What I Read in… March

I’ve been trying to avoid purchasing new books so I went deep into my NetGalley shelf and TBR shelf and read an amazing 10 books! I don’t think I’ve ever read 10 books a month!

I READ IT IN...

In March I read:

What I Read in March 2019 | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – Felicia Day is fantastic. She is an actress known for her work in sci-fi shows as well as working with NPH and Nathan Fillion on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She is a nerd and gamer and huge in the Comic-Con community, and her book talked about her unusual upbringing and her work creating internet content, gaming and more. It was super fun to read and I loved how honest she is about her mental illnesses. Rating 4/5.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – OMG this book. Guys this was up there for me with Ready Player One. It was so good! Jason Dessen is a married professor with a teenage son and he’s pretty satisfied with his life. Yes, he was on track to become a world-renowned physicist but he wouldn’t trade his life for anything – until a masked abductor does it for him. Jason is abducted and drugged and wakes up in a world he doesn’t recognize and will do anything to get back to the life he knows. I stayed up sooooo late just to finish the book and I wish it didn’t end! My only gripe is that one of the character’s stories is left open-ended, but otherwise, it was an amazing read. I heard they are going to make it into a movie and I hope they do the book justice! Rating 5/5.

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky – Mackenzie Cooper has run from her previous life. After taking her eyes off the road for one second and it costing her her daughter’s life, she has reinvented herself as Maggie Reid and keeps herself at arms length from everyone around her, until her past catches up with her in the form of her ex-husband and her brother. I liked the overall moral of the story, how you can’t run from your past but the book dragged on at some parts. Rating 3/5.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Like seemingly everyone else on the planet I was really excited about this new book from Taylor Jenkins Reid, the same author as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. However, it kind of fell flat for me! I enjoyed the interview format of the book and how the band members appeared to be bantering with each other when it was just individual interviews meshed together. And I was super confused for a hot minute because I couldn’t remember if this was about a real band or not! But for me it was just hard to get through. Rating 3/5.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll – I enjoyed this book on the same level as The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. It was suspenseful and had me guessing until the last chapter. When Brett, the favorite of a Real Housewives-style reality show is murdered it’s up to her sister and the new cast member Kelly to give an in-depth TV interview before the season airs and in the end try to figure out who really killed Brett, because what viewers think is the truth really isn’t. Rating 4/5.

In Her Skin by Kim Savage – Jolene is a 16-year-old girl on the streets and she’s tired of it. She just wants a safe, warm home and a family. She decides to impersonate a missing girl from a rich family and becomes Vivi Weir. What starts off as a dream come true for Jo turns into something that may be even more dangerous than living on the streets. This story was intriguing and I loved the plot but it dragged a lot at times. Regardless, totally worth the read. Rating 4/5.

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd – This YA book was great. It opens with Venus Black, a straight-A student who has killed her stepfather. She winds up in a juvenile facility and as the book fast forwards to her release as an adult, all Venus wants to do is forget about her past and start over. Unfortunately, her past seems to keep popping up no matter what she does or where she goes. In the end she’s able to stay true to who she is and come face-to-face with her past. Rating 5/5.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable – Based on a true story, Alicia Corning Clark is a Polish immigrant who worked for the Kennedy clan and was rumored to have had a romance and even been engaged to JFK. Told from Alicia’s point of view, this story narrates how she was looking for stardom and for love in all the wrong places. The book tries to flit back and forth between the past and present day, but until the point is made to why we are in the present with certain characters, it’s a bit confusing. I also really didn’t like the main character! Rating 3/5.

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza – In the midst of all the political discord from the 2016 election Charlotte Walsh decides to leave her high-powered job in Silicon Valley and return home to a mill town in Pennsylvania to run for Senate. The book, while fiction, definitely sheds light on how political campaigns seem to run nowadays and all of the lying and scheming that goes along with it. This book was entertaining but the cliffhanger left me annoyed. (I get that it wasn’t really important to the story, but still!) Rating 2/5.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya – this was a Book of the Month selection and a memoir by a girl who became a refugee after fleeing the Rwandan massacre. She ultimately wound up in the United States but it took years to gain her individuality back again and move on from the little girl who at six lost her home and her parents. I enjoyed how Clemantine’s tale was woven and how it went back and forth in time but at times I grew frustrated with her (which is difficult to say, given her situation.) Rating 4/5.

