Friday, November 16, 2018

Educated by Tara Westover

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, so I was super excited to read this book. I've been waiting my turn in line for 1 of the 8 copies my library had available for a couple months. So maybe my expectations were too high to begin with, but I was completely underwhelmed by this memoir. I couldn't help but think a lot of it was not true or that in the very least the author's memories were distorted or exaggerated. But even if I'm wrong and all of it was 100% factual, I was SO BORED for 2/3 of the book. The only part that was somewhat interesting to me was Part 2 when she started college at BYU. Honestly I skimmed parts because a lot of it seemed repetitive. And other times SHE seemed to skim over stories to where I was left wondering what was left out or what I missed.
Overall, this was just a big let down for me. However, I finished it and I very rarely finish books that I would rate lower than 3.

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Searching for You by Jody Hedlund


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This is the 3rd  book of the Orphan Train series by Jody Hedlund, but can be read as a stand alone. I would recommend reading the first two, With You Always and Together Forever. It will help you understand the characters. This story focuses on the 3rd sister Sophie. She has been on the run for the past two years taking care of two young kids, Olivia and Nicholas. Her life is turned upside down and she has resorted to stealing and lying. After Sophie and her friend Anna witness a crime, they head west on the train hoping to live with families. There she meets Reinhold whom they knew back in New York City where he is living on his own. The chemistry is there between them and each try to fight it. Sophie feels like he could do better and same with Reinhold. I love how each character has some growing up to do and letting God take over. This book is about God healing us when we most need it. This was a great wrap up to the series. My favorite character is Euphemia. She just says it like it is! I loved it. I thought it was great to catch up with previous characters as well.


**Thank you Netgalley and Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life

The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused LifeThe Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life by Joshua Becker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a fan of Joshua Becker. One of my favorite books of his, that I re-read often, is Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life. I've also read The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own & Inside-Out Simplicity- both great books.
This book focused specifically on decluttering and minimizing in each individual room of one's home. I can see how this could be a fabulous reference guide for someone new to the minimalist lifestyle or someone who is overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start. I appreciated how he went from room to room with step-by-step instructions/suggestions on where to start in each room. At the end of each room chapter he gave a "Minimizing Checklist"- much like a summary checklist of what he had gone through in the chapter. I thought that was helpful.
Overall the book was exactly what the title says - A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life. Having read several of his other books, this book seemed to repeat a lot of what I've already read and have put into play in my own life, but that is understandable when it comes to teaching about minimalism. He had a lot of quotes that I highlighted because they spoke to me. If you are thinking of minimizing or need help decluttering your home, this book can help. He has it set up in a easy method to follow and he doesn't force anything. A person can minimize as much or as little as they feel comfortable with during that specific season in their life.

A few quotes I liked:

"Ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage to build your home and life around that answer."

"Just because you have the space doesn't mean you have to fill it with stuff."

"Never organize what you can discard."

"A home that is filled with only the things you use and love will be a home that you love to use."


Source: Netgalley

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

 



Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter is the first of the series Haven Manor. I would recommend reading the novella A Search for Refuge to get a little more background, although this novel can stand alone. In the novella we hear about Kit briefly, Defense of Honor tells her story along with why she works at Haven Manor. In the beginning we meet Graham, a future Earl who is looking for purpose in his life. By odd chance, him and Kit meet and he is captivated by her. Although I am a fan of this author, I felt the story line was too drawn out and some details could have been left out. Kit as a character was hesitant and scared due to the scandal she faced years ago. This made it hard to open up to Graham. I did love that she had a desire to help these women even if her intentions were not right. I did like Graham’s character, he was charming and really changed Kit’s opinion of how she felt about men in general. Clean content with some religious references. Will I continue to read from this author? Yes. This book just was not a fave for me. 3.5 stars

