Totally Should’ve Book Tag

I found this tag on Youtube, check out the Creator –> emmabooks

I have a lot of fun doing these, hope you enjoy! I’d love to hear your answers, so if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged 🙂

Tag you're it.jpg

Questions:

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

the birth house

 

Title: The Birth House

Author: Ami McKay

Published: 2007 by Vintage Canada

408 pages

Canadian Historical Fiction

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of the Rare family. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent years of World War I, Dora becomes the midwife’s apprentice. Together, they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives.

When Gilbert Thomas, a brash medical doctor, comes to Scots Bay with promises of fast, painless childbirth, some of the women begin to question Miss Babineau’s methods – and after Miss Babineau’s death, Dora is left to carry on alone. In the face of fierce opposition, she must summon all of her strength to protect the birthing traditions and wisdom that have been passed down to her.

Filled with details that are as compelling as they are surprising-childbirth in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion, the prescribing of vibratory treatments to cure hysteria and a mysterious elixir called Beaver Brew- The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to maintain control over their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine.”

2. Totally should’ve had a spin-off series

the little giant of aberdeen county

 

Title: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Author: Tiffany Baker

Published: 2009 by Grand Central Publishing

341 pages

Adult, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

A multi-generational tale with many dark aspects and a touch of witchcraft, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is the story of Truly – a girl grown massive due to a pituitary problem. Reviled and brought up in poverty, Truly finds her calling and a future that none expected.

When Truly Plaice’s mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how record-breakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother’s death in childbirth and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of feminine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated–Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane’s beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book–containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers–has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly’s biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly’s brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling–the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques–hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan’s family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly’s reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.”

3. An author who totally should write more books

Tiffany Baker, the author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. I haven’t read her other three books yet, but I see she hasn’t published anything since 2014. I loved The Little Giant so much, I really need to read her other books ASAP.

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Hermione should’ve ended up with Harry.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Revival

 

 

Title: Revival

Author: Stephen King

Published: 2014 by Scribner

405 pages

Horror, Thriller

Don’t get me wrong – I did like the ending. It was jaw-dropping. However, my curiosity would love to have an alternate ending.

 

 

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

The lunar chronicles.jpg

WHY has this not happened yet!?!?!

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

harry potter series.jpg

The books are too long for a movie to REALLY do the story justice. A TV show would provide the time to share this epic adventure without leaving anything out. Imagine bingeing 10 seasons of Harry Potter on Netflix. YES PLEASE!

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Little Deaths

 

Title: Little Deaths

Author: Emma Flint

Published: 2017 by Hachette Books

311 pages

Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Inspired by a true story.

 

 

 

9. Totally should have a cover change

See question 8. Don’t like this cover at all.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

I don’t really pay attention to cover changes. I do like the UK versions of the Harry Potter book series than the American (or any other version).

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, or The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Not because I don’t like them. I have read most of the books in both series, but didn’t finish. It’s been so long since I’ve read them that I feel the need to go back and start at the beginning…but it’s a huge commitment! I just wish they weren’t so long 😦

Don’t forget to put your answers in the comments, or link your blog/channel!

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Totally Didn’t Book Tag

Another book tag for tag tuesday 🙂

Share your answers in the comments, I’d love to hear em!

Creator –> ReadLikeWildfire

 

Questions:

1. Totally didn’t need to have a sequel/sequels.

The Friday Night Knitting Club

2. Totally didn’t need to have more than one point of view.

Little Deaths

 

Little Deaths by Emma Flint – didn’t need the reporters perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Totally didn’t need to change cover art through the middle of a series.

Thought about this for a couple of hours, but can’t think of an example.

4. Totally didn’t need a love triangle.

Divergent-series-by-Veronica-Roth

5. Totally didn’t need this book to be included in this series.

the path of daggers.jpg

 

It’s been a long time since I read The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (over 15 years), but I absolutely remember how disappointed I felt.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Totally didn’t need a cliffhanger.

stranger in the house

 

A Stranger in the House by Shair Lapena…I won’t discuss the cliffhanger for spoilery reasons, but man…it wasn’t necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Totally didn’t need to have just one point of view.

