weekly wrap-up 12/4

↠ Yesterday my grandfather and I took my nieces to the Carnegie Science Center and, to be honest, I think I had more fun than they did! It’s been ages since I’ve last visited and they’re constantly changing their exhibits and displays. They have workshops and lectures and it’s seriously a blast every time I go! This time they had a floor entirely dedicated to water, rivers, and rain. Fun fact about me: I’m a huge weather nerd, so I was basically in heaven! The second floor was roboworld and had full-size replicas of some of the most famous robots in pop culture! You could play basketball against a robot, control another robot, and ‘see’ through the eyes of one. Super cool! This floor also has an entire room for the miniature railroad which was probably my absolute favorite part. Each figure/house/tree/etc is hand-crafted and based on an actual part of Pennsylvania! This display is constantly being added to, but first started 98 years ago. BodyWorks had some of the neatest displays: actual hearts and skulls. There was an entire arm (skin removed) to show the veins and arteries. VERY interesting!! We didn’t go aboard the Requin, an actual WWII sub docked outside the building, but once the weather turns warmer I’d love to check it out! There’s also an Omnimax theater and a planetarium and I HIGHLY recommend a visit if you’re ever downtown! Since I was little the Science Center has been one of my favorite places and since it’s constantly evolving and changing, there’s always something new to see.

↠ A group of girls and I recently started a book club and I missed our very first meeting! Bay ate some food she shouldn’t have and was pretty sick just a few hours before I was supposed to leave. But I’m now a vom clean-up pro, so..

READING REPORT Last week I was at 174 books read for the year with 120 written by women, 54 written by men. Today I’m at 177 books reads with 121 written by women, 56 written by men.

WHAT I FINISHED Sophie Jordan’s newest historical romance, While the Duke Was Sleeping was fantastic and I discussed it more in my 5-star review (!!!) linked below. I also read a 2017 novel, Josh Sundquist’s Love and First Sight, a YA novel about a boy – blind since birth – who has the opportunity to undergo an experimental surgery to grant him vision. While the story itself was just okay, I was EXTREMELY impressed by the amount of research that clearly went into this book! Little details I never considered (perspective and depth perception) were totally unknown to Will. In one scene, when he’s basically learning to see, his parents ask him to identify fruit. By now he knows his colors and sees a red object, but because he has no knowledge of size, he had no idea if it was a raspberry or a watermelon. Check back next month for my full review! Lastly, I finished the audio of Ernest Cline’s Armada, another sci-fi novel full of 80s pop culture and video game references. Fine, enjoyable, and forgettable. Someone who’s into video games will definitely appreciate this one more than I did!

CURRENTLY READING I’m finishing up Caroline Kepnes’ YOU, the novel we chose for our book club read. VERY unsettling and disturbing and creepy, but I’m hooked.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? I posted my November recap – the reviews were mostly duds – and I had more fun writing the non-book posts! Here’s to hoping December will be a better month for reading. Love, Alice by Barbara Davis would have been SO much better if the book got rid of an entire storyline. I would have preferred this one far more if it had only focused on the historical aspect (a pregnant, unwed teen is sent to an asylum until she gives birth, is forced to give up the baby, and becomes determined to get her baby back). The present day story was terrible and I hated the main character. WARNING: much of my review was just a big ol’ rant about her. But then Sophie Jordan appeared like an angel and came through with While the Duke Was Sleeping, her latest novel and the first in a new series! I was starry-eyed the entire time I read this one. After rescuing the Duke, a shop girl leads his family to believe they’re engaged. Hijinks ensue. I loved this one and the wait for the next book will be such torture!


The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
Eleven years after The Lace Reader, Brunonia is back with the sequel! I’ll admit I haven’t read The Lace Reader, but it sounds like it has a hint of Magical Realism and it takes place in Salem, so! Seventeen years after the events in The Lace Reader, several characters are back. The Fifth Petal focuses on an investigation into a 25-year-old homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders” in which three women – descended from accused Salem witches – were brutally murdered one Halloween night. Intriguing!! Thank you, Crown!

Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane
A novel about a teen L.M. Montgomery!!!! Thank you, Razorbill!

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Not to be confused with this The Girl Before (which I really enjoyed)! This novel has been getting some major buzz for a while now and is purported to be 2017’s It Read, the next Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. I’m very hesitant to read novels dubbed The Next X (particularly when I wasn’t a fan of said novels) but I’m curious about this one. After a terrible break-up, Emma searches for a new place to live and lucks out with a minimalistically-styled house. The only catch is that the architect who designed it put a set of rules in place: no photos, no books, no knick-knacks. Later, Jane suffers from her own tragedy and needs a fresh start. A strange house catches her eye and after she moves in, she learns about the untimely death of the previous tenant…a woman her own age. Thank you, Ballantine Books!


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