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?

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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!

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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

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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On The Night Table [50]


Good Morning, everyone.

This week’s On the Night Table are a couple of books that I knew next to nothing about. So here is the Goodreads synopsis for both books:

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

Who doesn’t want to visit the mystical, Ireland?


In the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a captivating mystery about a boy with synesthesia—a condition that causes him to see colors when he hears sounds—who tries to uncover what happened to his beautiful neighbor, and if he was ultimately responsible.

Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart lives in a world of dazzling color that no one else can see, least of all his dad. Words, numbers, days of the week, people’s voices—everything has its own unique shade. But recently Jasper has been haunted by a color he doesn’t like or understand: the color of murder.

Convinced he’s done something terrible to his new neighbor, Bee Larkham, Jasper revisits the events of the last few months to paint the story of their relationship from the very beginning. As he struggles to untangle the knot of untrustworthy memories and colors that will lead him to the truth, it seems that there’s someone else out there determined to stop him—at any cost.

Both a refreshing coming-of-age story and an intriguing mystery, The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder is a poignant and unforgettable read—perfect for fans of bestselling authors such as Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion.

Imagine having your senses so tuned to the colours of sound?

So have you read these? Let me know in the comments!

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On the Night Table [47]: Some Leftovers


The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius | The Rising by Bairbre Tóibín | Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | The Only Child by Andrew Pyper


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. The nice weather that I was looking forward to on Friday didn’t happen but we did have a warm Saturday at least. I was able to do a lot of indoor work so the backyard Spring cleaning was postponed until next weekend.

I did a lot of projects inside the house which included revamping my living room to make it cozier. If you remember, last year, I embraced the minimalist style of home decorating so I had very limited decorations and uniformly subdued colours. Lately, though, I’ve been finding that the beauty in the eclectic mixing of colours, patterns, and textures. One of these days, I might just have to show you what I did. I took great delight in unearthing a bunch of my old home decors packed in boxes in the basement. Oddly enough, they worked splendidly well with what I was trying to achieve. Anyway, enough about that. Let me give you an update of my reading week.

This week’s pile.

I have been trying to get to a couple of books on my pile this week since they’ve been on my night table for weeks now. Sadly, I have not been getting too many for review books as of late – which is all right, I guess. I have plenty enough to read. And I really want to get rid of these so I can tackle some Net Galley books that have been sitting in my Kindle for years.

Last week.

Well, I read quite a few books last week. I managed to read 5 – it was a long weekend, after all.

The Improbability of Love started out good but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately was so awesome. Easily one of my favourite reads this year! Geekerella was fun. Mister Moneybags was a hoot. Alter Egos was interesting but I ended up raging after everything is said and done.

That was my week. How was yours?

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