Book Reviews · Personal Post

Reflecting on re-reading Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
(Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1)
By: Louise Rennison

Published: May 2000
Published by: HarperTeen
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis


There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.


In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones’s Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it’s “Fabbity fab fab!”

My Thoughts

With such a large and ever expanding TBR, it isn’t very often that I take the time to re-read an older book from my collection. However for one of my last books in 2018 I decided to pick up the first book in Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson series.

I first read Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging back in high school, about 15 years ago. I had never read a book quite like this before and found it very entertaining. It was hilarious and I thought the addition of the glossary in the back was brilliant. The following 3 books books in the series were equally entertaining.

Unfortunately my current reading experience was quite different than the first time, all those years ago. I found myself feeling slightly less amused by the story. Perhaps the correct word I should use is cynical. Parts that I once thought to be quirky, now seemed annoying.

I began to think that perhaps I was too old to enjoy Georgia and her musing, after all this time. Then I started to think of this story moreso as a parody of an overly dramatic pre-teen. And once I began to see my reading experience from a different perspective, I began to enjoy it a bit more.

I don’t have any immediate plans to re-read and continue on with this series. Although I will at some time in the future.

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Challenges · Personal Post

Back to the Challenges in 2019

Last year, for the first time since I started book blogging I took a break from participating in blog hosted challenges. The only one I did participated in was the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Looking back I am happy with my reading progress from 2018 and the selection of books I read, however I miss the structure that different challenges bring. So for 2019, I am going to jump back on the bandwagon and create some challenges for myself. 

Here are the challenges I will be participating in this year:

The TBR Jar Challenge 

In an attempt to read the piles of books I own on my physical shelf, I have decided to try out the TBR jar method. I have put all the names of the books on my shelf into a jar and I will select one that I must read each month. If the selected book turns out to be a sequel of another book I have yet to read, I will have to read the previous book first. My ultimate goal is to read one book from my physical shelf per month. Which will add up to 12 for the year. Naturally I will get to this goal faster if I am required to read more than one book off it in any given month. 

Any additional physical books that I add to my collection I will put on my shelf backwards (providing that there is room), unless they are 2019 releases, in which case they will qualify for my next challenge. 

The New Release Challenge

I would really like to keep up with the newer books being released this year. So to do so I have decided to do the New Release Challenge. 

Like the previous challenge, I hope to read at least one book per month that is released in 2019. These books may be in the form of ARCS, Library books or any physical books I may buy. 

2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Like every year, I will be participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge once again. I have decided to keep with my same goal for 2018 and attempt to read 40 books this year. 

Will you be participating in any challenges this year? Have you set a goal for a certain number of books you’d like to read? Leave me a message in the comments. 

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: May 2018

Look at me, getting my wrap-up posted on time, haha. After a late start to Spring, we are definitely getting much warmer temperatures. Normally I’d use this as an excuse to hibernate, but lately I’ve been a bit more active.

Charlie is now 13 months old and is become more and more mobile each day. He sure keeps us on our toes.

Once again I read 2 books this past month and made good progress on another one. I am happy to say that I read my first 5 star book of 2018. I can’t believe it took me so long. Hopefully there will be more to come..

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Total Books Read in May: 2
Total Books Read in 2018: 11

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Genre: YA Lit, Contemporary
Rating: 5/5
Note: I was sent an ARC of Save the Date by Morgan Matson, from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. 

More than 50% by Hilda Chaulk Murray
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 3/5

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 2
Total Number of Fiction: 1
Total Number of Non-fiction: 1
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 0

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Hosted by: Book Date 

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: April 2018

brunch.jpg

I am a couple of days late getting my April wrap-up posted because of technical difficulties. First of all, the power cord for my laptop bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. And second my internet has been very finicky lately. Thankfully I was able to buy a new cord and my connection seems to be working at the moment.

April was a busy month. We had family visiting from out east, there were several birthdays and I have starting working more hours. We also had some pretty crazy weather and still had snow on the ground until about a week ago.

Charlie turned 1 on the 19th. I can’t even fathom how fast the past year went. I’m now a mommy to a toddler! We had a double birthday party for him and my dad (who was celebrating his 60th). It was a wonderful day.

Unfortunately April was also a month of tragedy in my country; first with the Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash and then the van attack in Toronto. I’d like to send my condolences to all those who are involved.

April Wrap-up

The Road Home by Beverly Lewis 
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
Note: I was sent a copy of The Road Home by Beverly Lewis by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. 

Rumors (Luxe, #2) by Anna Godbersen
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Lit
Rating: 4/5

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 2
Total Number of Fiction: 2
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 0

 

Currently Reading

 

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: March 2018

March 2018.jpg

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for the month of March.

I turned 31 years old on the first of the month. Unfortunately the flu went through my house and we had to post-pone my birthday celebration. Once we were all feeling better, we had a nice family dinner. My favourite part was receiving my first birthday card that said “Mom”.

Charlie turned 11 months old on the 19th. He is doing great and learning so much everyday. His current favourites include; monkeys, ABC Kids TV videos on Youtube and trying to copy everything his Pop does. This morning he will have his first visit from the Easter Bunny, along with a turkey dinner with family.

You may recall that several weeks ago, I posted a 21 Day Anxiety Challenge. Well the flu interrupted my progress, but I have completed some of the tasks, just not in the order listed on the image I shared. My progress with the challenge includes:

  • Spend 20 Minutes Outside. I’ve been going out on walks several times a week.
  • Get hydrated. I’ve been taking a water bottle where ever I go, that I sip on throughout the day.
  • Take a long bubble bath. Nothing calms me down like a relaxing bath, paired with a good book.
  • Snuggle with an animal. My cat Nova starts off his day with cuddles every morning.

I really hope to do some meditation and yoga during the month of April.

I’ve started to use my Instagram more during the month of March. If you would like to follow me click the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/melissaleesredhousereviews/

Books Completed

IMG_20180208_132414_905 (1).jpg

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
♥♥.5       2.5/5
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction

Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris
♥♥    2/5
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Note: I was sent a copy of Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris, from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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The Meeting Place (Song of Acadia, #1) by Janette Oke & T. Davis Bunn
♥♥♥♥         4/5
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 2
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2018: 7

Currently Reading

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

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Book Date

Articles · Challenges · Personal Post

21 Day Anxiety Challenge

When I think back over the years of my life, I know that I’ve always been an anxious person. I tend to worry and overthink everything. Even before I’d ever heard of anxiety I recall having these nervous feelings. However it wasn’t until I entered high school and was diagnosed with heart disease, that it began to get worse. I wasn’t actually diagnosed until about 7 years and a half years ago when I had the emergency open heart surgery, that would save my life. Combined with depression and PTSD, there were many days where I couldn’t even leave my apartment. There were times when I would panic so bad that I had a hard time breathing.

I’m very lucky to have a strong support team around me, who I can rely on, along with good doctors. I’ve come a long way since then and have learned several coping strategies, however there are still times when the panic sets in all over again.

Recently my cousin came across a 21 Day Anxiety Challenge which was shared on the blog Love + Marriage and a Baby Carriage and we decided to give it a try together. It is a great lead in to a second challenge from the same blogger called The Happiness Challenge.

Even though my cousin and I live in different provinces, we thought that participating in this challenge together would be a great way to motivate each other. And to further ensure that I stick to the 21 days, I decided to share my progress here on my blog.

As you will see from the list of tasks below, it really is quite easy. Just one simple activity a day is aimed at improving your state of mind and relaxation by spending a short amount of time on yourself. Considering that we are both mom’s with young children, finding time for ourselves can be tricky, but it is definitely important.

21 Day (2)

Only time will tell if this challenge will bring any positive changes, but I am looking forward to finding out. Our starting date is Monday February 26.

Would you like to join us in this challenge? If so let me know so I can follow your progress.

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: January 2018

January was a pretty busy month for me. I’ve started to slowly get back into working again. Although I didn’t make an specific New Year resolutions, I’m trying my best to make better decisions and to take better care of myself. Its hard to do when you have a little one. Even harder when you are a single parent. But I’m trying my best.

Charlie has learned and grown so much since Christmas. He is now over 9 months old, with two teeth and two more coming through. He never ceases to amaze me or melt my heart.

As you will see from my monthly wrap-up below, I only completed 1 book in January. However I’m actually pretty please with the amount of reading I’ve fit in this month. I’ve been slowly re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as an eBook by Beth Labonte.

I came to realize that in the past year I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a book by the end of the month. I’m trying a new approach to this. I’m just going with the flow. I’ll get it finished when I can. And if that so happens to be a few days into a new month, then that is ok. I know this will change up my monthly wrap-up totals, but allow me to take my time and enjoy the stories I’m reading more.

Books Completed

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham
♥♥.5      2.5/5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Audio Book

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Number of Fiction: 1
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 1

Total Books Read in 2018: 1

Currently Reading

February TBR


Hosted by: Book Date

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post

Currently Reading: January 21, 2018

It’s been a while since I did a Currently Reading post. Time is absolutely flying.. my baby boy is 9 months old now! How did that happen? My tiny little baby has turned into a cheeky handful. And I’m loving every minute of it.

Another thing I haven’t done in a long time is upload a picture to Instagram. I’d really like to start using that more.. Here is my latest post:

 

My Reading Progress

Last week I completed my first book of the year:

40-Love by Madeleine Wickham (Aka Sophie Kinsella) is a contemporary novel that does have its humorous moments but is chalk full of deplorable characters. I gave it 2.5 stars and my review will be posted in a couple weeks.

Currently Reading

Which is obviously much more enjoyable than a 2.5 star read. 🙂

What are you reading this week? Leave me a message in the comments.

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Hosted by: Book Date

 

Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: November 2017

ML's Red House Reviews

November started off well here, but ended with a cold that hit my whole family. However it didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit that is starting to build. I got a good start on my Christmas shopping, which is surprising. The Christmas lights are up and we’ve been watching some fun movies and festive television shows. Those cheesy Hallmark movies are such a guilty pleasure of mine.

One thing that has always kicked off the festive season (for me) is watching the Toronto Santa Claus Parade on television. This year I was able to share that tradition with my son Charles. Sure he didn’t understand what we were watching, nor did he really pay much attention to what was on, but it was nice all the same. The holidays this year are going to be so special as it will be his first Christmas.

I’m satisfied with my reading progress this month and the quality of the books I read was good. Being sick sucks, but it allowed me to spend some more time reading. I finally finished reading The Measure of Katie Calloway, which I’ve slowly been making progress with on Kindle for PC, for quite a while now.

Books Completed

  • Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte
    ♥♥♥♥ 4/5
    Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Novella
  • The Measure of Katie Calloway (Michigan Northwoods, #1) by Serena B. Miller
    ♥♥♥.5  3.5/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
  • The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas 
    ♥♥♥.5  3.5/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
    SENT FOR REVIEW

The Stats 

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 3
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 25 

Currently Reading

December TBR

I hope you all had a wonderful November and happy reading!

Links

Hosted by: Book Date

Charlie's Corner · Personal Post · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: November Wonder Week with Life Outside the Box

Baby Boy!

After Charles was born I joined a group made up of local Mommy’s with young children. It has become a great place to turn to for support and we have met some wonderful people as a result.

One of the Mom’s in the group has created a blog to share the different activities she does with her two little ones. Click the links below to check it out:

Life Outside the Box (Blog)

Life Outside the Box (Facebook Page)

Last week Charles and I participated in an online program she created, which encouraged sensory, nature and motor skills play. November Wonder Week was a fun way to explore using everyday household items with an autumn theme. Each day Katherine would post a file including the instructions for the activity she planned. In her daily instructions she offered modifications for different age groups. Every child experienced this program in their own unique way. I really enjoyed learning how the other parents put their own spin on the activities. It helped give me ideas on what to do, as I am far less creative. I am really looking forward to participating in the next group program in the New Year.

Be sure to check out Katherine’s blog if you are interested in learning more about “Life Outside the Box”.