Saturday, April 28, 2018

Audio Book Review of The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Read for: Audio Book Challenge/ Borrowed Book

Synopsis: "A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed.

The women at the center of The Enchanted April are alike only in their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. They find each other—and the castle of their dreams—through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon. The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy. Now, if the same transformation can be worked on their husbands and lovers, the enchantment will be complete." 

My Review: When I set out to read 5 classics this year, I came across this one and thought it would be fun to read it in April. It is definitely a classic in the fact that it is overly descriptive with details that don't relate to the story but are simply flourishes. The characters are at times entertaining and the setting is beautiful. I also enjoyed the fact that the joy and hope in the story builds as the story continues, and it almost takes on a bit of a comedy of errors theme towards the end. Luckily, it was a fairly short book so it did keep the nonsense tangents to a relative minimum but the romances written in this time period really do not appeal to me that much. It did however really make me think that I just might need a month long get away with my girlfriends!

My Rating: While this classic was better than the Austen books in my opinion, it wasn't much better.  I really think that maybe classic romances just aren't for me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Bedtime Story: Tsum Tsum Book of Haiku

Read for: Poetry Month/ Children's Book Challenge & Munchkin loves Tsum Tsum

Synopsis: "The cutest toys in the world now have a companion book! Disney's runaway hit Tsum Tsum toys feature stackable plush versions of your favorite Disney characters from Mickey to Elsa and everyone in between. This book is the perfect keepsake for collectors of the toys, and a quick, sweet read for kids who love these adorable toys."

My Review: Munchkin is a big fan of the Tsum Tsum short and the little toys, so I thought this would be a fun book. It was cute and had fun illustrations but sadly the Haiku was lacking. The Haiku poems throughout the book kept to the 5,7,5 meter but the subjects were a little all over the place. Munchkin definitely wasn't into it at all. It might be fun for an older collector and fan to have on their shelves but not the greatest for young fans.

My Rating: We both enjoyed the art style but the Haiku poems did not agree with me or Munchkin.  We give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Fandom Items

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

So this week's topic is all about those fandom merchandise, like what you receive in subscription boxes (and more of course).  I admit that I am a bit of a subscription box fiend, but I have really started to narrow down the items that I like in those boxes and have started branching out and just searching for those items on my own.   For this prompt you could list the types of items that you love, or you could list items you desperately want.  I thought I would list both my favorite types of items and another list of the items that I am wishing and searching for currently.

Top 5 Fandom Items I LOVE

As I am sure you all know, I have a bit of a tea addiction and I especially love book themed teas and often seek them out.  I also love book themed mugs and cups, but Hubby swears if I bring one more in the house he will start getting rid of my books (so I will have to start hiding them in cupboards he doesn't look in lol). 

I am also a bit of a notebook and pen hoarder, some of my favorite items from book boxes are the notebooks and when Owlcrate sent a fountain pen I nearly died!  Of course I never write in these notebooks because I don't want to ruin them with pointless writing.  There does need to be more pens in the fandom world, I don't have nearly enough!

What bookworm doesn't love bookmarks?! Of course I rarely actually use bookmarks and instead just remember the page I am on but I do love collecting beautiful bookmarks.

Of course I also love comfy socks and have really accumulated a bunch of themed ones.  I do have to say though that often these fandom socks are not of the best quality and wear out quickly.

I might also have a bit of a Star Wars clothing problem too. I love how many unique designs and way to show my love of it.  I had to search for quite a while to find something that was work appropriate to wear to the office.  I also have to say that I have never felt more confident and beautiful than when I am wearing my Star Wars clothes, the shirt on the top left in particular. 

Honorable Mentions:

Pillows, I love fandom pillows (and blankets)! They are comfy and unique and help support you while reading.  You can cuddle them when a book or movie rips out your soul.  But the down fall is that you really can have too many! They take up space and if the rest of the people in the house aren't into the same fandom they will get sick of them floating around the house and on every piece of furniture.  I have 4 or 5 blankets and 6 or 8 pillows and I think that is all I will be allowed. 

I also oddly enough really, really love when I receive these little glasses cleaning cloths from authors. I know it is a totally weird, random and small thing but I love them.  Nothing cleans the kid finger prints, dog kisses, etc from the lenses than these cloths; and I keep them stashed everywhere, my car, my desk, my purse, by the bed, on my bookshelf and even as bookmarks sometimes.  I love them!

Finally, even though I couldn't get a picture because it is all packed up, John Wayne memorabilia! I am a huge John Wayne fan! I have playing cards, all the movies, Breyer Horses of his movie horses, books, even a life size cardboard cutout! 

