Memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Top Books on my Spring TBR


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Here are some books I hope to read over the next couple of months..


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by JK Rowling

 


Rumors (Luxe, #2) by Anna Godbersen

 


Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy 

 


More than 50%: Women’s Life in a Newfoundland Outport (1900-1950) by Hilda Chaulk Murray 

 


Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1) by Sophie Kinsella

 


Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1) by Sara Shepard 

 

What do you plan to read during the Spring season? Leave me a message in the comments. 

 

 

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Book Reviews · Recommendations

Summer at Sunset (Summer, #2) by Beth Labonte

Summer at Sunset
(Summer, #2)
By: Beth Labonte

Published: December, 2018
Published By: Kindle Edition
Format Read: Kindle, eBook
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

For Summer Hartwell, holding her and Graham’s wedding a thousand miles from home seemed like a good idea. Even if it is at a retirement community. How else could she avoid planning the wedding with her neurotic, anxiety-ridden mother? But with one week left to go and Summer’s parents arriving on the scene, things begin to quickly unravel. Between the swingers parties, the Viagra jokes, and the copious amount of alcohol, Summer’s not so sure her parents will make it out of there alive. Then there’s the matter of Graham being Grade A top choice meat to every woman over sixty-five, a few of whom Summer suspects of trying to sabotage the wedding!

Can Summer and Graham hold things together long enough to make it down the aisle?
(Synopsis from Goodreads)

 

My Thoughts

Summer at Sunset is a fun contemporary fiction that picks up 2 years after the first book in the series, Summer at Sea. Our main character is now engaged to be married and wins an all expenses paid wedding at her in-laws retirement community.

It was nice to be reunited with the quirky cast of characters, including Summer’s neurotic parents. Ironically she learns that she may not be all the different from them. You know what they say “like mother, like daughter.” We are also introduced to several of the residents from the retirement community, who are young at heart, enjoying their golden years in the Florida sun. Only their daily routines mirror more of a college fraternity than that of a rest and relaxation.

While I found it to be an enjoyable read, I didn’t rate it as high as Summer at Sea. I didn’t like the characters quite as much as I did upon their initial introduction to me. Although I found it perfectly understandable that she would be stressed out, I found Summer to be a bit annoying at times and I wasn’t a fan of her fiance. An inflated ego isn’t a trait that I find attractive at all. The conclusion of this story was more over the top, than I expected.

However I enjoy the way Beth Labonte weaves pop culture into her stories and the personalities of her characters. There were several laugh out loud moments and I especially enjoyed the visits to Disney World.

I look forward to the next installment in this series and I would recommend it to fans of contemporary chick-lit.

 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

Seriously… I’m Kidding
By: Ellen DeGeneres

Published: October, 2011
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Format Read: Audio Book, Library Loaner, OverDrive
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Humor, Autobiography

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis

Ellen Degeneres’ winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air, and her life makes for great (and very funny) reading.

“I’ve experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you’ll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I’ve put together for you in this book. I think you’ll find I’ve left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I’m saying is, let us begin, shall we?”

Seriously… I’m Kidding is a lively, hilarious, and often sweetly poignant look at the life of the much-loved entertainer as she opens up about her personal life, her talk show, and joining the judges table of American Idol.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

Seriously… I’m Kidding has been on my to-read list for a while now. When it finally came available to borrow from my library I jumped at the chance to listen to the audio version.

Narrated by Ellen herself, this audio book was just like listening to the opening monologue on her talk show. I enjoyed her observations on the world around her and admire her for keeping her jokes clean. Unlike most comedians, Ellen’s humor is suitable for all ages.

Although an enjoyable listen, I did find some of the rambling to be a bit much and settled on a 3 star rating. I would recommend Seriously… I’m Kidding to fans of Ellen DeGeneres.

 

Challenges · Currently Reading · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: February 2018

I’m a little late posting this wrap-up because cold and flu season is just sweeping through my house at the moment. First Charlie had a cold and was teething at the same time. So this made for one unhappy baby. He finally kicked that then got hit with a stomach bug. Thankfully he seems to be feeling more like his happy, cheeky self again.

I seem to be having trouble with my images in the past couple of posts I’ve made. I’ve tried to save them on my Google account, then add them through there, but the link up option hasn’t been working. Instead I was copying the image link from my Google albums then pasting them into my posts. It looked like it worked at first, but once they were published I noticed the link was broken. Its getting kind of frustrating to be honest. WordPress is still new to me, so I’m slowly figuring it all out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Books Completed


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K. Rowling
♥♥♥♥       4/5
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Series

 

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
♥♥♥     3/5
Genre: Non-fiction, Humor, Autobiography, Audio book

 


Summer at Sunset (Summer, #2) by Beth Labonte
♥♥♥.5          3.5/5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Series
Note: I was sent a copy of Summer at Sunset (Summer, #2) by Beth Labonte from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 2
Total Number of Non-fiction: 1
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 1
Audio books: 1

Total Books Read in 2018: 4

2011 Reading Catch-up Challenge Update:
Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
Books Completed: 4/15

Currently Reading


Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks


Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris

 

Wishing you all a wonderful March.

Happy reading.

Books Hauls · Memes

Book Haul: December 2017 – February 2018

Do you ever think you published a post, but then look back and discover that you didn’t? Well that is what I thought happened with my book hauls from previous months. I must have only shared some of Charlie’s books we’ve acquired but not my own.

Anyway, here most of the books I’ve added to my collection over the past few months..

Borrowed From the Library..

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham
Seriously.. I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres


Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

 

Library Book Sale

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Vow by Kim Carpenter
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Ya Ya’s in Bloom (Ya Ya’s #3) by Rebecca Wells

Kindle

Snowfall and Secrets (Omega Mu Alpha Brothers, #1) by Kimberly Loth

 

Linking up with Stacking the Shelves

Articles · Challenges · Personal Post

21 Day Anxiety Challenge

When I think back over the years of my life, I know that I’ve always been an anxious person. I tend to worry and overthink everything. Even before I’d ever heard of anxiety I recall having these nervous feelings. However it wasn’t until I entered high school and was diagnosed with heart disease, that it began to get worse. I wasn’t actually diagnosed until about 7 years and a half years ago when I had the emergency open heart surgery, that would save my life. Combined with depression and PTSD, there were many days where I couldn’t even leave my apartment. There were times when I would panic so bad that I had a hard time breathing.

I’m very lucky to have a strong support team around me, who I can rely on, along with good doctors. I’ve come a long way since then and have learned several coping strategies, however there are still times when the panic sets in all over again.

Recently my cousin came across a 21 Day Anxiety Challenge which was shared on the blog Love + Marriage and a Baby Carriage and we decided to give it a try together. It is a great lead in to a second challenge from the same blogger called The Happiness Challenge.

Even though my cousin and I live in different provinces, we thought that participating in this challenge together would be a great way to motivate each other. And to further ensure that I stick to the 21 days, I decided to share my progress here on my blog.

As you will see from the list of tasks below, it really is quite easy. Just one simple activity a day is aimed at improving your state of mind and relaxation by spending a short amount of time on yourself. Considering that we are both mom’s with young children, finding time for ourselves can be tricky, but it is definitely important.

21 Day (2)

Only time will tell if this challenge will bring any positive changes, but I am looking forward to finding out. Our starting date is Monday February 26.

Would you like to join us in this challenge? If so let me know so I can follow your progress.

Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book by Glenn Beck

Baby Boy!

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.

So I admit that for his first Christmas, Charlie got a little bit spoiled. Whenever anyone asked me what they could get him, I always say that books are a fail-safe idea. So he got quite a few to add to his collection.

One of my personal favourites that he received was The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book by Glenn Beck.

The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book
By: Glenn Beck
Illustrated by: Brandon Dorman

Published: October 2009
Published by: Aladdin Paperbacks
Format Read: Hardcover, Picture Book

Rating: 5/5
♥♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

The Christmas Sweater is a children’s picture book which was adapted from Glenn Beck’s novel by the same name. It follows a boy who dreams of getting a new bicycle for Christmas. He is disappointed when he is given a new sweater instead.

My Thoughts

My family and I enjoyed reading this Christmas story over the holidays. It has a wonderful moral that any age can resonate with. Brandon Dorman’s illustrations had a vintage feel that were quite beautiful and captivating. I would recommend The Christmas Sweater to young and old. I look forward to reading the full novel this book was based on.

Memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I’ve Decided I’m Not Longer Interested in Reading


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today we are all linking up to share the books we are no longer interested in reading. This was a great opportunity for me to clear out my TBR board on Pinterest. Here are some of the books I’ve removed..

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles

A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5) by Lisa Kleypas

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

What do you think of my list? Are there any books I should reconsider? Leave me a message in the comments.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

Comfort and Joy
By Kristin Hannah

Published: October, 2006
Published By: Ballantine Books
Format Read: eBook, Kobo
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

Synopsis
High school librarian Joy Candellaro is just merely existing in the wake of a divorce. Then her entire existence is rocked when she learns that her own sister is pregnant with her ex-husbands baby. In a fit of desperation she flees looking for an escape from reality. On a whim she buys a plane ticket for a chartered flight that would take her deep into the Olympic rain-forest in the American Pacific Northwest.

My Thoughts

Comfort and Joy has a premise that may sound overly familiar to fans of cheesy Christmas movies. However this is not a happy, fuzzy holiday story, but one that is melancholy and ripe with tragedy.

Kristin Hannah’s descriptions were very vivid and beautiful. The lodge that Joy finds herself at reminded me in some ways, of William Paul Young’s The Shack, which is one of my favourite novels. The bond she would form with Bobby (son of the lodges owner) was really quite sweet and endearing.

Although this book wasn’t one that I absolutely loved, there were two main points that kept me reading and in turn factored into my 4 star rating. 1: I was able to really relate to Joy on a personal level. The emotions she felt as a result of her heartbreak really hit close to home for me. And 2. There were several passages that made me stop and reflect. Below I have included some of those quote that caught my attention.

I would recommend Comfort and Joy to those who enjoy contemporaries and fans of Kristin Hannah.

Notable Quotes

“I’m dreaming again for the first time in years, and it feels good.”

“This is my resolution for the New Year. I will be honest with myself. I’ll keep my eyes open. I’ll see what’s there, not just what I want to see.”

“..the silence has been like the in-drawn breath before a scream”

“It’s amazing how quickly a bone can heal. If only the heart were as durable. A little plaster, two months of bed rest, and voila! your broken heart is mended.”

Memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Romantic Covers

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

In honor of Valentines Day tomorrow this weeks topic is a freebie. So I will share some of my favourite romantic book covers.

Summer at Sunset (Summer, #2) by Beth Labonte

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Wake by Anna Hope
17829483

At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales by L.M. Montgomery

When Somebody Loves You by June Tate

Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1) by Jill Shalvis

My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva

Your Heart’s Desire by Melody Carlson

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Which cover do you like the most? Leave me a message in the comments.