Book Related Topics, Fiction, Young Adult

Favorite Childhood Books

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I was a voracious reader as a child. The fourth of six kids,  I read so many things way earlier than I should have. I started reading Mills & Boons in Primary 4 (4th grade) because my older sisters had them lying around. I looooved romance novels. Growing up, I consumed so many of them which is why I’m surprised I grew up to be an adult who doesn’t love romance novels.

Anyway, in between all that debauchery, I actually read some age appropriate books and I want to share my favorites growing up. I hope when I have kids someday that they love these books too! Also, you’re never too grown up to reread these books to see if they stand the test of time or to read one of these for the very first time!

  • Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton – I read A LOT of Blyton growing up in Nigeria and these books were my absolute favorites. They were so funny, relatable and painted such a fun picture of boarding school that made me want to go to one so bad (my mother vehemently said no!). This was the first school series I ever read. The characters were all fully developed and even the antagonist (Gwendolyn! what a brat!) had a great arc through out the book. This is one I have never reread, I want to do this on audio soon, to see if it holds up but I remember it with such fondness and nostalgia for my childhood days.
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – I reread this book last year and it was just as fantastic as I remember it being. I was so glad that 7 year old Leggy had great taste in books. Claudia Kincaid is tired of being the older sister in her family so she decides to run away. Being the very resourceful and clever girl that she is and knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. These two kids successfully run away in New York City to the MET! This is such a fun read and I think even adults who are looking for a palate cleanser would enjoy it.
  • Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene – I have read every Nancy Drew novel that has ever been written! My mom really liked these books, so she bought so many of them for us. There was always a Nancy Drew novel available to read and as soon as I could read, I devoured them. Carolyn Keene was so adept at keeping a young girl’s attention – there was just the right amount of mystery, very mild romance and innocent fun as Nancy and her pals sleuthed around solving not-so gruesome mysteries and murders. I would always beg my mom to let me read just one more chapter but would end up staying up all night to read the entire thing because every chapter pretty much ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to know what happened next! I have not read these books as an adult, I probably won’t get to them anytime soon but I adored them as a child. I’m just going to trust 7 year old me that they were good.
  • The Baby Sitter’s Club by Ann Martin – I loved these books growing up, I have tried to go through the series description to find one that I did not read and I couldn’t find any. My mom bought these books anywhere she could find them because she knew we were guaranteed to love them. This book is about a group of friends who decide to start a baby sitting business in their home town. We followed them through puberty, diabetes, parents getting divorced, moving away and of course, BOYS! These books were just such easy reads but I wonder if they’d really stand the test of time today. I somehow doubt it but they were great to 7 year old me.
  • Famous Five by Enid Blyton – The famous five included Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! These books made me feel like a grown up. There were actually high stakes involved unlike Nancy Drew, I actually felt like they were in actual danger of being hurt. After reading these books, I’d beg my older sister to play detective with me but she’d say no because sisters are horrible! I loved George, she was my favorite character. It’s so amazing how progressive her character is by today’s standards to balk at gender roles and expectations and just be herself.

Just as an aside and bonus hot take, you know a book that everybody loved but 6 year old me absolutely hated? Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I just did not see what the fuss was all about. Wow, I really was a young tough critic.

What are some of the books you enjoyed reading as a young ‘un? I want to know in the comments! Have your read them again recently? Did they stand the test of time? Sound off in the comments, we love reading them!

Leggy

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Our 2019 Reading Goals

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Taynement

Happy New Year, everyone!! New year, new reading goals. Last year, I went rogue and was saying I had no goals and yada yada but this year in my life, I have a goal of being intentional and I am applying it to everything in my life, including my reading.

Majority of my reading is mostly newly released fiction/memoirs so this year so, I want to try and be all inclusive with stuff on my backlist. My dirty little secret is that, I have not read a lot of classics. So this year, I am going to try and include 2-3 classics and get in with the cool crew.

Going through Leggy’s books for the year, I admire how diverse a reader she is because I can acknowledge I am not (y’all I told you I am a fraudulent reader!). She is also very big on fantasy books and *say it with me* I am not. Last year, she had a goal to make me read Red Rising and she failed with that, so I might humor her and read it and add another fantasy book.

I did not change my number of books for the year and left it at 35. I anticipate audio books will be a big part of my reading this year, so I wonder if it’ll be more or less. Oh, one last thing, I joined a reading challenge to help in diversifying my reading. I don’t think I will do all of it but these are the guidelines:

a book you’ve been meaning to read
a book about a topic that fascinates you
a book in the backlist of a favorite author
a book recommended by someone with great taste
a book you chose for the cover
a book by an author who is new to you
a book in translation
a book outside your (genre) comfort zone
a book published before you were born

Leggy

I enjoy picking a number of books on goodreads every year because I think it challenges me to read more and try to make or beat my number. Last year, I picked 70 books and ended up reading 83 books. This year, I’m still going to leave it at 70. I think this is a comfortable number for me where I do not feel too much pressure but also a big enough number where I feel challenged to read more books every year.

