Where have I been?!?!

busy busy6Guys!  I am so sorry about the radio silence here!  I have tried to keep up with the posts of those I love and active in the community, but it feels like forever since I posted an update myself.

The end of August was a lot of fun for me, but also very stressful.  My husband had known forever that we were going to take a mini vacation and see the solar eclipse in all it’s glory.  He just didn’t know where.  Because he could not guarantee clear skies and good weather ahead of time he decided we would not be booking a hotel room, but actually decide where we were going (ie he would decide where we were going) the night before we left.   I begged and pleaded but to no avail.  Due to the amount of people that also wanted to see the eclipse I figured this meant I would be sleeping in a car for at least one night if not two.  Luckily he chose the St. Louis area where I had O’hana.  My beautiful and gracious cousin Kim loaned us the use of her house at the last minute while she was in Tennessee.   It was amazing!  Also, because of her kindness my husband was able to strike something off his bucket list- a helicopter tour of St.  Louis.  Pics will follow, but he has the best ones.  If you are ever in St.  Louis, MO. see as many museums as possible.  Most are free save parking, and they are exceptional.   We saw The Science Centerzoothe museum of fine arts, and the botanical garden (there is a charge here, but worth it).  I actually want to do a post that is just all the pics we took on our “skycation”, but have to get the ones Warren took and find out if I am allowed to post pictures of art from the museum- not sure of copyright law there.

Once home I was happy but exhausted and had fallen out of my routine for gym/walks.  We walked more in St.  Louis than probably ever, but I hadn’t had to wake up early and make plans around it.  This month has seen a large drop in basically all my health goals due to the “normal” illness and catching a bug later.  I am ashamed to say that I will not be making my gym goals, and will start fresh next month.  Happily I am not gaining weight, but I am not really loosing either and need to get back on track with exercise.

My birthday was the 19th and I am now 35.  Warren got me a little mp3 player for audio books ( currently listening to Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich), and an amazon card for added book funds.  Ulta, bless them, sent me a coupon for a nine color eyeshadow palate (free!).  Mom and Dad got me a bowling ball and shoes (I suck at bowling, but enjoy the weekly hang out and permission to eat pizza with the O’hana), as well as a wooden pendant made by a local artist The Wooden Doerr.  It was a lot of fun!

Now I am reading Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco and enjoying it immensely!  I am excited to get back to my normal routine and keep up with my healthy living goals.  I missed you guys!

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DNF shame: The Best Kind of People, Zoe Whittall

the best kind of peopletitle: The Best Kind of People

Author: Zoe Whittall

pages: 449

Genre: general fiction with mystery aspects

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish date: September 19, 2017

Blurb from Amazon’s website:

A local schoolteacher is arrested, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt, in this exquisite novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

The Woodburys cherish life in the affluent, bucolic suburb of Avalon Hills, Connecticut. George is a beloved science teacher at the local prep school, a hero who once thwarted a gunman, and his wife, Joan, is a hardworking ER nurse. They have brought up their children in this thriving town of wooded yards and sprawling lakes.

Then one night a police car pulls up to the Woodbury home and George is charged with sexual misconduct with students from his daughter’s school. As he sits in prison awaiting trial and claiming innocence, Joan vaults between denial and rage as friends and neighbors turn cold. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Sadie, is a popular high school senior who becomes a social outcast—and finds refuge in an unexpected place. Her brother, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, returns home to support the family, only to confront unhappy memories from his past. A writer tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist group attempts to recruit Sadie for their cause.

Provocative and unforgettable, The Best Kind of People reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect lives and the unraveling of an American family.

Thank you to Netgalley and Ballentine Books for the chance to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I fear it just wasn’t for me.  I try to never do this, but after struggling through half the book I am throwing in the towel.  The premise caught my attention immediately- I love books like this where you get a deep look into a family.  The drama, the intrigue… it’s my catnip.  I can’t decide where this one fell flat, all I know is that it never caught hold of me.  I was bored and forcing myself from page to page waiting for a character to make me feel.  Even the opening, which should have been very exciting, seemed dull to me.  I guess I simply didn’t care for the execution.

On the adult content- there’s a lot.  Language, drug use, sexual content…. while none are very graphic, it is there.  Since this is a book I can see appealing to teens, I feel like I should put that warning out.  Again, it isn’t graphic, though, so I give it a five.

The book comes out tomorrow (9-19-2017).  I would be interested to know your thoughts.

Link to book:

Amazon

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The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane, Ellen Berry

the little bakery on rosemary laneTitle: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane

Author: Ellen Berry

Pages: 368 pages

Genre: cozy romance

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book two of the Rosemary Lane series.

Published: September 7th, 2017

 

Roxanne Cartwright has it all- the high-power job at a fashion magazine, a boyfriend she adores and a flat in London…. Until it all starts to unravel.  Heartbroken, she returns to her hometown and her sister.  Burly Bridge is not as she remembers.  Della’s gorgeous cookbook shop (see The Little Bookshop on Rosemary Lane) has breathed new life into the town.  Now there are tourists, boutiques, a greengrocer and an adorable bakery-with the handsome Michael at it’s head.  The longer she is here, the more she loves it, and begins to question her life in London.  Can the fast-paced fashionista find peace in the country?

My thanks to Netgalley and Avon publishers for allowing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I loved the first book of the series, and being able to get a better look at Roxanne was great.   I loved her, craziness and insecurity and all.  These are rich, charming characters that make you long for Burly Bridge.  While not always fast paced, it never seemed to drag, and the descriptions of the places were charming.  Like any book, it isn’t without it’s faults.  I often got annoyed at her interactions with Sean.  I understand that for this was necessary for the story, but I hated their relationship.  Even still, this is a four star book for me.

On the adult content scale, it has a bit of language and sexual content though neither are at all explicit.  I would not worry about age here.  This is maybe a three.General.svgFour Stars

The book is out, have you read it yet?

Link to book

Amazon

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes, Jamie Ford

love and other consolation prizesspolier alertTitle: Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Author: Jamie Ford

Pages: 320

Genre: historical fiction, romance

Is this Part of a series?  No

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Summary From Goodreads:

Inspired by a true story, this is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle world’s fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. It is a time when the magical wonders of technology on display at the expo future seems limitless. But for Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan who found his way to America through a last desperate act of his beloved mother, every door is closed. A charity student at a boarding school, he has never really had a place to call home. Then one day, his wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have: Ernest will be offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair, advertised as “Healthy boy to a good home for the winning ticket holder.” The woman who “wins” him is the madam of a notorious brothel who was famous for educating her girls. He becomes a houseboy in her brothel and is befriended by the daughter of the madam, as well as a Japanese girl who works in the kitchen. The friendship and love between these three form the first real family Ernest has ever known.

My thanks to Netgalley and Ballentine Books for allowing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I have to admit that it took me a few days to process and come to terms not just with the content, but the layout of the book.  We first meet an older Ernest standing in front of the World Fair in the 60’s and thinking about a jumble of things from his wife, Gracie, to the poor record keeping of Chine, and then to radio waves bouncing off Cassiopeia.  Honestly it was a mess, and if I were someone that just reads the first page to decide if I want to read a book this one would have been tossed. That would have been tragic.  As the book progressed, moving from Ernest’s earliest childhood memory- the last time he saw his mother in China- to 1960’s America, it quickly found it’s pace and I was riveted.  There were moments of such haunting sadness, but also sweetness and childlike innocence in the oddest places.  I adored the characters and found them touching and well developed.  The fact that the general ideas behind who is “in the right” and “good” was often blurred and even in question here.  Mostly I was left broken yet charmed by a world  I can’t even imagine.  Due to the issues I had with the start of the book I thought I would give this one a lower rating, but I can’t.  It’s still a five star book for me and I will be searching for a hard copy of this one for my shelves.  (And as a possible gift for one of my aunties- this is right up her alley).  Five Stars  If you loved the lyrical beauty and poignant sadness of Memiors of a Geisha, then you will like this one I think.

On the adult content scale…. well there’s a lot.  Sexual content, though done with care and respect, language and violence.  It hits a lot of hard subjects, but I would still let my niece read it.  I give it a five.  Parental Guidance

The book comes out Tuesday- go get it!!!!!

Link to book:

Amazon

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The Future She Left Behind, Marin Thomas

the future she left behind.

Title: The Future She Left Behind

Author:  Marin Thomas

Pages:352

Genre: women’s lit, contemporary

Is this part of a series?  No.

Publish Date: September 5th, 2017

Delivered divorce papers by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler wants to pack up and head home to Little Springs, Texas.  She wants to reconnect with her mom, rediscover her art, and heal in the pleasant town.

There’s just one problem… Shirly Pratt, Katelyn’s mother-in-law, is not ready to give up the only one that has cared for her in three years.  Hijacking the road trip, she goes along to Texas all the while acting her domineering, manipulative self.  As Katelyn finds herself again she has to face some hard truths and decide where her life is headed.  The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend Jackson Mendoza doesn’t make things any easier as old feelings come back and she finds the new, more mature Jackson even more attractive.  This is one woman’s quest for peace, happiness, and a future forward.

My thanks to First to Read for an eARC of this book.  There was a lot I liked about this book.  For the most part it was a sweet, fast read with an interesting premise and fantastic characters.  On the other hand, I sometimes felt like  I was being beaten over the head with things that got repeated perhaps too often.  The mothers are polar opposites, I got that the first twelve times…. After a while it detracted from my enjoyment.   I liked that Jackson was imperfect, fighting with his view of himself, being a recovering alcoholic, and trying to forge a relationship with the mother that left him and his father.  He was an honestly good man that wanted the best for everyone else and I could not help but love him for that.  All in all, I found the book enjoyable and would recommend it.   Four stars!  Four Stars

On the Adult Content Scale, there’s some language and sexual content.  I would give it a five.  Parental Guidance

The book comes out 9-5-17.  Go check it out!

Link to book:

amazon