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Showing posts from December, 2014

Week in Review

Happy Holidays! I hope you're all enjoying this time with family and friends. We had a great Christmas week with family, and are now looking forward to a fun-filled New Year's week with friends. I have not had time to do much reading or writing and don't plan to do much this coming week either. But once January hits, I'll catch up on reviews and get back into reading more regularly.

Reviews and Blog Posts
I wrote one review last week: Fifty Mice by Daniel Pyne

Reading
I finished reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which I really loved. I have not started another book yet. I do have my First Book of the Year planned already: The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir. I have a post planned for later this week, since I'm participating in a challenge for that one.

What are you reading this week? It's Monday! is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, so hop over there if you'd like to see what others are reading too. You can also check out the younger version …

Book Review: Fifty Mice by Daniel Pyne

Jay Johnson seems to be living a pretty typical life, with a boring job and a beautiful fiance. Then he's abducted from a metro train and placed into the witness protection program unwillingly. The agents are convinced he knows something about something, but they won't tell him what it is, and he has no idea. He's taken to Catalina Island, where he finds just about everyone is involved with the program in some way.

Fifty Mice by Daniel Pyne starts with a great premise. And the story is actually okay throughout. But I just couldn't get into the writing style, which I found to be overly wordy and extremely confusing. It was hard to tell what was going on, which I guess was the point. But this was just a bit too much for me. I'm sure it would appeal to other readers, as evidenced by the positive reviews it has received.

The overall storyline was interesting, and I liked the way different relationships were portrayed. Jay is placed in the program with a woman and litt…

Week in Review

Good morning. I'm a day late with my week in review, but at least I made it! I don't think I'll be sharing a week in review next week. I had planned to take a couple weeks off from blogging to celebrate Christmas and New Year's. But I'm four reviews behind, and am determined to get them done before the end of the year. So, I'm spending some time writing today and will schedule reviews to publish throughout the week.

Reviews and Blog Posts
I only published one blog post last week, and it was not a review. It was another challenge sign up, this time for the 2015 Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge. I'm really looking forward to that one!

Reading
I finished reading Fifty Mice by Daniel Pyne. Unfortunately, it was just okay for me. This is one of the books I'll be reviewing this week. Now I'm reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. That might be my last book of the year. I'm not sure if I'll be able to squeeze in another one with fam…

2015's Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge

Here I am signing up for yet another 2015 challenge. I didn't do any year-long challenges in 2014 so I guess I'm making up for it next year. We'll see how this goes! This one is the Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by A Bookish Girl. It's all about reading mystery/crime/thriller novels. This should not be hard for me since I love that genre.

There are several levels of the challenge. I'm going with the Amelia Peabody level, which means I need to read 10 mystery/crime/thriller novels in 2015. I will keep track of my progress here.

Progress:

1. The Shining by Stephen King
2. Night is the Hunter by Steven Gore
3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
4. The Daughter by Jane Shemilt
5. Ryder: Bird of Prey by Nick Pengelley
6. The Organ Takers by Richard Van Anderson
7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
8. The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi
9. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
10. Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline


Week in Review

Good morning. I hope you had a great week. My daughter marched in our local Christmas parade on Saturday with her dance school. She had a great time and it was an absolutely perfect day for the parade ~ about 60 degrees and sunny. Last night was my annual book club holiday dinner and book swap. I was thrilled to end up with a copy of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I can't wait to read it!

Reviews and Blog Posts
This was a week for signing up for challenges! And I am hosting a giveaway of one of my favorite books of 2014.
2015 Library ChallengeBest of 2014 Book Giveaway Hop Travel the World in Books Reading ChallengeReading
I finished reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It was good but I told my 10 year old I'm not sure he'll want to read it right away. Those creatures in the maze are a bit scary!

I also read Matchless by Gregory Maguire, which was a very short Christmas story based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl. And now I'm reading

Travel the World in Books Challenge

This has turned into my week for signing up for challenges, since I haven't felt like writing reviews. This time I'm signing up for the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Mom's Small Victories, I'm Lost in Books and Savvy Working Gal.

The nice thing about this challenge is that it's very flexible. I get to choose how I want to travel the world and for how long. I've decided to work on this challenge for all of 2015. I'm going to try to read books that take place in at least 10 different countries and 5 different continents. I'll determine the country by setting, and I will include all genres, including nonfiction.

I don't have a list of books. I'll just see how it goes throughout the year. I'll list out the countries below as I go along.

Progress:

# of continents: 5 (Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America)
# of countries: 10

1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - Australia
2. The Daughter by Jane Shemilt - England

Best Books of 2014

The year has almost come to an end so it is time to share my favorite books read in 2014. I figured I might as well participate in the Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop too, so I can share one of these favorites with one of you!

I'm going to present my favorite book in each of several categories, and the winner can choose one of these books as their prize. [NOTE: This giveaway has ended] This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who can receive books from The Book Depository. Note: I reserve the right to order through Amazon for U.S. residents if the price is better. **Affiliate links below in an effort to offset the cost of all of these giveaways I do!

Without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2014:

Favorite Historical FictionWhen Sarah Grimke turns 11 years old, her mother gives her a very special birthday gift: her very own slave, 10 year-old Handful. But Sarah is an unusual Southern girl who abhors slavery, even at her young age. She tries to refuse the gift, but h…

2015 Library Challenge

I'm signing up for another 2015 challenge. This one is the Library Challenge hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. I did a library challenge a couple years ago and it was a great motivator to use the library more. My kids take a lot of books out of the library but I tend not to. So in 2015, I will try harder to do so.

Since my kids already check out library books all the time, I'm only counting my own checkouts for this challenge. So I'm going with ROOKIE level (6-11 check outs in 2015).

Progress:
1. The Shining by Stephen King
2. Messenger by Lois Lowry
3. Son by Lois Lowry
4. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
5. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
6. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
7. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami
8. Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
9. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
10. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
11. The War of Gifts by Orson Scott Card

We have a great library system here in Wake County, N…

Week in Review

Now that it's December and I don't have a challenge motivating me to write every day, I seem to have gone back to my less-frequent blogging. I also haven't read much this past week, so I don't have a lot to share today. We've been busy getting everything ready for Christmas. I finally got some shopping done and figured out what we're getting the kids. I'm very late this year!

Reviews and Blog Posts
Book review: Just in Time for Christmas by Kim BoykinBook review: The Big Book of Parenting Tweets Reading
I finished The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto, which I hope to review within the next couple of days. I also read The Big Book of Parenting Tweets, mentioned above. It was very funny. I started reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner, but haven't made much progress.

Kids Reading
C read Potterwookiee (The Creature from My Closet Book 2) by Obert Skye. He really likes this series, so I'm going to try to get the next two books from the library.

M read Candy F…

Book Review: The Big Book of Parenting Tweets edited by Kate Hall and Science of Parenthood

The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter is a fun, quick read ~ mostly because it's a bunch of 140-character jokes, which don't take long to read. But it's definitely worth it! My husband and I went through most of the book together, and we were both cracking up over these tweets from some very funny parents.

The best part is that I could relate to just about all of them! Actually, maybe that's not a good thing. Now that my kids are older, it was nostalgic to read through the tweets about babies and toddlers. When I got to this one, I said to my husband, "Yes! That's us now!"


There are plenty of tweets included about older kids and teens as well. And several silly cartoon-like pictures throughout the book that highlight some of the funny situations we parents find ourselves in. The glossary at the end of the book is particularly helpful to anyone who isn't a Twitter expert.

I really enjoyed The Big Book of Pare…

Book Review: Just in Time for Christmas by Kim Boykin

Miranda Hamilton loves Christmas. It is her favorite time of the year and she is determined to make everything just right. Her bed and breakfast is decorated with lots of holiday cheer, and this year she is the chair of Magnolia Bay's tree lighting and cotillion. She's in her element. Until Logan Mauldin steps in with a donation that lands him a role as co-chair.

Just in Time for Christmas by Kim Boykin is a quick, sweet holiday romance novel that will help get you in the mood for Christmas. Miranda and Logan have a history that dates back to their childhood, and Miranda is determined not to fall for him now. But Logan has recently realized his attraction and is just as determined to win her heart.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Miranda and Logan. They had a clear spark that was based on a fun history and this made them more endearing. It's a simple, pretty predictable story, but it's good. If you're looking for a short, fun romance novel that will get y…

Week in Review

Good morning. I can't believe it's December today! I think my participation in National Blog Posting Month (#NaBloPoMo) during November made the month really fly by! We spent the weekend decorating for Christmas. It's starting to look very festive around here, although it still seems a bit surreal. I haven't gotten used to the fact that Christmas is only a few weeks away!

Because of #NaBloPoMo, I once again have several posts to share, including a GIVEAWAY that ends at midnight tonight!

Reviews and Blog Posts
5 Tips for Buying Gifts for Book LoversBook Review: First Impressions by Charlie LovettHappy Thanksgiving!Book Giveaway: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk KiddSaturday Snapshot: Christmas tree!Month in Review: November and #NaBloPoMoReading
I participated in the Christmas Spirit Readathon last week, but didn't read as much as I had hoped. I did finish First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett. I absolutely lov…