June TBR

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.

The White Queen by Philippa GregoryA woman who won the love of a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth fought tenaciously for the success of her family — her daughter who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower. An active player in the power struggles that surrounded her, she made hard and courageous choices, always trying to protect those whom she loved.

Everything Is Lies by Helen CallaghanNo-one is who you think they are. Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed. Everyone has secrets. Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death. Especially those closest to you. The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there… What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

Sex, Love, Repeat by Alessandra Torre – “I love two men. I screw two men. I am in a relationship with them both, and they are both aware there is another. That is all they need to know, that is all I let them know. They don’t need to know a name; they don’t need to know anything, but that they are not alone in my heart. They have accepted the situation. Stewart, because his life is too busy for the sort of obligations that are required in a relationship. Paul, because he loves me too much to tell me no. And because my sexual appetite is such that one man has trouble keeping up. So we exist, two parallel relationships, each running their own course, with no need for intersection or conflict. It works for us, for them, and for me. I don’t expect it to be a long-term situation. I know there is an expiration date on the easy perfection of our lives. I should have paid more attention, should have looked around and noticed the woman who watched it all. She sat in the background and waited, tried to figure me out. Saw my two relationships, the love between us, and the moment that it all fell apart. She hates me. I don’t even know she exists. She loves them. I love them. And they love me. EVERYTHING else hangs in the balance.”

The Women In The Walls by Amy Lukavics“Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she and her best friend and cousin, Margaret, know the ancient hallways inside out. Or so they think… When her beloved Aunt Penelope disappears while walking in the surrounding woods, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret, meanwhile, has been spending a LOT of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly and completely unravels. And then she begins hearing voices herself…”

May Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 7
May TBR Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 2,186

Queens Of Geek by Jen Wilde – 3/5 – I went into this expecting a fun and light-hearted read, and that’s exactly what I got. I know that the name and blurb indicate that this story would be full of “geek” and pop culture references, but it was a little bit too much for me personally. Having said that, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a fun and easy read with a bit of geeky romance thrown in for good measure.

Artemis by Andy Weir – 2/5 – This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I found the female protagonist almost unbearable to read, and the plot mostly boring. I would only recommend picking this up if you’re a huge fan of Andy Weir, or really enjoyed the Martian and are curious to see what else he has to offer.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich – 4/5 – This was honestly one of the creepiest (and strangest) books I’ve ever read. This is the kind of book it’s best to go into blind, and I don’t want to give too much away. But I will say this would be a perfect Halloween read, or something for a cold and stormy night where you just want to be curled up with a book and lost in a scary story.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover – 4/5 – I have to admit, the first quarter of this book had me worried that it was going to be a sickly sweet insta-love situation, but I was surprised by the twists that happened along the way. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like this, and I would recommend it if you’re looking for a New Adult romance.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – 3/5 – This was a book I picked up for the #BorrowAThon readathon I participated in May, and it was enjoyable enough. I was interested in the story, but the romance subplot just didn’t grab me and I don’t think I’ll bother continuing with the series.

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides – 2/5 – I am so glad to be done with this book. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jeffrey Eugenides’ other books, but I have come to discover that short story anthologies are not for me. This felt very dry, and was a bit of a struggle to get through.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – 3/5 – This was the #ReadYourFaceOff Book Club book of the month, and it’s been on my radar for a while so I was happy to have a reason to pick it up. This was just an okay book for me. I am quite character-driven so reading books where I find the main character quite unlikeable makes it difficult for me to enjoy the book. Overall though, the story was good and it was an interesting view on how some people deal with grief.

May Book Haul

The Outsider by Stephen KingWhen an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town’s popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man. Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day. As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King’s propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NgEveryone 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…

The Girl in 6E by A.R. TorreDeanna Madden, aka Jessica Reilly, hasn’t touched another person in three years. She hasn’t left her apartment. She makes money from performing to webcams on a sex site, where her clients pay $6.99 a minute for her time. She’s doing alright. The dollars are piling up in the bank. She’s the number 3 model on cams.com. And she hasn’t killed anyone for years. But when Deanna sees on the news that a little girl called Annie has gone missing, the story rattles her carefully ordered world. It’s uncomfortably similar to the dark fantasy of one of her most disturbing online clients. She’s convinced he’s responsible for the girl’s abduction – but no one will listen to her. So, after three years, Deanna finally leaves the apartment. And this is what happens…

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.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyGuy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

Pet Sematary by Stephen KingThe house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle; the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago. Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat. But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe. Just a carefully cleared path up into the woods where generations of local children have processed with the solemn innocence of the young, taking with them their dear departed pets for burial. A sad place maybe, but safe. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding.

Rose Madder by Stephen KingRoused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight – with his credit card. Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, ‘Rose Madder’, which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it. But it’s hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman is a corrupt cop with a dog’s instinct for tracking people. And he’s getting close. Rosie can feel how close he is getting…

April Empties

Paula’s Choice Hydralight One-Step Facial Cleanser – This is still my favourite facial cleanser, and I’ve been using it for so long now that I’m hesitant to try anything new in case my skin erupts in protest. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve repurchased this, but you can bet I had a full bottle in the cupboard ready to go when this one ran out.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner – This was a decent toner, although I don’t feel like it did anything to reduce the size of my pores. To be fair that could be because I’m officially beyond help in that department.

Dove Go Fresh Rejuvenative Body Wash in ‘Pear & Aloe Vera Scent’ – I ordered this as part of a grocery order to be sent to the house in Adelaide (for Sebastian to use) before I moved over from Perth, as I still had all the beauty products with me. This was a decent body wash, I liked the pear smell but I think it’s more of a summer fragrance for me.

Givenchy Photo Perfexion Foundation in ‘Perfect Ivory’ – Yep, still my number one foundation. I’m starting to panic a little bit because I had one bottle of this remaining and now it’s nearly finished. I also have a couple of other staple products on their last legs, which means a Sephora order is in my near future and my bank balance is weeping at the thought of it.

Clinique Blended Face Powder in ‘Invisible Blend’ – I liked this setting powder, and although some powders that claim to be “translucent” actually aren’t, this did well to blend into the ghost-white skin on my face. Although this isn’t my all-time favourite (I think that title would have to go to Laura Mercier), I would consider repurchasing it in the future. Especially considering Laura Mercier is not going to be available in Australia after the end of June.

Garnier Hydra Bomb Tissue Mask – I really like these Garnier masks, they do a great job of pumping the skin full of hydration and they’re reasonably inexpensive compared to other sheet masks on the market.

Lonvitalite Collagen Firming & Moisturising Silk Sheet Mask – This was a perfectly decent sheet mask, and did a nice job of moisturising my skin. But honestly, I think purely for the price point you’re better off going with something from the Garnier range.

SkinCare – May 2018

Paula’s Choice Hydralight One-Step Face Cleanser – To the surprise of absolutely no-one, this cleanser gets yet another mention on my blog. Yes it’s still my number one, yes I continue to repurchase it time and time again, and yes it’s still the best facial cleanser I’ve ever used. It does a great job of keeping my skin clear (even from pesky hormonal spots) and works really well with my combination/normal skin. Highly recommend.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This is a long-time favourite that has recently made a come back in my routine. I can easily notice the difference in my skin when I use this regularly, and my skin loves to complain if I skip using this for a few days in a row. I think this is a great cold-weather staple because it provides gentle exfoliation that helps to keep skin smooth and glowing.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner – I didn’t intentionally pair my toner and moisturiser with my current cleanser, I tend to rotate through both depending on what I’ve got in my cupboard and what I feel like my skin needs at the time. This is a basic toner that I use when my skin is in decent condition and doesn’t need any additional care or hydration.

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – This is another old favourite that has made a reappearance in my daily routine. This is a product that I can see almost instant results from, and I’m not sure why I stopped using it for so long. This is a lightweight serum that sinks into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave any sort of oily residue.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion – Because I’m working from home at the moment my skin isn’t copping the full brunt of winter and is not too dry or dehydrated. This is a lovely light moisturiser that I use in both Winter and Summer, depending on how my skin is behaving.

Darphin Beauty Revealing Cream – My skin went through a phase of extreme dehydration earlier in the year, and this was my savior during that time. Now that it has settled down and is back to normal this cream is a little bit too heavy to use on the daily, so I’ve switched it up and am using it as a neck cream.