Alone in the classroom.jpg

 

Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Totally didn’t need that much hype.

girl-on-the-train

 

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 

 

 

 

 

9. Totally didn’t need a relative book reference. (Eg, For example: Hunger Games fan would love Divergent.)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them

 

 

J.K. Rowling? Say nothing more! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Totally didn’t deserve my time.

Colin Firth Sorry…

 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio #BookReview #thewonderofwonder #choosekind

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

Wonder.jpg

 

Title: Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date published: September 2017 (originally published 2012)

Page Count: 352 pages

synopsis

A special movie tie-in edition of R.J. Palacio’s #1 New York Times bestseller, now a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Daveed Diggs, and Mandy Patinkin.
Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and Auggie Pullman, the ordinary boy with the extraordinary face, who inspired a movement to Choose Kind. This special movie tie-in trade paperback edition features an eight-page full-color insert with photos from the film, a new introduction by the author, and a family discussion guide.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, a #1 New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” –indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder, #choosekind

My Review

If you haven’t heard of Wonder, you’ve been living under a rock. Both the book and movie are a big hit, and have made an enormous impact on millions of people. I do not have the talent to write a worthy review for such an important piece of literature – but I’ll give it a shot, in hopes that you’ll pick up this book, read it, then have your kids read it, and tell everyone you know to read it. Our western society is at a fork in the road, and it’s books like Wonder that may help shift the tide so we can all choose kindness.

 

Wonder is a story about acceptance, courage, compassion, loyalty, and kindness. It’s told from many perspectives: August, his sister Via, his friend Summer, his other friend Jack, and Via’s friend Miranda.

The characters feel authentic and reminded me of people I know in real life. I cried when August cried, and I laughed when he laughed. His school principal, Mr. Tushman, is like so many principals that I have worked with, hard, but kind. They work to bring the best out of you. August makes some great friends at school, Jack, Charlotte, and Summer – and he also makes some enemies, Julian. Mr. Browne, the teacher who is amazing at his job and understands how to connect with his students, not to just teach the curriculum, but to teach life changing lessons. As a parent I couldn’t help but feel connected to Augusts’ parents who struggled, like many parents, with trying to protect their children, yet give them the room to grow.

Summer is most definitely my favourite character. I would love to read an entire book about her, and I wonder what she would be like as an adult. She’s the kind of friend I wish we could all have, and the person I hope I am.

August’s first day of school
“I went straight to room 301 on the third floor. Now I was glad I’d gone on that little tour, because I knew exactly where to go and didn’t have to look up once. I noticed that some kids were definitely staring at me now. I did my thing of pretending not to notice.” page 37

“In the hallways, which were always crowded, my face would always surprise some unsuspecting kid who maybe hadn’t heard about me. The kid would make the sound you make when you hold your breath before going underwater, a little “uh!” sound. This happened maybe four or five times a day for the first few weeks: on the stairs, in front of the lockers, in the library. Five hundred kids in a school: eventually every one of them was going to see my face at some time.” page 61

“This precept means that we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you. That’s why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.” August, explaining Mr. Browne’s precept, Your Deeds Are Your Monuments. page 65

 

I purposefully read Wonder slowly, because I didn’t want it to end. One of my top 10 books I’ve ever read – maybe even top five. If you haven’t read Wonder, READ IT NOW! And…Choose Kind.

About the author.jpg

“R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4859212.R_J_Palacio

Things To Do When It’s Raining {Review}

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

things to do when it's raining

 

Title: Things To Do When It’s Raining

Author: Marissa Stapley

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Canadian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada

Date published: Expected Publication February 6, 2018

Page Count: 256 pages

 

 

synopsis

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.

 

My Review

Things to do When it’s Raining takes place in Alexandria Bay, New York, on the beautiful St. Lawrence River. It’s a real place, and coincidentally it’s only about 100km away from where I live! I didn’t realize this when I requested the advance reader copy. I’ve seen the 1000 Islands area and it’s absolutely stunning. If you’ve never been, I suggest taking a trip there someday.

This story touches on themes that I think many of us can relate to: family secrets, struggling to forgive, grief, regret, and the power of love. Mae Summers grew up in Alexandria Bay. She was raised by her grandparents George and Lily after her parents Virginia and Chase died when Mae was a child. We meet Mae as an adult, living in New York City, engaged to Peter. We find out Peter has committed fraud and up and left Mae with nothing but a short note scribbled on paper. She ends up losing everything, and finds herself back at the inn her grandparents own in Alexandria Bay. After 67 years of marriage, Mae’s grandfather George finds out that his best friend who was killed in the war is the real father of Virginia (Mae’s mother). He leaves Lily to stay at a hotel. Meanwhile Lily is losing her mind and has been forgetting the names of people, places, and objects. George finds out Gabe’s father, Jonah, is in the hospital and isn’t doing well, so he calls Gabe to tell him he should probably come back to Alexandria Bay. Gabe’s mother left when he was really young, and Jonah is a drunk who used to physically and emotionally abuse Gabe. Gabe he decides he should go back to check on his Dad. Gabe and Mae get to see each other after many years, work through current life challenges and in the process reveal many secrets that have been buried for too long.

 

Mae was extremely naive. I mean…she’s an adult, and somehow had no idea what Peter was doing behind her back when she worked with him? I dunno, I found that slightly unbelievable. I had a hard time getting into the story, but once we arrived in Alexandria Bay and I got to meet George, Lily, and Jonah, I became more engaged in their stories.

 

Gabe is my favourite character. He’s been through some real crap in his life. You would think the ability to love someone else would have died in him long ago. I would have liked more info about Gabe’s life after he left Alexandria Bay.

If this story wasn’t written in third person narrative I would have been able to felt more connected to the characters. There was too much telling, not enough showing.

Overall, this is an easy read with a compelling story. If you like romance stories with family drama and secrets, then you’ll like Things to do When it’s Raining. Expected publication is next month 🙂

 

 

About the author.jpg

Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novel Mating for Life, and the forthcoming Things to Do When It’s Raining. She writes the commercial fiction review column “Shelf Love” for the Globe and Mail, reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star, and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382096.Marissa_Stapley

http://www.marissastapley.com

54321 Tag!

54321 TAG!
For this tag you’ll have to name 5 books you gave a 5 star rating for, 4 books with 4 stars, 3 books for 3 stars, 2 books for 2 stars, 1 book for 1 star.

Original Creator: Reading Whilst Vlogging

5 Books I Gave 5 Stars

4 Books I Gave 4 Stars

3 Books I Gave 3 Stars

2 Books I Gave 2 Stars

1 Book I Gave 1 Star

Northern Light

New Poetry Book “Take Me With You” {Review}

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

Take me with you

Title: Take Me With You

Author:  Andrea Gibson

Genre: Poetry, LGBTQIA

Publisher: Plume Books

Date published: Expected Publication January 23, 2018

Page Count: 193

 

synopsis

“For readers of Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey) and Cheryl Strayed, a book small enough to carry with you, with messages big enough to stay with you, from one of the most quotable and influential poets of our time.

Andrea Gibson explores themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, family, and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to heal and to be different in this strange age. Take Me With You, illustrated throughout with evocative line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, is small enough to fit in your bag, with messages that are big enough to wake even the sleepiest heart. Divided into three sections (love, the world, and becoming) of one liners, couplets, greatest hits phrases, and longer form poems, it has something for everyone, and will be placed in stockings, lockers, and the hands of anyone who could use its wisdom”

 

My Review

Take Me With You is a poetry pocket book highlighting a wide variety of relatable topics, split into three sections: Love, The World, and On Becoming. These poems talk about the good and bad parts of love: how it feels to love someone, to be loved, and to have your heart broken. Gibson also tackles big themes about the world such as creation versus destruction, women’s rights, the internal struggle of someone who is transgender, feminism, heaven, the broken parts of America, gun violence, tolerance, veterans, war, the pressures social media put on us, and kindness. In the last section titled “On Becoming” Gibson shares thoughts on struggling painfully through mental health challenges like anxiety in order to end up at a place where you love ALL of yourself, including the flaws which help to make you who you are.

After reading other reviews I think the final book is three long poems rather than a bunch of short poems. I read the ebook version which had each poem on a different page. Reading these words as three long poems would be a completely different experience.

There are some insightful and unique comparisons such as, needing someone as much as the moon needs the sea, or comparing a room in a home to the palm of a hand, or how in Autumn the leaves fall as if they are in love with the ground.

Either way, Take Me With You is a delightful little book about HOPE and I would recommend this to everyone, especially to readers who want to read more poetry that isn’t filled with complicated prose.

