Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: June 2024

Disclaimer: I received copies of Margo's Got Money Troubles, The Midnight Feast, Sandwich, Husbands and Lovers, and Bear from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest reviews.

June just flew by, didn't it? And of course, I read plenty of books this month. My NetGalley prereleases were getting cumbersome, so almost the entire month working through the list, knocking out 5 of them. I loved four of them--surprisingly, the one I didn't care for was written by Lucy Foley, who is a very popular thriller author. It would be hard to choose a favorite out of the other 4--I enjoyed them all very much! 

But it was A Walk in the Park that had my heart and took a while for me to read. It was long, yes, but it was just so good. It is a must read for anyone who loves to hike or run trails, or who wants to learn more about the Grand Canyon. I fully expect to see this on year-end lists of best of non-fiction books!

Monday, June 3, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: May 2024

Disclaimer: I received copies of Wait and Housemates from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

What a great month of reading!!! I didn't expect to read this many books, but May has 31 days and some of these books were unputdownable! 

I often get asked how I pick the books I review here. TBH, I don't always plan what I'm going to read. I have a goal of reading my NetGalley books prior to their publication date, so those are always on my list. If a book I have on hold at the library comes in, that gets added to the pile. But there are also books that land on my radar...maybe it's a fellow book blogger who makes a recommendation, like Leaving or Nuclear War. Fellow running blogger Darlene recommended To the Gorge, and that was a must read. 

As I always say, so many books, so little time! I hope you find something here that you might want to read.


Monday, May 20, 2024

Race Recap: Blue Springs Trail Race

Earlier this spring, I had plans to run 'Run From the Taxman', a trail race on the Lapham Peak segment of the Ice Age Trail. I put the race on my calendar. After seeing a friend's Facebook post about completing the race, I realized that I put the race on the wrong date. Having trained for it, but having to miss it because of my mistake made me so upset. That same friend reached out to me with information on the upcoming Blue Springs Trail Race. Part of the Golden Kettle Race Series, this race offered 3 distances: a short course of 4-ish miles, a mid-course of 6.3-ish miles, and a long course of 13.5-ish miles. 

I immediately signed up for the long course and triple checked the date on my calendar. I hoped that nothing would prevent me from lining up to run this one!

Monday, April 29, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: April 2023

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of The Limits, Backyard Bird Chronicles, Lucky, and Love is a Burning Thing from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for my reviews.

Continuing with my unofficial theme this month of ups and downs, some of the books I read this month were great and some were not-so-great. My favorite book of the month, hands down, was Wolf At the Table. I also enjoyed Piglet, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, and Love is a Burning Thing. While some readers enjoyed Worry, Lucky, and The Limits, my advice is to take a pass.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: March 2024

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Real Americans and A Fatal Inheritance from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for my honest reviews.

Overall, this was a very satisfying month of reading! I didn't expect to read this many books--A Fatal Inheritance, a NetGalley prerelease, was very interesting. I just couldn't rush through it, wanting to savor all the details. I found some unexpected good reads this month with Mrs. Quinn's Rise to Fame, Yellowface, and What Happened to Nina? My other NetGalley pre-release, Real Americans, was amazing as well. The only disappointment was The Last Days of the Midnight Ramblers. I love a nostalgic look back at the music of the 1970s, but this was not the story I was expecting.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: February 2024

Disclaimer: I received copies of The Road from Belhaven, My Side of the River, and Wandering Stars from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate links.

February was a great month of reading for me. While I work on getting through all my NetGalley prereleases, I also was able to fit in a couple of books that I wanted to read. I'm happy to say that all 3 NetGalley books were great and my personal selections were too. If I were to recommend a book that everyone will like, I would pick Kristin Hannah's book, The Women. I believe this may be her best book yet. Ann Patchett's Tom Lake was my favorite, though. 

There's nothing better than a month of good books!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Mini Book Reviews: January 2024

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Come and Get It and Martyr! from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

I kicked off 2024 with the resolution to read my NetGalley ARCs before they are published! I have so many that I have fallen behind. I love that they send me so many books to review but now I am below 80% and need to fix that. Moving forward, I'll be sharing a mix of upcoming new releases from NetGalley as well as library holds and backlist books. 

This month had 5 very different books. My favorite one was Martyr!. You can't judge a book by its cover and when I first received Martyr! from NetGalley, I thought I wouldn't like it at all. The first sentence grabbed me and the book didn't let go. It won't be the book for everyone but it gave me a lot to think about. 

It's been a little frustrating trying to find good books to read lately. Every time I pick up a book that everyone is raving about, I'm disappointed. I've got 3 NetGalley books coming up for this month. Let's see what I find.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: December 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

What a great finish to a great year of reading! As I read my final book of the year, Strange Sallly Diamond, I couldn't help but notice some of the themes of the books I read this month overlapped. I read two books with quirky characters, The Mystery Guest and Strange Sally Diamond. Questionable adoptions were the themes in The Berry Pickers and Strange Sally Diamond. I couldn't help but make comparisons between the books. In All That is Mine, I Carry With Me, and Strange Sally Diamond, you have themes of misogyny and victimization of women. Don't let that deter you from any of these books--they were all good reads!

This year I read 70 books and DNF'd 3. My top 10 books were; Demon Copperhead, Hello Beautiful, Adelaide, The Great Believers, Last Summer on State Street, The Collected Regrets of Clover, Shark Heart, Birdie and Harlow, The Berry Pickers, and Strange Sally Diamond. There were many other good ones as well, so if you don't follow me on Goodreads, please do so you can check them out! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: Nonfiction November 2023

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Meth Lunches: Food and Longing in An American City from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate links.

After reading another 'highly-rated' fiction book that I struggled to get through, I decided to jump into non-fiction November again this year. I was inspired by fellow blogger Liz Dexter who cohosts a non-fiction November linkup. I'm so glad I did. To kick off the month, I dug into my library's new releases and was stunned to find Britney Spears' memoir available. Sorry, not sorry, I was curious and it was a surprisingly good read. The Meth Lunches and Hidden Valley Road were both interesting and eye-opening, but very socially relevant. If you didn't love Dolly Parton before, you will after you read Sarah Smarsh's portrayal in She Come By It Natural. For followers of Anthony Bourdain, World Travel makes an excellent supplement to his shows. And what to say about Birdie and Harlow except to warn you to have a box of tissues nearby. What a sweet sweet story!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: October 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of Resilient from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Sometimes my book choices are dictated by what lands in my library inbox. Other times, I might get a NetGalley prerelease to review that I really want to read. Such was the case this month. My favorite read of the month was the eye-opening autobiography How to Say Babylon. If you've read Educated, The Sound of Gravel, or The Glass Castle, you'll find similarities in the telling of a tale of growing up in a dysfunctional and authoritarian household. It's been a while since I've read these books, yet they have stuck with me. I find it amazing how these authors have emerged from their childhoods as productive adults. 

Hopefully you will find something here to interest you!

Monday, October 2, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: September 2023

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of Penelope in Retrograde from Amazon First Reads in exchange for my honest review.

It's been a busy month for me, as I shared in my Weekly Rundown, but I always find time to read! I read an interesting variety of books, but my hands-down favorite was Shark Heart. I think this would be such a good book club book--the story is unusual and there's a lot to think about. I also loved Mile Marker Zero--having visited Key West in the 1980s before big money and tourism changed the island vibe-- and it kind of made me sad to see it lose its free-spirited feeling.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Mini Book Reviews; August 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of Happiness Falls from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received a copy of Don't Forget to Write from Amazon First Reads.

If anything, I read books with really good covers this month! I definitely picked Old Flame based on the cover and, yes it was worth the read. Actually, everything I read except for Happiness Falls was great. The pre-release hype for Happiness Falls was big and I fell for it. Interestingly, this book got great reviews and I just don't get it. If you've read it, comment below and let me know what you thought about it. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Brooks Hype Fest 2023 recap

Disclaimer: As a member of the Brooks Run Happy Team, I received a trip to Brooks Hype Fest and Brooks running gear. This is my recap of the event, but all my opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

After my experience at last year's Brooks Run Happy Camp, I didn't know how Brooks could top it, but--spoiler alert-- this year they did better by a long shot. The organizers said they took all our feedback from last year to make this year an even better experience. They also changed the name of the event to Brooks Hype Fest, which I just realized as I was writing this, as a way to tie the event in with the launch of their new Hyperions. All the RHT members were receiving a pair at the event but had to work for it, as I'll share below. 

Let's get to the recap!

Monday, July 31, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: July 2023

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Many Lives of Mama Love from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post has affiliate links.

What a great month of reading! Last month, I complained that I couldn't find much good to read. Well, that all turned around in July. For one thing, all my library holds came in at once. What to do? When this happens, I usually prioritize which book I'll get through the quickest, to get one off my list. Sometimes I have to return one to the library and get back on the list. Fortunately this month, I had a week off work plus I was traveling, which gave me a lot of downtime to read. 

Although I do admit to watching Cocaine Bear on one flight. I couldn't help myself and it was entertaining. 

Anyways, I read 7 good books this month, and August is starting off on the right foot as well. Two of them, The Seed Keeper and The Many Lives of Mama Love, were 5 star reads for me. The rest garnered a 4 star rating. Let me know if you find anything interesting here!

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Race Recap: Leadville Silver 15 mile trail race

About 6 months ago, the leader of Trail Sisters Chicago Northwest asked me if I wanted to join her for Leadville Silver. She was planning on running the 50 mile race but told me there was a 15 mile option. Several of the other women were considering it as well. Since I'm writing this recap, you know what I decided. I asked my youngest son if he would be interested in running with me and to my surprise, he said yes! My oldest son and his girlfriend also joined us for a fun weekend in Colorado.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: June 2023

 Disclaimer: I received an ARC of La Vie, According to Rose from Amazon First Reads. This post contains affiliate links.

After my first book this month, I fell into a slump. Is it just me or are a lot of the new releases lately kind of a slog? After reading several books this month that were highly reviewed and wondering what I was missing, I decided to dig into my TBR and found an absolutely delightful romance story. I ended the month with another backlist book that was recommended by Erica and it was a winner. 

I did have 2 DNFs this month. After making it to the 50% point with both, I called it quits. I just can't waste time reading a book that doesn't draw me in. There are too many books out there for that!

Monday, June 5, 2023

Race Recap: Chicago 13.1

Disclaimer: Because I wanted to share this recap in a timely manner, I did the unforgivable and screenshotted some of the photos taken of me on the course. I plan on buying the digital version when MarathonFoto sends a coupon

Last year was the debut of BOA's Chicago 13.1 race. The course route follows Chicago's 26 mile boulevard system, which runs through multiple neighborhoods throughout the city. The boulevards are lined with stately homes and beautiful parks. While the boulevards are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of the parks along the boulevards are individually listed as well. Many of the neighborhoods around the boulevards have fallen by hard times, but for the most part, the parks are well-maintained and serve as anchors to the communities.

In spite of my increased mileage on trails, I was interested in this one. I couldn't fit the race into my schedule last year, but this year I was in! With my goal race--Leadville Silver 15 miles--on the calendar for July, I made the Chicago 13.1 a 'training race' and didn't make a finish time goal. I vowed to have fun and soak it all in!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Earth Day 15 mile trail race

I ran this race a year ago and after being humbled and beat up by the hills, I vowed never to run it again. Yet, here I was, lined up for the 15 miler again. It's funny how time can dull the memory of pain. I knew what to expect and I was wiser this time. I had my fueling plan in place. I had logged lots of hilly miles on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. It was cold and it was windy, but I figured the trees would provide shelter from the wind. I wore one of my Inknburn fleece pullovers and my Brooks Moment tights. My plan was to run the three 5.2 mile loops consistently and not let that last loop crush me as it did last year.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: April 2023

Disclaimers: I received an ARC of If We're Being Honest from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

April was a really good month for books for me! I read a prerelease novel, 4 new releases, and while waiting for library holds to come in, I dug deep into my TBR for an old selection from Reese's Book Club. All good reads, but my favorite book of the month was the last one I read--Adelaide was recommended highly by another book blogger. I almost didn't read it, but I am so glad I did. It was one of those books that got me in the feels. If I'm being honest, there's not a bad book here!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Book Review: The Longest Race by Kara Goucher

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Regular readers of this blog know that I do a lot of running book reviews. Because I do so many running book reviews, most of the books I review are gifted to me by the publisher. I found it odd that ARCs of Kara Goucher's new book were not available and that there weren't a lot of prepublication reviews. I decided it would be worth purchasing and after reading it, I understand why she kept her book quiet until publication day. 

It's quite a read. I'm going to do my best to share my thoughts about The Longest Race without spoiling it for people who haven't read it yet. Runners who follow Goucher know a lot of her story, and it was nice to read it from her perspective. But some of what she shares in the book she hasn't shared before. It's a cautious tale for young women with lofty running goals.