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text 2016-07-09 22:29
Summer Bingo, Update #13

 Haven't done an update in a while, still no Bingo.

 

1. Beach/Sand/Sun on Cover - Murder on Wheels (Tourist Trap Mystery #6) by Lynn Cahoon

2. New to You Author - Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

3.

4. Adapted for the big screen - The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by M. Lewis

5. Historical Fiction - Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

6. Graphic Novel or Comic Book - Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

7.

8. Comfort Read - Dressed to Kill (Tourist Trap Mystery #4) by Lynn Cahoon

9. Read in a boat/tent/cabin - Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

10. On book shelf more than a year - That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran

11. Romance - Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole

12.

13. Free Space!

14.

15. Hard Book - Missoula by Jon Krakauer

16. Travel - Summer of Dreams (A From This Moment Novella) by Elizabeth Camden

17. Mystery or Suspense - If the Shoe Kills (Tourist Trap Mystery #3) by Lynn Cahoon

18. A Book Bust or Bummer - Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

19.

20.

21. YA or Children's Lit - Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss

22. Space Opera or other sci-fi - The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry

23. Read on Vacation - At the Duke's Wedding by Various Authors

24.

25.

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text 2016-06-30 20:18
June 2016 Reading Wrap Up
The Heiress Effect - Courtney Milan
If the Shoe Kills - Lynn Cahoon
Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 4) - Lynn Cahoon
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt - Michael Lewis
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer
Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole
The Giver - Lois Lowry,Ron Rifkin
Superman/Wonder Woman Volume 1: Power Couple TP by Charles Soule (2015-04-02) - Charles Soule

 

Courtney Milan Challenge (4/7 books in series read; 70% of challenge completed)

1. The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) - 5 stars

 

Regency Box Set

2. His Jilted Bride (Banks Brothers Brides #3)  by Rose Gordon - currently reading

 

Non-Fiction Challenge (22/50, 44% of challenge completed)

3. Flash Boys by Michael Lewis - 5 stars

4. Missoula by Jon Krakaur - 5 stars

5. High Tech Trash by Elizabeth Grossman - 2 stars

6. Bad Money by Kevin Phillips - DNF

7. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis - 5 stars

 

Partial Reads

7. Easter 1916 - Read chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (55% completed)

8. At the Duke's Wedding (Anthology) by Various Authors (50% completed)

9. Summer Rain (Anthology) by Various Authors - DNF

 

LGBTQ+ Cultural and Heritage Month (US observation)

10. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel - 3 stars

11. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 0 stars

 

*Loving Day - June 12th

12. Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole - 4 stars

 

TBR Pile Read Down

13. The Bride Wore Blue (Brides of Bath #1) by Cheryl Bolen - DNF

14. If the Shoe Kills (Tourist Trap Mystery #3) by Lynn Cahoon - 4 stars

15. That Scandalous Summer (Rules of the Reckless #1) by Meredith Duran - 1 star

16. Summer of Dreams (From this Moment On novella) by Elizabeth Camden - 2 stars

17. That Summer in Cornwall by Ciji Ware - DNF

18. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (Summer Bingo) - 0 stars

19. The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry (Summer Bingo) - 4 stars

20. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (Summer Bingo) - 4 stars

21. Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss - 4 stars

22. Dressed to Kill (Tourist Trap Mystery #4) by Lynn Cahoon - 4 stars

23. Superman/Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Power Couple by Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel - 4 stars 

 

Events

COYER Summer Vacation Challenge started June 18th.

Moonlight Reader's Summer Bingo Challenge

DoD Summer Reading Program started June 20th.

 

Reading Challenge: 88 out of 150 books (58% completed)

 

Stats

# non-fiction books: 4

# fiction books: 11

# DNF: 4

average total rating: 3.7

average non-fiction rating: 4.25 stars

average fiction rating: 3.2

 

Wrap Up

Getting better at hitting the DNF button. For the most part, those extra books for the bingo came in handy for bumping up the rating and giving me some enjoyable reading hours. Thanks Moonlight Reader for making me broaden my reading horizons :) !

 

Romance genre (save for Milan and Cole) didn't show me any love this month. I'm so tired of inaccurate historical details and NA characters in ball gowns. And as usual, contemporary romance failed me, with half of my DNFs coming from that genre.

 

Thankfully, I have cozy mysteries to keep turning pages. And the Apple settlement credit to my NOOK account helped keep me in cozy mysteries into the autumn months. YA and MG books helped to turn pages too. I found the other three books in The Giver Quartet on Overdrive, so I will probably work through the series next year. Not sure if I am up to seeing the movie though.

 

Non-fiction this month was great, just falling further behind on my goal of 50 non-fiction books for the year. I will be working through Lewis' and Krakaur's backlists next year. Biggest accomplishment this month is getting to the halfway mark on the historical account of the Easter Uprising of 1916 after not touching the book since the end of March.

 

The month of July includes one of my favorite holidays (Happy Independence Day to my American BL friends! Happy Getting Rid of Those Pesky Colonists Day to my British BL friends!) and two family trips (one to LEGOLAND, one to Brighton), so I am very excited to get some reading done while sunning myself on a beach or near a pool (June was straight up soggy as hell).

 

Happy Reading!

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review 2016-06-22 23:48
Review: Dressed to Kill (Tourist Trap Mystery #4) by Lynn Cahoon
Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 4) - Lynn Cahoon

I have been striking out with romance genre lately, so I picked up this book in the cozy mystery series I have been enjoying in the hopes of getting my reading mojo back. It worked - now all I want to do is read book 5 and 6.

 

This installment of the Tourist Trap Mystery series finds Jill and the gang in South Cove, California enjoying the late winter/early spring weather. The author twisted it up a little and had Jill not be the one to find the dead body, or have anything to do with person who was killed. Another twist was this wasn't an out-of-towner, but a resident  - dead body as well as the killer.  There was a side plot dealing with Jill's aunt that tied in nicely with the killer's motive, but was a separate incident entirely.

 

I liked that Jill was finally the rescuer rather than the one being rescued in the confrontation with the killer. I agree with the killer - Det King (Jill's hunky bf) was a little obtuse with all the evidence, especially with the evidence, clues, and theories Jill feed him. I hope he isn't this dumb in the books to come after this one; I like when they bounce ideas off each other and come up with the smart, right answers. Hunky is better when it comes with a side of brains.

 

4/5 stars. COYER eligible. Since I was familiar with the characters and the world building, it seemed to comfort me after the disappointing romance reads - ergo, this will fill in Summer Bingo square "Comfort Read."

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review 2016-06-21 11:40
Review: That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless #1) by Meredith Duran
That Scandalous Summer - Meredith Duran

This is my first Duran book. I picked it up from the NOOK store as a freebie....and now I know why. I wanted so much to like it, which is probably why I feel such a disappointment after finishing this book. I should have DNF it at the mid-way point, but I had a bad case of insomnia last night, so I read.

 

FYI: on GR, this book is often referred to as a Regency set romance (both in the book description and in some reviews). Uh, big old no there - the book takes place in the late 1880s, so that is definitely Victorian Age.

 

This book has more plot lines than it should. Plot line A is all about the Michael (the hero) hiding out in Cornwall, pretending to be a middle class country doctor when he is brother of the Duke and a well-known doctor to the poor and working class of London. Plot line B is that the heroine (Elizabeth) needs money to maintain her lifestyle and tenants/village, so she devises a scheme to host a house party with eligible bachelors for her to snare. Plot line C is a blackmail plan of Elizabeth's former lover to get money and rank from the Duke.

 

Any of these plot lines would work for the book, but the mash up of all three left this book in need of a purpose and direction. Combined with less than awesome characters and repetitive writing, and it was a never-ending drag to get through. I liked Michael. He had his reasons for hiding out in Cornwall and using medicine to help people. He was the only character I liked in this book. Elizabeth was a basic Samantha from Sex + the City with money problems and a BIG drinking problem that is never addressed in the book. The house party guests were horrible human beings, but considering their hostess was Elizabeth, I am not surprised. The writing was okay, with dialogue at times being actually witty and at other times just bitter sarcasm. Bottom line: I didn't believe in the romance or HEA.

 

1 star for the hero. COYER Challenge book 2. Summer Bingo square "book that has been on shelf for more than a year".

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review 2016-06-20 00:49
Review: Summer of Dreams (A From This Moment Novella) by Elizabeth Camden
Summer of Dreams: A From This Moment Novella - Elizabeth Camden

This novella is the prequel to the From This Moment series (which as of this month consists of a novella and a full length novel). This is an inspirational historical romance, but the religious tone is so light, it reads more like a basic clean read. I liked this romance up until the hero decides (recklessly) to save his friend and ruin his future dreams. It was a sacrifice that didn't make sense. I just could not buy into the romance between Clyde and Evelyn after they worked to get her cousin's academic career back into gear in time for graduation(and hero in the novel) and screwed up their chances for a real HEA.

 

Not to worry - and this is what pisses me off/disappoints me about bothering to even read this - because the three (long) chapters that make up the excerpt at the end of the novella involves Clyde and Evelyn's marriage breaking up after three years (so they have been separated for six years). I hate breaking up couples from earlier books - I don't care if they get back together in future books, their book is now ruined for me. There was also some continuity errors and some historical inaccuracies (found mostly within the dialogue).

 

2 stars. This is my first book for the COYER Summer Challenge. Summer Bingo square "Travel: Plans, trains or road trips" filled due to the characters taking multiple train trips from West Point to Boston.

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