Currently Reading - Week 4

Hello, lovelies! This week I have been really focusing on reading. I set a goal to complete some things no matter what the days looked like, and I think I did pretty well. I am currently two books ahead of schedule on Goodreads and one book ahead of schedule for the Popsugar Reading Challenge.

Currently Reading

This year, I have decided to participate in the 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge. In 2015, I completed and loved the challenge; however, last year I fell off the wagon a little bit and never finished. This year there are 40 regular prompts and 12 advanced prompts. For the last few weeks of December, I spent a lot of time on a spreadsheet compiling ideas and purchasing books to fill out this list to ensure success. Moving into the new year, I decided to change the format of my reviews from monthly to weekly as well as the content included. I want to really improve my reviews and there structure throughout. With that, I will not be able to hold back as much information as usual; therefore, I want to warn you that after the overview section (it will be marked) you may encounter spoilers.

Completed Books:

Power Your Happy by Lisa SugarPower Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life
Lisa Sugar
Self-Help, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
PSRC - A book with career advice
Rating - 3/5

Overview - Founder of Popsugar, Lisa Sugar, talks about finding her path to the career that she loves. With tips on how to figure out what it is you love to do, how to get the job you want, and what business owners are looking for, it is an inspirational book on building the life you want. Power Your Happy is a wonderful tool to evaluate where you are in your career. It is easy to use her advice to better guide you to the job that makes you happy with ideas and encouragement along the way. It is all about how to make the best of the situation you are in while looking ahead to where you want to be. Whether one year, two years or five years ahead, this book will give you the instructions you need to guide you to the career path you want.

You also need to figure out how to balance your passions with your talents, your happiness with your success, and having a plan but also not being afraid to change it. 
You have to find what it is that makes you happy and energized, and it has to be something you want to do every day for hours upon hours.
Finding what you love is the first step toward creating your dream job, but it isn't the only step. 
Plot - This follows Lisa Sugar thru the years of meeting her husband, starting her business, and having children. She covers many topics from what they look for in hiring, how they got started, and more. The paced started out very quick and I found myself reading through it rapidly; however, after a certain point, it lost the edge for me. The information became more irrelevant to my situation, therefore, less entertaining.

Conclusion - I took a lot of notes and a learned a few things; however, I feel like this book wasn't really geared towards me and where I am going in life. It went back and forth between bits I found useful and bits when I felt like I was wasting my time reading it. I do believe this book could be useful for some people, especially college students entering into the work field or someone wanting to change their career path. There were some helpful prompts for finding out exactly what you want from your career and how to achieve those things.

Outlander by Diana GabaldonOutlander (Outlander #1)
Diana Gabaldon
Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Time Travel
PSRC - A book that's more than 800 pages
Rating - 5/5

Overview - Claire Randall, a previous combat nurse, has been reunited with her husband in the British Isles. On a second honeymoon to explore and ignite their marriage after a time away, Claire decides to show Frank one of the attractions of standing stones. Going back to find a particular plant she found interesting, Claire is thrown 200 years into the past. Finding herself an outlander, or "Sassenach" in a Scotland torn by war, she is forced to recall the history Frank had drudged on about to help save herself and find her way back to him. Thrown into the time of lairds, spies, and turmoil, she has to do the best she can to blend in and survive without others finding out who she is and where she comes from.

There was a curious peace in this day, a sense of things working quietly in their proper courses, nothing minding the upsets and turmoils of human concerns. Perhaps it was the peace that one always finds outdoors, for enough away from buildings and clatter. Maybe it was the result of gardening, that quiet sense of pleasure in touching growing things, the satisfaction of helping them thrive. 
There were moments, of course. Those small spaces of time, too soon gone, when everything seems to stand still, and existence is balanced on a perfect point, like the moment of change between the dark and the light, when both and neither surround you.

Plot - Although it took me some time to read, it wasn't because of a lack of interest. The premise and writing of the novel were dense and not what I am used to reading. Set it Scotland, the book was rich with language and imagery to really add in the vision of the overall storyline. Being set in the 18th century made it a little more difficult of a read; however, I really enjoyed the setting. The book takes place over the span of roughly a year. A lot happens during that time and the pace is fast moving. Just when you think you are in for a break, something else comes up. The twists and turns were well thought out and developed along the way.

Characters - With such a diverse set of characters, I loved the intricacy of their demeanors. All throughout the book, you are introduced to a full cast of character that is interesting and unique from one another. Gabaldon was able to create magnetism and depth easily. I found myself with a range of emotions for the characters and their lives. Like many others, Jamie was very easy to become attached to. With the threat to his life near the end, I found myself in tears and almost silently praying that it did not end with the loss of a character that I adored. Claire, I found to be well rounded and loveable as well.

Conclusion - It may have taken me close to a month to read this novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. As my first real historical romance, I was impressed with the amount of detail and how easily I could visualize everything. I went into this book thinking I wouldn't enjoy it, but I felt like it was a novel I at least had to try. There were laughter and tears, fear and joy. This book elicited such an emotional depth for me even with reading at such a slow pace, I cannot help but want to continue on in this world. The only thing I did not like was my own reading pace, which I do not fault the book on. It was due to my lack of reading anything like it before. Not being used to reading in other dialects and time periods, I found myself having to take it slow. I have already recommended this book, but I will definitely continue to suggest that people read this novel and series. I am looking forward to picking up the next one, no matter how slow my pace, I want to continue on.

Currently Reading:

The Snow Child
Eowyn Ivey
Fiction, Adult Fiction, Literary Fiction
PSRC - A book set in the wilderness
Rating -

Overview - I actually haven't started reading this one yet; however, this is definitely the next one I am picking up. So Here is the description from Goodreads for you:

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

What book are you looking forward to picking up for the weekend?