Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy 2017!

Welcome me!

I’ve kind of disappeared from the blogging world. I’m not exactly sure why, but the less I blogged, the less I wanted to blog. My reading list from other blogs was stacking up, unread, and the bigger the list got, the more I didn’t even want to open it and read them. My list of books read but unreviewed got bigger and bigger, and it too, became overwhelming so that I didn’t even WANT to review books I’d read. And then the worst thing…..I pretty much quit reading! I didn’t even make my Goodreads goal; though I only missed by one book, though some were re-reads and aren’t showing up in my Goodreads totals.

I think a lot of things happened that caused this backlog, but no reason to go over 2016. And I don’t feel THAT bad about not making my reading goal in Goodreads. I did notice over the year that while I read a few less books, many of the books I DID read were longer, and I read a lot more nonfiction than I have in the past. That is a trend I hope to continue, so I won’t be challenging myself to read as many books as usual.

Dovetailing well the challenge to read more nonfiction books is my renewed interest in genealogy. While I haven’t been reading as much, I did trace my Italian ancestors back to 1790 in the past couple of months! I’ve also been trying to read more about the history of Italy, and I’m using Duolingo and Coffee Break Italian to try to learn Italian.

What that all means is that I will be changing how I blog. Until I catch up on my reviews, and regain my enthusiasm for blogging, this will probably become a ‘reviews’ only blog. This doesn’t mean I will never blog about anything else that interests me, but I won’t be blogging regularly or on a schedule. My reviews will be sporadic; there may be weeks between reviews and then several reviews in one week! I will not be participating in blog tours for now. I’m going to try to regain my enthusiasm for reading by reading what I want when I want...and I may or may not review what I read.  And I will NOT sign up for any reading challenges (other than the Goodread challenge), as that has not ended well for me in past years.

Happy 2017! Have a great year in reading!
post signature

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Nonfiction November 2016 - It's Time!

I realize my book blog has only been semi-active this year, but I’m going to try to get more regular with my postings….at least THIS month...because it’s NONFICTION NOVEMBER!!!

Nonfiction November is a month long blogging event dedicated to all things nonfiction. Last year the event really jump-started my nonfiction reading. I went from reading only ONE nonfiction book read in 2015 to reading TEN already this year!

This year the event is being hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Rachel at Hibernator’s Library, Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, Julz at JulzReads, and Lory at The Emerald City Book Review. Each Monday, one of our hosts will post a discussion topic and link-up for sharing blog posts on the topic, and on the following Friday, the host will post a wrap-up of the week’s discussion. In addition, Katie will be hosting a nonfiction read-along of Neurotribes by Steve Silberman.

It’s almost time to start. Watch here for my first post later this week (maybe tomorrow?) And visit Katie’s blog for all the details on how you can participate. Hope to see you there!

post signature

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Fortune Teller

The Fortune Teller
by Gwendolyn Womack

Release Date: June 6, 2017
Picador USA
eBook & Paperback; 320 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Romantic Suspense


Semele Cohen appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, specializing in deciphering ancient texts. And when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele’s life. But what happened to the cards? As the mystery of her connection to the manuscript deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Brossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Brossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.

Pre-Order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Praise for Gwendolyn Womack and The Memory Painter

“A sweeping, mesmerizing feat of absolute magic.” ―M. J. Rose, author of the Reincarnationist Series and The Witch of Painted Sorrows
“Gwendolyn Womack is a storytelling virtuosa, whose sexy, action-packed mind-boggler of a book is destined to become a classic.” ―Anne Fortier, author of Juliet and The Lost Sisterhood

About the Author

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. Her first novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA PRISM award winner in the Time Travel/Steampunk category and a finalist for Best First Novel. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her son.

For more information, please visit Gwendolyn Womack’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

post signature

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: The Quality of Silence

The Quality of Silence
by Rosamund Lupton

Why did you choose this book? this was a book club selection
When did you read this book? February 2016
Who should read this book? readers of suspense
Source: library ebook
Here is a synopsis of The Quality of Silence from Goodreads

On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby's father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.

My Review

I liked this one — a lot! — right up until the last two pages. You know my old refrain; “Where is the epilogue?!” I’m pretty sure I felt like Ross felt in the closing episode of Friends. Remember? Rachel is about to leave for Paris and Ross rushes to the airport to tell her he loves her. She gets on the plane and he goes home devastated, only to find a message from her realizing she loves him and trying to get off the plane, when the message cuts off. Poor Ross is left crying out…

“Did she get off the plane?!” (1:32 mark)

Ross got his answer...but I’m still wondering — WHAT JUST HAPPENED and DID EVERYONE DIE? I have no idea if anyone survives. I need Rachel to walk through the door and tell me what happened!

Until that point, I really enjoyed the book. It was suspenseful and kept me reading. The descriptions of arctic survival were fascinating (though nothing I’d want to try). I really liked the characters of the various ice road truck drivers that were willing to help Yasmin navigate the arctic. Though they were suspicious of Yasmin and her ability to handle the big rig, they were also concerned and willing to help when they could.

For my book club however, the book was not such a success. Though we did find discussion points, as a group we struggled with Yasmin’s decision to put her daughter’s life in danger with no proof that her husband was even alive. And like me, many were confused by the ending. Some are convinced everyone is dead and others are more optimistic. I just wish we had an epilogue to clear it all up!

You can find discussion questions, an author interview, and more on the author’s website.

My Rating:            ✰✰✰✰   4 Stars
Bookclub Rating:  ✰✰✰      3 Stars
post signature