Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
Bookish Memories

No preamble this week, I'm just jumping right in...


1. The first book that made a lasting impression. I was 10 or 12 when I read A Candle in Her Room the first time. It's the first book I remember that made a huge impression on me. I was utterly captivated by the characters and the way the story spanned almost three generations. I checked it out of library again and again. Several years ago I tracked down a copy and it has a special place on my bookshelves.

2. My first author signing. I think my first author meeting/signing was with Diana Gabaldon in 2005. It was in conjunction with the release of The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) and Diana was giving a reading and signing at a local bookstore. Definitely memorable.

3. Meeting Tracey Garvis Graves. I met Tracey in 2013 when she was on a book tour promoting the release of Covet. My sister and I went to the local indie bookstore at the beach and it was a rather small crowd. We got there early, chatted with Tracey, and had a great evening. Surprisingly (well, surprising to me), I've kind of stayed in touch with Tracey over the years and she never fails to ask about my sister and talk about getting together the next time she's in town. Such a down to earth lady.


4. A bookish gift from The Husband. Back in 2014 The Husband surprised me with two hefty Amazon gift cards. (The man knows the way to my heart.) What made it even better? He "signed" each one from book characters that I was rather obsessed with at the time: Jamie Fraser (the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon) and Daemon Black (the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout). He's pretty awesome like that.

5. My first book con. November 2014 had me travelling to Charleston, South Carolina for YallFest. It was my first book con and it was a perfect way to be introduced to author meetings and signings. Such a low-key event. It's where I met Jennifer L. Armentrout for the first time, along with Gayle Forman, Lauren Oliver, Kiera Cass and many others.


6. My first Colleen Hoover book. 2014 was also the year I discovered Colleen Hoover. I remember being drawn to the cover when I saw it in a bookstore. I practically inhaled Maybe Someday and immediately dove into Colleen's backlist. Colleen became one of those unicorn authors for me and I read everything she writes. But it all started with Maybe Someday.

7. My first Bookworm Box. Speaking of Colleen Hoover, I have a vivid memory of ordering the very first Bookworm Box. It launched in May 2015 and was expected to sell out. It so happened that I was on vacation the day of the launch so I was sitting poolside, iPad in my lap, refreshing the page furiously so I could get my box. What made it even more special was that when I received my box it just happened to include a beautiful copy of one of my favorite books ever, The Bronze Horseman. I continued my subscription to the Bookworm Box for several years.

8. Girl Plus Books was born. Back in March 2015 I took the leap and started Girl Plus Books. I had no idea what I was doing and muddled my way through those first posts. But six and a half years later I'm still here. My approach to blogging has changed over the years and now I have a much more laid back attitude about it. I post when I feel like it, I don't post when I'm busy or can't be bothered, and I'm fine with that. Hopefully I'll be singing the same tune in another six years.


9. The bookcase my father built. When The Husband and I moved into our first home in 2003 I knew I wanted to use one room as a library. My father, who was a master carpenter, designed and built us a custom-made bookcase and it immediately became my favorite thing in my home. Fifteen years later, in 2018, my father passed away and a few months after that we bought a new home. The one thing I was sad to leave behind? The beautiful bookcase made for me by my father. (Because they were custom made to fit a niche in the wall, they would not have fit in the new house.) It was truly a keepsake.

10. Meeting Colleen Hoover... finally! My love for Colleen Hoover is strong. And over the years I have missed out on several opportunities to attend her signings. Colleen was totally giving me the slip! But in 2018 that came to an end when The Husband, my mom, and I drove six hours to Atlanta in order to meet Colleen. She was touring for the release of All Your Perfects and Atlanta was the closest she was coming. It was such an experience to listen to her talk about her writing, to appreciate her offbeat humor, and have the chance to tell her what her storytelling has meant to me over the years.


The Sunday Post #269 | November 28, 2021

 The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news: a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books,
 and share what's coming up on your blog in the week ahead.

T H E   W E E K   I N   R E V I E W 
For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends. Unlike last year (which was a party of three - rather pitiful), everyone was in attendance this year. (Price of admission? Fully vaccinated. And thankfully, everyone is.) I have hosted at my house the last couple years and, while it's exhausting, it was also a fantastic day with family and food and good times.

Last Sunday we spent the day getting the house ready for Thanksgiving. That included putting up and decorating two Christmas trees. We were so wiped out by the end of the day but we also had some pretty great views to show for our efforts. In a month that has been incredibly stressful and overwhelming, my pink tree is bringing me serious joy. :)


Although I managed to take off on Wednesday, I still ended up doing some work from home. It was aggravating stuff that I should have been notified of a week ago but instead was dropped on my lap the afternoon before a long holiday weekend. You know, when everyone has the day off, or left the office early, and isn't thinking about work for the next several days? Yeah, that was super annoying, and there was basically nothing I could do about it at that point. Not a fun feeling but I set it aside and will have to deal with it on Monday.

