Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bookish and Non-Bookish Thoughts...

Halloween is nigh, which means that I've been watching AMC Fear Fest and loving it!  How could I not enjoy a day filled with all of the Halloween movies or a Friday the 13th marathon? This week its all about The Walking Dead.  A great way to catch up on all the seasons just in time for the season 7 premiere on Sunday at 9pm - OMG!!! I can't wait to find out who got Lucille(d).  My fingers are crossed that Glenn, Michonne, and Darryl are spared.  Of course with TWD, you never know what will happen.  My sister is convinced that it will be Glenn, especially after last season's, "Did Glenn die?" episode.  I'm banking on Abraham, because he was happy, he fell in love, and he was planning a future - happy usually equals dead.  Anyhow, the wait is almost over - at last!!  By the by, is it so wrong that I can't help but think that Negan is very good-looking? Its hard not to, especially with Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing him.  And I have to admit that every time he appears on screen in the trailers I can't help but think of him as Denny from Grey's.  I loved him on that show and it looks like now I'm going to love to hate him on TWD

Aside from watching AMC Fear Fest, I've been reading, reading, and reading.  There are so many great books/ARCs to read lately and I am gobbling them all up.  Or at least I'm trying to.  Here are a few of the titles I've recently read and LOVED:
Talk about variety! These five books range from horror to romance and captivated me for days.  I really enjoyed them all.  Of course, now I'm trying to figure out what to read next. I started the new Roxane Gay book of short stories, Difficult Women, but I can't seem to decide whether I like what I'm reading or not.  So far, I've enjoyed a few of the stories, but the rest read like Lifetime movies to me.  Not sure I want to keep reading.  Maybe I'll just put it aside for now.  I was thinking of reading the new Murakami book of short stories, Men Without Women.  I was approved for an ARC - thank you, Edelweiss!! One can never go wrong with Murakami.  Except, I will admit to being slightly disappointed when I read the table of contents for his new book.  Seems that I've already half of the short stories, so its not exactly a new-to-me book.  Hmm...what to read?  What do you recommend?  What are you reading?  Have you read The Mothers by Brit Bennett?  I heard it was excellent and I'm supposed to receive a copy today.  Maybe I'll dive into that book.  I'm not sure why I always find it to difficult to pick a new read after I've been on a reading jag.  Too much to choose from? Either way, I want to read something, but I'm just not sure what I want to read. 

Aside from the reading, I've been baking.  I made a skull cake that we devoured.  I plan on making monster cupcakes for my sister's office - they are always a big hit.  And I want to make some banana bread and scones.  I just a need a flat white to get me through all the baking. 

I was de-cluttering (again) and found some old CDs that I'd forgotten about.  I wound up listening to Luscious Jackson as I drove around running errands.  Talk about blast from the past. I remember listening to that CD all the time in college.  Now, I couldn't help but wonder why I loved it so much back then.  It was nice change from my recent obsession with Nelly Furtado's music.  Of course, now I'm all about Mike Mills latest musical effort, Concerto for Violin, Rock Band & Orchestra.  As a huge R.E.M. fan, I was stoked to listen to this:
Pretty cool, eh?

And now I'm off to flip through the latest issue of O magazine and then watch some more episodes of TWD.  Happy reading!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit.  Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

my thoughts:

Talk about a fun, hilarious, sweet, and engaging story! I absolutely LOVED The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot.

Becky is living her life, working hard, enjoying her family, friends and boyfriend (the lumbersexual).  Basically, life is good.  And then, she gets a text from her sister with a link to a newspaper article about her ex-boyfriend's parents getting arrested for trying to pay for dinner with a stamp.  Crazy, eh?  Well, it gets even crazier when she gets an email asking her company to do a job for her ex's family.  This is the same ex who was her first (and only) true love - the one she could never get over, even after her he smashed her heart to pieces ten years ago.  Yep, the ex who left town and became a rich and famous golfer - the kind that dates models and snags advertising deals.  So, what does Becky decide to do?  Take on the job and treat her ex cordially.  Except, sometimes exes and old feelings that never really went away shouldn't mix.  Hmmm....looks like The Boy being back in town just might be what Becky needed.  And that is all I will say about his terrific story.

Told via text messages, emails, Amazon reviews, etc., The Boy Is Back tackles love, family, and friendship in such a fun and unique way. I just loved turning one page of texts to find an Amazon review of a porcelain kitten - talk about creative storytelling.  And the characters were so much fun to get caught up with - all of their personal dramas were relatable, realistic, and entertaining to read about.  I LOVED this book!  It was laugh out loud funny and unputdownable!  I would definitely recommend The Boy Is Back to fans of the Boys series, fans of Cabot, and anyone looking for their next great read. 

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Boy Is Back
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Currently reading....

