Once Upon a Book Club: A Fun and Unique Book Subsription Service


A couple months ago, Once Upon a Book Club reached out and asked if I’d like to partner with them to feature their book subscription service. I headed to their website to browse around and see what their company is all about.

What I found was so fresh, fun, and exciting! Every month, subscribers receive a book in the mail along with 3-5 wrapped gifts. As the reader reads the book, they will come upon sticky notes that tells them to open the corresponding gift. It’s a total surprise and it makes the book come to life in an exciting and unique way!


My first box arrived last month and I immediately moved the book to the top of my TBR because I really wanted to know what was in those gifts! It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited to read a book!

The book I received was The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad (Kensington Publishing Corp.). I love WWII fiction and the aspect promised in this book was especially intriguing. The British Royal Air Force air-dropped homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Those that survived the mission would make the journey home to England and deliver information about the German troops’ movements.

“A homing pigeon can travel distances of up to six hundred miles per day, fly at speeds of seventy miles an hour, and reach altitudes as high as thirty-five thousand feet. At that height, Ollie, the temperature would be thirty-five degrees below zero, and a pilot would need a heated suit and oxygen.”

I was absolutely enthralled with the pigeons, but the rest of the story really lacked engagement for me. I felt like the writing was amatuerish and I felt like the ending was too tidy and convenient. I’m happy I read the book just to learn more about the National Pigeon Service, but that’s about all I gained from the experience.

Regardless of the book, the gifts in the box totally added to my reading and added a fresh element to the experience. If you’d like to give the box a try for yourself, use my exclusive coupon code: HAPPIESTWHENREADING10. It will get you 10% off your box!






These are unprecedented times.

We don’t know the impact COVID-19 is going to have on small businesses, so Libro.fm is doing their part to help ease the uncertainty many bookstores are facing right now.

Through the end of March, when you use promo code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW, you will receive two audiobooks for the price of one. The ENTIRE purchase price ($14.99) goes to the independent bookstore of your choice (shout out to my closest indie: Tattered Cover Book Store!)

Listen, no pressure. Some people feel compelled to help where they can while others are also uncertain of their personal finances and prefer to save until we know more of the impact this is going to have on ourselves and the economy.

The offer is there if you’re looking for a place to support. 💛

Some personal favorite audiobooks:

#partner #Librofm

Libro.fm’s Bookstore Link – Allowing you to easily buy physical books from your favorite indie bookstore!


Why should you choose Libro.fm over other audiobook companies?

Because as a Libro.fm customer, you:

  1. Keep money within your local economyProceeds from audiobooks purchased through Libro.fm are shared with your local bookstore. Shopping locally keeps 25% more money in your community than when you shop at a national chain. That means more of your tax dollars are also reinvested into your community!
  2. Create local jobsLocal businesses are better at creating higher paying jobs within the community.
  3. Protect the environmentBuying local means less packaging and less transportation. Plus, digital audiobooks have an even smaller carbon footprint!
  4. Make a differenceLocal businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  5. Nurture your community’s uniquenessLocal bookstores curate their selection based on what they know their community members are interested in. When you buy from local booksellers, you are participating in the conversation that shapes your local culture.

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, Libro.fm is the first audiobook company to make it possible for you to buy audiobooks directly through your indie bookstore of choice! They offer over 125,000 audiobook titles so there’s something for everyone. With no monthly obligation, you can’t lose!

From here on out, when I provide a link to a book, it will be through Libro.fm’s Bookstore Link. Through this link, you get to choose which independent bookstore you’d like to support to purchase physical copies of the book of your choice – and you can feel good about the fact that you’re supporting REAL people who care about YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY!

Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 3.33.23 PM

By now, I hope I’ve convinced you to make the #audiobookswitch. Use promo code HAPPIEST to get 3-for-1 to get yourself started with one of the most friendly companies I’ve ever worked with!

Screen Shot 2020-01-27 at 3.32.31 PM.png

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!