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)