Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Show Us Your Books: November 2019

November SUYB, and I'm grateful for all readers who share what they're reading. Sharing is caring. I love to see it on Instagram especially because it's passive and visual. 

A few housekeeping items: next month, in addition to the regular SUYB on the second Tuesday of the month (December 10), we'll be hosting Favorite Reads of 2019 and you can link up on Friday, December 27, for that, or any time the week after. The link up will be open for seven days. That's always one of my favorite posts of the year and I hope it's one of yours too.

Also Jana and I will be doing a December giveaway - winner gets $25 gift certif to the bookseller of their choice + $25 donation in their name to a charity we're still working out. That will be going on in the December 10 linkup. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup.
Buy it links are affiliate links and buying through them supports this link up 

Engrossing Reads

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall - I got this from this linkup, I just don't know who it's from. I typically don't like books with child narrators but I really liked this. It was a quick and quirky read, different from a lot of stuff I read. Polly is a character and a half. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

The Lies We Hide by S.E. Lynes - This was surprisingly moving in parts for what is essentially a family drama that feels like a thriller but really isn't one, in my opinion. Still the writing pressed me on like something shocking was coming and what's coming will maybe shock some people? It didn't shock me. There are so many family dramas (I think they're calling these books domestic thrillers?) that they're easy to read and move on from, but I liked the friendship between the women in this book and that stuck with me after reading it. Free e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out December 4    buy it or find it on Kindle Unlimited

The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta - Erin sent Jana and I a message to read this, and I'm so glad she did. It wasn't available at my libraries but I lucked into it on Kindle Unlimited before my trial there runs out. Like all of Marchetta's books, I loved this cast of far from perfect characters and the way they come together. Kindle Unlimited free read      buy it

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson - Woodson's writing is stunning, like it was in Another Brooklyn. The mother/daughter relationship, ambition, teen pregnancy, opportunity, class, racism, sexual identity, this has it all, and the writing around all of it weaving tales and families together is just excellent. This is the kind of book that makes me regret not using my english lit degree to teach lit at a higher level. I can see breaking this down in a circle in a classroom on a winter's day. If you don't like literary fiction or books that ask your mind to reach outside of your zone, you will not like this. Same with Another Brooklyn. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben - Another from last month's SUYB and I did not want to let this one go. I can't believe I missed it when it came out a few years back. It sucked me right in. One of his better books. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Child, this book was alternately exhilarating and terrifying. It can be read without first reading Handmaid's Tale but it shouldn't be. And no, watching the show does not count. A delicious and long awaited follow-up. OCNJ library hard cover     buy it

If I Had Two Lives by A.B. Whelan - I was on the edge of my seat with this book and finished it in two sittings. I read these types of books all the time and this one was wild. I highly recommend it.
I got a free copy from Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review. E-book, Book publishes November 14     buy it, only $1.99 on kindle/free via Kindle Unlimited

Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen - On the heels of that thriller, I read another. This one was also a super quick read and quite enjoyable. I saw this on "books you might like" on a sidebar or similar on Goodreads and bravo, Goodreads. I did indeed like. Also since my favorite book format is paperback, when I request a book from the library and end up with it in paperback format, I do major fist pumps. OCNJ paperback   buy it (also on Kindle Unlimited for free if you have that)

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan - I wanted to punch the main character in the face several times but I still enjoyed this book. I waited for it a the library a while, and it was worth it, which is always good. When I picked it up, the librarian said, "I think I'm next on the hold list after you," so I made sure to finish it lickety split because that's what readers do for each other when subtly nudged. OCNJ library hard cover

In the Darkness (Zoe Bentley Mystery #2) by Mike Omer - I found out there was a Zoe #2 via Dani's Blue, which is why I love when people share what they're reading on blogs, the gram, etc. Another solid Zoe book. I'll continue with the series. Kindle unlimited e-copy

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore - Another pick from last month's SUYB I think, and another nice interlude between the serial killer/police procedural genre I bathe my brain in. Sometimes it's also nice to read a book about a summer place when you're heading into fall. OCNJ library hard cover

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher - I wasn’t sure what to believe and while things got a little muddled,  I liked this. Interesting story and good pace. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out December 30

Not Worth It
The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler - My main hurdles were: 1) main character was super immature 2) a lot of things were oversimplified, including mental illness, which is not simple. Less impactful were the annoying brother, how the father was written, and overly simplified writing. I also figured out early who the killer was but had no idea what the motivation was so that spurred me to read through. Figuring stuff like that out doesn't bother me though, so that was not a factor in the meh rating. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out January 28, 2020

Did Not Finish

The Giver of Stars by Jo Moyes - The story felt familiar to me. See original article here and here, an update, as further info regarding the claims are shared last week. Nope nope nope. After the original article and feeling like I'd read a similar story (which I did, earlier this year) I couldn't do it.

What have you been reading? 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is December 10, 2019 
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

Monday, November 11, 2019

TWTW - the one with the books

Friday Work work work from 7 am on, with a nice freezing as hell lunch time beach walk. I went to see my mother in law in North Wildwood in the late afternoon and caught a sunset on the way home. I was in bed reading by 8.

