Friday, January 23, 2015

Top 14 Books Of 2014

Sorry, the photo is dark at the top.  I tried re-taking it many times.

1. The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
Image is from LibriVox where we listened to this book as part of our Homeschool.

This book is about Ancient Egypt.  I had to read this book for school, but I liked reading this book for school.  I haven't done a book review for this book, but I want to.  I highly recommend The Cat of Bubastes!

2.  Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones
(also, all the books I read by Jenny B. Jones in 2014)

Okay, so have you seen the movie "My Fake Fiance," with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence?  I have.  I watched it right before I read this book.  I really like the movie, I also really like the book.  They kind of have the same premise, which gives you a good idea of what this book is about.  I really like that in the book, the main girl character, Lucy, is much less selfish than the main girl character in the movie.  One difference is that Lucy is a Christian.  Also, Lucy is a Super Cool Book Nerd (S.C.B.N.), and she likes STAR WARS!!!!  It's like we're almost twins.  Another thing I like about this book is that the author tells the story from the guy main character, too.  I pretty much always prefer dual point of view.  That is why I wanted my Super Power to be mind reading abilities.  Then I changed my mind, because mind reading abilities might be really annoying.

3.  The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

(*also, all the books I read by Melanie Dickerson)
There is too much to tell about this book, you can check out my REVIEW.

4.  Starring Me by Krista McGee

Aw, I love this book!  This is the second book in a companion series.  The first book is called First Date. These are all Modern Day Biblical Allegories.  Starring Me is based on Issac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.  It's about this girl, and this boy, and it sounds really cliche, but it's not. This book is also told from both the girl and guy's point of view. The guy's name is Chad, and he's homeschooled, and he's an actor, and a singer, and he's a Christian.  So, he's pretty much the perfect guy.

5.  Interrupted by Rachel Coker

Here's the link to my Book Review.  I really like this book.  It's set in the '40's, in America, World War II time.

6.  Spark by Evan Angler

This is the fourth book of the Swipe series.  I LOVE this series.  This series is the reason why my name is Marklessgirl.  I actually started this book in 2013.  But then, I was a kind person and waited for my mother and brother to read this with.  They were waiting to read the fourth book, too.

7.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Here's my Book vs. Movie Review.  This is a Cinderella retelling that is very different.

8.  Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

This is a sad book.  If you need a good cry, this is the book to read.  Lots of tears were shed by myself, even when things were not so sad.  This is set in modern times, in Florida.  This is not a book for young readers.  I would not share this with someone unless they were age 14, or maybe older, depending on the person.  If you read the synopsis, that will tell you partially why I would not share the book with a young reader.  It kind of reminds me of The Outsiders, but Christian and with no gangs.  There is a great story of redemption, and love, and finding yourself, and your relationship with God.

9.  Captives by Jill Williamson

(*Actually, the whole trilogy, Captives just happens to be the first one.)
This is a Dystopian book set far enough in the future that I would be an old person, or maybe dead.  (Laughing Hysterically... Why? I do not know... Why, am I not the Mad Hatter? Oh, because I dislike strongly Alice in Wonderland.)  So, we've got two, well, we've got three, but we're only going to tell you about two right now.  There's two places that you live.  One place is called the Safe Lands, but they're not so safe.  And the place that is outdoorsy called Glenrock.  Some evil people from the Safe Lands go and steal lots of people from Glenrock.  Oops, I just remembered, there are four places that you can live, but we're still only going to tell you about two right now.  Anyways, the reason that they stole these people is that there's this disease.  The people in the Safe Lands all have this disease.  They need healthy people to have children so that they can continue having a population in the Safe Lands.  Somewhere I read that they did not think anything like this would ever happen, or has ever happened, but I disagree, strongly!  Because this actually has happened before.  Tribes used to go and conquer another tribe, kill the men, and take the women and children as their own.  This is a very interesting series.  I highly recommend it, but you should be older to read these books, because the Safe Lands is pretty much Sodom and Gomorrah, maybe worse, because I don't think they were forcing women to be surrogate mothers in Sodom and Gomorrah.

10.  Beverly Gray's Surprise by Clair Blank

This is the last book in the Beverly Gray series. This is the only one I have read.  The series is out of print, but worth looking for.  This is a mystery book, and this was the most shocking mystery that I read last year.  That says a lot since I have read a lot of mysteries in my entire life, so I am very good at guessing the answer to the mystery.

11.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I have tried reading this like fifty times, okay, maybe not fifty, but a lot.  To read this, you really need to get past Chapter 19, because after that, the book gets really, really interesting.  I read the book in like two days when I finally got past Chapter 19.  It took me a week to get through Chapter 18.  I had made it there all the times I'd tried reading the book before.  When I went to re-read, I started at the beginning again.  Sigh.  Anyways, I found an audio book version, and listened to Chapter 11, 18, and 19... and some others previous to Chapter 19 that were tedious to get through.  Once I made it past Chapter 19, I went back to my physical book, and had no trouble finishing the rest.  The first chapters might be interesting to other people if they had not watched all the Pride and Prejudice adaptions available to them before owning the actual book.

12.  The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

I would describe this book as "Footloose" in the Regency Time Period, but different, but also the same, but also cool.  I am planning on doing a Book vs. Movie Review on this, even though, technically, it's not an adaptation.  Alex is the Dancing Master, and he has been added to my Book Boyfriend List.  Alex is very high on the Book Boyfriend List.

13.  Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum

Paige Alder is the most looking-like-me-character I have ever read about in my entire life! Yes, she's a bit taller than me, but I can relate because I was always taller than others as a child.  I should probably tell what this book is about.  This is the first book in a trilogy.  I have now read all the books, although I only read the first two in 2014.  This girl, Paige, I'm assuming you've met her, she's extremely busy.  And that's a bad thing, because she has no time for God, or herself, or food shopping, or even eating.  I have been there.  It's not fun, no.  No sirree, Bob.  This story is highly marketed, from what I can tell, as a romance novel.  I do not agree.  Yes, there is romance, not that much at all.  The book is mainly about prioritizing your life, but it's less boring than just prioritizing your life.  It's all about Paige's crazy life.

14.  Live Original by Sadie Robertson

This is a combination Autobiography, Do Hard Things for Girls Only, and Bible Study.  I wanted to speed through this book, but forced myself to slow down, and then I sped through it anyway.  This is a book I will probably read again.  Sadie ends each Chapter with a challenge, and I could not slow myself down enough to write down my answers and really do the challenge.  There is some very interesting history about the Robertson family, and Sadie's Mom's family.  She has quite a Christian legacy behind her.

*My rule was that I could only pick one book by each author, so here are my Honorable Mentions by some of the same authors as above.

Honorable Mention:

1.  Anomaly by Krista McGee (the whole trilogy)

I read all this trilogy, it was great, la, la, la.  Here is a link to my Anomaly Review and my Luminary Review.

2.  Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

I cannot pick which one I like better of her two books, I go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth!  FOREVER!  Here is my link to my Review.  This book is set in the 1960's.

3.  The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

Mystery. Intrigue.  New House.  New Suitor?  Another Regency novel from one of my new favorite authors, Julie Klassen.  I stayed up so late reading this book, and not just the last night I was reading it, every single day I was reading this book.

Thanks for reading this list.  I would enjoy hearing what your Top 14 Books were in 2014 in the comments below!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 Bookish New Years Resolutions Results

It is officially 2015, so here are the results of how I did on my resolutions for last year:

1. Read 150 books (I read 114 in 2013, so I need to up my game!).
-This got changed in the Spring, to 75 books, Why I had it at 150 was because I thought 2014 was going to be a lot less busy year compared to 2013.  I quickly realized, that 2014 was going to be just as busy, or more so, than 2014.  The result is that I read, overall, 100 books.

