2019 Gift Giving Guide for Bookworms!

Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 5.19.35 PM.png

The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner and with Thanksgiving next week, I know many of you will be heading out to do some shopping. I’ve created a list of gift ideas that would be perfect for the bookworm(s) in your life!

one: Hamilton Beach Electric Water Kettle

I originally bought this kettle to quickly heat water or my tea while I’m drinking, but it’s quickly become a family favorite appliance. The kids use it to heat water for oatmeal, Raman noodles, and hot chocolate. We love this thing!

two: Novel Teas

After you heat your water in your electric kettle, grab one of these tea bags that are also printed with literary quotes. They’re the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the avid reader in your life!

three: Ceramic Mug

There are tons of ceramic mug choices on the internet and this is just one example. I know people can be fairly picky about their mug choices, but this would make an excellent gift.

four: Bookish T-Shirt

I love my bookish t-shirts; I’ve started quite the collection! Anything that’s soft, cozy, and funny is sure to be a winner!

five: Book Darts

Do you ever read a quote in a book and want to mark it so you can find it again but you don’t want to mark up your book? These tiny metal darts are the perfect solution. I have them and I love them!

six: Libro.fm Audiobooks 

#partner | One thing that rings true for all book lovers is that there are so many books, but so little time. One way I’ve tried to combat this problem in my personal life is by listening to more audiobooks. It’s the simplest way to “read” a book while I’m doing chores around the house! Libro.fm is my favorite choice for audiobooks and is the only company that supports the independent bookstore of your choice! Follow the link above and enter my promo code (HAPPIEST) to get 3-audiobooks-for-the-price-of-1 ($14.99)! There’s no monthly obligation and you can also gift memberships and/or audiobooks on their website!

seven: Sudio Earbuds

#partner | When Sudio reached out and offered me a free pair of earbuds, I admit that I was skeptical. I had a different pair that I liked fine, but there were some minor inconveniences that I thought it would be nice to compare with a different pair. I immediately fell in love with my Sudio earbuds! (I have the Tolv design in white.) They fit nicely in my ear, they have incredible sound quality, and they last seven hours on their first charge! Use my promo code (WHENREADING) for 15% off your entire order.

eight: JBL Charge 3 Portable Speaker

There are lots of other options for wireless and portable speakers…the point is that these speakers are awesome for listening to audiobooks and podcasts when you’re getting ready in the morning. Just another bit of time where you can add a little more “reading” into your life. (Bonus: We have this speaker and use it for so much more than just listening to audiobooks. We use it to play music when we have friends over, my husband uses it in the golf cart when he’s golfing, and we take it to the lake. It has great sound quality and can play quite loud!)

nine: Book of the Month Subscription

I have been a member of Book of the Month for over three years now and I absolutely love it! They have a wonderful selection every month, and oftentimes the books are available to subscribers pre-publication! There’s nothing more exciting than seeing that little blue box on your doorstep when you get home from a busy day! (Note: If you use the link above to sign up, I will receive a free book.)

ten: Shelf Subscription from The Bookshelf

Once a month, the employees of The Bookshelf will send you a book in the mail. Your book selection is a total surprise, so it’s very exciting to open it up. You can choose to be surprised, or you can chose an employee whose book taste lines up with yours. Some past selections include: Ask Again, Yes; The Lager Queen of Minnesota; and Turn of the Key.


eleven: Books Are Magic Subscription

My husband and I went to New York City in June. I made him trek all the way to Brooklyn just so I could go to Books Are Magic…and it was totally worth it. It’s the most adorable bookstore. While there, my husband bought me a one-year fiction subscription. So far, I’ve been very happy with the selections. In addition to the fiction subscription, hey also offer options for nonfiction, poetry, young adult, middle grade, and picture books. Past selections include: Very Nice, Patsy,  and How We Fight For Our Lives.

twelve: All-New Kindle

Though it’s taken me awhile, I now love my Kindle and I’m not sure I want to go back to life without it. Why do I love it so much? Many reasons, but here are a few: I can read in bed without distracting my husband, the battery life is incredible (last weeks!), it holds thousands of books so its my go-to choice for vacations and I love not having to haul lots of books with me, and it automatically syncs all of my devices so I never lose my place regardless of what device I’m reading on (helpful because I read on my iPhone off and on throughout the day). I personally prefer the Paperwhite version that doesn’t connect to apps or the internet…if I had that option, I would get too distracted and read a whole lot less.

