Saturday, April 4, 2020

March Reading Summary

Number of Books Read:  12 - Same as last month!


7 Print Books
4 eBooks
1 Audio - It was LONG but really good!

6 Review Books
1 Library Book
4 Rereads
1 Book Off the Audible Shelf
1 Books from the Backlog Book

Visited 10 out of 50 States So Far This Year

My Favorite Book This Month:

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie - This was so tough because I really enjoyed most of the books I read in March but this was the one I got the most out of and it got me excited about things I want to do in the future.

Least Favorite Book:
A Forgotten Murder by Jude Deveraux - This was easy unfortunately.  I really wanted to love it but it never got past just okay for me.

Books I'm Still Reading:
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht by Richard Platt (Read-Aloud Book for School)
Death by Committee by Alexis Morgan (Audio)
Deadly Fate by Heather Graham

Goals for Next Month:  Finish all the books I have going now and try and finish 14 books

How was your reading in March?  This month definitely didn't go as expected for anyone I don't think but it hasn't seemed to made much of a dent in my reading.  It didn't increase it either unfortunately!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Friday Fives - April Reads

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. I'm also going to start linking up with Kathryn over at Book Date for her Connect Five.  Since it's the first Friday in April I'm looking at my TBR for the month.

1.  Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer - There are family secrets and cleaning out the family home and that cover just grabs my attention.

2.  A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber - I love this series and am looking forward to revisiting this world.

3.  Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris - I just finished the latest book in this series so I'm excited to spend some more time with Sebastian St. Cyr.

4.  The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill - And because I need a little lighter reading - especially if it involves villas and summer and characters figuring out who they are.

5.  The Sweeny Sisters by Lian Dolan - I'll pretty much read anything that focuses on sisters!  I think that' the only child in me!

What do you want to read in April?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Cinco De Murder

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  Cinco De Murder by Rebecca Adler

Blurb: It's fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklorico dances for Saturday's big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot's First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.
But Uncle Eddie's hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie's beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead's life--before another cook kicks the bucket.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf: I have several books in this series and have read none of them.  This title caught my attention because I love the pun and because Cinco De Mayo is coming up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Storm Sister - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Storm Sister (Seven Sisters #2) by Lucinda Riley

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description: Ally D'Apli├Ęse is about to compete in one of the world's most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father's sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father - an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt - has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.
Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway...

There, Ally begins to discover her roots - and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg's iconic music set to Ibsen's play 'Peer Gynt'. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Following the bestselling The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister is the second book in Lucinda Riley's spellbinding series based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous star constellation.

Genre: Fiction  

Why I Picked This Book:  I read the first book in the series a couple of years ago and enjoyed it and wanted to continue reading about the other sisters.

My Impression:  Oh this was good!  There are parts that are heartwarming, parts that are tragic and all of it was interesting and compelling.  This covered a piece of history I know absolutely nothing about.  I love Ibsen's "A Doll's House" but honestly I'm not sure that I even knew he was Norwegian.  This look into the theater/orchestra world of 19th century Norway was intriguing and the parts set during World War II were tragic.  Anna Landvik's story is tragic and interesting and completely unfamiliar to me.

But while I was fascinated hearing Anna's story unravel I was most interested in what was happening to Ally in present day and always a little impatient to get back to her.  Watching her unravel the clues that Pa Salt left for her.  There are a few little clues dropped in this book as were in the first book and the end has me ready to dive into Star's book!

If you enjoy audio books this is a great one to listen to.  The narrators do a fabulous job and I really enjoyed listening to their pronunciations of some of the tougher Norwegian names and terms.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'm hoping to start the 3rd book soon and will definitely continue with the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy stories about family connections and dual timelines this is a fabulous read.  You could easily start here but you'll want to go back to Maya's story soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My Nonfiction TBR

Last year I had really hoped to read more nonfiction but last year didn't go as planned so this is now the read more nonfiction year!  I'm making a list of books that have caught my attention that I'd like to read.  A lot of these are books I've seen at my library so they're not the newest and shiniest books but they are all that I think are interesting!

1.  A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape Harrowing Escape from the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel - This sounds fascinating and ever since we visited the WWII Museum I've been really wanting to read more from this time period and this sounds unusual.

2.  Missing!: Mysterious Cases of People Gone Missing Through the Centuries by Brenda Z Guiberson - I'm never not wanting to read a Missing Person book and historical missing people are even more interesting.

3.  A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland by Charles Lachman - When I think about Grover Cleveland scandal is usually not what first comes to mind so I'm seriously curious.

4.  Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth A Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Jane Lancaster - Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequels were some of my favorite books as a child and reading it as an adult really shows what a fascinating woman Lillian Gilbreth was.  I want to learn more about her.

5.  A Woman of No Importance:  the Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell - More WWII, more unusual angles, and I just can't resist spies.

6.  King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Imposter by Paul Willetts - I just want to know more based off the subtitle.

7.  Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer by Lisa McCubbin - I read a book about modern first ladies last year and was really fascinated by Betty Ford so I'd like to read more about her.

8.  Jane and Dorothy: A True Tale of Sense and Sensibility: The Lives of Jane Austen and Dorothy Wadsworth by Marian Veevers - Jane is such a shadowy figure in my head so I'd like to flesh her out abit.

9.  Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margarit Fox - Conan Doyle had such a varied career and I love historical true crime.

10.  Defiance: The Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard by Stephen Taylor - I don't know who Lady Anne Barnard is but apparently she was defiant and I'm curious to know more about her.

What nonfiction books are on your TBR?  Have you ever come across any of these?

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Blue Castle - Keeper Shelf Review

Goodreads:  The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Rating: Loved It!
Source:  Purchased

Description:  An unforgettable story of courage and romance. Will Valancy Stirling ever escape her strict family and find true love?

Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the "forbidden" books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle--a place where all her dreams come true and she can be who she truly wants to be. After getting shocking news from the doctor, she rebels against her family and discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a favorite book but when Lark posted about it on Instagram I couldn't resist picking it up.

My Impression:  Oh how I love this book.  It's the first book that I've read in one sitting in as long as I can remember and it was a total delight from start to finish.  At the beginning Valancy is so unhappy and repressed that you just can't help but feel sorry for her and watching her come alive as the book progresses is just wonderful.

This is one of the few books written by Montgomery that is really aimed at adults.  The characters are adults, the actions have adult consequences, and the situations are adult situations.  However, there is nothing I would have an issue with my 10 year old reading about.  This is a sweet book that's a bit trite but it just reads so pure and genuine that it never feels to sappy.  If you're looking for a bit of an escapist read and you want a sweet simple story this is a perfect book to pick up.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  Montgomery is one of my all time favorite authors and I try and reread her books as often as possible.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  I adore all of Montgomery's books and this is one of my favorite reads.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

This Week in Reading - March 29

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge by Debbie Mason - I wasn't going to get anything but then I saw this one. The cover is gorgeous and the premise involves home renovation and a main character starting over so I couldn't resist.  (NetGalley)

Antiques Fire Sale by Barbara Allan - And once I started I couldn't really stop!  This is a mystery series that has been on my TBR because it's a cozy mystery involving antiques which is one of my favorite things.  (NetGalley)

Killing Time by Susanne Trauth - I read the previous one in the series last year and really enjoyed it and this one involves Halloween which a favorite cozy mystery holiday so I couldn't pass it up.  (NetGalley)

Murder in Waiting by Lynn Cahoon - The Tourist Trap series is one of my absolute favorite cozy series so I had to pick this one up!  (NetGalley)


Reading: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, and Laeitia Rodd and the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders

Listening:I finished The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley and am just starting Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Watching:  We finished Grantchester and The Pale Horse (which only vaguely resembled the Agatha Christie book and was very good in the middle but a little too art-y at the beginning and end).  I'm not sure what we are going to start next.

Off the Blog:

I hope everyone is doing well in quarantine or self isolation or social distancing or whatever you're doing.  We are basically going full self isolation because my husband can work from home and my son is home schooled.  Other then the internet and a drive I haven't had contact with the outside world since March 19 when I had a doctor's appointment.  My husband is the one going out to the grocery store and to pick out take out.  We are trying to balance cooking at home and getting takeout to help out local businesses (and so I don't have to cook!).  They announced at the end of this week that school is switching to distance learning for the rest of the school year with the hope that big events like prom and graduation ceremonies can be scheduled either at the beginning of June or end of May. 

I haven't had really any extra time.  I know a lot of people are very stressed or getting sucked into the news black hole but so far I'm neither of those things but things are still a bit crazy here.  I've found a channel of YouTube called Soothing Relaxation that's all pretty spa-type music that I've been loving for when I'm trying to go to sleep or when I'm reading.  It definitely helps settle the mind and tune out the background noise a bit.  How is your quarantine going?

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  The Blue Castle - Fiction Review
Tuesday: My Nonfiction Reading List
Wednesday:  TBD
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday: Friday Fives
Saturday:  March Reading Recap

Have a great week and happy reading!