The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller (2019)
Friday, October 30, 2020
Quick Reviews, Just In Time For Halloween
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Ready Player Two
Ready Player Two
Expected publication date: November 24, 2020
An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?I'm excited to re-enter the world of the Oasis, and the stakes are even higher this time!
Days after Oasis founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday's vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade's life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
Lovingly nostalgic and wildly original as only Ernest Cline could conceive it, Ready Player Two takes us on another imaginative, fun, action packed adventure through his beloved virtual universe, and jolts us thrillingly into the future once again. - from Goodreads
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Down the TBR Hole #16
Down the TBR Hole is a feature created by Lost in a Story (although the blog seems to be down recently).
I've seen it on a few other blogs and thought I would try it out
myself! It seems like a really good way to cull your TBR of those books
you're no longer interested in. So, how does it work?
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
The Tenant by Katrine Engberg
Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Rocket Man: The Life of Elton John by Mark Bego
The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
Mavi is a new teacher at a boarding school at the tip of South America, but when one of her students disappears, she can't deny the school's eeriness. I'm torn - I love the setting and the gothic feel, but the reviews are pretty abysmal. Pass!
Have you read any of these?
Monday, October 26, 2020
Cover Reveal: Bet The Farm by Staci Hart
Amazon | AppleBooks | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads
Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited.
But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.
The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer.
Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.
His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.
What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other.
Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined.
Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail.
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.
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Friday, October 23, 2020
Quick Reviews: 2020 Releases
This Is Not How It Ends by Rochelle B. Weinstein
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Crazy Stupid Bromance
Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3)
Lyssa Kay Adams
Expected publication date: October 27, 2020
A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.I've been loving this series, and I'm excited for more book club meetings!
Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.
Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.
Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had. - from Goodreads
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations
Monday, October 19, 2020
Trexler Nature Preserve
Friday, October 16, 2020
Backlist Quick Reviews
I've been waiting for Bethany Chase to release a new book for awhile now, and I was not disappointed! One Night at the Lake is told from the dual POVs of best friends Leah and June, seven years apart. I liked the format of the story; in June's later timeline, we know that something terrible happened to Leah at Seneca Lake years before, and now June is engaged to Leah's boyfriend. In Leah's timeline, she seems so happy and vibrant that it's hard to imagine what could happen to her. Chase's writing is very readable and the characters are so fleshed out and real. I loved the setting of Seneca Lake; having been to the area before, I could picture much of it in my head, and Chase did a great job of describing it. If you like a lot of action in your stories, this might not be the book for you; it is a quiet book that focuses on love and friendship. 4 stars
The Blue by Lucy Clarke (2015) (Thanks to Greg at Book Haven for the recommendation!)
While traveling in the Philippines, best friends Lana and Kitty are invited to join the crew of The Blue, a yacht worked by a loose group of friends wandering the seas. When one of the crew is lost at sea, the group is fractured.
I think I was expecting this to be more of a thriller, so in that sense, I was a little disappointed. It was more character-driven and less "murder on the high seas." But, this was still a good read. It was interesting to meet all the characters and learn their different reasons for wanting to get away from their old lives, why this yacht and the wandering lifestyle appealed to them. I also liked the structure of the story, told in dual timelines from when Kitty and Lana join the crew and several months later, after Lana has left the yacht and finds out that it has sunk and the crew is missing. There are plenty of secrets and lies in this one! 4 stars
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay (2019)
New York City erupts in chaos when the elevators of its high-rise buildings are taken over by a terrorist.
This book was a wild ride! When I first heard of it, I thought it would make a great movie, and so I'm glad I listened to the audiobook. The narrator was really wonderful; he had a very distinctive voice. The story opens with a bang with a body found along the High Line. Then, the elevators start plunging. Several characters are introduced and we see the story from the perspective of the police, a journalist, and the mayor. I thought the author was very creative in his depiction of how New York City would be affected if all the elevators had to be shut down. I think there were a bit too many sideplots going on; at times I almost wondered if I had picked up a book in the middle of a series because there was more characterization than I'm used to in thrillers and I thought maybe it was referring back to things that had happened in earlier books. So, the story could have been a lot tighter, but in the end, I definitely didn't guess the identity of the killer, and that's always good when reading a thriller! 4 stars
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Love Your Life
Love Your Life
Expected publication date: October 27, 2020
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Owe You One, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer's retreat in Italy--only to find that real love comes with its own filtersThis sounds absolutely adorable, but really, it's Sophie Kinsella, and I will read anything she writes!
Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers' retreat in coastal Italy. She's determined to finish writing the novel she's been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.
At the retreat, she's not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by "Aria," meets "Dutch," a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.
But then their real identities--Ava and Matt--must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there's the prickly situation with Matt's ex-girlfriend, who isn't too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together? - from Goodreads
Monday, October 12, 2020
5 Ways The Pandemic Changed My Reading Habits
- I'm reading more books than before. The day before the stay-at-home order came down in my state, I left my job to start a new one. It had been in the works for weeks, and I never anticipated that I wouldn't be able to start my new position. But, that's what happened - it was a month before I could actually start, so I had a ton of free time. I'm working fewer hours than I was at my last job, too, so even after I started, I still had a lot of free time, and since everything was closed, it was the perfect excuse to stay home and read. It seems like I'm finishing a book every couple days, or even less sometimes!
- I'm reading more romance and rom-coms. I used to be an occasional romance reader, but since the pandemic started, I'm finding myself drawn mostly to romances and rom-coms, over everything else. They're the perfect escape - light and fluffy, with a guaranteed happily ever after.
- I'm listening to fewer audiobooks. Audiobooks were the key to my work commute, so when that ended, my ability to get through audiobooks went down drastically. I still listen to them on walks or while I'm doing chores, but it's taking me way longer to listen to each one.
- I'm reading more ebooks. It was so fortuitous that my sister got me a Kindle this past Christmas, because it has been a lifesaver! My library was closed for months, meaning my main source of physical books was no longer available. But, I still had access to a huge collection of ebooks, and I've really taken advantage of it.
- I feel like I'm retaining less. Sometimes I almost feel like I'm reading too much, too quickly, and I'm not really retaining much about the books I'm reading (it means my reviews have gotten a lot shorter, too; I've been relying on mini-reviews and quick reviews). I don't know the exact cause of it; maybe it's due to anxiety or distractions. But, I still find the act of reading very comforting, so I'm not that worried about it.
Have your reading habits changed during the pandemic?
Friday, October 9, 2020
Quick Reviews: The Romance Edition
In this Pride & Prejudice re-imagining, a man returns home to help out at his family flower shop, and sparks fly with the woman who helps run it. This was a really cute romance, and I can never resist something P&P related. At first, the characters felt a bit one-dimensional - Luke is carefree but flaky and unreliable, and Tess is rigid and scared to try anything new. It felt like I was being told this on every page. But like in the original, the characters open up and see that there's more to each other. I loved how Luke especially showed so many different sides of himself. The flower shop setting was adorable, and I could just picture it all in my head. Hart is always really good at creating a great group of side characters, and this story was no exception. I loved hanging out with the Bennet clan and watching the close family interact with each other. 4 stars
Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen (2019)
Levi has been in love with Jocelyn (Joss) since the moment he met her five years ago, but she wasn't looking for a relationship at the time and now they're best friends. When Joss starts showing an interest in someone else, Levi realizes this may be the chance he's been waiting for to reveal his feelings. This was an adorable friends to lovers romance; Joss is prickly and sarcastic and Levi is just a little too perfect, but they make a great team. Sorensen's writing is very readable and the story flowed nicely. I think the best part of this book was the disability representation. An illness years before left Joss in a wheelchair, and we get to see how this has affected all areas of her life, as well as her physical therapy to gain strength in her legs. Sorensen did her research and shows thoughtfulness and sensitivity in telling Joss' story. I'm glad we got to be inside both her and Levi's heads. 4 stars
Tonic by Staci Hart (2016)
In this story, a reality show producer finds herself falling for the star of her show, the owner of a tattoo parlor. I really enjoyed this "opposites attract" romance between Annika and Joel. He's not looking for anything serious (until he meets Annika) and she normally goes for the buttoned-up, put-together, ambitious guys. The fact that she's producing a TV show about his shop adds even more layers to their fledgling relationship. I don't mind sex scenes in books, but in this one, I felt like they took over a little bit, especially at the beginning of the story - it was just one right after another. There were so many more interesting things that I thought could be explored (like Annika's family). The reality TV show aspect was really fun, especially some of the behind-the-scenes looks at the manipulation that goes on. The story felt like it moved at warp speed sometimes, and I wanted it to just slow down a bit. But overall, this was a good read! 3.5 stars
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Blog Tour + Review: Sisters of War
Can their bond survive under the shadow of occupation?
For fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The German Midwife comes this unforgettable tale of love, loss, family, and the power of hope.
Kiev, 1941: Watching the Red Army withdraw from Ukraine in the face of Hitler’s relentless advance, sisters Natasha and Lisa Smirnova realize their lives are about to change forever.
As the German army occupies their beloved city, the sisters are tested in ways they never thought possible. Lisa’s fiancé Alexei is taken by the invading army, whilst Natasha falls in love with Mark – a Hungarian soldier, enlisted against all his principles on the side of the Nazis.
But as Natasha and Lisa fight to protect the friends and family they hold dear, they must face up to the dark horrors of war and the pain of betrayal. Will they be strong enough to overcome the forces which threaten to tear their family apart?
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Top Ten Tuesday: Candy Corn Covers
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is book covers with fall colors or vibes. I was inspired by a seasonal treat, candy corn!