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August was kind of all over the map for me in terms of reading.  Looking back over my list I can now see that what made total sense to me at the end of July was truly a compilation of total randomness.  Sometimes it’s easy for me to take huge shifts in genre between books and sometimes it’s not.  I ended up having to take a few days off between books in August just to make the transitions but it all worked out in the end because randomness was what my head really needed.  So let’s take a look at what the plan was for August…

Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #2)
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Take this Child by Calley Reed
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Murder in the Sentier by Cara Black (Aimee Leduc #3)

I ended up adding Love you More by Jennifer Grant and pushing Aimee Leduc into September, but I really like how the month shook out.

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Book of the month goes to Golden Son by Pierce Brown. To say that this trilogy is intense would be a HUGE understatement.  It’s reminds me of Game of Thrones, Hunger Games and Ender’s Game all combined.  Seriously, it’s a wild ride. The 3rd book comes out early next year and I’m not sure I can wait that long!  Reading the reviews online I thought, “Hmm, I’m not really feeling dystopian Mars.” But once I got into it, man-oh-man.  Make time for this book, it won’t disappoint.

I did some serious procrastination on Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and finally dove in towards the end of the month. It’s gotten some pretty harsh reviews, and I can totally see why, but I can also see the brilliance of it.  It is most definitely not as brilliant as To Kill a Mockingbird, but unlike other reviewers I don’t see the Watchman Atticus as a totally different Atticus than the Mockingbird Atticus.  It’s just that we’re finally seeing him through the eyes of an adult instead of a child that idolizes him.  He’s human and he’s imperfect, but he’s also still the Daddy that raised her.  It’s a tough read, especially for those of us raised in the south, but in the end, I really enjoyed it and it does shed new light on Mockingbird so it’s worth a read.  Just keep an open mind. ;-)

On a completely unrelated note – Timehop reminded me that it’s been almost 2 years since I finished the All Souls Trilogy so I took a peek at Deb Harkness’ website to see if she had anything new coming out and even though the answer to that is no, she did have a cool playlist that she published for The Book of Life.  I have to say, she nailed it.  So if you’re missing Matthew and Diana like I am, check it out and enjoy. ;-)

I think September will be more randomness, and why not? So here we go…

Murder in the Sentier by Cara Black (Aimee Leduc #3)
Daily Love: Growing into Grace by Mastin Kipp
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (Books of Beginning Book #1)
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

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I ordered a set of square prints from Social Print Studio over a year ago.  I loved the size, the feel of the paper they were printed on, and the fact that they were actually printed and not just tucked safely away in a folder on my computer.  But I had no idea what I was going to do with them.  They’ve sat on the corner of my desk for over a year and then, 2 weeks ago, an idea smacked me right in the face while I was playing with a can of sample paint from Sherwin Williams.

You see, I’ve been on a mission lately to find the exact shade of greige that JoJo uses in all of her houses.  I’ve held swatch after swatch up on multiple walls in light throughout the day.  I felt like I’d found it, so I went to the store and got a sample can (which, BTW is huge).  Came home, put it on the wall and nope, too light.  But I had this huge can of sample paint, so I decided to paint the wall outside my office just because I could.  As I was removing the photo currently on the wall and painting the trim, I saw it – a wall covered in Instagram prints. Boom.  And just like that, I went back to my computer and ordered 96 more prints. ;-)

The goal for this wall is to be very organic and grow/change over time.  I want a living, breathing piece of art that shows us laughing, smiling and enjoying life.  And bonus – I now have about 120 smiling faces looking at me from this wall all day long. Once I got the photos up I felt like the wall needed something else so I decided to go with some big letters.  I narrowed them down to a few options and got the Hubs to vote for his favorite.  As a side note, I found a lady that sells these kinds of things on Etsy for about $50 – $80 unpainted, and I was able to make these for about $12 including paint so, YAY! They are cut from hardboard, which I had never used before but am now totally in love with, and spray painted with hammered pewter to look like metal letters. Hardboard – $5.94, paint – $6.50. Photos are hung with Loctite Fun-Tak mounting putty and the letters are hung with command velcro strips.  Overall it took me about 2 afternoons to cut, paint and hang everything, and I’m really loving how it turned out.

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I collect inspirational quotes – on a Pinterest board, on my wall, in an Evernote file, and in my journal.  I just can’t get enough awesome quotes.  As I was flipping through a few earlier this month I thought it’d be cool to dedicate this month’s Top 10 on the 10th to my 10 favorite quotes from books I’ve read in 2015.  So, let’s get this party started….

10.  “Maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” ― Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

9.  “Survival is insufficient.” ― Emily St. John MandelStation Eleven

8.  “Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.” ― Jasper FfordeThe Well of Lost Plots

7.  “That’s what’s wrong with you. All your beaux have respected you too much, though God knows why, or they have been too afraid of you to really do right by you. The result is that you are unendurably uppity. You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.” ― Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind

6.  “Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.” ― Pierce BrownGolden Son

5. “Someone is going to hate what you do. That’s not a maybe. That’s a definite. And I don’t mean dislike. I mean hate. With energy and vitriol and a passion that surprises you.” ― Jon AcuffStart: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters

4. “We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.” ― Gayle FormanJust One Day

3.  “The reason God wants you to be His son or daughter is that He wants you to be free. Free from pressure. Free from worry. Free from comparison. Free from sin. Free to be . . . you. Who you are is not determined by what you do. Who you are is determined by whose you are.” ― Jon WeeceJesus Prom: Life Gets Fun When You Love People Like God Does

2. “You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude?” ― Paulo CoelhoVeronika Decides to Die

1.  “Saying “I meant well” is not going to cut it. Not with God screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least in nearly every book of the Bible. It will not be enough one day to stand before Jesus and say, “Oh? Were You serious about all that?” ― Jen Hatmaker, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity

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