Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthday Book Loot!

Well, I haven't posted here in a long time, but I got some books for my birthday and I'm really excited about them, so decided why not blog about them?

Here is what I got:

Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
Getting to Happy By: Terry MacMillan

and then for my Kindle I got the four books in the Lois Lowry "The Giver" series. Then I got the next two I needed for the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke: "Key Lime Pie Murder" and "Carrot Cake Murder". 

These should definitely keep me busy for awhile!  Not that I needed any new books, but it is always wonderful to get some new ones every so often!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WHERE did this year go?!

Ok, so I know we still have a good 2 months left of this year, but man, it's flown by! And as usual, I have not been keeping up with this blog at all....oops....I am sad to say behind on my 75 book challenge for the year.  I logged the picture books I read to my 1 1/2 year old about cheating!!  With the baby books, I'm like 5 books ahead of my goal, without, I am sadly behind!!

Next year I am not going to even attempt a challenge....I am setting a goal of 50 books and THAT is IT! I am just too busy now with my little toddler to really focus on reading like I used to! I think 50-60 books is a good goal for me! I have not yet decided if I will make a pre picked list like I did for this year (which I strayed from quite a bit!) or just pick and pull as I go!

One thing the pre-selected list did for me this year was keep me from purchasing as many books as I normally do! Which was a good thing! So, I'm thinking maybe I will make a pre-selected book list, and tell myself if I read all of them, then I can reward myself with some buying! We'll see how that works!

Right now I'm on vacation, visiting my in laws. I'm getting some reading in. I brought "Woad to Wuin" By Peter David (The 2nd in the "Sir Apropos of nothing" trilogy) but then went to the library with the step mom in law and she recommended a book called "Lunatics", which I've been reading, and I've gotten about half way through it in about 2 days, so it's going pretty quick! I am really enjoying it, and am hoping I can get it finished before I leave here next weekend.

I am still also working my way slowly through "Atlas Shrugged" I started it towards the beginning of September, and by the last week of the month was STILL trying to finish it, so set it aside to read some smaller books so I'd at least have a few finishes under my belt for the month. In October I decided in order to be able to get some books done AND work my way through "Atlas", I would read 100 pages in atlas then read a shorter book, then read 100 in Atlas, then read a smaller book. I got quite a bit done in October.  I'm not sure on specifics, but I know I am behind on my monthly run downs, so I will know for sure how I did when I go back over them to update this blog!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cute video of my 16 month old "reading"

Alyssa loves books just like I do!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 Book review #6: Where Two Ways Met

Author: Grace Livingston Hill

Personal Rating: 4/5

From the back of the book: Handsome Paige Madison didn't know what to do. He had returned from the war and was on his way to building an exceptional career with a prominant businessman. But, though Paige couldn't quite put his finger on it, he was sure there was something wrong, maybe even unscrupulous, about his new boss. And to make matters worse, his boss's beautiful, headstrong young daughter had decided she wanted Paige-and that she would do all she could to make him want her as well.
then, in the midst of his confusion, Paige is thrown together with a lovely young minster's daughter when they try to help a family in need. Both drawn and challenged by this girls gentle faith, Paige soon finds himself faced with a vital decision.
Which girl should he trust with his most precious possession: his heart?

Personal Thought and Reflection: This book was published in 1946, so it was quite old fashioned, with old fashion goodness at the core. However, Grace Livingston Hill still wove a pretty enchanting tale! I have a few others of hers on my shelves and I am looking forward to what is coming next! If you want a good clean book with Christian themes and undertones I would go with this!

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Book review #5: Shanghai Girls

Author: Lisa See
Pages: 309
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the jacket flap: At it's heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes dreams and a deep connection but like sisters everywhere, they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, making impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are-Shanghai girls.

Personal thought and reflection: This was my first by this author! While I have had "Snow flower and the secret Fan on my shelf now since November (it was a birthday gift from the hubs) I had not yet had a chance to crack it open, but when I was in the library and saw the Lisa See section, I started grabbing enthusiastically! I got Shanghai Girls, and it's sequel Dreams of Joyas well as "Dragon Bones". However, I found out that Dragon Bones is the third in a series, so I will not be reading it...yet....

This book was amazing! I know relatively little about the history of China and the Chinese people. However, this book enlightened me to the sufferings of those who had to flee the country,during the 1930's and the trials that were put on those who made it to America, especially from a woman's point of view. It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty. And once they made it in, the hardships that awaited them, as they were made to live in poverty sharing a tiny apartment with many "family members" in the segregated Chinatowns in San Francisco and
Los Angeles. The hardships of women as they are sold to men as brides to pay off a family debt and made to live with strangers and call them family.

This book moved fast as I was continually wondering what hardship Pearl and her younger sister, May would have to endure next, and if they would ever get out of it, and be free. Heartbreaking and an excellent history lesson all in one!

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 Book review #4: The Mayor of Casterbridge

Author: Thomas Hardy

Pages: 386
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the back cover: Under the powerful influence of rum furmity, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child Elizabeth Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.

Years later, Susan, now a widow arrives in Casterbridge with Elizabeth-Jane to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge, and following the sale of his wife, took a twenty-one year vow not to drink out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newsons's daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.

In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again shows his astute psychological grasp and his deep seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth century Dorset.

Personal Thought and Reflection: This is one of the best classics I have ever read, and I am looking forward to reading more of Hardy's works. I, having studied psychology in college, saw alot of underlying psychological themes running through this piece. I kept thinking "If only I could get Henchard help! He needs a good psychologist!"
I really enjoyed this!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Library visit!!

I haven't been to the library all year if you can believe it! I have been being good by just focusing on knocking titles off my TBR shelf!

But today I decided I really wanted to hit the stacks and see if there was anything to entice me! Of course there was! I got:

1) A Queens Fool
2) Memoirs of a Geisha
3) Shanghai Girls
4) Dreams of Joy
5) Dragon Bones
7) Fannin' the Flames
8) The Confessions of Max Tivoli

So that should keep me busy for awhile!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Monthly run down

What I read in June:

1) The White Queen by: Philippa Gregory
2) At First Sight By: Nicholas Sparks
3) Ape House by: Sara Gruen
4)Where Two Ways Met By: grace Livingston Hill
5) The Pact by: Jodi Picoult
6) Immortal in Death by: JD Robb

So, a pretty good month of reading!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Monthly Rundown

In May I got the most read of al the months for this year, so far! I actually finished 7!!

1. The Summer House
2. I is for Innocent
3. Sea Glass
4. Naked in Death
5. Glory in Death
6. Sir Apropos of Nothing
7. J is for Judgement

I am hoping that June will be another 7 book month as well! We shall see!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monthly rundown: April!

Boy am I usual on this!

In April I only got 4 books read...a sad, sad month for reading!

1. The Appeal by John Grisham
2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
3. Sammy's Hill By: Kristin Gore
4. Summer Breeze By: Catherine Anderson

All four were on my TBR challenge for the year, which I finish at the beginning of May. Boy do I need to catch up on reviews!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What am I reading?

Right now I am finishing up "Sammy's Hill" By: Kristin Gore. I found this one in the freebies shelf at the library a few years ago, and finally decided to pick it up, so I put it on my TBR challenge list for this year. I am doing really well on that challenge. The challenge is to read 12 books that have been on your TBR shelf for a year or more, over the course of the year. "Sammy's Hill" is the last book for me to finish that challenge! I just finished "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen this morning! A review on that one will be along shortly.

I am trying very hard to catch up on reviews and posts here. This month has not been good for reading. I have only finished 2 books so far! I am hoping to have 4 finished by months end. We'll see...

Currently Reading: "Sammy's Hill" By Kristin Gore
Why? It is on my TBR challenge for this year
What I just finished reading: "Mansfield Park" By: Jane Austen
What am I looking forward to reading next? "Summer Breeze" by Catherine Anderson. This one is an alternate for my TBR challenge for this year, though I had no problems getting through my original 12 picks for this challenge, I am going to read the two alternates as well! I have read some of Catherine Andersons books before and enjoyed them, they are light easy reads and alot of fun, so looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Book Review #3: Every Breath You Take by: Ann Rule

Title: Every Breath you Take

Author: Ann Rule
Pages: 681
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the Back Cover: In perhaps the first true-crime book written at the victim's request, Ann Rule untangles a web of lies and brutality that culminated in the murder of sheila Blackthorne Bellush-a woman Rule never met, but whose shocking story she now chronicles with compassion, exacting detail, and unvarnished candor. Although happily ensconced in a loving second marriage and a new family of quadruplets, Shelia never truly escaped the vicious enslavement of her ex husband, multi-millionaire Allen Blackthorne, a handsome charmer- and a violent, controlling sociopath who subjected sheila to unthinkable abuse in their marriage, and terrorized her for a decade after their divorce. When Sheila was slain in her home, in the presence of her four toddlers, authorities raced to link the crime to Blackthorne, the man who vowed to monitor sheila's every move in his obsessive quest for power and revenge.

Personal Thought and Reflection: This is my first time ever reading a book by Ann Rule. Never thought I would enjoy a true crime novel so much! I raced out almost as soon as I'd turned the last page and grabbed 3 more of her books and they are currently gracing my TBR shelf now, and there are so many more I want to get from her. Her background info and detail is phenominal. I absolutely could not put this down!!! If you enjoy true crime stories grab a book by Ann Rule, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Book Review #2: The Appeal by John Grisham

Title: The Appeal
Author: John Grisham
Pages: 482
Personal Rating: 5/5

From the Back Cover: In a Crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case us ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him and mold him into a potential Supreme Court Justice. Their Supreme Court Justice.

Personal Thought and Reflection: This book has sat on my To Be Read shelf for about 3 years now, it was given to me by a friend, and I have never had the desire to pick up a Grisham book before. However, now I can see why he is so popular. He spins a fantastic tale, actually several storylines are spun out in this magnificent piece of fiction. I couldn't put this one down and I definitely plan to invest in more of John Grisham's books in the future.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

(Late) March monthly run down

Boy have I been neglecting this blog!!! Oops...Well, the year is still not half over yet, so I still have time to redeem myself!!

Anyway, I had a good reading month in March here is what I got to:

1. Every Breath you Take by: Ann Rule
2. Nostalgic Noel By: Various Authors
3. Girl's Night In By: Various Authors
4. Ask again Later By: Jill A. Davis
5. Waiting to Exhale By: Terry McMillan

And I almost had a 6th finish, but it was finished April can't count for March. Sadly, it is the ONLY book I have been able to finish in April. I am currently reading two books which I think I may be able to finish this week, lets hope, or April's list will be VERY sad!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Rundown

It was a slow month for reading for me, as my mother is here visiting us and we have been busy visiting with her and so not alot of reading has been going on, I suspect March shall fare pretty much the same as well!

Here IS what I got to:

1. Dragon's of Winter Night
2. The Secret Garden
3. Dragons of Spring Dawning
4. Three Fates

Only 4! A very slow month indeed! They were all pretty good. I believe I gave them all at least 4 stars! The Secret Garden got 5!

I am sorry I've not been posting more, my mom leave in about a week,and I am hoping then I will be able to return to a much more steady posting schedule! And! I will also try to catch up on some reviews as well!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January rundown

I got 5 books read this month:

1. Dragons of Autumn Twilight
2.Strawberry shortcake murder
3. The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime
4. Of Mice and Men
5. The Romance Readers Book Club

I wanted to get more in, but we were traveling for 2 weeks this month, so only got 5 in. I will probably be low in reading the next two months as well, as I will have my mother here visiting for 5 weeks! I know, I still need to get some reviews written too!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I'm reading...

Just a little update. I just finished my 2nd book of the year " the Romance Reader's Book Club" last night, which I will review soon. And I perused my shelf and pulled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" from my shelf and decided to get into it. I have been wanting to read this for awhile. Last night when I finally started it, it was late so I couldn't keep my eyes open long to get very far into it yet, but so far it seems like it's gonna be a fun read, so I'm pretty excited about it!

What are you reading?

Currently Reading: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and The Help (Kindle)
Why? Because it is on Dr. Boxalls 1001 books you must read list, and because it has been on my shelf now for over two years, so it's time to get off my shelf already!
What I just finished reading: "The Romance Reader's Book Club
What I am looking forward to reading next: I think I will either read the 2nd in the Dragonlance series or The Appeal by John Grisham, not sure yet. It's hard for me to say this early in my current read what will be up next, cuz I am never sure what I'll be in the mood for when I'm done reading my current read. We will see!

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Book Review #1: Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Title: Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Author: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Pages: 444
Personal Rating: 4/5

From the Back Cover: Life-long friends, they went their separate ways. now they are togehter again, though each holds secrets fromt he others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

Person thought and reflection: I have to say I am pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this book! My husband has been hounding me for years to read this series, and they have been gracing my TBR shelf for about 2 years now. I finally decided to just take the plunge....I came up satisfied!

These were written in the 80's, so they have been around for awhile, so I'm a little behind...only about 20 years, no biggie! But I can say I am glad I did finally pick this up. I am not a fan of sci- fi, or fantasy. In 2010 I read the first book in the Sword of Truth series, and enjoyed it well enough. Then last year I tried the 2nd in the series, and my enthusiasm for the series waned. These feelings made me really hesitant when reaching for the Dragonlance series. However,I am glad I didn't let Terry Goodkinds works keep me from picking up the likes of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. These two are amazing writers! They made me laugh and drew me into the journey right alongside their characters. The signs of truly masterful writers.

While I will not be reaching straightaway for #2 in this series, as I have other books I would like to get through first, I can guarantee it won't be long before I visit the companions of this tale in their next adventure Dragons of Winter Night.

Whats next on my stack? The Romance Readers Book Club by: Julie L. Cannon

Monday, January 2, 2012

A new year! New goals!

Well, last year, my goal was to read 75 books, and I got 86 finished. But I must admit that towards the end of the year when it didn't look like I was going to finish the 75 I started reading shorter books just to make my challenge. So, I sorta feel like I cheated.

This year I have decided no more cheating, so I have decided that I am going to try to read 65 pre-picked TBR books! If I finish them then I can read others but that is my goal.

I could aim for 75 again this year, but I am going to be starting a rigorous work out program this year with my hubby (ever heard of P90X?) And whenever I start working out like that I have a tendency to not be able to sit for long periods, as exercise gives me a crazy amount of energy. I find myself sitting down to read only to pop up again after a few minutes to work around the house or do another work out! It is craziness, but I really want to get in shape this year, since last year I had a baby and it was really hard on me with my high blood pressure and borderline high cholesterol...I think it would have been so much easier had I been in good shape. So, I have other goals to work on this year besides just reading, as much as I am in love with books, and reading, I think dealing with some health issues is so much more important. I need to lose this weight and be healthy. I know everyone says that at the first of the year, but I have been battling with this for awhile, so it's really nothing new, I just finally had the extra money to order the system, so...this year it is!

So, right now I am reading the first book in the Dragonlance series: "Dragons of Autumn Twilight". My husband has been wanting me to read these for a long time and I am finally giving them a go! I am on page 150 or so and I must admit I am enjoying it a fair bit more than I thought I would!

This year I would also like to blog here alot more often. Include more reviews and just general "What I'm reading now" posts, as apposed to just posting a monthly list of what I got done!

Well I hope all my readers enjoy a wonderful bookish 2012!

What I'm currently reading: The Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Why: because my husband suggested it, and so I put it on my TBR list for this year
What I just finished reading? The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
What I am looking forward to reading next: I haven't decided if I want to read the next in the Dragonlance series right away yet, or pick up Three Fates by Nora Roberts. This one is the first one of twelve on my TBR challenge list for the Book Addicts group on Goodreads. I will let you know!

Joyful Reading!