Month: December 2017

Books read in 2017

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of 2017.  It has personally been a difficult year for myself and many others. But I have all of you, Kim, and this site to help keep me sane! I hope 2018 is a complete 180 from 2017.

This has been my first full year of blogging and I look forward to many more. I love reading and sharing my thoughts with you. I am so happy that Kim signed on. She reads so many more and different books than I do and we can cover more books that way for you all!  She brings her own style to this site as well. THANK YOU KIM!!!!

Is there anything you guys would like to see in 2018 with this site? We are open to suggestions.

THANK YOU to ALL the authors and publishers who have sent books to me this past year. I might not have read them yet, BUT I will! There are just too many books and not enough time! Any books you send WILL be reviewed at some point. I am trying my best to get caught up.

I wanted to share a list of the books I read this year. I listed the format I read and also the short stories I read. The short stories are marked with ****

Books Read in 2017:

Started in 2016:  Stop the World- Sherry Mayes- Kindle- 216 pages

  1. ****The Caretaker- Dan Klefstadshort story
  2. If I was Your Girl- Meredith Russo- AUDIOBOOK- 6 Discs- 7 hours
  3. Total Money Makeover- Dave Ramsey- AUDIOBOOK- 3 Discs- 220 minutes
  4. Duplicity- Sibel Hodge- Kindle- 316 pages
  5. Ghost Boy- Martin Pistorious- AUDIOBOOK- 6 Discs-7 hours 18 minutes
  6. Behind Her Eyes- Sarah Pinborough- Paperback 306 pages
  7. ****Asteroid Riders: Breaking Hearts and Making Moons-M.R. Pritchard – Kindle- 20 pages
  8. ****Invisible- Billy McLaughlin- Kindle- 31 pages
  9. You Will Know Me- Megan Abbott- AUDIOBOOK- 8 Discs- 9 hours 11 minutes
  10. ****House of Horror- E.J. Bennett- Kindle 28 pages
  11. In Farleigh Field- Rhys Bowen- Paperback-379 pages
  12. ****Where There’s Smoke- Jodi Picoult- Kindle- 40 pages
  13. In Farleigh Field- Rhys Bowen- Paperback 389 pages
  14. The Weekenders- Mary Kay Andrews- AUDIOBOOK-12 Discs- 15 hours 25 minutes
  15. Never Let You Go- Chevy Stevens- Hardback- 406 pages
  16. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time- Mark Haddon- AUDIOBOOK- 5 discs- 6 hours 15 min
  17. I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend- Martin Short- AUDIOBOOK- 7 discs-8 hours 42 minutes
  18. TattletaleSarah J Naughton- Kindle- 336 pages
  19. Zenn Diagram- Wendy Brant- Paperback- 315 pages
  20. Before the Fall-Noah Hawley-AUDIOBOOK- 10 discs- 12 hours 57 minutes
  21. Just a Normal Tuesday- Kim Turrisi- Paperback- 250 pages
  22. Woman of God- James Patterson and Maxine Paeto- AUDIOBOOK- 8 discs- 9 hours 16 minutes
  23. The Best of Adam Sharp- Graeme Simsion- Kindle- 352 pages
  24. Everything Everything- Nicola Yoon- AUDIOBOOK- 6 discs- 6 hours 45 minutes
  25. Textrovert- Lindsey Summers- Paperback- 234 pages
  26. Damaged (Rosato and DiNunzio #4)- Lisa Scottoline- AUDIOBOOK-11 discs-13.5 hours
  27. He Said/She Said- Erin Kelly- Paperback- 390 pages
  28. Accused (Rosato and DiNunzio) #1- Lisa Scottoline- AUDIOBOOK- 9 discs- 11 hours
  29. The Fourth Monkey- J.D. Barker- Paperback-412 pages
  30. The Couple Next Door-Shari Lapena-AUDIOBOOK-7 discs- 8.5 hours
  31. The Chosen One- Carol Lynch Williams- AUDIOBOOK- 5 discs-5.5 hours
  32. One Perfect Lie- Lisa Scottoline- Hardback
  33. Behind Closed Doors- B.A. Paris- Hardback- 293 pages
  34. The Breakdown- B.A. Paris- Paperback- 328 pages
  35. Fight Club- AUDIOBOOK- 5 Discs
  36. The Queen of New Beginnings- Therese Loreskar- Kindle- 271 pages
  37. See What I Have Done- Sarah Schmidt- Kindle- 324 pages
  38. Isolation Junction- Jennifer Gilmour- Paperback- 126 pages
  39. Every Last Lie- Mary Kubica- AUDIOBOOK- 10 discs- 12 hours
  40. The Lost Causes- Alyssa Embree Schwatrz & Jessica Koosed Etting- Paperback- 341 pages
  41. Exposed- Lisa Scottoline- AUDIOBOOK- 8 discs- 9 hours
  42. Letters to the Pianist- S.D. Mayes-Kindle-487 pages
  43. Wonder- R.J. Palacio- AUDIOBOOK- 7 discs- 8 hours 12 min
  44. Kiss Me in New York- Catherine Rider- Paperback 200 pages
  45. Love and Laughter in the time of Chemotherapy- Manjusha Pawagi- Kindle- 288 pages
  46. The Lying Game- Ruth Ware- AUDIOBOOK-11 discs- 13.5 hours
  47. El Deafo- Cece Bell- Graphic Novel-233 pages
  48. Last Call- Jerry Herships- Kindle- 192 pages
  49. ****Dear Aylissa- E.J. Bennett- 5000 word short story
  50. The Radium Girls- Kate Moore- Kindle- 399 Pages
  51. Perfect Imperfections- Taryn Leigh- Paperback- 289 pages
  52. Clipped Wings: Hear Some Stories of Survival- Jennifer Gilmour- Kindle- 148 pages
  53. My Best Friend’s Exorcism- Grady Hendrix- AUDIOBOOK- 10 hours 12 minutes
  54. The Magnolia Story- Chip and Joanna Gaines-AUDIOBOOK-5 hours
  55. The Memory Watcher- Minka Kent-AUDIOBOOK- 8 Hours 47 minutes
  56. The Sisters of Blue Mountain- Karen Katchur- Hardback- 320 pages
  57. The Haunting of Hattie Hastings- Kindle- 90 pages
  58. Tails of Friendship- Sally Grace- photo book-124 pages
  59. ***Solstice-Dan Klefstad- 1600 word short story
  60. The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas- AUDIOBOOK
  61. Anatomy of a Scandal- Sarah Vaughn- Paperback- 394 pages
  62. A Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens- AUDIOBOOK- 3 hours 31 minutes
  63. Jacob T. Marley- R William Bennett- AUDIOBOOK- 4 hours 10 minutes
  64. Santa Claus is for Real- Charles Edward Hall-AUDIOBOOK- 2 hours 28 minutes
  65. Sticky Fingers- JT Lawrence- AUDIOBOOK-4 hours 40 minutes
  66. The Wife Between Us- Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Paperback- 352 Pages
  67. Sisters First-Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life- Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush- AUDIOBOOK- 5 discs 6.5 hours

These were the books I awarded 5 stars to this year in order of preference:

  1. Just A Normal Tuesday- Kim Turrisi
  2. The Fourth Monkey- J.D. Barker
  3. The Couple Next Door- Shari Lapena
  4. Behind Closed Doors- B.A. Paris
  5. The Chosen One- Carol Lynch Williams
  6. Zenn Diagram- Wendy Brant
  7. Perfect Imperfections- Taryn Leigh
  8. Never Let You Go- Chevy Stevens
  9. Clipped Wings- Jennifer Gilmour
  10. Letters to the Pianist- S.D. Mayes
  11. Stop the World- Sherry Mayes (finished in 2017)
  12. If I Was Your Girl- Meredith Russo
  13. The Wife Between Us-Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  14. The Lost Causes- Alyssa Embree Schwatrz & Jessica Koosed Etting
  15. Radium Girls- Kate Moore
  16. The Memory Watcher-Minka Kent
  17. Sisters First-Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life- Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
  18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime- Mark Haddon
  19. The Queen of New Beginnings-Therese Loreskar

It’s been a good year of reading! Bring on 2018!!!


First Line Friday #51

Today’s First Line Friday is another Christmas selection! This was also a Kim suggestion. Enjoy!

On that unseasonably warm November day at One Devonshire Terrace, Christmas was not in his head at all.

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Author: Sharon Dogar
352 pages
Published: January 10, 2012

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter’s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you’re being written about in Anne’s diary, day after day? What’s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting. As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them? Anne’s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter’s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz – and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex’s occupants.

Kim’s Review:

I originally bought this book way back when I was teaching in Hawaii. I went to a teachers’ conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and they gave us a list of book recommendations for our classrooms. Annexed was one of the books and you know I never pass up a good excuse to buy a book!

Holocaust stories are always hard to read so I kept putting it off, but then I finally decided to pick it up and read it. I’m very glad I did. As I suspected, it was a tough read; there were several times that I had to stop to keep myself from breaking down in tears. I hate to admit it, but I have never actually read the Diary of Anne Frank. I’ve seen dramatic productions, but I’ve never read it. However, I do know the story and its details.

This book was a different perspective on the Frank’s story. It is told in the voice of Peter van Pels, in an honest, teenage mindset. We all take many things for granted; things like the freedom to open a window or to have a room to ourselves. Peter’s hopelessness in a situation that, in fact, offered a sliver of hope was so real and palpable. Seeing each member of the Annex as a real person with a personality that often scraped against one another, the constant lack of privacy, depending on a few on the outside to provide necessities . . . I never imagined having to live like that, having my very survival depend on it. This is another book that upper high school teachers should have on their shelves.

There are some adult themes, mainly a teenage boy being a teenage boy, that would keep me from allowing younger kids to read this. I would absolutely require my own teenagers, along with any under my educational care to read this book. I read it in a day and learned much from it. I recommend this to anyone interested in Holocaust history or wants a good emotional read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK