Book Reviews · Bookish Posts · Uncategorized

April and May Reading Wrap Up | #BookReviews

I’m back here on my blog. If you follow me on Twitter (@BooksAndLife1) and Instagram (@bookslifeandeverythingnice)  you’ll see my recent tweets about my absence. Sorry about that. I’ve had a lot going on and the stress (and extra time it takes) to blog was too much. I’ve still been reading and reviewing books on my Goodreads.

I’ve read a lot of great books (and some not so great) that I want to share with you …. but catching up on a backlog of 20+ books is not realistic. So I’m going to do a very quick wrap of the books I’ve read since my last book review posted on my blog. Organized by star ratings and click on the title of each book to be taken to my review on Goodreads.

 

2 Stars

              The Woman in the Blue Cloak                                 The Favorite Daughter

                      by Deon Meyer                                                            by Kara Rouda

2.5 Stars

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Before She Was Found

by Heather Gudenkauf

 

3 Stars

Waisted  by Randy Susan Meyers                    

   Women Talking by Miriam Toews         

The Mother-in-Law  by Sally Hepworth                 

Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard by Jamie Raintree

3.5 Stars

 

 All Our Broken Pieces                         Dear Wife                            The Lovely and the Lost

  by L.D. Crichton                         by Kimberly Belle                     by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 

4 Stars

The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey

That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour by Sunita Puri

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

4.5 Stars

 

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Roar by Cecelia Ahern

 

5 Stars

 

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin 

Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs 

 

 

So that was a lot of books to recap, but I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Which ones have you read? What did you think of them? Which books do you still need to read? 

 

 

Bookish Posts · politics · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Books about Politics Edition

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

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Justice in Plain Sight: A Small Town Newspaper and Its Unlikely Lawyer Opened America’s Courtroom by Dan Bernstein

4 stars

Journalistic rights, First Amendment, tenacity

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Yallah Bye by Joseph Safieddine, illustrated by Kyungeun Park

3.5 stars

Political graphic novel, famine, fear

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 

5 stars

Justifiable rage, systemic inequalities, feminism 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

___________________________

 

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

___________________________

Come say hi!

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Bookish Posts · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · mental health · Women's Fiction

The Best Book! | ARC Review | The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

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The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Published: April 2, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 304

Genres: contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, mental health

Rating: 5 stars

Recommend to fans of: books with all the feels, good representation of people on the autism spectrum

Foodie Vibes: cherry wine coolers 

 

Synopsis:

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads, Tracey Garvis Graves and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC copy. As always, an honest review from me. 

The book is absolutely amazing! There are not enough words to accurately describe how wonderful the read was, so I’m not even going to try. I will just say this: I’ve never done this before — not given a full in depth review of a book. That’s how special I found The Girl He Used to Know. But take my word for it, read this book! 

 

Do you ever feel like you don’t have the words to explain how amazing a book, movie, feeling is?

Bookish Posts · Uncategorized

My Bookish Goals for 2019

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

It’s that time of year again . . . 

Everybody is making New Years Resolutions 

 

I don’t make resolutions. I don’t know about you, but those feel like too much pressure to me. There’s also the easy to fall into trap of making unattainable resolutions or ones that society deems acceptable. 

 

Ahem, I’m looking at you . . .

“I’m going to get bikini body ready for summer.” 

“I’m going to make $1 million this year.”

 

No judgment if those are your goals and you have specific and healthy steps to attain them, but I’m thinking more specific and personal this year. 

That’s why goals work so well for me. Goals seem to take the pressure off, while also encouraging me to focus on what’s truly important to me. 

 

So let’s get into my Bookish Goals for 2019 

 

  • Read only 100 books in a year (max of 120) 

Why? In 2018 I read 160 books, but the focus was more on quantity versus quality and savoring the reading experience. Limiting myself a bit also allows me to focus on other areas of life. And let’s be honest, 100 books in a year is still a lot.

  • Request/be accepted for 5-7 NetGalley books per month 

As many new book bloggers do, I requested & got accepted for way too many ARC books from NetGalley. While this is great (FREE BOOKS), I didn’t have as much flexibility to read what I wanted when I wanted. The reading schedule was REAL

  • 7 months or more of an average of 4.0 star rating

Why? This was my goal in 2018 as well. It helps to put my focus on reading books that I think I will really love. 

  • Participate in the Book Riot 2019 Read Harder Challenge 

I’ve been doing this for the past few years and really loved being introduced to books I never would have known about. I’m not forcing myself to finish the challenge or read books that I know I will strongly dislike just for the sake of completing the challenge. 

  • Participate in the 2019 Reading Women Challenge 

I just recently found out that this Reading Challenge existed, but I’m super excited to participate. My reasoning is similar to the Book Riot Challenge. 

  • Focus more on *POC/AOC, **county of origin, and LGBTQIA+ content in books 

I’ve had these goals for the past few years, but I’m continuing with them. I usually aim to hit 20% for each goal. It helps keep my reading well rounded and I am introduced to books I never would have found otherwise.

*POC- People of color (usually the main characters), AOC(Author of Color).

**Country of Origin: Countries other than the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia 

 

Do you agree or disagree with my goals? What are your reading goals for the year? 

Let me know in the comments. I’m always really interested in what people prioritize in their reading journeys. 

 

Bookish Posts

My Top 20 Books of 2018

Because there are waaaaay too many AMAZING BOOKS to limit the list to only 10 

 

Click on the title link to go to my review of each book to hear all the reasons why it’s an awesome book!

In no particular order . . . my favorite books I read this year 

 

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  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele  |  Add to Goodreads

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  • Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey  |  Add to Goodreads

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How many of these books have you read?

Which did your add to your TBR?

What are your favorite books that you’ve read in 2018?

Bookish Posts · Police Procedural · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Police Procedural Edition

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

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A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

3.5 stars

Conspiracy theories, PTSD, hackers and power grids

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell 

4 stars

Engrossing quick paced read, serial killer family member, reminds me of the TV show Criminal Minds

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Triple Threat by Camryn King

3 stars

Behind the scenes look at the professional basketball world, romantic drama, professional journalism skills used for sleuthing 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

___________________________

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

___________________________

Come say hi!

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Bookish Posts · Holidays · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Holiday Edition

adult beautiful blue eyes book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

 

Bonus Books this week as a special gift to you, for the holidays!

 

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Christmas in Cape Code by Nan Rossiter

4.5/5 stars

Gives us the true meaning of the season, short story, filled with quintessential holiday moments

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle 

4/5 stars

Slow burn holiday romance, quaint family owned business, excellent holiday descriptions to get you in the mood for the season 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox 

3.5 stars

A dog filled Christmas, cute holiday romance, fun ending 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Oh My Stars by Sally Kilpatrick

 4/5 stars

A Southern twist on the typical holiday books, realistic family moments, a real life Christmas miracle 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman 

4.5 stars

A relaxing holiday vacation, set in a picturesque Christmasy beachside cottage, my FAVORITE holiday book this season 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

___________________________

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

___________________________

 

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Bookish Posts · Medical · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Medical Edition

adult beautiful blue eyes book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

________________________

 

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Passionate Rivals by Radclyffe

4.5/5 stars

Realistic medical romance, strong women, LGBTQIA+ representation 

Add to Goodreads TBR

 

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Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer by Catherine Guthrie

5/5 stars

Very important memoir, forge your own path, supportive without smothering

Add to Goodreads TBR

 

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The Atlas of Disease: Mapping Deadly Epidemics and Contagion from the Plague to the Zika Virus by Sandra Hempel

4/5 stars

Unique way of learning, visual learners, science nerds

Add to Goodreads TBR

 

___________________________

 

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

___________________________

 

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Blogger Awards · Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Blogger Recognition Award

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A big heartfelt thank you to Laura Spoonie, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.

She runs an amazing blog, Laura Spoonie Blogs, about her journey through chronic illness, filled with content that inspires, educates and makes you feel a little less alone in the world. 

Definitely do yourself a favor and click here to check out her blog!

 

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The requirements for this award are as follows:

 

• Thank the blogger that nominated you

• Write a post to show your award

• Give a brief story of how your blog started

• Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

• Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

• Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide the link to the post you’ve created

 

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My blog focuses mainly on books, along with other positive lifestyle content. Lately I’ve been making an effort to make it more well rounded and focus on quality content. Look out for Self Care Sundays and Friday Fun, coming soon … 

 

But onto the reason I started my blog.

 

I created my blog, because I felt I had something to contribute to the bookish community and the world. A unique voice that I hadn’t read in other blogs. Not that I’m some super special unicorn of a person. However, there’s so many unattainable lifestyle posts and I wanted to bring something a bit more realistic. Also I’ve found very few people who read the unique set of genres that I do. I was constantly having people tell me, on Twitter and Goodreads, that I was introducing them to books they hadn’t heard of before. So that’s when I knew I had a unique voice among book lovers.

I also am a lifelong learner and love sharing new information with others. A blog seemed like a great way to do just that! Blogging and instagramming is also a fun but goal directed creative outlet. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful like minded people since starting my blog earlier this year.

 

While I still consider myself a newish blogger … 

 

When does one consider themselves a seasoned blogger? … 

When you’ve put enough thyme into it? 

 

Okay, that was a bad cooking joke, but I’m kind of loving it anyways. 

 

Here’s my advice to new bloggers

 

1. Be yourself

The best content I’ve read is always authentic. Even if it’s a topic I’m not super interested in, the authenticity will always shine through, making the writing so much more captivating. There are so many blogs out there already, why not be yourself? Also I’ve found the writing process to be so much easier when I’m being authentic. And bonus, more people have commented, liked and in general been receptive to my most authentic, vulnerable posts. 

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

2. Interact with other bloggers and people in general

With so many people creating content, most people aren’t going to just stumble across your blog. Put yourself out there. Get on social media. Interact with other people. Type in a hashtag that related to your blog content. Comment on people’s photos, tweets, etc. Start a genuine discussion. Even if it doesn’t drive a ton of people to your blog, you’ll make some meaningful connections and have fun. That really is the most important part of blogging, anyways!

Also if you’re in a blogging slump, interacting with others might just pull you out of it.

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

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My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

 

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there, I wish I could nominate all of you. Here are just a few of the amazing people, whose content you should check out. Thanks for brightening up my day, lovelies. 

Jasmine’s Reading Blog 

Crazy Little Things

Thrifty Bibliophile

Tammy’s Reading Life 

Perpetual Fangirl

Sarah June

Swift Coffee 

Life Should Be Lit

For the Love of Books

Kook Bookery

Ruth In Revolt

Jill’s Book Blog 

Read with Allison

Reader Voracious 

The Past Due Review 

 

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I hope you all learned a little more about me and my blogging story, motivations and goals. If you want to join me on my journey for lifelong learning, books, self care and some fun positivity sprinkled about, subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading this, all you lovelies. 

___________________________

 

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

 

Thanks for reading. 

Peace and love, 

Amanda 

Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Guilty Reader Tag

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I most recently saw this tag on Pages and Pugs and was inspired to do it. I don’t actually believe in guilty pleasures as far as reading. Reading is all about fun with none of the guilt, but it’s super fun to answer the questions for you all!

I tag all of you. Send me the links to your posts if you decide to do the tag!

 

1. Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?


No, not as an actual gift. But I will let people borrow/keep books I think they’ll really enjoy.

 

2. Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?


Maybe? Occasionally I’ve misremembered reading an assigned book for another similar book by the same author.

 

3. Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

No, I’m super careful about returning my books. Once I accidentally left a book in a lecture hall in college, searched everywhere for it, and then went early to the librarian to pay for the replacement.

 

4. Have you ever read a series out of order?


Yes, all the time. I frequently read mystery and psychological thrillers out of order. Usually those types of series can be read as stand alone too. Think Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Gardner, etc.

 

5. Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?

Yes, but not in a mean way. I’m not going to spoil the big ending or something, but I will tell other aspects that some might consider spoilers. I think it helps better describe some books by giving a few spoilerish details.

 

6. Have you ever doggy eared a book?


Occasionally. It doesn’t really bother me. I do prefer to use post its to mark passages I want to come back to.

 

7. Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?

Nope

 

8. Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

Rarely, only if it’s boring but I want to find out what happens at the end.

 

9. Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?

No. Do people do this? Why?