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Showing posts from January, 2016

Weekly Reading Recap

Welcome back to another weekly recap. I was actually rather active here on the blog last week, but I didn't manage to participate in this meme last Monday. That means today is a two-week recap instead of just one. You would think that would mean I'd have a lot of progress in reading and reviewing to share, but I didn't accomplish quite as much as I had hoped. I did host book club last week, and that was fun. We had a nice discussion of The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos. I made mimosas and snacks and enjoyed the company of my neighbors. Blog posts and reviews I did some reorganizing in my office and ended up with a bookshelf devoted to my TBR books . There were 51 books on it when I shared the picture, but I've found more books around the house and am up to 57 now... I wrote two book reviews, both thrillers: Circle of Betrayal by Jacqueline Simon Gunn The Ex by Alafair Burke  What I'm reading Since I last posted, I finished The Ex by

Book Review: Circle of Betrayal by Jacqueline Simon Gunn

Kadee Carlisle finally fell in love. But now the man she loved is dead and she is a prime suspect. Did she do it? Well, even she doesn't know. She came to hate him almost as much as she loved him but could she really kill him? Unfortunately, she can't remember what she was doing when he was killed so she doesn't know if she did it, and neither do we. Circle of Betrayal by Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a psychological, erotic thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. My friend asked me to read this novel because it was written by her cousin. I have to admit, I was hesitant since you never know what to expect when you get a request like that. But I really enjoyed this thriller and am so glad I took the time to read it. Kadee is strong and independent, and doesn't really believe in romantic love. Then she meets Noah Donovan who sweeps her off her feet. But she can tell he's hiding something; she just doesn't know what it is. He becomes obsessive and contro

My #TBR Bookshelf

This morning, I decided to rearrange my bookselves in my office. I moved all of the books I've read to one bookshelf, and all of the books that are still on my To Be Read (TBR) list to another bookshelf. The picture above shows the 51 books that are on my TBR bookshelf. Fifty-one!!! That's not good. And I know for a fact that I am never really going to read all of those books. Some have been on my shelf for years. There are a few that I got from Paperback Swap after waiting for years. Literally. It took so long to get them, by the time I actually received them I wasn't really interested anymore. But there they sit. On my TBR bookshelf. I set a few goals for 2016 recently. One was to read 5 books that I already own as of mid-January. Perhaps I should have added a zero to that number. I could probably just read all of the books I own without buying or borrowing any others and that would take me through the end of the year. But what fun would that be?? So, I shall tack

Weekly Reading Recap

Here I am keeping up with one of my 2016 goals - participating in the It's Monday! What are You Reading? meme every week. Unfortunately, I didn't keep up with another goal of writing at least one review every week. I didn't write any last week, but I did post other things, so I guess that's a good thing! On a personal note, my husband and son went to the Carolina Panthers - Seattle Seahawks game yesterday and had a blast (especially since Carolina won). While they were away, my daughter and I went to a painting studio and painted these pictures. It was fun! Blog posts and reviews I've signed up for a 2016 challenge: the Bookish Resolutions challenge. I'm excited about this one because it gives me an opportunity to set goals not just for reading but also for blogging. I'll be posting monthly with updates on my progress. I also participated in Bloggiesta. It technically goes through today, so I'm not going to provide a wrap-up of how I did unti

2016 #BookishResolutions Challenge

I found a 2016 challenge that I've decided to sign up for. It's a Bookish Resolutions Challenge hosted by Laura @ trips down imagination road and Michelle @ Because Reading . You choose two main goals and then subgoals under each. At the end of every month, you post with an update on your progress. Here are my goals for 2016: Reading Goals Read 60 books by the end of the year Read 5 books that I already own as of today (1/17) Read every book chosen for my book club this year Commit to reading no more than 2 review books per month Blogging Goals Write a weekly reading recap every week Write at least one review each week Visit and comment on 5 blogs per week Send out Book Club Picks newsletter every month Personal Goals Fit in three workouts per week Drink 64 ounces of water per day Get 7500 steps in at least 5 days per week

Bloggiesta: My To-Do List

This weekend is the Winter Mini Bloggiesta , an annual event for us bloggers to focus on our blogs, catch up on reviews and learn about new blog enhancements. I try to participate in most of the Bloggiesta events throughout the year since it gives me a chance to catch up on things I've been wanting to do with My Book Retreat. This weekend I have some personal commitments but hope to devote a few hours to the tasks on my list. I have a long to-do list and don't expect to complete all of these things, but I did want to include them all here so I can pick and choose what I feel like working on this weekend. I'll be checking things off this list as I work on them throughout the weekend. Write reviews ~ I think I have about 10 outstanding now... Update My Reviews page Update old book reviews to remove outdated giveaway information 2015 Challenges wrap-up 2016 Challenges sign-up Add attributions page or spot on sidebar Update sidebar ~ new social icons, popular po

Weekly Reading Recap

Happy Monday! One of my blog goals for 2016 is to participate in this meme every week. So here I am again. Let's see if I can keep this going! Another goal is to publish at least one review each week, and last week I actually published two! It's quite amazing! Blog posts and reviews One of those reviews is also a giveaway so be sure to check it out and possibly win a copy of The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee . The giveaway ends at midnight Tuesday night! I also published a review of the highly popular book The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. What I'm reading Since last week, I finished The Good Girl and started a new book that was actually written by my friend's cousin: Circle of Betrayal by Jaqueline Simon Gunn. So far it's engaging, although a bit more "adult content" than I'm used to (but I'm sure that appeals to many of my readers... you know who you are!). I'm intrigued with this psychological mystery written by a clinical psyc

Book Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Mia Dennett is missing. A dedicated teacher to inner city kids and daughter of a prominent judge, Mia doesn't show up for work one day and her coworker is concerned. Her mother is also worried, but her father and sister seem to think she just took off on a whim. What really happened to Mia? In The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, we hear the story of her disappearance and the search for her through the eyes of her mother Eve, detective Gabe, and kidnapper Colin. The Good Girl is a mystery that has been compared to Gone Girl by many. I don't agree with the comparison, and I've seen some other reviewers complain about this comparison as well. Please try to keep this out of your mind when you read this novel. I found the story fascinating, even if it is a bit predictable in some aspects. It kept my interest throughout. The middle does seem a bit slow, but I felt this was important to build relationships and storylines. Perhaps it could have been cut back a bit. I love how ea

Book Review: The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

Hong Kong is a thriving city full of companies that draw workers from all around the world. Expatriates arrive ready to work for six months, a year or maybe more. Those who have families bring them to experience this new culture. They try to assimilate into this new world but tend to cling to their small expat communities to hold onto some feeling of home. Mercy, Margaret and Hilary are three expatriates whose lives intertwine in this expat community. The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee brings us into the lives of these three women, alternating chapters between them. Margaret and Mercy are both trying to overcome a tragedy that took place about a year ago. Neither seems to be able to move forward with their lives. Hilary is dealing with marital problems and longing for motherhood. They all come together in the end, but I can't tell you how! I will say that I enjoyed all of their stories, but I felt like something was missing. I was looking for more emotion or depth of characte

Weekly Reading Recap

Happy New Year! I hope you had a fabulous end to 2015 and a great start to 2016! We enjoyed a few days away visiting friends for New Year's. We spent three nights, including New Year's Eve, with three other couples and our seven kids - 15 people - all in one house. It was a little crazy but lots of fun. Now it's time to get back into the swing of work and school, and get organized for the year ahead. I'm hoping to get a bit more structured in my blogging this year. There's a Mini Bloggiesta coming up in a couple weeks so hopefully that will help. I already have a few things on my list to do that weekend. But mostly, I'd like to get on track for writing blog posts more than once a week!! And I really, really need to catch up on reviews. For those who have been paying attention, I had one review I was supposed to write over the holidays... I'll be writing that tonight. On a good note for you, if you check back tomorrow, you can enter a giveaway to win a

Happy New Year! First Book of 2016

Happy New Year!! I hope you're all enjoying this first day of 2016. I am spending the day with my family and several friends, hanging out, playing games and reading. I will be reading The Good Girl by Mary Kubica as my first book of the year. I'm linking up with Sheila at Book Journey for her annual First Book of the Year challenge. What's your first book of 2016?