Monday, December 29, 2014

Come Sit a Spell Wrapup

Come Sit a Spell is hosted by Gina at The Book Dragon's Lair. Well I did not finish all of the books I needed to this year, but I did finish 6 books out of the 12 I wanted to finish. With teaching the online class, I just had little spare time for reading, but six books is not bad. Thanks to Gina for hosting this!

Bout of Books 12 Signup

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This is my eighth Bout of Books and I love the idea of not having goals! This is a busy time at work for me, but I am going to try to participate as best I can. I may post a reading list soon, but I am not going to focus as much on page numbers and books finished! Thanks again to Amanda and Kelly for hosting!

My reading list:
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Grant and Twain by Mark Perry
The Reliable Wife by Robert Goodrick
The Last Juror by John Grisham
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Saturday, December 20, 2014

COYER Winter 2014-2015 signup

Winter 2014-2015 COYER Sign Ups

Well I definitely need to use my Kindle more, because I only finished one book on it this year and I wouldn't mind reading more of the classics I have downloaded to my Bluefire app and finishing a few I have on my Overdrive app. I am going to aim for three e-books, since I have not been reading as much lately. As far as titles, I am just going to wait and see what captures my attention.
Thanks to Berls and Michelle for hosting and you can sign up at this link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why I Haven't Been Blogging or Really Even Reading?

So I haven't blogged or reviewed or read in awhile, except for a few exceptions. Work is taking up all of my time. The new job takes 125% of my energy and 300% of my time and the online class I am teaching is taking up anything that remains. Class finishes soon and after January, work should finally start to settle down a bit. I have been reading books for the three book clubs I attend for work and a few fluffy Christmas reads, but none of them have been on my TBR. Hopefully I get back to blogging soon!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Debbie Macomber Christmas books: Mr. Miracle, Starry Night, and There's Something About Christmas

So to get in the holiday spirit, I have been reading Debbie Macomber Christmas books. They are stress-free, happily-ever-afters, and predictable and many of them have Hallmark movies that are exactly the same.
There's Something About Christmas
All three by Ballatine Books
Starry Night                                     Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel

I started with Starry Night, right after Halloween. This actually worked out well, because Starry Night went through Thanksgiving up to New Years and so I did not feel bad for crowding out Thanksgiving. I like her stories set in the Alaskan wilderness and this was a cute story of a reporter and her struggle to interview a reclusive author. Carrie is sick of society gossip and batting her eyes at people at grand cultural events. She wants to be a serious reporter and asks for a bigger story and what she gets is Finn Dalton. Finn's first book become an instant bestseller, something he did not expect and it came with people wanting to invade his privacy. Since he lives in Alaska he feels safe that he will not have to be bothered, until Carrie appears. Carrie brings with her not just her charm and tenacity, but a present meant to heal the rift between Finn and his mother. When Carrie is stuck in Alaska for a few extra days, she grows to care for Finn and must decide if she is going to shatter the privacy he wants for a story that could make her career or if she will follow her heart and possibly be stuck in the society column. This was sweet romance with a satisfying ending. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Next came Mr. Miracle. I love the Mrs. Miracle books and movies, particularly the first book and the second movie. Mr. Miracle was not quite on par with Mrs. Miracle, but the movie has not premiered yet, so that may change my views. I love the premise of it, Harry Mills is an angel sent to teach a class and help make Addie's and Erich's lives a little happier. He is supposed to help get the two of them to like each other and help heal rifts in both of their lives, but he is still getting used to his new human body. Addie is one of his students, but all of his students touch his heart in different ways, and another teacher wants to be more than just a person he helps and he does not know how to rebuke her advances. Thankfully for Harry, he has Celeste, an angel on Earth many years, to guide him in human ways and to remind him about what is expected of angels. Addie and Erich are more complicated, because Addie had a crush on Erich when she was younger and Erich was very mean to her. Addie is also recovering from losing her dad, who she had not been on good terms with for years and who she felt was disappointed in her for not graduating high school. Addie is taking the class, so that she can finally graduate and go into the medical field. Erich is trying to recover from a heart break. When Erich breaks both of his wrists, Addie steps up to take care of him, so that their widowed mothers can go on a long awaited cruise. If the two of them can give up the past and continue to mature, than a Christmas miracle is not out of the question. There is a huge cast here and the book is a little too short, but I am sure we are going to see several sequels as Harry helps all of the students and a few faculty with learning the spirit of Christmas. Overall, I think the series will improve with each installment. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

There's Something about Christmas, I did end up liking this one as well. Emma Collins wants to have more exciting news stories and is tired of writing obituaries. She convinces her boss to allow her an actually article and he agrees, if she will interview three finalists of a national fruitcake competition. The one catch is that she has to fly to the ladies' homes with Oliver Hamilton, a cocky pilot who has a small plane. Oliver does have a cute dog and is handsome himself, too bad he lacks the personality to tempt her. Emma thinks this is just a stepping stone in her career, but little does she know that the three women will teach her valuable life lessons and that Oliver just might steal her heart. The storyline was really cute and I loved how Emma enjoyed her interviews and the recipes would tempt anyone into waiting to try fruitcake. I was never really convinced into liking Emma and Oliver's relationship until the end, and then it seemed like they deserved each other. I think the dogs are what convinced me. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon Wrap-up

I didn't do too bad! I finished Mr. Miracle, which was cute, but not quite as good as the Mrs. Miracle books. I also finished two and a half stories out of My True Love Gave to Me, and started There's Something about Christmas. I should be able to meet the Mistletoe category for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge, since I am already halfway there. Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Brief thoughts on A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

So I read this a few months back and forgot to review it. Our teen book group wanted to read the first two books in the Time Quintet and we only discussed the first book. With A Wrinkle in Time, my views finally changed on the book and the group really liked it. A Wind in the Door stayed the same for me.

A Wind in the Door (Time, #2)

This book picks up a bit after A Wrinkle in Time. Meg and Calvin are dating and Charles Wallace has started school. Charles Wallace of course is having problems and Meg tries to talk to her old principal, Mr. Jenkins, who never really liked her. Her principal is taken over by Echthroi, evil forces basically. Meg manages to help Mr. Jenkins and she, Mr. Jenkins, Calvin, Charles Wallace, and a cherubim named Progrinoskes try to fight the Echthroi, especially when Charles Wallace becomes ill. Meg must embrace her fears to save her little brother and with this she must embrace loss.

Meg continues to mature as the series goes along and this book was a bit more complicated than the first. I liked some of the ideas, like those about the stars and about filling darkness with love to conquer the void. However I bogged down again at this book and did not get any farther in the series. Someday I hope to read past book two and finish the quintet. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon check in

So far I have finished Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber and Midnight by Rainbow Rowell, the first short story in My True Love Gave to Me. Mr. Miracle was a very quick read and had the usual light-hearted feel of her books. Midnight was really good, but I love Rowell's writing style. I am only sad that this was a short story, I could have read more about Mags and Noel! Hopefully I can get a little more Christmas reading in, but I have a few other books that are begging for attention. We watched Miracle on 34th Street last night, our usual Thanksgiving tradition, so I am now in the mood to decorate for Christmas! I may do that as well today or at least clean the house so that I can decorate. Hope the challenge is going well for everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon

I am finally getting this posted. I am signing up for Michelle's Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge from November 24-30 and you can sign up at this link. I have several Christmas books I want to read. Hopefully I can finish one for this read-a-thon.
My reading list
Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Bring me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr
Christmas, Present by Jacquelyn Mitchard
There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber
My True Love Gave to me: 12 Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

This is hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict, but this is hosted on her Christmas blog, The Christmas Spirit, and you can sign up at this link.

I am going for Mistletoe level and will try to read three Christmas books. I will be reading  two Christmas books for the book clubs and I want to read at least one more Debbie Macomber Christmas book this year. I will also be doing Fa La La La Films and who knows how many I will watch, since we have already started watching Christmas movies at my house. :)
My reading list:
Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Bring me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr
Christmas, Present by Jacquelyn Mitchard
There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber
My True Love Gave to me: 12 Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins
Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Club Book Reviews

With my new job, I know have to attend the book clubs for adults at all three of our locations. It is fun and I am learning to like adult fiction and nonfiction. I still prefer YA, but so far I have liked the book selections. The book clubs have taken up most of my reading and reviewing time, which is why I have not been as active on the blog lately.

Book Club #1 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Reader

This was an interesting one. The story is told by Michael Berg, who has an affair with Hannah, an older woman. The affair ends when Hannah disappears and Michael meets her years later in a trial. He must face his past and determine her future. I did not like the first half of the book very much with the 15 year old boy and his 36 year old lover. It was a bit unsettling. The second half of the book was better. I enjoyed thinking about the ideas of guilt and how guilt is measured and how we exonerate or condemn someone's guilt based on misconceptions about them. I think it also showed how literacy can change someone and how that person then views him or herself. This was a different sort of Holocaust story told from the view of the next generation and it shows how that generation viewed the past and present of Germany.

Book Club #2 The Peace-Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

This was my first book by her and I loved it. The story revolves around two characters, Paxton and Willa and how their lives are not what they want them to be. Paxton is in love with a man who she thinks can never love her back and she is stuck living her life based on what others think. Willa is running from her past, both hers and her family's who were once wealthy in Walls of Water. Willa and Paxton's story is combined with a 75 year old secret shared by their grandmothers, Georgie and Agatha. The past and present collide in the Blue Ridge Madam, Willa's family's old house and the site of a suspicious death. The Magic Man who haunted Georgie and Agatha's past is back to reek havoc on Paxton and Willa's future. I loved this southern story with just a touch of the paranormal and a dash of romance. I can't wait to read more books by her.

I am reading Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah for the third book club and I am enjoying it so far. I am also excited, because I am supposed to be reading her books for Rachael's challenge, so I will finally have one finished!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

This is one of the books we chose for the Intro to Children's Literature class I am teaching this semester. I love how she ties in baking, magic, and family and creates a sweet story.

A Tangle of Knots

Cady is an orphan with an extraordinary ability. She can match any person to their favorite cake and bake the cake for them. Despite her great ability Cady has remained in the orphanage for years. Even with her talent for matchmaking, Miss Mallory cannot find the perfect match for Cady. In a world where most people have a special talent, Marigold cannot find hers. Her brothers have their own talents, but hers has not developed. Marigold's and Cady's lives combine when Toby adopts Cady. Miss Mallory sees it as a perfect match, but there is something about Toby that seems a bit off. When secrets from the past and a sinister person are brought to light, Cady may be in danger and it is up to her friends to unravel the knots of the past to give her a happy future.

I enjoyed the simplicity and sweetness of the story. It is a fantasy, but it has a realistic feel to it. All the characters were likable and I love how she let them tell their own stories and how the mysteries all came together in the end.

Favorite Character: Cady. She is loyal and good natured and you can't help rooting for her.

Favorite Quote: "It's the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are."

A nice read. 4 cups of cocoa!

R.I.P. IX Wrapup

lavinia portraitRIP9275

I signed up again this year for RIP hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings and the beautiful button for this challenge was designed by Abigail Larson and you can view her site and other artwork at this link.

I managed to complete three books for the challenge:
Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (finished this Halloween night!)

Reviews are coming for these three. I did not manage to read a 4th book that fit the criteria this time, but I still had fun!
Thanks again to Carl and Abigail!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon Wrapup

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon

Reading wise, I did great with this one. Interacting with people, not so much. Since I spend so much time on the computer at work and working on bills and all the unfun stuff, I have a harder time focusing on blogging and interacting with people on their blogs. I am hoping that will change once I figure out what I am doing at work.

As far as reading, I finished two books, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber, and The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, neither one on my list. I need something light to read and the other is for Monday night's book club. I read a total of 622 pages, so really good for me! Thanks again to My Shelf Confessions for hosting!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brief Thoughts on Shen of the Sea

Since I read Shen of the Sea months ago and need to review it for the Newbery Challenge, I am going to write a few brief thoughts about the story collection.

Shen of the Sea was written by Arthur Bowie Chrisman and won the Newbery in 1926. Children's literature has come a long way since then, but I still think this book would appeal to some children. I loved this book when I was in 5th grade. We had those Troll Book order forms each month and one month I chose this book. I loved the stories and how the author took inventions and familiar things, like gunpowder, and told a Chinese story to explain their origins. The ideas of cleverness, laziness, and different values and the way the Chinese viewed these were fascinating to me.

As an adult rereading these stories, the stories still fascinate me. Now though, I think about issues like cultural authenticity and if Arthur Bowie Chrisman was respectful to the culture and if he could accurately capture the culture of the Chinese. I found this blog that aided my concerns on the stories a bit: and was from Amanda's blog : The first blog was created by a group of people to talk about the Newbery books and Amanda is a librarian who has her own blog. From her posts, Chrisman seems to be a mixed bag. He seemed respectful of the culture in some ways and said he was aided by a Chinese man and translators, but at the same time, there are cultural inaccuracies. It is hard as an outsider to capture another culture, not necessarily impossible, but difficult. I agree with Amanda that the stories are fun and easy to read, but should not be the only tools used in a classroom. Chrisman had a few too many inaccuracies and even though he seemed respectful to the culture, the book cannot be seen as accurate.

I think it is a fun read and I enjoyed it, but I would probably not recommend it to young readers, without explaining that it is fiction and only loosely based on Chinese folktales and probably then I would only recommend it to mature readers who would understand that it is fictionalized. For me it is a 3 cups of cocoa book, because I loved it when I was young and I still like to read the stories. I just keep in mind that they are not the best representation of Chinese culture.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey's 24hr Read-a-thon Wrap-up

I read a total of 396 pages and finished one book, which is extremely good progress for me. I completed 5 mini-challenges and had a blast! Next time I am going to work on interacting with people more.

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
  5. How many books did you read?
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

1. The first two and then the last 5, since I fell asleep.
2. Starry Night was a good quick read. I wish I had thrown in a couple of smaller reads to feel a bit more accomplished.
3. I love the read-a-thon! Maybe Twitter chats every few hours to encourage interactions.
4. I loved the mini-challenges and the hourly hosts.
5. I only finished one, but I was reading four at one time.
6. Starry Night, The Rithmatist, The Reader, and House of Hades
7. The Rithmatist
8. The Reader
9. N/A, although I would love to be assigned to a cheerleader to keep me motivated.
10. I am going to try to participate again depending on my work schedule and if it lands on a day where I don't have to run to lots of places. I will probably still be just a reader to try to get the hang of an all day read-a-thon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Read-a-thon Updates

Hour 3:
I hope to get started reading soon. The husband is leaving in an hour to go have fun on his roommate weekend and then I can really get started reading. I did complete the opening meme and I will be gathering my books soon!

Hour 4: The husband is heading out and I will be starting to read soon!

Hours 5, 6, and 7: Thankfully I can finally post again. Blogger was having a few issues. I have been steadily reading The Rithmatist and The Reader. I am 40 pages into The Reader and wow it is different from my normal reads. I am sure I have blushed a few times. The Rithmatist is really starting to pick up and I love the combination of mystery and fantasy. I have completed two mini-challenges, so I feel like I have finally accomplished something for the day!

Hours 8 and 9: Still reading The Reader and The Rithmatist, but I took a break to run to Sonic. I love their new boneless wings and got my favorite thing there the mozzarella sticks. I listened to House of Hades for a bit in the car. I also headed to the library to pick out a few more books, like I really needed them.

Hours 10, 11, and 12: Most of hours 10-12, I will be taking a break from reading and grading the papers for my Children's Lit class. I am almost halfway through with grading and really need to finish by tomorrow. I will also be going to Mass. I hope to start reading again about halfway through hour 12.

Hours 13, 14, 15: I got distracted by two other books, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber and House of Hades, so I am reading four books at once. I have also completed a few other mini-challenges.

Hours 16, 17: I am going between Starry Night, The Rithmatist, and The Reader now. I have read over a hundred pages in The Reader and the second part has really switched gears from the first part. I have read 70 pages in The Rithmatist and am really intrigued by the mystery part of the book. Starry Night is a pretty easy read so far and one that I will probably focus on the most for Hour 17, since I am starting to wind down.

Hours 18, 19: I finished reading Starry Night, which was 226 pages and then quickly fell asleep.

Dewey's 24 Read-athon Mini-challenges

Color Cover Challenge
 Pictured: The Mark of Athena, Earthquake, The Silkworm, Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen and the Men Who Loved Her

 Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
2. How many books have you read so far?
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

1. I am still reading The Rithmatist and The Reader, but have also picked up House of Hades and Starry Night by Debbie Macomber.
2. I haven't finished any books yet.
3. Probably still The Rithmatist.
4. Yes, I keep getting distracted and slowly get back to reading.
5. Time is flying away so quickly!

Name Your Read-a-thon

The Killer Scarlet Reader
Made using Killer Frost, The Reader, and Scarlet

 Quoteable Quotes:

“‘Not having ice cream,’ she proclaimed, ‘is the culmination of all disasters! That’s it. No more discussion. We’re going. Follow.'” From The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

1. I am reading from Southern Indiana.
2. I am hoping to finish The Rithmatist, I have been reading it for awhile and I really enjoy it when I actually have time to sit down and read it.
3. I may go out and get some fast food for lunch and am trying to decide between Arby's and Sonic.
4. I am a librarian, married with no children, and I love to read (shocking I know). I recently became our library's director and it has been exciting and nerve-wracking. I miss being the children's librarian, but for now I get to keep on being the teen librarian.
5. This is my second Dewey and I will actually be alone for most of the day, so I hope I can buckle down and read. I am going to try to remember to go back and do the mini-challenges and maybe interact with other bloggers. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon Signup

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is hosted by Heather and Andi of The Estella Society, with help from volunteers. You can sign up at this link. Dewey starts tomorrow and this is my second time participating. I know I will not read for a solid 24 hours, but I hope to read more than usual. My husband has a roommate weekend, where he and his college roommates go out and paint the town, so I should have plenty of time to read. Hopefully I can make a dent in the many many books I need to read!
My reading list:
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
Emma by Jane Austen
House of Hades (reread) by Rick Riordan
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon signup

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon is hosted by My Shelf Confessions and you can sign up at this link. The read-a-thon runs from October 17-27 and there are challenges and twitter parties as well as reading. I would like to read at least 500 pages and finish at least two books.

My reading list:
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
Emma by Jane Austen
House of Hades (reread) by Rick Riordan
and possibly more!

Thanks to everyone at My Shelf Confession for hosting!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Frightfall Read-a-thon Wrapup

The FrightFall Read-a-thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre. I read 74 pages in Cinder, 42 pages in The Ghost of Graylock, and 200 pages in The Mark of Athena, so I definitely made my 250 page goal. The week was so busy and I work under after 10 two nights, so all in all I think it was a pretty successful read-a-thon. Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

FrightFall check in

The FrightFall Read-a-thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre. Work was so stressful and busy this week! I started my new job as Director of the library where I have been working. It is a huge change and it makes me so nervous. I also drove to my friend's house and we went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival yesterday, which was super fun! I did manage to read and listen to Cinder and Mark of Athena a bit this week. I read 30 pages so far in Cinder and186 pages in The Mark of Athena. I am hoping to meet my pages goal today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Frightfall Read-a-thon Signup

The FrightFall Read-a-thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre and you can sign up at this link. I enjoy Michelle's read-a-thons and they are stress-free. The only requirement for this one is that one of the books be a "scary" book and for wimps like me, Michelle lets us choose a mystery, gothic, or thriller to fit that category. I know I will not be reading a whole lot for this one, but maybe I can read at least 250 pages. I have also been in a very fickle reading mood lately, so I am including a huge list and hopefully that will entice me to read.

My reading list:
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (reread)
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki (my "horror" book)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
Emma by Jane Austen

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Come Sit a Spell Challenge

Come Sit a Spell is hosted by Gina at The Book Dragon's Lair and you can sign up at this link. I have so many books I need to finish before the year is out to complete the way too many challenges I signed up for. Since this one goes from September 22 to December 20, this will be my last big effort to finish all the books!

Here is my reading list:
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Cinder by Marissa Meyer  (I still haven't finished it, but have to finish by mid Oct)
Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Emma by Jane Austen
The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Earthquake by Aprilynne Pike
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos
Rags and Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy 
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Champion by Marie Lu
Emma, Mr. Knightly, and Chili-Slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway

Hopefully I can finish at least 12 books from this list. Thanks again to Gina for hosting!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This is one of the books we are using in my Intro to Children's Literature class. It is a heartbreaking and heartwarming book about a boy dealing with bullying based on his facial deformity.

