September 22, 2016

On Holiday

I am on holiday but you can still keep in touch with me on Twitter and Goodreads. You can also visit for my live updates feed.


September 21, 2016

2016 Memes & Reading Challenges Update

2016 Goodreads Challenge: Read 69 books in 2016. 
Challenge Revised: Read 116 books in 2016.
Challenge Update: 97 books read so far.
2016 Page Count Challenge: Read 26,000+ pages in 2016.
Challenge Revised: Read 35,000+ pages in 2016.
Challenge Update: 28,499 pages read so far.

Perpetual Kinsey Millhone Challenge: Continue to read books in the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series by Sue Grafton.
Challenge Update: Read 0 Kinsey Millhone books so far.

Perpetual Jack Reacher Challenge: Continue to read books in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.
Challenge Update: Read 1 Jack Reacher book so far.

Keeping Up with Patterson Challenge: Continue to read books in the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series by James Patterson.
Challenge Update: Read 5 books so far.

2016 PopSugar Reading Challenge: Read a wide range of 40 books spanning genres.
Challenge Update: Read 31 Popsugar books so far.

2016 Bookish Kill Your TBR Challenge: 12 themes to help knock out titles on To Be Read shelves.
Challenge Update: Read 28 (9 themes) Bookish KYT books so far.

View all of Literary Marie's Memes and Reading Challenges here.


#KillYourTBR2016 September

  • Let's Play Make Believe ~ Two fresh divorcees don't believe in love at first sight but their first date becomes an intense game of make-believe. I didn't expect ANY of the twists in this book. Lots of suspense!
  • If I Did It ~ Supposedly this book is confessions from the killer, O.J. Simpson. This nig...
  • The McCullagh Inn in Maine ~ A woman escapes to Maine with a gun and fresh bruises. Her plans are to start anew until she runs into an ex. Romance mixed with cozy mystery made this easy to read in a few hours.
  • The Witnesses ~ A family is forced into hiding at a safe house because one of them stumbled upon a criminal plot. This was my least favorite BOOKSHOT. Not very gripping and the mystery was revealed in literally one sentence. I understand it is a short story but damn, elaborate a little.
  • 113 Minutes ~ This short eBook starts off with the murder of a teenage boy. His mom knows exactly who is responsible and takes the law into her own hands. The story abruptly takes off after page one and doesn't stop until page 144. My Pepsi can outlasted this story. That's how fast I read it!
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things ~ This short book promises to pull readers in from the very first page and never let go. Probably because the best parts are the first sentence and the last scene. Seriously! That's it. Now I see why other reviews were not informative; it is hard to review without spoiling the story so just read it...or don't.
  • When You Reach Me ~ Four mysterious letters change a girl's life. But who are they from? And why do the letters include things that haven't even happened yet? Can a tragic death be prevented? On my TBR since it was published in 2009 and I finally get a chance to read it.
  • Trump vs. Clinton: In Their Own Words ~ Never would I have imagined bestselling author James Patterson writing a book about politics, let alone "everything you need to know to vote your conscience" in only 95 pages. It releases next Tuesday, September 27. I'll reserve my side-eye until I've read it. 

September is my most well-read month ever! BOOKSHOTS were perfect for this monthly challenge at less than 150 pages each. If you are interested in joining this challenge with me, visit Bookish for the deets. Share your progress using #KillYourTBR2016 on social media.


September 18, 2016

Series Sunday: Chase

(Detective Michael Bennett #9.5) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Chase, #9.5 in the Detective Michael Bennett series by James Patterson. Mike is the NYPD's go-to problem solver for major crimes. Some even consider him a fixer. His hands are certainly full with ten children, a grandfather and girlfriend. It is amazing he has time for investigations let alone a suicide whodunit.

"Poli-tricks was actually kind of right." ~ pg. 23

A man falls to his death from the roof of a gorgeous brand new Manhattan hotel in front of multiple witnesses. Sure it looks like a suicide but is it really? Once Detective Michael Bennett is called on the case, he finds odd fingerprints and thousands in cash. Something isn't adding up.

What I like about BOOKSHOTS is the quick story in between major releases in series. It helps bridge the gap between reads. However, Chase is the first BOOKSHOT—out of the many I've read so far—to fall short. It could have been more suspense and personal to the characters. Bookhearts, you can safely skip this one.

Title: Chase
Author: James Patterson
Published: August 2016
Pages: 106
Challenge: Keeping Up with Patterson
Rating: ♥♥


September 16, 2016

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Though it hardly matters to a sarcastic person (who is most assuredly not in the business of making anyone feel better), those of you who appreciate sarcasm are a rare breed. But you, who are now honorary members of the National Sarcasm Society simply by virtue of holding this book in your trembling hands, have never courted popularity. Here, then, is your handbook. An A-to-Z guide to keep with you, should you ever need to set anyone straight..."

~ The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm: A Lexicon for Those of Us Who Are Better and Smarter Than the Rest of You by James Napoli 

*Not Approved for Use by Stupid People


September 15, 2016

Lit to TV Review: Queen Sugar

In the book version of Queen Sugar, a middle-aged black woman says goodbye to Los Angeles and hello to Louisiana when she inherits her late father's 800-acre sugarcane land. It is a chance for Charley Bordelon and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, to start life over in new surroundings around family. She is unprepared and has no knowledge of cane farming but is determined to prove it is not just a white man's business. Charley is faced with challenges such as finances, growing season pains, a homesick daughter and a troubled brother. Sounds like a good southern tale, right?

Hmmm, not so much. I much preferred the television version of Queen Sugar. Very rarely is the movie or television adaptation better than the book, but in this case it is a huge difference for me. I struggled getting through the book to the point I dreaded picking it up to continue. I purposely left it at home so I wouldn't bore myself reading during commutes. My major issue is there was no climax. Like, at all. Ever. None.

The entire book was snooze-worthy; whereas the television show took a different turn. I have no idea why this book was chosen for an original TV series but thank goodness to show director and executive producers, Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, for having the vision to slightly change character roles and the storyline. And what a great cast with chemistry! I very much enjoyed the show version of Queen Sugar and look forward to watching its first season.

Watch the official trailer of Queen Sugar below, skip the book then tune in Wednesday nights on OWN. Also stay tuned for a special announcement!

Title: Queen Sugar
Author: Natalie Baszile
Cast: Dawn-Lyen Gardner (Charley); Rutina Wesley (Nova); Kofi Siriboe (Ralph Angel); Omar Dorsey (Hollywood); Tina Lifford (Aunt Violet); Bianca Lawson (Darla); Dondre Whitfield (Remy); Greg Vaughan (Calvin)
Book Published: January 2014
Show Premiere: September 6 & 7, 2016
Book Pages: 372
Show Time: 2 Hours
Genre: American Drama
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book From Oprah's Book Club
Book Rating: ♥♡
Show Rating: ♥♥♥♥


September 14, 2016

It Ends With Us

"I am a brave and bold businesswoman with zero fucks to give for men in scrubs." ~ pg. 56

Lily has come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up in an abusive household. She graduated from college, moved to Boston and fulfilled her dream of starting her own business.

When she meets a hot neurosurgeon, Ryle, her life seems complete. Ryle and Lily first met one random night on a rooftop. Many moons later, they meet again and it is the perfect time. Perhaps too good to be true. As her new relationship overwhelms her, Lily begins reading old journals about her first love, Atlas. Then he suddenly reappears!

Chickadee's voice was heard whispering in my ear as I read It Ends With Us. It is the fictional version of RED FLAG! RED FLAG! It could possibly be a wake-up call to some readers. But most of all, this newly released novel is a love story that will warm your heart.

"Those words wrap around me like a warm blanket." ~ pg. 89

According to the Note From the Author, this is Colleen Hoover's most personal story. While reading, I thought either Colleen Hoover is one helluva writer that tapped into the minds of her characters or she is writing from real life personal experience. It digs deep. It is disturbing. I felt conflicting emotions, happy moments and sad-ready-to-tear-up times. Another author I like, Sarah Pekkanen, wrote the best blurb: "'ll be smiling through your tears."

Bookhearts, I do not say this lightly. It Ends With Us is one of my favorite books of 2016. I will think of these characters and their situation long after having turned the last page.

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: August 2016
Pages: 373
Edition: Paperback
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