Monday, January 29, 2018

Book Review: Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving By Julia Samuel

Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving

By: Julia Samuel

Published: January 16, 2018

Publisher: Scribner


Julia Samuel is a bereavement expert in the United Kingdom. She has spent 25 years working as a grief counselor. She was also a dear friend of Princess Diana and is young Prince George's Godmother. Because death is still such a taboo subject and the grief process is deeply misunderstood, Samuel wrote this book to share stories of those who have suffered great loss and came through it.

In her book, she shares stories of clients who lost parents, spouses, children, siblings, and those who were faced with their own looming death. These stories are like mini vignettes of their counseling sessions, covering the highs and lows of the grief process. Many of her clients suffered from deep depression, alcoholism, fear, and anger. All of these are common emotions and actions when dealing with a loss. Some of the anger that was felt wasn't so much from the death, but how others handled the death. One woman spoke of her deep anger and hurt over a close co-worker who stopped speaking to her after her mother's death. Her friend said a simple "Sorry for your loss" and then never spoke to her again. This loss of a close friend along with her mother hurt her greatly. We don't know why the friend stopped speaking to the bereaved friend, but most likely, it was that she didn't know what to say or do, so it is easier to avoid that to possibly say the wrong thing.

I've read many books on grief and dealing with death and while this one followed similar stories of those left behind to suffer, I felt a bit detached from the personal stories. I can't put my finger on why, but maybe they were written a bit too clinical, being told from the counselor's perspective and not the client. What I appreciated most was the end of the book that dealt with the coping strategies both for the bereaved and for the friends and family of those grieving. After one of my close friends died suddenly this summer, a number of people have asked me how to handle it, knowing that I used to work in Hospice. I found her suggestions to be good reminders for myself when seeing those who are grieving as well as handling my own moments when I remember my friend. Samuel offers important suggestions for those suffering and for others who want to continue to be a friend or support the family member in their home. Whether you are suffering the loss of a parent to old age, a sibling to an accident, or a spouse to a heart attack, you are never prepared for the deep emotions and loss. Having family and friends there for you is critical to surviving in those weeks, months, and years after the death.

I think if you are grieving or know someone close to you who are grieving, this book could be helpful, especially the practical steps and advice at the end of the book. Samuel is obviously a leader in grief counseling and has years of research and experience to back up her advice.

Julia Samuel - source
Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist specializing in grief, who has spent the last twenty-five years working with bereaved families, both in private practice and with England's National Health Service at St. Mary's Paddington, where she pioneered the role of maternity and pediatric counselor. She is founder patron of the charity Child Bereavement UK, where she continues to play a central role. GRIEF WORKS is her first book. For more, check out her website, HERE.

To purchase a copy of GRIEF WORKS, click the photo below:

Check out these other book reviews related to grief:




Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of the this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Children's Book Review: Just Joking Jumbo from National Geographic Kids

1,000 Giant Jokes and 1,000 Funny Photos Add up to Big Laughs

Published: October 17, 2017

Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books


A thousand jokes may seem like a lot of jokes, but this book is sure to keep your kids interested for a long time and keep them supplied with endless jokes and stories. I love giving books for Valentine's Day and I think this is a great book to give. It would also make for fun family dinner-time entertainment.

Throughout the ten chapters, you'll find jokes about Space, History, Food, Nature, and Athletics to name a few. There are the typical question/answer types of jokes like "Why did the carpenter yell when he hit the nail? It was his thumbnail. HA! HA! There are Knock Knock jokes, Knock Knock. Who's there? Goose. Goose who? I don't need to guess. I already know who you are. There are also funny lists like Bad Gifts to Give a Snake for Its Birthday. Then there are also tongue twisters and funny facts like Some fish, like herring, break wind to communicate with each other. Find a kid that wouldn't find THAT funny!

This book is jam-packed with hilariousness that all kids will love. There are amazing photos and facts sprinkled in so kids won't even realize they are also learning something while having fun. Our boys loved joke books and I could have seen this book as our "car book" perfect for car rides and keeping each other entertained. I have a feeling this will be a popular book to keep in my subbing book bag, but it isn't one I will want to use if I want to keep the kids quietly reading! Any kid won't be able to keep the jokes and silliness to themselves!

To purchase a copy of JUST JOKING JUMBO, click the photo below:

In fact, there is a whole series of JUST JOKING books that you can find, HERE.

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for sending this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: Granted By Angela Correll

May Hollow Trilogy #3

By: Angela Correll

Published: November 22, 2017

Publisher: Koehler Books

Fiction/Women's Fiction/Christian Fiction

I first became familiar with Angela Correll's writing back in 2013 with her first book in this May Hollow series, GROUNDED. In that story, we met Annie, a flight attendant who went back to Kentucky after losing her job due to an airline buyout and a bad breakup. Annie returns to Kentucky to take care of her grandmother who needs help after surgery. The story continues in the second addition to the series, GUARDED. At this point, Annie has begun a new life in Kentucky and finds a stack of letters in the old farmhouse that leads her on a new adventure she never would have expected.

In GRANTED, readers pick up right where GUARDED left off with Annie preparing for her wedding to her childhood friend, Jake. Her grandma, Beulah, is doing well and Annie and Jake are preparing to move into the old farmhouse after renovations are complete. Things get a bit stressful when Annie's new job isn't what she imagined and Beulah's friend has a heart attack. Wedding plans seem to be a low priority with everything going on until Jake has a great idea and Annie's Italian family has the perfect setting for a wedding. 

Even though this book stands alone and gives you enough background information from the previous books, I think readers would benefit from reading the whole series. Correll takes great care in developing her characters in this small community in Kentucky so that the readers feel a part of the community as well. Correll feels strongly about her faith and makes that a part of all her novels. Correll also has a passion for sustainable farming and especially in Granted, it becomes a new focus for Annie and Jake.  

This addition to the May Hollow series is just as delightful as the previous ones. You are more invested in the characters in GRANTED and care when they are hurting and struggling. When Annie and Jake finally get married, you feel as proud and happy as Beulah and the other family members attending. Correll's addition of Annie's father adds a story of forgiveness that can be inspiring to those who have been hurt or disappointed by someone they love.

If you need a feel-good story that is realistic, yet inspiring, check out the May Hollow series of books. I'm a fan of Correll's writing but, she isn't just a fantastic author. Correll is the owner of several businesses. Someday, I'm hoping to stop by Stanford, Kentucky to visit her shop, cafe, and bed and breakfast. To see all of her projects, be sure to visit her website, HERE.

Angela Correll 

Angela Correll lives on a farm in Central Kentucky with her husband, Jess. Her novels are Amazon bestsellers and have been adapted to the stage for sold-out audiences at the Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky's oldest outdoor theater. She loves canning vegetables from her garden, exploring the Tuscan countryside, and spending time with her family.

To purchase all the books in May Hollow Trilogy, click the photos below:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase any book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Children's Book Review: Oh Susannah Series By Carole P. Roman


By: Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova

Published: April 3, 2017

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


The first in the OH SUSANNAH series introduces readers to Susannah, a third grader who needs some help dealing with things she has been putting off. This chapter book shares how Susannah becomes overwhelmed with math homework, an uneaten banana, a sleepover invitation, and a test. By shoving them all in her bag, she tries to ignore them until her bag gets too heavy and "bursts". She thinks her parents are too busy to talk to about her fears until they finally come out in a nightmare.

I think this story is realistic for elementary readers who can easily feel overwhelmed with homework and anxieties they may be having about friendships, homework, and things they are afraid of. Instead of talking to someone, these fears keep building up over time until they eventually explode. This story teaches a lesson on talking about your fears and making sure you handle things as they happen and not letting them build up over time.


By: Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova

Published: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Chelshire, Inc


The next book in the series picks up right where Susannah left off in the previous story. Susannah has learned how to handle things that overwhelm her, but she still hasn't told her parents about being afraid of the sleepover at Lola's house. Lola lives in a big, older home that makes weird noises and has dark rooms. Lola's brother also told Susannah that a ghost lives there and walks around carrying heavy chains. So, Susannah is afraid to go to Lola's and stay overnight. Rather than talking about her fears, she lets them run wild in her mind. Finally, the day of the sleepover has arrived and she doesn't want to let her friend down, but she is too scared to go.

Again, Susannah has to learn to talk about her fears with her parents and see that what she thinks is scary really is just her mind playing tricks on her. When she finally goes to the sleepover, she gets the biggest surprise of all.

This series by Roman includes short chapters that can be read by parents to young-elementary-aged children or alone by upper-elementary-aged children. I think the fears and anxieties that Susannah is feeling are realistic for children today. Parents and children often have extremely busy lives and once a couple assignments build up, kids can be afraid to let parents know they are feeling overwhelmed. Kids see how busy their parents are and don't want to bother them. Roman has created a series that is relatable to children with fun stories that offer lessons on how to handle concerns many kids face.

Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children's books. She writes both fiction and non-fiction for a wide range of ages. Whether it's pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children.  She has co-authored a self-help book for beginning authors. OH SUSANNAH is her first Early Reader Chapter book series. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren. To see all my reviews of Roman's books, click HERE. You can also visit Roman's website, HERE.

To purchase a copy of either OH SUSANNAH book, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for sending a these books for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the books through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thirteen Books I Can't Stop Talking About from 2017

I've had a hard time coming up with my favorite books from 2017. I read some really great books in 2017. As always, it's hard to narrow it down to just a small number, especially when there are so many genres, writing styles, and great authors. But, there are always books that stand out, stay with you, or that you HAVE to talk about. So, even though it is a bit late in the month, I have finally come up with a list of favorites to share with you.

Without further ado, my favorite books of 2017 are listed below. Not all of these were published in 2017, but instead, ones that I can't stop thinking or talking about with other book lovers.

Favorite Book Published in 2017

BEAR TOWN by Fredrik Backman

I wrote about it HERE. Hands down, my favorite read from 2017. I can not wait for the sequel, US AGAINST YOU to come out this summer. I now want to read all of Backman's books and hope to do so this year!

Favorite Historical Fiction


I wrote about this book, HERE. This was a difficult choice, but I really loved it and found it to be a unique story about WWII that I had never heard about. The two women in this story stuck with me for a very long time.

Favorite Non-Fiction


I wrote about this book, HERE. Even though this wasn't published in 2017, I STILL can't stop thinking about it. Sue Klebold is no different from me or my other mom friends. The way the media portrayed the shootings at Columbine and what this mother went through in the day, weeks, months, and years after broke my heart and made me rethink my own parenting, my own view of the media, and made me look at my close circle of friends differently. I truly believe this is a MUST READ.

Favorite Children's Book


I wrote about this book, HERE. This sweet story of friendship will brighten anyone's day. I love the muted color scheme, the illustrations, and most of all, the story between Duck and Hippo. They are two unlikely friends who stop at nothing to help each other and brighten each other's days. This is a series and I also reviewed the second book, HERE.

Favorite Middle-Grade/YA Book

I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

I wrote about this book, HERE. This also wasn't published in 2017, but I read about it and knew I had to read it. It was such an inspiring true story and I am still talking and thinking about it. One simple act of generosity changed the lives of two people in such a powerful way.

Honorable Mentions


I wrote about this book HERE.  One book in a series that shares important safety information in a way that isn't scary or full of sadness.


I wrote about this book, HERE. I am a sucker for these types of books. I loved the quotes and then ways to live by those quotes. This book is perfect for classrooms or dinner table discussions.

A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

I wrote about this book, HERE. I know I already mentioned a Fredrik Backman book, but I read BEAR TOWN first and then knew I HAD to read A MAN CALLED OVE because I was so enamored with Backman's writing. I ended up listening to A MAN CALLED OVE on audio and was not disappointed. I truly loved this story of a cranky, sad, lonely man who decides to kill himself. Fortunately, too many things keep happening to stop him from going through with it. I highly recommend this book!


I wrote about this book, HERE. This fascinating story of WWII set in Italy was also a new look at that travesties that happened during the war. The fact that is was based on a real person and what really happened to him made it all the more heart-breaking. It's a story I won't forget. The rights have been released for this to be made into a movie. I hope it happens soon.

OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck

I wrote about this book, HERE. This was a re-read for me, but it hit me differently this time through. I taught this to freshman and I think when you are reading it slowly and then having regular discussions about what friendship means and what George and Lennie were going through, the story hits you differently. It's a classic and one I would recommend again and again. The movie version is also very well done.

SISTERS FIRST by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush

I wrote about this book, HERE. I listened to it on audio and then bought the hardcover for our friends that have twin daughters. I really enjoyed listening to the stories of the girls growing up as well as how their lives are different today.

OPTION B by Sheryl Sandberg

I wrote about this book, HERE. This was another audio and even though it deals with the unexpected death of the author's husband, I still found it to be hopeful, inspiring, and thought-provoking.


I wrote about this book, HERE. Another audiobook and again, another difficult topic. The author is diagnosed with breast cancer, at the same time as her mom, and does not survive even when in the beginning they told her this was "nothing". But, what stood out to me was the beautiful prose and uplifting moments Riggs shared. When she wrote about her children and the legacy she wanted for them, I was overcome with emotion. I just recently found out that Riggs spouse is now in a relationship with the spouse of the author of WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR (another really great read from this year). This news made me so happy for them.

My Thoughts on My Year of Reading

This list doesn't mean I didn't like the rest of the 100+ books I read last year. There wasn't a single book I didn't like. There was only one book I did not finish and that was because my library digital loan ran out and I am back on the waiting list to continue reading it. I didn't give a single book less than three stars. So, to me, that's a good reading year!

I found it interesting that I read more children's books (60%) than adult books (40%). But, I can read children's/middle grade/YA books a lot quicker and I was running a regular review of those books every week which forced me to read them. I read more female authors (70%) than male authors (30%) which actually surprised me. I had no idea the ratio was that far apart.  I'm not surprised that I read more non-fiction (55%) than fiction (45%). I have been loving all the non-fiction books lately. I have one going all the time.

I'm so glad I took a leap of faith (okay, maybe not a leap, but I stepped out of my box) and tried audiobooks. I am in LOVE! The first thing I do when I find a non-fiction book I want to read is look for the audio version. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having an audiobook going all the time. I don't even listen to the radio anymore (sorry local broadcasters) because I always want to listen to my book. I listen while getting ready in the morning, while doing dishes, and while driving. I listened to 14 books on audio this year and I expect that number to grow next year. I still prefer non-fiction on audio, but I am getting better about listing to fiction on audio as well.

If you can think of a fabulous book I should listen to on audio or maybe a book from 2017 that I missed, be sure to let me know in the comments. What was YOUR favorite book from 2017?

If you click on the links above, they may be an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase the book from the link I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads - January Edition

I'm trying to read more books that I choose for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I've been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam or have been on my to-read list for a long time so they don't really need a full review. But, I'd still like to give them some space here on the blog.

I'll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly Quick Lit link up. Be sure to head over to see others link up their Quick Lit posts. 

I'm finally back into a reading groove and I've got SO MANY books that I can't wait to dig into. I've got some full reviews coming up soon and below, I'm sharing some mini-reviews from books I read in the last month. 

Dealing with Your House's Dirty Little Secrets
By: Dana K. White
Published: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: eBook

I've been a fan of Dana's blog and podcast for a while. Her blog A SLOB COMES CLEAN is funny yet she tells it like it is. She doesn't have the perfect house or the perfect life. Nor does she make everything look like the perfect Pinterest or Instagram picture. She is just like you and me, trying to stay ahead of the mess and maybe, be able to have people over without hiding all the mess in a closet at the last minute. 

Her book talks you through the basic steps of handling the daily care and upkeep of your home, starting with doing the dishes...every day. Waking up with no dishes on the counter or a dishwasher of clean dishes makes a huge difference. Her book is hilarious yet spot on. "Methods don't clean your house. You have to clean your house." She also tackles the clutter and helps you get rid of all the stuff that makes cleaning your home harder. The end of the book offers a 28 Day step-by-step process for tackling your mess. 

It's practical, it's funny, and it's straightforward. A good read and motivator for getting stuff done.  

How to Build a Grace-Filled Life, Life-Giving Morning Routine
By: Kat Lee
Published: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Audiobook

I remember several years ago, finding Kat Lee's blog and following her simple action plan for handling a morning routine. My life was much different then. I was a stay-at-home mom and had young children. Then I saw this book recommended by Sheila at The Deliberate Reader and it piqued my interest. I didn't realize the author was the same person until I went to her website. 

Lee approaches her morning with a three-minute process of God - Plan - Move. Obviously, this approach will eventually take more than 3 minutes, but it starts with building a habit of these three things, every morning. 

Lee reads her own audiobook and I found her voice calming and reassuring during my morning listens. I wish I had a physical copy of the book but her website has several printables and tips that are from the book. I haven't necessarily put her whole plan into place, but I have started every morning with a glass of water since I listened to her book. It's a good read if you are looking to create a new structure or routine for your morning. 

By: Fredrik Backman
Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover

A quick read (under an hour) to remind you that every life is a gift. Backman wrote this in one evening while reflecting on his own life and family. Since it is set on Christmas Eve, it felt like a great choice to read during the Christmas season. 

It's a novella and is read quite quickly, but it packs a powerful punch to the gut. A young girl is suffering on a hospital floor from cancer. A man has survived a car crash. Can one life be exchanged for another? The woman in the grey sweater with the file folder says no....or can it? Is one life more valuable than another? Can you redeem your life choices by saving another? 

It was a thought-provoking read, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing the hardcover version unless you are adding it to your Backman collection. It wasn't worth the $12 or maybe not the $4.99 Kindle either. I think it is more a $1.99 Kindle Deal. 

By: Paulo Coelho
Published: December 8, 2017
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audiobook

This was a free download from Audible. I like choosing books to read around the Christmas season that involve a Christmas story. Unfortunately, the only enjoyable story from this collection was Zip Code 12345. It was the type of story I was hoping to hear during the Christmas season. This story involved a group of employees at GE that give of themselves to make sure they bring the spirit of Christmas to children all over the world. The rest of the stories, I lost interest pretty quickly. 

This post includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase from the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: Just Between Us By Rebecca Drake

A Novel

By: Rebecca Drake

Published: January 9, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin's Press


I think what makes suspense novels such a thrilling read is when you can picture yourself in the story. Four suburban moms who meet every morning and afternoon at the bus stop become quick friends. Even though their backgrounds are a bit different, they soon become dependent on the friendship and support that each one offers. Julie, a high-profile realtor, and Sarah become friends first. Then Alison moves in. Even though she keeps her past a secret, she soon becomes friends with Julie and Sarah but always feels like the third wheel. Then Heather, a former model and wife of a plastic surgeon, seems like the perfect addition to their group. Soon their lives become intertwined and three of the friends begin to suspect that one of their friends is being abused by her husband. When they finally confront her, the ripple effects of that revelation result in a murder and a downward spiral that none of them would have expected. 

Some of my closest friends are moms that I met because our children have been going to school together since preschool. While reading this book, I could picture myself being wrapped up in the care and concern of a friend being abused. But, would I have gone to the lengths that these women did to protect her? I can't say, but it did make for a thrilling page-turner. 

The novel is told from the perspective of each of the women. In each chapter one woman shares just enough of their past, as well as their regrets regarding the decision they all made, to keep the reader guessing as to what that horrifying choice was that forever changed their lives. I appreciated that the top of each page-spread had the character's name since especially in the beginning, it was tricky to keep all the women straight. Even though parts of the plot are predictable, the author adds in just enough surprises and twists to keep the reader interested. Although some of the particulars made have felt a bit far-fetched and I had to keep reminding myself to overlook the details, I still became enthralled with the story. Once the twist is revealed, I did find some of the material a bit graphic, but I easily skimmed the details and moved on to the next chapter as I got the gist of what happened. 

Fans of suspense novels and a bit of the unreliable narrator will be intrigued by the secrets each of the characters are hiding from their friends. Once doubt creeps into the minds of the women, the fear of what's to come grows among the pages. I believe that most of us feel like we would never be able to commit such a horrific crime, but that line that separates us from those who have committed a crime becomes blurred very quickly. You really have no idea what you would do if you were thrown into a situation of protecting your best friend. 

Drake's fast-paced novel shares the lengths that women would go to protect their friends and their families, how secrets can creep into the psyche and affect the ways we interact with others, and the shame we feel when everything begins to fall apart. 

Rebecca Drake - source

Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.

To purchase a copy of JUST BETWEEN US, click the photo below:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Monday, January 15, 2018

My Bout of Books 21 Wrap Up

Bout of Books

I participated all last week in the Bout of Books 21 Reading Challenge. It's a low-pressure way to jump-start your reading and have fun with other readers at the same time.

There were twitter chats and daily challenges and LOTS of encouragement to keep reading. Since I can't shut off the rest of the world and my responsibilities, I still had to do other things this week. But, I really tried to focus my spare moments on reading. Here is how my week turned out.

These are the books I had decided to focus on during the Bout of Books 21 week. You can see the full list, HERE. They were all books I wanted to read so I thought that would help push me to keep reading. 

Day 1 - January 8, 2018

The challenge today was to describe yourself #insixwords. 

I had a hard time choosing just 6 words because I am so much more than these 6 words. But this is what I shared anyway.

There was also a Twitter Chat that evening that was a lot of fun. 

Minutes listened: 0

Day 2 - January 9, 2018

The challenge today was to post your reading goals.

My reading goal this year is 100 books. Last year I read 120 (including children's books) so this should be manageable. It is basically one regular book and one children's book a week if you figure it that way...with 2 weeks off. I will also be participating in the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge.  I should have goals related to reading my own books from my own shelves, reading books from my Kindle and then deleting them, getting reviews done on time, etc. But, that is pretty much just setting myself up for failure. LOL!

Pages read: 15 - from THIS IS HOW IS ALWAYS IS...ugh....I was gone all day and then at a basketball game all evening
Minutes listened: 90 minutes - driving in the car throughout the day listening to FIRST WOMEN

Day 3 - January 10, 2018

The challenge today was to make a book rainbow. I chose to make two book rainbows.

The on of the left is from random to read books off my shelves. The other is from my collection of The Reader's Digest Best Loved Books for Young Reader's Collection.

Pages read: 120 page in JUST BETWEEN US
Minutes listened: 35 minutes on audio of FIRST WOMEN

Day 4 - January 11, 2018

The challenge today was all about favorites. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to participate today.

It was a busy day. I had a lunch date with my husband and our nephew and we had a little winter storm blow through and we celebrated our daughters 13th birthday. So, not as much reading as I would have liked.

Pages read: 10 pages in THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS until I fell asleep
Minutes listened: 35 minutes on audio of FIRST WOMEN

Day 5 - January 12, 2018

The challenge today was a Newspaper Headline. I didn't have a chance to get something done for this one.

Pages read: Zero - too many things going on today and basketball in the evening. I was too tired when I went to bed.
Minutes listened: 2 hours on audio of  FIRST WOMEN- I had appointments and errands to run so I listened while driving.

Day 6 - January 13, 2018

The Challenge today was Book Spine Poetry.

I've never been very good at poetry, reading or writing it. But, I thought this left a lot to the imagination.

Fingerprints of you
Words get in the way
Promise not to tell

It gave me the image of an abused woman. Probably because I'm dealing with that subject in the book I'm reading, but the woman is thinking of fingerprints that he left behind...maybe on her neck. His words get in the way - his apologies his excuses - of her leaving him. He constantly is asking her to promise not to tell anyone. 

There was also a twitter chat, but I wasn't able to participate.

Pages read: 179 pages read and finished JUST BETWEEN US.
Minutes listened: 30 minutes on audio of FIRST WOMEN while getting ready to head to more basketball.

Day 7 - January 14, 2018

Today's challenge was to write a book review for a book you finished this week.  I didn't have a chance to do that today as we were at my parent's house all day for a family gathering. I'll be posting two reviews this week.

Pages read: 32 pages in THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS
Minutes listened: 30 minutes on audio of FIRST WOMEN while getting ready to head to my parent's house.

So, I didn't reach my goal of finishing 6 books and instead only finished one book, JUST BETWEEN US. But, I am very close to being finished with my audiobook and can focus on the others this week hopefully. I have some review books looming so we will have to see how the week plays out.

I just really appreciate these read-a-thons because it forces me to THINK about reading during any spare moment. It rekindles a love for reading. It gets me talking about books on social media. It introduces me to other readers, writers, bloggers, and book lovers out there as well. And, the best part is it always introduces me to new books I should read.

Thanks to the Bout of Books crew for hosting and if this sounds fun to you, be sure to check out Bout of Books 22 that begins on May 14. That is graduation week for our son, so I KNOW I won't be able to participate in that one. But, if you have a chance, I would highly recommend it.

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