Top Ten Tuesday

Is it too late to do a 2019 recap? I’ve been a bit behind on my 2020 blog goals due to the flu hitting me on New Years Eve…so much for the flu shot this year. Despite spending quite a bit of time sleeping, I spent a lot of time on blog research & post ideas, and I came across The Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday posts. She has a weekly schedule of top ten topics to follow along with & share on her site.

My 2019 reading goal was 40 books since I turned 40 last year. I only made it to 30, but I read some great novels along the way, and reread a few of my favorites.

Here are my top ten favorite reads for 2019:

  1. Swan Song by Robert McCammon
  2. Needful Things by Stephen King
  3. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  4. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  5. Snow Flower & the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  6. Slade House by David Mitchell
  7. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
  8. Colombiano by Rusty Young
  9. The German House by Annette Hess
  10. The One by John Marrs

What were your favorite reads in 2019?

Book Review: The Kingdom of Back

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Kingdom of Back tells the story of the Mozart children, Wolfgang (Wolferl) & Maria Anna (Nannerl) & their early beginnings as child prodigies of music composition & the clavier. The story, however, focuses on Nannerl, the eldest child of the Mozart family, She is very talented on the clavier & her days are spent in the music room with her father, Ludwig, who composes the music she plays. Ludwig is intent on showcasing Nannerl’s talent to the royal courts around Europe & making a name for the Mozart family. However, Nannerl’s talent is soon overshadowed by her younger brother, Wolferl & his musical genius.

As their father focuses all of his attention on Wolferl, Nannerl stumbles upon a mysterious world, The Kingdom of Back. A world with an upside down forest & fields of edelweiss. Nannerl meets a mysterious boy, Hyacinth, who offers to make her wish come true, but comes at a price.

This is my first Marie Lu novel, despite owning the the full Legend trilogy. The writing is excellent & the story is unique. The only thing that stopped this from being a 5 star rating is I wish more time was spent in the Kingdom of Back.

Thank you to Bookish First & Penguin Teen for the advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Book Review: To Crown A King

To Crown A King by Raedene Jeannette Melin

⭐⭐⭐

Other then what I learned while watching Braveheart, I know very little about the history of Scotland. This novel intrigued me as it focuses on a young woman from an influential noble family in 1295 Scotland. Christina Bruce, a descendant of Celtic & Norman kings, was an influential person during the Scottish Wars of Independence, however, very little is truly known about her. While her father pledges loyalty to England, she is left to make tough decisions for herself & her family.

What I loved: Christina ‘s character. She is brave, fierce & loyal to a fault sometimes. The author takes great detail in fleshing out Christina’s life & her role in the Scottish War. And there is a lot of history & historical events that I really enjoyed reading about. And Christina’s relationships with her family & the heads of the other noble families is full of drama. I also loved the special relationship Christina develops with William Wallace.

What I didn’t: There are a lot of characters to keep track of. Some that disappear for a bit & then show up just when you’ve forgotten about them. The story struggles with pacing & can be a bit slow in parts (lots of riding back & forth.) It is also very heavy on the history which I actually enjoyed. However, there were parts where the events felt rushed through that should have been elaborated on more fully & character’s motives detailed a bit more.

To Crown A King is rich on history and drama. What it lacks in pacing, it makes up for with a strong female character, an interesting family dynamic & leaves you wanting more.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Healing Star

The Healing Star by A. Kidd

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a magical story! Chasing falling stars, magical stardust, a ladder to the stars & cloud people all in one fantastical story of young girl’s adventure to save her dying grandmother.
Julia is a 4th grader whose most favorite person in the world, her grandmother, Grammu, is dying from the invisible disease. The only thing that can save her is a falling star. But catching one isn’t easy. Only one person in the history of their small town has ever actually caught a falling star, but Julia is certain that she can catch one to save Grammu. When things don’t quite go as planned, Julia embarks on a journey to find the legendary ladder to the stars & has several interesting adventures along the way.
I normally don’t review children’s books, but The Healing Star stood out to me as a unique & magical story dealing with childhood adventure, disappointment & loss. I highly recommend this to young readers in 3rd-5th grade age range & is definitely a great story to be read to younger kids.
*Thank you to the author, A. Kidd, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
View all my reviews

Sunshine Blogger Award!!

Thank you….

What an unexpected thing to see your blog mentioned on Twitter as a nominee for the Sunshine Blogger Award! A huge thank you to Beth Gray over at Panutopia. She has a very unique blog about the social and political issues in Panama, and what she envisions it could be. Be sure to go & check it out!


The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site.
  3. Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  5. Notify the nominees about their nominations.

My Questions:

  1. When did you start blogging?  I started my blog back in 2017. I thought it would be a great way to get back into writing again.
  2. What is your writing inspiration? Life.
  3. If you had one wish, what would it be? I wish people would have more respect for our environment & be proactive about how much their actions & ambivalence impact everyone else. We are destroying our planet every day & I wish more people actually cared.
  4. Are you a full-time writer/blogger? Sadly, no. Maybe someday?!
  5. What is your favourite music?  I love rock & mostly 90s grunge/rock.
  6. If you could travel in a time machine where would you go? Woodstock 1969.
  7. Would you ever bungee-jump or sky-dive? Yes. To both.
  8. Name your favourite dessert.  This is the toughest question on this list. It is a tie between creme brulee & a good carrot cake.
  9. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a friend/relative, watch a movie, or read? Read. Number 1 choice always. Second, play a game.
  10. Who is your hero? IRL: No one. Honestly, to elevate a real life person to hero status only leads to disappointment. Everyone has flaws & will disappoint you at some point. In movie world, Captain Marvel is one bad ass bitch & my Marvel hero.
  11. Three random facts. I have 2 dogs. I love cheese. I hate snow.

My Nominations:

After careful consideration, I nominate the following bloggers & their blogs:

  1. Dark Blue Journal
  2. They Once Called Her Pumpkin…
  3. natachainreviewland
  4. Ham ‘N Eggs
  5. ArtieCarden
  6. The Girl in All Leopard
  7. My Forty Something Life
  8. Big Ideas for a Tiny Writer
  9. NishanBooks
  10. My Midnight Musing
  11. By Hook Or By Book

Questions for My Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite time of the year?
  2. If you could travel to any country, where would you go?
  3. What is your favorite TV show you are watching right now?
  4. How often do you write other then for blog posts?
  5. Coffee or Tea?
  6. What is your all time favorite book?
  7. What is your favorite blog post?
  8. What is the one thing you love about blogging?
  9. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  10. What is your favorite food?
  11. What is your biggest blogging accomplishment?

Please go check out all my nominees! Thank you again Beth for the nomination! And if you want some other awesome blogs to check out, here is Beth’s Sunshine Blogger Award post with my fellow nominees!

The Quiet Knitter

Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books

Querianson

Ideas in my head that becomes something we can use for different purposes

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