Monday, February 27, 2017

Quotables #1: On Love and Growing Up

Hi all and welcome to a new feature I'm trying out on the blog - Quotables!  Authors have an amazing ability to put together words that perfectly capture our feelings or make us think.  I was inspired to create a feature to highlight some of my favorite quotes from recent reads and why they speak to me!

Why it speaks to me: Dark Matter is a sci-fi novel, but it's also a love story.  Sometimes I sit and think about how my husband and I met and all the events that had to take place first so that moment could happen.  If either us had made a different decision at any point in our life, our paths might never have crossed.  Of all the people in the world and all the things that could have happened, we met each other, and this quote perfectly describes that for me.

Why it speaks to me: I love this quote because it talks about how there is no time limit on love.  A year together or 50 years together, we will always want more time with the one we love.

Why it speaks to me: I think a lot of people my age can relate to this one.  Thirty always kind of seemed like this magic number, the age at which we think we'll have everything on track that we want - career, marriage, family, whatever.  But once you actually reach 30, you realize it's just an arbitrary number.
Which of these quotes is your favorite?  Can you relate to any of them?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Backlist Reader Challenge: February Roundup

I'm making pretty good progress on my titles for the 2017 Backlist Reader Challenge.  Here are my mini-reviews for February!

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2014)

Lauren and Ryan decide to take a year off from their marriage to decide if they can salvage their relationship.

I love stories about marriage and relationships, because they make me think about my own life.  I was immediately drawn into this novel because Lauren and Ryan met at the age of 19 in college, which is when and how I met my husband, as well. 

The book mainly focuses on Lauren's journey; we see snippets of Ryan's through draft emails he has written to Lauren.  I liked Lauren as a main character, but I think I liked the supporting characters around her more.  We got to know her family really well, and they show Lauren that marriage is not the only type of relationship out there.

Like Reid's Forever, Interrupted, this story brings up a lot of thought-provoking issues.  When you've vowed to love someone forever, what happens if you fall out of love?  How hard should you try to get it back?  Is it inevitable that romance will fade over the years?  Why are we sometimes so afraid to ask our partners, the person we share everything with, for what we really want or need?

The story is very readable, honest, and relatable.  It's more contemplative than action-filled, so sometimes it felt a bit slow, but overall I really enjoyed it!  4 stars

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (2008)

Book 4 in the Inspector Gamache series, in which Inspector Gamache and his wife vacation at an inn, along with a family there for a reunion.  Gamache is drawn into the family when someone is found dead.

This installment of the series is a little different in that it takes place outside of Three Pines, but no worries - a couple of Three Pines residents end up being part of the family coming together for the reunion.

Penny's writing is, as always, cozy, comforting, and warm (even though it's a murder mystery).  The murder almost seemed secondary to me in this one, with the focus more on a character study of the family and their drama.  There were no likable members of this family; they purposely say and do things to hurt one another.

We also got to know Gamache a bit better.  I love his relationship with his wife and their banter.  Penny worked in information about Gamache's past, particularly his parents, which was interesting but also felt a tiny bit shoe-horned.

The murder "how" was quite ingenious, although the "why" was a bit weak.  Looking forward to the next installment!  4 stars

The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life by Stephanie Madoff Mack (2011)

A memoir by the daughter-in-law of Bernie Madoff, telling her side of the story of finding out about Madoff's Ponzi scheme and the family's reaction, including her husband Mark's suicide.

Mack gives an intimate look at how the Madoff family imploded after Bernie was arrested and convicted.  It was difficult to read how Bernie's sons' lives were ruined, even though they had nothing to do with their father's crimes, but what was worse was how their family was torn apart at a time when they could have come together as victims of the deceit.  Even their mother was no longer welcome in Stephanie's home, because of how she seemingly chose her husband over her children.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel the sympathy for Stephanie that I think she was seeking when she wrote this book.  It is devastating that she lost her husband and their children lost their father.  However, she often came across as self-centered and spoiled.  At times she seemed to focus too much on how Bernie's crimes personally affected her, instead of how her husband was coping with the betrayal.  She claims they had a perfect life before the scandal, but there were obviously big issues in their life, including a difficult relationship with Mark's ex-wife.  Stephanie talks about other family members in the book, but includes details which I felt were unnecessary and hurtful.  Also, her constant references to every little thing she was buying when she should have been carefully watching her money was off-putting.  3 stars.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: Forever, Interrupted

Forever, Interrupted
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published July 9, 2013
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year's Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn't expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they've eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn't even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben's charmed romance with Elsie and Susan's healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there's more than one way to find a happy ending. - from Goodreads
I read Forever, Interrupted as part of the 2017 Backlist Reader Challenge; I know I said last month that I was going to do mini-reviews, but I loved this one so much, I wanted to do a full review.  I'd never heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid before I started blogging, and her name started popping up on tons of other blogs.  I wanted to give her books a try, and I was not disappointed with my first read!

Forever, Interrupted tells the story of Ben and Elsie, whose whirlwind romance is cut short when Ben is killed just days after their wedding.  Ben leaves behind Elsie and his mother, Susan, who have never even met but will somehow have to co-exist.

I loved Elsie as a character - she's such a relatable woman.  Before she meets Ben, her idea of a fun Saturday night is watching tv, reading, and eating pizza (pretty much my life).  She's just a regular girl living her life, and then she meets Ben.  Their relationship is kinda insta-lovey, but it works here.  It's grounded in reality - they spend a lot of time together, they have important conversations, they tell each other things they haven't told other people.  Just a few months after they meet, they've eloped.  I appreciate that the author didn't make their relationship perfect.  Although they are obviously happy and in love, they still fight and have issues; it made it much more believable.

I also loved Ben's mother, Susan.  I can understand her coldness at the beginning, but then she really comes around, because she and Elsie both loved Ben, and Susan is in the unfortunate position of also being a widow.  I loved her even more when we later learn how much she has helped Elsie despite her own secret feelings of intense grief.

The story moves back and forth between Ben and Elsie's relationship and the time after he has passed away.  I loved this approach because of how neatly the two stories fit together.  We immediately got to see connections that might have been lost had the story been told in a chronological manner.

The book brought up important questions about love and the length of relationships.  Is Elsie and Ben's relationship less important because they only knew each other for 6 months?  Should Elsie not be entitled to a long grieving period because she was only married for 9 days?  I don't think any of that matters - it's not about quantity, but quality.  Elsie and Ben probably felt more love and knew each other better than some people who have been together for years.  They really made the most of their time together.  And really, when you love someone, no amount of time is ever enough.

I did have a couple issues with this book.  First, I don't like to judge anyone's grieving process, because we all handle it differently, but Elsie could be quite mean at times, and I don't necessarily think it was fair, especially to her friend Ana.  Also, I don't agree with Ben not telling his mother about Elsie at all, even after they got married.  I realize it's the impetus for the story, but his reasons didn't make a whole lot of sense.  However, Elsie and Susan were able to overcome that and move forward together.

4 stars

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Never Let You Go

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

Never Let You Go
Chevy Stevens
Expected publication date: March 14, 2017
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought? - from Goodreads

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Can't Win 'Em All

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is "books I loved less/more than I thought I would."  It's unfortunate, but we're not going to like every book we read.  Here's a list of books that I sadly did not love as much as I thought I would, including a few DNFs!





Monday, February 20, 2017

How I Use Pinterest for Blogging

I guess you could say I'm relatively new to Pinterest, having only been a member for a couple years or so.  I'm so glad I started using it after I got married - I can only imagine the stress it would have added trying to make our wedding Pinterest-worthy!  Anyway... in an effort to broaden my blog's horizons, I've started using Pinterest more and more for blogging.  First, I put a link to my blog on my Pinterest profile.  A link to my personal Pinterest page is on my blog homepage, and in addition to the typical recipe and fitness boards, visitors will also find boards specifically related to reading and blogging.

  • I maintain a board of my blog posts.  I haven't been putting every post on Pinterest, but more those posts which I think other Pinners may be searching for, such as lists of various types of books.  Books for Downton Abbey fans, gift ideas for book lovers, best books of 2016 - things like that!

  • I have a board dedicated to reading challenges I am or are considering participating in.  It's helpful to keep them all in one place, and visitors can find quick links to things like the current POPSUGAR reading challenge.

  • I recently started a board for blogging resources.  Looking for ideas or inspiration for new posts?  I keep a board of posts written by other bloggers dedicated to this topic.  I love that there are so many bloggers out there with great ideas that they are willing to share with everyone!

  • I keep a board of books I love to read again and again.  Visitors to this board can see some of my favorite books.

  • It's where I keep my TBR!  I know a lot of readers use Goodreads to house their TBRs, but I find Pinterest to be more visually appealing for my list.  I put the release date in the description and can know at a quick glance if it's available yet or not.  This is by far my most popular board.  Admittedly, I don't have a ton of followers, but I get a pretty steady stream of re-pins from this board.

Is Pinterest an important blogging tool for you?  How do you use Pinterest?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Try It, You Might Like It #6: Science 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 science fiction.  Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (2016) has been on my radar for a few months now, but I was hesitant to read it because it's labeled as science fiction.  I'm not a big science/math person, so I often just feel confused/frustrated/annoyed with books that have too much focus on those topics.  But, this book was also described as being a thriller and a love story, so I wanted to try it out.

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.  Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. - from Goodreads

Guys, this was just... wow.  Even if you don't think you're a science fiction fan, I think you need to read this book.  Jason Dessen is a physics professor with a beloved wife and son.  After being abducted, he wakes up in a strange place surrounded by people who claim to know him - but he's never met them before.  He escapes to find that his home looks completely different, he isn't married to his wife, and his son doesn't exist.  Is he dreaming?  Does he have a brain tumor that has altered his perception of reality?  Is someone playing an elaborate hoax on him?

I don't want to talk too much more about the plot and spoil it, because finding out what truly is going on is really the essence of the book and just the most fantastic twist.  It does get a bit science-y, but even I could understand what the characters were talking about, and I loved it.  Every few chapters I would say to my husband, "Guess what's happening NOW?"  This book would be totally up his alley.

As I said before, this book is more than just science fiction - it's also a thriller that I could not stop reading.  I literally read this book in a few hours.  The short, staccato sentences kept the story moving, and I had to know what would happen next.  I loved Jason as a character - I felt invested in his journey, and I was rooting for him.  I was really impressed by his ability to remain mostly calm and really think through his situation and the next steps to take.

And then there's the love story - Jason and his wife have been married for years, and they have such a great relationship.  They really do seem to love each other more now than they did when they first met.  Finding his wife and son is Jason's top priority, and I just loved his focus.  Even when things seemed dire, his only thoughts are of them and how to get back to them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday: The Hearts of Men

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

The Hearts of Men
Nickolas Butler
Expected publication date: March 7, 2017
Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the Bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan.

Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as Scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers, the aftermath demonstrates the depths—and the limits—of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.

The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality—and redemption. - from Goodreads

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: When Royalty Falls in Love With a Regular Person

Happy Valentine's Day!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is romance tropes/types.  I think a lot of us harbor a secret fantasy that a prince will sweep us off our feet into a life of luxury.  But since I'm already married to my "regular guy" Prince Charming, I'll have to settle for reading about romance between royalty and commoners in these books!

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

The Queen's Lover by Vanora Bennett

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: The Mother's Promise

The Mother's Promise
Sally Hepworth
Expected publication date: February 21, 2017
Alice and her daughter Zoe have been a family of two all their lives. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and is given a grim prognosis.

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers, but who are her only hope: Kate, her oncology nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the darkest moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness. - from Goodreads
I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

Sally Hepworth's The Things We Keep was one of my favorite books from last year, so I was super excited when I found out I won an ARC of her new book, The Mother's Promise.  As I was reading it, the book felt like it was written by a completely different author, and not in a good way.

What initially drew me to the story was the blurb's focus on a mother and daughter.  I was really interested to see how the two of them would deal with the mother's (Alice) diagnosis of ovarian cancer.  However, I had issues with the relationship between Alice and her daughter, Zoe.  Alice came across as the type of person who never wants to admit she needs help, so she goes overboard in proving her independence.  At this stage in her life, she basically has no one besides Zoe, who is fifteen and has severe social anxiety. 

I was confused by Alice's actions after her diagnosis.  She doesn't tell Zoe about the cancer, instead telling her she is having gallbladder surgery, and would rather leave Zoe at home by herself for a few days than have help.  I thought that was so unfair to Zoe.  When people finally offer help, Alice is resentful and angry, even though they take care of her daughter when she isn't able to (and Zoe really needs the help).

If the story had just focused on Zoe and Alice, and how Alice finally accepts help, I think this could have been a great story, but there are so many other things going on here - in addition to cancer and anxiety, Hepworth also throws in alcoholism, a social worker who won't admit she's in an abusive relationship, and infertility.  It was just too much and kind of a downer.  There's also a subplot focusing on the identity of Zoe's father, which I felt was totally unnecessary.

I wasn't a huge fan of the setup of the book, as well.  The chapters are very short, and the focus would change from character to character almost every other page.  I felt like it skipped around too much and therefore didn't go deep enough with any character.  The book was readable and held my interest, but I really couldn't believe this was the same author as the one who wrote the beautiful The Things We Keep.

2.5 stars

Friday, February 10, 2017

Because I Like to Eat When I Read

You may have noticed that my husband and I go hiking and walking quite a bit.  One reason is that we love the outdoors and seeing new places.  But secretly, part of the reason I exercise so much is because I love to eat - gotta even things out!  And snacking while I read is a common nightly occurrence, so I wanted to share some of my favorite reading snacks!

OMG, Popcorners.  Tom and I discovered these at the grocery store one day and haven't looked back since.  They're basically popcorn in the shape of chips and come in a bunch of flavors: white cheddar, kettle, jalapeno, and my personal favorite, caramel.  I love these so much that when our grocery store stopped carrying the caramel flavor, Tom ordered me a CASE for my birthday.

Mmm, Pocky.  Pocky is a Japanese creation, a cookie/biscuit stick dipped in chocolate.  They come in these cute red boxes and can be found at Asian food specialty stores or in the ethnic food aisle at the regular grocery store.  You can also find them at Costco or on Amazon.  Pocky is the perfect snack when you just want a little bit of chocolate.

Guys, this is it: healthy ice cream!  Halo Top Ice Cream is made from all-natural ingredients and is low in calories and high in protein.  The birthday cake flavor shown above?  That's 280 calories for the whole pint.  I wouldn't even feel bad about eating the whole thing at once.  It's delicious and really does taste like birthday cake!  They have a bunch of other flavors, too. 

What are your favorite snacks to eat while reading?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday: A Bridge Across the Ocean

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

A Bridge Across the Ocean
Susan Meissner
Expected publication date: March 21, 2017
February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings. - from Goodreads

Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: Victoria

Daisy Goodwin
Published November 22, 2016
In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband…. - from Goodreads
I want to love Daisy Goodwin.  Her books always have premises/characters/settings I should love, but I never seem to.  Victoria is, unfortunately, no exception.

Goodwin's book focuses on a short period of time in Victoria's life, immediately after she becomes queen.  This was an extremely trying time in her life, as she was only 18 years old but gaining an enormous amount of responsibility.  Victoria had a lot to prove when she gained the throne; her youth and her gender were major points against her.  If she even became upset about something like seeing a rat, there were conversations about her being unfit to rule!  It was so disheartening; I can't even imagine what she really went through.  Unfortunately, in her desire to prove herself to her mother and others, Victoria often came across as immature and careless.

The bulk of the book focuses on the personal and professional relationship between Victoria and her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.  It became annoying that Victoria couldn't even seem to function in the novel without the guidance or presence of her "Lord M."  I think Goodwin took a lot of liberties with the character of Lord Melbourne.  She insinuates quite strongly in the book that there was attraction and nearly a relationship between Victoria and Melbourne, which I don't think was really the case.  Particularly since Goodwin was able to read Victoria's diaries, I expected more historical accuracy, but perhaps she felt the lover angle would be more intriguing than having Melbourne act as a father figure for the Queen. 

The ending of the story was a bit strange for me.  I think many people know of the longevity of Victoria's reign and her romance with husband Albert.  Goodwin barely acknowledges this in the story.  Albert finally arrives as a character in the last 100 pages or so, and the two are so awkward around each other.  He doesn't seem to like her very much, questioning how a marriage between the two of them would work.  Victoria's decision to propose to Albert seemed hasty, and his acceptance seemed contrary to what he had been thinking only pages before.  I don't know how reflective of real life this part of the book actually was, but it didn't work for me here.

The writing is about average, and even though the book is 400 pages, nothing of consequence really seems to happen.  The story just kind of plods along and ends rather abruptly.  Ugh, I was so looking forward to this book, too!

2.5 stars

Friday, February 3, 2017

DNFing Books - It's Totally Okay!

My sister and I are constantly emailing each other, and this recent exchange got me thinking:

Michele: Hopefully I'll finish this last book too; it's painful to read, but I hate giving up on things.
Me: Life is too short for bad books!  Just stop reading, I do it all the time.
Michele: LOL I can't!  Hopefully it's getting better. It keeps jumping forward in time, so that is making it more interesting.

I was really surprised at her insistence on finishing this book that she didn't even like.  With a husband, a 1-year-old, a busy job, and volunteer work, my sister doesn't have as much time to read as she used to.  With so little free time, you'd think she wouldn't want to waste it reading a book that she wasn't crazy about.  I suppose she had read far enough into it that there were glimmers of possibility. 

If it were me, I would have DNFed this book as soon as it became "painful to read," as Michele says.  I don't have a set point at which I'll decide to put aside a book.  I know some people try to give it a certain number of pages.  Sometimes I'll try to give it 50 or 100 pages, depending on the length of the book, but there have been times where I've DNFed a book after 10 pages or less.  Yes, there's a chance the book will get better, but what if it doesn't?  Then you've really wasted a lot of time.

It's hard to describe what will make me DNF a book.  Sometimes it's just the writing that turns me off; or the story isn't what I expected; or even if the characters seem really pretentious or have ridiculous names.  If I find myself rolling my eyes way too much, I know it's time to DNF.

Lots of readers, like my sister, like to finish every book they read.  Back when I used to buy a lot of books, I felt this way, too.  If I had spent money on it, I really wanted to give it a chance and finish it.  But now that I get most of my books from the library, I have no problem not finishing a book.  There are too many good books out there to slog my way through something I'm not enjoying.  Our time is valuable; spend it doing things you love, like reading a good book!  Don't put yourself in a bad mood by continuing to read a novel that makes you angry or frustrated.

I know it might be difficult to DNF a book you were really excited about, but if it's not working for you, then it's just not working.  We aren't going to love everything we read.  So skip past what you don't like and find something that you'll love!

So, do you DNF?  What makes you not finish a book?  Do you have certain criteria, like reaching a certain page number, on how you decide if you'll DNF a book?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Shining City

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

Shining City
Tom Rosenstiel
Expected publication date: February 21, 2017
Peter Rena is a “fixer.” He and his partner, Randi Brooks, earn their living making the problems of the powerful disappear. They get their biggest job yet when the White House hires them to vet the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Judge Roland Madison is a legal giant, but he’s a political maverick, with views that might make the already tricky confirmation process even more difficult. Rena and his team go full-bore to cover every inch of the judge’s past, while the competing factions of Washington D.C. mobilize with frightening intensity: ambitious senators, garrulous journalists, and wily power players on both sides of the aisle.

All of that becomes background when a string of seemingly random killings overlaps with Rena’s investigation, with Judge Madison a possible target. Racing against the clock to keep his nominee safe, the President satisfied, and the political wolves at bay, Rena learns just how dangerous Washington’s obsession with power—how to get it and how to keep it—can be. - from Goodreads