Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon [Day 6]

Mary of Wolf Girl Reads is hosting today's challenge that is simply 25 Facts About Me.
  1. I lived in a town in Minnesota with 350 people for 11 years - until I moved to Knoxville after my 5th grade school year.
  2. Even though I'm rusty, I can play piano, flute, piccolo, oboe, and various percussion instruments. I've dabbled in a few others as well.
  3. My favorite food is spaghetti.
  4. I love to cook and bake and don't see it as a chore.
  5. I originally was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore, but when they updated the sorting hat quiz, I was placed into Ravenclaw. I was surprised both times. I always thought I was a Ravenclaw, but then I came to love being a Hufflepuff and was surprised when I was resorted.
  6. I have never been on an airplane because I'm terrified of flying.
  7. I lived in New York for 7 years and never went to NYC.
  8. Although otters are my favorite animal, I am a crazy cat lady through and through.
  9. I almost had my bachelor's degree in Education, Middle Grade Science, but ended up not being able to complete it after having Mason. Daycare is expensive. All I had left was student teaching.
  10. I have dyed my hair various shades of blonde, brown, and red. Plus black, purple, and most recently tried teal, but it didn't turn out well. After stripping it, it's now green.
  11. I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and I'm trying to brush back up on it so maybe I can become bilingual.
  12. I am learning German.
  13. I was in accounting at a grocery store when I was 17. I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
  14. Speaking of, grocery shopping is my jam. 
  15. I used to stay up until 3 or 4 am to read from a very young age (elementary school).
  16. I have trouble falling asleep because I'm not a huge fan of the dark or super still quietness.
  17. I used to watch too much reality tv shows but then I stopped for a while. Now I'm back to watching too many *shrugs*
  18. I wish someone IRL that I know watched RuPaul's Drag Race because it's my current obsession.
  19. My favorite flowers are daffodils.
  20. I have never broken a bone.
  21. The first thing I do when I get a new book is smell the pages.
  22. I had my first child when I was 18.
  23. There is an age gap of 11 months between my first and second kiddos and then 7 years between second and third.
  24. Twilight got me back into reading while I was pregnant with my second child.
  25. I hate eye contact, but try and make a point to making it because I know it's important.
READING UPDATE:
I didn't do so well reading yesterday. In fact, the most I had read all day was in bed after 10pm. I'm a third of the way through Eliza right now. My goal is to finish it today and then read Flame in the Mist tomorrow. *fingers crossed* I'd be over the moon if I was able to read all 4 books laid out for this readathon, but honestly I'm already so proud I've finished two!

DAY 5 PROGRESS:
Eliza and Her Monsters [Physical] - 87 pages

TOTAL: 764 pages    

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon [Day 5]

Today's blog challenge is hosted by Ashley of Inside My Minds. Ashley is challenging us to talk about Character Connections, a character we connected with on a more personal level. Then pick a situation they were in and discuss what they should have done differently.

Honestly, it's probably an easy choice, but the first character who came to mind was Hermione Granger...frizzy hair, big teeth, insufferable know-it-all, perfectionist, teacher's pet...that's me. I loved Hermione when I was 12 and reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the first time. I loved everything about her. I'm trying to think back to a time I think Hermione could have handled a situation better and my thoughts went to her petrifying Neville. I feel like she (really the whole trio) should have explained to Neville what was happening. They were all pretty hysterical and I'm sure it was a lot of that fight-or-flight type of adrenaline response, but I feel like Hermione could have been more respectful to Neville and mediated the situation better.

READING UPDATE:
I finished 2 books yesterday and I'm so proud of doing that! Just in 4 days, I've read almost as much as I do in a month :)

DAY 4 PROGRESS:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [Kindle] - done (~127 pages read)
The Upside of Unrequited [Physical] - done (298 pages read)
Eliza and Her Monsters [Physical] - 32 pages

TOTAL: 677 pages   


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon [Day 4]

Today's blogger challenge is hosted by Amy of Bursting with Books and we are talking about a book we've rated 3 stars or less.

The last book I finished that I rated 3 stars or less was Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke. I rated it at 2.5 stars.


