WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words. I was introduced to it by The Worn Bookmark.

The Three Ws stand for:

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

This week has been somewhat of a lull. While I have gotten some reading done I’m juggling a few books so I haven’t finished many. I do have to brag a little. May 11th was my husband and I’s 5th anniversary!! He bought me 5 books and I am thrilled!!
The Outlandish Companion
Outlander: the 20 Anniversary Collectors Edition
Dragonfly in Amber 
Frost Burned
Night Broken
We have a fun system where I keep a Pinterest board of all the books I want to own where he can see the title and cover so when he’s looking for gifts he knows exactly what I’d like. Obviously its working great!!


Recently Finished

The Bear and the Nightingale

I was really excited about this book since I haven’t read many Russian folklore and thought it sounded interesting. I cant say that I loved it though. It was pretty slow in the beginning and too many point of views throughout.

The Diamond Secret

This was a quick Once Upon A Time book, it was the tale of Anastasia. I absolutely love the Disney movie and this little retelling was almost as good. I do hate that a lot of people seem to have compared the two. Both are retellings neither completely based on fact. The book however has no magic but keeps the happily ever after ending, which if we are honest is why we read these books.

The Runaway Jury

I was listening to this audio book and just finished last night. Its really good. So many twists and games you really cant be sure how its going to end. I haven’t read many legal thrillers but John Grisham is definitely an author I will read more of! He really keeps you on your toes with uncertainty of how the end will play out in the best possible way!

Currently Reading

Clash of Kings

Still reading this one. I’ve maybe gotten through a fourth of the book. As much as I absolutely love the plots and story line I do have to take breaks with something lighter so it doesn’t become too tedious. Its just exhilarating knowing I’m reading such a good series and there are so many more books for me to enjoy!

Julie and Julia

I am not liking it. The movie was a lot better. I have less than half to read but its kind of dragging for me. The is very little Julia pieces unlike the movie where both women seemed more woven together.

Deja Dead

The show Bones is based off these books and I’ve been itching to try them out. I know to expect great differences but I’ve heard its still a great series. I’m only a few chapters in and can see some of the differences already. This Brennan seems a little more socially adapted but still quiet selfish in her reasoning. I don’t think I’ve given her enough of a chance yet. Fingers crossed that I love it.

Up Next

The Heir

Still in queue. Next book in The Selection series.

Dragonfly in Amber

I want to finish Clash of Kings before starting this one so that I can give it my full attention.

That’s my wrap up for the week! How many books do you like to read at once? Do you prefer different formats when you read more than one? Tell me in the comments!

-Taylor

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My First WWW ever!

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words. I was introduced to it by The Worn Bookmark.

The Three Ws stand for:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m really excited to join along!

 

Just Finished

Game of Thrones

My biggest accomplishment recently has been finishing Game of Thrones. I started it last year but put it down and kept putting off picking it back up. I only had about 20% left and I finally finished it off.

A Darker Shade of Magic

I’ve seen this book all over Bookstagram and wanted to give it a shot. I enjoyed the worlds and people but I constantly found myself yelling at the characters for doing something stupid or not thinking through. I may pick up the next book but I think there are other books I’d rather pick up first.

Happily Ever After

I’ve so enjoyed The Selection series I loved seeing these tidbits and behind the scenes looks. I definitely recommend picking up the book so that you also get the ‘Where are they now?’ section and the artwork is just gorgeous.

The Viscount Who Loved Me

This is book two in the series. I recently listened to a podcast called Fresh Baked Books that recommend the fourth book in this series. I loved it so much I had to pick up where I had left off. I love these little historical romances where not only do I fall in love with the main characters but also the family around them. I’m excited to pick up the next book.

 

Currently Reading

Clash of Kings

After finishing Game of Thrones my loved had been renewed and I had to immediately pick up the next in series. As I’m reading I’m picturing all the scenes in my head and annoying my husband with ‘in the book it happens this way, not like the show’. Tyrion and Arya are my top two favorite characters.

Julie and Julia

I’ve owned this book for a while. I picked it up because I absolutely love the movie. My book group is reading books made into movies and tv shows this month so I was glad to finally have a reason to push and read this book. So far it’s cute but I’m not loving it. I’m kind of thinking the movie may be better and I can’t say I’ve ever had that thought.

The Runaway Jury

Another book to movie. I was recently recommended to read some John Grisham novels since I’ve been on a crime kick. While I’ve mostly been reading more forensic crime novels this is book is mostly set in the courtroom (at least so far it is). Overall I like listening to it and think I want to see the movie once I’m done.

 

Up Next

The Bear and The Nightingale

I’m doing a slight Buddy Read with this book, so that’s always fun! I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first saw it and just recently received it from my library!

