Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Post (63) / It's Monday, What Are You Reading

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

Well I'm back from my family trip to Williamsburg. I had a great time and I didn't really want to come back! It is a beautiful area and I enjoyed learning more about American history. I'd wanted to visit Colonial Williamsburg since I was a kid so I'm glad I finally got to go. I loved visiting the historic trade shops and learning more about how people lived. I had wanted to see the Printer, the Bindery, the Milliner and R. Charlton's Coffeehouse (because as part of the tour you get to sample historic hot chocolate which was so yummy). We also went to the Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, Virginia Beach and Monticello. 

The highlight of my trip was seeing Monticello. It was fascinating to see where Thomas Jefferson lived and learn more about his life. What made the visit even more special was that I was reading America's First Daughter, a novel about Jefferson's oldest daughter, during the time of my visit. It was neat to see places described in the book in person. I only wish we could have toured the whole house. Maybe next time! The other highlight was seeing Liberty the Briard at Colonial Williamsburg. Liberty is often featured on Colonial Williamsburg's Instagram feed and I was excited that I got to meet her. She is such a cute dog!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

(At Colonial Williamsburg)
Liberty the Briard, the Governor's Mansion and a seamstress at the Milliner's shop

My parents and I at Monticello

My parents have fun at Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown :)

Last two weeks on my blog:

The Reader by Traci Chee (review)

Books read:

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

I thought this was a pretty good sequel to A Kiss of Deception though I did sometimes get frustrated with the characters. I can't wait to see how the story ends.

Rebound by Noelle August 

This is the second book in the Boomerang trilogy.  I didn't always like the romance but it was an entertaining and quick read.

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

I was so glad I got to read this around the time that I visited Monticello. It really enriched the experience. I think Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph was a really interesting person and reading this novel made me want to learn more about her and Thomas Jefferson.

I liked Eden and how she persevered in spite of all the obstacles in her way. I also liked that the book featured an interracial romance. Unfortunately I did have a few issues with the book that kept me from liking it as much as I would have otherwise.

The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson

I thought The Smoke Hunter was a fun adventure/romance. It was like a combination of Indiana Jones and The Mummy. I couldn't help but picture the hero as a younger Harrison Ford, especially once he started calling the heroine "Princess" to annoy her (which reminded me so much of Han Solo in Star Wars).

Books listened to:

Alienated by Melissa Landers (reread)

Invaded by Melissa Landers (reread)

Currently reading:

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

My evening book group selected this for our September book. It is a novel written in diary format and based on the author's family history. I am really enjoying it so far (I'm halfway through) but I need to finish it by Tuesday.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I am reading this on my Kindle and it is so good that I have to make myself put it down so I can read my book discussion book. I think it is definitely a timely topic and a book that will provoke strong reactions in readers.

On My TBR Pile:

United by Melissa Landers

Now that I've finished rereading the first two books in the series, I have to find out what happens in the end. I will be sad to say goodbye to the characters though.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I may be going to see the movie with my sister next month. I haven't decided yet if I want to read the book first or be surprised by the movie. With suspense stories, I think it might be worth it to watch the movie first.

New Books Received:

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (for review)

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins (for review)

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (for review)

A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev (for review)

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden (for review)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (library book)

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner (library book)


  1. Awesome haul. Your trip to see family sounds like it was wonderful. We use to live in VA, and I loved visiting all the historical sites and homes :)

  2. Williamsburg sounds wonderful! I love trips that take me to places in the past (history).

    I'll be reading Small Great Things in the next couple of weeks...and I plan to see The Girl on the Train at the movies. Loved the book.


  3. I love to read about the places I visit. Glad your chosen book was so good.

    I read it a long (a VERY long) time ago, but I loved These. Hope you and your group do, too.

  4. Your trip looks great! I'd love to go there sometime, looks like a wonderful place to spend some time and immerse in history. :) And Monticello looks very nice.

    Glad to hear The Smoke Hunter was good. I may read that one. And even though I didn't love Girl on the Train I am very keen to see the movie!

  5. I'm so glad you had a great vacation. I love your pictures. I have never been there, but have always wanted to visit, especially Monticello. I'm glad reading America's Daughter enhanced your trip- I really enjoyed that one! I liked The Girl on the Train a lot...not as good as Gone Girl, but very entertaining. I look forward to the movie! Have a great Sunday!

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip and the pictures look great.

    I'm due to read the Jodi Picoult this week as well.

  7. Big selection of books! enjoy them all.
    I read both Monticello and America's First Daughter so I did enjoy seeing the photos.

  8. Oh that trip to Williamsburg sounds fantastic and I'd enjoy reading America's First Daughter. The new Sonali Dev escaped my notice on NG, so will need to buy it to read at some point.

  9. So The Mummy and the Indiana Jones movies are among my all-time favourite movies, so that sounds like a pretty awesome book! :D

  10. These is My Words looks interesting. I hope you'll review it :-)

  11. I love getting to see the places I've read about in books! I've never been to Colonial Williamsburg but I'd love to go -- and it looks like you had an awesome time!

    I hope you like "The Girl on the Train" if you read it pre-movie! I really enjoyed it and I'm super excited to see the movie! I think my husband will like it too.

  12. I am so glad you had fun on your trip! I have always wanted to go there too. I thought of you on your trip actually the other day - in my Anthro class we were talking about how the United States went from Jamestown to Williamsburg in the space of a mere 100 years, and how it was owed all to tobacco and its impact on the American economy.

    These is my Words and The Smoke Hunters both look interesting!!

  13. I've seen These is my words around and I still think it will be a good read. I haven't read it myself though. I will suggest you read the book on Girl on the train first. Before the movie. Looks like you had a fun time with your family! Nice pics. Happy week and here's my It's Monday:

  14. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in Williamsburg! I love when the connection between fiction and traveling to actual locations happen. So fun! I didn't enjoy The Girl on the Train but I hope you like it better than I did if you do decide to read it.

  15. I'm glad you had a great vacation. Williamsburg is such a neat area and I need to visit Monticello since I'm currently living fairly close by. I'm not sure what to say about The Girl on the Train. It is a great book. I personally need to read books first, but I can understand wanting to go into the movie blind, too. I cannot wait to see the movie (despite knowing what happens. lol). Happy reading!

  16. I'm not terribly far away from Williamsburg--about a 6-7 hour drive--but somehow I've only been twice, and the first time was for an 8th grade field trip! We went back a few years ago but we only had a couple of days and we were really there for Busch Gardens. We did have a little time to explore Yorktown and now we want to go back and see more! I'm glad you had a good time! Enjoy your week!

  17. Colonial Williamsburg is on my bucket list! Glad it was a great trip. Looking forward to The Girl on the Train at the movies.

  18. What a great book haul this week - I hope you enjoy them all. i am the new Jodi Picoult book to read too.
    Have a great week!
    Amanda @ Mrs B's Book Reviews

  19. It's great that you were able to visit a place you've always wanted to, and with your parents - it looks like you had a great trip!

    Jodi Picoult always seems to write timely and thought provoking novels, I'm looking forward to seeing what her new book holds and am glad you're enjoying it.

    I'm always a read the book before the movie advocate, but as you say, with the genre that The Girl On The Train is, it may be better to see the film first.

    I hope you have a great week - happy reading!


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