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 


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



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.


Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) by Dani Pettrey

Pick a book that’s your favourite colour


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


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


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


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


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.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Luxe (Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

By: Anna Godbersen

Published: October, 2008
Published By: Harper Collins Canada

Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 3/5


In 1899 New York City’s high society appearances are everything. Gossip columnists report their every move. The Holland sisters grew up in the lap of luxury until their father’s death left their family in a financial crisis and their reputation rests on keeping this a secret.

My Thoughts..

I am writing this review after reading The Luxe for the second time. I first read it shortly after its release, but didn’t get a chance to continue on with the series. Now that I have refreshed my memory of the story, I plan to read book two; Rumors.
My thoughts after rereading this book mirror those that I had after first time I read it. The late 1800’s New York City setting remains my favourite part of The Luxe. The upstairs/downstairs story also drew me to this book.
Unfortunately it wasn’t very detailed in terms of the time period. Especially in the case of the dialogue or language. These aspects felt too modern for me. Although I wonder if the author took this approach in a bid to attract young adult readers.
With the exception of Diana, I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. I also thought that the decisions Elizabeth made weren’t really I line with her character traits.
I would still recommend Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series to fans of young adult with a light hint of historical fiction.

Articles · Recommendations

For Fans of Gilmore Girls..

Source: Gilmore News

If you are anything like me, you were super sad to see the Gilmore Girls end in 2007 after 7 seasons. And likewise you were super excited for its revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that was released last year on Netflix.

But now you are back to missing our favourite mom and daughter duo, right? Me too!

Well I recently stumbled across a 2016 article by Johanna Golden (from Book Bub Blog) entitled:

14 Books to Read if You Love ‘Gilmore Girls’

And while these books may not replace our favourite show, it may provide us with some great reading.

Several of these books I’ve had on my TBR for a while including: Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Now, with this list of recommendations my TBR has grown again.

I can’t wait to read some of these books and see how they compare to Gilmore Girls.

Have you read any of the books from the article? Which were your favourite and did they compare to the show? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a message in the comments. 

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


Dangerous Girls

By Abigail Haas

Published: July 2013
Published By: Simon Pulse

Format Read: eBook, Rivited
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 5/5


Anna Chevalier never had many friends until she transferred to an elite Boston prep school and met Elise Warren. Together they were inseparable and began living a wild life of excess. But, before long it would all come crashing down.  While on spring break in Aruba, Elise is found brutally murdered and Anna is suspect number one.

My Thoughts..

Abigail Haas’ Dangerous Girls is a fast paced young adult thriller that I picked up on a whim. Am I ever glad that I gave this one a chance because I couldn’t put it down. This mystery had me hooked from the first chapter.

The story is told from Anna’s perspective and shifts back and forth from when she first met Elise up to Anna’s more present situation. Sometimes books like that are hard to follow, but that wasn’t the case in this instance. It actually made for a really quick and intriguing read. The author also used different formats such as; call logs, text message conversations and television interviews. This book was chalk full of twists and turns that kept me guessing who the killer was right to the end. My suspicions of the characters would change with each page.


Dangerous Girls is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. I would recommend it to fans of young adult mysteries.