Weekly Update: 3/29/15

Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer is a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading  is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey her meme is exactly as it sounds, share what you are reading and/or what's next on the ever growing TBR

It snowed again this week, although the lake is starting to crack so hopefully this will be the beginning of the end.  Because of the weather it was very low key at home and had time to work on my Bloggiesta goals.   

Our building process is coming to a close, on Wednesday we move into our new house.  We will drive up on Tuesday with my brother's dog who we have been pet-sitting, and stay in a hotel so we can be there bright and early when the moving truck arrives.  Now the question is, where will we put our furniture?

  Last Week:

  1. Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  2. Book Review: Sisters of Treason
  3. Friday Memes
  4. I also Bloggiesta'd my progress can be found on last week's sunday post

This Week:

  1. Month in Review 
  2. I'm moving houses
  3. Movie Review: Dirty Dancing
  4. Movie Review: Terminator 2

Book Haul:





Currently Reading:



*all book covers are linked to Goodreads

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Friday Follows and Descent

””   ””

Descent by Tim Johnston
The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, a young family from the plains taking a last summer vacation before their daughter begins college. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin, the mountains loom as the ultimate test of her runner’s heart, while her parents hope that so much beauty, so much grandeur, will somehow repair a damaged marriage. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic, as suddenly this family find themselves living the kind of nightmare they’ve only read about in headlines or seen on TV.

As their world comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren’t they more careful? What has happened to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin’s disappearance, all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family’s harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths until all that continues to bind them together are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point will a girl stop fighting for her life?

The Beginning:
The Life Before

Her name was Caitlin, she was eighteen, and her own heart would sometimes wake her -- flying away in that dream-race where finish lines grew farther away, not nearer, where knees turned to taffy, or feet to stones.  Lurching awake under the sheets, her chest squeezed in phantom arms, she'd lie there gasping, her eyes open in the dark.

Page 56:
Billy stopped, one hand paused in the air, a longneck beer bottle swinging in a noose of finger and thumb.  He turned to Grant: "All of a sudden he hears like a bat."

My Thoughts: 
The beginning is nicely written and led me wanting to learn more about this eighteen year-old and, "The Life Before" title intrigued me enough to find out what comes after.  As for page 56, I have read further than that and thought the section on Caitlin's father Grant and his small pit stop while searching (once again) for his daughter is a bit of a low spot in the novel.  This is because the subject of the novel is intense and the majority of Descent matches that pace, and felt this particular part drawls like a country boy.  Even so, I did think it was descriptive and well written.


Q: Have you ever been to BEA? If not, what's stopping you? If you have, what was your best experience there?

A: For starters I'm in Wisconsin and BEA is in New York.  Yes, some could say that's not much of an excuse as you can fly but I am cheap, not sleep in my car instead of a hotel cheap but like I said in my About page, I'm a bookworm who hoards money under my mattress, so I guess that's more frugal... To move away from being a cheapskate I will admit that I always learn about it too late and therefore miss the boat.  

Book Blogger Hop
 Q: Which books have you read in the past month that still have you thinking back to the storyline and the characters?

A: I just finished rereading Harry Potter again and always think back on the series afterword, but from a "new to me" book it would probably be Sita, from Michelle Moran's Rebel Queen.  She is a member of the all female guard for India's Queen Lakshmi during the 1800s.  Sita was strong, self reliant and gave a whole new meaning to girl power.In short she was pretty cool.

*Note:  click on the picture to go to the host's blog
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Book Review: Sisters of Treason

Author: Elizabeth Fremantle
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Netgalley

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness -- and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante.

But when the Queen’s sister, the hot-headed Elizabeth, inherits the crown, life at court becomes increasingly treacherous for the surviving Grey sisters. Ultimately each young woman must decide how far she will go to defy her Queen, risk her life, and find the safety and love she longs for.

Fond Of

  • The opening scene with Jane Grey at the block really caught my attention, holding me in suspense despite knowing the outcome and set a firm tone to the novel.

  • Like Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason was visually stunning and could clearly see the story that was playing out.

  • The Sisters in question were well built and instantly felt for them, I particularly liked Mary, she was the tortoise of the childhood fable that everyone just has to route for. Cathrine on the other hand is the hare, hurrying to advance without thought to consequences and gets lost in the excitement.

  • The Queen is a nasty piece of work. A royal I liked to dislike but kept you on the edge of your toes as just when you thought she would grow a heart she twists the knife in deeper and puts salt in your wounds.

Not Fond Of

  • There was a little more than just Sisterly Love going on between Jane Seymour and Catherine Grey and felt it was unnecessary and irrelevant to the plot.

  • Catherine's time in the tower (when told by her) dragged and became a bit repetitive. While it was an "oh no" time in the book one can only pace around a room so many times.

  • Levina, while like the rest of this cast of characters is well developed but I thought she distracted from the Grey's story as they were the ones I was most interested in.


Final Thoughts

Sisters of Treason was a well thought out, plotted book with fantastic pacing.  It is another great read from Elizabeth Fremantle and a must for fans of the Tudor era.

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Mini Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Author: Kim Edwards
Publication Date: May 30, 2006
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Bought
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century - in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night. Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own.

There was so much hype when The Memory Keeper's Daughter came out. Between that and the catchy blurb I snatched it up. Unfortunately that is where any positive-thinking ended. It was formulaic,cliche and could easily have been a Lifetime Movie (which it later was adapted into). All in all, Kim Edward's novel is a prime example of why you shouldn't always buy into the hype.
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Weekly Update, Bloggiesta and Once Upon A Time IX

Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer is a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 
It's Monday! What Are You Reading  is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey her meme is exactly as it sounds, share what you are reading and/or what's next on the ever growing TBR

Last Week:

  1. Book Review: Publicity From the Trenches
  2. Book Review:Nineteen Minutes
  3. On the Queue #9

This Week:

  1. Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  2. On The Queue #10




Currently Reading:



Book Haul


Spring Bloggiesta 2015
To-do List: 

  • write book review for The Witch of Painted Sorrows
  • write review of Sisters of Treason
  • cross-post reviews to Goodreads
  • Share written reviews to Netgalley
  • Update reviews (through H)
  • update recent review widget
  • update reviews page
  • add message to subscibe via email gadget
  • organize Bloglovin'followers into groups
  • back up blog
  • draft Sunday and Friday memes
  • comment
  • compile list of books for Dewey's Read-a-thon
  • prep month in review posts
  • participate in at least one mini-challenge
River City Reading Improving the Disqus Experience  
On a Book Bender: Simplify  Blogging
Estella's Revenge: Organize Your Reader


Saturday, March 21st marks the official start date of the ninth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. This is a reading and viewing and gaming event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing/gaming whims. once9journey  




Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.
  1. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine 
  2. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by Colm McElwain 
  5. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

*all book covers are linked to Goodreads
* movie posters are linked to IMDB
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