November Wrap Up

Helloooo, December!

Wow. Y’all, we’re in the homestretch of 2019 and I could not be more happy. I am more than ready to greet 2020 and embrace it for all its worth. Not that 2019 was less than a stellar year, but a new year means new set of goals to crush. November was an outstanding month, reading wise as I read a total of 42 books. Blogging-wise, however, was so-so. Work is just being terrible, so I haven’t been able to find a steady ground. I kept finding myself trying to keep up. Anway, this is going to be a bit of a slog of a post, but let me break it down for y’all:

  • What Makes Us by Raffi Mittlefelhdt 4/5 Stars
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie DNF
  • The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan 5/5 Stars
  • The Nightmark by Tiffany Reisz 3/5 Stars
  • The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede 5/5 Stars
  • The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan 4/5 Stars
  • Dirty Letters by P Ward & V Keeland 4/5 Stars
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta 5/5 Stars
  • Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta 5/5 Stars
  • A Lie for A Lie by Helena Hunting 4/5 Stars
  • Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith 4/5 Stars
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab 4/5 Stars
  • The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek 5/5 Stars
  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis 3/5 Stars
  • The Rainbow Comes and Goes 4/5 Stars
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 3/5 Stars
  • Beard Necessities by Penny Reid 5/5 Stars
  • The Institute by Stephen King 5/5 Stars
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi 4/5 Stars
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey 4/5 Stars
  • Tell The Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta 5/5 Stars
  • The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan 5/5 Stars
  • Well Met by Jen Deluca 4/5 Stars
  • A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Bridgid Kemmerer 4/5 Stars
  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky 5/5 Stars
  • Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker 4/5 Stars
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 5/5 Stars
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell 4/5 Stars
  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenagers 4/5 Stars
  • I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi 2/5 Stars
  • I Hear the Sunspots by Yuki Fumino 3/5 Stars
  • Worship by Ella James 4/5 Stars
  • Adore by Ella James 4/5 Stars
  • Heartstopper Volume 1 & 2 5/5 Stars
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman 4/5 Stars
  • Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid 4/5 Stars
  • The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 4/5 Stars
  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins 3/5 Stars
  • Permanent Record by Mary HK Choi 2/5 Stars
  • Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta 5/5 Stars

My fingers are cramping. Honestly, if I wasn’t so terrified of filming myself, this post would be less shorter and probably easier to do. Lol. Well, I don’t know about easier, as being in front of camera terrifies the living shit out of me. So yes, I read a lot. Honestly, even if I keep telling myself that I’m going to pump the breaks on reading, I seem to go full speed ahead regardless. Same is true for December. I said I’m going to slow it down, but as of this writing, I’ve already read two books. What’s a girl to do? Sigh.

Favourites of November: The Institute by Stephen King, Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, and The Day the World Came to Town by Jeff DeFede. If you noticed that I wrote Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil three times, you’re not seeing triple. I did re-read the book thrice and loved every second of it. I think it’s fast becoming my favourite Melina Marchetta novel to date. I’m still not able to write a review for it, though. Maybe I’ll add it to my goals for 2020.

So I’m not going to keep you any longer. This post is pretty long enough as it is. I hope your December will be packful of books, love and family.

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [59]

Happy Monday, everyone! And if you’re in Canada, I hope you’re having a solemn Remembrance Day. Selfishly, I took the opportunity to catch up on sleep, rearrange my bedroom bookshelves, and shelve some read books to gain some order in my life.

I started reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis last Saturday, and even if there’s nothing mind-blowing about her advice, it helped me gain some perspective about how I’m feeling lately. The root cause of my maudlin mood that has nothing to do with the weather, but with how I’ve been overwhelming myself with shit that don’t matter.

The first thing I did was deactivate my personal Facebook account. I’ll tell you how I feel when the week is through. The next thing I did was well, clean my bedroom even though my bedroom is pretty spartan to begin with, I still thought it could use a bit more organizing. My bedroom is my haven and where I do the most of my reading, so it has to be clean and organized all the time. I also cleaned my bookshelves in my bedroom to make room for the books that were sitting on the floor. I definitely need to do an unhauling one of these days, but I just don’t know where to start. Sigh.

Anyway, like I mentioned on my recent Hoarders post, I finally reached my all-time goal of 2,000 books. As well, my Goodreads goal for the year of 230 books. So this week, I decided to read the books I received for review — which isn’t much considering I’ve hold off requesting for most of the year:

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie | What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt | Well Met by Jen DeLuca

All these books are from Penguin Random House Canada. I also got The Toll by Neal Shusterman from Simon & Schuster in the mail last week but I haven’t read Thunderhead so I can’t read this yet. I’m re-reading Scythe so I can read Thunderhead.

I’m also endeavouring to read The Institute by Stephen King — only the second Stephen King novel in my arsenal. As well, Madame Bovary which is a classic lit about an unsatisfied married woman looking for romance in her otherwise lackluster marriage. I’ve always wanted to read it, so I thought since I now have the time, I might as well.

Please come back and check out my review of Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward on Thursday, the 14th. It’s my tour stop and y’all know I haven’t done too many of those as well. This is all for now, everyone. Thank you for being my sounding board. <3

Have a great week!

Continue Reading

Net Galley Catch Up

A couple of weeks ago, I logged in to my Net Galley account for the first time in months. I discovered that I am 14 books behind. I have read the books but I didn’t write a review for them to my horror. Especially since a couple of these books ended up being favourites.

This is why it’s important to write my thoughts as soon as I finish reading. Because chances are I will forget all the things about the book. So the conundrum now is that I have to either re-read the books or wing the reviews as they stand. So one of my goals this month is to catch up and send my feedbacks on the books that I’ve long read and finished.

NEGLECTED PILE

I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting | Rend by Roan Parrish | Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert | Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones | Five Feet Apart Rachael Lippincott, et al.
The Bachelor Contract by Rachel Van Dyken | The Final Score by Jaci Burton | Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton | Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert | Don’t Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets
New York, Acutally by Sarah Morgan | Wish You Were Mine by Tara Silvec | Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howard

I want to clean my Net Galley shelves before the end of the year, so that’s one of my recent goals. Aside from my 2k goal, that is. I feel like I only need to skim through these books to refresh my thoughts.

How about you? Are you up-to-date with your Net Galley requests?

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [56]

Let’s just say I wasn’t very successful in reading what I’d planned last week. I only managed to start The Order of Nature by Josh Scheinert. I tried reading the other two books but they didn’t stick. This week, I’m trying to finish a couple of books that I’ve started this past weekend, and a starter series from Jennifer L. Armentrout.

I’m halfway through The Order of Nature and Frankly In Love. I’m loving both even if we didn’t get off to a good start. The Darkest Star is the first book to JLA’s spin off of The Luxe series. While I didn’t finish that series, I wanted to see if I’m going to have a better luck with this one. Wish me luck.

So these are the books I’m endeavouring to read this week. Have you read them?

Happy Reading!

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [53]

Hey, all. How was your weekend? I didn’t get much reading done as weekends are usually crazy busy in my house. My husband works at night during the week so he typically naps all weekend long which means I have to do most of the household chores if I ever want to keep a clean house and have some clean laundry for the entire family. Lol.

Anyway, the last time I did one of these was November of last year – certainly been a while. This week, I have a 2016 release from David Arnold and a recent one from Sandra Brown. While Ms. Brown is a staple on my shelves, David Arnold’s work are a new taste. Can I just say that this was such a pain to write? WordPress is such a bitch to use nowadays. *facepalm* And I think I missed one WordPress update so now, I can’t download the newest one because I’m missing a component. Seriously considering switching to another platform if it weren’t such a pain and a half. Sigh.

So here are the synopsis:

FBI agent Drex Easton is relentlessly driven by a single goal: to outmaneuver the conman once known as Weston Graham. Over the past thirty years, Weston has assumed many names and countless disguises, enabling him to lure eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before they disappeared without a trace, their families left without answers and the authorities without clues. The only common trait among the victims: a new man in their life who also vanished, leaving behind no evidence of his existence . . . except for one signature custom.

Drex is convinced that these women have been murdered, and that the man he knows as Weston Graham is the sociopath responsible. But each time Drex gets close to catching him, Weston trades one persona for another and disappears again. Now, for the first time in their long game of cat and mouse, Drex has a suspect in sight.

Attractive and charming, Jasper Ford is recently married to a successful businesswoman many years his junior, Talia Shafer. Drex insinuates himself into their lives, posing as a new neighbor and setting up surveillance on their house. The closer he gets to the couple, the more convinced he becomes that Jasper is the clever, merciless predator he’s sought–and that his own attraction to Talia threatens to compromise his purpose and integrity.

This is Drex’s one chance to outfox his cunning nemesis before he murders again and eludes justice forever. But first he must determine if the desirable Talia is a heartless accomplice . . . or the next victim.

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

I really am sorry for the formatting of this post. I have to figure it all out somehow. I hope you’ll have a great week of reading and nice weather, y’all.

xoxo

Continue Reading

Life Lately.

We’re halfway through August already. Can you believe it? My kids are freaking out some because summer is drawing to a close. My eldest starts university and my boy will be in year 7 come September. Our summer has been uneventful. Aside from my daughter turning 18 and her graduation, we’ve pretty much become homebodies — all of us.

I have been plagued with injuries and illness all summer long so health and fitness suffered a great deal. I am, however, reading a lot. And when I can, writing reviews that I’ve yet to post.

I missed my 8-year anniversary on the blog back in August 6th, but that’s okay. I haven’t given up yet. Reading-wise, I’m determined to reach my goal of 2,000 books read all time this year. I’m currently 92 books away.

READING UPDATES

I’m currently reading this one. It’s a darkly comedic crime fiction featuring an 11-year old girl and her recently released from prison father on the run from an Aryan gang. I’m enjoying it so far.

This started out well, but it’s petering out to something lacklustre. I hope it improves but I’m running out of pages.

I hope you’re enjoying your week and your current read. 🙂

Continue Reading

Repeat After Me

It’s easy for us to get bogged down with things that don’t matter. In all honesty, I know it’s the reason why I had a tough time in 2018. Finding a balance between life, family, and self-care has always been a daunting task. The trick is to not only declutter our own spaces, but also our day to day activities. If you know what your priorities are, it will be easy to have a structure in your schedule. But this post isn’t about that.

This post is about the things that I need to remember so I can avoid having a repeat of 2018. I’ve been blogging since 2011, and every year I worry about the little things that deter me from enjoying my hobbies again. Things like book review deadlines, acquiring the latest hyped-up book, hauling books every week just so I can show everyone my recent acquisitions. And most of all, I got caught up with comparing my reads, my followers, my popularity with everybody else. Last year, it got to a point when I would go for weeks at a time without checking my blog. All because with every day that passed by without a post, the heavier I felt about it all. So I just ignored it all together.

Somehow, I lost sight of what it means to have an outlet for my thoughts, opinions, and emotions. I may know a few people who are just as crazy about books as I am, but they’re far and few in between. My blog, besides being an outlet for my opinions, is also a way for me to reach out to the world and connect. And even if my blog is tiny, somewhere out there, it will find a way to someone beyond the far reaches of my imagination.

  • My blog is a hobby.

It’s a place of creation; a place where my mind gives birth to something spontaneous, and even artistic. Ideas that are not forced. Ideas that come as naturally as breathing. It’s also a place where ideas can die but in a natural progression as in life. And that’s okay and perfectly acceptable. Above all else, it’s a hobby. One that I should enjoy and not treat as an obligation.

  • I cannot/will not apologize.

Sometimes, we get caught up in pleasing others or fitting in with the majority that we lose sight of who we are. It’s the same thing when we review books. Don’t apologize for your opinions. Don’t get into the habit of looking over your shoulders to see what everyone else is doing. YOU DO YOU.

  • R E S P E C T

Respect others as you would respect yourself. And the only way to do that is to be honest with yourself and your audience. Take pride in what you do but never ridicule others for their choices and opinions.

  • You are not in a race/competition.

Envy is a deadly sin. One that prevents us from enjoying what we love: reading. Forget about the bloggers that are getting ARCs and new books left, right and centre. Worry about the books that are left unattended on your shelves. Compete against yourself. Beat your previous goals. Challenge yourself to read books that you wouldn’t otherwise read. But don’t give in to pressure. Don’t let anybody else dictate what you should read.

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [52]


Hello!

On this week’s episode of On the Night Table, I thought I try to relieve some stress off my bedroom floor by picking books from my bedroom shelf.

I’ve pretty much neglected this shelf for a long time now, so I thought it was high time I pulled some books down to read from these stacks. As you can tell, these shelves are somewhat colour coordinated. So I just sort of picked one book from each colour. Lol.

Choices are a little random but that’s what usually happens when there’s no rhyme or reason to my shelving organization.

Have you read any of these?

Continue Reading

Read in October


Homestretch!

October certainly has been one of my most productive month this year as far as reading goes. I’m making good use of my Libby app, and because I haven’t been buying an Audible books, I’m storing up some good credits on my account. Aside from that, I’ve started using my Kindle again and have been requesting books from Net Galley. I still have a long ways away from putting a dent on my TBR but I’ve resolved to read until I go blind…or die – whichever comes first. Lol.

I read 28 books, which is perhaps, the most books I’ve read in a single month this year or ever. I read a few romance novels during the last few days of the month due to the discovery of Audible’s Romance Package. I’m so stoked to find some awesome books in there! Needless to say, I’m freaking all over the place this month.

  • Dangerous Minds, Knight & Moon, 2 by Janet Evanovich 2/5 stars
  • Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson 5/5 Stars
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 3/5 Stars
  • One Small Thing by Erin Watts 1/5 Stars
  • Parasite by Mira Grant 4/5 Stars
  • The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman 4/5 Stars
  • The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman 5/5 Stars
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 3/5 Stars
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green 4/5 Stars
  • Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell 4/5 Stars
  • The Husband Hour by Jaime Brenner 4/5 Stars
  • Better Not Pout by Annabeth Gilbert 4/5 Stars
  • Rend by Roan Parrish 4/5 Stars
  • Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones 5/5 Stars
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan 4/5 Stars
  • Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie 5/5 Stars
  • Fling Club by Tara Brown 1/5 Stars
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram 5/5 Stars
  • What If It’s Us by Albertalli & Silvera 3/5 Stars
  • Circe by Madeline Miller 4/5 Stars
  • The Wild Heir by Karina Halle 3/5 Stars
  • Youth in Revolt by CD Payne 4/5 Stars
  • Spinning Out by Lexi Ryan 3/5 Stars
  • Throb by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars
  • Pucked Love by Helena Hunting 4/5 Stars
  • Joy Ride by Lauren Blakely 4/5 Stars
  • Egomaniac by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars
  • Mister O by Vi Keeland 4/5 Stars

Picking a favourite read this month is tough. It’s a toss up between Joseph Anton, Once We Were Brothers, and my perennial favourite series by Darynda Jones. My most disappointing read was an Erin Watt contemporary offering (One Small Thing). This book just made me furious. The bullying antics of practically every single person sickened me. Ugh.

If I have to recommend a read this month besides my favourites, I say make sure you check out Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram and The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman. Fair warning, The Italian Teacher is not a romantic book so you should get that notion of your head right now. Still, it was an outstanding masterpiece that tells the story about a father’s influence – good or bad to his son from boyhood to adulthood.

This month, I also managed to binge watch a few shows on Netflix while accomplishing my great reading feat. I got through 4 seasons of X-Files before Netflix Canada pulled it (Netflix Canada sucks balls). Also four seasons of Buffy, a couple of World War II movies, and all nine seasons of The Office. I’ve been busy.

So let me know how your month went, lovely people. And I hope your Halloween night will be filled with treats not tricks.

Continue Reading

Discovering Authors and their Works


With the discovery of an audiobook lending app from my library, comes the fruitful task of managing to read some books from my TBR that are long overdue. But on the other side of that coin is the discovery of new authors to obsess about and consequently acquiring more books.

Admittedly, Salman Rushdie is a household name in the annals of widely-known literary geniuses whose work I’ve considered as an unattainable dream. I didn’t think his writing would gel with my pedestrian comprehension skills. But when I found The Golden House available for download, I snapped it up right away. I had very little expectations as to how much I would enjoy the book. I knew it was going to go over my head. To my surprise, it proved me wrong. Now, I’m scrambling to find some of his novels. I picked up his controversial, award-winning novel, The Satanic Verses right away.

Preston Norton isn’t new to the YA world. But his most recent work, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe, took my breath away. It was a beautifully written novel about grief, family, and friendship cultivated in an otherwise unwelcoming world. His book is easily one of my favourite reads this year and would be the diving board to plunging into his writing.

Ronald H. Balson’s Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart series is a true discovery. I could not stop reading/listening to the book. The first in a series about a lawyer and a private detective who became partners in a case about a World War II survivor set in exacting his revenge against a Nazi. My introduction to his work was breathtaking, heartbreaking, and simply beautiful. It had the air of making the reader feel wholly involved.

I love discovering authors and their work. It allows me to venture out of my reading comfort zone and examine how far I’d grown as a reader and as a person.

Have you discovered any good writing lately?

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6