Weekly Recap #136: Week of 12/22 – 12/28

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I Hope everyone who was celebrating this week had a wonderful holiday.  Mine was very nice. We kept things pretty low key and mainly just enjoyed spending the day together.  We spread out making visits to other family members over the entire week rather than trying to jam it all into one day and it was much more relaxing than usual.  Since I had to work on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, the low key Christmas Day was especially nice.  I’m off from work from now until January 6 so I’m looking forward to lots more relaxing and then a short trip to NYC to see some shows with one of my besties next weekend.

I’ve gotten a pretty decent amount of reading in between the low-key holiday and the painfully slows days at work. I still have 2 and a half ARCs to read for January 7th but that’s down from 8 this time last week, so yay for progress! I also have a bunch to get through for January 14th, but after that, one of my main goals for 2020 is to focus less on ARCs and more on books I already own.  I’m still debating how many challenges I’m going to take part in, but the one that I know I’ll do is the Beat the Backlist challenge. I read 36 books from my backlist this year and really want to increase that number in 2020.

I think that’s about it for me.  I’d like to take a moment and wish everyone in the bookish community a happy and healthy 2020. Thank you all for your friendship and support. You’re the best!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

 
      
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #135: Week of 12/15 – 12/21

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I honestly don’t have much to report this week. I enjoyed my time off from work but, as predicted, it was not nearly as productive as I would have liked.  Lots of naps were had though, so I’m feeling very refreshed heading into the holidays.  I also made a small dent in my January ARCs, although I still have quite a few of them left to read heading into next month.

I’m not sure at this point how much I’ll be online this week so if we don’t cross paths again, Happy Holidays!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

 
 
      
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #134: Week of 12/8 – 12/14

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

This week took an unexpected turn when I realized I have so much vacation time on the books that if I don’t use some by the end of the year, I’m going to lose it.  My supervisor said that losing it would be dumb, which is true, so I am now off this week.  I’m not going to complain since I desperately needed a break, but it’s just going to be a staycation to get some things wrapped up for the holiday and around the house and then to get caught up and maybe even ahead (yes, I was totally laughing as I typed that last bit) on my blogging.  It also made for a hectic Wednesday and Thursday since I had to get everything wrapped up that I thought I would be working on this week and because we were closed for business on Friday to go and volunteer at one of the local homeless shelters.  I didn’t want to miss the volunteering so I had to step it up to make sure I finished in time.

Thankfully all went well and I was easily able to get all my work wrapped up and take part in the volunteer event.  The volunteer event was a different experience for us. Usually we go to a food bank or take part in a church event where we just help serve meals to the homeless.  This time, however, the folks that run the shelter basically turned over their entire kitchen to us.  We purchased what we wanted to cook for the residents, brought it in, prepped and cooked everything, and then served the 40-50 residents of all ages who came down for the lunch.  We then toured the facility and learned about the services they provide the residents to try to help get them back on their feet, while the residents, as part of their agreement to stay there, took over the kitchen, wrapped up the extra food, and then cleaned all of the dishes, etc.  It was a very positive experience overall, although I was definitely sad to learn that many of the chronic homeless in our area are veterans.

I honestly hadn’t planned to acquire any new books this week either, but my approval for Undercover Bromance came through (*squeals with joy*) and I got an invite to read Christina Lauren’s latest so I couldn’t say no to that one or to Hendricks and Pekkanen’s latest since I’ve loved their last two collaborations.  Then a couple of other unexpected approvals came through so here I am with 5 new books on the TBR.  Told you it wouldn’t take me long to replace all of the ones I purged last week, lol!  I’m currently reading Chosen, the sequel to Slayer, and am really enjoying it so far.  After that I have 3-4 books I need to read for upcoming blog tours. I’m really hoping to knock all of those out before Christmas so fingers crossed on that.

Anyway, I think that’s about it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
      
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #133: Week of 12/1 – 12/7

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

This past week has been kind of a blur.  Work was slow, which was good, but holiday preparations are now in full swing, including me finally starting my Christmas shopping.  Thankfully we don’t exchange gifts with many people so it shouldn’t take me long to get all of my shopping done, but it’s just so hard to find good gifts.  With the exception of the kids on my list, everyone I know is at that stage of life where when they want or need something, they just go and buy it.  Aside from the shopping, I also finally finished decorating.  I kept getting distracted so it took me about three days to finish it, but here’s our tree.  We usually like to put it in our family room but to keep the puppy from knocking it over, it’s baby-gated in my office this year.  I think I’m the main one who enjoys the tree anyway so I think that’s a perfect spot for it, lol.

 

 

Not much else to report this week.  I think seeing Hamilton with my family last Sunday was the highlight and it pretty much was a downhill slide from there.  I had already seen Hamilton once in New York, but I have to say it’s an entirely different experience watching it in Virginia.  The characters who were from Virginia – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison – played to the audience in a completely different way than they did when I saw it on Broadway.  Thomas Jefferson, in particular, really stole the show several times.  After the show, the actors even commented that they had no idea they would get the reaction they did from their Virginia audiences.  I guess they didn’t realize that we take our history very seriously here, lol.  It was such a fun experience though.  I definitely recommend seeing it if you can.  It’s one of the few shows I’ve watched that fully live up to the hype.

On the blogging front, as usual, today is my catch up day for commenting so that’s number one on my agenda.  I’m also trying to sort out what I still hope to get read by the end of the year.  I’m starting off the year with way too many January 7th ARCs so I’m starting those this week, but I also have a few more backlist books that I really want to finally knock off my TBR.  Some of my reading/blogging challenges have been failures this year, but I think I can meet my goals for my backlist challenge and possibly my retellings one.  We’ll see how the next few weeks go.

Oh and before I forget, today is the last day to enter my Instagram giveaway so if you’d like to win a free book of your choice, be sure to check it out!  —> IG Giveaway

Anyway, I think that’s about it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
   
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #132: Week of 11/24 – 11/30

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I hope everyone who was celebrating had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Ours was a low-key holiday at home with just our immediate family, but it was very nice.  We started the day with the parade, then got busy in the kitchen with football on in the background.  The meal was enjoyed by all, even me in spite of the low carb, low sugar diet I’m on, which meant I needed to avoid all of my favorites – no potatoes, no stuffing, no homemade mac and cheese, and no desserts. The struggle was real but I did well with the main meal and only ended up cheating a little at dessert time with a small sliver of apple pie.  So far I’ve also avoided all of the leftovers too, which is a major change for me from previous years.  I finished the holiday with a marathon of Hallmark movies, which was a relaxing way to end the day.

Actually most of the holiday weekend has been quiet because I don’t do Black Friday either.  There’s nothing I need to buy badly enough to get out in all of that chaos.  I slept in, did a little shopping online, watched more Hallmark movies, started decorating for Christmas, and got some reading done.  I finished Red Winter by Annette Marie, which I enjoyed so much that I went ahead and picked up the other two books in the series.  I also started on Meg & Jo, which is a modern Little Women retelling, which I hope to finish by tonight.

The big excitement for my holiday weekend actually takes place today because I’m taking my mom and sister to see Hamilton the musical.  I’ve seen it once and am completely obsessed with it so I can’t wait to share the magic with my family today.  Post-holiday traffic is going to be a bear since I’ll be traveling on I-95 but it’s going to be so worth it!

Oh and before I forget, I also have a giveaway running on Instagram right now.  Be sure to check it out!  —> IG Giveaway

Anyway, I think that’s about it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
   
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #131: Week of 11/17 – 11/23

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I guess the big news of the week is that my puppy seems to be doing much better.  He finishes up the last of his antibiotics tomorrow and as long as he doesn’t backslide once the medicine is out of his system, he should be in the clear.  He still has a cough but the vet says that will probably linger for another week or so, but the fever and the congestion are definitely gone now, which is such a relief.  I was really worried about my fur baby for a while there!

