On the Book Shelf – December 2017

Fracture
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Woah, boy has it been a while since I’ve done my reading report.  After July I seriously slowed down a LOT on my reading.  I’ve hit 154 books, and hopefully will meet 160 by years end, if I finish everything I’m currently reading. Because it has been SO long since I’ve done this. I’m going to highlight a few books from months past, and will likely do the same over the next couple of months.  Life is about to get crazy busy with a new job and lots of writing to be done, so hopefully next year I can do at least a third as well as I did in 2017. 🙂 So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve read, and what I’m reading now will follow closely after. What I Read Life changing. I actually had seen this on netgalley a while back, but not knowing what it was didn’t click “request”.  Then a friend mentioned something on twitter about #oola, and I got intrigued, then remembered seeing the book and requested it. I got approved, but it sat on my Kindle for a while…until one weekend when I had some time waiting around while doing a little bit of work…and so I went ahead and started this. I’m not sure why I did…but I’m SO glad I did. I could go on and on, but the short of how much I liked it is this:  I bought the print version of the original for him. Then, I bought the print version of for myself…having it on my Kindle was not enough. I wanted more. The voice is good and easy to read, the stories told are sometimes of the eye-rolling variety with some very wealthy people talking about things I could only dream about…but it didn’t detract from the core message.  The core message that you’ll be hearing a bit about as I work on it. I have a long way to go to find my oola, but I’m excited for the journey.   I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. All my friends read it WAY back in high school…but I never did, no clue why. A couple-few years ago, we watched the movie based on the book. It was slightly memorable, but we haven’t watched it since… And yet, when I started listening to this, I knew the narrator sounded distinctly familiar. It had been some time since I had seen the movie, but I swore the narrator was one in the same. A quick check and I found it that it was! Stephen Fry gave a fun, quirky read for this fun, quirky book.  It was an enjoyable listen for sure. I grew up watching the syndicated reruns of the Carol Burnett Show. I love it. I laughed with it. I have many good, fond memories of the show. This book was read by Carol herself, which is awesome.  The stories were a mix of details over how the show got created, how she knew some of the guest stars before they appeared, and other behind the scenes magic…along with fantastic retelling of some of the best skits, which sometimes got our wonderful narrator chuckling at the stories herself. A fun listen, and even had me in tears as she spoke of the final episode, and her closing monologue.  Definitely worth a listen if you ever watched the show.     I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while. I’ve been told time and again that I should read it. Since I once worked at B&N in the late 90’s (one of my favorite jobs), I’ve been hearing about this one. By luck of the draw, I picked it off my shelf using random.org to select a book on my shelf. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it!  It was a quick read, and very interesting. The set up of the world was perfect, descriptive, and drew me in. Loved the introduction of color into it. For once, I totally understand why people were telling me to read it. Very good, and I highly recommend. Not sure if I’ll read on, as I have a mountain of books on my shelves…but definitely enjoyed it.     I got this a while ago, started reading it, then stopped. Then got the audiobook and didn’t finish before my borrow period ran out. Then hubby got it and read it all the way through and raved (never mind that I told him about it first…it took someone else telling him aobut it to read it.).  So, finally, I got to borrow it again and listen all the way through. First, if you didn’t know, this is read by Wil Wheaton. I’m a big WW fan…have been for years.  His voice is perfect for this bit of nostalgic geektastic fantasy. I really liked all the fun mentions of classic 80’s pop culture. You can’t help but grin at all of the many references.  The action is interesting, and kept me wrapped up in it, worried about how it would come out.   What I’m Reading Now I am a huge little house fan. Have been since the age of 4. I read them 18 times between the ages of 4 and 18. Over and over. One of the few books I can claim to have re-read. So, when I happened to see this book show up in my facebook feed, I knew I had to get it. And I did. Set during the Little House on the Prairie novel, but told from Caroline’s perspective, it’s an intriguing look at Ma Ingalls…a character I’ve always been fascinated with and staunchly picky about in any screen-rendition of (but let’s not get into the TV show or mini-series, we’ll be here forever). I’m about 1/3 of the way through it right now.  The writing is stunningly lyrical, the imagery beautiful.  My biggest hiccup, and it’s all my own issue, is getting my brain to register that this is Ma Ingalls…and it’s not a book for kids…because there is talk of her attraction to Charles, and their intimacies. A hurdle I will happily get over, because I have to continue reading it. I got most of this series off of netgalley (one of them is not available for some reason). I’ve barely scratched the surface of it, so I have not thoughts yet, but it seems like it will be a quick enough read. If I can ever remember to open my Kindle to read with all of the print books I have lying around.   Okay…I had heard nothing about this book, seen nothing about it, knew nothing of its existence. I went to the library to get the next book in the line, and had no intention of getting anything else, but I cannot go to the library without meandering. The bright neon colors on the spine of this book called to me, and the title of “Meddling Kids”. I opened it up and read the blurb, and instantly knew I had to borrow it, even though it was on the new shelf, which meant a short borrowing period. It’s basically a different version (yet totally familiar) of the Scooby Doo Mystery kids…all grown up, years after their last catch has passed, all still haunted by the inexplicable things that happened that night, which can’t be explained away by the very human man they apprehended. Seems like a fun, slightly kooky read.   I know next to nothing about this book. Honestly. I am pretty sure I’ve seen it on the library shelves, the title and cover seem familiar…but it is nothing I’ve picked up before. I blame this library borrow on the TV advertisement for the show that’s coming out based on the book. I thought the show seemed interesting, mentioned it to the hubster and he said, “Is it based on that book?” I said, “What book?” And within 30 minutes I was on my way to the library. So there you go. We’ll see what happens.   *~* That’s it for this month. I decided to go easy on us all, because there are a BUNCH that I’ve never mentioned on here, both good and bad. Hopefully next month some of these currently reading books will be read.   Read more »

What I’m Reading – June 2017 (Part 1)

  Okay, so here’s the deal. Like I said on my last summary, I went out of town at the end of April/beginning of May and thus I had no recap in May. Not even a week late. It just didn’t happen. It was expected, but now I have to play catch up, and I’m up to 90-something books read this year as of June 9th and I’m not sure how many the past couple of months (although my vacay did slow me down. Spending time with my bestie and Mickey Mouse wins out over reading…yup. Anyhoo….) So onto what I’ve read.  I won’t be doing a “reading now” or “reading next for this post to try to shorten it up a little…and I’ll put those down in a later part of my June reading posts!  Now for the massive list…Part 1… What I Read In April The Hockey Saint & Hockey Karma (Forever Friends #’s 2 & 3)   Back in April’s list, I mentioned the first book in this graphic novel series – Stereotypical Freaks. I really enjoyed that story. I liked the way the kids were depicted and how the events transpired. I was happy to get the next two in the series. The Hockey Saint takes the MC from Stereotypical Freaks into college. His life is drastically different here, and the explanation toward why took some time to come by. I enjoyed the story and the introduction of the “Hockey Saint” mentioned in the title. My only issue with this one was the lack of mention of his friends from high school with any significance. Hockey Karma, however, really knocked it out of the park. Not only did it wrap up the story line and characters from The Hockey Saint, it brought in, with force, all of the characters from Stereotypical Freaks. It was a GREAT, inclusive wrap up to the series. I’m super thrilled to have now connected with the author, Howard Shapiro on twitter. I’m looking forward to his next GN with quite some anticipation. *Both graphic novels were received via netgalley. All opinions are quite definitely my own.  Beauty In Spring (Beauty #1) So…you know when you’re about to go on a trip, and get on a loooong flight, and even though you have 5 bajillion books on your kindle, you have a $9 GC burning a hole in your pocket…and thus…you shop. And you impulse buy books based on covers, don’t bother looking at the blurbs or anything? Yeah, that’s what happened with this series. I bought all four. No clue about anything but the pretty covers and that they were modern takes on Beauty & the Beast. Turns out they were very short erotic stories. Not a problem, just not my norm…and shocking when you’re reading in the close quarters of a packed flight to California. ~ahem~ Anyway, this is the first in the 4 book series of 4 different tales of Beauty & her Beast. This one I enjoyed. There was just enough of a connect, a backstory, and a reason to believe these two could make something happen for the sex to make sense. Definitely glad I picked this one up! 😀   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Audiobook)   I’d heard rave reviews of the voice actor on the HP audiobooks and thusly sat in line for this book for MONTHS and MONTHS…only to find out I could have just picked it up on CD at my local branch at any time. ~ahem~  Well, then… Short of it, I did enjoy the audiobook of my favorite series, although I wasn’t fall-over crazy about the narrator. It was fun to have the book come alive in a new way for me, and I’m looking forward to listening to the others in the series as well. Definitely books that will remain on my audio-listening list throughout the whole series. 🙂 Real Friends An endearing memoir in the form of a graphic novel that I quickly encouraged both of my girls to read. It’s a story of a group of friends and how they change throughout those challenging middle school years. The story centers around one young lady, Shannon, and how relationships with her friends change over time. From her friends, to her sister, to herself. At times achingly real (and familiar), I read this one fast. *received via netgalley. all opionions are my own. * The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder Oh, how I am a Wilder fan. She helped infuse my love of reading into a strong passion when I was young. I read her books over and over and over again…so many times, my copies are well-worn, dog eared, nearly spine-less. They make me happy. So, when I saw this on netgalley, I couldn’t help but try for it, and wish and hope that I would get approved (they seriously need an area where you can add your begging and pleading in if necessary). I was thrilled when I was approved. A non-fiction book that goes into detail about the world Laura lived in. From plants to locations, it covers a lot of ground (pardon the pun). I imagine it is a good, thick book to have along with your other Laura books (like biographies, etc, that might be filling your shelves).  I really enjoyed this and hope to one day get it in hardback so I can reference it the next time I read the series. *received via netgalley. all opionions are my own. A few okay graphic novels I read A few of my more lackluster graphic novel reads for the month ought to be mentioned. Star Wars Darth Vader – Vader. I got it through Kindle Reads and thought it looked interesting…but meh. The story didn’t excite me and I found it rather annoying. Too much Anakin in this Vader, maybe? I dunno..but bleh. The Creeps – not good for a semi-paranoid person to read. There’s a lot of “normal fears” realized into images. Just…no. Although it did live up to its title of “The Creeps.” *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Look – It wasn’t bad…it was actually sort of cute, but quite very predictable and had the feeling of “I’ve seen this story a million times before.” *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 vol. 4 – Pfffft. Turned me off to the comics, I even took the rest of the season back (of course, I was also heading out of town and didn’t want to leave anything lying around)…but still. I’m not in a rush to get the rest of the series back into my hands.   A few pretty good graphic novels The Castoffs – Mage against the Machine – My least favorite of these three, but still an enjoyable read. Magic and hidden talents, and learning the value of friendship and trust were at the forefront here. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Fire Starters – I’m not even sure I read the blurb on this, so the Native American portion of the tale caught me by pleasant surprise. A brutally honest look at what could/has happened when a business right near the reservation burns down and blame is tossed around. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Elves vol. 1 – Another I grabbed without reading the blurb. I mean, look at the gorgeous blue elf on the cover! The story was good, but confusing and time-jumpy. I wanted more cohesiveness to the stories told within…but I’d probably get vol. 2 if I saw it. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own.     *~* That’s it for what I read in April. Not as much because of trip planning and packing and all sorts o’ stuffs. May I picked it back up and I’m in another good groove for June. 😀  Next week I’ll show May’s reads for you!  Then maybe the week after I’ll give you a glimpse into what I’m reading and plan to read so you’re prepared for my June’s display of much reading 😉   Read more »


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


What I’m Reading – February 2017

So January turned into a big reading month for me.  Most of them ended up being library books. I really need to stop borrowing from the library and start reading the books on my shelves/Kindle. I have hundreds of those…but can’t seem to make myself read a one…I take them out from the library instead. Don’t ask, I can’t explain it. So, anyway…my “What I’ve Read” list is rather impressive this month. I’ll try to be concise as I can. 😀 What I’ve Read Big Magic Like I said last month, this book was a huge departure from the norm for me. Being that it was non-fiction and all. Still, I really enjoyed it and it stirred my long-dormant muse to life a bit. I’m not writing yet, but I’m feeling the pull that direction. Gilbert had a way of touching on many of my existing fears and helping me see another way of looking at things. There was a bit of floof in it that I can see others thinking was just wack-a-doo…but I honestly enjoyed it all. This one is staying on my shelf for when I need a boost of Big Magic. World War Z (audiobook) Another one that was also out of my comfort zone…but I ended up loving a LOT. My first audiobook…and I picked a 100% winner. I was scared to “read” another b/c this took the cake. (For the record, I have read another, and have another on my onedrive app) A great cast of characters – and a story that wasn’t so much about the zombies as it was about the people, their stories, and the horrors of war (especially war against this sort of opponent). Intriguing, deep, and emotional…I will refuse to watch the movie (not that I’d ever planned to)…because from what I have seen of it…it just can’t compare to this oral history in audiobook form.  I think audiobooks cost an insane amount of money…but I think it would be worth it to buy this one. The Lonely Ones I made an insanely long book challenge for this year. Not on the theory that I would finish each of the items (although that would be cool)…but on the theory that I’d never run out of ideas for books. On the list was a book of poetry – and this is the one I chose after an internet search. I read it in a total of probably 2 hours over 2 days. A super-quick read, and delightful. Being Jazz (audiobook) The next audiobook on my list also served to fulfill another item on my challenge list – a book by/about a transgender.  It wasn’t bad…just clearly written by a teenager. A little stilted, but straight-forward and funny.  I enjoyed “reading” it. Geek Girl To be honest, I’m not even sure what I read here. I weirdly enjoyed it – even gave it four stars, even though it was completely fantastically unbelievable. I think the weirdest thing for me was that every time the designer Yuka Ito came onto the page, I could only picture Edna Mode from The Incredibles. It was a weird, jarring picture in the midst of the rest of the oddness. Honorable Mentions Seeing as I read 11 books this month, if I went into them all this post would get too bigly. So here are some of my honorable mentions in super-brief review. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – it was a quick read, fun. Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons (Audiobook) – I’ve “known” Brittany for some time. It took my recent audiobook love to get her book read. Just as expected, it was as great as she is. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick – It was a quick read. I actually had to warm up to the characters, though. Not my top read of the month, but cute by the end. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – enjoyable coming-of-age type of story. Really like the development of the main character in it. I didn’t even mind the flashbacks. Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy adaptation by Alexandra Bracken (Audiobook) – LOVED this. The adaptation was an interesting take, that i wasn’t sure about at first…but the voice actors made it work for me. The male (Marc Thompson) was my favorite, and the background sound effects are straight out of the movies. It really adds to the atmosphere. What I’m Reading Now Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want To Be A Jedi? (Audiobook).  Happily, Marc Thompson is narrating this one again, and all the side effects are back…however as the title says “So you want to be a Jedi?”…well, it addresses you – regularly – and you are the protagonist and…I know, this was made more for younger readers so it’s probably really cool…but it’s not my favorite way to read it. Still, it’s fun and a diversion and as an audiobook I can listen to it while I work on puzzles or cleaning or…oh, let’s face it, it’s always puzzles lately. 😀 * * One Another poetry book. This one was recommended to me by a friend in my facebook book club. Soon as she mentioned it I put it on hold at the library – because if you say Siamese Twins, I’m so in. I blame it on my time in the musical Side Show about Daisy and Violet Hilton some years back. 