12/12/18

November Wrap-up

Only one more month left in 2018!  This is the time of the year when my reading slows way, way down.  This month it was partly due to a head cold that interfered with my ability to concentrate (although my PVR is blissfully empty!) but it's also because I find myself looking at all the books that I had really wanted to get to by the end of the year and I start feeling discouraged.  I know, it's silly, because the goals I set for myself are just for me ... but because I know that I can't read all of the books that I need to, I end up reading way less overall.  It's a fact of life and it happens every year towards the end of the year, so I just need to embrace it and roll with it.

Here's a recap of what I did read this month...

1. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
I LOVED this book -- it was beautifully written and such an incredible family story.  As much as I loved it, I was even more blown away when I read the author's note and saw that the author also has a transgendered child, which added a layer of authenticity to the story, even though the author said that Poppy's character is not based on her own daughter.  The characters in the book were incredible, the story so heart wrenching and rich and well-told that I didn't want it to end.

2. Bedtime Story by Robert J Weirsema
Rob's debut novel was my favourite and I've found myself chasing that same reading experience with each of his subsequent books, but I haven't found it yet.  The premise of this book was interesting, but the execution not so much.  Rob's strength is in his contemporary writing so the parallel fantasy world fell flat for me and I found myself skimming those sections before returning to the main story.

3. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
I have no words - what a beautiful duology and I'm so glad that I read both books this year. I read this book as part of Tome Topple (plus 300 pages of A Little Life, which I'll hopefully finish in December).

4. The Adults by Caroline Hulse
My review was posted at the end of November -- go check it out!

5. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
This was my first Kate Morton and I will give her a second chance because I've heard that this is not her best book.  I struggled SO HARD with this book -- I love a dual narrative story with multiple voices, but this one felt so jarring and hard to follow that I had to really push myself to finish it.  I might be able to blame some of the confusion on a head cold that turned into a sinus infection, but I'm also looking forward to discussing it with my book club. 

How about you? Do you also suffer from a sense of the blahs as the year draws to a close and your reading goals slip out of your grasp? Let me know in the comments and, as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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11/27/18

The Adults - Caroline Hulse


This book was SO. MUCH. FUN. It starts off in the heat of the action with a 911 call placed when a character is accidentally shot with an arrow. After the initial chapter, the storyline is immediately whisked backwards a few days and we are introduced to an incredibly well-developed cast of characters and learn about the events and emotions leading up to the bow and arrow incident. The main premise of the story is two couples and a young girl (and an imaginary rabbit) who decide to spend the holidays at a camp together. The catch is that the girl's divorced mom and dad, and their new partners, are the two couples. What could go wrong in that dynamic? I was fully engaged from page one right up until the end, and a little bit sad when I had to say goodbye to the characters.

The way the story unfolded reminded me a lot of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, since it's a contemporary story with a dash of a compelling mystery to keep the pages turning. It also had the heartwarming aspect of being a Christmas story and one that will be the perfect cozy holiday read. The Adults was just like a good Christmas cookie recipe: not too sweet, super yummy and even better when enjoyed with a big mug of something warm. Cozy up by the fireplace with this one!

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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11/16/18

Tome Topple TBR - Round 7

Although I didn't officially post about it (and ended up not finishing the tome I started) I did halfheartedly participate in the last round of Tome Topple, although I think I participated more on Instagram than I did with any actual reading.

This round I'm excited, but also feeling a bit meh.  I think it's mainly because I want to read all of the things.  And when I want to read all of the things, I end up reading N O N E of the things.  NONE.

So, here goes....

1. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
I read and LOVED Strange the Dreamer earlier this fall and immediately dove into The Muse of Nightmares, but then it was too much of the world at once so I set it aside.  But I do want to finish this duology, and I have it on audio and in physical format, which is how I love to immerse myself in a tome by bouncing back and forth.

2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
I know there will be others reading this book over the next couple of weeks so it would be the perfect time to read it too!  As with Muse, I have this in physical format and on audio.  But I've had a head cold for the past week, and part of me doesn't want feeling blah to taint my experience of reading either book, which is why I'm hesitant to do so.

