Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Wrap-Up

Thanks to The Book Date for hosting Month in Review!

February is here and gone.  It was a great month, but I am ready for spring!  Here is a summary of what I read and posts I have this month.  5 books completed in Feb for a 2018 total of 10


Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (review here)

When Breath Become Air by Paul Kalanithi (reviewed here)

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (5 star review here)

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner- 4 star review (here)

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch (review here)

Currently Reading-  

Educated by Tara Westover  -The teacher in me is fascinated. I'm hooked! The mental illness and injuries that occur without medical care is unfathomable (but true!)! 

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah- This is a good Audiobook by a reliable author, perfect for winter reading (actually listening)!
Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties by Camille Pag├ín I had time at an appointment and had this E-Arc on my phone (and had forgotten to bring a physical book).  I am enjoying it so far. I love all 3 of Camille Pagan's books that I have read.

Up Next:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Audiobook)
Every Note Played by Lisa Genoa (Netgalley)

Challenge Updates-

TBR Pile Challenge- 1/12 read  - When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 

Audiobook Challenge- 2 in February for a total of 5 out of 15 read this year.

Nonfiction Challenge- 1 read in Feb 2018 total=2 (year goal 9)

Book Bingo Challenge-  2 squares completed (a book that made you cry, a book set in a different country)

Other February Posts-  I think I need to change it up and try some new types of posts in March!

Mailbox Monday- Feb 5th

Mailbox Monday- Feb 12th

Mailbox Monday- Feb 19th

Top Ten Tuesday- On my TBR pile FOREVER

How was your February reading?  Any books you loved or didn't love?

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Italian Party

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch

The Italian Party started off great with a funny scene with their car as they arrived in their new town, Siena Italy. I wish the whole book would have been like that because I wanted more humorous travel scenes. I enjoyed the secrets and mystery that Scottie and Michael had in their marriage. It was interesting to see how their pasts were revealed and how they both changed throughout the book. The characters in the Italian city are a fun group too.  The idea of this book is great showing how Americans viewed other countries and tried to push its ideas onto citizens all over the world.  The only part that was difficult for me was following the political plot with the communists and different political parties.  I did get confused a few times but it didn't take away from the story. There was a lot of unexpected parts about horses, which I also enjoyed (and no animals were harmed)!! Overall I did like the characters and I most loved life in Italy and the descriptions of  the town, countryside, pasta etc.  Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the opportunity to read this book.

3.5 Stars

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

As Bright As Heaven

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

From the beginning of the book I was completely hooked. The book portrays the awfulness that families went through during the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. While I loved the character development, there was just some things in the 2nd half of the book that I didn't love that makes me give this 4 stars instead of 5. I don't want to ruin the plot, but I feel like there were things that were intended for character development but that I didn't feel added to the storyline. Overall I loved Meissner's writing and the voices of each girl through the changing narration (especially early on) were well done. It was important to see the characters grow and change with the challenges that they faced.  The narrators of the audiobook were perfect, if you are a fan of audiobooks this is a good one

4 stars

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's (Mailbox) Monday, What are you Reading? (02/19)

I'm joining in for Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are you Reading this week!  Thanks to Mailbox Monday and The Book Date for hosting! 

Mailbox Monday-
I received books in the mail this week that I can't wait to read!

Educated by Tara Westover
I'm so excited to read this nonfiction book. I already have a few educators that I know will enjoy it when I finish it.  It is next up and the top of my TBR list! I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway...yay.

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd
I received this from Library Thing Early Reviewers program.  I am so intrigued by the description of this book.  Great reviews from Goodreads friends too!

Currently Reading-

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner (Audiobook)- I love this book and the alternating view narrators.  I am about 75% done and wish I had more time to listen to it! The voices are well done in this audiobook and I love the plot and the characters as they change.

The Italian Party- By Christina Lynch
A fun Netgalley Book that comes out this Spring! Fun characters and setting, a hint of mystery too.

Recently Finished-
I've been working on these two books for over a week, I am sad I didn't finish any books this week. Boo!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 12, 2018

It's (Mailbox) Monday, What are you Reading? (02/12)

I'm joining in for Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are you Reading this week!  Thanks to Mailbox Monday and The Book Date for hosting! 


The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller- This book arrived from Penguin Books and The Book Club Cookbook blog. I love their Instagram page for pictures of books and food that pairs with the book.


As Bright As Heaven By Susan Meissner (Audiobook)

There are different narrators for the voices of these girls.  I love the different perspectives and the flu epidemic is not something I have read about before.

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch (Netgalley)
This book is a fun breath of fresh air.  Two American newlyweds go to Italy in the 1950s with their own secrets and reasons for being there.  In the first chapter they get their car stuck between two buildings in an Italian village. A tiny bit of mystery too and fun characters in the village.  I am loving it!

Recently Finished:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - My 5 Star review here

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I felt like I was surviving in Alaska along with Leni, Cora and Ernst.  This book had so many different layers and underlying themes.  Survival was the heart of it and I don't think I could have survived a winter in Alaska in the 70s that this book depicted. The descriptions of life and scenery in Alasaka were vivid and portrayed the beauty and brutality of that great state.  The biggest theme was the sense of community that was created and how people could trade services and goods without exchange of money.  Love was also a theme that came across throughout the book in different ways.  I don't want to give anything away in this book, but there are many ways love was shown and depicted.  There were times I was proud of the characters and other time I was so mad at them for choices they made.  This is the 2nd book by Kristin Hannah that I have read and while the Nightingale's theme was completely different, in this book I also felt a connection to the characters and celebrated and struggled with them.  Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-arc of this great book.  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday- On my TBR list FOREVER!

Top Ten Tuesday- Books on my TBR list FOREVER!  Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for hosting

I actually do know which book I got as my first e-book. The saddest part is that I still haven't read it! This literally was on my "TBR list" before I created one on Goodreads! It has been there by far the longest!
Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline- I loved Orphan Train and have committed to reading this book in 2018.

At the end of 2017 to hold myself accountable for reading books that have been on my TBR pile the longest, I joined in the 2018 TBR Challenge on Roofbeam Reader. (My TBR Pile link) That helped me go through my TBR pile (physical and ebooks) and find old books that I need to read.  Since I have only finished 1, here is that list (which is a good reminder I need to start reading this books and stop requesting ARCs on Netgalley!)


*** When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi was initially on my list but I recently finished it. Yay! One of my TBR books finally completed! 

I apologize for the formatting issues with the pictures.  Do you know which book you have had to read the longest?  

Monday, February 5, 2018

It's (Mailbox) Monday, What are you Reading?

I'm joining in for Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are you Reading this week!  Thanks to Mailbox Monday and The Book Date for hosting! 


I purchased this book for my niece's 5th birthday party and it arrived in the mail this week.  I highly recommend this picture book if you haven't read it.  In the crazy world we live in this book emphasizes that most people in the world are good people that help others.  My children LOVE it which is why I bought it for my niece.


Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
This book is pure fun with mystery and a fun eccentric character (Auntie Poldi).  I received this from the Bookish First program and am enjoying it!

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White-
I love Karen White and I have had this book on my TBR list forever, its a great audiobook so far.  It is a series, so I hope to chip away at the books when I can.  Has anyone read these books?  Keep going with the series or stop after this book?

Up Next:  

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Recently Finished :  

When Breath Becomes Air (review here)
Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (review here)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Summer Wives

Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

This book had so many elements that worked well together and made it a book that I stayed up late to finish! There is a unique setting on an island where the class system unfortunately plays a role as we see the residents navigate summers with visitors. There is also romance (more than I expected, but it was well done) and most importantly a mystery. At times I was unsure why the author was writing about a character, but all of her words, and descriptions of island life were intentional and played a role in the story. At times, with the authors words, I felt like I was near the water, or at one of the grand parties with the characters and that added an extra layer to an already great story. I liked the format of the changing years and the characters narrating, it was easy to follow along with each of the stories. I know this book will well received by fans of Beatriz Williams this summer when it is released and I can't wait to read reviews and chat with others about this book when it is released. I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to read an ARC of this book provided by HarperCollins Publishers Page Turners program. This book comes out in July 2018

4 stars!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Non Fiction Friday- When Breath Becomes Air

Nonfiction Friday
Thanks to Doing Dewey Decimal for hosting Nonfiction Friday

I have completed my 2nd book for the Nonfiction Challenge. (also hosted by Dewey Decimal) My goal is 9 nonfiction books for the year!

I was surprised by this book. I didn't know what to expect when I started it and it got me thinking. I did enjoy hearing about the medical aspect of this book but I am not sure what to think overall. His love for literature and neurology is what made this book work well. I also completely understand that it was written towards the end of his life.  I didn't anticipate so much of the philosophical aspects of it and Im not typically drawn to those conversations either. I think the Epilogue by his wife tied the whole book together and filled in some of the missing pieces. Im glad I listened to this short book, but I didn't love it as I had hoped! I'm wondering if the words were meant to be read and if it lost a bit of power in the audiobook. 3.5 Stars (I almost feel guilty saying that)

Dr. Schwartzman series books 1-3

Danielle Girard has a series about a medical examiner, Annabelle Schwartzman that I enjoy. I haven't posted any of my reviews on the blo...