The Book Report February 2016

The-Book-Report

Welcome to The Book Report where we run down everything that happened in the month and update you on challenges, giveaways, reviews and more!

Shari’s Update

February has closed on the month of love. A quick month in the coldest time of year for us. Several snow storms, kids stuck at home and the start of the dance competition season. I think with the next competition next weekend, I am going to start a series of what I am reading when I am not at home because I seem to be gone more than at home lately.

Did everyone have a great Valentine’s Day? I got a very special gift this year, but it is also an anniversary gift as well. See Valentine’s and my Anniversary are only two weeks apart. In two days I get to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband. He knows me inside and out and has stuck with me. So he got me an iWatch to celebrate both and I feel in the dumps because I got him a Lego set and a Tervis mug. Go Shari. So did you get something special?

I did get some reading done in the absence of much else getting done. I hit up my TBR pile hard and even got a few ARCs in as well. Can you believe my NetGalley percentage is at 86%? It was at 43% two years ago and I have worked very hard on my way to a 90%. Still 4% left to my goal, but I am continuing to get it back up there.

Writing reviews is also up to 9 for February, but I also blogged ahead with a few more to keep up on my challenge of getting 100 reviews written this year.

The Chicken Salad dilemma….

IMG_8756I am pulling a cooking experiment today. I love chicken salad sandwiches, but it has to be good chicken salad as I detest the taste of mayonnaise. Quandary. Then there is the whole problem of poaching chicken and it’s dry with the slimy stuff that comes off it when you poach it. So I Google a few recipes, got some tips and what am I doing now? Well, I just poached the chicken with some onion, salt and pepper. It’s in the fridge right now cooling down. I have some Greek yogurt…which I detest as well. So I am hoping I just need a little boost to put it all together. Some mayo, yogurt, celery, golden raisins, and walnuts. This is my first draft of it on crust toasted bread or maybe in a wrap with lettuce.  Some other options include cranberries, diced apples, onion, grapes, cilantro or tarragon  and maybe some chives. All kinds of different combinations.

So when I get it finished for lunch, I will be back with a picture and my verdict on it if meets my standards. Yeah, sexy, chicken salad!

….

I am back and it didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. The Greek yogurt is being tossed out for regular yogurt. I just don’t like the sharp taste of it. Then…my kids love to do this to me. They used all the celery for their lunches and then smashed my bread. Instead of celery I used an apple for crisp crunch, but all we had was a sharp green apple. Thinking I want a sweet gala apple. So while not a total failure, it wasn’t what I wanted when I got the wild hair up my rear to make chicken salad. So onto the next batch sometime next week with fresh ingredients I make sure I acquire ahead of time.

Ok, so let’s get back to books. I am going to follow Sophia’s format:

  1. Read: 19 – 5 were DNF
  2. Reviewed: 9 reviews
  3. Standouts:
    • Dirty by Kylie Scott – she did it again and grabbed me with a new book and new series
      Contemporary novel due out in April. Expect my review then.
    • Rock Addiction and Rock Hard by Nalini Singh – I think I have a problem called rocking badasses.
      Contemporary romances that came out in 2015.
  4. Reading Statistics: 8 TBR, 2 from an author, 6 from NetGalley or Publisher, 5 DNF, 1 Free book
  5. NetGalley percentage at 86%

Bad Boys of Romance Challenge: 4/35

11

The Series That Never Ends Challenge: 1/12

8

Books 'N Tunes Challenge: 6/30

20

Literary Pickers Challenge: 6/35

17

Invalid challenge name.

Invalid challenge name.

Review Writing Challenge: 7/100

7

Sophia Rose’s Update

This month went by so fast for me.  Did anyone else score some good candy from after Valentine’s Day sales?  Yummy Dove chocolate variety bag for me.

And after three years of the house next to us on the corner being vacant, we got new neighbors.  There have been so many folks in and out cleaning and moving stuff in that I’m not entirely sure who is permanent and who is intransient.  There is a dog and there are kids.  There are lots of early 30’s adults.  They have waved and smiled in passing.  Hopefully it will be much better than the bachelor before them who threw parties every Friday and Saturday night that went unitl three in the morning or the cops showed up.  Stay tuned….LOL

Have to give a quick shout out to Shari for pulling together another fantastic The Great Pick Up Line event.  Went without a hitch, the banners, and posts, and well…everything was splendid.  Loved all the excerpts that ranged for hilarious to sultry and encountering a few new to me authors and books to add to the wish list.

But books, yes, books!  I read quite a few.  My total for the month:  49

Yep, I was a reading machine.  Haha!

Here’s the breakdown:  18 Net Galley (90%), 8 audio, 11 new series, 4 end of series, 15 new to me authors, 21 off my TBR pile, 21 author/publisher requests, 2 DNFs

Challenge Update:

Austenesque Lovers’- 10/21

Delighted Reader’s Books N Tunes- 12/50

Delighted Reader’s Series- 2/5

Addicted to Romance’s Oldies But Goodies- 5/10

Delighted Reader’s Literary Pickers- 82/99

My Reader Block’s Mt. TBR- 40/75

Herding Cats Burning Soup’s New to Me- 35/75

The Book Nympho & Hot Listens’ Audio- 11/20

Herding Cats Burning Soup’s Blogger Shame- 7/50

Delighted Reader’s Bad Boys- 11/15+

Under the Covers’ Romance Roundabout-  10/12 categories

Brazen Babes’ Diversity- 15

Books that Stood Out:

  • Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin, CR- best end of the book twist
  • Kings Rising by CS Pacat, M/M Fantasy Romance- ending strong
  • Keir’s Fall by Pippa Jay, Sci-Fi Romance- for best world building & setting
  • Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose, Rom Susp- for intense and dark gritty action and suspense
  • The Girl Inside by Amanda Richol, Erotic- for pushing me beyond my comfort zone with a new kink, femdomme who likes her male subs to dress up and act like sissy girls. Yep, different.
  • Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford, M/M Rom Susp, for quirky little family of uncle raising his niece
  • Dead Girl Running by Ann Noser, YA Dystop, for exciting suspense and pacing
  • Sinner’s Creed by Kim Jones, CR, for making me bawl my eyes out and breaking my heart

So what about you?  Read anything that stood out for you this past month?  How are you doing on your challenges?  Do tell!

February 2016 Reviews

Did you miss a review? No fear! Here’s what we wrote about in the month of February.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • dholcomb1

    I use a honey-mayo combo for my chicken salad binder. Makes it sweeter, but I like it that way. Hides the taste of mayo, too. I only use Hellmann’s or Duke’s mayonnaise. about a 1:1 ratio.

    Denise

    • That’s a good idea, Denise. Shari was making me hungry for chicken salad and I’m not a big mayo fan either so this sounds great.

      • dholcomb1

        Thanks! My dad has an apiary, which leaves me a lot of honey on hand to get creative.

        Denise

        • dholcomb1

          stir quickly or use a whisk to make it blend faster/emulsify. .

          • Now that is nice and good to have in the family. 🙂

            Okay, thanks for the extra tip.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I will have to try this. The yogurt worked pretty well the second time.

  • @Shari We had some cold weather this month, but no snow. And that iWatch and Lego set sound like great presents! We only did some small presents with valentine’s day. My netgalley goal for this year is finally getting to the 70%, I never got very low, but now am between 60% and 70% for so long, I want to get a bit higher. I am hoping to reach the 80% eventually. I hope your next attempt at chicken salad turns out better. It can be difficult to get the right mix of ignredients and eveyrthign to your taste.

    @Sophia I don’t think we have as much discounted chocolate here after valentine’s day so I ddn’t got any. Good luck with the new neighbours! I hope they are better than the previous ones. Our enighbours sometimes throw parties, but luckily not till too late. I enjoyed your the great pick up line event again this year, although I did miss a few posts I think. It’s fun to see all the quotes and get a feel for the book. And wow 49 books in one month, that’s a lot! And I am so jealous of your netgalley percentage of 90%, mine is at 66% at the moment.

    • Thanks, Lola!

      Appreciate the well wishes on the neighbors. We live in the old part of town so the houses aren’t too close, but still when a party gets loud it felt like they were inside my own house. LOL I don’t think this new group are going to be like that.

      That NG percentage has been my big goal last year and this year. I have several Blogger Shame challenge books that will also help bring that percentage up higher, hopefully. I have a hard tie resisting new books from that site. 🙂

    • Shari Delighted Read

      We usually don’t do big gifts but he couldn’t wait until today to give it to me. Good luck on getting your NetGalley goal up. it’s been hard work. The second attempt on chicken salad worked better, but it still needs some kind of spice.

  • Good job overall Shari!

    Chicken Salad, a friend of mine hates mayo too and she uses sour cream sometimes or dilutes the mayo with some cream cheese. And for the record, I dislike cold/leftover chicken. It has a fishy taste to it that I can’t stand. I thought at first it’s because we’re just buying whatever so we tried organic and it’s the same. I find that taking the skin off and peeling off that slimy film before you cook helps a bit but not a lot.

    Sophia, hunt down that bachelor and give him my info! Hahaha… wait, is he “book boyfriend” material?

    • LOL, Braine! I don’t think our old neighbor Tim would be your thing (you have too high an IQ). He likes the cliche ‘blonde bimbo’ types. Though to be fair, he was a nice guy other than his need to have a night life that rattled my whole house every weekend.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Not a fan of sour cream on its own, but I might have to try it with the yogurt. I am not a fan of left overs in general, but this sounded really good ot me.

  • Whew on all the reading! And the Netgalley rations. That’s always so exciting. I’m right in that area with yall. Got mine up to 86 and trying for that 90. Hopefully the blogger shame ones will kick me over 😀

    Ergs on the salad. That always annoys me when I’m mid recipe and realize I don’t have all the ingredients I want. *shakes fist* right? lol Hope the second go round works better!

    • Yep! This is the year I conquer Net Galley (or so I keep telling myself, lol). And yes, several sitting on NG are Blogger Shame material. I will beat it (so long as I don’t go looking at the new books on offer).

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Good luck on the Netgalley goal. It’s a fight now that the numbers are getting so close.

      I always end up mid recipe without something, but I didn’t feel like running to get it.

  • I LOVE Chicken salad sandwiches. I use rotisserie chicken (only breast), grapes, celery, thin almond slices, plus some other stuff. I switch with walnuts sometimes. I’m not a big fan of mayo either, but I found just the right amount to where I taste everything else and not much of it.

    • Try adding some tarragon in with the mayo.

      • Oh this sounds good. Thanks for the tip, Christy!

      • Shari Delighted Read

        I will have to try that! The yogurt the second time worked well too.

  • wow look at what a great month you both have had!! I am so impressed with all the reading you got done. Chicken Salad is so fun, normally I make it with rotisserie chicken, miracle whip, celery, oj concentrate, honey, and craisins.

    • Now you made my tummy rumble. LOL! Those are delicious ingredients.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Honey seems to be a key. Yogurt over the Greek kind helped a lot too!

  • Bummer about your salad. I only like mayo in things and it has to be Hellemans. I just use half of what they recommend. You both had a pretty dang good month reading!

    • I tend to skimp on the mayo when it’s called for, too.

      Thanks, Kimberly!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am not a fan of mayo in much of anything. I had to buy it for the first time in a long time for this.

      Trying to march through March books fast too!

  • LorenDushku

    OMG Sophia! What is your secret??? How can you read 49 books in a month!? O.o

    • Extra time off- winter break at the school. LOL! I stacked up the books and got busy.

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