The Monday Check-In ~ 11/4/2019

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life. 

Intense.

Just like the week before.

‘Nuff said.

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

The Mermaid by Christina Henry: Absolutely loved it! My review is here.

I loved both of these contemporary romances! Perfect choices for a week when I wanted some light, escapist reading. My two-fer review is here.

Pop Culture:

LOVED the first episode of His Dark Materials on HBO! I’m so excited to finally see these amazing books getting a worthy adaptation.

Fresh Catch:

Another new book from Subterranean Press — this one is a collection of stories by Seanan McGuire. It looks amazing!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: I’ve never read anything by this author before. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I like how gory and disturbing it is so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: I haven’t had much listening time this week, so this book is draggggggging on for me. I like it, and the narration is great… it just feels like I’ve been listening to it FOREVER already. Should finish in the next couple of days, depending on how much driving I end up doing.

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: I haven’t touched this book in over a week, and I only have about 50 pages left. I’m not feeling very motivated to finish… but I’m not ready to declare it a DNF just yet either. Will soldier on… for now.
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/4/2019

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life. 

I won’t get into all the reasons why, but this past week has been highly stressful, and so I’ve been quite distracted — and it definitely had an impact on my reading, since my concentration was pretty shot. Here’s hoping there are better days ahead!

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

  • Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw (review)
  • Marilla of Green Gables (audiobook) by Sarah McCoy (review)

I also read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I started this book using the Serial Reader app, intending to read it in the nicely doled out daily installments… and then I just couldn’t stop reading! I ended up putting aside my other current reads over the weekend and read this one straight through to the end. What a story! The language is amazing, and it feels great to finally read the classic story that I’ve always heard about.

Pop Culture:

I started watching Modern Love on Amazon. I’ve only seen two of the eight episodes so far, but I really liked them!

Fresh Catch:

Three cheers for the arrival of this beautiful new book from Subterranean Press — a collection of Gail Carriger stories, including one new one about the infamous hedgehog encounter mentioned in Soulless. Can’t wait to read it!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Mermaid by Christina Henry: I haven’t had all that much uninterrupted time to focus on this book — but I really love what I’ve read up to now!

Now playing via audiobook:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: It’s probably 15 years or more since I first read this book, and since I want to read the prequel that came out last year, I decided a re-read was in order. I’d forgotten practically everything about the plot, so the audiobook feels like listening to a new story most of the time. Really fun.

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: Oops. I meant to finish this book by the end of October… and failed. The chapters correspond to the days of the month in October, and I think I stopped somewhere around the 26th or 27th. Need to finish!
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 10/28/2019

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life. 

On the down side, I was home sick most of this past week. Nothing major, just a nasty cold that left me feeling wrung out for days and days and days.

Of course, the bright side is that I read. A lot! Being home all day does have its perks.

 

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

So many books! Here’s what I read:

  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones (review)
  • Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman (review)
  • The Beautiful Cassandra by Jane Austen (review)
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (review)
  • One of Us by Craig DiLouie (review)
  • Broken Strings by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (review)
  • Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes (review)
  • Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern (fun graphic novel – not reviewed)

Pop Culture:

I watched all 8 episodes of the new Paul Rudd series Living With Yourself on Netflix. (The episodes are only 30 minutes each, so it was a quick and easy binge.) It’s funny and quirky, well-done, silly, and with some interesting messages and concepts underneath the surface comedy. Definitely recommended!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week. My credit card thanks me.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw: Just getting started — but good and spooky so far!

Now playing via audiobook:

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy: Because I was sick for so many days, with no long walks or driving back and forth to work, I did very little audiobook listening, so not much progress to report on this book. Looking forward to getting back into it!

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: I keep falling behind! The book has 31 chapters, nicely labeled by the date in October, and my goal was to read one chapter per day for the whole month. Oops. Still, I haven’t quite missed the target entirely — I’m going to try to catch up and finish by Halloween!
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: On impulse, I started yet another book via Serial Reader! As if I don’t already have enough to read… If I stick to the serial delivery schedule, I’ll finish by late November.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2019 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books On My Summer 2019 TBR.

I’m mixing some light reads with some dark and creepy stories, as well as a book group book and a book that’s been on my nightstand for over a year now. Plus, I’m finally planning to start a series that’s been on my TBR for far too long (The Glamourist Histories), and also plan to read a more recent book (a sequel to a book I loved) by the same author. Wheeeee! I love summer reading…

  1. Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4) by Gail Carriger
  2. In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant
  3. The Toll by Cherie Priest
  4. Circe by Madeline Miller
  5. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan
  6. Shades of Milk and Honey (The Glamourist Histories, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
  7. The Fated Stars (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal
  8. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  10. What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

What are you planning to read this summer? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

I’m so excited for all of these… as you could probably tell if you took a peek at my pre-order list. A lot of these books are sequels or parts of series, and that’s just fine with me. Here are my top ten anticipated books — see the list below for release dates.

  1. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (release date 8/6/2019)
  2. Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4) by Gail Carriger (release date 8/6/2019)
  3. Snow, Glass, Apple by Neil Gaiman (release date 8/20/2019)
  4. The Institute by Stephen King (release date 9/10/2019)
  5. The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale, #2) by Margaret Atwood (release date 9/10/2019)
  6. Wayward Son (Carry On, #2) by Rainbow Rowell (release date 9/24/2019)
  7. The Unkindest Tide (October Daye, #13) by Seanan McGuire (release date 9/3/2019)
  8. The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2) by Philip Pullman (release date 10/3/2019)
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (illustrated edition) by J. K. Rowling (release date 10/8/2019)
  10. Malorie (Bird Box, #2) by Josh Malerman (release date 12/3/2019)

Are you planning to read any of these? What books are you dying to read in the 2nd half of 2019? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List.

My TBR list grows pretty much every day… and here are the ten books I’ve added most recently:

1) Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

2) Golden State by Ben Winters

3) Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

4) The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke

5) The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

6) The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn

7) Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

8) The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

And two without covers yet — but they’re recently announced additions to beloved series, so HECK YEAH I want to read these:

9) No Fixed Line (Kate Shugak #22) by Dana Stabenow

10) Kopp Sisters on the March (Kopp Sisters #5) by Amy Stewart

Source: Amy Stewart’s website

What books have you recently added to your TBR list?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link so I can check out your list!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To.

I could easily come up with way more than 10… but I’ll stick to ten books I bought in 2018 but still haven’t read:

1) Becoming by Michele Obama

2) Someday by David Levithan

3) There There by Tommy Orange

4) A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs

5) The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

6) Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

7) Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow

8) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

9) Witchmark by C. L. Polk

10) The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

Have you read any of these? What books from 2018 do you still need to read?

Please share your thoughts… and if you have a TTT post, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019.

There are so many books on the way that have me jumping up and down in excitement! Here are the ten at the top of my list… three of which are by the same author. What can I say? I do love her books!

1) In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

2) That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptids, #8) by Seanan McGuire

3) Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

4) Inspection by Josh Malerman

5) Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

6) Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

7) Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

8) Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

9) The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

10) The Book of Flora by Meg Elison

What books are you dying to read in 2019? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: My top 10 bookish problems

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is about our top book-related problems.

I could probably just go with two:

1) Too many books.

2) Not enough time.

Beyond that, I don’t really tend to think of books as problems… but here are some of the things related to my reading habits that can get a bit annoying:

3) I’ve never managed to figure out how to make money from my bookish habits… which means I need a day job to support my reading. Sigh.

4) I think I’ve figured out that being a bookworm is not hereditary. My daughter is an avid, voracious reader. My son will only pick up a book if there’s some sort of threat or bribery involved.

5) I suck at short stories. Even when they’re by a favorite author, my attention wanders and all I can think about is how much longer it’ll take before I can go back to reading a novel.

6) I try to be tolerant, but I must admit that I’m occasionally a book snob. I’m guilty of making snarky comments about other people’s book tastes behind their backs. I’m trying to break myself of this obnoxious habit, though, since I firmly believe that ANY reading is better than NO reading.

7) No matter how many bookshelves I build, I never have enough. I’m constantly hunting for shelf space.

8) Even though I’m a big believer in supporting independent booksellers, the sad truth is that I still take advantage of low prices from online sellers when I’m buying new releases, and shop local mostly for used books and gift items.

9) One of the downsides of reading as much as I do (which is probably not at all unusual among book bloggers) is that the details don’t stick for very long. Ask me about a book I read last week? I can tell you all about it. Ask me about a book I read six months ago? Well… not so much.

10) I’ve gotten super stingy about lending books. I tend not to let my books out of my house anymore. I get really picky about the condition of my books, and I’ve had one too many loaned books come back with rips or stains, or even with corners chewed off by a friend’s cat. (A very cute kitty, so I couldn’t get too mad. She — my friend, not the cat — offered to replace the book, but I declined. Nice offer, though.) And I’m sure I’m not alone in lending out books and never getting them back. So, unless you’re among my select few trusted book people, don’t even ask!

Writing this post makes me realize that it’s about time for me to bring back my Bookish Confessions feature! I’ll have to work on a post or two in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile… I’d love to know what your book-related problems are. Do we have any in common? Please share your links!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten things I like or dislike when it comes to romances in books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is all about the LOOOOOVE. What works in a book romance? What sets our teeth on edge? I’m finding it a bit easier to come up with dislikes at the moment, but I’ll give it all a go:

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Starting with dislikes:

1) Love triangles: Been there, done that. I think we’ve seen enough.

2) Insta-love: I just can’t buy these mad, passionate, yours-for-eternity love stories where the characters have seen each other once and maybe exchanged five words. Love needs to build. I won’t believe it’s there just because the author said so. Show, don’t tell!

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3) Good girl saves the bad boy with her awesome superpower of LOVE. Redemption stories are so yesterday.

4) Rudeness as a sign that he’s really, really into you. If he’s name isn’t Darcy or Rhett, then I’m not buying it. Guys who are worthy treat their love interests with respect.

5) Perfection: Why do male romantic leads always have to have the perfect abs and faces and eyes and everything else? Can’t a love interest be less than gorgeous?

6) Money: Does Mr. Perfect always have to come with heaps of money? It would seem so, based on quite a bit of fiction.

Okay, turning to the positive…

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Likes:

1) A relationship between equals. Sass, snark, and witty banter are great, so long as it’s two-sided. I love reading about two strong and intelligent people who find a connection.

2) Slow burn. Maybe the attraction is there from the start, but the most convincing love stories in fiction are the ones where feelings build over time, until they just can’t be denied any more.

3) Standing together against a common enemy: If the whole book is just about the gooey-eyed faces they make at each other, it gets boring pretty quickly. I like a romance where the love gets a chance to sizzle, and then there’s some sort of harrowing adventure or danger that unites the couple and lets them fight side by side. (There’s a chance that I read too much urban fantasy. Sorry.)

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4) Interesting lives: For me to sustain interest in a fictional romance, the people involved also have to have something in their lives besides their relationship. I like reading about strong, smart people who do cool things and ALSO find love. Is that asking too much?

5) Love that lasts. Weddings aren’t the end of the love story; in the best of cases, it’s just the beginning. Oh look, I haven’t mentioned Outlander once in this post. So here goes: One of the things I love about the Outlander series is that Jamie and Claire remain in love, passionately and physically, throughout their lives together. Their love story isn’t only about getting together; what makes it beautiful is everything they go through to stay together and nurture their commitment and passion throughout their lives. *swoon*

Yes, I know that 6 + 5 = 11. I’d finished writing my top 10 list before I remembered #6 in the dislikes, and I couldn’t leave it out!

So what are your pet peeves about romances in fiction? And what do you really love about love stories?

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!