WWW Wednesdays – September 12, 2018

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

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I’m assuming that if you are reading this blog post, you enjoy reading. This is the book for all you readers. It touches on developing one’s reading life and what/who inspires it (aka libraries, bookstores and friends/family). It talks about the comfort of bookshelves and the act of giving/receiving book recommendations. I’d Rather Be Reading contains so many beautiful lines:

“For everyone who’s ever finished a book under the covers with a flashlight when they were supposed to be sleeping.” (Her dedication)
“I’m grateful for my one life, but I’d prefer to live a thousand.”
“My simple rows of library records may not be as pretty as personal photographs, but when it comes to remembering – well, they take me right back.”
“Reading is personal and never more so than when we’re sharing why we connect with certain books.”
“Books grace our shelves and fill our homes with beauty; they dwell in our minds and occupy our thoughts.”

This book will be gracing and beautifying my bookshelf for a long long time. I hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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I recently read the book Educated by Tara Westover and really enjoyed it. I felt for the main character who grew up in an extremely sheltered and ignorant world with a very abusive brother. I found similarities in reading The Glass Castle. This book was an even more intense read in my opinion. Trigger warnings for individuals who have a difficult time reading about sexual and alcohol abuse. Mostly I think I found it heartbreaking how the parents used their (and sometimes their kids’) money to feed their own addictions instead of their kids’ stomachs. When I read memoirs like this one and Educated, it puts a lot of my own feelings of my childhood into perspective. I don’t know that anyone has a perfect childhood, but I am grateful that I had a childhood that contained a stable roof over my head, food on the table and a good education.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

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I literally just finished this book last night. It was a quick read for me, as I really enjoyed it. It was a thrilling true crime story with a taste of what New York was like in the late 1800s with Theodore Roosevelt in charge of reforming a corrupt NYPD. (Trigger warning: graphic details related to the murders, including mutilation.) I especially enjoyed the character of Sara, whose main ambition is to be the first woman in the NYPD. The men all try to be delicate around her, but then she will shock them by cursing. It is a wonderful cast of interesting characters with a thrilling and mysterious plot. I am hoping to get access to the TNT series (based off this book) soon. Also, if you are interested in audiobooks, Edward Herrmann – for all you Gilmore Girls fans – does an amazing job!

Reading Next

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading lately?

HAPPY READING!!!!

WWW Wednesdays – September 5, 2018

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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I didn’t get a lot of time to read this past week, as I had family in town for the holiday weekend, so I just focused on completing this epic novel for a book club that meets tomorrow. I found an unabridged audiobook version through my local library’s Hoopla Digital. (I like to plug my local library and its services as much as I can.) This version was longer and contained more chapters than any book copy I own, so I thought this would be the best option. Just a heads up that it is a beast. The audiobook was 52+ hours long. Unabridged physical book copies are more than 1,000 pages. I do wonder what the abridged versions cut out, because I did find sections to be slow, but on the other hand, those same sections helped the ending play out. It was a bit more of a thriller than I expected.

A young Edmond Dantès was set up for a crime of which he was wrongly convicted and sent to prison, which he escaped 14 years later. He then starts executing a plan of revenge against his conspirators.

While I was overall happy with this audiobook version, the narration was not the best. I listened to the version narrated by Bill Homewood. As this book spans both France and Italy, the narrator has to sometimes speak French and Italian. I can’t speak for the French pronunciations, but his Italian pronunciations were terrible – even in relation to locations. I also am not quite sure I always agreed with his voice interpretations. I have heard that there are better narrations, so I recommend looking into that before settling on this one.

I sometimes found it difficult to keep the characters straight, which maybe a symptom of my getting older, but I did find a Spark Notes link that I referred to every now and then, which really helped (see it here). Overall, if it wasn’t for the length and my occasional character confusion, this book was fantastic. It would normally take a month for me to finish a book of this size, but I finished it in just two weeks. With family in town, I found it difficult not to hide from everyone, so I could listen to what happened next.  This is definitely a classic everyone should read.

Reading Next

I am so thrilled to have just received my pre-ordered copy of Anne Bogel’s recent book I’d Rather Be Reading. I’ve been obsessed with her other book Reading People, since I picked it up last year, so I couldn’t wait to read her new one. This might be moved to my Currently Reading list by the end of the day.

What are y’all reading this week? Have you read or have any thoughts on the books mentioned on this post?

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – August 22, 2018

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

3PKyE93This week I’m participating in the Bout of Books Readathon. I’ve set reading goals for my week that should help me make some progress on book club books and NetGalley ARCs that have been piling up. See my post for more information on this readathon and my readathon goals.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Chasing the Devil by Sheriff David Reichert

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I’ve recently become a true crime junkie thanks to discovering Ann Rule at the beginning of the year and Michelle McNamera’s book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I’ve also become a huge fan of the My Favorite Murder podcast. I often find myself wanting to read more about the cases they mention on the podcast and came across this audiobook on the Green River Killer via my Libby library app. This book provided a great overview of the crimes committed by the Green River Killer in Washington State in the 1980s and 90s. Some individuals, like the author of this book, Sheriff David Reichert, devoted much of their careers to searching for the Green River Killer and with advancements in DNA processing, were finally able to catch the killer. The killer was convicted of the deaths of 49 women, but many believe he could have killed up to 80. Sheriff Reichert really gives you an inside view of this case from the crime scenes to the collection of evidence. I will say that a few things bothered me about this book though. First, he gets extremely uppity when talking about the press/media and there “interference”. However, they have a job to do in reporting about someone who is terrorizing the area and killing women. It was stated multiple times throughout the book the affect this case had on Sheriff Reichert’s family, and while I think that was important to state once to show his unfailing commitment to this case, I felt like I was losing sympathy for him and his family the more he mentioned it, because there were still many victims and their families who had been affected too. Finally, my last issue was the fact that he seemed a bit defensive about the fact that some of the victim’s families turned on him when the police and prosecutor made a deal with the Green River Killer. They took the death penalty off the table in exchange for locating more bodies and potentially more victims. While I do believe this was probably the right move to help solve additional missing person cases, I think the victim’s families had every right to feel what they feel and the author should not be defensive about that. Overall, this book was so-so with a rating of 3/5.

A Snowbound Scandal by Jessica Lemmon

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What does one read when they need a break from reading about the Green River Killer? Clearly the answer is a steamy romance ARC from NetGalley! I really enjoyed this romantic story of two people so in love that time, careers and life can’t keep them apart. Chase Ferguson thought he could bury his summer love affair with Mimi Andrix in the past, but ten years later her picture resurfaces as part of a smear campaign by his opponent in a mayoral race in Dallas, Texas. After taking a vacation to Mimi’s hometown in Montana and by chance being snowed in with her for a weekend alone, he quickly realizes that while he wants to protect Mimi from the press, he also does not want to let her go again. You could feel the passion and love between the two main characters. The ending feels a bit like Maid in Manhattan, but it was well done. I also enjoyed the little mentions of Chase’s sister that keep you wanting to read the next book, which will be her story.

Reading Next

These books are all books that I’ve put down to read other things, and now I am determined to finish them.

What are y’all reading right now? Do y’all read one book at a time or do you have multiple books going like me?

Happy Reading!!!!

Bout of Books 23 – August 2018

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Time for another readathon to make some more progress on my summer reading!!! This will be my second time participating in the Bout of Books readathon. I participated in this readathon back in May. See my post on this here. To join me and many other avid readers, go sign-up!

Dates

August 20 – August 26

Introduction

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. From the Bout of Books team

Goals

  1. Read for 20 hours.
  2. Read a total of 1,000 pages.
  3. Finish 3 books.
  4. Participate in some challenges and update status on social media.

TBR Books 

HAPPY WEEK OF READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – August 1, 2018

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Finished Reading

I’m playing a bit of catch-up. I had a family emergency last week, so I did not get to read a lot, but I did listen to a lot of audiobooks while on the road, including the following:

Mindhunter by John Douglas

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After thoroughly enjoying Season 1 of Mindhunter on Netflix, I decided to read the book that the show is based off of while I anxiously await Season 2. As far as true crime books go, this book does not disappoint. I’ve always been a bit fascinated by the the psychological traits of killing and patterns, which I thought made me a little strange until I discovered the podcast My Favorite Murder and the community of Murderinos like me. Anyway, this book dives right into behavioral science in relation to catching killers. It was thrilling and a bit terrifying – especially if you are listening to it while stopped at a mostly deserted gas station at 2am in West Texas.

Educated by Tara Westover

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I finished this book before I headed out of town and as per my last WWW Wednesdays post, it truly held up all the way through to the end. It is one of my favorite reads of the year. It is a memoir, of growing up in a secluded survivalist family, where public education was supporting and being influenced by the government. This is a story of a young women who decides at 17 that she wants to go to school and starts realizing the truths and lies about her childhood and home life.

Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

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This book was not a high priority for me as I haven’t seen positive feedback on Litsy, but it popped up on my Libby account, so I decided to read it. I finished it in less than two days. It was amazing and powerful. I’m a bit baffled by the negative reviews I’ve seen. The writing was very poetic and added to the emotions of the characters and the topic of rape itself. This is a story of a serial rapist, called Maude, who assaults numerous men. Much of the book revolves around the victims and how they cope with what happened to them. The whole story was moving and heart-wrenching. Plus, there are a few parts that deal with media, especially social media, that just made me so angry, as it pointed out how often we blame the victims. Male or female…assault is assault and WRONG. I am glad I listened to the audiobook, because I felt that hearing the voices made it that much more powerful a story.

I also did manage to finish an ARC book from NetGalley that I believe became available to the public yesterday:

A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond

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What a delightful bit of fan fiction! For fans of Charles Dickens, you will love this fun mystery, where the main character – none other than Dickens himself – decides to investigate two mysterious deaths. While at times I found the main character a bit boring, the story kept moving nicely with a set of fantastic supporting characters. This was an enjoyable mystery, and I did not guess the ending!

Currently Reading

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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This is another classic fiction book that I am reading for the first time for my classics book club. I just started it and am a good way through it, because it is exciting, though I’m nervous it will turn dark and horrifying at any moment. I keep thinking of the TV series Lost, so I guess I know what inspired that show.

The Lucky Dress by Aimee Brown

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Just started this one, so I have no real opinion yet, but I’m looking forward to a cute romance to offset all the intense books I’ve been reading lately.

Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

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Cecile Richards is the President of Planned Parenthood and daughter of the former Texas governor, Ann Richards. Due to her life directly and indirectly involved in US politics, she has an interesting take on our government, women’s rights and activism. I’m currently listening to her narration on audiobook.

Reading Next

I have a growing list of ARCs that have become available to me through NetGalley and hope to complete the following ones before they are available to the public on August 7th.

I have a huge August TBR pile that has been growing due to some recent book mail. It is going to be a fun reading month! What is on your TBR pile?

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24in48 Readathon – July 2018

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It’s almost time! After a few very busy workweeks and weekends, I am looking forward to focusing on my reading life again by participating in this weekend’s 24in48 Readathon.

For those who have never participated in this readathon before, it begins at 12:01am (EST) on Saturday, July 21 and ends at 11:59pm (EST) on Sunday, July 22. During this 48-hour period of time, you try to read for at least 24 hours. I tracked my time during the last 24in48 Readathon by using the stopwatch on my phone, though I have a fear that I will be close to 24 hours when I will accidentally cancel my timer. I welcome any other suggestions.

If you want to participate, please go to the Sign-up page. I recommend signing up even if you don’t think you will read for the full 24 hours. Just by signing up, you are entered into free prizes, which is a nice benefit for participating. There are also challenges throughout the 48-hour period to give you a little break from reading.

Readathon TBR

I don’t believe I will actually read all these books over the course of the weekend, but I like to be prepared. During readathons, I also like to read in different platforms, which include: e-books, audiobooks and physical books. Here is my pile:

Kindle E-books (all NetGalley ARCs):

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Audiobooks (via my library’s free Libby app):

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Books (physical):

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I’ll be giving updates on my Twitter and Litsy handle @Morr_Books. Good luck to all those participating!

Happy Reading!

 

Summer Reads

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As the official start of summer is fast approaching, I have decided to make a list of books that have been on the top of my TBR list for a long time that I want to complete this summer.

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  2. A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond (ARC)
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  4. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
  5. The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (ARC)
  6. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  7. Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
  8. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  9. Tiffany Blues by M. J. Rose (ARC)
  10. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’m hoping to continue reading for my monthly book clubs as well, but the above list is my priority. What is on your summer reading list? Any recommendations?

 

Completed My First BoB Readathon

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As part of my attempt to continue my reading life while working a full-time demanding position, I decided to try to participate in as many readathons, readalongs and book club meetups as I could. I am happy I found the Bout of Books readathon. This was a week-long readathon.

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My main goal for this readathon (stated in this previous post) was to read 700 pages (an average of 100 a day). On a normal day, I tend to read an average of about 50 pages a day, so I thought this was going to be a real challenge, but I surprisingly accomplished this goal without a problem. I actually read a total of 962 pages and completed 2 books (see picture above). I also have started and made progress in The Dry by Jane Harper, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (see picture below).

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I had the privilege of attending a book talk and signing event for one of the books that I read during this readathon. Paula McLain, well-known author of The Paris Wife, came to my local independent bookstore to discuss her new book Love and Ruin, another historical fiction about one of Hemingway’s wives and their love affair. Here are some pictures from the event:

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Overall, I had a fantastic week of reading. It was just what I needed to help me catch up with my reading backlog, prepare for upcoming book clubs and relax before a very stressful work period. Bout of Books will be hosting another readathon in August, so maybe I’ll see y’all then.

Until the next readathon….

Bout of Books 22 – May 2018

As part of my plan to keep up my reading life, while adjusting to a new full-time (a bit stressful) job, I have decided to participate in as many readalongs and readathons as possible (on top of the few book clubs I attend). So even though I just participated in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon a couple weeks ago (see my post here), I’m excited to continue my new trend with the Bout of Books read-a-thon, which begins tomorrow .

Here is an official description of this read-a-thon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I intend to at read at least 700 pages. These will be the books I hope to read (or at least start) during that time:

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HAPPY READING!!!!

 

Completed Another 24-hour Readathon!

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Another Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon has come and gone. As always, it was so much fun! I was even so fortunate as to get to take my reading outside for a bit this time (see above photo). As I mentioned in my previous post, I had already decided not to attempt the full 24 hours. It just takes too much out of me, and with a new job, I just don’t have the same recovery time. However, I still read for almost 20 hours and that was more than expected.

So…how did i do on my readathon goals? Let’s find out:

  • I want to read for at least 15 hours today. I actually read for 19 1/2 hours.
  • I want to complete 3 books. I did in fact complete 3 books (2 physical books and 1 audiobook).
  • I want to read at least 600 pages. I read 650 pages.
  • I want to complete at least 8 mini-challenges. I did complete 8 mini-challenges.

HOORAY! I accomplished all my readathon goals! Now let’s get to the fun part…this is what I read:

COMPLETED

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I had a bit of a true crime theme going. After finishing The Road to Jonestown and then I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I became a bit paranoid in the dark, so reading something light like the classic Charlotte’s Web was necessary. SPOILER: However, was it really necessary for E. B. White to actually mention that Charlotte died all alone?!!! It was already implied. Why state it?! Made it not just sad but depressing.

Anyway, while I enjoyed the audiobook of The Road to Jonestown, it was very long…17 1/2 hours long. I listened to at least 7 hours of that yesterday. I admit I knew very little about Jim Jones and the Peoples’ Temple, but I feel this book had way too much detail. There were so many characters mentioned that I could not keep them all straight, but I guess in the end that didn’t matter, because (Spoiler again but I feel like we know this one) most of them died in the end.

My most anticipated read and my favorite was Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I put this down a month ago to finish some book club reads, however, with the recent news about the Golden State Killer (GSK), I felt it was necessary to go back to it. So glad I did, but boy was it horrifying. A bit of wisdom to those who haven’t read it yet – don’t read it right before bed or in the dark by yourself. I so wish that guy was caught 40 years ago, but I am happy that he will at least rot in prison for the rest of his days. I’m really glad that McNamara and many California detectives did not give up their search for the GSK. People say their decades-long search was an obsession, but I think it was necessary. I just really wish McNamara would have lived to see the GSK caught.

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I did also start an ARC of Paula McLain’s Love and Ruin (see picture above). I’m only a little bit into it right now but am loving it so far. It comes out for the public on Tuesday (May 1st).

I did have a difficult time with this readathon. There were too many 20180428_092722distractions (see picture on the right that shows my two awesome garage sale purchases from the community garage sale). I hope to avoid these distractions next time. I also didn’t do a great job of preparing my cozy reading nook with everything accessible. My organization left much to be desired. However, I think the leaders of this readathon did a fantastic job. The option to do mini-challenges at any point during the 24 hours was a much nicer solution. Mini-challenges use to disrupt my reading zone now I can do them as a break between books. I will admit though that I didn’t even look at the readathon scavenger hunt. Maybe next time.

Hopefully I’ll be doing the 24-hour readathon again October 20, 2018! Until then….

HAPPY READING!

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