Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tapestry of Secrets - Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Tapestry of Secrets is both the conclusion and the prequel to the Appalachian Blessings series.  Blending together Perla's story in the present, and her look back into the past, as she attempts to convey her life's story and lessons to her daughter and granddaughter, this book fills in the questions raised by Perla's mysterious appearance in Wise, West Virginia, so many years ago.  Who is Sadie's father? What makes a family?  How do we convey the lessons we've learned to the people we love, while allowing them to learn their own lessons?

Ella has come home for several reasons, to escape her former fiancee, and to assist her grandmother as she recovers from a stroke.  As she spends more time at home, she is forced to examine why she's there, and what she wants her life to be.  There's a section in the book where she "thought about how Jesus told His followers again and again that He would be back.  But they didn't understand.  [She] sympathized with them.  She might have a knack for understanding people, yet she knew how easy it was to miss hearing God's voice when blinded by the world."  Therein lies the truth and depth of this novel; Ella has to be able to search for God by herself, without allowing all of her fears and reservations and ties to this world to deafen her to His voice.

I read that this novel was actually written first, but took the author years and a complete rewrite to publish.  While it stands alone as a well-written book, it doesn't have the flavor of the other two to wrap it into the series; there are no carryover characters, apart from family, and it doesn't touch as much on the supernatural gifts that the other novels center on.  There is an allusion or two to Perla's gift with food, but it is easily overlooked.  Several times, Ella's "knack" for understanding her grandmother without words is key to their communication, yet it's never the focus.  It almost feels that this book could be read first or last, as its timeline fits in both places, and there's a slightly disjointed feel with its focus.

I still really enjoyed this book, and I give it 4 stars.  I am looking forward to the author's next release that she's already previewing on her website.

You can find A Tapestry of Secrets HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this e-book, via NetGalley, from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

To Have and to Hold - Three Autumn Love Stories

This collection of wedding novellas includes:
Love Takes the Cake, by Betsy St. Amant
The Perfect Arrangement, by Katie Ganshert
Love in the Details, by Becky Wade

Three authors join together in this autumn-themed collection of short, romantic wedding stories.  In Love Takes the Cake, Charlotte finds herself baking for a wedding involving the worst Bridezilla she's encountered, but also giving her the chance to interact with her mysterious weekly patron.  Is he available or isn't he?  Should she even be wondering, because he doesn't look safe, and "safe" is what she wants, isn't it? Amelia finds herself literally running into a handsome man in The Perfect Arrangement, and somehow that invites him into her life more than she intended.  What will happen if he finds out just how intertwined their lives are?  In Love in the Details, Holly is coordinating a wedding where her ex-boyfriend, her high school sweetheart, is the best man.  Having broken up with him years ago, under false pretenses, what kind of interactions can she expect?  Should she let her heart get more involved?

This collection involved some of my favorite romance authors, and I jumped at the chance to review it.  I probably shouldn't have jumped quite so quickly, as it turned out I had already read two of the three novellas!  I guess I'm consistent in my author choices.  Despite the slight disappointment of 2/3 of the book not being new, I enjoyed the book anyway.

Novellas are a difficult genre for me to enjoy; either there isn't enough time to develop the characters well, or the characters are well done and the story feels too short.  These three stories, however, manage to create well-rounded characters, and feel complete within their limited space.  Of course, it doesn't mean I wouldn't love to read longer novels with these characters!  In particular, I would love to see Will and Charlotte take on life together, and to see how their difficult backgrounds play out in their life as a family.  I really loved Nate and Amelia's e-mail exchanges, and would enjoy reading more of their movie-banter references.  Also - who was the mystery man for real?!  Holly and Josh's story served pretty well as a stand-alone, but how would their lives change going forward?

I give this collection 5 stars; short, easy to read, yet complete, this is a great book for some light, fun reading.

You can find the authors:
Besty St. Amant HERE
Katie Ganshert HERE
Becky Wade HERE

All three authors have active social media presences, and I recommend you follow them!

You can find To Have and to Hold HERE.