Saturday, May 19, 2018

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

363533694.5 stars
Karen Witemeyer is one of the few authors I always pre-order any new books. I trust she will keep me thoroughly entertained & captivated. This novel was no different. My paperback copy will grace my bookshelf soon, but I was thankfully able to review an advanced digital copy.
The Hamilton siblings are a motley crew that you can't help but love. They only had each other & the fierce loyalty they showed was inspiring. I loved Zach's protective nature, Seth's inner strength, & Evie's positivity &; desire to see good in everyone.
Logan is the outsider looking for vengeance. But thanks to Hezekiah, the pig, he is introduced to Evie, and life will never be the same. This book basically had it all: Romance, love, loss, humor, mystery, & lots of twists & turns. One of my favorite lines from the books is, "We're all broken." A lot of healing happens in the pages of More Than Meets the Eye. I also see a sequel in the future... I'm looking forward to reading more about Zach. I pictured Jason Momoa as him in my head as I read. :)

** Very clean, although some violence. Some Christian themes sprinkled throughout.
** Releases June 5th. Available for pre-order.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

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Together Forever is second of the Orphan Train series, but can be read as a stand alone. I definitely recommend reading the first book, With you Always, as it will help clear up any confusion and is just a great book as well. This novel is about Marianne, the second of the Nuemann sisters. She is looking for her younger sister Sophie who is missing. She signs up to be an agent for the Children’s Aid Society in New York where they escort orphans to cities in Illinois. This is where she meets the dashing Andrew, better known as Drew Brady another fellow agent. There is definitely an instant attraction on both parts ,its kind of hard to deny it. Both Marianne and Drew have issues from their past they are trying to work thorough and earn the forgiveness from past mistakes. There is a tragedy with one of the kids and I was glad to know I was right on the murderer and the proper justice was served. Just as the first book, this leaves you wanting to read the next of the series. Jody Hedlund is one of my top authors to read and I always enjoy her novels.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bethany House for the opportunity to read this novel! All opinions expressed are my own. 

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Image result for falling for you becky wade 

Falling for you, by Becky Wade, is the second of the Bradford Sisters series but can be read as a stand alone.
Willow- the oldest of the Bradford sisters- is a model who has taken a break to help run her parents inn in Washington. I would best describe her as having a Type-A personality with an addiction to shopping for housewares, which is apparent throughout the book. 

Four years previously, she dated NFL Corbin Stewart which ended terribly and happens to come back into her life when she least expects. Now, Corbin and Willow must work together with his niece to help solve a 40 year old crime. I would say this is a reunion of sorts, two people who are meant to be together but the first time didn’t work in their favor so they have this second chance. There was definitely chemistry, but each tried to fight due to personal reasons. Throughout the book, you can see the determination in Corbin to reconnect, but Willow is hesitant due to past hurts. There are multiple religious references about finding forgiveness and finding your faith.

Thank you to Bethany House and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book! All opinions stated are my own.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Blubber was the worst. THE WORST

BlubberBlubber by Judy Blume
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I remembered loving this book when I was in 4th grade. This week, reading it as an adult, as a mom, with my 12 yr old... I have no idea why I loved it so much before. I've never wanted to punch a 5th grader in the face like I did while reading this book. Wendy, and her little minions, needed their butts whooped. I wanted Linda to start beating Wendy with her lunch pail, like Mary Ingalls and all the girls did to the bully on Little House on the Prairie.
When we finished reading the book tonight my daughter took it and threw it across the room. It was that bad. I seriously wonder where Wendy is now. Probably in a women's high security prison. Freakin' psycho...

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

My Top Reads of 2017

It's that time of year where I make one of my very fews posts... I really need to blog better, but I digress. This is my list of my top reads for 2017. I based it on my personal Goodreads rating and how much the book affected me or made me feel. If you would like to see my Goodreads "My Year in Books" for 2017 click here. If you would like to read my reviews for my 2017 favorites just click on the title of the book.

 Enjoy!

Favorite Historical Non-Fiction:
Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly
Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

Favorite Book I Read with my 11 year old:
 Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Favorite Memoir (I read a bunch of memoirs this year...):
*What is interesting is my 2 favorites were written 1- by the mom of Dylan Klebold, one of the murderers in the Columbine school shooting and 2- by the mom of Emilie Parker, a victim in the Sandy Hook shooting. 2 very different perspectives of 2 mothers who lost.

A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold 
A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

 An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker
An Unseen Angel: A Mother's Story of Faith, Hope, and Healing after Sandy Hook

Favorite Book Released in 2017:
 Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden
Romancing Daphne

 Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
Heart on the Line

 Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden
Love Remains 

Favorite Novella:
 The Hidden Prince by Nadine Millard
The Hidden Prince

Favorite from the Teen Section:
 Under a Painted Sky by Stacey  Lee
Under a Painted Sky

Favorite Contemporary:
 One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
One True Loves

Favorite Books Based During World War 2 (I have a Goodreads shelf dedicated to these):
 From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
From Sand and Ash

Favorite Surprise (A book I didn't start out loving, but loved by the end):
 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Man Called Ove

Favorite Re-read (A book I had read before and decided to read again this year... I do this a lot.):
I've read all 3 of these at least twice...

 Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Short Straw Bride

 Highway Revenge (Revenge #1)
Highway Revenge

 A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist
A Bride in the Bargain 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Pursuit of Lady Harriet Book Review and GIVEAWAY

   

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson  
When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious? Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it. Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett's previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.

   

EXCERPT 
Harriett looked at what remained of the cake. Appar-ently, he didn’t intend to finish it off after all, so she collected their forks and stood. “Forgive me for saying so, but you look quite done in, Chris. If you do not go up to bed now, you will probably fall asleep here. Only imagine what Mrs. Caddy might say if she discovers you here with the mostly-eaten cake. For your own sake, you ought to retire. I will do my best to tidy things up.” Before she could move away from him, he grabbed her hand and guided her to sit back down, keeping hold of her fingers. “Not so fast, my lady. I meant it when I said that I’m in desperate need of the distraction that only you can provide. Thus far, all I have done is burden you with my troubles.” “I do not feel at all burdened, sir.” Indeed, Harriett suddenly felt breathless and somewhat giddy. The effect this man had on her was something of a wonder. “Sir?” he asked. “I thought we were beyond that.” “I thought so as well, but you only just called me ‘my lady.’” He frowned and blinked as though he hadn’t realized he had. “Forgive me, Harry. I fear my exhaustion has muddled my thinking.” This time, she did not let the name slide. She snatched her hand free and frowned at him. “Obviously it has.” He laughed—not a tired attempt at a laugh, but a real one filled with the richness that warmed her straight through. Only this time, it did not bother her at all. In fact, it felt wonderful, almost like a compliment. “I knew you’d come through for me,” he said, leaning close enough to touch shoulders with her. “You have no idea how much I needed to laugh or how good that felt. I could honestly kiss you right now.” Harriett tried her best not to blush or appear astonished by the suggestion—he had obviously made the comment in jest—but when his smile widened into a devilish grin, she knew she’d failed. He leaned in closer, and his gaze wandered briefly to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She could smell vanilla and lemon and a hint of something else—leather perhaps? A delightful pulse whipped down her arm, and she was hard-pressed not to shiver. Admit it,” he said. “You have missed me.” 

    Rachael 

Author Rachael Anderson 
 A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


 My Review
As the third book in the Tanglewood series, The Pursuit of Lady Harriett definitely lived up to my expectations. Tanglewood has become quite the matchmaking estate.

In the beginning, Lieutenant Jamison's character kind of irritated me and I felt badly for Lady Harriett. But as time passed, my feelings flip flopped. The lieutenant became hopelessly charming, in my eyes, and really SO MALE. He was falling all over himself trying to express his feelings to Harriett. I just kept thinking, "Bless his heart!"

This was a fun novel and a fabulous edition to the series!! I'm so glad Rachael branched out into recency romance. :)

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 10/1/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway