Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ I Resolve

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, created by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is bookish resolutions or goals. I’m stepping away from a lot of challenges this year {though I am still doing the Goodreads Challenge}, but I do have several things that I want to focus on this year whether they be reading related, blog related, or just personal…

Goodreads Challenge goal: 150 books
My highest total so far was 2017 and it was 134, so I know this is going to be a bit of a stretch, but I should have more time to really focus on reading this year, so that should help.

Read Every Day
I want to spend at least an hour reading each day. This shouldn’t be an issue, I just need to choose books that interest me and make sure to devote the time I need to reading.

Read Books I Own
I have so many books that I haven’t read, but I keep buying more {or checking them out from the library}. This year I want to get through 75-100 of the books I currently have on my owned TBR list {whether physical or digital}.

Limit Book Buying
I haven’t finalized my budget yet, but I am putting myself on a budget for buying books. Otherwise I go crazy every time I walk into a book store or stop by the Book Depository or Book Outlet sites. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do a monthly or yearly budget, but I’m leaning towards monthly.

Join a Book Club
This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for years and I think now may finally be the time to do it. I belong to 2 different library systems and have access to 2 more, so there has to be a group at one of them that will work for me!

Continue to Blog Ahead
Schedule all blog posts out as far as possible; currently I am working on 2 weeks out, but can schedule memes and discussion posts further out if needed. When I can do bulk blogging on certain memes in advance, it helps me when I’m time crunched in different areas and only have my weekly update to focus on.

Share More Personal Posts
I do a lot of memes and just recently started writing more discussion posts. I’ve been very focused on the bookish part of my life, but I want to share more of the other parts of my life as well. I plan to share things like my apartment tour, a day in the life, and my Hobby Lobby addiction as the year progresses.

Develop a Bookstagram Presence
I am so late to this party! I’ve dabbled a bit with bookstagram over the last year, but this year I really want to do more with it. Now that I have a selection of great photo props {see Hobby Lobby addiction above} and all of my books… not to mention a place to actually take photos… I really want to feature a few {or several} posts each week.

Be Active Every Day
Living in the Pacific Northwest, there are so many amazing places to hike and a variety of activities to do to be active. I have a habit of bundling up and hiding out indoor when the weather turns cold like it has been, but I will be finding ways to remain active every day. And it doesn’t hurt to have access to my weight bench and all of my fitness gadgets again… not to mention a fitness center at my apartment complex.

Focus on the Positive
The more negative input from the world I receive, the more my anxiety increases. This is the main reason I basically quit all social media last year. I am slowly allowing social media back into my life in small doses, but I need to focus on the positive messages that are out there in the world and move away from the negativity. This also pertains to work and home life as well… there are two ways to look at any issue, and I need to find the positive view.

What are your goals or resolutions this year?

TBR

Down the TBR Hole #30

In mid-2017 I was inspired by a post on Bursting with Books to start tackling my TBR shelf on Goodreads and see if these were books I still wanted to read. The title and premise come from Lost in a Love Story. I eliminated quite a few books, but still have a massive TBR of over 2500 books. This year I’ll be tackling 10 books per week to determine if I am still interested and want to keep them, or if I’m ready to remove them from the list.

How does it work?

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

This week’s selections:

The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken

The Scent of Water by Naomi Zacharias
Nonfiction; Religion
Added April 22, 2012

Follow Naomi as she talks to women working in brothels in Mumbai; survivors of an Indonesian tsunami in which more than 160,000 lives were lost; a young girl waiting on an operation to save her life; and victims of domestic violence horrifically burned by fire. Be still with her when she realizes the pain she feels in the face of these extreme injustices reveals a common struggle that exists within all of humanity. And rise with her as she wrestles with confusion over her identity, comes face to face with redemption, and then begins to understand her own story and to find her calling.

The Scent of Water will open your eyes to the complexities of the world, showing you pain can also be beauty, and how each are found in the unlikeliest of places. Zacharias doesn’t have all the answers. But she has hope and encouragement that will empower you to find and begin the adventure of your life.

Verdict: Remove

The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation

The Bliss Experiment by Sean Meshorer
Nonfiction; Spirituality; Self Help
Added April 22, 2012

HAPPINESS IS GOOD. BLISS IS BETTER.

We have a higher standard of living and more ways to instantaneously fulfill every desire than ever before. Then why are we unhappy? Because happiness isn’t what we really want. Happiness alone is fleeting and not deeply transformative. Bliss is a spiritual state where happiness, profound meaning, and enduring truth converge. With bliss comes an unshakable joy, a practical wisdom, and a lasting solution to our personal and planetary sufferings.

Based on a successful seminar taught by Sean Meshorer, a leading spiritual teacher and New Thought minister, The Bliss Experiment contains dozens of stories of real people learning from everyday situations, backed by more than five hundred scientific studies. This is the one essential book that distills and unifies seemingly competing practices, philosophies, religions, and psychologies. Meshorer includes exercises that have worked time and again for people from all walks of life—including him. Meshorer suffers with severe chronic pain and is able to live his life to the fullest through the practices he shares here.

Bliss helps with stress, anxiety, and depression. It makes people more successful, better able to see and seize opportunities, and build or improve relationships. Give these ideas and practices twenty-eight days of dedicated attention and you will see results. You only need a moment of bliss to benefit the rest of your life.

Verdict: Remove

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events--the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
Nonfiction; Memoir
Added April 22, 2012

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is a warm, wise, and wholly original memoir of survival, renewal, and transformation, by one of New York City’s most successful and respected special events coordinators.

With her top-level events company, Save the Date, Jennifer Gilbert has worked with Fortune 500 companies, broadcast media giants, international nonprofit organizations, and celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates and beyond. Yet few of her clients or colleagues have known, until now, that Jennifer not only a self-made success: she’s also a survivor. After a random, near-fatal attack left her body in critical condition on a crowded city street, and left her with emotional wounds that would take years to heal, Jennifer embarked upon a journey to reclaim her life.

This is her story, in her own words: I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag, an intimate, poignant, inspiring memoir of perseverance, rediscovery, and hope.

Verdict: Keep

The Summer of Living Dangerously

The Summer of Living Dangerously by Julie Cohen
Fiction; Chick Lit
Added April 22, 2012

Alice Woodstock has her life under control. She’s successful and she’s happy – as long as she continues to ignore the hurt from her past. But when said past walks back into her life in the shape of Leo – the man she married too young, ran away to Paris with and who ultimately broke her heart – Alice is desperate for an escape route. She finds the perfect thing – a new job as a tour guide in a Regency stately home. But as she immerses herself in acting out the stories of the house, Alice begins to see parallels with her own life, forcing her to confront her feelings about what she wants and, finally, live in the real world.

Verdict: Remove

True Love Way

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano
Fiction; Chick Lit
Added April 22, 2012

Marlo Spencer relishes all things retro. Old TV shows, classic movies, and even the collectible lunch boxes to go with them. In fact, she’s quite cozy in her Malibu apartment, surrounded by her treasured knick-knacks and vintage memorabilia. It’s her best friend, Nik, who doesn’t get her fascination with all that “old junk,” as he calls it. He especially doesn’t understand why she’s so keen to get back to their hometown of Napa when her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris and nary a single phone call, eager to reunite with her. So, when Marlo heads up north to wine country to rekindle her relationship with Josh, Nik tags along, claiming he was already planning to visit his sister, Savannah, Marlo’s gal pal. Once they reach Napa, however, dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and past betrayals are revealed, leaving an unsuspecting Marlo to pick up the pieces. Can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?

Verdict: Remove

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher
Fiction; Chick Lit; Romance
Added May 7, 2012

Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II.

There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too?

Verdict: Remove

Logan (Montana Creeds, #1)

Logan by Linda Lael Miller
Fiction; Romance
Added May 7, 2012

Descendants of the legendary McKettrick family, the Creeds are renowned in Stillwater Springs, Montana–for raising hell…After years of wandering, Logan Creed, a cowboy with a dusty law degree, has returned home. To put down roots, to restore his family’s neglected ranch…to have kids of his own proudly bearing the Creed name.

Divorced mom Briana Grant has heard the stories about her gorgeous neighbor. So Logan’s kindness with her young boys is a welcome surprise, especially when her ex reappears. And when an unknown enemy vandalizes her home, Logan shows Briana–and the folks of Big Sky country–just what he’s made of.

Verdict: Remove

Mackenzie's Mountain (Mackenzie Family, #1)

Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard
Fiction; Romance
Added May 7, 2012

A small Wyoming town is about to learn a few lessons from a new schoolteacher with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore he had nothing to give….

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. But she is a good teacher and she wants Wolf Mackenzie’s son back in school. And after one heated confrontation with the boy s father, she knows father and son have changed her life forever.

Still paying for a crime he didn’t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But prim-and-proper Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn’t see Wolf as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. Somehow she sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man who could love…

Wolf’s not sure he or the town of Ruth, Wyoming is ready for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.

Verdict: Remove

Heartbreaker (Buchanan-Renard, #1)

Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
Fiction; Romantic Suspense
Added May 7, 2012

In the still shadows of the confessional, a madman tauntingly reveals his plan for a murder he is going to commit, pulling Father Thomas Madden into a twisted game by disclosing his next intended victim: Tom’s sister, Laurant. In a frantic race to protect her, Tom calls upon his best friend, elite FBI agent Nick Buchanan, to track the predator who is closing in on Laurant. Now, as an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger — and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters.

Verdict: Remove

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Fiction; Contemporary; Animals
Added May 7, 2012

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

Verdict: Keep

This week’s stats: Keep 2; Remove 8

2018 stats: Keep 9; Remove 21

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Monday Update, Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post

My Week in Review 2018 #2

This is my week in review, where I update you on my life~ reading, blogging and general. I will also be linking up with some amazing blogs.

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Life Happenings:

This week has been a struggle. And that just pretty much sums everything up. It hasn’t been bad, just really stressful and exhausting and I think my brain is just too full right now and needs a break. I have been so focused on taking care of things at work and trying to unpack everything at the apartment that I’ve forgotten to take care of myself. This is a huge no-no for me, because it’s partly through self-care that I manage my depression and anxiety. Thankfully I caught it early, I think, so I can adjust and get back on track where I need to be.

That being said, reading did not happen this week… so I am already way behind for the year, but I think I can catch up as soon as I get this apartment done. At this point I think I’d settle for one completed room! The bathroom and kitchen are really close to done, but I need to purchase things to finish both of them. The bedroom is about half-way, but the living room, office, dining room area is no where close to done. I need to purchase things for those rooms too. Thankfully most of what I need to buy is not too expensive, but I still need to budget for them right now. I can’t decide which bigger piece I should get first though… a microwave for the kitchen, a curio cabinet for the livingroom {I have 4 small boxes to be unpacked of things to go in there}, or a fourth bookcase for the bedroom {right now the books are stacked in front of the books on one of my other bookcases}. The only other higher priced item I need is a new comforter and sheets, but I can make do with what I have for now.

Last Week on the Blog:

My Week in Review 2018 #1
Down the TBR Hole #29
Top Ten Tuesday~ I’ll Get to You This Time Around
This Week We’re Quoting~Garden of Lies
On Finding My New Normal
Talking About Memes #2

This Week on the Blog:

Down the TBR Hole #30
Top Ten Tuesday~ This Year I Resolve…
This Week We’re Quoting~The Upside of Unrequited
On the Accumulation of Stuff
Talking About Memes #3

Around the Blog World:

Evalina discusses how to set up your Net Galley and Edelweiss profile in her #NewBloggers 101 series on Avalinah’s Books.
Austine of NovelKnight Book Reviews shares how knowing why you blog is important
What Makes a Comfort Read? asks Danya from Fine Print Blog

badge

It’s Monday! What Are you Reading from The Book Date takes a look at the books we have been reading over the past week and what we’re planning to read next.

Currently Reading:

You're Welcome, Universe Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) Joyfully His: A Novella (Sterling Canyon Book 4) Necessary Madness Make Me Sin (Bad Habit, #2) Love May Fail

You’re Welcome, Universe//Parable of the Sower//Joyfully His//Necessary Madness//Make Me Sin//Love May Fail

Recently Completed:

Nada

I will also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality, a link up to share the new books we’ve added to our shelves over the past week.

Library Haul:

Nothing!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Book Blogger Hop, TMST

Talking About Memes #2

I decided there were a couple of different discussion memes that I wanted to participate in this year, so like my quote memes, I am combining them into one weekly post.

The first meme is the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week there is a question to answer.

This week’s question:

What upcoming titles are looking forward to reading in 2018? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
Oh there are so many great titles coming out in 2018! I posted a Top Ten list here that includes most of them. But really Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz’s new titles are at the top of my list… along with Obsidio of course!
TMSTBLUE1
Also joining my discussion memes is Tell Me Something Tuesday hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. This one shares a discussion topic for each week.
This week’s topic:
Goals for 2018
As I am preparing this post, I haven’t really solidified my goals for 2018 yet. I know that I want to read from my existing shelves and to catch up the ARCs that I am so ridiculously behind on. I am shooting to complete 150 books this year.
I want to become more active socially. I am looking for book clubs and classes either around work or my house. And I’m considering taking on a part time job as well to earn a little extra so I can pay off some of my debts.
I also really need to work on my health… eating better, getting more exercise. I could stand to lose weight, but mostly I just want to feel better and lose some of the aches and pains I experience regularly.
I want to “help” Cheshire start his own blog in 2018 and to continue to grow this blog… and maybe start another one to chronicle my life outside the pages {I may just include those aspects of my life here in my weekly and monthly updates though}.
I also really want to start a pen pal group… see here.
What are your goals for 2018?
What books are you looking forward to?
Discussion

On Finding My New Normal

Originally I was planning on posting an apartment tour today, but unfortunately the apartment is really not ready to be shown yet! So instead I decided to talk about finding my new normal in all of the craziness that has accompanied this transfer/promotion and move.

I read somewhere that what you do on January 1st is what you will be doing all year. If that’s true, then 2018 will be the year of unpacking for me! Really though, I do like the idea of this year being about sorting through all of my stuff, both physical and emotional, and creating order. And I have a lot of stuff!

But in addition to that, I committed to myself that this year would be about taking better care of myself, so I made sure to focus on that on January 1st as well. I made time to rest, time to read, and time to focus on my blog in addition to all of the unpacking and cleaning required with the move. It helped to keep me balanced through the bulk of it. And that’s really what normal is about for me… balance.

I am a creature of routine. I like it and I find comfort in it. I have my morning routines before work, my evening routines when I get home, my routines that I follow on my days off, and as long as I am sticking to my routines and balancing that with adventures, my life is good.

Even while I was transitioning, I noticed that I naturally developed a routine in each situation I was in… I had a routine for doing things while I was in the hotel, a routine while I was staying at my friend’s house, and a routine for being in the apartment sans furniture. Now that everything is here, it’s important to find my new routine. Lately it has been revolving around the unpacking and clearing process, but once that is complete, I’ll be able to fill that space with more reading and exercise.

So what do I want my new normal to look like? I want to balance my time between work, blogging, reading, living a healthy lifestyle, and fun. And a lot of those overlap, so I think that will naturally help with the balance. And now that I am not driving a minimum of 2 hours every day, I can focus more on the things I need to be happy.

What does your “normal” look like?

Book Beginnings, The Friday 56, Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

This Week We’re Quoting… Garden of Lies

Over the last year, I discovered that I love participating in memes! But I participate in so many memes that the number of meme posts could be overwhelming each week. This year I decided to break my memes up group like memes together. Some of my favorite memes share quotes, so I’ve put together one post each week for all of my quote memes. Click on the logo for each meme to be taken to the host’s blog.

This week I am featuring quotes from Amanda Quick’s Garden of Lies.

Garden of Lies

Join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Slater Roxton was examining the strangely luminous paintings on the wall of the ornate burial chamber when the tomb trap was triggered.

Uh oh!

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

“Yes. Paladin doesn’t pay, you understand, except in free copies of the Quarterly. But I am not writing to make an income.  It is therapy.”

 

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The idea of this feature is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Each week there is a link-up at (un)Conventional Bookviews for the current post so that it’s easy to find other participants as well.

Mrs. Dunstan had brought in a tray with a light supper of hot vegetable soup, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and bread. Slater had spoken little during the meal. He had helped himself to some of the cheese and bread and devoted himself to prowling the small space while Ursula dined.
It was not until Mrs. Dunstan had removed the tray that Ursula realized that the expression in Slater’s eyes was the heat of controlled anger, not desire. He was in a dangerous mood.

**Cover links to Goodreads; title links to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ I’ll Get You This Time Around

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books I meant to get to in 2017 and didn’t… but I really will get to in 2018.

Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The Kill Order (The Maze Runner, #0.5)

The Kill Order

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines

Island of Glass (The Guardians Trilogy, #3)

Island of Glass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The Selection

Geekerella

Geekerella

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda

When All the Girls Have Gone (Cutler, Sutter & Salinas #1)

When All the Girls Have Gone

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

TBR

Down the TBR Hole #29

In mid-2017 I was inspired by a post on Bursting with Books to start tackling my TBR shelf on Goodreads and see if these were books I still wanted to read. The title and premise come from Lost in a Love Story. I eliminated quite a few books, but still have a massive TBR of over 2500 books. This year I’ll be tackling 10 books per week to determine if I am still interested and want to keep them, or if I’m ready to remove them from the list.

How does it work?

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

This week’s selections:

Single In The City

Single in the City by Michele Gorman
Fiction; Romance; Chick Lit
Added March 31, 2012

To think Hannah ever believed that Americans differed from Brits mainly in pronunciation, sophistication and dentistry. That’s been the understatement of a lifetime. She lands upon England’s gentle shores with no job, no friends and no idea how she’s supposed to build the life she’s dreaming of. Armed with little more than her enthusiasm, she charges headlong into London, baffling the locals in her pursuit of a new life, new love and sense of herself.

Verdict: Keep

Unclutter Your Life in One Week

Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland
Nonfiction; Self Help; Reference
Added April 13, 2012

Are you constantly late to the office because you have trouble getting out the door in the morning? Is your house in such disarray that you can’t have friends over for dinner? It’s easy to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed when your surroundings, schedule, and thoughts are chaotic. The solution? “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” with organization expert and Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer.com Erin Rooney Doland. This essential manual is a simple, day-by-day plan for purging your life of clutter, becoming more efficient and productive, and creating a symbiotic relationship between your work and personal life.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for organization. Erin offers useful and innovative suggestions for tackling the physical, mental, and systemic distractions in different areas of your home and office each day. Her down-to-earth approach will help you part with sentimental clutter, organize your closet based on how you process information, build an effective and personalized filing system, avoid the procrastination that often hinders the process, and much more. Once you cure the clutter, she shares practical advice for maintaining your harmonious home and work environments with minimal daily effort.

Verdict: Remove

Stardust

Stardust by Carla Stewart
Fiction; Chick Lit; Historical
Added April 13, 2012

Shortly after burying her unfaithful husband, Georgia Peyton unexpectedly inherits the derelict Stardust motel from a distant relative. Despite doubts from the community and the aunt who raised her, she is determined to breathe new life into it. But the guests who arrive aren’t what Georgia expects: Her gin-loving mother-in-law; her dead husband’s mistress; an attractive but down-on-his-luck drifter who’s tired of the endless road; and an aging Vaudeville entertainer with a disturbing link to Georgia’s past.

Can Georgia find the courage to forgive those who’ve betrayed her, the grace to shelter those who need her, and the moxy to face the future? And will her dream of a new life under the flickering neon of the Stardust ever come true?

Verdict: Remove

Texas! Chase (Texas! Tyler Family Saga, #2)

Texas! Chase by Sandra Brown
Fiction; Romance
Added April 13, 2012

Set against the background of the rough-and-tumble Texas oil business, a contemporary love story combining gritty and colorful characters with exciting and sensual romance.

Verdict: Remove

The Cottage At Glass Beach

The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbiere
Fiction; Chick Lit; Romance
Added April 13, 2012

Heather Barbieri follows her acclaimed Gaelic-tinged drama The Lace Makers of Glenmara with the resonant tale of a woman who, in the wake of scandal, flees to a remote Maine island to reconnect with her past—and to come to terms with the childhood tragedy that has haunted her for a lifetime.

Set on the rugged New England coast, Barbieri’s The Cottage at Glass Beach strikes the perfect balance between high lit and mainstream women’s fiction, infusing a potent and unforgettable love story with unforgettable characters that will remain with you long after the final chapter. Richly evocative, Barbieri’s narrative of intimacy, struggle, and redemption will call out to readers of Joanne Harris, Alice Hoffman, and other modern masters of drama.

Verdict: Remove

Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal: A Guide for Crafters, Artists Creatives of all Kinds

Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey
Nonfiction; Writing
Added April 22, 2012

Today’s crafting community is online, connected, and blissfully blogging about their work and ideas. Blogging is hot in this highly creative world—and here is the only how-to book aimed directly at them. Everyone from knitters and beaders to scrapbookers and altered artists will find the practical information and visual inspiration they need to create an artful online journal.

Thanks to hundreds of gorgeous screen grabs from the very best blogs, a thorough introduction to the tools of the trade, and instructions that virtually take you by the hand, even beginners will swiftly go from blank screen to colorful, enticing pages. Those who already have a blog, but want to enhance their presence on the Web, will learn how to add banners and graphics, take the perfect shots, crop and size photos, establish links, and attract an audience of eager readers.

Verdict: Remove

My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire

My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman
Nonfiction; Writing; Reference
Added April 22, 2012

Tired of clocking in and losing out? Want to pursue creative, fulfilling work on your own time and also make a living in the process? My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality. Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and self-proclaimed former “wage slave,” offers tips, advice, how-to’s, and everything else a woman needs to pursue a freelance career.

Confused as to whether you should tell your clients that the odd gurgling sound during a conference call is emanating from the infant sleeping on your shoulder? Goodman answers all of the unusual questions that may arise for women exploring the freelance world. Far more than your normal business guidebook, My So-Called Freelance Life blends candid, humorous anecdotes from a wide variety of freelancers with Goodman’s own personal experiences as a creative worker for hire.

Verdict: Remove

The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business

The Boss of You by Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon
Nonfiction; Reference; Business
Added April 22, 2012

Female entrepreneurs are a growing force to be reckoned with. Each year, more and more women take the initiative and start their own business ventures—at twice the rate of men. Women continue to reshape the business world with innovative models, both large and small. So why is there a lack of clear-cut, expert advice aimed at this dynamic female audience?

In The Boss of You, Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon, founders of Raised Eyebrow Web Studios Inc. and co-editors of the well-known webzine Soapboxgirls, set out to answer this question. As intelligent entrepreneurs and straightforward writers, Emira and Lauren offer insight into beginning—and sustaining—small businesses from the female perspective. Peppered with stories from women who have been there, from cautionary tales to success stories, The Boss of You provides readers with real advice and career options that will allow them to live their values and achieve their own version of work-life balance.

Verdict: Remove

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1)

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery
Fiction; Romance
Added April 22, 2012

Welcome to Fool’s Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There’s lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there’s just one tiny problem in Fool’s Gold: the men don’t seem to stick around. Maybe it’s the lure of big-city life, or maybe it’s plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.

Charity’s nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer — everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she’s not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he’s perfect just the way he is. But maybe that’s just what he needs — someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he’s just chasing perfect.

Verdict: Keep

These Girls

These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen
Fiction; Chick Lit
Added April 22, 2012

Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.

Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.

Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.

Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Verdict: Keep

This week’s stats: Keep 3; Remove 7

2018 stats: Keep 8; Remove13

**all covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Monday Update, Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post

My Week in Review 2018 #1

This is my week in review, where I update you on my life~ reading, blogging and general. I will also be linking up with some amazing blogs.

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Life Happenings:

I hope everyone’s 2018 has gotten off to a great start!

Personally, I have been drowning in boxes! It’s been a week and I feel like I am no where near unpacked yet! The important things are done {kitchen, bathroom, clothes, books}, but I just have so much stuff… it’s ridiculous and I’ll be talking about it soon. Meanwhile I continue working on unpacking more everyday after work. And I use my days off for the bigger projects. Little by little it will all get done.

In addition to all of the unpacking, I’ve also added about a million new blogs to my reader, so the process of sorting them out has begun as well. Not every blog that I added will be a good fit for me, but I don’t know until I try them out for a while. And because I am slightly OCD and have systems and routines that I need to follow for certain things… it’s kind of a long elimination process. {Maybe this ties into why I have so much stuff!}

Now that the craze of the holidays are over, focus at work has shifted to cleaning and getting back to the basics. Especially since I received very big news this week that indirectly affects my position and my store. {Nothing bad, just change} The next few months will be interesting and potentially challenging.

Because my focus has been elsewhere, I didn’t get a lot done reading-wise, so I feel like I’m already behind for the year. I’m trying not to stress over it, because that takes the fun away from reading! And I also know that once I get everything sorted, I’ll have so much more time to read than I’ve had in the last year, so I’ll catch up… it just might not be until February that it happens.

Last Week on the Blog:

My Week in Review 2017 #52
Down the TBR Hole #28
Top Ten Tuesday~ Love at First Read 2017
This Week We’re Quoting~ Stormchaser
My January TBR
Talking About Memes #1
Review: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

This Week on the Blog:

Down the TBR Hole #29
Top Ten Tuesday~ I’ll Get to You This Time Around
This Week We’re Quoting~Garden of Lies
On Finding My New Normal
Talking About Memes #2
Review: Necessary Madness

Around the Blog World:

NovelKnight Book Reviews celebrates their 7th Blogoversary and shares what they’ve learned.

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It’s Monday! What Are you Reading from The Book Date takes a look at the books we have been reading over the past week and what we’re planning to read next.

Currently Reading:

You're Welcome, Universe Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) Joyfully His: A Novella (Sterling Canyon Book 4) Necessary Madness Make Me Sin (Bad Habit, #2) Love May Fail

You’re Welcome, Universe//Parable of the Sower//Joyfully His//Necessary Madness//Make Me Sin//Love May Fail

Recently Completed:

The Best of Adam Sharp

The Best of Adam Sharp

I will also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality, a link up to share the new books we’ve added to our shelves over the past week.

Nothing this week!!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Review

Review: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Book Cover Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Matthew Sullivan
Fiction
Scribner
June 13, 2017
eARC
Net Galley

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.

This is a hard one for me to review. I neither loved nor hated the book, it was just kind of “meh” for me.

I tend to automatically add any book that takes place in a bookstore or library to my TBR, because as a book lover, I am drawn to books that talk about books. And there were plenty of books in this story. Lydia works as a bookseller and her father was a librarian. She grew up reading and spending all her time at the library while her father worked. No matter what happened in her life, books were her constant.

Books were also the tie between Joey and Lydia, as well as between Joey and some of the other characters. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so I won’t go into detail on his connections with other characters in the book.

The story jumped between the past and the present a lot, and also jumps between Lydia’s POV and her father’s. This provides background and motivation. There are also characters from the past who pop back up in the present in weird ways.

I think that my biggest issue with this story is that I really didn’t understand some of Lydia’s motivations. I understood why she wanted to find out more about Joey, and her search for answers there. I understood why she didn’t readily share her past with people. I did not understand why her relationship with her father became so distant or why she reacted the way she did when her boyfriend admitted to knowing about her past.

Along the same lines, I didn’t understand Tomas’s complete change of character from before the incident to after. I think it was supposed to create tension, doubt, and suspense, but it really didn’t for me. And I don’t think this was ever really adequately explained.

There are a few other character motivations that I am completely baffled by, but I can’t share them here without spoiling the plot.

I did really like the characters of Plath and Lyle. I felt that they were loyal, caring characters who really supported the main characters. I also liked what little was shared about David, and would really have liked to see his character developed more. I think the plot could, and should, have gone in a completely different direction for his character. And Joey is probably one of the best characters in the book; his motivations became very clear the more we learned.

While I liked the way that the main storyline drew together and was resolved. I was bothered and confused by the ending itself. It felt kind of creepy, and I’m not sure if that was the way the author intended it or not.

All in all, this isn’t a bad book, it had some really good elements and nice character development for some of the characters, it just really wasn’t right for me.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley and the publisher {Scribner} in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.