Finally!  A new No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book to sink my teeth into. I've just started reading and already I can tell that I will be spending the day with this book. I can taste the red bush tea, feel the sweltering heat of the Botswana sun hitting down on me, and hear Grace once again disagreeing with Precious. I just love books that are familiar and new at the same time. And now, I'm off to continue reading about Precious, Grace, and the rest of the gang in this beloved series.   

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chaos Comes to Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid

(Thank you to the publisher and Poetic Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:
This humorous Pride and Prejudice variation begins at the Netherfield ball. While attempting to suppress his desire to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy flees the ballroom only to stumble upon a half-dressed Lydia Bennet in the library. After a shrieking, nerve-stricken Mrs. Bennet discovers them in this compromising position, Darcy is forced to make Lydia an offer of marriage.
A few weeks later, Bingley returns from London to discover that a heartbroken Jane has accepted an offer from Collins. Bingley instead proposes to Elizabeth, who accepts with the hope of reuniting him with Jane. Now Darcy must cope with jealousy toward Bingley and a fiancĂ©e who longs to get her hands on the grand estate of “Pembleton” (or is it “Peckersly?”). Lydia, in turn, is jealous that Wickham has proposed to Charlotte Lucas—who (much to Wickham’s dismay) does not find red coats nearly as appealing as clerical collars.
Although Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, he feels honor bound by his promise to Lydia. Elizabeth has also developed feelings for the master of Pemberley, but he has never seemed so far out of her reach. How can Darcy and Elizabeth unravel this tangle of hilariously misbegotten betrothals and reach their happily ever after?
my thoughts:

Chaos most certainly comes to Longbourn in this Pride & Prejudice variation by historical romance writer,Victoria Kincaid.  Yep, we have a bevy of mismatched couples that will have any Austen fan hyperventilating with shock and dismay.  I'm one of those Austen fans, so believe me its true! I was horrified to see Darcy paired with Lydia - the horror, the horror!  He happens to be in the wrong place at precisely the wrong moment and before you know it he's forced to propose to her - ack!  Oh, and don't get me started on the other three mismatched couples: Jane and Collins; Lizzy and Bingley; and Charlotte and Wickham.  Can you imagine!?! Well, Kincaid did and it made for quite a funny and engaging read.  I absolutely enjoyed getting caught up in all of the drama that ensues as a result of these four unlikely pairings.  Its pretty obvious how miserable and unhappy these couples are, but they manage to "keep calm and carry on."  Okay, not really.  Instead, they plot and plan to get themselves reunited with their true loves, which made for quite an unputdownable read.

I just LOVED Chaos Comes to Longbourn - it was such a treat to read! The writing was smart, the characters familiar and beloved, and the story was terrific!  I can't wait to read more of Kincaid's works. And I would happily recommend Chaos Comes to Longbourn to fans of Kincaid's writing and fans of Austen - you will fall in LOVE with this book!!

Here's the link to the Poetic Book Tour schedule for: Chaos Comes to Longbourn
Thank you to the publisher and Poetic Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dear Mr. M: A Novel by Herman Koch

(Thank you to Blogging For Books for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The tour-de-force, hair-raising new novel from Herman Koch, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool

Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M’s novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M’s career is fading. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him and his wife. Why?

From alternating points of view, where no one is to be trusted, Herman Koch weaves together an intricate tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to M’s novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

With ever increasing tension, his signature sardonic wit and world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed performance that suspends readers in the mysterious space between fact and fiction. 

my thoughts:

I devoured both, The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool, in one sitting.  They were fantastic, thought-provoking, and unique reads.  So, when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Koch's latest book, Dear Mr. M - I just knew that I was in for a treat.  Suffice it to say, he did not disappoint.

My head is still crammed full of ideas and thoughts about what I've just read.  It was AMAZING!!  I would describe it as a complex and twisted whodunit that is entertaining, mesmerizing, and unputdownable.  I absolutely LOVED it!!  I sat down to read it last night and didn't stop until I turned the very last page at midnight.  It was just so damn good.  I found myself easily caught up in this story about a writer, a teacher, and a group of students.  Talk about a wicked cast that leaves you wondering about each and every one.  Somehow they all connect in this unforgettable murder-mystery that will leave you stunned.  It was such a thrill to read.  I enjoyed the twists and turns that kept me guessing.  And the story felt so original and refreshing.  Koch's writing seems to get better and better with each new book - he's on fire with Dear Mr. M!  I can't stop thinking about this book!  And I can't wait to read more of Koch's works - they are superb!!

I would happily recommend Dear Mr. M, The Dinner, and Summer House with Swimming Pool to any one looking for a great new read - you LOVE each and every one of these books!!

Thank you to Blogging For Books for providing me with a copy of this book!