Monthly Wrap-Up

JULY 2017 | Wrap-Up

July was a blur of hot days, air-conditioned office spaces, lakeside reading, and time spent with friends and family… not a bad way to spend the bulk of summer! Here’s what I was up to this past month:

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In July I read a total of 9 books:

  1. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  5. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl
  6. Echo by Nadette Rae Rodgers
  7. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
  8. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I honestly can’t believe I read so many books this past month, especially since many of them are LONG (I’m looking at you, Middlemarch). Picking a favorite is difficult, but I think the best book I read in July has to be Tuck Everlasting. This short little read was absolutely adorable, charming, and insightful. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it! I never read it when I was younger but I wish I had– I feel like it’s something I would have loved.

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It happened, people: I finally visited Willa Cather’s grave!! This is something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I learned a few months ago that it’s located a little over an hour away from where I live. Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors, so standing at the foot of her grave was absolutely surreal. I went on a rather dreary day, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every second of it. You can read more about my adventures in this graveyard here. 

My family and I were also able to spend a few days by the lake in July, which means I had plenty of reading time by the water. And who can pass up the opportunity to take some bookish photos in such a beautiful place? (Not me!)

The majority of July was spent trying to plow through my required reading for Oxford, finishing up paperwork for studying abroad, spending time with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and working. It’s strange to think that we’re already more than half way through summer… September will be here before we know it! Also, I started watching the TV series Fargo… is anyone else obsessed with this series?!?!?!

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This past week I also had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Booktube-A-Thon. As you can tell from my initial TBR post, I really wasn’t expecting to get through much reading in a single week. However, in twist that I never saw coming I was actually able to complete almost all of the challenges and read even more than what I had put on my TBR!! I’m so happy with the progress I made and I actually miss the Booktube-A-Thon already. There’s just such fantastic positive bookish energy during those intense seven days of reading! ❤

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 July? 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

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Read-A-Thons

Booktube-A-Thon 2017 Wrap-Up

It’s official: the Booktube-A-Thon has come to a close! It’s time to tally up page counts, reading challenges, and books read in this wrap-up of the week. At the beginning of the read-a-thon I posted my Booktube-A-Thon TBR with my goals for this reading adventure. Let’s see how I did!!

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George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

This book checks off so many challenges! Not only does it have a person on the cover, but I also read it in one sitting outside. Roald Dahl has done it again with yet another book I wish I had read when I was younger. (Although I probably would have been scarred by the abrupt and surprisingly harsh ending!)

Echo by Nadette Rae Rodgers

Fun fact: I also finished this book outside in one day AND it has a person on the cover… SO MANY CHALLENGES COMPLETED. I suppose this could also count as a book about someone different from me because I certainly can’t control my dreams like the protagonist of this suspenseful, engaging novel. I already can’t wait to read the third installment in this trilogy. Stay tuned for a full review soon!

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

When one of my close friends learned that I never read this book when I was younger she immediately said that I had to read it NOW. Needless to say, this children’s classic was pretty hyped. I ADORED this book– I definitely wish I had read it when I was younger! Winnie is such a great protagonist and my heart simultaneously leapt and broke when I read the very last page. (Also: JESSIE <3)

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

I FINALLY finished this tome! It was definitely worth all 635 pages. This is assigned reading for my upcoming term on Victorian literature and so far it’s one of my favorite novels on the reading list. I’m not sure if it actually completes any challenges– maybe the one about characters being different from me– but I’m still so happy that I finished it!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This was my second time reading Wuthering Heights and I enjoyed it so much more than when I read it years ago. I’m glad this was on my assigned reading list for Oxford because I probably wouldn’t have reread it otherwise. Luckily, I can count this towards the challenge of reading a book I bought because of the cover– I ADORE Penguin English Library editions!! ❤

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Though I’m only half way through this tome, I’m still calling it a success! I managed to read over three hundred pages this week, which isn’t too shabby. I’m enjoying this novel so much more than I initially thought I would. Not only is it easier to read than I first expected, but I’m connecting with the characters much more than I did while reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. I can’t wait to see where the second half of this novel goes!

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1 || Read a book with a person on the cover.
2 || Read a hyped book.
3 || Finish a book in one day.
4 || Read about a character that is very different from you.
5 || Finish a book completely outdoors.
6 || Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7 || Read seven books.

