Friday, December 30, 2016

My Bookish January: #boutofbooks

This pre-Monday post is brought to you by, well, me.
Over the last 24 hours I have been informed that there are two (yes, TWO!) readathons heading our way on the bookish internet this January. In all actuality, there are probably more than that (because the internet is vast and huge), but this short post is to encourage you to stay tuned for the first readathon: Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

P.S. I have no idea why that girl has a thermometer (or whatever it is) in her mouth. #confusion

January 2-8, I will be posting my progress to the following platforms:

Instagram: @emdrake1
Twitter: @RealEmilyMorgan
Litsy: @emilymorgan
I won't be posting the updates on this blog, as this will be saved for my random buffet posts on Mondays. Stay tuned after the 8th for information on the 24in48 Readathon at the end of January!

For this Readathon, I have decided to take on two audiobooks for my commutes, and one whole series for my hard reading (other than my daily Bible reading...going through the whole Bible in 2017!).

1. Finish Moby Dick by Herman Melville (finally)
2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Books: I've decided to try and tackle the whole Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket before the Netflix series airs mid-month. 
1. The Bad Beginning
2. The Reptile Room
3. The Wide Window
4. The Miserable Mill
5. The Austere Academy
6. The Ersatz Elevator
7. The Vile Village
8. The Hostile Hospital
9. The Carnivorous Carnival
10. The Slippery Slope
11. The Grim Grotto
12. The Penultimate Peril
13. The End

So click the link under the picture, sign up, and join me! And feel free to email me with ideas, feedback, or comments at

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Best Books I Read in 2016

Each December after Christmas, I set a reading goal for myself for the following year. I am proud to say I just passed my 2016 goal on my lunch break this afternoon, finishing my 25th book of the year, despite the business of several job changes and life change in general. My goal for 2016 was to complete 24 books. I am still hoping to get one more in before midnight chimes on Saturday!

Several of you have asked me, how do you get so much reading in? Do you have life? Is your job hard?
I get reading done just like I binge Netflix shows, or go see several movies a month. It's my past time, my leisure. I don't read more than an hour on most days, unless it's an audiobook in my car during my daily commute. I work at a law firm, so my job is busy. I have a social life and I do interact with humans. Just to is possible. 😊
I digress...a good friend of mine is the pioneer of a book club I was in this fall. The club focuses on reading books that challenge your views and beliefs and encourage you to see the world in a different way. A few of my picks from this list are from that club. This great friend recently posted her top seven books of 2016, and I decided to join her with my very own list. Two of my books are actually series, so I grouped those into one. Here it is: the list of the best six books I read in 2016!

6. Live Love Lead by Brian Houston

I chose this book, written by Hillsong pastor Brian Houston, because of what it taught me about my faith and God's plans for my life. I don't follow much of Hillsong or other large churches like it, but this book is written with a personal flare. It feels like Houston is having an actual conversation with you, and he encourages his readers with scriptural truths and relatable stories about the great plans God has for His children. This helped me to see how much God loves me, that my dreams have been placed in me by God Himself, and His unique plan for my life and my voice.

5. The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

This travel diary, written by the well-known Chilean communist who worked with Castro, challenged my own conservative political beliefs, all while enchanting me with beautiful prose and travel writing. As he treks with his best friend across South America on a motorcycle, he sees the continent and its people, and you watch his political beliefs form. It is a very interesting challenge for those who want to see the world through a different lens.

4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

This Nigerian novel based on true events of the Ebo people group during the time of English colonization. It was extremely eye opening concerning the effects of missionaries and colonization in a society.

3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Because this is the first time I have read all the way through the series and now I'm obsessed.

2. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I listened to this amazing novel on audio. A black labor and delivery nurse is taken out of the care of a baby with white supremacist parents. The story follows three viewpoints: the nurse, the white supremacist, and the defense attorney who is defending the nurse's case. It is a wonderful and eye opening tale on race relations and our culture today. I couldn't stop listening!

1. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

This duo is without a doubt the best thing I have read in a long time. A young adult novel set about a young woman who escaped a concentration camp in World War II. After the Axis powers win the war, she goes on a journey to try to kill Hitler as a part of the Resistance. This series is riveting, and I would recommend it to anyone. READ IT NOW.

There it is! The best books I have read in 2016. I am so excited to see what 2017 has for me!

Happy reading!

The Life Buffet: Coming January 2017

Most of you are probably reading this because you follow me on Instagram, you’re friends with me on Facebook, or you’re friends with my parents. Maybe you’re here because you are a fan of my writing (in which case, you probably fall into one of the above categories). 

 For several years, I have tried and failed to keep up a blog, much less to acquire readers. From the time I started this blog in 2009, I have struggled with what kind of writing I want to put out. I was advised to pick a blog theme and stick to it, so I could gather more readers. But, should I do life advice? Devotionals? Travel diaries? Poetry? Short stories? Recipes? Are my opinions even good enough to be out there? Instead, I have mulled ideas over and over again in my head, withholding opinions and general life advice with the explicit fear that people will *gasp* judge me, or, even worse, not read at all. Oh, the horror!

 As a writer of fiction, writing about real life things and running the risk of getting criticized scares me to death. However, at the risk of sounding prideful, I think I have some pretty great thoughts and ideas, and I think I’m not the only one scared to jump up and shout them from the rooftops. Hey, I hear you. Your voice matters, and you’re not alone. 

 In the weeks, months, and years that follow, I am deciding to try my best to brighten up your days and your intergalactic web communication with a little bit of a life buffet. That’s right, some of everything. 
Starting January 2nd, 2017, I’ll be posting every Monday with a new topic from my buffet. My goal is to brighten up the increasing negativity that is our internet today. Even if you don’t need it, I know I do. 

 Feel free to comment or send me feedback on topics you’d want to hear about via my Facebook, my Instagram @realemilymorgan, or my email:

Happy 2017! May the new year unearth Dust-Covered Treasures.