Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

December Wrap Up

December is coming to an end and I must say that I had a pretty good reading month!  I read twice the number of books in December as I did in November.  In addition to finishing Les Miserables, I read a total of 8 books: that's not my best month ever but it's a lot better than I have done in the past few months.  With the end of December comes the end of the year so I thought I would include my stats for the year in this post. Total books read in 2012 :  112 Number of library books read:  49 Number of books that were historical fiction: 54 Number of non-fiction books read:   14 Number of physical books I own that I read:  21 (This is an epic failure on my part!) Here is what I read in December: 1.) Her Majesty's Will by David Blixt 2.) The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder 3.) Escape by Carolyn Jessop 4.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 5.) Becoming Sister Wives by the Brown Family 6.) The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien 7.) Every Last One by

Stacking the Shelves (29)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews . I had a wonderful Christmas!  The hubs bought me a Nook Simple Touch with the Glow Light feature!  I have been wanting one of these forever.  Now I just need to decide on what cover I want!   I also got two of the Pioneer Woman's cookbooks.  I can't wait to try out some of the recipes!   The hubs gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble and picked up a bunch of new ebooks.  They were having such a great sale, I couldn't resist! Ebooks:  The Distant Hours by Kate Morton One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston Mystic River by Dennis Lehane The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani The Given Day by Dennis Lehane   The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Year End Challenges/Goals Wrap Up

I can't believe 2012 is almost over!  The year went by so fast!  I set a lot of goals for myself for this year and I met some of them but not all of them.  My original 2012 goals post can be found here . Goals for Reading:  I signed up for 5 challenges and completed 3 of them.  I really wanted to finish them all but I had a really hard time with reading towards the end of this year. Back to the Classics Challenge- 9/9 2012 TBR Pile Challenge- 9/10 2012 Support your Local Library Challenge- 24/24 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge- 20/20 2012 Eastern European Reading Challenge- 3/4 I didn't do too well on all of my other reading goals.  I didn't read very many books I owned (only 21 out of 86!) and I didn't read any books in Russian.  I did take a Russian language class in the fall so I think my goal to work on the language skills kind of got met.  My last reading goal was to read one non-fiction book a month.  I did read 14 non-fiction books so I guess I m

Review: "Becoming Sister Wives" by the Browns

From Goodreads:  In many ways, the Browns are like any other middle-American family. They eat, play, and pray together, squabble and hug, striving to raise happy, well-adjusted children while keeping their relationship loving and strong. The difference is, there are five adults in the openly polygamous Brown marriage—Kody and his four wives—who among them have seventeen children. Since TLC first launched its popular reality program Sister Wives, the Browns have become one of the most famous families in the country. Now Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn reveal in their own words exactly how their special relationship works—the love and faith that drew them together, the plusses and pitfalls of having sister wives, and the practical and emotional complications of a lifestyle viewed by many with distrust, prejudice, even fear. With the candor and frankness that have drawn millions to their show, they talk about what makes their fascinating family work, addressing the topics

Quick Review: "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

From Goodreads:  Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. My Thoughts:  I am not going to do a long in-depth review of this book because I think I am one of the last people on Earth to have read/reviewed this book.  I bought it w

"Escape" by Carolyn Jessop

From Goodreads:  .... Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs. My Thoughts:  I have always been really interested in polygamy and have been meaning to read this book for a long time.  Carolyn's story is so sad but it's also inspiring.  She was forced to marry someone much older who she didn't like and had to live in an extremely dysfu

Stacking the Shelves (28)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews . Oh my goodness, I need to stay away from NetGalley!  There are so many books that I want to read! Here is what I got this week: From the Library: Becoming Sister Wives by the Browns (I already finished this and I really liked it!  Review coming soon.) From NetGalley: Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan     The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien   What books did you pick up this week?

An Announcement/Explanation

Hi All!  As you may have noticed, I have been kind of MIA lately.  I have been kind of a reading/blogging rut for a while which hasn't helped but the main cause has been the awesomeness that is first trimester.  That's right, the hubs and I are expecting a little bookworm in June!  We are super excited but I had no idea how badly first tri would affect my reading.  I had no desire to even look at a book!  That has now passed and I am ready to jump back in!  I won't be signing up for any challenges next year because I really just want the freedom to read what I want.  I put a lot of pressure on myself when I sign up for reading challenges and I just don't want to deal with that next year.  I am going to try to be around more (I have a ton of review books to read!) but I may be in and out at times depending on what's going on in my life. Thanks for sticking around even though things have been slow!  I have some fantastic followers!  And for fun I just had to inclu

Review: "The Raven's Heart" by Jesse Blackadder

SYNOPSIS : Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after thirteen years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne. The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen's return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward. Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger, and treachery at every turn. This sweeping, imaginative, and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. My Thoughts:  I have been in a reading rut for weeks and this book was just what I needed to get out of it.  From the first few pages, I was completely sucked into the story.  The ch

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrapup

I signed up for a lot of challenges this year but the one I was most excited about was the 'Back to the Classics' challenge.  I am so happy that I managed to finish it and I read some amazing books!  I think East of Eden was my favorite but The Fellowship of the Rings was a close second. Here is what I read: Any 19th Century Classic – The Scarlet Letter Any 20th Century Classic – East of Eden Reread a classic of your choice The Master and Margarita A Classic Play - Macbeth *Done Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction - Frankenstein Classic Romance The Scarlet Pimpernel Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your language                 Les Miserables      Classic Award Winner - The Age of Innocence       Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime - To Clarify, this does not have to be a country that you hope to visit either. Countries that no longer exist o

Top Ten Books I Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I Read in 2012 I read so many good books this year!  Here are some of my favorites: 1.) You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon 2.) East of Eden by John Steinbeck 3.) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 4.) Moloka'i by Alan Brennert 5.) Broken Harbor by Tana French 6.) Trafficked by Kim Purcell 7.) Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn 8.) Escape by Carolyn Jessop 9.) The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton 10.) Insurgent by Veronica Roth Honorable Mention: Sultry with a Twist by Macy Beckett Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo What were your favorite books this year?

Final Thoughts on "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo

Thoughts on previous sections:  Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3    I did it!! I actually finished Les Miserables!  Honestly, I am so glad I stuck with it.  Overall, this was a beautifully written story.  I struggled with some of the political and historical aspects but it was worth it to push through those parts.  I think it really helped that I broke the book into chunks.  If I had tried to read it all at once, I probably would have given up. I've decided that Jean Valjean is one of my new favorite literary characters.  Despite the fact that the was an escaped criminal, through his actions over the years he completely redeemed himself.  I also think Javert was a pretty interesting character.  Every thing was black or white to him; there was never any gray and I think that is what led to his downfall.  I really hated him in the beginning but as the story went on, I started to understand his point of view.  I'm going to keep this short because it is my 4th post on the boo

Stacking the Shelves (27)

  Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews .   This week I actually had some time to go to the library and look around.  I picked up several different books that have been on my TBR list for awhile.  I can't wait to start reading them!   From the Library:     Every Last One by Anna Quindlen The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe Daughter of the Saints by Dorothy Allred Solomon Escape by Carolyn Jessop   From NetGalley:     A Shot of Sultry by Macy Beckett (Sorry for the bad picture, but I am so excited to read this!)   Have you read any of these books?  What books did you get this week?    

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012 I don't have 10 authors that I fell in love with this year but I do have a couple.  1.) Kate Quinn- Mistress of Rome was an excellent read.  I haven't read any of her other books but I definitely plan to. 2.) Kate Morton- I read two of Kate Morton's books this year and I absolutely loved them.  I went out and bought her other two books though I haven't picked them up yet. 3.) George R.R. Martin- There really isn't an explanation needed here.  Martin is an amazing author. 4.) John Steinbeck- I was always intimidated by the idea of reading Steinbeck.  After reading East of Eden, I am just in awe of his writing. 5.) Elizabeth Loupas- Loupas is a writer of historical fiction.  I read two of her books this year and I definitely can't wait to read any new books she may write. That's all I have.  I

Stacking the Shelves (26)

  Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews .   I got one book this week and I think it looks pretty interesting.  I can't wait to read it!   From Netgalley:     Blood Sisters:  The Women Behind the War of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood   

Review: "Her Majesty's Will" by David Blixt

Synopsis:  Before he was famous, he was a fugitive. Before he wrote of humanity, he lived it. Before he was the Bard of Avon, he was a spy. A very poor spy. England, 1586. Swept up in the skirts of a mysterious stranger, Will Shakespeare becomes entangled in a deadly and hilarious misadventure as he accidentally uncovers the Babington Plot, an attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth herself. Aided by the mercurial wit of Kit Marlowe, Will enters London for the first time, chased by rebels, spies, his own government, his past, and a bear. Through it all he demonstrates his loyalty and genius, proving himself to be - HER MAJESTY'S WILL. My Thoughts:  I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book.  I knew it was about William Shakespeare but I didn't realize that it would be so humorous.  It turned out to be story about Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe whose every move turned into a comedy of errors.  Will gets mixed up in Kit's plans to uncover treason and all ki

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me 1.) Pioneer Woman Cooks:  Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond -I love the Pioneer Woman's show and everything she cooks looks so yummy! 2.) Any of Trisha Yearwood's cookbooks- Her cooking show is one of my new favorites.  I sit in my pajamas and drool while watching her show on Saturday mornings. 3.) Hunger Games in Russian-   I need to practice my Russian skills and this would be a great way to do it. 4.) The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges - I really liked the the first book in this series and can't wait to see what happens next. 5.) One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf -Gudenkauf's books are so good; I definitely want to check this one out. 6.) The Distant Hours by Kate Morton- I love Kate Morton!  I want to read everything she has written! 7.) A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin -I still haven't

November Wrap Up

  November is over!  How did that happen?!  November was a terrible reading month for me.  I only read 3 books and 300 pages in Les Miserables for a total of 103 books for the year.  I am going to be honest, I am in a terrible reading rut at the moment.  There has been a lot going on that has kept me from reading and I am having a really hard time finding something that I really want to read. Hopefully, I get back in my groove in December.  I still have two books to read for my challenges and I am positive that they won't get done this year. Here is what I read in December: 1.) Iced by Karen Marie Moning 2.) The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift 3.) The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning Part 3 of Les Miserables What did you read in November?

Stacking the Shelves (25)

  Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews .   I forgot to post a STS last week so this is what I have picked up in the last two weeks.   For Review: The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder   The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas   What books did you pick up this week?  

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Part 3

Another 300 pages down!  I am now 3/4 of the way done with Les Miserables  and I must say that the last 300 pages were the best so far.  I loved that most of this section dealt with the characters and less of the historical events going on around them.  Cosette and Marius really come to the front of the story and there is a ton of excitment when Jean Valjean and Thenardier meet again.  I felt like I spent a lot of time on edge; there is always this fear that Javert is going to catch up with Jean Valjean and it is as though I'm holding my breath as I continue reading.  I have to say that before I started this section, I wasn't loving the book but now I have changed my mind.  It is such a deep, well-written story with so many characters that all have intertwining stories.  It's confusing at times but still an excellent story.  I can't wait to see how it will all wrap up! 

Review: "The Gilded Lily" by Deborah Swift

Synopsis:   A spellbinding historical novel of beauty and greed and surprising redemption. England, 1660. Ella Appleby believes she is destined for better things than slaving as a housemaid and dodging the blows of her drunken father. When her employer dies suddenly, she seizes her chance--taking his valuables and fleeing the countryside with her sister for the golden prospects of London. But London may not be the promised land she expects. Work is hard to find, until Ella takes up with a dashing and dubious gentleman with ties to the London underworld. Meanwhile, her old employer's twin brother is in hot pursuit of the sisters. Set in a London of atmospheric coffee houses, gilded mansions, and shady pawnshops hidden from rich men's view, Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is a dazzling novel of historical adventure. My Thoughts:  The Gilded Lily is a companion novel to Ms. Swift's first novel, The Lady's Slipper.  It features sisters, Ella and Sadie, as t

Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews .   Happy Veteran's Day everyone!!  I only picked up one book this week which is fine because I am reading at a snail's pace lately.   From the Library:     The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning   What books did you pick up this week?       

Review: "Iced" by Karen Marie Moning

From Goodreads:  Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities. Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux. When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezin

Review: "The Lincoln Conspiracy" by Timothy L. O'Brien

Synopsis:   A nation shattered by its president’s murder. Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy. A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined? In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B&O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy—and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war. Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gaslit streets of the Civil War–