WWW Wednesdays – November 20, 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.

Is anyone else wondering how it can possibly be almost Thanksgiving already??!! I’ve mostly been audiobooking, while I clean my house and prepare for the company that is arriving from out of town soon. Both my family and my husband’s family are coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so it will and crazy next week and a half. Anyone have any book recommendations on how to deal with family? I would appreciate some humorous books if possible. LOL

Currently Reading

Last night, I met up with my friend to discuss Book One of Dune. I really am enjoying reading books piece by piece and discussing each section. My friend and I also use this as a great excuse to get together once a month, even during the busy times. Those times tend to be the best times to get together as a way to unwind and focus on something else.

Recently Finished

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky – audiobook = ♦
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

I actually did not make it through Fair Play, hence the 1-star rating. I was interested in reading about how couples balance their high-stress jobs, housework, and still have time for each other. This book seemed to cater more toward households with kids, which is fine, but not really relevant to me. Most of what I read seemed to really attack men, that the women were doing all the child care and household responsibilities. Seems like some items mentioned in the book should have been discussed among the couples before they decided to have children. Again, not really the book for me I guess. If anything, I started to appreciate the communication I have with my significant other. I was just hoping this book would share good tips on time management. It was a let down for me.

I will have a review of Digital Minimalism posted soon!

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Please feel free to comment below and leave your WWW link as well.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – November 13, 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 spent last week into this week reorganizing my bookshelves. It turned into a much bigger project than expected, but now I can easily access all books that I haven’t read yet and have recorded all of them into my book catalog app, so I will always know what books I own. I would like to avoid owning duplicates in the future. We shall see how it pans out. For now I think the shelves look good. 🙂

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton – audiobook = 4
Force of Nature by Jane Harper – book = 4.5
Blowout by Rachel Maddow – audiobook = 3.5
IRL Book Club: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler – book = 5

Reading Next

What have y’all been reading? Have you read Neil Gaiman? Are there any Gaiman works that you particularly enjoyed and recommend? Leave a comment or your WWW link below.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – November 6, 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.

Don’t be fooled by the huge list of books. I just haven’t participated in WWW for the last few weeks. I’ve been working very long hours and can’t wait until it slows down a bit for the holidays, and I can get back to discussing books!

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦
The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Focus on Authors Challenge: We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The American Predator by Maureen Callahan – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Challenge: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
The End of Procrastination by Petr Ludwig – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Challenge: Coraline by Neil Gaiman – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*I hope to get out some book reviews soon!*

Reading Next


What have y’all been reading? Leave a comment or your WWW link below.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – October 16, 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.

As of Monday, I officially completed my Goodreads challenge for the year. I couldn’t be happier! I am incredibly amazed that I have read that many books this year and it is only October.

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Sarah has
completed her goal of reading
100 books in
2019!
hide

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Love Big by Rozella Haydee White – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
IRL Book Club: House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
NetGalley ARC: Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes – ebook =

*Click on the title of the book to read my full review. I will be posting my House of Leaves review soon.*

Reading Next

What have y’all been reading? How are y’all doing with your 2019 reading goals? Leave a comment or your WWW link below.

HAPPY READING!!!

Book Review: Christmas in Vermont

vermont

Title: Christmas in Vermont
Author: Anita Hughes
Genre: Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Pages: 304
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: NetGalley ARC
Date finished reading: October 15, 2019

Goodreads Description: Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades the bracelet for the watch and wonders at the timing.

Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.

When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fiancée.

Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind.

Christmas in Vermont is a delightful and charming love story about the magic of second chances during the most festive time of year.

My Review: I was very excited to receive this ARC from NetGalley of Christmas in Vermont. I love a good Christmas romance. Before I dive in to writing down my thoughts, I want to take a brief moment to mention that this was poorly edited. I realize that I received a proof, but this was the worst ARC I’ve ever received as far as grammar. The grammar mistakes were constant. I think the publisher should have fixed at least some of the mistakes before releasing the proof. The timeline headers were incorrect at times; there were many errors with incorrect words (such as “hear” instead of “heart”); and the worst was during a dialog when it stated that Emma was speaking when it should have been Lola, because Emma was not even in that room or conversation. Those errors truly distracted me from the actual story. Is this typical with ARC copies?

I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I think Emma finding the watch that she gave Fletcher at the same pawn shop where she is selling a piece of jewelry that an ex-boyfriend had given her was definitely a sign or fate. It was a strong start, because it sucked me in to want to know who Fletcher was and why that watch was in a pawn shop. Then having Emma’s best friend, Bronwyn, stalk Fletcher on social media and set up a plan to have Emma vacation at the same hotel in Vermont as Fletcher for the holidays was quite entertaining. Emma ends up connecting with Fletcher’s daughter, Lola, before she connects with Fletcher. When Fletcher first sees Emma again after many years since their college romance, she is playing the piano in a talent show as accompaniment for Lola’s singing. It is a wonderful scene.

I don’t know how much I enjoyed the book after that. Lola was a great character. She was so witty for a nine year old. Her relationship with Emma was so adorable. Betty was a sweet character as well. I was not sure I cared much for the other supporting characters though. I guess Megan was a strong enough character. One of those characters that you love to hate. However, those scenes where Fletcher is talking to his best friend, I don’t see how that character or those scenes added to the story.

Once Megan was gone, the story really fizzled for me. Of course, you want Fletcher and Emma to be together, but I just did not feel that spark. There could have been more romantic moments with them. I felt that their connection seemed stronger when the story would revert to a decade earlier and share moments from their original romance in college than the present day romance. I am still happy that Fletcher and Emma ended up together in the end, but I think I would have also liked an epilogue that jumped forward 364 days as assurance for the reader that Emma did not bail on this relationship like she did in her previous relationships.

This story had some strong characters and scenes. It made me want to visit Vermont. I did like it, but I did not love it.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

WWW Wednesdays – October 9, 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.

71684206_10156880239512986_4976047507399245824_oI recently celebrated another year of life, and I thought y’all would appreciate the amazing birthday cake that my husband got for me. He clearly gets me! I can’t get over how amazing it looked and also very very delicious.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

IRL Classics Book Club: Adam Bede by George Eliot – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Reading Challenge: The Lottery & Other Stories by Shirley Jackson – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the title of the book for my full review. I will review all Shirley Jackson reads at the end of the month.*

This was an audiobook heavy week. Turns out that I got a puzzle for my birthday and have been loving my time audio-puzzling.

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Any spooky reads for the Halloween season? Let me know what you are reading or leave your WWW link in the comments below.

HAPPY READING!!!

Book Club Review: Adam Bede

adam bedeTitle: Adam Bede
Author: George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)
Genre: Classics
Publisher: William Blackwood & Sons
Publication Date: 1859
Pages: 624
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Hoopla app
Date finished reading: October 2, 2019

Goodreads Description: Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time.
The story’s plot follows four characters’ rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The novel revolves around a love triangle between beautiful but self-absorbed Hetty Sorrel, Captain Arthur Donnithorne, the young squire who seduces her, Adam Bede, her unacknowledged suitor, and Dinah Morris, Hetty’s cousin, a fervent, virtuous and beautiful Methodist lay preacher.

My Review: Adam Bede was elected as our October read for the Classics book club that I participate in. This was my first time reading anything by George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). I did like her writing. However, this story did not grip me at all. While the descriptions were beautiful at the beginning, and I could truly picture what this rural area and life there was like, it was slow moving for the first half of the book. There were some interesting characters, but in my opinion Adam Bede was a supporting character and should not have the honor of the title of this book. I also had a few other issues with this story, which too would be covered in the book club discussion.

Discussion kicked off by talking about the possibilities for why Adam Bede was chosen as the title of this story. There was a belief among some individuals that some of the female characters were stronger characters, like Hetty and Dinah. It was mentioned that maybe the Adam Bede was chosen as the title as it would be more appealing to both male and female readers of that time period. A more popular feeling that there was more depth to Adam Bede than the other characters – that the reader can see a very obvious transformation and growth in this character that you don’t see in the other characters. Adam began as a proud man, suffered from a tragic heartbreak and transitioned into a humble character. While I personally understand this explanation, in my opinion this does not make this character more interesting.

Dinah, however, was a strong character as someone who was radically progressive in her vocation as a Methodist preacher, especially for that time period. She might have represented what the author may have wanted from religion – no judgments just kindness to everyone equally. Hetty may be the most shallow of the characters, but she also created the disruption of this less than exciting story. Those two characters were my favorite.

I cannot help but defend Hetty a little bit, as I am sure that most people (including some members of my book club) think she is a complete drama queen of a character. I feel that while her mother was a very strong and intelligent woman, she and her husband did not necessarily instill those qualities on Hetty but brought her up to always look nice and be in search of a good husband. She was young, naive and seemed to care solely about wealth and nice things, which I think was necessary to show the contrast between Hetty and Dinah. Plus, Hetty’s character sure livened up the story, and I wish the reader could have had more of a glimpse into her thoughts after her life was spared.

There were a couple of unique things to note. The first was that much of Hetty and Arthur’s romance is left up to the imagination of the reader. If you didn’t guess, then you were very surprised by the pregnancy revelation. The second was how Hetty managed to hide her pregnancy from her family and Adam into the eighth month. That part was a bit unbelievable to me, though I have heard stories about that actually happening.

In book club, we only briefly discussed the character of Seth, Adam’s brother. I found this character very disappointing. I disliked how the author made this character so compliant to the wishes of his brother. Yes, I believed Seth loved his brother, but Seth showed no emotion when Adam confessed his love for Dinah, who was the woman that Seth had been in love with. He just accepted that match. The author would have the reader believe he was content being Dinah’s brother-in-law. Adam went crazy with jealously when he found out that Hetty, whom Adam loved, was romantically involved with Arthur. Shouldn’t Seth have had a bit of those same feelings? I guess I find the Biblical Cain and Abel representation much more realistic. Those Biblical characters were referenced in John Steinbeck’s epic East of Eden, which I just recently enjoyed reading. I admit after that Adam Bede was a bit of a drag to me.

Opinions were pretty split in my book club regarding George Eliot’s first novel. While I was one that did not enjoy it very much, I enjoyed the writing enough to still want to try reading something else by her – maybe Middlemarch or Silas Marner.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ½