Friday, January 20, 2017

My Friday Five...

FIVE albums I've been listening to on repeat all week long:

Pretty good mix, eh?  I've been sifting through my old CDs trying to think of new playlists to make for the gym.  These five albums called out to me and I've been listening to them ever since.  I was thinking that they'd make a great nostalgia mix.  I have to admit that I'm getting tired of listening to Drake, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez (over and over) while I work out.  I need something new (or old) to listen to. 

What about you? Listening to anything you want to recommend?  Let me know.  I need ideas for gym music.  In fact, I have to admit that Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins just popped into my head while I was typing this.  Hmm...perhaps a nostalgia mix is a good idea?

Hope you have a great weekend!! Happy reading!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Currently Reading...

I think I've just found my favorite book of 2017 and we are only in January.  I'm serious.

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout...wow...just, wow.

Simply put, this book is brilliant.  Its a collection of short stories that was written in tandem with my favorite book of 2016 - My Name Is Lucy Barton.  Apparently, Strout felt that the minor characters from Lucy's story merited their own book.  Oh my, was she right.

I've only read the first two stories and already I am smitten.  The writing is smart, strong, and beautiful.  The characters are flawed, realistic, and familiar.  The stories reach out and grab you with their depth and perception of the human condition.  Through Strout we learn about the good, the bad and the ugly.  And it is sublime.

This is my second time with Strout's writing and I am already moving her up my list of favorite authors - she is now in my top five.   I plan on reading the rest of her books throughout the year and can't wait to do so.  Her writing is just so damn good that I don't ever want to run out of her books to read.  So, I will take my time with this book of short stories and the rest of her novels.  I will savor her words and stories.  And I will enjoy every minute of it.

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This Is Not Over: A Novel by Holly Brown

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

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the stained sheets…


When 30-year-old Dawn reads Miranda’s email, she sees red. People have always told Dawn she’s beautiful, and she just hopes they don’t see beneath—to how she grew up, to what she’s always tried to outrun. She revels in her getaways with her perfect (maybe too perfect) husband, the occasional long weekend in luxurious homes, temporarily inhabiting other people’s privileged lives. Miranda’s email strikes a nerve, with its lying intimation that Dawn is so dirty you need to throw out her sheets.

Beware of your “host”

I wouldn’t have left a review at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others…

57-year-old Miranda thought she’d seen it all, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads Dawn’s review. She’s a doctor’s wife but she needs that rental money, desperately. People might think her life is privileged, but they don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know about her son. She won’t take this threat to her livelihood—to her very life—lying down.

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

This is not over.

This is so not over.

my thoughts:

To my first DNF in 2017.

Yep, Holly Brown's book, This Is Not Over, was just not for me.  I could barely get through the first few pages.  The little I read was overly dramatic (and not in a good way) and didn't make much sense.  The character's rage felt unfounded and beyond over the top.  I found myself wondering what I was reading.  I kept thinking that this could not possibly be the story.  Two women arguing over a $200 dollar security deposit?  Seriously?!

I'll be honest, I've read mixed reviews on this one. Some enjoyed it and found the idea of exploring a mundane topic (such as a security deposit) to be thrilling.  Others found the whole thing to be filled with cliches and overly wrought.  I agree with the latter.

This Is Not Over was not my cup of tea.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: This Is Not Over
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Personal Post...

I'm not one to write personal posts on my blog. I share bits and bobs once in awhile, but I don't really give everything away.  I hadn't planned on writing this post, but its a new year and I'm trying to live more fully (which I feel means being more open and honest).  So here goes...

I have anxiety and I need to lose weight.  The weight started after I was diagnosed with AIH (autoimmune hepatitis).  What's AIH? It means my body attacks my liver and if left uncontrolled it could lead to liver failure.  I was 23 when I found out and since I was young, I didn't really think about it all that much.  I just took my meds and went for check-ups, assuming that all would be well.  Knock wood, my liver is stable.  Except, some of those meds were steroids and they wreaked havoc on my mood and body.  I gained weight and became depressed.  It sucked.

I've been on/off the steroids for nearly 15 years, which means its been hard to lose the weight.  And I've noticed these past few years I've been riddled with anxiety.  Yep, I'm an extremely anxious person now.  I get nervous, my heart beats faster, and soon I feel like I can't breathe. Its the worst.  Or my thoughts spiral out of control and frighten me to the point that I feel paralyzed with fear.  Yeah, it really sucks.  And I'm tired of it.  I've let my life be controlled by these two things for far too long. I've finally decided that enough is enough.

2017 is the year that I will tackle both of these issues head on.  I will work out and eat healthily.  I will focus on positive thinking, meditation, and pretty much anything to help calm my anxieties.  And I will succeed, because my intentions are clear this time.  Yep, I finally realized that its not just about wanting these things, its also about recognizing the fact that I deserve these things.  At 38, I recognize that I do deserve to live a healthy and full life. And, I intend to make it happen. 

"When you know better, you do better." ---Maya Angelou

This is the year I say 'yes' to myself.  I accept that its going to be hard and that its going to take time, but I'm ready for it.  I'll keep you posted on my progress - the good and the bad.  And, don't worry, this blog is still going to be about books, books, and books.  I just might throw in a personal post now and again.  

Wish me luck.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Upcoming Reads...

Thank you, NetGalley and publishers for these two lovelies:


I can't wait to read both.  I love Auster - his writing is sharp, intelligent, and so inventive.  As for Buntin, this is her debut novel and I've heard nothing but great things about it.  Two must-reads at my fingertips - talk about a bookworm's bliss!