The Inside Out Book Tag

March 9, 2017 Bonnie Book Tag 4 Comments

I found this Book Tag by way of Jessie at Ageless Pages Reviews who found it posted by Lindsey at Bring My Books (who also created these graphics!).

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I am the absolute worst at reading book summaries. I look at the cover, I look at reviews, I do a scan of the genres it has been shelved as, and sometimes I’ll do a brief scan of the summary. But rarely. Which is why I do a whole lot of TBR purges where I go through my digital tbr shelves and force myself to read the summaries. I can’t tell you how many books end up getting removed because of how god awful they sound. lol

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These days I’m all about my Kindle. I love the convenience of having all my books on the go and they’re typically cheaper. (Getting midnight pre-orders is pretty fun too!) In recent years I’ve become a massive audiobook listener and I have a few narrators I particularly love… I don’t have an Audible membership though so if I really want a book on audio I’ll get it from the library.

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I definitely don’t write in my books! I take a lot of notes while reading (quotes, thoughts, etc.) for review purposes but I always have a tiny notebook on hand to scribble on. Now that I think about it though, I have a few (mostly Non-Fiction/History) books that I highlighted special passages. But writing, no. And definitely no dog-eared pages.

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I’m not sure if it’s my favorite but one that I remember most vividly.

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 photo 06_zpsetcdmiyc.pngI have a massive book spreadsheet that I started keeping last year for a more detailed accounting of all the books I read. I track gender but I can’t say it determines whether it’s the next book I read or not, I just like to see at the end of the year how the percentages fall.

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Nope, never. If the ending got spoiled for me I probably wouldn’t even want to keep reading.

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I’m all about the organized shelves. I just recently picked up another bookshelf so I was able to bring the majority of my collection out of boxes. I reorganized all my books, did a massive purge, and ended up with a lovely collection in alphabetical order of just my unread books (and some favorites that have spilled over from my other shelf.)

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I have a smaller shelf where I keep most of my favorites and the occasional ARC since the majority of my ARCs are digital. I’m almost too practical when it comes to keeping books… if I read one from my collection and it’s not one I could ever see myself re-reading then it ends up in the pile to take to my used bookstore.

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I’ve added plenty to my digital TBR without reading the summary (as I already admitted to lol) but bought one because of the cover alone? Nah. I’m pretty picky with my purchases.

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When the weather is nice, I do like to sit on my balcony. My kitties love to be able to “come outside” and lay in the sun. When the weather is not nice I love to curl up in bed or on the couch with a cup of tea. 🙂

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Waiting on Wednesday – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

March 8, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 6 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Into the Water by Paula HawkinsInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published by Riverhead Books on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 352
Genres: Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl on the Train

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

About Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

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It took me forever to finally cave and read the insanely hyped The Girl on the Train but damn did I ever love it. This one sounds fantastic and the end line of the blurb leaves you with an eerie sense of excitement.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Spotlight On: Summer 2017 SYNC Audiobooks Title Lineup

March 7, 2017 Bonnie Audiobooks, Sync 2 Comments

I look forward to this program each and every year and there is much to be excited about this year’s lineup! If you’re unfamiliar with the program, Sync, sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and powered by OverDrive, occurs yearly during the summertime and each week there are two audiobook titles available free to download (typically a YA and a classic, but not always). Here are the exact details:

Any individual may participate by downloading the OverDrive App to their device of choice and returning to the SYNC website each Thursday after 7am Eastern Time to download the new audiobook pair for the week. Each title is available for one week only, but once downloaded they can be kept forever, so the opportunity to listen can extend well beyond the term of the summer program.

This year’s program kicks off on April 27th and there will be a total of 32 titles available to download each week. Be sure to sign up for email and/or text alerts at Audiobook Sync to remind you when new titles are available. The audiobooks can be downloaded onto your computer and easily transferred to your smartphone for easy listening — and remember that these audiobooks are yours to keep!

