Contact email: mesreads AT gmail.com
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

2017HoHoHothonLRGGiveaway Ending November 15, 2017 (11:59EST)
HoHoHo Readathon Mini Challenge Giveaway: Holiday Sentence

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sharing Beyond Books #284 Comment Giveaway December 31, 2016

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented over the past two weeks. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and will have a safe New Year's celebration tonight!

It is not surprising that the majority of commentors were looking forward to visiting with or at least communicating with family. Several are looking forward to new experiences in the new year.
Rubynreba's family has a lovely tradition of reading the Christmas Story. I'll have to see if we can get the grandkids to do that next year.
Linda was looking forward to spending time with a new dog; bn100 was looking forward to the food. My prayers have been with Miki as I know it must be hard to go through the holidays after the loss of a loved one.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #283 comments is: #10 Marjorie who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. [I'm hoping to update the book choices - maybe the beginning of next year, lol.] Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #284
(One Question.)
I decided to ask the first question as we go into 2017 (last question for 2016). So MaryP and Poetry will both get a prize for their questions in December.
My Question tonight: Do you have a reading list ready for 2017 and what is your anticipated reading goal for 2017??

I have my first book set up with the post for tomorrow morning. I have already lined up a handful of tours for January, February and one so far in March. I have my list of NetGalley titles (12), my author list (10+), and I have set up a tentative list for 2017 Alphabet Challenge with Audible titles and ebooks. So I do have some lists but they are not written in stone (except for tour dates).
I felt like I had to push a little this month to finish my challenges, including the Goodreads challenge which I had set at 175 and finished at 178. Knowing other tasks I have, I think I will set that goal at 160 for the new year, allowing for 3 books a week plus a few spares.
Be Safe and Happy New Year to One and All!
[May 2017 be a special year!]
Image Found at Quotesgram..

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.

Your turn to share: My Question tonight: Do you have a reading list ready for 2017 and what is your anticipated reading goal for 2017??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. One of these days I will get together a new box of Christmas titles.)

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday January 6, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Book Review: Zombies at the Door: Planning for the Inevitable by Charlie Pulsipher

Sometimes you just need to read something funny - this fits the bill.
by Charlie Pulsipher
File Size: 661 KB
Print Length: 68 pages
Publisher: Singular Books; 2 edition (August 18, 2011)
ASIN: B005I3ZZR2
Genre: Parody, Humor, Zombies
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


*Get ready for a funny Advice & How-To guide to the coming Zombie Apocalypse using humor and practical knowledge together to help you survive*
We all know it can happen, will happen. Be prepared and have a laugh at the same time. This basic manual will make sure you are ready to face the zombie hordes and walk you through where to meet, find weapons and food, and set up camp. It may even give you hope as you huddle in the bathroom stall at the mall.
Seriously though, don't go to the mall!
Learn the glow stick technique to distract zombies or how a paper bag might save your life or at least keep you from seeing the bitey end that's coming. Are dentist offices safe? Can the game of baseball stop the zombies from attacking? Is petroleum jelly something you should have in your zombie kit? Find out now....


Review:
Just read the blurb and you can’t miss the tongue-in-check humor. Actually, the prep info is nicely set forth and would be helpful for other (more likely) disasters like losing power due to hurricanes, tornadoes or blizzards. Just remember – don’t go to the mall! And plan ahead for an escape route just in case you are out shopping at a mall when a catastrophe strikes (and sadly, nowadays, that could happen more often than we’d like to think).

Zombie books often bring fear and stress. There is a little of that in this one, but along with that there is a big dose of laughter. The book includes stick drawn illustrations that made me chuckle. This is a very fun read and perfect for a “Z” in Alphabet Challenge at the end of the year. Pick it up and get some grins; share it with friends so you will have some other survivors as companions (or bait?). I hope to read something else by Mr. Pulsipher as I enjoyed the style.

This is from my Kindle library; 2012. It is a TBR and "Z" for my Alphabet Challenge.

