what I’m reading: the rehearsals by annette christie.

It’s the day before their wedding and Megan and Tom can’t wait to be married to one another. Tensions run high as family and friends gather for the big day. No one is getting along and then Megan and Tom have the ultimate fight which leads them to call off the wedding. But when they wake up the next morning, it is the previous day again, and Megan and Tom find themselves living the same day over and over again until they get it right.

I really liked this book. I completely did not know how it was going to end and I thought the author did a great job showing how Megan and Tom’s relationship changed over the course of their relived days. When I started reading the book, I was super excited for Megan and Tom to get married. They were so in love, and I really wanted them to resolve their issues. But as the book went on and we learned more and more I couldn’t decide if I wanted them to get married. I kept wavering as to whether they should stay together or not.

I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be enough time loop and repeated days. I read a different book a while ago, with the same Groundhog Day premise, where the main character only repeated her day three times. Which, in my opinion, was not enough to make a difference. Here, I think Tom and Megan repeated just about the right amount of days, although I would not have been angry had they relived a couple more days. Each day brought some new revelation and I wished they had a couple of days where they just goofed off and had fun since nothing they did mattered.

Megan and Tom’s relationship was far from perfect but I think that’s why the story felt so real. Some of the choices the characters make are…not great. A lot of secrets and betrayals are uncovered over the course of the book. But as with most time loop stories, the characters learn and mature over the course of the book. The book is told from both Megan and Tom’s point of view and I really enjoyed that we got to read both characters’ internal monologues.

In addition to liking this book, I also loved the cover!

To check out other reviews, find this book on goodreads or amazon. Please note, all links are affiliate which gives a small portion of profit to Rainy Days and Clichés. Thank you so much for your continuous kindness!

10 ways to celebrate national book lovers day.

How excited was I when I turned on the news this morning only to see a segment about National Book Lovers Day!?! Honestly, I had no idea this day existed but I guess there is a holiday for just about everything.

National Book Lovers Day takes place every year on August 9. It’s a day to encourage the joy and fun of reading. This is one holiday I can get behind!

I think I definitely qualify as a book lover. I love reading books, buying books, lending books, recommending books, and just anything to do with books. I love meeting new characters and losing myself in a story.

Here are 10 ways to celebrate National Book Lovers Day:

  1. Visit your local library
  2. Give your favorite book as a gift
  3. Leave a book review on your favorite social media site
  4. Reread one of your best-loved books
  5. Donate a book (or two) to a little free library
  6. Read a new-to-you author’s backlist
  7. Listen to a podcast about books or reading
  8. Start a book club with some of your friends
  9. Watch the newest book adaptation
  10. And, of course, read!!!

what I’m reading: here for the drama by kate bromley.

Winnie is an aspiring playwright, currently working as an assistant to Juliette. When one of Juliette’s plays is restaged for one night only in London, Winnie travels across the pond with Juliette to see it done. Everything is going great until Juliette’s nephew Liam enters the picture. Juliette doesn’t want Winnie to date her nephew but Winnie and Liam just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

This book was a miss for me. I honestly didn’t like either of the characters and I couldn’t figure out why they liked each other. Winnie seemed a bit self-centered and I didn’t see what was so attractive about Liam other than the fact that he was good-looking. In fact, I didn’t realize until I was about 75 pages into the book that Liam was a character from Kate Bromley’s previous book Talk Bookish To Me (I hope that is not a spoiler to anyone). I didn’t love him in that book and I didn’t love him here.

In my opinion, Juliette asking her employee to not get involved with her nephew was perfectly reasonable and for Winnie and Liam to just disregard her feelings, was quite rude. It seemed like Winnie and Liam met, and in the span of 10 minutes, they decided that even though they are perfect strangers and Winnie’s boss has asked them to not get involved with one another, they are going to go out with one another anyway. It would have been one thing if their relationship had some sort of foundation, but it didn’t which is why I didn’t understand the need for them to date.

This book has a lot of great banter but at times it was a bit much. It felt like every single conversation between Winnie and Liam was filled with banter and witty sayings. It got old really fast and I found myself rolling my eyes at a lot of things the characters said. I just couldn’t believe that Winnie and Liam were that amusing and sarcastic all of the time.

Additionally, and this is just me, I thought that it was a bit weird that Winnie decides to adopt a dog she found on the street even though she is only going to be in the country for 3 weeks. I have a lot of questions about the pet adoption process in London. I also have a lot of questions about the pet importation process to the United States that Winnie seems to know nothing about and is entirely glossed over.

Honestly, I would have much rather read a book about Juliette or the other assistant, Roshini.

To check out other reviews, find this book on goodreads or amazon. Please note, all links are affiliate which gives a small portion of profit to Rainy Days and Clichés. Thank you so much for your continuous kindness!

july wrap up: lots of reading and a documentary.

