Saturday, July 27, 2019

Graphic Novel Review of Hephaistos: God of Fire by George O'Connor

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge & Recently Added

Synopsis: "Thrown from Mount Olympus as a newborn and caught by Thetis and Eurynome, who raised him on the island of Lemnos, Hephaistos had an aptitude for creating beautiful objects from a very young age. Despite his rejection from Olympus, he swallowed his anger and spent his days perfecting his craft. His exquisitely forged gifts and weapons earned him back his seat in the heavens, but he was not treated as an equal. His brothers and sisters looked down at him for his lame leg, and even his own wife, Aphrodite, was disloyal, Witness Hephaistos' wrath as he creates a plan that’ll win him the respect he deserves."

My Review: I have really enjoyed this series of Graphic Novels, but I have to say I was a little disappointed with this one. It was quite a bit shorter than the others in the series but I think there is so much more that could have been done with Hephaistos' story. Granted much we know about Hephaistos is interwoven into other myths but he does appear in many of them and I would have liked to see some of those brought up in this one. With that said it was still a great volume, I still love the art style and all the extras that are included in the back of the book. This has been such a great series of graphic novels that makes these myths approachable for many audiences.

My Rating: While I did really enjoy this one, I just felt like it could have had more to it. I am not an expert in mythology but I recall several more times Hephaistos was mentioned in myths and I would have liked to see a little more.  I still enjoyed it and appreciate it so am giving it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Innings and Outs of Baseball by Jordan D. Brown & Illustrated by Kelly Kennedy

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Learn the fascinating science behind baseball in this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series about the science of fun stuff!

Did you know that every time you watch a baseball game, you are watching some great examples of physics in action? Why exactly does the amount of spin on a pitch determine how far a ball can be hit? And what’s the scientific reason that using pine tar on the bat makes it easier to grip? Learn all about the science behind America’s favorite pastime in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read!

A special section at the back of the book includes Common Core–vetted extras on subjects like anatomy and history, and there’s even a fun quiz so readers can test themselves to see what they’ve learned!"

My Review: Munchkin has once again enjoyed another season of baseball. He also got to go to his first Minor League game as well, so of course he wanted to know more about the rules. This was a great book to read, it broke down not only how the game is played and why things are the way they are but also a bit of the science behind it, I had no idea so much science went into the design of the ball and even the stitching. This was a great book for a young reader and player to enjoy and gain a deeper understanding of the game they enjoy.

My Rating: I love these books and so does Munchkin. It is an advanced reader so Munchkin was happy to read it. We learned a lot in this book and it has made Munchkin more interested in the sport.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

TBR Thursday (4)

So I stumbled upon this feature at Purple People Readers (I am totally in love with the blog name LOL) and was originally created by Kimberly Faye Reads.

As you may know, I like so many other book lovers out there am struggling with a towering TBR.  I have been currently working on narrowing it down a little (check out my Instagram stories for Trash My TBR Thursdays). But I thought I would also bring that idea to my blog, where you can get a bit of a say in what stays on my TBR and what books it may be time to let go.

So let me know, should I keep it on my TBR, prioritize it, or let it go.  Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts on . . .

Title: Norwegian by Night
Author: Derek B. Miller
Series: Sigrid Ødegård Series - Book 1 (2 books so far)
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback
Length: 303 pages
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.89 Stars
Time on TBR: Since December 29, 2014
Synopsis: "He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars - never, of course not - but Sheldon can't help but wonder what it is he's doing here..

Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam.

When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can't speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both.

An extraordinary debut, featuring a memorable hero, Norwegian by Night is the last adventure of a man still trying to come to terms with the tragedies of his life. Compelling and sophisticated, it is both a chase through the woods thriller and an emotionally haunting novel about ageing and regret."

This was the Reading Across Rhode Island pick for 2015 I believe, obviously I didn't partake in any discussions! It is definitely way outside my reading genres but admittedly I am a sucker for all things Viking and Norwegian. I haven't heard a whole lot about this one nor have I felt the urge to pick it up.

Should I give it a try? Will it be a gateway into a new genre for me?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Things I Have Learned About Reading Preferences

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

Sam is currently on hiatus/vacation from Top 5 Wednesday this summer, but I have been thinking about these things for a while and thought I could share them with you now.  

If you have been around here a little bit you will have noticed that I read quite a few books, and for the past 5 years I have read over 300 books a year.  It would be hard to read that many books without learning a thing or two about your reading preferences.  Sometimes preferences change, I have gone through years where I can't get enough romance and other years where I pretty much only read fantasy or historical fiction.  But here are some things I have discovered about my reading that have become pretty consistent. 

1. The books that have the biggest impact on me are often Children's picture books or Middle Grade books.  For some reason the messages in these books just really strike me and stick with me. Maybe it is that they often take on a difficult subject with clarity or that the message is simply stated but those books really stand out to me.

2. I prefer contemporary or historical fiction in Middle Grade but really struggle with Middle Grade Fantasy. I don't know what it is but I just can't get into MG Fantasy, which is odd because fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and I started out in MG fantasy. I recently had to DNF a few very popular MG fantasy books:

3. In reverse, anymore I cannot stand YA Contemporary but love YA fantasy.  I think this ties into my complete intolerance for teen drama, the constant feeling that if this one thing doesn't happen the character's world will come to an end, as an adult I know there are way bigger problems.  However, you put those same issues in a fantasy book and I can swallow it a little more, maybe because the perceived struggle tends to affect a bigger picture, like whole kingdoms survival.  Like in Down and Across the basic premise is a teen striking out on his own to find his path in life and I had to DNF it but in Spin the Dawn the MC basically does the same thing but I gobbled it up.  The setting and character attitudes can really make or break a book for me.

4. Growing up in a small town out west seems to really have determine my preference in romance. While I do enjoy a good billionaire romance, I much prefer small town, preferably with some kind of ranch/farm setting.  Maybe I am missing that atmosphere and am absorbing it via text in a book.  Some of my recent favorites are

5. As intimidated as I am by big books, they seem to often be my favorites! I really enjoy big chunky fantasy books that have time to develop with lots of characters and plot lines. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review of The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Read for: Audio Book Challenge & Recently Added

Synopsis: "Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human."

My Review: This book was on the edges of the books I have been looking forward to this year but it wasn't a top priority. Then I received it in a book subscription box and the custom art on the dust jacket had a flutter pony on it and I knew I had to read it ASAP. Due to my busy schedule, I borrowed an audio book from the library to keep reading even when busy. The format is a mashup of narrative, interviews and court documents and this did make the audio book difficult to follow at times. It also jumped around in the timeline from past narrative to the court hearing and then to the current interview so that also made it difficult to follow at times. With that said the story does paint a vivid picture, that clearly mimics Disney almost a little too closely. This was clearly a warning about these attractions and messing with human and cyborg technology. I did come to enjoy the characters and though I knew relatively early where the story was going it was still a fun blend of sci-fi and murder mystery with a touch of romance.

My Rating: This was an interesting book, a good one for newbies to the sci-fi genre like myself. It did read like a warning with a clear agenda which was a bit off-putting to me. It was a good book but not a favorite of mine.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, July 22, 2019

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

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Bedtime Story)

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

The Kingdom
The Window on the Bay
Princeless Vol. 2
Nate the Great and the Missing Key
Becoming the Dark Prince
The Trial of Joan of Arc - DNF
Hephaistos: God of Fire
Lost Boy
Highland Crown - DNF
Till There Was You
Pagan The Black

Currently Reading:

Realm by Alexandrea Weis - Ebook - 11%
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson - Print - on page 147 of 352

Pages Read/ Time Listened
368:35 Hours Listened (16:50 listened this week)
19,491 Pages Read (1,229 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy
Lost Boy
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Holy Sister
Dark Harmony
We Rule the Night
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Pirate Stories
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Highland Crown
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
The Beholder
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
A New Hope
The Trial of Joan of Arc
Midsummer's Mayhem
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Hephaistos: God of Fire
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Till There Was You
The Bride Test
The Kingdom
Storm and Fury
Queen of Ruin
The Lost Vintage
Becoming the Dark Prince
Kingdom of Exiles
The Beckoning Shadow
The Thankful Unicorn
Star Wars: Pirate Price
Spin the Dawn


Another super busy week but I finally feel like I am getting caught up! I am mostly caught up in the office, my house work is mostly caught up (as much as can be in a construction zone) and I am relatively back on track with my reading.  I am behind on writing reviews and getting those posts up but I am not too worried about it right now.  We have had a bit of an shake up in our schedules, due to an accident at work (luckily those involved will recover) my husband is back on night shift and working an insane amount of hours every week. 

Between him once again being knocked off day shift, the high temperatures and missing a furry cuddle buddy, I was in a bit of a funk this weekend. I started DNFing a few books and was in the mood to purge a lot of extra stuff, so I decided to go through my TBR.  I unhauled 25 books off my TBR shelves, I DNFed 2 books, and then I decided to Try a Chapter on book subscription box books that I had waiting from this year.  Of the 8 books I tried a chapter on I decided 4 of them weren't for me.  So just this weekend alone I have unhauled 31 books from my TBR, this actually felt really good, but it also brought to light that much of the books and items in subscription boxes I am not using. I have a couple of boxes already pre-ordered (especially for Capturing the Devil and Darkdawn in September) and a couple of 3 month subscriptions to run out but other than those I think I am over the book box craze. I always have a tendency to get sucked back in with FOMO (fear of missing out) so I will probably unfollow most of the boxes as the subscriptions run out.

So with all this going on I have kind of gotten back into the swing of things with my reading. I am still a little behind on requested reviews and the Medievalathon but I am feeling rather accomplished.  I hope I can keep the momentum going through this week!

How is your reading week going? Would you recommend your most recent read?