Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Boos: April

I've read/listened to 36 books in 2015, which I'm super excited about and I hope I can keep up this rate until December! I finished seven books in April. Let's review:

7. Virals by Kathy Reichs. (Audio) I chose this book because I'm always being asked at work to recommend mysteries. I wasn't expecting the supernatural element of the story, but I did like the main character who is the relative of Temperance Brennan from the Bones series. This read a little young for me.

6. Sweet by Emmy Laybourne (ARC) I haven't read this author's other series, but having heard good things, I was excited to read this advanced reader copy (ARC). This is a weird story. The premise is that two best friends go on a luxury cruise that is introducing a new weight-loss sweetener. Of course, things go horribly wrong. Some of the plot moved a little too quickly for me, but I loved how insane things got on the ship.

5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu (Audio). I really liked Legend so I was excited for this new series with the awesome cover. Parts of the story felt super long to me, but to be fair, I was on a long drive so that may have made the difference. I will pick up the next book because I did like the story that was set up at the end. Gonna need more romance in book two, Lu!

4. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes (Audio). This was a special book. I started it, enjoying the main character's voice and the story that kept my drive feeling light and fun. But man, without giving away anything, this is one of those books I want everyone to read.
3. Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young (ARC). I lovvvvve Suzanne Young's writing. If you haven't read The Program, you need to! This book doesn't come out until later this year, but I was lucky enough to get an ARC. It's deliciously creepy, romantic, and mysterious. 
2. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (ARC). I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. Not that I didn't think it would be good (Sarah Dessen isn't incredibly popular for writing crappy books!), but I was worried it would be too juvenile for me. And yeah, there were times when I, as a woman in her 30s, really wanted this get a lil more romantic, but overall, I really liked this book. The characters are wonderful and really set this book apart from others. I think it's going to be a huge hit. (Duh.)
1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan (ARC). And my #1 book I read in April! This was such a joy to read. It's long in the best way because once you start reading about Bex's life in London, you don't want it to end. Of course, having been inspired by Wills and Kate, some of the story sounds incredibly familiar, but with a wonderful cast of side characters, the entire story still feels fresh. And, as a personal plea: buy this book because I need a sequel!!!!!
What have YOU been reading? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Red Reviews: May 2015

Let's dig in to May's fashion magazines, shall we?

12. I love the fashion, the mix of stripes and florals will always get my vote and her hair looks good, too. What I don't really like? The disappearance of her right shoulder.

11. I'm not a big fan of this type of cover. Yes, all three women are beautiful and powerful, but nothing on this cover screams at me to pick it up. That's just me, though. And how tall are SJP's heels for her to be almost as tall as Michelle Obama?

10. Not gonna lie, I love the "BEAUTY" right across her chest. If that's not attention-grabbing, I don't know what is! This is the newsstand version of Harper's Bazaar and I like it overall, but it does seem a little fuzzy. I get the subscriber issue so I can't check to see if it's just the screenshot I got. You'll see the subscriber issue farther down...

9. Similar to the Glamour cover above, this is not a fashion/beauty type of cover. Chelsea Clinton looks amazing (that hair!), but this is a pretty simple dress and pose. I ranked it higher than the other one because I appreciate that CC is on her by herself.
8. Reese Witherspoon is everywhere right now promoting her new movie with Sofia Vergara. (I'm glad RW is alone on the cover!) I LOVE feathers and even though it's a bit of blue overload, I really like this cover. Her hair looks amazing when it's wavy and she has one of the best smiles out there. Excellent!

7. I love Lucky because they're always doing something different! This is the beauty issue and they're not using the typical close-up shot. And I'm glad they're not, because I love the dress.

6. Khaleesi! This is the British Vogue, by the way. I would never wear this dress, but I love how it almost blends into her hair and the use of pink with the print is really nice. I like the sleepiness of her expression, but it still jumps out with her dark eyebrows framing her face. Love it!
5. I actually had this ranked lower until I started to write about it. At first I wasn't into her lack of expression, but now I'm really into it. With the crossed legs and arms it feels very "Oh, you caught me taking a moment away from the party. Here I am just sitting over by the window enjoying the silence." I think Carey Mulligan has perfected that little smirk that she usually has in photos and, while she doesn't have it here, I can just imagine it and somehow that works for me.
4. Blake Lively is so beautiful that even though this cover is fairly standard, it's amazing. Her hair looks amazing, her eyes are piercing, even her hands are perfect. I bow down.
3. This is the subscriber cover of Bazaar and I Love It! Kendall Jenner looks amazing (if not a little like Shailene Woodley here). I love the styling and expecially the BAZAAR over the tulle from the hat. Perfect!
2. "The Art of Beauty" is the perfect caption for this cover. Lupita Nyong'o looks incredible! And she has such joy in her eyes and smile, too. So so pretty.

1. Another perfect caption: "Beauty with Attitude". I think Charlize Theron is incredibly beautiful and she know show to command a room (or photo in this case). I gave this the #1 spot for the month of May because of the use of shadow. It stands out from the others and to even put the name of the magazine in shadow, that's awesome.   

So, do you have a favorite from May's covers? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know! Either in the comments or on twitter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Find Time To Read

The Barnes & Noble Book Blog posted a list of 100* ways to find time to read. I'll boldface the ones I've done:)

  1. While you’re brushing your teeth
  2. While your manicure is drying
  3. While you’re on hold
  4. During commercials
  5. In between sets
  6. Watering the garden
  7. In between the warmup band and the band you came to see
  8. Waiting to pick ____ up from _____ practice
  9. On the Stair Master/Treadmill
  10. While you’re eating breakfast
  11. During the football game that’s on that you don’t want to actually watch
  12. Going up the stairs
  13. In the elevator at work
  14. Waiting in line at the grocery store
  15. Microwaving popcorn
  16. Walking your dog
  17. Flipping burgers
  18. During a fire/tornado drill
  19. Waiting for your laundry
  20. Vacuuming
  21. Rocking your baby
  22. On a merry-go-round
  23. In the carwash
  24. While the Subway sandwich artists are compiling your sandwich
  25. On the bus/ the train/ carpool
  26. Cooking risotto
  27. While your partner is reading
  28. Hiding in the work bathroom when you’re bored
  29. Before your (rude) date shows, thirty minutes late
  30. In the intermission of a play
  31. Filling up the Brita pitcher
  32. During “smoke breaks” since you don’t smoke anymore
  33. During the Real Housewives episode you’ve already seen 30 times
  34. Getting your hair done
  35. While the coffee percolates
  36. During the boring parts of your religious service
  37. During a pedicure
  38. Waiting for an interview or meeting to start
  39. While your cat is getting his yearly checkup
  40. During a shoe shine
  41. While they’re tattooing that tribal sign on your lower back
  43. During a horseback riding lesson
  44. In a hot tub
  45. Waiting for the sloowwwww bartender to get you your drink
  46. Inbetween shifts
  47. During a fit of insomnia
  48. While you’re doing crunches
  49. While you’re waiting for everyone to retweet that awesome thing you just said
  50. Waiting for the toast to pop up
  51. During your lunch break
  52. While your prescription is being filled
  53. Waiting in line to pick up Cronuts
  54. Doing one-armed pull-ups
  55. During a boring phone conversation with someone who is egocentric and doesn’t care if you participate in the conversation
  56. While the flight attendant is giving the seat belt demonstration (But kind of pay attention because, you know, safety)
  57. Sitting in your driveway while nobody comes to your garage sale
  58. On a float in a lazy river
  59. Getting a back massage
  60. Mid-cortisone shot
  61. While you’re getting your tribal tattoo lasered off
  62. While the fax machine is…doing its thang
  63. Waiting to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire because you got there four hours early
  64. Drying your hair
  65. Riding the stationary bike
  66. Waiting for the bathroom at a concert
  67. During the 8-course, prix-fixe dinner you’re eating by yourself because why not
  68. Boiling water for eggs or pasta
  69. At halftime
  70. Raking leaves
  71. In your lap during a bad date
  72. During a boring phone conference at work
  73. During the PTA meeting
  74. On your bike during stop lights
  75. In the bathtub

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

London Calling

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I want to go to London. Scotland was a dream come true and now my desire to travel has been burst wide open. I've always wanted to go new places, but I'm now at that point of my life where it feels more like a pull than a want.

Unfortunately, my two attempts for the Wimbledon lottery have not worked out. I kind of can't believe it! If anyone deserves the luck to receive one of those coveted tickets, it's me. How many other people use vacation time to be off to watch tennis all day? (Should I maybe not admit that?) I've decided that next year, I'm going to London during Wimbledon regardless of having a ticket. Either the stars will align and I'll win one, or I'll just go one day and try the queue.

Have you been there? I'd love to hear some travel tips. Especially for hotels! Let me know in the comments or over on twitter.


+ Title from The Clash

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Royal We

I guess I'm an anglophile...and I'm okay with that.

It's not that I don't love America and where I live, but there are a lot of things from across the pond that I'm a wee bit obsessed with: history of the monarchy, fish and chips, rain, Burberry coats, the bloody accents, tea, the dramas, the bands...I could go on and on. It's a culture that's close to my own, but with an air of just a little more excitement*, a lot more history, and did I mention the accents? Oh, and duh, Kate Middleton.

THE ROYAL WE, the latest from Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, which I just finished has left me with a bit of a book hangover. And now, with my lowered defenses, my constant desire to visit (live?) in London has come on in full force.

The book is great! It's a wonderfully entertaining story about an American who falls in love with a prince and then is thrust into a new type of existence. It's very "ripped from the headlines" and I loved how researched the entire thing was. When Bex, the main character, visits somewhere for the first time, it was described so well that I felt like I was there with her. When she meets the royal family, I felt like I was meeting them, too. There are a lot of pop culture references that I enjoyed, but there are also a ton of what may or may not be references to the current royal family in England.

I can't say enough good things about this book and for anyone that loves the UK, a good love story, and smart writing, this is the book for you.

Now, who wants to go to London with me?


*Because it's not my own.