Thursday, February 4, 2016

We did what?!

Sometimes I look over at Seth and cannot believe that we got married. I mean, I waited, hoped, and prayed for it. Then in a whirlwind, we got engaged and got married. And now I'm Mrs. Mann. How great is that?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It seems fitting that my first book of the year would be a Harry Potter. They really are an exceptional series. I loved going through this book again and seeing how subtlety Rowling wove in where the book was going. My only complaint is that this book over-explains way too many details, as though the readers hadn't read her first three books. A few times I wanted to mutter "I know already", but I can't profess anything but love for the overall reading experience. On to the next....

Happy reading!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Reaching Goals

I never intended for this blog to become mostly a series of book reviews. The advent of a boyfriend (now husband), the goal to journal daily, and joining the world of Instagram fundamentally altered my writing habits. That said, it's worth noting that this year I not only reached my goal of 24 books read this year (another habit affected by my Mr. Mann) and actually read 35. I know I mentioned this once before, but as I finished my last book review of 2015, I looked back at what I read and reflected on what an amazing year it's been. I will forget later that I read some of these books this year, but I will remember certain ones - like reading "Anne's House of Dreams" as I set up my own little home as a newlywed or reading "All the Light We Cannot See" overlooking the ocean on my honeymoon. Those little details are now irrevocably tied. I love that. Reading really is a defining backdrop to my life. It's a love that fills in all the spaces of my life. But now the Christmas tree lights have just turned off (yes, my tree is still gloriously up on December 28th) and I should probably go to bed. As always, happy reading and happy living. So grateful for 2015 and cannot wait to see what 2016 holds. Good night. 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was one of the most clever books I've read. Snark and wit like I've never encountered in print form, unique characterization, wildly different story telling style - all in all, fantastic originality packaged into a bizarrely heart warming story. Read it - you won't be disappointed.

Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a long time this was my favorite of the Harry Potters - I can't say that I have a clear favorite anymore, but I love the cleverness of this book - the twists and character development I didn't see coming. I still am looking around for a time turner and a Marauders Map and, of course, my Hogwarts acceptance letter. If you've never read the Harry Potters, for this book alone, you really should consider giving the series ago. Happy reading!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This has always been my least favorite of the Harry Potters, but listening to it again I noticed so many nuanced details that Rowling layered into her creation of Harry's world. She really is amazing. I love that this book sets up the sixth and seventh books so well. I seriously can't get enough. Jim Dale's audio versions really are the way to go. Happy reading and happy listening!
(Dear Ron Weasley - you're adorable. The end.)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Songs of Willow Frost

Songs of Willow FrostSongs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this book merely because Jaime Ford wrote it - that's how much I loved his first novel "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" - and then after trying to get into it, I let it sit on my shelf for two years. When I finally did jump in, I found so much potential, but never quite the execution that I craved. "Orphan Train" meets "Joy Luck Club" meets a few other's a decent book with an exceptional reason for creating the story (maybe I should have started with the author's end note and then read the story??), good enough that I'll read whatever Ford writes next.

Slightly incoherent review that is one part a slightly jumbled book and one part writing when it's almost midnight. As always, happy reading!