Friday, August 25, 2017

Bedtime Story: Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by Kimberly & James Dean

Read for: Children's Book Challenge 

Synopsis: "Join Pete the Cat in a story about bedtime in Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean! Pete the Cat and his friends are having so much fun playing and surfing in the sun, they don't want the day to end. Pete has an idea—how about a sleepover? Groovy! As the night gets later, it's time for bed. This cool cat needs to catch some ZZZs, but Pete's friends aren't ready to go to sleep just yet. Then Pete has another idea. . . . Will it work?"

My Review: We are big Pete the Cat fans and of course had to get this one. For some reason I really had a hard time finding Pete's jazzy personality in this one and couldn't get into the rhythm of the story like usual. With that said this is a fun book, especially as kids get a little older and start having sleepovers. What is the best way to settle down to a good night's sleep? Pete seems to have the answer.

My Rating: I couldn't quite get into the rhyme and rhythm of this one but it was still a very fun Pete the Cat story.  Munchkin did enjoy it but it wasn't his favorite.  We give this one a rating of Three Paws.

Good Night!  Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of The Berenstain Bears Gone Fishing by Mike Berenstain

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Take a fishing trip with Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey in this lively addition to the classic New York Times bestselling Berenstain Bears series.

Papa can’t wait to use his fancy new gear on a fishing trip with his cubs. But Brother, Sister, and Honey prefer to fish with their bamboo poles and bent pins. Can the cubs’ simple tools be any match for Papa’s shiny new gear?

The Berenstain Bears: Gone Fishin’! is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences."

My Review: A fun summer time book with the beginners having all the luck. While Munchkin isn't a huge fan of the Berenstain Bears, this was still a fun book that he enjoyed, especially after learning to fish himself. It has easy sentences and words and a silly story to keep young readers engaged. Definitely one worth picking up.

My Rating: While Munchkin isn't a huge Berenstain Bear fan, this was a fun and silly story we could both enjoy. It was easy to read and relatable for young readers. We give this one a rating of Three Paws.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Pen to Paper: August Incoming Mail

Remember how I talked about Traveling Postcards a few weeks ago (HERE)?  Well I have received a few in the mail this past month.  One from the UK, one from Washington State and 2 from South Africa! I have never sent or received anything from South Africa, this is the cool part about traveling postcards, you get and send mail from all over the world! All of them are travelling postcards and will be sent on their way soon. Each one is so unique, I love the coloring one, such a unique idea.

I also received my package from the Notebook & Pen Swap from this year.  I am so excited about this package because I have recently started a bullet journal and am really enjoying it. I am looking forward to trying these new notebooks and pens!

General Update:

As you may recall, I have gotten a little behind on my pen pal letter responses.  I have been trying to catch up but my normal writing time has gotten all screwed up with Hubby's new schedule. I keep getting interrupted with my letters and never get to write one start to finish (some of them have several dates on them when I would pick it up and start writing again).  This is very frustrating and I am sure my pen pals are also getting frustrated.  I am trying to catch up and I am hoping with some upcoming days off that I can sit down and write uninterrupted.  So if you are waiting for a response, please be patient, I haven't forgotten about you and I do still want to be pen pals, I just have a lot of catching up to do and life keeps getting in the way!

I hope you are having happy mail adventures!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Before Blogging & Goodreads

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

It has been a while since I participated in Top 5 Wednesday but I had to participate this week for a few reasons (1) I had suggested this topic, (2) I love finding books that I hadn't heard of due to limited research abilities at the time, and (3) I love sharing my favorite backlist books that don't get nearly enough love.  

I have been trying to go back and re-read some of my favorite books from before blogging and Goodreads to add reviews and bring them to light again.  For this list I decided to only mention ones that I have not gotten to re-read and review since I started blogging (and putting this list together has me wanting to read them again very, very soon).  I am cheating again of course because often I can't single out the best book in a series so just share the series as a whole.

Years and years ago I was consuming every available fantasy book available to middle grade and young adults (of course at that time I don't think there really was a distinction between the two) and after reading the Song of the Lioness Quartet I was in need of another series to dive into, lucky for me my library had The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede to fulfill my need.

In late Jr. High and High School I had blown through every fantasy novel I could track down in my library and had moved on to much darker books.  I quickly became obsessed with the Hannibal Lecter Series by Thomas Harris.

Later in High School I had settled on seeking a degree in the medical field and found a real love of medical thrillers, especially those by Robin Cook.  

In College and soon after I once again returned to the realm of fantasy, with the ability to search more authors and book suggestion sites, as well as more bookstores in RI (and shopping online) I was able to find what has now become my perfect niche, Fantasy Romance. The White Magic Trilogy by Caitlin Brennan was on of the great finds for me. 

Following on the heels of that series, I discovered the Summoning Series by Robin D. Owens that sucked me further into the genre (and also introduced me to one of my favorite authors).

I then of course started blogging here in 2010 and then I think I joined Goodreads in 2011. There are many, many more books I would love to share with you and I hope these aren't ones that I repeat super often either. 

Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorites before joining the online book community? Share some of your backlisted loves!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Audio Book Review of Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Read for: Audio Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax."

My Review: I have been wanting to read this book, the cover is stunning and the story sounds like something right up my alley. I downloaded it on audio and Munchkin wanted to listen too, admittedly this book is well advanced for him. Being as I was listening with Munchkin and could only listen to about 15-20 minutes a day, this story took a very long time to finish. The writing is very descriptive and for someone who is younger several of the descriptions really didn't make sense to him, as an adult I enjoyed it but for the target audience that is often on the verge of becoming a reader or start to hate reading it was maybe a bit much. I did enjoy the characters though and the way each of them developed. The story does tackle some tough subjects from war and PTSD to finding who you are and what is important to you as an individual. The ending was a little lackluster for all the build up and Munchkin kept asking what happened to the war, how did Peter get home, where did he go home? So we were left a little disappointed and almost bored with the ending, it is too bad because it had some really great developments.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this one and it will probably be great for young teens who are already bookworms. While it did take us a while to get through this audio book, it was still a very slow moving story with a lot of set backs that didn't always seem to add to the story.  The ending was so abrupt that it almost seems like there should be another story, I understand leaving an open end for you to imagine  your own but to leave so many questions that were presented in the story unanswered seems like it might leave young readers with a lack of closure.  We give this one a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, August 21, 2017

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

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Audio Book Review)
Summer Treasure by Margaret McNamara (Early Reader)
Dear Teacher by Amy Husband (Bedtime Story)
Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu (Graphic Novel)

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

Ban This Book
Heir to the Shadows
Prince's Gambit
David Goes to School

Currently Reading:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Print - on page 265 of 435
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - Print - on page 37 of 513

 Books to be Read Soon:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
150:23 Hours (about 6 Days) Listened (18:48 listened this week)
38,100 Pages Read (620 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently TBR
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins
World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels
Eliza and Her Monster by Francesca Zappia
Turning Pointe by Katherine Locke
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel by Calliope Glass
Northern Exposure by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Southern Comfort by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Eastern Ambitions by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Western Ties by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
The Misfits by James Howe
Totally Joe by James Howe
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Also Known as Elvis by James Howe
Viking Warrior Rebel by Asa Maria Bradley
New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns
Puss Without Boots by Shari L. Tapscott
Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. Liu
Everyone is an Aliebn when ur are an Aliebn too by Jomny Sun
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Saints Blood by Sebastien de Castell
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Books Read From My Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


It doesn't seem like I got much reading done last week until you look at the amount of time listened.  I am so glad I have the ability to listen to audio books! I was super busy last week with cleaning the house (yes it still stinks like skunk a little bit) and getting ready for Munchkin's 5th Birthday Party this weekend.  

I am trying to kick off my Bout of Books today, but I will not be in the office much as Munchkin and I will be heading to a Planetarium about an hour away so that we can watch the eclipse.

I hope you all have a wonderful reading week!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books #20: Sign Up & Updates

I have been very busy with the readathons lately but Bout of Books is one I try to never miss. I love the flexibility of a week long readathon.  This time around it will be an extremely busy week and I will not be able to read from Friday through Sunday at least (maybe not even Thursday) so I will have only a few days to participate but I will still do the best I can.

Here is the information you need in case you want to sign up too!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


So this post is going to be my base for the week, I will continue to come back and update it each day with my progress (as I already have a lot of posts planned for this week and don't want things too jumbled up).  I will also be updating on Instagram @EasternSunset9

Time Devoted to Reading

I would like to read between 2-3 hours each day and read about 200 pages each day.
Averaging about 1.5 hours and work and another 1.5-2 at home after Munchkin goes to bed.

My Goals

Read a total of 1,000 pages
Read at least 2 hours each day
Read 4 books

Books to Read

Totally Joe - 224 pages
Lawn Boy - 88 pages
When Dimple Met Rishi - 380 pages
Saga Vol. 7 - 152 pages
Finish The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - 360 pages remaining

Other Possible Books

Kings Rising - 385 pages
On the Chase - 416 pages
Under a Painted Sky - 10:11 (384 pages)
Songlines - 320 pages


Number of Pages I've read today: 23
Total Number of Pages: 23
Time spent reading today: 1/2 hour
Total number of books I've read: 1 (Totally Joe)
Books completed: None
Thoughts:  So I am off to a crawling start! I took Munchkin to see the solar eclipse at a planetarium about an hour away, I had planned on listening to an audio book to and from but he put the veto on that since he was trying to nap and it kept him awake.  By the time I got home (after long lines, a flat tire and lots of traffic) and finished my chores, I only had the energy to read for half an hour before crashing hard.  I had hoped to have a better Tuesday but it has been super busy in the office today too, so we will have to see how the rest of the day goes.


Number of Pages I've read today: 277 
Total Number of Pages:  300
Time spent reading today: 2.5 hours
Total number of books I've read: 3 (Tea Dragon Society, Totally Joe, Gentleman's Guide)
Books completed: 1 (Tea Dragon Society)
Thoughts: I got a little more reading in yesterday but not quite as much as I had hoped.  Luckily today should be a slow day at the office so I should be able to really start diving in.  I also woke up early to finish Totally Joe before work, it will go towards Wednesdays numbers but still very happy with that.

Number of Pages I've read today: 284
Total Number of Pages: 584
Time spent reading today: 2.5 hours
Total number of books I've read: 5 (Tea Dragon Society, Totally Joe, Gentleman's Guide, When Dimple Met Rishi, Lawn Boy)
Books completed: 3 (Tea Dragon Society, Totally Joe, Lawn Boy)
Thoughts:  Another not so great reading day, I was really hoping to have met most of my goals by now since the rest of the week will be super crazy.  I am really struggling to get into both When Dimple Met Rishi and Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, neither seems to be meshing with my reading preferences. I will get a bit more reading done today and will hopefully get another good chunk of When Dimple Met Rishi and hopefully most of Gentleman's Guide too, I want to at least finish one of these books.
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Saturday & Sunday
Number of Pages I've read today:
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I will not be participating in any of the challenges this time around, I am just have too much to do in prep for Munchkin's Birthday, Annual Summer Party and Best Friend visiting from out of state.