Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bout of Books 26 Sign Up

It is time for Bout of Books again!
I haven't participated for a while.

Bout of Books Blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I really enjoy this read-a-thon because it is low pressure, and you just read when you can.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Adam of the Road

Goodreads Synopsis:  Awarded the John Newbery Medal as "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" in the year of its publication. "A road's a kind of holy thing," said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. "That's why it's a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It's open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it's home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle." And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father's words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen and Roger had disappeared and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog. Here is a story of thirteenth-century England, so absorbing and lively that for all its authenticity it scarcely seems "historical." Although crammed with odd facts and lore about that time when "longen folke to goon on pilgrimages," its scraps of song and hymn and jongleur's tale of the period seem as newminted and fresh as the day they were devised, and Adam is a real boy inside his gay striped surcoat.

My Thoughts:

-    I started reading Newbery books again! Yay me! I was in the middle of this one when my brother died, so I wasn't sure if I was going to pick it up again, but I did, and I finished.

-    This was a little more enjoyable that previous Newbery books. I liked that characters a lot, and I thought the story was good. 

-    The writing was a little boring, and there were a lot of slow parts in the story.

-    I really liked Adam and his determination to be a good minstrel. I liked his journey and the people he met along the way.

-    Roger was a little weird.

-    I'm a sucker for books with dogs, and I loved Nick.

-    I probably wouldn't read this again, but it was alright. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Reverse Readathon

I participated in Dewey's 24 Hour Reverse Readathon last week. It was a lot of fun.

Readathon Progress:

Hour 1 - 6:00 PM
Pages Read:  55 (Beastly Bones)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  55
Total Books Read:  0

Hour 2 - 7:00 PM
Pages Read:  59 (Beastly Bones)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  114
Total Books Read:  0

Hour 3 - 8:00 PM
Pages Read:  137 (The Iliad)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  251
Total Books Read:  0

Hour 4 - 9:00 PM
Pages Read:  114 (The Iliad)
Books Read:  1
Total Pages Read:  365
Total Books Read:  1
The Iliad

Hour 5 - 10:00 PM
Pages Read:  59 (Beastly Bones)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  424
Total Books Read:  1

Hour 6 - 11:00 PM
Pages Read:  59 (Beastly Bones)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  483
Total Books Read:  1

Hour 7 - 12:00 AM
Went to Bed

Hour 16 - 9:00 AM
Pages Read:  63 (Beastly Bones)
Books Read:  1
Total Pages Read:  546
Total Books Read:  2
Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)

Hour 17 - 10:00 AM
Pages Read:  45 (Johnny Tremain)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  591
Total Books Read:  2

Hour 18 - 11:00 AM
Pages Read:  51 (Johnny Tremain)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  642
Total Books Read:  2

Hour 19 - 12:00 PM
Lunch Break

Hour 20 - 1:00 PM
Pages Read:  42 (Chesire Crossing)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  684
Total Books Read:  2

Hour 21 - 2:00 PM
Pages Read:  66 (Chesire Crossing)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  750
Total Books Read:  2

Hour 22 - 3:00 PM
Pages Read:  48 (Chesire Crossing & Johnny Tremain)
Books Read:  1
Total Pages Read:  798
Total Books Read:  3
Cheshire Crossing

Hour 23 - 4:00 PM
Pages Read:  44 (Johnny Tremain)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  842
Total Books Read:  3

Hour 24 - 5:00 PM
Pages Read:  52 (Johnny Tremain)
Books Read:  0
Total Pages Read:  894
Total Books Read:  3

I had a great readathon. I wish I could have finished Johnny Tremain. I was really close to finishing it. It was fun to sit and read with friends, and I look forward to the next readathon in October. Thanks Dewey!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July Stats

Books Read:  21

Skin and Other Stories The Pumpkin War Brown Girl Dreaming
1154176 The Sleeper and the Spindle
A Small Zombie Problem Wonder The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Jackaby (Jackaby, #1) Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
The Hollow City Star Wars (2015-) #62 Star Wars (2015-) #63
Star Wars (2015-) #64 Star Wars (2015-) #65 Star Wars (2015-) #66
Star Wars (2015-) #67 Adam of the Road Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2)
Waiting for Tom Hanks (Waiting for Tom Hanks, #1)

Pages Read:  4,308

1 Star:  0
2 Stars:  4
3 Stars:  7
4 Stars:  6
5 Stars:  4

I had a killer July! Woo! I've been reading a lot on my own and with Gnome. We really got our summer reading groove on. I'm participating in the Reverse Read-a-Thon this weekend, so hopefully I'll get a few books finished. I don't know if I'll have numbers like this again, but I'll try.

Goal Progress:

I am 20 books behind on my Goodreads goal, which is better than last month. I'm slowly catching up. (73/160)

I read 9 books off my nightstand. I wish the stack was smaller, but I added some books from Book Swap. 

I finished a Newbery Award Book. I'm proud of myself for starting those again. (4/20)

I re-read 5 books! (6/20)

I only finished 2 books for the Pioneer Book Reading Challenge. I need to focus on these books a little more. (20/44)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Dealing with Dragons

Goodreads Synopsis:    Once upon a time there was a bad princess...

Take one bored princess. Make her the seventh daughter in a very proper royal family. Have her run away. 

Add one powerful, fascinating, dangerous dragon. 

The Princess Cimorene has never met anyone (or anything) like the dragon Kazul. But then, she's never met a witch, a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, or a stone prince either. 

Princess Cimorene ran away to find some excitement. She's about to...

My Thoughts:

-    This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. My brother introduced me to this series, and I was excited to share it with my daughter.

-    I love the characters. The dragons are fun, and Cimorene is the best. I love that Cimorene doesn't want to fit the princess mold, so she runs away and volunteers to be a dragon's princess. I'd like to think that I'd do the same.

-    The story is charming, silly, and a feel-good read. Gnome and I both enjoyed it immensly. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I'm Going to Hollywood!

Image result for universal studios los angeles

Jenni, Hava, and I have been talking about going on a girl's road trip for a while. We want to visit Prince Edward Island, but we thought that was a bit ambitious for our first trip together, so we are going to work up to that. We decided our first road trip should be closer to home, but still something we've all wanted to do and haven't. We are going to Universal Studios and Hollywood! Woo!

None of us have been to Universal Studios, and we want to see Hogwarts and drink butter beer. We are going to spend two days in the park and one day touring Hollywood. I'm really excited. I've never been to Hollywood. I want to see the walk of fame, and the place by the Chinese theater where I can put my hands in Audrey Hepburn's hand prints. We are going to hike to the Hollywood sign too! 

We've been talking about this trip for a few weeks, but we actually booked our hotel! It just got real! We are going! Yay! 

I have to say, I am really grateful to my friends. They have helped me so much during my time of mourning. It is still really hard, but my friends have made it a bit more bearable. I really value our time together. I love Jenni and Hava, and I would do just about anything for them. Thanks ladies! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


ChristyGoodreads Synopsis:    Christy Huddleston left home at 19 to teach school in the Smoky Mountains. There she came to know and love the wild mountain people with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, their yearning for beauty and truth. Christy found her faith severely challenged in these primitive surroundings; and, confronted with two young men of unique strengths and needs, she found her own growing yearnings challenged by love.

My Thoughts:

-    Even though I read this book last month, I wanted to review it. My thoughts often wander back to this book and its characters. It is one that has stayed with me and won't let me forget. 

-    The story is charming, heart-breaking, frustrating, and lovely. I enjoyed every moment. 

-    The characters are wonderful. Each of them finds a place into your heart and burrows a little home. I love Christy and her kindness and tenacity. I want to be her when I grow up. I loved all the other characters as well, especially the children and Fairlight. 

-    The characters in the book aren't afraid to ask the hard questions, and I really appreciated that. A lot of the questions asked were similar to my own. Sadly, I don't know if there are answers. The characters were very honest and real about life and faith. 

-    My only complaint with the book is the ending. It ends a little abruptly, and I want to know what happens next! Who does Christy marry!?!?!?

-    I understand why this is a beloved classic. It is a book that beckons to be read again and again. The story and messages are timeless.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Small Zombie Problem

42359659In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

-    The story is a little slow, especially at the beginning. It gets better towards the end. 

-    The zombie doesn't show up until about halfway through the book. I wish the story had focused a little more on her. 

-    I enjoyed the whimsical characters and the family history. The characters are what really drive the story. I hope Madame Marvell shows up more in the series.

-    I really liked reading this with my daughter. It was fun to see her reactions to things. She liked the story, and she thought it was funny, especially the zombie.

Monday, July 1, 2019

June Stats

Books Read:  14

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) Ban This Book
769849 Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley
Suicide The Da Vinci Code Star Wars (2015-) #56
Star Wars (2015-) #57 Star Wars (2015-) #58 Star Wars (2015-) #59
Star Wars (2015-) #60 Star Wars (2015-) #61 Image result for Christy Catherine Marshall

Pages Read:  2,763

1 Star:  0
2 Stars:  1
3 Stars:  10
4 Stars:  2
5 Stars:  1

I had a good mix of books last month. I'm proud of my reading stats. Despite my struggles and grief, I'm still reading. I don't feel like blogging very much, but I am reading, and that is the important part. My family and I are going on a road trip, and we have some audiobooks lined up for the family to listen to on the road. It will be fun. 

Goal Progress:

I am 27 books behind schedule on my Goodreads goal. That is an improvement from last month. (52/160)

8 books in June were from my nightstand. Woo! I also purged a few of them that I wasn't sure if I wanted to read. The stack is getting smaller finally.

I didn't read any Newbery Award Winners. I go back and forth on this goal. (3/20)

I had one re-read from my shelf! My first one of the year! Hooray! (1/20)

I finished 5 books towards the Pioneer Book Reading Challenge. I'm still motivated to finish this goal, at least I'm more motivated to finish this one. (18/44)

Friday, June 21, 2019


Accepting the reality that I am a suicide survivor has been very difficult for me. And that might be the understatement of the year. There are no words to describe the grief and pain I have felt since my brother died. Each day, and a lot of times, each moment is hard to get through. As a reader, I find comfort in the written word. There is something beautiful and unique about seeing thoughts and feelings in black and white on paper. I have been trying to find distractions throughout the day, and I have stumbled across several quotes on Pinterest that I really love. They help me to know that I am not the only one who has had these feelings, and I am not alone. Grief is a lonely thing, and it is so hard to describe, but I wanted to share some of the quotes I've found. I hope they are a comfort to someone else out there as well.

Grieving the Tragic Loss of What Should Have Been - Our Side of Suicide

How does my life ...

no one can tell you when its time for your pain to be over | Grief Quotes

DON’T ask me how I'm doing Don't ask if I’m okay Don't say they're in a better place, as you won't like what I say NO .. Time is not a healer and this was NOT Gods will, If He knew how much I’ve really lost, they would be right here still. I WON’T try to be positive And this wasn't for the best My hearts in broken pieces And it hurts deep in my chest. Don't say, at least they're out of pain Well I'm not, and MAY NEVER be. Their pain is gone, but mines still here It's been passed on to me. ...

People say more than they should. Don't think you can just walk into my life the moment something tragic happens.

How To Find Peace As A Suicide Loss Survivor – Faith + Focus + Frappe

Still hurting


Suicide Awareness on Pinterest | Grief, Lyrics and Rascal Flatts

Sorry there are so many, but I couldn't decide which ones to leave out.