The Whimsical Mama

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

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!


  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.


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!


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!


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).


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


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.


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.


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.


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.





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!


Top Ten Tuesday #71: Characters I’d like to Check-in With April 7, 2015


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 Characters I Want to Check-In With


affiliate links used


1. Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
Of course, I would like to know how EVERYONE is doing, but specifically everyone’s favourite Transfiguration professor. (:

2. Jemima Emerson from Time Enough for Drums
This is one of my favourite books of all time. I read it in Junior High and reread it ALL THE TIME. I need MORE. I want to know how Jem and John are. LOVE THEM!

3. Sturmhond from Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy)
Oh, Sturmhond. I am so excited for Six of Crows this fall cause I am totally rereading the Grisha trilogy for full world LOVE! I was disappointed with the lack of Sturmhond in Ruin and Rising and I need to know how he’s doing.

4. Reagan, Lilah, and Matt from Open Road Summer.

C’mon, Emery. I need to know THINGS. I need more Reagan and Matt. I need more BFF time with Reagan and Lilah. PLEASE.

5. Alice Cullen from Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1).

Judge me not for Twilight. I freaking love Alice and I need to know how she and Jasper are doing. Love me some Jasper. Mmhmm.

6. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Now, before you point out Go Set a Watchman will give us a catch up with the adult Scout, I want to know how she’s doing between them. Despite the controversy around the publication of Go Set a Watchman, I am excited for more Scout. I adore TKM and will be reading it this summer to prep for Go Set a Watchman!

7. Rhine and company from Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy Book 1).

I want to know how things are with everyone. How’s Cecily’s baby doing? How are things in the world after the cure? I just need to know all the things!

8. Jack and Schuyler from Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1).

I need to know how my favourite fallen angel couple is. (: I hope there is more of them in the second Vampires of Manhattan: The New Blue Bloods Coven book! I neeeeeeeed more Jack and Sky in my life!

9. Ana and Sam from Incarnate Trilogy.

You really didn’t think I would have characters to check in on and NOT have this trilogy included, did you? For shame! I want to know how things are after Infinite. A Cris novella still would be nice. Just sayin’, Jodi.

10. June and Day from Legend Trilogy.

Do they get back together after that chance spotting at the end of Champion?! I need to know! I need them to at least be FRIENDS.

BONUS: Hayley Kincain from The Impossible Knife of Memory.

How is her dad doing with his PTSD? How is she doing? How’s her love life going? Is her dad still happy? So many questions I need to know!

What characters would you like to check in with? Any good ones I need to get to know? Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Add the books on Goodreads:


Top Ten Tuesday #47: Authors I Own the Most Books By July 29, 2014


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 Tenish Authors I Own the Most Books By

I was surprised by this week’s results! I knew one author would dominate, but some of the others surprised me!

37 JK Rowling books (duh. Knew she was gonna top the list! Harry Potter: I have all 7 American books in physical, audiobook, and ebook format. 4 British English, 3 French, 1 Spanish, and 1 German. Plus the extra books from the HP realm. Plus her three adult books – 1 audiobook as well )

28 Cassandra Clare books (physical, audio, ebook)

27? Melissa de la Cruz books (I can’t remember which audiobooks/ebooks I have!)

26 Robert Jordan books (Hubby has physical & audio)

22 CS Lewis books (Two complete sets of The Chronicles of Narnia in physical from plus audiobooks. Audio of Mere Christianity)

22 Eoin Colfer books (ebooks, physical, audiobook, ARC)

19 Stephenie Meyer books (ebooks, audio, physical)

15? Jerry B Jenkins books (I can’t remember which Left Behind books I have on ebook!)

10 Lemony Snicket books (really need to complete my set…)

10 HB Gilmour & Randi Reisfeld books

10 George RR Martin books (physical & audio)

9 Charlaine Harris books

8 Anne Rice books

7? Shakespeare book (could’ve sworn I had more)

7 Ann Rinaldi books

6 Jane Austen books

Holy wow! No wonder I just needed a new bookcase! What authors do you own the most books by?  Thanks for stopping by! (:


Introducing Our Other New Feature! Flashback Friday May 23, 2014

A few weeks ago, Punk and Ladybug introduced their new feature Tot Time Thursday. This week, I’m introducing a new/revamped feature that will be starting soon here at The Whimsical Mama. It’s Flashback Friday! Basically the same concept as the Throwback Thursday reviews I did early last fall, I just changed the name and the day. Flashback Friday will feature books that I first read before I started blogging. For the time being, this will be an every other week feature. I currently plan on writing these reviews after I re-read them. I’m slowly getting caught up on ARCs, so I hope to have more time to re-read some favourites to keep this feature going. I hope to have some giveaways attached to this feature. Obviously if they’re worthy of multiple re-reads these are some of my favourite reads. What books will eventually be featured? Well, let’s take a look!



I’m really excited to re-read these favourites! This is only scratching the surface of the books I plan on featuring. As you can see, Jodi Meadows is on the list so you KNOW there will definitely be a giveaway for that one. I never pass up a chance to share the Sam love! (:


Top Ten Tuesday #38: Books I Almost Put Down May 13, 2014


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 I Almost Put Down

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. Let’s face it. When I got this book, I wasn’t big into reading for me and I wanted to give up after the first chapter. Thankfully, my Gran wouldn’t let me! 

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz. I just wasn’t as into this book as I have been with her other books. /: My love of her kept me in til the end though!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier Honestly, I wish I had given up on this book. It kept getting worse with each book. I kinda feel cheated cause I stayed in til the end. 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I wish I hadn’t even read this one, but I did. Ugh. 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge I stuck it out even though I had to take a break. It wasn’t all that I was hoping it would be, but it was decent. 

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown That moment when you realise your favourite series is nothing but a formulaic book. I’ll still read the Robert Langdon series though. It kinda sucks that it’s a bit predictable now. 

The Host by Stephenie Meyer I actually did put this one down. I bought it the day it released, read about 100 pages and put it down. I was still hoping for a bit of Twilight style and this was so much better that it threw me off and I couldn’t handle it. When I did come back to it a year later I couldn’t put it down!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Ugh…. this book made the South look sooooo bad. The movie made it worse. I was so disappointed.

After the End by Amy Plum This book. I just can’t even. I was expecting brilliance. I got disappointment and predictability. /:

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory Oh, this book. Definitely my least favourite of The Cousin’s War series. I stuck it out til the end though.

Crossed by Ally Condie This was another that I had to take a step away from and read something else and come back to it. I finished it though!


Top Ten Tuesday #33: Gateway Books/Authors in My Reading Journey April 1, 2014


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 Gateway Books/Authors in My Reading Journey

JK Rowling– JKR is one of the authors responsible for making me fall in love with reading on my own. As a kid, I loved being read to, but HATED reading on my own. JKR changed all of that with a little boy named Harry. (: 

Rachel Harris – Rachel has gotten me to venture into the world of New Adult. I loved Seven Day Fiance. New Adult is on my genre list of venturing into more. 

Lois Lowry – Opening my reading up to dystopian societies. It’s kinda funny, really. Tea Time talked about this on 26 March when discussing The Giver trailer. I already had this list sketched out on paper and had her down for dystopian. I love her other works too, but she really got me into dystopian before it was cool to be dystopian. 

The Royal Diaries series – This middle grade series is what got me hooked on history. I devoured these books like they were going out of style! I still need to finish the series and I hope my kiddos love them as much as I did/do!

Philippa Gregory – It started with Royal Diaries and matured when I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor era writings. She only increased my obsession with mid15th-early17th century England! 

Carolyn Meyer – Another middle grade obsession. I love her Tudor era books!

Stephenie Meyer – Yes, she’s on my list. I will admit, Twilight launched me back into reading YA in college. I haven’t looked back on reading since then! 

Ann Rinaldi – There’s a real middle grade theme going on today! Rinaldi is another middle grade author who flamed my obsession with history.

Anne Frank – Dear Anne really sparked the flame on my love of reading about World War II. It was really a combination of her writing and wanting to know what my Grandaddy went through. 

American Girl series– This is THE series that really was the bridge between picture books and middle grade for me. I loved having people read these to me and I would occasionally sit and read them myself. I have four of the dolls that will be passed down to Bug and I have a bunch of the books! 

That’s it for Top Ten Tuesday today! What are your gateway books/authors? Feel free to comment and leave your link! (: 


Top Ten Tuesday #18: Book Recommendations November 19, 2013





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 YA Books I’m Trying to Force, I Mean, I’d Recommend to My Hubby to Read

Hubby and I have similar book tastes. He prefers audiobooks though. I’m not a fan of audiobooks for a first time read. I’ve been on him to read these since I read them the first time, or I’m trying to get him to read them with me!

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth. I’ve had this on my list for a while. Since I haven’t read it, I avoid all movie things. I like to read before I watch. Hubby hit up the trailers on IMDB the other night and watched a few for Divergent and really liked it. Now I’m trying to get him to read the trilogy with me!

2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Since hubby loves Supernatural, I thought he might enjoy this. He seemed interested based on the previews, so persuading is still in progress!

3. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. He’s only read the first few. I’m still trying to get him to finish the series. He’s not too enthusiastic since he’s seen the movies. Oi.

4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. C’mon, he had lunch with her. The LEAST he could do is now check out her books. He IS a musician after all and should enjoy that aspect!

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. He enjoyed the movie, but felt like he was missing out on a few things. We borrowed the audiobooks from our library and loaded them on our ipods. He’s almost done with his series and he’s said he’s starting this next. SCORE! (: I think it’s cause he liked the movie and is interested in seeing Catching Fire.

6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Same reasons as #2 with a dash of history thrown in. We’re BIG history nerds in this house!

7. Legend by Marie Lu. I think he’d enjoy the military aspect that’s thrown in. I also think he’d just love it.

8. The Prophecy by Erin Albert. I think this is right up his alley. I haven’t vocally suggested this one yet, but I’m now adding it to the list. (:

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Pushing the history thing again. I’m really wanting him to read this with me so we can maybe go on a date and see the movie! (:

10. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I’m actually pushing a SM book on him. I actually think he would enjoy it since it’s an entirely different level from Twilight. I need him to watch the movie too. He just needs to look the other way when I drool over Max Irons. Just sayin’!

Top Ten Books Punk and Ladybug Recommend to Other Munchkins

My munchkins are jealous of the Baby Bettys having their moment on their mama’s blog (@bookrockbetty) and want in on the fun! This is their list of their favourite books they want parents to read to their kids.

1. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and James Dean. Pete is a favourite character in our house! We’ve checked out every single one our library has and own several of them.

2. Go Dog Go! by Dr Seuss. I have lost count of how many times this has been read. Punk’s birthday party was a dog party this year. He still calls this Dog Dog!

3. Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Dr. Jill Biden. We haven’t actually read this one yet, but we love supporting our military and their families in this National Guard household!

4. One Foot, Two Feet by Peter Maloney. This was one of Punk’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books and it’s a huge hit. Punk loves counting for Ladybug and showing her the aeroplane on each page.

5. Ladybug Girl by David Soman. I was so happy to find a series that has my baby girl’s nickname in it. It’s adorable and the kiddos love it.

6. The Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin. Hearing the kiddos giggle every time hubby or I say tushy is priceless. Definitely a kiddo giggle inducer!

7. That’s Not My… by Fiona Watt. Punk’s first book he got was That’s Not My Penguin. We’ve added to that collection and Punk and Ladybug love them all. Punk loves showing Ladybug how to touch each thing on the pages and tells her if it’s soft, scratchy, etc.

8. I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara. Punk often finds this on my kindle and asks for it. He loves the turtles. He gets it from his Grammy.

9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. Punk LOVES this book. He cried when we returned it to the library the first time we checked it out. He now has his own copy and proudly points out each letter to Ladybug. It’s a GREAT one to expose your kids to the alphabet!

10. Love You Forever by Robert N Munsch. So this one is more my recommendation to parents. I love reading this to my babies because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how big they get, they’ll always be my babies. (:

How did you like the toss up for this week? I focus mainly on YA and a bit of New Adult & Adult, but I like throwing in the occasional kids’ focus. I do read A LOT of children’s books!

 What books would you recommend to your significant other? If you’re a parent of kiddos, what do they recommend as one of their favourites? Feel free to leave your link! I’d love to check out your posts!


(Late)Top Ten Tuesday #6: Books with X Setting August 14, 2013

AHHH! I didn’t have time to post yesterday and it drove me batty! My hubby is still away at military training so I’m still pulling single mama duty. Mad props and respect to all the time single parents out there!

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 with X Setting:

So this week I have two sets of eight cause I just couldn’t decide…

World Hidden Inside Our Own
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
2. The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
3. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
4. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. I know this is more parallel than in our world, but in my little world, it fits!
5. Revenants by Amy Plum
6. Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith
7. Blue Bloods/Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz
8. Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

Futuristic (vague, I know)
1. Legend by Marie Lu
2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (even if she is an evil, evil author! hehe)
3. Matched by Ally Condie
4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
5. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
8. Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

Do you like any of these books listed? Do you participate in TTT? If so, leave a link! I’d love to read your lists!


Top Ten Tuesday #5: Books I Wish Had A Sequel August 7, 2013

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 I Wish Had a Sequel

1. Die for Her by Amy Plum. I know technically this comes before If I Should Die, but I really, really, REALLY want to see more Jules. New York adventures, please?

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. Again, I know it’s the end of a series and not a standalone, but I would love to know MORE about what happened after the Battle of Hogwarts and before the 19 years later epilogue. Wedding details, job adventures, Quidditch matches, the works.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know this is told by Scout as an adult about when she was a child, but I want to know what Scout was like as an adult.

4. Lamb The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore. I want to know what adventures Biff and Magdalene got into once they were together again! Do they have some semblance of immortality and stick around until the Second Coming?

5. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I know she’s said sequels are coming, but until they are set in stone, I’m begging for more!

6. T*Witches by Randi Reisfeld and HB Gilmour. Another series, but this one just STOPS. It’s like they got bored and quit. Not cool.

7. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.The end of the trilogy, but I need more for after the epilogue. I need more Tessa and Jem in my life. I loved Will, but I was completely Team Jem!

That’s all for this week. This is a day late due to wracking my brain for books and spending some time with family I haven’t seen a really long time. I’m not all that big into reading standalone books. I prefer a series because it gives the author more room to work. However, there are some series that I wish had been a standalone book because the sequential books weren’t up to par.

What books do you wish had more to them? Feel free to link to your TTT, I’d love to read them! Thanks for stopping by!


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