Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Wrap up and February TBR (To Be Read)

January Wrap Up
January was a great kick off to the year. I entered many reading challenges and I got a good kick start on reading. I read 6 books in January and if you look below I have five in my TBR. At the beginning of January I finished up my Christmas reading and dived back into my normal reading. I was able to read some great books in January. Read and enjoy ~ Rachael

1. The first book I finished in 2013 is Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh. This book just was a very warm touching story. It was about Rick who came home after his step father has a stroke to run his mom and step father's Christmas Shop. It was a great book and this author reminded me a lot of Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoyed the warm touching, story, and it was exactly what I needed to start the year off with. I gave this book 4/5 stars because it got terribly unrealistic in places.

challenges this fit into: A-Z (R), Library, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, Quick Fix, New Authors, Book Bingo

2. The second book I read was The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson. This book was basically a modern update on the traditional Christmas story. This book was a sweet feel good book that I read within a day. Edith was the inn keeper and our narrator. She was sad that none of her children would be home for Christmas so she opens up the house to rather grumpy guests. You can tell that Edith is a sweet lady and she is willing to help. This book was great and I gave it a 5/5 stars.

challenges this fit into: A-Z (C), Library, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, Quick Fix, Book Bingo

3. The third book I read in January is On Top of Concord Hill by Maria D. Wilkes. This is the fourth book in the Caroline series and the first book I truly got into from this series. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this novel and I started some more research on Laura Ingalls Willder because of this book. It made the book a great experience. What is strange is that the next four book in the Caroline Series are by a different author. I gave this book 5/5 stars for finally getting me into the Caroline Series.

challenges this fit into: A-Z (O), Library, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, Quick Fix

4. The fourth book I read in January was The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This was my second time reading The Time Traveler's Wife and I loved it as much as I loved it the first time. I fell in love with Henry and Claire's life all over again. I will most likely reread this novel again in a few years. I gave this book 5/5 stars because I love the story, the characters, the relationship, and the traveling. 

challenges this fit into: A-Z (T), Library, Book to Movie, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, Chunkster, Book Bingo, Monthly Keywords (December)

5. The fifth book I read in January is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I absolutely loved this book. I fell in love with the characters, the story, and this quickly became my favorite read of the month. I would recommend this novel to everybody. I gave this book 4/5 stars for the slow beginning, but I truly loved this novel and I would recommend this book to Supernatural fans.

P.S. There will be an authors I love post about these two up in a couple of weeks. This was definitely my favorite book of the month and this is the book I know I will be recomending to everybody throughout the year. 

challenges this fit into: A-Z (B), Library, Book to Movie, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, Chunkster, Seriously Series, Book Bingo, Books-In-A-Series, Monthly Keywords (February), and new authors

6. The sixth and final book I read in January is Paper Towns by John Green. This book was super relatable for me and I loved every page of it. John Green's casual writing style allow you to jump into the novel and you instantly fall in love with the characters of this novel. I'm excited to read more of John Green's books. I gave this book 5/5 stars. The character development was superb and I love the story. 

challenges this fit into: A-Z (P), Library, Let me Count the Ways, Outdo Yourself, In the Middle, Book Bingo, and new authors

February To Be Read

I'm very excited to read all of these novels in February. For the month of February I decided it was good month to go back to some of my favorite authors such as Jodi Picoult, Susane Colasanti, and Nicholas Sparks, but then I also wanted to continue reading some of my new favorite authors such as John Green, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl. February should be another great month for reading so look forward to more reviews and posts in February because I have some exciting news I can't wait to share with my readers. 

Thanks for reading.


Nicholas Sparks. How I began reading his novels?

This week the author I'm talking about is Nicholas Sparks. What can I say about an author that writes book that there aren't even words to describe? Nicholas Sparks is my go to author when I'm looking for a book I know I'm going to love. 

I started reading Nicholas Sparks in 2010 after seeing and crying over The Last Song. I absolutely loved the movie and I couldn't wait to read the novel. I read and loved The Last Song. Then I saw that Dear John was coming out as a movie also so I read Dear John and loved the book also. From then on I didn't care if there was a movie to go along with the book I was reading this guys novels. 

Nicholas Sparks is an author that it is hard not to hear about how amazing he is. Nicholas Sparks deserves all the hype that his books are surrounded by. I love the romance, the action, the adventure, and the mystery his books bring. There has not been one book by Nicholas Sparks that I haven't fell in love with the characters or the story. I dive into his books and his books have a way of making me feel every emotion from love, to confusion, to sadness. I like a book that doesn't only make me happy. It makes me think about the characters motivation behind doing what they do. 

What can I say I have fell head over heels in love with Nicholas Sparks and he is an author I enjoy, love, and cherish reading his novels. 

Nicholas Sparks is the author of 18 novels of which 8 have been made into movies. I plan to read Three Weeks with My Brother in February so that will be added to the list soon and there will be a review up. 

