#ReadersCrossing TBR!

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Hello! Aentee from Read at Midnight is hosting the super cute, sure to be fun #ReadersCrossing readathon!  I absolutely adored her PokemonGo themed readathon last year, and so when I saw she was hosting one that was Animal Crossing themed, I just knew I had to participate.

The readathon runs from today, December 10th, and goes until December 31st.  The challenges are set up like a bingo board.

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I’ve decided to base my TBR around Natural – 5 Across.  So, here’s my anticipated TBR:

Set in Your Country

For this one, I wanted to read something Christmas-y, so I’ve decided to read The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere.

Yellow Cover

This challenge was actually way harder than I anticipated.  I’ve been getting into graphic novels more lately, so I’ve decided to give Goldie Vance Volume 1 a try.

A Classic

My goal is to FINALLY FINISH Gone with the Wind!  I’ve been reading this book for almost 6 months now, and I really have enjoyed it.  The thing is, it is just such a large book, that I tend to get distracted and want to read a million other books.  So, I’ll put Gone with the Wind aside for a few days and read another book. Well, it’s time to stop putting this lovely book aside and finish it before 2018!

Animal on the Cover

I’ve decided to read The Dogs of Christmas for this challenge.  It sounds like such a fun and Christmas-y book, plus, it fits in with my other readathon I’m planning on participating in, the Holiday Adventure-A-Thon (which, by the way, you can expect my TBR for that readathon later this week)!

Set in the Wilderness

My sister has been hounding me to read book 2 in the Cat Warriors series, Fire and Ice, for so long now!  So, I think it’s finally time to read it!  


For extra fun for the readathon, you can earn points and keep score.  Here’s my camper ID:

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My goal is to share a reading update with all of you once a week, so you can see how my progress is coming along.  For those updates, I’ll also update my camper ID with my current #ReadersCrossing level!


And there you have it!  I’m obsessed with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and so I’m really excited for this readathon.

Let me know if you’re participating in #ReadersCrossing! Are you a fan of Animal Crossing?


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Christmas Countdown #8

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Welcome back to Countdown to Christmas. Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.  Can you even believe how quickly Christmas is approaching?!  Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas Eve!

Today’s book is The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears (Nancy Drew #116) by Carolyn Keene

IMG_2636.JPGOn the trail of a teddy bear thief, nancy unwraps double-dealing and double crosses! 
Bess is working during the Christmas rush at Beary Wonderful, a toy and teddy bear shop, when the holiday season takes a sudden scary turn. The owner’s prized collection of antique teddy bears — cute, cuddly, and worth a bundle — has been ripped off. But the break-in is only the beginning of a much bigger and more brazen teddy bear caper. 
The attempted theft of Bess’s own bear — a replica of one of the antiques — leads Nancy to believe that more is at stake than a couple of burgled bears. For Nancy knows that even something as innocent as a teddy bear can be stuffed with intrigue!

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The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears is such a fun and short Christmas story!  Like most Nancy Drew books, the mystery isn’t too intense, but it is still filled with plenty of twists and turns.  The book is also quite festive, and even though it’s about a robbery, it still put me in the Christmas spirit.  I really appreciated the length of this book, too, because at Christmas time, I don’t always have as much time to read as I would like, so it’s nice, for me, to enjoy shorter books this time of year.  Overall, this was a very enjoyable book.  I really think Nancy Drew fans will love this holiday themed mystery!

 

Do you like Nancy Drew books?  Have you read any of her Christmas mysteries?


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The Christmas Song Book Tag!

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Hi everyone! I was tagged by Taylor from Taylor is Reading to do The Christmas Song book tag.  Thanks so much to Taylor for tagging me!  I love Christmas music, so I’m really looking forward to doing this tag.

Okay, let’s get started!


1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

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For this one, I have to go with Alastor, from The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding.  For a demon living inside poor Prosper, I couldn’t help but find myself actually liking him?  

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

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Honestly, there are several books that I would love to see under my tree, and one of those is Caraval.  I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, and I am very eager to read it!

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

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I have to go with Ariel from The You I’ve Never Known for this one.  I don’t want to give anything away, but her character growth throughout this novel is really great.  

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?
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For this one, I’ve decided to use the same book for both, and use Matilda!  The Trunchbull is definitely on the top of the naughty list.  On the flip side, however, Miss Honey is definitely on the top of the nice list.  Now, if you’re wondering where I think Matilda would fall on the list, I think she would be on the nice list, but just not at the top, because she is just a little naughty. 😉

5. “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.

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Anne of the Island gives me all the feels and absolutely melts my heart!  This is the third book in the series, so Anne is growing up and going to college.  So many things happen in this book – joy and sorrow.  The ending is my favorite thing though, and makes me a literal puddle of gooey joy!

6. “Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

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Me Before You takes place in the United Kingdom.  There were things I loved about this book, and things I hated, but overall, I absolutely devoured this book!

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

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There are so many books I could have chosen for this one, but I decided to go with My True Love Gave to Me.  I went with this book, because there are 12 short stories, and each story is so unique and different from each other that there is a little bit of something for everyone!

8. “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

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I think I answered something like this in another tag or Top Ten Tuesday, and I know I’m going with the same answer, but I think Anne Shirley would be so much for to spend the holidays with!  She would bring so much excitement and imagination, that I’m sure the energy level would be so encouraging and positive.  My family and I are super into Christmas, and I feel like Anne would fit right in with the rest of us!

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

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I’m sorry, Unraveling had such a great premise, but it just fell flat for me!

10. “Do you hear what I hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

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Everyone needs to read The Book Thief!  This book is so well-written, and there is so much emotion and meaning in its pages.  The characters are so memorable, and I just really, really love this book.

For this post I tag:

Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

Lindsey @ Paradis Books

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Megan @ The Cozied Reader

Marta @ The Book Mermaid

Dee @ Dee Reads Things

and YOU!


Thanks so much for reading! I really had so much fun with this tag! 🙂


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Blogmas Baking | Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Hello!  I’ve decided to do something a little different on my blog today.  The other day, I made chocolate chip cookies with my favorite recipe, so I thought I’d share with you all my baking experience.


My favorite cookbook for cookie recipes is Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.

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I love how vintage-looking the book is, plus the recipes are the best! (And yes, my book is chewed.  The rabbits that we had when I was little were litter trained and freely hopped around the house like a cat, and one day they got into all our recipes.  This isn’t the only recipe book we have that is chewed.🙈) For today’s recipe, I used The Best Cooky of 1935-1940 Chocolate Chip Cookies.  There are several different recipes for chocolate chip cookies, but this one is my favorite!

So, here’s all the ingredients that I used:

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 butter (the cookbook calls for shortening, but I always just use butter)

1 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I always add just slightly more flour than this)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 (10 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips (the cookbook simply calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips, but there’s no such thing as too many chocolate chips, so I just usually add however much I want 😏)

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Once I gathered up my ingredients, I set the oven for 375° F, and then I started making them.  First, I mixed the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla until it was nice and fluffy looking.

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After that, I added in the flour, soda, and salt, and mixed until it looked like cookie dough.  Then I added in the chocolate chips and mixed everything up.  Then, after eating too much cookie dough even though there’s raw eggs and you’re not supposed to…I’ll take my chances, I rolled the dough into balls and it was time for them to cook!

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The recipe calls for the cookies to cook for 8-10 minutes, but for me personally, I find that they are usually done at around 8:30-9 minutes.  So, I always set my timer for 8:30.IMG_9805

After they’re done, I always put them on a cloth to cool!

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That’s me making organizing the cookies on the towel because I like the rows to be even while they cool, lol.

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Then, after that, the obvious next step is to grab a plate, a glass of milk, and enjoy!

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To see the complete, original recipe and instructions, they can be found on the Betty Crocker website, by clicking here!


I hope you enjoyed this!  I’m thinking of including other Christmas-y recipes throughout the rest of Blogmas, so please, let me know what you thought of today’s post.

