Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reading Reflections: January 2015

Books Read:
Viola in the Spotlight (Viola #2) by Adriana Trigiani
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes
The Eye of Zoltar (Chronicles of Kazam #3) by Jasper Fforde

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 5

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 5

Favorite Read: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

Highest Rank: 5

Lowest Rank: 3

Overall Reflection:
Well this has been a good start to the reading year! I've read at least a book a week, which is a great start towards my goal of 50 books this year. While I was slightly disappointed wtih Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs, Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes proved to be just as stellar as its predecessors. Here's to another great month of reading! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Goals and Dreams

So this week's topic on Life of a Blogger is goals and dreams.
Hosted by Jessi from Novel Heartbeat
 Wow...another difficult topic! I'll give it a try!

  • Right now, we're looking at houses. This is a dream come true for me! I'm really hoping that we get something cute at a reasonable price -and- it won't need too much work. 
  • Another goal is for John and I to live in the same city. Currently, we're spending a lot of time traveling between cities.
  • My reading goal for the year is to read at least 50 books. I didn't make it last year, I only got to 44. Here's to getting back in the groove of reading!
So those are some of my goals and dreams for this year. I'd love to hear some of yours!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday:Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club (If I Had A Book Club).

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club (If I Had A Book Club).

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
There is soooo many questions that would lead to good discussions. Is the main character really making poor choices to protect her family or because she feels its the right thing to do? What would be the repercussions of other various choices she made? 

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Again, there are numerous discussion points. Dementia. Making your path, different from what your family would chose. Coping with a chronic illness, etc...

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
This would be a fun book club read. This is a fun book in general! It would be fun to discuss the various locations of the book and the overall romance. 

Every Day by David Levithan
I'm not where to begin with this one. Can you change genders? How was "A" born? Did "A" have parents? Was "A" just soul or something more? What determines which sex you are attracted to?

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This brings up a lot of family issues. What the most appropriate way to raise a child? Is there a right way to begin with? What can be gained from Walls' childhood? Would she be the same person today if she had different parents?

Graveminder by Melissa Marr  
I would gear the discussion around the writing. Is there a lack of character development? Was this book based more on a premise than actually delivering a solid story?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book has a lot of discussion potential. Segregation. Feminism. Social class. There are endless possibilities. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Unfortunately, I can't share my discussion points with this one because it would spoil the ending, but trust me...there are some good questions regarding the ending!

This realistic distopia leads one to ponder many questions. What would we do if our water supply ran low/out? What measures would you take to protect what you had? Would you leave the safety of what you know for the promise of something better? Is there more we could be doing to retain our resources so this doesn't become a problem?

Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder 
This whole series should be a book club MUST HAVE! Discussion points include: Did the main character make the right choice or should she have stood her ground on principle? Do you find the romance forced or natural? 

There are so many good books that would be great for a book club. What are some that you would recommend? 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Eye of Zoltar (Chronicles of Kazam #3) by Jasper Fforde

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Orphaned sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, a Mystical Arts Management company that rents out wizards for cash. The Mighty Shandar tells Jennifer that if she finds a mysterious jewel named The Eye of Zoltar, he will spare the dragons he didn't manage to kill in Book One.
It is said the Eye was last seen around the neck of the really very legendary and not at all likely Sky Captain Morgan, who reputedly plunders jetliners from the back of the equally legendary and probably not real Leviathan, a kind of flying manta ray the size of a coach.
Meanwhile, the King and Queen of Snodd thinks that Jennifer, 'a young lady of considerable daring, moral worth and resourcefulness' should take over the tutelage of the hideous spoiled teenage Princess Shazzine, in order that she learns to rule with distinction once the King and Queen are gone.
Jennifer agrees with some reluctance, and together, she, trainee magician Perkins and the princess - cunningly and without any originality disguised as a handmaiden - cross into the neighbouring Cambrian Empire, a dangerous country strewn with peril and a focus for bored daredevils seeking perilous adventures as a form of Jeopardy Tourism.
After procuring a tour guide aged ten named Addie, they venture deep into the heart of the most dangerous place in the most dangerous place in the whole Ununited Kingdoms: The Empty Quarter, within which lies their goal: The legendary Leviathan's Graveyard, inconveniently perched at the very top of the mountain known as Cadir Idris, its lofty summit permanently shrouded in cloud.
Many people have visited the mountain, but none have returned. Perhaps the legend of Sky Pirate Morgan and the Leviathans are true - or perhaps the clouds that obscure the summit hide a far deeper secret. Pretty soon the Princess, Addie, Jennifer and Perkins are fighting the powers of darkness not just for their lives, but for everything they know and love...

Book Review:
Oh how I love this series! Here is my review of the first book. Fforde combines magic and comedy in this lighthearted story. Jennifer makes for a great main character with her bravery, sarcasm, and quick thinking. However, the supporting characters and just as important and vibrant as ever. I loved the addition of the princess and tour guide. They're such fun, quirky characters! Fforde leaves nothing out...castles, pirates, dragons, and adventure galore! I highly recommend this series if you're looking for a fun venture.

Cover Art Commentary:
This is not the cover that I currently own. Mine can be found here. I find that the cover shown above goes along with my other books in the series. It's colorful and whimsical, just like the story.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Achievements

So this week's topic on Life of a Blogger is achievements. This is kind of a difficult topic for me, but I'll give it a go:

  • Graduating nursing school. This was several years ago, but it was very difficult. My mom was just reminiscing about how she would come home from work to find me at the kitchen table doing my homework in tears because I didn't think I would make it through, only to get up the next day at 4 AM to drive to clinicals.
  • Getting engaged to the love of my life...a.k.a. this guy: 
  • Completing by BSN. Yes, as if nursing school wasn't difficult enough, I went back for my bachelors. It has opened so many doors for me. 
  • Getting back into blogging. I left mid-2013 and took a long break, but now I'm back sharing my love of reading, films, and apparently various other aspects of my life. ;)
  • Reading over 40 books last year even though I changed jobs twice, got engaged, and moved. 

What are some of your achievements? Leave a comment and let me know! :)