Auggie Pullman has always been homeschooled, but now he is in the fifth grade and his mother feels going to school would be the best option for him. He is to attend Beecher Prep, a private school for gifted children, where his parents feel he will not face discrimination based on his facial deformity. Auggie has had 27 surgeries on his face and while making it easier on his breathing, eating, and hearing, his physical appearance has not changed much. Auggie is a fun-loving, humorous person, who refuses to let his physical disabilities define him, however he faces bullying from a spoiled rich child named Julian and is even let down by children who are supposed to be his friends. The story is told from many different perspectives, including Auggie's sister, her boyfriend, and some of Auggie's school friends. Despite all the difficulties of his life, Auggie stays true to who he really is and it is his true nature that finally wins over the entire school and teaches his friends a valuable lesson.

The multiple perspectives of this book help to enrich our picture of Auggie and show us what a good person he is. There is quite a bit of sad stories in this book, which make it a bit overwhelming at times, but it does show that everyone faces his or her own battles and that affects how they deal with others. I love the way one of Auggie's teachers, Mr. Browne has his list of precepts and has the children discuss these each month and how his summer assignment is to mail in precepts they create. I think they are working on a book with precepts based on Wonder and I think that would be a great classroom tool.

Favorite Character: Auggie. He is a beautiful person and shows us that obstacles can be overcome if we believe in ourselves.

Favorite Quote: "Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life, because we all overcometh the world.- Auggie."

I really enjoyed this book and it is a great one for early middle school students to read. 5 cups of cocoa!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

This is the first book in The Magisterium series and I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)

Callum Hunt has always known the magical world is evil, ever since his dad told him that magic killed his mother. Call believes that he was in surgery at the hospital when his mother died in a battle with evil magic, when really he was at the cave where the innocent were slaughtered by the evil mage. Call has a permanent limb, which no surgery is able to fix, but that is the only scar he carries. When the trials come around, Callum knows he must fail the test and he does so spectacularly. Much to his surprise and his father's astonishment, the best master, Master Rufus chooses Call as one of his three apprentices. Call along with Aaron and Tamara, who were the two top students, are taken to The Magisterium, an underground school for those with magic. As Call sees more of the school and bounds with his classmates, he begins to doubt his father's word that the school and all mages are evil. It is only when he encounters creatures made wild and evil by chaos magic and learns the truth about his past, that he begins to realize that his father was not just protecting him from magic, but protecting others from what Call truly is.

I finished the bulk of Iron Trial in one day and fell in love with the world Clare and Black created. They both have the ability to create a realistic magical world that exists inside of the modern mundane world and make it totally believable. The book has received some negative attention as being a knockoff of Harry Potter and there are some similarities, but this story is completely different from HP. This is not a clear cut story of good versus evil, but is a complex idea of what truly makes a person evil and what makes a person unique. A Maker, someone with control over chaos magic, is not necessarily evil, but can become so. Also the heroes in the story have a dark side, they are not completely good. Call's story is very complex and I won't talk about it too much, but the twist about him shows that he may not be the hero in the end. I love the complex friendship between Call and Aaron and how the two interact with Tamara.

Favorite Character: Aaron. He remains cheerful and a good friend through every trial. Even when Call is gloomy and moody, Aaron never gives up on him.

Favorite Quote: "The counterweight of chaos is the soul."

I loved this start to the series and can't wait to read the next installment. I also need to go back and finish the other two series by Clare I started and read Black's YA series. Definitely 5 cups of cocoa and one of my favorite reads so far this year!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

This was my first Jack Gantos read and it is one of the assigned reads for the class I am teaching.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1)

Joey lived with his grandmother from the time he was in Kindergarten to the summer before fourth grade. Joey's father ran off and his mother ran after him, so Joey was left with his mentally ill grandmother. When Joey's mother comes back, his grandmother goes to live with his father. Unfortunately his mother often drinks to escape her problems. Joey has ADHD and is constantly in trouble at school and finally because of his antics he is put in the special education classroom. Joey is on medication for ADHD, but his medicine does not often work. When Joey swallows his house key twice at school and also injures a fellow classmate, he is sent to a school for children who need extra care and attention. If Joey wants to get his life back on track, he will have to learn to control his hyperactivity and deal with his past.

Wow there are so many problems that Joey faces and it at times seems a bit overwhelming to read about them all. However many children deal with issues similar to Joey's and this is a great read for special education teachers and those who teach children who have behavioral difficulties. This could also work as a classroom read.

Gantos has a very entertaining style to his writing and you can't help but chuckle at some of Joey's antics and responses. Joey is a likeable character and you want him to succeed. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Friday, September 5, 2014

COYER Summer Vacation Wrapup


Well, I set my goal at 10 books and I read 12 books and 2 novellas! Only two of them, Wanderlove and If I Should Die, were on my original list, but I am happy with what I read. I also finished Thistle and Thyme, The Snow Bride, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, Wonder, Tangle of Knots, Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James, The Staff of Serapis, Men of Athens, and The Iron Trial. I still have several reviews to write, but I did get 7 reviews finished. I enjoyed all the Tag You're It questions on Facebook and participate most of the weeks and I also participated in a few of the read-a-thons and averaged about a book a read-a-thon! Thanks to Berls and Michelle for hosting!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Delacorte Books

Bria Sandoval is trying to forget her past, like how her ex boyfriend stole her heart and her ability to do art. She sees an advertisement for Global Vagabonds, a travel group, and decides to go to Central America with her two best friends, but then they back out on her two. No one expects her to go on her own, so that is exactly what she does. She wants to reinvent herself and maybe find her art again, however she has booked a tour group that is for middle aged and older adults. Lucky for her, she happens to meet Starling and her brother Rowan and they decide to help her learn to travel the world the real way, by backpacking. Rowan has his own way of viewing the world, through wanderlove, the idea that you can travel to escape the past. The two try to treat her as a little sister, because Rowan, who used to be wild, is trying to reform his image and Starling is trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. When Starling gets a job offer, she leaves Rowan and Bria to finish the trip together, and the two learn that sometimes you have to embrace your past in order to enjoy your future.

Loved this one! The places she describes sound so beautiful and exotic and it really makes you want to go to Central America and to travel carefree. I would never do this, but Hubbard makes it tempting. I loved the clean romance between the two characters and how their relationship is not really physical, but very intimate. I loved watching the two grow together and mend the broken parts of each other.

Favorite Character: Bria. She both changes and stays the same. I love how she looks at the world with an artist eye. She learns how to get past her past and become strong again.

Favorite Quote: "Because it's the most selfish thing I could ever do-to allow myself to fall for someone worthwhile."

I still think about this book and it has been over a month since I finished. I want to climb on top of the step pyramids like Bria and explore the world with abandon. This was the perfect summer read and one of my favorites this year. 5 cups of cocoa!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Beat the Heat Readathon Wrapup


I had so much fun reading and doing the mini-challenges. I will post my results for each week and then a final tally.

Week 1
Books read: Novella-The Staff of Seraphis-finished, The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read: 348 pages

Week 2
Books read: The Son of Neptune-finished, Men of Athens-finished, Iron Trial
Pages read: 445 pages

Week 3
Books read: Iron Trial-finished, Midnight Frost
Pages read: 341 pages

Books finished: 3
Pages read: 1134

Wow I did much better than I thought I would! I loved the Iron Trial and hope to have that review up soon. Thanks again to Jessi and Reanna for hosting!

R.I.P IX Signup

lavinia portraitRIP9275

I am signing up again this year for RIP hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings and you can sign up at this link. This challenge runs from September 1 to October 31. The beautiful button for this challenge was designed by Abigail Larson and you can view her site and other artwork at this link.
This will be my second time participating in Readers Imbibing Peril and I think I will try again for Peril the First.

This means I will read at least 4 books that fit the moody, gothic, mysterious atmosphere of the read-a-thon. They can be mysteries, supernatural, suspense, thriller, or dark fantasy. My choices so far, which may change are as follows:
1. Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
2. The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
3. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
4. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
On some of these I will know better once I start them if they are the right fit, but they all have a bit of the element needed to be a RIP book.

If I can find a short story collection I would also like to do Peril of the Short Story again. I loved reading the Edgar Allan Poe short stories last year. I may also do Peril of the Screen, but I will decide that a bit later.

Thank you again to Carl for hosting and to Abigail for the amazing artwork!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Men of Athens by Olivia Coolidge

This was my third and final Newbery book for the second mini-challenge part of the Newbery Reading Challenge. This was also a historical fiction pick for me.

When I first looked at Men of Athens, I thought it was going to be a nonfiction book about Ancient Greece, but as I read, I realized in some cases she used real people and in others there were made up characters. She also created dialogue for the actual real-life characters based on what we know of them. She did great research, but this belongs more in the realm of historical fiction. As far as content goes, some of the sections were fascinating and quickly read and a few were a bit slower. I also think this would not be a book given to children under 12 in today's society. It is not about children and it talks a little about orgies and the young marriages of Ancient Greek society, although not in any graphic way. More than content though the writing style is a bit more mature and dry at times.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, especially the Pericles/Aspasia section and the trial of Socrates section. Those sections make you feel like you are in the Greek discussion perhaps as they were during that time period. I don't think it is one I would recommend to kids or teens, but maybe older teens and adults interested in Ancient Greece. This is definitely not a quick read. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Since I read this, Wrinkle in Time, and Thistle and Thyme, I have thought a lot about how books hold up over time. Wrinkle in Time is enjoyed by teens today as much as it was in the 1960s. A new movie is being made and the book itself is timeless. The other two are no longer in print and it is not really hard to see why. Thistle and Thyme would appeal to those who enjoy old style fairy tales and folktales, like me, but Men of Athens is not really going to appeal to very many people. I liked parts of it, but even for me, a history person, it was just not that interesting. The Newbery award has always been a bit controversial, since quite a few of the award books just don't appeal to children. I think it is slowly getting a little more kid friendly and I like that they chose based on literary merit, but we do need to think about how this will appeal to a child. We want children to read and love it, not feel like reading is torture. Thankfully there are Lois Lowry books and Kate Dicamillo books to recommend and add to that A Wrinkle in Time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beat the Heat Readathon Week 3 Updates


Week 3 Updates:

Day 15
Currently Reading: Iron Trial
Pages read:20 pages-Iron Trial
Mini-challenge: Book Blending challenge @ Rosie Reads

Day 16
Currently Reading: Iron Trial, Midnight Frost
Pages read:29 pages-Iron Trial, 39 pages- Midnight Frost

Day 17 No reading :(

Day 18
Currently Reading: Midnight Frost
Pages read: 9 pages-Midnight Frost

Day 19 No reading :(

Day 20
Currently Reading: Iron Trial
Pages read: 93 pages- Iron Trial (loving this book!)

Day 21
Currently Reading: Iron Trial, Midnight Frost
Pages read: 120 pages and finished!- Iron Trial, 31 pages-Midnight Frost

Monday, August 25, 2014

End of the Summer Read-a-thon

End of Summer
Limabean Designs

This is the last read-a-thon of COYER summer vacation and you can sign up at this link. This will run August 29-August 31. For this read-a-thon you read books with a Fall theme and this can include books with a school/college setting.
I will probably try to finish Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare if I haven't finished it before Friday. I may also add The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson and Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep.

213 pages in Iron Trial and finished!
40 pages in Midnight Frost

Bout of Books 11 Wrapup

Bout of Books

I did better than I thought I would. I was able to fit in quite a bit of reading, despite a very busy and stressful week. I finished two books, The Son of Neptune and Men of Athens, and read a total of 445 pages. I completed 3 mini-challenges and one Twitter chat. I commented on several blogs and found 5 new blogs to follow. Overall not bad! I always love Bout of Books and can't wait until the next one. Thanks to the great hosts and all the great bloggers!
Hope everyone had a good week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bout of Books Day 7 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading:Men of Athens, Iron Trial
Pages read:66 pages and finished!-Men of Athens, 32 pages-Iron Trial
Mini-challenge: 5 Books -- Falling Down the Book Hole
Ashley at Falling Down the Book Hole's challenge is to pick 5 books that you would carry with you if aliens invaded and were destroying the planet.
1.The first one is easy. I would pick the Bible. I read it pretty much everyday and it would remind me there is always hope.
2. I would have to take a Harry Potter and would probably pick Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is my favorite of the series and ends on a sort of happy note.
3. I would also want to take a classic, so that I would have something timeless, so I would pick Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
4. The Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Plants may come in handy if I can escape to the wilderness and since I am not in a big city, that would be a possibility.
5. I would pick something off of my TBR stack, so that I would have something new to look forward to. This would be hard to do right now, since I have several books I want to read. I think I will go with Landline by Rainbow Rowell, since I really enjoyed Fangirl and Attachments.

What did you all choose?

Bout of Books Day 6 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: Men of Athens
Pages read: 26 pages-Men of Athens
I really did not read much today at all. I may need to switch up books for a bit.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout of Books Day 5 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: Men of Athens
 Pages read:49 pages-Men of Athens
New blogs: On the Wings of BooksMust Read Faster,
My regional children's/teen librarian meeting was fun and I came back with several great program ideas to steal from the other great librarians. I did accomplish a bit of reading. I will be visiting with a friend Saturday, so I may not have time to read very much.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bout of Books Day 4 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
 Pages read:59 pages and finished!-The Son of Neptune, 10 pages-Men of Athens

New blogs: Natalie Hearts Books, and Du Livre 
I went to the KY state fair today, which was awesome as usual! I love fried food and sweets. I did read a little bit and found 2 new blogs. Okay really they found me and all the blogs I have followed this time are by people who commented here first, but they are awesome, so that is all that matters! I hope to comment on some more blogs soon.

Bout of Books 11 Day 3 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune
 Pages read:56 pages-The Son of Neptune
Attended Twitter chat!
I spent most of the night working on my syllabus for class, but I did participate in the Twitter chat. I also have an interview next Thursday for a library director position. Thursday is my day to go to the state fair, so I will probably not read very much.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bout of Books 11 Day 2 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:42 pages-The Son of Neptune, 14 pages-Men of Athens

Following new blog: padfoot's library

Mini-challenges: Book Spine Poetry -- My Little Pocketbooks

Book Poetry:

Rags & Bones Tumble & Fall
Just Another Hero Saving Juliet
The Lost Hero now Legend

I used 7 books and just one extra word.
Thanks to Alysia for hosting!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bout of Books 11 Day 1 Update

Bout of Books

Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:69 pages- The Son of Neptune, 22 pages- Men of Athens
Mini-challenges: Book Scavenger Hunt -- The Book Monsters

Another busy day at work! Our superhero party went well and the kids loved posing as superheroes with the back drop Jeana made. We got some really cute photos to give to the parents and grandparents. I need to work on commenting on blogs on Tuesday and reading!

Beat the Heat Readathon Week 2 Updates


Week 2 Updates:

Day 8
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:69 pages- The Son of Neptune, 22 pages- Men of Athens

Day 9
Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:42 pages-The Son of Neptune, 14 pages-Men of Athens

Day 10
Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read:56 pages-The Son of Neptune

Day 11
Currently Reading: The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:59 pages and finished!-The Son of Neptune, 10 pages-Men of Athens

Day 12
Currently Reading: Men of Athens
Pages read:49 pages-Men of Athens

Day 13
Currently Reading: Men of Athens
Pages read: 26 pages-Men of Athens

Day 14
Currently Reading:Men of Athens, Iron Trial
Pages read:66 pages and finished!-Men of Athens, 32 pages-Iron Trial

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bout of Books 11 Goals post

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I would love to finish a book this week and read at least 250 pages, but I know it is going to be a long busy week! I am going to try to comment on at least 10 blogs and maybe find one or two new blogs to follow and hopefully do a few mini-challenges. I hope to participate in Wednesdays twitter chat, since that is the only one that fits into my schedule this week.
My reading list for this week:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Men of Athens by Olivia Coolidge
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Good luck to everyone!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)
Square Fish

This is the first book I finished for the mini-challenge #2 of the Newbery Challenge, but the second one I am reviewing for the challenge. I have read it before, but I reread it for the teen book club. I think it is one of those books you should read when you are a teen, when you are an adult, and possibly again when you are old. I looked at the book completely different when I was a teen. I identified with Meg's almost loathing of herself, her looks, her temper, even her doubt of being intelligent and didn't we all want a Calvin at that age. The deeper thoughts of the book escaped me for the most part at that age. Now I look at it and try to analyze the religion and science of the book.

Meg Murry feels she is an outcast. She believes she is stupid, ugly, and just can't fit in. Her only comforts, now that her father is missing, are her mother and young brother Charles Wallace. Charles seems in tune with her thoughts and feelings and is a great comfort although he is only five years old. The whole town seems to make fun of Meg and Charles and thinks her mother is pretty pitiful, since she will not admit her husband left her. Meg's twin brothers seem to be the only ones who fit in. Meg and her family know her father did not leave them of his own choice and they are proven right by the events of a dark and stormy night. Mrs. Whatsit appears and tells them that a tesseract is a real thing. Meg doesn't understand this until the next day, when she, Charles, and Calvin, a boy in her high school are drawn to the same place. The three meet Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which who transport them to different worlds by tesseract in order to save a world from evil and to rescue their father. In order to survive the three will have to face their fears and their faults and embrace the things that make them different.

This is one of those award winners that is timeless and is embraced by every generation. Those who read it when it first came out recommend it to their children and grandchildren and despite a few outdated comments and items, the themes of waiting to belong and of feeling like an outcast, resonate with all readers. Each time I read it, I feel like I find more things to love about it and each time is like reading it for the first time. I am excited about the making of a new movie for this book! If I can ever get caught up with my reading, I plan to read more of the series. I have finished A Wind in the Door, but that is as far as I have read. Definitely a 5 cups of cocoa book!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thistle and Thyme by Sorche Nic Leodhas

This is one of my three books for the second mini-challenge of the Newbery Challenge. This is a collection of tales and legends from Scotland that was a Newbery Honor book in 1963.

The stories are all relatively happy ending stories, which is a nice change from most myth collections. The stories in this collection revolve mainly around marriages although a couple are about tricking the fair folk or demons. In the introduction the author talks about how the stories started as word of mouth in Scotland and were passed down by different clans, by monks, and by traveling storytellers. She also mentions that some were written for special events like weddings and one was part of the author's own heritage, it was one her grandfather told her.

I loved all of the stories and raptly read each one. Most had a bit of humor to them. In one story, the one the author's grandfather told her, a man and his bride trick a water kelpie who had cursed the lady. At first the lady could not speak a word because of the kelpie, then when she tried to undo the curse, she could not stop talking. Since water kelpies have to repeat what people say, the lady sat for an entire day by the water kelpie's home, until finally the water kelpie was too tired to keep up and the lady returned to normal.
 I also liked another story that was kind of a twist on the Little Mermaid. In this one, the lady was a seal and a prince fell in love with her. The prince married her and she could stay with him as long as he wasn't cross with her. If the prince became angry with her, she had to leave everything in her new life behind. He became frustrated with her, because she was always busy with her son, and said some not very harsh words, but harsh enough, and she had to leave her family. Things sort of turn out okay for the couple in the end, but it had a bit of a bitter twist to the happy ending.
The first story was also good and was about a laird's lass who fell in love with the gobha's son. A laird is a lord and a gobha is a blacksmith and it involved some trickery on the part of both the lass and the lad to end with a happy ending.

Even though this is an older Newbery, it was very good, although it would appeal more to adults and teens who like a more classic tale than children. It is interesting to look at the older Newbery's and see that the audience in today's time would not necessarily be the same as when the books were published. The next book I will review for this challenge, A Wrinkle in Time, is one of the few exceptions.
Overall I enjoyed this greatly and it is a 5 cups of cocoa book for me!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Beat the Heat Week 1 Updates


Week 1 Updates
Day 1:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 43 pages

Day 2:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 44 pages

Day 3:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 21 pages

Day 4:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 72 pages

Day 5:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 49 pages

Day 6:
Currently reading: The Son of Neptune
Pages read: 26 pages

Day 7:
Currently reading: Finished The Staff of Serapis, The Son of Neptune, Men of Athens
Pages read:60 pages- The Staff of Serapis, 11 pages- The Son of Neptune, 22 pages- Men of Athens
Mini-challenge: Unscramble challenge @ Book Haven

Monday, August 11, 2014

Short and Sweet Read-a-thon

Short and Sweet
Logo by Limabean Designs

This is another COYER mini read-a-thon that runs from August 15 to August 17. The focus of this one is novellas. I plan on reading Shadows by Jennifer Armentrout and The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan.

Finished The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan. I hope this means he is going to write a combined Greek and Egyptian series!