There’s a First Time For Everything (It’s Giveway Time!)

You know what they say: There’s a first time for everything…

Well, I’m about to do something I’ve never done before here at The Never Ending Book Basket

It’s Giveaway Time!!

And what better to GIVEAWAY than a book?! (The answer to that is nothing by the way. Unless it’s a book and chocolate.)

Sarah Pekkanen and myself with a little Ryan Gosling thrown in for good fun!

Sarah Pekkanen and myself with a little Ryan Gosling thrown in for good fun!

I recently had the chance to meet the fantastic author Sarah Pekkanen at a book signing for her newly released book Catching Air.

Talk about a fabulous night! Not only does she write some spectacular books, she puts on one hell of a book signing. (She had a picture of Ryan Gosling’s face on a stick, and she gave us chocolate. What’s not to love?)

I have read every single one of this author’s books, and I can tell you that I have absolutely loved and enjoyed them all. Each of her books has a dynamic group of characters that provide a thoughtful, engaging, and highly entertaining reading experience.

On a more personal note, I also had a serious sense of connection with one of her books because of past events in my family’s life, and I honestly don’t think I had ever felt such a strong connection to a book or a character in a book until that point. That connection is something  I will truly never forget.

Suffice to say, I absolutely adore this author and her books.

You could win a FREE signed copy of Catching Air!

You could win a FREE signed copy of Catching Air!

So as a way to spread the book love, I am giving away a FREE SIGNED copy of her newest book Catching Air.

Don’t worry you don’t have to give blood or offer your first born to enter. I am just looking to give back to all of you, and introduce you to a truly phenomenal author and her remarkable books! (I just gotta keep spreading this book addiction thing around!)

To enter the giveaway* simply click on the link below for a chance to win: (I’ll let you in on a little secret. To enter all you have to do is like a Facebook page. Nothing too complicated at all!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway (Click here to enter!)

Be sure to check out Catching Air TODAY!! Each of Sarah Pekkanen’s books have provided me with a unique reading experience that introduced me to some pretty dynamic characters that I simply adored. I highly recommend all of her books! They’ve got all you want: truly engaging characters, plenty of moments that’ll make you smile, some much loved drama and tension, and of course a story that’ll capture you in right from the get go.

Catching Air is at the top of my Never Ending Book Basket, and I am looking forward to diving into it head first ASAP! (And I totally think you should do the same!)

We’re clearly in this together!

Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen

Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen (photo credit: Goodreads)

Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen (photo credit: Goodreads)

A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont—it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about living with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife, Alyssa…who is essentially a stranger.

For her part, Alyssa sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—and soon a shy, mysterious woman comes to work for them. Dawn Zukoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don’t realize is that Dawn is also hiding from someone… Relatable and dynamic, Catching Air delves deeply into the vital relationships that give shape to women’s lives.

 

To learn more about Sarah Pekkanen and her wonderful books check out the following links:

Facebook            Website               Twitter                 Goodreads

Be on the lookout for my review of this book soon….
(Something tells me it’s going to rock my socks off!)

Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a FREE SIGNED Copy of Catching Air, and check out Sarah Pekkanen and her books today!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway (Click here to enter!)

As always, sharing is caring, so feel free to share this post and spread the book and giveaway love!

*No purchase necessary. Open to US, Canadian, and UK residents only. Chances of winning depend on number of entries received. Giveaway will run from 5/14/14 to 5/22/14. Winner will be chosen at random on 5//14. Winner will need to claim prize within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

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I Love Me Some Complicated (You Knew Me When)

I love me some complicated. And that is putting it lightly.

What I mean when by that is when I am reading a book, and delving into its story and characters, I absolutely love finding myself knee deep in the complicated. I just adore characters who do not have their shit together. I also find myself liking stories with plenty of bumps in the road.

Like I said, I love me some complicated.

Complicated is real life. Complicated is messy. Complicated is any TV show Shonda Rhimes has ever created. (Click that link, and you’ll get that…) Complicated is full of twists and turns that leave you laughing hysterically one minute, and have you in breathless tears the next. Complicated is interesting, and is entertaining as hell. Complicated is what I live for when I read.

Complicated was the first descriptor I thought of when I read about the book I am about to oh so wittingly tell you about in this blog post. In fact, after reading the book’s synopsis, I told the author that very thing.

So are you ready to dive head first into the complicated? I hope so, because there’s no turning back now.

This week at The Never Ending Book Basket, it’s sink or swim time as we discuss You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert.

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert (If you look closely, you'll see some pictures of some of my closest friends.)

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert (If you look closely, you’ll see some pictures of some of my closest friends.)

You Knew Me When is a story about friendship. It’s about what happens when true friendship is allowed to cultivate and grow. It’s also about what happens when friendship hits the many challenges that seem to come up in life.

Laney and Katherine were the best of friends since the day they met at the tender age of 11. The friendship that cultivates between them as they grow in age is natural, extremely real, and captures what it means to have a best friend at different stages of your life.

Flash forward to present day, and some pretty big bumps in the road of life have led them to not speaking for the last 12 years. They’ve both held grudges, they both are pissed off as hell, and they both are hurt beyond words for a lot of reasons.

But that whole not speaking to each other thing is about to end, like now. Their dear old charming and extremely lovable neighbor, Luella, has left them her house and all its belongings worth a fortune in sentiment and emotion. (It’s also worth a little bit of money too.)

It’s all theirs, but to claim what they’ve been given, they have to work together to go through everything and fix up the house. Together, every single step of the way. (And much to their chagrin I might add.)

What happens when these two former friends are thrust back together into the complicated makes for a story that’s hysterically real at times, hurts your hearts at others, and will definitely leave you thinking about what it means to have ever had a true, honest to god, best friend.

What I just loved about this book:

  • The characters different voices. There are two very distinct and dynamic voices in this book, which also happen to be the two perspectives you get to read. (Yay you!)
    • You have Laney, the spitfire who puts everything into what she feels. She’s unforgiving about a lot of things, and she’s definitely someone you’re gonna remember. (Laney had me cracking up for a lot of reasons while reading, but she is severely honest, which made her all the more better to read.)
    • Then you have Katherine. She’s definitely more reserved, and is definitely a tad subtler, but she goes through some pretty defining moments in this book. In those moments, her character truly shines, and you get a glimpse into her spectacularly pensive self. (She also dresses really really well, so god knows I heart
      Clearly, I love me some complicated, and that was the first thing I thought of when I found this books.