Thanks for reading!


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Gifts to Buy to Buy a Bookworm that Aren’t Books

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Hello!  Christmas and other gift-giving holidays are coming up super fast!  So, today, I’ve created a little gift giving guide for yourself, or to share with your friends and relatives who are looking for the perfect gift to give, but don’t know what books to get you.  So, here are some bookish gifts that aren’t actually books:

Anything from Out of Print Clothing

Y’all there are so many great options from Out of Print Clothing,  that you are sure to find something to please your bookish friend!  From t-shirts to sweatshirts, to pins, totes, mugs, and more, I honestly want the whole store.

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I, personally, have bought a sweatshirt and a t-shirt from Out of Print, and they are both SO nice.  I love the quality, and the sweatshirt is the coziest, warmest thing ever!  Plus, each purchase helps fund literacy programs and donate books to communities who are in need.  It’s a win-win for us all!

Bookish Candles

Everybody  loves a good scented candle, and if it’s related to your favorite book? Even better!  There are so many candle shops that dedicate themselves to making candles inspired by your favorite books, movies, and TV shows!  While I haven’t tried any for myself, yet, I’ve heard so many good things about them, especially from Nerdwicks, Wick and Fable, and Novelly Yours Candles.

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Anything from Litographs

Litographs is such a fun and unique shop!  It prints the full text of books on shirts, scarves, totes, and posters!  There are so many books to choose from, and Litographs is just a really cool company.

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Items from Society6 and/or Redbubble

There are so many beautiful bookish designs out there on Society6 and Redbubble created by artists all over the world.  These are similar to Etsy shops, so simply type in what you are looking for, and so many different bookish options will show up!  I especially love the shops from Evie Seo, PaperFury, and BookwormBoutique!

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Bookmarks

And finally, when in doubt, buy a bookmark!  From fancy and elaborate, handmade bookmarks on Etsy, to super cute tiny ones from Walmart, I love them all.  Bookmarks are so fun to collect, and us bookworms are always in search of one!

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Hopefully this helped with your Christmas shopping just a little bit!  This post definitely made my wishlist grow, lol!

What’s on your wishlist? Also, are you finished Christmas shopping yet?


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Blogmas Book Quotes | The Book Thief

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Hi everyone!  In honor of Blogmas, I’ve created a little feature on my blog that I’m calling Blogmas Book Quotes.  Basically, throughout the month of December, I’ll be sharing different Christmas-y photos and quotes.  My goal is to share a quick, little bit of Christmas spirit!


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“It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents. But there was a snowman in their basement.”

~ Markus Zusak, The Book Thief


Have you read The Book Thief? If so, share your favorite part in the comments!


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#AMonthofFaves – This is How We Read

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Hey everyone! Tanya and Kimberly of GirlXOXO are hosting a fun, month long series of their favorites of the year called #AMonthofFaves.  There’s new prompts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all December long. Today’s fave is: This is How We Read!

No. of Books Read (… so far)

So far, I’ve read 48 books out of my goal of 52.  Although, some of those are short stories so I’m not sure if they would all ~technically~ count, but they’re on Goodreads so I’m going with it! 😉

Genre That Got the Most Love

I read contemporary the most, coming in with 21 books.

Paranormal/Sci-fi/Fantasy came in second with 14 books.

How IRead

I read 26 physical books, 20 ebooks, and 2 audiobooks.

Of those books, 11 of them were from the library, with 6 of those being physical library books, 3 of them being e-library books, and 2 of them being audiobooks.

Books I DNF’d (Did Not Finish)

I really hate to DNF a book, and so I do it very rarely, and actually didn’t do it at all in 2017!

Month I Read the Least & the Most

Month I Read the Least: September – The only book I finished was Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Month I Read the Most: November – I finished 11 books, although, I admit, some were short stories. 🙈

When I Read

My absolute best reading is done outside in the afternoon.  That being said, I live in Ohio, so that definitely cannot be a year-round activity for me.  So, my more practical reading time, and honestly, most cozy (which is good but also a bit of a bad thing because sometimes I get sleepy), is done in my bedroom in the evenings.

Fave Books of the Year (Just a Hint)

I’m only sharing one today, but I’m going to go with Replica by Lauren Oliver.  That book is SO good!


I hope you enjoyed reading this!  I really loved looking back at all the books I’ve read so far and seeing how they compare.  It’s given me ideas on what I want to read more of in 2018!


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Christmas Countdown – #7

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Happy Sunday!  I can’t believe it is December now.  Christmas is getting so close!! We are now into week 3 of Countdown to Christmas for 2017! Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

This week’s book is The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans.

IMG_2563.JPGThe New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Boxreturns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption.

Dear Reader,
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don’t remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn’t considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson’s assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family’s holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, “giddy-as-aschoolboy” man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That’s what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas — a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas

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The Christmas List is a thoughtful and heartwarming read.  It has A Christmas Carol vibes, but the story is very much its own.  I originally read this book because of it’s premise: a selfish man wakes up to find his obituary in the newspaper – even though he’s not dead.  It is the first thing that starts the gears moving and changes his life for the better.  This book is less sad that Richard Paul Evans other book, The Christmas Boxwhich I featured last year, which I kind of liked, because while I’m okay with sad books sometimes, I like to have some of my Christmas books be a bit happier!  This book really makes a lovely and enjoyable Christmas read!

 

Let me know if you’ve read The Christmas List, and if not, is it a book you might be interested in?


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Book Review | The Christmas Blessing

the christmas blessing melody.jpgTitle: The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

Pages: 167

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian

Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company (Sept. 5, 2017)

Summary

When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.

The Christmas Blessing

What I Thought

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the publisher and NetGalley!*

I really enjoy Melody Carlson’s books – especially her Christmas ones.  So, when I discovered this book on NetGalley, I just had to request it.  I’m so glad I found this book, too, because it was the perfect book to put me in the holiday spirit!

Continue reading

‘Tis the Season Book Tag!

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Hello everyone!  It’s December 1st, and so that means it is officially Blogmas!!  To start things off, I’ve decided to do a fun, Christmas-y book tag.

I discovered the ‘Tis the Season book tag on Book Snacks while googling for Christmas-y posts for Blogmas!

Okay, here we go:

1. Do you have a favorite winter read?

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To name just a few, I really loved Let it Snow, Clara Claus, and, of course, the good ole’ classic, A Christmas Carol.  Honestly though, I love a lot more, but these were the first ones I thought of.

2. Find a book with a blue cover!

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In keeping with the Christmas theme, I chose The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere!  I actually really enjoyed this book, even though it was emotional.  Its sequel, The Christmas Blessing is really good, too.

3. Find a book you’d use as a star on a Christmas tree!

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I haven’t read this book, so, story-wise, I don’t know if I’d want this to be the star of my tree.  Based off of the cover alone, however, I think The Christmas Hope would make a good star.  The street lamp shines like a star, and the overall cover is just super Christmas-y and atmospheric looking!

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation!

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I have to go with the North Pole for this one! Who wouldn’t want to visit there?!

5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your winter vacation!

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I think it would be so fun to go on a vacation with Anne Shirley!  She would bring so much excitement and adventure to the trip.  

6. Name one book on your wish list this year!

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I’ve been hearing so many good things about Caraval! I’d really be happy to see Santa bring me this book.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat, & movie?

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Drink: I have to go with hot chocolate, preferably with mini marshmallows and whipped cream!

Treat: For treat, it would definitely be Christmas cookies! My favorites are seven-layer, snowballs, chocolate peanut butter no-bakes, sugar, and chocolate chip.

Movie: Oh boy! I have so many favorite Christmas movies!  Honestly, I love them all, lol.  Some of my absolute favorites are The Santa Clause, Elf, the live-action Grinch, Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, and A Christmas Story.

8. Who do you tag?

I tag anyone who wants do this!  Especially those of you who are participating in Blogmas, too!


Thanks for reading!  I’ll see you tomorrow for Blogmas Day 2!


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