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September Reads {2019}

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Today’s September reads post is short and sweet. Sadly, I was stuck in a reading rut and didn’t have much motivation to read. Part of the problem was that I made myself finish a book for my book club that I just wasn’t into. So it was very slow reading and not many books were read. The books I read were all over the rating scale. With only four books read, I had a 2, 3, 4 and 5 star read this month. Here are my September reads that I’m sharing with Jana and Steph’s monthly linkup.

2 stars

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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – In 1962 Pasquale is running his family’s hotel on the Italian coast. American actress Dee Moray ends up as a guest at his inn. The two end up forming a close relationship despite their language barrier. Present day, Claire Silver must listen to movie pitches for her movie producer boss. An unexpected visitor leads her on a path to connecting the past. This book ruined me this month. I would have given up on it, but it was my book club’s read for the month. It had been on my to read list, so I’m glad that I finally was able to give it a try. I was also the only one in the book club who didn’t love it. The story line didn’t interest me at all which made me want to do anything but read. However, I’m definitely in the minority with my opinion about this book. If it’s been on your to read list, I recommend you give it a try.

3 stars

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My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni – Tracy Crosswhite has spent 20 years looking into the disappearance of her younger sister, Sarah. Edmund House was convicted and put in jail, but she’s not convinced he’s guilty. But then Sarah’s body is discovered and Tracy makes some discoveries that put her life in danger. This was just an okay mystery for me and didn’t make me interested in continuing the Tracy Crosswhite series.


4 stars

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Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane – Peter Stanhope and Kate Gleeson are neighbors and best friends. Their fathers, both cops, met on the job and moved their families to the suburbs. After a tragic accident, the two families who were once cordial to one another, are not the same. As the book progresses, we follow Peter and Kate and how their lives are shaped by the accident. This book was Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Summer Reads book pick. My husband listened to it on audio and I read it so we can discuss it with each other. This book gave me insight into mental illness and alcoholism and the effects they have on a family.

5 stars

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – It’s 1942 and Lale Sokolov is transported from Slovokia to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He is given the job of tattooist, marking his fellow prisoners with the numbers that will identify them. For over two years he survives at the camp, even falling in love. This book had been on my to read list for awhile. While the subject matter of the Holocaust is always difficult to read, I think that it’s important to remember. Like many books about this time period, it is based on a true story. It is well written and a highly recommended read.

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July Reads {2019}

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It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. I haven’t read half of what I wanted to read! The good news is that I read eight books last month and almost all of them were four star reads! My library is hosting an adult summer reading BINGO game, so I enjoyed reading books to get a BINGO. Maybe I’ll even win a prize! I’m sharing my books with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here are my July reads:

3 stars:

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The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda – Jane Harris lives in a beautiful home in a gated community and seems to have the perfect life. Overcome with grief after her older daughter Mary’s death, she’s barely left the house over the past year. With her younger daughter Betsy graduating high school, Jane is ready to get her life back. However, things aren’t as perfect as they appear and it is harder for her than expected. I like a good suspense/psychological thriller, but I wasn’t a fan of this book. Unlikable characters, unreliable narrator….I just wasn’t impressed.

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Startup by Doree Shafrir – Mack McAllister is trying to launch an improved version of his Mindfulness app and needs money from investors to do so. Katya is a writer for a tech blog, where Dan Blum is her boss. With two young children at home, Dan’s wife Sabrina decides to reenter the work force and ends up being one of the oldest employees working at Mack’s company, helping them with their social media. After a scandal breaks, Katya and Sabrina This was my in-person book club’s July read. I didn’t realize that Doree Shafrir, of the Forever35 podcast that I listen to, had written a book! While I found the look into the tech startup world interesting, the story was pretty “eh.” None of the characters were very likable and the ending left me wanting more.

4 stars:

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The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver – Lincoln Rhyme was a star criminologist until a work accident left him a paraplegic. He’s been called in to assist when a serial killer on a case he finds intriguing. With the assistance of police detective Amelia Sach, the pair work together to try to stop the killer. I watched this movie starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie years ago. I was trying to find a book to fit the “crime” category for my library BINGO game and decided to read this book, since I liked the movie. It was really good! I enjoyed the detailed forensics and what goes into a crime scene investigation. Now I want to watch the movie again.

