September 2019 Recap and Hiatus Announcement

In September the library I work for had Elizabeth Vargas come as part of our author/speaker series. I had never heard of her before, but she’s apparently very popular. She talked about her journey of anxiety and addiction (as told in her book, Between Breaths). She was a really good speaker and we had one of the highest turnouts we’ve ever had for this type of event. There was a special reception beforehand that I ended up having to work at because the person who usually plans those was out of town. I mostly stood in the corner checking people in and being awkward, but my boss eventually made me join the party – where I stood farther away from the corner being awkward.

Books Read: 12

Adult: 9
Young Adult: 3

Favorite Books I Read This Month:

44284639. sy475 The Family Upstairs

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters and The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

  Books Reviewed: 6

The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter – 4.5/5 Stars

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan – 2/5 Stars

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay – 4/5 Stars

Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

Where Do I Begin by Elvis Duran – 4/5 Stars

Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley – 3.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2019 Overall: 109

Funny Fridays:

beth evans - art & stuff, bad book

September 6

September 13

September 20

September 27

Other Posts:

August 2019 Recap

WWW Wednesday: September 11, 2019

WWW Wednesday: September 18, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Fall TBR

#eBooksForAll

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2019

Hiatus Announcement

I’ve decided it’s time to take a little break from blogging and social media, so I will be signing out for most of October. I do have two reviews scheduled during that time, but other than that I don’t plan on posting anything. I’m also hoping to stay off of Twitter and Facebook for the month. I will still be on Goodreads, though. I hope you all have a great October full of good reads and Pumpkin Spice everything. See you in November!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2019

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

42080142

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. Read September 9-13. 2 Stars.

Um, did I read a different book from everyone else? It was not nearly as creepy as I expected it to be and the two big twists before the ending shouldn’t even be called twists. There were SO MANY hints that they seemed super obvious from very early on in the story. I can’t believe there are many people that would be surprised by them. The ending was not at all surprising either. The excruciatingly slow pace almost made me DNF this several times and I kind of wish I did.

Obviously I am in the minority here, though. 🤷‍♀️

39083668. sy475

Part-Time Husband (Trophy Husbands #1) by Noelle Adams. Read September 13-14. 4 Stars.

I’ve been having a lot of book-ADD lately and have been struggling to get through anything. I knew I needed something quick and cute and Part-Time Husband was just right. I love a good marriage of convenience story and Noelle Adams always does them well. Though there were a few too many graphic scenes, it was sweet and romantic and Melissa and Trevor had some good banter.

38576218. sy475

The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley. Read September 15-16. 3 Stars.

This was cute, had some sweet and funny moments, and quirky characters. The main character wasn’t always likable, though, and there were lots of communication issues that drove me a little crazy.

*****Re-Read*****

22429350

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I decided to re-read this before starting the long awaited sequel. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. There was bonus content in the version I read this time that had all of Paige and Max’s e-mails from their summer apart which were pretty cute. It made me excited to read the next book.

11979900

I got into a book slump and couldn’t decide what sounded good, so I decided to re-read Take a Bow, which is one of my favorites. I loved it just as much the third time around.

*****DNF*****

39324379

The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts. DNF-ed at 21%. This was occasionally humorous, but the main character was really unlikable and I was not invested at all.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

      44512841  42972032 44284639. sy475 43822820 46670574. sy475

Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin – 3 Stars

The Map from Here to There (The Start of Me and You #2) by Emery Lord – 3 Stars

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – 4 Stars

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – 4 Stars

Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne – 4 Stars

#eBooksForAll

Here is some library humor to celebrate National Library Week. Library people and book lovers alike are a quirky bunch, Enjoy some of our library funnies.

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that getting eBooks from the library is one of my favorite things in life. I am pretty strict when it comes to allowing myself to buy anything that’s not a necessity and even though books give me life, I only buy a couple a year – usually when I go to an author event so I can get it signed. Looking at my 2018 stats, out of the 150 books I read, about 32% were eBooks from the library. Only about 3% were ones I purchased. The rest came from a mix of publishers, NetGalley, gifts, borrows from friends, or a couple months worth of Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

Starting in November, though, eBooks from the library could become a lot harder to get. Macmillan Publishers are changing their eContent policies and other publishers are taking notice. Starting November 1st, libraries can only buy 1 copy of a Macmillan eBook and there will be an 8 week embargo before they can purchase more. After those 8 weeks, they will be able to lease more copies at $60/book. That lease will be for two years. This could mean that soon books more than two years old won’t be available as an eBook because your library decides to prioritize more current, in demand titles. In the immediate future it will definitely mean much longer wait times.

Macmillan is doing this because they say libraries are hurting their bottom line. They believe that a longer wait time will mean that people will go buy the book instead. That’s probably true for some people, but there are a lot of people like me out there that can’t afford that. Since I’m so strict with the money I spend on books I almost exclusively only buy books I’ve already read before and know that I love. Not having access from the library means that I probably won’t ever read that book. I personally think this new policy will just drive up piracy instead, not sales.

The American Library Association has started a petition to ask Macmillan to reconsider this new policy. You can sign it here.

What do you think of this new policy? Do you think libraries are hurting authors?

Review: Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley

45175398. sy475

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Four Christmases and a Secret will be available September 27, 2019. 

When it comes to gearing up for the holidays, I don’t typically want to see anything Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving. However, I will always make an exception for two things: Hallmark Christmas movies and Christmas-themed books. Throw in that beautiful cover and I was all in for Four Christmases and a Secret.

