Category Archives: Reading

2016 Overview and Book of the Year

Ok so major fail on the 2016 reviews, it July 2017 and I am just now finishing them up. I didn’t even manage to read 35 books last year, but well it was an awful year. The good news is that I read a lot of things I really loved.

Read all of my 2016 Reviews.

The Rating System:

Book Reviews - Loved ItLoved It – 13

Book Reviews- Liked it AlotLiked It A lot – 9

Book Reviews - Liked ItLiked It – 3

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay – 4

Book Reviews - Kind BadKinda Bad- 0

Book Reviews - BadBad – 0

Book Reviews - It stunk It Stunk – 0

Total =  29       Goal =35

Goals

Re-Read A Book: none

Greek Mythology or Tragedy: The Seven Against Thebes

Poetry: none

Book of the Year

I knew, as soon as I finished reading it, that Rags and Ruins would be my pick for book of the year. It turns so many fantasy troupes on their heads and I just feel in love with the characters. From my review: “Bob Dixon can weave a tale. Rags and Ruins is a masterpiece, a must read for fantasy fans. “My bottom line: I loved it! From the first page to the last, I thought this book was adorable and the characters truly likable.”

Read my full review.

Rags leads an idyllic life for a goblin child—he spends his days playing in the landfill with his gargoyle friend Ladin, going fishing with his father Hargo in the river, and developing his love of music. His parents love him intensely, and his mother Calin is fiercely protective of him. How could he ask for anything more as he lives an enchanted life on the reservation on the outskirts of the “civilized” world, surrounded by mystical creatures and magic? Little does Rags realize that he is not a goblin but instead a human who was abandoned shortly after his birth and left in the landfill to be raised by the goblins as a way to fulfill an ancient prophecy of good and evil, twin brothers separated at birth and reunited in the thirteenth year of their life, one to unleash an ancient evil, the other the only hope to stop it from happening. A powerful tale of magic, music, and danger, Rags and Ruins is sure to thrill readers of all ages with its mix of adventure, intrigue, and humor—and if it doesn’t, they’ll have to answer to a furious goblin mother.

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” ― William Styron

Pocket 2016: Another 881,818 words

If you’ve been a long time reader of my blog you’ve probably heard me rave about Pocket before. It’s a free book marking and reading service that allows to to book mark blogs and article for reading later across your device platforms. I use it all the time, and really prefer reading on the Pocket platform to reading on most blogs. It’s clean and easy to read and I can set the font and size to my preference.

Again in 2016 I made it into the top 5% of readers on Pocket. Reading 881,818 words or about 19 books worth. My top 3 topics were; Health, Books, and Current Events. See more in my 2016 Pocket summary.

If you like to read blogs and article online I highly recommend Pocket. It will clean up your to-read book mark list and give you one place to keep all those articles. Plus at the end of the year you’ll get your own summary and can see how much your online reading is worth.

#TreatYourShelf With Ravenswood Holiday Sale

Ravenswood is having a $.99 Holiday Sale that will last through January 1st on all their e-books.

That means you can get Rags and Ruin, the best book I’ve read in 2016 for only $.99. Read my review here.  It also means that The Quest for Merlin, another book I enjoyed from Ravenswood, is only $.99. Read that review here.

Ravenswood has a ton of great Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult (YA) and more. So check out their holiday sale and treat your shelf.

christmas-99-sale-small

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party! (The Source of Magic: Excerpt)

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance

by Cate Rowan (Excerpt)

the-source-of-magic-200x300For a moment there was quiet, and peace. Jilian couldn’t hear or move, but she could see Alvarr’s eyes, gray and deep. Then, with a tremendous roar and a jolt through every nerve, the world reappeared.

Cries of struggle buffeted her ears. She twisted toward them and Alvarr set her down, but kept her corralled in his arms, her back to his chest.

They stood in a round room of mortared stone and blazing torches, and they weren’t alone. Two men and a woman in sapphire-blue cloaks battled soldiers in black tunics slashed with red belts. Three soldiers attacked each person in blue. The blues fought awkwardly, as if unused to combat.

Jilian jerked back, knocking her spine against Alvarr’s solid form. Where am I?
The heat of his broad chest seeped through her nightgown. He leaned down to be heard above the clamor, his lips brushing her ear. “Please, send me your kyrra!”

Kyrra? Her brain scrambled for a meaning.

His left hand gripped her ribcage and he reached for her right hand.

“What are you DOING?” No, this is only a bad dream. And I’ll end it. Just as she was preparing to ram her elbow into Alvarr’s ribs and wake up in her study, a soldier hurtled toward them swinging a wooden quarterstaff.

She recoiled, slamming against Alvarr.

“Takerran!” Alvarr shouted. Green fire streaked from his raised palm to his opponent’s chest. The soldier sank in a heap and his staff clattered to the ground.

The world thinned and condensed into the soldier’s murderous sneer, frozen at the moment of the fire’s impact. The glare in his eyes iced her gut.

A dream! Wake up!

But his cruel gaze was too real—as were the frantic shouts, the acrid burn of torch-lit air, and the strong hand on her hip.

A familiar ring of light encircled their feet, and from it Alvarr yanked up a crackling wall of jade fire. It surrounded them and he twisted to his right, hauling her with him. “Rokad, look out!” he yelled to one of the cloaked men.

Jilian shoved against Alvarr’s grip, unable to budge even one powerful finger. She saw the dark-haired Rokad vault to the side, panic flooding his face. A glinting spear whistled through the air but caught only the edge of his cloak. He spun and lobbed a green fireball at his attacker, who crumpled to the ground. But he didn’t escape the second soldier, or the rope in the enemy’s hands that cut off his breath.

“Rokad!” Alvarr started toward him, dragging Jilian with him once more. The wall of fire flickered erratically.

“No, the FireRing—keep her safe!” Rokad gasped, clawing at the rope around his throat.
Jilian flinched as the butt of a sword crashed into Rokad’s temple.

Alvarr grabbed her hands. “The kyrra—hurry, send me your power!”

WHAT power? A scream pounded on her tongue, but the consequences it might bring clamped her teeth.

Within moments, the soldiers knocked out the three figures in cloaks and the sapphire mantles pooled on the stone floor. A brawny man with a red circular badge stepped forward, pulling a clear cylinder from a pouch at his waist.

A scarlet glow flared within the cylinder and the officer aimed it at Rokad. Rokad’s body paled. Even the sapphire of his cloak faded to a dull slate gray. Alvarr’s furious breath rushed across Jilian’s cheek.

Through the wall of fire, she stared in horror at Rokad’s ashen face.

Get the book!

GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks! (Click on a cover to read an excerpt)

rebels-honor-188x300   lord-of-the-black-land-200x300   shadows-for-princess-194x300

GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Books That Shaped America

booksthatshapedamericaThe Library of Congress, the world’s largest repository of knowledge and information, began a multiyear “Celebration of the Book” with an exhibition on “Books That Shaped America.”

“This list is a starting point,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.”

Here is the list. I had no idea going into this how many books I might have read, but I am always interested in book lists, especially if they come from a place like the Library of Congress. It’s neat to see how many books in a given collection you’ve read. However, this list is not a goal list for me, like my Newbery book list is. This is simply a fun exercise.

I am surprised that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence is not on this list (possibly because they are not technically “books”?)

I’ve read 7. Read marked in blue. On the To-read shelf marked in green. Have no intention of ever reading.

