book nook kick-off | 6 books in 1!

I have always been a bookworm. I was hands down that kid who would spend summer vacations reading away. Returning to school meant a crisp certificate with a shiny gold star, because I had read so many books over the summer. Admittedly, there was a time in my life when I stepped away from my love of books. It probably had something to do with boys, getting a driver’s license, and discovering freedom. But like all great loves, it never dissolved completely, and I’m right back where I was before, getting lost in books, finding a piece of myself within pages, and having books that will stick with me for life. All that to say, I'm introducing a section of my blog that will be known as "book nook". Here I will share my thoughts on books that I read, and I hope you guys will share your thoughts too!  I realized to start this idea, I couldn't just begin with the book I read most recently.. no way! I've read too many good books already. So, I scoured my bookshelf and painstakingly chose 6 previously read books to kind of, kick-off this idea. I hope you enjoy! And stay tuned for more!! 

Dewey – This book, I don’t know if I can even talk about, haha. My awesome mother-in-law, who's also a huge bookworm herself, she is the reason I own this book. Oh, and she's a GENIUS. If you know me well, you know I LOVE animals, especially cats. They are my favorite. Cats make me happy. Pets become like children to me. And my current cat-child, Noah, he means the world to me. For those of you that feel the same way, this book will make you appreciate your pet-child even more than you do now. This book will make you bury your face in their fur and sob – I’m just saying, I never did that or anything. This book, - which is a true story by the way.. Does such an amazingly perfect job at proving that the connection between humans and animals is a fierce one. The story of Dewey, a homeless kitten turned library cat to a small town library in Iowa. His human-mama, her story is gripping as well. Dewey changes her life, and many others, just how I believe animals do, in every way possible. Read it with a box of tissues, and your pet close by.

She’s Come Undone – When I was teenager, I would watch Oprah every day after school. Truthfully I don’t even know why, I have nothing against ol’ Oprah, but her show just isn't my thing. However, Oprah’s Book Club? That was totally my thing. I honestly can’t even remember what age I was, but one afternoon, after school, I was sitting in my small bedroom watching Oprah (probably snacking on Doritos) when her Book Club was being discussed, and the book at hand was She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I don’t remember what exactly Oprah had to say about this book, but I never ever forgot how MOVED she seemed by it. She might have even teared up. She went on and on about how well written it was, how touching, and how relatable it was for women, even though it was written by a man. Years later, on a fateful day, my husband and I were perusing a Goodwill store in search of a couple hideous Hawaiian-looking shirts (it’s a long story) when I realized that Goodwill had a book section. Lo’ & behold, my eyes went straight to the spine of none other than She’s Come Undone, and all that Oprah talk came flooding back into my memory. For 50 cents, it was a sign! I was MEANT to own this book!! Now, let me attempt to sum this up by saying that there are books I've read which grip me to my core, make me sob, and stick with me like glue – This book did ALL those things. The story of a young girl named Dolores who’s life you follow throughout the book and by the time it ends you feel like she’s one of your dearest friends. Her life is pitiful, heart-breaking, and yet inspiring. I rooted for her throughout every page. And when I read those last few sentences to end the book? I sobbed. I mean, sobbed. My wonderful husband likes to hear about the books I read, especially when I’m really enjoying them. The day I had to tell him how this book ended, you want to talk about your voice betraying you?? Ha! I sounded so foreign to myself when my voice cracked, I could barely tell him those last sentences. Trust me, it’s amazing. It ended in SUCH an uplifting way, and I truly felt like Dolores’s life had come full circle. To say that this book has stuck with me is an understatement. Let it be known there are few books I feel as though I truly want to read again and again – but this one? Oh it’s definitely one of them.

The Help – From the moment I heard about this book, I knew I wanted it. It was going to be one of those books that I couldn't just check-out at the library, read and return. No, no. It had to be OWNED. It needed to sit on my bookshelf. And turns out, I was right. The story, the characters, all of it - perfection. Growing up in the south myself, and seeing first hand the separation humans inflict, all due to race, it's insanity. Even in today's time, this is still an issue. This book has SO MUCH voice to this issue, and also to just the way humans treat humans. Stories like this one inspire the crap out of me, the type where you've got one person willing to stand and make a change against something. The bravery. The determination. The outcome. Read it. 

Same Kind of Different As Me - Another book given to me by my oh-so-smart mother-in-law. She knows me y'all, she knows me well. This book is one of those that I'll refer to as a "life-changer", yeah, it's that good. My husband read this book as well and though he isn't a big reader, he himself will'll change your life.
Another true story that  pulls you in and you'll find yourself rooting so hard for the main character, Denver.
This book really follows the lives of a few people, and how their paths intertwine. The difference kindness can make. And the true magic that sparks when people genuinely LOVE one another. 

On The Island - Look at that, another book from my mother-in-law, ha! Ironically enough, my mother-in-law taught school with this author's mother-in-law for years!! Small world, yes?! At first glance, I wasn't sure about this one. But like they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. If you read about this book, right away you'll think to yourself "Oh right, I get it, a boy, a woman, a plane crash, alone on a deserted island. I know how this is going to end" - That's exactly what I thought. But oh how wrong that assumption is. This book is SO much more than that, yeah it follows what you think will be a run of mill story-line...But it goes so much deeper than that. It is so well written, especially for a first time author. And just when you think it's over, it isn't...And how it really did end, was wonderfully perfect. 

Little Women – This is a book that I felt I just had to read, like my life wouldn't be complete until I could say, oh yeah, I've read that. Ya know?? I was a little worried, with its age and writing style, I questioned could I even get through it? But I did. I definitely had chapters where I felt like I didn't even know what I had just read. Paragraphs I had to read a few times over to understand that “old-english” style of writing. But there were also chapters where I was completely engulfed. And moments that made me cry and really get to me. I can’t say that I loved this book, or how it ended, but I’m definitely glad I can now say, "Oh yeah, the classic, Little Women? Yeah, I've read that." To finish out this post, I'll quote a fave line from this book. "Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort it is" - well said, Ms. Alcott, well said.