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A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams – Lily has known Budgie since they were kids spending summers together in Seaview, Rhode Island. During college, Budgie dated Graham Pendleton and Lily fell in love with his football teammate Nick Greenwald. Fast forward to Memorial Day, 1938 and Lily is back in Seaview to spend the summer with her family. When Budgie and Nick Greenwald arrive they get the small town talking, and not in a good way. Told between the past and present day (1938), we learn the story of what happened between Lily and Nick. This book has been on my to read list since 2013! Based on the title, I decided to make it a summer read. Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable read.

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One Day in December by Josie Silver – Laurie doesn’t believe in love at first sight…..until one day she’s on a bus and she sees Jack sitting at the bus stop. After a year looking for him, her best friend and roommate, Sarah, brings home her boyfriend to introduce to Laurie…..and it turns out to be Jack. The story is told over ten years as we follow the three of them through their ups and downs. This was a cute contemporary romance and a perfect light summer read.

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The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth – Ever since Lucy married Ollie, she was never close to her mother-in-law, Diana. Five years later and Diana is found dead in what appears to look like a suicide, but is not. Now everyone is a suspect and who had motive to want Diana dead? The book alternates between Diana’s past and present day. I thought the book gave an interesting look at family dynamics and parenting privileged kids. I’ve enjoyed every Hepworth book that I’ve read and this one didn’t disappoint.

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The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms – When Amy’s husband reappears in her life after three years and wants to spend some quality time with their children, Amy is left with a lot of time on her hands. She ends up in NYC for the summer on #momspringa living an exciting life. But when summer ends she has to figure out if she really wants to return to her old life. I know a lot of people read and posted about this book in past linkups and weren’t huge fans. As a mom of an 11 and 13 year old, the overwhelm and under appreciation is real! I could relate to Amy in that respect and for the first time ever, took a short two day solo trip to a wellness spa this past June. Overall, this was a relatable, fun read for me.

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Verity by Colleen Hoover – Lowen is given a job to finish writing the remaining books of bestselling author Verity Crawford. Going through Verity’s notes, Lowen discovers an autobiography that she wrote with lots of revelations that she’s not sure Verity’s husband, Jeremy, is aware of. As Lowen starts falling for Jeremy she wrestles with sharing what she’s discovered. I recommended this book for my work book club’s July read and everyone loved it. This was the first Hoover book that any of them had read. I’m a huge fan of Hoover and have read almost all of her books. This book is so much darker than her normal stuff. It was a bit disturbing but also hard to put down.

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June Reads {2019}

Happy summer! Reading on the beach is my favorite summer reading spot and I’m fortunate to have been able to enjoy a good amount of this over the past couple of weeks. Today, I’m sharing my June Reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly SUYB linkup. June was not a great reading month for me. I only read four books, which was disappointing. However, we’re not even half-way through July yet and I’ve already read four books! Yeah for summertime! Here are my June reads:

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3 stars:

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Passion On Park Avenue by Lauren Layne – Naomi Powell is the successful CEO of the jewelry and accessory subscription company, Maxcessory. She discovers that her new neighbor Oliver is the boy who used to torment her when she was younger. Naomi also becomes friends with Claire and Audrey when the three discover they have something (or should I say, someone) in common. This was my first Lauren Layne book. It’s the first book in a three book series, that I will likely not continue. However, I may give one of her other book series a go if I’m in the mood for a romance. Overall, it was an okay, cute romance novel that fits the bill if you’re looking for a light summer read.

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Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss – Meredith’s father was supposed to be in prison for nine years, until she turned 18. But now at 15, he is being released and her newly, safe world is disrupted. Trigger warning – this book deals with child sexual abuse/rape. It was a dark and disturbing read that sickened me to think that there are adults who sexually abuse their own children. I want to believe that “in real life” it wouldn’t be so easy for this father to come back into his daughter’s life like this one did.

4 stars:

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Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue – Jende and his wife Neni are Cameroonian immigrants, trying to make it in America. It’s the fall of 2007 and they are living in Harlem, when Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Jende and Neni think they are, “living the dream” but then Lehman Brothers collapses and everyone is affected. The many themes of this book including immigration, social class and relationships made it a great book club choice, for the local book club that I recently joined.

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Run Away by Harlan Coben – Simon and Ingrid haven’t seen their daughter in forever. Addicted to drugs she’s gone into hiding with her boyfriend. But Simon sees her one day playing the guitar in Central Park and follows her. This time he’s on a mission to find her and bring her home, but he ends up going down a dark and dangerous path. I’ve been a Coben fan for awhile and know that when I pick up one of his books it will be a quick, suspenseful read. This one didn’t disappoint.

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May Reads {2019}

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It’s time for me to share my May reads with Jana and Steph’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. May was a decent reading month for me in terms of numbers, with seven books read. However, four of the books were only three stars, so not wonderful in terms of quality. I did read three non-fiction books this month which is more than I usually tend to read. Here are my May reads:

3 Stars:

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This book, told in interview style, describes the building and demise of Daisy Jones and the Six, a seventies rock band. I know that I’m in the minority here with my rating on this book. I love Taylor Jenkins Reid. The format was okay with the interview style/different perspectives. However, I didn’t find the story line interesting.

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Girls Just Want to Have Likes by Laurie Wolk – As a parent, I am really struggling with technology use and social media, especially with my 13 year-old. Wolk gives tips and advice on how to build a foundation and boundaries with technology and social media use.

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Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center – Helen is divorced at 32. She needs a change and decides to go on a wilderness survival course in Wyoming. Right before she goes she learns that her brother’s best friend Jake will also be going. I’ve read a couple of other books by Center. This one was okay but not my fave.

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You Are a Bad Ass Every Day by Jen Sincero – I’ve read Sincero’s other Bad Ass books. This book was more of a resource of inspiration rather than a reading book. I like her other books better.

4 Stars:

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Educated by Tara Westover – At 17, Tara attends Brigham Young University, without ever having a formal education, growing up, “off the grid.” One of seven siblings, she had a traumatic childhood filled with abuse and parents who believed more in their religion than their children. This book starts off very slowly. This was my second attempt at reading it, after originally giving up about fifty pages in. After so many rave reviews I had to give it another try and am glad that I did. Westover’s story is very powerful and it’s amazing that she was able to overcome such odds.

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Where the Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens – Kya, also known as the Marsh Girl, has lived on her own since she was about nine years old. When a well-known community member is found dead in the marsh, Kya becomes the number one suspect. This book started out very slow for me. Since both my mom and a colleague raved about this book I decided to stick with it and am glad that I did. Owens is a descriptive writer, where at times it felt like too much for me. But it was a great overall story.

5 Stars:

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – I know I am so late to the GOT party. But I finally finished the first book in the series after starting it January 1. This was one of my goals of 2019 and I did it! In the meantime, my husband and I are watching the series and are up to Season 3. I enjoyed the first book more than the show. There’s just so much more detail in the books that they can’t put in the show. But I think they did a great job of editing and making it all work. I have started the second book but with all my other reading, it’s not one of my reading priorities.

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April Reads {2019}

It’s time once again to share my April reads with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup. I read six books in April and unfortunately, only two of them were great reads. My reading hasn’t gotten much better, as we are almost half-way through May and I only have two books read. Here’s to hoping I can up my reading game!

2 Stars:

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All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding – This “suspense” book take a look at the world of online dating. The topic is relevant for today and I’m surprised that I haven’t read any other suspense type books that take on this topic. This book had a lot going on, however, I didn’t feel like there was any resolutions and was disappointed with the ending. I used to really enjoy Joy Fielding. However, I have not enjoyed her more recent books, including this one.

3 Stars:

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Outer Order Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin – Rubin’s latest book offers tips and strategies to help create order and organization. I am a huge Rubin fan, but this is my least favorite book of hers. I didn’t really learn anything new in this book. I listen to her podcast Happier and I feel like she’s talked about almost everything that’s in the book.

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The Me Without: A Year of Exploring Habit, Healing and Happiness by Jacqueline Raposo – Each month Raposo gives up one thing – social media, sugar, spending, etc. to see how it affects her. Suffering from a chronic illness and deep in debt, she wants to see if taking away things will help her. This was another okay non-fiction read for me this month.

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The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani – After her third miscarriage, Jaya decides to travel to India to see where her mother grew up. Her mom never talks about her family or childhood so Jaya hopes to learn about her family’s past. Through Ravi, her grandmother’s family servant, Jaya discovers, “the storyteller’s secret.” This book was slow at times. However, I enjoyed learning about the Indian culture.

4 Stars:

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No Exit by Taylor Adams – Darby Thorne gets stuck in a snowstorm on her way home to Utah to visit her dying mother. She’s forced to take up shelter in a rest stop with a couple of other people. When she sees a young girl locked up in an animal cage in the van parked next to her, Darby tries to figure out how she can help her. With no cell phone reception, in the midst of a major storm, this proves to be a very difficult task. This was a fast-paced read, with lots of twists. This is one of those books that I think would make a good movie.

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The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan – My son is participating in our library’s Battle of the Books summer competition. I have been trying to read the books that he has to read to help quiz him. This was the first book that he read. It’s the first book in a fantasy/adventure series. In the kingdom, it’s time for the teens to be given an apprentice to study under. Will really wants to be picked for Battle School but is selected to be a Ranger’s apprentice. This book started slow for me, as it set up all of the background. But the second half of the book really picked up. My son wasn’t the biggest fan of this book and likely won’t continue the series.


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March Reads {2019}

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I’ve not been very active on the blog recently, but I couldn’t miss Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. While I haven’t been in the mood to write very much, I have been reading up a storm. I read eight books in March, most of which were really great reads! Here are my March reads from least to most liked.

3 Stars:

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The Little Book of Life Hacks by Yumi Sakugawa – This is a fun little non-fiction book with beautiful illustrations. However, there’s so much information and much of it is nothing new.

4 Stars:

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All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung – Nicole was born to Korean parents and adopted as a newborn. Raised by a white family in a small town in Oregon, she doesn’t know much about her adoption. But now, pregnant with her own child, Nicole hires someone to help her contact her birth parents. She learns things about her biological family, while discovering family secrets and making new connections. Adoption is complicated. Although I am adopted myself, I didn’t relate to her situation. She was born in the United States to Korean parents, where I was born in South Korea. I do wonder about my medical history, which is a difficult part of being adopted and what started her search for her birth parents.

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An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Jessica Farris signs up for Dr. Shield’s psychology study and becomes Subject 52. She must answer a series of questions about morality that become more invasive. She is soon being manipulated by Dr. Shield and that this study is more than she had bargained for. This was a great suspense read that had plenty of twists to keep me guessing until the end.

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Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt – Alice meets Kat at the airport during a delayed flight. The two discover that they live near each other and become fast friends. But then Howard, Kat’s husband, dies in what appears to be a murder. The police start looking at Alice as a suspect and Kat suddenly becomes unavailable. Alice must prove her innocence and discovers that she didn’t really know her “best friend.”

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Cravings by Chrissy Teigen – I read her second, more recent cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More first. I really enjoy her down-to-earth writing style and the recipes are actually things that I want to cook.

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The Lies We Told by Camilla Way – This story has two story lines – present day where Clara’s boyfriend Luke disappears. His computer e-mails show that he’s had a stalker for some time. Over twenty years ago, Luke’s sister Emily disappeared. Now, she has suddenly returned and wants to help find Luke. The second story line takes place in the past where Beth and Doug realize that their daughter Hannah is not like other children her age. She seems troubled and aggressive. Of course the two story lines end up connecting in a series of plot twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I really enjoyed this book years ago when I first read it. This was my work book club’s March pick so I decided to do a reread. It was still as good as I remembered. I love Louisa and her quirkiness. This book also brought me a good reminder to make sure I get out there and try new things and enjoy life.

5 stars:

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Becoming by Michelle Obama – I don’t read many memoirs. I knew that I wanted to read this book though and had been waiting patiently, for what seems like forever, for it to come in from the library. I really enjoyed learning about Michelle’s past and what life was like for her balancing being the First Lady while still trying to keep life as normal for her daughters. She’s always been so down-to-earth and this book is so open and honest.

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February Reads {2019}

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February was a short month, but I managed to get six books read. As usual, I’m linking up with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup to share my February reads and get lots of new book recommendations!

3 Stars:

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The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels – I’ve been really into personality typing and learning more about and accepting who I am. This book gives an in-depth look at the enneagram, with descriptions of each and a test to find out which type you are. Section two goes into detail about what to do once you’ve discovered your type. Overall an informative read on the enneagram.

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Juror #3 by James Patterson & Nancy Allen – Ruby Bozearth is a young, brand-new attorney. She’s given a major felony case defending a college football star accused of murder. Because of her inexperience, everyone believes this will be a quick and easy case for the prosecution. Then there’s a second murder in which Ruby is called to help with and she realizes that she can’t trust anyone. Patterson books are always quick, easy reads for me and I do love a thriller….even if this one was just okay.

