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text 2017-04-30 14:35
April Wrap Up
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin
Polio: An American Story - David Oshinsky
Enchanted, Inc. - Shanna Swendson
Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday

My list looks longer than usual because I took a day to read some very short reads off my NOOK and the books I chose for Booklikes-opoly were relatively short. The spring edition of Dewey Read-a-thon just topped the month.

 

I won't be putting together a TBR for each month while Booklikes-opoly is going. I want to be able to start reading a book as soon as possible and not leave other books half-finished. My big projects for May are reading London by Edward Rutherfurd and Booklikes-opoly.

 

Highlights, Lowlights:

Best Books: With Every Letter, Polio

Worst Books: Totally Vegetarian, A Paris Affair

 

Challenges:

Library Love (Overdrive Junkie level - 36+): 5; 28/36 for the year (77% complete)

Pop Sugar: 10: 29/52 for the year (56% complete)

BL/GR: 59 /150 (39% complete)

 

 

1. We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese by Elizabeth M. Norman - DNF

 

2. With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin (Pop Sugar prompt - book of letters) - 5 stars

 

3. A Suitor for Jenny (A Rocky Creek Romance #2)  by Margaret Brownley (Pop Sugar prompt - Title with character's name) - 3 stars

 

4. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (Pop Sugar prompt - a book by someone I admire) - 3 stars

 

5. Weddings Under a Western Sky by Various Authors (Pop Sugar - a book with multiple authors) - 2.5 stars

 

6. Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot #5) by Susan M. Boyer - 3 stars

 

7. All I Want (Dukes of War #8) by Erica Ridley - 2 stars

 

8. Totally Vegetarian by Toni Fiore (Library Love) - 1 star

 

9. Knead to Know (Knead to Know #1) by Liz Schulte - 2 stars

 

10. Cyberpunk Tales, Book One: Looking Death in the Eye by A.L. Hunt (Pop Sugar - book from a genre never heard of)- 3 stars

 

11. The Start of the Rainbow (Daughters of Erin #0.5) by Amanda McCabe - 1.5 stars

 

12. Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky (Pop Sugar prompt - On TBR long time) - 5 stars

 

13. The Obsession by Nora Roberts (Pop Sugar prompt - 2016 best seller) (Library Love) - 2.5 stars

 

14. Enchanted, Inc (Enchanted, Inc #1) by Shanna Swendson (Pop Sugar prompt - First book in a series never read before)  (Library Love) - 3.5 stars

 

15. Far From Home (Mangrove Island #2) by Neve Cottrell (Booklikes-opoly) - 2.5 stars

 

16. Spying in High Heels (High Heels #1) by Gemma Halliday (Booklikes-opoly) - 3.5 stars

 

17. The Nightingale Girls (The Nightingale #1) by Donna Douglas (Booklikes-opoly) - 3 stars

 

18. A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay (Pop Sugar prompt - unreliable narrator) (Library Love) - 0 stars

 

19. The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart - DNF

 

 

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text 2017-04-30 14:33
Master List - 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge (April Progress)
A Suitor for Jenny - Margaret Brownley
Cyberpunk Tales: Looking Death in the Eye: SciFi Adventure Romance Trilogy - Jordanna R. Forrest,Ashley L. Hunt
Polio: An American Story - David Oshinsky
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin
Weddings Under a Western Sky: The Hand-Me-Down BrideThe Bride Wore BritchesSomething Borrowed, Something True - Lisa Plumley,Elizabeth Lane,Kate Welsh
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream - Barack Obama
Enchanted, Inc. - Shanna Swendson
Nora Roberts: The Obsession (Hardcover); 2016 Edition - Nora Roberts
A Paris Affair - Sam Taylor Mullens,Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Items in bold were completed this month. 19% completed in April; 56 % completed overall.

 

*I kept thinking I was missing two prompts. After reviewing my list with the master list on the Pop Sugar site, turns out I was. They have been added to the bottom of my list, as I was not about to try and re-format this post. I feel sane again.

  • 1. Recommend by Librarian                                   
  • 2. On TBR Long Time - Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky                             
  • 3. Book of Letters  - With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin                                 
  • 4. Audiobook - Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan                               
  • 5. POC Author - The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) by D.F. Mello                                  
  • 6. 1 of 4 Seasons in Title                               
  • 7. Story within a Story                               
  • 8. Multiple Authors  - Weddings Under a Western Sky (Anthology)                             
  • 9. Espionage Thriller - Dangerous Allies (WWII Book 1) by Renee Ryan                          
  • 10. Cat on the Cover - Cat Trick (A Magical Cats Mystery #4) by Sofie Kelly                                  
  • 11. Author Pen Name - Apprentice in Death (..In Death #43) by J.D. Robb                           
  • 12. Genre Not Normally Read - Antidote for Night by Marsha De La O                     
  • 13. By/About a Person with a disability