2. Re-read 20 books.
-I re-read 25 books.  Past my goal!  Whoo-hoo!

3. Read 5 Classics.
-I read over 5 classics, at least 7.  I might have read more, because some books are considered classics, and I don't even realize that fact.

4. Read all of the Lord of the Rings (I've seen all, but the Hobbit, of these movies.  I'll {at least} read most of The Fellowship of the Ring.)
-I finished The Fellowship of the Ring, and I started The Two Towers.  So, I'm saying I half completed this.

5. Review most of the books I read on this blog.
-Now, I didn't do as well as I would have liked on this, but I still did pretty good.  So, I'm saying like 75% on this one.

6. Read all of the books that I own and have not read (I only have 14, but still!).
-I read almost all of the books that I owed when I wrote this post.  I still have like 14, or more un-read books, because I obviously bought more books in 2014.

7. Only buy books that I have read, or know I will love.
-I would say I did pretty good on this.  I only bought one book with my own money that I did not like.  I'd say that's pretty good with reading 100 books (I did not finish that one book).

8.  .... and books in series that I love.

9. Read a lot of the Redwall books (There are a lot of them.  I don't want to force myself to read every one.).
-Complete....FAIL.  I did not read a single Redwall book to it's completion.  In my defense, I did start one.

10. Listen to five audio books.
-I listened to all of The Cat of Bubastes  by G.A. Henty. I re-listened to half of Eldest by Christopher Paolini.  I listened to at least nine chapters of the Pride and Prejudice audio book.  I started to listen to Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty on, but the reader could not keep my attention, so I only listened to the Preface and Chapter 1.  I switched to listening to Among the Malay Pirates, also by G.A. Henty, the reader has an great voice, so I will be continuing with the one; the story was already exciting.

11. Get a book related t-shirt.
-I am saying this is practically completed.  I have a blank shirts, transfer paper, and some awesome bookish quotes.  So, I will have more than one book related t-shirt, homemade.

12. Meet an author (I've never met an author).  (I always have opportunities that I miss out on, and it's getting to be an issue.  So, I have to make this a resolution!  So, now I HAVE to do it.) (I just remembered I have met an author, but I've never read his book... so, does this count?  I think not!)
-I think I can now say that I have met an author, but not the way I planned.  The author is my second cousin, who I have spoken about before.  I read her un-edited book.  The comlete/final/edited version should be out this month.  Might do an author interview.  I haven't talked to her about it, but that could be a thing. (What do you say, Tracy?)

-Bonus info:  My Goodreads goal was to read 50 new books, because Goodreads doesn't count re-reads. Disgraceful!  And the books that I read, that I could find to mark on Goodreads, was 67.  The problem with buying old thrift store books is that they are not always on the Goodreads... or even that random book I bought at Walmart that was not on there.  I am now an Official Overachiever.  Okay, maybe not so much, since I completely failed some of my other New Years Resolutions. But In Goodreads Land, I am successful.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book "Hangover" Awards (July-Dec 2014)

This is my Part 2 of The Library In My Room's "Book Hangover Awards".  If you missed the first seven in the Book Hangover Awards, you can be enlightened by clicking HERE.

8. The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson.  I read this book in two days.  Okay, about two days. It could have been three; it was a long time ago.  I have written a review of this book.  I'm not super proud of the review, because I wrote it super long after I finished the book.  This particular book hangover caused me to take two weeks to read the next book I was reading.  Probably around two week, July was a long time ago.  Alright, not that long ago.  I suffer from non-dementia, but I eat a lot of sugar.  I don't know if that affects your memory, but I do eat a lot of sugar, fact.  And I eat real sugar, none of that artificial junk.  Nothing could compare to this book, even sugar.  All I wanted was The Princess Spy, but I couldn't have The Princess Spy, because it was not yet published (and at that time, I had no hope of getting an ARC {Advanced Reading Copy}).

9.  Captives by Jill Williamson.  This book hangover was so bad that I had to return all the other library books I had, without reading them.  Okay, one, just one book, but still! I had to read the sequel, no other book would do.  I ended up struggling through Below the Surface by Tim Shoemaker; which is a good book, just not what I wanted to read right then.  I had to purchase the next book, because it was not available at the library.  Even though I didn't own the first book, I purchased the second book.  That is so bad!  I don't do that.  I need to buy the books in ORDER.  They need to all be the same size, the same edition, no cover changes for me!  Thank you, very much! And I had no money, so I had to wait almost a month to get the next book.

10.  The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson.  I read this almost right after I read Captives.  And, yes, it suppressed my Captives hangover, and put me in a Princess Spy Hangover.  You can read my review of this lovely book HERE.  I stayed up until 6 a.m. reading this book.  It killed my sleeping schedule.  Thankfully, I read the book on a Friday to a Saturday.  Imagine reading from Saturday to a Sunday, and getting up for church!  Or going to a wedding the next day!

11.  Rebels By Jill Williamson.  This was bad, because I need more closure.  Where are the next seven books telling about the story? With adequate descriptions, at least 500 pages long?  And I'm talking about the chapters, not the books.  I gave this only 4 stars on Goodreads, because I needed more closure.  No other reason, just closure.  I'll probably change it to 5 stars, once I get over the need for closure.

12.  The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty.  This is my favorite book of this entire year.  It was amazing.  I need to do a review on it.  It's about ancient Egypt, but it's not all set in Egypt. It's interesting.  I like Egypt.  I'd like to go to Egypt sometime.  You should read this book.  Maybe you could go to Egypt, too, at least in your mind.

13.  Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones.  I felt guilty for reading The Dancing Master after reading Can't Let You Go.  I told myself I wasn't going to read this book right after my birthday, but I read it in less than 24 hours, the day after my birthday.  So, that tells you about my book reading self control (non-existent).  I suddenly was just like sitting, and I moved rooms, and I was half done with the book. And what did I know?  Now it was over.  Sadness.  I didn't cry at the end though.  I saw that one person reviewed the book and said that she cried at the end.  I cried earlier in the book.

14.  The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen.  This book hangover was hard core.  I couldn't start another book for a full 24 hours, or more.  I had to watch "Footloose", the original movie, the 1980's one.  There was a lot of dancing in the living room that day.  This book renewed my passion for dancing, that I forgot existed.

12.  The Secret Of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen.  Lately, I was trying to figure out what my book hangover was, because I could feel the lingering effects of a book hangover, but I couldn't tell what book it was from.  I finally figured out what book it was from, this book.  It was really good, so what do you expect? So, the lingering effects of a book hangover: not being able to fully immerse ones self in a new book, thinking about the characters in another book (not the one you are currently reading).  I finally figured out that those characters were Abigail and William from The Secret of Pembrooke Park.  And I had been quoting this same book without even realizing it, until I really thought about where this book hangover was coming from.  I was like, "It wasn't from Aquamarine, or Paige Torn.  Live Original couldn't do it.  And it wasn't from a re-read.  Pride and Prejudice was read too long ago; I had read other books between then and now, and not suffered.  Then I was like, the only book left is The Secret of Pembrooke Park."  Then I looked back at my life, and saw that it was true.

13. Paige Rewritten by Erynn Mangum.  This is a particularly special Book Hangover Award; it is a Cliffhanger Book Hangover.  I didn't think that any other book would give me a Book Hangover for the rest  of the year, and then this book decided to sneak up on me and tha-wack me on the head!  Rude!  I need the next book.  I feel so bad for anyone who had to wait for like a year.  I can go to the library and get the book, but it's Christmas, so not super soon.  I'll probably be able to get it in five days.

That is all, Darling.  I could say "Dearie," but I would sound like Rumpelstiltskin from "Once Upon A Time."  Ah, "Once Upon A Time", I should write a blog post about that.  So, until the 2015 Awards, those are all the book hangers for now.