😀 Anyway, I’ve just opened it tonight so I can’t really say too much what I think about it, but based on all the reviews I’ve seen it’s supremely emotional and I don’t know how ready I am to be wrecked…but I am all in. I want to read this very much. Looking forward to it in every way. Assorted Graphic Novels As part of my push to get myself out of my comfort zone I’m trying to dip into the realm of graphic novels. These are just a start, and I’ve got quite a few more coming. Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread – I like the character and this was among the recommendations I found when looking for good places to start reading graphic novels. Alice in Sunderland – A mix of the real Alice, and the Alice in Wonderland…sounded intriguing. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins – Been thinking of taking up these books, but the graphic novel was available now instead of having to wait. 😀 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – We have the movie and have watched it quite a few times, so I am familiar with the world somewhat…and this wasn’t on my initial list but when I saw it on the shelf at the library I grabbed it up.  Hubby is actually reading it first, but as I have several others to read, that works out perfect. 🙂 Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix Yup, this one is STILL here. We’ve been distracted by all the things, and volleyball, and school, and my insomnia making me grumpy and headachy and not so up to reading aloud. But, we will get through this, hopefully this month. We are fully on board. 😀  As we always are. Harry Potter wins with us. 😀 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them This one I’m a little ashamed of still being on my list. I really should have finished it…but it’s my current night-stand book and I was waiting for a reading light so I could read it in my new comfy mattress…and now have it so I’ve begun to read it again. 😀  It still makes me very happy and keeps me company on insomnia nights.  Over halfway done and expect to finish it soon. Then I’ll need a new night-stand book. What I’m Reading Next Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side (Audibook) I will be finishing the series as soon as I get this from the library.  Currently on hold, I think I’m #4 in line for it.  That’s better than the Harry Potter book I’m on hold for, though…I think I’m #70 there. 😉  Anyway, still narrated by Marc so I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this one comes out. The Glass Dragon I read this series AGES ago. Like 20 years ago-ish.  One of the challenges on my list this year is to read a book you loved again.  I really liked this once upon a time, and even re-purchased the entire series (in omnibus form) last year so I can re-read it again. Here’s hoping my memory of enjoying it wasn’t all nostalgia!!  I’ll find out. Unmentionable Yup, this one is still on here. I’m really looking forward to getting to it, if I’d ever remember to actually open it on my kindle. Supposed to be funny and full of facts and I can’t wait to dive in (but have to wait until I get through some of what I’ve borrowed from the library)   The Girl on the Train Okay, this is a repeat…I still haven’t gotten to this either. However, “a book bought from a small, independent book store” is on my reading challenge list – and that’s precisely where I got this from. So it will get read, gosh darn it. One way or t’other. Heartless I’m seeing this sucker EVERYWHERE. It’s crazy nuts and I want to read it so bad. There seem to be a lot of Alice in Wonderland retellings everywhere these days…but I like that this is the backstory of the Queen of Hearts. I’m very intrigued into what Meyer did with this story. Looking forward to diving in ASAP (is another library book) Rebecca Every list I ever look at says I need to read this, and so here it is…and borrowed from the library so I can’t wait too long (or else I’ll have to take it back and never read and feel guilty for not reading it).  I have no idea how I’ll feel for having read it, but everything is worth a shot. Queens of Geek A netgalley book. Anything with Geeks, I’m in. I didn’t even read the description before I requested it, just saw the “Geek” in the title and went into request mode. So we’ll see what we find! * *   *~*   So far this year I’m at 12 books – although I should say 11 because one of those I started in 2016, and just happened to finish on the second day of 2017 due to time and me remembering to read it as it was a kindle borrow from the library. It was a good strong start that I hope to keep up. The discovery of ebooks has really sort of propelled me foreward. not sure why I resisted them so long. P.S. Plan to have a post about graphic novels soon and what inspired me to pick them up beyond my reading challenge. Read more »