I saw a commercial the other day for Halloween at Disneyland and all I could think was that summer has barely even started and they are already talking about Halloween. It feels like summer took so long to get here and now it’s almost over. Although, I do have to confess that we are at the end of a heatwave in Seattle and I am longing for some cooler weather so I definitely can’t wait for summer to wrap up.

I wasn’t really productive this month as I finally caught COVID. I went 2 1/2 years without catching it and then all of a sudden I woke up one morning not feeling so great. I was out of commission for at least 2 weeks, with isolating and waiting until my test finally came back negative. I saw a lot of the inside of my apartment this month… Here is my monthly wrap-up of some of the other things I was up to in the month of July.

What I’m reading:
I read 11 books this month. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but I’m not surprised. When I had COVID I basically did nothing but read and watch YouTube, mainly because there was nothing else to do. I’ve been reading a series by Barbara Freethy called Off the Grid: FBI Series. It’s a romantic suspense series that centers around a group of FBI agents and their colleagues. The series has 11 books in it right now and I think I am up to book 9. I’m really enjoying this series – the books are fast-paced and easy to read with some great and complicated characters.

What I’m watching:
I watched The Gray Man on Netflix. It was your average action movie with shootouts and explosions and people double-crossing other people. I didn’t find anything especially amazing about it but a lot of people liked it so it has some appeal. I also watched a documentary on Netflix called Girl in the Picture. I had heard about this documentary so I kind of knew what it was about, but I didn’t know the whole story and it was wilder than I expected. I actually really like the documentaries that Netflix produces; they seem to be well researched with a lot of interviews with people who are in the know. I definitely keep Netflix around because of its documentaries.

What I’m planning:
Most of my July goals kind of fell to the wayside after I got COVID. For instance, I had an exercise goal and a walking goal that absolutely did not get met as I was stuck in my apartment for part of the month. I was also wary about any sort of exercise because I didn’t want to overwork my lungs so I have just been taking it easy. I also had a goal of taking a picture outside every day but that didn’t happen either. I am a bit bummed but I think I am going to repeat all my goals in the next month. I am trying to not look at it as a failure or setback since there were a lot of things out of my control. I know can still accomplish what I’ve set out to do, it just might take me an extra month or so.

See you next month!

what I’m reading: float plan by trish doller.

After the death of her fiance, Anna is not sure what to do with herself. When she gets a reminder about a trip that they were to take together, Anna chooses to take the trip by herself – sailing from Ft. Lauderdale through the Caribbean on her fiance’s sailboat. But the first leg of the trip doesn’t go so well and after a rough night, Anna decides to hire Keane, a professional sailor, to help her make the voyage.

This book was enthusiastically recommended to me by my friend Alli. She listened to the audiobook and liked it so much, that she purchased the print book so she could read it whenever she wanted.

This book has all the feelings. There are a lot of discussions of grief and loss. It’s definitely a bit of a heavy read at times as both Anna and Keane have a lot of things to work through. I kind of wish we got some of Keane’s point of view because he goes through a bit of a transformation but it’s all off the pages so it was a little bit jarring in that we didn’t see his progression in the way that we saw Anna’s.

The romance is nice, although super slow. The book is mainly about Anna grieving her fiance and learning to live on her own. There is definitely a metaphor in there somewhere about steering her own course literally and figuratively.

I really loved all the travel and all the islands that Anna and Keane go to. Each time they sailed into a new harbor, I found myself looking up the island online to see where it was on the map and what it was like. I’m not going to lie – I am horrible at geography and I had to look at the map just to figure out where all these islands were that I had never heard of.

There are a lot of descriptions of sailing and lots of sailing terminology used in the book that I did not understand. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what Anna and Keane were doing on the boat and I mainly skimmed those parts because I didn’t know or care what they were doing. I guess if you like sailing, you might understand more of what was going on.

To check out other reviews, find this book on goodreads or amazon. Please note, all links are affiliate which gives a small portion of profit to Rainy Days and Clichés. Thank you so much for your continuous kindness!

10 reasons I love reading romance novels.

If you asked me my favorite genre of books to read, I would probably say the answer is romance. I love a good romance book, getting lost in witty banter and longing glances between the characters.

Here are 10 reasons I love reading romance books:

1. I love a happily ever after or happily for now.

2. Hallmark movies and rom coms are the best and romance novels are just like that, but longer with more details!

3. Characters in romance novels seem to have the best jobs and I can live vicariously through them as a bookshop owner, baker, writer, or bed and breakfast owner, to name a few.

4. Similarly, all these women in these books are smart and successful and know what they want.

5. Romance novels are hopeful and optimistic. You know that something good will happen in the end.

6. There are so many great series to read. I can read about a couple falling in love and then read about all their friends and family and neighbors and co-workers falling in love as well.

7. You can find romance in every genre –  there are sci-fi romance books, mystery romance books, thriller romance books, historical romance books, and more.

8. There are so many different romance tropes that, whatever checks your box, you can probably find a book about it.

9. The romance genre can elicit so many emotions – happy, sad, excited, amused, frustrated, nervous. There are so many things to feel.

10. I love reading books about people falling in love!

what I’m reading: eclipse the moon by jessie mihalik.

After saving the heir to the Valovian empire, the crew of the Starlight Shadow is now on the hunt for the man who betrayed them during the war, Frank Morten. Kee Ildez, the computer expert aboard the Starlight Shadow, decides to hack her way into the space station communications in order to locate him. If she can get her mind off of Varro Runkow, one of the Valovians who recently joined their crew, that would be even better. Unfortunately for Kee, Varro follows her to the space station in order to protect her from danger.

This is the second book in the Starlight’s Shadow series and focuses on Kee, the ship’s hacker, and Varro, the weapons expert. You do need to read the first book in the series, Hunt the Stars, to understand what is going on. The author doesn’t do a huge info dump about what happened in the first book, so I had to kind of remind myself of those events. But the author definitely assumes that you know who everyone is and you know what happened in the first book so you shouldn’t read these books out of order.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first one. I think it’s because I didn’t find Kee and Varro to be the most exciting characters. A lot of Kee’s time is spent hacking databases and searching for information which was a little boring to read about; there wasn’t much action. Additionally, Kee and Varro are put into this forced proximity plotline that didn’t really pay off for me. I felt like their romance wasn’t especially developed and I think part of that is because the book is told from Kee’s point of view so we never get to hear or know what Varro is thinking. We only see his “grumpy” attitude.

I also really missed the team/crew dynamic that was established in the first book. One of the things I liked about Hunt the Stars was reading about the crew as a whole interacting with each other and with the other Valovians and I felt like we didn’t get a lot of that here. It seemed like the first book really focuses on the found family aspect and that was missing in this book.

The plot from Hunt the Stars is forwarded on a bit. The crew is still trying to figure out who was behind the kidnapping from the first book and who they can trust. More characters are introduced and I don’t know if they will show up in subsequent books. More questions are raised that hopefully, we will find out the answers to soon.

The next book in the series focuses on two characters we briefly met in the first book so I’m looking forward to see what happens there.

To check out other reviews, find this book on goodreads or amazon. Please note, all links are affiliate which gives a small portion of profit to Rainy Days and Clichés. Thank you so much for your continuous kindness!

what I’m reading: providence by max barry.

Four humans are sent on a four-year mission to travel into deep space aboard an AI ship. Their mission is to help win the war against an alien race that had previously killed one of their exploratory groups.

Providence was my book club’s latest pick. A lot of us had the same reaction to the book – that it was okay, but a bit weird.

I’m trying to think about how to describe the plot of this book but my problem is that, in my opinion, nothing really happens. The astronauts travel in space aboard an AI ship that goes around looking for aliens, which it then engages with and kills. The astronauts don’t really do anything, other than monitor the ship. And even then, the ship is capable of repairing itself so I’m not sure the purpose of the astronauts in the first place.

I guess I kept waiting for something more to happen and it never did. I think the book touches on some interesting ideas but they didn’t really go anywhere and I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. The characters were okay; I think they could have been fleshed out a bit more. Even though we get chapters from each character’s point of view, they didn’t tell us much about the characters or why we should care about them. Plus, I didn’t really like one of the characters and I was annoyed at how her character arc ended in the book.

I haven’t read any other of Max Barry’s books but if they are all like Providence, I don’t think I’m interested in reading more.

To check out other reviews, find this book on goodreads or amazon. Please note, all links are affiliate which gives a small portion of profit to Rainy Days and Clichés. Thank you so much for your continuous kindness!

my not-to-do-list.

I have a daily planner and a goals planner, as well as many to-do lists. I have to-do lists written on scraps of paper, in email drafts, and in my planner. Sometimes it feels like they are everywhere and sometimes my to-do list gets a bit out of control. It’s so easy to just keep adding things to my list and then not actually do any of them. There’s only so much time in the day and in the week!

So I decided to create a not-to-do list so that I could prioritize what I want to actually spend my time doing. I feel like there are so many distractions in my life. Most of these are things that are non-essential and not worth my time and I no longer want to waste my time and energy on them.

Here are 10 things I am NOT going to do:

1. Read every email or newsletter that pops into my inbox.
I follow a lot of blogs and newsletters and a lot of times I feel obligated to read or look at every email that comes into my inbox. Sometimes it feels like I am spending over an hour every day checking my email. That is just too much time spent on this task. Honestly, I miss before email was a thing because now it seems like it has turned into just another thing to check. I am going to use that delete button and delete anything I don’t want to read. And if I don’t read something, it’s okay.

2. Worry about having the perfect summer.
I feel like every year there is so much pressure to have the BEST SUMMER EVER! Well, I don’t know if I will ever have the best summer ever. But I can have the best summer for me. If that means going out to one tourist attraction in the summer or going out to ten tourist attractions, that is what I am going to do. I don’t know why we place such emphasis on having the best summer. Maybe because it’s vacation time and we feel we have to get the best value for our vacations?

3. Worry about what other people think.
I am going to wear what I want and not worry about what other people think of me. I am going to eat by myself and sit by myself and not obsess about what people are thinking of me. The older I get, the more I don’t care about what other people think.

4. Not take a break.
I am going to take breaks. You should always take breaks, whether it is a break during the day or a break from work or a break from people. Breaks recharge us and I have to always remember that!

5. Listen to every podcast episode I subscribe to.
I subscribe to many podcasts and feel like I have to listen to every episode that is put out. But, I am only going to listen to episodes that sound interesting. If an episode doesn’t intrigue me or it is about something I am not into or don’t want to learn about, I am not going to listen to it. It’s okay to not listen to everything.

6. Scroll the internet.
I waste so much time scrolling the internet and social media. Granted, I feel like I am actually learning something when I scroll on Twitter because I follow a lot of news accounts. But there are other social media that, when I am done scrolling, I wonder where the time went and it definitely feels like wasted time. I don’t want to feel like I am wasting time. Some social media is a good use of time, like when I am catching up with people, but it can quickly turn into a time suck which is what I want to avoid.

7. Worry about something I said or did a year ago.
How many times have I been lying in bed thinking about something that happened in high school or 5 years ago? I can’t change the past so I don’t know why I keep thinking about it. I would love to not worry about what happened in the past and learn to move on.

8. Read books I am not into.
I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better with this one. Life is too short to read bad books so if I am not into a book I am going to stop reading it. I don’t care if it is the best seller that everyone is talking about or if someone said it was great. If I do not love a book, I am not going to read it.

9. Worry about missing a workout or walk.
I try to go out and go for a walk or do some sort of workout every day. But sometimes it doesn’t happen. Maybe I was super busy that day or maybe I am not feeling like I want to do anything. So many times I beat myself up because I didn’t go for a walk. But I am going to stop doing that because it’s okay to take some rest days and it’s okay to take some time for myself. You don’t have to do something every day for it to be beneficial.

10. Be available 24/7.
With smartphones and all the technology available now, it is so easy to answer every call and every message right away. But honestly? Sometimes I don’t want to be bothered. Like if I am out shopping, sometimes I want to focus on my shopping and not on the conversation in my ear. So I am only answering the phone when I want to talk. I am only replying to messages when I want to. If it takes an hour or two, that’s okay. People got along perfectly fine without smartphones 20 years ago. It was perfectly acceptable to leave a message on someone’s answering machine and then they would call you back when they got home.

That’s my not-to-list!

thoughts on vacation reading.

Now that summer is here and everyone seems to be traveling again, it’s time to think about vacation reading.

A lot of my vacation memories are interspersed with memories of what book I was reading at the time. I remember reading Twilight on an airplane flying from one coast to the other. I remember reading a VC Andrews book by the pool and having the spine melt and the pages fall out because it was so hot. I remember books I’ve purchased at airports as well as local bookstores.

I always bring at least one book with me on vacation. Most of the time I am too ambitious and end up bringing more books than I need but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. This is also why, in addition to physical books, I always bring my kindle. It has so many books on it that I can read, plus I can always check out a book from the library or buy a book and have it downloaded to my kindle immediately if for some reason none of my books are appealing to me.

If you do any sort of internet search for vacation reading, you will find that people have a lot of thoughts as to what books you should read during vacation. Should you only read fun light-hearted books? Does your vacation read need to be a page-turner? Can you bring that 900-page biography to the pool? I guess if it fits in your luggage you can bring any book anywhere.

Personally, I am of the opinion that you can read any book you want on vacation. If you read it on vacation, it is a “vacation read”.

Maybe you are going to the beach so you want to read a fun romance that takes place on Nantucket. Perhaps you are going to the mountains so you want to read a thriller that takes place at a cabin. Maybe you are going to a cosmopolitan city so you want to read a spy novel that takes place during the Cold War. (Side note – I would any of these books while I was on vacation or not.)

Vacation reading is all about what you want and what you find relaxing. Wherever you are vacationing and whatever you are reading are up to you. There’s no right or wrong book to bring on vacation. What matters is that you like it and its a book you want to read.