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Karen's books

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

This was a good one!

The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Well, it's not really a surprise that my sons have great taste in literature.  My oldest has been telling me to read The False Prince for 7 years!  My youngest just finished reading Jennifer Nielsen's The Mark of the Thief series and pretty much devoured it.  I see now what their enthusiasm is all about, because I'm already into chapter 4 of the second book in this Ascendance Trilogy.  Never underestimate so-called "kid lit" -- this is some great story-telling!  

A favorite author of both my sons...

The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen

My oldest, now 17 and a senior in high school, became a huge fan of Jennifer Nielsen books with this title, and he has read everything she has written since.  His younger brother, age 14, finally got on board and is currently reading Nielsen's Mark of the Thief series - devouring it is not an exaggeration. After finishing the second book he wanted that third installment RIGHT NOW - and we searched a bit to try to find where it had become misplaced away from our bookshelves.  It was traumatic, I'll tell you.  Blaming his brother for "hiding" the book to torture him...  Well, after everyone went to sleep tonight, I did a little sleuthing and found it.  Placed it on his book bag where he will find it in the morning before school.  The joy!  And... I figured it was time I saw for myself what all the excitement is about.  Here we go...  


The Clockmaker’s Daughter - Kate Morton

Never thought I would say this about a Kate Morton book - I have enjoyed her stories in the past, she is a wonderful storyteller, and I look forward to many more.  But, this one was a disappointment, especially at the end.  My opinion is there were too many characters and storylines whose threads were just too scattered to tie them all together neatly.  My expectations were set too high on this one, I guess.  

I think this silverback just went and stole my heart!

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate

Anyone who knows me knows animal stories have always been my favorites. I actually thought I would make through this one heartstrings untouched, but it is so hard to read words on the page with all this "humidity" affecting my eyes...

Don't let anyone tell you this one isn't as good as the first...

Ghost of Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen

... Read it and decide for yourself.  It was not my intention to read this sequel to Touching Spirit Bear, which I really liked. I was satisfied with how that story had "ended". This book was checked out FOR me and I thought, 'Okay, maybe I'll get around to it...' Well, now I'm really glad I finally sat down with it. And the interview with the author is a definite bonus that's worth the read, too.

I SOOOO wasn't going to read this one...

Ghost of Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen

... I had been told by a couple different people that this sequel just wasn't as good as Touching Spirit Bear and I'd be okay to skip it.  But one of my friends checked it out for me at the library and plopped it in my lap. I had no intention of continuing this story - I was content with how the first book ended and didn't really need any more.  But now, here I am, reading book 2.  Bring on the ghost of our neighborhood spirit bear!   

Reading progress update: I've read 132 out of 384 pages.

Radio Girls - Sarah-Jane Stratford

I am really enjoying this story.  I work in broadcast radio and there are so many things I relate to - and the history of the BBC is fascinating.  Reading this for my book club and looking forward to our discussion at the July meeting! 


Am I too late to the party to join in on the BL-Opoly game?  If not, how do I get started?  Any advice is appreciated!  Thanks!

Somewhere Over The Rainbow...

Finding Dorothy - Elizabeth Letts

Finally finished this one today (it's been sitting patiently waiting for me to finish it since March!). Author Letts mentions in her Afterword that The Wizard of Oz aired every year on network television from 1956 to 1980. Those of us who grew up in that time frame remember well how we looked forward to it each time. The minute I finished this book I brought up Judy Garland on YouTube singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in the movie. If you have younguns - don't let them escape childhood without knowledge of this film. And have them read L.Frank Baum's book, too - the differences from the film are many, but takes away none of the magic from either.

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.  


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...  

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!  

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!" .  

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! 


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!