Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Assigned Reading that had an Impact

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

So this whole month is freebie topics, you could go back and pick a previous topic all the way back through 2013, but I just don't have the time to wade through all those posts so I decided to come up with my own list.  Last week I talked about the Assigned Books I could have Done Without, so this week I wanted to share the assigned reading that really did have an impact on me.  Obviously if you have been around for any amount of time, you already know my obsession with Frankenstein, which of course would top this list, but I have opted to leave it off this list to give some of these other books a chance to shine.

So how about we get into the list . . .

I was totally absorbed by this book and it featured pretty prominently in many of my reports from early high school. It was a horrifying book to read but it was still so fantastic!

The Comedy of Errors was one of the first Shakespeare plays that I remember reading in Middle School and it totally opened the door for my love of his writing. I remember we loosely acted it out in class and it was one of the funniest things I remember reading.

I my first semester in college I took and Epic Poetry class and it was by far one of the best classes I have ever taken! Reading The Divine Comedy with class discussions was eye opening and challenging and one of the best school experiences ever!  (That class also featured Beowulf and Iliad, both of which also rank high up on my list)

I can't remember exactly when I read A Separate Peace, I think it was either 5th or 6th grade, and it definitely was not one of my favorite books at the time, but oddly enough bits of it have really stuck with me for many, many years.

It is funny that the same author appears on both of my assigned read list, but it just goes to show you the impact a subject matter can make.  The Crucible sparked such an interest in me, I went out and did a ton of my own research on the Salem Witch Trials after reading it (I know, I was that kind of nerd in school).

Honorable Mentions:


Do have an assigned reading that really made an impact on you? Or one that you really loved?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review of Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Read for: Mount TBR

Synopsis: "A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world."

My Review: Nevernight really captured my attention and I just had to know what happened next! I really enjoyed this one and love the direction that was taken with the story. I do have to say though that I am not a fan of the dynamics between Eclipse & Mr. Kindly, which is super sad because I love Mr. Kindly! Of course, Mia is such a bad-ass character, and the story around her is as brutal and bloody as she is. Even with all the action, I felt like this was a much slower book, there are a lot of developments in the story but they don't seem quite as drastic as the first book. Nevertheless, this was still a fantastic and engrossing book and I cannot wait for the next one to come out later this year! 

My Rating: While I wasn't quite as captivated with this one as I was with Nevernight, I still really enjoyed the plot and character developments throughout this book. I give it a rating of Four Paws and can't wait for the next (and I believe final) book in the series later this year!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

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

Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages
From a Certain Point of View by Various Authors
Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney (Bedtime Story)
The Enchanted Chest by Jean-Fran├žois Chabas & Illustrated by David Salas (Graphic Novel)

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

Daughter of the Pirate King
Joy of Less
Bard and the Beast
Pegasus Quest
A Court of Frost and Starlight
One White Lie
The Sapphire Affair
Sleeping Giants

Currently Reading:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
250:31 Hours Listened (19:48 listened this week)
17,120 Pages Read (1,250 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Eko by Loren Walker
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Ladycastle by Delilah Dawson
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
The Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Circe by Madeline Miller
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death by P.K. Norton
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
The Rhode Island Short Story Club presents The Club
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Prince of Persia by Jordan Mencher
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith


HAHAHA Last week I said things were calming down, that is a funny joke! It was insanely busy and stressful last week but some how I still managed to have a fantastic reading week thanks to Bout of Books Readathon!  I am also proud of myself for reading 6 books off my recent purchases, plus borrowed 2 from the library and I only added 4 more books to my shelves. I almost want to reward myself but I know I can't do that, I still have so many more books to read.

This week is going to be super insane again too. Lots going on at work, a surprise visit from family (only 1 week notice) and field trip for Munchkin and of course TBall.  I also have an order of cards to get out (that I haven't even started on).  Even with all this going on, I hope to keep the reading ball rolling, I have been doing so good with reading lately and I don't want it to slow down! I also need to get cracking on RI Author Month!!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and get to read a fantastic book to take you away!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Enchanted Chest by Jean-Fran├žois Chabas & Illustrated by David Salas

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Graphic Novel Review

Synopsis: "Raised by a fisherman from the depths of the sea, an ornate chest soon attracts the attention of the greedy King, always searching for more treasure. But the King has a problem: nothing and nobody can open the chest. A thousand keys, a thousand tools, and a thousand swords were tried. He calls his most talented subjects to open it: the Locksmith, then the Strong Man, the Magician, and even the Alchemist—they all try their skills, and none can do it! Only the Lynx, whose magical eyes allow her to see through anything, can finally satisfy the King's curiosity. The story, like the chest, contains a beautiful and mysterious core for the intrepid reader to open, about how the treasures we crave may not be what we truly desire."

My Review: I was intrigued by the tapestry style of the cover of this one and the synopsis really continued with the same tone. It definitely has that classic folk tale feel to it between the illustrations, the story itself and even the font used for the text. It was a little short compared to a lot of the graphic novels I have read, but it makes it enjoyable for all ages. It does seem a little at odds with the moral presented at the end of the story, you are expecting it to be about greed, but it instead veers off to the value of the idea of things we have versus the actual things we have, which is a bit odd but it does work. All in all an enjoyable book with really stunning art.

My Rating: This is a really beautiful book, I would like to see what it is like in person, they could really do a lot with it to feed into the old world feel.  It was a bit brief and the moral got a bit lost in the end but it was still enjoyable and all ages could read it.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest opinion.

You can find out more about the author on Goodreads.

Enchanted Chest will be released in English on May 22nd and you can pre-order your copy in print or digital format on Amazon or print version at Barnes & Noble or of course as always you can check with your local book store or comic store.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Bedtime Story: Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Anna Dewdney's Bestselling Llama Llama series continues with Llama learning to read!

Llama Llama learns at school. 

Counting, writing, reading, rules. 
Friends and school -- there's nothing better. 
Llama learning all the letters!

Anna Dewdney's beloved Llama Llama is growing up and learning to read! Throughout the school day, the teacher helps Llama Llama and the other children practice their letters, shows word cards, reads stories, and brings them to the library where they can all choose a favorite book. By the end of the day, Llama Llama is recognizing words and can't wait to show Mama Llama that he's becoming a reader!"

My Review: I love that we are getting new Llama Llama books! Munchkin loves these books and they always have such a great rhyme and rhythm when reading. This Llama Llama book is a little longer than some of the earlier ones but it follows Llama all the way from learning letters and their sounds to writing them and building them into words and sentences and more. It was a fun book to read with Munchkin as he recognized the different steps he went through to learn how to read. It does seem to show that Llama learns all of this in a single day, so those still learning and maybe struggling it might be a little frustrating or it could be encouraging to see the end result, this is when knowing your child really comes into play when picking a book. We loved it though and are thrilled to add it to our collection.

My Rating: We really enjoyed this book and loved having a new Llama Llama book to enjoy together. I just love the way these roll of the tongue while reading aloud.  Please just be aware that if you child is struggling to learn to read, this book could be a bit discouraging as Llama learns in a day.  We give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night!  Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review of From a Certain Point of View

Read for: Mount TBR & Star Wars!

Synopsis: "40 Years. 40 Stories. 

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope, this unique anthology features Star Wars stories by bestselling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from Star Wars’ literary history. Over 40 authors have lent their unique vision to 40 “scenes,” each retelling a different moment from the original Star Wars film, but with a twist: every scene is told from the point of view of a seemingly minor character. Whether it’s the X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star or the stormtroopers who never did find the droids they were looking for, Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View places the classic movie in a whole new perspective celebrates the influence and legacy of the unparalleled cultural phenomenon, Star Wars.

Contributors include: 

Ben Acker and Ben Blacker - Renee Ahdieh - Tom Angleberger - Meg Cabot - Rae Carson - Zoraida Cordova - Delilah S. Dawson - Paul Dini - Alexander Freed - Jason Fry - Christie Golden - Claudia Gray - E. K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein - Paul Kemp - Mur Lafferty - Ken Liu - Griffin McElroy - John Jackson Miller - Nnedi Okorafor - Daniel Jose Older - Mallory Ortberg - Madeleine Roux - Gary D. Schmidt - Cavan Scott - Sabaa Tahir - Glen Weldon - Chuck Wendig - Gary Whitta - And more!"

My Review: I held off for a while on this book due to the price but finally caved, it was totally worth the cost! I also downloaded the audio book because I really wanted the sound effects as well. I loved the short little stories that are put into chronological order to coincide with A New Hope. Each of the stories follows one of the side characters that we come across in the original movie. I loved the backstories and getting to know these lesser known characters. It really added something new when watching the movie again. I think my favorite story was the one about the Rebellion's mechanic, that story brought me to tears. It certainly has a wealth of styles of stories and perspectives from both the Empire and the Rebellion and those outside the law on the Outer Rim. I would love if they continue to release books with the other movies in the original trilogy.

My Rating: I am so glad I finally picked this one up.  Not all the stories were for me, but the wide variety of writing styles really supported the wide variety of character perspectives. I really highly recommend this one for avid fans, and then go back and watch the movie and tell me how much it changes how you watch it!  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!!

I promise this is the last Star Wars book for a while ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Assigned Reading I Could've Done Without

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

So this whole month is freebie topics, you could go back and pick a previous topic all the way back through 2013, but I just don't have the time to wade through all those posts so I decided to come up with my own list.  So for this week's topic I decided to compile a list of the assigned school reading that I really didn't like and didn't really make an influence on me at all.  (Next week I will list the books that did in fact change my life).

So here we go, the Top 5 Assigned Books I Could've Done Without

In 6th grade my advanced reading group was assigned to read Jane Eyre, I tell you what that book was far too slow for a bunch of 6th graders to appreciate, it has earned a place as one of my most disliked books EVER as a result.

Oh gosh, middle grade English class reading was awful! We had to read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in back to back years and I absolutely despised them both. I think it was the way the accent was written, I may appreciate them more if I had access to an audio book but I guarantee I won't be picking them up again to try.

Another book that just couldn't be fully grasped by a young teen mind, I had to read this one in early high school and it was just so dull and nearly unbearable for the entire class, myself included.

I think this is the one and only assigned reading books that I never finished!! I could not deal with the run on sentences and fell asleep after less than 2 pages every time I tried to read this one.  Luckily my grades were great in all other areas for that English class and I passed with flying colors.

So what assigned reading could you have done without? Any of these on your list of dreaded books, or did they instead make an impact on you as a reader?