Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ARC August Wrap Up


img_7515Read Sleep Repeat is hosted ARC August! Here are my results. I only managed to finish three ARC's. But three is better than none!!


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It's been a rough summer, reading wise for me. I've been in a bit of a slump! But I did enjoy these books!

Happy Reading, and cheers to September (and Fall!) being just around the corner!
 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: It Ends With Us

27362503Title: It Ends With Us
 Author: Colleen Hoover
384 pages, published August 2016
Genre: New Adult
Source: Pre-ordered months in advance 

From Goodreads:

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.


 
I've read and reviewed many Colleen Hoover books, but this one is different.  It's been a long time since I've been moved by a book quite like this. This is an absolutely fantastic novel, but it's more than that.  CoHo tackles some serious issues here--this is NOT a a fluffy love story or steamy romance. It has love and romance, but this book represents so much more than that on a deeper level. Several reviews I read said to go into this book "blind" and without knowing the details--which I did and totally agree with. So my review here is vague for that reason.

Colleen Hoover has elevated herself to a new level as a writer. I always admired her writing for its intense passion and romance, but this goes above and beyond that. She tackles a serious issue with raw honesty and a brilliant ability to see a situation from multiple sides. I definitely suggest you read the author's note at the end--but read it AFTER you finish the book, as it contains spoilers.

This book is a must read for everyone--if you read only one book this month, this year, this LIFETIME--read It Ends With Us.

5 Stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Just Finished:

27362503 
Absolutely blown away by this book. Will post a full review when I find the words.

Currently Reading:


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Up Next: 

 22535461 

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thoughts on Books, Yoga, and Life

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I've always been a reader. This post explains that portion of my life best. You may have noticed my blog posts have been a bit less frequent this summer, and I wanted to write this post to explain why. Not to give excuses, but to help you learn a little more about me and why these last few months have been so much better for me.

Let's back up a bit--those of you that know me probably know my father passed away in 2013 from vascular dementia.  I was 29 at the time. Most of my 20's were sp6yent dealing with the life altering and downright depressing issues related to his worsening illness. It affected me in ways that have taken years to fully realize and deal with. Not going to go into more detail here, but if this resonates with you and you would like to connect with me, feel free to email me.  As a result of this, one of my ways to deal with my feelings was to read. I've always been a reader, but in the last few years I've most definitely read more, using them as a way to escape and attempt to deal with my emotions. By reading more, I exercised less, ate more junk food, and was overall not as healthy as I wanted to be or should've been. I've always been an active person, so this was unusual for me. I took a dance class once a week but that was about it.

Around the three year anniversary of his death, I finally had somewhat of a wake up call. I realized I was not living the way I wanted to live and I needed to do something about it. I was anxious all the time stressed out, and frustrated a lot. I had read so much about the benefits of yoga, but had tried it in my early 20's and found myself bored. On March 28, I decided to give yoga a shot. I grew up taking all forms of dance classes, so yoga made sense for me. I found the Down Dog App online, downloaded it, and started practicing. It was tough at first, but I immediately started noticing results--feeling more calm and relaxed, in addition to gaining strength and flexibility. I set a goal of 30 days of yoga, which quickly turned into 100 days of yoga, and beyond. I practiced with videos from Yoga With Adrienne. I started taking classes at a yoga studio in my town. I was hooked immediately.  Even people at work commented on how much calmer I seemed after starting yoga.

In short: Yoga has changed my life! I have more confidence in myself, feel more calm and centered, less anxious, less stressed, and gotten physical benefits such as increased strength and flexibility. I've been able to do poses recently I never thought I'd be able to do. I never thought I'd have the arm strength for crow pose or the ability to do a headstand. But here I am! I've learned that my body is capable of anything if I put my mind to it.

If you follow me on Instagram you've no doubt noticed I've posted lots of pictures of yoga poses, as I've been participating in lots of fun yoga challenges.  Because of my shift in focus to books AND yoga, I changed my username to palmerspagesandposes.  Don't worry--the book blog and book content will NOT be going away! I still plan to blog about the books I read and bookish things, it just might be a little less frequent!



I've met so many great book lovers, book bloggers, and now yogis through Instagram and social media! Though yoga encourages us not to compare ourselves to others, Instagram allows for so much encouragement between yogis. An exciting opportunity that has happened lately is that I am now an Ambassador for AltarEgo Apparel ! Their PR team contacted me and said they loved the energy on my Instagram feed and asked me to join their team! I am so honored and excited to be an ambassador for this awesome female run company that makes all their activewear here in the USA. If you're in the market for new yoga gear, check out their website and use code palmersposes for a 15% off discount!

