24 in 48 Readathon

Well, I’ve decided to participate in the 24in48 Readathon for the second time.  I had a lot of fun the first time I did.  If you are unfamiliar with this readathon, the idea is not to read 24 books (as I thought the first time I ever heard of it) It is to read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period.  I’m really looking forward to making a dent in this pile of books.  If anyone else is participating, I’d love to hear about it! How many of these books will I be able to get through this weekend?IMG_4462

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Summer Reading Programs

While looking for a way to keep my 11 year old son reading during summer break, I came across a couple Summer Reading Programs that I thought I’d share.

1. Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

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This program allows your kids to track the books they read, get book recommendations and earn digital prizes. This year’s theme is “A magical summer of reading”.

However, it should be noted that this program also requires that they be registered by a teacher or librarian.

 

2. Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

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I really like this one for two reasons.  The first being that they can earn a free book, and the second is that it requires that they log their thoughts about what they read.  They read 8 books, log what their favorite parts are and turn in their log for a free book at Barnes and Noble.  Yes for free books!!

 

3. Lifeway 2018 Summer Reading Quest

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Sadly I do not think we are able to participate in this one because we no longer live near a Lifeway (though I still get the emails)  This program allows your kids to earn a free book AND a free bible.  They will also provide them with the program journal to log their books, plus a bookmark and pencil for free!

 

I came across quite a few more programs but I was very impressed by these three in particular.  The others that I looked into didn’t really seem to have any incentive or at the very least, not one that would interest my son.  Well, that is all for today. Thank you for joining me! Happy reading!

Mid Year Recap Part 2: Some of my favorite books so far

I have been so lucky in my reading this year. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read. In Part 1 I listed the books I didn’t enjoy so much, but even those weren’t terrible and I didn’t actually hate or DNF any of them. But here in Part 2, I’d like to give a shoutout to the books I’ve enjoyed the most so far in 2018. Some are newer releases and some are a bit… older. But to be fair, I will only be listing those books that weren’t rereads.

So let’s begin!

I’ve been hearing about the mini series for so long that I don’t know how I made it this long without reading this book. All I can say is that I just loved it. I can’t even decide what I love more, the social commentary or the wonderful main characters. This book will probably be among my all time favorites.

 

 

I already did a post on this book so I won’t say too much about it. I just have to say that I love Frances Hodgson Burnett and she did not disappoint me with this book.

 

 

Next book is quite a change of pace because it’s middle grade. I enjoy reading middle grade after more dense books and it cleanses my palette and allows me to read the same books as or recommend books to my son. I enjoyed the magical element in this book and I really enjoyed the young female protagonist. This book was a lot of fun and I’m eagerly awaiting the next one.

 

 

The next book is probably a household name whether it’s been read or not. After reading The Time Machine, I wasn’t super eager to read this but it was on both of my Classics challenges and I am so so glad I finally read it. I found this book so freaking fascinating that I couldn’t put it down. I plan on doing a separate post about this book so I won’t say too much, but this is one of those books that I’m now kicking myself for not reading sooner.

 

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This was an impulse buy at the bookstore and I’m glad I bought it.  I love Greek mythology so this book was a great way to fill that need.  I liked this book so much that I went out and got her first book The Song of Achilles.

So that is it for my favorite books of 2018 so far.  We are only halfway through the year so some of these may get ousted by other great books.  I really hope I enjoy the books I read during the second half of the year as much as I did during the first half!

Thanks for joining me today.  Feel free to comment below if you’ve enjoyed any of these books (or hated them).  Happy reading!

A mid year recap of my least favorite books this year

Now that we are officially halfway through the year, I was thinking back over all the books I’ve read so far and there a few that I have very strong feelings about so I thought I’d share what some of my favorites and not so favorite books are. Part 1 is dedicated to my least favorite books and Part 2 is dedicated to my favorite books so far in 2018.

Let us begin with the Books I didn’t enjoy so much in the first half of 2018:

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I was a little let down by this book and I’m not quite sure why.  I had such high hopes for it because it was a multi generational historical fiction book with what I guess would be considered magical realism and/or supernatural elements.  It’s not a bad book and the writing was good, I guess I was just expecting more.

 

 

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This is another book I had high hopes for.  After reading The Golem and the Jinni I was super excited when I heard about this book on the All the Books podcast and ran and picked it up immediately.  I was severely let down by this one. The concept of this book was fascinating but I found most of the dialogue to be very juvenile (which is perfectly awesome when I’m expecting it) and though it was marketed as an adult book, I found that it felt much more like a YA novel.  I have nothing against YA and enjoy reading YA books WHEN I AM IN THE MOOD FOR THEM. But this had a lot of what my 11 year old would call “cringe-y” dialogue and plot.  I found the whole thing to be a little cheezy and overdone.  I really wanted to like this but I doubt I’ll read the next one.

 

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*Sigh* I hate to add this one to my non fave list because I feel like I am betraying my queen.  I am a definite Agatha Christie lover and have been doing a read through challenge of the Poirot books, but this one is not my cup of tea.  Part of why I love reading Agatha Christie is because of the cozy yet clever mysteries presented in her books and this one felt a little too much.  It was a little over the top for me.

 

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People aren’t kidding when they say this isn’t Jane Eyre.  Aside from the obvious “well duh, it’s a completely different book” it really is different.  I did not hate this book and I mostly enjoyed it because it still had that element of melancholy throughout, but I found it very slow to start and the ending was like getting hit by a bus.  I immediately said “WHATTTT????!!!!” and went online to see if I had interpreted it correctly.  I had, and I was very taken aback by this book’s ending.  Still worth the read though.

 

So that is all for my least favorite books this year.  Please let me know if you love or hate any of these books.  Maybe I am missing something! Stay tuned for my favorite books so far in 2018.

 

 

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett: my thoughts

After reading A Little Princess, The Lost Prince, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy last year, it finally dawned on me that I freaking adore the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Having read (and reread in some cases) her beautiful children’s literature, I was delighted to discover that she has a long list of adult works as well. After going through her children’s literature canon last year, I moved on and the first adult work I read was A Lady of Quality which I really enjoyed. This year I decided to continue on and as it is also on my Classics club challenge list and my Back to the Classics Challenge list, I decided to go ahead with The Shuttle. This was one of her longer works and I definitely felt it warranted a short review from me.

A brief synopsis:

It’s actually a little difficult for me to put this in my own words. Basically, this book uses a shuttle to describe the way “threads” of family connection and commerce connect England and America. The book follows one family whose elder daughter marries a penniless but titled English gentleman when English/American marriages were just beginning to be more commonplace. As the book progresses, we get to know the younger daughter of the family during a time where the marriages between Americans and English have become an everyday occurrence.

So I will not lie, I loved this book. The characters in this book are just lovely. I started out with a mild feeling of impatience towards the older sister but the younger sister is just superb. The characters in this book were just too engaging to ignore. If you are looking for adventure and the like, then this book is not for you, but I fell in love with all the characters in this book. Even the antagonist in this book was fleshed out and I wanted to know what became of him. I am typically a plot driven type of person but I was so interested in all the characters that I wanted to keep reading. The plot in this book is not particularly exciting but it is interesting enough that you will want to know what happens to all of the characters. We come across a rather weak female character in the beginning of the book but after meeting the male antagonist, things move along pretty quickly. The main character shows herself to be strong and intelligent and worthy of the few hundred pages that follow. As I stated before, there is not a whole lot of adventure going on here so I can’t really say much more without ruining the book. But I can say that this is one of my favorites of the year and gives me one more reason to love Frances Hodgson Burnett.