2018 Reading Resolutions

2018 Reading Resolutions and GoalsI don’t always make reading resolutions, but next year my goals are:

  1. Finish book club selections the month before the discussion begins. I had one or two months where I was wrapping it up during the first days of the discussion and I prefer being completely ready to go when the discussion begins.

    What will I be reading? My Facebook book club choices have been announced. My in-person book club selections aren’t all finalized, but for 2018 we’re doing an “around the world” theme and reading books set in different countries all year long. I’m super excited about this plan. I’ve also joined a group that’s reading one Lucy Maud Montgomery title a month, and I’m looking forward to reading her beyond her Anne of Green Gables stories.

    Why this goal? It makes it easier when I’m not scrambling to get the book read right before the discussion. Plus, for my own group, I like being able to give everyone else a heads-up about any possible content issues.

  2. Each month, tackle one book off my “learn something new” nonfiction list. I don’t have to finish the book, but I need to at least either read it or know that I’m not going to read it.

    Why this goal? I want to make some progress on reading books on that list, and not just keep endlessly adding to it. Also, getting two books off the list in one month gives me grace for a future month. I need to get 12 off the list for the year. If I get on a roll and take care of 12 super early in the year then it’s yay me. It does not have to truly be one-each-month.)

  3. Clean up my Goodreads “Want to Read” shelf. I’ve been slowly working my way through it (more on this later) and I’d like to get that project completed next year.

    Why this goal? Currently, there are so many books on that list it’s losing its usefulness to me.

These goals were all written in part using ideas from Jon Acuff’s book Finish. So while I want to make ALL THE GOALS! I’m dialing it back, to help ensure I actually FINISH them all. I’m so good at starting projects, and not so good at finishing them. Starting something new is always more fun than finishing up the last bits of an old project.


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November 2017 Recap

The Month in Stats

Books Read This Month: 17
Books Read This Year: 217

Things That Happened

  • Book club – At Home in the World for my in-person book club and Ordinar Grace in the Facebook group.
  • Thanksgiving, with a pie extravaganza.
  • Basketball began. H doesn’t like it as much as soccer, but she’s liking it more every time she plays or practices. G has improved quite a bit, but it’s still not his game. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is his last year playing. Although, it’s such a good time of year to have a scheduled (indoor!) activity for them.
  • G received his 1st degree decided black belt (the one with his name on it). Super exciting!
  • Both big kids started jiu-jitsu. They usually only go once, maybe twice a week, but they seem to enjoy it.

What I’m Anticipating in December

  • Belt testing! H is going for her senior red belt.
  • Our 15th anniversary. We have no special plans.
  • Christmas! I am not ready.
  • Lots of Scout activities – both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.
  • Book club – no official title (just enjoying the end-of-the-year party) for my in-person book club and Swear on This Life in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in November

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

I feel like I should have finished more readalouds with the kids, but these are all I could remember.


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4 Books Being Made into Movies in 2018

Looking ahead at next year, there are FOUR movies based on books coming out that I’m actually excited about possibly seeing. Any of these on your must-see list?

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I can’t decide if I’m incredibly excited about this or terrified.This is one of my favorite books of all time, so the potential is high for me to be bitterly disappointed.

The potential for it to be amazing is also there, and I can’t wait to see the scenery.

Releases April 2018, under the name Guernsey.

2. Ready Player One by Earnest Cline

While reading the book I kept thinking “I’m sure this will be a movie someday” and look! It will be. Fast-paced, with lots of potential to showcase fun special effects, I can see this appealing to many who would never have given the book a try.

Releases March 2018.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I am *so* curious to see how they end up portraying some of the characters and events from the novel, and if it’s done well, it should be fabulous.

Releases March 2018.

4. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The potential for beautiful costumes and scenery is high for this one, the only one of the group I haven’t actually read. If I decide I need to see the movie I’ll have to read it first.

Exact release date TBD.

Books Being Turned Into Movies in 2018


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Books I Read in November 2017

November was in many ways a disappointing reading month for me; I felt like I was in a slump most of the month, although the books I finished I mostly enjoyed.

“Having” to read anything I’m not enjoying really does keep me from reading other things instead. I drag myself through the must-read book, but feel too guilty to spend any time reading something I’d prefer.

While I know I don’t truly “have” to read anything now that I’m out of school, when it’s a book club pick that I selected for my own book club, I do feel obligated. Plus, I made it through The Diamond Age; I wasn’t going to let Swear on This Life stump me.

    Fiction

  1. Glass Houses by Louise Penny

    I loved reading this latest in the Armand Gamache series, and did my best to savor it, as now I have to wait until another one releases. I love how she’s developed the characters, and always enjoy spending time with them.

  2. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

    Read for bookclub, as it’s our January selection. We’re kicking off an around-the-world theme, and I’m excited to select books from various countries for us to read all year long.

    We’ve got some good ones lined up already (Burial Rites!), and other strong possibilities we’re still debating.

    I enjoyed this one, especially the excellent narrating job Jim Dale did.

  3. The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn

    The next in the series, and I didn’t like the setting of this one quite so much – I was fairly confused by the description of what was happening when, as well as the organizational structure (which ended up not mattering at all to the plot).

    I’d probably have liked it more if I’d ever been to the Tower of London, but I had to satisfy myself with some Googling and looking at pictures online to get a better sense of the locale.

  4. Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

    Book club selection for December, and the only reason I finished it is because it is a book club selection. It was not a good fit for me, and I thought it was poorly written and plotted, even if the style of the book had been a good match for my tastes. Overall I was super disappointed with it, and hope the discussion proves to be better than the book.

  5. Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery

    Another book club selection, and I listened to these stories. They were all very sweet, and very fitting for this time of year; I’m debating keeping an eye out for a print copy of the book to be able to reread it in future years.

  6. The Red Door by Charles Todd

    Continuing on with the Ian Rutledge series, and it’s always fairly disappointing when I figure out the solution. Although I guessed the big secret, and who was behind events, I don’t fully understand the motivation behind the one murder. I probably mised it while listening to the audio with my kids playing nearby; sometimes they get pretty loud and it’s easy to miss details on the audio books.

  7. Nonfiction

  8. Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

    My first Acuff book, and hopefully not my last. I also think I’d like to get this in print, as that’s easier for me to make notes from. This was really good, as much of what he says is what I need to hear (so good at starting; so bad at finishing).

  9. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain

    Uneven, but when it was good it was so good. I laughed many times, and was very glad I was listening to it via earbuds. Way too much profanity and drug and sex mentions to be comfortable listening when my kids might hear.

  10. The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival by Alexe van Beuren and Dixie Grimes

    I spent the worst two years of my childhood living in Mississippi, and have never once felt any desire to go back there. This book actually made me wish I lived close enough to stop by their grocery, to try some of the delicious-sounding dishes. The contrast between her experiences moving there as an outsider and mine were striking.

  11. The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders

    Checked out accidentally, and read more or less randomly. It’s very rah-rah motivational speaker in tone, and the contrast between some of what he advised, and what Acuff advised in the Finish book I’d just completed before reading this one was striking. Spoiler alert: I liked Acuff’s book more, and found it more inspiring in a “I might put this into practice” kind of way.

  12. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck

    Another one kind of randomly checked out, when I was in the mood to peruse a cookbook. The writing style was amusing initially, but I got tired of it before I was even halfway through the book. I’m also not vegan, and very few of the recipes motivated me to want to go to any effort to try their dishes that involved ingredients I don’t already own.

  13. Kid Lit

  14. Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

    Super cute middle-grade novel-in-verse.

  15. Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

    The sequel, which was just as enjoyable.

  16. Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

    It’s so hard to follow a book that completely wows me as a reader. This one was good, but it lacked the “THIS IS AWESOME” factor that the first one had. And it couldn’t have it, because it was a follow-up. Still worth reading, and it still makes me wish this was a real location I could visit.

  17. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

    Probably unrealistically optimistic and happy considering the situation the main character finds herself in, but I loved the main character and so many of the secondary characters.

    This is why I love middle-grade fiction because if this had been a young adult or new adult book, the happy ending wouldn’t have happened. Sorry if that’s a spoiler to you, but there was never any doubt in my mind how things would end up for her; it’s a middle-grade title. 😉

  18. North of Nowhere by Liz Kessler

    Kind of an odd book, and hard to say more about it without running into potential real spoilers (unlike the not-real spoilers I gave able). Overall I liked it, and think most middle-grade fans would.

  19. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

    Beautiful book (as in, the book itself, and the story too). You’ve got to suspend disbelief quite a bit, but as long as you can manage that, you’re in for a fun read.


