Tuesday, July 31, 2018

TTT - All About the Hype!

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week's topic is "Books That Lived Up to the Hype."  Well, you know me, and I thought it would be fun to look at both sides.  Also, it's no real secret that hyped books are NOT my best friends.  So I'm sharing 5 that did, and 5 that didn't - just to make it more fun (and probably easier).


(brace yourself - you know it's coming)

So there are some really popular books on my "did not live up to hype list."  I'm sure several surprised absolutely no one.  Just remember, it's only my opinion!

What books made your list this week???

Monday, July 30, 2018

July Blog All About It Challenge - Spirit

So I totally missed June's prompt but you know how my June went.  So I decided to pick myself up and dive back in.  Although I won't lie - it bums me that I missed June.  

Blog All About It is a challenge being hosted by Anna@Herding Cats and Burning Soup.  Each month we are given a prompt and have free reign regarding what we chose to blog about pertaining to that prompt. May's prompt is........................


I have to admit I was a little stumped on this one but I immediately thought of spirit animals so I found an on-line quiz HERE and decided hey, why not?

So apparently my spirit animal is a DEER.  

When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. You master the art of being both determined and gentle in your approach.
The deer totem wisdom imparts those with a special connection with this animal with the ability to be vigilant, move quickly, and trust their instincts to get out the trickiest situations.

The deer’s antlers can grow back once they fall. Because of this characteristic, this animal has been revered in many traditions as a symbol of life regeneration. There’s a cloud of mystery around this ability that gives the deer a magical and mystical quality. If you have the deer as power animal, you could tap into life’s magical ability to renew itself.
If the deer has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, you may be called to use or develop your sensitivity at various levels in your life. This animal powers guide you to refine your intuition and psychic abilities. You can refine your receptivity and use your senses and intuition to reach farther out.
Those with the deer as animal totem may be inclined to be constantly on the move, being on the look out for the next opportunity. By affinity with this spirit animal, you may also be watchful of your “predators”, which translate into a tendency to be sometimes overly cautious. It takes time for you to trust someone or feel safe in your environment.
You can invoke the power of the deer to guide you in getting accustomed to new surroundings and people. This spirit guide might show up in your life to warn you encourage you to trust your instinct. The deer spirit animal will also show up in your life to encourage you to take some time by yourself in a quiet environment to rest or in nature. It invites you to find rest and peace in silence.

So I've always found this type of stuff interesting and I would say for the most part, it does kind of sum me up.  However, I'd rather be a dog :)

So if you take the quiz, make sure you leave in the comments what your animal spirit is and if you think it suits you.  

August 2018 Summer Comment Challenge Partner!

So last year was my first year participating in this great challenge and I met some wonderful bloggers who, a year later, I still follow on a regular basis.  I found this a great way to make some new blogging friends and knew I'd have to sign up again this year.  Hosted by Flylefand A Kernal of Nonsense, it runs June, July and August and you can sign up for one month or all three.  Basically you sign up and commit to posting comments to your blogging partner for the entire month.  You can chose the 5 comment category or the 10.  I went with the 10.  I'm super excited to announce my August partner - none other than Alicia herself!

I can't wait to visit her blog more often, although I try to check it out quite regularly anyways.  

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sidetracked Sunday #6

So after skipping last month's feature, because we all know by now that June was just a wipe out, I'm back on track and actually read a book this month that I've wanted to read for several years. It's no secret that I adore Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, so when I got an e-arc for book two in this series, it was the perfect excuse to read the first one.

TITLE: Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Road #1)
AUTHOR: Seanan McGuire

FROM GOODREADS:  Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

MY THOUGHTS:  This book is formatted quite strangely.  Basically it's one story of a girl named Rose Marshall, told in a series of short stories.  The timeline skips around a lot and it takes a while to catch on to how it's written but after the first 75 pages or so, I had a real feel for how it was going and enjoyed it.  "Sparrow Hill Road" tells the tale of Rose Marshall, a teenager who was killed on Prom Nights and now haunts the highways as a "hitcher" ghost.  This book not only tells us how Rose came to be, but some of her journeys and how she is constantly on the run from Bobby Cross, the man who killed her and is upset that her spirit escaped.  

This book is deeply rooted in urban legends and McGuire weaves a wonderful world explaining all the various ghost types.  Also, Rose is just a fun character.  She's feisty, snarky and extremely wise beyond her age - which makes sense because she's been a ghost for 60 plus years.  And if you have ever considered picking up this book, do so for Gary's story.  Gary was Rose's one and only love and the way McGuire worked him into the story was absolutely brilliant - and odd. 

I am pretty much convinced this author can write anything and I'd give it a chance.  In fact, I've already started on "The Girl in the Green Silk Gown" and it's is formatted more linearly so it's a much easier read.  "Sparrow Hill Road" is a wonderful ghost tale and even though it took me 4 years to read it, I'm glad I finally did.

RATING: 4 Paws

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (171)/Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I grabbed a few books from Penguin's First to Read program a week or so ago.  I couldn't resist because I love Jenn McKinlay's Library Lovers series and was thrilled to get a copy of "Hitting the Books."  I also managed to get "Give the Dark My Love" and "Phoenix Unbound."  Don't these all look so good? 

