Monday, April 24, 2017

Bout of Books 19 Sign up!




Bout of Books 

Bout of Books 19 is almost here!  Always excited for another Bout of Books, my favorite readathon! My first Bout of Books was Bout of Books 10...so this will be my TENTH Bout of Books! Wow! What I love most about this readathon is connecting with other readers and bloggers!

Want to know more? Here's the official blurb from the Bout of Books hosts:

  The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


More information about sign ups are here. I will be posting my TBR as the date gets closer!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Musings 4/17

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Happy Easter!
My Week: Things have been crazy lately, and I haven't had much time to read or update the blog!! I promise I'm not going away though--I have several blog tours coming up and lots of NetGalley reviews to post this summer! In addition to my busy week of work and going to the gym, my husband and I have been working on lots of projects around the house to get it ready to sell in the (hopefully) near future. We're not looking to move far away but are ready for a bit bigger housein the area. Lots of plans in the works and keeping our fingers crossed that all goes according to plan!

Easter was on Sunday and I had a nice, relaxing day. Went to church in the morning and then went to a nice lunch at my mom in law's. Hope you all (if you celebrate) had a great day with family and friends!

Reading: I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately and had trouble really getting into or connecting with anything. I'm reading these two books this week and posting reviews of them next week. Hoping I connect with these and get out of my slump!! The Jen Kirkman book is pretty funny so far, so things are looking up!

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Yoga + Running: I had a great week at the gym! In addition to some great yoga sessions and PiYo classes, I had some really good runs, including this one on Friday--4 miles! I've only managed 4 miles once before, and the last  half mile or so was miserable. This time, all 4 miles felt great!! I felt like I could've kept going but wanted to end on  a high note where I was feeling great and not struggling. Progress!!
 
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Looking forward to:  Sunny weather! As an Oregonian, I'm used to rain, but this year is a bit ridiculous! It's looking like Friday and Saturday should be sunny and high 60's so I'm looking forward to that!

Have a great week, everyone!

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date.

Been reading a lot lately! You can find my review of Small Great Things here!
 
What I Just Finished Reading
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What I'm Currently Reading
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What I Plan to Read Next

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: Small Great Things

28587957Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
470 pages, published October 2016
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.


  

Another fantastic book from Jodi Picoult! While it wasn't my favorite of hers (my favorite is Nineteen Minutes) I still found this novel to be an engaging, emotional read that I couldn't put down.  My heart ached for Ruth and then entire situation. Picoult wrote a deeply moving novel that is so relevant in today's society. 

Though I enjoyed the story, I did not love the format--it switched perspectives from Ruth to Kennedy to Turk. I felt like it was a bit unbalanced.  Ruth and Kennedy had many more chapters than Turk, and I found myself wanting to skip Turk's chapters.  I disliked him as a character, but found his perspective important to the story and that it wasn't done as well as it could've been.  However, it's pretty common for me to NOT like alternating perspective novels, so if that format is one you like you will really enjoy this book. I also felt like this book was way too long and drawn out, despite the fact that it was hard to put down. I feel like the story could've been told in 100 less pages. It drug on a bit in the middle.

Overall, a solid read from Jodi Picoult.  A relevant, necessary story for today's society. I recommend reading the author's note at the end once your finish the book.

Rating for "Small Great Things": 4 stars 

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Musings 4/3


My Week:It was Spring Break last week in Oregon, so the office was pretty low key. I still had to work but enjoyed a quiet week. My weekend was super fun because we went to the beach! It was a beautiful but chilly day at the Oregon Coast. As you can see, Petyon had a great time! He LOVES the beach! We played on the beach for awhile, then went to the outlet mall (some great daeals!!) and got some yummy lunch.


Reading: Still working my way through Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (it's a long book!). Enjoying it so far and excited to read the end. I also just found out I got approved on NetGalley for Jane Green's new book, The Sunshine Sisters! I love her books! I also started reading Lower Ed for some nonfiction this week.

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Yoga + Running:  I got some awesome new running shoes last week! Now that I've gotten into running more, the cross trainers I was wearing weren't enough support. Got myself some pretty Asics and got a chance to go on a couple runs last week to break them in.  It's supposed to be super nice this week so I am hoping to get lots of outdoor runs in!

Last week my shoulders were super tense for some reason, and I found this video from Five Parks Yoga. It helped so much!! I also had my one year "yogaversary" last week--which you probably saw if you follow my instagram! I also loved getting a chance to do some yoga on the beach this weekend!

 Buying: We were at the outlet mall at the beach yesterday and they were having amazing sales. We went into Under Armour and I found some cropped leggings that I LOVED!  I literally did not want to take them off. They were so comfortable. I've somehow made it this far in life without wearing any Under Armour clothing and I learned yesterday all that I was missing out on! Can't wait to run in my new leggings this week!

Looking forward to: Sunshine this week! It's supposed to be high 60's for a couple days!

Friday, March 31, 2017

3 Year Blogiversary!


Today is my blog's three year anniversary! I just wanted to put a post up to thank everyone for reading my blog and your continued support! I really enjoy book blogging and am thankful for all the blogger friends I've made and new authors I've discovered thanks to this blog. I look forward to more reading and blogging in the future!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dewey's Readathon: April 29, 2017


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  Excited to participate in the Dewey's 24 hour Readathon again this Spring! The Readathon is on Saturday, April 29 and more information, including reader and volunteer sign ups, can be found here! You should sign up too!

I will post a Dewey's Readathon TBR the week of the readathon, and will be posting most of my updates on my Twitter and Instagram pages. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: If Not For You

Title: If Not For You
30408332Author: Debbie Macomber
368 pages, published March 21, 2017
Note: I received this book from Net Galley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:


If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn t exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either. 

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both. 

Before long, Beth's strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she's come to love.


 
I really enjoyed this book! What drew me to it was the cover (of course) and the fact that Beth moved to Oregon. I really enjoyed both Beth and Sam as characters, and found the story quite charming. Thanks to the prologue, I was sucked in right away and couldn't stop reading. Though this book is part of Macomber's New Beginnings series (this is book #3) you don't need to have read the first two in order for this one to make sense.

The story is  predictable yet delightful,and if you're a fan of Macomber or this genre it is definitely worth the read. My only criticism: Beth moves to Oregon and gets a full time music job THAT easily?!  I have friends that are music teachers and full time music teahing jobs are NOT that easy to come by! Haha. Other than that I loved the story. Though I loved Beth and Sam, I think Beth's aunt Sunshine was my favorite character. Her story was my favorite and I rooted for her happiness throughout the book. A great relaxing weekend read!

Ovearll rating for "If Not for You": 4 stars


Happy Reading!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Musings 3/27

Isaac and I at Pfeiffer Winery in Junction City, OR

My Week: This week was a pretty typical week for me,filled with work, working out at the gym, and hanging out with my husband and fur kids! This past weekend was pretty fun--went and saw Beauty and the Beast (for the second time--LOVED it!) and then on Sunday went wine tasting with friends in the southern part of the  Willamette Valley in Oregon. We live in a pretty special place--the Willamette Valley was named the 2016 wine region of the year by Wine Enthusiast. Within an hour or two of my home there are COUNTLESS amazing wineries.  We went to two gorgeous wineries-- Pfeiffer Winery (their 2007 Blue Dot Pinot Noir was selected for the Pre-Inaugural Dinner for President Obama) and Walnut Ridge Vineyard with a group of great friends. It was a fantastic day!

Reading: In addition to posting my review of Eggshells today, I also posted a review of Bridges last week (which I loved!). I just finished If Not For You, the new Debbie Macomber, yesterday as well! I really enjoyed the book and will be posting my review this week as well. Next up for me is Jodi Picoult's Small Great Things.

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Watching: Anyone else watch Fixer Upper on HGTV? I LOVE that show! We've literally had the conversation of "we could move to Waco and they could fix our house" before.  I love their work. Anyway,last week's episode was them flipping a home (how they started out) and I loved the house they picked and the work they did.

Yoga + Running: If you read my blog last week you saw that I completed a 5K last weekend. I'm planning on another one in June.   I've really enjoyed running lately and it's a great compliment to my yoga practice! There are countless articles like this one about how running and yoga balance each other well. Right now I've been running a couple times a week in addition to yoga and PiYo but want to step it up a bit. I'm excited that the weather is getting warmer so I can run outside more! As I found out last week, I actually don't mind running in the rain, I just don't like being cold.

Looking forward to:  A quiet week! It's spring break at the university where I work, but the Admissions Office is still open...bummed we don't get the break but I will definitely enjoy the easy parking and quiet office!

What are you up to this week?

TLC Book Tours: Eggshells

About Eggshells

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Melville House (March 14, 2017)
— Irish Book of the Year Finalist!
A whimsical, touching debut about loneliness, friendship and hope…
Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in — and never has. As a child, she was so whimsical that her parents told her she was “left by fairies.” Now, living alone in Dublin, the neighbors treat her like she’s crazy, her older sister condescends to her, social workers seem to have registered her as troubled, and she hasn’t a friend in the world.
So, she decides it’s time to change her life: She begins by advertising for a friend. Not just any friend. She wants one named Penelope.
Meanwhile, she roams the city, mapping out a new neighborhood every day, seeking her escape route to a better world, the other world her parents told her she came from.
And then one day someone named Penelope answers her ad for a friend. And from that moment on, Vivian’s life begins to change.
Debut author Caitriona Lally offers readers an exhilaratingly fresh take on the Irish love for lyricism, humor, and inventive wordplay in a book that is, in itself, deeply charming, and deeply moving.
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Purchase Links

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This book was different than what I typically read--though I like quirky and different characters, and certainly liked Vivian, the character driven aspect of the book made it a slower read for me. I wanted there to be more of a plot. However, Vivian as a character was delightful, and I really enjoyed the writing style! If this type of book is one you enjoy, you'l probably love this book!

About Caitriona Lally

CAITRIONA LALLY studied English Literature in Trinity College Dublin.  She has had a colorful employment history, working as an abstract writer and a copywriter, as well as a home helper in New York and an English teacher in Japan. She has traveled extensively around Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.  Caitriona was shortlisted for “Newcomer of the Year” in the Irish Book Awards in 2015.
Connect with Caitriona on Twitter.