Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ~ J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter!!

I was so excited for this book to come out. My husband and I started reading it on our kindles the day it came out. I didn’t know that it was written like the script of a play but I liked that. It was nice to have familiar characters in a different format. I’m not sure if it is true but I heard J.K. Rowling is coming out with 3 more Harry Potter books. Three more!! Amazing!

I have heard mixed reviews in regards to this book. Some didn’t like the story, some did. Some didn’t like the format, some did. I liked it! I loved the old characters and I loved the new. It was new and fresh. And it was released at the perfect time. I have a problem with books and/or movies that come out when their prime time has passed. (i.g. The Hobbit movies, the hype of Lord of the Rings had warn off then these movies came out, I think most were over and past LOTR and had no interest. That’s how it was for myself at least.) Releasing this book when they did, with the play coming out and the lands opening up at Universal Studios, was perfect timing, in my opinion. People are still on a high from all the new action that the book was welcome and received well.

Without giving anything away, this book was mainly about Harry Potter’s youngest son, Albus. His adventures, and misadventures, at Hogwarts and the friends that he makes along the way. Many of the main characters are there in different ways but the story mainly revolves around Albus Severus Potter.

This was an easy quick read and, like I already mentioned, I loved it! Highly recommended for all Harry Potter fans 🙂

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Next book … Sleeping Giants ~ Sylvain Neuvel

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The Martian ~ Andy Weir

I loved the movie The Martian! I didn’t see it in the theaters but my nephews loved it so I watched it. I had been reading great reviews on Sleeping Giants being compared to The Martian; the writing style in journal entries and the science heavy content. So, if my tbr wasn’t long enough, I added The Martian to the top on the list. I was not disappointed! The science heavy language that was used did not take away from the book. It added to it immensely. I’m not a science geek but I was able to follow. What was a little harder for me was the acronyms that were used. Sometimes I had to google what I was reading because I forgot what they were talking about.

What I really appreciated about the movie is that it followed the book pretty spot on. The story line was mainly the same and the humor was amazing. I loved the humor and wit in the movie and it was right there in the book. It was great! I can’t say enough good things about this book. I laughed out loud so many times. I had to stop and tell my husband what was going on in the book and why I was laughing so hard. It was great! Now that I have read the book I want to go back and watch the movie again.

The book is about an American astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded on Mars. It follows his day to day survival on the hostile planet, from his botany skills to his engineering skills. This book was written beautifully. And it kept me on the edge of my seat. By the end of the book I was breathing so hard in anticipation as to what was going to happen. It was great!

I kinda feel like all the books that I have been reading lately have been ones that I have really liked. But don’t get me wrong, there are books out there that I haven’t liked as much. I was going through my Reading Log last night and I remember some of the ones that I just couldn’t finish. Atlas Shrugged was one that I started last year that I never finished. I was also pregnant with my second and not interested in reading much. But that is a book on my ever-growing tbr that I need to finish. In the meantime I will try to choose titles that I know I will be fascinated with.

Next book … Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ~ J.K. Rowling

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Me Before You ~ Jojo Moyes

I’m so behind! I have two books to be reviewed. Barely enough time to even read them in a timely manner. I should have worked on my blog while I was on vacation this past weekend “/

First off, I had to jump on the bandwagon and read Me Before You before I went to go see it in the theaters. (I love Khaleesi…..so I’m going to see this movie!) The book was good. I used to be really big into romance and still tell people that I read romance, fantasy and horror mainly. After reading this book I would really like to get back into romance novels but my TBR keeps growing and not many are romance. I need more time to read. This stupid full time job is killing my reading vibes 😉

On to my review, I liked this book. I cried, but I always cry on sappy love stories. It made me feel good and made me appreciate my life and everything and everyone in it. Since I really liked all of the characters I want to read After You (at some point). Don’t read the plot on Wikipedia!! I literally just went there and read the small plot summary and it gave away everything!! Spoiler alert!! Don’t do it!

The books is about a girl, Lou, who loses her job at a restaurant due to its closure. She is forced to find a new job and finds work as a glorified sitter to a quadriplegic, Will. Lou is ready for the challenge but not ready for her feelings and what comes next in both their lives.

I cried! And I held my babies. Living life not able to move must be so difficult. But life is always worth it! Remember that!!

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

I’m hoping that my next review will be up this weekend because I am already almost done with the newest Harry Potter, and that one needs a review also!

Next book … The Martian ~ Andy Weir

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#24in48

I love to read! I think that’s kind of obvious with the book reviews and all. But over this past weekend there was a little something going on called 24-in-48. It was mainly on Litsy but some were posting on Instagram. I learned about it Friday night so I didn’t really have much time to prepare myself or my family. So I read what I could for the weekend.

24-in-48 means that you read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. Whoever came up with this is genius!! I love the concept because I don’t normally devote more than an hour to reading at any given time. It is (still!) a goal of mine to read an entire book in one sitting. Yep…still because I didn’t hit that goal this weekend. I told my husband about it once I learned of this little challenge but we both weren’t able to hit the goal of 24 hours.

Saturday we woke up and both started reading. Ate, read, ballet, ate, tv, read, went out to dinner, read. Our oldest got sick that night so we were drained on Sunday. I finished a book on Saturday and started a new one on Sunday but since I didn’t read a great deal on Sunday I wasn’t able to finish it.

I really wished that I could have read more. There were some great prizes coming out of this and it would have been great to participate in the giveaways. Next year, (they announced the the next 24-in-48 with be January 21-22, 2017!!) I will participate, sign up, really get involved, and hopefully complete the entire 24 hours.

I didn’t know about this readathon back in January in part because there wasn’t an app like Litsy. For the ones that still don’t know about Litsy, it is probably the greatest app out there for book lovers! It’s like Instagram and Good Reads had a baby and we have Litsy. Check it out, (and follow me @ashsbookmarks) make it great (since its still in beta mode) and use it often. I love love love the app! I was just reading the readathon’s blog page and they mentioned that us users crashed the app a few times because of the excessive traffic. I knew it! There were times that the app was running slow over the weekend or not opening at all. But that is great news! People want to use the app and book lovers love the app.

I have subscribed on Bloglovin’ to 24in48‘s feed so now I’ll get all the updates right to my phone 🙂 And the countdown begins to the next 24-in-48! I cannot wait!!!! 🙂 🙂 Maybe next year I can be a part of the giveaways (hint, hint, wink, wink…readers love bookmarks!!)

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes ~ Caitlin Doughty

I’ve always known that I have been fascinated with death. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a little afraid of my own death (and the death of my closest family members) but I have always loved watching Dr. G. Medical Examiner or other shows that revolve around death. And I loved reading this book. I now know that I want a wake in my house and either be buried in my backyard or have a nice clean green burial. Just stick me in the ground and I’ll be happy. Or better yet, turn me into a tree!

I completely support what Caitlin Doughty is doing with her nonprofit, Undertaking L.A. Teaching people to take back death and be ok with losing loved ones. I want to learn what she knows and practice what she has to say.

I thought that’s what I was going to learn from reading this book but that wasn’t the case. It’s about her life and the reasons behind her getting into the death industry. Doughty has a very interesting life and I loved reading about her interactions with the dead. But I want more!!

I’ve started watching Six Feet Under, that HBO show from the early 2000s. It’s good! I’m really liking it. I’m fascinated with the show and everything that I see but would I be cut out to really working in a place like that? I’ll never know unless I try. But for now I’ll keep my day job and maybe just dream about the “what if”s and the “if when”s.

Next book … Me Before You ~ Jojo Moyes

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The Assistants ~ Camille Perri

The Assistants follows the assistant, Tina Fontana, of the president of a huge corporation while she engages in questionable acts. After a misunderstanding with the expense reports, Tina is give a check for almost the exact amount of her student loan debt. She holds on to the check for a while then cashes it and pays off her debt. But in doing so she is consumed by her actions and is lead down a path that she never thought her by-the-book life would take her down. With the help of other assistants in the company, Tina is the head of an embezzling scheme to pay off everyone’s student loan debt.

I really liked this book and it made me think about my student debt and how I’m going to be paying it off for the rest of my life (at least that’s what it feels like). I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. It did not disappoint.

I read this book because it was mentioned in a book podcast that I listen to. Ann Kingman of Books on the Nightstand said she hesitated when she picked up this book because it had dollar signs as the “s” but enjoyed the book. It was an easy read and held my attention because I can relate to the characters in more ways than one.

The Assistants

Next book … Smoke Gets in Yours Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory ~ Caitlin Doughty

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“Mommy, I was a good girl today! Can we go to the park?”

Lily, my 3 year old, says that to me every day that I pick her up from daycare. So as long as we have nothing to do, we go to the park for 15-30 minutes a day. I forgot where I heard it (maybe one of my many podcasts that I listen to) but I heard that kids who get to play outside even for 15 minutes a day are healthier and happier. Plus my little family will be moving to Ohio next year so I want my kids to see as much of the California sun as they can.

Since we started going to the park a few months ago, I have seen my oldest grow more confident climbing and sliding. She has become more outgoing and less shy. She will actually go up to kids now and play and run and scream. Oh that SCREAM!! But we are outside, at the park, so I let her scream! 🙂

Big sister gets to play while Zoey (9 months old today!!) and I sit on our picnic blanket and watch her interactions with the other kids and parents. We have met so many different people. Some of them go to the park regularly and some don’t. We all have fun in the sun.

Then when it’s time to go I hold up my hand and tell Lily “3 more times!” So she picks a slide (out of the 4 that are there) and goes down 3 more times. Then we leave. No fits or crying because she knows that we will be back the next day. She learned that one very early. I told her that if she cries when we leave we won’t come back. She still has meltdowns, on occasion, usually when one of her friends is there, but she is mostly good and knows what happens when she cries…and when she doesn’t cry.

I love my girls and I love the parks!

Lily at Franklin Park 7/1/16
Zoey at Franklin Park 7/1/16
Lily on the slide at Franklin Park 7/1/16
Franklin Park 7/1/16

Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks

Last week I made drumsticks for dinner. I normally don’t buy chicken with bones but it was a great deal that I couldn’t pass up 🙂 So on the fly I made a recipe that worked so well (my mouth is watering just thinking about that meal).

Crunchy Garlic Drumbsticks

Ingredients:
1 package of drumsticks
2 eggs
1 tablespoon garlic
flour
panko
salt & pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Set up a 3 part dipping station; flour, eggs and garlic, panko and salt and pepper. Dredge drumsticks in flour. Then dip in the egg and garlic mixture. Last in the panko, salt and pepper mixture. Place the coated drumsticks on a baking sheet or dish (I used a cast iron baking dish but a normal baking sheet will work just fine). Put the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes, turning chicken half way through. By turning the chicken you get a nice golden crust…delicious!

I love garlic!! The fresh garlic in the egg took this dish to the next level. I will be making this dish again.

The Nightingale ~ Kristin Hannah

I looked at my reading log from last year…2 books! That’s it…2 books! I started so many but never finished them. Either I wasn’t into the book or I lost interest since it was taking me so long to get through one chapter. I guess pregnancy makes me lose interest in reading in general “/ I’m so glad I’m over that slump because this book was amazing!

About a year ago my sister-in-law read this book. She told me about it. She loved it so much that she bought me the e-book. Last year I read 2 books, The Nightingale was not one of them. I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I’ve never read any WWII novels, never thought I would be into a book about war. Let me tell you people, Kristin Hannah does a great job! Details that I never knew about that war laid out beautifully. It was great to say the least and make sure you have a box of tissues ready. Tear jerker for sure!

I think I related so much to the book because I have sisters and the main characters are sisters trying to survive the war. They are both on separate journeys that bring them together and apart and together again. It is a story about love and friendship and war and loss. I went through all kinds of emotions while reading. My sister called me after I had read a particularly sad part and I couldn’t stop sobbing! I was sobbing…uncontrollably!

This was a very well written book that I recommend to anyone interested in WWII or romance novels or anyone that reads. I really liked the book and I really think it relates to a wide audience. I may pick up one of her other books since I liked this one so much.

Next book … The Assistants ~ Camille Perri

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The Nest ~ Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

OMG!!!! I have been gone for too long! I miss this blogging thing. My goal is to be back at least once a week. But it has been hard to find the time to get back on this horse (as they say) with wife duties, mommy duties and job duties.

I want some me time though. And that started when I decided that I wanted to start reading more again. Last year I read like 5 books. 5 BOOKS!!! That is not a lot for me. So when I heard about this book, I knew that I wanted to read it. Dysfunctional families…where do I sign up? I’m not trying to make my life, or family, dysfunctional but most families today are. That is probably what drew me to this book.

And I have to say I loved this book 🙂 🙂 I just put 2 smiles because the ending of this book just made me smile. No crying, no happily ever after, just love and smiles 🙂 It was so great guys! I recommend this book hands down!!

I don’t really know how to give a little synopsis of this book without giving too much away. Basically it is about four siblings who stand to inherit a large sum from their late father. But the oldest was in an accident that drained the account to almost nothing. The entire book is about what happened to the funds and what happens with the siblings once these funds are depleted. Definitely thought the book was going to end different but I loved the ending!

MUST READ!!

Next book … The Nightingale ~ Kristin Hannah

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