Books I have Read:

So far I have read 11 novels and I'm excited to read his newest novel. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green (no spoilers)


Book: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Series: Standalone
Publication: September 22nd, 2009
Source: Local Library
Rating: 5/5 stars

Paper Towns is about Quentin Jacobs who has spent his whole life admiring the girl next door, Margo Roth Spiegelman. So when Margo asks Quentin to go on a nighttime adventure with her. He Jumps at the chance. Only to wake up the next day to find Margo gone missing. She has left a trail of clues that seem to be meant for him. Quentin sets out a mission to find Margo.

My Thoughts:
This books was amazing. This book is what I would classify an action, adventure book with a hint of romance. It is so different from the normal books I read, but I love it. This book was hilarious and there were a number of times I laughed out loud. I could relate to this book so well. I'm a high school senior and this book takes place during Quentin's last three weeks of high school. He talks a lot about leaving and being nervous for college. I can totally relate to that because I'm excited, but nervous to graduate. I loved John Green's writing style. It was very casual which made the characters feel like people you would talk to at school. The characters in this novel were amazing. Quentin's best friends Radar and Ben seem like very real people and they seem like true friends that would do anything for Quentin. Quentin was a great character. He is a very determined student, but he is willing to do some stupid things to find Margo. Quentin is very determined and driven. He wouldn't give up on the idea of finding Margo. I thought he was a great character for this novel. That is one thing I really loved about the book was how relatable it was. The book mostly focuses on finding Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo is a mysterious character throughout the novel because you are trying to figure out why she did this as Quentin is trying to figure out where she is? Is she dead or alive? There are so many what ifs when it comes to Margo. I think Margo was the right character for this novel, but I know she is a person I wouldn't want to get involved with in real life. She is nothing, but bad news. Once you get past page 200 this book gets really intense as they get closer and closer to maybe finding Margo. You will have to read the book to find out. 

Memorable Quotes
  • "I didn't need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back." (Margo)
  • "Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start." (Quentin)
  • "The Town was paper, but the memories were not." (Quentin) pg 227 in my copy
  • "It is so hard to leave -- until you leave." (Quentin) pg 229 in my copy
  • "...leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you." (Quentin) pg 234 in my copy
  • "I feel like I might start crying and that I'm going to cry pee." (Ben) pg 248 in my copy
Thanks for reading and go read this book.


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Winter's Respite Readathon Wrap Up

Unfortunately another readathon has come to an end. This readathon was great. I made a little progress on my reading goals. Post your wrap up post link here

Finished Books

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl started readathon at pg. 356 finished on Wednesday at pg 563

Half Finished Books

Paper Towns by John Green started on Thursday on pg 0 read to pg 182 by Sunday.
Lighthouse Road started on Saturday at pg 0 stopped on Saturday at pg 25

Total Pages Read: 414 pages

These readathons I will be participating in throughout the year are a fun way to record how many pages I normally read in a week.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The In the Middle Reading Challenge

Maybe this is just me who finds this annoying, but as you all know I have signed up for tons of challenges in 2013. I have signed up for a big book challenge and a small book challenge, but I can't help, but feel that my books that are in the middle are left out. That they have no place. Thus this challenge was born.
The in the Middle Reading Challenge hosted by Rachael Turns Pages. Let's put it this way most of the books I read are in the middle books they aren't overly short and they aren't overly long so when I feel like in order to complete the big and small book challenge I would leave out the in the middle books. So I created this challenge so I would continue to read the in the middle books. 

Challenge Guidelines:
  • This challenge will run from January 1st 2013 to December 31st 2013
  • All books read during 2013 count
  • All books must be from 300 to 400 pages in length
  • The books can be in any format (bound, eboook, audiobook)
  • Note for audiobooks: look up the number of pages on Amazon and use that number
  • You don't have to be a blogger to participate. However, leave a comment and tell me what level  you're aiming for. You can also record with a shelf on goodreads or shelfari
  • For bloggers, post up a challenge sign up post saying what level you've signed up for. Be sure to sign-up with your sign-up post in the linky.
  • You don't have to review the books you read however if you do, you will be able to post your links to your reviews here. (I'll have a post up for reviews up in January.)
  • Crossovers with other challenges count and are encouraged
  • Have Fun! (reading is about having fun and enjoying the story the author has crafted)

Leafing through the pages: 1-5 books
Cruising through the pages: 5-10 books
Finishing these novels: 10-15 books
Never stop reading: 15 + books

The Linky will be below so leave the post to your blog. Keep on reading.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

So how many books do I really need to read in 2013

So as you have probably noticed I have signed up for every reading challenge under the sun. Yes this is my first year participating in reading challenges, but it definetly won't be my last. I'm totally a reading challenge addict now. I saw a post like this on Book Dragon's lair's blog for 2012 so I thought I would see how many books I actually need to read in 2013.

Thank goodness every challenge I have entered will allow me to crossover books so far I have entered 14 challenges and I know I will enter more mini challenges throughout the year.

