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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

13 / 30 books. 43% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware (1)
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (2)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (5)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (2)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (2)
- Canada (2)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

35 / 51 states. 69% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

16 / 40 books. 40% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

11 / 25 books. 44% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

17 / 26.2 miles (2nd lap). 65% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

30 / 100 books. 30% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

74 / 104 books. 71% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

84 / 165 books. 51% done!
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: The Heat Is On!

It's been a few weeks since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday. While I should have been spending those days packing up my house in preparation for our big move on July 15, I actually spent them traveling to the cool, rainy Pacific Northwest for a family wedding. Between the delicious weather and even better company, I didn't want to leave! But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Now, I'm back home and the heat is on—literally and figuratively. It's a million degrees outside AND I have tons of packing to do. First things first, though. I love TTT seasonal reading lists, so I didn't want to miss out on today's prompt. I can't wait to see what books everyone is looking forward to this summer.

If you need an excuse to procrastinate the things you should be doing  want to participate in this fun meme, head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Books On My Summer 2022 TBR List

1. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman (available November 8, 2022)—I've enjoyed Steadman's previous psychological thrillers, so I was excited to get an e-ARC of this one, her newest. It's about a British novelist who's engaged to an American businessman who's a member of one of New York City's wealthiest, most influential families. Harriet is shocked when her father-in-law hands her a tape containing his confession to a shocking crime. Is this some sort of sick initiation game? Or is Harriet marrying into a family of criminals? 

I'm a few chapters into this one and it's...interesting so far. I'm enjoying it.

2.  The Second Husband by Kate White—A copy of this psychological thriller just landed on my doorstep. It concerns a woman who is rebuilding her life after her husband was killed in a random crime on the street. Just when the widow is starting to feel safe and comfortable in her new life and relationship, the police come calling. How did her husband really die? Does the widow know more than she's saying?

3. Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen—This middle-grade novel features five children from different walks of life living in Europe while World War I rages. Their paths cross as they struggle to survive amidst the chaos of war.

4. Carolina Built by Kianna Alexander—Born on a plantation, Josephine N. Leary moves to Edenton, North Carolina, after Emancipation. While keeping a home and raising a family, she teaches herself the business skills needed to invest in real estate and build the kind of legacy that was unheard of for Black women of her time. This novel is based on the true story of Leary's remarkable life.

5. Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen—This contemporary novel, about a straight-laced Asian-American woman who gets caught up in her friend's very successful fake handbag scheme, sounds fun and entertaining.

6. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton—This new middle grade series sounds like a more diverse, international version of Harry Potter. Hopefully, it's got its own unique spin. I'm in to find out!

7. Tiny Humans, Big Lessons: How the NICU Taught Me to Live With Energy, Intention, and Purpose by Sue Ludwig—When Lydia mentioned this book on her blog, I knew I had to read it. My two sons, who are six years apart, were both born at 29 weeks gestation. The oldest spent a month and a half in the NICU and the youngest exactly a month. Being in the NICU, experiencing the life and death struggle that goes on there every day, is truly life-changing. I'm interested to see how my experiences there compare and contrast with those of the author, who works as a neonatal therapist.

8. The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor—I've enjoyed the first two books in this series, which features an Irish-American detective solving crimes in both New York and the Emerald Isle. This installment finds Detective Maggie D'Arcy and her daughter in Ireland, preparing for a move to the country that will combine their household with that of Maggie's boyfriend and his son. Their bonding time is interrupted when human remains wash ashore in a small town with a mysterious history. Who is the dead man? Why was he killed? Maggie is determined to find out.

9. The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (available August 2, 2022)—What do you think of this plot summary? Interesting, right?

Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book's content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.

Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairy tales and cautionary stories.

But real life doesn't always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds.

10. A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa—Set in 19th Century Puerto Rico, this novel centers on an enslaved woman who is sold for the purpose of breeding future slaves. As heartbreaking as the plot sounds, the summary promises a story of triumph and faith over brutality and sorrow. I'm intrigued.

There you have it, ten books I'd like to read this summer. What do you think of my list? Have you read any of these? Do any of them look interesting to you? What's on your summer TBR list? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Time Will Tell Not the Tightest, But Still Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

High schoolers Liam, Elayah, Jorja, and Marcie are close friends, just like their parents were back in the day. When the foursome learns about a time capsule their parents hid back in 1986, they decide to dig it up just for fun. Among the expected items—photos, mixtapes, newspaper clippings, old coins—the teens make a shocking discovery: a bloody knife and a note that says, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to kill anyone." Is it just a stupid joke? Or did one of their parents actually murder someone?

When other disconcerting things start to happen, the kids realize that they've stumbled upon a decades-old secret that someone does not want revealed. As they start poking around, digging into their parents' pasts, disturbing information comes to light. What really happened between their parents? Who died? And, most importantly, which one of the adults they all know and love is a murderer?

I'm always up for a dual-timeline mystery about secrets of the past coming to light. Time Will Tell, a YA mystery by Barry Lyga, gives the classic premise a fun spin by turning a group of teens into detectives investigating their parents' long-hidden secrets. At 421 pages, the novel is longer than necessary but it moves along at a fair pace. Not a fast one, but not a super slow one either. True, there's not tons of action; still, I zipped through the book, eager to know what was going to happen next. Many reviewers have complained that the tale is confusing because there are lots of characters and it's difficult to keep them all straight, especially the parents because they're referred to as "Mom/Dad" or "so-and-so's mom/dad." I get this, although I also understand that the obscured identities are necessary to keep the mystery suspenseful. Still, it does make the story confusing at times. For the most part, Lyga's story people are sympathetic and likable. I wanted good things for most of them. Plotwise, Time Will Tell isn't the tightest. There are several holes and things that just didn't make much sense to me. Overall, then, I didn't love this book. I did like it well enough, though. It kept me reading.

(Readalikes: Hm, I can't think of anything. Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, disturbing subject matter, and mild sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Isn't It About Time?

Rainbow Stevie over at The Idealistic Daydream is one of my favorite book bloggers. Her posts are always fun, as are her thoughtful comments here on BBB. Not surprisingly, her prompt idea—Top Ten Books With a Unit of Time in the Title (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity, etc.)—which was chosen for today's TTT, is one that sounded enjoyable to complete, although it ended up being a little tougher than I thought it would be. I used Goodreads to find units-of-time books that are on my TBR pile mountain mountain chain. I've included a few of them on lists before, but most of these should be new mentions.

If this topic sounds like a fun one to you, hop on the TTT party train. It's a good time, I promise! Just click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Books On My TBR List With Units of Time in the Title
- in no particular order - 

1. The Deadly Hours by Susanna Kearsley, C.S. Harris, Anna Lee Huber, and Christine Trent—This appropriately-titled novel, which consists of four linked stories, follows the path of a gold watch that is both priceless and cursed as it makes its way from owner to owner wreaking havoc along the way.

2. Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby—What could be better than a book about books by an acclaimed, well-loved author?

3. The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens—Hannah Steele is babysitting her neighbor's kids when a violent earthquake rocks the tiny island they live on. With the bridge connecting the island to the mainland blocked, help is not on the way. A terrified Hannah is now in charge of keeping two little kids safe in a chaotic situation—without electricity, a cell phone connection, or her inhaler. What is she going to do?

4. 15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher—This is the third book in a cozy mystery series starring a Nantucket candlemaker. I haven't read the first one yet, but hopefully it will be enaging enough that I want to read the next installments.

5. These Days by Lucy Caldwell—Set in 1941 Ireland, this novel focuses on the relationship between two sisters as they fight to survive the Belfast Blitz. 

6. When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann—Also set in 1941, this Holocaust memoir is about a daughter's search for answers in her family's experience in Nazi Berlin and Prague. This one is a little bit of a cheat since it has "time" in the title instead of a unit of time, but oh well...the book sounds fascinating.

7. The Second Mother by Jenny Milchman—Needing a new start in a place where no one knows her secrets, Julie Weathers accepts a position as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse on a remote island in Maine. It's not long before Julie realizes she's made a grave mistake...

8. Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards—I found a copy of this time-slip novel while packing up my bookshelves. It's about a high schooler who falls asleep in study hall and wakes up six months later, with her whole world changed. What in the world happened while she was sleeping?

9. Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: An Introvert's Year of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan—This book sounds entertaining and oh-so-relatable.

10. The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati—Another book I rediscovered while cleaning off my bookshelves, this historical is about two female cousins who spend their days helping New York City's most desperate people during its glitziest era.

There you go, ten books I want to read that have units of time in their titles. What do you think? Have you read any of these? Which books did you choose to highlight? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will happily return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

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