Saturday, November 2, 2019

Date Night with a Book: Secret Hunger by Satin Russell

Read for: Beat the Backlist/ RI Author

Synopsis: "Olivia, a cafĂ© owner and cook, never regretted forsaking her dreams to finish raising her sisters after the death of their parents. Now grown, they've moved out of the house, leaving Olivia free to pick up where she left off — if she can find the courage to start over.

Mason is a Boston police detective, recuperating from a tragic incident that left his partner dead. All he wants is to heal and get back to the job of hunting the killer down. The last thing on his mind is romance.

Despite their mutual attraction, finding love wasn't in either of their plans. But as their relationship heats up, events begin to happen that make Olivia realize she’s drawn a far more sinister kind of attention. Suddenly, she finds herself fighting not only for her dreams, but for her very life."

My Review: Admittedly, I do not normally read thriller or suspense books, but with the addition of romance and Russell being a local author, I thought I would give it a shot. I was really drawn into the story and at times when I was alone had to put the book down because I got myself freaked out. I think that means that Satin Russell really got her point across in the atmosphere of the book. I adored the characters, Olivia is no dummy, she understands the danger and doesn't take unnecessary risks. She does chafe under the circumstance but I really liked her determination to see it through. Mason is a great hero, he has his flaws but he is definitely someone to lean on (and he comes with a fantastic sister). I really enjoyed the journey with Livvy and Mason even if I was a little spooked at times and am looking forward to the next book.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, it was a perfect mix of spooky thriller and romance.  Oh and the food!! I got such a craving for fall comfort food! I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold by Cynthia Rylant & Illustrated by Arthur Howard

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Even though Tabby tries to keep him warm, Mr. Putter catches a cold in this cozy addition to the series."

My Review: I have really come to love Mr. Putter & Tabby and this book was no different. I picked it up since we are heading into cold and flu season (Munchkin has already been down with Strep this school year). I like how even at Mr. Putter's age, he is still looking for those comforts from when he was sick as a kid. I guess we never outgrow wanting someone to take care of us with a cozy spot, hot soup and tea to soothe us. Good thing he has such good friends in Mrs. Teaberry & Zeke!

My Rating: There is nothing quite like the comfort items and food when you are sick.  For me it has always been lots of blankets and Russian tea. How about you?  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

October 2019 Challenge Update & November TBR

I really can't believe we are down to just 2 months left in 2019.  I really wonder where the time is running off to, I need more of it!  I am actually pretty happy with my reading this month,  while I don't know if I will be meeting all my challenge goals for the year or not, I feel like I have gotten a handle on my reading and preferences this year.  I have goals in mind for next year but it will be vastly different.  Anyway on to this month's wrap up . . .

Children's Books
30-40 books
21. I will Fight Monsters for You
22. Crankenstein
23. Frankenstein A Parody
24. In November
25. Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?
So close! I will definitely be hitting my goal by the end of this year!

Early Reader Books
30-40 books
18. Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold
This challenge will be a stretch, I will definitely fall short but since Munchkin seems to have completely skipped this reading level, I am okay with it.

Graphic Novel - COMPLETE
25 books
28. Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
This challenge is complete but I will probably be reading another handful before the end of the year.

Audio Book Challenge - COMPLETE
50 books - (Caffinated Reader hosted)
52. The Picture of Dorian Gray
53. The Blacksmith Queen
54. Capturing the Devil
55. The Sasquatch Escape
56. The Lonely Lake Monster
57. Mrs. Miracle Christmas
58. Christmas Angels
59. The Sandcastle Empire
Obviously, Audio books have become an important part of my reading! I am so thankful I discovered them! Clearly I have completed this challenge and like above I will probably have another handful to add to the list before the end of the year.

Classic Books
5 books
2. The Picture of Dorian Gray
Clearly I won't be meeting this challenge this year.  I have made an attempt at a couple other classics but DNFed them.  I have come to the understanding that I don't have to read the classics to be a reader. I am going to try a couple more this year but in the future I will only pick them up if I feel like it.

Big Books
10 books over 500 pages
I am sitting at 7 for the year, there is a slim chance I can make it this year, I have been reading so many books that are just under 500 pages.  I do have a stack of books I want to read that are over 500 but we will have to see if I can squeeze them in.

