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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

MBS 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading and A to Z Reading Challenges

2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Hosted by: Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

2018 A to Z Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Ginger Mom

It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles but other than that, the First Main Word Needs To Be The Letter You Are Counting.

There is an exception for those pesky Q, X and Z titles so the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

The Challenge only requires one book per letter. However, I add a twist so My Goal (and level for completed successfully) is to read TWO books per letter: a TBR Audio and a TBR eBook or print book. (I try to pull form earlier than 2017 but there are Audible titles from 2017 I really want to listen to.)

As a bonus Third book I hope to read a NetGalley title for each letter.
I have 21 NetGalley titles already lined up that are TBR and a handful that have been received the first weeks of 2018 that will fit into my 2018 titles. (I still need to fill J, K U and X for NetGalley titles.)
The second bonus of a Fourth book is to be a 2018 book either purchased or free.

If I am successful with the bonus levels, I will read 104 total books associated with this challenge. I will read 73 TBRs (26 Audio, 26 ebook or print and 21 NetGalley) and I will read 31 books that are equivalent of 'read the books you buy' in 2018.

That seems like a good balance to me. I like the challenge of finding a title for each letter but I'll have to see if I find that restricting my choices of books as the year moves along.

I also realized I could almost read a series title entry for every letter and I might do that. I haven't decided if I would let them overlap with the 1-4 selections or make it a fifth book. I am missing a series title for the letters J and Y so if anyone knows of series titles for those please let me know and I might do a series bonus too. 😊

2018 Alphabet Chosen titles OR Possibilities:
Titles will be highlighted by color when read (reading) and reviews will be linked once posted.

A ATBR- After The Ending: The Ending Series (2014)
eTBR- Apocalypse (The Wasteland Chronicles, Book 1) by Kyle West (2013)
eNG- All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

B ATBR- Brothers in Valor, Book 3 (2016)
eNG- Battle Hymn (America Rising Book 3) by William C. Dietz

C ATBR- Confederacy of Dunces (free 2009), The Cold, Cold Ground (2015),
eNG- Consent of the Governed by Bernard LoPinto
2018e- Controlled Descent (A Story Of The Restoration) by K. M. Herkes

D ATBR- Dead Men Kill (SYNC 2012), Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 13) (2015), [Devil's Due (Destroyermen, Book 12) 2017]
eNG- The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover by Susan Wittig Albert

E ATBR- The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning, Book 1, by John Stephens (2013)
eNG- The Edge of Memory by Maura Beth Brennan

F ATBR- The First Counsel (2002), Five Poems (free 2008), Forging Zero (2016)
eNG- The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip or Fade to Black by David Rosenfelt

G ATBR Grave Mercy (SYNC 2013), Great Expectations (SYNC 2015),
[The Girl Who Drank the Moon (2017), Gallagher's Pride (2017), The Gathering: Shadow House Book (SYNC 2017), Golden Son (2017) Geekerella (2017)]
eNG- A Gem of a Problem by Irene Sauman

H ATBR Heartless (2016), A Hymn Before Battle: Legacy of the Aldenata (2016), [Hell Divers (2017), Hunter 2017]
eNG- The Hills of Mare Imbrium by Carleton Chinner

I ATBR- Ice Blue (2012), Ice Limits (2012), Invisible Man (2016), In The Country We Love (2016), [In Our Back Yard (SYNC 2017), If I Run (2017), Invitation (Harbingers, Book #1) (2017), In The After 2017]
eNG- In Wolves' Clothing by Greg Levin
2018- Island by Aldous Huxley - Vintage

J ATBR- Joshua (2013), Jacob Marley (2017)

K ATBR- Koban II (2017)

L ATBR Life of Pi (2011), The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up (2015), [The Life She Wants (2017)]
eNG- Let There Be Light by Dan Gordon and Sam Sorbo

M ATBR March to the Sea Prince Rogers Book Two (2009). Magyk: Septimus Heap, Book One (2009), Monster Hunter Nemesis (2016), The Most Wonderful Tales of the Year –(2016 Gift),
eNG- Mind Game by Iris Johansen

N ATBR- The Name of the Wind (2012), Nation (2012), The Never Hero (2015)
eNG- Nick Newton Is Not a Genius by S.E.M. Ishida

O ATBR One Year After (After (Forstchen), Book 2) by William R. Forstchen (2016)
eNG- Out of the Box by Jemma Westing

P ATBR Predator One (2014), Portrait In Death (2016)
eNG- Precisely at Midnight (Kinsman Book 2) by Joyce and Alexandra Swann

Q ATBR A Quiet Life in the Country (2016) OR Quarter Share (2016),
eNG- Queendom of the Seven Lakes by A B Endacott

R ATBR- Relic (2008), Rip Van Winkle (2009), The Raven Boys (SYNC 2013?), Roman Holiday (2015), The Reaper (2016),
eNG- Rise of the Fallen: Wars of the Realm, Book 2 by Chuck Black

S ATBR- Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1 by Jim Butcher (2012)
PTBR- Seek and Destroy (America Rising Book 2) by William C. Dietz
eNG- Science Geek Sam by Cees Dekker, Corien Oranje

T ATBR- Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein (Vintage)(2016)
eNG- Talon by Amanda Greenslade

U ATBR- Ubik by Philip K. Dick (2017 Vintage)
eTBR- Unexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge Book 1) by Elena Aitken (2012)

V ATBR The Vanished Man (2004), A Voice in the Wind (2016),
eNG- The Voice Inside by Brian Freeman

W ATBR- Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher Audible 9/2003, The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks Audible July 2004, Widow’s Walk 4/07, WALDEN 2016, Warship: Black Fleet Trilogy, Book 1 by Joshua Dalzelle, SYNC 2014 WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry, Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue, Book #1)
eNG- What If God Wrote Your To-Do List? By Jay Payleitner

X ATBR- X: A Novel (SYNC 2015), Xenos: Warhammer 40,000 Eisenhorn, Book 1 by Dan Abnett (2017)
eTBR Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, oh my! (Xoe Meyers Young Adult)

Y ATBR You're Next (2017), The Year of the Hare A Novel by Arto Paasilinna (2017)
eNG- The Year of the Knife by G.D. Penman
2018- Year One by Nora Roberts

Z ATBR Zombie Fallout (2016)
eNG- Zen Pencils--Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Post January 21, 2018/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday January 22, 2018

I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

We are still chugging along at work and have the year end financial reporting to get done this week. My daughter/office manager returned to the office but one of our new staff people went out Thursday with the flu.
Our weather has warmed up this weekend to 34-68. It is still light out up to 5:30pm which we like.

I am enjoying my reading but iffy on the listening. I finished one Audible and one ebook. I posted five reviews and my usual memes.

I visited 34 blogs Monday through Thursday. :-)
Shout Out this week to Girlxoxo who shares The Master List of 2018 Reading Challenges -- so many tempting.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara; Fantasy, Supernatural; my rating 3.75.
  • eTBR- Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer; Adaptations, Alien, Sci Fi; my rating 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. Audible/MP3 (TBR)

The Emerald Atlas, Books of Beginning
By: John Stephens
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Series: The Books of Beginning, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
This is a fun listen good for children and adults.
Source: Audible 2013.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)

Rise of the Fallen: Wars of the Realm, Book 2
by Chuck Black
Loved this action story from the perspective of the angel.
Source: NetGalley 2017.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently Reading:
1. Print TBR (Publisher)

Seek and Destroy (America Rising)
by William C. Dietz
1/2 way and I am still enjoying this 2nd book; plan to finish this week.
Source: Publisher 2017.

Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/Smartphone (2018Purch)
Island cover art

By: Aldous Huxley
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Release date: 09-13-16
I am 4 hours in and struggling to 'get into' this title I picked for Vintage Sci Fi.
Source: Audible Daily Deal 2018.

3. Audible/MP3 (ATBR)
Ubik cover art

By: Philip K. Dick
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
This is another Vintage Sci Fi.
This is starting with some humor in the story.
Source: Audible Daily Deal 2017.

Publisher's Summary
A mind-bending, classic Philip K. Dick novel about the perception of reality.
Named as one of Time's 100 best books.
Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business - deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.
©1969 Philip K. Dick (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

4. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)

A Gem of a Problem (Emma Berry Murray River Mystery Book 1)
by Irene Sauman
This looks like a good break from the Vintage Sci Fi.
Source: NetGalley 2017.
As if losing Sam wasn’t enough, now she must deal with what he has left behind.
Emma hadn’t known Sam was delivering (smuggling?) a package across the Murray River border between the colonies, but the package, containing something of great value, is missing after the sinking of the paddle steamer Mary B. She doesn’t believe the Major’s story of why. It makes no sense. But his threats are real enough.
If only Daniel wasn’t blaming her for everything. She will have to travel a lonely road in her efforts to locate the missing item before time runs out. Who is lying to her, who is telling the truth? Will what she finds be what she is looking for? And more importantly, will it be what the Major expects?

January 21, 2018 - I am enjoying reading and listening the One Year Bible plan on my new smartphone. My husband hasn't joined my plan but he is listening some days too. You can check out the audio on the companion commentary online.

I completed 2 books and posted 5 reviews - yay, a good dent.  I still have 7 current year reviews. Now that I have my first 2018 review done I will start linking again at Goodreads, Amazon and Audible too but will start that work soon.
My NetGalley shelf is now at 22 with five older 2017 and others picked up end of year. I still have one committed author title in queue and many through InstaFreebie. I have more new author requests but haven't had time to reply.

We're working on two more fiction books to add to eTreasure's NetGalley page.

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I didn't pick up any reviews this week.
I resisted the Audible daily deals this week but they are having a sale for the 2017 DD titles. I am tempted to pick up another handful.
I purchased four .99 cent Kindle titles this week.
As usual, I picked up more free kindle titles as usual. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)
Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles


I picked up four Kindle titles at $.99:
All I Ever Needed (The Compass Club Series, Book 3)
Jo Goodman
I've actually read this series over 10 years ago and really liked it.
I think I still have the paperbacks.

Becky Harling
I liked the sound of this and gifted it to my daughter.
The Pulse Super Boxset: EMP Post Apocalyptic Fiction
Alexandria Clarke
Post Apocalyptic - looks good to me.

I have book one on Audible and book 2 at Kindle. 
I thought this was a good price for book 3. 

I picked up free Kindle titles to add 57 titles to my library this week! Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement January 21, 2018

We had a good Sunday School lesson although our SS teacher didn’t get too far along on his notes discussing the power of sin and Christ’s gift on the cross. Our worship was good and there was an encouraging word shared.

Pastor shared his sermon: A Vision for The Church.
He reminded us of the Congregational life cycle and the point that the church must recapture the dream it had at its start. Last week’s Point: We must move from come and see, to come and die.
Are we willing to be uncomfortable, to sacrifice?

Assemblies of God is cooperative fellowship. We are a Pentecostal church which invests in world missions. But sometimes we forget about the power to be witnesses. Society declines; churches stand empty. We need to be witnesses here at home. We need to witness “around the corner and around the world.”

Point: Our investment in the Kingdom of God reveals where our heart is.

Malachi 3:8-10 the nation is admonished for failing to bring the full tithe into the storehouse. The Lord even challenges them with 'test me ... and see if I will not open the floodgates'.

It is our job to support the spread the gospel. Romans 15:20-21. Paul even tells the people he would compare them with other churches. 2 Corinthians 8:7-8. Be aware where you store up treasure – on earth or in heaven. Matthew 6: 19 -21.
Remember the Parable of the Talents. Matthew 25:14-30.
Let us be found investing in God's kingdom.

Pastor shared our church mission report showing a world map marked with the 48 mission units/persons that our church is committed to. Pastor’s Vision for 2018 is to expand our worldwide outreach with 100% congregational participation every month. Our God is not the God of poverty or scarcity but a God of blessing and abundance. Let us have a World impact!

I think this song fits okay today.
Verses for Today:
Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Thank you Lord, always, for reminding me of priorities and that my treasure - all that YOU have given me -- needs to be passed along.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

#NetGalley Book Review: What If God Wrote Your To-Do List? by Jay Payleitner

This was a great way to kick off my new year. I liked the encouraging suggestions of the author.
What If God Wrote Your To-Do List?:
52 Ways to Make the Most of Every Day
by Jay Payleitner

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736961933
Genre: Christian Living, Inspirational, Religion & Spirituality
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

What is God Asking You "To-Do" Today?
When you talk to God about His plans for you, do you tend to focus on the far-off future? Big-picture thinking is great, but don't miss out on what the Lord has in store for you today.
These 52 easy tasks will help you embrace opportunities to grow closer to God, reach out to others, and take better care of yourself. This is a to-do list for your soul.
Read a Psalm, talk to a neighbor, or right a wrong. These are just a few examples of the simple activities that will enrich your everyday life.
God is calling you to make the most of each day and live life to the fullest!

I was glad to start the new year of 2018 with this book although this could be a bit intimidating. We get so busy in our worldly lives that we may well forget to set our priorities with God’s plan in mind rather than our own.

The author sets out 52 Godly to-do items supported by scripture and example. The ‘chapter’ titles are not always directly what the author will suggest as he uses twists in the topics – keeping it interesting. The tasks are not surprising or earth shaking but rather down to earth reminders of the things a Christ Follower should be doing.

This is set out in 52 sections which would indicate that it is good to read and focus on one To-Do item every week for a year. I read the whole book in one week but plan to go back to it at the beginning of each week to see if I am doing the items suggested.

It is easy to read, inspiring uplifting and encouraging. I recommend this as a nice guide to help anyone who wants a closer relationship with God and a truer Christian walk in our earthly journey.

I picked this up at NetGalley for my first book of the year.
It qualifies for 2018 NetGalley Challenge, 2018 Alphabet Challenge and 2018 TBR Challenge. This is a new author for me.

Audible Book Review: When a Child Is Born A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story by Jodi Taylor

I like this series for quick, fun listening.
When a Child Is Born
A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story
By: Jodi Taylor
Narrated by: Zara Ramm

When a Child Is Born cover artSeries: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2.5
Length: 32 mins
Release date: 04-07-15
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Time Travel
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
The time-travel series that everyone's talking about.... Jodi Taylor's The Chronicles of St. Mary's is back with a short story.
It's Christmas Day 1066, and a team from St Mary's is going to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror. Or so they think.... However, history seems to have different plans for them, and when Max finds herself delivering a child in a peasant's hut, she can't help wondering what history is up to.
Jodi Taylor is and always has been a history nut. Her disinclination to get out of bed for anything after 1485 can only be overcome by massive amounts of chocolate and sometimes, if it's raining, not even then. She wanted to write a book about time travel that was a little different and, not having a clue how difficult this would make her book to classify, went ahead and slung in elements of history, adventure, comedy, romance, tragedy, and anything else she could think of. Her advice to booksellers is to buy huge numbers of her books and just put one on every shelf.
©2013 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Max and a team were sent back to 1066 to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror and determine why a riot disrupted the ceremonies. The team figures it will be a straightforward assignment but of course things start off on the wrong foot when they arrive in not quite the destined spot. Before they can make their way in the cold and snow to the proper destination they come across an injured man lying bloodied in the snow. They hear a woman crying a short distance away….

What to do? Help the man and check on the woman? Or leave them there while they move on to their mission?

Well, Max rarely stays out of trouble. As she says in the first lines of the story: “I was in trouble again. No surprise there. It’s my default state.”

I truly enjoy the glimpses of history shared in these imaginative and fun stories. Yes, Max tends to steer a bit off course. And delivering a child on Christmas Eve was not the assignment. But then again, history has its own way of asserting itself even if Max doesn’t know it at the time.

I do recommend reading at least the prequel and first book in this series so you know the characters and understand their goals. That will make reading the quick short stories so much more fun. This series is fun reading for history and time travel buffs.

Audio Notes: Zara Ramm does a great job with these characters. She captures the sass and personality fitting Max and her cohorts. I enjoy listening to the series.

This was a TBR Audible from 2015. It finished off 2017 and my Audiobook Challenge and TBR Challenge.

My other reviews so far in this series:
Audible Review: Just One Da*ned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1 by Jodi Taylor; Rating 4.25
Audible Book Review: The Very First D*ned Thing: An Author-Read Audio Exclusive by Jodi Taylor; Rating 4.5
Goodreads Review: Christmas Present, The Chronicles of St. Mary's #4.5 by Jodi Taylor; Rating 4.0


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