Final results! 2021 Retellings Reading Challenge: #2021ReadingChallenge #FairyTales #RetellingsReadingChallenge

In 2019, I participated in the Retellings Reading Challenge over @cornerfolds.com. Unfortunately, Tracy didn’t host the retelling challenge in 2021, so I decided to create my own personal retelling challenge.

I chose to read these ten books…

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2021 Favorites: Top Ten Books

Hey, bookish buds! Happy New Year to you all. 2021 was pretty crazy for me. Luckily, I did quite well on my reading challenges–completing a total of 113 books for my Goodread’s challenge after attempting to make just 60. Yes, some of these are middle-grade and children’s books, but I feel positive about my progress despite the challenges I’ve faced this year. I’ll do a separate post on the reading challenges, but here’s a quick list of the five-star books I read in 2021…


Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero

Amanda Kloots bravely reflects on love, loss, and life with her husband, Broadway star and Tony-nominee Nick Cordero, whose public battle with Covid-19 and tragic death made headlines around the world.

In the early spring of 2020, Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero was hospitalized for what he and his wife, Amanda Kloots, believed was a severe case of pneumonia. Entering Cedars-Sinai, there was no indication that Nick—a young man in the prime of life with no pre-existing conditions—would never return home. Diagnosed with Covid-19, this rising star—who only a few days earlier was the picture of health—soon deteriorated. Suffering a series of complications – minor heart attacks, an amputation, sepsis—he was kept alive for weeks, hooked to a ventilator, bypass machines, dialysis, and a specialized heart-lung bypass machine.

 Staying strong for Nick and their infant son, Elvis, Amanda shared their journey on social media, documenting Nick’s condition and the risks of Covid-19 for all ages. Her updates quickly made an impact, inspiring millions of followers around the globe who offered positive thoughts and virtual prayers, and danced each day to Nick’s hit song Live Your Life. When Nick passed away after 94 grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda and her family’s devastating loss.

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2021 Favorites: Top Ten Songs #Music #TopTen

Happy New Year, friends! It sure came fast, but I’m welcoming it with open arms. It’s going to be an awesome year.

Here are my top ten favorite songs from 2021 in no particular order. These are from 2021 or the very end of 2020. I only have ten favorites from 2021! It just wasn’t a smashing year for me with music. I find that the majority of music I listen to is from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. Hopefully, there are some songs here that you like too.


Glass Animals ”Heat Waves”


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Book Review: A Very Scandinavian Christmas by Hans Christian Andersen, August Strindberg, Selma Lagerlöf, Karl Ove Knausgård… #BookReview #Christmas

A Very Scandinavian Christmas

by: Hans Christian Andersen, August Strindberg, Selma Lagerlöf, Karl Ove Knausgård, Hjalmar Söderberg, Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Johan Krohn, Hans Aanrud, Vigdis Hjorth, O.E. Rølvaag, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe, Zachris Topelius

Blurb:

Our fourth book in the very popular Very Christmas series, this collection brings together the best Scandinavian holiday stories including classics by Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark; Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, August Strindberg and Hjalmar Söderberg of Sweden; as well as the popular contemporary Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård. These Nordic tales–coming from the very region where so much of traditional Christmas imagery originates–convey a festive and contemplative spirit laden with lingonberries, elks, gnomes, Sami trolls, candles, church spires, gingerbread, and aquavit in abundance. A smorgasbord of unexpected literary gifts that make up a vibrant, elegant hardcover volume sure to provide plenty of pleasure and hygge, that specifically Scandinavian blend of coziness and contentment.

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