How Not To Die Alone
Book Recommendations / May 15, 2019

How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper was my book of the month. I would place the book in the humorous fiction category, with a bit of dark humor mixed in. If you have enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will love How Not To Die Alone. Richard Roper is able to touch on the subjects of death, grief, loneliness, and bittersweet friendship while still maintaining a light mood that kept me laughing all the way through. “Andrew could think of many things he’d rather be doing that evening-most of them involving his testicles, some jam, and some aggrieved hornets…” – Roper, Page 115 Andrew works for the city council. He has the lovely job of going to people’s houses who have died in their district without anyone being aware that they were even gone. After the body is taken away, it’s Andrew’s job to hunt through what is left of their life to find next of kin and the money required to cover the funeral costs. If he finds no family, Andrew attends every funeral as an act of service for those who have passed alone, unnoticed. A fairly distressing job, but thankfully, he gets to return…

No Exit by Taylor Adams
Uncategorized / April 22, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams is a thriller set in the Colorado Rockies. It is 333 pages, but as a disclaimer, I read all 333 of them in about three or four hours. I received No Exit through Book of the Month Club, and it was released in December of 2018. Before we start, let me provide some background. No Exit revolves around Darby, a college student who is racing through a snow storm in order to see her dying mother. She gets stranded at a remote rest stop without any cell reception. There are four strangers inside, and at first Darby believes that this will just be an annoying night, until she goes outside and finds a child locked in a cage in one of the vehicles. One of the strangers is a kidnapper…but which one? No Exit has sat on my shelf since I received it the first week of December. I was in the middle of other books at the time, and then was gifted 12 books for Christmas, so I had a bit of other reading that was more important. At this point I’ve read every book I own besides No Exit and Lost and Wanted…

Best Books to Read 2018
Book Recommendations , Books / April 17, 2019

For this weeks Spring Reading Challenge, you are supposed to read a book that was on your list in 2018. I had a lot of books on my list, because my book list is always running about 50 books long (even more now that I have gotten into the blogging community!). Thankfully I worked through quite a few of them once I moved 5 minutes from my favorite bookstore in August, but there are still a lot! Here are just a few from my list that I still have yet to read in 2019. Title: Call Me By Your Name Author: Andre Aciman Length: 256 Pages Genre: LGBT Literary Fiction Synopsis: The book that the critically acclaimed movie of the same name is based on, Call Me By Your Name is the story of a beautiful and unexpected romance that crops up between a young boy and a guest at his parent’s mansion. With the gorgeous scenery and intense passion between them, the young lovers must decide whether or not they will go into territory previously unknown. Title: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Author: Caitlin Doughty Length: 272 Pages Genre: Sociology of Death Synopsis: Caitlin Doughty takes her degree in…

In Cold Blood By Truman Capote
Book Recommendations , Books / April 15, 2019

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a true crime novel set in Holcomb Kansas, 1959. It is 343 pages long (though it felt longer at some points due to the details that are involved in the story). Capote has received praise as well as criticism for his work on In Cold Blood. Obviously the most important aspect of a true crime novel is the crime that it resolves around. In Cold Blood tells the story and details of one of the most famous murder cases in Kansas history. On November 15th, 1959, four members of the Clutter family are murdered in their own home. Their bodies are discovered by family friends; the cause of death is shotgun blasts at close range. There are few clues, and no apparent motive. In Cold Blood was my first true crime novel, and I was really looking forward to enjoying it. Which I did, only in a different way than I expected to. I am a fan of mysteries and thrillers, and for whatever reason was expecting the true crime to be the same. So I was slightly disappointed when Capote starts narrating from the killers perspective within the first few chapters. I…

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Book Review
Book Recommendations , Books / April 14, 2019

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is a historical fiction novel set after September 11th, 2001 in New York City. It is approximately 368 pages. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close became a major motion picture in 2011. Foer is also the author of Everything Is Illuminated. Most of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is narrated by nine year old Oskar, who is socially awkward and we can assume may have some developmental issues as well. The book leads you through his grieving process as he comes to term with the fact that his father was one of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The only thing that Oskar has left of his father are several voice messages that he left the morning of the attack, and a key that he found in the closet in his parents room. Oskar is convinced that this key was meant for him to find, and that if he can search for the lock it belongs to he will have uncovered a secret message from his father. Foer takes the reader on a journey with Oskar as he travels throughout New York City, overcoming his fear of talking to people, public transportation,…

Best Books to Read on Vacation
Book Recommendations , Books / April 10, 2019

This week for my Spring 2019 Reading Challenge, we are going to look at a book that is set in a city you have been to. I was trying to think of the best way to do this for all of my international readers, and decided that I would find the top traveled to cities of 2018, and provide books from there. If you would like to see a full list, visit Business Insiders post on most traveled to cities! Bangkok, Thailand A Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz, and it is all seen by a group of witnesses. Among the witnesses are two cops…but one is murdered within the hour. The other, Sonchai Jitpleecheep is set on revenge. Bangkok 8 follows Jitpleecheep and his partner Jones, a beautiful FBI agent, as they go through the illegal and sinister world of underground Bangkok. London, UK Tom Hazard seems like an ordinary 41 year old man in London. He’s a high school history teacher and on his first day, meets the French teacher and is immediately smitten. There is only two problems: First, Tom has a disease that makes him age slowly, and he…

Crisis Helplines for Mental Health
Anxiety , Mental Health / April 7, 2019

I believe that it is important for all mental health platforms to have a place where help is available. I would love if these numbers were shared with friends and family, because they are SO important. Crisis helplines can help in times of distress and anxiety, as well as depressive and suicidal moments. United States Crisis Helplines for Mental Health: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) This hotline available 24 hours a day, and should be used if you are having suicidal thoughts. It can provide free emotional support and crisis intervention. Crisis Text line: Text “home” to 741741 This text line is a bit more discrete, and there are counselors available on the other end to talk you through emotional distress and make sure that you stay safe. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) This helpline can assist if you decide that you are prepared to take the next steps in your recovery. They have a locator for information on treatment providers, therapists, and even support groups. National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) This helpline is only available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday-Friday. They will answer general questions on…

Books With Over 300 Pages
Book Recommendations , Books / April 4, 2019

Now we come to our next week of the Spring Reading Challenge: books that are over 300 pages. If you would like to see the first two weeks of the Spring Reading Challenge, you can find them here, and here. I thought that finding books I loved over 300 pages would be easy…which it was in a way. I found that a lot of books that I love dearly are just under 300 pages (Death Be Not Proud I am looking at you!), and that I have loved A LOT of books that are well over 300 pages. Therefore, narrowing them down was quite difficult. These are the ten books that I chose to represent the over 300 pages club, some I chose because they are classic, well known and loved masterpieces, some because the books are brilliant but possibly not well known, and others because they were just released a month ago, I’ve already read them, and I love them. Author: M. R. Carey Length: 448 Pages Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Summary: This book is thrilling, sad, and beautiful. Melanie is the star of The Girl With All The Gifts; every morning, the guards come and collect her from…

Books Set in Each State
Book Recommendations , Books / March 28, 2019

It is week two of the Spring Reading Challenge, which means it is time for reading a book set in your state. I won’t be long winded, because this will be a long post, but here are my suggestions for books set in all of the 50 states. If you are from outside the states, feel free to pick a book from a state you would like to visit (or have visited!), or just pick your favorite! Alabama: Sorry, Alabama, you can’t escape the classics. I would be foolish to not mention To Kill a Mockingbird. The story of a young girl who’s father risks everything to defend a black man who has been convicted of an awful crime in the South, it is a story that everyone should enjoy. Alaska: The Great Alone really brings together everything about Alaska. When former prisoner of war Ernt moves his family to Alaska, at first his wife and daughter are excited for the adventure. But then winter settles, and they learn the mental and physical strain of living in such a wild and beautiful land. Arizona: Taylor Greer just wants to avoid getting pregnant and move on to better things. Then she…

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I was not planning on writing a blog post on books today, I really wasn’t. I had a fun mental health post planned (look for that later in the week!). However, last night, I had my life changed. At about 7:00 PM, I opened The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. At 11:10, I walked out of my bedroom, all 323 pages complete, and exploded to my husband about how this was the best debut novel I have ever read (Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is probably a close second). I just had to write a review on this book, I couldn’t go to bed tonight in good conscience without sharing how amazing it was with all of you guys. So this is what I thought of The Silent Patient, and why it blew me away. The Synopsis Alicia Berenson lives an incredible life. She is a famous painter with her own studio in her backyard, married to the handsome fashion photographer Gabriel, who she is madly in love with. A large house in London overlooking a beautiful park, everything seems perfect. Until August 25th, when Gabriel returns home late from a photo shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in…

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