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”

The Gravity of Us – Release Day + Giveaway!

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The Gravity of Us, an all-new gripping and emotional standalone from Brittainy C. Cherry is LIVE!

Continue reading “The Gravity of Us – Release Day + Giveaway!”

January Recap

Happy February dear book lovers! ♥
We hope you all had a good start into the new year? Have you set up your reading challenge for 2017 yet? We have and if you want to take a look, click the following:

People’s new year’s resolutions always include losing weight, eating healthier and working out more. And most of those resolutions are quickly forgotten only after the first few weeks. What about resolutions like “This year I want to read XX books!”? If you are not an avid reader (yet) and a newbie to this awesome book community, start small. Set your goal to five or maybe ten books for 2017. Even one is fine. We worked out quite a few tips for making time to read this year. Why don’t you check them out here.

Here are our reviews as well as cover reveals and book releases for January:

Reviews:

Cover reveals:

Book releases:

February is all about “Throwback Thursday”, or as we call it: “We try to re-read a few of our favorite books and review them”.  🙂 Among the re-reads we also plan to read a few new books, or new books to us, because all of our literally 100 unread ebooks on our ebook readers are, in fact, new to us. 😉 Here are the books we intend to read and review in February: roomies by Lindy Zart, God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo, Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin, How to Kill A Rockstar by Tiffanie DeBartolo, The Trace + Olivia Series by Micalea Smeltzer, Infinity + One by Amy Harmon, A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart, Marrow by Tarryn Fisher, Crossed by Ally Condie and Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher.

Lots of bookish love,
♥ Ashley & Sabrina ♥

P.S. Don’t forget to befriend us on Goodreads (Ashley, Sabrina) and follow us on Instagram. Did you know that we are on facebook too?

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