Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Summer of Stephen King

Lately, I have been feeling nostalgic. Maybe it is being a parent. 
Maybe it is the summer ahead of me, already hot and sticky and reminding me of those summers
I spent in the cool air conditioning of the local library, surrounded by books.
Taking those books home and hunkering down with them in the heat of the day.

In those summers of my youth, I would read Stephen King. So much Stephen King.
I feel like it is time to revisit some of my favorites.
So, this summer I will be. 
Not all of his books, that would be impossible! But the ones that I really loved and really stuck with me. 
We all have our favorites, but here are mine.


It should be on this list, but I don't think my heart could take it this year. So I replaced it with Revival, which I have never actually read!

The Stand ~ You can't have a SK list without this book, it is not possible, Plus, does anyone else get a cold when they read it?

Bag of Bones~ I think this is maybe one of my all time favorite books. I read it aloud to my husband one summer. I just really loved this one. 

Desperation ~ My brother and I share a love for this book. Occasionally out of the blue we text each other random Tak En Las. 

Joyland ~ Love this one. I am picking it for my book club to read in July. Yay!

I hope I can handle these - I am easier to scare now than I used to be! I can add so many more to this list but I will never get through them in one summer, not now. The Shining, Tommyknockers, Needful Things, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the short story compilations!!

And for nostalgic reasons, I might as well throw in an Anne Rice, my favorite of her work.

What about you? Are there are any books or authors that remind you of summers past, those endless hours spent reading?

Book Review: Riverbend Road by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Riverbend Road (Haven Point)
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Source: Little Bird Publishing in return for an honest review


Protecting the streets of Haven Point isn't just a job for police officer Wyn Bailey, it's a family tradition. But lately she's found herself wanting more, especially from her boss—and overprotective brother's best friend—sexy chief of police, Cade Emmett. The only problem is getting Cade to view her as more than just a little sister. 

Cade's hands-off approach with Wyn isn't from lack of attraction. But his complicated past has forced him to conceal his desire. When Wyn is harmed in the line of duty, Cade realizes the depth of his feelings, but can he let his guard down long enough to embrace the love he secretly craves?

My thoughts:

So Haven Point is not perfect. It is a down on its luck little town that is slowly but surely coming back to life and thriving again. But that is what I like about it - it is like the little town that could. I love a comeback story and this series really is all about the comeback - sometimes for characters, sometimes it is the town, but there is always that sense of community and pulling together for the common good. I love that.

This story focuses on Wyn Bailey, a police woman for whom the job is not just a calling it is a tradition. She is dedicated, tough, trustworthy, with finely tuned instincts. But not without her demons. Our introduction to Wyn shows the reader her character immediately, by her reaction to two totally different police situations - a moose in the neighborhood, and a barn fire, with two children trapped inside. Wyn shows no hesitation about racing into the barn and saving these two boys in the nick of time, with no regard to her own safety - or protocol, much to the anger of her boss, Cade Emmett. Suspended for a week without pay by Cade, Wyn finds herself at loose ends, but not for long. A mysterious new neighbor has Wyn's radar up and she is determined to get to the bottom of things.

Cade himself presents another problem. Not only is he her boss the chief of police and the man who just suspended her, he is also a childhood friend. And the guy Wyn would most like to get to know a lot better, if you know what I mean. Cade might feel the same, but has his reservations and his own bag of secrets he is dragging around.

I really enjoyed this book - Cade and Wyn were both interesting characters, with a lot of complexity and grit. I love a smart, tough woman and Wyn is definitely both. I also enjoyed the unraveling of their pasts and the things that haunt them still. And if you enjoy books with sexytimes, this one doesn't disappoint, as the two have some serious chemistry.

Overall, I really enjoyed this latest book in the Haven Point series, and all the places that it takes the reader.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date that is guaranteed to grow your TBR list!

It's Memorial Day, the day when amidst backyard barbecues and bonfires Americans remember those soldiers who lost their lives in service to this country. When I was a kid though, my father would take me to a little cemetery every year, the same cemetery, where we would pause and reflect in front of a group of graves of soldiers from foreign lands who somehow ended up buried here. My father has moved farther away now, but I still make sure to visit those graves every year. 

Read Last Week:

River Road by Carol Goodman: This was a tough read at first for me. I love Goodman, but this one lacked a little of the certain something that makes her books so special. Nevertheless, I did end up enjoying it, despite a rocky start.

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kristen Weiss; I picked this up at the library on a whim, and it wasn't that bad. Reviews on both coming soon.

Reading This Week:


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater: I am so so excited to read this!!

Watership Down by Richard Adams: My favorite book ever. I have been reading it a little bit at a time this season. I usually reread it every year all at once, this year I have been taking my time. It's always nice to revisit Hazel and the gang. 


Game of Thrones which is cray cray this year, and just cleaning up the old DVR. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

Busy week full of just life things - cooking, cleaning, playing, walks. We also babysat my niece for a few hours and had a blast with the two babies! It was lovely night out and we got to spend some time doing front porch sitting with them, one of my favorite warm weather pastimes. 

This is where the expression sleeping like a baby came from, I am sure of it. Not that 3 am wake up stuff, but this. Utter contentment.

Read Last Week;

I gave myself a break since school is out, and while Wyatt napped last week, I read. It was delicious. 


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I loved this book, it was such a fun retelling of Beauty and the Beast! And yay for me, the second in the series just came out. My hold better come in quickly!

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian: Another book I loved! This one kind of freaked me out but I couldn't put it down. I mean, I did but it was hard.

Reading This Week:


River Road by Carol Goodman: Goodman is one of my favorite authors - I am looking forward to this book!

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kristen Weiss: I picked this up on a whim at the library, since I am all about the mystery this year.


Game of Thrones (always a day late but we think this season is pretty awesome so far!) Supernatural, The Originals and are about to begin some of the shows we saved for summer

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

It's been a crazy two weeks! Finals, appointments, and then today was the grand finale, my son's baptism. He and my niece were both baptized today, and it was very nice. And we got to eat cake from two delicious cakes. Wyatt's was lemon custard and my niece's was strawberry lemon. Yum! It was such a weird Michigan day - sunny and bright and snowing. Wyatt slept through the entire ceremony. He was awake before, and awake after, but during..sound asleep! School's out, and I decided to take the summer semester off - I made Dean's List for getting a 4.0 both fall and winter semester so I am giving myself a break. Woohoo! I am looking forward to some quieter days and nights with my family, lots of walks and flowers and gardens and play dates and reading. 

Read Last Week and the Week Before:

Nightshift by Charlaine Harris: Another find at the library. I am not sure why I like this series so much, but I do! Lol. There is just something about it, about the characters that interests me. 

Accidentally Hers by Jamie Beck: My friend Mary picked this for our book club book. A fun and quick light read - just what I needed this past week.

Riverbend Road by RaeAnne Thayne: I figured I was already on the romance train so why not stay on it? I am a fan of the Haven Point series - I like it because the town isn't perfect. At least not yet. It's a little down on its luck but getting better all the time.

Reading This Week:

I almost feel like I shouldn't post anything here! Every time I do, I deviate wildly. Especially since I am going to the library either tomorrow or Tuesday. So, I list these books as choices with the option to change my mind. Lol.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick


Game of Thrones! I also think we are going to catch up on some other shows - The 100, Outlander in particular. We saved some for the summer. 

Posted Last Week:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts

Title: The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts
Author: Maja Safstrom
Source: Blogging for Books

Goodreads Summary:

An artfully playful collection of unexpected and remarkable facts about animals, illustrated by Swedish artist Maja Säfström. 

Did you know that an octopus has three hearts? Or that ostriches can't walk backward? These and many more fascinating and surprising facts about the animal kingdom (Bees never sleep! Starfish don't have brains!) are illustrated with whimsical detail in this charming collection.

My Thoughts:

This book was a delight!! I had a blast reading through all the facts and perusing the wonderful, quirky, fun illustrations. I also shared it with my husband and one year old son, and they both enjoyed it as well. I am guessing about my son's opinion, but based on his squeals and patting at the pictures he seemed to like it.

A few examples of what you may find between the pages:

This is a quick, short, little book to flip through and check out the accompanying illustrations. It was a cute way to learn some new trivia that I can amaze and astonish my friends with, including the fact that penguin poop in some parts of Antarctica can be be seen from space, or that swifts can fly nonstop for 6 months! This book will definitely boost your trivia knowledge, and keep you entertained. 

For more information or to see more of Safstrom's work, follow these links!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Source: Library, although I had previously had a review galley from NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. 

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

My thoughts:

It's been a while since I have loved a book this much, and I seriously loved this book. The author Katarina Bivald stated in an interview that she filled this book with all the things she likes to read about - "small American towns, quirky characters, people finding community and friendship in unlikely places, love, and of course, reading." It is almost like she went inside my head and pulled out all of my favorite things to read about as well. I crave that small town sense of community. I love quirky character driven books. And throw in the happiness of love, friendship, and of course, reading, and you have my version of the perfect book.

Sara lands in Iowa expecting to meet her pen pal and book friend Amy - only to find out that she is dead. Just died in fact. And instead of turning around and heading home, she is encouraged to stay in Amy's house and continue with her visit. And Sara, who has never had a real adventure outside of books, does indeed stay. The residents of the small Iowa town of Broken Wheel are just as curious and confused about Sara as she is about them. She at least has the advantage of prior knowledge of them all through Amy's letters, which were full of detail and love for the town and its inhabitants.

The town of Broken Wheel is not as vibrant in reality as Amy made it sound however. It is a town that has been limping along, one of those small towns we have all driven through in a blink, with boarded up buildings and one lone streetlight. Slowly but surely, Sara and the town find they have much to offer each other, and Sara does the one thing she is most sure of - she opens a bookstore.

Anyone who loves books will love this book~ you will see yourself in Sara and upon the shelves of the bookstore, you will find old friends. You can imagine walking through her bookstore, trailing your fingers over the spines, head cocked sideways like a little bird, flipping through pages, feeling covers, maybe even bringing the book up close to your face to breathe it in. Sara would approve of that, you know.

I loved reading about Sara and the town blossoming with the help of each other, their lives and futures expanding. I loved all the characters, the setting, the everything.

I did start reading this book months ago on my Kindle, and I just didn't like it. I mentioned this in a previous post, and someone commented that format does really make a difference, especially maybe when you are a reading a book about books, that you had better be reading a physical book. This makes sense. My entire opinion of this book changed just by reading it as physical book and not a digital one.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves what I love and what apparently Bivald loves as well - small towns, interesting characters, friendship, community, love, and finally, reading.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date 

Finals week! A week left of classes, basically, then I am taking the summer off. I loved my archaeology class so much that I am taking two more in the fall, even though this is very impractical and has nothing to do with my degree. No matter though, I am doing it anyway! 

Read Last Week:

I didn't read either of my planned books because I went to the library and picked up one I couldn't put down. I was also all about the Swedish authors last week. Oo maybe this is what I can call a random swede about! Books!


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald: I loved loved loved this book!!!! Interestingly, I started this a long time ago as an ebook from NetGalley, and I hated it! However, in actual physical book form, I couldn't stop reading. It is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. 

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Safstrom: I got this from Blogging for Books and I really enjoyed it as well. Quick, interesting read with fun, quirky illustrations. 

Reading this Week:

If this comes in from the library, I am planning to read it. We shall see though, since I have not been good at keeping on plan. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I have heard good things about this - my husband listened to it and loved it!


Game of Thrones (yay!), The Ranch (finished it - we need more episodes!), Outsiders, and for class we watched the Nova episode The Ghosts of Machu Picchu and The History Channel's Digging for the Truth: Passage to the Maya Underworld. Both were excellent, although the History Channel piece was not very academically rooted. It was very entertaining, and there was some merit to it. You can watch the Machu Picchu show on Amazon and the Mayan show is on YouTube in three parts. 

So, what's been going on with you?