Monday 20 May 2013

Connecting on Facebook

I don't know anyone without a Facebook account. Well, that's not really true. I'm sure I know a few. Or I've always got some friend who swears they are leaving and deletes their account. But a few days later they are back on.

I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love staying connected. I love that all my friends, family, favorite blogs, products, publisher's, author's, etc are all on one place. I can stay up to date with them all every morning as I scroll through my News Feed. I hate it because it is such a time suck. Why do I need to check it a million times per day?

The Sweet Bookshelf is on Facebook. Did you know? I also don't just have my content auto posted from my blog. I enjoy interacting with my "friends" and I post little things here and there that you won't find on my blog.

So, come see my on Facebook.I'm always there!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Review:: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

Title: The Truth About You and Me
Author: Amanda Grace
Publisher: Flux
Pub Date: Sept 2013
Pages: 264
Format: Kindle
Disclosure: via NetGalley

Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.
Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.
There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
This is one of those books that you hope the ending is different than it is but you also know it can't be any other way. Which is both good and not so good. I got myself fully invested in this story and was hoping with all hope the ending wouldn't be sad--but it was. It was real. I was left wanting in the end and yet knowing there was no other possible outcome. 
Madelyn is a college student. Who just happens to still be a sixteen year old. She gets a little close with her college professor Bennet. You can guess where the story goes from there. Everything is not as it would seem from the outside. It's really sad. I want them to be together. How sick is that?! 
I really enjoyed this story. I was glued to it and I wanted what I wanted. But, I didn't get it. So the ending just ruined the story for me. I read for the happy ending. This didn't have one. It was realistic but just not what I enjoy. 

Monday 13 May 2013

8 Ways to Read More Books

I am all about tips and tricks. Especially when they have to do with reading. It is amazing how much time I can waste. Sitting on the internet doing nothing of importance seems to be a regular thing are here. I have found that I read more when I do these things. 
Check it out::

01. Cut down on the internet/social media time. Hey, I'm all for social media but sometime's I'll catch myself on it for an obscene amount of time. Doing nothing of importance! Set yourself a timer. Or only allow it during certain times of the way. You'll be surprised how much more time you have!

02. Give yourself a bedtime. Not to go to sleep but to be in bed reading. I do this and it is my favorite way to read. No matter how busy my day is I always get into bed around 10 pm and read until I'm ready to go to sleep. I have a toddler and he's an early riser! If I didn't get any time to read during the day I know I'll always have time before bed.

03. Audiobooks are where it's at people! I feel like I'm totally cheating. I'm a sucker for an audiobook while I clean. I can't do the dishes without one. How long is your commute to work? You could probably get at least one more book in during the week by listening while you drive. It's effortless. My library has a meager selection but I can always find something that interests me.

04. Set reading goals. When I set a yearly/monthly reading goal I tend to read more. It keeps me on my toes and even if I fall behind I am still checking the books off my list instead of going weeks/months without reading.

05. Throw in a few novellas! Seriously. There is nothing wrong with a novella. It is just a shorter novel. They are really enjoyable too. I love to gorge myself on novellas at Christmas time. It is just enough to wet my appetite for something holiday.

06. Use an e-reader. I don't want to offend any of you hard core traditional only bookish people but I  do read faster on my Kindle. I can take my books with me where ever I am without losing my place. The click click click makes it easy to read during my gym time or unexpected waiting areas at the post office and Dr's office.

07. Read this article "How to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks." It is packed with information to get you going.

08. Get yourself a library card. Books can be expensive and we tend to not read if we don't have anything on hand. The library is stocked with books to choose from. You can even request the library to buy a book for their selection that you want to read.

Tell me your tips and tricks to reading more books!

Saturday 11 May 2013

Review:: Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Title: Love With a Chance of Drowning
Author: Torre DeRoche
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle
Disclosure: sent from Author for review

Love can make a person do crazy things. . .

A city girl with a morbid fear of deep water, Torre DeRoche is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific aboard a leaky sailboat – total crew of two – struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat.

But when she meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinean man with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has to face a hard decision: watch the man she's in love with sail away forever, or head off on the watery journey with him. Suddenly the choice seems simple. She gives up her sophisticated city life, faces her fear of water (and tendency towards seasickness) and joins her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific. 

Set against a backdrop of the world's most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always breathtakingly brave memoir that proves there are some risks worth taking.

I am so excited to share this book with you all! You may think it sounds a bit familiar to a review I wrote two years ago, and you'd be right! Two years ago, my first review for The Sweet Bookshelf was for a self-published memoir called Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning. I loved and adored that book and now follow the author's (hilarious!) blog and her continued adventures ( Shortly after I reviewed Swept..., it was pulled from availability because the author sold her book to several publishers world-wide, and also sold the movie option. Talk about an author's dream come true! After two long years, the book is finally being released on May 16, 2013! 

Put this book on your must-read list, everyone. It's fabulous. Who could resist a smart, funny, sassy story about someone with a fear of water who gets up the gumption to sail across the Pacific in an aged sailboat with a guy she met in a bar?

I’m a sucker for travel and the ocean and quickly fell in love with Torre’s beautiful, relaxed writing style, blunt humor, biting wit and great descriptions of life at sea. Her fear of deep water both cracked me up and hit close to home for me – I have a fear of dark water and all things that I can’t see in said dark water. But at the same time I long for and LOVE the ocean and would live in it despite that fear, if I could.

If you like travel, romance, humor, sailing or if you’re just looking for a great tale about overcoming one’s fears and bettering life in the process, you’ll LOVE this book. I laughed, I longed for the sea, I dreamed of the destinations in this story and lived out the adventures as I inhaled this book; It swept me away.

A favorite line: “Some people die of old age without ever having lived their dreams. Some people die without ever having loved. That’s tragic. We’ll both die someday, that’s a guarantee. If something happens on the ocean, we’ll die as two people in love who are living a remarkable adventure…”

Original Review

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Anatomy of a Book Club

I’m currently working with the youth at my church. Young Women ages 12-17 yrs old. I love it. I love everything about it. I’m enjoying myself so much.
All the girls love to read. I love to read. We’re a match made in heaven! We knew we wanted to start a book club or a literary guild. We just had to! Last night was our first meeting.

I had a couple of weeks to prepare and I was on the hunt for some fun printables. I used these and I can’t wait to use these this summer! I wanted to make a cute little goody bag for the girls to take home. I chose a book I thought each of the girls would like and I made a summer reading log so they could keep track of what they read. I threw in a bookmark, pen, and a chocolate bar for good measure. Reading and chocolate. Need I say more?

We thought for our first meeting we’d all share our favorite books. A few of us even came dressed as our favorite characters! Each of us took a few minutes to talk about a book we really enjoyed and why. We wrote down all the recommendations in our new Summer Reading Logs. We ate some birthday cake {I’m wishing I took a piece home…} and had the most fun talking about books!

Here are the books that the girls shared:: 

Here are a few tips to start your own Book Club:

1. Get together a core group. This can be just a group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, people you go to church with. It can be anyone who likes to read and some who don't yet! You might find enough people immediately for your club, but sometimes it can take a little persuasion to get your group started. 

2. Set a regular meeting time. There can be conflicts in time, but the best thing to do is find the best time for your core group and set a time in advance. This gives your members time to plan for the evening. Not everyone will be able to make it every month and this is OK. 

3. Advertise your book club. If you have a core group of 3-4 then word of mouth is the best way to get your club members. 

4. Set ground rules. These can be how books are chosen, who leads discussions and where the meetings are held, etc. 

5. Meet. If your group is small at first this is OK. Just keep inviting and holding your club meetings. More will join as time passes. 

6. Food. Always have food at your book club! Need I say more?

Do you have any Book Club tips? 
Share them in the comments below!
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