About the author

Andrea Gibson is an award-winning poet and activist who lives in Boulder, Colorado. Their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society. In addition to using poetry to express what they feel and provide social and political commentary on real issues, they are involved with many activist groups. They often perform at Take Back the Night events, LGBTQ events, pride events, trans events, anti-war rallies, peace rallies, organizations against the occupation of Palestine, and groups focused on examining the wrongs of capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy. They also work with a group called Vox Feminista whose model is to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” on all these issues. Throughout the year, they tour Universities and other venues across the country.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/457281.Andrea_Gibson

Check out Andrea’s website: https://www.andreagibson.org/

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite book and movie: The Last Unicorn ~ Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Last Unicorn (2008)

Title: The Last Unicorn

Author:  Peter S. Beagle

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy, Young Adult, Classic

Publisher: Penguin Roc

Date published: 40th Anniversary Edition published 2008. First published 1968.

Page Count: 294

 

 

synopsis

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29127.The_Last_Unicorn?ac=1&from_search=true

 

My Review

Two hunters who have failed to track down their prey are traveling through the unicorn’s forest. She overhears one hunter tell the other that this forest must be protected by the last unicorn. They decide to move on and the unicorn is left to wonder whether she truly is the last of her kind. She decides to leave her forest and find the other unicorns. On her journey she meets a talking butterfly who tells her about the Red Bull who chased all the other unicorns away.

“He was the color of blood, not the springing blood of the heart but the blood that stirs under an old wound that never really healed. A terrible light poured from him like sweat, and his roar started landslides flowing into one another. His horns were as pale as scars.” – Decribing the Red Bull

While sleeping the unicorn is captured by a witch named Mommy Fortuna who runs a traveling carnival of caged mythical creatures, including the evil Harpy, Celaeno. Mommy Fortuna tells the unicorn that the Red Bull belongs to King Haggard.

“…the Red Bull will know you when he sees you.” – Mommy Fortuna

Schmendrick, a magician who works for Mommy Fortuna, helps the unicorn escape. Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman, joins Schmendrick and the unicorn as they travel to the castle where King Haggard and his son Prince Lír live.

 

The Last Unicorn, a third person narrative, is a story about how we are often our own worst enemy, and when we find ourselves in the most dire situation surrounded by evil we must let love show us to believe in ourselves and each other.

“You must never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention.” – The Unicorn

There is a ton of story with breath-taking language smashed into this small book. I cannot name one character as my favourite. Schmendrick, Molly, King Haggard, Prince Lir, the Red Bull, are all extremely well-written characters with distinct and authentic personalities. The unicorn and Lady Amalthea are the same being, and yet feel like two completely different characters.

“The hero has to make a prophecy come true, and the villain is the one who has to stop him – though in another kind of story, it’s more often the other way around. And a hero has to be in trouble from the moment of his birth, or he’s not a real hero. It’s a great relief to find out about Prince Lír. I’ve been waiting for this tale to turn up a leading man.” – Schmendrick the Magician

The Last Unicorn has been my favourite movie since I was a child. I cannot possibly count how many times I’ve watched it. For some reason, I’ve never read the book. I wonder that perhaps I was afraid the book would let me down, or I would realize my most treasured movie was a horrible adaptation. I’m happy to say the book took my breath away. I LOVE the movie, but the book is SO MUCH BETTER than the movie. I know I will be re-reading this book many, many times.

“‘Haggard, I would not be you for all the world,’ he declared. ‘You have let your doom in by the front door, though it will not depart that way.” – Mabruk (King Haggard’s magician)

READ THIS. Even if you don’t like fiction. Even if you don’t like fantasy. Even if you don’t like unicorns! 🙂

 

About the author.jpg

Peter Beagle.jpgPeter S. Beagle

“Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of his other books (A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit) are considered modern classics.”

 

January 2018 TBR

The Last Unicorn (2008).jpg

 

The Last Unicorn

By Peter S. Beagle

Published 2008 by Penguin Roc (first published 1968)

YA Fantasy

294 pages

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…”

 

 

Take me with youTake Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Expected Publication January 23, 2018 by Plume Books

LGBTQIA, Poetry

193 pages

“Andrea Gibson explores themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, family, and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to heal and to be different in this strange age. Take Me With You, illustrated throughout with evocative line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, is small enough to fit in your bag, with messages that are big enough to wake even the sleepiest heart. Divided into three sections (love, the world, and becoming) of one liners, couplets, greatest hits phrases, and longer form poems, it has something for everyone, and will be placed in stockings, lockers, and the hands of anyone who could use its wisdom.”

things to do when it's raining.jpgThings to do When it’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

Expected Publication: February 2018 by Simon & Schuster Canada

Women’s Fiction

256 pages

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence river. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Noah needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets stand in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.”

Harry Potter and the order of the phoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Published 2003 by Raincoast Books

YA Fantasy

768 pages

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. He is desperate to get back to school and find out why his friends Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down…

 

man-gone-down

 

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

Published 2006 by Grove Press, Black Cat

Adult Fiction, Cultural (African American)

432 pages

On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

On Monday I made a resolution that I would post a Book Tag every Tuesday this year, and I’ve already failed! BAHAHAHA! So…here’s my Tag Tuesday a day late 😉 What a way to kick off 2018!

1. An author you’d like to read (that you’ve never read before).

herman melvilleHerman Melville

I plan to read Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick this year.

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville’s fall from favor with the reading public — was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1624.Herman_Melville

2. A book you’d like to read.

blue lily, lily blue.jpgBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A classic you’d like to read.

pride and prejudicePride and Prejudice

4. A book you’d like to re-read.

wizard's first ruleWizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. A book you’ve had for ages and want to read.

revelations book 1Revelations – Book I: The Chronicles of the Fallen and the Divine

 

 

 

 

 

6. A big book you’d like to read.

wizard and glass.jpgWizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. An author you’ve previously read and want to read more of.

leigh bardugo.jpgLeigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575289.Leigh_Bardugo

8. A book you got for Christmas and would like to read.

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties

By Stephen King and Owen King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. A series you want to read (start and finish)

I have 14 series that I have already started and need to finish this year, so I’m going to try REALLY hard NOT to start ANY NEW ONES! LOL

10. A series you want to finish (that you’ve already started)

Like I just mentioned, I have 14 series that I have started and want to finish – which I doubt will happen all this year LOL

  1. Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  2. Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman
  3. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  7. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
  8. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  9. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
  10. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  11. Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab
  12. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  13. Two Hearts (The Last Unicorn 1.5) by Peter S. Beagle
  14. Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

11. Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2018?

My goal is to read 75 books in 2018.

12. Any other reading goals?

I want to read at least 24,000 pages this year and try an audio book.

2018 Reading Goals

As I welcomed 2017 and began thinking about areas of my life that needed improvement, I realized more sleep had to be a New Years Resolution. I also wanted to read more, and so I connected the two. My kids and I started a new routine of reading for at least 20-30 minutes before bed every night.

Many nights I read for 15-20 minutes with my eight year old son before his bedtime. It was super cozy to lay in his bed together, reading our books. Sometimes he wanted to talk about his day, so we didn’t end up reading many pages, but we created a moment of connection at the end of his day which has helped his sleeping challenges.

My ten-year-old daughter isn’t into the idea of me laying in her bed while we read for 20 minutes. She’s much more independent than my son and enjoys being on her own. We did end up reading some of the same books throughout the year, and it was really fun talking about those books together. This year we are going to do more buddy reads. I’m really excited to have found something we both love and able to enjoy that connection which will hopefully strengthen our mother-daughter bond (fingers crossed).

I also read for 20-30 minutes before my bed time, and was surprised at how much it changed my health. I am able to fall asleep faster, with less anxiety (no laying in bed worrying and thinking about a thousand things), stay asleep longer (not waking up two or three times every hour all night like I used to), and just plain feel happier.

I felt happier than I’ve felt in years.

In 2017 I read 55 books – 17,819 pages – (I thought it was 54 but Goodreads had a date mixed up).

My goal is to read 75 books (at least 24,000 pages) in 2018.

Finish the Unfinished:
Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

I’d like to read one classic every month, including:
– Moby Dick
– Pride and Prejudice
– Ulysses
– To Kill a Mockingbird
– The Big Sleep

I would also like to read all of the 42 unread books I own on my physical bookshelf. My kids also have a few Middle Grade books I’d like to read.

I have some Advanced Reader Copies to read:

Take Me With You by Andrea Gibson

Things To Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith