October Highlights

October was a big month for me. I dealt with a lot of different transitions as my husband and I entered our second month of living in the States. I revamped my blog, I discovered a lot of things about myself, and I came to some conclusions about where I want the future to take me.

Here are some of my highlights from the month of October:

I read 10 books this month!
thegeographyofyouandme dearmrknightley Adobe Photoshop PDF peterpanannotated
   lola isla grimmlegacy grimmmemories
I have now exceeded my 2014 reading challenge goal of 45 books by reading 65 total.

Favorite Read:
secondchancesummer

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

As always, Morgan Matson’s writing impacted me deeply. This book more so than her other two. It’s one of those books that I label as “life-changing.”

Least Favorite Read:
theoneandonly

The One and Only by Emily Giffin

Normally I don’t post negative reviews, but I couldn’t even finish reading Emily Giffin’s latest book. It’s really long, slow-moving, and morally questionable.

Favorite TV Show:
As hinted at by this post, my husband and I started watching Supernatural and we’re hooked! We’re already halfway through the second season. I love Sam & Dean!

But on a lighter note, Green Gables Fables is my favorite current YouTube series and a couple of weeks ago they released this video which has been my favorite of the series so far. If you’re not familiar with Anne of Green Gables, this is the follow-up to my favorite scene from the book.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/r732LUuTiEk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Most Popular Post:
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Totally Want To Be For Halloween
But my post on Sleepy Hollow last year was also really popular this month.

Favorite Memories From October:

  • Trick-or-Treaters!! This is probably the first Halloween I was able to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, and I never thought I would enjoy it so much! At first I was worried we wouldn’t have any kids come by, because this neighborhood is fairly small and out in the middle of the woods. But we actually had quite a lot! And they all had such amazing and cute costumes. And Solo was there to greet each kid that said “Trick-or-Treat!” and I think they were more into petting him than getting any candy :)
  • This month I also got to spend a lot of time with my family, which I really needed. Even though we didn’t do anything big or exciting, it as a lot of fun just watching football with my dad and brother, going shopping with my mom, and going to the movies or out to dinner with everyone.
  • Earlier in October Matt finally received his green card! Now if only we could find jobs…

November To Be Read:

thetroublewithflirting thebeautifulamerican waroftheworlds
                    loveunexpected amostinconvenientmarriage

Things I’m Looking Forward To In November:

  • This week I have a job interview! It’s my first positive result from my job search so far. I’ve applied to so many jobs and received a few negative responses, but yesterday I finally received some good news. I know nothing is guaranteed yet, but it’s still encouraging to make it this far.
  • Next weekend is YALL Fest! It’s my first book conference/event and I’m going with my friend Regina @ The Sunflower Pages. There will be several of my favorite authors there, but I think I’m most excited about Rainbow Rowell and Ann Brashares. I’ll post all about it afterwards!
  • This is the month of THANKSGIVING! Last year I did my daily 30 Days of Thankfulness posts, which I won’t be doing again this year, but I encourage you all to think about what you’re thankful for this month & to share those things with others :) I’m thankful for my family, because without them I’d be lonely, miserable, and homeless.

What were some of your favorite highlights from October?

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wrap Up!

readathonYesterday I participated in my first 24 hour read-a-thon! I didn’t get to start reading until 7 hours after the official start time, but I ended up reading for about 10 hours straight, so I felt satisfied with that :)

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 18. That’s when I decided to call it a night. I got to that place where I kept having to refocus my eyes and my thoughts kept wandering :/ Next time I may drink some coffee or do some jumping jacks.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Anything fast-paced or action packed. My husband, who rarely reads, starting reading The Maze Runner yesterday and he was up as late as I was because he couldn’t put it down. Next year I’ll try reading something more suspenseful.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, not really. I didn’t do any of the mini challenges or tweet much with anyone online, so I can’t really give any input in that area. I’m sure everything was great though :)
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The advertising and preparation leading up to the big day.
  5. How many books did you read? I finished the second half of one book, read the first half of another, and read the first several chapters of a third.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Lola and the Boy Next Door (finished), Peter Pan (read the first half), and Isla and the Happily Ever After (started).
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I enjoyed them all, really.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? ^^
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I saw lots of praise for the cheerleaders so that’s good :) I only blogged once during the read-a-thon so I didn’t really hear much from any cheerleaders. If I had blogged more I’m sure that would have been different.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? 100% likely! The next read-a-thon in April will probably be easier for me…Saturdays in autumn are usually filled with football games, and yesterday was a big game day for my Alma Mater FSU :)

Did you participate in the Read-a-Thon? I’m so happy I did! The next one is in April and I’m already excited about it :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn Reads (plus some life updates!)

toptentuesday

Scroll down to see my belated Top Ten Tuesday list for “Autumn Reads,” but in the meantime here’s a little update about what has been going on in my life lately:

Please forgive me for my very long and unannounced hiatus! I meant to write a post about all of the changes in my life these past couple of months, but I never could seem to find time to pen them all out. For those of you who know me in real life, or if you converse with me regularly, you know that a little over a month ago my husband and I moved back to the U.S.

It had been long-expected for us and for our close friends and family (we bought plane tickets back in May), but we didn’t make any big announcements until shortly before the actual move. The reason I am just now writing on my blog about it is because I’ve been in a conundrum about its future. Obviously, the title An American in France is no longer appropriate, but my ties to France are still very strong considering my husband is French and we do plan on moving back there one day. But this gives me an opportunity to change not only the title of my blog but the theme as well. I’d love to still blog about French things, but I also enjoy blogging about books, so I am brainstorming new title options. For now, I will keep blogging on An American in France, and I will do my best to be more regular about posting (I really do miss blogging and reading all of your blogs as well!). If you are really talented with thinking of blog titles, please share with me your ideas in the comments below! I’d really appreciate any input :)

And now, the fun stuff! (yay for Top Ten lists!)

Top Ten Books I Plan To Read This Autumn

I actually made this list back at the start of autumn, so half of these I have already read, but they fit the category nonetheless.

autumnreads1

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson – I read this novel in early September, actually, but it’s the perfect type of suspense novel to keep you interested this autumn. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this book, and the end is so creepy it stayed on my mind for a couple of months after I finished it. There’s also a movie version with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong coming out on Halloween of all days! But, as always, read the book first :)

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – This summer I went through a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants phase and read the entire series over the course of a few weeks. I had never read it before, and I had always thought the movies were pretty cheesy, but the series greatly blew my expectations. I loved each of the books, but this last one in particular, which is definitely NOT a young adult book like it’s predecessors, was my absolute favorite. If you’re familiar with the series, and even if you aren’t, this book will break your heart and then stitch it back up just when you think all hope is lost. It’s definitely a somber read, perfect for those grey autumn afternoons.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I guess this book would be great to read during any season. It takes place during Christmas, but in California where it always feels like summer. And like Rainbow Rowell’s other novels, it deals with broken people, another autumn-appropriate theme. I read Rowell’s first novel, Attachments, earlier this year and so far it may just be my favorite book I’ve read all year. Landline has her same adult fiction style (which I prefer over her YA style), and you’ll be laughing, crying, and hoping for a happy ending.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall – Ok, this is probably more of a summer read, but it takes place during an entire school year so it does have some “Back to School” themes as well. The title of this novel fits perfectly. It’s a love story told through the eyes of 14 other people (including an animal and an inanimate object), and it’s totally swoon worthy. The main characters are awkward and loveable and will have you laughing and gushing as they trip and fall over themselves.

annaandthefrenchkiss

Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins – Another set of books that I would normally save for the summer but which also fit the back to school theme (at least the first one does. I haven’t read the other two yet). I’ve heard so much about these books, and maybe that gave me too high expectations because I didn’t find Anna and the French Kiss as amazing as everyone said it was. So hopefully the next two are more intriguing.

autumnreads2

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares – I saw this beautiful book cover all over the bookstores in France this summer and since then I’ve been dying to read it (I’m a stickler for pretty book covers, another reason I loved A Little Something Different). It’s kinda science-fictiony, another type of book I like to read during this season.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This book has been on my TBR list allllll year and I finally started it not too long ago. Most people know how this book goes so all I’m going to say is that I hope I finish reading it before Christmas ;)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Another book-to-screen story that I’d like to read before it leaves theaters. I’ve been on the hold-list at my library for about a month now…

There’s my TBR list for this autumn! Have you read any of these books yet? Oh, and if you have any spooky suspenseful book recommendations, please leave a comment for me! I’m looking for good Halloween reads :)