I received this e-book, via NetGalley, from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

The Domino Effect

"Esther unfolded the paper and read silently, 'Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'"

Esther Larsen is a brilliant mathematician; she fought her way into college at 14, and graduated with dual degrees at 17.  For the past nine years, she has turned her amazing gifts into a job as a top risk analyst for one of the country's largest banks.  In her own time, she gathers data and analyzes the implications.  Now, she begins to fear what those implications mean for the country, and the global economy as a whole.  Does she risk speaking up?  Will anyone believe her?  Like her biblical namesake, has she been brought here for "such a time as this"?

Books with brilliant heroines are an immediate draw for me.  Esther is above and beyond even the typical gifted character, if there is such a thing.  The world of banking and investments and economies is completely over my head, and yet, this book is so well written, and the characters so well drawn, that it didn't matter.  I felt their tension, and their fear (perhaps a bit too much, sometimes!), and I was completely engaged in their journey, even though I didn't understand even a fraction of what they were afraid of.  I actually had to put the book aside for a short time, to let my own fears generated by the book subside!  But the author draws his characters together so well, and they come to care for each other in such honest ways, that I had to come back to them to find out how they fared.

I give this book 4 stars - if you're interested in the banking world, I'm sure you'll love it even more, but even if you don't know what an algorithm is, you'll still find plenty in this story to enjoy. I have read several of Davis Bunn's books in the past, and have found them all equally engaging.

You can find The Domino Effect HERE.
You can connect with the author on Facebook HERE.
You can also connect with him on Twitter HERE.

I received a copy of this book form Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Song of Silence - Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy is not just another music teacher; she's a music teacher driven by passion for music, as well as facing the challenge of engaging kids and helping them to appreciate music whatever their initial point of view.  Not only that, but she is carrying on the legacy of her father, who started the music program at Willowcrest.  Now, facing forced early retirement, she's left floundering, without a known purpose in life.  How does she handle the loss of her passion and identity, while dealing with a husband who's happy to have her home and grown children who suddenly need her again?  Does music even fit into this new life of hers?  What about when a deaf woman and her autistic son suddenly are added to the mix? Where is God and the gift He's given her now?

There were so many vibrant characters and poignant storylines in this book that it's difficult to know where to begin.  Lucy faced such a daunting journey of learning whether her job made her important in people's lives, or whether the person she was in that job surpassed the position and could continue to change people's lives for the better.  Finding new ways to improve her marriage, even at 56 years old, was daunting to her, and I appreciated the interactions with her therapist and her book club, HHATT (He's Home ALL the Time).  It was a good mix of humor at their husbands' lack of awareness to their true needs and feeling, but their own awareness that their husbands were good men, doing the best they could to show their wives they loved them.  Lucy's husband, Charlie, was a good representation of this paradox - throwing Lucy an unwanted retirement party one day, and yet giving her sign language lessons another.

There were some deeper issues and relationships in this story that could have been delved into a little deeper - Sasha's background and relationship with Sam, Caden's upbringing and separation from his mom, the individual members of the HHATT club and how they came through therapy, as well as several of Lucy's students.  However, they served to enrich the story and bring depth to Lucy's journey to finding her new identity in Christ, and where music fit in, so it wasn't a major detraction; it just shows well-written characters that the reader will want more of.  Personally, I could have done with a little less of Lucy's wallowing in her job loss and could have used more interactions with the other characters.  Being stuck, however, was probably more realistic, and didn't ring untrue.

I give this book 4 stars.  Even though I am not a music person by talent, interest, or training, the musical references were not over the top, and Lucy's search for meaning after her life upheaval was relatable to any career or passion.  Learning to love her people well, and to appreciate their love for her made for rich and engaging reading that I think many people could enjoy and benefit from.

You can find Song of Silence HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Traces of Guilt - Dee Henderson

Lieutenant Evie Blackwell is taking a "vacation."  A vacation that involves trying to solve several missing person cold cases centered in Carin County, Illinois, as a test case for a special task force that the Governor Elect is trying to form.  Gabriel Thane is the current Sheriff, son of the former Sheriff, and as such, becomes Evie's partner in sifting through the old evidence and searching for new links that may help them to solve these cases that have not been forgotten within the local community.  These cases may be linked by more than just the memories and relationships of the Thane family.

