On the Book Shelf – December 2017

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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 2)

And I’m back with the books I read in May!! Once again there’ll be none of the what i’m currently reading or reading next…because that would make this crazy long….so onto Part 2… What I Read In May Beauty in Summer, Beauty in Autumn, & Beauty in Winter (Beauty #’s 2,3, & 4) As I mentioned last week, I picked these up on a whim on my way out of town. As a whole I enjoyed the series. I enjoyed 1 & 3 most (Spring & Autumn).  Those two had backstory, something…more…to them. For me, Summer and Winter were more sex for sex’s sake. It was “mates meet and that’s all she wrote.” They know nothing about each other, but sure, let’s bond for life. While they were short reads, I still want more substance to my smut.  Beauty in Autumn delivered that for me, Summer and Winter did not. Overall, I enjoyed the series, though. Fun, quick reads. Joyride vol. 1 I had no idea what I was getting into when I requested this one from netgalley. I paid pretty much no attention to the blurb, and only noticed the top half of the cover. Let’s just say I was on a graphic novel requesting spree, and this fell into the pile. I’m glad it did, though. It was fun, unexpected, and different. The fact that the Joyride is in a spaceship, and that the heroine is a ‘devil may care’ person bursting through life, and into the hearts of her both willing, and unwilling, compatriots, were unusual enough to keep my attention. Danger peered around every corner, and the resolution of each situation was swift, but not so swift that I found it inane. I’m definitely interested enough to want to get the next in the series. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   The Wendy Project A surprising take on the Peter Pan story, in graphic novel form, in a contemporary setting. I realized none of this when I requested it, but quickly realized what it was as I got into the heart of the story. The artwork in this graphic novel is lovely. The mix of black and white and color to maintain the essence of what the story is really brings things into perspective. About love and loss, grief and acceptance. The story, its message, and its artwork all combine into a lovely graphic novel well worth the time. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   Wires and Nerve vol. 1 A graphic novel that is, I didn’t realize, a continuation of The Lunar Chronicles (which I have not read). I only knew it was by Marissa Meyer, and that the cover looked cool, and I was seeing it EVERYWHERE. So when I spotted it at the local library, I picked it up. Unfortunately, like most super-popular things, I have never been one to go crazy over the Lunar Chronicles (as is evidence by my partially read copy of Cinder that has been sitting on my shelf for years, as I found it “meh” and never finished).  The graphic novel itself isn’t so much a standalone as it referenced the series ALL.THE.TIME. That is to be expected as an extension of the original series, but I felt like I should have seen the massive spoiler alert on the cover (my fault for blind-grabbing). Either way, I didn’t find this overly exciting, even with the inclusionof creatures and ships and such. The artwork was stunning, but the story itself fell flat for me, I’m afraid.  I think this would be PERFECT for fans of Meyer. Unfortunately, I am not yet one. Gretchen (Zombillenium 1) Just look at that stunning cover. How could you go wrong? Add in a creature-filled zombie theme park, some clueless normal’s, a witch, a secret mission, and the ultimate creature being created… Well, it was a fun little romp in the graphic novel realm for sure.  Short but sweet, fun and slightly weird, all in all just how i like them. The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are interesting and fleshed out. Glad I picked this up on a whim at the library. * The Descendants vol 1 (Manga style) Anyone that’s a fan of the movie will easily enjoy this version of the story.  The artwork is fun, and the story is true to the movie. A new way to see it all over again. It was fun, and cutoff with a little of a cliffhanger. Would definitely grab it for my GN & Disney loving middle one. *copy received free via netgalley. All opinions are my own. *~* That’s it for what I read in May. Even fewer than in April (although I may have accidentally put a few May reads in my April post by mistake. It’s a lot of books and I get confused, even with GR helping tell me when I finished something. lol. Anyway, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming next month, and I have hit a milestone number in my books read for the year. 🙂   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 – 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 »