Tuesday, May 12, 2020

I'm Officially Out of the Reading Slump

Oh, another month has already passed. What is time anymore? The good thing about April, is that I finally got back into a reading groove and read 12 books! I'm actually pretty shocked by that, but I am pretty far behind on my Goodreads goal for the year so I'm trying to make up time!

Also, I was partially furloughed which means I will have to take off two weeks every month until at least the end of July. While this truly sucks, it did give me a lot of time to read so that is a silver lining. I read 4 books last week!

Like last month, I decided to split this us into Definitely Read, Passed the Time, and Would Skip categories since it's a pretty big chunk of books!

Linking up with Jana and Steph (and all links lead you to Goodreads!)

Definitely Read 

The Idea of You

I have seen this book recommended all over the internet and on one of my favorite podcasts, Bad on Paper with Grace at The Stripe. I don't know why I put off reading it for so long but I regret that choice - what a steamy and fun romance novel. I say romance novel but it's got more of a plot that JUST the romance piece but it *is* steamy so get ready. 

Beach Read

Now, this is billed as a contemporary romance but there was a lot more than that in my opinion. It deals with grief and finding your footing after big, devastating life events while still having the light and fluffy moments you expect from romance. I also love that this book gets a little "meta" talking about "women's fiction" and I really enjoyed that.

In Five Years

Recently, I've been let down by hyped books but thankfully, this one did not let me down! We read this for a virtual book club and we all really enjoyed it and quite a few of us cried. I thought it was a romance type book - it is not! It is a love story, though, that got me right in my heart. Cannot recommend this book enough!

The Bromance Book Club

It's not that surprising to me that a lot of the books I've enjoyed during this pandemic have been fluffier reads - it's what we all need right now. But, this was another really fun, fluffy read! I loved reading about all these feminist men helping their friends become better husbands, boyfriends, lovers and people. I also loved that this story was about putting a marriage back together versus the standard romance book that just shows the couple struggling to get together and then the book ends with them together. This couple was fighting for their marriage and it warmed my heart!

Before We Were Yours

Here's where we take a slight detour away from the light and fluffy. This is NOT fluffy but it's so good. We chose this book for a book club I was in early last year and I never got around to reading it. It's been sitting on my shelf since then and I was finally convinced to read it because my best friend was reading it and loving it. It deals with heavy topics but I loved how hopeful it was!

Undercover Bromance 

Right after finishing the first one, I put this on the library hold list but the waitlist was 16 weeks and I really wanted to read it so I bought it for my own little birthday present and I'm glad I did. This story is more traditional than the first in that it is a brand new couple getting together, but there's a really great twist in this enemies to lovers tale where they unite to take down a powerful man together. Again, lots of great feminist men in this one (I mean, it's the same men so of course, but you get to know them more!)

A Good Marriage 

This one was less psychological thriller and more twisty mystery but I still really enjoyed it! It's told from two different perspectives and timelines which I always love. There are a lot of characters and multiple intertwined stories so it made for a quick read!

Passed the Time 

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

I won't lie, it took awhile for me to get through this one. I started the audiobook in January when I had a lot of driving for work but then stopped listening to it for awhile. Once I was WFH full time, I added it back into the rotation. Because of that, I think I struggled to get into it when I came back to it. If I had listened to it all at once, I may have moved this into the above category!

My Sister the Serial Killer

I listened to this one as well and it was fine. It was short so I liked getting to listen to the full story in just a couple listens. I think it would have been easier to read because it was a lot of small chapters that jumped back and forth between timelines and locations.

Darling Rose Gold

This one had been sitting on my Netgalley shelf for awhile and I finally got to it in April. I kept waiting for it to pick up a bit more but I found it pretty slow and I really disliked all the characters. Dislikable characters doesn't always stop me from enjoying a book but that coupled with it being slow, I didn't love  it like I had hoped.

The Witches are Coming

Another book club book I never got around to finishing in time. I think we're learning that I'm not good at reading things I'm told to read on time LOL. I did finally finishing listening to this one during this WFH period, too. I agree with the author on a lot of the points she was making in this book, but it came off very "rant-y" and I was hoping for something backed up with more research.

The Guest List 

This was my Book of the Month (ref link) book for April and one of the first times I've read a book ALMOST in the month I got it - just a few days late! This was a great whodunnit mystery with no goriness. I saw a few of the smaller twists coming but not the biggest one so I chalk that up to a win because I almost always figure it out!

Would Skip 

Matchmaking for Beginners 

I've seen this book recommended so many times and I was let down by a hyped book again. I didn't know there would be all the magical realism AND I didn't really enjoy the main character at all. I think the idea was to have a quirky character but she wasn't really quirky and she was kind of a jerk. I also don't agree with the idea that you can only BE someone in NYC.

The Starter Wife

I really wanted to like this book and was so excited to start it. But, it just did not work for me. It was all over the place - things were talked about that were never wrapped up and it's just another crazy woman is crazy book and I'm so *over* those. If you want to see my full, pretty salty review, you can here.

The Couple Next Door

I'm sad again that I didn't like this because it's been shared with me a lot but I found the dialogue very bland and basic and the plot very predictable. I figure it out very early in the book and kept reading hoping that I was wrong. I was not.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

My Self Isolation Routine

We've all been in our houses for weeks now (unless you're an essential worker and in that case, THANK YOU SO MUCH for keeping us all moving and taking care of patients) and I know we've all read plenty of posts about different routines. I love these types of posts so I decided to write one myself!

A few things about my routine:

1) It's not rigid. If other things come up, or I need to sleep in one day because of *all this*, I do.
2) Things I prioritize: barre, reading, Scandal reruns (LOL)
3) I'm still working remotely full time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Recent Reading Updates

It's been a MINUTE since I was here sharing book updates and I'm excited to share some new books. But first, a little about my recent reading...

I have been in a reading rut for almost 6 months... I shared about my health challenges on Instagram back in January and have written a super long blog post about it that I will share soon. But, long story short, I was diagnosed with adenomyosis and PCOS in November/December and I really spiraled into a big life rut. I was only going to work and to teach barre and basically nothing else. Typically, I read to get through stressful times but this was next level stress and I just couldn't focus. Since social distancing began, my reading motivation has come and gone but I've read a few books.

I don't want to just recap all the books I've read since last August. So instead, I'm going to share some of my most favorites, some that were pleasant enough and some you should skip - because I love being told what to skip, personally.