Book Haul [31] - February 2018

Another month, another book haul!  I feel like I've already bought quite a few books this year, and I placed one big pre-order on Amazon the other day so I'll have more books to haul in coming months. I've also read some new authors this year, and immediately itched to pick up more of their books (which means more book shopping, of course!)  BUT, I've decided to cancel my Owlcrate subscription for now, as I've only read one of the books so far, and the others aren't ones that I'm dying to get to.  My ultimate goal is to have less unread books at the end of the year than I had at the beginning of the year, so I need to focus on keeping the number of unread books under control.

We're not here to talk about not buying books.  We're here to talk about the books that I did buy!


1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
2. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Picked up a couple more cheap ebooks (I've bought more ebooks in the last two months than I bought all 2017!  BUT I've already one of these two books, so that counts for something, right?)

Subscription Box

3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
4. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
I've decided I'm done with Owlcrate.  Although there have been some super cool goodies in the boxes (like my Expecto Patronum toque and my Forbidden Forest mug), I've been disappointed with most of the books.  I've subscribed for six months now, and I've only read one of the six books.  Although it was a five star read, I'm on interested in reading one of the other five unread books.  I DNFed one of them when I was reading it as an egalley (although I think I will give it a second shot), and the other three are books that I feel fairly indifferent about.  I think I'm going to focus on buying books that I know I will love, and then I can support artists on Society6 or Etsy whenever I'm craving bookish goodies.


5. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
I've had my eye on this one for a while and after I dove back into Karin Slaughter's work, I snagged a cheap copy of this book at Costco.

6. Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer
Of course I pre-ordered this, and of course I've already read it.  And loved it.

7. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
After I finished The Heart's Invisible Furies, I RAN to the bookstore to pick up this one, his most well-known book.  It's going to tear my heart out, à la Book Thief, I just know it.

8. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Book club pick for March and I'm SO EXCITED.  The book is so pretty in person!

Read More


Top 10 Books I'm No Longer Interested in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl!  This week's topic is SO PERFECT because I just purged my bookshelves and finally rid myself of books that I've been hanging onto, even though I've completely lost interest in reading them.  So, here are ten of the books in the donate pile...

1. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
I'm not a huge fan of mythology retellings, so this one had to go.

2. Amy & Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
I'm fairly certain that I tried to read this, possibly more than once, but it didn't go well.

3. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
I started reading this and couldn't get into it.  I thought I might go back and give it a second chance, but nope.

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
If there was an award for Book Featured on the Most TBR Lists, this book would win hands down.  I have finally admitted to myself that I am not interested in reading this series.

5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
I borrowed The Constant Princess from a friend many, many years ago and started reading it, but I couldn't get into it so I set it aside.  It's one of those books that I keep meaning to pick up, but know that I probably never will, so I decided to stop hanging onto the sequel.

6. In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
I liked the other book by her that I read, but honestly this just isn't my cup of tea right now.

7. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I feel REALLY bad about this one.  So a couple of years ago, I decided that I wouldn't give my husband my usual list of books that I wanted for Christmas, and told him that he needed to surprise me.  I said do some research, find out some books that you think I might like.  Ask a Chapters employee, compare it to the books that I have on my shelves, work for it a little bit.  And he bought me three books, including this one.  I'm interested in giving two of them a shot, but when I opened this one I knew I'd never pick it up.  I tried listening to it on audio a few years ago, and DNFed it.  So, two out of three isn't bad, and I know that someone out there will enjoy this one more than I will.

8. Love, Juliet by Nick Hornby
I listened to a little bit of the audiobook and wasn't loving it.  Then I saw that Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner only gave it three stars.  Not worth the time and effort if I probably won't like it!

9. Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
I bought this one YEARS ago at a used bookstore because the cover was pretty.  And I still haven't read it, nor do I have any desire to do so.  So adios!

10. The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith
An old blogging friend of mine (the girl who did my first blog design, actually) recommended this to me when I first started blogging.  It's written by the author of the Vampire Diaries (a series that I didn't like reading or watching) and I highly doubt I'll enjoy this one, since my tastes have changed SO MUCH since I started blogging.

That's it for this week's list .... pleeeeeease don't tell me that I'm tossing out one of your favourite books!  It was super tough to part with these books, especially since I have a really hard time parting with books that I haven't read yet ... but I'm feeling good about my decisions.

If you posted a top ten Tuesday, leave me a link in the comments and I'll stop by!  Thanks for reading, and happy Tuesday!

Read More

Marko Monday [27] - Five Minute Stories

To say that Marko is obsessed with superheroes would be an understatement.  When my little man loves something, he loves it with his whole heart and his whole being.  When he was one, he loved whales.  When he was two, he loved Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc.  When he was three, he loved Paw Patrol.  When he was four, he loved dinosaurs.  Now that he's five, the love for Batman, Ironman and Spider-Man grows with each passing day.  He was Batman for Hallowe'en and had a Spider-Man birthday cake this year.

The 5-minute stories have been a fixture in our house for at least six months, and we've collected several volumes.  There is one Batman volume, two Spider-Man volumes, and one collection of Marvel stories.  These books are the perfect read-aloud length before bed and they hold Marko's interest for longer when he flips through the books on his own, because they're hefty books with about ten stories in each one.  Although Marko's isn't close to reading on his own, I feel like these books will bridge the gap between being read to and reading on his own.  The next stage of his reading life feels not that far away!  It's hard to believe that this feature will soon progress from picture books to chapter books!

As I shared last week, this little man is now FIVE YEARS OLD.  I registered him for kindergarten, and just received the email today that he was accepted into our school of choice.  Starting this September, he'll be attending school!  His school mascot is a dragon, which I think is pretty fitting, since he was born on the last day of the year of the dragon.  He's already talking about kindergarten and, although he doesn't fully understand the concept just yet, he's pretty excited for his "big boy school."  I love the boy he is and the boy he is becoming.

Read More


Happy 5th Birthday Marko!

I thought I was pretty good at posting birthday posts, but it looks like I haven't done one since Marko turned three!

We'll follow the same process and look back at the last couple of years...

When you were four...
Dinosaurs were still the thing and we took you to Drumheller to see real dinosaur bones, although you reminded us quite frequently that all the dinosaurs DIED and these are not REAL, okay?  You are the man of a million questions, from "Why do I have a bum?" to "Where is my soul?"  Youtube has provided a constant support to this endless stream of questions, since it's sometimes easier to just watch a frog eat a fly in slow motion than to try to explain how a frog's tongue works.  I feel like I'll always remember the funny way you mispronounce certain words, only to have you learn how to say them properly and then I find myself struggling to remember the sweet way you mispronounced them only a few days ago.  Your smile can light up a room, and you're such a caring soul.

Now you're five...
And it's all about superheroes!  Batman was a favourite and it was your Hallowe'en costume, but Spider-Man and Ironman are close seconds.  You had a Spider-Man birthday cake, and have already pre-booked the next two birthday cakes: Ironman next year, and Batman the year after that.  You have the most amazing relationship with your dad, and I'm so grateful for that, even when I am occasionally told, "Mama, it's boy time, okay?  You can be a superhero next time."

Marko, my beautiful baby boy, my angel -- may you always shine as brightly as you do now.  Five is going to be your best year yet, full of exciting adventures, like kindergarten!  If the last five years are any indication of how wonderful you are, I can scarcely wait for the next fifty.

Mama loves you so so so much!

Read More


Surprise Me - Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is a hit or miss kind of writer for me, but Surprise Me was definitely in the hit category.  Although some of her books have been duds (like Twenties Girl and the majority of the Shopaholic series), I found that Surprise Me was full of cutesy moments and heartfelt character development.

When Sylvia and her husband Dan find out that they're expected to live to at least a hundred years of age, both of them are shocked to find out that this means that life will also include 68 more years of wedded bliss.  When 68 years starts to feel a bit daunting, they decide to mix things up by trying to surprise one another.  This is where the silliness of the book comes in, and I thought that I was in store for a traditional Sophie Kinsella book full of miscommunications and relationship ups and downs with a bunch of giggly cringe-worthy moments.  About halfway through the book, the story took a different turn than I was expecting, and I was on the edge of my seat as the rest of the story unfolded.

Surprise Me had way more heart and soul than Sophie's previous books, and I felt like this was one of her more mature books to date.  If this is the direction that her writing will be taking for future books, I'm definitely intrigued to see what she comes up with next!

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read More


She Regrets Nothing - Andrea Dunlop

I've followed Andrea Dunlop on social media for a while, but hadn't tried her writing yet.  I had a similar experience with Rachel Del, getting to know the writer online through her posts before I tried out her work.  It's an interesting experience to feel like you know an author a little bit before reading her book, and it has paid off twice now!

I have no regrets about picking up She Regrets Nothing (ha! I had to write just the one pun -- I'm done now, I promise).  The storyline read a lot like Gossip Girl for adults -- I felt like Laila's character reminded me a lot of Jenny, and all of things that she got into while trying to fit into the elite world of Manhattan.  And just like I felt with Jenny, Laila annoyed me.  A lot.  One of the most powerful things in contemporary literature is when a character can annoy me to high heavens, but I still can't put the book down.  In a way, it also reminded me a The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo -- I couldn't stand Evelyn, but I couldn't stop reading either.  I felt exactly the same way about Laila.  I wanted to smack her, I wanted to jump into the story and shake her shoulders and tell her to smarten up because she had so many things going for her and kept managing to find ways to screw everything up.  When an author can bring out those kinds of emotions with a work of contemporary fiction, I find that admirable.

She Regrets Nothing will definitely not be the last of Andrea's books for me, and I'm already looking forward to picking up her other book that I've seen all over Instagram, Losing the Light.  I highly recommend this one for your spring break holiday, or to be tucked into your beach bag this summer.  It's light and fun, but also has a lot of heart.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read More


When My Heart Joins the Thousand - A.J. Steiger

It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this book, and I've been struggling to find the words to write this review.  It's often easier to write reviews for books that are flawed, but harder to write reviews for books that I loved, especially when they touched my heart in such a unique way.  When My Heart Joins the Thousand is one of those books.

I feel like this book will fly under the radar this year, and this makes me wish that I had one of those blogs with thousands of readers so that I could share a rave review and instantly have thousands of people rush to their local bookstores to purchase this book.  Alas, I am a small book blog, but my love for this book is REAL.

Our heroine, Alvie, is everything that I have ever hoped for in a contemporary YA heroine.  She's fierce, determined, flawed and perfectly human.  While it's apparent from the early pages of the story that Alvie struggles with fitting in, I loved that this is not the central aspect of the story.  Although it is a book about mental health, it's more about the world not fitting with how Alvie sees and interprets the world around her, and her views are so genuine that her story tore my heart out again and again.  I wanted to jump into the book and rage against the injustices that she faced, but I also tore through page after page, rooting for her along the way.

This book has it all.  It's the sweetest love story, a story of both friendship and something more.  It made me laugh, cry, rage and then run through the whole range of emotions all over again.  When My Heart Joins the Thousand is truly one of those perfectly memorable books and one that will stick with you long after the last page has turned.  Please run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore to get your hands on a copy -- I promise that you won't be disappointed.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read More

Flexible Template by ScreenWritersArena

Custom Design by Lea Christine Designs