June 19, 2024

Just for Fun

Cowboy Carter and Willie Jones said it best.
🎵 Time moves quickly and so do I. Time heals everything. I just need to get through this. 🎵

June 18, 2024

Lit Tidbits: Pithy Picks XVI

Hey, Bookhearts! Pithy Picks are a bookish meme created to help you quickly find books that are worth your time and coins. Just read the pithy reviews below!

Title: Eruption
 Michael Crichton & James Patterson
Published: June 2024
Pithy Review: Two bestselling writers co-author this brand new thriller. Michael Crichton, creator of Jurassic Park and Westworld, had a story he'd been working on for years before his untimely death in 2008. His widow held onto the notes and partial manuscript until she chose the right author to complete it. None other than the world's most popular storyteller: James Patterson. Eruption is supposed to be a blend of Patterson's signature pace and Crichton's concept of a volcanic eruption and a terrifying military secret. Instead it was overhyped, cliché heavy and not gripping enough for me to read more than 50 pages.
Quote"See for yourself." ~ pg. 42 
Recommend or Nah? DNF

Title: The Teacher
 Freida McFadden
Published: February 2024
Pithy Review: Eve and Nate's marriage is on autopilot. They live together, work together, eat together, repeat. They're both teachers are Caseham High School where a recent scandal involving a teacher-student affair rocked the community. At the center of it all is Addie. She's ostracized, bullied and a student in both Eve and Nate's classes causing hella mistrust between the couple. It's the Freida Effect! This is my seventh book read of this author and I consistently feel like a bra tangled in wet laundry, thrown in the dryer with no lingerie bag, twisted in the laundry basket with fabric softener sheets and other clothes waiting to be folded. 🗣️UNTANGLE, CLASP AND PUT ME AWAY, FREIDA!  
Quote"Every time I think I've experienced the worst day yet, there is a new winner." ~ pg. 129
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Kandi Steiner
Published: October 2021
Pithy Review: Fifth anniversary edition. That's how long this romance has sat in my TBR waiting patiently to be read. I don't what I expected but it wasn't this. Fitting considering whiskey tastes better aged. This is not an alcoholic's story. Instead it is a best friends to lovers story full of angst and hope. Took me through all the feels. It is best to go in blind reading this thique novel so just take my word for it and READ. 
Quote"If I was whiskey, then she was the barrel that held me, that helped me age, that made me better." ~ pg. 439 
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Other Side
Author: Kim Holden
Published: June 2019
Pithy Review: How did I miss this book that's been published for 5 years?! Thank goodness it was listed in my Kindle Unlimited recommendations. There are two sides to every story: reality and the other side that matters. Toby is a 17-year-old self-proclaimed asshole. He trades maintenance work in exchange for a roof over his head. Every day he wants to give up. Then a young lady moves into the building and brings light to Toby's dark world. This book is heavy heavy but so worth the read!
Quote"I wear my depression like a winter coat, zipped up tight to my chin and bulky—a barrier that smothers out the rest of the world. No one has ever asked me about it because I hide it." ~ pg. 148
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: I Hope This Finds You Well
Author: Natalie Sue
Published: May 2024
Pithy Review: A light LOL summer read! Jolene is constantly irritated by her incompetent co-workers that have no boundaries. She writes petty email postscripts changing the font color to white so no one can see. Well, one of her emails is exposed so now she's subject to termination, sensitivity training from HR and rigorous email restrictions. But somehow she gains access to everyone's private emails and DMs so uses the intel to save her own job. I haven't enjoyed a heartwarming office comedy since Holly's Inbox. From the very first page, I fell in love with the main character and her witty inner dialogue. The writing style was so engaging that I was in the cubicle right along with this quirky set of co-workers. (That's me...the Morale Booster with the scented hand cream.) 
Quote"This place could easily be a case study." ~ pg. 61
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Idea of You
Author: Robinne Lee
Published: June 2017
Pithy Review: Chosen as the Sistahs Be Readin' BOTM; otherwise, it would have sat on the shelf unnoticed due to the older woman/younger man trope. Also I find it off-putting that the author had to write white characters as a Black woman because her previous book with a Black protagonist could not sell. So unfair considering she is a good writer so her stories should sell regardless. As a result, I was not as into the romance as I would have liked. I kept thinking how fame was affecting their relationship and loved ones. Never mind the 20-year age gap (ewww!) Was reclaiming happiness really worth it? I will wait to watch the movie adaptation with the Sistahs for our Patreon commentary to see if I like it better.
Quote"You let me unfold you." ~ pg. 361
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Lucky Me
Author: Rich Paul
Published: October 2023
Pithy Review: I'll be honest; I didn't know who Rich Paul was until I saw him sitting courtside revealed to be Adele's boothang. Who was this handsome Black man dating one of my fave music artists? I headed to the Google streets and discovered
 he is a highly successful sports agent. He was more than LeBron's friend. I wanted to know more about this successful businessman so I borrowed his memoir from my local library. What I got were valuable rules of life! Early on, Rich Paul's deck of life was stacked against him forcing him to play the hands he was dealt. Through a well-written, detailed, vulnerable view, Rich Paul takes readers from the very beginning moment of when his parents met to his present-day success sharing thoughtful lessons learned from his relationship with his father—the true heart of this memoir. I have so many highlights and take-aways! Bonus points for the title Lucky Me being named after one of his all-time favorite Jay-Z songs.
Quote"I define a hustler as someone who is never complacent, always thinking two steps ahead of everyone else. Someone who can manage the transitions If things turn upside down, a hustler adapts to being upside down without missing a step." ~ pg. 26
Recommend or Nah? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

June 16, 2024

Series Sunday: Queen Charlotte


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"It causes one to wonder: Is the Queen's knowledge of how to make a good marriage nothing but talk?" ~ pg. 1

My Series Sunday pick is Queen Charlotte, based on the Bridgerton series on Netflix by Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes. Let's start with an inside scoop. In January 2022, Shonda Rhimes called author Julia Quinn with news that Netflix had greenlit a Bridgerton prequel series about Queen Charlotte. A couple months later, JQ suggested writing a novel based on the show. Shonda wrote six scripts and JQ adapted into a novel. Script flipped!

It is Bridgerton season on Netflix! I have binge-watched the newly released episodes and thoroughly enjoy the romance. Surprisingly, I have not indulged in reading the books first. I much rather watch the glamorous ball gowns, extravagant wigs, handsome suited men, town gossip and royals on the screen rather than read pages. However, I made an exception for Queen Charlotte.

"So shut up, do your duty to our country, and be happy!" ~ pg. 11

A King and Queen met for the very first time on a sunny day in September 1761. They were married within hours. I call this the original Married at First Sight. Charlotte was a beautiful, headstrong, intelligent German Princess. Not exactly what the British Court had been seeking in a spouse for King George III. Thrust into a new role, Charlotte navigates politics, mental illness, language and love.

I expected Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story to be a cute historical romance. It did not pass my 50-page Rule. I marked as DNF on page 59 because I much rather watch than read why Queen Charlotte and King George III is considered one of the greatest love stories of the British Royal Family. Keep doing your thing on Netflix, Shondaland and JQ!

Find me in the Twitter, Threads and iMessage streets to talk more about Bridgerton!

Author: Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes
Published: May 2023
Pages: 339
Edition: eBook
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: DNF

Sistah Speak Sunday: Summer Series

We have a full summer of shows to podcast:
  • 06.02.2024 Mayor of Kingstown S3
  • 06.16.2024 House of the Dragon S2
  • 07.17.2024 Big Brother US S26
  • 07.21.2024 Snowpiercer S4
  • Date TBD for P-Valley S3
Visit our social media pages!

Sistah Speak Productions Official Website

June 14, 2024

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"Rocky Balboa, the underdog palooka who fought his way to box office super-success, burst into popular culture in 1976. Now, 45 years later, tourists still run the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Marching bands play "Gonna Fly Now" as halftime entertainment. High school football teams get wild-eyed to "Eye of the Tiger." Rocky's legacy endures."

~ 45 Years of Rocky Balboa: Underdog. Fighter. Champion. by LIFE Magazine

June 11, 2024

DNF of 2024 So Far

Bookhearts, you are familiar with my 50-Page Rule. I am generally picky about adding books to my TBR but sometimes the dark side Kermit whispers, "add to your collection anyway." Then I become real particular about which books I spend my time reading. I'll give 50 pages (or 15%) but #dassit.

I marked seven (7) books as DNF so far this year. The purpose of this post is to share my reason(s) in an effort to help books find its intended audience. May these books find a new home where they will be finished and enjoyed.
  1. Eruption by James Patterson and Michael Crichton ~ Overhyped and clashing writing style.
  2. When Cicadas Cry by Caroline Cleveland ~ Too slow. Lacks originality.
  3. House of Glass by Sarah Pekkanen ~ Pivotal moments lack development. Useless deets.
  4. One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole ~ Cannot quite name what it is but nope.
  5. A Mythical Case of Arson by Melissa Erin Jackson ~ Just not flowing.
  6. Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett ~ Falling short already.
  7. The Fury by Alex Michaelides ~ Started off interestingly different (not in a good way).

June 9, 2024

Series Sunday: TBR So Far

This is a friendly reminder that you can view all books on my TBR here. Below is a list of the series books I am most looking forward to reading in the coming months.
  • 06.11.2024 The Housemaid is Watching (The Housemaid #3) by Freida McFadden
  • 07.23.2024 A Thousand Broken Pieces (A Thousand Boy Kisses #2) by Tillie Cole
  • 10.08.2024 Love After Midnight (Winter Santiaga #3) by Sister Souljah
  • 10.22.2024 In Too Deep (Jack Reacher #29) by Lee Child
  • 11.25.2024 The House of Cross (Alex Cross #30) by James Patterson
  • 01.02.2025 Holmes is Missing (Holmes, Margaret & Poe #2) by James Patterson
  • 01.21.2025 Onyx Storm (Empyrean #3) by Rebecca Yarros