RI Authors
20 books
2. Secret Hunger
I am most upset about this challenge, I pride myself on supporting my local authors but without the RI Author month to push me to pick up those books, I just haven't been reaching for them.  It isn't because they aren't great books, I just haven't had the drive. Hopefully I can improve on this next year and at least read the ones I already own!

Borrowed Books - COMPLETE
30-40 books
30. Poisoned Apples
31. Pumpkin Heads
Another challenge complete! I have slowly been rediscovering my love for the library.  My local library has made a lot of improvements and if I can get over the fact of a set TBR I must read now, I think I could really use it a lot next year.

15 books
11. Queen of Blood
I have really felt the need to re-read books but I have been striving to get through my TBR stacks. I will definitely be pushing for more re-reads next year, whether I finish this challenge this year or not!

Beat the Backlist
75 books - (Novelknight hosted) - only using books I already own
61. Annihilation
62. Strange Star
63. The Resurrectionist
64. The Picture of Dorian Gray
65. The Lonely Lake Monster
66. Poisoned Apples
67. The Sasquatch Escape
68. Secret Hunger
69. The Sandcastle Empire
70. Family Under the Christmas Tree
I have decided to ease up a bit on myself with this challenge, I originally set out to only use books I already own but as I have been purging my shelves and borrowing more books, I have opened it up to all backlist books I have read this year.  Upon going back and adding all the previous ones read and the ones for this month, I think I will definitely be completing this challenge next month.

The Never Ending Series
Warland Chronicles: Book1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4,
I seriously can't believe I still haven't finished this challenge.  I only have 2 more books to read but I for some reason I keep skipping over them.

Requested Reviews
No more than 25 new acceptances (& catch up on old requests)
30. It's a Christmas Thing (Netgalley)
31. Postcards From a War (Netgalley)
32. A Mrs. Miracle Christmas (Netgalley)
33. Christmas Angels (Netgalley)
34. Christmas Calendar Girls (Netgalley) DNF
I have, yet again, taken on far too many requested reviews. It is so hard to turn down all these great authors and books

Recently Added to Shelves
Limited purchases (must total less than 200) and read soon
1. Dragon of Ash & Stars - (Jan./ Jan.) DNF
2. The Snow Gypsy (Jan./ ) - UNHAUL
3. Book Nerds & Boyfriends (Jan./Feb. ) *
4. WarDance (Jan/ )
5. Warsong (Jan./ )
6. The Only Harmless Great Thing (Jan/Jan.)
7. Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego (Jan./ Jan.)
8. Lost Boy (Jan/July)
9. Year One (Jan/ )
10. Girl Who Drank the Moon (Jan/ )
11. King of Scars (Jan/ )
12. Dactyl Hill Squad (Feb./)
13. The Darkdeep  (Feb./)
14. Voices (Feb./Feb.) 
15. Wicked King (Feb./March) 
16. Lord of the Fading Lands (Feb./)
17. Crown of Feathers (Feb./)
18. Argos: The Story of Odysseus as told by his Loyal Dog (Feb./)
19. 100 Hugs (Feb./ Feb.) 
20. Binti 2: Home (Feb./March)
23. Binti 3: Night Masquerade (Feb./March) 
24. Artificial Condition (Feb./March)
25. Rogue Protocol (Feb./March)
26. Trial of Lightening  (Feb./ May) 
27. The Last (Endling) (Feb./March)
28. Aquicorn Cove (Feb./Feb.) 
29. Thick as Thieves (Feb./ Feb.)
30. Aru Shah and the End of Time (March/) - DNF
31. Foundryside (March/ April)
32. Wundersmith (March/) - UNHAUL 
33. City of Ghosts (March/March) 
34. Saga Vol. 8 (March/ April)
35. Saga Vol. 9 (March/April)
36. Warrior of the Wild (March/March)
37. Book Love (March/March)
38. Queen's Shadow (March/March) 
39. A Curse So Dark and Lonely (March/May) 
40. Shadow of Doubt (March/)
41. Gates of Stone (March/)
42. In Her Sights (March/April)
43. Nevermoor (March/May)  
44. A Conspiracy of Truths 
45. The Wild Robot (March/March)  
46. The Resurrectionist (March/October) 
47. Viper (April/)
48. Vortex Visions (April/) 
49. Through the White Wood (April/)
50. Descendant of the Crane (April/)
51. The Princess and the Fangirl (April/April)
52. Holy Sister (April/September)
53. Rhapsodic (April/May) 
54. A Strange Hymn (April/May) 
55. The Emperor of Evening Stars (April/June)
56. Dark Harmony (April/)
57. The Black Bull of Norroway (April/May) 
58. We Rule the Night (April/) - UNHAUL
59. The Unbound Empire (April/)
60. The Opposite of Always (May/) - UNHAUL
61. The Sea Queen(May/)
62. The Mountain of Kept Memory(May/)
63. Metamorphica (May/)
64. Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1 (May/)
65. Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2 (May/)
66. The Sea King (May/)
67. Ride Hard (May/)
68. Ride Rough (May/)
69. Ride Wild (May/)
70. Irresistible Force (May/June)
71. Force of Attraction (May/)
72. Primal Force (May/)
73. Rival Forces (May/)
74. A Rogue by Any Other Name (May/)
75. A Scot in the Dark (May/)
76. The Day of the Duchess (May/)
77. The Pirate Bride (May/)
78. Pirate Stories (May/July) 
79. Man Made Boy (May/)
80. This Monstrous Thing (May/) DNF
81. The Case of the Missing Moonstone (May/June) 
82. Dear Santa (May/)
83. An Endless Christmas (May/)
84. Christmas Magic (May/)
85. Falling Softly (May/)
86. Christmas Town (May/)
87. The Christmas Star (May/) 
88. Crazy Rich Asians (May/June) 
89 Once and Future (May/June)
90. Highland Crown (May/) - DNF/UNHAUL
91. Her Royal Highness (May/May) 
92. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World (May/May) 
93. Seal's Honor (May/May) 
94. Gris Grimly's Frankenstein (June/October)
95. The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals (June/) - UNHAUL
96. The Case of the Perilous Palace (June/) - UNHAUL
97. The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter (June/) - DNF
98. The Beholder (June/) - UNHAUL
99. Lovestruck (June/) - UNHAUL
100. We Hunt the Flame (June/)
101. Romanov (June/)
102. Dark Shores (June/ June)
103. Dreaming the Bear (June/)
104. A New Hope (June/September)
105. The Trial of Joan of Arc (June/) - DNF
106. Midsummer's Mayhem (June/July)
107. Monsters (June/)
108. The Monsters We Deserve (June/October)
109. Strange Star (June/September)
110. Hephaistos: God of Fire (June/July)
111. Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816 (June/)
112. Till There was You (June/July)
113. Sea Sirens (June/June)
114. The Bride Test (June/August)
115. The Kingdom (June/July)
116. Storm and Fury (July/)
117. Queen of Ruin (July/July)
118. Stepsister (July/August)
119. The Lost Vintage (July/) - UNHAUL
120. Becoming the Dark Prince (July/July)
121. Kingdom of Exiles (July/September)
122. The Beckoning Shadow (July/) - UNHAUL
123. The Thankful Unicorn (July/September)
124. Star Wars: Pirate Price (July/August)
125. Spin the Dawn (July/July)
126. Clue by Clue (August/August)
127. Honeybees and Frenemies (August/)
128 The Sticky Rice Caper (August/August)
129. Lando's Luck (August/August) 
130. Turning Darkness into Light (August/September)
131. A Monster Calls (August/September)
132. Master & Apprentice (August/) 
134. The Chosen (August/)
135. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (August/)
136. Mortal Engines (August/)
137. Evvie Drake Starts Over (August/)
138. Merciful Crow (August/)
139. The Bridge Kingdom (August/)
140. Girl From the Other Side Vol. 2 (August/September)
141. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 1 (September/September)
142. Darkdawn (September/)
143. The Girl the Sea Gave Back (September/ August)
144. A Crash of Fate (September/)
145. Black Spire (September/)
146. Capturing the Devil (September/October)
147. The Testaments (September/)
148. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World (September/September)
149. Plum Crazy Vol. 1 (September/September) 
150. The Missing Bookshop (September/October)
151. Tea Dragon Festival (September/September) 
152. The Warrior Moon (September/)
153. A Thousand Roads Home (September/October)
154. The Sasquatch Escape (September/ October)
155. The Lonely Lake Monster (September/October)
156. Ink (October/)
157. The Blacksmith Queen (October/October)
158. Klaus Vol. 2 (October/)
159. Molly and the Cat Cafe (October/)
160. Plum Crazy Vol. 2 (October/)
161. Plum Crazy Vol. 3 (October/)
162. Plum Crazy Vol. 4 (October/)
163. A Walk One Winter Night (October/)
164. Loving My Actual Christmas (October/)
165. A Family Under the Christmas Tree (October/October) *
166. The White Christmas Inn (October/)
167. There Will Come a Darkness (October/)
168. Shadow Frost (October/)
169. How to Love a Duke in 10 Days (October/)
170. How to Catch a Wicked Viscount (October/)
171. Faker (October/)
172. Three Days on a Train (October/)
173. Destiny of the Wolf (October/)
174. Leave the Lights On (October/)
175. Marshmallows and Mistletoe (October/)
176. Cocoa & Carols (October/)
177. The Prince's Son (October/)
178. At Last (October/)
179. The Last Huntsman (October/)
180. Forgotten Love (October/)
181. Mae's Cafe (October/)
182. Within the Captain's Hold (October/)
183. Elusive Dreams (October/)
184. Christmas & Cannolis (October/)
185. Fated Mates (October/)
186. Take My Breath Away (October/)
187. Stolen by the Viking (October/)
188. Destroyed by Magic (October/)
189. Abducted by Magic (October/)
190. Rise Like a Goddess (October/)
191. Out Like a Goddess (October/)
192. Finding Her Dragons (October/)

