Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (200)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 is off to a great start. I feel like I'm not ready for a new year yet. I haven't figured out my reading goals either. I know there are a lot of reading challenges out there and last year I didn't participate in anything except the Goodreads challenge. This year I was hoping to join something but I don't know what yet. Any suggestions?

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

I have decided to sign up for Fit Readers (formerly Book Blog Walkers) after being inspired by the participation of other book bloggers like Kristin and Teddyree. I live a very sedentary life and after a few years of maintaining my weight I gained more than I wanted to in 2014 through a combination of bad eating habits and lack of exercise. I worked really hard to lose the extra pounds I gained in college so I don't want to see them come back! 

Speaking of sedentary I think I spent most of yesterday sitting and reading. I finished one book and started two more. With bad weather on the way I may get more reading time this week. I've also been binge watching Season 4 of Downton Abbey since Season 5 is starting. 

Books reviewed:

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Books read:

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

I liked this sequel to Garden Spells. It was fun to revisit the characters and see how they've grown from the first book.

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig

Not quite as good of a mystery as I'd hoped but The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla was an enjoyable story because of Sally. I am tired of the ongoing modern story with Eloise and Colin. I skipped those parts and then went back to read them after reading the historical part.

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

I kind of loved this book. I read some reviews that said it was derivative of Outlander or that the book became a "bodice ripper" with historical information thrown in here or there but I didn't find that to be the case at least not for me. I liked the setting of Scotland during WWII and the tie in with the Loch Ness monster.

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Another fun Lady Georgiana mystery but I am kind of sad that I have to wait awhile for the next book. I liked the Hollywood setting but the resolution of the mystery kind of came out of nowhere. I prefer mysteries where the reader has a chance of guessing the killer but with this one I saw nothing that pointed to the killer.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with All Fall Down. It is a good book but it is very different from her other series--much darker without the humor that usually lightened the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society books.

Currently reading:

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

This book was recommended by The Eclectic Reader. After seeing her review I ordered it for the library and I've finally got it in my hands. So far I really like it. It is a retelling of Rapunzel along with the historical story of the fairy tale's author, Charlotte Rose de la Force. 

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

I am reading this one after reading Sheila's really positive review of it earlier this week. I saw that it was available from the library as an e-book so I checked it out. I love that it is set in a bookstore and involves children's literature and Margaret Wise Brown.

What I might read next:

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after she wakes. In this case Aurora has to figure out how to save her kingdom.

Love Lucy by April Lindner

Another retelling this time, a contemporary take on E.M. Forster's A Room With a View set in modern Italy. I haven't read the original though I have watched a film version.

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

I started reading this tearjerker but decided to put it aside to read other lighter things first. It is the story of a young woman in her 20s who has already battled breast cancer once and survived only to find out right before her 4th year of being cancer free that it is back and stage 4.  She decides that before she dies she wants to find a new wife for her husband because he'll be lost without her.

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

This book is being compared to Sarah Addison Allen's novels and I've read some positive reviews so I wanted to give it a try. 


  1. All the best with your fitness goals, we'll all be cheering you on. I am just in the middle of listening to The Rosie Effect and just finished reading First Frost and its delicious magical happenings. I too have been hooked by Sheree's review of Bitter Greens and it is sitting on my bookshelf ready for reading this year.
    Happy New Year.

  2. Happy New Year, and hope your 2015 is off to a good start. First Frost looks good, I keep seeing it around and am intrigued.

  3. Way to go with the fitness direction - I've just started back into hall walking here as it's waaay too cold and uneven ice/snow surfaces aren't safe.
    Lots of great reads - I read Goodnight June for it's release and liked it a lot too.
    Many challenges listed in my page tabs if you need some inspy possibilities :)

  4. I REALLY should sign up for fitreaders as well.... Sigh! Good luck!


  5. I loved Bitter Greens, it's a great re-telling. Happy reading! :D

  6. A Wicked Things sounds really interesting, I do love a fairy tale re-telling!

    Happy New Year :)

    Find out what I am reading.

  7. Yay so glad to see you've joined FitReaders, I'll definitely be cheering you on. And an extra yay for Bitter Greens, glad you're enjoying it so far. It was definitely a 2014 favourite, along with Goodnight June. Before I Go and The Dress Shop of Dreams are on my wishlist, I'll be waiting for your reviews Christina.

    I haven't posted the challenges I'm joining this year, hopefully this week, I'm terribly disorganised but I know I'm doing an Aussie author challenge, a historical fiction challenge and I think Kathryn @ Book Date's Full House challenge. And the Good Reads one, which I failed last year lol.

    Have a great week and happy reading :)

  8. I love the idea of Fit Readers. I think I'll check it out a little more. Thank you!

    Happy New Year!

    Here's my It's Monday!

  9. You have some lovely covers displayed here! I love the cover of "Wicked Thing", and the blurb. I might have to try that one myself.

    Take a look at what I'm reading this week.

  10. I hear you about getting more active in 2015. I did a really good job of being active in 2013 and early on in 2014, but the last half of 2014 has been pretty sedentary. I seem to always gain weight over the holidays! I will have to check out that challenge you are referring to. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on At the Water's Edge. That's on my TBR list. I currently am reading First Frost! Super cute so far. I also binged watched Season Four of Downton, which is contributing to my sedentary lifestyle. :) haha. I am so excited for season five!

  11. I am so excited to hear First Frost was good. I can't wait to read it! Love, Lucy looks good, and I am looking forward to your review of The Dress Shop of Dreams! Hope you had a wonderful New Year!

  12. Just checked out The Dress Shop of Dreams and it sounds awesome - I look forward to your review and hopefully reading it myself :D Also Love Lucy sounds like it will be a good one.

  13. So many books I want to comment on! I'm excited to hear that First Frost is good! Sarah Addison Allen lives in my town so my mom keeps telling me I have to take her to a book signing if there's one here. I'm tired of Eloise and Colin too. They just keep dragging on and on! Although I am a few books back, having just finished The Garden Intrigue this summer. Bitter Greens sounds really good! I enjoyed The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag, so I'll have to watch out for The Dress Shop of Dreams. Enjoy your week!

  14. I joined FitReader this year too as a tool to help me be accountable in getting back to consistent exercise. I just saw Sara Gruen's newest and really look forward to reading it.

  15. I haven't read that one by Lauren Willig, but I completely agree with you on the modern day parts! Ugh!!


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