April Wrap-up and May TBR!

Ok, I failed to read The Simplicity of Cider this month, thus ruining my TBR goal.  I got side tracked with Hidden Figures and The Little Prince.  Here’s what I did read:

Really, the only one I wasn’t in love with this month was Hidden Figures.  Everything else got five stars from me.

For May, I have way too many Arcs and so will be mostly doing that.

From Netgalley:

  1. The simplicity of Cider, Amy E. Reichart.  (Seriously this time)
  2. My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen, David Clawson.  A new twist on Cinderella- sounds interesting!
  3. Woman No. 17, Edan Lepucki Lady Daniels thinks she found the perfect nanny in S… or has she?
  4. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, Samantha Irby.  A number of essays that sound hilarious.
  5. Wonder Woman volume 2: the second installment to the Wonder Woman rebirth.

Time allowed, I will also be reading 16th Seduction by James Patterson.  I am on the fence about whether or not to continue with Rick Riordan’s Apollo series.

What are you guys planning on reading?

Amber

 

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Weekly Wrap-up! April 24th- April 30th

Personal life:

I have been a bit all over the place this week and fell back on some goals I am afraid.  I did not go to the gym as much as possible due to just feeling icky.  I did buy little hand gripper things that I use sometimes when I watch a tv show.  That makes me feel better about no gym days.  As far as my healthier eating habits go…. during the day I do fairly well, but at home at night I usually just eat whatever.  I am incorporating more veggies and fruit into my diet, and cutting sugars where I can…. those carbs though.  I swear, there are moments when I will cut a b!tch for a French fry.    I have found some things that I like, though.  The Protein20 drink gives me energy, like an energy drink, and helps curb my hunger.  The bacon jerky has very little sugar, 130 calories per serving- and a serving is virtually half the bag!  I have not eaten a full serving in a snack.  Then there is my sweet- the Halo Top ice cream.  It is rich, creamy, and super sweet with really good specs.

Other than that, we have been taking care of P-chan for my parents while they were away.  She has behaved well, with very few mishaps (she is old and used to going out more often).  I have to talk to Mom about texting though.  99% of the time I will get text messages fine- especially with this new phone.  Once in a while, though, the text will hang out God-knows-where for a day and then send.  If you have something important to say ( such as the fact that you are leaving a day early and your geriatric pug will need tending to), it’s probably better to call.  I didn’t get the message until noon, when I was already stuck at work all day.  I pictured P-chan with no food, water, or pain meds for that long and lost my mind.  I forced my husband to leave work-because he’s allowed and I am not- to take care of her.

I also attempted to tan for the first time in nearly a year- sadly, I forgot how to set the time.  I thought I was pressing the right buttons but nothing happened!  Finally I gave up and tanned for one minute intervals twice before I finally got the bed to do what I wanted- a total of 6 minutes tanning.  Yeah… I am not feeling so smart.  Funny thing is, it was exactly what I had been trying only faster.  I was pressing the button too slowly and the time would lock.

Bookish Life:

I finished All The Best People and The Light We Lost.  They were both fantastic, but very emotional.  I loved them anyway.

I won’t finish my TBR list this month, I ran out of time.  I am currently reading Woman No. 17, because it comes out next on my list of ARCs.

Woman No. 17

That’s it for me this week, how was yours?

Amber

The Light We Lost, Jill Stantopolo

the light we lostspolier alertTitle: The Light We Lost

Author: Jill Stantopolo

Pages: 336

Genre: romance

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date: May 9th, 2017

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.  My sincerest thanks.

Summary:

Lucy narrates to Gabe, an old love.  In this she begins with the start of their story, their meeting on 9-11.  Their relationship is crazy and inspired- they push each other toward their dreams.  When Gabe finally has to leave to follow his, Lucy has to pick herself up.  Leaving nothing out, she talks about her time without him.  The pain, separating herself from the things that were “them”, and meeting a man that made her laugh… Darren.  She explains her love for both men, neither relationship perfect yet part of her.  Lucy talks of her life, her dream, her children.

Every so often there’s a moment where the two- Gabe and Lucy- reconnect.  The last time starts another path in motion.  This book is all about chances taken, roads not gone down, and living with the consequences of both.

My thoughts:

There are books that break your heart.  Books where the characters are so real, so imperfect, that you bleed for them.  For me, this was one of them.  While a little odd at times, I loved the layout of this story- just Lucy talking to Gabe.  While I often disagreed with Lucy’s choices, and at times wanted to shake her, it did not lessen my love for her.  I loved Gabe, selfish and self centered dreamer that he could be.  I loved Darren who wanted so badly to be the one for Lucy, and loved her so dearly.  I loved the children, and the friends.  Each character was special and unique.  I think I just loved this story over all.

If there was one complaint, it would be that I am desperate to see into both Gabe and Darren’s minds.  I understand that this wasn’t possible with the layout of the book, but I almost- almost- feel cheated out of their emotions.  Still, this is a definite five star book for me.  Five Stars

As far as the adult content goes, there is a lot of sexual content.  There is also language and drinking to a lesser degree.  I would still let a mature teen read this, but… yeah… while not extremely graphic, there is a lot of sexual content.  A seven.Parental Guidance

The book comes out 5-09-17.  Be ready!

Link to book:

Amazon

Amber

All the Best People, Sonja Yoerg

all the best peoplespolier alertTitle: All the Best People

Author: Sonja Yoerg

Pages: 368

Genre: fiction, women’s lit

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date:  May 2, 2017

I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this gem from First to Read.  I am, as always, extremely grateful.

Summary:

I want to start at the beginning.  Solange is beautiful, kind, smart…. and poor.  She works at a hotel to help her family with money.  In comes a man with his father, Osbourne.  Moneyed, handsome… and staring at her.  After a whirlwind courtship the two marry without their families’ blessings, sure that love will carry them through.  And at first it does… but different upbringing brings different ideals and when theirs clash, Solange begins to see that she may not know the man she married.  Her daughter, Carole, is her light and love.  One night, one mistake…. a new baby.  Osbourne finds that the child is not his, and cannot accept it.  Solange, in desperation tries to disappear with her children….

It is the seventies now.  Carole is older, married, and has three children that she loves dearly.  Her life is ordinary, and perfect.  She has taken care of her sister all her life, as was her mother’s wish.  She visits her mother at the mental hospital that where she has spent most of Carole’s life.  Solange is confused, frightened at times.

Something is going on with Carole.  She hears things, voices… things that were easy for her are hard now.  She dare not tell anyone, for fear that she will be taken from her family, like her mother.  Carole tries her best to hide it, but everyone can see something is different, and react differently.  Her youngest, Allison, had always relied heavily on her mother.  She feels it worst, and seeks answers and friendship elsewhere.   Her husband, Warren, is hurt and confused.

When tragedy threatens the family, she can’t hold it together anymore and the truth comes out.  How will they move forward?  And how much of the present is tied to the past?

My thoughts:

I loved this book!  I loved how it was told in different points of view so that you got a better rounded idea of everyone and everything.  I loved the flawed, intriguing characters, and the way the story flowed.   Honestly, there was nothing I didn’t like about this book.  I will be buying a copy- maybe some as gifts along the road too.

The way that the author addressed mental illness and how it is treated then, and later, made it very real to me.  I felt for Solange, and Carole.  Carole’s fear and pain cut me deeply, I cannot imagine trying to go through that alone.  I highly recommend this book.  Five stars!  Five Stars

On the adult content scale, there is language and sexual content.  I would still give this book to a mature teen, but be aware.  I give it a seven.  Parental Guidance

The book comes out next Tuesday- 5-2-17!

Link to book:

Amazon

Amber

Weekly Wrap-up! April 17th-23rd.

Personal Life:

 white collar      I have been watching way more shows than normal lately.  I have gotten into White Collar on Netflix and have to admit that I have not been reading as much. I really like the characters and story line!

       My phone decided it no longer wanted to act like, well, a phone; making us come to the decision to upgrade to the Samsung S8.  I just got it… maybe and hour ago…. so I will let you guys know how I like it.

Bookish Life:

I finished Wherever You Go, There They Are by Annabelle Gurwitch.  It was an ARC from First to Read that I, embarrassingly enough, was nearly a week late with.  I had let myself get sidetracked with different books and shows.  I should be on target to finish my other ARCs before publication, but not before the month is out as I had hoped.  Nuts.

I am currently reading All The Best People by Sonja Yoerg that showcases mental illness and how it affects families.  Carole is starting to hear things, things she knows are in her head.  She doesn’t want to end up hospitalized like her mother, and so she keeps these symptoms to herself, pushing everyone away.  How do the people in her life react to this?  How does her eleven year old daughter cope?  It’s an interesting story so far.

So that’s me for the week.  How was yours?

Amber

Wherever You Go, There They Are, Annabelle Gurwitch

Wherever you go, there they arespolier alertTitle: Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To.

Author: Annabelle Gurwitch

Pages: 305

Genre: Autobiography

Is this part of a series?  No.

Published: April 18th, 2017

I received an advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review…. I am so sorry I am late. 

Summary:

Annabelle’s back with her sly wit and sassy ways to tell us all about her family of scam artists, as well as the sundry sisterhoods, tribes, cults and communities that have been as dear.  We have adorable (and hilarious) stories about pet people, Dad’s big money making ideas, and Annabelle’s dreams of being adopted into a “normal” family along with many more.

My Thoughts:

I first fell in love with Gurwitch when I read I See You’ve Made an Effort.  It was candid, hilarious, and well written.  I felt like I was sitting in a living room somewhere, talking to her… listening to her stories.  This book gave the same vibe with amazing insights into some really amazing characters- her family and friends.  I found myself nodding along with her talk of “pet people” (I myself am one, but I don’t Photoshop Sassy Britches’ photos), trying to figure out who was Grandma Rebecca’s favorite, and a dozen other stories.  The family members are brought to life with Annabelle’s candid stories.  I adored reading about them!  Five Stars!  Five Stars

On the adult content scale, there is language, drugs and the odd con.  I would give it a six.  Parental Guidance

The book is out now!  Go get it!

Link to book:

Amazon

Amber

The Little Prince, Antione de Saint Exupery

The little prince book cover.spolier alertTitle: The Little Prince

Author: Antione de Saint Exupery

Pages: 83

Genre: Fantasy, children’s

Is this part of a series?  Technically, no.  We’ll get into that later.

First Published:  April 6th, 1943

Summary:

(from Goodreads) Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behavior through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

My thoughts:

First, it amazes me that this book is in so many different languages, and has such a following, but I have never had the inclination to read it until I read The Book Jumper.  I loved this book with it’s sweetness, insight, and charm.  The Little Prince leaves his very small planet that he is from and the flower that he has tended to go on an adventure to learn new things and make friends.  He visits several planets, but cannot make sense of them.  Each one has a character with an attribute that can often be found in adults and the world.  As Exupery has his fun with these characters, the little prince moves toward new adventures.  On earth, he meets a pilot that he talks to.  The two talk about Earth, his world, and the flower he left behind, whom he misses deeply.  In his travels here The Little Prince sees other flowers like his- roses- but realizes that they aren’t as special.  He also finds a friend in a fox that he tames and grows to love and care for.

I found this small book profound in that, at least to me, it reminds us of the things that we care about.  The relationships we create are what makes things special and important.  He missed his friend the rose so much that he found a way to return to his planet a year after leaving.  It reminded me to take time to tend to my own special things, and be aware of the loved ones I have.  To allow time for magic, and not take my adult self too very seriously.  In this way, though it is written for children, I feel that adults need to reread this too.  Plus, it is just a great story.  Five stars!  Five Stars

Now, this book is so popular that not only did it get translated into 300 languages and has had at least two authors write stories to take place later with The Little Prince.  The Little Prince Returns was written by Jean-Pierre Davidts where a shipwrecked narrator finds The Little Prince on a deserted island.  Ysatis de Saint Simone (niece of Consuelo de Saint Exupery) wrote one entitled The Return of The Little Prince.  There  were movie adaptations, stage plays, opera, anime, pop-up books and graphic novels (I have to find this!)  It has it’s own swag-bags, socks, toys and adult coloring book.  Honestly, this is not just a book, it’s a following!  I am not ashamed to say that I am a bit obsessed.  Thank goodness I took the time to read this one.

As there is no real adult content (one planet has a drunk), I would say that this book is for everyone.  Have you read it?

If you have Amazon Prime, you can read it for free.  You can also buy the book here:

Amazon

Amber