Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount

official blurb
Book lovers, rejoice! In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. Readers will:
• Tour the world’s most beautiful bookstores
• Test their knowledge of the written word with quizzes
• Find their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
• Sample the most famous fictional meals
• Peek inside the workspaces of their favorite authors
A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations, and pure bookish joy, Bibliophile is sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, inspiring writers, and any and all who identify as bookworms.

my blurb!
The perfect coffee table book for book lovers, and lovers of illustration.

5 out of 5

Okay, this one is a really weird one to rate because it is 100% a coffee table book.  The kind of book that you flip through once, but then might keep on the table (or in your bathroom) to skim through and read a page or two at any random point to spark your interest.  So if this is the case how could I have rated it 5 stars?  Well… what can I say, it’s a good coffee table book!

what i liked
The illustrations were gorgeous! I would LOVE to have Jane Mount draw a picture of me holding my favorite book (dream Christmas list item anyone?).  I almost wish some of the pages were perforated so that I could tear them out and frame them!  (Also, I should mention that I got this as a library book so I couldn’t do that if my dream became a reality).
I loved all of the lists.  Bookstores that are owned by authors, amazing libraries to visit, books recommended by authors or influencers, best books by genre, etc.  They were great ones to go through, and always kept my attention.  My personal favorite was definitely bookstores owned by authors.
I read the whole book in one sitting, it was easy to flip through and kept my attention.  I found myself taking pictures of quite a few of the pages because I wanted to remember what she was referencing.  I know, so lame (yes, I am a cheap genius). But it also made me realize that I wanted to buy this book. Hence the 5 star rating!
Ps. Since my initial read through of this book, I have received this book as a gift and I am THRILLED to add it to my library!

what i didn't like
No bookstore recommendations in my current hometown or my OG hometown!  But I can look past that.  Maybe that means I need to open one (not gonna happen!). haha.

while reading you should
Make: a list of all of the books you want to buy or check out from your library
Eat: anything you made out of a legit cookbook- not online.
Listen: The Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack (it just makes me feel all literary!)
Buy: this bibliophile journal or these notecards!  (I personally have two of Jane Mount’s vases and am *patiently* waiting to be gifted the third, cough cough).

if you would like to buy
Click here: Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany

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Prayers of Blessing Over My Marriage by Bruce H Wilkinson

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I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

official blurb
Do you feel as though you are going through the motions in your marriage? Is your relationship feeling a bit frayed at the edges? Prayer is one of the most powerful tools God has given us to change ourselves and our relationships from the inside out—which is why it’s the best resource we can possibly turn to for revitalizing a marriage.   New York Times bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson brings you this book of guided prayers for seeking God’s blessings upon your marriage. As you pray in specific ways for your relationship, you’ll experience new joys, and your confidence will grow as you see God’s daily provision abound for you and your spouse.  As the Bible says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Ecclesiastes 4:12. Experience the blessings and strength of a threefold marriage when you devote yourself to daily prayer without ceasing.

my blurb!
A daily reading book to read with your spouse to strengthen your marriage.

4 out of 5

what i liked
I really enjoyed this book.  It featured prayers that I read out loud over my marriage. I read them with my husband and without him but always enjoying the prayers that were included.
The writing was well done, and there’s nothing in the book that I didn’t agree with.  The prayers were well thought out and powerful!
I got this book as an e-book and I would be really interested in getting a paper copy- it’s definitely the type of book that you could make your way through and then just start it over again.

what i didn't like
This isn’t exactly a negative, but I was expecting an entire book of prayers. Similar to A Diary of Private Prayer – that I read every day.  This book does feature prayers, but is not entirely prayers.  Each day has an excerpt to read with a story, or a verse, or a teaching- which is followed by a prayer.  Because I was expecting entirely prayers, I was a little disappointed about that but it’s not really a negative.

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Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion and Purpose by Sadie Robertson

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I received this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for my honest review which was not required to be positive.

official blurb
Dear friends,
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of the struggle. You know which one I mean–fear, loneliness, not knowing who I am or what I’m meant to do. . . . Sound familiar? I struggled with insecurity, comparison, and isolation for too many years, from thigh gaps to eyebrows to the lifestyles I felt I had to live up to. I was so afraid of being “found out,” that everyone in my life would somehow figure out that I was fearful and small and that I struggled to make my faith a reality and to be secure in who I am. It took a major perspective shift from staring at comments on a screen to really digging into the pages of my Bible to see what God actually says about overcoming fear. Setting aside the fear, anxiety, and comparison to become the joy-filled person God created you to be is exactly what God is inviting you into. To really be seen and known. To be an agent of change by choosing compassion, connection, and acceptance for everyone you come in contact with. Inside this book are ways to find your power, passion, and purpose–and reach for your dreams. Plus, there are places to jot down notes, fun lists, practical ways to make changes, and thoughts on how living fearless can change everything. Are you tired of the awful comparison game? Are you exhausted from trying to keep up, from feeling small and afraid that people will find the real you and be disappointed? There is so much more for you. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your fears are, freedom is available to you. It’s just a matter of saying yes. You in? Hope you’ll join me on this wild adventure as we learn to Live Fearless together. Love,
Sadie

my blurb!
A look at the life of the girl you might recognize from Duck Dynasty, the fear she lived in, and how she daily tries to overcome it.

3 out of 5
what i liked
Sadie is very likable.  You don’t read the book and think about how far out of touch she is with being a human.
She lived in a lot of fear – I mean it blew my mind.  And it was amazing to me that she was willing to share those struggles so readily with her readers!
The chapter’s end with reflections to help you progress in your own struggle(s) with fear!  It wasn’t crazy cheesy or anything like that- so big pro there!
Definitely the word I would use to describe this book the most is genuine.  Sadie comes across super genuine and it makes you realize how little you knew her when watching the “reality” show she was on!
This girl is so in love with God. It is amazing to read about and is really inspiring to me as a reader!

what i didn't like
Very quickly into this book I realized that I was not the target audience.  I don’t think I realized that people did live in this high level of fear and anxiety. It made me almost feel better about my issues with spiders and heights!  Not a knock on fearful people or the book- it just didn’t make me want to fly through reading it.

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The Little Book of Hygee by Meik Wiking

2 out of 5

official blurb
Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge. ‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’ You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress. Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

my blurb!
A book about coziness.

This was on my coffee table for a year.  That sentence greatly describes my feelings about the book.  It was fine to pick up here and there and read about something cozy. And who doesn’t want a good reminder to light a candle?  But do you want to light a candle, cuddle up under a blanket or snuggle with your pet over the summer? 103 degree heat. Does that sound good and hygee to you? NO.  Therein lies the problem with the book.  It’s too long (it’s not long at all so that’s saying something) and it really only works for certain climate situations.  Overall it didn’t convince me to live like the Danes.

This book was fine. Not offensive. Not a page turner. This book is a good housewarming gift.  Or like a “you’re 35 and having a birthday party, what should I bring?” gift.  You’re not missing anything by not reading it. Click on a pinterest picture describing hygee and remind yourself that candles are awesome.  Got it? Cool. That’s hygee.

while reading you should
Sit on the couch with your dog.
Light a non scented candle.
Listen to Clair de Lune
Drink a cup of coffee with frothed milk.
Eat a maple scone.

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

 

2 out of 5

official blurb
In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring—and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself—here is a comforting road map to a happy life.

my blurb!
A quick and random read that encourages you to not take things too seriously.
I should clearly state my bias here- I love Lauren Graham.  I am a Gilmore Girls junkie, have read her fiction and non fiction works, and would gladly stalk her if she were to ever come to Kansas City on a book tour.

what i liked
The book is 45 pages long and can be read quickly one evening.

what i didn't like
That being said- this book was a miss for me.  Her voice was there, but it was… well it was a pointless book.  I found myself  wondering if she had a book contract that demanded a publication.  Really, why does this book exist?

I have an inkling that the audiobook would be better because who doesn’t love to listen to Lauren Graham?  But I also have a strong hunch that you may listen and say to yourself… wow that was the book, huh?

when to read
Before or right after attending a graduation

while reading you should
Watch: Gilmore Girls
Listen to: Carole King
Drink: Coffee

if you would like to buy
Click here

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Well Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit by Meredith Sinclair

5 out of 5

official blurb
For children, playing comes naturally…or at least it used to. But today that kind of easy-going fun is harder to come by, for both kids and their parents. With hectic lifestyles and constant technology overload, families have simply forgotten how to play. The solution? Relearn how to integrate fun and creative play into our day-to-day lives.

my blurb!
A how- to guide that reminds me to enjoy life. Stop what you’re doing now and read this. Take breaks to enjoy your life and then pick this book up again for more reminders!

This is Required Reading for moms!

I don’t know where I heard about this book. Perhaps the Today show, but I swear it was the Hallmark Channel because that’s almost always the channel that’s on at my house. Anyways,  I saw someone talking about it on tv somewhere and I put it on hold at my library and woah am I glad I did.

 

what i liked
First of all let me say, Meredith’s writing style  (yes, we’re on a first name basis – you’ll feel like you’re friends with her too when you finish reading this book)… I loved it.  It’s conversational and witty. If she didn’t watch Gilmore Girls she should have because I read her cadence in a Stars Hollow fashion.

I loved all the sections in the book. The biggest sections appealed to everyone but I feel like especially Moms who are required to play with their day and are like- “ya, this sucks and I have too much to do.” But if I’ve lost you because you’re kidless, this book isn’t just for moms. There are sections on bringing playfulness to your mate, your friends and to yourself. They were all great but let’s talk about some of wording of the little subsections: “sitting is the new smoking,” “puppets could pretty much rule the world if they wanted to,” and “the tablecloth of awesome.” Just witty.

Here’s a little snippet of advice found in the book:
If you’re in the throes of falling in love as we speak, make sure you’re exploring your potential mate’s playful side along with their front side and backside! How someone handles a water balloon to the face is a pretty good indicator of how they’ll parent a toddler. You’ll send me flowers later for this little insight.

The overall best part of the book were the practical measures. Okay so I’m not gonna get a lake house where I can whisk away my family for tech- free vacations (stop rubbing my face in it, Meredith!), I CAN do so many things I’ve never thought of. Don’t you HATE reading a book that’s supposed to help you but it leaves you saying “ya, I agree, that’s why I’m reading this. But how?!” You won’t be saying that after you read this book.

if you would like to buy
I was tempted to make this a coffee table book (oh hello again – The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living) but I’m so glad I didn’t! I’ll be buying this to reference later. If you would like to buy this book click here. (A friendly reminder that you don’t get charged any more for this book from clicking this link – but I also get a little kick back when you do!)

while reading you should
Put your phone away.
Listen to: Girls Just wanna have fun
Eat: Pizza
Watch: the bubbles from a bubble machine blowing in your general direction

Slavery by Another Name by Douglas J. Blackmon

5 out of 5

What if I told you slavery in the United States didn’t end until 1951? You’d probably tell me I’m lying and that slavery ended with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (or 1865 if you were so unfortunate as to live in Texas, where it took two years for word of the Proclamation to reach Texas slaves).

But the history we learn in school–that slavery ended with the Civil War and racism is a minor issue and only in the South–is wrong. Douglas J. Blackmon takes readers through, not an alternative history, but a forgotten history. A hidden history. A history of which even its direct descendants are sometimes unaware.

Continue reading “Slavery by Another Name by Douglas J. Blackmon”