As usual, every year I always try to have goals in mind. Last year, one of my goals was to read more female and minority writers which is a goal we as a blog collectively achieved. I read a lot of women last year and I’m super proud of that. I also finally tackled “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas which is a super readable book if anyone is looking to put it on the TBR for the year.

This year, my two big goals are:

  • Read self-help books more intentionally. I don’t read a lot of self help but I do want to be intentional in the way I pick these books and then try to apply them more or at least actually take one thing away from the books that I read. The first book that I already finished this year is “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson and I hope to incorporate some of their tips into my every day discussions.
  • And as always, tackle a classic. My classic this year is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Last year, my second option was “War and Peace” by Tolstoy but I never got around to it but who knows? Maybe this year?

Other than that, I really hope I have a good reading year.

Happy reading year everybody!

Do you guys make reading goals? Tell us what they are in the comments!

 

Leggy&Taynement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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End of Year Housekeeping: We Want Your Feedback!

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It’s been a year since we started this blog and we hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. It’s been a labor of love, library runs and book acquisitions this past year. Also, a learning process for us, as we try to build an audience and make a space on the internet for ourselves and our love for reading.

We want to always check in with you guys to make sure we are giving you the best we can on this blog. As this is our last post of the year, we are using this opportunity to give you guys a chance to let us know what you would like to see from us next year.

Are there any particular type of reviews you would like?

If we started a book club would you participate and how would you like us to conduct it? Via twitter? or comment sections? How often would you like to have it?

How can we make our posts more interactive? What would make you more likely to leave a comment?

How can we improve our social media presence? Is there something you’d like to see on our instagram or twitter that we are not doing now? (please follow us on instagram @nightstands2 and twitter @2nightstands and tell a friend to tell a friend)

Any personal questions you’d like to know about us? Get to know us as bloggers!

Let us know in the comments because we want this blog to be your go-to destination to express your love for books and your feedback will help us build a better community of like minded people.

Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you guys come back next year for a wonderful year of all things books!

P.S We were a little disappointed that no one shared their best and worst books of the year 😦 We were looking forward to seeing what everyone else thought and also adding to our TBR lists. So if you so feel inclined, it’s never too late to let us know 😀

Leggy & Taynement

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‘Tis The Season – Gift Ideas For The Book Lovers In Your Life

Christmas is right around the corner and with Thanksgiving over, this is the perfect time to talk about Christmas gifts! Finding gifts for that friend of yours who has an obsessive reading hobby with their head always in a book, it can be tough sometimes to figure out what to get them, especially when you don’t want to keep giving them only books year after year. We’ve come up with some gift ideas that we hope makes your gift shopping a little bit easier

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Giving your friend subscriptions to literary services is one of the best gifts you can give because they can use it to get books that they actually like and eliminates you having to guess and decide for them. Our recs:

COOKBOOKS

I love cookbooks (Leggy here!) and I have a ton of them that I read and do not even make a single recipe out of. I love the ones where the authors take the time to write the background of each recipe where I feel like i’m reading a book instead of just a set of instructions. I like funny and literary books from professional chefs and home cooks from all around the world, it gives me an insight into various cultures through food. Some of my favorites (and recs)for the year:

  • Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings books (the first is better than the second but they’re both still very accessible to the average cook)
  • Ina Garten’s “Cook Like A Pro” is super good (you can never go wrong with Ina)
  • Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines (Taynement actually got me this for my birthday!)

Also, there are plenty of cookbooks that are exclusively dedicated to recipes from books. How fun is that!:

  • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinal Bucholz
  • The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black 
  • The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen

  • If cocktails are more of their thing hit them up with Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Ferdele. Besides the fun title, it is a fun cover.

STATIONERY 

Every book lover I know loves them some stationery. Our recs:

  • Beautiful journals for the beginning of the year, actual book lover’s journals that lets your loved one record their books and reviews for the year.
  • Personalized pencil and book websites that’ll let you print their favorite book quotes on any item you get. There are book lover’s post it notes, note cards, note pads, calendars.

So much you can do in this category. You can’t go wrong with this! Oh and etsy is a huge gold mine for gifts like these, they are a tad bit on the expensive side but on the plus side, you’d be supporting small businesses.

