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Catching up + ALL of the books!! [Review]

Despite all of the best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way. Since my last post I moved myself and my little fur-baby to a house, lost my very dear grandmother and have been going through very good but very stressful changes at work. Needless to say my little blog took a back seat, but I’ve been (mostly) faithfully carrying on with my goals for 2016- just not writing about them here. I have posted a photo a day on Instagram- check them out and maybe follow me if you like at ‘kflakes’! I’ve also been planning excursions, got adventurous with my hair and had it ‘painted’ (balayage), and I’ve been reading like crazy. The rest of this post I’ll devote to mini-reviews of all of the books I’ve read since the last one I talked about in my goal toward 100 this year. In the future I’ll write similar posts monthly, reviewing all of the books I’ve read. Hope you enjoy!

jurassic‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton- Book 17 of 100 was pretty fantastic. It varies drastically in places from the film we all know and love, but is no less entertaining or lovable. The back story behind the novel is extensive, the dinosaurs have already started to escape- and good gracious, the ending is terrible and poetic all at the same time. This is a must read- and made for a very entertaining book to listen to in the car.

 

 

 
Glass-Sword-Victoria-AveyardGlass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard- Book 18 of 100 was very interesting. In this book the elite class has silver blood and the common folk have red blood. Our heroine Mare Barrow has red blood, but also the powers of a Silver- and incredible powers at that. In the first book she discovered and struggled to cope with the repercussions of that fact. In this novel she discovers she is not the only one to have red blood and silver powers. They basically start a war in this novel, and it’s pretty great. Can’t wait for the next book!

 

richestThe Richest Man in Babylon by  George S. Clason- Book 19 of 100 is a must read for those wanting to make something of themselves financially and also in their community. The novel holds the key to personal wealth (very simple, really) and is entertaining to boot. A great book to listen to on tape.

 

 

 

accentYes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told YouYes, by Kunal Nayyar- Book 20 of 100 is highly entertaining and intelligent. We see behind the scenes of Nayyar’s life, and he is every bit as lovable as his character Raj on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. We see what it took for him to get where he is, funny stories from his childhood, an entire chapter on his week long wedding festivities and other hilarities. I loved this book, it’s witty and inspiring and a lighthearted read.

 

 

FirstlifeFirstlife (Everlife, #1) by Gena Showalter- Book 21 of 100 is an odd duck. I kept going back and forth between loving it and thinking it was terrible. It is basically a tug of war between the two locations for one’s afterlife. Each person is to choose where they want to go before they come of age or they may not get a choice. They may be killed and end up in neither. Both realms, Troika and Myriad will do anything to recruit our heroine Tenly ‘Ten’ – but she has reservations about both. It’s a trip, but at least is fairly original!

 

The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up-718x1024The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo- Book 22 of 100 is a helpful if not fairly impractical look at how to clean up the clutter in your home. I imagine it works incredibly well for some, but for someone like me who has borderline horder tendencies- but who also has fantastic organizing and ‘tucking’ skills, it is impractical and unnecessary. If I wanted to live as though my life were on display I would maybe look into it more. 🙂

 

"Furiously Happy," by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson- Book 23 of 100 is outrageously funny. The novel is essentially a memoir of Lawson’s struggle with mental illness, but don’t let that deter you. It’s an honest, brilliant and clever look at how Lawson handles her illnesses, and the humor that gets her through. There are plenty of stories and side bars that had me in stitches, and others that made me cry. In other words? Perfection.

 

 

obsession-by-nora-robertsThe Obsession by Nora Roberts- Book 24 of 100 is one of Robert’s most recent novels and I very much enjoyed it. It follows Naomi, who discovers as a child her father’s darkest secret and makes him infamous. In the present day she settles in a small town only to have her past catch up with her- but she finds roots and a man to love. She finds part of herself and a loving dog as well. The only thing that annoys me is the image on the cover- it makes no sense to me in relation to the story- the view of the sea from her new home would be what I would have showed!