      Clearly, I love me some complicated, and that was the very first thing I thought of when I found this book and its talented author.

      her and her subdued beautiful self.)

    • The flashbacks. You Knew Me When is told in both present tense and through flashbacks. I adored those flashbacks. They start off from when Laney and Katherine are young, and go up all the way until the girls are older. Over these flashbacks you get to learn so much more about these characters, and you get to see exactly what shaped them to be who they are in the present. Basically, they give you a ton of insight you’ll just love.
    • The evolution of voice. In this story, you get to see firsthand how Laney and Katherine develop physically and emotionally over the years that the book follows. You also get to see how their voices evolve over the story, given their different ages at different points the novel focuses in on. I loved how the essence of their characters carried through the story, but how they naturally and logically grew over time. It just worked.
    • The capture of true friendship. This books does a phenomenal job of characterizing what it means to have a true best friend. All the little nuances of female friendship are captured beautifully, and they will resonate with you every step of the way. (There is one scene in particular involving a tampon that had me cracking up, and will definitely make you think of your best friend.) This story takes you on the journey of the ebbs and flows of friendship, and will honestly just make you smile even through the hard times. (Hey, isn’t that what friendship is?)
    • The little bit of romance. We all know I love me a little romance, and this book has just enough to make your mouth water. It also fits seamlessly into the story, and doesn’t overtake the other events that are going on.
    • The subtle, yet not so subtle theme. Clearly this book is about friendship, and this theme resonates throughout the every page of the book. It’s subtle in a way, which makes the story and theme even more incredible, but it is there fully and you feel it whole heartedly. Essentially, this theme is well represented and balanced well throughout this book’s pages.
    • Hello, the complicatedness! This book is complicated and I LOVE it. It has characters who have complicated pasts and presents, and have some idiosyncrasies that make them wholly unique, lovable, and charming. You Knew Me When also presents a story that is full of well thought out complications that put these characters just where they need to be. It’s also just complicated enough to make you want to dive head first into it, but not too complicated that things get lost and you start to drown.

You Knew Me When is a wonderfully complicated story that will remind you what it means to have a best friend. It will take you on a journey with two remarkable women who have a lot they need to deal with over this story. They’ve got their problems, but delving into their minds as they address these problems makes for an entertaining as hell reading experience.

By the end of this book you will be loving the complicated, and will be truly glad there is such a thing as true friendship. Believe me, this book will show you what is worth fighting for, and what it means to have another half that you can call your best friend.

So there you have it folks. I love me some complicated, and this book is complicated in the best possible ways, so be sure to check it out ASAP.

(It’s definitely worth your while, and this one definitely spent too much time in my Never Ending Book Basket, so don’t make my same mistake by waiting to read this phenomenal book!)

To learn more about Emily Liebert and her books, check out the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/authoremilyliebert  (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/EmilyLiebert (Twitter)

http://www.emilyliebert.com/ (Website)

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #1

Are you ready for this?!

(Didn’t clicking on and listening to that song just put you in the best mood? C’mon admit it. You love it, and now you’re pumped, and really ready to watch Space Jam.)

It’s time to reveal the number 1 spot on The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books!

I hope this countdown has brought you some pretty darn fantastic places to find books. Us book addicts have to stick together, so I hope at the very least you discovered yet another way to feed your book addiction. (Because you should really keep feeding that addiction on a consistent basis.)

This countdown has been solely based upon my utterly biased logic of finding books, but the time has come to reveal the countdown in its entirety, by exposing the coveted number 1 spot.

The previous posts on the countdown were:

#5 Target (Aka my own personal hell)

#4 Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million (The big name book stores)

#3 The Miscellaneous Grab Bag (Flea markets, yard sales, and the good old Goodwill)

#2 Amazon Books (Also known as one of the reasons I have no money)

And without further ado….

Number 1: Used Book Stores (A book addicts own personal paradise)

Used book stores are pretty fucking fantastic. They have a lot to offer us book addicts, and god knows that I have been in my fair share of these fine establishments over the years. While there are a wide array of extraordinary used book stores out there, for the purpose of this countdown I am going to focus in on my very favorite one:

Ukazoo Books

(Before you ask, yes that is the name of the store, and yes the store is as out of this world remarkable as its name.)

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

Ukazoo Books is located in Towson, Maryland just up the street from my alma mater Towson University. It offers a varied selection of books across many genres, and has more books in it than you can shake a stick at. This book store has some pretty great features to it, and it honestly is the very best place I have ever found books at in all of my book buying days.

This store is also responsible for at least half of the books currently residing on my bookshelves. (And we all know I have a lot of books…)

Like most used book stores, Ukazoo is locally owned, and it is just waiting for you to walk into its doors and frolic. While my list of reasons supporting Ukazoo is specific to this particular used book store, the reasons of why this store is pretty darn magnificent can be applied to many used book stores out there.

Why YOU should visit Ukazoo Books as soon as you finish reading this blog post:

  • The book selection. Ukazoo Books offers every genre of book your little heart could desire. It has books on music, books on film, traditional fiction, a huge mystery and thriller section, memoirs, humor books, a plethora of kids’ books, new books, bestsellers, books by local authors, and so many more genres and types than I can even list. Suffice to say it’s got a lot to offer.
  • The best book deal this planet has ever seen. Ukazoo Books offers a lovely little deal that all their used books are buy 3 get 1 free. I have never left this store without taking advantage of this deal. Be warned that if you find more than one book, you just better find two more books to take advantage of this deal. (This is also why my book shelves are full of books from this fine establishment.)
  • The support of the local author and artist. Ukazoo is huge supporter of local authors and artists. The store is chalk full of books written by locals (it has its own section!), and the walls of the store are covered in art for sale. Be sure to check out all these little gems ASAP because you’re sure to find something brilliant.
  • The staff.  The staff at this store is beyond helpful. Looking for a specific book? They can help you. Want a recommendation? They have plenty! Need help with anything? They will seriously do anything to help you. Honestly, the staff at this store makes Ukazoo feel like you’re walking into the most welcoming place around. (On a side note, the other customers who shop here are pretty cool too. Just saying.)
  • The prices of the books. Not only does Ukazoo have that amazing aforementioned book deal, it also offers amazing prices on used and new books. I kid you not, I have regularly gotten 4 books for what 1 book at the big name book store will typically cost you. (That’s a lot of bang for your buck people!)
  • The wonderful books you’ll find here. I’ve already shared that Ukazoo offers a wide variety of books. What you may not know is that this store is full of some amazing finds. I cannot tell you how many phenomenal books and authors I have discovered in the walls of this store. Some of my all-time favorites were found here, and for that I will truly be eternally grateful.
  • The name. The name of this store just works, is wholly unique which completely fits this store, and I just love it.
  • It’s organized. It’s organized. It’s organized. IT’S ORGANIZED!

Suffice to say, Ukazoo is hands down my #1 choice on The Best Places to Find Books countdown. This store has so much to offer, and it is one of my favorite places

As you can see this thing is completely full, and at leas t half of these books are from Ukazoo.

As you can see this thing is completely full, and at least half of these books are from Ukazoo.

to visit and shop for books. I have so many fond memories of this place, and I still continue to visit it to this day. (And that’s with me living an hour and a half away now!)

Ukazoo is the cream of the crop. It’s the best of the best, and there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

While I focused specifically on this used book store, you should know that this is only one of many wonderful places like this out there, and the reasons of why Ukazoo is incredible can also be found in many other stores across the country.

I challenge you to find your own amazing used book store to explore, because believe me, it is just waiting to be found, and you will be oh so happy when you finally find your favorite book finding place.

After all is said and done, you may be wondering why this countdown turned out the way it did. You may think, how did a place like Ukazoo beat out big name book stores like Barnes and Noble? Well let me explain my madness a little:

The title of this countdown is aptly named the best places to FIND books, not just buy them. My goal for this countdown was to give fellow book lovers and addicts’ places to find the books and authors that are just waiting to be discovered. If you want to go buy any old book, you can do that just about anywhere. But if you’re looking for a one of a kind experience where you can explore and find truly extraordinary books (that you might not have found normally), these are the places you need to go.

Ukazoo will provide you with something like that every time, which is why it found its way to the top of this countdown.

So there you have it folks. This post concludes the countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. I hope you found these posts helpful, and that someday very soon you’ll find yourself perusing some of these marvelous places in search of that next great book experience.

To learn more about Ukazoo Books check out the links:

http://www.Ukazoo.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ukazoo-Books/6091694731

ps. If you’re wondering when the hell I’m going to talk about that pesky little ½ thing, don’t you worry your pretty little head. That post is on its way. 😉

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #3

Welcome back to The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books.

(I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting on the edge of your seats for these posts, right?! Sorry for the smidge bit of delay, but it’s been harder to create this countdown than I thought it would be originally. Too many great places to choose from I guess!)

This countdown was created to list and discuss the best possible places that us book addicts can find the books we so need, desire, and have got to have. (Because you gotta know where to get the best of the best!)

Each spot on the countdown has its own post that contains my completely opinionated list of reasons of why that place rocks when it comes to finding books.

In my previous two posts I detailed the #5 spot Target (my own personal hell) and the #4 spots Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million (the good old standard in finding books).

Up today on the countdown is what I refer to as the miscellaneous grab bag:

Number 3: The Miscellaneous Grab Bag (Yard Sales, Flea Markets, & Goodwill)

The aptly named number 3 spot on the countdown covers not just one, but 3 spectacular places to find books.

(Yay for you!! You get more bang for your buck today!)

Yard sales, flea markets, and the good old Goodwill are three places that offer a wide array of unique items, and sometimes more shit than you can shake a stick at. These are the places for the true diggers of this world because you definitely have to dig, but when you do, I guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

I lumped all three of these places together for a lot of reasons. (And when I say a lot, I mean like 3.)

One, all of these places are not your typical locations that you would think of to go find books. All of these places also sell heavily discounted books because of the nature of the stores themselves. These wonderfully miscellaneous establishments also have a very random and varied book selection within their walls. (Or lack of walls if you find yourself perusing a yard sale or most flea markets)

If you’re sitting here reading this post and wondering how the hell these places beat out the book store for this spot on the countdown, let me explain my madness to you.

Why yard sales, Goodwill, and flea markets are some pretty outstanding places to find books:

  • The prices. Money may not buy you happiness, but it can buy you books and that’s pretty close. That’s why finding books at any of these miscellaneous
    The truest thing I have ever read...

    The truest thing I have ever read…(photo credit: Pinterest)

    places will be so worth your while. The books here are dirt cheap. They range in price from mere pennies to just a few dollars. If that doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will.

  • The little tidbits you can’t buy. All of the books you will find at these kinds of places have had previous owners. Now while I tend to not give away my children, I mean books, other people do, and when they do this they tend to leave more than just the book behind. The notes, phrases underlined, and the dedications really make these books something different and add a unique feature that “regular” books don’t have. (I must say I really enjoy reading the dedications people write in these books because it explains why they wanted to gift that particular book, and reading that is really something.)
  • The never ending search. So if you’ve ever been to one of these places you know that you better be prepared to dig pretty deep to find something good. But let me tell you that the digging can be well worth it, and it’s half the fun. Digging around in any of these three places is sure to yield some pretty interesting finds as well. (Be prepared to find A LOT of romance novels.)
  • You never know what you’re gonna get looking for books here. It can be hit or miss with finding books at any of these places. Books are constantly coming in and out of each one, but the excitement of never knowing what you’re going to find is what makes these places fantastic. And it adds a bit of a thrill.
  • The wide array of books. When you go to yard sales, Goodwill, or flea markets you will find a very wide variety of books. All walks of life are represented at these places. Again you never know what you may find, but be assured you will find some pretty interesting books at any of these three places.
  • The people you meet along the way. Especially with yard sales and flea markets, the people you meet there are about as fantastic and out there as the books you may find. In my experience they are pretty awesome, and always willing to talk about the fantastic books they are selling to you.
  • The one of a kind experience. Let’s face it, part of the appeal of these places is that they aren’t that normal place you go to find books. Each time you go here to find books or whatever you seek, you will definitely have some kind of an experience. Whether that’s good or bad or out of this fucking world, it’s something, and that’s pretty important to remember.
Don't you just love yard sales...(photo credit: )

Don’t you just love yard sales…(photo credit: dumpaday.com)

There you have it folks. The number 3 spot on the countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. I’m sure going into this post you didn’t expect that I would be talking about yard sales, flea markets, and Goodwill, but I hope you’re happy with my choice. (But let’s be honest, this is kind of my countdown…)

This miscellaneous grab bag of places to find books is definitely out of the ordinary in a lot of ways, but I shit you not that you’ll find yourself quite surprised about the books you can find at any one of these places. Sure you may have to dig a little harder to find something spectacular, but that’s what makes it all the more worthwhile.

Plus look on the bright side, if you go to any of these three places to find a book you’re more than likely to come out with some other additional amazing treasure. (Or if you’re me, another piece of crap you don’t need, but let’s just keep that between us.)

Until next time book addicts. Stay tuned for more on this spectacularly named and designed countdown. (hah!) I know you’re all dying to know what nabs the top two spots! (And what the hell the ½ thing means!)

Up next on the countdown is the place that continues to actively feed my book addiction. (More so than all the rest!)

Ps. If you have a good, bad, or out of this world experience on finding a book at one of these three places, I’d love to hear from you!

Forever Interrupted

Welcome back to book addiction central!

I hope time has found you well, and that you’ve been able to sink yourself into something deliciously enthralling.

Now as most of you know, last week I took a little walk on the dark side by reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. While that little trek was fun and fantastically crazy, I decided that my next book unearthed from The Never Ending Book Basket should be something a tad bit little lighter.

(Or at least something with a little less body dismemberment.)

Despite my quest to find something lighter to read, I found myself in the throes of a story that can be described as anything but light. Sure there weren’t murders and mystery weaving their way through the book, but I surprisingly still found myself reading a story full of anguish and despair.

(Luckily this book wasn’t all doom and gloom because it was full of some seriously sweet moments !)

So while I may have come up a tad short on my desire to find something a little lighter, I did find a lovely little book that is described as being “not your average love story.”

Today at The Never Ending Book Basket I tackle that not so average love story by reviewing Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Forever Interrupted tells the story of Elsie Porter, a young woman who finds herself head over heels in love for Ben Ross. (And we’re talking “Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, cant-live-without-each-other love.” Yay for you if you know where that quote is from!)

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

After a romance that seems as long as a blink of an eye, the two have eloped and find themselves blissfully happy. Then just 9 days after eloping, Ben is killed on impact in a car accident, and Elsie is thrust onto the path of mourning the loss of her husband. She’s also dealing with the fact that she’s just now meeting her mother in law who didn’t even know she existed. (And that is just the first 15 pages.)

Forever Interrupted is told in alternating timelines that start with an ending and a beginning. These timelines trace Elsie and Ben’s, as well as Elsie and Susan’s relationships as they develop over the course of the story.

  • The ending timeline starts from the moment when Ben’s life ends, and follows Elsie as she mourns her late husband, and begins her very complicated and raw relationship with her new mother in law Susan.
  • The beginning timeline begins at the very start of Elsie and Ben’s relationship, and follows them from their very first meeting until the very end of their short, but extremely passionate love affair.

Through these alternating timelines and stories you see how Elsie and Ben came to be, and you fall in love with how they fell in love. (It will seriously make you want to melt into a puddle of emotion.) You also get to see the tumultuous ride that Elsie begins after she has to bury the love she thought would be with her forever. Elsie’s journey throughout this book is truly what moves and makes this book, and the feelings she has rightfully set the pace and tone for this book.

What I simply loved in this book:

  • The alternating timelines. This honestly made the book for me. I loved seeing Elsie and Ben at the beginning and end of their love affair. It made their love story come alive to see these timelines interwoven together so beautifully, and it honestly made me love this story so much more. This set up also created the absolute perfect balance between the happiness and sadness throughout the book.
  • Ben’s death. Clearly since Ben’s fate is determined 10 pages in, I knew what was coming, but it made it all the more real seeing the emotion build to and from this defining event. In the present tense you got to see the aftershocks of such a horrific event. In the past building up to the present you literally get to feel every emotion that made you fall in love with Ben. Having these feelings “backwards” made me feel for Ben and those affected by his death so much more because I already knew the fate that laid ahead.
  • Elsie’s pain and anguish. So I told you this book had a lot of despair and anguish, and I am not exaggerating on that. You are literally thrown head first into Elsie’s pain, and its sink or swim time. (At times I think you can literally touch the pain that Elsie is feeling. It’s just tangible.) The author does a fantastic job of making you absorb this pain and anguish, and as much as you may not like that, it makes the feelings in this book very, very real.
  • Elsie and Susan’s relationship. In addition to Elsie and Ben’s relationship, you also get to see the ebbs and flows of Elsie and her mother in law Susan’s relationship. This one takes a little more time to develop into something substantial, but when you get there, it’s just grand. (And messy, and complicated, and funny, and painful, and just so fucking real. But in the end it’ll just blow your socks off.)
  • The multiple kinds of love. This book is full of different kinds of love and relationships, and I really enjoyed getting to read every single one of them. You get to see the love between couples, parents and their children, friends, and even strangers. Love is in the air in this book, which makes you feel just a tad bit tingly inside.
  • The complicatedness. Life and people are complicated. They are messy, complex, and difficult, but that is just the way it is. Forever Interrupted does a spectacular job of showing this complicatedness in many dynamic ways. It also just adds a grounding aspect to the book that makes you realize that these “complications” are what makes life what it is.

Forever Interrupted is described as being “not your average love story”, and that sentiment rings very true. While it is overflowing with love, (and does have a wonderful love story within its pages) it is a book about beginnings and endings. (I couldn’t help but link to that song there.) It shows a couple at their beginning and their end, and everything in between is full of magic, pain, anguish, laughter, and of course, love.

It was also extremely easy to relate to the characters even though I’ve never been in any of their shoes. I found it really simple to love and accept all the characters for all their quirks and faults, because it made them who they are, and they accepted that. (And in turn I accepted them. How cyclical!)

In the end, Forever Interrupted is still a story about love. Reading this book you get to watch that love as it begins, grows, breathes, ends, continues, and weaves its way through. That love is definitely something you’ll want to see for yourself.

To end this post I leave you with the epitaph for this book. It was originally posted on Craigslist, and it honestly does a phenomenal job of summing up the mountain of feelings in Forever Interrupted:

“Every morning when I wake up I forget for a fraction of a second that you are gone and I reach for you. All I ever find is the cold side of the bed. My eyes settle on the picture of us in Paris, on the bedside table, and I am overjoyed that even though the time was brief I loved you and you loved me.”

(I may or may not have just started crying typing that. You can take a guess on that one…)

To learn more about Taylor Jenkins Reid check out the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/taylorjenkinsreidbooks (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/tjenkinsreid (Twitter)

http://www.taylorjenkinsreid.com/ (Website)

Sharp Objects

Ready to take a walk on the dark side book addicts?

I do certainly hope so, because today’s book review definitely dives head first into the vast sea of darkness.

Now I know I usually keep it on the lighter side here. I typically find myself within the throes of a good love story or yet another book set in the good ole south, but every once and awhile I like to break it up a little bit.

Variety is the spice of life people!

Thus I decided to dig deep into The Never Ending Book Basket, and find something a little out of my ordinary reading repertoire. (Now in all honesty, I have read another book by this same author, so it wasn’t too much of a leap of faith into the darkness. But it’s the thought that counts, right?)

Grab your flashlights people, because today we dig into the deliciously dark and fantastically crazy thriller Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects follows Camille Preaker as she embarks on a journey she never wanted to really take. Camille finds herself back in her hometown, reporting on the murders of two little

girls. Even worse she finds herself surrounded by her overbearing and downright out there mother, her bat shit crazy half-sister Amma, and a plethora of old classmates who definitely show why you really shouldn’t go home again.

Throughout Sharp Objects, Camille finds herself sinking fast into the grimness of her small town’s murders, and she soon comes face to face with all the reasons of why she should make her escape as fast as she possibly can.

The mystery of this book revolves around who could have possibly committed such a heinous crime to harm these two little girls. Is it the older brother who everyone is pointing the finger to? Is it an outsider hell bent on destroying this “sleepy” little town? Or is it one of the many out there residents of this small Missouri town? (And let me tell you, the answer is not as easily found as you would think.)

During this whole foray into the darkness, Camille is also battling some pretty deep personal issues. Her family life is a little off beat to say the least, her personal life is basically nonexistent, and her mental state may come into question more than once.

(I won’t reveal what those personal issue are, but let’s just say it ain’t just skin deep. And just so you know, that last sentence holds way more meaning once you read the book.)

What I LOVED about this book:

  • Camille’s issues are hers, and are actually believable. When I say that Camille’s issues are believable, I mean that based on all the crap she went through (and that’s putting it lightly), her issues are authentic. I have never been where Camille has been, but the author did an amazing job of creating some plausible issues and nuances for her that I felt were wholly realistic.
  • The weird factor. So this is the second book I read by Gillian Flynn, and let’s just say both those books had a pretty fucking big weird factor. But I absolutely got into that weirdness. That weirdness/creepiness/out there factor is what sets Gillian Flynn’s books apart, and it will leave you with a pretty memorable read.
  • Camille’s fantastically crazy family. I could write a 10 page essay on how out of this world crazy Camille’s family is. Her mother’s picture is probably out there somewhere underneath the definition of a mental disorder. Camille’s sister Amma is a hot and cold mess that will have you wondering what the hell is going on in her brain. And last but not least you have Alan, Camille’s strangely preppy stepfather who is as banal as they come, but who is probably the craziest one of them all because he accepts his family as “normal”.
  • The mystery. It wouldn’t be a thriller or a Gillian Flynn book if there wasn’t some sort of mystery to solve. In this case the mystery revolves around the brutal murders of two precocious little girls. This mystery is full of twists and turns, and will have you guessing until the last page. (Because that is literally when you finally figure it all out!)
  • The little air of optimism. I won’t add a ton to this little nugget, but let’s just say that I enjoyed that this book wasn’t a complete downer. Don’t get me wrong, almost all of it was, which totally fit the story, but I was happy to see a little sliver of sunshine in that sea of darkness.
  • Wind Gap. This is the town Camille returns to, and it honestly is a character unto itself. It has its own distinct personality that weaves its way through the story. Wind Gap’s residents are ones you soon won’t forget, and the eerie foundation of this town will make you happy that it’s not somewhere that actually exists.
  • The title. It just works. It’s as simple as that.

Sharp Objects is definitely a walk on the dark side, but it’s assuredly worth the trek. This book will take you on some pretty crazy twists and turns, but at the end you will be happy you at least figured it all out. (And when I say figured it all out, you’ll know who did what, but FYI you’re still gonna wonder what goes on in the brains of some of these fantastically crazy characters.)

It will also have you feeling really ecstatic that this is a book, and you’re not surrounded by these people on a daily basis. Or ever for that matter.

So there you have it book addicts. Take the plunge into Gillian Flynn’s thrillingly dark world, and feel the tangible creepiness.

You won’t be sorry, and at the very least you’ll have a newfound appreciation for “normalcy” and your teeth. (Don’t worry you’ll figure that one out soon enough…)

Until next time fellow book addicts. Enjoy that walk on the dark side, but stay away from those sharp objects. Sometimes their marks are permanent.

ps. If you’d like to learn more about Gillian Flynn’s books check out them out here:

http://gillian-flynn.com/ (Website)

https://www.facebook.com/authorgillianflynn  (Facebook)

(Be sure to check out her newest release Gone Girl. If you think Sharp Objects is creepy you haven’t seen anything yet. Believe me, Gone Girl is one crazy ass ride.)

If I Stay

Welcome back fellow readers. I hope time has found you well, and that you’ve found yet another good book to sink your teeth into.

Lately I have been on a big love story kick. What can I say? I am a huge sucker for love stories. They just reel me in. (Hence, I am a sucker, but I love it and accept it fully.)

Though I love me a good love story, as a book reader I also have a touch of ADD, so I often jump from one genre to another. Literally. I read a little bit of anything and everything.

That ADD is what brings us here today. I decided to dive deep into my Never Ending Book Basket and pull out something different. I was in the mood for a change.

(In all honesty the book I read was right on top, but in my defense, my book basket does contain a little bit of everything.)

The book I read today has been on my to buy list for a while, and in a surprising twist of fate I was able to find this book at one of my Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books! (Since I haven’t finished the countdown yet, I won’t reveal where. Yet. But I will let you know this book was found in that pesky little ½ place I keep mentioning!)

So in my never ending battle to listen to my book ADD I read the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

If I Stay is a very emotional book, and I did not know what to expect going into reading it. The book is told from Mia’s point of view as she decides if she is going to choose to “stay” after her family is in a horrific car accident.

The book opens with a brief glimpse of Mia and her extremely adoring family, before segueing into the accident. If I Stay follows Mia from that accident as she is taken outside of her body, and must go through the painful decision of staying or going. To move on to whatever comes next, or stay and face the not so nice music of her new reality.

She’s not a ghost per say, but she can see and hear everything going on around her, while looking down at her battered body.

Interwoven with Mia’s current state are flashbacks telling brilliant stories about her family including her mother, father, little brother, Gran and Gramps, best friend Kim, and her boyfriend Adam. These flashbacks flow naturally into the story, and creates an excellent stream of consciousness effect in the book that lets you know exactly how Mia got to this point in her life and the story itself.

What I liked about this book:

  • The rawness. This book is full of emotion and thought, and it is all raw and out there for everyone to see. I loved that the emotions put forth were believable for the situation, and nothing was shielded or censored. When going through something as horrific as Mia is, everything is messy and raw and complicated, and that emotion was brilliantly conveyed.
  • Mia and her internal struggle. Mia is a gem of a character. Throughout this book she is either looking at her helpless injured body, or
    If I Stay by Gayle Forman (I found it only fitting to take this picture as there was a dusting of snow on the ground. Read the book and you'll see why.)

    If I Stay by Gayle Forman (I found it only fitting to take this picture as there was a dusting of snow on the ground. Read the book and you’ll see why.)

    remembering the many events of her life that bring her straight back into her harsh reality. (Those past events made me love her even more!) The internal struggle she battles throughout this book is phenomenal. Reading and watching as Mia struggles to decide whether to stay or go is heart rendering, and will really make you think: What would I do in the same position when the only choice I have is to live or die?

  • The structure of the book. I loved the way this book was told in a stream of consciousness like format, where Mia interweaves her present state with stories from the past. This structure fits the book, and it makes it easy to flow between the past and present worlds. It also makes it really easy to like the characters from the small glimpses you see of them.
  • The music. Music is a big part of this book. Mia is an accomplished cellist, and she comes from a world and family that loves, lives, and breathes music. Music is almost its own character in this book, and it finds its way into almost every character, sub story, and crevice. Music is the glue that really brings this book and its characters together.
  • The pace. I don’t want to reveal any major plot points in this story (We don’t do that shit here!) but I will say the pace of this book is very good and well matched for the story being told. I read this book in one sitting, and the pace along with the great plot of the story was the reason why. You hit the ground running, and you don’t stop until the very end.
  • The plethora of endearing characters. I cannot even begin to describe how much I love all the characters in If I Stay. Mia’s parents are the parents we all wish we had. Her little brother, Teddy is about as adorable as they come. Her best friend Kim, and her realness stand out in a sea of rawness. Adam, Mia’s boyfriend, adds another layer as well. (I think in the present tense of the story, he is only in the book less than 25 pages, but those pages and his searing emotion stand out.)

If I Stay is a book about a choice. Mia has to decide if she is going to stay and face the harsh reality of what she’s left with after a terrible accident, or if she’s going to go and let it all fade away.

The road to that choice is the pulse of this book, and the author does a fantastic job of creating a story where you honestly don’t know what the “right” answer to that choice is.

Watching Mia struggle with that choice takes you on a phenomenal journey that will make you wonder what you would do if asked the same question: Do you stay, or do you go?

This book is definitely an emotional and very raw ride, but it’s highly worth it. (And don’t worry, it’s not all dark, sad, and gloomy. I did smile and chuckle at some parts while reading. More than once, too!)

So, fellow book addicts I dare you to take a walk with me on the dark side.

Embrace your book ADD, and give something new and different a chance.

You’ll be glad you did.

I know I am.

ps. If you’d like to learn more about If I Stay and/or its author Gayle Forman, click one of the links below.

http://www.gayleforman.com/ (Website)

https://twitter.com/gayleforman (Twitter)

https://www.facebook.com/GayleFormanAuthor (Facebook)

Two For One Special (Love Unrehearsed & Love Unscripted)

Attention book readers, we have a two for one special on our hands at The Never Ending Book Basket!

(In my mind I just imagined that being blasted over a crackling loud speaker in a warehouse filled to the brim with books, also known as my own personal happy place.)

I guess I should let you know that I didn’t actually just read a book named two for one special. The title for this post comes from the fact that today is your lucky day!

Want to know why?!

Today, you get two book reviews for the price of one! Go you!

Told ya, today was your day!

Please try and contain your exuberance out there!

Now that you know where my oh so clever title for this post came from (and I know you just have to be smiling right now!), I can now talk about the amazing two books that I just recently finished and are today’s two for one special.

This week I read Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber. (For the record I thought it was fantastic to put that dried bouquet on top of the books. Am I the next big photographer? Probably not, but I do sure love this picture!)

So why a two for one special?

These books are basically two parts to a one whole extremely lovable story, (think of them as part one and part two respectively) so I found it only right to review them together.

Let me tell you, I was very eager to read these two books. I came across the second book, Love Unrehearsed while shopping with another book addict, and I was hooked in by the promise of reading a fantastic love story that I wouldn’t forget.

I will just be honest with the fact that I am a HUGE sucker for a love story, and boy was this a love story to die for. I ate up every page, and was completely enamored with the main characters, Taryn and Ryan.

Their love practically pole vaulted off the page.

Since I don’t want to give away too much of the actual plot line of these two books (‘cause we don’t do that shit on here!), let me tell you a little about Taryn and Ryan:

  • Meet Taryn: Taryn is a young, extremely caring, strong willed, and down to Earth woman who is running a small pub in a tiny Rhode Island town. She has a huge heart, and always puts others first. At the beginning she can be found rolling her eyes at the hoopla over the huge movie being filmed in town. She will not play into any of that, until she unexpectedly finds herself helping and falling very hard for Ryan Christensen, the A list actor starring in the film.
  • Meet Ryan: Ryan Christensen is on top of the world. He is the gorgeous guy rising to the top of the acting world, and almost every female is obsessed with him. Ryan just wanted to do what he loved, but he never expected to have his every move scrutinized and followed by throngs of women. Literally. That fanatic obsession is exactly what leads him to meeting Taryn. Ryan is clearly guarded, but is oh so charming and fiercely protective of what he holds dear, but when he meets Taryn all bets are off.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed follows Taryn and Ryan as they try to give love a chance. Both of these characters have pasts and presents that make them reluctant to take the leap of faith. They are both guarded, and they have their reasons for holding back, but these books explore what happens when they give it all a chance.

When they come together it’s messy, complicated, and scary as hell, but the journey they go on together is one that will just make your heart melt.

These books are filled to the brim with swoon worthy moments, drama ridden crazies, and lines that will have you becoming a puddle of emotions. They also contain some unforgettable supporting characters that are the icing on the cake! (Try not to like them. I dare ya!)

Some of my favorite aspects of the books:

  • It’s a love story, hello?! What can I say, I am a sucker for a love story. I love reading about love, and watching two characters fall for one another. (NEWSFLASH: If you don’t, this book probably isn’t for you.) And boy do they fall in this story. This love story is well described, and provides all the adorable little details that will make you want to put this couple on a Hallmark card ASAP. The love described is well thought out and written, and will have you fighting like hell that everything works out for the two lovebirds.
  • The drama. There’s no such thing as a love story without drama, right? Both Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed have some juicy bits of drama that may include, but are not limited to: psychotic fans, crazy exes, ridiculously good looking male characters, paparazzi galore, sneaky bitches, plenty of innuendo, a smidge bit of illegal substances, and more crazy fan mail than you can shake a stick at.
  • The moments radiating love. There are a ton of these moments within both books, and they will really make you see, feel, hear, and even touch all the love pouring out of this book. Feel the love people, feel the love.
  • The length of the books. Now clearly I enjoy reading, so book length isn’t daunting to me whatsoever, so I personally prefer a good book that provides a solid plot line and characters over a longer than average book. I spent almost 1,000 pages combined with Taryn and Ryan. Some may say these books are too long, but the plot line is well developed and the characters keep the story going. (And honestly, by the end, I still wanted to read more!)
  • The A list guy and the girl next door. It’s a story you think you’ve heard before, but this spin is well worth the ride. Ryan Christensen is to die for. He is good looking, charming, and he has a heart of gold. Taryn is the girl you love to love, who is witty, loving, and actually has her shit together. She fights like hell for what she wants, and is as strongly independent as you can get. (Score one for strong female characters!) And who wouldn’t enjoy reading about an A list actor falling for the girl next door?
  • How it all comes together. (The lack of further explanation here is deliberate. No spoilers here. You want to find out what happens to Taryn and Ryan, go read the damn books. Now. Please and thank you.)

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed tells the story of two people who have every reason to not believe in love, yet find themselves putting their faith in one another. This story contains moments that will make you want to laugh out loud, smile, and maybe even cringe. (But in a good way, I promise!)

It may be a sappy love story, oozing with heart rendering moments, but it is story that will have you truly believing and trusting in the power of love.

And who doesn’t want that? (For the record, that question can be considered rhetorical if you do not want to answer yes.)

Hope you enjoyed this two for one special. It was definitely worth the late nights of reading.

Let me know what you think, and I am curious to see what opinions you all have of love stories in general.

Let the reading of love commence!

ps. If you’d like to learn more about Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber, feel free to check out the following links:

http://www.tinareber.com/ (website)

https://www.facebook.com/authortinareber (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/tinareber (Twitter)

Looking for Alaska

Sorry for the delay in posts friends. Let’s just say it has been a crazy couple of weeks for this book addict, and sadly reading has been on the down low. But now it is once again time to resume my “addiction” with a surefire vengeance.

For my first book back on the blog, I decided to read a book from my never ending basket that I was guaranteed to love. Start back on a good page, right?

How did I know that I would love this book, you ask?

Well since I know you’re that damn curious, I will inform you that I have read from this author before, and he is a phenomenal writer, so it was pretty much guaranteed I would love this book too. And shockingly, I did. (That last sentence has a tad bit of sarcasm in it. Just a smidge.)

Thus this week on The Never Ending Book Basket I will be reviewing Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Yes this picture was taken by an A on purpose. You have got to love my thought process and camera taking skills, right?!)

Looking for Alaska has been on my to read list for quite a while now. I was eager to read it since I loved one of his other books The Fault in Our Stars about as a much as I will probably love my first born child. It was that good. I have since personally told at least 27 people to read it, as well as made my mother cry at least 5 times when I was talking about it. Yay me!

I think it took me a total of 5 hours to devour this book from beginning to end, and I was not disappointed one bit by this particular literary journey with Mr. Green.

Looking for Alaska is a book full of searching and finding, seeking and discovering, and of course looking and understanding. The story itself follows Pudge (nickname, of course), as he starts his junior year of high school at Culver Creek Boarding School.

Pudge is going to Culver Creek to find his great perhaps. (I am not explaining that one, so you’ll just have to read to figure out what exactly that means!) On that never ending search he comes across some unforgettable people, including one Alaska Young (real name, of course). Pudge is looking for a plethora of things in this story, but clearly very prominent is his seeking for some morsel of understanding about Alaska, and what is going on in that head of hers.

Alaska is his and many others enigma, and he is instantly enamored by her in more ways than one.

This book follows Pudge and his engaging cast of vibrant classmates, as they work their way through the labyrinth that is life at Culver Creek and everything beyond. Green does an incredible job of weaving a story about young adults, while asking and exploring some pretty tough questions that plague just about any generation you can think of. Looking for Alaska demonstrates beautifully what it means to be someone who is young, looking for answers, and seeking just a little bit of understanding.

The story itself is split into two parts. There is a before, and there is an after. I will not tell you much about what that exactly means for the story, but let’s just say both parts make for a remarkable read.

Per my usual format on here, a list of some of my favorite things in Looking for Alaska:

  • Alaska Young. Alaska is an extraordinary character, and probably one of the most complex characters I have ever had the chance to delve into. (And that’s after I read Gone Girl, with that crazy ass complex main character!) Alaska is like Regina George from Mean Girls in that she is decidedly hard to describe and explain. (That’s about where there similarity stops, but you have to admit clicking on that link and re-watching that clip was fun!) Despite my lack thereof description, Green does a fantastic job of weaving her and her spirit into the story flawlessly. Alaska is a paradox. Everyone is looking for her in some way, and what I found reading was that I was looking for her as well. I was looking for those little jagged pieces of her to put her all together. Was I successful with that? Probably not, but it was sure as hell fun attempting to put her magnificent pieces together.
  • The male perspective. This story is told from Pudge’s point of view. Being a 22 year old female, I was worried that it may be a tad hard to put myself in the shoes of an adolescent boy. (That perspective isn’t somewhere I normally go, clearly.) Surprisingly, putting myself in his shoes was easy as pie. Pudge’s point of view presents a realistic and wholly relatable perspective. Believe me, by the end of this book you will care for Pudge so much you’ll want to reach in and just give him a big old hug, and maybe some nicotine patches.
  • The plethora of pleasurable nicknames with one exception. Some of the just plain awesome nicknames in this book include: Pudge, the Colonel, Weekday Warriors, Bufriedos, and the Eagle. And of course there is Alaska Young which is no nickname, but shines just as much.
  • The laugh out loud moments. This being my second experience with John Green, I was not surprised to find I was laughing out loud frequently with Looking for Alaska. Whether it was from something Pudge or any of his vibrantly hysterical classmates were saying and doing, or from the multitude of pranks pulled in this book, I can honestly say I laughed about every 4 and a half minutes while reading. (That’s an exact measurement in case you’re wondering.)
  • The almighty word. While Looking for Alaska has many great words, Pudge’s talent of knowing the last words of famous people adds the glue to this entire story. These famous last words are dispersed throughout, and add a new dimension and sense of logic to what is being told. They make for some pretty unforgettable moments, and help all those looking for something find that morsel of something in some way, shape, or form.

I could continue this list for pages, but I will stop there because I am sure your eyes are glazing over by now with all this love. Suffice to say I LOVED Looking for Alaska.

Green presents characters that are wholly authentic and relatable, even if you would never think it going into that first page. Looking for Alaska is a story about looking for what is out there in the world and what is inside us, and attempting to find some kind of answer, whatever or wherever that may be.

This book takes on a story and a set of characters that will remain with you, and will remind you of what it truly means to be young and in that age of discovery that we refer to as life.

I encourage you to take this journey with Pudge and his friends as you go looking, because no matter who you are, where you come from, or how old you are, you will find something in this book that will truly speak to you. I promise, and I never go back on my promises.

As I finish off this post, I want to leave you with some last words and the quote that stuck with me the most from reading. I won’t give you a ton of context for it, but just know I think it accurately sums up a pretty important facet from Looking for Alaska as well as for life itself.

“Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

Here’s hoping.

ps. If you would like to learn more about John Green and his self and books you can learn more at the following links. (Click on the links. Do it. I dare you not to love his books.)

http://johngreenbooks.com/ (His website)

https://www.facebook.com/JohnGreenfans (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/realjohngreen (Twitter)

The Best Advice I Ever Got

I have a bit of a secret to admit. Some of you may know this already. Some of you may not. (And before you ask, I am not admitting to book addiction again. You clearly already know I have that “problem”)

I am an advice/self-help/inspirational book junkie.

I adore and savor books that have any kind of positive message, whether it be from someone’s own personal experience or a fictitious story.

And do not even get me started on my love of quotes. I have those everywhere. (I may even have a notebook full of them…shhh)

Suffice to say, I love books that offer one person’s advice to another. I love to read other people’s ideas about life, love, adventures, TV, family, etc.

What can I say? I am an optimist and I hope to live the best life possible, so I figure reading what other’s think might get me to that best life may actually help. I have my fingers crossed on that one at least.

So in my never ending quest to create myself a lovely little life, I decided to pick up the book The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric.

The Best Advice I Ever Got

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Let me tell you, I am very happy I did. This book weaves in a multitude of what I love best: inspiration, advice, great words, and of course thought provoking quotes.

The Best Advice I Ever Got presents many stories by some pretty amazing people. The book is separated into different chapters, with each one focusing on a different topic. Anything and everything is included in this book including topics that focus on never giving up to finding the joy in life. Each chapter begins with a story by the author, Katie Couric, which adds a personable touch to each of the stories that follow. The stories that follow come from a wide array of celebrities, businessmen and businesswomen, as well as some amazing writers.

This book is filled to the brim with words of wisdom.

Don’t worry though. It is a very quick read, as some stories are just a few sentences long, while others span pages. But each one is unique and offers a dynamic piece of advice or viewpoint that you will love.

I was so in love with this book, and all of its advice that I decided rather than say what I like and what I might not like so much about the book, I concluded I should just share some of my favorite quotes. (I also just truly enjoy sharing really great quotes!)

There were many great stories in this book, and quotes to choose from, but the following are some of my favorites:

  • In the end, your finest moments in life aren’t necessarily those in which you finish first but, instead, the times when you know that you simply gave it your best-when you did it heart and soul, and held nothing back. –Michelle Kwan
  • So live your dreams and remember, whatever you choose to do with your life, you must also be a citizen of you country, your nation, and our independent world. Because while our differences make life more fascinating, our common humanity matters more. –Bill Clinton
  • So get out of the harbor. The territory may be uncharted and the water may get pretty choppy at times, but you’ll be amazed at what you can learn, especially about yourself.
  • Never be something that you’re not. To live your life as an honest and compassionate person. Those are the most important qualities to me. Stay true to yourself. –Ellen Degeneres
  • A boat is always safe in the harbor, but that’s not what boats are built for.
  • If the world puts you on a road you do not like, if you look ahead and do not want the destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to your place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a brand new path.
  • Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. –Groucho Marx

So there you have it. Now you know my junkie status of with advice books, and quotes for that matter.

Before I depart again to read another book from my Never Ending Book Basket, a few parting words:

Yes, self-help/advice/inspirational books are from one person’s point of view. It is that person sharing their thoughts and wisdom on a topic. While you may not agree exactly with what they say, be aware that each of us as human beings have a very unique perspective to share with the world. And that perspective should be valued.

We are all in this thing they call life together, so why not look to others to find a way to make our lovely little lives just a tad bit better and happier.

Until next time book addicts. Happy reading, and good luck on that never ending battle to find the bottom of your book basket. (Yeah, good luck with that. I only have about 1,000 more books to go….)

p.s. Remember, some of the quotes and pieces of advice we find are worth remembering, so be sure to write them down. It’s worth it!

This is a picture of my quote book where I write down any and every quote/piece of advice that strikes me. (It's almost full, too!)

This is a picture of my quote book where I write down any and every quote/piece of advice that strikes me. (It’s almost full, too!)