Sunday, June 30, 2024

June Reads

46.  If He Had Been With Me (Nowlin) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, YA Romance

A little slow and not very gripping, but it seemed a little more realistic than some other YA books I have read.  6-2-24

47.  Five Survive (Jackson) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, YA Thriller

Unfortunately, I didn't care for this one.  I think YA books are wearing thin for me.  6-7-24

48.  City of Books (Meier) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, Fiction, NetGalley

This was bland and boring sprinkled with a couple serious topics.  It had one addition that felt like it was inserted just to add another bend to the story.  There was nothing special about the characters either.  Sadly, I didn't care for it.  6-9-24

49.  Nightwatching (Sierra) ~ 4/5 (very good), Audiobook, Literary Suspense

I almost gave up on this book, because it was slow going!  I decided to continue while I was doing something else.  It didn't feel like a traditional thriller, but turned out to be very good.  Go into it as a literary suspense novel versus a thriller, and you'll enjoy it more.  6-11-24

50.  The Seven Year Slip (Poston) ~ 3.5/5 (good), Book, Magical Realism Romance, Book Club

The magical realism was a different twist for me.  I'm not too interested in that genre, but this was okay.  It had deeper concepts/themes to think on versus a simple romance.  I did like picking it up once I reached half way through.  6-15-24

51.  The Girl Who Was Taken (Donlea) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, Thriller

I'm not exactly sure why, but I never got into this one.  The beginning was a little difficult to get into, and it was slow and boring.  I guess I do know why.  6-16-24

52.  The Missing (Modglin) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, Thriller

Too many ridiculous choices and misinformation that could have been researched.  6-19-24

53.  Do Not Disturb (McFadden) ~ 2.75/5 (eh +), Audiobook, Thriller

Too much repetition, but it worked out fine for a road trip.

54.  Wait for Dark (Modglin) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller

I predicted much of it, but it was fine.  Nothing special, but not bad either.  6-29-24


Friday, May 31, 2024

May Reads

38.  The Hidden One (Castillo) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Mystery, NetGalley

I really enjoyed the relationships, but the rest seemed very reminiscent of other books in this series.

39.  Good Morning, Monster (Gildiner) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), Audiobook, Non-Fiction

This was very interesting.  Gildiner shares how she helped 5 individuals manage their tumultuous lives through therapy.  5-6-24

40.  Nowhere to Hide (Beevis) ~ 3.5 (good), Audiobook, Thriller

This didn't seem like a new concept, but still a compelling audio read despite some parts that were difficult to hear.  5-10-24

41.  Beartown (Backman) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Fiction, NetGalley

I didn't really enjoy this.  It wasn't suspenseful or intriguing.  The whole story had a gloomy cloud over it - just sorta blah.  I don't understand the hype of this series.  Just not for me, I guess.  5-15-24

42.  Look Closer (Ellis) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), Suspense, eBook, NetGalley

I enjoyed this very much!  If there had only been one more thing included that I thought was missing, I would have rated it higher.  5-19-24

43.  Out on a Limb (Bonus-Young) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Romance

While the storyline was fine, I didn't care for all the spice.  I think rom-coms would be a better choice for me.  I just keep getting recs that I keep trying.  Same thing happens, imagine that!  5-24-24

44.  56 Days (Howard) ~ 3.5/5 (good), Audiobook, Thriller

If only it didn't have repetitive scenes (different pov), I would have enjoyed this more.  The covid lockdown setting was interesting to relive, because I have already forgotten some of the little nuances of that time.   5-29-24

45.  We Spread (Reid) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), eBook, Fiction, NetGalley

I didn't like how I felt at the close of this book.  It's a little discombobulating and sad.  However, it definitely was/is a very thought-provoking read.  5-31-24   

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April Reads


DNF - The Whistler (Grisham) ~ Audiobook, Thriller

Eek!  Grisham is one of my favorite authors; however, this one just did not capture my attention.  4-1-24

28.  The Love Hypothesis (Hazelwood) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Romance

The story was okay, and the romance wasn't so bad.  Everything was just okay.  Not sure what all the hype was about.  ???  4-3-24

29.  Sidetracked (Abby) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller, #2 in Series 

It has been quite awhile since I read the first book in this 5 book series, so it took me a minute to catch up to the storyline.  I'll keep listening, but so far it's just been okay.  4-6-24 

30.  Counting the Cost (Duggar) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Memoir

I didn't know what to expect from this book, but it turned out to be fine.  Nothing new.  I do think Jill did a good job in explaining her side.  4-7-24

31.  Scarlet Angel (Abby) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller, #3 in Series

Eek!  This one had more background and graphic content.  I'm going to finish the series, but I'm not really enjoying it.  4-9-24

DNF - The 7 1/2 Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle (Turton) ~ Audiobook, Mystery

This was incredibly slow and boring.

32.  All the Lies (Abby) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Thriller, #4 in Series

I can appreciate the revenge trope, but I didn't care for the graphic torture.  4-12-24

 33.  Paint it All Red (Abby) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller, #5 in Series

It was a good wrap-up, but overall ... just an okay series.  I'm definitely an outlier.  4-15-24

34.  Forsaken Country (Eskens) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), eBook, Mystery/Thriller, NetGalley

I am so glad that I have more books by Eskens on my TBR Shelves.  All three books I have read by him have all be in the 4s!  His writing grips me every time.  I feel like I'm there, I care for the characters, and I want to know what's going to happen.  So good.  4-17-24

35.  Alone With You in the Ether (Blake) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, Romance

I enjoyed the first half more than the second.  Read it only because of the hype.  4-19-24

36.  The Woman in Me (Spears) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), Audiobook, Memoir

I haven't followed Britney, other than what I have seen in the media, so this was an eye opener.  She did a good job telling her story.  4-24-24

DNF - The Book of Doors (Brown) ~ eBook, Fantasy, NetGalley

This sounded intriguing, but I just couldn't get into it.

37.  The Midwife (Cresswell) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Historical Fiction

I think I would have appreciated this one more had I read it.  There were a lot of characters and their stories to keep track of that caused minor confusion at times via audio.  It is a slow moving saga, but interesting to learn about the time period.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

March Reads


19.  All the Dangerous Things (Willingham) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), Audiobook, Thriller

I found this to be a little bit slow, but it was still interesting.  The mystery kept me hooked, and I was mildly surprised a time or two.  3-1-24

20.  You'll Never Know I'm Here (Modglin) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook,  Thriller

The beginning was okay, but by the end - she lost me.  It definitely was an over-the-top type of plot, which some of hers I have really enjoyed.  This one, not so much.  3-4-24

21.  The Vacation (Marrs) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller

Had I read this instead of listening, I would have liked it more.  Listening to it made the amount of characters seem like too many.  There was past and present for each of them, as well.

22.  Strange Sally Diamond (Nugent) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), Audiobook, Mystery

For a character driven novel, I'm so surprised that it kept me interested the whole way through.  While some of it was difficult to hear, I wanted to continue listening.  The audiobook was well done.  3-13-24

23.  The Graham Effect (Kennedy) ~ 1/5 (don't bother), Audiobook, Sports Romance?

🙉  My ears!  My ears!  YIKES!  I have never read anything so X-Rated . . . and that just isn't my preference.  3-19-24

24.  The Girl in Seat 2A (Wilkinson) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Thriller

In general, this was just an okay read.  Nothing special, but it kept me entertained for a bit.  3-23-24

25.  Kill for Me, Kill for You (Cavanagh) ~ 4/5 (very good), eBook, Thriller, NetGalley

This was heading towards a higher rating until the climax.  I simply didn't buy it.  I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, though.  Very good book.  I'll definitely read more by this author.

26.  Creep (Hillier) ~ 3.5/5 (good), Audiobook, Thriller

This kept me entertained, but it wasn't great.  It seemed a bit superficial.  3-30-24

27.  The Teacher (McFadden) ~ 3.5/5 (good), Book, Thriller

I loved the pace of this one.  The pages just flew by.  Some of it was just hokey and ridiculous, but I stayed for more.  HA!

Thursday, February 29, 2024

February Reads


10.  Heartstopper #5 (Oseman) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), Book, YA Graphic Novel

Intimate relationships and life choices were the focus of this addition to the Heartstopper series.  2-3-24

11.  Yellowface (Kuang) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Fiction

It got a little boring and repetitive, but in general, it was an okay read.  I don't really understand the hype behind this one, but whatever.  I liked the ending.  2-6-24

12.  Every Last Fear (Finlay) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Thriller

I started losing interest about 1/2 way through.  It just seemed so slow and drawn out.  2-11-24

13.  The Family Game (Steadman) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Thriller

I prefer my reads to be based a little more in reality.  This landed middle of the road for me.  2-15-24

14.  The Last Party (Macintosh) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Mystery

I never really cared for anybody in this police procedural.  There were so many suspects that I couldn't even guess whodunnit if I wanted to.  I didn't care for the narrator, that could have contributed to my rating.  However, I did follow along and thought it was an okay read.  2-18-24

15.  Fierce Kingdom (Phillips) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Thriller

Too many questions!!!  The timeline wasn't clear to me.  It took too long for help to arrive or to even know of their presence.  There were a few very poor choices and some loose ends that annoyed me.  2-19-24

16.  First Lie Wins (Elston) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), ebook, Thriller, NetGalley

I would have given this a 4/5 (very good), if I didn't have to pay such close attention to the storyline.  There were many details, twists or info that needed to be followed.  However, I did like it, and I'm definitely interested in more by this author.  2-20-24

17.  Truly Devious (Johnson) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), Audiobook, YA Mystery

Not sure what the hype was about with this one.  I'm not interested in reading any more in this series.

18.  The Wishing Game (Schaffer) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), Book, Fiction

This was a sweet, feel good story.  I enjoyed it.  2-27-24

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January Reads


1.  No One Can Know (Marshall) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), Audiobook, Thriller, NetGalley

My first book of 2024 turned out to be boring. 🥱  I was interested at first, but then it became a finger pointing game. It was this person, it was that person, no … it was the other person. It wasn’t bad.  I just didn’t like the style of mystery solving.  1-2-24

2.  The Heiress (Hawkins) ~ 4/5 (very good), Audiobook, Family Drama, NetGalley

I was intrigued from the beginning and that continued through to the end.  I did predict several plot twists, but still enjoyed the process of each reveal.  It had The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo vibe, which I loved, so that was a plus.  The audio was performed impressively.  1-8-24

3.  Listen for the Lie (Tintera) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Mystery, NetGalley

The storyline was pretty good, and I liked the podcast element.  But, while the sarcastic/snarky comments by a couple characters were entertaining, listening to the repetitive 'voice' was ridiculous to me.  Had I actually read the physical copy, I may have felt differently.  1-11-24

4.  Seven Exes (Vine) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, Chick Lit, NetGalley

I think I would like this plot with other characters.  I just didn't care for anybody, so I didn't care about what happened.  Maybe I simply was not the right audience.  I did finish it, though, and liked the ending.  There's that.  :)  1-13-24

5.  Fourth Wing (Yarros) ~ 3/5 (just okay), Audiobook, Romantasy

Ahhh.  I wish I loved this like most readers, but it just isn't my genre of choice.  There were some parts I liked, but more that I didn't.  The language was definitely atrocious, but the storyline itself was okay, and the ending was decent.  I won't be jumping into Iron Flame in the near future.  1-17-24

6.  The Passengers (Marrs) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), Book, Thriller, Bookclub

This was so good!  I was invested in everybody's story, and I loved how it was told.  It was filled with twists that were interesting, very thought-provoking topics and lots of suspense.  I didn't care for all the political chatter - at all.  And, the romance was a tad bit too quick, but I understand it in relation to the storyline.  I can't wait to read more of Marr's backlist.  1-19-24

7.  Bye, Baby (Lovering) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), Audiobook, Thriller (?), NetGalley

This was okay.  It wasn't compelling, but it was an okay time.  There were a lot of side issues contributing to the full story that took away from the focus.  Definitely not a thriller.  1-23-24

8.  My Lovely Wife (Downing) ~ 4/5 (very good), Audiobook, Thriller

Finally got to this book.  I really enjoyed the storyline, but didn't buy in 100%.  1-30-24

9.  Movie Star:  They Always Say They're Single (Simpson) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), Audiobook, Memoir

This was a short story of a very basic relationship after the author's divorce.  (read for a challenge)  1-30-24

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Best Reads of 2023


This was not a very good year on many levels - not bad, just not very good.  I read a decent amount, but my ratings were very indicative of my enjoyment - averaging a 3.16 for the year.  On the positive side, a "3" really isn't that bad.  It's actually "just okay" in my book.  However, I would like to read more 4 star books this coming year.  My main goal is to read even more books off my shelves.  I did pretty good this year and hope to continue that trend.  Let's just hope I discover more 4 star and up books hidden there!  :)

These are my Best Reads that I rated 4/5 and up this year:

1.  Ballad of Sophie (Melo & Cavia) ~ graphic novel, 4.25/5

Ballad for Sophie

2.  Finding Me (Davis) ~ memoir, 4/5

Finding Me

3.  Daisy Jones and The Six (Reid) ~ fiction, 4.25/5

Daisy Jones & The Six

4.  Then She Was Gone (Jewell) ~ thriller, 4/5

Then She Was Gone

5.  I'm Glad My Mom Died (McCurdy) ~ memoir, 4/5

I'm Glad My Mom Died

6.  The Whispers (Audrain) ~ fiction, 4/5

The Whispers

7.  Bath Haus (Vernon) ~ thriller, 4.25/5  

Bath Haus

December Reads

72.  Hemlock (Modglin) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, romantic suspense, NetGalley

I enjoyed the first half more than the second, but still had a good time listening.  I felt like the distance between the two timelines was sometimes indistinguishable.  It took a minute or so to figure where I was whenever I picked it up.

73.  The River at Night (Ferencik) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, thriller

This was just okay.  The storyline turned a little more unrealistic than I like.  12-7-23

74.  The Guest (Paris) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, thriller, NetGalley

I was interested in where the story was going.  The twist didn't surprise me, but I didn't guess it either.  I definitely liked it more than The Prisoner and look forward to more.  Paris is an auto-pickup for me.

75.  Lovelight Farms (Borison) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, romance

I think I smiled twice.  I could do without the spicy scenes.  12-13-23

76.  Faking Christmas (Steel) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, romance

This was a good story.  I enjoyed the relationship and the banter.  The only thing I did not like was the nicknames.  That got old very fast!  Other than that, it was a cute story.  12-16-23

77.  The Whispers (Audrain) ~ 4/5 (very good), book, fiction 

This kept me intrigued the whole way through.  I guessed one twist, but that didn't ruin the book.  I think this author is becoming an auto-buy for me!  12-18-23

78.  Christmas Presents (Unger) ~ 2/5 (eh), audiobook, thriller

I was never able to get invested in this story.  Didn't care for it at all.  12-20-23

79.  The Perfect Marriage (Rose) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, thriller

This was really good until . . . .  There were several things that were so unbelievable that I laughed.  However, I don't think that was the intent.  :(  This would have had a higher rating for sure had those scenes been toned down.  12-24-23

80.  The Lie Maker (Barclay) ~ 3.5/5 (good), ebook, thriller

On the whole, I thought this was good.  It was fast paced, and I looked forward to reading it.  I can always count on Barclay to give me some enjoyable reading time.  12-24-23

81.  Bath Haus (Vernon) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), book, thriller

This book definitely had content in it that I was not familiar with and frankly made me squirm a little, but it also kept me captivated.  I didn't want to put it down.  Fabulous way to end a very middle of the road reading year!  12-28-23

82.  Someone Had To Do It (Brown) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, thriller

Nothing special about this one.  I had a couple of issues with believability, but continued to listen.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

November Reads

65.  One Day in December (Silver) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, romance

I enjoyed this romance, even though I didn't like the MMC.

66.  Murder Road (St. James) ~ 2.25/5 (not enjoyable +), ebook, thriller, NetGalley

My first St. James book didn't pan out as well as I had hoped.  I enjoyed the first half, then I lost interest and just went through the motions to finish it.  I don't think this author is for me, but I would consider trying again someday.  11-4-23

67.  As Long as the Lemon Tree Grows (Katouh) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), YA audio, historical fiction 

Any war, any where is absolutely heartbreaking.  I'm rating the story here, and it was just okay.  There was a lot of repetition which prevented me from fully connecting.  I, also, didn't care for the fantasy portion.  11-9-23

68.  In My Dreams I Hold a Knife (Winstead) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audio, thriller

I have been looking forward to reading this for quite some time.  Unfortunately I was disappointed.  I don't see why this was so hyped up.  It was just okay for me.  11-14-23

69.  Monday's Not Coming (Jackson) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), audio, YA mystery 

This was a heavy topic.  I may have liked it better if I had read it instead.  There was an abundance of bad language that I didn't care to listen to over and over again.  11-16-23

70.  For Better and Worse (Hunt) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audio, thriller

This reminded me of several other books I've read, but I still really enjoyed it.  11-19-23

71.  Midnight is the Darkest Hour (Winstead) ~ 2.75/5 (eh +), audio, thriller

I thought most of this was just okay, but then I started not to care at all.  11-27-23

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October Reads

58.  The Cheat Sheet (Adams) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), audiobook, romance

The characters acted immature for their age.  It just wasn't for me.  10-4-23

59.  The Lonely Hearts Book Club (Gilmore) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), audiobook, fiction

I didn't connect with anybody and was bored.  10-11-23

60.  I'm Glad My Mom Died (McCurdy) ~ 4/5 (very good), audiobook, memoir

I was surprised by a few things that happened to Jennette and my heart goes out to her.  However, the flow of her storytelling felt repetitive.  10-14-23

