winter break to-read list

Winter to-read list

Happy December!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving Break? I hope all of my US readers got to spend time with family and eat lots of good food; I got to go home for a few days, saw my family and an old friend from high school, did some low-key Black Friday shopping, and while I had to study for some quizzes and finish some homework assignments, I did read I Am Malala and catch up on Riverdale.

With the quarter coming to a close, I’ve been studying hard for my final exams, but after that comes the holiday break! I’m more than stoked to be cuddled in bed for days on end with my nose in a book and a cup of Earl Grey tea in hand. I’m only on winter break for two weeks, but I have no other obligations, so I’m planning on finishing a couple of reads! I’m so behind on new releases and debuts, but I think since I’m home, the goal is to read a lot of the books I already own. Here’s what I hope to read during my holiday break:

Quiet by Susan Cain

I’m so sad that I haven’t finished this one yet! I started it earlier this fall and got about a third of the way through, and never found the time to finish it again. I should be able to finish this one really soon since it’s so engaging and self-reflective.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I’ve had this one on my Kindle for forever, and now that the movie is out, I want to read it before seeing it! I have pretty high expectations – we’ll see how it goes.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Okay, even my mom knows about this book, and she doesn’t even read. I’ve known about this one for awhile now too and am totally in the mood for a cute, charming story like this one!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Don’t yell at me – I’m screaming at myself for not ever having read this one yet. I feel like it’s time though, you know? It’s a fat one but winter break is the perfect time for it. If I’m reading historical fiction, it better be set in WWII. Don’t worry, I’ll have tissues near by!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Who knows if I’ll have time for a fifth book, but I would love to squeeze this one if possible. It’s been too long since I’ve reread Anna. If you don’t know, Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favorite reads ever and really inspired me to go to Paris. I have yet to reread Anna since actually going to Paris this summer – it’ll be fun to know the references this time around!

That’s it for my two-week holiday break! What are you planning on doing?

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recent reads + august to-read

Hello!

I can’t believe tomorrow is August – where did 2017 go? In the midst of all of my travel posts, I thought I’d share a little reading update, since I’ve managed to read a few things during my flights and commutes. As of right now, I’ve read a grand total of six books this year – an all-time low for me 😭 If you remember, I made a list of five books I want to read before the end of 2017, and I managed to complete it! Well, sort of. Here’s a recap:

28007954The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close // I actually ended up really enjoying this one. I started this one back in March and finished it right before I left for Europe in June. I loved the politics and relationship drama. It was a bit predictable at times because what I didn’t want to happen to the main character, happened. But I do recommend it if you’re looking for a dramatic read!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne // Oh gosh, I loved this one. 25883848This is definitely my favorite book of the year; I bet if I read 100 books this year, this would still be in the top ten at least. I couldn’t put it down! The banter between the main characters is incredibly witty and addicting to read. I highly, highly recommend this one.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg // I listened to this one on audio, and it was just what I expected. Being a business major, I’ve noticed a heavy emphasis on equality in the workplace at my school. I think the professors at my school already iterate a lot of things Sandberg notes, but it was a great reminder to lean in nevertheless.16071764

My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella // What a fun read! I read this one over the span of a month, but Kinsella never fails to put a smile on my face. The plot is a little outrageous, but it’s set in the UK (where I’ll be in a few weeks!) and cute, so I didn’t complain. A great, light read for the poolside or the beach!

30821598And then I didn’t get to The Knockoff – I tried reading it but it wasn’t my cup of tea, so it’s probably not going to be a book I’ll pick up this year. Maybe another time!

For the rest of August, I want to try to finish two more books. My London study abroad program does start this month, but I think I’ll still be able to manage since we’re commuting a lot! I want to try to read…

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The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney // I’ve been a sucker lately for fiction that entails a ton of family drama – I have no idea why – and even though this one’s been getting mixed reviews, I’m still eager to pick it up, because one of my close friends Hannah said she really enjoyed it (and she’s an avid reader, too).

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler // Yet another story that takes 26192646place in New York… can you tell I want to visit NY? If anything, this one’s about food so I really can’t resist. I’ve heard Danler’s culinary descriptions are impeccable, I can’t wait!

That’s all for my reading update – what have you read recently? Any last books you want to finish before the summer is over?

 

xx,

Jen

5 books i want to read before the end of 2017

Hi everyone!

I’m currently in the midst of making my travel plans and realized that I’m going to be on airplanes/ferries/buses pretty much for the entirety of the trip 😪 What better way to pass the time than read a few books? And to be honest, I’ve only read one book this year. THAT IS THE SADDEST THING. I don’t know where my time went this year, honestly. I haven’t decided if I want to listen to these on audiobook, but I’ll definitely be bringing my Kindle regardless.

I don’t think I’ll be able to finish more than five books by the end of 2017, so I’ve picked the five that I for sure want to read.

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  1. The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close // I actually started this one during spring break and got halfway through, and haven’t had the chance to finish it yet! From what I’ve read, I really enjoyed it so far. It’s set in Georgetown and has the drama of living near the White House.

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2. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg // This term, “Lean in”, has been thrown around my community for so long that I really just need to read it. I’m thinking this one will be an audiobook read (I tend to like listening to non-fiction!).

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3. My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella // Confessions of a Shopaholic will always have a special place in my heart, and I’ve heard wonderful things about Sophie Kinsella’s most recent release. It looks right up my alley, and light enough for a travel read. Plus, it’s set in London – one of my study abroad locations!

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4. The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza // I started this one earlier in 2017 as well, and only got 10% through before I got busy again (are you seeing a trend here?). It’s totally got a Devil Wears Prada vibe, and I loved what I read so far. Books/movies set in New York with a woman working in the fashion/magazine industry is straight-up my guilty pleasure.

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5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne // Competition in the publishing industry? YES. This one sounds like such a fun read, and the rave reviews have me really curious and wanting to pick this one up. Plus, how darling is that cover?

Crossing my fingers I’ll be able to get around to these five books before 2017 ends – now that this list is on my blog, maybe I’ll be held accountable for it?

What do you plan on picking up before the end of the year?

winter break reading list

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Hello!

This past fall quarter, I wasn’t able to pick up a single book to read, what with school, extracurriculars, and social life. I couldn’t even make myself invest in an audiobook.

The cure? I read a ton of books over my winter break (or, rather, starting the day I finished my last final exam), and today I wanted to share what reads they were!

I ended up trekking to the Seattle Public Library with my friend Hannah (who’s also a bookworm 😍 !) and we picked up a ton of books – we looked so ridiculous walking out, our handbags bulging with the many hardcovers. But hey, indulge.

The first book I picked up was The Vacationers by Emma Straub. I read half of this one earlier in September, but didn’t finish it because sorority recruitment started and by then, i18641982t was too late. I started from the beginning again and read it straight through.

One sentence summary from Goodreads: “An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.” The Vacationers has some pretty mixed reviews on Goodreads, and I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Straub’s writing style is witty and funny, and the sass in some of her characters really shined through. I thought she did a fantastic job portraying a dysfunctional family and exploring the nooks and crannies of the different types. I’m a huge fan of The Vacationers.

The thing I love about winter break is that once you finish one book, you’re kind of on a grind and you’re allowed to pick up another book immediately. Keep in mind I was still without internet at this point, so it was the perfect time to binge-read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Going into this one, I had super high expectations: A Little Life was a National Book Award finalist and based on some book reviewers I follow, they had said this would be their favorite book of the year. 22822858

I’m not even going to tell you what it’s about because it’s one of those books to best go in blind. It’ll hit you full-force for sure. I’m not sure how I finished this 700-page book in the course of 6 days, because it is emotional, filled with heavy topics, and will probably leave you a little distraught. It’s most definitely not for the light-hearted – brace yourself. It’s also one of the most depressing but beautiful books I’ve read because Yanagihara somehow – somehow – captured the questions and many nuances of life that I’ve never even wondered about. I love how much A Little Life made me think. I would say it’s my favorite book of the year, but it was just so sad.

Following A Little Life, I returned to another of Emma Straub’s: Modern LoversMy friend had enjoyed Modern Lovers more than The Vacationers, but personally, I still liked The 27209486Vacationers more. Modern Lovers follows two families who used to be linked by a college band, and now live just a few minutes from each other.

Straub’s stories always take a little while to sink and and become addicting, but once the reader gets past a certain point, the story is un-put-down-able. Modern Lovers has Straub’s same wit and humor, as well as the detailed plot points that all tie in together in the end. For me, the characters were a little less nuanced than I liked, which is probably why I enjoyed The Vacationers more.

My last book I read – okay, I finished it after winter break ended, but I read the majority of it during my break – was The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I love WWII stories, and I had only heard amazing things about it, like how it is comparable to All the Light We Cannot See, one of my favorite (if not my favorite) books of all time. You could say I had high expectations.

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The Nightingale primarily follows the plot of two sisters who grow apart during the war in Paris due to lack of family connection in the past, but the struggles of the war bring them together over time. The Nightingale had its moments: the imagery, the heartfelt moments – but it was just okay for me. I didn’t feel all the emotions I wanted to like I did in All the Light We Cannot See, and Hannah’s prose wasn’t breathtaking like everyone said it was. But overall, it’s still a decent story if you’re in need of a WWII historical fiction fix.

That’s all I read over my winter break! I’d say that’s pretty productive, right? Nothing like my history of reading voraciously, but I count it as a victory. I’m not sure when I’ll be picking up a book next – probably over spring break – but for now, I hope you all pick up one of these reads in the meantime!

Have a great week,

Jen

what i read in august

Happy September!!

Today I’m bringing you the books I read in August. August was a weird reading month for me; in past years, I’ve been able to finish 10+ books in August because it’s like the last final sprint before school starts back up, but I was in school during August, and then when I went home, I wasn’t in the mood to read tons and tons of books like I usually do.

I made some more progress with my summer reading list that I made at the beginning of the summer, though! Check out what I read:

what i read in august

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber // I ate this one up! This magical realism/fantasy novel reminiscent of The Night Circus was fast-paced and really fun. It’s pretty heavy on the romance, but I enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the sequel! Look out for this one in January of 2017.

2. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland // I was totally in the mood for an angsty YA contemporary and this one delivered exactly that. While I think Sutherland tried too hard to mimic John Green’s style and the characters were a little wonky, this one was just what I needed for a quick fix of YA.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling // I finally finished up my audio re-read of this series and I am SO SAD. But it was just in time for the newly released Harry Potter book that came out on July 31st!

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4. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven // I never read Niven’s All the Bright Places, but I decided to pick this one up by her because the premise was pretty controversial (read the summary here!). Upon finishing it, I felt pretty conflicted. I think it’s an important read but also some parts of high school and being a teenager just wasn’t captured correctly.

5. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills // Talk about being pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did. Mills has a way with creating really well-developed characters, especially Sloane. This girl has SASS, y’all! Overall super cute and I loved the exploration Mills does. Definitely look for this one in October!

6. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins // I’m so happy I was able to pick this one up before the summer ended! If you didn’t know, Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite authors ever, and she also edited the YA winter romance anthology, My True Love Gave to Me. I liked a lot of the stories in this one, and the best part? The diversity of the romances!

7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and more // Really kind of disappointed about this one. I’m happy to be reading about the wizarding world again, but it just went in a direction that I didn’t like/expect – and it’s not because it was unexpected that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t think this story was even necessary.

8. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and more // I had been meaning to read the novellas for a long time, so I’m actually kind of glad I waited for this bind up of all ten novellas to come out! These novellas were very cohesive and were great to read. Clare did a lot more exploration with side characters, which I love! And the appearance of some old characters made me all nostalgic again.

What did you read in August?