What I Read…

Happy Happy Happy Book Day!

I’m going to throw in a shameless plug for my new book/travel instagram 🙂 If you’d like to follow along, I will be posting at To Read & To Roam (linked here!).

FINALLY linking up with the fabulous Jana & Steph today for Show Us Your Books!

I skipped the last few months because I’ve been a lazy reader & a lazy blogger.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
★★★/5; Mystery
I was bored with the beginning of this book and was feeling a solid two stars… then it got better and by the end I was at four stars. So we landed at three. It’s a slow start; I guess most series starters are… but I was so close to quitting. I’ve been meaning to start this series for a while & I was determined to get through the first book. By the end I was glad I did!
Georgie is an adult woman with no clear path. Her family can’t afford to support her as a spinster but she’s horrified at the idea of marrying a distant royal relative, just to appease the Queen. She she takes it upon herself to move to London and winds up in the middle of a murder case. It was quite dull at first, but I guess Bowen was laying the groundwork. By the end I liked Georgie- but I don’t think this series is for me.
Read it? Maybe? But probably not.

A Danger Engagement by Ashley Weaver
★★★★/5; Mystery
Apparently I’m on a mystery kick right now.
I’m a big fan of Weaver’s Amory. I love her improving relationship with Milo, I love her spunk and determination and courage, & I love the flow of these mysteries. This is the sixth in the series and I’ve read them all, so obviously I’m a fan. This one was set in NYC in the 1930s with a sprinkle of mobsters and prohibition. I always judge mysteries on whether or not I solve it before the m/c (which I did, but just barely) and if the author gave me enough info to have done so without giving it all away. I don’t need to solve it, but I need to the clues to have been presented. Does that makes sense? I feel like that’s the true sign of a star mystery writer.
Read it? Yes, but start at the beginning of the series.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
★★★★★/5; Fantasy
I was afraid I wouldn’t like this one. The first in the series was awesome & I thought this one would lack. I wasn’t sucked in from the start, which made me worry even more. But before I hit page 50 I was hooked. I think many readers had beef with the changing personalities of Rhen & Harper, but this story focused on Grey & Lia Mara… so it seems natural and right that those two characters would view R&H differently than R&H view themselves… ya know? Also. I still love Grey. And Lia Mara, too. (She is the daughter of the enemy queen, fyi.)
I know a fantasy story (or any story) is good when I think about it outside of reading. And I imagine it like a tv show or movie that I can’t wait to get back to- then I have to remind myself that it’s a book, not a visual medium.
Once again, the ending has me going, “Ehhh….” but I felt that way after book #1 so I’m going to give the author and series the benefit of the doubt when moving on to book #3 (in freaking Jan. 2021 WHYYY).
Read it? Start at the beginning of the series.

M’s Favorite Reads

Truthfully, M is more into eating books than reading books… but we’ve gotten through a few without her nomming on the pages…

Bloom by Deborah Diesen, Mary Lundquist (illustrator)
M’s sweet and kind aunt sent her this beautiful book about plants & growing! (This is the same author who pens The Pout-Pout Fish books.)

Take Heart, My Child by Ainsley Earhardt, Kathryn Cristaldi, Jaime Kim (illustrator)
This book is a soft rhyming lullaby that is easy to read to M when we’re winding down. We have the board book and normal book, I think.
*Want to hear something fun? Ainsley & Katheryn were both on the name shortlist before we picked one for M.


Another challenge from Erin has begun. Here are my picks:

| 5 p | Freebie: Coldhearted Boss (Grey)
| 10 p | Starts with “S”: Salt to the Sea (Sepetys)
| 10 p | A preposition in the title: The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London (Halson)
| 15 p | An odd number in a series: The Bromance Book Club (Adams #1)
| 20 p | Set in a different country than yours: Bringing Down the Duke (Dunmore)
| 20 p | Female officer/detective: Murder at the Vicarage (Christie)
| 25 p | An immigrant as a m/c: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ford)
| 30 p | Words in the title… “anything”: Anything You Can Do (Grey)
| 30 p | October themed: HP & the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) – witches
| 35 p | Words in the title… “city” & “county”: The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living (Miller)

And there we have it. A new book update 😉 What have you been reading?

What I Read…

Hello. I thought I’d have three books for you today. I have one. #BetterThanNothing

I wish it was a higher rating… Also, some M picks are below!

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Frogkisser by Garth Nix
★★/5; Teenage Fantasy
Ughhh… I wanted to love this story & I did not. It read like a middle grade marriage of The Phantom Tollbooth & The Hobbit. I love both of those stories but this one didn’t work for me. I loved the royal dogs & I loved Anya’s determination to not be a princess who needed saved… but it was such a young book. I wouldn’t call it a teen read. It was just long and silly in a weird way and… I don’t know. I loved the concept and hated the execution. Which is a shame because it really sounded like my kind of book.
Read it? No. Although I know some (Alexandra, Bev) really liked it.

And from M’s vast library… here are some favs this month:

If I Were A Lizard by Kidsbooks
This one is silly but cute & it has a bunch of lizards if that’s your kid’s thing. M just like color.

And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon by Janet Stevens, Susan Stevens Crummel
Not 100% on the illustrations but we liked all the nursery rhyme references.

The Brave Little Owl by Gill Davies
This was mommy’s favorite of the month ❤

God Is With Us by Amy Parker, Ramona Kaulitzki (Illustrator)
This is an ok one for Christmas… We were not aware it was the story of Jesus’ birth until we started and M doesn’t like to quit books.

Maybe next month’s mom book quantity will match M’s… lol.

What’d you read this month?

Life According to Steph

What I Read…

Happy Tuesday! This is my first Show Us Your Books link-up of the year. It’s hard for me to prioritize reading right now but I’m trying! I’m including my picks for Erin’s 12.0 Book Challenge, too. It started at the beginning of the year. I will most definitely not be getting to all the books I selected, lol. Linking up with Steph & Jana!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
★★★★/5; Mystery
I can’t decide if this is a 3 or 4 star book. I’m settling on 3.5 and rounding up. There were moments that I really loved. But then there were parts I kind of hated- mainly the very end. Sigh. The concept is amazing. Even the mystery was cool to follow. I got lost a few times but I always found my way back. I also solved two of the twists before their reveal, but there were countless twists so it didn’t spoil the story at all. My biggest beef is with the story outside of Blackheath. It seems unfinished and convenient and strange. That said, the author worked HARD to weave this story together and that deserves serious kudos. It’s a cleverly written book and a beautifully woven plot. I’m looking forward to his next book.
Read it? Yes, if you like a good twisty mystery. Keep in mind there’s a mystical element.

Baby/Kid Books:

M and I read together & she asked me to share our favorites each month. Only the favorites so you don’t waste your time 😉

Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You by Charlies M. Schulz, Elizabeth Dennis Barton, Scott Jeralds (illustrator)

A is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, Derek Desierto (illustrator)
The amazing Steph bought this for M when I was pregnant! I love reading her this book. That said, I change the words “girl boss” to boss and “sheroes” to heroes. Also, we add “badass” to RBG’s description 😉

You’re My Little Sweet Pea by Kit Chase
This is such a cute read.

The Story of Rock by Nicola Edwards, Lindsey Sagar (illustrator)
This book cracks me up & I love that it’s a quick introduction to rock music. There’s a country, pop, and rap music one, too. We still need those 🙂

You can find M’s list of read books on Goodreads HERE.


And here are my selections for the Book Challenge by Erin 12.0

| 5 points | Freebie: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
| 10 points | Starts with “I”: Impossible Dream by Gemma Jackson
| 10 points | Written by two+ authors: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
| 15 points | A  picture of a tree on the cover: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
| 20 points | One of the following words in the title: who, what, when, where, why: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
| 20 points | A book set in Africa: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
| 25 points | One of the words in the title: mother(s), sister(s), wife/wives, grandmother (or variation of), daughter(s), niece(s), aunt(s): Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
| 30 points| A book that has won an Edgar award: Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds)
| 30 points | A “locked room mystery”: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton)
| 35 points | A book from the 2018 Show Us Your Books favs: Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng) – Kristen‘s list


I love the prompts for Erin’s challenge this round. Are you participating?

