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Showing posts from December, 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