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text 2016-05-30 18:59
May 2016 Reading Wrap Up
The Duchess War - Courtney Milan
A Kiss for Midwinter - Courtney Milan
AIDS in America - Susan Hunter,Alan Cumming
Mission to Murder - Lynn Cahoon
A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser
An Unexpected Encounter - Deb Marlowe

Happy Memorial Day to all the US folks out there. Happy 2nd Bank Holiday of May to the Brits out there. I wish it was warmer at the unofficial start to the summer, but the wind and rain has decided summer temps can wait (England and her weather, I tell you!).

 

Courtney Milan Challenge (3 out of 7 books in series read; 60% challenge completed)

1. The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) 5 stars

2. A Kiss for Midwinter (Brothers Sinister #1.5) 4 stars

 

Regency Box Set (6 of 9 books read; 67% challenge completed)

3. Bargaining with a Rake (Whisper of Scandal #1) by Julie Johnstone 1 star

4. A Reluctant Rake (Tenacious Trents #5) by Jane Charles 3.5 stars

 

Classics challenge

5. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck 2 stars

 

The Great and Powerful TBR Pile

6. Magic in His Kiss by Shari Anton DNF

7. Mission to Murder (Tourist Trap Mystery #2) by Lynn Calhoun 3.5 stars

8. A Dream Defiant by Susanna Fraser 3.5 stars

9. My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin 3 stars

10. An Unexpected Encounter (Half Moon House Novella #0.5) by Deb Marlowe 3.5 stars

11. Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney .5 star

12. Be Not Afraid by Alyssa B. Cole 4 stars

 

Non-Fiction Challenge (18/50; 36% completed) 

13. Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez - DNF

14. AIDS in America by Susan Hunter 4 stars

15. High Stakes by Sam Skolnik 1 star

 

 

2016 Reading Challenge: 71 out of 150 books read (47% completed)

 

Stats:

# of non-fiction books: 2

# of fiction books: 13

total average star rating: 3.2

average non-fiction star rating: 2.5 stars

average fiction star rating: 3.0

 

Events:

Bout of Books 16

Buddy Read with Obsidian Blue

 

Final Notes:

Two DNFs this month. I don't like seeing those three ugly letters, but I feel I must start using them more so that I don't waste time reading books that don't interest me.

 

Bout of Books was a lot of fun, but I ended up with a reading hang over and didn't read much the week following. Definitely learned my lesson - no non-fiction for read-a-thons.

 

Feeling really good at the progress I have made on some of my challenges. I neared or went over the 50% mark on a few of them. Now I need to focus on reading down my TBR pile and restraining myself from buying new books. I won't be borrowing from the library over the summer to help me focus more on the books I own, but I will be joining the summer reading program which begins June 1st.

 

Best book of the month goes to The Duchess War. It will end up on my top 10 for the year without a doubt.

 

Worst book of the month goes to Dying to Read. Glad it was a freebie.

 

Surprising book of the month goes to AIDS in America. I hope policy makers, politicians, educators, and other community leaders take the lessons of the book to heart and make the necessary changes for all our sakes. I learned how blinded I was in regards to HIV/AIDS crisis.

 

Disappointing book of the month goes to The Red Pony. I just expected more and better from Steinbeck.

 

 

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text 2016-05-13 23:24
#boutofbooks Friday Updates
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin
Mission to Murder - Lynn Cahoon
A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser
Magic in His Kiss - Shari Anton
High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction - Sam Skolnik

Bout of Books

 

Goals:

1. To Have Fun

2. To Read More Books

3. To Experience a low-key read-a-thon (24 hour marathons are really intense)

 

Books Picked:

1. My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty #3) by Jeannie Lin - buddy read with Obsidian Blue

2. Mission to Murder (Tourist Trap #2) by Lynn Cahoon

3. A Dream Defiant by Susanna Fraser

4. High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction by Sam Skolnik

5. Magic in His Kiss by Shari Anton

 

In order to complete my goals, I am curbing my habits of being on FB and Twitter so much and not going to watch any movies/tv shows until next week.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday's Progress:

1. Participated in the morning Twitter introduce yourself in six words

2. Read My Fair Concubine 50% completed

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday's Progress:

1. Finished and reviewed My Fair Concubine

2. Started A Dream Defiant

3. Tweeted #shelfie4boutofbooks

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday's Progress:

1. Tweeted #5favorites - I went with five history books on different natural disasters.

2. Finished and reviewed A Dream Defiant

3. Started High Stakes - 13% read

4. Started Mission to Murder - 25% read

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday's Progress:

1. Read High Stakes - 41% done

2. Read Mission to Murder - 57% done

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Friday's Progress

1. Finished and reviewed Mission to Murder

2. Read High Stakes - 61% done

3. Chose to swap out the other non-fiction book I had planned on reading during the read-a-thon. I picked another romance book (medieval era!) that was a freebie in the NOOK store and that I downloaded a long time ago. I really need to stop reading non-fiction during read-a-thons, they are time suckers that are slowing me down.

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review 2016-05-11 14:58
Review: A Dream Defiant by Susanna Fraser
A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser

Short book (75 NOOK pages), which is why I rated it 3.5 stars rather than 4. I like that this Regency era book took place somewhere other than London and had an interracial working class/middle class couple. Elijah was a pretty good hero but could have used a touch more development during the story, maybe a little more on his family. Rose has a good heroine with a little more back story to connect reader to her. Honestly, this was a good story, just the timeline was too rushed to enjoy. There was also a lot of "reckons" for a book not set in the American South or West, which kept throwing me out of the Peninsular War and into the American Civil War. 3.5 stars.

 

Edited to add: I do have other books by the author and look forward to reading more from her. Also, here a selection of books she mentioned in her author's note about race and the Regency era:

 

Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama

Colour, Class, and the Victorians by Douglas A. Lorimer

Reconstructing the Black Past: Blacks in Britain 1780-1830 by Norma Myers

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text 2016-05-11 10:19
#boutofbooks Daily Updates
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin
Mission to Murder - Lynn Cahoon
A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser
High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction - Sam Skolnik
High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health - Elizabeth Grossman

Bout of Books

 

Goals:

1. To Have Fun

2. To Read More Books

3. To Experience a low-key read-a-thon (24 hour marathons are really intense)

 

Books Picked:

1. My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty #3) by Jeannie Lin - buddy read with Obsidian Blue

2. Mission to Murder (Tourist Trap #2) by Lynn Cahoon

3. A Dream Defiant by Susanna Fraser

4. High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction by Sam Skolnik

5. High Tech Trash by Elizabeth Grossman

 

In order to complete my goals, I am curbing my habits of being on FB and Twitter so much and not going to watch any movies/tv shows until next week. I may hold off on reviewing books read until it is over so that I can devote more time to reading.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday's Progress:

1. Participated in the morning Twitter introduce yourself in six words

2. Read My Fair Concubine 50% completed

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday's Progress:

1. Finished and reviewed My Fair Concubine

2. Started A Dream Defiant

3. Tweeted #shelfie4boutofbooks

 

 

 

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text 2016-05-10 20:20
Read 14 out of 90 pages
A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser

In what reality would a British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars (1813) say the phrase "I reckon I do...."? Am I missing something? Because that sounds like a phrase more suited to a book set in the South or West in the latter half of the 1800s by an American than a British soldier fighting on the peninsula.

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