Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Emerald Books on My TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

So Emerald is the birthstone for May (which I have always been kind of jealous of) so the topic for this week's Top 5 Wednesday is all about Emerald book covers.  You could go crazy looking for all the covers out there so I decided to limit my list to books that are on my TBR. 

Fun fact: I used to work in jewelry sales.  Emeralds come in many shades of green.

I recently discovered that Sarah MacLean is a local to me author! Now I need to read all her books and this is one of the series that I plan to start with.  Obviously, emerald green dresses on historical romances are pretty darn popular. 

I have had this sitting on my shelf for around 8 years, I struggled with Eragon and so have been hesitant to pick up the rest of the series, but this is a really lovely cover!

I have several books by Cinda Williams Chima sitting on my shelves but her series are so long and big that I keep avoiding picking them up.

Amother long chunky series I have been avoiding but am determined to start very soon! I will read Outlander and hopefully I like it because I have already picked up the next 2 books in the series!

It took me some serious searching several years ago to track down this book, now it has been sitting on my TBR for so long that I am actually debating letting it go. But again when I look at the cover I find myself hesitant to part with it. 

Bonus Book
Bambi, I still have not read this beautiful vintage copy I have! I keep wanting to read it in April but I think this may have to be a summer read for me this year.

So what Emerald colored books are on your shelves?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

Read for: Recently Added & Audio Book

Synopsis: "Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood.

As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the "firsts" that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn't shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and mid-life crises to practical jokes and poop.

In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son's hand just a little too tight

This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman's "unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, "You can be whatever you want to be, but that's nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are."

My Review: I have really been enjoying Fredrik Backman's books and knew I had to read this one right away. I listened to the audio book, and while I enjoyed it, I think the print book might have a format that is best read as a physical or ebook. I loved the humor throughout the story, sprinkled in with some great advice, both about little things like following the arrows in Ikea and bigger life lessons about having a band of friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and can't wait to share it with my son when he gets a little older (even though I am mom and not dad) and maybe bond over it together.

My Rating: I definitely laughed a bit and got a little misty eyed a few times while reading this one. It was a quick and really enjoyable book, it would be great to listen to on a road trip with kids a little older than Munchkin, maybe a good conversation starter.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemerer
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
Get a Hit Mo by David A. Alder (Early Reader)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Printed Letter Bookshop
Black Bull of Norroway
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World
Roller Girl
Seal's Honor

Currently Reading:

A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa - Print - on Page 95 of 384
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse - Audio - 63%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
289:46 Hours Listened (3:10 listened this week)
14,114 Pages Read (1,192 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy
Lost Boy
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
The Princess and the Fangirl
Holy Sister
A Strange Hymn
The Emperor of Evening Stars
Dark Harmony
The Black Bull of Norroway
We Rule the Night
The Opposite of Always
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Irresistible Force
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Pirate Stories
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
The Case of the Missing Moonstone
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Crazy Rich Asians
Once and Future
Highland Crown
Her Royal Highness
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World
Seal's Honor


I am really happy with how much reading I have been getting done lately, though not as many books off my TBR as I would like.  I really need to focus on that or I need to really start purging my shelves.  I have been considering a Trash My TBR where I can get all of your opinion on some of the books that have been sitting on my TBR for a while.  I am thinking Tuesday or Thursday this week posting in my stories on Instagram, so please come and help me decide which books to keep and what to pass on.  I did go through all our Children's books with Munchkin over the weekend and we are passing on a ton of books.

With all that said, I did really get quite a bit of reading in during Bout of Books last week (at least until the weekend when things just got too busy). I really hope I can keep that momentum going this week.  I got a good jump on my requested reviews, which I am still behind on but I got over half way done with the ones due this month.

Can you believe that it is nearly Memorial Day?! What has happened to this year?! Are you feeling frantic like I am?

Friday, May 17, 2019

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Get a Hit, Mo! by David A. Adler and Illustrated by Sam Ricks

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Mo Jackson is a small boy with a big passion for sports. He may not be the biggest, the fastest, or the strongest kid on the team, but he won't let that stop him from playing!

Baseball season is has arrived and Mo is all set to play with his team, the Lions. But Mo always bats last, and he always plays right field – and no balls ever come to right field. Will Mo ever get his chance to help the Lions win?"

My Review: This is a great early reader book to pick up in spring during the start of baseball season. Munchkin really connected with this book as he is one of the smallest and youngest kids on his Rookie team. It is a nice reminder that you don't always get the hit or the ball but by continuing to show up you can help your team. It is a great level 2 book with longer sentences, more text on each page but still easy, sight words. Young baseball fans and players will really enjoy this one.

My Rating: This is a really great one for kids who might be lacking a little confidence in the team sports. We certainly enjoyed it and give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review of The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship."

My Review: Of course this cover immediately drew me in immediately so I was excited to read this one. For some reason I thought it would be a light read, but it ended up being much deeper than expected. This is definitely a book that needs to be savored slowly, with a lot of pondering. It leaves me wishing I had knew Maddie to have been so insightful of the people around her. I loved watching the characters change and grow throughout this book, they each had road blocks to stumble over and hands reaching out to help them but it was up to them to take that hand, which I really appreciated. This would be a great book to read on a vacation when you can take the time for all the wisdom throughout the book and how it could apply to your own life.

My Rating: It took me quite a while to read this one, longer than I expected and at first I didn't think it was going to suit my reading mood currently but the more I got into the story the more I appreciated it.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest opinion. 

To find out more about Katherine Reay and her books check out her Goodreads Page or Website.

The Printed Letter Bookshop was just released on May 14th, so you can now pick up your own copy in digital or print formats from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or ask at your local library or bookstore.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Review of Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Read for: Audio Book Challenge/Recently Added 
& Loved the First Book!

Synopsis: "Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?"

My Review: I don't normally enjoy YA contemporary romances but the first book in this series was everything I could have ever wanted. So of course this one was highly anticipated. I decided to listen to the audio book this time again, which I highly recommend with all the fantastic accents! It took me a bit to get into as we started off with Millie, a completely new character, instead of with Flora as I had expected. I did however come to adore Millie. While we met Flora in the previous book and got to know her, we are again introduced to her from an outside perspective and it took a while to get back to what we had begun to learn about her personality in the previous book. We do get to see all the characters from the previous book, but only briefly, which is great if you hadn't read it, you can read each of them as standalone books if you really want. This was such a fun and light read that will have you chuckling and awe-ing over the romantic moments. It would be a great summer read, but again I highly recommend the audio books to get that lovely accent!

My Rating: This was once such a light, fun read.  It did seem to have a little more of a serious tone as opposed to the first book, which was mostly comedy.  I really hope there is more to come! I need a Seb book now!  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Read for: Recently Added/ Subscription Box book

Synopsis: "Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she's pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin."

My Review: I have been drifting away from re-tellings, especially in YA, I have been burned a few too many times. I did however receive this one in a book box and I have a soft spot for all things Beauty and the Beast so thought I would give it a shot. I ended up really enjoying this book. I like the world we are sucked into and the characters are unique. It was also so refreshing seeing diversity represented in physical ability. There are definitely so pacing issues, it does seem to slow way down in momentum at various points and there is little in the way of action or danger until the last 75 or so pages. While it was a slow moving story, and clearly a romance driven book, it still really pulled me in and was an easy page turner.

My Rating: I almost let this one go without reading it, I am glad I decided to pick it up, if for nothing but the diverse representation! But it ended up being so much more than I expected, maybe not the best book in the world but certainly an entertaining one.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!