Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stacking the Shelves, July 8th




Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves. This includes books you buy in the store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! In my case, it includes audiobooks too because I love them and listen almost every day.

Here's what I have on my TBR for the next few weeks.  Needful Things is a re-read from years ago and two books were on a previous Stacking post but I never got to them:






Happy reading!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Reading: Part 1

I find that, even though I am home in the summer and get a lot more reading done, I still tend to post less on my blog since I am busy with the kids, etc.  Last year, I decided to review my summer reading in three parts and that worked out pretty well so I'm going to do it again.  Here are the books I have finished since school let out mid June:



Penny Reid's book, Dating-ish was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I love all of her Knitting in the City books so have no trouble being truthful when I say I thought it was great.  As usual, I enjoyed seeing all of my favorite characters from the previous books and the new plot line was fun and flirty and often had me laughing out loud.  Penny Reid is an author not to miss if you like light, fun romance with a sense of humor.  

Torn is the follow up to Wicked, which I loved.  I enjoyed this one too but I did find it to be a bit predictable and over the top. Still fun though and I will read the third book as well to see how things turn out.  If I had to choose though, I would take Armentrout's Lux series over this any day.

I read every Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters book.  Dying Breath is book 21 in the series.  They are a nice combination of history (either local or event based) and paranormal.  Yes, the characters are always close to perfect and the endings always wrap up neatly, boy gets girl, mystery solved, etc. but I love them all.  :)

I was looking for an adventure with an archaeological plot. Something like Indiana Jones or the Amelia Peabody series when someone recommended Mr. Impossible.  I was immediately turned off by the Kindle and Audible covers but I liked the synopsis so I bought it anyway (you are seeing the only decent cover in the paperback version above).  It is book two in a series but is completely stand alone.  It was a fun adventure through Egypt with some romance/sex but I really like it and was glad I overlooked the trashy cover.  

Finally, Twist of Fate.  I found this while browsing and, while it had potential, I ended up skimming through parts because it was so unrealistic.  Woman gets struck by lightening gets saved by law enforcement agent who immediately falls for her.  They have a connection to the same killer.  She is so injured by the lightening strike/fall that she can't even walk or take a shower without help but somehow they can have sex like rabbits even though she is terrified of her ex-husband/serial killer who escaped from prison and is hunting her down.... yeah.

So, four out of five get good reviews on Goodreads and one does not.  I guess that's not too bad.  I just love having time to sit outside and read everyday again.  Such a good feeling.  :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Teaser Tuesday, June 20th



Teaser Tuesday is hosted by The Purple Booker.  The purpose? To check out teasers from all the books our fellow book addicts are reading and add them to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Here is my teaser (I clearly have trouble sticking to the two sentence rule...):


"The irony is, I'd been logging in to suspend my account. After almost two years of internet dating debacles and equally disappointing men, I was ready for a break.  But then I'd received the perfect match message.  Therefore, I did what any normal person would do.
I internet stalked him."



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Audiobook Challenge 2017 Update


It’s time to check in and write about our 2017 Audiobook Challenge progress! This challenge is hosted by Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The purpose is to check the original level you chose, add up the audios you listened to and see if you are on track. Then be sure and enter the giveaway!

Audiobook Challenge Levels:
Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+


My Progress:
I chose the Socially Awkward level at 15-20 audiobooks for the year.  So far, I have listened to 11.  My absolute favorite so far is 11.22.63 by Stephen King.  

1.  Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
2.  The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer
3.  Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
4.  Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
5.  Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
6.  A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
7.  Witchy Sour by Gina LaManna
8.  Jinx and Tonic b Gina LaManna
9.  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
10. The Watchmaker's Daughter by C.J. Archer
11. Dying Breath by Heather Graham
12. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

I am right on track and will probably finish more than my goal by December so I am actually going to up my goal to Binge Listener!

Monday, June 5, 2017

It's Monday, What are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date and is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and are about to be reading over the week. It's also a great opportunity to visit, comment on other blog posts, and add to that ever growing TBR pile! 

What I just finished:

I can't say enough about this book.  I listened to it on audio and never wanted to get out of the car.  Not your usual Stephen King horror, in fact, not horror at all.  It is a perfect blend of history and time travel.

I did write a review if you are interested in my thoughts.  No spoilers. 






What I'm reading now:


Almost done with this one.  It was given to me in exchange for an honest review and I'm enjoying it so far.  One of the few authors of romance that interest me.








I'm listening to this one on audio.  I've read all of the Krewe of Hunters series.  Fast, fun reads if you like paranormal stories with some romance.  Most books follow the same story pattern but I still love them because they always have a historical element or interesting location and then add a murder mystery and some ghosts to the mix!






What am I reading next?


Another of the rare romance authors I truly enjoy.  Penny Reid has her "Knitting in the City" series and it is a lot of fun.  I'm participating in the blog tour at the end of the week so I'll be starting on this tomorrow or the next day.





What are you reading?

Review: 11/22/63

When I was a teenager, I went through a huge Stephen King phase, reading one right after the other, watching the movies/mini-series on television, and impatiently waiting for the next book to come out.  My favorites included The Stand, Carrie, Pet Cemetery, The Langoliers, It, and Needful Things among others.  As I got older, I fell out of this habit and moved on to my career, kids, etc.  Up until about a month ago, it had been years since I read a King novel.  Why did I suddenly go back?  I'm not really sure what made my final decision but I remember seeing a post on Twitter about 11/22/63 and then someone I was with also mentioned it.  After reading the synopsis and a few rave reviews, I decided to get it on audio for my morning commute to work.

Oh my goodness... I have been away too long Mr. King.  I have to admit, since this wasn't his usual horror genre, I wasn't really expecting to fall in love with this story, but I did.  I fell hard about two chapters into it and I found that I didn't ever want to get out of the car. The narrator did an excellent job reading and I hung on every word.  You won't find any spoilers here but I will share a few thoughts.  

First, there is the perfect balance between history and fantasy here. I am not a nonfiction fan but the factual history in the story was so interesting that I found myself wanting to know if Oswald was the real assassin.  I even looked up more information and photos of the time once I finished listening. I love fantasy so the time travel aspect of the story gave it the twist that kept me listening even when I wasn't driving.  Very well done.  Next, I absolutely loved the connections to other King novels, especially when the main character went to Derry, Maine, where he actually had the opportunity to meet characters from one of the books I mentioned above.  This was written flawlessly and I actually saved the clip and listened to it a few times because it was so delightfully creepy. Finally, the story had me feeling emotions all across the board.  I laughed, I cried, I felt empathy, fear, relief, stress, love, and hate right along with the characters.  When a story can have that affect, it's a winner for me.

I both wanted to know the end and didn't simultaneously, but when it came down to the last 30 minutes of the audio, I was so satisfied with the ending that I both teared up and started talking to my car radio.  The people passing me on the highway probably thought I was nuts but I didn't care.

What a great story.  I'm so happy that I decided to give it a chance.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: May 23, 2017


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker.  This is a weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


This book has been on my TBR for a long time.  I wish I had picked it up sooner! I'm really enjoying both the writing and the history

11.22.63 by Stephen King

“Coincidences happen, but I've come to believe they are actually quite rare. Something is at work, okay? Somewhere in the universe (or behind it), a great machine is ticking and turning its fabulous gears.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Almost Missed You

Almost Missed You was one of our Shereads.org book choices for spring.  I chose this title because I loved the teaser and was interested in reading the story of this little family in the hopes that it would have a happy ending.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good. So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

This isn't the entire teaser but it was all I really needed to pick it up. I wasn't disappointed.  While the story wasn't an edge of your seat page turner, the author was able to stir my emotions and pull me into the lives of Violet and Finn.  I felt complete heartbreak for Violet, maybe because I am a mom myself and couldn't imagine have my children taken from me.  I wanted desperately for her to be reunited with Bear.  I had mixed feelings about Finn that ranged from anger to pity depending on which part of the story I was reading at the time.  For Caitlin, who was Finn's friend and in a good part of the story, I felt mostly irritation.  I would have liked her to be smarter and less concerned with herself.  For me to invest in the characters in this way, I know that the writer did a bang up job.  I didn't need excitement or action to keep reading into the night and there were enough little surprises to keep me guessing about how the story would end and if Violet would find her son.

