular – just one that I'd consider a favorite!

Favorite Album: Borrowed Heart by Heather Morgan 
I didn't listen to very much music in October because I focused mainly on audiobooks,
but I did enjoy this album. I think my favorite song on it is "A Hundred Miles."

Sex and the City, Season 1-3, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon – You can blame Kelly for this TV binge! She's been begging me to give it a try, and I couldn't resist when she gifted me the first two seasons after finding them at a garage sale. I watched while I unpacked and worked around the house, and it was great for that since I didn't have to give it my complete attention to still follow along. The humor and content is too sexual for me (as expected), but the friendship aspect made it a fun watch overall. 

New Books: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas and The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker

For Review: The Gown by Jennifer Robson and Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

Kindle: All Fall Down and All Aces by Ellie Marney and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (and audio, too!)
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