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text 2017-06-27 16:07
Currently on loan from the public library!
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - Douglas Preston
Often I Am Happy - Jens Christian Grøndahl
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry
The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease - Michael Greger,Gene Stone

Somehow, I have ended up with a stack of very large books, plus I'm reading to a deadline.  All of them have holds on them. 

 

This may become like fishing--catch & release.  I'll see how much I can read over the Canada Day long weekend.

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text 2017-06-16 13:30
Summer books you can't miss!

 

Summer is coming.

 

Now, after I've made that trying- to-be ASoIaF reference, it's time to talk about books! This time of the year is all about light. easy, enjoyable read no matter if you are somewhere on the beach with salt in your hair or lying in your aparment under the air conditioner.

I loved and utterly enjoyed every book listed below and highly recommend you read them!
 

1) Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han

 

 

 

 Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

 

 

2) Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

 

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

3) 1000 Days of Spring - Tomislav Perko

 

 

 

 

A true story of a young successful stockbroker going broke, and lifting his thumb in search for his true self, by traveling the world.

After almost five years of traveling on five different continents, Tomislav laid down in a hammock in one village on the coast of Ecuador, and started writing a book. 

He was determined to put down everything he knows about traveling, and with that, answer the questions that many people ask him for years: 
- How is it possible to travel with almost no money? 
- Is his way of traveling safe enough? 
- What are the worst, and the best moments on the road? 
- How can you earn money while traveling? 
- Where to look for sponsors? 
- How did his parents and friends react? 
- Why is he traveling in the first place? 

Since it was impossible to give a simple and short answers to those questions, he started answering them in the only way possible - by telling his life story. 

Tomislav wrote about his student days, about the days when he had a well paid job as a stockbroker, about going bankrupt, about turning his life around, about first ventures on the road with a backpack on his back, and about finding a way that he will follow in the years to come - by traveling. 

Tomislav wrote about hitchhiking in numerous countries, sleeping in homes of strangers, camping on the side of the road, eating in supermarkets and drinking beer in parks, volunteering, many anecdotes that he encountered on the road, natural beauties that left him breathless, and about the beautiful people that he met on the way. 

Tomislav wrote about love.

 

 

4) The Storyteller - Andrea Tomić

 

 

 

 

Terrible things can happen when a storyteller falls in love.


There are thousands of stories of forbidden loves, many of them including a princess and a slave. When you live in a world of nine kingdoms and each has its own rulers and legends, the chances of not hearing a story like that are minimal.

Ever since her father, the king of the Third kingdom, passed away, princess Rachelle has been entertained by her servant Daniel. He would tell her his own stories or the ones she had already heard. None of this would be a problem if he hadn't fallen in love in with her over the years.
Now not only does he need to spend every day near his loved one knowing she could never love him back, but he has to hide every glimpse of his feelings. Because if he doesn't, he might get killed.
But when the princess starts feeling the same way, their fairy tale begins. 
However, unlike every other story he had ever told, this one might not have a happy ending. This time the Storyteller became a character and lost his possibility of creating happy endings. 

 

 

5) World Whisperer - Rachel Devenish Ford

 

 

 

Seven years ago, Isika’s mother walked out of the desert with three children in tow, leading the priest of the Worker village to marry her and take in her children. In all those years, fourteen-year-old Isika has never been able to fit in as a Worker or live up to her role as the priest's daughter, and worse, she has been helpless against the tragedies that have fallen on her family.

But now the four goddesses they serve want another sacrifice, and Isika's stepfather has chosen the next child to be sent out to sea: the little brother who Isika loves more than anything.

This time Isika will not be powerless.

Together, she and her two remaining siblings leave the walls of the Worker village to save their brother, traveling into unknown lands and magic they never could have imagined.

 

 

6) Confessions of a Queen B* - Crista McHugh

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

7) Chasing a Croatian Grl: A Survivor's Tale - Cody McClain Brown

 

 

 

This is the lighthearted story of American Cody McClain Brown’s adjustments to life in Croatia. After falling in love with an enigmatic, beautiful Croatian girl (whom he knows is from Croatia but assumes that means Russia), Cody eventually woos her and the two move to Split, Croatia. There, he encounters a world of deadly drafts, endless coffees, and the forceful will of his matriarchal mother-in-law. Chasing a Croatian Girl moves past the beautiful pictures of Croatia and humorously discovers the beauty of Croatia’s people and culture.

 

8) Slip - David Estes

 

 

 

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

 

 

9) Luna Tree: The Baby Project - Maya Berger

 

 

 

Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

 

 

10) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

 

 

 

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

 

 11) Once and for All - Sarah Dessen

 

 

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

 

12) Everwind - Barbara Mišković

 

 

Deep in the dark and dreary Scandinavian forest there lies an ancient fortress of Stormgard. It is an orphanage for talented children who posses the priceless gift of magic. Unfortunately, after the dreadful war that nearly devastated Stormgard it became difficult for the Archmage to find new teachers for his apprentices. A beautiful, fire-haired woman from Great Britain applies for the job of an enchantress but Torval is unsure if she's really cut out for the job. Little does he know that their new enchantress has a secret. A secret so great that it could change everything!

 

13) Republic of Stone - Tanja Radman

 

 

 

After decades of dictatorship of the tyrant Rector, a resistance awakens alongside the truth withheld from the young heroes, who suddenly face tasks beyond their understanding. Learning about their magical origin, as well as the powers they gained in a rather bloody way, five young sorcerers are preparing for another war - one which might change everything, or even worse, nothing at all.

'Republic of Stone' is a historical fantasy novel situated in the medieval times of the Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). It is the first of the Lex Legis series, which was translated into English after the Croatian paperback version sold out in two editions. Combining real historical places, events and characters with elements of Slavic mythology and pure epic fantasy, this book will take you on a journey you will never forget. If you decide to be adventurous and visit Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you will be able to carry this book around real locations you can still visit today and relive the amazing magic battles from the story, bow before the evil Rector’s statue and defiantly whisper the forbidden sentence only the members of the Lunarian secret society know, learn about the hidden magical life of one of the most famous Croatian medieval scientists – Marin Ghetaldus, and walk the streets where the young heroes of this book learned about their destiny…

 

 

14) Bridesmaids - Jane Costello

 

 

 

Four weddings, three disgruntled ex-boyfriends in the congregation, two wayward 'chicken-fillet' boob enhancers, and one gorgeous man, it's tough being a bridesmaid.
 
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review 2017-06-09 04:14
Review: Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown
Toughest Cowboy in Texas: A Western Romance (Happy, Texas) - Carolyn Brown

Lila Harris and Brody Dawson were teenagers in love, albeit quietly and secretly. But the night he stood her up and she left town was then end of their romance and friendship. Twelve years later, Lila returns to Happy, Texas, to help sell the cafe her mother once ran and still owns. When Brody shows up, they realize their chemistry hasn’t faded after all this time, but can broken hearts be mended?

 

Toughest Cowboy in Texas is a sweet cowboy romance, but not necessarily right for me. Although I’m not a “cowboy romance” fan, I’ve read and enjoyed other books about cowboys (Lorelei James), working on a ranch (Jill Shalvis) and farmers (Alice Clayton). Yet Ms. Brown’s storytelling and subject matter just didn’t gel with me. First, she relies heavily on country music references, and since I absolutely do not like country music, this not only annoyed me, but left me confused as I didn’t understand the references. She used songs and lyrics to help set the mood or explain feelings, all which was lost to me.

 

Second, there were references to events, like one of the town’s folk disappearing years before, which were written in a way that confused me - wondering if it was something from another book/series - and why it was even part of the story since it seemed to have little impact. There was another scene that featured Lila’s former boyfriend, who is her boss, that also felt contrived and unnecessary. Finally, I didn’t care for some of the side characters - like both “mamas,” who feuded with one another and disapproved of Lila and Brody’s relationship. I felt their reactions and snide remarks were over the top.

 

With that, I did enjoy Brody and Lila together. I loved that they were able to look beyond the their pasts, right the wrongs, and work on a relationship like the adults they are now. Both had matured a lot, yet kept their youthful joy. Brody’s work on the ranch gives him responsibility for his actions - something he knows now he messed up in the past. And Lila had to learn to stand up for herself, that she’s normal and not some messed up, crazy teenager.

 

In the end, Toughest Cowboy in Texas will probably hit all the right notes for many. It’s a sweet story about forgiveness and second chances. The main characters are likable, strong, and generous. It’s just the country and western emphasis, along with the side characters and unnecessary scenes that bogged the book down for me.

 

My Rating:  C, Finished It - Liked some, didn't like some

Review copy provided by NetGalley

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-05-23 14:39
Soups
21 FAVORITE PALEO SOUP RECIPES (Everyday Paleo Recipes Book 9) - Happy Cook

I like to make soups, especially when my family isn't feeling well or it is cold outside. These soups are for people who cannot have gluten. I wasn't excited about them, but I may try one or two and change them to what I have and what my family will eat or that I can have. 

 

The book was another free find on Kindle and is now $2.99

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review 2017-05-02 23:33
Murder In Happy Creek, Meredith Potts
Murder In Happy Creek: A Rose Calahan Se... Murder In Happy Creek: A Rose Calahan Senior Sleuth Cozy Mystery - Meredith Potts

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery, although it wasn't real long. I voluntarily chose to review this book. I gave it a 5* rating. There was a bit of adventure and investigating, a young woman sleuth sometimes in the way of her brother's official investigation. Lots going on.

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