January Book Haul

 

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert“When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new… the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself – or worse.”

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne“Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach… Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty-ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough. When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade. Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying-and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.”

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes“Joe Goldberg came to Los Angeles to start over, to forget about what happened in New York. But in a darkened room in Soho House everything suddenly changed. She is like no one he’s ever met before. She doesn’t know about his past and never can. The problem is, hidden bodies don’t always stay that way.”

Current Podcasts

 

Not Another X Files Podcast“Welcome to Vancouver, the home of The X Files. Join us as we take a journey from pilot to finale, complete with improv, shipping, and lots of singing!” – I get into the mood to re-watch The X Files every few years, and this time around I have decided to do it while simultaneously listening to a podcast. This seemed like a good one to start with because one of the hosts has never seen the show before and I thought it would be fun to hear about the show from a new fan’s perspective. I’m already loving it because the girl who has never watched the show before immediately fell in love with Mulder. I RELATE.

Slow Burn“Leon Neyfakh excavates the strange subplots and forgotten characters of recent political history – and finds surprising parallels to the present.” – Around the time I decided I wanted a break from listening to true crime, I saw this recommended on a list of top podcasts of 2018 and I decided to check it out. This has been really interesting for me to listen to because as much as I had a general idea about what happened during Bill Clinton’s presidency, I have learned a lot through this podcast about the details of what actually went down.

Dr Death“We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications. And all they had to protect them was a system ill-equipped to stop the madness.” – I had seen this podcast recommended by quite a few people on my twitter feed, so it had been sitting on my “to listen” list for a while. If you have any sort of paranoia about surgery or hospitals or anything of that nature I would highly recommend NOT listening to this podcast. If not, go for your life because it’s fascinating and utterly terrifying.

Let’s Talk OC“Do you love The OC? Do you miss the show? Well you’re in luck! Let’s Talk OC is the podcast for you. Join obsessed fan Michelle, Liss, who has seen the show once and Ingrid the newbie, as they watch and share their thoughts every Monday!” – As soon as I spotted The OC on Stan, I knew I had to do a re-watch. This show is super nostalgic for me and brings back so many memories of late high school and the years that followed. Similarly to first podcast mentioned here, I am watching television episodes and then listening to the corresponding podcast episode, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

Top 8 Books – 2018

 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman“Something is out there… Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster? Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey–a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside–and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne“Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing. 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day… and they hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. HATE. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked. Now they’re up for the same promotion and Lucy, usually a determined people-pleaser, has had enough: it’s time to take him down. But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it’s clear that the real battle has only just begun…”

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin“Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must… and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.”

Beartown by Fredrik Backman“In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret… Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Which side would you be on?”

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta“Following the sudden disappearance of thousands of citizens, Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to bring a sense of hope to his traumatised community, but his family has fallen apart in the wake of disaster. Kevin’s wife has joined a homegrown cult, and his son is a disciple of the prophet Holy Wayne. Only Jill, Kevin’s daughter, remains, and she’s no longer the sweet student she once was.”

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman“Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life. But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other. On the tropical island of Bora Bora Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water. Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret — after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events… which will endanger everything they hold dear.”

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…”

Misery by Stephen King“Misery Chastain is dead. Paul Sheldon has just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery has made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wants to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul had done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all. Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now he’s writing to stay alive.”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – January

 

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 12th January to 9am on Sunday 13th January in your time zone. My focus for this round is to catch up on a couple of my January TBR books, because I spent this week working on a buddy read with Michael. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

December Empties

 

Dove Go Fresh Deodorant in Pear & Aloe Vera – Two deodorant empties in a row, that must be some kind of record. As I said last month, I tend to not include deodorants unless I think they’re something worth mentioning and this is another winner from Dove. This has a delightfully fresh and summery scent and as an added bonus on top of that it does a really good job as a deodorant in general.

Longvitalite Collagen Firming & Moisturising Silk Sheet Mask – I have a bunch of these in my cupboard because they’re a really easy go-to hydrating sheet mask that work well with my sensitive skin. I still prefer the Garnier masks to these, but they are an easy mask to slap on my face on a Sunday morning if I’m feeling like I need a bit of a hydration boost.

Pantene Pro V 3 Minute Miracle – I recently repurchased a few of my old-school hair favourites (Kerastase Bain Satin and Terax Crema), and remembered how much I loved using these little miracle workers in conjunction with those products. It does a wonderful job of smoothing fly-aways and noticeably enhances the shine of my hair. I love this product, and I’m glad to have reintroduced it into my hair care routine.

[sample] Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment – I wasn’t a huge fan of this treatment because it seemed to leave a bit of an oily residue on my skin. Sadly, this didn’t have enough of an impact for me to consider purchasing a full size.