2020 Monthly Status Update: January

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And so the first month of the year has come to a close! Time has been flying by lately – I’m doing the best I can to keep up! Here are some reading highlights from January for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 8
# pages read this month: 2,408
# books read year-to-date: 8 (ha)
# pages read year-to-date: 2,408

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

I read a couple good books but nothing I’d say is a favorite!

Other Posts this month:

Immortals After Dark Series
2019 Recap and 2020 Goals! 
Podcasts Galore! Romance Novel edition

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Next Month TBR List:

  • Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb
  • The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
  • Her Homecoming Wish by Jo McNally
  • Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie
  • The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries

2019 Monthly Status Update: November

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November was a great month. I got some reading done, I got some work done, and I had a great holiday with family. I tried to devote as much time to reading as possible, though there’s always too much to get done! I read some new things this month, some of which I really enjoyed. So anyways, here are some highlights from November for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 10
# pages read this month: 3,597
# books read year-to-date: 92
# pages read year-to-date: 32,814

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

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I LOVED The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – it was creepy and mysterious and had some great plot twists. I didn’t want to put this one down! (4.75 stars)

Other Posts this month:

Nothing else for this month!

Next Month TBR List:

  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe
  • Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
  • Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake

2019 Monthly Status Update: May

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May was such a productive month for me! I had Bout of Books mid-month and the last couple days of the month I have been at a reading retreat. I got a lot of reading done and really had a great month! So anyways, here are some highlights from May for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 3,297
# books read year-to-date: 31
# pages read year-to-date: 10,454

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

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The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – 4.75 stars – I loved this one, it was a great read!

Other Posts this month:

No Other Duke But You BLOG TOUR!! 
Getting Hot With the Scot BLOG TOUR!! 
Bout of Books 25 – many posts! 
Product Review – Cashmere Writing Gloves 
Product Review – Color Street Nails

Next Month TBR List:

-Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
-It’s Hot in the Hamptons by Holly Peterson
-The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
-One Night at the Lake by Bethany Chase
-Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

2016 Status Update: January

I can’t believe January is over already. Unfortunately I didn’t read as much as I might have liked to this past month, and even more unfortunately these next couple months are going to be pretty busy for me. I’m hoping to find some time in between working hours to read still next month, I have a good amount of books on the TBR listing for next month. Anyways, here is my status update for progress I made on reading challenges this month and some highlights of my posts for this month.

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 8
# pages read this month: 2,805
# books read year-to-date: 8
# pages read year-to-date: 2,805

Best Books I Read:
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The Swans of Fifth Avenue
The Return of the Witch

Books I Didn’t Particularly Enjoy: 
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Mirror Mirror – just a lot of really weird stuff going on

Other Posts this month:

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get to But Didn’t
Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to my TBR

Status of 2016 Reading Challenges:

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016 Checklist – 2/20 books read
Book Riot Read Harder Reading Challenge – 0/24 books read
Penguin Random House: Challenge Your Shelf A-Z Reading Challenge – 0/26 books read
Holiday Bingo 2015 Reading Challenge – 10/25 books read

February TBR list: 

-Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
-Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
-A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison
-The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert
-Nookietown by V.C. Chickering
-Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
-El Nino: The Wild Side of Weather by Bill Limmer
-The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
-I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen

Looks like I have a full plate for February already but I also have a stack of books that I bought last year that I’ve been really dying to read, including 2 Kristan Higgins books that came out last year. I also really want to read The Martian after seeing the movie, and read The Witch’s Daughter after reading the book’s sequel. So if I can find some space for those books anywhere in my month then I’ll be reading those as well.

So! That was January and also my plan for February. Looking forward to a busy month ahead! Happy reading to all!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

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Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a different bookish topic and bloggers are asked to post their own top ten list based on the topic. This week is a listing of the Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t. Due to my discovery of NetGalley this past year and all the requests I got from authors/publishers, I ended up not being able to read as many of my own picks as I had expected. I have a number of authors that I always read their new releases and I missed a bunch of them this past year but I’m hoping to catch up in 2016!! Below is a list of 2015 new releases that I meant to read but ran out of time!

In no particular order:

Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
Undead and Unforgiven by Mary Janice Davidson
Siren’s Call by Jayne Castle
The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt
Anything For You by Kristan Higgins

So what about all of you? Any 2015 releases that you were really looking forward to that you didn’t get a chance to read?

2015 Book #38 – Girls of Tender Age by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

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Title: Girls of Tender Age: A Memoir
Author: Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Date finished: 4/27/15
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: January 11, 2006
Pages in book: 285
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

In Girls of Tender Age, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith fully articulates with great humor and tenderness the wild jubilance of an extended French-Italian family struggling to survive in a post-World War II housing project in Hartford, Connecticut. Smith seamlessly combines a memoir whose intimacy matches that ofAngela’s Ashes with the tale of a community plagued by a malevolent predator that holds the emotional and cultural resonance of The Lovely Bones.
Smith’s Hartford neighborhood is small-town America, where everyone’s door is unlocked and the school, church, library, drugstore, 5 & 10, grocery, and tavern are all within walking distance. Her family is peopled with memorable characters — her possibly psychic mother who’s always on the verge of a nervous breakdown, her adoring father who makes sure she has something to eat in the morning beyond her usual gulp of Hershey’s syrup, her grandfather who teaches her to bash in the heads of the eels they catch on Long Island Sound, Uncle Guido who makes the annual bagna cauda, and the numerous aunts and cousins who parade through her life with love and food and endless stories of the old days. And then there’s her brother, Tyler.
Smith’s household was “different.” Little Mary-Ann couldn’t have friends over because her older brother, Tyler, an autistic before anyone knew what that meant, was unable to bear noise of any kind. To him, the sound of crying, laughing, phones ringing, or toilets flushing was “a cloud of barbed needles” flying into his face. Subject to such an assault, he would substitute that pain with another: he’d try to chew his arm off. Tyler was Mary-Ann’s real-life Boo Radley, albeit one whose bookshelves sagged under the weight of the World War II books he collected and read obsessively.
Hanging over this rough-and-tumble American childhood is the sinister shadow of an approaching serial killer. The menacing Bob Malm lurks throughout this joyous and chaotic family portrait, and the havoc he unleashes when the paths of innocence and evil cross one early December evening in 1953 forever alters the landscape of Smith’s childhood.
Girls of Tender Age is one of those books that will forever change its readers because of its beauty and power and remarkable wit.

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book was lent to me by my friend from work, Jim Lyons. He lent it to me last year though, and since I am an awful person I haven’t read it yet. Therefore at the beginning of the year I added it to my list for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge. I might have put this off a little because I usually read mostly fiction and this book was a memoir. I have to be honest though, I loved this book. It was interesting, emotional, and riveting. It was especially interesting for me since I’ve lived in Connecticut my whole life and the book has a lot of different Connecticut facts included in the memoir.
I don’t usually read many non-fiction books but the author lays out the story in a very interesting way. There are a variety of issues addressed in this memoir, including the murder of Mary-Ann’s friend when they were young, dealing with Tyler’s autism before anyone knows what autism is, and a look at how sexual assault cases are addressed in the 1950’s. It looks at the friend’s murder from a child’s point of view and talks about how this affected her growing up. There were many emotions throughout the book, I was tearing up by the end. This was a very well written memoir and I am very glad that my friend Jim lent it to me to read!

The bottom line: Not my usual cup of tea but I loved it. Would recommend, particularly to people from CT.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Friday Finds (April 3)

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FRIDAY FINDS is hosted by A Daily Rhythm and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.  Whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

My finds this week include 2 different YA novels, a historical fiction and of course a romance:

1. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

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I’ve always loved mythology, the stories about Greek gods were fascinating to me when I was younger. This book is about a girl who falls in love with a guy named Henry, who turns out to be Hades. And she will get to be a goddess if she decides to marry him. This is the first in a three (I think its only three) book series. It looks really interesting and I can’t wait to give it a try!

2. The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

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Royal wedding! Need I say more? This is a love story of a girl name Rebecca (Woo!) who ends up falling in love with a prince. Just awesome all around.

3. At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

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While I haven’t read Water for Elephants yet, I heard it was a great book. And this book sounds like it will be a great hit as well, a man and wife go to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster. I don’t usually include the blurbs here but even the description of the book was so well written. I love this specific piece “Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.” How could you not want to read this book!!?

4. Heartbreak Cove by Lily Everett

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I thought this sounded like a sweet love story. Woman sheriff takes her niece to a town for some quiet healing, and the niece likes horses. Nearby guy who rehabilitates abused horses helps out and then him and the sheriff fall in love. Just love the cover.

So those are my finds this week! Please feel free to share your finds or leave a link to your own “Friday Finds” blog posting below! Happy Friday!