Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Post (44) / It's Monday, What Are You Reading

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

I am glad to be back this week! Last week was pretty rough with my mom's illness. She was hospitalized for just under a week and we found out she had hypothermia and anemia. She is doing much better now. She has some followup appointments this week and next week and has to get a bone marrow biopsy done so the hematologist can figure out why her hemoglobin is low. We were initially afraid that her symptoms were due to a return of the encephalitis so that was a big relief that it wasn't. Now she is at home with my dad who is taking good care of her and checking her body temperature regularly (at one point before she was hospitalized it was under 92 and in the hospital it was 93 until they used the Bair Hugger to warm her up). They never did figure out why her body temperature gets so low but they suggested that she dress warmly and drink hot liquids to counteract it. 

Work has been kind of stressful since I got back on Wednesday because I realized that I am very behind in advertising the Edible Book Festival. I just got the registration forms done and I did get a supportive news reporter to write an article about the event which should help get the word out. I felt so bad because I didn't think about when that stuff needed to be done (February) so we could advertise in March even though the event itself is not till April 12th. I am a little worried that participation won't be as good this year.

This week my library is hosting a Celtic music concert at our local coffee house. I think we get better attendance that way for some reason. Unless a band already has a big following my music programs at the library have been a bust. I do have a jazz pianist scheduled for May at the library but I am thinking of seeing if we can move the venue though it may not be necessary as he has played well attended concerts in the area before. We'll see how Tuesday goes. So far I think there are around 20 people planning to attend which is really good.

Yesterday I participated in the 24Hr Take Control Read-a-thon and read three library books. I didn't spend the whole day reading or I might have managed another book or two. It was kind of relaxing to just sit and read. I am also signed up for the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. I am so behind on reading and reviewing ARCs so I thought it would be good motivation.

#FitReaders Weekly Check In

#FitReaders is hosted by Felicia at The Geeky Blogger and Jen at That's What I'm Talking About

With my mom's health issues and my own back muscle injury I was only able to exercise and make my step goal one day last week. I hope that this coming week will be better. I started the day off with a 45 minute workout and my back didn't bother me at all so that's a good sign! It is hard to get back into the habit of exercise when I fall out of it. I am also not a fan of the time change and it will be difficult to get up early because it will feel like it is 4 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. Fortunately I can ease into it because I work Monday and Tuesday evening this week and I have Wednesday off.

Sunday--5,216 steps
Monday--4,981 steps
Tuesday--10,625 steps
Wednesday--4,411 steps
Thursday--3,236 steps
Friday--5,553 steps
Saturday--984 steps

Last week on my blog:

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (review)
Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth (review)

Books read:

Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix

I enjoyed this Regency historical fantasy. It was funny and had a little mystery and romance too. My review will be up later this week.

Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany

This novel is about a young and irresponsible mother who gives up custody of her daughters to the state and what happened to those daughters who are now grown women. I think the author did a good job of helping us to understand what Jennifer (the mom) goes through as well as her daughters Brooke and Natalie. I felt sorry for all of them though I had more sympathy for the girls and found Natalie to be the easiest to relate to.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

I mostly liked this retelling of Snow White. The evil queen Irina reminded me of Charlize Theron's Queen Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman and thankfully Lorelai was nothing like Snow White from that movie.

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin

This is our afternoon book discussion selection this month. I'd noticed this book at the library before and I saw it on several book club lists in the past but I probably wouldn't have read it if it wasn't voted on and I am so glad it was. I really liked it. The novel reminded me of Nicholas Sparks but for Christian fiction readers and without the strong focus on romance.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

This short story collection from the Lunar Chronicles had some real gems. Some of the stories I'd already read in e-book form but I loved the new material especially finding out more about Michelle Benoit and her connection to Cinder as well as the romantic final story that included a wedding (not saying whose!). I'd say it was well worth reading for fans of the series.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This book was amazing. I wasn't familiar with the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustlaf before I read it. I liked the historical details and loved the characters (except for Alfred). Joana was a minor character in Between Shades of Gray (she is Lina's cousin) and Lina is mentioned but this book can definitely be read as a standalone. 

His Right Hand by Mette Ivie Harrison

This is the second book in the Linda Wallheim mystery series but I still haven't read the first book (The Bishop's Wife). It was interesting learning more about Mormon beliefs and culture. The story presented a sticky situation when the bishop's right hand man is murdered and the autopsy reveals that victim Carl Ashby was biologically female. In addition to the murder investigation the book takes a look at transgender and homophobia within the LDS community.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

I'm so glad I finally read this graphic novel. It was a lot of fun! I loved the shapeshifting feisty Nimona and Lord Ballister Blackheart who grudgingly takes her on as his evil villain sidekick only to become genuinely fond of her.  The story is entertaining and I liked the illustrations. I hope there will be another book!

Currently reading:

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)

I made a little progress with my reread and just got to the first chapter with Frodo and Sam.

Currently listening to:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (reread)

I like Rosamund Pike and her narration is pretty good though I'm not a fan of her voice for Mrs. Bennet. I've never listened to an audio book version of Pride and Prejudice so I can't compare her voice to other narrators. It has been fun revisiting the story on my work commute though. I'm at the part where Lizzy is visiting Charlotte and Mr. Collins.

On my TBR pile:

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

I hope to read this soon since it is due back at the library. I have read some mixed reviews but hopefully I will still like it.

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

I can't believe I never got around to reading this last summer. I am moving it up my TBR pile because I want something lighter to read.

I loved A Man Called Ove but didn't read this one last year like I'd planned. I want to read this now so I can read Britt-Marie Was Here later this spring (I believe Britt-Marie is a minor character in this book).

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

New books received:

The Skylighter by Becky Wallace (for review)

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (for review)

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (from the library)

After the Woods by Kim Savage (from the library)

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera (from the library)

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (from the library)

The Breathtaker by Alice Blanchard (from the library)


  1. Oh no sorry to hear about your mother! Glad she's home and hope everything goes well... good luck with the Celtic concert (sounds great) and nice job on the readathon. I agree sometimes it's just nice to sit and read. :)

    I like short story collections that add something to established series- it's always nice to get another look, more insight into a fun universe or world. And I've been really curious about After the Woods.

  2. I hope your Mum feels better soon. Have a great week and happy reading!

    Laura @

  3. I am glad to hear your mom is home! I hope she continues to get better. That Celtic concert sounds like fun! Good luck with all the planning of your library's events. I'm glad you liked Salt to the Sea...definitely my favorite book of the year so far. I look forward to your thoughts on The Dark Days Club...I liked many aspects of it, but it was slow for me at parts. I hope you enjoy it though!

  4. Oh my gosh! I am glad to hear your mother is home now ~ I hope they find out the reason for her body temperature soon. :(

    I have loved everything Ruta Sepetys has written so far, I am going to have to read this one very soon.

    Have fun with your concert, and hopefully you and your mother enjoy better health this week.

  5. Glad your mom is home, and I hope she gets better soon!

    I really want to read that Salt to The Sea book. Everyone loves it!

  6. Glad that your mom is back home and hope she continues to recover well. Sorry about your injury as well. Glad you liked Ruta's newest book, I am looking forward to it. Hope this is a good week for you.

  7. Some great reads on the horizon for you. So glad that your mother is doing better. Good luck with your events in the coming weeks. Take care of yourself, you seem super busy!

  8. Hope your mother continues to improve and be okay. Your steps are okay, I have dropped off, yard work needs doing and if I go for an hour's walk then that doesn't get done! Enjoy your reading!

  9. I read "Somewhere Out There" this week as well. Amy Hatvany is one of my favorite authors, so I always get her books as soon as I can!

  10. Glad your mom is feeling better. Hope she gets even better from here.

    I am loving these, and have my eye on Ruta's especially!

  11. Good luck with your mom. Hope everything goes well. Great books you received-hope your week is better at work!!

  12. Wow....what a mailbox and what a great week of books.

    Somewhere Out There sound pretty emotional.

    I still have A WINDOW OPENS and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY on my bookshelf unread. I hear they both are so good.

    ENJOY your reading week. Looks good.

    I hope your mother continues to do well.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  13. I want to read The Shadow Queen. You have a great list of books here.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  14. I hope your mother's feeling better, that must've been rough. I really loved Nimona, it's fun to see another side of the so-called "bad guys"!


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