Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Post (50) / 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.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Last weekend I visited my sister and attended a cancer fundraiser she co-chairs. The event was very successful and I even won something in the auction (a banned books themed basket donated by my sister with a banned books mug and banned books socks and a package of Novel Teas) though I was the only one who bid on it. I attended the event with a friend and we both had fun and ate a lot of food. 

This week I am going to a jazz piano concert for the library on Tuesday night. We are holding it at the local coffee shop and the tickets are all gone so we should have a packed house. This weekend I'll be visiting my parents since I didn't get to go home for Mother's Day.

I am also busy planning our summer challenge (the rebranded term for summer reading program since we are incorporating activities along with the reading). I am currently looking for prize ideas. Some libraries are giving away Fitbits  or cheaper pedometers to tie in with the health and fitness theme. That would not go over as well at my library so I am planning to put together some prize boxes. I was inspired by the popularity of those subscription boxes like Birchbox and OwlCrate. I just need to figure out how to display them and put them together without a lot of cost. I used to give away gift baskets which were very popular but also pricey.

I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Thank you for all that you do!

#FitReaders Weekly Check In

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

Not a good week for steps. I have been struggling with some health related issues that keep me from exercising as much as I'd like or reaching my daily step goal. I hope to do better this week. If I could only figure out what I'm eating that is making me so miserable! I am thinking of eating gluten free again and perhaps switching from almond milk to soy milk if I don't see a difference there. Or maybe it is sugar or fiber. Who knows. :(

Sunday--4,422 steps
Monday--8,814 steps
Tuesday--5,276 steps
Wednesday--8,349 steps
Thursday--10,337 steps
Friday--2,807 steps
Saturday--11,898 steps

Last week on my blog:

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey (review)

Books read (in the past two weeks):

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

This was such a good book though I still think The Nightingale was better. It certainly gave my book group a lot to talk about. I recommended it to my sister and she loved it too.

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

I was happy to finish The Two Towers but I've decided to take a break before I start The Return of the King. I have too many review books to get caught up on at the moment.

Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran

I was assigned to read this book for review by Library Journal. I still need to write my review. My personal feelings are that I learned a lot and Mata Hari was a fascinating person but I think it is not the author's best work. Perhaps it's because I couldn't relate to the protagonist and didn't really like her!

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

While I thought this was a fun book (and definitely liked it more than Magnus Chase) I did not think it was as good as the Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus series. Apollo is a funny protagonist because he used to be a god and now he is a pimply mortal teen. However his new sidekick, the demigod Meg is annoying. I didn't like her at all. We'll see if the new book changes my mind. It was great to see cameos by favorite characters from the earlier series like Percy and catch up on things and I think the next book should be even better with the return of another favorite character.

Books listened to:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (reread)

While it isn't my favorite book in the series I enjoyed listening to this again. The humorous parts were fantastic like when Harry and Ron impersonate Crabbe and Goyle. I also really enjoyed the scenes at The Burrow. Such a pleasant change from Harry's life with the Dursleys. The mystery is also really clever.

Currently reading:

The Skylighter by Becky Wallace

So far I think this is not as good as The Storyspinner though I do want to know what will happen. I think the Keepers are really interesting and I love the intrigue but I am annoyed with Rafi. Johanna should just kick him to the curb.

Currently listening to:

This book holds a special place in my heart. It is one of my favorites from the series (maybe the favorite if I had to pick one). It was such a cleverly done mystery and I loved the introduction of new characters like Lupin and Sirius as well as the new setting of Hogsmeade. I am really enjoying listening to it again and should finish it this week.

On my TBR pile:

Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

While I have no desire to surf I have always wanted to visit Hawaii so I'm glad the book is set there. I plan to pick this one up as soon as I finish The Skylighter.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I love this book cover and I'm a fan of Morgan Matson's other books so I can't wait to read this one. It looks like a fun story.

I was thrilled to get this ARC as it is a contemporary YA retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The main characters represent Beatrice and Benedick.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

I've enjoyed several of Mary Kay Andrews's other novels and this looks like a great beach read (though I won't be going near a beach anytime soon!).

New books received:

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (purchased)

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson (for review)

The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson (for review)

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (for review)

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell (for review)

The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe (for review)

Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran (from Library Journal for review)


  1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Summer of Sloane and Unexpected Everything - I enjoyed both! I also want to read One True Loves and the Weekenders....hopefully this summer!

  2. Your jazz concert sounds fun. And I've been intrigued by those book subscription boxes too, some of them are pretty neat. Good luck with your summer challenge planning!

    Summer of Sloan looks good (Hawaii? Yes please) and I like the cover of Girls in the Garden with all the ivy on the outside.

  3. Oh, a few books there which look quite interesting. (One True Loves and The Girls in the Garden, in particular!)

    The time with your sister and fundraiser sound like great fun and it was wonderful they were successful. (An important cause!)

  4. Our library offers gift cards for the teen reading program - iTunes, Xbox, Playstation, Kindle/Amazon, etc. For the younger crowd, the big prizes are always Kindles that are donated by folks from around the town. They also have gift cards to local ice cream and restaurants. One year, they got the local bike shop to donate a bike for the grand prize! Good luck!

    I hope you can identify the problem child in your diet so you feel better soon!

  5. Winter Garden and The Nightingale are different, and have to say loved both. Enjoy the banned books basket!

  6. I really have to listen to the audiobooks one day for Harry Potter. They sound so amazing and I love HP.

    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

  7. The Mata Had' s. Last dance is on my list. Enjoy!

  8. It does look like you've had a busy couple of weeks. I've been curious about The Unexpected Everything and will be eager to hear what you think. Thanks for visiting my blog and happy reading!

  9. My son got that The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. I am not sure if he has started it yet, I should ask him.
    Happy Reading! <a href="”>Dani @ Paulette’s Papers</a

  10. Wow....great week.

    Winter Garden and The Weekenders look quite good.

    ENJOY this week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  11. We have the same favorite Harry Potter book :-)


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