End of Year Survey

So this is the 6th annual survey started by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. Although, this is my first year taking part ☺ I thought it would be a fun way to look back at all the books I read and see if the same things that stood out when I read them still hold true for me. I just started seriously keeping track of what I read and blogging this year so it should be fun to see how this affects my reading next year.

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Classics Club

So I’ve decided I need to read more classics. When I was in school there were so many books that people would mention or I was supposed to read and never did and I always kinda wanted to eventually one day.

I stumbled across The Classics Club and it looked great. For one, I have a hard time sticking to things. I could tell myself I want to read 10 classics next year and read them all in one month because I’ll be in a mood for them, or I won’t read them for three years and it will feel like a chore. The Classics Club says to pick books (at least 50) that you want to read over the next 5 years. If anything this isn’t really a challenge, more of here’s a list of books “I picked out for myself that I’ve always wanted to read or reread and if I don’t write them down I will forget.” Speaking on that. A lot of these are re-reads from books I loved as a kid and want to re-visit, books I was supposed to read at some point, and books that I love the author and want to experience more of their work and never got around to it.

I don’t really envision this taking me 5 years. A lot of these books are very short, or they’re poems, or children’s books. I have a few toughies on here but nothing overwhelming. The plan is to have them all done by December 28, 2020.

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Villa America


Villa America – Liza Klaussmann /// Adult – Historical Fiction

So I’ll start by saying Yay! Historical fiction is always a hit-or-miss for me and I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve read a hit. For everything I didn’t like about this book there was a kajillion other things I did like so it was well worth the read for me.  The book centers on the lives of Sara and Gerald Murphy, the real-life inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. So excitement all around for the 1920s drinking scene.

The story being with Gerald and Sara Murphy’s childhood, marriage, and their family life as they move from the States to the French Riviera in the 1920’s where they built their escape that they called Villa America. They were members of the Lost Generation and partied with the Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Cole Porter, and countless others. Even though the Murphy’s lived these glamorous lives they were incredibly stable and loving people surrounded by madness.

So I’ll start with what I loved. The parties and the other people. The parties were the greatest thing to read ever. From the glamour to just everyone being drunk and gossiping. Historical gossip is the best gossip and I loved every minute of it. This leads into my next point, I cared a lot more about the other people than the Murphy’s, who are fabulous in their own way, but for the majority they are our eyes into this other life. They get swept in the glamour but they are so stable. Compared to everyone and everything else they are almost boring. Halfway through, I found myself becoming bored with their (very sweet) scenes together. I craved the scenes with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is probably half due to the fact that that they were the excitement caring the story forward for me, and also because Zelda Fitzgerald is one of the most interesting people and just continues to fascinate me.

Now what I didn’t love, but I see that plenty of people do, is the addition of the character of Owen. In understand why he is there (sorta) but holy wow is he so one-dimension. When reading the book I had a clear picture in my head of all of the scenes and the parties and the people while he was just almost a stick figure in my head. This might just be my own personal bias because he wasn’t a “real” person so I wasn’t as already attached to him. I will say, I do like Liza Klaussmann added him to highlight the rumors that surrounded Gerald’s sexuality. It was a lot more fun to see Gerald question things with another person than read a snotty old women gossip about him.

Favorite Quotes

“But wine will get you further than flattery with this crowd.” 

“Everything is better when you share it, I think. That flow of ideas between different people, the chaos of it all, makes life so exciting. And when someone new comes in, the chemistry changes and you see things in people you hadn’t seen before.” 

“I don’t think you’ve ever had a second-rate moment in your life”


 Probably not but it made me want to reread Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler (so there’s that)

Final Thoughts

This book is a great addition for anyone who is a fan of the 1920’s art scene and a sweet love story. Definitely worth a first read and I will probably read the books she mentions in the acknowledgements that she read for research.

The Rory Gilmore Book Challenge

The the majority of my life I was obsessed with Gilmore Girls. To an extent I still am. In jr. high and high school my mom and I watched it religiously and once I left for college my roommate and I would record the episodes on abc family every morning to watch that night when we wrote our papers like the extremely attentive students we were.

Anyway, for awhile now I’ve seen Rory Gilmore’s Book List keep popping up on my pinterest feed. This comprehensive list names every single book Rory ever read or mentioned during all 7 (ugh) seasons of Gilmore Girls. This list has 338 of them. There are several lists floating around with different numbers but this is the one I am going with. A lot of these listed are movies, and they were probably referring to the movie, but i’ll attempt to read them anyways…or maybe watch the movie.

I don’t really ever plan on finishing this list, but I think it will fun to try. Some of the books are ones I will never read and I’m not even going to pretend like I will, but maybe one day. I’ve crossed off the books I’ve read and will continue to keep you all updated. Happy Reading 🙂

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Top Ten 2016 Debut Novels I’m Looking Forward To


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is…

2016 Debut Novels I’m Looking Forward To*…

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon

  • When: January 28, 2016 (expected)
  • What: England, 1976. Mrs Creasy is missing and ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands and try to solve the mystery.

A Study In Charlotte -Brittany Cavallaro

  • When: March 1, 2016 (expected)
  • What: The grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet at a Connecticut prep school where they are framed for a murder. Conducting their own investigation, mystery ensues.

Tuesday Nights in 1980 – Molly Prentiss

  • When: April 5, 2016 (expected)
  • What: A critic, an artist, and their shared muse find their way among the New York City art scene of the 1980s.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Ed Tarkington

  • When: January 5, 2016 (expected)
  • What: 1977. Eight-year-old Rocky worships his older brother, Paul. Then one day, in an act of vengeance against their father, Paul picks up Rocky from school and nearly abandons him in the woods. Fast forward and Rocky is now a teenager when a double murder brings terror to their small town.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses – Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

  • When: February 23, 2016 (expected)
  • What: Intertwining stories of four teenagers in 1970 Alaska just trying to get by and become who they want to be.

Kill the Boy Band – Goldy Moldavsky

  • When: February 23, 2016 (expected)
  • What: The story of four friends who are so devoted to their favorite boy band that it has murderous results. Supposedly going to be a dark comedy.

The Year We Fell Apart – Emily Martin

  • When: January 26, 2016 (expected)
  • What: Harper and Declan have a falling out, but when Harper’s mom gets a cancer diagnosis she needs someone to turn to and she wishes it could be Declan. They must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

Scarlet Epstein Hates It Here – Anna Breslaw

  • When: April 19, 2016 (expected)
  • What: When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, she talks about the kids she goes to school with. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them.

Blackhearts – Nicole Castroman

  • When: February 9, 2016 (expected)
  • What: The story of Blackbeard the pirate as a young man. Nothing could stop him from chasing the adventure he craves, until he met the one girl who would change everything.

The Girl Who Fell – Shannon M. Parker

  • When: March 1, 2016 (expected)
  • What: Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying? But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed. So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life. If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

*most of the summaries were summarized from the Goodreads synopsis