61.  The Wife Upstairs (McFadden) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, thriller

This was a good popcorn book - sit down and gobble it up.  I was interested throughout, but knew how it would turn out.  10-19-23

62.  Before We Were Strangers (Carlino) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, romance

I enjoyed the story, but I'm not interested in reading spice.  10-22-23

63.  All the Lies (Sanders) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, thriller

This kept me company while making a quilt.  10-23-23

64.  Maame (George) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), audiobook, fiction

I didn't care for reading about a mid-20 year old coming-of-age story.  I just didn't care.  10-28-23

Saturday, September 30, 2023

September Reads

52.  The Last One (Dean) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, horror, NetGalley

Oh my!  This was an incredibly difficult book for me to read and rate.  I'm not a fan of horror, so that did not bode well.  I did want to know how it was going to end, but I guessed the last page, and it left me feeling ick!  Overall, I wasn't happy while reading it, so 2/5 it is.  9-3-23

53.  The Coworker (McFadden) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), audiobook, thriller

This was an easy listen while doing other things.  Nothing surprising, but fine.  9-8-23

54.  Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone (Stevenson) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), audiobook, mystery

I liked the uniqueness of breaking the fourth wall, but I was bored.  It just wasn't good timing for me.  9-17-23

55. Shiver (Reynolds) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), audiobook, thriller

Loved the setting, but the storyline was just okay.  There wasn't anything wrong with it - just ordinary.  9-27-23

56.  Darling Girls (Hepworth) ~ 3/5 (just okay), ebook, fiction, NetGalley

The "before and present" timelines were both interesting, but I'm tired of dual timelines.  I, also, didn't connect with any of the characters.  The main twist wasn't a surprise, but it was still an okay read.  I enjoy Hepworth's writing and will continue to pick up her books.  This one just didn't sparkle.  9-28-23 

57.  Any Man (Tamblyn) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, fiction

This was a difficult read.  It was unique perspective, and the audio was very realistic, but I just thought it was okay. 

Thursday, August 31, 2023

August Reads

45.  These Silent Woods (Grant) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, fiction

This was identified as a thriller.  I definitely didn't consider it as one.  I did think it was good, though.  The storyline was interesting and kept my attention.  8-5-23

46.  Birthday Girl (Douglas) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, romance, NetGalley

Ugh.  This was definitely not my thing.  I skimmed or skipped multiple spicy scenes.  What did I expect, you wonder?  Didn't really think about it actually.  I just went with some hype I had heard, but both the main characters were immature.  I'm not opposed to reading romance books ... just close the door!

47.  Boy, 9, Missing (Joseph) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, mystery

I'm fairly certain I would have enjoyed this much more had I read it.  For some reason, the narrator's voice just didn't fit the main character, so the whole book just seemed off to me.  8-11-23

48.  Divine Rivals (Ross) ~ 3/5 (just okay), ebook, YA fantasy

I keep thinking I like YA, and I keep trying fantasy, but for the most part ... I don't like either all that much.  This one was okay, and the fantasy portion wasn't so bad either.  However, the characters were a bit shallow, and I didn't connect, but was interested in where the story was going.  8-17-23 

49.  Don't Let Her Stay (Sanders) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, domestic thriller

I predicted the whole story, but enjoyed it anyway.  8-21-23

50.  Take It Back (Abdullah) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, thriller, NetGalley

The storyline was difficult to read at times, but the writing was very good.  I will definitely read this author again.  8-26-23

51.  The Bodyguard (Center) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, romcom

This was a good story.  I enjoyed it. 8-30-23

Monday, July 31, 2023

July Reads

38.  Before She Finds Me (Chavez) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, NetGalley, thriller

The beginning was intriguing, and I was engaged, but soon it became mundane.  The ending picked up a bit, but by then . . . it was too late.  I didn't care.  7-2-23

39.  Good Rich People (Brazier) ~ 2.5/5 (eh), book, thriller

This was a peculiar one.  It actually kept my attention, but it never quite delivered.  I was hoping for something interesting to happen at the end that was redeeming.  It didn't happen.  7-6-23

40.  False Witness (Slaughter) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, thriller

I thought the storyline was tough to listen to, but I was invested.  It was a bit too long with some repetition of phrases or scenes - not a fan.  In general, it was good, but that's about it.  7-19-23

41.  The Senator's Wife (Constantine) ~ 3.5/5 (good), ebook, NetGalley, thriller

I predicted what would happen for most of this book, but still enjoyed watching it play out.  It reminded me of soap opera drama -- a bit over the top, but still interesting.  7-22-23

42.  And There He Kept Her (Moehling) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, NetGalley, thriller

The police procedural portion was enjoyable to follow and the characters were fine, EXCEPT for the girl he kept there.  The dialog between the two was ridiculously unrealistic.  7-26-23

43.  The Night Swim (Goldin) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, NetGalley, mystery

Another book that I liked following along, but this one was a court case.  I enjoyed the podcast within the storyline.  Parts of this book reminded me of the true story of Know My Name (Miller).

44.  The Only One Left (Sager) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), book, thriller

Okay ... I thought this was a little bit better than good, but not quite very good.  I only guessed one twist out of many -- loved all the twists.  There were several points that were incredibly unrealistic that it was hard for me to enjoy the ride.  However, I was invested and wanted to know how it would all work out.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

It's Been 17 Years!


Once again, here we are ... Blogiversary time!  While I don't spend a lot of time or energy here, I still value this space.  I enjoy keeping this log of books even though my thoughts are sparse.

Not much has changed in my reading life.  I'm reading via all the avenues and listening, as well.  My favorite genre is still thrillers, but I have added a little romance (blaming influencers for that), and I'm still not into any fantasy (yet).  

I have been content with the number of books I have been reading, but not with my enjoyment level.  Most books have registered around the 3/5 range, which make them "just okay".  I would really like to get more 4 and the elusive 5 star ratings, but it's just not happening.  Although, I am thankful to have books to read (oodles and oodles!) and at least they are not ending up as DNFs.  The hunt continues.  :)

May your hunt for 5 star books be successful!

   Thoughts of Joy    

Friday, June 30, 2023

June Reads

33.  Don't Go Down There (Modglin) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, thriller

There weren't very many twists and turns, but I still thought it was an okay listen.  I wanted to know what was going to happen.  6-2-23

34.  The Last Word (Adams) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), book, thriller

I loved the premise of this book - absolutely loved it.  However, I guessed a part of the story, which isn't that big of a deal, but it did lessen the fun.  There was a scene that not only shocked me, but made me temporarily not like the book.  It was just too gruesome for me.  I, also, had to suspend my disbelief a bit too much, but I loved the suspense.  6-18-23

35.  Love and Other Words (Lauren) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), book, romance

     I gave this one a .25 higher simply because I did want to continue reading it.  I found many plot points that didn't work for me.  I understand that it's fiction and not a memoir, but there were so many unrealistic scenarios that I couldn't buy in to this coming-of-age story.  6-20-23

36.  Take Your Breath Away (Barclay) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, mystery

Barclay has been a comfort read for me and this was no different.  It was easy listening and enjoyable.

37.  The Appeal (Hallett) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), book, fiction

This should have been a DNF.  By the time I reached 50% - nothing happened, and I was bored.  The last 1/4 was better.  Generally, I love epistolary writing, but that became too much when there were so many characters.  6-26-23

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

May Reads

30.  Local Woman Missing (Kubica) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), audiobook, mystery

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book very much.  I don't have much to say other than there were so many scenes that were highly improbable.  5-4-23

31.  Daisy Jones & The Six (Reid) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), book, fiction

What I liked most about this book was the format in which it was told.  I loved reading the different perspectives through an interview process.  Reid is amazing at making her characters so real.  I have thought about them since.  5-10-23

32.  Then She Was Gone (Jewell) ~ 4/5 (very good), book, mystery

I liked this book a lot.  I wanted to pick it up every day when time allowed.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

April Reads

23.  The Couple at Number 9 (Douglas) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, NetGalley, mystery

This was good, but I wish it didn't have a backstory.  I'm not always a fan of going back and forth.  Finding out the answer to the full mystery did keep me listening, but I wasn't glued to it.  The "stamp" at the end was perfect, though.  4-4-23

24.  The Inmate (McFadden) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, mystery

I thought this one was ridiculously unrealistic.  However, there was one twist I did not guess and another that I thought about, but forgot it by the time I heard it.  I would have given this a 2/5, but those two surprises boosted it to a 3/5.  It just had too many conveniences or foolish choices to rate it any higher.

25.  The Wife Stalker (Constantine) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, domestic thriller

There were a few parts that I thought were too contrived, but overall, it had good twists.  I was intrigued.  4-17-23

26.  Hello Stranger (Center) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), ebook, NetGalley, romance

I enjoyed this story and the writing.  The topic of face blindness was interesting.  I liked the characters, but they seemed a little oblivious.  4-19-23

27.  The Inheritance Games (Barnes) ~ 3.5/5 (good), book, YA mystery

This book was pretty much an even keel of "good" all the way through.  I wasn't impressed by anything.  However, I did want to know the reason for leaving her the money.  The characters were all interesting enough, but I don't think I'm interested in reading any further in the trilogy.  4-20-23

28.  Finding Me (Davis) ~ 4/5 (very good), audiobook, Memoir

Viola's story is surprising, interesting and ultimately encouraging.  4-24-23

29.  I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Reid) ~ 3/5 (just okay), book, fiction

I'm going middle of the road with this one.  I was really into it - read it quickly, but felt the ending wasn't what I hoped for.  I prefer a little more clearly defined conclusion.  It was definitely a weird, little book and a little disappointing.   4-27-23


Friday, March 31, 2023

March Reads

13.  Speak (Anderson & Carroll) ~ 3.5/5 (good), book, YA graphic novel

I think I liked this graphic novel better than the book that I read years ago.  3-2-23

14.  The Madness of Crowds (Penny) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, mystery

I loved being back in Three Pines, as usual, but I was a little bored.  The mystery felt drawn out -- a little slow going.  However, I loved the nuggets of wisdom and the setting.  3-4-23

15.  The Writing Retreat (Bartz) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, NetGalley, Thriller

Loved the idea of this book and was enjoying the beginning, but it didn't deliver.  Sadly, I didn't care for quite a bit:  subplots, characters, book in a book, etc.  3-10-23

16.  Amari and the Night Brothers (Alston) ~ 2.25/5 (not enjoyable +), audiobook/book, bookclub, middle grade fantasy

I found that on occasion I enjoy a YA book and even a bit of fantasy, but this didn't work for me.  It's clever for the right audience.  3-11-23

17.  Long Way Down (Reynolds) ~ 3/5 (just okay), book, YA graphic novel

As poignant as this book was, I still didn't like it.  The message was obvious, but was it really?  Nothing was fully clear and the ending certainly didn't help.  If it had been more decisive, I would have appreciated it more.  Maybe it was a bit too artsy for such a serious topic.  ???  3-17-23 

18.  I Found You (Jewell) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, mystery

I liked the writing, but the story definitely required suspending my disbelief.  My first Jewell turned out to not be a stellar read for me, but I will pick up another -- have plenty on my shelves!  I do hope for a better outcome.  3-17-23

DNF - The Neighbor's Secret (Heller), book/audiobook, fiction

19.  Foster (Keegan) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), audiobook, fiction

The writing was good, but I didn't appreciate the ending.  3-24-23

20.  Small Things Like These (Keegan) ~ 3.5/5 (good), audiobook, fiction

Once again, liked the writing, but this one had a better ending than the previous book.  3-27-23

21.  Cici's Journal (Chamberlain) ~ (3.5/5) good, book, middle grade graphic novel

This book is perfect for middle graders.  It may even encourage some writing!  3-28-23

22.  The Risk (Abby) ~ 3.5/5 (good), book, #1 of the Minds*ck Series, Thriller

I'm definitely interested to see what happens!  3-30-23

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February Reads

5.  The Night Before (Walker) ~ 3/5 (just okay), audiobook, NetGalley, psychological thriller

This was intriguing at first, but became mundane.  I was waiting for something, hoping to be surprised, but it never happened.  It was nothing special, just okay.  2-3-23

6.  The Flatshare (O'Leary) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), book, chick-lit

I enjoyed the dual POV and communication between the main characters.  I'm not so sure the plan would work in real life, but it was a cute idea for a book.  2-10-23

7.  Ballad for Sophie (Melo & Cavia) ~ 4.25/5 (very good +), book, graphic novel

This was a very cohesive, full story that captured my attention.  It reminded me of an old movie.  2-11-23

8.  Oona Out of Order (Montimore) ~ 2.25/5 (not enjoyable +), audiobook, bookclub, magical realism

The concept could have been done so much better.  The entire book had a negative overtone and some stuff didn't make sense.  I wasn't drawn to any of the characters, especially Oona.  2-16-23

9.  A Quiet Retreat (Modglin) ~ 3.25/5 (just okay +), audiobook, thriller

This book had more to it than I expected for a short thriller.  It was an enjoyable, quick listen.  2-18-23

DNF  Sloppy Firsts (McCafferty), audiobook, YA

10.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Riggs & Jean) ~ 1/5 (don't bother), book, graphic novel

Ugh.  Not for me.  2-20-23

11.  Saving Noah (Berry) ~ 3/5 (just okay), book, domestic thriller

I'm not sure how I feel about this book.  So many emotions and thoughts that I can't quite sort through to end up with a rating.  There were several errors in the book - annoying.  Wasn't expecting this type of read ... at all!  The writing was simplistic, as well as, very sad and depressing.  I think I had a sour look on my face during the major it.  I'm going middle of the road, because I was interested in reading it, but I really don't think I would recommend it to anyone.  I like thrillers that shock or surprise me, even with unpleasant plots - not make me feel sad and icky.  2-24-23

12.  Hello, Transcriber (Morrissey) ~ 2.75/5 (eh +), audiobook, NetGalley, romantic suspense 

While the title held a lot of promise, it did not deliver.  I was mostly bored and didn't care about any of the characters.  It was definitely heavier on the romance than a police investigation.  2-24-23

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January Reads


1.  The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Schwab) ~ 3/5 (just okay), book/audiobook, bookclub, fantasy

I probably would have really like this had it been a short story or novella.  It was WAY too long.  The writing itself was a bit wordy, and it took forever for the story to pick up.  It never really delivered, because I predicted the main plot line, so nothing was surprising.  Everything else was just okay.  1-4-23

2.  Never Fall Down (McCormick) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, YA realistic fiction

This heart-wrenching story was told by a young boy who survives the torment of the Cambodian genocide.  It definitely gave a very clear picture of his horrific experience.  This was based on a true story.  1-8-23

3.  The Last Mrs. Parrish (Constantine) ~ 3.75/5 (good +), audiobook, domestic thriller

This was very similar to The Housemaid (McFadden), but didn't keep me as engaged.  1-22-23

4.  The Drift (Tudor) ~ 2/5 (not enjoyable), ebook, NetGalley, horror

I was incredibly excited to get to this arc.  Unfortunately, my first Tudor book was not a success.  I thought the writing was perfectly fine, but the whole plot was very bleak, and I simply didn't enjoy it.  It just wasn't for me.  Also, I never cared for the characters.  1-22-23

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Best Reads of 2022

This was a very good reading year for me.  There were, also, some positive changes within my Book World.  I started a Book Club, which will continue in 2023.  I finally purchased a BOTM subscription, and I'm loving that.  And, I've been selling books on PangoBooks, as well as, donating to my local library and Little Free Libraries.  While it has been a little difficult to actually say goodbye to some books, it has been necessary to house the new ones coming in.  More purging to come.

I had a whopping 20 books that I rated 4 (very good) or higher!  That definitely is a very good reading year for me!  I didn't give any 5s, but I think anything that rates a 4.5 and up is probably a 5.  Those real 5s are hard to come by.  So without further ado, in order of how I read them . . .

Here are my 2022 Best Reads:  

*memories of the book are .25 higher

 1.  No Exit (Adams) ~ Thriller

4.5/5 (excellent)

2.  Salt to the Sea (Sepetys) ~ YA Historical Fiction

4/5 (very good)

3.  Verity (Hoover) ~ Romantic Thriller

4/5 (very good)

4.  The Shadows We Hide (Eskens) ~ Mystery

4/5 (very good)

5.  The Midnight Library (Haig) ~ Science Fiction

4.25/5 (very good +)

6.  Playing Nice (Delaney) ~ Fiction

4/5 (very good)

*4.25 (very good +)

7.  Project Hail Mary (Weir) ~ Science Fiction

4.75/5 (excellent +)

8.  For Your Own Good (Downing) ~ Thriller

4/5 (very good)

9.  An Anonymous Girl (Hendricks & Pekkanen) ~ Thriller

4/5 (very good)

10.  Know My Name (Miller) ~ Memoir

4.75/5 (excellent +)

11. The House in the Cerulean Sea (Klune) ~ YA Fantasy

4.75/5 (excellent +)

12.  To Kill a Mockingbird (Fordham/Lee) ~ YA Graphic Classic Novel

4/5 (very good)

13.  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Reid) ~ Fiction

4.75/5 (excellent +)

14.  The Collective (Gaylin) ~ Thriller

4.25/5 (very good +)

15.  The Arrangement (Modglin) ~ Thriller

4/5 (very good)

*4.25/5 (very good +)

16.  The Swimmers (Otsuka) ~ Fiction

4/5 (very good)

17.  When Stars are Scattered (Mohamed & Jamieson) ~ Children's Graphic Memoir

4.5/5 (excellent)

18.  The Housemaid (McFadden) ~ Thriller

4/5 (very good)

*4.25/5 (very good +)

19.  It Ends With Us (Hoover) ~ Romance

4/5 (very good)

20.  The Measure (Erlick) ~ Science Fiction

4/5 (very good)

*4.25/5 (very good +)