Winter Respite Reading Challenge

Monday, January 8, 2018

Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini

Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini

Title: Christmas Bells
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini 
Published: October 27, 2015 by Dutton 
The copy I read was paperback and included 336 pages. 

This book will appeal to many groups of people: those who enjoy history, literature buffs, music lovers, and those who enjoy romantic, perfect endings. I am all of those. I got a little bogged down with the historical sections. I felt the pace dragged a bit through there, but it was interesting in retrospect. This novel included so many things. The Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family, the war in Aphganistan and families at home dealing with deployment of their loved ones, the priesthood and how it affects a family, a Senator's influence and his wife's responsibility serving alongside him. So much, yet it worked. I loved how Ms. Chiaverini wrapped everything up and tied it with a big bow! That's my kind of Christmas tale! I will never hear or sing or play "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" the same again. 


I gave it 5 stars - I thought about giving it 4 stars because the historical parts were kind of long, but in the end it was a wonderful Christmas story. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge

I came across this really interesting reading challenge: the Family Tree Reading Challenge hosted by Becky's Book Reviews. You choose members of your family and read a book that was published in the year of their birth. I am the youngest child in my family, so I chose my youngest daughter who was born in 1991, myself 1954, my father who was also the youngest in his family 1917, my great aunt who was the youngest in her family 1909, my grandfather also the youngest 1894, and the two youngest siblings - twins - of my great grandmother 1860. I looked up the bestsellers for those years and found some interesting choices: 

1991 Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark 
1954 Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier 
1917 His Family by Ernest Poole 
1909 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox, Jr. 
1894 Trilby by George du Maurier 
1860 The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot 

That's my list! You can sign up here

Library Love Challenge



If you love your library as I do, this challenge is right up your alley. The goal is to read at least 12 books from the library this year. Of course, you can read more if you want. 
I'm going to start with 12, but hopefully, I will read more. 

It's hosted by Angels Guilty Pleasures and you can sign up here

There's also a giveaway at the end that you can read about at the same link. 

Good luck! 

Winter's Respite Readathon

Seasons of Reading

It's January - time to start the #Winter's Respite Readathon! I love an excuse to just read, read, read. 
If you want to join, just click on the picture at the top of this page and it will take you to the post. 

I'm starting out continuing one of my Christmas reads: "Christmas Bells" by Jennifer Chiaverini. It is part historical and part contemporary. I'm really enjoying it. I have a couple of other Christmas books that I need to finish as well. 

Christmas Day brought me three new books - one is a children's book in Spanish, the others are "The Other Alcott" by Elise Hooper which I am reviewing for our book club this year, and "My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante. You may see those on my booklist, too. 

I also have some books on my Kindle that I could read: "Geekerella" by Ashley Poston which my daughter says is really good, and the next Poldark book! 

I'm so glad to have some time to just sit and read this January! Get a cup of tea and cozy up with your book! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

Seasons of Reading

It's time to start the 2017 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge including the... 



2017 Christmas Spirit Christmas & Scary Readathon! 

I have picked up a couple of audiobooks to get started: 

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson, narrated by C. J. Critt 
"Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan, narrated by Anne-Marie Piazza 
and 
"The Christmas Room" by Catherine Anderson, narrated by Susan Bennett 

I'm going to listen to these while I am working around the house, writing Christmas cards (I have lots to write this year!) and working on the hand-crafted presents I am going to give this year. It should be fun! 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ReWIRED by S. R. Johannes



ReWired
S.R. Johannes
Publication date: August 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.
Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.

EXCERPT:
Simone never did anything without a reason.
There’s only way to find out what that was. I need to get on a computer. And I know just where to find one. In Ms. Matthews office.
When Ms. Matthews pops in for room check, I pretend to be deathly ill. Getting this lady to believe me isn’t as hard. My fake gagging sounds cleared the room really fast.

After everyone heads to their first activity, I sneak down to the lunchroom and snag the lunch lady’s security card from her register. After some time observing, I know the center uses a standard swipe system, so hopefully this card will gain me access.


Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.
Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with hEnglish-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.
Author links:



Friday, September 1, 2017

All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani - review

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Title: All the Stars in the Heavens
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Published: October 13, 2015 by Harper
Pages: 447

I love this quote from “All the Stars in the Heavens.” Loretta Young was talking about Edna Ferber, the novelist.

“She told me something that has stayed with me. Ferber said, ‘Beware the clowns. The leaders who start out as jokes – people make fun of them, they’re caricatures, cartoons in newspapers, and people decide they are harmless. These men are the most dangerous. The day comes when thy use their power against their own people.’”

I thought it was so insightful and applicable to our present day.

Our book club chose “All the Stars in the Heavens” by Adriana Trigiani as our August selection. Most of us liked the view of Hollywood, some thought it was too long, and one said she felt as though she was reading a soap opera. Personally, I enjoyed it. My parents and I used to watch Loretta Young on television and I remember her as a lovely woman. This book didn’t mar that image for me. I admire the fact that she held on to her Catholic faith, prayed the rosary, went to confession and attended Mass. She wasn’t what some think of a typical “starlet.” She worked hard and cared about the people she loved. I truly enjoyed this book and thought it ended rather abruptly. I could have read more.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

National Tell-A-Joke Day is August 16!

It's National Tell-A-Joke Day - August 16! 

I found some of these on the Internet: 




Here's a bookish one - just to make it worthy of a book blog! 


Keep Calm graphics are always welcome!



 I asked Siri to tell me some jokes and here is what she said: 

"Which baseball player has the shortest commute?" 
"The Catcher - he only works from home." 

"What was the turkey grateful for on Thanksgiving?" 
"Vegetarians" 

and...

"I love math - although do you know what seems odd to me?" 
"numbers indivisible by two." da dum dum



what's your favorite joke? 


Friday, August 4, 2017

Review of "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Edition: hardcover 453 pages
Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2016)



From Goodreads:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness and monsters, fate has other plans.

Alleluia’s Review:

I read Marissa Meyer’s series The Lunar Chronicles, so I was anxious to read this book to see what she would do with the origins of “the wicked queen.” I got attached to Catherine early on and I kept anticipating what terrible thing was going to happen to her to make her evil. In the end, one could almost commiserate with her, although one could sense where it would lead. I was disappointed that the story stopped where it did – perhaps there will be a sequel? There is a space of time between this story and The Lunar Chronicles that could be filled in nicely with another volume or two. I enjoyed this one. It was quick-moving and interesting. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, this book is for you.


I gave it 5 stars! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRESIDENT OBAMA


August 4 is the birthday of our 44th President Barack Obama! Here are just three of the books to consider reading to celebrate! They all are rated at least 4 stars on Goodreads. 

 


Here is a quote from President Obama that I find very inspiring: 

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama 

and this one: 

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, and you will fill yourself with hope." - Barack Obama