Great Reads

The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince

book
Publish Date : 4/4/2017
Author: 
 Mayte Garcia
Started:
10/11/18
Finished: 
10/28/18
Pages:
290
Rating :
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

At the one-year anniversary of his death, legendary musician Prince’s first wife shares a uniquely intimate, candid, and revelatory look inside the personal and professional life of one of the world’s most beloved icons.

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince’s life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince–both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist–than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince’s music lives on with generations to come.

My Review:

Ask me what my favorite song is. I’ll embarrassingly tell you, “Raspberry Beret”. No joke. When I was a kid, my favorite artists were Prince and Michael Jackson. I always said I would see them perform. Unfortunately I never was able to do that. Since both of their deaths, I’ve made it a goal to go see as many greats as I can before they pass. Music was my passion long before reading. I still connect with music and I jumped all over finally getting to read Mayte Garcia’s The Most Beautiful.

I was only on the third page where I was already admiring Mayte Garcia’s writing. Her descriptions, imagery, similes, metaphors, all the above were so great! I was immediately tied in and was wondering myself why she doesn’t pick up a pen and write a fictional story. She’s a great writer and even if you aren’t a Prince fan like myself, you would most likely enjoy the book as it is mostly about Mayte and her life with Prince just happening to be a large part of it. Don’t expect to get a bunch of Prince data here. Yes, he is a main focal point of the book but as stated it really is about Mayte and her life while Prince was involved in it.

I started the book, and then life happened. Even though it says I started the book on the 11th, I really didn’t sit down until the 26th to tackle it. I read it in two sittings pretty much. It’s a quick and interesting read. It’s so beautifully written and I really felt the love between her and Prince jumping off the pages. I was actually heartbroken thinking how a love so strong ended. Mayte however writes this book in pure love. She doesn’t hide some of his flaws but talks so highly of him throughout the entire book it’s hard to stay angry with any of his flaws in which she also had a hard time doing.

I’m so glad I read her perspective of the life she had with Prince. The book is warm yet blunt, happy yet sad, and full of love yet full of heartbreak.

“Before I learned to walk, I learned that sometimes life requires a girl to be a tough little cookie.”

Great Recipes

Poor Man’s “Crab” and Spaghetti

Being from South Jersey, I love crabs. They’re amazing but they’re not easy to get in the colder months. Not only that, even in the summer they’re usually market price depending on how the crabbing season is going and even the smallest of crabs can be expensive. My father makes an amazing crab and spaghetti and sometimes you’re just wishing for it but your ingredients aren’t readily available. For a good crab gravy, you MUST use real, fresh, blue claw crab meat. This recipe is my substitution for the winter months. I also make it in the summer when I just have a hankering for crab gravy but don’t have the time to go get some freshies.

Continue reading “Poor Man’s “Crab” and Spaghetti”

Great Reads

New Giveaway!

First, thanks to everyone who gave me advice on how to get out of my reading slump. I’m still there but pushing through it. I just have to accept that this month will be my worst month of the year for finishing books but that’s okay! I’m over my goal anyway.

So… I recently did a HUGE book haul. I’ll be posting it when the rest come in. I accidently ordered two of 2016’s hit Tell Me Three Things. So I am hosting a giveaway. You can find the post HERE.

The rules are simple once you’re on Instagram.

❤️Open only to US only. I’m sorry international friends!
❤️Starts October 24th and ends on November 5th. (I’m really busy these upcoming weeks 😂).
❤️One person will win Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum.
❤️Must be following me (LittleTeacherBigAppetite)
❤️Like, comment, tag three friends!
❤️Share in your story for an extra entry (one per day max) And tag me so I know!

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram, the author, publisher, or anyone else besides myself and my overzealous ordering finger!

So go check it out and get in on the action if you have’nt read the book yet!

Great Reads

Misery

book
Publish Date :
 1988
Author: 
 Stephen King
Started:
10/6/18
Finished:
10/11/18
Pages:
338
Rating :
⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary:

Novelist Paul Sheldon has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. Annie Wilkes, Sheldon’s number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident. The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.

My Review:

I had seen the movie rendition of this novel when I was a kid. I usually refuse to watch a movie before reading the book but this was so long ago and it was kind of detrimental for me. I did really enjoy the book but I would have liked it so much more had I not known what was going on beforehand. With that being said, Kathy Bates portraying Annie was just so perfect so in this occurance, I applaud the movie production of this story.

That being said, this work is creepy. It is really scary reading about how psychotic Annie is knowing that there are people out in this world who are capable of this horrific scenario. It was eye-opening and entertaining at the same time. So many times I wish Paul Sheldon acted in a different way. Although I knew what was happening, I kept hoping that he was going  to escape Annie’s wrath. It is no fault to the book that I was disappointed knowing what was going to go on throughout the book.

This was just a slow read for me. It’s my first Stephen King book that was in the horror genre. I have only read 11/22/63 from him before. I expected this to be more fast-paced. I found myself dreading getting through the chapters written as Misery’s Comeback. It was a unique idea to put the book into the book but for me, I just wasn’t interested in Misery and her story. I felt like King could have explained how Paul was going to make Misery’s comeback acceptable for Annie that wasn’t a “cheat” instead of actually reading it.

What I did like was thinking for myself what Paul could do excape. Ideas that we have today would not work in the 1980’s (there was no signing onto a computer and hopefully reaching someone and there was no cell phone that could be tracked to his remote area). Annie’s lack of a phone and Paul’s inability to physically make a run for it was eye-opening. This could have actually happened in the past. It could even happen today but with some monkey wrenches thrown in for the person holding someone captive. Either way, this entire situation had me thinking and when Paul was thinking for himself, I found these parts rather interesting.

King has no issue with his use of imagery. Much of this book is cringeworthy and I found myself almost cowering away from the pages as I read. My issue however is the lack of explanation. Why was Annie so evil in the first place? Her accepting that she was just born crazy works but it could have been more interesting had there been a background for it. And Paul, although trying to save himself through the entire book was a rather boring person in my opinion.

Great Reads

Help!! I’m in a slump!

HELP

Hi friends! I had big goals this month for a bunch of books sitting on my shelf. I was super excited and determined but guess what, I’M FAR BEHIND!

So I have a question and would love to get some answers from anyone who can help:

What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?

Every morning I wake up and see my shelves and am so excited! I’ve even ordered more books than I can count this month. But so far, I’ve only finished one book and am halfway through one more. I’m kinda busy with work and I just never feel like reading when I get home. I also feel like I’ve been at a super slow pace when I actually do pick up the book. I also noticed that last month and the books I’ve finished and started this month are just not becoming high ratings for me. I don’t know if I’m doing this to myself by not picking up interesting reads or if my slump is attributing to this issue.

Do you have any help? PLEASE!

Great Reads

ARC REVIEW – The Little Shop of Found Things OUT TODAY!

book
Publish Date :
 10/16/2018
Author: 
 Paula Brackston
Started:
9/30/18
Finished:
10//18
Pages:
320
Rating : 
⭐⭐️⭐

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Thomas Duane Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Goodreads Summary:

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

My Review:

The summary makes references to Outlander and although it does have similar ideas, it was much different for me. For example, Xanthe in the beginning goes back and forth between present and past. I think that this would have been better if her present times had more to offer. Times in the present were rather boring and did not add much to the time traveling plot other than her being persuaded by Margaret Merton, and in an unnecessary way might I add.  I was 40% into this book waiting still for something exciting to happen. Xanthe’s time in the past is where I wish this book was at most of the time and to have very little of that in the first 40% of the book was hard for me. I had heard through the grapevine that the book was slow but very good which kept me reading through.

This story had a ton of potential and unfortunately it fell short for me. Xanthe and Sam’s relationship was too rushed to reach full potential. He was willing to go great heights for her and even though I understand the difference of time periods, I felt like his willingness and accommodating nature towards Xanthe was not believable. I feel like more of their budding relationship should have been written in order to make more sense of the story. His willingness to help her and risk his own life needed more of a relationship to make sense.

I also felt like there was too much fluff writing about the maids and quarters that didn’t add to the story. It was slow but the author would throw in a few interesting pages at a time that made me moving through the book. So much more drama, conspiracy, and even more romance, which I’m honestly rarely a fan of, could have made this more of a hit for me.

I am still interested however how a sequel could be set up for Xanthe and Sam.

Great Reads

Sold On A Monday

sold on a monday
Publish Date : 8/28/2018
Author: 
 Kristina McMorris
Started:
9/21/18
Finished:
9/29/18
Pages:
352
Rating : ⭐⭐

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Goodreads Summary:
From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs, and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.

My Review:

I felt like the writing was scattered. There were many parts where different ideas would be brought up about different situations that were not relevant to the book. Many times there were instances were chapters felt unimportant as well. I had a hard time paying attention to the story. I have a hard time putting something down after starting it but it was honestly something that I wanted to put down and not finish many times. I think the book focused too much on Ellis and Lily without focusing on the bigger picture or the history behind the issues. The time period is also not developed very well in the story and some necessary setting details for understanding are lacking.I

Ellis’s rise to success was not explained enough and just seemed random. His dealings with the mob were lacking and unbelievable for me. I don’t know if I was so disinterested in the book that I never really picked up on Lily’s life before Samuel other than her struggle g with the idea of him. Was it mentioned and I was just not paying enough attention? I’m not sure but it was an issue for me in regards to liking the book

I felt like much of this story was thrown together. Too much was happening that was unnecessary and too little of what would have made the book more interesting for me. The end for me was also underwhelming. I wanted to love this book but I struggled the entire time. It would have been a DNF for me had I believed in quitting books.

Great Reads

The Book Thief

book
Publish Date 
: 3/14/2006
Author:  Markus Zusak
Started: 9/6/18
Finished: 9/21/18
Pages: 550
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well, it took me quite a while to read this but I am glad that I finally did. First and foremost, I read this with some wonderful Bookstagrammers for the #bigbookbuddyread who I recently read Outlander with. I really enjoy reading with them because discussion nights are very informal. You can come and go as you please and all of the ladies bring up wonderful and valid points and the discussion, even if it goes off track, is very engaging.

Goodreads Summary:

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

My Review:

I’ve been really wanting to read this for a long long time. Just a quick background about myself: my grandfather lived in Hamburg, Germany during WWII and Hitler’s reign. He was a child and his parents shipped him all over the world as an exchange student growing up just to make sure he was never a part of the Hitler Youth, etc. He wrote a memoir before he passed detailing his life as a child. The memoir was filled with so many horrific times as a child such as his detailed recollection of his house being bombed one night in Hamburg. But with all of the horrific details, he was a happy child and he also talked about normal childhood activities he was involved with. I really connected to this book because his stories reminded me so much of Liesel and Rudy’s childhood. Playing soccer, making  a game and club out of stealing much needed food during the rations, and even reading during shelter times, Liesel and and Rudy continued with their childhood. Although Liesel was well aware of the awful dealings happening around her, she and Rudy seemed to have an alright time given the awful circumstances.

Death as the narrator does spoil the book. He gives many spoilers throughout the book and you’re never once in the dark about what’s going to happen. That didn’t ruin the book though. It wasn’t so much the happenings in the book but the way Liesel and her family experienced them shaping them all into dynamic characters throughout the novel. Heartbreakingly accurate, it is still a great book. And without spoiling it, Death is a dynamic character for me as well. Although Death is dry, as the story continues, Death becomes easier and easier to deal with and in all honesty, very likable.

Zusak is awesome with words. His figurative language is never offbeat from his description of colors to his personification of death. This book is truly a work of art and I reccomend every one to read it. It is not only informative but beautifully written, and painstakingly accurate. I’m glad I finally got around to reading The Book Theif.

Great Reads

The Perfect Couple


Publish Date :
6/19/2018
Author:  
Elin Hilderbrand
Started:
9/16/18
Finished:
9/19/18
Pages:
481
Rating : 
⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love…if they don’t kill us first.

It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people–an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield–and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.

My Review:

What do you do when it’s your wedding day and a member of your bridal party has mysteriously died? The Perfect Couple centers around this exact scenario.

This was a quick read and would have been delightful on the beach but it was too predictable for me. I had the mystery solved before the clues were even given. I also was super disappointed with the ending as I feel like the book was hinting at so many major possibilities for a less than satisfying conclusion.

It was definitely entertaining however and I feel like it is a perfect beach read or easy going night time read. I have never read this author before but found through research that many of her books focus on the same themes, adultry being the most used. The Perfect Couple was focused on adultry all over the place. I usually am not a fan of stories resolving around adultry but I did not have a problem with this one as much. I also really disliked all of our characters besides poor Karen. I think it was important for us to have a character with more ideal characteristics to really focus on how awful every one else truly was. Also, poor Benji! He was also a stand-up character.

I would say give this one a read but don’t expect a ton or you may be disappointed.

Great Reads

ARC Reads for October and September Wrap-Up

I recently just posted a blog about what physical books that I was wanting to read this month so this post will only have some of my ARC books that I would like to accomplish. As stated in that previous post found HERE, I stated I would be focusing on many of my physical books around the house. Because of that, my ARCs are super low this month! It is what I’ll find myself reading on the treadmill most likely. Here is my super short list:

The Girl from Berlin by Ronald H. Balson

and

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

Last month I finished these:

 

Outlander by Diana Galbadon – I finally jumped on this bandwagon and finished reading this even though it took quite a while. Find my review HERE.

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones – People are loving this one, me not so much. My review is found HERE.

The Book Theif by Markus Zusak – Finally had time to read this one! The review will be up soon.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood -Beyond heartbreaking and based on a true story. Check out the review HERE.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – Just WHOA! The review can be found HERE. Definitely worth checking out.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand – This review will be up soon. I’m in agreeance that this is a perfect beach read!

Sold On A Monday – This review will also be up soon. It however was my least favorite of the month despite the great attention it’s gotten.

What are you reading this month?