How many have you read? Leave me a comment to let me know.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -Mark Twain 1884
Alcoholics Anonymous – anonymous 1939
American Cookery – Amelia Simmons 1796
The American Woman’s Home – Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe 1869
And the Band Played On – Randy Shilts 1987
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand 1957
The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X and Alex Haley 1965
Beloved – Toni Morrison 1987
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Dee Brown 1970
The Call of the Wild -Jack London 1903
The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss 1957
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller 1961
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger 1951
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White 1952
Common Sense – Thomas Paine 1776
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care – Benjamin Spock 1946
Cosmos – Carl Sagan 1980
A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible – anonymous 1788
The Double Helix – James D. Watson 1968
The Education of Henry Adams – Henry Adams 1907
Experiments and Observations on Electricity – Benjamin Franklin 1751
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury 1953
Family Limitation – Margaret Sanger 1914
The Federalist – anonymous 1787
The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan 1963
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin 1963
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway 1940
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell 1936
Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown 1947
A Grammatical Institute of the English Language – Noah Webster 1783
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 1939
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925
Harriet, the Moses of Her People – Sarah H. Bradford 1901
The History of Standard Oil – Ida Tarbell 1904
History of the Expedition Under the Command of the Captains Lewis and Clark – Meriwether Lewis 1814
How the Other Half Lives – Jacob Riis 1890
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie 1936
Howl – Allen Ginsberg 1956
The Iceman Cometh – Eugene O’Neill 1946
Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures – Federal Writers’ Project 1937
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote 1966
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison 1952
Joy of Cooking – Irma Rombauer 1931
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair 1906
Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman 1855
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving 1820
Little Women, or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – Louisa May Alcott 1868
Mark, the Match Boy – Horatio Alger Jr. 1869
McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Primer – William Holmes McGuffey 1836
Moby-Dick; or The Whale – Herman Melville 1851
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass 1845
Native Son – Richard Wright 1940
New England Primer – anonymous 1803
New Hampshire – Robert Frost 1923
On the Road – Jack Kerouac 1957
Our Bodies, Ourselves – Boston Women’s Health Book Collective 1971
Our Town: A Play – Thornton Wilder 1938
Peter Parley’s Universal History – Samuel Goodrich 1837
Poems – Emily Dickinson 1890
Poor Richard Improved and The Way to Wealth – Benjamin Franklin 1758
Pragmatism – William James 1907
The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin – LL.D. Benjamin Franklin 1793
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane 1895
Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett 1929
Riders of the Purple Sage – Zane Grey 1912
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne 1850
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male – Alfred C. Kinsey 1948
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson 1962
The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats 1962
The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Du Bois 1903
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner 1929
Spring and All William – Carlos Williams 1923
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein 1961
A Street in Bronzeville – Gwendolyn Brooks 1945
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams 1947
A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America – Christopher Colles 1789
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs 1914
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston 1937
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 1960
A Treasury of American Folklore – Benjamin A. Botkin 1944
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith 1943
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe 1852
Unsafe at Any Speed – Ralph Nader 1965
Walden; or Life in the Woods – Henry David Thoreau 1854
The Weary Blues – Langston Hughes 1925
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak 1963
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum 1900
The Words of Cesar Chavez – Cesar Chavez 2002

2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge | #2016TBRPile

2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge Guidelines

  1. The challenged will run from January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016. The sign up link will remain open until November 30, 2016 at 12:00pm.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don’t have to be a blogger, just as long as you review the book you’ve read. You can review on your book on your blog, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc.
  3. Any genre, length, or format of book counts as long as it is a book that’s been sitting on your self for some time. Short stories and novellas do count! The only stipulations that the book must have been released in 2015 or earlier. No 2016 ARCs or 2016 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed.
  4. On the last Monday of every other month (see schedule below), we will post a wrap-up for the previous two months. These posts will be done by one our bloggers and will contain new linky for you to add your own wrap-up posts or reviews.
  5. You don’t have to follow Bookish to join the challenge, but you do have to follow us to be entered in the giveaways.
  6. Use #2016TBRPile to keep in contact with fellow challenge participants, to encourage each other on, and make new friends!
How many books are you planning to read for this challenge?
1-10 A Firm Handshake
11-20 A Friendly Hug
21-30 First Kiss
31-40 Sweet Summer Fling
41-50 Could This Be Love?
50+ Married with Children

I have a lot of TBR book sitting on my shelves (two bookshelves full.) I will be updating this list through out 2016 as I finish reading books off the shelf. (No pick-ups from 2016 will count, even if it’s an older title.)

Thanks to Jessica at A Great Read for introducing me to this challenge.

2016 TBR Pile Reads

  1. Prilla and the Butterfly Lie
  2. Seeing Redd (The Looking Glass Wars, #2)
  3. The Iron Ring
  4. Lord Foulgrins Letters

What’s on My Nightstand

Whats on My NightstandAfter reading this blog  What’s on My Nightstand? | Karen Barnett {Plus a Giveaway!} by my friend Karen Barnett I decided to try my hand at a similar blog myself. I actually have two bookcases, overflowing with my to-read books. One of the rules in our house is that before it finds a permanent spot one of us (my husband or I) have to read it. Well since we seem to not be able to stop buying more books this leads to a big stack up of to-read material.

Here’s what’s currently on my nightstand:

My Kindle, I keep my kindle close at hand even when I’m not currently reading any Kindle titles.

I picked up Sorting the Beef from the Bull, from our local library. My goal is to finish it by the library board meeting this coming Tues. Our board approves a selection of science, religious and educational titles each month as part of a legacy gift that was given to the library, this book was one of those selections.

I’ve been working my way through, Lord Foulgrins Letter. The problem is that the book doesn’t make very good night time reading because it is very dark and serious in parts. The parts of the book with the characters are compelling but very short compared to the letters from Lord Foulgrin. The letter are basically about how Satan wants to destroy people’s lives, not exactly what I want to read before I go to sleep.

50 Literature Ideas you really need to know, is a book that I have been slowly digesting for a while. Its a great book for understanding the types of literature you read, but it’s like a textbook-lite so its not a speed reading sort of thing.

I have a goal to read all of the Newbery Award books and last year I began, Onion John. The problem is that I don’t really find it compelling or interesting so I pretty much abandoned it. I’m going to have to finish it eventually though to complete my Newbery goal.

And finally Forgiven and Set Free, is a Bible study my mom suggested to me. It’s about recovering from abortion, but is really good for understanding the grief that losing a child (abortion, miscarriage, still-birth) causes a women. I started reading it because I was interested in women’s ministry and understanding this complex issue is helpful in ministry.

 

Drop Everything and Read 2016

deardayD.E.A.R Day is coming up tomorrow April 12th. Drop Everything and Read is a celebration of author Beverly Cleary’s Birthday.  To celebrate you simply pick a time (at least 30 mins), pick a book, and just read. It’s the perfect holiday if you ask me.

Other Ideas for Celebrating:

  • Read a book by Beverly Cleary, like Ramona Quimby, Age 8, the inspiration for D.E.A.R day. Challenge yourself to start and finish it in one day.
  • Go to the library and read there. Our library has lots of comfortable reading areas. Find a book on the shelf and sit down and read. If you like the book check it out.
  • Read a book that ties into a favorite TV. For kids read an Arthur book, like Arthur’s New Puppy or Curious George. For adults try something like this Downtown Abby inspired novel or George RR Martins A Game of Thorns.
  • Watch an interview with one of your favorite authors. Check out this great list from Reading Rockets. Then read a book by that author.
  • Do a book craft with your kids.
  • Lastly, you could to wear it. Wear a fun t-shirt, do your nail literary style (I have lots of great ideas on this pin board,) wear a vintage library button, something to say “I’m Love Reading!” I will be wearing Jamberry “Word to the Wise” nail wraps.

Bonus: Watch the Oregon Public Broadcasting special on Beverly Cleary.

 

 

Another Big Year for Pocket

pocket-2015
I’ve raved about the Pocket app before. It is absolutely the best way to save articles to read later. In the digital age this becomes more and more important as so much of our information is found in blogs and online articles. Again for 2015 I was in the top 5% of users by reading 600,141 words the equivalent of about reading 13 Books. Check out my year in Pocket.

Because I also have Pocket connected to Degreed it tracks the number of articles I read and gives me points for reading. So far I have read a total of 1,527 articles. Degreed is a great tool for keeping track of your continuing education, because education doesn’t stop when you graduate. (In fact in my business of websites and content it’s a must to keep learning and discovering better ways of doing things.) They call themselves “The Lifelong Learning Platform.” “Individuals and organizations use Degreed to find, track and recognize ALL learning.” I love anything that encourages reading as life long learning. Check out Degreed here and Pocket here and join me in the digital age of reading and learning.