Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Audio Book & Trilogy Challenge Wrap Ups & Favorites

Here are my final Challenge wrap ups of the year! I have definitely been reading a lot more series, start to finish, in recent years and decided to focus on trilogies this year since there were so many on my shelves waiting to be read.  I also have been listening to a ton more audio books since becoming and audible member.  So here are my full challenge lists and my favorites from each.

Audio Book Challenge:
In the past few years I have read around 2 audio books a month and have thoroughly enjoyed it, so this year I thought I would push myself to listen to 3 or more a month with a goal of 30-40 audio books. I darn near did read 3 a month even with many of these books being 15+ hours. 
2. Ice Like Fire
3. Frost Like Night
4. Winner's Curse
5. Winner's Crime
6. Winner's Kiss
7. The Siren
8. Watersmeet
9. Centaurs Daughter
10. The Keeper
11. Pippi Longstocking
12. A Man Called Ove
13. The Princess Diarist
14. The Simplicity of Cider
15. Pax
16. American Street
17. Heir to the Shadows
18. Queen of the Darkness
19. Under a Painted Sky
20. Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian
21. The Madman's Daughter
22. Her Dark Curiosity
23. A Cold Legacy
24. Dragon's Teeth
25. Every Little Thing
26. A Christmas Home
27. All You Need Is Love
28. Angels at the Table
29. Fire
30. A Christmas to Love You
31. I Want to Hold Your Hand
32. The Christmas Promise
33. A Promise of Fire (re-read)
34. I Saw Her Standing There
35. Breath of Fire (re-read)

Favorite Audio Books of 2017:
 Some of the audio books I listened to this year were re-reads and some of them were all new books. It is really amazing the difference of reading an audio book as opposed to reading a print or digital book.  Sometimes it works out great and you end up loving the more than if you had read it, other times it doesn't work (especially if the book is in an obscure format).  One of the things it comes down to is having a great narrator or cast.  Anyway, here are my favorite audio books of this year.
While the book itself wasn't a favorite of mine, the narrator of this audio book was simply amazing.  If I had read this one in any other format it probably would have been a DNF but with the accent and the narration style I was able to not only finish this book but also enjoy it.

This was a re-read for me this year, and only just recently but it was the first time listening to it on audio. While I loved the banter of the characters before, listening to it just added a whole other level of entertainment.  There is something great about listening to your favorites on audio.

When you find a book that just works in all ways, it is magic.  I listened to this audio book not knowing that it was the 7th (I think) in the series. Even having come in well into the story, the characters came to life and I am now binging the entire series.

For me the only way to read books with a lot of humor (especially sarcasm or dry humor) is to listen to it on audio.  And not only to listen to it but to listen to it narrated by the author.  This one in particular, while it wasn't what I had expected, there was something truly special hearing Carrie Fisher's voice again, with her quirky and witty sense of humor.

You never really know what you are going to get with a book translated from it's original language. This one had all the pieces just come together and make something magical! The translation was fantastic, the story itself was fantastic, the crazy cast of characters were fantastic and the narration was fantastic. I honestly don't know if I would have read this one in print or not but am so glad that I did listen to it, even though it was so far outside my normal reading genre. I am definitely going to revisit this one and will be tracking down more by this author!

Trilogy Challenge: 
I had so many trilogies that I wanted to read this year (and still have so many) but I decided to set a goal of 10 to 12 trilogies, including novellas, for the year.  While I did complete 10 full trilogies, I didn't quite finish the last 2, but that is okay because I had some pretty chunky ones on my list this year. I do love trilogies, they are long enough to have a great story with lots of different plot lines and fully developed worlds and characters but they are short enough to enjoy back to back to back and still have time for other books.  Instead of picking my top 5 favorites, I thought I would give a couple of quick thoughts on each series and then pick my favorite trilogy of the year.

1.  Snow Like Ashes Trilogy: Book 1, Book .1, Book 2Book 2.5, Book 3 
I had pretty high hopes for this trilogy, with interesting descriptions and beautiful covers but unfortunately the lack luster romance really took over and didn't allow for great plot development and I ended up disappointed.

2. Winner's Curse Trilogy: Book .5, Book 1Book 2Book 3
This was a pleasant surprise, especially on the tails of Snow Like Ashes. I really enjoyed the world and the enemies to friendlies trope but what really took this series away was the political intrigue and plots. This series was so mentally driven even with the physical battle there was always a mental battle going on under the surface.

3. Sons of the Revolution Trilogy: Book 1Book 2Book 3 
I have had this sitting on my TBR for quite a while and I am glad I finally had that push to pick it up. While it wasn't all that memorable, it was set in a interesting time, so different from all the other historical romance books I have read.

4. Watersmeet Series: Book 1Book 2Book 3
This is another trilogy that has been sitting on my shelves forever, I was interested solely because of the centaur aspect.  Unfortunately it just didn't work for me, it was agenda driven and it really made be realize that I am not a fan of the "Chosen One" type tropes.

5. A Court of Thorns & Roses Series: Book 1, Book 2Book 3
I was super hesitant with this series because I wasn't a fan of the Throne of Glass series and actually gave up on it. But I had the first two books signed by the author and the third book came out this year so I thought I would give it a shot. Boy am I glad I did, I absolutely loved it, I became attached to the characters and I love the way the re-telling/inspiration stories were worked into it and into each other.

6. Ralph S. Mouse Trilogy: Book 1Book 2, Book 3 
I remember these from when I was a kid and had really enjoyed them. While they may still be great for kids, it didn't really hold up to the test of time as an adult. I am sure Munchkin will love them some day but they didn't really appeal to me as much now.

7. Grisha Trilogy: Book 1Book 2Book 3 
I have heard such great reviews of this trilogy in the past couple of years but I have been holding back because of the Russian influence, I thought I would have a hard time grasping that aspect.  I ended up completely sucked in and loving the world that was built.  Not so much all the characters but the world was great and I am so looking forward to more books in this world.

8. Dark Jewels Trilogy: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 
Another series that has been sitting on my shelves for easily 8 years or so.  It was a super rocky start and certainly isn't for everyone, the setting is in a very brutal world and was super unsettling but I am glad I pushed through it, I became very attached to the characters throughout the span of this trilogy.

9. Captive Prince Trilogy: Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 2.5Book 3.5Book 3.75 
This is a series I have heard people rave about and people rant about and when it came available in my library I figured why not give it a shot. Again like the Dark Jewels trilogy, it was a very brutal start in the world but boy did the characters suck me in. I ended up loving the story.

10. The Madman's Daughter Trilogy: Book 1Book 2Book 3
I was so looking forward to this trilogy with re-tellings of some of my favorite classic horror/science fiction books.  It started out really strong but quickly started going downhill as the romance took over the story.

Favorite Trilogy of 2017
This was a super hard one to pick because each had their ups and downs but I have to go with the one that just kept getting better with each book and that was . . .

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Recent Additions and TBR Challenge Wrap Ups

So this last year I decided that I would challenge myself to read each of the books I purchased or received within a month or so of adding them to my shelves.  That worked out great until about July when I started hitting up a bunch of book conventions, then things just spiraled from there.  It was good for me to keep track of the books I was adding to my shelves, I had no idea how many I was acquiring each year until now faced with this insane list of books!   I did manage to read 79 of the 234 books I added to my shelves this year, which is still quite a few books read.  I also managed to read 69 books from the books already on my shelves.  So in the long run I am saying that I added a total of 86 books to my TBR shelf this year (some of which have already been unhauled along with several large boxes earlier this fall).

I think this was a very eye opening challenge and it is clear to me what I need to work on in the future.  Do you keep track of the books you add to your shelves and if you read them or not? 

Book Shelf Additions
4. Winners Kiss
5. Bubble Trouble
6. Blaze Loves to Race
7. Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
8. Heartstone
9. Beauty and the Beast
10. Norse Mythology
11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
12. Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Library
13. Trapped 
14. Samurai Rising

15. Pancho Bandito and the Amarillo Armadillo
16. The Mating - DNF
17. Hold Your Breath
18. Fan the Flames
19. The Keeper
20. Love and Muddy Puddles
21. Irish Rising
22. The Sculptor
23. Huck: Book 1- All American

24. Dawn Study
25. The Princess Diarist 
Name of the Wind
27. Gone Camping
28. Saga Vol. 7 
29. Over the Garden Wall 
30. The Hundredth Queen 
31. A Court of Wings and Ruin 
32. On His Watch
33. In Safe Hands 
34. After the End
35. Seduced by the Billionaire 
36. The Simplicity of Cider

37. Wise Man's Fear 
38. Dragon Teeth
39. Flame in the Mist 
40. How to Tame a Willful Wife
41. New World: Rising UNHAUL
42. The Sandcastle Empire UNHAUL
43. And I Darken 
44. Finding Wonders 
45. World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks
46. Eliza and Her Monster
47. Turning Pointe 
48. When Dimple Met Rishi
49. Truthwitch 
50. Windwitch  UNHAUL
51. Done Dirt Cheap * (review needed)
52. Frogkisser
53. Lawn Boy 
54. Code Talker 
55. Princess Leia: Royal Rebel 

56. This Savage Song
57. American Street
58. Pax
59. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - DNF
60. The Beast's Garden
61. Under a Painted Sky
62. The Misfits
63. Totally Joe
64. Addie on the Inside
65. Also Known as Elvis
66. Viking Warrior Rebel
67. New Leash on Love
68. Puss Without Boots
69. Northern Exposure
70. Southern Comfort
71. Eastern Ambitions
72. Western Ties
73. Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
74. Monstress Vol. 2 
75. Everyone is an Aliebn when ur are an Aliebn too 
76. The Invisible Library 
77. Saints Blood 
78. Neverwhere  - DNF
79. P.O. Box Love 
80. Britt Marie Was Here
81. Nomansland 
82. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill 

83. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls 
84. Vengeance Road 
85. This One Summer 
86. Keep Me Posted 

87. The Prince of Fools
88. The Nothing Girl
89. Luin the Sapphire
90. His Majesty's Dragon
91. Tortall and Other Lands
92. Wild Magic
93. Wolf Speaker
94. Emperor Mage
95. Realm of the Gods
96. The Winter King
97. The Christmas Blessing
98. The Christmas Hope
99. The Christmas Promise
100. The Christmas Secret
101. The Christmas Note
102. Wonder Woman: Warbringer - DNF
103. The John Wayne Code
104. The Hearts We Sold
105. She and Her Cat
106. Jane Unlimited
107. Before She Ignites
108. Eight Hundred Grapes UNHAUL
109. Shadowcaster
110. Flamecaster
111. The Last Magician
112. Timekeeper
113. Bone Witch
114. Stalking Jack the Ripper
114. Hunting Prince Dracula
115. Vassa in the Night
116. As You Wish
117. Invictus
118. Down and Across
119. Naondel
120. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
121. Language of Thorns
122. Every Little Thing
123. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
124. Klaus
125. Invention of Hugo Cabret
126. Lost Pony of Riverdale
127. Poppy's Diary
128. The Natural History of Dragons
129. Phantom Traces
130. Dear Margaret
131. The Staying Kind
132. Christmas Joy
133. Hearts Unloched
134. A Family for the Rugged Rancher
135. Passion's Palette
136. His Christmas Sweetheart
137. Never Dare a Dragon
138. Vampire King of New York
139. Crewel Work
140. Trouble Looming
141. A Shot at Love
142. Moment of Fate
143. The Promise
144. The Landscaper Series
145. Recipes from Raine's Roast
146. Caught up in Raine
147. Kilty Pleasures
148. Redeeming the Billionaire
149. The Billionaire's Best Friend
150. A Billionaire Playboy
151. Lost City Duplicate Unhaul
152. The World Beneath - Duplicate Unhaul
153. The House of Four Winds
154. Warriors
155. Books of the South
156. Chronicles of the Black Company
157. If You Find this Letter
158. Dinosaur Lords
159. Dinosaur Knights
160. Voyage of the Basilisk
161. In the Labyrinth of Drakes
162. The Speaker
163. Nevernight
164. Christmas at Thompson Hall
165. Live and Adventures of Santa
166. The Nutcracker
167. Traitor's Blade
168. A Merry Christmas
169. Christmas Carol
170. Ink and Bone
171. The Night Before Christmas
172. The Grace of Kings
173. The Wall of Storms
174. The Traitor's Blade
175. The Bear and the Nightingale* (currently reading will finish before 2018)
176. All You Need is Love 
177. To Know Her is to Love Her
178. Deal of a Lifetime
179. From a Certain Point of View
180. The Dinosaur Princess
181. Above the Timberline* (currently reading, will finish by 2018)
182. Wishtree
183. I Want to Hold Your Hand 
184. I Saw Her Standing There
185. And I Love Her
186. It's Only Love
*Everything after this is Christmas Gifts/Purchase with Christmas Giftcards
187. Hidden Figures
188. The Bookshop on the Corner
189. The Fall of Arthur
190. The Tropic of Serpents
191. Territory
192. A Time to Dance
193. Go Ask Alice
194. A Cup of Christmas Tea
195. The Reluctant Queen
196. Wrath and the Dawn
197. Godsgrave
198. Picture of Dorian Grey
199. Pure
200. River of Ink
201. Park Bench
202. Pay it Forward
203. Letters to Sam
204. Staying Strong
205. Cold Forged Flame
206. Lightening in the Blood
207. Rose and the Dager
208. Waiting for Dragons
209. Stupid Christmas
210. The Dragonet Prophecy
211. The Lost Heir
212. Hidden Kingdom
213. Dark Secret
214. Brightest Night
215. Gathering Blue
216. Messenger
217. Son
218. The Book of Three
219. The Black Cauldron
220. The Castle of Llyr
221. Taran Wanderer
223. The High King
224. Gilded
225. Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
226. Fablehaven: The Complete Series
227. Malice
228. Valor
229. Ruin
230. Paper and Fire
231. Burn
232. Fuse
* I forgot to add these but am not going to renumber everything
233. The Last Namsara
234. 6 Mountain Brothers for Christmas

TBR Books Read
10. Calen the Emerald
11. How My Dorky Dad Became a Hero
12. Frost Like Night
13. Vienna Nocturne
14. Winter Studs
15. Bridge of Snow
16. Making of a Duchess
17. Making of a Gentleman
18. Winner's Curse
19. Winner's Crime
20. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
21. Poems from the Mind of a Madman
22. Hidden Presences
23. The Rogue Pirate's Bride
24. Ruined
25. The Siren
26. A Cricket's Thanksgiving
27. Motocross Summer
28. Mad Tales
 29. Maid for Love
30. Watersmeet
31. Centaur's Daughter
32. Shoreline
33. A Grocery List & Other Poems
34. Tide Roaring In
35. More Than Peaches
36. A Court of Thorns and Roses
37. Riders
38. A Court of Mist and Fury
39. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
40. The Book Thief
41. Pippi Longstocking
42. Soldier Sister, Fly Home
43. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
44. R2-D2 To the Rescue
45. Runaway Ralph
46. Raph S. Mouse
47. Gone to Deep
48. The Reader
49. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
50. Journey to the Lights
51. A Man Called Ove
52. Rebels and Courtesans
53. Sword & Verse
54. Fangirl
55. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
56. Shadow & Bone
57. Siege & Storm
58. Ruin & Rising
59. Daughter of the Blood
60. Heir to the Shadows
61. Kingmaking
62. Queen of the Darkness
63. Loving the Billionaire
64. The Queen of Blood
65. Angels at the Table
66. Fire
67. Pendragon's Banner
68. The Christmas Shoes
69. A Promise of Fire

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Graphic Novel Challenge Wrap Up & Favorites

Today I thought I would wrap up my Graphic Novel Challenge for the year (even though I plan to read one more before the end of the year - I will just tack it on to next year maybe).  Again you can see my original challenge post for the year HERE.  I had set a goal of 25 Graphic Novels (which yes I know doesn't apply to all of those listed here as most are Trades and not actual Graphic Novels but for ease of tracking I put them all together on this list).  I definitely accomplished that goal by reading a total of 30 this year!

3. Princeless Vol. 1
4. Will & Whit
5. The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act
6. Nimona
7. The Sculptor
8. Huck: Book 1 - All American
9. Donald Duck: Vicious Cycles
10. Over the Garden Wall Vol. 1
11. Saga Vol. 5
12. Saga Vol. 6
13. Angel Catbird Vol. 1
14. Local
15. Supergirl Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton
16. Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One
17. Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood
18. The Tea Dragon Society
19. Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too
20. Saga Vol. 7
21. This One Summer
22. Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads
23. The Shadow Glass
24. Frankenstein Underground
25. She and Her Cat
26. Klaus
27. Piper
28. Northlanders Vol. 5: Metal and Other Stories
29. Northstars Vol. 1: Welcome to Snowville
30. This One Summer

Top Graphic Novels Read in 2017
As with years passed I have really bounced around a lot in this genre, I have dabbled in different types of novels, from Middle Grade to fantasy to super hero to memoir, there are so many options and definitely something for everyone.  But these are my favorites that I read this year . . .

This doesn't appear to be a popular opinion, but I really enjoyed this slightly different approach to a super hero book.  The art work in it is right up my alley and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it, sadly there doesn't appear to be any kind of plans to continue with it.

I am glad the investment in this one was worth it, I really enjoyed this play on good and evil for Santa's back story. A slightly darker read for the holidays but still with that same feel good at the end. The art is also so detailed and amazing that I just wanted to keep looking at it!

I read this one so early in 2017 that it almost slipped my mind but I really enjoyed this new take on fairy tales and empowering girls to help themselves.  I will definitely be tracking down more in this series in the next year or so because it was full of some really quirky characters and fun story lines.

Honestly, even if you aren't into comics or graphic novels, this might still be a must read book! The characters are so well developed, quirky and multi dimensional that you can't help but come to care for them.  The story is also revolves around good and evil but with some great play with the gray areas that readers can relate to in real life.  

This one is so me that I couldn't help but add it to this list, I adore everything about it, the art style, the characters, the story line, and most of all the unique creativity of it. If you want something cutesy but with a great fantasy story don't hesitate to pick this one up!

Again, I would love to hear about your favorites of the year! Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for me for the coming year?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Children's Challenge & Early Reader Wrap Up & Top Books

So I thought I would do things a little differently with my Challenge wrap ups and I wanted to break down my Challenges so the posts weren't as overwhelming and also give you some of my favorites from each challenge.  Because the Children's Challenge and Early Reader Challenge really go hand in hand I figured I would combine them in one post.  You can check out my original list of goals for 2017 HERE.   So on with the wrap up, I will list out the books I read for each challenge, with links to my reviews, and then post my top picks.

Children's Challenge
So first we have the Children's Reading Challenge,  I had set a goal of 60-65 books this year and managed to stay pretty close to those guidelines with 68 Children's Books this year.  Munchkin is starting to out grow picture books now so some of the books that we may have really enjoyed in the past, are a little boring for him now, but we do still love reading them and sharing them with you. So here is what we read in 2017
6. Driving Force
7. Duck Soup
8. I Will Take a Nap
9. Hedgehugs
10. Happy Valentine's Day Little Critter
11. Love Monster
12. Love Monster and the Perfect Present
13. Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm
14. The Quite Contrary Man
15. Foreman Farley has a Backhoe
16. Cody the Cloud
17. Monster Trucks
18. Today I will Fly!
19. Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
20. Pancho Bandito and the Amarillo Armadillo
21. We are Growing!
22. Why Not Call it Cow Juice
23. The Longest Game
24. Rhody Ram's RI Adventure
25. Dragonfly Magic
26. One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent
27. Supertruck
28. A Little Book About Safety
29. The Pups Save the Bunnies
30. My Friend is Sad
31. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
32. Giggle, Giggle, Quack
33. Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
34. Fire Engine No. 9
35. Little Owl's Night
36. Little Owl's Day
37. The Beastly Pirates
38. Dear Teacher
39. There is a Bird on Your Head
40. Last Day Blues
41. Catch Crusher
42. Swimmy
43. Big Frank's Fire Truck
44. Make Way for Ducklings
45. Can I Play Too?
46. Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues
47. What to Do With a Problem?
48. Dinotrux Dare to Repair
49. David Goes to School
50. This Book Will Not Be Fun
51. It Came in the Mail
52. Ted and Friends
53. The Librarian of Basra
54. Animalia
55. Go To Sleep Mom
56.  Bright Stanley Save's the Day
57. I'm Not Scared
58. The Rainbow Fish
59. There Was an Old Lady Who Was not Afraid of Anything
60. Can You Snore Like a Dinosaur
61. Twas the Day After Thanksgiving
62. Puppy Dog Pals - Adventures in Puppy Sitting
63. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
64. Olaf's Frozen Adventure
65. Cars 3
66. Merry Christmas, Mouse!
67. Gekko Saves Christmas
68. My New Friend is So Fun!

Best Children's Books Read in 2017
So obviously Munchkin and I might have slightly different opinions on our favorite books this year so I did include a couple of his favorite and a couple of my favorites, these are the books we kept coming back to . .

Munchkin was completely obsessed with this book and I was not allowed to pack it away with the rest of the Halloween books.

One of Munchkin's all time favorite books is Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site so I had to get this one for him as soon as it was released.  It is a great follow up to the first book and continues the work with some new truck friends. It can stand alone too, you don't need to read the other book first.

So I originally picked this book up simply because there was an armadillo in it, and quickly became obsessed! I love the classic tall tale feel of this story and the illustration style has bold colors and graphics that are great for the younger kids and an adventure story perfect for the older kids.

I had picked this book up in one of my failed Usborne orders (more on that HERE) and while the experience made me a little bitter, this book was really fantastic! This is a set of several short stories with alliteration and rhyming words, all are simple words and sentences for those kids learning to read and it has a hidden duck on each page and interactive flaps for younger kids.  This has become our go to book when we need something short and simple before bed after an overwhelming day.

This was certainly more for me than anything but Munchkin got a lot out of it too! We both learned a lesson or two when reading it, me to not try cram too much on my to do list and Munchkin to help out a bit more so I am not so tired and cranky. And the book accomplished all this in a few simple, silly pages.

Early Reader Challenge
Again for this challenge I was shooting for between 50-55 books and I actually managed it this time around with 54 books. Munchkin is really getting into these books now as he is looking for longer books with more complex story lines. He is also starting to read quite a few words now and is sounding out new words so these books have been great for us.
5. Max Has a Fish
6. Bubble Trouble
7. Blaze Loves to Race
8. Pig and Pug
9. Meet Blades the Copter-Bot
10. Let's Make Something
11. Tony Baloney: Pen Pal
12. Fire Truck to the Rescue
13. PJ Masks Save the Library
14. Shampoodle
15. Optimus Primal
16. The Garden that We Grew
17. The Little Duck
18. Miss Bindergarten and the Very Wet Day
19. A Day in the Life of a Firefighter
20. Transformer Rescue Bots: Meet Quickshadow
21. Otis's Busy Day
22. The Colorful Story of Comics
23. Transformer Rescue Bots: Meet Boulder the Construction Bot
24. Transfomer Rescue Bots: Meet Chase the Police Bot
25. Transformers Rescue Bots: Team of Heroes
26. Planet Earth
27. DinoTrux: A Thirsty Day in the Crater
28. Transformers Rescue Bots: Meet Heatwave the Fire Bot
29. Pete the Cat and the Surprise Teacher
30. Otter: Hello, Sea Friends!
31. Storms
32. Sir Pete the Brave
33. The Berenstain Bears are SuperBears
34. Mouse Makes Words
35. Dory's Story
36. Robin Hill School: Summer Treasure
37. Berenstain Bears Gone Fishin
38. Berenstain Bears Around the World
39. Meet the Minions
40. Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School
41. Mars
42. We Love Soccer
43. The Snowman and the Snowdog
44. The Spooky Cabin
45. Cat in the Hat Home for Christmas
46. Aaron Loves Apples and Pumpkins
47. Me Too Woody
48.  AT-AT Attack
49. I Spy Thanksgiving
50. See Santa Nap
51. Do You See What I See Christmas
52. Go, Go, Trucks
53. Do You Want a Hug?
54. A Cars Christmas

Best Early Reader Books Read in 2017
Again, some of these books I liked better and some he liked better but they are all on the top of our list.  Obviously, as he grows and learns more his reading preferences will change with his abilities so books that might top our list this year, may not work for us next year if they aren't challenging enough for him.  But for now these are the books we have picked up again and again!

I am just using this as the cover picture, but it was actually a part of a bind up of 5 or 6 Rescue Bots books that were all Level 1. Munchkin absolutely loves flipping through this book and picking out the words he knows and telling me what is happening in the stories.

We are not huge Berenstain Bears fans but we both really enjoyed this book and how it related to us. It was an easy book to read and Munchkin recognized several words in it. With all that said, the best part was the message behind the story of it just being a game and to have fun.

This is a little advanced for Munchkin right now but will be a great one for when he gets just a year or two older.  It is a great non-fiction but told in a fun style with entertaining art too, and it is a subject that will interest young readers.  I will definitely be picking up more History of Fun Stuff books in the future!

Munchkin completely latched on to this book during this holiday season, it not only featured several of his new words but was full of repetition and rhymes with a silly story too. We have really worn this book out in the past month.

This is by far the best early reader book I have come across so far! It was a great level one book with simple words but helps with sounding them out, building words and rhymes. Munchkin loved that he could read so much of this book on his own so much earlier than other books. Definitely one to add to your little one's shelf!

So there you have it, my wrap up of the 2017 Children's Book Challenge and Early Reader Challenge and my top picks.  I have so enjoyed reading these books in the past several years and look forward to sharing more with you in the future!  Please feel free to share some of your favorites from the year, or let me know if there is something you would like to see in the coming year.  I will be back tomorrow with more Challenge wrap ups for the year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It's Not 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

The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
Jammie Day by Carrie Snyder
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Gekko Saves Christmas by Maggie Testa

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

The Last Namsara
Christmas Hope
Christmas Promise
6 Mountain Brothers for Christmas
Mistletoe Kiss
The Gift of Magi
Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Currently Reading:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Print - on page 265 of 435
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden - Kindle - on page 39 of 313
I Saw Her Standing There by Marie Force - Audio  - 53%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
323:43 Hours (about 13+ Days) Listened (4:22 listened this week)
50,873 Pages Read (1,513 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
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
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
World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels
Eliza and Her Monster by Francesca Zappia
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Also Known as Elvis by James Howe
Viking Warrior Rebel by Asa Maria Bradley
Puss Without Boots by Shari L. Tapscott
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Saints Blood by Sebastien de Castell
P.O. Box Love by Paola Calvetti
Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls by various authors
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence
The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
The Winter King by CL Wilson
The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
As You Wish  by Chelsea Sedoti
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff
The Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Phantom Traces by Claire Gem
Dear Margaret by Pamela Ackerson
The Staying Kind by Cerian Hebert
Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle
Hearts Unloched by Claire Gem
A Family for the Rugged Rancher by Donna Alward
Passion's Palette by Peggy Jaeger
Never Dare a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase
Vampire King of New York by Susan Hanniford Crowley
Crewel Work by Natalie Alder
Trouble Looming by Natalie Alder
A Shot at Love by Peggy Jaeger
Moment of Fate by Karen Stivali
The Promise by Jennifer Owen Davies
The Landscaper Series by Robin Stone
Recipes from Raine's Roast by LG O'Connor
Caught up in Raine by LG O'Connor
Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser
Redeeming the Billionaire by Christina Tetreault
The Billionaire's Best Friend by Christina Tetreault
A Billionaire Playboy by Christina Tetreault
The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Warriors by Various Authors
Books of the South by Glen Cook
Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook
If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher
Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan
Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan
Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope
The Nutcracker
Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
A Merry Christmas and Other Stories by Louisa May Alcott
The Night Before Christmas
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
The Traitor's Blade by Sebastian De Castell
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
From a Certain Point of View
The Dinosaur Princess by Victor Milan
Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
I Want to Hold Your Hand by Marie Force
I Saw Her Standing There by Marie Force
And I Love Her by Marie Force
It's Only Love by Marie Force


I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! It was kind of a whirlwind for me, Hubby actually had Christmas Eve off, which is highly unusual for him, in the 15 years that we have been together he has had maybe 5 off total.  It was a good thing too because I was rather ill that day and evening, but luckily recovered by Christmas morning, especially since Munchkin was bursting about 6:30 in the morning!  It was great to spend time with family and I am already pretty close to having it all cleaned up, which again is a small miracle. 

I do want to take a moment to let you know about some great after Christmas/ Boxing Day sales going on, so you can spend some of those gift cards you may have received and get some new books.

First is BookOutlet is having a really big sale: $10 off $30 purchase, $20 off $50 purchase, and $30 off $75 purchase, and always Free Shipping over $35 - if you use my code, I get rewards and you get $10 off your first purchase of $25 or more (you must be completely new or they will cancel your order), I also don't know if this will apply on top of the sale or not - LINK

Audible is also having a 2 for 1 sale on select books for members.  This is a great way to stretch your credits (if you haven't signed up you can and I believe you get at least 1 credit upon signing up, sometimes there is a promo where you can get a free credit too).

Barnes & Noble is having an okay sale,  $5 off $50 purchase, 50% off Clearance, Select Nook Books, and Buy 2 get 1 Free on Select Paperbacks and Manga.  It isn't the greatest sale but still pretty good if you have a gift card and the books you want are on sale.

I hope you have a lot of wonderful new book adventures to go on in the coming year!