Posted January 15, 2018 by Renee / 37 Comments


Hi Everyone! I can’t believe it’s mid-January already although I’m kind of happy the month is flying by…I’m done with snow and freezing temperatures and ready for spring! I thought the cold temps would lead to cozy evenings reading by the fire but that is NOT what’s happening. I’ve actually only finished 2 books since Jan 1 which is shocking and perplexing for me. I have, however, started many and either abandoned them right away or in some cases (Grist Mill Road) at 35% into the story. So often lately the premise and/or blurb of the books I pick up sound so good but the actual execution or story development is disappointing.  On the flip side, we’ve been to several outstanding movies these last few weeks...The Darkest Hour, All the Money in the World, Molly’s Game and The Post…all excellent and all based on true stories. My favorite out of the 4 was Molly’s Game which was a juicy look at backroom high stakes poker. My advice is don’t google anything about the movie before you see it, just go then google!!



I think I fell for the marketing of this one which is billed as one of the top thrillers of 2018 but I can’t say I found it very thrilling. I’m positive it’ll be a favorite of many and the movie rights are already sold with Charlize Theron starring but I had many issues with this one from the get go. It’s probably a case of it’s not the book it’s me but I have pretty high expectations for thrillers and this didn’t meet them.




I just started this last night and while I’m intrigued and I like the writing style, it hasn’t grabbed me like I’d hoped. It’s early and I’ll keep going to see if I can stay invested




I was in the mood for an inspiring audiobook so when I heard Jack Canfield on Oprah’s recent Super Soul Conversations podcast, I knew I wanted to hear more from him. I’ve listened to about 5 hours of this and I really like it. Not all of the principles are new of course but that’s ok, I appreciate being reminded of what’s possible and I find the stories of the people he includes compelling and yes, inspiring!



I read and loved Matt Wesolowski’s first book Six Stories last year and this one is really calling to me right now. His writing is so original and creative that I know I’m in for a treat. If you’re a fan of podcasts ala Serial, Making a Murderer, etc then you should really grab one of these books.

How’s your reading year starting off? Anyone else struggling with 2018 reads like me? 









  1. I haven’t read Need To Know yet. Books in this genre are not always a big hit for me but I was interested in reading it, although I have to say I was sold mainly because of the marketing of this novel (the agent’s badges and the special page edges). I didn’t know the movie rights were sold and Charlize Theron will be starring in the movie.. you’ll see I’m going to have to hurry to read it before the movie comes out ;-). Do you think it might be better suited as a movie or not? I hope you like Hydra, happy reading Renee!

    • I definitely think it’ll be better as a movie…they can take out all the domestic details that got very repetitive and didn’t add to the story. I’m liking Hydra so far! Have a great reading week Inge!!

  2. Sorry to hear you’re struggling and not really finding a book to grab you. My reading is going fine, it is the review writing that’s a struggle lately.

    Hope you find that next fabulous book soon! Possibly Hydra?

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves

    Oh No – I’d been psyched about Need to Know! Will drop it down the list.

    And I DNF’d Girls in the Picture. You know what’s holding my attention right now? A nonfiction financial thriller (what?!) about one of the first foreign investors in Russia after the fall of Communism. It’s incredibly fast-paced. Called Red Notice by Bill Browder.

    • Before you drop Need to Know down your list wait for Susie’s review, she liked it much better than me. Ooh a nonfiction thriller sounds awesome, I’m all for that after loving American Radical. I’ll check that out. Last night I tried more of Girls in the Picture, I got to 20% and asked myself if I cared and my answer was no. Moved on to Hydra

  4. Woman in the Window (psych thriller) by a j fine hooked me, now totally engrossed in Fingersmith by Sara Waters, Dickensian thriller. Thrilling start to 2018 🙂 Was shocked by true story, Rosemary, about the Kennedy daughter with mental illness.

  5. I’m behind in my reading of everything. Life’s been busy and reading has had to take a back seat unfortunately. I’m hoping that will change soon so I can catch up on all the books I want to read.

  6. I haven’t read as much as I hoped/thought I would so far this year, either. Too many other things going on. I hope this week is a better reading week for us both!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone Brandie! I had such high expectations for my 2018s that not liking so many of them has slowed me down. On the plus side, I’ve discovered Kristan Higgins so I’ve got her backlist to look forward to!

  7. Jaime Winkel

    Hi Renee! I started Lie to Me over the weekend and I’m hooked! I’m so excited to see how it twists and turns as it seems the author is dropping lots of little details that I’m sure will come into play as the story progresses.

    • Jaime Winkel

      I finished Lie To Me in 3 days. It was so good! I was a little confused with the very end and wished there had been more or better clues dropped throughout to make it come together better. But…loved it!

  8. Susie | Novel Visits

    I saw The Post Saturday night and really liked it. I’ve also seen Lady Bird and Three Billboards recently. Both were great. I’m looking forward to Molly’s Game.

    I really liked The Girls in the Picture, but it took until about 20% before I was hooked. My review posts tomorrow. I hope it works for you.

    • I love finding out how many others love the movies as well! I loved Meryl Streep in The Post. I think you’ll LOVE Molly’s Game Susie. I have put The Girls in the Picture down for now, it didn’t pull me in. I may return to it in the future. Looking forward to your thoughts on it

  9. We saw Molly’s Game last night – loved it!
    We also saw All the Money in the World, we thought it was really intense and a great movie. Next up for us is The Post and The Commuter.

  10. Well, it sounds like I’m the only one of us who stuck it out until the end of The Girls in the Picture! I do think it definitely got better, especially after the advent of “talkies,” or motion pictures; the characters have more depth and there is more of a story. Having said that, it will not be on any of my favorites lists – ha! For the right person, I think it’s a good read. I am super excited to start American Radical on audio, so I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it, as well. I want to see The Post so badly!! Hope your day is going well!

    • Susie really liked Girls in the Picture as well but for some reason it’s just not compelling enough for me right now. I’m so glad you’re going to try American Radical, it’s fantastic and hard to believe in parts that it’s true. Those make the best nonfiction stories though imo. Have a great week Tara!!

  11. Yes! Partially, it’s because the beginning of the year is just so busy. New Year’s holiday + snow days + sick days = my kids have been home a LOT in the past two weeks, and I don’t get a lot of reading done when they are home and awake. 😉

    I’m wrapping up my degree and a new term started on Monday.

    And it’s just been a rough start. I set goals for myself this year that included reading longer books, and the first one I picked is going rather slow for me (Wolf Hall). It isn’t that I don’t like it, I just should have chosen something quicker paced. Hopefully, this month will improve for both of us, and February will start off on a better foot. 🙂

    • Yes, let’s hope and you’ve definitely got busy days it sounds like! Good luck on finishing your degree, that’s fantastic. I’m also thinking of trying some shorter reads to get me back into a faster reading pace

  12. kat28w

    i have been going to the cinema more, loved Molly’s game and now want to read the book. I’m looking forward to films of the post, down sizing and three billiards. saw stronger which was really good. in terms of reading I’ve not read anything to make me go wow yet but I’m starting to enjoy my current read which is Emily Phillips trying. my last two and this one have been review books so thinking my own book or library book next.

  13. Hydra has some good reviews already so hopefully it will be a nice read for you. As for my reading this year, some hits and misses so far. I almost went into a reading slump with my last title. I am currently reading Friends and Liars and it is quite enjoyable so far.

    Have a wonderful week. Happy Reading.

  14. I hope you’re not planning to leave book blogging and start movie blogging instead 😂 Seriously though, I hate that you’re not having much book luck, I’ve had three unfortunate reads this month and I’m seriously hoping for a more positive end to the month! 🙂

    • I’ve been most excited about movies over books this month so I thought why not share my second great love:) But no, not venturing into movie blogging. It’s such a bummer to have less that great reads…here’s hoping Feb brings us lots of 5 star ones!!🙏

  15. I’m reading Hydra very soon for the blog tour Renee and really looking forward to it. There’s been some amazing reviews coming out and I’m quite excited about it now! 🤗

    • I wasn’t really in a slump, just not enjoying most of what I picked up unfortunately. I couldn’t get into Girls in the Picture and put it down around the 20% mark. Since this post, things are looking up though:)

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