Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018 (But Didn’t) | Bookstagram Edition!

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic asks us to share ten books that we meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get around to. I decided to add a little twist to it and only use books from photos that I’ve taken for my bookstagram. (Believe me, there are SO MANY more besides this!)

1. As You Like It by William Shakespeare

2. Food by Gertrude Stein

3. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

4. Todos deberíamos ser feministas by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5. The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin

6. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

7. Sweet Dreams by Nadette Rae Rodgers

8. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon

9. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

10. Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys

What books did you hope to get around to in 2018? What do you think of the ones on my list? Which one should I start first in 2019? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Bookish

Bookish Goals of 2019

As always, I’d like to set some bookish goals for the new year. Usually I try to set ten, but this time I’ve decided that less is going to be more.

1. Read 52 books.

For the past few years I’ve set myself a goal do reading 24 books; however, this goal hasn’t been very challenging to meet, especially since I have to read so much for classes. This year I’ve decided to set myself a goal of 52 books, the equivalent of one book a week. Hopefully this will be enough of a challenge to keep my actively reading but not too much of a challenge that it becomes unrealistic to achieve.

2. Read more nonfiction.

I know this is a rather general, vague goal, but I still think it’s worth keeping in mind this year. I have to read so much fiction for my English literature classes that I tend to miss picking up a good biography or memoir. If I could make a third or even half of what I read this year nonfiction, I would be very pleased. This goal will also hopefully help me catch up with my ever-growing nonfiction TBR pile.

3. Listen to more audio books.

Again, another general goal that I nevertheless feel is good to keep in mind in 2019. I loved listening to audio books while I was abroad whenever I had to walk to classes, go to the store, cook, do laundry, etc. I would really like to find a way to work it into my schedule this year and hopefully listen to around an audio book each month.

4. Read all of the books I already own.

Although I’ve gotten better at this over the years and my physical TBR pile has dwindled down considerably, I still own a significant number of books that I haven’t read. I’d love to get to a point where I only have five books or less at a time that I haven’t read, and I think that’s a pretty manageable goal for this year. If I read at least one book that I already own each month then I’ll be on the right track. This goal is partly motivated by my desire to not own any books that I know for a fact I’m not never going to read. Why have extra clutter on hand when I don’t need to?

5. Get back into blogging/bookstagram.

Throughout this past semester I basically stopped posting to both my blog and my bookstagram altogether. I was just so busy with classes, writing an honors thesis, applying to law schools, and life in general that my favorite bookish activities got pushed to the wayside a bit. I’m going to really try to make an effort to fit it into my schedule this semester, even if it’s not as frequently as I would ideally like. Something is better than nothing!

6. Read for fun!

It goes without saying that I read with a lot of different goals in mind: to better educate myself, to open my eyes to different ideas and ways of life, to be more empathetic and understanding of other people. However, each year I make sure to add this goal to my New Year’s list because it’s something I tend to forget in the hustle and bustle of busy schedules and busy reading time. While reading with all of those things in mind is incredibly important, it’s also really important to me that reading remains something I wholeheartedly enjoy and not something that feels like work all the time. Reading has always been something I’ve done because I genuinely love it, and I don’t want that to change!

Those are my six bookish goals for 2019, ones that I hope are challenging yet still manageable and fun to work towards. Wish me luck!

Have you set yourself any bookish goals for the New Year? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Festive 4th Covers {Bookstagram Edition!}

Happy Tuesday! And for all of my fellow Americans, happy Fourth of July Eve! (That’s a holiday, right?!?) Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is Fourth of July themed, which means it’s time to break out those red, white, and blue book covers. This week I’ve set myself a little challenge of only using photos from my bookstagram. Let’s see how many I can find!

What are your favorite red, white, and blue books? What do you think of the ones on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Happy Fourth!

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

One Lovely Blog Award | 4

Waking up to see that I’ve been nominated for things like the One Lovely Blogger Award always brings a smile to my face. Thanks so much to Stephen @ Stephen Writes and Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library for nominating me!!

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • Share seven facts about yourself;
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them.

Does being nominated twice mean I have to share fourteen facts about myself instead of just seven? If you insist…

1. I’m a morning person. Not only do I enjoy mornings the most out of all the times of the day, but I also tend to automatically wake up early (relative early, of course–around 7:30am).

2. Jurassic Park is my favorite movie. I even dressed up as Laura Dern in Jurassic Park for a bop that was movie themed. Dedication. 

3. I’m a pretty terrible cook. Why make actual meals for myself when I can just eat variations of breakfast (a.k.a. eggs, toast, and oatmeal) for every meal?

4. I like to bake. However, baking is different. What’s not to love about sweet treats at the end? I also feel like mistakes are less noticeable while baking than while cooking actual meals (chocolate hides pretty much everything).

5. I can touch my nose with my tongue. When I was younger I assumed that everyone could do this, but apparently that isn’t the case. Now I use it as my go-to fun fact during awkward ice-breakers at orientations, group meetings, etc.

6. I have no idea what Hogwarts House I should be in. This became an actual dilemma when I visited the Platform 9 3/4 sign at King’s Cross Station in London and the Official Scarf Waver asked me what House I’m in. I ended up saying Gryffindor because I thought the maroon scarf would stand out more in the photo AND because I just couldn’t decide in that short moment. WHAT AM I.

7. I’m allergic to MANY things, not just nuts. Dogs, Cats, birch pollen, ragweed, grass… the list goes on and on!

8. My favorite food is pizza. I could eat pizza every night for a week (or two! or three!) and still not complain. I am ALWAYS in the mood for pizza.

9. I rarely watch Netflix during terms/semesters. Some people turn to Netflix when they want to wind down after a long day of working in the library, but for some reason I usually don’t watch Netflix during term time unless I’m watching it with friends. Maybe this explains why I’m always so behind on shows?

10. I love listening to music while I work. Some people prefer silence when they read or write, but I’d rather have at least some background noise while I’m working.

11. I have a bookstagram. If you’ve followed this blog for a while I feel like you probably already know this already, but I thought I would throw it out there just in case. It’s so much fun!

12. I am an avid list maker. Almost every day the last thing I do before heading to bed is make a to-do list for the next day. Even if I don’t check off everything on the list it’s still nice to wake up with a clear direction for the day. (Besides, what’s more satisfying than checking off tiny boxes?)

13. If I’m not drinking tea, I’m usually drinking hot water. Drinking plain hot water in a mug is something that people are either 100% on board with or think is the strangest thing they’ve ever witnessed. I love it.

14. I love mugs. Speaking of mugs, I adore them. I have far too many for one human being. But when will I stop acquiring new ones? (Never.)

Thanks again to Stephen and Emma for nominating me! ❤

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

One Lovely Blog Award | 3

Recently I had the pleasant surprise of being nominated for another One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks so much to Loretta @ The Laughing Listener for nominating me!! Definitely check out Loretta’s wonderful blog if you haven’t already. Now, on with the fun facts!

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers that you admire and inform the nominees
  1. I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings fans. I’ve loved both the books and the movies since I was eleven or twelve and I get incredibly excited whenever I meet someone who is also an avid fan.
  2. I love stickers. I usually order them from Redbubble because they have a HUGE selection and pretty decent prices. Recently I put a bunch on my 2018 planner and I love them. 
  3. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I feel like this one doesn’t need much explanation.
  4. Grilled cheese is my go to meal. Whenever I don’t know what to eat for lunch, you can usually find me making a grilled cheese. I like mine with cheddar cheese, a little bit of ham, and sliced pickles inside (it sounds weird, but it’s so good!).
  5. I LOVE taking photos with my polaroid camera. I got this adorable yellow polaroid camera for Christmas a year or two ago and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
  6. I play the violin. I haven’t actually played it in three years (since starting college), but I played it in my school’s orchestra from third grade until I graduated high school. I definitely miss playing in an orchestra!
  7. I don’t know how to describe my taste in music. Whenever people ask me, I usually reply by saying that I like everything except for country music. My Spotify is a JUMBLED MESS.

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Summer Book Tag

Summer is pretty much over, but that won’t stop me from wrapping up the season with the Summer Book Tag. Thanks so much to Mischenko @ Read, Rant, Rock & Roll for tagging me!!

What book cover makes you think of summer?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I read this novel last summer and it is one of the most lyrical, seamless, beautifully written books I have ever read.

What book has brightened your day?

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo was one of my favorite books when I was younger. I remember reading it over and over again because a) mice used to be by favorite animals and b) this story is captivating, charming, and creative.

Find a book cover with yellow on it.

Just look at that cute little yellow chick! I read Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen a few weeks ago and loved it. I can’t even explain to you how heart-warming, poignant, hilarious, and brilliant this book is. I definitely wish I had read it sooner!

What action book had you running for the ice cream man?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is equal parts hilarious, romantic, and action-packed. No matter what you’re in the mood to read, chances are that this book will fulfill it!

(Sunburn) What book has left you with a bad and/or painful ending?

I won’t spoil the ending in case you haven’t yet read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but it’s pretty devastating.

(Sunset) what book gave you the happiest feelings when it ended? 
I desperately hoped for at least a moderately happy ending for Jane (given her circumstances) and Charlotte Brontë didn’t disappoint!

What book cover reminds you of a sunset?

Look at that literal sunset on the cover. This old edition of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton made this question easy!

What is one book or series you hope to read this summer?

I actually didn’t read any full series this summer… it was a summer of standalones, I guess!

Since summer has pretty much come to an end, I’m not going to tag anyone specifically… unless you would like to do it, then by all means GO FOR IT!

Is summer your favorite season or do you prefer autumn/winter (like me!)? What’s your favorite thing about summer? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookstagram Process

Happy Tuesday!! We’ve made it to the last week of TTT before the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish come back with their great themes. As a last hurrah I’m going to share something silly and fun: 10 steps of my bookstagram process.  I started my bookstagram account (@nutfreenerd) over a year ago and I’m so glad I did! Not only do I love looking at everyone’s gorgeous photos, but I also love interacting with other bookworms.

Anyone who posts bookish photos knows how ridiculous taking them can feel sometimes (especially in busy places!) but that’s also what makes it fun. Whether you’re inside, outside, or somewhere in between, one thing is certain: taking photos can definitely be a process. Here’s my bookstagram photo-taking process:

1. Choose a location.

This is a beautiful park near my house that’s my new favorite photo spot.

The first thing to do it decide where you’ll be taking pictures. Inside? Outside? Outside in your front yard or somewhere else? Lately my account’s feed alters between inside and outside pictures so I end up doing a fair amount of both locations.

2. Choose books.

SO MANY BOOKS. This step usually takes me a long time and results in a tornado of books on my bedroom floor.

3. Pack.

Can I fit my entire bookcase into a backpack from middle school? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. (And ultimately failed…)

4. Transport and set up. 

Sometimes this step is easy, particularly if I stay inside and decide to take photos using my phone. However, it can get tricky when I go to the park with my camera, tripod, and bag of books. There’s so much to lug around!

5. Choose a few different angles.

Finding new angles is one of my favorite aspects of taking photos. Just when you think you’ve exhausted them all, a new one jumps out at you!

6. Actually take the photos.

When you realize the lens cap is still on the camera *face palm*

Here it is, folks: the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Bust out those cameras and say CHEESE.

7. Take even more photos.

I’m always afraid that my camera is out of focus or the lighting isn’t good enough, so I make sure to take WAY MORE photos than I’ll ever need. Chances are that at least one of them will be decent, right?

8. Resist the urge to photograph Watsky’s book for the billionth time.

Note: This step nearly always fails.

This is a hard one– perhaps the most difficult step of them all. If you look at my account you’ll notice that How to Ruin Everything appears in SO MANY of my photos… it’s just such a beautiful cover design!!

9. Sort.

Jumping in the air looked way cooler in my mind, I promise.

Taking a million photos at a time means that there are a million photos to sort through later. Sorting is key because you inevitably end up with ridiculous photos like the one shown above.

10. Post!!!

Finally, it is time to post your photos. I love reading and replying to everyone’s comments!!

Are you part of the bookstagram community? (Let me know so I can follow you!!) What is your bookstagram process like? Do you have a favorite book to photograph? Do you follow a posting schedule? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: How to Read More

Happy Tuesday!! The bloggers behind The Broke and the Bookish are taking a quick break from hosting Top Ten Tuesdays this summer, so I thought I would continue on in the meantime with some topics of my own. Recently someone asked me a question I’ve been asked a million times: How do you read so much? Usually my response is something along the lines of: “…I just do?” However, today I’m going to actually answer this question by sharing my Top Ten Ways to Read More. (Spoiler alert: the last reason is the most important!!)

1 || Carry a book with you. This is one of the most important and effective ways to read more because you simply can’t read if you don’t have a book with you. There are so many hidden pockets of reading time throughout the day, from sitting in waiting rooms and taking public transportation to lunch breaks and random bits of downtime between appointments or meetings.

2 || Listen to audio books. Though I would much rather read a paper book than listen to a recording, I must admit that audio books are a golden key to optimizing reading time. I know people who drive, cook, clean, and exercise all while listening to audio books. Just think of how many books they must go through in an average week!

3 || Designate reading time. If you’re anything like me, you thrive on structure, routines, and schedules. I find it helpful to set aside certain times for reading, such as before going to sleep or when I have a free Sunday afternoon. This doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence; rather, it could be as simple as deciding to read for an hour instead of watching Netflix on a Wednesday night after dinner.

