Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Audiobook Challenge

Thanks to the Caffeinated Reviewer and Hot Listens for hosing this challenge.  I LOVE Audiobooks. They have enhanced my reading experience for so many books.    This year I listened to 12 Audiobooks and I hope to complete at least 15 in 2018.  That will put me at the Stenographer or Socially Awkward Level.  I listen to them in the car on the way to work, but with my daughter now able to understand what is being said (she turns 3 in 2018) I have less time without her in the car to listen!

My two favorite Audiobooks from 2017 are:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

2018 Challenge Details

  • Runs January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2018 than you did in 2017.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
  • Updates plus a giveaway will be posted twice during the year. First update in June 30, 2018 and last update in December 15, 2018.


  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Thanks to Doing Dewey for hosting the 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

I like that this challenge has make your own rules. In 2017 I read 6 non fiction books.  My goal for 2018 is to read 9 non fiction books. I want to vary my reading to fewer celebrity memoirs and more nonfiction that will help me learn or understand something unfamiliar. 

Books I own and plan to read in 2018:

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah   (Audiobook)

Forty Autumns by Nina Wilner  (Thanks to my nonfiction November book swap partner!)

My Favorite- Sister's First (5 stars and no politics!)
Least Favorite- Love Warrior (2 stars)

I can't wait to see what others are reading and to join in the quarterly group reads!  Thanks again to Doing Dewey for hosting!

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 Book Bingo

Book Bingo 2018

Thanks to The Grand World of Books for creating this great bingo board and hosting the challenge this year.  

I am joining in!  I don't think that I will get a complete blackout, but I hope to read as many of these categories as possible!  I don't typically watch You Tube for book ideas, but maybe I will have to branch out and try something new!  I actually do know the oldest book on my TBR list. It was the first Kindle Book I ever got many years ago. (On my computer, since I didn't even have an e-reader at the time!  I literally didn't know how to read it!)

 Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline!  I WILL read it in 2018.  

I'm excited and I will keep you updated!  Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Paris Secret

The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

This book had everything I enjoy in a book, strong female character, art, descriptions of life in Europe, a love interest, and a mystery. I couldn't wait to read this book each evening!! I felt connected to Flora's character and was jealous of all her travels around France.  The way she described herself at the auctions and the professionalism she portrayed added to her being a respected female.  The information and her  knowledge about art was an added bonus.  There was a bit of romance, but it was PG(ish) and appropriate to the story. This was a Goodreads giveaway that I won and am so glad I found this book! It really was the perfect match for me! 5 Stars!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to In 2018

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to In 2018 

Thanks to Broke and Bookish for hosting TTT again this week!

This year I am participating in the TBR challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader and am looking forward to reading those 10 books that have been on my TBR shelf for awhile (at least a year!). I am happy to say I have already read some books on my 2018 Winter TBR. I highly recommend By The Book by Julia Sonnenborn and I am currently LOVING The Seven Wives of Evelyn Hugo (an Audiobook) as well as The Address. 


Other books I am looking forward to reading in 2018 include............

Born a Crime by  Trevor Noah  - I saw so many great recommendations for this book during Non Fiction November that I already have it on Audible and can't wait to read it.

  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng  I have had this on my TBR list forever. I should have read it by now, but its a bookclub pick for February so I will have it done!

  Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton  I am so excited about this book and I hope it lives up to my expectations in February.

  Dreams of Falling by Karen White-  She is quickly becoming my favorite author so I can't wait for her new book in summer 2018. Unfortunately I was not approved for an ARC on NetGalley so I have to continue waiting!
  Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  This is a book released years ago (2011) that I have been wanting to read. I recently just bought a copy of the audiobook on Audible as the daily deal.  This will be a perfect read this winter on my morning commute.

 Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams I am looking forward to this book by Beatriz Williams.  There isn't much hype about it yet, but it looks like the perfect summer read and she is a reliable author for me.

The next group of books don't have covers yet but I already can't wait to read them!!  

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith -  This is the 4th book in the Cormoran Strike series.  I am not sure if there is an official release date yet, but I hope it is in 2018!

 The Seven Sisters (Book #5) by Lucinda Riley.   This book is Tiggy's story and I hope it is released on Audible with the UK release in late 2018.  No cover or date, but I love this series and can't wait for the next book!

Ambush (Sydney Parnell #3) by Barbara Nickless-  I really like this railroad police series. Sydney is a tough lady and I love it!  I have enjoyed the first 2 books in the series and it looks like book #3 comes out in November 2018.

Expose (Dr. Schwartzman #3) by Danielle Girard-  Another random series that I have enjoyed about a coroner (not my typical genre) that is a strong female character.  It comes out in July 2018.

2017 was a great year of reading for me, I am looking forward to more great books in 2018.  Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Picture Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Picture Books I Want Santa to Bring

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosing TTT

I am an elementary teacher and a mom.  I typically read and include on this blog only YA and Adult books so I thought it would be fun to include picture books that I know my children would love or my students at school would enjoy.  

Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares
This book looks wonderful and has been recommended by many.

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
An almost wordless picture book about kindness, I love encouraging my children and students to tell the story that they see on the pages before we read together.  

 I Am Peace by Susan Verde
My son loves doing kids Yoga and we love previous books by Susan Verde.

Windows by Julia Denos

A book that helps build community.

Why am I me? by Paige Britt
This book has wonderful text and powerful pictures.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat
This book is a unique twist on Humpty Dumpty. I love that it teaches perseverance.

This is How We Do It:  One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe
 Another diverse book that introduces cultures and traditions around the world.

Most People by Michael Leannah
With the political climate it is so important to teach children that Most People are good people.  This book is powerful.  We got it from the library and my daughter made me tear up with the questions she asked about it and the discussion it created.

Stormy Seas by Mary Beth Leatherdalde- 

I work with a handful of students that are refugees.  I think it is important to include a variety of diverse books on my school bookshelf.

 Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay-  by Susan Hood

 Another Nonfiction picture book.  I am a lover of all things Latin America.  I have taken more than one trip to South America and one of those trips was to donate supplies to a small school north of Quito Ecuador.  This book looks wonderful.

Any other picture books you recommend?  Feel free to give any of these as a last minute gift idea to children or teachers in your life!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

By The Book

By The Book by Julia Sonnenborn

I loved so much about this book. I enjoyed Anne's character and her life as a professor in a small college town.  Anne was totally relatable and she wasn't perfect but that made her even more human! There is humor and a great plot. This book is considered a modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen and although I haven't read the classic, this book was a stand alone success. I like how Anne's job was a writer and professor of 19th century woman's literature. She has a wonderful friend named Larry that added a light heartedness to the book. This book was a fun reminder of university life, love interests, and good friends. Thanks to BookishFirst for putting this book on my radar with a FirstLook read and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read the whole book with an electronic ARC from Galley, Threshold, Pocket Books. I'll be recommending this to others! It is scheduled to be published on February 6th 2018.  4.5 Stars

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Club Selections for 2018

Book Club Selections for 2018

One of the book clubs I am in is a group of friends I have known for years.  We are all educators and have been in this book club for 12 years.  We had our organizational meeting this past weekend and decided on 8 books we will read.  Each person has a month and a date to host.  Its fun to see what others pick, some friends read every month and other friends need a bit of a "fun" read to join in.  No matter what there is friendship and laughter (and YES, we do talk about the book at some point!)

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas- I just finished this Audiobook so I'm ready for our January discussion

                       Little Fire Everywhere, Celeste Ng

13 Little Blue Envelopes, Maureen Johnson

Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton- (My choice! I can't wait!)

                  One of Us is Lying, Karen McManus

The Address, Fiona Davis

                Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,
                                                        Gail Honeyman

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

* I apologize for any formatting issues, I'm still learning!

How does your bookclub pick selections, month by month or do you know the books ahead of time?  I am in each type of bookclub, and I like planning ahead for library reserves!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosing TTT

I have hit my goal of 50 books already this year.  Yay!  I read a lot of great books and I enjoyed sharing books with friends and having mini-discussions here and there.  It was hard to pick only 10 of the best of 2017. I am thankful for a great reading year.

Beartown by Fredrick Backman
Read this book slowly to understand an internalize the words Backman uses.  I had a book club with A Man named Ove (that I read years ago and Loved!) and after reading Beartown, I am reminded how amazing Backman is.  Highly Recommended.  This would make a great winter read.

The Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
This was a great book. I can't wait for future books from Susan Meissner.

The Hate U Give- By Angie Thomas
This Audiobook was well done and almost movie like to listen too.  I think this book will put some people out of their comfort zone, but is an impressive debut by Angie Thomas.

The Story of Arthur Truluv- by Elizabeth Berg
This book is a breath of fresh air.  Great character development and a feel good story that we all need sometimes.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
This was a long read, but worth it!  Made for an amazing Book Club discussion.  

This was a fun summer read. Great character development and well done flashbacks. I shared my copy with friends and we had fun discussions about it.  Karen White is one of my new go to authors.  I also read and enjoyed The Sound of Glass this year. 

 We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
Highly recommended.  It made a great Audiobook and I learned a new perspective on WWII.

Hysterical book club read.  It was the perfect light hearted read I needed this summer after a lots of heavier books. Moms of kids ages 1-5 could relate to parts of this book (other parts got a bit far fetched, but still fun).

The Seven Sister's Books by Lucinda Riley
I listened to both books and love not only the character development, the world travel, but also the settings and flashbacks.  This series is a commitment, but I highly recommend it!

The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood and The Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Although both of these books were written years ago I read them this year since they are a mini-series and a movie.  I am so glad that I read these books before seeing the show and movie. 

Honorable Mention-  The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen  and The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Have you read any of these books? Did they make your top 10 this year too?  Thanks for visiting!

Dr. Schwartzman series books 1-3

Danielle Girard has a series about a medical examiner, Annabelle Schwartzman that I enjoy. I haven't posted any of my reviews on the blo...