Book Review: Halcyon (The Complex Book 0) by Demelza Carlton

A Complex of blended races -- a chance for peace or revenge?
Halcyon (The Complex Book 0)
by Demelza Carlton

File Size: 5173 KB
Print Length: 168 pages
Publisher: Lost Plot Press (December 10, 2016)
ASIN: B01MXN7KKW
Genre: Sci Fi, Alien Invasion, Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


A Lone Planet. One Complex.
Unlimited Chaos.

Catch a siren. Stop the storm. Whatever the cost.
Allie, sick of war and grief, signed up as a lowly maintenance worker for the Complex in the hope of securing a lasting peace between the Metas and Humans. However, the girl has her own secrets, not least of which is her assignment from the Lorn government to monitor the Complex for signs of a suspected saboteur.
Galen, the only survivor of the Poseidon shipwreck, didn't join the Complex for peace. He wants vengeance on the siren Halcyon, the mysterious Mer whose terrorist tactics single-handedly killed more humans than any other Meta. His sources say that Halcyon is on Lorn, and he'll happily kill every Mer in the Complex until his parents' murderer is dead.
Can they catch the terrorist before the Complex is destroyed?

The Complex Book Series:
A Lone Planet. One Complex.
Unlimited Chaos.

After a brutal war between Humans and Metas an uneasy truce is declared in the Seldova solar system. At the conclusion of the treaty signing, the Complex is created on the lone planet, Lorn. The Complex is a blended community of Humans and Metas, all sent to test the waters of a more peaceful existence between the two races. Living under a domed community can only mean one thing for the Humans and Metas. Chaos.


Review:
Allie has chosen to become a maintenance worker in the Complex for personal reasons as well as political ones. She is tired of the war and the loses. The community project at the Complex is designed to put humans and Meta (other beings) living together so they can find a way to peace.

Galen was only a teen when he became the sole survivor of an attack by the Mer siren, Halcyon. That devastating attack started the Meta war. Now he is the chief engineer for the Complex. Although the Complex has been developed to promote peace, Galen isn’t done with the war yet. He has heard that Halcyon is at the Complex and he intends to revenge the death of his parents, as he has planned for years.

Galen is immediately drawn to Allie, even as he tries to keep his focus on his primary goal. Meanwhile, Allie is secretly hunting for the terrorist threat without realizing where that search will end.

The story was engaging, with a bit of a twist. I enjoyed the intelligent characters, particularly Allie. I enjoyed following her quirks. This is a novella but it is a full story with an engaging plot. There was suspense and budding romance. The dialogue was natural, the writing flowed well and the story read quickly with good pacing. I would be willing to read more by Ms. Carlton.

I was given a free copy of this title from the author with no obligation to review.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno

This has lots of high tech, action and some interesting characters, but I found the plot a bit confusing.
The Circuit: Executor Rising
by Rhett C. Bruno
File Size: 4070 KB
Print Length: 276 pages
Publisher: Diversion Books (May 19, 2015)
ASIN: B00XAUYRY2
Genre: Sci Fi, Space Opera
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


"A hard-charging opener to a promising, if bloody, space-opera series." —KIRKUS
Centuries after Earth was rendered an uninhabitable wasteland, humanity was forced from its homeworld and founded the Kepler Circuit, a string of colonies throughout the solar system. These settlements provide resources to the remnants of humankind, the most important resource being the newly discovered element—Gravitum—found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.
But a powerful religious faction known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of the Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left to challenge them, a string of attacks on the Tribunal’s freighters causes them to suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, of foul play.
Tasked with solving the problem is Sage Volus: Tribunal Executor. Spy.
Sage quickly infiltrates the ranks of a roguish, Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne, seeking to discover the truth behind the attacks, but the longer she works amidst Talon and his squad, the more she finds her faith in the Tribunal tested.
While her quest for answers only unearths more questions, a new threat is on the rise, and it plans to bring down the Tribune once and for all.


Review:
Sage Volus is a Tribunal Executor who handles the necessary enforcement against those who violate the rules of the cult-like Circuit Tribunal. She also serves as a spy when so instructed. It is a rough job but she dedicated herself at a time when she had nothing else to live for.