And then I managed to grab this one from my library.  Hope "The Window" is better than "The Woman in the Window" because the titles are too similar and I've managed so far to avoid the other one.

I did get a few review books from Netgalley but I think I'll save those for next week (because I'm feeling lazy #IDon'tWanna).

So what did you add to your shelves this week???

Friday, July 27, 2018

Weekly Reads (07/27/18) - Lot of Info So Grab a Drink

So it's the last Friday in July. This summer has been going by so fast.  It was a busy week with some highs and some lows but all in all, not bad.  Let's get the low out of the way first.  Poor Booker T can't buy a break this summer.  Wednesday he wasn't feeling well and Wednesday evening I noticed he was having trouble urinating.  Daddy packed him up and off to the ER vet they went.  Isn't that usually the case?  Anyway, three hours and some odd dollars (let's be honest, lots of odd dollars) later he was diagnosed with a UTI.  We had to watch him closely Thursday to make sure he was going and he is on mega meds, including Valium, for a few days.  Keep him in your thoughts please.

We did watch some TV.  We streamed "Rampage" and I loved it.  Of course, I had to look for spoilers to see if George died in the movie so I could be prepared but it was a lot of fun.  Mr. Barb even remembered the video game from the 80's.  Who knew?  We also started watching "Castle Rock" on Hulu but only the first episode.  I'm sure I'll love it.  I'm already picking up on a lot of King tie-in references.  We also watched "Heavy Metal" last weekend.  I had never seen it before and we've been trying to watch some older films.  It was just what I expected but hey, the soundtrack was good.

I did get some reading done but not enough so I need to kick it in this weekend.  I finished "Sparrow Hill Road" so look for that review on Sidetracked Sunday this week.  Here's what I hope to read.  

Also, my bookish BFF, Stormi, has started a new Booktube channel.  I know she was super nervous but she's doing great.  If you watch Booktube at all, make sure you check her out at Storm Reads

So let's hope for a quiet weekend....please, fingers crossed!  What are your plans?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Two Bloggers One Book - Stormi and I Are On a Roll!

Well, after Stormi and I had a bad run of it with "The Hunger," I can honestly say they last few months have hit it out of the ballpark.  And needless to say, both of us had high expectations when we picked Stephen King's newest book , "The Outsider" as this month's buddy read choice.  So hope down below to read my thoughts and then make sure to hop over to Stormi's @  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! for her thoughts as well!

TITLE: The Outsider
AUTHOR: Stephen King

FROM GOODREADS:  An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

MY THOUGHTS:  So it's kind of hard to review this one without giving much away.  A horrible crime is committed in Flint City and the popular baseball coach and teacher, Terry Maitland, is arrested.  But as convinced as the cops are that Terry is their culprit, there is also overwhelming evidence that there is no way he could be responsible.  Evidence they chose to ignore.  This arrest sets a lot of different things in motion and before long, not only do readers find themselves in the middle of a legal mess, but also in a supernatural one as well.  

I really fell in love with this book and it was a great one to pick up while on vacation.  I found King's writing to be informative and fast-paced and once again focused heavily on character development.  The mystery really had me going for a while and although I did think the police made some really critical errors, I still found myself feeling badly for some of them when it all blew up in their face.  I've heard it said that many think King has a difficult time with the endings of his book but I have to admit, I was pleased with how this one wrapped up.  

Without spoiling things, there is a character that appears in "The Outsider" which is a crossover character from the Bill Hodges trilogy.  I knew that going in and even though I've not read those books, I had seen the first season of the Audience series so I decided to dive in.  I have to admit that the character that appears is easily my most favorite in the book and one of the main reasons I loved it so much.  I also see that Goodreads is now calling this "Finders Keepers #4."  Is that really a thing?  I think it may have been mislabeled.    

So it's been a while since I've read a book by my favorite author but this most definitely reignited my love affair with all things King. In fact, I'm hoping to pick up several more from him before the year is out.  I know some people have become hesitant to pick up King's newer works, claiming they don't measure up to his older stuff and hey, to each his own.  However, I loved "The Outsider" and hope more people give it a chance.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (167)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS:  Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family's money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn't seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a little more out of the ordinary, but again, nothing too unusual. But when floors collapse, deadly objects rain down, and she hears creepy voices, it's clear to Denise that something more sinister lurks hidden here.Answers may lie in an old comic book Denise finds concealed in the attic: the lost, final project of a famous artist who disappeared in the 1950s. Denise isn't budging from her new home, so she must unravel the mystery-on the pages and off-if she and her family are to survive...

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I love Cherie Priest and I think it's great that this novel will have some graphic novel elements in it.  Add in haunted a haunted house and New Orleans and this sounds like a perfect book for me!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

TTT - Favorite Vacation Reads

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week's topic is "Books With Sensory Reading Memories."  I'll admit I immediately thought "huh?" but once I read it some more, it started to make sense.  So I decided to share with you books which I associate with being on vacation.  I usually take time off around July 4th and then again around Christmas and New Year's and I do have books which stand out in my mind which I recall fondly reading during those times.  So without further adieu.

I remember reading this last year during my summer vacation and chatting with Stormi about it.  She was on vacation overseas with her father at the time.  I definitely associate this one with summer.

Again, Stormi and I buddy read this one this year while I was on vacation.  I LOVED it (I promise, my review is coming up Thursday).  You'll see a lot of my vacation reads are King.

So for me, "The Shining" is a great holiday read.  I've read it three times and at least 2 of them have been during Christmas holiday.  I think it has something to do with the cold, snowy setting.  This book also reminds me of 6th grade history class too because that's where I first read it.  Yep, I was that kid (I had it nestled inside my history book in the back row).

I read "Certain Dark Things" on New Year's Day last year and it remains one of my favorite books ever!

Another book I read for the holidays in 2017.  I don't re-read a lot, but this one was so great, I can see myself doing it again eventually.

I read this on Christmas vacation in 2016.  Look at that cover, doesn't it scream Christmas read???  Whenever I see it, I always think back to my time off.

This was read on a rainy day following the  July 4th holiday.  It was the perfect way to recover from all the holiday festivities.  See what I mean, I look at this book and can remember I read it the day it rained on July 5th.  Funny what we remember right???

Another book I associate with Christmas time off.  My husband always laughs because if a King book comes out around the holidays and I ask for it for Christmas, he knows how I'll be spending the rest of my vacation time.  In fact, we always exchange a gift on Christmas Eve and if there's one under the tree for me, that's usually the one he picks.

So there's the 8 I remember the best.  However, I'm giving you an "HONORABLE MENTION" of sorts.  Horror books really are a sensory memory thing I associate with my dad.  He passed 5 years ago and he loved horror movies.  We used to always watch them together (because my Mom couldn't stand them) and it was kind of our bonding time.  So anytime I'm reading or watching horror, I'm usually thinking of dad.  I'm also creating an Addams Family Tag for October in his honor.  We drove my mom crazy with that show - she HATED it!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dog Days of Summer Reading Challenge

So last year I participated in the very first Dog Days of Summer challenge hosted by La La in the Library and Jo's Book Blog so of course, it's a no-brainer that I will be participating again this August.  There will be two exciting Dog Tags, one for fantasy and one for science fiction, an Instagram challenge and lots of other ways to participate.  You can check out the whole set of rules HERE.  Also, for every book read, Jo will be donating money to her favorite rescue, which I think is just awesome.

So if you love pooches and are ready to wrap summer up with some great reading, then consider participating.  Keep an eye out next week as Booker T and Cass will helping me chose my TBR!  

And thanks guys for the awesome graphics!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (170)/Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

So Mr. Barb had Friday off because he worked last weekend so he picked me up for lunch and also bought me a new doggy book.  I collect W. Bruce Cameron books and his newest MG one just came out.  I can't wait to add it to my shelves.

About a month ago, I requested a few books from my library.  They make it really simple because if they don't have them, they have a form you can fill out online.  Well, they ended up purchasing new copies of all three and of course, since I requested them, I get them first.  I picked them up Thursday - "Neverworld Wake," "Bring Me Their Hearts," and "We Are Where the Nightmares Go," which I've heard awesome things about.

From Netgalley I got a review copy of "The Mansion" which I can't wait to read and which is putting all my other reads this weekend at risk. 

And I want to thank Alan Baxter for sending me a copy of "Manifest Recall."  It's a shorter dark noir story and I am super excited to dive in.  

So what did you guys add to your shelves this week?  Have you read any of these?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Weekly Reads (07/19/18)

So this week's weather has been more hot than not. The forecast keeps promising us rain, but never delivers.  Everything is so dry so I'm hoping the rain promised this weekend shows up - just keep the storms away please.  Can you believe some idiots in the neighborhood are still randomly letting off fireworks.  Poor Booker T was outside last night and one went off around the corner and then I couldn't get him back out.  However, for some reason, he's fearless at 3am - cause that's almost ALWAYS when he wakes me up to take him out in the middle of the night.

I've done some reading this week but won't lie, it's been more of a movie week.  Stormi did convince me to participate in COYER's Christmas in July Challenge so we ended up accidentally buddy reading another book this month.  Sometimes our reading tastes are so common it's scary!  So I became obsessed with a new series - Claws.  This show is a hot mess and centers around the Dixieland mafia and these women who work at a nail salon.  It's like a train wreck, but I can't look away so I've managed to watch the entire first season on Hulu the past 2 weeks.

Mr. Barb and I also had a throwback movie weekend.  We watched "Salem's Lot" on Saturday night and then watched "Return to Salem's Lot" on Sunday.  I never realized until this time around that the creepy little vampire girl obsessed with kissing and sex is actually Tara Reid.  Seems so obvious right?

I finished reading "Lizzie" and also a Christmas cozy " 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas" and as I am typing this (a day ahead on Thursday), I'm at a loss what to pick up next.  Here are the main contenders. I'm in such a mood though that I could possibly chose something different too.

Oh and one of my favorite series FINALLY starts back up tonight.  Looks like the makings of a good weekend.  You can find it on Cinemax.

So what are your plans this week????