The Heir

Up next in The Selection series. Not sure how it will stand up against the first 3 books but it is America’s daughter, if she’s anything like her mother I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Dragonfly in Amber

Second book in the Outlander series, also known as my new obsession! I had checked the first book out from my library but for our Anniversary my husband bought me the collector’s edition of Outlander and a paperback edition of Dragonfly in Amber. He knows me so well!

Do you have a favorite book to movie adaption? Any that you absolutely despise? I’d love to hear from you! You can also find me on Goodreads and Instagram!

-Tay

The Selection

A friend and I have been reading through the Selection series starting from the beginning. Book one and two will be rereads for me and I’m excited knowing the whole series is out and at my fingertips! No waiting!

As I started reading The Selection a lot of the events began trickling back into my memory and made me even more excited to read the books. America is my kind of girl. Hard working and low maintenance, willing to help her family and some what of a spit fire(it’s the red hair).  May is just an adorable ray of sunshine, the little sister we all wish for. As with most parents America’s mom and dad really try to do what best and provide for their children. On the surface America’s mom sounds pushy and controlling but can you imagine having just enough for the basic necessities for your family and knowing since the birth of your daughter she would most likely be eligible to be in the Selection therefore giving her a much better life. I can’t imagine the weight that must bear on them as parents. The Dad does give some of the best advice throughout the book. 

Once America has been selected her life is forever altered. She’s no longer a Five in the caste system but immediately a Three just for participating. She goes on to think of what her job would be after the Selection is over, in her mind there is obviously no way she will be chosen since she doesn’t even want the crown or the prince.  

America and Maxon’s first meeting is quite the interaction. After the shock of being picked and the upheaval of moving into the place you really can’t blame the girl for being a little snappish. I have to say later during the garden walk it’s even more shocking. One of my favorite quotes happens then. 

“Just that. Your family must be very different from mine.”

“I’d say so.” I laughed. “For one, no one wears their tiaras to breakfast.”

Maxon smiled. “More of a dinner thing at the Singer house?”

“Of course.” ― Kiera Cass, The Selection

Maxon is also the master at giving gifts that mean the most, or maybe he just understands America from the beginning. I really just can’t wait for those two to get together. 

If you’ve read the book then I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve left out a key factor, Aspen. I have not liked him at all from the beginning therefore I’m just not gonna talk about him! 

Overall I’ve really enjoyed reading this book again and I’m really looking forward to seeing this competition through to the end. 

Tell it to me again…

This month the book group I belong to read Fairy Tale Retellings. It’s really a great little book group on Facebook. It’s called Back of the Book Club if you want to check it out!

Here are the Fairy Tale Retellings I read this month!

Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor. The Percy Jackson is series is a favorite and I have to say I almost like Magnus Chase better, it’s a close call. This is the second book in this series involving Norse mythology. Riordan puts such a fun and unique twist on the Norse Gods from the  crude tv loving Thor to the power point obsessed Odin. My attention was captured throughout the book with the action pack plot and sassy characters. Riordan writes the best sassy characters!

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. This Nordic fairy tale was just adorable. I had never read this tale but instantly fell in love with it. Pika is a kind heroine who puts her family before herself even when some of them don’t deserve it. Going through the story she finds herself in an odd friendship that turns to love and a happily ever after like the best fairy tales do. This book is YA but it felt more juvenile than most YA books I’ve picked up lately. Overall great little read full of magic, adventure, and friendship.


Wild Orchid. This is one of the books in the Once Upon A Time series and while its a series they are all stand alone novels. This is the retelling of Mulan. I adore the Disney movie Mulan and was surprised I had never actually read any books based on her story. Wild Orchid was a lovely little novel and while I enjoyed the quick read I did find myself wanting more in the sense that I loved the story so I did’t want it to end. It had enough differences that kept you interested but stayed true to the original story as well.

Spirited. This was another Once Upon A Time novel. I find that I enjoy reading Native American fiction but that I haven’t read many. This was supposed to be a mix of Native American folklore and Beauty and the Beast retelling and I think it delivered nicely. While I obviously don’t think this book was very factual on many things it was an entertaining read. I enjoyed the slightly slow friendship that bloomed into love unknowingly until almost too late between the main characters. The ‘little people’ were by far my favorite though.

 

I do also enjoy a good Austen retelling from time to time. Have you read any good retellings lately? What are some of your favorites? Id love to hear from you!

 

Taylor

A Curious Beginning

“After all, I might not intend to use him for a plaything, but I could still appreciate looking through the toy-shop window.” –Veronica Speedwell

 

This quote just caught my fancy while reading. It really shows Veronica’s personality and spunk. I loved how promiscuous Veronica was, it was so refreshing because she was so very smart about it with all of her rules and stipulations. It’s so hard to find such a forthright and independent female character in this time period that doesn’t swoon at every instance or completely muck up most of an investigation. Then comes along Mr Stroker to make her reconsider a few of her affair stipulations. While she doesn’t break any of them in this book I do believe a time will come in the future for her and Mr. Stroker to get together, at least I hope so.