Cassius Vale is a rare commodity. He is an Ex-Tribune and there are those who would prefer to see him dead. Cassius son, Caleb, was married to Sage. Seven years ago, Caleb died while exploring new growth on the husk of old earth. Sage was injured in the explosion too, but Cassius made sure she survived.

Cassius has broken faith with the Tribunal whom he blames for his son’s death. He has put into place a plan to circumvent the control of the Circuit, or at least to create chaos. After all, he is known as ‘creator’ to his Automated Dynamic Intelligence Mech (ADIM).

Sage is directed by the Tribune to investigate the attacks on the Circuit freighters. Some suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, but one or two of the Tribune suspect Cassius. Sage manages to infiltrate the team of a Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne. The things Sage discovers begin to test her previously unquestioned devotion to the Tribunal. And facts have only begun to surface.

I really liked ADIM as an AI character, although he is a bit brutal in his approach to his tasks. Sage is a Kick-butt character and I liked that she has feelings even after years of trying to numb her heart. I liked Cassius but honestly, I am not sure if he is good, bad or simply mad.

The story moves at a good pace with lots of action and high tech. It is not one that can be read lightly as it takes concentration to follow what is happening. It didn’t seem totally clear what had happened to destroy earth and why the Circuit had to rely on the Gravitum from earth. Even when finished I felt confused as this seemed like the second book in a series that didn’t pull in all the backstory. There were numerous grammar errors plus the story ends without wrapping up either line of action, for Sage or Cassius. So – I liked the basics but it has some drawbacks. I noted that the reviews on book two are favorable so that is a good sign.

I received this from the publisher through NetGalley. It qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway December 30, 2016

Happy Friday!
Well - I had recovered until late Tuesday when my throat started closing up. I spend all day Wednesday in bed hoping to knock out the bug. I felt better Thursday and had to go cover a court hearing two hours away. As of Thursday night I have only a whisper of a voice. I have a couple of appointments on Friday to finish out some deeds that have to be recorded by the end of the year. Then I hope to come home to bed again. 

Santa brought me a new car instead of a new camera so I'm not complaining. I just have to find a camera shop to see if mine can be repaired or just break down and get a new one.

I am wishing Everyone a SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR as we kick off 2017 this weekend!

TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK
US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the December 23 Pick. TWO automatic wins again this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
AUTO: Carol NW gets Beyond Reach
and
Becky gets Soul of the Wildcat

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from December 16 Pick:
JANHVI gets a GC
and
Marjorie gets a GC

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}


Good sentiments to share for 2017!
Image found at Leeds Book Club.

New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart
Twelfth Night Proposal by Karen Rose Smith
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
Christmas With the Prince by Michelle Celmer
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
Christmas Bonus: Strings Attached by Susan Crosby
Wanted: Christmas Mommy by Judy Christenberry
One Cowboy One Christmas by Kathleen Eagle
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins
Mistletoe and Miracles by Marie Ferrarella
Her Montana Christmas by Arlene James
All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly
Miracle on Christmas Eve by Shirley Jump
Snowbound Reunion by Barbara McMahon
Holiday Homecoming by Mae Ann Wilson


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
PAIR:
Lisa Gardner: The Perfect Husband and The Other Daughter
Stella Cameron: True Bliss and Sheer Pleasures
SINGLE:
Stray by A. N. Wilson (hardcover)
Soul of the Wildcat by Devyn Quinn
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner
Wild Rain by Christine Feehan
The Copper Beach by Maeve Binchy
Beyond Reach: A Novel (Grant County Book 6) by Karin Slaughter
Crimson Shore by Preston & Childs
The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry
Critical by Robin Cook
Mania by Craig Larsen

