Friday, December 28, 2018

2019 Audio Book Challenge Sign Up

So the last couple of years I have really come to love audiobooks and in 2018 I consumed more than I ever thought possible. So this year when I was looking for new challenges I came across Caffinated Reviewer  and her Audiobook Challenge hosted with Hot Listens and thought it was time I once again join actual challenges and interact with other readers.  

The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and you can listen to audiobooks in any format to count.  The books can also be re-reads and cross over to other challenges.  There will be 2 check ins throughout the year, June 30th and December 15th, and I believe there will be prizes.   There are also a lot of different levels you can enter, from Newbie to Marathoner.

I am signing up for the Marathoner challenge level with a goal to read 50+ audio books which, based on 2018 reading, should not be a problem!

A few of the books that will be on my TBR for the start of the year include:


Do you listen to audiobooks? Will you be giving them a try for the first time? What will you be listening to?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Review of For Every One by Jason Reynolds

Read for: Borrowed Books/ Audio Book

Synopsis: "Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

A pitch perfect graduation, baby, or love my kid gift."

My Review: I hadn't really heard a lot about this book, but I stumbled on it one day and thought I would give it a try. I listened to the audio, which is read by Jason Reynolds himself. It was a really beautiful book and very inspiring, it definitely made me tear up a bit at parts when it felt like my struggle had been seen. I think this is going to become the book I give to everyone of my family members and friends (or friends kids) as they graduate high school and college. It is definitely one to go back to as a reminder that it is okay to dream and strive for those dreams, and fight through the setbacks to keep dreaming and striving.

My Rating:  This was such a great book and it will be fantastic not only for people beginning a new chapter in their lives but even great for starting out a new year and thinking about goals and dreams. I will definitely be referring back to this book throughout the next year and my life.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Advent Reads Day 24: Jingle Bell Pop by John Seabrook

Read for: Audio Books

Synopsis: "It seems like every year, the holiday season arrives earlier and earlier. Before Halloween’s ghosts and ghouls have even had their chance to come out of the shadows, sleigh bells and ribbons begin to materialize at the mall and towering tinsel-tinged trees appear in our living rooms. But the most telltale sign of the arrival of yuletide festivities is the unceasingly merry melody of the seasonal songbook, from "Silent Night" to "Santa Baby." Love them or loathe them, these holiday earworms are here to stay. But how do these songs endure for decades? And why are there so few contemporary Christmas carols?

In this holly jolly Audible Original, New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker columnist John Seabrook uncovers the mysteries of the holiday music machine, exploring how these hits were made and why they’ve dominated the soundwaves each and every winter. From the mid-century reign of songwriter Johnny Marks ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer") to the manufactured musical nostalgia of modern holiday hits like "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Seabrook, alongside a cast of singers, songwriters, and producers, reveals the untold stories behind the songs that have us rockin’ around the Christmas tree year after year."

My Review: I don't often listen to music anymore, but Christmas music is something special! I start listening to it right after Halloween and love every minute of it. I was really intrigued with this audio book, I find it very interesting as to where favorite songs came from and the creative process. I didn't realize how difficult it is to hit the charts with a new Christmas song. I also learned a lot of details about some of the others that I had no idea, I didn't know that Silent Night was originally in German. It was a fun book, that had the feel of a TV special and was a really enjoyable listening to while running all those Christmas errands.

My Rating: This was an interesting listen and I really enjoyed learning so many new things about Christmas music, both newer and the classics.  I would have liked even more about the older songs and I would have preferred to have a short break in between each discussion with the song they are talking about. But it was great to keep the holiday spirit going.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

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

The Winter Riddle by Sam Hooker
Young Scrooge by RL Stine
A Merry Christmas and Other Stories by Louisa May Alcott
Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle
Santa's Underwear by Marty Rhodes Figley (Bedtime Story)
Northstars Vol. 1.5 by Jim Shelley & Haigen Shelley (Graphic Novel)
The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere

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

Jingle Bell Pop
Santa's Underwear

Currently Reading:
Beneath the Same Stars by Phyllis Cole-Dai - Kindle - 15%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
616:20 Hours Listened (1:22 listened this week)
39,965 Pages Read (32 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
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
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
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
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams  UNHAUL
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely UNHAUL
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Words We Don't Say by K.J. Reilly
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth - UNHAUL
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke  - DNF
Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson - DNF
Monster: The Story of a Young Mary Shelley by Mark Arnold
Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky
Anything but Okay by Sarah Darer Littman
The Storyteller by Traci Chee
The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Grant
Special Gifts by Cynthia Rylant
Pioneer Sisters by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Animal Adventures by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura & Nellie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
School Days by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
Carne the Ruby by Rich Feitlberg
Wolf Kiss by Christine DePetrillo
Wolf Fire by Christine DePetrillo

Wolf Vow by Christine DePetrillo
Wolf Angel by Christine DePetrillo
Waiting for You by Rose Grey
All of Me by Rose Grey
Pangaea: Sunslinger by Bolivar Beato
Pangaea: Revelations by Bolivar Beato
Wastelander: Awakening by Bolivar Beato
Come, Bos by Lucille Benoit
The Promise: A Perilous Journey by Hank Ellis
Grinch of Starlight Bend by Jennifer Probst


I had a really awful reading week last week, not really a reading slump, more of a full life slump.  My stress level has been so high the past several months that I just finally hit that wall. And boy did I hit it hard.  I haven't actually picked up a book in nearly 5 days. I didn't even watch any TV or color or create any cards, usually all the things I do other than reading when stress gets too high.  I do feel myself recovering a little bit and I have been getting a lot accomplished which helps with my anxiety and stress levels. 

Also Christmas is tomorrow! So one of my major stressors will be over and done with soon. Seeing Munchkin so excited and believing in the magic makes it all worth it in the end.

I hope you all have a very magical holiday season!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Advent Reads Day 23: The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere

Read for: Recently Added

Previous Books in the Christmas Hope Series

Synopsis: "In the small town of Grandon, five very different people discover the true meaning of Christmas. Jennifer and Ryan are both single parents, struggling with their own losses and heartache as they attempt to move forward in the present while still holding onto the memories, joy, and heartache of the past.

Sixteen-year-old Kaylee is faced with a life-changing situation that has affected her whole family. Stephen and Lily are happily married and ready to start a family. All of them are facing their own struggles, and all are finding their way through the dark. When they are brought together for a rather unconventional church Nativity, they will learn that with strength, courage, and love, there is always hope.

The New York Times bestselling author of the beloved The Christmas Hope series returns with this new heartwarming, inspirational story about the power of love and faith to reveal the possibilities that lay right in front of you."

My Review: I didn't think any book would be able to have quite the impact as the first book in this series, Christmas Shoes, but boy this one came awfully close! I really enjoyed the story and the characters. Of course Gloria and Miriam had that great back and forth that brings a bit of humor to a pretty difficult story. I really loved Ryan and the way he interacted with his little girl and the other characters on a whole, and Jennifer's dedication to her daughter and her mental well being is very touching. But the best part is the background story of Lilly and Stephen and Kaylee, that was the most touching part and even though you could see it coming, it was still so wonderful to read.

My Rating: Next to the first book in this series, this might be my favorite one! I was sobbing, sad tears, happy tears and all the tears in between. I really loved this one and give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!