I recently wrote about my reading struggles (HERE). I’ve been in a bit of a slump and haven’t been that excited about reading. But, it’s a new month and I’m planning to actually schedule reading into my day to see if that helps me work in more reading.
I read 8 books last month, 4 of them being children’s books. I listened to my first audiobook and am hoping to do more of that. One book was written by a Cedar Rapids native for The Gazette and I am excited to share that book with you this month.
I’m still being very careful about the books I chose to accept. I’m in the gift giving season and have bought some books to give as Christmas gifts. I’m hoping to buy more! Books make the best gifts!
I’m only going to read books that I am interested in. If it isn’t working for me, I’m going to put it aside and move on to something else. I can’t read every book that comes my way, but I can at least share them with you here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can.
Writing It Is Only the Beginning
There has truly never been a better time to be an author. For the first time, authors have direct access to the public via the Internet and can create a community eagerly awaiting their book. But where do new authors start? How do they sort through the dizzying range of online options? Where should they spend their time online and what should they be doing?
Enter Fauzia Burke, a digital book marketing pioneer and friend of overwhelmed writers everywhere. She takes authors step-by-step through the process of identifying their unique personal brand, defining their audience, clarifying their aspirations and goals, and setting priorities. She offers advice on designing a successful website, building a mailing list of superfans, blogging, creating an engagement strategy for social media, and more. By following Burke’s expert advice, authors can conquer the Internet and still get their next manuscript in on time.
ONE TO FIVE is cooking for real life: master one basic recipe and learn to spin it into five quick, affordable, and crowd-pleasing dishes. Discover how Ryan’s killer marinade, a simple rotisserie chicken, or an easy slow-cooker roast can turn into soul-satisfying meals like carnitas, stuffed egg rolls, sliders, a Vietnamese salad, and a hearty stew.
From taco night to breakfast as dinner, this book is all about flexibility as Ryan invites home cooks to think creatively about cooking while using supermarket staples. He offers ingenious strategies, tricks, and guidance on stocking the freezer and pantry so that great-tasting meals are always ready at the drop of a hat.
ONE TO FIVE makes cooking so simple that readers can eat a delicious home-cooked meal without the hassle – and have fun while making it.
But soon she finds that nothing is as it seems. By the time Nina realizes that all too often the business of international adoption is not a humanitarian enterprise, she’s in too deep. Will she be able to navigate a world of exploitation and political corruption in order to help the children? Or should she return to the much simpler world of academia and leave the orphans behind?
WAKE IN WINTER is a captivating story of one woman’s choice in the face of a shattering discovery.
This book came up as a daily Kindle deal and I had to snag it as an Iowa farm girl. My dad grew up on a dairy farm in NE Iowa and I’m sure he will be able to relate to a lot of the stories she shares.
After getting to know Kelly Harms and reading her newest book, THE MATCHMAKERS OF MINNOW BAY, I wanted to read her debut novel. On a recent trip to Half-Price, I used some book credit and birthday coupon to get this book. To see my interview with Kelly and read my review of her newest book, click HERE.
This year’s lucky winner of a brand-new dream home: Janine Brown of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
For heartbroken Janine “Janey” Brown, this announcement has the hallmarks of one of her Aunt Midge’s harebrained plans to lure her from her tiny kitchen, where she’s been submerging her grief in the pursuit of the perfect pot-au-feu. Meanwhile, across town, Janine “Nean” Brown couldn’t be more thrilled. She just knows that this house is her destiny, the chance to escape the latest in her revolving door of crappy jobs and drunken boyfriends.
When both Janine Browns descend on Christmas Cove, Maine, to claim the prize they both think is theirs, however, they discover that more than just a dream home awaits them at the water’s edge. Filled with wit and charm, THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE is Kelly Harms’s enchanting and heartfelt debut–a testament to the many ways love finds us, the power of a home-cooked meal, and just what it means to be lucky.
I purchased this book for my Secret Pal at church. Who doesn’t love a good Debbie Macomber Christmas story?!?!
To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.
We are huge fans of Chip and Joanna at our house and was interested in reading their story.
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.
THE MAGNOLIA STORY is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
Sunshine Griffith can communicate with ghosts. Even more amazing, she recently discovered—with the help of her would-be boyfriend, Nolan—that she’s a luiseach, one of an ancient race of creatures who have lived among humans for centuries, protecting them from dark spirits and helping them move on to the afterlife. Now, Sunshine’s powers are awakening and she feels spirits everywhere—intense and sometimes overwhelming.
Eager to get her supernatural abilities under control, Sunshine agrees to begin training with her mentor, her estranged father Aidan. He takes her to an abandoned compound deep in the Mexican jungle. But what she learns there about her powers and her family history, turns out to be more terrifying than Sunshine could have imagined. Can anything—Aidan’s experiments, her friendship with another luiseach named Lucio, even Nolan’s research—prepare Sunshine to face the frightening woman who haunts her dreams, and to finally learn the truth about the rift that threatens the future of the luiseach and all of the humankind?
The stakes grow ever higher in this sequel to The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, revealing that Sunshine has to protect more than her own friends and family—she may be the key to saving the entire human race.
Meet the adorable and resilient baby lamb Finn in this true story about friendship and courage — a follow-up to the bestselling picture book phenomenon THE SHEEPOVER!
Newborn lamb Finn, raised inside the farmhouse, isn’t as big and strong as the other animals on the farm. He can’t help but be frightened as he ventures outside and encounters unfamiliar sights, sounds, and creatures. With the help of Farmer John and his animal friends, Little Finn learns to be brave and mighty.
This charming story by John and Jennifer Churchman, featuring real animals on their bustling Vermont farm (including Sweet Pea from THE SHEEPOVER!), celebrates the magic of friendship and finding the courage within.
If you grew up in the 80’s like I did, then there is no doubt you were a fan of Kevin Bacon in “Footloose”. It is still one of my favorite movies today. So, when I saw there was a book for kids, I had to get it. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it for myself or pass it on as a gift, but it is awesome. It would make a great storytime book for a preschool class!
Have a rockin’ time introducing children to Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins himself. Features a bonus CD with the new children’s “Footloose,” performed by Kenny Loggins.
Time to cut loose! Have a rockin’ time introducing children to the fun of Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins. As a zookeeper named Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party, this new original story from Loggins is sure to get your feet moving. Little ones will love the cast of characters, including the rockin’ chimp Louise (“Geez, Louise”), Mister DJ Elephant, the lemur Marie (“Oo Wee, Marie”), Milo the wombat, Luke the funkiest cat in the zoo, and so many more rocking, bopping, boogying, tangoing, shaking, rattling and rolling animals!
To add to the fun, the book includes a CD with new recordings by Kenny Loggins. Kids and parents can sing along to the classic hit with new lyrics, as well as a three-song medley families will love.
We loved reading Clifford books when the kids were little. They were big fans of the show and even met him once at a library storytime. Kohls Cares for Kids offers books for $5 and this is one of their selections. I snagged it to send off to my niece when she starts kindergarten.
Emily Elizabeth is starting Kindergarten and she’s a little nervous. Good thing that the teacher sent a note home that says each child can bring something from home to make the transition a little easier. But the teacher didn’t bet on a child bringing something–or someone–as big as Clifford!
THE BIG BOOK OF BEDTIME STORIES
|Goodies from the Literary Box by Quarterly|
This book has been getting high praise since it’s debut and I was thrilled to get it in my Literary Box. I had almost purchased it at Half-Price books but chose the Kelly Harms book above. I’m anxious to read it.
What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful to women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
This book also came in the Literary Box from Quarterly. I have never read a Toni Morrison book, but have heard amazing things about them.
This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.
Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.
This book was given to me by my neighbor. Her brother, Larry Dykstra wrote this book about their father’s time in WWII. I previously reviewed Dykstra’s book MUSICAL HUGS, HERE. This book isn’t available through Amazon, but I still wanted to share it with you. I love reading this time period and knowing that the stories are true will make it even more interesting.