Another month has come and gone! Let’s dive into what I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to over the last few weeks! You may just find some new books to read, shows to watch, or playlists and podcasts to enjoy.
Summer Nights Series by Lauren Mae and Rosalie Rooks
Each book in the Summer Nights Series follows a member of a tight knit friend group in her search for love. The characters are engaging and each of the stories are well written! If you like a good “beach read” style book, then give this series a try!
And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, they are currently available for free with your membership!
The Catch follows Cat and Josh who meet by chance while each are on a beach vacation with their respective friend groups. Can they turn their little beach romance into something more when they leave vacay behind and return to the real world?
The Rules follows Dani and Dylan who are Cat and Josh’s best friends. They start out as friends with benefits but things quickly progress into even more.
The Exception follows Sonya and Trav who have a chance encounter on an airplane and then end up working at the same hospital. Talk about awkward!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was my February book club read. Since it’s February and our book club meeting was so close to Valentine’s Day, we went with a romance for the month. I love a love story, so I was really happy with our theme!
Now, I don’t say this too often, but I was not a fan of this book at all. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out!
First of all, I want to say there was absolutely nothing wrong with the writing. My beef with this book is more about the story line and what I consider to be a lack of commitment to the plot.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is about a woman named Nina Hill (duh!), who works in a bookstore, lives a very busy life (she belongs to three or four book clubs, is on a trivia team, and does lots of other things), and then finds out about her long lost family after the father she never knew passes away. With all this happening, Nina also starts to kinda sorta maybe (I’m not really buying it) fall for one of the men on the rival trivia team.
There’s a lot going on in this story, so much so, that I felt like the author never full committed to any of the story lines. Her romantic interest is barely present in the book (and the time they do spend together is weird) and her family has all these issues for 95% of the book and then suddenly everything is peachy keen.
All that to say, it wasn’t my favorite book. If you have read it or do end up reading it, I would love to hear your thoughts! One woman in my book club loves this book, so I may just not be the ideal audience for it.
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Over the last month, I read the first four books in the Bridgerton series and plan to read the fifth book very soon!
I’ve wanted to read the Bridgerton series ever since the first season of the show came out on Netflix in late 2020. I got serious about reading the books when the premiere date for season two was announced for late March.
If you’ve seen the TV show, then you’ll be just as surprised by the differences in the books as I was. I was most surprised by how the books only focus on the two main characters (a Bridgerton sibling and their chosen partner) as opposed to the show, which has so many different story lines.
And Lady Whistledown! The show gives away so much more about her than the books do! In the show, you find out who she is in season one, but you have to wait much longer in the book series.
The Duke and I is Daphne and Simon’s love story. Following Daphne’s books, the rest of the series is in the birth order of the Bridgerton siblings, which also happens to be alphabetical order too.
The Viscount Who Loved Me features Anthony and Kate.
An Offer from a Gentleman features Benedict and Sophie.
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton features Colin and Penelope. Of all the books, this one was the one I was most looking forward to. If you haven’t seen the show or read the books, I don’t want to completely spoil them for you by saying why.
Novels by Alexis Daria
I’ve seen both of the below novels shared on a ton of different book recommendation lists and bookstagram accounts over the last few months. I recently checked my Libby app (how I get Kindle books from my local library) and both were available to borrow without having to wait. How great is that?
The characters and stories in each of these books are intriguing and engaging! Both also feature creative excerpts like scenes from Jasmine and Ashton’s show or instant messages + chapters from a fan fiction book that Michelle and Gabe wrote together.
You Had Me at Hola follows Jasmine and Ashton—two Latinx actors who find themselves starring opposite each other on a new TV show that could propel both of them to new professional heights. There’s just one problem though, Ashton has a big secret that he’s trying his best to keep from everyone. Including Jasmine, who he’s getting closer and closer to every day.
A Lot Like Adiós follows Jasmine’s cousin Michelle as she reconnects with her childhood friend Gabe. What starts out as a professional working relationship between the two soon turns into more as old feelings pop up and the two reminisce about their past.
On my TBR (to be read) List
Here are a few books that are currently on my “to be read” list that I look forward to diving into soon.
- Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- Bridgerton Series, Book 5: To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn
So I’ve been reading a ton recently and haven’t watched as many new shows. Also, the Winter Olympics are happening. So if I’m watching TV, that’s usually what I have on.
The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime
Fantasy isn’t usually my go-to genre, but I do enjoy it from time to time. This new show is based on a book series that my brother has read and really enjoyed. He and my sister-in-law watched the show, and recommended that I give it a try too.
Well, I’m loving it! The first season just came out in November 2021 and has eight episodes. I’ve seen seven of the episodes so far and can’t wait to watch the eighth one soon.
So what is it about? Well, its about a lot. There are mythical creatures, magic, a journey, a prophecy, and much more. Get the full synopsis from Amazon themselves. I don’t think I could really paint a great picture of it for you.
I will say this: It’s good. A little bit like Game of Thrones without nearly as much violence or nudity.
As I mentioned in last month’s Read, Watch, & Listen post, I LOVE the Olympics!
The stories, the endurance, the drama! Ah! What a good time! My favorite winter sport is figure skating, but I’ve also been enjoying snowboarding and skiing too. Honestly, I’ll watch any of it!
I’ve seen Team USA win a few golds as well, which I always find incredibly powerful! I’m an emotional basket-case, especially when I get to watch people achieve their dreams. Wow!
Alright, so I’ve just told you what I’m currently watching. Now, here’s a small list of what I look forward to watching in the coming weeks.
- Outlander, Season 6: premiering on March 6 (Outlander is my all-time favorite show!)
- Bridgerton, Season 2: premiering on March 25
- The Witcher: My brother said that if I enjoyed The Wheel of Time, that I should watch this next.
I haven’t listened to a ton of new things recently, but I do have a couple to share today. If you want more audio recommendations, check out my other Read, Watch, & Listen posts.
I’m not really sure how I came across this podcast. I think it was recommended during a recent webinar. Anyway, somehow I found it and listened to the episode on friendship.
Adult friendships are a funny thing, and something that’s being talked about a ton recently.
In this episode, Emma reflects on friendships and shares her six criteria of what she thinks makes up a good friendship. She also answers a few listener questions at the end.
While listening to this episode, I really thought about and analyzed my own friendships. It was thought provoking for sure!
Similar to the Country Coffeehouse playlist, the Totally Stress Free playlist is just something that Spotify picked and played for me one day. Spotify knew what they were doing when they picked this one for me, because I love it!
As described by Spotify, it is a collection of “easy, upbeat songs.” Sounds good, right? I listen to this playlist most often when I am working or on the weekends when I’m crafting.
When researching for this blog post, I realized that someone seems to update this playlist regularly to keep things from going stale. Isn’t that nice?
So, if you’re looking for something relaxing, give the Totally Stress Free playlist a listen!
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