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Monday, December 24, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm reading: 

Something from the library.


PUBLISHER: Knopf
PUBLICATION DATE: May 2, 1995 (first published 1994)
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 160 pages
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
ISBN: 9780679438533
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera, a startling new novel — the story of a doomed love affair between an unruly copper-haired girl and the bookish priest sent to oversee her exorcism.

Of Love and Other Demons is set in a South American seaport in the colonial era, a time of viceroys and bishops, enlightened men and Inquisitors, saints and lepers and pirates. Sierva Maria, only child of a decaying noble family, has been raised in the slaves' courtyard of her father's cobwebbed mansion while her mother succumbs to fermented honey and cacao on a faraway plantation. On her twelfth birthday the girl is bitten by a rabid dog, and even as the wound is healing she is made to endure therapies indistinguishable from tortures. Believed, finally, to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, the Bishop's protege, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train; who is already moved by this kicking, spitting, emaciated creature strapped to a stone bed. As he tends to her with holy water and sacramental oils, Delaura feels "something immense and irreparable" happening to him. It is love, "the most terrible demon of all." And it is not long before Sierra Maria joins him in his fevered misery.

Unsettling and indelible, Of Love and Other Demons haunts us with its evocation of an exotic world while it treats, majestically the most universal experiences known to woman and man.

Natasha Richardson's film credits include Nell, Widow's Peak, The Comfort of Strangers, and The Handmaid's Tale. She has appeared on stage in Anna Christie, High Society, Hamlet,and A Midsummer Night's Dream, among others.

Something from the library. I have the regular edition sitting on my dusty bookshelf, but I wanted to read this new edition which I started during Banned Books Week.

AUTHOR: Anne Frank
PUBLISHER: Anchor Books
PUBLICATION DATE: February 1, 1996 (first published 1947)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 352 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Classics, Autobiography/Memoir
ISBN: 9780385480338
For almost fifty years, Anne Frank's diary has moved millions with its testament to the human spirit's indestructibility, but readers have never seen the full text of this beloved book--until now. This new translation, performed by Winona Ryder, restores nearly one third of Anne's entries excised by her father in previous editions, revealing her burgeoning sexuality, her stormy relationship with her mother, and more.


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.

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.

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

SERIES: Warriors, Book #5
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLICATION DATE: March 17, 2015 (first published 2004)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062367006
Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter's Warriors series a #1 national bestseller--with new editions featuring a striking new look! More thrilling fantasy, fierce warrior cats, and epic adventures await in Warriors #5: A Dangerous Path.

ShadowClan has chosen Tigerclaw as their new leader, and Fireheart fears that this old enemy still harbors dark plans for vengeance on his former Clan. A mysterious threat has invaded the forest, placing every cat's life in peril. And Fireheart's beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors. Fireheart can't help but wonder if she's right--has StarClan abandoned them forever?

Something from the library, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter.

TITLE: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
SERIES: The Herdmans, Book #1
AUTHOR: Barbara Robinson
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLICATION DATE: April 12, 2005 (first published 1972)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 128 pages
GENRE: Childrens/Middle Grade, Holiday/Christmas
ISBN: 9780064402750
Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

This year’s pageant is definitely like no other, but maybe that’s exactly what makes it so special.

I'm listening to:

Something from my review pile.

SERIES: A Magical Cats Mystery, Book #1 
AUTHOR: Sofie Kelly
NARRATOR: Cassandra Campbell
PUBLISHER: Books on Tape
PUBLICATION DATE: June 10, 2014 (first published 2011)
FORMAT: Audio CD, Unabridged
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 28 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
ISBN: 9780553399349
When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.

I just finished:

SERIES: Stephanie Plum, Book #1 
AUTHOR: Janet Evanovich
PUBLISHER: Scribner
PUBLICATION DATE: February 24, 1999 (first published 1994)
FORMAT: 25th Anniversary Edition, ebook
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9780684867311
Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash—fast—but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water—wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight—and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

TITLE: The First Collier
SERIES: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #9
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
PUBLICATION DATE: April 1, 2006 (first published 2005)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 179 pages
GENRE: Fantasy, Childrens, Young Adult
ISBN: 9780439795685
An ancient malevolence that will threaten the very existence of the great tree has been loosed from the past. With his dying breath, Ezylryb tells Soren and Coryn to read the legends of Ga'Hoole hidden in his private library. There, they find a world of treachery and magic in which a young king and queen struggle to keep peace while Grank, their most loyal friend and supporter, studies embers and flames in a distant land. Then a desperate plea comes from the king, and Grank rushes to the aid of his noble friends.

TITLE: Red Rising
SERIES: Red Rising Saga, Book #1
AUTHOR: Pierce Brown 
NARRATOR: Tim Gerard Reynolds 
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books, LLC
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 16 hrs and 12 mins
GENRE: Science Fiction/Dystopia
ASIN: B00I2VWW5U
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

Darrow - and Reds like him - are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies...even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

PUBLISHER: Willowisp Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 1997 (first published 1990)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 142 pages
GENRE: Childrens
ISBN: 0874068290

Randi and Sandi Daniels are thrilled when the hottest teen singer comes to their town. They find out that they get to be in his newest video--but Randi, who has a voice like a frog's, has to sing to save the day. Will they pull the "double trouble switch" again?

SERIES: The 5th Wave, Book #2
AUTHOR: Rick Yancey 
NARRATORS: Phoebe Strole and Ben Yannette 
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 16, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 13 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781611762990
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

TITLE: Dead Sexy Dragon
SERIES: Dragon Heat, Book #1
AUTHOR: Lolita Lopez
PUBLISHER: Forever Yours
PUBLICATION DATE: August 6, 2013 
FORMAT: Ebook
LENGTH: 128 pages
GENRE: Fantasy/Dragons, Romance/Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9781455547043
The last thing dragon shifter Stig Wyvern needs is his dead friend’s kid sister showing up on his doorstep. He’s just minutes away from entering a mating phase. Sharing his isolated house with the young woman he’s desperately lusted after for quite some time is a recipe for disaster.

But Cora Cardenas has nowhere else to go. She’s in deep trouble with some really nasty people and Stig is the only one who can protect her. That he’s deliciously sexy and makes her tingle with the simplest of smiles is just a bonus.

Cora quickly realizes Stig is hiding something from her. To make matters worse, she’s plagued with breathtakingly naughty dreams starring a shadowed lover who bears a startling resemblance to her host. And just what the hell is going on down in the basement at night?

Stig needs to get Cora out of his house but his inner beast has other ideas. He’s found his mate and she’s not going anywhere...

TITLE: The Giver
SERIES: The Giver, Book #1
AUTHOR: Lois Lowry
NARRATOR: Ron Rifkin
PUBLISHER: Books on Tape
PUBLICATION DATE: June 27, 2006 (first published 1993)
FORMAT: Audiobook, Unabridged
LENGTH: 4 hrs and 49 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9780739344569

It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. Thus begins this haunting story in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life. THE GIVER December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man - the man called only the Giver - he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world. Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

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!

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