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March Wrap-Up

And with a blink of the eye, the first quarter of the year is over. and I have to say this, holy shit, time is flying! This month seemed to speed by – of course, it helped that I was traveling for two weeks so I had nothing to really do but go to the class I was attending, workout and read – without all the distractions of home (although I missed my pup like mad) – see obligatory picture…this is her common pose while i’m laying on the couch reading (or working out in the basement). The end of March saw a most gorgeous weekend with temps in the 70’s – which meant I got to sit outside, get some Vitamin D and finish up the month with some solid reading. Overall for March, my total was 29 books – so right in line with what I read last month and in January (for a current total of 89 books for the year).

New Authors Discovered:
I kick off the month with two new to me authors – that I know I will definitely read more of in the future – my first experience with reading Sylvain Neuval came from his dystopian novella set in the UK where immigrants have to sit a test to determine if they are worthy enough to be granted citizenship. I followed very quickly with The Girls of 17 Swann Street (Yara Zgheib) – which was an emotional look into a residence facility for women with eating disorders. For me it provided a very stark reminder of how fragile life is and how eating habits can transition over time into an eating disorder – but how there is help available. I don’t know if the author had ever been in one of these treatment facilities – but she had an insight that seemed to be very realistic. Finally, while I was traveling, a book that I had on reserve on overdrive for like 2 months came available for me to listen to – so I also discovered Dani Shapiro – though her memoir, Inheritance.

Diversity Challenge
One of my favorite books of March was one that I found when I was scrolling through a list of new releases for March – which was also one of the new to me authors I discovered – The Girls of 17 Swann Street which helped me with my diversity challenge as it featured characters who suffer from a mental disorder (anorexia, as it has a heavy mental component). This was one of those books that I started reading Sunday morning and by that evening, I had finished. It was a can’t put down book for me and I know that I’ve recommended it to several people already. I also read Lion by Saroo Bierdley – this book was the basis of a movie that was released a few years ago where a young Indian man, who had gotten lost as a child was adopted by an Australian couple, finds his childhood home through the miracle of the internet and google maps. In addition to The Test (Sylvain Neuval) mentioned above, I also read two books where main characters who are the children of immigrants or members of another culture (in these instances, specifically Chinese with American Panda (Gloria Chao) and Indian with When Dimple Met Rishi (Sandhya Menon)). I’ll admit that 3 months in, I’m really enjoying this diversity challenge as its making me look more closely at the books i’m picking to read, because previously I was definitely stay within a relatively narrow scope of authors/genres.

Series Continued
March was pretty much a solid hit for series that I’m in the process of continuing. I finished up 2 books in a trilogy that I’d been waiting to finish for a couple of months; I also listened to do more additions in J.D Robb’s In Death series (the end is actually nearly in sight with listening to books 38/39 and currently 48 books in the series available! honestly I catn’t believe that the author still keeps me intrigued with all the different storylines!) My enjoyment of Lisa Kleypas and her historicals continued with the most recent in her Ravenel’s series – but the best part of the entire book for me was seeing Sebastian and Evie from The Devil in the Winter (which is like one of my favoritest historicals romances of all time).

Tackling the TBR
Of the 29 books I read this month, 8 of them were books that had been on my TBR/TBL pile since before January 2018 (because hey, I figure more than 15 months counts being lost on the TBR). The book that has been on the TBR pile the longest that I read this month was Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar – which I bought wayyyy back in 2008-09 (I think it was potentially one of the first books I bought for the kindle way back when. it always surprises me when I enjoy books that have loitered on my TBR for that long – especially authors like Pamela Morsi – who I have read books by before and always enjoyed (yeah, i’m kind of a doofus…lol).

When all was said and done, I think March was a fairly successful reading month and I can’t wait to see what April brings for me – especially since April features the first of the two Dewey Readathons for the year 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Month in Review

 

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February Wrap-Up

Ahhh, February – the shortest month of the year and the one that a) either feels like it is going to last forever or b) just flies by – you never know. Its also the month where it can be 60+ degrees somedays and on others snowing and storming. I know I don’t regret the snow day we had last week from work, or the fact that I had several days where we had a delayed work start (which is solid because I can get my workout in earlier in the day rather than in the evening). February saw me read (or listen) to 30 books – which is on the lower side of my normal reading (of course it doesn’t help that I have like 10 different books in progress…lol).

New Authors Discovered
February definitely was a GREAT month for discovering new authors – Of the 30 books that I read, 9 were by new to me authors, and at least 4 of them have been added to my read more in the future pile. I already have several books by Fredrik Bachman checked out from the library and on the pile for March and waiting (impatiently) for the next book by Helen Hoang. The Kiss Quotient (Helen Huong) gets the award for the most unique but likeable characters; and Saving Meghan (D.J. Palmer) for the most unlikeable characters (and yet I found myself completely sucked in). I also forsee a binge read of the J.A. Jance series that I started (Joanna Brady series)

Series Continued
I continued to dig into the multitude of series that I have in progress this month. I binged on books 2 and 3 in Kristi Belcamino’s Gabriella Giovanni series and then bought the remaining books in the series so that I could finish reading it in March. I also read the next installment in Rosalind James’ Escape from New Zealand series (I totally fall into the delayed gratification for this series, by trying to ration the books that have been released). I finished up Lauren Dane’s Ink and Chrome Trilogy (although I’ll flat out admit that it wasn’t my favorite book in the series) and jumped back into Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles (the third book def. suffered from that transition in series weakness – or at least I think so). I also continued with the next book in Lucy Lennox’s Made Marian series. JD Robb gave a solid installment to the In Death series with Thankless in Death (I finished up the last chapter of that on the first of the month) Finally, after discovering him in January, I buddy listening to the remaining 2 books in the Reckoner’s series by Branden Sanderson (although technically I finished up the last bit of the third book on the first day of March).

Diversity Challenge
February saw me read a book that hit both a neurodiverse character and by an author that identifies as such – I think of the 30 books that I read this month, The Kiss Quotient was in my top 3 favorites for the month. I loved Stella as a character and the romance between her and Michael had the right amount of sexual tension building throughout. I laughed out loud in several places, in particular, her lesson plans that she made for her sexual experiences. In addition, to the Kiss Quotient, I also rediscovered my enjoyment of m/m romances (specifically this month ones by Mary Calmes) and I’m part-way finished with Halsey Street (Naima Coster) which showed up on my kindle screen one night and caught my eye. I should have it finished in the next couple of days.

Tackling the TBR
Of all my various reading goals, this month my goal of tackling Mt To-Be-Read/Mt To-Be-Listened was the most successful. Of the 30 books that I read, 9 had been on my TBR pile for longer than three years and another 3 for longer than a year. I already mentioned it, but Thankless in Death was probably my favorite lost on Mt TBL that I got to this month (even though I did technically finish it up in March, over 90% of it was listened to in February). I also started Maya Banks KGI series (the first book has been on Mt TBR since 2012 and for some reason and I don’t remember buying them all, but I own books 1-8…I think I might have a TINY problem…) I also had to laugh when I requested a book from the library (The Winter Over) to discover that I had actually bought back in January 2017 (and I have now created a shelf on Goodreads called – “totally forgot I bought that” for those random finds).

My Top 3 Reads for February:
The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Beartown – Fredrik Bachman
From Lukov With Love – Mariana Zapata

What About You? How was your February Reading? Did you discover any new must-recommend authors?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2019 in Month in Review, Uncategorized

 

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January Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you guys, I’m still kind of in shock that its the last day of January – I mean, this first month of the year just flew by…it seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year (or in my case, sleeping through the new year after falling asleep during my Captain America binge). While its not as cold in DC as other parts of the country (my sister informed me that with the wind-chill it was -50 in her neck of the woods this week) – we are still suffering some of the “polar vortex” and I’m having visions of the blizzard from the movie, The Day After Tomorrow (which is a great watch if you have never seen).

And now onto the summary of my January reading and listening…overall, i’m going to call it a successful month with 24 books either read or listened to.

New Authors Discovered:
Brandon Sanderson – I finished up the month listening to the first book in Sanderson’s Reckoner’s series (YA dystopia set in what was one Chicago). It was so good that I’ve already requested the second book in the series and can’t wait to listen to it in February (yay for a road trip next week). I also FINALLY read Angie Thomas‘ The Hate U Give (yeah, I’m pretty sure i’m the last person in the country to read it), but it lived up to the hype (which is what I was afraid of and why I put off reading it as long as I did).

Series Continued:
This month saw me continuing several series that I had in progress – including the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs; The Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olsen and the Shadowlands series by Cherise Sinclair. I was kind of disappointed in the middle of the series Kate Daniels book (which was really all about her best friend Andrea) – I mean, she was ok as a secondary character in the series, but a full-novel just didn’t work for me, I think I like her even less as a character right now…which is disappointing since I love the rest of the Kate Daniels series.

Diversity Challenge:
One of my goals for 2019 is to read more books by diverse authors and with diverse characters (thanks Robin Covington for that awesome challenge!). I read several books this month that fit into the bounds of that challenge – specifically, The Poet X about the daughter of Dominican immigrants trying to find her place in the world, told through poetry; as well as The Hate U Give which fit both an author and character of color categories. I also added more books than I can count to my list of prospective books that will fit into the challenge.

Tackling the TBR
One of my others goals for this year is to start digging into my epic kindle archives for books to read (because I have like 5000+ at last count)…i’m giving myself a personal goal to read at least 5 books each month that I have had on the pile since before January 2017. I fell slightly shy of that goal this month, with 3 books complete and 1 still in progress. The oldest book off my shelf that I read was Silent in the Sanctuary, by Deanna Raybourn, that I added to Mt TBR in November 2011. The other two books I finished were purchased in 2014 (Gunmetal Magic – Ilona Andrews) and 2015 (Extreme Love – Abby Niles). But I’m not too worried, because right now I have at least 5 books slated into my February reading that will help me with this goal.

How was your reading month? Stop by and tell me what your favorite read was or how you are doing on your reading goals for the year!

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2019 in Month in Review

 

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A Month in Reading – March

“March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away.”
–  Thalassa Cruso

I found the above quote on a blog – and it took hits a head on how I’ve felt a majority of March. The weather seemed to go from warm (I think there were a few days where we hit 80 degrees) and then cold enough that I actually got a snow day from work (although snow by my house was more like slush…). It was hard to figure out what to wear to work each money – because without doubt, I would either freeze or fry on my way in. And I think this weather is part of what contributed to my reading funk. I just felt like everything I read this month (for the most part) was like a turtle slogging through molasses.

March Reading Stats:
Books Read: 15
– Fiction: 11
– Non-Fiction: 4
Audiobooks Listened to: 6.5 (one was about half listened to in Feb)
New to Me Authors: 7
In Progress Series Continued: 7
Re-Reads: 1 (or rather re-listens)

Shortest Book:
5My shortest book of the month came in as a “whooping” 51pgs when I decided to return to visit Knights Bridge in Christmas at Carriage Hill written by Carla Neggers. I also read 2 of the other books in this series during the month as I get caught up on it (mostly because I have the newest one in the series, fresh from the new release shelf at the library)

Longest Book:
My longest book (or rather audiobook) of the month was #12 in Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series at a legit 576pgs or 13hrs and 40min of listening! That being said, I definitely don’t recommend you do what I did and bounce around this series – because I was seriously lost with some of the background (I normally cringe about reading a series out of order, but this audiobook was an Audie nominee and I didn’t have time to go back and fill in the gaps with my listing)/

Books I was Looking Forward to in March (that I actually read!)
Of the three books I listed on my February summary post that I was looking forward to reading in March – I only actually got to one of them…but it was probably one of my more favorite reads of the month – there is a reason why Lisa Kleypas is a comfort read for me and Devil in Spring didn’t let me down. And I’m already trying to guess who I think the next couple in this series (if there is another book) might be…

Status of Armchair Audies Listening:
March brings to a close the first full month of my listening for the 2017 Armchair Audies (since the nominees were announced part-way through February). As of the end of March, I have listened to 5 of the 6 nominees in the Erotica category; 3 of 6 in the Young Adult category and haven’t even started the Paranormal category (although that is first on my list for April listening). Ok, actually I take that back – I started to listen to one of the paranormal books and kept getting distracted – so I need to try again (mostly because it was another late entry in a longer series and I haven’t read the previous books)…here’s to another solid month of listening in April!

Books I’m looking forward to in April
Razr – Larissa Ione (release date April 11) – an elf and an angel…that sold me the description right there – plus I loved all the previous books in the Demonica series, so a new addition is needed!
My Kind of You – Tracy Brogan – besides the epic cover love that I have for this book – Tracy’s characters are just so real and I love that many of her heroines are older than the ever popularly 20 year olds (and often divorced/widowed/have kids etc).
Blade Bound – Chloe Neill – i’m going to be sad to see the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series – Some Girls Bite (the first in the series) was one of the first reviews I ever posted on my blog wayyy back when. Its been a ride full of ups and downs but Ethan and Merit (or Methan) will always live on!

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2017 in Month in Review

 

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A Month in Reading – February

february

And with a blink of an eye, February is gone and March is here…I swear, it feels like I just got done writing my month in review for January and now I have to write another month…Kudos to Book Date for providing the inspiration for these month in review posts (and the great month graphics). February is typically one of my favorite months of the year because its normally that nice temperature between winter and spring…but apparently DC didn’t get that memo this year…seriously high 70’s for like a week and a half, followed by a tornado last weekend! Holy bi-polar weather batman.

On a reading/listening front, February is also a favorite month because its when the Audio Publishers Assocation (APA) announces their finalists for the Audies! Which means, its also the kick off for the Armchair Audies – an annual event hosted by Literate Housewife where listeners/bloggers listen to nominees in different categories and attempt to pick who they think the winner will be. I’m not going to regurgitate the process – but let’s just say, February has been a fun month so far with 4 of the books in my 3 categories completed (yeah, i’m a bit of an overachiever).

February Summary:
Books Read: 27
Audiobooks Listened: 5 (and 20hrs of another book)

storm-damagesMost annoying ending to a book:
Storm Damages – Magda Alexander – holy frickin cliff-hangers batman! Ugh, I should have done more research before reading this because then I would have known…and I didn’t enjoy it enough to warrant paying for the next book in the series 😦

Longest on Shelf
This was a race between two books that I read in February – both Sarah’s Key and The Sari Shop Widow were purchased in 2009. But ultimately, Sarah’s Key had been on Mt TBR the longest – with a purchase date of April 1, 2009 (for a grand total of 2864 days!)

allegience-of-honorSeries in Progress
Since I’m horrible about starting series and getting distracted – I’m trying to keep a running tally of series that I’ve had in progress and read installments of during the month. This month I got caught up on Cherise Sinclair’s Masters of the Shadowlands series with Mischief and the Masters. I also got caught up on Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling series with Allegiance of Honor (and even read a couple of the novellas in between the main books). I also went back and filled one of the gaps in Singh’s Guild Hunter series with Archangel’s Storm.

january-carlanMost Read Author
Both a new to me author and most read during the month was Audrey Carlan. After listening to the first book in her Calendar Girl series, January and then I continued the series read with the next 5 books in the series (and i’m part-way through #6 right now). They aren’t too substantial or require too much thought – but were the perfect brain candy for the other weekend when I was in a bit of a reading funk.

Books I’m looking forward to in March
Devil in Spring – Lisa Kleypas – ok, so I know I listed this one in February, but my copy of it just came in at the library – so I finally get to read it!
Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys – I’ve had this book on Mt TBR for a while – but added bonus was that it was nominated for an Audie – so now I have more incentive to listen to it. I loved her previous historical fiction that I read (Between Shades of Grey)
Silver Stars – Michael Grant – this is book 2 in a WW2 YA alternate history I read a few months ago where the twist on history is that women were required to sign up for the draft following a Supreme Court decision. I just picked this one up at the library the other day – and was uber excited to see that the dedication page was to the first two women to pass the US Army Ranger training (Capt. Kristen Geist and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver).

Here’s to a solid reading month in March!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Month in Review

 

A Month in Reading – January 2017

january

I always mean to do an end of month summary for my reading but to be honest, i’m never actually organized enough to get it done…so this is new for me – but its one of my blogging resolutions for 2017. I’m finding it hard to believe that it is the end of January already – I mean, this month flew by! On the non-blogging front – I started a new job (yay) – but have been extremely busy (boo!) which is reflected in both my reading and my blogging. But without further-ado, a look back on January.

Total Books Read in January: 18
Total Books Listened to in January: 7

crossing-heartsFirst Book of the Year:
Crossing Hearts – Kimberly Kincaid

simply-sexualLongest on TBR:
Simply Sexual – Kate Pearce – 2899 days!

scythe
Longest Book

Scythe – Neal Shusterman

dirty-like-usShortest Book
Dirty Like Us – Jaine Diamond

 

 

 

New Authors Discovered (that I will read again):
Chanel CleetonFly with Me – military contemporary romance
Lilia Moon – Fettered series – Yield, Reveal and Desire – erotic BDSM romance (on the introductory side)
Chris CampilloThen He Showed Up – contemporary romance

Books I’m looking forward to in February
The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman – Young Adult/Steampunk/Mystery
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight – Darynda Jones – Urban Fantasy
The Valiant – Lesley Livingston – Young Adult/Historical Fiction (umm, female gladiator – yes please!)
Devil in Spring – Lisa Kleypas – Historical Romance

Overall, I read less books this month than I typically do, but I had some solid reads and several new authors I can’t wait to read more by in the near future.

How about you – how was your January reading escapades?

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Meme, Month in Review

 

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