Karen's books

Karen's books

It's not about reading to impress anyone else.  It's about reading for the sheer enjoyment of it all...

Review
5 Stars
How shall I title this that gives it the respect it deserves...
Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service - Gary Sinise

I didn't think about it until just tonight...  how fitting to finish this inspiring story right before Memorial Day.  

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4 Stars
Another read for Book Club...
The Mysterious Island - Caleb Carr, Jordan Stump, Jules Verne

Parts of this story were really, really great!  Exciting, adventurous, and edge-of-your-seat reading.  And with a main character being an engineer (trying not to do spoilers here) I must admit there were several chapters I just skimmed over because the technical hoo-ha on how to make/build/grow/cook things was just too much for me.  The skimmed chapters were more in the first half of the book, because at about 50% this story really takes off! 

I can't say I loved it, but I did enjoy it for the most part. 

Some questions it left me with...  they never acknowledged holidays... what did they do for clothing (oh wait, maybe that was covered - no pun intended! - in one of those skimmed chapters)... can we assume that Top survived... and I found it very interesting that they never had a spat amongst them the whole time.  Just a few things I will bring up at our book club meeting and see what others have to say...  

Review
2.5 Stars
Love Story? Period Piece? What Did I Just Read?
Sold On a Monday - Kristina McMorris

Not gonna lie here - I was extremely disappointed in this story.  I was on Amazon reading some reviews - all glowing about how this story "touched their heart" and "educational" about this time in history.  What?!  I didn't take any of that from this story.  It started out interestingly enough with a newspaper reporter (our hero?) snapping a photo of two little boys and a "For Sale" sign...  but then it turned into this sort of love triangle thing between  3 characters (none of whom I ever cared about), a "secret" past (give me a break!) and - oh yes, a mob connection!  Just my opinion here, but I felt like the author really didn't know which direction to take this story.  She went the wrong way for this reader.

This is a book club read for me - we will discuss it this month.  

And now, on to more enjoyable books!  

An author giveaway read
Secrets of the Magic Ring - Karen McQuestion

I follow author Karen McQuestion on Facebook and she gave away several e-copies of this book a couple months back.  I always enjoy her YA stories and jumped at the chance to read this one.  So far, so good!  

Review
5 Stars
Fun Little Book!
Be Prepared! The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything - Frankie MacDonald and Sarah Sawler

My household became Frankie fans way back when my oldest (now 17) was in 6th grade and his teacher showed a Frankie weather forecast talking about a monster blizzard that hit our state.  This book (written with children in mind) is a quick and fun read learning about Frankie's life, Autism, and weather.  I recommend this book, especially if you have kids.  They will refer back to it when they want to recall "what Frankie said about that!" .  

Review
5 Stars
I Did It!
Holy Bible: NIV - Student Bible - Tim Stafford, Philip Yancey, Anonymous

I finally got the Bible read, start to finish, with the help of the daily reminders from the Our Daily Bread app.  The prophets were tough, although I liked Ezekiel and Malachi.  Leviticus and Deuteronomy just about drove me crazy with all the rules of offerings/sacrifices repeated over and over and over and over...  Just being honest.  But all in all it was so worth it!  Happy New Year to you! 

Wow!
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - Daniel James Brown

I literally (pardon the pun, ha ha!) just started reading this for my book club, and I have been drawn in, hook-line-and-sinker to this story already!  

Review
5 Stars
Time Spent With Old Friends...
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

...That's what it feels like to be back in the world of Harry Potter again.  This time I am listening on Audible, and it is an absolute treat!  

Review
5 Stars
Second Time Around is Even Better!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

Read this series 7 years ago.  This time I'm listening on Audible.  The whole fam loves this story, and it was really fun listening to the last couple hours of the first book while in the car yesterday.  I thought my teenagers were busying themselves with something else in the back seat when my 13-year-old said, "Please turn that up, Mom."  Love HP!  

Back with Harry for another round!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

What an absolute pleasure to be back in the world of Harry Potter!  When I finished the series 7 years ago the first thing I said was that I would like to read it again some day.  And now a member of my book club picked The Sorcerer's Stone for our November read!  Thrilled!  And this time I am listening on Audible...  and loving every second of it!  

Review
5 Stars
Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot - Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

Another one that's been on my "to listen to" list for too long.  Exceeded any expectations I might have had, and really enjoyed Billy O'Reilly's narration.  

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot - Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

REALLY good.  

Review
5 Stars
Oh my gosh - a thriller that didn't let me down!
The Last Time I Lied - Riley Sager

I tend to avoid thrillers and mysteries because I'm almost always disappointed by the endings.  I especially dislike when authors bring in a complete stranger as the "bad guy" that I've spent no time with in the story!  Man, I hate that.  Not so with this one!  Holy smokes - this was a great read first page to the very last line.  Loved it!  

I need advice.  It has been recommended to me to read something by Henry James, but I don't know which of his novels to pick!  Suggestions are most welcome.  Thank you!

Reading progress update: I've read 45 out of 370 pages.
The Last Time I Lied - Riley Sager

This book was one of the July picks for The Book of the Month club.  I thought the story line sounded interesting so went ahead and ordered it.  I admit that something about the cover has kinda creeped me out, but I finally decided to delve in...  and I'm glad I did.  I don't know if it will have a satisfying ending for me, but so far I'm really enjoying it and wanting to find out what DID happen to those 3 girls at camp 15 years ago...   

Review
3 Stars
And the book that matters most to me is...
The Book That Matters Most: A Novel - Ann Hood

That's what I have to do...  for our August Book Club meeting we're supposed to share with the club the book that matters most to us.  How in the world can ANY one choose just ONE book, in a whole lifetime of reading?!  

currently reading

Progress: 86/368pages
Touching Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen