Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday, April 25th

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's question is:

Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly 
NOT Want to Read a Book

This is a hard question because it takes a lot for me not to want to read.  There are definitely some things however, that will deter me from picking up a book...
  • If I know it is a huge tearjerker. I don't mind crying in a book but I don't like to finish a story and feel depressed or cry through the entire thing. A sad part or two is fine but if it is more than that, I stay away. 
  • If an animal dies. Not just any animal but an animal that is a main focus of the story. So, there is no Old Yeller or Love That Dog for me. No thanks. 
  • If the characters on the cover are half naked with their facial expressions in the throes of ecstasy. I'm no prude but this just turns me off completely, even if I have heard the book is fantastic. 
  • If the print is so tiny, I can barely read it. I have decent vision but I deplore teeny tiny print. Is is hard to focus and unattractive. 
  • No meaningful relationships. It doesn't have to be romance, but some sort of relationship deepens a story. I find books without them to be bland. 
  • Horrible grammar. Unless it is purposeful, I have no interest in books that have a ton of grammatical errors. 
  • Books about sports. Boring... 
  • Books with a ton of bad reviews. I may read it eventually, but not until someone convinces me that it is worth picking up. 
  • Books of poetry. Just not my cup of tea. 
  • Overdone love triangles. I don't mind it for a few chapters but please don't spread it over the whole book or series. I hate that. 

How about you?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WWW Wednesday, April 5th

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is now hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Just answer these three questions to share what is going on in your reading life and to give others some great book recommendations. 

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I always have one print book/kindle book and one audio book going at the same time.  Right now, I'm reading The Bone Witch and I'm listening to Jane Steele.

I just finished listening to Witchy Sour.  This is book 2 in the Magic and Mixology mystery series.  I'm really enjoying this series.  It's light and fun.

I have a few books waiting in the wings. I plan to read Jinx and Tonic, which is the 3rd book in the Magic and Mixology series. I'm also planning to start Neverwhere and Almost Missed You.

What are you reading?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: April 1st

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves. This includes books you buy in the store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  In my case, it includes audiobooks too because I love them and listen every day on my journey to and from work.

Not too many added to the shelves this week but I do have a few:

I'm excited to read all of these.  Witchy Sour and Jane Steele are both audiobooks for my commute.  Almost Missed You was given to me to read and review for SheReads.org, and I just heard such great things about Neverwhere and The Lost Girls that I picked those up on my own.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Ghostly Echoes

Ghostly Echoes is the third book in William Ritter's Jackaby series that follows R.F Jackaby, Abigail Rook, and their friends, as they try to solve mysteries in late 1880's New England.

I love this series and a large part of what makes me love it are the characters.  Jackaby and Abigail are so well written and likable that you can't help but continue to turn the pages to see what happens next. Over the three books, their backgrounds have slowly been shared so that, as a reader, I feel like I know them and I am invested in their lives.  Even Jenny, Douglas, and Charlie have captured my heart.

There are a couple of mysteries being investigated simultaneously in this third book.  We have the ongoing mystery of what happened to Jenny plus an additional investigation that actually ends up connecting to Jenny's story.  It's all very engaging, with a mix of drama and quirky humor and just a tiny bit of romance.  I'm really looking forward to the next book.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intro, March 21st

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and is all about sharing the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that you are reading or plan to read soon. I'm almost finished with the book I am reading so I'll probably start this one next week and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will not disappoint. 

"It's been sixty-four years.  That doesn't feel so long, strange though it may seem to you, but Mother is dead, and Father, and Lilith; I am the last.  When I am gone, it will be as though that summer never happened.  I've thought about this as I sit in my chair on the porch, as I take my evening walk up to the bridge, and as I lie awake listening to the water shifting in the dark.  I've even taken to sleeping in Lilith's and my old room, in the small bed that used to be mine.  Last night I watched the moonlight on the ceiling and thought of the many nights I have lain there: as a child, as a young girl, and now as an old woman.  I thought about how easy it would be to let all of it pass from the earth."

So, based on this passage, would you keep reading or pass on this one?

Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by 
Kathryn at the Book Date and is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and are about to be reading over the week and it's an opportunity to visit, comment, and add to that ever growing TBR pile! 

What I finished last week:

What I am reading this week:

Next week, I will most likely still be working on these two books but when I finish them, I do have my next two books waiting in the wings.

Looks like I am going to have off from work tomorrow due to the snowstorm here in the mid Atlantic region.  Extra reading time for me! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

I had seen The Woman in Cabin 10 on a lot of book blogs and on Amazon with mixed reviews.  However, some people said a lot of good things about it and a friend of mine had a copy and was willing to let me borrow it, so I decided to give it a go.

What did I think? I would probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.  If you don't want spoilers, stop here.

To begin, I loved the cover.  The water droplets are slightly raised so not only did it look pretty, it felt cool too.  The plot was interesting.  I liked the idea of a woman on a cruise who is sure she witnessed someone thrown overboard even though no one on the passenger list is missing.  It seemed intriguing. Lo was perfect for the main part, having past emotional issues and blatantly displaying her alcohol problem, it was easy to see how people had difficulty believing her story.  I also liked Ben's character even though he was a little bit full of himself.  He was really the only one who genuinely wanted to help.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of things that bothered me.  First, Lo's character was a little bit too much like the main character in The Girl on the Train.  Past issues, an alcoholic who is kind of lost in life, with people around her who just don't believe her story.  I would probably have liked this book more if I hadn't just read TGOTT only a few months ago. Second, I think there were some holes in the story. The ending was a bit rushed and while I know it had to be Carrie who wired the money to Lo's account, I don't see how she had access to Richard's money or to Lo's bank numbers.  I also felt that it was a bit far fetched that they actually found Ann's body in the middle of the North Sea.

I didn't dislike the story.  It was enjoyable enough and if you like a mystery with minimal action but a few interesting twists, give it a try. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WWW Wednesday, March 1st

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading.

The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I have two books right now.  One on Audible and one in print.  On Audible, I just started listening to The Watchmakers Daughter, which is fun so far, and in print, I am reading The Woman in Cabin 10.  I'm liking it but it has taken me a few weeks to finish because I'm not loving it.

I just finished Eleventh Grave in Moonlight.  This is book 11 in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones and it was just as good as all the others in the series.

Next, I have a couple of books in line, both from Netgalley.  The Bone Witch and Ensnared.  Hopefully, I can finish The Woman in Cabin 10 this week and move on. 

What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. February 28th

Every Tuesday, this book blog prompt is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea. The idea is to share the first chapter, first paragraph of a book you are reading or plan to read in the near future so others can decide if they might be interested as well.

Today, I am starting a book that I received from Netgalley.  I love the cover and, though I haven't officially started yet, the first paragraph sounds intriguing...

"Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.  I have not been a bone witch for very long, whatever the stories you've heard, but this was the first lesson I learned."

I will definitely be continuing on...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Spying in High Heels

Several years ago, I was binge reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I adored the first six books, enjoyed the next few, and then they began to get so repetitive that I just had to stop. She is a great writer and I loved the characters but I wanted to finally have some relationship resolution or some kind of new twist to the plot and it just never happened. It was like the never-ending love triangle.

Spying in high heels reminded me a lot of the Stephanie Plum series when it was still enjoyable to me. I loved the main character, Maddie. She is sassy and snarky and a little bit of a hot mess in life. She accidentally gets involved in a murder investigation when her current boyfriend goes missing. She meets Jack Ramirez, one of the officers assisting with the investigation. He reluctantly shares information with her and ultimately ends up fishing her out of some sticky situations as they try to solve the murder mystery.

The story is a lot of fun. I laughed a lot and the character interactions are engaging. There is a nice pacing to the story and I never got bored. Yes, Maddie makes some dumb decisions but it isn't too overdone and she eventually smartens up a bit. There is action, mystery, and some romance but it's not overwhelming. In my opinion, it was a great first book in a series and I plan to pick up the second one immediately.

Will I get bored of this series as I did with the Stephanie Plum books? It's possible, but I'm hoping the author doesn't fall into the pit of repetition and knows to end the series while it is still on a high note. For now, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Feature and Follow Friday, Feb 3rd

The Feature and Follow is a Friday meme hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. The idea is very simple and the name explains itself. It is about following and meeting new bloggers. 

This week's post prompt is:
Groundhog Day! What book or scene from a book could you live in and have it on "repeat?"

While I'm sure so many people including myself could easily pick any Harry Potter book, I'm going to go with A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I would love to be a part of this magical adventure as Matthew and Diana join forces and begin to unravel the mystery of the enchanted manuscript at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.  One of my all time favorites.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: The Chemist

I have to admit, I went back and forth about getting this one for a bit before I finally decided to purchase it.  I loved the Twilight series (not the movies, just the books) and I was a little bit worried that I would be looking for that same type of writing as I read.  I began the book doing exactly that and I almost put it down after the first few chapters because I really didn't like the main character, Alex, as a person.  However, I don't like to abandon books so I kept trudging along and by the time I got to chapter 7, I was hooked.  I guess I just needed to get used to her as an imperfect heroine who really wasn't that good a person on some levels. Once the first action scene hit though, I found that I was able to appreciate the story and immerse myself more fully in the lives of the characters. 

What did I like?  I really enjoyed the character development once I accepted them for who they were.  Alex and Kevin were both quite unlikable at first but then began slowly to grow, forming an almost family-like bond that even they didn't quite realize they had until an important event in the storyline.  They were both able to find their more human sides. I loved the way dogs were such a big part of the book as well.  Einstein and Lola and the other trained dogs in the story really added to the engagement level.  I only wish we knew more about what happened to some of them in the epilogue. Plenty of action and violence, some romance (albeit a bit of an odd match at first), and some interesting minor characters as well. Val was great! A small amount of snark as Alex and Kevin verbally abused one another added a bit of humor to lighten things up occasionally as well.  If you like mystery thrillers, this is a pretty good story.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.  The goal is to post the first paragraph or two of the book you are reading or one that you will be reading soon to see if other readers/bloggers are interested.

This is my first time participating in this activity and I'm posting from chapter 1 of A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourne. This is the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series.

London, September 1887

“For the love of all that is holy, Veronica, the object is to maim or kill, not tickle,” Stoker informed me, clipping the words sharply as he handed me a knife. “Do it again.”

I suppressed a sigh and took the knife, grasping it lightly as I had been taught. I faced the target, staring it down as if it were an approaching lion.

“You are thinking too much.” Stoker folded his arms over the breadth of his chest and looked down his nose at me. “The entire purpose of this exercise is to train you to react, not to think. When your life is in danger, your body must know what to do, because there is no time for your mind to engage.”

I turned to face him, not lowering the blade. “Might I remind you that I have, upon many and various occasions, been in mortal danger and I am still here.”

“Anyone can get lucky,” he said coldly. “And I suspect your continued survival owes itself to a combination of good fortune and sheer bloody-mindedness. You are too stubborn to die.”

Based on this intro, would you read more or pass on this book?

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: January 21st

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

I did quite of bit of book blog browsing this week and as a result, added four new books to my shelves (both virtual and real):

Lent to me by a friend, we will be reading this in February with some of our #sixtybooks readers.

Saw this is the Top Ten post this week and it looked interesting.  I love anything paranormal so should be fun!

This one was also picked up after blog browsing.  I love a lighthearted mystery and I'm looking forward to reading it.

I've been waiting for this one.  I adored the first book, A Curious Beginning and can't wait to see what Veronica Speedwell does next!

What did you add to your shelves?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday, January 17th

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list for bloggers to answer.

This week's list topic is:

Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books We've Read In The Past Year Or So

I read a decent amount of books last year and while my choices for today weren't exactly completely unknown, a lot of them were not overly advertised or on the top seller lists.  Here are the books I considered hidden gems:

and my favorite hidden gem is actually an entire series that I didn't even know existed until I fell upon it by accident.  I loved every book in the series equally and was sad when the ending finally came.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: Eligible

Eligible is described as a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice and that is exactly what it is.  I picked it up on Audible for my ride to work and hoped for the best. It did not disappoint. I really liked it and the narrator was perfect for the story.

The characters were all perfectly portrayed and I have to give a special shout out to Mrs. Bennett.  She was created perfectly in both style and narration and I know this because she drove me nuts.  I literally wanted to cover my face in my hands, but of course this wasn't possible because I was driving.  Just like in the classic, her main interest was to marry off her daughters to worthy husbands.  However, in this version, she was the sheltered wife, still mentally living in an age overly concerned with proper etiquette and not adapting to modern culture and ways of living.  I give her character the most kudos in that she made me wince (or laugh) with compassion for her daughters almost every time she opened her mouth.

The Bennett sisters were also written extremely well.  Their life stories were interesting and just like in the original, their paths to happiness were riddled with obstacles. Ultimately however, they all found what they were looking for in life, even if it wasn't exactly what their mother was hoping for, which was part of what made the story so enjoyable.

Not usually a fan of the romance genre on its own, I would tell almost any fiction reader to pick this book up.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and may even reread it in the future.  Really engaging and a lot of fun to read. Definitely one I plan to add to my shelves in the hardcover version.