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Friday, June 24, 2016

Five things that happened.

1. A month or two ago my best running buddy organized a 5K run in order to raise money for Alport Syndrome, which two of her sons have.  I was always going to go run, but Tristan decided that he wanted to do it as well, and he did! I suspect he's actually much faster than me, if he were trying, but I can run a long long ways. He ran the entire last mile about 3 yards in front of me, waiting for me to give up and walk. I didn't.

2. We were recently staying in a hotel with a pool, which we used a LOT while Mike was working at an event. I had picked up some cheap goggles for the kids on the way and they loved wearing them. On our second night there, Tristan left his in the pool area. When we returned to swim again early the next morning we discovered that someone had completely trashed them.  I just don't understand that. I can see if someone took them- clearly we had left them behind, and maybe they really wanted goggles, but why destroy them? I am still baffled.

3. Speaking of swimming, my kids are finally old enough to swim in a hotel pool while I sit happily on the sidelines and only keep half an eye out for drowning! This is such a huge parenting milestone. First you get them old enough to play on the playground unassisted, then they learn to swing without being pushed, and now, swimming. It completely changes my feelings about hotels.

4. Hamilton. I've resisted forever. It annoys me how much people love it, like when everyone loves the same book, only this was way worse. But then Noah did a report on Ben Franklin and he could.not.stop. talking about Ben Franklin. I started thinking that maybe the kids would like Hamilton, and I was right. Mike is not a huge fan, but he'll suffer through it for the quiet it brings to the back seat.

5. Lauren graduated from Kindergarten, and Tristan is going to be in middle school next year. What? How? I don't even know.  I completely teared up at Lauren's graduation- my last one!

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Reading Update May 2016

I'm typing this month's report up a week early, since we will be on vacation at the end of the month. I'm really hoping to have finished up a handful of these by month's end, but you never know how it's going to go.

Books I Read in May:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling. I'm rereading the series with Tristan, as he reads them for the first time. It's as awesome as I always thought it would be, except turns out he reads fast.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Still working on this. (Tristan is done, of course. Hopefully by the time you read this I will be too.)

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I'm only about 50% done, but it's very motivating.

Tough Luck Hero by Maisey Yates. I'm loving this one after DNF'ing on the last one in the series. Sorry, Maisey.

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan.  I'm 87% done and I'm totally mortified by the situation the characters are in, so I had to stop and regroup. Hopefully by the time this goes live I'll have gotten over my embarrassment and finished the book.

New to my Kindle in May:

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer (Kindle Daily Deal)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I've wanted to read this forever and couldn't resist when it was on sale. (Kindle Daily Deal)

Mockingbird by Charles J Shields. (NetGalley)

Only You by Denise Grover Swank (NetGalley)

The Born Again Runner  by Pete Magill. (NetGalley)

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowan (NetGalley)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Five Bits of Bookish Randonness on Friday

1. My library doesn't seem interested in the e-book of Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs, so I checked it out in paper. I haven't read a paper book in at least 2 years, maybe 3. And as I write this, Fire Touched still sits unread because it's just. so. awkward.

2. Instead, I keep reading Harry Potter. I finally convinced Tristan that it really was better than the movies and he can't stop reading. I foolishly agreed to read it along with him, and to be honest, I'm WAY behind.  He keeps saying things like "I'm at the Quidditch game where xyz happens!" and I'm all... uhhhh why is that funny or significant? I can't remember!

3. Noah is still reading furiously. I picked up some library books for our trip to Alabama, and a week before we left (as you read this we should be in the car!), he'd already read two of them. "Put your book down and eat!" "Put your book down and get out of my car!" "Put your book down to pee!" I really am turning into my mother.

4. All day at work I think about books (and running) and then I get home and scroll Instagram. Since the last IG update, however, it keeps crashing on me. I decided this was a sign that I should be reading.

5. Mike and I used to compete to see who would read more in a year. In the last few years, he's drifted into only reading articles on his phone and not actual books. He still reads, but it kills me that it's not a book, in paper OR e-form. However, he recently went to a conference and didn't have WiFi on the plane so he opened the Kindle app on his phone and found Walkable City by Jeff Speck on it. I bought it months ago at Janssen's recommendation and haven't gotten to it. He couldn't stop talking about how great it was. Guess I should read it now!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham

Krewe of Hunters, I can't quit you, not even when you aren't very good...

Here's the summary:
Between the evil and the deep blue sea…

A historic cruise ship, a haunted ship, the Celtic American Line's Destiny, sets sail from the Port of New Orleans—with a killer on board. He's known as the Archangel Killer because of the way he displays his victims in churches. And how he places a different saint's medallion on each body. No one knows exactly who he is or why he's doing this.

Jackson Crow—head of the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, a special unit of paranormal investigators—is assigned to the case, along with local agent Jude McCoy. Then Alexi Cromwell, who works in the ship's piano bar, is drawn into the situation when a victim's ghost appears to her—and to Jude. She and Jude share an attraction, and not just because of their mutual talent.

There are many suspects, but one by one they're ruled out… Or are they? In the end, Jude and Alexi have to rely on each other to catch the killer and escape his evil plans for Alexi.

I don't even know where to start here, so jumping in feet first with the characters. First, there are a lot. In fact, there's a cast listing at the start of the book, like an old-school romance. There are enough characters that sometimes one of the main characters (like say Jackson, head of the Krewe!) would show up and I'd have no idea who he was. Once again, I found the FBI agents to be pretty interchangeable, and won't likely remember which book was Jude and which was Jackson.  Alexi is pretty likable tho and I think I'll remember her.

The romance, like all the Krewe books, is predicable and fast with very little attention paid to development. Why do they love each other after only a week? I have no idea. The book kind of tries to take the angle that it's because they share the ability to see ghosts, but even that isn't really pressed. As with the others, you just have to accept the romance and move on.

So why do I even read them if I can't keep the characters straight and the romance is flat? Because they are still compulsively readable. The plots (usually) move along well, and I'm always interested in seeing how Graham will blend the paranormal into the story seamlessly. In that aspect, Haunted Destiny is actually really well done, the ghosts are woven in well and seem natural there. Unfortunately, Haunted Destiny dragged along. They were stuck at sea, there was no contact with land for outside help in the FBI investigation because of a giant storm (but the captain was always in touch with the cruise line? What? But FBI couldn't get help with the serial killer on board? This makes no sense.)  There are only a limited number of suspects and rather than just suck it up and detain them they let them wander the ship and kill off a couple people.  It just made no sense. I still read it in an afternoon, so you can see that lack of sense isn't a real game stopper for me.

Would I recommend this one to a friend? No, I probably wouldn't. Will I keep reading them? Clearly, I can't stop.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Seven Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed. This can mean I love it more, or less, or that I have complicated feelings about it.  I decided to join into the meme at the last minute and for the life of me can not come up with ten, so here's SEVEN books I feel differently about after time has passed.

1. Boy's Life by Robert McCammon. This one was recommended to me by Trish many years ago. I read it during my drive to Alabama that summer. At the time, I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. I find myself thinking about two of the scenes from the book a lot and remembering the general feel of it. My affection for it has grown simply based on it's sticking power.

2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Like many people, I felt all the feels for this one in college. For many years it was the first book I read at the beginning of the year. I have a mug, and a fancy boxed edition, and I can recognize any quote from the book. However, the older I get, the more pretentious I find it.

3. Love Story by Erich Segal. On how I loved to read this and cry in college. "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Bleh. So overdone.

4. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I haven't reread this one (Ain't nobody got time for that) but I can see the problems with the depiction of slavery.  That said, I'd love to reread it and see if my love of the book overcomes those issues for me.

5. Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am firmly in the "Love it!" camp, but so many of my fellow bloggers and friends hated it. I can't help but wonder if I missed something.

6. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Just call it fiction from the beginning.
7. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught.  My romance loving friends will know the problems with this one, and I can't bring myself to ever read it again, but in college I absolutely loved it.  This is one of the shining examples of how awful a romance can be, while also being very well loved.

Have you read any of these? Do you agree? What book do you feel differently about?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five things I want on Friday

I am slightly in love with these Dr. Scholls sandals. I think they would be cute with shorts and skirts both.

This Under Armour tank. We tend to not buy UA stuff, because the trendiness of a $50 shirt for 1st graders kills us, but I love the back of this tank.

Nude ballet flats.  As much as I look at wedges and heels, I always come back to ballet flats. I need a pair that "disappears" while still looking cute. I have a very old beat up pair of Clarks, but they are no longer in work condition. I like this pair from Steve Madden.

This summery t-shirt. Perfect for post run. (The hashtags say #perfectday #anyorder #showeroptional #letsbereal)

A Turkish bath towel. If the reviews are correct, these would be well worth the money! Compact and still opens large, dries well, gets softer with washing. I hate the giant bag of towels we lug on the boat each time.

What's on your wish list this week?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reading Update - April 2016

This email looks like I read a ton in April, but I really just read in starts and bits and not at all as much as I'd have liked. April is a tough month. School is getting boring for the kids, but summer is still so far, so there are constant struggles, the boys both have birthdays and that eats up a whole week, this year we ran a half marathon as well. I'd like to have my own personal Read-A-Thon to catch up now!

Read in April:

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. I loved this. One of my favorites in a long time.

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. Not worth the time. A book about productivity should inspire me, and this one did not.

Playing Hard by Melanie Scott. I'm about half done. There's a scene coming I don't want to read and I haven't read Scott before so I don't know if I can trust her to make it good, so I sat it aside for a bit.

Blues Bones by Rick Starkey-- Previewed for Tristan. Eh.

The Bride by Julie Garwood. I could not resist rereading at least one. Still good, but dated.

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. (Scribd) Still reading, so far I enjoy it.

Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. (Scribd) I'd really like to not keep getting injured by the sport I love. Barely started it at this point.

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (NetGalley) Also barely started.

New to My Kindle

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle (NetGalley)

From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne (NetGalley)

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn ($1.99 on Kindle!)

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Kindle)

The Morning Miracle: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) by Hal Elrod (Kindle) Really really really need to bump this up, I've heard so many good results!

Tough Luck Hero by Maisey Yates (NetGalley)

Cowboy After Dark by Vicki Lewis Thompson (NetGalley)

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