Tag Archives: Reading

Top Ten Tuesday #22

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 25, 2017Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

Choosing a book is as much about mood as it is about the topic, setting or genre of the book, but there are some books I just know I won’t be interested in.

Top 10 Topics that Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

  1. Vampires – I have never been into Vampires, especially when they are the “good guys.” The whole idea of them is revolting to me, especially since they are basically cannibals who trade their souls for immortality and then degrade themselves constantly. Just not interested.
  2. Romeo and Juliette – Or “star-crossed lovers” if it’s in a description of a book and that book has not been written by Shakespeare I’m not interested. I think people have vastly misunderstood the message of Romeo and Juliette. “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3 day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” – Anonymous
  3. Horror – I’m not into things that are gruesome. So much of horror seems to be gruesome from gruesome’s sake and shocking for shock sake. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people enjoy dismemberment, or torture, or cruelty, or anything like that.
  4. Graphic Sex – For the most part it just doesn’t do anything for the story. Why do we need to have all the details when it’s so much classier to allude to it?
  5. Amish Fiction – I don’t know how this genre got to be such a big thing. I understand wanting to read about different cultures and unfamiliar settings, but it just seems like there are too many books in this category. The Amish lifestyle might be interesting, but it’s weird that we have commercialize their lifestyle in such a way.
  6. Urban Fantasy – I have tried to get into Urban Fantasy. I picked up the City of Bones because so many people raved about it, but through out most of the book I kept thinking, “Buffy did it better.” In a lot of Urban Fantasy it seems like I can’t stay in the story, the world building and the characters don’t work for me.
  7. Harlequin Romance – These books just seem to cheapen real romance. For me I’d rather experience the real thing than read about an unreal tpye of romance. Plus the way these books are published in bulk makes them formulatic.
  8. Rush Limbaugh – I have family members who think he’s great, so they occasionally give me one of his books. I have no interest in reading his inflammatory perspective. (Note: Just the other day my Grandmother tired to get me to read something by Rush.)
  9. Politics – In general I do not enjoy books on political subjects.
  10. Men without their shirts on – When I see this on the cover I just roll my eyes and pass it by. Beside they are always airbrushed abs anyway.

What kinds of things turn you off from choosing a book? Are there topics you just don’t find interesting? Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

A Sonnet on Reading

©Arwen LeQuieu

Sitting in my comfy chair
A stack of books and a cup of tea
Leaving behind worldly care
In an afternoon where I am totally free.

In my garden hammock laying
Bare feet and face turned towards the sun
Relaxing, for the hour staying
In the pages of a book undone.

My little attic hideaway
Quite the quiet place to be
On the dusty little bed I lay
Dancing black letters of a book to see.

All of my favorite reading place
Are far away from rat races.

Top Ten Tuesday #21

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 18, 2017: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013 as top ten words/topics that will make me instantly want to read a book) — so yeah basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (ie if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book.

My reading habits have been called eclectic before, and that’s because I’m just as likely to have my nose in a Nancy Drew book as I am the Brothers Karamazov. My taste ranges from fantasy to science fiction, from Greek tragedy to modern poetry, and from Christian Fiction to YA Dystopian. That being said, yes there are somethings that will draw me to a book more that other things, and here is an un-ordered list of ten of those.

Top Ten Topics That Make Me Want to Read A Book

    1. Greek Mythology – I love Greek tragedy and try to fit at least 1 Greek play into my reading every year. But I also like to see Greek mythology remixed, retold, twisted or simply alluded to. It’s why I took a chance on Venom & Vanilla, even though I don’t normally like Urban Fantasy. One of my favorites in the category: Nobody’s Princess.

    1. Stephen R Lawhead – Lawhead is my favorite author. I have read every book by him, and own most of them. I especially like his Robin Hood and Arthurian retellings. My favorite book of all time is Dream Thief.

    1. Arthurian Retellings – If it has Merlin, Arthur, or the Knight of the Round Table in it I probably want to read it. I am an Arthur junkie. (Although I admit to not being able to get into the series Merlin, for some reason.) I already mentioned Lawhead’s retelling, an interesting one I read lately was Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages.

    1. Dreams – I enjoy stories where the main character is drawn into their dreams, or lives another life in their dreams, or just where dreams play a major part in the real world. I’ve already mentioned how much I love Dream Thief, another one you may want to check out is Dreamlander

    1. Good Fantasy World Building – I don’t look for just any fantasy story, I want one I can loose myself in. Which is why The Lord of the Rings is awesome. Nothing takes me out of the story faster than a world in which the characters don’t seem to fit. But if I hear from other reviewers that the world building really drew them in, it’s a bet that the book is going into my TBR. Check out the The Midnight Sea(The Fourth Element, #1) for some great world building.

    1. Newbery – One of my major reading goals is to read through all the Newbery books. I fell really behind on this last year, but am hoping to get up to speed again this year. One of the best of the titles I’ve read so far is Holes.

    1. Archers – This one is especially true of comics, but two of my childhood heroes where Robin Hood and William Tell (thanks to two BBC series on PBS.) So when Lawhead came out with his Hood series I was tickled pink. And I also loved The Hunger Games.

    1. Philip K. Dick – Is another author I love and will read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. It’s crazy with the amount of books he’s written how hard it is to come across them second hand. Second Variety, is a short story of his that I am still thinking about (and creeped out by) years after reading it. My favorite novel of his is Deus Irae, which I’ve read at least twice.

    1. Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys 1st Edition – This one may sounds a little weird, but I look for and collect the original Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, it’s doesn’t have to really be 1st edition just the original copyright before they were changed. That’s right, the stories have been updated several times to change jargon and make them more modern. I recently picked up the original The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

Origndtsorgf.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

    1. Finished Series – I kinda hate having to wait for the next book to come out. So if I stumbled on an already finished series that sparks my interest I’d much rather read that. And if I can pick up the whole thing for Kindle at a good price that helps too. It’s why I read the Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, which was a total hoot. I also really enjoyed The Five Kingdoms series.

Runner up: Dystopian – I used to love dystopian fiction and this had been a reason to pick up a book, but now the market is SO flooded. It’s like everything has to have a dystopian setting.

Do you related to any of these? What is something make make you instantly want to pick up a book? Leave me a comment below.

March 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderI am so far behind in my book pick up posts that I couldn’t hope to catch up, so I just decided to start fresh by posting just last months books.

Since our move I kinda settled down on picking up anything but kindle titles and kids books. We just have less space, and I have less time for personal reading right now. Hopefully as we get more settled in and use to our new routine that will change.

For Kindle:

The Daemoniac (Dominion Mysteries Book 1)
Why I got it: Because Kat Ross is an awesome author and I want to read more of her books. Go follow her on twitter and then check out my reviews for her other books Blood of the Prophet and Queen of Chaos.

Ella Dethroned
Why I got it: You know I forgot I had picked this one up, I’m assuming it was from Instafreebie or Book Bub. It’s the prequel to a fantasy series, and has mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It sounds exciting so I’ll give it a shot.

The Silver Skull Preview
Why I got it: This one is going up to the front of my TBR list because it sounds so intriguing. Add Steampunk, plus spies, plus a dash of fantasy and I’m am in. (I believe this copy is just a sample though, and I will probably end up buying the full book.)

ARC:

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Why I got it: I got this children’s book through the LibraryThing early readers program. I requested it because it looked like a good childrens book about some of the parables of Jesus. However I had mixed feeling about it. Read my review here.

eARC:

The Waterfall Traveler
Why I got it: I am going to review this book for Xpresso Book Tour in May. It sounds like a good fantasy story, with rouges, fugitives, conspiracies and someone the power to travel through water. Also, the cover is just amazing.

Kids Books:

The Little Grumpy Cat that Wouldn’t (Little Golden Book)
Why I got it: I picked this up from my Goddaughter’s school book fair, partly because she loves Grumpy Cat and partly because this year is Little Golden Books 75th anniversary. And the thought of Grumpy cat in a Little golden Book is hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Why I got it: It was .99 cents at St. Vinny’s and I am a big sucker for collecting all the books in a series. Plus this gives me more to read than Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the front door, which is her favorite bad kitty book and therefore I have read it about 4,00 times.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Why I got it: Same reasons as above, but this one we got from the book fair.

Mary Poppins
Why I got it: .99 cent at St. Vinny’s and it a book I’ve always wanted to read. Now that my goddaughter is a little older I’ve started reading chapter books to her, like Winnie-the-Pooh and I think we’ll try Mary Poppins too.

The Shy Little Kitten (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: I remember reading this book as a Little Golden book when I was a kid. The step into reading version is just right for my goddaughter to practice her reading aloud.

Cinderella (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: A cheap thrift store pick up. And like I said before I like to collect books in a series, and we already have a bunch of Disney princess Step Into Reading titles.

The Sweetest Spring (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Ditto what I just said, but even more so because this one is part of a series-within-a-series of Disney princess seasonal books.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Another Thrift store find, and who doesn’t love Tink?

Misc:

National Geographic Inside the Medieval World 2017
Why I got it: This is actually what I’m reading right now. I saw it on a supermarket newsstand and picked it up because I’m intrigued by the Medieval World and a century-by-century guide is a great tool for understand the pieces of history.

