MY JOURNEY: BOOK MUSINGS…

It’s Monday, and time to muse about bookish things with Ambrosia, at The Purple Booker.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: Do you post book reviews right after you finish the book? Or do you wait a while so you can fully digest it before posting a review?

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Today I’ll take on the random question.  My practice is to post my reviews immediately after finishing the book…although recently I’ve been waiting until the next morning, especially if I finish late at night.

I started to realize that sometimes it is good to let my thoughts gel a bit, so waiting a bit happens more and more.

I take notes, so they help me, whether I review the book immediately…or later.

I never wait long, though.  I don’t like to start a new book until I’ve reviewed the one I just read.

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What do you do?  What are you reading and musing about?

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ENTER MY INTERIOR WORLD: MUSINGS

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Good morning!  It’s Monday, and time to join Jenn at A Daily Rhythm to muse on a variety of topics.

She has provided a number of potential topics below:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Why do you read?

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First, I’m going to chat about a book I’m eager to possess:  What She Knew, by Gilly MacMillan.  It will be released on December 1, so not very long to wait.

 

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In her enthralling debut, Gilly Macmillan explores a mother’s search for her missing son, weaving a taut psychological thriller as gripping and skillful as The Girl on the Train and The Guilty One.

In a heartbeat, everything changes…

Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes.

Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel’s newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public’s attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion.

As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent’s nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most.

Where is Ben? The clock is ticking…

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Doesn’t this tempt you?  Grab you in a thrilling way?  Or perhaps you are not as fascinated with thrillers as I am…but adding this one to my stack will be a no-brainer.

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Why do I read?  Wow, where to begin.

Well, at the beginning.  I grew up on a farm miles from anything interesting happening in the world.  There were lots of chores, there was no TV until much later…and my mother took me to the library every week.  There I found fascinating worlds outside my own, and I soon immersed myself in them.

I have not stopped engaging with characters, settings, and worlds outside my own in lo these many years.  I think I’m hooked!

For those who have visited this blog, or one of my others, you know that my obsession with books has extended to the acquisition of them.  Too many, some might say.  I have done some purging, but I always want to feel the bookish world encircling me every day.

What about you?  Why do you read?  What are you reading, and what do you want to read next?

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INTERIOR THOUGHTS: UPCOMING BOOK RELEASES & MY REVIEW PROCESS

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Musing Mondays, hosted by Should Be Reading, asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

 

I literally cannot wait to get the newest book from Halle Ephron:  Night Night, Sleep Tight.  I loved another book by this author, (There Was an Old Woman), and then again, the name Ephron is a draw, all on its own.

It is not coming until March…sigh, but knowing how time seems to fly, that is not so bad.

 

 

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From the award-winning author of There Was an Old Woman comes a riveting tale of domestic noir, infused with old Hollywood folklore and glamour, set in a town rife with egotism and backstabbing and where fame and infamy are often interchangeable.

Los Angeles 1986: When Deirdre Unger arrived in Beverly Hills to help her bitter, disappointed father sell his dilapidated house, she discovers his lifeless body floating face down in the swimming pool. At first, Deirdre assumes her father’s death was a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that it is merely the third act in a story that has long been in the making.

The sudden re-surfacing of Deirdre’s childhood best friend Joelen Nichol—daughter of the legendary star Elenor “Bunny” Nichol—seems like more than a coincidence. Back in 1958, Joelen confessed to killing her movie star mother’s boyfriend. Deirdre happened to be at the Nichols house the night of the murder—which was also the night she suffered a personal tragedy of her own. Could all of these events be connected?

Her search to find answers forces Deirdre to confront a truth she has long refused to believe: beneath the slick veneer of Beverly Hills lie secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

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The cover grabbed my attention first, after the author’s name, and then the words “domestic noir” and “old Hollywood folklore and glamour,” suspense and long buried secrets.

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I am hoping that I will find this title on Vine at some point.  I do love getting those ARCs to review…but then again, this is one I would love to have on my shelves.  Like this shelf:

 

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Now that I am purging my shelves regularly, (click the link to find out more), there is room available…LOL.

I am also drawn to the topic of reviewing.  Someone commented recently about the process of reviewing, and asked others what that is like for them.

I have been reviewing regularly for Amazon and Goodreads since 2008, and then I started reviewing on my various blogs.  With 1163 reviews posted on Amazon, I have definitely had to fine tune my reviews.  And as I read some of my earlier ones, I am embarrassed.  Not that good, is all I ‘m saying.  LOL

Now what works for me is writing the review immediately after finishing a book.  I sometimes even have a Word doc in progress as I read, jotting down my thoughts, and then pulling it together afterwards.

I have varied my reviews from mostly story points, without spoilers, to brief story points, a character analysis, and what I enjoyed.

Depending on the book, some of these thoughts will be meatier than others.

I post my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and one of my blogs…and they are linked on Facebook, too.  And Twitter.

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What are you musing about today?  Upcoming reads?  Recent reads?  Thoughts on reading/reviewing?

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FROM THE INTERIOR: READING HABITS

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Welcome to the Interior!  Today I am musing, along with Should Be Reading…and some of the possible topics are:

 

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

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First, I’m refilling my cup of coffee.  I am having it in the mug shown in my logo above.  One of my cheeriest mugs….

I’ll start off by talking about one of my newest reading habits.  Typically, I track all books purchased, review books received, and books read…all with links to my reviews, and this documentation is on my Curl up and Read blog.

This has been working for me…but after abandoning my Mt. TBR Challenge (in which I was supposed to read books purchased before 2014), I counted up the books I purchased this year…also documented on Curl up and Read.

And what did I find?

At that time, there were sixty-seven unread books on Sparky that were purchased this year!  Yikes!

