Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

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One of my local independent book stores is doing a reading challenge this year. My friends and I are participating, and I'm really excited to talk about the books we check off our challenge.

2019 Reading Challenge:

First book in a series
Man Booker Prize Winner or Nominee
Book by a Female Author
Book Recommended by a Friend or Family
Newbery Award Winner or Honor
Pioneer Book Employee Pick
Book by an African-American Author
BOok from the Self-Help Section
Book by an Author You've Never Heard Of
Oprah's Book Club Selection
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller from 1960s
Book by a Nobel Prize Winning Author
Book with a Red Cover
Play or Screenplay
Book from the Poetry Section
Collection of Short Stories
National Book Award Winner or Nominee
Book from the Nature/Ecology Section
Book from the New Arrivals Display
Book You've Never Heard Of
Book Set in or Written About Your Home State
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller from the 1970s
Pioneer Book Customer Pick
Pulitzer Prize Winner or Nominee
Book from the Biography Section
Book by an Author Born Over 100 Years Ago
Book from the US History Section
Book from the Sports Section
Book with a Strong Female Lead
Book Published the Year You Were Born
Book Involving the Ocean
Nonfiction Book You Probably Disagree With
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller from the 1980s
Book Translated to English
Hugo or Nebula Winner or Nominee
Book from the Westerns Section
Book from the True Crime Section
Christmas or Holiday Book
History of a Foreign Country
Book with 500+ Pages
Book from the Science Section
Book from the Bestsellers Display
Book Set in or Written about Utah
Publisher's Weekly Bestseller from the 1990s

Some of these are going to be real challenge to read. If you notice, they want the people doing the challenge to come into the store a lot. They probably want us to buy all these books, but I'm just going to get books from the library.

If you complete the challenge, you get a $50 gift card to the store.

Monday, February 11, 2019

How I Became a Spy

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

From Goodreads   From the award-winning author of The Great Trouble comes a story of espionage, survival, and friendship during World War II. 

Bertie Bradshaw never set out to become a spy. He never imagined traipsing around war-torn London, solving ciphers, practicing surveillance, and searching for a traitor to the Allied forces. He certainly never expected that a strong-willed American girl named Eleanor would play Watson to his Holmes (or Holmes to his Watson, depending on who you ask).

But when a young woman goes missing, leaving behind a coded notebook, Bertie is determined to solve the mystery. With the help of Eleanor and his friend David, a Jewish refugee--and, of course, his trusty pup, Little Roo--Bertie must decipher the notebook in time to stop a double agent from spilling the biggest secret of all to the Nazis.

From the author of The Great Trouble, this suspenseful WWII adventure reminds us that times of war call for bravery, brains and teamwork from even the most unlikely heroes.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a fun story, but I don't have much to say about it.

-    I liked that the book was a mystery and historical fiction. It was fun to see WWII from a younger perspective.

-    I really liked learning about different codes and how to decipher them.

-    The relationship between Bertie and his dog is really cute. 

-    The story starts out slow, but it gathers interest along the way.

-    I think this was a fun and cute story, and I think the target audience will have a lot of fun with it. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Glass Sword

Goodreads Synopsis:    If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Thoughts:

-    I thought the momentum from the first book would carry on throughout the second book, especially with how things ended in Red Queen. Sadly, this one moved slower. The urgency and thrill wasn't there.

-    Most of the book is about Mare searching for more new bloods like her. It was interesting, but there wasn't a lot to move the story along. 

-    Mare was a jerk for most of the story. I didn't like the way she treated Cal, Kilorn, her family, and everyone else. There wasn't a lot of character growth from anyone. 

-    The repetition got really annoying. Mare's monologues in her head were long winded, and sometimes I just wanted to smack her! You are the lighting girl! I get it! You don't have to say it ALL the time!

-    Despite my complaints, I'm still enjoying the story a lot. There were still a lot of great scenes, and I'm excited to continue the series.

Friday, February 1, 2019

January Stats

Books Read:  7

And Then There Were None 17878931 Orphan Island
Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) Star Wars (2015-) #50 Star Wars (2015-) #51
Elliot and the Pixie Plot (Underworld Chronicles #2)

DNF:  1

The Assassin's Masque (Palace of Spies, #3)

Pages Read:  1,598

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

I didn't read as much as I wanted to this month. My friends got me hooked on knitting, so that has taken up a lot of my free time. I'm trying to do audiobooks while knitting, but Netflix is so darn tempting.

I read some good books in January. I've never read an Agatha Christie book before, and I really liked it. I'm hoping to read more soon.

Goal Progress:

Goodreads says I'm 6 books behind schedule. I'm not too worried. I have time to catch up.

4 of the 7 books came from the stack of books on my night stand, so that is a big win!

I didn't read any Newbery books, whoops!

Elliot and the Pixie Plot is a re-read, but I'm not counting it since I read it with and for Gnome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Didn't Get To

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Books I Meant to Read in 2018 but Didn't Get To

This could be a long list. There is never enough time to read all the books I want to.

Daniel Boone Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
May Bird and the Ever After (May Bird, #1) Star Wars (2015-) #50
Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel (Star Wars) Hunted
Truly Madly Guilty The Scourge
Black Butler, Vol. 1 (Black Butler, #1) Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Orphan Island

Goodreads Synopsis:    On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

My Thoughts:

-    I understand what the author was trying to say, and I get that the story is symbolic, but I wanted more. 

-    There were little clues about the kids and the island, but no questions were really answered. I want to know why the kids are on the island. Where do they come from? Where do they go when they get on the boat? 

-    The story was fine, and it kept me reading, but the characters were annoying, especially Jinny. I didn't like Jinny at all. She was very self-centered and couldn't get along with anyone. Deen was a saint to be her friend. Ben was the only one I really liked, but I wish he had put Jinny in her place a bit more.

-    I felt like the book could be for a slightly older audience. I understand why 11-12 year olds hold on to childhood things, but they don't necessarily need to really give them up for a few more years. Teens for sure need to give up childhood things as they start transitioning to adulthood. This is just my opinion on it. 

-    Despite not loving the book, I am glad I read it. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Goodreads Synopsis:    This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...

My Thoughts:

-    Wow! This book was one wild ride!

-    This book got a lot of buzz when it came out, and it deserved it.

-    I picked this book up a while ago, but I had just finished reading Pierce Brown's book, and I wanted something different, so I put it down. I always planned on picking it up again, and I'm so glad I did! I just wish I had picked it up sooner.

-    The characters were complex and I never knew who to trust or not. I still don't. 

-    The story was gripping from beginning to end. The story was begging me to come back to it when I wasn't reading. I was so hooked. 

-    Oh the feels! I felt hope, loss, betrayal, excitement, anger, etc. It was amazing!

-    The ending is killer! I can't wait to read what happens next!

Monday, January 7, 2019

December Stats

Books Read:  5
25784172 Heidi The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope #1)
Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies, #1) Dangerous Deceptions (Palace of Spies, #2) 

Pages Read:  1,470
Shortest Book:  132
Longest Book:  384

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

I decided to stop reading the Horse Diary books. I read a lot of them, and I just can't keep up with Gnome. It was stressing me out.

My reading slowed down a lot towards the end of the year, but I'm hoping to read more in January. The new year always get me pumped up to read.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were NoneGoodreads Synopsis:    First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

My Thoughts:

-    This was my first Agatha Christie novel, and I really enjoyed it! I love a good whodunit story.

-    The beginning was a little slow, and it took a while to familiarize myself with the 10 victims, but once the murders began I was hooked.

-    The story is very clever and suspenseful. I thought I had figured out whodunit, but I was wrong. . . mostly.

-    I love that the book kept me guessing. I wanted to know how each person died and how it fit into the rhyme. I wanted to know who the killer was, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. 

-    I was surprised at how well the story holds up. For a book from the 30s, it is still fun. 

-    I think will read more from Christie, and I'm beginning to understand why she is so popular.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Goals

Image result for Happy new Year 2019

We made it to a new year!
A new year = new reading goals!

My Goals:

I set my Goodreads Challenge to 160 books.

I'd like this stack to be read:

I want to continue reading the Newbery books. I'm going to aim for 20 this year.

I want to re-read the books on my bookshelves. I'm going aim for 20 of those too!

4 Goals! 1 Year!
Let it begin!

Good luck with all your goals this year!