193. Freeing Her Dragons (October/)
This month was a bit of a doozy on this challenge between a big haul from bookoutlet and an author event my balance of read to unread hauled books has tipped a bit in the opposite direction. Granted a lot of the books are books that will be read for the Advent Reads event over the next month or so but I had wanted to keep my purchases under 200. That only gives me 7 more books and I have at least that on pre-order, let alone Christmas! Ooops!

January Reading Stats:
I read a total of 26 books this month
3,183 pages read and 3 days, 3 hours and 26 minute of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Borrow More Books: I did borrow a couple of books this month  -  CHECK
2. Purchase Less Books: Last October I only purchased 7 books and this year I purchased 37.- :( Yikes!
3. Read Big Books: I read a few that were over 400 pages but  still none over 500 even though I have some I really wanted to read! - :(
4. Re-Read More:  I did re-read one from 2 years ago to complete the series and so enjoyed it!- CHECK
5. Put Less Pressure and Stress on Myself: This has been so difficult because I really do enjoy blogging and sharing my love of books but done to the base, it is stressful to read and review enough and post every day.  Even though it is almost a habit at this point it is not exactly a healthy one. I am going to be taking most of the month of November off, though you won't notice it too much as I have posts scheduled, but I want to see how much less stressed I am without having to constantly review and post. I will however still check in every week on Monday. - :(


I don't know about you but I feel like I never have time to read all the books I want to read! The year as quickly drawing to a close and I have so many more I wanted to squeeze into the year, but alas some will be going into the new year.  For now I want to focus on preparing for the Advent Reads event and also just picking up some books that are really screaming at me from the shelves (and hopefully complete some challenges while I am at it).

For fun
Dark Harmony
The White Christmas Inn

and for requested reviews
Let it Snow

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Review of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley adapted for young readers by Rosie Dickins & Illustrated by Victor Tavares

Read for: Favorite Books!

Synopsis: "Victor Frankenstein dreams of doing what his scientific peers called impossible; creating life from death. As lightning flashes across the sky, his creature stirs. But will it be the perfect being he imagines, or a monster?"

My Review: Since Frankenstein is my favorite book and I make it no secret, Munchkin has been wanting to know what it was all about, so I set out to find the perfect young reader edition for him. This one did a really good job of condensing the story and getting across a bit of the story without being overly scary for a young reader. It didn't quite convey the concept of there being multiple forms of monstrous behavior but it is a concept that might be above the average young reader's abilities. I think this would be great for readers (or parents reading to them) between the ages of 6 to 9. The illustrations really added a nice element to the story and helps young readers stay engaged in the story and understand it as well.

My Rating: I think this is a very good adaptation for younger readers, it doesn't quite convey my favorite parts but it is still a good introduction to the story.  Munchkin has yet to read it (I wanted to check it first) but I am looking forward to him starting to enjoy my favorite! I give it a rating of Three Paws!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Review: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Works of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story."

My Review: I was really drawn to this one by the cover and illustrations throughout this book but I had no idea what I was getting myself into! This was definitely the perfect time to pick up this dark and disturbing book. Half the time when I was reading this I felt like it was an actual historical article or book on Spencer Black. It was conveyed in such a believable manner that you are constantly questioning whether it is true. I was drawn in by the work of Black and how his ideology evolved throughout the book, with noble causes followed by obscure ideas. The detail that went into the Codex really add to the feeling of actual history, though your brain and knowledge of reality tells you that no, it is fiction. It was disturbing and captivating and a book that I will keep on my shelf to entertain other as I was thoroughly entertained.

My Rating: The part of this book that is a real draw is the way it is written, the line between fiction and history is so blurred and the details presented in the story and the art make it so believable! I can't help but give this book a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Monday, October 28, 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

The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick
Strange Star by Emma Carroll
Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? by John Solimine (Bedtime Story)
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein by Gris Grimly (Graphic Novel)

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

Secret Hunger
Capturing the Devil
A Family Under the Christmas Tree
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold
In November
Poisoned Apples
Usborne Young Frankenstein
Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?

Currently Reading:

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda - Ebook - on page 36 of 448
Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson - Audio - 23%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
530:30 Hours Listened (12:26 listened this week)
29,311 Pages Read (1,074 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
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
Dark Harmony
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
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Storm and Fury
Honeybees and Frenemies
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow
The Bridge Kingdom
A Crash of Fate
Black Spire
Capturing the Devil
The Testaments
The Missing Bookshop
The Warrior Moon
A Thousand Roads Home
The Sasquatch Escape
The Lonely Lake Monster
The Blacksmith Queen
Klaus Vol. 2
Molly and the Cat Cafe
Plum Crazy Vol. 2
Plum Crazy Vol. 3
Plum Crazy Vol. 4
A Walk One Winter Night
Loving My Actual Christmas
A Family Under the Christmas Tree
The White Christmas Inn
There Will Come a Darkness
Shadow Frost
How to Love a Duke in 10 Days
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount


I hope you have been enjoying the first half of my Frankenstein Week.  I have really enjoyed many of the books I have picked up that were inspired by either Frankenstein or by Mary Shelley herself.  I love being able to try new books and share the ones that I like best with all of you. 

I have had a really great reading week last week, even though it was still insanely busy as seems to be the norm for this time of year.  There are still so many books that I can't wait to read and so many I wanted to squeeze into this month but I am definitely going to have some of those spilling over into November. 

Did you know in all the chaos of this month that I completely forgot that it was my Blogoversary?!  I have been blogging for 9 years now!!! I have in those 9 years created over 3,000 posts and read & reviewed over 2,500 books!  I know, I about fell over backwards when I look back at all I have done with this blog.  It has certainly changed my reading and I have made so many friends through it as well, all over the world.  As much as I love what has been happening here, there will be some changes coming in the future, hopefully for the better.  As I was looking back on my past blogging, I realized that other than some minor gaps at the very beginning of my blog when I was figuring out what to post and how to post, and the 1 month I took off for the birth of Munchkin, I have not taken any kind of a break or hiatus from the nearly daily posting.  Like so many others, lately I have been finding it difficult to keep up with the constant demands of work, home and blog/social media life; it is a constant struggle to find balance in all of these parts of our world.  I have been playing with the idea of cutting back in several non-essential parts of my life to find what is at the core and what can be balanced while still maintaining some level of mental health.  Now this does not in any way mean I am going to be giving up blogging.  I have loved my time here and plan to continue, and honestly I don't think you will notice any changes here any time soon. . .

I am spending this week working hard to get ahead on my posts and reviews, and then plan to take a step back from blogging and reviewing for most of the month of November.  You probably won't even notice as I will have posts scheduled throughout the month, and I will be checking in with my Monday Reading list as I will continue reading throughout the month. This is an experiment for me to see how much the daily blogging and reviewing is impacting my stress and anxiety levels. I will return for the December Advent Reads event of course, but how this next month goes  will determine where I take the blog next year. 

In the mean time, I would love to hear your input.  What have I done in the past that you would like to see brought back, which posts could you do without and which do you most look forward to seeing.  How often do you prefer to see posts here? Are there any genres or ages you would like to see me keep posting here or which would you rather see only on my Goodreads?

Well I think that is enough for now! I hope you continue to visit and enjoy my posts and I look forward to hearing from you on what you want to see here.  While I started the blog for me personally it has become so much more and I want it to remain a place where we can share our love of books and reading!