 

Review: Who Counts? & A Morning with Grandpa

Because today, March 28th is Children’s Picture Book Day I’m going to share my review of the latest ARC picture books I’ve received. I don’t normally post them to my blog because they are often much shorter than my other reviews. Occasionally I will get a picture book to review and I always save them to read with my 6 year-old goddaughter.

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

By Amy-Jill Levine
Pages: 40

Synopsis:

One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what s missing, Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God s eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a 3-part retelling of some of the parables of Jesus. Using bright, colorful pictures it tells the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The first two stories are great, the ones about the sheep and the coin. But then on the third story, the lost/prodigal son, it goes kinda sideways. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said they were uncomfortable with the slant it took. In trying to make the third story more like the first two it changes the end of the parable a bit. Story-wise it makes sense, but Biblically it’s not a good interpretation. Otherwise I would be able to rate this book much higher.

Bottom Line:

Skip it. This book has a great idea, that just goes off course enough to make me uneasy with it.

A Morning with Grandpa


By Sylvia Liu
Pages: 32

Synopsis:

Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!

Review:

A wonderful book! Both the pictures and story are just lovely. The book is about a little girl and her Grandfather spending a Sat morning together. The grandfather, Gong Gong, is outside doing Tai Chi, and the little girl, Mei Mei, wants to join. The illustrations flow with the story as they move through the poses, with Mei Mei not quite grasping the idea of Tai Chi movements. Then the story flips with Mei Mei trying to teach Gong Gong yoga moves, which he finds difficult to follow. Eventually they find a form that fits them both. A great story to use to introduce multicultural families to children, or to introduce yoga or Tai Chi to kids. The 6 year old loves this book!

Bottom Line:

Get it, if you’re looking to add more multicultural books to your child’s library. It’s a great book and has lots of potential for rereading or for classroom reading.

That’s it. What new picture books have you read lately? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to pick up a picture book today.

Top Ten Tuesday #18

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Since I’ve started blogging more regularlly I’ve

February 28, 2017: Freebie Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc.)

I’m much more of a genre reader than one who thinks much about where a book is set. (I did do an earlier Top Ten Tuesday post on Books Set Outside to USA.) But for today’s picks I’m choosing books with a Scandinavian or Russian setting. Quite frankly, there’s going to be a lot of Elizabeth Boyer in this list.

Top 10 Books Set in A Scandinavian or Russian Setting

In no particular order: (If I have reviewed the book the title will be linked to my Goodreads review, the images are linked to Amazon.)

    1. The Troll’s Grindstone
    2. Troll Fell
    3. Number the Stars
    4. White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors
    5. The Sword and the Satchel 
    6. The Thrall and the Dragon’s Heart
    7. The Crown and the Crucible
    8. The Curse of Slagfid
    9. A Doll’s House
    10. Crime and Punishment

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.

Review: The Last Treasure of Ancient England

The Last Treasure of Ancient England by MJ Colewood
Pages: 412
Date Finished: Dec 8, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

  • I received this book free from the author

Synopsis:

It is 1066 and in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings the lifeless corpse of King Harold has been looted. The disappearance of a particular item enrages Duke William, and only one of his knights knows its whereabouts. In his remaining years this knight has to make a decision: will he ever share his secret, or take the greatest enigma in English history to the grave? Centuries later, when Chester Bentley arrives at his new Devonshire boarding school, he is unprepared for the mystery it conceals. The discovery of an age-old riddle lures him and his new friends into a quest to uncover the secrets safeguarded by the stately manor house. Hidden somewhere in the county is an extraordinary treasure and the school holds the puzzling key to its surprising location. But something is lurking in the dark, shadowing them each time they venture out from their dormitory at night, and a ghostly legend puts fear into the bravest of pupils. In their last year at the remote school time is running out; so can they succeed where others have failed, and even died, in a chilling hunt to reveal the last treasure of ancient England?

Review:

You’ve probably heard a book claim to be the next so-and-so. You know the next Narnia, or new Lord of the Rings, or next Nancy Drew. Well I often dismiss those claims. Especially since I’ve been let down so many times because the comparision didn’t live up. However, I will dare to make a comparission here… This Chester Bentley Mystery is the closest I’ve come to reading something that captures, as an adult, the feelings I had when reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as a child.

There is a real sense of wonder, mystery and discovery as you read this book. I felt like I was going on the adventure with Bentely, Montague, Iona, Zara and Q. The pace is much slower than a traditional mystery, yet there is a palpable sense of urgency building through out the book.

The book has three separate story lines that all take part in different times. I was really impressed with the one following the Norman invasion of 1066. I have read multiple books about this time period and never had a Norman character that was as compelling as Richard. Usually the Normans are all cast as bad guys with a serious case of blood lust, and there are those characters too, but Richard is not like them. It was nice to see a character that was three dimensional, and thoughtful.

The only problem I had with the book is what I call the “Harry Potter Effect,” where the book basically praises and reward children for breaking the rules. In fact, if they didn’t repeatedly break the rules the mystery would never have been solved. Add to that, the fact that some of the adults are bumbling and clueless and others are out to get the children, and you have a bad mix. This is just one of my pet peeves. I want to see books set a better example and for writers to find more creative ways to move the plot ahead.

Bottom Line:

A really good book that mixes a historical fiction of the Norman invasion with a mystery at a boarding school. The mystery had plenty of surprises (in fact I had not guessed which “particular item” it was that disappeared,) the characters were warm and likable, and the pace well thought out. I hope to read more of Bentley’s adventures in the future.

Purchase:
Amazon

October – November 2016 Book Pick-Ups

Oct/ Nov Book Pick Ups
The Deliberate ReaderWhat a crazy couple of months… Beside our move out to the farm being ongoing, my grandfather passed away on October 21st.

It was also a banner time for picking up books; from the Sci-fi and Fantasy Giveaway Party, to my birthday, to some thrift store finds, to discovering a site for free books. In fact, the book picks ups will continue when little bug’s school book fair begins on Monday, but I’m going to leave those books for the next pick up blog.

For Kindle:

Venom and Vanilla
Why I got it: It was my Kindle First selection in October. Normally I don’t like urban fantasy, but this one was tongue in cheek enough and mixed in Greek mythology so I went for it.
Everything, Everything
Why I got it: Pretty much every single book blogger I follow has raved about this book, so when it went on sale for $1.99 I picked it up.
Bitterwood (Dragon Age series Book 1)
Why I got it: BookBub, it’s dangerous… I try not to look over every email they send, but well I just can’t bring myself to unsubscribe. Also this book is about a world where human’s are enslaved to dragons, sounds right up my fantasy alley.
A Pirate’s Charm (Lore Book 1)
Why I got it: Ravenswood Publishers is having a holiday sale and all their e-books are $.99. Since they’ve been so good to me I decided to return the favor and buy a book from them. #TreatYourShelf.
So Wide the Sky (The Women’s West, Book 1)
Why I got it: I found out about Instafreebie when I did the Sci-fi and Fantasy party, and found a few other gems through it.
The Call of Agon (The Children of Telm, Book 1)
Why I got it: The cover got me, and the description is about dead gods, and their offspring with mortal women and seems full of mythological themes. #Instafreebie
The Forgotten Wizard
Why I got it: Another #Instafreebie that sounds like a good fantasy adventure story.

eARCs:

The Breedling and the City in the Garden See my review
Why I got it: It sounded like a good fantasy story, ended up being more historical fiction with a sprinkle of fantasy, but I enjoyed it.
The Last Treasure of Ancient England – Review coming Dec 7th
Why I got it: The author contacted me through my blog’s comment feature and asked me to review their novel. This is the first time anyone’s done that!

Sci-fi and Fantasy Party:

Why I got them: I participated in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway. One of the ways to enter the giveaway was to sign up for a bunch of author’s email lists. As thank-you’s many of the authors sent out free copies of their books.

Immurement: The Undergrounders Series Book One
Feral – Many Lives Book 1
Rose Boy
Coal: Book of the Everleaf Series
Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2 & 3)
Gates of Heaven

Coloring Books:

A finished coloring page.
A finished page from Everything Beautiful.

Life in a Medieval Castle and Village Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my husband.
Everything Beautiful: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Inspiration
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mother-in-law.
The Chronicles of Narnia Official Coloring Book
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mom… see any trend here. 😀

Misc:

The Puppet MastersThe door into summerDouble Star6 x H: Six Shocking Penetrations into the Unknown – Robert A Heinlein
Why I got it: $.99 Early Heinlien books. A pretty good thrift store haul.
Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies
Why I got it: Every Wee Sing book I find at a thrift store becomes mine. Multiple copies are okay, because then when you have a sing-a-long each person can have a copy. At least that’s my personal fantasy.
A Fairy Tale (Disney Fairies, Step Into Reading)
Why I got it: We have read the Great Fairy Race about 200 times, so another Step Into Reading book about the Pixie Hollow fairies sounds about right.
A Tale of Two Sisters (Disney Frozen) (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Who has a six year old girl that doesn’t love Frozen? Since we have one at our house and this book was $.50 at the thrift store it made sense to buy it.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
Why I got it: It’s been on my wishlist forever, so I used some of my birthday cash to purchase it.

That’s it! What have you picked up recently?

#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.

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