I’m honestly SHOCKED that I managed to complete so many challenges! I definitely didn’t expect to read seven books, but I also didn’t think I would complete more than three or four of the rest. I’m so pleased with these results!

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All in all, I feel as though I had an incredibly successful BookTubeAThon this year. I love this event because it’s easy to participate no matter how busy you are during that particular week. It pushed me to read some books that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while, and it’s always fun seeing the community come together for a glorious week of reading. A huge thanks to Ariel Bissett for organizing yet another lovely BookTubeAThon!! ❤

 Did you participate in the Booktube-A-Thon? How did you do? What do you think of the books that I read? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Read-A-Thons

Booktube-A-Thon 2017 TBR

HAPPY BOOKTUBE-A-THON TIME! The Booktube-a-thon is an annual event hosted by Ariel Bissett that encourages people to read as much as they can in seven days. Packed with challenges, giveaways, and fun videos, the Booktubeathon is guaranteed to be a blast! This year the Booktube-a-thon is taking place from July 24th to July 30th. (That’s right: it officially starts TODAY!) If you haven’t heard of the Booktube-a-thon before or you want to learn more about it, you can check out the official Youtube channel, Twitter account, or this new website.

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Each year there are challenges you can choose to participate in that will help guide your TBR for the week. This year the challenges are:

1 || Read a book with a person on the cover.
2 || Read a hyped book.
3 || Finish a book in one day.
4 || Read about a character that is very different from you.
5 || Finish a book completely outdoors.
6 || Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7 || Read seven books.

I can say with certainty that I won’t be reading seven books this week, but I’m going to do my best to complete as many of the other challenges as possible.

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Because I have SO MUCH reading to do this summer for my courses in the fall, my TBR will be mostly assigned reading. However, I think I might have a little wiggle room to squeeze in some extra ones!

The Women in White by Wilkie Collins

{Read about a character that is very different from you}

This is the book I’m currently reading for my upcoming tutorial on British Literature from 1830-1910. I’ve already started reading it and I’m really liking it so far. It’s sensation fiction, which preceded what is now the mystery or detective novel. I’m definitely not from nineteenth century England, so this classic is perfect for this challenge.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

{Read a hyped book}

War and Peace is one of the most hyped classics I’ve ever heard of (the length! the huge cast of characters! the complicated story!). This summer I’m reading it for a War and Peace Newbie Read-along, which means that I have to keep up with our weekly reading amounts. I definitely won’t be finishing this tome during the Booktube-A-Thon, but I’ll be happy if I can get through this week’s reading amount.

Echo by Nadette Rae Rodgers

{Read a book with a person on the cover.}

Recently I received a copy of this sequel to Nadette Rae Rodgers’ novel Illusion in the mail and I can’t wait to read it! Thanks again to Nadette for sending me this ARC!

George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

{Finish a book in one day, finish a book completely outdoors, read a book you bought because of the cover}

Roald Dahl’s books are perfect for when you need a break from assigned reading (or when you have to complete reading challenges like these!). This summer I’m trying to read the Roald Dahl books I never read as a kid and this one is next on my list. Everything he writes is brilliant so I’m really looking forward to reading about George’s adventures!

I’ll be posting a wrap-up of my Booktube-a-thon experience at the end of the week, so be sure to stay tuned! Also, if you want to stay up to date more regularly with my progress you can follow me on Twitter (@peanutfreeismeand Instagram (nutfreenerd).

Are you participating in the Booktube-a-thon? What are you planning to read this week? Let me know in the comments section below!

Whether or not you’re participating in the Booktube-a-thon, I hope you have a lovely week! Happy reading! ❤

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

How Did I Do? | Bookish Goals for Summer 2016

 

How Did I Do?

It’s that bittersweet time of August once again: the end of summer. This weekend I move into my college dorm room to begin my sophomore year at Wheaton College (MA), and I couldn’t be more excited. However, that also means that I have to say goodbye to an incredible summer filled with friends, family, and fantastic books.

At the beginning of the season I shared my Bookish Goals for Summer 2016, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at the again and see how many I actually accomplished. Let’s see how I did!

Untitled design1. Read 15 books. Success! This is an easy one to check off because I’ve read a total of 26 books since last semester ended. I never expected to read so many books this summer, especially considering that I read some pretty chunky ones (I’m looking at you, Alexander Hamilton and Gone with the Wind!)

Untitled design2. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in July. This is one of goals I’m most proud to have completed. As I celebrated in my Camp NaNoWrimo Wrap-Up, I reached my word count goal of 25,000 words on July 15th. It’s certainly not a full draft of my novel, but I’m just happy to have written so much in such a short amount of time.

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Untitled design-23. Stay up to date with writing book reviews. Okay, so I sort of completed this goal. In the beginning of the summer I was really good about writing reviews immediately after I finished reading something. Then July came around with Camp NaNo and the BookTubeAThon and I got so behind with writing reviews. Since then I’ve managed to do a fair amount of catching up, but not completely. This is still definitely something that I have to work on!

819699Untitled design4. Read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It has finally happened: I read all 1037 pages of Gone with the Wind!! Let me tell you, I did not expect it to be the wild, emotional rollercoaster ride that it was. This is such a brilliant novel, not only for its story but for its views on gender equality, the Civil War and Reconstruction, poverty, love, loss, and life. A full review is on its way, but for now you can read my immediate thoughts about it here. 

Untitled design5. Participate in more readathons. Although I didn’t participate in multiple readathons this summer, I’m calling this a success because I did participate in the BookTubeAThon in July. I read so much more than I thought I would and I even managed to complete the majority of the reading challenges. I love this event and I can’t wait to participate again next year!

Untitled design6. Read more books that I own. Just about half of the books I read this summer were from my physical TBR. I’m pretty happy with this amount, especially since I’ve been meaning to read many of them for ages. 

Untitled design7. Regularly update my new bookstagram account. Definitely a success! I’ve had so much fun taking bookish photos and admiring the gorgeous ones that you all post.

Untitled designIMG_43288. Read at least one book in Spanish. In July I read a Spanish translation of Animal Farm by George Orwell, and I absolutely loved it! The story was gripping and unsettling but brilliant nevertheless. Initially I was afraid that this would be too challenging for me to read in Spanish, but I ended up being able to understand the majority of it without a problem. Full review to come!

Untitled design9. Have fun! SUCCESS! I had oodles of fun this summer, bookish and otherwise! I read some amazing books, chatted with some lovely bloggers, and have had a blast discussing all sorts of topics with you all in the comments. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this blog of mine. I truly appreciate each and every one of you! ❤

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All in all, I’m really pleased with how much I was able to accomplish this summer. To be honest, when I first made this list of goals I was doubtful that I would actually be able to achieve them. This summer was the most fun and productive one I’ve had in a long time. Part of me is sad to see summer end, but I’m also really excited to see what autumn will bring!

Until next time, summer!

What were your bookish goals for this summer? Were you able to achieve them? What do you think of my progress this summer? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

JULY 2016 | Wrap-Up

JUNE 2016-2

Oh, July. I always have mixed feelings about the seventh month (in fact, you can read all about them here). June is filled with the excitement of a new summer and August is brimming with the anticipation of a new school year, but July– it’s just kind of there. But this year I had such a busy and productive July that I hardly know how I fit everything in! Here’s what I was up to this month:
June

18405In July I read a total of 7 books:

  1. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  2. Animal Farm by George Orwell (Spanish translation)
  3. Illusion by Nadette Rae Rodgers
  4. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  5. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  7. Sphere by Michael Crichton

I read so many amazing books this month (I gave 6 five-star ratings!!!), which means that picking a favorite is incredibly difficult. However, I think I’m going to have to go with Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Not only is this an amazing work from a historical perspective (I love the Civil War and Reconstruction setting), but it’s also an incredible tale of romance, family, war, poverty, feminism, and challenging social norms. It took me a while to read, but it was worth every minute!

Full reviews of all of these books are in the works!

June (1)The bulk of my July consisted of continuing with my internship, spending time with family, and working on the various writing/reading projects I decided to tackle. The highlight of the month was definitely my family’s annual camping trip at White Lake State Park. This year was our fourteenth consecutive year camping there, and I never get tired of it!

Camping is just such a great way to unplug and take some time to simply relax. It’s a lot of work, to be sure– cooking and cleaning and setting up the site and unpacking– but it’s absolutely worth it in the end. There’s nothing better than lounging by the lake, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and sleeping in a cozy tent at night. Plus, it provides some excellent reading time!

On a different note, I saw Finding Dory and LOVED it. ❤ I couldn’t resist mentioning it!

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July was a month of productivity for me. Even with my busy schedule of interning, spending time with friends, and going camping, I still managed to write and read more than I ever expected I would.

CNW_Winner_555-1During the first half of the month I managed to reach my 25,000 word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, a feat that I thought would take me the entire month at least. I was working on writing a second draft of a novel I finished during NaNoWriMo a few years ago, so I did have a bit to work with already. While this is by no means a complete draft, I’m nevertheless ecstatic to finally have a decent foundation to work off of in the future. Who knows, maybe a NaNoWriMo is in the cards for this November?

2016-07-16 09.53.32I also participated in the BookTubeAthon this month and I exceeded all of my expectations of how much I would be able to read. Because of my camping trip I was away for about half of the readathon, but I still managed to get a lot of reading done. I love participating in the BookTubeAThon, especially when the online bookish community is really excited about it, too. I already can’t wait for next year’s event!

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

How was your July? What books did you read? What fun things did you do? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Read-A-Thons

BookTubeAThon 2016 Wrap-Up

A LITTLE STARSTRUCK-2

Alas! the 2016 BookTubeAThon has officially come to a close. As I mentioned in my TBR post, I was away on a camping trip with my family for about half of the week so I wasn’t sure how much reading I would be able to get done in actuality. However, I ended up surprising myself and had such a successful readathon!! Not only did I read a lot more than I was expecting, but I also read some amazing books. Without further ado, here’s how my week went!

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1162506The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

{rated 5 out of 5 smileys}

I finished reading this play in one sitting on the first night of the BookTubeAThon and I absolutely adored it! It’s incredible how much humor, wit, and surprising twists Wilde was able to pack into this quick little work. Usually I’m not a huge fan of drama, but this is by far one of the best plays I’ve ever read!

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

IMG_9420{rated 5 out of 5 smileys}

I had one full day of nothing but reading during this readathon, and I seized advantage of all of that free time to tackle the last third of this impressive tome. To be honest, I was experiencing so many different emotions when I first finished this that I had to think about it for a day to let it all soak in. This is honestly a masterpiece of fiction and while the ending did throw me off a bit (SO. MUCH. HAPPENS.) I cannot say enough how much I loved this book! ❤

2016-07-16 10.10.22The Princess Bride by William Goldman

{rated 5 out of 5 smileys}

What a wild ride!! Although it was very different from the movie at certain parts, I really enjoyed the book nonetheless. To me, the book and the movie are almost two separate entities that don’t have to be in competition with one another; both are good in their own rights. I loved the way the narrator interrupted the story with his own commentary, as well as how there’s a whole history behind the story that the movie doesn’t even mention.

126078Sphere by Michael Crichton

{rated 5 out of 5 smileys}

I read the entirety of this book while camping and I literally could not put it down. I read it by the fire, by the beach, and even by the light of a flashlight in my tent at night before going to sleep. Not only is this book suspenseful, but it’s also fascinating, thought-provoking, and entirely unique. The story went in a direction I never thought it would, but that makes it all the more gripping and surprising. Jurassic Park will always have my heart, but this is a close second as far as Michael Crichton goes!

IMG_3368One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

I finished all of the other books by Saturday night, so I had a free Sunday to read a bit of whatever book I liked. My Spanish professor has been encouraging us to read this classic novel for ages and I decided I would finally give it a go. I only got about a hundred pages in, but I am already loving it. There are so many characters and so much has happened in a short span of time– it’s no wonder that people complain of its confusing complexity! If you really focus, though, it’s not so difficult to understand. I can’t wait to read more of it!

Over the course of the week I read a total of 1,356 pages, with an average of about 194 pages a day. A good reading day for me is usually around 100 pages, so I’m really happy with how much reading I was able to accomplish! I didn’t expect to get that much reading done, especially because I had quite a busy schedule last week.

While writing this post I just realized that I rated all of these books 5 out of 5!!! I haven’t given out many 5-star ratings yet this year, so to have them all read in a single week is such a wonderful coincidence! After reading a plethora of amazing books all in a row I feel energized and ready to read even more– let’s keep this ball rolling!

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1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover. Fulfilled by The Princess Bride
2/ Read a book only after sunset. Fulfilled by The Importance of Being Earnest
3/ Read a book you discovered through book tube blogging. Fulfilled by Gone with the Wind
4/ Read a book by one of your favorite authors. Fulfilled by Sphere
5/ Read a book that is older than you. Fulfilled by The Importance of Being Earnest and Gone with the Wind
6/ Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation. Fulfilled by The Princess Bride
7/ Read seven books. 

I completed all of the challenges!! (Well, except for the seventh one, but I knew going in that I had no hope of completing it.) I like the challenges not only because they help guide my TBR, but also because they add a little pressure to actually read what’s on my TBR. Mission accomplished!!

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All in all, I feel as though I had an incredibly successful BookTubeAThon this year. I love this event because it’s easy to participate no matter how busy you are during that particular week. It pushed me to read some books that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while, and it’s always fun seeing the community come together for a glorious week of reading. A huge thanks to Ariel Bissett for organizing yet another lovely BookTubeAThon!! ❤

 Did you participate in the BookTubeAThon? How did you do? What do you think of the books that I read? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Rambles

I Go CAMPING! & Currently Reading

Let's Go- CAMP NANOWRIMO (1)Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a lovely week and you’re ready for an even lovelier weekend!

This is just a quick little post to let you all know that I’ll be taking a four-day hiatus from blogging starting today because I’m going CAMPING! As you read this I’ll be lounging on the beach by the lake, roasting marshmallows by the fire, and peering out of my tent hoping that no raccoon or bears are lurking in the dark. This is my fourteenth summer camping with my family at this specific campground, and it’s by far one of my favorite times of the year!

I still have some posts scheduled (such as this one!), but I’ll be late with replying to comments and checking out all of your fantastic posts. But I’ll be back at it again in the beginning of next week!

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman for the BookTubeAThon, and I absolutely adore it! Not only is the story witty and exciting and romantic, but it’s also hilarious. I love the way the narrator occasionally interrupts the story with his own commentary. It’s a bit different from the movie, but I honestly love them both!

Have you ever gone camping? What are you currently reading? Have any fun weekend plans? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Read-A-Thons

BookTubeAThon 2016 TBR

A LITTLE STARSTRUCK

HAPPY BOOKTUBEATHON TIME! The Booktubeathon is an annual event hosted by Ariel Bissett that encourages people to read as much as they can in seven days. Packed with challenges, giveaways, and fun videos, the Booktubeathon is guaranteed to be a blast! This year the Booktubeathon is taking place from July 18th to July 24th. If you haven’t heard of the BookTubeAThon before or you want to learn more about it, you can check out the official Youtube channel or Twitter account.

Copy of June

Each year there are challenges you can choose to participate in that will help guide your TBR for the week. This year, the challenges are:

1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover.
2/ Read a book only after sunset.
3/ Read a book you discovered through book tube blogging.
4/ Read a book by one of your favourite authors.
5/ Read a book that is older than you.
6/ Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.
7/ Read seven books.

Because I get most of my book recommendations from the book blogging community, I’ve decided to alter the third challenge a bit. I don’t know if this is technically allowed, but I’m going to do it anyways.

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My family and I are actually going on our annual summer camping trip from July 21st to July 25th, so unfortunately I’ll be away for half of the Booktubeathon. However, I’m still expecting to read a lot on the beach and in my tent at night. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some decent progress while I’m enjoying the great outdoors!

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Since I won’t be home for a large part of the Booktubeathon, I’ve decided to limit my TBR to a few books that meet the majority of the challenges. I’ve also decided to only read books that I own (except for Gone with the Wind, which I’m already in the middle of) because there are SO MANY unread books sitting in a pile on the floor of my bedroom. Hopefully this readathon will help shrink that pile a bit! {Disclaimer: As with all my TBR lists, this one is tentative. We all know that often times what I intend to read and what I actually read are two very different things.} Anyways, here are the books I plan on reading:

126078Sphere by Michael Crichton

{Challenges: book by one of your favorite authors}

I don’t think I would say that Michael Crichton is one of my favorite authors of all time (I haven’t read enough of his work), but he did write one of my favorite books: JURASSIC PARK <3. I loved Jurassic Park and The Lost World when I read them last summer, and I’ve been wanting to read more of his books ever since. I found a copy of this one at a local secondhand bookshop and I figured it would be perfect for an occasion like this. Based on the description it sounds like this will be a fascinating, exciting, and fast-paced read– perfect for a readathon!

1162506The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

{Challenges: read a book only after sunset, read a book that is older than you}

I bought a copy of this play at the Drama Book Shop in New York City when I went over the past semester, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. I really enjoyed Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work. (It’s also the shortest book currently in my physical TBR pile, which makes it ideal for the second challenge.)

438353-2The Princess Bride by William Goldman

{Challenges: read a book with yellow on the cover, read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation}

Last semester I watched The Princess Bride movie for the first time ever and LOVED every second of it, so naturally I have to read the book. And what better way to justify watching the movie a second time than to use this for the book-to-movie adaptation challenge? I can’t wait to dive back into this magical, hilarious, heart-warming story! (Those letters are definitely yellow, right? Right. Let’s go with that.)

18405Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

{Challenges: read a book you discovered through blogging}

I had obviously heard of this classic American novel before seeing it mentioned in the book blogging community, but it was the enthusiastic Jillian @ History Is Not Was that finally convinced me to tackle such a fascinating tome this summer. I’m currently in the middle of reading it already, and I would love to finish it during the Booktubeathon!

As for the seventh challenge of reading seven books… yeah, that’s just not going to happen. I would rather use this readathon to get ahead with some chunkier books than to spend it reading a bunch of tiny books so I can say I completed this challenge. I’ll be ecstatic if I can make it through these four!

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Same, David Tennant. Same.

I’ll be posting a wrap-up of my Booktubeathon experience at the end of the week, so be sure to stay tuned! Also, if you want to stay up to date more regularly with my progress you can follow me on Twitter (@peanutfreeismeand Instagram (nutfreenerd).

Whether or not you’re participating in the Booktubeathon, I hope you have a lovely week! Happy reading! ❤

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

August 2015 Wrap-Up

August 2015 Wrap Up

I love August. I’ve come to the realization that besides November (my birthday month!) August might be my favorite month. The weather is cooler but still hot, without a lot of the humidity that sticks around in July. Changes are happening, both in regard to the new school year and the season itself, and the atmosphere is usually one of excitement at my house. I love everything about it, and this August has been no exception! Let’s see what I’ve been up to:
JuneIn August I read a total of 6 books!  I owe this success mainly to the BookTubeAThon, during which I read 5 books in rapid fire reading mode.

  1. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  2. King Lear by William Shakespeare
  3. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  4. Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. Harry Potter y la cámara secreta by J.K. Rowling

Our Town by Thornton WilderMy favorite book was Our Town by Thornton Wilder. It’s just such a simple, sweet, and stirring story that I couldn’t help but love it! Review to come!

I thought I would be able to read more this month, but I was honestly so busing working, interning, and preparing for college that I hardly had time to do anything else! Still, I’m really happy that I was able to read six books, since five seems to be my monthly average. June (1)August was such a busy and exciting month! Between having fun with friends and saying goodbye before move-in day, I experienced the full spectrum of emotions in just one month. By the time you read this I will have already moved into college and had my first full day of classes, but as I write this I am still sitting at my desk at home. It’s been a crazy month, to be sure, but definitely a memorable one!

This summer I had my last day of work, interned two days a week at an attorney’s office, spent a lot of time with my friends, and tried my best to appreciate my last days at home before college. I can’t even believe that it’s finally here!!

June (2)

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

In case you missed it, I participated in the BookTubeAThon from August 3 to August 9, and I had such a blast!

I was also featured in Book and a Beverage over at the blog A Book Addict’s Guide, where I talk about my extreme affection for tea and Jane Eyre.

AND THEN I wrote a blog post for the official NaNoWriMo blog, which they posted this month! You can see it by clicking here. It’s about my experience participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this past July, as well as some writing advice. It was so fun to write and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to be featured on their blog!

June (3)

Here is a sampling of posts from some lovely bloggers that I just NEED to share with you all!

  • Girl Offline: What A Week of Social Media Silence Taught Me @ Stay Bookish: I really admire the fact that Hazel willingly did this challenge, because it’s something that I’ve also been contemplating as well. Since the beginning of the summer I have felt myself gravitating more and more towards social media (probably because I have so much free time until school starts!). I think sometimes we all need a little break from internet world- kudos to Hazel for putting her thoughts into actions and making the change!
  • Young Adult Fiction for Fans of Doctor Who @ Wrapped Up in Books: I love Doctor Who, so when I stumbled upon this list I did a little happy dance in front of my computer! I really like how it’s separated into different aspects of Doctor Who, and I’ll probably check out some of the time travel ones. SO excited for the new season of Doctor Who- any Whovians out there reading this?
  • Review Writing: How to Stop Hating It @ Bookmark Lit: I enjoy writing reviews, but I know a lot of book bloggers think it’s tedious. My only problem with writing reviews is that I tend to not write them right after finishing the books, so I have to do a million all at once. Lauren shares some great tips for dealing with this problem!
  • 17 Amazing Things About Reading in the Fall @ 101 Books: It’s like this post knows me personally, I swear. Fall is my favorite season, and I always associate it with reading and writing. The reasons he lists in this post are perfect!

How was your August? What books did you read? What fun things did you do? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Read-A-Thons

BookTubeAThon 2015 Wrap-Up

A LITTLE STARSTRUCK-2

Alas! the BookTubeAThon 2015 has come to a close. What a week it has been! Between watching all of the update videos, participating in Twitter sprints, and reading my bookish behind off, it’s a wonder that I’ve had any time to blog at all! While I’m sure I didn’t read as much as many participants due to work, my current internship, and other obligations, I’m still really pleased with the reading I managed to accomplish.

booktubeathon 2015 logoThis is my second year participating in the BookTubeAThon, and I cannot wait to participate next year! I love this event because I feel as though it really brings together the bookish community here on the internet. It’s a time where we can all celebrate our passion for reading simultaneously, and it’s so cool to think that as you sit there reading people all over the world are joining in as well. Plus, it’s hosted by the marvelous Ariel Bissett, who I adore. She’s so full of energy and enthusiasm, and her videos always make me smile.

But that’s enough chatter for now! Onward, friends!

Copy of June

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Reader by William Shakespeare  ~  3 out of 5 smileys

King Lear by Shakespeare 2

 King Lear by William Shakespeare  ~  3 out of 5 smileys

Macbeth by Shakespeare

Macbeth by William Shakespeare  ~  4 out of 5 smileys

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

Our Town by Thornton Wilder  ~  4 out of 5 smileys

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir  ~  4 out of 5 smileys

Reviews of all these books will be posted soon, but if you have any questions regarding my thoughts on them feel free to ask away in the comments section!

In total I read 1,108 pages, which is way more than I thought I would end up reading! I had quite a busy week with work and my internship and hanging out with friends, so I honestly didn’t expect to read much more than I normally do. Usually I read around 50 to 100 pages a day, but during the BookTubeAThon I read an average of 158 pages per day. Yay for exceeding expectations!

My favorite read of the week was Our Town, but The Martian is definitely an honorable mention. The down-to-earth message and simplicity of Thornton Wilder’s play just can’t be beat!

Copy of June

  1. Read a book with blue on the cover: King Lear by William Shakespeare
  2. Read a book by an author who shares the same first letter of your last name: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  3. Read someone else’s favorite book: NONE
  4. Read the last book you acquired: The Martian by Andy Weir – this is the last book I acquired from the library… that counts, right?
  5. Finish a book without letting go of it: Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  6. Read a book you really want to read: Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  7. Read seven books: NONE

I managed to complete five of the seven challenges, which totally surprised me! At the beginning of the week I was hoping to complete three of them, but I surpassed that goal within the first two days. I love when you do better than you think you will!

Copy of June (1)

This past week has been an awesome whirlwind of reading, reading, reading! I loved participating in Twitter sprints because they really motivated me to read, and it was great feeling part of the BookTubeAThon community. I ended up reading the number of books I usually read in a single month all in one week, which I think is a pretty good personal accomplishment! Overall, I call BookTubeAThon 2015 a success!

dancing gatsby jim halpert 1 tumblr_myy6nqhpdS1qd04lco4_500

 Did you participate in the BookTubeAThon? How did you do? What do you think of the books that I read? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY