Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen: Audiobook Review

 Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen
Release Date: April 11, 2019 by Audible Studios
8 Hours, 19 min & Narrated by Billy Jensen with foreword by Karen Kilgariff
Buy on Audible  

Short Blurb: Journalist Billy Jensen spent 15 years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common – it didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.
Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true crime narrative unlike any you’ve listened to before.

My Thoughts: If you like true crime, especially in the form of investigative journalism, this audiobook is for you! I was initially drawn to this story because of Billy’s association with Michelle McNamarra in the amazing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark book from 2018. Billy worked closely with Michelle on her Golden State Killer case and after her death he was instrumental in helping to finish and get her book published.

In his new audiobook, Billy tells of how he developed a love of true crime and justice from an early age. he describes some pretty crazy bedtime stories of crimes and criminals that his dad used to share with him. Rather than scaring him, Billy pinpoints those early stories as instilling a fascination and hunger within himself to explore crime and those who commit it

Believe me when I say this is one of the most engaging, insightful audiobooks I’ve ever listened to! Billy goes in depth in how he uses crowdsourcing…think Facebook and Twitter…to catch criminals and it’s absolutely fascinating. The murder of Marcus Gaines that Billy worked on was not only sad and frustrating to hear but incredible in terms of how it turned out. This crowdsourcing feels to me very timely and tremendously important in terms of the possibilites it offers for solving more murders and finding more missing people. In fact, Billy’s discussion of the“digital posse” seemed so accurate for the future of crime and criminal justice.

Told with empathy, compassion and energy, Billy’s dedication and passion for truth and justice came through loud and clear. I highly recommend this audiobook!

Thanks to Allison Weber and Audible for my copy

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5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Movie I Loved 
Green Book  Both my husband and I gave this movie a big thumbs up. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorites of the year (side note: nothing will top A Star Is Born this year). I wasn’t all that sure what to expect so it really exceeded my expectations. And it’s based on a true story which always adds a little something extra

App I’m Using A Ton
Anylist  available for free from Apple. If you’ve been reading these posts, you might remember that I talked about an article that touted the value of making lists which I love to do (past post here). The problem I run into is that I write what I need from the store on post its and then leave the house and forget them. This app has completely solved that problem, it’s quick, keeps everything stored so I don’t have to rewrite things and sorts the items by categories at the grocery. I love when something small makes such a big difference!

Book I Ordered for Myself for Christmas 
The 52 Lists Project  : A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal. Keeping on topic, as I just mentioned, I love making lists and I’m really curious about what type of list’s projects are in this book. I thought it would be fun to incorporate more list type posts on the blog in 2019.

Eye Creme I’m Loving 
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm  So I’ve tried a gazillion eye cremes over the years and as I’m getting older, dark circles, fine lines and puffiness have become my biggest issues. It’s hard to find an eye creme that tackles all 3 AND actually works…until now! I went through 2 or 3 Sephora samples of this before deciding that yes I liked it and I wanted to buy the full  size. It took about 6 weeks of daily use twice a day but I notice a huge difference in the lessening of the fine lines and puffiness, the dark circles not as much but they’re a little better. Come back next week for the product I’m using to tackle the dark circles:) P.S I’m not an affiliate for Algenist ( I wish) I just love their products. P.S.S This line is vegan and cruelty free which is an added bonus 

Quote I Enjoyed
Either Write Something Worth Reading or Do Something Worth Writing. Ben Franklin.

I’d love your thoughts on any of my favorites this week!

Have a Great Weekend 

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Verity  By Colleen Hoover
Publication: Dec 7, 2018
250 Pages
Affiliate Link Buy On Amazon

Short Summary : Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. However, it’s not long before Lowen realizes things with the Crawfords aren’t as they seem…in more ways than one.

My Thoughts: You may remember that this year I’ve jumped on the CoHo fan train (better late than never, right?) and have loved many of her books….Ugly Love, It Ends with Us, and All Your Perfects being my favorites. Verity is a totally different type of read and I’m so impressed with Hoover for taking a leap outside of her normal genre and writing something so psychologically dark and suspenseful. And bravo for such an impactful opening scene. Try putting the book down after that harrowing, slightly gruesome opening scene…I know I couldn’t.

We are first introduced to Lowen, getting a feel for her and her life which includes a recently deceased mother, an upcoming eviction, and a loss for where to go next in her writing career. Enter handsome, somewhat sorrowful Jeremy Crawford who, along with his wife’s publishing team, gives Lowen an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up – finish writing his wife’s (the bestselling novelist Verity Crawford) remaining books in her popular series. She accepts and when she begins researching the series and getting to know the family better, things begin to feel off kilter and just wrong in so many ways. Cue the tension and suspense that Hoover manifests throughout the story.

That’s all I want to say on the plot because I loved not knowing anything about it. The tension in the Crawford house felt palpable to me and when Hoover introduced a book within a book subplot I knew I was in for a late night of reading. It’s not often that plot device works for me but in this story it was brilliant. I zoomed through this book, all the while not really sure I knew who to trust, who was mentally off, or who was just outright lying.  I thought I did, but my feelings changed throughout which I loved. My only critique is that I felt the ending was too abrupt. It felt very rushed to me. Overall, I really enjoyed this and hope this isn’t the last we see of Colleen Hoover’s foray into romantic suspense.

Have you read this or plan to? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

App I’m Addicted To Lately
Wordscapes  Described as an addicting cross puzzle…yes it is! In an effort to lessen my mindless scrolling of Instagram and Twitter and actually use my brain more I downloaded this app…and now I’m glued to my phone playing it if I’m not reading. I love the scenic backgrounds and the little daily present I get to open to reveal a prize:). See, it’s the little things, right? And I’m using my brain so I’d say it’s a win win

Movie I Enjoyed Recently That Also Pleasantly Surprised Me
Instant Family  starring Mark Walberg and Rose Byrne. I think I saw one preview for this before we went to the movie and I expected a slapstick kind of “mindless” humor type of storyline. That’s not what this is, although there was some silly humor in parts. For the most part, however, the movie tackled serious topics in ways that made me laugh but also cry a little which was totally unexpected. Highly recommend this one.

Workout DVD’s I’ve Dusted Off for the Winter
T25 with Shaun T
  I really love walking outside at the park and will continue to throughout the winter but sometimes I just don’t feel like putting on all my winter clothes, hat, gloves, boots, etc. I bought these dvd’s several years ago and I’ve done the entire program more than once so I thought I’d get them out again to incorporate with walking. I find Shaun T super motivating and each workout has a low impact person to follow if, like me, you can’t do a lot of jumping. You get a calendar to follow that lays out what workout to do each day as well as 10 different workouts so you don’t get bored. Best of all, it’s only 25 min!! And yes, you will sweat and get a good workout in that amount of time.

Graphc Novel I Loved That’s a Mustread for All BookWorms
Book Love by Debbie Tung. You might think I typed wrong because I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned a graphic novel on the blog before but I loved this little book. She captured so many of the idiosyncrasies of being a book nerd…I felt right at home reading this! One of my favorite parts was Bookworm Fears…Being Stuck with Free Time & Nothing to Read , A Movie Adaptation That Will Negatively Change the Way You Feel about the Book, and When Someone Asks This Question – Can I Borrow Your Book?:) All so true for me. This would make a great gift – I wish the publisher would’ve set the pub date for this month rather than Jan 1 – and I plan to grab my own copy to reread when I need a little pick me up

Fun Book Lists I’ve Enjoyed Reading
6 Books That Deserved Their Hype & 6 That Didn’t  from Susie at  Novel Visits , 10 Popular Books Worth the Hype  from T at Traveling with T  , Popular Books Worth the Hype  from Orange County Readers 8 Books That Deserved the Hype & 5 That Didn’t  plus Best debuts of 2018  from Sarah at SarahsBookshelves  and 30 Contemporary Fiction Novels for Your Book Bucket List from Allison at Mindjoggle  

See anything you also enjoy on my list this week? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Have a Great Weekend! 

 

 

 

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

Article from Bustle.com
13 Haunted House Stories that Will Make You Scared to Ever Go Home .
 I’ve been in the mood for creepy stories this month but I was surprised that I haven’t heard of most of these books on this list. I thought 2 sounded really good ( The Haunting of Hill House & The Little Stranger) so I grabbed them at the library yesterday. Let me know if you’ve read and loved any of these

Audiobook I’m Enjoying
Night Film  by Marissa Pessl, narrated by Jake Weber. It’s not often I prefer the audio to print but I have this book in both versions and I’m loving the audio so much better thanks to this narrator. He does voices so well, I had to keep double checking that there wasn’t actually more narrators. He really brings this creepy story to life. I’ll warn you though, this book is longgggg, 23 hours on audio! I’m almost done and can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

Quote I like from Katie Couric’s Instagram Account
Be Careful Who You Vent to: a Listening Ear Could Also Be a Running Mouth Good words of wisdom!

TV Show I Love is Finally Back!
Will and Grace. Anyone else love this show? I watched all the seasons religiously when it was on years ago as well as last year, so I’m thrilled it finally came back on last week. Jack and Karen are the best!  Who’s your favorite character?

New Favorite Lip Conditioner 
Milk and Honey Lip Butter  I”m always on the hunt for a good organic lip moisturizer that actually stays on and so far I really like this one. It also smells really good. If you have any other suggestions for me, leave them in the comments! I’m not an affiliate for this, just want to share the find:)

Have a Great Weekend! 

 

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom: Book Review

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven  By Mitch Albom
Publication: October 9th by Harper
224 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie—the little girl he saved on earth—in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

My Thoughts: I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since Mitch Albom published The Five People You Meet in Heaven ! That book has always stuck with me so I wouldn’t have guessed it’s been that long. In The Next Person You Meet in Heaven , Albom tells Annie’s story, the little girl Eddie (who was killed) saved one day at an amusement park. If you haven’t read the first book I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary as Albom does a really good job of providing some backstory in this one but I do think my reading enjoyment was greater having read the first one. I actually realized I remembered more about the first book than I thought.

Obviously, if we’re getting Annie’s story you know something has happened to her for her to end up in heaven. I loved that Album starts the story with Annie’s story while she’s still alive, it allowed me to get to know her as she was but also created suspense because I knew what was going to eventually happen but Annie didn’t…and I really liked her! Albom structures the story alternating brief glimpses of Annie’s childhood with her journey in heaven and I LOVED this! I was equally invested in both parts of the story because of how Albom created interconnections. That may seem like a vague reason but you’ll understand when you read the story.

A couple other things really stood out to me: Albom’s creative vision of heaven and the fact that he can sneak a twist into a story when I least expected it. Well done. This book is the perfect length for a one sit read but, honestly, I would’ve loved for it to be longer and I don’t often say that about a book. I’m still thinking about parts of this story days later, especially Albom’s take on fate in our lives

Had he taken the truck, this story would be different. Had the limousine driver remembered to bring a bag that was sitting by his apartment door, this story would be different. The tale of your life is written second by second, as shifting as the flip of a pencil to an eraser

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming, bittersweet story that just might give you much to contemplate, give this a try. My last advice: have tissues handy!

Many thanks to HarperCollins via Netgalley for my copy

 

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

Instagram #Bookstagram Account I Love Following
Dennis at Scaredstraightreads Not only does Dennis review books, he has some very funny Instagram stories. I always look forward to his posts

Book Review That Has Me Wanting to Read a Book That Wasn’t on My Radar
Susie at NovelVisits Review of Waiting for Eden  I challenge you to read Susie’s review of this book and not add it to your tbr as well. This sounds like such a unique story

This Gem of Advice (from Bookrioter Abby Hargreaves) is Going to Change My Reading Life! 
How to Keep Library Ebooks Longer (and the drawbacks)  I had no idea there was a library hack that enables us to keep our ebooks longer. I needed this info! I read almost exclusively on my kindle and I’ve scrambled one too many times to finish a book at the last minute before it vanishes into Overdrive

Article I Enjoyed from NBCNews.com (and a term I’d never heard of but practice regularly) 
How the Simple Act of Nature Helps You Destress I walk in the woods just about everyday, year round, so I can relate to this article. I think walking in the woods is one of the most relaxing things I do. I’ll take nature, even in freezing cold whether, over the gym any day.

Movie That Will Be My Favorite of the Year
A Star is Born  I can’t say enough about how fantastic this movie was! You guys, LADY GAGA, wow. That’s all I’ll say and Bradley Cooper was amazing. Go see it. Bring Tissues.

Have A Great Weekend!

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

ARTICLE ON BOOKBUB.COM
16 Heartbreaking Books Hitting the Shelves This
Fall Anyone else like books that make you cry? I sure do and I’ve already read 1 book on this listThe Dream Daughter review next week) and have MANY more coming up over the next couple months

MY MUST HAVE READING APP
The Libby App for Overdrive  I read almost exclusively on my kindle and the Libby App lets you download free ebooks and audiobooks straight from your library! I repeat, free books. You can read through the kindle reading app on your phone or iPad or through the Overdrive app.  The app will send the books directly to your kindle as well. I love it!

Movie I Enjoyed Recently 
Searching starring John Cho and Debra Messing. I thought this was a very clever take on the missing child storyline. It put my detective skills to the test… I failed. Two Thumbs Up! P.S my husband didn’t have it figured out either 

PODCAST I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK
Serial Season
3on Apple Podcasts. I’m from Ohio and the entire season will be a year inside a Cleveland, Ohio courthouse. I’ve listened to the first 2 episodes and it’s GOOD! 

AUDIOBOOK I’M ENJOYING
Disclaimer 
by Renee Knight. I love audiobooks but I’m very picky about the narrator. This story has 2 British narrators, a man and a women which makes for great listening as the story is very much a he said/she said psychological thriller. I can’t figure out where it’s going which is even better

Have A Great Weekend! 

 

5 on Friday: 5 things I’m loving lately

Welcome to my first 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Article from Bustle,com 
Flowers Lower your Stress Levels More than Candles or Nothing at All    Now I know why I love picking out fresh flowers every week! I’ve never stopped to think about why I enjoy having fresh flowers around more than fake arrangements but this makes sense. My favorite place (and most reasonably priced) to buy fresh flowers: Trader Joes.

Tv Show I Recently Binge Watched 
Jack Ryan, available on Amazon Prime . I like pretty much anything John Krasinski has starred in and this was no exception. Fast paced and well casted, this was a really good show. Maybe not as high a level of production as Homeland but if you liked Homeland I think you’ll enjoy Jack Ryan

Book I’m Enjoying This Week
The Wildlands  by Abby Geni. I’m not that far but this story of a family torn apart after a Category 5 tornado in Oklahoma is proving to be atmospheric with such good characterization. I can’t wait to pick it back up which is always a good sign

To Go Cup I NEVER Leave Home Without 
Aladdin Insulated Tumbler  is my go to water bottle all day every day. I try to drink a lot of water daily but I hate when it doesn’t stay cold. Problem solved with this tumbler. I’ve left this cup in my car in 90 degree temps for hours, come back and it’s still cold! It’s elongated for car cup holders and comes with its own straw which you CAN leave in and your drink will still stay cold. I just love this!

New Favorite Podcast I’m Listening To
Dr Death by Wonderly on Apple Podcasts. This podcast! I can’t remember the last time I’ve been shocked by what I’m hearing  (not counting politics:). It’s about a Dr, a neurosurgeon no less, who had no business, zero, operating on people. What happened to the patients unfortunate enough to come across his path and how he was able to keep practicing is investigated in this podcast. Prepare to be shocked by what you hear.

 

Feel free to leave me feedback on this feature or any of these favorites in the comments below , email  me itsbooktalk@gmail.com or message me on Twitter or Instagram @itsbooktalk.  

Thanks for reading & Happy Friday! 

 

6 Popular Novels I Still Haven’t Read

Last week I posted my most anticipated fall reads but lingering in the background are still some popular novels I’ve been meaning to read. The following 6 novels are ones that SO many people have recommended to me over the years but for some reason I still haven’t read them. I DO want to read them but the question is, where to start? I’d love to hear if any of the following books are on YOUR favorites list.

Cutting for Stone
An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others set in 1960s & 1970s Ethiopia and 1980s America.
Buy on Amazon

**

The Goldfinch
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Buy on Amazon

**

Pillars of the Earth
The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.
Buy on Amazon

**

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle
Buy on Amazon

**

The Poisonwood Bible
A story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Buy on Amazon

**

Station Eleven
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
Buy on Amazon

Let me know if you’ve read and loved any of these! Right now I’m leaning toward starting with The Poisonwood Bible but that could change.