TeaStitchRead

TeaStitchRead

 Participating in:  

BookLikes-opoly (May 20th - August 10th)

COYER Summer Hunt (June 1st - August 31st)

Bout of Books Cycle 26 (August 19th-25th)

Halloween Bingo (Sep 1st - Oct 31st)

Dewey 24hr Readathon (October)

 

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3) by Sarah Sundin
In Perfect Time - Sarah Sundin

Date Published: August 5, 2014

Format: Kindle

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: July 31st - August 2, 2019

Read for BL-opoly

 

Blurb

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

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Review

 

This book started off slowly, too slowly for the third and final book in the series. It was a bit of a slog to get through as it was also a little preachy (more preachy than the last two books or any other book I have read from this author). Then around the 35% mark, things picked up both character wise and plot wise and I began to relax into the story. The epilogue had all three couples saying goodbye to each other and vowing to keep in touch, which made me tear up a little - the bonds that the women specifically made during training and being in war zones from Algeria through Italy and then through the South of France was an adventure and so true to military life. I did enjoy this book, it just took longer than I wanted to get lost in the story.

Review
2 Stars
All I Am (A Farmer's Market Story #2) by Nicole Helm
All I Am (A Farmers' Market Story) - Nicole Helm

Date Published: February 1, 2016

Format: Kindle

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: July 10-25, 2019

Read for BL-opoly

 

Blurbs:

Everything she is. Everything he's not… 

 

Recovering from his time in Afghanistan, Wes Stone prefers the company of his dogs and himself. People, especially of the female variety, are…difficult. He appreciates that Cara Pruitt doesn't treat him like an invalid, but hiring the party girl of New Benton to help out with his dog treat business is probably a mistake. And when her brightness and unexpected vulnerability somehow slip through his defenses, suddenly something terrifying is ignited inside him. Something thrilling. Something that could make Wes whole again…or consume him completely.

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Reviews:

 

I really liked the first 35% of the book, both in plotline and the MCs. And then the heroine reacted the way she did to the hero's admission that he was a virgin. He admitted it during a moment of distress/PTSD and her reaction was "YaY! Let me be your first! I'm really good at sex and then you can just get over it!" Imagine if the genders were reversed - do you really think that would be acceptable? I wouldn't and I didn't here. After reading that scene, I had no desire to keep reading and went to read other stuff. When I did get back to reading, I did a lot of skimming. The heroine got whiny and clingy after several bouts of "sex therapy" and yet couldn't get her life together even with help from others around her. I did like the hero throughout the book, I just wished he got a better heroine than the one the author wrote him.

Review
5 Stars
All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
All the President's Men - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward

Date Published: June 24, 1974

Format: Print

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: June 20th - June 23rd

Nixon Reading List

 

Blurb:

This landmark book details all the events of the biggest political scandal in the history of this nation--Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein kept the headlines coming, delivering revelation after amazing revelation to a shocked public. Black-and-white photograph section.

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Review

 

A day by day, and sometimes hour by hour, of how a "simple break-in" at the Watergate Hotel turned into obstruction of justice and conspiracy to cover up. It was a little confusing at first due to the number of tangents the pair followed to dead ends and the people who had a little information to further their investigation. I was surprised to learn the real people who gave Bernstein and Woodward was the Treasurer of CREEP (Committee to Re-Election the President) and his secretary, not Deep Throat. Honestly, reading this book made me realize Deep Throat was just a source for confirmation, he was not the source of information that he is made out to be. The political "hijinks" and "hacks" were juvenile and yet, seeing politics today, still believable - just a lot of rookie mistakes uncovered by dogged reporters who saw those mistakes as gateways to darker crimes. Also follow the money - always. 

 

I'm glad I read the book that spawned an entire subgenre of political books in the modern era. It does end abruptly, so I will continue the story with the sequel of sorts, The Final Days.

