RENOVATING MY BLOGS…AND MY SHELVES…

Since I have started blogging again, hoping to find my mojo, I’ve been making some changes on my blogs.  Like headers or sidebar changes.  Today I resurrected this blog header, a reminder of my old place where I enjoyed celebrating my reading.

I’ve also added to my book collections, entering the new purchased and review books on the appropriate pages here.

On Potpourri, I did add a couple of the new ones…one purchase and one review book.

The Last Widow, by Karin Slaughter

New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Linton in this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming

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Then I got an e-mail offering a new NetGalley ARC that will be released on 1/28/20:

The Look-Alike, by Erica Spindler

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Girl and Justice for Sara comes a thrilling psychological drama about a woman who believes she escaped a brutal murder years ago—but does anyone else believe her?

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And now I am adding two more purchases:

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding, by Wendy Wax

A wedding dress passed down through generations unravels the tangled threads of three women’s lives in a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness from the USA Today bestselling author of Ten Beach Road.

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And a paperback version of a coveted book arrived in my mailbox:

Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans

Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never given up the fight and the young women who are just discovering it.

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What changes have you made on your blogs and/or you shelves?

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP

July sped by, and while I didn’t manage a lot of reading, I did read and review ten books.  Here is how things broke down:

 

FAVORITE:

GENRES:

Mysteries/Suspense Thrillers

     3

Contemporary/Historical Fiction

7

 

Click on the titles to read my reviews:

JULY 2019:

1.Because You’re Mine (e-book), by Rea Frey – (400 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 7/14/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

2.Better Sister, The (e-book), by Alafair Burke (336 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/3/19

3.Bookish Life of Nina Hill, The (e-book), by Abbi Waxman – (351 pages) – (contemporary fiction), 7/21/19

4.Escape Room, The (e-book), by Megan Goldin – (352 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 7/13/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

5.Friends We Keep, The (e-book), by Jane Green – (384 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/6/19

6.Keeping Lucy (e-book), by T. Greenwood – (304 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/11/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

7.Missing Years, The (e-book), by Lexie Elliott – (382 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/30/19

8.Perfect Wife, The (e-book), by J P Delaney – (432 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 7/9/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

9.Things You Save in a Fire (e-book), by Katherine Center – (320 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/24/19 – (NG-8/13/19)

10.We Are All Good People Here (e-book), by Susan Rebecca White – (304 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/17/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JULY 2019:    10

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JULY:  3565

BOOKS READ YTD:   67

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How did your month unfold?

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GOODBYE TO JUNE…

As July descends, it is a good time to look back at our June Reading.  I had several engaging books, but finally decided to pick this one for my favorite:

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Click on the titles to visit my reviews:

JUNE 2019:

1.After the End (e-book), by Clare Mackintosh (400 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/14/19 – (NG-6/25/19)

2.A Good Enough Mother (e-book), by Bev Thomas – (352 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/30/19

3.Before She Was Found (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf – (368 pages) – (thriller) – 6/24/19

4.Emily, Gone, by Bette Lee Crosby – (380 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/7/19 – (Author Review)

5.I’ll Never Tell (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie – (357 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 6/20/19

6.Little Beach Bungalow, by Joanne DeMaio – (320 pages)- (contemporary fiction) – 6/11/19 (Author Review Book)

7.Little Darlings (e-book), by Melanie Golding – (315 pages) – (suspense thriller, horror) – 6/17/19

8.Mrs. Everything (e-book), by Jennifer Weiner – (480 pages) – (historical fiction) – NG-6/11/19

9.Stone Mothers (e-book), by Erin Kelly- (356 pages) – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 6/22/19

10.Summer of ’69 (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand (433 pages) – (historic fiction) – 6/27/19

11.Those People (e-book), by Louise Candlisch – (370 pages)- (domestic thriller) – NG – 6/11/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JUNE 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JUNE:  4,131

BOOKS READ YTD:   57

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REVIEW: AFTER THE END, BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

 

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

 

My Thoughts: After the End is an emotional story that spotlights a family in crisis. Alternating between the perspectives of Pip, Max, and even Leila, the doctor in the middle of it all, we follow the before and after moments of Dylan’s life.

We are thrust into a legal battle, a media circus, and an emotional tug of war that heightens the intensity of the crisis and the family pain.

I couldn’t stop reading the story of Pip, Max, and Dylan, although the leaps on the timeline were a little confusing. We went back and then forward so often that I felt a little lost…until I decided to just flow with the events and immerse myself in the moments.

As the story came to its conclusion, I did feel connected to the characters and will not forget them. 4.5 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

MONTHLY WRAP-UP: WELCOME TO MAY!

Where did April go?  Great books kept me engaged throughout, however.  My top favorites:

 

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Genres:

     Mysteries/Thrillers:  9

     Contemporary/Historical Fiction: 1

     Literary Fiction:  1

 

Looks like I really immersed myself in thrillers/mysteries this month.  I still read only 11 books, though, just like last month.  Hmm, what’s that about?

Books Read and Reviewed – Click links for my review:

APRIL 2019:

1.All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Joy Fielding – (358 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/4/19

2.Before She Knew Him (e-book), by Peter Swanson – (320 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/6/19

3.Editor, The (e-book), by Steven Rowley – (300 pages) – (literary fiction) – 4/10/19

4.Girl He Used to Know, The (e-book), by Tracey Garvis Graves – (291 pages) – (contemporary/historical fiction) – 4/27/19

5.My Lovely Wife (e-book), by Samantha Downing – (378)- (domestic thriller) – 4/25/19

6.Never Tell (e-book), by Lisa Gardner – (414 pages) – (murder mystery) – 4/17/19

7.Night Visitors, The (e-book), by Carol Goodman – (320 pages) – (suspense) – 4/7/19

8.Perfect Girlfriend, The (e-book), by Karen Hamilton – (352 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 4/13/19

9.Someone Knows (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (387 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/29/19

10.Stillhouse Lake (e-book), by Rachel Caine – (302 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/19/19

11.Sunset Beach (e-book), by Mary Kay Andrews – (432 pages) – (suspense) – (NG-5/7/19)

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN APRIL 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN APRIL:  3,854

BOOKS READ YTD:   42

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What did your month look like?  Enjoy May!

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REVIEW: THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW, BY TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES

 

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game—and his heart—to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

My Thoughts: The Girl He Used to Know takes the reader back and forth in time, between 2001, when Annika and Jonathan serendipitously reconnected, to 1991 when they were in college.

Annika’s social anxiety and other issues seemed to trigger the protective, nurturing aspects in Jonathan. But were they destined to fail back then? Can they sort through the issues and do better this time?

As Annika and Jonathan alternately tell their story, we learn more about them and the events that separated them in the past. Moving forward, with the help of a therapist for Annika, we come to understand her struggles and how she has worked to overcome them, and how the two of them have grown and changed.

August 2001 was a significant time period for them to reconnect, as something traumatic loomed on the horizon for them that would require all of their strength to overcome. An emotional ending kept me turning pages as I could not help but root for the two of them. 4.5 stars.

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BURIED IN BOOKS: A JOURNEY

I now have THIRTEEN unread NetGalley ARCs…most of which have tumbled down onto my shelves in recent weeks.

Three of them came in 2018…but their release dates are in August (along with three others that arrived this year).

FOUR are releasing in June, so they will be up next.

After I read the August books, I’ll tackle the two releasing in September and one in October.  But I’ m sure there will be more!  I’m loving them, but I am also a little nervous about how they are showing up at unexpected times.

I used to get only books I requested.  I had some control that way.  But surprise offerings are delightful, too, and it feels good to be selected.  Yes, that’s what I feel when I first see a new one already approved in my inbox.  Sigh.

I enter each book on my review pages here, and then add the links once I’ve read and reviewed them.  I also have a trusty little notebook, but I have had to redo it when the new additions fill up the page.

If I had all of these books in a pile instead of on my Kindle, they might look like this…sort of:

That image reminds me of how my book stacks looked when I started this blog.  I had boxes of unread books when I moved (see below), and decided creating a blog to address the issue was a great idea.  All these years later, I don’t regret that action…since it worked.  But I keep adding to my TBR.  The books I receive for review now are mostly e-books.

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How do you manage your unread books?  Do you curtail the number of review books that come your way?

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BOOKS PURCHASED IN 2019…AND THOSE READ

Check out the titles I added this year, so far; and then see the links to my reviews of the 2019 purchases read.  Not bad.

 

JANUARY 2019:

1.A Simple Favor (e-book), by Darcey Bell

2.Becoming Mrs. Lewis (e-book), by Patti Callahan

3.Best of Us, The (e-book), by Robyn Carr

4.Come Find Me (e-book), by Megan Miranda

5.Her One Mistake (e-book), by Heidi Perks

6.Late in the Day (e-book), by Tessa Hadley

7.Liar’s Room, The (e-book), by Simon Lelic

8.Red Address Book, The (e-book), by Sofia Lundberg

9.She Lies in Wait (e-book), by Gytha Lodge

10.Suspect, The (e-book), by Fiona Barton

11.Untouchable (e-book), by Jayne Ann Krentz

12.Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton

13.Woman Inside, The (e-book), by E. G. ScottDNF

14.Woman Who Kept Everything, The (e-book), by Jane Gilley

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FEBRUARY 2019:

1.Don’t Wake Up (e-book), by Liz Lawler

2. I Invited Her In (e-book), by Adele Parks

3.I Owe You One (e-book), by Sophie Kinsella

4.Never Tell (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

5.Next To Die, The (e-book), by Sophie Hannah

6.Silent Patient, The (e-book), by Alex Michaelides

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MARCH 2019:

1.All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Joy Fielding

2.Back Stabbers (e-book), by Julie Mulhern

3,Before She Knew Him (e-book), by Peter Swanson

4.California Girls (e-book), by Susan Mallery

5.Liar’s Child, The (e-book), by Carla Buckley

6.Library of Lost and Found, The (e-book), by Phaedra Patrick

7.Maid (e-book), by Stephanie Land

8. Night Visitors, The (e-book), by Carol Goodman

9.Perfect Girlfriend, The (e-book), by Karen Hamilton

10.Things We Cannot Say, The (e-book), by Kelly Rimmer

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APRIL 2019:

1.Editor, The (e-book), by Steven Rowley

2.Girl He Used to Know, The (e-book), by Tracey Garvis Graves

3.My Lovely Wife (e-book), by Samantha Downing

4.Someone Knows (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

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REVIEW: THE NIGHT VISITORS, BY CAROL GOODMAN

 

ALICE gets off a bus in the middle of a snowstorm in Delphi, NY. She is fleeing an abusive relationship and desperate to protect…

OREN, ten years old, a major Star Wars fan and wise beyond his years. Though Alice is wary, Oren bonds nearly instantly with…

MATTIE, a social worker in her fifties who lives in an enormous run-down house in the middle of the woods. Mattie lives alone and is always available, and so she is the person the hotline always calls when they need a late-night pickup. And although according to protocol Mattie should take Alice and Oren to a local shelter, instead she brings them home for the night. She has plenty of room, she says. What she doesn’t say is that Oren reminds her of her little brother, who died thirty years ago at the age of ten.

But Mattie isn’t the only one withholding elements of the truth. Alice is keeping her own secrets. And as the snowstorm worsens around them, each woman’s past will prove itself unburied, stirring up threats both within and without.

My Thoughts: I was immediately swept up into the drama of The Night Visitors as Alice and Oren get off the bus and are pulled into the unknown life ahead of them. Fleeing abuse, but not sure who they can trust, Alice braces herself against the challenges ahead.

Alice and Mattie’s stories are told in alternating narratives, and we learn more about their lives and their experiences as their stories unfold.

I could relate to Mattie, having had a career in social work. Her own family life was full of secrets and dark judgments, so I could empathize with how she had struggled.

Alice’s secrets brought darkness into their new lives, and because she wasn’t sure if she could trust Mattie, she almost lost the opportunity to accept the good offered to her.

Mysteries seemed to lurk in the old Victorian house where Mattie offers refuge, and I liked the “ghostly elements” in the story. In the end, I was happy that many of the issues were resolved for the characters. 4.5 stars.

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HELLO, APRIL: MONTHLY WRAP-UP

Another month bites the dust!  Tomorrow is the April First, and I’m not foolin’,  Yeah, that was silly.  March brought some good books, so let’s take a peek.  First are my two favorites…I couldn’t choose just one.

Genres:

     Mysteries/Thrillers – 5

     Contemporary Fiction – 5

     Literary Fiction – 1

 

 

Here are the books.  Click my titles to see my reviews.

MARCH 2019:

1.Ash Family, The (e-book), by Molly Dektar – (352 pages) – (literary fiction) – 3/30/19 – (NetGalley – 4/9/19)

2.Back Stabbers (e-book, #8), by Julie Mulhern – (244 pages) – (murder mystery) – 3/31/19

3.Her One Mistake (e-book), by Heidi Perks- (304 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 3/22/19

4.I Invited Her In (e-book), by Adele Parks – (432 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/25/19

5.In the Blink of an Eye (e-book), by Jesse Blackadder – (384 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/9/19 – (NetGalley – 3/19/19)

6.I Owe You One (e-book), by Sophie Kinsella – (432 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/18/19

7.Liar’s Child, The (e-book), by Carla Buckley – (288 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/21/19

8.Me For You (e-book), by Lolly Winston – (304 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3-6-19 – (NG- 3/19/19)

9.Next To Die, The (e-book), by Sophie Hannah – (398 pages) – (mystery) – 3/14/19

10.Night Beach, by Joanne DeMaio – (260 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/16/19 – (Author Review Request)

11.Silent Patient, The (e-book), by Alex Michaelides – (323 pages) – (psychological thriller) – 3/1/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN  MARCH 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN MARCH: 3,721

BOOKS READ YTD:   31

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