Color Coded TBR (yellow)

This is an ongoing project to clear my backlog of books on my bookshelves. I’ll show you the list of books I chose today and after I’ve read them, I’ll come back and tell you what they are about and what I thought about them. This time I will be reading books that are yellow (and maybe a little bit orange.

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Skyward by Mary Alice Monroe

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd

These are all books I haven’t read before and have all been on my bookshelf for at least five years.

I’ll be back with my thoughts on these five books once I’ve finished them all.

Have you read any of these books before?

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Recent Reads January 12, 2019

Recent Reads is where I talk about the last five books I finished reading that were not part of a specific tbr.

The Backstagers Volume Two by James Tynion IV

This is the second volume in the series. The colors and artwork are just as fantastic as the first volume. I didn’t enjoy the story as much though. Five teenagers disappearing for two months? Every stage in the world leading to the same place? It might have all just been a bit too much odd for me. I gave this volume ✰3✰ and probably won’t be continuing with the series right away.

In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder

This is the first book I finished in 2019. I began it in 2018 though. What do you do with books you started in one year and finished in a new year? Add them to your read list for the year previous or the new year?

Anyway, this book, which comes out in March, is about a family of four. Finn, Bridget and their two sons. One son is 16 and one is a toddler. The toddler dies in a swimming pool early on in the book. The rest of the story deals with the grief and the aftermath for the other three members of the family that loved him so much. The chapters cycle through the perspectives of each of the three family members. I cried so often while reading this book and clung tighter to my daughter in relief that I was not going through this torture. The raw honesty of this novel made me feel so many emotions for these characters. I don’t want to say I enjoyed this book of grief, but I could not put it down. I wanted to keep on reading to make sure they all pulled through and kept on living their lives, even though I don’t know if I could in similar circumstances. I gave this book ✰4✰. There were just a few things in the story line that bothered me, but overall it was a fantastic story of love and of a family trying to stay together even when it’s hard to want to or think you deserve the comfort of your loved ones.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan

Book four of this series was way more adult than the other books. There were more pages I had to stop my daughter from looking at. Only one section really had the nudity. Maybe you gathered that from the title Safeword, but I did not. it was a great book though. The story continued to progress and to get more intense. There was still plenty of action and movement and character growth. Overall a great read. I gave this book ✰4✰ and ordered the 5th volume from my library.

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon and Dean Hale

This is book two in the Princess In Black series and it is my favorite that we’ve read so far. Princess Magnolia is having a birthday party, but every time she tries to open her gifts the monster alarm goes off. It was funny and cute. The only real issue I had with it is that she lies to her friends so many times. It made my daughter very confused. She’s been acting out the stories and is doing the things Princess Magnolia tells her friends she is doing and not what she is actually doing. We’re working on using that as a teachable moment, but I still gave this book ✰5✰

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon and Dean Hale

In this third book in the series Princess Magnolia is called to fight a monster instead of getting to go to brunch. They find a swarm of bunnies that are eating everything and it takes a while for them to figure out that they bunnies are dangerous, not just cute. I gave this book ✰5✰ as well and so far in the series this is my daughter’s favorite book. She is having trouble grasping that the bunnies are bad news. She has been acting out all the stories and I only find her saying the Princess’ lines about how cute the bunnies are instead of realizing they are menaces eating everything including the horn off of a goat. The series is great so far and I can’t wait to read the next three books with my kiddo as soon as I am feeling well again.

 

What’s the last book you read?

 

 

My Kindle Ebook Collection Part 1

I have been purchasing Kindle books through Amazon since July 25th, 2011, according to my digital content listings on my Amazon account. These are largely books I’ve purchased for free whether just browsing the kindle books on the Amazon website, or through daily emails that alert me to free books that are available. For free if it’s something I think I might ever want to read I click to buy it because it’s free, so why not. However, the number of them I actually read is very small.

Currently I have 3113 kindle books on my Amazon account. I would guess I’ve read around 100 of them, but that’s really a shot in the dark. It could be far more or far fewer. I’m not sure how I would find a statistic like that without going through all 3000+ entries.

One reason they don’t get read is that I just prefer a physical book, but the bigger reason is that the whole mass of books feels ridiculous and overwhelming. I decided to go to the first 10 books on my Amazon account, they are all from July 25th and 26th, 2011 and see if I’ve read them, if I would still like to read them, or if I should just unhaul them and delete them from my account.

I’ll be doing installments of this process periodically until the amount of books feels more manageable. I don’t know how long that might take though because I get three emails every day with new free ebooks to entice me. Today alone I ‘bought’ four more books!

I won’t be giving full descriptions of the books because I haven’t read them yet, but the title is always a link to the book, (usually on Goodreads) today the link will take you to Amazon because that is where I’m looking at the books.

The first book on my list is Delivery by Diana Prusik. This is a 236 page ebook that has 45 review and an average rating on Amazon of 4 stars. On first glance this book looks like it might be a cozy mystery set in a small town flower shop, but it’s actually classified under Christian Fiction and that is not for me. So this is a book I will be unhauling.

The second book is called Cat Calls (Tantalize) by Cynthia Leitich Smith. This is a short story at only 18 pages. It has 99 reviews and an average rating of 3 stars. This story is categorized as science fiction. Short book, decent ratings, my favorite genre. Sold. I sent that one to my kindle to read tonight. I’ll include this story in a recent reads post coming up soon.

Book three is Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins: A Collected Trilogy by Randolph Lalonde This book is 376 pages and is listed as a hard science fiction book. Science fiction is my favorite genre, but I’m just not smart enough to keep up when things get too technical or complicated. Maybe I’m smart enough, but I don’t enjoy the story that way. It has a 4.5 star rating with 1041 reviews so I will absolutely be giving this one a try at some point to see if it’s too “sciency” for me, but that probably won’t be right away.

Book four is Shatter (The Children of Man Book 1) by Elizabeth Mock. This is a 448 page epic fantasy with 206 ratings giving it an average of 4 stars. I wasn’t really sure about this book after reading the description so I peeked at few of the reviews and four of the five I read all said it was really slow and shifted points of view a lot. I’ve decided that I’m going to delete this book.

The fifth book is Slow Hands (The Wrong Bed Book 43) by Leslie Kelly. This is a 224 page erotic novel with 386 reviews that give a 4 star average. This is not something I’ll read now, but may in the future.

Book six is Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman. It is 385 pages and listed as a Christian Western about pick pockets and has romance thrown in too. None of those labels sound like something I would like, but I’m still strangely interested in reading this book. It won’t be now though.

Book seven is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I don’t remember if I’ve ever read this classic book. It’s 214 pages and this edition has 1010 ratings averaging 4.5 stars. I’ll hold on to this one for later.

Book eight is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Another classic I have never read. It has 638 pages in this edition and 2915 reviews that leave it with a 4 star average. This is another I’ll probably just hold on to for later.

Book nine is The Unsuspecting Mage (The Morcyth Saga Book 1) by Brian S. Pratt. This book is 316 pages and is listed as a fantasy book. It has 573 reviews and a 3.5 star average. There are 7 books listed in this series. It is about a boy about to graduate highschool. He answers an ad looking for someone to be a mage and to learn magic. He is dropped in to the middle of a forest and has to figure out how to get to a village. This sounds great! I’ll be keeping it and I’ve sent it to my kindle to read soon.

Book ten is Whirl of the Wheel by Catherine Condie. This is a 110 page book listed under the military and spies categories on Amazon. It has 30 reviews and an average rating of 3.5 stars. It is about a group of children that travel back in time to 1940’s Britain and one of the children gets left there. It’s short and sounds interesting enough to give it a try. I’ve sent that one to my kindle to hopefully read soon as well.

While doing this I kept finding books that were no longer available on Amazon. I would click on the book to see more about it and get a Sorry we couldn’t find that page. This happened with 145 books today and those were obviously deleted as well. I assume this will happen far less frequently as I get closer to books purchased more recently.

I’m happy with my progress for today at any rate. I chose 3 books to read soon, 5 to keep and read later, and ended up deleting 147. My new total is 2966 Kindle Ebooks. Of course there is no telling what that number will be by the next time I check in.

Do you have a ridiculous number of Kindle books waiting for you to read them too? I just can’t turn down free books.

Books About Writing

The only official reading goal I gave myself for 2019 is to read 1.5 books a week or 78 books this year. Another, more casual, reading goal I gave myself was to read at least one book about writing every month of this year. I love to read about writers and writing more than I like to write myself these days. In 2018 I read 5 books about writing or writers and I was hoping to read more about my favorite subject and catch up on the stack of writing related books sitting on my bookshelf.

The books I’m hoping to read for this project this year are:

  1. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  2. The Writer’s Journey: mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
  3. Writing Fiction Step by Step by Josip Novakovich
  4. No Experience Necessary Writer’s Course by Scott Edelstein
  5. Page after Page: Discover the Confidence & Passion You Need to Start Writing & Keep Writing by Heather Sellers
  6. Why I write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction by Will Blythe
  7. Writing is my Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice by Theo Pauline Nestor
  8. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E B White
  9. Robert’s Rules of Writing by Robert Masello
  10. Wild Minds: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg
  11. Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse by Mary Oliver
  12. Self-Editing Fiction for Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  13. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
  14. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
  15. Weekly Strategies for Writers by Linda A. Lavid

There are actually 15 books for twelve months, but the last book is a book of weekly tips on writing, editing, publishing, website, and marketing areas of being a writer and I’ll probably just read one set of tips each week throughout the year. I will also either not get to two of these or double up in some months with some of the shorter ones.

Four of these are rereads. Bird by Bird, Zen in the Art of Writing, and Elements of Style I read in college and Writing Fiction Step by Step I read before that so it’s been quite a lot of years. The rest are all new reads for me. I own all of these books. I’m hoping to have a great year reading about writing and hopefully doing some writing of my own too.

 
What are your favorite books about writing?

Get to Know Ya Book Tag

I’ve seen this tag going around and though I wasn’t tagged by anyone I decided to answer the questions any way. I tried to follow the link to the original tag Youtube video, but the video was unavailable. If you have a link let me know and I’ll add it in.

There are 12 questions in this tag.

1. What’s your favorite book? This is way too hard of a question. I have a post from September with my five favorite books. You can check that out here.
2. What was your favorite book 5 years ago? She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb was my favorite book from college to a little over a year ago.
3. Favorite duology? Trilogy? Series? I can’t think of a duology I’ve read. Favorite trilogy and series would be the same answer. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
4. What was the last book you read? The last book I finished was In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder. I finished this book on January 2nd. You will see it in my next Recent Reads post.
5. What was the last poetry book you read? The last poetry book I read was Space to Dream by Stacie Eirich. I read it in October 2018.
6. What book has most influenced your life? For this I’ll have to go with On Writing by Stephen King. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book, but it’s quite a few. It inspires me to live doing what I feel driven to do, whether that is writing or something else. I always read this book and feel more inspired to write and live afterwards.
7. A book that made you ugly cry? Burned by Ellen Hopkins. At this point I don’t remember when I read this book, but I do remember crying so hard at the end of the book that my husband found me sobbing and thought a family member must have died. I haven’t read an Ellen Hopkins book since. The combination of the story lines and the book told in verse just effects me so emotionally I can’t handle them with my depression these days.
8. A book that made you laugh? Space Team by Barry J Hutchinson. I don’t actually remember much about this book at this point except that it was funny. I had to scroll back through the two years of reading data I have on Goodreads to find a book that made me laugh and there were only three on the list. I think I need to add more humor to my TBR. Suggestions?
9. A character you’d like to be for a day? I can’t think of one. I don’t read many pleasant books so anywhere I sent myself for a day would probably not be fun.
10. A book that was so good you dreamt about it? On the Island by Tracy Garvis Graves. I don’t think I’ve actually had a dream about it, but I don’t usually have dreams, at least not that I can remember. But this is a book I would like to have dreams about.
11. A book you DNF’d? The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
12. What books are you excited to read? I am excited about more books than I will ever be able to read in my lifetime. The books I thought of first for this question though are the books in The Band Series by Nicholas Eames. The first two books are called Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose. They sound fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Maybe for my birthday in February.

 

Is there a character you would like to be for a day?

 

Recent Reads- January 3, 2019

Recent Reads is where I talk about the last five books I finished reading that were not part of a specific tbr.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

This was the second book I finished for the Books Of Years Past Readathon. This is a book about Liz who dies when she is 15 years old and ends up in Elsewhere where she exists and ages backwards until she is a baby again and returns to Earth to live a new life. It was an interesting take on death and the afterlife. I enjoyed the story quite a bit. I laughed and cried reading this book. I liked seeing how Liz came to realize what the important things to her were and which things were not important, like revenge. She was a strong character even once she was a baby again and her memories were largely erased. I gave this book ✰4✰

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

I got this book for Christmas in 2017. I finished reading it five days before Christmas in 2018. I’m not sure why I took so long to finish it up. I gave it ✰5✰ as I always do. It’s one of my favorite books. I love Stephen King, though since becoming a parent I can’t take his horror any more, I get nightmares. I always finish this book feeling ready to read a lot and write a lot as he advises. This book is my number one choice in terms of an inspirational source for writers. I love to hear about his start and his life becoming and thriving as a writer. I find it hard to stop myself from underlining nearly everything because I love so many parts of this book. I love to hear how he thinks writing should be fun. How he writes because he has to and wants to, never for a paycheck. His love of writing is so obvious in every passage and still all of his advice is so practical. I would recommend this book to any writer or any reader. I’ll go back to this book again and again for the rest of my days, as I have the past almost two decades already.

 

On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

This was a gift I received on Christmas morning from Santa. I chose it first from my pile of Christmas gifts and began it Christmas night after the kid was in bed. I finished it the next morning. I just could not put this book down. The chapters were short and the story was captivating. I love a survival story, but the romance thrown in that was slightly taboo made the story unputdownable. I gave this book ✰5✰. It’s a story of a 30 year old English teacher going away to tutor a 16 year old boy that is remission from his cancer. Their plane crashes and they end up on a deserted island. They have to figure out how to collect water, eat, survive. What surprised me most about this book was how much of the story takes place after they are rescued, only half way through the book, and what the aftermath of being on the island for so long did their world and their lives together. Amazing! I’m ready to read anything else by this author

Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary

This book was a read aloud with my kindergartner. I gave it ✰3✰ and my almost four year old gave it ✰5✰. This is a story about Maggie, a third grader that doesn’t want to learn to write in cursive. She decides to learn when she can’t snoop on the letters her teachers are writing. The story was cute, but I had trouble with some of the interactions between Maggie and the adults in her life. I remember enjoying it as a child and my daughter loved it too, so maybe it’s just that I’m not the target audience any more. It was still an enjoyable read.

The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale

I didn’t realize when we started this book how short it really was. It has 90 pages, but a lot of that is pictures. We finished in less than an hour. My daughter also sat down and read the full chapter book on own that same morning. And both my daughter and I absolutely loved it! Princess Magnolia is a proper princess that wears frilly dresses and white gloves, but when her monster alarm goes off she has to sneak away as the Princess in Black to use her ninja skills and fight a monster that is sneaking out of his world to eat the goats. This book was so fun and made us both laugh a lot. We ordered the rest of the series from the library as soon as we finished this one and my daughter added them to her birthday wish list. A definite ✰5✰ from both of us.

 

What have you read recently?

January 2018 Haul Revisit

In my haul revisits I look at the books acquired a year previous and see how many I read, unhauled, or didn’t touch.

In January 2018 I bought or received 10 books:

  1. The Gutsy Girl Handbook by Kate White
  2. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
  3. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
  4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  5. Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
  6. Writing Fiction Step by Step by Josip Novakovich
  7. No Experience Necessary Writer’s Course by Scott Edelstein
  8. How I came to be a writer by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  9. Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter
  10. A Dark Inheritance by Chris d’Lacey

Of those I have read four

The Chemist ✰4✰

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too ✰4✰

How I Came to be a Writer ✰4✰

Spilling Ink ✰5✰

I haven’t unhauled any or started any of the others yet.

This month I will plan to read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read this book years ago and am ready for a reread of it. It is also on my long term reading projects to read or reread all of Anne Lamott’s books.