The Whimsical Mama

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A Bookish Tour June 13, 2016

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Not sure if I have ever done a bookshelf tour post before, but I thought I would do one today. My bookcases are currently stuffed to the gills and will probably be redone or added to in the coming year, but I thought I would give you a glimpse into my organisation. Keep in mind this is strictly my YA books. My children’s, middle grade, and adult bookcases are super hot messes. We recently attempted to reorganise my children’s bookcase, but there are so many that it is still super stuffed and messy haha. The kiddos also need a new bookcase, but hubby isn’t wanting to budge on more bookcases until we remodel downstairs. *sigh* Anyway! Welcome to my shelves!

The first two bookcases are actually small bookcases in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. They were empty for a while until I reorganised my books back in early spring. I decided to move favourite series and oversized books to these bookcases to free up some space on my main YA bookcase. It helped, for like a week until I reorganised that bookcase! haha. Left picture: Top shelf: JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s books and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books. Bottom shelf: Sarah J Maas, Melissa de la Cruz, and two of the Eragon books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Right picture: Top shelf: the rest of  my Harry Potter collection. Companion guides and more foreign editions (German, Spanish, and French). Also Jodi Meadows collection. Still on the hunt for an Incarnate ARC if you can help a girl out! (This shelf is also precarious now. I went to put Mirror King on the bookshelf and it collapsed. I couldn’t find all of the pins to put the shelf back up! Not that the bookcase is in the best of shape anyway haha) Middle shelf (which is laying on the books on the bottom shelf!) is full of oversized books. I just kinda have them shoved on here for this picture because The 5th Wave trilogy is in my June TBR. Bottom shelf: A combo of oversized books and my Maggie Stiefvater collection. Ballad is also in th stack, but I just realised from this angle you can’t see it. Oops!

Now my main YA bookcase in our office/den. We have three big bookcases in our office/den. The first is my Adult/School books. The second is overflow adult with my middle grade collection. The third, above, is my YA. The fourth is the kiddos’ bookcase stuffed full with picture books. If you notice, there are books with flags on them. Those are all unread books. I finally gave up on keeping my TBR books from my read books separate, but wanted a system to ID unread books. This system is not completely foolproof. The kiddos like stealing my flags on books they can reach, like the Ruta Sepetys books in the last picture. Everything easily fit on my bookcase for maybe a month. I’ve been promised floor to ceiling bookcases in my office when we remodel, but I need more space now! I’m thinking I might pick up another bookcase soon. Not sure where I’ll put it yet though! haha. Most of these, excluding the majority of my Melissa de la Cruz, JK Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer books have been accrued in the last four or so years. The bulk coming in since right around when I started blogging. Pretty sure Hubs thinks I have a book hoarding problem. I do not think so!

Anyway, that’s my organisational system. All books on the YA case are alphabetical except a few that have been displaced, but I didn’t feel like completely overhauling my bookcase for one or two books. How do you organise your books? I love the idea of by colour, but I HAVE to have all of my books together by author haha. It bothers me if they’re not!

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Top Ten Tuesday #51 Hard to Read Books September 30, 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 That Were Hard to Read

affiliate links used – covers; titles lead to Goodreads

1. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

2. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

5. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

7. A Song of Ice and Fire George RR Martin

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

9. Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 29 June – 5 July 2014 July 5, 2014

I’ve been quiet this week cause we’ve been on vacation and I made sure I had everything set up before we left. Staying at my hubby’s family’s beach cottage and there’s no wi-fi. Great to unplug for a bit, but also a bit inconvenient when it comes to blogging life. Hopefully everything I planned on reading gets read this week! Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July holiday if you’re a reader from the US! Don’t forget the giveaways I have going on! My Not So Super Sweet Life ebook by Rachel Harris giveaway, Infinite ARC by Jodi Meadows giveaway, and one starts tomorrow for an ebook copy of The Prince or The Guard by Kiera Cass! (:


Planned Beach Reads/Completed:

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris (ARC)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski(ARC)

Seamonster by Amalie Howard

 


Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (paperback & audiobook) 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (audiobook)


 

Read to the Kiddos: (Didn’t really keep track and haven’t decided what books we’re taking)

Pete the Cat Too Cool for School

Ladybug Girl Says Good Night


New to my shelf:

Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (YALLFEST prep, clearance sale!)

The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare (clearance sale!)

Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by James Dean (trip bribery!)

Ladybug Girl Says Good Night by David Soman & Jacky Davis (trip bribery!)

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard


From the library:

as usual, more audiobooks! (:

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

 

From Angie’s giveaway (Thank you soooo much!):

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (ARC) 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians 1-5 by Rick Riordan

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak 

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson 

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Of Triton by Anna Banks (signed!)

 

Top Ten Tuesday #39: Books About Friendship May 20, 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 About Friendship

Punk & Ladybug wanted to include two of their favourites about friends. Of course they’re Pete books!

What books made your list this week? These aren’t strictly about friendships, but the friendships in them are some of my favourites.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #36: If You Like X, Try These Ten Books April 29, 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 to Read if You Like Pearl Harbor/WWII Movies

Night by Elie Wiesel. This is one of the best books to read from a Holocaust survivor. I read it in high school for a class. It’s such a powerful book and I think it should be a required reading.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. A great read from inside Hitler’s inner circle. It has fictional characters as well as historical figures in it so tread lightly if you’re looking for a purist portrayal of history.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Another great read. I’d never read (that I recall) from the German perspective before this. It’s also in the view of an unique narrator – Death. It’s a great look in WWII poor Germany.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. It’s been ages since I read this, but it was so fantastic that I have to recommend it. I’m sure almost everyone has heard of Anne Frank, but I think more people should read her diary. Such an inspirational young woman who would’ve grown to do great things if her life hadn’t been cut short.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I remember reading this when I did a paper on Lois Lowry in junior high. I should reread it soon because it was a good short read. Annemarie is such a strong young woman who shows great courage in a greatly troubled time.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Um. Wow. This book is great. The first half can be a bit of an info dump, but it’s what the character is supposed to do.The second half is beyond incredible. Both narrators are extremely courageous and it’s beautifully written. I laughed, I cried, I hugged my copy close.


Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. The companion to Code Name Verity, it’s even more powerful than the first. It’s an inside view of the Ravensbruck women’s work camp. It’s hauntingly beautiful. Another one I think should be a required reading! (:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Another high school read. I don’t remember much, but it was a good read.

American Girls Molly & Kit by Valerie Tripp. These might appeal to the younger crowd. I read the Molly books as a young girl and have read a few of the Kit books as I got older once they came out. I plan on sharing them with my kiddos!

Dear America there are a couple of good ones in the series. A few that I’ve read are One Eye Laughing, the Other Eye Weeping, My Secret War. Christmas After All, and Early Sunday Morning. These are also good for the younger side.


Those are my top WWII/Pearl Harbor (movie) era books! So some of them are series and the other books aren’t listed.  (: Tell me, what are your favourite WWII era books that you’ve read? What did you pick for your topic this week? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

*Review* The Book Thief by Markus Zusak April 20, 2014

Rating:4 stars
Pub date:14 May 2006
Publisher:Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction,
Format:paperback, personal copy, won in giveaway, signed; audiobook borrowed via library
Status:standalone

Summary:

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

My thoughts:

My Grandaddy fought in the Army in World War II. Reading books about World War II has always been a passion of mine. I will say that I have always read from the Allied perspective. In the last year, I lost count of how many times The Book Thief has been recommended to me. I was also interested because it was coming to theatres. I’m very insistent on reading the book before I see the movie. Luck would have it that Markus was coming to Dallas on tour. Luck would not be with me to remember to order a copy to get to Mary for her to get signed for me. Luck and hard work would have it that I won her giveaway! And then it sat in the TBR pile and sat and sat. It took commercials for the DVD to finally get the mood started. After I finished Allegiant, I was in a massive funk and decided to go with something older on the TBR to help kick it.

My favourite thing about The Book Thief was that it was narrated by Death. It’s a perspective I’ve never read before. It’s also a perspective that is perfect for a World War II setting. Millions of people died. Death was a constant.

I will admit, I wasn’t as blown away as I was expecting. Liesel’s younger years were a bit tedious to read. It started out slowly, but continued to get better the older Liesel became. It was very interesting to see how the Depression hit Germany. HIstory told by the victors always down plays the loser’s plight.

It never became a dash to the finish kind of book, but you could tell the action in the war was picking up and made the reading more intense. The details were down to the nitty gritty. It wasn’t Tolkien detail, but it was enough for a vivid picture of poor World War II Germany.

The characters are incredible. Though I wasn’t a fan of Liesel in the beginning. Not her personally, just the flow of the story in the beginning. Every character was real on the page. It felt like you could walk down the street and talk to them. I did really enjoy watching Liesel grow. She refused to let her initial ignorance remain a hindrance. She fought for every ounce of intelligence she gained. She was feisty and brave. Rudy was a great friend and fiercely loyal. I greatly admired how he immediately drew to Liesel and remained a great friend through thick and thin. I absolutely adored her foster parents. Her mama kept everyone at arms length, but loved wholeheartedly. Her papa was an incredibly loving and caring mad. Her reminded me a lot of my Grandaddy’s temperament. Max, the Jew that the family hides is a real and raw character. Death describes his regrets beautifully. The friendship between Liesel and Max is lovely.

The ending. Oh, the ending. It was just, wow. Even though Death tells you what’s coming ahead of time, it is still heart shattering. Roger Allam as Death was perfection. I listened to the ending on the audiobook and the sound of his voice as he told what happened had me in tears. It was a good thing I read the ending while the kiddos were napping because I was a sobbing mess!

Though I didn’t find it as spectacular as a lot of my blogging peers have, I did enjoy the story. I do recommend it for those who enjoy World War II historical fiction. Reading from the German point of view was very interesting and a learning experience for this this Allied soldier’s great-granddaughter.  

 

About the author

Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out. Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #34: Most Unique Books I’ve Read April 8, 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 Most Unique Books I’ve Read

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. This is one of the most unique books I’ve read as far as historical fiction goes. It was an alternate reality changing during the 100 Years War between England and France. It also has magic as a common place occurrence. It was really interesting!

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. I’ve never read a book from someone inside of Hitler’s circle during his rise to power in Germany. It was really interesting to see the beginning of his rise. I enjoyed watching Gretchen (the main character) question everything that Hitler said was true to figure out things herself about what was starting to happen in Germany.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I thought it was extremely interesting to read a book narrated by Death. It’s a perspective I’ve never read before and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t always nice when he spoiled something that was upcoming, but I learned to take it in stride. Plus Roger Allam as Death in the audiobook was SUPERB! It was also the first book (that I recall) reading from the German perspective of World War II.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I’ve always been interested in King Richard III, but have never researched him as much as I would like. I was really intrigued by Philippa Gregory focusing on Anne Neville, who became Richard’s queen. I knew virtually nothing about her before I read it and then did a bit of research on her after I finished. I loved Aneurin Barnard and Faye Marsay’s portrayals of Richard and Anne in The White Queen.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. (You should’ve KNOWN Jodi would make the list!) Reincarnation. Wow. As far as immortality goes, I’ve always been drawn to vampire stories. I’ve never really thought about reincarnation as an option for immortality in a story, but Jodi does an incredible job with it! Plus her characters are top notch. *swoons for Cris*

Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Time rips and time travel? Yes, please! Myra also has a killer cast of incredible characters. I absolutely loved what she did with the idea of time bleeding together.

The Shadow Children series by Margaret Petersen Haddox. A dystopian without the post-apocalyptic events. Definitely a Big Brother type of government. Population control. In a world where it’s HIGHLY illegal to have more than two children, there’s a whole underground world of Shadow Children (illegal “extra” children). I never finished the series, but thinking about it for this list makes me want to go back and see what happened!

Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. I love a good vampire book. Darren Shan takes a different approach to vampires and how vampires are turned. (No sparkly vampires here!) Another series I’ve only read part way through. That’s the thing that sucks about “outgrowing” a reading level before a series is finished!

Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown. Oh, conspiracies. Things you thought couldn’t possible exist really do. They are so ridiculous formulaic, but I can’t help but love every story. Angels & Demons is my favourite!

Those are my top unique books! So some of them are series, but it works! (: Tell me, what unique books have you read? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

Hello April, Goodbye March! April 1, 2014

Another month already gone! This year is just flying by! March was a very productive month for me. I got a good amount of reading and blog work done. I have reviews written up and scheduled all the way through the middle of May! Things are moving along nicely. Hubby started a new job and the kids are growing like weeds. Life is really starting to look up with the start of spring. (: Keep an eye out for some more giveaways coming soon!

Books I read in March (in order of completion)

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fifty First Times “Field Emotions” by Melissa West

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Free Four by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Books with the kiddos: (I actually kept track!)

How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats? by Jane Yolen

Spot Can Count by Eric Hill

The Story of Benjamin Franklin by Patricia A Pingry

You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano Love (Bug’s Imagination Library Book) 

Down by the Station by Jess Stockham 

Cleo the Cat by Caroline Mockford 

Penguins Can’t Fly! by Richard Byrne 

Sesame Street: Elmo Look and Find by Publications International Ltd. 

The Story of Thomas Jefferson by Patricia A Pingry 

Thomas and the Treasure by Wilbert Awdry 

If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff 

How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs? by Jane Yolen 

Digger the Dinosaur Rebecca Kai Dotlich 

Coming up in April
We actually don’t have anything big coming up this month. Hopefully that means it’ll be a low key month. I’m super excited about Easter though! (:

Goals for April
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Stay ahead of schedule 

April releases I’m excited for:

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

April TBR:
As You Turn Away by Molli Moran

After the End by Amy Plum

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 5/25 (Prisoner of Night and Fog)

TBR Pile challenge: 17/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (Cress, Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, The Book Thief,Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, Frozen, The Impossible Knife of Memory)

Series challenge: 7/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (Cress, Divergent, Code Name Verity)

Real” Book challenge: 12/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (Cress, Divergent, The Book Thief, Code Name Verity, Frozen, The Impossible Knife of Memory)

How was your March? What’s up for April?

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 9 – 15 March 2014 March 15, 2014

I have ACCOMPLISHED it! I am back on track and well ahead. YAY! So happy that I’m not scrambling each day to check if I have a post to go up and if it has gone up. I also am working on our new feature. I’m thinking it will start in April. It may start a bit earlier, but I haven’t decided yet. April is the goal.

Completed:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. 3 stars.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Read to the Kiddos:

How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats? by Jane Yolen

Spot Can Count by Eric Hill

The Story of Benjamin Franklin by Patricia A Pingry

New to my shelf:

From the library:

Pete the Catand His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean (audiobook)

 

 
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