Below is the complete schedule for the complete 16 weeks it will run:

2017 SYNC Audiobook Title Pairs

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April 27 – May 3
THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich, Narrated by Charlotte Parry, Christian Coulson (Hachette Audio)
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde, Narrated by Greg Wise (Naxos AudioBooks)

May 4  – May 10
FEED by M.T. Anderson, Narrated David Aaron Baker, John Beach, Anne Twomey & Tara Sands (Listening Library)
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams, Narrated by Stephen Fry (Random House Audio)

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May 11 – May 17
BRONX MASQUERADE by Nikki Grimes, Narrated Jessica Almasy, Cherise Booth, Kevin R. Free, Marc Damon Johnson, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Melanie Martinez (Recorded Books)
TEENAGE DIARIES: THEN AND NOW by Radio Diaries, Hosted by Joe Richman (HighBridge Audio)

May 28 – May 24
THE GATHERING: SHADOW HOUSE BOOK 1 by Dan Poblocki, Narrated by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
IN OUR BACKYARD: HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO STOP IT by Nita Belles, Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella (Oasis Audio)

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May 25 – May 31
FREAKLING by Lana Krumwiede, Narrated by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
BOY by Anna Ziegler, Performed by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, and Bobby Steggert (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 1 – June 7
BEAST by Donna Jo Napoli, Narrated by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)
OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay, Narrated by Julia Whelan (Tantor Media)

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June 8 – June 14
PLUS ONE by Elizabeth Fama, Narrated by Julia Whelan (Elizabeth Fama)
IF I RUN by Terri Blackstock, Narrated by Nan Gurley (Zondervan)

June 15 – June 21
THE RED UMBRELLA by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Narrated by Kyla Garcia (Ideal Audiobooks)
THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK by W.E.B. Du Bois, Narrated by Rodney Gardiner (Dreamscape Media)

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June 22 – June 28
THE WITCH’S VACUUM CLEANER AND OTHER STORIES by Terry Pratchett, Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt (HarperAudio)
THE WITCHES: SALEM, 1692 by Stacy Schiff, Narrated by Eliza Foss (Hachette Audio)

June 29  – July 5
AMERICAN NIGHT: THE BALLAD OF JUAN JOSÉ by Richard Montoya, Developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney, Performed by Keith Jefferson, Richard Montoya, Todd Nakagawa, Sean San Jose, Kimberly Scott, Herbert Siguenza, Tom Virtue, Libby West, Caro Zeller (L.A. Theatre Works)
MY NAME IS NOT EASY by Debby Dahl Edwardson, Narrated by Nick Podehl and Amy Rubinate (Brilliance Audio)

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July 6 – July 12
REBUTTAL by Jyotsna Hariharan, Narrated by Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch and Nina Mehta (HarperAudio)
REMEMBER TO FORGET by Ashley Royer, Narrated by Will Lasley (Blink)

July 13 – July 19
THE DORITO EFFECT: THE SURPRISING NEW TRUTH ABOUT FOOD AND FLAVOR by Mark Schatzker, Narrated by Chris Patton (Dreamscape Media)
SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall, Narrated by Tara Sands (Brilliance Audio)

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July 20 – July 26
GONE: GONE SERIES, BOOK 1 by Michael Grant, Narrated by Kyle McCarley (Tantor Media)
THE ONE SAFE PLACE by Tania Unsworth, Narrated by Mark Turetsky (HighBridge Audio)

July 27 – August 2
AIRBORN by Kenneth Oppel, Narrated by David Kelly (Full Cast Audio)
SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoe Marriott, Narrated by Amy Rubinate (Brilliance Audio)

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August 3  – August 9
BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys, Narrated by Emily Klein (Listening Library)
IN MY HANDS: MEMORIES OF A HOLOCAUST RESCUER by Irene Gut Opdyke with Jennifer Armstrong, Narrated by Hope Davis (Listening Library)

August 10 – August 16
SHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older, Narrated by Anika Noni Rose  (Scholastic Audiobooks)
METAMORPHOSIS by Franz Kafka, Narrated by Martin Jarvis (Naxos AudioBooks)

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of March 6th, 2017

March 6, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of March 6th, 2017

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Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Roaring Brook Press

Alone (The Generations Trilogy #3) by Scott Sigler [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Del Rey

The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) by Samantha Shannon [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers

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The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2) by Wendy Higgins [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by HarperTeen

Proof of Lies (Anastasia Phoenix #1) by Diana Rodriguez Wallach [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

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The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Knopf

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean by Kirsty Murray [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lövestam [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Flatiron Books

