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BrandieNoel last won the day on June 14 2022

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  1. Happy July Everyone! 🎆 Just wanted to check in and give an update on what books I read in June and my plans for July! First, I did take a break from my Monthly Mariana schedule. I will probably pick that back up in August. I just have so much going on and group reads that I am participating in, so my re-reads have had to take a back seat to that. I am hoping to be back to that in August with Rhythm Chord and Malykin. June was a month of mood reading for me. It was fun to read just whatever I felt in the mood for. It prompted me to join in on some fun new book clubs. Most of "the list" went out the window for the month. Here is what ended up happening in my reading world: I found some fun romance book tubers that are new to me and started some book clubs, the first is Smut Club lol...I thought "why not? sounds fun" Smut club was started by Oheyitsmichae and That Tall Book Girl and the first book was: ⭐⭐ Sounds scandalous, eh not really. I guess it was ok. But not really what I thought it would be based on what was promised. For a "smut" book the smut level was actually pretty low. I did like some of the side characters and the idea of the story was fun, it just didn't land for me. It also did the thing that is sort of a pet peeve for me in contemporary romance. Diversity box checking. I have talked about this before, but it sad to me when an author just inserts a sort of diverse idea or character just to check off that box that they included something diverse without it contributing to the story in any real way. I am all for these ideals in my reading, but it seems insulting when it feels like it's just added to check a box and it doesn't really add to the story. I am looking forward to keep going, and the July book for Smut Club is In Flight by R.K. Lilley. Here is the spoiler filled discussion about Kink Camp Hunted: I also decided to read along with Michea's Out of Bounds book club too. June's book was: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is a forbidden romance club. So this forbidden romance was a priest romance. I have never read a priest romance before. I liked the story and really liked the characters. It was just a fun and taboo read, exactly the kind of romance fun I was looking for this month. From what I understand though it was not as taboo as most priest romances (according to the ladies in the discussion) Seemed pretty scandalous to me though! I'm having fun getting out of my comfort zone a little with these books. July is Cruel Black Hearts by Candace Wondrack. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was heavy and dark. The writing, the world building, political intrigue, and moral grayness of characters, whoa! Very complex with a lot going on. I think I may have missed some things. @Steve has a great non spoiler video on his channel and I found that Slowly Red has a good spoiler filled review on his channel. Both really helped me to understand some of the complexities in this world. They both really have a good way of getting me excited for the next one. Link for both of those below: ⭐⭐⭐ This was not my favorite Witcher book. I spent a lot of time confused in this one. I did have to go to my son and ask for explanations about what was happening. A lot of it could have just been the head space I was in when I read it. It was during a time of the month that I was pretty distracted with life things. But I do always enjoy the discussion that I get to have with my son and the passion he has as he explains the story, he just loves these stories so much. ⭐⭐⭐ I usually really love a Lauren Rowe book. I can usually count on her for some funny romantic comedy. This is the first in a trilogy. The main character is Reed Rivers, who in previous books is kind of known as a jerk, not the fun loving funny hero that I have read in previous Lauren Rowe books, (the Morgan brothers are hilarious). I will continue with the series, not much happened in this book one, just a lot of set up. ⭐⭐⭐ This book moved a little slow for me. Usually I find that Brittany C. Cherry writes a heartbreaking love story with struggle and loss. When I read her Elements series I cried...A LOT. This was good and a fun read. Just not the emotional ride that I come to expect from her. ⭐⭐⭐ This was a fun, quick, horror read. It wasn't as scary as I expected. I really feel like Daniel Barnett has ruined me for other horror sometimes. His books got in my head so much that I measure most horror against them. But I did find The Only Good Indians to be a fascinating story with some weirdness that I really liked. There were some scenes that I found to be a little long winded, going on way too long. Only my second SGJ books, but I am looking forward to reading more of his books. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I ended my month with Carrie. I have decided to go back and read Stephen Kings works in publication order. This was first on my list. It was so good. I did an immersion thing with the audiobook, narrated by Sissy Spacek! I watched the movie years ago, but have never read the book, so listening to her read the audiobook added an extra level of creepy for me. It was such a fun read. I know we are already into July, my plans for July.... The Indie Accords Read-a-Thon! I have joined The Dark Knights team. I don't really have a TBR for this, But I do have a list of indie books that is quite large that I just plan to pull from throughout the month and hopefully fulfill some of the prompts for the read-a-thon. I will also try to make a blog post to review the books I am reading for indie accords in July. It's going to be a fun month!! What are you all reading?! Have you read any of these books? What Indie books have you read that you love? I am always open for suggestions! Hugs! 🤗
  2. BrandieNoel

    May Wrap Up

    I am just now seeing this! I am so behind on my blog too, as you can see... LOL I did an immersion thing with Carrie. I got the audiobook from the library and it was narrated by Sissy Spacek, I loved it. I am so glad that I read it. We just started the new season of Stranger Things, we are 2 episodes in and so far it seems good. This season is feeling a little more scary to me. I added Book Lovers to my goodreads list! Thank you for the rec! I can't wait to check it out. I love Gilmore Girls! Looks really cute. Also adding Nettle and Bone too, sounds right up my alley. Thank you for following the blog, when I find time it has been pretty therapeutic to get some thoughts out there and have something that is just a little extra fun that I can look back on later. Especially since I have been so bad with my reading journal...I really need to get caught up on that lol.
  3. "poop, poop, poop!" 😆
  4. BrandieNoel

    May Wrap Up

    Hi Everyone!! 📚 Whoa! I read A LOT in May! It was just one of those months where it worked out that way. Some of you may have seen my blog post about the May The Force Read with You Read-a-Thon. I was able to check everything off my list of prompts for that, and had a blast chatting with others in the discord about what we were reading. So here is what I read in May and some brief spoiler free thoughts on each book. Have you all read any of these books? I would love to hear your thoughts as well! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have been having a great time reading through this series. Even though I am AWFUL at Discord and all things that have to do with social media, I am trying to participate in the discussion with The BookStara Readalongs. I started Discovery of Witches (book 1) about a year ago and DNF'd it. I am really not even sure why. I am so glad I gave this series another chance. It is pretty good. I am loving the love story, of course, but the creatures, powers, and without spoiling it too much I am always down for some time travel! I am looking forward to hearing the group's thoughts! There is going to be a spoiler filled discussion on June 10th here: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon pick for May. It was SO GOOD. Ok, at first I was having trouble with it, the problem was with me. It has been a while since I have read a fantasy book with multiple perspectives, so I found myself getting frustrated rather than just embracing the style. Once I got over it and switched gears it was so much easier to enjoy this book. I did finish it in less than 24 hours. It kept me guessing the whole time...and I was ALWAYS wrong. I couldn't predict what was happening. This is the mark of a great book for me. I had originally gave it 4 stars, but 2 weeks later I am still thinking about it. It deserves 5 stars. Do any of you ever do that? Rate a book and then go back and change it later? I don't know why I think sometimes that my rating should be "set in stone" I am allowed to change my mind right?! Just feels weird for some reason. Here is our midnight kickoff stream to start off the read-a-thon. It is always a fun time! ⭐⭐⭐ This is the second book in the series. I liked it. There is a lot of political intrigue and cultural issues that I enjoy. The story moves a little slow for me and it just feels SO long. There are so many books that I read that are long, and don't feel like they are that long. This one is long and it feels that way. I guess it was dragging for me. There is a relationship between the main character and her "love interest?", that absolutely frustrates me, but in a good way. I like that the relationship is unpredictable and not a "cookie cutter" type of romance. I like when a book makes me feel a certain way, even if the feeling is anger and frustration. I am weird like that. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Under Locke was my Monthly Mariana Re-read for the month of April. I started the last day in April and finished in May. Still Loved it. I guess I would classify this one as an "enemies to lovers" story. A grumpy, brooding, jerk of a hero and a lovable, funny heroine with a tragic back story. I have been thinking a lot lately about the formulaic nature of the romance novel. I don't mind that romance usually follows a formula. But particularly, lately I have been looking for the "3rd act break-up". I hope it doesn't spoil anything, but I think maybe Mariana books don't really follow a formula as much as others. Maybe that is why I love her writing so much? No 3rd act break up in this one. Maybe it's because it is such a slow burn. I am not sure. Formula or no, I am still loving these books. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Still one of my favorite Mariana books! This was the Monthly Mariana for May. I just love this book. Another grumpy, brooding, jerk of a hero with a funny and lovable heroine. I love the progression of this story from enemies to friends to lovers. Some of the side characters in this book are just awesome and hilarious. I LOVE Sal's dad. I laughed out loud so many times reading this book. There are also some extremely heartwarming parts and I am not going to lie, there were tears. Stay tuned for my blog post for the next Monthly Marianna, Rhythm, Chord, and Malykin. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book has one of my favorite romance tropes, marriage of convenience/fake relationship. That is not a spoiler because you find that out on page one of this book. This was a book that has been on my TBR for a long time. It was a cute story and an enjoyable read. I always read my romance at night before bed. Romance is my go to for a comfort read so I find it relaxing to read before bed. This was a great book to do that with. I did listen to the audio book for a couple of chapters. It was good, but I find that I don't really enjoy a romance audio book as much as I like to just read a physical book or my kindle. I love to listen to other genres on audio book though. What are your thoughts on this topic? I am interested to know what audio books you all are listening to. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the pick for @Lezlie's Wine and Crime book club this month. I am really loving stepping out of my comfort zone and reading some crime/suspense books. It is such a fun time and I really liked this book. I have been having some issues with sleep lately so it freaked me out a little to read this one, which I loved. I could really relate haha!. It also had a theme that I love in a book or a movie/tv show. I won't say what that is though because it would be a major spoiler. I read the physical book but mostly listened to to audio book for this one...I have to say the narrator was fantastic and super creepy at times. Here is the discussion from Lezlie's channel, it is spoiler filled after a certain point, but there is a section at the beginning that is spoiler free. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am about to embark on the Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb, starting with Fools Errand. It was suggested to me by @Derri That I read this short novella before getting started. I just love the story telling of Robin Hobb. I told my husband "this book is a pretty cover with messed up stories inside" haha. The things a character in a Hobb story goes through, geesh! There was some good insight in this book about the origin of a piece of the magic system that can be found in the Farseer lineage. I have never given a single Robin Hobb book less than five stars at this point. I can always count on the fact that I am really going to enjoy anything that I read in the Realm of the Elderlings so far. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have been trying to read at least one classic each month. I enjoyed this one. I watched the movie when I was younger but totally forgot what it was about, so enough time passed that it seemed like a new story. There were parts of this book that I felt dragged on a little and it didn't hold my attention as much as Jane Austen. But I did really like it and I am glad I experienced the book. Maybe I will revisit the movie now. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am still enjoying reading through this series. I found this second book to be better than the first. It took some turns and went some places that I was not expecting. It is a quick and to the point read. I am really liking the morally grey nature of the characters and just the story in general. Ready to move on to book three! ⭐⭐⭐ I read this book looking for some new techniques to use in my journey to healing. There are a lot of things in this book that I already do, but it was a nice reminder of things I could be doing to improve the mind/body connection on my path to wellness. I will keep this book around and refer back to it. It will be a good resource to have in my arsenal. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the last book in our journey through the Dark Tower series. Although it was written after the series was complete, it falls between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. I am glad though that we saved it for last. I wanted to experience the books in the chronological order that they were written. It was a short and fun little side story, I loved it! Now that I am done with the series I just plan to try and read Stephen King chronologically. Starting with Carrie next month... Hopefully. Our Ka-tet will be discussing this book too, so keep an eye on the calendar here for that. What did you all read in May?! Hope you all had a great month! Hugs 🤗
  5. Hi All!! This month I will be doing a re-read of Kulti. ⚽ I remember this as being one of my favorites! I'm excited to see if it still is! It was the first sports romance that I have ever read. I wasn't sure if I would like a sports romance because, even though I watch a lot of football and basketball, I am not huge into sports. But Mariana Zapata writes a great sports romance. This one is also an enemies to lovers romance, which I love! As always it is a super slow burn, as are all of her books! I found the main character to be so hard working and very likeable. She is also pretty funny. As usual there is some great banter in this one. I also love the side characters, the father of the heroine just absolutely cracked me up. Looking forward to re-reading this one! Let me know what you all think if you read it. As always don't forget to use the spoiler function if you are talking spoilers below. Feel free to jump in anytime! These posts will remain, so whether you read these books now or later I will always be here to discuss with you! Hugs! 🤗
  6. I am not able to be on camera today I will be there but I have to join from the chat. ❤️
  7. I can't say enough how amazing Andy Serkis is. My daughter is listening too. My son has a strong aversion to audio books. He is almost done with fellowship. I am thinking that I will definitely go through Amanda's list and at the very least read all of the connected books that I missed. I too was so invested in all of the characters. He really made us love them all even the ones we are supposed to hate. I am up for anything as far as the read a thons go. I sometimes have trouble doing youtube check ins if Steve has other stuff going on and I can't use his set up. But I personally try to make myself available all weekend to discuss and read and hopefully finish the entire book. I do look forward to it every month. It is my one thing that everybody in my house knows I'm checked out for the weekend. It's my mom break every month! HA HA
  8. Great List! I did just read Little Women and that was it. I may go on in the future, but it was a buzzword book for April, of course I am behind on that. But I'm thinking as long as I do those prompts through out the year and not specifically in the month they are assigned, I will complete them all at some point. I think you said you were doing it that way too? I do hope to make a spread in my journal for the read-a-thon, I am so behind in my journal. I need to catch up. I'm hoping to catch up and do a blog post about that, plus add a book-oply board at some point! I read Hatchet with my son when he was probably about G's age. It was fun and then we watched the movie. I think the movie is called A Cry in the Wild? I don't have FOMO about Malazan. Maybe one day I will change my mind and read it. Just not feeling it these days. Excited to read Hobb and Kulti with you!! Oh and Boneshard and Keyhole too!
  9. Happy May the 4th! ✨ I LOVE a read-a-thon and am excited to participate in this year's May the force read with you read-a-thon. THIS is the youtube video that lured me to the dark side! Thank you to @Lezlie for sharing this! It is going to be so much fun! If you want to join I don't think it is too late. Lezlie provides the information for the discord with this video. Like I said before, I chose the DARK SIDE/ Sith Order! Really, how could I not?! Here is my list that will help me achieve level 5 Dark Lord of the Sith: Lightning- A book you think will shock you- Kushiel's Chosen by Jaqueline Carey ⭐⭐⭐ Seduction- a book with a pretty cover- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Force Fear- a horror/thriller book- Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Corruption- start a series- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Mind Control- pets or people chose the book for you- Priest of Lies by Peter McClean (picked by my hubs) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Force Sensitive- neutral ability- dark side reads this book only at night- Under Locke by Marianna Zapata ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Lightsaber- A book with your favorite color on the cover- Healing Mindset by Eileen Laird (pink) ⭐⭐⭐ Blasters- take another shot at a previous ability prompt- force sensitive- Kulti by Marianna Zapata ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Space Ships- a book that has a sky or space/stars on the cover- Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Partners- I plan to be Neutral Bounty Hunters- read a book at the top of your list- The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Droids- audiobook/ebook- The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is quite an ambitious list I have created for myself! I think it will be a blast trying to achieve it! Is anyone else joining?! What side did you choose? Share your lists below! I will come back and update this blog post with star ratings as I check all the books of my list. Let's go team Dark Side! 🤩 Hugs! 🤗
  10. I liked it! There was so much! The premise was interesting, I really liked the political intrigue, the culture and religious themes, and great world building. Some of the action dragged on for me, but that's nit-picking. I am going to start Kushiel's chosen in May.
  11. Happy May!! 🌸 Last month I posted my rolling TBR list and new way of managing what I read. So far it is working pretty well for me. In this blog post I will share with you all what I read from my list in the month of April with some of my thoughts. Also my new list. It is a little big. But this month I am participating in the "May the Force Read With you Read-A-Thon" (stay tuned tomorrow for my blog about that) I will be taking books from my list to fill the prompts in that read-a-thon. So here are the books that I checked of my list in April: ⭐ This was so hard to get through. I was determined to finish because This was book nine out of nine books in the series. Every three books in this series is about a different couple within this Carrero family. The first six were great and I found them to be a lot of fun. I was skeptical about the Alexi and Camilla books because Camilla was already established as a hated character in previous books. She does some pretty nasty stuff. You do get a little insight into why Camilla is the way she is but it is repeated over and over and over. These last three books could have been just one book. The author repeated herself way too much. It just dragged on and on and took forever for anything exciting to happen. Not a fan of this one. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am reading Tolkien with my teenagers. We did the Hobbit a couple months ago and then watched all of the movies. We are all reading on our own. I have been listening to the audio books for these because ... Andy Serkis! He is great! He sings all of the songs and as you can imagine his voices for all of the characters are just amazing. I have never read Tolkien and I am having a blast so far reading these and discussing them with my kids and finally getting to experience the magic that is Tolkien. I am seeing why he is so beloved. Excited for The Two Towers. Patiently waiting for my kiddos to finish before I move on. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I had a great time reading this with my hubby, @Steve , @Jolien Reads and @MaedBetweenthePages . They had a fun and thoughtful discussion on Jolien's channel and I was there to participate in the chat. I really enjoyed hearing their thoughts. The conversation makes things interesting and helped me pick up on some things I missed. This book, you could tell, was heavily inspired by the show Peaky Blinders, I liked that feel of it because I love that show. I didn't feel like it was too on the nose. It was just a great balance of a Peaky Blinders feel with some fantasy and magical elements. We are going to keep going with the next book Priest of Lies. These are rather short books as far as fantasy goes so anyone could totally catch up to us for the next one and join in. ⭐⭐⭐ This one I am also reading with @Steve. I liked this one too. It was a fun short fantasy read also. It has some strong Sons of Anarchy parallels but with orcs and fantasy elements. I felt in this one that the SOA parallels were a little too on the nose and not at all subtle. But I had a good time with it. I enjoyed the humor, the action, and the darkness of the story. ⭐⭐⭐ This was my first time reading a true crime book. I liked it. I read it because @Lezlie started a Crime and Wine book club and this was the first pick! Reading it with others and hearing everyone's thoughts and theories made it so fun! I liked the crime aspect of this with some paranormal elements. Here is the fun discussion from Lezlie's channel, there are spoilers. I am so glad I added this fun club to my months and I am looking forward to the next one, Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ THIS BOOK! The Dark Tower broke my heart, it made me cry tears of anger and tears of joy. It was bitter sweet. I really loved this one, it may be my favorite book in the series. I know that this book can be a little controversial with some people loving it and some people angry with it. But I thought it was a perfect way to end this journey. My only complaint is that it spoiled both the Cujo book and movie for me, but I suppose that can be forgiven. I would recommend reading some of the books connected before reading this book, it really adds to the enjoyment of the series. @Amanda Feeser has a great video on her channel about reading some of the books connected to the Dark Tower books. (link below) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFWVfvs74JM&t=23s I cannot wait to discuss this with the Ka-Tet and see what everyone else thinks. Right now it is planned for May the 7th and will be on @Joseph Carrel's new youtube channel. It will be spoiler filled. Keep an eye on the calendar post for updates on that discussion. https://www.pagechewing.com/forum/index.php?/calendar/event/75-the-dark-tower-discussion/ Here is the link to Joseph's channel, he has some fun stuff going on over there if you haven't checked it out yet! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ndLlcAOal-Chxf8y202qw/videos ⭐⭐ This book was OK. I felt like it was a bunch of fantasy romance tropes mashed into one book. Things moved so fast that I didn't feel I had time to be invested in any of the characters and had trouble rooting for them because of that. This was book one in a series, I am not too sure if I will keep going yet. Even though I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, it was the pick for The High Court Ladies monthly read-a-thon. No matter what the book is, the read-a-thon is always a blast! I was unable to be on camera this month for the live midnight kick off, but I was in the chat. It is always a great time with these ladies and I always try to finish the book by the end of the weekend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZKDqSAZV4M ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book was a gift from @Stacyejaye and I read it to attempt to catch up with @Jolien Reads so that I can read the next one when she reads it. Jolien had great things to say about this book and she or Stacey have never steered me wrong. This book had a very interesting premise. I enjoyed the world building, the political intrigue, and cultural and religious aspects of it. The only thing I didn't enjoy as much is some of the action and fighting parts that went on a little too long, but that's never really been my thing. I will go on to the next one Kushiel's Chosen and have added it to my new TBR list. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is a book that was not on my list. I have been dealing with some autoimmune and health issues. My functional medicine doctor wanted me to read this as part of the healing journey that I am on. It was very good and had so much information that I really needed. Before I read the book I watched the TEDX talk that Dr. Wahls gave and was just so inspired to learn more. I am going to link that video below because I just found it to be very informative and inspirational and can be for everyone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc&t=16s So that was everything that I got to in April! I am behind on my Monthly Marianna for April- Under Locke. I didn't end up starting my re-read of that until May 1st. But I will be updating that post as I finish my re-read and creating a new one for May- Kulti! Here is my new list. Stay tuned tomorrow (May the 4th) Star Wars day, for my blog about the read-a-thon! The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince (May) Little Women- Louisa May Alcott (classic) Under Locke- Mariana Zapata (romance) The Healing Mindset (1 chapter a day) Shadow of Night- Deborah Harkness (paranormal romance) The Bone Shard Daughter (Read a thon May) Kushiels Chosen- Jaqueline Carey (fantasy romance) Kulti- Monthly Marianna May Child of the Prophecy- Juliet Marillier (fantasy romance) Priest of Lies Insomnia (wine and crime) The wind through the keyhole Well Met- Jen DeLuca (romance) The Dead Inside- Laurel Hightower (horror) A Court of Frost and Starlight- Sarah J. Maas (fantasy romance) A Court of Silver Flames- Sarah J. Maas (fantasy romance) What He Never Knew- Kandi Steiner (romance) Bad Liar- Lauren Rowe (romance) Lover Awakened- J.R. Ward (paranormal romance) The Wreckage of Us- Britainy C. Cherry (romance) Shadow of the Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon (fantasy?) Fools Errand- Robin Hobb (fantasy) (june) Lady of the Lake- Adrej Sapkowski (grimdark fantasy) The Only Good Indians- Stephen Graham Jones (horror) The Darkness that Comes Before (june) What did you all read in April? What's everyone reading in May? Have you all read any of these books? I always look forward to any discussion about things that I am reading! Hope everyone has a good month! Hugs 🤗
  12. how was the audiobook? I'm thinking I might listen to some of it.
  13. I am so behind on Under Locke. I started it May 1 haha. I am about halfway through. I will finish this week and make a blog post for Kulti. I am enjoying it. Not loving Under Locke as much as I did the first time. I am finding that I loved some of the later books so much that this one, while it is still good, not my favorite (as I said before).. My full spoilery thoughts will come once I finish.
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