4 Stars:

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth – Charlie Calloway’s mother disappeared when she was seven years old. Now 17, Charlie attends Knollwood, an elite private school where she’s selected to be a member of the “A’s.” This secret society puts its newbies through a “hazing”that has dire consequences if you don’t complete your given tasks. During this process, Charlie also begins to uncover things about her mother’s past that may help her figure out what happened to her. This was an engrossing YA mystery/thriller.

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The Bucket List by Georgia Clark – 25 year-old Lacey Whitman is single in NYC, juggling two careers in the fashion industry. Her life is changed forever when she discovers that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene and has some big life decisions to make. With the help of her two best friends, she creates a “boob bucket list” of things that she wants to do with her boobs before her possible surgery. This is one of those books that gave me “all the feels.” I couldn’t imagine being faced with the decisions Lacey had to make at 25. I really liked Clark’s writing and am interested in reading her other book The Regulars.

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The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – This was a reread for me, as it was my work book club’s first book pick. I read it so many years ago that it was like reading it for the first time, since I didn’t remember most of it. This is one of the few Moriarty books that I’ve really enjoyed.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers – When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is found dead, her world is changed. she embarks on a journey to find her sister, but ends up going missing. Radio host Wes McCray learns about the case and starts a podcast that follows Sadie’s journey. This is one of those books that I would have never heard about or read if not for SUYB. It was a bit of a dark, YA read, but really good. I also read one of Summers’ other books, Some Girls Are and enjoyed that one as well.

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January Reads {2019}

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January was a great reading month for me in terms of quantity and quality. I am hoping to keep this reading streak going for the rest of the year! As usual, I’m sharing this post with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here are my January reads in order from least to most enjoyed.

3 Stars

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The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman – Imogen, Naomi and Ruby have all been with the cruel and manipulative, Phillip at some point. Each has their reasons for wanting revenge. The three women end up teaming up together to get back at their ex. Overall, this was just an okay suspense read for me.

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She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell – Twin sisters Bel and Rose attend the prestigious, private Odell Academy. Sarah and Heath Donovan are the dorm heads of Moreland Hall, where the girls live, as well as Bel and Rose’s advisors. Bel ends up hanging out with the wrong crowd and hazes her sister. They each turn to their respective advisors for support. When the story opens we know that one of the sisters dies, but we don’t know which one, how or why. This story is a psychological thriller that had some twists and kept me guessing.

4 Stars

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Clean My Space by Melissa Maker – This was my non-fiction book of the month. I heard about this book from a podcast. It’s a book about cleaning. Yes, it’s a bit repetitive at times, but Maker, who owns a cleaning business really details the process of cleaning. From making your own cleaners to the supplies you need, to the best way to clean each room in your house, this book is a wealth of cleaning information.

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Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen – I didn’t read Teigen’s first book Cravings. However, I really enjoyed reading this cookbook. Teigen writes in a very down-to-earth, relatable way. There are so many recipes in this cookbook that I want to make. So far, I have made one recipe from this cookbook and it was delicious!

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My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – Millie is the only girl in a gang of guys, all of them professors at UC Santa Barbara and all of them single. When they have a black-tie gala to attend, they decide that they need dates and try online dating. Things get a little messy when Millie and one of the guys, Reid, end up spending a half-night together. I have been devouring Christina Lauren’s books and have enjoyed all of their books that I have read! Just like the others, this one was a fun read and did not disappoint.

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Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen – (c/o Book Publicity Services) Thomas Wildus is almost 13. When he stumbles upon an old bookstore he is introduced to the Book of Sorrows. To read the book he must follow a strict set of rules. But the lure of magic is worth it to him. Through this book Thomas is introduced to a new world, discovers information about his family and learns that he has magical powers. I read this fantasy middle grade fiction book with my son. It was an engaging read, filled with magic and adventure, that we both enjoyed.

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Watching You by Lisa Jewell – Someone is murdered in Melville Heights, a nice neighborhood in England. But who did it? This book has lots of suspects and secrets that keeps the reader guessing. Jewell writes a good suspense novel that doesn’t disappoint.

