Sunday, May 29, 2016

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is for the Little House on the Prairie Read-a-long and also works for Read it Again Sam challenge.
By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House, #5)

In this installment, we learn that Mary is now blind due to Scarlet Fever and the whole family is barely over the sickness. Things have not turned out that well in Plum Creek and Pa jumps on the chance to move west and find a homestead by Silver Lake. Laura's aunts and uncles from the Big Woods are integral in the Ingalls moving west and Ma gives her consent when Pa promises this is the last move and that they will live next to a town. Laura and her family love the beauty of the prairie and the lake and Laura enjoys watching the railroad workers. The growth of the town is hard on her and Pa, but the beautiful land for their homestead makes up for it. Will the Ingalls finally settle down?

I love how we learn about homesteading and filing claims and all the discussion of the railroad. Other than the sadness over Mary's loss of sight, this one is a little more hopeful than the rest of the series. I loved the brief reappearance of past characters, especially Mr. Edwards and it is nice to see Laura beginning to mature. I also like the brief cameo she includes of Almanzo, his brother, and the horses. I find it interesting that Pa is a little more open minded than most about Native Americans and is willing to put aside prejudice to trust Big Jerry. Ma is the one full of the prejudice. Laura seems more like Pa, but I can tell why the series does get a bit of criticism for the treatment of Native Americans, however I feel like Pa's views are a little more open minded than those of most pioneers at the time. Other than that, I love this book and I can't wait to pick up the next one! I also love the cover of this one. 5 cups of cocoa and a nice glimpse into the growth of the nation.

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn

This was my TBR book for May. It counts for the pink path on Story Sprites for Alternative History. It also counts for Royal Challenge, since Anastasia was a princess.
The Diamond Secret (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Simon Pulse

Nadya remembers nothing about her past and works hard in her low paying job as a waitress in a tavern. Ivan tries to forget the terrible cost of supporting the Russian Revolution and his witness to the deaths of the Romanovs. He and Sergi, a count who is searching for his family, decided to try to find someone to impersonate the lost princess Anastasia, to gain the reward her grandmother is offering. When Ivan meets Nadya, he sees in her the same spirit Anastasia possesses and he and Sergi convince Nadya that she is the lost princess. As they travel together, something is kindled between Ivan and Nadya, but when things began to point to her being the real deal, Ivan may pay for the lies he has told and Nadya is put in great danger. Can their love survive the truth?

This was a good retelling of Anastasia's story and a good what if the princess survived. People will always continue to wish things could have been different for the princess and people will continue to write alternatives to the sad truth. This story did have a bit of almost instalove and needed a few more details, but it was a charming story and did have some sweet points. 4 cups of cocoa and a nice addition to the series. Also this is my favorite cover of the whole series, isn't it beautiful! Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bout of Books Wrapup

Bout of Books

Well I certainly flailed this Bout of Books, but I knew I would with this being one of the busiest weeks of my work year. I did managed to read about 170 pages of The Silver Star and about 150 of Shattered Dreams. I am giving up on Shattered Dreams, since I will probably not get to make that book club meeting. I am liking Silver Star, so I feel like I will finish it before Thursday's book club. I also managed to do 2 of the daily challenges, but no Twitter chats this time :(. I definitely plan to participate in August and should have a bit more time. Thanks to all the hosts!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My May TBR: And the Winner Is...


This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
With 5 out of 8 votes the winner is
The Diamond Secret (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Simon Pulse
 The beautiful cover combined with the intrigue of Anastasia's story made this the popular choice. I can't wait to start reading it! Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bout of Books Day 4 Update

Bout of Books

Day 4 Update: Only listened to a bit of my audio. This was my long day at work and then I did not have Internet at home, so I am just now updating!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bout of Books Day 3 Update

Bout of Books

Day 3 Update: I completed the 5 Favorites challenge by posting a comment on the page. I chose 5 Favorite Myths retelling including Lightning Thief and Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, Touch of Frost by Jennifer Ester, and Abandon by Meg Cabot. I listened a bit to the Shattered Dreams audio and hope to read a few more pages in By the Shores of Silver Lake tonight.

Bout of Books Day 2 Update

Bout of Books

Day 2 Update: I managed to listen a bit to my audio, but that was it. I was too stressed out about my decision. I also forgot to link and post yesterday's update. So I am flailing a bit!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bout of Books Day 1 Update

Bout of Books

Day 1 Update: I completed the #insixwords challenge on Twitter, handle @sarahflood. I managed to listen a bit to my audio and I am going to try to read a bit before bed. I completely forgot the Twitter chat :(, but otherwise not a bad day as far as reading goes. I have to make an important decision tomorrow and it is occupying all of my time at the moment. Here's hoping I do the right thing!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May My TBR List


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! This month I am picking books from the series Once Upon A Time, which is retellings of fairy tales by different authors. This will help with the Retellings Challenge that I signed up for this year.

First Choice:
The Rose Bride: A Retelling of "The White Bride and the Black Bride" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Simon Pulse

I haven't heard of the story "The White Bride and the Black Bride," but supposedly this has a Cinderella twist too.

Second Choice:
The Diamond Secret (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
Simon Pulse

This is not as much a fairy tale twist as it is a retelling of the story of Anastasia, one of the murdered Russian family and what might have happened if she survived.

Third Choice:
Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
Simon Pulse

This one is a retelling of the Little Mermaid in which she is raised by a family after being rescued from the sea.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bout of Books 16 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, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th 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 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Hooray! I love Bout of Books and this will be my eleventh one. I didn't sign up to be an expert this time, since work will be crazy next week, but I still plan on cheering people on, reading a bit, and hopefully chatting on Twitter. I will be listing my reading list soon!