What have you read so far this year?

Things I’m Loving

Happy Tuesday!

I thought it’d be fun to blog about something not baby related, lol. I do have some parent/baby things on here, but whatever.

life_as_louise_favorites

Starbucks Almondmilk Honey Flat White w/ Blonde Espresso
Oh my gosh… this drink is so good! It’s warm and creamy but not super sweet. So yummy & it’s dairy free and fairly low calories (if you care, ha).

The Ollie Swaddle
We used a few other swaddles before switching M to this one. It’s not cheap, but the first night she wore it she slept 5+ hours so…. I’ll take it. Sometimes she busts her arm out, but it usually holds all night. Also, once she can roll we can swaddle under the arms and keep using it. WIN.

The West Wing
Have you guys heard of this show? (I’m kidding… it aired 1999-2006.) All seven seasons are on Netflix. K and I are bingeing them for a second time right now. I will warn you… it will potentially make you more sad/angry/disgusted with our current administration. Ugh.

Taking Cara Babies
When I was asking for parenting/sleep advice Erin introduced me to Cara at Taking Cara Babies. After following her IG for a few weeks I decided to take her “Will I Ever Sleep Again” 0-12 week newborn sleep class. M is not a fussy baby, so I didn’t really need the calming lessons, but the schedule and tips and education has been invaluable!  Right now M eats at 8:30/9pm and then sleeps until 3am. She eats again and sleeps until 7am. One wake up at the age of 7 weeks? I’ll take it.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
I haven’t done much reading, but I’m currently working on this book. I am LOVING it so far. I will share my final thoughts on the next SUYB link up!

SNOW!
We are finally getting some snow and I am SO happy about it!

What are you loving lately?

What I Read… 2019 Recap

Another end of the year book recap. I love writing this post- probably because I like wrapping up the year and I like books, lol. I missed the monthly December post (#becausebaby), but I’m linking up with Jana and Steph for their Show Us Your Books yearly recap.

I really dragged on books this year. I set a goal of 40 and only ended up reading 28. Between work, being pregnant (& exhausted), and life… I just didn’t make a lot of time for reading. I’m sad about that, but that was 2019 in a nut shell. Oh well.

The past few years I’ve shared this survey from Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

**2019 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 28
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Romance

 

best-YA-books-2014

Best Book You Read In 2019? Jurassic Park by Michael Cricton

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Really disliked this one.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. (I really enjoyed it- more than I thought I would!)

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I strongly suggested the Saga series (I don’t know if people read it or not, though).

Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019? I started the Cursebreakers series (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) by Brigid Kemmerer & loved it. I also read both Jurassic Park books and enjoyed them.

 Favorite new author you discovered in 2019? Michael Crichton

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Whisper Man by Alex North (thriller).

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

Most memorable character of 2019? Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park/The Lost World).

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019? Columbine by Dave Cullen

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019? 484 pages (A Curse So…) and 128 pages (Lumberjanes)

OTP OF THE YEAR: Either Alexia & Lord Maccon (Soulless) OR Rhen & Harper (A Curse So…).

Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously? Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey

Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/ Etc.? The Whisper Man (book club pic from Influenced the Podcast)

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019? Grey (A Curse So…) or Ian (Jurassic Park/TLW).

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Either Nevermoor or A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Gone Rogue: Wires & Nerve #2. It was so fun revisiting the Lunar Chronicles.

Hidden Gem Of The Year? Definitely the Jurassic Park novels; I loved them.

Book That Crushed Your Soul? The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2019? Definitely the Saga series.

Book That Made You The Most Mad? Either A Man Called Ove or The Idea of You by Robinne Lee.

Here are my stats for 2019:



And that sums up my 2019 as far as reading goes… Definitely not my bet year, but we had a pretty crazy, stressful, overwhelming 365 days so I will take those 28 books, thankyouverymuch.

What did you read this year?

Life According to Steph