My Forever Growing TBR List…..

945197_10151389248375064_582985017_nSome people believe you can never have too many friends. I’ve always held the belief that one can never have too many books. In fact, I will take it a step further and say that you can have too many friends. Why would I ever dare say something so preposterous? Well I have two answers to that…..both are painfully honest….I reckon the one you would get from me would be determined by my level of aggravation that day. If you asked me on a very busy or stressful day of work I would tell you that, yes, you can have too many friends….friends whose sole purpose in life was to keep you from enjoying a peaceful, guilt free night of reading! If you asked me the same question after a day spent far from work, a day spent finishing a great book and then going in search of another book to read, well I would have to tell you that, yes, you can have too many friends….friends that are always begging you to try this book, or that book….friends that are giving 5 star reviews…..friends all too willing to help you buy yet one more book……

Before the internet was so common….before smart phones…..before Amazon (Bezos is out to get me!!!) and its magical kindle…..well, I confess, I still had a problem with books. I had bookshelves full of books. I had books upon books stacked upon flat surfaces in my house….beside my bed on the floor….my kitchen table… nightstand…..the backseat of my car…..I confess, even on the back of the commode in the bathroom……I would spend part of each week gathering up all of these books and trying to find hiding places for them all….when I was asked if I got a new book, I would reply with, “this old thing? I’ve had it for ages!”….hey, it’s not like anyone I know would ever realize that the book was a new release just out that day! But life was easier then. I mean, I had to actually go to a store and look at the books. I would have to study their covers. I would have to open them up and read the first paragraph of the description. I would have to be moved enough to actually spend my hard-earned money on an author I had never heard of. Was it worth the risk? I didn’t know many readers…..I was far better off sticking with those authors I knew and loved….I was able to somewhat control my addiction……

Then my entire world changed….around this time I thought Facebook was just a wasteland of worthless posts that you signed on once a week and looked around for 15 minutes and logged out. At this same time, I thought Amazon was a great way for me to order my books without having to go and find a store close by that had the new book I wanted….sometimes finding a book was tough where I lived.

Then two life changing events happened… was late in the year 2010…the first thing that happened is I caved and bought a kindle….Bezos with his evil plot to take over the entire world finally convinced me to come over to the dark side….in doing so, I was inspired to type in KINDLE in the search engine of Facebook…..OH MY GREAT GOODNESS!!!!! What do you mean they have entire pages dedicated to kindle and eBooks? What do you mean there are other people in the world that would rather read on a Friday night then go out and get pissed? What do you mean that other people love books as much as me? How is this possible? I am a grown woman who has met thousands of people in this life and I thought I was the only one!!!!! Have I suddenly been transported into a parallel universe or something?

<conversation with myself> okay….chill! calm yourself! let’s adjust to all of this….let’s learn to accept all of this….okay….this is a good thing….NO! a great thing!!!! I now have book friends! For the first time in my life, people “get me”…..How awesome is this! Oh my! Look, they are offering suggestions! Oh my! look how helpful they are! They even provide me links that take me directly to the book! Oh my! I LOOOOVEEEE my new friends…..I would have never tried this book if they hadn’t told me about this great new author….oh wow! This author doesn’t just have this one book out, they have an entire series!!!! My new book friends are amazing…..How did I ever live before I met them all? I am the luckiest bibliophile on the planet!!! And seriously….look how easy it is to hide how many books I have! Not one single person has asked me if that’s a new book I am reading!!!! Well, except my new book friends, but it’s almost like bragging! They actually get excited for me…not a single one has rolled their eyes wondering why I just bought that new book when I have so many to read

fast forward 6 months

<yet another conversation with myself> hmmmmm… that I have over 500 books on my kindle (I love you, Bezos, you’re not evil at all….let me help you take over the world, I want to tell everyone how much I love my kindle!!!!) perhaps I am confident enough to let go of some of my hard covers…..oh, but I love them all so much….first let me make sure I have purchased the kindle copy….one day I might run out of books to read and want to revisit this old favorite…besides, I am giving them to people who need books….I am being charitable…I deserve some new books, since I am being so generous…hmmmmmm…..all of my new friends are great, but they keep telling me about new books….perhaps they need to step away from the computer for a while….it would be nice if they actually READ their TBR list before they added to mine…or even worse….made fun of mine….who cares how many books I have….it’s not like they are taking up room in my house…..and besides, my buddy Bezos stores them in the magical cloud for FREE!!!! Free!!!! Can you believe that? And hey, it was hard work to get track down this many great books to read!!!!

fast forward again

<conversation with family members> I don’t care if I asked for an Amazon Gift Card last year for my birthday….it’s what I want….no, I don’t want a stupid set of pajamas. I want a GC…..I’m sorry if you think a GC isn’t personal enough…personally I’ve had no use out of a single present you have ever given to me EXCEPT for the GC from last year….for now on don’t send me anything BUT GCs…..I need a few more books to read…..don’t roll your eyes at me like that!!!!!!!!!!!

fast forward one year

<yes, yet another conversation with myself> oh look! One of my great friends just told me about a website where I can track all of my books…..I must go check it out!!!! Holy Hell, this GOODREADS is freaking awesome sauce! I love this! I’m going to add all my books in……hmmmmm….I didn’t realize I had purchased this many books…..hmmm…..maybe I need a new kindle to keep track of the books I’ve purchased so I can make sure to get to them first….lots of people have multiple kindles….why should I be stuck with only one when they aren’t limited to just one…..yes, I NEED this other one….It’s so I can track my books better……..OH MY GOSH!!!!! Why in the world did I buy this stupid book? Who recommended this one? I give up! I can’t add all of these books! There’s no flipping way….I need five of me to enter all of these damn books….how is it possible that I have these many books? It just isn’t possible….seriously! I’m going to Amazon right this second and checking my archives…….OH HELL NO!!!!! I DO NOT HAVE 6,000 BOOKS IN MY ARCHIVES…..THIS ISN’T POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


<current conversation with myself> hmmmm….I really should finish this blog post, but my book buddy just told me about this book that just came out….I really need to go check it out….one more book won’t hurt anyone, will it?

Much Love to Each and Every One of my Fellow Book Friends,


Review: Love, Technically by Lynne Silver


This novella was a quick, easy mid-week read.

I loved the fresh, early-20s characters of Michelle and Noah. The tech-y office setting reminded me of my first corporate job after college – making friends, going to happy hour, figuring out whom to call at the Help Desk. And who can’t resist a juicy office romance where gossip and rumors abound?

But the writing seemed amateurish, the dialogue unnatural, and the comedic timing was off. In addition, the timing of the epilogue — taking place three years after the last chapter — was awkward.

Love, Technically is a cute, fun romance. A few more chapters and a little more editing would make fine improvements.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Buy It Now Love, Technically

Review: A Different Blue, by Amy Harmon

“Once upon a time there was a little blackbird, pushed out of the nest, unwanted.”

WOW!!! This was an amazing book! I kept hearing about this book and that people were crying and emotionally drained afterwards. So I knew this was right up my alley.

Blue Echohawk has no idea who she is or where she came from. She doesn’t even know her real name or how old she is.

What she knows is that the man, Jimmy Echohawk, who raised her, from age 2 til 10 wasn’t her father. She was left in his truck, by her mother, and he was afraid to turn her in, after finding out her mother was killed in the motel he was parked outside of. So he took her and cared for her, until one day he went out and never came back. She was then raised with her step aunt and put into school for the first time.

The story takes place during her senior year of high school, where she is forced to revisit her past, what she knows of it, by her 22yr old good looking, British, cello playing, History teacher, Mr Darcy Wilson. Poor guy had a P&P lovin’ mom. 🙂 He forces her to think about who she thinks she is.

“You may not be a work of art, but you are definitely a piece of work.”

What she discovers is more than she bargained for.

This entire book is about her quest to find out who she really is. Mr. Wilson helps her in ways no one else ever could. As they grow closer, Blue is faced with a difficult decision and He is there to get her through it. It was one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever had to read. Ugly tears were falling. Love in the most beautiful and purest form, was shown here. I had such a hard time getting through it.

“I keep wishing you had had a better life…a different life. But a different life would have made you a different Blue.” He looked at me then. “And that would be the biggest tragedy of all.”

This is a sweet romance with a happy ending, if you can get past the crying and the emotions. 🙂


Buy A Different Blue

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead; Narration by Emily Shaffer

13477883 In looking for a new audiobook I was surprised to find a new series by Richelle Mead that I had heard nothing about. I really enjoyed Richelle’s first series The Vampire Academy due to the strong female characters and take no crap attitude. I listened to the first few books in the spin off series of Bloodlines and really enjoyed that one because even though it continued some of the same characters it was still pretty different from the original series. I also really liked Emily Shaffer, she did a great job narrating both male and female characters. So when I saw that she was going to narrate this one too I immediately bought it.

Gameboard of the Gods is set in the future where society is pretty segregated into different classes. Mae was born into the elite upper class but is now a member of the militaristic Praetorian Guard. Justin was previously an investigator of “religious groups and supernatural claims” as a revered servitor but was exiled four years ago. He is brought back after a series of difficult to solve murders take place and Justin and Mae are teamed up to solve the crimes.

I wanted to give up on this book multiple times but I didn’t solely because I’d liked so many of her other books. At the end I was left wishing I had given it up. The audiobook was around 16 hours which was about 12 hours longer than I wanted of this world. I didn’t understand the segregation of classes or the reason for the segregation and it wasn’t really ever explained.

Much worse than that was that Justin literally talked to birds in his head. Let me repeat – he talked to birds in his head. I’m not sure when exactly we found out the reason for this but it was very, very late in the story and I saw no real understanding of why we couldn’t have been told this information much earlier.

At the end of the book I was left feeling very meh. I will definitely not be reading further in this series.

2 stars for the book. 4 for the narration.


Buy it Now Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X)

Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

16115612I have loved every word Khaled Hoseeini has put to paper. I have waited a long time for this novel. I have held my breath as I opened the very first page of this book and read the first line. I think I might have held that breath the entire first chapter….but as I finished that first chapter, I could only set the book down, breathe deep, sigh contentedly, and smile….yes, the wait had been worth it! As each chapter went on my feelings of pure bliss only grew. I was like the fat cat that had just ate that robin in the garden and was now basking in the sun feeling full, clean, and oh so satisfied. Life could be no better…..I was simply put…in a word…giddy……

Then I hit chapter 5……and my world changed…..

This is hard one to review. This book is broken into 9 chapters. All of them are lengthy…some of them are LONG…..They are told by different characters of the novel. They go back in history and forward in history….I have to say, chapters 1 – 4….they were….pure bliss for me….I loved every single word of them. I think I’ve reread the first two chapters 3 times each already. Chapters three and four have been scanned over multiply times….These chapters had everything I look for in writing. Mystery. Fables. Devotion. Regret. Heartache. Betrayal. Hopelessness. and a beauty that simply made me ache inside….I honestly found it hard to move beyond to the next chapters, it was just THAT beautiful. If this book had stayed on track from those chapters, it would have made it to my all time favorite list.

However, something strange happened at chapter 5 and I am still not sure why Hosseini changed direction. It was still great writing. It was still interesting. But the enchantment for me was gone. It was just good writing. The magic was left out…the interweaving of all the elements of the first part of the novel were laid off to the side. We were introduced to more stories. Yes, the narrators of these stories were all related to the main story, but not a part of it. How do I explain….I almost felt like I was reading something along the lines of 6 degrees of separation. I had no problem following along, I just was left wondering why is Hosseini including these narrators? Why are their stories included? That was it for me…they were not part of the story I feel in love with…they were their own stories. Yes, they were connected…but oh so different. They added nothing to the mystery. The added nothing to the enchantment of the first part of the novel. they were simply fillers….The ones that were important to the story were visited way too late in life to really fill in the part of their history I yearned to know of….Others were never revisited at all….Hosseini wrote a novel in the beginning that demanded I become invested in the characters and then completely ignored my need for more! Confused? I was too. Once you read the book, you will hopefully understand what I mean…..I personally feel like Hosseini had too wide a focus on this book. Perhaps if it were 900 plus pages long (YES! I would love to read a Hosseini book that long!) all of the stories could have been expanded upon and I would have felt that magic throughout the book…as it is, I simply felt like the first part was what the novel should have stayed true to and the rest just felt like an outline/shell of an unrelated story…..again, yes, I know they were all connected and I saw the connection…I just didn’t *feel* that connection….

this book left me so thrilled with its words and it’s story…yet surprisingly empty and let down at the same time…..

~UraniaBuy it now And the Mountains Echoed

Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


4 stars

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is about two teenage sisters navigating through their grief after their uncle’s death. A portrait he painted of them is both their preparation for his death and their therapy as they mourn.

The author did a wonderful job getting me to believe June’s life. Reading this book put me right there with her, back at 14 years old, watching drama club rehearsals and not knowing how to relate to boys. I felt like June was a girl I knew, someone I went to school with and hung out with on half-days, sketching or writing poetry in a notebook, trying to figure out how to express ourselves in a grown-up world.

I felt June’s confusion and sadness, her frustration with her sister, her search for an identity. The writing was so authentic, the emotional part of the story was very believable.

A few particulars in the story tripped me up. A 13-year old traveling from Westchester to Manhattan alone, or befriending a virtual stranger so quickly, or driving many miles in the middle of the night without a license seems too far-fetched. Maybe it’s because though I grew up in the same decades June did, I didn’t live in Westchester. I don’t know, but some actions just didn’t ring true.

It was those little implausible details that prevented me from being totally immersed in the story. As soon as I was about to lose myself in it, something unrealistic would jolt me out of the magic.

Still… I laughed and I cried – a sure sign of a good book. The sister relationship was written flawlessly. The expressions of sadness and love were perfectly conveyed. The writing flowed, and the dialogue was natural. The ending … just beautiful. I recommend!


Buy It Now Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Review: A Woman Entangled by Cecelia Grant

imageKate’s father married her mother, an actress. Her grandfather, an earl, disassociated himself from her father. She has written letters to her aunt in effort to re-connect. She hopes that her aunt will help her attain her goal of marrying well and thus improve her and her sisters’ standing in society.

“I’ve pinned all of my hopes on making a good marriage.”
“You have stringent ideas of what constitutes a good marriage. Myself, I know of no better union than the one to which you owe your existence.”
“My parents have a happy marriage. That’s not the same thing.”

Nick’s brother, Will, married a courtesan. He had to distance himself from his brother so that he pursue his political ambitions. A baron, a former soldier, hires him to help him be a better speaker in Parliament. His association with the baron can help him repair the damaged reputation caused by his brother’s marriage.

“Will and his wife, after all, probably had a happy marriage. That didn’t make it a good one.”

Three years ago, Nick had hopes of courting Kate, who refused. It was a painful and memorable scene in the book as Nick recounts the event.

This a sumptuous tale of two people trying to overcome bad family connections to have better standing in society. It’s difficult for me to describe this author’s elegant writing. She makes each word a joy to read as we Nick and Kate with what they think they want and what they really want.

This is the third book in the series but it is not necessary to read the the two previous books to understand and enjoy this one. Go read this one to experience what a great historical romance is all about.


Buy It Now A Woman Entangled

Review: Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley

imagePrior to this one, the only Kristen Ashley book that I have read was Motorcycle Man. I was curious about Shy & Tabby, which prompted me to request this book.

What I liked about this book:
1) No rambling sentences that inhibited my ability to understand what was going. Thank you, KA’s editor!
2) The romance between Shy & Tabby after they declared their love for each other. For me, the book really took off at this point. You just knew no matter what happened, they had each other. There was a great combination of sweet & sexy moments.
3) The way Shy & Tabby handled the club’s reaction to them. Also, when Shy had an opportunity to be promoted in Chaos, I liked the choice he made and his decision behind it.

What I didn’t like:
1) The time jumps in the beginning. It hindered my ability to connect w/ Shy & Tabby.
2) I wanted to see more of the development of them being friends.
3) The liberal use of the word “bitch.” It was used 60 times, as an adjective, a verb & a noun.
4) Tyra was also called Ty-Ty & Cherry. Sometimes she was called two of those names in the same paragraph. It became confusing.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I think it’s helpful that you read Motorcycle Man, but I think there’s enough information given to read this book as a standalone. The paperback is less than $6. The Kindle book is less than $4. It’s worth the risk to venture into this motorcycle club.


Buy It Now Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel

Review: Left Drowning, by Jessica Park

17325147 “Your parents died. Your world fell apart.”
I nod.
He puts his hand on my cheek. “You were left drowning”
I nod again.
“And you’re struggling to breathe”
I am. It’s a constant struggle to stay near the surface I have just enough air to stop me from going totally under, but not enough to thrive.
“So do it. Breathe. Just Breathe.”

WOW!! I am speechless…I can’t even think enough to type this out. I haven’t read such a perfect book in a very long time. Well…perfect for me. This had love, loss, tears and great deal of angst. See?? Perfect. Most definitely belongs in my Top 10 books of all time.

Blythe’s parents died in a fire, four years ago. She has been drowning ever since. She pushes people away, without even trying. She knows she’s depressed, but she doesn’t know the first thing about how to get out of it. She’s just trying get through her last year of college and move one.

What she doesn’t anticipate, is meeting Chris Shepherd.

He is the past, the present, and the future.

Chris is a very sweet guy, with a past that is so hard to read, I had to take breaks. I don’t know how he managed to get through it all without losing his mind. But he had to do it for his siblings.

The Shepherd siblings bring the necessary comedic breaks this really needed. Sabin was the best!! I wish I had a Sabin in my life. He was the “Cakest of all my baby cakes.” You’ll understand that when you read it.

Watching the love bloom between Blythe and Chris was very sweet. There were a few saucy scenes that made me quite happy. 🙂

“Chris may be imperfect, and he makes mistakes, but I can feel his heart and I know that he is mine.”

*swoon* Seriously, major swooning.

“I was born to love you.”

It was all going well, til about 68%, then it all bottomed out and I though I was gonna die of heartache. I seriously wanted to through my Kindle across the room. Devastation that we never saw coming. I wanted to reach in and slap someone.

When Chris reveals his past and what he’s gone through, I thought I was gonna get sick. Unimaginable what someone is capable of.

We find out why they bonded so quickly. When their stories come together, it was amazing. It was fate. Plain and simple, it was fate. They don’t wanna believe in fate, but that’s what it was. They were each other’s savior.

“We’re like…puzzle pieces that fit together.”

There was a happy ending, after much crying and seething. I almost didn’t make it though. Ms. Park sure knows how to cut our hearts up and then glue the pieces back together.

“What are we doing? What are you doing?”

“Loving you,” he says simply. “If you’ll let me.”

“Always. God, Always.”

I may never get over this book.


Buy it now Left Drowning

Review: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

15818107 “I believe in ghosts. They’re the ones who haunt us, the ones who have left us behind. Many times in my life I have felt them around me, observing, witnessing, when no one in the living world knew or cared what happened.”

Orphan Train pulled me in from the very beginning with the prologue and this haunting opening paragraph.

This is a very moving narrative with alternate settings in both the present day and the 1920’s through 1940’s. It starts with 17 year old Molly, who has been bounced around the foster care system for the last 8 years or so and has currently landed in a home that’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things. Molly is used to wearing her goth makeup like a mask.

“As a newcomer Molly had liked the distance her persona created, the wariness and mistrust she saw in the eyes of her peers. But though she’s loath to admit it, lately that persona has begun to feel restrictive.”

When she is caught stealing a book that she would like to have for her own Molly needs to do 50 hours of community service. She ends up doing the time with Vivian, a 91 year old woman, in her attic helping to clean and sort through all of her boxes. This begins her story and the story of the orphan trains in the 20’s.

It took me a while to get into Vivian’s story until she was actually on the orphan train and when that happens this novel really began to shape into a beautiful, woven story for me. Through Vivian’s telling of her history we’re also hearing of Molly’s as well. The unlikely friendship between the two women evolves throughout the book and changes them both.

I really enjoyed both of these stories and felt the author did a beautiful job of weaving the two together to create one full story. We don’t get a complete look at either Molly or Vivian and it seems that at the end it’s because together we get everything. The journey of both is overwhelming and inspiring at turns.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of all ages from YA to adults and to anyone who likes historical novels.

4 stars


Buy it Now Orphan Train: A Novel