Did I like how it ended? I'm torn.  No spoilers being given away, I think if I were in Violet's position, I would have had a different perspective on my future.  However, the story wrapped up nicely and I was glad this was my book choice.  Great spring read.  :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

#BoutofBooks Readathon Goals and Updates




I have participated in the Bout of Books read-a-thon four times now and had a lot of fun. It's a great opportunity to catch up on my reading. It's a little bit harder throughout the school year when I work so I'm keeping my goal manageable at 3 books.  Below, I will post my goal books and my updates and they will also be at #boutofbooks and #sixtybooks on Twitter. 


I also get the added bonus of being a #BoutofBooks expert this time around so you'll be seeing me a lot on Twitter and commenting on your blogs. I'm excited to meet some new readers that I may not already follow.  Let the reading begin!!

Books I hope to read this week:




Bonus book if I can get to 4!


Updates:

Monday:
Reading: Almost Missed You
Ended on page: 102
Audiobook: 1 hour

Tuesday:
Reading: Almost Missed You
Ended on page: 96
Audiobook: 1 hour

Wednesday:
Reading: Almost Missed You
Ended on page: Finished!
Audiobook: 1 hour

Thursday:
Reading: Nothing, son was sick. :(
Ended on page:
Audiobook: 1 hour

Friday:
Reading:
Ended on page:

Saturday:
Reading:
Ended on page:

Sunday:
Reading:
Ended on page:






Tuesday, May 2, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. May 2nd


First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea and is all about sharing the first paragraph or two from a book you are about to read. I'll be finishing both an audiobook and a print book this week so I'll be ready for Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman for the start of #Boutofbooks 19 on Monday. It will also be #24 in my #Sixtybooks challenge for 2017.


Neverwhere (prologue)

"The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself. He had begun the evening by enjoying himself: he had enjoyed reading the good-bye cards, and receiving the hugs from several not entirely unattractive young ladies of his acquaintance; he had enjoyed the warnings about the evils and dangers of London, and the gift of the white umbrella with the map of the London Underground on it that the lads had clubbed together to buy him; he had enjoyed the first few pints of ale; but then, with each successive pint of ale he found he was enjoying himself significantly less; until now he was sitting and shivering on the sidewalk outside the pub in a small Scottish town, weighing the conflicting merits of being sick and not being sick, and not enjoying himself at all."

Would you keep reading? I'm really looking forward to this one. :)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bout of Books 19 is Almost Here!

It's back! Bout of Books 19 starts next week on May 8th.  This will be my fourth time participating and is a great opportunity to re-focus yourself on your reading goals and have some fun!  Never joined before? Don't know what it is?  Well, here's the basic info:



Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, hosted by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @Reading the Paranormal. It begins at 12:01am on Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th. Bout of Books is low-pressure. You can make a goal to read just one book or ten!  It is completely up to you. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

Don't miss it! I'll be sharing my progress at both #boutofbooks and #sixtybooks. It's going to be a lot of fun!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Jane Steele

Often as I finish books, I mentally classify them according to how much I like them.  One of my categories is "top books of the year" which I'm sure many other readers have as well.  It takes a lot to get into this grouping since I usually only choose a top ten.  I can say however, that this book will definitely be making it into this category.

Jane Steele hooked me from the very first sentence... 

"Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important." 

How can you not keep reading?

Described as a gothic retelling of Jane Eyre, this book is, in my opinion, the perfect combination of historical romance, mystery, and horror. Jane Steele, the main character, is a strong and engaging heroine who is also a murderer. We meet her when she is still a young girl and find that the joys and tragedies that she experiences during her childhood and adolescence shape who she becomes as she grows into a woman. She has few friends but truly cherishes the few people she allows to touch her heart. She doesn't tolerate those she cares about being wronged and as she ages in the story, the body count begins to rise.  I have to say that each person she ended completely deserved it and I enjoyed the anticipation as I waited for her to make her move.


Fabulous storytelling. I really enjoyed the author's style from the Jane Eyre quotes at the start of each chapter to the way she made me feel fear, loathing, anger, joy, and love right along with Jane.  I was rooting for her from the beginning until the end and I will definitely be buying a hardcover copy for my bookshelves.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Week in Reading, April 26th



This week in books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found and is meant to share what we have been reading this week and what we think we might read next.

I just finished a fabulous audiobook.  I may even buy a hard copy to keep on my shelf.  If you are a fan of the classic Jane Eyre but love a murder mystery, try Jane Steele.  I went into it hesitantly but adored it.  


I also finished Ensnared, which is a book I received from Netgalley.  This one is a unique futuristic twist on Beauty and the Beast.  It was a quick fun read and I enjoyed it.


Next up in my audiobook list is a witchy cozy mystery titled Jinx and Tonic.  It is the third in the Magic and Mixology series and I'm quite engaged by them.


And in print, I've just started reading Almost Missed You, a book I was given by the publisher for my Shereads.org book club network.  I'm really liking it so far and can't wait to figure out the origins of what happened at the start of the story.


That's it for me!  I never finish more than one or two a week because I work full time but I've picked some good ones so far this year for my #sixtybooks challenge!

What are you reading?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday, April 25th


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's question is:


Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly 
NOT Want to Read a Book

This is a hard question because it takes a lot for me not to want to read.  There are definitely some things however, that will deter me from picking up a book...
  • If I know it is a huge tearjerker. I don't mind crying in a book but I don't like to finish a story and feel depressed or cry through the entire thing. A sad part or two is fine but if it is more than that, I stay away. 
  • If an animal dies. Not just any animal but an animal that is a main focus of the story. So, there is no Old Yeller or Love That Dog for me. No thanks. 
  • If the characters on the cover are half naked with their facial expressions in the throes of ecstasy. I'm no prude but this just turns me off completely, even if I have heard the book is fantastic. 
  • If the print is so tiny, I can barely read it. I have decent vision but I deplore teeny tiny print. Is is hard to focus and unattractive. 
  • No meaningful relationships. It doesn't have to be romance, but some sort of relationship deepens a story. I find books without them to be bland. 
  • Horrible grammar. Unless it is purposeful, I have no interest in books that have a ton of grammatical errors. 
  • Books about sports. Boring... 
  • Books with a ton of bad reviews. I may read it eventually, but not until someone convinces me that it is worth picking up. 
  • Books of poetry. Just not my cup of tea. 
  • Overdone love triangles. I don't mind it for a few chapters but please don't spread it over the whole book or series. I hate that. 

How about you?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WWW Wednesday, April 5th


Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Just answer these three questions to share what is going on in your reading life and to give others some great book recommendations. 

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I always have one print book/kindle book and one audio book going at the same time.  Right now, I'm reading The Bone Witch and I'm listening to Jane Steele.


I just finished listening to Witchy Sour.  This is book 2 in the Magic and Mixology mystery series.  I'm really enjoying this series.  It's light and fun.


I have a few books waiting in the wings. I plan to read Jinx and Tonic, which is the 3rd book in the Magic and Mixology series. I'm also planning to start Neverwhere and Almost Missed You.


What are you reading?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: April 1st


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves. This includes books you buy in the store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  In my case, it includes audiobooks too because I love them and listen every day on my journey to and from work.

Not too many added to the shelves this week but I do have a few:






I'm excited to read all of these.  Witchy Sour and Jane Steele are both audiobooks for my commute.  Almost Missed You was given to me to read and review for SheReads.org, and I just heard such great things about Neverwhere and The Lost Girls that I picked those up on my own.

Have a great weekend!