When Ann Falcon first appeared in this book, and mentioned "three brothers," I was excited to think maybe we'd finally gotten the story of the third Bishop brother.   Alas, it was not to be, but instead centered around three new brothers - the Thane brothers: Gabriel, Josh, and Will - who are equally interesting and engaging.  I enjoyed getting to know this new family, but I feel like they were such rich characters that they would have been better served if they'd gotten their own books.  Even still, the author manages to tuck quirky little personality traits into such a full story, like a habit of leaving SweeTarts behind.  This family would have made for a rich trilogy, and instead, their story felt under-served by condensing it into a single book.

The loose tie-in of Ann is an interesting thread to hold these stand-alone novels together.  This particular installment was made more interesting by the introduction of Evie Blackwell, who, it appears, is going to get her own series.  The concept of a task force to solve cold cases is intriguing, and I hope that the series does each case justice, as well as giving its lead characters room to grow.  This one hooked me, but I wanted tighter focus on a few characters and one or two cases, rather than trying to tie so many people, romances, and mysteries together into one novel.  I hope that Evie stays in touch with the Thane family, so that we can as well.

I give this book 3.5 stars.  I look forward to reading more about Evie (and I still want to read about Jim Bishop!).

You can find Traces of Guilt HERE.
You can find Dee Henderson's site HERE.
You can find more from the publisher, including an excerpt and author Q&A HERE.

I received an e-book copy of this book from Bethany House, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Her One and Only - Becky Wade

Dru Porter is the youngest of the Porter siblings, and as the only girl, has spent her whole life trying to keep up and prove herself.  She has served in the Marines, she rides a motorcycle, and now she is a bodyguard.  Er..."Executive Protection Agent."  Her newest client is Gray Fowler, a tight end for the Dallas Mustangs, and she is tasked with keeping him safe from a stalker who seems to be escalating his threats.  Dru has vowed to not get personally attached to her clients, but Gray might have other plans.

I have really enjoyed the Porter Family Series; Ty, Jake, and Bo were characters bigger than life, with family bonds and romantic storylines that made for light-hearted, fun reading.  Dru's story didn't feel quite as fleshed out, leaving me feeling like I didn't really know her.  I enjoyed her interactions with Gray, and I thought that his story of needing to learn about forgiveness and about his relationship with God was well done.  I just wanted to know Dru as well as I felt I knew the Porter brothers. The scenes with her family, as well as the intertwined story of Meg and Bo, were some of the most engaging in the book.  Seeing her among her family helped define her, and gave warmth to the coldness of her persona as a bodyguard.  I wish that there was a way for the author to tie these characters into future books so that we didn't have to let go of them yet!

I was excited to receive this book, and I did enjoy it; I just wanted to know Dru more!  
I give this book 3.5 stars.  Within the series, I felt the least invested in this installment, but I was still glad to catch up with the Porter family.

You can find Her One and Only HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.
You can connect with her on Facebook HERE.  (She and Katie Ganshert have an ongoing Pinterest war on Facebook, and it is SO much fun!)

I received a copy of this e-book from Bethany House, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Live Free, Adult Coloring Book - Margaret Fienberg

Live Free - Craft God's Word into Your Heart through Creative Expression

This adult coloring book is a creative combination of journal, coloring book, and scripture study.  It encourages its user to linger on each page, drawing the printed scripture into their hearts and minds.  Each coloring page comes with an accompanying journal page for reflections and prayers.  There are no journaling or prayer prompts, just pure scripture to inspire and reflect upon.

The coloring pages themselves are a good mix of geometric, floral, and nature designs.  The paper is high quality and I have had no leak-through with the gel pens I've been using.  My only complaint with this book might be that there aren't enough pages!  It does seem to be on the thin side for a coloring book, and comes with a relatively high retail price.  However, I'm sure you could find better deals and sales if you watch (There's one now on CBD, and on Amazon!)

I really enjoy this adult coloring book craze, and I was excited to receive this one as a review copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

You can find Live Free HERE.
You can find Margaret Feinberg's site HERE.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Glass Castle - Trisha Priebe and Jerry Jenkins

On her 13th birthday, Avery is out playing in the woods when she finds herself captured.  The next thing she knows, she's living behind the castle walls within a community of other 13-year-old orphans who are secretly performing all the work for the castle.  Why are they all here?  Who has ordered the 13-year-olds captured, and why?

The premise of this story was intriguing enough for me to choose it to review; but I had a hard time accepting the world once I tried to enter it.  Why are all of the kids 13?  Why does nobody question this?  Who's in charge?  While I wanted to like these kids, and root for them, I wasn't even entirely sure what I would be rooting for.  In order to feel invested in these characters, I felt like there needed to be more background to the world within which they were living, and I needed more life stories to get to know them as characters.

Also, from the ending, this is clearly the beginning to a new series, but nowhere within the description was that made clear.  It is a pet peeve of mine to start a book not knowing it is not going to come to a satisfying conclusion.

I give this book 2 stars.  I don't even know if I care about these characters enough at this point to follow up if and when the next book is released.  That's unfortunate, because I thought the plot sounded fairly original, and I was interested to see where it could go.

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

You can find The Glass Castle HERE.
You can find Jerry Jenkins' website HERE.
You can find the publisher, Shiloh Run Press - an imprint of Barbour Publishing, HERE.

Playing the Part - Jen Turano

Playing the Part is the third installment in the series "A Class of Their Own," where we get a deeper look into the life of Lucetta Plum, the actress friend of Harriet and Millie.  Independent, intelligent, and secretive, Lucetta is not impressed by admirers or gentlemen seeking her hand.  Rather, she keeps a personal bodyguard to fend off unwanted intentions and lives her life on her own terms.  Until a particularly determined admirer attempts to force her hand, and her life takes an unexpected turn - not only leaving her to depend on others, but entwining her in her protectors' own mysterious situation.

I really enjoyed both previous books in this series, In Good Company, and After a Fashion.  I love Jen Turano's witty, bright, and strong heroines.  Unfortunately, I felt that this story fell a little short of the previous two.  Maybe it was because the character of Lucetta Plum doesn't really let herself be known by the people in her life, it also makes her feel aloof to the reader.  Although many of her secrets, as well as Bram's - the leading male character - were eventually revealed, it was more of an exchange of portfolios than a true revelation of character.  Bram, however, was a delightful counterpart to Lucetta, a "collector of misfits," as she describes him.

Perhaps my discontentment with this story is similar to that of how I felt of the conclusion to Ms. Turano's last series - "The Ladies of Distinction" series.  She creates such fabulous relationships between her characters, but then marries them off one by one, book by book, and the final character is left to stand alone in her own story.  The friends make token appearances, and a few of the side characters carry over, but we're introduced to so many brand new characters without the support of the ones we've come to love, that it's missing that extra special something.

Regardless, I still enjoyed this series, and I particularly enjoyed the ending of this book.  I give it 3.5 stars, rounded to 4 - not my favorite of the series, but still a fun read.

You can find Playing the Part HERE.
You can find Jen Turano's site HERE.
You can connect with her on Facebook HERE.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

From Scratch - C.E. Hilbert

Maggie McKitrick has opened a bakery in Gibson's Run, Ohio.  Other than bickering with her police chief landlord over her rented space, she seems to be settling in with new friends and a growing business.  But what brought her to Gibson's Run, and why is she so easily spooked by a few out-of-place incidents?  Why does Chief Taylor feel that he's not getting all of the answers he's looking for, even as they set their differences aside?

I am a sucker for books about bakers and chefs; and I loved those scenes within this book, where Maggie is creating and interacting with customers and friends over the fantastic desserts she has crafted.  The highlight of the book, however, was watching Maggie take root in this life she'd begun without any ties.  As strangers became friends, and friends became family, it was uplifting to watch her be able to trust God in settling her in this place, allowing herself to stop hiding and confide in someone about her past.  It was also refreshing to have that happen before it was revealed through other means.  There are some disturbing sections regarding the reason for her running, but they're not over-the-top, and they serve as the means for Maggie's life as it is and give foundation to her deep faith in God.  While the online descriptions of the book promote it heavily as a romance, I would say that's only a minor portion of this bigger story of faith, friends, and family.  I do hope that this will become a series, and that we will get to look more into the characters of Gibson's Run, and perhaps the remaining Taylor brothers?

I give this book 3.5 stars.

You can find From Scratch HERE.
(Although it says that's due to be published April 1, 2016, it appears to be available now)
You can connect with the author on Facebook HERE.

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Beyond the Silence - Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

When Lillian Porter sees an ad for a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she feels she needs to take it, even though her grandfather tells her she'll no longer be welcome in his home if she leaves.  To add to her dismay, she arrives at her destination to find that gossip and rumors abound concerning her new employer, Woody Colton.  His wife was brutally murdered, and the majority of the townspeople think he did it.  Woody's young son, Jimmy, was home at the time, but hasn't spoken a word since the murder.  Can Lillian trust her new boss, and God, for her safety?  Can she reach Jimmy through his silence?  Will her grandfather ever speak to her again?

This book felt like two separate stories that didn't quite work together.  Lillian's act of leaving her life of luxury to help a struggling family was admirable, and I expected more about the contrast of her old life with the new, or more depth to the broken relationship with her grandfather.  Instead, she settled rather easily into the life of a nanny and tutor, learning to cook and tend the garden with only minor mishaps.  Once she arrived in California, the book awkwardly shifted focus to the mystery surrounding the death of Rebecca Colton, and the continuing danger around the Colton property.  Darwin Longstreet was a fully evil character, murdering without remorse, and plotting the death of his younger brother without a care; this dichotomy between the settling in of a nanny with a hurting family and the actions of a cold-blooded killer was jarring.

Although I found the combination of stories to be awkward, there were several characters whom I enjoyed; Lillian was a strong, independent woman who cared for everyone she met, yet she wasn't afraid to speak truth to those who attacked her new family.  Harry, the killer's younger brother, was endearing, caring for Jimmy and Lillian and hungering for friendship and love.  Even the supporting cast - the housekeeper, the storekeeper's wife, the pastor - they all added humor, strength, and depth to the story.

I was left not knowing how I really felt about this book overall; the darkness of the killer was not a pleasant read, yet I was eager to see Jimmy and the family find healing and forgiveness.  I give this book 3 stars.

You can find Beyond the Silence HERE.
You can find Tracie Peterson's site HERE.
You can find Kimberley Woodhouse's site HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

An Insider's Guide to Praying for the World - Brian C. Stiller

An Insider's Guide to Praying for the World contains 52 chapters of countries, people groups, and situations throughout the world in need of prayer.  Authored by the Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance, the stories and prayer guides are given a personal touch and the urgency of current needs for real people.

As my children grow up in a world that's constantly changing, I want them to be aware of where God is working, and where the prayers of His people are needed not only to change the situations around the world, but the hearts of the people who join with Him in prayer.  I requested this book for review to help open their eyes, as well as my own.  While we haven't completed the book, hoping to take our time to read and pray thoughtfully, and stretch our understanding of the world we live in.  The breakdown of this book makes it easy to go through as a family, with the combination of particular countries, people groups such as the Muslims, and larger issues such as prisons and persecution.  Current data, a history of the country, and maps for each chapter help give us context and perspective.  Tips on group use or personal use, as well as a prayer journal at the conclusion, add to this in-depth prayer resource.  My only concern with the book is that specific data and prayer concerns can only remain current for so long.  I wish that each chapter came with a link to an active ministry, or an updated website where the reader could check in to see if there are updates on situations and prayer requests.

I give this book 4 stars; I feel that it is a well-written, nicely laid out prayer guide, and I look forward to studying it more in depth.

You can find An Insider's Prayer Guide to Praying for the World HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.
You can find the World Evangelical Alliance HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Not by Sight - Kate Breslin

Grace Mabry is filled with patriotism for her native England during WWI; having a twin brother serving in the war, she is certain that other able-bodied men should also be doing their part to help win and end the war.  Her passion results in her being sent to assist the war effort in a manner she did anticipate, as she serves on a farm with the Women's Forage Corps.  While there, she finds that everyone has secrets, and some are more dangerous than others.

While there were several intriguing components to this story - spies, the Women's Forage Corps, the care Grace put into showing compassion to the other women - it just didn't come together for me.  The storyline of seeing past a man's blindness and scars to see to his heart and convince him he was worth loving again should have been refreshingly different, but still somehow fell a bit flat.  Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for this novel at this time, or maybe the story was trying to go too many places at the same time that none of it felt well-developed, but something was missing.

Even though I didn't love this story, I did appreciate the theme of not making assumptions about others, both for the good and the bad.  Everyone has secrets, but there is a story behind everyone's past, and a future even when there have been mistakes that seem unforgivable.

I give this book 2 stars, for my own personal tastes and lack of excitement about the story.

You can find Not by Sight HERE.
You can find the author's site HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 - The Good, the Bad, the Surprising

Last year, my goal for books was 60, and I surpassed it to read a total of 87 books for 2014.  Not knowing what 2015 would hold in terms of reading time, I set my goal for 75 books, thinking it would be a stretch but attainable.  At year's end, these were my stats according to Goodreads:

79 books
25,257 pages
Average length: 337 pages
Longest book: Winter - 824 pages

If only I kept better track of books I picked up, but didn't finish, I think that page total would be significantly higher.  This seemed to be the year of disappointing books.  There were even a few books I had looked forward to with anticipation, only to find myself sadly setting them aside unfinished (After You, I'm looking at you).  Overall, I found myself frustrated with the quality of books I picked up this year.  Even still, I managed to give 6 books a 5-star rating on Goodreads. 

These were some of my top choices this year:


It's rare for me to even finish a non-fiction book these days, let alone give one 5 stars, but this was well worthy of both my time and my rating.  The combination of biography, WWII accounts, and history of crew as a sport was well done and incredibly interesting.


I don't love everything by Charles Martin, but Water from my Heart was amazing.  In my review, I said "This is not a pretty book about someone who made an honest mistake with good intentions."  It's not always easy, or good, to read about someone's bad choices, but learning from someone else's redemption story can be thought-changing.

I was super excited to have won a copy of To Get to You, from Joanne Bischof this summer; I've enjoyed every one of her books, and this one was no exception.  I'm excited to see this series continue!

Children's/Middle Grade

It was a bit of a struggle to get my 7-year-olds to move from picture books to chapter books; one of them latched onto The One and Only Ivan on his kindle, and we loved reading it together.  I even bought him a copy of this in paperback to mark the first serious (325 pages!) chapter book he read.  It was so fun for him to talk to me about where we were in the book, and discuss the parts that were sad, or the parts that made us laugh.  I love having more book readers in my house!

My other 7-year-old is a bigger fan of audio books than paper books (although we're working on that), and The Mysterious Benedict Society series captured his attention early this summer.  The first audio book is in the 14-hour range, and he blew through it in less than a week.  We also read/listened to these as a family on our summer vacation drive, and we continue to refer to these characters even now, they were so fun!

Young adult/Sci-Fi

Another of my favorite authors, Katie Ganshert branched out this year under the name K.E. Ganshert to pen a series of young adult novels.  These were fantastic, and I was so glad she released them in quick succession, because I would not have wanted to wait long for each installment!  I convinced my book club to read them (even one who's typically very anti-sci-fi), and when the author ran a promotion where the proceeds all went to charity, i purchased another set for someone else who I thought would love them.

And so...

So while it wasn't a fantastic year for books in general for me, I did manage to pull several diamonds out; from all over the reading map, apparently!  Last year, I came up with a list of books I was excited to read in the year ahead, and I managed to read all but one of them this year.  While I would love to have books to list here to look forward to in 2016, I can't say I know of many.  I'm sure there will be some good surprises this year, but many of the series I'd been invested in seem to have finished up this year, and several of my favorite authors don't have any dates set for releases.

I am setting a goal of 75 books again for this year; that seems to be the sweet spot for me - enough of a stretch that I feel challenged, but when I hit a slump where nothing is catching my attention, I don't feel discouraged (by an arbitrary goal, I know).

Do you have goals this year?
Do you have books to look forward to?  What should be on my '16 list?
Did you read any of my favorite books?  What did I miss?