Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly (sort of) Reading Recap

book and coffee

It's been another two weeks. These weekly posts are tough to keep going lately. And I have not been writing reviews. I love to write reviews and share my thoughts about books so I need to get back into the groove soon! Work has been crazy busy and at the end of the day, I just can't bring myself to turn my personal computer on and start typing. I have been keeping up with reading though, and lots of wasted time perusing Facebook... And at some point I really will sit down and write some reviews! I truly appreciate all of you who are continuing to read my posts when I get around to writing them.


What I'm reading

It took me two weeks, but I finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I loved it. Definitely a 5 star book for me (in case you're wondering and it takes me a month to write the review!). Now I'm reading a middle-grade book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. It's very different than I expected but I'm enjoying it.

I have several things on my TBR list right now. I've actually picked up a few new books this past week or two. I bought The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey on a whim at Target. I also bought Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell because the Kindle edition is only $1.99! Today, I got We're All Damaged by Matthew Norman through the Kindle First program. And I got Hot Start by David Freed in the mail for review as well. I also have Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon for a book tour in early June.

I think I'll be reading Mystic Summer next to make sure it's ready for the tour. Then I'll be turning to The Fifth Wave to read during the Sci-Fi Summer Read-a-Thon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading.


What my kids are reading

M, who is in 3rd grade, finished the third book in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer and we're waiting for the release of the fourth book in paperback in a couple weeks. So she has been reading things from her shelf, like a couple Bad Kitty books.   

Carter, who is in 6th grade, has been making his way through another series. This time it's The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series by James A. Owen. He's really enjoying this one.

I'm linking up with Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? as well as Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for the children's and YA version of this weekly gathering. What are you reading? Please share in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Reading Recap

book and coffee

It's Monday again. Boy are the weeks flying by now! My kids only have a few more weeks of school left. It's hard to believe that summer will be here soon. We have trips books to Tennessee and New York City these next couple months. It should be fun! My kids haven't been to NYC yet so I'm excited to finally take them. We're going to see Phantom of the Opera and Wicked on Broadway. And we're planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty, which my husband and I have never done despite many trips to the city.

What I'm reading

I'm still reading Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I thought I'd get further in it but ended up having a more active Mother's Day weekend rather than sitting around reading the whole time! I plan to finish it this week and move on to a middle-grade book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. My son read it a while ago and I've been wanting to get to it. It's based on an adult memoir but I figure I'll read the youth edition since we have it.

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes book cover

What I'm writing

I wrote one review last week: 
Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes


What my kids are reading

M, who is in 3rd grade, is reading the third book in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer.  

Carter, who is in 6th grade, finished Endgame: the calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton. He also read Point Blank: Alex Rider Book 2 by Anthony Horowitz. He's now reading the third book in that series.

I'm linking up with Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? as well as Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for the children's and YA version of this weekly gathering. What are you reading? Please share in the comments!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Silver Bay book cover

Mike Dormer leaves London for Australia to secure a location for his company's next big hotel development. Silver Bay is the perfect place to build the high-end resort, since the only other accommodation in the area is the old ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel. But after spending a little time at this quiet hotel, getting to know the natives and learning about the wildlife in the area, Mike begins to wonder if this really is the best place for the larger-than-life resort. He also begins to question if the life he's living in London is really what he wants.

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes is a character-driven story that drops Mike right into the lives of the hotel's owner, Kathleen, her niece Liza and Liza's daughter, who all live in the hotel. The others who live in the area and run the dolphin and whale watching boats add to the intriguing cast of characters. All of their lives are entwined with the bay and they are all passionate about protecting the whales as they migrate past their home twice a year.

When I picked up this book, I was in need of an easy read that would pull me into another world and keep me absorbed in the story. This was the perfect choice. I enjoyed watching the transformation of several of the characters throughout the story. I was anxious to see whether Mike would do what was right for his business or for the people of Silver Bay. And Liza's background and reasons for wanting to protect her daughter from everything was a mystery until the end.

If you're looking for a novel that gets into the heart of the characters ~ and brings in a bit of environmental activism as well ~ I highly recommend Silver Bay.


My Rating:
4 stars

Read my other reviews of books by Jojo Moyes:
One Plus One
Me Before You
After You 

This review was written based on a copy of Silver Bay that I borrowed from the library. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using my link, I will receive a very small commission but your price does not change.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Weekly Reading Recap

book and coffee

Good evening. I decided it was time for another reading update. I didn't post last week because I hadn't made much progress with reading, but this past week was a much better one for me. I have actually gotten a good deal of reading done in that time. Aside from reading, work has been taking up a lot of time. I took on a new role about a year ago and many of you will have noticed that my blogging and reading slowed down significantly over time. It's hard to sit down at a computer and type blog posts after sitting at a computer all day. But I do still take plenty of time for reading. It just takes me a few days to write a single post now (as in the case of this one that I started 48 hours ago).

What I'm reading

My May TBR stack of booksSince my last update, I finished The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. I skipped a few chapters in the middle because that's the only way I could bring myself to finish it. I'm not going to write a full review for this, but I will say that I did not enjoy Salinger's writing style at all. I didn't mind the overall story but it was tough to actually read it.

I also read Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes, which was a very nice change after that! Then I picked up Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on a whim from the library and read it in two days over the weekend! Tonight I started reading Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and I'm already drawn in. I loved The Forgotten Garden.


Book cover of Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald What I'm writing

I wrote one review last week: 
Twisted River by Siobhán MacDonald

What my kids are reading

M, who is in 3rd grade, finished the second book in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer and is now starting the third book.  

Carter, who is in 6th grade, has been reading too much to keep up with! Tonight he read The Marvels by Brian Selznick. He also just started Endgame: the calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton.

I'm linking up with Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? as well as Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for the children's and YA version of this weekly gathering. What are you reading? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald


Kate and Mannix are struggling to help their son Fergus, who is being bullied at school, and their daughter Izzy, who has taken the role of his protector. Kate decides that a holiday away from their home in Limerick, Ireland, is just what they need. She sets up a house-swap with a family in New York City. Hazel, Oscar and their two kids are also in need of a vacation, and Hazel decides her native Limerick is the place to be. But neither family ends up with the vacation they had planned.

Twisted River by Siobhán MacDonald starts right off with Oscar, hands covered in blood, closing the trunk of a car on a dead woman as his children come up behind him asking where mom is. This is where we start. But then we go back to see how each family ended up where they did, and ultimately how the woman ended up in the trunk of the car. This is but one mystery in this story though. MacDonald includes plenty of twists to live up to the name of the novel.

Because of the nature of the storyline, I don't want to say much more about the plot, but I did find both families interesting and enjoyed the author's writing style. It was an easy, engaging read. I will say I found myself more drawn to the second half over the first, because it started to go in a slightly different direction than I had expected. There's plenty of suspense and opportunity to try to figure out what's really going on with both families ~ they're rather complex people!

Overall, I enjoyed this mystery about family secrets and the consequences of our actions.

My Rating:

Visit Siobhán MacDonald's website for more information

This review was written based on a copy of Twisted River that I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using my link, I will receive a very small commission but your price does not change.