Saturday Sunrise was cold AF and not picturesque. You'll have this. I did some shore chores in the house before going to the library and grocery store and taking a walk on the beach that was much, much nicer than the morning walk. I scored some minor finds and the dogs did as well. I dropped them at home, dropped some unused placemats off to another owner, and got some slices to eat at Tony P's counter.
Super freaking pumped to see Delia Owens at the Music Pier. She is very smart - I don't think I knew she was a biologist who had written numerous nonfiction books about her 23 years of work in the wilds of Africa - and had a great dry sense of humor. I loved her talk, and the Q&A. I told her I had an ARC from Netgalley when she was signing my book....freaking talking about Netgalley with an author, fangirl heaven. Author events are like meeting movie stars to me.
I was done after that and my boardwalk bike ride. I got on the couch and didn't move for the night, just finished up my book and ate a big ass slice of carrot cake for dinner.
Sunday I was tempted to sleep in and man I'm glad I didn't. No one else did either so the dogs couldn't run off leash and were pissed.
I read for most of the morning, packed up and showered, then headed home.
I forced myself to do weekly food prep even though I did NOT want to. I mostly lounged and read while MFD worked and watched two Matrix movies which I loathe. I fell asleep on the couch and didn't get up to go upstairs until 3 am. 

Weekly food prep: Breakfasts are greek yogurt with granola. Snacks are red grapes, pretzels, sunflower seeds. Lunches are buffalo chicken spaghetti squash. Dinners are chicken (fried on Sunday, air fryer buffalo wings othrewise) and spinach/argula salad with steamed red potatoes, and probably a pasta.

Speaking of books, Show Us Your Books is tomorrow. See you here for that. 

Today and every day, thank you to our veterans. 

The rest of the day has to be better than the morning, in which I had to split an Uber with three stranger ladies from the train station to get to work because SEPTA had sent no trains in over an hour. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - I just might love you forever I hope you warm up to me

Burning this candle. The wick is wood and while that's cool and all, it doesn't burn the same as the other Evil Queens I've burned through that left zero anything on the side of the candle and burned clean and straight down.

Buying a Butterball turkey from Aldi for 87 cents/pound. That's a great price. If you are in the market, check your local Aldi. Their sales are Saturday to Saturday so get on it. 

Looking forward to the weekend.

Painting my nails with Sally Insta-Dri in Midnight Drive and Essie No Place Like Chrome.

Being a slug. I blame 5 pm dark.

Rejoicing in local victories. A black single mother from North Philly took a seat on City Council to beat out many republicans and showed the establishment democrats who belongs where in Philadelphia this week. This is the first time in 70 years a candidate outside of the two party system has won one of the minority seats on Council. You're on notice, Philly politicians of both sides - work for the people or the people will vote you the fuck out. Thank you Working Families Party. More candidates like this who will govern for the middle class and poor and not cater to the rich and corporations running for seats across the country please. News is good in all surrounding Philadelphia suburbs as well. Local races send big messages and there were lots of messages sent out of southeastern PA yesterday. KY and VA too. I hope you voted Tuesday. Local elections matter. Shit rolls both up and downhill in politics and if you don't attack it at all levels, you aren't doing your job as a citizen. Start figuring out now when your primary is in the spring. Who is running that represents your values? What can you do to help get them into office? 
LOLing because I say bag of dicks all the time
Sending Christmas cards again this year. I took last year off. After the election I didn't want to do a fucking thing to put myself out there more even to people I know. I still don't, most days. But I'm back on the card train. They're ordered, they've arrived. I'm halfway finished with my Christmas shopping too. I don't have much, but still. I don't love the Christmas season so I make it as stress-free as possible. That way what I'm doing that's holiday related at the end of November and throughout December is stuff I actually want to do. 

Glimpsing the fall foliage that's left on the trees. The past few storms haven't been kind.
Reading advanced reader copies in November. That's the plan, anyway. Except, of course, what I'm reading right now because whenever I make a blanket statement I must immediately contradict myself. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday. That came up quickly, didn't it?

Listening to Charlie by Mallrat on repeat

Reminding you to surround yourself with people who will encourage your growth and grow with you and adapt as you change and your relationship with them changes. Don't stand still for any damn person.


What's new with you?

Linking up with Kristen

Monday, November 4, 2019

TWTW - the one with the birthdays and other things

Friday I worked late then we headed to South Philly for Melissa's surprise 50th dinner organized by Blane. It was a nice night, but we had to jet out by around 9. The photo I have is one in which I am the only person without glasses.

Saturday We were up and out by 6:30 to meet my Dad and Carol and my uncle at the Purple Stride walk in West Fairmount Park. Thanks to everyone who donated to me or Madeline's Marchers, our team in memory of my grandmom. We ran into my oldest friend Jen and her college ladies too, it was great to see them!
How fucking basic is this. I am annoyed that I patronized Starbucks and have guilt over the single use plastic cup but the pumpkin spice cold cream whatever sans vanilla syrup is delicious. Anyway I returned something to Target and picked up a few groceries. I feel like I take forever in there if I don't have my cartwheel AKA circle already loaded.
Saturday night sushi dinner at Ota-Ya for my Dad's birthday. Everything was delicious and it was nice to have dinner together. I lay on the couch like a slug after and was in bed by 11.
Sunday I thought I overslept because it was so light when I woke up but alas, it was only fall back day. I cleaned up the kitchen, MFD washed the couches, I changed out garden flags and put the few Halloween decor items that were out away before heading to Doylestown to meet my knottie girls AEB and Alicia for breakfast at Cross Keys Diner. We usually go to The Hattery but it's under renovation. It's always nice to catch up in person. I can't believe we've known each other for just about 10 years. I popped into Marshalls on the way home to look for garland and pick up some olive oil. That was stupid because everyone was trying to get their errands run before the Eagles game and it's like taking your life in your hands in the parking lots in and around Philadelphia. At home I put the couches back together, did food prep, cleaned up the kitchen, did some more laundry, started a new book, and watched season two of Schitts Creek.
Weekly food prep: Breakfasts are egg muffins with mushrooms and cheese. Lunches are rustic tuscan sausage soup. Red grapes and pretzels for a snack. Dinners are that same soup and mid-week chicken tenders, steamed red potatoes, and cauliflower.

Busy week ahead. Let's go!

What's your voting plan for tomorrow?

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