Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Ashes by Steven Manchester

Title: Ashes
Author: Steven Manchester
Genre: contemporary fiction
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: paperback (advanced reading copy)
Source: author
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)



Jason and Tom Prendergast may be brothers but they haven't had anything to do with each other for years. Raised by an abusive single father, the boys went their separate ways and never looked back. But when their father dies, his last impact on their lives is to push them together into a road trip across the country to spread his ashes and receive some sort of mysterious reward. Neither brother wants to take the trip, but they can't resist the potential inheritance that may be waiting for them at the end.

Ashes by Steven Manchester takes us along for the ride while Jason and Tom are forced to spend an entire week in a car together, unwillingly revisiting their past because of the one man that they both can agree to hate. The frustrations of hearing them speak but not listen to each other, and the humorous antics they adopt to annoy one another, make the ride rather bumpy but entertaining for the reader. Their dysfunctional childhood is brought to life as they reminisce about the way their father simultaneously brought them together and drove them apart.

I enjoyed these two brothers who drove me crazy at times. There's a lot more to the story than just the past. We get a glimpse into their current lives in which they both face challenges and changes. Both men grow throughout the ride, not just in their relationship with each other but also as individuals. It's definitely a character-driven novel that takes them both through important life changes.

If you enjoy humorous family stories, and the adventure of a road trip, I recommend you pick up Ashes by Steven Manchester, which will be released tomorrow. 

Read my reviews of other books by Steven Manchester: 
The Rockin' Chair 
Gooseberry Island
Pressed Pennies

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien


No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien is a new novel by the grandson of J R R Tolkien. It's a sweeping story of a man's journey from a young impressionable teen to a soldier in the Battle of the Somme.

Book Facts

Genre: historical fiction
Published: January 24, 2017
Format: hardcover
Source: Doubleday

For a bit of a change, I've decided to do a video blog to share my review. Yes, I held the camera the wrong direction but it's my first vlog so bear with me! Let me know in the comments what you think!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Reading recap

It's been a week since I last posted, and while I'd like to spend time reading right now, I thought I'd post a quick update.

I've been busy reading for the Winter's Respite Readathon. It's halfway over now. I finished the second half of Hidden Figures, and then went to the movie on Friday night with my entire family. It was wonderful and I'm glad I shared the story with my kids. The book gets into so much more detail (as usual) but is a little slow. It's still highly recommended. But also see the movie!


I'm now about halfway through No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien. That's what I'm looking forward to getting back to tonight!


At some point this week, I'm going to make time to write a review of a book or two, since I haven't posted a review in a while. I think I'm going to try out a new format this year. I'm going to continue to write detailed reviews of books provided to me for review, but some of the other books I read for pleasure may feature shorter reviews so I can keep up with them this year!

What are you reading?

Book links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. It's been a while but I'm finally linking up with Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017


I am joining one of my favorite readathons this week: A Winter's Respite Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. This year, the readathon has been extended to two weeks, which is great!

What I love about this one is that it's very casual. The only rule is that you should read a lot. You don't have to read any specific genre or type of book (although you can't just read a bunch of picture books, I suppose). There's going to be a mid-event check-in and there will be prizes at the end. I'm really looking forward to it. Here's what I plan to read:


I've already read about half of Hidden Figures, so I am going to finish that and then move on to No Man's Land.


Readathon Wrap-Up

Here's my recap of this two-week readathon. I did finish Hidden Figures and ended up going to see the film as well. It was great! Then I moved on to No Man's Land and it took me a long time to get through this huge book, but I finished it! I still had about 75 pages left when the readathon ended, but I finished it the next day.

So in total, I read about 200 pages in Hidden Figures and 497 pages in No Man's Land during the readathon, for a total of almost 700 pages! Pretty good for me for a two-week period!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Man Called Ove Readalong

I've decided to join a readalong of A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman since I need to read it for my February book club and I had already started it as my first book of the year. The readalong is hosted by Book Bloggers International, which is hosting monthly readalongs this year. This is the first one.

It's not too late to join in. The discussion of the first nine chapters starts on Monday. Here's the schedule for this first readalong:
  • January 9:  chapters 1-9 or pages 1-85
  • January 16:  chapters 10-18 or pages 86-170
  • January 23:  chapters 19-29 or pages 171-257
  • January 30:  chapters 30-end or pages 258-end

Visit the link above to join in the discussion!