A Little Reading Nook Inspiration

If you follow me on any social media, you know that on Friday, I was hit by the flu. Well, both Forrest and I were hit by the flu. Having a toddler get so sick is bad enough. But trying to take care of him while simultaneously being taken down by a 103 degree fever is even worse. Nothing anyone can say will fully prepare you for the moment you just can't get off the couch to stop your toddler from throwing every book over the baby gate. But it happens. We've made it through the worst of it. All Forrest has left is a small cough; he's finally eating again (thank goodness!). 

I, on the other hand, can't sleep at night I cough so much and my throat hurts so bad. I have absolutely no voice (try ordering a tea at Starbucks with no voice, it's fun for everyone!). But we're making it through. 

One thing that fell by the wayside over the weekend was, obviously, my blog. I thought and thought about what I should try to post and one thing that came to mind was... reading nooks. 

I've been reading a lot since I got sick. When I wake up in the middle of the night and slather myself with Vick's VapoRub, I often read for an hour until I get sleep again. Looking at reading nooks on Pinterest is also a great way to pass those wee morning hours until everyone else wakes up. 

So here's a little fun reading nook inspiration. Just because it's fun to imagine. 

I definitely have a preferred "look" when it comes to reading nooks. This one (source) is pretty much perfect. The natural wood, tons of books, a bed. I could sleep there. Forever. It's very "cupboard under the stairs" in terms of size, but looks way cozier than Harry Potter's former bedroom. 

That being said, I'm really into these two opposing nooks: you can roll from your computer nook to your reading nook. The window seat reading nook is super popular and you can find tons of options for it on Pinterest. To tour the entire house that features these nooks, click here

Let's get back to my aesthetic, however. If I had to have the flu anywhere, I'd prefer to have it here. Because it's just... better than anywhere else. A big comfy bed and a bunch of books (plus maybe some DayQuil and a few boxes of tissues and someone to bring me tea) would be much better than chasing a toddler and falling asleep on the couch while he watches BabyFirst TV. You can check out an entire Buzzfeed article of these beauties here

I had to include one more just for practicality. When it comes to reading nooks, ones that also act as bookshelves are genius. I love this style and could for sure see myself sleeping there for several days in a row. I couldn't find an original source for this, but you can view the Pin from Pinterest here

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Book Review: "Four of a Kind," by Kellie Sheridan

I started this book fully prepared to dislike it. Between the cover and the description, it seemed like a lot of Bad Waiting to Happen. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Which just goes to show, you can't judge a book by its cover. 

Disclaimer: A received a copy for an honest review from NetGalley. Also, this review does contain spoilers. 

Yes, there is a little bit that could do to be changed. Mainly, the quads' R-names really should have been rethought; I still can't 100% tell the difference between Reilly and Reece. Realistically, new parents of identical quadruplet girls would not name all of them incredibly similar sounding names: Reilly, Reece, Reagan, and Rhiannon. That was the first unbelievable hurdle to jump over (never mind the statistical possibility of identical quadruplets, all of whom are perfectly fine with no lasting difficulties from, I don't know, sharing a womb). 

Another difficulty was the fact that occasionally, the book does veer into sounding just a little too try hard, including the moments when Reagan seems to slip into seeming, well, too much like a narrator. I think that's one of the biggest downsides of the book; occasionally, Reagan will think something that is so incredibly not something a teenager would think about themselves (such as "Curse my teenage hormones!" What teenager says that!?) that it takes you out of the moment entirely. Basically, Reagan's internal dialogue often did not feel natural or normal, probably because of editing.  

The one thing I will say is that it felt like the book ended just a little too abruptly. It was quite a short book; I read it in a total of perhaps 4 hours. It felt like towards the middle a lot of random "drama" happened, such as Reece dyeing her hair and Rhiannon disappearing. Regarding that second incident, I think Reagan's non-anger at Rhiannon was the most disappointing part of the book; talk about being untrue to teenagers! Rhiannon's behavior lead to Reagan having to abandon her first ever date--what a dick move for her sister to pull. It was an incredibly important moment for Reagan and actually felt like the climax of the novel: Reagan, who is shy and nerdy, is on a date with a guy she really likes. That's the ultimate end-game for Reagan, what her narration has been about essentially since the beginning. And instead of anything happening, the moment is ruined, about 5 minutes in, by her sister's disappearance. And we're supposed to believe that Reagan isn't mad?  

Any teenager, or adult, honestly, would be livid, but Reagan was just "too good" for that. It's those moments where she slips (alongside her parents and sisters) into being just a little "too perfect," just a little idealized. I wanted some messiness from Reagan, but it didn't happen. There were a few moments like this where the reactions of characters seemed to be just too fake and unrealistic. No one, absolutely no one, reacts to teenagers breaking rules with, "Well, maybe we need to readjust the rules." No, if my kid disappeared and turned off her phone, she'd be getting grounded until summer at the very least. But not Rhiannon's parents!

Then, after Rhiannon came back and Reagan got to do a date re-do, the book ends. We get a brief scene where Reagan acts in a play, but that's it. It's a bit anticlimactic; there is no big action that creates tension or changes things. Things seem... the same as when the book started, plus a boyfriend. Maybe Rhiannon's disappearance is meant to be the climax, but it didn't feel like it; Reagan found her within 10 minutes of starting to look, so, you know. 

All this being said, it wasn't an entirely unpleasant book to read; I would definitely recommend it as the start of a series to younger readers (I'd say it's definitely written at around 6th or 7th grade level).

A few additional notes: this book does win points for attempting to include a diverse cast. Based on descriptions, Reagan's love interest, Kurt, appears to be biracial (it's never explicitly stated) and one of the quadruplets (Reilly) identifies as gay. These are just two examples. It is always difficult to praise diversity in a book that centers around four, beautiful, identical, white girls, but alas, I have to give Kellie Sheridan credit for at least including diverse characters, even if they are secondary in this novel. (From my understanding, this is the first in a series about the quadruplets. Here's to hoping for more in the sequels!) 

What I'm Reading: April 2016

Ages and ages ago, I used to do weekly link round ups of what I've been reading and enjoying on the internet. I think it's time for this practice to return--especially as I spend more and more time curating content for my personal life and my professional life. Here's what's been on my (internet) plate lately! 

Got any good links or great reads for me? Share on Twitter

I Set a Goal to Read 100 Books in 2015 & I Have No Idea Why

A book a week is hard, but sane. Two books a week is self-sabotage, obviously. 

A book a week is hard, but sane. Two books a week is self-sabotage, obviously. 

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. When I was younger, I used to worry about how the small choices I made throughout the day could impact my life later; as a child, this meant I would sometimes wonder if a choice I made, like between ice cream or a cookie for a snack, could impact me later on. Like if I chose the ice cream, I'd be okay; but if I chose the cookie, it would start a sequence of events that could hurt me. I don't know why I thought this way, but I did and it's an idea that's followed me forever. I've occasionally attributed big mistakes or big accidents to little decisions I made that really had nothing to do with anything at all, probably because of my childhood theory. 

What I'm trying to say is: I've made a lot of mistakes and sometimes, I blame them on weird things. 

Take, for example, my typing in "100" in the little box on Goodreads for my 2015 reading goal. I felt really ill on Friday; my legs hurt, my throat started to hurt, I was uncomfortable and cranky and feverish. I didn't feel good, so I ate a lot of chocolate and ice cream. Clearly, this junk food binge lead me down a path towards a moment of temporary insanity because as I was selecting books I wanted to read on Goodreads, it really did seem like a good idea to pledge myself to reading 100 books in the coming year. 

Ha! I'm a fool. 100 books? Madness. 

Saturday morning, having woken up with an even worse sore throat and a fever, I set myself to quietly drinking coffee and making a list of 100 books to read in 2015. The fever had obviously lengthened my brief moment of insanity. However, as I wrote out a list of 100 books, it started to dawn on me that... 100 is a lot. It's 2 and 1/4 pages typed in a list. It's 100 books, Michelle, what were you thinking??? 

The deed is done though and once I announce something (and by hitting "save" on Goodreads, I announced it plenty), I don't back down. It's about honor now. Principle. Dignity. 

So I started to fool myself into it, as I continued writing my list of books: "100 books isn't that many, really. I mean, two a week! You can read two books a week! You've read way more than two books a week before." This is true; I can easily read two books a week if I already own those books. But buying two books a week and reading them and having time for, um, everything else??? That's a lot to ask of myself. 

It's been done though. I have a list of 100 books. In 2015, I'm going to read 100 books. To follow my progress (or, um, lack thereof), you can add me on Goodreads