4 || Set realistic, achievable goals. Telling yourself you’ll be able to finish the entirety of Tolstoy’s War and Peace in one night and still have time to paint your nails before bed is probably not the most realistic goal to set. (Unless you can actually do this, then by all means LET ME KNOW YOUR SECRETS.) Instead, set yourself small goals that can be achieved fairly quickly and easily. I usually like to do this by focusing on chapters or page numbers.

5 || Find a reading buddy. For those of you who work best alongside others, find someone or a group of people to read with. Book clubs are great for helping you read more: not only do they hold you accountable for reading on a regular basis, but they also spread enthusiasm and a contagious bookish excitement. A reading buddy could also just be someone you talk to about books occasionally or even a fellow blogger

6 || Take breaks. This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. As with any activity, it’s possible to feel burnt out after reading so much. When you feel a reading slump coming on, do yourself a favor and set the books aside for a while. Sometimes all you need is some time away from the page to recharge your bookworm batteries. Then you’ll be ready to read even more!

7 || Be aware of time and space. Where do you feel the most comfortable reading? Are you an early bird or night owl? Knowing when and where you prefer to read will only better the chances that you’ll be focused and engaged in what you’re reading when you finally curl up with a book. For instance, my favorite reading spot is outside on a sunny day or in this particular cozy chair in my living room on a cold night.

8 || Read in bed… at your own risk. I’ve always loved reading before bed, but I do admit that it’s not always the most productive reading time ever. Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I get tired and head to bed early after reading only a chapter or two, sometimes I’m sitting in a position that makes taking notes awkward… This is really up to personal preference, but I’ve found that if I solely rely on time before bed to read I usually get very little reading time during the week.

9 || Get rid of distractions. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the temptation to sneak a peek at your phone, check your inbox, or even take a scroll through Tumblr in the midst of reading. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks to do these things… unless your goal is to get more reading done! To prevent being distracted, try putting your phone on silent or at least shutting off most notifications if you’re sitting down to read for a bit.

10 || Make reading a priority. To be honest, I think this is the single most important and effective rule on this list. If reading is a priority in your life as a hobby you’re bound to do it more often. The real reason I’m able to read so much is because I want to, so I do. Some people spend their free time binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix or watch streams of hilarious cat videos on Youtube, other people enjoy painting or running or dancing or playing soccer—I choose to spend the majority of my free time reading.

What are your tips for reading more? What do you think of the advice I’ve given here? Have you ever been asked how you read so much? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is already half way over??? I’m still not used to how far along we are in the twenty-first century. Every time someone mentions the 90s my first thought is “Ah, yes, that decade ten years ago.” But that is NOT THE CASE and it’s kind of scary… Anyways, thanks so much to Inside My Library Mind for tagging me in this Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

Must we start with the most difficult question ever??? I’ve read so many great books this year that choosing just one is really hard, so I’m going to go with two: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky and Sartoris by William Faulkner. (Could you get two more opposite books??)

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

I actually don’t think I’ve read any sequels this year!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

When I heard that John Green was releasing a new book this fall I literally squealed in delight, surprise, and excitement. ANOTHER JOHN GREEN BOOK, PEOPLE. From what he’s shared about the basic premise of Turtles All the Way Down it promises to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, and story about adolescence, mental illness, and life. October can’t come soon enough!!!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’m honestly not very up to date with new releases for the second half of 2017, so I don’t think I have an answer to this question.

5. Biggest disappointment.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This was the first book I read (listened to, actually) in 2017 and I was so disappointed by it. I disagreed with many of her points and was frustrated by her tendency to focus on problems that were fairly tedious and insignificant compared with the more serious issues that some women have to deal with on a regular basis. The potential was there for this to be a great book, but in the end I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sartoris by William Faulkner. Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite Faulkner novel that I’ve read thus far. I had never heard of it before taking a closer look at the Faulkner section of my local library because usually people stick with his most well-known texts (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, etc.). Sartoris is under-rated, under-appreciated, and certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

E.M. Forster. I read his novel A Room with a View earlier this year and was absolutely enthralled by it. Not only is his writing beautiful, but the novel was incredibly thought-provoking and captivating. I look forward to reading more of his writing!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Vincent from On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Not only is Vincent incredibly musically gifted, but he’s also sweet, thoughtful, loyal, caring… what more could you want? This entire book is adorable and romantic in general– I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something really sweet, captivating, and heartwarming .

9. Newest favorite character.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

10. Book that made you cry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Though I didn’t physically cry while reading this poetry collection, I did feel emotional and sense tears welling up in my eyes at times. Rupi Kaur’s poetry is raw, honest, and beautiful. I highly recommend this collection!

11. Book that made you happy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I never read this book when I was a kid (are we sensing a trend here?) but I definitely wish I had because it’s SO FUN. I couldn’t help but smile all the way through this creative, hilarious, adorable book. Roald Dahl is the best! Also, now I really want to watch the movie adaptation directed by Wes Anderson. I’ve heard really great things about it!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky. I love everything about this cover design– the color, the simple design of handwriting on a solid background, and the way it’s messy but not overwhelmingly so. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve photographed this book (although looking at my bookstagram will give you a pretty good idea). This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, so I would highly recommend it!!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY. A novel I’m hoping to read by the end of the summer is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

Ahhh, there are so many!!! I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart ❤ For the sake of this tag, I’m going to give a shoutout to:

  • Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read. Not only do Shar and Shanti post thought-provoking, creative content on they’re blog, but they’re also both incredibly kind individuals. They leave the most thoughtful comments that always make me happy. If you haven’t checked out their blog, definitely do so!! ❤
  • Ariel Bissett. Ariel has been my favorite booktuber for YEARS. A smile immediately lights up my face every time I see that she has posted a new video because they always manage to brighten my day. I love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality and knack for creating content that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, creative, and entertaining.
  • Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel). I love her book blog, but I especially look forward to the photos she posts on bookstagram. They’re beautifully shot and always contain the most gorgeous editions of books. ❤

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How was your reading in the month of #may? Time for a #wrapup. – – 5⭐️ : The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (love the lyrical prose and choice of words) 5⭐️ : Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (loved minute observations of life in Russia & character sketches) 4.5⭐️ : The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (made me feel fortunate for medical advancements. Written in a stream of consciousness style) 4⭐️ : First Love by Gwendine Riley (imperfect lives and flawed characters told in minimal words) 4⭐️ : Lord Edgware dies by Agatha Christie (kept me on toes guessing the killer) 4⭐️ : The Muse by Jessie Burton ( moderate pace, predictable but enjoyable) 3.5⭐️ : Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (beautifully written story of a marriage between a young wife and older husband) 3.5⭐️ : Mr Tibbit's Catholic school (charming boarding school stories and nuances of headmasters) : : What was your favourite book of the month? : : #bookworm#maywrapup #thebooksatchelwrapup #coffee #booksbooksbooks #books

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I hope you’ve had a great first half of 2017 and that the second half is even better! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? How has your 2017 been so far? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

JUNE 2017 | Wrap-Up

Hello, hello!! Summer is now well underway and it’s time to say farewell to June. So much has happened these past few weeks that it seems like June was YEARS long. As per usual, here is what I was up to last month:

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In June I read a total of 9 books:

  1. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  3. Emma by Jane Austen
  4. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  5. Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner
  6. Richard III by William Shakespeare
  7. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
  8. Timeline by Michael Crichton
  9. Big Woods by William Faulkner

It’s so hard to pick just one favorite from this list! Matilda was the most fun book to read, Timeline was the most suspenseful, and Go Down, Moses was the most thought-provoking. It was unbelievably nice to spend as much time reading as I did in June after months of only having time to read what was assigned for my courses. Recently I received one of my summer reading lists in preparation for Oxford, and it’s safe to say that my reading will have to be much more focused for the rest of the summer!

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June was a blur of working, reading, hanging with friends, and trying get my plans all squared away for studying abroad this upcoming academic year. A few weeks ago I published this post announcing that I’ll be studying at Oxford University in England for the entire next academic year and I was overwhelmed by all of the lovely comments I received. You’re all so sweet and I appreciate your well wishes, advice, and congratulations so much!! ❤ This month I finally booked my flight for September and it’s so nice to finally have a date set for when I’ll be leaving… the whole thing seems so much more real now!

Earlier this month my brother graduated high school, which made me feel SO OLD. (How has it already been two whole years since I graduated? How am I already HALF WAY through college?) Thankfully the weather cooperated and we had beautiful sunny weather for both the ceremony and our party afterwards. It was such a great day!

June was also a great month for TV and movies. I finally finished watching Twin Peaks, which I absolutely loved (though the last episode was AWFUL). Recently I started watching Freaks and Geeks and I’m already so invested. Not only is it hilarious, but the characters are also so easy to relate with. I was definitely a geek in high school, though thankfully I was never bullied to the degree that Sam, Neal, and Bill are in the show. There’s only one season of the show (*sobs*) so I should be able to finish it pretty soon. The best movies I watched in June were The Last Five Years, La La Land, and Wonder Woman (if you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should!).

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Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month (there are so many!!):

How was your month of June? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY