Friday, August 29, 2014

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
338 pages, published September 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Library

Ever since I read and reviewed Anna and the French Kiss (here's my review) I've been excited to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.  I absolutely loved the first book and was excited for more!

From GoodReads:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Once again, Stephanie Perkins made me fall in love with another one of her books! I devoured this book in under three days, and absolutely loved it. Just as in Anna and the French Kiss, it's the characters that make this story. Perkins has a gift for creating characters you can relate to and that are real--not just Lola, but all of the characters in this book are likeable and fun.

I feel like Stephanie Perkins and I have so much in common. Her books include so many things I absolutely love. In this book, it was the fact that her neighbor's twin sister Calliope (and how fun are Perkins' characters names?? Love it!) is a figure skater!  I am a huge figure skating fan (I actually took lessons for  a few years) and I loved that Calliope was a figure skater! It was clear Perkins is a figure skating fan--she knew names of major competitions, the order they're in, the figure skating jumps, and other skating terms.  That made the book fun to read!

Overall, this is another fantastic book from Stephanie Perkins, and makes me excited to read the next in the series! If you're looking for a great YA contemporary read, this one is a slam dunk!

Overall rating for Lola and the Boy Next Door: A

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Harry Potter Through The Eyes of A First Time Reader: Part 7

This is the seventh and FINAL post in my "Harry Potter Through the Eyes of a First Time Reader" series! In each part of the series I will provide a review and commentary on each Harry Potter book. Don't worry--I know some of you haven't read it, so just like all my reviews, there will be no spoilers here!

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
759 pages, published July 2007
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Personal Collection

From GoodReads:

Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
The epic finale to an epic series.

I DID IT! I finished my summer reading project, crossed an item off my Bookish Bucket List, and finally read the book series everyone's been talking about for years. And....I LOVED IT.  Before reading the series, and after watching the first two movies, I said it was overrated. I said it was boring. Well friends....I have to now officially EAT MY WORDS! This series is absolutely fantastic.  What I loved about the seventh book is that Rowling brilliantly ties everything together from literally the entire series and fits everything together. Everything she did throughout the series had a purpose, and you find out how the puzzle pieces fit together in this book.

My favorite character of the whole series is definitely Snape (though Hermione has a special place in my heart).  As I said in my review of the sixth book, Snape is to multidimensional, complex, and interesting. He's a character that keeps you intrigued because you can't quite figure him out--until everything is explained in the last book, and EVERYTHING makes sense.

So, for all you Harry Potter fans out there--I'm right there with you. The series is the best I've ever read, and Rowling is brilliant for writing it so well and having such vision with the series. I also watched the movies along with the books--really enjoyed those as well but as always, the books were significantly better. But the movies were fun as well!

Some facts about my adventures reading Harry Potter:

*I started reading the first book June 16 and finished August 22nd--10 weeks to complete

*The sixth book (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) took me the longest to read at 19 days. Perhaps this was because I got a new puppy during this time :)

*The first book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) took me the least amount of time to complete (3 days)

*Favorite book of the series: A toss up between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

*Favorite movie of the series: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

If you haven't read the Harry Potter series--DO IT!

What's your favorite series? Is there  another one I'm missing out on that I haven't read? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday:Books I Really Want to Read but Don't Own Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten  Books I Really Want to Read but Don't Own Yet! This should be an easy one :)

1.What I Remember Most by Cathy Lamb:: won this in a goodreads giveaway quite awhile ago and it hasn't shown up yet....anxiously checking the mail every day!

2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: just finished (last night!) Lola and the Boy Next Door and I'm already itching to read the third one!

3. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover: this one has been on my most wanted list for awhile:)

4. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand: Saw this at Target the other day. Almost bought it. Didn't. Regretting it.

5. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire: I read Beautiful Disaster but haven't read the second one yet!

6. Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf: Heard lots of good things about this one!

7. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: because I need to read Colleen Hoover's books ASAP.

8. Me Before You by JoJo oyes: Haven't read any books by this author yet, but I want to!

9. Where She Went by Gayle Forman: read If I Stay, but now anting to know where she want...haha :)

10. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: had this on my want to read list for's not even out yet :)

What books are you wanting to read but haven't gotten your hands on yet?

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Wrap Up

Bout of Books
Bout of Books 11 is officially complete! I had a fun week and I hope you did as well! Here's an update for yesterday (Sunday) as well as the final totals for my week:
Goals for Bout of Books 11:
1. Read every day of the readathon: DID IT!
2. Complete 2-3 books: DID IT! Completed 2, one of which was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallwows--long book!
3. Participate in daily challenges and twitter chats: SORT OF DID IT....did the twitter chats but not the daily challenges.
4. Track pages read: DID IT! I even beat my total page numbers from Bout of Books 10! (barely)
Final Stats for Books 11:
Total Pages Read: 851 (beat my Bout of Books 10, which was just barely :)
Total Number of Books Completed: 2

Books Read from but not completed: An Abundance of Katherines (just couldn't get into it) and Lola and the Boy Next Door (almost 200 pages in)
Books Completed:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bout of Books: Day 5 and 6 Update

Bout of Books

Day 5: Friday August 22 and Day 6: Saturday August 23

Pages Read Today: 208

Total Pages Read this Week: 665

Books Read from today:Harry Potter #7 (163 pages) An Abundance of Katehrines (45 pages)

Books Completed: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Total Books Completed This Week: 2

So here's the deal: Today (Sunday) If I read more than 182 pages, I will beat my number of pages read goal from Bout of Books 10. Challenge: Accepted!!!

Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bout of Books: Day 4 Update

Bout of Books

Day 4: Thursday August 21

Pages Read Today: 86

Total Pages Read this Week: 457

Books Read from today:Harry Potter #7 and An Abundance of Katherines

Books Completed Today: 0

Total Books Completed This Week:1

Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Vacationers

Title: The Vacationers
Author: Emma Straub
292 pages, published May 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Library

I've seen quite a few reviews on this one, both positive and negative, so I was definitely intrigued to read it. When I saw it while browsing the library at the university where I work, I couldn't resist picking it up and reading it for Bout of Books 11!

From Good Reads:

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

 This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.

My Thoughts:

This was the first book of Straub's that I've read, and I really enjoyed it! Though it made me wish I was on vacation somewhere fabulous! The book was an easy, light, and fun read. It flowed well, had an entertaining storyline, and is perfect for summer--especially if you can relate to a dysfunctional family vacation!

The characters in this book are so dynamic, multidimensional, and real.  My favorite character was Sylvia--a recent high school graduate trying to navigate the emotional and social transition between high school and college. I was really impressed with how the author intertwined all the characters' storylines,  and tied them all neatly together in the end in a satisfying way.

The only criticism I can make is that I would've enjoyed more atmosphere of the local flavor of Mallorca--I was hopping for a little more description about summer on the island, and local flair and flavor. One of the reasons I really enjoy reading is to be able to "travel" through reading books set in areas around the world, and I wanted a bit more of that from this book. Other than hints at speaking the local language, there was little description about the cultural setting.

If you're looking for a light, breezy, beach or summer vacation read, this one is perfect.  It's not too deep or heavy, and perfect for a plane ride or a free afternoon on the beach!

Overall rating for "The Vacationers": B+

Happy Reading!

Bout of Books: Day 3 Update

Bout of Books

I was worried that I wouldn't get a lot of reading done on Wednesday...with work, checking on the pup at lunch, and dinner with my cousin (visiting home from Ohio with her two adorable little girls!) I was wrong! After the pup went to bed I managed to read a good chunk of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

Day 3: Wednesday August 20

Pages Read Today: 124

Total Pages Read this Week: 371

Books Read from today: HP #7 (124 pages)

Books Completed Today:  0

Total Books Completed This Week: 1

Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bout of Books: Day 2 update

Bout of Books

Day 2 in the readathon is now complete! I'm excited to say I finished my first book: The Vacationers! Review will be on the blog in the next couple days. I really enjoyed the book. Also read a bit from Harry Potter before going to bed!

Day 2: Tuesday August 19

Pages Read Today: 103

Total Pages Read this Week: 247

Books Read from today: The Vacationers (43 pages) and HP #7 (60)

Books Completed: The Vacationers

Total Books Completed This Week: 1

Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me I MUST Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten  Books People Have Been Telling Me I MUST Read!  Here we go:

1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: I absolutely LOVED Anna and the French Kiss, which several people recommended in addition to Lola.

2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: same deal as above. I can't believe the amazing reviews I've read about this one! Can't wait to read it.

3. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover: I've gotten so many recommendations for this one and all Colleen Hoover's books.

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel: People have been recommending it to me for ages, but haven't gotten to it yet.

5. Where She Went by Gayle Forman: I'll admit, I am dying to know what happens...

6. Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

7.The Invention ofWings by Sue Monk Kidd

8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: Don't worry, it's on my TBR radar very soon!

9. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: everyone's been recommending them, but I'm not sure I have the oomph to get through them all.

10. Room by Emma Donoghue

What books have people been telling you that you MUST read?

Happy Reading!

Bout of Books 11: Day 1 Update

Bout of Books

The first day of the readathon is behind us! I finally got a chance to read last night after my puppy went to bed, and got a lot read in The Vacationers. Came close to finishing it, but I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer! I also read about 30 pages in Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows. I was disappointed I couldn't get more reading time in, but life with a puppy is exhausting. Here's the roundup:

Day 1: Monday August 18

Pages Read Today: 144

Books Read from: The Vacationers (114 pages) and HP #7 (30)

Books Completed: None yet!

Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Welcome to Monday, friends! This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
The good thing about this Monday is that it's the start of Bout of Books 11! Pretty excited for this week. Last week I read quite a bit. I finished I Will Never Forget, a book given to me by the author for an honest review. I also finished 84 Ribbons. I haven't done a full review on it yet, but it's definitely a book with a very specific target audience--those that love and understand ballet. It was a three star book for me--wasn't overly impressed.
I'm still working my way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--I'm almost halfway through. I also started The Vacationers this weekend. Both books are ones I'm going to continue on in for Bout of Books, as well as An Abundance of Katherines.
Recently Finished:
I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia
Currently Reading and On Deck:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)
The Vacationers
An Abundance of Katherines
Happy Reading, friends! And Happy Bout of Books Week!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bout of Books Goals

Bout of Books
Next week is Bout of Books 11! I had a fantastic time with Bout of Books 10. and I'm super excited to connect with other bloggers during this fun reading week.
I had some hefty goals for Bout of Books 10--and exceed them (here's my wrap up). My goals won't be quite as high for Bout of Books 11--as most of you know, I have a nine week old puppy at home that takes up A LOT of my free time, so I won't be able to read as much as I did back in March for Bout of Books 10. But, I'm still excited to accomplish some goals and have some fun!

Goals for Bout of Books 11:
1. Read every day of the readathon.
2. Complete 2-3 books
3. Participate in daily challenges and twitter chats
4. Track pages read: for Bout of Books 10 I read 847 pages...I'm not sure I can beat this (due to being a puppy mama) but I'm going to give it my best shot!
Books on my TBR list for Bout of Books 11:
*The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Excited to get started on Monday!
Happy Reading, fellow Bout of Books participants!!

I Will Never Forget

Title: I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia
Author: Elaine C Pereira
274 pages, published May 2012
Genre: Memoir

Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I rarely read and review memoirs, but I chose to read and review this book  after the author contacted me for a review because of the subject matter. I personally related to the topic, and felt it an appropriate book for me to review. In 2013, my father passed away after a long battle with vascular dementia. He was only 64.

Here's the synopsis from GoodReads about this book:

It is extremely difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages his or her mind, robbing him or her of memory, thinking abilities, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine C. Pereira shares the sometimes heartbreaking and occasionally humorous story of her mother's journey through dementia, as seen through the eyes of her little girl.

Pereira begins by offering entertaining glimpses into her own childhood and feisty teenage years. Through it all, Pereira shares how her mom's unconditional love and creative parenting style helped mold an opinionated young woman into a resourceful adult who eventually would move mountains on her mother's behalf. As Betty Ward slowly begins to wander down the dark and narrow corridors of Alzheimer's, Pereira details her mother's amazing ability to mask the truth until something as innocuous as a drapery rod suddenly launches a waterfall of events. As their roles shift and a new paradigm forms, Pereira transforms into a caregiver who blindly navigates dementia's unpredictable haze while her mother orchestrates Houdini-like disappearances and surprisingly rallies to take charge of her own destiny.

I Will Never Forget shares a powerful, emotional story that can help people affected by dementia take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style in this book. She moved between time periods effortlessly and in a way that added to the story and helped her readers to understand the situation.  She paints a clear, real life picture of daily struggles of dementia from a family member's perspective. I appreciated that the book clearly illustrated the ups and downs, the good days and the bad, that are a reality with individuals with dementia. I appreciated her honesty, and reading the book felt like we were sitting at the table, talking over cups of coffee.

I feel like this book would be beneficial for so many people to read: those (like me) who've lost a loved one to dementia, those struggling with caring for a family member with dementia, or even caregivers working with patients who have dementia. What I gained from this book was the same message on opposite sides of the coin--those caring for loved ones with dementia are not alone, and on the other hand, everyone's journey and experience with dementia is different. My dad's journey was drastically different, yet I still recognized some similarities  between our two experiences. I commend Elaine for having the courage to write this book, and hope others read this book in an effort to spread awareness about dementia and dementia related diseases.

Overall rating for "I Will Never Forget": A-

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harry Potter Through the Eyes of a First Time Reader: Part 6

This is the sixth post in my "Harry Potter Through the Eyes of a First Time Reader" series! In each part of the series I will provide a review and commentary on each Harry Potter book. Don't worry--I know some of you haven't read it, so just like all my reviews, there will be no spoilers here!

Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
652pages, published September 2006
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Personal collection

From GoodReads:
The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.   And yet, as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort—and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

The sixth book is now my second favorite of the series so far, after Goblet of Fire! Though this book was long,  it held my attention and kept me guessing right up until the end. I had no idea who the Half Blood Prince was, though I had a few guesses, all which turned out to be wrong.  The only unfortunate thing for me with this book was that I knew the big ending--I had heard about it when the book came out and everyone was upset about it. So I knew what was going to happen, but not how it happened, who did it, or any details.  Despite knowing the outcome, I was still shocked at who did it!

One thing I've been consistently impressed with in this series is the amazing cast of characters. They're all so multidimensional, real, and interesting. Though my favorite character is still Hermione, Snape is really standing out to me as a wonderfully written, multifaceted, fascinating character. I just can't quite figure him out yet, and that's what I like about him.

This book left me itching to read the next book! So excited that I'm finally starting the last book in the series, and that I've completed all six book in just over seven weeks. 

My husband and I also watched the movie for this book, and I must say it was VERY well done.  My favorite movie of the series that I've seen so far!

On to Book 7...

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: To Read, or Not To Read?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten  Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read...basically, To Read, or Not To Read?

It's no secret that my TBR list is overflowing with books. As for many book lovers like myself, the list is never ending. Should I move on to other books, or bump these up my TBR list? Help me decide!

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

4. Crossed by Ally Condie

5. Reached by Allie Condie : Read the first in the series (Matched) but haven't gotten to the last two. Is it worth finishing the series?

6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

7. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

8.  Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

9. Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

10. Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Any of these I shouldn't miss?

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

Welcome to Monday, friends! This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

This weekend, my husband went camping with his friends, so  I had time to get a lot of reading done while my puppy was napping! Last week I finished The Bridge from Me to You (here's my review).  On Sunday, I finally finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! My review will be up later this week. We also watched the movie last night, and it was definitely my favorite movie of the series so far, though Book 4 (Goblet of Fire) is still my favorite book.  Yesterday I started Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and also one I received from NetGalley called 84 Ribbons (about ballet, so clearly I'm enjoying it so far!). So overall it's been a great reading week!
Recently Finished:
Currently Reading:

What are you reading this week friends? I hope you have a great reading week!

Beat the Heat Readathon: Goals/updates

I love reading challenges! Clearly, I love reading, but I also like connecting with other readers through the challenges!   The Beat the Heat Readathon is hosted by Jessi @ Novel Hearbeat and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads and runs from August 11th-September 1st.  

Here are the rules:
  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 11th to September 1st. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!
  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!
  • Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 24th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide as well.)
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.
    Interested in signing up? You can by clicking here!

    Here are my goals!

    1. Finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (just started it at beginning of readathon)

    2. Read 3 additional books (84 Ribbons, which I just started, and two additional)

    3. Read every day
    Happy Reading!


Friday, August 8, 2014

The Bridge from Me to You

Title: The Bridge from Me to You
Author: Lisa Schroeder
336 pages, published July 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley

Note: I received this ebook from NetGalley. This is my honest review.

From Good Reads:
Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.
Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. It warmed my heart and I related to it so well. The book is set in a small, fictional, Oregon town an hour or two away from Portland, during football season. I felt like this was going back in time for me, as I grew up in a small Oregon town a similar distance away from Portland, and vividly remember the experience of football season in a small town.

I loved the characters. They both had so much depth and were so real. In my full time job, I work with high school seniors during the application process for college, so I really related to Colby, as I see students like him frequently in my work. I loved how the chapters rotated from the two perspectives--this can be hit or miss for me but in this book's case, it worked perfectly. It worked so well because of the writing style-- you could tell which character was narrating just by the writing style of each chapter. Lauren's chapters were almost poetic and journal-like--which makes sense with what is going on in her life at the time. 

This book was an entertaining, charming, quick read. It embodies everything I love about the young adult genre.  I loved the overall themes and messages this book portrays--I feel not only would it be entertaining reading for young adults, but teach them some life lessons too.

I BELIEVE you'll love this book :)

Overall rating for "The Bridge from Me to You": A

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts: August 7

This is a weekly event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

1. As you know from last week's post, I am a new puppy mama! Which means my free time has been eaten up by a cute little 8 week old black lab puppy that requires a LOT of time and attention, not to mention multiple bathroom breaks in the middle of the night that leave me sleep deprived during the day. But oh my goodness I LOVE this little guy. He is so adorable and is such a good pup. Here's a picture of him from one of his first car rides! He loves riding in the car :)

2.I'm still working my way through Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince--about 250 pages away from being done (it's 650 pages total). Hoping to maybe finish it this weekend. Also started The Bridge from Me to You (courtesy of NetGalley) this week. Enjoying it so far as well.

3. One thing that my mom and I enjoying doing together is going to cooking class! I love to cook (though I'm not particularly good at it) and there's a fantastic cooking store in Salem (Oregon's capital city not far from the town I live in) called Carl's Cuisine. They sell cooking supplies and gadgets as well as offer gourmet cooking classes. My mom and I have taken quite a few classes from Carl and I use many of his recipes and techniques. Anyway, Mom and I went to a Seafood class on Tuesday night that was fantastic! The main course was sole with prosciutto butter. It was amazing. It's so fun watching someone who knows what they're doing cook! Here's a photo of Carl and Amy teaching class:

4. The first Broncos preseason game is TONIGHT. I am SO EXCITED. Football season is my absolute favorite time of year. Go Broncos!! I know it's just preseason...but STILL. It's football!

Hope you're having a good week, and Happy Reading!