Friday, June 1, 2018

RI Author Month: Bedtime Story: Shake, Waggle & Roll by Susan Wiley

RI Author Month

Synopsis: "Shake, waggle, and roll with a lively pup who is busy as can be from sunup to sundown. Join in on the actions as Russ T. Pup runs, sings, plays, and wags his tail from cover to cover. Be on the lookout for his kitty pal. She is never far away!"

My Review: I picked this book up at a local author event for Munchkin. It is such a cute book about Russ T's day. Munchkin loved trying to find the cat who tags along in each picture while we read the story. Wiley did a great job with the rhyming and rhythm of the story and it makes a great read aloud book and the bright pictures will keep young children's attention.
My Rating: We really enjoyed this book, Munchkin loved finding the kitty hidden in each of the pictures and the words were easy enough for him to read on his own as well.  A fun book for kids with pets especially.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

You can get your own copy of Shake Waggle & Roll in print or digital format from AmazonBarnes & Noble & Westbow Press.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 2018 Challenge Update & June TBR

Can you even believe that we are almost half way through 2018?! I have gotten a bit behind on writing reviews but I am really happy with my reading progress, I am either at about halfway or beyond it with all of my challenges.  I am still struggling to read as many books as I bring in, so far this year I have added 103 books but have only read 43 of those (which isn't too bad, almost half) but I have also read 33 books that were already on my shelves and I have unhauled a bunch of books so I think I am still breaking relatively even.

June is starting tomorrow and thus will be kicking off my RI Author Month, I will have new books to share with you from my local authors all month long (posting on Tuesday - Friday and maybe a few Saturdays as well).  I believe this will be my final time putting together the RI Author Month, but more on that next week.  For now lets get into the books I read in May and what I hope to read in June. . .

Children's Book Challenge:
30 - 40 books
20. Shark Lady
21. ABC-3PO
22. Thumbs Up Brown Bear
23. Sunny
24. Tyler's Tall Tales

Early Reader Challenge:
30-40 books
15. Wonders of America: Rocky Mountains
16. Wonders of America: Statue of Liberty

Graphic Novel Challenge:
23-28 books
13.  Sour Grapes

Audio Book Challenge:
28-32 books

Classics Challenge:
5 books (1 re-read)

Series Challenge:
4 full series & 6 duologies
Memoirs of Lady Trent Series (5 books & 1 novella): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 3.5Book 4Book 5 - COMPLETE
Butler VT/Green Mountain Series (9 books & 2 novellas): (Books 1-3 read in 2017) Book 4Book 4.5Book 5Book 6Book 7Book 8 Book 9 - COMPLETE (currently)
Nevernight Chronicles (2 books so far): Book 1Book 2
Winternight Trilogy (3 books): Book 1Book 2
Unicorn's Secret (8 books): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4
Ree Verakai Duology (2 books): Book 1Book 2 - COMPLETE
Ixian Chronicles: Book 1
The Selection Series (5 books & collection of novellas): Book 1Book 2Book 3
Kingdom of Wrenly (13 books so far): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5Book 6Book 7Book 8Book 9Book 10
Compass Boys Series (4 Books): Book 1Book 2Book 3

Requested Reviews:
No more than 25

TBR Challenge:
50-75 books that I already own as of 12/31/2017
30. The Trail
32.  Red Racecar
33. Diapers Daycare and Deadlines

Books Added to Shelves in 2018:
As I read the books I purchase this year I will add a link (I will also note the month they were purchased/ read)
1. Plague of Giants (Jan./April)
2. Moonsilver (Jan./ Jan.)
3. Silver Thread (Jan./Jan.)
4. The Silver Bracelet (Jan./ Jan.)
5. Mountains of the Moon (Jan./ Feb.)
6. Practical Magic (Jan./)
7. I Love My Love (Jan./ Feb.)
9. Gods of the North (Jan./March)
10. We Have Always Lived in a Castle (Jan./)
12. Heart on Fire (Jan./ Jan.)
13.To the Sky Kingdom (Feb./ )
15. Letters from Wolfie (Feb./March )
16. Ketchup Clouds (Feb./ )
17. Dead Man's Walk (Feb./ )
18. Luck Love and Lemon Pie (Feb./ )
19. Beartown (Feb./ )
21. Listen, Slowly (Feb./March) - DNF
22. Ravenous (Feb./ ) - UNHAUL
23. Monstrous (Feb./March )
24. The Astounding Broccoli Boy (Feb./March )
25. Terrier (Feb./ )
26. Lonesome Dove (Feb./ )
27. As Brave as You (Feb./ March )
28. Smuggler's Run (Feb./Feb. )
29. The Lost Stone (Feb./March )
30. The Scarlet Dragon (Feb./ March)
31. Sea Monster (Feb./March )
32. Daughter of the Pirate King (Feb./May )
33. The Wolves of Winter (Feb./ May )
34. Heaven on Earth (Feb./ Feb. )
35. Into the Fire (Feb./ March)
36. Still Waters (Feb./April )
37. Red Sister (March/March)
38. Reflections of Yesterday (March/)
39. Sleeping Giants (March/May)
40. Heir to the Jedi (March/April)
41. Jedi Search (March/)
42. Heart of Iron (March/April)
43. Here Comes the Sun (March/April)
44. Hermes: Tales of the Trickster (March/ March)
45. The Witches Curse (March/March)
46. Emma's Dream (March/May)
47. Eko (March/)
48. Star Wars: Moving Target (March/May)
49. Caging Merrow (March/)
50. The Fifth Season (March/)
51. His Dark Endeavor (March/)
52. The Traveling Cat Chronicles (March/)
53. Greedy Pigs (March/)
54. Lustlocked (March/)
55. Black Powder War (March/)
56. Throne of Jade (March/)
57. The Scandalous Mackenzies (March/)
58. The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (March/)
59. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (March/)
60. Lady Castle (March/May)
61. Frankenstein Alive, Alive (March/)
62. Frankenstein Alive Alive Trio (March/)
63. Long Walk to Valhalla (March/April)
64. Hard to Serve (March/)
65. Mastering Her Senses (March/)
66. Theirs to Take (March/)
67. The Sapphire Affair (March/May)
68. The Joy of Less (April/May)
69. Nightblade's Vengeance (April/)
70. Circe (April/ May) *
71. Tomorrowland (April/)
72. The Wolf (April/)
73. My Lady's Choosing (April/)
74. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death (April/May)
75. Sky in the Deep (April/April)
76. Beyond the Darkened Shore (April/)
77. Defiant Heir (April/)
78. True North (May/)
79. The Sorting Room (May/ )
80. Lost Stars (May/ )
81. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (May/)
82. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day (May/)
83. Frankenstein Dreams (May/)
84. The Belgaraid (May/)
85. The Rhode Island Short Story Club presents The Club (May/)
86. Death Sworn (May/)
87. Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau (May/)
88. A Court of Frost and Starlight (May/May)
89. Prince of Persia (May/)
90. Zenith (May/ )
91. In the Heart of the Sea (May/ )
92. The Queen of Sorrow (May/ )
93. I Capture the Castle (May/)
94. Cruel Prince (May/)
95. Onyx & Ivory (May/)
96. Princesses Behaving Badly (May/)
97. Fight for Everything (May/)
98. Catching Stars (May/)
99. Light as Air (May/)
100. Marriage Arrangement (May/May) *
101. Furyborn (May/)
102. Sweet Tea & Sympathy (May/)
103. Half Drowned King (May/)

March Reading Stats:
I read a total of 36 books this month
4,313 pages read and 1 days, 21 hours and 7 minutes of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read Less Books: I read 36 books in the month of May this year, I don't have an exact count from last year but I know it was a pretty slow reading month so I think I read more this year. 
2. Be More aware while reading: I haven't been very good about marking quotes or making notes while reading this month, but I did take a lot of notes on one book - CHECK
3. Read More Chunky Books (12 books over 450 pages in 2018): I have managed to get myself back on track with reading at least one chunky book each month, I read one over 450 pages this month! - CHECK
4. Use Library & Overdrive more: I again borrowed 3 books I don't own! I have of course continued to use it for multiple formats as well - CHECK
5. Purge & Re-organize shelves: I pulled another 4 books off my shelves that were duplicate copies and unhauled another 3, not as successful as previous months but it is a work in progress - CHECK


I did a fairly decent job reading books on my TBR last month, but did get distracted a couple of times.  I know I am now heading into my busiest time of year but there are still so many books I want to read. Especially since so many new books are coming in right now with May and June releases. I also have a bunch of re-reads I want to get done so I am fresh for the newest releases coming out.  I do hope to also finish a couple of my challenges this month.

Eko by Loren Walker *Currently Reading
Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester
Mask of Shadows and Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
Books 1-5 of the Sin du Jour Series by Matt Wallace
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
An Ember in the AshesA Torch Against the Night and A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell

Do you tend to read more or less when it warms up outside? How do you make sure you get reading time during vacations?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Popular Series I Have No Interest in Reading

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

This is the final week of freebie topics for Top 5 Wednesday and this week I wanted to highlight a subject I have been wanting to talk about anyway, popular books and series I really have no interest in reading. Some of these are extremely popular and even in my favored genre of fantasy but for one reason or another I really have no interest in reading them.  

So here we go . . .

As beautiful as some of the covers are and as many people I hear listing them and Cassandra Clare as favorites, I really have never had an interest in reading any of the books in the Shadow Hunters realm. I am completely over the urban fantasy thing and will only pick up books from series or authors I have previously read.


Warcross & on that same note Ready Player One.  I am not a gamer, never have been and never will be and have a feeling I would really struggle relating to these books or even the idea of them.

Darker Shade of Magic Series, again some of my most trusted fantasy reader friends have listed this among their favorite series of all time.  I have in the past really struggled with books set in London, and trying to wrap my head around 3 or 4 different Londons in different realms, no thank you.

Again the covers of the Red Queen series are beautiful and I have heard a lot of readers really enjoyed at least the first book or two but I have also heard that it is really cliche. For me there are just too many other fantastic and unique books out there to waste my time on something that is cliche and possibly goes downhill as the series continues, so I am going to pass.

Finally, I think I really missed the boat on the Percy Jackson series. It is a long series and is written for Middle Grade readers. After struggling so much with Harry Potter, I just don't see myself enjoying this series either nor do I have the desire to try to catch up with it and all the other branch off series.  This is the only one on the list I foresee possibly picking up, only because if Munchkin wants to read it some day I will read it as well.

So what popular books have you opted not to read? Is there anything that you don't feel is worth the hype?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review of A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Read for: Recent Purchase

Reviews of Previous Books:

Synopsis: "Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. 

Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court."

My Review: I wasn't really sure if I would be picking up this book after the disappointment of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I was again a little disappointed, even with lower expectations. I appreciate the way this novella does handle the struggle in the aftermath of war. I understand each character has different roles to play and different ways of dealing but with the way the inner court had been presented in earlier books I would have expected them to be a little closer to each other and a little more involved with each other. I absolutely loved when they were all together but it was all too brief in this book. The whole Feyre and Rhys gift giving was all too predictable, I saw what was coming from the beginning of the book and it just felt cliche and a let down. Some of the characters also lacked their usual depth and spark which left them really flat on the page, why keep them around if they are going to be half-heartedly thrown in? Really, all around a lack luster book for me. It seems the next books will take on a bit of a darker and more angst ridden tone that is being set in this book. I really honestly don't know if I will continue.

My Rating: I know there are a lot of opposing opinions on this book, I kind of land somewhere in the middle. I appreciate what was done in this book, showing the rebuilding process after the war and some celebration, but at the same time the characters all fell a little flat for me. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, May 28, 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

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
Zeb to the Rescue by Kay Michaels (Early Reader)

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

The Trail
Red Racecar
Sour Grapes
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death
Thumbs Up Brown Bear
Tyler's Tall Tales
The Marriage Arrangement
Statue of Liberty

Currently Reading:

Circe by Madeline Miller - Audio - 67%
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu - Multiple Formats - 6%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
250:31 Hours Listened (None listened this week)
18,171 Pages Read (1,051 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
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan


Last week was a bit of a slow reading week, it was super hectic in the office and we had a surprise visit from a family member with only a few days notice.  So reading got pushed to the side.  I also ended up in a bit of a mini slump after reading one of the books last week, fortunately it seems that I have pulled out of it and am fully engaged in the books I am currently reading.

Can you believe May is already almost over?! We are nearly half way through the year! I am anxiously trying to pull together a RI Author Month, if I can get the interviews lined up this next week then I will have it in June, if not it might get pushed to July.

I hope you all have a great week this next week and start your June off with a great adventure!