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New on the Stack in November 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Nonfiction

Hello Mornings coverHello Mornings: How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine by Kat Lee

How did I get it: I pre-ordered a copy and was then sent a pre-release version.
Why did I get it: I have loved Hello Mornings and wanted to read Kat’s book.

Finish coverFinish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: He’s been on my list to try and when one of his audio books was available immediately I took it as a good chance to try him.

The 5AM Miracle coverThe 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I was searching for a different title in my library’s online catalog, and mistakenly clicked “borrow” on this one. Note to self: don’t try and scroll the catalog when you’re that tired that you can barely see straight.

Medium Raw coverMedium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: He makes me laugh, and I’ve been meaning to try this one for some time.

The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook coverThe B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival by Alexe van Beuren and Dixie Grimes

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It popped up as a recommended title for me via my library website.

Thug Kitchen coverThug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck

How did I get it: Borrowed it from Amazon’s Prime library.
Why did I get it: Why not?

The Daniel Plan coverThe Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Another “accidental” borrow along the lines of the 5 AM Miracle.

Fiction

Christmas with Anne coverChristmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: A book group I joined is reading through many of Montgomery’s titles. This is December’s book.

In a Dry Season coverIn a Dry Season by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Alan Banks series.

The Bloody Tower coverThe Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Daisy Dalrymple series.

The Red Door coverThe Red Door by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Ian Rutledge series.

The Expats coverThe Expats by Chris Pavone

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Considering it as a possibility for my in-person bookclub.

Once Upon a Rose coverOnce Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

How did I get it: Kindle freebie.
Why did I get it: An acquaintance raved over it.

Swear on This Life coverSwear on This Life by Renée Carlino

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: December’s book for my bookclub.

The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites

How did I get it: Kindle Prime selection.
Why did I get it: It sounded the most appealing of all the options.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy coverThe Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Catherine said nice things about it.

Ghosts of Greenglass House coverGhosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Sequel to Greenglass House.

Waiting for Normal coverWaiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Someone in my book group recommended it.

Love That Dog coverLove that Dog by Sharon Creech

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Novel in verse!

Hate That Cat coverHate that Cat by Sharon Creech

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Another novel in verse.

North of Nowhere coverNorth of Nowhere by Liz Kessler

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember why this one was on my TBR.

My Brigadista Year coverMy Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s the newest release by Katherine Paterson – what more reason would I need?

Wishtree coverWishtree by Katherine Applegate

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Someone in my book group recommended it.

The Unbreakable Code coverThe Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Sequel to Book Scavenger.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate coverThe Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been on my TBR for some time.

Real Friends coverReal Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I love Shannon Hale.

the Vanderbeekers of 141st Street coverThe Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how I heard about this one!


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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New on Your Stack (volume 30)

Some highlights from the books from last month’s linkup:


Renegades coverKate (Opinionated Book Lover) was first on her library holds list for Marissa Meyer’s new book Renegades. I am 15th on my library’s hold list. Sigh.

Why this makes me as sad as it does I’m not sure, since it’s not like I’m lacking in reading material. I’m hoping I love this one as much as I’ve loved her previous books.


Emily of New Moon coverJill (Days at Home) has all of the Emily books by Lucy Maud Montgomery on her reading stack this month. I’ve joined a Facebook group that is going to be reading a different Montgomery book every month next year, so I’ll finally be reading all of the Emily books.

I need to figure out which ones I own, and which ones I still will need to obtain, either by buying copies, or getting them from the library. As much as I try to minimize the books I add to my collection, I’m leaning towards buying the Emily books, justifying it that my kids will hopefully read them someday. Or at least my girls.


How To Ace the National Geographic Bee coverStacie (Sincerely Stacie) always has the most interesting National Geographic books in her monthly lists – this time it’s How To Ace the National Geographic Bee. I love those sorts of books, and so does my son.

I’ll keep this one in mind for future years when I think he’ll appreciate it more.


City of Shadows coverArwen (The Tech Chef) brought Jack Conner to my attention, and I’m curious about his book City of Shadows. I’m not entirely sure he’s the author for me – he describes himself as a “fantasy, horror, and science fiction author,” so it all depends on if the “horror” in that is in every book, or only some of his books that I can then avoid.


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Introducing December’s Book Club Selection: Swear on This Life

Swear on This Life

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Why Was This Title Selected

Why did I select it? This was the hardest category for me to select – light(ish) fiction. I didn’t want complete fluff, but did want an easy to read pick (filling the role Big Little Lies did in 2016). I’m hoping this is a fun choice to wrap up the year.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook. It’s not currently available via Audible.