Beyond that I’ve mostly been busy with work.  We have a big government deadline on November 30th so we’ve been trying to get all of the jobs related to that wrapped up before Thanksgiving.  I worked on Saturday in hopes of achieving that goal.  I think we’re going to make it but we do have one client that we still need information from so it’s on them if we don’t make their deadline.

In order to make it easier to manage my blog while I’ve been busy with work and the pup, I’ve dropped back to four posts a week.  That’s a pretty doable schedule for me so I’ll probably keep it that way until January 2020 unless I get some unexpected free time along the way.

I’m also planning to jump back into doing mini reviews.  Even though I’ve been kind of lame about blogging, I have gotten quite a bit of reading done lately but just haven’t reviewed anything.  Tomorrow I’m going to have a post of mini-reviews to share some quick thoughts on what I’ve been reading.  I’ve started reading my December ARCs and I also want to make a big push to meet my backlist goal of 35 pre-2019 books.  I’ve read 30 so far and I’m almost finished with Thunderhead and I’m about halfway through Beartown. I’m hoping to knock both of those out this week which will leave me the month of December to get at least 3 more read.  I’ve failed on most of my challenges this year so I’m really hoping to succeed with this one.

Anyway, I think that’s about it for me.  Have a great week, everyone, and early Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who will be celebrating on Thursday!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
 
 
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #130: Week of 11/10 – 11/16

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

So, it’s yet another week of me falling off the face of the blogosphere by mid week. This time my fur baby was the culprit.  I came home to take him out for a walk on my lunch break Thursday and when I got there, his face and snout were covered in mucus, he was coughing a lot, and he just wasn’t his usual animated self. I called the vet and made an appointment for him and she diagnosed him with a severe upper respiratory infection.  He’s on a double antibiotic treatment right now because she says puppies are very prone to getting pneumonia and she wants to do everything possible to keep that from happening.  So needless to say, I’ve been watching him like a hawk for the past three days making sure he’s taking all of the meds and looking for any signs of distress with his breathing.  Thankfully he seems much more like himself today so I think the meds are starting to work. The picture is from Friday and he just looked so pitiful and miserable.

 

 

The only book I finished reading this week was Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars.  It was a real struggle to concentrate on my reading once Winston got sick so instead I fell down the Disney Plus rabbit hole and watched movies from my childhood most of the weekend.  I also watched (and loved!) the first two episodes of The Mandalorian.  Another good one on there for anyone who loves Christmas movies is Noelle, which stars Anna Kendrick. That one is cute and pretty funny.  I also watched the live action Lady and the Tramp.  Obviously no where near as good as the original animated version, but it wasn’t bad.  I thought they did an especially nice job with the spaghetti scene at Tony’s.  I had a few tears of nostalgia while watching that and listening to Bella Notte, lol.

My husband is home today to help with watching and medicating Winston so I should be making the rounds to see all of the blog posts I’ve missed since Wednesday.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
 
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #129: Week of 11/3 – 11/9

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

So I finally got the quiet week I’ve been craving and I immediately came down with a cold and haven’t felt well all week. LOL!  I think it’s our crazy up and down weather. We’re having highs of 70s one day, followed by two or three days of highs in the 40s, then right back up to the 70s.  Last weekend’s soccer game was played in the 40 degree weather and I think that might be what did me in.  Oh well, the game was fun and I’ll live.  I spent most of yesterday curled up in bed reading Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key (which is fabulous, by the way) and today I woke up feeling a little better.

My reading week was kind of a mixed bag.  As I already mentioned, the Ware book was a winner.  I also finally read Scythe and loved that so much that I started reading Thunderhead last night.  The biggest disappointment of the week was The Guinevere Deception.  It was one of my most anticipated reads and it unfortunately fell flat for me for the most part.  I’ll be reviewing that tomorrow once I settle on a rating for it. I’m waffling between a 2 and 3 right now.  I actually only have one more November ARC to read so I’m focusing on books I own for the next couple of weeks.  In addition to starting Thunderhead, I have also started Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars, which has been sitting on my shelf since January.  I was taking stock of my reading challenges while I’ve been under the weather and while I’ve failed on most of them, I think I’ll actually meet my backlist goal of reading 35 books. I’m working on my 31st now.

Not too much else went on this week.  Election night was a big deal here in my state.  The Democrats won control of both the House and the Senate for the first time in well over 20 years and in my county, we elected our first African American to the Board of Supervisors.  The lady who won was my son’s Elementary School Principal and she was fantastic there so I can’t wait to see how she does on the County Board.  We also elected a 22-year old to the School Board.  It will be nice to have someone who has actually been in school in recent years add his perspective to what has historically been a board of old white men.

I looked outside last night and see that one of my neighbors has already decorated for Christmas.  I’m not quite feeling it yet so I may have to turn on some Hallmark movies to start getting myself in the spirit.  We were originally planning to take a big trip over Christmas so I wasn’t going to do much in the way of decorating.  That trip has now been cancelled so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing.  I’m thinking I still want to at least take a long weekend and maybe go up to NYC and catch some shows I’ve been wanting to see (Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hadestown – my wishlist is always so long, lol), but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, I think that’s pretty much it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
 
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #128: Week of 10/27 – 11/2

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

This past week started out on a quiet and relaxing note but went off the rails about midweek when I got a phone call from my son’s Principal.  I won’t go into all of the gory details, but it involved a fight he got in the middle of at school between his girlfriend and some ‘Mean Girl’ type. While discussing his behavior with him and digging a little deeper into what he has been up to lately overall, I discovered that he had been lying to me for several days about doing his homework and about several other things.  Needless to say, blogging took a backseat to getting him back on track with his school work and having the same conversation for what feels like the hundredth time about fighting other people’s battles and about how lying leads to mistrust, which in turn, leads to him having less freedom and privileges.  I guess one of these days, those lessons will finally sink in.  The worst part of this is that he’s only just turned 12.  We haven’t even officially hit the teen years yet. I’m really hoping he’s getting it out of his system early and that this isn’t going to continue for years and years.  Probably wishful thinking, but a mom can dream, right?

Anyway, apologies to all whose posts I missed.  I’m so far behind on blog hopping right now that I’ll probably just start with fresh posts and move forward. Otherwise I’m going to end up in a hole I can’t get out of.  I also only finished one book this week, Scythe by Neal Shusterman. That one was recommended to me by my son and it was amazing. I’m glad I already have a copy of the next book in the series because I can’t wait to continue the story.

Anyway, I think that’s pretty much it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

 
  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM

 

Weekly Recap #127: Week of 10/20 – 10/26

 

It’s time for another weekly recap post of all things happening on and off the blog. This week I’ll be linking to the Sunday Post, which is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and to Stacking the Shelves, which is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

First, I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday. I took the day off from work and just had a quiet day filled with “me time,” which I think was exactly what I needed after the busy schedule I’ve had for so long.  So far I’ve only purchased one book with the gift cards my friends and family sent me, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, but I’m sure more will follow shortly.

The rest of the week was back to business as usual as my son prepared to play his first game with his new travel team.  That took place yesterday and unfortunately they didn’t win, but it was still a great game.  My son is still getting used to playing with this new group of kids, but he still played pretty well overall and he had fun, which is the most important thing.

On the reading front, it was a mixed bag for me. I ended up DNFing Life and Limb by Jennifer Roberson because it took me 4 days to get to the 8% mark. I just couldn’t get into the story at all. I’m having similar mixed results with Sisters of Shadow and Light, although I have managed to make it to the 40% mark.  My best read so far has been a backlist book, Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey, which was just a delightful read about sisters and family.  I also started reading Scythe based on a recommendation from my son.  He hasn’t been reading much lately, so I decided a recommendation from him was important enough to reshuffle my TBR.  I’m hoping that it will be a bonding moment and that it will encourage him to get back into reading a bit.

Anyway, I think that’s pretty much it for me.  Have a great week, everyone!

 

WHAT I POSTED LAST WEEK

 

 

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK

 

 
  
    
 

 UPCOMING REVIEWS

 

 
 

 STACKING THE SHELVES

 

  
   
 

TOTALLY RANDOM