3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara
I'm part of an Instagram group that is reading this book this month ... which makes me equal parts excited to read it and equal parts rebelling against reading it.  It's on my list of 18 books to read this year, so I really, really should read it.  And I think I'm going to love it and it's going to break my heart, both of which are excellent reasons to read it.

4. The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch
When I put this book onto my list of 18 books to read in 2018, I felt like this was the perfect book to read in November for some reason.  So it's fitting that this readathon is at the end of November and I also have this book in physical format and on audio ... but I think I'll end up reading one or two of the books above before I tackle this one, so maybe it'll end up being a December read instead.

Of course, in addition to these four books, I'm almost finished with The Clockmaker's Daughter, which is for book club at the end of November so I have to finish that.  I'm also reading a book for work that I'd like to finish by the end of the month.  AND, in case that's not enough, I also have an egalley to read and review by the end of November.  So, we'll see how many tomes I get to in the next couple of weeks -- I'm hopeful that I'll be able to read at least one, since I really and truly love this readathon.

Happy Tome Reading!

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11/5/18

Book Haul [36] - It's Been A While...

It's been a few months … and I've bought more than a few books.  Oops.

1. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Centre
When I was reading How to Walk Away earlier this year, a Bookstagram friend commented that this one was her favourite. So I bought it. And read it. And fully agree.

2. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
3. Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
I found both of these at Value Village. You all know how much I love Mitch's books, so having another of his to read was a no-brainer. I read, and loved, Haroun and the Sea of Stories many, many years ago, so I was excited to see that there's a sequel.

4. Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino
5. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
6. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Kobo sale! I've already read Swear On This Life and it was soooooo good.

7. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recommended this book to me … I'd originally planned to read it during October, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen this year!

8. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
I asked one of my close friends what her favourite book was. She told me and I bought it.

9. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The ladies at "No Thanks We're Booked" rave about this book so much that I had to pick it up. I can't wait to read it.

10. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My boss has been recommending a ton of business management books and I've been making my way through most of them on audio. When she recommended this one, not only for me but also because there's a chapter on introverted children and she thought of Marko, I decided to pick up a hard copy.

11. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
At the time I ordered this, I hadn't yet picked up Strange the Dreamer but I knew I'd love the series. And I did, oh did I ever (and I'm not even finished it yet -- but it's SO GOOD).

12. Wildcard by Marie Lu
Warcross was a surprise love when I read it (late last year, or early this year?). Wildcard was a solid conclusion to the duology.

13. The Dark Between Stars by Atticus
Love Her Wild blew me away last year and I reread it this year -- I already can't wait to reread this second volume.

14. This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Buying Reese Witherspoon's book club picks is going to get problematic but this one sounded SO GOOD that I couldn't pass it up.

15. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
Although 2019 is not yet here, I'm already planning to cut back on my review books next year. I was so incredibly excited to be approved for an advance copy of this book but I just couldn't get into it on my Kobo. It felt like a book that I needed to hold in my hands to read because she's such a beloved favourite author. So I waited and ordered a copy, which I'll likely be reading next month.

16. Beautiful Bastard / Beautiful Stranger / Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
I am on a Christina Lauren BINGE this year!  I picked up Beautiful Bastard from the library and went to put the second book on hold, only to discover that the library doesn't have it! So I bought all three on Kobo.

17. Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
See above -- it was on sale at Kobo and I have no self control.

18. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
I went to see her speak and the event included a copy of her book … I'll post a full review and recap of the event next month, but Jodi BLEW ME AWAY.

19. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Technically not in my hands just yet, since it releases tomorrow but I am SO EXCITED.

20. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
I cannot believe how HUGE and HEAVY this book is!  Although I was less than enthused with Tower of Dawn, I'm still excited to see how this series wraps up … and I want to get to this one before the spoilers start permeating Bookstagram.

21. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
This is book club's November pick and it's so pretty that I had to buy a copy!  I've heard such great things about her writing and I can't wait to experience one of her books.

That's it -- all my book buying from the past few months!  Fortunately, I only have one more pre-order left (Queen of Air and Darkness) so I shouldn't have any crazy book hauls yet to come … although, you never know.  If you've read any of these that I need to prioritize, please let me know in the comments below.  As always, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!

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11/1/18

November TBR

It's a new month so it's time for a new TBR list!  I've been looking at all the things that I wanted to read this year and I feel like my reading slows down during the last couple months of the year, mainly because I start looking at everything that I think I still need to read in order to meet my reading goals... which means I read everything but those books or nothing at all.

1. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
3. The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch
4. Bedtime Story by Robert J Wiersema
5. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
7. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
8. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
9. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
10. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This list contains a total of 5,748 pages which is completely not possible because I'd have to read almost 200 pages per day!  But a girl can dream, can't she?

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10/31/18

September and October Wrap-up

I didn't get a chance to post my September wrap-up so I'm combing it with October.  Apologies for no cover images in this post (or my book haul that's coming next week!)

September

1. Educated by Tara Westover
I feel like this story has been done over and over, from The Glass Castle to North of Normal, and this had nothing really new to share.

2. Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
My review for Broken Things was posted earlier this month, so you can check that out for further thoughts, but I think I'm officially done with Lauren's books.

3. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
My husband came home from a workshop and showed me a video with Simon Sinek discussing millennials in the workplace and I was blown away by him. I decided to give one of his audiobooks a go and I really enjoyed it, despite a lot of the vocabulary centring around companies that sell products, which mine does not.

4. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
I had planned to read both this one and the final book in the trilogy in September, but I took my time with this book and then decided to let the story simmer a little longer before I read the last book.  I am LOVING this series.

5. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Centre
I started Contemporary-a-thon with this book and I loved it so, so, so, so much.

6. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
I have no more Jessi Kirby books left to read. *sob*

7. The Dark Between Stars by Atticus
A stellar sophomore poetry book.

8. One Day in December by Josie Silver
Requested this one on a whim -- and I loved it!

-- The Miseducation by Cameron Post
This was decent but I set it aside for a while and then just had zero interest in picking it back up.

-- The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
I read 40% of this book earlier this year (or maybe last year?) and then the audiobook expired and it took me a while to put it back on hold.  I couldn't remember what was happening, nor did I have the desire to start the book from the beginning, so onto the DNF pile it goes.

October

1. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Slowly making my way through this writing duo's books this year!  This one was WAY steamier than her previous books, but I loved it.  And promptly bought the next two books (more on that next week!)

2. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
I told my boss about the Simon Sinek book that I was reading and she said she enjoyed this one even more, so of course I had to read it.  It was better than Start with Why because it had more real life applications.

3. Wildcard by Marie Lu
I didn't love this one quite as much as Warcross, but it was still a stellar conclusion to this duology.

4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE.  Laini's writing and storytelling are in a category all their own.

5. A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
I went to see Jodi speak and she BLEW ME AWAY. Of course, I had to dive straight into her new book and it was PERFECTION.

-- Velveteen by Daniel Marks
This was one of my 18 books to read in 2018 and I think it's a book that I may have enjoyed a few years ago, but really isn't my cup of tea.

6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
I started reading The Muse of Nightmares immediately after I finished Strange the Dreamer, but I needed a bit of a contemporary break. A Spark of Light was still pretty intense, so I decided that a Liane Moriarty book would be the perfect way to close out my reading for the month.  And it was.

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10/30/18

The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory


I read The Wedding Date, Jasmine's first book, in May this year after Ginger @ GReads! raved about it. Her adult contemporary recommendations are always bang on for me and The Wedding Date was THAT GOOD.  I flew through it in just a couple of days and loved it.  I was absolutely thrilled when I was approved for an advance copy of The Proposal, Jasmine's second book.

A second book is always a tricky one. It either cements the author in your head as an auto-buy author or it's the last book that you pick up by that author. Well, Jasmine is now on my auto-buy list. Her books are everything that I look for in an adult contemporary! The romance was sweet and perfect and the characters were so well developed and the story was so good that I couldn't stop reading. I loved it from beginning to end and I already can't wait for Jasmine's next book.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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