5 Stars

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The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain – It is 1970 and Carly Sears lost her husband in the Vietnam War. But she is pregnant with his baby and learns that at 27 weeks her daughter has a heart defect that will kill her. Carly’s brother-in-law has a possible way to help her baby, which requires Carly to have strength and courage that she never realized she had. Prior to reading this, it has been years since I’ve read a Chamberlain book. I didn’t think that I’d be interested in the topic of this book, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

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December Reads 2018

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December was a busy month and unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to read. I ended the month with a total of four books read, which I think was my slowest month of 2018. Two were holiday themed reads, as I try to read a couple of Christmas books in December.

According to goodreads, I read a total of 82 books in 2018, surpassing my goal of 75. For 2019, I set the goal again of reading 75 books. Here’s looking forward to a new year of great reads! I’m sharing my December reads with Steph and Jana for their monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here they are in order from least to most stars:

3 stars:

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Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – The premise of this book interested me – nine strangers who meet at a health resort. However, this book took a weird, unexpected turn. Aside from Big Little Lies, I haven’t enjoyed the other Moriarty books I’ve read. I was hesitant about reading this one and as expected, wasn’t a big fan of this one.

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Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand – This is the second book in Hilderbrand’s Winter series. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan of this second book. Not much actually happens and it ends with the story still unfinished, so you know there’s a third book that you must read (and then a fourth!). I will likely finish the third and fourth books next December to see what happens with the Quinn family and see how the series ends.

4 stars:

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Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler – Haley wants to win a major Toy ad campaign but has no Christmas spirit. Her book sends her to Christmas Camp to hopefully learn to love the holiday and help her with her campaign. When Haley arrives, she first wants to complete the activities as fast as she can to get her certificate and leave. But then she meets some others who help her understand the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers there, it’s a Christmas book, so you know there will be a happy ending. This book was actually a movie first, and was filmed near me in the Hudson Valley. I haven’t seen it yet, but will hopefully watch it next December.

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Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – I have become a big fan of Christina Lauren’s contemporary romance books. Hazel is such a fun and quirky character and I really enjoyed following her and Josh set each other up on blind dates. This is one of those books that I think would make a great romantic comedy movie.

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October Reads {2018}

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It’s the second Tuesday of the month and time to share my October Reads with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup.  I’m going to be honest, October was a pretty disappointing reading month for me.  Almost all of my reads were 3 stars and just okay reads.  And it was a slow reading month for me with only five books read.  Here they are from least to most liked:

3 stars:
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All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin – I used to be a big Emily Giffin fan and have read almost every one of her books.  I actually enjoyed this story that shows the divide between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy and the effects that bad decisions teens make can have on their peers and families.  My only issue was that the story felt unresolved to me and rushed at the end.

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The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances – Laura is happy to meet her son’s new girlfriend.  But she doesn’t get good vibes from Cherry (yes, I had a problem with this name!), and thinks that she’s a manipulative gold digger.  But her son has fallen for her and now must choose between his girlfriend and mother.  When Daniel is injured in an accident, Laura makes a decision that she thinks is in his best interest….but ultimately there are consequences.  Some things in this book were a bit far fetched, but overall an okay suspense read.

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Next of Kin by James Tucker – This is the first book in the Detective Buddy Lock series.  I’ve been avoiding starting a new series, but decided to give this one a go.  Detective Lock investigates the murder of the prestigious Brook family.  Their 10-year-old son Ben, is the only survivor, but someone wants him dead too.  Buddy tries to keep Ben safe while finding the murderer.  This was a quick read and an okay mystery.  I’m willing to give the next book in the series a try.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones – I didn’t realize when I put this book on hold that it had a very similar premise to The Girlfriend – son has a girlfriend, mom is jealous.  So, I might have tired of the plot line and thus my 3 star rating.  But I don’t know.  The story had me interested, but questioning why does Emily stay with Adam?  Pammie did some shady things to keep Emily away from her son.  This was a suspenseful read and the ending totally surprised me….so it may be worth the read if you like suspense books.  Of the two, I’d recommend this one over The Girlfriend.

4 stars:
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Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – This was my non-fiction read of the month.  I have become a fan of Rachel Hollis after listening to the Rise Together podcast that she does with her husband.  Then I learned that she has her own podcast Rise and realized that I read one of her fiction books Party Girl and really liked it.  In this book, she talks about the lies that we tell ourselves and how we need to get over them to live our best life.  It’s an inspiring read told in a very down-to-earth way.