So I decided to add a list in a notebook, too; just so I could have something handy to peruse when choosing my reading for each week.  Since adding the notebook list, I have crossed three books off as read and reviewed.

And added a few, too, but no worries.  Now I feel as though I have a teensy-tiny measure of control.  LOL

Here is a visual image of my print book stacks (below).  It is not as bad as it looks…only fourteen of them were purchased by me this year. (The right two rows in front).  The others are contest wins, and not just this year.  I am bad about reading those!  The review books and books I bought seem to come first.

 

 

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Another part of my new reading habit is purging books I’ve read and will never read again…(That could include most of them, but I’m not there yet!).

I was ruthless…yet the hardest ones to purge were the ARCS, which technically, we can’t give away…so the recommended practice is tossing them.  But what if someone dumpster dives?  And then it is almost like I gave them away….see, I’m going to the worst case scenario here.

I have problems with that rule…why not give them to other readers?  But I guess I will try to forget about that niggling feeling in my head…and purge!

Meanwhile, I have a box for the library collection drive in my garage for other books. 

My garage is fairly cleared out, since the purge.  I also purged paperwork from my bins so I could add collectibles from the house into them…and try not to be a hoarder.

The trouble with all of these practices, from the list on my blog to the notebook list:  I then feel free to add more books!  LOL

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After the purge, my office looked much better!  I am just now noticing the little basket on the wall crammed with cards received over the years…could that use a clear out too?  LOL

 

 

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What are your tried-and-true or new habits?  What works for you?

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FROM THE INTERIOR: MUSINGS & RAMBLINGS

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I have missed the last few Musing Mondays, but today I just felt in the mood to muse a little.  Check Should Be Reading to see what others are chatting about.

Here are some possible topics:

 

Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

***

So, today I’m going to ramble a bit, sharing odds and ends that strike my fancy. 

As I posted my review today of Save the Date, I realized that I have written reviews for all the Vine and Author Review Books on my stacks through July.  And there are only four on my August stacks.  Although I think another two or three books are in the mail, headed my way.

 

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It is sometimes a challenge to keep ahead of those review books, and still find time to read the books I bought, some as far back as 2011 (although there are only a few of those left!).

Another delightful piece of news (for me); on Thursday, I moaned and groaned about the new posting system at WP (My Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts).

And then, quite by accident, as I prepared to write a new post, I noticed a little place to click if I wanted the Classic Posting System.  Yay for classic!

So all is not lost.  Just as on Amazon, where there is a new system that I don’t like, with no place in it for inserting book links; however, again, magic click takes us to the Classic Mode.

Speaking of Amazon:  here are my recent stats showing that I just posted my 1100th Review!

 

 

Your reviewing stats
Reviews written: 1,100

Reviewer rank: 423
Helpful votes: 3,257 of 3,834

INTERIOR MUSINGS: WHAT I’M READING NOW

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Welcome to another week of musings, hosted by Should Be Reading.  My musing today is from this topic:

Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

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I am currently reading Starter House, by Sonja Condit, an ARC from Amazon Vine.

 

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I selected it because of this portion of the blurb:

From the moment Lacey sees the house with the beautiful wood staircase, she knows she’s found her dream home. Growing up rootless with her flighty mother, Ella Dane, a self-proclaimed psychic, Lacey is determined to give her unborn baby the stability she never had.

I love stories about houses.  Love visualizing them, decorating them or watching the characters do that…and yet, there was the next part of the blurb that gave me pause:

But shortly after she and her husband, Eric, move in, the warm and welcoming house becomes cold and dark. There is something malevolent within these walls that wants to hurt her unborn child—a terrifying presence that only she can sense. And there is Drew, a demanding and temperamental little boy who mysteriously appears when Lacey is alone.

To protect her unborn child and save her family, Lacy must discover the truth about her dream house and the troubled Drew—a decades-old mystery involving secrets, violence, and guilt—and confront an evil that has lingered in wait for years.

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What I’m not enjoying is how the character, Lacey, seems powerless to do anything but “go along” with the “demanding and temperamental boy.”  And I don’t like her husband, Eric, who is not supportive at all.  He dismisses everything she tells him, so she keeps secrets.

But….the story is suspenseful, and after reading it for awhile last night (I’m almost finished), I dreamed about it.  In my dreams, the story had a variety of endings…I wonder which one will actually happen?

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Do you ever do that?  Pick a book you are not sure about, but you’re drawn to it anyway?  And you keep reading, even when you don’t like the characters?

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What are you musing about today?

BOOKISH JOURNEY: MUSINGS

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Welcome to another bookish journey:  Click on over to Should Be Reading to discover other participants.  Here are our prompts today.

 

Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

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It is no secret that I enjoy Lisa Scottoline’s books, from the series to the suspense, and also the memoirs.  On 4/14/14, (love the numbers in that date!), her newest book, Keep Quiet, is coming. (Title and Book Cover link to Amazon)

 

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Blurb:   Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his sixteen-year-old son, Kurt, when disaster strikes.  They get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail not only Kurt’s chances at college, but his entire future.  Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy.  Just when Jake thinks he has everything under control, a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose Jake’s secret and taunts him to the breaking point.  Keep Quiet is the powerful and gut-wrenching tale of the unraveling—and the ultimate redemption—of a family.

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What are you reading, ranting, or excited about today?  I’m curled up reading a book that I’m also enjoying:  Two Sisters, by Mary Hogan.

 

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An intriguing tale of a dysfunctional family, two sisters at odds with one another, and the secret that brings them together.

The tale veers between the present and the past, showing us about the parents, the family growing up, and what tore them all apart.  Sometimes it skips back and forth so quickly, that I go:  huh?  Where are we, and who are these people?  But overall, I’m enjoying it.

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