Overall I really did like this novel. There were some parts that seemed pretty obvious to me and the beginning was interesting but slow on the mystery part. I enjoyed that they were both Natural Historians but from different branches, so they had something in common but were different enough to be interesting. For me it was a career of that time period that I hadn’t read in a novel before so it really made the whole book all the more intriguing. There were a few points of back and forth with trust issues, pot calling kettle black, and holding back/leaving out information that’s important. Once Veronica and Stroker finally get on the same page they become a remarkable duo of adventure chasing sleuths.

While they did solve the mystery there are still many questions left and criminals on the loose. I’m interested in seeing what the next book holds, if it will continue on with the same bad guys as the main focus or if they will be introducing a completely new mystery to be solved. I guess I’ll just have to go read the next book to find out.

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Just a little shelfie. Do you have a favorite bookmark? When I was younger I was terrible about losing bookmarks so to this day I mostly use whatever is laying around such as an old dentist appointment card or the business card to my local tea shop. Occasionally I use small photos of my twins that I didn’t use while scrap-booking or these lovely handmade teacup and tea kettle bookmarks I was given as a gift. Thankfully I am getting better at not losing them.

March Wrap Up

March has been a good reading month overall. I’ve started a new series, had a couple rereads, and am making nice dent in my owned TBR pile.

I was introduced to the Kay Scarpetta series by a relative and absolutely loved this first book. The next few were good but now on books #9 and #10 I’m really starting to question if I want to continue this series. Point of Origin had an interesting murder mystery, at least until Carrie Grant started making an appearance again. I really thought we were done with that plot line. The ending was very lacking as well. I’ve come to believe if there isn’t a body they are most likely not dead. Black Notice was basically everybody is against Kay, everybody wants to ruin Kay, or maybe it was just that Kay was being stupid. Its all very bureaucratic, he said she said with very little criminal insight. Overall not impressed. I’ve already started reading The Last Precinct (#11) and its not looking up. It seems to be a continuation of Black Notice with just as much he said she said and everybody out to get Kay. Bleh.

On to better books! As you know if you’ve read my previous posts Time Travel was my book groups theme this month. I read Legend by Jude Deveraux, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren. You can follow the links for the first two books to get a more in depth review but overall I seriously enjoyed them both. Unfortunately Waterfall felt a little lacking after reading two such interesting books. I’m not sure if it was the YA aspect or if it was because it felt so short. Overall the book was good, plot and characters, but it just felt too juvenile for my preferences.

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe was a delectable fun read. You can see my full review here!

I am really excited for what books April will bring. My book group is planning to read fairytale and folklore retellings! So far I have picked Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, and Uprooted by Naomi Novik! There are a couple other ones I’m looking into reading but these are my top picks. I am also reading Blood Rights by Kristen Painter for a different book group and for my own pleasure I am hoping to read The Redbreast by Jo Nesbon. Ive heard such good things about this series, I’m really looking forward to it.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading this month!!

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Outlander

For the month of March my book group is reading Time Travel themed books. My second pick for this theme was Outlander (my first being Legend). It’s been on my TBR list for a little while now and I’ve put off watching the show in order to read the book first. I find a book like this so hard to review. I enjoyed this book so much, much more than expected, therefore I find myself nit picking small silly things.

There’s an opening quote about missing people that really piqued my interest. “Disappearances, after all, have explanations. Usually.” Seriously, the while quote really made me go into this thinking I might like it more than I originally thought. Originally I went into this book with a little apprehension that I wouldn’t like it or that it would get boring, 850 pages is a lot! Once I started though I could not put it down.

Gabaldon writes beautifully. Accents can be so tough but I feel that she writes them so that you get a feel for the language but not heavy enough to where you cant understand what the character is saying. The main and minor characters have such depth and are interesting without taking away from the main plot. The plot alone is amazing, she weaves this story connecting all of these people in a complicated but intriguing dynamic. Its such a detailed story and thankfully all of the details really add to it rather than bogging it down and making it boring. I can say I never felt bored while reading. There were a few times where it felt the characters where maybe getting a little to comfortable in the setting which was usually remedied but some conflict right around the corner.

The romance aspect was nice but maybe a little sappy even for me. This is me just being nit picky. As much as I like Jamie I find that I love him and Claire together more than anything which makes the story better (face it, at some point we’ve all shipped a main character with someone else or even ourselves so when the main couple are perfect for each other it makes me story better for me).

I really cant wait to see where this story goes. At the moment I have only checked the books out from my local library (Dragonfly in Amber coming soon!) but these book are definitely on my Wish List To Buy!

Have you read the series? Watched the show? Tell me your thoughts!

