Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Carrie Soto Is Back

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Expected publication date: August 30, 2022
In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime—from the New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet. - from Goodreads


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

2022 Reading & Blogging Goals: Mid-Year Check-In

It's hard to believe that 2022 is already half over, but it's a great time to check in on the reading and blogging goals I set at the beginning of the year.

  1. Read Little Women.  I did it!  It took me a month and a half to read it, but I finally read Little Women!
  2. Read 52 books.  At the time I'm writing this post, I've read 50 books, so I'm actually almost done with this goal.  I figured I would maybe get to a book a week, so I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I've been able to read.
  3. Don't be so rigid about a blogging schedule.  I think I've been pretty good with this.  I've mainly been able to stick to my normal schedule, but I'm not pushing myself to fill in empty days like I used to.  I also haven't always been posting reviews every week and sometimes my "Friday reviews" don't show up until Monday, but that's ok!  I don't necessarily want to review every book I read on the blog, so because I'm reading less, there are fewer reviews.
  4. Continue growing my Instagram account.  I've gotten a lot of new followers, but my engagement doesn't seem to be growing, and I blame the algorithm, LOL!  I don't do reels, so I feel like the platform doesn't "promote" my posts very well to my followers.  But, I still have fun taking and sharing photos, so I'll continue with it for now.
  5. Reread from my own collection with the intention of pruning my shelves.  So far I've attempted 6 rereads - of those, I DNFed two of them and I will be donating five.
  6. Keep track of how much I'm spending on books.  I've adding a line item to my budget spreadsheet for this, so I've been tracking my book spending, although I'm not going to say how much I've spent!  I'm counting books I buy for Henry, too, and admittedly I go a little overboard when it comes to him.  I need to rein it in until his birthday/Christmas.

 How are you doing on your goals?

Friday, July 1, 2022

Month in Review: June 2022


June was a nice month - we had visits from all of Henry's grandparents at one point or another.  Tom and I took some time while Henry was at daycare to go see Jurassic World: Dominion - gonna be honest, definitely not my favorite of the series, but I'll never not watch a Jurassic Park movie.  We celebrated Tom's first Father's Day with a quiet day at home.  And now it's time for my monthly Henry update, LOL!  Sorry to everyone who doesn't want to hear about the goings on of a 7-month-old!  I woke up at 5:45am one day to Henry babbling on the monitor - and saw he was on his stomach!  We have a roller!  I saw him do it one more time a couple days later during tummy time, but he hasn't been too forthcoming with it.  I think the helmet hinders him a little.  Speaking of the helmet, he had a great evaluation at the end of the month; he is really making a lot of progress.  He's also been working on sitting up by himself; he's doing really good except for when he gets overexcited and throws himself backwards!  Unfortunately, he got pinkeye and an ear infection, along with a lot of congestion, the last week of the month, so we've been dealing with that.  It's the first time he's really been sick like this, and it's hard not to feel helpless as a mom when you can't make them feel better right away.

The Books

The Posts and Reviews
How are you doing?

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: My Imaginary Mary

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Expected publication date: August 2, 2022
It’s aliiiiiiiive! The bestselling authors of My Lady Jane are back with the electric, poetic, and (almost) historical tale of the one and only Mary Shelley.

Mary may have inherited the brilliant mind of her late mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, but she lives a drab life above her father’s bookstore, waiting for an extraordinary idea that’ll inspire a work worthy of her parentage—and impress her rakishly handsome (and super-secret) beau, Percy Shelley.

Ada Lovelace knows a thing or two about superstar parents, what with her dad being Lord Byron, the most famous poet on Earth. But her passions lie far beyond the arts—in mechanical engineering, to be exact. Alas, no matter how precise Ada’s calculations, there’s always a man willing to claim her ingenious ideas as his own.

Pan, a.k.a. Practical Automaton Number One, is Ada's greatest idea yet: a machine that will change the world, if only she can figure out how to make him truly autonomous . . . or how to make him work at all.

When fate connects our two masterminds, Mary and Ada learn that they are fae—magical people with the ability to make whatever they imagine become real. But when their dream team results in a living, breathing, thinking PAN, Mary and Ada find themselves hunted by a mad scientist who won't stop until he finds out how they made a real boy out of spare parts.

With comic genius and a truly electrifying sense of adventure, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows continue their campaign to turn history on its head in this YA fantasy that’s perfect for fans of The Princess Bride and A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. - from Goodreads

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is our summer TBR.  I read 5 of the 6 books I chose for my spring TBR (one I found I was no longer interested in).  For this TBR, I chose a few books that I already own, to try to force myself to finally read them!

Have you read any of these?  Where should I start?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Accomplished

Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!
Amanda Quinn
Expected publication date: July 26, 2022
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.

But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone—Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself—that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:

– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy—helicopter-sibling extraordinaire—by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)

Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
  - from Goodreads

Monday, June 20, 2022

Quick Reviews: Cinderella Retellings

At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec (2018)

Cynthia's husband ran off with their babysitter and all their money.  When she meets two other women in the neighborhood who also have money problems, the three of them decide to start a stripping business, dressed as Disney princesses, of course.  Although a little light on the retelling part of it, this was such a fun book!  Cynthia was a great main character - she's spent years being the "perfect" wife and mother, and now that her ex is gone, she's realizing how much she changed herself in order to please him.  I loved watching her come into her own and start doing all the things she denied herself for so long, although at times she came across as really naive.  Her love interest is PJ, a local strip club owner who comes across pretty gruff at first but eventually shows he has a heart of gold underneath.  Nothing too hard to think about here, just a low-drama, entertaining, funny romance!  4 stars

Cinders Like Glass by Clarissa Kae (2021)

Lady Ada Whitworth is just trying to make it to her next birthday, when she will be of age and free to leave the home of stepfamily.  However, her stepbrother Lord Rochelle has been implicated in a plot to kill the queen.  Now, the queen's protector, the Duke of Girard, is on the hunt for Rochelle when he crosses paths with Ada.  He wonders if she is helping her brother, while simultaneously falling for her.  This one was a mixed bag for me.  I liked the spy aspect of it and Girard's hunt for traitors.  As part of a series, you won't get all the answers in this book, though.  I didn't think the characters were particularly well-drawn or consistent.  Girard is known as the Dark Duke, yet he acts like a complete sap around Ada from the beginning.  Ada, for her part, has a stutter and doesn't seem to have had much socialization in her life, yet she is able to deftly flirt and converse with the Duke.  Lord Rochelle was an interesting character and he kept me guessing as to what his true intentions were.  There was something about the writing that never made me feel completely immersed in the story and kind of kept me at arms' length, so that was a little disappointing.  3 stars

* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.