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 4 Favorites from Halloween Bingos Past
The Siren - Kiera Cass In Her Bones - Kate Moretti Mr. Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 1: Enlisted - Marguerite Bennett DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 2: Allies - Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage The Unleashing - Shelly Laurenston The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle Vision Vol. 1 - Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Tom King

 

From Halloween Bingo 2018:

The Siren by Kieran Cass

In Her Bones by Kate Moretti

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope #1) by Susan Elia MacNeal

 

From Halloween Bingo 2017:

Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

DC Bombshells Volume 1, 2 by Marguerite Bennett et al

Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston

 

From Halloween Bingo 2016:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavelle

Vision Volume 1 by Tom King et al

 

 

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 3 Favorite Ghostly Tales
Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts Anya's Ghost - Vera Brosgol The legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

 

I tend not to read ghost stories, but there are a few I read solely for Halloween Bingo that I have enjoyed. One is Blue Dahlia (In the Garden #1) by Nora Roberts - the ghost in this storyline is in each of the three books. I haven't read the other two books in the series, but I am hoping to get to book two with this year's game. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol is a quick graphic novel for MG and up reading levels. I liked The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving but it honestly read more like a foodie travel blog. 

Master Post for Dewey 24hr Reverse Read-a-thon Summer 2019 - Update #3 and Closing Survey
In Perfect Time - Sarah Sundin The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian - W. Kamau Bell

Update #3

Took a break at 3pm to shower and go out grocery shopping; by the time I got home, there was only one hour left of the readathon and less than 30 pages left. Finished Awkward Thoughts just as the buzzer rang.  After the readathon was done, we did family game night (Munchkin). Tomorrow I will need to catch up on reviews.

 

Hope everyone participating reached their goals. My next readathon is BoB Cycle 26 (August 19th - 25th).

 

Closing Survey:

1. How would you assess your reading overall? 12 hours of reading done and that is my average; 2 books completed 

2. Did you have a strategy/did you stick with it? No, I was just going to finish up what I had already begun reading. This "non-strategy" thing worked.

3. What was your favorite snack? Seeded bagel with cream cheese lox mixture.

4. Want to volunteer? Nope.

 

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Update #2

I got all of five minutes of reading when I feel asleep. Woke up and started reading again at 8am, so it is now 7 hours of reading in the books. I'm at the 50% mark on Awkward Thoughts and probably get it done by the end of the readathon. 

 

I am waiting to roll my next turn for BL-opoly (which is looking like it would be my final book for this year's edition) until after the readathon is over. Thanks to MR and OB for another fun game. I will also write up and post day 3 of the pre-party prompt after the readathon. Trying to stay away from electronic distractions and actually get some reading done.

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Update #1

Just before 1am here and finished In Perfect Time and three loads of laundry. Pretty productive. Now I am going to make some tea, get a snack, and hunker down with The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell. 

 

Also had to block a spammer bot. 

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Got off to late start...kids and dog needed baths.

 

So opening survey, now (slightly) new and improved!

1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? And what time is it where you are? Wichita, Kansas and almost 9pm

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin which will finish the Wings of the Nightingale trilogy

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? We had Mongolian Grill for dinner, so I am stuffed. Really don't want to think about food right now. Maybe in the wee hours of the morning I will eat a couple of Kind mini-bars. Drinking lots of ice cold water, will switch to black tea when I start getting sleepy.

4) Do you have a #reversereadathon plan of attack? Read for two hours, post updates at the 2 hour mark and try to stay awake.

5) Are you doing the readathon solo or with others? Doing the readathon with however on BL is doing it too. Introverts Unite! (In our own homes).

 

9pm

Currently Reading: In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin

Birthday Book Haul
Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City - Kate Winkler Dawson They Called Us Enemy - George Takei, Steven Scott, Justine Eisenger, Harmony Becker Daughters of the Night Sky - Aimie K. Runyan 1666: Plague, War, and Hellfire - Rebecca Rideal Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 - Madeleine Albright, Bill Woodward The Final Days - Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein Tales of Mystery & the Macabre (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) - Elizabeth Gaskell Feed - Mira Grant

We did lunch, we did B&N, and then my husband decides to go with me to Half Price Books...and he fell in love. The kids got a book at each place, Adam got a bunch of movies, a board game, and books, and here is my haul:

 

Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson

             - True Historical Crime + Natural Disaster = my catnip

 

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker

                    - Graphic novel of Takei's time in the internment camps

 

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan

                       - Fiction based on the real Soviet Union "Night Witches"

 

1666: Plague, War, and Hellfire by Rebecca Rideal

                         - The worst year England ever experienced prior to 2016 (nonfiction)

 

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright

                        - Memoirs of a former Secretary of State; wanted to read this since TA put it on the Freedom lists

 

The Final Days: The Classic, Behind-the-Scenes Account of Richard Nixon's Dramatic Last Days in the White House by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

                        - I was so happy to find this book, as All the President's Men seemed to abruptly end. Another one for the Nixon Reading List, which I will read for August and sets up for me taking September through the rest of the year to read Shadow.

 

Tales of Mystery & the Macabre by Elizabeth Gaskell

                          - No I didn't know Elizabeth "I wrote Mary Burton and North and South" Gaskell also wrote supernatural stories. Picked it up in anticipation of Halloween Bingo.

 

Feed by Mira Grant

                         - Another possible Halloween Bingo book.

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight!

 

Tonight is the Dewy 24hr Reverse Read-a-thon. I am participating to make up for my dismal 24in48 participation (I got maybe 2 hours done, but we were hosting my sister-in-law that weekend). I start at 7pm (all hail Central time zone, lol). For my birthday, we are going out for lunch and a trip to Barnes & Noble, then I am dropping off husband and the kids and going to Half-Price Books for more shopping. Hopefully, I will have a book haul to choose from for the read-a-thon

 

Books I hope to finish:

1. In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3) by Sarah Sundin for BL-opoly

2. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell

 

Books I hope to start:

3. Connections in Death (In Death #48) by JD Robb - I'm giving this one another try because OB really liked it and we share a lot of the same feelings with this series.

4. Another book for BL-opoly (roll the dice since I will be done with my 4th of July books)

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 2 Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, or Other?
Maleficent - Disney Press The Unleashing - Shelly Laurenston The Undoing (Call Of Crows) - Shelly Laurenston The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston Kiss of Midnight - Lara Adrian Kiss of Crimson - Lara Adrian Midnight Awakening - Lara Adrian Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers) - Shelly Laurenston Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion Parasite - Mira Grant

 

I'm going to start with other - WITCHES! I love them in every flavor - the old wise crone, the maiden that just discovered she is a witch, the kitchen witch that adds a little magic in each thing she bakes, the forest nymph/guardian (#TeamMaleficent), the storm witch, the water witch - even Disney's Pixies was fun for me to watch for the kids over and over again.

 

The other that I loved is Vikings with magical powers - aka the Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston.

 

I have an issue with stories about vampires - basically consent and the lack thereof. There is only one series I enjoyed that involved vampires and the premise of the world building pretty much flipped the script on vampire lore. I may do a re-reading of one of the books in the series Midnight Breeds by Lara Adrian for the bingo. I like my vampire stories that take place only at night because it adds atmosphere and no sparkling vamps.

 

Werewolves and Other Shifters - these are more my speed than vamps. And I really like the fact that other animal shifters are being added to the subgenre. I have Shelly Laurenston's Hot and Badgered waiting to be read for bingo - honey badger shifter, OH HELL YES. If interested in other shifters, Eve Langlais has different series that goes wild with animal shifters.

 

I may get into zombies a bit more since a lot of BL'ers dig the White Trash Zombie books. There is a movie adaption of the book Warm Bodies that is a fun twist on the zombie lore, along with seasonal favorite movie Shaun of the Dead. I read the first book in Mira Grant's Parasitology trilogy and that had a future/sci-fi element to the zombie storyline.

 

 

 

 

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 1 Mystery or Horror?
In Her Bones - Kate Moretti Naked in Death - J.D. Robb Guidebook to Murder - Lynn Cahoon Lowcountry Boil: A Liz Talbot Mystery - Susan M. Boyer Blue Blood - Susan McBride Curiosity Thrilled the Cat - Sofie Kelly Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren London Calling - Sara Sheridan Mr. Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal

 

Without a doubt, my choice will be mystery. I can't handle horror (gore or psychological) because I enjoying sleeping and like to do it often. Usually when asked which squares to omit for my bingo card, all my choices are horror. With that being said, there are particular reasons for each of the subgenres of mystery, and those reasons can be contradictory.

 

Literary mystery - read solely for the puzzle. Most literary characters are either dull or alpha-holes. And since they are usually stand alones, I don't have to be around the characters in subsequent books. Lowest spot on my subgenre preferences, only one I would recommend - In Her Bones by Kate Moretti.

 

Police procedurals - although I have shared ups and downs with the quality of each book in recent years, my favorite series is still In Death by JD Robb because I get both a great puzzle and characters I can return to again and again (after all, there are 49 books in the series, not counting the novellas). I have been meaning to try more, but the ones at the library are usually male asshole as the main character variety.

 

Cozy - this subgenre is my jam. Tourist Trap Mysteries by Lynn Cahoon, the first few Liz Talbot books by Susan Boyer, the PJ Sugar trilogy by Susan May Warren, the Debutante Mysteries by Susan McBride, Magical Cats by Sofie Kelly, and the High Heels series by Gemma Halliday are my favorites. Fast reads and a bit more adventurous, so not as interested in the puzzle as I am in the characters and their hijinks and the world building. A big part that plays into my wanting to read cozy mysteries is that I can get my contemporary romance fix as well, since most contemporary romance genre books leave me cold. Plus no gore even though there is usually dead body somewhere (other crimes are hard to come by). I do admit some books go into the too silly for suspension of disbelief territory.

 

Historical - this subgenre is my newest path through mystery. I like these books because I (usually) get a strong female character plus rich historical details in addition to the mystery. Not as silly as cozies, not as serious as literary. A nice even balance between characters, world building, and puzzle solving. Again dead bodies everywhere yet no gore. So far I am enjoying the Mirabelle Bevan series (although they are hella expensive, so I have only read the first two) and the Maggie Hope series.

 

Romantic suspense - this used to be a big subgenre for me, but I feel the quality of the work in general has gone down a lot (too much sex, too little puzzle). I can't really suspend my disbelief of the MCs deciding that when the bad guys are chasing them right now would be a good time for sex. Geez, can't the MCs wait until the police come and arrest bad guys and take your statements, then have sex? Now I just read the yearly romantic suspense from Nora Roberts and call it good. 

 

Classical mystery/horror - only read during Halloween bingo.

June and July Reading Wrap Up

 Not a whole lot of reading done so far this summer. My goal for BL-opoly is to make $75, so I have 10 days to do so. Really excited for Halloween Bingo, hopefully that will get my reading mojo back.

 

Today is my husband's birthday (he's 33); tomorrow is my 40th birthday. It's LEO season!

 

 

Read in June

1. The Dancing Lady: The Ninth Day (The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides #9) by Mimi Milan - 4 stars

 

2. Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew by Jules Witcover - 4 stars

 

3. Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt - 4.5 stars

 

4. A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano - 4stars

 

5. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Volume 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates et al - 4 stars

 

6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 4stars

 

Read in July

1. All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward - 5stars

 

2. All I Am (A Farmers Market Story #2) by Nicole Helm - 2 stars

 

 

 

The Staunch Prize

So I was listening to the latest episode of Read or Dead podcast (one of the podcasts from Book Riot) and found out there was a book prize called the Staunch Prize. The prize is dedicated to mystery, suspense, and thriller authors/books "...in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered." Basically, some readers and critics were sick and tired of the "rape/murder/domestic violence" sequence so much of the genres' plots involve. I was reminded of this prize after reading TA's post about DNFing a book that uses rape of one woman to further the character of another woman. 

 

There is however, some controversary regarding the prize and it's vocal supporters. IMHO, the authors against this prize doth protest too much since their books wouldn't be considered for this prize, thus they disagree with it's existence. And the Staunch Prize's bolder claims are backed up by science and research. 

Will Be Gone for a Week
All I Am (A Farmers' Market Story) - Nicole Helm All the President's Men - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward In Perfect Time - Sarah Sundin

We bought a house here in Kansas! We have spent the last week painting, cleaning, and getting utilities set up. Unfortunately, Internet will not be set up until July 27th, so I will be gone for a little over a week. Luckily, this gives me time to read the ever-growing pile of books for BL-opoly due to my being too tired at the end of the day to read. I do have IG on my phone, so I can still participate in 24in48 this weekend.

 

 

DNF at 26%
London Belles  - Annie Groves

I can't read anymore of this. The only character I like and empathize with is Sarah and there is not enough of her to deal with the other pathetic characters. I was hoping for WWII to break out already so there would be beginnings of character growth, but at this point I can't go on. I am taking my $1.00 for BL-opoly and moving on.

Review
4 Stars
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists -  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Date Published: July 19, 2014

Format: Ebook

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: June 30, 2019

Read for COYER Summer 2019

 

Blurb

With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.

Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

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Review

 

I read this on the plane and enjoyed the speech for the content but not for the dryness of the writing. Before writing this review, I watched the Ted Talk and had a much better experience with the text. Ms. Adichie had nuanced and humor that didn't come across as well in text as it did in the video (https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_we_should_all_be_feminists?language=en). I think I also liked how the audience responded, giving the speech much more life. I am keeping the ebook/script so I can refer to it, but I recommend watching the video to get the full affect of this wonderful speech.

 

Oh, and I cheered mentally when she mentioned she tried to read "feminist classics" and was bored - same here Ms. Adichie.

Review
4 Stars
A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano
A Talent for Trouble - Jen Turano

Date Published: October 1, 2013

Format: Ebook

Sourced: Own Copy

Date Read: June 11 - 30, 2019

Read for BL-opoly 2019 and COYER Summer 2019

 

Blurb

For years, Miss Felicia Murdock's every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister's wife. When the minister she'd set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change--and soon--before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she's not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who's to say nay?

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had his fill of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia's life endangers her. As they work together to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping each other out of trouble?

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Review

Felicia is friends with the girl gang aka heroines from the first 2 novels and 1 prequel (Charlotte, Agatha, Arabella, Eliza). At 24, she is upset and confused as the supposed "love of her life" marries someone else - someone he actually has a relationship with. Felicia was under the impression that since she prayed to God four years ago to bring "The One" and the new minister showed up the next day, so that must be the man God wanted her to marry. Even though she had to change everything about her (clothes, manner, etc) and be the epitome of a charitable and subdued minister's wife. When that minister ended up marrying someone more suited to him, Felicia was left wondering just go God had in store for her.

 

Enter Grayson, Lord Sefton and Eliza's brother. Grayson lived a life of danger and excitement and saw Felicia for the spirited woman she was but also for the natural charitable woman that she was - giving her clothing away to the local theater group and to sex workers (clothes she originally bought to impress minister). She helped old men and young children alike, whenever she saw they were in need of help. Grayson appreciated Felicia for who she was without the piety and artifice. And he showed her a world of adventure, including Chinese opium smuggling, warring drug families, reuniting Ming with her real parents, and the adventure of being an adoptive mom and new countess. 

 

As usual, I loved the banter and quick wit of the dialogue. This is a fast paced story once Felicia gets over "losing" the minister; the long time reading this was because I was busy with the move. 

currently reading

Progress: 135/261pages