I've gone on long enough, but felt the need to share this information with all my lovely readers! I wanted to explain why my blog hasn't been as active, and what I've been up to. I'm not going anywhere, so I hope you'll keep reading!

Happy Reading, and Namaste!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bout of Books 17: Goals and Updates



Bout of Books 

Bout of Books 17 starts Monday!!  The schedule has been posted and its' time to create my TBR and Goals list! Here is my original sign up post.

 I've been selected by the Bout of Books team to serve as an expert!  Thank you, Bout of Books! This means I'm an experienced Bout of Books participant (this is my 6th Bout of Books!) and you can ask me questions if needed!!



Goals

1. Read as much as possible (but not stress out about it). Read on lunch break, evenings, etc.

2.Participate in Twitter Chats/challenges/other events to connect with other bloggers/readers

3. Finish at least one book

4. As in the last Bout of Books...I'm not caring about a page goal....all I care about is to HAVE FUN!



TBR

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Daily Progress



Monday 8/22:
Reading time today:  60 pages
Books read from today:  It Ends With Us (LOVING IT)
Number of books completed so far: 0



Tuesday 8/23:
Reading time today: 75 pages
Total pages this week:135
Books read from today: It Ends With Us

Number of books completed today:

Number of books completed so far:

Wednesday 8/24:
Reading time today:  76 pages (wow, I'm consistent!)

Total pages this week: 211
Books read from today:  It Ends With Us

Number of books completed so far:0

Thursday8/25:
Reading time today: 156 pages

Total pages this week:367
Books read from today: It Ends With Us

Number of books completed today: 1, It Ends With Us

Books completed so far: 1

Friday8/26:

Reading time today: 40 pages in The Goodbye Year

Total pages this week: 407 pages

Books read from today: The Goodbye Year

Number of books completed so far: 1

Saturday8/27:

Reading time today: None...family stuff today!

Total pages this week: 407 pages

Books read from today: 

Number of books completed today:

Books completed so far: 1

Sunday8/28:

Reading time today:60 pages

Total pages this week:467

Books read from today:  The Goodbye Year

Number of books completed today:0

Number of books completed so far:1

Grand Total:


Pages Read: 467

Books Completed:   1

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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

Happy First Day of Bout of Books!!!

Just Finished:

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Currently Reading:

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Up Next:

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What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Family Tree

Family Tree coverAbout Family Tree

• Hardcover: 368 pages • Publisher: William Morrow (August 9, 2016) From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past—and the promise of the future. Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes. Annie Rush knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm. Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

 

What a great read! Despite Susan Wiggs publishing a lot of books, this is my first time reading her writing! I love her effortless writing style. It flows so well and it made this book the perfect relaxing read. I was drawn into the story from the first chapters and loved Annie as a character.  I loved the foodie aspect of the novel too! A perfect read for a summer weekend!

About Susan Wiggs

Photo by Susan Doupe
Photo by Susan Doupe
Susan Wiggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series. Her books have been translated into two dozen languages. A Harvard graduate, Susan lives with her husband on an island in Puget Sound. Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram







To follow the full tour, click here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

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

Just Finished:

 28110094 

Hate to say it, but I didn't like this one. Here's my review.

Currently Reading:

 27213227 

My review for TLC Book Tours will be on the blog Thursday!

Up Next:

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I know, I know. I'm sad I haven't read it yet either. Saving it for Bout of Books wonderfulness! 

What are you reading this week? 

 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: Falling

Title: Falling
28110094Author: Jane Green
384 pages, published July 19, 2016
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either. 
 
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son. 
 
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
 
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all. 
 
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…


 
Let me start by saying that I've always loved Jane Green's books! I loved her 2015 novel, Summer Secrets. Unfortunately, I did NOT love this one. Or, let's use the Falling analogy...this book started out as a four star...then fell to a three star...and finally, with one of the worst endings I've read in a VERY long time, fell to a two star.

Starting out, I loved Emma as a character. I related to her in so many ways. But this one just fell flat for me. I also loved Dominic as a character. The characters weren't the problem--the slow moving plot and ridiculous ending were.

Though I'm disappointed with this book, this won't keep me from reading any future Jane Green books, as I've enjoyed her books before this one. But don't let this book be your first exposure to Jane Green--I would recommend Summer Secrets or The Other Woman first.

Overall rating for "Falling": 2 stars

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blog Tour: Results May Vary with Author Essay!


Author: Bethany Chase3
36 pages, published August 9, 2016
Genre: Women's Fiction
From Goodreads:
27833513She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Author Essay: Bethany Chase and the Importance of Art
The art world setting of Results May Vary, like the architectural backdrop of my first book, The One That Got Away, came from my own personal background. My love for art has its earliest origins in my upbringing in a family of artists—my mother, father, aunt, great uncle and great-great-aunt were not only talented artists, but were celebrated within our family for being so. Visual creativity, and the appreciation of it, are in my DNA.
That being said, though, it took a long time for me to realize how much art really meant to me. I was a writer, and then an English major, with a soft spot for pretty old houses. And then, my junior year of college, I went to Europe for the first time. I spent the year studying among the golden spires of Oxford, and traveled from there to London and Paris and Rome and Florence, where I prowled some of the finest art museums in the world, and I fell in love. Standing in the Indian and Islamic galleries in London’s Victoria & Albert museum, staring dumbstruck at the richness of pattern and color on display everywhere I looked, I felt something catch fire inside me that hasn’t gone out since. I came back from my year abroad and, since I’d managed to finish nearly all the requirements from my English major in my three first years of school, I took seven art history classes in my senior year. Indian & Islamic art; East Asian art; Egyptian art; a two-part introductory survey of Western art; medieval European art; 18th & 19th century European art. I devoured everything I could get my hands on; and then, belatedly, considered how I might go about trying to get a job in this field I loved so much.
It wasn’t until several years later that, while still trying to channel my obsession with art and color and pattern into a viable career, I discovered through interior design classes that I did have some artistic talent of my own, after all. But, very much like Caroline, I know that talent is modest; and the need to create art for its own sake has never pushed at me. I am quite happy to study it and marvel over it and interpret it and feel it, the way it was meant to be felt. And now, as an author, it gives me deep delight to tap into that passion and meld it to a story I can share with readers. It is something that I hope my books will always do.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Bout of Books 17 sign up!




Bout of Books 

It's that time again!!! Bout of Books 17 starts on August 22! Bout of Books is my absolute favorite reading event, and I am so excited to participate again, this will be my 6th Bout of Books. What I love about this readathon is not just the reading, but connecting with other book bloggers and readers. If you haven't participated, I highly encourage you to do so!  Here's the official blurb:


 The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th 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 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I will post my goals, TBR books, etc. when the readthon gets closer. Want to sign up? All you have to do is create a sign up post and link it here!

Happy Reading and Happy (almost) Bout of Books!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (Bonus: FitReaders Check in)

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

Just Finished:

29639736  

LOVED this book! Check out my review and giveaway

Currently Reading: 

 28110094 

Great so far!!

Up Next:

 27213227 
Reviewing for TLC Book Torus August 18!

What are you reading this week? 


I haven't done a #FitReaders Check in in FOREVER, so...
 
 

#FitReaders co-hosted by Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and Jen @ That’s What I’m Talking About. You can friend me on FitBit here.  
Here are my stats for the last week:
 
Monday: 10,594
Tuesday: 10,791
Wednesday: 11,317
Thursday: 7,961
Friday: 8,142
Saturday: 10,203
Sunday:  12,456
Total: 71,464

I had a couple days in there that weren't at the 10K goal, but that's OK! It still averaged out to 70K for the week. I do a lot of yoga, (which you've seen a lot of if you follow my instagram). It's a great workout, but doesn't get you a lot of steps! On Sunday however my husband and I went to the track and I ran a whole mile without stopping! I walk a lot but running has never really been my thing. Did a 5k in my mid 20s to prove to myself I could do it. Felt like getting back into it lately, and was pleased with my run yesterday!


Have a great week everyone! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Everything We Keep (GIVEAWAY!)

Everything We KeepAbout Everything We Keep


  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Genre: Women's Fiction
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 1, 2016)
Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancĂ©, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.
As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.
A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links


Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

WOW. What a fantastic book!! I've been in this reading rut for the last month or so. I've read quite a few books, most of which have been pretty good, but none that have made me say WOW. Until this one! This book is phenomenal! I tore through this book so quickly because I just HAD to know what happened.  I can't say too much more than the blurb says because I don't want to give anything away. You're given just enough in the story to know something crazy is going on, but you're still left guessing until the very end! There are so many surprises along the way. It's also an emotional read, at least it was for me. My heart hurt for Aimee so much throughout this book. The ending was especially emotional. Hoping for a sequel with this one!

 In addition to the plot being the reason I couldn't put the book down, it was also Kerry's beautiful writing. It flowed so well. I love how she worked in the flashbacks to her and James's younger years. It fit perfectly in the story and contributed to what was happening in the present. This is a five star read for sure!! 

About Kerry Lonsdale

UnknownKerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.

Connect with Kerry


Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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