Friday 56 #52: Wonder Valley

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

 

This is a bit gruesome, I’ll admit.

This came in a book box in November and I’ve not yet read it.  But in spite of this rather gross section, I am interested. Have you read it? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know in the comments below what you think about this book, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56, too.

This is my first Friday 56 in a couple of months and I’m looking forward to posting and visiting blogs every Friday. Happy Reading!

#PageHabit #Quarterlyboxes #bookmail

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2017 Wrap-Up

It’s the beginning of 2018, so it’s time to look back at my reading/blogging life for 2017. For this wrap-up I’m using a template from this blog. I adapted it a wee bit for my own needs. In 2017  I made a deep dive into romance novels for many reasons that still aren’t clear to me, if that makes any sense. I think because of the political climate I needed to read something comforting which also gave me happy endings in year where happy endings in real life were few. And that’s what romances are: fairy tales in which a woman gets exactly what she wants at the end. And, yes, in romances that means she gets the love of a rich duke (dukes seem to be a favorite in the historical romances right now). In the coming year I plan on reading fewer romances and get back to my teetering TBR pile, and writing more QBR reviews for my blog.

2017 Reading Stats:

Number of Books I Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 13!
Genre You Read the Most from: Historical Romance

Best in Books:

Best Book You Read In 2017?

Best overall book is Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

Best romance novel: The Shadow Duke by Meredith Duran

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Most surprising (in a way good way or bad) book you read?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Best series you started in 2017? series I started in 2017: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman & Just One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor

Best Sequel of 2017? I started reading the Neapolitan Series last year and The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante is just wonderful.

Best Series Ender of 2017? Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2017? It’s a toss-up between Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran (Yes. They are both romance authors. And they are awesome!)

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Lips Touch: Three Times by Lani Taylor [YA books]

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Most memorable character of 2017?

Irene from The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“The weight of what has been lost is always heavier than what remains.”
― Brit Bennett, The Mothers

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017? The shortest, at 45 pages, is Claiming the Duchess by Sherry Thomas. The longest, at 870 pages, is Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year. After reading so many romances of the year this is hard. Nadia and Aubrey of The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From an Author You’ve Read Previously

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Best World building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Book That Put a Smile on Your Face/Was the Most FUN to Read?

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman AND Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Most Unique Book I Read In 2017?

S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Book that made you The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (If I hadn’t been reading a Kindle, I would’ve chucked this book at the wall when I finished it.)

My Blogging/Bookish Life:

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

The Girl of 1000 Wonders

Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

It was such a weird Manson themed year. The Girls by Emma Cline.

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog

My First Library

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I love Read-a-thons. April 2017 & October 2017.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

And by popular I mean most viewed/visited:

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

This one.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

This was not a great year for completing challenges and goals I set for myself. I failed almost all of them!

Goodreads: 144/75

Book Riot Read Harder 2017: I didn’t complete this challenge. I only read 7 books that would meet the task requirements for this challenge.

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: I only read 15 of my own damn books.

#DiverseAuthors: I only read 7 books that fit this challenge.

 

Looking Ahead:

One Book You Didn’t Get to In 2017 but Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

I want to post more book reviews and bookish posts in the coming year. Wish me luck! Here are my Reading Challenge Plans:

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: Read as many of books on my teetering TBR pile as possible

GoodReads: read 75 books

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2018

December 2017 Wrap-Up

December Stats:

Total Books Read: 21

Number of Pages: 6,339

Written by Men: 0

Written by Women: 21

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 21

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 21

Library Books: 14

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 2

DNF:

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads:   144/75 (I’ve met my goal for the year.)

BookRiot Read Harder 2017: 0

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks:  0

Favorite Book:

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran    (This is one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read.)

Books Purchased/#BookHaul!: 6

I went crazy buying Kindle books this month.

My Bookish Posts: 0

My Quickie Book Reviews: 0

Across the Blogosphere:

Across the Web:

A link to Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018

A link to Pop Sugar’s Reading Challenge 2018.

My year in reading according to GoodReads.

My year in reading in 2016 according to GoodReads.    

How was your reading and blogging in December? Did you read and blog more or less this month?  Be sure to let me know in the comments below. Happy Reading!

November 2017 Wrap-Up

November Stats:

Total Books Read: 15

Number of Pages: 5,407

Written by Men: 0

Written by Women: 13

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 13

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 15

Library Books: 12

Audio books: 0

Rereads:

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads:  123/75 (I’ve met my goal for the year.)

BookRiot Read Harder 2017: 0

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 0

Favorite Book: Duchess in Love by Eloisa James

Books Purchased/#BookHaul:

 

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

Quarterly Literary Book Box: Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda,

Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen,

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

 

 

My Quickie Book Reviews:

 

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

 

 

Across the Blogosphere:

I do love a sexy poem read to me by a sexy man. Sigh.

That’s my reading month. How was yours? Let me know in the comments below.

QBR: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Quickie Book Review

Author: Amanda Quick {AKA Jayne Ann Krentz}

Published: May 2017, Berkley eBook

Length: 368 pages

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Source: Public Library

My rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Synopsis:

**When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

What I liked:  I loved the setting. The majority of the novel takes place at resort frequented by 1930’s Hollywood. And the main character is a gossip reporter. 1930’s Hollywood is my catnip. There just aren’t enough historical romances that are set in this time frame.

What I didn’t:  The title. This is such an obvious attempt to get fans of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train (both twisty thrillers) to pick up this book. Which is fine, I guess. And lately every book has Girl in the title if it is a thriller. Except this book isn’t what it implies in the title. It’s not a twisty thriller. At all. Also, not enough focus on the romance story line. I’m not sure I ever really felt the connection between Irene and Oliver.

Would I recommend to other readers:   I’m guessing that Quick intends this to be the first in a series of mystery/crime solving romantic duo similar to her Vanza series. In fact, I’ll bet this book becomes a part of that series or the Arcane Society series. So, if you are fan of either of those series, you will probably like and enjoy this book. But if you are looking for a twisty, turning thriller you may be disappointed.

I wanted  to love this book. I really did. But. Sigh.  It’s more of a reminder of why I quit reading Amanda Quick novels about ten years ago. I was a huge fan of the Regency romances she wrote under this nom de plume, but when she started the different series, I lost interest in her books. And now I want to go back and reread a few of the Regencies to see if they hold up 20+ years later.

Have you read any of Amanda Quick’s novels including this one? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading!

**edited to add synopsis.

Friday 56: #51

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

I put this book on my library’s recommend list where it has languished for almost a year. So, rather than wait, I found it in a used bookstore and bought it. I love the cover of this book. It’s so pretty.

Have any of you read this? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below , and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56, too.

October 2017 Wrap-Up

October Stats:

Total Books Read: 16

Number of pages: 5,157

Written by Men: 1

Written by Women: 15

Diverse Authors: 1 (Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas)

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 16

Paperback: 2

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 14

Library books: 14

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 2

DNF:

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, Ph.D

I’m still waiting for these two books to become re-available at the library.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads: 108/75 (I met my goal for the year.)

BookRiot Read Harder 2017: 0

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks:  0

Favorite Book: Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Books Purchased/#BookHaul!:

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

The Curl Revolution by Michelle Breyer

 

 

 

My Bookish Posts:

Morning Pages

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2017

Dewy’s Readathon Updates

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

Across the Web:

I think this essay is an interesting read: The Hidden Horror Inside Jane Austen’s Novels of Love by Mikaella Clements

So that was my reading life in October. How was your October? Let me know in the commments below. Happy reading in November, y’all!