Monday, June 13, 2016

2015 Bookish New Years Resolutions Results

The year 2015 has come to a close (ONLY six months ago) and now it is time to tell everyone how I did on my Bookish New Years Resolutions 

.1 Read 20 new books.  This is my special resolution so that I have a goal to put on my Goodreads account.
I did this and more! I increased my goal to 35 in the year and by the end I had marked 121, but one was a re-read that I marked, but that is still amazing and the most I think I have every read in a year.

2.  Re-read at least 12 books.
Yes! I read a total of 151 books and about 30 or 31 were books that I was reading again.

3.  Listen to at least one audio book.
I did.

4.  Read more of the books my friends tell me to read.
I did this!!!

5.  Read more stand alone's.
I read 38 that I thought where standalone but some I found out where not but that is not my fault.  So, yes, I did do this!

6.  Read just for fun!
I did do this a lot, but not all the time and that is something that I am mad about.  I read all those books that were not very good, just so I could "win the teen summer reading program".  And, yes, I did read the max of books that you can get books for, but none of the books I got did I keep or want (because the "good' books there were the ones I had read and already owned). I don't even know if I will do it next year.

7.  Go to a book signing (or some thing like that). I only have one signed book, and I want to remedy that.
I did not go to a book signing but I did get two new singed books, but I am saying that I win this, because that was all I really hoped to get from this.

8.  Do more book reviews.
I did like 13 so not really.:( But I am trying to be fine with that.

9.  Read more of the books that have been made into movies, that I have seen and LOVED (especially  Heidi and Sarah, Plain and Tall).
I like half did this, kind of.  I did read Sarah Plain and Tall, but not Heidi.

10. Read more books that I can recommend to my younger cousins.  I read a lot of teen, young adult books, including classics geared for young adults.  I want to read more variety that could be read by any age.  My Mom is recommending Pollyanna and Jo's Boys (I've read Little Women multiple times and love it!).
I did this some but not as much as I had hoped to, but I did going to be okay with it.  Mostly....

And that's all! I would say I did pretty good. I did a lot of them and just like 2014 in Goodreads land,  I am successful!!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Top 15 Books Of 2015

Here are my Rules:

1. Not a re-read (This year has to be the first time that I read the book. I can read and re-read a book this year and the book can still be on the list.).

2.  This is NOT in the order of what book I love more, it is just of which one I read first.  With the exception of the first three, but I read them all close together.

Note: I did have a rule that I could only pick one book from each author, but I did not do that this year. So there!

Now, on to the books!

Oh! And one more thing to note is that I will, sadly, not have a photo for each book. I did take one (or more) for every one of them but the laptop is being crazy, and doing what it has done before, and making it so I can not put them all on my blog.  And I am so not waiting and trying to get it to work, because years could go by before I could have this blog post up.  So, if you really have to see the cover, just look it up as you go for the ones that don't have a picture.

1. The Maid Of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
This is my favorite book of Julie Klassen's books that I read this year.  It is all about how Margaret is pretending to be a maid so she does not have to marry a man who her Step-dad is trying to make her marry, so that her Step-dad can have all the money she is going to get from her Aunt on her birthday.  Then there is Nathaniel, who is trying to make Fairbourne Hall a nice place again while his father is away and his brother is being irresponsible.  And there is a past with Nathaniel and Margaret. I love how Nathaniel was so prayerful,  always praying.  I loved that.

2. Flight of The Earls by Michael K. Reynolds
This book is set in Ireland during The Great Famine of 1845, or the Irish Potato Famine, and the family sends some of them to America where there is work and food.  This series travels through that time, the Spanish American War, the California Gold Rush, and the Civil War. The author gives you the point of view of each member of the family and how everything happens to them throughout these times. I loved seeing how the family's love of God grows throughout their lives.

3. Love Finds You In Branson Missouri by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
This book was really interesting! At first, I was like, "I don't know how much I am liking this.  They are kissing ALL the time."  But then it got into talking about being pure and not kissing (and the like) and their walk with God and church.  It was really cool, so it was a big and good turn around and it was a bit like the movie Old Fashioned.  I love that movie, and this book was very interesting, too!  Loved the setting. The main girl character's nick name is Ellie, and she is an actress, and that was totally fun to read about.

4. Cloak Of The Light by Chuck Black
WOW! This book is so well done/good and makes you think so much.  It is amazing!!! Read it!!!! Cloak Of The Light is about a guy named Drew Carter.  Drew goes blind, and he gets told he will never see again, but then he does and he can see MORE. And you should read it. Okay!? Mmmm, why do I not see you reading it!?!?  So you don't think you want to read it.  Fine, I will tell you more about it.  So, Drew is a jock and he goes blind, and then he is not blind, and he can see angels and there are evil ones and crazy stuff goes down and he becomes a crime fighter and it is like a super hero movie!!!!!!!!! Read it!  The book is even better then I am making it sound. Sorry, I am not as good.

5. Miss Match by Erynn Mangum
This book is so funny and lovely! I totally laughed like crazy reading this and the next books in the series that I have read (there are two more on ebook only that I have not read seeing as I don't have an e-reader and I don't like to read books on my phone or laptop very much). I loved seeing how Laurie grows up and grows in her faith. And that she was so funny to read was a lovely plus.

6. Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally
This book is about a lot of things, your life, loving God, not being all over boys and finding out what you really want in a boy, growing yourself to be who you are and thinking about what you want to learn and sharing your faith.  At the beginning of each chapter, there is a fairy tale story that continues throughout the book, which I enjoyed.  When I heard about the book, and I have heard a lot of others with this impression of the title, I thought the book would be about "how to find your prince charming and marry him."  The only thing about finding your man is really about not settling, because you should pray for all the big and tiny details that you want in a husband.  The book is really about being happy, serving God all your life, and being content whether you have a human manly companion that you are romantically inclined to, or not.


7.A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell
This is set in the Elizabethan time in England and I learned a lot about that time from this book.  This is a love story, too. And this book was one of the few books that made me cry more than once in my reading of it.  I can't tell anymore, because then you'd know why I balled my eyes out.  This is a story about a married couple, so I would advise this for older readers.  There is nothing, but a couple of kisses in the entire story, but you know what they are doing between the pages.

8. Inklings by Melanie M. Jeschke (all the Oxford Chronicles)
This is set in the 1970's, wait is it the 1960',s mmm, I don't know.  I will maybe find out.  Okay, I just googled it:  the book starts in 1963.  The series might go to 1970, at the very most, but I'm not sure about that.  This is about a girl who goes to Oxfoud for a study abroad program thing-a-ma-bob, and there is also a boy like there always is, most of the time.  And the boy is a professor, but not like a crazy old one, he's a young one who she likes and he likes her.  But there is, of course, a struggle or two.  And this book is ALL about Jack (C.S.) Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and you may say, "How is that?".  But I will tell you.  There is in Oxford a new Inklings group and the main guy and his best friend are the leaders. The main guy's family friend, who also happened to be his professor, was C.S. Lewis and the book starts off with his funeral.  J.R.R. is still a live'n so he is in it a tiny bit, and a lot more in the second book.  C.S. and J.R.R. are both in the books, because in book three we flash-back to when they are both living, because of the Father and Mother of the main professor guy telling about their time in War World 2, and how they met.  And that third book is really cool, but not my favorite.  They are very real books.  They do not just make everything happy and more happy, or make situations hard just to make them hard.

9. In Good Company by Jen Turano
This is book two in the A Class All Their Own series.  The first two books were published in 2015, and I read them both, but I loved book two better than one, so that is why it is here and not book one.  But I did give them both five out of five stars. This book is set in 1882, and takes place around New York.  In Good Company is SO hilarious.  I love that about it! The story was so fun to read and the mystery is amazing!!! Just so great!!!  It's a sort-of retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but the story reminds me a bit of The Sound of Music, only with a mystery, mystery, mystery, mystery!

10. Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof
This is about Lonnie and Gideon. This book starts out when Lonnie's Pa makes her sing in place of her Mom, and then she gets kissed by a boy.  Her dad then makes her marry that boy, Gideon, and he is not the best guy at alllll.  He makes her leave town and they end up at a nice couples' house. That situation turns out really nice and they live on the farm learning from the couple.  There are more things, but I am not going to talk about them, because of spoilers!  And I am sorry I did not make this book sound that good.  I don't know what to say and I did not do a Goodreads review that has anything to do with the plot.... soooo, I am lost. But part of what makes this book amazing is that Joanne Bischof's writing is so poetic.

11. Dreamtreaders series by Wayne Thomas Batson
This is about a boy.  When this boy sleeps, he has to makes sure the dream world is safe.  That is really hard, because things are not always as they seem, and true friends are not always the ones that have known you the longest. Another something you may want to know is there is an evil king over this world that he needs to stop. Also, he needs to fine out who is really good and who is not.  Things get even more crazy when a new guy at school shows up and makes a group of... mmm, I am not going to say right now.  Okay, that was sooo bad, I just do not know how to make this book make sense to anyone who has not read it and so I am just going to give you my Goodreads review (hope this helps) :
I love this book! It is so fun and adventurous and exciting! The Synopsis does not do it justice. And I did not see all the plot twists coming. This book is very quirky and cute with lots of nerdy references. I loved the fancy aspect of the whole new world and all things to do with dreaming and lucid dreaming. I read this book very fast! I really want to read book two. I love the characters, they are very well done.  This book was not confusing like a lot of fantasy books can be.  I highly recommended this. (It is a lot more straightforward than the synopsis may make you think and it is not as dark as I first thought it might be).
(Oh, and I wanted to say that there are Angels a tiny bit in this book.)

12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
If you don't know what this is about, at least a little, then I don't know what you have been doing.
Okay, so Jane's family is dead.  She is living with her Aunt and her cousins, but they are all not very nice AT ALL.  And she goes away to a boarding school for poor girls and things are a little bit sad there, but they get better.  Then she goes and becomes a governess, and things get crazy.  And I don't think I will tell you any more because after that there... are... spoilers!!!!!! And I want you to read it and not be spoiled like I was, because I did watch a web series redo of it before I read it and I heard people talking about and  (GASP!) MY OWN MOTHER told me the end years before I even tried to read it.  So, I guess it is not that bad to be spoiled for this book, maybe it is a good thing, but I will not be doing it to you. (Go look it up and I am sure you can know all the things! But it will not be from me.).

13. The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
This book is a re-telling of Rapunzel set in medieval times with NO magic.  So, there is no magic to get them all out of anything bad.  They have to look to God for their life. This is book six in Melanie Dickerson's first fairy tale series, and it was just as good as the rest, maybe better in some parts and then some. I have reviewed all the other books in this series, so if you want to read them i will put a line for the blog that has them linked here.  Read them if you want to.

14. Boston Jane: Wilderness Days by Jennifer L. Holm
This is book two in the Boston Jane series, and I would put book one, but I did not read it for the first time in the year 2015.  So, I can not.  This book is really good at putting you in the time/history of it all.  I love that all the characters are so well done.  They are not all the same all the time and like they don't feel fake, and... Maybe you should read it? :) I wish I could say more about this book, but it would be a spoiler for it.  I can tell you that in the first book Jane goes to live in the "wilderness" and she was very "lady like", so at first it is hard.  But when she was a little girl, she was not like that, so she learns how she needs to be and who she truly is.

15. Katie In Waiting by Erynn Mangum
This book is really fun.  I loved how the main girl, Katie, was so real.  I am now going put my Goodreads review in, because I don't know what to say, because I already have:
I love this book. It is amazing! The characters are so real! You feel so much! Even if you really don't feel that much, do you get what I mean? This has one of the best endings where you want more but it is not a Cliff-hanger. Katie is great. Her friends are great, too, and side characters are not hard to feel for. This is a book that you feel for everyone, and that's one of the reasons that I love Erynn Mangum's books so much. I really want to re-read this book soon, but I will not let myself re-read it for a bit. And I love where this book is set, too! This book does a bit of a "colder" tone than most of Erynn's books, but it is still funny! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bookish New Years Resolutions for 2016

1. Read more books that are amazing and less that are just okay.  I read a lot of books in 2015 that were just okay and not many that were AMAZING, like I would have liked, but I am fine with it now.  I am going to try this year to read books that are lovely.

2. Read for fun, but really just read not because I think I should to be done with my reading challenge.  So I am not making a goal for 2016.  I do not need to stress about it one tiny bit, not that I did that much, but there were a few times I have in the past.  And I want to do more than just read books, but I still love reading.  I am doing to the Goodreads reading challenge, but I did not set a big number like 1520, and I don't want to stress about it.

3. As for book buying, I don't want to buy many books.  I didn't buy a ton last year, but I only want to buy a book if (A) The book is from an author whose books I love, and it looks nice. (B) It is a book I have already read and I want to own it for re-reading and to give money to support the author. (C) If it is a book that I have been looking at/thinking about reading and it is a really good deal, but I don't want to do this all the time, because I want to have money for when I want to buy A and B.

4. To Be Fine with quitting a book that I may not be liking, or is bad, or even if it is just okay and I have given it a fair go.  I was fine with this before 2015, but then I did not do it a lot in 2015, and I want to this year.  I do not have a ton of time for reading and even if it is a so-so book, I don't need to put time into it when I could be reading a great/amazing book.

5. I will be doing the 2016 Bethany House Reading Challenge. You can find it on Bethany House's facebook and Twitter and somewhere on their blog/website but I can't find it right now, so if you want to do it then you will have to find it.  I just love that it is only nine things to read.  Hahahaaa, I just found the link.  LOL, I lost it again. I know!  Just find it if you want to do it.....  Oh, my Mom found it for me:  2016 Bethany House Reading Challenge.

And that is it. I know it is not a lot, but I am happy with it.  I don't need lot of resolutions that I don't care about, or that I care WAY to much about, so this is nice.  It is really loose, and if I don't do that well on them.  I don't want to be mad at myself at all.