Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2017 Monthly Motif reading challenge


Here's another one! I like reading for a theme so this will be just right for me. 

JANUARY 1, 2017 – DECEMBER 31, 2017 ~
This is the 2017 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge! For this challenge, each  month is assigned a motif or theme. Our task is to read one book per month that fits in with the assigned motifs…
JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading
Kick the reading year off right and shake things up. Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own.
FEBRUARY – Undercover Thriller
Read a book involving spies, detectives, private investigators, or a character in disguise.
I read "A Fierce Radiance" by Lauren Belfer - 3/24/2017. 
MARCH – Time TravelerRead a book set in a different dimension, a book in which time travel is involved or a dystopian or science fiction book where reality looks very different than what we’re used to.
"Ever My Love" by Lynn Kurland - 4/5/2017. 
APRIL – Award Winners
Read a book that has won a literary award or a book written by an author who has been recognized in the bookish community.
MAY – Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie or listen to the audio book as well.
JUNE – Destination UnknownRead a book in which the character(s) take a trip, travel somewhere, go on a quest, or find themselves on a journey toward something.
"Named of the Dragon" by Susanna Kearsley - 1/3/2017. 
JULY – Believe the UnbelievableThis month it’s all about fantasy. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy, fairytales, magic, etc.
"The Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater - 6/13/2017. 
AUGUST – Seasons, Elements, & Weather Read a book in which the season, the elements, or the weather plays a role in the story.
"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan - 1/13/2017. 
SEPTEMBER – Creepy, Chilling, & FrightfulCozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal hauntings, murder mysteries, weird and scary creatures- it’s up to you!
"Mistress in the Art of Death" by Ariana Franklin - 4/17/2017. 
OCTOBER– Games, Challenges, & ContestsRead a book that involves a game of some sort. Video games, war games, psychological mess-with-your-mind games, characters who participate in a contest, or a story in which the character takes on a challenge.  "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer - 7/25/17. 
NOVEMBER – Last ChanceRead a book you’ve been meaning to get to all year but haven’t yet or read the last book in a series you started.
DECEMBER – Picking FavoritesRead a book by one of your favorite authors or read a book that Girlxoxo has recommended this year.

2017 Alphabet Soup Challenge


Starting to sign up for my 2017 reading challenges. I have been doing this challenge, on my own, for a while now. I figured I might as well join others. It will be more fun! 
These are the details: 

This challenge will run from January 1st, 2017 until December 31st, 2017.
You can join anytime. You do not have to post a review of the book. Books can come from any genre.
You do not need to link up each spoonful.
Make a page or a post or a GoodReads shelf where you will keep track of your spoonfuls. (I made a shelf on Goodreads - but I also have an Excel worksheet that I keep track of EVERYTHING.) 
Crossovers to other challenges are allowed and encouraged!
It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.
You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles as shown below.

The First Main Word Needs To Be
The Letter You Are Counting 

Except For those pesky Q, X AND Z titles the word that startswith the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.
A – Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.
B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay B- Bookman Dead Style by Paige Shelton  C – Cold Pressed Murder by Kelly Lane   D – Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle etc.
Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!
Ready to join??
If you are interested, there are more details and a place to sign up on Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Readathon Wrap-Up Post

Well, here it is, the end of the Christmas Spirit Readathon! I'm sorry to say that there were times when I could have been reading that I just didn't want to do anything. That's sad, but true. I still enjoyed participating. I made progress on "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. That was fun because my son was in Barcelona while I was reading it. Also, I read two books by Melody Carlson - "The Christmas Shoppe" and "The Christmas Angel Project." I love Melody Carlson Christmas novels. They are really about Christmas - not some murder that happened or some mystery that had to be solved. They are about Christmas and they make your heart swell and sometimes they even make you cry Christmas tears. Love her. 

So, that's my wrap-up. I'm planning to read more Christmas/Winter books and watch my favorite Christmas movies and television shows from now until January. My husband and I found a series of videos of old Andy Williams Christmas Specials on You Tube. We plan to investigate that this season as well. And I hear there's an I Love Lucy Christmas Special to air soon. Hope you all have fun doing Christmas things this holiday season! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Christmas Spirit Readathon

I am participating in the Christmas Spirit Readathon which runs from Monday, November 21 at 12 a.m. CST to Sunday, November 27 at 11:59 p.m. CST (adjust for your time zone). 
This readathon kicks off the Christmas season at Seasons of Reading and you can sign up here. You do not have to read only Christmas/holiday books, but you do need to read at least one. You do not have to have a blog to participate. You can check in on Twitter with the hashtag #CSReadathon, you can link up on Goodreads, Facebook, etc. AND interact with us in our Facebook group. 

In addition, the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge runs all season long - from November 21 through January 6, 2017. You can find out all about it and sign up for that at the Christmas Spirit blog. I do this Reading Challenge every year. It includes books, children's books, movies, etc. Everything Christmas! Go on over and check it out! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

#Frighfall Read-a-Thon Wrap-up Post

Seasons of Reading

#Frightfall Read-a-Thon is over! I finished my scary book - "Forgotten Tales" by Edgar Allan Poe, a collection of short stories that were well-thought-out, a little scary and sometimes frightening to think about. They weren't the "jump out and get you" kind of scary, but I think they qualified for me. 

I also made good progress on the other books I was reading: "Anne of Green Gables" by L. M. Montgomery (161 pages) and "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah (219 pages). "Anne of Green Gables" is the story of a lively young, red-haired orphan who is very intelligent and has an outstanding imagination. Compared to today's young adult novels, it is calm and some might say "ordinary," but I am enjoying it. A new movie adaptation is coming out on Thanksgiving Day. It is a frustrating decision whether to watch "Anne" or the first of the Gilmore Girls' reunion movies. 

"The Nightingale" is one of those compelling reads. I didn't want to put it down even to craft this post. It is a great book and I promise I will review it when I am done. 

Thank you to Michelle at Seasons of Reading for hosting this Read-a-thon. I read every morning, but this past week I read in the evening and sometimes even in the afternoon! Thank you! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Starting #Frightfall Read-a-Thon

It starts today! The #Frightfall Read-a-Thon! I found this little book at our public library's book sale last week. I plan to read one story every day of the Read-a-Thon. 


This is what Goodreads has to say about it: 


Seven EERIE tales by the master of terror!

The Spectacles - a young man sees what others don't...

The Oblong Box - it's shaped like a coffin, but what's inside?

The Premature Burial - where the dead are really alive!

The Oval Portrait - How can one person sit so still for so long?

Plus: Morella and more!

Ooooh went the wind, and out went the light...

What are you reading? 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Frightfall Read-a-Thon 2016

It's time for Seasons of Reading's Frightfall Read-a-Thon! I had a good time participating in the last Read-a-Thon, so I decided to join up with this one, too. 

The one main rule for #Frightfall is that you have to read at least ONE scary book. It can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those like me who don't really like scary books. I went to our public library's book sale today and I found "Forgotten Tales" by Edgar Allen Poe and "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. They should do for the scary books, right? 

I am also reading "Anne of Green Gables" by L. M. Montgomery - definitely not scary. I hope to finish it during the Read-a-Thon. The last book I will dive into is our October pick for book club: "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. I want to at least get started on it. 

So, that's what I'm doing for the #Frightfall Read-a-Thon. What books will you read next week? 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)


Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published: February 5, 2013 by Feiwel and Friends 

This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer. The books are loosely based on fairy tales which is why I was drawn to them. 

The first book, "Cinder", is based on Cinderella and follows Cinder, a cyborg, as she struggles through her life with a step-mother and two step-sisters. She meets Prince Kai and he invites her to his ball where he will announce he plans to marry Queen Levana from Luna. Cinder discovers a message that Queen Levana plans to kill the prince after they are married and take over the Commonwealth and eventually all of Earth. Cinder goes to the ball to tell Prince Kai and ends up threatening the life of the Queen, getting arrested, and discovering a fun fact about herself in the process. Lots of other things happen, background things and family things, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so... 

Scarlet is based on Red Riding Hood. It continues Cinder's story with her escape from prison. She is trying to get away, hide from Queen Levana and the military that is looking for her, and find out something about her past. Scarlet lives with her grandmother on a farm in rural France. Her grandmother is kidnapped and Scarlet tries to find her when she meets Wolf, a street fighter. He says he will help her find her grandmother, but he is not what he seems. Meanwhile, Cinder is also looking for Scarlet's grandmother because she thinks she can tell her about her past - the years she doesn't remember. 

This book is action-packed. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next. The female characters are amazing! Even Cinder's favorite android, Iko, is tough! I was expecting to be disappointed with the male characters when I started this book, but they weren't all weak and disgusting. Thorne, Cinder's fellow escapee, is growing on me. Scarlet's father WAS a wimp. But Wolf makes up for him. He is strong and I know eventually he will be more of a hero. And I believe Prince Kai wants to be a good leader. He will figure it out. Maybe in the next book! I can't wait to get started reading it! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

High Summer Read-a-thon Wrap Up!

This is the first time I have ever truly participated in a Read-a-Thon...I mean actually reading instead of doing other things like watching television or housework. So, my results may seem small to others, but for me it was pretty cool. 

It's definitely High Summer here in Pennsylvania and this week temperatures were in the 90s, so it was no trial to stick it out in our family room where the air conditioner is. I finished my Nancy Drew book, #4 "The Bungalow Mystery" which was a mere 180 pages. No sweat - literally! I also made progress on all 3 of the other selections I chose: 55 pages of "The Betrothed" ending up at page 492 of 720; 17% of the "Pride and Prejudice" audiobook advancing to 69% completed; and 57 pages of "Footsteps in the Dark" ending at page 101. That's 292 pages read and 17% of the audiobook. I'm happy with that. I wish I could have finished another book, but I spent lots of time reading and that was the point - at least that was my point in participating. 

Thank you, Seasons of Reading, for hosting this Read-a-Thon! I look forward to doing this again! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nancy Drew and The Bungalow Mystery


Title: The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #3) 
Author: Carolyn Keene 
Hardcover, 180 pages 
Published May 1, 1987 (first published 1930)

from Goodreads: 

While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, teenage detective Nancy Crew has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow. 

Alleluialu's review: 

Another Nancy Crew mystery solved! I am really enjoying reading these books that I read when I was young. The adventures are exciting even if the language is vintage. For example, this is the way Nancy's friend, Don, described her after she made a surprise discovery: 

"Good thinking, Nancy," said Don admiringly. "You're a whiz of a detective, all right." 

Amusing! And so much fun to read! 

I gave it 4 stars - my 13-year old self would have given it 5 stars, but I'm not 13 anymore. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

High Summer Read-a-Thon

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I have started on my High Summer Read-a-Thon! I have quite a diverse group of books here I want to work on. The first is "Nancy Drew and The Bungalow Mystery" from my local library. I am working on a project to read at least 12 books that I read when I was a young girl including Nancy Drew books and the Bobbsey Twins. I used to get so much enjoyment out of those books and the ones I have read so far have lived up to my memories. You can tell by the language used that they are vintage, but the stories are fun! 

Next, I plan to make some headway in "The Betrothed" by Alessandro Manzoni. My daughter gave me this book for Christmas. It is a book in translation and apparently, a classic that many Italian students are required to read. I am over halfway through it. She was right predicting that I would like it. Maybe I will finish it this week. 

"Footsteps in the Dark" by Georgette Heyer is from my TBR pile. I will read it on my iPad whenever I can get my iPad away from my other daughter who is playing an ongoing game on it. I have read another Georgette Heyer book and enjoyed. I'm just getting started on this one. 

Lastly, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, a classic audiobook performed by Rosamund Pike. I listen to this while I am exercising - riding an exercise bike or walking. Haven't been doing that alot lately, but I plan to give this a listen this week while I am working around the house. 

Is that an ambitious list? Perhaps. A children's book (although the protagonist is 18 years old), a book in print, an ebook and an audiobook. It's doable. Better get back to it! Good luck with your list! 

Book Review - One Summer by David Baldacci


Title:  One Summer
Author: David Baldacci 
Paperback, 384 pages 
Published May 28, 2013 by Vision 

This book is our July Book Club selection. I don't think I would have just picked this book up on my own. I have just read some of the reviews listed on Goodreads and perhaps my 4 star rating is a bit high. There were lots of 2 stars on Goodreads. The story was filled with dramatic events that were kind of over-the-top. I found myself wondering what  "fantastic" thing would happen next. It wasn't boring and the ending wasn't tragic. But, how much drama could happen to one family? I liked the characters and I liked the heart of the story. Maybe they will make a Lifetime movie out of it. Basically, it was a summer read - what do you expect? 

My 4 stars stands. It wasn't a page-turner, but it wasn't bad. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wow! I have to update my blog! OBVIOUSLY! Did anyone else know Christmas was only 160 days away? 

I have decided to participate in the High Summer Read-a-Thon. I have been inspired by some of the Book Tubers I follow, so I'm doing it! Here is the scoop from Seasons of Reading

High Summer is just over a month away! It has been read-a-thon mania this summer. 

You can find the official sign up for the High Summer Read-a-Thon here! Dates are July 18 - 24, starting at 12:00am Monday and ending at 11:59pm on Sunday. That's central time (U.S.), but you can adjust your times according to your time zone. Of course, like most read-a-thons, the books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, and you can read children's books too (as long as you do read some novels too). Note: Non-Fiction is also okay! You DO NOT have to participate the entire week. Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule. The read-a-thon will be a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away that ever looming TBR. 

I am planning to finish some of the books I am reading concurrently so I can move on to some other selections. I'm looking forward to it! Join us!