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Organizing My Life – My Blog Notebook & Accessories

Last month I shared how I keep myself organized with my paper planner, and now it’s onto how I keep myself organized (or at least am attempting to) with my blog notebook!

Some may think its weird to keep blog ideas on paper, since the blog is digital and all, but in my 10+ years of blogging this has worked out the best so far!

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I used to try and keep track of blogging ideas and posts in WordPress with tons of draft posts and emails to myself but they would just get lost. So, I had the idea to lay it all down in a notebook!

I’m a huge nerd when it comes to office supplies and I need pretty notebooks! I actually think this one came from a blog swap a few years ago, and it’s perfect. I also prefer spiral bound notebooks over ones that are case bound (like a hardcover book) – I prefer them to lay flat as I’m writing or be able to flip everything around so only the page I need is showing.

Clipped to the inside front cover I have a little monthly calendar I printed out where I try to map out my posts for each month. On the right, the first page lists the monthly and weekly link ups I join, with notes on what the link up is, when they take place and what blogs they’re found on.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

The calendar is super helpful to me. I don’t mind crossing things out or moving them around on these pages. And for each post, I put down what link up they’re relevant to if any. I used to use the calendar plugin on WordPress but it just wasn’t helping me stay on track and plan out my posts. The calendar printable is from here.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I’ve designated each page to something specific and I add more as I go! I won’t list them all, but here are some examples:

I have a page for recurring monthly features like my monthly book reviews, Amazon prime posts, and more.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

These two pages are the 2nd half of my Amazon Prime purchases grid and my Monthly Goals – so I can keep track of what I’ve purchased/done and write about them accordingly.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I keep a page for random brainstorming – like post ideas that may not become recurring ones, but ideas that pop into my head that aren’t time sensitive and I can pop into my schedule here and there.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I also have some pages for more in-depth brainstorming – like if I already have some good ideas going for the post, and don’t want to lose them. The left-hand side of the notebook here is the 2nd calendar half of a rough timeline for posts – not something day by day like in the front of my notebook, but more of a general idea of what posts I want in each month, if I know far enough out.

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

And like I mentioned earlier I add pages as I go! When we were in Mont Tremblant on vacation I knew I wanted to recap the trip and add tips and other notes so I started bullet pointing out my thoughts so I wouldn’t lose them!

Blog Notebook & Accessories | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

And as I mentioned in my planner post, I almost exclusively use Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens. I use them to outline each page, and then write down my ideas with my favorite pen (I only write in blue), and always have some Wite-Out correction tape on hand for mistakes. 🙂

Paper Mate Flair Pens | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

That’s how I try to keep my blog organized and planned! I have only been doing this a few months but I find it that it keeps me on track and more organized than any digital method I’ve tried.

How do you plan out your blog posts/keep it all organized?

Linking up with Keep it Together.

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9 Memories/Things I Love from 9 Years of Marriage

Today is Dave's and my nine year wedding anniversary. HOLY MOLY. Crazy to think nine years have flown by and that I've had this blog since even before then! We don't do anything crazy for anniversaries - maybe next year since that's the big 1-0, but I thought … Click here to read the full post →

Listening, Reading, Watching 4

This is a monthly feature I'm starting where I share the things that have captured my attention - podcasts, music, TV shows or movies, books, etc. This month I'm Listening To: The Broken Harts podcast from Glamour. This podcast broke my heart. … Click here to read the full post →

February Goals Update & Goals for March

At this point, if you're a regular reader, you have seen how crazy my February was and how much I was away from home. Therefore it should be no surprise to anyone that I FAILED MISERABLY AT MY FEBRUARY GOALS. As a reminder, I set both yearly goals and … Click here to read the full post →

Five on a Friday 3.8.19

Happy Friday!! I am FINALLY over my travel craziness in February! Woo hoo! Now to get my life and my house back in order. I HATE when my house is all chaotic - it just gives me so much anxiety and I feel so much better when its cleaner. :) Here's my Five … Click here to read the full post →