14. Involving Travel - Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves

  1. 15. Subtitle
  2. 16. Published in 2017 - Echoes in Death (...In Death #44) by J.D. Robb
  3. 17. Mythical Creature
  4. 18. Re-read a shelf keeper
  5. 19. Food - Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  6. 20. Career Advice
  7. 21. Non-human Perspective
  8. 22. Steampunk
  9. 23. Red Spine
  10. 24. Set in Wilderness
  11. 25. Loved as a Child - Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1) by Francine Pascal
  12. 26. Author from a country you’ve never visited - Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
  13. 27. Title with a character name - A Suitor for Jenny (Rocky Creek #2) by Margaret Brownley
  14. 28. War time setting - Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan by Scott McGaugh
  15. 29. Unreliable Narrator - A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay
  16. 30. Book with Pictures - March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
  17. 31. MC is different ethnicity than you - Craving Temptation (Just Desserts #2) by D.F. Mello
  18. 32. Interesting Woman
  19. 33. Book with setting in 2 different time periods
  20. 34. Month/Day in title
  21. 35. Set in a hotel - Sleigh Bells in the Snow (O'Neil Brothers #1) by Sarah Morgan
  22. 36. By someone you admire - The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  23. 37. 2017 movie adaptions
  24. 38. Holiday other than Christmas - Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell
  25. 39. First Book in Series - Enchanted, Inc (Enchanted, Inc #1) by Shanna Swendson
  26. 40. Bought on a trip - The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  27. 41. Recommended by an author you like
  28. 42. 2016 Best Seller - The Obsession by Nora Roberts
  29. 43. Family member term in title
  30. 44. Takes place over a character’s lifetime - If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  31. 45. Genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of - Cyberpunk Tales, Book One: Looking Death in the Eye by A.L. Hunt
  32. 46. More than 800 pages
  33. 47. UBS find
  34. 48. Book mentioned in another book
  35. 49. Difficult topic - The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler

50. Based on Mythology

51. About an immigrant or refugee

52. Book with eccentric character

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text 2017-04-27 22:49
Dewey Readathon Reading List - Spring 2017
The New Neighbor: A Novel - Leah Stewart
A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance Book 3) - Margaret Brownley
Deep Deception - Cathy Pegau
Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

My TBR for the read-a-thon is very eclectic.

 

1. The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart (Pop Sugar challenge - book with eccentric character) (Library Love challenge)

           A story about a nosy elderly lady who investigates her new neighbor and tries to uncover the neighbor's secrets. Literary fiction that I really hope doesn't suck due to having a mystery plotline.

 

2. Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau (Booklikes-opoly)

           F/F romance set in space. New-to-me author, although I follow her on Twitter because she makes life in Alaska look like fun.

 

3. Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins (Booklikes-opoly)

          New-to-me author, and I wanted to tackle one of her latest books to see if I like her writing style before diving into her backlist.

 

4. A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek #3) by Margaret Brownley

        Not in a hurry to read this book. The beginning of the book was silly, with too much damsel in distress action that made me roll my eyes. A good laundry day type of book.

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review 2017-04-26 14:34
Review: A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay
A Paris Affair - Sam Taylor Mullens,Tatiana de Rosnay

Short story collection. Breakdown of the stories:

 

1. Hotel Room - yeah I saw that ending coming a mile away, but Karma came with a big bite.

 

2.The Texts - really stupid story about a wife who calls an advice line looking for help regarding her cheating husband. Ends up with the wife berating the advice giver with such misogynist bullshit (ie the cat lady stereotype).

 

3. The "Baby Monitor" - this situation has been over used to the point of comedy. Wife catches hubby cheating on her with her friend via the baby monitor. Wife threatens in a very calm way that she is going to take a meat cleaver and kill the friend.

 

4. The Red Notebook - insecure wife cheats her way through five years of marriage because her husband is dull and unaware of her cheating ways even though she has purposely left clues. She does this hoping to get a rise out of him and have wild angry sex with her husband. Her plan is ridiculous and fails spectacularly - turns out he has been cheating on her the whole time and has a notebook full of women's names, dates, and places where he cheated. Wife finds the notebook and is overcome with grief at her husband's cheating. He leaves her one final note. The hypocrisy is immeasurable in this story.

 

5. The Answering Machine - the wife is a moron who can't work an answering machine in 1992. She finds out her husband is having an affair via a message left on the machine. She also finds out she is pregnant and just knows it is a girl, so she is not leaving her husband, although his cheating makes her depressed. Another unoriginal plotline.

 

6. The Au Pair Girl - incredibly racist friends share lunch one day and one friend admits she has caught her husband cheating on her with the 18 year old nanny. She is talked out of having an affair with her husband's best friend when the other woman mentions her cheating incident involving condoms. The friend is too embarrassed to buy condoms, ask the potential lover to wear one, or put one on him during the seduction. I can't believe I am reading this story (published in English in 2015) in 2017.

 

7. The Strand of Hair - wife decided to leave her cheating husband but destroys all their possessions and leaves a note to demand a divorce.

 

8. The Woods - wife follows her husband as he gets a blow job from a prostitute. She leaves her wedding ring on the hood after the husband looks up and sees her staring at him and the prostitute. 

 

9. The Passwords - this was a much different story than I expected and one I really enjoyed. Attention male professors in Paris: Don't sexual harass or academically ruin an American student after she turned down your offer of sex or you will pay the consequences.

 

10. The USB Key - the twist is the cheating husband is in love with man. He can't take the lying anymore, so he records his confession to her on the USB and leaves it with instructions for the wife to watch. The wife decided she wanted to stay married to him even though the husband has admitted he is gay and wants out of the marriage, so she is holding the son as ransom for the husband to stay married to her. I felt like she is doing this to get back at the husband and for her own selfish reasons. I honestly felt for the husband  - he has known of his sexuality but his family pressured him into not believing in his homosexuality and forcing him into a life of a straight man. Now his wife is doing the same thing to him.

 

11. The Brunette from Rue Raynouard - the brunette in question is a doctor, a sex therapist. The husband has been seeing her as a patient to help him deal with his stupid wife's affair that he found out about. Wife is super paranoid that the husband is cheating on her. But it is not like that....in the end, the married couple kiss and make up. *eye roll*

 

 

Overall, wealthy (or at least well-to-do) pretty white people want to create some drama in their boring lives - this is the number one reason I don't read literary fiction. So many stories involve women who cheated or were cheated on right after they had kids (so many babies in these stories). A parallel theme to the cheating spouses were the fact that they sucked as parents as well, aside from keeping a lover on the side.French men were given such a ugly treatment from the author, they should feel very offended; words such as "rutting beasts" are used to describe French men in general for example. There were layers of classism, racism, and huge amounts of internal and external misogyny colored the stories to the point where the author made these characters into cartoons. And there was no originality to the plotlines (screwing the nanny is nothing new, just ask Ben Affleck or Jude Law). I only liked the one story (about the American student) and I really felt for the gay trapped in a marriage with a woman who doesn't want to give up her status or appearances as a married woman. 0 stars. 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-25 15:20
Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts: The Obsession (Hardcover); 2016 Edition - Nora Roberts

This book is a mix of Boonsboro trilogy, the ...In Death series, the television show Criminal Minds, and category Romance. This is not a good mix, but the book ended up being okay.

 

It started off with such potential. Naomi Bowes, age 11, follows her father into the West Virginian woods one night and finds out his secret. This secret is rescued by Naomi and her father goes to prison. Her childhood/teenage years are spent in NYC with her uncles, her younger brother, and her unstable as fuck mother - those years were not all bad, and the uncles gave her and her brother a stability and warm family life that was severely missing since day one of their lives. However, shitty people are going to be shitty, and Naomi develops social anxiety and ends up becoming a bit of a loner.This part of the story was page-turning and rich in story telling.

 

Then Naomi, age 29, decides to settle down and take up residence in Sunrise Cove, Wa. She buys a huge, neglected house and begins renovating (via contractors/subcontractors), decorating, refinishing furniture, landscaping, painting, and basically lives the life of a HGTV show host. And she complains incessantly about all the noise while she needs to work.  On top of the boring house renovations, there are endless talk of photography; her work isn't all that imaginative (for example, the photos she takes of the band read really corny to me). All this boring talk of house renovations, cooking demonstrations,  and photography take up 3/4 of the book. It was the Boonsboro trilogy all over again. This shows that Roberts needs a new editor, one with strong enough opinions and backbone to start culling the tedious parts of the book and use these topics to enhance character development.

 

The suspense element comes into play again in the last 50 pages; there is a copycat killer that takes inspiration from Naomi's father's crimes. It takes Naomi far too long to figure out the new killings are related to her; she becomes quite the dim bulb after starting a sexual relationship with Xander. I figured out who the new killer was pretty early on - the big clue came at the end of the first part of the book, at least 250 pages before the first murder in Sunrise Cove. So there wasn't much suspense for me; the climax of Naomi meeting the copycat killer last all of two pages - in a 453 page book, the big suspense element was 2! pages. Her brother did most of the heavy lifting in finding who the killer was, but it was more like an episode of Criminal Minds (terminology, suits and ties, big black SUVs) than a display of Mason's detective skills. Definitely not worth the time invested in reading the mystery.

 

Of course, the mystery involved two serial killers, sexual sadistic serial killers at that. This is prime ...In Death territory and this book comes with typical ID tropes - MC has nightmares related to the murders, the victims are all women who were raped and tortured for days before dying (TRIGGER WARNINGS: graphic descriptions of rape and torture), and of course, almost all the victims were surrogates for the MC. And there are a LOT of women; Naomi's father had close to 50 victims and the copycat killer had close to 26 victims. It was overkill.

 

The characters were not really likeable; Naomi got bitchy about helping a stray dog, Xander is an alpha-hole, Jenny was too friendly. The worst character was Xander - he bossed Naomi around too much to be seen as a real partner to Naomi. He also said a lot of sexist bullshit and looked at Naomi as special because she didn't do "girly" stuff. **EYE ROLL** Also, he has very little back story, same goes for Jenny and Kevin and other townspeople, except for Marla who got the evil slut treatment (another ID trope).

 

If you do read this book, skip at least the second part and most of the third part to avoid HGTV overload. 

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