February Bookshelf Updates

This post includes affiliate links which help support The Spirited Violet.  An * before the book title shows that I chose this book from a reviewing program to offer my honest opinion on the book.

I’ve always been an avid reader, but I developed some pretty bad Netflix habits after we moved to Georgia.  With grad school, it was easy to justify not reading for leisure because I already felt very intellectually stimulated.  The other day I turned off the TV, unplugged, and spent a few hours reading; it really made me realize how much I have been missing out the last few years.  I decided that I want to read more and I want it to be a big part of my blog in the future.  This is my first installment of bookshelf updates.  Some months I may have a few bookshelf updates and others I may not have any.  Either way, I’m excited to share!

This is the rating system I am going to use from Goodreads; you’re welcome to add me by clicking here.


*A Joy-Filled Life: Lessons from a Tenant Farmer’s Daughter…Who Became a CEO by Mo Anderson// 4 stars

Bookshelf updates// my reviews on My Joy-Filled Life, Weather Permitting & Other Stories, Blackmoore, Paper Towns, and A Field-Guide to the F-word. | Stay gold AutumnI wanted to read this book because my own maternal grandparents were sharecroppers in Arkansas.  I liked the voice the author uses when she writes although I would definitely put this in the conservative Christian category.  Her writing is very easy to read, positive, and reflective. Although I initially would have said this was a biography, I loved that within the first few pages that she doesn’t want it to be viewed of the history of the company where she is the CEO or a chronological telling of her life. Rather, she orders the chapters non-chronologically by the lessons she learns from her experiences with insights about her testimony and faith.  At the end of each chapter, the author has a list of questions or writing prompts; this wasn’t something I was expecting, but I appreciated it because it connected what I was learning in the book to things I should apply myself.  I really enjoyed reading about her love of God, business, and family.  I have already recommended this one to family!


*Weather Permitting & Other Stories (Essential Prose)by Pratap Reddy //2 stars

Bookshelf updates// my reviews on My Joy-Filled Life, Weather Permitting & Other Stories, Blackmoore, Paper Towns, and A Field-Guide to the F-word. | Stay gold AutumnThis book is a collection of short stories written about immigrants from India that move to Canada.  From the description of the book though, I thought this book was about immigrants who came from all over the world to Canada.  I connected with the description of the book since I am an ESL teacher and I grew up next door to migrant workers.  I think this type of literature is needed to help people understand the types of sacrifices immigrants make and I did feel like I learned more about Indian culture.  I feel the author did a great job humanizing different trials that immigrants may experience when moving to an experience from job hunting to having to be separated from family and children to work.   Some short stories were much better than the others, and my personal opinion is that the author didn’t lead with his strongest story.  The book is a fast read and may be helpful in helping people empathize with immigrants;  I think some of the short stories would be great for a middle or high school classroom environment to open up a discussion about cultural understanding.


Blackmoore (Proper Romances) by Julianne Donaldson // 5 stars

Bookshelf updates// my reviews on My Joy-Filled Life, Weather Permitting & Other Stories, Blackmoore, Paper Towns, and A Field-Guide to the F-word. | Stay gold AutumnJulianne Donaldson is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance writers.  This book was recommended to me by several people and I’m afraid to say I sat on it too long before actually reading it.  It made me want to fly to England, money pending, and frolic around the wasteland that is apparently the Moors in England (we’re going to ignore that I just googled it and it looks exactly like Kentucky would without trees so I think it is gorgeous).  I loved Blackmoore because you know who the love interest is in the beginning, but then she adds a lot of layers on to it.  I feel her characters are realistic and relationships are so loveable!  The characters are witty, the flashbacks are well-timed, and the book is so clean you could recommend it to anyone without embarrassment (although, there was a beach scene in this book that made me laugh hysterically).


Paper Towns by John Green// 3 stars

Bookshelf updates// my reviews on My Joy-Filled Life, Weather Permitting & Other Stories, Blackmoore, Paper Towns, and A Field-Guide to the F-word. | Stay gold Autumn

The main heroine Margo was pretty out there, but I liked that the reader was able to get past what people thought she was and actually see what she who she was by the end of the book.  I like the pace of John Green’s writing, but I realized I so badly wanted this to be The Fault in our Stars and it wasn’t.  It was a quickly paced coming of age novel, in the last few months of senior year, with a bit Ferris Bueller’s Day Off chaos.  The book started off pretty well, but by the middle, I was kind of bored and just wanted it to finish so I could see what happened.  I really wanted to love this book like really wanted to love it, but I didn’t.  I liked it though because the character’s realization that no matter how suburban life is, the experiences we have are real.  Additionally, the overarching metaphor of the book is that sometimes we get frustrated when we realize a something is more than the idea we pictured of it.


*A Field Guide to the F Word by Ben Parker // 2 stars

Bookshelf updates// my reviews on My Joy-Filled Life, Weather Permitting & Other Stories, Blackmoore, Paper Towns, and A Field-Guide to the F-word. | Stay gold AutumnI was interested in this book because of the description: the history behind the “f word.”  As someone taking historical linguistics this semester, I was really intrigued and really wanted to learn more about the history of the word.  However, as a little bit of a prude, I was a little concerned about the content of the book.  Well, the good news is the book doesn’t have have the word.  However, it didn’t really have a lot of history behind it either.  The first chapter had the most history for the whole book and I was really into it, but the book more so was a satire that discussed the military semantic and pragmatic use of the word in various phrases.  Also, I had no idea where the word snafu came from, but now I know.  The book is very short, but I know Devin’s step-Dad would definitely love it.


 What is a bookshelf update you have made recently?

  • I love Goodreads; it’s such a great resource for avid readers. Thanks for giving your honest opinions on the books you read; there are a few here I want to check out for sure!

  • I read Paper Towns too and had the same issues with it. You totally reminded me to download The Fault in our Stars, so thank you! =)

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who struggled with it!! For me, a book is a 5 if I want to read it again someday 🙂

  • I love seeing what others are reading! I was going to read Paper Towns, but then I watched the movie….and really wasn’t impressed at all haha I was horribly disappointed with the ending. But I’ve never heard of the others so I’ll have to check them out!

    • I thought Margo was kind of a brat when I was reading. I kept on thinking “sure, that situation shouldn’t have happened to you, but REALLY!?” I was disappointing with the ending as well! Blackmoore is REALLY good if you like historical romances that are family-friendly without cheesiness.

  • I haven’t heard of any of those books, although I’ve read John Green of course. Thanks for the detailed reviews!

    • I’ve heard some of John Green’s other books are great. I really liked The Fault in our Stars. Someone told me I would probably really like An Abundance of Catherines.

  • I totally agree about Paper Towns – I have loved some of John Green’s other books but that one fell a little flat for me. Love seeing what you’re reading and adding some titles to my “to read” list!

    • It has been eye opening for me to see how many people also weren’t into Paper Towns. I was a little worried I might be coming in front of a firing squad haha!!

  • Thanks for sharing. I had similar feelings about Paper Towns. I wanted to love it as much as I loved The Fault in Our Stars because I love his writing, but it didn’t quite do it for me. I found Margo to be obnoxious. I’ve got An Abundance of Katherines and Let it Snow on my Kindle so hopefully those John Green novels are great.

    • I thought Margo was a brat. I need to read An Abundance of Katherines though because I keep hearing good things about that one!!

  • I felt the same way you did about Paper Towns! I loved the Fault in Our Stars because it was beautiful yet believable, and with Paper Towns I had a really hard time getting on board with the fact that this girl would just run away, leave all these weird clues, and then that no one would ask questions when a group of friends left to chase after her and explore abandoned buildings and stuff. I still think it was a well-written book with good characters, but the story was a little too out-there.

    • Okay, I am so happy to hear other people say this! I was worried that when I said I didn’t like Paper Towns that people would start drinking the haterade. John Green has such a huge fan base, but he just didn’t do it on that one!!