This is the 19th book in the Hannah Swensen series. I have loved this mystery series for a really long time, but the last couple of books have definitely gotten really awful. The story has had a love triangle from like book 1. Suddenly a third guy comes waltzing in and he is a manipulative person. I don't know if it's meant to come off that way in the story or if it's something I'm side-eying, but I hope that the author is setting him up to be the manipulative jerk that eventually goes away. The plot seemed very forced and the recipes took over. In the first book, there were 7 recipes. This installment had 20.

For me, 3 stars is an okay rating. It's not bad and it's not good. It's meh. Once you go to 1 or 2 stars, it's different. 1 star is a book I didn't finish or one that was so awful that it caused me to be annoyed, irritated, or pissed off. 2 stars is a less than okay. It's not ridiculously awful, but it wasn't a meh read. I definitely didn't like the book.

READING UPDATE:
I'm determined to have a really good reading day for day 4. Day 3 wasn't the worst, but I could've done better. I kept getting distracted by the internet.

DAY 3 PROGRESS:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [Kindle] - 59% (~96 pages read)
The Upside of Unrequited [Physical] - didn't read

TOTAL: 220 pages  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon [Day 3]

Day 3 Blogger Challenge is hosted by Dominique of Pirates N Pixie Dust. Today, we are challenged to take a book we love and imagine the story was told from the antagonist's perspective. Then we get to rewrite synopsis in the villain's POV.

I chose to do Lemony Snicket's The Bad Beginning, which has always been one of my favorite books {although I almost chose Matilda}. It's told as a letter to the reader from Lemony Snicket, so I'm going to stick with that format :)


Dear Reader,

I apologize to inform you that the book you are about to read is an awful and horrible story. It is the depressing story about a lonely man. Even though he is an esteemed actor and very handsome man, Count Olaf's life is terrible. Even from the beginning of this story, when he finds he is the custodial guardian of three orphans with a huge but untouchable fortune, reaching until the final page of the book, tragedy befalls him. One might say he can't catch a break.


Solely amongst the pages of this book, he endures a banker with whopping cough, a baby who bites, a know-it-all smart aleck, a girl who breaks everything to invent garbage, puttanesca for dinner, and an unreliable narrator.

It is my misfortune to have to tell his unfortunate story, but you do not have to read about these unpleasant events. In fact, you can read something much better and happier at any time.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket


READING UPDATE:
Another poor day of reading...I didn't do any sprints. Mondays are always hard with grocery shopping and all that. Plus we had some friends come in from out of state and it was definitely more important to spend time with them. It honestly was a blast :)

DAY 2 PROGRESS:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [Kindle] - 28% (~18 pages read today)
The Upside of Unrequited [Physical] - didn't read today

TOTAL: 124 pages 

Book Review: Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying by Amanda Hosch


Publish Date: August 1, 2017
272 pages [Hardcover edition]
Capstone Young Readers

Synopsis:  
A young spy gets entangled in an action-filled, whodunit mystery! When Mabel's parents leave town without warning, she isn't worried. They're spies, after all. But when her beloved Aunt Gertie is arrested for leading a smuggling ring, then her obnoxious Uncle Frank and Aunt Stella show up, demanding to be let into the family's private museum things begin to look fishy. Especially since Mabel hasn't heard from her parents in days. Tackling a mystery like this one is what she has been training for her whole, short life. Using her self-authored spy handbook, will Mabel be able to find her parents and unmask the real criminal before it's too late?

My Thoughts:

I was gifted this book via Netgalley.

The title, cover, and synopsis of this book drew me in immediately. A little ten year old named Mabel -- come on! How cute is that! I think my galley was missing a few pages in front and back, but I got most of the rest of the novel and ADORE it. I cannot wait for this to come out and for my 9 year old daughter and 10 year old son to be able to read it. I know they will both love it too. I think the inner child in all of us once wanted to be a spy and this book definitely brought me back to my childhood and how much I loved following clues and figuring out whodunit. Mabel is an absolutely strong character. She's brilliant and likeable. I would want to be friends with Mabel. I would want my kids to be friends with Mabel. I loved all the little spy nuances that her parents left behind to keep Mabel in the loop. The attention to detail that Hosch put into this book was just superb. The characters and plot were just so rich and strong. I cannot say enough good things about this book.

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