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Goodreads Challenge 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Kendal has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Barefoot Saturday: Falling into Barefoot

Barefoot Books is having a Fall sale for this weekend only. Here are the books that I recommend for your wonderful children.

Where’s the Cat

Wheres-the-Cat_BB_W_1Find the cat in all of his favorite places! This rhyming hide-and-seek game builds visual skills in a question-and-answer format, while reinforcing familiar household places and items.

Ages 1 to 4 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Debbie Harter

This is one of my favorite books for the 1 to 2 year olds. My girls had such a great time finding the kitty on each and every page. They learned rhyming words, as well. This is a great example of layered learning!







Counting Cockatoos

CountingCockatoos_BB_WCount to twelve with help from tumbling tigers, winking owls and more, while you search for the two cockatoos hidden on every page. This clever counting adventure makes the perfect gift when paired with Alligator Alphabet .

Ages 1 to 4 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Stephanie Bauer

Counting Cockatoos is wonderful books for 3 to 4 year olds. It’s a hide and seek book plus a counting book with vivid colors. I love this book!

Star Seeker

StarSeeker_PB_WStar Seeker

A Journey to Outer Space

Journey through the night sky on a poetic trip that blends adventure, imagination and science to teach the basics of our solar system. Includes endnotes about the planets, stars, moons, constellations and even a little mythology. The hardcover edition includes a poster of the solar system.
Ages 5 to 11 years
Written By: Theresa Heine
Illustrated By: Victor Tavares
Star Seeker is my recommendation for 5 to 7 year olds. You will learn of the universe, space and planets. LOVE!

Theseus and the Minotaur

greekmyths2_theseusandtheminotaur_ukuspb_w-1Theseus and the Minotaur

King Minos and Queen Pasiphae’s son isn’t a child—he’s a monster. To keep him fed, his parents demand that every kingdom send seven youths to Crete each year in tribute…And they’re never heard from again. But Theseus is different. He’s determined to slay the Minotaur and make it back to Athens in one piece. But how can he best a blood-thirsty monster?

Ages 8 and up

Written By: Daniel Morden, Hugh Lupton

Illustrated By: Carole Hénaff

This is a great chapter book for your budding readers. They will learn about Greek mythology while reading to learn.


I’ve given you a few of my recommendations. What will you choose? With a $60.00 purchase you will receive FREE shipping.

Book Blogger Blog & FF Friday

book blogger hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012.

Luckily, Billy from The Coffee-Addicted Writer has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Q: What weekly memes do you follow on a regular basis?

A: Three. It’s Monday! What are you reading?! From Book Journey. Book Blogger Blog Hop from Coffee Addicted Writer and FF Friday from Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. I only do the memes on Mondays and Fridays; the rest of the week I try want to do original posts.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Reading Nook Tour: Give us a tour of your favorite reading spots.

A: Anywhere where I can snatch a few minutes; at my desk, at my girls’ dance class, on my couch, outside watching my girls play, soccer practice, curled up in my bed. I wish I had a favorite spot. But I take what I can get. I’m not picky as long as I can read!

Real-Time Reading: A Discovery of Witches


Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy, has come up with a fabulous idea of reading her book, A Discovery of Witches. We are reading it in real-time. We started on this adventure on September 18th. Some days only have one chapter while other days have several; we will conclude at the end of October; the same day the book ends. So far this week, we’ve read eight chapters. I love that I’m reading it so slow. I know I will catch details that I haven’t noticed in my other two readings. When I really get into a book, I have a tendency to read at a very fast pace and I miss things. Now that I’m only reading only a chapter or two a day, I can soak in more detail that I may have missed earlier.

Here is the schedule, if you are interested:

September 18: chapter 1
September 21: chapters 2 and 3
September 22: chapters 4 and 5
September 23: chapter 6
September 24: chapter 7
September 25: chapter 8
September 26: chapter 9 and chapter 10 (which continue through September 29)
September 30: chapter 11
October 1: chapter 12
October 2: chapter 13
October 3: chapter 14
October 5: chapter 15 and chapter 16
October 6: chapter 17 and chapter 18
October 7: chapter 19 and chapter 20
October 8: chapter 21, chapter 22, and chapter 23
October 9: chapter 24 and chapter 25
October 10: chapter 26
October 11: chapter 27
October 12: chapter 28, chapter 29, chapter 30, and chapter 31
October 13: chapter 32 and chapter 33
October 14: chapter 34, chapter 35, and chapter 36
October 15: chapter 37 (which continues to October 19)
October 20: chapter 38 (which continue to October 21)
October 22: chapter 39 (which continues to October 28)
October 29: chapter 40
October 30: chapter 41
October 31: chapter 42
November 1: chapter 43

One of the best things about this read-time reading is that every day Ms. Harkness has posted pictures on her Facebook page that inspired certain places or characters in her book. Those pictures put so much into perspective. For instance, today she posted a picture of what inspired Matthew’s house, the Old Lodge. The image matches perfectly with how I imagined that amazing house.


Photo: The Wirral News.


With the first eight chapters, I’m still just an enthralled with this book just as I was when I first read it. It is so magical, romantic and full of intrigue. I love the mystery to it. I love the relationship between Diana and Matthew. I love the dynamic between witches, vampires and daemons. I just everything about this book!


Review: Fairy Tale Comics

Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists
Edited by Chris Duffy
Published on by First Second
123 Pages
Graphic Novel
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, included Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper and more.

Fairy Tale Comics is an incredibly fun book full of some of the best stories from childhood. Each tale is represented by a different cartoonist. I loved each artist’s interpretation of the fairy tale with each tale unique, colorful and entertaining.

One of my favorites is “The Prince and the Tortoise” taken from 1001 Nights. It is a new story for me since I’m not all that familiar with 1001 Nights. I loved the story and I loved the artwork. I always like when “mean girls” get their comeuppance. Another favorite is “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” a Japanese tale. I had never heard of this story and I found it to be so charming. I loved it every time the little boy said “I like to draw cats.” It brought a smile to my face every time.

Throughout this collections of tales, you will so many different styles; with some modern and some more traditional. Each cartoonist gave a tale his/her own vision and individuality to it. There were some illustrations that I would never have envisioned; however, it worked. Case in point is “Snow White. It isn’t your traditional depiction but it works great with the story. The images are “cool” and bring freshness to the fairy tale.

I really enjoyed Fairy Tale Comics and it is a fun book to share with your kids. It brings a new look to all the old fairy tales and you will enjoy and appreciate the freshness of all the retellings.


It’s Monday! What are you reading?!


Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.

Last Week:

I read and reviewed Fahrenheit 451 (in honor of Banned Book Week) and House of Miracles. I, also, read Fairy Tale Comics and I will post the review on Tuesday.

This Week:

I’m reading A Discovery of Witches again for a real-time read-a-long. This the third time that I’ve read this book. I love it! Next I will be getting ready for my book club on Sunday. Here is what we are reading:

Heft by Liz Moore

11381910Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career—if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. Like Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s House, Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.

Audiobook of the Week:

Grace Peril by Jim Butchers (Harry Dresden #3)91476

Harry Dresden – Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….

What are you reading this week?


Banned Book Week: Giveaway!

banned books 2013 (2)

It’s Banned Book Week and I’m participating in the Banned Books Week Hop hosted by Bookhounds and I am a Reader, Not a Writer. I’m giving away a paperback copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

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Barefoot Saturday: Happy Anniversary!

This year Barefoot books is celebrating twenty years of creating amazing children’s books. I have been involved with Barefoot since 2007 and I haven’t looked back. These books are so unique and what is truly great is that they have grown with my kids. We started with Animal Boogie and Farmyard Jamboree. Now, we are reading the independent readers. Last night we read The Mother of Monsters and it was sweet listening to my girls read to me. After reading The Mother of Monsters, my oldest daughter (she’s 8) got out The Barefoot Book of Monsters and started reading the rest of the monster stories to herself. Yes, we had a great reading night! And my younger daughter just told she wanted to read more! Woo Hoo!!


I’m so excited to be sharing my love of Barefoot. I have several events planned in the Oklahoma City area. I’m having my annual Christmas sale (yes, it’s never too early) in October. Plus, I will have a booth at the Earthglow Market on November 9th and at the Craft Festival on December 14th. It’s going to be so much fun!

In the meantime, Barefoot is having a Best of Barefoot sale in honor of their 20th anniversary. Clink on the image below and browse through these amazing titles. You will fall in love, I promise!

Book Blogger Hop & FF Friday

book blogger hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012.

Luckily, Billy from The Coffee-Addicted Writer has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Q: What is your favorite genre?  List two of your favorite books in that genre.

A: I love historical fiction and urban fantasy. HF: When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman and The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner. UF: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong







The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: What were some of your favorite picture books as a kid? If you have kids, what are your favorites to read to them?

A: We love Barefoot Books! It’s a wonderful independent children’s book publisher. I love all of their picture books. But we have some favorites.



Banned Book Week: Fahrenheit 451 & Giveaway


Fahrenheit 451
Written by Ray Bradbury
Originally written in 1953
Narrated by Stephen Hoye
Tantor Audio
Purchased from


The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

Fahrenheit 451 is incredibly intense and compelling which makes it the perfect book for me to read for Banned Book Week. It’s not hard to believe that a world like that could exist which is a very sad statement. Books can make so many people fearful. They can intimidate and influence. They can make people think. At the heart of Fahrenheit 451, that is what the powers that be want to prevent…to think.

Society is to be the same, equal. Burning books takes it to the extreme. All people are to be on the same level intellectually; no one smarter than the next person. It’s an extreme form of equality. The Captain Beatty’s monologue on how and why books are burned is so strangely compelling. The goal is to get rid of intellect and inferiority. Everyone rises to the lowest denominator. Everyone is the same; inferior.

Guy is an incredibly brave character. He risks his life to want to THINK. He finds others that are risking everything to keeps books and thoughts alive. Guy has hope that society can recover and as long as there are people like him who aren’t afraid to think and question.

Why Fahrenheit 451 was banned or challenged: offensive language (“God damn”) and content. In the 1950’s, when this book was written, many people tried to suppress it because it showed the evils of a totalitarian society that burned books. Ironic, huh?

Question: do you think our society could become so extreme? When individuals or organizations ban or challenge books, are they trying to prevent people to think or question? Will we turn into a lifeless society like that in Fahrenheit 451?





It’s weeks like this and people like you who keep thoughts alive. You refuse to let crazy people scare and influence you to think that any book should be banned or challenged. You continue to read books that make you think and feel. You aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable when you read a thought-provoking book. In a nutshell, you aren’t afraid to THINK! Bravo and keep reading and thinking.


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Review: House of Miracles

House of Miracles
Written by Ulrica Hume
Published in 2013 by Blue Circle Press
208 pages
Received from the author in exchange for an honest review


In these delightful, at times unsettling stories, we meet two very different women: baby boomer Jane MacDonald, who, despite a blossoming career in San Francisco, feels sure that she is cursed, and her elderly eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Von Meurs. When Janet’s relationship with boyfriend Jack, a struggling photographer, is tested, they drift dangerously apart. It is Mrs. Von Meurs, alone and at the end of her life, who tries to keep them together.

At the heart of House of Miracles is the kaleidoscopic way the diverse characters are connected to Jane and Mrs. Von Meurs. Secrets are revealed, and each woman must find her way, whether through a troubled past or into an uncertain future. Sometimes it seems that hope is not only “the thing with feathers,” but it is all they have. That, and the real possibility of miracles.

I found House of Miracles a nice set of stories about two very different women; one starting her life and the other at the end of hers. Most of the stories tend to be a little depressing and it’s hard to find the romantic aspect to the book.

Janet is a very broken character and you don’t really understand how broken she is until you are well into the book. She seems so lost to me and I’m not sure if she found anything. Her relationship with Jack lacked any real passion whether that was due to her past I really couldn’t tell. I, also, couldn’t tell if she ever came to terms with her past. I thought her character was left a bit unresolved. Also, did Janet truly forgive Jack? I’m not sure. Do they love each other? Again, I’m not sure.

Mrs. Von Meurs is a very sweet character. She’s a little old lady coming to end of life. I enjoyed her character and how she found more life at 93 years old. Mr. Haydn is a sweet addition to her story.

The relationship between Janet and Mrs. Von Meurs is very sweet. Janet really redeems herself by taking care of Mrs. Von Meurs. She does her cleaning, shopping and laundry. Janet really didn’t have a good, loving relationship with her mother so I think she tries to have that with Mrs. Von Meurs.

Overall, I thought House of Miracles was an enjoyable read. I wish that the characters were a little more developed but the stories were interesting and engaging.


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May Selection


Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen

Kendal's favorite books »

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