Thursday, December 26, 2013

Whales on Stilts

Whales on Stilts (Pals in Peril, #1)Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read-aloud with my kids. I think some of the humor was lost on them. Kind of weird overall, but I kind of liked it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Honestly, I was kind of bored and skipped a big section. I had such high hopes for this.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Above All Things

Above All ThingsAbove All Things by Tanis Rideout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book for getting me to learn the true story of George Mallory and his Everest attempt. I think it will stay with me. The way the novel was put together and the style of presentation wasn't my favorite though.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Homeschooling Books

I started homeschooling all 4 of my children this year. Here are some resources I checked out at the library:

Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath - You Can Do This!Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath - You Can Do This! by Terrie Lynn Bittner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would certainly recommend for a first-timer.

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at HomeThe Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good for understanding the classical homeschooling method. Even though I don't follow it religiously, it gave me some great ideas.

Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High SchoolHome Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Homeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-OldHomeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old by Cafi Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are the years that scare me the most. This made it feel do-able!

Homeschooling: The Middle Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 8- to 12-Year-Old Child (Prima Home Learning Library)Homeschooling: The Middle Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 8- to 12-Year-Old Child by Shari Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK. But not really any new ideas after teaching this age for a year already.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Maid to Match

Maid to MatchMaid to Match by Deeanne Gist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We visited the Biltmore this year, so I had to read it. Gist doesn't disappoint.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5)Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) by Hugh Howey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unbelievable world-building. Great dystopian. My book club liked it too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's WifeThe Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The beginning was great. She was the Trigiani of her earlier books that I love. Then it went downhill from there.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013


EasyEasy by Tammara Webber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More adult than YA. Quick read, but I think it will stick with me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scarily reminiscent of actual events. Really well-written.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved the story. I liked how balanced the conflict felt. Great for book clubs.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen TreasuresPriceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've thought about and referenced this book a lot more than I expected I would. Really quite interesting.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Me Before You

Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This is the story of Lou Clark and Will Traynor. Lou's life has no direction, but she doesn't really mind. She lives with her parents in their small, quaint British town that boasts a castle and not much else. She loves working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and even though she doesn't really love her boyfriend, she expects they will get married.

Will Traynor had everything he wanted in life until his accident left him a quadriplegic. When Lou loses her job, Will's family hires her as a companion to Will. At first neither one of them realizes how much they need each other. And their lives are forever changed by their relationship.

This is a book that I loved when I finished (through my tears, I might add) but I think I love it even more now that some time has passed. It's the kind of book that sticks with you and I find myself thinking about it from time to time. This was a book club choice and we all really liked it. We had a lively discussion and there are plenty of moral/ethical dilemmas in this one to discuss. Definitely recommended.

Also reviewed by: Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ Book Addiction ~ Booking Mama ~ Linus's Blanket ~ Literary Grand Rounds ~ Your link here?
Source: Library

Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
Awards:Romantic Times (RT) Reviewers' Choice Award for Suspense/Thriller Novel (2012), Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel (2013), Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller (2012), Women's Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2013), Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle - policier (2013)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been taking the book reading world by storm over the last 10 months or so. You see people reading it everywhere. I struck up a conversation on an airplane with a lady who was reading it just last month. Book clubs are reading it, and my personal copy is making the rounds in my neighborhood. Because it is so popular, it is a great book for connecting with others.

I was hooked once I started reading. It is dark and disturbing so, to be honest, I kind of wanted to read it quickly. It's not a place I really like to dwell. The characters are totally insane, so that just kind of boggled my mind. But I have to admit, I found the story pretty compelling.

Definitely rated R for language and content.

Also reviewed by: Sports Shoe Diva ~ One Literature Nut ~ Sam's Book Blog ~ Bermudaonion's Weblog ~ Lost in Books ~ Capricious Reader ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ Rivers I Have Known ~ My Book Retreat ~ Beth Fish Reads ~ Piling on the Books ~ Busy is Reading ~ Bibliophile by the Sea ~ Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity ~ The Insatiable Reader ~ My Friend Amy ~ The Boston Bibliophile ~ Bloggin' 'bout Books ~ Avid Reader's Musings ~ Stephanie's Written Word ~ Your link here?
Source: Gift

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Secret Keeper

The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were quite a few twists and turns as I read this book. Plus, it has been so long since I read it, I really couldn't keep it all straight to give a plot summary anyway. So here's the official one:
During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds--Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy--who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.
This was a book club read and we all really liked it. I was able to guess the final twist but I really enjoyed the journey. I really love books that vacillate between time periods, and I enjoyed the different voices in this novel. This was my first Kate Morton and I am looking forward to reading The Forgotten Garden next.

Also reviewed by: Girl Who Loves to Read ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ A Reader's Journal ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Books, Belles, and Beaux ~ The Eclectic Reader ~ A Bookworm's World ~ Your link here?
Source: Kindle Purchase

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Full Moon Over Madeline Island

Full Moon Over Madeline IslandFull Moon Over Madeline Island by Jay Gilbertson

Publication date: November 20, 2012
Pages: 256
Series: #3 of 3 (Madeline Island)
Click here to purchase!

Disclaimer: Although I have, unfortunately, never met him, I am indirectly related to the author.

 I am totally ignorant when it comes to the Midwest, so reading this novel was quite a delightful experience for me. Set in Wisconsin, on an island located in Lake Superior (who knew!) this book will certainly appeal to the chick lit audience.

Eve and Ruby live on Madeline Island year-round with a crew of close friends nearby. Together, they run a shop making custom aprons and in this novel they open a safe home for pregnant mothers. There is a fantastic cast of supporting characters and I enjoyed all their quirky characteristics and wacky adventures. They even own a Duck!

While this is the third book in the series, I didn't feel like I was too out of the loop having not read the previous two. I think it would be a blast to live with Eve and Ruby and I really enjoyed the time I spent on the island with them.

Source: I was graciously provided a copy by the author.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Book of Mormon Girl

The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American FaithThe Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith by Joanna Brooks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

She makes some valid points, but she strikes a self-righteous tone that I had a really hard time with.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Carry On, Warrior - TLC Book Tour

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton

Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: April 2, 2013
Hardcover: 288 pages
Price: $25.00

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perhaps like many of you, I read Glennon's essay in the Huffington Post as it made the rounds through Facebook last year. I felt like she was writing things I have thought in a way that I wish I had 1/100th of her talent to express.

I am delighted to be on this book tour. The book combines many of her essays from her blog with a few new items so that the book flows and carries some important threads throughout.

I really loved this book. Not because I agreed with everything she said, because I didn't. But she is refreshingly honest and true to herself and her readers. She made me think about how I view myself and others, and especially about my relationships with my family. And while a lot of the book is pretty serious, there are some essays that had me laughing so hard I couldn't wait to share them with my husband. And then we laughed together some more.

Connect with Glennon at or on the Momastery Facebook page.
 Check out the other great reviews on this tour!

Source: I received this book from the publisher as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


EdenbrookeEdenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I really didn't know very much about this book before I read it. I just knew that people whose book tastes are similar to mine raved about it and that was good enough for me. It's a Regency romance akin to Georgette Heyer, but with a little more modern feel.

While I won't share any of the storyline, this book is just absolutely delightful. It makes me happy just to think about it. If you are a sucker for a clean romance, this is your book. You may have to purchase it, but it's worth it.

Also reviewed by: Bloggin' 'bout Books ~ I Am A Reader, Not a Writer ~ It's All About Books ~ Girl Who Loves to Read ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Books, Belles, and Beaux ~ Good Clean Reads ~ Your link here?
Source: Gift

The Only True Genius in the Family

The Only True Genius in the FamilyThe Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Claire is a middle-aged woman who is a food photographer. Her father is a legendary landscape photographer and he has just passed away, causing her deal with a lot of things in her past that she would rather not. As a result, her own career hits some major stumbling blocks.

Meanwhile, Claire's daughter is graduating from art school where she has been enjoyed fantastic success as a painter. Claire is jealous of her daughter, even while feeling very proud of everything she has accomplished.

This is a book about family relationships and how we identify ourselves within the various familial roles and responsibilities we have. I wanted to like Claire, but when she tossed her camera into the ocean, I lost a lot of respect for her. In the end, I really liked Claire's husband the best.

This is a good book to spend a rainy afternoon with. It was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading lately. It would also make a good book club discussion.

Also reviewed by: At Home With Books ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Friday, March 22, 2013

Elegy for Eddie - TLC Book Tour

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

On the library stacks: Adult Mystery Fiction
Awards: Agatha Award Nominee for Best Historical Novel (2012)
Series: Maisie Dobbs #9

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the back cover:
Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruits and vegetables on the London streets—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. So who would want to kill him . . . and why?

Maisie Dobbs's father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, and she remembers Eddie fondly. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Maisie's search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth leads her to unexpected places and people: to a callous press baron; to a has been politician named Winston Churchill; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk everything to see justice done.
I adore Maisie Dobbs. Even though this particular installment wasn't my favorite (and I really don't recommend starting in the middle) I still love this series.

Winspear is really adept and incorporating historical elements into her novels. Where this book fell a little short for me is that it seemed like a transition novel for Maisie personally and so the mystery element was not as satisfying. However, when you have a series that has been going on as long as this one, it's to be expected. By the way, I am a huge fan of these new book covers.

I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next installment that just came out this week. For more information on her new novel, Leaving Everything Most Loved, check out Winspear's website and Facebook page. You can also check out her discussion on Blog Talk Radio from earlier this week.

Also reviewed by: Axe for the Frozen Sea ~ Bermudaonion's Weblog ~ A Work in Progress ~ Thoughts of Joy ~ Your link here?

Source: I received this book from the publisher as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

On the library stacks: YA Classic/Adult Fiction
AR Reading Level: 6.8
Award: National Book Award

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't reread books very often. The last time I read this novel I was in high school. I loved it then, and I am happy to say that this book definitely stood the test of time for me.

Our nameless narrator is a traveling companion to an old American woman in Monte Carlo when she meets the handsome owner of Manderley, Maxim de Winter. Maxim's wife, Rebecca, died tragically a year before and Maxim just hasn't been the same. When No-Name says she is leaving for America, Max proposes and after a quick wedding and honeymoon, they return to his estate in Southern England.

Poor young and fragile No-Name is thrust into a life she has never known. She has power to direct the affairs of an entire estate, must make social calls and deal with Maxim's family, and pervading everything is the ghost of Rebecca. She is everywhere. It's her house, her servants, her beach, her dogs.  Everyone loved her and No-Name can never match up. She's not even sure if her husband will ever love her like he loved Rebecca.

For me the power of this book lies in the rich descriptive writing. I can imagine everything down to the minute details. I feel No-Name's anguish as I walk with her through the beautiful house, exploring the grounds. I hate manipulating Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, in spite of No-Name's spinelessness. And I love the mystery element too. I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Also reviewed by: The Bluestocking Society ~ Book Nut ~ Good Clean Reads ~ The Boston Bibliophile ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

On the library stacks: Children's Fiction
AR Reading Level: 7.0
Series: Book 1 of 14 (Oz)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think most people reading this blog are probably pretty familiar with the story of The Wizard of Oz. I'm ashamed to say I never read it as a child, even though I watched the movie a zillion times. In a weird twist of fate, I have never shown my children the movie (burnout maybe?) but at least one of them has read the book.

Honestly, the most upsetting thing about reading this book was finding out that Baum wrote that Dorothy's slippers were silver, not ruby. I really can't get over that. Ruby slippers make Dorothy's ensemble complete.

This book is certainly imaginative and I like the message that the power to change our lives already rests within our control. The tin man and his back story were my favorite parts of the novel.  I did find it simplistic and plodding at times though. I'm glad I read it, but this book won't be a lasting favorite.

Also reviewed by: Capricious Reader ~ Puss Reboots ~ Rebecca Reads ~ The Book Nest ~ Your link here?
Source: Free Kindle download

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Girl at Sea

Girl at SeaGirl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

On the library stacks: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 4.4

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really liked the Scarlett series and the Little Blue Envelope series. This is my first try at one of Johnson's stand-alone novels, and I was really disappointed.

Clio is a 17-year old who is really annoyed she has to spend the summer on a yacht off the coast of Italy with her dad. Instead, she wishes she was working in the art store in Philadelphia with her latest crush. Clio can't believe that her dad has brought his girlfriend and her daughter along, but at least nerdy Aidan is something cute to look at on the boat. Things get crazy when Clio realizes that they are on a real-life Dive! adventure, similar to the board game she and her dad created years ago.

This book was just too silly for me. I couldn't decide what I was supposed to take seriously...the divorce, the tattoo, the money problems, the girlfriend, the business partner's health issues, the kidnapping. None of it was believable and Clio just came off as bratty to me. It was only Aidan that kept me reading.

Also reviewed by: Book Nut ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Saturday, March 2, 2013

If I Stay

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

On the library stacks: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 5.3
Series: Book 1 of 2 (If I Stay)

Awards: Publishers Weekly Best Book, An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award, Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee, TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction, ALA Teens' Top Ten, Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee, Florida Teens Read Nominee, Delaware Blue Hen Award, Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee, NAIBA Book of the Year for Children's Literature

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between all the awards and all the reviews, you can see I am definitely late hopping on this bandwagon. I heard so much about this book before I read it, I wasn't sure if I would like it. But I surprised myself by really enjoying it. I actually read it in a day.

Publisher's blurb:
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.
I didn't cry like I thought I would, but I did feel very wrapped up in the story. I will definitely read the next in the series.

Also reviewed by: Capricious Reader ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Literary Grand Rounds ~ The Book Nest ~ At Home With Books ~ Savvy Verse & Wit ~ My Own Little Corner of the World ~ It's All About Books ~ So Many Books, So Little Time ~ Alison McCarty
Source: Purchased

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Secrets of Happy Families - TLC Book Tour

The Secrets of Happy Families: Surprising New Ideas to Bring More Togetherness, Less Chaos, and Greater Joy by Bruce Feiler

Publisher: William Morrow
Publication date: February 19, 2013
Hardcover: 292 pages
Price: $25.99

While I don't read parenting books often, every once in awhile it's nice to get a fresh perspective. My four kids are all in school and between them, we are involved in lots of extracurricular activities after school. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is scripted for me, just based on the carpool scheduling.

For this tour we were asked to implement one of Feiler's suggestions in our family. So for the last couple of weeks, we have been conducting a Sunday night family meeting. The first week we did it more to organize schedules. We have been having trouble finding time that all six of us could sit down for a few minutes to have our daily scripture reading. It just wasn't working for us to have it at the same time every day, because someone was always missing. We worked together to find a time every day that we would all be there and put it as a priority in our calendars.

The second week we took the meeting a step further. I asked three questions:
1. What things went well for our family this week? (Everyone said scripture study! We felt more calm and everyone got along better.)
2. What things could we improve in our family? (This mostly had to do with keeping play areas tidy.)
3. What things will you commit to working on this week? (Feiler suggests choosing two things.)

The meeting was short, simple and upbeat. The family meeting is based on the business idea of agile development. We meet together to make ourselves accountable and to encourage continual incremental improvements in our family. I have noticed that I feel much more in control of the family happenings these past few weeks. So far, it's working for us!

This book has great ideas for strengthening marriages and family life from nontraditional sources. Want to know how to have better game time? Feiler visited the folks at Zynga. Want to know how to set children's allowances? Find out what Warren Buffett did.

I highly recommend this book.
Bruce Feiler is the author of five bestsellers. He writes a family life column for the New York Times. To learn more about him, you can visit Feiler's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Check out the other great reviews on this tour!
Source: I received this book from the publisher as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Someone Knows My Name

Someone Knows My NameSomeone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
Awards: Myers Outstanding Book Award, Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book Overall, Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction, CBC Canada Reads

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The breadth of this novel is so huge, even sitting down to write a review is a daunting task. My book club read this in January and there was plenty to discuss.

Aminata Diallo is a young girl in Africa when she is stolen by the slave traders and forced into slavery. She is brought to South Carolina and eventually escapes in New York City. After serving the British during the American Revolution she is granted freedom in Nova Scotia. When living conditions there worsen, she travels back to Sierra Leone. She finishes her life in London where her life and testimony support the abolitionist movement.

I loved this book for opening my eyes to many more facets of slavery than I have really allowed myself to consider before. It's real and it's heartbreaking. But somehow Aminata is inspiring and I never really found the book particularly depressing, even though it could have been.

The book came short of 5 stars for me because the last 150 pages really glossed over the last part of her life. For giving us so much detail in the beginning, I felt a little short-changed. But I felt the author did a fantastic job writing the book from a female perspective and I appreciated his attention to historical details. If you do read this book, I suggest reading the author's note at the back first. I was glad I did.

Also reviewed by: My Book Retreat ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ Thoughts of Joy ~ Your link here?
Source: Library

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Sparrow

The SparrowThe Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
Awards: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel, Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for Foreign Novel British Science Fiction Association Award for Novel, John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel, James Tiptree Jr. Award, Puddly Award for Science Fiction
Series: Book 1 of 2

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 2008, I read Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell and loved it. I have been anxious to read this book, which is most acclaimed of all her work. However, I heard a few rumors about this book that put me off. It's not an easy book to read, but definitely worth it. I feel like my mind was stretched in all directions!

I am definitely impressed by the diversity and talent of this author. Dreamers of the Day is historical fiction and this book is science fiction. Set in the future, a team of scientists, funded by the Jesuits, take an asteroid to a distant planet light years away. They make amazing discoveries and endure unimaginable horrors.

I have heard that AMC has just optioned this book and its successor, Children of God, as a television series. I plan on reading the next book for sure. But for now I need to let this one rest in my mind. It's really a philosophical novel at its core, and one I won't soon forget.

Also reviewed by: Avid Reader's Musings ~ It's All About Books ~ My Friend Amy ~ Alison McCarty ~ 1morechapter ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cold Sassy Tree

Cold Sassy TreeCold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

On the library shelves: Adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

14-year old Will Tweedy is the narrator of this Southern novel set in Georgia in the early 1900s. After the passing of Will's grandmother, his grandfather, Rucker Blakeslee, shocks their small town of Cold Sassy by running off and marrying the milliner in his store. Ms. Love Simpson (a Yankee!) is liked well enough, but she is young enough to be Mr. Blakeslee's daughter.

Added into that familial stress, Will is nearly run over by a train, is caught kissing a girl from the mill in the cemetery, and goes on a camping trip with the boys where he tells a few tall tales. And the whole town is abuzz when Will's father drives into town with a brand new automobile.

This is a lovely book and I enjoyed my time in Cold Sassy. It wasn't a quick read for me, but Will is a very likeable character and I was rooting for him the whole way. Even though there are some periods of silliness in this book, there are also some hard-hitting issues to think about including suicide, racism and religion. It's a well thought out novel that I found rewarding to read. Definitely recommended for fans of Southern literature.

Also reviewed by: Book Nut ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Review

Total Books Read: 60 (That's 22 less than last year and 53 less than the year before. Wow.)

One thing I did this year was try to clear my TBR shelf of books that had been there since 2008. There were quite a few DNF, but I chose not to record those. I got through 24 of the 28 books. In 2013, my goal is to finish the final four from 2008 and read 18 books on my TBR from 2009.

My top 10 favorite were:
  1. The Ditchdigger's Daughters
  2. Divergent
  3. The Scorpio Races
  4. Pandemonium
  5. Heaven is Here
  6. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
  7. Daddy-Long-Legs
  8. Mockingbird
  9. Baking Cakes in Kigali
  10. The Chosen
5 star: 8
4 star: 33
3 star: 14
2 star: 4
Unrated: 1 (just couldn't rate Code Name Verity)

Of the books I read:
Books I purchased: 18
Free downloads: 3
Books from publishers/publicists: 0 (big change for me)
Books that were gifts: 3
Books from the library: 23 (big increase from last year)
Books from BookMooch: 10
Books I borrowed: 3

Books I read electronically: 8
Audiobooks: 4
Nonfiction: 10

Adult books: 37
YA books:19
Middle grade/Children's: 4

Here is a list of my 2012 reads: