Books to Read When Your SO is Deployed

…or at bootcamp, or living in another place, or super busy with military life.

These are the books that I read during long stretches of absence, when I need to find comfort in something small. Some of them are fiction, some are not. Some are self help, some are not. I figure it’s good to read a little bit of everything. Because military SO’s need all the help we can get.

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1. How to be Married by Jo Piazza
You don’t have to be married to get the fruits of Piazza’s bare-it-all narrative, but it doesn’t hurt. She goes into the nitty gritty of what it means to choose one person, and then she explores what that means to different cultures. Ultimately, How to be Married shows that there’s no One Way to be together, just do do your best. I’m currently reading this one.

2. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Communication is Hard when your SO isn’t there to talk to face to face. Palmer is an expert at asking for what she wants, and she’s very keen to teach you how in this touching memoir about the music business and art for arts sake. “I trust you this much. Should I? Show me.”

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3. Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Brene Brown has her PhD in vulnerability. Okay, not literally. But she should. This book is super important because it shows us how to rumble with the stories we make up for ourselves, especially the ones based on fear and distance. It’ll teach you how to communicate the stories to your significant other.

4. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Historical, unbelievable, and a true hero’s journey. Sometimes, it’s nice to read about those who came before our SO’s and survived. Admittedly, this one is a bit harrowing, so maybe try it when you know your SO is home and safe if you’re concerned for their safety.

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5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
This one I think is particularly great for Navy SO’s. It’s got time travel, sailing, action, romance. Mostly, it’s a great escape from missing someone. But as someone who loves a sailor, that aspect was really fun for me.

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Do you remember how you fell in love with your SO? All the butterflies in your stomach, the wondering if they felt the same. Those first kisses… This book is sure to remind you of that. Rainbow Rowell is queen of romance in my eyes, and she’s really great at conjuring that “falling in love” feeling.

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My Most Anticipated Summer Reads

2017 Summer Reads

Summer is almost here and I’m super excited to get a ton of reading done while basking in the beaming, hot Florida sunlight. This is my reading list. Some are brand new (or not even out yet) and some I’m finally wanting to get around to. Click on the title for an Amazon link.

1. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen (Out June 2017)
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Out June 2017)
3. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
5. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
6. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
7. A Million Junes by Emily Henry
8. Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook
9. The Dreamer by EJ Mellow
10. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Have you read any of these? Comment below with what you thought.

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

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Continue reading “Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell”

Top Ten Books of 2016

Happy end of 2016!!

I know that this year has been hard, but I for one don’t think it’s been all bad. I met my love, started grad school, and read so many great books.

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So I think it’s time I jumped on the 2016 booklist bandwagon. Here are my top ten reads of 2016:

24724627Debuts:

The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

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True Stories:

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

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Loved the Author:

Forever, Interrupted and One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Lyrically Written:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Wishing you and yours a wonderfully blessed New Year!

Perseverance, or Post We Must

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Man, okay. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to write something today (that would be two days in a row someone check my temperature!) but I’m feeling inspired.

I have to link you guys back to the two blog posts I just read that made my post possible. The first is M.A. Crosbie’s Parallels and the second is Nicole Evans’ Listen: You Matter.

Guys, there’s some serious inspiration talk going on in the blogosphere and I’m loving it. I want to give props to M.A. for being so open and honest in her post. I really feel for you and I’m so sorry for your struggling. I know that it will come out in your writing and I hope to one day read your published works. Until then, I’m happy you’re writing. And Nicole, you know I already love you. I’m very happy we have a budding friendship because, girl, your posts are always inspiring. You persevere through every doubt and hard day and you should know that helps me tremendously.

I want to talk about perseverance.

To quote the lovely Nicole,

[Y]ou follow a blogger whose sentences seem outlined in gold, each so beautiful it could be a stand-alone poem and make millions…They are living the dream. They have 10,000 followers and while you love reading their blog, you don’t see how you could write about your successful short story, compared to that. Who would care? Why would it matter? Yet who knows how many rejection letters weigh down the floorboards underneath their bed. Who knows how long they spent on that blog post, rewriting words and phrases until their nails were chewed away, stressed to the max of constantly trying to impress thousands. Who knows how many stories were rejection. Who knows how many years they spent working at a job they loathed, but paid enough to allow them to write in the evenings. Who knows the full story.

Perseverance. Webster defines it as “the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.” Go back and read the quote again. I have wasted who knows how many hours being jealous of friends successes because I’m dying to be just like them. But I have a feeling they’ve put so much more work into their blog than I have. I’m just starting. I’ve learned very quickly that blogging like I do is a full time job. Advertising yourself is a full time job. And it’s hard. Worth it, but hard.

And yet, thousands of bloggers do it every day. We push away the tiny thoughts in the back of our head that say we’re not worth it or we have nothing to say. We wipe at the dark circles under our eyes after a long day of work and drink too much coffee to compensate. We moan and groan on social media because life is so damn hard. But still we post. And post we must.

There’s something really interesting about artists that I don’t find in other kinds of people. Artists are sharers. Even though the craft can be a lonely one, once our creation is ready to be shared we jump at the chance to. In spite of that paralyzing fear that our thoughts aren’t worth it, in spite of the late hours and time spent digging for topics, we find ourselves at our best when we’re sharing.

I know I’m not the only writer out there that began to write because I wanted to help others through books the way my favorite books have helped me. I think we catch some type of sharing bug that fills us with this need to help, to say the right words at the right time that will give someone the strength to keep going. I really, truly hope my writing will do that for someone some day. So I can’t stop writing. And I shouldn’t stop blogging.

I’ve been weighing different social media sites lately, trying to figure out which ones I want to stick with because I really shouldn’t try to do it all. WordPress hasn’t been on the top of my list, but I think I’m going to stick it there permanently. Because I know there will be more days like today. Days where inspiration leaves the train station and many of us tag along one car at a time. I want to be there when it happens again.

Until next time, readers. Thanks for listening.