Reading More: A Juggling Act

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a reader. As a kid my parents would have to pry a book out of my hands to get me to do my homework or eat dinner. Considering myself an avid¬†reader, I always thought I’d read a lot of books, until I started my Goodreads account this year. I’d read just shy of 200 books, counting everything I’ve read since the beginning of high school. So, in hopes of finally shortening my TBR list, which at this point is a good 250 books, I decided to take on the 52 Book Challenge. But once you start the habit, it’s a little hard to stop and this week I¬†had to up the ante to 100 – I just hope I can make it!

Since my start at the beginning of the year, I’ve managed to read an average of 4 books a week. Of course there¬†have been some weeks when I’ve only managed one or two, particularly when I’ve read a longer¬†novel¬†such as City on Fire (so good!), but the reaction is always the same – you must be a fast reader! I only wish that were true, but matter of fact, I’m a pretty slow reader. I like to take my time to read each passage thoroughly and I often reread parts that are long or confusing, and then I take notes. I’ve had to be a little more dedicated to make time for all that reading, so I’d like to share a few of my secrets.

How do you make time to read? Continue reading


Weekly Reads: Week 12

Happy belated Easter, I hope y’all had a great holiday weekend!

Due to a short work week, I had tons of extra reading time this week, which definitely came in handy since a lot of my time was spent dealing with getting my car fixed and calling the insurance company. Nothing a good book and a glass of wine can’t heal, though!

This week I’ll be reading the classic Brideshead Revisited, a novel I’ve put off for¬†long enough. And, I finally got my hands on the audio version of Stardust! It’s going to be a good week. ūüôā

What have you been reading lately? Continue reading


Book Haul: Clearance Gone Crazy!

I have a habit. I have a very bad habit, well maybe not bad for me, but definitely bad for my wallet. There’s a point, every weekend, where you’ve spent too much time at home and you just need to get out of the house. But where to go when there’s nothing to do? To the bookstore, of course!

Luckily, my favorite place to shop is my local Half Priced Books where the clearance shelves are not just fully stocked, but overflowing, and all for under $3! This time was no exception, and quite a few of my picks were from my TBR list. Not bad for a little weekend pick-me-up.


1. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The delightfully smart and sassy Precious Ramots, driven to help others, establishes her own detective agency in Gaborone, Botswana, but quickly finds herself in danger when she takes on the case of a missing boy.

I’ve heard great things about this series, and this was just the push I needed to work it in to my reading list.

2. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchet

After his death, a magician’s assistant and wife uncovers shocking secrets from his past, as well as the family he left behind.

When I find an author I love, I tend to go a little overboard and read absolutely everything they’ve written. And now, Ann Patchet has been added to that list.

3. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee is a young Nigerian refugee who has just been release from a British immigration detention center, but alone and without connections in a new country she seeks a one time acquaintance. However, their past encounter had left each woman haunted, but meeting again, they have the chance to help each other to prevail.

Based on all reviews, this is sure to be an emotionally challenging and inspiring read.

4. Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Told by the grown up Icy Sparks, the novel recounts her difficult childhood in a small mountain town in eastern Kentucky, from her start as an orphan to being diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome.

I was drawn to the cover of the book, but ultimately decided to buy when I noticed it had been a one time selection of Oprah’s Book Club.

5. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

From Amazon: Beautiful Ruins is “the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962¬†.¬†.¬†. and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.”

I’ve been reading a lot of challenging works lately, so I think it’s about time for a romance novel!

6. Run by Ann Patchett

Bernard Doyle, the former mayor of Boston, wants the best for his sons, which according to him, is a career in politics. But after an accident in a blinding snowstorm, their safety becomes his number one concern.

More Ann Patchett!

7. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Beautiful and lively Pearl Chin and her sister May were having the time of their lives growing up in Shanghai, but after their family is left penniless, they are sold to young American suitors and embark on to start a new life in Los Angeles.

I’ve heard great things about her other novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, so this should be a good one.

8. Night of the Radishes: A Novel by Sandra Benitez

Annie Rush has an amazing life: a loving husband, beautiful children, and a rewarding job, but her mother’s death takes her back home where she must face her past and the tragic death of her twin sister as a young girl.

This novel is new to me, but the title and cover art were intriguing.

9. Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

Based on a brief mention in Moby Dick, this novel chronicles the life of Ahab’s wife Una, from her childhood spent exiled to a lighthouse to prevailing against all odds when her husband has been consumed by madness and lost to the sea.

Una’s unbending courage and ingenuity are highly¬†noted by every review I’ve read – ¬†I can’t wait to read this!

10. The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

In the summer of ¬†1998, Emilie de la Martini√®res has inherited the family chateau in the south of France.¬†Once there, she’ll discover¬†long lost secrets, as the chateau may hold the final clues she’ll need to uncover what really happened to her family during World War II.

I was drawn to this novel by the cover art, a beautiful chateau surrounded by a vineyard. I’m sure this novel is bound to be just as intriguing.

11. The Flower Boy by Karen Roberts

The Flower Boy exposes the complexities of life on a British tea plantation in Sri Lanka as cultural boundaries are crossed and deep relationships are formed.

The summaries I’ve read are quite tedious, as this is most definitely a novel spun by plot, but it’s also been said to be a heart wrenching emotional tale of friendship and triumph over tragedy.

12. Before the Frost by Henning Mankell

Before the Frost marks the collaboration between Kurt Wallander and his daughter Linda, who has just graduated from the police academy, as they work against the clock to uncover a religious fanatic on a killing spree.

No book haul would be complete without a compelling mystery-thriller. I’ve never attempted the Millennium Trilogy (The¬†Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), knowing the graphic nature of the plot, but I’m not ready to give up on Swedish mysteries yet. Hopefully this will be just as good but without the hard to read details.


Spring Reading: Classic Romance

Some books are just meant to be read in spring. Young lovers, grand sweeping meadows, tea parties… I can’t think of a better way to celebrate such a delightful season!

Some I’ve read, some are on my TBR list. Either way, these novels are rich stories sure to entertain and inspire your next spring outing.

What’s on your Spring Reading List? Continue reading


Weekly Reads: Week 11

The past week was rather hectic after the time-change havoc, I still have yet to recover. I was also quite fortunate to win tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! While I wasn’t able to finish my book that day, the rodeo was a blast! We scored front row seats for the Mutton Busting and the performer of the night, Jake Owen, brought out all the stops. Thank goodness for audio books though, or my average would have been shot!

What have you been reading lately?  Continue reading


Weekly Reads: Week 10

Hello friends! Thank you for visiting Vivacious Reads, and I hope you’ll visit again soon!

Each week I’ll be sharing short reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

There’s nothing better than a classic novel in the springtime. Last week I caved to my impulses and finished two I’ve been meaning to read for a while. But I might have gone too far this time, considering both picks are packed¬†with marital intrigues.

This week, I’ll be working on The Passage by Justin Cronin. I’ve heard a lot of hype about it, but had no idea it was so LONG. Luckily, Easter is coming up and I have an extra week with my library copy because of the holiday!

What have you been reading lately?
Continue reading