A-Z challenge: 26 books
Library Challenge: 36 books
Book to Movie Challenge: 12 books
Nicholas Sparks Challenge: 4 books
Outdo Yourself Challenge: 50 books
Year Long Memoir Challenge: 4 books
Chunkster Challenge: 6 books
Seriously Series Challenge: 32 books
Jodi Picoult Challenge: 5 books
Quick Fix Challenge: 10 books
Pick an author Challenge: 9 books
Fairy Tales Challenge: 2 books
Book Bingo: minimum of 5 books
In the Middle Challenge: 15 books
Books in a series: 16 books
Monthly Keywords: 12 books
New Authors: 15 books
First Reads: 15 books
Nonfiction reading challenge: 4 books
Telling Tales: 2 books

The total comes out to 280 books since my plan is to read 50 book in 2013 there is no way I could complete all these challenges without crossovers.

How many books do you actually need to read in 2013?

Thanks for reading


Friday, January 25, 2013

Jodi Picoult Reading Challenge

Welcome to the Jodi Picoult reading challenge. My name is Rachael and I'm relitevely new to the blogging community. I have searched far and wide for a Jodi Picoult reading challenge and so far I haven't found one. I decided to make one. 

I love Jodi Picoult and her books. I will be doing a blog post on her in the next few weeks so this challenge is to introduce people to Jodi Picoult’s novels and read more of her books.

Reading Challenge Details:

  • The Challenge will run from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st 2013
  • All Jodi Picoult books started and finished after January 1st count
  • The goal is to read or reread as many Jodi Picoult books as possible. The Levels will be below you can choose which level you would like to be in.
  • Book can be in any format (bound, ebook, audiobook)
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you go. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge, but if you do great.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed and encouraged.
  • Post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

  • Fresh out of college Lawyer: 1 to 4 novels
  • Ruling this courtroom: 5 to 8 novels
  • Being a Lawyer is my thing: 9 to 12 novels

(Sorry for the cheesy names, but she has a lot of courtroom scenes)

Jodi Picoult Books
  1. Songs of a Humpback Whale
  2. Harvesting the Heart
  3. Picture Perfect
  4. Mercy
  5. Plain Truth
  6. Salem Falls
  7. Perfect Match
  8. Second Glance
  9. My Sister’s Keeper
  10. Vanishing Acts
  11. The Tenth Circle
  12. Nineteen Minutes
  13. Change of Heart
  14. Handle with Care
  15. House Rules
  16. Sing You Home
  17. Lone Wolf
  18. Between the Lines
  19. The Storyteller (February 2013)
I will put the link you thing here. You can link to your blog post signing up. Put which level you are joining in at down in the comments. Thank you for everybody who joins. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Winter's Respite Readathon Progress

I have to say I totally forgot about this readathon since there is another one on goodread this week, but I have page number for every day.

pg 356 to 417 Beautiful Creatures (61 pages)

pg 417 to 433 Beautiful Creatures (16 pages)

pg 433 to 563 Beautiful Creatures (130 pages)

pg 0 to pg 16 Paper Towns (16 pages)

pg 16 to pg 87 Paper Towns (71 pages)

pg 87 to pg 122 Paper Towns (35 pages)
pg 0 to pg 25 16 Lighthouse Road ebook (25 pages)

pg 122 to pg 182 Paper Towns (60 pages)

Thanks for reading


Stephanie Meyer. How I got started reading her books?

There is a unique story as to why I read Stephanie Meyer's books. Eighth grade year my friend  said "Hey Let's go to this movie. It sounds good." I said "Sure." I knew nothing about the movie all I knew is that I would be going to a movie with my friends. I saw twilight and I loved the movie. My friend not so much, but that was just one casualty. I was hooked. I picked up and read Twilight and New Moon during 8th grade. Then I read Eclipse over the summer and Breaking Dawn at the beginning of my freshman year. 

In my opinion New Moon was my least favorite novel and movie. It took me three 14 day loans from the library to finish New Moon and I just didn't enjoy it at all. It had long stretches of just nothing going on, but I had to read it so I could read Eclipse. My two favorite books of the series are Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I just remember flying through Eclipse. Rosalie has always been my favorite character and I liked how she was in Eclipse more. I read Breaking Dawn in 14 days which for me is amazing. For others maybe not, but for me that is really fast. Anyhow I loved Breaking Dawn, the wedding, the baby, and the ending. I loved every aspect of that novel. 

The Twilight series was an amazing part of my middle school experience and those books and movies have been a part of my life. I am a huge twilight fan and I'm glad my friend made me go to the movie because otherwise I may not have gave these books or movies the time of day. 

Books Read:

As I said above my favorite is Breaking Dawn and Breaking Dawn Part 2 is my favorite movie. I had to fight my mom to let me go to the 10 o'clock showing of Breaking Dawn, but I made it there.

Thanks for Reading


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (no spoilers)

Book: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Publication: December 1st, 2009
Source: Local Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

My Summary:

Beautiful Creatures is about Lena Duchannes who is a caster. A caster is like a witch, but they don't like to be called that. Lena will be "claimed" for the light or the dark on her sixteen birthday. Lena has just moved to a new town and she meets Ethan Wate. Ethan can't wait to get out of Gatlin, a town that has barely changed since the civil war. Ethan has had dreams since his mother died of a girl he has never met. Ethan is drawn to Lena when she moves into the town's oldest plantation, Ravenwood. Ethan begins to discover what the connection between them is. 

Book's Summary (from goodreads):

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. 
There was a curse. 
There was a girl. 
And in the end, there was a grave. 

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

My Thoughts:
Beautiful Creatures is an amazing novel I have fell in love with every part of this novel. This novel is written in Ethan's point of view  and at the beginning it was hard to keep up with who Ethan was, but as you got further into the novel it wasn't an issue at all. It just depends how fast you adjust to writing style. The first part of the book is really slow. It took me about 60 pages to get out of the introduction and get into the actual story. It starts getting interesting when Ethan learns more about Lena. I was intrigued about Lena from the beginning. Of course I already know she was a caster, but I didn't fully understand what that meant to be a caster and what was so important about Lena's sixteen birthday. She was different and that is something Gatlin Country wasn't familiar with and they didn't like. I can totally identify with her in that way because I have always been teased because I was different. Ethan on the other hand he had it all. He was on the basketball team and he had a good group of friends, but Ethan was willing to throw that all away for a girl. It is the whole theme of love conquers all. It was more like Ethan didn't have a choice he recognized Lena as the girl from his unexplained dreams and he needed to find out what connection they had. The characters are the main reason I love this novel so much. Each character has a distinct personality so you know who is who. Ridley is my favorite character. She is Lena's cousin. I also really like Ethan's three old aunts because they are really funny and forgetful.  There is a distinct change in the novel towards the end. There was just a shift that you could feel as the novel started to wind down to the ending. It was totally a great way to make me stay up super late to continue reading so I could find out what happened to  Lena and Ethan. I don't want to give anything away about the ending, but I will say that the ending didn't disappoint and there is a big cliff hanger to set the book up for the next book in the series Beautiful Darkness.

I must say I'm super excited to see the movie February 14th, 2013. 

Memorable Quotes:
I don't usually pay too much attention to quotes, but this book has literally quotes I couldn't get out of my head. Quotes I love and quotes I never want to forget. 

I have to say it makes me pretty mad that on Goodreads all the quotes from the novels are by just Kami Garcia. Margaret Stohl had a hand in writing this book too so she also deserves the credit, but Kami Garcia is getting sole credit for these quotes and even my own library is give her almost sole credit because you can only look the book up by her name. 

  • “Until then, you can do what everyone else your age does. Listen to music. Watch the television. Just keep your nose away from those books.” (Amma)
  • “I'm just the librarian. I can only give you the books. I can't give you the answers.” (Marian) pg 420 in my copy
  • “Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.” (Macon) pg 446 in my copy
I'm sure there are more great quotes, but these are the ones I was drawn too.

Please do yourself a favor and pick up this novel. I will be recommending this novel to everybody I know. It was amazing.

Thanks for reading


Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Logging

I started book logging in 2011 during my junior year of high school. I just started a word document and I logged the title of the book, the author, the date I started, and the date I finished. I think it is really interesting to go back and see how long it took me to read the book.

Then August of 2012 I found goodreads and I have been hooked to it ever since. I still keep up my word document, but Goodreads is a great way to reflect on how I felt about the books and if I liked them/ disliked them. Plus it does what my word document book log was doing.

I do wish I started book logging earlier in life because I think it would have been cool to know what books I read during middle school although I have marked every book that I can remember I read on goodreads I don't have dates for most of them because I can't remember during what year I read it.

Reflecting of all the books I read in 2012 I read some pretty amazing books.

Thanks for reading


Friday, January 18, 2013

Nonfiction books

So I have to read one nonfiction book for independent reading. I really would love some reccommendations, but since I have no viewers that might be a slim happening. At this point I'm planning on reading.

When my church youth group and I volunteered at The Ronald Mcdonald house we had a bit of downtime and I saw they had this book and began to read it. I only read the first 38 pages, but I fell in love with the story Nicholas Sparks was creating. Of course it has been my to read list ever since. I'm excited to read this book and get to know Nicholas Sparks and his brother more as real people. 

The second book I want to read is 
I started this book back during my sophomore year of high school when I took independent reading the first time. It took me an entire semester to read 82 pages. Yeah I'm not kidding 82 pages. Back during sophomore year I was the type of person who would always be reading 2-3 books at one time. I was reading so many other amazing books that although I always had this one with me I was choosing to read the other novels. I put Eat Pray Love down and said I would come back to it later. Eat Pray Love is one of the rare books that I own and I think that is half the problem. There is no deadline to finish this novel. I'm the type of person that needs deadlines otherwise the work will not get done it will just sit there. That is what happened to this novel. I think the movie is okay and I'm excited to give this novel another chance. Since I'm a one book at a time reader now this book will get finished and it won't take a whole semester. It can't take a semester if I'm going to read 50 books this year.

Update 3-24-13: I read Three Weeks with My Brother and loved it. You can read my review here. 

Thanks for reading and leave anymore nonfiction book recommendation's below.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sarah Dessen how I got started reading her novels.

Its Thursday which means it is time for another author post. This will be my first author post about an author I'm still currently reading. I could, but I don't think I will be reading anymore books by Janette Oke and the next time I read books by Laura Ingalls Wilder will be to my own children. Let's begin.
The author I will be talking about today is Sarah Dessen. I started reading Sarah Dessen in 8th grade. My 8th grade reading teacher offered Someone Like You as a lit circle book. I read some other book, but I was interested in her book so I borrowed it from my teacher and read the book. Then I talked my sister into reading Someone Like You. She loved it too. We were hooked.

I quickly started reading all of Sarah Dessen's books until there came a time when I only had three books left and I stopped because I wanted to save them. At least that was my excuse the real reason was because I found other authors to read. I love Sarah Dessen's books with a passion.

The thing I really like about Sarah Dessen is the fact that she mentions other books characters in her other books. I found a great blog post that shows some of her connections. You can find the link here. I also like how easy Sarah Dessen makes it for you to relate to her characters. Sarah Dessen's characters are normal teenagers experiencing normal problems. Many people want weird, out there, supernatural characters, but I have always been drawn to the characters that are just normal. 

Books I have read by Sarah Dessen:                 


I have read 10 books total. I'm officially done with all her published novels besides her newest novel The Moon and More. My favorite novel is so hard to choose with Sarah Dessen because I loved every single one I have read besides Keeping the Moon. Just Listen quickly became one of my favorites, but I also really enjoyed the rest of her novels. 

Exciting News
Sarah Dessen has a new book coming out on June 4 2013.
I will be reading this sometime in 2013 and there will be a review up.

That is pretty much it for me. Sarah Dessen is an amazing author and I would recommend her books to teenager girls. They are just amazing. 

Thanks for reading


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Discussion (Spoilers Included)

The Time Traveler's Wife has a great reading group discussion guide at the back of the book and I am going to go through and answer some of those questions using the novel.

You have been warned there is spoilers in this post. So don't read this post if you have not read the book. If you have read the book chime in with your answers below. 

The question will be in bold my answer will be in regular text. 

On the novel's first page Clare declares, "I wait for Henry." In what way does this define her character and how is the theme of waiting developed throughout the book?

Clare is the true definetion of a woman who waits. Clare literally spends her whole life waiting for Henry. In some ways I'm sad that Clare wasn't able to have a normal life, but in other respects she was lucky. She met her soul-mate at six. Even after Henry dies Clare continues to wait for him to come back because he told her that he would be back when she is 82. Waiting is the biggest theme of this novel. Clare waits for her future, she waits for Henry, and she waits for a baby. Waiting is how I would define Clare as a character.

What keeps these characters from being stereotypes? In what ways does the author give them depth? For example at what points in the book do Henry and Clare reverse roles? 

From what I just said about Clare up there she is definetly a stereotype, but Clare also has depth as a character. One of the ways she has depth is the fact that she is willing to stand up to Henry to fight for what she wants. In this novel Clare wants to have her own biological child and Henry just doesn't want to go through with it anymore. Henry gets a vasectomy, but Clare gets pregnant by a younger Henry so they do end up having, Alba. Henry is very unpredictable especially in his young age, but he is also a loving caring man. He would do anything not to time travel. He would do anything to protect Clare from what he knows is going to happen. I think that is what truly gives Henry depth as a character. The end of the book Clare states that she feels like the one who is time traveling now. After Henry dies Clare never fully feels like she is in the present. She feels like she is just floating through life in a blur. 

How does Henry's time Travel affect Clare? How is Clare affected by meeting her future husband at the age of six? How does the author manage to make their relationship seem eccentric and enchanged rather than sinister?

Henry's time traveling has affected every aspect of Clare's life. She has know Henry her whole life. It affect her childhood, adolecent, and adulthood. Emotionally Clare loves the time traveling until she meets Henry in the present then she wishes it would just stop. Clare finds the time traveling very hard in her adult life because she doesn't know how long he will be gone, where he is, and if he is safe. Clare had a lot of problems in her teenage years with bullying because she had never gone on a date. Clare knew that she was meant to be with Henry, but she went on some dates to prove people wrong and she suffered pretty suffer consequences because of that one date with the stuck up jock. Henry changed Clare's whole life at the age of six. If you saw a 30 year old man hanging out with a six year old you would think that is just wrong. The reason we don't see it that way with Henry and Clare is because we know Henry is a good person and he would never hurt Clare. We know that they end up together in the future. We find their love very exciting rather than sinister. 

How has the death of Henry's mother helped shape him?

Henry has been forced to watch his mother die hundreds of times knowing every time that there is nothing he can do to change what happened. Henry's mother died on Christmas eve which has led Henry to a dislike of Christmas. Henry's father mourns the death of Henry's mother every day of his life and he never truly got over her. The death of Henry's mother gave him a whole different life. He grew up with a father that wasn't really there. A father that was too lost in his own grieve to realize his son needed him to be there. Henry lost a person that was important to him and I don't think you can ever be the same after losing somebody important to you. 

What role does the characters' knowledge and the gaps in their knowledge play in the novel?

When Clare meets Henry at the age of 28 years old in the present she already knows a lot about him and Henry knows nothing about Clare. Henry time traveling to Clare's past has happened yet, but for Clare she has already know Henry her whole life. The author is always filling us in on missing pieces of the puzzle as Henry and Clare go through there life. Henry knows things that are going to happen that he doesn't tell Clare about such as his death. Clare knows things about Henry that he has yet to discover. It plays a significant role in this novel.

Discuss Henry's observation that " there is only free will when you are in time, in the present." 

Henry's idea is that there is no changing the past that is already written, but you still have a choice as to what will happen in the future. When they are shopping for houses Clare goes shopping by herself and when she tells Henry she says that they will find the right house anyways and she wants to believe for once in her life that everything isn't up to fate. 

What is the List that Henry makes for Clare and how does it give the book dramatic momentum? 

The list is all the dates that Henry comes to visit Clare in the meadow. I noticed this time around that there were a couple times when Henry came to the meadow at a date that wasn't on the list and those seemed to be the dates where something bad happened to Henry such as the day of his death. When it came to the end of the list and Henry and Clare embarked on their two year separation I was sad that Clare would not see Henry for the next two years while Henry would see Clare in his present life. 

How does Henry and Clare's relationship change following their marriage? How is it affected by their desire for a child? 

 After their marriage Henry and Clare were a pretty normal couple besides the fact that Henry was always popping in and out. Their desire for a child created a lot of trouble in their marriage as when it was time to quit trying. Clare wanted to keep going and Henry thought it was time to give up. 

How does the author use time travel as a metaphor: for love, for loss and absence, for fate, for aging, for death? To what extent are Clare and Henry a normal couple?

Clare and Henry have a love that conquers all. Their love has truly survived the test of time. Time travel has made both of their lives not normal, but Clare and Henry are normal couple. They go through normal struggles of life. Time travel becomes a metaphor for many things throughout this novel and it makes you wonder about love over time, how we long for one when they are gone, is our life all up to fate or do we have free will, are we really always one age or are we many ages at once, and how do the people who are left behind feel after ones death. There is a lot of foreshadowing and depth to this novel that make it such a wonderful novel.

My favorite scenes of this novel are the wedding scene because I love the fact that Clare marries the Henry she knows from her childhood and the present Henry comes back later. My second favorite part is when Henry visits Alba when they are on a class field trip. 

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Spoiler Free)

Book: The Time Traveler's Wife 
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Series: Standalone
Publication: May 27th, 2004
Source: Local Library
Rating: 5/5 stars 

Henry DeTamble can see the past through time travel. Henry visits the past and he gets to see events of his life good and bad played over and over again. The problem is he can't choose where he ends up which sometimes puts Henry in dangerous situations. Henry meets his wife Clare Abshire when she is six years old. Clare has to deal with always waiting around for Henry while dealing with the pressures of High school. Can Clare and Henry's love strong enough to endure the test of time? 

My thoughts:
This was my second time reading through this wonderful novel and I must say I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. This book is amazing. It switches back and forth between Henry and Clare talking so you truly get to know what is going on in both of their heads.  Henry and Clare truly have a love that will last a lifetime. I enjoyed re-experiencing my favorite parts of this novel over again and I loved every minute I spent reading this novel. Every step of the way throughout this novel I learned to love Clare and Henry as characters even more.  As I got near the ending of this novel I started to try to talk myself out of the ending that there would be a different ending this time although I knew that wouldn't happen. I do love the true ending and I think the author made the right choice with the ending it is just so heartbreaking.

I did notice the beginning is a tad confusing with the switching back and forth, but once you got into it I was fine.

Fans of Nicholas Sparks I think you would love this book. 

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Jannette Oke How I began reading her books.

First off I'm going to say that my plan was to have authors posts out every Thursday until I ran out of authors, but I didn't have time on Thursday and I got sick on Friday. It has been an interesting week.

The author I will be discussing today is Janette Oke author of The Love Comes Softly series. I believe I was in seventh grade when I first saw Love Comes Softly come on the hallmark channel. After I saw the movie and my mom told me it was a book I just had to pick it up. I spent most of my seventh and eighth grade year reading the twelve novels of her Love Comes Softly series. After I finished the Loves Comes Softly series I started The Canadian West series.

 I fell in love with Marty, Clark, and their family while reading The Love Comes Softly Series. I loved those novels so much that the summer before my freshman year in high school I decided to read all of them all over again. I have to say there is something special about reading a series over again because you fall in love with the characters all over again. The movies are done coming out on the hallmark channel now and they did change quite a bit, but I think they changed it in an okay to me way. I wasn't upset about the changes as I am so often when it comes to movies. They also did movies on the hallmark channel that don't have books to go with them. They did three movies; Love Begins, Love's Everlasting Courage, and Love's Christmas Journey as prequels to The Love Comes Softly series. I loved every one of them and got them for Christmas this year. I own most of the movies on DVD now except I'm missing a few.

When I think of The Loves Comes Softly series I think of an author who brought me great joy as I read these novels. Marty and Clark are the true definition of how love should be. Clark showed that even after losing somebody it is possible to fall in love again. My favorite quote from the book "Sometimes love isn't fireworks, sometime love just comes softly." I don't want to give away too much, but it took Marty a long time to realize that she had to move on after her husband Clem's death (Aaron in the movie) and it took Clark be patient and trusting in God to truly earn Marty's love.

It has been a number of years now since I have read any of Janette Oke's books. She is still writing and she is 77 years old now. The series that she is working on right now is called The Acts of Faith Series. I tried to read to it, but wasn't interested. She is writing it with Davis Bunn and I wonder if I just don't like his writing. Janette Oke is a great author and I will never forget the Love Come Softly series and the Canadian West series because they both brought me great joy.

Love Come Softly Series

My favorite book would have to be Love's Abiding Joy, but my favorite movie is Love Takes Wing. They changed the whole story line for the Love Takes Wing Movie, but I love it. 

A Prairie Legacy (A continuation of the Love Comes Softly Series)

A Prairie Legacy series is about Belinda's daughter Virginia (Belinda is Marty and Clark's final child). Like Gold refined was my favorite novel. It was bittersweet for the series to be over, but the last book gave you a sense of peace. 

Canadian West Series

Beyond the Gathering Storm was my favorite novel in the Canadian West series. 

There you have it all the books I have read by Janette Oke  Thank you for reading and check back soon for more blog posts.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: On Top of Concord Hill by Maria D. Wilkes

If you have read my previous blog post about Laura Ingalls Wilder you know how much I love Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. I just finished reading the fourth book in the Caroline series.

Book: On Top of Concord Hill
Author: Maria D. Wilkes
Series: Caroline Series #4
Publication: September 5th, 2000
Source: Local Library
Rating: 5/5 stars

Caroline Quiner grows up to be Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved Ma. This book was by far my favorite of the Caroline Series. I learned so many things about the Ingalls family through reading this book. Caroline Quiner lost her husband Henry Quiner in a boat accident when Caroline was five. Now it is a few years later I believe Caroline is eight in this book. Caroline Quiner is getting remarried to Fredrick Holbrook. Their marriage caused some suspision in my mind and I decided to do some research of my own to check if the author got the fact right. I was pleasantly surprised to find the fact correct on many websites I visited. Charlotte and Fredrick Holbrook had one child in their marriage Charlotte (Aunt Lottie) Holbrook who is mention in The Little House in the Big Woods. Another part in the book mentions about Martha liking one of their old neighbors from Brookfield Charles Carpenter. I did some research on Martha Quiner to find the fact to be very true. I found her obituary and she did indeed marry Charles Carpenter and they had 14 children during their marriage. The family also came down with Cholera during this novel. This fact may or may not be totally true, but the point of these novels is to paint a picture of what life might have been like for Caroline Quiner. They are shelved as fiction for a reason, but I the author did use many real facts from Caroline's life.

As I was reading the novel I also researched some more about the Quiner family not specifically  because anything happened in the novel I just got curious as to what happened to Caroline Quiner's siblings. Did they grow up and have kids? Is there any direct relationships to Caroline Quiner still alive? I will tell you I found a lot of information about Caroline Quiner's siblings. I found that many of them did have children, but I reached a lot of dead ends as records weren't kept well on her siblings children.

Caroline Quiner's oldest brother Joseph got married to Nancy Frank. The only records I can find is that they had one child Frank Quiner, but there may have been more. Joseph fought in the Civil War. He was wounded at the battle of Shiloh and died on April 26, 1862 at the age of 28. and

Henry Odin Quiner married Polly Ingalls. He is one of the three of the Quiner family to marry an Ingalls. Polly is Charles Ingalls (Pa's) younger sister. They had seven children. Henry's son Charley was the boy who cried wolf in The Little House in the Big Woods. Henry's family stayed in Wisconsin after the Ingalls family moved. They were reunited shortly in By the Shores of Silver Lake before the Ingalls family moved on to settle in Desmet, SD. Henry died in 1886 and Polly died in 1887. Three of their children lived to adulthood. The site says that the three remaining children married and settled in Wyoming, but I could find no further records.

Martha Jane Quiner Carpenter married Charles Carpenter as I stated earlier. They had fourteen children during their marriage and all of them lived to adulthood except Martha Eliza who died when she was three mostly likely because of illness. Although Martha's obituary does state that five of her children died before she did. Martha died in 1927. She lived to be 90 years old. Eliza and her half sister Charlotte were still alive when she passed. She was survived by 9 of her 14 children and went on to have 28 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren according to her obituary.

Next in line would be Caroline, but everybody already knows that Caroline went on to marry Charles Ingalls becoming the 2nd of the Quiner family to marry an Ingalls and she had five children. Mary, Laura, Carrie, Fredrick, and Grace. Caroline died in DeSmet on Easter Sunday April 20, 1924.

Caroline's youngest sister Eliza Quiner married Peter Ingalls and became the third Quiner to marry an Ingalls. Peter Ingalls was Charles Ingalls (Pa's) older brother. Together they had six children. Aunt Eliza and Uncle Peter came to visit the Ingalls family for Christmas in The Little House in the Big Woods. Laura's Cousin Alice came to visit in These Happy Golden Years and her cousin Peter lived with Laura and Almanzo in The First Four Years. Laura never recorded this, but the Ingalls spent the summer of 1876 on Peter and Eliza's farm in Burr Oak, Iowa. This was around the time Fredrick Ingalls died and he is most likely buried on Peter's farm or in a cemetery near by. Eliza Quiner Ingalls died in 1931.

Caroline's last brother Thomas Ingalls married Lillian Graham Hill. They had six children together. Thomas Quiner died in a logging accident next to the Columbia river on Febuary 23rd, 1903 soon after his final child and youngest son John was born. and

I also have two more sites to give you when I was researching Laura Ingalls Wilder genelogy. and

I also did some specific research on the Caroline books and the other series in general. I was sadden to find that these books are no longer in print. These books are very expensive to find and I really would love to have copies of them to read to my own children. I hope Harper Collins Publishing will see the error of their ways and starting printing the original unabridged versions of these wonderful books someday. There is a good post about it on amazon and I did read a blog post about it, but I'm unable to find the post at this time.

If you made it this far in this post congratulations. I'm sorry I got long winded I try to keep my posts littered with pictures, but there are very few pictures of the Quiner family. You will just have to suffer through the many links today. Thank you for reading and if you have any interesting websites to share about the Ingalls family I would be glad to have them.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book and movie review:I want to tell you something I bet you didn't know.

That's right this post is going to be about the academy award winning movie The Blind Side staring Sandra Bullock and Tim Mcgraw. I absolutely love The Blind Side there is so much to learn from this movie as a whole. There is just great family values and the whole issue of reaching out and helping others which I feel is something we all can do better at. The Tuohy family lived a charmed life and there was no reason they needed to help Michael Oher a homeless boy who had a drug addict mother and basically was down on his luck. Leeann Tuohy brought Michael into her home and she helped him with school and college. The Tuohy family lead Michael to many successes in life. 

Now here is the part I bet you didn't know The Blind Side is actually based off well Michael Oher's life, but also a best selling novel about Michael Oher. Here is my story behind this book and yes I have read it. I took my friend with me to see The Blind Side with my family and I. She loved the movie so much that she went and bought the book. She was busy reading another book at the time so I asked her if I could borrow the book and read it before she did. My friend said yes and I read the book when I was in 8th grade. Here's the thing the movie had a good balance between football and Michael's life. I prefer to watch football than read about football. The book spent a lot of time going over football history and just talking a lot about football. I didn't enjoy those segments. When it came to talking about Michael's life I liked those segments, but they always seemed to be rather short. The book took me a long time to read and I didn't overly enjoy the book, but I think I'm not the right person for this book. I think a person who enjoys reading about football would love this book. I told my friend my opinion on the book and she actually never read the book. My mom read the book and she skipped over all the football parts so she really enjoyed the book. There is a saying that says nobody ever reads the same book and that is why books are so amazing because you can never interpert the book the same way as another person does. That is one of many reasons I love reading. 

I will be doing another blog post in a couple of days on Little House Caroline Series book I'm currently reading and some interesting facts I have found about this book in general and Laura's life. Look out for that. Thanks for reading and I will see you soon


Friday, January 4, 2013

Book and movie review: The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Today I'm doing a book review on The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I read The Pact last fall so I have to tell you I have lost details of how wonderful this book really is, but it is my favorite Jodi Picoult book so I want to share my thoughts with whoever may read this post. The Pact is about Chris and Emily who decide to make a suicide pact. Emily ends up dying and Chris survives. The police show up and Chris still has the gun in his hand. They are doubtful that Emily committed suicide and charge Chris with murder. The Pact spends a lot of time focusing on the parents and what they really think happened. Chris and Emily's parents used to be friends before Emily's death. Now Emily's parents are blaming Chris's parents and Chris's parents are blaming themselves, but yet they can't convince themselves that their son would commit murder. The Pact is a novel that will constantly keep you thinking and guessing right to the end. The book is not only sad, but very emotional. The Pact did the unique think of making you look at the character from both sides. There was part of this novel that I thought Chris was totally innocent and then there were parts of this novel that I wasn't sure and thought maybe he is guilty  It put a doubt in my mind about Chris as a character and what he was capable of doing. You will have to read the book to find the answer.

There is also a lifetime movie based on The Pact which my sister and I watched shortly after we finished reading the novel. The movie didn't want to show the scene where Chris was holding the gun because it was a movie for TV. The movie basically cut Chris out as a main character and focused almost solely on the parents. The movie was just cheaply made and in no way represented how great this novel is.

Thanks for reading comment your feelings on this novel.