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The Classics Club – Classics Spin #9

classicsclub

The Classics Spin is a bi-monthly challenge hosted by The Classics Club to encourage individuals to read a random book off their pile for their classics challenge (a bit more about the challenge can be found HERE). The Classics Spin will run from April 6 (date of spin) until May 15th.

My 20 books are:
1. Brave New World
2. Fahrenheit 451
3. The Chrysalids
4. The Catcher in the Rye
5. The Two Towers
6. The War of the Worlds
7. Neuromancer
8. The Red Badge of Courage
9. Looking Backward
10. Invisible Man
11. The Iron Heel
12. Slaughterhouse-Five
13. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
14. Dandelion Wine
15. The Handmaid’s Tale
16. The Running Man
17. Little Women
18. A Room with a View
19. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
20. The Member of the Wedding

What number will be rolled?

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Classics Challenge

 

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Dishing with Dee…Happy April Fool’s Day

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Am I the only person who thinks its insane that it is April ALREADY? I mean seriously, we are over a 1/4 of the way through the year and it seems like it has just gone in the blink of an eye. Of course, it still sucks that when I walked outside to my car this morning, I had frost on it – seriously, frost in APRIL!

But on a non-complaining about the cold note – its April Fool’s Day – a day of pranks and foolhardiness – I’ll admit that now, i’m not a huge fan of the practical jokes, but I did do my fair share of them in the past. One of my favorites (and it was done with my cohorts in crime), was when I was on a ship stationed in Norfolk. One of the individuals in my senior leadership was a geographic bachelor (meaning his family lived elsewhere and he traveled home to see them on weekends/holidays). Anyways, on one such weekend, we got the idea to decorate his stateroom…in Disney Princess finery – including sheets, pillow and shower curtain. Thankfully, he just laughed at it, then took a picture and send to his family and we didn’t get into too much trouble…I only wish I still had the photos from it as proof.

How about you – any pranks in your past that you are proud to claim?

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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TBR Tuesday – 31 March 2015

TBR TuesdayA Little Harmless Lie
Author: Melissa Schroeder
Series: #4 in the Harmless series

Date Purchased: December 14, 2010

Review: I honestly can’t believe I had forgotten about this series – it was one of the first erotic romance series I bought when I got my kindle back in 2009 (although I also purchased one of her books in print way back when as well). So it was kind of a shock to find not only this one, but at least one other one on the unread pile still. I enjoyed the dynamic between Dee and Micah and how she didn’t just bow down to him and the writing (as always) was hot. I’ll be digging into the pile to see what other books I have by Melissa still unread/buying the rest of the books in the series to get caught back up. 4 stars overall for a quick/hot read.

What about you guys – what book did you discover on Mt TBR this week?

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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Dishing with Dee….for the love of audiobooks

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Its hard to remember a time when I didn’t listen to audiobooks – I think its probably been a good ten years now. I originally started listening to them when I had long drives to visit family in Michigan (driving from Virginia makes it about a 12-16 hour drive depending on where I was in the state at a given time). Mostly it was due to my fustration of trying to find a new/decent radio station to listen to every 100 miles or so, only to have said radio station fizzle out an hour or so later.

Fast forward to current day and between my daily commute into work (anywhere from 40min to 1.5 hours one way…thank you DC traffic), to working in an open workspace office (you know the kind where there are 10 people in each work segment with no real division between them), audiobooks are probably responsible for me still being sane (or as sane as you can be in a situation like this). I find they let me get lost in my world of data analysis and data inputing, as well as kinda of controlling my road rage (if you’ve ever driven in DC you know what I am talking about).

Listening to audiobooks has always pushing my reading/listening boundaries – I have discovered over the years that I am more willing to give a new author a try in the audiobook realm if its narrated by someone I have enjoyed in the past (people like Phil Gigante, Simon Vance, Xe Sands and my new favorite, RC Bray). Plus listening to audiobooks make me feel like I can enjoy my favorite hobby at all hours of the day and not just when I am at home and able to sneak in a page or two.

What about your guys – do you listen to audiobooks? If yes, do you have a favorite narrator or book? What would you recommend to a newbie?

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

it's monday what are you reading

One of my reading goals for 2015 was to be more active in posting current reading etc on my blog. Of course, its now the end of March and I think I’ve done that like once so far…so my goal for the second quarter of the year (Apr-Jun) is to participate in this meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

I hope you guys will join in with me and participate ;)

Last week wasn’t a good reading week for me – I was busy trying to make up a bunch of hours at work, after being out with Bronchitis (which sucks BTW) as well as working my monthly 12 day work week (once a month because of military drill on the weekend), so by the time I got home each now and etched out time to get my workout in, I fell in to bed and passed out. That being said, I managed to finish reading 3 books and listened to 1.

week reading

My reading this week is still a bit up in the air, but since its the 1st of April, I get to dig into books that I’ve had sitting waiting for my new month of reading challenges to start. I have 2 audiobooks I have listening to right now – alternating between car and work:

current listening Both of these books are nominees in the Paranormal category for the Audies (Audiobook Awards) and I have been listening to all of them. One in the 9th book in a series that I have been working on for the last year (Pleasure of a Dark Prince – Immortals After Dark) and the other is a new to me author that falls more into the horror category (at least right now) than Paranormal – I was tweeting with the author the other day and made the comment about having nightmares because of his writing – he just laughed and thanked me for the compliment.

currentl readingOn the reading front, I have multiple books in progress (like normal) including 2 non-fiction (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America), which is rarely for me – normally I’ll have one that I’m reading at a snail’s pace, but I managed to pick up 2 currently and they are intriguing me enough that I want to keep reading both. I am also continuing my tackling the TBR with Fever by Mary Beth Keane that I got back in 2013 when it was released and the never read. I’m going old school with a current romance read with Cry No More, written by the fabulous Linda Howard, written back in 2003 and finally, rounding out the current reading with Angel with a Bullet by M.C. Grant. I have read book 3 in this series a couple of months ago, so decided to go back and read from the beginning (good thing is that each of the books can basically stand on their own).

What about you – what are you reading this last Monday of March?

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Meme

 

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Dishing with Dee…the curious case of rating books

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It’s always hard when it comes to writing reviews for books. I don’t shy away from giving negative reviews (I mean, see the one from Friday that I wrote on the audiobook), but at the same time, sometimes that honestly comes back to bite me in the ass. I’ve never really mentioned it on my blog, but several years ago, one of the DNF reviews that I posted here was used as an example in an Indie Writer Blog on how to make sure you avoid picking bad reviewers for your books. The author’s premise – that since I read predominantly romance novels (per my Goodreads profile), that I was basically too dumb to understand his masterpiece. That is ignoring that fact that I have multiple degrees in a variety of different fields (although my primary focus is in Psychology); that I was in the military for multiple years…no, his whole hypothesis was based on my enjoyment of romance novels.

I’ve been reading for many years – I mean, my mom will tell you that when I started elementary school, I knew how to read basic words already (in fact, the one and only time – at least that I remember – that she had to have a teacher-parent conference was because I was bored in class). I’ve gone through many phases of reading, from mysteries, to suspense, to romance; through my non-fiction phase, and back to romance. I keep coming back to romance because it is my happy spot, but that doesn’t preclude me from reading other genres.

Since i’ve never really posted a “how I rate books” post, I thought I’d post something today – this is rough break-down of my approach to rating books. You will notice that I do write DNF and 1 star reviews for my blog, because I do believe in being honest and rating a book appropriately. I’ve been burnt many times by books that only have rave reviews and then wondering what the heck am I missing…and so, here it is:

5 stars – mind-blowing, I typically want to pick up the book and re-read it as soon as I finish it – this is a rarely used rating (in 2014, I only had 3 5-stars).
4 stars – well written, engaging, made me want to read more books by the author in the near future (i.e. as soon as I get a chance)
3 stars – decent writing, plot may be partially engaging, but may meander a bit; will likely read more by the author in the future, but not immediately
2 stars – writing needs work, possible serious issues with plot holes/writing style; highly unlikely to read more by the author in the future (unless they are a prior fav)
1 stars – normally the difference between a 1 star review and a DNF is that I managed to finish it
DNF – not worth my time to even finish

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Review – Get Lucky – Anthology

get luckyGet Lucky
Authors: Robin Covington, Nicola Marsh, Kelsey Browning, Avery Flynn, Kimberly Kincaid, Sara Humphreys
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Nicola Marsh – Walking the Line
Ellie is a decade older than Finn but that doesn’t stop the charming Irishman from wooing her.
Ellie doesn’t believe in the happily-ever-after dream any longer, not since hers imploded a long time ago. But can a smooth-talking Irishman sway a hard-hearted cynic to believe in love again?

This was my first time reading anything by Nicola Marsh and while I found the story intriguing, it just didn’t quite do it for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good older woman, younger man story but I didn’t ever really feel for Ellie- I found her annoying. But I enjoyed the author’s writing style, so I may check out something else by her in the future. I gave her installment 3 stars.

Kelsey Browning – Amazed by You
Author’s assistant Olivia McLaughlin must pull off an extravagant St. Patrick’s Day garden party to win a coveted promotion, but her success hinges on landscape designer Cody Kavanaugh, her old high school boyfriend. Now, Olivia must decide which she can’t live without—the job that will make her a success or the man offering her a second chance at love.

I’m a huge fan of Kelsey’s and this story was no different. I loved Olivia as a character, and her relationship with Cody was cute – i’m a sucker for a reunited type romance. although I will say that Sadie, Olivia’s slightly (ok, mostly) neurotic employer. I can’t wait to see if she gets a story in the future. I gave Amazed by You 4.5 stars.

Robin Covington – One Little Kiss
Trapped by a snowstorm in the same place at the same time, Leighton and Jonas must decide if their hot night together was the end of their story or if they started forever with just one little kiss…

This story was a hard one of me to rate – because I did enjoy it but towards the end I found myself wanting more. I would love to see it taken and turned into a full-length story because there was so much potential and everything just felt rushed for me. But it had Robin’s familiar writing style and I can’t wait to read more of her stuff in the future. This story got 3.5 stars from me.

Avery Flynn – Big, Bad Red
There’s nothing little or naive about this Red Riding Hood. Red runs the biggest fencing operation for fairytale treasures out of the back of Granny’s Pub. But when she comes into possession of the Caladbolg sword things get hairy–as in hot, sexy Liam MacTíre the werewolf hairy.

I’ll admit that I am a total sucker for fairy tale retellings and Big Bad Red hit all my happy buttons. I loved Red as a character and the story was hot (oh holy heck was it hot). I would love to see more books written in this world and I know that i’ll be checking out Avery’s other Fairytale retellings (since I already love her contemporary romances). Big, Bad Red got 3.5 stars from me.

Sara Humphreys – Luck of the Irish
Banished to the mirrored realm for hundreds of years, Declan Aherne had nothing but time to plot his revenge and mourn the loss of his beloved wife. But when a beautiful human woman, with a familiar amulet, stares into the mirror….Declan’s luck was about to change.

Sarah Humphrey’s was the second new author in the anthology to me. I really liked the idea of a Leprechaum as a hero – i mean seriously, how cool is that? And the story that Sara wove was great, intriguing and complex. Unfortunately, the ending left me feeling kind of irked because it didn’t really end and unfortuntely, that dropped my rating for this installment down to 3 stars.

Kimberly Kincaid – Something Borrowed
When her successful brother announces his plans for an impromptu wedding in Ireland, unlucky-in-love chef Sasha Arrington is stuck between the Blarney Stone and a hard place. Sasha needs a wingman for her brother’s wedding, and the romantic destination could be just what James Sullivan needs to tempt Sasha out of the friend zone.

I’m in a toss-up over whether Kimberly’s contribution or Kelsey’s is my favorite. There was something about Sasha and Sully’s story that just hit all my happy buttons. I loved the sexual tension between them and it kind of reminded me of the movie, The Wedding Date, which I will always watch when I get a chance. Although I will say, really Sully, UVa…no, just no. I gave Something Borrowed 4.5 stars.

Overall I really enjoyed all 6 books in this anthology and I will be checking out the two new authors (Nicola Marsh and Sara Humphrey) in the future. but my 2 favorite stories by far were Kelsey Browning and Kimberly Kincaid’s. Overall, I gave the anthology 4 stars.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Book Review

 

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