Whatever Bakes Your Cake

The Great British Bake Off is my crack. Seriously this is one of my absolute favorite tv shows. The ultimate downside is because I live in the US I have only been able to watch 3 out of 7 seasons. They’ve recently been added back to Netflix therefore the baking bug has bit me something fierce. I sit here re-watching Season 2 (which is actually Season 4) as I type while nibbling on this delicious Magic Vanilla Custard Cake. Not only does it drive me to actually bake but it also forces me to abandon my To Be Read books for a familiar sweet treat.

Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe is an adorable chick-lit romance packed with delicious goodies. Not only do you get a charming novel you also get recipes for the confections described in the book. Ill be honest and say I have not tried to actually make one of these recipes but I am determined to try one before I finish reading it this time. 

I remember really enjoying this read my first go around just a cute fun read with great friendships and a sweet romance. I am over half way through reading now and this time is a little different. The uncertainty Issy feels and hoops she jumps through to open her dream bakery bring to mind my dream to open a bookstore. I’ve done a lot of serious research and while it wont happen this year (or probably even the next) I WILL open my dream bookstore one day.

The friendships in this book are amazing. These women come from many different backgrounds but come together to form amazing bonds. Granted they all aren’t exactly friends in the beginning, its lovely to see the friendships form and grow.

Overall I love this book and highly recommend it for a fun delectable read!

February’s Reads

In January I read a whooping 9 books. February was a little slower only reading 5 books. Not bad though.

Brownies and Broomsticks (Magical Bakery Mystery #1)
By Bailey Cates

Loved this cute cozy mystery. Books that revolving around food and cooking are usually my favorites and this one was no different. I also picked this book up because of the Savannah Georgia setting which is right near where I live. It’s fun reading about places familiar to me even if they are technically fictional. The mystery was cute and not too easy to figure out. This was my favorite read of February.

Unhooked
By Lisa Maxwell

This was an ok read. I didn’t love it. As a Once Upon A Time fan the plot felt too familiar and there were a couple unanswered questions at the end that I felt were pretty vital. Gosh, that cover is gorgeous though!

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)
By J.R. Ward

I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. A few times I’ve felt reluctant starting a book, the synopsis just not catching my attention, then once I read it I absolutely love it! I have yet to read one I didn’t like. While this book was mostly about Payne and Manny I did prefer the relationship growth between Z and Jane. The connection Ward weaves between people and relationships is just amazing.

Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta #7)
By Patricia Cornwell

I’m steadily making my way through the Kay Scarpetta series. This book was good (better than the previous) but the crime portion didn’t interest me much and the ending felt too abrupt and didn’t really wrap everything up like I would have preferred.

Unnatural Exposure (Kay Scarpetta #8)
By Patricia Cornwell

While I enjoyed the crime portion of this book the personal relationships were really dragging me down. I can understand where Kay is coming from being set in her ways but she’s obviously in need of a personal human contact so hopefully she gets over this bump soon.

Talk about a plot twist!!

Legend by Jude Deveraux

Start: 3/4/17      End: 3/6/17

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Wow this book threw me for a loop. First off I don’t normally read time travel but my book group is reading books featuring time travel this month so I thought I’d start with this book since I’ve read Deveraux before and enjoyed her books. I expected a nice fluffy romance, girl travels to the past, falls in love, decides to never leave. So not the case.

This book was no thought provoking read but it was exactly what I wanted, pure entertainment in the best way. Yes there was one or two plot points you just had to ignore and some insta-love but come on, time travel fated lovers, what do you expect?

From the beginning I enjoyed Kady’s character, I am a sucker for a book about a chef, and of course was pretty wary of Gregory.  When we get around to meeting Cole he does seem like a nice man but his problem with telling fibs raked my nerves. In the end I understand his mindset and it makes all the difference.

Once Kady has met and listened to Ruth’s side of the story I was seriously stunned. Staring off into space can’t wrap my brain around it stunned. Never would I have guessed that plot twist but looking back it absolutely fit.

After leaving Ruth with the promise to visit the Jordan descendent in her time Kady returned having spent months in 1800 Legend Colorado only to have a few hours pass by in the present. Much had happened in that little time and it had changed Kady for the better. She had really found her confidence, realized her worth, and thankfully got rid of Gregory.

Kady and C. T. Jordan meeting for the first time was insta-love as to be expected. As cold and calculated as he seemed I liked him overall, unfortunately he does have that Jordan fib telling trait.

On their quest left by Ruth in her will they head to present day Legend, Colorado. After some more time jumping, lots of teasing flirting, and a little hanky panky everyone is where they belong and it’s happily ever after.

I have now found out there is technically a second book but it is a short story and I am working to get my hands on it. It seems to be about Cole and the woman he married. There are a few characters I would like to know what happened too so I hope it at least mentions them.

Overall I found the book to be a fun read and am now scouring more Jude Deveraux books to read.