Day: June 8, 2017

TAG: Mid-Year Freakout Book

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Thanks to Steph @ LostPurpleQuill for tagging me! What a cool way to celebrate the middle of the year in our book challenges. I appreciate it. And to any readers on my blog, please go check out Steph’s blog. She posts regularly and has great things to say, also poetry, photography, and fantastic book reviews.


1 – THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017

You by Caroline Kepnes. It was a fantastic surprise with its different perspective, how it drew me in and the eerie sensation of rooting for the stalker. I must read the sequel this summer.

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2 – YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL THIS YEAR

It’s not a sequel, but the third book in a series that I love. I cannot wait until Ken Follett releases A Column of Fire, part of the “Pillars of the Earth” historical fiction series. I love the characters and the plot so much.

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3 – A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BUT REALLY WANT TO

I want to read Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water, but the reviews are mixed. I put it on this summer’s Book Bucket list. If you’re not sure what that is, click to find out.

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4 – MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Dan Brown’s Origin. I would have picked Ken Follett’s book, but I already chose that above. Many folks don’t care for Brown, but I love this series. Can’t wait to see the complexity he brings in this plot.

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5 – YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Lisa See’s Peony in Love. I really thought the description on the book cover would be a beautiful tale with lots of emotional heartache and connection. For some reasons, I found myself uninterested in Peony’s plight and thought it was way over-written for what its goal was.

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6 – BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR

Sally Hepworth’s The Mother’s Promise. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the book, given it hit a little too close to home with someone you love dying of cancer. But it was written in such an intricate way that I couldn’t put it down. I certainly felt a lot of emotion and really had a connection with several of the characters.

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7 – FAVORITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR

Caroline Kepnes because of You. The style was fantastic. The way she draws you in, encourages you to love and root for the guy who’s a psycho stalking a woman. It took careful planning and I admire her skills as an author, especially with the point of view and perspective she chose to write it in.

 

8 – YOUR NEW FICTIONAL CRUSH

It would be scary if I chose Joe from You, given he’s a stalker. {But it is} So… from something I read this year… Patrick, the main character’s best friend, in Single Malt Murder, a new mystery series based in Scotland. He’s caring, loving and well-traveled.

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9 – NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER

Lucy from Amanda Prowse’s The Idea of You. Lucy desperately wants a child, but it doesn’t seem to want to happen for her. She is courageous and strong, especially when her husband’s daughter from a previous marriage causes some trouble. Lucy has a few flaws, but in the end, she really steps up and does the right thing to make the best of the entire situation.

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10 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. The hospital scenes. The paradox of being alive yet being comatose. Having to learn what happens to the rest of your family. Making a choice of whether to let go or try to hold on. It grabs you by the throat and holds on for way too long. I couldn’t keep it in and had a few moments.

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11 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Richard Jay Parker’s Be My Killer. This will probably come across the wrong way, but I loved the systematic tracking of all the people involved in this social media serial killer twisted thriller… simply to torture and kill them. I wasn’t happy because they were murdered, but I absolutely love horror and whodunits, so I was smiling the whole way thru, trying to figure out what was going on in this book. A Twitter killer. Sounds hilarious!

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12 – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION THAT YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. I finally saw the whole movie and it was fantastic. I’d only seen a few scenes in the past. I know, crazy!

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13 – FAVORITE BOOK POST YOU’VE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR

The Book Bucket List post where I list the 12 books I must read this year in case I die. You can see it here.

 

14 – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU HAVE BOUGHT/RECEIVED THIS YEAR

Hmm… are we talking cover or story? I’m gonna go with story and say Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours. It is fascinating and has an incredibly beautiful but scary story inside its covers. I found it on the bookshelves in my apartment building’s library, quickly grabbing it to put on my TBR.

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15 – WHAT ARE SOME BOOKS THAT YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

Ha! I could direct you to my book bucket list, or to some I listed above, but the two that come to mind that are must-reads for me in the near future:

Kate Mosse’s Citadel, as it’s the third and final in a historical fiction trilogy set in France. The story is amazing and is sure to have a fantastic conclusion.

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Kate Morton’s The Lake House, as I love her writing… and this needs to find its way into my hands soon.

