The Sunday Review: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Title: The Ex Talk
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Page Count: 358 pages paperback
Audiobook: 10 hrs, 52 min
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Berkley

Shay is the daughter of a public talk radio legend but she is more comfortable behind the scenes, mainly because she is self-conscious of her voice (don’t we all kind of know that feeling?). Dominic is the new, young hotshot at the station who thinks he knows everything about the world of public radio. One day an announcement is made that the funding for public radio station she works for is being cut and Shay pitches a crazy idea for a new show – a show where ex’s give relationship advice. The station boss volunteers Shay and Dominic to host the show to play the exes….except they aren’t exes.

So what happens when they pose as exes? Can they work together and pull it off? Will their show be a public radio hit? And what happens when these so-called exes inevitably fall for one another?

I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book! Now, it could be that the audio version gave it an extra boost. I don’t think I would have enjoyed reading a physical copy as much as I enjoyed listening to these characters sparring and yet longing for each other. It was also very refreshing to find a book with a main (male) character who is not a player and who is actually relatively inexperienced. Note – not not-confident, but just hasn’t slept around, isn’t deceptive or boastful about his “number,” etc. I’m glad I have listened to a bit of NPR in my lifetime–just enough to catch the nods to most of the radio personalities and enjoy it. Overall, I really enjoyed this fun, flirty read!

Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to your fellow readers?

Book Soundtrack: American Authors “Best Day Of My Life”

February 2021 Reads

Another month in the books. I don’t know what it is, friends, but I am in a little bit of a funk so far this year. I like to think we’re off on the right foot but my brain isn’t quite in the right place. *sigh* Oh well. At least I have my books to keep me company. So here is what I have been reading (and I have several in the queue right now):

January 2021 Reads

So I’m not going to lie, the entire time this pandemic has been going down, I have been quite calm and collected. I work from home and isolate and I have just rolled with the punches. But this month anxiety has just hit me. I’m not going to bring any drama here onto my blog but rather keep it brief and say I’m still here and reading just trying to keep it together and I hope you all are too.

Without further ado, here are my reads for January!

The Sunday Review: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Title: More Than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Page Count: 336 Hardcover
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis: Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Review: I am so in love with this book! I knew when I first started reading it that I would like Luke because I connected with him as a fellow musician. As I read more, I connected personally with Vada as a music critic more and more. Both main characters were so passionate about music and their art, but yet didn’t fully know how to express themselves. However, when they meet each other and challenge themselves with a school project, they find that they truly bring out each other’s strengths–even as they are overcoming their own separate familial issues.

More Than Maybe was a book that I devoured. Erin Hahn throws out music references left and right and creates an amazing book soundtrack. I thought it was so great because really, this is life. I live off of playlists with my besties and my (now) hubby! Music defines us, and this book did a great job of bringing these characters right into my heart! I loved it and I highly recommend!

What’s a recent 5-star read that you recommend?

🎡 Book Soundtrack: Heavydirtysoul by Twenty One Pilots
Thank You by Led Zepplin
Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
Green Light by Lorde
and so many more….this is a music book, people!!! Get your headphones out!!!

A Look Back At My Reading For 2020

Hello everyone, and happy new year! Of course, with the turning of the calendar, there won’t be a magic happiness and wellness cure–although we all wish that were the case. However, we are all still in this life together and the pages are still turning. So here is a look at what my entire reading history for 2020 looked like:

First of all, let’s just establish that I hit my Goodreads goal of 50 books for the year. πŸŽ‰ I actually surpassed the goal and made it to 52. My total could be a little bit more than that because sometimes my NetGalley completions don’t make it into my total, but I think I caught them all so I am pretty confident in this number. 50 is the goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year and I stuck to it. It is lower than I have hit in the past couple of years but I would like to drive back up again!

So next up I have a graphic of my pages read by month. I’m pretty interested to see that I read in waves more or less, which makes sense to me. As a mood reader, I tend to pick up a couple books that I’m in the mood for all at once and it takes me a little while to get through everything. Then I finish lots of pages at once and my page count is up. In order to keep myself satisfied (“Oh, I need to keep my numbers up for my GR goal!”) I will read graphic novels or poetry or short stories so my page numbers go down. Then I’ll get caught back up in that wave of picking up several novels again and read until they taper off, etc. etc. Its a process, people! Don’t judge me! But then there’s October, which is just my favorite month for reading so that is no surprise.

Coming up next I have a shot of the genres I read this year. Sometimes it is difficult to squeeze a book into just one genre but I tried my best. I am pretty proud that my pie chart is this colorful. I always like to say that I enjoy reading different genres and I think it shows here. One thing I didn’t like about this format is that it calls “graphic novel” its own genre and now that I think about, I should have fixed that for sure. I will be keeping that in mind going forward.

My last chart is the one that I have the harshest feelings about. The title is Diversity and I am pretty disappointed in myself. It is definitely a goal for myself going forward to make this wheel look different in 2021. I know I have plenty of diverse reads on my shelf; I have a library card; I have book subscriptions for Scribd and Prime (at this moment); So I really have no excuse to not hit at least 50% diverse reads. Therefore, check back with me next year and this Diversity pie will look different next year.

What goal(s) do you have for 2021–reading or otherwise?

#TBTBSanta Opening

Christmas is coming! Its almost here! And with that said, USPS finally delivered my #TBTBSanta gift!! In case you haven’t seen this tag before, either on my blog or elsewhere on social media, TBTBSanta is a bookish, holiday gift exchange hosted by @thatartsyreadergirl. This was my second year participating in Secret Santa, and I have done OTSPSecretSister before as well as ChristmasInJuly. I pretty much live for these exchanges because, like I said, my family doesn’t buy me books any more so this is my only chance to receive books as gifts!

And now, without further ado, here are some photos of what my TBTBSanta gave to me!:

Obi is hoping there is something for him among the packages….
This was a fantastic bookish, holiday package just for me!

So as you can see, my Santa nailed it! I know it has been such a tough season for all of the Postal workers and delivery drivers out there, so if you work in that industry or know someone who does, please know that you are appreciated!

Tuesday Review: An Imperfect Christmas

Title: An Imperfect Christmas
Author: Tanya Jean Russell
Page Count: 221 Kindle
Release Date: November 19th, 2020
Publisher: Sapere Books

An Imperfect Christmas is a book about two childhood sweethearts who went their separate ways, and found each other again in the end.

Accountant Maggie Green is laid off just as she is beginning to expect a promotion–and right before the holidays. On the same day, her long-time boyfriend dumps her. Talk about an imperfect Christmas. Licking her wounds, she heads back to her childhood home, but she isn’t ready to share her news with her family just yet. Above all, she isn’t ready to see her old boyfriend, Nathan.

Nathan is back for good–he has bought town’s the Old Barn and started his own business. Even just seeing Maggie, he wishes he could tell her everything about his plans, both present and future. But it seems that Maggie is dating his London-based brother. Throughout the book, Nathan is persistent and faithful to Maggie in all things. He never gives up on their memories together and what he believes their future will hold together. In sickness and in health, and he sticks to it.

I loved the family dynamics of this book. Both Nathan and his brothers, as well as Maggie and her family were excellent assets of this book. Almost ideal, but hey, its fiction. I also got a kick out of the ending with Maggie’s career. That boosted the book a star in the ratings department for me! And finally, the only negative for me was that I wish there was a little bit more holiday overall. But it was all right. In terms of a holiday romance–okay. But for a light, easy-to-read winter romance where Christmas happens? Good!

Have you read any holiday-themed books yet this season?

Share in the comments!

🎢 Book Soundtrack: All I Want For Christmas Is You by Ingrid Michaelson & Leslie Odom Jr.

October Reading Wrap-Up

Greetings to you! I hope today finds you well. October is over and I actually had a pretty good reading month. Let’s delve in to the details, shall we?

– BOOKS READ –

πŸ“ Witchlight by Jessi Zabarsky | 🌟🌟
🎧 Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega | 🌟🌟🌟
πŸ“š Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco | 🌟🌟🌟🌟
πŸ“š + 🎧 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson | 🌟🌟
πŸ“š Horrid by Katrina Leno | 🌟🌟🌟🌟
πŸ“š Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown by John Lithgow | 🌟🌟🌟

– BOOKS HAULED –

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
The Last Wish (The Witcher #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski

November is obviously the month in between the spooky and the holly jolly so sometimes I have a more difficult time picking out what to read. Fortunately, I am “4 books ahead” of my Goodreads goal at the moment so I need to maintain that and most likely December will be a nice glide for me because I tend to read more for the holiday.

Did you have any 5 🌟 reads last month?

WWW … October 21, 2020

Time for another WWW Wednesday–a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I love this post and getting to update the 3 W’s:

The 3 W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~ The Currents ~

October is probably my favorite month for reading because I love reading thrillers, horror novels, cozy mysteries, classics, paranormal, graphic novels…pretty much everything! I just started reading Horrid by Katrina Leno, and this is a group read with the TBR and Beyond Book Club. I also just started The Green Mile as my annual Stephen King read. I am listening to this one on audiobook and already I am really enjoying it.

~ The Recents ~

Just yesterday I finished the audiobook of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This one was decent–I rated it three stars. I just didn’t find there to be much plot, even though there was a “lesson” to be learned in the end. Previous to that I finished a cozy set in Mackinac Island called Fudge Bites. This cozy centered around Halloween and was a really fun read that really satisfied my craving for a mystery.

~ The Upcoming ~

There is only so much time left in October so I have to get my spooky reads in! We have one more group read in TBR and Beyond and that is Clown in a Cornfield! I am not positive I will get to this one but I am going to try–I do already have it checked out from the library. I also have Cinderella is Dead checked out from the library to get to soon as well. Finally, I have an ARC of Kingdom of the Wicked to read soon! So that is what I am up to!

What is one current, recent, or upcoming read that you have on your list?

Blogtober Tag 2020

I borrowed this tag from Jupiter and Dann and I actually added a couple additional questions of my own. The additional questions are labeled with a (*).

What’s your favorite fall scent?

All things apple, cranberry, or pumpkin. Not too hard, right?

Do you prefer pumpkin pie or apple pie?

Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of pie crust, so either way, I prefer a slight variation on a theme. I love apple crisp or pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust. Both are SO delicious!!

What are you planning on dressing up as for Halloween?

A candy hander-outer!

What are you most excited for in Fall?

The fall scents and general aesthetic! I love the baking, cooking, decorating, reading, movie-watching, and candle-lighting!

What is your favorite scary movie?

Halloween is very nostalgic for me because every year growing up (starting at maybe age 10?) my mom let my brother and I start watching one of the Mike Meyers movies each year. So I love the Halloween movies. I also love Thirteen Ghosts, Se7en, and As Above, So Below.

Do you have a movie, show, or episode that you watch each year around Halloween time? (*)

My husband and I always watch several Ghost Adventures episodes every year! I also watch Halloweentown, Corpse Bride, and Casper!

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Resee’s Pumpkins!

What is your favorite horror or thriller book? (*)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Shining.

Favorite Pumpkin Spice flavored thing?

Pumpkin Spice Latte from my local coffee shop, and chai tea and pumpkin spice flavored cream!

What is your warmest Fall memory?

Going to the apple orchard and sharing cider doughnuts with my parents in years past. The apple orchard is a tradition that I have shared on my birthday every year and it has become so meaningful over the years.

What is your favorite autumn must- have?

Apples, cider, cider doughnuts, apple wine, spooky books, spooky shows, candles, pumpkins. I love fall!

Please feel free to borrow these questions and tag me if you do–I would love to see your answers!