This is one of those books where I don’t feel the synopsis does the story justice. It’s slightly misleading and doesn’t really explain about what the book really is. While there are definite Christmas and Romance themes, I really felt like this one fell more into the Women’s Fiction category. Daisy is quite a mess when we first meet her and a big part of the book is made up of her getting her act together. With a lot of encouragement and support from Uncle Terrence and Ollie, she gets her confidence back and figures out what she actually wants out of life. I did like her journey and found her a likable character. I also loved Ollie, Uncle Terrence, and Daisy’s mother. It seems to be a bit of a Stoneley signature for the main character to have a very loud, outspoken, quirky mother and she was on full display here. The only character I didn’t really like was Daisy’s best friend, Frankie, who I thought was awful right from the beginning.

I enjoyed the friendship and romance between Daisy and Ollie. I thought they fit really well together. I felt like a lot of their relationship was kind of glossed over, though. In one scene they’re having their first real kiss and then in the next they’ve been ‘together’ for awhile and we didn’t get to see any of that discussion or proper dates or anything like that. The first time they say they love each other is off page, as well. I didn’t really know how serious they were or where they were at in the relationship because there were jumps in time and a lot of the development happened between scenes. I thought this could have been handled a little better, but I still shipped them and was happy where they ended up.

Overall, I enjoyed Four Christmases and a Secret. I liked the characters and the romance and the journey of self-discovery Daisy went on. It ended up being a lot more serious than I thought it would be – more Women’s Fiction than Romance – but it still worked for me. It definitely put me in the mood for some good holiday themed movies and books. I look forward to checking out more from Stoneley in the future.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR. My list is comprised of ARCs, anticipated fall releases, and a couple others that I’m hoping to just be able to make time for soon.

43263680

1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

24951850. sy475

2. The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L Armentrout

44441971

3. Lake Season (Bluebell Inn Romance #1) by Denise Hunter

43575115. sy475

4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

46670574. sy475

5. Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

45701350

6. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

36561795. sy475

7. Endgame (Fawkes and Baxter #3) by Daniel Cole

39324379

8. The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts

25894026. sy475

9. Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

43262893. sy475

10. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

What are you reading this Fall?

Review: Where Do I Begin? by Elvis Duran

44283910

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Elvis Duran, host of one of the nation’s top morning shows and the voice millions of Americans wake up to, shares his wildest stories and hardest-learned lessons all with his trademark heart, honesty, and plenty of humor. 

Elvis Duran’s nationally syndicated radio program, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, is America’s most-listened-to Top 40 morning show and one of the 10 most-listened-to programs in all of radio, heard live by nearly ten million people every morning.

But his success didn’t happen overnight. Elvis spent years navigating the wild world of radio as a DJ for hire, working (and partying) in markets around the country before taking over the morning shift at the legendary Z100 in 1996. Over the last twenty years, he has become one of New York City’s signature voices (Variety calls him “a permanent fixture of the area’s daily commutes”) thanks to his show’s exciting mix of music, new artist discoveryinterviews, gossip, and live listener interaction.

Along the way, Elvis has become known not just for his incisive interviews (and occasional feuds) with pop music’s biggest stars, but for the show’s commitment to kindness and positivity and Elvis’s own candor and openness with his audience.

Bold, funny, and totally candid, Where Do I Begin? is sure to be loved by anyone who listens to Elvis live every morning—or anyone who wants to know what really goes on behind the scenes of the pop music machine. It reads like an old friend telling a new story you’ve been dying to hear.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Where Do I Begin? will be available October 1, 2019. 

Every morning as I get ready for work, I listen to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. For those that don’t know, it’s a nationally syndicated radio show – number one in it’s market – based out of of New York. It’s a show with a wide variety of contributors, ideas, and gags. Sometimes they have segments that make me roll my eyes a bit, but other times I am laughing out loud or getting choked up (in a good way). Listening to the show is the best part of my morning and I have been looking forward to this book since I first heard Elvis mention it in on the air.

I really enjoyed Where Do I Begin? It read just like having a conversation with Elvis and though I am not generally an audio book reader, I definitely want to to experience this again with Elvis narrating (at least I’m assuming he’ll narrate it? If not him, my vote is definitely Greg T.). We start out hearing about how Elvis first fell in love with radio as a child. I loved learning about how this was his passion from an early age and basically the only thing he was ever interested in doing. He even built his own little radio station in his bedroom as a kid and put on a show that reached his closest neighbors – and then it blew up when he tried to give more power to the signal.

I have to admit that I was expecting a little more scandal, though. There have been multiple times listening to the show where they start talking about something and Elvis refuses to go into details, saying something like, “you’ll have to read the book.” However, there were still stories he kind of glossed over and names he wouldn’t share and while I understand that, I was kind of disappointed in it. There was also one chapter about fame that wasn’t so much about him, but of the celebrities he’s interviewed and it felt a little out of place.

I loved pretty much every other part of the book, though. Even if it didn’t go quite as in depth as I had hoped for, I feel like I learned a lot more about Elvis and about the radio industry, in general. There was also one chapter dedicated to how people basically went crazy during the 2016 election and how he wants his show to remain a positive place for all people. He reiterated what I’ve heard him say on the show, about how we can disagree with people without completely hating them. This shouldn’t be a profound idea, but it’s something people have seemed to forget lately and I really admire that he uses his platform to help build bridges between people instead of adding to the toxic political culture of blue vs red.

Overall, I really enjoyed Where Do I Begin? It’s been one of my most anticipated books of the year and it lived up to the hype for me. I’ve been a fan of Elvis for years and reading this made me just like him more. It’s definitely a must read for listeners of his show.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars