Book Pairing: Fly Girls

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In my last post I introduced a new series called Book Pairings, where I share two books to pair together to expand your knowledge and enhance your reading experience. Check out the first book pairing I suggested here.

For my next pairing, I was inspired when I read a review of the recent nonfiction work Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History (published on August 7, 2018). I was immediately reminded of a novel I read that also featured female pilots, particularly during World War II, called Code Name Verity. While these books are very different in a lot of ways, both feature female pilots and the challenges they faced trying to be taken seriously as pilots. Female pilots have been largely overlooked as a part of history in general and in World War II, something that both of these books look to correct in their own ways.

Fly Girls by Keith O'Brien

Book #1: Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
by Keith O’Brien
For fans of: Hidden Figures, badass women throughout history.

Buy it:
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From Amazon:
“Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.
O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.
Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.”

 

Code Name VerityBook #2: Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
For fans of: Historical fiction, war stories, female friendship, tearjerkers.

Buy it:
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BARNES & NOBLE
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From Amazon:
“Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 
A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.”

 

Bonus pick:
Rose Under Fire

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, the sequel to Code Name Verity, also about a female pilot during WWII.

Buy it:
AMAZON
TATTERED COVER
BARNES & NOBLE
View on Goodreads

 

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Book Pairing: Royals

[This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting Books, Coffee & Cats!]

This is the first post in a new blog series I’m introducing where I’ll be suggesting two (or maybe more) books to pair together. I was an English major in college, and I always loved studying books that complemented each other, expanded on a topic, or provided different perspectives on the same theme. Even just reading for fun, I still often find myself wanting to read books together that really “go” together, and expand my knowledge or challenge my ideas about a given topic or theme.

After the royal wedding, I’m sure I’m not the only one who had a hard time getting back to reality. There is something about the British royal family that seems to fascinate (almost) everyone, but while everyone seems to have their minds on the modern royals right now, I thought I’d suggest some reading that goes back a few years:

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10 Ways to Spend Less Money on Books

10 Ways to Spend Less Money on Books 2
[This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting Books, Coffee & Cats!]

Reading can be an expensive hobby, but there are tons of ways to get access to cheap or free books so that you can read as many books as you like while still also being able to pay your bills. Here are a few of my tips to save money on reading: Continue reading “10 Ways to Spend Less Money on Books”

Why I’m Not Doing a Goodreads Challenge for 2018

Why I'm Not Doing a Goodreads Challenge for 2018 - Books, Coffee & Cats

For the last few years, I’ve done a Goodreads reading challenge each year. For those who are unfamiliar, Goodreads allows you to set a goal for the number of books you’d like to read throughout the year and when you mark a book as completed, it will add it to your total for the year.

While I’m still going to count the number of books I’ll be reading just to see where I end up at the end of the year, I’m not going to be setting a goal this year. I want to take the stress out of reading and go back to fully enjoying it, focus on quality over quantity, and feel okay with not finishing every book I start without feeling guilty about all of the reading time I wasted on it.

One of the most important factors in my decision is that I just like to read long books. I don’t like reading short books just for the sake of increasing my total (though there are plenty of short books that I love as well). I’d rather read what I’m in the mood to read rather than read lots of short books because I’m trying to reach my goal.

Another reason I’m not doing the challenge is that I hate comparing how much I read with how many books others are able to read. I have struggled for the last two years to reach my goal of fifty books and I see others reading more than double that, but in reality it really doesn’t matter whether you read five or fifty books or five hundred books if it is the right amount for you and your life.

Goals are generally great to have but I think sometimes they can do more harm than good. For me, a reading goal starts out as motivating and then ends up discouraging when I’m struggling to reach it. Sometimes life gets in the way of reading and that’s perfectly okay. This year, I want to focus on just enjoying reading without worrying about a number.

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My Top Five Non-Fiction Reads of 2017

My Top 5 Non-Fiction Reads of 2017[This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting Books, Coffee & Cats!]

 

 

 

Here are my five favorite non-fiction books that I read in 2017:

 

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My Top Five Fiction Reads of 2017

My Top 5 Fiction Reads of 2017 | Books, Coffee & Cats
[This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting Books, Coffee & Cats!]

 

It was very difficult to narrow down this list to just five, but here they are! My five favorite fiction reads of 2017:

 

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10 Ways to Read More with Audiobooks

10 Ways to Read More with Audiobooks | Books, Coffee & Cats

[This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting Books, Coffee & Cats!]

Until I finally tried audiobooks with an Audible trial membership, I thought there was no way listening to a book would ever work for me.

The first books I listened to were the Harry Potter series because I wanted to try listening to a story I was already familiar with in case I got distracted. It was an amazing experience. The narration brought such a different experience to the books. Now, around half of the books I complete I listen to all or at least part of.

If you’ve been afraid to try audiobooks or are just looking for some tips on how to get in more listening time, here are some tricks I’ve used and that I hope will help you too:

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How to Get Out of a Reading Slump & Fall Back in Love with Books

How to Get Out of a Reading Slump | Books, Coffee & Cats

For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a horrible reading slump. I haven’t been able to focus on any books, and I’ve started a few books just to stop reading them the next day and not pick them back up. For awhile it felt like I was forcing myself to read just so I wouldn’t get behind on my Goodreads goal for the year, but I ended up changing books so much that I haven’t actually finished a book in weeks. Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way out of the slump by utilizing some tricks I’ve learned over the years that always seem to help when I’m feeling stuck. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to read or just can’t seem to focus or get pulled into any book, here are some of the tricks I use to make myself fall back in love with reading: Continue reading “How to Get Out of a Reading Slump & Fall Back in Love with Books”

7 Books for Adults Who Love Harry Potter

7BooksforAdultsWhoLoveHarryPotter

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Like many others who grew up with the Harry Potter series, the fact that it has been twenty years since Harry was first introduced to the world has made me feel both very old and very emotional. If you’re like me, you’ve spent the years since the series ended alternating between rereading the series and trying to find new books to read that will bring back that sense of wonder and excitement that Harry Potter inspired.

Continue reading “7 Books for Adults Who Love Harry Potter”