Penny For Our Thoughts

Traveling Sisters Book Reviews. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Bookish Kit Pick: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing @SMARIEDOWNING

September 1, 2021


Howdy, Friends!! It’s Back to school time, and we have our September book pick For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing with the best teacher ever, Mr. Crutcher. You will wish you had him as a teacher!!! 

Norma and my Mom have created three bookish theme kits to match For Your Own Good and have added some fun homemade bookish goodies. Instead of discussion questions, I have added a personality quiz to the kit that I thought fit the book. Post to come with the quiz!! Not only is this a great back-to-school theme, but it’s also a great back-to-the-office theme. You won’t think about those coffee pods or milk the same way again, and you might be switching to tea!!!

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Grab your cup (I suggest drinking tea) and meet this year’s teacher of the year, Mr. Crutcher, in this exciting, fun, comical academic thriller. 

Book Sleeve kit

What in the book sleeve kit

Our kindle bookish kit

What is in the kindle kit

Our book marker pouch kit

What’s in the book mark pouch kit

Visit Norma’s Etsy shop to find our bookish kits. Click here

Use SISTERS20 at checkout for 20% off

Our First Bookish Kit Pick: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

August 3, 2021


It’s that time of year where we tuck books into our beach bags, suitcases, and picnic baskets and enjoy the environment around us. That hasn’t been easy for us in a long time, and now that things are opening up again, there is still time to tuck those books in our bags and enjoy some summer reading. Norma and I put together a fun bookish pairing with a book sleeve, bookmarks, and stickers and discussion questions for People We Meet on Vacation. Norma featured it in her  Etsy shop, and it sold out within an hour. I didn’t even get a chance to feature it here on the blog. So this is not the kit Norma created, but I substituted another book sleeve made our very talented Mom that is available to feature with the book and added some bookmarks that would go perfectly with the book and theme.

You can find the book sleeve here

You can find the beach bookmarks here and the pool bookmarks here

Use SISTERS20 at checkout for 20% off

Why Norma and I picked People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry for our first bookish kit.

We wanted a fun and entertaining summer read that took us on an adventure, and Poppy and Alex did just that. We loved the themes we could come with to go with the book. People We Meet on Vacation makes for a fantastic summer getaway read. It’s easy to get buried in; it’s a lighter, fun one with some depth to the characters, especially Poppy. She is a character to talk about.

Pack your bags and travel with Poppy and Alex to the places they vacationed on, and then travel over with Norma and me to our discussion post on our blog. (I will be adding the post soon)

“Two best friends. Ten Summer trips. One Last Chance to fall in love.”

Brenda’s review

My favorite summer read so far this year!! It’s one not to be missed! It’s the perfect getaway read, and I loved traveling with Poppy and Alex to the places they vacationed on. It doesn’t demand much from readers but still has some depth to the story and characters.

People We Meet On Vacation has all that I needed for a perfect getaway read. It’s a funny, heartfelt, engaging read with banter and dialogue between the characters that felt fresh and exciting. I often find with rom- coms the banter can become tiring and old fast for me. Here it felt realistic, fun, and lively. Their connection felt genuine, and I enjoyed the dynamics between Poppy and Alex from start to finish. 

What stood out the most for me was how Emily Henry nails those tropes like opposites attract, best friends to lovers, secretly in love with each other, and a more modern one friendship breakup. She adds a fresh, exciting modern twist while brilliantly weaves those tropes in by creating a history of friendship told across the vacations Poppy and Alex shared once a year. There is an interesting personal growth dimension that adds depth to the characters. We see this more with Poppy’s character, and Alex creates more depth for Poppy.   Emily Henry has a little surprise in the end that stands on its own and pays homage to the golden age grand gesture and confession of love elements of a rom-com. That clinched the deal for me, and I loved how it all wrapped!! I highly recommend it!!

Norma’s Review:

4.5 Stars! Romantic, delightful, and a captivating page turner!

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by EMILY HENRY is a refreshing, thought-provoking, compelling, emotional, sweet, and fun rom-com that absolutely stole my heart.  The friends to lovers trope here was done extremely well and not in your typical rom-com fashion.  The author has this unique ability to tap into your deepest emotions as well as the characters’ that are deeply affecting to you the reader.  Right from the very beginning I found myself fully immersed in this tale.

EMILY HENRY delivers a multi-layered, engaging read here with great characters that I absolutely adored, totally immersing me in Poppy and Alex’s friendship as well as in every vacation that they took together.  I loved their strong chemistry and the dynamics between these two.  Poppy is so quirky with the best sense of humour ever to Alex’s reservedness.  The author does an awesome job with totally investing us in their relationship and I was definitely rooting for a happily ever after ending for the both of them.

The teasing, humorous and witty banter between Poppy and Alex is what I absolutely loved and couldn’t get enough of.  I kind of envied Poppy’s teasing and witty nature.  I am more reserved like Alex so she had me thinking plenty of time how in the world do you come up with this stuff.  

The only part that frustrated me a little bit was when the friends didn’t talk for a few years.  The silence and miscommunication in a story normally bothers me though.  We as readers can see what’s happening so why can’t our characters? 

The story is told from alternating timelines of This Summer, and their past Summer trips of the places that they vacationed.  Their yearly vacation is where we really get to know Poppy and Alex as individuals and see the dynamics they shared as friends and a couple.  I think the title is a little more meaningful to who Poppy and Alex are as people rather than the people they actually meet on vacation.

It was an absolute pleasure reading this lighthearted rom-com with substance.  Some parts of this story really touched me and tugged at my heartstrings, either putting a huge smile on my face or making me a bit teary eyed.  Would recommend it!  

We received copies from the publisher through NetGalley

Norma has been collaborating with some fantastic authors as they pair up their books with homemade book sleeves made by our mom and sold in their Etsy store. Today, Norma features a book sleeve with the fabric picked by Robyn Harding to match her upcoming new release The Perfect Family. The Perfect Family expected publication …

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Bookmarks Made by Norma – Reading in the Country

November 22, 2020


Hello Friends! Just a quick post today to show off my favorite bookish things again and today I am featuring bookmarks made by Norma! Click Etsy shop to find their shop and use  SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

I just started reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart They has been a bit of buzz about this one after it winning the 2020 Booker Prize so I had to check out. It’s bold and unsettling story starting in 1981 and set in Glasgow. It’s a story of a family struggling with the ruthlessness of poverty, addiction while exploring what is a “normal boy” and the love children have for their damaged parents. Sounds a little bleak for the Christmas season but Readers gonna Read!!

Lindsay and I just started Take It Back by Kia Abdullah and loving it so far! A little about this one

The Victim: A sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, neglected by an alcoholic mother. Who accuses the boys of something unthinkable.

The Defendants: Four handsome teenage boys from hardworking immigrant families. All with corroborating stories.

Whose side would you take?

I am not very far in but I am intrigued and feeling a sense of dread for how this one is going to play out!!

My Favorite Bookish Things: Handmade Book/Kindle Sleeves, Book Markers Pouches and Book Markers Made by Norma and our Mom Linda

November 14, 2020


Hello my friends! Today I am talking about my favorite bookish things and they can be yours too!! Norma has taken a turn from reviewing books and is now making book markers and managing her Etsy shop selling handmade bookish things that her and our Mom Linda are making. Christmas might be a bit of a challenge this year and it might be time to start thinking about gifts so I would like to share some of my favorite things you can find in their shop or have it custom made in any of the fabrics they have available for someone special on your Christmas list. Also I heard this year people are thinking of self gifting this year!! Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off. AND of course I am going to talk about books as well.

I chose this fabric to feature in their Etsy shop and I requested the book marker made to go with it. I use the book sleeve for my book or my iPad. Now about the books, I am currently reading Homegoing and I love it! It’s heartbreaking and eye opening and I can’t believe it has taken me so long to finally read it. I just finished and posted our reviews for Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy and we highly recommend it as one not to missed for thriller readers!!!

My favorite thing is my kindle sleeve. I love, love it and it goes everywhere I go!! Well I really don’t go out much right now. I do have a couple other ones that my Mom made me because I like to have chooses and options but this one is my go to one. I also have the same pattern in a book sleeve because I like things to match. I even try to match the book cover to my book sleeve. Norma made the book marker to go with the sleeves. I am currently reading The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai on my kindle and I love it too!! I also just finished but haven’t reviewed Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. It’s a is a powerful, raw, intimate and deeply layered story that explores love and grief experienced by a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

I keep Norma pretty busy making me book markers and I love all the book markers she makes. So I have a bit of a collection of them now and love the bookmarker pouches my Mom makes to keep them safe in. Here are some now available in their  Etsy shop 

This one here is one I have with a few of my book markers I have collected.

Some book sleeves they have available and many more are in their Etsy shop

I hope you all get a chance to check out their shop and see what other great items they have for yourself or a gift! Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

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