Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
01 Holly V Mustard
02 Holly V Rainbow
03 ???? Disappeared
04 Holly Flat Rob
01 Franklin V Red
02 Franklin V Lavender
04 Franklin V Aqua
05 Franklin V Azure
06 Franklin Air Mystery
07 Franklin Orange
08 Franklin Air Mystery
05 Holly Air Mystery
09 Franklin V Dark Rust
06 Holly Surprise
Misenos V Orange/
Tangles V Lt. Orange
West (&K) Surprise
Members 1st V Evergreen
Leo's V Mocha Chip
Tsitrin Pouch Person (capon pts = 250)
Cybersaurus Rex temporary through 12.31/20 (capon pts = 150)
Karns Royal Red
Swimming Pool Premium GREENIE credit
ReinDroid #01 Courtyard Yellow (12/21/20)
Ametust #1034 (12/26/20)
Safir # 1004 (12/26/20)
Skylands at the Courtyards (12/27)
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
2019 171/100 Challenge
Favorites: The Body Keeper (Frasier) Ascension (Dixen) Where'd You Go Bernadette? (Semple) Where the Crawdads Sing (Owens) Widowmaker (Doiron) Letters to the Lost (Kemmerer) The Line Between Us (Lee) I am Pilgrim (Hayes
2011 only 5 books recorded, lol
Unabridged audio (10:45)
Goodreads rating: 4.15 - 8651 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: Huge gothic mansion and estate in Texas
First line/s: "When I was a kid, my mom constantly invented games."
My comments: I'm not sure what I expected from this, perhaps something in the line of The Westing Game, but that's not what it was. Lots and lots of characters, (yes, like the Westing Game) made it confusing at times, a huge Gothic house that was really hard to imagine, and the girl put into a situation that, even at the end of this part of the story, was impossible to believe. Making her the heiress and not his four brilliant grandsons....ever? Sure. Give me a break! Reading the next installment will be difficult if this first one isn't reread just prior - there are so many people and bits of information that should probably be remembered in order to move forward in good faith - I hope there's a good summarization somewhere on the internet, lol!
Goodreads synopsis: A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out. Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why--or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch--and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Adult Cozy Mystery
Goodreads rating: 4.02 - 2253 ratings
My rating: 2 (Just not a cozy mystery fan)
Setting: Contemporary small town Maine
First line/s: " 'I have two cups of Santa's cinnamon tea, one spicy apple cider, and a peppermint twist hot cocoa,' I said, setting the mugs on the table surrounded by rosy-cheeked women wearing matching holiday sweaters."
My comments: Deceiving title, only one murder. There's a reason I don't read cozy mysteries. Only ready this because it's set in Maine. This was so sugary sweet, silly, and stupid. Stereotypical everything, a Hallmark movie extraordinaire in print. How can a whole town's worth of people fit in one living room a dozen times? Ridiculous!
Goodreads synopsis: When Holly White's fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime--exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly's family tree farm.
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Friday, December 18, 2020
Adult Christmas novella
Goodreads rating: 3.50 - 562 ratings
My rating: 4
My comments: What a horrible title, I almost didn't read it because of that! It's quite a fun story despite the lousy title. Perfect length, enjoyed it a lot.
Goodreads synopsis: In this charming and heartwarming retelling of Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life, Camille Pagán, best-selling author of This Won’t End Well and I’m Fine and Neither Are You, introduces us to Bailey, a dutiful yet sharp-witted 30-something who finds herself on the verge of a nervous breakdown as Christmas Eve approaches. As if it wasn’t enough that Bailey’s husband has just cheated on her, the family business she’s been running since her parents died, which employs most of her small town, is about to go under. But even as she’s questioning whether her life has any meaning, Bailey bumps into a handsome stranger who claims to know her - and through a series of strange events, sheds new light on what it means to make a difference in this messy, wonderful world.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Contemporary Holiday Romance
Goodreads rating: 3.95 - 2439 ratings
My rating: 3.5
Setting: Contemporary Wyoming/Montana (can't remember which)
First Line/s: "Harley Diekerhoff looked up from peeling potatoes to glance out the kitchen window."
Goodreads synopsis: Since the loss of her family in a plane crash, Harley Diekerhoff has led a quiet life and keeps to herself. Taking the temporary job at the Copper Mountain Ranch as widower Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper seems perfect for her. But her calm cocoon is invaded with the arrival of Brock’s pre-teen twins, Mack and Molly who’ve never experienced a proper Christmas and before she knows it, Harley’s determined to make their holiday perfect.
Annoyed at first by Harley’s interference, Brock is secretly pleased she’s changed Mack and Molly’s world. It doesn’t hurt that he finds Harley incredibly attractive, fierce, smart and passionate. It’s also an added bonus that she’s not afraid to challenge him and get his blood heated! But when sparks fly and the attractions sizzles between them, Harley’s not so sure she can handle something permanent with this dark, taciturn cowboy who doesn’t know how to let her in. But Brock is determined to hold on to her and praying for a Christmas miracle…
Goodreads rating: 3.72 - 144 ratings
My rating: 1 Crappy
First line/s: "Sometimes I marvel at the way my job choices have sent me down."
My comments: There was absolutely nothing to like about this book. The female reader read everyone's speaking parts horribly except for the protagonist. She added nuances to the speech that changed the peoples' personalities. Everything was stupid, the way everyone acted and reacted, the bevy of friends, and all their "advice," and even the (nonexistent) amount of time that she spent "taking care of" her little sister, which se was always complaining about.
Goodreads synopsis: Working at Bliss, Sarah Harrison deals with all sorts of—interesting clientele. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little “gifts” for the women in his life.
Next thing Sarah knows, she’s in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it’s a hardship. Once you get the man away from the office, he’s much more relaxed. Sweet. Funny. Even…thoughtful? Oh, and sexier than ever, of course.
Their pretend relationship feels very real, very quickly. Soon Sarah’s in over her head. Could what she and Jared share turn into something real? Or is it all actually…fake?
Monday, December 14, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
85 pgs. estimated
Adult Historical Fiction (American Revolution)
Goodreads rating: 3.67 - 3251 ratings
My rating: 3.5
What I posted on Goodreads:
My comments: An historical fiction based on the possibility of real facts. Using details gleaned from many sources, it is know that there was a female spy during the revolution that helped catch Benedict Arnold before his traitorous actions were too debilitating for America. This story is the author's imagining of what could have actually happened. Interesting, much more so after hearing the author's afterward, the details about the real possible people involved.
Goodreads synopsis: From Marie Benedict, best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room and Lady Clementine, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American History.
The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war - she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington's own network of spies: the Culper Ring.
Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
narrated by many readers
Unabridged audio (1:38)
doesn't say, will count 80 pgs.
Adult CRF Epistolary US & India
Goodreads rating: 4.06 - 4810 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: Phone conversations & voicemails between a daughter of Indian background living in LA and her parents in India
What I posted on Goodreads: same as below
My comments: Spoke theater, the whole thing is telephone conversations and voicemails between a mother, a daughter, the father, and the boyfriend. It gets creepy. Creepy fun. I quite liked it.
Friday, December 11, 2020
Unabridged audio (1:11)
Adult CRF Holiday
Goodreads rating: 3.60 - 452 ratings
My rating: 2
Setting: train from Florence to Paris
My comments: This was a spoken performance that took place on a Christmas Eve train ride from Florence through Italy towards Paris. When the train encounters a blizzard it has to stop because it cannot continue, and two people whe have just met explore and get to know each other a little better. I think there was supposed to be charisma between the two characters, but I just didn't feel it. It was very short, so it didn't waste much of my time.
Goodreads synopsis: What makes for a wonderful life? On a crowded Christmas train from Milan to Paris, Amy, an American headed to meet her fiancé, and Martjin, a Finn headed anywhere but home, meet cute. But when their train gets delayed in an Italian Alps hill town due to a snow storm, they, along with a passel of fellow stranded passengers, find comfort and joy in a cozy inn, run by a wise Italian man who forces them to look at the holiday and each other in a whole new light.
narrated by Eva Kaminsky and Jason Clarke
Unabridged audio (2:55)
2020 Audible Originals
approx. 100 pgs.
Adult Hanukkah RomCom
Goodreads rating: 3.51 - 406 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: contemporary NYC in December
What I posted on Goodreads: This is a great length for a romance, less than three hours. Refreshing holiday story about Hanukkah and a group of Jewish friends in NYC. Sort of a strange premise, but an easy holiday listen.
My comments: This is the perfect length for a romance, -they should rarely ever be longer - not too much breaking up, getting back together, misunderstanding repeat. That's not to say that I thought the story was great...though it was definitely different and easy to listen to. Hanukkah instead of Christmas. A group of Jewish friends in New York City. Refreshingly not steamy.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
narrated by Brooke Bloomingdale and Edward Thomas
Unabridged audio (10:07)
2020 Audible Originals
290 pgs. - an estimation
Adult Christmas RomCom
My rating: 3
Setting: contemporary rural Idaho
What I posted on Goodreads: Very cutesie story to listen to when trying to get into the holiday spirit.
Goodreads synopsis: Press play on happily ever after in this charming, heartfelt holiday rom-com.
Nick Winters and Noel Carter have known each other their whole lives. After years of shared family holidays, working together on the Winters’ Christmas tree farm, and being each other's safe haven, they wouldn't dream of crossing the line from friends to something more....
But when Nick comes home for the holidays after serving overseas and finds that his long-term girlfriend has decided to get her stocking stuffed elsewhere, Noel is there to pick him up and show him that instead of a Blue Christmas he can still have a Wonderful Christmastime without his cheating ex.
A night on the town and an impulsive kiss later has Noel thinking that perhaps this year they’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree as a couple, but only if the ghost - er rather - girlfriend of Nick's Christmas past doesn’t decide to haunt their holiday....
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
narrated by many readers
Unabridged audio (6:17)
Goodreads rating: 3.55 - 1508 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: 1630 Plymouth
First line/s: "We thought ourselves a murderless colony."
What I posted on Goodreads: same as comments below
My comments: Some of this story was very frustrating because of the flipping back-an-forth timewise and narrator wise. I enjoyed being put into the middle of the history of early colonization where the author glamorizes nothing. Who knows what really happened during that time....white male supremacy, God is mightier than anything else, saints vs. sinner (or "hypocrites" vs. indentured servants). This was not the history I learned, but is probably closer to the truth. Sadly, so much hate, meanness, selfishness, pettiness. The jumping around was bothersome. I enjoyed this book in some ways, but less in others....
Ten years after the Mayflower pilgrims arrived on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, in reality the town is led by fervent puritans who prohibit the residents from living, trading, and worshipping as they choose. By the time an unfamiliar ship, bearing new colonists, appears on the horizon one summer morning, Anglican outsiders have had enough.
With gripping, immersive details and exquisite prose, TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the previously unheard voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior.
Suspenseful and beautifully wrought, Beheld is about a murder and a trial, and the motivations―personal and political―that cause people to act in unsavory ways. It is also an intimate portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship that asks: Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed―and subsequently, who gets punished?