December 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

I have been terrible about posting on this blog the past few months. I don’t think I’ve done a wrap up in a few months. Sorry everyone. I plan to be better now that I upgraded my computer and everything seems to be working better. I hope it lasts.

  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 4/5
  2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson 4/5
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg 4/5
  4. The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia 2/5
  5. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier 3/5
  6. Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier 2/5
  7. Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger 4/5
  8. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger 4/5
  9. Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger 4/5
  10. It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  11. Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  12. Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend 4/5
  13. Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue 1/5
  14. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  15. Lift and Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein 3/5

That’s the run down for the month. I do really hope to keep up with blogging a bit better in 2017, both for dance and reading. Ta ta for now!

Mini Book Reviews: Romance

It’s time for a few NetGalley reviews. This time around I read a couple of romances.

Once A Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Mary Jo Putney is a historical romance veteran. I haven’t read one of her books a in a while and was pleased to read this one.

Once A Soldier is the love story of Will Masterson and Athena Markham. Will has been a soldier in the Napoleonic wars and has been asked to go to the small country of San Gabriel to scope it out for political reasons. There he meets Athena, the illegitimate daughter of an English Lord and an infamous San Gabriel woman. She is currently helping her best friend, the princess, run this small country until the King is released by the French – if he’s still alive.

This book is one of those slow-moving romances. There is a ton of political talk and it adds to the book, because it was well thought out and it shows these characters personalities well. I appreciated that Will and Athena started out by being friends and having a healthy respect for one another. I hate in when people jump into bed together immediately, especially in historical novels. Some may find this book a bit slow, but it was relaxing to me.

It is the start of a series. The beginning chapter is showing a group of men who are all captured, all spies and solders, and all lying, and how they escape. I assume the next books will be some of their stories.

Follow Me by Tiffany Snow

This book follows China Mack. She is a genius computer programmer working for the best tech company. She’s living a very ordered life with a bit of the hots for her boss (everyone has the hots for the boss), and she likes it that way. Then Jackson, the boss, chooses China for a top-secret programming job for the government. Then people involved in this contract start getting killed. It’s difficult for China on multiple levels because her orderly life starts going awry – her niece moves in, a sexy (suspicious to me) neighbor moves in and she suddenly has a dating life, plus she’s being followed by unknown persons.

This was a fun romantic suspense book. I’m a sucker for this genre and for nerdy smart, but socially clueless, women in books. China is one of those. I wasn’t a fan of the sudden love triangle in the book. She’s never had a date and then suddenly her next door neighbor AND her boss are  after her? Come on. I also didn’t understand what was going on with all the computer stuff. It was a bit glossed over and I do like a bit more juicy computer geekery in this sort of book.

There is a sort-of cliffhanger. Things get wrapped up, but new things happen. (Sorry so cryptic!)  If you liked it, you will want to continue with this series. I liked it, so now I’m impatiently waiting. Maybe we’ll see more of Jackson’s nerdiness in the next books?

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing these eARCs in exchange for review.

 

August Reading Wrap-Up

This month was all about fun reading. I refuse to beat myself up for not reading the two classics I have started. I ended up reading a lot of the freebies that I downloaded years ago, getting some library books, and catching up on some series.

  1. Innocent in Las Vegas by A. R. Winters 3/5
  2. The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher 3/5
  3. Anything for You by Kristan Higgins 3/5
  4. At Last by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  5. Big Boned by Meg Cabot 4/5
  6. The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood 2/5
  7. Once a Soldier (eARC) by Mary Jo Putney 3/5
  8. The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg 4/5
  9. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosch 4/5
  10. The Bride Says No by Cathy Maxwell 3/5
  11. Calamity Jayne and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Lawn Gnome by Kathleen Bacus 3/5

Considering how easy the above were to read, this was not a good month for reading. My guess is that all the readathons that I participated in during July burnt me out. I don’t consider this month a failure by any means! Next month I really need to finish Dubliners and Great Expectations. I’m also participating in #RYBSAT, so I’m starting September with a bang!

June Reading Wrap-Up

Ladies and Gentlemen, I finished The Three Musketeers! It was a close call, but I cancelled all potential activites and read until I wanted to throw that book into the pool. Other than that deligtful moment of a few hours ago, I read a lot of good books this month.

  • With Malice by Eileen Cook 4/5
  • Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey 4/5
  • The Ring on Her Finger by Elizabeth Bevarly 3/5
  • This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp 3/5
  • Marie, Dancing by Carolyn Meyer 4/5
  • Bridge of Time by Lewis Buzbee 3/5
  • The Last Star by Rick Yancey 3/5
  • Walk the Edge by Katie McGerry 5/5
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn 4/5
  • In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins 4/5
  • Good Girl Gone Plaid by Shelli Stevens 2/5
  • Dangerous by Suzannah Daniels 2/5
  • On Her Own Two Wheels by STacy Xavier 3/5
  • Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter 4/5
  • In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward 5/5
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas 3/5

Two five-star reads this month! That’s huge for me. I have a goal to read up the ebooks I have on my Nook. It’s the first ereader that came out, so it’s OLD as far as electronics go. I can tell my Nook is dying a slow death and I don’t want to replace it. I don’t like reading on backlit screans, so the nook app is not going to work for me. So I’m hoping to read quite a few off the Nook in the next few months. Happy reading, everyone.

May Reading Wrap Up

I started May feeling pretty slumpy in my reading. It could be that my stress level has been through the roof this month. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder the reverse way of everyone else – it peaks in Spring and Summer. I know I’m weird. Anxiety and depression aside, I read more than I thought I did. Reading is such a relaxing activity and it’s part of my self medication during these months. 😀

  • Itchcraft by Simon Mayo 4/5
  • The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson 4/5
  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski 4/5
  • Night Speed by Chris Howard 2/5
  • The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh 4.5/5
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne 4/5 (audiobook with my daughter)
  • A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde 3/5
  • The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell 3/5
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 4/5
  • Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey 3/5
  • Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth 5/5

Hopefully I’ll be posting many times this month. There’s a lot going on! Happy reading.

April 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

This month was interesting reading-wise. I wasn’t wanting to read much the first few weeks, then Authorathon and Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon happened. I read most of these books during the latter part of April.

  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski 3/5
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski 4/5
  • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye 4/5
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 4/5
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling 3/5
  • Play Nice by Gemma Halliday 4/5
  • What It?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (audiobook) 4/5
  • Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal 3/5
  • Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5) by Holly Smale 4/5

During Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon I read:

  • The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry 5/5
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord 4/5
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 2/5
  • The Braeswood Tapestry by Robyn Carr 3/5
  • Amulet Volume 7 by Kazu Kibuishi 4/5

I am currently reading The Summer Before the War. I’m approx 20% into it and I love it so far. I hope everyone had a lovely April. I can’t believe it’s May!

February Reading Wrap-Up

This month I started a lot of books that I still haven’t finished. It also was a library month; all but one book came from the library.

  1. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon 4/5
  2. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean 4/5
  3. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean 2/5
  4. Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean 3/5
  5. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley 5/5
  6. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer 4/5
  7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 5/5
  8. A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett (audiobook with daughter) 4/5
  9. The Forgotten Room by Karen White (and two others) 4/5
  10. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard 3/5
  11. Good at Games by Jill Mansell 4/5

I read one, lonely owned book this month.

  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson 4/5

I’m in the middle of four books that I’m going to carry over to March. I linked up by Instagram account ( dance_read_homeschool ) for this page somewhere- if anyone is interested. I did post a picture of my March TBR on there. No surprise that I have a ton of library books out with five more on the way. I’d better get reading.

 

January Reading Wrap-Up

When you can’t dance, read!

Mount TBR – my own books that I read

  • See How They Run by Ally Carter 5/5
  • Illuminate by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof 3/5
  • Itch Rocks by Simon Mayo 4/5
  • Space Dumplins by Craig Thomson 4/5
  • Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins 4/5
  • Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen 3/5
  • The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey 3/5
  • Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl 4/5
  • Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi 3/5

Back to the Classics 2016 – all these were reviewed on this blog and came from the library

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell 3/5
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 4/5
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells 2/5

Library Books

  • A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean 4/5

NetGalley Reviews

  • Radioactive! by Winifred Conkling 4/5

Although this looks like great reading, I added 9 books to my physical TBR. Basically, I replaced all the books that I read. I’m trying very hard to have a smaller physical book TBR. I care some about my eBooks, but not as much as the books taking up physical space. Next month I would like to read more than I buy. Happy reading, everybody!

ARC Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

20983362

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

 

If you like
1. Time Travel
2. Pirates
3. Adventure
… this is a book for you! The writing is engaging. I’ve never read Alexandra Bracken’s work before, but I feel like I should.

The first 3/4 of the book sped by. The reason I gave took away a star is because the book hurtled to a halt for the “suddenly we’re in love and we forgot we’re on a timed search because we just looooooove each other” moment. I love a romance. This one moved to quick and with too much emphasis at the wrong time.

Things sped up again toward the end and left me wanting the next book. This is sad because I read an ARC; the first book isn’t officially out yet. I guess I’ll have to read it again next year. 4/5 Stars.

Passenger is out in the US on January 5, 2016. Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the eARC.

September Reading Wrap Up

I rediscovered NetGalley this month and requested and got approval for a lot more books than I thought I would considering my newbie status. This can be a good thing, but in my case, it led to some reading stress.

Library Books

  • Past Perfect by Leila Sales 3/5
  • Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins 3/5
  • Rock Hard by Nalini Singh 2/5
  • Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On the Go… by Diana Rogers 3/5

Review Books

  • Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager 5/5
  • Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager 4/5
  • The Scam by Janet Evanovich 4/5
  • Deal Breakers by Laura Lee 2/5
  • Things I’ve Said to My Children by Nathan Ripperger 3/5
  • Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder 4/5 *Written review of first three books coming this month
  • Coco and The Little Black Dress by Annemarie van Haeringen 3/5
  • The Girl’s Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart 4/5
  • Time’s Divide by Rysa Walker 5/5
  • Tea Culture: History, Traditions, Celebrations, Recipes & More by Beverly Dubrin 4/5

Audiobooks

  • Flush by Carl Hiaason 4/5
  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do by Tom Vanderbilt 4/5
  • How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell 3/5

Off My Shelves

  • My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten 3/5
  • Air Plants by Zenaida Sengo 4/5

Currently, I have about 6 books started and I’m not interested in any of them. I’m in a very funky mood, so we’ll see what happens in October. Happy reading!