OPEN GIVEAWAYS

None at this time. Check back soon!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Wrap-up


Spring has sprung! It's hard to believe that winter is over (doesn't look like it just yet, with that white stuff still on the ground!), and soon the warmer weather will be on the way!

Last month, I had an all-time high of 13 books read which is way up from 9 in 2017.

I finished 12 books this month, which is way up from 7 books in 2017. I'm super happy with that!!


FROM MY BOOKSHELF:


3 stars
Fear Nothing
by Dean Koontz
(Moonlight Bay, Book #1)


4 stars
The Bat
by Jo Nesbo
(Harry Hole, Book #1)


5 stars
Forest of Secrets
by Erin Hunter
(Warriors, Book #3)


5 stars
Before I Wake
by Robert J. Wiersema


4 stars
Into the Light
by Aleatha Romig
(The Light, Book #1)


FROM THE LIBRARY:

5 stars
Wonder
by R.J. Palacio
(Wonder, Book #1)


4 stars
Sins & Needles
by Karina Halle
(The Artists Trilogy, Book #1)


4 stars
Dreamfall
by Amy Plum
(Dreamfall, Book #1)


FOR REVIEW:


3 stars
Burn Bright
by Patricia Briggs
(Alpha & Omega, Book #5)


4 stars
The Night Child
by Anna Quinn


4 stars
The Liar's Girl
by Catherine Ryan Howard


4 stars
The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
(The 5th Wave, Book #1)


There were a few stand-out favourites this month: 


  • Forest of Secrets by Erin Hunter: I am still loving the Warriors series, which I'm reading aloud to my daughter. She actually finished this one ahead of me, taking it to school to read it on her own during class-time silent reading. 


  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio: This was another that I read aloud to my daughter. It should be required reading for every man, woman, and child! What a great message and reminder to all humans to always choose kindness.


  • Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema: This one was the dark horse, and bonus that it turned out to be a debut from a Canadian author. I devoured it. It broke my heart multiple times over but still managed to have a feel-good element to it.


I didn't read any books that were less than 3 stars, but I would have to say that Burn Bright was the most disappointing simply because the Alpha & Omega series has always been a favourite of mine and for me are usually 4 or 5 star reads. This one didn't quite live up to my expectations, but it was still enjoyable.

I discovered seven new authors (including two Canadians: Wiersema and Halle), I started six new series (Koontz's Moonlight Bay, Palacio's Wonder, Nesbo's Harry Hole, Yancey's The 5th Wave, Halle's The Artists Trilogy, and Romig's The Light), I caught up on one series (Briggs' Alpha & Omega), and I continued on in one series (Hunter's Warriors).

I read eight backlist books compared to three new releases, which is why the number of review books was higher than usual. My Goodreads goal of breaking 100 this year tells me that I'm currently eight books ahead of schedule and should exceed my goal!

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]

Year To Date Total: 32 books
[18 shelf-love, 6 library, 8 review]

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

Friday, March 30, 2018

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Wonder by R.J. Palacio @RJPalacio @OUPChildrens #ChooseKind

TITLE: Wonder
SERIES: Wonder, Book #1
AUTHOR: R.J. Palacio
PUBLISHER: Oxford Childrens
PUBLICATION DATE: April 1, 2013 (first published 2012)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 400 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary
ISBN: 9780198391012
Educational edition of this warm and moving novel about an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face

Features:

An extremely moving and engaging novel that is sure to become a classroom favourite

Told from multiple perspectives, with opportunities to explore narrative, perspective, timeline and precepts

Themes of friendship, bullying, self-image and social responsibility

Supported by extensive teacher resources online and student-focused Reading Guides

Durable, soft cover your students will want to pick up

MY REVIEW:

My younger daughter's teacher was reading this aloud to the class, and my daughter wanted us to also read it together at home so that we could watch the movie afterwards.

Be forewarned: You are going to need a lot of Kleenex! I am so pleased that my daughter's Grade 4 class is using this book for a novel study. It's such an inspiring story, and it has a beautiful message that speaks to the heart of all readers.

August "Auggie" Pullman is a ten-year-old boy, who was born with severe facial deformities. He has had many surgeries in his young lifetime, but he will never look "normal" by any stretch. His mom has homeschooled him, and he has been sheltered from the public eye for the most part. His parents decide that it's time for him to start public school in Grade 5, given that most kids will be transitioning from primary to middle school so they reason that he won't be the only new kid in the group. The principal, Mr. Tushman, invites Auggie and his mom to see the school before the new year starts. He has also invited several children to introduce to Auggie so that he has an opportunity to meet some of his classmates and for them to give him a tour of the school. Auggie likes Jack, but Julian is one of those kids who act all sweet and innocent around adults but is cruel to other kids. 

As is expected, most of the kids are mean to Auggie and treat him like an outcast. However, Auggie does develop a close friendship with Jack and things are great until Auggie overhears Jack badmouthing him. Auggie shuts Jack out, and he is back to flying solo until a sweet girl named Summer befriends him. Jack pleads with Summer to tell him why Auggie won't be friends with him anymore, but Summer promised Auggie that she wouldn't tell. She gives Jack a hint, and then it all falls into place and he's horrified that Auggie overheard what he said. Jack smooths things over with Auggie and the two are back to being best buds. As the school year passes, most of the kids get used to Auggie and no longer treat him like a social pariah. The camping trip is when something monumental happens, and it changes everything.

The book is told from multiple points of view, which really allows the reader to see what is happening from different perspectives.

Wow, this book!! I laughed, and I cried!! Auggie is a wonderful character with a great sense of humor who is wise beyond his years. He is funny and strong, with an unbelievably thick skin. His older sister, Olivia, is the perfect big sister. She is very protective of her little brother and loves him dearly, but she hides her pain at not getting enough of her parents' attention. She knows that Auggie needs more of them than she does, and she steps aside and never resents him for it. It was so tough to see her hurting, too...and to hide her true feelings. Auggie's parents are the best: True partners as a couple and as parents. My heart just melted at the end of the book, and I think I fell in love with Mr. Tushman! Here's one reason why - an excerpt of his graduation speech:


“The strength of one’s courage,” he repeated quietly, nodding and smiling. He held up his right hand like he was counting off. “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness. And this is what the Henry Beecher medal is all about: recognizing greatness."


"But how do we do that? How do we measure something like greatness? Again, there’s no yardstick for that kind of thing. How do we even define it? Well, Beecher actually had an answer for that."

He put his reading glasses on again, leafed through a book, and started to read. “Greatness,” wrote Beecher, “lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength…He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts…”

This is the type of book that will stay with you longer after you finish it, and every parent should read this book to their child so that you can discuss its many themes (the Golden Rule, friendship, not judging a book by its cover, accepting diversity, bullying, importance of family, courage, etc.). This book is not just for kids. It should be required reading for every man, woman, and child. I know of many adults who need reminding that they should be more compassionate and less selfish! The principle of choosing kindness is so basic, and it could change the world if everyone would behave with this in mind.

Other memorable quotes:

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”

“The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” 


I have already requested the omnibus from the library featuring the three novellas told from the points of view of Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte.

I borrowed the DVD for the 2017 movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, and we just loved it! Whoever did the casting did a phenomenal job, and Owen Wilson is the perfect cool dad and who doesn't love Julia Roberts?! It's a perfect family movie. Here's the movie trailer:



MY RATING:

5 stars!! It was superb, and I will likely re-read it again. Every parent should read this to their child!

This book qualifies as:
#11 for my Strictly Print Reading Challenge
#5 for my 2018 Library Love Challenge
#21 for my Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge
#19 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#10 for my New Author 2018 Reading Challenge
#11 for my 2018 Try Something New Challenge
Advanced #9 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#4 for my Read Harder Challenge 2018
#14 for my Blydyn Square Books 2018 Reading Challenge
#2B for my Color Coded Reading Challenge
#2B for my 2018 Literary Escapes Challenge
#6 for my Middle Grade Reading Challenge
#21A for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#8 for my 2018 Platypire Diversity Challenge
#5 for my 2018 YA Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2018 Book to Movie Reading Challenge
#5 for my Bookish Bingo Spring 2018
#4 for my Chapter Break Bingo March 2018
#3 for my March 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

Thursday, March 29, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Liar's Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard @cathryanhoward @BlackstoneAudio

PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: February 27, 2018
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 25 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504782487
Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin's elite St. John's College -- and Ireland's most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his five young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city's Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John's and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed...and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer -- and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who'd been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman's body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess -- but there's only one person he's prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she's worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn't set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all...
MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

Howard has, once again, hooked me!

Allison is devastated when her best friend, Liz, is murdered. Her boyfriend, Will, is not only convicted of the crime but of several other murders in the same area where female college students have been dumped in the Grand Canal in Dublin. With the serial killer locked away in a psychiatric hospital, all is quiet...at least for a while. When the body of another female college student is found in the Grand Canal a decade later, Will is questioned and the police wonder whether he worked with a partner all those years ago or whether this is a copycat killer. The police contact Allison, and ask if she would visit Will in the hopes that he will open up to her. Will claims that there is no copycat, but that the one responsible for the recent murders and the ones all those years ago is one and the same. Allison agrees to help Will prove his innocence.

The book is mostly told from two points of view -- Allison and Will -- in a dual timeline (then and now). Periodically, there is a third point of view from the killer.

I really enjoyed Howard's new mystery. There was a lot of suspense, and the narratives told from the killer's point of view were so creepy and gave me the heebie-jeebies! I was blindsided by the twist, and I love it when an author can do that to me!

The three points of view are narrated by three different people: Alana Kerr Collins, Alan Smyth, and Gary Furlong. I immediately recognized Alan Smyth, who narrated Howard's previous release, Distress Signals. Just as he did in that audiobook, Smyth had me riveted from start to finish. Collins and Furlong also had me engaged with their portrayals of Allison and Will. Each of the narrators totally sucked me into the story, and it was a great listen! 
Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy mysteries. Thanks again to Blackstone Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook.

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Night Child by Anna Quinn @annaquinn55 @BlackstoneAudio

AUTHOR: Anna Quinn
NARRATOR: Cassandra Campbell
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: January 30, 2018
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 52 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781538422366
Nora Brown teaches high school English and lives a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl's face appears above the students' desks--"a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora's body--the kind of raw terror you feel when there's no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire--when you think you might die."Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. Shaken and unsteady, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered--a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.This breathtaking debut novel examines the impact of traumatic childhood experiences and the fragile line between past and present. Exquisitely nuanced and profoundly intimate, The Night Child is a story of resilience, hope, and the capacity of the mind, body, and spirit to save itself despite all odds.
MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

Quinn's debut is an emotional read, which I found it difficult to put down. I will definitely read more from this author!

Nora is a teacher, and she is startled one day to see a girl's face with blue eyes floating in her classroom. She brushes it off, not really sure what she saw. Nora and her husband spend every Thanksgiving at a lodge on the coast, and they take their six-year-old daughter Fiona with them. While there, Nora has another hallucination and hears a child's voice telling her to remember the Valentine's dress. She feels like she is having a nervous breakdown, but her husband Paul isn't really concerned. He just tells her to eat more! The problem with Paul is a different issue. Nora feels neglected by him and she thinks he is having an affair. Back to Nora: The neurologist runs tests and can't find anything wrong with her, but he suggests that she may wish to talk to a psychiatrist. Nora has no idea why she would need to, but she takes the doctor's advice. She doesn't really believe that it will help, but she figures that she doesn't have anything to lose.

What is uncovered during Nora's sessions was something that I wasn't expecting. This deals with



so at times it was very disturbing and difficult to hear. My heart just broke for Nora, and I loved Quinn's portrayal of David, the therapist, as he worked things through with her. Through David, Quinn explains to the reader what is happening with Nora's mind which I found both fascinating and gut-wrenching.

I've listened to other books by Cassandra Campbell, and I've always enjoyed her. She captivated me with her reading, and I was literally hanging on to her every word. At one point, I was moved to tears. Campbell handled the emotional content like a pro. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy contemporary fiction. Thanks again to Blackstone Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook.

This book qualifies as:

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Obscura by Joe Hart @AuthorJoeHart @AmazonPub #ThomasMercer #BrillianceAudio

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:

TITLE: Obscura
AUTHOR: Joe Hart
PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: May 8, 2018
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 352 pages
GENRE: Science Fiction
ISBN: 9781503949898
She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

Ooooh, I like the sounds of this one! I like that it involves a journey into space.


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, March 27, 2018

Books That Take Place In Another Country #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

The topic for today's list is:

Books That Takes Place In Another Country

Here are my favourites:

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
by M.C. Beaton
(Agatha Raisin, Book #1)
This series takes place in the Cotswolds of England. I love the setting, with the cottages and their thatched roofs. It seems so cozy and picturesque!

Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden
This one is set in Japan, and the writing is so beautiful!

The Yard
by Alex Grecian
(Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, Book #1)
This one is set in Victorian era London. I'm not normally one for this era, but it is so richly detailed and has fantastic characters. I need to read more of this series!

Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
(Frank McCourt, Book #1)
This one takes place in the slums of Ireland. It's a bit of a slow read, and it's sad.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This one takes place on the island of Guernsey, shortly after the German occupation following WWII. This is my go-to recommendation for an audiobook. Absolutely riveting performance by the narrators, and this is the audiobook that got me hooking on listening to books!

Battle Royale
by Koushun Takami
This one totally blew me away! If you love survival stories and are not squeamish about violence, pick this one up. This is another one set in Japan. With all the Japanese names (originally written in Japanese and then translated to English), I recommend the audiobook over reading. The Hunger Games was based on this book. This one will remain one of my favourite books of all time.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne
This one takes place in Poland at a Nazi concentration camp. It's such a moving and powerful story, and your heart will ache after reading it.

Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive
by Laura Hillenbrand
This biography is both heartbreaking and inspiring. The beginning and end of the book takes place in the USA, but the middle is set while Zamperini is lost at sea and then in Japan when he was in a POW camp.

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
This one takes place mostly in Afghanistan. From my review: "This gut-wrenching story of love, friendship, betrayal, and redemption moved me to tears!" Get the audiobook read by the author!

Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance and Hope
by Wendy Holden
This biography is about three ladies (one from Poland, one from Slovakia, and one from Czechoslovakia), who were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. From my review: "This remarkable story of how three women not only survived the atrocities of Auschwitz but had babies who also survived will break your heart and leave you in awe!"

The Dinner
by Herman Koch
This one is set in Amsterdam. From my review: "So, an interestingly dark tale of how far someone would go to protect a loved one! There were secrets, secrets, and more secrets!"



So, what are your favourite books that take place in another country? 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, March 26, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm reading: 

Something from the dusty bookshelf. Plus, he's a Canadian author!

TITLE: Before I Wake
PUBLISHER: Vintage Canada
PUBLICATION DATE: June 12, 2007 (first published 2006)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Fiction
ISBN: 9780679313748
They say there are three sides to every story. Yours, mine and the truth. In Before I Wake, debut novelist Robert J. Wiersema cleverly introduces a multitude of voices to tell this astonishing story of loss, redemption and forgiveness. And the truth? Well, when miracles start happening around Sherry Barrett, a three-year-old girl in a coma, explanations of a rational kind no longer seem important.

Injured by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street, Sherry Barrett lies in a hospital where her doctors say she will never wake up. Her distraught parents, Karen and Simon, make the painful decision to take her off life support. But when they do, Sherry spontaneously begins breathing on her own, the first of many miraculous events to occur.

Henry Denton, the driver who struck Sherry, is haunted by the accident and attempts to take his own life, only to be saved by an unexplained force. Sherry’s nurse discovers that the little girl has the power to heal. When word of her gift leaks, the sick begin lining up to be saved and a mysterious stranger sets his sights on vanquishing the believers and the Barretts.

Before I Wake delicately brings together grandiose leaps of faith with the fragility of every day moments. There’s a fly-on-the-wall quality in Wiersema’s observations, as his realistically flawed characters struggle with guilt, self-loathing and belief while they go about their daily lives. The novel’s fractured narrative style is propulsive and unexpected at every turn, and succeeds in raising questions about times of great faith, and what happens when they happen to the most unlikely of people.

“I believe in miracles — we see them around us all the time,” Wiersema says. “I believe in not having the answers, in there being forces beyond our understanding.”

Not only am I a first generation Canadian, but immigration is my profession. 

PUBLISHER: Caitlin Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 7, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781987915341
Edited by Miriam Matejova, Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and world-views that underline the immigrant condition for women.

A yellow dress with ruffles, a kind Grade 1 teacher with a surname that’s difficult to spell, cockroaches in the bathroom, the contempt of strangers, and Whitney Houston on the radio–a Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. Browsing through a Polish fashion magazine at a European deli, a woman sees herself in an alternative universe of what her life might have been had she never immigrated to Canada. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive a seventeen-foot truck through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents.

Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

I completed a nine-week course with a group of people, which featured DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. The book is a lot to digest, and I'm still reading it in chunks.

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.

Something from the library. I really enjoy this author, and I find him to be very inspirational!

AUTHOR: Joel Osteen
PUBLISHER: FaithWords
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781455534326
The same God that leads you through green pastures guides you through the valleys. #1 New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen shares how God uses the darkness in life for good.

All of us at some time encounter dark places that we don't understand: a loss, a sickness, a divorce, a child who breaks our heart. It's easy to get discouraged, give up on our dreams, and just settle there. We may not realize it, but when we feel buried in dark places, we are being blessed. God is using those experiences to help us grow, because we cannot reach our highest potential if we're standing in the light all the time. With Blessed in the Darkness, you will learn how to draw closer to God and trust Him when life doesn't make sense.

If we will go through the valley trusting, believing, and knowing that God is still in control, then we will come to the table that is already prepared for us, where our cup runs over.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. We are loving this series!

TITLE: Rising Storm
SERIES: Warriors, Book #4
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: Avon Books
PUBLICATION DATE: February 15, 2005
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 336 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 0060525630
Fireheart's traitorous enemy Tigerclaw has been vanquished and exiled from Thunder Clan -- but Fireheart can't shake the feeling that he's lurking in the forest, waiting for his chance to strike.

That's not the only problem facing the young warrior in these blazing summer months, as he struggles to handle sinister omens, an apprentice with a shocking secret, and a devastated Clan leader who is a shell of her former self.

Meanwhile the forest gets hotter and hotter ... and everyone braces for the coming storm... Ages 10+.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. This is from my vintage set of Bobbsey Twin books that I had when I was a kid!

SERIES: Original Bobbsey Twins, Book #2
AUTHOR: Laura Lee Hope
PUBLISHER: Grosset & Dunlap
PUBLICATION DATE: 1961 (first published 1907)
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 179 pages
GENRE: Childrens, Mystery
ISBN: 0448080028
Join the Bobbseys as they barely escape a frightening encounter with a ferocious bull in this countryside adventure!

I'm listening to:

Something from my Audible library.

SERIES: The Light, Book #1
AUTHOR: Aleatha Romig
NARRATORS: Kevin T. CollinsErin deWard and Noah Michael Levine
PUBLISHER: Audible Studios
PUBLICATION DATE: June 14, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 17 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ASIN: B01GSJGJNI
Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news from the mean streets of Detroit, where she's noticed a disturbing trend: Young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella digs for answers - despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend - following a twisted trail that leads her through the city's most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she's awakened to - an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience - and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can't recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price....

I just finished:

TITLE: The 5th Wave
AUTHOR: Rick Yancey
NARRATORS: Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: May 7, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 45 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781624068676
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


SERIES: The Artists Trilogy, Book #1
AUTHOR: Karina Halle
PUBLISHER: Forever
PUBLICATION DATE: August 26, 2014 (first published 2013)
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Romance/Contemporary
ISBN: 9781455552191
There's a Fine Line Between Sin and Salvation . . .

Ellie Watt is a woman on the run. Raised by a pair of thieves who taught her the art of the grift-and pursued by a mobster who fell for her con-she hopes to find refuge at her uncle's farm in quiet Palm Valley, California. Ellie swears she's through with her life of crime. But before she knows it, she's right back in the game when she meets an easy mark who's too good-and too hot-to be true. His name is Camden McQueen. A master tattoo artist and a total inked stud, Camden is nothing like the awkward kid who crushed on Ellie back in high school. Now, as owner of the wildly successful Sins & Needles, he's got tats to kill for, muscles to die for, and money to burn. Ellie can't believe the transformation-and can't resist pulling off one last con. But when Camden catches Ellie red-handed, the tables are turned. The mark becomes the master. And when the ultimate player gets played, you never know who's going to end up on top . . .

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!
Copyright 2012 Darlene's Book Blog Design by Parajunkee Design