5 Fandom Items I am Wishing For:

I have been wanting these Ember in the Ashes character cards for a couple of years now, they are available through Thread Bound Studios on Etsy. 

Because I need more tea cups and infusers right?! But I have been wanting this cup and plate set forever and who wouldn't want that book infuser?! I think it might be essential for me!

And I need a wine glass with Tyrion's quote from Game of Thrones, I am thinking it will be necessary for the final season!

And because I don't have enough Star Wars clothing . . .


So what are some of your favorite fandom items or memoribilia? What is on your wish list?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Release Day Review of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Read for: Vikings! & Netgalley/Requested Review


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating."

My Review: I have really been anticipating this book but yet was hesitant to pick it up because of so many disappointing Viking books recently. I shouldn't have waited to read it because it was fantastic! I was instantly sucked into the story and was right there with the characters for all the emotions. This was a real page turner and I did not want to put it down until complete. I really appreciated the honest brutality, yet still showed the loyalty, honor and love of the viking community. There were some really fantastic lines throughout the book that I will keep in my favorite quotes book. I loved the character development throughout the story, there is some romance but I really appreciate how it doesn't take center stage, it builds and grows but there are more pressing matters that take priority (and if I remember correctly one of the characters even points that out). The religious and political aspects of the story were also great, though I think they could have used a bit more development and explanation. All in all a book that I am very excited for others to read, and one I will definitely be wanting to re-read again!

My Rating: I was so there for all the emotions in this book, I think that is what really captured me, how raw everything was.  This is definitely going on my favorites list and I am giving it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!   Please go and read this one so I can discuss it with you, I am dying to chat with someone about it!!

I received Sky in the Deep via Netgalley, this is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Adrienne Young and her new book on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Sky in the Deep is being released TODAY, so go pick up your copy in digital or print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check your local bookstore, if they don't have it yet just ask and I am sure they will order if for you!

And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, check out this trailer for the book!

Monday, April 23, 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

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert (Early Reader)
The Park Bench by Christopher Chaboute (Graphic Novel)

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

An Enchanted April
Sky in the Deep
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

Currently Reading:

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston - Print - on page 246 of 480
Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force - Audio - 32%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
190:40 Hours Listened (19:15 listened this week)
12,663 Pages Read (352 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
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
Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly UNHAUL
The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Smuggler's Run by Greg Ruka
The Lost Stone by Jordan Quinn
The Scarlet Dragon by Jordan Quinn
Sea Monster by Jordan Quinn
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Heaven on Earth by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr
Into the Fire by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Still Waters by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force
Hermes: Tales of a Trickster by George O'Connor
The Witch's Curse by Jordan Quinn
Emma's Dream by M. Lee Prescott
Eko by Loren Walker
Moving Targets by Cecil Castellucci
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


What a whirlwind week and weekend! I need more days and more hours in the days! I have been reading some really fantastic books lately and I feel like there might be a slump coming, I am trying my best to avoid it but it may happen anyway.  We also had a ton going on this weekend with Tball practice, soccer game, a local author event and an order of Mother's Day cards to get out the door. Thankfully, Spring has finally decided to make an appearance so we are able to get outside and not freeze!

This week will be another full week with more Tball, Dewey's Readathon and Opening Day for Tball this weekend.  And I need to start prepping for Star Wars Day!

Hope you all have a fun filled week.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dewey's Spring 2018 - 24 Hour Readathon - Sign Up

Spring is in the air so it is once again time for Dewey's 4 Hour Readathon!

 So like last year, it just so happens that the Dewey Readathon lands on Tball opening day, Saturday the 28th, so once again I will unofficially be signing up.  Like last year I will have to break it up (even though that isn't what you are supposed to do but it is the best I can do) and I will plan to ready for 24 hours total over 3 days, starting Friday and ending Sunday.   As a result of being busy I won't be updating the blog on that day but I will try to update on Twitter (@Easternsunset9) or on Instagram (@Easternsunset9)

Some Goals:
Read for a total of 24 hours over 3 days
Read 7 books total
Read 1,200  Pages

TBR Pile
The Beginning of Armadillos - 32 pages (Audio)
The Joy of Less -  298 pages (Audio)
I Got It - 32 pages
The Red Racecar - 192 pages
Still Waters - 198 pages
Moving Target - 231 pages
From a Certain Point of View - 479 pages
Emma's Dream - 241 pages
Heir to the Jedi - 291 pages

I am using this readathon to try to knock out some of those more recent purchases that seem to keep accumulating (I wonder how that happens :P )

 Are you participating? What are you reading?