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

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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.

Currently Reading · Memes · Recommendations

Currently Reading: February 11, 2018

Posting a quick update to record my reading progress.

We are currently snowed in here. Over the past couple of days we just got dumped on and its really quite beautiful. Driving in it isn’t very fun though. Does anyone else enjoy shoveling snow? I do! Too bad my heart doesn’t agree, so I have to really limit myself. It makes me miss the days of my childhood where I’d spend the day outside sledding, building snow forts and snowmen. Ah those were the days.

Does anyone remember Crazy Carpet sleds? They are also known as Flying Carpets..

I had so much fun with these as a kid, but man were they ever hard on the knees.

Now lets talk books..

My Reading Progress


I finally finished my re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is as far as I’ve ever read in the series, however I plan to remedy that in the months to come. I’m looking forward to continuing the series, but I’m kind of worried I won’t be into the remaining books like I was the first 4. Did anyone else have this problem with the HP series? I enjoyed The Goblet of Fire, but the third book still remains my favourite. It surprised me how much of the plot I had forgotten. So in a way it was kind of like reading it for the first time.

Currently Reading


I’ve made great progress with these two books. I hope to finish off Ellen’s book tonight and Beth Labonte’s later in the week.

What are you all reading? Leave me a message in the comments.

Happy reading.

Links


Hosted by: Book Date

Book Reviews

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham

40 Love
By: Madeleine Wickham 

Published: August 2011
Published By: Macmillan Audio
Format Read: Audio Book, OverDrive App,
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 2.5/5
♥♥.5

Synopsis

Caroline and Patrick Chance have come a long way since their days on Seymour Road. To celebrate their wealth they invite some old friends to their country house for a tennis tournament. This contemporary novel follows the Chance’s and their friends who all vary in terms of success. Is it just their intention to show off their wealth or does Patrick have an ulterior motive behind this weekend of fun?

My Thoughts

Over the years I have read several Sophie Kinsella books, but this is the first one I have read under her real name Madeleine Wickham. I was curious to see how her older books compare to her more current releases and the tennis theme caught my interest as well.

What can I say about 40-Love? Keeping up with the Jones’s was definitely a theme here. From their expensive clothing, art and private schools, each character was more materialistic than the next. And their backstabbing snobbery became more infuriating as I read along.

Katherine Kellgren’s narration was spot on, when bringing a voice to the Chance’s and their guests. She did a great job expressing their selfish personalities and high brow accents. Wickham’s familiar contemporary style and the anticipation of confrontation kept me listening to this book.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend 40-Love, but I would recommend Madeleine Wickham/Sophie Kinsella as an author to read.

 

 

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: January 2018

January was a pretty busy month for me. I’ve started to slowly get back into working again. Although I didn’t make an specific New Year resolutions, I’m trying my best to make better decisions and to take better care of myself. Its hard to do when you have a little one. Even harder when you are a single parent. But I’m trying my best.

Charlie has learned and grown so much since Christmas. He is now over 9 months old, with two teeth and two more coming through. He never ceases to amaze me or melt my heart.

As you will see from my monthly wrap-up below, I only completed 1 book in January. However I’m actually pretty please with the amount of reading I’ve fit in this month. I’ve been slowly re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as an eBook by Beth Labonte.

I came to realize that in the past year I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a book by the end of the month. I’m trying a new approach to this. I’m just going with the flow. I’ll get it finished when I can. And if that so happens to be a few days into a new month, then that is ok. I know this will change up my monthly wrap-up totals, but allow me to take my time and enjoy the stories I’m reading more.

Books Completed

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham
♥♥.5      2.5/5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Audio Book

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Number of Fiction: 1
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 1

Total Books Read in 2018: 1

Currently Reading

February TBR


Hosted by: Book Date

Memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Can’t Believe I Read

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

This week’s topic is: Books I can’t believe I read..