Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Book Chat: Let's Catch Up!

Image via Instagram // Pictured: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
It has been far too long since I've participated in The Book Chat, a weekly bibliophile link-up hosted by Jessica of The Tangerine (formerly called Sweet Green Tangerine). She has also been on a short hiatus from hosting, so this week we're just catching each other back up on our bookish lives lately. I have three main updates: my current and recent reads, the status of my reading challenge and my brand-new bookcase from Target! Continue after the jump to read more.

First, I'm hoping to finish up Beautiful Ruins today, as it's due at the library and I can't renew it because someone else has it on hold. I first saw this book on a list of "books your book club needs to read" and then noticed it in various other places around the web, so I thought I'd give it a chance as the "freebie" book in my summer reading challenge. Unfortunately, I've been a little disappointed so far. It's not a bad book, but I'm on page 255 and things just started to really pick up. I also recently finished The Woman Who Wasn't There, a nonfiction book about a woman who pretended to be a 9/11 survivor. This book was also something of a disappointment, but you can read more about that in my Goodreads review.

This has been my favorite book of the reading challenge so far. I can't believe I waited so long to pick it up!
Second, the Semi-Charmed Summer 2013 Book Challenge is almost halfway over! I can't believe this one is going by so fast, but I have a really good feeling that I might actually finish this one. Two other participants already have as of the first check-in post. Comments will close on the first check-in on August 10, so be sure to stop by and record your July reading progress if you haven't already! And of course, you can join in at any time and retroactively count any books you've read since July 1 that fit a category. :)

Finally, I bought a bookcase for 25 percent off at Target last week! I'm still moving the decorations around a little, but this is what I have so far:

I got the above 4x4 frame (perfect for an Instagram print!), vase and fake flowers at Michael's, each for 40 percent off! I was pretty proud of myself. :) The turtle is a recent gift from my brother from his study abroad experience in South Africa, and the candle has a very special meaning to me. My sorority does a ceremony with a candle during the final round of recruitment each year, which includes a very sentimental poem. For my college graduation, I gave my Diamond Sister (Alpha Delta Pi's version of a "big sis") a bigger version of this candle with a copy of the poem, so any time I light the candle I can think of her and vice versa.

This is "Jonathan's shelf," but I just wanted to show off this adorable trunk I got at Michael's, also for 40 percent off! I figured it would be the perfect place to store cards and postcards from friends and family.

And this is "my shelf." I don't have many books, as I donated most of mine to the library after college, but here are a few random books I have lying around that I need to start and/or finish. The beautiful girl in that picture frame is my aforementioned Diamond Sister! The lion is one-half of a bookend set I got for a steal at TJ Maxx, and the little turtle was a gift from my dad; my family really enables my obsession with turtles. :)

Finally, I know I said I don't own many novels anymore, but I do have quite a few writing books, which I like to keep on my desk for reference and inspiration.

Whew! Sorry for the long post, but it is a "catching up" week, right? I can't wait to see what all the other book chatters have been up to these past few weeks. Plus, I'm already brainstorming some of my favorite memoirs for next week's topic: Memoirs & Autobiographies. It's going to be a good one!



Jessica Bucher said...

I'm glad you have ideas for next week because I have virtually NO memoirs on my shelf. I'm ashamed.

I have a friend who just read Bird by Bird and recommended it to me.

Glad you're back & we're book chatting again!

Ashley @ ThisUnscriptedLife said...

Don't you just love those 40% off coupons from Michaels? I totally cheat by having them on my phone, printing them, and cutting them out of the newspaper. Then again I guess it's not really cheating if they are there to be used...

Mia @ The Chronicles of Chaos said...

I love your bookcase, so cute! :)

Erinn C.D. said...

I'm so glad you loved Memoirs of a Geisha. I need to do a re-read on that one since the last time I read it was in high school. Definitely one of my favorites

sharongracepjs said...

I was also very underwhelmed by BEAUTIFUL RUINS. I know it was so adored by most bookish people, but I thought it was pretty average and forgettable. :/

Anonymous said...

I wasn't impressed with Beautiful Ruins either! So many people recommended it and raved about it, but I didn't think it was all that special.

Robyn said...

I love reading and enjoy reading posts about books- I always take on board recommendations! Thanks for your sweet words on my blog this week!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing other people's book shelves!
I see some of The Game of Throne series on your self, what did you think of them. Check out my Book Chat post, that's what I posted about.

Fran said...

Memoirs of a Geisha is one of those books that I've been meaning to read for years but for some odd reason haven't -- I should really get on that haha