Saturday, December 31, 2016

COYER Blackout signup

wintercoyer-16-17

This is hosted by Berls, Michelle, and Stormi and you can sign up at this link. Technically this started December 17, but I have been in a blogging slump and am just now posting my signup. The challenge runs from December 17 to March 3, 2017 and focuses on reading books on your e-reader. I have a few free review books I would like to get to and this challenge does help me focus on that. The COYER people are also a fun group and there are Facebook posts and Twitter chats.
I will add to my reading list as I go.

My reading list:
Beheld by Alex Flinn



Bout of Books 18 signup

Bout of Books 18

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th 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 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This is my thirteenth bout of books!

My reading list:
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (book club)
Beheld by Alex Flinn (COYER)
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep (reread)
Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (audio)




Poor blog

Well, this is my first post for December and since it is the last day of the month, that is pretty pitiful. I haven't felt like doing much of anything since August and am just now getting out of that slump. I hope to start blogging again in the new year and finding challenges to signup for, even though I am not for sure I completed a single challenge this year. I plan on getting a COYER and Bout of Books signup up today and possibly start picking out challenges, however I may not do a year end wrapup, because it kind of depresses me. I think I will just let the new year be a new slate and maybe we can pretend the last few months did not happen or maybe they were a dream ala Dallas style. :)

Hope you have all been well!

Sarah

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Spirit Readathon Wrapup



Well, I was able to finish Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber. It was an easy, quick read and it was okay. I had trouble with the rhyming Ash and Dash combo, but the title was a clever take on the male lead's name. Hopefully I can start the Christmas Wedding soon. Thanks to Michelle for hosting!




Monday, November 21, 2016

Christmas Spirit Readathon Signup



This is hosted by Michelle @ True Book Addict, Castle Macabre and Christmas Spirit blogs and you can signup at this link. This is a bit last minute, but I am starting to get into the Christmas spirit, so I have a few books on my reading list.

I am still reading Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber and I still need to read Christmas Wedding by James Patterson for book club, so I will concentrate on these two for now.

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!



Sunday, November 6, 2016

HoHoHo Read-a-thon Signup

HoHoHo Readathon

Well I haven't blogged much lately, but I am in the mood to read some holiday stories, so I had to sign up for Kimberly's read-a-thon. You can signup at this link. I  hope to do better with this than I have with my past few read-a-thons and maybe I can get back into the hang of blogging.

Reading List
Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
December book club book (I think this is Christmas Wedding by James Patterson)

I am go to stay with these two and hope to finish at least one of them.

Thanks to Kimberly for hosting!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

FrightFall Read-a-Thon Wrapup



Well, work kicked my butt last week and I was gone all weekend, so I did not get to write updates like I hoped. I did finish House of Abraham with 72 pages and A Monster Calls through audio CDs, so that was awesome! Thanks to Michelle for hosting and I will try to be more social next time!!






Sunday, October 2, 2016

FrightFall Read-a-thon Signup



This is hosted by hosted by Michelle @ True Book Addict, Castle Macabre and The Christmas Spirit blogs and you can sign up at this link. You must read at least one "scary" book, which does not have to be in the horror genre, but can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar. This time my scary book will be A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which I am reading for our Freshman Reading Challenge that I do with our local high school librarian.

My reading list:
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
House of Abraham by Stephen Berry
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Losers Take All by David Klass
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I read this book for the Little House Readalong. It is the last book in the Little House series, although there are books of collected letters.

The First Four Years (Little House, #9)
HarperCollins

The book goes back a bit before These Happy Golden Years to the time right before Laura and Almanzo's wedding and covers the first four years of their marriage. Laura and Almanzo work through the trials of farming, the joy of a daughter, and the heartbreak of loss. Through it all they have their love for each other and their pioneering spirit to help them survive.

This book does have a bit of a different style to the story, since it was written down by Laura, but not really edited by her. Almanzo becomes Manly in the story, but in this book his nickname is not explained. It is shorter than the other stories and I missed hearing about the other members of Laura's family. Laura showed the harshness of farming on the plains, particularly how they were at the mercy of the weather and the joys and heartbreaks of married life and building a family. I enjoyed reading Rose's escapades and the scene with the horses always gives me goosebumps and also the scene with the Boasts broke my heart and also made me sad for the friendship that was lost because of Mr. Boast's request. It was still a sweet story and I enjoyed seeing Laura and Almanzo's interactions. 4 cups of cocoa.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Virtual Adult Summer Reading Wrapup

VASRP Graphic 1

I did attend a chat and did a challenge or two, but not great on my reading. I read 2 of the six books on my list and only reviewed one of them. I did managed to read 8 books so I met the level, but only reviewed 3 books total. Thanks to Valerie and Octavia for hosting and I hope to participate again next year if you guys host it again!


COYER Summer Vacation wrapup

ChallengeSUMMER

Well, I did not do well at all. I read and reviewed two books. I read another 5 books that I did not review, so 7 in all. I sporadically posted on Facebook and attended two twitter chats. I just could not get in the reading mood and definitely could not get into the reviewing mood these last few months. Oh well, I can't wait until COYER Winter edition!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge July/August Update

 BookishResolution Challenge 2016
The 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge is hosted by Laura @ Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @ Because Reading and you can sign up at this link. For this challenge you must have 2 of 3 main goals, Blogging, Reading, and/or Personal and then subcategories for these goals. Well, I am not doing much better after a dismal April, May, June, and July. July was particularly bad, including the fact that I did not even update. I also am updating August in the middle of September, so that should be ominous too. I haven't felt like blogging at all, so my poor blog has suffered tremendously.


My goals:

Reading Goals

1. Read at least 6 Classics. This was a goal I barely completed last year, but something I want to continue doing. So far I have only finished Peter Pan, but hopefully I can get into another classic soon. Still have only finished Peter Pan, but have started Frankenstein. The results here have not changed since February, got to work on this one.
2. Read at least 70 books this year. I did not do this as a goal for the Bookish Resolution last year, but I did have it as a goal. I just missed it by 8 books, so I want to challenge myself on it this time.  I finished 46 books now, which isn't bad.
3. Finish at least 4 series. I did well with this last year, but I have several more series that I did not finish. I have finished one series, but have three that I am really close to finishing.

Blogging Goals

4. Blog at least 10 times a month. I met this goal for 7 out of 12 months, so I want to try this one again. I blogged 13 times in July, but only 8 in August, but August is the only month so far I have not met this goal.
5. Complete at least half of the challenges I sign up for this year. I came very close to completing this goal, but not quite. I will be signing up for challenges soon. I have started all my challenges so far this year. I have met goals in a couple of them, but still working on reading more.
6. Be more active commenting on blogs and on Twitter. By more active, I mean getting on Twitter and commenting on blogs at least once a week. Twitter is still going well, but blogging not so much.
7. Review at least half of the books I read. I basically just stopped writing reviews at the end of the year and I would like to do better with this in 2016. So far I have reviewed 33 out of 48 books, so I am meeting the half way goal easily. I hope to write reviews for some of them I missed, but this may not happen.

Personal Goals

8. Lose at least 20 pounds, 10 pounds. We are going to try Biggest Loser at work and our theme this year is Libraries Transform, which is ALA's theme. We decided against Biggest Loser at work. I gained back most of what I lost last year, so I would love to lose that weight again and maintain the weight loss. HaHaHaHaHa. I know now that I am up 5 pounds from the beginning of the year, but this is unacceptable to my nurse, so she is making me do blood work and told me I need to work on less carbs and more exercise. If only...
9. Eat and drink healthier. I would like to eat at least a vegetable or fruit a day a week. I eat horribly and am not in good shape. I would also like to cut down on coffee and sodas, because that is all I have been drinking lately. HaHaHa. Coffee and sodas are still my best friends and I again went a few days without veggies and fruit. I am able to get in at least a fruit and vegetable once a week, so that is a start.
10. Exercise more. I would love to exercise at least a few times a month and possibly up this to a few times a week as I get in a bit better shape. I don't want to push things too fast, so for the first month or so, I would like to exercise at least 3 times a month. July I did a 5K and I think I exercised at least 3 times in August, so I have sort of met this goal last month..

Hope everyone is doing a bit better with their goals than I am! I am hoping for a better September, but I have to start wanting to change my personal goals! 



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I read this one for the Little House Readalong and for the Newbery Challenge.
These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
Harper & Row Publishers




In this story, the Ingalls have put the long winter behind them and have adjusted to life on the little town of De Smet. Laura has good and bad teaching experiences and is at first conflicted on her feelings for Almanzo Wilder. She comes to like him as much as she does his horses and there could be wedding bells in the future! Mary continues to enjoy life at college and the younger siblings are growing up quickly. The end of the book is the end of Laura's childhood and has some bittersweet moments.

I love the courtship in this one! Laura and Almanzo date for 3 years, which probably seemed like a lifetime back then. I also enjoyed seeing Laura's teaching moments and how she came to enjoy teaching a bit, not so much to want to keep doing it, but a bit. The scene with her first teaching position and the wife drawing a knife on her husband was frightening, but it shows how life was hard in the West, particularly for the wives. I really like also when Laura tells her parents she can't have the horses without their owner and how that is when they all truly knew she loved Almanzo. I had forgotten how sweet this book is and definitely give it 5 cups of cocoa! I think it is also a charming Newbery and one that really shows life for women on the prairie.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Re-Readathon #4 Wrapup



Writing my wrapup for Bout of Books, I remembered I still needed to do a wrapup for Re-Readathon. I only managed to listen to 9 chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and read 140 pages of These Happy Golden Years. I liked both and really don't have a favorite. This was a super busy time at work. I love the re-readathons, but for me it was just a busy time. I liked it being a bit longer, because I felt like I had more time to get things read. I have since finished These Happy Golden Years and hope to get a review up soon. Thanks to Bex for hosting this!


Bout of Books Wrapup

Bout of Books

Well I only managed to read 12 more pages of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, so not a great reading day, but since this week was really busy, I will still take it as a win. I managed to do one mini-challenge, both Twitter chats, finish one book, and read 117 pages, so not too bad. Thanks to the hosts and see you all in January.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bout of Books Days 3-6 Update

Bout of Books

Well I didn't update Days 3-5, because I did not read or socialize those days. Work kept me so busy that I just came home exhausted and slept.

Day 6: I participated in the Twitter chat which was awesome as usual. I also managed to read 72 pages in These Happy Golden Years and finish it! I also read 15 pages in The Museum of Extraordinary Things.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bout of Books Day 2 Update

Bout of Books

Day 2 Update:  I managed to read 70 pages in These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder, so not too bad of a reading day!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bout of Books Day 1 Update and Mini-challenge


Bout of Books

Day 1 Update: I managed to make it to the Twitter chat, which was awesome as always! I also did the mini-challenge, which was really fun, and I managed to read 14 pages in The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Not too bad for a 10 hour work day!


Today's Challenge is hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale and is the Book to Movie Adaptation challenge. You pick your most favorite adaptation and your least favorite adaptation.

My least favorite would be Beautiful Creatures.
Beautiful Creatures Poster    Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)
It should have been really good. There were good actors, the story had a nice gothic feel, and the movie was terrible. I can usually watch anything, but I had to make myself get through it. It differed from the story too much and did not have the same charm as the book.

My favorite movie adaptation would be Pride and Prejudice.

Pride & Prejudice Poster  Pride and Prejudice

Really it would be more the mini-series by the BBC, but I did really like the version with Keira Knightly. I think they cut just the right parts and still kept the feel of the book. It does not top the Colin Firth version, but it is still one of my favorite quick watches.





