Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 End of Year Book Survey

Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner has put together an awesome end-of-year book survey.  I'm so excited to look back at a wonderful year of reading!

Number Of Books You Read: 130
Number of Re-Reads: 28
Genre You Read The Most From: Probably mystery/thriller

1. Best Book You Read In 2016? 

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?  

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Guineveres by Sarah Domet - even though there was a lot of religion in the book, I actually ended up really enjoying it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series started: Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny
Best sequel: The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Best series ender: Winter by Marissa Meyer

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Louise Penny (Inspector Gamache series)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I Am Malala - I don't normally read memoirs/autobiographies.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - I raced through this in only a few hours!

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Any of the 4 or 5 star books I read this year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Bex from The Royal We, because of her similarities to Kate Middleton

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  I definitely didn't agree with all of her methods, but it has changed the way I think about why I keep certain possessions.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? 

"After all, tomorrow is another day." - Gone With The Wind

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (106 pages)
Longest: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (1,443 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Rhett and Scarlett from Gone With The Wind

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The relationship between Kahlen and her sister Sirens in The Siren by Kiera Cass

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?


23. Best 2016 debut you read?

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - really, the whole Lunar Chronicles has fantastic world-building.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Regulars by Georgia Clark

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Guineveres by Sarah Domet

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

After Alice by Gregory Maguire, because it was just so bad.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf - the structure of this murder mystery was really different.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Glass Sword  by Victoria Aveyard - and I didn't like it.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

The Bookish Libra, among many others!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

The Assistants by Camille Perri

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My post on not reading "it" books had the most views of my discussion posts this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Starting my blog!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Starting the blog and trying to learn as much as I can in a short period of time.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By far, my most popular post, by views AND comments, is my Top Ten Tuesday Holiday Gift Guide for baby's first Christmas.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Probably my post on why I love to re-read.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

All the book blogs I found this year!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I read more books than I thought I would; as far as challenges, I started the POPSUGAR reading challenge, but didn't finish it.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

One Dark Throne, the sequel to Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

I have a post coming up soon on my 2017 blogging goals  ;-)

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: N/A

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Favorite Wanderings of 2016

Today I wanted to share my favorite parks and trails of the year.  We've been going to a lot of the same parks for years, because they're so close to our house, but in 2016 we branched out a bit and tried out some new spots.  I'm already making a list of places I want to check out next year when the weather gets nice again!

In June, we visited Watkins Glen State Park.  It was just as beautiful as I remember from visiting as a kid.

While in New York, we also visited Robert H. Treman State Park.  The views here were incredible!

Closer to home, we spent a couple hours hiking at Hacklebarney State Park.

And for an easy walk through the park, we loved Loantaka Brook Reservation.

We discovered a hidden gem in Greenwood Gardens.

And we ended the year in Oklahoma at Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday: The Clairvoyants

"Waiting on" Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

The Clairvoyants
Karen Brown
Expected publication date: February 7, 2017
On the family homestead by the sea where she grew up, Martha Mary saw ghosts. As a young woman, she hopes to distance herself from those spirits by escaping to an inland college town. There, she is absorbed by a budding romance, relieved by separation from an unstable sister, and disinterested in the flyers seeking information about a young woman who’s disappeared—until one Indian summer afternoon when the missing woman appears beneath Martha’s apartment window, wearing a down coat, her hair coated with ice. - from Goodreads

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: Heartless

Marissa Meyer
Published November 8, 2016
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. - from Goodreads
I think we can all agree that Heartless is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2016 - after The Lunar Chronicles, so many of us were excited to see what Marissa Meyer would create next.  I'll be honest, I've never read Alice in Wonderland, but I knew enough of the story to make me want to read this book and also to understand most of the references to the original text. 

Cath may be nobility, but she has no desire to marry the King - she'd rather open a bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann.  But when a new court joker appears in Hearts, Cath's world is turned upside-down.  I loved the large cast of characters and how each has their own distinct personality, especially those characters that break the mold - a maid with a mind for business, a spineless king who doesn't have it in him to be a strong leader.   

Meyer does a great job bringing Wonderland to life, by including all the details and characters that fans will know and love.  I loved the touches of magic and whimsy throughout the book, although some things could have been explained more (like Cath's dreams that became realities).  I also liked the idea of fate, since we all know who Cath becomes, and it was interesting to see the twists and turns of how she got there (although I did question some of her decisions near the end of the book).

However, something was missing for me.  The book didn't feel fresh; it didn't have that spark I was looking for.  I think I was kind of spoiled by The Lunar Chronicles, which were fantastic modern re-tellings, and I wrongly expected that Heartless would be similar in tone and writing style.

3.5 stars

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Sisters One, Two, Three

"Waiting on" Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Sisters One, Two, Three
Nancy Star
Expected publication date: January 1, 2017
After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go. - from Goodreads

Monday, December 19, 2016

How I Decide What to Read Next

I could never ignore a huge stack of books, calling to me, so even if I've just started a book, I'm always thinking about what I'll read next.  Here are some of the factors that influence my decision.

  • I have an ARC with a release date coming soon.  This one doesn't happen very often, but I have won a few ARCS from Goodreads Giveaways.  I like to have the book read and a review posted about a week before the release date, so if it's coming up soon, that book goes to the top of the pile!

  • A book I've requested has arrived at my library, and I only have a short time with it.  I use my local library extensively, and I love being able to place holds on books.  Sometimes, the wait list for a popular book is really long and we're only allowed to check the book out for two weeks, with no renewals.  I need to get to these sooner rather than later.  Plus, I like to read and return them quickly so the next person in line isn't waiting too long, either!

  • I have a craving for a particular book/author/genre, etc.  Every once in awhile I'll feel a longing for a reread.  I'll peruse my shelves and decide I need to revisit Harry Potter or that I'm in the mood for a Kate Morton Gothic mystery.  Or sometimes it's a new book I've gotten that I just feel a particular pull towards.  It could be the setting, the synopsis, the genre - something that makes me feel like I need to read this book now.

So, how do you decide what to read next?  Do you have a system, or is it random?  Maybe based on how long it's been sitting on your shelf or TBR, or whatever looks appealing at the moment?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

We recently visited my brother and his family in Oklahoma, and while we were there, they took us hiking at Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area.

For a trail map of the mountain, click here.

We hiked the Yellow Trail, a 4.4-mile loop which has awesome views of Tulsa and the Arkansas River.

Late fall was actually a great time to visit, because with most of the leaves fallen, we could see a lot more of the river and other vistas.  We started with the part of the trail closest to the river.

View of downtown Tulsa

Arkansas River
The trails were mostly packed dirt, but some places were rocky and we had to watch our footing.  Changes in elevation were pretty minor, which made for a quick, easy hike.

Turkey Mountain was very busy the day we went - I guess since it was the day after Thanksgiving, everyone wanted to work off their big meals!  We encountered many other hikers, runners, and mountain bikers.  It was a good thing we got there early, because when we left, the parking lot was completely full and cars were circling looking for spots!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review: Amy Snow

Amy Snow
Tracey Rees
Published April 9, 2015
It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the grounds of her aristocratic family’s magnificent mansion. Her parents are horrified that she has brought a bastard foundling into the house, but Aurelia convinces them to keep the baby, whom she names Amy Snow. Amy is brought up as a second-class citizen, despised by Vennaways, but she and Aurelia are as close as sisters. When Aurelia dies at the age of twenty-three, she leaves Amy ten pounds, and the Vennaways immediately banish Amy from their home.

But Aurelia left her much more. Amy soon receives a packet that contains a rich inheritance and a letter from Aurelia revealing she had kept secrets from Amy, secrets that she wants Amy to know. From the grave she sends Amy on a treasure hunt from one end of England to the other: a treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. Ultimately, a life-changing discovery awaits...if only Amy can unlock the secret. In the end, Amy escapes the Vennaways, finds true love, and learns her dearest friend’s secret, a secret that she will protect for the rest of her life. - from Goodreads
This was the perfect book to read during the holiday season.  Even though there were moments of strife, fear, and heartache, overall Amy Snow was a feel-good, uplifting book.

Amy Snow tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an abandoned baby and a wealthy young girl, and the adventure the baby (now grown up) takes after her friend passes away.  After Aurelia Vennaway discovers baby Amy in the snow, the two grow up together as close as sisters.  When Aurelia dies, Amy is sent on a mission to discover Aurelia's deeply held secret, which she entrusts only to her closest friend.

The friendship between Amy and Aurelia is beautiful.  Despite her parents' hatred for Amy, Aurelia never treated Amy as anything less than a trusted and beloved friend.  Even though she wouldn't be there to see it, she wanted Amy to have a life full of adventure, better than anything her friend would have expected for herself.  I liked how the relationship wasn't perfect, though.  Amy had conflicting feelings growing up about how she sometimes had to push her own dreams aside for Aurelia's sake, and she sometimes resented her for sending her on this treasure hunt.

Along the way, Amy meets a cast of delightful (and some not-so-delightful) characters.  Most of these characters are overjoyed to meet her and ready to help her in any way they can.  It was nice to see people just being kind to each other, but I'll admit, sometimes it was a bit cloying. 

I enjoyed the writing style of the book.  The language and tone were reminiscent of the classics, like Jane Eyre.  It was an easy and quick read, although at times the story moved very slowly and was often too wordy.

4 stars

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Small Admissions

"Waiting on" Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Small Admissions
Amy Poeppel
Expected publication date: December 27, 2016
Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancĂ©,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.
Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected. - from Goodreads

Monday, December 12, 2016

Royal Recommendations

Netflix has been killing it lately with original programming, first with their Marvel offerings and then Stranger Things.  Recently, I've been watching, and loving, The Crown, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II.  I love anything royal, so inspired by this show, I've put together a list of some of my favorite books that feature royalty!  (All the blurbs are from Goodreads)

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.  Which is how she gets into trouble.  Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

 The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

If Amy Wilde’s new boyfriend, Leo, treats her like a queen, that’s because he’s secretly a prince himself: Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms—intimate dinners, glittering galas, and a dazzling new wardrobe with tiaras to match. But there are also drawbacks: imagine the anxiety of meeting your boyfriend’s parents multiplied by “riding in a private jet,” “staying in a castle,” and “discussing the line of succession over lunch.” Not to mention the sudden press interest in your very un-royal family. Amy would do anything for Leo, but is finding her Prince Charming worth the price of losing herself?
 Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones

Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Elonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother--and to abide by the countess's motto: Family comes first.

With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite's illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Elonore--independent and daring--is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite's duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers--Provence itself.

From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history.  

 The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk’s household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious of her. The two girls couldn’t be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it’s Cat in whom Katherine confides. Summoned to court at seventeen, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, with whom Cat begins a serious love affair.

Within months, the king has set aside his latest wife for Katherine. The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn’t embarked on an affair with one of the king’s favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper.

For a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis imprisoned in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Katherine Howard’s past.

The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.

Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Try It, You Might Like It #4: Christian Fiction

"Try it, you might like it" - it's what someone says when they present you with some food you've never had before or your mom wants you to try on some clothes she picked out for you.  I'm using it here on the blog as inspiration to choose books in genres I don't normally read; to branch out from my reading comfort zones; and to maybe find some new favorites!

For this installment, I've chosen Christian fiction.  I read Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin (2015).  I was drawn to this book because it's also historical fiction set during WWII, one of my favorite time periods to read about (okay, maybe I cheated a bit by choosing something I already knew I would like!).

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them. - from Goodreads
I'll be honest, I've read a couple Christian fiction books before, because I didn't realize they were classified as such when I picked them up.  It's not a genre I would normally seek out because I'm not religious; it's not a mindset or lifestyle that I particularly relate to.  But I wanted to try it again and keep an open mind.

I did have an issue with this book almost right from the start.  Mary is a secretary at the Navy yard.  Because of an embarrassing incident in her childhood, Mary looked to her faith and decided she was guilty of the sin of pride.  She spent the next several years making sure she never called attention to herself.  She downplayed all her talents, allowing others to finish ahead of her; she wore drab colors; she felt sick when someone even looked at her.  I felt so bad for her that she felt she had to live her life this way.  She could have been doing things that made her happy, like singing, but she felt this need to hide herself away.  Too much of the story is devoted to Mary's inner struggles every time she has to make a decision about anything, questioning her motives about whether she is being prideful.  She started to open up a bit when she began spending time with Navy officer Jim, an old friend from high school, and I enjoyed their friendship that teetered on romance.  Although, at times I just wanted to yell at the two of them to just tell each other how they felt, instead of just assuming they knew what the other wanted!

The historical fiction aspect of the book was something I liked a lot more.  Sundin does a great job of bringing this era to life.  The story focuses on sabotage taking place at the Boston Navy yard, in 1941, before the United States has officially entered the war.  Tension fills the air, from those who want to enter the war and those who may have loyalties elsewhere.

I don't think I would read a lot of Christian fiction in the future.  Although I did appreciate the historical fiction part of the novel, this genre is just not for me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Her Every Fear

"Waiting on" Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Her Every Fear
Peter Swanson
Expected publication date: January 10, 2017
The danger isn’t all in your head . . .

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.
When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.

And much, much closer than she thinks.- from Goodreads

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top New-To-Me Authors in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is top new-to-me authors I read for the first time in 2016.

Louise Penny: I started her Inspector Gamache series this year, and I'm loving it so far!
 Marissa Meyer: I loved Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and am excited to read her next book.
Jojo Moyes: I finally read Me Before You and want to read something else by her soon!

Sally Hepworth: The Things We Keep is one of my favorites of the year.
Rowan Coleman: Coleman delicately handled serious topics in We Are All Made of Stars.

Melanie Gideon: Valley of the Moon was an absolute 5-star for me!
Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries was so cute, and I'd like to try some of her books for adults.
Julian Fellowes: Now that Downton Abbey is over, maybe I can get my fix by reading some of his other works.