What’s Coming Up Next?

Gifts of Imperfection coverGifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

What’s it about? “An expert of the psychology of shame presents advice on how to overcome paralyzing fears and self-consciousness, and at the same time increase feelings of self-worth, gratitude, and acceptance.”

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2018 here.


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Bookish Deals

Black Friday is here and that means all the online deals. I’ve got a few of the best bookish ones to share with you, and I’ll be updating my Deliberate Reader Facebook page with others as I hear about them.

Bookroo Book Subscriptions

I’ve written about them before, but Bookroo provides curated monthly boxes of board or picture books. They would make a fantastic gift, especially since they arrive already wrapped.

This weekend they’ve got a special offer – 25% off any multi-month subscription (3, 8, or 12 months). This is only for new customers, but existing or previous customers may use the code to purchase a gift subscription.

Use the code BFDELIBERATE before midnight PST 11/27 to grab this deal.


Amazon

Amazon has a $5 off a $20 print book purchase, using the code GIFTBOOK17. Books must be sold and shipped by Amazon. May I suggest a beautful version of Pride & Prejudice or perhaps a gorgeous Bible?


Fire Tablets

Amazon also has some nice Kindle Fire deals going right now – all the Fire tablets are discounted ($29.99 for the 7-inch tablet, $50 for the 8-inch, $99 for the 10-inch, and $70 for the kids edition).

Want a dedicated e-reader instead of a Fire tablet? I love love love my Paperwhite and it’s on sale today too. Giving it as a gift? They’ve got it bundled with cover, power adapter, and ebook credit


Disclosure: Bookroo sent me a free box earlier this month, but I had previously paid for all the boxes I received from them. I was not paid for this post, and am not an affiliate for them. The link just lets them know you heard about their deal through me. The Amazon links are affiliate links, and I do get a small percentage if you buy through my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Beautiful Books Make Perfect Gifts

Monday I shared about the most beautiful Bible I’ve ever seen, one that I think would make a fabulous gift this Christmas.

Looking for other beautiful books as possible gifts? I discovered three newish book collections that are all gorgeous and would make wonderful gifts for the book lovers on your list.

Classics Reimagined

Unabridged, classic novels illustrated by contemporary artists from around the world. Each book has a very different style and feel from the rest in the series. My favorite? Pride & Prejudice, with lovely illustrations by Alice Pattullo. I especially like how the fore-edge is also illustrated, and how some of the pages fold out to provide extra-large illustrations.

Classics Reimagined Pride and Prejudice illustrated by Alice Pattullo Photo credit: Liz Carpenter

There are additional options besides the Jane Austen favorite, including Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Yann Legendre, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, illustrated by Sophia Martineck, and Edgar Allan Poe: Stories & Poems, illustrated by David Plunkert.

Jim Kay Illustrated Harry Potter

Harry Potter illustrated editionOnly the first three books in the series have been released (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban), but these stunningly illustrated books are worth the wait for the final four. Full-color, glossy pages, these are heavy books with a substantial feel. A must for devoted Harry Potter fans!

Anna Bond Illustrated Titles

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Anna BondEven if you don’t know her name, you likely recognize her work. She’s illustrated the covers for the Puffin in Bloom series, and she’s behind the deluxe hardcover of this fabulous Alice in Wonderland. Every page has full-color illustrations, there are lovely endpages, and an included bookmark. The dustjacket is gorgeous, but even the cover itself is stunning if you remove the dustjacket. How many ways can I say that it is a beautiful book?


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The Most Gorgeous Bible Ever. And a Giveaway!

I have a LOT of Bibles. I love the different versions available – translations, study variations, devotional focused. What I have never had is a truly beautiful one that is almost a work of art.

Now I do though. Crossway has issued a new ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition, with illustrations and lettering by artist Dana Tanamachi.

Each book has its own unique full-page gold ink illustration. If you find cover art discussions as fascinating as I do, you’ll love the list of illustrations: it includes details as to why each book was depicted the way it was.

There are numerous quotes pulled out and illustrated in the margins. Even with all the illustrations, there is plenty of room to add your own notes or illustrations.

It would make a lovely gift – it’s got a beautiful presentation page, and comes in a nice slipcase.

Win a Copy!

Want your own copy, to keep or give away? FlyBy Promotions has provided me with a copy to give to one of my readers! Continental US only, sorry. Enter using the widget below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!