My History of Reading – Sabrina

I was maybe 8 or 9 and I still remember getting a book from my mom’s best friend. I hated the book and didn’t want to read it. There were so many words, so many pages and less pictures. In elementary school I always had an A in reading, so my not wanting to read was not about my ability to read but rather about my lack of enthusiam. Crazy, I know, especially because I love reading these days and can’t picture my life without it. I guess it was just a phase or the wrong book and/or the wrong genre for me.
However, during 5th/6th grade I discovered reading books for me. IIMG_9115edited was totally obsessed with the Freche Mädchen – Freche Bücher books (~”Sassy Girls – Sassy Books”). The books were aimed at girls in their tweens or early teens. The stories were about a bunch of girlfriends who had to deal with school, parents, clothes, boys, first love and the following first heartbreak. The great thing was that the books were not written from one author alone but from many. The “Freche Mädchen – Freche Bücher” theme was only the name of the series in general. Every author then wrote their own sub-series with their own characters and stories. My goal was to own every single one of the books, there was even a tick-list at the end of each book. And since I’ve always been someone who loved lists and tick things off a list, I did just that: I ticked off the books I already had and marked the ones I wanted next. Continue reading “My History of Reading – Sabrina”

My History of Reading – Ashley

I remember the very first book I read by myself as a kid. I don’t recall the title, but I can still see the illustrations in my mind’s eye – clocks and animals with simple words. I read that book nothing short of a thousand times, feeling so proud of myself each time because I was able to read the book on my own. From the moment I could read by myself, I was hooked. Little did I know how much reading would mean to me as I aged. As an independent person, my ability to read is paramount to me learning new things about cooking, building objects, or simply to satisfy my curiosity on a certain subject.

Before I was able to read to myself, the best days were when teachers would read the Amelia Bedelia books, because they were hilarious to me. I loved seeing how Amelia would confuse things. The Frog and Toad books also filled me with much excitement. I enjoy reading them to my own children now.

Some of my favorite novels to read as a kid were those in a series, such as The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Goosebumps, and The Baby-Sitters Club. I was always rushing off to the town or school libraries to check out the next book in the series, and read countless numbers of these books.

My favorite standalone book from childhood was a book I read in third grade, called Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse, about a Jewish girl who had to leave Russia in 1919, but becomes separated from her family at Ellis Island. In the book Rifka writes journal entries about what is happening in her life and on her journey. This book opened up the world for me; I remember for the first time feeling empathy for a character’s struggles, interest in history, and the cultures of people who were different from me. I would love to buy a copy of this book to read again as an adult and give to my kids to read someday!

Then came Harry Potter and Hogwarts. Like every 90’s kid, I was drawn into the Sorcerer’s Stone in my fourth grade year. The characters were the same age as I was at the time, making the story all that much more compelling and relatable. As a lonely child who was the new kid in school for the second time in a year, I was drawn into Harry’s story and felt myself wishing for my own letter of acceptance to Hogwarts and great friends like Ron and Hermione. Each year I anxiously looked forward to the release of the next book in the series and would spend the day (sometimes two) locked in my room reading, annoyed by any interruption, even the interruption of meal-time. The final book came out the summer before my senior year of high school. Like many of my fellow Potterheads, I rushed to my local store at midnight with my little brother in tow to buy a copy of The Deathly Hallows. The series and characters grew with me, and will always hold such a special place in my heart.  And, I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter to come – hint, hint.  Continue reading “My History of Reading – Ashley”

April Recap

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Hello book lovers and happy May!
How have you been the past month? Since March was such a slow reading and reviewing month for us, we were very happy that April was the total opposite. Besides reading and reviewing books from our ever growing TBR, we were able to review a few ARCs as well as our first two NetGalley books! Yay! In case you’ve missed a few reviews, here are the links once again for you to catch up:

And here is a list of our reads and hopeful reviews in May:
The Summer Remains by Seth King, The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda, The Siren by Kiera Cass, The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon, Here’s to Tomorrow by Teagan Hunter, and Wait for Me by Caroline Leech.

Lots of bookish love,
♥ Ashley & Sabrina ♥

 

Confess – Review

IMG_9678editedColleen Hoover is without a doubt one of my favorite authors. I found out about her and her books through a book recommendation column on my favorite German radio station in 2014 while still living in the US. Ha! I didn’t know that that particular recommendation would affect me and my love for reading so much. Sure, I was an avid reader back then (at least that’s how I saw myself as, since I read about 7 or 8 books a year), but finding out about Colleen and that genre tenfolded my book reading number. Maybe I should write a thank you note to that radio station? 🙂
Everytime Colleen announces a new book, it goes to my TBR straightaway. I don’t need a blurb or a cover; it’s Colleen Hoover, so of course I will read her new release. What CoHort wouldn’t? Confess, which was released in March 2015, was one of those books. Almost two years later, the novel was picked up for a scripted TV show by Awestruck and – guess what?! – it releases today! Yay!
In honor of today’s release, I decided to re-read Confess and publish this review for you. I made it as spoiler-free as I could. Continue reading “Confess – Review”

Our Favorite Books of 2016

It has been a great year of reading, learning, and discovering new authors. We have fully immersed ourselves in the reading community, made new friends through it, and have had a wonderful year all thanks to the books we’ve grown to love.
And here is a list of our favorite books of 2016: Continue reading “Our Favorite Books of 2016”

The Bookworm Box Book Signing

On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the signing at Colleen Hoover’s The Bookworm Box bookstore in Sulpher Springs, Texas featuring Colleen Hoover (obviously), Christine Brae, Amy Harmon, Brittainy C. Cherry, Alessandra Torre, BB Easton, and Christina Lauren.coho.png

I bought my ticket for the signing the day before Halloween, so I have been anxiously awaiting meeting my favorite authors for weeks!  The night before, I could hardly go to sleep, like a kid on Christmas Eve!  Saturday morning I woke up early to head out, since it is about a three and a half hour drive to Sulpher Springs. Christine Brae (!!!) invited three of us “Brae’s Butterflies” to lunch before the signing- Ashleigh, Rachel, and Me.  I was running a little behind schedule — slow poke Texas drivers were in between Christine and me for too long!! Finally, I made it to town to Muddy Jake’s restaurant to eat lunch with Christine and my book buddies.  I felt like I had a million things I wanted to talk to Christine about, but couldn’t think of any of them when I was actually there.  It was exciting to finally be with her in person after talking to her all year on Facebook, nonetheless!  I can’t say enough good things about her, she is the sweetest, most impeccably dressed woman!  Of course, I already knew I would love her, but I just wanted to spend all day with her! lunch.png

Christine and Kiki had to head over to the Bookworm Box to set up for the signing, so the Butterflies and I finished our lunch, went back to our cars to get our suitcases full of books (ha!) , and get in line.  While we were having a blast and waiting in line, we were able to spot Kim Holden, author of Bright Side and So Much More, when she hopped in line behind us and J.R. Rogue, the poetry goddess and author of La Douleur Exquise and Burning Muses!  Our stalking skills were on point, to say the least.jen.png

Finally, we made it in the store to Brittainy C. Cherry’s line first.  It was surreal to see the authors in person after watching their careers and lives unfold on social media for so long.  Everyone talks about how nice and genuine the authors are after they meet them, but that is such an understatement.  They are humble, and almost fans of their readers as much as we’re fangirls of them.  I was worried, much like Colleen is about meeting Ellen DeGeneres, that the authors may not live up to my expectations in person.  I am happy to be wrong, I only love them each So Much More after meeting them. 😉authors

I have a journal to write my favorite song lyrics, movie and book quotes inside that I was anxious to have the authors sign by their quotes, along with paperback copies of their work.  I was able to spot Kim Holden and JR Rogue again in line and find their quotes in my book to have them sign as well!

I was completely in awe of how the writers were signing unlimited books for their fans, especially Colleen and Amy!  Talk about hand (or neck) cramps from writing non-stop for 3+ hours!  My favorite moments were simply being able to chat with everyone, lunch with Christine, and snagging an indie copy of Making Faces!  The day was such a blast, I wish I could go back in time to relive it again.  amy

This book community has become one of the highlights of 2016 for me, and I’m just so thankful to be a part of it.  Readers and authors are so down to earth.  I’m convinced the ability to put ourselves in our favorite character’s shoes makes us more compassionate and loving towards others.  This is one of the most supportive communities there is- people go out of their way to take care of others they have only met through social media, and if and when book friends finally meet, it is as if they’ve been friends for life.
I’m speaking from experience!

 

Now it’s time to build a bigger bookshelf… 🙂 Though my books aren’t quite ready for the shelf yet.  I have to keep holding them and looking at them because I can’t believe I really have these awesome signed copies of my favorite books! ♥

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Lots of love & literature,
♥Ashley

How Reading Changed my Life

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This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend less time on social media and more time reading books. I started off by downloading the Goodreads app and making a goal to read 50 books before the year ended. I felt like I was wasting too much time on Facebook reading trash in most cases, when I could have spent my time reading something to learn from or simply for pure enjoyment. Most of Facebook’s content ranges from depressing news articles, one sided political propaganda and grouchy mother wars. How much of this negativity is seeping into our souls? Why do we care more about what other people are doing than what is happening in our own lives? It leaves me feeling downright Hopeless, so why not start there…
I knew I enjoyed Colleen Hoover’s books, so I decided to begin with Hopeless as my first read of the new year. From that moment forward, my life took a new direction. I read and finished Tarryn’s new release F*ck Love in a day, my first book of hers, after seeing Colleen’s recommendation shortly thereafter. I had never experienced writing like Tarryn’s before, her passion seeped off the pages. It was everything I had ever thought, but never had the words to say. Write or die. I needed to know her better– my being was thirsting for more of her words. I made the only logical decision at that point: I joined her “Secret Internet Girl Cult” and read all of her books.
From that point, I had a craving for words that wouldn’t leave me. After reading sentences that felt like my soul went straight to Heaven, why wouldn’t I want more?
The books I have read have stuck with me so deeply. I may have forgotten the words on the pages, but the feelings are still fresh. I remember what was going on in my life with each book I read. It’s almost as if the books contained a magical memory juice, allowing me to retain the story on the pages and the reality around me better than ever before.
Through these books, I have felt the person I am grow and become better, I’ve felt my faith waver and come back stronger than before, I’ve questioned my opinions on subjects I thought I knew about, and my mind and heart has been opened to other humans. By discovering who I am on a deeper level, I’ve been able to connect to the rest of humanity in a more profound way than ever before. One example is from reading Susan Cain’s Quiet. I always knew I was an introvert, but I never felt that it was something to be proud of.  Through reading her book I was encouraged to take the Myers-Briggs personality test and learn who I am in the most literal way (INFP-T, for you curious souls). I’ve been able to nurture myself by knowing my needs and where I gain my energy from. It’s a journey I am still on, and will continue to grow with, but without books it would not have been possible at all.
My goal with this post is to help others find that love for reading! Maybe you loved it as a kid and school made you feel burned out on books, maybe you think you don’t have time, or is it possible you simply haven’t found a subject matter you’re interested in? Whatever the case, do not let these things hold you back from growing into a fuller version of yourself!
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

This year is quickly coming to a close, however, there is still plenty of time to channel your inner bookworm. Pick something up at your local library, and see where it takes you!  When a person opens a book, they are also opening their mind.

Lots of bookish love,

♥Ashley