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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Wishlist Wednesday – 27 January 2016

Wishlist WednesdayWishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper where we post about one book that has been hanging out on our wish list (either for a long time, or not so long)

My pick for this weeks Wishlist Wednesday is a book that is actually due out in less than a week and that I already have reserved at the library for when their copies come in (here’s hoping, I’ll be one of the first to get to read it).

salt to the sea
Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: Feb 2, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War 2 Fiction

Description:
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Why am I excited to read it?
Ruta Sepetys’ debut book a few years back (2011), Between Shades of Grey, told the story of a teenager displaced and sent to Siberia when Russia annexed the Baltic states in 1941. It was a unique story to me as I read it, because not only did it touch on an era in history that isn’t routinely taught in high school (or college to my knowledge), but that it was also based in part on experiences by her family members. Ms Sepetys has the ability to write historical fiction in a way that just sucks you in and if her newest is like Between Shades of Grey, I might have to plan on a sleepless night, because I couldn’t put it down…

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2016 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 26 January 2016

TBR TuesdayWelcome back to the first official TBR Tuesday of 2016 (yes, I realize its nearly the end of January, work has been keeping me REALLY busy). I’m making it my goal this year to read at least 4 books a month off my archive pile (for me, this is any book that has been purchased at least 12 months prior to the date of the post). I hope you join me in tackling Mt TBR!

The Rest Falls Away
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series: #1 in the Gardella Vampire Hunters series

Purchase Date: May 28, 2010
Date Read: December 28, 2015
Time on Mt TBR: 2040 days

Review:
So there is kind of a funny story attached to my reading of this book. I bought this back in 2010 and promptly lost it in my archives (and never actually logged it as being owned on my Goodreads shelves – which is one of my major problems). Anyways, as I was browsing on Edelweiss one night, I came across the first 3 books in this series (including this one) all available on auto-approval (they were being re-released), so I grabbed them because the premise sounded intriguing. When I went to download the first book in the series to my kindle, I got several options in my archives – which made me stop for a second and scratch my head, thinking WTF…and thus, I realized my mistake. So while I am posting a short and sweet review for TBR Tuesday here – i’ll likely have a longer ARC version of a review to go live later on.

Keeping with the theme of short and sweet – I really liked how this series was developed – it was much more in the realm of urban fantasy than paranormal romance, so don’t be expecting a happy ending at the end of the first book (don’t say I didn’t warn you). It is definately a developing story arc. I loved how Victoria wasn’t a push-over and while she def. tried to act like a proper young maid in this book, you could see the inner conflict of her character, between how she had been raised, and what she was destined to become. I’ve already read the second book in the series, and look forward to continuing it.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in TBR Tuesday

 

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#Snowzilla or #SnowtoriousBIG

snowzillaIn case you have had your head buried in the sand (or maybe snow), its been hard to miss the predictions of the massive snow storm that is hitting the east coast this weekend (for me, it started about 2 hours ago). Over the past few years it seems to have become a tradition to name the storm with some witty moniker. In 2010 (when I moved to the DC area) it was #snowmageddon and in 2012/2013, it was #snowpocalyse. so the big question on many minds (or at least mine) for the last week has been, what are we going to call this storm? I mean, the official name is “Winter Storm Jonas”, although that makes me think of the Jonas brothers and i’m not a huge fan of them. The DC Capital Weather Gang had a nomination and poll on their website, the winner wasn’t a witty name, but the runner up was #snowzilla. So this picture seems appropriate…

elsa attacksAnother name that I saw pop up in my facebook feed was #snowtoriousBIG – now, i’m not really a rap fan, but i chucked at this one (named after the Notorious BIG who was murdered in 1997). Whatever name we go with, it will be interesting to see how this storm turns out – the last weather chart I saw (on my way home today), looked like Else had just tried to freeze the entirety of Virginia.

I don’t know about you guys, but i’m going to go and snuggle on the couch with the dogs (in between letting them out to play in the snow (my white shepherd has a serious snow addiction, to go with his frisbee addiction). Lots of reading ahead of me this weekend (hopefully).

How are you spending this cold weekend?

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2016 in General

 

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Waiting on Wednesday – 20 January 2016

Wishlist WednesdayWishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper where we post about one book that has been hanging out on our wish list (either for a long time, or not so long)

When I started to look and upcoming book releases, I came to the realization that I don’t have all that many books sitting on my new release can’t wait to read shelf. Mostly due to the lack of time to sit and browse the upcoming release websites, but also because in general, very few of the authors that I follow on facebook (or other forms of social media) have posted about upcoming new releases that have piqued my interest. But I made sure to carve out a few minutes last night, post cycling workout, pre-dinner and bed (yeah, I was eating dinner right before I went to bed), to see if there was anything that caught my eye. Thanks to FictionDB and their new release database, I found the following that caught my eye

assassin's heartAssassin’s Heart – Sarah Ahiers
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Description:
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

Why I Can’t Wait?
I’ll admit that I have a thing for novels with assassin’s as the main characters ever since I read Robin LaFever’s series with assassin nuns. Added to that, the whole secret love (or so it sounds from the description), possible revenge theme as described sounds intriguing and I’ll be interested to see how the author approaches it. I know i’m already checking my library to see if that have it on order (and if they don’t, well then, i’ll (hopefully) sweet talk my favorite librarian into getting it for them).

What about you – what book(s) are you eagerly anticipating?

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2016 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

book date its monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme has had various host over the years and I’ve loved checking in with their different blogs – the newest host is Kathryn and The Book Date. I’m looking forward to following her and participating in this meme again 😉

It’s kind of weird to think that we are already halfway through the first month of the year. Winter has finally decided to make a pseudo-appearance in the DC area – we had a little bit of snow yesterday (not enough for it to really stick) and its ass-biting cold, so i’m curled up on the couch with some blankets, one of the dogs curled at my feet (no idea where the other one is) and the new season of Hell’s Kitchen going on the TV (I love me some Gordon Ramsey). I have to say that this has probably been the slowest start to reading that I have ever had in a year – its the 18th of the month and I’ve only read 10 books (and that includes 2 audiobooks). I know that seems high for some people, but i’m normally rapidly approaching the 20 book mark by this point of the year. That being said, this past week has been a slight improvement over the first week in the year with several books finished (being sick has def. made it easier to relax and read, rather than doing a million other things in the evenings).

Last Week
dangerous womenMy big success of the week (if you want to call it that) was that I finished my designated “first book of the year.” The book, Dangerous Women, is a short story collection from a bunch of popular authors, all with the theme of dangerous women. Overall, the stories were ok, there were a couple that I really enjoyed, like Diana Gabaldon’s story Virgins (about Jamie and Ian pre-Outlander); as well as Jim Butcher’s installment (part of the Dresden Files series) and Lev Grossman’s. And unfortunately, with any anthology there were ones i just didn’t enjoy, specifically for me, it was George R. R. Martin’s – I’m probably one of the few people who hasn’t read his Game of Thrones series (although I have the entire collection on my kindle), but based on my lack of enjoyment for his short story, I’m honestly in no rush to pick it up.

Goodnight tweetheartThe theme of my reading with several books I finished this week was “left wanting more” – 2 of the books that I finished in the last couple of days (Shimmy for Me and Goodnight Tweetheart), I wanted them to be longer. The romances between the hero/heroine felt too short and not well developed; or in the other case, the story was progressing nicely and then it just ended and I was like WTH…so that was kind of frustrating for me. I know that at least one of the books is a popular book among my friends and for some a DIK (aka a Desert Island Keeper), but for me, it was a mere 3 stars – although it was 4 stars up until the very end when I felt the ending just killed the rest of the story.

Before I GoBut on the other side, I had a couple of strong/enjoyable reads this week, specifically, Before I Go and About a Dragon. Before I Go (Colleen Oakley) is the story of a woman in her late 20’s diagnosed with terminal cancer and her goal to find her husband, someone else before she died. I alternatly cried and laughed during her exploits. I’m looking forward to writing my review of it in the near future. About a Dragon is the second book in G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin series – this series is one where I had book 1 loitering on Mt TBR for several years before I actually read it at the end of last year and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

18Jan

Currently/Upcoming Reading
when it comes to reading this weekend, I’m like the little engine that could, just chugging along – I’ve been alternating reading, watching TV and the mandatory weekend errands (laundry, grocery shopping etc). But I’ve made good progress and am enjoying the books that I have going right now. I’ve gone back to an old favorite, who I haven’t read in a few years (Sandra Brown), as well as a couple of authors that I discovered in the past year (Pam Jenoff and Marina Adair). Here’s to a great reading week!

18Jan current

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

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Blogger New Year Challenge – Day 3

new year blogging challenge

Fourteen days. Fourteen posts. All focused on a fresh blogging start and getting you motivated for a new year. The Bloggers New Year Challenge is hosted by Patti, at Parajunkee View.

Day 3 – The negative things in blogger 2015 to avoid in 2016

In general, 2015 was a pretty low-down year for me – I pretty much stayed out of the blog-o-sphere when it came to drama. I didn’t get any negative blog posts about my reviews (like happened in 2013) and in general, it was a pretty chill year. Here’s hoping that 2016 will be the same way.

I think for me, my negative things from 2015 to avoid are more personal feelings about books I pick – for example, I often feel guilty when I review multiple books during the year by favorite authors – Its like, I feel I should review lesser known authors, and yet at the same time, they are favorite authors for a reason…so my goal for 2016 is to have less of those negative feelings about the books that I review on the blog.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Blogging Community

 

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Random Reads Rebooted (1)

Random Reads Rebooted

Random Reads was a blog feature that used to be hosted by the blog, I’m Loving Books, however, it is no longer active. Random Reads Rebooted is a reimaged version of this and I hope you will join me.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a bad habit of buying books and then forgetting about them…I’m like a squirrel storing away its nuts for winter, except I do it with books. Random Reads Rebooted is dedicated to finding (and reading) those books that have long been forgotten about it.

On the first Saturday of the month (or within that first week), randomly select a book that is on your bookshelves (it could be a virtual shelf like a Goodreads one, or a real shelf that you have someone randomly numbered). I recommend using random.org to help you pick that special or forgotten book. At the end of the month, come back and let us know what you thought about the book that you picked.

January Pick
Towards the end of 2015, I started actively cataloging all my various kindle ebooks to my goodreads account (let’s just say only about 15% had actually made it to my shelves prior to this)…so my random shelf for January is going to be my Amazon Books Purchased in 2014 shelf which currently has 173 books on it. Using random.org, my random number was 169 which lines up with Jazz Funeral by Julie Smith.

Jazz funeral

Everybody loved easygoing Hamson Brocato, producer of the successful New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but even so he ended up stabbed to death in his kitchen the night of his own JazzFest party. NOPD detective Skip Langdon, Smith’s spunky heroine last seen in New Orleans Mourning, gets a ready-made suspect list from the victim’s live-in lover, singing star Ti-Belle Thiebaud. Included are Ariel Bruge, Ham’s assistant, apparently a woman scorned; his father George, enmeshed with family members in a bitter disagreement over the family’s fast food (“Poor Boy’s Po’ Boys”) chain; and Patty, the stepmother Ham was cool about. Skip notes the list’s omissions: Ti-Belle herself (often heard arguing with Ham at the top of her powerful voice) and Melody, Ham’s teenaged half-sister who vanished the same day Ham died. Skip doesn’t miss much as she probes the victim’s tangled relationships, remaining all the while a consistently convincing character herself, grumbling about her boss and anxious about her long-distance significant other.

What about you – what is your random read for January going to be?

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Random Reads Rebooted

 

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