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Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf. I really enjoy this series, and it's a good choice for September is for Sequels and RIPXII!

TITLE: Afraid to Die
SERIES: To Die, Book #4
AUTHOR: Lisa Jackson
PUBLISHER: Zebra
PUBLICATION DATE: June 12, 2012
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 416 pages
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781420118506
Afraid to Scream
Others may dread the chill of winter, but he relishes it. The way the frigid water preserves his victims, the feel of their icy skin beneath his fingers... And soon the world will see their beauty—and his vengeance.

Afraid to Run
The town of Grizzly Falls is on edge in the wake of a serial killer, and Detective Selena Alvarez is no exception. That case was solved, but a new nightmare is about to unfold. There are two victims so far—their bodies found frozen solid and deliberately displayed. Both are women she knew. And each wears a piece of Selena’s jewelry…

Afraid to Die
Selena’s partner, Detective Regan Pescoli, and the entire department are on the case, as is P.I. Dylan O’Keefe—a man Selena got too close to once before. But this killer already knows too much about Selena’s secret terror, her flaws, and the past she’s tried to outrun. And soon he’ll show her that she has every reason to be afraid…

I am taking this nine-week course with a group of people, which features DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. I'm looking forward to this! I've heard the book is great.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

I'm listening to:

I have this paperback on my dusty bookshelf. However, given that it's 1,116 pages long, I decided to borrow the audiobook from the library. I know it's crazy long at almost 45 hrs, but at least I'd get through more listening in a day than reading. It will probably take me at least three weeks to get through. This is another good pick for RIPXII!

TITLE: It
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Steven Weber
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: March 9, 2010 (first published 1986)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 44 hrs and 57 mins
GENRE: Horror
They were just kids when the first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.


I just finished:

NARRATOR: Bernadette Dunne
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 6 mins
GENRE: Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoir, Travel
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


SERIES: Dead Wrong, Book #2
AUTHOR: Jami Alden
PUBLISHER: Forever Romance
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 398 pages
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780446572798
Like a chess master, he carefully weighs his next move . . . advancing slowly until he is sure he can capture his helpless pawn. For in his mind, there's no way to . . .

Hide From Evil

Sean Flynn should feel lucky he's alive. But a betrayal by a close friend-and two years on death row-has left him feeling only numb. When his conviction was overturned, Sean retreated to a quiet woodland cabin, far away from prying eyes. There, he believed, the past couldn't come back to haunt him . . . until she showed up.

Overcome with guilt, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Krista Slater can't forgive herself for convicting an innocent man. But when another brutal murder reveals chilling, new facts about his case, she must turn to Sean for help. She's ready to face his anger, but the desire in his eyes ignites a need she's never felt before. Shadowed by danger, Sean and Krista uncover a twisted maze of deception and betrayal-all under the dangerous gaze of a cunning mastermind who will do whatever it takes to keep his evil secrets safe.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


It's been a rainy weekend! I don't know what's falling more, the rain or the leaves! I had planned to close the pool this weekend, but there's no way that I'm standing in the pool to clean it when it's this chilly out! It is supposed to be warmer next weekend (17 degrees Celsius as opposed to 10 degrees Celsius), so I think I'll hold off another week.


I received the following audiobook for review:

Merry and Bright
by Debbie Macomber

I love Macomber's Christmas books, so I am really looking forward to this one! Thanks again to Random House Audio!


I won this paperback in a Twitter giveaway hosted by Alessandra of The Bookish Mind:

The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
(Chaos Walking, Book #1)

Thanks again, Alessandra!



Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post
Friday: Audiobook Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Wild by Cheryl Strayed


What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, September 15, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Wild by Cheryl Strayed @CherylStrayed @PRHAudio

NARRATOR: Bernadette Dunne
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 6 mins
GENRE: Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoir, Travel
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
MY REVIEW:

I was very moved by Strayed’s inspiring tale of personal growth, and I felt her highs and lows as though I were right there with her!

I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. When I first heard about this young woman who dared to traverse the Pacific Crest Trail (“PCT”) on a solo journey, I was immediately intrigued. She was only 26 years old at the time, and the 1,100 mile hike on the Western coast took her approximately three months. My heart broke as Cheryl talked about the loss of her mother at the tender age of 22, and then the gradual distance that grew between her and her step-dad. Her biological father left when she was just a young child, and he was abusive. Cheryl married at 19, and she completely unravels after her mother’s death. She cheats on her husband, but they have an amicable divorce. Even though they still loved each other, they knew it was better to end it and they stayed friends. When she becomes addicted to heroin, it is her ex who intervenes.

Cheryl learned about the PCT one day while standing in line at a store. She saw a book about the PCT and it left a mark on her. Later, she went back to buy the book. She felt that she had found her calling, that this was something that she was meant to do.

Even though Cheryl made some unwise decisions (who doesn’t?), I loved her gutsy spunk! Doing what she did took a lot of courage and strength, and I cheered her on while listening to this remarkable story. I cannot fathom the physical toil that her body went through, but it seemed therapeutic for her. It was as though the physical pain helped to heal her heart. It was a journey for her soul.

Memorable quote:

"The father's job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it's necessary to do so. If you don't get that from your father, you have to teach yourself."

Bernadette Dunne was a good fit for Cheryl’s voice. There were points in the book that I was moved to tears by the pain and despair in Dunne’s voice. At times, I forgot that it wasn’t actually Cheryl telling the story. I think that comment speaks volumes about how authentic Dunne’s narration was. Here is a sample:



MY RATING:
4 stars!! It was really good! You should put it on your "To Be Read" list.

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 2 out of 5 stars for False Flag by John Altman @BlackstoneAudio

TITLE: False Flag
AUTHOR: John Altman
NARRATOR: Edoardo Ballerini
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: May 16, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 20 mins
GENRE: Thriller
In False Flag, Israeli-born Dalia Artzi, a tactical genius and specialist at Princeton in the study of maneuver warfare, uncovers a fiendish plot by a small group of Israeli fanatics to commit a horrific crime against the United States government and pin the blame on Iran. At first, Dalia, a pacifist, is hesitant to get involved. But she recognizes that extremism of any kind is the real enemy in the world and, strong in her Jewish faith, she believes that the goal of her religion is not to crush one’s enemies but to practice tikkun olam, to repair the world. Soon, Dalia sees that she has little choice but to act quickly and do what she must to prevent the unspeakable from occurring.

Meanwhile, Jana, a beautiful but deadly Israeli operative taking orders from the conspiring fanatics, is determined to deftly fulfill the deadly mission entrusted to her. Once the plot has been carried out, Jana and the commanders of her mission believe that Israel’s enemies will meet with total destruction when the world’s most powerful nation retaliates. Jana is firm in her conviction that she is on the side of right, and believes the ends will justify the means, however violent.

Centered on a fascinating and original Israeli heroine and anti-heroine, False Flag probes some of the most important political and moral conflicts of our times. Altman examines extremism in its many incarnations and the complex pitfalls humans encounter when they try to do what is right, no matter the cost. In the process, he continues his tradition of creating ruthless female assassins, delivering his most terrifying creation yet. Riveting espionage, struggles of conscience, and edge-of-your-seat intrigue combine to make False Flag one of the most compelling and controversial thrillers of 2017.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

It had great potential, but it fell flat for me.

The best part of the book is its Prologue, which I thought was very exciting. It describes a woman pretending to be asleep in her lover’s bed. When she thinks that he’s sleeping, she sneaks out of bed and starts snooping around. Outside the cabin, she finds a trapdoor leading into a cellar. She breaks the lock and goes inside. She hits the jackpot, finding a stash of explosives, weapons, and nerve agents. The boyfriend wakes up and looks for her, and he isn’t too happy to discover that she has broken into the cellar. She has no choice but to kill him.

After I finished the Prologue, I was stoked to read more! Unfortunately, the rest of the book did not contain the same level of excitement. We meet a woman, Dalia Artzi, who is a Princeton lecturer specializing in strategic maneuvers. Jim McConnell, who works for a top-secret section of the U.S. government, approaches Dalia. The government needs her help locating a Jewish undercover operative in the United States who infiltrated the white power movement and stop her before she can carry out her mission to attack the United States and make it look like the Iranians are the culprits.

Despite Edoardo Ballerini’s stellar narration, I had a hard time listening to this one. It didn’t really hold my interest after the first little bit, and I found that the book dragged. If I was reading this one rather than listening, I think it could very well have been a DNF. It was Ballerini’s narration that kept me listening. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:
2 stars!! Meh, it was just "okay." Thanks again to Blackstone Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone @ezekiel_boone @AtriaBooks @EmilyBestler

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:


TITLE: Zero Day
SERIES: The Hatching Book #3
AUTHOR: Ezekiel Boone
PUBLISHER: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: February 27, 2018
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 336 pages
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9781501125102
In the thrilling, nerve-wracking finale of Ezekiel Boone’s “hair-raising” (Parade) Hatching series, the United States goes to war against the queen spiders that threaten to overtake the human race forever.

The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come.

The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer’s theory that we need to kill only the queens?

For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it’s an easy answer. She’s gone as far as she can—more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder—and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don’t agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what’s more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?


I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and I can't wait to see how it all ends!

Here are my reviews for the first two books:


The Hatching


Skitter


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is a Throwback Freebie:

Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog

Well, I started blogging in 2010! Here are some of my favourites:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
**This is the audiobook that started it all for me! With juggling two kids and homeschooling and working, I never had any time to read any books just for me. I always read a gazillion books to the kids, but I had no sit down time to read anything for me. My colleague recommended this book to me, and there was a huge wait-list at the library but no one had requested the Audio CDs, and I thought "why not?" I could listen on my work commute. This first audiobook got me back into reading for myself and expanded my world! I discovered a whole community of book bloggers that I didn't know existed and found online reading challenges where I could hold myself accountable and I still love it!

Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden

Velocity
by Dean Koontz

The Bone Garden
by Tess Gerritsen

Quitters, Inc.
by Stephen King

Room
by Emma Donoghue

Twilight
by Stephenie Meyer
(The Twilight Saga, Book #1)

New Moon
by Stephenie Meyer
(The Twilight Saga, Book #2)

Eclipse
by Stephenie Meyer
(The Twilight Saga, Book #3)

Breaking Dawn
by Stephenie Meyer
(The Twilight Saga, Book #4)

Still Missing
by Chevy Stevens

A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Lover Eternal
by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #2)
**It's still one of my favourite series!


So, what books did you love during the first year you started your blog? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon: Starting Line @TresSherm #TackleTBR


The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon has begun!


I'm Reading:


(Dead Wrong, Book #2)
by Jami Alden
[reading]

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

by Cheryl Strayed
[on my iPod]


After I finish those, I want to read these next:

Evertrue
(Everneath, Book #3)
by Brodi Ashton
[reading]

It
by Stephen King
[on my iPod, 44 hrs and 57 mins - yikes!]


I am hoping to finish all the books, other than It which is almost 45 hrs long! The paperback is 1,116 pages which is why I thought I'd have an easier time with listening since I can listen on my work commute and while multi-tasking. 

I hate doing daily updates and keeping track of pages read and minutes listened (too time-consuming!), so I'll just do a wrap-up post at the end of the read-a-thon.

Thanks again to Tressa at Wishful Endings for hosting!
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