thirteen: Book Sleeve

I ordered a book sleeve from Tancy (you can also find her on Instagram at: @beyondbooked), and I love it so much! Tancy has great taste in her fabric options and the quality is amazing. There are various sizes to choose from so all of your books can be protected!

fourteen: Pilot G-2 Gel Pens

Everybody is particular about their pen choice, but these are my favorite and have been for years! I prefer size 10 and use all the colors for my calendars and book journals!

fifteen: The Book Lover’s Journal

I personally use a dotted journal to record my reading life in, but I saw this one and my own curiosity was piqued. I love the idea and may have to try one for myself.

sixteen: Bookish Socks

These are so cute! There are many options and these would make a great stocking stuffer!

seventeen: Gaston Luga Bags

#partner |Once again, Gaston Luga reached out and offered me a free bag in order to help promote their company. Again, I was hesitant, but curious because I’m always on the lookout for a quality bag to use when traveling. I want a backpack style because I’d prefer to have my hands free (I gotta have my coffee, y’all!). I accepted their offer and I am so happy with their product. I think the bag is chic and I can’t wait to travel with it for the first time. These bags are high quality and I really love it. There are many styles and colors available. Use my promo code (CARLAREADS) to get 15% off your entire purchase!

eighteen: Anchor Book Mark

No matter the size or type of book, this anchor book mark slides seamlessly between the pages and holds your book open! It’s easy to maneuver and the design is beautiful!

nineteen: Bathtub Caddy

I have yet to get one of these for myself, but I love the idea of a caddy that holds my hot tea, book, and a candle while I read and relax in the bathtub! I think I’ll ask Santa for one!

twenty: Pins and Book Print from Ideal Bookshelf 

I am so impressed with Jane’s work and I intend to own one of her prints someday soon! As I was looking at her designs, I also saw the pins she has available and thought they’d make such a cute addition to a gift and/or as a stocking stuffer!

Sudio + Libro.fm | #partners


What’s one way you squeeze a little more reading time into your life? For me it’s definitely with audiobooks. So last year I asked for some wireless headphones for Christmas that would give me the freedom to move around the house while doing chores and listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I was so happy!

IMG_2700Then, this summer, Sudio reached out and offered a collaboration for their wireless headphones. I figured, why not? They arrived in the mail, I gave them a try, and I found a new favorite pair of wireless headphones. You guys, these ear buds are so amazing, I bought another pair (with my own money!) for my husband for his birthday. We both love them so much and I think you will too. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds with fantastic sound quality, consider giving Sudio a try! Use the promo code WHENREADING to get 15% off your entire order.

To sweeten the deal, head over to Libro.fm and use the code HAPPIEST to get 3-audiobooks-for-the-price-of-1…that’s just $14.99! And there is no commitment and no monthly purchase requirements! And what’s even better than all of those things? You’re supporting the independent bookstore of your choice (I see you, Tattered Cover Book Store), not some mega-monopoly company that doesn’t give back to their communities, support authors, and provide fun local events for their customers.


Friends, I know this post feels like an ad, but please know that I stand behind both of these companies and believe they offer a lot of value to book lovers. There’s no pressure to buy; however, if you’re looking for something that offers what Sudio and or Libro.fm can provide for you, I urge you to take a look at these companies. For those of you that decide to take the leap, don’t forget to use the codes so you get a little more bang for your buck! 💵

To help build up your audiobook files, click here to see my personal audiobook recommendations! 🎧

Book of the Month


Now is about the time when I start stalking Book of the Month‘s website. Even though I have a fairly substantial stack of unread BOTM titles (this is just a small part of that #unreadstack), I can’t seem to help myself and always order more each month!

If you’re not a BOTM member yet, you’re missing out! They provide hardback copies (a lot of pre-releases or brand-new releases) for a bargain price.

Some of my favorite BOTM titles have been: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Underwood, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Marlena by Julie Buntin, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb, and The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.

Click here to sign up using my affiliate link.

(Full disclosure: I’ll receive a free book if you sign up under that link).

I’m a Page 1 Ambassador!


Last week I found out that I was chosen to be a Page 1 Ambassador and I could not be any more excited! I have been curious about their subscription service for quite some time and when they opened up the program to new applicants, I jumped at the chance!

When you sign up for a Page 1 subscription, you fill out a questionnaire that asks a variety of questions to help the staff pick out the perfect book for you. The titles are hand-picked, loving chosen and wrapped, and sent out at the beginning of each month.

Here’s my favorite part: Page 1 GUARANTEES your happiness. If you don’t like the book they send you, or you’ve already read it, simply let them know and they’ll send out a replacement as soon as possible. No need to return the original book back…they just ask you to pass it along. I LOVE that policy!!

Throughout the next three months, you’ll be seeing lots of posts from me about Page 1. At some point, I’ll even be hosting a giveaway for one FREE 3-month subscription! If you’ve been curious about Page 1 for awhile, now is the time to give them a try – click here and use the promo code HAPPIEST for 10% off your first box! I hope you’ll join me!




My Week in Books (4/22/19)


(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)

{#partner #librofm) This week kicks off Independent Bookstore Day (read more here) – a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the United States on the last Saturday in April (this year it will be April 27th). To celebrate, Libro.fm wants to thank everyone who supports independent bookstores with five free audiobooks!

If you’re like me and live in a rural area where there isn’t an independent bookstore, Libro.fm allows you to still be able to support your favorite indie bookstore…which makes them my favorite place to buy audiobooks. Libro.fm is the first and only company to make it possible for customers to purchase audiobooks through their local bookstore of choice. This is an easy way to provide ongoing support to your bookstore from the convenience of your mobile device!

To thank everyone who supports independent bookstores, Libro.fm is gifting its members five free audiobooks. All you need is an account – which is free, does not require any credit card information, and does not require any commitment. What do you have to lose?

And just to sweeten the deal a little bit more…get your 5 free audiobooks at https://libro.fm/ibd?rf_code=lfm56658&cmp=IBDLLS and use HAPPIEST to also get 3-for-1 audiobooks when you join as a member! Then on Saturday, April 27th, you’ll also receive an email from Libro.fm with a link to collect your five free audiobooks!

It’s that simple! And it’s a decision you won’t ever regret!

Last Week’s Reads:

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 7.51.05 PM


  • *** The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2) by: Helen Hoang (Berkley) – On Shelves: May 7, 2019
    • I’m truly not a fan of romance, but Hoang creates quirky love stories unlike anyone else. I loved The Kiss Quotient last year, so I was excited to read the second book in the series. I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t a continuation of Stella and Michael’s story; we’re introduced to new characters in this book. This one didn’t hold up as well for me…There are still plenty of blush-worthy moments, but overall this one lacked engagement for me. I didn’t connect with the characters as deeply and I was just super frustrated with their lack of communication. Readers of Hoang’s first book will recognize and appreciate her writing as it is similar and if you’re looking for a quick and light summer read, give this one a try!
  • 🎧 Life Will Be the Death of Me:…And You Too! by: Chelsea Handler (Spiegel & Grau) – Pub Date: April 9, 2019
    • This book was the last thing I expected it to be. While I’ve never read any of Handler’s previous books, I know enough from her tv shows etc, to have made some presumptions about what this book would be about: drinking, joking, and pointless…BUT I WAS WRONG!! It’s so much more than that! Handler veers off from her regular course and gets real, honest, and vulnerable. This book is raw because she tackles grief, difficult family relationships, and her intense hate for the current administration and the direction of our country. She acknowledges her real sense of privilege and examines how to use her voice to initiate change. I was unexpectedly blown away by this book. I listened to it on audiobook and I think that made it come alive in a totally different way than it would have in hard copy. I saw a new side of Handler and have a greater respect for her now.
  • Finding Dorothy by: Elizabeth Letts (Ballantine) – Pub Date: February 12, 2019
    • Finding Dorothy is a true gem of a book you don’t want to miss! This is historical fiction at its finest – a sweet, whimsical, {mostly} happy story that had my heart from the first page. Alternating between 1939 in Hollywood, California and the late 1800s throughout the US’s midwest, this is the story behind the massive book, and eventual movie, hit The Wizard of Oz. I remember growing up and loving the movie {minus the #flyingmonkeys 😳}. It was so fun to go “behind the scenes” to see the inspiration behind that childhood memory. Historical fiction seems to center around WWII a lot of the time, so if you’re looking for a change of pace – and something a little less depressing – give this one a try. It’s truly magical and will give you all the feel-good vibes!
  • Normal People by: Sally Rooney (Hogarth) – Pub Date: April 16, 2019
    • I honestly don’t know what to say about this one. For me, it was a case of #bookstagrammademedoit…which usually works for me. But this one really didn’t. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it – I mostly feel very meh about it. Some of my most trusted sources LOVED this one (Sarah’s Book Shelves, Katie from @basicbsguide, Tyler Goodson, Novel Visits, ItsBookTalk, Annie B. Jones), so I’m not sure where the disconnect was for me. Was the writing good? Yes. Did it keep me turning the pages? Yes. Did I care about the characters? Very much so. This book had all the makings of a book I usually fall for – great character development, deep and emotional feelings, coming-of-age, layers upon layers that need to be peeled back in order to see the full picture – so I’m very confused by my ambivalent feelings. But at the end of the day, this book really didn’t make me feel anything – not one way or the other. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I Tried, But Wasn’t Feeling (aka: DNF):

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 7.54.11 PM

  • 🎧 White Elephant by: Julie Langsdorf (ECCO) – Pub Date: March 26, 2019
    • I DNF’d this one around the 20%-(ish) mark. I was really into and thought this was going to be a great read for me, but when I came back to it the next day, all I could think was, “Really!??! All this about a tree?” and from that point on, I could not get reengaged. Possibly a downfall of reading it on audio – maybe the hard copy would have kept me engaged – but I just couldn’t get back into it.

Currently Reading/Listening:

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 7.56.18 PM

  • Miracle Creek by: Angie Kim (Sarah Chichton Books) – Pub Date: April 16, 2019
    • After reading two books that fell rather flat for me (The Bride Test and Normal People), I was in need of a page-turner. Miracle Creek is all over #bookstagram and now I know why! This courtroom drama is engaging, intense, and brilliantly executed. I cannot believe this is a debut novel! I’m about half-way through and can’t imagine it not being among my favorite reads of the year!
  • *** The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by: Melinda Gates (Flatiron) – On Shelves: April 23, 2019
    • Full review to come tomorrow on its Publishing Day!
  • Piecing Me Together by: Renée Watson (Bloomsbury) – Pub Date: February 14, 2017
    • My daughter and I are still making it through this one. We are both enjoying it very much, but the end-of-the-school year always keeps us running more than usual. We’re hoping to get some reading in time this week to get it finished!

Likely to Read Next:

Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 7.58.39 PM

  • *** The Farm by: Joanne Ramos (Random House) – On Shelves: May 7, 2019
    • Women who are in desperate need of money go to the farm and become surrogate mothers. That’s about all I know about this novel, but I’m intrigued. With Handmaid’s Tale (which I LOVED) vibes, I’m hoping this is a good one!
  • *** Juliet the Maniac: A Novel by: Juliet Escoria (Melville House) – On Shelves: May 7, 2019
    • Again, I don’t know much, but Tyler Goodson gave it four stars and that’s enough for me to give it a shot! With themes of teenage mental illness, I’m interested in what this book has to offer!
  • Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by: Jacob Tobia (Putnam) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019
    • First of all, this is a case of “The Cover Made Me Do It”…it’s incredible! But beyond that superficial aspect, I’m excited to read this emotional memoir about a “boy” that has fought gender stereotypes. I admire people that revolutionize our way of thinking and I believe Jacob Tobia will rock my world! 

Tell me, friends, what’s been your favorite reads lately?

Time to start your holiday shopping with JORD Watches!


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. I received the product in exchange for my thoughts, opinions, and influence; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I admit: I’m not a huge fan of wearing a watch. I find them big and clunky and obnoxious. The frustration lies in the fact that I find them to be a missing piece to my wardrobe because watches are the perfect accessory to any outfit!

Enter the JORD watch.

Made 100% out of natural woods, the simple – yet gorgeous – design is sure to draw everyone’s attention. The watch face is made from Sapphire Crystal Glass which protects against cracking and scratches (second only to diamonds)! These watches are versatile; whether you choose a light- or dark-colored band, the watch will seamlessly fit into any wardrobe scheme.

While JORD offers many beautiful options, my eye was immediately drawn to the Frankie 35 Dark Sandalwood & Slate design. It is a watch that can be dressed up or down. Since I’ve received my watch in the mail, I’ve worn it everyday and there isn’t a moment that goes by without someone commenting how gorgeous and unique it is. Everyone wants to know where they can get one!

Don’t despair, friends…I’ve got a code just for you!


Click on the link above, enter your information, and a code for 25% off will be delivered straight to your inbox! Then, shop JORD’s men’s and women’s lines and bring a smile to each of your family member’s faces when they open up their wooden box!

Luxury Wooden Watch