Reading Reflections: What’s on my Nightstand

Thanksgiving is officially over and the holiday season is fully upon us. The arrival of December only means one thing in my world…holiday themed books! I have a few favorite holiday books that I love to bring out every year to get me in the mood. I love the holidays, but sometimes it’s hard for me to keep that Christmas cheer going all month long. A good dose of Santaland Diaries gives me the juice I need to keep that smile plastered on my face after my kid informs me (for the first time) that Santa will be bringing her a purple plush polka-dot bathrobe the day before Christmas.

It’s been a little while since I’ve given you peek at my nightstand and I’m sorry to say that not a whole lot has changed. November has been a slow reading month for me. I’ve been stuck on the same book for a while. It’s not that long. However, it’s the kind of book that doesn’t really hold your attention, but it’s just good enough that you don’t want to give up on it. I added a collection of short stories to my TBR list in hopes of pulling me out of my slump.

Having three kids, one of them being a 5-month-old who refuses to nap longer than 30 minutes at a time, forces me to carve out reading time. Right now, I feel that I have to prioritize everything. I mean everything. Trips to the bathroom and eating meals included. Sometimes reading a book just doesn’t make it to the top of the list. And when I finally get time to myself at the end of the day when all three kids are asleep, I find my comfy spot in the corner of our sectional sofa, open my book, and promptly fall asleep. Again…priorities. Our family is about to embark on an epic road trip from Minnesota to Florida, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some reading time in the car on our journey.

Today I’m linking up with Kathryn at The Book Date for It’s Monday What are You Reading to share what books I’ve read, am currently reading, and plan to read in the near future.

Here is what I’ve been reading…

Just Finished:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This was a fun read and I definitely plan on picking up the next book in the series, China Rich Girlfriend. Rachel’s boyfriend of two years, Nick, invites her to spend the summer visiting his childhood home in Singapore. Rachel knows little about Nick’s family and she soon comes to find out that they know little about her as well. As their plane lands in Singapore, she is quickly thrown into a world of opulence, extravagance, luxury, and extreme wealth. Rachel begins to wonder if she really knew her boyfriend as well as she thought she did. I loved the multi-cultural chick-lit genre that this book fell into. I was inspired by the Asians influences in this book and decided to whip up some Miso Chicken Ramen. I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a fun, entertaining, and quick read.

A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio

I just finished this book last night. I was frustrated that it was such a short book, but it took me so long to finish. It was a combination of being really busy and not finding the book interesting enough to carve time out of my day to read it. As I said earlier…I’m a girl with priorities. Mirna Valerio is an unconventional ultramarathon runner. She is an African American woman over 200 pounds and she doesn’t run to lose weight. She runs to connect with nature and to challenge herself to become a better person. It was interesting learning about how Mirna came from a low-income neighborhood in New York City, became a successful Spanish teacher at a boarding school in central Jersey, a worked to complete a 100k ultramarathon…that’s 62 miles! Hearing her story definitely inspired me to run a little farther in my daily workouts. However, the book failed to keep my interest at times because the story bounced around chronologically. In one chapter she might talk about something that happened when she was a child. Then in the next paragraph she’d talk about her experiences as an adult. It just felt a bit fragmented at times. Other than that I really enjoyed it.

Currently Reading:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple

I’m about 60 pages in on this one and I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, so I’m expecting it to live up to its reviews.

“Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.”



The Impossible Fortress: A Novel by Jason Rekulak

This book was on sale for $1.99 on iBooks so I snatched it up. Young love, 80’s nostalgia, nerds, video games, and Vanna White in Playboy…what’s not to love! I just started it and it’s pretty good so far.

“Until May 1987, fourteen-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd. Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. Or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes.”

The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrick Backman

I’m listening to this on audiobook to put myself in the holiday mood. I mean there’s a Chistmas tree on the cover! I was familiar with Backman after reading and loving A Man Called Ove and thought this would be a good, quick read to listen to in the car or on the treadmill. You had me at novella.

“The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown delivers an insightful and poignant holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path.”

What’s Next:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

When I put myself on the waiting list for this at the library 3 weeks ago I was #96, so it might be a while before I get my hands on this one. I’ve heard some raving reviews about this book, but I’ve also heard some really bad reviews about it as well. I figured I’d put my name on the waiting list and make my own decision about it.

“From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.”

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9 thoughts on “Reading Reflections: What’s on my Nightstand

  1. I’m excited about the Christmas Backman and bought it as an ebook. If you could let me know how the audiobook is, I’d really appreciate it. If it’s well done, I’ll spring for it. Thanks!

  2. The corner of my sectional sofa is my go-to spot after the kids are asleep, too. Sometimes all I can do is turn on a “comfort show” (something I’ve already seen, like Parenthood or Gilmore Girls) and binge watch for a while. I pick up the book once I’m in bed–but I’m also past the baby years and understand priorities. Sleep is ALWAYS top priority during that time!

    I loved Little Fires Everywhere, but it didn’t feel like a quick read. Some of the ones you’re reading now sound like just the thing–I’m looking forward to your reviews!

    1. I can never read in bed. Once it’s past 8:00 it’s almost impossible for me to stay awake! Glad to hear you liked Little Fires Everywhere.

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