Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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 blog, so I thought a series post would be best with my Goodreads reviews of all 3.

Exhume (Dr. Schwartzman #1) Read January 2017 (Amazon)
3.5 Stars
I did like this book. It was an entertaining and easy to follow book. It isn't the best writing that I have ever read, but it was a good mystery with a few story lines that did eventually connect. I will likely read the second book in the Dr. Schwartzman series if there is one. The narrator on the audiobook was very good!

Excise- (Dr. Schwartzman #2) Read August 2017 (Netgalley)
4 stars
I am enjoying this series. I liked this book even better than the 1st and it was a quick read that kept me turning pages. I can't wait for Book #3 to come out. I like the combination of mystery with a bit of medical information and the varying viewpoints of characters. 

Expose- (Dr. Schwartzman #3) Read July 2018 (Netgalley)
3 stars
 I liked the information about the cases and forensics just like I did with the previous two books in the series. However in this book I didn't like that this book was much more graphic about torture and history of abuse for more than one character. I liked how well Hal and Dr. Schwartzman work together as colleagues but I was disappointed with the cliffhanger. This isn't my typical genre but I really enjoy Dr. Schwartzman's character and dedication to her job as a medical examiner throughout this series. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Mercer for the opportunity to read books 2 and 3.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 
by Gail Honeymoon

5 Stars! I absolutely adored this book.  The thought process of Eleanor was my favorite part of this book.  She was so literal  and it actually made sense to me. I laughed out loud more than once and hit made me adore Eleanor even more. At times, I just wanted to reach out and hug her.  The overall story is wonderfully done with great supporting characters.  I can't wait to talk about this one with BookClub. While this did have some underlying sadness, I  will always think of this book in a positive way.  I listened to this as an audiobook and it was perfectly done.  I will honestly miss Eleanor and her life now that this book is over.  Highly recommended!

Monday, July 2, 2018

2018 Mid-year Audiobook Challenge update

2018 Audiobook Challenge

Thanks to the Caffeinated Reviewer and Hot Listens for hosing this challenge. 
Goal Levels:
  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+
I LOVE AUDIOBOOKS!!!  My original goal was 15 Audiobooks for 2018 which would have put me at the Stenographer or Socially Awkward Level. GREAT NEWS  I have already completed 15 Audiobooks which means I need to update my goal!
My updated 2018 Goal is Binge Listener and I hope to complete 26 Audiobooks total this year! I have been listening to Audiobooks more as I shop online, do dishes, etc. This year I am creating more time to listen which has been wonderful. I'm not sure how much I will be able to enjoy audiobooks this Fall when school starts up again so I thought 11 more for the year was an attainable goal.

2018 completed audiobooks:
  1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  3. The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  5. As Bright as Heaven by Susan Messier
  6. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  7. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  8. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
  9. I’m not your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
  10. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
  11. Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens
  12. Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
  13. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
  14. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya
  15. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
Top 3 Listens so far this year:

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah- (my 5 star review here)-  I started the year off with a wonderful book read by the author.  Trevor Noah's story and narration were amazing! I highly recommend listening to this book instead of reading it!

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman- (my review)  This was the first fiction book I listened to that was read by the author and I absolutely loved hearing Catherine Steadman's voice as the narrator.  I enjoyed the mystery of this book too!

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner- (4 star review) This book was a good read but the 4 narrators made this book one of my top Audiobooks.  

I still have an Audible account and get a book a month there.  The other audiobooks I use my local library.  I recently began using the app Libby instead of Overdrive and I am still adjusting to the changes...not a fan, yet.

Currently listening to:  
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I absolutely love the narrator's voice as well as the story.  I am making time to listen to this one! 

Next up:
When Life Gives you Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger : I think this will be fun!  I'm thankful my local library has new releases on downloadable Audiobook.

I hope you have had a great year of Audiobooks so far!  I think so many times listening to a book enhances the reading, especially when the author is the narrator for nonfiction and fiction!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Wrap-Up

June 2018 Wrap-Up 

Thanks to The Book Date for hosting Month in Review!

June went by so quickly.  Summer has been relaxing.  I am hoping July is a bit more productive but still just as enjoyable.  Here is a summary of what I read and posts I have this month.  It looks like I have only 3 books completed in June for a 2018 total of 29 books read.  I still am on track to get 50 this year!

COMPLETED BOOKS- All books this month were 4 or 5 stars

One of Us is Lying by (my review)

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya

There is Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (my review)

Currently Reading-  
The Subway Girls is fantastic historical fiction. It releases on July 10th (thank you, Netgalley) and I can't stop listening to Eleanor Oliphant on Audiobook.  Her insights and observations about daily life are spot on and hysterical.

Challenge Updates-

Audiobook Challenge- 2 in June for a total of 15 out of 15 read this year. (I'll have an update post about this soon and my updated goal, yay for Audiobooks!)
Nonfiction Challenge- 1 read in June 2018 total=5  (year goal 9)

Book Bingo Challenge-  1 squares completed (a book that made me angry, I learned so much from the Girl Who Smiled Beads and I was angry at times with the struggles so many in the world face)
TBR Pile Challenge- 0 read this month, I'm way behind in this challenge!

Other June Posts-  I was a bit behind, so I used June to catch up on mini reviews from April and May. Here are the 4 most visited ones.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday- June 26th

Top Ten Tuesday-  The Book Series Edition

Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for hosing TTT

Book Series I currently LOVE -

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley- A bookclub I am in has read the 4 already published books.  There is an underlying mystery with who is PaSalt, but the characters, setting and stories are just beautiful.  I have enjoyed listening to all of these books as audiobooks and can't wait for the next few books in the series.  Book #1 is my favorite, but I have enjoyed them all!
The Shadow Sister #3 (review here)
The Pearl Sister #4 (review here)
No Publication date yet set for Book #5 in the USA.

Dr. Schwartzman Series by Danielle Girard
I think I got the first book in this series from the Amazon First program for Prime Members.  I loved the 2nd book just as much and can't wait to read the 3rd book that comes out next month.  This follows a medical examiner as she lives life while being followed by her ex-husband.  It is the perfect amount of mystery and medical info during autopsies.  4 star books!
 My Review of Excise

Publication date- July 24th 2018 (I can't wait!!)

Sydney Rose Parnell-By Barbara Nickless

These books are about a railroad police special agent and her K9 partner Clyde. These books are heavy on the mystery and can be a bit graphic with the crime descriptions but I love the main character and her struggles and successes.  Another great series I found with Amazon First Books.
Book # 3 Ambush will be out in 2019

Book Series I USED to Like (but won't read future books)

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale-  (My review here)
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was well received at book club too!  I did not like the epilogue of the book (which was a chapter from the 2nd book in the series).  I should have known not to read Book #2, but I read it anyways and it just made me done with the whole series.  I know that book #3 comes out soon.  I wish this author the best of luck, but I liked the first book as a standalone only!

Good Hope Series by Cindy Kirk
I read books 1-4 and enjoyed them (3-4 star books), but I feel like I have overstayed my welcome in the town of Good Hope.  I like that this book has characters with upstanding values and that make good choices, but I am not interested in reading about the sisters (all named after flowers) anymore!

A few other series that I started but won't finish-

The Gibson Vaughn Series by Matthew Fitzsimmons- I really enjoyed The Short Drop, but Poisonfeather didn't do it for me.  I don't think I have the energy for book #3 (which has ok reviews or #4 when it comes out this fall)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)-  I enjoyed books 1-3 and while I respect that David Lagercrantz took over books #4 from the original author's (Steig Larsson) notes, I respectfully bow out.  I know that Book #5 is coming out soon, but I will pass!

I am excited to Blog Hop and see what others have picked. I am sure there are many I will think..... "Oh I should have put that on my list!"  I didn't include any YA or Children's books but there are many series that I LOVE  (Piggie and Elephant by Mo Willems anyone??!!?)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Something in the Water

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

This book had me hooked right away! From the beginning I was curious what had happened leading up to her activity in the first chapter. The flashback to the events leading up were important character building, and then about 30% in the book picked up and didn't stop. I like how all of the different plot lines played a big role, the documentary subjects, the honeymoon, Mark's job etc. This book was a perfect mix of mystery, character development, and a great adventure. I listened to this as an Audiobook and I loved hearing the author read the book she wrote and it read just as she intended the voices to be. Reese Witherspoon picked this book for her June bookclub and although I don't tend to follow all celebrity book picks, this was a great recommendation!4.5 Stars

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Girl Who Smiled Beads- Nonfiction Friday

The Girl Who Smiled Beads 

by Clemantine Wamariya

This book is an important read. It is heartbreaking at times, but I learned so much through Clemantine's eyes. I like how she alternated between more recent times and her past as she and her sister struggled to find their way in Africa after leaving Rwanda. Her struggles of adapting to life in the US are especially important to remember when working with ELL students.  The perseverance shown by both Clementine and Claire was amazing. I also appreciated the rawness of the story and that this wasn't a perfect read tied up with a bow. While her story is her own, I know that this book can teach others about the struggles of refugees from war torn countries all over the world. I highly recommend this book to those that are open to listening and learning. I know this book will stick with me for awhile.  

Thanks to Dewey Decimal for hosting Nonfiction Friday

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...