I love to acquire, hoard, stack, shelve, smell, read and share books. I review books. I stare at books. You get it, right?
I thought I'd be at 500 by now after 8 years, but I've had a lot happen, in my life, in that time. Some years I only read 25 books because my brain was struggling. I Struggled to concentrate and when trying to write reviews my brain couldn't find the words. As I've often stated that reading, when I'm able, is easier than writing.
I'm not the typical reviewer as I'm not an aspiring writer. I also do not like to regurgitate synopsis. I just want to share my opinion of what I've read. Maybe I'm not people's cup of tea, but I know there's a voice for everyone. I'm pleased when fellow readers follow mine. I've discovered that finding my own rhythm keeps me motivated and when I try to emulate others style of long paragraphs I become quickly discouraged and lose interest in reviewing.
I appreciate all the publishers who have read my bio and know that I am genuine about reading and reviewing, even though I don't have the 80% stats that are ideal. I will keep plugging away, when I'm able, and not get discouraged.
I want to tell those who may be wondering or feeling left out that It's okay if your style is a bit different. Being different and unique is awesome! It's just being YOU. Keep going and you will find your tribe.
Unbelievably, I read 13 books in April. That averages out to 110 pages a day. I haven't read that much in one month in years. I specifically chose books under 300 pages that didn't require much brain power/focus and that didn't have heavy content. I truly believe that helped me. I also started a book notebook. It aided to my enjoyment of the read and my memory. I used colored markers, sticky notes and highlighters and kept it fresh and fun. Every morning I looked forward to spreading all my items out on the table and making a cup of joe or tea before starting my next read. I only read one book per day. Even if I had the time to read more, I didn't. I did not want to over extend or tire my brain.
My only 5 star standout read for the month was Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo. I loved this book so much I sent a copy to my bestie. I highly recommend this book to everyone. To be only 176 pages it is packed with so much valuable information.
I read 8 four star books. These books had to wow me or have something extra. Books that I rate 4 stars can't be books that I felt I've read before, meaning recycled plots and characters.
The Red Hot Earl by Darcey Burke
Luster: A novel by Raven Leilani
The Girl with The Loading Voice by Abi Daré
One House Over (The Neighbors #1) by Mary Monroe
A Family Affair by Reshonda Tate Billingsley
It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan
Secret Heir Seduction (Texas Cattlemen's Club: Inheritance #4) by Reese Ryan
Ethic by Ashley Antoinette
I read three 3 star books. I rate books 3 stars that weren't bad, but weren't great either. They were all good reads. When reading romance books, I need great romance with a solid plot. I can tell if a 200 page romance was just thrown together. I feel many are recycled content with different character names.
Seduced by A Steele (Forged of Steele #12) by Brenda Jackson
Duty or Desire (The Westmoreland Legacy #5) by Brenda Jackson
His to Claim (The Westmoreland Legacy #4) by Brenda Jackson
My only 2 star read was Red Carpet Redemption (The Stewart Heirs #3) by Yarah St. John. This book didn't capture my attention at all. I wasn't invested in any of the characters. Most Harlequin readers devour these books at record speeds and have read many. To stand out there needs to be great characters, plot and romance in a concise manner with the books being a little over 200 pages. Many of these authors crank out 3 books or more per year and if they're done quickly it shows. There's no room for fluff in a 200 page book.
How was your reading in April? I know these are difficult/stressful times. It's great to know we have somewhere to come to to share what we love to do.
There's so many new releases in May. Here are the ones I'm most excited to read. Unfortunately, there are a few I have picked up that just didn't work for me. I will talk about those later. Which May releases are you most excited to read?
I'm attempting to read these four books by Friday evening. Some of these books I've put off for far too long. I'm giving myself lofty goals because my brain has been cooperating lately.
korean women are devalued. Men and boys are kings and girls and women are their servants. I feel like I’m reading a historical book from the 1950’s.
My reading has been really good as of late. I've been trying to read a book a day. I've read 3 books so far this month and that's really good for me. I'm hoping reading these short romance books will not tire my brain and I can keep going.
1) Red Carpet Redemption by Yahrah St. John
2) Seduced by a Steele by Brenda Jackson
3) Property of the State by Kiki Swinson
Happy Reading Everyone!
I need something good to happen. It’s tragedy after tragedy. Only one friend is concerned about their health, but everyone has issues. Loretha is an atm with a huge heart. She wants to help everyone.
These friends can’t catch a break. I hope that my life will be in some sort of order in my 60’s. These 40 year old kids are a hazard to ones health. It goes to show that maturity has nothing to do with age. Everyone is in denial.
Good thus far however, I had to make a diagram to keep track of all the bff's, husbands and kids. Like the backstory on each person.
Married off at 14 to feed and house brothers and father. Desperately wanting an education. Lied to to work for free, be beaten daily and dodge being raped. This book is too much!
I added this book. I wrote the author's name and saw after that is was changed to Kim Dare. The author's name is Abi Daré.
The girl's, Adunni, Speech is broken and it is grating to read. Usually, I can't get through books like this. I can't say it's broken, but written weird. Even though, I know the reality of children marrying men, as old as their fathers, my brain can't reconcile with it. To be 14, a child, and married off to a gross 40 plus year old man that has other wives. I just can't imagine. A child forced to procreate for a male child that needs mothering herself. UGH!
My Twitter widget is missing from my page and I don't know why or remember how to fix it. Can you help me? Please
I'm catching up on a lot this morning and then after I will be starting Ethic by Ashley Antoinette. As I stated, in my previous post, there are 6 books in this series. I will try my best not to gobble them all up one after the other.
That is the plan for today. Unfortunately, I can't read books back to back unless they are in a series so, I will start The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré tomorrow.
On Sunday, if I can stay on track and not get distracted, I will read It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan.
What are you reading this weekend?
You all have definitely been missed. I've said this over and over that the only place I feel at home is Goodreads and the second place was here at Booklikes. I haven't been consistent on here for a couple of reasons.
1) Having to enter all the info on new books
2) Booklikes not having an app
3) My brain not cooperating with me to be able to write anything coherent.
I had a pretty major surgery in November 2018 and had to move out of my residence of almost 10 years. That was all very stressful on me. I'm not one that adapts AT ALL to change. It has taken over a year for me to find my bearings. I've been learning new ways to do things to keep me doing what I love. I knew I wanted to come back. I will just post my own picks and won't worry about using the site to find them or add them. It stresses me out. Unfortunately, If anything is too difficult for me I will not continue.
I've tried to post on Instagram, Twitter and recently Tumblr. Twitter doesn't bother me, but IG is tooooo much and Tumblr is confusing. I'm learning how to work around difficulties. I'm going to try my best to divert from IG. I've said goodbye so many times over there, but continue on to spread the word about new releases.
I don't have a blog and sometimes I want to write more. Not a review of sorts, but a sharing of my thoughts that's not for the publisher or author. I want to share with other readers, in a safe space, who may understand and have opinions of their own.
Thank you all for always accepting me back and making me feel welcomed.
I had one of my best reading months in March. I think it had a lot to do with not selecting heavy historical fiction books and choosing lighter reads. I always request my favorite genre and then get bogged down with 5-6 heavy WWII and Slavery books that take a toll on me mentally. I'm not complaining because I like what I like. I'm just saying that I need to learn balance.
A wonderful St. Martin's publicist reached out to me to read Butterfly 2 (that will be released in June) by the beast writer Ashley Antoinette. I had requested the first book Butterfly, but hadn't read it. Knowing myself I decided to stop everything and start Butterfly. Well, that was the beginning of a reading frenzy. Butterfly is the spinoff of the Ethic Series which consist of 6 books. Not only that, but it really all begins with the book Moth to a Flame. I feverishly read Butterfly 1 and 2 and then continued on to MTAF. I'm starting Ethic 1 today. Ashley has proven over the years that writing is her calling and we readers are happy she answered it. These are Street Fiction and are about that life. Most have heavy explicit sex scenes. I must admit that sometimes I'm bothered by that if not noted. However, I find that it comes with these types of books and Ashley delivers even in this. It's steamy!
One of my new favorite regency romance authors is Darcy Burke. I can't get enough of her books. I was introduced to her through Erica Ridley. They co-wrote the Wicked Dukes Club. If you enjoy regency romance I would enthusiastically recommend both authors works. I enjoyed A Duke is Never Enough and can't wait to read another one of her backlist while I wait for her next release. It won't be long because both authors crank out stories like no other.
Eric Jerome Dickey's books, that I've read, have been hit or miss. His new release The Business of Lovers didn't disappoint. It was a solid story. What I didn't enjoy was his graphic sex scenes. They were written with a male perspective, in my opinion. I can now see a glimpse of why he is so beloved by many. I'm all about the story. You can be a good writer and have a bad story. I get that. Also, you can rush a story and not develop it to its potential. I'm enthused to say that's not the case here.
I requested and was approved on Edelweiss for a digital copy of Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg. I tried to view it on my kindle fire 8, but the words were so small and could not be enlarged that I decide to just purchase a copy from Book depository. I knew that I would want a copy for my shelves. The book is absolutely stunning. It is well crafted and the pages are very thick. The story was good. Was I wowed by it? No, I wasn't, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate what Isabel has done. It is a story I will read over and over and share with the littles in my life.
The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauk was an unforgettable read. You get so immersed in the characters. The character development was everything. When the story ended I was kind of left hanging. I wanted more. I haven't read many books by this author, but have seen others sing her high praises. I own more than a couple of her backlist books and will be picking them up before years end. Books about books are most book lovers favorites to read and I wouldn't miss this one if you enjoy them.
*I'm losing steam friends. I will continue with the last 2 books.
Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden was a quick read. I did enjoy it. It is historical fiction set in the 1900's at the time of the Red Summer and the fight for the right to vote for women. The book itself is stunning. I will be picking up a copy for my shelves. I listened to the audio of the book on Hoopla. Hoopla is awesome! The narrator did a great job.
The final book to discuss is The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica. Wowzers! This book had all the twist and turns. I thought I knew what was happening, but found out about 2/3 in that I had no clue and was way off. I commend Kubica for her page-turner suspense abilities. She is another author that has been on my radar, but haven't read. I've been missing out. Friends pick this one up. I'm telling you it is one not to be missed!
I'm excited for April and hope I have another awesome month of great reads...
These are my most anticipated April releases. There are so many new releases in April that are not shown here. It's definitely a great month to discover new authors and stories.
What books are you most excited to read in April?