Friday, August 19, 2016

Bout of Books 17 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, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th 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 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

This is my twelfth Bout of Books and will be a stressful week, so I am not sure how active I will be, but I hope to read and socialize a bit. I am going to try really hard to participate in the Twitter chat on Monday, because I love those and should be available at that time. Thanks to Amanda and Kelly for hosting!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Re-Readathon #4 Signup



This is hosted by Bex at An Armchair By the Sea and you can signup at this link. I think I have participated in the last two of these and I wanted to make sure to signup again as I love rereading books.
My Reading List:
These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Honestly that is all I will probably get around to rereading, but it will help me to get a jump start on These Happy Golden Years, since I have been finishing them at the last minute. Thanks to Bex for hosting!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I read this one for the Reading Assignment Challenge. It also works for Flights of Fantasy, COYER, Prequel and Sequel challenge, Royal Challenge, Retelling Challenge, for Reading Bingo as Book with Red on the Cover, and Full House as Book You Bought. This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series and may have spoilers for Cinder.
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Feiwel and Friends




Cinder knows she needs to escape Queen Levana and wants to escape her destiny as the lost princess of Luna. When she stumbles into "Captain" Carswell Thorne's cell and he brags about his ship, she takes him with her in an effort to escape execution. Without telling him the truth, Cinder convinces him that they should try to find the lost princess and that Michelle Benoit may be able to help. Meanwhile, Scarlet, Michelle's granddaughter, is trying to find her grandmother who she fears has been kidnapped. Her only lead is her father's ravings about a man with a tattoo who helped to torture him and who has her grandma. When Wolf appears and Scarlet notices he has a similar tattoo, she makes him promise to help her, but doesn't completely trust him. In the Eastern Commonwealth, Emperor Kai is faced with the consequences of Cinder's escape and Queen Levana's anger. If Cinder is not found, Earth will suffer. In the race to find answers Cinder and Thorne and Scarlet and Wolf will cross paths and will be forced to make difficult choices and will have to decide if they will face Levana, while Kai may have to make the most difficult choice of all.


This was an exciting book and I loved the new characters! I both listened to this on audio and read parts of it and it is definitely a quick read. Cinder took me awhile to get into, but Scarlet really captured my attention and brought to light the true horrors of Levana and the Lunars. I had dreaded reading Scarlet, because Cinder was such a slow read for me, but I am so glad I did! I think with Cinder, the back story took awhile and with Scarlet, you could just plow through the story with just a bit of back story. Scarlet and Wolf are an interesting pair and Thorne provides some needed comic relief. I was also glad to see Iko again. I loved the twists on the "wolf" in this one, particularly the scene with Scarlet's "grandmere," which was a really clever twist on the tale. I also liked that Scarlet seemed to be a bit stronger than Little Red Riding Hood and was a good strong female lead. This is definitely a 5 cups of cocoa read for me and I really need to pick up Cress soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I am finally getting around to writing my review for Little Town on the Prairie for The Little House Read-a-long. This is also a Newbery read. This is one of the few books I have finished this month.

Little Town on the Prairie (Little House, #7)
Harper and Row



Laura's family survived the long winter and their dearest dream is to send Mary to the college for the blind. Laura will miss her older sister, but knows that Mary desperately wants to go. Laura and Pa both take on extra jobs to help pay for Mary to go and it is a bittersweet day when they finally achieve their goal. De Smet is also becoming a small town and with it comes fun activities like socials and the literary society. Laura now almost sixteen is slowly working her way to a teaching certificate, which will help her earn more money for Mary. Surprises are in store for her, when an old nemesis reappears and when a certain young man begins to want to walk Laura home. Laura is finally growing up.

I loved this one, particularly the reappearance of an unlikable character. The bad side of me was glad this character had a bit of comeuppance, but unfortunately this hard luck did not change her personality at all. I also love watching the blossoming romance and think it is funny that the Ingalls don't really know Almanzo's true age and think him a bit too old for Laura. I also loved how Laura is willing to do anything for Mary and how much the sisters truly mean to each other. Laura has a kind heart despite it all. I will admit the one section with black face is really uncomfortable and wrong and again if I was booktalking this one, I would talk to the children about the past and racism. I think it was an acceptable Newbery for its time and there are qualities that make it an important read today. Other than that scene, this is a sweet and charming book and is a 4 cups of cocoa read for me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

High Summer Read-a-thon Wrapup



Finally putting up my wrapup post! I read all of Little Town on the Prairie- 303 pages, 150 pages of Scarlet, 169 pages of the Last Ever After and 126 pages of Thunderstruck, so not bad. Thanks to Michelle for hosting!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

24in48 Readathon Wrapup


I managed to read 6 hours and 45 minutes, which was not as much as I hoped to read, but still more than I have read in the past two weeks combined. I finished Little Town on the Prairie reading 146 pages in it. I also read 169 pages in the Last Ever After and 126 pages in Thunderstruck for a total of
441 pages, which is pretty good for me. Thanks to Rachel for hosting!


Saturday, July 23, 2016

24in48 Update 1



So far I have managed to only fit in an hour's worth of reading. I read 40 pages in Little Town on the Prairie and 40 pages in Last Ever After. I have checked in on Twitter, but so far that is about all. I hope to read for the next little bit and update a little later.
I have read a total of 3. I read 93 pages in Little Town, 75 pages in Last Ever After and 72 pages in Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

24in48 Summer 2016 signup

Hosted by Rachel

The next 24in48 readathon is July 23-24 and you can sign up at this link. I am already taking part in the High Summer Read-a-thon, so this one should go hand in hand with that one. I hope to read at least 12 hours again, but we will have to see how the weekend goes. You can also follow along on Twitter: #24in48.

My reading list:
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani



Friday, July 15, 2016

High Summer Read-a-thon Signup



I love Michelle's read-a-thons and this is a nice one to help you catch up on all your summer reading! This read-a-thon is hosted by Michelle @ True Book Addict, Castle Macabre and The Christmas Spirit blogs and you can sign up at this link. My book club books are really bogging my reading down, but I hope to get some reading done next week.
My reading list:
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!



Saturday, July 9, 2016

My July TBR:And the Winner is...

MyTBRList

So I spent most of the week with a back and forth between two books, but the winner by one vote is...
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3)
Harper Collins

I am looking forward to finishing this series and have already started reading it! Thank you all for voting and to Michelle for hosting!





Sunday, July 3, 2016

Story Sprites Round Five Signup



The Story Sprites challenge is hosted by Great Imaginations and here is a link to the signup. The goal is to complete a path by October 1st. You pick a color and complete those squares. You can do more than one path if you want. I am having a hard time choosing which path to take! I think I am going to try for yellow or purple again, but I may try for more than one color if I get on a reading kick. Thanks to the bloggers at Great Imaginations for hosting!




July My TBR List

MyTBRList

This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. Each month you pick three books on your TBR list and people vote on the one you should read that month. I finished last month's book, hooray, so that is three months in a row! I decided to go with series ending books for this month.

First choice:
United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
Disney Hyperion
 This is the last book in the Gallagher Girls series and I just finished the one before it last month. This is a quick series about teenage spies.

Second choice:
Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)
Atheneum

 Poor Oblivion is almost always a runner-up in TBR and the last book in the Nevermore series. This is a twist on Poe's stories and the darkness behind them.

Third choice:
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3)
Harper Collins

I finished the second one in this series for April's TBR and this one is about a fairytale school to train the good and evil, but mainly about Agatha and Sophie's friendships and their romantic interests.



  



Friday, July 1, 2016

Reading Assignment Challenge: Second Quarter Checkin

2016HW Report Card

This is hosted by Berls at Fantasy is more fun and Michelle at Because Reading and you can sign up at this link. Well, this time around I made a B, because I did not finish any books in May. :(
April: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
May: none
June: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I am enjoying this challenge and have managed to cross five books off my TBR list! Thanks again to Berls and Michelle for hosting! How did everyone do this quarter?

2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge: June Update


 BookishResolution Challenge 2016
The 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge is hosted by Laura @ Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @ Because Reading and you can sign up at this link. For this challenge you must have 2 of 3 main goals, Blogging, Reading, and/or Personal and then subcategories for these goals. Well, I am not doing much better after a dismal April and May. However Michelle and Laura are giving us permission to delete and tweak goals. I can delete two and tweak two, but I think I am just going to tweak two in my personal goals. I have halfway completed Blogging at least 10 times a month.



My goals:

Reading Goals

1. Read at least 6 Classics. This was a goal I barely completed last year, but something I want to continue doing. So far I have only finished Peter Pan, but hopefully I can get into another classic soon. Still have only finished Peter Pan, but have started Frankenstein. The results here have not changed since February, got to work on this one.
2. Read at least 70 books this year. I did not do this as a goal for the Bookish Resolution last year, but I did have it as a goal. I just missed it by 8 books, so I want to challenge myself on it this time.  I finished 38 books now, so I am halfway there.
3. Finish at least 4 series. I did well with this last year, but I have several more series that I did not finish. I have finished one series, but have three that I am really close to finishing. Hoping to use Michelle's My TBR list to finish another series ending book this month!

Blogging Goals

4. Blog at least 10 times a month. I met this goal for 7 out of 12 months, so I want to try this one again. I blogged 10 times in June, so I have met my goal each month for this one!
5. Complete at least half of the challenges I sign up for this year. I came very close to completing this goal, but not quite. I will be signing up for challenges soon. I have started all my challenges so far this year. I have met goals in a couple of them, but still working on reading more.
6. Be more active commenting on blogs and on Twitter. By more active, I mean getting on Twitter and commenting on blogs at least once a week. Twitter is still going well, but blogging not so much.
7. Review at least half of the books I read. I basically just stopped writing reviews at the end of the year and I would like to do better with this in 2016. So far I have reviewed 31 out of 38 books, so I am meeting the half way goal easily. I may write one or two reviews of the books I haven't reviewed yet, but the other 5 will not be reviewed.

Personal Goals

8. Lose at least 20 pounds, 10 pounds. We are going to try Biggest Loser at work and our theme this year is Libraries Transform, which is ALA's theme. We decided against Biggest Loser at work. I gained back most of what I lost last year, so I would love to lose that weight again and maintain the weight loss. HaHaHaHaHa. I added a few more hahas here, because I am pretty sure I am 5 pounds heavier than where I started at the beginning of the year. I just can't make myself care about getting healthy and I don't know why!
9. Eat and drink healthier. I would like to eat at least a vegetable or fruit a day a week. I eat horribly and am not in good shape. I would also like to cut down on coffee and sodas, because that is all I have been drinking lately. HaHaHa. Coffee and sodas are still my best friends and I again went a few days without veggies and fruit. However I have been drinking more water and fewer cokes and coffee. I know I am not going to eliminate coffee, but increasing my water is a good first step. I have ate a few more veggies and fruits, mainly tomatoes, since it is summer and I love them in the summer.
10. Exercise more. I would love to exercise at least a few times a month and possibly up this to a few times a week as I get in a bit better shape. I don't want to push things too fast, so for the first month or so, I would like to exercise at least 3 times a month. I still don't remember the last time I exercised, some time in April I think. I have been getting in 10,000 steps with summer reading, but I haven't really exercised.

Hope everyone is doing a bit better with their goals than I am! I am hoping for a better July, but I have to start wanting to change my personal goals! 


Story Sprites 4th Session Wrapup

SS Board Round 4


I was only able to finish the purple path. I read
Book with Sarcastic Character: Out of Sight, Out of Time
Story with Strong Family Bond: Still Alice
Climate: Winter/Snowy: The Long Winter
Tight Male/Male Friendship: Blood of Olympus

I really enjoyed what I read and hope to sign up for the next round!

Thanks to the bloggers at Great Imagination for hosting!



Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

This book will be my June 2016 Reading Assignment Read. Unfortunately I did not finish a book in May, so I will have to try to make that up in July. It also works for Once Upon a Time Challenge since I read it before June 21st, just have not had time to review it.
The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)
Disney Hyperion

Magnus Chase becomes more powerful after he dies. Magnus is the child of a Norse god, something he learns shortly before dying, when his uncle has him retrieve a sword that once belonged to his father. Magnus also happens to be the cousin of Annabeth Chase and they only share a brief conversation before most of the excitement begins. Because Magnus fights a fire giant and dies, a Valkyrie named Sam, takes him to Valhalla. There he learns that Ragnorak will begin soon, unless he can stop the Fenris Wolf from being released. Joined by a dwarf and an elf and Sam, who has been exiled from being a Valkyrie, the four race against time to stop the end of the world.

I liked hearing more about Norse mythology, which is one area of mythology that I haven't studied at all. This series is a little more YA than Riordan's other series, but still fine for middle school age. I didn't really like Magnus all that much as a character, which surprised me, but he is whiny at time, an "atheist," (really more of an agnostic, no matter how much he brags on being an atheist), and not all that impressive in this book. I think he will slowly mature. I did however really like Sam. Sam is a Muslim girl trying to deal with all the expectations in her life along with all the requirements of being a Valkyrie and she is not whiny at all. She is the stronger of the two, but has been dealing with her dual life for awhile, so I am hoping her mature will rub off on Magnus.  I did also love that the relationship between the two is not going to be romantic. Sam has an arranged marriage with a fiance she loves and the relationship between her and Magnus is more like brother and sister, reminiscent of Carter and Sadie. I am really happy about this, because it allows for more action in the book, rather than mooning over another character. Really the main problem I had was with religion in this book, which surprised me, because Riordan deals with this so well in his other series. He says Magnus is an atheist and tries to make this cool, but Magnus even admits to not knowing for sure, which makes him agnostic. Sam's religion is kind of glossed over and I would love to have seen a bit more of her Muslim heritage, because it does play a role in her life, but from the bit we see, it seems to be portrayed accurately. I am sure it is hard for him to include religion without really talking about his own beliefs and trying to accurately portray those of others, so other than Magnus' one rant, it was not badly done. This book is definitely more action packed than Riordan's others and a bit more mature. It is not quite as good as the Olympians and Lost Heroes, but few books are. 3.5 cups of cocoa and I can't wait until October!



The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I read this for the Little House Read-a-long and for the Story Sprite purple path for setting winter/snowy. It is also a Newbery read for the Newbery challenge.
The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
Harper and Row



Well this book is definitely about winter and snow! Laura and her family who have settled down close to De Smet decide to spend the winter in the store that Pa built in town instead of in their shanty, after a Native American predicts a long winter. Good thing Pa believes the man, because blizzard after blizzard hits the area and the trains cannot make it to town. Living on meager provisions, Laura and her family struggle through the winter, but they are a family who grows stronger in horrible conditions. When the town is out of food, Almanzo Wilder and another young man, Cap Garland decide to risk their lives to find a farmer who may have grown some extra wheat. Will they make it before the next blizzard and will the families be able to survive until spring?


This one definitely shows how hardy the Ingalls and other frontier families were! It also shows Pa's levelheadedness in dealing with price gouging and Almanzo's heart as he braves the elements for others. I also enjoyed how music plays such an important role in keeping them sane and almost cried with Laura when Pa could not play because of his swollen fingers. It was also nice to have another Mr. Edwards cameo as he leaves money behind for Mary's college fund. Laura definitely matures in this one and becomes more of an adult than a child as she helps Pa twist straw and tries to keep a cheerful front with her younger sisters. 5 cups of cocoa and a sweet story of a scary time.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

2016 Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program signup

VASRP Graphic 1

Virtual Adult Summer Reading is hosted by Valerie and Octavia and you can sign up at this link. I love Summer Reading and the theme for this challenge is Get Hooked on Books! I would like to do Minnow Level which is 6 to 10 books. Valerie and Octavia are going to have monthly Twitter chats and weekly challenges, so this looks like a lot of fun. I am going to read books for my book clubs and a few books I have been wanting to read.

My reading list:
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Zookeeper's Wife
Kentucky Heat by Fern Michaels
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

I will update this as needed, particularly when I find out what August's book club books are. Thanks to Valerie and Octavia for hosting! 





Saturday, June 25, 2016

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

This was my June TBR book and will also work for the Prequels/Sequels challenge and for the purple path for story sprites for book with a sarcastic character, since there are several of these in the book. It is also my first COYER read! I used it on the Bingo sheet as E24 on Board Two. This is the fourth book in the series, so it will have spoilers for the first three books.
Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)
Hyperion



Cammie knew when she left last summer that searching for answers about the Circle would be dangerous and she knew that her friends and Zach would be angry with her for not telling them she was leaving, but what she didn't know is that she would not remember the summer at all. Cammie wakes up in a convent in the Alps with no memory of the summer and finds out it is October. She quickly calls her mother and is taking back to the Gallagher Academy. Only she is not the same Cammie. She has black hair, is rail thin, and can now operate a rifle. She knows she must remember what happened this summer, because the Circle no longer needs her alive and that again makes her a danger to everyone. However she knows that she can't run anymore and that her friends and family always have her back.

I loved this one and so far it is my favorite in the series. Cammie and her friends have to mature quite a bit in this one and Cammie's relationship with Zach becomes a true relationship with shared secrets and a few kisses, definitely still middle school appropriate for younger YA readers. The plot in this one is awesome and wraps up a few dangling points, like what happened to Cammie's father and just exactly who the Circle is. I also loved that you can see the girls growing up, but still growing together. In ways the girls' friendship and relationship to the school reminds me of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, but only in that both accurately depict how we change over time and how we become more mature. I will hate to see this series end and will be hopefully starting the last book soon. 5 cups of cocoa! This is a great quick read series!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

COYER Summer Vacation signup

ChallengeSUMMER

I am definitely signing up for COYER Summer Vacation, since that is the challenge that first brought my attention to COYER. The signup link is here. I love all the fun challenges and the interactions between participants. As far as a reading list goes, I am still not for sure. I would love to finish at least 10 books by the end of COYER and to finish one or two ebooks. Other than that, I hope to make a reading list soon. You all should definitely sign up for this one. Thanks to Michelle, Berls, and Stormi for putting this all together!



Sci-Fi Summer Read-a-thon Wrapup



I was able to finish both books by June 7 with a total of 300 pages! I still need to write the review for These Broken Stars and Sword of Summer. Thank you to Michelle for hosting!


My May TBR: And the Winner is...

MyTBRList

So I spent most of the week with a tie and had to ask the COYER group for help. Thanks you guys, because not only did the tie break, but I had my highest number of votes ever at 20! The winner by two votes is...
Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)
Hyperion Books

I am excited to visit with Cammie and her friends again and I will be one book closer to finishing the series. Thank you all again!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June MY TBR List

MyTBRList

This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. Each month you pick three books on your TBR list and people vote on the one you should read that month. I finished last month's book, hooray, so that is two months in a row! I decided to go with series books for this month. One is the second in a series, one is the fifth, and the final one is a second in the series and maybe the last I am not for sure.  

First Choice:
In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)
Atheneum Books

This is second in the Alanna series and a gift from my OTSP Secret Sister. I love the cover and Alanna is a strong female lead who wants to be a knight. I read the first one back in January.

Second Choice:
Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)
Hyperion Books


This one is the fifth in the series and I finished the fourth one back in March. I love the Gallagher spy school and the friendship between the girls. This is the next to the last book in the series.

Third Choice:
Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
Disney-Hyperion

This is told from Percy's perspective and I really enjoyed the Greek gods one. I don't know how many Riordan plans to write in this series, but this is the second one so far. I read the Greek gods one last year.