WWW Wednesdays – September 25, 2019

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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.

I’m almost done with my month of Stephen King reads (A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I read far more Stephen King than I thought I would get a chance to. I have so many thoughts and opinions about what I’ve read so far, that I can barely contain myself. The final review is coming soon. I’m also starting my Fall Reads!

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Focus on Authors Challenge: The Body by Stephen King – audiobook/ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Bookish First ARC: The Trouble With Christmas by Amy Andrews – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

*Click on the title of the book for my full review. All Stephen King reads will be reviewed at the end of September.*

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? I’m exploring more horror this season than I have ever read before. Do y’all read horror in the fall? Are you seasonal readers? Leave me a comment or your WWW link below.

HAPPY READING!!!

Fall Reading – 2019

Fall is almost here! I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge and my 2019 Focus on Authors Challenge. Titles are mostly based on giveaways and book club picks. What are y’all reading this fall? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danieleweski
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

NetGalley Reads

  • Manhunters by Steve Murphy & Javier F. Pena
  • Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes
  • One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
  • A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
  • The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Bookish First

  • The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews

Readalongs

  • Dune by Frank Herbert

2019 Focus on Authors

  • The Body by Stephen King
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Other

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott – audiobook
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone – audiobook
  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – audiobook
  • The End of Procrastination by Petr Ludwig – audiobook
  • American Predator by Maureen Callahan – audiobook
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – audiobook
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet – audiobook
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – audiobook
  • Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham – audiobook
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper – book
  • Love Big by Rozella Haydee White – book


HAPPY FALL!!!!

WWW Wednesdays – November 14, 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.

I’m making progress on my Fall Reading list for sure. Still lots more to read!

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

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I will say off the bat that you HAVE to read this! I own Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) first book but haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I saw Furiously Happy was available on audiobook through my Libby app and thought I could use a book of humor. This book was so much more than humorous. It made my commute to and from work so enjoyable. I laughed-cried so many times. Almost every day, I came home and made my husband listen to a part of it. As not to spoil some of my favorite parts of the book, I’m just going to list my favorite chapters: “Things I May Have Accidentally Said During Uncomfortable Silences”, “Koalas Are Full of Chlamydia” and “These Cookies Know Nothing of My Work.” I love the conversations and sometimes disagreements she has with her husband. I can so relate.

Most importantly, though, I believe that the way she addresses mental illness is so important. I have so many friends who turned to her long ago (when she was just a blog writer), as they needed someone who would understand that mental illness is a real thing and a difficult issue. It can often cost someone their life. Both my husband and I have lost people to mental illness. Her openly discussing her own mental illness has provoked so many people to discuss their own mental illness and has no doubt saved lives.

Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

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As the winter weather approaches, and the small town of Dawson in the Yukon of Canada is about to be cut-off from the rest of the territory, a murderer is on a killing spree. Can the murderer be caught before there is no way to escape?

I read this book for our mystery book club. It was a fast read, and the author really sets the scene beautifully. You really feel like you understand what life is like in Dawson. Her descriptions of the landscape and the local venues she discusses are true to the real-life city. Plus, having a murder mystery take place in a town that is about to be cutt-off with frozen rivers and impassable roads, is the perfect scene for a thriller of a story. However, outside of the scene itself, the author did not do a great job with developing the characters and the plot felt like it really fizzled out at the end. I also feel like there are some unanswered questions. Overall, the book was meh, but I did like learning a bit about the Yukon.

Reading Next

Another great reading week! What have y’all been reading this week? Any recommendations? Feel free to leave a link to your WWW posts in the comment section below if I haven’t already visited your site.

WWW Wednesdays – November 7, 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.

I’m making progress on my Fall Reading list for sure. Still lots more to read!

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington – audiobook

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After passing out from exhaustion and breaking her face (cheek bone), Arianna Huffington changed her lifestyle to incorporate more sleep. In The Sleep Revolution, she explores multiple studies that have shown the many positive outcomes to getting more sleep. She discusses sleeps relationship to daily productivity, dream analysis, insomnia.

If you are like me, you have used the phrase “if only there were more hours in the day” or are just constantly fatigued. I often want to sit and read my book and end up falling asleep. It isn’t because the book isn’t entertaining. I am just tired. In The Sleep Revolution, the ideal daily pattern should be 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of time for yourself. However, I don’t feel like that is a feasible pattern in society – especially in the US, where our lives are structured around work. Plus, how many of us get home from work and then have to cook, clean, take care of children, etc.? I feel that as much as we might try to manage our time better to include more sleep/rest, this has to be a change to our societal structure. I also am not into dream analysis, so I definitely could have skipped that section. Overall, though, I found this book full of useful tips (aka no reading your phone in bed) to getting a better night’s sleep and has convinced me to try to get the full 8 hours of sleep a night. This is definitely one book that we should all at least try to live by, because I think we would all be healthier, happier and more productive.

Murder Mile by Lynda LaPlante – book

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This is the fourth book in a series following a British police officer named Jane Tennison. Detective Sergeant Jane Tennison responds to a call, where a body of a woman was found in an alley. This discovery is followed by other bodies located nearby. Can they find the killer before he/she kills again?

I try not to read a later book in a series, when I haven’t read the previous installments. However, I received this book from BookishFirst and was anxious to read it. I thought the author did a fantastic job setting the scene and introducing characters. I felt this book was a well done stand alone. I didn’t need to read the first three books in the series to understand the characters and the plot. (However, there are spoilers throughout that will ruin the mystery of the first three if you are interested in reading those.) Jane is a fantastic detective with great instincts, but you feel her struggles as the only woman in a task force full of men. Somehow, even when her superior is rude and nasty to her, she continues to relentlessly search for the killer and follow her instincts. The story line was full of twists, turns, and red herrings. I wished that there had been a bit more of a twist at the end with some thrilling action, but it was overall a fantastic mystery thriller that is hard to put down.

The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard – audiobook

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This historical fiction is set during WWII, following the men and women that went to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was a city constructed as a production site for the Manhattan project. This led to the city’s nickname The Atomic City.

I know I don’t always gravitate toward historical fiction novels, but I recently loved The Masterpiece and enjoyed reading All the Light We Cannot See (another novel set during WWII), so this one looked fascinating. I have enjoyed reading about women’s roles in advancing science and thought this would be similar. I was very much disappointed. My first complaint is that based on the title, I thought the perspective of the book would be solely through the women who worked in the factories in The Atomic City. This was not the case. My second complaint is the lack of factual details or really any details that might help the reader understand what work was going on in Oak Ridge. We are suppose to feel the struggles of the characters as some of them are aware that they are helping create a weapon that could cause death and destruction, and yet the reader isn’t given the details or background of the Manhattan project to really care about those feelings. I did find it fascinating that workers weren’t allowed to know or talk about the work they did (a repeating theme throughout the book), but I still feel like we could have been given information about the tasks the women did during their work shifts. Did they all just read meters and fix accordingly? It was hard as a reader to picture myself in that time and place, because the author did little to put me there. I think the author should have focused more on certain characters and their day -to-day activities and done more research about Oak Ridge and the Manhattan project to incorporate in this novel. I overall thought it was a boring read and lacked substance.

Reading Next

So many great reads coming up that I am looking forward to! What have y’all read this week? Any recommendations? Please feel free to post your WWW Wednesdays link in the comments below if I haven’t already visited it?

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – October 24, 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.

Last weekend, I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It was so much fun! I got some good quality reading in. You can find my readathon wrap up here. Did you participate? Let me know and share any fun things you did during the readathon or helpful tips.

This weekend, I will be going to the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas. This will be my first book festival. Any recommendations from those who have attended book festivals before? Will any of you be there?

We are officially one month into Fall reading, and I have read 11 books on my Fall TBR. I am feeling pretty good about that progress.

Currently Reading

 

Recently Finished

The Personality Brokers by Merve Emre – audiobook

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If you enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies and Anne Bogel’s Reading People, this will be the perfect book for you. The Personality Brokers gives the history behind the creation of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). I remember taking this test in high school and then again in college. I recently retook the MBTI and am an ISFJ. Have you taken the quiz? How accurate has it been for you? I found it interesting that the MBTI was created through the experiments and research by a mother and daughter. I was fascinated by famous people (especially authors like Truman Capote) who used personality testing. However, this book can be a bit dry, so I liked it but didn’t love it.

The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory – NetGalley ARC ebook

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Theodora is a princess in a land called Drieden. She is known for her antics of slipping away from the palace and doing her own thing. However, on her wedding day, she is not the one that runs away from the palace. It is her fiance that does not show up. Months after that horrible day, Theodora returns to her duties at the palace and again finds herself escaping the palace in the middle of the night. While out at a local pub, she meets a handsome and mysterious stranger, Nick. Turns out, Nick is not who he said he was but in reality is Theordora’s ex-fiance’s brother. Nick believes that his brother didn’t just runaway, but that there is a much bigger and also dangerous situation going on. As Nick and Theodora search for the truth, Theodora struggles with her loyalties to her royal position, her country and Nick.

If you like The Princess Diaries or the classic film Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, then you should definitely read The Royal Runaway. It is a fun romance with a thrilling mystery plot.

Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases by Ann Rule – audiobook

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This is a collection of true crime stories of “love” gone wrong like the Lonely Hearts Killer. These are crimes that occurred long before cases like the Laci Peterson murder by her husband, Scott Peterson. I love true crime and especially Ann Rule’s books, but I find this one more haunting than others, because these are crimes that could happen to any woman, who just wants to date. I myself went on a few blind dates back in the day. I would never have done that now after reading this book. Lots of trigger warnings for the descriptions of assaults. I still love Ann Rule. No true crime writer composes a story with such informative and useful information as she does. I always feel like I learn a bit more about detective work and forensic science when reading her books, but this one was a bit harder to stomach. SSDGM!

The Raven and Other Favorite Poems by Edgar Allen Poe – book

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I have had this book on my book shelves for, since I was very young. I loved poetry when I was in middle school and was introduced to Edgar Allen Poe in an advanced English class in high school. I will say his poetry really holds up for me. I still love The Raven as much now as I did then and I really remembered and loved A Dream within a Dream. I’m really glad I used the readathon to revisit Poe.

Reading Next

 

I hope you all had a fantastic week of reading! Any thoughts on the books I’ve listed? What are y’all reading? If I haven’t already commented on your WWW post, please include it in the comments below.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – October 17, 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.

I didn’t read much this week again, because I went on a mini holiday to visit family, but I am looking forward to catching up on all my NetGalleys, book club reads, and Fall Reading list this upcoming weekend during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. Due to my intense work schedule and the fact that my body does not like me to pull all-nighters anymore, I won’t be able to read the entire 24 hours, but I intend to read most of Saturday. I will be creating my pre-readathon post in the next day or two.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Out by Natsuo Kirino – book

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Four women that work together at a factory outside of Tokyo, Japan conspire together to cover up a murder. This story follows these women and how the murder cover-up changes their lives and the lives of others that have connections to the women or to the murdered individual.

I read this book for an IRL mystery book club. While the story is disturbing (so many trigger warnings) and a bit depressing, I found that I still wanted to continue to read it to find out what happens to the four women and whether they really would get away with this crime. It may seem boring and tedious at points, but I believe those pages really help the reader understand the lives of the characters. No character is innocent, so you really don’t know who to root for. Another trigger warning – the end is just as disturbing (if not more so) as the beginning. It is a clever book and not like anything I have read before.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan – audiobook

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Ella Duran from the United States earns a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University in England for a year toward a graduate degree. She is a very ambitious political activist for education but always wanted to study at Oxford so does not hesitate to accept the Rhodes scholarship. While at Oxford, she meets a group of animated characters and develops an attraction to one of her professors. She juggles her Oxford life and her US educational policy ambitions, but begins to realize that Oxford is starting to change her and her life goals.

As someone who studied abroad every opportunity I had and absolutely loved Oxford when I visited last year, I had to read this book. It starts by painting this amazing picture of Oxford, which is in fact a stunning place, and English culture. I found myself laughing at Ella’s interactions with her English classmates and some of the locals. I can’t believe I never noticed how my British friends use negative adjectives to describe something positive (ex. “that is terribly brilliant”). This story soon turned into a romantic story. I didn’t read the blurb that compares this story to a Nicholas Sparks or JoJo Moyes book, so I was a bit caught off guard when the story turned from mysterious to a bit sad. (I may have shed a few tears while listening to it at work). Normally I don’t gravitate to these types of books, however, by that point, I was so invested in all the lovely characters that I had to see the book all the way through. It was amazing. So many emotions, but I loved every moment of it.

Reading Next

I hope you all had a fantastic week of reading! Any thoughts on the books I’ve listed? What are y’all reading? If I haven’t already commented on your WWW post, please include it in the comments below and maybe some of you will be reading with me during the readathon this weekend.

HAPPY READING!!!