COFFEE TABLE BOOKS

Coffee table book add such beautiful visual components to fascinating subjects and interests. I love coffee table books and if I were a grown up I’d have one too! There are so many insightful, educative and funny coffee table books to choose from. Our recs:

  • The Barack Obama Pete Souza picture book is still one of my favorites and is a throw back.
  • The Diary Of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-portrait by Carlos Fuentes
  • The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small by Kath Stathers
  • Buckingham Palace: The Interiors by Ashely Hicks (especially since people haven’t come down from the high of the Royal Wedding!)
  • Havana: Split Seconds by Abe Kogan
  • I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 

JEWELRY 

Yes, we love the finer things in life too. There are so many literary inspired jewelry out there that are beautiful and so unique. Diamonds and books are forever so why not put them together? There are so many everyday accessories your loved ones wear that can be customized to show off their book nerd pride in really unique ways – bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches etc. Once again, Etsy is a gold mine for things like these. Our recs:

HOME DECOR

This is for your friend who likes book and more books and would love to be surrounded by them at all times. Our recs:

GOOD OL’ REGULAR BOOKS 

If you are brave and want to take a chance on getting your loved one an actual book that they’ll love, it’s good to do your homework first. Try to find out what their favorite books and genres actually are before giving them a book you think they’d enjoy. When gifting books it is very necessary to not just give books that you enjoyed but consider if this is a subject they are interested in. Our recs:

  • We have so many recommendations on our blog by genres like cozy mysteries, romance novels, fantasy that you can’t go wrong as long as you do your homework.
  • Celebrity memoirs by people you know they like, for example the new Michelle Obama book “Becoming” is currently the best selling book of the year, Gabrielle Union’s “We Are Going to Need More Wine” is still one of my favorite collection of essays.
  • Anne Bogel’s “I’d Rather Be Reading”
  • A book about their favorite TV show like Kelsey Miller’s “I’ll Be There For You – the one about Friends”.
  • For the Beyonce lover in your life – Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley

BONUS

If you decide to give the gift of Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”, you could go all out and complete it with this journal and candle (below) that will provide inspiration for your loved one. These can be found here.

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This was a fun post to curate for us and we really hope you find something your loved ones will truly enjoy. Have a lovely holiday season!

 

leggy & taynement

 

 

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Giveaway! – The Luxe Candles

Hi Guys!

The Holidays are practically around the corner and in the spirit of thanksgiving, we would like to say thank you to you guys who are kind enough to read and support us by working on a giveaway with The Luxe Candles. Made in the USA with a Nigerian entrepreneur, The Luxe Candles is a line of hand poured scented candles. Made with a blend of paraffin and soy wax it allows for a long lasting, cleaner burn and the quality fragrance oils allows for amazing fragrances.

Okay, so about the giveaway. There will be 2 winners and they will be receiving 3 candles each. 2 of them will be the scent of their own choice and the last candle will be the lime-basil-mandarin scented candle inspired by the novel, Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan.

How To Enter:

  • Follow @theluxecandles on Instagram
  • Follow @nightstands2 on Instagram (if you are already following that’s fine, just do the step above)
  • Leave a comment on this post letting us know what book you are currently reading. Be sure to also leave the handle you used to follow on instagram, so we know who to contact if you win!
  • Visit www.theluxecandles.com to pick out the scents you’d like
  • The giveaway is open to everyone but you MUST have a U.S mailing address for your candles to be mailed to you.

Eazy peezy, right? The winner will be announced on Monday, November 19. Don’t forget to share and tell a friend and feel free to make purchases. Never too early for Christmas shopping! Good luck!

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SOS! Reader’s Block!

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Earlier in the year, I told you guys how I was having reader’s misfortune in that, I was just unimpressed with the books I had been reading. My fortune changed and I have now read a few books I liked but now I have encountered the worst of the worst – Reader’s block!

There’s two months left in the year and I have no desire to read anything anymore. I am bogged down with reader’s fatigue (I could be misdiagnosing myself). On a regular schedule, I am usually reading a book and listening to an audio book. Now, every time I pick up a book, I want to drop it and read a magazine instead and when I hit play on an audio book, I’d rather be listening to music or one of my many podcasts.

I have gone through this in the past and honestly there has not been any quick fire cure to it. I just stop reading till I feel like reading again. I think the difference this time is the blog. I feel like it adds a level of guilt like I should be reading more to have more inspiration for material.

Usually when you mention a block to people, they automatically assume the cause is the current material and finding the right book will solve the issue. I know the cause of my block has been life and its interference and it is more of a mental thing especially since I actually like the book I had started when I got struck.

My Goodreads challenge number isn’t even high but as it stands I am 4 books behind – wah! That being said, the year is not over and 2 months is a long time so all hope is not lost yet! Do you ever face reader’s block? How do you get past the hump?

Taynement

 

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