2016 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, Book Reviews

Born in Ice (Irish Born #2) by Nora Roberts

For some reason I always forget how much I enjoy Nora Roberts’ books. I was cruising for a new audiobook to listen to and stumbled across the Irish Born trilogy. I looked through each book and decided this one sounded the most interesting. I was not disappointed.

The narrator of the book was Fiacre Douglas. He has a deep Irish brogue and is quite delightful to listen to. The only real issue I had with his dialogue was every once in a while you couldn’t tell between dialogue and text reading. It wasn’t a major issue though and didn’t impede the book in any way.

The story is about Brianna Concannon and Grayson Thane. Brianna is a young woman who runs the Blackthorn Cottage Inn. Grayson is a world-renowned murder mystery writer who is looking for an out of the way place in Ireland to find the environment for his next book. He stays at the cottage for six months, doing research, writing his book, and learning about the people. He comes from no where, has no one, and claims no place as home. Brianna, her family, and the town confound him with their roots and ties. He is unable to understand them and the pull that gets stronger and stronger around him. Brianna, a strong soul who survived an unloving mother and a failed engagement is somehow confident in her emotions and feelings for Gray as the story progresses. She asks no promises and demands nothing as she falls deeper and deeper in love with him. The story is further wound up with a mysterious stock certificate and love letters found in their father’s possessions that Brianna decides to clean out.

The whole book is an emotional roller coaster. My heart was pulled every which way as Brianna and Gray in turns indulged and fought their relationship. Furthermore, the relationships between Brianna, her sister Margaret, her mother, and Murphy keep the in-between times full of interesting events and strong emotions. The book is in turns heart-wrenching and laugh out loud funny. I would find myself laughing and smiling in my car as I listened.

Even though the book is part of a trilogy it is completely a stand alone book. I am eager to start the next one in the series and then go back to read the first. The romance scenes are not overly explicit, just implied which is a nice change from some of the other romance books which seem to focus on the sex and not the growth of the emotions and relationships. I loved listening to how emotions grew and changed between the characters. I fully recommend it to anyone interested in a good romance.

My rating:

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Book News

Books being made into movies in 2016

For one of my reading challenges this year, I need to read a book that is being turned in to a movie this year. So I searched and found the official list on PopSugar’s website. Here’s the link: Book to Movies 2016. You need to scroll through the pictures at the top. However, I know I’m not going to remember to do that so here is the list. Some movies may not even be the same title as the book and I’m not even sure all of these are coming out this year. If I found the official release date to be in 2015 or 2017 I deleted it from the list. I divided them up into ones with movie release dates and ones without release dates but were listed on the PopSugar website as coming this year. The link of the release date will be a link to movie information, the book title link will be to the book on Goodreads.

Books to Movies with Release Dates:

No Release Date:

  1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  2. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen by Christopher McDougall
  3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  4. King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 that Shocked America by J. North Conway
  5. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
  6. Get Her Off the Pitch!: How Sport Took Over My Life by Lynne Truss
  7. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
  8. Home is Burning by Dan Marshall
  9. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario
  10. Six Years by Harlan Coben
  11. The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace
  12. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  13. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
  14. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  15. Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
  16. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
  17. The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale
  18. Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
  19. American Tabloid by James Ellroy
  20. The Art of the Engine Driver by Steven Carroll
  21. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow.
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Facing the Wind by Julie Salamon
  24. Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  25. 1984 by George Orwell
  26. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  27. Three Letter Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
  28. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
  29. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
  30. Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel by Jason Padgett and Maurean Seaberg
  31. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  32. Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey by Peter Carlson
  33. The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
  34. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  35. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  36. The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion by Tim Crothers
  37. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
  38. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  39. You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
  40. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
  41. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  42. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  43. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  44. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  45. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  46. The Merciless by Danielle Vega
  47. Men of Granite: True Stories of New Hampshire’s Fighting Men by William McGee
  48. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  49. The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith
  50. The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas
  51. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  52. The Engagement by J. Courtney Sullivan
  53. The Diary of a Chambermaid by Octave Mirbeau
  54. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
  55. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  56. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  57. Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of World War II’s 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops by Peter Shelton
  58. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  59. The Van Cliburn Story by Howard Reich
  60. The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss
  61. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman
  62. The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes
  63. Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron
  64. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  65. A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion
  66. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  67. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by John Ronson
Book News, Random Thoughts

Billion eBook Giveaway!


Reading is Fundamental! has teamed up with UsTyme to give away a billion digitally remastered and drawn e-books to be read online or on most mobile devices. It is entirely free. Here is the link: https://www.billionebookgift.org/index.html#create-account. I actually went on and downloaded them myself to practice my Spanish since they have them all in Spanish as well. The books are beautifully drawn. The phone app allows you to stream a video of yourself and child reading the books right in the app. When you register an account you immediately get 50 children’s book classics. Will James at GeekDad.com wrong an article about the program: http://geekdad.com/2015/12/givingtuesday/. With more and more children using technology, it is important to help foster literacy through that technology. Here is a way for the children to use the tools they are familiar with, that give them that instant gratification we are becoming addicted to, and to foster a love for reading. I think it is a great program and am hoping to spread the word so that children everywhere have access to books.

Here are some images of the app. Stop by the website and check it out!


Book News

Congratulations to the 2016 ALA Award Winners!

Article originally written by Alice at Vamos a Leer: Congratulations to the 2016 ALA Award Winners!

We are thrilled to share the news that this year’s American Library Association (ALA) awards recognized several amazing Latin@ authorsamong outstanding children’s and young adult books. These authors have played an important part in the diversification of children’s and young adult literature and we are excited to see that their contributions have been acknowledged with such prestigious awards. Never before has the ALA awards recognized such breadth and depth of Latin@ and Latin American culture in a given year!

As author Meg Medina writes, “It has been a HUGE day for Latino authors and illustrators all the way around.  A ceiling-shattering day.  A day that represents such an astounding shift in respect and perception that it brings tears to my eyes as I am typing this. For the first time, we have Latino winners and honor books in so many of the major awards – the Feldman, the Seilbert, the Printz, the Caldecott, the Odyssey, non-fiction awards and the very highest one, the Newbery.”

This year’s 2016 winner of the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature is Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons. According to Latino USA, “For the first time in 94 years, a Latino author has won the John Newbery Medal for literature, considered one of the most important honors for American children’s books.” According to School Library Journal, de la Peña has said of his work, “‘Part of what I’ve been trying to do with my books is just focus on moments of grace and beauty in working class neighborhoods,’ he said. ‘This book maybe is about a kid learning to see himself as beautiful—his world as beautiful.’Last Stop on Market Street was also named an Honor Book for theRandolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children and was additionally deemed an Honor Book for the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award.

Echo, an acclaimed young adult novel written by the talented author Pam Muñoz Ryan and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., was also named as a finalist for the John Newberry Medal.

Other Latino/a winners, finalists, and honorees include: Out of Darkness, written by Ashley Hope Pérezand published by Carolrhoda Lab, was named as an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults; Written and Drawn by Henrietta, published by TOON Books, and written, illustrated, and translated from the Spanish by Liniers from Argentina, was named as an Honor Book for the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States; and Echo, produced by Scholastic Audio/Paul R. Gagne, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews and Rebecca Soler, selected as an Honor Recording for the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.

Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC won an Alex Award for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.

This year’s recipient of the Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience was Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir, written by Margarita Engle and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir was also a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: The Smoking Mirror, written by David Bowles and published by IFWG Publishing, Inc.; and Mango, Abuela, and Me, written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, and published by Candlewick Press.

This year’s recipient of the Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award is Drum Dream Girl, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Margarita Engle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were selected: My Tata’s Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata, illustrated byAntonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford and published by Cinco Puntos Press; Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina and published by Candlewick Press; and Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers.

Finally, Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by writer/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh was again recognized when it won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.

Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and honorees! We are so delighted to join in the chorus of acclaim and recognition that you deeply deserve!!!

Random Thoughts

Liebster Award Nomination


So I’m finally getting around to a nomination I received last year. I was nominated by Lauren from the My Expanding Bookshelf blog, so a big shout out to her for nominating me. 🙂

The Liebster award is a chain award that was created by bloggers and is a tradition to make new friends in the blogging community.


  1. Link back to the person who nominated you
  2. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer 11 questions from your nominator
  4. Nominate 11 new and obscure bloggers
  5. Come up with 11 questions for them to answer
  6. Inform your nominees

Eleven random facts about me: 

  1. I’m currently house hunting with my husband.
  2. I’m surprised I actually blogged the whole year.
  3. I like wearing tank tops under most of my shirts.
  4. I love playing Skyrim on Xbox 360.
  5. I am an avid crocheter and love Pinterest.
  6. I am a terrible gardener.
  7. I am very forgetful.
  8. I like to listen to classics on audiobook on my way to work.
  9. I have chronic back issues.
  10. I have a Masters degree in Education.
  11. I wish I could actually keep a journal. I try but I always forget or think I have nothing to write about.

Here are my answers to her questions:

  1. What was your favorite class in school? My favorite classes were Art and World Cultures.
  2. What is your favorite movie quote? From Down Periscope – “And who’s our next contestant?” I’m sure I have a better one, but I use this one all the time and it’s the only one I remember at the moment.
  3. If you were Prime Minister/President, what would be the first law that you would want to pass? I have never really thought about this, but I would definitely do something related to literacy, language, or taxes.
  4. Have you ever been given a detention? What for? I was given detention once, in 3rd grade, because the teacher thought I had stolen a book. She later found it in the room because it had been misplaced.
  5. Sweet or Savory? Depends – I’m totally a chocoholic but I love savory foods.
  6. Who is your favorite character from childhood? I loved The Black Stallion series, particularly the Island Stallion books in the series. I also loved Charlotte Doyle from The Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
  7. Are there any books that you are inspired by? Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – I should actually read that again, it’s been a while.
  8. Do you have any middle names? My middle name is Lynn.
  9. What is your favorite book cover? The Mountain’s Call by Caitlin Brennan and Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier are the only ones I can remember. Honestly, I don’t really pay attention to covers except for when I’m initially buying the book. After that I rarely notice it.
  10. What TV shows can you recommend to someone who really needs to find a new show to obsess over (me)? I love the Big Bang Theory and Hogan’s Heroes, but Castle is also good. I like Project Runway as well.
  11. What is your favorite social network site to share your blog posts, and why? I use Twitter. I don’t know why, but I like to keep my Book Mouse persona separate from my real world me and my Facebook.

My 11 questions to my nominees: 

  1. What is your favorite genre?
  2. What are your top five favorite books?
  3. How do you choose books to read?
  4. What is your preferred reading format – paperback, hardback, audio, or e-book?
  5. What is a book you think everyone should read?
  6. Which book (not a textbook) did you learn the most from?
  7. Which book changed your outlook on life in some way?
  8. What is a good series and your favorite book in that series?
  9. Which book would you recommend for a summer read?
  10. Where is your favorite place to read?
  11. What is your preferred book store?

Bloggers I Nominate:

  1. Inspired By A Book – https://inspiredbyabook.wordpress.com/
  2. Becky: Blogs of a Bookaholic – https://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/
  3. Kindles and Wine – http://kindlesandwine.com/
  4. Angela: Books and Opinions – http://booksandopinions.com/
  5. Joseph Quinton: A Quill and Vellum – https://aquillandvellum.wordpress.com/
  6. Jenny Floyd: Mrs. Jenny Reads – https://mrsjennyreads.wordpress.com/
  7. Nicole: My Book Filled Life – https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/my-book-filled-life-12223385
  8. Alyssa Susanna: The Eater of Books! – https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/eater-books-6326405
  9. Book Obsessed Blog – https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/book-obsessed-blogweeblycom-12174705
  10. Passionate Book Lover – https://passionatebklvr.wordpress.com/
  11. Books, Books, & More Books – http://booksbooksmorebooks.blogspot.com/
Book News

Goodreads Readers’ Choice Awards 2015

The results of the Goodreads Readers’ Choice Awards by category:

Fiction – Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Mystery & Thriller – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Historical Romance – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Fantasy – Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Romance – Confess by Colleen Hoover

Science Fiction – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Horror –  Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

Humor – Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Nonfiction – Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Memoir & Autobiography – A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

History & Biography – Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Science & Technology – Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove and Howard Chua-Eoan

Food & Cookbooks – The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper! by Ree Drummond

Graphic Novels & Comics – Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer) and Fiona Staples (Artist)

Poetry – The Dogs I have Kissed by Trista Mateer

Debut Goodreads Author – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Young Adult Fiction – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Young Adult Fantasy –  Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Middle Grades & Children’s – The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Picture Book – The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)

2016 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, Book Reviews, Random Thoughts

New Year, New Challenges

I am excited to begin a new year and a new reading challenge. I was unable to finish the two challenges I tried last year, but I am going to work on the PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge. It looks interesting and I am vowing not to re-read a book from last year to fit a challenge for this year. Also, I don’t want a book to count for two challenges. I am still working on a book for last year’s challenge and I am going to let that count towards last year. I like that I am pushing myself to try new genres and to read books that have been on my to-read list forever. You can following me on my ‘2016 Reading Challenge‘ tab at the top. Let me hear about your challenges! I am always looking for a new list of books to read, so let me know what you all are up to this year!