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Top Ten Tuesday – Online Resources That Enhance My Reading Life

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?).  I almost skipped this week’s topic because I just couldn’t think of anything beyond Goodreads at first.  I put on my thinking cap though and was finally able to come up with a complete list of resources that just make my book-loving heart happy.

Online Resources That Enhance My Reading Life

 

1. Goodreads.com  – It probably goes without saying that this is the main online resource I use in my reading life.  I use it to track my reading, to reads reviews to see what new books I might want to read, and to keep my reading wishlist all in one place.

2. Overdrive.com  – A way to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks for free, that works through my local library?  Heck yes!

3. Scribd.com – Pay a reasonable monthly fee and read as many ebooks and listen to as many audiobooks as you want.  They have a pretty decent selection, including new releases, so I use it when I’m way down the list for library holds and am too impatient to wait.

4. Kindle App  – I have this app installed on every device I have and love that any ebook I’m reading will sync across all of the devices. This is my preferred app for reading ARCs as well as other ebooks.

5. Audible App  – I don’t buy too many audiobooks but my husband has a subscription to Audible so I’ll occasionally use his credit to get audiobooks that are Audible exclusives.  One of my favorite things about this app is that it has more reading speed options than any other reading app I use.

6. Get Booked Podcast  – I don’t really listen to many podcasts but I tried Get Booked from Book Riot and enjoyed it.  Who can resist a weekly show that gives personalized book recommendations to help grow your TBR?  LOL!

7. Novel Pairings Podcast  – Again, I don’t listen to many podcasts but I came across this one and thought it was fun.  The goal of this podcast is to make classic novels “readable, relevant, and fun.”

8. Bookoutlet.com  –  I’m kind of cheating here since this is more about book collecting than it is actually reading, but anywho, I use this site to buy cheap copies of books I want for my collection.  You can sometimes catch some pretty amazing sales and pick up titles you’re looking for as low as $1.99. I pick up a lot of older books this way, especially if I’m trying to read an author’s backlist and can’t find it on any of the other sites and apps I use.

9. Bookbeau.com  – This is another site that isn’t really about reading but that just enhances my overall love of books.  They sell book sleeves and other great bookish merchandise.

10. Fly Paper Products – Literary Gifts for Book Lovers  – Yet another retail site that feeds my bookish addiction.  They sell so many great bookish gift items. I especially love their wooden bookmarks and their mugs.

 

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Question:  Do you have any websites or apps that enhance your life as a reader?  

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Witchy Reads for Your Spooky Season TBR

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually supposed to be Favorite Book Settings.  I’ve done similar topics a few times and couldn’t think of any book settings I hadn’t already covered, so I thought it would be fun to go rogue and share some of the latest witchy reads that have come out in 2021.  I know not everyone enjoys scary books for spooky season, so I’m hoping I’ve found enough of a variety of titles that everyone can find something they enjoy.

 

10 Witchy Reads for Your Spooky Season TBR

 

1. THE ORPHAN WITCH by Paige Crutcher  – “Mystical, magical, and wildly original, THE ORPHAN WITCH is a great story from an exciting new voice in fantasy. Persephone May is a witch for the ages, a tough, uncompromising, powerful time walker with a wicked gaze and a heart of gold. Her journey to find her family and herself and the lost witches of Wile Ilse is both rollicking adventure and intimate exploration. If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realized debut!”— JT Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of HER DARK LIES

2. PAYBACK’S A WITCH by Lana Harper  – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana Harper.

3. THE BOOK OF MAGIC by Alice HoffmanMaster storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters. The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

4. THE NATURE OF WITCHES by Rachel Griffin  – Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

5. THE EX HEX by Erin Sterling  – New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

6. THE WITCH’S HEART by Genevieve Gornichec  – When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

7. THE WITCH HAVEN by Sasha Peyton Smith  – The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

8. WITCH PLEASE by Ann Aguirre  –  Practical Magic meets Gilmore Girls in this adorable witchy rom-com with: 1) A bisexual virgin baker with a curse, 2) A witch looking to avoid romantic entanglements, and 3) A chemistry between them that causes literal sparks

9. HOUR OF THE WITCH by Chris Bohjalian  – A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

10. CACKLE by Rachel Harrison  – A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.

 

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Question:  Do you have a special TBR for spooky season?  

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Bookish Pet Peeves.  I almost skipped this topic because I just couldn’t imagine that I could come up with ten things that really annoyed me, but man, once I got rolling, I surprised myself as to how many bookish pet peeves I actually do have.  Some are related to books themselves, but more are related to my interactions with other people while I’m reading.  (Side note: Excuse the awful photos.  I took most of them myself and did it late at night with no time to properly stage or edit).

My Top 10 Bookish Pet Peeves

 

1. Series covers that don’t match.  I love to collect hard copies of my favorite series, but I absolutely hate it when I end up with mismatched covers.  The one pictured is my own fault honestly because I ordered the wrong cover for the first book and have yet to go back and replace it, but I will do it at some point because it bothers me every time I look at my shelves and see that mismatched book, lol.

 

2.  Stickers on books.  Seriously, why is this even a thing?  The only thing worse than the sticker itself is that even if you can manage to get it off without tearing the cover, you end up with ugly, sticky gunk everywhere.  To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo, this does not spark joy.

 

3.  When all of my library holds become available at the same time and there’s no way humanly possible to get them all read before they’re due.  Again, my fault because I always have the maximum number of holds allowed, but still annoying…

 

4.  Movie or TV Tie-In Covers.  I don’t even know why these bother me so much but they always do, haha.  I guess I just typically prefer the original cover that was designed for a book.

 

5. People talking to me while I’m trying to read.  I can understand walking in the room and starting to say something before realizing that I’m reading, but if a person then continues to talk, assuming that what I’m doing is worthy of being disrupted?  Just NO.

 

6.  When I lend people books and they either don’t return them at all or take forever to return them, and/or they return them damaged.

 

7.  People who ask me why I love to read so much and then proceed to tell me all of the reasons why they hate reading.  Why do they think I care?

 

8.  Love Triangles in Books.  I’m sure there are plenty of authors out there who write them beautifully, but I still just usually get annoyed by them.  I’m looking at you, Red Queen.

 

9. Insta-Love in Books.  Even though I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for romance during the pandemic, I’m not quite a romantic enough to believe in Insta-Love so it typically annoys me when I come across it in books.

 

10. When my cat sits on my book or kindle while I’m trying to read.  No, not really, I actually think it’s hilarious, lol.  I just couldn’t think of a real pet peeve for number 10 so I figured I’d share a pet instead. 🙂

 

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Question:  Do we share any bookish pet peeves?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books From My Shelves I’m Planning to Read Before the End of 2021

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually a freebie so since last week I shared ARCs that I’m planning to read this fall, I thought it would be fun this week to share books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while that I’m hoping to read before the end of the year.  I’m actually really excited about the progress I’ve made this year with respect to reading books I’ve purchased — I’ve read 60 books I own so far — but I still have so many more to read.  That said, here are 10 I’m really hoping to get to before the end of 2021.  A couple of these have been on my shelf for 3 or 4 years now so it’s way past time.

 

Books From My Shelves I’m Planning to Read Before the End of 2021

 

1. WILD AT HEART by K.A. Tucker  – From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.  But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.  With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.  This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

 

2. THE STOLEN MARRIAGE by Diane Chamberlain  – Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not. When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?

 

3. THE ROSE CODE by Kate Quinn  – 1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

 

4. ONE OF US IS NEXT by Karen McManus   – The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller everyone is talking about, One of Us Is Lying! There’s a new mystery to solve at Bayview High, and there’s a whole new set of rules.  Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.  Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.  Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.  Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.  But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

 

5. DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone  – In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system.

Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.

From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.

 

6. GOOD GIRL, BAD BLOOD by Holly Jackson  – More dark secrets are exposed in this true-crime fueled mystery.

Pip is not a detective anymore.  With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.  But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

 

7. FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT by Elle Cosimano  – Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

Fast-paced, deliciously witty, and wholeheartedly authentic in depicting the frustrations and triumphs of motherhood in all its messiness, hilarity, and heartfelt moment, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a brilliant new series from YA Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano.

 

8. TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD by Eowyn Ivey  – Set again in the Alaskan landscape that she brought to stunningly vivid life in The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey’s second novel is a breathtaking story of discovery and adventure, set at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a marriage tested by a closely held secret.

Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska’s hitherto impassable Wolverine River, with only a small group of men. The Wolverine is the key to opening up Alaska and its huge reserves of gold to the outside world, but previous attempts have ended in tragedy.

For Forrester, the decision to accept this mission is even more difficult, as he is only recently married to Sophie, the wife he had perhaps never expected to find. Sophie is pregnant with their first child, and does not relish the prospect of a year in a military barracks while her husband embarks upon the journey of a lifetime. She has genuine cause to worry about her pregnancy, and it is with deep uncertainty about what their future holds that she and her husband part.

A story shot through with a darker but potent strand of the magic that illuminated The Snow Child, and with the sweep and insight that characterizes Rose Tremain’s The Colour, this novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Eowyn Ivey singles her out as a major literary talent.

 

9. DARK TEMPEST by Annette Marie  – Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

 

10. CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo  – In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.  And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

 

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on My Fall 2021 TBR

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books on My Fall 2021 TBR.  I enjoy this topic because I’m always curious to see what my fellow book bloggers are planning to read next.  Today I’m sharing 10 ARCs I’m planning to read this fall and then next week when we have a freebie topic scheduled, I’ll be sharing 10 more books from my own shelves that I’m also hoping to fit in before the end of the year.

I’m very excited for my Fall reads.  Several of these are highly anticipated reads for me, especially The Book of Magic, Well Matched, and Heard It in a Love Song, and I’m also really excited to read The Fastest Way to Fall since I enjoyed Denise Williams’ debut so much.  I don’t have much in the way of spooky reads on my list, although I’m sure I’ll be reading a few here and there once we hit October.

 

Books on My Fall 2021 TBR

 

1. ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART by Stephanie Garber  – A new series about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well. But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

 

2. PAYBACK’S A WITCH by Lana Harper  – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana Harper.

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams. But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She’s determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in? But most concerning of all: Why can’t she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?

 

3. WELL MATCHED by Jen DeLuca  – An accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell. Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.

As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.

 

4. VESPERTINE by Margaret Roberson   – The dead of Loraille do not rest. Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself. As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

 

5. HEARD IT IN A LOVE SONG by Tracey Garvis Graves  – Layla Hilding is thirty-five and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past—her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a ten-year marriage to a man who never put her first—Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness. Then there’s Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music. Recently separated, he’s still processing the end of his twenty-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He chats with Layla every morning at school and finds himself thinking about her more and more.

Equally cautious and confused about dating in a world that favors apps over meeting organically, Layla and Josh decide to be friends with the potential for something more. Sounds sensible and way too simple—but when two people are on the rebound, is it heartbreak or happiness that’s a love song away?

From the bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know comes a love song of a story about starting over and second chances.

 

6. THE BOOK OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman  – Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work. A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

 

7. THE VANISHED DAYS by Susanna Kearsley  – From international bestselling author Susanna Kearsley comes a historical tale of intrigue and revolution in Scotland, where the exile of King James brought plots, machinations, suspicion and untold bravery to light. An investigation of a young widow’s secrets by a man who’s far from objective, leads to a multi-layered tale of adventure, endurance, romance…and the courage to hope.

In the autumn of 1707, old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England. At the same time, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to bring the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger. Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun paying out money sent up from London to settle the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier—an ill-fated venture that left Scotland all but bankrupt.

When the young widow of a Darien sailor comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged. One of the men assigned to investigate has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are blinding him to the truth.

 

8. THE PARTY CRASHER by Sophie Kinsella  –  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Your Life comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about family, set against the backdrop of the most fabulous party you’ve ever snuck into.

It’s been over two years since Effie’s beloved parents got divorced, destroying the image of the happy, loving childhood she thought she had. Since then, she’s become estranged from her father and embarked on a feud with his hot (and much younger) girlfriend, Krista. And now, more earth-shattering news: Greenoaks, the rambling Victorian country house Effie called home her whole life, has been sold.

When Krista decides to throw a grand “house cooling” party, Effie is originally left off the guest list–and then receives a last-minute “anti-invitation” (maybe it’s because she called Krista a gold-digger, but Krista totally deserved it, and it was mostly a joke anyway). Effie declines, but then remembers a beloved childhood treasure is still hidden in the house. Her only chance to retrieve it is to break into Greenoaks while everyone is busy celebrating. As Effie sneaks around the house, hiding under tables and peeping through trapdoors, she realizes the secrets Greenoaks holds aren’t just in the dusty passageways and hidden attics she grew up exploring. Watching how her sister, brother, and dad behave when they think no one is looking, Effie overhears conversations, makes discoveries, and begins to see her family in a new light. Then she runs into Joe–the love of her life, who long ago broke her heart, and who’s still as handsome and funny as ever–and even more truths emerge.

But will Effie act on these revelations? Will she stay hidden or step out into the party and take her place with her family? And truthfully, what did she really come back to Greenoaks for? Over the course of one blowout party, Effie realizes that she must be honest with herself and confront her past before she’ll ever be able to face her future.

 

9. THE FASTEST WAY TO FALL by Denise Williams  – Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.  As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance. Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

 

10. EIGHT PERFECT HOURS by Lia Louis  – In this romantic and heartwarming novel, two strangers meet in chance circumstances during a blizzard and spend one perfect evening together, thinking they’ll never see each other again. But fate seems to have different plans.

On a snowy evening in March, 30-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear.

The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again, but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence. With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.

 

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Question:  Are you planning to read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – I’ve Got Your Number: 10 Books with “Number” in the Title

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is supposed to be Books With Numbers In the Title.  I’ve already done at least one post like that, possibly more, so I decided to tweak it a bit and hunt for some books who actually have the word “Number” in them.  Harder than I thought it would be but I finally did manage to find ten of them.

10 Books with “Number” in the Title

 

 

1. I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER by Sophie Kinsella

2.  NUMBER ONE CHINESE RESTAURANT by Lillian Li

3.  NUMBER NEIGHBORS by Emma Hart

4.  MR. WRONG NUMBER by Lynn Painter

5. IMAGINARY NUMBERS by Seanan McGuire

6. ORPHAN NUMBER EIGHT by Kim van Alkemade

7.  LUCKY NUMBER ELEVEN by Adriana Locke

8.  GIRL NUMBER ONE by Jane Holland

9. NUMBER THE STARS by Lois Lowry

10. OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS by Claire Fuller

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Question:  Have you read any of these? Can you think of any other title with the word “number” in them?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Your Face

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Your Face.  I totally cheated on this one and just searched my blog for the word smile since I always comment on books that made me happy while I was reading them.  Below are some of my recent favorites and a link to my full review for each one.

Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Your Face

 

 

1. VERY SINCERELY YOURS by Kerry Winfrey – A cute rom com featuring a sexy Mr. Rogers type and a young woman going through a rough patch. Has major You’ve Got Mail vibes.

2.  THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY by Freya Sampson  – If a feisty band of senior citizens fighting to save their local library doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.  I had so much fun reading about these characters and their antics.

3.  A SPOT OF TROUBLE by Teri Wilson  – Filled with adorable dalmatians and matchmaking old ladies who call themselves the Charlie’s Angels, this book is the absolute cutest.

4.  THE KINDRED SPIRITS SUPPER CLUB by Amy E. Reichert  – This is a charming small town romance that features two sweet protagonists you can’t help but root for, along with a fun fashion-forward ghost named Molly.

5. BETTER THAN THE MOVIES by Lynn Painter – A rom-com that features fake dating, enemie-to-lovers, and that basically celebrates all rom-coms.

6.  PLAYING THE PALACE by Paul Rudnick  – A laugh out loud funny rom-com that features a royal, a non-royal, and a loud and lovable Jewish family.  This is a book that deserves more love than it’s getting.

7.  THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren  – Everything about this rom-com put a smile on my face, but River’s adorable scenes with Jess’ daughter, Juno, especially stole my heart.

8.  WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay  – This romance features hilariously snarky banter in the form of letters taped to doors, as well as finally bonding over an adorable tuxedo cat named Sir.

9. ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? by Lyssa Kay Adams  – The Russian finally getting his own romantic tale is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

10. ONCE UPON A ROYAL SUMMER by Teri Wilson  – Teri Wilson makes my list twice this weekend because she is the Queen writing books that make me smile.  This one features a sweet romance between a theme park princess and a real-life prince.

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Question:  What are some books you’ve read that have left you with a smile on your face?  Have you read any of my picks?

Top Ten Tuesday – My Current Top Ten Fictional Crushes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Fictional Crushes.  My list is pretty much ever-changing, depending on what I’m reading, but I do have a couple of crushes that seem to always make my list.  Here’s my list, as of today:

My Current Top Ten Fictional Crushes

 

 

1. VERY SINCERELY YOURS by Kerry Winfrey – Everett St. James, the man who has a children’s show.  He’s kind and respectful to all of the kids and he’s also very easy on the eyes.  Who can resist a sexy Mr. Rogers type?

2.  A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas  – Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, and by far, the sexiest character from the entire series. He has been on my list for almost 5 years now, haha!

3.  SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo  – Matthias.  At first, I absolutely hated him but by the end, he was one of my favorites.  I don’t know if it was that fierce hate-to-love chemistry between him and Nina or what, but I found him pretty irresistible and cried when we lost him.

4.  MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU by Samantha Young  – Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who sweeps the main character Evie off her feet even though she tries her hardest to ignore his flirting.  He’s not a player though and is heart-set on finding that special someone to share his life with. Roane is kind, soft, and total book boyfriend material.

5. ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert – Jacob Wayne, the sexy owner of a B&B.  He’s a total grump but I crushed on him anyway, lol.

6.  PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen  – Mr. Darcy has had my heart ever since I first read this book in high school and he’s still hanging tough on my list.

7.  THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren  – Dr. River Pena, a sexy scientist, who is also adorably shy and awkward.  So good with kids though.  Loved him!

8.  WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay  – Nick Daire, the sexy landlord from this story who initially comes across as an obnoxious “Get off my lawn!” kind of guy, but who turns about to be quite the softie.  I hated him at the beginning but had major heart eyes for him by the end.

9. ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? by Lyssa Kay Adams  – If you had asked me early on in this series if I would ever crush on Vlad the Russian, I would have laughed in your face, lol. In the early books, he’s quite literally the butt of all of his bro’s fart jokes.  However, once we finally got to know him better in the most recent book, I crushed on him hard because he is pretty much the biggest romantic on the planet.

10. A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES by Sarah J. Maas  – Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior, has typically taken a back seat to Rhys when it comes to my fictional crushes, but his sexiness and passion really came shining through in this novel as he grew close to Nesta. He went from pretty okay to positively swoonworthy for me in this book.

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Question:  Who are some of your fictional crushes?  Do we share any?

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Places to Read

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is My Favorite Places to Read.  I feel like I’ve done this topic before but couldn’t find a post anywhere.  Maybe I just like to think about all of the places I like to read a lot.  Anyway, whatever the reason, I’m doing the topic as is and sharing my favorite reading spots.

My Favorite Places to Read

 

1. Library/Home Office – This is my favorite room in my house.  It has lots of natural light and a big comfy chair, perfect for reading.  This is my absolute favorite spot to read in.

2.  Bed – I have trouble sleeping at night so I always look to a book to help me relax, wind down, and fall asleep.  Apparently I’m all about being cozy because I love to pile on the blankets, a big fluffy comforter, and lots of pillows when I read in bed.

3.  Lunch – I don’t really have a specific location tied to this one, but wherever I sit down to eat lunch, especially during the work week, I love to have a book with me.  Having that time to read in the middle of the day is just as important to me as stopping to actually eat.

4.  Public Transportation – Whether it’s a plane, train, subway, or even just riding in the car (or even driving if I have an audiobook), reading is my favorite way to pass this otherwise dead time.

5. Waiting Rooms – Same as above honestly. It’s a great way to pass the time while you’re stuck somewhere, and it also helps if I’m feeling anxious about whoever I’m meeting with.

6. Beach or Pool – I actually get bored and want to leave if I go to the beach or pool and don’t have anything to read.

7.  Outside on my Deck – Certain times of the year are better than others for this, but when the weather is comfortable, I love to sit outside on the deck and read.  I live in a really quiet neighborhood so it’s very peaceful and relaxing, with just the sounds of birds chirping in the background.

8.  Kitchen – This probably sounds like a weird choice, but the kitchen has become one of the main places where I listen to audiobooks.  I love to listen to them while I’m cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, etc.

9. Laundry Room – Along similar lines, I listen to a lot of audiobooks while doing chores related to laundry – sorting, folding, ironing, etc.  It’s such a lovely way to make a tedious chore so much more enjoyable.

10. Vacation – Lastly, wherever I happen to be traveling on vacation is automatically a favorite place to read.  The exact location doesn’t matter because for me, half of the point of vacation is so that I can read more, lol.

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Question:  Where do you like to read?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I Initially Wanted to Read Because of Cover Love

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually supposed to be Titles or Covers That Made Me Want to Read/Buy the Book.  I decided to focus on covers, mainly because I’m a sucker for a cool cover and because they are usually what first catches my attention and makes me interested in learning more about a book.  As you can see from my selection, I’m very drawn to flowers, rich and vibrant colors, and to black and white covers with pops of red.

10 Books I Wanted to Read Initially Because of Cover Love

 

 

 

1. CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

2.  THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J. Klune

3.  EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE by Jay Kristoff (This book hasn’t come out yet but I preordered as soon as I saw the cover.)

4.  THE LOST APOTHECARY by Sarah Penner

5. NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff

6. RED WINTER by Annette Marie

7.  GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

8.  A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess

9. THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow

10. THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by Alix E. Harrow

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Question:  Have you read any of these? What kind of covers draw your attention?