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Showing posts from April, 2015

Week in Review & Spring Into Horror Wrap-Up

Time seems to be flying by lately. Another week down, another week closer to summer vacations. My kids only have six more weeks of school left. That's crazy! Because of the Spring into Horror Readathon and Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, I managed to get a lot of reading done last week. Read on to see the details!

Reviews and Blog Posts
Book Review & GIVEAWAY: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy
Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Starting Up
Read-a-Thon Update: Book 1
Read-a-Thon Update: Book 2
Read-a-Thon Update: Book 3
Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Finish

Reading
I finished reading The Mapmaker's Children: A Novel by Sarah McCoy. Be sure to enter to win a copy ~ I loved it!

I also finished reading The Organ Takers: A Novel of Surgical Suspense by Richard Van Anderson as my required horror/thriller reading for the Spring Into Horror Readathon. And I read Smile by Raina Telgemeier and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. It was a fun variety of books last week!

C read Middl…

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Finish

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon ended about 1 1/2 hours ago. I thought I might be up at the end, but having stayed up until the beginning of hour 19 (2am here), I ended up sleeping in this morning.
Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 18 was tough. I was determined to finish reading The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. It seems like it took hours to read the last 20 pages! I kept having to re-read sentences because I was falling asleep.Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I thought Smile by Raina Telgemeier was a great way to get started. It was a quick and entertaining read.Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No suggestions for me. I tend to focus on reading but I did stop by and check out the website a few times. I even participated in a couple memes. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The website was very well-organized this year. It was easy to see t…

Read-a-Thon Update

I finished my third book of Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon. I read The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. My son recently read all of these stories and recommended this one as his favorite. 
It is 2am here and I'm tired. I will write up a final recap when I wake up in the morning. I can't continue for 6 more hours!

Read-a-Thon Update

I finished my second book of the read-a-thon: The Organ Takers by Richard Van Anderson. I had actually read half of it earlier in the week so only read about 150 pages today. It was good. Not as scary and gross as I had expected. It was a good thriller.

Read-a-Thon Update

I decided to start with a quick read, so I picked up Smile by Raina Telgemeier. It was great! I need to take a break and do some family stuff now. Then on to the next book!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Starting Up

It's time for Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. I sign up most years but don't manage to read as much as I hoped. This year, I actually might manage to read a lot over the next 24 hours! Here are my answers to the opening meme.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I am reading from North Carolina in the U.S.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I think I'd have to say Smile by Raina Telgemeier. My daughter just read it and I figured it would be a good, easy book to read for the read-a-thon.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? At the moment, I'm most looking forward to breakfast! Just a bowl of cereal and coffee but I just got up (a little late to the starting line) and am starving!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I've been blogging about books for almost six years now. I have two kids who are 8 and almost 11. I work full time so I have to fit blogging and reading into my downtime, which has incre…

Book Review: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Sarah Brown's father is the well-known abolitionist John Brown, who is determined to end slavery in the mid-19th century. Her mother and sisters are sheltered from his work, but when Sarah learns she cannot bear children, she puts all she has into his movement, using her artistic talents to create maps to be used on the Underground Railroad. In modern times, Eden is a troubled woman who has just moved into an old home with her husband. Here she discovers a relic from the Civil War era hidden in a root cellar in her pantry. It has the potential to change her life.

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy is a wonderful blend of historical and contemporary fiction that alternates between the voices of Sarah in the 1800s and Eden in 2014. Through Sarah's story, we see the effects of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and the horror of the Civil War. We get a view into the culture of the time and the way people came together to get through difficulties. I loved learning…

Week in Review & Spring Into Horror Readathon

It's Monday again and today marks the start of the Spring into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. We had a good week. I took M to Barnes & Noble yesterday and we ended up getting several books, mostly for her brother. He's been sick all weekend, although seems to be on the mend now. I figured he'd need something to keep him busy today while he is home sick and I'm working.


Reviews and Blog Posts
Book Review: Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins
A Big Announcement: My New Domain Name!
Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Reading
I finished reading The Orbital Perspective by Astronaut Ron Garan, and I'm just about done with The Mapmaker's Children: A Novel by Sarah McCoy. I hope to publish both of those reviews this week. Next, I'll be reading The Organ Takers: A Novel of Surgical Suspense by Richard Van Anderson as my required horror/thriller reading for the readathon!

C read I Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson wit…

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark loves her job at the local bakery where she makes enough to help support her family. She lives with her parents, her sister and her nephew, and the money she makes at the bakery is vital to keeping them all fed and clothed. But then the owner of the bakery decides to close and Lou must find another job. She ends up taking a position as a caregiver for a quadriplegic young man named Will Traynor, who has no desire to live anymore.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is an emotionally charged novel that brings two very different people together in a way that will forever change them both. At first, Will wants nothing to do with Lou, but she is determined to forge some sort of relationship so she doesn't have to sit and stare at the walls of his home for hours on end. I loved the way the two interacted at first and the way those interactions changed over time. It was a natural progression as they got to know more about each other.

Lou and Will as characters were realistic in their …

Announcing a Big Update to My Book Retreat

After 5 1/2 years of blogging here at My Book Retreat, I finally took the plunge and got a domain name for my blog. You can still get to me using your old links, but now you can also find me with the simple www.mybookretreat.com. How cool is that??!!


I've also been busy making it easier for my readers to keep up with all of my book reviews and other posts. Here are some of the options you can choose from if you don't want to miss my posts:

1. Subscribe You'll get an email each time I publish a new post here. If there's interest, I could also set up a weekly newsletter, so let me know if you'd be interested in that. I generally post 2-4 posts per week, but sometimes write more or less.

Subscribe to my mailing list

2. Follow on Bloglovin Bloglovin is a blog reader. Add My Book Retreat to your feed on Bloglovin, so you can read my posts along with all of the other blogs you read.

3. Follow on Facebook or Twitter I post links to my blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, so if…

Book Review: Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins

Andra Watkins wrote a novel about Meriwether Lewis, a topic of great interest to her. In an effort to promote the book and commune with the ghost of her main character, Watkins decided to walk the entire Natchez Trace, from Natchez, MS, to Nashville, TN. It was on this trail that Lewis died many years ago. She would break the walk into 15 miles per day, but she would need a wingman to drop her at her starting point each morning and pick her up at the end each day. Her father agreed to take on the role.

Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is Andra Watkins' memoir of her walk, her experiences on the road, and her evolving relationship with her father. Her story is honest and raw at times, lighthearted and whimsical at others. She tells of the physical toll taken on her body as she walks more than 400 miles. But she also shares her thoughts and feelings of communing with those who walked before her on this historic path. Her experience is pretty …

Week in Review

We had an unusual, but fun, week. Both kids had camping trips. C did an overnight trip to a 4-H camp with his 5th grade class. They had a blast and it sounds like they actually learned some things too! Then my husband and M went camping with the Y-Guides tribe over the weekend. It was a fun week for all.

Reviews and Blog Posts
5 Must-Read Novels from 2014
Saturday Snapshot: A Day in My Life

Reading
I finished reading Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins and even wrote the review. But it won't be published until tomorrow for the tour, so check back to see what I thought (hint: I liked it!). I then started reading The Orbital Perspective by Astronaut Ron Garan. It's quite interesting but a little dry, so I needed a break by Friday. I picked up Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and WOW! I just finished it this morning. I should have read that a while ago.

C has been making his way through the H.G. Wells books in the collection we have.…