Friday, June 2, 2017

A Late Take on My Yearly Challenge 2017

I apologize for being a scatter-brain, but when I left blogging for a permanent (which it wasn't) break and creating my new, laid-back blog, I forgot that I'd started a fun-- and sometimes necessary-- yearly challenge hosted by Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard. 

It's The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017, geared to encourage you to read your older titles, whether on your wishlist or actually on your shelves or e-reader, since before 2016. Rules here.

Before you shake your head because I'm starting a challenge mid-year, actually I signed up before New Year's and was eager to participate then. Lately I have to tighten my book spending because of financial issues such as a distant move, so I reluctantly signed up for NetGalley again and borrowed a couple of books, but I'll also read my older titles too :)

This post will be linked on my sidebar through the badge for the challenge if you want to check my progress. Still a work in progress for a bit.....

Books older than 2016 that I've been wanting to read for a long time--->

reading now:
1. Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (2015)
DNF/put aside status

reading now:
1. Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts (2015) from my kindle backlist
recommended by Lark,, Kathryn and Katherine

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What I Read in May 2017

Linking up to the wonderful Kathryn, at The Book Date for a monthly check-in!

I had a wonderful month of reading! Loved most of the books I picked up , liked all of them, though some more than others. I am slowing down on my reading to 2 books a week it seems, but hey, we can't all be speed-readers!

{note: I thought I'd be offline for a couple of days to care for my very sick dog, but she is bouncing back remarkably and I have spare time to blog, anyway}

The Previous Month in Review!
  1. The Diva Takes the Cake by Krista Davis (Domestic Diva #2)
  2. The Diva Paints the Town by Krista Davis (#3)
  3. Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  4. Beartown by Fredrik Backman
  5. The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
  6. All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg
  7. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
  8. The Deep End by Julie Mulhern (Country Club Murders #1)

(my opinion) of the genres:
fiction- 8
cozy mysteries- 3
women's contemporary fiction-2
literary fiction- 2
suspense- 1

My Favorites of the Month.... wow, very hard to choose this month, comparing apples to oranges here:

Slightly South of Simple
The Red Hunter
The Stars Are Fire

I recommend each and every one of these books if you are in the market for the genre I imagined them to be in. Each one is well-written and kept me interested in reading more. Isn't that what counts in the end?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Midweek Bookish & Doggie Thoughts

Allow me to meander away from bookish news for just a moment.... I'm going to be sporadically posting and commenting the next couple of days because of what went down (on a holiday, of course, just because life's a bit tougher of late).

My only surviving Shih Tzu-- we favor this breed, but only rescue-adopt our pets, never buy-- was approximately 5-6 years old when we adopted her off "death row" years ago. We have 3 other dogs still, too-- well, one is my daughter's mutt while she lives with us. Anyway, she didn't come to our home bowing & scraping and looking at us with adoration; she came in like she owned the place and claimed her spot in it, feisty and grouchy as she is! She even walks with a masculine swagger!

Well, on Memorial Day afternoon-- all regular vet offices closed for the holiday-- after a weekend of numerous "accidents" from both ends of her body, she started passing blood, a lot of it. We had to bring her to the emergency vet office (think extra money just to walk in the door)... and if we didn't have a reserved credit card kept only for vet visits, we would have had to end her life. We're moving cross-country, kids are preparing to leave the nest, and there is just no extra money to be found, not the thousands of $ that vets require for emergency, prolonged care. What a decision to weigh on anyone who loves their furbabies as their family, like we do!

Wrapping up the story... we had to transfer her from the vet's ER after an overnight stay, bring her to our old vet in our former hometown, 45 minutes away, because the doctor knows her history. Now she stayed overnight at that office yesterday, with bags of fluids and medicines and watchful care. She's almost definitely being released today, just waiting for the call to pick her up... if they get her to eat and drink on her own; it's been 3 days of her getting fluids by a catheter port and no eating.

Except for this horrific episode of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis of unknown cause, the x-rays and bloodwork show that she has no underlying diseases, no cancer, no organ shut-downs, nothing out of the ordinary for a 13-ish year old canine. Remarkable! We're grateful we could be there for her, make the right decision, and will bring her home to her family. Her doggie brother has been whining and depressed since she's gone. He'll try to give her kisses when she comes home, she'll grumble and give a casual snap in his direction, and life will go on... Love comes in all different forms.
Now... books. Okay, not much reading going on here. Understandably distracted and busy.

finished up this week:
The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve

 I loved The Stars Are Fire! I don't usually read these more literary historical fictions, but this one turned out to be a page-turner for me. Not because it's a fast-paced, intense story, it's isn't, but because the character-driven story had me hooked-- I wanted to know more. There's a fire that wipes out the town (not giving away anything you don't know from the cover blurb, the title, and the first chapter or so), but there's also a story of survival, both physical and emotional. The MC has to fight to live after this catastrophe, but she also has to fight to stay sane in an unloving, totally domineering relationship with her husband against the realization that she is stronger than she thought. I recommend this for most readers.

The Deep End by Julie Mulhern
This has lots of love from other bloggers and is well-written, but I found it a bit shallow (yes, I realize the author is writing this tongue-in-cheek, she doesn't expect us to identify with the MCs). I found the MC and her mother to be annoying and their snarky conversation didn't grab me. I think it's the scenario of the series that didn't pull me in-- the fact that they're wealthy and privileged...all the acquaintances give air-kisses and worry about their jewelry and their tennis game. So... I agree it's a great cozy idea, very different, interesting because it's set in the '70--but while I appreciate the writing talent & all the reader love, it's just not a favorite of mine. I'll continue with the series, but won't rush to pick up #2. A case of "it's me, not you", certainly. Thanks to all who recommended it. Remember we all have our own distinct likes and dislikes in reading so no flak, please. I love the Domestic Diva cozy series which is a lightweight offering but great fun for me, and haven't found any others who enjoy it. It's all relative.  If I was rating, which I don't anymore, I'd offer it a 3/5 and that's not bad, that's average.

what I'm reading now:
To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton (a Dangerous Type Mystery book #1)

I'm enjoying this! Nice setting... the author admitted it's a  re-imagining of Park City, Utah-- a bit different scenario for any cozies I read. There's skiing, there's unusual old-time shops, I'm learning some history about gold-mining & all things about communication: typewriters, paper, pens... the old-school way. I've only read 20% or so, but I so far recommend it. Will let you know. As you see, I'm gravitating towards quieter reads, comfort reads, less violence. I have a lot on my mind this month and don't need a plethora of thrillers, though I'm not giving them up :) Just cutting back. Remember last year when I had stress and I only read historical mysteries? I'm in a reading groove, and that's all that counts, to me.

Enjoy your reading this week! I'll be posting again in a few days...