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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


You know it's cold when...


...the cat has no desire to ever leave her heated bed!


The deer are very happy that someone shovelled a path to give them access to grass to nibble on:


But these ones found the food that was in the front yard:





I saw this at a used book sale for $0.65, and I couldn't pass it up. That wintery cover makes it a fitting read for this time of year:

Chill Factor
by Sandra Brown


Recap: Last Week On The Blog


Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy/Wintery Reads

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Friday Audiobook Review: 2 out of 5 stars for The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Saturday: 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Saturday: 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge Wrap-up Post

Saturday: Chapter Break November Bookish Bingo Wrap-up Post

Saturday: Bookish Bingo Fall 2018 Wrap-up Post

Saturday: November Wrap-up

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

November Wrap-up


Well, we got our first big dump of snow during the last week of November, so that's pretty darn good!! We received between 9-11 cm of snow, so that made for a very slow drive home from work and lots of shovelling that evening. Because of the snowfall, the temps last week had been pretty mild with daytime highs of -6 degrees Celsius but now that's dropped drastically with highs of -15 degrees Celsius.

I did a ton of Black Friday online shopping and am happy to have the majority of my Christmas shopping finished and also for my younger daughter's birthday which is in December. I just have a couple of gifts left to buy for Christmas and then I need to start wrapping! My Christmas tree is up, and now I just need to get back to the bathroom repairs which I hopefully can finish before Christmas. I'm holding off on my bedroom until January. I have too much on my plate right now!

I went from 13 books read in October to 12 books read in November. That's up from 9 books in November 2017, so I'm very happy with that!


FROM MY BOOKSHELF:

4 stars
Heart-Shaped Box
by Joe Hill


5 stars
Naked in Death
by J.D. Robb
(In Death, Book #1)


4 stars
Gladiator
by Anna Hackett
(Galactic Gladiators, Book #1)


3 stars
Tartan Candy
by K.C. Burn
(Fabric Hearts, Book #1)

4 stars
Triple Trouble
by Michael J. Pellowski

3 stars
The BFG
by Roald Dahl

4 stars
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
(Ready Player One, Book #1)
[review to follow]


3 stars
The Midnight Kittens
by Dodie Smith
(The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Book #3)
[review to follow]



FROM THE LIBRARY:


3 stars
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender

2 stars
The Queen of the Tearling
by Erika Johansen
(The Queen of the Tearling, Book #1)




FOR REVIEW:

3 stars
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White

3 stars
Alaskan Holiday
by Debbie Macomber

My stand-out favourite read was Naked in Death followed closely by Gladiator. I've wanted to read Naked in Death for a long time, and I loved the futuristic aspect of the story and loved the main character Eve Dallas. I've never read a sci-fi romance before, and Gladiator was a very pleasant surprise. It was quite nearly a 5-star read for me, and I'm happy to have discovered a new genre to enjoy.

My least favourite read was The Queen of the Tearling, which was quite boring and long-winded. I won't be continuing with that series. Another big disappointment was The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I liked it, but I did struggle with it. The beginning was very slow but it picked up midway through so that's why I bumped it up from 2 stars to 3 stars.

I discovered nine new authors (including one Canadian, Burn), I started six new series (Robb's In Death, Hackett's Galactic Gladiators, Burn's Fabric Hearts, Johansen's Queen of the Tearling, Cline's Ready Player One, and Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians - I actually jumped in that series at the third book), discovered two new genres (sci-fi romance and M-M romance), read two debuts (Johansen's Queen of the Tearling and Cline's Ready Player One) and continued on in one series (Pellowski's Double Trouble). 

I read ten backlist books and two new 2018 releases. I listened to seven audiobooks plus read five traditional books. 

In October, I broke my Goodreads goal of 100 books. I'm currently sitting at 133, and I broke my 2012 record of 123 books since I started keeping track. So, yes, I'm feeling very proud!







January Wrap-up: 7 books

[3 shelf-love, 1 library, 3 review]

February Wrap-up: 13 books
[10 shelf-love, 2 library, 1 review]

March Wrap-up: 12 books
[5 shelf-love, 3 library, 4 review]

April Wrap-up: 14 books
[11 shelf-love, 2 library, 1 review]

May Wrap-up9 books
[5 shelf-love, 0 library, 4 review]

June Wrap-up13 books
[6 shelf-love, 7 library, 0 review]

July Wrap-up: 16 books
[9 shelf-love, 6 library, 1 review]

August Wrap-up: 10 books
[5 shelf-love, 4 library, 1 review]

September Wrap-up: 14 books
[6 shelf-love, 7 library, 1 review]

October Wrap-up: 13 books
[5 shelf-love, 8 library, 0 review]

November Wrap-up: 12 books
[8 shelf-love, 2 library, 2 review]

Year To Date Total: 133 books
[72 shelf-love, 43 library, 18 review]



So, how was your November? What was your favourite book? Least favourite? Please let me know in the comments! I'd love to add your favourites to my TBR :)

Bookish Bingo Fall 2018 Wrap-up Post @yerawizardbekka



This is my Wrap-up Post for the Bookish Bingo Fall 2018 challenge hosted by Bekka and Alexia @ Pretty Deadly Reviews.

FINISHED 21/25 SQUARES (with the FREE space)
6 BINGOs

5. MADE INTO A MOVIE: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
10. SET IN A SCHOOL: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
13. ONE WORD TITLE: Matilda by Roald Dahl
21. FIRE IN TITLE OR ON COVER
22. HISTORY WITH A TWIST
23. WITCHES
24. COPPER, BRONZE, GOLD COVER


That was fun, Bekka & Alexia! Thanks for hosting :)

Chapter Break November Bookish Bingo: Wrap-up Post @juliecookies @lynnmpoppe


This is my Wrap-up Post for the monthly challenge hosted by Julie & Lynn at Chapter Break.

24/25 SQUARES COMPLETED (with the FREE space)

1. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – Completes four squares: Audiobook, Free book, Not in a series, Mysterious character


2. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Completes six squares: Shelf love, Read a physical book, Pet, Sassy/sarcastic character, Start over/new beginning, Bad boy actually good

3. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death, Book #1) – Completes four squares: Detective, In a series, Set in the future, Brown on the cover

4. Gladiator by Anna Hackett (Galactic Gladiators, Book #1) – Completes one square: Travel distance/space

5. Tartan Candy by K.C. Burn (Fabric Hearts, Book #1) – Completes two squares: Family gathering, Feast

6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – Completes four squares: Library book, Baking/cooking/cookbook, Married couple, Magical abilities

7. Triple Trouble by Michael J. Pellowski – Completes one square: Sports-ball

8. The BFG by Roald Dahl – Completes one square: Made into a movie or TV show

That was fun! Thanks for hosting, Julie & Lynn!

2018 A to Z Reading Challenge Wrap-up Post #2018AtoZChallenge


This is my Wrap-up Post for the 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge hosted by Megan @ Ginger Mom & The Kindle Quest.

26/26 books read
CHALLENGE COMPLETE!


1. W: White Bodies by Jane Robins

2. B: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

3. G: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza (DCI Erika Foster, Book #1)

4. M: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (The Others, Book #2)

5. V: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (The Others, Book #3)

6. S: Shipwreck by Gordon Korman (Island, Book #1)

7. A: Adam by Ted Dekker

8. C: A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow (Kate Shugak, Book #1)

9. F: Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter (Warriors, Book #2)

10. E: Escape by Gordon Korman (Island, Book #3)

11. D: Dishing the Dirt by M.C. Beaton (Agatha Raisin, Book #26)

12. N: The Night Child by Anna Quinn

13. L: The Liar's Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

14. I: Into the Light by Aleatha Romig (The Light, Book #1)

15. T: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test, Book #1)

16. P: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test, Book #1.5)

17. R: Rising Storm by Erin Hunter (Warriors, Book #4)

18. H: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

19. J: The Journey by Kathryn Lasky (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #2)

20. U: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly, Book #1)

21. Z: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone (The Hatching, Book #3)

22. O: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (On the Island, Book #1)

23. K: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

24. Y: Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz

25. X (FREEBIE LETTER - I CHOSE TO STILL USE THE LETTER X BUT ANYWHERE IN THE TITLE): Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

26. Q: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling, Book #1)




2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge Wrap-up Post


This is my Wrap-up Post for the 2018 Alphabet Soup Challenge hosted by Dollycas @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.

26/26 books read
CHALLENGE COMPLETE!

1. W: White Bodies by Jane Robins

2. B: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

3. G: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza (DCI Erika Foster, Book #1)

4. M: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (The Others, Book #2)

5. V: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (The Others, Book #3)

6. S: Shipwreck by Gordon Korman (Island, Book #1)

7. A: Adam by Ted Dekker

8. C: A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow (Kate Shugak, Book #1)

9. F: Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter (Warriors, Book #2)

10. E: Escape by Gordon Korman (Island, Book #3)

11. D: Dishing the Dirt by M.C. Beaton (Agatha Raisin, Book #26)

12. N: The Night Child by Anna Quinn

13. L: The Liar's Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

14. I: Into the Light by Aleatha Romig (The Light, Book #1)

15. T: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test, Book #1)

16. P: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test, Book #1.5)

17. R: Rising Storm by Erin Hunter (Warriors, Book #4)

18. H: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

19. J: The Journey by Kathryn Lasky (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #2)

20. U: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly, Book #1)

21. Z: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone (The Hatching, Book #3)

22. O: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (On the Island, Book #1)

23. K: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

24. Y: Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz

25. X: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

26. Q: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling, Book #1)

Friday, December 7, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 2 out of 5 stars for The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen @HarperAudio ‏

SERIES: The Queen of the Tearling, Book #1
AUTHOR: Erika Johansen 
NARRATOR: Katherine Kellgren 
PUBLISHER: HarperAudio
PUBLICATION DATE: July 8, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 14 hrs and 30 mins
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9780062332288
Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it.

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.

But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.

Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.

Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination.

MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed the beginning of this book, but then my interest in it started to wane.

Kelsea, future Queen of the Tearling, has been tucked away hidden from society for her entire life. It has been for her own safety as future Queen. After she reaches her 19th birthday, the Queen's Guard comes for the girl to take her to the castle and throne that await her.

I enjoyed the mystical elements, such as how Kelsea's necklace reacted at times. However my main pet peeve is how this book is wrongly categorized as Young Adult. It is not YA. It is wrongly shelved as YA on Goodreads, and it is also under YA reads on Audible. I went into this read thinking it was YA, but the language is just too vulgar for it to be YA in my opinion. I'm okay with f*ck and c*nt in an adult book and, depending on the genre, that language might be appropriate! It most certainly is not appropriate, in my opinion, for YA. So my conclusion is that this book was inappropriately marketed to the wrong audience. Later in the book, there is talk of a woman tweaking her own nipples. Okay, definitely not appropriate for YA! I hate to think that there are parents out there who are buying this for their tweens or teens thinking that this is an appropriate read. As a mom, I most certainly wouldn't want my teen daughter reading this.

My other issue with the book was the slow pace of the story. It just felt like it took forever for anything to happen. I keep waiting for some excitement, but that never happened. At 14+ hours on audio, my mind wandered. This definitely could have used some paring down.

There is a film adaptation in development starring Emma Watson. Even though I do not plan to continue reading this series, I probably would watch the movie because I enjoy Watson.

I've heard nothing but praise for narrator Katherine Kellgren, and this is my first narration by her so I was looking forward to hearing her at last. I enjoyed her versatility but, at times, she was just too over the top. It was almost as though she felt like she needed to shout to add some excitement, and I was constantly fiddling with the volume. Here is a sample of the narration:


MY RATING:


2 stars!! Meh, it was just "okay."

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for The BFG by Roald Dahl @roald_dahl @PuffinBooks

TITLE: The BFG
AUTHOR: Roald Dahl
PUBLISHER: Puffin
PUBLICATION DATE: 2008 (first published 1982)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 199 pages
GENRE: Childrens, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780141326238
Kidsnatched from her orphanage by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), who spends his life blowing happy dreams to children, Sophie concocts with him a plan to save the world from nine other man-gobbling cannybull giants.


MY REVIEW:

My daughter and I recently read Matilda and absolutely loved it! We decided to try this one next.

Sophie awakens during the night and peeks out her window to see a large figure down the street. She watches as the giant peers into the windows, stops, and inserts a large object like a trumpet. He is also carrying a suitcase. Sophie tries to be quiet, but it's too late. He hears her and snatches her from her room and dashes off. Sophie learns that the giant is a friendly one (Big Friendly Giant) and that he does not wish to harm her. However, there are other giants who feast on humans and those are the ones that need to be stopped.

We started off with my daughter reading this one aloud to me for her home reading. However, she became frustrated with all the nonsensical words and how to pronounce them, so I took over and read this one aloud to her. It was more enjoyable for her to listen than to struggle with the gibberish. I have to admit that it slowed down my reading as well! We did enjoy the book, but we didn't love it like we did Matilda. However, we are still Dahl fans and will read more of his work.

My daughter and I did watch the 2016 film adaptation a couple of years ago, but I honestly don't remember much of it. We will have to watch it again. Here's the movie trailer:



MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and we enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:
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