On Friday I was quite the hermit and never left the house. Thursday exceeded my limit of peopling and I needed the quiet time. I holed up in my library and decided to rearrange all the bookshelves. And that snowballed into doing a massive book unhaul. By the time I was done I had pulled 79 books from my shelves. Books I have read and don't feel the need to keep, or books that I haven't read but have lost interest in. The Husband was kind enough to box them all up and take them to the used bookstore for me. Now someone else can enjoy the books, I have more room on my shelves, and a little cash in my pocket. Everyone wins! :) 

In case you missed it, I'm taking part in the Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop! You can win a free book of your choice (up to $20). There are two days left to enter so click here for your chance to win.

This week's song is a total 80's cheese-fest. The late 80's were chock full of them: cheesy songs, cheesy videos, cheesy dancing. It was glorious. LOL I Like It (1989) by Dino is such a prime example. Enjoy!

O N   T H E   B L O G
Tuesday, November 23

Wednesday, November 24

W H A T   I   R E A D

Not Until You (Second Time Around #3) by Corinne Michaels - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My reading is still practically at a standstill and the only reading that did happen was thanks to audiobooks. Better luck next week... maybe?

C U R R E N T L Y  R E A D I N G

Layla by Colleen Hoover
One Christmas Wish by Brenda Jackson
If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels

Reading: Technically I'm still reading Layla but I finally had to set it aside to start on One Christmas Wish, a review book that is due soon. Hopefully I'll get back to it very soon because I was totally enjoying the creep-factor in Layla. 

Listening: In my continuing effort to finish up series that I've had in work, I'm currently listening to If I Only Knew, the fourth and final book in the Second Time Around series by Corinne Michaels. 

N E W   A D D I T I O N S


If the Fates Allow by Rainbow Rowell
Ignite by Melanie Harlow

T O T A L L Y   R A N D O M


Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop #BlackFridayHop #ThanksgivingHop

Welcome to the Eleventh Annual Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop (formerly Black Friday Book Bonanza)! The hosts for this year’s event are Caffeinated Reviewer and Reading Reality.

For those that celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you'll have a wonderful day with family or friends. Before the post-meal turkey coma kicks in, take a minute to enter the giveaway for a free book. Because... free book!! :) 

The winner can choose any book (up to $20 USD) from Book Depository. The giveaway is open internationally as long as Book Depository delivers to your country. Note: If the winner is in the U.S., chances are the book will come from Amazon for faster shipping. Winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and contacted within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. Winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

The giveaway will run from 12:01 am on Wednesday, November 24 through 12:00 am on Wednesday, December 1.

Thanks for entering and Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe!

Top Ten Tuesday: Where Are They Now?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:
Where Are They Now?
Favorite Character Updates

What do you know? I'm actually sticking to the prompt this week. Go me. *fist bump*
I actually like this prompt because there are always those characters that stick with me long after I turn the last page. The ones that I find myself thinking about and wondering how they're doing. I mean, yeah, the story ended, but in my mind they're still carrying on, going about their lives. And I need to know... are they okay?

So here are some favorite characters that I'd love to have updates on. A little where are they now action. A glimpse at what they're doing, what's going on in their lives, and confirmation that all is well.

Wes & Jamie (Wesmie): Him/Us/Epic - I will never tire of Wes and Jamie updates and will always, always want to know how they're doing. Even the most mundane, day-in-the-life snippet would work.
Gentry: The Reckless Oath We Made - Gentry is one of the most unique characters I've ever encountered and I'd love to know what his life looks like now.
Dev & Charlie: The Charm Offensive - I just need more of these two cinnamon rolls. More, more, more.
Grip & Bristol: Flow/Grip/Still - Even though Still wrapped up perfectly, I would never say no to a peek into the future of this unforgettable couple.
Simon: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - I'd love a visit with post-high school, post-college Simon and see what his life looks like now.

Wavy: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things - It's no surprise that another character from Bryn Greenwood is on my list. Wavy was simply unforgettable and I'm curious at the turns her life may have taken. She deserved good things.
Lydia: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird - Lydia was dealt a hard blow and struggled hard to work through the loss. Even though her story ended well, it'd be great to get a look further down the road.
Simon & Meg: The Others series - The original series with Simon and Meg concluded after book number five and there was a kinda/sorta hint at a future for them. I mean, everyone around them knew they had feelings so did they ever act on them? I want confirmation, people.
Julian: A List of Cages - Julian is a soul too precious and pure for this earth. And I need to know that he is okay. Seriously. 
Lily & Atlas: It Ends With Us - I was okay with how this one ended because it was obvious that these two people had found their way back to each other. But that doesn't stop me from wanting more. I'd be so happy to see where they are now.

Have you read any of these books?