The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Hello August, Goodbye July! August 1, 2016

I seriously cannot believe that it’s August. I’m hardcore in denial. Where is 2016 going?! July was a pretty action packed month, but also brought quite a bit of reading a long with it, so it was all good! Definitely made up for the horrendous reading month of June haha. Not really all that much coming up in August now, other than Punk and I head back to school. I do have two giveaways going on here and here! Don’t forget about those! How’s your summer been? Have you read anything good?

Books I read July (In order of completion)

A Real Work of Art by Gwenda Bond

Cloudy With a Chance of Destruction by Gwenda Bond

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

 

Coming Up in August

Punk starting KINDERGARTEN

Kiddos starting regular dance classes and both potentially doing soccer too!

Starting another semester & working towards my degree

Bristol Night Race!!

OTSP Secret Sister Round 5 starting

 

Goals for August

Juggle mama life, student life, and blogging life!

Write some reviews and more posts

Stay ahead on blogging

 

August Releases I’m Excited For

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

 

 

August TBR

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Lois Lane Fallout by Gwenda Bond

 

 

 

2016 Reading Challenge (completed in bold)

A book based on a fairy tale: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

A National Book Award Winner

A YA Bestseller: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

A book you haven’t read since high school

A book set in your home state

A book translated to English: Dream of the Rood by Cynewulf

A romance set in the future: Their Fractured Light by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner

A book set in Europe: The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

A book that’s under 150 pages: The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows

A New York Times Bestseller: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

A book that’s becoming a movie this year

A book recommended by someone you just met

A self-improvement book

A book you can finish in a day: Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

A book written by a celebrity

A political memoir: Memoir of Marguerite de Valois by Marguerite de Valois

A book at least 100 years older than you: Beowulf by Unknown

A book that’s more than 600 pages: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

A book from Oprah’s Book Club

A science-fiction novel

A book recommended by a family member

A graphic novel

A book that is published in 2016: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

A book with a protagonist who has your occupation: American Wife by Taya Kyle

A book that takes place during summer

A book and its prequel: The Winner’s Curse & Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski

A murder mystery

A book written by a comedian

A dystopian novel: The Last Star by Rick Yancey

A book with a blue cover: My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins et al

A book of poetry: Holy Sonnets by John Donne

The first book you see in a bookstore

A classic from the 20th century

A book from the library

An autobiography: The History of the Bloody Massacres of the Protestants in the Year of Our Lord, 1572 by Jacques Auguste de Thou

A book about a road trip

A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

A satirical book

A book that takes place on an island: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy

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In My Beach Bag July 18, 2016

The kiddos and I are beach bound to Tybee Island this month and I’ve been thinking about what books I’m going to take with me. When we went to Virginia earlier this month, I had books planned too. I always try to have a kindle or physical book on me at all times! You never know when it’ll be needed! So I thought I would write up a post about my beach read choices! I’ve posted about my recommendations, but now I’ll share what’s actually making it in the beach bag. The kiddos have their kindles loaded up with books, games, and movies, so I’ll be able to listen to an audiobook on the drive down again this year. Or even better, I may have the car to myself if they sneak over into Grammy and Grandpa’s car! Whatever the driving arrangements, they’ll have headphones on so it will be blissfully quiet.

First up, I’ll recap what I picked as my reads for Virginia. My hubby’s family lives in Northern Virginia and it’s about a 6-7 hour drive depending on how many stops we need to make. I think it took us closer to 7-8 this year cause we kept getting caught in traffic. So many wrecks! Hubs is big into adult epic fantasy, but sometimes I get him talked into a YA audiobook. This trip, I talked him into:

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I honestly thought he would enjoy it. It was easily a five star read for me when I read it last summer. I was going to continue on with The Infinite Sea, but decided to wait til The Last Star came out. Now I needed a refresher and I thought hubs would like it. He made it about halfway through before declaring there wasn’t enough action and he wanted to listen to something else. Poo on him. Anyway. I ended up finishing on my own through audio and on ebook. Since he bailed on me, he had me look through my ipod for something else to listen to. He chose:

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Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

I was so excited for this trilogy. I really was. I hated every minute of this book I listened to. I may enjoy it if I read it, but the narrator’s voice got on my ever loving nerves!

We didn’t spend as much time at hubby’s grandfather’s beach cottage as originally planned, so I didn’t do as much reading as I thought I would. I also brought along:

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I intended on re-starting A Torch Against the Night and reading A Court of Thorns and Roses as a back up, but the mood to go ahead and start ACOTAR hit. I only read about 100 pages though.

Now that we’re Tybee bound and I’m packing our things, it’s time to decide what I’m going to take with me. It’s about a 7 hour drive, so it’ll probably be on the 8ish side with the kiddos and needing to stop for gas. Potentially stopping for my mom to stretch her back some too. She tweaked it recently and it’s still a smidge tender! The kiddos have been with me at the office some and have asked for music in the car instead of one of Mommy’s books, so I haven’t listened to anything since we got back from Virginia. Right now, my plan is either:

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey or The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

I’m really torn on this decision! I should’ve finished The Raven King when I started it, but I got distracted and now I have to start over. Thankfully I’m not too far into it! One of those will be my audiobook. I may be able to swing both of them! At least probably all of The Infinite Sea and part of The Raven King. I need to check times on them.

I also plan on taking:

Gotta have a physical book or two for beach side reading!

If you’re interested in what the kiddos have picked to take with them, you can check it out here!

 

Also! Continuing my three year blogging anniversary celebration, I have another giveaway for you! This giveaway will be international as long as Book Depository delivers to your country. Up for grabs is any 2016 young adult book! It can already be out, or you can pick one to pre-order! I have two more giveaways planned to reveal soon too. Potentially a third! I’m getting so close to 1k followers on Twitter and there will be a giveaway to celebrate that as well! (:

Giveaway!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (and only open to the countries where Book Depository delivers to) Entrants must be at least 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 18th 2016 (12am EST) through August 20th 2016 (12am EST). No giveaway accounts. I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies (Please see my Site Polices for full polices). All entries WILL be verified. Winner(s) have 48 (FORTY-EIGHT) hours to respond to email/tweet. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

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Required Summer Reading & Giveaway July 14, 2016

Honesty moment: I HATE required readings. I despise being told what I have to read. I think the only thing in school that I actually read when I was SUPPOSED to read it was my senior year readings. And I didn’t even read all of them! haha. Most things I knew I would have to read a grade or so ahead of time and would read them early. I was big into fanfiction in junior high and high school. I read one about Lily and James during Hogwarts and they did an international magical acting competition. Hogwarts did The Crucible. Enough of it was thrown into the story that I wanted to read the whole play. Eight grade me begged my dad to take me to Barnes & Noble to go pick it up so I could read the whole thing. I did. Not sure if it was over a break or what and my eighth grade English teacher asked if we’d read anything interesting lately. I said The Crucible. She asked if I understood the historical background and all that. (Not only the Salem Witch Trials, but the communism hunt) I did. She was impressed and said a lot of high school juniors didn’t understand it. My thought? They’re idiots! Anyway. That’s one example of one I read beforehand. Others I knew enough about that I could fake my way through it.

Punk is going into kindergarten. He has a required reading list for the summer. Seriously. I was like….. wut? Anyway. While looking at it, I came up with the thought of wondering if I could match YA/MG/Adult books to his list. His are all topics so you could match children’s books to it. I have to admit, this was much easier than I expected except for one topic! Anyway. The topics are Bears, Friends, ABC, Frogs, Fairytales, Ocean Animals, Pets, and Free Choice (this one had me spazzing for a minute until I realised it was whatever book Punk wanted, not literally about free choice!)

Here’s my required summer reading list based off of Punk’s kindergarten list.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Bears: This was literally the first book that popped into my head. Probably due to me having just finished it when I had this idea. A big theme throughout the book is Sammy’s bear.

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Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Friends: Again, literally the first book I thought of. Reagan and Lilah’s friendship is amazing as is this book. Emery Lord has such an incredible way with words! *sings Emery’s praises for days*

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ABC: This was the one that gave me a the most trouble. I initially thought to leave it at All Fall Down since it’s a children’s rhyme. Then I decided to do books with an A, B, and C in the title. I do have to admit, I haven’t read two of the three of these! I absolutely adore Code Name Verity though. It ripped me to shreds in all the right ways.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

Frogs: Okay, admittedly harder than the others, I finally came up with this one. I remembered the bannerman’s kids who come to join Bran as being from the swamp like area. And I’m pretty sure the boy was good at catching frogs. Or their sigil is a frog. Or something. Anyway. Swamp = froggy in my mind!

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The Hunter’s Moon by OR Melling

Fairytale: Yes, it was incredibly easy to jump to the Cinder conclusion, but I opted to go for a lesser known fairytale series. Woot for Celtic mythology!

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Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Ocean Animals: Obviously I would go for Waterfell! Though it also deals with animals, it talks about the Marianas Trench and various animals in the ocean. Win.

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Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Pets: Pandoras count as pets, right? I mean, they’re pets in a way. At least companions, and let’s face it, cats are not pets. They’re companions at best and definitely supreme overlords.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Free Choice:  Okay, so this one totally fits my initial thought of Free Choice. Feyre is faced with the choice of death or living in Prythian. She’s free to choose. Ha! This also fits free choice as in whatever I want to pick so I went with what I’m currently reading. Double win!

 

Thanks for making it through my post! Also, thank you for three wonderful (crazy) years of blogging. My blogging anniversary was actually on the 9th, but it snuck up on me and I forgot to write up a post. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster ride! Anyway, to celebrate my blogiversary, I have several giveaways I’m going to be hosting in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled! Up first is a giveaway for any book I have reviewed in the last three years. But! There’s more! I have a list of upcoming reviews that will be posted and those books will be included too. Check out my Reviews tab for a full list of books! Right now there will be one winner, but I might add more winners, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that too.

Giveaway!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (and only open to the countries where Book Depository delivers to) Entrants must be at least  13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 14th 2016 (12am EST) through August 20th 2016 (12am EST). No giveaway accounts. I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies (Please see my Site Polices for full polices). All entries WILL be verified. Winner(s) have 48 (FORTY-EIGHT) hours to respond to email/tweet. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

 

 

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Adult Fiction Beach Reading Recommendations July 7, 2016

Jamie’s post about beach reads really made me think about some reads I’ve loved while I read at the beach, or during a long car ride. Hubs and I really enjoy listening to audiobooks instead of trying to surf radio channels. I’ve already featured non-contemporary young adult reads, non-fiction adult reads, and contemporary young adult reads. Now for the adult fiction reads we’ve enjoyed!

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  1. World War Z by Max Brooks. Hubs and I listened to the audiobook of this. It was FANTASTIC. Multi-person performance. MUCH better than the movie too.

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2. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I read this while I was traveling in Italy & Greece in 2007. It was so neat to travel almost identically along to places Robert Langdon explored in Italy!

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3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I read this in France in 2006. It was an experience exploring Paris and reading this at the same time!

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4. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. Anything by Philippa Gregory is a great read! (excluding The Red Queen, but that’s a different story lol).

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5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. So much better than the movie!

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6. In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. Technically the third book in the series, Michelle Diener wrote these books to be read as standalones. Minimal advantage comes from reading the previous books. Review here.

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7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I didn’t finish the first time I attempted to read, I read it between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I think I was expecting too much of Twilight influence and it was anything but. My second attempt was actually at the beach and I flew through it. I enjoyed it much better than the Twilight series.

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8. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. I’m not big on Christian lit, but I have loved the Left Behind series for years. I still really need to finish it! haha.

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9. Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. A hysterical historical fiction. I should actually do a re-read soon.

I don’t really read much adult fiction! Haha. There’s also a whole slew of Star Wars novels that I love too.

 

 

 

 

Non-Contemporary Young Adult Beach Reads June 20, 2016

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When I read Jamie’s post about non-contemporary young adult beach reads, I knew it was the perfect post for me to share my own recommendations. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary reads. I do recommend Emery Lord and Jennifer Echols though if you are looking for good contemporary authors.

These are all quick reads. They aren’t heavily detailed in world building (no Tolkien style writing here!) but the character development is great.

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  1. The Wrath and the Dawn is a delicious quick historical fantasy. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and Renee Ahdieh is a brilliant story teller. Just make sure you take the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, with you!

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2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a little heavier on the world building, but this trilogy is still a fantastic read. It’s always great to read about a badass girl who can take care of herself! Plus there’s a super steamy romance that’s perfect for beach reading. Don’t forget to take along The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss.

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3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. In my opinion, The Infernal Devices is the superior series in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter realm. On audio or physical reading, this trilogy is a fantastic quick binge.

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4. Legend by Marie Lu. This was actually a beach read for me a few summers ago. I devoured Legend and Prodigy at the beach and it left me panting for Champion. This dystopian is a brilliant page turner.

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5. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano is a middle grade novel, but that doesn’t take anything away from its brilliance. I devoured this read in one sitting, even though it wasn’t at the beach, but at home. I do think this would be a quick beach read though!

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6. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. I’m always a glutton for a good read involving Greek mythology. This series by Aimee Carter is a super quick binge that’s light, dark, and romantic all in one!

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7. Die for Me by Amy Plum. A swoony Frenchman? Yes, please! I adore Paris, so even visiting through reading is great. Throw in relaxing by the ocean and it’s PERFECTION.

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8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. While I still need to read the last book, this is a fantastic fantasy. Plus it’ll make you want to ditch the beach and head to Prague!

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9. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Yep. Melissa de la Cruz’s drama filled series with fallen angels as vampires series makes the list. The fantasy aspect is light and almost contemporary in presentation, it makes it a great, light beachy read.

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10. Waterfell by Amalie Howard. Alien mermaids? Colour me intrigued! What makes this such a great read for the beach is that it takes place at the beach! This is a light world building fantasy as it mostly takes place in San Diego. The realm of Waterfell is a super interesting idea though. Make sure you have Oceanborn to read too!

What are some of your favourite non-contemporary beach reads? Keep an eye out the next few weeks for more beach reading recommendations!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #57: Winter 2014 TBR November 25, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR

 

I was doing better with my TBR lists! (Winter 2013 6/10 Fall2013 3/10 Spring TBR 2014 6/11  Summer 2014 3/10 ) I read 2/10 for Fall 2014 I’m a huge mood reader, what can I say? I do plan on reading a bunch of published books for a while excluding a few ARCs I just can’t wait to read.

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1.Burning Kingdoms (The Internment Chronicles)

2. The Orphan Queen

3. The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy)

4. Red Queen

5. The 5th Wave

6. Deception (Defiance Trilogy)

7. Something Strange and Deadly

8. In the Shadows

9. Bloodspell

10. Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion)

Tell me, what’s on YOUR TBR for this winter? Anything good I should add to my ever growing pile? (: Thanks for stopping by!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #50: Fall TBR September 23, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

 

I was doing better with my TBR lists! (Winter 6/10Fall3/10Spring TBR 6/11 ) I read 3/10 for Summer. I did hit a major slump, so that didn’t help matters any. Here’s to doing better!

1. Poor Katie. This book has been on my lists for AGES.

2. I *should* have Defiance up since I’m gonna have to read it again, but since I’ve read it already, I’m going with #2!

3. I’m kinda nervous about this one. I’ve seen both good and bad, so I’m hoping it’ll be on the good side for me!

4. This is one that will FOR SURE be read. I’m in the process of binge rereading Blue Bloods so I’m refreshed!

5. Mary got me an ARC at an event AND my OTSP Secret Sister sent me a copy, so DUH. It’s moved up the list!

6. SO EXCITED!!!

7. I started it, but had to take it back to the library. I requested it again and had to wait for it. Now it’s back and I’m all over it.

8. I still have September and October ARCs to read, but I AM SKIPPING TO THIS!

9. Mary, you can get off my back now. (;

10. I’m equal parts excited and nervous for this! I had a love-hate relationship with Matched…. SO….

Tell me, what’s on YOUR fall TBR? (:

 

 
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