#DIYBookClub – April

Okay, I know, I know, April is almost over. But you can’t blame me, I’ve been a bit…well…busy. I have however picked out and read my #DIYBookClub book for April. This month, the challenge lies in defying everything your mother, grandmother and your eighth grade teacher ever told you…judge a book by its cover.

Love Letters to the DeadWe’re all guilty of this in one way or another. The cover, the title, the name of the author on the front of the book. Maybe you like white space, or big strapping men with rippling ab muscles on the cover, whatever your fancy, this month it is your challenge to go to the bookstore, the library, or flip through your Kindle and just pick a book based by the cover.

There were quite a few choices for me on this one, but I ended up reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. I was transfixed by this ethereal-y creepy cover. The colors! The floating writer! The scripted capital font! The little accolade at the top by Steven Chobsky didn’t hurt either.

I enjoyed the overall layout and direction of this book, a young girl grieving the loss of her sister, writing to famous people of the past to tell them her story and get some clarity. A few pages in, I realized I’d read about this book before, so perhaps I was a subconsciously biased in my picking. But I did love the cover and thought I picked it just for that, so you should do the same if you haven’t already!

What are some of your favorite covers? What are you drawn to?

And to get your prepped for next month, start searching for a genre you’ve never read before!

xo stef wade green


#DIYBookClub: March

It’s March. The hope of spring is creeping around the corner. And what does spring mean? Spring cleaning! So while you procrastinate cleaning out the garage or taking down your Christmas lights (you know who you are), the March category for the #DIYBookClub is one spring cleaning task you can easily wrap your hands around.

Olive KitteridgeThis month, we’re picking the book that has been at the bottom of your to-read pile for the longest. This can be your physical book pile, your Goodreads list or that book a friend told you to read ten years ago and you never did. In the spirit of cleaning house, I’m choosing a book from the pile next to my bed that never seems to get smaller. This month, I’ll be reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It won a Pulitzer, it’s been made into an HBO miniseries and it’s been collecting dust in my room since 2008. I’m excited to read it and move along to the next dust collector.

2008 may not seem like that long ago for some of your to-read piles. What are you reading and more importantly, how long has it been there?

Please share with us. And for my short thoughts and ratings on the books I’m reading, follow me on Goodreads!

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub February Bonus Challenge

We’re almost halfway through this romantic month of love. Are you finished with your romance read for the #DIYBookClub yet? Haven’t started? Just in case you breezed through your love novel, a February bonus challenge is waiting for you. A bonus challenge that’ll speak to your dark side. A bonus challenge for all you Valentine-hating readers out there. Did your last read make you feel too warm and fuzzy on the inside? Need to cure your love sickness? This bonus challenge is a guaranteed cure.

It’s time to do a 180. Read a book that will freak you out, gross you out or make you not able to sleep at night. Erase all your feelings of love with feelings of terror and suspense and things that make you go “ewww.”

The Girl on the TrainI’m jumping on the bandwagon and reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. Touted as the next GONE GIRL, this psychological thriller promises horrors around ever bend. I’m 25 pages in and all I want to do right now is curl up and finish it.

Need other ideas?

Well, if you haven’t read GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, do that. You won’t regret it. Anything by Neil Gaiman is sure to set your lovesick mind straight, particularly THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE which still haunts my every dream. Or go non-fiction in the area of forensic medicine and try STIFF: THE CURIOUS LIVES OF HUMAN CADAVERS by Mary Roach.

What are your favorite love-crushing books? What will you be reading?

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub: February Romance Read

Love is in the air folks. It’s February and what better way to celebrate the month of love than with a little romance reading. This month’s #DIYBookClub Challenge is to read a romance. Now I’m not talking a pulsating loin, Fabio covered, read in the privacy of your own home romance…or maybe I am. If you’ve never read an “official” romance, give it a try! It’s not all Fifty Shades of S&M, there are so many different types of stories to fit your fancy – paranormal, contemporary, historical, young adult and more!

With that being said, you don’t need to read a “real” romance novel either, just a story about a romance. Since most writer’s love to write about love, the possibilities are endless.


I will be reading the YA contemporary romance Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. A fun read about a female quarterback who falls in love with the guy vying for her spot on the team.

Looking for ideas?

Paranormal romance: Shameless plug for my friend Hanna Martine’s series, The Elementals, starting with Liquid Lies.

Classic romance: Try Persuasion by Jane Austen (or almost anything else by Jane Austen)

Historical fiction: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Or check out this list of the best romantic novels of all time.

Let me know what you’re reading to bring some heat to this mid-winter cold.

xo stef wade green




#DIYBookClub: January Bonus Round

I hope you’re all having the happiest of new years! I hope you’re all enjoying the first challenge of the #DIYBookClub. I just finished The Giver and I’m now dying to watch the movie and to talk about the book with anyone I know!

Now, I know everyone reads at different speeds. One book a month may be perfect for some and it may sound measly to others. So I am going to add in a few bonus rounds each month for those who are wanting more on their plate.

The first bonus round will be:

Listen to an audiobook.

BornstandingupThis may be simple for some of you. Maybe you do it all the time on your commute to work or on your iPod while running. I enjoy audiobooks but they are harder for me to squeeze in. So this is challenge for me, but one I’m excited to accept! I love humor and comedy writing. I love listening to humor audiobooks even more.

So this month, I am listening to Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up – his story (narrated by Steve himself) on how he began his stand-up career and how it lead to his lifetime of success.

I plan to listen anytime I am in the car by myself or just with my little guy (not my older one – not sure about the content for him). I’m not sure how long it will take me, but it is worth a try!


Is anyone else joining in? What are your favorite audiobooks to listen to?

And for those of you who plan ahead, I will be posting the entire year of monthly challenges this week.

Happy reading and happy listening!

xo stef wade green

2015 #DIYBookClub Challenge

Ahhh the new year. A time of fresh starts and new beginnings. A time to set resolutions we will give up in two days, two weeks or if you’re really ambitious two months. Lose weight! Find love! Follow my dreams! I find that breaking new year resolutions down to the nitty gritty helps me to stay on task. This year, for example, I aim to take my nail polish off before it diminishes to small spots in the middle of my finger. Small goals. Baby steps. As they say, set the bar low. It’s not that I don’t have huge lofty goals for myself (hello, look at this website) but I don’t necessarily find the new year resolution to be the best goal setting device.

I do like the idea of starting the year out with some ideas that offer room for growth. I was inspired by a reading challenge list PopSugar put out at the end of the year. I love book clubs. I love being given something to read that I may not have grabbed off the shelf. However, sometimes book clubs end up with the same books or you put off reading books you really want to read because of your book club. Problem and Solution! Enter the 2015 #DIYBookClub Challenge. I’m hosting a virtual do-it-yourself book club. Once a month (and a few bonus challenges too), I will post a challenge topic. However that topic pertains to you and your interests, you pick a book to match. The beauty? We can read the same books, or different books, and share our thoughts during and after reading them – right here on this site.

So who’s with me?

Our January challenge is to read:

A book that became a movie 

Book becomes movie

I am vigilant about reading books before I see their movie counterparts (with a few exceptions), so I love this category! I am starting out by reading THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. I’ve had this book on my to-read list for years and have yet to get around to it. The movie is out to rent now and before I watch, I need to read!

What will you be reading? Please share below! Also, follow me on Facebook or Twitter for extra updates and reviews. If you post on social media, let’s use #DIYBookClub so we can follow it together!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

xo stef wade green