Monday, May 21, 2018

Bout of Books 22 Wrap Up

Bout of Books 22 is over already! The week went so fast! I did finish THREE books, only one of which I'd already started, so I'm THRILLED with that! My original goals and progress notes are here. The only thing I didn't do well this week was connect with others as much as I wanted to. The May Bout of Books is always the week of a big event at my work, where I have to work 6 days in a row and it's always crazy, so I have a lot less time for social media, connecting with others, and the twitter chats:( Hoping to do that more in the August Bout of Books, which is August 20-26! August is nice and slow around here.

My total time spent reading was 17 hours and 14 minutes, significantly more than Bout of Books 21, so that was awesome! I read for a super long time on Sunday. I was so tired from the work week that sitting around reading was all I felt like doing on Sunday morning!

I finished these books this week, and loved them all! I read my ARC of the new Emily Giffin in 24 hours--could NOT put it down!!


 Did you participate in Bout of Books? I hope you had an enjoyable week!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: How to Walk Away

36249638Title: How to Walk Away
Author: Katherine Center
Release Date: May 15, 2018
320 pages, St. Martin's Press

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads: 

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment .

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.

When you initially read the blurb for this book, it sounds like it's going to be a downer. Hospitals, a tragic accident, heartbreak....but I'm so glad I read this book! The author does a brilliant job of turning a tragic story into a page turning, engaging novel. I couldn't stop reading it and read more than half of it in one day. Margaret struggles in all aspects of her life and the author portrays her feelings in a very real, honest way. Not only does she struggle with how her life will change, there is also family drama to deal with that existed before her accident but was magnified after it.

The characters in this book was what connected me so much to this story and kept me reading. In addition to Margaret, I also loved her sister Kit. Oh and Ian, the Scottish psychical therapist? SWOON. I literally want to hang out with them all for an afternoon! This book has so much depth and emotion but also makes you laugh while exploring serious topics. What defines happiness? What defines a happy ending?

There were a few things I didn't like about the book that knocked a star off the rating. I won't spoil anything, and I can't say exactly what they are without spoilers, but the general idea is that I felt there were some choices made int the name of making a good story/romance aspect of it all (in my opinion) and took away a bit of how realistic the story was. BUT it didn't take away from the writing style and likeability of these wonderful characters! I definitely recommend this book! 

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bout of Books 22: Goals and Updates

Bout of Books 22 starts today! It's my favorite readathon because it gives me the opportunity to connect with other readers and bloggers, as well as an extra excuse to devote more time to reading :) As in the past few Bout of Books rounds, I'm not stressing out about pages read. My goals this time are the exact same as Bout of Books 21. Want more details about Bout of Books? Check out my sign up post.


1. Spend time reading. Duh. I will be tracking TIME reading, not pages. Pages are hard to compare--a YA book vs. a women's fiction book vs. a graphic novel. I don't care how many pages, or compare this readathon's page total to another, I just want to spend time reading because I love reading! My goal is to spend more time reading than usual but not stress out about it. I have enough in my life to stress over and reading is supposed to be FUN!
2. Connect with other readers and bloggers via Twitter, Instagram, etc. Bout of Books is such a great way to connect with others! Please tweet or DM me on instagram to connect!

3. Have fun! Always the main goal of Bout of Books!!

The Books

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I started Little Fires Everywhere late last week and am 100 pages in. Loving it so far and finishing it is also a goal this week.  You Think It, I'll Say It is the May Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, so that one is next on my list! Also just got Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? from the library and going to read it this week too.

Daily Log

Time Spent Reading:

Monday: 2 hrs, 30 minutes in Little Fires Everywhere

Tuesday: 3 hours, finished Little Fires Everywhere and started You Think It, I'll Say it

Wednesday: 3.5 hours, mostly in Food, and also in You Think It, I'll Say It

Thursday: 1 hour in You Think It, I'll Say It

Friday: 45 minutes in You Think It, I'll Say It

Saturday: 2 hours--finished You Think It, I'll Say It, and started All We Ever Wanted

Sunday: 5 hours reading (wahoo!) Finished All We Ever Wanted

Total Time Spent Reading: 17 hours, 45 minutes

Books Finished: Little Fires Everywhere, You Think It, I'll Say It, and All We Ever Wanted

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Tag: Would Your Rather?

I saw this book tag on Angel's Guilty Pleasures and thought it would be a fun Friday blog post!

Rather read only series or standalone books?

Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?
No preference!

Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?

Rather all books become movies or tv shows?
Hmmm....probably a TV show. Usually the book is better no matter what but with the length of a TV show you can go more in depth.

Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?
5 books a week! Though that sounds exhausting. Unless I could get paid to read!

Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?

Rather only read the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?
New book every 6 months for sure

Rather be a librarian or own a book store?
Librarian. Still get to work with books, but not be a business owner--that's a lot of stress! Plus I really believe in libraries and how the provide access to books to those who can't afford bookstore prices.

Rather only read your favorite genre or your favorite author?

Rather only read physical books or eBooks?
That is a really tough one. I love both--it really depends on my mood. I love the feel and smell of physical books, but I love the convenience and easy travel ability with my kindle. If I had to pick....eBooks, as much as it hurts to say it.

I'd love to hear your answers as well!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go

36334131Title: The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
Author: Amy E. Reichert
352 pages, release date May 15, 2018 by Gallery Books

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

1. Get through to your daughter. 2. Buy more cheese. 3. Don't forget to call your mother.

Grilled G's Gourmet Food Truck is where chef, owner, obsessive list-maker, and recent widow Gina Zoberski finds the order and comfort she needs to struggle through each day, especially when confronted with her critical mother Lorraine and sullen daughter May.

Image-conscious Lorraine always knows best and expects her family to live up to her high expectations, no matter what. May just wants to be left alone to mourn her father in her own way. Gina always aims to please, but finds that her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys both her mother and her daughter, no matter how hard she tries.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine's kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother's failing health and her daughter's rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go...

This book had so many things I love--food, lists, family relationships. I loved the mother/daughter relationships explored in the book between Lorraine, Gina, and Vicky, as well as Gina and May. I also loved the sister relationship between Gina and Vicky. These relationships, death, and grief were all portrayed in a very real way in this book, which I appreciated. I loved seeing the parallels between Lorraine and Gina's relationship and Gina and May's relationship. I related to so many characters in this book in different ways.

Because of all the family relationships, it is definitely an emotional book compared to what you expect with women's fiction, but it's so well written and so heartwarming.  And the foodie fiction portion of the book (this book WILL make your mouth water for a grilled cheese!) makes the book a fun read too.  If you liked Reichert's The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, I think you'll like this one even more! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

W...W..W...Wednesday May 9


The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?  
What did you recently finish reading?  
What do you think you’ll read next?
Recently Finished  
Review on the blog tomorrow!! Really enjoyed this one.
Currently Reading
Reading two ARC's this week...unfortunately I'm having trouble getting into The Favorite Sister.  So many characters and so much drama. Hoping to get into it a little more. I loved the author's first book.  I am SO EXCITED about When Life Gives You Lululemons. The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorites, and I was SO disappointed with Revenge Wears Prada....but Lululemons is fantastic so far! Everything I hoped it would be!!!
Up Next
I'm reviewing A Sin Such as This for TLC Book Tours on May 29, and the publisher was kind enough  to give me Love Lies Beneath, the first in the series as well. Going to read them back to back!
What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: Dreaming of St-Tropez

Title: Dreaming of St-Tropez
39677649Author: T. A. Williams
Publish Date: May 7, 2018

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.
Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.
Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…
Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

 Can I say my dream is to actually BE a character in one of T.A.'s books?? I've read and reviewed several of his books, and I absolutely love them!! This book is no exception.  A delightful setting, a summer rent-free in a guest house with her best friend, new friends, a good looking guy...AND a lovable black Labrador? Yes please! I enjoyed every minute of this book and it's the perfect vacation or beach read. I read the entirety of it on a cross country flight and it helped me imagine I was reading on a nice warm beach instead of stuck in an airplane! I loved Jess as a character, and I also really liked David as a character, mysterious as he was at first. But my favorite character of all--Brutus--the black Lab! Out of all T.A.'s books this is one where I really want to know more about what happens to the characters after the book is over! If you're looking for a light, entertaining, makes you happy beach read--this is the book for you!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 4, 2018

High Five for Friday: May 4


Inspired by Brandie at Running on Words and Wine and Kim at Kimberlyfaye Reads,I've created my own Friday post!
1. New Books this Week
 Got these ones from NetGalley this week!

2. Books I've Been Loving this Week 

 Just finished this one last night and really enjoyed it!

3. When I Wasn't Reading

 Between my trip to Orlando and just being exhausted and busy last week, I didn't run for a full two weeks (I did other workouts, but not running), which is unusual for me. I ran on Monday and was worried it would be a rough one, but it actually felt really good! Been walking the pups a lot this week too since the nice weather is back!
 4. So Random
 Because I love Hawaii so much, I follow what's going on over there a lot.  Right now there have been a lot of earthquakes around Kilauea and scientists are concerned there might be an eruption! Lava is flowing in parts of Leilani Estates and areas have been evacuated :( Real time updates are posted here! I was at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park two years ago this week. Such a fascinating place! Hope everyone in Puna and surrounding areas stay safe though.
Jaggar Observation area, May 3, 2016
 5. Weekend Plans 
No real solid plans yet, which is nice! Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, so I'm sure margaritas will happen at some point :)  Lots of hanging out with the pups, spending time outside, and reading I'm sure! 
Also: I signed up for Bout of Books this week!! You should too!

Happy Friday and Happy Reading!  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bout of Books 22 Sign Up!

Another Bout of Books already?? YAY! Bout of Books 22 starts Monday, May 14!  This is my favorite readathon because it is so easy to connect with other readers and bloggers during the event! What is Bout of Books, you ask? Here's the official details from their blog:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th 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 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

There's still plenty of time to sign up! This is a FUN, no pressure reading event, so why not sign up and join me in a fun reading week?

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

W...W...W...Wednesday May 2


The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
Recently Finished  

 Surprisingly, this was my first Wolitzer read, and I really enjoyed it!

Currently Reading
Up Next


What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!