The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Dundurn Group

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Clarion Books

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Amulet Books

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Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by HarperCollins

Realm Breaker (The Last Dragon Charmer #3) by Laurie McKay [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by HarperCollins

The Lost Staff of Wonders (Will Wilder #2) by Raymond Arroyo [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

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Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Roc

Standard Hollywood Depravity (The L.A. Trilogy #1.5) by Adam Christopher [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Tor.com

Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Diversion Publishing

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

Archangel (Spectre War #2) by Margaret Fortune [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Daw Books

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Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) by Brian McClellan [Purchase]
Expected publication: Mrch 7th 2017 by Orbit

Gather Her Round (Tufa #5) by Alex Bledsoe [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Tor Books

Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Angry Robot

Smells Like Finn Spirit (Finn Fancy Necromancy #3) by Randy Henderson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Tor Books

The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel by John Llewellyn Probert [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Pegasus Books

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Man Overboard (Ali Reynolds #12) by J.A. Jance [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Touchstone

Wait for Dark (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit #17) by Kay Hooper [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Berkley

Make Them Pay (Lucy Kincaid #12) by Allison Brennan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

A Climate of Fear (Commissaire Adamsberg #10) by Fred Vargas [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Penguin Books

The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

Waiting on Wednesday – The Weight of This World by David Joy photo 29939188_zpsusetagnu.jpg photo 30687788_zpssnxpifx9.jpg photo 30724110_zpsiqjhthme.jpg photo 9780393293050_75ea4.jpg

The Weight of This World by David Joy [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Minotaur Books

Ill Will by Dan Chaon [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Ballantine Books

Quicksand by Marlin Giolito Persson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Other Press (NY)

The Underworld: A Novel by Kevin Canty [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company

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A Shattered Circle by Kevin Egan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Forge Books

Say Nothing by Brad Parks [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Dutton Books

The Violated: A Novel by Bill Pronzini [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA

Lenin’s Roller Coaster (Jack McColl #3) by David Downing [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Soho Crime

The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Penguin Press

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The Wages of Sin: A Novel by Kaite Welsh [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Pegasus Books

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Crown

The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Berkley Books

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Random House

Bright Air Black: A Novel by David Vann [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Grove Press, Black Cat

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Celine by Peter Heller [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group

Next Year, for Sure: A Novel by Zoey Leigh Peterson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Scribner

The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Ecco

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Spiegel & Grau

The Mermaid’s Daughter: A Novel by Ann Claycomb [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks

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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Riverhead Books

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group

Catalina Eddy: A Novel in Three Decades by Daniel Pyne [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Blue Rider Press

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea by Bandi [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Grove Press

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South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group

The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Hogarth

The Trophy Child by Paula Daly [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Grove Press

Close Enough to Touch: A Novel by Colleen Oakley [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Gallery Books

The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Doubleday Books

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Lover: A Novel by Anna Raverat [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Sarah Crichton Books

Edgar and Lucy: A Novel by Victor Lodato [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Dangerous Games by Danielle Steel [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Delacorte Press

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie Jr. [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Viking

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Stacking the Shelves (165)

March 5, 2017 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 0 Comments

One of my blogging goals of the year was to try to do more discussion posts and I posted my first one this week. People found it be a bit morbid by the sound of it… but welcome to how my mind works when prioritizing things. lol It helped to put things into perspective a bit and I hope you like it. I also posted my rundown for February, a trio of reviews on celebrity memoirs, and a post to celebrate Mardi Gras where I recommend books set in New Orleans. Hoping you all had an excellent week and a great one to come.

Recent Posts

New Books

Saw this one pop up for $1.99 on Kindle and couldn’t help it. I adored Dare’s Castle’s Ever After series and I’ve been dying to get around to her Spindle Cove series.

Purchased

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A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1) by Tessa Dare [Purchase]

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Recommended Reading 101: New Orleans

March 4, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 6 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

New Orleans 101

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11178225If you’re looking for a historical mystery set in the 1950s…

Out of the Easy is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a brothel prostitute, struggling to make a new name for herself. Recent secrets have been dug up that involve her mother and she gets embroiled in the mystery proving that New Orleans isn’t done with her yet. Septys never disappoints with her tales of young girls in the past.


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If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic tale (without any romance)…

After the Gulf Coast is ravaged by hurricanes and an outbreak causes a mass quaratine, (New) Orleans is irrevocably changed. Post-apocalyptic stories became a massive hit and this one remains vastly underrated for reasons unknown. I’ve read dozens upon dozens and Orleans remains one of my favorite stories of survival.


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If you’re looking for a classic vampire tale…

Interview with the Vampire is the book about New Orleans. Well, and vampires too, of course. The first introduction to her recurring character Lestat, this novel was written in 1976 and it still reigns popular with good reason.


If you joined in for today’s topic, link up below by sharing your blog post link in the comment box!
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Short & Sweet – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m Kidding

March 3, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2017, Short & Sweet Reviews 3 Comments

Short & Sweet – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
Published by Ballantine Books on November 29th 2016
Pages: 224
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


three-stars

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

“Life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t be called life, it would be called a vending machine.”

My lovely friend got me this for Christmas but I waited to pick it up because I had heard that there were mild spoilers from the new season of Gilmore Girls. And then I finally watched the first episode. And I didn’t like it.

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BLASPHEMY. I know, I know. I’m just as distraught as you. There was just something terribly forced about Lorelai’s sense of humor this go around and Rory’s poor boyfriend Paul View Spoiler » that she literally keeps overlooking (like when she leaves the diner completely forgetting that he had just gone to the bathroom real quick?) It’s a running joke that she’s been meaning to break up with him but she just keeps forgetting. Good grief, that’s not funny, that’s just wretched.

I understand this is supposed to be a review of the book, not the show, it’s just my opinion of the show definitely tarnishes my thoughts on the book because this is all about her glorious reprisal to the role of Lorelai Gilmore. She discusses in depth just how wonderful it was to be back in Stars Hollow alongside everyone once again and I wanted to happily reminiscence with her but I’m still full of self-loathing that I couldn’t love the new season.

Discussions related to Gilmore Girls took up the vast majority of this short book, but as indicated by the sub-title ‘From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between‘ Graham included various other anecdotes about her childhood and other assorted roles that make up her career. The non-Gilmore Girls additions left the story feeling slightly uneven and I almost felt this would have been best left as a long recollection of all things Gilmore Girls. In retrospect, I also felt that her recollections from the original seasons were a bit sloppy. She didn’t keep a journal of this time in her life, which is fine, but she describes how she sat down to actually watch the original seasons (for the first time ever) and took a bunch of notes when things jogged her memory. The more I discuss, the more it seems I didn’t like anything about this book, but that’s not exactly true because even if Lorelai didn’t possess much in the way of humor, Graham’s humor shines through even on page. And there’s always the original seasons for me to fondly remember.

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Short & Sweet – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingThe Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Narrator: Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd
Published by Penguin Audio on November 22nd 2016
Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Goodreads


four-stars

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. Named a PEOPLE Magazine Best Book of Fall 2016.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

“I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia’s being me. Over time I thought that we’d melded into one. I don’t think you could think of Leia without my lurking in that thought somewhere.”

Carrie Fisher played the role of Princess Leia at just nineteen years old and it went on to define her entire life. The diary that she kept at this age is retold in snippets (narrated by her daughter, Billie Lourd) and showcases her delightful way with words. It feels invasive to be shown this time of her life, while her affair with Harrison Ford was going on, and it’s effortless to understand the intense adolescent love that she had for him. The Princess Diarist even goes beyond the retold tales of Fisher’s time on the Star Wars set and sets out to describe just how much playing Princess Leia came to be a part of her own personal identity. She describes how jarring stepping into the limelight was for her despite her belief that it was something she understood already, having grown up the daughter of Debbie Reynolds.

“The crew was mostly men. That’s how it was and that’s pretty much how it still is. It’s a man’s world & show business is a man’s meal with women generously sprinkled through it like over-qualified spice.”

Fisher was always outspoken about the mental health and addiction problems that she dealt with for most of her life but The Princess Diarist doesn’t delve into that aspect of her as much. Nonetheless, this was an unexpectedly emotional read for me even though I was a fan of Fisher’s.  She would make occasional references to when she passes as well as a mention of how her obituary would look like (with a picture of her as Princess Leia complete with buns) and it was a bit of a punch to the gut. Her sardonic sense of humor lightened the heartbreak but it was clear that Fisher believed she still had a lot of life to live. Listening to her raspy voice tell her final story was a treat and I can only hope that she got to say all that she wanted in the time she was given.

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Short & Sweet – Talking as Fast as I Can, The Princess Diarist, Seriously… I’m KiddingSeriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
Narrator: Ellen DeGeneres
Published by Hachette Audio on October 4th, 2011
Length: 3 hours and 7 minutes
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


four-stars

I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?


“So be who you really are. Embrace who you are. Literally. Hug yourself. Accept who you are. Unless you’re a serial killer.”

I was having a pretty bad day when I started this. There was a lot of driving involved that I wasn’t looking forward to and an unexpected blizzard to boot. I always like a good audiobook to keep me company I just didn’t think anything was going to be able to get me out of the funk I was in — but I underestimated Ellen.

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I’m Kidding…Seriously aims at being a light-hearted advice manual with the main goal of just making you smile. She takes digs at her fellow celebrities and their hilarious lifestyles but becomes quickly somber when discussing the importance of being true to yourself and accepting who you are as a person. This isn’t your typical inspirational celebrity memoir on how to make it big in Hollywood but rather reads like an internal monologue with the author herself. If you’re an audiobook lover, do yourself a favor and listen to this one because Ellen’s tone and delivery make this all the more enjoyable an experience. If you’re a fan of her stand-up comedy routines, you’ll find much to laugh about in this. I know I did.

‘I feel bad for people December birthdays […] It’s not fair and I have a message for parents out there. Don’t do that to your kids. Plan your love. I’m not great at baby math, so I’m just gonna say in the early part of the year, maybe January until March, stay away from each other. It’s not gonna be easy. Those are winter months and you’re going to want to stay warm. But unfortunately one of you is going to have to sleep in a tent in the backyard.’

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Monthly Rundown: February 2017

March 2, 2017 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 5 Comments

Books Read = 18

I felt like I got a bit lazy in February (and I started headed towards a mild slump that I managed to shrug off, thankfully) but I still managed to beat my books read from the prior month (17 in January!) so that was awesome. I super let my review books gather dust but I’m hoping I can do some catch-up in March.

Posted Reviews

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Unreviewed Reads

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40084Best of the Month: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman by Nora Ephron ★★★★★
I read and adored Heartburn last year and my wonderful mum sent me this one and I Remember Nothing. I picked this one up when nothing else sounded good and it was the perfect balm to the slump I was heading towards.
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Least Favorite: Erotic Poems by E.E. Cummings ★★
hahahaha This one was so bad. I mean honestly, that’s all I can say about this one. Bad poems. Even worse doodles.

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Biggest Surprise(s): Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng ★★★★½
I picked this up way back when the Ford Audiobook Club was still a thing (so like 3 years ago) and it sat unread for ages. I was convinced this family drama wasn’t something I would ever enjoy but boy was I wrong.

Short & Sweet – Everything I Never Told You, Big Little Lies

Biggest Disappointment: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ★★½
Liane Moriarty is a name that has been tossed around for years with much love attached to it. I finally decided to pick this one up after enjoying the premise of the first episode of the new show. I definitely enjoy the show more and I’m not super sure I’ll be trying anymore by Moriarty.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The River of Kings by Taylor Brown

March 1, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 6 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The River of Kings by Taylor BrownThe River of Kings by Taylor Brown
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 21st 2017
Pages: 336
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
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Goodreads

Also by this author: Fallen Land

“The most exciting literary adventure fiction I've read since Deliverance.” –Howard Frank Mosher, author of God's Kingdom

Two brothers travel a storied river’s past and present in search of the truth about their father’s death in the second novel by the acclaimed author of Fallen Land.

The Altamaha River, Georgia’s “Little Amazon,” has been named one of the 75 “Last Great Places in the World.” Crossed by roads only five times in its 137-mile length, the blackwater river is home to thousand-year-old virgin cypress, descendants of 18th-century Highland warriors, and a motley cast of rare and endangered species. The Altamaha has even been rumored to harbor its own river monster, as well as traces of the most ancient European fort in North America.

Brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins set off to kayak the river, bearing their father’s ashes toward the sea. Hunter is a college student, Lawton a Navy SEAL on leave; both young men were raised by an angry, enigmatic shrimper who loved the river, and whose death remains a mystery that his sons hope to resolve. As the brothers proceed downriver, their story is interwoven with that of Jacques Le Moyne, an artist who accompanied the 1564 expedition to found a French settlement at the river’s mouth, which began as a search for riches and ended in a bloody confrontation with Spanish conquistadors and native tribes, leaving the fort in ruins and a few survivors fleeing for their lives.

In The River of Kings, SIBA-bestselling author Taylor Brown artfully weaves three narrative strands—the brothers’ journey, their father’s past, and the dramatic history of the river’s earliest people—to evoke a legendary place and its powerful hold on the human imagination.

About Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is a recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and he's been a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards, Machigonne Fiction Contest, and Doris Betts Fiction Prize. He is the author of In the Season of Blood and Gold (Press 53, 2014),Fallen Land (St. Martin's, 2016), and The River of Kings. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he is the founder and editor of BikeBound, a custom motorcycle blog.

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Brown’s debut, Fallen Land, was an impressive read and this one sounds even more fascinating. And could his covers be any more gorgeous??

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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The End of Your Life Book Club

February 28, 2017 Bonnie Discussion Post 10 Comments

Book lovers are constantly adding to a TBR that they won’t likely ever finished. Read it Forward recently released a TBR calculator which takes the number of books on your TBR, the number of books you read last year, and your current age and calculates approximately how long it would take for you to finish  photo tbr time resutls_zpsejzyud6y.jpgthem all. It said it would take me 4 years and 4 months to read all 739 books on my TBR which sounds fairly doable… until you take into account the number of new books that I’m constantly adding to it. It’s a never-ending battle to read all the books you want to read.

In a perfect world, my schedule for how I prioritize my reads typically centers around my review books and their order of publication. These days though my picks have been super random and I’ve been all about the mood reading. Here’s the part where this discussion post turns a tad bit morbid. Imagine, like the individual in The End of Your Life Book Club, you’re given a time frame on how long you’re expected to survive. Will Schwalbe’s mother was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer where patients are typically only given six months to live. What would you do with your precious remaining days left on Earth? Everyone has a bucket list of things they wish to experience in their life whether it’s visiting some far off place or achieving something amazing.

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Inspired by the concept of an end of your life book club, I decided to make a list to see which stories I’d want to spend that precious time on. I am 100% a reader at heart and I know that I’d be completely content and wouldn’t regret a single second if I spent my last remaining days in a comfortable chair surrounded by books. But which ones do you choose? Do you revisit old favorites, secure in your choice that you wouldn’t be wasting any time with anything that you didn’t already know was amazing? Or do you finally tackle those books that make you say “Why didn’t I ever make time for you?” For me, I can understand the lure between both choices, wanting to return to a book that feels like a best friend but on the other hand wanting to experience something fresh, new, and potentially exciting.

As I said, my reading picks lately have been a bit all over the place. This concept of prioritizing the books you choose to spend your time on (even if you haven’t been given a deadline on life) is a fairly enlightening concept even if it seems like a no-brainer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I’ve been wanting to read this FOREVER! I really need to make the time for it.” Well, what’s stopping me? Why not now?

Glancing through my TBR, I notice just how many I’ve said that about and still they sit unread. I declare myself to be a massive Sherlock Holmes fan, and yet I haven’t even finished all of Doyle’s stories. The Collector by John Fowles, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock are all recent favorites of mine that I gushed over incessantly, yet I never made time for the other books those authors have written. And Stephen King. I’ve read so many but keep going round and round about starting The Dark Tower series. Honestly, what am I waiting for?

In terms of re-reads, I’d choose: to be mesmerized all over again by Mary-Louise Parker’s beautifully written Dear Mr. You, to revisit the magical world of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, to remember exactly why I fell in love originally with Rainbow Rowell with Attachments, to laugh until my belly ached in Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and to experience the beauty of friendship in Harry Potter.

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This exercise has definitely inspired me to take a more conscious look at the books I choose to spend my time with. I hope that I can limit my excuse making and dive in head first, finally tackling those books that have sat on my shelf for far too long.

What books would you prioritize reading if you knew you only had a set time to read?

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