Friday, November 30, 2018


Yatimah (Horse Diaries, #6)Goodreads Synopsis:    For all lovers of horses and history, it's the next book in the popular Horse Diaries series. Born in the Arabian Desert in the ninth century, Yatimah is a black Arabian filly whose name means "orphan." She enjoys her life at the oasis, with sheep to tease, other foals to race, and the daughter of her Bedouin owner to take care of her. But when the colt who is her foster brother is stolen in a raid, Yatimah realizes her true birthright. Like Black Beauty, this moving novel is told in first person from the horse's own point of view and includes an appendix full of photos and facts about Arabian horses and Bedouin culture.

My Thoughts:

-    I knew the Arabian would get a book in this series! 

-    I really liked this one. These later books aren't just fluff. They deal with more emotions, not deep or heavy ones, but still. I like that the books are becoming a tad more serious while retaining the cuteness and heart. 

-    I love that these books take the readers around the world and through time. Each one is set in a different country with different people and cultures. It is really cool.

-    I'm glad Gnome is enjoying these.

-    I liked how Yatimah and her owner how to learn to trust one another, and they forged a slow and deep bond. Earning trust is not always easy.

Previous Horse Diaries Book:

Elska (Horse Diaries, #1) Bell's Star (Horse Diaries, #2) Koda (Horse Diaries, #3)
7819076 Golden Sun (Horse Diaries, #5)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Ghostfaces

26891484Goodreads Synopsis:    When the Brotherband crew are caught in a massive storm at sea, they’re blown far off course and wash up on the shores of a land so far west that Hal can’t recognize it from any of his maps. Eerily, the locals are nowhere in sight, yet the Herons have a creeping feeling they are being watched.
Suddenly the silence is broken when a massive, marauding bear appears, advancing on two children. The crew springs into action and rescues the children from the bear’s clutches, which earns them the gratitude and friendship of the local Mawagansett tribe, who finally reveal themselves. But the peace is short-lived. The Ghostfaces, a ruthless, warlike tribe who shave their heads and paint their faces white, are on the warpath once more. It’s been ten years since they raided the Mawagansett village, but they’re coming back to pillage and reap destruction. As the enemy approaches, the Herons gear up to help their new friends repel an invasion.
In this sixth book in the action-packed Brotherband Chronicles, the Herons find themselves in unfamiliar lands and prepare for battle with a ruthless, unknown enemy.

My Thoughts:

-    The story starts off slow. Besides a giant storm that throws them off course, not a lot happens.

-    If I wasn't so attached to the characters and this world, the story would have been boring, but I enjoyed it because I love everything Flanagan writes. The ending was really good and full of action and peril.

-    I enjoyed meeting a new civilization and culture, and I liked how the Herons interacted with the people. 

-    The ending is a sad and somber one. My heart ached for Stig.

-    It is hard to explain my feelings about this book without spoilers.

Previous books in the Brotherband Chronicles:

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, #1) The Invaders (Brotherband Chronicles, #2) The Hunters (Brotherband Chronicles, #3)
Slaves of Socorro (Brotherband Chronicles, #4) 21456821

The Orphan Keeper

29502649From Goodreads:    Based on a true story.

Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in India, sold to a Christian orphanage, and then adopted by an unsuspecting couple in the United States. It takes months before the boy can speak enough English to tell his parents that he already has a family back in India. Horrified, they try their best to track down his Indian family, but all avenues lead to dead ends.

Meanwhile, they simply love him, change his name to Taj, enroll him in school, make him part of their family—and his story might have ended there had it not been for the pestering questions in his head: Who am I? Why was I taken? How do I get home?

More than a decade later, Taj meets Priya, a girl from southern India with surprising ties to his past. Is she the key to unveil the secrets of his childhood or is it too late? And if he does make it back to India, how will he find his family with so few clues?

My Thoughts:

-    I loved this book! It spoke to me on several personal levels.

-    Wow! Taj's story is incredible and a series of miracles.

-    I related to a lot of Taj's feelings, especially his feelings of longing. When you're adopted, there is always that longing and wonder about your birth family, even though I had a loving family, I have always wondered about my birth family.

-    The book was able to express SO much! 

-    I cried buckets at the end of the book. Taj's reunion with his family is a scene I have fantasized about since I was small child, and I just couldn't hold back the tears.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Herding Cats

35924705Goodreads Synopsis:    Adjusting to life as a world-famous cartoonist isn't easy. Terrifying deadlines, piles of junk-food wrappers under a glowing computer screen, and an ever-growing horde of pets....umm, never mind--it's pretty much the same.

With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen's third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up. But when all else fails and the world around you is collapsing, make a hot chocolate, count the days until Halloween, and snuggle up next to your furry beacon of hope.

My Thoughts:

-    I have a big fan of Sarah's Scribbles. I love how relatable and hilarious her comics are.

-    I kept trying to show my husband specific pages saying, "This is me!" Since I did this with the previous two books as well, he just looked at me and said, "Every page is you." I couldn't help it. Each page is so funny and just like me that I can't help but share.

-    I love that Sarah takes everyday insecurities and other things and makes them funny. I think they are so funny because they are so true. 

-    The illustrations add to the humor. The facial expressions crack me up!

-    If you haven't read any of Sarah's books, you really need to!

Previous Sarah's Scribbles book

25855506 30754980

Golden Sun

Golden Sun (Horse Diaries, #5)From Goodreads:    For anyone who has ever dreamed of hearing a horse’s story...

Oregon, 1790
Golden Sun is a chestnut snowflake Appaloosa. In summer, he treks through the mountains with his rider, a Nez Perce boy named Little Turtle, as he gathers healing plants. But when Little Turtle’s best friend falls ill, Golden Sun discovers his true calling. Here is Golden Sun’s his own words.

With moving and knowledgeable text and lovely black and white art throughout—by a mother-daughter team of horse experts—this is the perfect fit for all lovers of horses and history!

My Thoughts:

-    I use the words cute and heartwarming for each of these books, but I don't think I can say it enough. Cute and heartwarming are the perfect words for the stories!

-    I love the relationship between Golden Sun and Little Turtle. I love that they didn't need words to communicate. They just knew what the other one was thinking and feeling. I love that we can have that kind of deep relationship with animals.

-    I really enjoyed the story and the characters, and Gnome loved it just as much.

Previous Horse Diaries Book:

Elska (Horse Diaries, #1) Bell's Star (Horse Diaries, #2) Koda (Horse Diaries, #3)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Life Debt

Life Debt (Star Wars: Aftermath, #2)Goodreads Synopsis:    Set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the never-before-told story that began with Star Wars: Aftermath continues in this thrilling novel, the second book of Chuck Wendig s New York Times bestselling trilogy.

"It is a dark time for the Empire. . . ."

The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee's homeworld of Kashyyyk.

Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire's remaining leadership across the galaxy. Even as more and more officers are brought to justice, Sloane continues to elude the New Republic, and Norra fears Sloane may be searching for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush resulting in Chewie's capture and Han's disappearance.

Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the Millennium Falcon's last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can't anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs.

My Thoughts:

-    Ask and ye shall receive! I wanted more Han and Leia, and I got a lot more! Hooray! Now if I could just get some Luke in there. Where is he anyway?

-    I loved seeing Han and Leia's relationship. They understand each other's needs as individuals and as a couple.

-    This story was action packed. There was never a dull moment. 

-    I love seeing how the new republic had to struggle after destroying the second death star. Starting a new government is not easy, especially when there is still a big empire presence. 

-    The ending!! Wow! I can't wait to see what happens on Jakku!

Previous Aftermath Book:

Aftermath (Star Wars: Aftermath, #1)

The Holy Temple

The Holy TempleGoodreads Synopsis:    This is a comprehensive book about the LDS temple. It examines in appropriate detail the doctrines and practices which surround that holy building, and particularly their implications for the individual Church member.

Part one offers the Lord's invitation: "Come to the temple." It sets forth the requirements for attendance- basically, preparation through worthiness- and the attitude and behavior appropriate for those attending that holy place on the first and all subsequent occasions. Part two deals in brief fashion with the ancient temples then turns to the central human figure in the work of the temple- Elijah the Prophet, who anciently held the keys relative to the sealing power of the priesthood. Malachi's prophecy and the human tradition about Elijah's return in the latter days are impressively set forth.

Elijah's return and all that it means for the happiness and salvation of mankind are the themes of parts three and four. Following early Restoration scenes, here is the Kirtland Temple built at great personal sacrifice. Dedicated, it fulfills a major purpose in the glorious visions of April 3, 1836, the Savior himself introducing three heavenly beings who then convey priesthood keys. One of these is Elijah. Thereafter the revelations progressively develop the doctrine of temple work for both the living and the dead; under divine direction temple ceremonies are introduced and participants eagerly flock to the Nauvoo Temple; through President Wilford Woodruff the supporting work of lineage linking is clarified by revelation; and the spirit of Elijah is manifest both in and out of the Church as genealogical research and temple work blossom, temples multiply, and those beyond the veil assist those involved in the work here.

The endowment with its sacred covenants and its elevating symbolic instruction, the sealing ordinance, and the other temple ceremonies are discussed sensitively and authoritatively.

My Thoughts:

-    President Packer was always the teacher, and this book shows exactly that! 

-    I was hoping for some spiritual messages and more insight and uplifting things about temples, but this was more of a comprehensive text book of why we have temples, and why we do what we do in the temple.

-    The books covers a lot of history and things. It was a really slow and arduous read.

-    I liked all the information, but I hoping for something a little different. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Invisible Inkling

Invisible InklingFrom Goodreads   The thing about Hank's new friend Inkling is, he's invisible.

No, not imaginary. Inkling is an invisible bandapat, a creature native only to the Peruvian Woods of Mystery. (Or maybe it is the Ukrainian glaciers. Inkling hardly ever gets his stories straight.)

Now Inkling has found his way to Brooklyn and into Hank's laundry basket on his quest for squash—bandapats' favorite food. But Hank has bigger problems than helping Inkling fend off maniac doggies and search for yummy pumpkins: Bruno Gillicut is a lunch-stealing dirtbug caveperson and he's got to be stopped. And who better to help stand up to a bully than an invisible friend?

My Thoughts:

-    My daughter was assigned this book for her school's book club. It only took her a couple days to read it, and she said it was cute and funny. I didn't want to feel left out, so I decided to read it too.

-    Gnome was right. The story was cute and funny. I laughed at several things about the story and the characters.

-    I want a bandapat friend! He was SO cute!

-    I like that Inkling didn't solve all of Hank's problems for him. I liked that Inkling gave him confidence and advice, and Hank gained confidence and learned how to take care of his own problems. 

-    I wish I could go to book club with Gnome, so I could hear what all the kids thought of the book.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

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

Backlist Books I Want to Read

I think every reader has plenty of these on their TBR.

Nicholas Nickleby  The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
The Story of Mankind (Updated)  (Liveright Classics) The Blue Castle
Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)
Three Wishes Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1) Cycle of Hatred (World of WarCraft, #1)

Monday, November 5, 2018

October Stats

Books Read:  11

125553 The Holy Temple Golden Sun (Horse Diaries, #5)
Life Debt (Star Wars: Aftermath, #2) The Orphan Keeper Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3)
The Book of Mormon Made Easier Part 2: Mosiah Through Alma The Ghostfaces (Brotherband Chronicles, #6) Yatimah (Horse Diaries, #6)
Elliot and the Goblin War (Underworld Chronicles #1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Pages Read:  3,036
Shortest Book:  108
Longest Book:  448

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

I didn't read any Newbery books in October, but I'm going to start reading those again.

Friday, November 2, 2018

How Do You Take a Bath?

38398162From Goodreads:    

How do YOU take a bath? 
Does your mama comb your fur?
Do you shake off all your dirt?
Do you splash and flap and quack?
Do the birdies peck your back?

Follow elephants, pigs, monkeys, hippos, and more in this charming rhyming picture book from veteran author Kate McMullan. How does a pig take a bath? It sinks in the mud! What about a chicken? It thrashes about in dust! And a cat? Why, it licks itself clean, of course! Sydney Hanson's adorable illustrations toggle neatly between animals in nature grooming themselves and humorous depictions of children attempting the animals' bathing tactics. By the end of the book, the child finally makes his way to the bathtub, no mud baths or lick baths about it!

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

My Thoughts:

-    This book was adorable!

-    The illustrations were SO cute! My girls and I were going "Awwwwww!" on every page. We almost couldn't handle the cuteness.

-    The rhymes were fun, and the way the children tried to imitate the way different animals bathe made us all laugh. 

-    I really appreciate the diversity. My girls noticed that one of the girls looked like them. My 2 yo even thought it was her sister.

-    This is a book we won't get tired of reading over and over. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Maestoso Petra

7819076Goodreads Says:    Maestoso Petra is a world-famous Lipizzaner stallion. He has spent years in the Spanish Riding School, training to perform the complex airs above the ground that only Lipizzaner can accomplish. But when World War II breaks out in Europe, he learns to think less about performing and more about survival. Here is Maestoso Petra’s story . . . in his own words.

My Thoughts:

-    This was alright, but it wasn't as cute as the other books in the series.

-    The heartwarming relationship with the horse and the humans wasn't there. 

-    The story was a bit dry.

-    I enjoyed learning more about these show horses though.

Previous Horse Diaries Book:

Elska (Horse Diaries, #1) Bell's Star (Horse Diaries, #2) Koda (Horse Diaries, #3)