 

The Crown by Kiera CassThe Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass- Book 25 of 100 was a book that I really wanted to like but couldn’t. The writing was subpar, the plot was stagnant, and the relationships seemed forced. I enjoy Cass’ ideas and dedication to the storyline, but it fell short for me again. The idea is a bachelorette style process to find a king for a future queen. Eadlyn is the daughter of the couple featured in the first series Cass released which I really liked, but this one just didn’t work out. It probably would make a much better film or tv show than books.

 

originals-how-non-conformists-move-the-worldOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant- Book 26 of 100 is a hugely popular book. As good as it was though, it was only minimally inspiring for me. I wanted so much more out of it that it didn’t give. The book talks about how to recognize a good idea, speak up, building alliances, choosing the correct timing and managing fear and doubt. It also touches on how to prepare kids and how leaders can get more from their employees. This all sounds great, but I felt like it only skimmed the surface. Maybe it needs a second read.

 

harry-potter-1Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling- Book 27 of 100 is the first in the Harry Potter series. It is my favorite book series and I decided the time was ripe to read them all again before the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is released July 31st. I love the first novel, showing Harry’s discovery of his magic powers and his introduction into a new world of friends and situations he can control and start to become his own person in. All eleven year olds need to learn how to fight the darkest wizard in history, right?

 

hp-chamber-of-secretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling- Book 28 of 100 is the second in the Harry Potter series. This book makes me laugh because all of the antics and his involvement in the Chamber of Secrets aren’t really required of him- he just has a solving problems thing. These first novels always make me think of how even from a young age he is destined to do what he does and even become an Auror (dark wizard fighter) as an adult.

 

 

no fears no excusesNo Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith- Book 29 of 100 was a fantastic read. This book is basically a kick in the pants to strive for the future you design for yourself. A huge part of the novel is spent on explaining how a person can stop preventing themselves from holding themselves back- and also find not only a good job, but a career that they love. Something they would do if they weren’t getting paid for it. Inspirational.

 

 

hp prisonerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling- Book 30 of 100 is the third novel in the series. Many people count this book as their favorite in the series. It introduces Harry to his godfather, a connection to the past he desperately desires. The plot of this novel steps it up entertainment-wise as they continue to do for the rest of the series. It is incredible to me how J.K. Rowling even from the start of the first novel takes things that happen and tie them into the last novel. Goosebumps.

 

caperThe Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle- Book 31 of 100 was a easy read. Mayle’s books on his personal life are incredible so I decided to pick up one of his fiction stories. This one focuses on a man trying to take another man’s home that falls in love with- through any means he must. It is entertaining listening to how they attempt to stop this from happening, although as a short novel it was hard for the characters to be fully developed, and at times it was confusing as I was listening to it. Overall I enjoyed it, but I prefer his memoirs.

That’s books 17 through 31 of 100! Stay tuned at the end of July for a wrap up of all of the novels I read in the meantime! Read all the reviews here.

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Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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‘The Moviegoer’ by Walker Percy [ REVIEW ]

The Moviegoer

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

 

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy is your typical American novel at face value, but there is something about it that makes it special.

Binx Bolling is a New Orleans stockbroker who is searching for something beyond his everyday by the cultural references that have come to define him:

“Other people, so I have read, treasure memorable moments in their lives… What I remember is the time John Wayne killed three men with a carbine as he was falling to the dusty street in Stagecoach, and the time the kitten found Orson Welles in the doorway in The Third Man.”

Bolling is, of course, a moviegoer, and the magic of the silver screen is consistently more captivating to him than his affairs with his secretaries or the concerns of his family. He’s not particularly unhappy with his life, but his search requires that he identify a meaning in his own life to keep him going. He hasn’t anything exactly in mind, but keeps at it. Classic existential angst. But The Moviegoer is more than just Southern charm (which it has in spades). It’s more than just another hollow story of making it in America. The Moviegoer, after nearly five decades is captivating because The Moviegoer is now, more than ever. We are all Binx Bolling.

That’s book 16 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________five-stars-624x145

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

‘Eight Hundred Grapes’ by Laura Dave [ REVIEW ]

eight-hundred-grapes-9781476789255_hr

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave is a gritty realistic look at a woman’s coming to terms with her own needs and wants in the world of her changing family and the circumstances surrounding her fiance. With the things she counts on as constants breaking down she tries to fix things, usually messing them up more. In the process she learns that what she wants isn’t necessarily what she needs, and what she needs isn’t necessarily what she wants. It is a honest, heart warming story that makes you think about what you may have settled for or what may really be right for you. Great novel!

That’s book 15 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________five-stars-624x145

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

‘Wildflower’ by Drew Barrymore [ REVIEW ]

Wildflower

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore is an intimate and revealing ‘non-memoir’. It’s really a collection- almost a journal of Barrymore’s experiences in her personal life and in her professional life. A chronological order of time is out the window, but it flows and makes sense nonetheless. It reads as though she is writing it just for herself- and maybe for her girls someday. There are lots of exclamation points but not much is held back. She may skim a tad over the drug phase, but she does explain her thought process, and what it took for her to want to do more with her life. I love Barrymore’s acting and this was a pretty incredible peek into her thoughts, beliefs and way of life.

That’s book 14 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________

four_half-stars_0

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

‘Quidditch Through The Ages’ by Kennilworthy Whisp [ REVIEW ]

quiddtch

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp aka J.K. Rowling, is a funny and entertaining new look at Harry Potter’s world. Rowling is a master of the details and this short novel is no exception. Written in a textbook format it goes through the discovery of the sport, variations of it, the evolution of the broomstick, discussion of the use of the broomstick as the preferred method of magical travel and the first golden snitch- a fluffy round bird called a Golden Snidget. Rules and the balls are discussed, and an explanation of all of Britain and Ireland’s teams are listed. The fewer international teams are also documented. While straight forward as it is in textbook format it has Rowling’s characteristic voice and is a joy to read.

That’s book 13 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________five-stars-624x145

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

‘Rhinoceros Success’ by Scott Alexander[ REVIEW ]

Rhino

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

Rhinoceros Success: The Secret to Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity by Scott Alexander is inspiring and goofy. The entire short novel encourages the reader to ‘be a rhinoceros’- to charge after what they want full speed. Don’t be like the lazy cows, who could help themselves if they wanted but are too lazy and dumb to get their act together. It becomes fairly repetitive, but inspires nonetheless. Create goals, and then act on them. New habits must be developed- like charging, audacity, and persistence. Choose to be happy. Don’t ask for anyone’s permission. Keep charts and graphs on your progress. Make it rough and demanding. Charge on!

What do you want? Go get it. 

That’s book 12 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________five-stars-624x145

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

‘Why Not Me?’ by Mindy Kaling [ REVIEW ]

mindy-kaling-why-not-me

One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!

‘Why Not Me?’ by Mindy Kaling is another hilarious peek into Kaling’s life. A follow up to her novel ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?‘ this book is just as funny and reveals more personal details including everything from her love of McDonalds to her relationship with a White House staffer. She jokes about what is funny, but stresses what is serious. She emphasizes hard work equaling success. “The truth is, I have never, ever met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call ‘a workaholic.”

Kaling’s book is effectively a charming memoir but it is also something of a statement. It’s an attempt to reclaim work—the wanting, striving, and the doing—as a value unto itself. As Kaling sums it up:

“People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work.

I work a lot. Like, a lot. I feel like I must have been watching TV as a kid and that cartoon parable about the industrious ants and the lazy grasshopper came on at a vital moment when my soft little brain was hardening, and the moral of it was imprinted on me. The result of which is that I’m usually hyper-prepared for whatever I set my mind to do, which makes me feel deserving of attention and professional success, when that’s what I’m seeking.”

An inspiration as always Ms. Kaling. Thank you!

That’s book 11 of 100! Read all the reviews here.

_________________________________five-stars-624x145

Click here to see my goals for 2016

You can also see my goals for 20152014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

Book 1. Wake Up Happy by Micheal Strahan

Book 2. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Book 3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Book 4. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Book 5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Book 6. Binge by Tyler Oakley

Book 7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Book 8. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book 9: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Book 10: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Book 11: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Book 12: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

Book 13: Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)

Book 14: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Book 15: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy