Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Nostalgic Book Boyfriends

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tome on Youtube.

So I am cheating a little bit with this topic, it was actually last weeks topic and I really struggled with coming up with a list originally so didn't post last week.  When I originally saw the prompt I was thinking we were supposed to pick book boyfriends from our earlier reading years (like Middle school and High School), I really couldn't pick any since by that point I was reading a lot of medical mysteries and thrillers and horrors (not much boyfriend material there).  But after seeing a few other posts I realized I didn't really have to go that far back, some readers were picking characters from even the past 5 years, many from books they read in their mid 20s, boy did that open up a whole lot more books since in my early 20s is when I branched out into some more romantic books than in previous years!

So anyway enough yammering on and on, how about we talk about these handsome literary hunks.

So I am starting with my earliest book crush and moving on towards the most recent ones.  The earliest crush I remember having on a book character was Red from the Saddle Club Series.  I honestly think it was mostly because he got to hang out in a barn all day long but eh what do you expect from a 9-12 year old girl!

In between I had a few other crushes, Alanna from the Song of the Lioness was probably my first bookish girl crush, and I was half in love with most of the characters in that series, of course Jonathan was one of them but I was totally on team George!

But the next one who really stands out is Geraint from the Paths to Camelot series, particularly For Camelot's Honor.  This really made me become obsessed with Arthurian Legends, not because of Arthur or Gwen but because of Geraint.

Immediately following that was Kerrec from the White Magic Series and again it is a man with horses, I am beginning to wonder if I am more in love with the horses or the men, I think a re-read may be in order to verify LOL!

Next we have one from a much more Adult series, I was and quite possibly still have a thing for Doyle from the Merry Gentry Series.  Be forewarned that this series is not for the faint of heart and is very, very adult due to explicit scenes with some very handsome men, but Doyle with is quite protector spirit has my heart!

Okay and now we move to my all time book boyfriend, he has been mine since I first read the book in 2009 and he is still mine! Yes he is mine and you can't have him LOL! That man is Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore. He is dark and brooding, yet honest and willing to see the otherside, he is protective and takes control of situations and is always there to lean back on. 

So there you have some of the book boyfriends I have acquired over the years and a few still remain in my heart! How about you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review of The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Read for: Recent Purchase and New Favorite Author

Synopsis: "The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown delivers an insightful and poignant holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path.

It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. But this isn’t your typical Christmas story. The father admits to his son that he’s taken a life but he won’t say whose—not yet.

One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.

As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. Now he is left wondering if it’s too late to forge a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way—prizing happiness over money, surrounded by loving friends in a cozy town where he feels right at home.

Face to face with the idea that something is missing, the man is given the unexpected chance to do something selfless that could change the destiny of the little girl in the hospital bed. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he needs to find out what his own life has actually been worth in the eyes of his son. And so, he seeks him out and tells him this story…"

My Review: After reading A Man Called Ove earlier this year (and it is one of my favorites of the year) I am all for reading anything by Fredrik Backman, so when I saw this at the store I snatched it up. It is a short little story and has some sweet illustrations throughout the book. It is said to be a Christmas story but you really don't get too much of a Christmas feeling. The little girl is a great character, sweet, intelligent and practical. The man is not a likable character, but he isn't meant to be, I don't come across characters like this often. You know, now that I think of it I don't think any of the characters throughout this story have a name, it makes it unique and also can apply to anyone, but it also gave me a sense of disconnect, I didn't get really emotionally attached to the characters or the story. I did find that the time line jumped around a lot and that got a bit confusing, one minute you are current and the next you are listening to the past be told and you can't always tell which is which. With that said it is a great story with a great little message in it. It is a short read so if you have a few minutes, don't hesitate to pick it up.

My Rating: I have really enjoyed reading Backman's books, this one didn't have quite the same level of polish or emotional connection to the characters as A Man Called Ove but it was still a great read.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Luin the Sapphire by Rich Feitelberg
AT-AT Attack by Calliope Glass (Early Reader)
Dinotrux: Dare to Repair by Emily Sollinger (Bedtime Story)
She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

To Know Her is to Love Her
Deal of a Lifetime
Angels at the Table
Go, Go, Trucks
I Spy Thanksgiving
Twas the Day After Thanksgiving
Puppy Dog Pals Adventures in Puppy Sitting

Currently Reading:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Print - on page 265 of 435
The Speaker by Traci Chee - Print - on Page 368 of 512
The Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick - Print - on page 25 of  473

 Books to be Read Soon:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
277:17 Hours (about 10+ Days) Listened (6:59 listened this week)
47,285 Pages Read (208 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently TBR
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
And I Darken by Kiersten White
World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels
Eliza and Her Monster by Francesca Zappia
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Also Known as Elvis by James Howe
Viking Warrior Rebel by Asa Maria Bradley
New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns
Puss Without Boots by Shari L. Tapscott
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Saints Blood by Sebastien de Castell
P.O. Box Love by Paola Calvetti
Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls by various authors
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence
The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor
Luin the Sapphire by Rich Feitelberg
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
The Winter King by CL Wilson
The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai
Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
As You Wish  by Chelsea Sedoti
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff
The Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Every Little Thing by Marie Force
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Klaus by Grant Morrison
Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Lost Pony of Riverdale by Amanda Wills
Poppy's Diary by Amanda Wills
Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Piper by Jay Asher & Jessica Freeburg
Phantom Traces by Claire Gem
Dear Margaret by Pamela Ackerson
The Staying Kind by Cerian Hebert
Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle
Hearts Unloched by Claire Gem
A Family for the Rugged Rancher by Donna Alward
Passion's Palette by Peggy Jaeger
His Christmas Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid
Never Dare a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase
Vampire King of New York by Susan Hanniford Crowley
Crewel Work by Natalie Alder
Trouble Looming by Natalie Alder
A Shot at Love by Peggy Jaeger
Moment of Fate by Karen Stivali
The Promise by Jennifer Owen Davies
The Landscaper Series by Robin Stone
Recipes from Raine's Roast by LG O'Connor
Caught up in Raine by LG O'Connor
Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser
Redeeming the Billionaire by Christina Tetreault
The Billionaire's Best Friend by Christina Tetreault
A Billionaire Playboy by Christina Tetreault
The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Warriors by Various Authors
Books of the South by Glen Cook
Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook
If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher
Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan
Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan
Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope
The Nutcracker
Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
A Merry Christmas and Other Stories by Louisa May Alcott
The Night Before Christmas
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
The Traitor's Blade by Sebastian De Castell
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
All You Need is Love by Marie Force
To Know Her is to Love Her by Marie Force
Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
From a Certain Point of View
The Dinosaur Princess by Victor Milan
Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess


Boy did Thanksgiving sneak up on me out of no where! Any one else feel that way? I didn't get a lot of reading done last week, still dragging butt and now ended up with a nasty head cold.  So I didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped, especially since Tome Topple has already started!  Hopefully this coming long weekend I will be able to really buckle down and read a bunch while starting the Christmas decorating.

 I can't believe I will be starting the Advent Reads event already next month. This will be my 5th year hosting the event! Crazy, I know.  In the past in addition to sharing holiday themed books in a variety of genres, I have also shared other fun things like favorite music, ornaments, holiday activities each day and my candle count down.  My question for you is would you rather I have a bookish gift countdown to Christmas or would you rather have tips on a less stressful holiday?

Hope you all have a great week and those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a happy day surrounded by your loved ones.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Crafty Times: Christmas Cards

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!

So as I said a couple of weeks ago, my mom got an extra booth at the craft bazaar and I had only a few weeks to make a bunch of cards to sell.  Well the sale is today and I managed to get all the cards and tags from my last post (Here) and all of these Christmas cards sent out on Monday. I had a lot of fun playing with all the new supplies I have accumulated in the past year (I really need to clear out some of it or use it), and I have so many more ideas that I hope I have time to get more crafting in before I have to pack up for Christmas.  There are a lot of them to post so I am just going to put up the pictures, if you want details on the supplies used I have been posting them on my creative instagram - @EasternSunsetCreates

Which ones are your favorite? I really love making the snowman and reindeer cards but I think my favorite might be the one with the bell and saying from Polar Express.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Graphic Novel Review of She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai

Read for Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "“It was the start of spring. It was raining. That was the day that she brought me home.”

This is the story of Miyu, a woman who lives alone with her cat, Chobi. As Miyu navigates the world of adulthood, she discovers both the freedom and loneliness that come with living independently, and Chobi learns of the outside world through her actions. Time drifts slowly for Miyu and her cat, but the harsh realities of the world soon catch up…"

My Review: I don't normally read Manga, but who could resist a story about a girl and her cat and the beautiful artwork?! This is the type of story I often look for in my graphic novels and I am so glad I picked it up. It is a quite and subtle story about a girl's struggle to come to terms with being an adult and finding her way on her own. Luckily she has her new cat Chobi to help her along the way. The story is told from Chobi's point of view and in that manner a lot of the human quirks and emotions are left for you to decide and other things are brought to the forefront. I really enjoyed this one and am so glad I decided to pick it up.

My Rating: I am glad I gave this one a try, even though some of it was a bit slow and some hard to decipher, I may even be willing to pick up more Manga along these lines in the future.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bedtime Story: Dinotrux Dare to Repair by Emily Sollinger

Read for: Children's Book Challenge & Munchkin is obsessed!

Synopsis: "The Dinotrux are in need of repairs and Revvit can't do it all by himself. Luckily, Click-Clack, Ace, and Waldo agree to help and things are going great for the Dinotrux and the Reptools. But all that changes when a trio of Scrapadactyls kidnap the Reptools. It's up the Dinotrux to save their new friends!

DINOTRUX ©2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC."

My Review: Dinotrux is such a little boy's dream and Munchkin really enjoys these books (we don't have netflix so can't watch the show). Munchkin loves looking at the pictures and kept wanting to know who everyone is in the story but they don't really make it clear which Reptool is which. You also don't get to see what they are building, Munchkin really wanted to see the garage the Reptools would work in.

My Rating: Sometimes the books following TV shows are to much of exact copies and sometimes they are too abbreviated, this falls under the latter category.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of Star Wars AT-AT Attack by Calliope Glass

Read for: Early Reader Challenge and it's Star Wars!

Synopsis: "Luke Skywalker does some fast flying as he protects Hoth's rebel base from the Empire. This level 1 early reader retells classic scenes from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as the rebels face off against the Empires dreaded mechanical AT-ATs. Featuring beautiful full-color illustrations, this World of Reading book is perfect for little Star Wars fans who are ready to read on their own."

My Review: This is a great little beginning reader for the budding Star Wars fans. It does a great job of summarizing the late events on Hoth without making it too complicated. The sentences and words are simple and easy for young readers to grasp. Not only did Munchkin enjoy it but so did I, it has been fun using these books to introduce him to Star Wars before the movies.

My Rating: I am so glad that Munchkin is really getting into Star Wars and this was a great book because he was eager to read it and is picking up words so can read it too.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!