New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
PAIRS:
Into the Night (book 5) and Gone too Far (book 6) by Suzanne Brockmann
The Wedding Night of an English Rogue: A Novel (A Boscastle Affairs Novel Book 3)
The Wicked Games of a Gentleman: A Novel (A Boscastle Affairs Novel Book 4) by Jillian Hunter
SINGLES:
*Bloodstone by Lynn Benedict (1973 - yellowed)
*The Brittany Stones by Lynna Cooper (1974 - yellowed; corner of cover cut)
Her Scoundrel by Geralyn Dawson
In Search of Lucy: A Novel by Lia Fairchild
No Place for a Lady by Katherine Greyle
Wicked by Beth Henderson
To Die For: A Novel (Blair Mallory Book 1) by Linda Howard
The Inheritance by Joan Johnston
A Dark Champion by Kinley MacGregor
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)
Mysterious: The Right Path / This Magic Moment / The Search for Love by Nora Roberts (2008)
The Spitfire by Bertrice Small


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell
Freedom's Stand by J. M. Windle


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
A Dangerous Fancy by Tracy Cozzens
The Champion by Heather Grothaus
So Wild A Kiss by Nancy Richards-Akers


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette


New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone
SINGLES:
Wayward Winds by Michael Phillips - Audio Tapes

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015
After I noticed the trend I went on a hunt for “bride” titles. I even pulled a couple from some of my long time collections(*). (But they are not getting read on my shelves.)
SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone
Cruise to a Wedding by Betty Neels

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes


BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,028+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, etc....you tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: Reading is for Idjits! by W. W. Rowe

This has great illustrations and a well meaning message; but I have some cautionary concerns.
Reading is for Idjits!
by W. W. Rowe (Author), Charles A Filius (Illustrator)
File Size: 18529 KB
Print Length: 98 pages
Publisher: Charwood Publications (May 26, 2016)
ASIN: B01G87KU0S
Genre: Children
My Rating 3.5 of 5.0


Martin and Morton are identical twins! Which one is which? "Smarty Marty" loves to read. "Morton the Moron" hates it. "Reading is for idjits!" he declares. But Morton's faulty reading gets him into BIG trouble. His entire world falls apart! After a series of humorous disasters, Morton finally learns to read. He even saves the day with his new skill!


Review:
This quick story tells how Morton gets into trouble repeatedly when he misreads signs. The mistakes are funny until they start getting Morton injured. Ultimately his misreading leads to a very dangerous event, at which point his mother punishes him until he learns to read properly.  Finally he learns to love reading too.

I really enjoyed the fun illustrations in this book which are much more creative than the cover might suggest. But the cover did get my attention to look at the rest. 

I had some concerns about calling any child a "moron" as I totally discourage name calling. There are additional negatives, including the "idjit" phrase of course. I am also pretty doubtful that punishing a child to make them read will make them like or enjoy reading. I learned with an oppositional child that it is better to find reward structures than punishing structures.

As humorous as the story is and as cute as the pictures are, the more I thought about reading this with a reluctant reader the more I wondered if it would work. Making reading fun is the goal... and this book does make it fun so it might be worth a try with the right child and an adult to discourage the negatives of name calling.

I received this book through NetGalley. It helped to complete my NetGalley Challenge for 2016.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Mrs. White Rabbit by Gilles Bachelet

This is delightful especially for fans of the classic Alice in Wonderland!
Mrs. White Rabbit 
by Gilles Bachelet

Age Range: 6 - 10 years
Grade Level: 1 - 4
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
(February 6, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0802854834
Genre: Children's
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0*


A hilarious twist on a classic tale.
Alice in Wonderland is one of the great classics of children's literature, but what does anyone actually know about Wonderland? Through the diary of the White Rabbit's extremely busy wife, readers finally get to see what happens in the background during Alice's adventures.
Mrs. White Rabbit loves her husband and their many children, but with an invisible housecat from Cheshire and a young female visitor who frequently changes size, living in Wonderland comes with a number of challenges.
With an abundance of wit and charm, Mrs. White Rabbit gives Lewis Carroll's famous tale a refreshingly modern twist.


Review:
As the description notes, this is a view into the diary of the beleaguered wife of the White Rabbit. With five children you can imagine she is very busy and doesn't appreciate the addition of a transparent cat and a young woman who can't control her size.

I thought the story was fun and creative. It could be considered a quick read but that would be such an injustice. You can't just read through quickly because there is so much to see on each page. The illustrations are fabulous, creative and many! As a fan of Alice in Wonderland I had to stop on each page and look at the drawings that relate back to the original classic.

This is set out as a children's book and I don't think that is the best audience. Perhaps if a child has recently read Alice in Wonderland, he or she might get the humor and the irony, especially with the help of an adult to point out the scenes and characters that fill this book.

*I didn't give this a 5 star rating only because I am not sure it is fitted to the target audience. However, it would definitely get my recommendation for any mature or adult enthusiast of the classic Alice in Wonderland.

I received this title as a NetGalley pdf. It adds to my NetGalley Challenge.
(I realized I was a few books short for my NetGalley Challenge so I picked up some children's titles to test for my grandchildren... and to enjoy myself!)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Post December 25, 2016/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday December 26, 2016


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
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.

I had a good week although my staff sent me out of the office on Thursday as they wanted to paint the office as a surprise for me. I had to go in for a brief visit to retrieve some Christmas gifts. It looks good although not quite finished.
I got to spend several nice days with my hubby. Turns out on Thursday we found a new car for me: a 2016 Versa Note. It had been used as a demo/service rental (11,000 miles) so we got a very good deal.
We had a lovely Christmas service Sunday morning. Our daughter and her family came over for Christmas dinner -- and to open gifts of course. We played a fun game before they left as our son-in-law is now suffering from the cold we passed along. Then we spent a nice hour on Skype with our son and his family. It was a great Christmas day.

Reading was good, with listening while wrapping gifts. I finished three ebooks and three TBR audiobooks. I posted four reviews and most of the usual memes (SBB will be up next Saturday).

I enjoyed visiting early in the week; then got too busy with Christmas preparations.
No shout out this week but I do plan to pick that up again next year!
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (TBR)
Unicorn Western by [Truant, Johnny B., Platt, Sean]


Unicorn Western
by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt
This is a bit strange, but engaging.
I'll post a review this week.
This is a book from my Kindle TBR library (2013); picked for the U on my Alphabet Challenge.

Click on book title for full description.



2. Audible (TBR)
A Curious Beginning Audiobook


A Curious Beginning
Written by: Deanna Raybourn
Narrated by: Angele Masters
Sort of fun. I hope to post a review this week.
This title is from my Audible Library.
Click on book title for full description.



3. ebook/Kindle (NetGalley)


Cooked Goose (Big Mike and Minnie)
by Susan Amanda Kelly
This is a lot of fun. My review is linked in the week's reviews above.
Click on book title for full description.



4. eBook/Kindle


Zombies at the Door: Planning for the Inevitable
by Charlie Pulsipher
Very funny! I'll do a full review after Christmas.
This is from my Kindle library; 2012. It is "Z" for my Alphabet Challenge.
*Get ready for a funny Advice & How-To guide to the coming Zombie Apocalypse using humor and practical knowledge together to help you survive*
We all know it can happen, will happen. Be prepared and have a laugh at the same time. This basic manual will make sure you are ready to face the zombie hordes and walk you through where to meet, find weapons and food, and set up camp. It may even give you hope as you huddle in the bathroom stall at the mall.
Seriously though, don't go to the mall!
Learn the glow stick technique to distract zombies or how a paper bag might save your life or at least keep you from seeing the bitey end that's coming. Are dentist offices safe? Can the game of baseball stop the zombies from attacking? Is petroleum jelly something you should have in your zombie kit? Find out now....



5. Audible (TBR)



A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry
Written by: Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Tim Curry
This is a wonderful performance. 
My review is linked at the title and above in review links.
Publisher's Summary
This version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, masterfully narrated by Tim Curry, was available for a limited time last year, and now it's back. This one-of-a-kind performance puts a unique spin on a treasured classic, and served as the inspiration for the exciting new line of Audible Signature Classics, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with Elijah Wood, and Heart of Darkness with Kenneth Branagh. Tim Curry performs this timeless holiday story in a deliciously dark tone, returning it to its Dickensian roots with a vivid imagining of Victorian London and just the right touch of outrageous fun.
A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. It has often been credited with returning the jovial and festive atmosphere to the holiday season in Britain and North America, following the somber period that emerged during the Industrial Revolution.
The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Listen to more Audible Signature Classics now.
Public Domain(P)2009 Audible, Inc.



