Bookish Problems

*sigh* Let’s talk bookish problems…books…haha.

Buying books and reading books are two different things…agree? Disagree? I thought with quarantine I would blow through books at home…*looks around* that’s a negative. I’ve been reading a lot, but not from my stash!!!

Take for example this gem…

Released June 11, 2020. I had it delivered to me on June 11th. Have I read it yet? Nope. Why? My library…

Once my local library started back with curbside I started to pick up a few books here and there and when I would see a good one on here, I’d put it on my library list and well…now I have 3 books sitting atop my 28 Summers that I’m reading BEFORE I make it to that one…BUT I WANT TO READ IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I won’t because I’ll read the library books first, but, ugh…does this happen to anyone else?!?

Let’s talk about our bookish problems!

Off Topic Chatter: Face Wash Check In

*looks around* I started this so gung ho and then dropped off…*hangs head in shame*

My skin still feels so smooth, but I just have not kept up with it daily. (Side note: I don’t wear makeup so don’t freak out and think I’m going to bed with stuff on my face, I promise I’m not!!!)

I am happy I have found and stuck with a face wash though…do I notice my wrinkles still? Yes…I don’t think it’s done anything for that, but I do find my face to feel smoother and it hasn’t set my face on fire so I’m going to stick with it for now! Maybe when I run out I’ll try something different…

Any good face care recommendations???

First Line Fridays: July 24th

As always First Line Friday comes courtesy of Hoarding Books Blog.  I discovered this magic thanks to Crystal at Must Love Reviews

This week I am featuring a book from Netgalley…

‘Would it be possible for you to move a little to the left?’ I enquire politely.

What am I making my way through today?

Blurb

Meet Hannah Thompson: wife, mother, teacher and… secret erotica author?

My Guilt List:

1. If we have a date night then I’m always asleep before it’s halfway through and honestly, if I had to choose, I’d rather have a hot bath and read my book than engage in any other nocturnal activity.

2. If we do actually have you-know-what then it’s not unheard of for my mind to wander… and I’m not talking about sexy things – I’m talking about what food there is in the fridge and when the car is due for its next service.

3. I am struggling to write about anything that could be classed as even a little bit sexually adventurous which is a problem when I’m supposed to be an erotica writer and I am speaking at Sex Con in exactly one month.

With a book to publicise, Hannah has no choice but trade her M&S cardis for S&M parties, and become her writing alter-ego. What could possibly go wrong…

What are you reading today??

Buddy Book Review: Her Body and Other Parties

How exciting the world of blogging can be!! I recently connected with Emily at The Literary Elephant over books with short stories and ultimately we decided to buddy read Her Body and Other Parties!

Fun fact, this book has been sitting on her shelf and I borrowed mine from my public library (yay for curbside pick up). As I sat looking at it on my stand one day, I noticed on the spine it read, “YA MACHADO.” Uhhhh…there was some confusion on my part, panic thinking I grabbed the wrong book, until I realized, whoops, someone at the library made an oopsie. Don’t worry, I emailed them to let them know so they have it marked when I return it to fix that!!

We both are answering the SAME questions to the book today on our blogs. Please go check her answers out and if you’re here because you already read her answers, have at it!

1) The synopsis of the book describes it as a collection of “startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.” Such violence can be intentional, self-inflicted, unrealized, or without any identifiable culprit. Which of these types of violence do you personally find more frightening?

Personally, I find violence without any identifiable culprit to be the most frightening because you’re left wondering who did it and what they’re doing. Are they around the corner waiting to get you again? Are they doing the same thing to other people? I found the last story in this book, Difficult At Parties, to be like this because I felt like she was being abused in some manner…but we did not know who. Was it her male friend in the story? We don’t know…I speculate it was him, but we don’t know.

2) Would you be more likely to recommend the book to a certain gender? Why?

No. This book was…odd. I think those who enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and LGBTQ+ tales would enjoy this one the most…male or female. It is written from a female’s perspective, but this book is so bizarre at times I don’t think it really matters.

3) Were there any specific times you personally felt unsettled, creeped out, or genuinely frightened?

No. I think the biggest moment for me came with the first story, The Husband Stitch, where at the end I just went, “Ooooooooooooooooooh.” I never felt unsettled or creeped out in any manner.

4) Do you think the final order of the published stories is a strong one, or would you have rearranged them? How would changing the order of the stories have changed your reading experience of the collection?

This was something Emily and I discussed when we finished this one. We would have both flipped the first story, The Husband Stitch, with the final story, Difficult At Parties. The Husband Stitch ends with you knowing everything in that story (this one may be my favorite), it’s solid, your curious state of mind is satisfied. I felt Difficult At Parties left you with a, well what the heck happened?! What’s the story, what is going on? It left me so high and dry and for the end of the book, just ugh! What a note to be left on!!!!

5) The main characters of these stories trend toward passivity- strange things happen to them, outside of their control, while the few choices they do make are either glossed over or portrayed with a weighted inevitability which suggests there was no real choice to begin with. Do you think this style was effective?

Listen, this book was bizarre…so the style fit. One the stories it best fit with was Real Women Have Bodies (especially fitting given our current pandemic). While a pandemic is running rampant, she is doing what she can while working in a clothing store. It was an interesting story for sure!

6) Did you ever find yourself irritated or bored, and if so, why?

YES! I enjoyed The Husband Stitch, Especially Heinous, Real Women Have Bodies, and Eight Bites…half of the stories. The other 4 were just so out there and I couldn’t get a good grip on them. One story, Inventory, is just a bunch of paragraphs describing various lovers she’s had. That’s it. Sometimes I felt like I was in the middle of a conversation and the other person just stopped talking and you’re like, “Oh, ok, I guess we’re done,” without ever getting any closure. I am fairly certain a lot went over my head with this one and I didn’t get as in depth as I should have…

7) What is your opinion on the author’s depiction of sex throughout the collection?

Interesting…I didn’t find it overly grotesque or uncomfortable like in some books, but I felt like every time it was described, it was being described in a manner like she didn’t want to have it, but felt forced/owed it to the person/had to do it. I never felt like she was doing it because she was seeking it out, I always felt like it was because she felt like she had to…which says a lot. I almost wonder if she was taking the standpoint that as women, we are here to please our men. When you look at everything in the book and reflect, it’s almost sad.

8) In “Especially Heinous” the doppelgänger Henson tells the following story to the DA: “The sixty-fifth story is about a world that watches you and me and everyone. Watches our suffering like it is a game. Can’t stop. Can’t tear themselves away. If they could stop, we could stop, but they won’t, so we can’t.” Why do you think Law and Order: SVU is such a popular show, given that it concerns itself specifically with “sexually based offenses” which “are considered especially heinous?”

Ok, now THIS one was my favorite story!! Side note: I’ve never watched Law and Order: SVU before so I was hesitant about this story, but I loved the flow! As a society, we are obssessed with true crime/crime related shows, so no wonder this show is popular. I just really enjoyed this story as she kept intertwining things that happened in previous episodes into others…is this how the show works in real life??

9) Did you like this book? Did you find it beautiful? Is there a difference between your answers?

I’m not mad I read it…I enjoyed half of it, and honestly, Especially Heinous saved this one for me. It was the longest story, but best one in there. It gave me hope as I hit the halfway mark in the book, haha. A perk for me with this book is the fact that there’s only 8 stories, so it makes this feel like a quick read. I broke down reading this by just reading a story at a time. This was definitely out of my normal realm of books I read, but I’m glad I read it!! I never wanted to stop reading it and mark this as DNF, it peaked my interest enough to wonder, what story will be next! Because for a story I didn’t care for, there was one I really did enjoy. Can’t win ’em all, but I’m so happy I decided to read this one! Our answers vary in quite a few places, but that’s what makes the world go ’round!

I hope you enjoyed this cross over buddy post and please, go check out The Literary Elephant’s post and comment to let us know what you thought!!!

WWW Wednesday: July 22, 2020

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

Recently finished:

Next:

I also finished watching Something In The Rain on Netflix and have started on It’s Ok To Not Be Okay…it’s killing me that episodes are released weekly!

What are you reading (or even watching) today???

Blog Tour: The Switch @OLearyBeth @Flatironbooks #NGEW20

Thank you to Cat Kenney and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to participate in The Switch’s blog tour! I received an advance copy of The Switch in exchange for my honest review!

I absolutely adored Beth O’Leary’s debut novel so when the opportunity came about to join the blog tour for her second novel, I jumped at the chance and I am SO glad I did!

Leena is burning both ends of the candle and ends up burning out at work. They force her to take a two month vacation just to clear her head and take care of herself for a change. She ends up visiting her grandmother who lives a few hours away in her hometown. Eileen, her grandmother, is a 70 something recently divorced woman who is trying to get herself back into the dating scene.

After a quick visit they decide to switch lives for two months. Leena moves in to her grandmothers house, takes over her duties, and even uses her phone. Eileen goes to the big city of London and lives in her flat and has her phone. What ensues is quite comical…

The novel is fairly predictable, but don’t let that deter you. It is still a fabulous story that has you second guessing what you think is only going to happen. My jaw actually dropped once I learned about what happened when two people originally first met. It was lovely to watch both Eileen and Leena learn about themselves and watch them take care of themselves for a change.

I could not put this down as I kept rooting for Leena and Eileen and always hoped for the best. It just goes to show us that sometimes we need to take a breath and focus on ourselves for a minute, even if we think we’re completely fine.

4 stars.  The best perk to this one was the epilogue. It was a breath of fresh air to see what transpired from the end to a year later. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. This is absolutely the book to read if you want to be happy!!

About the Author:

Beth O’Leary worked in children’s publishing before becoming a full-time author. She is also the author of The Flatshare. She can be found on Instagram @BethOLearyAuthor  and Twitter @OLearyBeth.

Title: The Switch

Author: Beth O’Leary

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: ROMeANTICALLY CHALLENGED

HUGE thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Publishing Group for an advanced copy of ROMeANTICALLY CHALLENGED. I received this free advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review!

Annie (Anh Nhi) gets dumped by her fiance and decides on a whim to leave her home in Hartford, Connecticut and travel to Rome for work as a physician’s assistant. To her surprise she ends up in Rome, Rhode Island but still decides to stay because at least she isn’t home. Home, by the way, where her ex-fiance is getting married in her wedding venue on her wedding date. Oh, there’s some drama here for sure.

Annie ends up living in Emmitt’s house, which gets rented out when he’s out of town for work. He comes home unexpectedly and Annie now has a roommate. It’s quite comical watching their relationship bloom. Both are holding their own and refuse to leave the house. Both don’t realize how much they need each other either…

This is your typical frenemies to lovers tale. I will admit, at first this book had a hard time keeping my attention. The writing seemed a little over the place and sometimes I had a hard time following. There were times when characters were mentioned, but they weren’t in the scene…it was just confusing. Eventually I got used to the writing style and stuck with it.

Like any frenemies story, I had to see it through the ending (despite the fact we all know how it ends, haha) and I’m glad I did. It ended up being a nice, quick enjoyable read overall.

3 stars.  It’s nothing to write home about, but a great book to fill some time in. I did enjoy Annie and Emmitt and their story. I also enjoyed the second story in this book, Annie trying to fit in (she was adopted from Vietnam and raised by two white parents and never felt she fit in anywhere). It was nice to follow a frenemy story, as well as one of self-finding. This book is due out July 28th!

Details

Title: ROMeANTICALLY CHALLENGED

Author: Marina Adair

Genre(s): Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Find it here on Goodreads

Off Topic Chatter: For Keeps

For Keeps. I have never heard of them until I was invited to a party on Facebook. On a whim I decided to go because…I was curious. I’m glad I did, I have been looking for ways to updo my look and the company sells earrings and necklaces that you can customize!!

These are the ones I picked…rose gold with white cork in what they call double kites. There are a TON of options and you can customize each one. There’s different sizes too…it’s all neat.

I ended up agreeing to host a party (really I only did it to help my friend) so now next week I’ll be having a party (so if you want to come let me know). I’m actually a little excited because now I have an excuse to try another pair.

I’m usually not big into businesses like this, but I love the bigger look of the earrings and I can customize them so they go with more outfits I have. Just a fair bit of warning, these are not fun to wear outside when it’s windy, HAHAHAHA.

Have you tried something and then discovered it’s something you really like??