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I TAG:

And anyone else who’d like to participate…


 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

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Review: P is for Peril

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P is for Peril Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to P is for Peril, the 16th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 2000 by Sue Grafton. What’s Kinsey to do when she has the possibility of taking a case for a recently missing doctor who has two wives? OK, well, he did divorce the first wife. But she desperately wants to find him. His second wife, a former stripper, doesn’t seem to think he’s still alive. Kinsey takes the case, deals with both of them, and tries to find a way to stay out of the middle of it. Except, Tommy, a hot younger guy is chasing after Kinsey, wanting to get much closer to her. Does she want to? He is her junior by close to a decade. She also doesn’t date much. A treat for fans as we don’t often see her in romantic situations. As usual, all is not what it seems. Grafton adds on a few humorous layers in this one, and it’s always a strong mystery when there are two wives involved in the investigation — should you really trust what’s on the surface or does Kinsey need to dig much deeper to solve this one? Spoiler Alert – she solves the case… haha, I’m sure you knew that… and she’s still alive at the end to move on to Q is for Quarry, one of the strongest in the series.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: N is for Noose

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N is for Noose Book Review
3.5 out of 5 stars to N is for Noose, the 14th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” cozy mystery series, written in 1998 by Sue Grafton. When one of your own dies, it’s hard enough. But when his widow begs for you to help solve the case, as she doesn’t think her husband died of natural causes, you’re in a tough spot. Especially when you have a feeling something dangerous is going on, your first instincts are always right. But Kinsey takes the case and soon finds herself embroiled in a very scary investigation. A noose is not a good way to die, and as much as she doesn’t want to find out, she will come awfully close in this one. The series is still going strong. Kinsey learns a lot along this path, as well as how to hide from the rest of the town when you are trying to help them out… they don’t seem to like her, even though she was on the same side as the poor detective who just bit the dust. But she always makes it thru, as we wouldn’t have an “O” is for Outlaw if she didn’t, right? Another good one to read in the series.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Brought Down the House

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The Cat Who Brought Down the HouseBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Cat Who Brought Down the House, the 25th book in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series written in 2003 by Lilian Jackson Braun. What do you do when a crazy actress-type stars a theatre troupe in your hometown and wants your cat to be the main star. Run for the hills, Qwill. She’s got cuckoo written all about her and you’ve had your fair share of those in the past. But you won’t listen to me, you never do. Maybe I should jump into the book by channeling my inner Thursday Next, so I can protect you. A cute cozy mystery involving twin siblings (1 male, 1 female)… I think…. and something is amiss when one twin dies. But it’ll take a near murder of his own for Qwill to figure it out. It was near the end of the series and very easy to get thru. A little light with the plot, but it had some room for more. Still love the series… and sad when I said goodbye after 30 books.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: O is for Outlaw

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O is for OutlawBook Review
4 out of 5 stars for O is for Outlaw, the 15th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 1999 by Sue Grafton. What an amazing treat for longtime fans of this series with the “O” alphabet book. We’ve known Kinsey for a long time, but very little about her life before the books began. We met the ex-husband(s), heard a snippet here and there, but we never actually got a lot of details about this wonderful heroine. Well now we do… and more than we’d hoped. When she buys a box of belongings, she finds a letter that she should have received years ago, completely changing (possibly) her relationship with her first ex-husband. Well… how often do you get a chance to explore the past again. Kinsey’s core is certainly shocked, but she is a trooper and does what she needs to figure out exactly what happened and what she needs to do now. A rare and introspective look at her past is what she needs, and as a reader, I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn more.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 88 – QuestMaxGoaly

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QuestMaxGoaly: to question how to achieve the maximum goals throughout your life, searching for a fair balance across all the things which bring you happiness and showcase the best you possible

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{Aside: This is NOT a made-up word. It’s in the new dictionary I previously wrote. So there. Deal with it. Go find your own QuestMaxGoaly and don’t complain to me if you haven’t come across this word before. Every book reader or blog reader should know it by now, and well, if you don’t, then we shouldn’t be following one another. I mean, seriously, it’s a very famous word to some one!}

I’m doing something a little different with today’s 365 Daily Challenge post. As I looked over a list of characteristics, nothing appealed to me. I couldn’t choose a word, so instead, I’m just going to blog about a topic on my mind and hope that an appropriate word sums it all up in the end. Let’s chance it! {Aside: As you can see, I did stumble across the word.}

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What’s on my mind this morning is “how does one go about their day to get the most done in the shortest amount of time possible?” in terms of achieving their goals, feeling accomplished and/or doing something they love versus what they have to do… so a few thoughts on my day and then the usual questions to the group.

It’s fairly ordinary for me to wake up a couple of times each evening, thinking about what I need to accomplish the next day. It’s not always that I’m extraordinarily busy and can’t sleep; it’s just that I spend a lot of my time considering the best approach to getting things done throughout the day.

A few examples:

  • Blogging & Social Media
    • When I first wake up, I grab the phone from my night-table to peruse whatever notifications or messages have arrived overnight. Given I’m chatting and communicating with people from all over the world, I’m not too surprised to find there are usually hundreds of things to read. Sometimes it’s comments on my posts, likes or new follows to review and respond to, or requests to connect. Then I scroll through all the feeds to see what my friends have all posted so that I can read their messages, like their posts, or comment on what they’ve had to say.
    • Sometimes, 30 minutes has passed and I haven’t gotten out of bed. Other days, I stand and read them on my phone while the coffee is dripping and I’m making Ryder’s breakfast. On occasion, I’m 2 hours into trying to get through everything, feeling like I’ve lost so much time and accomplished nothing “tangible.” So what’s the best alternative?
    • Things on my mind:
      • Should I limit my viewing time in the morning?
      • Do I save everything for at night when I’ve finished all my other obligations?
      • Do I try to catch-up throughout the day and respond as I have time?
    • This is one of those areas where it would be an interesting productivity study to see which would be the ideal approach to utilizing social media and my blog to connect with other people without wasting time through repetition of seeing or reading the same things over and over again just trying to find the new content. It’s not unlike managing one’s email accounts, now is it?

  •  Cleaning
    • I feel the same way about cleaning the apartment. I’m currently in a mode where roughly every two weeks, I’m doing a thorough cleansing, e.g. vacuum, dust, sweep and polish the floors, scrub the bathroom, wash the kitchen appliances… and in between, laundry and changing sheets and towels. With a dog who sheds a lot, there’s often flying fur about, which drives me a little cuckoo. The whole routine takes about 5 to 6 hours, but I literally do nothing but clean. I don’t stop for meals. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t take a break. So it gets done. But in between, I’m constantly wiping down counters, light upkeep in the bathroom or an extra load of laundry, etc. Is this the best approach? Do I really need to be this clean? Who will judge me when the end comes? You didn’t clean enough, no soup heaven for you!

  • Reading and Watching TV
    • My two favorite hobbies. I have a stable of shows that I watch and don’t often just sit and surf the TV. If I need to watch something and I have nothing recorded, I’ll look for a movie or a new series. But I rarely just randomly sit to watch something. Same with books. Always a backlog of things to read between series I love, ARCs coming up or things on the TBR.
    • But often, I find myself tired or busy with everything else, these kinda get pushed to the bottom. I supposed that’s the right approach, as there are obligations and requirements which come first, then the fun stuff. Right?

So… I think that’s my point today… when I think about how to go about my day life, how to choose the things to take up each of the 24 hours 110 years (yeah, I’m living a long time), how many of us actually consciously think about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it… for example:

  1. What drives your choices each day? Family? Religion? Desire? Money?
  2. Our purpose (ignoring religious views) cannot be to fill up 24 hours with tasks, right? We should reserve time for the ability to do nothing.
  3. Do we work to earn enough money to pay the bills and afford a few hobbies, such that we can maximize our free time to enjoy the things we love to do?
  4. Is it OK to choose to achieve less in a job than you are capable of so that you can have more flexible “you” time?

My initial answer is that it’s all about balance; and balance is a different proportion for everyone. I believe these questions are heavily on my mind, as I think about how to apportion my day so that I achieve something on all the levels I want to reach and not just what I’m supposed to do per expectations. We all feel this way. We all have responsibilities based on the choices we make, e.g. married or not married, kids or no kids, live on our own or with someone, travel or stay put. We also have our own limitations, e.g. types of jobs, illness, age, etc. It seems to me the most important thing out of all of this (again, forgetting about religious beliefs), is to consciously save time every day to think about these things and evaluate where you are in regard to where you want to be. Either that… or you’re all thinking:

So… the real question back out to you: Do you ever take time to think about how to order the things in your life and the time in your day to ensure you are accomplishing everything you want to, e.g. weeding out the things that just waste your time, choosing you over what everyone expects you to do, changing the stuff that you realize doesn’t belong being there?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Blacklist

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BlacklistBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Blacklist, the 11th book in the “V.I. Warshawski” thriller and mystery series, written in 2004 by Sara Paretsky. What a fantastic book! It had everything from murder to corporate espionage to communism. Spanning a history of nearly 50 years, the story puts VI in the most scary of situations, and it allows Paretsky to truly tell a tale of remarkable prominence. There are so many connections and seedy things happening, you’re not sure how to begin figuring it out. Plus there are two cases she’s got going on at once. Will they intersect? Something tells me they will… they always do. But I’m not going to spoil it for you. They might not actually come together. The best part of this book is Paretsky’s unyielding way of telling the truth and the reality of what’s happening all around us. I’m about 6 books behind on this series, at least a decade or so, and I can’t wait to catch up this summer. She’s always a treat.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews