Recommendations · Wrap-ups

2017 Recap: In the Stars

Check out the books I read, reviewed and rated in 2017.

January

Books Completed: 2

5 Stars

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

3.5 Stars
Skeletons in the Attic (Marketville Mystery. #1) by Judy Penz Sheluk 

February

Books Completed: 3

4 Stars

 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware

3 Stars
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4) by Rick Riordan 

March

Books Completed: 2

4 Stars

The Empress Holds the Key (Jack Rogan Mysteries, #1) by Gabriel Farago

3 Stars
A Vote for Murder (Murder, She Wrote, #22) by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain, 

April

Books Completed: 1

3.5 Stars

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

May

Books Completed: 2

3.5 Stars

No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom, #1) by Elizabeth Ludwig

1.5 Stars
The Littlest Cowboy (The Texas Brands #1) by Maggie Shayne

June

Books Completed: 2

3.5 Stars

If You’re Gone by Brittany Goodwin

3 Stars
The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott 

July

Books Completed: 3

5 Stars

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas 

4 Stars
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
The Day the  Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

August

Books Completed: 4

4 Stars

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by JK Rowling
The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6.5) by Louise Penny

3 Stars
The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchoise Enguehard
The Luxe (Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen 

September

Books Completed: 1

3 Stars

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

 

October

Books Completed: 3

4 Stars

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

 

2.5 Stars
Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman

Not Rated
Newfie, Come Home! by David Belisle

November

Books Completed: 3

4 Stars

Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte

 

3.5 Stars
The Measure of Katie Calloway (Michigan Northwoods,#1) by Serena B. Miller
The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas 

December

Books Completed: 2

4 Stars

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

 

3 Stars
Plum Lovin’ (Stephanie Plum #12.5) by Janet Evanovich 

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Book Reviews · Recommendations

Plum Lovin’ (Stephanie Plum, #12.5) by Janet Evanovich

Plum Lovin’ (Stephanie Plum, #12.5)
By: Janet Evanovich

Published: January 2007
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Format Read: Kindle for PC, eBook

Rating: 3 Stars
♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Plum Lovin’ is a holiday novella that falls between the full length novels Twelve Sharp and Lean Mean Thirteen. Set just before Valentines Day, business is slow in the bonds industry and there is only one large bail skip on Stephanie Plum’s list. In order to capture the skip, she must first help her friend Diesel and play cupid along the way.

My Thoughts 

The in between novellas in the Stephanie Plum series, aren’t exactly crucial reading, although it would have helped me to better understand Diesel’s character if I had read Visions of Sugar Plums (Stephanie Plum #8.5) first. I knew that he was a character from another series by Janet Evanovich, but I have yet to read any of those books.

It had been a while since I have read this series, so it was nice to revisit my favourite characters once again. Although a short story, it had the same humor I’ve come to enjoy. However I didn’t feel like the Diesel’s hint of paranormal powers fit into the Stephanie Plum world.

Still I would recommend Plum Lovin’ to fans of Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum books.

Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: December 2017

December.jpg
Here we are at the beginning of another year. 2017 was quite a whirlwind for me. Full of many ups and downs. But more importantly it blessed me with a beautiful son. This Christmas was by far one of the most memorable for me and my family. Charles has brought so much joy to our lives.

The past few weeks have been full of wonderful Christmas festivities and time spent with family. Of course it also included some reading..

Books Completed

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 2
Total Number of Fiction: 2
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from my Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 2
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 27

Currently Reading

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and all the best for 2018.

 

Hosted by: Book Date 

Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Top 10 Tuesday: My Top 10 Favourite Books of 2017

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tis the season for yearly wrap-up posts. I will likely mention the following books in upcoming posts, but I really wanted to participate in this weeks TTT. As it is only early in December, there may be more books that I would add to this list.

Without further delay here are my favourite books that I have read so far in 2017. (In chronological order)

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

 A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware 


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford


The Empress Holds the Key by Gabriel Farago


The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by JK Rowling


The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo


Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte

 

If you participated in this weeks TTT, please leave me your link below. 

Recommendations · Tags

My Life in Books Tag

My Life in Books Tag

I came across this tag on Rebel Mommy Book Blog, however it was created by Rantings of a Reading Addict. 

Find a Book for Each of Your Initials 

..M..L..S..

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Count Your Age on the Shelf. Which book is it? 

Because all my books are in storage, I used my Goodreads (All) shelf

30

 

Where Are You Now by Mary Higgins Clark

Pick a book set in your city

The setting of Marketville is based on Newmarket, Ontario. 

 

Skeletons in the Attic (Marketville Mystery #1) by Judy Penz Sheluk

Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Alaska 

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) by Dani Pettrey

Pick a book that’s your favourite colour

Purple 

Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17) by Janet Evanovich

Which book do you have the fondest memories of? 

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1) by Meg Cabot

Which book did you find the most difficult reading?

Due to the subject manner.

 

See Jane Run by Joy Fielding

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling

 

Have you read any of these books? If you participate in this tag too, leave me your link in the comments. 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Measure of Katie Calloway (Michigan Northwoods, #1) by Serena B. Miller

10468550

The Measure of Katie Calloway
(Michigan Northwoods, #1)

By: Serena B. Miller

Published: October 2011
Published By: Revell 
Fromat Read: Kindle for PC
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis 

Katie Calloway makes a daring escape from her abusive Confederate Officer, husband. Fleeing north, she and her young brother Ned find themselves destitute in Bay City Michigan looking for a way to support themselves. Meanwhile, lumber camp owner Robert Foster is in a bind after his only cook is put out of commission due to injury. Although it was rare for a woman to work in a lumber camp among a group of men, he takes a chance on Katie. But will she be able to win them over and move on from her traumatizing past or will it catch up to her in the backwoods of Michigan?

My Thoughts 

Author Serena B. Miller was inspired to write The Measure of Katie Calloway after seeing  old photos of Michigan lumber camps in the 1800’s. In a workforce that was exclusive to only men, a female cook was very rare.

Even though Katie was the only woman working for Robert Foster, her past had made her strong and determined to forge a better life for herself and Ned. The way she adjusted to her new role showed a lot of character growth. Both Katie and Robert had their own reasons for escaping into the Michigan wilderness, which was interesting to discover.

The detailed explanations of the everyday operations in the 1867 lumber camp were really informative and well researched. I also enjoyed the camaraderie between the workers and how they abide their own code.

I would recommend this first book in the Michigan Northwoods series to fans of Christian historical fiction.

Charlie's Corner · Personal Post · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: November Wonder Week with Life Outside the Box

Baby Boy!

After Charles was born I joined a group made up of local Mommy’s with young children. It has become a great place to turn to for support and we have met some wonderful people as a result.

One of the Mom’s in the group has created a blog to share the different activities she does with her two little ones. Click the links below to check it out:

Life Outside the Box (Blog)

Life Outside the Box (Facebook Page)

Last week Charles and I participated in an online program she created, which encouraged sensory, nature and motor skills play. November Wonder Week was a fun way to explore using everyday household items with an autumn theme. Each day Katherine would post a file including the instructions for the activity she planned. In her daily instructions she offered modifications for different age groups. Every child experienced this program in their own unique way. I really enjoyed learning how the other parents put their own spin on the activities. It helped give me ideas on what to do, as I am far less creative. I am really looking forward to participating in the next group program in the New Year.

Be sure to check out Katherine’s blog if you are interested in learning more about “Life Outside the Box”.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte

Down, Then Up: A Novella
By Beth Labonte

Published: November, 2016
Published By: Kindle Edition
Format Read: Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Novella

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Lauren has worked hard to leave her past behind her. However she never could forget the one who got away. Ten years later, while throwing her sister a bachelorette party in Las Vegas, she discovers that her old flame happens to be the cousin of the groom.

My Thoughts 

I have been a fan of Beth Labonte’s books since reading her 2011 release What Stays in Vegas. Her novella Down, Then Up brings her readers back to “Sin City” in another humorous story, that didn’t disappoint.

Lauren’s former boyfriend Jamie is every nerdy girl’s dream. The popular culture references, especially those of the sci-fi variety are so current and will appeal to a lot of readers. I especially enjoyed how the title of this novella: Down, Then Up and its cover picture tied into the story.

I would definitely recommend Beth Labonte to fans of humorous contemporary fiction and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

TLC Book Tour: The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo

About The Fire By Night

 Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 3, 2017)

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo single-handedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place and the hope of love in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Teresa Messineo

Teresa Messineo spent seven years researching the history behind The Fire by Night,her first novel. She is a graduate of DeSales University, and her varied interests include homeschooling her four children, volunteering with the underprivileged, medicine, swing dancing, and competitive athletics. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Teresa on Facebook.

My Thoughts

I was sent a copy of The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review for TLC Book Tours.

Teresa Messineo’s impressive debut novel The Fire by the Night follows two nurses serving their country on two different fronts during World War II. I have previously read quite a bit of historical fiction set in Europe, however this was the first time I’ve read about those on the Pacific front.

The immense amount of research that went into writing this novel, is evident in the details. This is especially prominent in the use of medical terminology, which was included much more than is typical for this genre. I didn’t realise how little is known about the horrors female nurses faced during this time and the conditions they were forced to live in as prisoners of war.

Jo and Kay’s separate stories interested me for different reasons. While I felt Jo’s perspective offered more from a psychological point of view, Kay’s kept my attention from a geographical standpoint.

Unfortunately I did have some trouble with the graphic descriptions, which still haunt me even after I completed the novel. For this reason I would advise caution to those who are interested in reading The Fire by Night. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy detailed historical fiction.

tlc tour host

 

Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny


The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5)

By: Louise Penny

Published: 2010
Published by: Grass Roots Press

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Short Story, Series 

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

While out on a morning jog in the woods a man stumbles across the body of a man hung from a tree. What looked like a suicide is determined to be much more and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the small secluded town to investigate.

My Thoughts

The Hangman is part of a collection of short stories that is geared towards encouraging people to read. At under 100 pages, I picked this up for a read-a-thon and flew through it.

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series has been on my TBR for quite a while now, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this at my local library.

This was a fairly simple story, in the ‘locked room’ style. However instead of a ‘locked room’ it was set in a secluded town called Three Pines. The author included a detailed backstory for the suspects that fit well into its short length. Although I did enjoy it, I wish that there were more clues throughout instead of having the reader find out many facts when the truth is revealed. I am hopeful that the full length installments for the Armand Gamache series will allow for more of a build up.

I recommend The Hangman to mystery fans who are looking for a quick read.