6. Audible (TBR)


The Chimes
Written by: Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
This is another remarkable Dickens' classic.
I will post my review near New Year's Eve as it fits there.
Publisher's Summary
The magnificent Richard Armitage (Hamlet: King of Denmark: A Novel) performs The Chimes by Charles Dickens.
This classic story is the second in a series of five Christmas books Dickens was commissioned to write - beginning with A Christmas Carol. A haunting tale set on New Year's Eve, The Chimes tells the story of a poor porter named Trotty Veck who has become disheartened by the state of the world - until he is shown a series of fantastical visions that convince him of the good of humanity. Though much different from and certainly a bit darker than A Christmas Carol, the moral message of The Chimes is equally poignant - touting the importance of compassion, goodwill, and the love of friends and family.
The Chimes was followed by The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and finally The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain.
Public Domain (P)2015 Audible, Inc.




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (TBR)


The Yellow Line

by Kitrin Haas
I'm enjoying this 'recovery' romance.
This is from my TBR and is "Y" for my Alphabet Challenge.
In one instant the Cameron family's lives changed forever. Now, Alana Cameron must have the courage to put her life back together. Will she find the strength to trust and love again? A voice from the past may hold the key to her sanity.


I am pretty sure I have completed two of my challenges, if not all four. I plan to check tomorrow to see if I need to squeeze in any last minute titles. Till then I am not sure what else I will read this week. I plan to get my First Read post up as I have that book selected.


December 25, 2016 - I am one day ahead on my Bible reading and do plan to finish.
I have been enjoying listening to the companion commentary online when I am home.
I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church.

I posted four reviews which still keeps me a bit behind with seven to be posted.

I still plan to request audio titles as I can always squeeze listening in!
I now have 8 NetGalley Titles and 10+ author titles in my queue. Clearly all of them are going into 2017!


We did get an ebook release but waiting for covers for two prints releases.
There will be one upload for eTreasure's NetGalley page this week.



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 Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received one Audio from the narrator for review.
I picked out my last two Audible titles for this year plus I picked up 5 Daily Deals.
I didn't buy any Kindle titles.
I picked up a fair number of free kindle titles. (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 received this audio title from the narrator through AudioBook Boom.
Two by Vonnegut: The Big Trip Up Yonder and 2BR02B Audiobook 
Two by Vonnegut: The Big Trip Up Yonder and 2BR02B
Written by: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Narrated by: Kitty Hendrix
I picked this vintage title (1959 and 1962) for Sci Fi Experience and Vintage Sci Fi.


Won
NONE

Purchased
I picked up my last two subscription credit titles for the year:
Monster Hunter NemesisA Choice of Treasons Audiobook

Monster Hunter Nemesis
Written by: Larry Correia
Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
I want to finish/continue this fun series.

A Choice of Treasons
Written by: J. L. Doty
Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine
"Gripping, fast-moving military science fiction starring the hero of Of Treasons Born."
I have book one and wanted to get book two so it will be a TBR for 2017.

I subscribed to Audible Daily Deals so I am tempted by deals everyday.
This week I picked up 5 daily deals for under $10.00:
A Monster Calls: Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan DowdOne Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual LivesThe Anatomy of Peace, Expanded Second Edition: Resolving the Heart of ConflictFinding DoryA Literary Christmas Audiobook
1. A Monster Calls: Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd $1.95
Written by: Patrick Ness
Narrated by: Jason Isaacs
"Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults."
The blurb got my attention.
Written by: Bernd Heinrich
Narrated by: Rick Adamson
"In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. Heinrich's observations lead to fascinating questions - and sometimes startling discoveries."
I do love birds and this sounded interesting.
3. The Anatomy of Peace, Expanded Second Edition: Resolving the Heart of Conflict $2.95
Written by: The Arbinger Institute
Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
"What if conflicts at home, conflicts at work, and conflicts in the world stem from the same root cause? What if we systematically misunderstand that cause? And what if, as a result, we systematically perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve?"
4. Finding Dory $1.95
Written by: Disney Press
Narrated by: Adam Verner
This one is to share with the kids. :-)
5. A Literary Christmas $.99
Written by: Charles Dickens , Jane Austen , Rudyard Kipling , Thomas Hardy,  William Wordsworth , Laurie Lee , Samuel Pepys
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson , Simon Callow
This will be for listening next Christmas.

Free

I only added 41 free Kindle 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 December 25, 2016 -- Merry Christmas!

Remember the Reason for the Season is the birth of our savior - God with us!
Have a Blessed Christmas!
A Verse for Today:
John 1:14 NIV
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The 2017 Sci Fi Experience and Vintage Sci Fi Not a Challenge

The 2017 Sci-Fi Experience began December 1st, 2016 and runs through January 31st, 2017. It is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

smbigship250
Image art supplied by Stephan Martiniere.

The Sci-Fi Experience will hopefully give people an opportunity to:
a) Continue their love affair with science fiction
b) Return to science fiction after an absence, or
c) Experience for the first time just how exhilarating science fiction can be.
Since I have been increasingly enjoying Sci Fi this past year, I fall into the a) category. I have several reviews already for December and have Vintage sci fi titles lined up for January.

Here are Sci Fi books read  in December, 2016:
1. Audible Book Review: Swarm: Star Force, Book 1, by B. V. Larson; Narrated by Mark Boyett; Military Sci Fi, my rating 4.0.
2. Audible Book Review: The Synchronicity War, Part 1 by Dietmar Wehr; Narrated by Luke Daniels; Military Sci Fi; my rating 4.0.
3. Book Review: Toru: Wayfarer Returns by Stephanie R. Sorensen; Sci Fi, Steampunk; my rating 4.5.
4. The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno
5. The Great Martian War: Invasion by Scott Washburn; Narrated by Ray Greenley


Read in January, 2017:
{See Vintage Reviews below to be added}

I also have several books already lined up for January, especially Vintage Sci Fi titles.

The Vintage SciFi Not-a-Challenge event is hosted by Andrea at Little Red Reviewer.

I am starting with these Vintage titles:
1. X Minus One: Old Time Radio, Sci-Fi Series (broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958) by Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, Ernest Kinoy, George Lefferts
2. Invisible Man: A Novel by Ralph Ellison; Narrated by Joe Morton (1953)
3. Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein; Narrated by Barrett Whitener (1956)
4. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin; Narrated by Grover Gardner (1921)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Audible Book Review: A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

This is a spectacular performance - great listening.
A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry
Written by: Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Tim Curry
Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:12-01-10
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Classics, British Literature
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary

This version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, masterfully narrated by Tim Curry, was available for a limited time last year, and now it's back. This one-of-a-kind performance puts a unique spin on a treasured classic, and served as the inspiration for the exciting new line of Audible Signature Classics, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with Elijah Wood, and Heart of Darkness with Kenneth Branagh. Tim Curry performs this timeless holiday story in a deliciously dark tone, returning it to its Dickensian roots with a vivid imagining of Victorian London and just the right touch of outrageous fun.

A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. It has often been credited with returning the jovial and festive atmosphere to the holiday season in Britain and North America, following the somber period that emerged during the Industrial Revolution.

The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Listen to more Audible Signature Classics now.
Public Domain(P)2009 Audible, Inc.


Review:
Most of us read A Christmas Carol when we were young. And there have been many video versions to enjoy. I decided it was time to listen to the original story with a unique narrator. It was wonderful to read/listen to this great classic. Of course, Dickens is a master writer. The language is ‘classic’ in its richness – great descriptions that put the reader right there in the scene. It has been a long time since I have read the 'original' and I enjoyed the strong message of transformation. In this listening though I heard more of the background messages regarding the conditions of men.

Tim Curry does a superb job of narrating. For one thing – I didn’t hear the Tim Curry I might have pictured or expected villains and dark). Yes, he carried the dark tone of the story but with so much more! I heard a spot on British accent which changed appropriately with the characters and expressed the emotions and enthusiasm at all the right points. Curry wheezes, gasps, chortles and cheers. He even shares the wonderful exclamation by Tiny Tim.

I encourage everyone to listen to and enjoy this classic. A perfect sharing, especially at Christmas time.

This has been in my Audible library since 2012. It is part of my Audio Challenge.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway December 23, 2016

Happy Friday!
Thank you for all the well wishes last week. I am feeling better. (Sadly gave the cold to my daughter so she was sick last weekend and out of the office on Monday.)
I had to juggle extra work assignments so I still haven't sent out the GC wins. I hope to do that today (Friday).

(No picture of the last grouping so far as my camera is broken... maybe Santa will bring a new one.)

TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK
US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the December 16 Pick. TWO automatic win this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
AUTO: Elizabeth gets Christmas Bonus: Strings Attached
and
BN100 gets The Lincoln Myth

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from December 16 Pick:
RITA gets Miracle on Christmas Eve
and
Linda gets a GC

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}

book page christmas tree
Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and ALL!
Image found at Book Riot.

New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart
Twelfth Night Proposal by Karen Rose Smith
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
Christmas With the Prince by Michelle Celmer
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
Christmas Bonus: Strings Attached by Susan Crosby
Wanted: Christmas Mommy by Judy Christenberry
One Cowboy One Christmas by Kathleen Eagle
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins
Mistletoe and Miracles by Marie Ferrarella
Her Montana Christmas by Arlene James
All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly
Miracle on Christmas Eve by Shirley Jump
Snowbound Reunion by Barbara McMahon
Holiday Homecoming by Mae Ann Wilson


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
PAIR:
Lisa Gardner: The Perfect Husband and The Other Daughter
Stella Cameron: True Bliss and Sheer Pleasures
SINGLE:
Stray by A. N. Wilson (hardcover)
Soul of the Wildcat by Devyn Quinn
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner
Wild Rain by Christine Feehan
The Copper Beach by Maeve Binchy
Beyond Reach: A Novel (Grant County Book 6) by Karin Slaughter
Crimson Shore by Preston & Childs
The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry
Critical by Robin Cook
Mania by Craig Larsen

New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
PAIRS:
Into the Night (book 5) and Gone too Far (book 6) by Suzanne Brockmann
The Wedding Night of an English Rogue: A Novel (A Boscastle Affairs Novel Book 3)
The Wicked Games of a Gentleman: A Novel (A Boscastle Affairs Novel Book 4) by Jillian Hunter
SINGLES:
*Bloodstone by Lynn Benedict (1973 - yellowed)
*The Brittany Stones by Lynna Cooper (1974 - yellowed; corner of cover cut)
Her Scoundrel by Geralyn Dawson
In Search of Lucy: A Novel by Lia Fairchild
No Place for a Lady by Katherine Greyle
Wicked by Beth Henderson
To Die For: A Novel (Blair Mallory Book 1) by Linda Howard
The Inheritance by Joan Johnston
A Dark Champion by Kinley MacGregor
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)
Mysterious: The Right Path / This Magic Moment / The Search for Love by Nora Roberts (2008)
The Spitfire by Bertrice Small


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell
Freedom's Stand by J. M. Windle


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
A Dangerous Fancy by Tracy Cozzens
The Champion by Heather Grothaus
So Wild A Kiss by Nancy Richards-Akers


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette


New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone
SINGLES:
Wayward Winds by Michael Phillips - Audio Tapes

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015
After I noticed the trend I went on a hunt for “bride” titles. I even pulled a couple from some of my long time collections(*). (But they are not getting read on my shelves.)
SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone
Cruise to a Wedding by Betty Neels

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes


BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,026+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, etc....you tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails