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Friday, September 29, 2017

September Wrap-up


Another month that has flown by! It was a very busy month, with getting the kids back into the school routine. My younger daughter joined Running Club, and my older daughter joined band so we are doing private music lessons for her. Juggling the extra-curricular stuff is always a struggle. My younger daughter was ill on the September long weekend, and then my older daughter has been sick for the past week but finally is back at school. Let's hope the bad germs stay away for the rest of the season!

We also had out-of-town family visiting last week, and I had to get the house ready for that. I was also busy closing the pool for the season, so I haven't had a lot of time to read this month.

I only finished four books this month! That's my lowest this year. Now, having said that, I have been listening to It by Stephen King for the past two and a half weeks which is 45 hrs long so that definitely affects my monthly total. I could have finished three more audiobooks in the time that I've spent listening to It so far! Here's the bad news: I borrowed It from my library on Overdrive and my hold expires on Sunday, and it's highly doubtful that I'll be able to finish it by then! I'm about 63% finished and there are 34 holds after me, so I guess I have to get back into the queue and wait until it's my turn again :(

FROM MY BOOKSHELF:

5 stars
Possess
by Gretchen McNeil

4 stars
Hide from Evil
by Jami Alden
(Dead Wrong, Book #2)


FROM THE LIBRARY



4 stars
by Cheryl Strayed


REVIEW COPIES

2 stars
False Flag
by John Altman


Possess is, by far, my favourite of the month! I was riveted from start to finish. I also really enjoyed Wild, which is a nonfiction autobiography and travel memoir. I had spent some time hiking last month while on vacation, so I think that's why I found it particularly interesting. Hide from Evil was a good follow-up to the first one in the series, but it wasn't as good. Still, I plan to continue on in the series.

My least favourite book was False Flag. It started off great and had good potential, but it went downhill from there. It didn't hold my interest, and the book dragged. It was a struggle to get through it.


I discovered two new authors, and I continued on in one series.



January Wrap-up: 10 books
[3 shelf-love, 5 library, 2 review]

[2 shelf-love, 5 library, 2 review]

March Wrap-up: 7 books
[5 shelf-love, 2 review]

April Wrap-up: 8 books
[6 shelf-love, 2 review]

May Wrap-up: 8 books
[1 shelf-love, 1 library, 6 review]

June Wrap-up: 9 books
[1 shelf-love, 3 library, 5 review]

July Wrap-up: 6 books
[2 library, 4 review]

August Wrap-up: 8 books
[4 shelf-love, 2 library, 2 review]

September Wrap-up: 4 books
[2 shelf-love, 1 library, 1 review]

Year to date total: 69 books
[24 shelf-love, 19 library, 26 review]

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand @CynthiaHand @harperteen

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

AUTHOR: Cynthia Hand
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 224 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062318503
On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

I love Christmas stories, and I am especially looking forward to reading this retelling of the Dickens classic!




What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ten Books That Feature Great Paranormal Characters #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list topic is Ten Books That Feature Characters ___________. I went with:

Ten Books That Feature Great Paranormal Characters


Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book #1)
I love the different chimaera!


Written in Red
by Anne Bishop
(The Others, Book #1)
From a blood prophet to a variety of shapeshifters including wolves, crows, coyotes, bears and hawks to vampires and elemental witches, Bishop has woven together an amazing array of unearthly beings.


Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs
(Mercy Thompson, Book #1)
Mercy is a walker and can shift to coyote, and she also has the innate ability to sense magic. She is also one of my favourite kick-ass heroines, and Briggs' world includes werewolves, vampires, fae, and witches.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
by J.K. Rowling
(Harry Potter, Book #1)
I loved the magical setting that Rowling created, with Hogwarts' moving staircases and hidden passageways. There are so many interesting creatures as well such as a hippogrif, centaurs, goblins, ghosts, a three-headed dog, a giant, a troll, dragon, unicorn, devil's snare...and that's just in the first book!


Last Kiss Goodnight
by Gena Showalter
(Otherworld Assassins, Book #1)
From my review: "Showalter’s alternate fantasy world is filled with so many unique creatures! There is a great variety of Otherworlders, each with their own traits and gifts."


by Pamela Palmer
(Vamp City, Book #1)
Traveling by sunbeams to an alternate fantasy world, which is ruled by vamps and where humans are slaves? It's dark and addictive.

by A.G. Howard
(Splintered, Book #1)
Dark and peculiar!

by Christine Feehan
(Sisters of the Heart, Book #1)
This series features six women who have psychic gifts, each bound to an element. The romance is also red hot!

by Kresley Cole
(The Dacians, Book #1)
Set in a parallel paranormal universe with vampires, lykae, trolls, demons, and other unearthly beings.

by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #1)
I'll never tire of this series. Even thought there isn't a vast array of otherwordly creatures (just vamps and Lessers, or de-souled humans), each of the brothers have very distinct personalities and I have enjoyed seeing them evolve over the course of 15 books in this series plus 2 so far in the spin-off.


So, what books contain your favourite fantasy worlds? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post


This is my Wrap-up Post for the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon!


I Finished:


(Dead Wrong, Book #2)
by Jami Alden
[reading]


by Cheryl Strayed
[on my iPod]


Still Reading:

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

It
by Stephen King
[on my iPod, 44 hrs and 57 mins - yikes!]


Unfortunately, my older daughter has been sick for the past week plus we have had family visiting from out-of-town so that I did not have the sit-down time to read as much as I hoped.  However, I did make good progress with It, and I'm almost halfway through it!

I did finish 2 of the 3 books that I had in progress at the start of the read-a-thon: Hide from Evil and Wild. I am still working on Boundaries. I started 2 new books, Afraid to Die and It. I made the biggest dent in It, which I'm really happy about because that one is the biggest book (1,142 pages)!

In total, I finished 2 books and read 969 pages.

Thanks again to Tressa at Wishful Endings for hosting!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf. I really enjoy this series, and it's a good choice for September is for Sequels and RIPXII!

TITLE: Afraid to Die
SERIES: To Die, Book #4
AUTHOR: Lisa Jackson
PUBLISHER: Zebra
PUBLICATION DATE: June 12, 2012
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 416 pages
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781420118506
Afraid to Scream
Others may dread the chill of winter, but he relishes it. The way the frigid water preserves his victims, the feel of their icy skin beneath his fingers... And soon the world will see their beauty—and his vengeance.

Afraid to Run
The town of Grizzly Falls is on edge in the wake of a serial killer, and Detective Selena Alvarez is no exception. That case was solved, but a new nightmare is about to unfold. There are two victims so far—their bodies found frozen solid and deliberately displayed. Both are women she knew. And each wears a piece of Selena’s jewelry…

Afraid to Die
Selena’s partner, Detective Regan Pescoli, and the entire department are on the case, as is P.I. Dylan O’Keefe—a man Selena got too close to once before. But this killer already knows too much about Selena’s secret terror, her flaws, and the past she’s tried to outrun. And soon he’ll show her that she has every reason to be afraid…

I am taking this nine-week course with a group of people, which features DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. I'm looking forward to this! I've heard the book is great.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

I'm listening to:

I have this paperback on my dusty bookshelf. However, given that it's 1,116 pages long, I decided to borrow the audiobook from the library. I know it's crazy long at almost 45 hrs, but at least I'd get through more listening in a day than reading. It will probably take me at least three weeks to get through. This is another good pick for RIPXII!

TITLE: It
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Steven Weber
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: March 9, 2010 (first published 1986)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 44 hrs and 57 mins
GENRE: Horror
They were just kids when the first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.


I just finished:

Nothing last week! My older daughter has been sick, plus we have family visiting so it's been busy and I haven't had much sit-down time to read. I'm making good progress on my audiobook, but it's 45 hours long! I'm nearly halfway through, so I think it will take about two more weeks before I finish it.


What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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



Happy Autumn! On my work commute, I notice how the trees are changing and everything looks so pretty! I'm not so happy about the mess in my backyard from all the fallen leaves, but it's futile to even begin at this point.

I did, however, have to close the pool. I wanted to do that last weekend, but it was cold and rainy and I put it off. It was cloudy yesterday, but at least it wasn't raining. I had to bare the 58 degree water to vacuum and clean the pool, which took about two hours with all the leaves on the bottom. I was numb after the first five minutes, and it took hours afterwards before all the feeling came back in my body. I definitely have to try to get that done earlier in September next year!



I bought this Daily Deal on Audible:


Alice
by Christina Henry
(The Chronicles of Alice, Book #1)


Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post
Friday: Goodreads Summer 2017 Scavenger - Endangered Species Wrap-up Post


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!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Goodreads Summer 2017 Scavenger - Endangered Species: Wrap-up Post



Timeframe: June 21 - September 20, 2017


20/20 books completed

Critically Endangered:
✔1. Amur Leopard
* Read a stand-alone book (not part of a series) - or - read a book with a husband and wife as the main characters.




Read a stand-alone book (not part of a series)

✔2. Black Rhino 
* Read a book with a primarily black cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book where a murder occurs.





Read a book with a primarily black cover






✔3. Bornean Orangutan 
* Read a book set on an island - or - read a book with the letters N-B-O found in the title, in that order.




Read a book set on an island (St. Lucia)

✔4. Hawksbill Turtle 
* Read a book with some sort of fish or water scene on the cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book with a character whose FIRST name starts with a letter in TURTLE (tell us the name).




Read a book with a character whose FIRST name starts with a letter in TURTLE [E = Eva]

✔5. Mountain Gorilla 
* Read a book set in the mountains or with a mountain showing on the cover (show us the cover) - or - read a Series Book #8 OR #13 (tell us the series).




Read a book set in the mountains or with a mountain showing on the cover [set in the mountains on the Pacific Crest Trail]

✔6. Saola - 
* Read a book whose title starts with a letter in SAOLA (disregard, A, An, The) - or - read a book with some sort of significant discovery in the plot (without revealing too much, tell us about the discovery).




Read a book whose title starts with a letter in SAOLA (A=Alice)

✔7. Vaquita - 
* Read a book originally published in 1958 or earlier - or - read a book with a fisherman or a scene where someone goes fishing.




Read a book originally published in 1958 or earlier [first published 1904]

Endangered:
✔8. African Wild Dog 
* Read a book with a total # of pages ending in "0" (tell us how many) - or - read a book with some sort of predator in the story.




Read a book with some sort of predator in the story [serial killer]

✔9. Asian Elephant 
* Read a book with MYTHOLOGY or FANTASY on the main genre page - or - read a book set in Asia. (Use this list to help.)




Read a book with MYTHOLOGY or FANTASY on the main genre page [FANTASY is on the main genre page]

✔10. Bengal Tiger -
* Read a book set in the 1970's - or - read a book where a character injures or kills an animal.




Read a book where a character injures or kills an animal [a cat is drowned]

✔11. Black-Footed Ferret 
* Read a book a book by an author who has a significant gap in his/her publication history; tell us the years involved (ex: P.J. Tracy published books in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, then not again until 2010) - or - read a book that has at least 300 pages (tell us how many).




Read a book that has at least 300 pages [459 pages]

✔12. Blue Whale 
* Read a book with a color word in the title or author's name - or - read a book with some sort of loud noise significant to the plot (thunder, explosion, even screams, etc.).




Read a book with a color word in the title (rose)

✔13. Chimpanzee 
* Read a book with some sort of leafy tree on the cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book involving cousins in some way (tell us how).




Read a book involving cousins in some way (two cousins go on a vacation together with their families)

✔14. Red Panda 
* Read a book with a predominantly red cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book whose title starts with P (including A, An, The).




Read a book whose title starts with P

✔15. Snow Leopard 
* Read a book set in a cold climate - or - read a book with snow in the title or on the cover (show us the cover).




Read a book with snow in the title or on the cover [snow on the cover]






Vulnerable:
✔16. Giant Panda 
* Read Book #26 or #84 on your TBR, sorted in whatever method you choose - or - read a book with a character or author who is from China.




Read Book #26 or #84 on your TBR, sorted in whatever method you choose [#84]


✔17. Giant Tortoise
* Read a book that is the last in a series (or is the last published so far) - or - read a book with a character or author named George (can be first or last name - reasonable similarities accepted, such as Georgie or Jorge).



The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy, Book #2) - 8 Aug 2017

Read a book that is the last in the series (or is the last published so far)

✔18. Great White Shark
* Read a book with teeth on the cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book that took you a long time to read (at least a week).




Read a book that took you a long time to read (at least a week)

✔19. Hippopotamus
* Read a book with some sort of water on the cover that's large enough for a hippo (like a river, lake, or ocean) - or - read a book with the number 8 in the original publication YEAR (tell us the year.




Read a book with the number 8 in the original publication year [2008]

✔20. Marine Iguana
* Read a book with a fence on the cover (show us the cover) - or - read a book with an author whose first or last name starts with M or I.




Read a book with an author whose first or last name starts with M or I (M=Masterton)


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